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28.01.2019 07:08
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VANCOUVER -- Alex Anthopoulos was a busy man last off-season. David Perron Jersey . The Toronto Blue Jays general manager made a series of bold moves that reshaped the club ahead of what would turn out to be a disastrous 2013 campaign. The lead-up to the 2014 season has been relatively quiet in comparison, with the Blue Jays biggest splash coming when they cut ties with catcher J.P Arencibia and replaced him with free-agent Dioner Navarro. While that deal wasnt not on the same level as the headline-grabbing acquisitions of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey, Anthopoulos says he wont be adding any pieces through trade or free agency unless it fits into the teams model. "We made a lot of big moves early last off-season. It wasnt by design, it just worked out that way," Anthopoulos said Friday. "Weve had a lot of dialogue. Theres still a lot of players out there, just havent been able to line up with respect to a price, whether its trade or free-agent cost. "We do have the ability on some trade fronts to just say Yes. We know what the asking prices are -- just not willing to pay that price. From a free-agent standpoint ... we have been given a price and we just dont necessarily see the value right now." The starting rotation continues to be a point of emphasis after a miserable 2013 that saw Toronto finish last in the American League East after starting the season as World Series favourites. Free agent starters Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez are still on the open market, but Anthopoulos said theres a chance that the rotation could be filled out from within. "We have a lot of candidates and a lot of options. Someone like Brandon Morrow coming back (from injury) is a huge boost for us, some of our young kids that are coming back are certainly going help," he said. "We still have dialogue and try to upgrade but we do have some upside to some of the guys that are coming back." Anthopoulos, who was in town for a luncheon with the single-A Vancouver Canadians, also touched on the New York Yankees signing of Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka earlier this week. The 25-year-old right-hander inked a seven-year deal worth $155 million dollars with Torontos AL East rivals that also includes a $20-million dollar payment to his club team. The Blue Jays, who have an internal policy of not signing player contracts longer than five years, were rumoured to be in the running for Tanakas services early on in the process. "Obviously hes a great starter and there was a lot speculation on where the dollars would go just based on the previous two Japanese starters (Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish)," said Anthopoulos. "I think it was expected that he would go north of (their price tags) -- $175 million, I dont know if anybody predicted that. "Hes very talented and the Yankees certainly got better." Anthopoulos said the Blue Jays use the five-year limit on contracts as "a guideline" but tend to shy away from longer-term deals because they offer clubs very little wiggle room. "Weve held firm on our five-year policy in terms of contracts. When free agents are signing for seven, eight years, then normally thats where we tap out," he said. "We definitely have the resources financially in terms of annual value and salaries and things like that. I think weve proven that with some of the players we have acquired. But just the length of term -- very rarely do those seven-, eight-year deals work out." Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons will be feeling the heat if the Blue Jays stumble out of the gate as the they did in 2013. Fans flocked to Rogers Centre with dreams of a return to the teams glory years of the early 1990s that included two World Series titles, but were instead bitterly disappointed with the product on the field. With pitchers and catchers set to report for spring training on Feb. 17, a repeat in 2014 surely wont fly. "Youre always anxious to try to improve the club and to add to it, but you dont necessarily have to guard against it when you know theres a deal that just doesnt make any sense," said Anthopoulos. "We just dont want to force a deal and do it for the sake of doing it. "We want to make moves that we think are going to help the club. If we have to go more years and dollars than we believe in, people might get excited now but a few months into it we may be regretting that deal and be hamstrung with a contract that we dont want." Custom Authentic Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys . Hoefl-Rieschs exit — from the downhill course into safety nets, then airlifted from the slope by helicopter — left Anna Fenninger of Austria favourite to win her first giant crystal trophy one month after becoming an Olympic champion. James Neal Jersey . -- Challenged for the first time under Major League Baseballs expanded replay system, umpires got it right. http://www.authenticgoldenknightsproshop.com/authentic-deryk-engelland-golden-knights-jersey/ . The Henry Burris-led squad finished second in the East Division before advancing to the Grey Cup where they ultimately fell to the home field advantage wielding Saskatchewan Roughriders.Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals jumps up Monday night when the Indiana Pacers host the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The top-seeded Pacers advanced after a tough seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round. Washington, the fifth seed in the East, moved on with a five-game series victory over the Chicago Bulls. Paul George led the Pacers to victory Saturday night. He had 30 points and 11 rebounds, shot 11-for-23 from the field and was lucky just to be on the floor for the decisive game. George took a few steps onto the court during a skirmish between teammate George Hill and the Hawks Mike Scott in Game 6. Traditionally, that has warranted a suspension, but a slight change in the language of the rule probably kept George from missing the critical contest. "This was a long series," said the Indiana All-Star. "Were happy to get over this hump and get ready for the next task, which is preparing for the Wizards." Roy Hibbert, the Pacers other All-Star this season, had his best game of the series on Saturday. He played sparingly in the later games of the series, but scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked five shots in Game 7. "You always feel for guys on your team that are struggling," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "You do what you can to push them or encourage them, challenge them when they need to. Its like your family, its like your children. You want the best for them. (It was) very gratifying to stay with him and then to see him step up the way he did." The Wizards have been home since Tuesday, which is a pretty lonng wait for a group that doesnt have a ton of postseason experience. T.J. Tynan Jersey. "It is what it is," said Washington coach Randy Wittman. "Whether you like rest, or whether you want to keep going, we dont have a choice." The Wizards held the Bulls to an average of 90 points a game while being led by their dynamic young backcourt of All-Star John Wall and sharp-shooter Bradley Beal. Against Chicago, the leagues best defensive unit in terms of scoring, Wall averaged 18.8 points and 6.8 assists. Beal led the Wizards with 19.8 points on 45 percent shooting from long range. "The main thing is to focus in and know what this team is capable of," said Wall after dispatching the Bulls. Defense is Indianas calling card. The Pacers finished second in the NBA in opponents scoring during the regular season and first in opponents field- goal percentage. The Wizards werent shabby on the defensive side of the ball either. They tied for eighth in the league in fewest points allowed and actually rank first in that category so far during the postseason. The two teams have never met in the postseason and Indiana has owned this series in recent history. The Pacers won two of three this season against Washington, both at home, but the dominance extends far past the 2013-14 campaign. Indiana has won 11 of the last 13 matchups and 15 of the last 19. The Wizards wont be intimidated playing in Indiana, despite being winless in their last 12 trips there, a span dating back to April 2007. Washington took all three road contests in the series against the Bulls. Game 2 will be Wednesday night in Indianapolis. 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