We've had an interesting couple of weeks.
The Happ signing came out of no where. Considering how much Jeff Samardzija got (5 years and $90 million), I'm less worried about the 3 years and $36 million Happ got.
Justin Smoak signed for more money than any of us expected. $3.9 million seems like a big overpay. I can't imagine he'd be awarded that much by an arbitrator, not that it is so much money that it hurts in any way, but it seems strange.
And we have a new GM. One that has everyone complaining because he's a friend of the team president. Course, Alex was well liked by Paul Beeston too. I don't see why folks are surprised that Shapiro would pick someone that he knows he can get along with. How many people hire someone that they won't get along with?
And then there is complaints because Atkins and Shapiro talk about building up the minor league system and the team depth, which, if memory serves, was the same sort of thing Alex talked about when he was hired. Building a sustainable winner was a key term when Alex started, and it seems to be one of the favorite phrases of Shapiro. Rebuilding the minor league system sounds like a good idea to me too.
I've been told by several that there is no way the team can win with the players it currently has, which I don't understand. We've lost Price, but I would think having a full season of Marcus Stroman would balance that out. And, as much as I like Alex, I don't see him matching or beating the Red Sox offer to Price. As much as I liked Price, other than keeping him away from the Red Sox, I wouldn't want him at 7 years and $32 million per.
I understand being disappointed that Alex isn't there anymore, but that's life, he's gone, and I'm quite willing to see what happens with the new guys. They start off with a very good team. One that led baseball in scoring. And will have full season of Troy Tulowitzki, who looked so much better that Reyes defensively and should have Devon Travis back. The rotation looks like it should be at least as good as what we had to start the season last year. There are a couple of question marks in the bullpen, but I'm not unhappy with it, and there is time to fill it out.
I get that gloom and doom is the default position for Blue Jays fans, but I'm thinking that things aren't all that bad.
- Bob Elliot tells us how the players voted to split their playoff money. Full shares ($141.834.47)went to all the deadline pickups. 3/4 shares to Delabar, Reyes, Valencia. Half shares to Francis, Kawasaki and Pompey. One that sort of surprises me is that Thole only got a '$5000 grant'.
- A's signed Ryan Madson to 3-years and 'over' $20 million and the Orioles signed Jose Bautista's favorite reliever, Darren O'Day to 4-years and $31 million. Both sound like a lot of money for a reliever.
- Peter Schmuck, of the Baltimore Sun, seems to think that the huge contracts for Price and Greinke make it less likely the O's will sign Chris Davis. Jon Heyman says that the Jays are 'linked' to Davis, but I can't see it, a much as I think it would be fun to have another 40 home run type guy.
- A couple of days ago, John Lott talked about the awkward transition in the Jays front office. He does mention that Tony LaCava would have to be disappointed not getting the job. It would be interesting to know what he thinks about it all. He does seem to be very loyal to the Jays. And he had to know that there was a very good chance that Atkins would get the job.