1:03 PM Central
The first morning of the Winter Meetings brings with it a lot of in-settling, bearings-getting and lobby-wandering. You reacquaint yourself with a lot of faces that you generally see once or twice a year, there are a lot of waved hellos and a lot of “damnit, I know that guy” thoughts.
And there’s also a lot of “what are your guys doing? What are you hearing?”
On my first few trips through the lobby here at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, I had a nice conversation with one of the members of the Blue Jays’ travelling party, who opened by telling me they’d signed Albert Pujols to a five-year deal at $2 million per. I’m pretty sure he was joking.
The biggest piece of information that I’ve been able to glean so far is that the field at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin has been completely redone. There will be a brand-spanking new grass surface on which the Blue Jays will play this spring, and the D-Jays will follow in April. Generally, a grass field is redone every eight years or so, but this is the first time Dunedin Stadium/Knology Park/the FAES has been redone since 1983.
As far as the baseballicness goes, there are more rumours that involve the Blue Jays, like potential interest in Braves’ second baseman Martin Prado and that great and completely B.S. rumour out of Cleveland that the Jays are the front-runners to land Prince Fielder.
I’ll say this – the only way the Jays get Fielder is if he can be convinced to sign a short-term deal at massive money (3 years, $80 million?) and then head back out on the free agent market one more time when he’s 30 to get another huge deal. Given the fact that he can get twice the term, if not twice the cash, it’s not likely. And don’t forget that the Blue Jays have made a serious move towards increasing the all-around athleticism of the team, which makes Fielder even less of a fit.
Evidently the Braves want a thumper to play left field, which would make some suggest that Travis Snider or Eric Thames could be a fit in a trade for Prado. Thames I would do (and so would the Blue Jays), Snider not so much. But if we’re talking about big-hitting outfielders in a trade with Atlanta, I’d love to see things expanded to the point where Jason Heyward can be moved into the conversation. Evidently the Braves’ patience with him is wearing thin.
A couple of names floating out in the rumour mill that I find interesting are Ervin Santana of the Angels and Kansas City’s Greg Holland.
Santana is a more-than-solid starter who could fit in as a 2 or 3 (more a 3) and L.A. of A. is apparently looking to clear out his $11.2 million ticket. That’s a guy in whom the Blue Jays should be interested, and they have the money.
They should also be interested in Holland, an undersized 26 year-old righty who had an incredible rookie season for the Royals in 2011, posting a 0.933 WHIP in 60 relief innings with over 11 K/9. He held opponents to a .175/.246/.275 mark, split almost exactly evenly between lefties and righties. With the Royals’ signing of Jonathan Broxton, Holland moves even farther down the depth chart in a bullpen that already includes Joakim Soria and Aaron Crow. Can anyone say Blue Jays’ next closer?
Keep it here for updates throughout the course of the Winter Meetings!
Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed @wilnerness590.
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!