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Or so Bob Elliot believes.




Elliot writes:

It’s not Cito Gaston 2.0, but John Gibbons 2.0.

Gibbons, who managed the Blue Jays for parts of five seasons from 2004 to 2008, will be introduced Tuesday morning as their next manager.

At the general managers meeting in Indian Wells, Calif., Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said he was “looking for someone he could work with, someone his staff could work with, someone who was good for the city, good for the whole country.”


From later in the article:

. . . under J.P. Ricciardi. Anthopoulos and Gibbons were close friends, working well together. Anthopoulos and Gibbons were spotted dining in Yorkville Sunday night.


Disclaimer: So far in the Toronto media only Elliot is reporting it. there's a non-zero possibility that it's not true but no one has offered dissent either.

Gibby rides again! | 201 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:30 AM EST (#265934) #
Personally, i LOVE it.

Of all the candidates mentioned, on an emotional level if anyone is going to take this team deap into September as a contender, I'm most partial to seeing Gibby get that chance.

That said, i still want Acta hired as 3B coach.

uglyone - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:32 AM EST (#265935) #
Always liked the gibber. upgrade on farrell at least, imo.
TJ Caino - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:47 AM EST (#265936) #
I recall being mainly impressed with Gibby's utilization of the roster when he was here - platoons and bullpen management.

I recall being mainly puzzled by Farrell's.
Ishai - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:53 AM EST (#265937) #
Hurrah for entertainment! I hope he doesn't offer to fight any of our fancy new toys.

But for now, the ship most definitely floats.
The_Game - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 05:16 AM EST (#265938) #
Great choice to bring back a guy who never should have been scapegoated in the first place. Gibbons is a guy has shown he can manage a roster effectively (lineups, bullpen, platoons, etc.).

I'm sure some of the casuals will have been wishing for somebody "flashier" (or just somebody that wasn't fired four years ago in an attempt at a PR boost), but I don't want flash out of my manager. I want dependability and common sense. Gibbons brings that.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 06:47 AM EST (#265939) #

An interesting choice, if he is indeed the choice.  Under him in his 3 full seasons the Jays were 8 games below their pythagoran record year one, 1 over year 2, and 4 under year 3.  A very inefficent set of teams. 

His pens were very good, but was that due to his management or the advantage of having Roy Halladay go ever 5th day, eatting innings like mad?  The roation was helped by getting good years out of Josh Towers, Chacin, and Litsch which is a good thing. The Frank Thomas & Hillenbrand messes were negatives.  A lot of that might be on the GM for getting those guys in the first place though.

In the end it'll be interesting if he is the choice.  Lots of match making in the pen, someone who has experience but not a lot, and is in his 50's so not too old or too young for the job - ie: won't have players close to him in age but also won't be collecting a pension.

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 07:50 AM EST (#265940) #
The only negative thing I can say about Gibby is that he may have been responsible for Burnett's injury in 2007 when he rode him for 125, 117 and 134 pitches in three consecutive starts.

I wouldn't hold it against him though, and think it's high time he was back managing in the bigs.
China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 07:52 AM EST (#265941) #
Shi Davidi has now confirmed that it will be John Gibbons. I agree that there are lots of positives about this -- including the fact that it's a manager who wants to be in Toronto, who wants to manage the Blue Jays, and won't be yearning for a job in another city. But two questions for the community: 1) is there a danger that Gibbons is being hired partly because he is a close friend of Anthopoulos? Could this have unduly influenced AA's thinking about the best choice for manager? 2) how much blame does Gibbons deserve, if any, for the battles with Lilly and Hillenbrand? I accept that Lilly and Hillenbrand were the primary causes of the conflicts, but does Gibbons share any part of the blame for losing his temper, stooping to their level, failing to show maturity? And if so, does this raise a cautionary flag about his ability to handle difficult or strong personalities in the clubhouse? There are certainly going to be some strong/difficult personalities in the 2013 clubhouse....
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 07:58 AM EST (#265942) #
A few days ago I was observing the dominance that Ken Rosenthal seems to have in breaking Jays stories over the local beat writers. Kudos to HOFer Bob Elliot for truly breaking both the Cabrera and Gibby stories. We try to marginalize him (or he tries to marginalize himself) but he comes up big with the scoops this time around.
electric carrot - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:15 AM EST (#265943) #
Not a fan of this hire if it's true.  I seem to remember that Gibbons seemed lost when it came to the running game. He was out-managed on the base paths. Also, he seemed to get the job primarily for being JPs old roommate. Put me the category of wanting someone with more experience and credibility.  (I agree that he's good with the bullpen.) 
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:19 AM EST (#265944) #
Well, I certainly don't hate it. I was hoping for wakamatsu or alomar jr, but I can live with this. He has probably learned from the previous trip and, really, hillenbrand and lilly were idiots whose talent didn't make up for their bs. I do remember not questioning his moves as much as cito, farrel, etc...

Should be an interesting year.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:31 AM EST (#265946) #
I don't really have a strong opinion on this one. I didn't think he was the greatest manager during his brief tenure with the Jays, but he's had four years of coaching experience since then - he may be not only older but also wiser. He's going to have a talented roster to work with, which always helps.

It will be interesting to see who is on the coaching staff in 2013.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:34 AM EST (#265947) #
I am with electric carrot.  The #1 criterion for the hire appears to have been "gets along with GM".  That should be about #4. 
Gerry - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:05 AM EST (#265948) #

Gibbons had a generally good reputation as a manager.  His problem might have been more in team construction than in the managing.  But as AA has said in general about managers, he hopefully learned a lot over the last ten years and now will be a  better second time manager.

In case you are interested Coach interviewed Gibbons back in 2003.

 Here is the link to the "Gibbons fired, Gaston hired" thread.  There is more surprise in the hiring of Gaston than the firing of Gibbons but some, including our own Magpie, thought Gibbons was not at fault.  Keith Law is quoted in there as saying the firing was a desperate move by a desperate GM (that was in the Law, Ricciardi batling days).

China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:08 AM EST (#265949) #
Marc Hulet, on twitter, has the same questions about Gibbons that I mentioned earlier:

"Did AA want a manager he was sure he could control? Worried how Gibbons will handle large player personalities...."
MatO - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:14 AM EST (#265950) #

I seem to remember that Gibbons seemed lost when it came to the running game. He was out-managed on the base paths.

I'm not sure what this means but if I did it would be something like number 10 on the list of what I'd care about.

I don't recall being pissed off by Gibbons so I guess that's a positive.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:29 AM EST (#265951) #
Thanks for digging up the old thread, Gerry.  The return of Gaston in 2008 merited the header "Back to the Future".  There have been two sequels to that movie, so I guess that this is BTTF II and  we can expect Carlos Tosca or John Farrell or Tim Johnson or Bobby Cox to make a return to Toronto in about 2018 or so. 

FWIW, the 2008 Jays went 35-39 under Gibbons and 51-37 under Gaston. 

electric carrot - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:33 AM EST (#265952) #
I'm not sure what this means

What I recall was the year Gibbons was let go the Blue Jays led the league in hitting into to double plays by a considerable margin and if I remember correctly he also tried to deal with it by hitting and running and perhaps also sacrificing but that this generally didn't work and in fact seemed to exacerbate the situation. The # of runs scored underperformed their team OPS by a considerable margin too IIRC. To me he really did seem at his wits end and playing into the other manager's hands as his term wound down. The team he inherits has speed and I expect base running to be a bigger part of their game.
uglyone - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:39 AM EST (#265954) #
Hey carrot, just fyi....if you peruse the original "gibbons fired" thread linked above, you were quite upset that he was fired when "he did nothing wrong".
Paul D - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:41 AM EST (#265955) #
Off topic, but I'm pumped and want to add Jays tickets to my Christmas list, but single game tickets aren't available. Anyone know when they go on sale?
JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:45 AM EST (#265956) #
Electric Carrot: Do you want to quantify any of this for us?
JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:47 AM EST (#265957) #

I don't believe single tickets go on sale until Feb. Flex Packs & Season tickets are on sale now though.

But, that being said, you can always ask for a Jays gift card for Christmas and use it to buy tickets when they go on sale.

electric carrot - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:48 AM EST (#265958) #
you were quite upset that he was fired when "he did nothing wrong".

Confound you uglyone! I forgot that I was a one time Gibby supporter. I hope for our sake that I was wiser in 2008 than I am now. Very probable. (At the time I did think it was a bad idea but things did get better under Cito and since then a little revisionist thinking I guess.)
electric carrot - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:52 AM EST (#265959) #
Electric Carrot: Do you want to quantify any of this for us?

Not now -- may be able to this evening.
Dave Till - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:08 AM EST (#265960) #
I'm okay with Gibby II. He seemed to get along with the players, he (mostly) handled his pitching staff well, and AA knows him. It's all good.

China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:09 AM EST (#265961) #
"....The #1 criterion for the hire appears to have been "gets along with GM". That should be about #4...."

Mike, you appear to have hit the nail on the head. At the press conference this morning, Anthopoulos said the two main criteria for hiring Gibbons were "connecting with the players and being able to connect with management." So, if "gets along with GM" wasn't exactly the top criterion, it was one of the top two criteria anyway.... And I agree with you, that makes me a little troubled too. Is this just a reaction to the sour after-taste of John Farrell, who apparently didn't get along with the GM and certainly could not be trusted by the GM?
Gerry - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:10 AM EST (#265962) #
I just saw the sports section of todays Sun.  Bob Elliott has a story in there asking whether Mike Hargrove is the best man for the job.  I guess his Gibby scoop came after the print run.
Oceanbound - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:27 AM EST (#265963) #
Listening to Gibbons has made me realize just how insufferably robotic Farrell was.
earlweaverfan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:27 AM EST (#265964) #
Mike, a small bone to pick, not so much with you, but your words as an example of what I see all over the blogosphere.  (And P.S., I am always interested in what you have to say, so this isn't about you.)

The #1 criterion for the hire appears to have been "gets along with GM".  That should be about #4. 

As you wrote this in the blissful ignorance of AA's press conference, let alone his inmost thoughts, how, precisely, do you know what his criteria are, in what order?  Everywhere I turn on the net, people are ascribing motives to other people with zero evidence.  Funnily enough, this is usually when they ascribe bad or ignorant motives to someone, when, just coincidentally, they happen to disagree with what that someone has done.

When you read the comments of all the people who like this choice, they say that Gibbons managed the bullpen well, he managed platoons really well, that he was all about team over the rights of the individual, that he will teach the young'uns how to do it right, and so on.  So, just maybe AA liked all of those things a lot and so getting along with the GM might even have been less important to him than #4

If I were in AA's shoes, I would have had some table stakes that would include 'gets along with GM', as really, when does it work when they do not?  But then all of the people who get over those basic hurdles would have to meet some specific standards about managing this team, in this time, in this stage of its maturity.

I disagree with AA sometimes, as do others, but I rarely hear people calling him stupid.  And I can't think of anything that more qualifies as stupid than hiring someone whose #1 qualification is that he gets along with you.

There now, I feel better.

Chuck - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:33 AM EST (#265965) #
Listening to Gibbons has made me realize just how insufferably robotic Farrell was.

No middleground for this organization. We're going from RoboCop to Boomhauer. Not sure which poison is worse (in terms of having to listen to them articulate their thoughts).
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:34 AM EST (#265966) #
I think we are making more of this "gets along with management" thing then is there.

Just for fun, I travelled to a few other dimensions where other managers were hired and here is the board's consensus on those hires.

Wallach- Farrell 2.0, will be asking for the Dodgers job by next season
Cox- Too old, out of touch with todays game.
Alomar Jr.- Inexperienced, only got the job because of his brother's connections.
Butterfield- Only got the job because he's AA's friend.
Wakamatsu- Meh choice, there were better options out there.
Acta- Only got the job because he's Latin
Tracy- What the ^&*%?
Riggelman- Unreliable, will ditch the team midseason.

Did I miss anyone? Was there a manager out there that we could have agreed upon? Maybe they should have just hired Cito again...

Personally I see Anthopoulos's words regarding getting along with management as more of a parting shot at Farrell than anything else. In fact, I think it is as candid as we've ever seen Anthopoulos in public.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:43 AM EST (#265967) #

I'm guessing Hargrove wasn't interested in the end.  He left his last team mid-season and that is a big red flag. 

The manager's job is to ...
A) put the best hitters on the field as often as possible
B) keep the rotation & pen in order to minimize injury risk
C) get all players onside with 'this is a winning environment and we will win'
D) provide upper managements views to the players and the players to upper management. 

Gibby seems a good choice for most of that, although C might be challenging based on Lilly & Hilly.  Nice thing is if things start to fall apart you always have Cito III in the wings.

MatO - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:45 AM EST (#265968) #
Well at least Gibbons in his press conference didn't go with the obligatory we're going to out there and be aggressive nonsense that Farrell and a lot of other new hires spew out.  In fact, he said that they would use their speed to their advantage but he didn't want it to get stupid (running into outs) when you have a couple of bombers in the middle of the lineup (I'm paraphrasing here).  That's the kind of stuff I like to here.
Jevant - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:49 AM EST (#265969) #

From my view, the largest impact the manager has on the game is a) bullpen managment, and b) platoon arrangments and defensive alignments.  By all accounts, Gibbons is skilled at a), and seemingly receptive to b).  C) would probably be aggressive on basepaths and frequency of giving up freebie outs.  He's alleviated some of my concerns on that front already.

I'm on board.

China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:49 AM EST (#265970) #
".....Personally I see Anthopoulos's words regarding getting along with management as more of a parting shot at Farrell than anything else...."

That's a good point. In fact, several of AA's comments seemed to be implicit shots at Farrell. For example, AA praised Gibbons for his ability to motivate players and connect with players, while also being a disciplinarian where necessary -- which Farrell seemed less capable of doing. From the press conference:

"Players love playing for him," AA says. "At the same time he will put his foot down."
earlweaverfan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:49 AM EST (#265971) #
So, Mike, just to give you more credit, maybe you were giving great weight to this quotation about AA (that I copied from Tamra's site):

"Looking for someone he could work with, someone his staff could work with, someone who was good for the city, good for the whole country"


To me these are classic AA words that seem to say something, but help him avoid being specific.  Since AA wants to keep everything a surprise until he is ready, most of what he has to say is just stuff.

Apparently, Bobby Cox was approached and Mike Hargrove also.  Are they known to be people whose #1 qualification is getting along with the GM?  Does AA even know either of those guys?

Someday, it would be great if someone handed out a brain scan of AA over the weeks leading up to a major decision he made.  I suspect even he might be surprised at what his true criteria were.

As would we all, about our own brain scans, methinks...

Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:54 AM EST (#265972) #
I find it kind of suspicious that the Jays aren't having a press conference for Reyes and Johnson atleast. I can understand why having one for Melky would be a bad idea, but usually the fans and media love to meet the new big faces and see them with their new jersey.
Nigel - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:04 AM EST (#265973) #
I wonder what the over\under line on the number of manager\player threatened fights is? I I can't imagine Gibbons and Lawrie making it through a whole year without a throwdown. I suspect that the policeman next to the dugout may see some hard duty this year.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:06 AM EST (#265974) #
A.A. wanted an experienced Manager with an edge - guess what.   I've heard it said A.A. wanted a Manager he could trust.   J.P. teams always had an air of desperation about them, Lilly and Hildebrand were not people who "played well with others".   I just wants someone to step on Laurie - at that talent and sometime he acts like the village idiot.
China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:07 AM EST (#265975) #
"....Apparently, Bobby Cox was approached and Mike Hargrove also...."

There's actually no evidence that they were "approached" at all. There were rumors and guesses about them, fueled by various bloggers, but there was certainly no evidence that they were offered the job or even considered for it. In fact I'd find it highly surprising if they were offered the manager's job -- the evidence points to the contrary.

Anthopoulos was able to maintain total secrecy on his strong interest in Gibbons until Elliott's tweet, which was late last night, just hours before the press conference. Why should we think that we know anything about the other candidates that he considered?
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:09 AM EST (#265976) #
It is not as though one gets public full evaluations of potential managers from a GM.  In the case of Gibbons, I thought that he was a fair tactician, that he did a so-so job of developing young talent and that he was about average in getting the most out of veterans.

When he took over the club in 2004, the young players at hand were Vernon Wells, Orlando Hudson, Alex Rios, Russ Adams, Gabe Gross, Josh Phelps, Eric Hinske and Dave Bush.  In 2005, Aaron Hill and Gustavo Chacin were added.  It was (I felt and still do) a pretty good group of young players.  The development of this group was not great.  I can certainly point to a number of things that he ought to have done differently (although perhaps he was complying with the wishes of JP). 

If Farrell is a D+, Gibbons' career here would probably have merited a C (in my view).  I would have preferred someone else with something more positive to be said about him, but there may not have been any such alternatives.  This would surprise me in light of the attractiveness of the job at this point. 

Original Ryan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:14 AM EST (#265977) #
I didn't mind Gibby as a manager. I thought he was decent overall. I'm not doing cartwheels over his return, but after the Farrell experience, I can understand why Anthopoulos might want to go with someone he knows and trusts. It's the devil that you know versus the devil that you don't.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:14 AM EST (#265978) #
"In the case of Gibbons, I thought that he was a fair tactician, that he did a so-so job of developing young talent and that he was about average in getting the most out of veterans." Which combine to make him about a 65 Manager on the scouting scale (1.5 SD's above the mean).
Jevant - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 11:21 AM EST (#265979) #
I would suspect there will be time for that...probably closer to when the offseason is finalized.  Also possible that someone will be flipped.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 12:09 PM EST (#265983) #
FWIW, the 2008 Jays went 35-39 under Gibbons and 51-37 under Gaston.


Of note, posibly:

The Jays were 30-26 on may 30 (a pace that would have led to 88 wins) and then they went on a 5-15 run which cost Gibby his job. of those 15 loses, NINE were by one run.


snowman - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 12:15 PM EST (#265984) #

I wonder if people aren't under-estimating the importance of the manager and GM getting along really well (perhaps even to the point of the manager being someone "the GM can control", as someone put it).  If a GM builds his team for contact and speed, and a manager is intent on playing for the long-ball, you're not likely to have a successful team.  Similarly, if the GM signs a lot of multi-inning relievers to allow a smaller pen and more position platoons (an idea I'd like to see), but the manager insists on pitching guys for two or three batters at a time to maximize righty-lefty split advantages, that pen's going to get burned out fast.  Of course, all the other factors need to be taken into account; you don't just want an unqualified puppet managing the team.  But I'd suggest that the most important factor really is whether the GM and manager are (and can remain) on the same page.  Otherwise, you may end up with a manager who says "Alright, if you insist on putting Kevin Millar on my roster, I'm going to play him.  Every day.  Including against right-handers.  Sometimes batting clean-up."

That being said, I was surprised when I heard his name mentioned this morning.  All I really remember of his time in Toronto was the fights, so I can't really say what I thought of him as a manager.  I'll trust AA's judgement on this one.  I guess I prefer him to Riggleman, Wakamatsu, or even Tracy, and it would have been tough to hire a rookie manager like Wallach or Alomar for a high-priced veteran team like this has become.  What seemed like a relatively simple decision a week ago bcame a lot trickier after what has happened since.

One last note: though he may have been ticked about being passed over again for manager, I wonder if Butterfield would have been willing to stay if he had known he'd be working with Gibbons again?  As some have pointed out, Gibbons may have been a bit weak in player development, so the coaching staff could be especially important.  I wonder if Mottola finally gets promoted?

Jevant - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 12:30 PM EST (#265985) #

I wonder if people aren't under-estimating the importance of the manager and GM getting along really well (perhaps even to the point of the manager being someone "the GM can control", as someone put it). 

I completely agree.  I think the GM and the manager being on the same page with the style in which they want the game to be played to be very important.  The message needs to be the same from the boss and the boss's boss, and so on.  The absolute last thing that this team needs is a Moneyball (the film) style GM-manager experience.

 

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 12:37 PM EST (#265986) #
I too would like to see Mottola promoted at this point. Better to promote the talented coaches/managers we are developing rather than have them leave for other organizations ala Redmond.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 12:58 PM EST (#265987) #
The more I think about it (and after watching today's press conference), the more I feel pretty good about this hire.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:01 PM EST (#265988) #
If Farrell is a D+, Gibbons' career here would probably have merited a C (in my view). I would have preferred someone else with something more positive to be said about him, but there may not have been any such alternatives.

Agreed. I think this is an appointment of someone of little 'gravitas' when more was appropriate. From the media this morning, it looks like Bobby Cox and Hargrove both turned them down, and they ended up farther down the list than they'd hoped. I can't really imagine Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, Colby Rasmus, Brandon Morrow etc being excited about the prospect of playing for John Gibbons, who they likely couldn't tell from Adam. Toronto has almost always had to buy from the discards bin where managers are concerned and this has that feel.

JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:13 PM EST (#265989) #

Goins + Jimenez added to the 40 man. McCoy, McDade, and Cory Wade DFA'd.

What is the process on the DFA'd players? They go through waivers and if they survive they're all now eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft? Do they have the opiton of electing Free Agency or reporting to AAA?

Nick Holmes - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:17 PM EST (#265990) #
Gibby strikes me as a team player, & happy to be here. If this team is a mess I doubt it will be because of a poor manager.
Shane - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:22 PM EST (#265991) #

"From the media this morning, it looks like Bobby Cox and Hargrove both turned them down, and they ended up farther down the list than they'd hoped."

Bobby Cox is 71 years old and recently retired from a team he managed for 20 years. And where did you read Hargrove turned them down? I highly highly doubt he ever would of.

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:27 PM EST (#265992) #
Interesting that Gibby only gets a 2 year+ option. Given the importance of this hire I would have liked to see us give him at least 3 years (hell Tito got 4 in Cleveland).
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:39 PM EST (#265993) #
Goins + Jimenez added to the 40 man. McCoy, McDade, and Cory Wade DFA'd.

So, with Carreno off yesterday, this presumably would mean that they now have room for a Rule 5 pick. If so, anybody have thoughts on who might be the next Roberto Clemente, Johan Santana or Mike Napoli?
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:49 PM EST (#265994) #

The Jays were 30-26 on may 30 (a pace that would have led to 88 wins) and then they went on a 5-15 run which cost Gibby his job. of those 15 loses, NINE were by one run.

By my calculations, they were 31 - 26 after the win on May 30.  They played 17 games prior to Gibbons losing his job on June 20.  Their record over those 17 games in one-run games was 2 - 8.  If you assumed a .500 record over those one-run games, the Jays would have been 38 - 36 after Gibby's 74 games in 2008.  So may have avoided the axe, who knows.

The Jays rotation in May 2008 was Halladay, Litsch, McGowan, Marcum, Burnett.  McGowan lasted a couple of more starts after Gibby.  But the other four had strong seasons.

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:50 PM EST (#265995) #
It was suggested on Twitter, that with the addition of Melky Cabrera, the 40-man is full.
ogator - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:53 PM EST (#265996) #
In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, I would expect to see the Jays pick a middle infielder or even two. They may not be able to carry a dead spot on the major league roster but they are mighty thin in the upper levels around the middle of the diamond.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 01:59 PM EST (#265997) #

I did not see that coming. 

I was hoping for someone hispanic.  I guess he is familiar to the organization and they know what they are getting. 

Meh....

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 02:00 PM EST (#265998) #
Thanks, ayj.  Forgot about Melky. 

There is definitely an opening for Goins.  He might very well be a capable back-up middle infielder, and there are a shortage of those in the organization now.  Adding Goins and Jimenez to the 40 man may seem to be an obvious move, but sometimes the obvious is overlooked.

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 02:06 PM EST (#265999) #
Good point ogator. Actually you could make a case for any positional prospects. Although I don't know what's out there, it would be nice to add the hitting equivalent of an Avendano.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 02:09 PM EST (#266000) #

Fangraphs has an update on some prospects in Instructs. On Osuna....

If American, his age (turns 18 in February) would put him in this year’s prep draft class and, while I haven’t seen every top arm, he would likely be the top-ranked high school pitcher in the country.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 02:23 PM EST (#266001) #
The money part for me was this:

The most encouraging part of the outing was Osuna’s developing feel for an above average slider at 82-85 mph with three-quarters tilt. He would still get around the pitch and flatten it out at times, but at it’s best, Osuna’s slider would break the width of the plate with depth and bite. He also had solid feel for locating the pitch, back-footing lefties and back-dooring it to righties

It sounds as though Osuna is on course to make his major league debut at age 20 in 2015.  I imagine that he will start 2013 in Lansing and I wonder whether he will be under the same kind of innings control that Syndergaard, Sanchez and Nicolino had in 2012. 

China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 02:36 PM EST (#266002) #
I'm a little disappointed that the Jays are willing to give up on McDade, but I guess someone had to go. When you pick up 6 new players, you can't keep everyone.

McDade was ranked 29 in the latest BB list of Top 30 prospects. From the scouting report on the Top 30 list:

"2012 was not a stand-out season for McDade but don't forget he is a 23 year old in AAA. McDade returned to AA for most of the season, he was blocked in AAA by David Cooper until August. McDade put up similar hitting numbers in AA in 2011 as he did in 2012, except that he increased his walk rate. McDade walked 28 times in 2011 and 50 times in 2012. First base in the major leagues has a very high bar for performance but McDade is a switch hitting first baseman which has some value. 2013 should be a big year for McDade in Buffalo, he will be 24, he will be in a "normal" hitting environment, and it will be his big chance to stake a major league claim."
JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 02:55 PM EST (#266003) #

I thought the same thing when I saw McDade's name. Which brings me back to my question: anyone?

What is the process on the DFA'd players? They go through waivers and if they survive they're all now eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft? Do they have the opiton of electing Free Agency or reporting to AAA?

Also, would a Mike McCoy be the exact same as Mike McDade? Knowing that one has options and the other is out of them.

Magpie - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 03:08 PM EST (#266004) #
What I recall was the year Gibbons was let go the Blue Jays led the league in hitting into to double plays by a considerable margin and if I remember correctly he also tried to deal with it by hitting and running and perhaps also sacrificing but that this generally didn't work and in fact seemed to exacerbate the situation.

This is quite true. At the pace the Jays were hitting into DPs for Gibbons in 2008, they would have finished with 184 of the accursed things, which would be just short of an all-time record. Gibbons was trying everything to fix the issue, nothing worked, and he was ending up with a whole bunch more CS than you'd like. It was killing the offense, which was 12th in the league when he was let go. The team around after Gaston took over mostly by drastically reducing the GDPs and SBs.

Gibbons absolutely had to be fired in June 2008. Which didn't mean that he was a bad manager, or that the team's struggles were his fault. But the team was a great disappointment to themselves, they didn't know why, and they were walking around like dead men walking, waiting for an axe to fall somewhere. In that situation, an axe generally has to fall.

As for the return - it's an odd move. I remember saying that the return of Gaston was something the Leafs would do - bring back someone associated with Better Times. That ain't this. Gibbons' seasons here were not fondly remembered Days of Glory. They were rather disappointing. Especially 2006 and 2008. I don't think it was Gibbons' fault that they were disappointing. But that's what they were.

So I conclude that after his Farrell experience, Anthopoulos wants a guy he knows rather than a guy he just met and interviewed.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 03:12 PM EST (#266006) #
The team around after Gaston took over mostly by drastically reducing the GDPs and SBs

I edit a sentence and make it unintelligible. Sheesh.

The team turned around after Gaston took over by drastically reducing the GDPs (they pretty much cut them in half) and the CS (were almost completely eliminated, with only a slight drop in SBs.) Basically, they stopped losing their baserunners, which allowed many more of them to score.
China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 03:19 PM EST (#266007) #
"....They go through waivers and if they survive they're all now eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft?...."

I'm not sure whether waivers apply to those who are dropped from the 40 man roster at this time of year, but the Rule 5 draft basically amounts to the same thing: anyone who is not protected on the 40 man roster can be chosen by any other team, as long as the other team has room for him on their 40 man roster. If nobody wants them, the Jays can give them a contract to play in Buffalo or New Hampshire.
Craig B - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 03:21 PM EST (#266008) #
JB21, DFAed players will pass through waivers in the normal way and are available as a waiver claim (which is really all the Rule 5 draft is; a big fancy waiver of every non-roster player with double the normal price tag, $50K versus $25K.)

Presumably McDade will be added to the AAA roster so he is not available in either minor league Rule 5 draft.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 03:28 PM EST (#266009) #
So I conclude that after his Farrell experience, Anthopoulos wants a guy he knows rather than a guy he just met and interviewed.

And a guy that stays, if that doesn't go without saying. After Farrell walked on the job in mid-contract to take the Red Sox job, the organization can scarcely afford another embarrassment. In Gibbons they get a guy who got fired from a coaching job with the Royals last year and was in the minors. I don't think Toronto's going to attract any manager with a 'name', so I guess having someone whose name the fans may be aware of has some value. And I don't think Gibbons is looking at his next opportunity.
Gerry - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:13 PM EST (#266010) #

Adding Jimenez was a no-brainer.  Dropping McCoy was too. 

There was one spot for McDade, Goins or Wade.  From a positional perspective Goins as an infielder is more valuable.  From a rule 5 perspective a utility infielder or a reliever are more likely to be picked.  McDade has value but most teams have lots of choice at DH and 1B.  It is tough for a kid to break in at those positions.

All of this is another way of saying that McDade might be a better prospect than Goins but Goins is more likely to be taken in the rule 5 draft.

dan gordon - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:16 PM EST (#266011) #

Really disappointing to see the Jays drop McDade from the 40 man roster.  The guy just turned 23 last May.  Switch hitter, good fielder, has shown good power (54 HR's in 1,413 AB's the last 3 seasons), started to draw some walks last year, getting the OBP up to .360 for the season.  I think he's going to have a good career.  Almost certainly for somebody else now.  In my book, he's always been underrated as a prospect, due to people not making proper allowance for his age compared to the level he was playing at.

Gibbons??  He's the best they could come up with?  Yikes.

Jonny German - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:16 PM EST (#266012) #
So if this is the current roster & bench:

C Arencibia
1B Lind
2B Izturis
SS Reyes
3B Lawrie
LF Cabrera
CF Rasmus
RF Bautista
DH Encarnacion

OF Davis
IF Bonifacio
C Buck

... who is the 4th bench player? Davis / Bonifacio / Buck can cover all defensive positions and a good range of standard duties like pinch-hitting and pinch-running. What do you add? A glove man? A LH pinch hitter?

The only clear in-house candidates at the moment, in my mind, are David Copper and Moises Sierra. Can't say I'm real excited about either of them. Is Ryan Goins great with the glove?
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:27 PM EST (#266013) #
I'd be okay with a platoon mate for Adam Lind taking that last bench spot. Any lefty mashers available?
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:29 PM EST (#266014) #
I think right now you want a RH bat with some pop that can play field against LHP and let some others rotate through the DH. But that can change in the coming weeks.

As for McDade, I have a hard time thinking he can last a year on someone's active roster, so he should be back.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#266015) #
Is Ryan Goins great with the glove?

No.  Serviceable. 

Personally, I'd use Cooper as my everyday DH with Davis starting occasionally against LHPs.  And the club can use another infielder...someone like Mike Aviles. Goins would be a decent call-up if an infielder was injured. 

The alternative would be to keep someone like Adam Lind in the LH big bat role to pinch-hit (primarily for Arencibia/Buck). 
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#266016) #
Manny on a ST invite?
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 05:19 PM EST (#266018) #
Sanchez, Syndergaard, Stroman, Osuna, Smoral, Nolin, Norris, DeJong, Tirado and more...the Jays still have an impressive collection of pitching prospects, although most are at least a couple of years away.
JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 05:45 PM EST (#266020) #
AA mentioned today that JPA will be his starter and Buck will be his backup. Assuming this is true, why not DFA Bobby Wilson instead of McDade?

Unless AA meant JPA will be his starter and at this point and time Buck will be his backup... as Buck is a pretty expensive backup C. And if we can move Buck than Wilson would step in.
China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 05:49 PM EST (#266021) #
"....the Jays still have an impressive collection of pitching prospects...."

You've gotta include Drabek and Hutchinson in that list of pitching prospects too, since both are still essentially unproven at the major-league level, especially since we don't know the impact of their injuries and surgery. I think both will need at least a half-season at the minor-league level before they're ready for a run at the majors again, and that will probably be in 2014, realistically. So they should both be still considered prospects, in my view.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 05:57 PM EST (#266022) #
I must admit that I found the whole Buck + cash for Mathis end of the deal a bit weird.  It's kind of like Monty Hall announcing the big deal of the day as "an all-expenses 3 week trip to Fiji, a brand new Mercedes, a yacht and an Oh-Henry bar".

Anyways, Anthopoulos will presumably want to find a buyer for Arencibia or Buck during the off-season and needs to have Wilson around in case d'Arnaud isn't ready to start the season.  He may not find a buyer, but he presumably wants to keep his options open.

Alex Obal - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 06:03 PM EST (#266023) #
an all-expenses 3 week trip to Fiji, a brand new Mercedes, a yacht and an Oh-Henry bar

... and the chocolate bar comes with like $3 million of debt that you must pay off over the coming year.

who is the 4th bench player?

That one never gets old.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 06:12 PM EST (#266024) #
...  also, whoosh. Totally missed that the cash might have been specifically intended to offset the difference between the catchers. I had assumed $4M was simply the max salary relief AA could get in the deal, since Buehrle and to a certain extent Reyes are salary dumps too. But that makes some sense.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 06:13 PM EST (#266025) #
Work with me, Alex.  Reyes is the Mercedes, Buehrle is the yacht, Johnson is the all-expenses trip to Fiji.  The debt on the Buck bar is more like about $3,000, and it's a chocolate bar worth about $1,500 at the end of the year.  Geez, maybe that chocolate is something special and I am a little hungry now that you mention it...
China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 07:31 PM EST (#266026) #
Today was the final day for putting players on the 40-man roster for the purposes of protecting them from the Rule 5 draft. Now that we know the full list of protected players, are there any good prospects in the unprotected list who could be lost to the Jays in the draft? I know that some of us, including TamRa, have kept a close eye on which prospects were eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Who has been left off the roster and is therefore vulnerable to being drafted next month? Anyone good?
China fan - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 07:32 PM EST (#266027) #
I mean, aside from McDade, Wade, Carreno and McCoy.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:31 PM EST (#266029) #
No middleground for this organization. We're going from RoboCop to Boomhauer

No. Hank Hill sure, but not Boomhauer.
grjas - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:49 PM EST (#266030) #
Gibby is one of the few managers I don't remember well.. Not sure what that says. Certainly feels like a let down after the last week of excitement. Will be interesting to hear how JB and others react..polite acceptance or hardy endorsement.

Like others, i worry about the interaction with Lawrie. The kid needs his head whacked every now and then, but not sure he'll react well to a manager with limited success to date.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 08:56 PM EST (#266032) #

I thought the same thing when I saw McDade's name. Which brings me back to my question: anyone?

What is the process on the DFA'd players? They go through waivers and if they survive they're all now eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft? Do they have the opiton of electing Free Agency or reporting to AAA?

Also, would a Mike McCoy be the exact same as Mike McDade? Knowing that one has options and the other is out of them.


McCoy and Wade wold be minor league free agents, or have the right to elect free agency.


McDade becomes Rule 5 eligible i believe. Others who would be eligible that might be of some note:

Matt Wright - very much a guy who could be carried in a major league bullpen IMO

Ryan Tepera, Tyler Yberra, Trystan Magnuson (likely picked), Marcus Walden, Dustin Andolin and 3 or 4 others.


Sean Ochinko, Jack Murphy, John Talley

John Tolisano, Ryan Schimpf, Kevin Nolan, Marc Sobolewski, Kevin Ahrens

Kenny Wilson, Marcus Brisker, Michael Crouse, Brian Van Kirk, Bran McElroy


I think Wright pretty much has to be taken and Magnuson is old enough to have a good shot at going.Cant say much about the rest.



JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:32 PM EST (#266033) #
So anybody drafted 2008 and prior that isn't currently on the 40 is eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5?
JB21 - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:43 PM EST (#266034) #
Nevermind, found it. 19 years old draftees 2008 and 18 year old draftees 2007.
TamRa - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:47 PM EST (#266035) #
re the coaching staff - i still am waiting to see if Acta will be offered/accept a role, and still hope to see Mottola on the staff, either the official hitting coach or as  a defacto "second hitting coach" whether that's off-field (at gametime) like Rivera was or as a 1st base coach or something.
also, some speculation about Hentgen joining the staff, and Fasano - neither of which i would object to.

I'd like to see Wak stay on for some continuity...and I have no beef with Walton.

TamRa - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 09:54 PM EST (#266036) #
by the by....this from Beeston:

The Jays are banking on another spike in attendance to help offset some of the salary they've taken on and it's believed MLB's new national TV deal with Fox and TBS will begin providing teams with up to an additional $40 million in annual revenue, beginning in 2014.

Neither factored in to ownership's willingness to sign off on the payroll increase, according to Beeston, adding it's not the first time Rogers has given him the green light on a big deal.

"We've had opportunities in the past, we've gone to them and said this is what we wanted to do, we would have gone over our budget, but it didn't happen because the deal didn't go through, and so nobody knows about it," he said.

"The fact of the matter is we're getting the benefit of the dollars (Rogers) gave us when we actually started putting money into the minor leagues," he explained. "(Adeiny) Hechavarria was a big signing. We could have got (Aroldis) Chapman. I mean people forget about the money we were given to carry out the philosophy that Alex had which was to build the minor leagues."

With holes still to fill in the rotation and middle infield before the season begins, the question now is whether the Blue Jays plan to keep spending.

Maybe a little, but if they do, it likely won't be through signing a free agent to a long-term deal.

"I don't think that's the intention to expand (payroll) too much more, we've gone up the way we are," said Beeston, quickly adding, "but if it was going to make the team a better team, the answer to that is yes."


I think it's worth remembering that we often, as fans, make judgements without all the information. It's possible he's lying but there's no reason to assume he is, when he says this sort of spending could have happened before if the right opportunity (in their judgement) arose, or that they did in fact approve such a spike but proposed deals feel through and the fans never knew.

What we see is not always the whole story.

Source.

(as an aside, i don't know where Cormack gets the claim that there are "holes still to fill" - reports suggest that AA said to McCowan this evening that he insisted on Bonafacio, which doesn't sound like the passion you put out for a bench guy - it sounds like he's the projected 2B...and the rotation doesn't have holes, it just needs depth beyond the front 5 or 6 guys)




grjas - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:15 PM EST (#266037) #
"...and the rotation doesn't have holes, it just needs depth beyond the front 5 or 6 guys)"

And i think that is pretty accurate..
dan gordon - Tuesday, November 20 2012 @ 10:36 PM EST (#266038) #
I listened to the AA interview and it was quite interesting.  He did say that he insisted on Bonifacio, or the deal wouldn't have gone through.  I have mentioned a couple of times here that people are underestimating Bonifacio as a player.  He really blossomed as a player in 2011 at an age when that typically happens, 26.  Last year he was hurt on and off with thumb surgery and a sprained knee, and I'm not placing much weight on those numbers.  On June 20, 2011, the Marlins put him in the leadoff spot, and from then until the end of the season, he hit .310 with 36 steals in 89 games.  I think he's a terrific addition to the team, and I certainly don't think of him as a bench player.  I think he's either the regular at 2B or he could push Rasmus out of CF, and I expect him to be a major part of the team's offense and defense.  The scary thing about the interview for me was AA saying that he almost nixed the deal because of the Marlins insistance on getting Mathis for Buck as part of the deal.  We almost didn't get Reyes, Johnson, Buehrle and Bonifacio because we didn't want to lose Jeff Mathis.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 04:55 AM EST (#266042) #

I regret this but I must definitely disgree with someone who's opinion I respect.

...and the rotation doesn't have holes, it just needs depth beyond the front 5 or 6 guys

If there was a choice, J.A. Happ would be our 6th Starter (Bullpen) because the new Pitching acqusition was a #1, a #2 or a #3 Starter and not a #4 / #5 Starter like Happ.   And I like Happ and think he'll be a good Pitcher.   As things are I just hope we get someone better than Happ as well as someone else to be our 7th Starter (Bullpen), because I never want to go through something like last year ever again.  A pitcher like Jenkins should be #9 or #10 on the depth list, but that might be to much to hope for.

 "holes still to fill"

Edwin should 1B/DH, with either someone better at 1B or someone who can play 1B and DH, but be better than Adam Lind.  That's a hole to fill, but I believe A.A. will keep Lind.

China fan - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 07:25 AM EST (#266043) #
TamRa, thanks very much for the list of unprotected Rule 5 eligibles. Interesting to see how many names from our former Top 30 prospect lists are now available to anyone for the taking. But that's the nature of prospects, I guess. We can hope and cheer, but most will fall by the wayside.

I'm also wondering why Adam Lind has been protected, after being placed on outright waivers last season. With his $5-million contract, most teams would never be interested in picking him up, so why protect him? Do the Jays feel that he substantially improved in the second half of 2012? Is this an indication that he will definitely be on the 2013 roster, even if only as a platoon DH or bench player?
Jevant - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 07:40 AM EST (#266044) #
AA mentioned today that JPA will be his starter and Buck will be his backup. Assuming this is true, why not DFA Bobby Wilson instead of McDade?

I would assume that the above statement is true...as of this very moment.  As soon as an opportunity to improve the club arises by dealing one of the 4 catchers, I would suspect the above is very...flexible.
Oceanbound - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 08:21 AM EST (#266045) #
They might want to stick with Lind again for a while. As long as he's not batting cleanup and takes a significantly reduced role, it's probably not the worst idea.

But the way I understand it, they can't take Lind off the 40 man, or at least there's little upside to doing it. First off, nobody would take him off waivers. Secondly, they already outrighted him once last year, and you can only outright someone once in his career without his consent. It's unlikely he would give his consent now, which means the Jays would, after his clearing waivers, either have to keep him on the 25 man, or release him, in which case they would be paying his full salary. By keeping him, they at least have a chance of getting someone to take part of his contract in a trade.
Jevant - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 09:29 AM EST (#266048) #

The problem with Lind, as I see it, is that he absolutely can not play against any LHP (pick any metric, and he's absolutely abysmal at it), which means at best he is a platoon worthy 1B/DH against RHP (and it's not like for his career he's destroyed RHP either, again, pick your metric and he's probably at best serviceable against RHP).  And he's a poor baserunner, and only adequate defender. 

The plus is, I suppose, that he's at least on the "more playing time" side of a platoon.  As weird as it seems, with the current roster would support a Davis/Lind platoon at DH (or put Davis in LF and have Melky DH for those days).  You could also commit to pinch hitting Lind with Davis any time a LOOGY comes in to get Lind later in the game.

Another problem of course is if Davis is DHing then you lose the benefit of having Davis off the bench, and you can't put him into the field or you lose the DH.

Lind is a bad bench player because the only thing he maybe does better than anyone else who could play his role on the roster is hit RHP.  Considering he is between below-average and useless at all other aspects of the game (defence, running, hitting LHP), you've got a problem.  I'd want my bench players to have assets that my starters don't have (Davis has speed, Izturis has positional flexibility)...and Lind's value seems pretty marginal at best.  Buck is a similar issue - his strengths are the same as JPA's strengths.  I assume that's why AA wanted to keep Mathis instead of Buck - with Mathis he adds defensive value over JPA.

China fan - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 10:02 AM EST (#266050) #
In the believe-it-or-not dept: Shea Hillenbrand has endorsed the hiring of Gibbons, calling him "approachable and accessible."

http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/article/1290231--blue-jays-hire-john-gibbons-as-manager-reports
TJ Caino - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 10:33 AM EST (#266052) #
"Lind is a bad bench player because the only thing he maybe does better than anyone else who could play his role on the roster is hit RHP."

Although, hitting RHP is one of the most valuable skills in baseball.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 10:40 AM EST (#266053) #
Mind you I'm not confident that Lind does hit RHP better than, for instance, Cooper.
Jevant - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 10:52 AM EST (#266055) #
True enough.  Although a career .795 OPS against RHP is hardly elite (and that's buoyed by his huge 2009).
MatO - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 11:07 AM EST (#266056) #

Cooper hasn't shown any platoon split in the minors and just looking at his swing and approach that makes sense.  He would give you more flexibility in that you don't have to carry someone to specifically platoon with Lind.  I'm not saying that Cooper is all that great but I think he's a better stop-gap than Lind until they come up with someone better. (plus I like watching his at bats).

AA did confirm on McCown last night that they received more than $8M from the Marlins in the deal (including the $4.5M to even out the Mathis/Buck part).  I don't understand the Mathis/Buck part of the deal for the Marlins if they're throwing in cash unless they like that Mathis is signed for an extra year at low $.

Named For Hank - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 11:20 AM EST (#266058) #
Shea Hillenbrand has endorsed the hiring of Gibbons, calling him "approachable and accessible."

Maybe he's angling for a job? Not every team will deal with his transport truck and family of dogs.

bpoz - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 01:28 PM EST (#266060) #
What is the date that we can put Hutch, Drabek etc... back on the 60 day DL. On that day we will free up a few roster spots.As well if D Oliver stays retired through the season does he still take up a roster spot.

There are still many players that we can remove from the 40 man without hurting the team's present & future. J Jeffress, B Wilson & R Goins for example.

The role of E Bonifacio has not been stated by AA & Gibbons. He is either a starter or a good depth piece in the IN or OF.
Whomever out 1st string catcher is, either JPA or Buck, AJ Jimenez can be the backup & sit on the bench without any harm being done, in case of an injury. He can go back to AAA/AA & play full time later. d'Arnaud on the other hand if called up for any reason must play more frequently. He needs the playing time to fully develop. So does Jimenez but he will be in the minors longer.I see both as burning an option in 2013.

Since we are striving to be serious contenders we need our numerous stars to play well. J Reyes as a past batting champ & M Buehrle as a consistent 200IP SP look to be reliable contributers.
Gerry - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 01:40 PM EST (#266061) #
60 day DL re-opens on or about March 15th next year.
Gerry - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 01:43 PM EST (#266062) #
I believe you have to be on the 25 man roster to be optioned down.  If Jimenez and d'Arnaud start the season in the minors then they will not use an option as they never were on the 25 man roster.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 01:46 PM EST (#266063) #
Once you are on the 40 man roster then a trip to the minors costs an option (one option lost per year maximum).
Dr B - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 04:02 PM EST (#266065) #

Re: rule 5 draft:

I think Wright pretty much has to be taken and Magnuson is old enough to have a good shot at going.Cant say much about the rest.

I don't see much risk in losing Magnuson. He has an undistinguished career thus far. Someone might take him if they need cheap back-end bullpen filler, but they can probably do better. Wright on the other hand is left handed and has minor league 10.4 K/9 (vs. 3.4 BB/9) and he's made it to AA. That will surely tempt someone as you say.

A few posters are a bit concerned about McDade. He's a first baseman with fringy hitting for that position. His only OPS well north of 800 is at LV and that's nothing special there. At 23 in AAA he's got a bit of time to put it together, but he's not major league ready and has shown no signs of stardom. Nobody is going to want to punt a roster spot for that so I doubt he'll be taken.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 04:38 PM EST (#266066) #
How bad a defensive catcher is Ochinko? Might one of the dreg teams (eg Marlins or Astros) take a flyer? Seems like Yan Gomes v2.
China fan - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 05:32 PM EST (#266069) #
For those wondering about Mark Buehrle and his silent reaction to the trade: here is the latest. Buehrle and his agent both issued written statements today. Buehrle confirmed that he is upset at the trade, and he says he was "lied to" by the Marlins. He says he accepted their verbal assurances that he wouldn't be traded. But at the end of his statement, he says this:

"But I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”

His agent issued a similar statement, ending with this:

"Mark is a consummate professional and is looking forward to joining his new teammates in Toronto.”

Not a word about pitbulls in either statement, by the way.

So it seems that Buehrle is angry about the trade, but he's promising to be a professional about it. Anthopoulos will obviously do his best to placate Buehrle. His former Marlins teammate, John Buck, has reportedly been doing the same, telling his traded teammates that they will love Toronto. I think there's a good chance that Buehrle will have a change of heart when he spends time in Toronto and with his teammates and the club management. In any event, the good news is that he hasn't said anything critical of Toronto in any of the statements by him or his agent.
MrPurple - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 06:10 PM EST (#266071) #
In any event, the good news is that he hasn't said anything critical of Toronto in any of the statements by him or his agent.

Of course all this says to me is that he is not a complete idiot wishing to commit career suicide.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 06:28 PM EST (#266072) #
I believe Buehrle & Halladay had some interesting battles. IMO he has helped every (2) teams that he has pitched for. I would be very happy with a typical year from him.
China fan - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 06:57 PM EST (#266074) #
For what it's worth, Jayson Stark quotes an NL executive as saying that the Jays are currently the favorites to win the AL East:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/8661088/toronto-blue-jays-best-team-american-league-east
ogator - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 07:04 PM EST (#266075) #
We now have the complete set of Izturises (Izturi?) How much does it cost to build a hotel on one of those and what does a Yankee have to pay if he lands on one?
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 07:57 PM EST (#266076) #
Nice to be the heavy favourites to win the off-season, but the real test starts next spring. The team needs to gun for the division title to avoid the agony of a one-and-out wild card game.

Also, the Jays' rivals are slowly making some moves. The Yankees have signed Kuroda to another one-year deal, while Boston has added David Ross and Jonny Gomes...no doubt more moves are pending. It will also be interesting to see if the Rays trade away any pitching.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 08:17 PM EST (#266077) #
"For what it's worth, Jayson Stark quotes an NL executive as saying that the Jays are currently the favorites to win the AL East:"

Yeah, it is later pointed out "On paper. On Nov 21."

The other interesting fact in that blog is the fact only 5 teams have $100 million+ committed to the upcoming season - the Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and your Toronto Blue Jays.

Makes me feel good when my cynicism is proven wrong.
Chuck - Wednesday, November 21 2012 @ 08:51 PM EST (#266078) #
In this piece from the Toronto Star:

Regarding Buehrle, who owns a rescue dog that falls under Ontario’s pit bull ban, Anthopoulos said the organization is currently working with him and his family to find a solution, and it won’t be an obstacle to his playing in Toronto.

I have no idea what a possible solution might look like. Perhaps the dog could live in Buffalo and be driven to and from Toronto for daily visits?
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 04:03 AM EST (#266079) #
Late Monday, MLB approves the Miami-Toronto deal, too late to have "show and tell" at the Tuesday Press Conference. Since Tuesday was to be Gibbons' day, that was a good thing. With Thursday be the US Thankgiving, any "dog and pony" show for the new Kids will occur early next week. Any moves (of significance) will by put on hold until Friday at the earliest.

The cash received by Toronto in the Blockbuster is more than $8.0MM (as A.A. says), which has $4.5 coming over for the Buck - Mathis part and $4.0 coming over to cover a deferred Signing Bonus or more??? A.A. Has roughly $ 4.6MM left unless he can go higher. I have the salaries for 2013 - 2014 - 2015 to be $120.0-ish MM - $135.0-ish MM - $150.0-ish MM, but it could be more. Those three years are Toronto's period of opportunity.
TamRa - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 07:57 AM EST (#266081) #
No idea what they are actually doing about the dog, But if i were doing it I'd be looking into a nice farm in the Niagara Falls, Grand Island area, possibly with a caretaker of some sort financed by the club. If the family summered on the farm/ranch, but had the ability to easily commute into town to spend time with Mark when he was at home (presumably a cnd or something) it would be pretty "normal" i'd guess.
Chuck - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 08:32 AM EST (#266082) #

I believe that Ontario as a whole bans pit bulls, not just the city of Toronto.

MatO - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 09:38 AM EST (#266084) #

Johnson appeared on Miami radio and said that his wife was at first upset about going to Toronto but felt better after talking to Frank Thomas' wife who told her that she and the kids would love the place.

There was a bill in Parliament to rescind the pitbull ban which died when Parliament was prorogued.

Are we sure Izturis was signed?  I see something on twitter from Rosenthal that it came about from a fake Cesar Izturis tweet.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 09:54 AM EST (#266085) #
There was a bill in Parliament to rescind the pitbull ban which died when Parliament was prorogued.

Provincial Legislature.  Sometimes it's hard to tell the proroguers in the black hats from the ones in the slightly less black hats. 

/persnickety civics
China fan - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 09:56 AM EST (#266086) #
The report on Cesar Izturis actually originated from Matt Eddy of Baseball America (not from the fake twitter account). So it appears to be true. It would be a minor-league deal, but Cesar would have a good chance to be a utility infielder in Toronto in the event of any injury to Maicer or Bonifacio.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:02 AM EST (#266087) #
Minor signing, but one that makes alot of sense. I sincerely hope he isn't playing 50+ games but I'd like to see him get at least one game on the roster at the same time as Maicer.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:03 AM EST (#266088) #
Respect to Frank Thomas and his family for not holding the City of Toronto responsible for JP Riccardi and his underhanded tactics.
Paul D - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:11 AM EST (#266089) #
Respect to Frank Thomas and his family for not holding the City of Toronto responsible for JP Riccardi and his underhanded tactics. ? I know we're supposed to burn JP in effigy anytime we can, but Thomas was treated fairly in Toronto.
MatO - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:16 AM EST (#266090) #
I did mean Ontario Parliament but I guess Legistature is a better term.
Jevant - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:22 AM EST (#266091) #

At the very least, we needed depth, and he's cheap, and as I recall, a plus with the glove if nothing else. 

The nice thing with the depth is that we have 3 capable players for 2 MI spots, so we won't have to be utilizing the Mike McCoys of the world at the first day-to-day injury.

Jevant - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:23 AM EST (#266092) #
Agreed.  If Thomas hadn't completely tanked the way he did, he probably would have a) played and b) not been cut.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:38 AM EST (#266093) #
Cesar is pretty much equivalent to Omar Vizquel.  The difference is that he's #4 on the middle infield depth chart, rather than #3. Actually if Cesar opens next year in Buffalo, you've got capable replacement level options at both short and second in Cesar and Negrych. That's what you want to see. 

I thought last year that the plan would be to call up Hechavarria if one of Escobar and Johnson were injured, but the plan was simply to ride the injuries out.  That did not work out well. 
Ryan Day - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 11:08 AM EST (#266094) #
Provided Vizquel spends most of the year at AAA, he's a perfectly fine acquisition. Having another guy around who can play a decent shortstop is fairly important, since you could probably expect Reyes to hit the DL at some point.
Ryan Day - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 11:10 AM EST (#266095) #
Whoops. That should have said Izturis is a perfectly fine acquisition. Vizquel would possibly be a decent acquisition for a minor league coaching staff, but that's about it.
John Northey - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 11:37 AM EST (#266096) #
Minor league deals never worry me. Cheap, easy to get out of, and might help the AAA team if nothing else.

Caesar Izturis is basically a 33 year old John McDonald. Lifetime OPS+ of 64, 58 last year. McDonald is at 61 after an amazing 79 last year at age 37 and a 93 at age 35. Both great gloves but no bat (with the two notable exceptions for McDonald). Since 2001 though he has just 29 games in the minors so I doubt he expects to be in AAA all year.

Right now I suspect the Jays are...
CA: JPA
1B: Encarnacion
2B: M Izturis
3B: Lawrie
SS: Reyes
LF: Cabrera
CF: Rasmus
RF: Bautista
DH: Lind
Backup...
CA: Buck
IF: C Izturis
IF/OF: Bonifacio
OF: Davis

I expect Davis (career 290/349/417 vs LHP) or Bonifacio (career 290/337/370 vs LHP) to mix and match with Lind (career 282/335/502 vs RHP) as a DH, plus Bonifacio and M Izturis to mix and match at 2B. Meanwhile C Izturis will backup Lawrie & Reyes. Bonifacio & Davis can cover all 3 outfield slots as needed too.

Ideally we'd see a new DH though to replace Lind, someone who can play 1B or LF when needed thus getting as much flexibility as possible.
Jevant - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 11:46 AM EST (#266097) #

Before all the craziness went down I was hoping for Nick Swisher, but assuming it was going to take way too much money.

Now, I'm assuming the chances of that are even lower (although I am not really complaining), but he would be an absolutely perfect complement to this team.

China fan - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 01:01 PM EST (#266098) #
John, I don't think Cesar Izturis is needed on the major-league roster if the Jays already have Reyes, Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis. Whomever doesn't start at 2B (either Bonifacio or Maicer) is the backup infielder in case of injury. If Reyes gets injured in the middle of a game, Maicer Izturis switches to SS and Bonifacio becomes 2B. So I think Cesar spends most of the season at Buffalo.

There's still room for one more bench player, but I agree with those who suggest that it should be a power-hitting 1B/DH type (although ideally with the ability to play a few other defensive positions too). Shouldn't be hard to acquire in the next couple months. Alternatively it's a way to keep Cooper on the team, although he's not ideal because of his defensive liabilities.
Shaker - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 01:16 PM EST (#266099) #
John N, I know you said "now", but I hope C Izturis doesn't see too many days on our big league roster - especially as a starter - though I have no problem with this minor league signing.

With regard to the last slot left for hitters, I think Jim Thome "now" makes the most sense.  His experience and status would really help in the clubhouse.  He can still hit RHP, and remains selective, with good power and patience.  Another benefit is that he was teammates with Mark Buehrle in Chicago for a few years.  (I still worry about Buehrle being happy here.)  I'd offer Jim $2-3M (or double what he made last year) along with a $1M playoff bonus.

Thome would be a great "threat" off the bench, a good influence on the younger guys (such as Lawrie) and could help spell either Lind or EE at DH if they needed a break.  Over the last 3 years his OPS+ has been 182, 131 and last year 112.  He crushed RHP to the tune of .395/.542 over that time.  He's old and in decline but I'd sign him for his presence more than his output - this team has enough output already.

Thome's not an original thought, and many will argue we need a RHB bat to platoon with Lind; but Rajai and the Catchers can do that, as could Reyes who should probably get a few turf days off.

Shaker - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 01:18 PM EST (#266100) #
...or I could've written "China Fan +1"...

Is Coop out of options?

Thomas - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 01:37 PM EST (#266101) #

I agree with those hoping, and suggesting, that Izturis isn’t needed on a major league roster. The versatility of Bonifacio has already been pointed out, but he should allow the Jays to need less infield cover than they have previously. Between Reyes, Maicer and Bonifacio, they can cover SS and 2B if someone is injured, regardless of who originally started the game at what position. This also holds true if Bonifacio makes the occasional outfield start, as he can move to the infield and Davis (or whomever) can come off the bench to play outfield.

 

The one scenario that would be problematic would be if Reyes (or another middle infielder) needed to be rested for a few days because of his hamstring and then another infielder went down with an injury or had to leave the game. In that case, the Jays would be a bit stretched, although a temporary solution to last them until the end of the game could be to move Bautista or EE to third, have Lawrie switch to 2B and have the remaining middle infielder play SS. That would be okay for a few innings and, given that the team’s affiliate is now Buffalo, they would be able to get a replacement, such as Cesar, ready for the next game if both middle infielders were still unable to play.

Thomas - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 01:38 PM EST (#266102) #
Don't forget, Gibby did play Glaus at SS for a few games.
John Northey - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 01:48 PM EST (#266103) #
It all depends on how they want to run the team. If you have CI on the bench then you can pinch run with Bonifacio/MI easily (depending who has the day off) as well as with Davis. Also you can do defensive replacements without fear.

Still, another bat would be best. A RH bat to compliment Lind would be perfect unless Lind goes bye-bye. Ideally one who can play 1B/LF and maybe 3B in a pinch (ie: injury situation and backups already in game). Jonny Gomes would've been a decent choice but he is now in Boston (2 years, $10 mil). Ryan Ludwick could be a good choice but might be a bit expensive, same with Cody Ross. Russell Martin might be a good one - as a catcher he'd make it easier to trade JPA, hurts NYY, 830 OPS lifetime vs LHP but expected to get $8-10 mil a year so probably out of reach as a backup/platoon DH. Eric Chavez would be cheap, had a 126 OPS+ last year but bats left so not a platoon partner and had a 70 OPS+ over the past 4 years pre-2012. Many others out there too.

In the end for RH power hitter it might be best to let the chips fall where they may and grab someone in February who is getting desperate. Someone who demands a 3 year deal at $8 mil per today might be willing to take a 1 year deal at $5 mil or less then.

Right now the priority is improving the pitching even further. Find a number one guy (Halladay, Dickey, whoever is on the market) and sign top AAA talent with promises of September callup or spring invites. Safe to say AA will keep stockpiling AAA relievers as cannon fodder...er...backup. Keep an eye open at the end of the winter for a closer without a job and hope it works out better than last years choice (Cordero) as well.
Shaker - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 02:01 PM EST (#266104) #
Is there cash lying around to pay for a Doc or CLee??  Seems unlikely.  An above average #4 might be more realistic.  Villaneuva at $6M??

Besides, we may have 2 number 1's in Johnson and Morrow, already.  The guy pictured in the upper left could revert, too.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 02:03 PM EST (#266105) #
Another possibility for the last bench spot is a slick-fielding first baseman.  It appears that the best available one would be James Loney.  After his poor season, I don't know what he would want or whether some team would promise him a full-time job.  Here is Eric Seidman's take on that issue.

The idea would be to give him occasional starts against RHP with Encarnacion either resting or DHing, and (perhaps more importantly) bringing him on defensively after an Encarnacion at-bat with a late lead.  Instead of trying to upgrade the DH spot offensively with the last bench spot, you try to upgrade the first spot defensively. 
China fan - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 02:04 PM EST (#266106) #
"....Find a number one guy (Halladay, Dickey, whoever is on the market)...."

If that happened, what a rotation it would be.... Buehrle would become the Number 4 starter..... And it would be amazing to see Romero becoming the Number 5 starter....
Geoff - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 02:07 PM EST (#266107) #
How about this solution to the Buehrle pitbull mess: set up an embassy somewhere in the Toronto area, giving Buehrle diplomatic immunity to house whatever animals he likes on his property.

I still think he's going to retire after perhaps one year with the Jays if he's not in a situation he finds comfortable.

The Jays could use another good starter if they are serious about this year. Perahps trade D'Arnaud and another piece or two to get a frontline guy. Maybe include Gose. There's a veteran guy on one of the Pennsylvania teams I'm thinking of, can't remember the name but he'd be a good fit here...
whiterasta80 - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 02:11 PM EST (#266108) #
Geoff is of course referring to AJ Burnett
MatO - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 02:17 PM EST (#266109) #

Veteran guys like Izturis are usually released at the end of spring training if the they don't catch on with the big club out of courtesy.  That way they can possibly catch on with another major league team.  I have a feeling he makes the team out of spring training.

Cooper should have one more option year.  He used up 2011 and 2012.

John Northey - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 03:16 PM EST (#266111) #
I cannot see both Cooper and Lind on the ML roster at the same time outside of September as making any sense. Both are poor fielding LH hitters who are limited to 1B/DH. Neither has much value at this point in time.

To me the priorities are...
1) Power hitting 1B/DH
2) #1 level starting pitcher
3) More bullpen depth at a high level (never can have too much)

If you cannot get #1 then get a RH slugger to mix with Lind or Cooper at DH. If you cannot get #2 then find a solid #2/3 type but don't bother with #4/5 types (ie: ERA+ sub-100 but eat innings) as the 5 we have should cover that easily.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 03:22 PM EST (#266112) #
Doubling down on the bullpen depth, John?  My stomach is getting twitchy at the mere thought of it.

As for another #1 starter, that seems to be asking a bit much of Santa Alex.  I do think that a #6/#7 starter in the pen or in Buffalo to start the season is a good idea because of the relative dearth of options in the high minors in 2013. 

Chuck - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 03:38 PM EST (#266113) #

How about this solution to the Buehrle pitbull mess: set up an embassy somewhere in the Toronto area, giving Buehrle diplomatic immunity to house whatever animals he likes on his property.

Rogers could create its own country and have Buehrle live in their embassy.

I still think he's going to retire after perhaps one year with the Jays if he's not in a situation he finds comfortable.

I would think that he'd find $18M per year the most comfortable of all situations. I think he'll adjust.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 03:48 PM EST (#266114) #
Rogers could create its own country and have Buehrle live in their embassy.

"My fellow subscribers, I am honoured to have been chosen as Minister of Sports Broadcasting for Rogerania. I promise to serve through victory, defeat and Heidi interruptions. "
greenfrog - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 03:56 PM EST (#266115) #
As for another #1 starter, that seems to be asking a bit much of Santa Alex. I do think that a #6/#7 starter in the pen or in Buffalo to start the season is a good idea

Why does the GM have only two choices in this scenario (add a #1 starter or a #6/7)?

Also, after this off-season's coups, I would be wary of underestimating AA.
Magpie - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 04:11 PM EST (#266116) #
I always liked Jonny Gomes, and never quite understood why Joe Maddon seemed to dislike him so much. But he's not really a bench player because he doesn't have a defensive position at all. He's a DH. You do not want to see him play the outfield. You'll have bad dreams. Actually, that's probably why Maddon didn't like him.

Cooper has one option year left, which I expect to see exercised this coming March as the Ghost of Adam Lind gets one more chance.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Izturis the elder make the team. The team may think it can ease the wear on Reyes' hammies by letting him DH a bit, especially at home. Izturis, C has always been a true shorstop. While Izturis, M came up as a shortstop, he's played more 2b and 3b in the majors - and if he's your regular second baseman, I think any manager would be reluctant to bounce him around depending on how Reyes' legs feel that day. And Bonifacio's not really a shortstop at all. He came up as a second baseman and while he's learned to fill in elsewhere, he's not a particularly good infielder.
Geoff - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 04:34 PM EST (#266117) #
I would think that he'd find $18M per year the most comfortable of all situations. I think he'll adjust.

I'm aware of that and I don't believe there are many players who would ever walk away from that, but it speaks to how much I believe Buehrle is (a) insane; (b) a maverick; or (c) stubborn ... that he would want to live his life by his own rules and not care how much he stands to lose.

He did talk once of retiring after 2013 when his kids would start school. Check this quote, “Once Braden starts school, I’ll be done 100 percent,” he said. “Once that happens, you can bet anything and everything I’ll be done.” Thus stating that he does not want to pitch beyond 2013. This was before he was offered a great and heavily backloaded truck full of cash by some fishy people.

Mind you, it's in a blurb sandwiched between stories about how the Padres wouldn't trade Mike Adams in 2011 and Andy Pettitte wouldn't be coming out of retirement that year (which was accurate). So you can't believe everything you read, but I'm still writing to watch out for Buehrle here. Hope he performs admirably, worried that he's not committed to fulfilling the contract here. Man's been lied to. How to ingratiate ourselves to him to make this all right?

Geoff - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 04:36 PM EST (#266118) #
Geoff is of course referring to AJ Burnett

Saw through that pretty easily, didn't you? I'd thought of laying it on thicker and stating that he pitched admirably here before.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 04:46 PM EST (#266119) #
That is certainly possible, Magpie.  You could certainly believe that a Lind/Davis platoon DH setup would do better than a Cooper or Cooper/Davis setup.  Exercise an option or exorcise a ghost?
Chuck - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 04:56 PM EST (#266120) #

He did talk once of retiring after 2013 when his kids would start school.

Buehrle may be a different type of animal altogether and be the type who can walk away before he is pushed out, but I'd have to see it to believe it.

When players talk about retiring it carries almost no weight with me. How likely is Buehrle to walk out in the midst of a lucrative contract when so many others at the end of their careers look to just stick around for $1M with anyone who'd have them? Players talk about walking away all the time but very few do it with anything left in the tank. Gary Sheffield talked retirement from the time he was in his 20s and then only retired at 41 when no one wanted him any more.

And then you have guys who have retired but can't seem to stay retired.

Chuck - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 05:02 PM EST (#266121) #

I wouldn't be surprised to see Izturis the elder make the team. The team may think it can ease the wear on Reyes' hammies by letting him DH a bit, especially at home.

I agree with this being a strong possibility. It would be one thing if Reyes just had a single year left on his contract, in which case you wouldn't worry too much about babying him. But the organization has to coax five more years out of him. Caddies will be at the ready.

China fan - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 05:07 PM EST (#266122) #
Just to support Chuck's point about Buehrle's likely attitude towards his contract, don't forget that Buehrle and his agent have now issued very strong and explicit pledges that Buehrle will be a "consummate professional" about his obligations to the Jays. Buehrle's statement this week about the "lies" by the Marlins concluded: "I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”

And his agent said: "Mark is a consummate professional and is looking forward to joining his new teammates in Toronto.”
China fan - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 05:52 PM EST (#266123) #
Wow, this is weird: the Jays have now clarified that they didn't sign Cesar Izturis. They actually signed yet another Izturis brother -- Julio Izturis, who is a 23-year-old infielder who last played at the single-A level.

How many "Izturi" are there, anyway?
China fan - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 06:09 PM EST (#266124) #
Just checking Baseball Reference: it appears that Cesar Izturis is now a free agent, for the first time, after earning $875,000 from the Brewers last season. Maybe the Jays can sign Cesar, thereby collecting all three of the Izturi. Let's go, Alex, make it happen!

What would that be called on a Las Vegas slot machine? An Izturi jackpot?
Ryan Day - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 06:18 PM EST (#266125) #
At a minimum, Buehrle probably understands that there's nothing to be gained by publicly complaining about things. Even if he absolutely loathes Toronto, it's in his best interests, at least for the time being, to play nice and try to make things happen behind closed doors.
grjas - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 08:33 PM EST (#266126) #
"Why does the GM have only two choices in this scenario (add a #1 starter or a #6/7)? Also, after this off-season's coups, I would be wary of underestimating AA."

I don't think the issue is AA, it's how far will Rogers push the pay envelope. Like any of the readers on the box, i would love to see them get a #1 to complement this team, but i can't see Rogers ponying up another 15mil+ to make it happen.

I could be wrong (and hope I am), but i think another solid 4 is the best we'll likely get, and more likely a 6 or 7 unless it's young cheap talent for one of our CF's or catchers.
John Northey - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 09:10 PM EST (#266127) #
Another question for the rotation is what kids will be ready and when. We have Drabek & Hutchison in 2014, but not 2013 most likely. Guessing at rotations...

AAA: Chad Jenkins, Deck McGuire (guessing Jays push him a bit), Sean O'Sullivan (if still here), Justin Germano

AA: John Stilson, Casey Lawrence, Marcus Walden, Egan Smith, Jesse Hernandez

Sheesh... not too many there. McGuire should be in AA but AAA right now is thin for its rotation. AA has a lot of signings to do of top AAA/AAAA guys to fill that in. Of course, I could be missing a few guys too. Maybe that 6/7/8 slot of the rotation is more desperate for filler than I thought.
MatO - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 09:30 PM EST (#266128) #
Sean Nolin would be the sleeper at AA.  He has about the same experience as Hutchison at this point last year.
Geoff - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 09:58 PM EST (#266129) #
Even if he absolutely loathes Toronto, it's in his best interests, at least for the time being, to play nice and try to make things happen behind closed doors.

That's the pessimism I like to hear. While it is nice for Buehrle's agent to say that his client is going to be professional about things, that's not the ringing endorsement of his own commitment that is going to make me relax about the guy. Ideally, I want to see him give three solid years to the team. Honestly, I can't bring myself to expect he's going to do it. Show me a quote from Buehrle where he says himself that he's looking forward to being a part of a winning club with Toronto for the next three years and I won't doubt his commitment with a single word. It's not much to ask of the guy, but as of today I wonder if that quote is on its way.

I trust him to be a guy of his word; he strikes me as a guy of good integrity. If only I was more pessimistic about his character, I wouldn't accept the rumbles he's made about the importance of home and family to his life as absolute truth for him. And unless his home and family are going to set up near Toronto (and he may warm to the idea, but I'm not taking the chances as better than 50-50) then he's going to pack up and leave one way or another.

But if he makes a statement of clear commitment to playing in Toronto for this year and the next two, then hurray! No way Mark is going to lie to us. That's for Floridians.

grjas - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:06 PM EST (#266130) #
Right now Buerle is pissed off about- at least in his mind- being lied to. Not surprised he's saying little about TO. At this point he's working thru his anger, as many of us would do in his shoes. Not sure that augers well or poorly for Toronto as this point, as i doubt even he knows.
John Northey - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:22 PM EST (#266131) #
I think the fact the Jays have lived up to side agreements in the past (Clemens) helps make players feel a bit safer - especially since the guy who did it, Beeston, is still here.

In the end what matters is how professional everyone is about it. Few have said the Jays aren't professional about things, vs how things are in Miami and a few other places (Baltimore has been a 3 ring circus at times, NY & Boston always are, Tampa is where you start a career then leave for money, etc.). It helps that Buck was here before and played with the Miami crew last year as he seems OK with the move back. I suspect most will settle down come spring training too once they've had time to digest how they are leaving a sinking ship for one that is rising.
hypobole - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 10:55 PM EST (#266132) #
Actually the guy who could talk, and probably has talked, to Beuhrle about Toronto management is John Buck.

Playing in Toronto may not have the side benefits of playing in Miami, but the fact the Jays live up to their verbal agreements {despite a lot of derision} at least can show the new players this organization has the integrity the other is lacking.
TamRa - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 11:16 PM EST (#266133) #
Sheesh... not too many there.


I make it:

AAA - Jenkins, Stilson, Jefress (if they get him through waivers), Carreno, Fernando Hernandez (as augmented by various impending FA signings).
Around mid-season Drabek will likely join this crowd, and Hutchison should arrive at AAA for the last 4-6 weeks of the season - assuming no setbacks in both cases.

AA: McGuire, Nolin, Tepera, Lawrence, filler until Stroman is promoted (June?)

A: Stroman, Sanchez, Syndergaard, Smith, Walden

I could see, over the course of the season Jenkins, Jefress, McGuire, Nolin, and/or Stroman pitch in the majors depending on circumstances.
Oceanbound - Thursday, November 22 2012 @ 11:52 PM EST (#266134) #
<I>I suspect most will settle down come spring training too once they've had time to digest how they are leaving a sinking ship for one that is rising.</I>
<br><br>
I'm not sure I would enjoy riding in a rising ship myself. Maybe one day in the future...
uglyone - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 12:04 AM EST (#266135) #
AAA: Hutchison*, Drabek*, Cecil, Carreno, Jenkins, O'Sulivan, Germano
AA: Nolin, Stilson, McGuire, Walden, Lawrence, Smith
A+: Stroman, Syndergaard, Sanchez
Oceanbound - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 01:29 AM EST (#266136) #
Hang on a minute, Julio Izturis' middle name is also Cesar. So that makes his full name Julio Cesar Izturis.

Is Maicer's middle name Bruto by any chance?

Mike Forbes - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 03:13 AM EST (#266138) #
Buehrle will be happy if Toronto wins. Same as any other player.
bpoz - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 11:15 AM EST (#266142) #
Like everyone else I believe that the Jays are contenders in 2013. Revenues should increase if they are in a pennant race & they will make plenty more money if/as they advance.

However 2014 is a different story. Josh Johnson probably is extended before the 2013 season is over if both parties want it. He probably will take a lesser deal if he is given an opt out clause.

With or without JJ, I believe the Jays will not give up their contender status in 2014 and beyond. Why should they. 2013 success will give a taste of increased revenues. A big media company is unlikely to give up that bounty.

AA's plan was always to develop a supply of good players from the farm. Until that pipe line is producing, he most likely will make moves to bridge the gap.

TamRa - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 11:31 AM EST (#266143) #
AAA: Hutchison*, Drabek*, Cecil, Carreno, Jenkins, O'Sulivan, Germano


I forgot to include Germano but, be advised, O'Sullivan was listed by BA among the minor league free agents.
SJE - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 12:49 PM EST (#266144) #
Regarding Cecil, he may be pitching in AAA this year but not with Buffalo. I believe he is out of options, and I would be surprised if he cleared. Especially if Oliver retires I cant see AA letting him go for nothing. Numbers game has Loup more likely in AAA and Cecil in the bullpen.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 07:31 PM EST (#266152) #
Unless someone knows something I don't, the Bullpen will be (in no order) 1) Sergio Santos (RHP), 2) Casey Janssen (RHP), 3) Steve Delabar (RHP), 4) Esmil Rogers (RHP) as a given.   8A) Brad Lincoln (RHP) and 8B) Aaron Loup (LHP) have options remaining and should be in AAA (A.A. has said anyone with options remaining will be in AAA as depth) if not needed.  A.A. will be acquiring another Starter allowing 5) J.A. Happ (LHP) to be #6 Starter in the Bullpen.   6) Brett Cecil (LHP) is without options and will be given every chance to make this Club.  Has 7) Darren Oliver (LHP) made his decision yet?   We might need to go with 7) Jeremy Jeffress (RHP) who is out of options.  Basically his Agent said he's a MLB reliever on a Team, not K.C., maybe ???.   A.A. might be planning to upgrade his Bullpen anyway.   After spending this much A.A. has about $5.0 MM left to get to $120.0 MM boundary with the $8.5 MM coming over from Miami taken into account.   I just don't think he'll be turned down this offseason.
Thomas - Friday, November 23 2012 @ 10:59 PM EST (#266155) #
It's being rumoured that DeMarlo Hale, one of the four reported finalists for the Jays managerial job in 2010, will be leaving the Orioles and taking over as the bench coach for the Blue Jays. He spent 2012 with the Orioles as their 3B coach.
bpoz - Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 10:11 AM EST (#266159) #
The $120mil boundary could be a problem. I do not know what the penalty is for going over, but I have faith in AA's ability to minimize the damage if not avoid it all together.

AA has already redone R Davis's contract so that $500,000 is counting against 2011. If D Oliver retires then that is a further $3mil removed.
Thomas - Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 12:32 PM EST (#266163) #
It's now being reported out of Baltimore that Hale has accepted the job with the Jays.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 03:03 PM EST (#266166) #

I call it a boundary because I couldn't find a word more appropriate.   Numbers like 80s, 90s, 100s, 110s, 120s (and so on) are natural "boundary" numbers, while 85s, 95s, 105s, 115s, 125s (and so on) are not, being "artificial".  I believe A.A. got an increase in his "Budget" to cover naturally occuring salary increases, plus 10 - 15% for normal signings.   With the massive intake in salary, I don't know where the "boundary" is because I don't know when the "new Budget" level was.  He still has the ability to sign a $15.0 MM / year player as I can't find anyone saying A.A. has limits, now.

Thanks Thomas.     If the Demarlo Hale signing as Bench Coach is accurate, this is a big acquisition in ability and an big upgrade too.   As long as A.A. and J.G. are hiring the best people for Coaching openings, this could be amazing.   It will be very interesting following this.

bpoz - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 09:38 AM EST (#266175) #
Thanks Richard SS. So the Luxary Tax has a fixed number, the salary is up to each club.

Beeston was involved back in the championship days and he knows the value of going all out in acquiring talent. The Jays then & the Rangers now, have both been deep into WS play and 2 years in a row in both cases. So they have financial data to analyse regarding this type of results. Actually winning the WS may not give as much momentum $ wise etc... but I am not sure.

But that is the problem of Texas and other powerful Also Rans.

Bottom line I do not think that the Jays management will flinch at anything. I am probably completely wrong however.

Many things can happen. The 2nd worst is what happened to the Marlins... Spend big...Lose big... and act/talk like big idiots. There is no choice but to make massive changes. Their Silver lining is that they have gained a lot in prospects while only losing home grown J Johnson. If this happens to the Jays they probably do not gain equal prospect talent.

OK, that sounds gloomy. But you have to try something to move from the bottom 25% to the top 25%. They have done that IMO. I expect some kind of cautious talk to drum up more & more sales. It has started by comparing Bautista & EE as a solid 1,2 punch that is supported by other factors that can be made to sound realistic.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 11:50 AM EST (#266179) #
AA has already redone R Davis's contract so that $500,000 is counting against 2011. If D Oliver retires then that is a further $3mil removed.

Don't forget that by redoing this, IIRC, he can now cut R Davis in ST paying only 1/6 of $2.5M, so around $417K. That could save another $2M if necessary!
Oceanbound - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 01:23 PM EST (#266182) #
I would imagine that there's approximately a zero percent chance they will cut Davis.
hypobole - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 02:42 PM EST (#266183) #
Now that Gibby has a bench coach, I'd really like to see the Jays at least interview Rick Peterson for the pitching coach position.

Even though his present job with the O's as director of pitching development may be the best use of his talents, I think a tandem of Peterson working on the mechanical aspects and having someone like Walton around to work on the mental aspects of pitching may prove to be a winning combination.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 03:07 PM EST (#266184) #

MLB gets a percentage of all Postseason Games, but I don't know the exact number.   The Rogers Center (Skydome) can seat 50,000+ if necessary.   Average ticket price in 2012 was just under $25.00 per ticket.   Average Postseason ticket price will average $100.00 per ticket and huge amounts for Luxury Boxes.   So Teams could earn approximately $5.0 MM per game on tickets and possibly more on Boxes.   I believe MLB takes most of the World Series monies.   The monies taken throughout the Postseason compromise the Playoff Pool.  All Postseason Teams and all 2nd Place in Division teams get a piece of the pool.   When a Postseason Game with Tickets, Boxes, Refreshments, Souvenirs can earn a Team in excess of $10.0 MM per game, or $20.0 -$40.MM per series, it's easy to see how salaries get high.

Consider $50.0 MM in Postseason monies, plus $40.0 MM (in negotiation) in new MLB TV contracts, plus local Team TV contact ($25.0 MM - $125.0 MM), plus normal revenue streams ($50.0 MM - $125.0 MM) in determining Club Salary limits.  It's possible that $120.0 MM becomes the new $80.0 MM. 

Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 03:36 PM EST (#266185) #

As to why A.A. should go after a #1, or a #2, or a #3 Starter ( http://www.minorleague.com/2012/8/7/3226335/defining-1-2-3-4-5-starters ) rather than a #4/5 Starter, let's look at J.A. Happ ( http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/happja01.shtml ).  2009 was a good year for him, with 2010, just a little less so.   2011 was unfairly a lost year and 2012 was much of the same.   Until his last 4 starts, where it looked like he was figure it out, just a few months shy of his 30th Birthday.  I think we must do better.

I would like for a Front-line Starter (or at least a # 3) to be added so J.A. Happ can be in the Bullpen as our 6th Starter / Long Relief.   I would like to see A.A. acquire another Happ-type Starter to be our # 7 Starter / Long Relief.   I would like A.A. to pick up at least one MLB Starter type for AAA (if not called up by 1st June - Free Agent) as # 8 Starter.  At least Brett Cecil, Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire can move further done the depth list.  While I don`t know how well A.A. will do here, it should be easier to sign people now.

grjas - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#266186) #
let's look at J.A. Happ ( http://www.baseballreference.com/players/h/happja01.shtml ).

Funny, i was just looking at that url this morning. I have to say Richard, you are starting to win me over in the need for a top 3, or at least high 4. The combo of Happ's track record, a shaky Romero, no depth behind #5, and a poor SP injury record has me more and more worried and thinking you're right. Will be interesting to see how high Rogers is willing to push the salary curve. Beeston won the "time is right" argument years ago with Labatt's- we had the highest payroll in the early 90's - so hopefully he can do it again. The JB and EE argument is a good one, as is the glow around this team right now. The arrival last year of a lot of younger fans also has to be a huge positive to the owner.

Time will tell I guess.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 04:57 PM EST (#266187) #
Remember that a trade is always an option. Seeing as the Jays are now essentially "all in" for the next two or three years, it would be worth it IMO to go after one more premium arm (one controllable through 2014 or 2015), even if it costs a couple of touted prospects (and/or players like Arencibia and Rasmus). I suspect AA is thinking along the same lines. Somehow he's going to find another starting pitcher.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 11:30 PM EST (#266193) #

Unfortunately the Bullpen is starting to bother me.  Casey Janssen and Steve Delabar are locks, as is Sergio Santos.  1) Santos should/could be ready for Spring Training.  Brad Lincoln should be a lock, but 2) he still has an option left (giving A.A. options).   Esmil Rogers has a power arm, was excellent in Cleveland, but 3) isn`t that called a small sample.   Jeremy Jeffress has a power arm, attitude, 4) "control issues" and out of options.   Oh, and they are all RHP.   As for the LHP, Brett Cecil is a lock, he`s also out of options.   Aaron Loup has been effective, but 5) he stiil has options.  6)  If A.A. gets another Starter, J.A. Happ is a lock for the Pen.  7) Darren Oliver is a lock, but has he made a decision?

I think the team still needs a quality Reliever, or very good luck.   Untill 6) and 7) decides, we won`t know what we have and what we need.  Or how much depth is needed.

John Northey - Monday, November 26 2012 @ 01:10 PM EST (#266219) #
Given how AA operates it is a safe bet more relievers are coming. I suspect he is hunting them down right now. Jason Grilli is an interesting one - over 13 K/9 last year with 3.4 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9 - seems the type AA likes and would be affordable I suspect. Brandon Lyon is out there of course, as is Jason Frasor and others.

Heck, he might go out and get a failed starter who appears near the end and he becomes solid in the pen ala Quantrill and Downs years ago. The pen is the toughest area to predict. Small sample size, wild variations, and injuries can totally screw up any analysis.

Or he can go out and sign Mariano Rivera or Rafael Soriano :)
uglyone - Monday, November 26 2012 @ 01:52 PM EST (#266224) #
I disagree on the needing more bullpen arms, especially since adding another good SP adds Happ to the bullpen anyways.

2yr Stats:

RP) RH C.Janssen (31): 117gms, 119.1ip, 9.1k/9, 1.9bb/9, 44.8gb%, .268babip, 0.97whip, 2.41era, 2.79fip, 3.01xfip, 2.58siera
RP) LH D.Oliver (42): 123gms, 107.2ip, 8.0k/9, 2.2bb/9, 41.0gb%, .277babip, 1.08whip, 2.17era, 2.87fip, 3.41xfip, 3.09siera
RP) RH S.Santos (29): 69gms, 68.1ip, 12.6k/9, 4.4bb/9, 43.7gb%, .276babip, 1.17whip, 3.95era, 3.13fip, 2.86xfip, 2.47siera
RP) RH B.Lincoln (28): 51gms, 70.0ip, 9.4k/9, 2.6bb/9, 46.5gb%, .276babip, 1.13whip, 3.21era, 3.62fip, 3.20xfip, 2.82siera
RP) RH S.Delabar (29): 67gms, 73.0ip, 12.2k/9, 3.7bb/9, 41.7gb%, .247babip, 1.11whip, 3.70era, 4.17fip, 3.20xfip, 2.52siera
RP) RH E.Rogers (27): 72gms, 90.0ip, 9.3k/9, 3.9bb/9, 47.0gb%, .351babip, 1.56whip, 5.60era, 3.64fip, 3.76xfip, 3.40siera
RP) LH A.Loup (25): 33gms, 30.2ip, 6.2k/9, 0.6bb/9, 55.4gb%, .277babip, 0.91whip, 2.64era, 1.92fip, 3.12xfip, 2.78siera


pretty dang solid place to start, IMO.

Then add these possibilities to the mix:

(Career relief stats)

LH J.Happ: 36.2ip, 8.6k/9, 4.2bb/9, .221babip, 1.31whip, 4.17era, 3.81fip, 4.39xfip
LH B.Cecil: 11.2ip, 6.9k/9, 3.1bb/9, .320babip, 1.71whip, 5.40era, 3.09fip, 4.70xfip
RH J.Carreno: 28.2ip, 7.5k/9, 3.8bb/9, .214babip, 1.19whip, 2.51era, 4.00fip, 4.07xfip
RH J.Germano: 70.1ip, 6.0k/9, 2.7bb/9, .250babip, 1.28whip, 3.20era, 4.55fip, 4.58xfip
RH J.Jeffress: 38.2ip, 7.9k/9, 7.0bb/9, .325babip, 1.78whip, 4.89era, 3.97fip, 4.79xfip

Then add upper-tier prospects like Stroman, Stilson, Nolin to the mix....and then borderline youngsters like Jenkins, Crawford, Dyson.



I wouldn't hate to see us add another 'pen arm but I'd much, much rather we add another legit quality SP and push Happ to the swingman role in the 'pen, and have Rogers/Cecil/Loup battling it out for the 7th spot.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 26 2012 @ 03:32 PM EST (#266230) #

I disagree on the needing more bullpen arms, especially since adding another good SP adds Happ to the bullpen anyways.

I am not as sure. 

1) Is Darren Oliver returning?  I haven't heard anything as yet.  I hope he's back, it's a void to fill if he isn't.    2) Sergio Santos' Surgery on his Shoulder was basically a cleanout - a very easy operation.   He should be ready to Start the season in the Bullpen.  There's early problems if he's not ready early.   3) Brad Lincoln and Aaron Loup are good enough to make this team.  There are options remaining, one for Lincoln and two for Loup.  This gives the Team choices.    4) Esmil Rogers found himself in Cleveland, he's figured it out.   With his power arm, I hope so.     5) Jeremy Jeffress has a power arm, attitude, "control issues" and out of options.  Most of the time the Pitching Staff turns them into effective pitchers.   Just most of the time, not always.    

I see Janssen, Delabar, Happ and Cecil in the Bullpen.   Santos will join them - sometime - making five.   Mike Aviles was a worthwhile acquisition, so A.A. values Esmil Rogers highly and that makes six.   Who's number seven?  Is it Oliver, Jeffress or do we have to dip into Lincoln or Loup?   I'm not saying the Relievers aren't good pitchers; it's just that I remember last year.

  

uglyone - Monday, November 26 2012 @ 04:09 PM EST (#266234) #
I guess I have a hard time seeing Oliver turn down that option now that the Jays have made these moves this offseason. He's got a chance to contend and another $3m to earn - I think he'll take it.

As for Santos, as long as they're not lying to us about the extent of the injury, I think it would be unlucky if he wasn't ready to go from the start. As it is, he's the only real risk in what I look at as our "front 5" relievers:

CL Janssen
SU Oliver
SU Santos
MR Delabar
MR Lincoln

All very good arms with very good recent numbers over a solid sample. While Delabar and Lincoln aren't exactly "proven", they've still been good to very good out of the pen overall over the last 2 years.

After that, Happ/Rogers/Cecil/Loup is a good bunch of arms to battle over the last 2 spots, I think.

Of course, adding a proven elite reliever would always be nice, but looking at the numbers I posted above, there's as much chance a "decent" veteran reliever (like Frasor or Lyon or something similar) would be worse than the 7 guys we've currently got lined up in the bullpen as better.



China fan - Monday, November 26 2012 @ 06:48 PM EST (#266244) #
Even if Santos is fully recovered, he's been out of MLB for nearly a full season, and he'll probably need some minor-league time to get ready for the majors again. I've seen speculation in other blogs that he's likely to be sent to Buffalo for an "injury rehab" stint (since this wouldn't require him to be exposed to waivers if it's termed a rehab). In any event, I think it's a little over-optimistic to count on him to start the season in the majors. And if Oliver was going to postpone his retirement, wouldn't he have announced it by now? He might play another season, but again I'm not counting on it.

So here are the relief pitchers that I'm counting on in the major-league bullpen: Janssen, Delabar, Lincoln, Rogers, Loup. Only those 5 relievers can be reliably counted on, at this stage, in my opinion.

That leaves 2 spots that must still be filled in the bullpen. If Oliver doesn't come back and Santos isn't ready for the majors, those 2 spots would have to be filled by pitchers such as Cecil, Jeffress, and maybe Happ. And both Cecil and Jeffress, in my view, are less than reliable. Beyond that, you get into very dubious territory: Jenkins, McGowan, Dyson, Crawford.... So there's still a chance that Anthopolous needs to acquire another reliever to shore up the bullpen. (Unless he's very confident that Oliver and Santos will be there and ready in April.)
acepinball - Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 12:11 PM EST (#266288) #
Wouldn't Happ be more valuable in a trade than being relegated to the bullpen? If the Jays further upgraded their rotation, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone try and nab Happ to fit their back end of the roto. Alternatively, I could see them preferring to leave him stretched out in AAA.

Anyway, the bully is always a crapshoot, but I can't see them starting the season with anyone but Casey Janssen as the closer. Steve Delabar and his reverse splits will be more valuable if Oliver retires. Esmil Rogers is going to carry the tag of 'the guy they traded for Farrell', so I suspect he's got a leg up on the Villanueva swingman role. Cecil being out of options means Loup only makes the team if Oliver retires.

If all goes well, the bully looks like:
Janssen
Oliver
Delabar
Santos - low leverage until he shows he's got it. Huge wildcard.
Cecil (LOOGY)
Lincoln - Long
E. Rogers - Long/Swingman
Jeffres - Buying snacks

I suspect Drabek will return as a reliever. Luis Perez may force the Jays to make another move. If they're in the hunt M. Stroman becomes a possible option, or even Syndergaard.
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