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Bluebird Links & Friday Morning Bantering

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Morning everyone - sorry for the late post but I'm off work for the next week and have a hard time actually motivating myself to get out of bed.  Of course, now that I'm up and have this up, I guess it's time to go shovel snow.  Fun.  I've got a few links on the front page that I thought were particularly interesting / thought provoking.  The rest are after the jump.  What's on your mind today?

Blue Jays Sign Dominican Lefty Labour
The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with 16-year-old Dominican lefthander Jairo Labour for $350,000. I don't know anything about this guy, but it never hurts to sign international free-agents.  Hopefully we find out more before the season starts.

Andruw Jones to attempt to revive career with Yankees
Good pick up for the Yanks. I hate decieving headlines like this though. Jones was worth 1.8 WAR last year, which is pretty good for a guy with 328 PA. 2008/2009 were terrible but whatever - last year wasn't and if anything, he revived his career last year. If Jones put up 1.8 WAR every year, I'm pretty sure he'd stick around for a few more years.

Side note - is Jones a potential Hall of Famer? Probably not considering is fall from grace, but he's only 33 and has accumulated a tidy 70.5 fWAR. Over 400 HR and one of the best fielding outfielders of the last 15 years. We all consider Halladay a lock for the Hall, however he's only accumulated 61.6 fWAR. I don't know, never really thought about Jones in the Hall before but wow did he put up some great years between '98 and 2006.

Roy Hartsfield, Blue Jays first manager, dies
Kevin Glew with a nice write-up on Roy Hartsfield and with a brief look at his career. Here's a good quote from Dave McKay:

“Managing an expansion team with no chance of winning, dealing with many players who were just happy to be wearing a major league uniform and others like me who belonged in Triple-A, I thought Roy showed a lot of patience and understanding.”

Must be tough managing a team of guys who thought they belonged in Triple-A.

Posts Trading 500 for 325 «
Another long post from Joe Posnanski, but interesting. He takes a look at guys on the Hall ballot (or until recently on the ballot) and wonders if they would exchange 500 walks for 325 singles. They are apparently about equal in value, but the exchange makes some guys career slash line look quite a bit different, and maybe gives guys like Olerud a better case for the Hall.

Jays Links

What Happens to Josh Roenicke?
Matthias Koster at Mop up Duty figures there's little chance that Roenicke cracks the Jays 2011 opening lineup. I guess the Jays don't see much in him since they're really not giving him a chance to make the club. He's not really young either so it seems like he's doomed to be AAA fodder. Thoughts?

The First Step in the De-Citofication Process
Ghostrunner thinks that the Jays lineup would be better positioned to score more runs with Wells hitting 3rd and Bautista hitting 4th, and he hopes Farrell can convince the players that a more optimized line-up is a good thing.

2010's Most Infrequent Thrower of Fastballs
Dave Rutt at Batter's Box takes a look at some numbers related to Jays new reliever, Carlos Villanueva. Apparently he mixes up his pitches quite a bit. Interesting reading.

New manager eager to put stamp on Blue Jays
Some quotes from Farrell, JPA and Walton in the Calgary Herald. This from Walton:

"Last year, I think we had a breakthrough year with all our starters," he said. "But I think it's our back bone. And I think they're so young that in three or four years, you are going to see one heck of a starting rotation."

Top 50 Jays Prospect
Jays Journal continues their top 50 with Kellen Sweeney at Number 24. Chris Hawkins (link here) was number 25.

Around the League

MLB Trade Trees
This is a cool site. Currently putting up Roberto Alomar trade trees. Check it out.

Hayhurst Signs With The Rays
Too bad he won't be sticking around in the Jays organization.

Rays, Damon Nearing Deal
Pretty self explanatory. Linked since there was a Damon to the Jays rumour earlier in the week.

Albert Pujols And The St. Louis Cardinals
Parkes is talking Pujols, and he thinks that no matter what, if Pujols does become available, that the Red Sox and Yankees will be players. I've heard a few 'experts' say that Pujols won't make as much because the two pay-roll giants won't be interested. I liked this part:

There’s even a possibility that Pujols becomes the first baseball player to be paid a dollar a second.

That's roughly $31.5M / year for those counting at home.

Return of the Two-Division Format
Paul Swydan makes a case for two-divisions in each league, with two wild cards in each league. So three teams from the AL East could make the playoffs while only one team from the AL West would make it. I kind of like it. This is part 1 of a 3 part series - keep an eye out for part 2 where he'll look at how keeping 2 divisions would have changed the playoff races in the past 15 years. Wonder if the Jays ever would have made it?

Who Is the Most Valuable Player in Baseball? (Part 2)
I linked Part 1 on Wednesday. No surprises here as the winner came down to Pujols and Longoria, with Ramirez a distant 3rd.