The Orioles made a shrewd trade on Friday, adding outfielder Seth Smith from the Mariners in exchange for the flaming corpse of Yovani Gallardo. Seattle then swiftly grabbed Jarrod Dyson from Kansas City in exchange for Nate Karns, making most what’s written in the rest of this paragraph moot. Joel Sherman tweeted at the time that maybe this means the Mariners would jump into the Jose Bautista market. Ken Rosenthal brought up this idea too, though, while noting that it would cost the Mariners the 17th overall pick in next June’s draft to sign José (and because of that — and, y’know, the fact that they were about to trade for Dyson — the Mariners say, per a Bob Nightengale tweet, that it’s unlikely). I’m just hoping that he gets a concrete offer from someone soon so he can take it to the Jays, they can beat it, and we can finally end this nonsense. *puts feet up* Ahhh, pulled that one out of the fire.
Here’s something I should probably have listed above the stuff about the Orioles and Mariners making a move: the Jays made a move! A minor one, that is — but a very nice one. They signed Gavin Floyd to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Floyd showed last year, before he got hurt, that he can be something resembling asset both out of the bullpen or as starting pitching depth. That is, if you define “asset” as being marginally above replacement level on the best of days. Which I do! Jon Heyman notes that Floyd will make $1 million if he’s in the majors with the Jays. Given the state of the bullpen, that seems fairly likely.
Keegan Matheson goes deep into Gavin Floyd… er… into Gavin Floyd’s arsenal… er… into Gavin Floyd’s mechanics and arsenal in an excellent piece for Jays Journal.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports asks the question, did the Blue Jays misread the market on Edwin Encarnación? Which… uh… yes.
Dave Schoenfield of ESPN.com asks the question, what if nobody wants José Bautista? Which… holy shit, he brings up Barry Bonds’ failed attempt to find a team for 2008 — and the alleged collusion on the part of every team in the league, very much including the Jays, who sure as hell could have used him at the time. Obviously Bautista doesn’t have the PED baggage, but Schoenfield finds a parallel in the fact that Bonds’ troubles back then may have been more due to the fact that nobody wanted him in their clubhouse. “It’s also possible Bautista’s intensity wears out teammates and the Jays would prefer to move on, no matter Bautista’s potential production at the plate,” he writes. I get bringing this up, I guess, but Bautista wearing people out sure didn’t inhibit the team the last two seasons, so it’s a hard argument to make. I’m betting he finds a home. I’m also betting that Bonds’ failure to find employment was totally collusion.
Scheonfield has another piece on the Jays, this time looking at all the reasons why they’re due for a big fall in 2017. Fair enough! There are definitely red flags here, and calling out Rogers’ lack of commitment to winning — even if the 2016 payroll number listed sure ain’t right — is bang on. I’d point out that the roster isn’t complete yet and that even a team looking at .500 can have a lot of optimism in the two Wild Card era… not that that’s going to make anybody feel a whole lot better. But it’s true!
Back to Jon Heyman for one, as he tweets that Edwin has bonuses in his contract with Cleveland that are dependent on attendance. He’ll start earning a bonus when the club hits 2 million fans, Heyman says, and can earn up to $1 million if all the benchmarks (whatever they are) are cleared.
Look past the silly bluster and you’ll see that Jeff Blair has a good one at Sportsnet on Edwin, Jose, and the Blue Jays’ offseason.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, we’re told that Marco Estrada is questionable to pitch for Mexico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic because the back issue that plagued him throughout 2016 is still lingering (which would be more alarming if it wasn’t the WBC, which just about everybody is looking for an excuse to miss), while our pal the Tao of Stieb writes about the Jays’ offseason and how it has tested the patience of the fan base.
At FanRag, Jon Heyman lists the Jays as among several teams still looking at free agent lefty relievers like Jerry Blevins, Boone Logan, Travis Wood, and J.P. Howell — as they should be!
Elsewhre at FanRag, Al Melchior writes that if the Jays are thinking about making some kind of blockbuster deal (which I’m confident they aren’t), Marcus Stroman should be untouchable. For now. Dun dun dunnnnn
Randy Holt of RotoGraphs writes about the overwhelming dominance of Josh Donaldson, which… totally, right?
A pair of gems from the Blue Jay Hunter, as Ian tells us that the Regina Pats will wear Blue Jays uniforms on the ice in a game tonight (featuring a Zeke cameo), as the club is in town as part of their Winter Caravan (or whatever the hell they call it nowadays). Ian also reminds us of a glorious time when Devon White was in a slam dunk contest, which… OMG. Devo’s “dunks weren’t all that flashy,” Ian very correctly points out, “but like his play in the outfield, Devo’s dunks were technically sound. Unfortunately, his score of 9.4 wasn’t enough to surpass Super Bowl champion Michael Irvin.”
Over at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm takes a dip into the ol’ Griff Bag’s infinitely less bent cousin: his Inbox. Guess I have something to do on Monday, provided nothing else changes. Which at this point means I guess I have something to do on Monday.
Be sure to check out Ken Fidlin’s farewell column for the Toronto Sun. Ken’s done awesome work on the Jays beat for a long time and his stuff will definitely be missed.
Lastly, Edwin Encarnación has thanked Jays fans for their years of support in a post on Instagram.