Monday, October 31, 2011

Jays should wait to sign Hamels, Cain in 2013

It's already that time again.

The best and most exciting part to any season could sometimes be the off season.

Free agency is set to open officially on Thursday, and teams are gearing up for one of the more intriguing few months the game as ever seen.

The two biggest names set to join the free agent market, Albert Pujols of the Cardinals and Prince Fielder of the Brewers, will likely be joined by Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who is expected to opt out of his contract later today.

It's going to be difficult for the Cardinals to let Pujols leave.  They need him badly.  Could you imagine Casey Kotchman playing first for the Cards next season.  That just wouldn't work with the fan base.  So what's left to be seen is, will Pujols actually get the $300 million contract he was looking for before the 2011 season started?

Prince Fielder: guessing he will take a while to sign, but if one had to guess, the Rangers will be his next team.  If Pujols doesn't re-sign in St. Louis, the Cards may call, but the only other team that makes sense is the Cubs.

The Rangers will have money to spend, and will not likely re-sign free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson.  They had trouble all season with the first base position as well.  Michael Young and Mitch Moreland played terrible "D" over at first, so Fielder would help in that regard as well.

Blue Jays: if Rogers is ready to spend I can see them making a splash.  Closer Heath Bell would top the list and would sign for around 3-years and $35 million.  The Jays blew over 20 saves last season and you almost got the feeling they would be ready to spend big time on a proven closer for 2012,  just for the fans sake.  The organization knows that a repeat performance of the 2011 bullpen would not be acceptable to the fans for 2012.  Along with the splash, they would also sign shortstop Jose Reyes and pitcher Mark Buehrle.  Signing Reyes would move Yunel Escobar to second and give the Jays a proven leadoff hitter for the first times since Otis Nixon? Buehrle would be an instant upgrade on Cecil and Drabek, helping the team win now and not later, but...

If the club decides not to spend this year, waiting might not be the worst thing for GM Alex Anthopoulos and company.

The 2013 free agent pool has two names on it.  Cole Hamels and Matt Cain. Enough said!

Imagine this rotation: Ricky Romero, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Brandon Morrow and say Kyle Drabek for 2013. 

Adding David Ortiz for he 2012 squad for two seasons along with a second baseman and veteran pitcher would set them up perfectly for the 2013 season with Hamels and Cain.

CC Sabathia: expected to opt out of current contract with Yankees that pays him $23 million per season for the next four.  Texas has been rumoured to have interest.

Complete list of the 2012 free agents

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cardinals rewind

Some of the best calls from the Cardinals Championship season.

I think this was a "rap" not sure though

This Cardinals / Lady gaga fan lets everyone know in his World Series "wrap" that the Cardinals many times does he say baseball?

Sabathia has twitter account hacked

Looks as if the Yankees CC Sabathia had his twitter account hacked during Game 7 of the World Series last night, as this probably isn't something he would want to use as leverage when possibly opting out of his current contract with the Yankees in hopes of re-signing for more years and dollars.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where has Josh Towers been?

If you were wondering the latest on ex-Blue Jays pitcher Josh Towers, he played in the Atlantic League in 2011 for the Camden Riversharks.

After playing in the majors for 8 seasons with the Orioles, Jays, Dodgers and the Yankees, Towers wanted to continue playing after stints in the minors, and ended up with the Riversharks.  He started 12 games posting a 5-6 record in 13 games.  He pitched 71.2 innings giving up 100 hits, striking out 36 and walking 13.

Towers did this interview explaining his role on the team and how he leads by example.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Random thoughts - Votto to Jays?

You have to love the fact that different rumours are already heating up regarding the free agent crop of this year.

On top of that, trade winds are already gusting, as the Reds are apparently going to explore the option of trading 2011 NL MVP Joey Votto.  The are NOT shopping him they say, just exploring, meaning shopping him.

On the Votto front, he's always wanted to return home (Toronto) and the Jays have always had an interest, so, maybe a Adam Lind / Colby Rasmus for Joey Votto?  Probably take more than that, but the two teams will likely be talking soon.

Isn't it funny how Ryan Braun mentioned the other day it was more likely the Brewers would sign Jose Reyes over Prince Fielder.  Weird timing on this one, as Fielder mentions before the playoffs on how he's all but gone from Milwaukee, and now Braun drops this on the fans.  They obviously know something inside that clubhouse.

On the topic of Fielder, wouldn't be surprised to see him join the Rangers, as Pujols will likely explore the option of playing for the Cubs.  The Rangers have dough to spend, and the Yankees and Red Sox will reportedly be interested in taking pitcher C.J. Wilson of their hands, leaving them with the money to beef up the offence even more, and sign Fielder.

Jonathan Papelpon isn't saying much about his free agent status, not even giving any hints about staying in Boston.  Wow, how a month can change everything for a franchise, but this is what happens to teams that get to used to winning.  Players start to age, management gets to used to winning and doesn't put enough stock on making the minors better, and even when they have prospects, they trade them to with the "WIN NOW" mentality. 

The Phillies will actually have a question mark heading into 2012, as Ryan Howard's Achilles injury will keep him out until mid-April. 

The Blue Jays have the money to spend now, but are waiting for the right player and the right time to make their move.  Fans want to see that happen in time for the 2012 season, but the team has given no indication on this happening.  With the team in need of starting pitching and help in the back end of the bullpen, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell may make sense.  It's nice to imagine Prince Fielder at first, but in reality, a big contract (7 years / $150-170 million) makes no sense.  Trading for Votto would be a better option, and cheaper, along with the Canadian roots.  Could you imagine Brett Lawrie and Joey Votto in the same lineup as Jose Bautista.  Add some pitching and you have a contender.

Projected Blue Jays lineup (if Votto was acquired)

1. Yunel Escobar - SS
2. Eric Thames - LF
3. Jose Bautista - RF
4. Joey Votto - 1B
5. Brett Lawrie - 3B
6. Edwin Encarnacion - DH
7. Colby Rasmus - CF
8. J.P. Arencibia - C
9. Mike McCoy - 2B

*this lineup includes Lind going to the Reds, and no free agent addition at 2nd (which won't happen)  so McCoy gets the nod for now.

If Buehrle acquired:


Ricky Romero
Mark Buehrle
Brandon Morrow
Henderson Alvarez
Luis Perez, Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek...others!