Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quick Hits: Pujols and Phillips

Rumours over the last 24 hours have indicated that Albert Pujols and agent Dan Lazano were in Toronto, possibly for a meeting with the Blue Jays. 

Pujols has noted over the last couple weeks that he would be willing to meet face-to-face with any team with interest.  So it makes sense if the Jays called, he would come.

No one can confirm or deny the reports, but just imagine the Jays are secretly ready to spend.  Looking at free agents over the next few years (Josh Hamilton, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels) may have changed their minds about waiting.  If true, and Rogers has the money, maybe, just maybe, the big splash is about to happen?  For more on this you can read Drunk Jays Fans Post.



Projected lineup with Pujols. (and wishful thinking!)

1. Yunel Escobar SS
2. Colby Rasmus CF
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Albert Pujols 1B
5. Brett Lawrie 3B
6. Adam Lind LF *
7. Edwin Encarnacion DH
8. J.P Arencibia C
9. Mike McCoy 2B

*Lind would have to return to the outfield

Adding a second baseman to this mix is the missing link.



Some have said that the Reds and Brandon Phillips would be a fit.  Phillips has been on twitter this week discussing his latest contract situation with the Reds.  One day it seems negative, the next seems the opposite,  Any way you look at it, the Jays need a second baseman and the Reds want starting pitching.  Trade Drabek and Janssen for Phillips?

Phillips most recent tweet.

The Blue Jays have been quiet, but won't be for long!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just who is new Blue Jay Luis Valbuena?


If you missed the news this weekend, the Blue Jays finally made a move this offseason acquiring infielder Luis Valbuena from the Indians for cash considerations.

If your wondering about the move, it's just a minor transaction, one to improve the infield depth on the squad.  With John McDonald re-signed in Arizona, and Kelly Johnson still an UFA, this move just helps down the road barring any injury to the starters come the regular season.

Valbuena in his career has hit .226 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI.  In the 2009 season, he played in 103 games hitting 10 home runs.  He has played second base, third, short stop, and left field over his four seasons with the Indians and Mariners.

At the Rogers Centre, he has gone 2-for-7 at the plate in four games, with one home run.  Oddly enough, the homer came off Jays starter Ricky Romero.



With the winter meetings starting next Monday, I'm sure we will be talking about players other than Valbuena coming to the Blue Jays at that time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rumour Roundup: Lovullo out for BoSox? Cain to Yankees?

While the big news in sports may be taking place in the NBA Boardrooms, the baseball rumor mills are churning.


  • The Boston Red Sox have narrowed down their managerial search, and every indication is that the search no longer includes Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo according to John Tomase of the Boston Herald.

    From the article:
    Love the first base coach intensity shots
    The long and winding Red Sox managerial search has entered its final stages, and barring a surprise, the team has whittled its list to a pair of finalists: Gene Lamont and Bobby Valentine.
    ...
    The team hopes to make a decision early next week in order to have a manager in place before the winter meetings, which begin a week from tomorrow in Dallas. Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo, the only other candidate still in the running as of Monday, will most likely not receive another interview.
    Looks like the Jays will retain most of their coaching staff after all.
     
  • He looks... dazed.
  • The Red Sox and Rays could be looking to the Yankees bullpen for pitching help, as they have reported checked in on Luis Ayala who pitched for the Bronx Bombers this past season, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
  • Nice hair, Matt
  • You're the GM of the San Francisco Giants, Brian Cashman calls up and offers you Nick Swisher, Jesus Montero and two of his top prospects for Matt Cain. Do you take it?

    All you need to know is that phone conversation happened and went absolutely nowhere. The Giants shot that down right away, as they appear to want Cain and Tim Lincecum to be the cornerstones of their rotation for years to come, according to Frank Russo of the NY Baseball Digest

    In the same article, Russo suggests that the Yankees could also be pursuing Dan Haren and Matt Garza this offseason. Insert your obligatory "yikes" thought here.

  • Apparently the Chicago White Sox thought that Mark Buehrle would only attract five or six teams, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times
    Celebrating a pay day?

    Because of their apparent naivete, the White Sox are now one of the least likely destinations for Buehrle when it's all said and done. As far as most likely:
    Well, the Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals, Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals and even the Cubs have given them a reality check. The list of interested teams continues to grow, and several three-year offers have come in already.
    It looks like Buehrle has played his last game as a member of the White Sox after all.
Don't forget your twitter follows for all the latest updates
@ExtraBaseHit
@thechrislund

Morrison has a Pujols update...sort of


The Miami Marlins' Logan Morrison took to twitter late Friday night and gave his followers a Breaking News Update concerning free agent first baseman Albert Pujols.



So..  did he have the inside info on King Albert not re-signing with the Cardinals?

At first you think, maybe, until the next tweet minutes after...



Unreal

Monday, November 21, 2011

AL MVP results


Congrats to the Tigers' Justin Verlander for winning the AL MVP.  What a season for the right-hander, also claiming the AL Cy Young Award last week as well. Here was a recap of the rules to the voting from MLB.com.


courtesy MLB.com

Verlander earned 13 first place votes for 280 points.  Ellsbury was second with 242 points while the Blue Jays Jose Bautista was third with 231 points.

Verlander becomes the first pitcher to win MVP since Roger Clemens did it in 1986.  Dennis Eckerlsley won MVP in 1992.

AL MVP announced today

With the announcement only 30 minutes away for American League MVP.  Here is a quick recap of what might happen.

Watch the live stream at 1:55 PM ETon thescore.com from the guys from Getting Blanked.

ESPN says its a 5-horse race.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star thinks it may go to Curtis Granderson of the Yankees.

SportingNews looks at the possibility of it being a pitcher (Justin Verlander)

Bleacher report doesn't want it to be Granderson.

Getting Blanked thinks Jacoby Ellsbury may actually win this, although they hope Bautista does.

With Jose Bautista, the league leader in home runs, Verlander, the AL Cy Young Award winner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, and Miguel Cabrera all in contention, whoever wins will and should be without controversy. 

By the numbers, Bautista should win, but I have a feeling Justin Verlander will take this one. 

We will find out soon.

If Jose Bautista wins, will it be a bigger story in Canada than Sidney Crosby's return?   Doubt it, but it should be.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ortiz tweet a sign he may come to Toronto?


I know this a long-shot, but its known that free agent DH David Ortiz and Jose Bautista are friends.  Ortiz also knows Blue Jays manager John Farrell from their days in Boston.  This being said, Ortiz was on twitter a few days ago thanking his Red Sox teammates, past and present, some former Yankees, and yes, even put out this tweet to thank Jose Bautista and Ricky Romero for their support with his charity golf tournament.

With offseason rumours of possible interest in the veteran DH, could this be a signal that he may actually be thinking of joining the Blue Jays.  Again, I know one tweet thanking a few players for coming to his golf tourney doesn't mean he's close to signing, but what it may signal is that the players have been talking.  Funny how he hashtagged #beastmode as well.

It's been said that free agents always check in with other players about the city they play in, team chemistry, etc...so maybe Romero and Bautista have mentioned all the good things about Toronto Ortiz may not have known about...and the new retro looking jerseys may also help out as well.


The Red Sox have offered him a new contract, according to several reports, but no decision has been made by the Ortiz camp.

Last season, Ortiz hit .309 with 29 home runs and 96 RBI. 

Some feel Ortiz the last few seasons was starting to show his age, as he got off to a bad start in 2010 hitting .143 with one home run, but rebounded the rest of the way hitting 31 homers after April.  Same thing happened last season, as he hit only two home runs in April only to hit 27 the rest of the way.  Slow starter for sure, but definitely not washed up by any means.


In his career against the Blue Jays, Ortiz has hit 42 home runs, the most against any team.  At Rogers Centre, he has hit .270 with 29 home runs and 80 RBI.  The 29 homers are the most he's hit in any road park in his career. 

Wishful thinking, but maybe the tweet was a sign.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Blue Jays unveil the new logo for 2012

The Blue Jays new logo and others from over the years.



The new and improved 2012 logo





And the others






















Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Project: Otis Nixon

Ethan and Laurence are 2 super fans who track down former baseball player Otis Nixon and try to convince him to re-enact his 1992 World Series losing bunt. The premiere of "The Project" aired Tuesday night on theScore. 

You can watch the entire show here: