Weekly Round Up : Jan. 25 - 31

A must read authored by bullpen hopeful Dirk Hayhurst.  Rock solid stuff.  

“When you have a passion for something, it’s easy to find the time to do it well,” I once heard him say.  How do you replace that kind of leader?  A year of baseball in Toronto minus the Doctor.....I still can't talk about it yet.  I really can't.

Paxton Affair Update:

The good Canadian boy filed his appeal as expected on Wednesday.  His lawyer, Rick Johnson, is certainly earning his $300 an hour wage on this one.  Check out these quotes.

"They're engaged in extortion," Johnson said. "They won't let you play – even though you're eligible to play – until you talk to somebody they can't make you talk to."

"What is happening to James is a travesty, but this case has larger ramifications for the 360,000 or so student-athletes who ... have been misinformed that they have no rights and must submit to NCAA Gestapo tactics under the direction and approval of their colleges and universities," said Johnson in an interview with the Kentucky Herald on Wednesday.

He claims the NCAA can't annul Paxton's eligibility without direct evidence he has broken a rule, and that UK can't force a meeting with outside investigators.  Wow.  This guy actually believes this stuff.  I got some direct evidence for ya Rick.

On Thursday it was reported, his appeal was granted.  The court agreed that its next available three-judge motions panel available after Feb. 8 would consider Paxton's request. UK has until Feb. 8 to file a response to the request.

In the past I have used the terms clusterfuck and shitshow separately to describe this craziness.  But I'm starting to wonder if it is actually possible to have a shitshow clusterfuck.  Or would it be clusterfuck shitshow?  Either way, I think this thing is headed in that general direction.  I'm starting to see why Beeston walked away from this one.  

Courtesy of CBS Sports fantasy news: 

Blue Jays add more spring invitees Updated 1/27/2010

News: The Blue Jays added the following farmhands to the non-roster spring training invites list: 1B David Cooper, 2B Brad Emaus, C Matthew Liuzza and pitchers Zachary Stewart and Daniel Farquhar. They also extended invites to: catchers Kyle Phillips and Brian Jeroloman. Analysis: Cooper, Emaus, Stewart and Farquhar are potential sleepers in long-term keeper leagues. We don't expect any of these players to make the major leagues roster out of spring training, though. Ignore them on Draft Day.

Early in the week we added a trio of catchers to offset the not so small army of pitchers that will be in camp.  Liuzza, Phillips and Jeroloman are going to be squatting in the Florida heat quite a bit.  Tough on the legs/knees and seems more like punishment for doing something wrong but somebody has got to do it.

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick Griffin @ The Star:

He got a whopping 2 comments on this one!  And one of those comments was a total diss.  Who is this Chris Stedron fellow and where will he be sitting on opening day?  I'm not really one to talk but he is a "professional" and I am sitting in my basement.  Just saying.

Apparently Boy Wonder has quickly learned the number one management responsibility: DELEGATING.  He decided to hand off the entire arbitration file to his assistants.  And he sold it to them by saying that they would get "experience" at it.  Genius. 

"He could do it in his sleep," LaCava said. "But he wanted us to try our hand in it. At the end of the day we all got some great experience and we got fair deals with all the players that were good for the player and good for the organization. That's what he wanted."

I'm guessing he did this to create another layer between the agents and him.  Due to his "file-to-go" strategy deadline, I'll bet he wanted to be able to enter the negotiations at the last minute if need be.  So he sends in the troops to handle the numbers while he sits back quietly and waits for issues to arise.  Nothing comes up, everybody signs the deals, high fives all around.  More Genius. 

Courtesy of Rotoworld:  

RHP Jesse Litsch is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Febuary 3.  Great news.  He had the major surgery on June 12 of last year.  Along with newly acquired RHP Shawn Hill, they will lead the second (hopefully) or third (probably) wave of starting pitchers for your Toronto Blue Jays this season around mid to late June.   You know what comes to mind whenever I think about our five man rotation.  Two words: Cannon Fodder

Baseball Prospectus predicts 73 wins.  Is that gonna be 7 pitchers with ten each or what?

Look on the bright side, if the Nationals can't sign consensus 1st overall draft pick Bryce Harper this year, we may get a shot at him if we suck a little more!  Speaking of which, I think all of us are going to have to start scouting the draft class of 2011.  We should have a very high pick and consequently get very nice player.  I'm going to look into this more.....    

Courtesy of Fangraphs: 

The organization received compensatory picks for the three players that did not sign in ‘09, but the club loses some leverage; if the players they choose in those positions in ‘10 do not sign, then the club does not receive compensation in 2011 and you can bet the players’ advisers will be all over that.

This article belittles the brain trust with respect to their drafting.  New guy gets a pass on this for now.  But if I may say this: PLEASE draft some high school players.  Especially early.  Will you do it if I say pretty please. 

Courtesy of CBS Sports fantasy news: 

Breakout: Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Considering Encarnacion was clearly on the rise when he hit 26 homers in 2008, the Reds and Fantasy owners pulled the plug on him awfully quickly last year. Of course he struggled: He had a bone floating around in his left wrist. The Reds eventually discovered the problem, but by then, the damage was done, at least as far as his batting average went. Little do most people know he rebounded to hit .274 with seven home runs over his final 95 at-bats, picking up where he left off in '08. He has improved his walk rate over the last couple years and only needs to improve his consistency to become a potential 30-homer guy. Why not in his age-27 season? He'll probably go undrafted in mixed leagues, but you'll want to keep your eye on him out of the gate.

I have a vested interest in E5 for the 2010 season.  I got him for a mere 3 bucks in my AL fantasy keeper league.  I'm just not sure what to do with him.  I wonder how his face is doing?  Even more than that, I wonder how his left wrist is doing?  You remember he had surgery on it late October.  Baltimore-based hand specialist Dr. Tom Graham shaved a large bone spur off the hamate bone in Encarnacion's ailing wrist.  Sounds painful.     


As predicted we are being overrun by lists.  They are everywhere.  I jumped on the grenade and read them  all for you.  This is my favorite.  Fangraphs put this piece out almost three months ago before we traded Doc.  Consider it prerequisite reading for the list:

FanGraphs’ Top 10 Prospects:
(2009 Draft Picks/International Signees Not Included)

This is a tough system to rank beyond the Top 3 because the organization had such a down year in ‘09 with a lot of prospects (hopefully temporarily) wiping out. On the plus side, there are quite a few talented players who are one good season away from shooting up the depth chart. The loss of Roy Halladay was a huge blow to the organization, as well as baseball in Canada, but the trade did infuse some much-needed talent.

1. Brett Wallace, 3B/1B, Triple-A
DOB: August 1986 Bats: L Throws: R
Signed: 2008 1st round – Arizona State University (St. Louis)
MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
Wallace is the guy that was always destined to be a Blue Jay. The club drafted him out of high school in ‘05 even though he was an almost impossible signing due to his commitment to Arizona State. The club then had hoped to grab him in the ‘08 draft, but St. Louis got to him first. Finally, the club nabbed him in a deal with Oakland (for Michael Taylor, who was obtained in the Roy Halladay deal). Wallace had a busy year in ‘09 and played with three different minor league teams in double-A and triple-A. Overall on the year, he hit .293/.365/.458, which is not bad at all considering it was his first full season and he had a lot of change to deal with. The left-handed hitter fared very well against southpaws with an .897 OPS. Wallace projects to be a 20+ home run hitter with the ability to hit .280-.300. However, he needs to get a little more loft on the ball if he’s going to be a consistent power hitter. His walk rate took a bit of a hit with the promotion to triple-A (6.5%) compared to his double-A rate (11.7%), so he could stand to make some improvements in that area.

2. Kyle Drabek, RHP, Double-A
DOB: December 1987 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2006 1st round – Texas HS (Philadelphia)
MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
Repertoire: 89-96 mph fastball, plus curveball, change-up
Drabek had an excellent ‘09 season while returning from Tommy John surgery. He began the year in high-A ball and allowed 49 hits in 61.2 innings of work. His walk rate was solid at 2.77 BB/9 and he did not allow a home run, despite an average ground-ball rate. His strikeout rate was a nifty 10.80. Moved up to double-A, Drabek’s FIP rose from 1.82 to 3.83 but his walk rate was still good at 2.90 BB/9. His strikeout rate dropped to 7.10 K/9. He gave up nine homers in double-A, as his HR/9 rate increased to 0.84 and his ground-ball rate dropped a little below average. Overall, he allowed 141 hits in 158.0 innings of work. The right-hander will probably begin the year back in double-A where he can hopefully improve his worm-burning numbers before moving up to the hitter’s haven that is Las Vegas. Drabek has the potential to be a No. 1 or 2 starter.

3. Zach Stewart, RHP, Double-A
DOB: September 1986 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2008 3rd round – Texas Tech University (Cincinnati)
MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
Repertoire: 88-93 mph fastball, slider, change-up
The club’s No. 1 prospect before the Halladay trade, Stewart is more suited to this position on a team’s Top 10 list. The right-hander has good stuff but the jury is still out on if he’s a starter or reliever. Toronto seems committed to him as a starter, which makes sense considering the bullpen depth that the club has at this point. Stewart pitched for four teams and at three levels in ‘09. He began the year in high-A ball and posted a 2.63 FIP in seven starts. Moved up to double-A, he posted a 2.77 FIP in another seven starts. Jumped to triple-A with the Reds, he moved to the bullpen and had a 3.42 FIP in nine appearances before moving to Toronto where he had a 3.42 FIP in 11 games. His control dipped with each promotion, going from 1.70 to 2.43 to 4.90, so he clearly has some more work to do. On the plus side, his strikeout rate rose from 6.80 to 7.54 to 10.52. Along with his excellent K-rate, Stewart produces a lot of ground-balls (53% in ‘09). If he can sharpen his change-up, he could be a solid No. 3 starter.

4. J.P. Arencibia, C, Triple-A
DOB: January 1986 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2007 1st round – University of Tennessee
MLB ETA: Mid-2011 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
It was an ugly year for Arencibia, who balked at making adjustments to his approach at the plate, which led to a dismal walk rate of just 5.2% (although it was an improvement over ‘08). Arencibia had a breakout year in ‘08 by hitting 27 homers and driving in 105 runs between high-A and double-A. However, his wOBA dropped from .402 in high-A to .348 in double-A… and it continued to slide in ‘09, down to .316. His strikeout rate has gone from 18.5 to 21.0 to 24.5% during that same span. His BABIP also bottomed out in ‘09 at .269, as his triple-slash line was just .236/.284/.444 in 466 triple-A at-bats. It was bad timing for Arencibia, who likely would have been in line for the starting gig in Toronto in 2010, if he had had even an average year at triple-A. On the positive side, Arencibia has made huge strides on defense and now projects to be an average-to-above-average MLB catcher. Unless his hitting improves, though, he could be relegated to platoon work or a back-up gig on a championship-caliber team.

5. Moises Sierra, OF, Double-A
DOB: September 1988 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2005 non-drafted international free agent (Dominican Republic)
MLB ETA: Late-2011 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
With one of the strongest outfield arms in all of minor league baseball, Sierra made huge strides at the plate in ‘09. Just 21, he hit .286/.360/.393 in 405 at-bats at high-A ball. His walk rate has improved each of the past three seasons and it was 7.4% in ‘09. His strikeout rate has dropped each year and it was just 16.3% in high-A, as Sierra is obviously becoming more confident at the plate. He also improved his base running in ‘09 and stole 10 bases in 12 tries after being successful just 12 times in 23 tries in ‘08. On the negative side, his power has yet to develop, although he has the potential to hit for power. His ISO rate has dropped each of the past three seasons from .154 to .118 to .106. The club was obviously happy with Sierra’s performance in ‘09, which included a wOBA of .353, and he received a late-season promotion to double-A. After appearing in just nine games at that level last season, Sierra should return there for 2010. He is a breakout candidate for the new season.

6. Brad Mills, LHP, Triple-A
DOB: March 1985 Bats: L Throws: L
Signed: 2007 4th round – University of Arizona
MLB ETA: Mid-2010 40-Man Roster: Yes Options: 2
Repertoire: 86-90 mph fastball, plus change-up, curveball
Mills almost made the club out of spring training in ‘09 – after an excellent ‘08 season – and his value skyrocketed early in the year. Unfortunately, he had some ups-and-downs at triple-A and also battled injuries, which has caused him to fall out of favor with a lot of prospect watchers. Despite his “off year,” Mills still posted a 3.80 FIP at triple-A and showed acceptable control with a walk rate of 3.74 BB/9 and a good, but not great, strikeout rate at 7.68 K/9. Given two starts in the Majors, Mills tried to nibble and lacked confidence in his fastball and curveball, both of which had negative values in a small sample size (7.2 innings). If healthy in 2010, Mills should open the year back in triple-A but he could be one of the first pitchers called up.

7. Travis D’Arnaud, C, Low-A
DOB: February 1989 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2007 supplemental 1st round pick (Philadelphia)
MLB ETA: Late-2012 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
D’Arnaud could be ranked higher on this list but I’m taking the conservative approach as he played at low-A in ‘09. Like Wallace, the club had tried to acquire this catcher via the draft but he was nabbed with the 37th overall pick by the Phillies. Toronto, picking 38th, ended up with Brett Cecil (a nice compensation). D’Arnaud, who turns 21 shortly, hit .255/.319/.419 in 482 at-bats in low-A ball last year (His numbers were depressed by a .279 BABIP). He showed good power potential with 38 doubles and 13 homers (.164 ISO). The catcher also had a pretty good approach at the plate with a walk rate of 7.6% and a strikeout rate of 15.6%. He has a good defensive reputation but he threw out just 23% of base stealers. The system suddenly has good depth at the catching position with the likes or Arencibia, D’Arnaud, and Carlos Perez.

8. Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Low-A
DOB: April 1990 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2006 non-drafted international free agent (Venezuela)
MLB ETA: Mid-2013 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
Repertoire: 88-93 mph fastball, plus change-up, slider
Alvarez is an exciting prospect because his fastball has been gaining velocity over the past two seasons and now sits comfortably in the low 90s, and it has excellent sink. That good downward movement resulted in a ground-ball rate of 51.4% at low-A in ‘09. The right-hander gave up just one homer in 124.1 innings of work, while also posting a 2.43 FIP as a teenager. He also showed excellent control for his age with a walk rate of 1.38 BB/9. Still learning how to set up hitters, Alvarez’ strikeout rate was just 6.66 K/9 but his breaking ball has strikeout potential. He’ll move up to High-A ball in 2010 at the age just 20.

9. Carlos Perez, C, Rookie
DOB: October 1990 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2008 non-drafted international free agent (Venezuela)
MLB ETA: Late-2013 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
The organization has not had much luck handing out large contracts to big-named international free agents, but Perez joins Alvarez and Sierra as one of the Jays’ best under-the-radar Latin signings. The catcher is solid defensive (albeit it with the usual youthful development needs), and he’s also becoming quite a force at the plate thanks to his solid batting eye. Perez, 19, made his North American debut in ‘09 at rookie ball and hit .291/.364/.433 in 141 at-bats. After walking more than he struck out in the Dominican Summer League in ‘08, he posted a respectable walk rate of 9.8% in the Gulf Coast League. He also showed some line-drive pop (.142 ISO) and he is more athletic than most catchers.

10. Danny Farquhar, RHP, Double-A
DOB: February 1987 Bats: R Throws: R
Signed: 2008 10th round – University of Louisiana-Lafayette
MLB ETA: Late-2010 40-Man Roster: No Options: 3
Repertoire: 88-94 mph fastball, cutter, slider, curveball, change-up
There are a number of other prospects that could have slid in here such as Gustavo Pierre, Tyler Pastornicky, Justin Jackson – interestingly enough all shortstops – because the system has so many sleepers in it right now (but few “can’t miss” names). Tim Collins was also an option here, but he projects to be a left-handed reliever, so his ceiling is a little lower than Farquhar who could develop into an eighth-inning guy, if not a closer. The right-hander comes at hitters from a variety of arm angles and can reach the low-90s from a sidearm slot. Perhaps because he throws so many different pitches – and with so many angles – Farquhar’s control has suffered and he posted a walk rate of 5.91 BB/9 in double-A. That obviously has to improve before he’ll have much success in the Majors. Despite that fact, he posted a 10.05 K/9 rate and allowed just one homer and 31 hits in 45.2 innings at the double-A level.

I want to thank all of you that voted in our first poll.  We asked you if you thought Rogers is trying to sell the team.  The "for sure" side stormed out to a huge early lead but eventually got caught by the "no way's".  It ended up being a draw.  Well not exactly.  I voted twice for yes by accident.  So the no's won it and I hope you guys are right because I don't want to watch some untrustworthy American buy my team and threaten to move it to Vegas.


New feature on our site provides immediate results

So we here at 1bluejaysway decided a couple of weeks ago to add a feature to our blog.  Site Meter is a free program available to anyone who operates a website.  I believe it is billed a marketing tool but personally I think it is borderline privacy invasion because it provides a lot of details about who, where and when people view your site.  Maybe a little tooooooooooo much detail.  Check out visit number 726.  Somebody out there fired fingering ass methods into google, scrolled through God only knows how many hits and eventually it took them to our site!  I believe it was due to The Human Rain Delay's use of a similar term in a recent post titled Remembering: Kelly Gruber.

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Evil Empire vs Red Sucks

The season is months away from starting and already our free spending fucking divisional rivals are in disagreement.  This time it involves their regional sports networks or RSN.  The Evil Empire have the YES Network, while The Red Sucks have NESN.

A few weeks ago, YES announced that they were the most watched RSN in the country in 2009 by an average of 6,000 households per night.  Which is true but considering there are 3 times as many homes in the designated market area for New York to draw from, it hardly seems like a fair comparison.

Kinda like when you compare the fact that the Evil Empire for 2010 will spend $85,225,000 on the four guys that play the infield positions and your Toronto Blue Jays are probably going to spend less than $80,000,000 for the entire 25 man roster.

Please note: that total INCLUDES $10,000,000 for B.J. and $6,000,000 for Doc.   

According to NESN, they were the highest rated regional sports network in the country in 2009, leading all RSN’s in every major ratings category including average primetime household ratings and total day delivery. NESN has held this distinction every year since 2004.

2009 NESN vs. YES Network Comparison

YES Network
Households in DMA
Primetime Rating
Primetime Households
Total Day Delivery Rating
Total Day Delivery Households
Baseball Rating
Baseball Households
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Fucking bitches can't agree on anything.....except that they both need to spend WAY more on payroll then anybody else in the division.

Roberto Alomar inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Catch the taste Robbie fresh off of being shafted by the untrustworthy Americans earlier in the month, headlines the class of 2010.  It is sad that our neighbors don't recognize a Hall of Famer when they see one.  We certainly do.

Here is the list of inductees he will join.  If you are thinking of maybe attending, here are all the details on how to get in touch with The Hall.  ROAD TRIP

For immediate release
Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alomar, Quantrill headline Ball Hall's 2010 induction class
Owner Calvin Griffith, stats guru Allan Roth to be enshrined posthumously
St. Marys - Roberto Alomar, arguably the greatest all-round Toronto Blue Jay player ever, and Canadian pitcher Paul Quantrill, whose 841 game appearances rank him 35th all-time in major league history and first among Canadians, will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on June 19th, 2010 in St. Marys, Ontario.

Joining the duo of former Blue Jays will be a pair of Montrealers who will be enshrined posthumously.

Calvin Griffith, who began his 60 years in baseball as a batboy with the Washington Senators, had a brief minor league career and then re-joined the Senators front office. He took ownership of the team in 1955, moved them to Minneapolis in 1961, and owned the Twins until 1984. Griffith, who will be represented by his son Clark at the Induction Ceremony, passed away in 1999 at the age of 87.

Allan Roth, referred to as the "Father of Sabermetrics" by Bill James, was a pioneer in convincing teams to use baseball statistics as a tactic. After charting stats for his hometown Montreal Canadiens and the National Hockey League, Roth became the first full-time statistician to be hired by a major league club when Brooklyn Dodgers' president & general manager Branch Rickey hired him in 1947. Roth, who will be represented by his son Michael at the Induction Ceremony, died in 1992 at the age of 74.

"Quantrill, Griffith and Roth further demonstrate the often-underestimated impact that Canadians have had on so many facets of the baseball industry," said Ball Hall president & CEO Tom Valcke.

"And while we do not strive to be identified as the Expos/Blue Jays Hall of Fame, there is little doubt that the calibre of player that Robbie Alomar was during his time with the Jays penetrated every grass roots program from coast to coast and helped develop infielders. Being superb at his position made countless Canadian youth wish that they could play like Robbie Alomar, and that distinction is why we'll be honoring him here in St. Marys in June."

Roberto Alomar

"This is an honour, truly a privilege," said an excited Alomar, who is currently in Toronto launching a clothing line called Second 2 None.

"I cherished my years with the Blue Jays and have always loved the Canadian people. Those years were the very best of my career."

Alomar, born February 5,1968 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, began his major league career with the San Diego Padres, arriving in the majors in 1988. He became part of one of the biggest trades in baseball history on December 5, 1990 when he and Joe Carter were sent to Toronto in return for 2008-CBHFM-inductee Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. Alomar, who played 17 years in all, went on to play for Baltimore, Cleveland, the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, and Arizona, but his longest stint was in Toronto, where he led the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series championships in 1992-93.

The slick-fielding second baseman was named to the All-Star Game all five years he played in Toronto, and 12 times in all. He also won five of his 10 Gold Glove awards and one of his four Silver Slugger awards while toiling for the Blue Jays. The 1992 ALCS MVP was named Blue Jays Player of the Year in 1991, '92 and '95, and later was named to their "Level of Excellence."

Alomar's .307 batting average with the Blue Jays ranks him first all-time. He compiled a lifetime .300 BA and a .313 post-season BA. His 206 stolen bases ranks him second to Lloyd Moseby, and he swiped 474 in his career. His .382 on-base percentage during his time with the Blue Jays is fourth-best all-time (his career OBP was .371). Alomar had 832 hits and 55 homeruns with the Blue Jays while amassing 2,724 hits and 210 homers in his 2,379-game career.

Alomar, who recently missed being inducted into Cooperstown by just eight votes, currently resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife Maria. He has an eight-year old son named Robertito.

Paul Quantrill

"Baseball has been a huge and wonderful part of my family's life, so getting the call from St. Marys created a lot of excitement around our home," said Quantrill from his residence in Port Hope, Ontario.

"The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame represents a community that has a true love and respect for our game. I hope my genuine enthusiasm and passion for a kid's game reflects well on the Hall. Thank you for the tremendous honour of representing our baseball community, and we can't wait to be in St. Marys with Robbie and representatives from the Griffith and Roth families this coming June."

Quantrill, born November 3, 1968 in London, Ontario attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was originally drafted in the 26th round in 1986 by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and then again by the Boston Red Sox in the sixth round in 1989. The rubber-armed right-hander's first appearance was with the Red Sox on July 20, 1992, and his final game was on September 27, 2005 with the Florida Marlins. In between, he played for Philadelphia, Toronto (his longest stint with one team, from 1996-2001), Los Angeles, the New York Yankees, and San Diego.

Quantrill even toed the rubber for Team Canada during the 2006 inaugural World Baseball Classic. He also coached Team Canada in the 2009 WBC along with 2009-CBHFM-inductees Ernie Whitt, Larry Walker and Bernie Soulliere, and assisted Greg Hamilton with the Canadian Junior National Team as well.

Known for his spot location and nasty sinkerball, Quantrill appeared in 386 games with the Blue Jays from 1996-2001 (4th overall), where he won 30 games and saved 15, compiling a 3.67 ERA. 64 of his career 841 appearances were starts, and the majority of the rest were middle and late-game relief. He chalked up 68 wins, 21 saves, and a 3.83 ERA over his 14-year career, striking out 725 over 1,255 innings.

"Q", as he is known by friends and teammates, was the Blue Jays Pitcher of the Year in 2001 and was named to the All-Star team. He led the American League in games pitched that season with 80, and his .846 winning percentage that season (11 wins, 2 losses) represented the second highest in Blue Jays history. He also led the AL in appearances in 2004 with 86, and led the National League in appearances in 2002 (86) and 2003 (89). He led the AL in "Holds" with 32 in 2002. Both his 841 career appearances and 89 game appearances in the 2003 season are Canadian records.

Quantrill's only complete game happened to be a shutout, when the Red Sox rookie allowed only a single by Jay Buhner and a double by Mackey Sasser, both in the second inning, as he went on to strike out six in blanking the Seattle Mariners 6-0 on July 4, 1993.

Quantrill has been married to his wife Alyson for 16 years, and they have a son Cal (14) and two daughters, Reese (12) and Avery (8).

Calvin Griffith

"To be remembered a full decade after his death is a true honour for my father," said Clark Griffith from his home in Minneapolis.

"This is just fantastic news, and all of us our very proud that his legacy remains strong and will carry forward in St. Marys."

Born Calvin Robertson on December 1, 1911 in Montreal, brother of 2007-CBHFM-inductee Sherry Robertson, he was the nephew of Clark Griffith, a former major leaguer and owner of the Washington Senators. Calvin was from a poor family and when his natural father Jimmy Robertson died, Clark Griffith began raising Calvin and then adopted him in 1924. The youngster became a baseball junkie under his uncle's tutelage, and was known to have spent countless hours in the living room figuring out batting orders and farm team acquisitions to help the team as a youngster. Calvin played baseball and basketball at Staunton Military Academy from 1928 to 1933, and then baseball at George Washington University beginning in 1933. Following that, he managed in the minor leagues in Chattanooga and Charlotte from 1937 to 1941. He moved into several administrative positions throughout the organization, including secretary-treasurer and then vice president beginning in 1942. By the early 1950's, Calvin was basically running the Senators' day-to-day operations, and he was handed the ownership of the team after the senior Griffith's death in 1955.

Calvin Griffith was instrumental in bringing the club from Washington to Minneapolis in 1961, where he served 24 more years as president and principal owner of the Minnesota Twins. The Twins won three AL West titles under his reign (1965, '69, '70), one AL pennant (1965), and they hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 1965, the year that Calvin was awarded the AL's Executive of the Year award. He was inducted into the Twins' Hall of Fame in 2000, and the organization named the team MVP award after him. Canadian Justin Morneau won that award in 2006 and 2008. There are currently a row of seats in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome named "Calvin's Seats," which are used to host underprivileged families at Twins home games.

When Carl Pohlad purchased the Twins for $38 million in 1984, Griffith cried at the signing of the agreement. He spent most of his final years in Minnesota, still attending Twins games and serving as an icon on the Minneapolis sports scene.

Both Calvin and his father were knows for some famous one-liners.

His father Clark, who is inducted in Cooperstown, once said about his Senators, "Fans like homeruns, and we have assembled a pitching staff to please our fans!"

Calvin was quoted saying "He'll either be the best manager in baseball, or the worst," after giving a young Billy Martin his first job as a manager.

But his sense of humour was hidden during contract negotiations. Pitcher Bert Blyleven offered this story about negotiating with Griffith. Agents were not a part of baseball at that time, so players had to negotiate with Griffith one on one.

"You would go into his office and he would sit in a high chair behind a high desk and you would sit on a couch that sank down, so it was like you were looking up about ten feet at this big owner. He would then basically tell you what you were going to make the next year, because that is what he thought you were worth, period."

Griffith passed away on October 20, 1999 in Melbourne, Florida. He was survived by his wife Belva, his son Clark, his daughters Corrin Pillsbury and Clare Griffith, his sister Mildren Cronin, and his brother Billy Robertson.

Allan Roth

"My father's induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is a great thrill for my mother, and a huge honour for our entire family, and we will be proud to participate in St. Marys" said Allan's son Michael from his home in Los Angeles.

"We are well aware that baseball has a very long and rich history in Canada. My dad was baseball's pre-eminent statistician, working with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers, but he originally fell in love with baseball as a child in Montreal and enjoyed seeing the Royals when he could. As a young man, he was thrilled watching the exploits of a young infielder named Jackie Robinson, and my father joined the Dodgers organization in 1947, the very same year that Jackie broke the colour barrier. My father then went on to a 45-year career working in Major League Baseball, but it all started in Canada."

Allan Roth, born in Montreal on May 10, 1917, made a pitch to Branch Rickey in 1944 that made the case for opinions such as on-base percentage being more important than batting average.

"And, wouldn't it help a manager to know, for example, that a certain batter hit .220 against right-handed pitchers and .300 against lefties?", Roth asked.

Rickey became intrigued, and his hiring of Roth in 1947 initiated a trend that has made the personal computer an essential element of an MLB clubhouse's paraphernalia.

Roth did stats for the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers until 1964 and developed the RBI percentage (batting average with runners in scoring position). He charted every pitch and did the requisite calculations either in his head or with a simple calculator, insisting on working by hand throughout his career. He began working the NBC and ABC games of the week until 1990, feeding pertinent information to the broadcasters in the booth such as Al Michaels.

"Long before there was Mary Poppins, there was Allan Roth," said the legendary Vin Scully.

"If you had some question that came to you in the middle of a game, he would reach down into his bag and the next thing you knew, you'd have your answer. It was marvelous!"

Roth once said, "Baseball is a game of percentages; I try to find the actual percentage."

He was featured in a 10-page story in Life Magazine in 1954, and became the editor of "Who's Who in Baseball" from 1955-71.

"Allan Roth was as vital to Branch Rickey as Robin was to Batman," said New York Times writer Alan Schwarz.

Still today, there remains a Los Angeles chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) named after Allan Roth.


State of Franchise Notes

First off thanks to Jordan Bastian and other season ticket holders for tweeting through out the event.

I've collected some tweets and I'll post my comments on them.

Cito, on new front office: "I see the same work habits as the people who were here when we won."
- Umm, great...thanks for the quote Cito...the front office feels the same as in the 90's. This has got to mean we'll win the division. This makes me feel muuuuch better about the 2010 Jays!

AA: If Jays hadn't made commitment to John Buck, they would've looked more seriously at bringing back Rod Barajas, who is still a FA.
- I bet that makes John feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Damon News: The 2nd biggest story of the nite:

Anthopoulos: "I dont want to get your hopes up." But Jays have talked internally about Damon, esp with need at leadoff.
Jays have talked to Johnny Damon's agent. Will there be a second call to Boras on Damon? Anthopoulos: "It's very hard to say right now."
AA on saying Jays have talked about Damon: "I saw Jordan using his phone. I knew he was tweeting it. Let's see how many calls I missed." AA got phone out, had seven messages. "Hey, not my fault."
AA, on telling fans about Damon talks: "You guys will go on mlbtraderumors.com tonight and it'll be everywhere. I'll get hammered on it."
AA: "We've got Lyle Overbay at 1B and our priority would be to have Adam Lind as more of a DH. That's why a guy like Damon has come up."
That quote from AA was in relation to the Jays discussing Delgado. He'd have to be a DH -- the spot AA would prefer Lind to remain in.
- This tells me that the Boy Wonder checks 1 Blue Jays Way.  Boy Wonder make this happen! I'm all over this, I'd love to see this happen as I've posted in the past.

Anthopoulos: Marcum has no restrictions; McGowan moves to mound tomorrow. Trainers say McGowan "looks outstanding."
- This makes me excited. But now I read this again, how can he look "outstanding" if he isn't even throwing from the mound yet? Either way, like to see Chops back in the rotation.

Cito: "Closer is kind of up in the air. We have two or three guys down there that can do it."
- Annnnnd one or two guys might not be here by the start of the season.

Buck: "You werent supposed to notice that," when fan asked about new turf being installed in stadium.
- That's cool, we had Astroturf for 15 years and after 5 years of Fieldturf we're upgrading again. We looking to find something to slow the ball down a bit to help our defenders?

Cito was pretty much lobbying for a Delgado return to Toronto all night. AA has said in the past Delgado wasn't a fit. Kept neutral tonight.
Cito, on Delgado: "If there's some way to bring Carlos back here, I'd love to see him back here."
- Can't say I'm shocked by this one, Cito trying to get an old school Cito player. Plus it says, hey, I want Carlos and if you're upset we didn't get him, it's not MY fault.

But the truly biggest news to come out of the night is...

Fan asks Beeston why he's wearing socks - straying from his reputation. Lots of laughs.
- Beeston was wearing socks? Well what the hell does this mean for the season?

I kid of course about the Beeston thing, glad to see the event seemed light hearted and fun.

Lists are like assholes, everybody's got one

           Still drinking the kool aid

KLaw actually expects me to PAY to read his bullshit?  He reports something and the entire baseball community collectively laughs at him.  He lost whatever credibility he had left with his peers after his 2009 NL Cy Young voting.  SI's Jon Heyman gave him the #dumbsportswriters hashtag on Twitter as a results of his ballot.  I guess he couldn't bring himself to vote for Carpenter after he and J.P let him walk for NOTHING.   Even his buddy J.P eventually figured it out: "He’s become a writer. It doesn’t take long. Keith Law is officially an idiot.”
King Jordan also wrote about it: "It's so comical that I don't know whether to laugh or to throw up," 

Honestly, I don't know who to believe: J.P. or Klaw?

Is there a third option?

Here's his list for free which is about what it's worth.  I'll delete two teams, so I guess it is no longer a complete list!  I think you can fill in the blanks on your own.  ;)  Go ahead and sue me for the $6.95 a month if you wish......but somebody else did it first.

1. Texas
2. Boston
3. Tampa
4. Cleveland
5. Atlanta
6. Baltimore
7. Chicago Cubs
8. Colorado
9. Kansas City
10. Cincinnati
11. San Diego
12. Florida
13. Minnesota
14. Oakland
15. New York Mets
16. Toronto
17. Detroit
18. Pittsburgh
19. Los Angeles Dodgers
21. Seattle
22. Los Angeles Angles
23. Washington
25. New York Yankees
26. Milwaukee
27. Arizona
28. Houston
29. St. Louis
30. Chicago White Sox

Some reactions from the cheap seats.

For the sake of comparison here is what MLB Fanhouse is saying, a day sooner, for free.

Later today he has a Top 100 Prospects in baseball list coming out.  I wonder how long it's going to take me to find that one?

But you're a strange animal, I got to follow

So what the fuck are we going to do with Dustin Michael McGowan?

He was drafted by us in the first round, 33rd overall, in the 2000 Amateur Draft.  He will be 28 when the 2010 season starts.  For his career, he is 20 - 22 with a 4.71 ERA.  In 2007, his last full season of play he made 27 starts and held batters to a .230 batting average good for 4th best in AL.  He possess 4 above average pitches: a mid 90's fastball with good sink, a change up, a curveball and a slider.  He has 3.113 years of Major League Service Time and will not become eligible for free agency until 2013.

He was unable to throw a pitch for us in 2009 and has battled various injuries over the course of his career.

July 9, 2009: Surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his left knee
July 31, 2008: Surgery to repair fraying of the labrum in his shoulder - Debridement surgery
May 13, 2004: Surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament - Tommy John surgery

He also has Type 1 diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes is the worst form of the illness, which has no known cure. McGowan receives a daily shot of insulin to regulate his blood sugar levels, and he will do so for the rest of his life unless it happens to get worse. If the disease progressed, McGowan could be forced to wear an insulin pump 24 hours per day.

Earlier this month some positive news came out.  It was reported that he was feeling good and was ready to resume pitching off a mound.  He indicated that he was looking forward to spring training and has hopes of being in the starting rotation.

“I feel good. My shoulder feels great. I’m throwing again and looking forward to getting back on the mound,” McGowan said.  On a scale of one to 100 percent, McGowan rated his fitness high. “Oh, I would say I’m somewhere around 85 percent.”

Great news! 

There is only one major problem that I can see, he is out of options.  So he had better be ready to go this spring.  He will be throwing off a mound tomorrow and needs to pass this major test if there is any chance of him making the opening day roster.  I doubt the brain trust would risk exposing him on waivers because someone would surely claim him.  He has to much potential not to take a chance on him.  So what do we do with him?  Does this mean he breaks camp with the team?  If so, where does he fit in? 

His arm stamina must be at an all time low.  He will need some time to build it up, especially if he is a starter.  I'm not sure if he will have time this spring to get it where it needs to be.  Perhaps he will is better suited for the bullpen to begin the 2010 season, which would only further complicate things there.

Now try to avoid the knee jerk reaction that I guarantee you are about to have.....at some point this season, Dustin McGowan should be our next closer.  I know, it sounds crazy.  But hear me out on this.  The more I think about it the more it works.  He would be able to reduce his inning totals significantly out of the pen.  He could drop one maybe even two of his pitches out of the arsenal, preferably his least effective and/or the one that causes him the most pain in his wing, and still have the stuff to do it.  We are going to need a long term solution in the back end of the pen and I don't see either Frasor or Downs as it.  I wonder if either of them are even going to be on the roster after the July 31st trade deadline due to their looming free agent eligibility.  Why not ease him back in by putting him on mop up duty for a couple of months and then give him a shot?

That being said I would love to see his power arm in the starting rotation along with Brandon Morrow.  You could split them up with a little Shawn Marcum action and follow with a funky lefty like Romero.  That type of mix from power to finesse back to power at the top of your rotation would certainly throw off the opposing hitters timing for a three game series.  Mix in a few southpaws and you might have a little something right there.

I guess it really boils down to how many innings can he pitch without hurting himself and if he has the balls needed to close.  We won't know the answer to those questions for a while.

In the mean time with respect to the waivers situation, fear not, there is a way around having to risk losing him that way.  Many teams attempt to do it with their players that are out of options.  I think it is very interesting to see all the guys who are in that situation suddenly get injured the week before the 25 man roster needs to be set.  The players don't really mind because they still collect their service time as if they were playing.      

So, McGowan starts 2010 on the 15 day disabled list similar to last season.  Then he would stay behind in Dunedin for an extended spring training followed by a trip to the minors on a "rehab assignment".  This might buy the brain trust the few weeks they need before having to make a decision.  In that time, hopefully, all the other major league teams finalize their rosters and our chances of sneaking him through waivers improve if we go that route.  As a nice side bonus, this may be the extra time he needs to build up his arm strength if we intend on keeping him on the major league roster.

Damn this spring is going to be interesting on the mound!  Pitchers and catchers report on February 18th.    


Exciting Home Opener Fact

The Jays 2010 schedule has been up for a while now, but it only occurred to me yesterday, that they open at home versus the Chicago White Sox. That's right folks, the Chicago White Sox. The Jays first ever home opener in 1977 was against those same White Sox. Dougie Ault clubbed two homers that day, who will ever forget that? A sore armed Bill Singer threw that first pitch, and later it was revealed that the home plate umpire was calling that son of a "b" a strike even if it had hopped 29 times before crossing the plate.
Flash forward to 2010. New season, new G.M., new lineup, hell, even a new play-by-play man. Our Jays open up, at home, hosting the Chicago White Sox, with a lineup featuring Jake Peavy & Mark Buehrle on the front end of a formidable rotation, Bubba Jenks on the back end, newly signed Mark Teahen and Juan Pierre and, yes folks, anchoring it all in Centre Field, Alex "Who Gives A Fuck?" Rios.
Am I the only one here who's chomping at the bit here to buy my tickets as close as I can to the toy helicopter flying douchebag and launch tirades at him for a full 9 innings? Hell, even his own manager isn't his biggest fan, when one White Sox beat write asked him what he saw so far from Rios, Ozzie Guillen retorted; "I'm seeing a lot of outs so far".
Here's what the statistician saw from Rios last year.
TEAM  G      AB   R     H    TB   2B   3B  HR  RBI     BB   SO   SB   CS    AVG.     OBP.    SLG.   OPS.
TOR   108  436  52 115 186   25    2    14    62     31    78    19    3     .264     .317     .427    .744
CWS    41     146  11  29   44     6     0     3      9       6       29     5     2     .199     .229     .301    .530
Yes sir, Ozzie was right. He did see a lot of outs. A whole shit bunch of them. 5 lbs in a 3 lb bag my farmer friends would say. His .264 AVG. looks down right silver sluggerish when compared to the move to U.S. Cellular field. Nice to see he kept his 1 K per 5 AB's consistent after the move.
Another 0-5 with 5 k's at the home opener is one of the small victories that Jays fans and media pundits alike will be talking about this season.

I'd break a lot of bats too, if they were my numbers. Or would I? I'm getting paid roughly the same money as Jesus, whether or not I'm hitting...so yes, "who gives a fuck" indeed.
When this is all said and done, I think, when any fan looks back, letting Rios go for nothing could possibly have been the best move of the J.P. era.

Paxton Affair Update

Last month, I briefly touched on the clusterfuck that was the 2009 Amateur Draft and the resulting fall out, specifically the Paxton Affair.  

On Friday January 15th Paxton lost his bid to retain his eligibility for the 2010 college season which begins on February 19th.  In court he said: "I'm uncomfortable with feeling the NCAA makes their own rules and has my life in their hands."

NEWSFLASH: the NCAA does make their own rules.  You can download a copy for free.  And you violated one of them by letting Boras work directly on your deal with Beeston.  Now you pay the price.

If / when these high priced lawyer tricks work, the University of Kentucky will be forced to make a difficult decision.  If they let Paxton play, they risk having the whole season erased from the record books at a later date by the NCAA for rules violations.  If they do not let him play, they lose their best pitcher, get sued and probably don't win many games.

If I was one of his teammates, I would be pissed either way.  I think that Paxton needs to think about them a little bit more instead of only himself.  But based on his comments above, I doubt that they have even entered his mind.

Paxton’s attorney, Richard Johnson, wrote in an email to media the next night that “We have a right to an immediate and accelerated appeal of the denial of the injunction, and we are considering this and other options at the moment.”

Expect to hear more updates soon, this shitshow is far from over.


Why aren't we going after Johnny Damon?

I keep reading that Johnny Damon is running out of options, it got me thinking, why aren’t we looking at Damon?

Sure we’ve got left field options, I’ve read that the Jays would prefer not to have both Lind and Snider in the field at the same time if possible. So put Lind in the DH spot and crush my dream of having Ruiz as our everyday DH. I can live with that if it means putting the best team on the field. Ideally I'd like to see the impending Overbay deal happen as I've said a few times now. But whatever, I'll live with him for one more year. We’ve got Bautista sure, but Damon’s stats are much better. Plus if Johnny comes to Toronto maybe he can grow his Jesus beard once again.

And as Golden Arm just pointed out, we've got a roster spot available. I'd like to see this happen.

Let's compare the two's stats:

Bautista’s 2009 stats.

.235 Avg, 56 BB, 4 SB, 13 HR’s, 40 RBI in 113 games.

Damon’s 2009 stats.

.282 Avg, 71 BB, 12 SB, 24 HR’s, 82 RBI in 143 games.

But in also seriousness, this gives the Jays a MUCH needed lead off man for our lineup since we are clearly missing that. Plus with all these kids on the team if gives us a little more veteran presence and from a team that just won it all. Give him a 3-4 million dollar deal plus incentives. It's a win win for everyone involved. Damon’s running out of options and apparently even considered retirement at one point. Maybe next year he’ll have some better luck getting to a team that has a playoff chance. But at this point Mr. Damon, what other options do you have?

Phillies grab Jays Bocock

According to MLBTradeRumors, the Phillies claimed Brian Bocock off waivers today from the Jays.  We had just claimed him from the Giants on January 7th making his tenure with the team a quick 19 days.  I wonder what changed in that time? Maybe we realized that his hitting makes John MacDonald look like a silver slugger.  

We now have one spot open on the 40 man roster again.  I think a move is coming.....

Boy Wonder speaks on The FAN 590

Click here to listen to the 33 plus minute interview.
Wide range of topics covered and he took phone calls.

On This Day


Your Toronto Blue Jays signed Rod Barajas as a free agent to a one year deal for $1.2 million with an option for $2.5 million in 2009.

Rod was among J.P.'s least favorite people in November of 2006 when the free-agent catcher reneged on a two year agreement with the Blue Jays.

Currently he is still available as a Type B free agent to the highest bidder.  If he does sign, we get a sandwich compensation pick in the upcoming first year player draft in June.

Does anyone know what happens if he does not sign with a team?  Is there a chance we can lose our compensation pick?


Top 100 Prospects of 2010

According to MLB Fanhouse:



Age: 22 | Height: 6-0 | Weight: 185
2009 Stats:
12-3 W-L | 3.19 ERA | 158 IP | 150 SO | 50 BB
Finished '09: Reading (Double-A Eastern League)

Kyle DrabekThe Skinny: If Phillippe Aumont was the pitching prospect with the best stuff in Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee deal, then Drabek is the one with the best combination of stuff and polish. He's undersized, but the 22-year-old has the stuff, bloodlines and feel for pitching to perform at the top of a big-league rotation. Aside from some lingering makeup concerns, Drabek is very close to the total package.


Age: 23 | Bats: L | Height: 6-1 | Weight: 245
2009 Stats:
.293 AVG | 20 HR | 63 RBI | .367 OBP | 1 SB
Finished '09: Sacramento (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

The Skinny: He doesn't bring a lot to the table defensively. He doesn't have a prototypical baseball body. That is the downside of Wallace. The really large upside is his potent left-handed bat. He's going to need to play first base, which also means he's going to need to hit in a big way. Wallace figures to be a perennial .300 hitter with 25-homer power.

RHP Zack Stewart came in at number 60.  Click here for his stats.

It should be noted that none of these guys were in our system prior to July 31st of last year.  Seems as though we are headed in the right direction.  In the next few weeks there will be a lot of these types of lists coming out.  Stay tuned.

The Hammer

A curling reference?  It is winter up here.....

When dealing with their everyday player transactions, all major league baseball teams have the hammer.  They use it sparingly, most often in the offseason due to the overall higher volume of player movement.  During the season it is much more rare to see but it remains a viable option for the brain trust to consider when figuring out what to do with players in certain circumstances.

When a player is designated for assignment or D.F.A, he is immediately removed from his team's 40-man roster and within the next 10 days, traded, released or, if he clears waivers, assigned to the minor leagues.  Typically when a team decides to D.F.A a player, it is because they want to add a player to the 40-man roster via trade or free agent signing.  A club may not designate a player for assignment if the corresponding transaction is to recall a player on optional assignment.

After designating a player for assignment, the club must make one of the following contractual moves:
  • Place the player on waivers
  • Trade the player
  • Release the player
I will attempt to explain each in detail.  Please put on your thinking caps now:

1. Place the player on waivers

Normally when a player is placed on waivers, which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period after being D.F.A, it is for the purpose of outrighting him to one of the club's minor league teamsFor a team to assign a player to the minor leagues, he must first be exposed on irrevocable outright waivers, making him available to the other 29 clubs in reverse order of won-lost record.  If  the player is claimed, he is lost to the claiming team for $20,000.  Irrevocable waivers may not be reversed.  The claiming team pays the player the major league minimum, in 2009 it was $400,000, with his original team paying the balance of his salary.

If no one claims him, he can be released or outrighted to the minors.  A player who is outrighted to the minors is removed from the 40-man roster but is still paid according to the terms of his guaranteed major league contract.  A player may be assigned outright to the minors only once in his career without his permission. Thereafter, he may either 1) reject the assignment and become a free agent, or 2) accept the assignment and become a free agent at the end of the season if he’s not back on the 40-man roster. 

Also, if a player has five or more full years of Major League Service Time, he must give his consent to be assigned to the minors.  If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster.  In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract.

2. Trade the player

Once a player is D.F.A, he may be traded. Some teams have been known to designate players for assignment to increase interest in the player, especially among teams that are not at the top of the list for waivers.  A club interested in acquiring a player who has been D.F.A may try to work out a trade before the player is placed on waivers thus eliminating the possibility he might be claimed by a club with a higher waiver claim priority.

Also, under the "five and ten rule," if a player has ten years of Major League Service Time, the last five with his current team, he cannot be traded without his consent.  

3. Release the player

If a player is not traded, and clears waivers, he may be released from the team. The player is then a free agent and may sign with any team, including the team that just released him. The team that releases him is responsible for the salary the player is owed, less what he is paid by the team that signs him. In practice, that amount is usually a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum salary.

Notable Toronto Blue Jays that have been Designated For Assignment: 

Matt Stairs:  He was D.F.A after the trade deadline had passed in 2008.  This move was done to clear a spot on the 40 man roster for Travis Snider.  By bringing out the hammer, we forced the eventual World Series champ Phillies who were in a race and didn't want Stairsy to be exposed on waivers,  to cough up a player to be named later.  That ended up being Fabio Castro.  He never made it past triple AAA for us and was signed this off season by the Red Sucks.  

Russ Adams:  He was D.F.A after the Jays claimed T.J. Beam off waivers around this time of year last offseason.  He was not claimed on waivers and reported to the minors.  Later he was D.F.A again to make room for Dave Dellucci and subsequently released in July of 2009.  The hammer was brought out twice in one season.

Shea Hillenbrand:  He was D.F.A after a what can only be described as a shitshow right before the trade deadline in 2006.  It was reported that he wrote the famous "ship was sinking" comment on the chalkboard in the clubhouse which made the hammer come out swiftly.  A day later,  Hillenbrand and Vinnie Chulk were shipped off to the Giants in exchange for Jeremy Accardo. 
Curtis Thigpen: He was D.F.A after the Jays claimed Brian Burres off waivers in February of 2009.  The catcher of the future passed through waivers and accepted his minor league assignment.  He was then signed to a minor league deal by the Jays on March 1st but was traded March 27th to Oakland for a player to be named later or cash.  We brought out the hammer to force him off the 40 man roster.   

By all reports, Frank Thomas was not D.F.A and was given his outright release in April of 2008.  I guess we have to call that move the sledgehammer.