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Thursday Blue Notes: Grading the offseason, Loria, Jake Elmore

Jim Bowden has released his grades for the offseason of all the MLB teams (subscription required), and he gives the Blue Jays a B. I’d feel good about that, but Jim gives a lot of the teams a B. In the AL East, the Rays and Yankees also get Bs, the Orioles a B- and the Red Sox an A. I wish I had teachers that graded like that when I was a kid. 14 of the 30 MLB teams get B or B- or B+.

In fact only 3 AL teams get a mark below C+. The A’s and Twins get a D and the Tigers get an F.

About the Jays Bowden says:

The Blue Jays did an excellent job in striking early and signing Morales to a three-year, $33 million deal. But the quick move probably cost them Encarnacion, who likely would have taken their four-year, $80 million offer if they had the patience to wait another month. The Blue Jays get high marks for their tough negotiations with Bautista all year, which led to a reunion on a one-year deal with two mutual options that protect Toronto from age, decline or injury, while assuring Bautista's 30-40 home run bat is back in the lineup.

And he mentions that Steve Pearce is a solid pickup and he likes the J.P. Howell signing.

One thing I like is that the front office seems to be spreading the money around. They don’t put it all in one deal and then fill the rest of the roster with guys making the minimum.

Last year, the new front office got complaints for not signing David Price, but instead gave the money he would have got to Happ and Estrada. Instead of making the big signing, they tend to make a number of lesser signings and spread the risk out. I don’t mind that. I think it protects against one slump ruining the team's season.

The Edwin thing could have gone better, but then none of us figured that the market for him would disappear. On the flip of that, I’m glad we didn’t spend a fortune (on a long term contract) to a reliever early on in the winter. I love Brett Cecil, but nearly $30 million over 4 years? I’d rather have J.P. Howell for $3 million.

Anyway, let’s do a poll on our offseason.

Apparently, Jeff Loria has a ‘handshake deal’ to sell the Marlins to someone for $1.6 billion. $1.6 billion. You know how much that is in cheese doodles?

This is a guy that Bud Selig handed the Expos to, with instructions to kill the team. He did an excellent job of that, so Bud gave him the Marlins as a prize (apparently Loria paid $158 million), back in 2002. Jeff then cons local government into building him a $639 million ballpark. Since then, the Marlins haven’t had a season with a winning record (though they do have some interesting young players). The last time they had a winning record was 2009.

He’s, well, a jerk. And now a very rich jerk. It seems to be the way of the world, lately. There should be a law that says if your business is worth $1.6 billion, you can’t get welfare to build a ballpark.

Jeff Loria gets rich and Bud Selig goes to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Life is not fair.

The Jays signed Jake Elmore to a minor league contract. Jake has played played in the majors for the last 5 seasons, for 5 different teams. And he’s played every position, except for pitcher. Actually he has pitched 2 innings.

He has a career .218/.297/.280 batting line. He’d be a useful guy to have in the minors.

And the team has made the J.P. Howell signing official. He gets $3 million, plus incentives for innings pitch. $50,000 for for 45 innings, and $50,000 more for each 5 innings after that. No word on who gets dropped from 40-man.

Man, I hate the idea of starting extra innings with a runner on second, but I'm not going to get too worked up about it, it won't happen. Rob Manfred says 'I'd consider that' to any idea. Remember him saying he'd consider making the shift illegal?