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The deadline for signing free agents to new teams passes at midnight tonight.  While free agents can sign tomorrow, generally they don't but some do try and sign before the winter meetings in a month.  However this year is different and with the new CBA some of the timelines have changed.  This could speed up the signing of free agents as some of the uncertainty around draft compensation and options has been either removed or advanced in the calendar.  It will be interesting to see if free agents sign any faster this year.  Today is also the last day that clubs have the exclusive right to talk to their own free agents.  But if you believe there are not back conversations taking place with player agents you are perhaps naive.

This year is also the last year of the old TV deal.  A new national US TV deal kicks in next season and that increases the revenue for all teams.  With only 25 or so guys to give the money to, will we see salary numbers that shcok this off-season?  I think we might.  Also the Dodgers and the Cubs have new owners with big wallets.

The Jays have made a trade, see the bottom of the article for details

MLB Trade Rumours produced a list of the top 50 free agents with predictions.  They say that Edwin Jackson is the only top 50 free agent headed to Toronto.


Keith Law will publish his top 50 on ESPN later today.  He has said in a chat that the top tier of players is thin but that there is a lot of depth in the 30-50 range.


Jon-Paul Morosi had a short note basically stating that the Jays are interested in all pitchers, even Zack Greinke:

The Toronto Blue Jays are casting a wide net in their search for rotation upgrades, already showing interest in free agents Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Dempster, among others, according to major-league sources.


His colleague Ken Rosenthal focuses on the big dollars that are likely to be offered:

The top free agents this offseason are not as appealing. But a perfect storm exists for a winter of irrationality, and not just from the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose three-year, $22.5 million signing of “closer” Brandon League kicked off the proceedings quite nicely. Consider:

  • Labor peace is assured through 2016.
  • Baseball’s new, eight-year national television contracts will spin off $50 million per team starting in 2014.
  • The new restrictions on amateur spending, both domestically and internationally, create more flexibility for major league payrolls.
  • The breakthroughs of teams such as the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles this year increase the pressure on struggling franchises.
  • And, based on prior history, the mediocre quality of the free-agent class is unlikely to deter clubs from spending lavishly.

So, $100 million for center fielder Angel Pagan? Maybe not. But right-hander Zack Greinke, for one, could hit a massive jackpot


The dollars make for a tough call for teams.  Do they sit back and see how other teams are reacting to the new revenue, or do they blow the doors off with a huge offer to their top target?  If history is a guide it will be the latter.


So get ready for full hot stove action with rumours flying over the next few weeks.  Trade talk could pick up too.


Meanwhile the Jays need a manager but AA has said he is in no hurry to fill the role.  Jeff Blair talked to AA about the search in today's Globe:

And Anthopoulos has noticed something about those decisions. Some work, some don’t, but the ones that keep him awake at night are the ones that didn’t work out after he listened a little too much to his democratic angels, where he analyzed and absorbed opinions and information trying to be, in his words, “a good leader,” instead of following his instincts.

Nobody knows, yet, whether Anthopoulos will get the choice of a new manager right, but one thing is apparent from a conversation with him on Thursday: The final decision will be his, and he won’t overanalyze it the way he seems to think he did in hiring Farrell.

Anthopoulos is clear: Even today, he does not think there is anything that suggests Farrell won’t be a good manager. But he also admitted that in hiring Farrell two years ago, he was more concerned with “checking all the boxes.”

Good face? Yep, Farrell had that. Former major-leaguer? Done. Player development? Check. Knows pitching? Triple-check. Check, check, check.

“What I didn’t do,” Anthopoulos said, “was go with my gut. I didn’t give myself enough credit.”

Anthopoulos would not say where his gut would have taken him during the process. That’s no surprise.


So John Farrell was not his number one manager choice, in his gut.  Who was it?  No-one knows.  Is that manager available now, maybe not?  So we sit and wait for AA's gut to tell him it's time.


Is anything else happening?

Saturday update: The Jays have traded Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes to the Indians for pitcher Esmil Rogers. Rogers was at one time a highly rated prospect. In 2012 he pitched out of the bullpen in Colorado and Cleveland. His 3.50 ERA in Cleveland was a lot better than his 8.06 ERA in Colorado. Rogers never had an ERA under 6 in parts of three seasons in Colorado.

This trade frees up one spot on the 40 man roster and clears out an extra catcher, the Jays already have a boatload of catchers. But does this setup another trade? The Jays could opt to try Rogers as a starter but that would be a surprise. This could set up another trade. We all know that closers are over-valued. With Janssen and Santos the Jays have two closers. Janssen's value could be high, could this trade setup a Janssen trade?

Free Agent Frenzy, now with a Trade | 108 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
greenfrog - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#265099) #
Nice roundup of the calm before the storm (or the storm before the calm?).

I posted this in the other thread but it's more apropos to this one:

Slightly off-topic, but this article by Dave Cameron is worth reading. It's an interesting look at the subject of payroll-constrained teams (which would seem to include the Jays) and the hazards of trying to buy your way into contention via the free agent market:

Of course, even as I understand the concept of exercising prudence in the free agent market, the fan in me wants to see AA add a couple of starters and get back in the game - if only to take it to Farrell & his merry band of ex-Jays next season...
greenfrog - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#265100) #
Also: I'm happy about the protected pick in next year's draft. AA can go shopping this off-season and next year's draft will still be fun to watch.

The new CBA makes things interesting as well, as certain types of free agents (such as those who don't receive a qualifying offer, and those (like Anibal Sanchez) who switched teams mid-season) won't cost a draft pick.

I think there are going to be some surprisingly large contracts given out to some of the better mid-range pitchers. I think the White Sox did well to re-sign Peavy to a two-year deal (with vesting option).
Shaker - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#265101) #
In an ideal world the Jays would add a LHB cleanup hitter (ie Papi or Josh H), a high end starter and a mid rotation starter.  They could also use a LHB OBP guy for the top of the order who could platoon with Rajai or one of our MIF.

No doubt I am in the minority but I don't think we should be making ANY trades this off-season.  Mid-year or next off-season sure, but our trade chips (Yunel, Colby, JPA) are at their nadir right now and their replacements (Hech, Gose, TDA) could use more seasoning in the minors.

I don't expect us to add a cleanup hitter, but would be happy if we added Marcum (might take 4 years and $40-50M) and a typical #4 (Braden, Liriano, Baker) on a value deal.  A low cost platoon like Juan Pierre or Nyjer Morgan for one year is fine too, as we let Gose percolate in AAA.

Expecting anything more than that seems awfully optimistic given how the last off-season went.

vw_fan17 - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#265103) #
Am I insane for thinking maybe Travis Hafner would be a good DH fit for us? Power LH bat, OPS+ no lower than 120 for the last 4 years. Good to great against RHP, ok against LHP. Age is a factor, as are injuries, IIRC. Not sure if he's ready for a pay cut from the $13M he got last year..
Shaker - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#265104) #
Not crazy at all. Hafner would be great as DH vs RHP.

He's going to be taking a massive haircut in salary. I'd be shocked if he got $4M on a 1 year deal. His injury record and lack of glove make him far less desirable.

If we can stash Lind in AAA he'd be a great addition. If not he's not such a great improvement over Lind that you'd eat Lind's $7M contract.
BlueJayWay - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#265105) #
The national TV deals kick in in 2014, no?
Gerry - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#265106) #
Yes the TV deal kicks in 2014, I worded that badly. I meant that the new TV deal kicks in in year 2 of all contracts signed this winter. I am already in 2013 from a baseball contract perspective.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#265107) #
How is Toronto not equal to all other Teams?
1) Artificial Turf: As the only team with turf instead of grass, Toronto is at a disadvantage. With it unlikely to change any time soon or any time at all, some Players will not come here regardless the time and money offered.
2) This is a foreign country with Customs and Passports. Blue Jays experience this joy at least 40+ times each year.
3) Dual Income Tax: Blue Jays pay Canadian Income Tax on earnings in Canada, approximately half their earnings are Taxed.
4) Mega Corp: Team is owned by the riches owners in Baseball. Unfortunately they are responsible to Stock Holders.

Any trade A.A. makes must include 1 or more players on the 40-man Roster, and should move out some salary for that it takes in. I can see A.A. doing two very significant Trades as well a smaller one or two.

I can see A.A. signing three Free Agents, with at least one being very significant. Somewhere along the line A.A.'s budget took a big increase to I estimate (with nothing concrete to support) $105.0 MM +/- $5.0 MM. I'll just have to wait and see if I read everything right.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#265108) #
Add Dan Haren to the list of free agent starters.
Magpie - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#265110) #
Hafner would be great as DH vs RHP

I dunno. Seems to me that you're rolling the dice and hoping the Pronk of 2006 gets up and walks around. It could happen, but it's surely pretty unlikely. That guy's been gone for a long time. In the last five seasons, Hafner has hit .259/.353/.436, with 23 HR per 612 games. Hardly chopped liver, but when you throw in that he's managed to play more than 94 games just once in that time.... that neither of those indicators (his production or his durability) are likely to improve at age 36... he just doesn't seem likely to be a full-time solution to anything. He doesn't even seem likely to be an upgrade on David Cooper. (Adam Lind, maybe.)

And a guy who can't play a defensive position at all simply can't have a role on the bench. Like it or not, the seven man bullpen isn't going away.
Magpie - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#265111) #
OK, that should have read 23 HRs per 162 games. Sorry Pronk!
John Northey - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#265112) #
A DH only type would have to be a killer hitter nowadays - in the Ortiz class (130+ OPS+, ideally in the 150 range). The loss of flexibility is just too great when you have someone who cannot take a position.

Now, that said, Jim Thome would be a tempting target. He has shown a willingness to play at reasonable rates ($1.25 last year) and in a limited role (PH for an NL team) and had a really good year recently (2010: 182 OPS+ over 340 PA, 131 in 324 in 2011) but has slumped too (112 last year, 117 in 2009). He did get 27 innings at 1B this past season so can play the field if necessary. If Lind can be dumped on someone (or released) then Thome might be worth a shot if Cooper isn't expected to be a 110+ OPS+ guy.
Shaker - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#265113) #
Whoa Magpie, you can't respond to comment that says "vs RHP" and then quote his total stats. These are Pronk's slash lines vs RHP the last 4 years (OBP/SLG):
2009: .375/.490
2010: .385/.478
2011: .404/.482
2012: .361/.437

Now admittedly the 2009 stats are not relevant and the 2012 stats may be most appropriate, but the 2011 stats should not be ignored. He will be cheap. I see Fangraphs crowd sourced him at $5M but I think that's too optimistic given his likely lack of suitors.

Thome's stats are similar though more volatile vs RHP the last 4 years. I think his openness to being a PH makes him more attractive to more teams and thus makes him less likely to want to sign with the Jays.

Again I can only advocate Pronk if we can stash Lind in AAA and no one has answered that question for me. Did Lind agree to being DFA'd or would he become a free agent if the Jays tried to send him down again?

Chuck - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#265115) #
A trade reported at Rotoworld: Indians acquired INF Mike Aviles and INF/C Yan Gomes from the Blue Jays for RHP Esmil Rogers

This surprises me. I was sure that Aviles was the fallback position for 2B. I wonder if this means that Hecheverria will start 2013 in the majors.
CeeBee - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#265116) #
Ortiz resigns with Boston and the Jays make a trade.
Gerry - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#265117) #
The Jays have traded John Farrell and Yan Gomes for Esmil Rogers.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#265118) #
I pray to god they plan to try Rogers as a starter. I'm not a huge fan of the 11 man bullpen personally.
mike in boston - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#265119) #
Or: Farrell + a minor league pitcher in exchange for a utility infielder, who is then packaged with another utility infielder in exchange for a failed starter turned middle reliever.

Guess AA had an itch that needed scratching. Or maybe he was shuffling his fantasy roster and thought he'd see if he could make the same trade in real life.
Ryan Day - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#265120) #
With Janssen and Santos the Jays have two closers.

With Janssen and Santos, the Jays have one closer, and one guy who missed almost the entire year with a bad shoulder. I know they're expecting Santos to be ready for spring training, but there is a saying about eggs and counting that applies here.
Thomas - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#265121) #
The Jays have traded John Farrell and Yan Gomes for Esmil Rogers. And David Carpenter. It's a 3-for-1 for a player that was designated for assignment five months ago.
PeteMoss - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#265122) #
AA's obsession with relievers is hurting my soul.
TamRa - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#265123) #
if what he did in Cleveland is a true reflection of his ability, its a better bit of compensation for Rogers than Aviles was I suppose, but I sympathize with the supposition that there must be other wheels in motion.

AWeb - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#265124) #
A player with the potential to be a passable backup at 3B and Catcher (who is only 25), and a player who could play the middle infield right now and provide a useful backup plan at multiple positions, for another reliever. I'm rapidly losing patience with AA. I can't see how this sets up anything but another minor trade, which is all a trade involving one of the top relievers on the team is - no one in the bullpen is bringing back a starting position player of note, and they certainly aren't bringing back a starter. Thanks for getting rid of Wells, but the obsession with relievers would be funny if he was another team's GM.
Seamus - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#265125) #
This is a nice trade.  Rogers was very good once he got out of Colorado.

53 IP, 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 9.2 K/9 .. throws 96.

I'll take that over Aviles/Gomes.

SK in NJ - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#265126) #
Damn you Darren Oliver for threatening retirement! Now AA is going to acquire more relievers until you make up your mind.
Seamus - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#265127) #

"A player with the potential to be a passable backup at 3B and Catcher (who is only 25)"  ... based on what though?  He was dreadful last year (.204/.264/.307), and has never really been considered a prospect of any kind.

Aviles would have been nice as a backup infielder, sure.

CeeBee - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#265128) #
I think A.A. has a revolutionary plan up his sleeve. A pitching staff with no real starters. 6 middle relief types go 2 innings every other day and 6 set-up/closer types go an inning or less 2 out of 3 days or thereabouts. That way you don't pay starter money and don't have to compete for a limited number of good starters. Relief pitching... The new moneyball strategy. ;)
Seamus - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#265129) #
As for AA being obsessed with relievers, if the Jays don't resign Frasor or Lyon, there's a place for Rogers.

The pen would probably look like: Jannsen, Santos (hopefully), Oliver (hopefully), Delabar, Lincoln, Rogers, Loup.

And who knows if Santos (injury) and Oliver (retirement) will be back. 

Gerry - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#265130) #
Notwithstanding AA's reliever fetish, the 40 man spot has a value too. The Jays are facing a 40 man roster crush and this trade saves a spot. With McGowan, Drabek, Hutchison and Perez occupying injury spots it makes the job of fitting all players and prospects into 40 spots even tougher this year.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#265131) #
Yet another reliever.  Who wants relievers?  We got relievers!  Get your relievers here!

adrianveidt - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#265132) #

You need a lot of relievers when your starting staff can't go 3 innings without giving up 5 runs. So you can see his point.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#265133) #
Anyone up for a reliever picket line at the RC?  Can't go 120 innings... No pasaran. 

Seriously, if you are going to construct your roster this way, go whole hog.  Tandem starters/relievers for 2 or 3 slots.  Get 100 innings each out of 4 lesser pitchers for 2 slots say, and then just worry about getting 3 pitchers to throw 200 innings each. You then have a 5 man pen to deal with the last 2+ innings.   

greenfrog - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#265134) #
Remember that Santos and Perez are question marks because of injury, while there is a good chance that none of Frasor, Lyon and Oliver will be back. There isn't quite as much bullpen depth as many people think.

KLaw's take:

Slight preference for Rogers over Aviles/Gomes. Good cheap pen piece. RT @ChrisRomaniw: @keithlaw thoughts on Esmil Rogers trade?
joeblow - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#265135) #
The guy has a decent half season and lousy rest of career.

Is the new market inefficiency guys who are designated for assignment? I didn't realize there was so much hidden talent at the end of the 40-man roster.

Maybe none of this is really worth talking about and it's too early. But there is an appearance of fiddling while Rome burns.
dan gordon - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#265136) #

Not really a fan of this trade.  Always thought Gomes was a pretty good prospect who never really got full time AB's.  Last 3 minor league seasons - Dunedin in 2010, he hit .275 with 9 HR's in 233 AB's, with NH in 2011, he hit  .250 with 13 HR's in 276 AB's and last year in Vegas, he hit .328 with 13 HR's in 305 AB's.  That's 35 HR's in just over 800 AB's, plus he can play corner infield and catcher.  On the down side, he doesn't walk a lot, and isn't a strong defensive player, but I think he's got a decent chance to carve out a major league career for himself, and I thought Aviles could be a decent 2nd baseman for the team. 

 Rogers was sold to Cleveland for cash this summer after being designated for assignment.  Now, he did put up some very good numbers after the trade, with a WHIP of 1.11 and an ERA just over 3.00 with a strikeout an inning, so there is some reason for optimism.  The Jays must be thinking he has suddenly reached a new level that he can maintain.  Still think the Indians got more than they gave, and as far as positions are concerned, the Jays need 2nd basemen and corner infielders more than they need additional relievers.  Hope this doesn't mean they figure Oliver to retire and Lyon, Frasor to both be gone. 

Seamus - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#265137) #
Here's a fantasy article from late last year with a writeup on Rogers:

SK in NJ - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#265138) #
Well, let's look at this trade is other ways.

Santos is coming off injury and Oliver is an unknown as far as whether he stays or retires. Remove those two from the equation and the bullpen suddenly looks pedestrian after Janssen and Delabar (not sold on Lincoln yet but he has potential). Alex now acquired another power reliever who makes nothing salary-wise as depth, and he can move on from spending millions on Frasor or Lyon (presumably).

Another factor appears to be cost. Apparently Alex declined the option on Rajai Davis because the $500,000 buyout would not be counted towards the 2013 payroll. Doing something that pointless to save $500,000, and now trading arbitration eligible Mike Aviles for pre-arby Rogers indicates that Alex is trying to save money. Which leads to the question why? Either because he is targeting a player (or players) without cost certainty (in other words, free agents) and wants wiggle room or ownership is squeezing him on payroll again. I'm guessing it's the former. Well, let me rephrase that, I'm HOPING it's the former.

Otherwise, a pretty pointless transaction. Although it's good to know that the IF depth is so bad now that AA can't possibly trade Escobar now. Good. Escobar may be an idiot, but at $5M per with his history of defense/OBP, the Jays need him. Aviles won't be replacing him, thankfully.
Seamus - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#265139) #

"The guy has a decent half season and lousy rest of career.
Is the new market inefficiency guys who are designated for assignment? I didn't realize there was so much hidden talent at the end of the 40-man roster.
Maybe none of this is really worth talking about and it's too early. But there is an appearance of fiddling while Rome burns."

He was lousy pitching in Colorado (not the first guy to suck there), and very good for his 50 odd innings in Cleveland.  Rogers is far from a sure thing, but I'm still not sure why people think this was a pointless move.  If Oliver retires and at least one of Frasor or Lyon leaves, there'll be a hole in the back end of the pen.  You really liked Aviles and Gomes that much?

China fan - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#265140) #
The trade for Rogers tells us a few things:

1) the Jays are still unsure about Santos, Oliver and Perez. There's no guarantee that any of them will be in the Jays bullpen in 2013. We've been assuming that Santos will be ready for spring training, but the Jays may have their own information, which might suggest that Santos is less than certain to be ready.

2) The Jays consider that Frasor and Lyon are not cost-efficient acquisitions at this point. Either or both could be signed as free agents, but their cost would be $3-million or even $4-million for a one-season deal, and Rogers is far more cost-efficient than that.

3) The Jays are still aiming to acquire a 2B through the free agent or trade market, and they didn't consider Aviles to be a solution.

4) For the 2013 bullpen, the near-certain pitchers are Janssen, Lincoln, Delabar, Rogers and probably Loup and/or Cecil. If Oliver and Santos return, their bullpen is settled and they don't need to worry about it for the rest of the off-season. It's nice to get that settled now -- because there won't be any temptation to sign a Cordero at the last minute.
Craig B - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#265141) #
Yesterday, after counting that the Jays brought in seventeen righthanded relivers from outside the organization in the 12 previous months, and noting the increasing pace of it, I made a prediction that we'd see twelve new righthanded relievers brought into the ballclub between November 1 and April 1.

So now my prediction is eleven more, and we will sign no established major league starters at all, but we'll "show interest" in all of them.

Nothing can surprise me anymore about this organization. Nothing.
mike in boston - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#265142) #
It's nice to get that settled now -- because there won't be any temptation to sign a Cordero at the last minute.

Do you even know who the GM of the Jays is? The only thing he prefers to signing free agent relievers is trading for them?
Craig B - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#265143) #
For those noting a hole at the back end of the pen, I want that number to sink in. Besides the newly promoted players, we've brought in eighteen righthanded relief pitchers from outside the organization to the major league club in the last 368 days.

So that does not include NRIs, and for guys brought in during the regular season it was only guys who got a spin on the 25-man roster.

In that time, with an utterly desperate situation in the rotation for the entire duration, they've brought in three starting pitchers total... Sean O'Sullivan, J. A. Happ, and Jamie Freakin' Moyer. To call the front office's behavior monomaniacal is to do a grave disservice to the many fine, urbane, sensible monomaniacs that walk among us. At this point, I don't even think they should be stopped. This is a really incredible thing, and in a way I'm keen for it to go on as long as possible, because I'm fascinated by how it will eventually turn around.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#265144) #
You need a lot of relievers when your starting staff can't go 3 innings without giving up 5 runs. So you can see his point.

The best way to deal with that is get better starters.
AWeb - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#265145) #
For me, I'm annoyed at two things. The first is that they keep acquiring relievers, seemingly in every trade. This is frustrating, because there is literally no chance a middle reliever becomes a difference maker for the team. Someone like Aviles or Gomes can have a flukey season and be hugely valuable (Aviles at 4.4  fWAR in 2008, for instance). A reliever just doesn't have the upside.

Second, AA keeps using assets to acquire relievers (Napoli, Snider, Aviles, Gomes, etc). Sure, Aviles and Gomes aren't getting back a star, but they are something. You have the entire minor league system, and every player released until the end of spring training to choose from, none of which cost you other players.  And frankly, you can clear space on your 40 man roster by just taking guys off the 40 man roster. Would anyone ever claim McGowan for instance?

Anyway, I guess I'm just tired of the Jays after an entire year of tinkering at the edges and dealing with injuries; this seems like more of the same.
joeblow - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#265146) #
@Seamus Don't get me wrong - not a fan of any of the players involved. Other than the money I wasted on an un-numbered Aviles jersey. I just value an average position player more than a very dubious reliever. I remember hearing a Pat Gillick interview where he said he values position players much more than pitchers. He was talking more about starters but to me, this applies when you compare backups and relievers.

We've applauded AA for a few years now for saving some bucks. He's getting decent value out of alot of players and has potential upside on others. It's a good approach when you're looking for marginal improvement. I'm happy to take these and wait a few years for the 21 year-olds to mature. But I have more time than AA. I'm a fan for life and his clock is ticking.
bpoz - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#265147) #
I remember when AA used to be a ninja.

These moves mean nothing, most likely.

During ST I allow Janssen to prepare what ever way he wants, because he has made the team.
Last year I heard that Santos was over prepared so he did not need much work to round into shape. Or something to that effect. I am not buying any of it this year.
I like having some hard throwers in the pen with decent control.
AA is building depth. Options are a factor in building depth.

I am sure much will happen. We have to give Buffalo a winning team. A new manager has to be found. There are at least 3 holes that need to be addressed on the field. I think AA uses Oliver in a trade to get a good prospect or something. Oliver may be more willing to play for a contender. Anyone would. I don't think that he has won a ring yet.
Magpie - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#265148) #
Two things about Rogers - that K/W ratio once he got to Cleveland (54/12) does jump out at you, no? And whatever he throws, it didn't work in Coors Field where his career ERA is 8.15 (it's 4.88 everywhere else.)

While I'm with the "Meh" crowd - he might build on what he did with Cleveland, he might not - still, it's not like Anthopoulos gave up anyone who's actually good to get the guy.
China fan - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#265149) #
".....Do you even know who the GM of the Jays is?"

One of the things he is is the GM who assembled the biggest and most expensive team of scouts in Jays history. Now the scouts have advised him that Rogers (like Delabar and Lincoln before him) is an underrated pitcher who has turned a corner in his career and has learned how to miss bats. We all applauded when Anthopoulos hired all of those scouts; it might be worth trusting their advice sometimes too.
92-93 - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#265150) #
Are these the same scouts that kept advising AA to give JoJo Reyes 25 starts? Or the ones that had everybody all excited about draftees such as Kevin Comer, Joe Musgrove, and Asher Wojciechowski, only to then see those players traded for another scouting gem, JA Happ?

Essentially, we aren't allowed to criticize moves made by AA, or even an overarching philosophy (like a fetish for acquiring middle relievers), because AA hired a bunch of professional scouts who all have forgotten more about baseball than we'll ever know and hence their decision making is infallible.

A few of the writers have floated suggestions that this frees up 1.5m or so from the 2013 payroll and means AA doesn't need to target a veteran RP like Frasor/Lyon to bolster it. If clearing Aviles' salary had anything to do with this deal this team is doomed.
China fan - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#265151) #
"...we aren't allowed to criticize moves made by AA....."

Not allowed? Are you insane? This whole board is full of criticism of AA all the time. Have you not noticed? If you're feeling restricted or limited in any way, your imagination is getting the best of you.

"....hence their decision making is infallible...."

Nobody has ever suggested that. Again, you're misquoting.

"....this team is doomed...."

That's certainly been the main conclusion of all of your posts for the past several years. No need to repeat it.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#265152) #
I think AA is gearing up to try to add a mid-range SP like Jackson, Sanchez, McCarthy, Lohse or Dempster. My guess is the Jays' payroll will bump up to around $90-95M in 2013. To me it looks as though these minor moves are aimed at saving a million here, a million there, to help clear enough to spend the necessary $12-15M to acquire a free agent arm. Not the worst idea, although these pitchers are going to be way overpriced.

Fwiw, here is (in part) Keith Law's assessment of this year's FA crop:

This year's free-agent crop is very thin at the highest tier...There's a lot of money floating around in baseball right now, but throwing it at the best the free-agent market has to offer might be the worst strategy in a market in which players in the top 10 are riskier than normal.
China fan - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#265153) #
"....another scouting gem, JA Happ?"

Your sarcasm implies that your contemptuous critique of Happ is accepted wisdom among all the experts. In reality, there's no consensus on this point at all. There's a pretty strong school of thought by many analysts that Happ will be perfectly fine as a 5th starter, especially if the Jays can upgrade a couple of other positions in the rotation.
grjas - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#265154) #
Seems like a lot of bantering on this site about spare parts...traded for spare parts. Anyone really care they won't see Aviles in a Jays uniform?

PS- Are relievers and their 500+ innings each year really that irrelevant? Yeah i'm tired of seeing relievers in every trade, but equally tired of hearing how irrelevant they are to a winning team. You'd think innings 6 thru 8 don't matter...
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#265155) #
Wow, panic and despare setting in already, for a minor acquisition!
A.A. replaces Carlos Villanueva with another C.V. type who throws harder. This moves saves a bit of money, a roster space and gets younger, get control. Good move.
raptorsaddict - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#265157) #
I'm a fan of this trade. With those k/9 numbers and a upper-90's heater, as well as the minimal service time, there is a real possibility that he is a solid bullpen piece for a long time.

As for the 18 or whatever number of pitchers AA has acquired for the bullpen, I can't see how that is relevant to any supposed shortcomings. In fact, the only relevance I can see to it is that he is constantly trying to upgrade.

Moreover, I think the movement in the pen is going to be much less going forward, with Delabar, Lincoln and Rogers all under control for the near future. Add in the expected addition of bullpen arms from the farm (be they failed starters or otherwise) and I think we might actually have some stability back there for some time. Or, he could trade 5 of them tomorrow. Who knows? Either way, I love the offseason!

John Northey - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#265159) #
Thats the odd thing with AA - how fast he will upgrade rather than sticking with the guy he just got. It seemed to regularly happen this summer - a guy gets here, has a few games on the roster then is sent down because a new shiny object came up for sale. Often it was an improvement, but still, especially in the pen, everyone has to feel their jobs are on the line every time they go out there unless they are on a multi-year deal and Lind showed even that doesn't protect you.

Now, this can be a good thing - no one gets complacent - or a bad thing - players get tense fearing any mistake will end their career thus make more mistakes. What type of manager is best to deal with players who have that going on? Is it a tough as nails one who will remind the players that they are expected to do well everyday, or a kinder/gentler one who keeps them feeling a bit safer?

Phew, the number of questions right now is so high it is crazy. I don't worry about a good D/no offence guy to back up SS/2B/3B as there are a lot of them out there, also while I liked Gomes for 3B/CA/1B/LF (super utility) he just didn't hit enough to make me feel he would have much value. So a pair of very replaceable players for a lottery ticket on a kid who might be a closer or strong setup guy - sounds good to me.

Thus the questions...
1) Rotation - 2 spoken for (Romero, Morrow), 2 decent but nothing to write home about (Alvarez, Happ) and an open slot needs at least one solid/decent (100 ERA+ 200 IP) guy and ideally a #1 type (120+ ERA+ 200 IP)

2) LF/DH/1B - Encarnacion and who knows. Lind has to be dumped one figures, Gose and Sierra don't appear ready yet, and Davis is not an everyday player.

3) 2B - Hech could be it, but I don't have a lot of confidence he is ready. Japan has 3 guys who are viewed as potential 2B (2 are SS right now) who are free agents but hitters from Japan are a real crapshoot. Scutaro would be nice, but who knows what he wants after that great playoff he had.

4) Infield backup - minor issue, especially if someone comes in to play 2B other than Hech as then Hech is the injury replacement and if he is ready early then Escobar or new guy becomes the backup

Not to mention manager and the bullpen of 1000 faces. Rotation is clearly the #1 issue, and I see LF/DH/1B as the #2 due to the ability to find a solid hitter for the middle of the order with minimal defence - Swisher could be a really good fit, but what will he cost? 2B/IF has a guy here who is raw, plus McCoy and others who can back it up well enough if needed but one wants an upgrade and (at least for backup) it should be out there somewhere.

The pen? It looks like one guy from pre-AA (Janssen) and a ton of his guys. Lots of scrap heap there too for Buffalo and for emergencies. The challenge is will Delabar, Lincoln, Rogers step up as a solid setup team and will Oliver & Santos be healthy, not retired and effective? Can Cecil or another failed starter step up and be a solid guy too? Will AA shock the baseball world and sign a closer (and blow a few peoples minds)? We'll see. I expect few changes to the pen now, but this is AA we're talking about.
Lylemcr - Saturday, November 03 2012 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#265160) #
You can't have too many good arms in your system.  Look how our bullpen turned over last year!  Aviles and Gomes...  They are alright, but you eaily get a tier 3 free agent to replace them. Rogers has potential.  Worth a look see. 
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#265161) #
After last year, A.A. will be doing everything he can to avoid last season's problems. If I am not mistaken, Brad Lincoln may have an option left and I know Aaron Loup has. I would not be surprised to see both in AAA this coming season. I would also expect to see J.A. Happ to be in the Bullpen as #6 starter / long relief.
Seamus - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 01:45 AM EST (#265162) #

What's wrong with J.A. Happ?  I'm fine with that trade.

I thought he was impressive in his starting role here.  Missed a lot of bats.

My hope is the Jays acquire two starters, use Happ as the #5, and keep Alvarez in AAA to work on a third pitch.

hypobole - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 01:59 AM EST (#265163) #
"Are these the same scouts that kept advising AA to give JoJo Reyes 25 starts?"

I learn something every day. I never knew scouts advised GM's and managers how many starts to give pitchers. Or do they just advise how many starts to give crappy pitchers? Or is it only inept scouts that advise these things? Or is it.. never mind, I'm confused...guess I haven't really learned anything after all.

"Or the ones that had everybody all excited about draftees such as Kevin Comer, Joe Musgrove, and Asher Wojciechowski, only to then see those players traded for another scouting gem, JA Happ?"

Comer - I don't know of any scouting report that suggested the mid 90's he was throwing in high school would become high 80's in the pros

Musgrove - a bargain with a clean delivery who developed shoulder problems.

Wojo - scouts knew he had a violent finish to his delivery. When the Jays coaches tried to correct his problem, he got pummelled. It wasn't until he went back to his old delivery he managed to pitch effectively again.

I don't see any of these as scouting issues. If blame has to be laid, it should probably go to player development, but in at least the cases of Comer and Musgrove could just as well be labelled shit happens.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 04:30 AM EST (#265166) #
That PTBNL in the Happ trade is going to have a lot of people complaining, because it 's most likely an esrly pick from the 2012 Draft.

I'd love for the Rotation to be New Acquisition, Morrow, New Acquisition, Romero, New Acquisition, with Happ to the pen and Alvarez to AAA as Starters #6 and #7 - much needed depth.
grjas - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 08:45 AM EST (#265167) #
I'd love for the Rotation to be New Acquisition, Morrow, New Acquisition, Romero, New Acquisition, with Happ to the pen and Alvarez to AAA as Starters #6 and #7 - much needed depth.

Me too, but the chances of getting 3 starters better than happ is remote unless we are willing to empty the minors. Everyone wants pitching.

I can live with a new number 2 and 4. But not sure AA can deliver even that
hypobole - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 09:49 AM EST (#265168) #
"That PTBNL in the Happ trade is going to have a lot of people complaining, because it 's most likely an esrly pick from the 2012 Draft."

Kevin Comer was the PTBNL in the Happ trade
greenfrog - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 10:09 AM EST (#265169) #
Honestly, I think everyone should be happy if AA can land one good free agent starting pitcher. Most of them will have several competitive offers. Toronto probably won't be high on the list of many of them, for reasons discussed in earlier threads. And there is a chance that instead of $15M, even players like Jackson and Sanchez may require $18M/year over 4+ years. How high should AA be willing to go?
bpoz - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 10:28 AM EST (#265170) #
How about looking at events & moves in a manner of criticism and disappointment.
Since I am going to do both let me first define my meaning of the two words. They are both negatives and there are degrees in the severity that are personal or subjective.

Deck McGuire was a high pick that I am mildly disappointed in. When first drafted he was a reasonably safe pick with better chance of making the Majors, positive, but also a medium ceiling. With only 2 years of playing time I allow him 2 more years to show some results. So that is disappointment. I cannot personally be critical because I am allowing more time for development. Also that seems to be AA's only safe pick. From the 12th -20th pick in 2010 there may be 3 that work out to be exceptional.
So AA can be criticized for gambling on riskier picks with the high ceiling. That is his philosophy. He is aiming for stars and he probably expects more busts. So few exceptional is the hope, but the cost is a loss of a few more mediocre players. Time will tell. We have to wait until Sept 2014 when Sanchez etc can be called up without risking options.

I will definitely have a critical opinion of AA if S Dyson has burned an option with his early call up. But I am 90%+ sure that he did not burn an option. Brad Mills seems to have too many options, by my count so something is fishy. AA expects players to be demoted as part of the learning process. So Jenkins is a good example 32 Major league IP without burning an option, Sept call up, and he gets to continue his development in 2013 and burn his 1st option. Dyson could burn 2 options before 2013 is complete.
timpinder - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 11:42 AM EST (#265171) #
I don't think that acquiring #2 and #4 starters is at all unrealistic despite the demand for pitching. The Jays have the funds to sign a Jackson type and the prospects to trade for an Anderson or Johnson type. They match very well with some other teams who have pitching but need a MLB ready or near ready C, SS, and/or CF, or are just looking to build with young high end prospects.
Like everyone else I'll be very disappointed if the Jays start to 2013 season without making some big moves to improve, but I'm going to withhold judgement until I see what the end product is in March. There's no point getting worked up one way or the other about a minor trade until we see what the master plan is and how it all shapes together over the course of the entire offseason.
John Northey - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 12:05 PM EST (#265172) #
Looking at a FanGraphs article about best/worst free agent values (using a crowdsourcing estimate of expected pay which is way off in some cases I suspect) I got to thinking about who the Jays could use off that list who might be bargains (as the Jays are known to be hunters for value, or cheap if you prefer).

Kevin Youkilis: DH/3B/1B/LF - we need a DH, someone to back up Lawrie during his inevitable DL stays, ideally able to cover 1B/LF as well. Youkilis has played all 4 positions (LF the least), and has been a good hitter, although last year was just 235/336/409 99 OPS+ which was his worst season, vs a career 283/384/482 124 OPS+. A right handed hitter, Gose or Lind could be mixed with him in a semi-platoon easily (with Youkilis getting the bulk of PA). I wouldn't pay $9 mil a year (as FanGraphs lists him) but $5 mil would work and given how much of his salary Boston had to pay to dump him he might end up having to take it.

Daisuke Matsuzaka: he lists as a horrible one to get, but in 3 of his 6 years he provided $10 mil of value based on FanGraphs and if he'd come on a minor league contract (ie: no guaranteed money unless he made the team) I'd go for it. I wouldn't guarantee $4 mil as the crowdsourcing does but if the scouts feel he has stuff still I'd bring him in as an invite.

Ryan Dempster: Seen as a consolation prize for losers in the Greinke battle, he's been sub-4 in FIP for the past 5 years and should be a 3 WAR player thus easily worth over $10 mil a year. He did get hit a bit in Texas (5.09 ERA/4.08 FIP) but Wrigley isn't known as a good place to pitch so I wouldn't worry too much. His poor postseason will cut his cost a bit but I see value here if attacked early on, before Greinke signs.

Nick Swisher: Not a value pick, but his ability to hit, play LF/RF/1B, and the Yankees not seeming to want to resign him (thus cutting cost) makes him tempting. Slide him into LF, give him, Bautista, Encarnacion time off at DH while Davis or a kid plays in the OF and things might work nicely. 7 straight years of 148+ games played suggests a guy who stays healthy which would be nice for a change. FanGraphs has him as a $15-17 mil a year player, the question is years for him at age 32 he is clearly entering his decline stage so one has to expect less production going forward.

The Jays should chase Swisher & Greinke if they want the best, but Dempster & Youkilis are decent backup choices who would be getting fewer years/dollars thus might fit the budget while producing value. Matsuzaka is a cheap backup ala the 1000 relievers.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 02:05 PM EST (#265173) #
My thinking is the Jays can only afford one pricey free agent. So whom do you target (assuming Greinke is too expensive)? I expect Jackson and Sanchez are the top "realistic" targets. But competition will be stiff. Would the Jays give them 4/$65M or 5/$80M, if the bidding goes that high?

The players John mentions have been very good in the past but how good will they be going forward? Can Dempster excel in his age 36-38 seasons in the AL East? How will Youkilis (who has played 102, 120 and 122 games over the last three seasons) hold up on the RC turf in his mid-30s? Is giving a corner OF like Swisher worth a big contract, given the team's apparently scarce resources? Personally, I don't see these guys as likely to sign here, with the possible exception of Dempster if he can be had on a short-term deal - but I suspect he'll head back to the NL.
TamRa - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 04:09 PM EST (#265174) #
I'd try very hard to get Sanchez but topping Detroit will be tough.

I would not be afraid of Dempster at all after he righted himself in Texas and pitched well (a tough place to pitch) and I'd consider him a prime "Plan B" target with the bonus of it being easier to limit him to 3 years - but you can't give the Cubs too much time since he lives there.

Among hitters, I'd be strongly interested in Nick Swisher for LF and Scutaro for 2B, though I find it hard to believe the love affair in SF will break up.

TamRa - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 04:12 PM EST (#265175) #
Also, I'm a big fan of the "second best starter we acquire" being Shaun Marcum
Gerry - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 05:07 PM EST (#265176) #
MLBTR is reporting that Josh Hamilton's asking price is 7 years, $175M.

Any takers?
mathesond - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 05:40 PM EST (#265177) #
MLBTR is reporting that Josh Hamilton's asking price is 7 years, $175M. Any takers?

And here I thought he was off booze 'n' drugs
greenfrog - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 05:49 PM EST (#265178) #
Imagine if Hamilton could hit during the day. His career OPS splits: 789 day / 955 night. A 166-point split seems quite large.
CeeBee - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 07:12 PM EST (#265179) #
"And here I thought he was off booze 'n' drugs"
Thats just his agent talking.
John Northey - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 07:19 PM EST (#265180) #
Guess Hamilton's splits means he won't be going to the Cubs :)

As to 7 for $175 - heck, might as well shoot for the moon at the start as tons of money is supposed to be floating out there. He is a 130 OPS+ slugger, about 10 points lower than Fielder last winter, but entering his age 32 season instead of his age 28 season which automatically cuts the value drastically, but it is enhanced by his ability to play defense (CF/LF/RF). $25 mil a year is too rich, but $20 for 5 I could easily see someone doing. I personally, with injury issues, would limit to 3/$60 depending on budget and how you think prices will jump (3 at $45 would've made sense under old budgets). I suspect someone will overpay to put him in CF so I don't see a fit here, especially at 5+ years.

So many free agents, so many possibilities depending on trades, who loses at the musical chairs of the offseason, etc. I'm sure AA has called every last one of their agents to get a feel of demands and is prepping cases of 'if I trade player X, then player Y could be signed for $z' and the like. Hopefully an interesting winter is in store.
Shaker - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 09:04 PM EST (#265181) #
My sense is that if Marcum isn't signed (by the Jays) by the end of this week that we will not sign any high end free agents this off-season.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think there's just too much demand for good pitching to believe we will sign any of them given our fiscal restraint, nationality, divisional foes and weak 2012 record.

PS Greinke's ERA+ the last 3 years is 106, with an average of 200 IP.
Marcum's ERA+ is 112 over same period, with an average of 175 IP (but 2 of those years with ~200 IP).
Lylemcr - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 09:20 PM EST (#265182) #

2-3 Free agent signing for pitching this offseason?  Not likely.  We will be lucky to get one.

This is what will happen..... We will be linked to every pitcher as a possible signing.  We will get excited and then find out we were never really in the running(note to Bauxites: Players don't want to play in Toronto).  Finally, we will end up having a bunch of "projects" that we got for 2 million a year(like Baker, Blanton and Liriano).  If the Jays do get a top starter, it will be via a trade...

The good news is that I don't think that anything is going to need to do any more help in the bullpen.  No more Fransiscos, Corderos, or Rauch.  We will just have them in the starting rotation instead.

Truthfully, I really hope the Jays don't get any free agents this winter.  There are some team with new found money this off season (Dodgers, Red Sox, and of couse the yankees) and I think they will get stupid money that they will regret.  We have some good arms in the minors and I still like Alvarez.  I still like Scott Baker as a project(1 year + team option) and see what we can get with Happ and our minor league talent. 

Plus, Roy Halladay might be available in 2014 as a free agent....  Just saying.....

Lylemcr - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 09:21 PM EST (#265183) #
I bet Hamilton gets it.
ayjackson - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 10:39 PM EST (#265184) #
"I bet Hamilton gets it" After the Pujols and Fielder madness, I wouldn't doubt it.
Jake W - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 11:35 PM EST (#265185) #
I wonder (aloud) whether a good strategy would be to sign two mid-level starters like Marcum, and Dempster for 3 years. Then hope to get good #3 output for two years out of these guys. This would let the Jays see (around mid-2014) which of Drabek, Hutchison, Syndergaard, NIcolino, Sanchez, Stroman (and to a lesser extent, McGuire) can be counted on to give #2 - #3 output for 2014-2018 at low cost. If the team can get some solid mid- to back-of-the-rotation help from this group for 2014-2015, they can trade Dempster or Marcum (if they still have value).

Furthermore, for 2013-2014 we'd look at Morrow, Marcum (or similar), Dempster (or similar), Romero, Alvarez (or Happ) in the rotation which is probably good enough to be pretty competitive.

I think Marcum and Dempster will not break the bank. Dempster will likely not get much longer of a contract given his age and Marcum will likely faces a short contract given his recent injuries. I'd rather see what the young guns can do when they ripen than trade them. It's not obvious to me that the market offers more than a solid #3 anyway. Greinke is probably the best and he's looking like a really good #2. Other younger guys like Sanchez and Jackson are likely hoping for a 4-5 year deal given their age so that they can still have another shot at free agency before they are "too" old. Jackson looks like a solid #4 and Sanchez like a solid #3.

Perhaps more interesting (though probably near zero probability event) would be to sign BJ Upton for 4-5 years (at 13-14 million ave)? Then trade Gose and JPA (+ S. Nolin or something like this) for Dustin Ackley. Not sure where this would leave catching until D'Arnaud is ready or if Ackley would be available. This would fill Jays OF but make the team gamble on Marisnick while waiting for DJ Davis or Alford to arrive. However, if Ackley panned out we would have a decent fielding 2B, with decent OBP (projected) at the top of the line-up with some speed. BJ would provide power and speed while protecting OF defence with Rasmus over to LF. Salary would be an issue though with 2 SP and 1 OF adding to payroll pressure.

Just thinking...
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 11:40 PM EST (#265186) #
I expect A.A. to acquire a Starter before the GM Meetings this month. Everytime he speaks he said something about setting the tone for offseason, something about striking early, something dealing with the rotation first.
The whole object of this offseason has been acquiring Starting Pitching, with anything else coming later. Acquiring a young controllable Front-of-the-Rotation Starter is a priority. Signing a Front-of-the-Rotation Starter is an alternative priority. Neither Morrow or Romero are that good, although they are very good themselves. We have no-one better than Morrow and Romero in our system. The kids in the minors are still 2-3 years away, and one might be real good, but Front-of-the-Rotation good?????, maybe.
92-93 - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 11:51 PM EST (#265187) #
I'm only surprised Hamilton's "asking price" isn't higher. It takes one team to set the market.
sweat - Sunday, November 04 2012 @ 11:54 PM EST (#265188) #
Is this a 6th sense? do you also work for local law enforcement?
Shaker - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 05:44 AM EST (#265189) #
Punisher, it's more of a spidey sense...

The Daily Bugle is noting that the Jays have RHB at all 5 infield spots and both corner OF spots. It's wondering why (spider)webloggers are looking for more RHB when (excluding Lind) the only LHB belongs to Colby...
jerjapan - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 08:24 AM EST (#265190) #

(note to Bauxites: Players don't want to play in Toronto). 

I really don't understand why this idea is so resonant.  Apart from being a gross overgeneralization, it ignores history - we've landed big name free agents in the past, as have the local franchises in other sports, and we've been able to sign our top talent to team-friendly extensions..  Maybe the elite free agents are harder to get, but when was the last time a Prince Fielder signed in Milwaukee, KC, Seattle or Oakland?  These guys gain exposure and sponsorships   

Toronto is significantly diverse for non-white players looking to connect to expat/immigrant communities (Think of the Raps signing Hedo Turkoglu).  The dollar is no longer an issue.  Many players would see this as a franchise headed in the right direction long-term.  Canadians may want to play for the 'home team' while many Americans might be looking to live in a kinder, gentler country, at least part-time.     

Ultimately, players want to win and get paid and treated well, and Toronto appears poised to deliver on both fronts.


John Northey - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 08:52 AM EST (#265191) #
I've never worried too much about having 'too many' RH or LH hitters (or pitchers). Generally the value comes from having the best hitter/pitcher possible and handiness comes into play if a platoon is needed or would be useful.

Our top outfield talent is Gose and he bats left handed, thus a RH outfielder might be useful. A RH OF who pounds left handers might also be useful in the DH role mixed with Lind. Of course, this might be covered by platooning Gose/Sierra if you feel both are ready but Sierra will never be a full timer (the RH half of a platoon gets far fewer AB). Also, our backup for DH after Lind is Cooper and he, again, is a LH hitter.

Now, for making the opposing managers life difficult a full time LH hitter in LF or DH or 2B would be nice as our current lineup is RH: CA, 1B (or DH), 3B, SS, RF, LH: CF, Unknown: 2B, LF, DH (or 1B). The kids are RH: Sierra, Hechavarria while LH is Gose, Cooper.

Thus for 2B a LH hitter would be nice, as Hechavarria should be in AAA to start. For LF/DH it depends... part timer a RH bat is better to mix with Cooper/Lind/Gose, but full timer a LH would be nicer to mix with the lineup.

In the end though, I'll take a guy with a 850 OPS over a guy with a 750 OPS regardless of LH or RH.
jerjapan - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 11:02 AM EST (#265193) #
I've heard one or two people suggest this, and I've commented on it myself, but why not a Lind / Davis DH platoon?  Davis is still available for pinch running much of the time, and this frees up dollars for AA to shore up second, LF and the rotation.  Davis is a solid lead off option against lefties. 
hypobole - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 12:04 PM EST (#265194) #
"I'm only surprised Hamilton's "asking price" isn't higher. It takes one team to set the market."

The asking price does seem low for an elite hitter who plays a premium defensive position. I guess it may be the combination of his age, slightly declining offensive output,brittleness and fine substance abuse line he has to walk. I'm assuming his agents realize he probably won't be viewed as a positive clubhouse presence by any bidders as well.

On the other hand, I thought the Fielder demands last year were ridiculous and then the Tigers jumped in and gave him that monster deal. Like you said, it takes one team to set the market.
92-93 - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 12:19 PM EST (#265195) #
Exactly, hypobole. I would have asked for 7/175 if I was happy signing for 6/120. I don't think Hamilton would be, at this stage.

A Davis & Lind platoon is fine as long as the lefty you're adding to the lineup at LF/1B/DH is a better hitter than Lind. If he isn't you're looking at a very weak bottom 3rd of the order, with Lind/Davis, Hechavarria, and a mediocre lefty.
John Northey - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 01:27 PM EST (#265196) #
Davis/Lind platoon should be somewhere around plan D E or F. Davis has some value, Lind virtually none. Outside of 2009 Lind has barely been above replacement value, while Davis is what he is - a pinch runner/backup OF. If that is a core part of the lineup in 2013 then I expect a disappointing year.

As to AA setting the market early, I am a strong supporter of that - chase down whoever it is you are after hard and fast. Prices are likely to jump and finding someone who will take the contract early is your best bet to get a decent deal on a decent player.
Mike Green - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 02:12 PM EST (#265197) #
Davis/Cooper or Davis/Lind as DH platoon would be about the same, and not too bad.  You do need a left-fielder and second baseman though.  You don't really want to try to move Escobar or Hechavarria. 

Maicer Izturis is a free-agent and probably would be my choice.  He is viewed as a utility player predominantly, but, if given the opportunity, I think that he would be an average player as a full-time second baseman.  The little things I like about him are that he's 32 years old, has been an above-average defensive second baseman over his career, pushed his SB/CS to 17/2 last year and that he is a switch-hitter with no large split.
Landomar - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 04:53 PM EST (#265198) #
Maicer Izturis would be a great sign if he is available for reasonable money.  He would be a decent short term option for 2B, while being well suited to move into a utility role in the future if possible.  His career slash line is .273/.337/.381, and along with his solid defense.....well, we could do a lot worse.  Izturis is also coming off a down year with the bat, so maybe that will help lower his salary demands a bit.
hypobole - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 10:45 PM EST (#265199) #
"(note to Bauxites: Players don't want to play in Toronto).

I really don't understand why this idea is so resonant. Apart from being a gross overgeneralization, it ignores history - we've landed big name free agents in the past"

Over and above the players who would give up a bit of money to play for a contender, there are definitely FA's who don't want to come to Toronto because of the artificial turf. In the heyday of FA's coming here, 10 parks were turf, 18 grass so position players didn't have the choices they have now.
Seamus - Monday, November 05 2012 @ 10:55 PM EST (#265200) #
There weren't a lot of artificial turf ballparks when the Jays signed AJ and BJ seven year ago.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 12:16 AM EST (#265201) #
The B.J. Ryan contract was a monster contract for anyone not named Mariano Rivera by about $4.0 million per year, and 2 years longer than normal.   The A.J. Burnett contract (which included IMO a rare, but stupid opt-out clause) was an overpay by $2.0 - $3.0 million per year and a year longer than normal.  The equivalent would be to give Fielder $30.0 Million per year over 12 years.
hypobole - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 01:43 AM EST (#265202) #
Neither BJ nor AJ were position players. I've never heard pitchers being bothered much by turf.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 08:17 AM EST (#265203) #
Well, hopefully the Jays never have to court any Texas Rangers free agents:


When they went to Toronto earlier this season, manager Ron Washington was able to give a few of his regulars a day off.

Josh Hamilton didn't play on the Rogers Centre artificial turf April 30-May 2 because of back stiffness. Adrian Beltre started only one game and pinch-hit in another to prevent any further complications with his hamstrings.

But the Rangers are in a different part of the season, which will make it more difficult for Washington to allow his players a break from the turf. Along with Hamilton and Beltre, Nelson Cruz has had hamstring issues in the past, and Mitch Moreland landed on the disabled list earlier this season with a left hamstring strain.

"It is tougher, but I'm definitely going to try," Washington said. "But we've got only three games, so somebody will have to suck it up."

Hamilton was designated hitter Thursday. He could play outfield all three games.

Before the Yankees series, Washington hinted that shortstop Elvis Andrus could use a day as the designated hitter. Andrus would welcome a DH day, but doesn't feel like he needs one at this point in the season.

"I feel good," Andrus said. "But if I have to DH, I'd rather have it in Toronto. The turf is too hard there."

The Rangers haven't fared too well on the hard playing surface the past few years, either. Since 2009, they have gone 5-11 at Toronto.

The only other American League stadium with artificial turf is the Rays' Tropicana Field, but it has a dirt infield.

As Michael Young said, "The dirt is hard as a rock there. It might as well be turf. But I don't mind [the Rogers Centre turf] at all. You're just going to feel it when you leave."
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 08:50 AM EST (#265204) #
If the Tigers re-sign Sanchez, they would have rotation overload with Verlander, Sanchez, Fister, Scherzer, Smyly, and Porcello. In that scenario, maybe the Jays can buy low on Porcello, who has three years of control left (...only Jays fans would write that type of sentence out) and is still young enough to improve, especially with a better infield defense.

The more I think about it, the less I feel the Jays can realistically sign a (good) pitcher in this market. It may have to come in the form of trades.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 09:34 AM EST (#265205) #
Seems to me that AA has been too quiet lately. Of course that is a very subjective opinion since he has been very active in the waiver wire & made 2 trades, Boston & Cleveland.
I would not put it past him to spring a big surprise on us soon.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 10:29 AM EST (#265207) #
Mike Axisa makes a pretty compelling Jeff Francis case.  AA hasn't shown much love for soft-tossing lefties but maybe Francis gets the benefits of the doubt as a Canadian. 
John Northey - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#265220) #
Jeremy Bonderman is looking for a spring invite - I say AA should call him and say 'why not'? 2 years off, but a few months in Buffalo and he might be a solid guy for emergency replacement. Amazing that he reached the majors at 20 and was out by 27.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 06:44 PM EST (#265222) #
So why all the "claiming guys off the waiver wire" just to lose them a week later?

Is this a 3-card Monte exercise with hopes that some other team isn't paying attention, and you get to sneak a guy or two down to AAA?

hypobole - Tuesday, November 06 2012 @ 10:04 PM EST (#265230) #
From the Axisa Jeff Francis story:

"Francis has always been homer-prone (career 1.09 HR/9 and 10.3 HR/FB%) as a soft-tossing lefty, and that doesn’t figure to change going forward. But it is something that can be managed in a bigger ballpark."

Unless were moving the fences back 20 ft, I don't really see a fit.
Spifficus - Wednesday, November 07 2012 @ 01:03 AM EST (#265231) #

Is this a 3-card Monte exercise with hopes that some other team isn't paying attention, and you get to sneak a guy or two down to AAA?

Pretty much. The hope is probably to hang on to them as long as possible, and then try to pass them back on waivers when other interested parties have already filled their 40-man roster... or gotten close enough where they want to keep a spot open.

MatO - Wednesday, November 07 2012 @ 10:12 AM EST (#265236) #
I get a kick out of losing guys I didn't even remember they had.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 07 2012 @ 10:52 AM EST (#265237) #
Actually, hypobole, that Axisa comment is the least thoughtful part of the story.  Francis has thrown 400 innings over the last 3 years for the Rockies and Royals.  His HR rates have been tolerable, his GB rate has been very good, his W and K rates have been pretty good, and his line-drive rate has been decent enough.  What has killed him is that both infields have been unable to turn ground balls into outs at a good rate.  That is the thing which could well be fixed in Toronto, and might lead him to have an ERA consistent with his FIP and xFIP. 
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, November 07 2012 @ 11:41 AM EST (#265240) #
If Jeff Francis is better than what I think J.A. Happ can be (possibly a #3 - comparable: Shaun Marcum), then by all means go get him.  If not, use the money on a better need.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 07 2012 @ 11:51 AM EST (#265242) #
I suspect that Francis is not going to require much money to sign.  His over 5 ERAs would probably dissuade most buyers.
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