DH woes

Recently, the Jays have been testing various players in the DH/LF position. Adam Lind aside, a few donkeys that come to mind immediately are "The Louch," BAW-tista and Millar. Well, the Royals might just have a worse problem. The first paragraph of an article in the Kansas City Star reads,

Mike Jacobs is a designated hitter who has been replaced in six of his last 13 games for a pinch hitter. This is not a good thing. He has played just three times since the All-Star break, a trend that figures to continue.
Ouch. What the fuck?

I find it amusing to read about other shitty teams eating shit.

The Halladay Saga...

We're now two days from Riccardi's imposed "Jays Line" and I'm really not sure what to think: Will Halladay get traded? Will he stay in Toronto for the duration of his contract? Is it possible that he'll resign after 2010? I thought I had a firm grasp of these answers in my own mind on Thursday. By the way things were sounding from all sources—J.P., Beaston, pretty much every baseball writer, bloggers, the whole damn baseball nation—I thought Doc was a goner for sure. I watched his start on Friday like it was going to be his last. When he walked off the mount in the bottom of the ninth to a huge ovation from the crowd, a feeling of sadness sweep over me; how could I see The Doctor not in a Jays uniform?

My feelings prior to Friday were if the Jays could get a spectacular package of MLB ready or close to ready prospects, they had to make the deal; I didn't think Halladay had any chance of resigning with the team. Halladay is certainly worth more than the two compensation picks the Jays would get if they lost him on the free agent market.

Friday's game just had the feeling of it being Halladay's last. I think this was in everybody's mind—both fans and players.

In a very uncharacteristic move for Roy, he sat down with the media for 20 minutes after his start. Reading the various transcripts of this interview gave me the feeling that he didn't want to leave. Here are a few tidbits

Do you believe you'll be here past Aug. 1?

Right now, yeah, I think I will be here. It's obviously a complicated situation, and for that reason I've never felt like there's been a big press on being moved, or wanting to be moved. I think for that reason, I think it's more of an ideal situation-type thing for the Blue Jays, and for myself. If there was an urgency to be somewhere else, and an urgency from the team to have me somewhere else, I think it would be different. I just don't get that feeling, so for that reason, I think that at this point, I feel like I'm going to be here. ...

I've always felt that I just don't have that urgency ... it's hard, because it is such a great place, and I've enjoyed being here so much, I don't feel like I'm really trying to go somewhere else. And I think just for that reason, on both sides, I don't think there's that urgency. That's just a gut feeling.

Did you tell the Blue Jays that you intend to test the free-agent market?

Yeah, I don't think necessarily in those words. For me, I like being here — whether we have a chance to win next year or the year after, I don't know. I would hope so, but for me it was more I would like to wait and see. I don't feel like I want to test [free agency] — it has nothing to do what I might get elsewhere. It has to do with I don't have a crystal ball, I don't know 100% what's going to lay in store here or somewhere else. And for me, I feel like it's just something that I don't want to look that far in the future right now. I think I would rather assess the situation when the contract's up. Again, I don't feel like I'm trying to go somewhere else. Just at this point, I would like to wait and see what's going to happen. Where's the best place to win? It could be here. It might be here. But I just don't have that crystal ball. I can't see that far in advance. And I feel like the Blue Jays have given me an opportunity to take care of my family, fulfill some of those obligations. And I think for myself, knowing that window's getting shorter, to have that chance to win, I want to make that decision knowing everything that's out there.

Did you get a chance to talk to [interim president] Paul Beeston, and did he say anything that makes you more eager to stay, or more likely to stay?

Well, I definitely feel like there's a plan in place. I feel like it's an organization that's trying to move forward, that's trying to get better. So from that aspect of it, I think there's a lot to look forward to here. But again, I think for me, it's just more of a wait-and-see. But I know Paul's done a great job. I have a lot of confidence in [general manager] J.P. [Ricciardi]. I think that the time that I've been here, he's done the best that he can to put the best team out there ... there's a lot to look forward to here. I just think I owe it to myself to kind of wait and see, and assess the situation when I have to. But I do feel like there's a lot of positives.

Does this team need major changes to win?

Major changes? No. I think the hardest part is obviously the division we're in. The two, three, four teams you're up against, two of them they can go get guys when they need them. That's the hardest part. So I don't think it's major changes — I think at some point, you need to catch lightning in a bottle. A lot of things have to go right, kind of what happened for Tampa last year. I feel like a lot of those pieces are in place, a lot of the future's there. It's just a matter of [whether it] will all come together. I personally don't believe there's major changes — I think that things are going in the right direction.

Just to clarify, you said you didn't say in so many words that you were going to test the market. Is the message that if you didn't think at that time the Blue Jays weren't ready to contend, you would test the market? Can you clarify that?

Basically all I'm saying is it's not testing the free-agent waters, it's getting to that point and seeing whether we as an organization are close. So if not ... maybe I need to look at my best chance to win. But for me it's not I want to leave, I want to go somewhere else. It's I think you're going in the right direction, but I would really like to see how close we are at that point, and make the best decision at that point. Does that help? ...

I told them I would like to wait until my contract's up to make the best decision ... As soon as they say we're interested in maybe seeing what's out there, and are you interested, I think at that point there has to be a little bit of rope. If this is what you're looking for, this is what I'm looking for. And basically, that's all it is. I don't think at that point, you sit down and [offer] a list of six team you want to go to. I think for me, it was important to make clear what I wanted to accomplish, and where I'm coming from. And I think that was important. ...

It's not I want to go somewhere else, I want to play somewhere else. I really feel like — I've fulfilled a lot of obligations, and I think you have to be, at some point, a little selfish in what you want ... I love it here, I want to stay, and I really do hope it's here. But I think for me, I've taken care of my obligations, and I feel like I would hate to look back and regret that I had this three- or four-year window and I didn't take a chance to give myself the best opportunity. And that's really all I'm trying to do, whether it's here or somewhere else.

So, in summary,

  • Halladay himself believes he'll be a Jay past August 1st. In the very least, he wants to asses the situation after his contract is up.

  • He doesn't believe the team needs any major changes to win and feels the team has the right pieces in place and a good future.

  • He doesn't want to leave; he wants to win a championship here.

The best pitcher in baseball is telling the organization to open their fucking wallets up and bring the last few needed pieces over to make the team a contender. I just don't know what will happen now. Of the potential teams out there looking at Halladay, the Phillies are said to be the front runners. The last package on the table was J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek, along with outfield prospect Dominic Brown.

With Happ, the Jays would receive a top quality young mlb pitcher to partially fill the void left if Halladay were to leave. Drabek is having a great year in A+ and AA, but for a 21 year old, he's already had Tommy John surgery; he's considered to be the gem of the trade. Brown is rated as the number 48 top prospect by Baseball America, and his eta in the mlb is 2011; he'll be 21 at that time. The Jays also asked for Joe Saunders, Brandon Wood, Erick Aybar, and one prospect from the group of Trevor Reckling, Peter Bourjos, and Sean O'Sullivan from the Angels.

With all this conjecture floating around, it's impossible now to tell heads from tails on which teams are seriously interested and what players are being offered. With the deadline only a few days away now, it won't be long before we know for sure. As of this moment in time, my heart is telling me that Roy will stay in Toronto—at least for now.

Hey, and if Rios and Wells continue to turn their seasons around, who knows what could happen next year. We've got all that pitching coming back... oh, we've gone down this road before.

Let's watch our young pitching prospect, Brett Cecil, kick some serious ass today in the Dome.