Here are my Reactions:
(I'm assuming if you pay attention you already know about these moves)
McGowan at 500K = Solid. It's easily worth this price to see if he can get it back.
Chavez = Getting him off the 40 for flexibility at the position is of even more value than the money saved by the move. if Chavez were willing to resign on a minor league deal then he was never going to arb anyway so there's no real money saved here but procedurally, it was a valuable play.
Buck = given the patheticness of the market, it was acceptable. The only concern I have here is if the Halladay deal (or some other trade) brings in a better catcher and you end up spending $2 mil on a reserve. It would be great if it was a non-guaranteed deal. He also is weak enough that if JP Arencibia comes quickly this year they don't have to feel like he's blocked by a guy who can't be regulated to reserve.
Gathright = meh. Darn good thing it's a minor league deal. I know some of my friends (including Mike Wilner) really like this signing but to me he's simply an older, faster, better known Buck Coats. i think it will take injuries to get him much time in Toronto, I look at this as a las Vegas signing.
Bautista = I think he's marginally overpaid (roughly a million) but tendering him with an agreement in place was ok by me. As helples as he is vs. RHP, he does have defensive value in his tremendous flexibility and he pounds lefties.
To maximize him though, you find a solid platoon mate for him, particularly one who can lead off That might be Ryan Church or Randy Winn if you get them cheap, although I have another thought which I'll go into detail on below. But it would be a steady though unimpressive stopgap in RF if you got the right man to platoon with JB and yet one that could be easily pushed aside by Snider if need be.
Tendering the rest of the pitchers = a no-branier, IMO. there are enough team out there who are nervous about a big money closer but need someone with experience in the role that moving Accardo should be easy enough. And Tallet would have value in a deal too. None of them are gonna make a huge amount of money anyway, it's quite likely only Frasor even gets close to the amount Bautista signed for.
Edit - with a hat-tip to Mike Green at Batters Box, I must amend this comment. Shawn Camp could have easily been, and IMO should have been, non-tendered. There's too many RHRP on the market for a trade to be likely, and there are too many moving parts in the Jays 'pen to have a spot tied up on Camp. When you consider that the list of potential relievers for the 2010 Jays includes Frasor, Downs, League, Tallet, Accardo, Carlson, Camp, Janssen, Roenicke, Richmond, Ray, Zinicola, and Hayhurst - 13 players for at most seven spots - tying up a million dollars or so and more importantly one of those seven spots on Camp seems . . . curious.
Now, getting back to the platoon mate for Bautista, there's one guy on the market that really jumps out at me as a good fit - Rick Ankiel. Now, I'll admit up front that UZR isn't real kind to him as a defensive RF, if that's your standard of measure, and you want a solid defender in this platoon, then Church or Winn is a superior choice.
But Ankiel is the one of the three who might actually have an excellent offensive year (he might suck too). the problem with Ankiel is that he's represented by Scott Boras and that means the cost to sign him might be too high for a "buy-low" gamble.
Until I checked the UZR, I was excited about gambling on Ankiel . . . but now I'm not so sure I wouldn't just hope Ryan Church can squeeze out another good season for much less money.
Right now I make the Jays payroll at just over $86 million, by the way, if you include Ryan's $10 mil. So there's not a lot of cash until you understand that Doc's 15.75 million will be dealt, and possibly Overbay's $7 million. So there's potentially going to be room to take some on.
While I'm talking about outfielders, let me chase one more rabbit.
The most intriguing rumor/speculation out there is the continued insistence that the Philles are actually the lead team for Doc and that they are trying to trade some of the players already on their team (Blanton, surely, and Rosenthal speculated even Cliff Lee) in order to obtain the proper payoff the Jays require.
I'm not sure how reliable that is but it's the kind of fascinating creative move I'd like to see more of in major league baseball. It's useless to speculate how that might play out (although it would certainly be fun - for instance, if they could get Starlin Castro out of the Cubs) but the connection here to the outfield picture is this: if they came up with prospects that they would sent to Toronto and one of them wasn't a RF capable outfielder, then perhaps you might get Ben Francisco thrown into the deal (maybe we send Tallet or Downs in the deal as well?) and that would be a reasonable solution to the RF question as well.
It should be interesting to see how that works out. If they could somehow come up with a good package, I think I'd rather see Doc play for the Phillies than any of the other major contenders. not just because it takes him out of the AL, but also for one other very important reason: Philadelphia has all the cards in terms of making it attractive to Doc to sign long term. And if he signs an extension with the Phillies then he's not going to play for the Yankees for many years to come, hopefully never.
But . . . I digress . . .