Remember when Alex Anthopoulos said he was really excited about the offseason and how he expected big things, and how there was a somewhat collective rolling of the eyes?
“As much as it seems like we’ve got some looming free agents — and we do — or some guys with options — and those decisions need to be made — there’s also an opportunity to add some players and to have some turnover with some guys that I think are going to continue to take a step forward. It can be really exciting”
From Brendan Kennedy, The Toronto Star
Yeah, about that.
Not even two months later and it appears the Toronto GM wasn’t bluffing. He’s already signed one of the top free agents in Russell Martin and there have been plenty of reports linking the Jays to guys like Pablo Sandoval, Jon Lester and Andrew Miller.
On the trade front, AA jettisoned longtime Jay Adam Lind in exchange for Marco Estrada, and traded longtime Jays centre fielder of the future if he ever learns to hit Anthony Gose for second baseman Devon Travis.
He went into the offseason saying he was excited about the possibilities, expected some turnover, and reiterated he had money to spend. Alex was apparently being quite truthful.
So…what else did he say, and what does that mean about what we can expect as the offseason kicks into full gear?
- In John Lott’s piece in the National Post, he said Anthopoulos expects plenty of turnover in the bullpen. While the Jays have been linked to Andrew Miller, that’s about it. I suppose the addition of Estrada could end up being another bullpen piece, depending on what happens in the rotation and whether Estrada even remains with the team, but Marco Estrada and Andrew Miller doesn’t seem like enough to warrant a “significant” label. I would expect the Jays to be linked to, and likely acquire another couple bullpen pieces.
- In both Kennedy’s and Lott’s pieces, they mentioned Anthopoulos’ commitment to The Policy. That rubs a little with rumours coming out of the Jon Lester sweepstakes that the Jays might be willing to budge. Has there been a change in those two months? Does AA think he can get Lester for six years at an AAV he didn’t expect? Is he just try to bid up a player that at least one division rival is in on? I wouldn’t be surprised it’s one of those, or it’s possibly even all bullshit. It could be posturing too.
- AA told reporters Brett Lawrie was his third baseman, but left the door open about a move to second, only if the right deal presented itself. With the Jays appearing to drop out of the running for Pablo Sandoval, the only other potential third baseman that makes sense is Hanley Ramirez. And that’s only on the condition he accepts a move to third, which admittedly he sounds more open to. I’d expect Lawrie to stay at third. However, Anthopoulos also noted a desire to improve depth and durability, and find a way to give Jose Reyes more days off. That, to me, signals more movement in the infield. Perhaps a second baseman who could slide over to shortstop when Reyes needs a day off? Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera?
With the winter meetings coming up in a few weeks look for the Jays to make some movement on at least a couple of these front. There are certainly more moves to be made.