8:15 PM Eastern
FIRST THINGS FIRST – CAST YOUR VOTE FOR TOM CHEEK!!!!! The voice of the Blue Jays, of baseball and of summer in Canada is on the ballot to get onto the final ballot for the Ford C. Frick Award for Broadcasting Excellence, an honour that would get him into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. It’s up to us to make sure he gets his due. Go to www.facebook.com/baseballhall, go to the “poll” section and please vote for Tom. Do it every day. Thank you.
Now then…….it was another quiet day at the Meetings, and having just downed a $2.00 Nestle Crunch bar for some much-needed evening energy after not having eaten since lunching on a lobby Starbucks coffee cake early this aft, I can tell you all about it.
We had one big deal get done – though it still hasn’t been officially announced. Curtis Granderson is a New York Yankee, see the previous post for my thoughts on that. That brings the total of trades so far here to two, the other being Brian Bruney’s move from the Yanks to Washington for a player to be named that the Yanks will choose (first overall) in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft.
No major signings yet, though Chone Figgins’ deal was officially announced today, and the hottest rumour is one that’s still circulating as I write this – the Cubs are very close to a deal with a mystery team in the A.L. that will see them divest themselves of one Milton Obelle Bradley. Who is the mystery team? Well, it’s not the Blue Jays. Despite Cito Gaston mentioning that Bradley is a guy he’d want (and frankly, I think that Cito is a guy who could very likely keep Bradley focused and in check), the front office has no interest in adding that headache. My guess is it’s the White Sox, and we may find out as the night progresses.
Evidently the Rangers have offered Neftali Feliz and Justin Smoak to the Marlins for Josh Johnson, as well. I’m not sure about that one, because I don’t know why the Marlins wouldn’t have screamed “Yes!” before the Rangers even finished the sentence.
Other stuff we know – the Blue Jays were in on Curtis Granderson, but didn’t offer the right pieces for the Tigers. I’m not sure if the Jays were looking at Granderson in order to flip him for younger, cheaper assets or to have him as a piece for the ’11, ’12 and 13 squads. The Yankees are still in on Roy Halladay, despite the fact that they no longer have Austin Jackson. It almost definitely means, though, that they’d have to include 20 year-old catching-prospect-who-likely-plays-first-or-third-in-the-bigs Jesus Montero and one of Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes.
The highlight of the day, of course, was Alex Anthopoulos’ meeting with the Toronto assemblage. Over the course of 45 minutes with the Jays’ G.M., we learned many things. Included among them:
-There’s nothing imminent on the trade front, though good dialogue is continuing with several teams.
-Except that there is a non-Halladay trade in the works that may come to fruition if a player gets through the Rule 5 draft.
-Roy Halladay is a unique asset, no team has anything like him, nor is there his like on the free agent market, so the Jays hold all the cards in making a deal involving him. No other trade that’s made or free agent who is signed should affect the Jays’ return in a Halladay deal, according to the G.M. (while not discussing specifics). They’re in no rush, but will move when they get a satisfactory offer as opposed to holding out for something even better.
-Offers have been made to several free agents, but they’ve been early-stage offers and have been declined, so right now there’s nothing on the table.
-Teams are interested in several Blue Jays, not just Halladay. Alex said that they’ve received multiple inquiries on “five or six” different players.
All 18 of the audio clips that I sent in to The Fan are reproduced here, for your listening pleasure, as they were yesterday:
I hit the Trade Show this afternoon during one of today’s many down times when wandering through the lobby just couldn’t ease the hurry-up-and-waitness of this day. It’s usually a fun place to go, with all sorts of different exhibitors hawking their wares to minor-league teams, but this year’s edition seemed somewhat lacking. The coolest thing in there among the souvenir bat-decorators, mascot costume-makers and cleaners, seat sellers and turf builders was the world’s biggest jersey – an inflatable monstrosity that can also act as a batting cage if you want. Sadly, I can’t even remember the name of the company that makes it, but I’ll try to go back down tomorrow and get you a picture. Also, there were free dipping dots. There are always free dipping dots. I seem to remember that 20 years ago, I got dipping dots at the CNE and they were touted as the “ice cream of the future”. Well, the future has arrived, and there’s still ice cream.
So now I’m off to Paul Fleming Chang’s for dinner with the mlb.com boys and then back to the hotel to play Game 7 of my Fat Elvis Baseball Collective LCS. If I win, it’s off to the finals for the 7th time in nine seasons (five titles so far). If I lose, the league’s founder and commissioner goes to the big dance for the first time ever.
Cito has arrived in town, and tomorrow the assemblage will lunch with the Jays’ skipper. I don’t know if we’ll have our own table or if we’ll be joined by another team’s media, but one of my greatest Winter Meetings memories is sitting with the Twins’ assemblage in Dallas a few years back and listening to John Gibbons and Ron Gardenhire sharing old war stories from their days in the Mets’ system. The two of them were absolutely hilarious. Maybe we’ll sit with the Reds and be able to listen in on Cito reminiscing with Dusty Baker.
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!