ORLANDO, Fla. – The main thing Alex Anthopoulos got done Wednesday at the GM meetings was quashing a baseless trade rumour that had Jose Bautista headed to the Philadelphia Phillies for Domonic Brown-plus.
“As I’ve said many times before when I read things that are totally false, fabricated, ridiculous – use every adjective you want – things have to make sense,” Anthopoulos said. “I understand if rumours have some legs to them, but the tough part is when they’re completely fabricated. That’s the hardest part.”
The rumour, out of Philadelphia, came to life late Tuesday night but was confirmed as a fabrication by sportsnet.ca early Wednesday morning. Still, that didn’t keep it from becoming a major talking point anyway.
“I don’t think there’s been a trade yet that we’ve made has been leaked ahead of time unless it was already done,” said Anthopoulos. “I hope that before people run with things, they realize that if you look at the track record over four years, there’s yet to be a deal that’s leaked ahead of time before it’s been done.”
The same author of the Bautista rumour also insisted the Blue Jays had made a US$20-million, two-year offer to free agent catcher Carlos Ruiz, a former Phillies player.
“It’s amazing how people who don’t work for us or work in our office have information,” said Anthopoulos. “I can say this comfortably, I do not have one free-agent offer out to anybody as we sit here today, I have not made one offer to one free agent at any point in time. Hopefully that throws a lot of water on the rumours.”
As for what he did accomplish, Anthopoulos spent time meeting with several of his counterparts but expects the trade market to develop slowly.
And while he’s met with the representatives of free agents, nothing is imminent on that front.
“That’s not to say we’re not going to engage,” said Anthopoulos. “It’s just not the time to get to that point.
“I can’t talk (about) the free agent market, but at least from a trade standpoint, I think it’s going to be slower to develop and that may impact the free agent market as well. If I’m just going off the two or three days here, I think you’ll see much more activity at the winter meetings.”
BORAS’ TAKE: Scott Boras sees a potentially bright future for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“As to what makes that turn there is something that is yet to happen and maybe it will,” the super agent said Wednesday.
The Blue Jays haven’t had a Boras Corp. client on the big-league roster since Brad Wilkerson in 2008 and haven’t drafted a player the agency has advised since James Paxton, who didn’t sign and was later redrafted by the Seattle Mariners, in 2009.
When that fact was pointed out to Boras, he quipped: “Maybe that’s the turn we’re talking about.”
Asked if he believes the Blue Jays may have intentionally turned away from his clients as a result of the failed Paxton negotiation, he said: “I’ve had constant communication with both Paul (Beeston) and AA (Alex Anthopoulos) throughout. It’s not anything to do with not talking, maybe just not the right fits.”
Boras represents two of the off-season’s prime free agents in outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, neither of whom is on the Blue Jays’ radar.
“The Blue Jays are Canada’s team, they’re well-armed with a very successful company behind them, certainly Paul Beeston knows how to put together a winner,” he said. “There’s a process there that’s very ready for success.”