The Mockingbird

Standing Pat

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I don’t know what all the fuss is about having a GM that lies through his teeth. Personally, I find it makes the offseason much more exciting. One day there’s nothing on the radar with B.J. Ryan, and the next we’ve signed him to the biggest deal for a reliever in history. The next year the club is focusing on pitching and then out of the blue signs a Hall of Fame DH to a three-year deal. It keeps you on your toes.

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This offseason, J.P. is making it sound really boring. Apparently, someone would have to sneak a star player onto the roster while he wasn’t looking, or a free agent would have offer to pay the team to let him play. The soaring Canadian dollar? He nipped that one in the bud, too.

“The loonie is soaring right now, but Ricciardi said that has no bearing on the team payroll he’s been given to work with. The Jays have roughly $90 million to use on next year’s roster — a similar payroll to last season. Toronto’s GM said the exchange rate hasn’t influenced how much money the team can spend this winter.”

I’m sure glad that J.P. “likes” his team. I do too. But are we seriously to believe that he doesn’t see some pretty easy ways it could be made better, a need to do so in order to compete in the AL East, and the possibility that our young pitching could really go somewhere next season? All this denial me think that he’s really cooking-a-something up, lowering expectations so he can go for the maximum shock value and bring the crowd to its feet if he manages to make something happen. Unfortunately, Paul Godfrey isn’t on board:

“A lot would depend on the circumstance,” Godfrey said. “Ted Rogers has been a reasonable owner. If a legitimate question presented itself, I’m sure I could present a case.”

Hmm, that really sounds a lot more optimistic. In fact that sounds like there really is some payroll flexibility this year, if not money that has to be spent. And Posada really didn’t get the memo:

“The Mets are interested; they’ve contacted us,” Posada said. “The Mets, the Marlins, Toronto, all of them are interested.”

What?! I know that free agents tend to refer to teams as “interested” if they’ve so much as made eye contact across a crowded lobby so this shouldn’t be taken seriously. But if the Jays have so much as called his agent this year for a good laugh, it makes all this “standing pat” talk utter nonsense.

There’s no way the Jays get Posada. It would be a giant mistake. After having a career-year when most catchers are falling off a cliff, he’s probably going to get four years for an amount (13+) you should never pay a catcher when he’s 39, and the Yankees would outbid us no matter what we offered anyway. But it shows that while Ricciardi may think it’s unlikely anything significant is going to happen this offseason, he isn’t resigned to it- and more importantly, Rogers hasn’t completely tied his hands. That’s enough to keep the hot stove burning over a long Canadian winter.

Written by halejon

November 6, 2007 at 7:40 pm

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