Jays can't close the deal
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
|Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos speaks with the media at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Sep. 29, 2011. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)
DALLAS - Another day. Another possible Blue Jays closer signed, sealed and delivered ... elsewhere.
Free-agent reliever Matt Capps, whose agent the Jays spoke to at the general managers meetings last month in Milwaukee, signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins Monday.
Already the Jays have watched free-agent Jonathan Papelbon join the Philadelphia Phillies and Heath Bell sign with the Florida Marlins.
Seth Levinson, the agent who represents both Paplebon and Bell, confirmed Monday that he and Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos had had a series of talks on his clients before they signed with their respective teams.
“I’d prefer to go the trade route,” Anthoupoulos said in his daily press briefing.
Francisco Cordero is the only free-agent closer remaining that the Jays would have interest in — and only on a short-term deal.
A year ago Anthoupoulos was still in Toronto on Sunday when he phoned right-hander Shaun Marcum at a Kansas City Chiefs game to tell him the Jays were about to deal him to the Milwaukee Brewers for third baseman Brett Lawrie.
“I don’t know whether it was because of the new basic agreement being signed last month, but we’re not as advanced in talks as we were other years,” Anthopoulos said.
The Jays will find out midnight Wednesday on whether second baseman Kelly Johnson accepts their offer of salary arbitration.
Anthopoulos said he felt like he was “on the five-yard-line” when it came to completing either a trade or signing a free agent upon arriving in Dallas on Sunday.
He didn’t answer Monday when asked whether he had a dance prepared for when he entered the end zone.
Earlier Anthopoulos described how the Jays could leave town with a closer headed for 1 Blue Jays Way.
“Things move so fast, it’s a roller-coaster of emotion, there’s so many things coming at you from so many different angles,” Anthopoulos said. “It’s very easy to have so much goings on that it’s paralysis by analysis. There’s too many different options.”
Again the GM said bringing free agent Frank Francisco back was an option and he had maintained dialogue with Francisco’s agent. Francisco, who split the job with Jon Rauch last season, saved 17 of 21 opportunities (81%).
SHARK ATTACK: Baltimore Orioles GM Dan Duquette, out of the game for nine years, hired Fred (The Shark) Ferreira as his Latin America scouting director. Ferreira earned the nickname with the Montreal Expos when he signed Vladimir Guerrero. He also worked for the Cincinnati Reds under controversial former owner Marge Schott.
Ferreira was living in Florida at the time, but also had covered Puerto Rico. He submitted his travel expenses to the Reds, including a flight to San Juan. Schott stomped into GM Bob Quinn’s office demanding to know “why Ferreira did not drive to Puerto Rico?”
No. 1 ALL-TIME: MLB.com ranked the top nine blockbuster trades in winter meetings’ history listing the Jays sending Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the San Diego Padres for Robbie Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990 at the Hyatt in Rosmont, Ill a