Friday, January 13, 2012

Something or Nothing? Anthopoulos on Prime Time Sports


By
Image courtesy of Fan 590
Alex Anthopoulos is a tough nut to crack ... probably the toughest. He's like the Macadamia Nut of General Managers. That must make AA a very tough interviewee, because he never really gives that juicy sound bite folks are yearning for.

Bob McCown tried his best on Prime Time Sports last night to pry answers out of Alex Anthopoulos. Most of the interview was a lot of the same we've heard in the past, but it got very interesting close to the end.

McCown finally nailed AA on specifics on who is the favourite for the starting left fielder's position, the starting rotation, and J.P. Arencbia and Travis d'Arnaud among other things.

17 minutes into a 20 minute interview, things finally started to get juicy. There was something close to the end that Alex Anthopoulos said which really perked my ears.

I'm not sure if I'm making something out of nothing here, but when Bob McCown asked Alex Anthopoulos if this was his team today, this was AA's response:
"Right now I would say yes, but I'm hopeful something will break in 2-3 weeks, but as we sit here today I think this will most likely be the team going into Spring Training."
When I heard this the first time, I interpreted this as Alex has something on the backburner that he's hoping will materialize in the next few weeks. Whether that's a trade or a free agent signing, I can't be sure.

I wouldn't expect Alex Anthopoulos to suddenly depart from his strict "no commenting on players" policy, but perhaps after 20 minutes of Bob McCown berating him over and over about Yu Darvish, maybe AA let something slip.

The way Alex nonchalantly brushed it aside leads me to believe it could be something, as if he knew he said something he wasn't supposed to and tried to move on from it very quickly.

Was AA perhaps just throwing the fans a bone to gnaw on after a dubious off-season? I hate to speculate on something that was only three seconds long, but with Alex you can't leave any stone unturned.

It would be very out of character for the Silent Assassin to hint that a deal is in the works, because then it contradicts his entire philosophy. Then again, it's live radio and anything can happen. Remember "Wednesdays with J.P." and how Adam Dunn doesn't even like baseball?

Take a listen to the interview on PTS here, and the clip in question begins around the 20 minute mark. Again, it could be something, or it could very well be nothing at all. I guess we'll know for sure in 2-3 weeks.

11 comments:

  1. I personally thought it was something as soon as he said it. I think most likely he still has a few balls in the air that other GM's are considering, and if they don't lead to something in the next couple of weeks they probably never will.

    If I had to guess, nothings going to happen and the team will go into spring training as is.

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  2. Peter, I had to do a bit of a double take when I first heard it because I believe is one of the first times AA has ever insinuated that the Blue Jays may have something in the works.

    If it ends up being that rumoured Felix or Gavin Floyd trade, we're never going to hear the end of it from those folks on Twitter who claimed they knew about it all along.

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  3. I really think he was just intimating that he feels he has another 2-3 weeks before GMs tune out on making moves.

    Later in the interview he said something to the effect that on February 1st, GMs generally stop talking trade and focus on Spring Training strating.

    More revealing was the fact that he said that he thought payroll was in the "mid-high 80's". A quick check of Cots or any other number of sites shows it its no where near that level currently, and likely won't get close to that level this year. I think he was likely talking about the "area" Rogers wants him to keep payroll at currently, rather than what he anticipates pauroll to be this year.

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    1. Allisauce, I think with all the raises and the arbitration cases, payroll could be close to $80 million. I haven't done the math, but that might be a project for the coming weeks.

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  4. The payroll comment was truly curious because the gap between what AA said it was and what it actually is at this moment is rather large. Suggests to me that he has already made the financial commitment.

    One possibility would be Cespedes who would probably cost something like 5/60.

    My other thought is that after the trade deadline last year AA went on about how excited he was about Nestor Molina. Then he traded him for Santos.

    Recently he has praised Hutchison so...

    Adding Cespedes would make both Snider and Thames expendable. Makes little sense to say how terrible your outfield defence was then start the year with 2 of the 3 same starters.

    If he talks up Hutch and then frees up Snider and/or Thames he is getting close to having a big enough trade package for Hernandez...

    Just a thought of course.

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    1. Kevin, I'm not sure what the payroll commitments will look like for 2012, but factoring in arbitration raises and everything, I'd ballpark around 70-75 million? Factor in the money they'll eat with Teahen's contract, and that's close to $80 million, so that's close to the number Alex said. Bautista's salary jumps to $14 million and Ricky's jumps to $5 million, plus there's Brandon Morrow's arbitration, so there are a lot of added costs this year.

      You're right, maybe AA is talking up Hutchison to make him more attractive to potential buyers out there. It seemed to work with Molina, and I don't even think he was a Top 10 prospect in the Blue Jays system.

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  5. "IF" it was as you suggest, the other snippet that would back that up is the way he talked about the Sanchez deal saving money to "do other things". Well they haven't done anything else yet. Also, I'm thinking his comment on the high 80's payroll could have been the "payroll parameter" as its obviously not the current payroll. Anyways, putting those 3 things together and we may have $10mm plus to spend on a bat or starter that would otherwise have gone to a closer. Certainly an optimistic take, but hopefully we will find out in a couple of weeks or the trade deadline at the latest.

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    1. I'm thinking that $80 million might actually be the ceiling Alex has for payroll. Perhaps the higher ups told him he was allowed to spend up to that much, but he wants to keep it under if he can.

      I don't think he should spend money just for the sense of spending money, but if the right player is available (ie: Roy Oswalt), then by all means they should go for it.

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  6. If the jays make a move it will be for a starter. When asked who the starters will be him after listing, Romero Morrow, Cecil Alvarez, McGowan but then says that this is if camp breaks today. Salary will be close to 70 because right now Olivers 4 mill and KJ`s arb of 6 are not in the salay figures. I also think a 3 or 4 year deal for Morrow is in the works.

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    1. I just did the quick math today, and counting in arbitration and inflation, payroll looks to be about $78 million (that includes the $5.5 they'll have to eat with Teahen's contract).

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  7. He probably just meant nobody will make deals after January. This offseason has been depressing for us diehard Jays fans. We can only hope Rogers will reward us for our loyalty soon.

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