Eveland to Diamondbacks?
As I posted a few days ago, the Dbacks once traded for Dana Eveland but had to give him up in the Dan Haren deal. Apparently, they continue to have interest in him and who wouldn’t the way he has pitched this spring. MLB Rumors reports that they are now looking for some starting pitching depth and Eveland is still on their radar. Trading Eveland, who is out of options would clear up the currently muddy pitching situation for the Jays and clearly hand the 5th starter job to Brian Tallet who has done a strong job this spring but who has been clearly out pitched by Eveland. Sometimes you also have to read between the lines and Cito keeps saying he only needs one lefty out of the pen. So if that one lefty is Downs, then it means Cito sees Tallet as a starter and Eveland is dispensable.
Relief Situation Staring to Clear
Blue Jays offered rule 5 selection Zech Zinicola back to Washington yesterday. As I suspected and wrote the other day, AA tried to cut a deal with Washington to keep him but the Nationals declined since they wanted him back. With the large number of arms in Jays camp this year, Zinicola would have had to make a huge impression to stay with the club, something hard to do considering he only got to pitch 3+ innings. Jays also sent Zack Jackson and Lance Broadway to minor league camp and released Casey Fien. I find it interesting to note that Merkin Valdez is still in the running considering his inflated ERA. Apparently, the Jays like his stuff and see enough flashes of brilliance to take him north with them in light of him being out of options.
The Toronto Sun has indicated that on Thursday, general manager Alex Anthopoulos stated the obvious when he said that, if all things were equal, then the Jays probably would go with the pitchers who were out of options and send the others to the minors. It's called protecting yourself and it is done by all 30 major league teams. "It certainly goes into it and we told all the players," Anthopoulos said. "We met with them before spring training started and said to all the guys that have options: 'The guys who have options, you guys are more at risk.' "The guys that didn't have options, I told: 'You've got to make this team, otherwise you can get exposed to waivers, you can clear, you can get claimed." The ones that have options I said: 'The reality of it is, you have options. If it is close, you have the risk of being sent down. It means your performance has to be that much stronger if it is a tie between the two of you. "
Bullpen - Gregg, Frasor, Downs, Camp, Eveland (assuming he doesn't get traded and Tallet is the 5th starter), Janssen, and Merkin assuming Carlson is on the DL to open the season. Purcey they can continue to explore using him in a relief role with his reduced pitching repertoire and showcase him for a potential trade. The spectre of a trade of one of our middle relievers would also clear things up a bit.
In any case, Tallet likely moves to the pen once McGowan is ready and a spot has to clear for Carlson when he is back to health. Lots of options, none of which are bad and lots of trade material available to strengthen our team or farm once other teams have injuries or holes in the rotation appear.