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The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired 25 year-old infielder Luis Valbuena from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations according to BlueJays.com.

Luis Valbuena manning second base for the Cleveland Indians against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Energy Field August 2, 2009. 




Luis Valbuena takes a pitch from Detroit starter Armando Galarraga in the fourth inning.

Luis Valbuena would later single and score on a two-run double from Andy Marte as part of a five-run frame.  Tigers catcher Gerald Laird can only watch.  Valbuena went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored in the Tribe's 11-1 thrashing of the Tigers.

Luis Valbuena has been in pro baseball for quite a while.  The Venezuelan signed as a free agent with the Seattle Mariners back in 2002.  The 5-foot-10 left-handed hitter made his U.S. debut in 2005 with Everett in the Northwest League and hit .261 with 12 homers, 50 runs batted in and 14 stolen bases.  In 2006, Valbuena hit a combined .275 with Wisconsin and Inland Empire and stole 22 bases.  He reached Double-A in 2007 but hit just .239 with 11 homers at West Tenn.  Valbuena lifted his average to a combined .303 with West Tenn and Triple-A Tacoma and belted 11 homers with 60 RBI and 18 stolen bases.   He made his big league debut with the M's on September 2, 2008 as a pinch-hitter but went 0-for-1 against the Rangers in Texas.  His first major league hit was a single off Angels reliever Scot Shields in Anaheim September 11. Valbuena batted .245/.315/.347 with one run batted in over 54 plate appearances.  Valbuena's time in Seattle came to an end in December, 2008 after he was dealt to Cleveland as part of a three-way, 11 player deal with the New York Mets that involved Franklin Gutierrez, starter Jason Vargas and reliever J.J. Putz.

Valbuena began 2009 back in Triple-A with Columbus but earned a promotion in May after hitting over .300.  Valbuena split time at second and short with the Tribe and belted his first major league homer against the White Sox Bartolo Colon June 7.  His batting average was below the Mendoza Line in early July but he ended the year with a line of .250/.298/.416 which included 10 homers, 31 RBI and a pair of stolen bases in 103 games.  Valbuena began 2010 with the Tribe but struggled by hitting just .193 in 91 contests.  Last season, he played just 17 games with Cleveland as rookie Jason Kipnis took over at second base.  Valbuena batted just .209 with a homer and RBI with the Indians but in Columbus, he batted at a .302 clip with 22 doubles, 17 homers, 75 RBI and three steals.  Valbuena's OPS was .975 and 1.032 with Columbus over 20-plus game sample sizes in 2009 and 2010 respectively.  With the glove, Valbuena has a career fielding percentage of .988 at second base but his career UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) at second base according to FanGraphs is -9.3. 

Valbuena wore #1 with the Indians until Kosuke Fukudome arrived in a trade from the Chicago Cubs last year and wound up switching to #2.  He may very well be taking over for the player who ended 2011 wearing #2 in Toronto.  His acquisition may be insurance for free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson.   It may also provide competition for the utility infielder spot with Mike McCoy.  Valbuena, who has played second, short, third and left field in the majors, will turn 26 on Wednesday (November 30).

I will always remember Valbuena for his role in helping the Jays sink the Indians in this game back in 2010.  Valbuena's performance also left quite an impression on this broadcaster after the game.
Jays Get Valbuena, Indians Get Money | 90 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Saturday, November 26 2011 @ 11:37 PM EST (#247324) #
An interesting guy.
MLB Lifetime: 226/286/344 72 OPS+ 2B/SS/3B/LF
AAA Lifetime: 304/387/468
AA Lifetime: 262/335/415
A+/A/A-: under 400 PA per level, last year there was 2006

You would think those AAA numbers must be in the PCL given his ML and AA numbers but instead they were in the IL (Columbus).

He seems very much to be the definition of a AAAA player - too good to stay in AAA but not good enough for the majors in his various trials (twice over 300 PA in a season).

His UZR numbers are negative lifetime at all positions, -8.1 at 2B (the position we care most about for him).

I suspect he is more a Mike McCoy replacement - someone who can play SS technically but not long term, can play 2B regularly if needed along with 3B and emergency OF. If he learns to hit in the majors like he has at AAA he'd be a very valuable player. If not, he should be a decent utility backup for around 200 PA.
jgadfly - Sunday, November 27 2011 @ 12:23 AM EST (#247325) #

RE: the broadcaster...  Who is that guy ?  Bush the Donald Cherry Limbaugh ... I don't believe I've ever seen any broadcaster as abnoxious or as repugnant as that . He makes Harrelson look professional. I think I'd rather watch synchronized swimming than him .  Thank you Jays for Jerry and Ashby.

Also, was Valbuena the Cleveland shortstop that let that grounder go right through the 5 hole that led to a Jay come back ?     Actually, I thought he looked pretty good with the exception of that play . 

ayjackson - Sunday, November 27 2011 @ 11:49 AM EST (#247326) #
This is the calm before the storm, I think.  Starting tomorrow, the trade and FA rumours are going to start coming hot and heavy.  I also expect Darvish will be posted this week.
joeblow - Sunday, November 27 2011 @ 12:37 PM EST (#247327) #
Bruce Drennan is that broadcaster. He hosts a call-in show in Cleveland (poor Cleveland). At least we have our tag-line for the new player: "Ohhhhh, Valbuena. Ohhhhh. Valbuena."

"On May 5, 2010, Drennan attained internet notoriety with one of the more dynamic rants in recent sports rant history, on his show "All Bets Are Off." The source of his rant was the recent performance of the Cleveland Indians, who had earlier that day lost to the Toronto Blue Jays. Much of his ire in the rant was directed at Russell Branyan, whose swing he deprecatingly mimicked on several instances. Also not spared were Grady Sizemore, Matt Laporta, and Luis Valbuena, whose name was memorialized several times by Drennan's repeated phrase, "Ohhhhh, Valbuena. Ohhhhh. Valbuena." Drennan also opined that Cleveland should "send [Valbuena] back to the Mets." from wikipedia

Gerry - Sunday, November 27 2011 @ 10:24 PM EST (#247336) #
It looks like Robert Ray has signed with Miami. Ray did make his ML debut with the Jays but was too injury prone to have any sustained success with the Jays.

Ray was a highly ranked prospect at one time.
John Northey - Monday, November 28 2011 @ 12:32 AM EST (#247338) #
When it comes to highly ranked you don't get higher than 1st overall. All-Time there have been 47 #1 picks in the June draft (there used to be secondary and January ones as well). Of those 47...
Inner Circle HOF: 100+ WAR: 1 - A-Rod
HOF Likely: 50-99 WAR: 2 - Chipper Jones, Griffy Jr.
All-Star: 30-49 WAR: 5 - Strawberry, Mauer, etc.
Solid Pick: 20-29 WAR: 8 - Adrian Gonzalez, Andy Benes, Tim Belcher
Decent: 10-19 WAR: 9 - Ben McDonald, Jeff Burroughs, Shawon Dunston
Not a disaster: 2-9.9 WAR: 4 - Ron Blomberg, Strasburg (so far)
What were they thinking: below 2 WAR: 12 - Danny Goodwin twice, Tim Foli
Never Reached Majors: 6, 3 pre-2008 others still working on it.

So, for 1st overall picks odds of a HOF'er: 3/47 = 6%
Odds of being a solid or better: 16/47 = 34%
Odds of it being a horrid mistake: 15/44 (not counting 3 recent #1's) = 34%

Now, these numbers obviously will change for a few guys (Hochevar from 2006 just had a 1.7 WAR moving from negative to slight positive, could move to decent within a few years) but still it suggests that even with the #1 overall pick you have about a 1 in 3 chance of getting no more than a AAAA quality player, or about the same as you'd have of it being a solid or better (20+ WAR). Some would shift it to 10+ WAR but I had a high bar for success here as you have the pick of the litter if you are #1 overall.

FYI: the Jays never have had the #1 overall pick. 3 times they had the #2 pick and grabbed Augie Schmidt, Garry Harris, and Lloyd Moseby. Only Moseby made it to the majors (24 WAR). Only 4 #2's ever have failed to reach not counting the 2010 & 2011 picks and 1/2 of those were Jay picks. The only thing Gillick did poorly.
rpriske - Monday, November 28 2011 @ 09:07 AM EST (#247340) #
Just saw on Twitter that Jose Molina has signed with the Rays.
Mike Green - Monday, November 28 2011 @ 09:58 AM EST (#247341) #
John Northey, any system which would have Ron Blomberg as a decent pick and Tim Foli as a disaster needs to be looked at again.  Blomberg was a part-time bat for a few years.  Foli was an everyday shortstop, and according to the metrics, an above-average one.  Foli was a poor hitter, but the reason that his BBRef WAR is so low is that they set the replacement level too high.  FWIW, Fangraphs WAR has Foli at 11 and Blomberg at 9.  That is probably right. 
Mike Green - Monday, November 28 2011 @ 10:43 AM EST (#247342) #
Valbuena has hit .306/.392/.505 in 688 PAs at Columbus over the last 3 years (age 23-25), and he had a similar season at double A at age 22.  He has hit very poorly in the majors, but oddly with a very significant reverse platoon split.  UZR has him as a net negative defender at second base, but DRS has him as a positive.  I checked Hit Tracker, and his homers in the majors have not been particularly cheap. 

I am not really comfortable with him in a utility role, unless you have another player on the roster who can play shortstop.  He has been a second baseman in his minor league career, and is very, very stretched as a shortstop.  I do think that he is a much better hitter than Mike McCoy notwithstanding his limp performance in the major leagues to date.  If you wanted to gamble, you would see how he did in spring training and if he looked good, you could give him the second base job.  If the club decides to spend money elsewhere (starting pitching, another big bat), it wouldn't be the worst thing. 

Mick Doherty - Monday, November 28 2011 @ 12:17 PM EST (#247344) #
Just saw on Twitter that Jose Molina has signed with the Rays.
 
Yeah, TBR just swapped Jaso to the Mariners for a bag of balls (Josh Lueke). So it was time for a Random Molina Acquisition Note!
TamRa - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:47 AM EST (#247356) #
MLBTR posted this and, if i understand it correctly, seems shockingly bad:

"Teams that fail to sign top draft picks canít re-allocate the money saved toward deals for other draft picks, according to MLB.comís Jonathan Mayo. For example, a team that fails to sign a top pick who had a recommended bonus of $1.5MM would see its spending ceiling fall by $1.5MM and would not have the option of spending that $1.5MM on other players."
pubster - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 07:23 AM EST (#247357) #
I think its a great rule Tamra. After all the whole point of the new rules is to prevent players/agents from setting a price for themselves and ultimately dictating where they get drafted. This rule prevents a player/agent from demanding a large bonus and insisting the team give up a draft pick (or two) to get it done.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 10:07 AM EST (#247358) #
There is some suggestion out there in the twittersphere that Albert Pujols' agent (and possibly the big man himself) is visiting with the Jays in TO today.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 10:10 AM EST (#247359) #
I heard that ^^^^.  Problem is the source is one guy who hasn't exactly proven his credibility.  Still, we'll see.

Oh, the Royals have signed Broxton, pending physical.

Sherrystar - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 10:21 AM EST (#247360) #
Someone is just making stuff up to get Jays fans all excited?
John Northey - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 10:34 AM EST (#247364) #
TamRa - if that is right, signing bonus not spent on a specific player removes it from the pool, then there is a cap on each and every pick which goes against what was being suggested earlier. If so then it might work fine for everyone as then you can just tell your pick 'hey, all we can pay you is $x and next year even if you are drafted #1 all you gain is $y thus you might as well sign now or give up on baseball'.

No question the big thing now is scouting/scouting/scouting. Gotta know which players will sign for the dollars the slot offers and which ones will not sign.

Thinking this through... A trick now would be to pick a guy with your #1 pick who will sign for, say, 1/2 slot then take a risk in round 4 or something on the top talent so if he doesn't sign the cash saved in round 1 is open to all other choices (#1-10). Thus risky picks for round 4-10 but easy signs for #1/2/3 then tell #4-10 that if they want to sign you have $z available and the first to take it gets it while the rest go to college.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 10:53 AM EST (#247365) #
They could have eliminated this "will he sign, won't he sign" BS by giving the drafting team signing rights for five years instead of one month.  The July signing deadline could be to play in the team's system in the next year.
Gerry - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 11:18 AM EST (#247367) #
The draft rule also prevents teams from gaming the system.  A team could pick a non-prospect in say the second round and use those dollars to pay more to their first round selection.  Or they could pick a prospect and then just not offer him a deal so they can pay more to their top guy.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 11:43 AM EST (#247368) #

Callis has some more draft detail from the CBA.

An approximate $185m cap is close to what the teams spent in the first 10 rounds this year ($192m).  If you include competitive balance picks in 2013 and the fact that there will likely never be as many comp picks as there were last year, it's a fair cap number.

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 11:54 AM EST (#247369) #
Also from that link:

"Teams get an extra year of protection for compensation picks for failure to sign draftees from the first three rounds. For example, the Blue Jays get the 22nd pick in 2012 after not signing No. 21 overall choice Tyler Beede in 2011. If Toronto can't come to terms with the compensation selection, it would get another one in 2013."

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 12:00 PM EST (#247371) #
They could have eliminated this "will he sign, won't he sign" BS by giving the drafting team signing rights for five years instead of one month.  The July signing deadline could be to play in the team's system in the next year.

I imagine that such a rule might have been a deal-breaker for the union, and might also have run MLB into some anti-trust exemption trouble. 

Personally, I can't understand the anti-player animus.  The draftees are negotiating with billionaires about 200K-$1 million of a bonus that likely will be the only significant income that they ever receive from baseball (most draftees never make it).  Neither party is exactly toughing it out, but favouring management over draftees is actually a bit strange.  Outside the 1st round, the amounts are generally relatively modest. 
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 12:29 PM EST (#247376) #
The draftees are getting the same amount of money though, the rules just regulate the teams on how they can spend it.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 01:03 PM EST (#247380) #
Tamra, according to Jim Callis, despite the "no-reallocation" rule regarding the slot value of a particular pick, teams "can reallocate the difference between a player's bonus and the value of his choice." I take this to mean that if slot is $1M, but a player agrees to sign for $750,000, the Jays can reallocate the $250,000 to sign other players.

I'm not sure what this means in practice, though. Let's say the Jays draft player X in the supplemental round. Slot is $1M, but he agrees to sign for $750K. In the next round, slot for the Jays' pick is $500K. Can they draft a high-upside HS player (Player Y) and offer him $750K (ie, $500K plus the $250K "saved" on the previously selected player's bonus)?
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 01:10 PM EST (#247381) #
From fangraphs.com, reason to think twice before bidding for players like Fielder and Pujols:

"When people say that great players age differently, theyíre correct ó to some extent. In the cases of Pujols and Fielder, thatís the caveat. And itís an unfortunate one because teams looking to sign them long-term need to know that their best years are probably behind them."

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/how-do-star-hitters-age/
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 02:43 PM EST (#247388) #

If I am Alex and my team has:

1) 3 first round picks (which is rare);

2) 4 supplemental first round picks (the last time this happens);

3) With a chance at 1 in 6 additional supplemental first round picks (due to being one of the 10 lowest revenue teams - won't happen again), or;

4) With a chance at 1 in 6 additional supplemental second round picks (if you don't get one in 3) - a few more teams are added);

I would draft as many high upside / hard sign picks as I could.  I would go all out to sign as many draft picks as possible, without concern for the cost.   Because being 5.01% over and losing a 1st round pick and being 40.0% over and losing two 1st round picks is not that much more serious, basically more money.

Beyonder - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:03 PM EST (#247391) #
"The draftees are getting the same amount of money though, the rules just regulate the teams on how they can spend it."
 
Not sure who this is responding to, but how is it the case that the players are getting the same amount of money?
JB21 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:12 PM EST (#247392) #
Beyonder, because the total sum of the draft slot allocations for 2012 is essentially what was spent on the draft in 2011. Obviously this is assuming that every single drafted player signs.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:12 PM EST (#247393) #

Not sure who this is responding to, but how is it the case that the players are getting the same amount of money?

The Cap is reportedly $185m, which doesn`t include the money for the competitive balance picks in 2013.  This is comparable to the $192m the top 10 rounds of draftees received this year (as reported by Jim Callis on twitter) - a year that saw a record number of comp picks.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:23 PM EST (#247395) #
Comparing cap to previous spending is apples to oranges.  Some players did not sign before, and some will not sign now.  Overall spending on the first 10 rounds will be signficantly lower in 2012 as compared with 2011, which is exactly what the owners want.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:32 PM EST (#247396) #

 Overall spending on the first 10 rounds will be signficantly lower in 2012 as compared with 2011, which is exactly what the owners want.

unspent cap due to unsigned players in the first three rounds would presumably roll forward.  Define significantly.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:37 PM EST (#247397) #
Spending will be off 10 per cent, at least.  That's a nice chunk of change for owners.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:45 PM EST (#247400) #
You think the owners won`t spend it elsewhere?  Players are betting they will.
Beyonder - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 03:54 PM EST (#247401) #

The Cap is reportedly $185m, which doesn`t include the money for the competitive balance picks in 2013.  This is comparable to the $192m the top 10 rounds of draftees received this year (as reported by Jim Callis on twitter) - a year that saw a record number of comp picks.

Got it.  Thanks.  Of course, $192m was the total acheived by a combination of teams spending over and under the slot recommendations.  The latter practice will not be an option going forward.  Teams wishing to underspend or adhere to the slot reccs. will not have their strategies affected by the cap, while teams that wished to overspend will be handcuffed.  The likely result of the $185 m dollar cap will be less money for the players -- more for the owners.  

John Northey - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:17 PM EST (#247402) #
Bad bet by the players if they are betting the owners blow the saved draft money on them.

Basic economics dictates what is paid. You pay what you figure someone is worth _at most_. If you can pay less, woohoo. Thus the draft picks now have a cap on how much teams can pay them, so owners are going 'woohoo' as even if a guy has a value to the team of $20 million they cannot pay that much to him (probably max of $5 million on any one guy is what it'll work out to).

So with that extra $15 million do you...
A) Overpay a guy who is worth, say, $10 million a year by an extra $5 million?
B) Spend that extra $15 million to find other guys who you can sign who are worth $20 mil but get paid $5 mil
C) Put it in your pocket

I'd bet the teams that are successful use option B the most, the ones who are most profitable use C and the ones run into the ground (I'm looking at you Baltimore & Pittsburgh) will blow it like a drunken lottery winner.

I'm seeing the Jays putting a lot more into scouting (even above their current amount) to try to determine which guys are talented and will sign within the new limits. If a player is found who is worth $20 mil and you only have to spend $5 mil to sign him then it is worth it to you to spend up to $15 million finding him.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:24 PM EST (#247403) #
Ownership in pro sports have always had great difficulty in not spending all revenues and leaving a little profit at the end of the day.  The experience in Toronto with Rogers is not typical.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:44 PM EST (#247405) #
Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  And it has always been thus.  Carl Pohlad, a billionaire, owned the Twins many years ago.  He never spent a cent he didn't have to.  Jeffrey Loria spent, what, a decade not spending what he took in. And the big cable company owners shift revenues from balance sheet to balance sheet.  Despite all ownership's wasteful decision-making, team values ascended and ascended.

Rooting for major league owners is like being part of an out-take from Thank you for Smoking.  Sorry, guys, you're bad but just not evil enough to have a scotch and a cigar with the big boys.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:48 PM EST (#247406) #
Actually, most teams do operate at profitable levels. If they didn't they wouldn't exist. Yes, they become toys in some cases for the wealthy but more often they become cash cows.

Think back to Harold Ballard - the Leafs made him tons of money while giving him the ego boost of being in the paper all the time. Look at the Yankees since the 70's - extremely profitable with big payrolls. Look at the Red Sox for the last few decades. The Cardinals. The Dodgers & Mets pre-current idiots (amazing to screw up those sweet situations). The Cubs. There are many more examples current and past.

People do not become billionaires by accident. They know how to make money and hate to lose it. Sometimes they get caught up in stuff (see Mets/Dodgers) but that isn't the norm.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:51 PM EST (#247408) #

Characterizing it as `rooting` for them is rather cheeky.

If the MLBPA is unsuccessful at attracting that supposed excess draft money to their clientele, that`s their problem.  If the draftees want to be paid for their amateur work, they should discuss it with the NCAA or their high school.  I`m not a trying to be a proponent of caps, but I think a draft cap is in the financial interests of the Owners and the MLBPA, so is certainly defensible.

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 04:55 PM EST (#247409) #

Actually, most teams do operate at profitable levels.

They do now.  This is a pendulum that swung the other way in the  not too distant past.

Ownership is finally getting to a level of profitability where they can fund significant parts of their capital assets (stadium) instead of leaning on the backs of municipalities like they did in the eighties and nineties.

Beyonder - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 05:14 PM EST (#247410) #

Aren't we just guessing guys?  Sports franchises in North America don't release audited financial statements (or normally any financial statements).  When they do realease information it is normally in the context of collective bargaining, which makes the information suspect.

It is certainly not true that if the teams ran losses, they would not exist.  Most teams in the big 3 are worth holding as assets unless their yearly losses are massive.   They would exist so long as the losses did not consistently outstrip the team's increase in value.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 05:18 PM EST (#247411) #
Suggesting that owners have 5 year exclusive rights to draftees constitutes rooting for them, in my view. As if the minimum 10% cut to draftee money wasn't enough. 
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 05:27 PM EST (#247412) #

Well I don`t root for owners.  But I can see their interests.  And if you have a draft to assign talent to the various clubs in lieu of free agency, I`m not sure why they also wouldn`t want those draft rights protected.   I`ll admit I haven`t thought it through.

Baseball players have it pretty good, too.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 05:37 PM EST (#247414) #
No question about that.  This isn't David vs. Goliath.

On another point, mlb.com released their earliest draft summary.  Right around 21, you have Kenny Diekroger and Albert Almora.  Almora is an interesting player. 

Flex - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 06:19 PM EST (#247415) #
The Jays'll pick first at #17, right? (unless it gets moved back by free-agent compensation). Michael Wacha seems to be Deck-like ("big, durable big-league starter") and facially he looks a little like a young Shaun Marcum.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 07:29 PM EST (#247417) #
Here's a thought - if you can't pay above a set figure to sign a player, how much would it cost to pay ALL minor leaguers more than anyone else pays them.

if a guy knew he was going to make, say $35k a year in the minors instead of $20k....that would be something of a selling point, no?
92-93 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 07:57 PM EST (#247419) #

Got it. Thanks. Of course, $192m was the total acheived by a combination of teams spending over and under the slot recommendations. The latter practice will not be an option going forward. Teams wishing to underspend or adhere to the slot reccs. will not have their strategies affected by the cap, while teams that wished to overspend will be handcuffed. The likely result of the $185 m dollar cap will be less money for the players -- more for the owners.

Can you source this, Beyonder? Or is it like your perceived market value of Yonder Alonso? I haven't read anything that suggests this to be the case.

Overall spending on the first 10 rounds will be signficantly lower in 2012 as compared with 2011

I need this one explained to me too. You were just told that teams spent 192m on rounds 1-10 in 2011, and that the pool for said rounds in 2012 will be around 185m, depending on the amount of compensation picks. Where's the significant decrease in overall spending, which you then qualified to mean 10%?

I keep seeing a tremendous amount of misinformation on the new CBA. People rushed to judgement on its awfulness and now seemingly can't be swayed from the idea that this new CBA will destroy baseball.

TamRa - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 08:17 PM EST (#247420) #
"The Jays'll pick first at #17, right? (unless it gets moved back by free-agent compensation). Michael Wacha seems to be Deck-like ("big, durable big-league starter") and facially he looks a little like a young Shaun Marcum."

Just based on that list, I like the looks of Carlos Correa (SS) thought there are 3 or 4 on the list after him I'd be happy with. My second choice would probably be Nick Williams.

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 08:35 PM EST (#247422) #

I need this one explained to me too.

I think the suggestion is that some teams currently spend under the aggregate of slot for the first 10 rounds.  So if this continues, and the rest of the teams are bound by the cap, spending league wide would actually be less than the cap.  I`ve asked Jim Callis for clarification as to whether this is true, but so far I have no response.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 08:53 PM EST (#247423) #
Nope, that's not it.  Teams spent $192 million in 2011.  If teams and draftees all agree on slot money, the actual spending for 2012 will be $185 million.  But, not all will.  Some teams will not come to terms with top picks and will not spend the money elsewhere.  In other words, the big-spenders will spend much less than before, while the cheapskates will continue to be cheapskates. 
Beyonder - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 08:56 PM EST (#247424) #
My source is math. Last year 30 teams spent $192M on the first ten rounds. To get to that figure, some teams spent well below average and under slot (detroit, white sox) and others spent well above average and over slot (Jays, Royals, Pirates).

Next year the cap will be $185M, allocated between 30 teams. The low spending teams will continue to spend what they have always spent. The over spenders, however, will be constrained by the cap. So while 185 may look close to 192, the cap makes it very unlikely that the teams will ever spend that amount.

My view of Alonso is simply that we are not getting him From Cincy (if we want him), for Travis Snider. No source, but I stand by it.
Beyonder - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:08 PM EST (#247425) #
Sorry ayjackson. That is exactly what I mean to say. I don't know if Green is making a different point.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:09 PM EST (#247426) #
Beyonder: I'm asking for a source that teams can't underpay one draft pick to sign the next guy for way more than slot. I haven't seen that anywhere.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:12 PM EST (#247427) #
Mike: Wasn't Beede the only player in the first round not to sign? Why will draft picks all of a sudden not be signing? How does everybody know how the draft is going to play out? I think there's a tremendous amount of uncertainty here and we'll have to see how agents play this one out.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:15 PM EST (#247428) #
And I know the Tigers spent only 2.8m, but does anyone know if that was actually under slot? I see their first pick was #76 overall and cost 550k. It's possible they spent around their slot. Reinsdorf is a disaster though in that area.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:21 PM EST (#247429) #
Beyonder: Nevermind. I understand what you meant now. Sorry.
Beyonder - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:23 PM EST (#247430) #
92-93. I don't have view on whether it is bad for baseball: it is certainly bad for the draftees though. That's why the owners bargained for it.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 09:30 PM EST (#247431) #
Absolutely. But I think the players made out pretty well for themselves too. They got minimum salary up to 500k and the Super-2 class was increased by 5%. They got continued labor peace in a sport where they get more guaranteed dollars than any other of the Big 4 leagues. I also think that they killed the value of impending FAs on the trade market by taking away the draft pick compensation for them - that provides players with a measure of stability in their situations, which some guys (Mats Sundin) seem to enjoy. And what did they give up? HGH testing before the season? They don't care about the amateur talent.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 29 2011 @ 11:14 PM EST (#247434) #
"My view of Alonso is simply that we are not getting him From Cincy (if we want him), for Travis Snider. No source, but I stand by it."

Good.

I'd much rather have Snider.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 12:05 AM EST (#247439) #
Well - as BA explains - with the teams not allowed to go over on the first 10 rounds - clearly we've got ourselves a hard cap.

I see players being drafted where they should be and the cap offered - small teams should be able to draft players based on ability not signability - a player drafted will get a lot less than what a free market would offer but a lot more on sliding and gambling that a team further down would be prepared to lose draft choices to sign him.

I seriously doubt that teams will go over the slots by more than 5%. With the International draft castrated and the June Draft castrated - it looks like NY, Bos etal win - free agents (and spectacular scouting) are the only way to get an edge. Sigh.
pubster - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 07:32 AM EST (#247443) #
I dont see what the problem is if draft spending does go down by 10%. You have to give something to get something. The minimum salary went up - which may effect 5-10 players per team (Rookies, Minor League Callups). Plus no more compensation for free agents.

I also dont understand why people say that this means more draftees wont sign - its not like the environment is going to change much the following year and if you really want to be a pro ballplayer you would sign, no?

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Beyonder - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 09:09 AM EST (#247445) #

I can't figure out why fewer draftees would sign.  The cap diminishes the finanicial incentive for draftees to hold out, because they are unlikely to ever recoup their losses incurred by failing to sign. 

 

Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 09:57 AM EST (#247448) #
Two-sport athletes have a choice, and presumably the reduced bonuses available in baseball will incline them to choose football or basketball instead. 
92-93 - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 10:40 AM EST (#247451) #
No answer on the Tigers? I guess it's easier to just say they are being cheap than actually having to prove it.

Everyone is up in arms about the new CBA limiting small market teams ability to compete? Well, here's a news flash for all of yall, from Jonathan Mayo :

"Four Clubs that spent the most money in excess of MLBís slotting recommendations from 2007-2010 were the Nationals (Strasburg, Harper), Tigers, Red Sox and Yankees."

It was only a matter of time before the Yankees flexed their financial might in the draft too. Did people really want to wait until one year Cashman decided to not sign some mediocre player for 17m a year and spend it instead on the draft? The old system may have allowed small market teams to allocate their resources where they want, but it still had an inherent advantage for the big market teams - they could do that to a greater extent than the small market ones if they chose to. I prefer Bud Selig being proactive and changing the draft to the other option of one year seeing Bos & NYY scoop up 50% of the top talent in the draft by spending an absurd amount of money there. The draft was instituted to direct amateur talent to the teams that need it most, in some sort of order. This new system is meant to restore that idea.
Matthew E - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 10:47 AM EST (#247453) #
I wonder if we're going to get kids saying, "Don't bother drafting me in the first ten rounds; I won't sign. Wait until the eleventh round and prepare your chequebooks." It's the kind of plan it'd only take one team to mess up, but it might be worth a shot.
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 10:56 AM EST (#247454) #

"Don't bother drafting me in the first ten rounds; I won't sign. Wait until the eleventh round and prepare your chequebooks."

Any bonus over $100k after the tenth round counts against the team's cap.  Any undrafted FA signed for more than $100k counts against the cap.

ayjackson - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 11:03 AM EST (#247455) #

Two-sport athletes have a choice, and presumably the reduced bonuses available in baseball will incline them to choose football or basketball instead.

Let's be clear here...are we talking about HS draftees or college draftees?  Because the choice for HS draftees is still a million dollars and a college education OR a college education and continuing the two-sport career a little longer.  In this case, I think the possible decrease in dollars may not be the deciding factor.  I think it is and will continue to be whether they want to continue the two sport career.  There are only a couple of players per draft that need that $3m bonus (instead of the slot of $1m) to "buy out" that career.  And we can't be sure whether it could have been bought out at a lesser amount.

For the college player who is still highly rated in two sports (ie Jeff Sarmadizia [sp] from the Cubs), it may be somewhat more relevant, but I believe the deciding factor may still be the sport they like more or the sport they're better at.

Either way, I think we're talking about less than five players per draft who might be lost, which probably means 2 players per year at the mlb level and maybe a star every few years.

 

Matthew E - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 11:06 AM EST (#247457) #

"Don't bother drafting me in the first ten rounds; I won't sign. Wait until the eleventh round and prepare your chequebooks."

Any bonus over $100k after the tenth round counts against the team's cap.  Any undrafted FA signed for more than $100k counts against the cap.

Curses.

You've won this round, CBA, but I'll be back.

When you least expect me.


Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 11:13 AM EST (#247458) #
Let's suppose that a team wants to buy in bulk.  It drafts a player in the first round who it knows will not sign for slot.  It offers slot. The player predictably refuses.  Does the team not then have a lot of cap room for the excess over 100K for rounds 11-20? One guesses that there will be more Beedes, but with the team's offer limit constrained by the CBA rather than the finances of the club. 

Different draft years have differing distributions of talent.  One of the issues with the slot system is that it equates draft position with value.  Some years the 15th pick overall is not very different in value from the 3rd; other years it is not very different from the 40th. 

I don't know that there is a better way of dealing with the issue than the CBA does.  I don't think that gaming the system will be minimized though. 
John Northey - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 11:27 AM EST (#247459) #
Someone posted earlier that if you don't sign a pick that slot money vanishes. Thus if you don't sign your #1 pick you get $0 extra to spend on others, but if that #1 pick signs for 1/2 slot you have tons of extra to spend elsewhere.

Big incentive for teams to go cheap early so they have room later. I figure some might draft 'easy signs' for their first 3 or 4 picks then do the tough ones after. If the tough one doesn't sign then you don't lose much, but if they do sign then you have to work hard on getting the easy signs to sign for less.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 11:54 AM EST (#247463) #
I agree, ayj, that we are probably talking about less than 5 two-sport athletes who would not sign per year because of the CBA changes. 
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 12:25 PM EST (#247464) #

Big incentive for teams to go cheap early so they have room later.

This is the dynamic I'm really curious about.  Will there be more transparency from the draftee prospective on their true number in hopes that they get drafted in a position where they can get it?  ie  Will a guy like Daniel Norris say he wants $3.0m to sign if that will drop him to a spot where a team might not be able to offer it?  If you know your first round talent and you know you want to play ball, this negotiating play (at least before the draft) might disappear.  (You might drive the price up a bit after being selected.)

Gerry - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 12:28 PM EST (#247465) #

Jonathan Mayo  at mlb.com covers the proposed competitive balance draft, due to start in 2013.   Here are the teams that will go in the draw for the lottery:

D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A's, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals

I am really surprised that the Cardinals are in there, and somewhat surprised that the Brewers are there too.  Both of those clubs have drawn well and I would have thought their revenue was above average.  St louis had the 6th highest attendance in 2011 and the Brewers were seventh.

Among the bottom ten teams in attendance the Blue Jays (25th), Mariners (23rd) and White Sox (21st) don't qualify for the draft. 

Beyonder - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 12:39 PM EST (#247466) #

92-93: I am lazy, but I don't want you to think I am dodging your question.  Wasn't sure it was directed at me specifically.  Tigers actually spent 97% of slot.  The big cheapies were: White Sox (84%), Dodgers (85%), and Rangers (87%).  So you are right, the Tigers weren't very much under slot, and I shouldn't have cited them as one the examples of a team spending below average and under slot (althought hey did spend below average).  This doesn 't change the point of my post though.  Last year we had some teams spending twice the slot amount.  It doesn't look like we will next year.  Combine that with the likelihood that other teams will spend under slot, and this is a recipe for a total amount of bonuses well below the 185G cap.

greenfrog - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 12:48 PM EST (#247467) #
I tend to think that teams will now draft players much more in accordance with their perceived talent level. Of course, sometimes a team will have some extra slot room because an early-rounder signed for less than slot; in such cases, the team can be aggressive on a more talented player (say, a two-sport athlete or one with a strong college commitment) in later rounds. But under the new system, if you wait too long on someone like Norris, chances are someone else is going to nab him first.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 02:04 PM EST (#247470) #
St. Louis in the competitive balance draft?  Weird.  The Cardinals are upper tier in market size, attendance and standing.  Maybe MLB looks at market size too narrowly.  If you look at the standard metro area as a definition of market, St. Louis is 16th to 18th, and well behind Minneapolis-St. Paul.  I see also that the city of St. Louis has lost significant population in the last 10 years.  Despite all this, the Cardinals have a presence in the Midwest that extends well beyond metro St. Louis for historical reasons. 
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 03:18 PM EST (#247471) #
As if the world champs are in the first competitive balance draft.  That completely eliminates any credibility that the draft could have.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 03:28 PM EST (#247472) #
Not to mention that they're in line to hand over about $200M+ to Albert Pujols (on top of the hefty 2012 obligations due to Holliday, Carpenter, and Lohse, to name a few). Last year they had a $109M payroll. Yep, life is tough for those Cardinals.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 03:32 PM EST (#247473) #
Possibly the worst thing to happen to the Jays this offseason: Marco Paddy has signed with the White Sox.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 03:55 PM EST (#247475) #
So instead of realizing that the Blue Jays not being in the draft is an indictment of how Rogers has run the team since they bought it, people are complaining about the Cardinals being included in it? It's amazing how well Rogers has succeeded in creating this notion that the Jays are weaklings.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 04:01 PM EST (#247476) #
What?  Toronto ought not to be in the competitive balance draft, and neither should St. Louis.  Separate and apart from the size of the GTA, the fact that the Jays get the benefit of the entire Canadian market for media/internet purposes puts Toronto into one of the top 5 positions among MLB teams. 
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 06:04 PM EST (#247484) #
Not happy that Marco Paddy has been poached - that definitely hurts. It was only a few months ago (at the time of the Osuna signing) that Paddy was talking about helping AA build a Jays' "dynasty." Hopefully AA and LaCava can rustle up a good replacement. I believe LaCava is very knowledgeable about the Latin American baseball world (good thing he's still in the fold).
Shane - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 06:08 PM EST (#247485) #

Separate and apart from the size of the GTA, the fact that the Jays get the benefit of the entire Canadian market for media/internet purposes puts Toronto into one of the top 5 positions among MLB teams. 

Not being an ass. I've never asked or understood, how does this help financially and increase revenue for the MLB roster payroll?

Gerry - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 06:34 PM EST (#247487) #

The Blue Jays have a replacement already.

The Blue Jays have replaced Paddy with Ismael Cruz, who had been with the Mets as their supervisor of Latin American operations and now will be Toronto's special assistant to the GM in charge of Latin American operations. During Cruz's time with New York, the Mets' notable Latin American signings included Jenrry Mejia, Ruben Tejada, Jeurys Famillia, Wilmer Flores, Cesar Puello, Jordany Valdespin and Juan Urbina.

Shane - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 07:10 PM EST (#247489) #
No Omar Minaya in there then.
Thomas - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 08:02 PM EST (#247493) #
Chris Iannetta has been traded from the Rockies to the Angels for pitching prospect Tyler Chatwood. The Rockies are reportedly going to sign Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal to replace Ianetta. The Cubs signed David DeJesus for two years earlier today.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 08:39 PM EST (#247495) #
Shane, the exclusive use of the Canadian broadcast/internet market enhances the value of broadcasting rights.  Competitive balance should have nothing to do with payroll (the league cannot control whether clubs spend their revenues or pocket them), but rather with either revenue or potential revenue.  It is arguable whether a team which develops its market well (say the Red Sox) should not be treated as higher up on the competitive balance scale than a team with a similar size market that does not develop it well. 
Ron - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 08:43 PM EST (#247496) #
Sickels has posted his Top 25 List for the Jays:
http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/11/30/2601596/toronto-blue-jays-top-20-prospects-for-2012

I don't recall the Jays ever having this much quality depth in the farm system.

greenfrog - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 09:09 PM EST (#247497) #
Sickels's rankings are always worth a read - I really like his site. It seems to be a decent ranking, although one oddity is that Molina is ranked #2 overall, ahead of (for example) Nicolino, Syndergaard, Marisnick and Hutchison. If nothing else, it's fun that Sickels is going out on a limb based on Molina's exceptional year, good arm and great control.

I liked that he had Smith Jr. in his top 25 (#15) - I really felt that he was an odd exclusion from the BB top 30 prospects, given that he reportedly has one of the better pure bats in the system, and decent athletic ability.

I thought his rankings of Gose (#9) and Hechavarria (#18) were defensible, given that each player is still a work in progress offensively, despite their physical tools and defensive skills.
Shane - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 09:19 PM EST (#247499) #

@ Mikey Green

Ok. When those comments are historically made I always wondered to myself, "It's great you have a whole country to yourself as a fanbase, but you're not exactly getting people from outside Ontario into the Dome very often, so what's it matter". Thinking if it didn't impact attendence, then really how much could it really help the Toronto Blue Jays on the field. Competitive ballance draft pick stuff I could care less about. It's moronic, and I know I can't change it.

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