WEEI>On Demand>>Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous talks trades with the Hot Stove Show

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous talks trades with the Hot Stove Show

Nov 23, 2012|

Rob Bradford, Alex Speier and Kirk Minihane talk with Alex Anthopolous to discuss the blockbuster deal he made with the Florida Marlins to acquire Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, among others as well John Farrell's move from Toronto to Boston.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

But still showed W yeah our guest right now is the general manager that from the Blue Jays out -- him topless Aleks it's Turkmen and rob Bradford Boston or you see you -- Great I don't Alex what exactly do you do on Thanksgiving and I know that you're not only working that you are Canadian and and now in week basically shut it down today about what is it just business as usual -- you up there. You know we shut it -- -- welcome any -- I love the holiday I just. Okay it's what he can how can do better holiday Olympics you're allowed to leave work a few days before the holiday to torch. Football and the wives are fine but it definitely try and finally hadn't. I think it's an unbelievable car they and it's one that our committee artist of all but two games pretty much shut down. And everything giving I mean what was. High school friends that. Notable group -- Montreal a title together and given that move and it's -- go grab lunch -- for the games just. Hang out for three or four hours and I'll just try to enjoy it as well also a lot of all the holiday as well even though it's not the same with respect -- family stuff. That's exactly -- -- the -- does not a friend and so. Obviously you've been the story here the offseason and so -- baseball -- back story on the trade -- brought -- Reyes and Johnson. And early in the rest there when did you start. Conversations. With Miami when you start to think it was a reality. You know we have to vote. Johnson last summer and I asked about it early in the offseason and and consensus Miami was promoted to do and I think there are still trying to work through some things. Tying -- manager -- so and so. I -- GM meetings they've reached out to. Larry pine faster just ask -- if we can talk about Johnson and so on. And he's sitting there while we need one where there are so setup meeting. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And which our communities very direct and hearing do what you want from us and we thought of the prices a little steep so. The depth particularly if you have some of these type of players to get a -- just about any to expand. You know we're certainly get any two with two to expand it. -- and guys obviously like Reyes and earlier guys -- have interest in and from there it just you know -- but I needed to talk to ownership policy about the doors involve them. Political horse field that that night about potentially adding the other to -- He said it would take their two that he would be CP identity approval from the earlier and I just continued talking and that was to move pretty fast against out of -- -- sixty days. Policy -- you talked about the dollars and I think I read something where Batista said that Y one point you say you told him. So listen we're gonna make a move at some point your time here a big move in and what made this the right move in the right time to do it. Know with Jose on the average that we're gonna make a huge trade I think you know the promise was told those guys that. And when when I was excited that you guys -- notably the chance to win and so on. We clearly building towards that but that we traded opening day starter two years in a row the first one for sure -- greatly -- Protecting -- Richards shot market that we got just prospects back at the time so understandably so do that Batiste has democracy and teachers look at where we. -- and we've already stripped down and prospects for -- -- to look. You know we would be signing you in the so the promise was made as a rookie I -- I -- the most of them need to sell you on what we have here too Smart guy you see yourself. You know the talent around you and who we have and some of the guys that are on all the way into the upside of the market and our ownership and -- time as we build. Right transaction takes place it could be a free agent could be a trade I expect hill to climb steadily so. We go to the Dolphins have taken a big trade was gonna cry just wanted to address the rotation. That was going to be the priority if it was just just just the would've been fine but. He kind of took college itself that have to do just -- Johnson was still the sitting here it just isn't what's -- other trades and other free agents and we were satisfied at shortstop but. -- -- is -- that have always laughed as the player he just brings a lot of things he can't find. And obviously a guy like -- just with what he brings especially the the other team is we have to that they would both be in all three guys in part Bonifacio was really. The guy that the whole outlook to deal for largest in the pretty exciting player to have his books explicitly positions so. It took a little time but it was this was not expecting that we didn't plan on making the big trade it just worked out that way. When you look at Reyes and and you know I think most people view him as a centerpiece of the deal. In look at his contract I -- the final three years he makes about 66 million dollars given his age is going to be at that time that position he plays. Was at a real road block for you look at the Tribune took the contract that's a lot of money for pay for a shortstop and as you know late -- her serve early mid thirties and appointed as the. It's certainly has and done you know he'll he'll he'll be going to the 34 in the last year the deal. And if you look at some of the other there's no question it's obviously higher its highest now and I think that's partly what makes him available but. I think with the way the game is going to try to project at how things are starting to move. I think revenues are clearly starting the -- look at some of the TV deals and sell it and I -- -- think the needle start to move on some of these players or some of the contracts are going and I do think there -- tables set up to you handle. Protect the contract and he's the only one that. Believe that's the only large contract we have that's for five years. You know starting in 2013 we don't have any seven year deal with things like that so the minority race at the time he was. Fourteen million or 181000017. Million absolutely. It's certainly can happen but -- the -- time would you rather have the players than not have the player and I think because it's a premium to position player. Shortstop she's such a scarce commodity. And to begin with and and you add in the fact that he's a leadoff hitter which just by themselves a lead off hitters Soeharto department. And -- you bring in the the component while -- stolen bases contact ability doesn't strikeout much does have actually getting pretty good power. For a smaller guy you look comfortable participated with the Mets and the morals and outcome of the -- -- ball ballpark I think the Powell put up a little more. And probably more important than anything else and -- energy level that that he brings. I think will rub off on his other teammates and Bob Fosse is the same -- so that we really wanted to try to get more high energy players on this roster. So I think I would say yes. The example I can -- I think for years. He'll Manny Ramirez it won't start may have been overpaid he is performing and having MVP seasons with Boston between millions and mean we -- were sixteen at the time unfortunate seventeen but still possible rather have to play than not -- the player -- that's ultimately what it comes down to for us. -- our -- last LSU's winter meetings that you guys acquired Sergio Santos and it really caught everyone off guard is no one had a sniff of that and I think that that was a good job by an organization to keep it. On the down low and and not let other teams get involved. And every and how important was it to keep this things under -- to assert its tickets it after the fact we hear that the Red Sox were in on Reyes or not Johnson. But certainly I would imagine is a competitive advantage to not let teams know that it's a trade of this magnitude. Are I think 100% as a competitive -- it -- think. I've seen it -- were teams jump -- Try to slow slow things up for confuse things media gets a hold things they start writing articles and once started can be influenced in order can be influenced. And it doesn't allow you really deal work in the one thing about the Marlins in this just based on the past experiences with them. And make a decision to do so and they're gonna move money in payroll of players there if you look at the past two years other than last off season which is. The one time they did things that was out of character for them signing over the trees is. When he made moves with players' salaries they're pretty aggressive and in the early in the off season and they're very direct you know what they want. Kind of know Larry will make make -- move and he'll move fast and he won't shop that he won't call around. And so from that step for forward quote this is a great opportunity for us -- -- addresses a lot of fun needs. -- was major value for us in getting it done early in the offseason because it gives us much more clarity from appeals standpoint from the other holes that we need to sell. It allowed just -- clearly take advantage of its still the next two months of the off season the hardest thing. -- sometimes you have too many options in too many alternatives. And you become paralyzed and before you know what the off season really starts -- -- steaming into December. Haven't made a decision because you know -- -- decision middle of -- five more so all those things added up and again this was the perfect deal ferocity of the players -- the right fit for us the contract like -- -- able to handle the salaries. Had given up -- young players is hard to do that. It didn't hurt us too bad where we didn't have any young players left so it's something that we needed to to pursue and really go after. When you obviously is this said drawn a little bit after it was first reported were you nervous at all that. By the commissioner was gonna step in there and enact any kind of power. No because I mean we have to people that are opposite would not on the trade side no doubt that it was a very very deal. How hard it was hard to give up a lot of those young players so. I understand that. The reaction of South Florida reactions of some of these guys that signed that we need to take all that component away with a -- to had been in the stadium. I think from a baseball standpoint both teams got what they awarded them. You know we know that one of these -- in China to be very very good. And you know the only saving grace for us is for now there in the National League east so they don't have to come back and honestly as for. The immediate time that I was concerned at all that it was a get a true because I think it was a very good baseball trade him that we had a lot of debate internally. I would that we we should do it but ultimately made the decision. I think another component to make this deal for us -- was where our team is right now and how at times -- two key players for a certain that a casino and Jose Batiste. The two guys that are thirty and 31 years old and they're in the prime of their career and I don't know the next time if ever. As a GM of the to have 240 home run hitters in the middle of the lineup and -- under control for the next four years in the prime of their career and we have to take advantage of that. And is his greatest some of these young players are. I don't know that there are gonna get up here and it'll be impact full big league players -- time to take advantage of those two guys being in the -- here for years now will there already gone. So I want to take advantage of having those two premium -- -- -- middle of the order power hitters are so hard to find in particular receive any. And day it'll Ortiz all those years in the at least that was incredible -- combo and I think Batiste and concealment which has to be comparable to those two. We did general manager -- -- topless on the hot stove show on ninety threesome. Alex before 2011 Melky Cabrera had never had eight slugging percentage I think over for sixteen in -- he has over 752011. With Kansas City -- hundred. Lester attempts as -- nine of 64 gets busted. What was the thought process and in behind signing in two years sixteen million did you view him as the player before the last couple years or does that. As a thought you know come across -- we -- bringing a guy like amber. And it really look at last year and are they anyone expected you know 900 plus so well PS in the this season he had there and I think you know we're looking at somewhere that we think can I can do what he did in 2011. What with the Royals and you know what we like about -- has. A lot of improves our defense in the -- field and the protection of the other three outfield spots is a very rare that you can get. Well good hitter they can play off in the outfield spot it's almost kind -- have to put up at a campus right because the arm strength isn't there in the press currently an analyst. He brings the artistry he's obviously good enough to play the field -- spot. Haven't actually given their reading -- fielder but. If we have to play in this for a multitude -- certainly -- And the other thing that -- quite a bit -- a -- -- into the strike out much and we have a lot of that is very high in strikeouts. And nailed those front of the rotation starters which is dominated the strikeout for fourteen and and we just couldn't get anything going because he can manufacture. Runs because it could put the ball in play so some of the at least put the ball play and have a pretty good contact ability. And on top -- that he does that's pretty good foot speed and he runs fairly well capitalism statement -- not a burner. They can do some of those things haven't laughed like a comfortable with the -- time and energy player. And the -- again notable of those guys that you could have over the course is excellent season. On the field and can just -- I think our club so we compliment that we need to come in and carry the load. Don't look at -- as the two hole hitter between parades and Kim Batiste. But the other thing he brings me to put this -- this which has ability he can be a great compliment possible and particularly that of the lineup to. And so we were -- never had issues Cortland even last year. But again I just solidified it to -- it and -- -- -- more contact ability and solidify ourselves defensively. I -- a lot of -- and we know what the push for a two year deal. Just strictly looking at. With the free agent market look like at the end of thirteen and we were real excited ability options were going to be so. Without having bulky here for two years in -- cabinet post stability would call him last Batiste. They can force. House last question from me I just looking at the landscape the American League east. And seemingly how the the Yankees and the Red Sox in particular taking slightly different approaches it may -- they have in the past. Did that factored in all the say hey you know what this is our time to make this type of move or does it just a factor. You know you're gonna do what you feel is best for the team no matter what the other team to -- And we never reacted -- that we can't we can never react to what the other teams you don't want to both incredibly low round. We although the resources that the that the people -- been you know they're always -- to be detained but that's sort of a -- here but. I think we all are expected to be a great team coming in and -- and so I hope you are able bounce back. I think it's an -- now. We just want to get better and I you know it was not from last season what exactly three games and I told our on our staff we had a panel meeting. At the end of the year and we start to overstep in the stadium and so on and can talk -- with the unseasonably and I just told them right to know our little village who lived through the -- wins and -- more particularly games it's a it makes for a walk dumber and I don't little witnesses that again and we know we motivated at the front office to turn things around but probably more so than ever. Because it's it's not a -- way to spend our -- so and we do feel we have a lot of talent we have a good team we just needed to make tweaks and tell right now if we have to open reasonable we have we feel OK about it. I would definitely not flawless probably don't start to -- -- and continue to try to get better. You know Alex I don't know the reaction up there with the hiring of Gibbons here's kind of seen -- a bit ahead stretcher 500 record some incidents with Hillenbrand and really there. I guess won't Y John. -- I think it's a great Manhattan's great manager obviously that's first and foremost and I know. The time to throw a lot of people that I don't know where I expect that they'll maybe criticism -- stretcher. It didn't win any you know commit to make a play -- still the World Series. When you look at and -- 500 when he was here so that was back when the American -- league east was basically ruled by. Opportunity for the Red Sox winning 95 plus games each here just. Great teams. And do the tables were significantly higher than where to Ottawa to -- level significantly -- total that I think is pretty incredible achievement with what he -- to work with. To be five on the agenda that time. You know and also that because you know some of the -- with the players in the channel -- had issues -- -- -- Issues with with the Diamondbacks. And you know I that I would expect you know what he did when he was here I want a manager to react I would prefer that you -- let slide with Ted Lilly. I've got to -- it showed up before -- detectable from. Got a mountain happily he'll get in here would do wells to the ball on the left field -- at a news and told them. And it's you know pinned David Wells up under the tunnel property of full -- -- -- good -- -- and so -- and so. That's not deviated from him being I think you'll hear a lot of former players say that about them. But I think taking all that away. Prior slow play informing connects with them. Staff looks to work for an he's very exciting game man manager I don't know that it was barely anytime that we ever questioned the -- he made -- It's probably good that he would -- have valuable time I think that the one loss to Rebecca overall. Was as much a reflection of comedy has that was good but not good enough but I played a tremendous shot but he was here so we're gonna -- over I would look to. Believe that the -- -- I was gonna go for it felt was right in order or evoked. PR splash or trying to get fans excited we can't -- -- in its winning. And try to -- -- it helps for the multiple games you know that was the decision that I was gonna make. -- to take some time in the holiday the joints. Are really sounds. How to act up was the additional manager joining us. In Jumbo from those two interviews rob like that this was a best Thanksgiving baseball so maybe of all time it's. God I think they're both both guys are pretty -- pretty interesting and gave a lot of good information at this. -- -- -- -- -- -- explanation of why they did that trade and how that came into effect in. This -- the whole timing of it is fascinating to me because. For all these years all these years -- been predicting the Blue Jays are gonna finish in first place that. That they said now we know we have this money we have this money we have this money in the -- to the point to be -- you. Where you just feel like no they don't have the money that you say that to get the fan base excited. Well you know they had a money game is not a lot of times where you see a team with that type of payroll also and jump to the level that they did -- -- just. I get in approval from the ownership you know what was interesting answer for me was about Reyes and I think you know the last three years are over -- 22 million. But -- address that fairly and that you know revenue was changing. And if he can stay healthy he's a 1415 million dollar a year player for them and he's making twenty million up in the world. It and I'll tell you another thing he said which -- is the Batista Encarnacion. Analogy to the Ortiz and Manny. About hey you know what we can't waste this we can't we have this and we can't waste it. Be in that's why we have to make our move now is to come along lines of what we hear all timer. But Tom Brady and everything else but. Hey listen it is all easier admitting it that's great to me if you feel like you have to make -- move because you have two special players and whoever thought Edwin Encarnacion was going to be special player. But he was a race that's a that's a rare player and based. That's the thing about that trade deal for me that -- that would concern me if a product of a guy coming -- a great year current SE -- -- you don't know you bring in Johnson you don't know. You're bringing in burly he's been terrible against Seattle -- bring in Reyes who is in Russia was healthy but that's a real health problems is just too many holes for me to see -- work. Yet all those it. I think that yeah it's as a gamble worth trying in -- thanks for the NR do I do I -- if you're gonna get the approval from the ownership group. Because this -- you have to get their fan base excited I think now if they start out immediately find themselves in last place the end of may. You're gonna drop crickets because people assailants the same -- Blue Jays pitcher but I think in dispute asking about what -- interesting about the other interview or both interviews John Farrell. I think the question you asked about Alfredo service it is going to be something is gonna keep coming up. About how they're gonna approach it and it it sounds like there are hoping that to get him righty and hoping he'd -- fine. The guy the that was valuable couple years ago. But the way that Farrell talked also -- -- Sally Hughes and handled with kid gloves he's well I -- -- went around saying he basically said that there have been some rules -- -- fall he's gone is that kind of that you took from. Yes and I think that that's almost if you're gonna keep this guy if first you have -- defense he's gone yet you have to do it because. It wasn't only this year in many examples this year but also there was instances with the Franco ordered regime. Which didn't matter at the time to -- -- -- and so so he had no I think that. -- that I think it was an encouraging sign terms the way that he subject -- -- -- you see your over the next week back on that there's probably we're gonna go into so we're gonna have next week's show. And then the next week after that the winner means the end of the winter meetings. And and this is where things start heating up the GM meetings -- that was displaying foundation. But now we're starting C player signed the Kuroda thing I think and I think that. Obviously there's a couple key outfielders out there BJ Upton Michael Bourn. I think Napoli you'll take awhile to get signed by the I think there's once a couple of these other guys could -- UNC a lot more access we have two of the. Meetings now do for now thanks Alex and topless and John -- for Jones had a date producing and rob Bradford Alex -- -- we'll see you here next week. I'm not stove show on 937 W media.

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