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Saturday Bantering: On Jim Fregosi, and the continuing Santana saga

Jim Fregosi, back in 1993
Jim Fregosi, back in 1993
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

I'm late to it, yesterday was a busy day, but very sorry to hear about the passing of Jim Fregosi.

One of the several mistakes of the Gord Ash era was replacing Fregosi with Buck Martinez, as manager of the Jays, after the 2000 season. Fergosi had led the Jays to seasons of 84 and 83 wins, in 1999 and 2000, then Martinez took over and team had 2 losing seasons before Buck was fired and Carlos Tosca hired.

I thought that Jim did a good job with the Jays. He, unfortunately, was the one Blue Jays manager that had a lousy season from Roy Halladay (10.64 ERA in 2000). Chris Carpenter wasn't great in 2000 either (6.26 ERA). But he had a ton of offense to work with, we had 8 batters get to double figures in home runs,  that year, and 4 over 30 home runs (Carlo Delgado, Tony Batista, Brad Fullmer and Jose Cruz).

Fregosi was always a good interview, seemed to enjoy baseball and enjoy being in Toronto.

Of course, Blue Jays fans already knew him as the manager of the Phillies, when we beat them for the World Series title in 1993. We owe him a big thank you for using Mitch Williams in game 6 of the series, after Williams already had a big blown save in game 4 of the series.

Fregosi also had a good, long career as a player, playing 18 seasons, with the Angels, Rangers, Mets and Pirates. He hit .265/.338/.398 with 151 home runs in 1902 games, mostly as a shortstop.

It is sad to hear of the passing a a good guy. Our condolences to his family.

Other weekend news:

  • Former Jays Emilio Bonifacio and Mark Teahen have each signed minor league contracts, Bonifacio with the Cubs and Teahen with the Giants. Emilio would make $2.5 million plus a possible $425,000 in incentives, if he makes the Cubs roster out of spring training.
  • Once again, Jon Heyman tells us the Jays are after Ervin Santana, but he also says that the Mariners Orioles, Indians, Rockies, Royals and 'many others' have talked to Santana.
  • For his part, Jim Bowman believes the Jays will sign Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez this spring:

Toronto is in need of a starting pitcher who can provide quality innings, and Jimenez and Santana fit that bill. There is draft-pick compensation tied to both, but the Jays are in a good spot because both of their first-round picks are protected. That means that they would only have to give up a second-rounder to sign one of these guys and still be sure to get two quality prospects at the top of the draft.

Once one of these guys signs with Toronto, the other will be stuck without a suitor and might have to wait for an injury before more offers come in.

  • But John Lott reports that the rumor the Jays offered Santana $27 million over a 3-year contract were false.  I can't imagine the Jays would low ball him that much. All Santana's agent would say is that he and Alex "have nice talks".