Winter Meetings Day 3 — Evening Edition

Lots of leftovers from today’s extended media session with Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. You can find an article outlining Toronto’s current financial situation on the main site and another article stating that second baseman Kelly Johnson is very likely to accept salary arbitration prior to Wednesday night’s deadline. I’ll also be updating the piece on Johnson when his decision becomes final shortly after midnight eastern.

Please don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter @gregorMLB. In the meantime, here are the Anthopoulos leftovers for your enjoyment:

On saying he had to work under payroll parameters…

“Everything is great and I think all my intention with that was, we’re here, we’re negotiating with teams, we’re negotiating with agents. Everyone reads media, they read newspapers and I think it has been just so overblown that the Toronto Blue Jays have trucks of money sitting here and we’re just going to sign blank checks for players, trades, this and that. It just doesn’t work that way.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of room to operate with. We don’t have a lot of ability to acquire players, sign free agents, do things like that and there’s also things we don’t believe in — starting with me.

“This is all relative to where our team is and as we continue to build, if the right opportunity presents itself with our team we’re going to continue to explore it and have the ability to do it.”

“I’ve had agents and teams say, well you have all this money. It’s not about that, it doesn’t work that way. I feel like my reputation with teams or media wise is pretty honest and if I come out and say something to somebody directly, and certainly from a media standpoint, for the most part I don’t plan things or misdirect things or use the media to send a mixed signal.

“It’s just taken on such a life that I think every agent feels like we can just spend whatever we want to spend and it doesn’t work that way.

What about adding salary in trades…

“It all depends with where we’re at … have we added anybody, things like that. But sure. Now if I’ve done five other things and added five other $10 million players then maybe it doesn’t make any sense. But there’s no question, if I see value then I’ll go and sit down with Paul.

Does not receiving revenue sharing under the new CBA change things…

“(Paul Beeston) abhorred the fact that we received any revenue sharing money because he knows what we can be and where we can go and the upside. He feels we should ultimately be one of the teams that should be paying into it. We are a large market club. The CBA has shown that, we know that, and I think everyone is starting to realize that we’re absolutely a large market club. We’re not
there yet in terms of tapping into our potential and that’s because the product is not as good as it needs to be.

“That’s why we’re trying to build it the right way. As much as we want to do it fast, if it’s done in a short sighted manner it won’t last and it will be torn apart again.”

Did the timing of Kelly Johnson’s modified Type-A status negatively impact his value…

“I don’t think so. Plenty of time to get a deal done. We’ve seen deals get done — Jerry Hairston just signed a two year deal. I think everyone looks at the Winter Meetings as a time where things come to a head. Maybe it’s because of arbitration deadlines and things like that, but no, I think free agent market has been slow to begin with.”

On attempting to trade for an upgrade at SP still under contract for a few years...

“No club looks to trade that type of player. The same way the White Sox weren’t looking to trade Sergio Santos. There is no motivation on behalf of clubs to trade young, controllable players. You need to do something to make them motivated and that means pay a high price.

On adding a veteran SP for depth…

“We’d be very open to doing that and we’ve talked about that as well. Ideally we’d like to get a mid rotation guy and so on. It ultimately depends on who that guy is going to take innings from. Maybe there is someone right now that needs a little bit more time in the Minor Leagues, needs a bit more work or we need to create that depth. But we’d have to explain that or we’d want them to come in and compete.

“We’ll look in that market and be open to it because it’s a young rotation and as we sit here right now you don’t know how McGowan is going to react, Alvarez just came up, Drabek obviously didn’t establish himself yet, Cecil was down at the start but I thought pitched well after he came back.”

Have you talked to other teams in case Johnson declines arbitration…

“There’s no question I’ve had backup plans and I’ve had dialogue with other teams about second base options and free agents.

“We offered on Kelly Johnson because we were fine with whatever outcome. Either he comes back or we get the draft picks. We’re fine, we’re happy, it’s a good outcome, it’s a no lose for us.”

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