Alex Anthopoulos has seen his team in more than a few rumours during the first two days of the winter meetings, and he’s getting slightly annoyed by them.
The Toronto Blue Jays general manager was a guest Tuesday on the Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan where he addressed a number of issues, including catcher J.P. Arencibia’s belief that he will not be traded before the start of next season.
The 26-year-old’s name has been mentioned frequently as a player the Blue Jays might move in a package for a starting pitcher. On Monday at the winter meetings, Arencibia told Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell (video above), “I’m going to stay a Blue Jay.”
On Tuesday, Anthopoulos said he hadn’t given Arencibia any such assurances, but that he had called him following last month’s 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins that netted Toronto veteran catcher John Buck.
“I told J.P. John Buck is coming in to be the backup, you’re still the starter,” Anthopoulos explained. “I just do that out of courtesy, not because people call me. I know if trades happen it’s going through someone’s mind. They’re getting texts and they’re getting hit up by media so you just do it right away.
“Beyond that, I don’t promise anyone anything. J.P. is our everyday starter, he’s the guy we plan on starting.”
Anthopoulos added while he understands rumours are a part of the business, the amount of talk surrounding Arencibia, “bothers me a little bit.”
“J.P.’s name is getting thrown around so much right now and he has to deal with it. It’s an unfortunate part of the game, but at the same time, we don’t have any no-trade clauses.”
Anthopoulos then went on to address other topics, including…
WHY HE’S NOT A FAN OF THE WINTER MEETINGS:
“I know there’s the sense that at the winter meetings we have to do something and I don’t like the winter meetings for that reason. I feel more strongly that if I’m going to do something we should do it before the meetings or after the meetings. There’s just way too much interference, way too much going on. There’s way too many things, just rumours that can come out there. That’s why we try to keep things quiet.
WHERE HE THINKS HIS TEAM IS AT TODAY:
“I don’t see a deal. We’re not close to doing any deals at all. I would say right now we like the core of the team, we’re always concerned with the depth of the team and that’s because of what happened last year. You always need depth. I like the depth from a position player standpoint, because I think our bench is significantly stronger and we have guys that can be everyday players for a month or two. It’s the concern with the depth in the bullpen and depth in the starting rotation. And that’s the hardest part to fill.”
THE IMPACT OF ALEX RODRIGUEZ’S HIP SURGERY ON THE YANKEES:
“I can’t speak for the other clubs. I don’t know. Because the Yankees with where they are, how good the team is…they were a 95-win club last year. Alex Rodriguez had a good year, not a classic, Alex Rodriguez MVP-type season, but he missed time and they still got through it and they still won 95 games and I think it comes back to the fact that they pitched.
“People can talk about how they’re positioned long-term with their contracts and so on, but if you take all that, and put all that aside, and you look at strictly 2013 — the rotation of Sabathia, Pettitte, Kuroda, Hughes, Nova… that’s a pretty good starting five. If you want to ask me what it’s going to look like four years from now, that I don’t know. From an offensive standpoint, they may take a hit but the off-season certainly isn’t over. I expect them to be good. I know everyone keeps wanting to write them off for the last 10 years, they’re ageing, this and that, you can’t give Brian Cashman enough credit for finding guys who step up. He signs Eric Chavez last year and has an over .800 OPS. They’re going to get through it and they’ll still be a great team.
ON WHETHER HE MIGHT MAKE A DEAL BEFORE THE MEETINGS END:
“We really have not had any significant trade talks since we’ve been here, anything longer than 3-4 minutes over the phone. So if you’re getting serious or close to a trade or you’re hot and heavy, you’re going to be meeting, you’re engaged and that’s not to say I don’t get a phone call this afternoon — things change — but sometimes your name can get thrown out there to try and up the price for other clubs.
“The best example I have is Roy Halladay. I never said a thing in 2009 at that meetings and I had a GM come and meet with me and said, ‘I know you’re getting this and this and this from this team,’ because they had read it on the Internet. I never talked to that club; they never offered me those players. People can get impacted by what’s out there. We’re really not down the road or really engaged in any trades.