Good Friday morning Caps’ fans.
If you were absorbed with the close of the English Premier League transfer window, you may have missed how the end of the Caps’ summer transfer foray went ... a little bit sideways.
The good news is that the front office, presumably after reading my column Monday, made an inquiry for Montreal forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel. The bad news is a deal was not completed and there is some controversy as to why AJH is not wearing a Caps’ jersey.
It was initially reported, primarily by Impact reporters, but with corroboration by Vancouver media members, that negotiations broke down over the Caps declining to pay Jackson-Hamel’s salary for the remainder of the year.
On first glance, this seems to be a classic case of Whitecaps’ front office mismanagement. Maybe after negotiating so many loan deals, Vancouver straight up forgot that you need to pay players’ salaries? Or maybe there wasn’t that much excitement about AJH in the first place (a miscalculation in my book but whatever)?
But wait! At a press conference yesterday, Marc dos Santos denied those reports, saying there were advances made by the Whitecaps but that they were much less formal than was initially reported, with talks never really reaching the “who is going to pay the salary” stage.
Some very interesting stuff from MDS at training this morning. Clearly not happy with the Jackson-Hamel rumours from last night. Called them "lies". They had looked at him but he was not in their plans. #vwfc— AFTN (@aftncanada) August 8, 2019
MDS is not someone that lies habitually about the state of affairs when it comes to transfers (he was always a straight shooter on Ali Adnan talks, for instance) so I have no real reason to doubt his sincerity here. The question remains as to why the Caps didn’t more aggressively pursue what was likely to be a low-risk striker option to play alongside Joaquin Ardaiz and Fredy Montero for the rest of the season before taking on a greater role next year.
But I digress...
The Caps also reportedly passed up bringing in Kelyn Rowe, who instead migrated to Real Salt Lake, and would have been a good fit—I’ve always thought of him as an undervalued player who could do well in a bigger role, in the right system.
The good news? The Caps appear to have brought in a free agent signing, although the identity of that mystery man remains to be seen.
MDS described the signing as more of a short term fix. Player won’t feature in Portland. Will most likely arrive Monday. https://t.co/fUsYHjVG0k— Corey Basso (@CDBasso) August 8, 2019
Why a “short term fix” is being acquired for a team that’s trying to starve off the wooden spoon remains to be seen but at this point I’m all for throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks.
Overall, this was a bit of a disappointing transfer window but it also makes sense not to saddle yourself with some dumb contracts (Jordon Mutch, Efrain Juarez) for players who wind up not fitting the system and you have to move on at the end of the year. Keeping some flexibility for what promises to be another busy offseason isn’t the worst thing, even though it is also disappointing that the team was unable to hit on its biggest targets.
Onto the links...
Shameless Self Promotion
Stay tuned for comprehensive coverage later today ahead of the Cascadia showdown with Portland. Until then, get caught up with AtlantisB’s rundown of the Caps’ transfer business. And get your lineup predictions in!
Best of the Rest
European soccer is upon us. The Guardian gets you ready for the EPL kickoff later today (tell us your predictions in the comments), while our SB Nation colleagues had a good piece of the state of affairs in the Bundesliga.
The Caps fared ... decently in this report card of the transfer window from Tom Bogert (Adnan helped the grade immensely methinks)