Tag: Jason Frasor

MLB Trade Rumors: Three-Team Trade Could See Blue Jays Landing Kevin Kouzmanoff

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, and Oakland Athletics are discussing the framework of a deal that would see the Blue Jays acquire a third baseman.

The Mariners are looking to unload third baseman Chone Figgins and it looks like the Athletics are putting together a package to try and acquire him. In the move, according to Olney, you will likely see Athletics third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff sent to the Blue Jays as part of the package.

A guy like Jason Frasor is probably a prime trade target for the Mariners’ woeful bullpen, outside of David Aardsma and Brandon League from the Blue Jays. Another guy they may look at is Edwin Encarnacion, but I doubt he would be very successful in Safeco Field, where power hitters go to die essentially.

This may all just be speculation, but the basis for the deal makes sense for all sides.

For the Mariners they clear some money off the books and open a roster spot for Dustin Ackley to take over at second and possibly move Brendan Ryan to third, or call up a prospect from Tacoma such as Carlos Truinfel.

For the Athletics, they appear to be making a playoff push, or at least an attempt to try and compete with the Texas Rangers, who recently signed Adrian Beltre, and the Los Angeles Angels, who recently dealt for Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells.

Adding Figgins, who is a decent gaps hitter, and a great base stealer, would at least give the A’s some speed back that they lost in the earlier trade with the Blue Jays. The deal saw center fielder Rajai Davis head the other way for relief pitching prospects Tryston Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar.

Lastly, for the Jays, Kouzmanoff is a decent power hitter, who, of course, has a low on-base percentage. Like most Blue Jays, he has a tough time getting on base with any consistency. But one thing he does have is good defence at a pretty fair price.

Kouzmanoff, in my opinion, has the potential to hit 25-30 home runs if acquired by the Blue Jays. Having played his last few seasons in pitchers ballparks like in Oakland and San Diego, Kouzmanoff has seen a slight decline in power numbers.

A change of scenery might do Kouzmanoff some good in this instance.

The Jays are more likely to go after him as opposed to someone like Michael Young because a.) He’s cheaper, b.) He won’t take up space for Brett Lawrie and lastly c.) He’s younger with more power potential than many people think.

Time will only tell if this rumour does in fact come true, but for me, this would be another win-win move for Anthopolous if he does in fact follow through with this rumoured deal.

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Blue Jays Sign Six To New Deals, Bautista and Frasor Headed for Arbitration

Alex Anthopoulos, the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, had a busy couple of days leading up to the 1pm Tuesday deadline for arbitration cases.  

The Blue Jays had eight players who filed for arbitration and thus had to work out new contracts with each of them or have the chance of going to a hearing where it would be independently assigned.

The Blue Jays, as an organization, haven’t gone to arbitration with any of their players since Bill Risely in 1997, a pretty impressive record of contract negotiations.  They signed three to new contracts on Monday, then another three on Tuesday, but a deal wasn’t reached with Jose Bautista or Jason Frasor.

On Tuesday, before the deadline, the Jays were successful in signing outfielder Rajai Davis to a two-year, $5.25 million deal with a club option for a third year at $3 million, as well as both Brandon Morrow and Yunel Escobar on one-year deals worth $2.3 and $2.9 million, respectively.

The day before, they signed Jesse Litsch ($830,000), Shawn Camp ($2.25 million) and Casey Janssen ($1,095,000), all to one year deals.

There is a chance now that record could be broken, as Anthopoulos has stated that he will not negotiate one-year deals after the deadline but could still work out multi-year contracts.

The arbitration hearings are still a ways off, so it is possible that new contracts could be worked out in the meantime.  Bautista’s agent requested a $10.5 million salary while the Blue Jays countered with a $7.6 million offer, a rather large discrepancy, but one that could be predicted by the difficulty involved in figuring out comparisons for Bautista’s tenure in the majors.

They are a little closer in the negotiations with Frasor, as he submitted a $3.725 million offer while the Jays countered with $3.25 one-year salary.

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MLB Free Agency: 15 Players Who’ll Still Be Unsigned By Spring Training

Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee and Jayson Werth have grabbed all the headlines with their lucrative nine-figure contracts, but many of this off-seasons free agents remain unsigned.

For some players like Adrian Beltre and Rafael Soriano, their big day is a foregone conclusion, but others won’t be so lucky. Whether due to age or declining skills, many players may have to wait until Spring Training to sign a contract, that is, if they can find work.

With that in mind, let’s examine 15 players who could have to wait until March before finding a new home for the season.

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Toronto Blue Jays Rumors and Deals: Mark Reynolds, Dustin McGowan and Pitching

It can be a confusing time of the year in Major League Baseball, what with arbitration offers, non-tender candidates, Type A and B free agents, waiver claims and the Rule 5 draft.  So it can be tough to decipher what is happening with the team you support and whether there is any truth to the rumors that can emerge.

The Blue Jays are no different, especially with the secrecy that surrounds Alex Anthopoulos’ moves.  This is what has happened so far and what could be happening.

Dustin McGowan has re-signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for a one-year, $450,000 deal.  The former first-round pick hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 due to a series of injuries.  But with this deal, it gives hope that the hard-throwing pitcher will make his return to the mound at some point in 2011.

The Blue Jays are reported by MLB Trade Rumors to be interested in acquiring Mark Reynolds from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  While negotiations with the team to acquire their other star, Justin Upton, seemed to go nowhere, there is a chance that the third baseman could be had for a much more reasonable price.

Arizona as a team, led the league in strikeouts last year, by a large margin, and Reynolds had the most on his team.  So it is understandable that Arizona would be pursuing a contact hitter in return for the power hitter.

It is also rumored that the Blue Jays are pursuing relievers Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier.  The Jays bullpen is up in the air after both Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs turned down their arbitration offers, though Jason Frasor will be returning after accepting his offer.

Both RHP Jeremy Accardo and OF Fred Lewis were not tendered contracts by the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2011 season, making them free agents.

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Atlanta Braves: Potential Bullpen Arms The Braves Could Add For 2011

With Billy Wagner keen on retiring after the 2010 season, Frank Wren knew he would find himself this off-season once again shopping for bullpen arms.

Even with stellar rookie seasons by Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel out of the bullpen, Atlanta will seek at least one veteran arm to help out in late innings, as well as mentor the talented yet young relief corp.

Since the 2007 off-season, when the Braves traded for Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, Atlanta has been known around Major League Baseball for having outstanding bullpens. With Kimbrel and Venters coming off their rookie seasons in 2010, who will Frank Wren nab this off-season to help them out?

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Toronto Blue Jays Have Decisions to Make on Kevin Gregg and Free Agent Pitchers

Decision time is looming for Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.  

He has to decide by Thursday, November the fourth whether to renew the option on Kevin Gregg for one year at $4.5 million, or two years at $8.75 million.  Or, the third choice, the Blue Jays can let Gregg enter the free agent pool.

It seems unlikely that Anthopoulos would let Gregg go without first ensuring that they have someone to take his spot.  The problem is, none of the Jays pitchers seem like they are ready to take on a full-time closer role, and free agents are only available once the option has expired on Gregg.

A new rule has been instituted by the league that gives teams a limited five-day window to negotiate with their free agents, instead of the previous fifteen-day time period.

That would mean that the Blue Jays also only have five days to sign new contracts with Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and John Buck.  Since both Downs and Frasor were determined to be Type-A free agents, the Jays would receive four draft picks in total if they were to sign elsewhere.  

If the Jays were to let these two go through free agency, and then didn’t renew the option on Gregg, that would considerably deplete their bullpen.  The Jays certainly aren’t lacking in young arms, but the management has often claimed their preference for veterans in the relief role.

It is a strong possibility that the Jays would keep at least one of the these three pitchers to provide leadership and a steadying influence.  The one-year option on Gregg is the easiest solution since he fills the necessary closer role.

Of the other two pitchers, Downs is a left handed set-up man with fantastic numbers and will be highly sought after.  The Jays chances of outbidding the competition on Downs is limited, so they might be quite happy with taking the two compensatory picks.  

So it would seem that Frasor would be the less desired commodity of the two, and has the better chance of being retained by the Jays simply due to the price.

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Toronto Blue Jays Enter MLB Trade Deadline As Loaded Sellers

The city of Toronto is in a state of flux right now with their beloved sports teams.

The Maple Leafs appear to be trying to revive a team that’s been in hockey’s basement ever since the lockout of 2004. The Raptors have lost multiple superstars in recent memory (Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Antonio Davis) and now just lost another in Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat.

Both of these teams are re-tooling in hopes of a better future.

As we move on to the Blue Jays, they are in that same state of flux as every other major sports franchise in “Hog-Town.”

The Blue Jays dealt franchise great, starting pitcher Roy Halladay prior to the season starting for a slough of top prospects including Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace and Travis D’Arnaud from the Phillies.

That deal appears to be a great deal for both sides as Roy Halladay is laying the smack-down on the competition in the National League and the prospects the Blue Jays got for him are all enjoying above average years in the Jays minor league system.

The Roy Halladay trade signified a changing of the guard around the Blue Jays. With new GM Alex Anthopolous at the helm, the Blue Jays began the chain of buying low and selling high with regards to their players.

This team building concept was ever apparent about a week ago when the Jays dealt potential All-Star shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who was on pace for a career year, to the Atlanta Braves in return for All-Star SS Yunel Escobar and pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes. This was an instance of selling an asset at the highest price.

What they got was a top sixshortstop both offensively and defensively (in years past) for a guy who was signed to a one-year deal.

Escobar since the trade, has proven to everyone that his game did not vanish into the hot Georgia air by smacking a well-hit grand slam against the Orioles, then following that by hitting another two run homer against the Royals the next night off of pitcher Kyle Davies.

The Jays dealt a 33 year old shortstop who by all accounts is now past his prime, for a cost-controlled, 27-year-old shortstop. A shortstop who is a proto-typical number two hitter in the powerful Jays lineup.

As we move on and get closer to the trade deadline, the Jays appear to be one organization that is littered with talent available at the right price.

This is not a ranking, rather just a list of who’s available, why they are available and what teams could want them.

RF Jose Bautista

Why he is available

With the return of Travis Snider to the lineup and with a glut of talented outfielders in the system ready to contribute including the likes of Eric Thames, Adam Loewen and Darin Mastroianni; Bautista’s value couldn’t be any higher.

Outfield prospect Jacob Marisnick is probably the Jays best outfielding prospect, but is still a few years away. He compares favorably to Indians CF Grady Sizemore.

Having already hit a career high in home runs and RBI, the soon-to-be free agent Bautista could help out a lot of clubs going forward. The Jays would be looking for prospects in return, more than likely outfield prospects or third base prospects as those are the positions that the Jays need more quality prospects in.

Teams the Could Show Interest : Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres

C John Buck

Why he is available

Buck was originally just signed as a stop-gap solution to bridge the gap between now and when catching prospects JP Arencibia and Travis D’Arnaud were ready for prime time.

It appears at least Arencibia is ready, having hit 27 homers and added 68 RBI with the Las Vegas 51’s in the Pacific Coast League in AAA.

Buck was signed to a one-year deal and appears to be a type B free agent, meaning the compensation will be a second round compensation pick.

Any trade that Anthopolous makes for him, needs an equal talent coming in return.

Teams the Could Show Interest: Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies and New York Yankees.

1B Lyle Overbay

Why he is available

The Jays have a major league ready talent in AAA waiting in Brett Wallace. He comes at a cheaper contract than that of Overbay’s.

To Lyle’s credit, he has turned around a terrible start to the season into a respectable season.

Still, the Jays could stand to improve their power and average at the position. For the downgrade they receive on defence, they get a huge upgrade for the future at first base by letting Wallace take his licks at the pro level.

Teams the Could Show Interest : Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers

RP Scott Downs

Why he is available

He’s a free agent heading into next year and he’s 34. He’s an aging asset, but a good asset. Teams are always looking for left handed bullpen help. The Jays would want a top 10 organizational prospect in return. He will probably be a type A free agent.

Teams That Could Show Interest :  Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers.

RP Jason Frasor

Why he is available

Frasor is a decent pitcher who has some closing experience. He’s a pretty reliable reliever who can be counted on for an innings worth of work.

He’ll be a free agent going into next year, and will probably be a type B free Agent. If the Jays don’t get a comparable offer, I see him sticking it out with the Jays and them letting him walk for the draft pick compensation.

Teams that Could Show Interest : Any contending team needing bullpen help, I’ll make it simple.

RP Kevin Gregg

Why he is available

Gregg is enjoying a pretty good year with the Jays. His walk totals are still a work in progress, but he is doing quite well in the save department.

The glaring thing I notice when he pitches is that he always makes the save an adventure, either by getting guys on base or making a three run lead almost vanish and blow the save. This has only happened five times this year, two coming just recently within the week.

He’s a veteran arm, who has closing experience and is signed to a good deal.

Teams that Could Show Interest : St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves. Again any contending team in need of bullpen help.

Players such as Edwin Encarnacion, Fred Lewis, Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Accardo are some other names that will probably garner some interest, but I feel they will remain with the ball-club in some capacity.

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Players the Toronto Blue Jays Should Consider Trading

The MLB trade deadline is just weeks away, and the Toronto Blue Jays new GM, Alex Anthopoulos, is expected to continue putting his stamp on the team.

With that in mind, here are the players Anthopoulos should consider trading:


John Buck

He was not meant to be much more than a stopgap catcher until a prospect (like JP Arencibia) comes up through the system.

Arencibia has been simply outstanding from the batter’s box, hitting 25 home runs with a batting average of .319. His on-base percentage could improve, as its a paltry .369 and one of the main reasons his slugging is only .661.

However, if he works at better plate discipline, he could be an outstanding hitter. In the end, Arencibia is ready to be called up.

Trading John Buck while he is still hitting this great is crucial. The Blue Jays can get top-flight prospects if he continues playing this well.

They need to trade him while his value is still high, after all, he was only a backup for Kansas City last year. What are the chances of him keeping this up?


Lyle Overbay

Not because of Brett Wallace. I fully expect Wallace to be a great player and to be absolutely solid, but he is finally finding his groove defensively.

This, however, has cost him in offense, as his slugging is a paltry .497. He has an average of .296 with 14 home runs, but I think he needs a bit more seasoning.

The main reason for this trade is that Overbay’s contract is up at the end of the year, so we may as well see if we can get something for him now as a rental player.

I don’t think he would get us any compensation picks with the way he played this year. That’s not set in stone yet, though.


Alex Gonzalez

Before people realize he’s a one-trick pony (all he can do is hit home runs), we can see if we can sell him to the highest bidder for top-level prospects.

Once again, nobody is probably ready to go from the minors, so we would have to acquire a bad SS as part of the deal.


The Entire Bullpen

Seriously, if we can get Brandon Morrow for Brandon League, we should see if we can get a bunch of solid starting pitching prospects almost ready to go for them.

What’s the harm after all? If we have a weaker bullpen, we can send in all these starters as relievers.

They would be much more effective, and if someone like Morrow is available (I’m looking at you, Matt Cain), then we have to take him.


Vernon Wells

The main guy. This guy has cranked it up a notch and has been hitting home runs like crazy, much like the entire Blue Jays offense. His slugging and OPS leave a little bit to be desired, but he has been solid this year.

If someone takes his fat contract (I’m thinking of a team with a payroll higher than $175 million, you get three guesses) we can have lots of money to spend.

Also, if we get a top-flight prospect like Jesus Montero, we can also use him as a catcher sooner rather than later.

With all the money we would have to spend, Anthopoulos can truly build this team the way he wants.

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