MacArthur: Jays hit coast as Anthopoulos works phones

Scott MacArthur
7/30/2013 1:39:32 AM
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OAKLAND, California - Despite being on opposite sides of the continent, with less than 48 hours until the non-waiver trade deadline, general manager Alex Anthopoulos is keeping manager John Gibbons in the loop.

"We're constantly talking about different things to do that might make the team better," said Gibbons. "He's told me, too, the phones have definitely heated up. Whether something will happen or not with our guys I don't know but there is definitely some interest in some of our guys."

Long ago seems the day when, in spring training, Anthopoulos suggested there would be additional money available should the opportunity arise to acquire a player at the deadline.

Now the Blue Jays are caught in limbo. Neither buyers or sellers, the club would be willing to add controllable players, still years away from big payoffs in free agency, but wouldn't mind parting with high salary guys.

"I don't think we're at the point where we're looking to next year," said Gibbons. "It's going to take some kind of tremendous run to get us back in this thing but you never know what happens, really. I don't see a change in attitude of the guys. They're all disappointed. They all realize we haven't lived up to expectations but I don't necessarily see a change in the clubhouse or things like that. But it's going to take a serious run."

Darren Oliver seems as likely as anyone to be dealt before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. At 42 years old, Oliver wavered last offseason about whether to return or retire. Lacking a World Series ring and with a $3-million option exercised by the Blue Jays, Oliver figured he'd take one more shot at a championship.

He won't realize the dream in Toronto. Not this year. Do right by the player and acquire a prospect who may one day be an asset.

Rajai Davis, an impending free agent, and Emilio Bonifacio, who is arbitration eligible, are speedsters who could draw interest from contending clubs looking to supplement their bench

Bonifacio's time in Toronto has been forgettable, to the point now where his next start will be the first since the All-Star break. He seems better suited to a National League team, for whom he could be a late-game replacement when managers employ the double switch.

If someone is calling about Josh Johnson, the Jays would be wise to explore the trade possibility. Otherwise, it's likely the Jays qualify Johnson in the offseason, he accepts and returns on a one year contract worth about $14-million. Can Toronto run the risk of Johnson repeating his miserable 2013?

Mark Buehrle may attract interest from teams looking for starting pitching depth. His heavy price tag over the next two seasons ($18-million in 2014, $19-million in 2015) would be the largest impediment to any deal. The Blue Jays, should they elect to move Buehrle, may have to eat some salary or take less than value in return to offset the money.

A winner and a solid clubhouse presence, Buehrle would be missed if he were moved.

Casey Janssen, Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil would be attractive to contenders looking to solidify their bullpens, although Delabar and Cecil still have multiple seasons of club control and could anchor Toronto's relief corps for years to come.

Janssen, who has a budget friendly $4-million club option for 2014, has converted 18 of 20 save opportunities and 40 of 45 since assuming the closer's role in May, 2012. He presents an opportunity for the Blue Jays to sell high.

Barring last minute developments, it's unlikely the Blue Jays will make a blockbuster trade at the deadline. Those tend to happen in the offseason.

As the Jays are learning the hard way, sometimes they don't work out. At least, not immediately.


Adam Lind was back in the lineup on Monday after missing most Sunday's series finale against the Houston Astros due to a stiff back. He entered Sunday's game in the ninth, pinch hitting after Jose Bautista had been ejected.

"He felt better (Monday,") said Gibbons. "(Sunday) when he got to the ballpark it tightened up on him. He took a little BP but he was good to pinch hit, he pinch hit late. He said it felt fine today."

Lind has a history of back issues and took up yoga in the offseason in an effort to correct them. Due to the rigours of the in-season schedule, Lind hasn't maintained the yoga program but incorporates a series of specific stretches into his daily routine.

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