This is the month that last year Alex Anthopoulos really reshaped the Toronto Blue Jays roster, and it was done pretty much out of the blue. So expect the unexpected. However at this time I am not seeing many free agent or trade rumours involving the Jays. I read the Jays may have interest in Dan Haren, but nothing concrete in terms of an actual offer pending.
Here are a few making the rounds involving AL East teams, as per MLBTR:
-The Yankees are planning to make Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka a “top priority” this winter and are considered the team to beat in bidding for the 25-year-old, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Writes Passan: “If re-signing Robinson Cano is priority No. 1 for the New York Yankees this offseason, securing the rights to Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka is No. 1a.”
QUICK TAKE: I am not convinced Tanaka will warrant Yu Darvish type money that is being rumoured as the starting point to win the posting. He should be steady but I don’t think his strikeout numbers in the Japanese leagues have looked all that impressive. I do not see the Jays being in this race.
-Free agent, right-handed starters Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco are both looking for five-year deals, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The former hopes to earn a $100MM guarantee, while Nolasco is asking for $80MM, sources tell Rosenthal.
Of course, it is still early, and players’ agents are probably still feeling out how baseball’s revenue increases will translate to free agent dollars. The pair of durable thirty-year-olds, who were born within a day of each other, just put up respective 3.0 fWAR campaigns. For Santana, his 3.24 ERA over 211 innings for the Royals was a marked improvement on a terrible 2012. Throwing for the Marlins and Dodgers, Nolasco’s 3.70 ERA across 199 1/3 innings was his best since 2008. Santana is still weighing a qualifying offer, though there is little doubt he’ll reject it, while Nolasco was ineligible due to his mid-season trade.
QUICK TAKE: Wow. $100 million for Ervin Santana? #comeonman
-Multiple reports indicate that the Red Sox are interested in Carlos Beltran, though the extent of that interest is somewhat up in the air. George A. King III of the New York Post reports that Boston is “aggressively” pursuing Beltran but are receiving early competition from the Yankees and Orioles. Elsewhere, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo tweets that the Red Sox do indeed have interest in the eight-time All-Star, but a team source tells him they haven’t been very aggressive to this point.
-Barring a trade of Dempster or Peavy, WEI.com’s Alex Speier figures that the Red Sox will have just over $32MM to spend and still successfully avoid this year’s $189MM luxury tax threshold. That number, theorizes Speier, could be the reason that the Red Sox couldn’t afford to gamble on making qualifying offers to all three of Mike Napoli,Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Saltalmacchia, of course, was the odd man out and didn’t receive a qualifying offer.
-There has been no recent movement in negotiations between the Yankees’ front office and Cano’s representatives, reports Dan Martin of the New York Post (hat tip to Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues). Martin also explains that Cano has yet to get a read on what other teams might be willing to pay.
-If the Yanks lose Hiroki Kuroda and/or fail to land Masahiro Tanaka, power pitchers could make up the backup plan, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman wrote yesterday. Sherman notes Josh Johnson and Dan Haren as possibilities, while his Post colleagueGeorge A. King III says that the club could be in on Ubaldo Jimenez.