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The Blue Jays signed a pair of players to minor-league contracts today, agreeing to terms with outfielder Jason Lane and infielder Brandon Fahey. Both will receive invites to spring training, but will probably spend the majority of the year in Las Vegas. However, Lane provides some cover if Snider demonstrates he isnít ready for the big leagues and Fahey is a better option than Jorge Velandia as the teamís top middle infielder at Triple-A.


On Wednesday the Blue Jays abruptly fired Bart Given as the teamís assistant general manager. Iím not clear on how the duties were divided between him, Alex Anthopoulos and Tony LaCava, but as Pistol speculated in another thread, it really sounds like there is something behind this firing, given the strange timing of the move and the nature of JP's message.

In other baseball news, Zack Greinke agreed to a four-year deal with the Royals. Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte and the Yankees are rumoured to be closing in on a new contract, while dozens of other players still remain unsigned, with spring training just a few weeks away.
Jays Add Two, Lose One | 70 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Jdog - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 02:42 PM EST (#195864) #
Just when I thought you couldn't get any dumber...you go and do something like this....and totally redeem yourself!

Way to go bluejays, I'm officially excited.
Petey Baseball - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 03:02 PM EST (#195865) #
Couple things.

1. No offense to Brandon Fahey and his family, but has always looked to me like he was plucked out of a high school gym class and placed on the Baltimore Orioles.

2. The Bart Given thing has a story behind it no doubt.  Bob Elliott reported on it last Wednesday, it took Bastian until yesterday to put it up on the official website, and neither the Globe nor the Star seemed to know about it.  Is it not a big deal when someone in the front office gets fired?

3.  At least this off-season, I won't have to try to explain to my grandmother (who is an avid Jays fan, but can't keep up with the winter transactions) why the Jays traded this player or let this player go and so on.  Much easier to say we lost Burnett and Zaun and look for the "young guys"

4. McDonald, Batista, Inglett, can't all make the team out of camp can they? Makes me think the bench for opener at R.C. versus the Tigers could be Inglett, Batista, Lane and Barrett.  

Mike Green - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 03:29 PM EST (#195866) #
If Lane had any kind of a platoon split, you'd consider the possibility that he might make a partner for Lind.  He doesn't, and his career pattern has been like a limbo dance with the Mendoza line.
John Northey - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 03:33 PM EST (#195867) #

For AAAA guys I prefer the Baseball Cube links...
Jason Lane - 2 different AAA teams (Boston, NYY) under 800 for OPS at both.  However, outside of that he hit pretty well in the minors - 286/367/508

Brandon Fahey - 260/321/330 in the minors, not much but not a complete nightmare.

Chuck - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 03:38 PM EST (#195868) #
Yawn.
Ron - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 03:46 PM EST (#195870) #
There has to be hundreds of minor leaguers who have never played at the major league level wondering how Fahey has managed to receive 411 at bats in the Majors. If Lane or Fahey receieve even one at bat with the Jays in the regular season, than you know something went horribly wrong.



TamRa - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 06:17 PM EST (#195871) #
4. McDonald, Batista, Inglett, can't all make the team out of camp can they? Makes me think the bench for opener at R.C. versus the Tigers could be Inglett, Batista, Lane and Barrett. 

Those three CAN and probably WILL go north with the team. Inglett and Bautista can double as OF reserves as well as infielders.

there's not any room for lane without cutting back on relievers or ditching McDonald or Bautista.  Given last year's Mencherson experience, I can't imagine any Jays fan looking longingly at Jason lane.

The question in my mind is this - we have no signed Jane, Ruiz, and Wayne Lydon for the AAA team. Why can't we get Tim Raines Jr in our system? He hit a very nice line in 2008 and as far as I know he's stil unsigned.


greenfrog - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 06:22 PM EST (#195872) #
2009 draft order is up on BA (subject to further signings). The Jays choose 20th overall, then 37th (supplemental pick as compensation for AJ). They also get the Yankees' 3rd round choice, or 99th overall. Plus, of course, the Jays' regular draft selections in the 2nd, 3rd round etc. (not sure where these fall).

Hopefully there will be some opportunity for the Jays to make some below-the-radar moves--landing a couple of not-quite first-round gems like Justin Jackson or Brett Cecil would be great.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/267483.html
Mylegacy - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 07:04 PM EST (#195873) #
If my math is right...

We get the 20th overall pick - our first rounder, 37th - our Supplemental for AJ, 63rd - our 2nd round, 93rd - our 3rd round pick, 99th the Yanks third round pick.

Summary: 20, 37, 63, 93, 99. Five picks in theTop 100. Should be fun studying all the Top 100 Prospect Lists, eh?

Mylegacy - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 07:34 PM EST (#195874) #
This is a total waste of time BUT (hey, I'm retarded...er...I meant retired) -
According to Baseball America's list of the Top 100 Prospects for the 2009 Draft we would select the following:

SO, without further ado - Ladies and Gentlemen - your NEW 2009 Toronto Blue Jays!

20th - Kentrail Davis, OF, So., L-R, 5'9", 200.
37th - Leon Washington, 2B, HS, L-R, 5'10", 170.
63rd - Mike Nesseth, RHP, So., R-R, 6' 5", 213.
93rd - Sean Black, RHP, Jr., R-R, 6'5", 195.
99th - Jake Barrett, RHP, HS, R-R, 6' 4", 225

Craig B - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 08:19 PM EST (#195875) #
Lane's had a bad couple of years, but if you ask me, he can play.  I don't expect to see him much in the Show, but he'll keep 'em happy in LV and he is indeed good Snider insurance.
SheldonL - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 08:31 PM EST (#195876) #
I'm with CraigB, Jason Lane is a really good signing. He costs nothing and he's just filling in a AAA spot until a kid from AA pushes him from it.

I would like to borrow some of Mylegacy's optimism, and hope that Lane turns into our Ryan Ludwick.
In the past few seasons, there's been someone or another who's absolutely burst on the scene after years of toiling in mediocrity. Last year it was Ludwick for the Cards, the year before it was Carlos Pena, in '06 it was NIck Johnson for the Nats, in '05 it was Morgan Ensberg and his ridiculous season,in '04 it was Adrian Beltre....

There's no guarantee that it will happen but I think that a creative GM is one who fills in spots (that must be filled regardless) with guys who have something to prove/with a little bit of Felix Felicis can have a phenomenal season!

If I'm J.P, I would enquire after Willy Mo Pena and Nelson Cruz... those are a couple of guys with some serious potential to be post-hype sleepers!
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 08:49 PM EST (#195877) #

This makes me yearn for the days of Dave Berg.
Mike Green - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 09:27 PM EST (#195878) #
Nelson Cruz is in a completely different category from the 32 year old Lane.  During the last two seasons in triple A, Cruz has hit 52 homers in 147 games at ages 26-27, with a pretty good W/K.  He hit in the majors last year as if that was no fluke. If he was acquired,  you'd install him in left-field or at DH and let Snider develop. 
timpinder - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 09:33 PM EST (#195879) #

A.J. Burnett for the 37th and 99th overall picks?  Wow.  I would love to know what Ricciardi was offered at the trade deadline. 

Is this the year the Jays start to draft out of slot to try to compete with the Yanks and Sox one day?  Maybe?  Probably not.

Gerry - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 09:37 PM EST (#195880) #

Not only did the Jays add Brandon Fahey and Jason Lane today they also added Rommie Lewis and Todd Donovan (per Baseball America).

Lewis is a AA reliever who was a top ten prospect of the Orioles back in 2003 and 2004.

Donovan is a 30 year old AA outfielder who is joining his 7th organization.

brent - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 10:13 PM EST (#195881) #

The Jays are not going to go over slot, so there is no point in discussing things we wish the team would do. I only wonder who the Jays are going to sign if the payroll is going to go up to 120 million for 2010? I know there will be raises, but the free agent crop looks craptacular http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/2010-mlb-free-a.html . Maybe the Jays are going to look to take on expensive veteran contracts like a Peavy? The Yankees went in hard this year in anticipation of the lack of talent next year (and the new stadium, not making the playoffs, etc.). Where will the Jays spend that money?

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 10:27 PM EST (#195882) #

Don't think this has been posted. Andy Pettite's back with the Yanks. One year at 6.5 with incentives. It's been pushed off the sportspages with the Lane and Fahey coup, though.


The Yanks rotation next year is CC, AJ, Wang, Joba and Pettite, though I suspect Phil Hughes will be heard from. The papers are suggesting the Yanks are now done spending, but I'm thinking there may yet be a Manny deal, just to put the Sox in their place.
timpinder - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 10:53 PM EST (#195883) #

With the Yankees spending spree it's amazing to think that there's a very real chance they still might not make the playoffs.  No matter how good Tampa, Boston and New York are, at least one of them will be joining the Orioles and Jays as spectators in October.

dfp - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 10:56 PM EST (#195884) #
The deal Pettite signed was for 5.5 million with 6.5 million being how much he can earn in incentives.

Link: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3861386

He basically lost out on a guaranteed 4.5 million to potentially earn 2 million more.

Petey Baseball - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 11:28 PM EST (#195885) #
My God is that a terrible free agent class.


greenfrog - Monday, January 26 2009 @ 11:52 PM EST (#195886) #
Five picks in the top 100 is nice, and the team has drafted well recently after the first round (Lind, Cecil, Jackson, Mills, to name a few). But the flip side is that they have only two picks in the top 60 or so, with the first coming at #20.

Timpinder: I know this has already been discussed a lot, but I honestly don't think there was a significant market for AJ at the deadline, because of (1) his inconsistency--his season had been up and down to that point (his ERA was close to 5 in mid-July), (2) his injury history, coupled with an $11M year remaining on his contract, was reportedly making teams nervous, and (3) teams being reluctant to trade their top prospects, which seems increasingly to be the case unless they're dealing for top-tier talent like Sabathia, Teixeira, Peavy, etc. And I don't recall any trade rumors, which obviously doesn't prove anything, but to me it's another indication that teams weren't willing to stake much on acquiring AJ.

I would be shocked to see the payroll go up to $120M in 2010 (a 50% increase, more or less). Maybe $90-100M, assuming the economy is on surer ground. But that's just a guess. It would be nice if Rogers extended Halladay and boosted its farm system spending. If the Jays can't compete in the here and now, the least the team can do is make a serious effort at developing the next wave of talent.

On a different note: Kevin Goldstein at BP says he wouldn't be surprised if Travis Snider has the best offensive numbers on the team at the end of the 2009 season. Bold prediction--I like it.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 01:24 AM EST (#195887) #
"Maybe $90-100M, assuming the economy is on surer ground."

Rolen, Halladay, Ryan, Wells, Overbay, Rios, Downs, Hill = 82.5M in 2010.

Accardo, League, McGowan, Janssen, Marcum will all make at least 1m in arb and probably take payroll past 90m.

Snider, Lind, Cecil, and Litsch should be regulars. That leaves 6 more roster spots for 2 back end relievers and the 4 offensive bench players, and even if they all make around the minimum you're looking at another 5m for those 10 players.

That means with a very cheap bench (unlikely) the team has a 95m payroll before finding a starting SS and C (where some might think Arencibia is a candidate). I'd be astonished if the team payroll is under 100m next year barring some salary dumping involving one of the first 8 players.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 02:15 AM EST (#195888) #
What follows is a very interesting interview with Travis Snider about 08 but more interestingly his thoughts on 09. Impressive.

Sorry, I don't understand how to do the linky thingy.

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090126/SPORTS/701269870/1004
TamRa - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 02:57 AM EST (#195889) #
I make it like this:

Under contract (8)  - $82.45
Arbitration (6 - the one's you mentioned plus Listch who might be borderline) - $6.1
(4 of them being in their first arb year shouldn't be too bad)

11 * .4 = $4.4 million, so with a few thousand over the minimum for some of them call it more like $4.55


That's just over $93 in all. And with no SS on the team at all. Otherwise it's the current lineup except with JPA as the starting catcher.

I don't think that's so bad because that team isn't going to need ANY additional outside-the-organization-pitching and should, in fact, have some to deal.
(I've recently begun to mull the idea of dealing McGowan at some point next winter for a shortstop)

So they should be able to add a solid SS (if one can be found) and strengthen the bench and still be in the $100-105 million area.

What fascinates me about Beeston's discussion of adding to the payroll in future years is that the Jays are entering a period in which there's not a dramatic need to go after high dollar free agents. Beyond the eternal SS problem, the only thing that jumps out at you is who follows Rolen at 3B. Unless of course JPA or Snider or Lind fail.

I know that a certain precentage of every team's prospects dissapoint, but I still think the Jays are excellently positioned to NOT be dependent on the free agent market over the next several years.


Pistol - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 08:30 AM EST (#195890) #
The Jays are not going to go over slot, so there is no point in discussing things we wish the team would do. I only wonder who the Jays are going to sign if the payroll is going to go up to 120 million for 2010?

I don't expect the Jays to break the slot structure in the draft (at least significantly), but I think there's a lot more chance of that happening than a $120 million payroll in 2010.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 10:04 AM EST (#195891) #
"Rolen, Halladay, Ryan, Wells, Overbay, Rios, Downs, Hill = 82.5M in 2010"

I would be surprised to see all three of Ryan, Rolen and Overbay on the 2010 roster. I think the Jays will deal as many of them as possible (most likely, whichever ones end up having a good season in '09). The contracts will be hard to move, so the Jays will probably have to pay part--quite possible a big part--of the remaining amount owed.

Rogers has clearly made keeping costs down the top priority. The team isn't going to allow the budget to balloon dramatically just because it currently has eight players slated to make $80M+ in 2010. My guess is that Ricciardi and Beeston will focus on extending Halladay and jettisoning Ryan, Rolen and Overbay to maintain a lean payroll until the economy trends strongly in the right direction.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 12:33 PM EST (#195892) #
"Rogers has clearly made keeping costs down the top priority."

Have they? Last January 100m American dollars cost the team basically 100m Canadian dollars. This year's team payroll already costs more in Canadian dollars than last year's did, and we aren't sure if JP is completely finished shopping. The reported 85m figure would actually represent an increase in spending by Rogers on the Jays, NOT keeping costs down.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not sticking up for Beeston or Rogers or their plan for 2009, but to pretend like Rogers is walking around with a chainsaw doing anything they can to cut costs simply isn't true.
Ron - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 02:20 PM EST (#195893) #
Here's a question I have for all of you, who are the owners of the Toronto Blue Jays? I know the easy answer is Rogers Communications but I'm looking for names. I tend to like owners that are visible like Mark Cuban, John Henry, Arte Moreno, etc... I'm a diehard Jays fan and I couldn't even tell you the name(s) of the people/person that owns the Blue Jays.
TamRa - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 02:27 PM EST (#195894) #
I would be surprised to see all three of Ryan, Rolen and Overbay on the 2010 roster. I think the Jays will deal as many of them as possible (most likely, whichever ones end up having a good season in '09). The contracts will be hard to move, so the Jays will probably have to pay part--quite possible a big part--of the remaining amount owed.

I disagree with a lot of this.

I think Ryan may very well be dealt - maybe even in July.

I think Overbay will go next fall IF Cooper (or less likely Dopirak or Loewen) forces the issue but i don't think the Jays feel any pressure to move him.

i don't think Rolen is going anywhere nor should he. If Rolen has a Vintage Rolen year in 2009, I think there's every possibility the Jays will try to extend him a couple of years.

In any case, I don't think the Jays will have to eat salary to move ANY of then. Market reversals don't last long and in a normal market they don't make enough - if any - over their value to make such an adjustment necessary.

Ryan is making just what the best closers were making even in this bad market (and a 1, 1.5 year obligation would be appealing).

Overbay wouldn't have gotten $7 million in the current market but that won't last. the problem with moving Overbay has more to do with the fact that very few teams have a need at 1B more than it does being overpaid.

Rolen isn't overpaid at all. Especially if he's coming off a good year as you suppose. If Rolen has a good year by his standards, he's UNDERpaid.

Mylegacy - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 03:33 PM EST (#195895) #
Overbay. Gonna be interesting to watch 1st base for the next few years.

IF his wrist /hand is FINALLY fully healed - and I know from my own broken hand that it can take a full year or two to completely heal - then Overbay is an OK, intelligent, good guy that can be an asset. If not...hello Mr. Lind.

At 1st in the system are:

Lind,
Dopirak,  6' 4" - 234 pounds - at Dunedin 308/382/577 - 27 homers in 409 ab's.
Amir, 6' 4" - 240 pounds - at Auburn 301/359/476 - 9 homers in 252 ab's.
Loewen, before he was drafted he was a prodigious two way star - could be a washout OR - SERIOUSLY - a superstar.
Cooper, 6' - 175 pounds - at Dunedin 304/373/435 - 1 homer in 92 ab's (Cooper played at three levels in 08 the year we drafted him). To me Cooper is not big enough to ever hit for enough power to be a 1st baseman or DH in the Bigs. He can barely play 1st and he still draws complaints for his uninspired defensive play. I FEAR we have our selves an outstanding 2nd baseman's bat in the body of a guy who can't even play 1st base very well. I think he's a first round AAAA player. Sigh... SERIOUSLY hope I'm wrong!


Nolan - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 03:44 PM EST (#195896) #
Have they? Last January 100m American dollars cost the team basically 100m Canadian dollars. This year's team payroll already costs more in Canadian dollars than last year's did, and we aren't sure if JP is completely finished shopping. The reported 85m figure would actually represent an increase in spending by Rogers on the Jays, NOT keeping costs down.

I remember reading a few years back when the Canadian dollar was rebounding significantly, that it wouldn't translate into increased payroll for the club for a year or more.  The reason for this, as I remember it, was that it took time for the dollar's increase to translate into actual profit for the club because of the way the economy/stock market works.  I am pretty clueless in this area, so I have no idea if I'm repeating the idea correctly and, further, if it even makes sense.

If it does makes sense, then does this affect the current situation right now?  Am I making much sense?  What is my favourite colour?
Pistol - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 03:48 PM EST (#195897) #
Here's a question I have for all of you, who are the owners of the Toronto Blue Jays? I know the easy answer is Rogers Communications but I'm looking for names. I tend to like owners that are visible like Mark Cuban, John Henry, Arte Moreno, etc... I'm a diehard Jays fan and I couldn't even tell you the name(s) of the people/person that owns the Blue Jays.

There's no names because it's owned by a corporation.  It's like trying to know the name of the person who just sold the Cubs.  Sure, there's a CEO, but they ultimately have to report to a board of directors and stockholders which is likely part of the team's problems.  If you had an individual committed to winning the team is probably in a different spot today.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 04:02 PM EST (#195899) #
i don't think Rolen is going anywhere nor should he. If Rolen has a Vintage Rolen year in 2009, I think there's every possibility the Jays will try to extend him a couple of years. 

I think the key word here is 'vintage', as in something that happened a long time ago.  To expect Rolen to produce like he did in his 20s (when he was consistently a .285/.380/.535 player), I think, is unreasonable.  To do it when he's entering his mid 30s (34 on April 5th) and consistently battling a bad shoulder makes it even tougher.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 04:26 PM EST (#195900) #
Well, the Jays already tried to unload Overbay last July, so I don't think keeping him around is essential to the Jays' plans. As for Ryan (and Overbay and Rolen), his trade value will have a lot to do with his '09 performance. If he can regain elite closer status, I agree that his market value is probably close to being in line with his actual salary. If he continues to struggle with velocity and control, teams will be more wary.

I guess my larger point is that Rogers seems unlikely to increase payroll substantially just to maintain the composition of the current roster. In the big picture, I'm guessing the organization really wants to keep Halladay--probably the biggest priority for the Jays in terms of talent, marketing and leadership. The next priority is building around the best young talent in the organization. The lowest priority (I'm guessing) is expensive (in the context of the Jays' payroll, not necessarily those of other teams), aging veterans who aren't likely to be around in a couple of years. If the team plans to maintain a strict payroll in 2010, something has to give.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 05:32 PM EST (#195901) #
Checking good ol' Fangraphs for an unbiased way of estimating value (ie: it has a formula which seems reasonable and none of us can add what we feel they are worth).

Rolen:$12.4 last year, $10.4 the year before, $20 in 2006.  He was even over $4 million in his injured 2005 (56 games).  This guy is worth his contract ($11 per) if healthy.
Overbay: $7.3 last year, 2 others over $7 (05/06 both over $8 but under $10).  Another 'if healthy worth it' guy. 
BJ Ryan: Over $10 million in 2004/2006, $9.1 in 2005, otherwise under $5 million. Suggests unless you double+ his value due to 'closer' label or he pitches like he did those 3 big years he won't be worth $10 mil per for the next two years.  $4.5 last year.

So from FanGraphs it looks like Rolen and Overbay are being paid what they are worth (factoring in injury potential) while BJ Ryan is overpaid by a fair amount but could be worth it if he has a big year.  I'd say that Ryan should have the least value in the trade market of the 3 but, due to the closer mentality, might have the most.  Go figure.  If someone will take him then go for it imo, but none of these 3 are likely to be complete busts - assuming they are reasonably healthy.  Rolen has the best potential of outdoing his salary, and luckily is the least likely to be traded given the poor choices to replace him internally.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 09:06 PM EST (#195902) #
Just to put things in perspective.  Fangraphs has Marco Scutaro's 2008 as worth $12.1 million and Joe Inglett's worth $8.0 million, and Roy Halladay averaging $20 million over the last 7 years.  The Jays cannot afford to pay all of their late-arb and potential free agents their Fangraphs value. 
TamRa - Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 11:01 PM EST (#195906) #
To expect Rolen to produce like he did in his 20s (when he was consistently a .285/.380/.535 player), I think, is unreasonable.  To do it when he's entering his mid 30s (34 on April 5th) and consistently battling a bad shoulder makes it even tougher.


I'm thinking 2006...that was a "vintage Rolen" year and not so long ago.

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 08:16 AM EST (#195913) #
Attempting an objective measure of each player's financial value (via Fangraphs or some other approach) is definitely worthwhile, but I think you have to go further. Rolen might be worth $12M based on an average of all MLB stats, but that doesn't mean he's worth $12M to the Jays. Each team has to set priorities based on a number of variables, including:

- Overall payroll ceiling
- How much young (and therefore inexpensive) MLB talent is on the roster
- How much minor league talent is in the pipeline (which might allow a team to budget more for veterans)
- How many players it has with significant MLB experience (making them, on average, pricier)
- How competitive the team is likely to be in the short-term (i.e. whether the team is rebuilding or going all-out to make the playoffs)

In other words, each team is in a unique economic situation. What makes sense for the Dodgers might not make sense for the Marlins. Ditto the Yankees and the Jays. Although in theory AJ might be worth $15M or $20M by some objective measure, he might make economic sense for one team, while crippling another team's budget.

Thus, while helpful, objective measures of one player's value can be misleading when it comes to debating whether that player should be kept, traded, moved to a different position, etc. The larger question is: what moves will make the team better (in the short-, medium-, and long-term)? The answer depends on a team's payroll and various other issues. Context matters, in other words.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 11:07 AM EST (#195918) #
 Greenfrog - while it is true each team must make its own mind up on budget, if they want to have any players on the roster who have over 6 years experience they have to pay market rates as they are in the free market (or they have to hope that the player wants to write off millions to play there).

Fangraphs isn't perfect, but it is a reasonable method (factors in offense, defense, position, replacement level although all can be disputed mixed with an estimate of what a win is worth overall in MLB).  It appears to be close to what JP values guys at from a glance (Eckstein was paid about what one should've expected based on past performance for example). 

Basically, teams like the Rays have to keep a low payroll so they have to sign lots of young kids and take full advantage of their first 6 years then sign one or two free agents (at market rates) to fill in holes if they want to win.  The Yankees on the other hand can go out and sign anyone they like.

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 03:21 PM EST (#195932) #
My point exactly. It might be nice to keep Rolen, Ryan, and Overbay (and, as you note, their contracts might be in line with their average market value). I actually like all three players (except when Overbay grounds into a crucial double play, which happens from time to time). But if keeping them means giving up on a higher priority--for example, extending Halladay or giving Snider a long-term contract or spending more on draft or international amateur talent--then it doesn't make much sense.

When your budget is limited (not a dilemma faced by the Yankees or Red Sox), you have to make hard choices. My point is that it's silly to devote resources to relatively expensive veterans when (1) they aren't going to be around in a few years, (2) the team is unlikely to make the playoffs, and (3) the money could be better spent on talent that will add value down the road.

Of course, this is all theoretical. It may be that the Jays will be able to afford these players in 2010 and still add talent. In any case, the single best thing Rogers could do to make the Jays competitive would be to up payroll significantly. Because payroll is so limited, the team (and its fans) ends up preoccupying itself with lesser tactical issues such as whether to trade or keep Overbay, etc. So we get caught up in tactics while the competition focuses on strategy, which is what really makes a difference in the long run.
Ron - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 06:03 PM EST (#195934) #
There's no names because it's owned by a corporation.  It's like trying to know the name of the person who just sold the Cubs.  Sure, there's a CEO, but they ultimately have to report to a board of directors and stockholders which is likely part of the team's problems.  If you had an individual committed to winning the team is probably in a different spot today.

I wish the Jays had one owner that the fans could identify with instead of a bunch of ďnamelessĒ corporate folks. There are simply too many cooks in the kitchen. I know professional sports is a business but I canít help but feel like whoever owns the Jays doesnít care about winning.

On another note, I canít remember the last time so many decent to great free agents are still in the market this late in the off-season. Spring Training is right around the corner and Manny, Dunn, Abreu, Hudson, Griffey Jr., Thomas, Anderson, Floyd, Alou, Crede, Varitek, Cabrera, Nomar, Pudge, Bonds, Sosa, Cruz, Pedro, Sheets, Wolf, Looper, Perez, Glavine, and Rogers are still out there. Iím starting to wonder if Alou or Floyd would settle for a 1 year/ 2 million dollar contract to DH.


Ron - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 06:27 PM EST (#195935) #
http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090128.wsptjays0128/GSStory/GlobeSportsBaseball/home

According to the Jays, Given was given the axe due to financial reasons. With Spring Training right around the corner, the timing is extremely strange. So the team has no money in the budget for Given or other quality free agents, yet they have 2.4 million for Jose Bautista?


Matthew E - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 06:41 PM EST (#195937) #
Maybe they'll just go with a 24-man roster this year. Which will make it a challenge to manage, given that the Jays obviously have to have a 13-man pitching staff.
TamRa - Wednesday, January 28 2009 @ 07:59 PM EST (#195940) #
On another note, I canít remember the last time so many decent to great free agents are still in the market this late in the off-season.

1995

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE3DA103CF936A35757C0A963958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1


So the team has no money in the budget for Given or other quality free agents, yet they have 2.4 million for Jose Bautista?

Meh. I thought spending more wisely would be a GOOD thing. you have to start somewhere. I wonder how many of the expensive marginal guys will actually make it to opening day?


TamRa - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 12:05 AM EST (#195943) #
So the team has no money in the budget for Given or other quality free agents, yet they have 2.4 million for Jose Bautista?

Here's what Beeston said in the article you linked:

Paul Beeston, the interim Blue Jays CEO, also broke his silence Wednesday, explaining that the move was ďjust a simple restructuring. There's nothing more to read into it than that.Ē
ďThere's nothing to be read into it,Ē he said. ďThere's nothing sinister about it, there's nothing negative in it. We were just looking to redeploy dollars.Ē





I think we might have the answer to your question

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090128.wsptjays28/GSStory/GlobeSportsBaseball/BlueJays

The Blue Jays confirmed yesterday they have added four full-time scouts to augment their scouting staff for this season.

I do wonder if those (not you specifically) who bemoan misspent money will comment?
Mylegacy - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 01:14 AM EST (#195945) #
OFF TOPIC

BUT...

YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS ABOUT LOEWEN!!!!!

http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=1223457
Ron - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 01:42 AM EST (#195946) #
I do wonder if those (not you specifically) who bemoan misspent money will comment?

Adding more full time scouts is never a bad thing, but I want to see the Jays expand their budget in regards to the draft and international free agents.
TamRa - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 04:38 AM EST (#195947) #
In that same article it mentions increased spending on international scouting and (presumably) signings.

Nothing about the draft.


Timbuck2 - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 10:33 AM EST (#195951) #
Thank you for the link Mylegacy!

I can't wait to see what those two Canadian boys (Loewen and Richmond) due in the coming year!

92-93 - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 12:30 PM EST (#195953) #
"I do wonder if those (not you specifically) who bemoan misspent money will comment?"

Firing Givens and hiring some scouts for the same money does not signal the team is starting to efficiently allocate its dollars. When they get rid of Ryan, Frasor, Tallet, Bautista, and JMac (ridiculous players to carry with an 80m payroll), let me know.
John Northey - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 02:31 PM EST (#195954) #
Of note is that the Jays do appear to have multiple budgets which do not affect each other (ie: cutting one does not put more cash into the pockets of another area).
1) ML Player payroll
2) Draft budget
3) Minor league budget (facilities, trainers, etc.)
4) Front office staff (includes scouts from the looks of it, so probably all non-playing, non-coaching people)

So, finding someone to take J-Mac's $1.9 million would NOT open up cash to hire more scouts, for example.  However, cutting someone from the front office would.  I suspect the team president is responsible for all budgets thus fights with Rogers to increase each section, providing arguments as to the value of each.  IE: if it is a strong draft year they might push for extra draft dollars, but in a weak one they would push less for it.  Telling Rogers 'it is a weak draft year so lets blow more on player payroll' would not work as they would see them as two separate cases.  I can understand this method of looking at things, trying to maximize the profit from each (ie: a player makes the majors who was drafted = proof that spending $x was worth $y in payroll savings thus encouraging the ownership to spend another $y-$x in the draft in the future).

Also, outside of Ryan the net cost for Frasor, Tallet, Bautista and JMac is under $8 million or less than 10% of the payroll for 16% of the roster.  Not ideal, but not horrid given those same slots woud've cost at least $1.6 million if they used AAAA guys (net loss of about $6 million which most winters gets you a David Eckstein with enough left over for a bench player ala the 4 in question).

Pistol - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 03:00 PM EST (#195956) #
Of note is that the Jays do appear to have multiple budgets which do not affect each other

I'm sure that this is likely.  However, it's silly that the different budgets aren't connected.  It's should be all connected in one way - trying to get the team to win (of course, whether Rogers really wants to win is a different matter).

And for what it's worth, I have no issue with Frasor or Tallet making what they do.  They're both pretty consistent pitchers.  If there's a case to be made that they're redundant or there's an excess of relievers, then the complaint should really be that a trade isn't being worked out. 
TamRa - Thursday, January 29 2009 @ 04:07 PM EST (#195958) #
When they get rid of Ryan, Frasor, Tallet, Bautista, and JMac (ridiculous players to carry with an 80m payroll), let me know.

Throw Camp in there too.

My guess is that at least half of those guys won't be in the organization by Aug.1

A couple of them might not make it to opening day.


Thomas - Friday, January 30 2009 @ 12:15 AM EST (#195979) #
And for what it's worth, I have no issue with Frasor or Tallet making what they do.  They're both pretty consistent pitchers.  If there's a case to be made that they're redundant or there's an excess of relievers, then the complaint should really be that a trade isn't being worked out.

I agree with this. I have issue with some of the others making what they do, but not with Frasor or Tallet. Also, I think Tallet could be handy to have around this season with his ability to be stretched out, which could come in handy not only if the Jays have a hole in the rotation that needs feeling, but also in case he needs to go three innings after Janssen can only go four because he's coming off surgery. Frasor's probably a bit more  redundant at this point, but maybe JP is waiting for a spring training injury and a chance to try to make a deal.
Mike Green - Friday, January 30 2009 @ 09:59 AM EST (#195983) #
Here's a You Be The Manager proposal.  Assuming that there are no additions or subtractions to the roster between now and Opening Day, what would the role you would choose for each of the position players assuming that you had complete freedom?  Mine:

Snider- everyday RF
Rios- everyday CF
Wells- everyday LF
Rolen-third base, 1-2 days a week off (see Inglett)
Scutaro-everyday shortstop
Hill- every day second baseman
Overbay-first baseman against LHP, firstbaseman/DH against RHP (divided with LInd)
Barajas-120 game catcher
Lind-first baseman/DH against RHP (split with Overbay)/fifth OF
Bautista-DH against left-handers; platoons with Inglett at third if Rolen injured
Inglett- regular gig subbing for Rolen against RHP (1-2 days a week), backup 2B, LF (you rest Rios
             from time to time by moving Wells to center and you rest Snider by shifting Wells and Rios over)
McDonald-late inning defensive sub occasional use only
Jeroloman- 40 game catcher vs. RHP only

I am assuming that Hill has not been given work at shortstop over the winter.


SheldonL - Friday, January 30 2009 @ 10:54 AM EST (#195986) #
With complete freedom, I would field the following team:

RF Rios
SS Hill
CF Wells
LF Snider
3B Rolen
DH Lind
1B Overbay
C Barajas
2B Inglett

Bench: Michael Barrett(plays twice a week), Bautista(will get lots of time against lefties... subs for either Lind/Snider/Overbay... whoever's scuffling... he's also insurance for Rolen), Scutaro(mostly insurance for Inglett failing... he'll play sparingly), Jason Lane(gets a lot of playing time vs lefties... subs for Lind/Snider/Overbay)

Rotation
Halladay
Litsch
Janssen (4 innings per start until he builds up strength)
Downs (5 innings a start)
Purcey

Bullpen
Ryan (closer)
Accardo (setup man)
Jesse Carlson (late inning lefty)
Wolfe
Tallet(pitches the remaining 4 innings of Downs)
Frasor
Brett Cecil(pitches 4 of the remaining innings from Janssen)

NOTES: As such, Camp and League will not make the team. In mid May when McGowan gets back, the worst performer betwen Purcey, Downs and Janssen will be removed. If it's Purcey, then we keep him on the team and waive Wolfe. If it's Downs, then Wolfe gets cut and Downs returns to the setup role and Purcey joins with Tallet as the #4 guy. If Janssen fails, then we give Cecil the opportunity to start with Janssen relieving.
92-93 - Friday, January 30 2009 @ 01:18 PM EST (#195990) #
"So, where to now? Millar is believed to have at least a spring training invitation from the Toronto Blue Jays and has gotten some interest from the Giants and a couple of other teams. He said he's just waiting for more of the free-agent dominoes to fall and clear the way for him to find a job."

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/schmuck/2009/01/orioles_millar_time_is_up.html
John Northey - Friday, January 30 2009 @ 01:33 PM EST (#195991) #
Hrm.  For Kevin Millar, a spring invite is OK but any more than that is too much.  87 OPS+ last year, 112 lifetime, 2004 was the last time he was higher than his lifetime figure.  Of course, last year was also the only time his OBP was below 348 so he could be useful.  Last year just played 1B and DH, 3 games in LF in 2007, 34 games in the OF (RF/LF) in 2005, last played 3B in 2002 (2 games - 28 lifetime).  So he'd be a DH/1B and extreme emergency LF/RF/3B.  I think there isn't much left in his tank as he enters his age 37 season after a 234/323/394 season.  He hits left handers a bit more than right handers but at this level it wouldn't mean much.
scottt - Saturday, January 31 2009 @ 07:33 PM EST (#196011) #
With complete freedom.

Rios RF,
Wells CF.
Snider LF,
Lind DH but rotating with the other 3 to give him some starts in LF
Overbay platoon at first with Scutaro or Bautista.
Hill 2B,
Scutaro platoon with McDonald at SS.
Rolen 3B,
Barajas platoon with Barrett at C.
Inglett, Bautista, McDonald and Barrett are the regular bench.

Something like (RH/LH)

Scutaro   /   Scutaro
Overbay   /   Rolen
Rios   /    Rios
Wells   /   Wells
Lind   /   Hill
Barajas   / Barret
Snider   /   Lind
Rolen   / Snider
Hill   /    McDonald

I'd try Tallet, Wolfe, Downs and Richmond  to compete for a starting job in spring training.  I'd go easy on Janssen and McGowan. 

I just hope the Jays don't fall too far behind in April.



TamRa - Saturday, January 31 2009 @ 08:30 PM EST (#196013) #
I'm holding my thoughts until I see if this "complete freedom" question ends up being it's own thread...


SheldonL - Sunday, February 01 2009 @ 12:03 PM EST (#196018) #
WillRain, I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts, why don't you post it in the GM rankings thread
ayjackson - Sunday, February 01 2009 @ 11:07 PM EST (#196024) #

Here's a You Be The Manager proposal.  Assuming that there are no additions or subtractions to the roster between now and Opening Day, what would the role you would choose for each of the position players assuming that you had complete freedom?  Mine:

Snider- everyday RF
Rios- everyday CF
Wells- everyday LF
Rolen-third base, 1-2 days a week off (see Inglett)
Scutaro-everyday shortstop
Hill- every day second baseman
Overbay-first baseman against LHP, firstbaseman/DH against RHP (divided with LInd)
Barajas-120 game catcher
Lind-first baseman/DH against RHP (split with Overbay)/fifth OF
Bautista-DH against left-handers; platoons with Inglett at third if Rolen injured
Inglett- regular gig subbing for Rolen against RHP (1-2 days a week), backup 2B, LF (you rest Rios
             from time to time by moving Wells to center and you rest Snider by shifting Wells and Rios over)
McDonald-late inning defensive sub occasional use only
Jeroloman- 40 game catcher vs. RHP only

I am assuming that Hill has not been given work at shortstop over the winter.

This would be my plan too, with the lone exception being Michael Barrett over Jeroloman at C.

My rotation would be:

Halladay, Litsch, Purcey, Janssen, Richmond......and my bullpen:

Ryan, Downs, League, Carlson, Wolfe, Accardo, Tallet

(so long Frasor, caught up in a numbers game)

Mike Green - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 09:35 AM EST (#196025) #
I ought to explain why I'd favour Jeroloman over Barrett.  Barrett's SB-CS numbers over the last 2 years and with two different teams have been constant and truly vile-  a combined 115/20. He never was any good at that part of the game, but now it is just unacceptable.  Jason Phillips, v. 2.0.
Mike Green - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 09:42 AM EST (#196026) #
Jeff Blair's column today contains McNamee's allegation that "he didn't know one pitcher on the [Jays] that wasn't taking [amphetamines] when he pitched".

Where was Dickie Kerr when you needed him?
TA - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 09:54 AM EST (#196027) #
The column also mentions that the Jays have offered a minor league contract to Kevin Millar.

Cowboy up!

TamRa - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 03:05 PM EST (#196041) #
Am I the only one who is mystified so much is made of caught stealing totals?



Mike Green - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 04:06 PM EST (#196044) #
Here are Sean Smith's (aka Chone) defensive projections for catchers.  Barrett is -11 runs/1200 innings, by far the worst of any catcher.  That more than offsets the .255/.310/.400 which is a realistic projection of his offence.  And the "intangibles", or leadership qualities, if you prefer, are not in his favour. 
binnister - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 06:47 PM EST (#196049) #

A resurgent Millar might make a nice DH-1B platoon with Overbay.  

It would allow Snider time in AAA...Let them put Lind in LF.    If Travis is tearing the ball up in the minors after a month or 2, you move Overbay (if possible) and shift Lind to the platoon and slide Snider into left.

TamRa - Monday, February 02 2009 @ 07:49 PM EST (#196055) #
Here are Sean Smith's (aka Chone) defensive projections for catchers.  Barrett is -11 runs/1200 innings

Is all of that negative total based on throwing out runners, though, or on overall defensive skill?

Maybe if he really can't catch any better than that we could ditch Bautista and let Barrett be the reserve 3B/bat v. LHP and someone else be the reserve catcher?

Heck, I dunno. If he really sucks that hard Cito won't want him on the club though.

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