Over at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith has poured water on the fire about the reports that the Blue Jays were getting close to signing third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Although it sure seems like they were never really that close to signing him in the first place, it's now a certain fact that the two sides haven't talked in 48 hours. Apparently there was a point in time when the team was putting in serious effort to locking up the former Giant, but the addition of Russell Martin changed things:
The Blue Jays met with Vasquez (Sandoval's agent) at the GM Meetings, where groundwork for deals is often established. But the Blue Jays left Phoenix with designs on signing Russell Martin and they’ve spent much of their energy pursuing and signing the catcher to a five-year, $82 million deal in recent days.
Sandoval, a 28-year-old Venezuelan, hit .279/.324/.415 with 16 home runs in the World Series winning 2014 campaign, which was good enough for a 111 wRC+ and a WAR of 3.0. For a man of rather large stature, he has held up extremely well so far in his career and has missed very little time to injury in the past few seasons.
Reports seem to agree on the fact that the Red Sox are currently the team closest to bringing the Panda to town and their offer has been pegged as five years and $95 million by sources. That offer is obviously $13 million more than what Toronto paid for their newest signing for the same number of years.
While rumours are flying around about which free agents the Jays are close to agreeing to terms with, it sure is beginning to sound like nothing is imminent.
We’re not close to anything," Anthopoulos said. "We’re not ‘being aggressive’ with anybody. Our focus was on Martin and that just took a lot of energy. We don’t have five balls in the air.
It seems that the remainder of the Blue Jays moves this offseason will come by way of trade and an endless pile of waiver wire pick-ups. Slow news day...