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Brad Emaus was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the New York Mets a few minutes ago. The 24 year old (turns 25 in March) hit .298/.395/.495 in AAA this past year in 364 plate appearances, and .257/.351/.388 in 751 AA plate appearances. Emaus was Batter's Box's number 20 prospect in 2010, number 24 in 2009, and number 18 in 2008, but the team evidently never thought as highly of him, as despite playing second and third base (a current position of need for the club) he was not put on the 40 Man Roster despite the team having space. Hopefully Brad will catch on with the Mets, but if not he could still be returned to the Jays. Full list of draftees here.

Update: Anthopoulos explains his reasoning here.

Update: Miguel Olivo signs with the Mariners. Hello compensatory pick!

Read on for more news, including Carl H. Crawford signing with the Sawx.



In other news, which probably affects the Jays more than the loss of Emaus, Carl Crawford has signed a 7 year, $142 million dollar deal with the Boston Red Sox. I guess we will see him the same number of times each year, but it still would have been nice if he signed with the Angels instead. Quick take: it's a lot of money, but Crawford is a good player. While he clearly is one of, if not the best defensive left fielders in the game, I think the impact of that is overstated. He's a good hitter, a great baserunner and still only 29, so once you accept that he was going to get a ridiculous contract, and that the Red Sox are one of the relatively few teams for which it makes sense to sign players like Crawford to ridiculous contracts, then I think it's probably a pretty decent deal. I will point out that Brett Gardner is about 75% as good as Crawford and will make something like $750,000 next year. I know who I'd rather have... Related Note: If the Red Sox sign Scott Downs we get a worse pick, as Crawford trumps Downs in the Elias rankings.

Elsewhere in the division: JJ Hardy is going to be dealt to the Orioles imminently, for a return TBD (likely two minor league pitchers). Though he's struggled with the bat the last two years, Hardy is a plus defender who should provide value, and if he hits even a little this will be a good deal for the Orioles. The Yankees, obviously shaken at losing out on the non-gargantuan CC, are offering Cliff Lee a small island nation. Or $140 million. Same diff.

More to come as it develops.

Odds and Ends and Emauses | 276 comments | Create New Account
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Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:28 AM EST (#227184) #
Yes, Brad Emaus was taken by N.Y. Mets in MLB portion of Rule 5, while Jays took nobody then.   Jays take (from whom cares) Ivan Contreras (2B),01/03/87, 5-9-155 in the AAA portion of the Draft, losing no one.   Jays take (from T.B.) Rone Salas (IF), losing no one.   Only thing of even the slightest importance, was losing Emaus. 
TamRa - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:45 AM EST (#227188) #
too bad, but i guess that should be "too bad the jays didn't think more of him" but i guess i have to concede they are in a better position to judge than me.



Thomas - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:45 AM EST (#227189) #
If the Red Sox sign Scott Downs we get a worse pick, as Crawford trumps Downs in the Elias rankings.

I put the odds of that happening at at least 50%. I also quite like the Hardy deal from Baltimore's point of view and not at all from Minnesota's.
raptorsaddict - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:48 AM EST (#227190) #
Are you insinuating that Rone Salas and Ivan Contreras won't materially affect the quality of our organization? Blasphemy, I say! I mean, Rone Frickin Salas, he's a pretty big deal. Or not. hahaha

I would have liked to see Emaus get a shot, even if his upside was likely as a utility player, which I suppose will play a bit better in the NL.  But, I trust AA to get it right, so I shan't complain too much.


raptorsaddict - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:49 AM EST (#227192) #
I forgot to add that I'm very happy Loewen didn't get picked up!
Parker - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:16 AM EST (#227197) #

I don't understand leaving either Emaus or Loewen unprotected when there's room on the 40-man roster for them.  If the Jays don't want them, why didn't they just outright release them?  This isn't sour grapes or anything; I would actually welcome an explanation.  Neither one of these guys was blocking the development of an uberprospect, and I would think that Emaus would have value even if the Jays do have plans to sign a big name free agent or already have Lawrie pencilled in at third.

Whether or not Emaus becomes a major league regular, the process here bothers me.  Emaus COULD still contribute, and giving him away when it wasn't even neccessary to do so confuses me.  I just can't see the scouting department saying, "Let this guy go.  We can guarantee right now that he has absolutely no value to this organization."

Oh well.  Best of luck with the Mets, Brad.

Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:19 AM EST (#227200) #
It's just the Rule 5 draft; there's quite a decent chance that the Mets are going to send Emaus back anyway. That's what usually happens.
Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:24 AM EST (#227201) #
Every time I see Emaus's name, the circuitry in my brain, such as it is, instinctively converts the spelling to eMaus, conflating our electronic age and Art Spiegelman's masterwork.
Shaker - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:25 AM EST (#227202) #

So here are the actual 3 year average (2008-2010) stats for 2 very good fielding LF, prorated to 600 AB:

Player A:  46 SB, 18 CS, .293 AVG and .346 OBP

Player B:  48 SB, 12 CS, .297 AVG and .349 OBP

 

Player B is the better player, his name is Carl Crawford and his salary is over $20M.

Player B is the "optimal" platoon of Rajai Davis and FA Scott Podsednik.  Combined salary would be less than $5M

 

Do you see $15M worth of difference?  I don’t.

Yes Carl has more power but I’m not sure we need that.  His SLG was .454 whereas our platoon was .406.  Buying a $15M slugger should take care of that if you like.  Defense would be close, too.

 

Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:34 AM EST (#227207) #
Art Spiegelman's masterwork

So true. 

It will be very interesting to follow Emaus' career.  Thomas posted very good quality video of Emaus at the plate a week or two.  To my thoroughly unprofessional scouting eye, he has a nice swing which should generate medium range power to go along with above-average plate discipline that he clearly has. 
codyla - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:36 AM EST (#227208) #

For those of you that care about our pick-ups:

Roan Flores, 1B, 5'11', 175 LBs, Born 1990

.345, 5 HR's, 42 RBI, 220 AB with VSL Rays

Ivan Contreras, 2B, 5'9'', 155 LBs, Born 1987

.257, 0 HRs, 9 RBI, 167 AB at three different levels.

lexomatic - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:42 AM EST (#227209) #
Emaus has a good chance at sticking in New York. They have a zombie (Luis Castillo) at 2b. Who is no longer good defensively,no longer has any speed, and whose only offensive asset is to walk to first base.
His competition is Ruben Tejada, who I don't think can hit(also more of a SS) and should be in AAA; Alex Cora, old, crappy and a FA; Luis Hernandez 26 and not good hitter; Joaquin Arias, can't hit utility IF; Justin Turner comparable without patience. And all those FAs available.

As insurance for Wright, and bat at 2b he has a good shot at 200+ AB, with a realistic shot at a full-time job if he fields as well enough and hits better than anyone else on the team who can play the position (probably a given except for Reyes.)
Possibly the best spot for him to land... unless he wants to win.

PeteMoss - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:43 AM EST (#227210) #

By exposing them in the Rule V draft, the odds are they'll be returned or if the Mets decide to keep him but don't him in the Majors, you'll get something back in a trade.  If you just release them, you don't get any return. 

Ducey - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:47 AM EST (#227211) #

If I squint hard enough I can see the good news in Crawford going to Boston: This should make TB a little weaker and with expanded playoffs maybe the Jays can squeak in ahead of TB sometime in the next few years.

JP is in the Mets front office right?  He still likes his guys.  I wonder if AA will just the Mets keep Emaus (ie send him down). 

Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:48 AM EST (#227212) #
... unless he wants to win

I imagine his highest priority at the moment is a major league paycheque. The winning can come later.
Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:52 AM EST (#227215) #

You also get 50k if a player's taken in the rule 5.

Anyone have a list of how many players stick each year who are taken in the rule V?  Can't be more than 2 or 3 can it?

ayjackson - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:02 PM EST (#227216) #

I don't understand leaving either Emaus or Loewen unprotected when there's room on the 40-man roster for them.

I agree with Emaus, but the Loewen omission is quite defensible.  He is out of options.  If we add him to the 40-man, he has to make the club in ST or be available on waivers.  It is better to lose him in the Rule V than on waivers due to rights on the player if the claiming team can no longer carry him on their 25-man roster.

Original Ryan - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:11 PM EST (#227217) #
I don't understand leaving either Emaus or Loewen unprotected when there's room on the 40-man roster for them.

Loewen is apparently out of options, so if the Jays had added him to the 40-man roster, they'd have either been forced to carry him on the 25-man roster or expose him to waivers at a later date.  Personally I don't think there was much danger of Loewen getting claimed anyway -- he'll be 27 in April and he's still learning to hit.  He also signed another minor-league contract with the Jays this offseason, so if there had been a better opportunity for him elsewhere, he probably wouldn't have accepted Toronto's contract offer.

The more I think about the Emaus situation, the more I wonder if the Blue Jays believed that exposing him to the Rule 5 draft was actually the best way to retain him.  I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive, but If the Blue Jays believed that Emaus would eventually wind up being the 40th guy on the 40-man roster this year, there was a good chance he would be lost on waivers this year when the Blue Jays needed an extra spot for a call-up or new acquisition.  In that situation, any team that claimed him could simply option him to the minors.

However, by exposing him to the Rule 5 draft, it forces a claiming team to keep him on the 25-man roster for the entire year, and he has to be offered back to the Jays before the claiming team can send him to the minors.  With 7-man bullpens being the new standard, teams don't have much room to carry a guy like Emaus on the bench.  A National League in particular might have trouble keeping Emaus on the roster if his bat isn't ready for the majors.  If Emaus can't hit well enough to be a semi-competent pinch hitter, then he's of little value to the Mets.  I think there's a good chance Emaus will be back in Las Vegas at some point in 2011.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:23 PM EST (#227218) #

I appologize for anything inaccurate in my post on the Rule 5 Draft.   I was following the draft live-ish on River Avenue Blues and they reported Rone Salas not Rone Flores.

Miguel Olivo is working out a deal with Seattle or another team - his words.   That gives a top 'B' pick in the Supplemental draft.   Apparently Supplemental 'A' are ranked in order by the team that signed them.   'B' picks are then ranked by the same means.

Kevin Gregg is being sought after by Boston, Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, Seattle to name a few.   Possiblity of a good Supplemental 'B' pick.

Scott Downs wasn't going to give us a 1st round pick anyway.

Contreras moves to AAA, while Flores moves to AA, as far as I could tell.   Each round, MLB, AAA, AA can go 3 rounds, but there rarely much interest in anyone past midway 1st round.

ramone - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:57 PM EST (#227220) #

Griffin mentined this on twitter:

"JP and AA talked for a while in the back of the room after the draft"

Maybe JP is looking to keep Emaus in the mets system even if he's not on the 25 man.

John Northey - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:05 PM EST (#227221) #
Crawford gets Wells deal (length & dollars). What were they like when each contract was signed?

Wells: Coming off a 129 OPS+ age 27 season, had a 132 a few years earlier, lifetime 112 OPS+ over 3525 PA with 3 GG in CF

Crawford: Coming off a 134 OPS+ age 28 season, had never cracked 120 before, 107 lifetime OPS+ over 5383 PA, 1 GG in LF

So, Wells was the better hitter career wise by a little bit, but Crawford had a slightly better year the season before signing. Wells was a Gold Glove CF at the time, Crawford a GG in LF.

Checking FanGraphs you get Crawford being worth $27.4 in 2010, $25.4 in 2009, $16.9 is his peak otherwise. Wells gives you $21.3 in 2006 but $10-11 mil the 3 years before (his 2003 is listed as a horrid fielding year, cutting value by about $5-6 million). Since he signed Wells has been a $6.1/6.6/0.1/15.9 million player.

Crawford was more established at a $20+ level thanks to inflation and his fielding being listed as very well above average for a LF (his fielding is about 1/3rd of his overall value). Crawford appears to have a better shot at holding value than Wells, but you must keep him near his current level (which screams peak to me) to hold value over that contract.
ramone - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:05 PM EST (#227222) #

Apologies for the double post but I'm hoping that AA will look to lock up Cuban OF Leonys Martin when he declares himself for free agency which will be apparently soon.

Some info on him:

http://soxbronzetitan.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/a-look-at-22-year-old-cuban-of-leonys-martin/

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=10253

And from ESPN writer Joge Arangure via twitter:

"Agent Scott Shapiro says OF Leonis Martin,22,considered best position prospect out of Cuba in years,in Mexico and should be declared FA soon"
Shaker - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:34 PM EST (#227227) #
I f Emaus is returned to the Jays can he be sent down without being exposed to waivers?
Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:51 PM EST (#227231) #
Other teams do get a shot at him on his way back to Toronto - that's how the Jays got Willie Canate, as I recall - but once he's in the Jays organization he's already "down".
Thomas - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 02:14 PM EST (#227232) #
I'm not as confident Emaus will be returned as I would have been if Loewen was selected. The Mets have a gaping hole at 2B and it's not improbable that Emaus could open the season as their starter. We'll have to trust AA's valuation of his abilities, but there's a chance the team lost a useful reserve for nothing. However, Emaus won't go down alongside Bell and Liriano and his loss won't come back to hurt the team meaningfully, if it's permanent.

The Boston Red Sox are likely to be formidable opponents for a long time. In my opinion, they have their 6 most valuable players under team control for at least 3 years and 5 of them are under control for the next 4 years. Pedroia, Gonzalez and Crawford, as well as Lester and Buccholz are all under team control (including club options) through at least 2014 (and Lester's contract ist the only one that ends that early). Kevin Youkilis is signed through 2012 with a 2013 option. Who knows what will happen with pitchers and the attrition at second base seems to happen faster than at many other positions, but that is a talented group of players under control for at least 3 seasons (4 if you exclude Youk).
Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 02:57 PM EST (#227236) #

It's safe to assume that he will be soon enough, but Gonzalez is not officially under contract with Boston beyond 2011 at this point.

Say, can we have a Gone But Not Forgotten thread for new Mariner Miguel Olivo?

Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 02:58 PM EST (#227237) #
The O's are doing a major reconstruction job.  With Reynolds and Hardy added, and a new first baseman to come (LaRoche?), and the other positions filled with good and generally young talent, this should be at least an average club in 2011.  They did go 34-23 under Showalter at the end of the year, with Matusz and Arrieta coming on. 

On the other hand, the most comparable player to Matt Wieters in BBRef's list is Russ Nixon.  If that continues, the Os are in trouble, but I like Wieters' chances of being an above-average player beginning in 2011.

ayjackson - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:23 PM EST (#227239) #

The Emaus situation is made even stranger by the Mets involvement.  You'd think that JP and AA would have largely the same impression of Emaus as most of their organization hasn't changed much.  And Emaus has only improved from a numbers point of view.  However, one GM saw him worthy of a shot on the active roster and the other didn't think he was worth keeping him around at all.

As for process forward, it is my understanding that if the Mets want to option him to the minors they have to first offer him back to the Jays for some nominal dollar figure.  If the Jays take him back, they can use an option to reassign him to the minors.    No one else should have a shot at him unless I'm missing something.  Really the only way the Jays should lose him is if he stays on a 25-man roster all year.

cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:27 PM EST (#227240) #
it's not improbable that Emaus could open the season as their starter.

Well, IMO, I have to agree. Beautiful wording anyway, I like it. the Mets have many options on FA (for instance, O-dog can be signed) and they also resigned the former Jays Russ Adams.

With respect to Matt Wieters, he is at least at a good position to improve himself going into 2011. If he could be accompanied by a defensive backup catcher and some former catcher(s) in the coaching staff, like Jose Molina and Wakamatsu in place for Arencibia, he would have a good chance to show those comparison on paper incorrect. The invisible components of Wieters (for example, attitude and work ethic) aren't exactly and easily portraited in number but other evidences (for instance, scouting reports) aren't available either on BBRef.
christaylor - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:36 PM EST (#227244) #
"one GM saw him worthy of a shot on the active roster and the other didn't think he was worth keeping him around at all."

I'm not sure that's a totally accurate assessment given the comment by AA believing that the three open spots on the 40-man will be filled in the coming weeks. More accurate might be that AA doesn't believe that the chance Emaus will be lost (it seems as likely as not that he'll be returned) as valuable to the team as the FA (trade?) additions.
christaylor - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:40 PM EST (#227245) #
I (believe) I heard/read that A-Gon and the Sox have a handshake agreement in place to sign after opening day, with the ostensible rationale that if he signs then he won't count against the luxury tax.

I don't know how the luxury tax works -- does this rationale for not signing (yet) make sense to someone who does know the details of the luxury tax?
Ryan C - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:44 PM EST (#227246) #
Emaus has only improved from a numbers point of view. However, one GM saw him worthy of a shot on the active roster and the other didn't think he was worth keeping him around at all.

I wouldn't say that's completely accurate. AA felt he'd have to expose Emaus at some point, either now or later. By exposing him now, there's a good chance the Jays will get him back. For all we know maybe AA and JP worked out a deal that the Mets would take him for that very reason.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:44 PM EST (#227247) #
I agree with ayjackson: the Emaus situation is getting peculiar; in my opinion, some information are not yet available to us that caused the different transactions by JP and AA. In terms of Emaus' own development, the Mets' pickup at lease show his worthiness in the eyes of a front office. IMO, for the best of his development, he shall have played in AAA in the 2011 season even if he shall fill the 2B hole for the Mets.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:53 PM EST (#227250) #

Nobody else has a shot at Emaus if the Mets offer him back to the Jays, but they won't.  NY has made themselves a very nice pickup.  I was really disappointed when Emaus wasn't put on the roster.  The guy has power, draws walks, can run, hits for average, and is just 24 years old.  Have a look at his age 22 season in high A, in a pitcher's league.  Put up an .890 OPS in his age 24 season in AAA, admittedly in a good hitters' environment.  I think Emaus is going to be a fine big league hitter.  I think it's nuts that they put guys like Perez, Lewis and McKoy on the roster ahead of Emaus.  No way are the Mets going to offer him back to the Jays.  Another disappointment in this offseason.

That Boston batting order with Ellsbury, Crawford, Youkilis, Gonzalez, Pedroia, Ortiz, Drew/Cameron, Scutaro/Lowrie is going to be amazing.  Lester and Buchholz have a chance to win a ton of games.  Even Lackey might win 20 with that kind of support and a good bullpen.  You know the Yankees are going to be adding Lee or other big name players - it's going to be very, very difficult for the Jays to make the post season for the next 5 years if they don't add another wild card team.

Forkball - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:54 PM EST (#227251) #

The Emaus situation is made even stranger by the Mets involvement.  You'd think that JP and AA would have largely the same impression of Emaus as most of their organization hasn't changed much. 

Why would they have the same impression?  I can see JP liking him both then and now, but he's not a guy AA brought in, and the team has a whole new slew of scouts to give opinions.  It's possible AA never was sold on Emaus.  He clearly is different in how he runs things than JP.

As for process forward, it is my understanding that if the Mets want to option him to the minors they have to first offer him back to the Jays for some nominal dollar figure.  If the Jays take him back, they can use an option to reassign him to the minors.    No one else should have a shot at him unless I'm missing something.  Really the only way the Jays should lose him is if he stays on a 25-man roster all year.

Emaus could be claimed by another team willing to keep Emaus in the majors if the Mets tried to send him to the minors.  Isn't that what happened with Bautista?

cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:55 PM EST (#227252) #
I'm not sure that's a totally accurate assessment given the comment by AA believing that the three open spots on the 40-man will be filled in the coming weeks. More accurate might be that AA doesn't believe that the chance Emaus will be lost (it seems as likely as not that he'll be returned) as valuable to the team as the FA (trade?) additions.

IMO, I think the assessment was probably made without the mindset of that AA comment. At any rate, it doesn't change significantly the peculiar situation of Emaus trade.

Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:02 PM EST (#227253) #
ZIPS projection for Emaus in the majors:
.238 .314 .364


Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:06 PM EST (#227254) #
Interesting, ZIPS has Emaus as an average defender at both second and third base.  If that is true, he is still a useful utility player even if he hits as poorly as ZIPS would have it. 
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:06 PM EST (#227255) #
Seriously, the MLB needs to improve the discrepancy between the Yankees and BoSox, and the other teams, especially in AL East. IMO, I don't put Ellsbury at leadoff at the game of season opener. Another wild card team or realignment of the divisions: at least the teams not in AL East shall have a fair share of the two megapower.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:13 PM EST (#227256) #
Interesting, ZIPS has Emaus as an average defender at both second and third base.  If that is true, he is still a useful utility player even if he hits as poorly as ZIPS would have it.

He is 24; On paper, he would have a chance to improve himself in playing regularly in AAA than as a bench warmer (given his defensive and hitting ZIPS stats, he likely will be) at MLB.
stevieboy22 - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:20 PM EST (#227257) #
I hate to go all Jeff Blair on you guys...

But, worrying about Emaus not being protected is a waste of time...

He projects to be a dime a dozen utility player.. Is there a chance he turns out to be a quality MLB player? Sure.. But highly unlikely, if the Jays scouts thought there was anymore than a 5 percent chance I don't see why they wouldn't have kept him around...

dan gordon - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:34 PM EST (#227259) #
Those ZIPS projections for Emaus are almost identical to his mle for the 2010 season numbers.  I see no reason to think he is going to suddenly stall out after his age 24 season.  I think a more reasonable projection would see him continue to improve, as most players his age do.  Typically, a 24 year old player should still continue to improve for another 2-3 years.  I think Emaus has a reasonably good shot at becoming an everyday player, or at least a very good platoon or semi-regular player.  He has a much better shot than McKoy, Lewis or Perez.
Moe - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:42 PM EST (#227260) #
Looking at Olivio's contract, it may have been even better to exercise the option and trade him.  At worst, you get the same prospect back you draft (2nd rd, far from the majors) without having to pay a bonus.



Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:48 PM EST (#227261) #
ZIPS usually comes in on the low end for batting projections, as compared with CHONE, PECOTA or Marcel. 
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:58 PM EST (#227262) #
He projects to be a dime a dozen utility player.

Although posters on the internet are not in positions to challenge professional player projection, I would have to agree that dan gordon is probably more realistic in analysis at this moment. Taken the example of Russ Adams who was recently resigned by the Mets, I would recall his prospect rating and exposure even in Moneyball when he was drafted and starting his professional career. Not intended to rub salt on wounds, I think Jays fan regulars have been familiar with his rise to MLB and back as an AAAA.



Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 05:06 PM EST (#227263) #

This off season makes me think that luxury cap 'tax' should be redistributed to the teams in your division.

Forkball - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 05:07 PM EST (#227264) #
Looking at Olivo's contract, it may have been even better to exercise the option and trade him.  At worst, you get the same prospect back you draft (2nd rd, far from the majors) without having to pay a bonus.

I had a similar thought, but teams seem to value their prospects enough where I figure the Jays concluded the player they're likely to draft is a better bet than a prospect they would have received in a trade.  Really, it's the Rockies who should have swung a trade more than the PTBNL and saving the buyout.

Said another way a compensation pick is a B type prospect (who's many years away).  Is any team going to trade that kind of prospect to pay Olivo $2.5 million instead of signing him for $3.5 million over 2 years and giving up no players? 

I think we underestimate the monetary value that teams place on prospects.


cybercavalier - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 05:09 PM EST (#227265) #
ZIPS usually comes in on the low end for batting projections, as compared with CHONE, PECOTA or Marcel. 

Any reference to this? or just a impression. BTW, how accurate ZIPS is?
Dave Rutt - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 07:53 PM EST (#227266) #
Pretty sure ZiPS, CHONE and PECOTA are all pretty close in their accuracy, they just have different "personalities", so to speak... Marcel is not quite as good but is surprisingly close given its primitiveness (that's kind of the point).
Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 09:36 PM EST (#227272) #
Unfortunately, you cannot get the 2010 ZIPS and CHONE projections off Fangraphs any more. ZIPS ran low on the hitters most of the last few years but did very well with pitchers.  CHONE did a little better with the hitters.

FWIW, ZIPS projects Arencibia at .230/.273/.432; that is basically the slug-heavy equivalent of Emaus' line.

dan gordon - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:47 PM EST (#227278) #
Again, that line is almost exactly the mle for Arencibia's 2010 season.  Doesn't seem like a very sophisticated model.  Once more, I would say it is low because he should still be on the upward part of his career curve.  Emaus and Arencibia had virtually identical batting averages in LV, hit doubles at about the same rate, Emaus drew walks at a higher rate, and, of course, JP hit a lot more HR's.  They are very close in age as well.  It will be interesting to compare how they each do in the bigs in 2011 and beyond.
CaramonLS - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:15 AM EST (#227287) #
Awful contract for Craw.  Sox are going to be hurting in 3 years when the guy slows down.

Makes me wonder what Bautista would get this off season if he were an FA... or next for that matter.

85bluejay - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 07:05 AM EST (#227289) #

WOW!!! - All this hyperventilating over Brad Emaus - A player who doesn't make a wit of difference to

the future of the Jays - you would think we had left Kyle Drabek off the 40 man roster - reminds me of all the

whining over Collins & Pasternicky. I like Emaus and hope he makes it, but  his value to the Jays might have been

as a throw-in in a trade - AA's explanation that the team will probably require more than 3 spots with signings and

likely will have to drop others from the roster makes it perfectly sensible that emaus wasn't added - as a

previous poster noted, this is probably the best way of keeping emaus, forcing the acquiring team to keep

him on the active roster.

Paul D - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 08:47 AM EST (#227292) #


Zips takes a player's age into account when making projections.  It 'knows' how old Emaus is and used that info to make its projection
Dave Till - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 09:52 AM EST (#227296) #
I always thought that he should have been nicknamed Brad "Might" Emaus. ("Here I come to save the day!")

One reason that I hope that the Jays join forces with a different AAA affiliate sometime soonest is that you have to let so much air out of Las Vegas hitting statistics. Compare Emaus with Hoffpauir:

Emaus:  .298/.395/.495 (AVG/OBP/SLG, natch)
Hoffpauir: .295/.376/.494

Emaus is a bit better at drawing walks, but otherwise they're exactly the same player. Hoffpauir was so unimpressive in his brief callup that the Jays sent him right back down.

The way I usually look at AAA stats is by comparing a player's stats to those of any long-term minor leaguers on the same team. Compare Emaus and Hoffpauir with Jason Lane and Mike McCoy (and also with Brett Wallace):

Lane: .323/.422/.524
McCoy: .310/.411/.469
Wallace: .301/.359/.509

McCoy was at .195/.244/.267 in 82 at-bats in Toronto, and Wallace nose-dived spectacularly in Houston (.222/.296/.319). Admittedly, he's young enough to improve, but right now it looks like Wallace for Gose was an act of first-degree larceny.

It seems as though a player needs to hit .350 or more in Las Vegas to have a shot at being a legitimate star at the major league level. AA may be able to exploit this Las Vegas stat inflation, if he can find some clueless general managers - there's a couple of other .300 hitters in Sin City who could be bundled into trades. But, based on 2010 stats, I would venture to state that there is no one at AAA who can help the Jays with the bat (and that includes Arencibia).




Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 10:23 AM EST (#227298) #
The thing that makes me hopeful about Arencibia is that 2010 was not his first great season, he was already a legitimate prospect coming in. In 2008 he hit .298 / .322 / .527 in 126 games split between Dunedin and New Hampshire, good enough for BBA to rank him as the #43 propsect in baseball. 2009 was unimpressive, but in a way it legitimizes his 2010 - in the same league and the same park he showed enormous offensive growth.

It's also relevant to look at age and pedigree when comparing hitters at AAA.

Arencibia 1st rounder, 24 years old in 2010
Lane - 6th, 33
McCoy - 34th, 29
Wallace - 1st, 23
Emaus - 18th, 24
Hoffpauir - 6th, 27
Dave Till - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 10:41 AM EST (#227299) #
For sure, the younger players could improve - which is good, because it looks like they need to.

Keeping Arencibia in AAA won't help him - he needs to prove whether he can hit major league pitching. Given that the Jays are playing for 2012 or 2013, I'm totally okay with finding out now whether J.P. can do it. I don't think he will, but my track record for predictions of this sort can best be described as "spotty".

christaylor - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 11:55 AM EST (#227305) #
"The way I usually look at AAA stats is by comparing a player's stats to those of any long-term minor leaguers on the same team."

This is method is probably fundamentally flawed. Long term minor leaguers almost certainly have flaws in there game that can be exploited by major leaguers. Be it holes in their swings, impatience at the plate, the inability to throw the breaking ball consistently for strikes, or lack of fastball command -- the AAAA label is useful for a reason, and that reason, I think is, that these players tend to have tiny weaknesses that they can not compensate for at the big league level and big leaguers catch on how to exploit them rapidly.

With young players, this not necessarily the case as there's little data on how they make adjustments to playing competition that is just that much better.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 12:49 PM EST (#227306) #

I've got a question or two or more for you, any you.  

Since acquiring a Catcher to share duties with / take over as primary from / not have Jose Molina play with J.P. Arencibia was so important, why did the Jays interest in Martin take so long to materialize - he was non-tendered?   Considering the catching market is getting thin, multiple years and $6.0+ MM per will be needed to land him.   If that doesn't work, who's next?

Since acquiring a First Baseman to be the DH and occasionally relieve / take over full-time from Adam Lind was so important, why is it taking so long?   Some very interesting players signed elsewhere.

Since acquiring a Closer and Bullpen help was a priority, why hasn't anything been done to fill the holes here?   After all, Yoakim Soria is also a K.C. Royal.   The actual market for what is sought is not that tasty.

What has happened to our need for a Third Baseman?   Especially some one better than E.E., and there's not much there.

How does A.A. justify almost 5 weeks of going after Justin Upton and Zack Greinke without success?   Why didn't these searches start earlier?

The Miguel Olivo signing and the projected signing of Kevin Gregg should give us "B" picks ahead of the John Buck pick.   We will have enough decent Supplemental Picks, plus two second round picks, to permit signing a Type A or two if necessary.   I just don't know if A.A. is willing to trade the people necessary to fill the holes that way, and I don't think he's willing to spend the $$$$$$$$$ to sign the people necessary to fill the holes the other way.

James W - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:01 PM EST (#227307) #
You continue to mention Joakim Soria in every post, but the Royals probably want even more for him than they do for Greinke.
John Northey - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:15 PM EST (#227308) #
CA: We have a pair which the Jays (in a building year) can live with, plus there are always fungible ones out there. Martin was just non-tendered and might be able to cover a couple other positions, don't know if AA tried to get him ahead of time, but if he did then he'd have had to pay about $5 million+ in arbitration - if you can sign him for 2 years at $6 million that would be a better deal.

1B: It is early still, and good hitters who can't field are always sitting out there waiting for a contract offer. Who knows, maybe AA is chasing Fielder and keeping it quiet.

Pen: Always cheap ones out there, wait for the high priced ones to clear out and then go for the cheapies as they'll probably produce just as well as the pricey ones.

3B: A mess right now, but we saw AA was after a few possibilities and might even have a solution in Lawrie long term. I put this under 'wait and see' as a trade will be needed unless he blows the wad on Beltre

Upton & Greinke: No one else has got either of them, so talks are probably still going on. Guess you should blast all 28 other GM's who might be chasing them.

Type A's: I doubt AA will sign any, unless it is a lock down long term star and I don't see any of those out there right now. Well, Cliff Lee could be but that involves silly money (over $20 mil per over 7+ years).

Blasting AA pre-spring training for not getting guys for each position is risky as there are always a ton of balls in the air at this time of year. We don't need a full team until spring training ends, so no need to panic yet. If March arrives and we still have no idea who is playing 3B then I'd say it is time to complain.
TamRa - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:42 PM EST (#227311) #
AA's explanation that the team will probably require more than 3 spots with signings and likely will have to drop others from the roster makes it perfectly sensible that emaus wasn't added...

That's well and good unless you think Emaus had more value tham, say, Rommie Lewis or Luis Perez or whoever.

Most of us would probably answer that "yes he does" and AA's answer apparently is "no he doesn't"

That's fine and nothing to get hyperveltelated about (and really, are not we all just killing time until an important move comes along?) but stil a reasonable discussion.

I, for one, am not REMOTELY saying "I'd rather have kept Emaus as had the free roster spot"

I'm saying "I'd rather have kept a fringey infield prospect (Emaus) as a fringey bullpen prospect" (Perez) because i think the former has a better chance of contributing value at the major league level (or in a trade) than the latter. At this point i'd be pretty darn surprised if Perez ever reaches 50 IP total in the majors, let alone 50 GOOD IP
Mike Green - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:52 PM EST (#227312) #
I agree with that, TamRa.  It is a bit strange, because in other respects, AA has done a nice job of balancing out the talent between pitching and position players.
Parker - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:03 PM EST (#227313) #

Taken the example of Russ Adams who was recently resigned by the Mets, I would recall his prospect rating and exposure even in Moneyball when he was drafted and starting his professional career. Not intended to rub salt on wounds, I think Jays fan regulars have been familiar with his rise to MLB and back as an AAAA.

While we're not rubbing salt in wounds, I can't help but remember that some kid from Toronto named Votto could've been drafted in Russ Adams' stead, but J.P. Ricciardi had no interest in drafting players just because they're Canadian.

Le sigh.

Moe - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:14 PM EST (#227315) #

While we're not rubbing salt in wounds, I can't help but remember that some kid from Toronto named Votto could've been drafted in Russ Adams' stead, but J.P. Ricciardi had no interest in drafting players just because they're Canadian.

Le sigh.

I think it's a pretty stupid idea to draft anyone because of the color of their passport.  Votto wasn't drafted because he didn't fit the profile of what the Jays were going for in that day.  You may question that philosophy (drafting more polished college kids) but that's why JP was brought in in the first place.  So you can't  even pin that one on JP, there was no way that just a few months after he was brought in he would start drafting projects like Votto.  And there are always other prospects that one could have drafted.  I think the only truly contentious one is Ricky Ro over Tulo.
 
Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:23 PM EST (#227317) #
Well put Moe. I think the only truly contentious one is Ricky Ro over Tulo. And even at that, I recall there was more consternation at the time about not picking Cameron Maybin. That's worked out okay.
cybercavalier - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:24 PM EST (#227318) #
I agree with that, TamRa.  It is a bit strange, because in other respects, AA has done a nice job of balancing out the talent between pitching and position players.

I agree with both Mike G. and TamRa; some information would be left out so that the Emaus transaction was peculiar in comparison to other AA's player movements. And I thank Parker for helping me.
Parker - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:58 PM EST (#227321) #

I think it's a pretty stupid idea to draft anyone because of the color of their passport.

I think it's a pretty stupid idea to refuse to consider drafting anyone because of the color of their passport, too.

I'm not suggesting that the Jays draft every Canadian prospect available, and it's definitely a fair statement that Votto was a lot further away from getting a chance to contribute than Adams, but my admittedly subjective impression of Riccardi's statement was that he would not draft Canadian players specifically because they were Canadian and he was scared people would think that was the only reason he drafted them.  That may seem like a ridiculously insecure way for an MLB general manager to think, but everything I ever read or heard from/about Ricciardi seemed to indicated that he put covering his own ass in front of every other factor when making baseball decisions.  The only moves that didn't fit this profile were the big free agent signings he made when his dreams of glory probably briefly eclipsed his bizarre need to portray himself as a victim in every situation that didn't work out in his favor.

christaylor - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 03:31 PM EST (#227322) #
"everything I ever read or heard from/about Ricciardi seemed to indicated that he put covering his own ass in front of every other factor when making baseball decisions"

Not to be glib, but one of the last things I'd think about when JP would be him considering covering his own ass. I definitely think he never cared about such things, his comments such as, "If I'm fired, I'll get another job in baseball." attest to that, no matter what you think of him now, or at the time, he was correct when he said it.
david wang - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 03:35 PM EST (#227323) #
JP drafted several Canadians.

Magnuson, Paxton and Eliopolous come to mind right away.

There is no added value in drafting a Canadian at all, as the failed negotiations with two of those three will show. It is clearly a non factor, but does appeal to the non-fan because they get to see that red leaf next to the player on the Jumbotron.
Parker - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 03:49 PM EST (#227325) #

...his comments such as, "If I'm fired, I'll get another job in baseball." attest to that...

Just like a pouty kid who lost the race, he never cared about winning anyway.  It's a pretty clear-cut case of overcompensation.  The guy who goes out of his way to convince you he doesn't care obviously DOES care.

Ryan Day - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 03:52 PM EST (#227326) #
Votto was drafted 44th overall, in the 2nd round, so every team passed him at least once. He was the third player the REDS chose, after perennial all-stars Chris Gruler and Mark Schramek.

The draft eventually makes everyone look stupid. It's just a question of how stupid and how often.
Gerry - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 03:56 PM EST (#227327) #

With regard to Emaus, here is AA's quote on the issue from the official site.  Blame the scouts.

"We knew that there was a high probability that we would lose him," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "At the same time, you have to go with your scouts and your player development staff. I know it's a compliment to the organization when you start running out of 40-man spots."

 

Matthew E - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:14 PM EST (#227329) #
Just like a pouty kid who lost the race, he never cared about winning anyway.

Look, I get it that there are a lot of people around here who don't like Ricciardi. That's fine. But just because you don't like him doesn't mean a) that everything he says should be twisted into evidence against him or b) that you need to keep hammering on him now that he's gone.

"I saw JP eating an egg salad sandwich once."
"That's obviously because he secretly hates birds, like bluejays, and regards them as nothing more than something for him to feed off of! That malefactor! He never cared about this team!"
85bluejay - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:19 PM EST (#227331) #

Does anyone have a report on Roam Salas, the 1B from Tampa the Jays took in the minor league draft

After a nice 2009 season, he still was left in the VSL by Tampa? At 20 he's still young enough to have

hope  

Cynicalguy - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:34 PM EST (#227332) #
I don't get the argument that PCL numbers are inflated, therefore Arencibia isn't a real prospect even with the numbers he put on last year. He was the MVP of the league, so are there no hitting prospects in all of the PCL?

Also these tools that convert PCL numbers to MLB numbers people bring up, pretty useless tool, as it can't predict how good the player would be with 3 years of MLB under his belt.
Parker - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:43 PM EST (#227334) #

I don't get the argument that PCL numbers are inflated, therefore Arencibia isn't a real prospect even with the numbers he put on last year. He was the MVP of the league, so are there no hitting prospects in all of the PCL?

Arencibia was the best hitter in a hitter's league.  It doesn't mean that nobody in the PCL can really hit; just that they just can't hit as well as their PCL numbers might indicate.

Also these tools that convert PCL numbers to MLB numbers people bring up, pretty useless tool, as it can't predict how good the player would be with 3 years of MLB under his belt.

The tools aren't trying to predict how good of a hitter he'll be three years from now, they're trying to predict how well he would've hit this year if given MLB at-bats.

---

As for the prolonged Ricciardi-bashing, I apologize.  I'll offer only this in my defence: I've always trusted people at their word when they have a history of speaking the truth.  Conversely, I suspect almost everything that comes out of a liar's mouth.

Mike Green - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:58 PM EST (#227336) #
Cynicalguy, the point is that the offensive projections for Emaus and Arencibia are similar, and they are of similar ages.  Incidentally, the player in the PCL who had the best offensive season last year was pretty clearly Kila Ka'aihue.  Arencibia won the MVP award because he had a good offensive season and he is a catcher. 
85bluejay - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 05:09 PM EST (#227337) #

Parker,

Be carefull - this site is loaded with JP supporters and they'll never give up - As soon as AA builds a

winner, they will be an avalanche of posts saying that JP deserves most of the credit - it's just futile to

discuss the subject in a rationale way.

Ryan Day - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 06:00 PM EST (#227343) #
If you really think Ricciardi was an awful general manager and human being, I can't imagine why you'd be optimistic about the state of the franchise now. Anthopoulos was his assistant, and several other people he hired remain in key positions.
ayjackson - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 06:19 PM EST (#227344) #

Matthew E,

Be careful.  This site is loaded with JP bashers and they can never let it rest.

ayjackson - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 06:21 PM EST (#227345) #

   Source: Downs in agreement with #Angels - 3 yrs, $15M. Another $1M in incentives based on GF. Taking physical now. #Yankees #RedSox #MLB 7 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

The above is a Kenny Ken Ken tweet.  Good news, though i don't understand why his girlfriend has to take a physical.

Moe - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 06:25 PM EST (#227346) #

Be carefull - this site is loaded with JP supporters and they'll never give up - As soon as AA builds a winner, they will be an avalanche of posts saying that JP deserves most of the credit - it's just futile to discuss the subject in a rationale way.

I'm sure I will be considered a JP supporter for this, but I would argue that many people bashing JP are at least as irrational as you make the JP supporters out to be.  Most people who dare to say that JP was not an awful GM will not hesitate to agree that he had many flaws.  However, he also had many strength and build teams that would have been a contender in other divisions at least every other year.  And for many JP haters, JP never did anything right.  That does not mean he didn't deserve to get fired, he had two shots and didn't make it.  But it also means he was not nearly as awful as some people made him out to be.

If AA turns the Jays into a winner in 2-3 years, I don't think anyone will say JP deserves most of the credit.  That would have been true last year but not any more in 2 years.  However, it should also be allowed to point out that JP had a couple of draft picks late in his tenure that seem to be working out quite well. 


Mylegacy - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 06:36 PM EST (#227347) #
ABOUT Downs: Rosenthal agrees - that means we get the Supplemental 1st choice and the 2nd round (or third depending on what other Type A guy(s) they might sign).
TamRa - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 07:09 PM EST (#227348) #

Be carefull - this site is loaded with JP supporters and they'll never give up - As soon as AA builds a winner, they will be an avalanche of posts saying that JP deserves most of the credit - it's just futile to discuss the subject in a rationale way.

Irrelevant since that's not something you've ever shown any inclination to do.


I would argue that many people bashing JP are at least as irrational as you make the JP supporters out to be.  Most people who dare to say that JP was not an awful GM will not hesitate to agree that he had many flaws.  However, he also had many strength and build teams that would have been a contender in other divisions at least every other year.  And for many JP haters, JP never did anything right. 

QFT

Mylegacy - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 07:41 PM EST (#227349) #
What follows is SO PREMATURE I wonder why post it - well - wtf - why not...

Last year he had EIGHT picks in the first 100 overall: the 11th overall pick in the Draft (McGuire) then 34th (Sanchez), 38th (Syndergaard), 41st (Wojciechowski, 61st (Murphy), 69th (Sweeney), 80th (Nicolino), 93rd (Hawkins).

Next June we have SEVEN picks in the first 100 overall: (I predict(ish)) 21st overall, 34th, 38th, 41st, 46th, 79th and 86th - or something very close to that. Surely, we've gotta get ourselves some pretty trinkets with those, n'est pas?

Well, now that's done, time for a scotch.

melondough - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 08:22 PM EST (#227350) #
For Downs the Jays get pick 35 and as it stands now pick 78 (assuming none of the B's and A's sign with their exisitng team).  Problem is that that 78th pick gets about 30 places worse if LAA sign Soraino which everyone expects that will and 60 places worse if they sign Beltre and Soriano which is a big possibility (or C.Lee).  For Downs the Jays could easily end up with pick 35 and 138.  That sucks.  I think only the top 5 picks should be protected.
Moe - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 08:53 PM EST (#227351) #
Next June we have SEVEN picks in the first 100 overall

That sounds great... Until one realizes that of all the teams out there, the Rays and Red Sox are even better positioned for the draft.

cybercavalier - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 08:58 PM EST (#227352) #
Re: John Northey.

I agree with you at this moment for all your points but AA seems to concentrate on getting draft picks through economical means, such as Jays free agent signing by another team: Downs by the Angels. December is still too early to complain. And for the sake of discussion on player movement, Chris Lubanski and Brian Dopirak were signed by Marlins AAA and Astros AAA respectively. Even though the impact of the two players on the Jays MLB roster would not be as much as filling up the bullpen etc, which your posts were mostly about, I still wonder why the 51s have not resigned players who played well in AAA or AA last season. If getting draft picks is a means of filling organizational depth, isn`t retaining well performing AAA players also a way?

Mike Green - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 10:01 PM EST (#227354) #
Source: Downs in agreement with #Angels - 3 yrs, $15M. Another $1M in incentives based on GF. Taking physical now. #Yankees #RedSox #MLB 7 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

The above is a Kenny Ken Ken tweet.  Good news, though i don't understand why his girlfriend has to take a physical.

$1 million in incentives for a girlfriend taking a physical now...that is what I call front-end loading a contract.


melondough - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 10:59 PM EST (#227355) #

Below is the order of the 1st round and supplementary round (essentially what is know this year as "the 1st two rounds").  The main assumption that I have made is that that all remaining free agents do not re-sign with their prior team.  I have also had to assume that no team signs two Type-A free agents (i.e. if the Tigers sign Cliff Lee or Soriano then Boston's 19th pick obtained when Detroit signed Victor Martinez would fall about 50 spots). 

The conclusion that I get with regards to the 1st two rounds (subject to change of course - but it will be close to this) is:

Blue Jays are in line for picks 21,35,48,57,61

Red Sox are in line for picks 19,36,41,50

Rays are in line for picks 24,32,39,42,43,55,60,63,64 (14% of 1st 2 rounds)

The sequence below takes into account 1st round order dictated by reverse order of finish and Type-A Free Agents who were signed by teams with unprotected picks.  It also takes into account supplementary order for both A and B Types are also dicated by reverse order of the team LOSING the player (not the team signing the player).  All Type-A players come before type B and all teams must be cycled through at least once before they can get an additional pick in either the A or B round as per my communication with person at http://riveraveblues.com/2011-draft-order/.  Below is the order of picks in the 1st and sandwich pick rounds.

1          Pirates - Protected

2          Mariners - Protected

3          Daimondbacks - Protected

4          Orioles - Protected

5          Royals - Protected

6          Nationals - Protected

7          Daimondbacks - Loux

8          Indians - Protected

9          Cubs- Protected

10        Padres - Whitson

11        Astros  - Protected

12        Brewers - Protected

13        Mets - Protected

14        Marlins - Protected

15        Brewers - Covey

16        Dogers - Protected

17        Angles - Protected

18        Athletics - Protected

19        Red Sox - V.Martinez

20        Rockies- 1st rounder

21        Blue Jays - 1st rounder

22        Cardinals - 1st rounder

23        Nationals - Dunn

24        Tampa - Crawford

25        Padres - 1st rounder

26        Rangers - 1st rounder

27        Reds - 1st rounder

28        Braves - 1st rounder

29        Giants  - 1st rounder

30        Twins  - 1st rounder

31        Yankees - 1st rounder

32        Rays - 1st rounder

33        Philies  - 1st rounder

34        Nationals - Dunn

35        Blue Jays - Downs

36        Red Sox - Vmart

37        Rangers - Lee

38        Twins - Pavano

39        Rays - Soriano

40        Philies - Werth

41        Red Sox - Beltre

42        Rays - Crawford

43        Rays - Balfour

44        Diamondbacks - LaRoche

45        Brewers - Hoffman

46        Mets - Feliciano

47        Rockies - Dotel

48        Blue Jays - Buck

49        White Sox - Putz

50        Red Sox - F.Lopez

51        Padres - Garland

52        Giants  - Uribe

53        Twins  - O.Hudson

54        Mets - Vazquez

55        Rays - Hawpe

56        Diamondbacks - Heilman

57        Blue Jays - Gregg

58        Padres - Torrealba

59        Twins  - Crain

60        Rays - Benoit

61        Blue Jays - Olivo

62        Padres - Correia

63        Rays - Choate

64        Rays - Qualls

 

Richard S.S. - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 11:27 PM EST (#227356) #

CA: We have a pair which the Jays (in a building year) can live with...

I listen every time A.A. speaks (there's links everywhere, when he speaks).   I have yet to hear he's happy with Arencibia and Molina.   Molina, as our # 1 Catcher, should Arencibia falter, is a scary thought.   If J.P. Arencibia is good then maybe a 81 -81 game split with someone,better than Molina.   If J.P. is the real thing, then having a better catcher for 60-ish games, makes the team better.   I don't think Martin signs for less than John Buck did (3 years, $6.0 MM per year).   2011 may be a building years.   Are 2012 and 2013 also building years?   Having J.P. Arencibia and Jose Molina as our catchers means you have no other choice.

This site http://riveraveblues.com/2011-draft-order/ keeps very good detail on Draft picks, saves a lot of keyboard strokes.

Upton & Greinke: No one else has got either of them...

My problem isn't going after Upton and Greinke and failing.   My problem is going after Upton and Greinke first, before seeing to needs, it limits one's options.   Doesn't A.A. have Tony LaCavca and Dana Brown to start filling some of these needs.   We may not be able to get the piece or pieces we need this off-season.   We should try to get better, as best as we can.   We shouldn't settle for less when we don't have to.

BumWino - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 12:15 AM EST (#227357) #

Here's kind of a fun thing for you fellows to waste a good deal of time doing.  Sort of like an IQ test, whereby the answer may require creative thinking, which is, as you know, more taxing for many of us than just looking up some advanced stats to make somebody posting a BB opinion look like a fool.

Can you come up with a simple system which basically eliminates the lack of competitive balance in major league baseball today?

Now you may think that a salary cap is good, but expanding the number of playoff teams is even better.  So let's eliminate these options.  It's neither.

If you enjoy participating in this sort of discussion, then lets try to determine why Aaron Hill's average fell about 80 points in 2010 and what he has to do to correct his difficulties in this area.  May seem complicated, but if you're a student of the game, you should have seen the problem and had the solution before the 2010 all-star break.

Are the pitchers onto him?  Does he have issues with his swing mechanics?  Does he have vision problems?  Is his general approach wrong?    As he watches the ball's flight, is he experiencing perception issue(s) as micro-second by micro-second the pitch approaches the plate?  

Hints:  (1) Go to your advanced stats and check out Hill's 2010 GO/AO ratio vis-a-vis his 2009 stats. (2) Does pitch location(s) or changing speed(s) give Hill the most trouble?     

 

 

 

 

BumWino - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 12:50 AM EST (#227358) #

Jawol!  Standartfuerher Richard, S.S.

Your observations, Colonel, are far too thoughtful, practical and sensible for my favorite team.  Especially since the implementation of same costs money. 

So I don't think AA is going to follow your very sound line of reasoning.  He may end up outsmarting himself, you never know.  (But don't worry about his future.  He can always blame John Farrell.)  The British have a wonderful way to describe self-outsmarting; they refer to it as "being too cute by half". 

85bluejay - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 05:58 AM EST (#227361) #

If you really think Ricciardi was an awful general manager and human being, I can't imagine why you'd be optimistic

about the state of the franchise now. Anthopoulos was his assistant, and several other people he hired remain in key

positions.

 

- I think Ricciardi was a perfectly competent,mediocre GM with some obvious strengths (very good scrap heap finder,

excellent eye for college BP arms) - Unfortunately,in the AL east that wasn't good enough - for me, he was the 4th best

GM in the AL east and his hubris didn't help. 

- From everything I hear, he loves his wife and kids, which makes him a very decent person, far better than yous truly

-Because one criticizes the head of an organisation as a mediocre talent doesn't mean that applies to everyone they

hired or acquired - i.e I think that George Bush was a disastrous president and horrible leader, but I'm sure that many

of the people he hired are outstanding individuals and would make good leaders.

AND finally, I welcome all the criticisms because I'm secure in the knowledge that Mr. Ricciardi's record, in all it's

glory speaks loudest: In eight long years, no rings, no playoffs, not even a pennant race - and that ain't changing.

85bluejay - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 06:14 AM EST (#227362) #

The offseason is far from over, so let's wait then to see how the team shapes up - aside from the top tier talent

which we were not bidding on, I don't see that AA has missed out on any value players - I'm not paying $10.m for

Carlos Pena.  

christaylor - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 08:48 AM EST (#227363) #
"Can you come up with a simple system which basically eliminates the lack of competitive balance in major league baseball today?"

The current system has one of the best competitive balances in sports. Look at the other professional sports leagues. It might not seem that way in the AL East but over the past decade it has certainly been true.
christaylor - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 09:06 AM EST (#227364) #
Oh and I meant to add on Aaron Hill there's a really good article on his 2010 struggles, on a site you're probably familiar with:

http://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20100906185720847
ramone - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 10:14 AM EST (#227365) #
This might have been discussed but it's a long thread so I may have missed it, but can anyone explain to me why Lawrie was already added to the Jays 40 man?
bpoz - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 11:36 AM EST (#227369) #
Hello BumWino & Richard SS...good questions... it may spark a good debate for a few of us that are killing time until something happens. I am in the camp of the time killers.

I was surprised when AA signed Buck & A Gon so EARLY last year but the price was in his ballpark. K Gregg was also a great price but a later signing. And he got good value for his money IMO.

I would say that he is economical/cheap but then A Hech & Halladay involved shelling out some big bucks.

Sorry, I don't have an answer for your questions. Especially the "filling the roster" parts.

However he has said, unless misquoted, he wants an all star at every position. Since I believe that he is economical, I interpret it as "potential" all stars. I also believe strongly that he highly values each position on the AAA & AA teams and wants all stars there too. In AAA I have blanks at 2B,Ss,3B but the other spots are legit prospects.
In Marcum/Lawrie, IMO he traded V Good for "potential even better". That trade was for near future value.
I think the future value will be at the expense of 2011 talent as the off season progresses. The current 40 man will decrease as he said (IMO a big name of 2) and then all the holes will be filled somehow, most likely by small names.
Parker - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 11:56 AM EST (#227372) #

I don't think Martin signs for less than John Buck did (3 years, $6.0 MM per year).

There is absolutely no way any team offers Martin a contract anywhere near Buck's.  No team in baseball is dumb enough to give Martin that kind of guaranteed money.

On another note, I wonder what it'd take from the Jays for the Rays to part with Longoria?  Would Snider, Drabek, and any other prospect of Tampa's choice get it done?

Thomas - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 12:25 PM EST (#227373) #
Would Snider, Drabek, and any other prospect of Tampa's choice get it done?

Not even close. Tampa has no reason to trade Longoria, but assuming they did put him on the block, I would think it'd be something like Snider, Romero, Drabek, Morrow and Carlos Perez. That probably isn't enough (and would probably hur the Jays more than help them, too). I don't think Tampa would want that much pitching, but I don't see what else the team would have to offer them.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 12:53 PM EST (#227374) #
 ramone - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 10:14 AM EST (#227365) # This might have been discussed but it's a long thread so I may have missed it, but can anyone explain to me why Lawrie was already added to the Jays 40 man?   Explanation # 1): Monkey See, Monkey Do.   Shaun Marcum was on 40-man, so...   Explanation # 2): Most people don't think.   Who ever said you had to think to do your job.   Explanation # 3): People are stupid.   Explanation #4): All of the above or none of the above.   I work nights, this is the best I can do right now.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 01:09 PM EST (#227375) #

ramone

As I understand (& I'm no expert), it's a temporary baseball housekeeping procedure - Lawrie's contract was

acquired by the blue Jays and they have to assign it to one of their minor league clubs.

 

 

85bluejay - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 01:14 PM EST (#227376) #

Regarding longoria - there's no way the Rays are moving him, he's young, has the most team friendly contract

of ant star player and apparently wants to stay in Tampa even longer - Also Tampa is a tough trade partner, usually

get excellent return in trades and will not trade longoria to a division rival unless it's a slam dunk win - no thanks

Thomas - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 01:26 PM EST (#227377) #
Regarding longoria - there's no way the Rays are moving him

Exactly. As you said, his contract is fantastic and something even more valuable for a team with a constrained payroll like Tampa. If you thought Arizona would need to blown away to trade Upton, there's no words for the size of the offer necessary to get Tampa to consider trading Longoria.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 01:40 PM EST (#227378) #

So, let's think of something interesting.  

1) Milwaukee is unable to sign Fielder long-term and may be shopping him.  

2) Wasn't a really good prospect blocked by Fielder?  

3) Would A.A. go after him?  

4) What would it take?  

5) Would 7 years, $140.0MM extention do it?  

6) Makes Toronto relevant again, Post-Season anyone?

BumWino - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 01:44 PM EST (#227379) #

Hi Chris

Thanks for acknowledging my comment.  I guess you didn't read the question too carefully.  It concerned competitive balance in MLB.    I'm not talking ladies beach volleyball, PGA, NFL, college hoops, NBA, NHL, darts, pool, soccer or guys playing poker.

Selig's Blue-Ribbon Panel said the lack of competitive balance was due to the antiquated MLB financial model.  The ten years after the 1994-95 strike, the 10 highest-payroll teams made the playoffs 60% of the time; the ten lowest-payroll teams just 12%.

At the start of the 2010 season, Vegas odds-makers had the Yankees at 3-1 to win the WS and had Cleveland at 200-1.  Of course, that's just the one year.  So I went back over the past decade, as you suggested I should.

NYY averaged 97 wins per year; CLE had 79.  NYY 2010 payroll was $206 million; CLE was $61 million.  NYY had won three league championships; CLE none.   Not to mention that a month from now, NYY may well be paying two former CLE pitchers close to $50 million per season.

When I ran this same discussion past a Yankee blog last March, the fellows over there said I was a "hater," a "parity pariah," and that I was "insane".  They said that Cleveland had exactly the same chance as the Yankees to win the World Series, if Cleveland would only handle its limited financial resources a lot more wisely.

Chris, thanks for directing me to that excellent article about Aaron Hill.  It doesn't address anything I mentioned about Hill.  Just a lot of advanced stats stating what all of us already know.  Sort of like a history lesson with no attempt made at problem-solving. The writer mentioned that Aaron was really "unlucky'.  That's helpful.   

My question is:  What was Hill doing differently to generate those odd stats?  And how can it be fixed? 

I guess nobody wants to tackle that one.  I shouldn't have to be the person to explain it, as I'm a newbie on this site and I don't know very much about baseball. 

 

  

Original Ryan - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 01:52 PM EST (#227380) #
This might have been discussed but it's a long thread so I may have missed it, but can anyone explain to me why Lawrie was already added to the Jays 40 man?

I doubt Lawrie was added to the 40-man roster.  There's no need for him to be on it yet.  The Blue Jays' website has him listed on the 40-man, but that's probably just an error by the web team.
Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 02:27 PM EST (#227382) #
It was rather hard to piece out the meaning, but it sure seemed like someone was suggesting that the Jays throw a bunch of money at Prince Fielder...

In which case, in the name of all that's holy...

NO! NO! NO! A thousand times no!

If the guy already weighs 270 pounds when he's 26, I don't want to know what he's going to look like when he's 30. But I'm pretty sure there are more mobile trees in my back yard....

Chuck - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 02:33 PM EST (#227383) #

NO! NO! NO! A thousand times no!

But it will make the Blue Jays relevant. Or maybe he meant elephant.

TamRa - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 03:12 PM EST (#227385) #
On a more intriguing note:

White Sox | Could move Dayan Viciedo: The Chicago White Sox could look to trade 3B Dayan Viciedo this...[+]
92-93 - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 04:19 PM EST (#227387) #

Can you come up with a simple system which basically eliminates the lack of competitive balance in major league baseball today?

In the last 10 seasons :

9 different teams have won the World Series.

8 different teams have won Lord Stanley's Cup.

7 different teams have won the Super Bowl.

5 different teams have won the NBA championship.

I am thoroughly amazed when people talk about the lack of parity in baseball and the need for a salary cap.

jgadfly - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 04:38 PM EST (#227388) #
Ramone ,  thanks for the headsup on Cuban OF Leonys Martin ... he looks (solely based on text)  to be a little more polished than Gose although possibly a couple of years older and with less power potential. Still someone with value and probably first round level equivalency.   I would imagine the usual suspects are already on him.  However, there seems to be alot more where he came from as per ...   http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=28658   ...   which offers a new view on Cuban society that generally isn't publisized all that much in the northern americas.   I haven't heard such passionate debates on the merits/demerits of Trotsky since university days of the 60's and I've never heard of the "Cuban 5" before . As the guy in the bushes used to say ... " veery interestink "
Mylegacy - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 04:38 PM EST (#227389) #
Regression to the mean.

The problem in baseball is that there are 162 games in the regular season. Over that long a season the highs and lows, and injuries, etc., tend to even out - accordingly, the better teams have the better chances of getting to the play-offs. Once in the play-offs - the sample size is so small that "luck" or "a hot player" (remember Pat Borders in the WS back in the day) can - in the short term - throw calculations off kilter.

Teams playing against two Regular Season juggernauts like NY and Bos have a smaller chance of ever getting to the play-off - once there however - they've got an improved chance to get lucky or hot in a statistically less significant short series.
 

92-93 - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 04:43 PM EST (#227390) #
The Rays have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 3 years, or in other words the same amount of times as NYY & BOS - these pinko arguments are tiresome.
Thomas - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 04:44 PM EST (#227391) #
I am thoroughly amazed when people talk about the lack of parity in baseball

People confuse a lack of parity in the AL East* for a lack of parity in baseball.

* Yes, I'm aware this is where someone points out Tampa Bay's recent success....

brent - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 04:55 PM EST (#227392) #
Lawrie is on the 40 man roster because he was already on Milwaukee's 40 man before he was traded.
Alex Obal - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 05:00 PM EST (#227393) #
Assume that in the year 2025, there's an MLB with a similar CBA to the current one.

AL East odds:
New York even
Boston 3-2
Toronto 7-1
Baltimore 7-1
Tampa Bay 7-1

Who ya got? Since there's parity, hedging Toronto, Baltimore and Tampa should be easy money, right?

Alex Obal - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 05:02 PM EST (#227394) #
PS. These odds expire January 1, 2011. (I only accept Monopoly money bets anyway.)
sam - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 05:14 PM EST (#227395) #
The Reds have got to be looking to move Yonder Alonso. I wonder if that's a trade the Jays may be looking at.
MatO - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 05:37 PM EST (#227396) #
I can't find anything that says Lawrie signed a major league deal when he was drafted (like Porcello) so I don't know why he would be on the Brewers 40 man since he was never called up to the majors.
eudaimon - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 05:52 PM EST (#227397) #
MLB would be wise to learn from the NFL in terms of promoting parity. Certainly any team "can" win a World Series if they do all the right things, but it's not about whether they can do it: it's about whether the odds of it happening are reasonable. As BumWino showed, the odds are not reasonable for teams forced to operate with a lower payroll. They might have their window of opportunity, but teams like the Yankees are more or less guaranteed a playoff spot every year. Expanding the playoffs is a decent step as well, but it's only a bandage over the real problem.

The NFL has a system where there is a salary cap, but also a salary basement. You can't go over the cap, but you also can't go under the basement (not sure if that is the technical term), which I think is set at 90% of the salary cap. Thus, all teams are forced to spend generally the same amount, to the point where the difference in money spent is insignificant as compared to the importance of the proper and skilled management of the organization (ie: scouts, general managers, coaches, etc).

the 10 highest-payroll teams made the playoffs 60% of the time. This is the significant figure.
9 different teams have won the world series. This is an insignificant figure. A postseason is, in the end, a very small sample size. Any team can get hot or cold during a postseason, can get lucky or unlucky, can get sweet BABIP or be BABIPPED to death. 8 teams are currently allowed in the postseason each year, and since much of the overspending is in the AL East, there are still some National League (and American League) divisions which have relative parity. The Yankees, for example, are more or less guaranteed a playoff spot each year, but there is no guarantee that they will get hot at the right time, get lucky, etc. Once you get in the playoffs, no matter how stacked the Yankees are they cannot win every year based on pure probability. But they can, far more often than not, buy a playoff spot every year, and thus a chance to win the WS.

It really depends, in the end, what you want the game to be. I think there is not a particularly high amount of skill involved in paying ridiculous sums to the obviously best free-agents each year. I don't think this is a very interesting way for a professional sport league to be operated. I think the most interesting way to play sports is to make every facet of the game as important as possible, because limited resources makes you use what you have better.

To show this, lets compare the most successful, and least successful, franchises of the last decade, of both the NFL and MLB:

A well-managed and well-coached franchise, the New England Patriots (or Pittsburgh Steelers) win a lot because they have been incredibly good at organizing, scouting, player development, personnel decisions, and so on. They have drafted well, coached well, and got the most out of their players. A poor franchise, such as the Detroit Lions, have had incredibly bad management (Matt Millen, anyone?), poor player development, bad scouting, and so on. The difference here is that the successful team has an excellent front office and management skills. Now that the Lions have replaced Millen, they are a rising franchise, as they are making much better personnel decisions. They are finding and playing those important impact players.

The Yankees spend 40 million more than the second place payroll (the Red Sox), which averages out to an extra 2.5 million per player (8.2 million total). They spend 122 million more than the median team (the Braves), and spend a whopping 5 million dollars more per player. While well managed, the Yankees win not because of their managing, but their ability to pay more than other teams can. If they make a mistake (ie: Burnett's contract perhaps), they can bail themselves out by signing another big free agent (say, Cliff Lee?). They have made 15 of the last 16 playoffs, with the 1 being hampered by injuries, and particularly bad luck. The poorest franchises, say the Pirates or the Royals certainly have had poor management, but also are unable to spend on the level of even mid-pack payroll teams. This is not to say that you don't have to manage well if you spend money (see: the Mets), but it certainly makes it much easier.

I am thoroughly amazed when people talk about the lack of parity in baseball and the need for a salary cap, and ignore the fact that big payrolls are cheapening the game, marginalizing the power of a skilled organization, and allowing franchises to buy their way into the playoffs 15 of 16 years (The Yankees), 6 of the last 8 (The Red Sox), and so on. I am thoroughly amazed when people do this and don't even consider that there could be a way to have reasonably-sized payrolls AND complete financial parity, at little cost to the owners or players, while producing more intellectual, interesting, and skilled game dynamics.
electric carrot - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 07:07 PM EST (#227398) #
110% behind eudamion.  Rudimentary math would easily prove that a system can be deeply unfair and still have a variety of winners.  It's not who has won -- it's got to do with the chances of a team winning.  And in baseball it's unfair,
christaylor - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 07:14 PM EST (#227399) #
Bear with me...this will get back to our discussion of parity.

In statistics, it is common to go through a process known as outlier rejection -- specifically throwing away extreme data points. It is not that these points aren't interesting, just that focusing on them too much can skew the perception of the data and introduce effects (e.g., correlations) where none exist.

So my point is -- let's trim the data and throw out the top two and bottom two spending teams (NYY/BOS, and KC/PIT or whatever teams you want at the bottom end). I'd really like someone to make the "there's no parity in baseball" argument without being under the heady sway of these outliers. I doubt it can be done.

Also, it is important to remember we're talking about a sport whose charms are a long season and that very very good teams win 60% of their games and very very bad ones win 40% of their games. Any given fan, of any given team, on any given day during the regular season has a pretty good chance of watching the team they root for win. Parity is part of the game. It is just there. The playoffs are fun and all, I always watch, but they're hardly the reason why I'm a baseball fan.
92-93 - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 07:22 PM EST (#227400) #

the odds are not reasonable for teams forced to operate with a lower payroll.

No such team exists, especially with the MLB revenue sharing, central fund, and equalization payments. These owners crying poor are full of shit.

But they can, far more often than not, buy a playoff spot every year, and thus a chance to win the WS.

Until another GM comes along with Friedman's business acumen and puts an end to it.

The poorest franchises, say the Pirates or the Royals certainly have had poor management, but also are unable to spend on the level of even mid-pack payroll teams.

Repeating falsehoods doesn't make them come true.

at little cost to the owners or players

I bet the MLBPA begs to differ with your thoughts on a salary cap.

 

Steinbrenner built the Yankees into the behemoth they are today, and every other team has a similar opportunity. The Red Sox, for the record, have made the playoffs in 5 of the last 8, but only 6 of the last 11. As for the 60% number, is that supposed to reflect something negative? I see that as a positive - even if you are a top 10 payroll vying for 8 playoff spots, your chances are only 60% (and presumably much lower if you remove the Yankees from the equation, which you should be doing). Also, what's the figure for the last 5 years? A quick look at 2010 shows 7 of the top 9 payrolls missing the playoffs.

BumWino, I heard numerous people with baseball backgrounds comment on the length of Hill's swing, speculating that the 36 HRs changed his swing a little bit and he got away from the shorter, more compact swing that got him to the bigs.

eudaimon - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 07:28 PM EST (#227401) #
I'd argue that, especially in the terms of this debate, you need the extremes. You can't discuss lack of parity without mentioning the Yankees. They are, more or less, the biggest reason this debate exists. If you remove the bottom two teams, the situation is relatively closer to parity. But that ignores the reality of the situation.

electric carrot - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 07:38 PM EST (#227403) #
The Red Sox, for the record, have made the playoffs in 5 of the last 8, but only 6 of the last 11. As for the 60% number, is that supposed to reflect something negative? I see that as a positive - even if you are a top 10 payroll vying for 8 playoff spots, your chances are only 60% (and presumably much lower if you remove the Yankees from the equation, which you should be doing). Also, what's the figure for the last 5 years? A quick look at 2010 shows 7 of the top 9 payrolls missing the playoffs.

110% behind eudaimon on this.  92-93 with so many variables involved there can be a completely unfair system that still produces a variety of winners.  Understanding of basic probability explains away any argument that uses playoffs and/or playoff wins as a measure of dominance.  The important question is probability of success rather than actual success.  In any case, at a certain level I don't care if a team with a big budget loses and a team with a small budget wins.  The point is that it's not an even match when one team has triple the payroll flexibility of another team.  If the team with triple the payroll doesn't use the money wisely -- how does that prove that they don't have an unfair advantage? The question is actually a lot simpler than wins and losses or playoff appearances. It's got to do with a level playing field.  The NFL has a system where every year I feel confident that the team who used its resources most wisely had the best chance to win.  In baseball, I only feel that occasionally.  Too bad for baseball.
eudaimon - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 07:58 PM EST (#227404) #
92-93, why don't you just tell me why we shouldn't have an NFL salary cap/salary basement system. To me, it makes so much more sense than the current system in MLB. I want to hear you address the alternative idea, instead of arguing why change isn't necessary.

As for the 60% number, is that supposed to reflect something negative? I see that as a positive - even if you are a top 10 payroll vying for 8 playoff spots, your chances are only 60% (and presumably much lower if you remove the Yankees from the equation, which you should be doing).

I don't see how this is positive. If the top 10 payrolls get to the playoffs 60% of the time, then the bottom 20 payrolls get to the playoffs 40% of the time, thus the richer teams are 50% more likely to get to the playoffs. Not sure how your math works. Also not sure why we should remove the Yankees from the equation. If anything we should be looking at the top 5 or 7. #10 last year was the SF Giants, who spent only 300 thousand more per player than the #17 (Baltimore). When I think of parity problems, I don't think of the SF Giants. Even #8 (LAA) only spent 200 thousand more per player than the Giants. After that it starts jumping a bit. In short, the real problem is the top 5, or 7, or whatever.

You also seem to assume that anyone who owns a sports-team should go on an all-out spending spree. I have a feeling that for many owners, especially ones in smaller markets, all-out spending (like the Yankees) is a questionable practice. But I guess it's easy to argue for that when it's not your own money.
Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 08:29 PM EST (#227405) #
MLB would be wise to learn from the NFL in terms of promoting parity.

Which the NFL achieved not by the salary cap (which they only added fairly recently, and mainly because they could so why not), but by sharing television revenues (which they have done from Day One). The biggest revenue difference between the Yankees and the Royals are the local TV revenues. By a mile. In baseball, the home team keeps 100% of them. Just as if they were playing an intrasquad game.

And anyway... the idea of the salary cap offends my sense of logic and my sense of fairness. It seems weird to address an imbalance between how the owners divide their portion of the pie by carving out some more of the players' share...
stevieboy22 - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 08:37 PM EST (#227406) #
Magpie, I ask this cause you sound informed about the issue..

I have heard on the radio before: if the Jays and Yankees play a game in Yankee stadium, the Jays get half the gate from the game? Or say the Yankees play in Toronto, the Yankees get half Toronto's gate? Is that true? Always been curious, if so this would seemingly be a major factor many people don't realize when talking about the Jays profitability...



Anders - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 08:43 PM EST (#227407) #
Steinbrenner built the Yankees into the behemoth they are today, and every other team has a similar opportunity.

Really? Every other team has a similar opportunity to be located in the largest metropolitan area in the United States and have a rich 110 year history, including 20 World Series victories and 3-4 of the best 15 players of all time before the current owner bought the team?

Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 08:53 PM EST (#227408) #
NFL owners have of course benefitted enormously from dealing with a very weak players union. The owners have taken full advantage of the situation (non-guaranteed contracts?) , and it looks like they want to continue taking full advantage (an 18 game schedule?).

But this may cause some problems down the road. NFL players are completely disposable, and easily replaced. There is no shortage of players outside the pro system who can step in and play (major league baseball players are protected by the existence of the minor leagues - these players, already in the pro system, would never cross an MLB picket line.) But NFL players are very easily replaced. Which makes them disposable, and is why they're treated as disposable. Teams have very little interest in protecting them. Why should they? No one has an actual investment in anyone. They're free to use 'em up and throw 'em away. This freedom, naturally, has effected how the game is played on the field, and the game itself has evolved accordingly. More and more it reflects the perception - and the perception is also the reality - that the players are interchangeable pieces of meat.

And inevitably the level of violence, and the long term physical and mental damage to the players, began to get out of control. That's where the NFL game is headed, unless something changes drastically. It's getting to be like boxing, and there is going to be a reckoning...
Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 08:59 PM EST (#227409) #
the Jays get half the gate from the game?

Not any more (I don't think it was half, but they did get a cut.) But the visiting team's percentage of the gate was eliminated when revenue sharing was implemented in the late 1990s.

I'm pretty sure they'd much rather have a chunk - say 25% - of the local TV revenue anyway.
electric carrot - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 09:14 PM EST (#227410) #
The NFL situation overall is worse than MLB simply because of all of what you say Magpie.  It's a disaster.  People who play the game are not only in non-guaranteed contract situations they are also in a devil's bargain with their physical, intellectual and mental health.  It's unconscionable and there will be a reckoning.

I know the strong players union in baseball does create certain obstacles towards creating a system that's more fair -- but the bigger problem in my opinion is vision and will. It seems that there is little will to turn things around and very little leadership.  Also, the apologists for the status quo are winning the day based on logically bankrupt arguments. It sort of reminds me of the arguments that less not more regulation was needed in the banking industry in the Clinton and Bush years. (Of course, the consequences in baseball are far less important.) 


Thomas - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 09:32 PM EST (#227411) #
Really?

Of course they do, Anders. There's a billion-dollar TV enterprise waiting to happen in Kansas City, San Diego or Pittsburgh. The only reason that there isn't one now is managerial incompetence or laziness.
John Northey - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 12:57 AM EST (#227412) #
Well, if you want total parity we could always just force all players to be on one year contracts, everyone making $2 million flat, and having players shuffle from team to team based on a random draw each winter.

More realistically, baseball since free agency began in the late 70's has been far more even than any other sport as it goes to overall champions. Even reaching the playoffs has been fairly well spread out with a handful of notable exceptions lately.

What is odd is seeing teams like KC and Pittsburgh play at such a poor level for 10+ years while others, such as Tampa, can compete in the hardest environment in baseball. This strongly suggests there is something in the current setup that encourages teams to not win - perhaps the revenue sharing that locks down a profit if your payroll is sub-$50 million. Thus you either go to an NFL model, where every last penny is shared thus removing all incentive to compete and making it so you get more randomness in who wins, or you go to the old 80's model in baseball where very little is shared and the incentive to win is sky high.
BumWino - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 01:02 AM EST (#227413) #

OK, Chris.  You convinced me with that vital information about the outliers.  You want them out of the equation, they're........gonzo.  Matter of fact, I know a great little ladie's softball league on Fantasy Island where NYY, Bos, Pit & KC could be playing next season.

The rest of the teams....oops!.....Philly's payroll's may be as high as $170 million next season.  Better back up the turnip truck again.  One more customer.  Then there's NYMets, maybe LAofA, etc. 

Good try, Chris.  Bad idea.

electric carrot - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 01:28 AM EST (#227414) #
Thus you either go to an NFL model, where every last penny is shared thus removing all incentive to compete and making it so you get more randomness in who wins, or you go to the old 80's model in baseball where very little is shared and the incentive to win is sky high.

hunh?

First of all it seems to me that "randomness" is the wrong word -- if anything the NFL adds less randomness by privileging teams who operate with more skill.

And why are we forced to choose between only 2 (unsuitable) alternatives?

It seems like baseball needs to find its own system that deals with present realities and things that are unique to the sport and its history.  For example maybe there needs to be a floor and ceiling for payroll and that they aren't too far apart.  Maybe something like no team can spend more than 50% more than another and the floor is such that teams like KC and the Pirates can't act like parasites on the rest of the league.  This is just an example that of itself may not work -- and I understand this implies some kind of revenue sharing -- but what I am really saying is it's not that a solution doesn't exist -- it's that right now there's no leadership and will to propose a new intelligent system that would make things more equitable without creating parasites.





Ryan C - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 01:50 AM EST (#227415) #

First of all it seems to me that "randomness" is the wrong word

I don't know, if every single year you can cut everyone on your team that you don't like and replace them with someone else who may be better, and every year you can "re-negotiate" every contract that's no longer in your favour, then eventually you're going to get something that's halfway good. I really like football, but the sheer volume of roster turnover in the NFL makes it tough to be a casual fan.  In three years your entire roster can be turned over (except maybe the QB, the one person on the team who isn't a faceless piece of meat).  This happens sometimes in other sports if a team is rebuilding of course, but in the NFL it is happening all the time to every single team.

 

92-93 - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:06 AM EST (#227416) #

92-93, why don't you just tell me why we shouldn't have an NFL salary cap/salary basement system.

Because America is a capitalist, free-market economy and for some reason people want America's sports to be monopolistic structures. Having a salary cap takes the money out of the players' pockets and puts it into the owners' - why would anyone want that? There absolutely should be a salary basement though, and it should equal some dollar figure north of the amount of money MLB knows that team is receiving from the various funds. There's no transparency though, which is why it was a huge deal this summer when MLB financial documents were leaked and it's also why when Josh Johnson was given a 4 year deal you heard rumblings that MLB forced Loria to spend some of the money. People need to remember that the owners have been screwing the players for over a century to the point of collusion, and a salary cap is going to benefit nobody but them. The NFLPA doesn't wield nearly the same amount of power as the MLBPA and their players suffer for it, mainly due to the fact that their contracts aren't guaranteed.

Really? Every other team has a similar opportunity to be located in the largest metropolitan area in the United States and have a rich 110 year history, including 20 World Series victories and 3-4 of the best 15 players of all time before the current owner bought the team?

Yes, that's what I said. Not sure why you felt the need to repeat it. Every team has a large surrounding area from which to draw its fans, and in many of the rural areas it can take just as long to get to the local professional team even if you live two hours away as it does for someone living in the NY metropolitan area. Using Toronto as an example, it takes less than half the time to get from Hamilton (which isn't in Toronto's metropolitan area) to the Dome than it does to get from Newark or Trenton to Yankee Stadium. Then there's also the fact that a significant portion of New York's metropolitan area can be considered Red Sox, Phillies, & of course Mets territory. Your citation of the Yankees' historical success is also puzzling to me - Boston has the 2nd highest payroll & NESN and has none of that success. Fans don't come to Yankees games because Mickey Mantle used to get blowjobs under the bleachers - they come because Derek Jeter is a legend.

There's a billion-dollar TV enterprise waiting to happen in Kansas City, San Diego or Pittsburgh.

The notion that there was a billion dollar TV enterprise waiting to happen in New York the 70s for a sports franchise that cost under 20m was equally ridiculous. If MLB is in markets that can't sustain themselves, then move out. But when Toronto is running a 63m payroll and are probably receiving over 40m just from MLB alone and you start talking to me about salary caps, you lose me right away.

ayjackson - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 09:19 AM EST (#227417) #

At a boy, Mickey!

Learn something new everyday.

I actually like baseball's model, right now.  The simplest most effective change would be to go back to two divisions per league with two wildcards. 

But there's a good system in place to control the salaries of players well into their prime.  There's also an active market to flip these players for multiple younger players as they approach FA. 

I think there's a danger that slotting in the draft, an international draft and the revamping or elimination of the draft pick compensation system will reduce the ability of a team to differentiate itself by building a strong system.  The luck element of the draft will have a heavy influence at that point.

uglyone - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 09:34 AM EST (#227418) #
"Having a salary cap takes the money out of the players' pockets and puts it into the owners'"

actually, putting a cap in baseball at a similar level as those in the other leagues (i.e. giving the players about 60% of league revenues) would actually take money out of the OWNERS' pockets and put it into the players.

Thomas - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 09:55 AM EST (#227419) #
"The notion that there was a billion dollar TV enterprise waiting to happen in New York the 70s for a sports franchise that cost under 20m was equally ridiculous. If MLB is in markets that can't sustain themselves, then move out."

I am not interested in what was ridiculous 40 years ago, I'm interested in what is happening now. If your comment is meant to imply that since one proposition that was unrealistic occurred, all propositions that are realistic are possible, i fundamentally disagree. There will never be a YES-style TV deal for the Royals, Pirates and Padres in the next 50 years. Please bring this post to my attention if that ever occurs. It may exist in a few other markets, but there are many where it does not.

As for your contraction comment, I don't know what you mean by "sustain themselves," but I don't see why moving away would solve anything, as no potential new market provides the opportunity to compete financially with the Yankees or Red Sox. Many of the existing markets don't.

If you don't like salary caps as a potential solution, that's a point of view that is not unreasonable. However, denying there is a structural inequality that is only growing between those two teams and the rest of the AL seems foolish
Mike Green - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 10:06 AM EST (#227420) #
Pop-quiz.  Major league baseball is afforded protection from anti-trust legislation in America because:
  1. Adam Smith played cricket and rounders,
  2. Alan Greenspan is a Cubs fan, or
  3. it is not a business, but America's national pastime
It is true that full revenue sharing sounds like a pinko cyclist idea if I ever heard of one, but it's OK for a pastime. :)

christaylor - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 10:58 AM EST (#227421) #
There's one existing market that could support a team and has a historical precedent -- adding a third team in NY. Heck, now that I'm thinking about it -- there's also historical precedent to adding another team in BOS. The Braves. Cut into the Yankees/Sox revenues by moving one of the teams that does not deserve a baseball team and one might have something there.

Also, it has not been mentioned, but what baffles me a bit is the notion that moves ought to be made to deliver more parity to the league. I like watching great baseball, I like watching great teams, and seeing a team put together a dynasty is amazing. Sports aren't fair... and to strive for that seems to work against the vary nature of sport.
johnny was - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 11:48 AM EST (#227422) #
A very simple plan to restore some competitive balance would be:

* return to the balanced schedule
* end interleague play (perhaps allowing a home-away series as a sop to cities/regions that have natural rivalries)
* abandon divisions and the wild card
* top 4 teams by record from each league go to the playoffs

There would be some downside in the form of more out of time zone games and reduced gate revenues for AL East teams that would no longer get 3 home series with the Yankees and Bosox.  AL Central and West teams would presumably be opposed to losing their divisional barrier from unfettered competition with stronger teams in the East.  This wouldn't shake things up too much in the NL since the traditional big spenders, the Mets and the Cubs, haven't really figured out how to use their financial clout to become senior circuit equivalents of the Yankees and Bosox.

Pluses would include getting rid of the silliness of having one division of 6 teams (NL Central) and one of 4 (AL West), reform without any controversal redistribution of wealth or a salary cap, rejuvenating markets like BAL and TOR by offering the real prospect of making the playoffs, and avoiding expansion to an unwieldy NBA/NHL style playoff structure.  Plus, it's just a lot fairer than the convoluted Wild Card system currently in place.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 12:26 PM EST (#227423) #

But I'm pretty sure there are more mobile trees in my back yard....

Another J.R.R. Tolkien fan.

You are opposed to slightly overweight players?

Magpie - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 02:06 PM EST (#227424) #
You are opposed to slightly overweight players?

He's listed at 5-11, 270 - I'm not sure "slightly" is the applicable term. Also, I remember his father...
Parker - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 02:38 PM EST (#227426) #

Also, it has not been mentioned, but what baffles me a bit is the notion that moves ought to be made to deliver more parity to the league. I like watching great baseball, I like watching great teams, and seeing a team put together a dynasty is amazing. Sports aren't fair... and to strive for that seems to work against the vary nature of sport.

I'm on board with this.  When I was a kid, my school's intramural floor hockey league had a mandate from certain parents to make the game more accessible to the "always picked last" kids.  They introduced rules that certain kids were immune to offside calls because they couldn't run fast enough to keep up with the play, and certain kids' goals counted twice because they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from five feet away.  Those kids STILL got picked last, because nobody who was any good wanted to win using a crutch.  All it did was convince those of us who enjoyed an actual competitive game to quit the league and start up our own.  Sports arent fair, nor should they be.

eudaimon - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 03:39 PM EST (#227427) #
Also, it has not been mentioned, but what baffles me a bit is the notion that moves ought to be made to deliver more parity to the league. I like watching great baseball, I like watching great teams, and seeing a team put together a dynasty is amazing. Sports aren't fair... and to strive for that seems to work against the vary nature of sport.

This is pretty poor logic. Dynasties happen within a system of financial parity (see: New England Patriots). Also, how are sports unfair? Because not all people have the same skills? There's a difference between people having varying skills sets an something being 'unfair'. Unfair implies that there is an external factor (such as having teams spend two, three times more than other teams) effecting the situation that diminishes the importance of natural skills. In fact, sports are naturally fair, as the only important thing on the field is the skill sets of the individuals playing it, and varying skill sets are evidence of natural skills, not an 'unfair' state.

Also, nice Don Cherry reference.  
BlueJayWay - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 03:40 PM EST (#227428) #
christaylor and Parker, I think you guys are talking about a different aspect or kind of fairness than that of the people saying there's competitive imbalance in MLB.
Ryan C - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:01 PM EST (#227429) #

Sports arent fair, nor should they be.

Your analogy misses the point.  Everyone is still playing the same game on the field.  No one is suggesting that Orioles runs count double or that Kansas City shouldn't have to tag up on pop flys.  We're talking about an imbalance outside of the game on the field, an imbalance in the way teams are constructed.  To borrow your analogy, how fair would it be if when picking teams, one team got the first 4 or 5 picks in a row before anyone else? 

Thomas - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:31 PM EST (#227430) #
I like watching great teams, and seeing a team put together a dynasty is amazing.

It will be truly amazing to watch a possible new Yankees dynasty with CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee heading up a rotation that also includes AJ Burnett, while 1B Mark Teixeira and 3B Alex Rodriguez bat third and fourth in the lineup.

TamRa - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:33 PM EST (#227431) #
* return to the balanced schedule
* end interleague play (perhaps allowing a home-away series as a sop to cities/regions that have natural rivalries)
* abandon divisions and the wild card
* top 4 teams by record from each league go to the playoffs


This. I've said pretty much exactly the same thing myself. This fixes almost everything - with one caveat which I'll get to at the end of this post.

adding a third team in NY. Heck, now that I'm thinking about it -- there's also historical precedent to adding another team in BOS.

I like this too - or part of it. The NY part has a lot of legs and putting a financially floundering team in NY t divide up the market more wors for me (albeit the YES model might be so strong that you don't impact the Yankees nearly as much as the Mets)

Not so big on a second team in Boston because, for all the Red Sox spending, they are still not on par with the Yanks and are within reach of teams like the Jays and Angels.

the caveat I mentioned above is this - the problem with the Yanks (and to a lesser extent the Red Sox) payroll is not so much what they can spend THIS year as opposed to what, for instance, the Rangers can spend.

It's that they have the financial depth to swallow mistakes and keep spending.

Take Cliff Lee for instance - there's a solid base of opinion out there that giving him 7 years and $160 mil would be a pretty huge overpayment, and one that would be a big burden for any other team except the Yankees.

Because the Yankees make so VERY much money that they can afford to have a guy, six years from now, who's worth 12 million and makes 23. no one else can afford that. THAT is where the imbalance comes in.

And that imbalance is not represented by the fact that the Yanks HAVE Cliff Lee, it's represented by the other teams who are denied his services. Building a dynasty is fun and all, but a dynasty in Texas or Toronto or LA is just as fun as a dynasty in NY. Better, in fact, since the latter falls into "been there and done that - repeatedly"

I'm not sure what the best solution to that is - Johnny's plan helps in terms of the playoff chase but it doesn't help the Yankees sucking many of the blue chip players out of the market. I'm not sure if that can be done without 100% revenue sharing.

eudaimon - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:45 PM EST (#227432) #
I'm not sure what the best solution to that is

How about a salary cap and salary base? Then the Yankees are forced to be fiscally responsible, and the rest of us are forced to pay up or get out. No more room for the Loria's of the world to cheap out.
Mylegacy - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:52 PM EST (#227433) #
While we await the "Lee Decision" - a real Cliff hanger - and waste time re-aligning baseball - my 2 cents on the subject -

I say One League - MLB - with Two Divisions, each of 15 teams - each get FIVE teams to the playoffs and play a League wide balanced schedule. The Yankees are in one Division (The Filthy Rich Steinbrenner Division) and the Red Sox are in the other division (The Liverpool United United States Division) . The rest are divided by King Solomon - er Bud Selig - in what ever way he sees fit.

As to the DH - in case anyone gives a fiddlers - I say keep it League wide - the NL with 7 hitters, an automatic walk, and an automatic out - is SO yesterday!



Parker - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:53 PM EST (#227434) #

I think you guys are talking about a different aspect or kind of fairness than that of the people saying there's competitive imbalance in MLB.

---

Your analogy misses the point.  Everyone is still playing the same game on the field.  No one is suggesting that Orioles runs count double or that Kansas City shouldn't have to tag up on pop flys.  We're talking about an imbalance outside of the game on the field, an imbalance in the way teams are constructed.  To borrow your analogy, how fair would it be if when picking teams, one team got the first 4 or 5 picks in a row before anyone else? 

Yeah, you're both absolutely right.  I just love telling that story whenever people are in favor of introducing more financial controls in MLB.

The unfairness in the draft is more about big-market teams' willingness to spend way above slot on signing bonuses than teams being unfairly awarded extra picks, but obviously this goes back to the whole idea that some teams generate a whole lot more revenue than others.

I still don't believe this is unfair, though.

While market size is an obvious concern, the Yankees and Red Sox don't just have fans within their market, they have fans all over the world.  This isn't just because they win (these days, anyway) - they also market their brand successfully by leveraging team heritage.  The Red Sox in particular have been successful marketing the "loveable losers" brand in the past with the Curse of the Bambino and playing David to the Yankees' Goliath.  Not every team has a rich heritage, but that's just a fact of life and I don't think the teams that are successful at marketing should be punished for it.

Parker - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 04:57 PM EST (#227435) #
I meant to say that the Yankees and Red Sox don't have only have fans within their LOCAL market.  Their gross market is basically the entire planet, just like every other team's has the potential to be.
Dave Till - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 06:26 PM EST (#227437) #
A few ideas that probably don't make sense, but I might as well toss them out there:
  • Back when the Yankees were the only big-spending team in the division, I semi-seriously suggested that they should just be given an automatic bye to the playoffs. During the season, they could play a series of exhibition games to stay sharp - or they could play a 162-game schedule like everybody else. The logic here is that normal-spending teams would get to fight with people their own size - and baseball fans (and TV executives) want to see the Yankees in the postseason anyway (if only to see them repeatedly lose), so why take the risk of them missing out?
  • Here's a way to possibly enforce competitive balance: when a team signs a free agent, they have to pay an extra amount on top to each of the other teams in their division - with the caveat that these teams only get the money if they actually spend it (so they can't pull a Loria and trouser the money).
  • Break the leagues into Division 1 (big spending teams) and Division 2 (smaller market teams). You could have promotion and relegation between leagues. And one or more post-season berths could be reserved for the Division 2 league - can the underdog beat the big-spending monoliths of Division 1 in a short series? Tune in, viewers, and find out!
  • How about a handicap system? If you spend too much more than your opponents, you start with -7 wins (or whatever). Let's see if the mighty wallets of The Bronx or The Fens can prevail if their opponents are given a head start!
More seriously:
  • The essence of baseball is competition. If one or two teams get so much better than the others that games stop being interesting, attendance and revenue will dwindle.
  • Post-season baseball, as presently played, is kind of dull (and this is not just because the Jays never get in). Games start late - so that the Pacific time zone can view them at the end of the work day - and seemingly last forever, due to longer commercial breaks and endless pitching changes and other not particularly exciting strategic manoeuvers. Playing baseball until midnight, Eastern time, is a frequent occurrence. Can this be changed, somehow?
  • Adding more playoffs, if this happens, pushes baseball deeper into November. In many cities, this turns games into a travesty of The Summer Game.
Thomas - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 08:21 PM EST (#227439) #
Not every team has a rich heritage, but that's just a fact of life and I don't think the teams that are successful at marketing should be punished for it.

Nobody is looking to punish the Yankees or Red Sox in an absolute sense for being successful at global marketing. Some people prefer a system whereby they do not accrue all of the financial gains of their success. However, since they would still be making money, and probably more money than others, for this venture, I don't see it as punishment.

TamRa, I would venture that the Red Sox are becoming more like #1B than a team that is just slightly ahead of the rest of the pack.

Putting a third team in New York is not going to divert any serious revenue from the Yankees. It may be worth doing to assist the franchise in question itself, but I seriously doubt it would make any significant dent in the Yankees revenue stream. People may go to the Brookyln Pirates games because the tickets are avaiable and affordable, they may buy a hat or two, but the YES model wil continue to function and the vast majority of fans will still watch and root for the Yankees.

Any real grip in the market would probably take a generation, and then I still think it would be a case of Yankees, Mets and Mets-B.

92-93 - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 08:29 PM EST (#227440) #

If your comment is meant to imply that since one proposition that was unrealistic occurred, all propositions that are realistic are possible, i fundamentally disagree.

By definition any proposition that is realistic is possible.

However, denying there is a structural inequality that is only growing between those two teams and the rest of the AL seems foolish

No one has denied this. The question is whether this inequality exists because other teams don't make the effort to create the same structure. And once you include Boston, that answer is yes.

Mike Green - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 08:43 PM EST (#227441) #
From what I see, the Red Sox are not an iconic brand outside of New England the way the Yankees are outside of Greater NYC.  Hip hop artists around the world wear Yankees caps, because (I guess) it is a symbol of "#1".

If a club is not competitive with the Red Sox year after year for a decade or two, that is not a reflection of size of market/iconic status or anything but less effective management (both in the player personnel and market development areas).   The Red Sox do, at present, set a very high standard  for management. 


Magpie - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 09:39 PM EST (#227442) #
I'm still missing the logic. The imbalance is not between owners and players - it's between owners and owners. The solution involves how the owners allocate their piece of the pie, not asking the players to take less to make life easier for the Kansas City Royals (while simultaneously letting the Yankees have yet more money, seeing as how they don't have to spend as much on talent.)

And as I've always said, the visiting team should get a chunk - it doesn't have to be 50% - of the home team's TV revenue. No one's playing intrasquad games. I think that alone will correct most of the imbalance.

I assume the Yankees (and the Red Sox) would be reluctant, however...
earlweaverfan - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 10:00 PM EST (#227443) #
Looking for some help from some statistics wise men (its the time of year for wise men).

Where do I go to find league average numbers (or even comparison averages by position) to compare a player's performance against? 

So, when I hear that someone who had a bad year, with a BABIP of only .210, I can see that that number is low.  But what is better than average for the league?  Or for first basemen?

Similarly, with ISO and RISP.  I understand how they are calculated, but I still don't know how any given number for either compares with the league.

Another number I am especially interested in is pitches per at bat.  In part, I want to see how a player like Wells compares to his peers.  (Of course, it is locked in my memory that, too often, he swings way too early in the count, pops up, pounds his bat down in disgust, and then repeats that process all too soon thereafter.  But maybe his at-bats are just more memorable than other people's).  More than that, I would like to know if there is a correlation between how soon in a count a player concludes his at-bat and how well he hits overall.  I have heard it said that the Yankees as a club are extremely patient hitters, and that this pattern results in better results.  I have also heard it said that if you are batting against a really capable pitcher, your best strategy would typically be to swing at the first pitch (good chance its a strike), and then get very patient thereafter.   How/where can that be proven true or false?

On baseballreference.com, I can see how Bautista performed on the first pitch, or on a 1-2 count, etc., but how do I find out how the league performed on average on a first pitch, and what the average outcome might be for a batter who let the first pitch go by?

Where do I go for the data to help me with all that?
timpinder - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 10:28 PM EST (#227444) #

Mike G,

I've been told that Hip Hop artists wear sports apparel to "represent" their hometowns, and when others outside the greater NY area adopt Yankee's apparel it's to display their affiliation with the East Coast scene of Hip Hop versus The West Coast scene.

I can't stand most of that music, but my wife listens to it for some reason and that's what she tells me.  It doesn't have anything to do with the Yankees being #1 or really have anything to do with the baseball team.

Also, the Red Sox do in fact appeal to the Irish demographic outside of Boston.  I'll always have a soft spot for Boston for that reason and I'm sure I'm not alone.  I don't think I've seen any other teams with a green line of apparel!

Now, I just did two things I thought I'd never do here.  Disagree with one of your posts, and talk about rap music. 

 

Chuck - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 11:20 PM EST (#227445) #

Where do I go for the data to help me with all that?

BB-Ref. I think you'll find that most stats at the player level can also be found at the league (AL, NL) level and at the MLB level.

More than that, I would like to know if there is a correlation between how soon in a count a player concludes his at-bat and how well he hits overall.

On this topic, and perhaps tangential to your query, I have always had a problem with how conclusions are drawn from number of pitches per AB.

Take two players: Player A swings and misses a great deal and Player B doesn't. Say each swings at the second pitch in an AB. Player A is likelier to miss the pitch and see his AB extended. Player B is likelier to "be successul" in ending his AB by making contact and putting the ball in play. Player A's AB will last more pitches. Does this make him a more patient hitter (which would be a likely characterization)? He tried to end his AB the same time as Player B, he just wasn't able.

I think that if you want to study this matter, you need to consider the frequency of four categories: pitches in the strike zone swung at, pitches in the strike zone taken, pitches outside of the strike zone swung at and pitches outside of the strike zone taken. I'm not sure if such data can be found for free. I know that this is the type of thing that shows up in Bill James' annual Gold Mines.

TamRa - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 11:21 PM EST (#227446) #
Back when the Yankees were the only big-spending team in the division

There hasn't been such a time, at least not in the free agency era.  Or rather, they are more so now - i.e. the difference in them and #2 is greater now than ever.

The USA Today database goes back to 1988 but it can be safely inferred that there was no time in the previous decade that saw the Yankees way out in front of everyone else.

Here's a list, the Year, the Yank's approximate payroll, and the third column is either the #1 team (when it wasn't the Yankees) or whoever was #2

the 4th column is the precentage that NY was higher than the #2 team in years the Yanks were #1

'88 - 18.9 - 15.9 - 18.9% (Tigers #2) (Jays 12th)
'89 - 20.6 - 21.6 (Jays 6th)
'90 - 21.0 - 24.0 (Royals 1st, Yanks 5th, Jays 13th)
'91 - 27.8 - 33.6 - (A's 1st, Yanks 8th, Jays 9th)
'92 - 36.0 - 44.4 - (Mets 1st, Yanks 6th, Jays 3rd)
'93 - 41.3 - 45.7 - (NY 3rd, Jays 1st)
'94 - 44.8 - 42.0 -- 6.67% (Jays 2nd)
'95 - 46.7 - 49.8 - (Jays 1st)
'96 - 52.2 - 48.7 -  7.19% (O's 2nd, Jays 17th)
'97 - 59.1 - 54.9 - 7.65% (O's 2nd, Jays 9th)
'98 - 63.2 - 70.4 - (O's 1st, Jays 11th)
'99 - 88.1 - 81.3 - 8.36%  (Rangers 2nd, Jays 14th)
'00 - 92.9 - 90.4 - 2.77%  (Dodgers 2nd, Jays 21st)
'01 - 112.3 - 109.7 - 2.37% (Red Sox 2nd, Jays 10th)

I interrupt this list a moment to point out that it was in THIS context that JPR said in his hiring interview that you could compete in the AL East with the Yankees without spending at their level. Nine short years ago the Jays payroll was ~$76.9 million and they were, at that point, as close in absolute dollars and as a precentage (The Yanks payroll was 46% higher than the Jays) as they would be for the rest of the decade. JP had NO IDEA (nor did we) what was about to hit him.

'02 - 125.9 - 108.4 - 16.15% (Red Sox 2nd, Jays 11th - 76.9)
03 - 152.7 - 117.2 - 30.29% (Mets 2nd, Jays 21st - 51.3)
'04 - 184.2 - 127.3 - 56.9% (Red Sox 2nd, Jays 21st - 50.0)
'05 - 208.3 - 123.5 - 60.01% (Red Sox, Jays 25th - 45.7)
'06 - 194.7 - 120.1 - 62.11% (Red Sox, Jays 16th - 71.9)
'07 - 189.6 - 143.0  -  32.59% (Red Sox, Jays 16th - 81.9)
'08 - 209.1 - 137.8 - 51.74% (Red Sox, Jays 13th - 97.8)
'09 - 201.4 - 149.4 - 34.81% (Red Sox, 16th, 80.5)
'10 - 206.3 - 162.4 - 27.03% (Red Sox, 22nd, 62.2)

So yeah, ok, you are probably thinking of '04-'06, so my initial reply was incorrect -  but I'm not sure there's a practical difference in outspending your closest opponent by 30% or by 60%

On my other computer I have a link to a chart I did comparing the Yanks payroll to the team at #5, 210, #15, #25, and #30 from 2000 (or 2001?) to the current year (which was 2008, i think, at the time) and you can see the other five lines track closely with each other while the Yankee line explodes off the top of the chart. It is true that the Red Sox, in the last four years, have corrected to distantly pace them, but they are still far more out in front than they were in 2001, or any year previous (and I'm assuming '88 was an abberation)

Another way to look at it, in 2010 the Yanks payroll was 143% higher than the median in MLB, in 2000 it was 55% higher than the median. In 1990 it was about 24%

The YES model really has changed the entire landscape. As much as one might make cracks about the Red Sox being "Evil Empire 2" - they really aren't. They are just a pale imitation.

finch - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:46 AM EST (#227447) #
to balance out competition within divisions, making it fair for the blue jays' of the world, i believe that the luxury tax should be shared amongst those teams in the division that do not spend to that level ie the yankees and the red sox. this would allow other clubs to spend closer to the level of the stronger teams.
finch - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:47 AM EST (#227448) #
and yes i realize that the blue jays are just as wealthy as the red sox and the yankees. i was using them as an example.
BumWino - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 05:08 AM EST (#227449) #

Regarding competitive balance in MLB, I've come up with an idea to achieve it in one fell swoop.  The concept is so simple that there could be something I'm missing entirely.  I'll just give you the gist of it.  I'm depending on you fellows to play the devil's advocate.

No salary cap is needed, but the disparity in team payrolls would tend to lessen over a period of time.  That's because my idea rewards baseball entrepreneurship completely and provides a disincentive to teams considering a dramatic payroll increase in order to be more competitive with the best teams.

Here's it is.  Everything is kept exactly the way it is right now, except a second set of standings is put in place.  The first set "Classic Standings" is what we have now.   The second set is the "Championship Standings".

Let's use the American League as the example.  The Championship Standings are based entirely on payroll.  Any team can have any level of payroll it wants.  No regulation (salary cap), no luxury tax, nothing.  

The Championship Standings of course exist on paper only and are used to determine which four teams make the playoffs.  Scheduling could remain much the same as it is today, although that would tend to favor Central and West teams over East teams.

The 14 AL teams are divided into four divisions; the division winner makes the playoffs.  Premier Division, 1st Division, 2nd Division, 3rd Division.  Three teams in two of the Divisions and four teams in the other two Divisions. 

A week before Opening Day, the teams submit their payroll numbers to the Commissioners Office.   The latter slots the teams into the Divisions.

On the last day of the regular season, there is a quick draft of six players to "equalize" the talent level of the four teams heading into the playoffs.  Any player on teams that didn't make the playoffs can be drafted.

3rd Division winner gets three picks.  One pitcher and two position players.

2nd Division winner gets two picks.  One pitcher and one position player.

1st Divsion winner gets one pick.  Either one pitcher or one position player.

Premier Division winner does not draft any players, only watches in dismay.

If KC won the 3rd Division, for example, the team could pick up, say, Seattle's ace starter, Boston's Crawford and Minnesota's Mauer, which would give them a much better chance of defeating the Yankees, for example, in the playoffs.

Where's the flaw(s) in this?  Other than the two years we'd be without baseball while the players were out on strike.  Players say league parity is important, but the Players Association always votes against it.  Parity tends to limit salaries.

Notes:  (1) Teams can't exceed their Opening Day payroll.  (2) Players on DL don't count against payroll, but their replacements do.  (3) Team "promotion" and "relegation" would add interest.  Div. 1, 2 and 3 winners move up to the next Division, while the worst teams in Div. Premier, 1 and 2 would move down the following season. 

I'm sure many of you will think that this idea is "insane".  Yankee fans certainly thought so.  But it goes along way toward instantly restoring parity (fairness) and it doesn't cost 10 cents to institute. 

 

 

Mike Green - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 08:47 AM EST (#227450) #
I think that if you want to study this matter, you need to consider the frequency of four categories: pitches in the strike zone swung at, pitches in the strike zone taken, pitches outside of the strike zone swung at and pitches outside of the strike zone taken. I'm not sure if such data can be found for free. I know that this is the type of thing that shows up in Bill James' annual Gold Mines.

Chuck, fangraphs publishes this info.  For Aaron Hill, if you scroll down to the plate discipline section, you'll find for 2010, o-swing (swings on pitches outside the zone) of 31.3%-yuck, z-swing (swings on pitches inside the zone) of 72.1%, o-contact (contact on swings on pitches outside the zone) of 70.9%, z-contact (contact on pitches outside the zone) of 90.9%.  Hill sure was making a lot of contact on pitches outside the zone last year, and as he is not Yogi Berra, he didn't hit too many of those for line drives.  It would be fun to have the results of contact in the zone and contact out. 
85bluejay - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 08:51 AM EST (#227451) #

BumWino

count me in the "insane idea" camp.

I don't mind the current system as is - baseball is the one sport where you can build a contender using many

different models - and the fact that you can find an Albert Pujols so late in the draft or so many teams can pass

on Mike Trout makes it more interesting.

A couple of tweaks I wouldn't mind:

-Arbitration cases completed by December, so teams can walk away(ala NHL) and make player FA

-ability to trade draft choices ( can't trade 1st. rd. pick in consecutive yr. unless receive 1st. rd. pick back)

-  Teams can buy out longterm contracts at some fixed percentage (say 70%)

-The same limit that exist regarding the maximum that you can cut a player's salary in arbit. (20%), should

  also be the maximum raise a player can achieve in arbit.

Jonny German - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 11:04 AM EST (#227455) #
As much as one might make cracks about the Red Sox being "Evil Empire 2" - they really aren't. They are just a pale imitation.

Exactly. Exactly exactly exactly.

Baseball does not need a salary cap. It does need a Yankees cap.
John Northey - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 11:17 AM EST (#227456) #
I forget where I read it, but a great idea that is extremely simple (thus avoiding the issues of cross-ownership) is to have some revenue sharing via market size.

So, for example using extremely rough numbers, NY is a split market between the Yankees & Mets, so you have a gross population of, say, 20 million to split in that territory so 10 mil each. Toronto has a gross of about 4 million people in the GTA (depending on definition). Detroit has about 3 million.

So, for revenue sharing you decide how big the pool has to be and have all teams pay into it based on their population. Thus NYY and Mets would pay 2 1/2 times as much into it as the Jays and 3 1/3 times as much as the Tigers would. All teams collect 1/30th of the money put into that pool.

The areas covered by these populations would also determine which areas are 'exclusive' for these teams, thus if NYY wanted to shrink the area covered in order to reduce revenue sharing then the area not covered would be open game for any other team to move into. And no silly stuff like leaving open only areas that are pure housing and no one would be allowed to build in.

That way if a team (such as the Yanks and Red Sox right now) prove to be good at sucking all the cash out of their zone they are going to keep massive profits. If a team like the Jays of the late 90's fail to take advantage then they get hit hard (the Expos of Loria's day would've been hit with a sledgehammer).

No disincentive to invest, as revenue sharing is based only on things team owners have no control over (population and getting 1/30th of the total).
Mike Green - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 11:23 AM EST (#227457) #
Timpinder,

Disagreeing with me about hip-hop fashion statements gives you at least a 70% chance of being correct.  Everything I know is second-hand or even farther removed.

As for the Red Sox having the upper hand in marketing to the worldwide Irish diaspora, that's probably true but I imagine that the Latin American and Asian diasporas might be larger and other franchises might have the edge there.



Mylegacy - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 11:50 AM EST (#227459) #
BumWino - what a clever idea. Whodathunk you waz up to it!

It won't work - I would suspect - however - what I REALLY like about it is that it is "out of the box" thinking. Baseball needs more of that! (Actually - most damn near everything needs more of that) Original and innovative - very well done. However, before you get too excited with the praise I'm heaping - remember I also thought highly of the Edsel and now that I remember it - I was also quite fond of mid-1950's Studebakers as well.

Richard S.S. - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 12:04 PM EST (#227460) #

Baseball doesn't need a Cap, it needs a Floor most of all.   I recommend $65.0 MM as a minimum.

Most G.M.s are too stupid or too lazy to consider the implications of trading a draft pick.    I am utterly opposed to any such idea for that reason alone.

I am not in favor of any realignment, until Toronto gets into the post-season under Alex Anthopoulos.   We might as well see if he's right.

I would institute a Luxury Tax Cap at $125.0 MM.     $2.00 for each $1.00 over the Cap under to $.01 less than $150.0 MM.     $3.00 for each $1.00 over the Cap under to $.01 less than $175.0 MM.     $4.00 for each $1.00 over the Cap under to $.01 less than $200.0 MM.     $5.00 for each $1.00 over the Cap under to $.01 less than $225.0 MM.     $10.00 for each $1.00 over that Cap level.     Yankees want to spend $250.0 MM - under this system they'd pay $600.00 MM in luxury tax!

I would eliminate interleague play, it cheapens the All Star Game and removes some of the mystery of the Post-Season.   Balancing the schedule means more West Coast trips each season, and receiving less revenue for fewer Yankee and Red Sox games.

Moderation, my friends, moderation in all things, including moderation.

 

Mick Doherty - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 12:16 PM EST (#227461) #

it cheapens the All Star Game

Well, THAT'S momumentally hard to do, even with all the "this time it counts" crapola ....

Jonny German - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 12:22 PM EST (#227462) #
Most G.M.s are too stupid or too lazy to consider the implications of trading a draft pick.

No doubt. I'm sure many Bauxites would make much better GMs than the current crop of jokers.
BumWino - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 12:35 PM EST (#227463) #

85bluejay

I cheerfully defer to your superior baseball wisdom and knowledge. 

Your opinion that my idea is insane, because you "don't mind the current system as is" certainly works for me. 

You see, I'm a contemporary Luddite who believes that the Earth is still flat.  And any sort of change is at best, nerve-wracking, and at worst, downright dangerous.  Anything could happen.

bpoz - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 12:38 PM EST (#227464) #
Lots of very creative thinking. Excellent $ presentation TamRa.

So everyone is waiting for Cliff Lee to pick his team. I hope he does soon.

This ground work teams talk about, I wonder how complicated it gets. Eg if Lee signs with Texas, NYY may have to trade for a SP, so teams offering a SP that NYY may want, all become players...
Anders - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 12:47 PM EST (#227465) #

Baseball doesn't need a Cap, it needs a Floor most of all.   I recommend $65.0 MM as a minimum

This is a terrible idea... playing young players, who are cheap, is a perfectly legitimate strategy for a baseball team. The National's shouldn't have to spend 20 million a year on Jayson Werth to get above a salary floor.

Wait...

Chuck - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:03 PM EST (#227466) #

moderation in all things

Except for hyperbole. And HTML tags.

bpoz - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:18 PM EST (#227468) #
Genius...Insanity, I am definitely in favor with both.
CeeBee - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:22 PM EST (#227469) #
I wouldn't mind seeing 2 divisions with the top team in each division plus 2 wildcards making the playoffs. Also eliminating interleague play would be good IMO. For the "it won't happen in my lifetime" idea I'd be quite happy with an NHL style playoff system.
John Northey - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:50 PM EST (#227470) #
For a salary cap/floor, if one must be made it should be based on something that would prevent teams from doing bizarre things but instead encourage competition.

So making it a mixture of money paid to ML, minor leaguers, amateur draft, and international free agents for each club would allow Tampa Bay type teams to grow while avoiding the 'pay $20 mil a year to a scrub' situation. Then try to figure out what range would make sense and have an escalating penalty for not landing in it and split that penalty between teams landing in the range and all players.

We know MLB has annual revenues of $200+ million per team ($6 billion divided by 30). I'd guess a goal would be to split it 50/50 owners/players (for sake of argument). To get there you could have the cap/floor be based on percentages of the $100 million per team goal. So teams within 25% of the goal are good ($80-$125 million). Those within 50% of the goal get none of the shared cash and are charged $0.50 per dollar off ($67-$80 & $125-$150 million). Those between 50-75% off are hit with a dollar to dollar penalty ($57-$67 & $150-$175 million). Those between 75%-100% are hit with a $2 dollar per dollar penalty ($50-$57 & $175-$200 million). Beyond that hit with a $5 per dollar penalty (lower than $50 million or over $200 million). That would certainly get everyone's attention eh?

So if the Marlins spent, say, $10 million on their minor leagues/draft (I'd bet on less) then they'd be based on $57 million last year = tax of $16.5 million and they wouldn't get a penny back. The Yankees, if they only spent $10 mil on minors/draft (I'd bet on more) then they'd be based on $223 million = tax of $202.5 million (most for cracking $200). I suspect that'd hit even the Yankee pocketbook. The Marlins in 2006 were at just $15 million (just shy by $1,500) - so lets do the $10 mil extra on that and you'd get $25 mil = tax of $155.5 million (most for being below $50 mil). Yowtch! Think they'd have done things differently that year if that was the penalty?

Use the money to first adjust for getting to the 50/50 mark (extra to owners or players depending on who was over) then split the rest 50/50 owner/player (but only owners who played by the rules). If it can't get to 50/50 then such is life (odds are it would never be off by too much with these penalties). Teams then can build however they wish, with no fear of being penalized for it. Make it a 2 or 3 year rolling average if desired to help adjust for those years where you are just slightly off (no one signing in draft, weak international free agent market, whatever).
ayjackson - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 01:52 PM EST (#227471) #

I wouldn't mind seeing 2 divisions with the top team in each division plus 2 wildcards making the playoffs. Also eliminating interleague play would be good IMO.

Agree with this.  I don't understand why we went to three divisions to begin with.  While it may not be the simplest solution, it is likely the least "radical".

Oh and while we're at it, lets get rid of pitchers hitting and DH's.  Let's go to the 8-man batting lineup.

Ducey - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 02:07 PM EST (#227472) #

I guess given all the philosphizing there isn't a lot going on.  mlbtraderumours.com reports today:

The Blue Jays and Nationals have been actively pursuing Greinke, and the Jays theoretically do have the players to pull off a deal if the righty's no-trade clause can be addressed.  However, ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted on Saturday that the Blue Jays "have no intention of giving up Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider" for Greinke.

John Northey - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 02:24 PM EST (#227473) #
To which I say 'phew'. Someone else posted it elsewhere.

Still, the idea of giving up 2 young guys who are major league ready, one of whom could be better than Greinke if all goes well as early as this season (sometimes kids do that) just catches me as a crazy idea. Can't blame KC for trying. Would not be happy with AA if he did it though. If you are on the brink of a WS and need that one piece, OK (ala David Cone 1992 for Jeff Kent). Otherwise don't even think about it.
Magpie - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 03:28 PM EST (#227474) #
Most G.M.s are too stupid or too lazy

Gulp. What does that make us?
Mike Green - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 03:40 PM EST (#227475) #
On the other hand, minor league master Gerry McDonald is neither too stupid nor too lazy.  He did say "most G.M.s".  As for the M.G.s, don't even ask. 
BumWino - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 04:54 PM EST (#227479) #

Mylegacy

Thanks, eh. 

My Dad graduated university at 19, my dear old Mom had her masters in English Lit, and my lawyer son is a certified Mensa genius.  Somehow I got left out.  So I don't blame you for being surprised at my conjuring up an original idea, albeit a rather off-the-wall concept, to fix major league baseball.

Now I have to fix LPGA golf.  They want to enhance their TV ratings.  I thought if the golf babes wore thongs like the beach volleyball girls that that would do the trick.  Their reaction?  They told me idea was...bottom of the barrel and that my mind had obviously...gone south, and that I had become the...butt of jokes in LPGA circles, and that they were going to send me...back to the...rear of the class until I could come up with a brilliant idea to...rectify the situation.  Bummer.  

Love those Studebakers and Edsels!  Er, I was a Packard man, myself. 

Have a good one, my brother.

TamRa - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 06:14 PM EST (#227481) #
related to nothing in this thread - from the BA Q&A today:

Here's the scouting report that would have appeared with our Brewers Top 10 had Lawrie stayed put (this is the report they wrote on lawrie that won't now get posted since he changed teams):

The Brewers put Lawrie on the fast track in 2010 by assigning him to Double-A Huntsville at age 20, making him the second-youngest regular in the Southern League. Very confident to the point of cockiness, he was anything but intimidated and got better as the season progressed and he adjusted to the higher level of competition. He led the league in runs (90), hits (158), triples (16) and total bases (250). Lawrie has very strong hands and a quick bat, allowing him to wait on pitches and drive the ball to all fields. He's not a prolific home run hitter but piles up extra-base hits by shooting the ball into the gaps. Lawrie needs to balance his aggressiveness with more plate discipline, however. Though he stole 30 bases, he was caught 13 times and his speed is just average. Lawrie has smoothed out some of his rough edges in the field but still must work on making his hands softer, as evidenced by the 25 errors he committed in 131 games at second base in 2010. He has solid arm strength but may not have the first-step quickness to remain at second. He won't have to be a Gold Glove defender because his bat will get him to the big leagues and keep him there. If he has to move to an outfield corner, he'll still provide enough offense to profile as a quality regular.

Perhaps more happy-making:

The Blue Jays may be the team best equipped to make a trade for Greinke. The Royals' biggest need is up-the-middle talent, which Toronto has. Though the Jays reportedly won't include Drabek in any deal, they could build an offer around a combination of Lawrie, a catcher (Travis d'Arnaud, who might be the best catching prospect in the minors, or J.P. Arencibia) and...


I like them apples.
92-93 - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 07:23 PM EST (#227482) #
Thankfully the ridiculous notion of Drabek + Snider for Greinke which was born out of a conversation between Elliot & McCown has gone away. Jays got nowhere near that value for the best pitcher in baseball, who might be thinking he made a mistake extending for only 60m guaranteed when Lee is going to guarantee himself 100m more than that and is only a year younger with an inferior track record.
Mylegacy - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 07:44 PM EST (#227483) #
Rosenthal is saying it is "confirmed" that the third team in on Lee is - the Phillies!

Could Roy and Cliff become BFFL's? Stranger things have happened.

TamRa - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 07:59 PM EST (#227484) #
when it was tweeted earlier that the "mystery team" was not bidding nearly as much but was a place Lee loved, it could only be either the Cardinals (for proximity) or the Phillies (based on his time there)


Ron - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 08:00 PM EST (#227485) #

You guys aren’t seeing the big elephant in the room ……. mlb is “better off” if the Yankees are consistently good. Basically every suggestion I’ve read on how to fix the CBA makes it more difficult for the Yankees to sustain their success. I know Jay’s and O’s fans don’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth. The Yankees are the biggest TV, Attendance, and Merchandise draw in baseball.

Mike Green - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 08:22 PM EST (#227486) #
MLB flourished from 1965-1975 after the Yankee dynasty crumbled.  I doubt very much that it would be any different if today's version of the Yankee dynasty crumbled, as unlikely as that is to occur.
92-93 - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 08:37 PM EST (#227487) #
TamRa, when I heard that I wondered about the Braves too, considering Arkansas' relative proximity to Atlanta and the fact that the TBS Superstation was showing an excellent Braves team to a national audience while he grew up. I didn't think it could be the Cardinals because they likely won't even have the money to retain Carpenter once they need to go long-term with Pujols & Wainright, but the thought did enter my mind too because of St. Louis' location. At the end of the day if it has anything to do with being close to home you'd think he takes the Rangers offer, because the flight from his Arkansas home to Arlington isn't much more than an hour. If he ended up back in Philadelphia it's a shame Aumont/Gillies didn't have a great year or Amaro might actually look like a genius.
greenfrog - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 09:01 PM EST (#227488) #
The Phillies are an intriguing Lee suitor. They could go all in and try to bring home a WS over the next couple of years. Things could get ugly around 2012 or 2013, though, when players start departing as free agents or simply going into decline. Not to mention the weirdness of trading Lee before last season for Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez - ostensibly to save money - and now trying to sign Lee to a monster contract as a free agent (and giving up a first round pick).
Ron - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 09:10 PM EST (#227489) #

MLB flourished from 1965-1975 after the Yankee dynasty crumbled.  I doubt very much that it would be any different if today's version of the Yankee dynasty crumbled, as unlikely as that is to occur.

I’m not making the argument MLB would collapse if the Yankees morphed into the O’s and become irrelevant for 10+ years, but I am making the argument, overall revenues might dip. The ratings and overall interest for the World Series usually drops when the Yankees aren’t in it. If the Yankees became the O’s, not only would their home attendance drop but also road attendance too. You can also throw in TV Ratings and Merchandise sales going down. I guess one could argue another team could just step in and be the new Yankees, but the tradition and market size of New York would make this extremely difficult.

electric carrot - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 09:28 PM EST (#227490) #
You guys aren’t seeing the big elephant in the room

Why on earth would I care if a bunch of fat cats at MLB are making more money or not.  As far as I'm concerned I would like to see the whole thing earn a lot less money.  Imagine ... smaller more intimate stadiums, salaries where players don't earn as much in one game as you earn in one year of hard work, maybe less gimmicky neon fireworks at the Roger's Center.  You know what, I'd be happier if the game was off TV and you could only listen to it on the radio.  Merchandise?  seriously Merchandise?  you want me to be concerned about how much merchandise these money grubbers are able to pawn off the average joe.  Wow!


Magpie - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 10:05 PM EST (#227491) #
I would like to see the whole thing earn a lot less money.

Which will only happen if the game becomes much less popular than it is now, if it becomes a small, specialized taste in entertainment. Like rugby or something. The price of everything - tickets, TV ads, merchandise - is set by What the Market Will Bear. And it will never, never be a single penny less. If you could reduce salaries by 75%, it would have no impact whatsoever on ticket prices. None. Zero.
electric carrot - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 10:26 PM EST (#227492) #
I have no beef with ticket prices. I don't find them too expensive.  I just think the salaries of the execs and the players are crazy and that the game itself loses some of its charm as the stadiums get bigger and there are more luxury boxes etc ... the only park I like to go to is Fenway because it has some of the old school charm of the game -- and those tickets are very expensive -- but worth it.



Alex Obal - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 10:35 PM EST (#227493) #
Which will only happen if the game becomes much less popular than it is now, if it becomes a small, specialized taste in entertainment

Or if the market for TV advertisements, naming rights and PSLs dries up in a hurry. Youneverknow. Popularity and revenue aren't one and the same - revenue could diminish while people still love watching baseball as much as ever.

Matthew E - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 10:39 PM EST (#227494) #
Put it this way: the way for there to be not so much money involved in baseball is if a lot fewer people liked it. And if fewer people liked it, that would mean that some of the people who like it now wouldn't like it anymore. And one of those people might be you. Statistically, one of those people probably would be you; maybe a 9 in 10 chance. So there's no point in wishing for baseball to go back to a more intimate level, because you'd end up liking it less than you do now anyway.

Mathematics!

Alex Obal - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 10:39 PM EST (#227495) #
(Of those things, the only one that would be relevant to ticket prices is PSLs, of course.)
electric carrot - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 10:43 PM EST (#227496) #
And one of those people might be you

Well it's unlikely it would be me.  I've been trying not to waste time paying attention to baseball for about twenty-five years without much luck.
Matthew E - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 11:00 PM EST (#227497) #
Don't make me tell you again about the mathematics.
Mylegacy - Monday, December 13 2010 @ 11:07 PM EST (#227498) #
Mat Germain over at Jays Journal has started their sites Top 50 Jays Prospects - it begins with number 50 Ryan Tepera.

It may be the single BEST write up on a Jay's prospect that I've ever read. IF the other 49 are anywhere near as informative, and brilliant - then it may go down as the best presentation on the Jays prospects I've ever read - and I've read everything I can find since 1983.

Mat - FANTASTIC - TRULY FANTASTIC!!

Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:02 AM EST (#227501) #
LEE TO THE PHILLIES! Rangers have been told!!

WOW - Roy and Cliff - BFFL - Who'd a' thunk it!!!

Gosh - such bad luck for the Yanks and Rangers - my heart goes out - sorta! What dastardly bad luck if Lefty doesn't return to the Yanks - sigh - I'm mortified - chuckle - chuckle!!!!

Go Jays!

TJ Caino - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:04 AM EST (#227502) #
How about a glass of those 12 year olds?

So happy the Yankees are not getting Lee. So happy.

TamRa - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:08 AM EST (#227503) #
My tweet - and if this is not retweeted a dozen times then no one cares what I say:

Tammy_Beth look on the bright side, Yankees' fans - Pavano is still out there! #saltinthewound

I'm a happy soul tonight. I wasn't so much scared of facing Lee, just love it when the Yankees DON'T get their way.


(on the other I'm already paranoid they will go out and trade for Matt Garza)

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:19 AM EST (#227505) #
Nice coup for Amaro. To land both Halladay and Lee at significantly below-market contracts, and to nab Oswalt at the deadline...impressive. The Phillies regain "team to beat" status (along with Boston, maybe Tampa), at least in the short term. Doc must be thrilled.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:22 AM EST (#227506) #

I can't help but feeling the Jays offseason is being held up by the Lee signing.  I get the feeling they wanted to let the Greinke situation play out before addressing any needs on offense.  I'm just not sure I understand the interest in Grienke.

FWIW, Heyman and Curry don't think the Yanks will go after Grienke now, but I think the Rangers will.  If I were an evil empire, I think I'd go after Josh Johnson.

smcs - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:39 AM EST (#227507) #
Nice coup for Amaro

I'm of two minds.

Great job by Amaro to sign the best FA pitcher.  Horrible job for trading him away about a year ago.  I simply cannot separate these two opinions in my head.  It cannot be argued that the Phillies are willing to do anything to win this year by signing Lee when they traded away one of the five best pitchers in baseball a year ago.  After making three huge trades in the last 18 months to get Lee, Doc and Oswalt, the Phillies cannot have any injuries and hope that Domonic Brown steps right in for Werth, because they cannot have any decent prospects remaining at the top of their system.
TamRa - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 01:00 AM EST (#227509) #
to me, the cost of what Amaro did last year (and it might have been forced on him by ownership) is specifically the price they paid for Oswalt. if they'd kept lee last year, Oswalt would never have been a Philly.

I'm wondering - if they find no taker for Blanton (and if they have to eat half his deal to make the trade, what's the point?)...Doesn't it seem possible that they complete the cycle by trading Oswalt?

Oswalt to the Rangers!!!



Cynicalguy - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 01:23 AM EST (#227510) #
How about a trade for Blanton plus a high end prospect for Frasor. In exchange for the Jays absorbing Blanton's salary we buy a top prospect from the Phillies.

Then trade Romero or Cecil to the Yanks for Montero and Chamberlain. Of course that would turn our starting rotation from being a strength to a weakness.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 01:44 AM EST (#227511) #
Does this impact AA's thinking?

Yanks have CC, Hughes - AJ and his head - or lack of one - then pray for rain. ARod's hip has clearly slowed him, Jeter is still sugar smooth but also very much yesterday's man. Cano and Tex are the only real threat's left and Tex continues to be good - but not great. They can be had...

The Rays have lost Pena, Crawford, etc., they didn't have much of an offense to begin with - they still have excellent young pitching - but do they really have a closer? Can they be had?

The Red Sox have reloaded AND gotten their players out of the hospital - they are the only true super team left in the division. What's so good about that for the Jay's is that while they'll probably slam us around it is now almost assured they'll smash the Yanks and Ray's too - thus giving us the chance to use our hitting and pitching to take control of the Yanks and Rays thus moving ahead of them.

The time has come for AA to get us (most likely by trade) a RFer so Baustista can play 3rd or a 3rd so Bautista can stay in RF - BUT - AA's got a real incentive now to pull the trigger on a trade for one or the other. Take a flyer on Lind at 1st - I think it's got a better than even chance of working and sign - maybe - Manny as DH - batting 2nd he'll give us a near 400 OBP just ahead of Bautista and the other sluggers.

The baseball gods have opened an unexpected 2011 window for a near ready team - will AA grasp the opportunity? How often does this type of opportunity present itself? Have fun AA - you've got work to do and just a few months to do it!

HOWEVER, don't lose all the key work horses on the farm - literally - to do it. Balance -

stevieboy22 - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 01:44 AM EST (#227512) #
How about a trade for Blanton plus a high end prospect for Frasor. In exchange for the Jays absorbing Blanton's salary we buy a top prospect from the Phillies.

I love that idea... Though I get the impression Blanton will be picked up by some idiot GM... The guy has 21 mill / 2 years remaining... I would certainly want Dominic Brown in exchange for that contract... 21 million for a top prospect sounds about fair? The Jays could then flip Blanton (while paying for his contract) for a grade D prospect, perhaps Josh Towers, Bruce Chen, Chad Guadin, or some other bum, maybe even an actual homeless person... Okay I'm getting ahead of myself.. If you can't tell, I'm not exactly bullish on Blanton's talents...
92-93 - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 02:24 AM EST (#227513) #
It's 2/17 left on his deal, and the Phillies don't have to part with a Domonic Brown to get rid of Blanton. The guy has been as durable as they come over his first 6 seasons and 8.5m a year is not a gross overpayment for a back-end starter in a market that gives guys like Jon Garland and Juan Uribe 5 and 7 million dollars. At the very least someone should be willing to take Blanton off the Phillies hands if they kick in 6m or so. If you're going to fantasize about eating the whole contract and getting a prospect to do so, aim a little lower and more realistic than the Phillies projected starting RF. I'll take Jon Singleton.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 05:03 AM EST (#227517) #

Does this impact AA's thinking?     HOWEVER, don't lose all the key work horses on the farm - literally - to do it.   Balance .

This is the window of opportunity, I was waiting for.   Cliff Lee doesn`t sign with the Yankees and doesn`t sign in the A.L.   Our starters are good enough, our bullpen isn`t.   It`s important now, who is our Closer, our Third Baseman, Our D.H. and our Backup - Associate Catcher.

1) Between Travis Snider and J.P. Arencibia, I would prefer to trade J.P. Arencibia.   Of course, signing Russell Martin gains significance.   If Martin signs (3years), Jose Molina for Backup Catcher year one, Brian Jeroloman for Backup Catcher for 2 more years.   By that time one of Carlos Perez, Travis d'Arnaud or A.J.Jimenez will be ready.   (I don't think J.P. Arencibia would be here much longer should one of three be ready.   If not, then A.A. must review his assestments on evaluating catching talent).  

2) Between Kyle Drabek, Brett Lawrie and Zachary Stewart, I would choose to trade Brett Lawrie.    And...maybe...Stewart.   It seems keeping Kyle Drabek is a priority.  

3) Between Darin Mastroianni, Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick, one I would trade.   Which one...Gose.  

Oh My!...Catcher...Second Base...Centerfield...isn't that what K.C. wants?   We could get Zach Greinke before any other challenger for the Wild Card.   Or we could go for Yoakim Soria, probably the best Closer we could try for.   Or we could go for both...and asks for Alex Gordon.  

IMO...Greinke gives us a Pitching Staff as good as any Team in the A.L., whether or not he signs an extention.   (This is a WOW).   But we don`t need him.   We need Soria to lock down victories for our Starters.   (This is a WOW).   With a Free Agent Reliever signed and 4 or 5 of our best, we`ll have as good as needed to make a run.   Doing both gives a jump start on developing the Team A.A. is after.   We will develop our own Aces, in possibly Morrow and Drabek, but they don`t have to be rushed to do so.   We will develop top relief arms without rushing one to be a closer.

We need to be as good as we can be, because we`ve got a good chance at the post-season this year.   Let`s see what happens.

85bluejay - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 08:17 AM EST (#227523) #

Maybe this is an opportunity for the Jays but I would not get into a bidding war for Greinke - patience is a virtue.

I would gets some ducks in line that doesn't significantly affect my plan  - Signing Russell Martin would be a start,

along with Jesse Crain to close, Ordonez to play RF/DH and maybe a LH (Delgado) to DH. Then, wait to see what

Yankees and Texas do - if they get into a bidding war and acquire Greinke, I've lost no assets. Come end of Jan/Feb

if Greinke is still with KC and Yankees pitching hasn't significantly improved , then I would try to acquire Greinke with

a package around Stewat/Arencibia/Hech/Mast.  or something similar - but I wouldn't go overboard and wouldn't

include Drabek/Snider or Lawrie.

Against RH                            Against LH

Escobar                                 Davis

Ordonez                                 Escobar

Bautista                                 Bautista

Lind                                        Ordonez

Wells                                      Wells   

Delgado(veteran LHer)       Lind

Hill                                           Hill

Snider                                    Snider

Russell                                 Russell

 

So again, I set myself up for an opportunity without mortgaging the future and only if the Yankees have not improved

their pitching significantly and while still keeping my A-list prospects make a play for Greinke just before spring

Training - it's a long shot but by then most clubs would have spent their bullets and KC needs to move Greike as

he would be a season long distraction (sorta like how the Mets acquired Santana)     

Ryan C - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 08:30 AM EST (#227526) #
I think it would be beyond foolish to change your battle plan mid-offseason just because the Yankees happen to not get Cliff Lee.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 09:52 AM EST (#227530) #
Yesterday was a good day for Russ Martin.  It is less likely that he ends up in Toronto now.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 10:31 AM EST (#227534) #

J.P. Arencibia will be:

1) The Real Thing: who catches 100-ish games, with Jose Molina as the Backup Catcher catching 60-ish games; or,

2) Good, but needs experience: and catches 81 games while Associate Catcher, Jose Molina, catches the other 81 games; or,

3) Good enough to stay, but needs a lot of work to get better: catches 60-ish games, while Primary Catcher, Jose Molina catches 100-ish games; or,

4) A Disaster: and is sent down, with Jose Molina and someone named WHO as the other catcher. 

Russel Martin is the best option to replace Jose Bautista (and I don't think A.A. explained his chance here in enough detail or made a decent enough offer).   Gerald Laird http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/12/cardinals-reach-agreement-with-gerald-laird.html was an alternative if Martin doesn't sign; as is Josh Bard http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/09/2011-mlb-free-agents.html .   No one else is worth bothering about, even if 4) happens, and you can't guarantee it won't.

Jonny German - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 10:40 AM EST (#227538) #
Our starters are good enough, our bullpen isn`t.

Personally I don't have any starters nor a bullpen, but as for the Blue Jays... did you get the memo where Shaun Marcum was sent to Milwaukee? Starting pitching is no longer a real strength in Toronto proper. Still looking good for 2012 and beyond, but as it stands I expect the 2011 rotation to be approximately average. A little better if they're in good health and Drabek adjusts quickly, a little (or even a lot) worse if injuries hit and Drabek is a typical young pitcher. It would be wise to remember than in 2010 the top 4 staters were all very healthy. This is not normal.

As for the bullpen, I am unconcerned regardless if more arms are added to it between now and spring training. There are enough live arms in the mix that things could work out fine, and if they don't... so what? 2011 is not a year for contending. I think AA said that in bold font on the Marcum memo.

By the way... Zack Greinke. With a K. And Joakim Soria. With a J.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 11:17 AM EST (#227541) #
Well I suppose C Lee not signing with NYY makes us all quite happy.

I wonder if signing with the 3rd team surprised AA. I don't think it did. IMO when he took so long to decide & left NYY's big offer untouched for so long, doubts had to form. Even the NYY were losing faith.

So I would guess that AA already met with his staff & considered how the 2011 playoff competition has changed.

My views are:
1) The chances of the wild card coming out of the AL East have decreased.
2) The Jays & Orioles don't have 3 Al East beasts to play 18 times each, just 1 now. I don't think NYY will just die though. If they cannot improve their rotation, then they will stack up their bullpen. Best to attempt to do both.
3) I only eliminate SEA,KC & CLEV as reasonable contenders for a playoff spot. There are still favorites. NYY?
4) Luck & Injuries will be bigger players this year. AA should consider getting players that can play multiple positions.
5) LAA,DET,TEX,BALT & maybe CWS have money as an asset to varying degrees.
5a)Rogers Corp is very,very rich according to AA, but don't believe in wasting money ie if it makes sense (somehow) then they will do it. I think being in a pennant race on Sept 1st & believing from Opening Day that you have a very good chance to win should generate interest and REVENUE as soon as the Leafs are out of contention.

Various Bauxites have suggested some very astute player acquisitions. AA's army of scouts should now be in a great position to rope in the fruit.
The scouts should also help evaluate the competitors as the off season develops.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 11:24 AM EST (#227542) #

The chances of the wild card coming out of the AL East have decreased.

The Yankees won 95 games without Lee last year. It's not like they lost him or anything.

 

Hodgie - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:01 PM EST (#227547) #
The Yankees won 95 games without Lee last year. It's not like they lost him or anything.

Exactly. I am surprised that people think that Lee signing with Philadelphia alters anything in the AL East or that the Jays now only have to contend with Boston IF they sign players X, Y and Z. Considering how thorough Anthopoulos has shown himself in all of his dealings, does anyone really believe that he and the Jays brass were short-sighted enough to believe that Lee's only landing spot would be New York and that they would not have planned for multiple scenarios. Furthermore, the start of the season is month's away and it would be foolhardy to assume that the Tampa Bay and New York rosters will be the same on opening day as they are on December 14th. It is not like anyone is going to confuse Friedman or Cashman with Bavasi....

Jonny German - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 12:09 PM EST (#227549) #
Sad but true. And if you look over their roster from last year, they can expect much the same out of the hitters and the bullpen. In the rotation Burnett will surely be better than he was in 2010, Hughes will likely get better as well, and Vazquez didn't contribute anything that's difficult to replace. Their only worry is Andy Pettite - he gave them 130 great innings and may or may not come back and may or may not perform at the same level if he does come back.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 02:10 PM EST (#227556) #

The Yankees won 95 games without Lee last year. It's not like they lost him or anything

Aside from C.C., Toronto with Romero, Morrow, and Cecil are better pitchers than any other of N.Y.'s Starters, even if Pettitte returns.   The Bullpen is ... A.A. is not done yet; N.Y. should win.

Let's say Jose Bautista is at 3B next season, compared to A-Rod and his bad hip, we win, offensively and defensively.   However Bautista may start in R.F., then N.Y. may win - A.A. is not done yet.

Let's compare Escobar and Jeter, we win, offensively and defensively.   For all the Gold Gloves Jeter's won, he sucks defensively since Day One.

Let's compare Hill and Cano. If Hill has a season much closer to 2009 than 2010, then it's too close to call, otherwise N.Y. wins.

Let's compare Tex and Lind.   If Lind has a season much closer to 2009 than 2010, then it's close offensively with N.Y. winning defensively, otherwise N.Y. wins both.

Let's compare Outfields, with Bautista in R.F., I think we win both offensively and defensively.

Posada is D.H....A.A. is not done yet.  

Who's catching for N.Y.?...A.A. is not done yet.

As for comparing the balance of the Benchs, N.Y. can spend $40.00 MM on that if needed, so they should win.

I would be very surprised if N.Y. makes the Post-Season next year, let alone win 90 or more games.

Paul D - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 02:45 PM EST (#227563) #

Although I like the Jays pitchers, it's not clear that they're better than Hughes.

Arod is better than Bautista. 

2nd is not too close to call, Cano is better than Hill at his best. 

Lind is not close to Tex.

92-93 - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 02:58 PM EST (#227565) #
Bautista was significantly better than ARod in 2010, and has 5 years of youth on him for 2011 - it's not crazy to suggest they might post similar values considering ARod's declining defense and hip problems. That being said, the Jays are nowhere near the Yankees today.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 04:14 PM EST (#227573) #

Paul D

With the offense N.Y. had last year, either you or a  monkey in N.Y. pinstripes could pitch as well as Hughes.   After all he had Rivera as a closer while we had an adventure called Gregg.

You must be an A-Rod fan, because anyone else would say Bautista was better than A-Rod in 2010, and will be from this point on.   Example:

92-93 - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 02:58 PM EST (#227565) # Bautista was significantly better than ARod in 2010, and has 5 years of youth on him for 2011 - it's not crazy to suggest they might post similar values considering ARod's declining defense and hip problems. That being said, the Jays are nowhere near the Yankees today       Go here  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/If?&qsrc=  and then you might understand my Hill and Lind statements.   Anyone who thinks N.Y. will equal their record from last year in the next season needs to rethink their position.
Hodgie - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 04:34 PM EST (#227576) #
You must be an A-Rod fan, because anyone else would say Bautista was better than A-Rod in 2010, and will be from this point on.

Obviously Bautista was better in 2010 but I don't see how you come to that concrete conclusion going forward. 92-93 is right in his point that it is certainly a possibility given health and age. Consider though for a moment that even with Bautista fashioning a historic season (considering his previous career numbers), it was a season that at least according to WAR would rank as Rodriguez's 9th best. Rodriguez is one of the best players to have played this game. Again, it is a possibility but nothing near a given. How possible likely depends almost entirely on Rodriguez's health.

Paul D - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 04:52 PM EST (#227579) #

I'm not disputing that Bautista was better than Arod last year, I'm saying that going forward, my money is on the guy who is one of the 10 best players of all time.  

Phil Hughes had a FIP of 4.25 last year.  Bill James projects him to be under 4 next year.  He's the real deal
Chuck - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 05:43 PM EST (#227581) #

With the offense N.Y. had last year, either you or a  monkey in N.Y. pinstripes could pitch as well as Hughes.

What bearing does a team's offense have on the way someone pitches? The team's defense certainly plays a role, but its offense???

Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 06:32 PM EST (#227583) #
Well, I do think it's easier to pitch with a lead, but I read that as assuming 'pitching' and 'won-lost record' are the same thing.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 06:56 PM EST (#227584) #
You sure fight hard for your viewpoint Richard SS. I like that.

Today I enjoyed a full day of wishful thinking.

I was prepared to be patient in 2011, but C Lee going to the Phils made me optimistic. I hope the NYY have to fight tooth & nail to get in this year. I would love to see them in 4th place at the All Star Break. UM... more wishful thinking.
Powder Blues - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 07:38 PM EST (#227586) #
First post on this site, so here it goes...

While I'm as relieved as anyone that Lee "took his talents" to the NL East instead of the AL East, one has to remember that the Yankees still are elite. Let's take a looky look:

Tex: .850 OPS in down year
Cano: .915 OPS
Jeets: Bounce back to .290/.360/.410 likely
ARod: .850 OPS in down year
Gardner: Martha Stewart skill at table setting
G'son: worst starter, imo, still OPS'd .790
Swish: very quiet 30 hr, .870 OPS
Posada: .810 ops won't play for long at DH, but still decent.

Sabs: top 3 in AL
Hughes: K rate down as starter but strong whip and other periphs, should be strong as arm continues to extend
Burns: fine as a 4th starter on the yanks
Nova, Mitre et al: Just as good as most team's 5th starters.

Pen: Back heavy, for sure, but over all not a weakness.

So, while they truly lack one stud SP, their lineup is still incredibly formidable. They have 200M invested in this club, so they aren't punting the season. They are all in. They will inevitably make a trade (sending top prospects) for an Oswalt-type player at the deadline, and they will roll into the playoffs with their usual 98 wins.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 09:16 PM EST (#227590) #
Re: Powder Blues

Just off the top of my head, how about the Phillies ending Joe Blanton to the Yankees to be that missing stud SP. However, I don't see how the Jays can benefit from such a trade?
Chuck - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 09:36 PM EST (#227593) #
Just off the top of my head, how about the Phillies ending Joe Blanton to the Yankees to be that missing stud SP. However, I don't see how the Jays can benefit from such a trade?

By getting to face Blanton 4 or 5 times.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 09:40 PM EST (#227597) #
he had Rivera as a closer while we had an adventure called Gregg.

And the impact of that was...

Gregg: 37 Saves, 6 Blown Saves
Rivera: 33 Saves, 5 Blown Saves

Earth-shaking.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 09:49 PM EST (#227599) #
Chuck, I was serious.

I think the Phillies farm system is depleting given the trade last season (Taylor, Drabek etc.). Blanton can at least give them a prospect or pick, with the deep Yankee pocket to pay for some of the salaries.

On the other hand, my wishlist for the Jays free agent signing:

1) bullpen: Kerry Wood as closer
2) backup catcher: Jose Bard
3) one or two OF from teams by trade or waiver claim which have tendencies of stockpiling young outfielders, for instance the Pirates. At least an RF among the two OF so Bautista play 3B. The other OF can be a trade bait, for example a three team trade involving Joe Blanton, the Phillies and Yankees.

Powder Blues - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 10:03 PM EST (#227600) #
If we're discussing 33 year old relievers for the Jays' closer job, I'd just as happily hand ole blue lips (aka Jason Frasor) the job.

Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 10:05 PM EST (#227601) #
By getting to face Blanton 4 or 5 times.

Blanton is just good enough to hang onto a regular rotation spot for the Yankees. He's exactly who I want to see in that role.

Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 10:29 PM EST (#227603) #
In other words, like Matthew always says, the good is the enemy of the great. Joe Blanton is one of the worst pitchers you can plausibly call good.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 10:55 PM EST (#227605) #
As our pen stands now we could have 7 of:

Frasor, Camp, Purcey, Janssen, Litsch, Mills, Ray, Roenicke, Lewis, Carlson, Richmond, Farina, Uviedo and if Stewart and Drabek beak out Scrabble - then add Scrabble to the mix as well.

By June our starters are: Morrow (R), Romero (L), Drabek (R), Cecil (L) and Stewart (R) - AND - that is a sweet five - very, very, sweet!

AA still has to get us a 3rd or RF so Bautista can have a spot, and a DH (Manny please and his near 400 obp) - I could live with Arencibia and Molina catching - with Jeroloman up if that collapses - if AA isn't happy get a guy to back up Arencibia.

Magpie - Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 11:33 PM EST (#227606) #
Morrow (R), Romero (L), Drabek (R), Cecil (L) and Stewart (R) - AND - that is a sweet five - very, very, sweet!

One is certainly permitted to hope. I might point out that two of the five have never won a major league game (one of them has never even pitched in a major league game.) The famous words of Winston Wolf come to mind, yet again..
92-93 - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 12:59 AM EST (#227610) #

I prefer to hope for the success of Rzepczynski & Litsch rather than penciling in Drabek & Stewart into their spots. Heading into 2010, here's a comparison of Marcum & Litsch and their pre-TJ stats.

Marcum 24-17 396ip 3.95era 1.283whip 8.3 H/9 1.4 HR/9 3.2 BB/9 7.1 K/9
Litsch 20-19 296ip 3.83era 1.297whip 9.4 H/9 1.2 HR/9 2.3 BB/9 4.8 K/9

If your starters are all rolling along and you need to open up innings for a prospect you can always find trade value for cost-controlled young starting pitching, even if the ceiling is limited. Let's not just hand the job to Drabek & Stewart though, especially Zach who most of us presumably haven't seen.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 05:08 AM EST (#227612) #

 I must preface all my remarks with: A.A. is not done yet.

I agree Marc Rzepczynski and Jesse Litsch should fill the openings in the Rotation for theses two reasons:

1) Kyle Drabek and Zachary Stewart should start the season in AAA, Las Vegas.   It is difficult to pitch in the PCL, with Las Vegas as Home Field.   If they can pitch well here, then they should be in the bigs.   If they can't pitch well here, why should they be in the bigs?   Until they show they can pitch in the PCL, they don't come up until called / needed.

2) You still have to find out how good Rzepczynski and Litsch are.   You must know if you are keeping them because they're good enough to keep or too bad to trade.   Come July, you're either going for it, or you're be a supplier for those who are.   You need to know if they can be traded in July, August or earlier, you must establish value.

Who should be the first call-ups?   Not Drabek and Stewart, they haven't proved anything yet.   I would call Brad Mills, then Scott Richmond, then Robert Ray.   You must establish value, you need to know what they can do.   I think Mills, Richmond and Ray may do well in the N.L., let's find out.

Matthew E - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 08:50 AM EST (#227613) #
As our pen stands now we could have 7 of:

Frasor, Camp, Purcey, Janssen, Litsch, Mills, Ray, Roenicke, Lewis, Carlson, Richmond, Farina, Uviedo and if Stewart and Drabek beat out Scrabble - then add Scrabble to the mix as well.

Don't forget Villanueva and Abreu; I'm pretty sure Villanueva's going to be on the team and Abreu is one of those longshots that might pay off big.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 08:59 AM EST (#227614) #
For myself, I am optimistic about Rzepczynski developing into a good starter.  The man has a career major league ERA+ of 100 (league average for starters is 95), and I no see reason to doubt from his minor league record that he could not take at least a small step forward from that.

As for Litsch, the career major league K rate of 4.8 prior to the TJ is in the danger zone.  Tommy John himself managed for more than a decade after the surgery with a similar K rate, but actually struck out quite a few prior.  Personally, I'd give him more time in the minors and not expect him to take on the fifth starter role at the outset, especially after his struggles in 2010.

China fan - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:09 AM EST (#227620) #
Rzepczynski is just one of many good pitchers who will be competing fiercely for a spot in the rotation in 2011.  Even after the loss of Shaun Marcum, there is depth.  Consider that Anthopolous decided that Shawn Hill was not good enough to have even a shot in this competition, despite some success in the majors in September.  In my view, Jesse Litsch has a good chance at making the rotation -- although the coaches will have to watch him closely at spring training to make sure that he's fully recovered from injury.  He is still only 25 and he has 342 major-league innings under his belt.  Then there are Drabek, Stewart, Richmond, Mills etc, plus whomever AA might sign from the free-agency ranks.  It will be an interesting battle for the 4th and 5th slots in the rotation.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:27 AM EST (#227622) #
My point was that, unlike those other fine young prospects, Rzepczynski has had major league success.  If one looks only at the first half of 2010, one could miss it. 
bpoz - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:31 AM EST (#227623) #
I heard AA speak after the Marcum trade to Bob McCowan. He compared Litch to Marcum as having similar results before their surgeries.I think 92-93 just showed the numbers to prove that. I am 99% sure that he said that Litch will be the 4th starter. For #5 he mentioned 3or4 names, with Drabek being the last to be mentioned and "to me" he somehow forgot him as Drabek was mentioned in the next sentence. Well winter meetings with pressure/tiredness, I am sure it was nothing.
China fan - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:36 AM EST (#227624) #
Fully agreed.  Litsch, too, has had some very impressive major-league success.  I don't think the low K/9 numbers are enough to disqualify him.  The key is his health, and we'll have a much better sense of that question by the end of March.
China fan - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:39 AM EST (#227625) #
Fully agreed with Mike's point, I mean.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:44 AM EST (#227626) #
I wonder how pitching out of the pen prior to starting affected Marcum's performance.

Litch moved up the farm system fast. Year #1 Rookie & SS, #2 A+ & AA right beside Romero, #3 AA & Jays.

I know that Litch was quite good in the minors and Romero seemed to struggle. Maybe injury was the cause of Romero's trouble & then the recovery when your stuff betrays you.

I loved Litch's Ml debut with his dad in the stands. That game was incredible.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 10:46 AM EST (#227627) #

Tex: .850 OPS in down year  starting the post-prime decline?
Cano: .915 OPS  career year?
Jeets: Bounce back to .290/.360/.410 likely  bouncebacks are likely at 39?
ARod: .850 OPS in down year  continuing the post-prime decline?
Gardner: Martha Stewart skill at table setting  even Martha spent a season in the cellar!
G'son: worst starter, imo, still OPS'd .790  career year against lefties?  fluke?
Swish: very quiet 30 hr, .870 OPS  blip in post-prime decline?
Posada: .810 ops won't play for long at DH, but still decent.  bat speed suspect for oldtimer.

Just playing devil's advocate.  But while I wouldn't expect a bad season from the Yankees, I feel that the potential is getting larger every year.  And that's due to an aging lineup.  I sure hope that Montero, Banuelos and Betances are "all that" and a bag of chips.

cybercavalier - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 12:14 PM EST (#227634) #
Litch moved up the farm system fast. Year #1 Rookie & SS, #2 A+ & AA right beside Romero, #3 AA & Jays. I know that Litch was quite good in the minors and Romero seemed to struggle. Maybe injury was the cause of Romero's trouble & then the recovery when your stuff betrays you.

Mmm, Was Litsch rushed a bit through the ranks of minor league? I think he was good for 2007 and 2008 but unspectacular afterwards. I am not sure, but is it because of pitching coaching which seems to pile up injuries under Arnsberg the former coach?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 01:53 PM EST (#227643) #

Marc Rzepczynski was drafted 5th round of 2007 and pitched 45.2 innings in Short-Season A (Auburn).  He was pitching 61.1 innings with Toronto in 2009.   That's fast.

Brad Mills was drafted 4th round of 2007 and pitched 18.0 innings in Short-Season A (Auburn).   He pitched 7.2 innings with Toronto in 2009.   That's fast.

Brett Cecil was drafted 1st round (38th) of 2007 and pitched 49.2 innings in Short-Season A (Auburn). He pitched 93.1 innings with Toronto in 2009.   That`s fast.

Brandon Morrow was drafted 1st round (5th) of 2006 and pitched 13.0 innings in Rookie and 3.0 innings in High A. He pitched 63.1 innings with Seattle in 2007.   That really fast.

Jesse Litsch was drafted 24th round of 2004, but didn`t pitch until 2005, 65.2 innings in Rookie and 10.0 in Short-Season A (Auburn). He pitched 111.0 innings with Toronto in 2007.   That`s fast for 24th round pick, but not otherwise.

T in NY - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 03:00 PM EST (#227651) #
Terry Collins on WFAN in NY today mentioned Emaus as being in the mix to start at 2nd for the Mets. I'd love to see the kid get a shot, Castillo didn't set the bar too high last year.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 03:14 PM EST (#227654) #
Do you realize Richard, that you're comparing high schoolers to JuCo's to College juniors to college seniors?  Even beyond that, your analysis is highly subjective.  I think most would agree that Litsch made it to the big leagues pretty quickly.
jgadfly - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 03:57 PM EST (#227657) #
Cybercavalier ...  "is it because of pitching coaching which seems to pile up injuries under Arnsberg the former coach?"    ... In regard to the injuries to the young arms of Litsch, McGowan and Marcum I read somewhere in the Marcum-Lawrie trade threads that the threesome would have a competition amongst themselves to see who could throw a ball the furthest up and into the 500 level at the Skydome , this in and of itself , isn't necessarily the direct cause of their injuries , but it sure isn't a practise that I would like to see replicated with any of the other young arms in the system .
Magpie - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 04:09 PM EST (#227660) #
[Litsch] pitched 111.0 innings with Toronto in 2007.   That`s fast for 24th round pick, but not otherwise.

Well, everything is relative I suppose. Still, it's faster than Mills, Cecil, Morrow, and Rzepczynski. They were all older than Litsch when they got to the big leagues. (Morrow and Mills are older than Litsch, and Rzepczynski's only five months younger.)

I generally think that when guys who have just turned 22 show up in a major league rotation, they've made pretty quick progress.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 15 2010 @ 06:39 PM EST (#227672) #
Richard SS you picked very good names for that exercise.

Add C Janssen.

They were not just fast but also good. Exceptional scouting IMO.
Until the trade to the Jays Morrow did not have much success and many claimed he was promoted too soon. Another Seattle 1st round pick P Aumont, could also be someone that is moving too fast through the minors.

Just wondering...doing some brain storming! P Aumomt will be 22 in Jan 91, our H Alvarez 21 in 4/2011 and both have to be protected on the 40 man for the Dec 2011 Rule 5. Then 3 years 40 man protection, burning options. So at age 25/26 a team could be wondering what to do. Jo-Jo Reyes 26 in 11/2010 is in that category, no minor league options left. I don't know how good he is, don't know what his chances of making the Jays out of ST are. I know that he is a lefty and some develop late. Besides talent an organization has to evaluate other factors.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 07:51 AM EST (#227691) #
What happened to Miguel Olivo?   Since this appeared http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/12/mariners-reach-agreement-with-miguel-olivo.html nothing else has been said.   Going here http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/transactions/?tcid=mm_mlb_players#month=12&year=2010 has no mention of the signing, and here http://riveraveblues.com/2011-draft-order/ shows he's not signed, yet.   
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 09:17 AM EST (#227701) #
What happened to Miguel Olivo?

I just noticed that the Angels carried 4 catchers on their 40-day roster. The fifth man, Ryan Budde, was DFA and he elected free agency. Budde was quoted as a defensive minded catcher and no chance to show his skills after 4 seasons with the Angels behind Napoli and Mathis. Budde's last contract was 402.2k, so he can be economically had. Maybe someone can have a look of him?
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 09:25 AM EST (#227702) #
Last but not least, his first MLB homerun was off King Felix in Seattle on May 7 last season so Budde may have untapped power in his bat.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 09:29 AM EST (#227703) #
Budde was quoted as a defensive minded catcher and he probably have no chance to show his
skills after 4 seasons with the Angels behind Napoli and Mathis.
Magpie - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 10:56 AM EST (#227711) #
Budde may have untapped power in his bat.

I doubt it. He's 31 years old, and he's hit 59 HRs in 9 seasons as a pro.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 10:21 PM EST (#227797) #
He's 31 years old, and he's hit 59 HRs in 9 seasons as a pro.

In my opinion, if the front office is looking for bargain as the recent EE signing, trading for some defensive minded catcher such as Kerry Stoppach or Budde would be a good fit. According to the transactions on the Angels MLB.com, the Angels had five catchers on roster after the Scott Downs signing. Budde was DFAed and became a free agent afterwards. Signing Budde or EE shall not be considered as picking up what other teams left, especially if Budde can return values with performance. 


Magpie - Thursday, December 16 2010 @ 11:33 PM EST (#227803) #
if Budde can return values with performance.

Yes, but the man simply can't hit. Not even in the PCL, which is why he's a backup at AAA. In the majors, he'd be like having a pitcher in the lineup.
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