Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Alex Anthopoulos State of the Franchise Conference Call

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I woke up this morning wondering if Alex Anthopoulos had forgotten all about his promise to address the "state of the franchise" this week and give fans an update on which direction the Toronto Blue Jays would be taking.

After dragging in the city's best writers in on their weekend off, most of them stuck it out to ask AA all the pertinent questions about what's happening with the Blue Jays. You can listen to the full call here at the Fan 590, or just check out the brief synopsis below:
  • AA feels like Toronto has the potential in the coming years to compete along with teams like the Angels, Red Sox, and other top market teams.
  • He wants to continue to build the core of this team, and will continue to make changes to the scouting and support staff.
  • When asked about trading Roy Halladay, AA said he was reluctant about trading Doc, but gave the typical J.P. Ricciardi statement "he has to be open-minded about a trade making this team better in the long term". In the type of tone that Anthopolous spoke of, it sounds like Halladay will be around in 2010 and if the Blue Jays can remain competitive next year then he could re-sign.
  • Alex is NOT actively shopping any of his players, but he is pursuing alternatives to upgrading certain positions.
  • He doesn't believe in adding three or four free agents in any given year.
  • Aaron Hill will not be moved from second base to cover shortstop. Adam Lind will not fill in at first base, unless they need him to move somewhere else (like the rumoured trade involving Chris Snyder and Lyle Overbay)
  • Anthopoulos doesn't consider this a "rebuilding phase" but more of a "building phase".
The overall tone from this phone call was hopeful for the future, but it seemed like the main focus for Anthopoulos was that they really want to develop the scouting and be more thorough with their player development. It sounds like they don't feel buying up high priced free agents is a long-term solution, and building a strong young core of a team is the only way that the Blue Jays will be able to compete with the Yankees and the Red Sox.

At no point was there a set dollar amount discussed in terms of payroll, however it does not sound like the 2010 payroll will be leaps and bounds higher than 2009.

Well, at least we have some answers now!

7 comments:

  1. Is that The Plan? It sounded like 'The Plan is to get better by developing better players and getting better players through trades etc'. Isn't that sorts what every teams 'plan' is? I'm encouraged by the tone but not particularly in what was being said.

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  2. Got to love it's a building phase, and not rebuilding. I know it's a minor detail and a matter of semantics, but JP would never hear the end of it if he ever worded it like that.

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  3. I don't think that's the full "plan". If I were AA, I wouldn't be divulging the entire plan to the media and fans just yet. It sounds like he is just dipping his toes in rather than diving right in to start off.

    BK, I was also a big fan of that phrase from Alex. It was also refreshing to not hear any references about "the player".

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  4. Ok, after having some time to think about it, it does sound like a good direction for the Jays to go in in order to be a sustainable contender. I just hope it really happens. Theories always sound good but it's the practical
    application that will tell the whole story.

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  5. Same here Mattt - I also like how he didn't name drop any players and didn't rule out that anyone WOULDN'T be back next year (something J.P. surely would not have done).

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  6. "This must mean that he working on something else entirely that we don't even know about to bring in a first baseman long-term"

    completely baseless speculation coming, but...

    didn't someone (dana brown maybe?)say something about AA absolutely LOVING prince fielder before he was drafted?

    (quick google search later...
    http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/print.jsp?ymd=20091013&content_id=7448508&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor

    "I'll never forget, he loved Prince Fielder that year and he kept just buzzing my phone and yelling 'Prince Fielder, Prince Fielder, Prince Fielder.'")

    overbay is an ex-brewer... fielder is young and damn good... AA has history with him... surely that's enough evidence?!

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  7. btc, I never realized that AA had such a liking for Prince Fielder. Can you imagine what would've happened if the Expos drafted him? It sure makes for some interesting scenarios.

    I don't think this trade is as "out there" as some people might suspect. As you've indicated, there are a lot of variables that work in favour of the Blue Jays here, not to mention Anthopoulos' affliction to get Prince Fielder on his team.

    So what would it take to get Prince Fielder to come to Toronto? This is just a half-baked idea, but how about Overbay and Halladay for Fielder, Gamel and a couple of prospects?

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