Some Convoluted Thoughts On Justin Smoak's Contract

Andrew Stoeten
December 13 2016 11:29AM

Justin Smoak
"Don't like my contract? Come at me, bro!" Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It is not remotely difficult to understand why the Blue Jays extended Justin Smoak at the time they did, you just have to actually think about it like you’re Blue Jays.

On the surface, sure, this is a real easy decision for fans to dislike. Giving money to a bad player we hate that could have otherwise gone to great players we love? It seems obvious that the deal is bad and that anybody who dislikes it is no mere lemon-sucking halfwit, they might even be downright rational!

Everybody ends up feeling pretty good, sneering at a front office they've been conditioned from the get-go to be suspicious of and an owner most of them already hate because of a decade-and-a-half of running the team on the far-too-cheap (plus the fact that so many also pay the company exorbitant fees for cell phones and Wi-Fi and cable TV packages -- assuming cable TV still exists -- every month).

There isn’t, then, a whole lot of incentive to get bogged down contemplating internal logic. That will only lead us to places that undermine our comfy disdain.

But of course there was internal logic to the move. Figuring out what it was isn’t very difficult, either.

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Jays To Sign TJ House (And If You Pretend This Is Their Big Off-Season Move Just So You Can Make A Derisive Comment, So Help Me...)

Andrew Stoeten
December 12 2016 09:38PM

T.J. House
Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. House faced 14 big league batters in 2016. Two struck out, one was hit by a pitch, and 45% of balls put in play went for line drives, and six batters got hits. That's... uh... not good.

However! T.J. House is a living, breathing left-handed pitcher, and it seems like he's Toronto bound!

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Is Dexter Fowler About to Go to the Cardinals? (Yes)

Andrew Stoeten
December 08 2016 06:24PM

Dexter Fowler
Photo Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Update 9:00 PM ET:

Bob Nightengale tweets that the Cardinals and Dexter Fowler do indeed have an agreement in place, and they intend to finalize it tomorrow. That still, theoretically, gives the Blue Jays a chance to jump back in, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted earlier that the Cards had made an "over-the-top" offer that was sure to land him, and Jon Heyman adds that the payout is "expected to be big," and suggests he's hearing five years and $80 to $90 million, which... yeah, is damn big. Probably too big, even.

That doesn't make this any less of a bitter pill to swallow, though. Fowler, despite not being perfect (Drew, for example, cited his durability as a problem earlier tonight, especially if he were to be moving onto turf), was clearly the Jays' best option on the free agent market -- he was the best free agent position player not named Cespedes -- and the free agent market was obviously their best way to improve the team because those players only cost dollars and not prospects.

So... on to Plan C, it seems. Ugh.

[Programming note: I'm going to spare myself any more of the poisonous back and forth about this that's going on over on Twitter right now and have some damn drinks. But I'm sure there will be plenty of time for you to vent about the Jays and Rogers at me tomorrow!]

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Does Dexter Fowler Even Want to Play For the Cardinals?

Andrew Stoeten
December 08 2016 02:53PM

Dexter Fowler
"Is St. Louis that way? OK, then I'll go the opposite direction." Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It's a little too easy, here in the throes of bullshit season, to narrowly focus on what the rumours are saying and miss out on what they're not. For example, there was all kinds of breathless speculation throughout the just-ended Winter Meetings that the Washington Nationals were making an aggressive push for the White Sox' Chris Sale -- and they were, it just so happened that Boston had quietly already made their own push, and were biding their time as the White Sox let the Nats try and fail to come up with a better offer. Publicly it looked at first like the Red Sox had swooped in at the end, in reality they were there all along.

I say this today because there seems to be an interesting development in the story of the St. Louis Cardinals' pursuit of free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler, and because it's potentially going to be taken as a reason to think the door is truly open for the Jays to sign the free agent outfielder. After all, the Jays and the Cardinals are the two teams who are rumoured to be the strongest in pursuit. The Nationals are surely out after landing Adam Eaton, the Rangers are probably out after signing Carlos Gomez, and perhaps the Giants as well after inking Mark Melancon. But we don't know that for sure, and who knows who else may be lurking.

That said, holy shit, Dexter Fowler might not want to play for the Cardinals!

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Hear This: Wrapping Up the Winter Meetings On TSN 1260 Edmonton

Andrew Stoeten
December 08 2016 01:04PM

Rogers Radio
I know it's not a Rogers station, relax. Image KEVIN MA/St. Albert Gazette

I've been doing a bunch of radio hits this year and not making full blog posts out of them, mostly because I'm self-conscious about how bad I am it it a lot of times. Buuuuut also because my phone kinda sucks and so my sound quality is often less than ideal.

If you're a listener to the podcast, you'll know that I recently had an incident with a pool in Mexico that required me to get a new phone, so I had some hope that things would turn around for the better, but alas, it sure as hell doesn't seem like it. Good job, Apple!

Still, though, I felt I sounded enough like I knew what I was talking about on Wednesday night (despite a mixed metaphor about dominoes), as I essentially wrapped up the soon-to-be-ended Winter Meetings on TSN 1260 Edmonton's Sports Night, with guest host Dan Tencer filling in for Dean Millard. 

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