Tuesday Ramblings – August 18, 2015: Jays Roster Moves, Dombro Vs. AA and Making Sense of JV Extension

Everyone just relax! Drew Hutchison is coming back.

Reading the headlines in the Toronto area today you would think the Jays released Hutch from his contract.  If you read closely you will see that he has been sent down so that he will continue to start every five days and build on the success of the previous two starts.  Maybe he’ll even fix his mechanical issues while he’s at it.  With three off-days in the next two weeks coinciding with some Interleague games, the Jays don’t need a fifth starter and rather then give the other four consistent starters too much rest, they elected to send Hutch down for a couple of starts and bring him back up for his next major league start around the end of the month.  In the meantime, they are able to add a couple of extra bats to the line-up since a couple of starting pitchers will have to bat and may require pinch-hitting.  Hutch has been great his last two starts but needs to continue improving as we move towards the stretch drive.

Another story on the Jays horizon is the pending retirement of President Paul Beeston. When the Tigers released their President and GM Dave Dombrowski a couple of weeks ago, speculation had him on a plane for Toronto to take over for Beeston after the season.  Not so fast.  Well connected people in the industry have said that Dombrowski is more likely to give up the administrative “President” title to remain as a GM and have a hand in all baseball matters.  That means that in all likelihood, for Dombro to be the one the Jays would have to part ways with Alex Anthopoulos at the end of the season.  That is possible since his contract is up but with the moves he’s made and although he is being heralded as the saviour of Toronto, if the team misses or loses in the first round of the playoffs, ownership may want to head in a different direction, especially with David Price and Mark Buerhle becoming FA’s in the off-season and Bautista and EE heading into their final contract year (both team options).  If they ever thought there was a time to make a change, it would be under those circumstances.  Rogers is going to have to decide which direction they want to move in and I can’t see them doing anything until the Jays season is completely over.

I was surprised yesterday when I heard the Raptors were on the verge of signing Jonas Valanciunas to a contract extension.  Firstly, because they just picked up his fourth year option and don’t have to spend the money right now and secondly, at the terms of the deal.  His extension is reportedly for four years and $60-million.  That is a shitload of cash for a young Center who still hasn’t proven he can play with the big boys.  I understand that he is young and they have spent a lot of time developing him and they must see something in him but why not hold off until during the season? A few years ago they pulled Demar Derozan out of a game so he could sign his new contract so what’s the harm in waiting? If he has a good start to the season his price can’t go any higher than that and if he has a slow start maybe you get him on the cheap.  I have to believe his play for the Lithuanian team had something to do with the contract.  I’ll tell you one thing though, if I hear they’re thinking of locking up Terrence Ross for more money I may have to start cheering for a new team.

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