2/25/2013 5:38 P.M. ET
JJ, Dickey solid in Blue Jays spring debuts
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays got an up-close look at two of their biggest offseason additions on Monday afternoon as R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson made their spring debuts.
Dickey was charged with two runs over two innings of work, while Johnson made a rare relief appearance and tossed a pair of scoreless frames.
The two eventually will be separated to work on their own schedules, but for now, the club is making sure Dickey is appropriately lined up for next month's World Baseball Classic.
Dickey surrendered four hits and a walk, but his results have to be taken with a grain of salt, considering it was his first outing and there was a strong wind blowing in.
"The last 18 inches of [the knuckleball] is flight, and so if there is wind at your back, it is pushing it into the catcher's mitt before it can make that last little finish," Dickey said. "You're losing maybe one subtle break that either causes him to swing and miss or causes him to weakly hit a ball.
"In three years, I've probably had three or four times that the wind has been at my back. Usually, it's blowing out. That's how the fields are made, but you have to learn to do that."
Johnson struggled with his control early, but he allowed just one hit while striking out two. He threw 19 of his 31 pitches for strikes and was able to use his full repertoire of pitches.
The club's No. 4 starter was able to command his changeup while displaying an impressive slider and a decent curveball for a spring debut. Johnson even used the opportunity to work on a back-door sinker to left-handed hitters, which is something he hasn't done in the past.
"Same as my other sinker, but just locating it on [the left] side of the plate," Johnson said. "For me, it's hard, because I'm on the third-base side of the rubber. So, getting it all the way over there and sticking it in there, it's going to be a little tough.
"Guys on the first-base side have a little easier time getting it there because it's not going as far."
Melky to face additional scrutiny this season
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Melky Cabrera will find himself under a microscope this season following last year's positive test for a banned substance.
Cabrera received a 50-game suspension while still a member of the Giants, but the punishment for his misdeeds doesn't stop there. Players are typically only subjected to random drug tests, but Cabrera is guaranteed to receive much tighter scrutiny.
"Everybody is in every single [drug-trusting] draw," said Michael Weiner, who is the executive director of the MLB Players' Association. "There is separate testing for reasonable cause, where a player will get tested more; there is what we call follow-up testing for players who have tested positive.
"A player who has tested positive previously will have six additional tests besides his random tests. Melky Cabrera, because he tested positive last year, has, over the course of this season, six follow-up tests that will be scheduled at random. In addition to that, Melky will have whatever random tests that come up as part of the program."
Weiner was in Dunedin on Monday morning for his annual meeting with the Blue Jays' players. He uses the opportunity to clarify questions regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement while going over topics such as drug testing, free-agent compensation and the current economics in baseball.
The 51-year-old Weiner also provided reporters with another explanation behind Toronto's busy offseason. The Blue Jays drastically increased their payroll during the offseason, and while the league's upcoming television contract has been tabbed as a primary factor, Weiner also had another theory.
Weiner pointed to the market-disqualification provision contained within the recent CBA as the big reason why Toronto has increased its salary by almost 50 percent in just one offseason.
"Large markets -- and Toronto is objectively considered to be a large market -- have their revenue sharing phased out through the course of the basic agreement," Weiner said. "Toronto has received substantial revenue sharing over the last few years, and as this agreement goes, if their revenue doesn't increase, they won't.
"Put differently, as Toronto increases its revenue, they don't pay any tax on it. They don't lose in revenue sharing, so there's a great incentive for these market disqualification teams to increase their revenues. By all projections, the Blue Jays will be looking at a large increase in revenue over the course of 2013 and beyond. That's a great thing for Toronto and for baseball in Canada."
Blue Jays claim Anderson off waivers from White Sox
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays added some much needed depth at first base by claiming Lars Anderson off waivers from the White Sox on Monday.
Anderson spent eight games with the Red Sox last season, and a total of 30 in his career, but the majority of his work has come in the Minor Leagues, where he is a career .272 hitter with 76 homers and 415 RBIs.
Toronto had a void at first base following the news earlier this spring that prospect David Cooper is expected to miss a substantial amount of time with a back injury.
Surgery is a possibility for Cooper, and while there is no timetable for his return, manager John Gibbons recently labeled the condition as "serious." It's possible that Cooper will be unable to make an appearance at any point this season.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Anderson, the Blue Jays placed right-hander Kyle Drabek on the 60-day disabled list. Drabek, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is out until at least the All-Star break.