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Saturday Bantering: Catching Up

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

There is depressing little for blue Jays news.

I was listening to MLB Radio and Jim Bowden was talking about Troy Tulowitzki. Bowden said how surprising it was a team with a corporate ownership to let go of a guy with so much money left on the contract. I think it doesn’t really get how big a corporation Rogers is. For a smaller company, yeah that would be a tough thing, writing off so much money. For Rogers, they won’t hardly notice.

And, of course, it is easier for Ross and Mark to sell the idea of dropping him because they can say ‘hey, it isn’t our fault, it was the last guy that stuck you with this’, where Alex likely couldn’t have sold it to ownership because he personally would be costing them all that money, which would be tough to do. “Hey boss, remember that guy I talked you into letting me trade for? Well, I want to release him. Could you sign a cheque for $38 million?”

I don’t know about you, but I’d have a hard time selling that to my boss.

Bowden also said he didn’t think any team would pick him up, that his career is basically over. I’m not sure that’s true. I see that the Cubs are going to watch him workout. I can’t see him being a good shortstop again, but if he’s healthy, maybe he could play first or third. Less defensive responsibility might help is bat. I can’t see him being an All-Star again, but I can see a team giving him a shot since he would be basically free to whoever picks him up.

I hope something works out for him. We talk about him being injury prone, but the ankle injury was one of those things that could have happened to anyone (maybe it is time to do something about the first base bag?) and that lead to the troubles of last year.

We went to Denver for Troy’s first series back in his old home, and it was good to see how loved he was by Rockies fans. He spent a long-time signing autographs before games there. I sat beside a little boy with a Tulo jersey and a sign. He got an autograph. Troy made sure to sign for as many kids as he could, but there were hundreds of adults looking for him to sign something.

He got a huge ovation every at bat all series. It was much like Russell Martin in Montreal during the preseason games.

Troy didn’t quite earn the same amount of love in Toronto. When the trade happened, we knew that the last couple of years of his contract were going to be a problem (though we didn’t know it would be a ‘it is better to release him’ type problem), but we made it to the playoffs two years in a row and who knows if it would have happened without him.

Jose Reyes had become a distraction. Maybe in part because Jerry Howarth seemed to take a very personal dislike to him. I’ll admit I didn’t get why he hated that Reyes smiled and enjoyed playing baseball, I always figured that, had I been lucky enough to play a kid’s game for a living, I would be the happiest guy in the world. But Reyes seemed to have the unfortunate ability to make errors at the absolute worst moments. I guess it was only once or twice, but making an error that brings home the winning run is something fans tend to notice.

I still consider the trade a win, but I wouldn’t mind if the Jays found a way to bring back Jeff Hoffman in a ‘buy low’ trade.

I never understand why we pay so much attention to Scott Boras complaining about the Jays not spending enough money. I get that Boras (and all agents) would like teams to spend like drunken Steinbrenners, but when he says self-serving stuff, I think we can ignore. He wants more teams in on his clients, because that would drive up their prize. But that’s his worry not ours.

But then I would mind if the Jays found their way to signing Yusei Kikuchi (not only because it would be nice to have something to write about). It is tough to find starting pitching, so I’d be happy if they took a shot at him.

I’m kind of happy about the pickup of Elvis Luciano. Like most Rule 5 pickups, odds are slim he’ll make it through the season with the Jays, but if he does, he looks like a better prospect than most Rule 5 guys. If we can keep him in the back of the pen for the season, he could go back to the minors and grow to become a starting pitcher in the future. A season in the back of the bullpen might slow his development a bit, but he’s young enough to survive it.

Less happy about losing Jordan Romano and Travis Bergen. It is too bad they didn’t release Troy earlier, but then that wasn’t a call that could be made a month ago. I don’t see either become a star, but I’d like to have them for depth. I think it is more likely that Elvis becomes a valuable MLB player, than either Jordan or Travis, but I’d like to hedge that bet a little.