Posts Tagged 'Jays rumours February 2012'

AL East Rumour Roundup – Thursday, February 23

Some big stories breaking today from around MLB, here are a few highlites:

-Huge news out of Milwaukee as Ryan Braun’s 50 game suspension has been overturned in the appeal process.  Mike Axisa at MLB Trade Rumours writes:

Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his failed banned substance test and will not be suspended for the first 50 games of the season, reports Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel. The union officially announced the win, saying both parties agreed to the announcement despite what is usually a confidential process. MLB has issued a statement saying it “vehemently disagrees” with the decision.

“It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation,” said Braun in a statement passed along by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “We were able to get through this because I am innocent … This is not just about one person, but about all current and future players, and thankfully the process worked.”

Haudricourt says the appeal went Braun’s way not because of the test result, but because of a technicality with the testing process. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman and The New York Post’s Joel Sherman report that part of Braun’s argument was that the sample was not shipped in a timely fashion and that the chain of custody was broken for two days, meaning the sample was left unprotected (Twitter links). Independent arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in favor of the technicality, giving Braun the win by a 2-1 margin.

The reigning NL MVP is the first player to have a suspension successfully overtuned through the appeals process.

-ESPN’s Jim Bowden graded the offseason for each American League and National League team (Insider req’d). The Marlins, Angels, and Yankees each received an A, the Blue Jays received a B.

-Ben Nicholson-Smith reports  Roy Oswalt has told MLB teams that he may sign midseason, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnickreports. The free agent right-hander explained that he intends to stay ready in case an appealing opportunity emerges before midseason.

The Red Sox, Rangers, Cardinals and Reds were among the many clubs to express interest in Oswalt this offseason. It appears that they didn’t have enough room in their rotations or budgets for the 34-year-old, who seeks a one-year deal and a job as a starter.

Roger Clemens, a former teammate of Oswalt’s, sat out the beginning of the season in 2006 and 2007 before signing midseason and Pedro Martinez had a similar approach to the 2009 campaign.

-Blue Jays infielder Omar Vizquel said he’ll likely become involved in coaching next year, according to MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm (on Twitter). The 44-year-old doesn’t anticipate playing after 2012 and would eventually like to manage in the Major Leagues.

-Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports discusses the Rays’ impressive rotation depth and explains why it’s a good ‘problem’ to have. Manager Joe Maddon told Rosenthal the club could use a six-man rotation at times this year and said top prospect Matt Moore won’t be relegated to the bullpen.

***AL EASTBOUND & DOWN UPDATE***

I am ‘gone fishin’ for the next ten days and updates might be sparse, I will try my best to keep up with all the happenings of the Toronto Blue Jays as spring training starts to kick into high gear!

Blue Jays Sign Rick VandenHurk

As per MLB trade rumours:

The Blue Jays announced that they signed Rick VandenHurk to a non-guaranteed split Major League contract. The Orioles released the right-hander earlier this month, making him a free agent. 

VandenHurk, 26, has experience in five big league seasons, but he appeared in just four games for the 2011 Orioles. He spent most of the season as a starter at Triple-A, where he posted a 4.43 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 154 1/3 innings. The 6’5″ native of the Netherlands has a 5.97 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 27.9% ground ball rate in 181 career innings with the Marlins and Orioles. 

The Blue Jays created 40-man roster space for VandenHurk by placing right-hander Alan Farina on the 60-day DL.

Analysis: Not much to see here, just another non-roster invitee to spring training as the Jays hope to catch lightning in a bottle.   The bullpen will be a team strength and VandenHurk is not expected to factor.

Blue Jays Interested In Jorge Soler?

MLB Trade Rumours states multiple teams are interested in young 19-year old Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler, and the Blue Jays are among the teams listed.

7:57pm: The Yankees and Phillies are in hardest on Soler now, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweets.

5:21pm: Marlins president David Samson said on 790 the Ticket that the club doesn’t have interest in Soler, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets.

2:51pm: The Marlins are interested, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal hears Soler’s power is comparable to that of Miami outfielder Mike Stanton — high praise to say the least.

12:59pm: The Blue Jays watched Soler and others Wednesday at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic, writes MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.  The Orioles will be in the D.R. to watch him Sunday.  Sanchez lists the Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies, and Cubs as other interested parties.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus stated Soler would rank in the top 40 if eligible for the 2012 Top 101 prospect list.

There aren’t many great scouting reports given what little is known about him but most information I have read has been positive, though the kid is apparently asking for a hefty signing bonus. 

Here is a quick scouting report from Baseball America’s Ben Badler:

Listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds … Power is Soler’s best tool, as he shows great bat speed, the ability to hit balls out to all fields and the potential to hit 25 home runs per year. While scouts like his power and some like his swing, he bars his front arm and the stiffness in his stroke is a concern for some scouts. Scouts have offered differing opinions on his ability to hit breaking balls, but he has a history of laying off pitches outside the strike zone in international competition and has more on-base potential than Cespedes.

Soler is athletic for his size and there are reports of him running the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds—a time that grades out as well above-average speed—but several scouts have said he’s really an average runner at best … Depending on how much bigger he gets, there’s a chance he could end up at first base down the road, but he should be able to handle right field for the near future. Scouts are mixed on his outfield instincts but he does have an above-average arm.

As always there is no indication the level of interest the Blue Jays potentially have in the young OF prospect but I am sure they are putting in the necessary inquiries and due dilligence.

Ken Rosenthal: Jays Out Of Manny Ramirez Hunt

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Toronto Blue Jays will not be pursuing oft-troubled slugger Manny Ramirez. There was talk the team was at one point interested but talks did not progress.

Analysis: It was more of a novelty move than for baseball value. Some have compared it to the Frank Thomas situation a few years ago but Thomas was younger and not coming off a suspension.

Jays Talk: AL East Recap

Some various Jays related and AL East rumblings:

-Chicago Cubs assistant GM Jed Hoyer was on ESPN 1000 sports radio and discussed Matt Garza’s status and possibly keeping him longer term.

“It was a long (arbitration) process, but we talked to Matt a number of times since and we’re happy we didn’t have to go into a hearing room with him,” Hoyer said. “He’s a great pitcher and a guy we’re going to talk to him about being part of our future, for sure. We need more guys like Matt, not less, and if we can work something out we’ll certainly have those discussions.”

This could be posturing and I would fully expect the rebuilding Cubbies to explore all possible trade options, and if available the Cubs would love to get their hands on some of the Jays top prospects.

-MLB Trade rumors reports the Yankees want Garrett Jones from the Pirates in any trade involving A.J. Burnett reports ESPN’s Buster Olney, but Pittsburgh isn’t interested in moving him and talks haven’t progressed (Twitter links). Yesterday we learned that the Pirates are not on Burnett’s no-trade list.

-Rays GM Andrew Friedman said it was a “dream scenario” to make the upgrades they did without sacrificing depth during an interview with 620AM radio, says Marc Topkin of The Tampa Times (Twitter link). Tampa added free agents Carlos Pena, Luke Scott, and Jose Molina this offseason.

-Ben Nicholson-Smith writes the Twins announced that they claimed Darin Mastroianni from the Blue Jays, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. The Blue Jays designated the outfielder for assignment last week to create roster space for Francisco Cordero.

Mastroianni made his MLB debut with the 2011 Blue Jays after spending most of the season at Double-A and Triple-A. The 26-year-old posted a .268/.353/.377 line with 34 stolen bases (44 attempts) in the upper minors last year. He has minor league experience at all three outfield positions and has mostly played center field.

-Canadian hurler Rich Harden had a shoulder operation performed by Dr. James Andrews to repair a torn capsule and will miss the entire 2012 MLB season.

-A interesting story on Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd who discussed his rampant usage of cocaine during his playing days, admitting he was under the influence of cocaine two-thirds of the time he was on the mound.

AL East Notes: Tuesday

-A lot of Yoenis Cespedes talk today, doesn’t look like the Toronto Blue Jays are going to be big time players for the cuban outfielder, most insiders feel the Miami Marlins have the inside track.

- The Yankees inked Bill Hall to a minor league contract earlier today, creating some competition in Spring Training.

Hall, 32, posted a .211/.261/.314 line in 199 plate appearances for the Astros and Giants last year, playing mostly second base.  In more of a utility role for the 2010 Red Sox, Hall managed 18 home runs in 382 plate appearances.

- Although Hall was signed the Yankees continue to be focused on Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

- Also, Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports that the Yankees are not offering more than $2MM for a DH-type and might not even want to spend more than $1MM.

- Orioles executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira will watch Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler in the Dominican Republic when he travels to watch Yoenis Cespedes play, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports.

Monday AL East Rumours

A slow news days for the great white north baseball scene so let’s take a look at what some of our main competitors in the AL East are up to, courtesy of MLB Trade Rumours.com:

-Baltimore Orioles dealt SP Jeremy Guthrie who was entering his contract year to the Colorado Rockies for pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, who can both be controlled for 2013.   Apparently multiple teams were interested in acquiring the veteran Guthrie to solidify the back end of their rotations.  They didn’t exactly get young prospects but VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette stated “We didn’t have any offers of young prospects for Jeremy,”.

-In Manny Ramirez news Duquette admitted he’s had exploratory talks with Manny Ramirez‘s agent and the Orioles have seen him work out, but added, “We are still considering the composition of this club, and some of the challenges of integrating a player like Manny into our ballclub and market.”

-The New York Yankees are oddly interested in free agent Raul Ibanez, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The ACES client is willing to take less money to play for the Yankees.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported earlier tonight that the Yankees could add a left-handed hitter such as Ibanez, Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui within a week. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last week that he would like to see GM Brian Cashman add a bat before Opening Day.

Ibanez posted a .245/.289/.419 line with 20 home runs in 575 plate appearances as the Phillies’ everyday left fielder last year. The 39-year-old could provide the Yankees with an option at designated hitter or in the corner outfield positions.


AL Eastbound On Twitter!

  • I learned something tonight. Jacksonville and Tennessee both have NFL franchises. Cool. 3 days ago
  • CM Punk fighting in the UFC now.. 2 weeks ago
  • As it turns out David Clarkson CAN hit an empty net. Hmm. 2 weeks ago
  • I know genetics play a role and he obviously works out like a mad man but how does Josh Samman get through the drug screening/tests? #juice 2 weeks ago
  • How offensive is Coors Field? Dickerson posted a 985 OPS, .419 wOBA vs R (154 wRC+). Bautista posted 888, .387 wOBA vs R (148 wRC+) ! 2 weeks ago

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