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Now that spring (training) is here it is time to go over the changes to the Jays roster this past winter.  Who has left, who has come and who is here now?


Just to make it easy I'm including a few extras from September for players who are no longer here.  Expect a lot of names you may not recognize as they list many, many minor league transactions.  Raw data from the always useful Baseball Reference.

Added...
Removed...
Neutral (never really here or never really left)...

Phew.  Lots of changes.

New guys...
Major Leaguers: Starters: Buehrle, Johnson, Dickey; Bullpen: Jeffress, Rogers; Catchers: Blanco, Thole (one here one to minors); Infielders: Reyes, Izturis, Bonifacio; Outfielders: Cabrera
Minor Leaguers: Pitchers: Germano, Wagner, Hinshaw, Vargas, Thompson, Perez, Ortiz, Bush, Smith, Carlyle, Brummett, Storey, Beck, Hottovy; Catcher: Nickeas, Infielders: Velez, Zawadzki, Hoffpauir, DeRosa, LaRoch, Outfielders: Langerhans, Loewen, DH/1B: Jimenez,

Significant guys lost...
Pitchers: Litsch, Villanueva, Frasor, Lyon, Carpenter, Nicolino, Alvarez, Syndergaard, Dyson
Catchers: Mathis, d'Arnaud
Infielders: Johnson, Gomes, Escobar, Hechavarria
Outfielders: Marisnick (corrected)

OK, some of those significant losses really aren't (Litsch may never be anything again, Dyson I don't see much future for or Carpenter, never a big Mathis fan and Marisnick is the only infielder with a real shot at making an all-star team unless Johnson makes a major comeback).  d'Arnaud, Villanueva, Lyon and Alvarez are the ones I'd be most nervous about doing well with Syndergaard there too.  Escobar could hurt since he is now in Tampa Bay with Johnson (weird eh?).  None of the here and gone during the winter crew catches me as significant.

No question the team was drastically improved.  Not much question AA added a lot of veteran depth to AAA too.  Nickeas and Thole should be a really good combo in AAA catching, tons of pitchers to sort out in spring and I could see one or more of those infielders getting a shot in the majors during injury periods without being a major hit to the team (ie: play at a better than Mike McCoy level) with tons of relievers to step in when someone has issues in the pen (as there always is).  It has been a fun winter and now for the fun spring that follows.  Lets hope April-October is even more fun.
Winter Transactions - Pitchers And Catchers Report Today ! | 172 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ogator - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 08:23 AM EST (#268667) #
"Marisnick is the only infielder..." Did he switch positions?
Subversive - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 10:00 AM EST (#268668) #

I assume that's just a typo.

So excited for this season! Here's hoping they can live up to the promise.

bpoz - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 10:24 AM EST (#268669) #
Definitely a lot of changes to the ML roster. Also nice to see that we have been picked to be one of the strong teams.

If we live up to the hype ie win at least 90 games for the 1st time in a while and maybe even the WS. Then our success will come from just a handful of home grown Jays.

2 position players JPA & Lind, and 2 pitchers Romero & Janssen. The rest are from other organizations.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 10:33 AM EST (#268670) #
Good catch ogator - once they are gone they are forgotten I guess.  I've fixed it now.

Interesting to look at the lineup and see where they came from, checking the official Jays depth chart...
Via Trade (17): Bautista, Encarnacion, Rasmus, Reyes, Lawrie, Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, Johnson, Happ, Santos, Thole, Davis, Bonifacio, Delabar, Lincoln, Rogers
Via Free Agency (4): Cabrera, Izturis, Blanco, Oliver
Developed here (7): Lind, JPA, Romero, Janssen, Cecil, Loup, Jenkins
Purchased (1): Jeffries

Of the 7 developed here just 4 are locks, with the other 2 part of the bullpen battle and Jenkins a lock for AAA.  Guess AA loves his trades.
CeeBee - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 11:21 AM EST (#268671) #
I think most of the trades were out of necessity. He didn't inherit a particularly good team or farm system.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 11:40 AM EST (#268672) #
Trades can be good, but there is always the risk that your trading partner knows something about the player that you don't (of course, this works both ways).
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 12:24 PM EST (#268673) #
Sergio Santos was originally a home-grown Jay, and returned.   Brandon Morrow was acquired for home-grown Jays and developed here (roughly equal time).   Bautista and Encarnacion were very decent players until they became Stars here.   So we're not that bad - just 4?
John Northey - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 12:31 PM EST (#268674) #
Good question, who did the current team cost the Jays in players?
Bautista: Robinzon Diaz - I think that worked out well
Encarnacion: sent here with Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart for Scott Rolen. Rolen hit 263/332/438 for a 104 OPS+ with 2 ASG appearances and a Gold Glove. Briefly left to Oakland then signed here as free agent.
Rasmus: came with Trever Miller, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters for Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson, Marc Rzepczynski and cash (Jackson came a few minutes earlier with Mark Teahen for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart)  Stewart now has a lifetime 64 ERA+ while Rzep as a Card has a 92 ERA+ in relief only but the Cards did get a WS title.
Lawrie: for Shaun Marcum who was signed for just $4 mil this past winter
Morrow: for Johermyn Chavez and Brandon League. League has been a good closer with a 123 ERA+ and 58 saves, but I still prefer Morrow.
Happ: came with David Carpenter and Brandon Lyon for Asher Wojciechowski, Carlos Perez, David Rollins, Joseph Musgrove, Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, and Kevin Comer  Too soon to say but looks expensive.
Santos: for Nestor Molina 4.55 ERA in AA/AAA last year with just 6.3 K/9
Davis: for Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson who both have been here since.
Delabar: for Eric Thames who had a 95 OPS+ in Seattle
Lincoln: for Travis Snider who had a 84 OPS+ in Pittsburgh - could be big either way still, if Lincoln becomes a solid starter or Snider becomes what we all dreamed of.
Rogers: for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes. Given none have played a single inning yet it is a wait and see.
Dickey, Thole: We all know this one
Reyes, Buehrle, Johnson, Bonifacio: same here

Surprised how few have the potential to really come back and haunt the Jays.  Dickey's could, Happ easily could, and Lincoln could otherwise I don't see much reason to think the Jays would've been better off without doing any of these trades.
James W - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 01:26 PM EST (#268675) #
Incorrect, Santos was drafted by the Diamondbacks, and was acquired by the Blue Jays in the Glaus-Hudson trade. Minnesota claimed him off waivers, he signed a free agent contract with the White Sox, was traded to San Francisco, then reacquired by the White Sox.
Super Bluto - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 01:32 PM EST (#268676) #
When doing these big trade-by-trade evaluations, do you have to consider trades that are more or less off the books? I am thinking specifically of Hill-Johnson. If you boil it down enough, you could make an argument that the trade hurt the 2013 version of the team, if only because losing it so badly led to the signing of Izturis or maybe the targeting of Bonifacio instead of some other Marlin, etc. etc. I recognize that this can quickly become absurd. I'm sorry for bringing it up.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 02:01 PM EST (#268677) #
Oh, good point Super Bluto but I was just checking guys who are currently here, not ones we lost.  That would be a whole new thread and would take more time than I have available during the work day.  Plus I'd want to check things like WAR sent away, WAR brought back for each to get a quick thumbnail that is non-biased to see if quality out is better or worse than quality back.  Of course, any measure of AA's time will be limited as most of his trades are still works in progress (ie: we don't know if some will work or not long term).
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 02:24 PM EST (#268678) #
It is pretty amazing how badly that Hill trade ended up. I remember loving the trade at the time, but I never foresaw Hill recovering and Johnson falling off a cliff like they did.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 02:40 PM EST (#268679) #
Presumably, both Arizona & Toronto made the trade thinking "This guy is broken, but we can fix that other guy." As it turned out, Arizona was right, and Toronto was wrong.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 02:53 PM EST (#268680) #
I assumed both Hill and Johnson would be better, but not really good.   Hill thrived, Johnson's looks done.   Isn't Arizona that state with "colour" issues?  I could be wrong. 
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 03:28 PM EST (#268681) #
Casey Janssen with shoulder trouble ( http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2013/02/12/toronto_blue_jays_casey_janssen_shoulder_recovery_2013/ ),  is all we need.  I hope it's not serious, or we might be in for Bullpen "issues" we don't need. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 07:11 PM EST (#268682) #
Spring musings
 - AA has always said that he won't rush or artificially announce a timetable for the Jays to contend, that the team will let him know by its play when to go all-in - so it's surprising that after a disappointing season marred by poor play/injuries, regression amongst many players,with your best player having significant surgery and your carefully chosen manager abandoning ship after the season - that this team has let AA know it's time to go all-in - call me skeptical - this seems like a top down corporate decision, deciding that a more relevant team will help sell more products and play catch-up with Bell (having split the other sports properties with Bell). If all goes well and the Jays contend, there will be enough credit to go around ( success has many fathers), but if it crashes and burns leaving the organization with disappointed fans,negative media,expensive back-loaded contracts and a depleted farm system, it will be interesting to see how the blame game plays out (failure is usually an orphan) - will AA have to walk the plank, for an approach that may not have been his idea?

-When the Marlins went on their FA binge last year, almost everyone said they significantly overpaid and most on this site (including me) said they were happy that the Jays did not do those contracts - Yet, many of those posters were ecstatic when the Jays acquired 2 of those back-loaded contracts - Actually, except for the bad PR, the Marlins came out ahead - they got the 1st cheap year of those players and the attendant Buzz and when things didn't work out, the Marlins acquired more talent than the 3 draft picks they lost for those signings and they are not stuck with those back-loaded contracts.

-Executives usually have a soft spot and are higher on talent acquired under their regime and usually try to reacquire those talent whenever an opportunity presents itself - So,it was telling for me when the Mets did not acquire 1 player from the JP years in the Dickey deal & apparently declined a proposal that included a  top draft pick from the JP years (Arencibia).

-Loved what the Rays got in the Shields trade and can't wait to see what they get for Price - What a FO!!
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 09:03 PM EST (#268683) #
85bluejay: I respect your contrarian point of view. It will be interesting to see how it all works out - who really knows at this point? A couple of counterarguments, though:

- The Jays didn't *only* get the Marlins' backloaded contracts in the Miami trade; they also got JJ for a 2013 run + possible draft pick compensation in 2014, plus Bonifacio

- When Reyes signed his contract, there was a lot of concern about his durability, but in 2011 he racked up 711 PA in 160 games (with a strong second half) - this arguably makes his contract look a bit less risky

- After the Miami trade, Pat Gillick said he thought it was a good trade for the Jays, saying that the Jays received impact talent and really didn't give up all that much in return

- As for the Dickey trade, pretty much everyone in baseball has said that d'Arnaud (if he can stay healthy) should be better than Arencibia -- I don't think that the Mets' preference for d'Arnaud necessarily means anything more than that d'Arnaud is perceived to have a better pedigree (and is controllable for a full six years)

- Dickey is clearly something of a wild card, but to my mind he has the potential to be very valuable over the next year or two (or more), and acquiring him makes the other moves make more sense

- In terms of major moves, the Jays acquired Dickey, Reyes, JJ, Buehrle, Bonifacio, Cabrera, Izturis and Rogers -- that's a lot of potential impact talent

- They also dumped Farrell, which itself should be worth a couple of wins (kidding...sort of)

- Oliver said that a big reason he decided to unretire was the off-season overhaul (the Dickey extension and the Cabrera signing might also have flowed from the Miami trade)

In summary, I think you have to look at the moves as a whole and not focus only on the Reyes and Buehrle contracts. Yes there is risk but with some other key pieces in place for the next few years (Bautista, EE, Morrow, Lawrie), and a relatively weak division, I believe there was a good case for going all in for the next 2-3 years.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 09:05 PM EST (#268684) #
Sorry, make that 716 PA for Reyes in 2012.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2013 @ 11:03 PM EST (#268685) #

A.A. went all-in?  He got Rogers to cover all the Miami trade acquisition costs.   All-in?   No.

1) A.A. received $8.5 MM in the Miami trade.  Signed Melky Cabrera (OF) for two years, $8.0 MM per year. Unspent: $0.5 MM.

2) By trading John Buck and his $6.0 MM salary, A.A. got R.A. Dickey (RHP), Josh Thole (C), and Mike Nickeas (C). Unspent:$0.75 MM.

3) Signed Henry Blanco (C), and Mark DeRosa (INF) for $.75 MM each for a total of $1.5 MM.  Over-spent: $.25 MM.

So A.A. goes all-in acquiring a Cy Young winning Ace, middle-of-the-lineup Batting title winning (oops) Outfielder, three backup knuckleball Catchers and a Middle Infielder for $250,000.00 increase in Team Salary.

Posters on this site have "issues" with Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind, J.P. Arencibia, the Bullpen and the Bench.  If that's all-in, someone lets you dress yourself?  

John Northey - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 08:54 AM EST (#268687) #
If a jump in payroll by 50%+ and trading away 5 of your top 6 prospects isn't "all in" I'm not sure what is.

From the Batters Box top 10 we have lost #1 (d'Arnaud), #3 (Syndergaard), #4 (Marisnick), #5 (Nicolino), and #6 (Hechavarria).  A catcher, 2 pitchers, an outfielder and a shortstop.  Talk about hitting all areas! 

What would it take to qualify as 'all in' Richard?  A jump of 100% in payroll?  Dumping all of the top 10 prospects? 

CeeBee - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 08:58 AM EST (#268688) #
I guess your "damned if you do and damned if you don't" I'm glad he's chosen the "damned if you do". I'm tired of losing!
92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 10:17 AM EST (#268689) #
85bluejay, don't think you're alone. While it's nice the team has built itself up this offseason, there are all sorts of questions about the process and timing involved, and many of the moves were still guided by Rogers' reluctance to spend $.
jjdynomite - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 11:05 AM EST (#268690) #
85BlueJay --

While your skepticism is valid, you attribute "what a FO" to the Rays. How many World Series have the Rays won in their franchise history? For that matter, while "Moneyball" was a great flick, how many World Series has Billy Beane won?

It has been 20 years -- my whole adult life -- since the last one, and I want a World Series winner. A reasonable request for the 5th largest metropolitan area in North America, owned by the 21st richest corporation in Canada that pulled in over $1.5 billion in pure profit last year.

Every single World Series winner since 2003 (the Marlins, heh) has had a Top 12 payroll, which means, in 2013 terms, $100m+ that de facto includes numerous veterans with playoff experience. You really think all the Jays' sexy prospects with-no-post-season-experience were going to bring home the Jays' 3rd title anytime soon?

Question for you, 85BlueJay: do legitimate World Series contenders -- in large markets -- trade away #1 starters like James Shields for prospects?
bpoz - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 01:01 PM EST (#268691) #
I am all for having an "argument" about the team at this point. I meant argument not discussion. I value respect & courtesy. I feel only the teams failure in 2013 will actually be painful to me and hopefully the majority of Bauxites.
Richard I like your comment about dressing yourself. It does not seem malicious or personally hurtful to most people.

I agree with 85 Bluejay's comments about the back loaded contracts. Because I have doubts about the Jays staying with Reyes & Buehrle,for the duration, specifically with the cost being the reason. I can also see both asking to be traded, Reyes turf issues & Buehrle dog issues. AA will play that card if it is needed.

Richard you also pointed out the $ we received from the Marlins & Buck's contract that we do not have to pay. I think AA went all in, he paid in prospects & payroll. If you have an "all in" point or range, I respectfully ask you to tell us.

The argument for winning the WS negates "all" levels of cost is a good one. But what if this does not happen. Expos gave up the Big Unit, would exExpos fans feel differently if they had won the WS?

I think that payroll parameters are variable. IMO they mean nothing/little when the complexities of marketing, TV & attendance revenues are factored in. IMO they changed because 2012 was a disaster.
AA did a great job of rebuilding. AA was either wise or lucky that that the Marlins & Mets wanted to trade. The Mets let everyone know that Dickey was available, AA won that opportunity because he was willing/able to pay the price. But the Marlins...All he asked about was JJ, according to the reports. That "evolved" according to him into this huge trade.

To me AA has definitely made mistakes. But that is a maybe. Specifically 1 mistake is the Lind contract. 5 years for $25mil? If Lind repeats his 2009 numbers in 2013 &14 then is the contract no longer a mistake? How about Romero?
bpoz - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 01:11 PM EST (#268692) #
The A's drafted 3 Aces Hudson, Zito & Mulder. IMO luck. SF with Cain, Bumgarner & Lincecum aslo luck IMO. However LAD always seem to develop home grown Aces, so IMO not luck, talent?

IMO the Jays can use some homegrown Ace luck.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 01:33 PM EST (#268693) #
Anthopoulos has several times expressed his admiration of the Rays' front office.  I believe that he has used the phrase "perhaps the best-managed organization in professional sports", or something similar.

It is hard to argue that the club is not making a serious effort to compete in 2013.  Gibbons does have options at DH and catcher other than using Lind and Arencibia on an everyday basis.  We'll see what he does.

John Northey - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 01:44 PM EST (#268694) #
If Lind recovers then AA looks smart for not releasing him and eating that contract.  I know most feel he is no more than a 100 OPS+ hitter at this point and basically dead weight as a DH/1B in these days of a short bench.  If Lind gets a 140 OPS+ though then all is forgotten.

Romero provided value in 2011 but if AA waited then he wouldn't really have cost any more.  If he comes back then that deal looks good quickly, if not... ick.

Lots of if's this year and 2013 will be AA's legacy for good or ill.  If all goes well and the Jays make the playoffs then he looks smart.  If not...

The good thing about Reyes and Buerle is that AA showed he can pull off magic tricks back when he dumped Vernon Wells while eating very little of the contract.  Imagine that $20+ million hit on payroll this year - the Marlins trade probably couldn't have happened.

Beyonder - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 01:54 PM EST (#268695) #
85Bluejay.

I shared your skepticism almost comptelely when the trades first went down. I still share it, but less so. You are 100% right that, looking at the team in isolation, there was nothing about its trajectory going into this offseason suggesting that this was the time to go all-in. But that's looking at the team in isolation. Looking at the Jays in the context of the AL East, the timing was absolutely ripe -- with the aging Yankees looking to get under the cap, Boston spinning their wheels, and financial pressure in Tampa forcing it to trade away a top starter, this was a wise time to make a big move.

More important, the whole discussion about whether the impetus for these moves is team-driven or revenue driven is a false dillemna. If you want to do any of the things normally required to build a competitive team (sign free agents, take on salary in trades, build the farm system), you cannot neglect revenue. After the positive momentum built up after last years' season (IMO there is more interest in the team than in any time in the last 15 years), the Jays would be missing out on a huge opportunity if they didn't do everything in their power retain that inertia and build on it. As much as we don't want this to be the case, fan interest is in most cases a necessary precondition to building a lasting contender.

The big question for me about the acquisitions is: Given the deals signed later on the offseason (Bourn for 4yrs, 48 million, Brandon McCarthy for 2 years, 15 mill, Marcum to a one-year deal), would we have been happier to keep our prospects (and Yunel and Alvarez) and spend a bit of money on these guys rather than on the Marlins/Mets acquisitions? We could have had them all for an average annual value of under 25 million.
92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 02:04 PM EST (#268696) #

After the positive momentum built up after last years' season (IMO there is more interest in the team than in any time in the last 15 years), the Jays would be missing out on a huge opportunity if they didn't do everything in their power retain that inertia and build on it.

The interest is a result of the offseason moves though, not the 2012 season. I think it's fair to say there was more interest in the Jays heading into the 2012 season than there was after it and before The Trade happened. Many of us made the argument last offseason that there was little reason to not be adding value by spending money in an effort to actually win, so it's a little confusing when a 73 win season provides the impetus for it and everybody is singing AAs praises for acquiring backloaded contracts for prospects when he could have signed those players himself last year for just draft picks (or different guys this offseason, as you suggested).

John Northey - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 02:10 PM EST (#268697) #
An interesting note from FanGraphs... the Jays got a top independent ball pitcher this past winter and they have video of his changeup and a photo of his cool beardMike Benacka.  15.0 K/9 but 5.8 BB/9 = scary guy to hit against.  Might be a future setup man for the Jays if he can get that stuff under control.  He is older (as most indy ball guys are) at 30 but should be fun to watch.  Lets hope for a Scott Richmond type thing except lasting a bit longer.
Gerry - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 02:18 PM EST (#268698) #
And...Dustin McGowan has a sore shoulder.  Will not throw off a mound and will be assessed.  Baseball is back!
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 02:48 PM EST (#268699) #
I would personally argue that the prospects we gave up are not as valuable as the picks it would have required to sign Buerhle and Reyes last offseason. Feel free to disagree with that, but it isn't cut and dry and we would still have needed to add Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, Melky, etc...

And there was value in seeing if any of our youngsters could come good (even if they didn't).
92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 03:04 PM EST (#268700) #
I don't think that argument has much weight. Marisnick, Escobar, and Alvarez are considerably more valuable than 2 draft picks, and we know Miami wanted Hechavarria & Nicolino for Josh Johnson last summer. Melky could've been signed anyway if he was needed and Dickey could've still been targeted.

If AA had signed Jose Reyes and traded for Josh Johnson he wouldn't have been required to assume Buerhle's contract, and that money would've gone a long way this winter to improving the team in other areas. Instead AA was forced into a trade with the Mets where he had to part with too much value because he couldn't even add Dickey's 5m to the payroll.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 03:22 PM EST (#268701) #
Oh for goodness sakes... (as my ol' granny would say  - between sips of her favorite Scottish beverage)...

Instead of watching the lowA, hiA and AA stats for the next 2 to 4 years and bemoaning the failures of our "can't miss" "sure" prospects - we've 3 to 5 years of watching the Jays in the mix for the play-offs and - dare I say it - maybe even a gig at the WS.

Not to mention we've still a minor league system that's not too bad either.

Sit back, RELAX, imbibe a wee dram (or a baker's dozen of them) and ENJOY the next three years as AA's Vision becomes reality.

Is it April yet?

ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 03:33 PM EST (#268702) #
Instead AA was forced into a trade with the Mets where he had to part with too much value because he couldn't even add Dickey's 5m to the payroll.

One of the great things about the internet is that guys who couldn't have picked Travis d'Arnaud or Noah Syndergaard out a police lineup when Anthopoulos obtained them, can now pretend to know better than he what their value is, while also pretending to have knowledge of what directions he has or doesn't have in respect of payroll without having a scintilla of information.
92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:18 PM EST (#268704) #

while also pretending to have knowledge of what directions he has or doesn't have in respect of payroll without having a scintilla of information.

Another advantage of the internet is being able to prove people wrong pretty quickly at the tip of your fingertips.

@Wilnerness590 AA: We could not have done this deal without John Buck being included in this trade from a salary standpoint

 

 

Beyonder - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:24 PM EST (#268705) #
"The interest is a result of the offseason moves though, not the 2012 season. I think it's fair to say there was more interest in the Jays heading into the 2012 season than there was after it and before The Trade happened."

I actually think the resurgence had more to do with some very smart marketing -- not the least of which was a fantastic uniform change. In the past two seasons the Blue Jays have shed their "Dad's Team" image, attracted a new generation of hipster fans, and are on the verge of becoming mainstream entertainment again. This is every bit as important to building a winner as a strong farm system.

"Many of us made the argument last offseason that there was little reason to not be adding value by spending money in an effort to actually win, so it's a little confusing when a 73 win season provides the impetus for it and everybody is singing AAs praises for acquiring backloaded contracts for prospects when he could have signed those players himself last year for just draft picks (or different guys this offseason, as you suggested)."

I understand this point, and posted it myself a couple of months ago. I expected the team to follow the Tampa Bay model until it was on the cusp of contending, and only then did I expect Rogers would open its coffers. That's not what happened, but on the whole, I think I like AA's approach marginally better.

The impetus for these moves obviously wasn't a 73 win season (which if inclined, you could put an asterisk beside due to the injuries). If IO had to guess I would say it was: a) weakness in the AL east, b) a chance to build on momentum in the atendance department, c) a rare opportunity to make deals that addressed precisely the teams' needs going into this season, and d) an uncommonly large cupboard of highly-regarded prospects.
greenfrog - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:24 PM EST (#268706) #
I'm with Mylegacy. Btw, Bowden just ranked all 30 teams' off-seasons. The Jays were #1, having had a "tremendous" off-season, giving the team the best rotation in the division and "the veteran leadership, speed, energy and enthusiasm to be a legitimate World Series contender."

The Jays' major moves ranked #2, 3 and 10 on Dave Cameron's top ten off-season moves:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-10-best-transactions-of-the-off-season/#more-113615

As noted earlier, Gillick gave AA the thumbs-up for the Miami trade.

A few opinions worth considering before loading up the cannon with vitriol, in any event.
92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:25 PM EST (#268707) #
As for your remark about knowing their value BETTER than AA, that's ridiculous and was never implied or suggested. Nobody, including the other 29 GMs, had anywhere close to the amount of information AA had on the prospects involved, but that doesn't mean that AA didn't overpay for Dickey from a market value perspective. When I read that the Mets offered Dickey to Team X for Package A/B and it was declined, but then a week later that same team calls back and offers Package A/B for d'Arnaud, I don't see how that can be interpreted in any way other than to say AA overpaid in value so he could save on payroll. The alternative would be to say AA didn't know how Team X valued d'Arnaud but that runs counter to everything we've learned about AA loving threesomes and how he's constantly in contact with other teams to have a proper gauge on the market.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:51 PM EST (#268708) #
loading up the cannon with vitriol

Dewey!  Help, please.

Brandish the sword of grammatical style as if it were the last weapon on earth! Begone, vitriol-filled cannons.
greenfrog - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:57 PM EST (#268709) #
Oh, Lord. Really?
John Northey - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 04:58 PM EST (#268710) #
Actually, I see that as....
Team X: has need for ace and catcher but especially catcher
Mets: Need youth as rebuilding
Jays: Need ace

Team X offers A/B who are good but not parts the Jays or Mets need.  Team X needs d'Arnaud badly, but Dickey less so (deep rotation already).  Jays need ace but not A/B (whoever they are).  Thus the only deal make-able is the Dickey deal.  No logic issue, as getting A/B for d'Arnaud would not have got Dickey for the Jays nor would the Mets part with d'Arnaud for A/B.

jjdynomite - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 05:00 PM EST (#268711) #
92-93, please explain your rationale that the Jays would've been able to sign Buehrle and Reyes AT ALL in the 2011-2012 off-season.

No pitbulls, no U.S. or Latin environment (outside of chillin' with JBats and EE) and no attractive year-round climate. And a perennial also-ran team.

Yeah, it would be nice to think that AA could've scored Buehrle and Reyes for draft picks as opposed to prospects and under-control players like Alvarez a year later, but it's a huge assumption to think he could've done so as the Jays haven't made a free agent splash since the Burnett/Ryan "glory days" of 2006. Beyond the above points in their favour, the Fish actually won a WS in the last decade.

Note: same goes for Dickey if he was on the open market post-Cy Young; he seems like a pretty enlightened guy, but he's from Nashville, not Newmarket, and probably wants to win before he retires.

I don't care about prospect porn as I am not a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays or Oakland Athletics and 20 years is long enough -- I want a championship.
jerjapan - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 05:11 PM EST (#268712) #

Another advantage of the internet is being able to prove people wrong pretty quickly at the tip of your fingertips.

@Wilnerness590 AA: We could not have done this deal without John Buck being included in this trade from a salary standpoint

This assumes that you take AA at face value and further assume he doesn't change his mind or that other front office variables are immutable.  After hearing that Jeff Mathis was going to shelve the entire Marlins deal, or that part of the advantage in acquiring Brandon Lyon was that we would have a window to negotiate a deal with the guy and then watching him sign for a pretty minimal contract with the Mets, I do not take all AA comments at face value. 

A solitary tweet seems insufficient to me to 'prove people wrong'. 


92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 05:12 PM EST (#268713) #

No logic issue, as getting A/B for d'Arnaud would not have got Dickey for the Jays

Yes, it would have, unless you believe NYM wanted A/B for Dickey from Team X but wouldn't accept that same package from the Blue Jays.

92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 05:20 PM EST (#268714) #

92-93, please explain your rationale that the Jays would've been able to sign Buehrle and Reyes AT ALL in the 2011-2012 off-season.

Simple. Players follow the money, unless we're certain otherwise, and I haven't seen any reports suggesting either of those players turned down better offers.

it's a huge assumption to think he could've done so as the Jays haven't made a free agent splash since the Burnett/Ryan "glory days" of 2006.

I'll add Frank Thomas to the mix. It seems when the Jays are willing to beat the market for a FA he comes here.

Note: same goes for Dickey if he was on the open market post-Cy Young; he seems like a pretty enlightened guy, but he's from Nashville, not Newmarket, and probably wants to win before he retires.

That's why you trade for him, as you did this offseason.

 

 

92-93 - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 05:28 PM EST (#268715) #

jerjapan, we must have wildly different interpretations of the word "scintilla", because for me Wilner's quote is a scintilla of information on the direction AA has in respect to the payroll. I wasn't looking for concrete proof that everything AA has told the media regarding the payroll is the absolute truth; I was defending myself from an attack that what I was saying was baseless. Speculate all you want on the intentions of AA saying he's tapped out, but don't pretend it didn't happen on numerous occasions please.

jjdynomite - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 05:47 PM EST (#268716) #
"Follow the money" is a fair response, 92-93, but one could then argue that the Jays' management in the 2011-2012 off-season were in wait-and-see mode (see: shallow-as-a-kiddie-pool starting rotation), but then with EE's explosion in 2012, coupled with the rotation's implosion, amplified by Joey Bats' disgruntled "win now" comments -- and both sluggers are now on the far side of 30 -- may well have expedited the 2012-2013 off-season moves vis-a-vis the Rogers overlords, wouldn't you agree?

Man, that was a run-on sentence, apologies in advance, Dewey.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 06:51 PM EST (#268717) #
When AA speaks I try to look beyond what he says. I do not want him to tell everything, I want him to be crafty. And I think he is.

I think Ken Williams is the master of being crafty. I wonder what he got for David Wells?
Dewey - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 07:12 PM EST (#268718) #
Porn tends to overheat the imagination and play havoc with testosterone levels -- even prospect porn.  So several of our members have recently been led to throw aside all decency, decorum, and restraint and set about abusing the language most frightfully.  A shame, really.  They seek to prove the unprovable;  to assert their rightness in matters where such does not exist.  Some even seek to predict the future!  Otherwise sclerotic veins are tested to the limits by these hormonal insurgencies.   (Even bpoz said,  “I am all for having an "argument" about the team at this point.”  Our bpoz said that!)  This is what comes, you see,  of taking-it-all-too-seriously.  We should heed MyLegacy’s granny, bless her soul.

But, yes, greenfrog, I fear that loading cannon with vitriol is a sorry mess indeed.  You know better.  And poor ol’ Beyonder got his inertia and his momentum exactly twisted earlier.  Another mess.  At least jjdynomite had the grace to admit the folly of his unfortunate run-on sentence.  Remember MyLegacy’s granny, boys.  And remember we bauxites have a reputation to defend.
CeeBee - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 07:20 PM EST (#268719) #
Dewey, that post alone is worth the effort to come to this site 20 or more times a day. English was not my favorite subject and grammar less so but I really do enjoy reading and hopefully learning from the most eloquent posters on this sight.
TJ Caino - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 07:56 PM EST (#268720) #
'attracted a new generation of hipster fans'

And then risked loosing this hipster fan base by letting the team get popular again.
Beyonder - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 09:47 PM EST (#268721) #
Inertia.

The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 10:03 PM EST (#268722) #
92-93: Ah, my mistake, I thought you said A/B was rejected for Dickey by the Mets - re read and see the difference.  However, in the end did AA know that A/B would get Dickey and that team X would take d'Arnaud for A/B?  Probably not.  There is a limit to how much the Jays knew and when and odds are the Mets would not have told the Jays they'd take A/B for Dickey.  In the end it is a tough argument - could AA have got Dickey for less by mixing a third team in?  Maybe.  But given the Mets won't trade d'Arnaud for A/B odds are they just negotiated better with the Jays than with Team X.  These things happen. 
TamRa - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 12:34 AM EST (#268723) #
At long last I've learned, by virtue of hard experience and witnessing abject failure on the part of other armchair experts, not to EVER say "this deal was a huge mistake" or anything of the sort (or that it was a huge win).

Thing is, we just don't know jack.

Case in point, the aforementioned Aaron Hill trade. I loved Hill, and took a ton of grief for my faith that someday he would be a good hitter again. in the year before he wastraded the idea of replacing him with Kelly Johnson was oft forwarded and oft expounded upon in exquisite detail Even I could see and had to admit that on paper, thenumbers suggested the probability of an upgrade and that my faith in Hill was just that - faith, not reason.

So, Hill was dealt for Johnson, virtually all of Batters Box rejoiced and their was revelry in the streets.

Just one problem...


SoI'll not be offering up a long exposition about how I'm smarter than Alex, or anyone else, nor holding forth on how I KNOW he did good or he screwed up.

'Cause I don't. Know, that is.

What i DO know is that it makes me happy to have the respect of the league  and to be considered by the unbiased to be a legitimate contender. For now, I'm just gonna roll with THAT.



whiterasta80 - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 09:27 AM EST (#268726) #
TamRa,

Your faith in Hill reminds me alot of my faith in JPA. I still think that he has the better career vs. D'Arnaud. Although it is based on the fact that I think JPA has another gear.

I was wrong about Hill though. After his first season I never saw the potential. He was starting to remind me of Eric Hinske-"who shall not be named" when we dealt him and I was quite confident that KJ would outperform him.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 09:43 AM EST (#268727) #
Dear Brett,

Lay off the Red Bull, willya? It's freaking spring training. 

Mike

John Northey - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 10:16 AM EST (#268728) #
Lawrie on Red Bull is like putting a rocket engine on a Lamborghini - you are just asking for trouble.  The Jays should hire a person to just follow him around and prevent him from drinking any energy drinks whatsoever - heck even ban coffee and sugar coated foods too.
92-93 - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 10:27 AM EST (#268729) #
"However, in the end did AA know that A/B would get Dickey and that team X would take d'Arnaud for A/B? Probably not."

It's hard for me to assume Team X called the Mets and offered A/B for d'Arnaud but didn't make that same offer to the Jays.
Chuck - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 10:38 AM EST (#268730) #

I loved Hill, and took a ton of grief for my faith that someday he would be a good hitter again.

I'm not sure you're entitled to an I told you so, even under the guise of the contrary, if you are consistently optimistic about every single Blue Jay, be he a major leaguer or minor leaguer. Just by the law of averages, sometimes that optimism will prove to have been warranted.

bpoz - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 10:40 AM EST (#268731) #
Here is my version of the Hill trade. Both principals were under performing, with their old clubs.
The D'backs made the playoffs and the trade helped them IMO.

What we got was a potential FA that could have become a draft pick. It seemed to me that AA was hoping for the pick. I am not sure if it was the media or AA who said that he was trying and reasonably close to trading for a second baseman. Probably the media. But speculation is that when KJ accepted arb the trades were not pursued. I think AA made a well calculated gamble.
If that is reasonably correct, could AA have declined the 2 options of Hill and then offered Arb in hopes of a draft pick?
92-93 - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 10:53 AM EST (#268732) #
If you didn't want Hill at 8m I don't think you could've risked having him accept arbitration for a raise on his 5m salary. Had he not been traded to Arizona it's a virtual guarantee he accepts that offer, considering he finished up 2011 hitting .315/.386/.492 in Arizona and still only got 2/11m.

I don't remember anybody here or in the media being skeptical of the Hill trade, and nobody was clamouring for him as a FA either. I'm happy for Aaron that everything is working out in Arizona but it was pretty clear his time in Toronto was done and that it was best for both parties to move on.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 11:29 AM EST (#268733) #
The Hill-Johnson trade and its aftermath was (hopefully) a learning experience for Anthopoulos.  It was an odd challenge trade with "potential" salary/compensatory pick implications. 

I still think that both Hill and Johnson are average or better players.  It does seem to me that Arizona handled the post-trade GM/manager/player relationship better than Toronto did, and this influenced the outcome of the trade. 

jgadfly - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 11:37 AM EST (#268734) #
Good on Aaron Hill ... Has anybody read what , if anything, that Hill is now doing differently than when he was in Toronto ?  Perhaps his answer could be relayed to Adam Lind or even Travis Snider .  Hill's turnaround, after two beyond dismal seasons, is an anomally that gives credence to the 'change of scenery' rational of baseball wisdom. Hill's experiences, including his concussed episode, will hold him in good stead if he ever decides to apply for a coaching position. Speaking of which, how is John McDonald doing ? 
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 12:14 PM EST (#268735) #
Lind's situation is very different from Hill's.  Hill had two poor seasons, but BABIP issues played a large role.  Hill has average speed, will hit a line drive and for medium range pop.  He is unlikely to hit as he did in 2012 again, but he doesn't have to in order to be a good player.  His career line of .272/.327/.432 for an average fielding second baseman is plenty.  Lind's career line is .265/.316/.460, and I think he can replicate that if mostly healthy, but that's a platoon player for a DH.  His issue is that he is slower than molasses and his plate discipline is only so-so.  I do feel that he might have developed differently had it not been for the back injury.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 12:36 PM EST (#268736) #
I find it odd that the Jays are planning to use spring training to "find out" whether Lind is playable against LHP. First, it seems to me that we know the answer to that question (large sample size). Second, spring training performance seems unlikely to provide any useful additional information on this issue. Third, resting Lind against LHP seems like the minimum the team should be doing to keep him healthy and productive when he does play (i.e., against RHP).

Of course, the team may already have something like this in mind, and is politely declining to reveal its plans to the media.
John Northey - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 12:48 PM EST (#268737) #
I figure they already know they will platoon Lind and are just wanting one of the RH hitters to break out and 'force' the issue - either Davis or Bonifacio (OK a switch hitter but still...) or even DeRosa.  Either Lind keeps having issues (no duh) or Davis or Bonifacio has a good spring thus giving the argument for them.  If both Davis & Bonifacio have poor springs though then there is no backtracking needed (neither is likely to hit _that_ well).  Also there is a risk of needing a Davis/Rasmus mix in CF to wake Rasmus up after a couple of poor seasons leaving just Bonifacio and DeRosa neither of whom is exactly a terror for LHP.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 01:17 PM EST (#268738) #
Speaking of the earlier discussion about why the Jays decided to finally spend some money and go "all in", here's Rosenthal

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/rosenthal_new_cba_forced_teams_to_improve/

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 02:25 PM EST (#268739) #
I still think that both Hill and Johnson are average or better players. It does seem to me that Arizona handled the post-trade GM/manager/player relationship better than Toronto did, and this influenced the outcome of the trade.

To the extent there was a 'challenge pick' component to the trade, Anthopoulos won it hands down. At the time of the trade, both were 'B' free agents and the question was which would get the higher ranking and thus pick. Moreover, Hill would have to be offered arbitration once his option was declined, and would be virtually certain to accept. There was no such certainty that Johnson would accept.

As it ended up, Johnson shot himself in the foot and hurt the team when he chose arbitration. Had he not he was a Type A free agent who would have brought two picks.

I would suggest, as was commonly viewed at the time, that the trade was about draft picks, not about who would have the better year at the plate in 2012. It was part of a strategy of building a farm system virtually from scratch, in order to trade for star-level major league players who are otherwise reluctant to play in Canada. I guess anyone who predicted at the time of the trade that Johnson would accept arbitration, tank the following year, and with the then-unknown change in the CBA not return a draft pick at all, is well placed to criticize Anthopoulos for not having predicted all of that as well.

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 02:35 PM EST (#268740) #
In the end it is a tough argument - could AA have got Dickey for less by mixing a third team in?

Criticizing a GM for making a two-team trade is not far off criticizing Anthopoulos and Rogers because Thursday follows Wednesday. If one does nothing more than throw criticisms at a wall of Rogers and the FO for not having made every bad free agent signing possible, from Carl Crawford to Roy Oswalt, and for having made a two-team deal for a reigning Cy Young winner instead of an imaginary three-team deal, the criticism eventually appears to be nothing more than criticism for its own sake.
Ryan Day - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 02:37 PM EST (#268741) #
As it ended up, Johnson shot himself in the foot and hurt the team when he chose arbitration. Had he not he was a Type A free agent who would have brought two picks.

He only would have brought two picks if another team thought he was worth giving up their first or second round pick. That wasn't likely to happen with a guy who'd hit around .225 in two of the past three years. And no one was going to pay him $5 million. (Tampa signed him for a much more reasonable $2.45 million this year)

It would have been better for both Johnson and the Jays if he'd only been a Type B.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 02:38 PM EST (#268742) #
That's not what I was suggesting.  It was predictable that Johnson would accept arbitration.  It was not advisable for Anthopoulos to promise/threaten that he might see time in left-field at the time Johnson was making the decision whether to accept arbitration .  It was also not advisable for Farrell to continue to play Johnson when his abilities were obviously hampered by the injury in May (and Anthopoulos ought to have had a chat with Farrell about it- perhaps he did- and also supplied a better backup middle infielder option than Hechevarria/Vizquel if necessary). 

I am hoping that Anthopoulos learned a thing or two from the experience.  I would not interpret the outcome of the trade as an indictment of his judgment.  He might have thought that he had more influence than he did in Johnson's decision whether to accept arbitration, and if so, he will have learned something from what happened. 

Ryan Day - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 03:43 PM EST (#268744) #
It looks like Anthopoulos took note of the dire bench situation in 2012. Izturis can play all over the infield, so you can give Reyes or Lawrie a day off; Bonifacio can play infield and outfield; Melky can slide over to centre if Rasmus needs time off; Davis goes back to his ideal role as a 4th outfielder and pinch runner. In theory, the team has a lot more workable configurations than it has in the past.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 05:09 PM EST (#268745) #
I agree.  My comment was in response to CBDC.
92-93 - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 05:22 PM EST (#268746) #
And here I thought I've been distinctly criticizing Rogers all this time, not AA. I've even pointed that out on numerous occasions, but you still can't comprehend that there's a difference between railing on Rogers and the front office. When the majority of your posts on this site are nothing more than criticisms of me, the criticism eventually appears to be nothing more than criticism for its own sake. Try contributing to the conversation once in awhile, you may find you actually enjoy it.

I don't blame AA for parting with more value for Dickey, because whether or not Syndergaard/Becerra had to be added to the trade or not it was still a deal the team in its current position needed to make. However, it's still important to note that the Jays didn't add any payroll in the deal, and because they sent Buck, mostly a sunk cost, to the Mets they likely needed to compensate NY for the negative value they were taking on. And that's exactly what bothers me - do you think the Yankees would part with extra prospects so they wouldn't have to pay a player? I certainly don't.
92-93 - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 05:28 PM EST (#268747) #
"I find it odd that the Jays are planning to use spring training to "find out" whether Lind is playable against LHP."

I think they're saying all the right things about Lind, and I have complete faith in Gibbons being able to manipulate the roster to extract as much offense from DH as possible. It's not like the drills Lind will be going through are severely affected by whether or not he expects to be facing lefties, so there's little harm in letting him believe that if he shows them enough that they think he can handle it he'll get some shots vs. LHP.

Besides, they'll be 5-0 when they face their first LHP in Lester anyway, right?
john boccabella - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 07:07 PM EST (#268748) #
He only would have brought two picks if another team thought he was worth giving up their first or second round pick.

actually Johnson was on list of exception, which would NOT have cost the signing team, so Jays get 2 picks, nobody loses one. 
btfsplk325 - Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 10:12 PM EST (#268749) #
As a casual (i.e., not very knowledgeable) observer, the Blue Jays 2013 inter-league schedule looks on paper be very fair, maybe even favourable, compared to past years. As just one example, 7 games against the Astros! Furthermore, I would think that the new roster is more suited to the National League style of play than the Jays teams of the past which hopefully will add up to more wins at the end of the season.
dan gordon - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 12:11 AM EST (#268750) #

The Astros are not an interleague team any more.  They are now in the AL West Division.

Rogers released their 4th quarter earnings report today.  There was a paragraph about the Blue Jays that is somewhat interesting:

The Toronto Blue Jays made several off-season all-star calibre player acquisitions and a series of other moves which provide the team with significantly enhanced depth. The 2012 season demonstrated a renewed appetite for baseball in the City of Toronto, which was apparent in the growth of ticket and merchandise sales, as well as audience viewing. The growing revenue enabled these additional investments which are consistent with Rogers Media's sports-focused strategy to significantly improve game attendance, merchandising and Sportsnet ratings.

Rogers' earnings per share increased to $3.28 for the year and they raised their dividend by 10%.

 

btfsplk325 - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 09:53 AM EST (#268751) #
dan gordon wrote "The Astros are not an interleague team any more. They are now in the AL West Division."

Correction noted. Thank you.
Ryan Day - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 10:10 AM EST (#268752) #
I had forgotten that point about Johnson.

Still, he was a decently-paid player coming off a lousy season. There was always a good chance he'd accept arbitration.
John Northey - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 10:54 AM EST (#268753) #
An interesting note, Baseball Prospectus has its first Playoff Odds report out and I doubt anyone here will like it.  Jays are listed as most likely to finish in 4th place with 83 wins (82.7 to be exact) behind, in order, the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox.  They are given a 1 in 3 shot at making the playoffs and just 2.4% shot at winning the World Series.

Talk about a wet blanket.  The good news is they just have the Yankees at 88 wins, so just a spread of 5 games from #1 to #4 in the division.  The Orioles are projected to collapse down to 75 (74.8) wins. 

In the 'why bother' category you have 0.0% shot at winning it all for the Twins, Astros and Marlins - IE: each has less than a 1 in 1000 shot at winning it all.  Over 10% odds of a title goes to the Tigers, Dodgers, and Reds.
Jonny German - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 11:18 AM EST (#268754) #
82.7 wins? That's just laughable. Betvega.com has the over/under at 86.5.

For interest sake, higher than the Jays:
Cincinnati 88.5
Detroit 90
LAA 89.5
LAD 90
NYY 86.5
Texas 87
Washington 90
bpoz - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 11:30 AM EST (#268755) #
Thanks John N.
I am not impressed by their win totals. Any team with 89.1-89.9 wins I count as 90 wins. I cannot believe they only picked 2 teams to win 90 games, Detroit 89.9 & LAD 89.4. I have most likely misinterpreted what they are saying.

Also thanks Dan Gordon.
Regarding Profit: To put it simply or basics, which is probably not the real world.

Revenue - cost = Profit. If an owner likes the Profit number even if it is a loss because of legal , creative accounting, then there is a good chance the finances will continue, maybe.
I guess the fans paid up enough, thereby allowing Beeston to spend more.
I guess that they are gambling that a larger quantity of fans will spend more in attendance, concessions & Jays stuff. That is sound thinking IMO.

I hope they do not gamble and mess a simple formula.
1) Do not mess around with raising or lowering prices.
2) Do not do package deals. Eg buy a T shirt & Hot dog and get a free something.

Mike Green - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 11:49 AM EST (#268756) #
FWIW, Bodog has the Jays as the favourite for the AL pennant. 

83 is a weird number.  I see Toronto, Tampa and the Yankees as all around 90 wins, the Red Sox in the 80-85 range and the Os in the 75-80 range. 

Do other people agree that there has been a significant movement of major league talent from NL to AL this off-season and that the great young talent is found as much or more in the AL already?  I guess the fact that the Astros are now in the AL makes a significant difference. Here is the interleague record over the years. Last year, the AL went 142-110, and I would put the over/under on the AL this year at 140.  BP has the AL as a whole at +2; I'll definitely take the over on that...
Lylemcr - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 11:50 AM EST (#268757) #

I don't know why people question why we didn't sign Reyes and Beurle last year.  Probably because they didn't want to come here.  In the recent past, the ownership has shown no commitment to winning. 

Currently, I live in Seattle.  The Mariners have been linked to every free agent this year.  (Kind of like the Jays last year).  Everybody wants to go to a winner or a team commited to winning.  The Jays showed that this year and you might see them start being able to sign free agents again. 

bpoz - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 11:57 AM EST (#268758) #
I know that there are Bauxites that understand how and for what reason a Bookie calculates his odds.

To the best of my knowledge BP is not a gambling house. They are a magazine. If so they will not have to cover any losses or reap any profits.

I did see on TV that a LV gambling house have the Jays at 7-1 and their next best odds were 8-1 for 4 teams. SO WHAT!!! Well I don't know. They are probably trying to balance or manipulate the payout. What I just said means something but I cannot explain it because I do not exactly know what or how to properly explain the complexities of odds making & changing odds because there are too many bets on 1 team.


92-93 - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 01:23 PM EST (#268759) #
"I don't know why people question why we didn't sign Reyes and Beurle last year. Probably because they didn't want to come here."

Dewey probably loves the flow here.

It's important to separate Reyes and Buehrle when having this discussion. I don't think many people would have advocated giving Buehrle a bigger contract (or even the same one) than the one Miami gave him last season. The same can't be said for Reyes.
John Northey - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 01:46 PM EST (#268760) #
I think it is interesting to wonder why they rank the Jays so low.  I'd like to see what they see as the starting lineup, etc. 

Checking FanGraphs for a few projections of key players... wOBA 2012 then the 3 projection systems they have (Steamer, Bill James, Oliver). At the front you will see a + or - for the consensus vs 2012
+CA: JPA: 304-306-311-318
-1B: Encarnacion: 396 - 361 - 364 - 371
+2B: Izturis: 287-304-306-310 (Johnson 299)
+3B: Lawrie: 319-332-348-347
+SS: Reyes: 335-342-339-348 (Escobar 284)
-LF: Cabrera: 387-334-338-347 (Davis 299)
+CF: Rasmus: 297-326-317-327
+RF: Bautista: 378 - 393-387-396
+DH: Lind: 316-332-340-325

So for the lineup just 2 guys are projected to be worse in 2013 than 2012, Encarnacion and Cabrera who both had career years last year.  Everyone else is expected to do better by 3 different systems.  Checking the 3 positions that changed players LF, 2B and SS we should see more production in 2013 than 2012 as well.  So basically only at 1B should it be worse off in 2013 (or however you want to assign Encarnacion's time). 

Pitchers for the rotation (bullpen is too much of a crapshoot).  ERA and same tools as hitters.
-Dickey: 2.73-3.99-3.58-3.49
-Morrow: 2.96-3.98-3.47-3.80
-Buehrle: 3.74-4.75-3.78-3.91
+Johnson: 3.81-4.11-3.21-3.34 (mixed)
+Romero: 5.14-4.50-4.43-3.91

Here is the issue.  3 of the 5 are expected to drop, 1 improve, and one is mixed (more + than -).  The rotation will be better than this year (Alvarez 4.85, Villanueva 4.16, and Laffey 4.56 covered 2 of the 3 replaced slots in the rotation, Drabek 4.67,Hutchison 4.60, Cecil 5.72 cover another slot with others being fairly ugly as well).  The worst projection is one of Buehrle's at 4.75, then a 4.11 for Johnson - Johnson's worst case is better than any of the guys they are replacing, while Buehrle's worst is better than 2 of the 6 and in eyeshot of 3 others.  If you go by an average of the 3 measurements then Buehrle's average is 4.15 which beats all of the guys they are replacing (barely over Villanueva). 

Thus the rotation, without a doubt, will be better than last years but the pitchers won't be as good as they were last year thus that could be dragging down projections.  If Dickey & Morrow stay under 3 for ERA  then a 90+ win season should occur.  If they are closer to 4 though then we better watch out for BP's prediction.

Mike Green - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 02:11 PM EST (#268761) #
Last year, there were 3 teams whose starters did noticeably better than an ERA of 4- the Rays at 3.34, the Tigers at 3.76 and the A's at 3.80.    The projected starter ERAs of course include regression, and it is important to look at not only the newcomers but also Romero in this regard.  The projection of a team starter ERA of 4 with this offence and a decent bullpen would be suggestive of about 90 wins.  ZIPS has it (by the way) at Dickey 3.89, Johnson 3.68, Morrow 3.97, Romero 4.42, Buehrle 4.38.  Health is, as usual, a big item. 

For comparison sake, ZIPS has the Yankees' starters at 3.60 (Sabathia), 4.26 (Kuroda), 4.43 (Pineda), 4.08 (Pettitte), 4.73 (Hughes), and 4.85 (Nova), and  offensive wOBAs nowhere near as good as the Jays projections.  I guess that there's the Rivera factor, but one would have guessed that it would be fairly limited.  ZIPS projects him to throw 23 innings this year. 



Alex Obal - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 02:46 PM EST (#268763) #
ZIPS has it (by the way) at Dickey 3.89...

I will take the under on this and give you 3-1 odds. Almost every subjective factor I can think of runs in Dickey's favor. Dome, velocity trend, temperament, conditioning, doesn't throw breaking balls... Points against him are the perennially underrated AL/NL exchange rate and the fact that Willets Point suppresses BABIP, so in Toronto, Dickey's might take a few steps in the wrong direction.

Here's a big point in his favor I haven't seen mentioned here. He locks down the running game. Completely shuts it down. Dickey's stretch delivery is the most blatant sanctioned balk this side of Andy Pettitte. He often doesn't come to a complete stop, making it very difficult to get a jump off him. Even though he's a (1) righthanded (2) ace (3) throwing low-80s (4) playing half his games in a very low run environment, only seven steals were attempted against him last year. Seven! That, combined with his ability to add and subtract on the knuckler to induce groundballs, makes him among the best bets to lead the AL in GDPs this year. Not to mention LOB%.
Thomas - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 03:14 PM EST (#268767) #

It really doesn't mean much, but Buehrle is rare case where there is demonstrable evidence to suggest that he would at least consider taking a less financially lucrative contract because of off-the-field considerations (namely, his pitbulls). I'm not convinced that if the Jays had offered an extra $2 million over 4 years (i.e. $500,000 a season) that Buehrle would have viewed that as being worth spending four summers away from his children (or his dogs). Of course, Buehrle didn't negotiate a no trade clause to prevent being dealt to Toronto, but I think that was more a lack of foresight rather than a reflection of the prioritization of his canine and familial committments. In any case, it's all speculation, but I agree you have to assume athletes will take the biggest contract offer unless there is something more than pure speculation that they prioritize something else relatively highly.

92-93 - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 03:23 PM EST (#268768) #
Thanks for bringing that to our attention, Alex.

Why'd you point out that he's an "ace", though? Do "aces" typically face a higher # of attempted steals?
Alex Obal - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 03:31 PM EST (#268769) #
Run environment. All else being equal, you value the steal of second more when you're facing Kershaw or Verlander than when you're facing Hochevar or Suppan. (I think?)

On an unrelated note, the undisputed champ of SB prevention is Johnny Cueto, against whom basestealers are 2/15 over the past two years.

John Northey - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 03:33 PM EST (#268770) #
Y'know, logically aces should face more steals just due to the fact their games will be lower scoring (due to the 'ace' abilities) thus one run strategies such as stolen bases and sac bunts become more useful.  If a game is likely to end 1-0 then every base gained is vital.  If it is more likely to be 15-14 then you focus on the big plays. 
Mike Green - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 04:23 PM EST (#268771) #
Alex, I was going to say that I would take the under on Dickey but I was trying to keep it on an objective plane.  It's hard as hell to project him objectively, and really you have to spend a lot of time with the career paths of knuckleballers.  There just isn't a big enough sample. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 15 2013 @ 08:26 PM EST (#268774) #

AA has always said that he won't rush or artificially announce a timetable for the Jays to contend, that the team will let him know by its play when to go all-in...

In 2012: 1) In spite of an badly underachieving Bullpen, this Team was in contention until late July (51-51, 30 July '12).

               2) In spite of a selective Offense for most the season, this Team was in contention until late July.

               3) In spite of losing three Starting Pitchers and a struggling Romero, this Team was in contention until late July.

I could go on.  But I think everyone can figure out why this was the time...

TamRa - Saturday, February 16 2013 @ 05:55 AM EST (#268776) #
I'm not sure you're entitled to an I told you so, even under the guise of the contrary, if you are consistently optimistic about every single Blue Jay, be he a major leaguer or minor leaguer. Just by the law of averages, sometimes that optimism will prove to have been warranted.

Perhaps. but since I'm NOT then that point isn't relevant.

Case in point, currently: I'd be STUNNED if Moises Sierra is ever an even competent major league hitter.
Jdog - Saturday, February 16 2013 @ 09:18 AM EST (#268777) #
You are optimistic that Sierra will one day be a lights out closer after a successful transition to the mound. Admit it.
bpoz - Saturday, February 16 2013 @ 11:37 AM EST (#268779) #
I agree with you Richard SS. I can add some reasons to your list.
1) July 15, 45-44 and 1.5GB of Baltimore.
2) The offense was scoring a lot of runs and may even have had the highest runs scored in the league, at that time. Some time in August Bautista got injured. That was obviously a massive blow to the offense IMO. That probably KILLED the offense. But IMO the brain took a few days to realize this, as the team continued to score runs at a torrid pace. By coincidence that realization happened at the same time that Rasmus & JPA went down. But that probably did not matter. Only EE was left standing.
3)The pitching was hurt by injuries. C Villanueva IMO did quite well as a starter, 16 starts. This is Cherry Picking IMO, he won maybe 2 low scoring games and lost some games in which the opponent hammered him and the Offense could not bail him out, 12-0,12-1 & 12-2.
B Morrow had an overall good year when he was healthy. 10-7, 21 starts, 2.96 Era. But he got hammered in 6 games and lost them all. He lost the Washington game as well 0 IP 1 ER. Then DL'd. He was good in 3 of his 4 No Decisions.
K Drabek had a decent April, I do not know if you want to call it great because of 30IP, 23H, 15BB , 26 SO & Era 2.40. Sure we will take it but 15 BB is OK (?) but not good. The next/final 8 starts the BBs were very bad just like 2011. Maybe he could have turned it around.

Basically the pitching injuries killed us. Actually the pitching could not have been good enough. McGowan & Litsch #4 &5, under performing Romero & rookie Alvarez, I was not realistic to expect great injury comebacks & great results from kids. But Oakland did get that somehow. It took 93 wins to get a WC in 2012.

But with the trades the Rotation has been addressed. The depth is weak this year, but in 2014 the depth should be better with Hutch & Drabek returning.
John Northey - Saturday, February 16 2013 @ 12:59 PM EST (#268781) #
2013 will be fun, and 2014 will be interesting thanks to Hutch and Drabek returning, kids in the minors this year being that much closer, and Johnson probably gone thus adding a slot in the rotation. 

If 2013 goes well and the Jays make the playoffs then the next winter will be interesting due to wanting to win it all and trying to improve wherever possible but having budget issues as the team will be pushing it if they try to keep Johnson unless fans start selling out every game come September.  If 2013 goes poorly then will we see a Marlins type selloff of a few guys (AA trying to trade Buehrle, letting Johnson go, seeing if there is a taker for Reyes)?  I would hope not, but an obvious risk.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 16 2013 @ 08:05 PM EST (#268782) #

It was surprising this Team stayed in contention as long as they did with everything that occurred.   The Houston trade, the Seattle trade and the Pittsburgh trade moved out some of the "deadwood" that wasn't doing the Team any good and cleared some space in the minors.   We have J.A. Happ (long sought after), who has shown he can pitch for us, as vital #6 Starter.  David Carpenter disappointed and via A.A. magic became Esmil Rogers, power-arm Reliever (out of options).   I was surprised Brandon Lyon wasn`t retained, but I suspect price was a consideration.   Steve Delabar is a huge surprise - under contract thru 2017 - possibly our new closer.   Brad Lincoln is a average-ish Starter who`s a much better Reliever.   He`s #7 Starter untill he`s needed in the Bullpen.

Drabek (if he recovers from his 2nd TJ) is likely, in 2014, to be a back-of-the-rotation Starter or Reliever.   Hutchison looked like he was "getting it".   He might be an effective Starter, but should start 2014 in AAA.   Villanueva could really pitch, but lacked stamina.  Had trouble somewhere after 5.0 IP and 150 IP, and sometimes wasn`t there for a start.   McGowan is this Team`s "not making the Carpenter mistake again", which might end this year.  

R.A. Dickey was a must-have acquisition (so we don`t have to play against him) who is better than people might think.   I`m happy he`s with us long term, because he makes this rotation tougher to face.   The Miami trade was a rare and amazing windfall (a time-and-place occurrance) that changed the Baseball World.  With all A.A.`s moves he`s hugely upgraded his Rotation, the Lineup, the Bench, the Bullpen and done a good job an the Depth issues.   It`s possibly A.A. retains Josh Johnson beyond this year, as indications are J.J. is very happy with this Team and City.

It`s hard to say much more.   Attendance in Games 2 and 3 are more important than Opening Day as they set the tone for the rest of the season.  The Schedule has Toronto at home, to start the season, for 6 Games (3 vs Cle., 3 vs Bos.) - that is where the Legend begins and attendance shows the way.   27 Games in April, anything less than 15-12 is not acceptable. 

Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 12:36 AM EST (#268783) #

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/02/blue-jays-interested-in-munenori-kawasaki.html

Wow!   No end to it.   Can`t we do better - guess not.

John Northey - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 12:51 AM EST (#268784) #
Curious... from the age of 26 to 30 in Japan he hit 295/344/377 with 30+ SB each of his last 3 years there.  Interesting that he signed with Oakland but was benched early on - in fact appears to have been a backup from day one there.  Odd to sign a guy from Japan to be a backup who is there all year and gets only 115 PA.  His longest time off was around 11 days it seems so no DL time.  Who in the world would expect success from a guy new to NA who is allowed to play that little?  Don't see why they didn't send him to AAA for awhile to get in gear.  It isn't like Seattle was exactly fighting for a playoff spot or anything.  His limited playing time makes all stats subject to serious question marks - his UZR/150 for 2B was extremely good (32.4) and decent at SS (4.6).  Very odd that he only had 4 stolen base attempts (2 made, 2 caught) as well.

He seems like a John McDonald type with an even weaker bat.  His Japanese stats suggest speed but his ML stats suggest not.  DeRosa is who he'd be fighting with for a spot on the team I'd assume, and DeRosa's 52 OPS+ and fact he is entering his age 38 season (vs Kawasaki's age 32 season) suggests a battle is coming for them but both could easily be replaced.  Of course, the Jays could go with 11 pitchers and be able to have both but I don't see any point to that.  If he is signed for AAA then he is a decent backup for the ML backups (ie: if DeRosa or another infielder is hurt he can come up and fill in as a backup) and that is what I'm hoping is the case.
John Northey - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 10:53 AM EST (#268785) #
Gibbons wants Lind to face all comers - via National Post - but it seems Mottola did a lot of work with Lind last year in the minors and in September and that is when Lind hit 301/341/447 788 OPS 111 OPS+ (same as Cooper but better OBP lower Slg) which is a drastic improvement.  If he can push that up another 60-70 OPS points then we have something (120+ OPS+).  The question is can he?  The article also talks a lot about Rasmus and how he got lost due to working too hard - he was living in the batting cage all day then come game time was tired.  Not too swift and very similar to what happened to Lind when he had a great 1st half a few years ago and flopped after (worked too hard on fielding was his issue).   

According to Lind Farrell was giving hitting advise that contradicted Murphy's - Farrell was preaching patience while Murphy was preaching aggressiveness.  Lind tried to satisfy Farrell more as he was the one who decided if Lind got to play or not.  Not a good situation to have a manager contradict his hitting coach.  I like how it seems to read, that Mottola is going to be the overall hitting coach but Murphy will keep on with the guys who work well with him (Encarnacion/Bautista I'd think).  Seems Mottola follows the Cito approach as a hitting coach - every hitter is unique and needs to be treated as such, no common stances or rules.  Gaston started to shift as a manager, pushing guys to always try for power it seemed most famously with Olerud, although Olerud years later said that Gaston was right and that was how he had his most successful years was trying to pull more often. 

In the end it looks like we have a much improved staff and team here.
Mike Green - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 11:29 AM EST (#268786) #
Don't buy it.  If Lind's back is OK, he'll probably hit well enough against LHP.  If his back is not 100%, he ought to be facing RHPs only.   It's not a good sign if the team repeats the same mistakes. 
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 12:52 PM EST (#268787) #

What is "all-in"?   A.A. starts the 2012 Offseason needing two Starters, a Hitter, Bullpen and Bench upgrades.  Guess what?

The best Free Agents, this offseason, were Zach Greinke (6 years, $147.0 MM) and Josh Hamilton (5 years, $125.0 MM) with Anibal Sanchez (5 years, $80.0 MM), B.J.Upton (5 years, $75.25 MM) and Michael Bourn (4 years, $48.0 MM) being another level down.  Another level or two or more down are Nick Swisher (4 years, $56.0 MM), Edwin Jackson (4 years, $52.0 MM) and Shane Victorino (3 years, $39.0), Angel Pagan (4 years, $40.0 MM).   A.A. was going "hard " after two of these Free Agents.   These were A.A.'s words (around about the Miami Trade time), not mine.   He'd already acquired Esmil Rogers, Maicer Izturis, Jeremy Jeffress and about $4.0 MM in salary.

The Miami Trade nets an Ace, workhorse LHP, all-star Shortstop, super-utility stud, Catcher (who'd done well here) and $8.5 MM cash.   Chances are good A.A. had already gotten approval to go to $100.0 MM - $105.0 MM (+/- $5.0) MM level.  (Work it out).   What he actually did took it to the $120.0 MM - $125.0 MM level.  Using the Cash (48.5 MM) and John Buck (46.0 MM salary) A.A.acquires reigning Cy Young winning Ace, middle-of-lineup MVP Outfielder, 3 Catchers (all of whom can catch the Knuckleball) and a utility player for just a $0.25 MM salary increase.

There are still issues not yet dealt with.  Is Colby Rasmus (can't hit for average, etc.) the CF of the future, because I have doubts whether Gose could be better?   Is Adam Lind more than just a platoon player, or is he overpriced?   There are questions about Depth in position players who can hit.   Starting Depth is Happ, Lincoln, Jenkins, Germano, Bush to name a few.   Should we be better here?  Not everyone thinks so, but there are issues with the Bullpen and questins about depth.  Should we be better here?  Is Mark DeRosa the best we can do for 25th man?

We are in a three-year window (primetime for athletes) with Brandon Morrow (28,signed thru 2015 - option), Ricky Romero (28, thru 2016 - option), Edwin Encarnacion (30, thru 2016 - option) and Jose Bautista (32, thru 2016 - option.)   Noah Syndergaard, Jake Marisnick and Justin Nicolino were at least three years away and of no value, during this time, to the Team, outside of a trade.   Adeiny Hechavarria might be 2013 ready or needing another year, he just needs to hit!   Travis d'Arnaud might be a year or two away and may be really good.  Value for value, there's always a cost.  

A.A. basically spent $10.0 MM - $15.0MM (+/- $5.0 MM) more than he intially planned.   This offseason was being the first to the very rare right place at the very rare right time and nothing more.   All-in?  Maybe, but I have my doubts.

China fan - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 02:49 PM EST (#268788) #
"....A.A. was going "hard " after two of these Free Agents. These were A.A.'s words (around about the Miami Trade time), not mine...."

Please show us a direct quote from Anthopoulos that supports your claim.
greenfrog - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 03:58 PM EST (#268789) #
If Lind's back is OK, he'll probably hit well enough against LHP. If his back is not 100%, he ought to be facing RHPs only.

This is an interesting statement, presumably extrapolated from the following information:

1. Lind has spent time on the DL with back issues, and there have been reports about his having intermittent back issues in recent years

2. Lind's career line against LHP is 253/302/394

3. Lind's line against LHP in 2009 was 282/350/479, meaning that (i) he hit well against lefties that year (his career year), and (ii) he has hit really badly against them during the rest of his career

I guess I'm having trouble seeing how all this adds up to "If Lind's back is OK, he'll probably hit well enough against LHP" in 2013. Lind was horrible against LHP in 2010, 2011 and 2012 (he was also bad against them in 2007 and 2008) -- in short, in all of his seasons with the exception of his 18 games in 2006 -- even while continuing to hit RHP at a healthy clip during almost all of those seasons.

It sounds as though you're saying that when Lind is ailing somewhat, he can still hit RHP, but he needs to be fully healthy to hit LHP. I wonder what your basis for this conclusion is (if any).
greenfrog - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 04:15 PM EST (#268790) #
* I actually overstated Lind's career line against LHP: it's 220/264/343 (OPS 607).

By way of comparison, David Ortiz has hit 268/342/483 (OPS 824) against LHP in his career -- over 200 points of OPS better than Lind.

So, how much above Lind's career OPS against lefties does he need to hit to "hit well enough" against them? 100 points? 150 points? More? And how many PA will it take to convince you whether he should be in the lineup against them this year?
Nick Holmes - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 04:29 PM EST (#268791) #
http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2013/2/17/3998520/david-cooper-has-serious-back-injury-will-not-be-reporting-to-spring?

Gives Lind a bit more breathing room...
Alex Obal - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 04:47 PM EST (#268792) #
I was going to say that I would take the under on Dickey but I was trying to keep it on an objective plane.  It's hard as hell to project him objectively, and really you have to spend a lot of time with the career paths of knuckleballers.  There just isn't a big enough sample.

Yeah, I agree, and I guess some ERA number had to go there. For me it's hard to take any 'objective' Dickey projection other than '??????' seriously. It's an impossible task. To put it overly harshly, in this context, 'objective' means 'willfully ignorant.' As in, 'knowingly animated by a large sample of irrelevant comps (all 38-yo pitchers? players? dubious prior assumption that everybody that age craters?), or a small sample of bad comps (soft-tossing knuckleballers).' The value of big-picture projection systems lies in their actuarial heartlessness. That's both a strength and a weakness, in a proportion that varies depending on which player you're looking at. Sometimes there's just no meaningful mean worth regressing to.

For Dickey I don't think the knuckleballer career paths help much either (because nobody has ever exclusively thrown a high-70s knuckleball that goes into the mid-80s), except maybe in assessing his injury risk (same).
Nick Holmes - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 04:51 PM EST (#268793) #
On the topic of Dickey & small sample sizes: how many other pitchers were born without a UCL?
Alex Obal - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 04:52 PM EST (#268794) #
That too. No idea.
smcs - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 04:58 PM EST (#268795) #
.339 BABIP for Lind against lefties in 2009. In 2011, it was a .301 BABIP and he still OPS'd at .639. He cannot be relied upon to hit lefties, and should not be penciled into the lineup as the DH.

The way forward (as it was at the start of last year, as well), is a platoon of Lind DHing against righties and Rajai Davis in LF against lefties, with Melky switching from LF to DH. This is is so stupidly obvious that it's embarrassing they did not do this at the start of last year.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 05:39 PM EST (#268796) #

A.A. spoke many times on live interviews (Sportnet, CBC and other Networks) which were available on the web and usually linked on one or another of Batter's Box sites or other sites as they happened.   I know because I have done so.   But some people ignore them because .... or just lazy ... or no memory of last meal let alone ...

A.A. spoke with many reporters, which generate very many articles, which were available on the web and usually linked on one or another of Batter's Box sites or other sites as they happened. I know because I have done so. But some people ignore them because .... or just lazy.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/2013/01/17/alex_anthopoulos_pts_20130117/  or  http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/2012/08/14/alex_anthopoulos_pts/ or http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/11/20/alex_anthopoulos_marlins_trade_almost_never_happened/ or http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/2013/01/08/dickeyanthopoulos_newsconference/ or http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/12/04/anthopoulos_addresses_arencibia_rumours/ or do some of this work yourself.   Or you can check other Batter's Box posts, the information is there, just forgotten or ignored.

A.A. was going hard after two Free Agents - who I don't know.  I just listed some of the best as an example.

Mike Green - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 06:02 PM EST (#268797) #
I agree with smcs about Lind, and with Alex about Dickey.  I do think that the velocity on the knuckleball matters, but it is also a safe assumption that knuckleballers do not have average pitching career paths, regardless of how hard they throw.  My point was that there are subjective reasons to disagree with the projections for all the starters; in my original post, I was looking at the aggregate of the projections. 
greenfrog - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 06:23 PM EST (#268798) #
Given Lind's speed, defensive limitations, and slugging-heavy OPS, I don't think he's an ideal fit in the starting lineup of a team with championship aspirations, even as a platoon player. If healthy, he's tolerable against RHP (especially in the deeper 2013 lineup), but he's not much more than that. Of course, the Jays are dealing with financial constraints that necessitate keeping him in that role, at least for now.

Certainly he doesn't belong in the lineup against LHP, whether or not he's healthy.
China fan - Sunday, February 17 2013 @ 07:05 PM EST (#268799) #
Sorry, Richard S.S., you're still not providing any evidence to support your claim. Anthopoulos never said "I'm going hard after two free agents." None of your links has any proof of it. And if there is proof, please provide it -- don't just dump a bunch of random video links and accuse others of being lazy.

In fact, the evidence is just the opposite: Anthopoulos said repeatedly that he preferred to trade for players, rather than try to sign expensive free agents, because the trade market allows more control, more certainty, and better prices. He may have been interested in free agents -- he's interested in everything. Free agents might have been his back-up plan if he couldn't trade for whom he wanted. But he never said "I'm going hard after two free agents."
China fan - Monday, February 18 2013 @ 01:01 PM EST (#268800) #
Here, courtesy of the Toronto Sun via DJF, is the quote from Anthopoulos that Richard was perhaps referring to. It's a lot more nuanced than he suggested, and it explains quite rationally why AA was exploring all options (free agents and the trade market) before settling on the Marlins deal because it was faster and more certain, and it avoided the uncertainty of waiting until January to nail down a free-agent target.

“We had determined to go out and try to get a couple of free agents. Before the GM meetings, I went out and spent two days with a free agent and we were going to try to be aggressive to get somebody on the board early. But we had a very specific target, especially in the rotation, that had to be addressed. We got the sense from that meeting it was probably going to take a little time, maybe into December, maybe into January,” Anthopoulos explained. “As I’ve learned from past experience, you can never be certain about getting free agents. So we were going to zig and then we zagged.”
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 18 2013 @ 02:20 PM EST (#268802) #

Try here: http://www.battersbox.ca/users.php?mode=profile&uid=9081  or here: http://www.battersbox.ca/users.php?mode=profile&uid=4184 or here: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/blue-jays-2013-state-of-the-franchise/ .   I checked through available podcasts and couldn't find what I was looking for, as well as checking the posts on this site for last three months to no avail.   I heard A.A. say what he said and its was fairly recent, I just can't find it..   If you don't like what I say, don't read my posts, most people don't.

A.A. cleared with ownership a lot of money to go after his needs.   During the G.M. Meeting, he found out the price in trades for what he needed was astronomical, so he was going after two Free Agents, a hitter and a pitcher.   Then at some point he asked about Josh Johnson - oops. 

China fan - Monday, February 18 2013 @ 04:01 PM EST (#268803) #
"....If you don't like what I say, don't read my posts, most people don't."

But I prefer to be in the brave minority who sometimes read you!
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 18 2013 @ 04:41 PM EST (#268804) #

Thank you.

You do make more sense than some others.

Richard S.S. - Monday, February 18 2013 @ 08:48 PM EST (#268806) #
Since it's everywhere, what's up with Romero's wonky knees?   Why now?  They were a problem at the very end of last year!
ayjackson - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 12:30 AM EST (#268808) #
"But I prefer to be in the brave minority who sometimes read you!"

This was good for my evening chuckle.
TJ Caino - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 03:58 AM EST (#268809) #
Tendinitis in both knees strikes me as bad.
CeeBee - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 06:48 AM EST (#268810) #
At least it's his knees, not his elbows.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 03:19 PM EST (#268814) #
Can anyone with knowledge of tendinitis give us a tentative prognosis of recovery time?
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 05:03 PM EST (#268816) #
Um.  Doctors who examine a patient have a dreadful time with prognosis, but we here at Batters Box are able to estimate the recovery time of a patient with tendonitis of undisclosed severity without conducting an examination via the magic of the interwebs.  Al Gore would be ecstatic if he only knew how far his invention had progressed.
CeeBee - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 06:27 PM EST (#268817) #
I'll take that as a "day to day" then? :)
JB21 - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 07:26 PM EST (#268818) #
MY GOD ... try watching this without crying... of laughter. I failed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/w4SleSgaixs
Magpie - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 08:46 PM EST (#268819) #
In the specialized field of sports medicine, tendinitis means "it's sore, and we're not sure why." (It has a somewhat more precise meaning in other fields of medicine, which definitely don't apply here.)
hypobole - Tuesday, February 19 2013 @ 08:54 PM EST (#268820) #
According to Gibbons, Romero's knee issues may well be chronic.
Oceanbound - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 11:17 AM EST (#268822) #
I had a look at the Jays Picture Day shots, and boy, Henry Blanco looks more like a retired military dictator than an unretired major leaguer.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 12:46 PM EST (#268823) #
Thank you everyone.
Is Romero now relegated to being a back-of-the-rotation type Starter?
Jonny German - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 02:24 PM EST (#268824) #
Yes. It is abundantly clear today, even before the start of spring training games, that Ricky Romero has no upside beyond his 2012 performance. There will now be a competition between he and JA Happ and Brad Lincoln for the fifth starters job. There is a good chance Romero will be optioned to Buffalo.
jjdynomite - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 03:20 PM EST (#268825) #
Jonny, not that Romero gives a hoot about you, Richard SS or any other Blue Jays fan, as he exacerbated his tendinitis buffing his new white 250K Bentley.

/RickyRo24 out
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 03:48 PM EST (#268826) #
Thank you, Jonny.  I got a Microsoft warning, asking for an error message to be sent to the powers that be, when your post came up.  And I was running Mozilla Firefox at the time.  Evidently, Bill Gates and Al Gore are both on to the amazing diagnostic and predictive powers of the Box.  We are well and truly done for. 

Q: if a reliable starter is a horse, what happens when his knees are gone?

jjdynomite - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 05:17 PM EST (#268829) #
Although the content of which is familiar to most Bauxites, I enjoyed this article from ESPN the Magazine that just came out yesterday: WAR is the answer
jjdynomite - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 05:19 PM EST (#268830) #
Ho-kay, I'll just post the actual link instead of trying (and failing) to be fancy as it doesn't seem to be working for me. So you'll have to cut-n-paste:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8959581/why-wins-replacement-mlb-next-big-all-encompassing-stat-espn-magazine
China fan - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 07:42 PM EST (#268831) #
"....It is abundantly clear today, even before the start of spring training games, that Ricky Romero has no upside beyond his 2012 performance...."

Jonny, I'm confused by this statement. If I'm reading it correctly, you seem to be suggesting that Romero's ceiling, for the remainder of his career, is his 2012 performance, and he has zero chance of recovering to anything resembling his 2011 or 2010 numbers in the future. Is this what you're saying? If so, what are your reasons? Are you saying that his knee condition is a guarantee that he cannot do better than 2012 in the future, or are there other reasons for your prediction?
Thomas - Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 07:48 PM EST (#268832) #
China Fan, I think you misinterpreted the tone of Jonny's post.
China fan - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 03:36 AM EST (#268834) #
We need a sarcasm indicator for this site. But it still raises a question of what people's expectations are for Romero, who is probably the most unpredictable of the Jays starting pitchers at this point.
John Northey - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 06:27 AM EST (#268835) #
Romero is a tough one.  Last year ERA+ 74, 2011's 146.  Talk about a range of possibilities.  That's a range from Morrow to Brett Cecil (based on last years stats).  Or if you prefer, from David Cone's Jay days to Francisco Cordero's.  Ugh.

FYI: for those who want to put in links, copy a hyperlink from another site and paste it in here and it works without needing to use the link function (at least in Firefox).
Gerry - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 09:19 AM EST (#268836) #

From a Fangraphs interview with Don Baylor:

DB: Aaron Hill. He had come over from Toronto the year before. They had kind of given up on him. He had hit 30-something homers for the Blue Jays. The ball jumps off his bat for a little guy. You think you’re going to throw the ball by him, but you can’t.

[The adjustment was with] his hand position. Guys have to get their hands in the right spot. Once he found that right spot, he was off and running. It was just a little thing with him. His swing is easy to fix.

 

When I read this I thought why did the Jays not fix this?  The Kelly Johnson for Aaron Hill trade was one the Jays lost.  I am sure AA is asking why and perhaps Dwayne Murphy has received some of the blame for this.

When the new coaching staff for 2013 was announced the comments from the front office suggested there were going to be two hitting coaches.  However it appears that Chad Mottola is the hitting coach and Dwayne Murphy will help with specific players or in specific circumstances.  But in no way are there joint hitting coaches.

I wonder if Aaron Hill's improvement was a black spot for Murphy. 

greenfrog - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 11:40 AM EST (#268838) #
I wondered about this - some months ago Baylor called Hill a "model student," which made me think some adjustments were being made.

Mottola seems to say all the right things, but I want to see how the Jays' hitters perform going forward. I still remember that odd hands-only swing that Snider adopted a couple of years ago, apparently under Mottola's tutelage. For me, Lawrie is a big test, as he has a lot of potential and is still young enough to modify his approach if need be.
Lylemcr - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 11:42 AM EST (#268839) #

Hill is a blackspot for Murphy, but EE and Bautista are positives.  It maybe points to the fact that the Jays need to be inventive when it comes to batting coaches and being cut and dry could be restrictive.  Mottata could make interesting for Lind and JPA.  He has shown the ability to work with these guys in the past. 

I hate how people are raging on Romero.  He was a good pitcher for us a couple years and had a bad year.  Is Lester a bad pitcher?  Is Lincecum a bad pitcher?  I would take them both on my roster and I would take Romero.Right now, he is #5 if you use last years performance.  I also think when it comes to potential, he would be #4 (ahead of Beuhrle).  But, Morrow is so hot and cold and Johnson has always had injury issues. 

I think Romero was best when he was not the #1 and the load wasn't on him.  I think he put to much pressure on himself to carry the squad last year.(It was a very bad starting staff last year.)  I have high hopes for him this year.

greenfrog - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 11:52 AM EST (#268840) #
We know that EE is a positive for Luis Mercedes. We don't know whether he's a positive for Murphy.
Dave Till - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 01:22 PM EST (#268841) #
I fear that loading cannon with vitriol is a sorry mess indeed.

Anyone who attacks baseball orthodoxy is loading his canon with vitriol. But I digress.

I'm grateful that the Jays made all of these moves. Waiting for 2014 or 2016 or 2019 is a lot of waiting, and some of us aren't getting any younger. (Actually, all of us aren't getting any younger, but some of us are getting into the Somewhat Older or Really Older category.) Dusting off misty water-coloured memories of 1992 and 1993 is getting a little dull.

For a while there, I thought the Jays' Big Offseason Move would be to acquire Maicer Izturis and maybe a mid-level pitcher. This is much better. Bring on April, please.
Dave Till - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 01:27 PM EST (#268842) #

I wonder if Aaron Hill's improvement was a black spot for Murphy.

My belief is that most hitting coaches have a few tools in their toolbox, but can't fix everybody. And, even when a coach can fix a player, he can't necessarily fix the fix - he can't always figure out what to do when the pitchers adjust to the hitter's adjustment.

Cito Gaston was a classic example of this: his MO was to tell hitters to wait for a pitch to drive, and then launch it. This led to short-term gains in home runs and an immediate improvement in run production. But a consequence of this was that pitchers learned each hitter's power zone, and naturally stopped pitching there. (This is not to knock Cito; I think he was a great hitting coach and manager.)

If Don Baylor can fix (almost) everybody the way he fixed Hill, I'll accept that he is a superior coach. Until then, I'll assume that most coaches can help some of the people some of the time.

greenfrog - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 01:56 PM EST (#268843) #
Anyone who attacks baseball orthodoxy is loading his canon with vitriol

From now on, I'm loading my canon with film only (I tried vitriol, but the results weren't pretty).
Mike Green - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 03:12 PM EST (#268844) #
The vitriolic canon of the 1980s.

Why'd you pinch-hit with Iorg, you numbskull?  Couldn't find Mario Mendoza on your bench?  Whose fault is that?
How'd you manage to piss off everybody?  It's easy to piss off some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but it's hard to piss off everybody all of the time.  One look at your face does it for me.
Kiss my purple butt.

"sound of 1986 Candle TV breaking"

I agree with Dave about batting coaches.  I was trying to think of a coach who brought out the best in young hitters repeatedly.  Milt May sprung to mind.  He was coaching in Pittsburgh when Bonds, Van Slyke, Bonilla, and to a lesser extent Bream made good progress and then a decade later with the Marlins for Charles Johnson.  I guess Leyland thought a lot of him anyway.  Charlie Lau would be the name brand for it, but actually many of the young players in Kansas City exploded after he left. 


Dewey - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 03:13 PM EST (#268845) #
sic em, greenfrog.

 I'm not going there, as we say.  (Don't we?) 
greenfrog - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 03:30 PM EST (#268846) #
Dewey, I think you're mistaking me for an attack frog.

Btw, are you missing an apostrophe?
Mike Green - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 03:52 PM EST (#268847) #
 I'm not going there, as we say.  (Don't we?)

or do we?

greenfrog - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 04:40 PM EST (#268848) #
This might seem like an odd question, but is Reyes 2013 likely to be significantly more valuable than Escobar 2013?

According to David Schoenfield on ESPN, in his off-season report card for the Jays, Reyes should improve the Jays' offensive output at SS (+33 runs created) but on the defensive side of the ledger, DRS had Escobar at +14 runs saved in 2012 and Reyes at -16. I know there are issues with measuring defensive contributions, but could Escobar's defensive edge negate much of Reyes' offensive edge?

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/32721/offseason-report-card-blue-jays
Mike Green - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 05:07 PM EST (#268849) #
There's a real difference between DRS and UZR for Escobar and Reyes.  Escobar is roughly +11/yr. over the last 2  years while Reyes is -16/yr over the last 2 according to DRS.  Escobar is roughly +3/yr. over the last 2 years while Reyes is -3/yr. over the 2 according to UZR. 

I think that at least part of the difficulty may be the adjustment for Lawrie.  Lawrie leads the league by far in plays out of zone (last year 72 in 1070 innings with David Wright's 53 in 1350 innings next).  By contrast, Hanley Ramirez and Greg Dobbs were pretty brutal at third last year for the Marlins, and Wright was off his game playing with Reyes in NY in 2011.    My guess is that UZR probably does a better bet in capturing the difference between Escobar and Reyes, and that it is more on the order of 10 runs than 25.

Dewey - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 05:34 PM EST (#268850) #
Actually I was thinking of Dorothy’s Auntie Em, GreenFrog.  She tended to mix up her canon and her cannons.  . . .  Stupid apostrophe., anyway.

The debbil made me do it.  Whatever.

 “or do we?”   Boy, this is one fast crowd.  I’m going off to sit for a while; maybe do a crossword.
Alex Obal - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 05:42 PM EST (#268851) #
The vitriolic canon of the 1980s.

Obligatory.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 06:29 PM EST (#268852) #

I remember, not so long ago, reading people's less than optomistic evaluation of Escobar's defense and his lack of range, amongst other things.   I watched a lot of games over the years he's played (SS on my roster - Baseball pool) and he's not a great defender, but he's not as bad as everyone is trying to make out.   Doesn't phoney grass on concrete give truer rolls and bounces than on the real stuff?

J.P. Arencibia wants to be R.A. Dickey's main Catcher.   A.A. wants Henri Blanco to be the backup and R.A.'s personal catcher.   After reading this http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/scott_macarthur/?id=416516 I am opposed, I want to win every game, Thole catches R.A.!

ayjackson - Thursday, February 21 2013 @ 10:17 PM EST (#268853) #
That's some good work, boys.
dan gordon - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 01:44 AM EST (#268855) #
Paul Beeston is being interviewed for half an hour from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time on BNN Friday.
Magpie - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 10:32 AM EST (#268856) #
people's less than optomistic (sic) evaluation of Escobar's defense and his lack of range

Really? People actually said that? Escobar dazzled everyone with his defensive flash from the day he arrived. And it turned out that the flash was actually the least impressive part of his defensive game.
Gerry - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 10:59 AM EST (#268857) #
Escobar's defense was very good except when he was on the back end of a double play.  On those plays, he shied away from contact and often threw the ball away.
John Northey - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 11:18 AM EST (#268858) #
Escobar's defense was at a high level last year based on UZR/150 - 5.0.  Before his numbers in Atlanta were 1.8-3.6-1.7-10.6 (partial season).  Here they were -4.1 (partial season)-2.0-5.0.  His season split between Toronto & Atlanta had an overall figure of 4.2. 

So last years really jumps out as it was visibly higher than any other season.  I wouldn't count on that 5.0 happening again.  More likely is a 3-4 range with a 2 being possible as well.

Reyes has been poor though... 1.5 lifetime but negative in each of the past 4 seasons.  It'll be interesting to see if that improves on turf or goes down.  Depends on what his issues are, are they with how the ball moves once it hits the ground or just a plain old range issue - if the first then turf would help, if the 2nd then it would hurt.

Mike Green - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 11:52 AM EST (#268859) #
Lawrie's explosive first step to his left changes the dynamic for a shortstop.  The hardest play for a shortstop is the one in the hole. Lawrie basically obliterates that one and allows the shortstop to focus on the ball up the middle (and to a much lesser extent) coming in.  Positioning is, I think, very important in this context, and a shortstop can profit from an adjustment from the usual. 
85bluejay - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 01:32 PM EST (#268861) #
White Sox DFA Lars Anderson, a potential replacement for David Cooper in AAA  & there's always a lottery-type chance he turns into something - might only cost cash.
John Northey - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 03:37 PM EST (#268862) #
Lars Anderson is interesting... first pro season at 19, reached A+ that year, split his age 20 season between A+ and AA, 21 in AA, 22 in AA/AAA and called up for a cup of coffee.  Pre 2009 was the #17 prospect in baseball according to BA and made the top 100 3 times.  Now entering his age 25 season he is DFA.  Weird how fast that star fell.  In 2008 he had a 934 OPS, then flopped with a 673 (thus dropping drastically on prospect lists).  Climbed up to 810 then 791 then last year hit 250/353/396 and was 1 for 8 in the majors (a single, no walks).

His power went from around 20 HR level to near 0.  If someone could figure out what happened to him then he could be useful but I wouldn't use a 40 man slot at this point on him.
cybercavalier - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 03:45 PM EST (#268863) #
greenfrog - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 06:16 PM EST (#268865) #
I think Lawrie's defense will help Reyes, as long as Lawrie doesn't get injured or somehow collide with the Jays' SS.
bpoz - Friday, February 22 2013 @ 08:48 PM EST (#268868) #
Pitchers pitch differently from the stretch than the wind up. In some cases, like Morrow I believe, the difference is quite big. Romero may be in that category, too I think. If so the extra walks in 2012 could have been a big factor. A distraction messing with his head.
Parker - Saturday, February 23 2013 @ 11:16 AM EST (#268873) #
I'd venture that getting clobbered when he DID throw strikes probably messed with his head too.
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