Well, that was interesting.
I took a couple of weeks to catch my breath and wait for some roster manipulation deadlines to pass because, ya know, I hate to post short "news" posts telling you things you already learned elsewhere.
So, to review . . .
Zep finished up his domination of the AFL and put himself firmly back in the conversation for who breaks camp as the fifth starter next spring. also, he might well have moved to the front of the line (behind David Purcey) for consideration as a left-handed reliever;
Shawn Hill was removed from the roster and chose free agency. Regrettable to lose him, and fouls up one of my predictions, but understandable given the depth. I wouldn't be surprised to learn the Jays offerend him a minor-leage contract and a ST invite, but I'd be surprised if he didn't get a better opportunity (i.e. a less crowded depth chart) elsewhere.
The Jays dealt two minor league relievers for Raji Davis, upon which I've already commented.
They left Brad Emaus and Adam Loewen off the 40 man roster, the reaction abroad is that no one will risk Loewen (who's out of options anyway) but that Emaus might be taken - i'd have kept him over some of the fringy pitchers (hiya Rommie Lewis!) but that's just me. Henderson Alvarez, thanks to some obtuse machinations of the rules, didn't need to be protected, the other guys on the list in my last post were added to the 40.
The Jays offered arbitration to all the Type A and B free agents in their "possession" and all rejected (as expected) save Jason Frasor who returns as the nominal (for now) closer for 2011 until his better comes along. bit of trivia - if Frasor isn't traded or hurt, he's very likely going to take over the franchise lead in games pitched next year - amazin', ain't it? I Like Frasor better than most. You might be unaware that from Mid-June until the end of the season in 2010, he had an ERA of just 2.52 and opponents hit a measly .205 off him. Having him back is a plus (even if getting the picks would have been nice). on the other hand, given the options available in free agency, and the fact that 34 teams were sniffing round Frasor, don't be stunned if he is traded before spring.
Because of the foregoing, the Jays stand to gain one compensation pick (Scott Downs) and four supplemental round picks in next year's draft;
The team announced their minor league coaching roster and there were several notable items: Sal Fasano to coach at AA; Tom Signore who was the AA pitching coach last year moves up to AAA, and that Vegas team will be managed by Marty Brown who has a history with John Farrell in the Cleveland organization and got a strong recommendation from the big league boss; Mike Redmond steps off he diamond (playing for the Indians in 2010) and into the Lansing manager's office. John Schnider was promoted from the GCL job to Vancouver and Omar malve will become the GCL manager. Rick Langford remains with the organization in a newly created position. is it odd that i find myself real pleased with these hires? why should I care?
Tonight the Jays re-signed Dustin McGowan for 2011 for $450,000. I believe he, too, is out of options, but given his injury there's no real chance he's claimed on waivers;
Also tonight, the Blue Jays non-tendered Jeremy Accardo (no surprise there) and Fred Lewis (not as much a given but hardly a shocker). Neither are a significant loss, one reporter tweets that Lewis didn't fit into the clubhouse well. By the way, the A's non-tendered Edwin Encarnacion as well so there's that. The Jays roster now stands at 37.
Speaking of the non-tenders, here are some names dropped tonight that caught my eye:
Russel Martin - C
given his pedigree, most Jays fans are well aware of Martin. He seems to have suffered greatly from the oppressive work load the Dodgers piled on him a few years ago, but that might make him just the sort of player you want to split time with a promising rookie so that he can be treated a bit more gently. also, there was once a line of thinking about moving him to 3B. Have to hope his offense rebounds though - he's still young. And there's always the homecoming twist if they need a selling point.
Lastings Milladge - CF
What can I say, I'm a sucker for a big name reclamation project - and the last OF we got through
Pirate negligence worked out well, eh?
Bobby Jenks - Closer
not that I necessarily like him better - or worse - than some of the others I've proposed in this offseason, but he was solid from the first week of June until injuries ended his season, with a 40:7 K:BB ration in 35.2 IP (and a 3.53 ERA) - kind of Gregg without the adventuresome walks.
Taylor Buchholz - RHP
We obviously thought enough of him to claim him last summer, perhaps if we can swing a minor league contract we might yet get to be the beneficiaries if he can get his former skills back.
Jack Cust - 1B/DH
Has some good points (notably a great OBP record) but would continue the imbalance against LHP.
Josh Fields - 3B
Broke out for the White Sox in 2007 posting a solid average hitting performance at age (though he didn't bring his excellent AAA OBP with him) then lost a couple of years to injury and ineffectivness. Was hurt most of 2010 as well but did solid work in a brief stretch in K.C. If healthy, there are worse ways to gamble a ST invite and a minor league contract.
Ryan Roland-Smith - LHP
A younger, possibly better Brian Tallet - no, I mean Tallet when he was good. RR-S posted very solid numbers as a LH reliever until the mariners pressed him into service - and possibly overextended him - as a starter. Might not be anything there, he's not a world-beater of course, but I'd give the scouts a survey about him.
Gotta admit, even though I'm a long way from Canadian, I'm pretty smitten with the idea of getting Martin because I'm so infatuated with what he produced when he was hitting. I'd also look VERY hard at Milladge and try to bring back Buchholz if a minor league contract gets it done (and surely it will).