The second day of the Winter Meetings is usually the one in which we get to have a sit down with the manager to discuss all the goings-on regarding the team on the field. In fact, half the managers in the big leagues are going to hold court throughout the afternoon, but John Gibbons got one of the earliest time slots, going on Day 1, so that’s off the docket for Toronto.
One of the managers scheduled to speak on Tuesday is John Farrell, something for the Toronto media assemblage put on our collective agenda. Farrell faces the bright lights and microphones at 3:30 p.m. CT, and we’ll definitely be there to ask him what he thinks of the Blue Jays incredible off-season so far, at the very least.
And, of course, there’s the Trade Show!
Every year some of the best, brightest and craziest marketing minds in North America descend upon the Winter Meetings, set up shop in a huge hall in the bowels of whatever hotel we happen to be in and try their best to sell their wares to the decision-makers, minor and major-leagues. From scoreboards, seats and mascot costumes to hot dogs, mini-batting helmets, inflatables and the "ice cream of the future" (hasn’t that been around for about 30 years or so?), the salespeople are down there moving and shaking and trying to get anyone and everyone they can to try their stuff.
I’ll head down there at some point, and come back with some pictures to post for you.
And as always, at any time, something could pop up out of nowhere. R.A. Dickey rumours abound, with the Blue Jays being attached to the reigning National League Cy Young award winner. Of course, when the Jays are rumoured to be in on someone, it either happens within an hour or doesn’t happen at all. Dickey is set to earn $5 million next season, is 38 (though knuckleballers tend to have long shelf lives), and will be a free agent after 2013, so overpaying in prospects doesn’t seem to be a wise move. Regardless, it will take more than prospects because the Blue Jays would have to clear that $5 million in order to make room for Dickey on the payroll.
Maybe a better move for the Jays would be to use their catching depth to go after one of Tampa Bay’s young starters like Jeremy Hellickson or Wade Davis, or to take a run at the Texas Rangers, looking at Alexi Ogando and Mike Olt, none of whom are making any money yet.
The Blue Jays also need to pick up someone to fill out their bench, though that probably won’t happen here in Nashville. The 25th spot on the roster is likeliest to be filled by a right-handed hitter who could act as a bat off the bench and morph into a platoon-mate for Adam Lind, and he’s going to have to come cheap.
Free agents like Matt Diaz, Jeff Baker, Mark Reynolds and even good old fan-favourite Reed Johnson or great Canadian Jason Bay could fit that bill, though perhaps there’s a trade to be made — the Cubs might be willing to eat a whole lot of Alfonso Soriano’s salary in order to move him.