Welcome to this special edition of Jays Droppings’, ‘Winter Meetings Roundup.’
Before I begin, I’d like to take this time to say thank you to our sponsor, Noah’s Arcade, for helping us run this entertaining, fun, and excellent Blue Jays site that people love to love (and hate).
It has been a very busy week for many of us, who have been checking our phones, scrolling through Twitter, and reading the latest Wilner, Heyman, or Morosi tweet.
It’s a time where so much seems to be happening, while nothing is happening at all. And even though it does seem like nothing is happening, things are certainly happening – sort of.
I think that it is reasonable to assume that the New York Yankees are a better team since acquiring the service of the new ‘Sultan of Swat and *COUGH* (Strikeout) King, Giancarlo Stanton.
And it also seems like the Angels are in it to - as they say - win it, after landing O-Town Ohtani, trading for Ian Kinsler, and now chasing after Headley:
So what does this mean for our Toronto Blue Jays? Well, it certainly means that at this point in time the Yankees, Red Sox, Cleveland, Astros, and Angels are all pulling in better odds in Vegas to make the postseason next year.
… BUT that doesn’t mean that the Blue Jays are a write off for the 2018 season, does it? The good Birds of summer are still pretty damn good. And a successful baseball season depends on a ton of factors like staying healthy and staying healthy.
Now, of course, there is more to it than just health, as a full season of Bautista last year showed us *SIGH* that a team needs production from players that are expected to produce. So that being said: health, production from key players, surprise contributors, the regression factor (Um, Aaron Judge) and about every other little bounce, blown save, and shitty strike zone over the course of 162 games influences a team's success.
But talent is talent and there are 5-teams in the American League that do have more of that than the Blue Jays do as of today.
So where do the Blue Jays go from here? While, personally, I don’t see the franchise trading any major prospects this offseason, as I feel like they are committed to building the farm and having talent at all levels in the pipeline.
However, I do think that they are going to do their best to effectively use the 20 – 25 million they have, make some trades that don’t pull too many prospects out of the system, and give this core a three month window to compete before the trade deadline.
I believe that if the Blue Jays are out of it in June, then the ‘reset’ button will be somewhat pushed, which is a fair assumption we all can agree on. And if this does happen, the team will probably trade Happ, Estrada, and Donaldson (if there is a team out there in need of his bat), but who knows – I certainly don’t.
At this point in time the Blue Jays haven’t done too much just yet, as I think they may have learnt a big Morales mistake last year. However, they haven’t exactly been reticent about their business affairs, as Atkins and Shapiro have revealed quite a bit in Disney Town this week, as I'm sure you have all read in Mike Wilner's thorough tweets.
The 2017 Winter Meetings
So let’s just examine some of the rumblings that came from the 'wizards' at these 2017 Winter Meetings!
Rockin’ Around The Kipnis Tree
Ah, yeah, Jason Kipnis is kind of the perfect player who checks off many of the Blue Jays’ needs, no? He’s a utility guy with a left-handed bat and a reasonable contract. He’s owed $13,500,000 in 2018, $14,500,000 in 2019, and 2020 option with a $2.5 million buyout.
His numbers weren’t great last year, as he slashed .232/.291/.414 and was only worth .7 WAR according to FANGRAPHS, but his 2017 lack-of-production might help the FO make a trade that doesn’t cost them anything too valuable in the farm. And there isn’t any reason that Kipnis couldn’t find his 2016 self who was pretty damn solid, as his 4.8 WAR would suggest.
The service time that the Jays would get out of Kipnis kind of aligns perfectly with when the potential future infield of Vlad, Bichette, and Warmoth will finally arrive here in Toronto.
So aside from the obvious Cleveland connection here, this is a trade that the team I’m sure is trying to sort out for the right price, doesn’t this just make almost too much sense?
As the great Burl Ives would sing, “Have a holly jolly Kipnis” Bird fans - okay, well, maybe Mr. Ives didn't sing those exact words, but he did sing this, "Way up yonder above the sky, A bluebird lived in a jaybird's eye"- so there's that.
CC In The 6ix
Honestly, what’s not to like about this idea. Sabathia would be a great 5th man in the rotation and he was pretty damn awesome last year.
The funny thing is, I remember during the postseason texting the great Cam Lewis (who you should all follow on Twitter @cooom because it will make your life better), and I suggested to him that the Birds should sign CC in the offseason (blah blah blah) and there is a Shapiro connection (blah blah blah), and that he would be a great 5th man for the (blah blah blah) Birds.
And now, this actually seems to be a real possibility. It’s hard to not like Sanchez/Stroman/Happ/Estrada/Sabathia as a rotation, am I right? And if this does actually happen, Biagini could go down to Buffalo and be a nice 6th man, no? Maybe, I dunno. Or they could just abandon the Biagini ‘starter project’ and put him back in the bullpen. Either way, it gives the team options and that’s a good thing, so let’s make the CC in the 6ix thing happen, right?
The Bichette For Yelich Debate
And seriously this is probably not going to happen, but it is something fun to think about during the rush to the holidays, right? When I first heard this idea almost a month ago, I stared out the window of the streetcar thinking long and hard about it.
And I came to the conclusion that I just wouldn’t do it, so I guess I’m out of my mind:
And the truth is, I know that I am a bit boxed out of my mind, at times, and I’m totally cool with that – it’s just that I love prospects (a bit too much - tbh), BUT I do love proven young talent in the MLB more – so there’s that too. And it's Yelich.
It really is a fun debate, and my friend, Doug, from Future Blue Jays would even make this trade, and, I think, he just might love prospects more than I do - so there’s that too:
And he makes a very valid point here, doesn’t he?
The truth is, it probably is a smart play to make this trade because Yelich is young, had better MiLB numbers as a prospect than Bo does now, would be under control for a handful of years, and has proved himself at the MLB level where Bichette has not.
But the thing is, I just don’t see this one happening - I really don’t. And let's just be honest here, we all know that Miami would want more than just Bichette in return. And what Derek Jeter is probably asking for is going to be too much, don't you think? Would you really want to include Pearson in this deal? Or Alford? Or T.J. Zeuch? Since it's almost the Holidays, let's just go with a big Kevin McCallister, 'I don't think so.'
The Rule 5 Pass
The Blue Jays passed on the Rule 5, huh? Exactly. I think this is very strange, whoever they wanted must have been selected because Atkins did say this:
But the good news though, Max Pentecost, was not taken by any teams.
Thank you for reading this long, drawn out, yawn of a piece - we here at Jays Droppings would like to apologize for wasting your time.
But my best advice this offseason is to be patient Jays fans and don’t set off in fear and trepidation, the offseason is still young and we’re all talking baseball and that’s fun.