Blue Jays exercise 2014 option on Casey Janssen

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The Blue Jays had an easy call to begin their offseason, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that the club has exercised their $4 million option on closer Casey Janssen for 2014.

After saving 22 games in 25 chances in 2012, Janssen further cemented himself in the closer role this season by compiling a 2.56 ERA, 34 saves, and a 50/13 K/BB ratio over 52 2/3 innings. The 32-year-old quietly owns a 2.46 ERA in 173 appearances dating back to the start of 2011.

Janssen will remain a bargain in 2014, but he’ll be in line for a nice payday next winter if he can remain healthy and effective.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?