Before I get too deep into that I want to pat my own back a bit. Here's a quote from me, posted on November 24:
If there is any thing which distinguishes them, it's that with so very many young talented candidates for the rotation that they might turn Molina into their own version of Joakim Soria even if that would be under-using his obvious talents.
Now note what John Farrell had to say on Jeff Blair's show today:
"Nestor Molina is a guy who we've had some internal discussions about who might fit that role [closer], for multiple reasons," said Farrell. "No. 1, emotionally he seems to have handled everything that's been thrown his way. He's got exceptional command of his fastball and he's got a split-finger that's a put-away pitch.""So whether or not we look to make that decision this winter is probably premature, but he's a guy that we've had discussions about in that role going forward."
Prediction: if the Jays do not sign or trade for a legit closer (that is, a guy who's known as a closer, not just a quality reliever who might be able to) such as Street or Bailey, or Broxton - Molina will come to camp in the spring with a shot to win the job if he shows he can do it in ST.
Another interesting comment was that Farrell described the closer job as a higher priority than 2B (and I still have a pretty strong feeling that Alex will go get Prado for that job). given how very empty 2B is right now (with all due respect to Luis Valbuena) that's a pretty striking thing to me. Sal Fasano also had great things to say about Molina today.
Now, looking ahead over the next month, I'm going to get away from my Jays-focus a bit and attempt some predictions about upcoming moves. Sometimes this will be "i think this will happen" and sometimes a little "I think this SHOULD happen" will leak in.
Top free agents, likely destinations:
Pujols - stays with Cards
Fielder - Nationals or Marlins
Reyes - Brewers
Wilson - Marlins
Oswalt - Rangers
Ramirez - Angels
Also, I've got Johnson to the Tigers (as many do) but I hope he goes to the Cards. As for the Blue Jays, the only major player (other than closers) I see them in on is Eric Bedard, which I think they would be the favorite for but not a slam-dunk favorite. There's a good chance he re-ups in Boston too.
Glancing over the latest chatter about trade possibilities, all of this sourced to MLBTR who in turn source it elsewhere:
Supposedly the Cubs are shopping Matt Garza. Before you covet him, look at his home-road splits and see what the park in TB did for him. Call me crazy but if I were the KC Royals i'd be all over this one. Very few MLB teams have a better set of prospects to deal from.
Yu Darvish and his wife are divorcing. Speculation abounds on whether this makes him more or less likely to post. Elliot reports Beeston is not a fan of the posting system and seems to imply this makes the Jays a much less serious contender for him.
Jonathan Broxton is said to be looking for a one-year deal to rebuild value, and given the Molina discussion . . . I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he's the probably first in line for the Blue jays. but he's said to be planning to pick a team this week and it's difficult to predict where HE wants to be. I'm inclined to think that the one year deal, or one and an option, is the way the team prefers to go.
I really thought there would be more things I wanted to comment on here in terms of "this player ought go there" sort of things - but it's getting late and my brain is froze up on the subject so....yeah.
Then there's THIS disturbing quote:
Teams that fail to sign top draft picks can’t re-allocate the money saved toward deals for other draft picks, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. For example, a team that fails to sign a top pick who had a recommended bonus of $1.5MM would see its spending ceiling fall by $1.5MM and would not have the option of spending that $1.5MM on other players.
If true, this is an astonishingly bad development - it amounts to hard slotting after all. It seems very hard to believe.