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So, now, maybe the free agent period really is transitioning into the trading portion of the off-season. Oakland closer Andrew Bailey, rumored to be dealt to  about 10 or 12 dfferent places since the '11 season's end, is now a member of Red Sox Nation.

The Sawx acquired Bailey,who compliled 24 ssaves in 2011, and outfielder Ryan Sweeney in exchange for OF Josh Reddick and minor leaguers 1B Miles Head and P Raul Alcantera.

Bailey's in Boston? Let the "Irish Cream" pun contest begin!

Bailey to Boston | 56 comments | Create New Account
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Glevin - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 06:37 PM EST (#249834) #
Gives Red Sox Bard, Melancon, and Bailey at the end of the bullpen. Very strong. Not sure what they are going to do about RF though. Maybe they hope Kalish will be healthy and able to produce but they can definitely upgrade. Oakland looks like they got a couple of high upside guys along with Reddick who will start for them immediately. Who else can Oakland trade? Is Kurt Suzuki next? They've certainly given their system a major boost.
TamRa - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 06:56 PM EST (#249836) #
the Jays could do worse than snagging Grant Balfour from the A's.

I've not heard much about either of these prospects, on the surface it looks light to me given all the talk they were asking exorbitant prices.

As for Boston's RF, signing Andruw Jones would be a pretty decent plan. Particularly if they think they have a young player who's on the cusp.

Cody Ross is still floating around too but he has less to offer.
sam - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 06:59 PM EST (#249837) #
Jim Bowden is saying the Jays and Cubs continue to discuss a Garza deal. I'm not sure if this is news to those who frequent Batter's Box or MLBTR. I would hope those two years of control versus the four of Gio would push the price of prospects below the haul Oakland got, but I'm not sure.

It seems to simple for AA to acquire Garza in a 4-1 prospect deal. I suspect that there might be other players coming back or players off the ML roster going the other way. Maybe even a third team involved?

Also, Garza would seem like an odd acquisition considering his two years of control, no? I doubt that Garza would be willing to discuss an extension that would delay his free agency into his mid 30s, or that the Jays would be willing to commit the years and dollars necessary to sway Garza away from free agency in two years time. Also, I doubt very much AA thinks the acquisition of Garza for two years would be sufficient to propel the club into the playoffs. AA seems to be a very shrewd evaluator of the team and Garza by himself surely would likely not be enough to compete? So it would seem curious why AA would give up six years of control of multiple prospects for two years of Garza, unless there was a contract extension with Garza (ala Halladay) in the works or the Garza acquisition was followed by the acquisition of additional players that would enable the team to compete in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Count me as skeptical.
Shane - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 07:03 PM EST (#249838) #

Bard is going to spring training as a Starter, not bullpen guy.

sam - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 07:04 PM EST (#249839) #
Sorry, just to add to my previous comment:

With draft pick compensation also limited under the CBA, the justification that the prospects given up in the deal may be somehow recouped through free agent compensation also remains suspect.

It just does not seem like Garza fits with what AA has been doing here.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 07:27 PM EST (#249841) #
Jim Bowden also reported that the Jays won the Darvish bidding, so take that for what it's worth.
Chuck - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 07:42 PM EST (#249842) #
Jim Bowden also reported that the Jays won the Darvish bidding, so take that for what it's worth.

And he invented a stat called OPSBI, which should always be remembered when he opines on anything.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 07:51 PM EST (#249843) #
I think Garza would be a great pickup, but obviously it has to be the right deal. The downside would be having to watch him spit all over the mound approximately 3000 times per start.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 07:54 PM EST (#249844) #
If I had to invent a stat, I think I would go with "Special OPS" over OPSBI (which just sounds like a public sector union).
sam - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 08:00 PM EST (#249845) #
Fair enough, Bowden however, is not the only commentator who mentions the Jays being among teams involved in trade talks with the Cubs for Garza.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 08:07 PM EST (#249846) #
I guess my question is, why is this stuff supposedly getting leaked out? Maybe the Cubs want to drive up the price, so they're signaling to Boston, NYY and other teams that there is bidding actively going on. Or some exec says, "I could see the Jays being a good fit" and then the scribes run with it...
Landomar - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 09:21 PM EST (#249847) #

Interesting return for Bailey.  To compete with that offer, Toronto would have needed to discuss something like Thames, Jenkins, and Crouse.  Considering that Bailey is awesome, and has three more years of control, I would have been tempted to pull the trigger on that.

If Oakland is looking to dump more players, I agree that Balfour would be a good fit for us, if a good trade can be worked out.

melondough - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 09:51 PM EST (#249848) #

I would be thrilled if the Jays were somehow able to get Balfour from Oak. The righty is under contract this year at $4M and $4.5M next year (FA in 2014).  I also really like Joey Devine who made $557K last year and is arbitration eligible this year and next (FA 2014).

PeteMoss - Wednesday, December 28 2011 @ 10:34 PM EST (#249849) #
Forget San Jose, Oakland looks like its trying to move to AAA.

I assume there must have been some concerns about Bailey's health. He wasn't great in September and had elbow issues over the past two years (and Tommy John surgery in before all of that as well).
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 12:03 AM EST (#249850) #

Boston's acquisition of Bailey may bite them in the butt if he can't stay healthy.  

Of course, signing a Quality Outfielder, whose main asset on offense and defense is speed, and playing him in LF  (Green Monster can ruin good defenders) is stupid .  

 I never understood the Lackey signing, he was an average pitcher that LAA was happy to see leave.

Dice-K got them a World Series, anything else is gravy.

It must be nice to be able to afford mistakes. Generally anything less than 10% of Payroll can be eaten (not seriously affecting payroll).   Boston can afford 25-30%, while NY can afford 35-37.5%.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 12:16 AM EST (#249851) #
You forget, Boston's GM is now in Chicago.  Both organizations always leaked like a sieve, for years.   If A.A. is dealing for Garza, he's P.O.ed.
Spifficus - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 12:57 AM EST (#249852) #
A 3.49 ERA (ERA+ of 127) and peripherals to match in the 5 years preceding his departure from LAA makes Lackey one of the awesomest versions of Average I've ever seen.

I would have been wary of that contract from his chronic elbow issues, but it'd have nothing to do with his performance to that point.
uglyone - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 02:13 AM EST (#249853) #
5 years is a weird window to evaluate on, IMO.

Lackey was a 31 year old pitcher who had had 3 great years from ages 25 to 27, which were surrounded by mediocrity, not to mention injury issues.

His two years previous to getting signed by Boston:

2008 (29): 163.1ip, 3.75era, 4.53fip, 3.83xfip
2009 (20): 176.1ip, 3.83era, 3.73fip, 3.87xfip

Not exactly numbers I'd be jumping to give that kind of contract to, especially with him putting them up in a pitcher-friendly park.
Gwyn - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 09:17 AM EST (#249854) #
"Fair enough, Bowden however, is not the only commentator who mentions the Jays being among teams involved in trade talks with the Cubs for Garza."

With AA there seems to have been an inverse relationship between the amount of transaction rumour and said transaction actually taking place. I wonder how many of these other commentators are simply repeating Bowden's speculation.

Spifficus - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 10:00 AM EST (#249855) #
It was more to show how good he was, and for how long, as opposed to evaluate his talent level at the time. 3 years is more my normal window length. The only real anomaly in his numbers seems to have been an unusually high HR rate in '08, which then went back to a more normal level in '09. Every other year, he was a 4-6 WAR pitcher, which for me is a good #2 guy, not anything that even remotely looks average.
AWeb - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 10:57 AM EST (#249856) #

4-6 WAR for a #2 starter would certainly be a nice thing to have. Only 24 guys made it to 4 WAR last year (bbref, the one that doesn't think Morrow has been as good as Romero), and several teams do have more than one (Boston, Tampa, LAA, Philadelphia). I'd settle for a few 2-4 WAR guys (by bbref, Toronto had Romero at 5.9, and then....Villanueva at 1.9, Janssen at 1.7, Morrow 1.4). Considering how utterly disappointing the pitching was last year, the .500 record looks more impressive. I think it's more likely an internal option gets to the 4-6 WAR level than any guy the Jays could trade for.

Also, nailed the players for the banner pic.

Bailey on Boston merits a yawn. How much better can that bullpen be late in games? Bard and Papelbon were both great last year, late September adventures aside. Bailey has given 90 innings in two years - I don't think any non-Rivera reliever is of much note at that level of usage.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 11:11 AM EST (#249857) #
Isn't Boston planning on stretching out Bard for the rotation?
Glevin - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 11:44 AM EST (#249858) #
"Lackey was a 31 year old pitcher who had had 3 great years from ages 25 to 27, which were surrounded by mediocrity, not to mention injury issues."

Lackey did have injury issues, but he was one of the better pitchers in the league. Burhrle is getting a $15 million per/4 year contract. Lackey's contract never looked good, but it was in the normal range for overpaying a player.
melondough - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 01:26 PM EST (#249859) #

Today John Sickels released the White Sox Top 10 Prospects. Ranked #1 was Nestor Molina who he ranked as a B+. In his words...

"Acquired from the Blue Jays for Sergio Santos, and immediately became Chicago's first or second-best prospect. I think he can remain a starter."

So far Sickels has released 23 team prospect reports. The seven remaining are Athletics, Indians, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Reds, & Rockies.

Some of my observations so far are shown below (I have adjusted teams for the Nestor Molina, Cahil, Latos, and Gio Gonzalez deals).

- There are 8 "A" ranked prospects who are Profar(Tex), Trout(Angles), Machado(Orioles), Miiler(Cardinals), Teheren(Braves), Bauer(Dbacks), Cole(Pirates), & Harper (Nats)

- There are 11 "A-" ranked prospects who are Starling/Myers(both Royals), Walker/Hultzen(both Mariners), Bundy(Orioles), Turner (Tigers), Parker (A's), Skaggs/Bradley(both Dbacks), Rendon (Nats), & Tallion(Pirates)

- There are 41+ "B+" ranked prospects with the Jays leading the way with 7(excluding Nestor Molina), followed by the Padres with 6(still need to add the prospects they received from the Reds once Sickels releases the Reds list), Cardinals with 4, and Braves with 3. No other team has more than 2 so far

- So far only 5 of the 23 teams have all of their listed prospects ranked as "C+" or higher. This means the rest of the prospects that were not highlighted individually in the Sickels ranking may also be C+ ranked. These five teams are the Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Rangers, & Padres

I gave each prospect a score as follows (like a school grading system):

A: 0.85

A-: 0.82

B+: 0.75

B-: 0.72

C+: 0.68

C: 0.65

Using this formula I rank the top 5 systems (from the 23 listed so far) as follows:

1) San Diego Padres (after the Latos deal)

2) Toronto Blue Jays

3) St. Louis Cardinals

4) Atlanta Braves

5) Texas Rangers

6) K.C Royals

7) Boston Red Sox

8 ) Arizona Diamondbacks

9) Seattle Mariners

10) Tampa Bay Rays

The grading scores I used may be a bit simplistic but it still should give a pretty good idea of each teamís prospect ranking. 

 

greenfrog - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 01:57 PM EST (#249861) #
Sickels said that Darvish is equivalent to an A prospect, so in a way, the Rangers should have another A on their list. He's obviously not a prospect in the traditional sense, but the impact on their organization is the same - it's like having an A prospect in the high minors who is guaranteed to make the team in spring 2012. He will just cost a little more than HS or college prospects do:)
melondough - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 03:15 PM EST (#249865) #

Good point about Darvish but he has not signed yet.  I realize that my post should have read:

I gave each prospect a score as follows (like a school grading system):

A: 0.85

A-: 0.82

B+: 0.78

B: 0.75

B-: 0.72

C+: 0.68

C: 0.65

Shane - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 04:50 PM EST (#249872) #
  Isn't Boston planning on stretching out Bard for the rotation?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Yip.
Michael - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 06:40 PM EST (#249874) #
I think the scale on the prospects is off in the high school grading.

While it is definitely good to have lots of prospects, where each one is sort of a lottery ticket, which would you rather have:

2 A prospects

or

3 C prospects

I'd rather have 2 A prospects.

But 2 * 0.85 = 1.7 and 3 * 0.65 = 1.95.

Or 3 A prospects instead of 4 C prospects.

3 * 0.85 = 2.55 and 4 * 0.65 = 2.6

greenfrog - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 06:47 PM EST (#249875) #
I would rather have one A prospect than five (maybe ten) C prospects.
Spifficus - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 09:37 PM EST (#249878) #
I would take a small posse of high upside but raw-like-sushi Texan flamethrowing righthanders in low A (or lower) over a solitary A. Conversely, I'll take the single top prospect over a bullpen full of AAA LOOGYs. That's the flip side to the issue; these lists are making a combined judgement on projectability and probability and distilling it into a single metric. By then distilling it further and amalgamating the As, Bs and Cs into a single rank can remove the nuances that tell us if the system has a bunch of Roberto Osuna and Michael Crouse types, or Chris Marerro and Dan Rosenbaum types.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 09:48 PM EST (#249879) #
You are certainly better off with one A position player prospect than three C position player prospects.  Pitching prospects are a different story altogether.  You are probably better off with most A pitching prospects than with 3 C pitching prospects, but it is a much more difficult question. Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller are great pitching prospects, but due to the risk of injury, there is a decent chance that Drew Hutchison (say) ends up with a much better career than both of them.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 10:01 PM EST (#249880) #

Who would I move in an A.A. deal?  

1) Kyle Drabek: If someone still thinks he's a Stud, or has a chance of being a good pitcher, he would be a main piece or the centerpiece of the deal.   He's also in danger of being bypassed by the pitchers coming up, who are less than 1 year away.

2) Anthony Gose: (Is he on the outs with the Jays?   Not doing what they want him to do?)   Jake Marisnick is hard on his butt, and already has the 'Bat' that Gose is trying to develop.   Colby Rasmus is under contract for next three years and was an important acquisition by A.A.   Behind and with Marisnick are Marcus Knecht (CF-capable), Michael Crouse (CF-capable) just to name a few.   Too many outfielders ready to play at MLB means you must trade someone (lowering that prospect's value).   Let's clear the backlog before it occurs.

3) In AA, Drew Hutchison, Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins are not all making it to the majors, or they might be blocked.   These guys could be at least a year away.   Keep Drew Hutchison, if you must,  and put Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins up for trades.

4)In A/A+, Justin Nicolino, Noah Syndergaard, Asher Wojciechowski, and (sneaking in) Aaron Sanchez are not all making it to the majors.  If they are, they're at least 2 or more years away.   The way A.A. is drafting pitchers, they are replaceable.

Now I would consider acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs, because he can pitch in the A.L. East.   But I would like him to agree to an extention before a trade, just two years of contract is not enough.

melondough - Thursday, December 29 2011 @ 11:27 PM EST (#249882) #

I think the scale on the prospects is off in the high school grading.

Fair enough.  Sickels defines C players as the most ``common type`` prospects whereas he defines B prospects as ``prospects who have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role``.  He says ``almost all Grade A prospects develop into major league regulars.``

Since there are very few Grade A prospects I think it is more fair to rank each organization on their A and B ranked players.  If we do it this way and rank each category from A to B- as mentioned before then we get the top 5 teams ranked as follows:

1.Blue Jays (7B+,1B,8B-)

2.Braves (1A,3B+,2B,9B-)

3.Red Sox (2B+,4B,9B-)

4.Padres (6B+,2B,6B-)...but definately will jump ahead to number 1 once Sickels ranks the players they got for Latos

5.Rangers (1A,1B+,7B,5B-)

Followed by Cardinals, Rays, Twins, Royals, and Diamondbacks

I think most that have commented on this thread would prefer it be ranked only on the premium players (B+ or better I think is fair).  Doing so we get:

1.Blue Jays (7B+)

2.Padres (6B+)...but definately will jump ahead of Jays once Sickels ranks the players they got for Latos

3.Cardinals (1A,4B+)

4.Royals (2A-,2B+)

5.Braves(1A,3B+)

There is a considerable drop off after the Braves (Diamonbacks, Pirates, Mariners followed by another large dop off).

Anyway you look at it the Jays have to be mentioned as one of the top three teams when the prospect discussion is brought up.  As mentioned before these rankings are based on Sickels rankings up to date (7 teams still to come) using scores that would typically be given to each grade  in a school setting.

hypobole - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 01:40 AM EST (#249883) #
melondough, although as greenfrog stated (and I stated in the other thread where this was posted), one A prospect is worth multiple C prospects, Spifficus has a point that can't be discounted and that is what type of C prospect are we talking about.

The Jays system's strength in C+ prospects is probably near the top of all minor league systems. Some of these will become major league contributors, maybe even a star or 2 in this group.

From what I understand, there are 2 basic types of these C+'s.
Type 1 - flawed and/or lower ceiling types in upper minors
Type 2 - unproven/higher ceiling types in lower minors (of course, Type 2's will have flaws as well)

Type 1's - Hechavarria, Carreno, Jenkins, Sierra, Cooper
Type 2's - Perez, Knecht, Crouse, Osuna, Stilson, Hawkins, Thon, Comer, Robson, Taylor.

That's 15 prospects in addition to the 16 B prospects, with 10 of the 15 C+ kids under the age of 22.

FWIW,half the other systems John has done so far don't even have 20 C+ or better prospects.
uglyone - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 03:23 AM EST (#249884) #
"I would rather have one A prospect than 5-10 C prospects"

You sure about that?

Last year's jays:

Drabek A-

Alvarez C+
Marisnick C+
Hutchison C+
Nicolino C+
Carreno C+
Hechavarria C+
Knecht C+
Jenkins C+
Farina C+
greenfrog - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 07:28 AM EST (#249886) #
Actually, I meant what I said literally: I would rather have one straight-A prospect (like Harper, Trout, Moore, Machado, Profar, Miller) than five (or maybe ten) straight-C prospects.

It gets trickier when you're talking about A- and C+ prospects, especially (as others have noted) that the ceiling of C+ prospects can vary considerably. A C+ prospect is sometimes a very young, very promising player who has yet to establish a track record.
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 12:42 PM EST (#249890) #
Just to add a little more fuel to the "Jays aren't spending" fire...

From mlbtraderumors:
Sources tell Olney that the Blue Jays are much more like to hold or even cut their payroll rather than increase it.

bpoz - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 01:04 PM EST (#249891) #
Anyone know our total spending on the ML payroll for the last 5 years. That should include paying $6mil to Phillies and other outlays like BJ Ryan & whatever happened to F Thomas.

A trend could be perceived in spending.

The talent level of the team also changed. But IMO that is harder to evaluate.

I suppose the spending philosophy has been changed for P Beeston from P Godfrey & the staffs of each.

I can never tell how good anyone's sources are.

But we have spent more on amateur signings recently. Probably that will also decrease IMO.

Mike Forbes - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 02:29 PM EST (#249894) #
Looks like the Jays are closing in on Darren Oliver. Mlbtraderumors.com says that the deal is near complete.
Mick Doherty - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 03:28 PM EST (#249899) #
Well, thank the good lord Ollie's leaving Texas. I got tired of holding my breath every time he tok the mound ...
greenfrog - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 03:32 PM EST (#249901) #
MD, what were you holding your breath about? Did he seem to be losing stuff? Walking the (late-model) BJ Ryan tightrope of disaster? His stats have been outstanding over the last four years.
92-93 - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 03:51 PM EST (#249904) #

bpoz, you want to be looking here.

http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5563:2011-mlb-salaries-see-3-increase-rangers-lead-all-clubs&catid=26:editorials&Itemid=39

It will give you the official MLB version of 2010-2011 spending, and I bet if you search the site you can find previous years too. The figures shown are the ones MLB used to determine luxury tax penalties.

dan gordon - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 04:48 PM EST (#249906) #
Oliver has had an unusual career.  He stumbled around as a starter until his early 30's, then moved to the bullpen, and has put together an excellent run from 2006 to 2011, with the best of those years being his last 4.  His ERA has been below 3.00 and his WHIP below 1.20 each of those 4 seasons, and his K/BB ratio has been very good.  In his last 6 seasons, when he was 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40, he has had an ERA well below his career average ERA each year - you won't see that very often.  Last year, his opponents' OPS was roughly equal vs lefties and righties.  He'd be a very good addition to the Jays' bullpen - I hope they get him.
Mike Green - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 05:19 PM EST (#249908) #
I concur.  Oliver would be a good addition.  Now turning to the rotation and 1B/DH situations...
melondough - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 05:33 PM EST (#249910) #
Oliver signs 1 year deal with club option for 2013.  Surprised AA was able to get a club option.  It will be interested to see the value of the contract.  Would $3.5M seem right?  He earned $3M in 2011 and $3M in 2010.
melondough - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 05:35 PM EST (#249911) #
bpoz - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 05:36 PM EST (#249912) #
Thanks 92-93. Spending has gone down from 95/98mil 07/08 to 84/87mil 09/10 to 76mil in 2011. 2012 should be mid 70s as well, it looks like.
Bautista is getting a raise but the pen should be cheaper this year.
There are details of wasted $,saved $ & $ spent on trades like Halladay & M Oliva.

IMO AA's style is complicated. I also think both Beeston & AA would not spoil their good reputations by being deceptive. I will wait to see how spending & results play out over the next few years. There are patient & impatient people, I am patient but not forever.
IMO the 2010 team was not built to win 90 games. The 2011 team was strange IMO, in that there were experiments being done.
Mike Green - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 09:02 PM EST (#249915) #
The Jays have signed Aaron Laffey according to MLBTR. 
Landomar - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 10:53 PM EST (#249916) #

It seems that Laffey was hoping to find an opportunity to pitch as a starter.  If that's true, I hope he enjoys being a starter for the Las Vegas 51s, as I can't see us ending up with another Eveland / Reyes situation.  He did sign a split contract, so I expect he'll end up in AAA to start the season, and he could end up providing some useful depth for us.

The Oliver signing makes sense, and it looks like he'll be a good fit here.  The bullpen has six positions filled now (Santos, Janssen, Oliver, Litsch, Perez, Villanueva), so unless we can add someone really good for that last spot, then I think we should just leave space for Carreno or another young pitcher.

It looks like the shopping list is now down to a starter and possibly a big bat. 

  

Mick Doherty - Friday, December 30 2011 @ 11:08 PM EST (#249918) #

MD, what were you holding your breath about?

Fair question, and maybe a now-unfair reaction on my part. I have been through all the various iterations of Oliver in North Texas and even as he was effective here the last year and a half, couldn't let go of the experience of  watching Oliver-the-starter. Lots of outings with 6 9 7 6 5 3 type lines.

dan gordon - Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 01:19 AM EST (#249919) #

I can't see Laffey helping the Jays, and i really don't want to see him on the big league team.  He's AAA depth in my books.  He managed to produce a good ERA in limited time in 2011, but his secondary stats were pretty much the same as his previous years'.  He gives up a lot of hits, doesn't strike out many, and his control is not exactly stellar.

Oliver, on the other hand, has consistently put up good numbers as a reliever over the last 6 years (only 1 start in that time).  His ERA for the 6 years is 2.97, his WHIP is 1.15, he gave up only 8 hits per 9 innings, while striking out 7.4/9IP with only 2.4BB/9IP.   Baseball Prospectus had an interesting comment on him in the 2011 edition.  They asked which was more impressive, Eckersley going from being a very good starter to a great reliever, or Oliver going from being a terrible starter to a very good reliever.

hypobole - Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 02:05 AM EST (#249922) #
One last thought on A/C prospects. If Lawrie had kept his rookie eligibility, he would have been an A prospect. How many tradeable C prospects in our system would comprise equivalent value in a hypothetical transaction? I'm guessing more than 5.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 05:59 PM EST (#249933) #

I make the Bullpen (6): Closer: Sergio Santos; 8.I.G.: To be announced / acquired; 7.I.G.: Casey Janssen (who gets out both Right-handed and Left-handed batters reasonably well); ; L.O.O.G.Y.: Darren Oliver (who gets out both Right-handed and Left-handed batters reasonably well); Long/Short/Spot Start (2): Carlos Villanueva and Jesse Litsch.  

I do recall, in the acquisition of Ben Francisco, A.A. said they would be carrying 5 Outfielders on the Team.   R.F.: Jose Bautista; C.F.: Colby Rasmus; L.F.: (under competition); 4th O.F. (Bench): Rajai Davis; 5th O.F. (Bench): (under competition).   Bench (5): 4th OF: Rajai Davis, 5th OF (?), 2nd C.: Jeff Mathis: INF: Luis Valbuena; IF/OF: Mark Teahen.

I make the Rotation 1) Ricky Romero; 2) To be announced / acquired; 3) Brandon Morrow (still hasn't got it); 4) Henderson Alvarez (working on a 3rd pitch?); 5): (under competition).   Those competing for one, or possibly two, positions in the Rotation are: Kyle Drabek (lost all his confidence, control and pitches - AAAA?); Dustin McGowan (has not pitched more than 5.0 innings since 2008, amongst many other things); Brett Cecil (loss all fastball velocity and was badly out of shape); and, Aaron Laffey (his advantage: LHP - unhurt - in shape - still breathing).

As Mike Wilner, and others of more or less importance, have said, over six weeks until Pitchers and Catcher report for Spring Training.   Plenty of time to hope A.A. does something else.

Paul D - Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 07:52 PM EST (#249934) #

I think spending any assets on more relievers is a serious mistake.  You haven't listed Perez or Carreno, both of whom deserve a shot.   There's also always the option of letting one of the younger pitchers spend some time in the bullpen.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 31 2011 @ 11:32 PM EST (#249937) #

If A.A. doesn't sign / trade for an E.I.G., or another good reliever, by Spring Training, we will have one Bullpen opening.  Until I hear different from A.A's or John Farrell's mouth that they'll have only four Outfielders, or, a 4-man Bench, or, a 7-man Bullpen.   Nothing in my article will be different - baring the"Ninja".

I've noticed  http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/blue-jays-sign-three-to-minor-league-deals-1.html the Blue Jays recent acquisitions: Jerry Gil (RHRP) http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2207&position=P (his Baseball Reference site says SS, Fangraphs says Pitcher), Robert Coello (RHP) http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/coellro01.shtml and Brian Bocock (SS) http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bococbr01.shtml .   They are depth signings, but a better class than last year.

Landomar - Sunday, January 01 2012 @ 11:10 AM EST (#249940) #

A 4 man bench and 7 man bullpen is fairly standard these days.  I think that's what we should expect, regardless of the pros and cons of such an arrangement.

We have a couple of extra outfielders right now, but that will likely sort itself out.  There should be a good chance for Teahen to be DFA'd (by the end of spring training), and one of Snider, Thames, Davis, or Francisco will be traded, sent to the minors (perhaps Thames starts there), or just released at a low cost (Francisco).  There's also a good chance that all four of those players will be needed at the MLB level right away; a single injury to any hitter other than a catcher or middle infielder would open a spot.

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