Something Is Cooking With the Blue Jays, But Do We Like What We’re Smelling?

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian picked up on a couple of tiny nuggets of Jays information from the radio that — as he rightly points out — qualify as discussion-worthy given the lack of anything else to talk about at the moment.

Let’s dive in! Here’s what he gives us:

Earlier today, Stephen Brunt hopped on Sportsnet 960 The Fan in Calgary and dropped this little bit of info at the end of his interview with Boomer & Warrener.

“We may have some Blue Jay developments by the end of the week. I’ve been told something’s cooking.”

Ryan Pinder proceeded to ask Stephen Brunt whether this rumour was Jose Bautista related or “other” and Brunt came back with “other”.

Ian then very loosely ties this with a comment from Jeff Blair yesterday about the Pirates wanting Vlad Guerrero Jr. for Andrew McCutchen — which, though I probably shouldn’t say so without more context, sure sounds to me like Blair doing his best to dismiss the conversation, rather than something concrete. Maybe it’s not! But either way, I’m pretty sure that’s not happening — and given that a team acquiring McCutchen would be relying a whole lot on his August and September bounce back after a poor season (and even in those months he was a solid notch below his previous four season at the plate), and facing big questions about his defence and speed, I don’t think it should be happening.

The stuff from Brunt about moves upcoming and Bautista is rather interesting, though.

I especially like the use of the phrase “something’s cooking,” because that’s the exact one I cryptically used back in November 2014, when I first started hearing whispers that the Donaldson trade was happening. Though… uh… I don’t think that we should be expecting anything close to that level of awesome potentially be going down — and I’m definitely not hearing any whispers myself, to be clear.

My hopes, though, remain high. Even if a reunion with Bautista doesn’t yet appear to be coming — and, in fact, may never be coming. Sidebar: Lately I’ve been thinking about some of the whispers I heard earlier in the offseason, like one that suggested the front office would have been upset if José had taken the qualifying offer, and wondering if maybe there’s more than just draft picks behind the fact that this hasn’t fucking happened yet. I’ve said all along that the picks were only part of the equation, not the whole equation, but the idea that the Jays might know Bautista so well that they’re tired of having him around wasn’t too much a part of that. Now, though? Given that he’s still out there, they still have corner outfield holes, and that the aforementioned whisper wasn’t the only one of its kind that I’ve heard, one certainly can start to wonder.

The thing is, there are plenty of moves still out there for the Jays to easily make, if they’ve exhausted all of their other options. Bringing back Bautista and relinquishing that pick is merely one of them.

Jay Bruce could have been acquired pretty easily by now, I imagine, if they’d had the stomach for it. But the truth is, I think they’ve been a little bit unfairly linked with Bruce this winter because of the fact that they nearly dealt for him last year. The situation then, though, was different. Bruce was an alternative to Michael Saunders who, for some extra salary, was going to provide them with more durability and the possibility of an extra year. Maybe I’m wrong — hopefully I’m wrong, because Bruce is wholly fucking underwhelming — but I just don’t think the appeal is there.

Same goes for all the other underwhelming possibilities still out there: Brandon Moss, or Chris Carter, or Desmond Jennings, or Austin Jackson, or Coco Crisp, or Drew Stubbs, or Adam Lind, or whatever other once-serviceable player coming off a dogshit year or two might still be out there.

Maybe you can sell a move for Ángel Pagán — a switch hitter with some speed, contact skills, more a left fielder than a right fielder, couple World Series rings — with Bautista still on the market, but if they decide that it’s finally time to plug their noses and jump feet first into that tepid pool of remaining free agents, the shit-howling will be enormous. And rightly so.

So I guess we just wait and see. Like I say, I’m hopeful. Or… fuck. At the very least, I’m hopeful that it makes at least some goddamned sense at this point to be hopeful about their further moves.