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Blue Jays Head Home Empty Handed

Baseball’s winter meetings ended Thursday after a rather anti-climactic four days in Orlando, Florida. Following a huge week which saw thirty-five transactions in five days, the annual baseball schmooze-fest came in with a lowly six significant transactions. Which makes my decision not to cover the meetings quite good in hindsight. There would have been a whole lot of sitting around working on my whistling.

For those of us who have invested themselves (probably unhealthily so) in the Jays minor league system and the prospects it holds, the fact that Alex Anthopoulos is heading home empty handed has to be considered a good thing. As any deal would have inevitably included the one prospect we thought there was no way should have been traded.

If you believe the various reports out there though, the Jays GM still has numerous balls still up in the air. I think the fact nothing has been done hasn’t been for lack of effort. Anthopoulos just doesn’t see any value at the moment.

And, as a quick aside, if there is any truth that the Cubs are asking for Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman (the Jays top two prospects) plus a third player in exchange for Jeff Samardzija, then ya, you can see why ‘the acquisition price doesn’t work for us right now.’ Samardzija, a right-handed starter, has been worth an average of 2.9 wins over the last two seasons according to Fangraphs fWAR and the projection algorithm Steamer has him at 2.8 for next year. Baseball Reference likes him even less, with its iteration rWAR averaging 1.4 over the last two years.

So the Cubs honestly want twelve years of control of Toronto’s top two prospects, plus a third player, for three years of a decidedly average starter.

Either they’re taking the piss. Or really don’t want to trade ‘The Shark’ but have decided to test Toronto’s desperation by asking for all of King Midas’ gold.

Apologies, got off topic a bit there. As I was saying. Aside from wholly underwhelming signing (or re-signing) of Tomo Ohka….

(Ah crap, another aside. Ohka’s signing is more interesting than first thought as he’s re-invented himself as a knuckleballer. Drunk Jays Fans does an excellent job of running with the story that the Jays are looking to become somewhat of an organizational breeding ground for the pitch. Not only from a pitching standpoint, but to help catchers (including top prospect A.J. Jimenez) throughout the system get experience with the pitch.)

….the Jays did a whole lot of chatting in Orlando.

That’s not to say they are finished. There are still holes in the rotation and at second, and you don’t win a World Series in December. Remember last year? The fact that the Jays first round draft pick in 2014 is protected gives them a bit of leverage when dealing with free agents who were extended qualifying offers. If AA doesn’t see a reduction in the acquisition costs of his trade targets then free agency may be his preferred route.

Either way. There is no way I am going to count my prospects and assume my recently published top 30 list is safe. There is a better than even chance that one of those top two are plying their trade elsewhere in 2014.

Let’s just hope we don’t have to cancel Christmas.

One Response

  1. […] Charlie Caskey writes about the Blue Jays coming home empty from the Winter Meetings over at YourVanC’s. […]

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