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This is the third in the series.  So far we have not issued a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and we have not traded Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion for a starter.  But we still need pitching depth.  There are some teams out there with a surplus of starters and a weak bullpen, and you as GM have put together a deal to bring in a starter.  As GM you have a surplus of relievers, and you will not be able to keep them all on the major league roster next season.  You have a strength in the bullpen and you will use it to beef up the rotation.

The deal is that Toronto will acquire a starting pitcher in exchange for four bullpen arms.  You get to decide who those arms are.  Your decision is:

One of Casey Janssen or Sergio Santos

One of Brett Cecil or Aaron Loup

Two of Steve Delabar, Neil Wagner, Dustin McGowan, Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers or Jeremy Jeffress.

 

Which four pitchers do you put in the deal?

 

I had this idea written down a few weeks ago but hat tip to shaker for coming up with the same concept in the last you be the GM thread.

Who To Trade - Bullpen Roulette? | 95 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#279803) #
Any of them.  The issue is value for value; I would be particularly happy if my trading partner was willing to part with a major-league ready "low ceilinged, high floored" second baseman, catcher or left-field prospect (or young player). 



sweat - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#279805) #
I think out of the first 4 guys, you trade Janssen and Cecil.  Maximizes value of what your getting back, while keeping guys who are already signed, or controllable for longer.  As far as the other list, I would likely move McGowan, and whoever will be the quickest to free agency.  AA has to move a few guys, especially when you consider the lack of options for most of their bullpen depth.  Perez, Perez and Lincoln to name a few that aren't listed.
Paul D - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#279806) #
I'm with Mike, in that I'd essentially trade any of them. However, to answer the question as posed, I'd go with Janssen, Cecil and essentially any two from the last group. I'd prefer to keep Delabar and maybe Wagner from that group, but if that's what it costs, then I have no qualms about adding them to the trade.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#279807) #
I don't know what the state of Cecil's health is.  Assuming that the early shutdown was essentially precautionary, I'd rather have him than Loup.   Both are good pitchers though, and the main issue is who your trading partner really wants. 
jerjapan - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#279809) #
Perez, Perez and Lincoln to name a few that aren't listed.

None of those guys have options remaining, and two are coming off major injuries.  Can't see any real trade value in them. 
China fan - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#279810) #
Santos, Cecil, Wagner, Jeffress. But I'd give up almost any 4 of the names on the list. (Possible exception: McGowan, who might yet become a good starter again.)

Santos vs Janssen is difficult, but I'm opting to trade Santos because Janssen seems more reliable from a health standpoint. But there's definitely a chance that Santos could outperform Janssen in 2014.

Cecil vs Loup is a toss-up, but again the health issue (and Cecil's 2nd-half decline in 2013) nudges me towards keeping Loup.

Wagner and Jeffress are expendable because they are out of options, and they don't seem to have any potential as starters. Jeffress has the potential to be an excellent reliever, but it's unclear if the Jays can keep him around long enough to find out.

In general, the bullpen is the right place for the Jays to trade from. If the relievers are packaged with a prospect or two, maybe Gose or Nolin or pitchers in the low minors, it's possible for the Jays to obtain a decent starting pitcher.
finch - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#279812) #
Trade whomever has the most value. Any way we can get Dan Uggla, if ATL eats his contract or the majority of it. Or we take the contract and take Jason Heyward too? #weneedaninjamove
CeeBee - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#279813) #
Any 4 for the right deal but following the guidelines the four would be Janssen, Cecil, Wagner and Jeffress.
Hodgie - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#279814) #
I am torn on Janssen. As someone mentioned in another thread, Janssen is the ideal closer being someone that is competent in his role with that role allowing the team's best relievers to be used in the higher leverage situations earlier in the game.
krose - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#279816) #
I would be hesitant to trade McGowan. Although the chance seems slight, he could become a top of the rotation starter.
Oceanbound - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 04:38 AM EDT (#279817) #
I don't really see it. McGowan's never been that good a starter, and now his arm is being held together by bubble gum and measuring tape. Yeah, there's always the ghost of Chris Carpenter, but...

In any case I don't think he'll be traded because I don't think anybody's going to give up something substantial to get him.
rpriske - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#279820) #

If this was a deal inplace - in other words, no matter who I choose, I am getting the same guy(s) back - then it seems easy to me - Santos, Loup, McGowan and Jeffress.

 

However, if I am instead choosing which four I want to shop around to get the best return, it changes dramitacally: Jansen, Cecil, Rogers & Jeffress.

Jansen has the most trade value out of any of them and Cecil would be a 'sell high' candidate. McGowan has virtually zero value, so Rogers instead and Jeffress... well, I just don't think much of Jeffress overall.

rpriske - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#279821) #
Oh, and don't trade Delabar unless someone really over pays. If anyone is going to jump a level, it is him.
92-93 - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#279822) #
Nobody is trading the type of starter the Jays need for 4 bullpen arms, but in this hypothetical I agree that I'd move whichever 4 the other team desires.

Then again, Scherzer only has 1 year left of control and the Tigers do need some bullpen help...
John Northey - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#279823) #
As long as the starter is a guy who will be likely to produce at a level as good or better than Buehrle and Dickey did last year (100 ERA+ 200 IP) I'd say pick your favorite 4 and done deal.  Relievers are not that hard to find compared to quality starting pitchers so while losing, say, Janssen & Santos & Cecil & Delabar would hurt I'd feel safe going into 2014 with a more solid rotation plus a pen of Loup-McGowan-Rogers-Wagner-Lincoln-Perez^2-Jeffress-Jenkins and whoever else.  It'd be a bit nervous for awhile until some guys settle into appropriate roles but Gibbons big strength has been finding the best relievers and putting them into situations where they can succeed.  Coming into 2013 the pen was the big question mark, he also made former starters like Scott Downs into solid relievers so I wouldn't be shocked to see other starters shifted as well if needed.

If some team wants any 4 relievers in order to send the Jays something useful (SP, CA, 2B) then I say send them whoever they want.

Gerry - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#279824) #
I wrote up this question to see how readers relatively valued our bullpen arms.  The return, or not, is not the focus of the question.  AA is likely to trade someone out of the bullpen this winter, when the trade is announced it will be interesting to see who is traded and the value in return.  This thread puts our opinions on the table before AA acts.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#279825) #
I like Janssen more than Santos, but my hunch is that Janssen might have significant more value to many/most trading partners and so it would be more likely that I would trade Janssen.

For what it's worth, I would happily trade Janssen and Santos if that would generate the best return.  If Dustin McGowan  and Aaron Loup (or Brett Cecil) end up sharing the closer role, I am fine with it.  I don't see a huge difference in ability between most of these guys. 

Wildrose - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#279828) #
Just to clarify Wagner does have at least one option left , Jeffress is out of options.

Anthopoulos wonít be able to keep all his relievers, with the bullpen right now likely to feature Janssen, Sergio Santos (who, finally healthy, closed the year out with a flourish), all-stars Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil (who both struggled through injury at the end), Dustin McGowan, Neil Wagner and Jeremy Jeffress, all the kind of power arms teams dearly covet.

Beyond them are Luis Perez and Brad Lincoln plus swingmen Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond, all of whom will be out of options next spring, as will McGowan and Jeffress. The Blue Jays wonít be able to option any of them without first passing them through waivers and each is sure to be claimed, meaning Anthopoulos will need to trade away a good chunk of that depth lest he lose it for nothing.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/keeping-janssen-a-no-brainer-for-blue-jays/



Gerry - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#279829) #
A report out of KC on twitter says that Kevin Seitzer is close to being the new hitting coach for the Jays.
Beyonder - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#279830) #
From Bob Dutton on Twitter: "Hearing word that former #Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer is close to taking that job on John Gibbons' staff in Toronto."
Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#279831) #
I like Janssen more than Santos, but my hunch is that Janssen might have significant more value to many/most trading partners and so it would be more likely that I would trade Janssen.

My sense is the opposite: Santos looks like a Closer, while Janssen is just a guy who pitches really well and happens to close. Santos has a spottier health record, but he also comes with team options for 2015-2017.

Objectively, I think you could probably trade either one. Emotionally, I really like watching Casey pitch, so I hope he stays.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#279832) #
Seitzer did pretty well with Gordon and Butler from 2009-12.  He did not come back for 2013, and KC's offence tanked until Brett was installed as hitting coach. 

It is kind of amusing that Brett just missed succeeding Seitzer as a hitting coach after Seitzer succeeded him as a player. 

Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#279833) #
Here's a piece from February with Seitzer talking about his approach. Take from it what you will.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#279834) #
Thanks for that, Ryan. 

Trying to pull the ball and looking for a pitch to drive with less than two strikes are obviously different things. It sounds to me as though Seitzer gets it. 

Chuck - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#279835) #
I think there is a very good chance that people are overestimating the tradability of the team's relief pitchers. Have a scan at all the other teams' rosters and there's a decent chance that you'll come across some core relievers who pitched very well and whose names mean nothing to you (or me). That's a sign of the fungibility of relievers and the sheer volume of pitchers in every team's organization who have 1 or 2 major league quality pitches.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#279836) #
Not too shocking a method to go by. Different than the method Cito Gaston used, but that isn't a bad thing.  Seitzer had George Brett on his team as a player and Brett learned from Charlie Lau who had a balanced field approach.  Just logical he'd have learned from that method and followed it.  A solid way to play and if he came here I'm sure it would work well. 

Checking his record as a coach... Arizona hitting coach for the first half of 2007 (odd - hired in the winter fired mid-summer...first half they had a 716 OPS, 2nd 755 but hard to put that on a coach in such limited time frames), KC's in 2009/10/11/12.  The Royals were 12/13 ranked for runs each of the 5 years before, then were 13-10-6-12 with him and 11th this year.  He was hired under one manager (Trey Hillman) and fired after 3 years with another (Ned Yost who is still there).   I suspect that shift from 6th back to the historical 12th is what killed him. 
John Northey - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#279837) #
Chuck - I see relievers as far more valuable in a mid-season trade than an offseason situation due to clubs mid-season not being able to find decent pitchers except on other clubs rosters.  Was surprised that AA didn't find another deal ala his Rasmus one where a few solid relievers become far more useful to a club on the edge who just needs some stability in the pen to cross the finish line.  Right now I'd be shocked if AA did get anything of value from a batch of relievers except as extras in a trade (IE: sending a prospect plus someone plus a reliever to get a decent player back).  Relievers can be like small change - useful but not what decides if you get a new car or not.
monkeyman - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#279838) #
We have to be thinking of selling high on Janssen and Rasmus and maximize those assets with a flip to someone like the White Sox for a Chris Sale type.  Happ should also go back to the NL as part of a package for a catcher.  I also like stretching out Cecil and Mcgowan as starters in the spring.  Both are better fits for the AL East than Happ.  Sale/Dickey/Buerhle/Cecil/Mcgowan/Nolin/Hutchison/Drabek/Stroman has an opportunity to give us a lot more quality innings than we got last year from the starters.
Chuck - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#279839) #
We have to be thinking of selling high on Janssen and Rasmus and maximize those assets with a flip to someone like the White Sox for a Chris Sale type.

Not sure that Rasmus/Janssen gets you a Chris Sale type, let alone Sale himself. If you had Sale, would you flip him for Rasmus/Janssen?

Thomas - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#279840) #

I think the value debate between Santos or Janssen comes down a lot to who the trading partner is. I think Detroit, for example, would be more interested in Janssen because a) they'd like immediate stability at the back end of the bullpen; b) they'd have a good shot to resign Janssen based on their payroll and c) they have their own longer-term closer prospect in Bruce Rondon.

The White Sox , who I'm just raising them because they were addressed in a previous post, would have little use for Janssen give their 2014 prospects. I don't think they'd be interested in Santos, particularly in light of Addison Reed, but I'm sure they'd take Santos if given the choice.

Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#279841) #
I wouldn't trade Sale at all. He's 24, he's very very good, and is signed quite affordably through 2019. I can't see the White Sox trading him unless they were absolutely blown away by an elite prospect package.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#279842) #
I'm also not so sure you'd be trading Rasmus "high". Yes, people question his BABIP, but he'll be 27 next year, so he's hitting his prime. Even if he regresses in some respects, he may take big steps forward in others.

Besides, the Jays don't have anyone who can take over in centre, unless you're really optimistic about Gose and his .316 OBP at AAA. Not much point in filling one hole by creating another.
Wildrose - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#279843) #
I think there is a very good chance that people are overestimating the tradability of the team's relief pitchers.

Absolutely. I know I did until I reviewed the transaction log from last off-season.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/news/hot_stove/y2012/free_agent_tracker.jsp

Essentially the only notable relievers traded were Joel Hanrahan and Mark Melacon , who were exchanged for each other. I think the best option would be to target a minor league catcher or infielder blocked by an established veteran at the MLB level. Perhaps by packaging some relievers with a position player or starter ( although we don't really have an attractive abundance of either ) you could get something of value.

I'd trade any of them, but I think Santos has the most upside. Also I think Jeffress can get to the Delabar/Cecil level as well.

 
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#279844) #
Esmil Rogers brought a good return for Cleveland.  Frank Francisco brought a pretty good return for Texas.

Every year, there is some reliever who is traded for a significant piece.  If you want to acquire a "name-brand" starter or something of that sort, a reliever usually won't do it.  You might be able to get a decent catcher to give you 400 PAs though.  That would be nice. 

Paul D - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#279845) #
I'd agree that relievers probably don't have much value, but man, I was sure wishing that we'd traded Oliver to Detroit during the Ortiz at-bat on Sunday.
monkeyman - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#279846) #
Good points and I'm not suggesting a direct trade but whatever assets you can get back from whomever wants to pay up for Rasmus and Janssen in prospects could be flipped, possibly with another of our prospect (s) for a top starter.  Gose/Pillar could fill in adequately for Rasmus defensively and the offense outside of JPA should be pretty good anyways.  We need a top starter.
Wildrose - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#279847) #
Esmil Rogers brought a good return for Cleveland.  Frank Francisco brought a pretty good return for Texas.

I think the Blue Jays saw Rogers as a potential starter and were willing to pay for that, trading for Francisco certainly wasn't one of the finer moments for AA though. I agree with John, you'd get better value trading a reliever at the deadline such as in the Colby Rasmus deal.
TimberLee - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#279848) #
To simply answer the question directly : Janssen, Loup, Redmond and Rogers.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#279849) #
As to preferences....

Keep Janssen, trade Santos - Santos' options are pricier than I suspect you could sign Janssen for

Keep Loup, trade Cecil - Just like Loup more for some reason

Trade Wagner & Rogers, keep Steve Delabar, Dustin McGowan, Todd Redmond, Jeremy Jeffress. Wagner was a AAA free agent, Rogers I'm not sold on.


 



Mike Green - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#279850) #
I think the Blue Jays saw Rogers as a potential starter and were willing to pay for that

Some teams might view several of the relievers in question as potential starters.  Rogers, Redmond and even Cecil fit within that.  Cecil has pitched decently on the road over his career (ERA 4.32) and someone might have the idea that with his new training regime, he is capable of being a reliable starter again if you take him out of the unfriendly confines of the RC.  Detroit might be a fit; he's pitched well in Comerica and Leyland did name him to the All-Star team. 
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#279851) #
J.A. Happ (LHP), Esmil Rogers (RHP) and Todd Redmond (RHP) are candidates for Bullpen roles - Spot Starter/Long Relief. One of those has to go, too many relievers. Esmil Rogers might have best Trade Value.

Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Juan Perez and Luis Perez are the LHP of the Bullpen. Brett Cecil will have best Trade Value because someone will think he's a Starter again.

Steve Delabar, Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos are the top RHP in the Bullpen. Casey Janssen might have best Trade Value, but the other two might have more upside.

Dustin McGowan, Jeremy Jeffress and Neil Wagner are the remaining RHP in the Bullpen and have little to no trade value, not even throw-in value.

Three Relievers and Jose Bautista get you anything you want, but not what you'd like. If A.A. can get Value from these arms, then the future is bright.
China fan - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#279852) #
".... Just to clarify Wagner does have at least one option left..."

Thank you for correcting my error, Wildrose, that's good to know. I still think Wagner is easily expendable if he has any trade value. But since he still has options, he'd also serve as an excellent depth guy in Buffalo, or a replacement in Toronto if a couple other relievers are traded.

I do think the Jays are likely to trade some bullpen arms in the off-season, for several reasons. The bullpen is their only area of genuine surplus; there is legitimate trade value in a couple of the top bullpen arms; the Jays might need to clear some room in the bullpen for a swingman like Happ or Rogers or Redmond; and the Jays will risk losing some of their relievers for nothing on the waiver wire if they can't create space for a Jeffress or Luis Perez or Rogers.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#279853) #
Off-topic, but Keith Law recently wrote about ten disappointing AFL players. One was Aaron Sanchez. Law loves his stuff, but says his delivery took a step backward this year. Too upright, not loose enough, causing his pitches to stay up and negatively affecting his command.

On the plus side, Law had nice things to say about Stroman recently. Maybe Stroman was advanced enough from his Duke years that the Jays couldn't derail his delivery post-draft.
Hodgie - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#279855) #
As opposed to all the deliveries they have derailed?
Hodgie - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#279856) #
Re: Seitzer, one man's perspective on his impact in KC...... http://www.ranyontheroyals.com/2013/08/the-missing-ingredient.html?m=0
John Northey - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#279857) #
The more I read about Seitzer the more I want him here as the hitting coach. Seems his last year in KC he was adjusting how he taught due to the manager pushing for the hitters to pull more despite the team doing well the year before with a more 'up the middle' approach.  When the manager is someone like Cito Gaston who had a lot of success as a hitting coach then he can interfere to some degree but otherwise the manager should not be trying to tell the coaches how to do their jobs.  Baseball Prospectus has an article that claims Seitzer could be worth 58 runs over the average hitting coach which would be an amazing number and if true makes him worth millions.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, October 16 2013 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#279859) #
Rasmus - (and maybe Lawrie) is the only guy on the team I would NOT trade. The guy is 27 until next August - he is a millimeter from being a true 5 tool STAR. Next year he will be be a god!

Have I ever lied to you before? (At least when I'm sober...)

Oceanbound - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 02:31 AM EDT (#279860) #
Seitzer's one of Gibbons' guys right? Sure seems like he had him earmarked to be a coach, rather than them being actually unhappy with Mottola. Wonder what might have happened if Murphy hadn't decided to "retire" though.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 06:25 AM EDT (#279861) #
All things being equal, i move Santos, Cecil and Delabar. I'll take the track record of health and success of Janssen and just prefer loup. Delabar i just worry about his arm long term. But then max effort guys always scare me like that.

whiterasta80 - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#279862) #
Add Wagner as the second arm for me. Misread the original post.
Lylemcr - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#279864) #

If you are left handed or you are the closer, you have trade value. (Delabar does have value though...)  Jeffress, Lincoln, etc have limited value.  (there is a reason Jeffress was available on the waiver wire last year)

I would trade Cecil and Jannsen because their stock is high. 

 

Shaker - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#279865) #
If I was an opposing GM I would rank the Jays relievers in this order: Janssen, Santos, Cecil, Delabar then Loup.
After that I don't see any mlb trade value, I only see replacement relievers.
I would pay nothing for the following, ranked in order: Rogers, McGowan, Redmond, Jeffress and Wagner.

If I was Jays GM, I would be comfortable with a 2014 pen that had one of Janssen or Santos, one of Cecil or Loup, one of Rogers or Redmond, plus LPerez, McGowan and Jeffress.  I would then acquire a veteran FA RP (in the 2012 mold of Jason Frasor or Brandon Lyon) for solidity and upon injury promote one of our AAA starters to follow the Jimmy Key career path.  Hutch would probably be my first choice for RP this year and SP next year, though it's possible Jenkins might work in the pen, too.

That's not a great pen, but if the trade means we add an average AL SP then it was worth it, especially since I have faith Gibby can run a pen and that Alex could acquire a reliever mid year, if required.


China fan - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#279866) #
".... I would then acquire a veteran FA RP..."

I like most of your comments about the potential 2014 bullpen, but I really don't see any need to spend millions on a free-agent reliever, even if the Jays trade away a Janssen or Santos (or even if they trade away two or three relievers). There is already so much bullpen depth that the Jays can avoid the need for acquiring any free agents, even if a couple of relievers are traded. No need to tempt Anthopoulos any further on bullpen acquisitions -- let him focus on the rotation, 2B and catcher.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 17 2013 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#279867) #
Neil Wagner has an option left, and is an effective reliever. He gave up runs in just 10 of 38 games, but more than one run per appearance six times. He's worth keeping. That's one.

They finally figured out Jeremy Jeffress' problem and it showed. Small sample indeed, but promise for the future. He's worth keeping. That's two.

Dustin McGowan was surprisingly effective once he joined the team. In 25 games he gave up runs just 8 times with 5 runs being unearned. He looks healthy and that bodes well for the future. He's worth keeping. That's three.

Todd Remond became a good 5th Starter, only truly sucking just twice in17 games/14 Starts. He won't be a Starter here until injuries occur, but he do well as a useful 6th or 7th Starter / Long Relief in the Bullpen. He's worth keeping. That's four.

Juan Perez, until injury, was an effective reliever for the Team. He could be useful next year. That's five.

Luis Perez was an effective reliever until TJ Surgery. Chances are he 'll be effective again next year. And that's six.

Six people for a Bullpen that just needs a closer.

J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar, Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos form a second Bullpen. One that could be totally traded.
Oceanbound - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 01:49 AM EDT (#279868) #
That's satire right? It has to be satire...
John Northey - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#279869) #
So a pen of Wagner/Jeffress/McGowan/Redmond/Perez/Perez eh?  Plus others in AAA/AA who might be ready such as Joel Carreno (12.2 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 0.7 HR/9 over 66 2/3 IP in AA/AAA) John Stilson (8.9 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 0.6 HR/9), Brad Lincoln, and starters who won't be in the rotation such as Ricky Romero. That's before getting into AA and lower depth or the 1000 relievers AA might sign ala last winter where he found Wagner and Perez for nada.

Yeah, I could live with that although there would likely be some scary moments at first. But Gibbons has shown a skill at pen manipulation so AA should take advantage and try to spend as little as possible in the pen while maximizing value in any trades.  The 4 worst pens in the AL included Detroit, LAA, Seattle and Houston - I'm sure they'll all be looking for some upgrades this winter and the Jays have the proven talent available.  The worst 4 in the NL (big shift from #4 to #5) were Colorado, Philly, Cubs and Mets.  Again, potential there for trading partners.

Might not get a ton of value in trade, but those 8 clubs do have weaknesses in the pen and might be feeling pressure to improve, be it to contend (Detroit, LAA, Philly) or to save young pitchers in their rotation (old theory that seeing the pen blow up hurts kid starters by upping pressure to go deeper or to be perfect).
Shaker - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#279870) #
China fan,  Lyon was signed for $750k after 2012 and Frasor was signed for $1.5M, so I'm hinting at a vet for about $1M which is completely reasonable after stripping the pen of 3 "proven" mlb relievers.  The longer I can keep those young starters (Hutch, Kyle, Jenkins etc) in AAA the better, so $1M is a miniscule price to ensure their development and/or recovery.



Mike Green - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#279871) #
Sean Nolin would be my choice for the man to walk in Jimmy Key's shoes, and I'd be content if he opened 2014 in the major league bullpen in a low leverage role (this obviously assumes that several relievers are in other places).
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#279872) #
Satire? If you need it to be satire, it is.

For those more interested, the Bullpen was the biggest Issue last Offseason. It was the only piece that worked well from the Start. It means A.A. now has Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, JA Happ and Esmil Rogers available for trades, IF NEEDED. Gibbons has a skill with Bullpens, they work well. Not everyone will be traded, but they can be traded,

I don 't know which of Sean Nolin or Marcus Stroman are with the Team next season but I expect one will break the season with the Team.

Mike Green - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#279873) #
It is conceivable that both Stroman and Nolin break camp with the Blue Jays, but my guess is that they give Stroman some triple A starts.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#279875) #
Jose Abreu about to sign for 6/68 from the White Sox. Looks like Paul Beeston's five year rule would have kept the Jays out of this one regardless. I mean, that's a rich contract for Abreu, but to know that the Jays had no shot at him even if they wanted him because of an arbitrary organizational rule is disheartening. The Jays will never sign any free agent of significance ever again if they keep that mandate.
sweat - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#279876) #
Except that the 5 year Rule likely isnt a rule as much as it is a guide.  For the right person, the Jays will go past 5 years.  There is an exception to every rule after all. One of the guys a lot of people were upset about not breaking the five year 'rule' was Prince Fielder.  Avoiding that one isn't looking so bad now...


John Northey - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#279877) #
Interesting... would be a bit nervous about committing $11 mil a year for 6 years to an older guy from Cuba (entering age 27 season).  Of course, they also do get his entire prime that is left (age 27-32) while skipping the traditional decline years (33+).  Many decline earlier though.  I was hoping the Jays would go for him, and he might be why AA held off on exercising Lind's option as if he was signed Lind would be of no use here or you'd have a very expensive platoon at DH.

Now, as to Fielder - age 29 last year hitting 279/362/457 for a 120 OPS+.  Lind hit 288/357/497 for a 132 OPS+ at age 29.  Encarnacion 272/370/534 for a 145 OPS+ at 30.  The Jays would've dumped one or the other of those two if they had signed Fielder.  Fielder made $23 mil this year and will make $24 mil a year through 2020 when he is 36.  I suspect Detroit will come to regret that signing although if they can pull off a WS title then it probably was worth it.
bpoz - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#279878) #
Many players under performed last year. For some injury was a legitimate excuse. The others were just bad. My expectations/opinion proved wrong.

Brett Saberhagen showed up from nowhere for KC and was great. Unheralded low draft pick. Steib & Hentgen were our unheralded players that turned out great. There were others.

Many of us have said that 2012 & 13 lacked rotation depth. Even before the season started especially 2012. I optimistically believed we were OK for 2012. I love Hutch and expect him to be good if his injury has healed. Drabek on the other hand has convinced me to expect little from him.
That is opinion but here are facts (to me anyway): Before injury Litsch, Gus Chacin, C Janssen ... 17 starts in 2006 of which he was good in his first 10 before some sort of back discomfort. He played through this injury and did not pitch well if I remember correctly in his last few starts.
I also liked Zep, injury to middle finger in ST caused him to miss his chance to compete with the long list of unknowns in 2010. Cecil was great in 2010.
Morrow was fantastic in 2012. He only made 21 starts. Injuries again, rest of 2012 & 2013.

Regarding 2014: For a very good starter AA will have to pay big. Again !!! Dickey, Buehrle, JJ, Morrow and #5 Happ/Romero looked good to me for 2013.

Last off season I saw THE WINDOW OF CONTENTION. I hear & read that it is still there. I cannot see it so well any more but I expect it is both still there and open.

I try to be agreeable but fear that I may not be open minded to convincing that we are at a "need 1 more piece window".

I may feel differently later but I do not think we are 1 piece away. If we could buy or trade for good health then I would be quite optimistic. So on a gut feel Option B C or D ...trade the big stars.
I cannot believe that I just said something that radical.

Richard S.S. - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#279879) #
Recently browsing the Drunk Jays Fans site, I came across a recent article called Payroll Parameters: ... Beeston said, "That's doesn't mean that we're going to be crazy, though, from the point of view of ten-year, twelve-year, thirteen-year contracts. But that doesn't mean that we're not going to go out and try to get the best players, so that we give ourselves a chance. We think that we're that close right now."

Of course, this matters like to those who have long since made up the minds. Fact don't matter.
Chuck - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#279880) #
as to Fielder - age 29 last year hitting 279/362/457 for a 120 OPS+. Lind hit 288/357/497 for a 132 OPS+ at age 29.

Some context is required. Fielder faced LHP 37% of the time. Lind only 19%. Lind's OPS, had he faced LHP 37% of the time, would have been .794, lower than Fielder's 819.

That said, I am in no way defending the Fielder contract. Fat guys tend not to age well (though, remarkably, he has only missed 1 game in the past 5 years).

SK in NJ - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#279882) #
"Recently browsing the Drunk Jays Fans site, I came across a recent article called Payroll Parameters: ... Beeston said, "That's doesn't mean that we're going to be crazy, though, from the point of view of ten-year, twelve-year, thirteen-year contracts. But that doesn't mean that we're not going to go out and try to get the best players, so that we give ourselves a chance. We think that we're that close right now."

Of course, this matters like to those who have long since made up the minds. Fact don't matter."

===============================================
Paul Beeston could tell me the truth, and I'd think he were lying. I wouldn't take a single thing he says seriously. The actions are more than enough to tell the story. The Jays have not signed a single player to a contract without it having some sort of team friendly option. Their biggest FA signings under AA have been Maicer Izturis (in terms of years) and Melky Cabrera (in terms of annual dollars). Even the A's are bigger FA spenders than the Jays. The one player AA has admittedly been in love with for so long, Jose Reyes, conveniently had five guaranteed years left on his contract when he was acquired? Coincidence? Why is it so hard to believe the team will refuse to go 6 years on anyone? Where is the history to suggest that they have or even tried to? What was their bid to Yu Darvish (for those hoping for a miracle bid on Tanaka)?

Taking on all of Miami's bad contracts and acquiring Dickey was the easy thing to do. Other than Reyes, no deal exceeded three years and it cost prospects instead of obscene amounts of money (i.e. signing Jose Reyes as a free agent away from an American team would have likely cost way more years and dollars than it did to acquire him a year later in a trade).

I think the Paul Godfrey Jays were more likely to go 7 years on a player than Beeston's Jays, especially since JPR was allowed to go 5 years on AJ/BJ back when it wasn't as common.
jerjapan - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#279884) #
SK, which massive long free agent contracts from the past few years would you want on the team at the moment?  Pujols?  Hamilton?  Crawford?  Kemp?  Fielder?  that's just off the top of my head...  how about in the contract's in the decline phase ...   A-Rod?  Helton?  i know I'm cherry picking contracts, but honestly, how many of these turn out well?     

Yu Darvish sure, but the posting system is a different story.  and for every Yu Darvish their's a Daisuke Matsuzaka. 

not signing big name free agents isn't some rigid, limiting rule.  it's smart business, and it frees up resources for other areas ... IFAs, drafting, scouting, etc...




John Northey - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#279885) #
And Godfrey's Jays did go 7 years...on Vernon Wells and we all know what an albatross that should've been if AA hadn't found a desperate GM in California.  Also done with Alex Rios who we were thankful to see go on a waiver claim.  Yeah, 7 year deals are sooooo great.

This winter who would you go 7 years with? Robinson Cano is entering his age 31 season and second basemen are not known for aging well.  Anyone else out there who might actually get 7 years? Anyone  you'd want the Jays to do that with?
SK in NJ - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#279888) #
I'm not saying that the Jays should have signed anyone. I'm saying they are never going to even be in the conversation for top free agents due to their insistence on nothing over five years, including team options, etc.

Why are other teams making these so-called "mistakes" by signing players to huge deals, yet that never seems to stop those teams from making the playoffs? Are the Jays the only team that is trying to be fiscally responsible? Of course not. Every team, minus the Dodgers probably, wants to get the most bang for their buck. However, in order to attract talent, you have to overpay, either in years, dollars, or both. The Jays have shown they are willing to do neither, so it's pointless to even look at improving the team in that way. When Beeston says he will change gears for the "right player", what the heck does that mean? It's so ambiguous and meaningless that I'm not even sure how he benefitted by saying that.

The Jays are never going to sign elite free agents, and haven't developed a true star player since Halladay. Other teams in direct competition with the Jays are churning out players like Machado, Myers, Bogaerts, etc, while the only young player the Jays have with any upside is probably Lawrie, and his makeup/attitude mixed with his bat has never been special to this point (it could be in the future). So the Jays are not signing free agents AND not developing stars on their own. How do you guys propose they improve?

The Jays got out from under Vernon's deal within 4 years, and gave away Rios for nothing within 1 year. These contracts are not unmovable, and Rios' case extremely justifiable (he has had WAR's of 5.4, 3.4, 4.2, and 3.1 in four of the first six years of his deal). I'm not suggesting they go out and get Fielder types, but Abreu types? Darvish types? Tanaka types? Cespedes types? Puig types? When you play in a market that American players find less than ideal (apparently), then how can anyone justify not overpaying in cases with International talent? Even if Abreu bombs, so what? You lose some money and still keep your prospects and draft picks. Work around it, just like every other team that makes a bad move here or there.

The Jays under Beeston better develop talent well because they are not going to get it in other ways, unless they pan out in completely unforeseen ways like Bautista and Edwin.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#279889) #
Before any contract is signed, a questioned is asked. "Do we need this player?" If yes, nothing else matters, including it being the right decision.

Wells and Rios were signings of a need to please the fan base, as were AJ Burnett and BJ Ryan. Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero and Jose Bautista were more of the same. It matters not that it was or wasn't the right thing to do.

Right now they need again. I'd like to think they are wiser now.
greenfrog - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#279890) #
You could make the case that the new CBA was something of a watershed in the Jays' progress under Anthopoulos. Largely solid moves before (aggressively rebuilding the farm system and clearing Wells's contract, making forays into Latin America), a number of questionable moves after. The team has also had some bad luck with injuries (Reyes, Hutchison, Morrow, Romero and others).

I found Law's recent evaluation of Sanchez' mechanics disturbing. His assessment might have been incorrect, but assuming it was on the mark, how did the organization's best pitching prospect's delivery get noticeably worse over the last year? And what does this say about the Jays' prospect development these days?
jerjapan - Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#279896) #
So the Jays are not signing free agents AND not developing stars on their own. How do you guys propose they improve?

SK, not only is that a false dichotomy, I would argue that you are wrong on both fronts. 

On the false dichotomy front, look at Oakland - not a single home-grown star (although Sonny Gray may prove me wrong) and none of the big-ticket free agents that seem to be your definition of free agent.  They have built a team of good not great players with shrewd trades (Donaldson, Lawrie, Jaso, Parker, Cook, Milone) mid / lower tier undervalued free agent signings (Crisp, Colon, Moss, Parker) and good drafting (Doolittle, Griffin, Gray, Straily).

In AA's early years, this was his mode, and he used it to transfom a barren farm system into an upper-echelon system very quickly.  He then dealt many of the future stars that were being developed for big-ticket free agent contracts in Buehrle and Reyes, and for a potential elite pitcher in Dickey. 

To my mind, he has shown the ability to develop future stars and a willingness to take on big contracts.  This year was clearly a bust, but again I would argue this is a small sample size.  If AA is unable to produce results this coming season, I'd be happy to reconsider my position that he is a strong, up and coming GM, but he has plenty of excellent moves under his belt already and deserves more time before judging his results.    
92-93 - Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#279898) #
"Also done with Alex Rios who we were thankful to see go on a waiver claim."

Let's speak for ourselves, John. This was far from a consensus opinion.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#279903) #
In fact 92-93, I would argue that Vernon Wells and his presumed unmovable contract were the only reason that most of us (I admit I supported the move) were in favour of waiving Rios. If I'd known that Wells could be moved a year later I would have been quite hesitant to move Rios.
Beyonder - Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#279904) #
"I found Law's recent evaluation of Sanchez' mechanics disturbing. His assessment might have been incorrect, but assuming it was on the mark, how did the organization's best pitching prospect's delivery get noticeably worse over the last year? And what does this say about the Jays' prospect development these days?"

For what it is worth Greenfrog, I'm very skeptical of Keith Law's sudden turnabout of opinion on Sanchez. For quite some time now Law has been touting Sanchez over Syndergaard, even in the face of syndergaard's far superior numbers and progress. As Sanchez continues to struggle, it has become more and more difficult for Law to maintain this position. "Noticing" a sudden mechanical flaw (which no one else seems to have picked up on) gives him an easy rationale for backing away from what is looking like a bad prediction. In his chat this past week he backed away from his earlier statements about the superiority of Sanchez over Syndergaard. I expect if Sanchez goes on to have a great year in AA this year Klaw will notice that his mechanical issues ironed themselves out nicely.

I listened to the broadcast of Sanchez's 2 innings the other night. He simply couldn't find the zone for love nor money.
SK in NJ - Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#279905) #
"SK, not only is that a false dichotomy, I would argue that you are wrong on both fronts."

How? Nothing you said disproved my point that the Jays are not signing good free agents (they aren't) and not developing stars (they haven't in years).

AA did not develop future stars and trade them away. He traded what are essentially lottery tickets. They could become stars, or they could become busts. The Jays decided to destroy one aspect of team building (farm system) to build up the other (MLB team). That is why a window period exists, rather than organic growth like other teams who keep making the playoffs year after year.

I'm not blaming Alex necessarily. I think Beeston is the snake/rat in this organization and AA probably did what he did out of pressure from ownership to win. However, he could have done it differently had he been given a bit more leverage with free agents. Ricciardi had no issues bringing talent in when he had money. You have to lure the player to sign in Toronto. They won't sign there if everything has to have a player option and they can't get more than five years, especially if other teams are willing to pay the price.
greenfrog - Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#279907) #
Beyonder, I'm not that cynical about Law's assessment of Sanchez. He has always said that Sanchez's ceiling is very high, but even his latest prospect ranking said that he was still raw. And his AFL report this fall said that he still loves Sanchez's stuff - FB, CB, hard changeup.

To me, Law seems genuinely interested in honing his scouting abilities. In recent years he's attended a ton of games and written more first-hand scouting reports for ESPN (as opposed to purely statistical analysis). I don't see him coming up with some fake scouting assessment to explain away a high prospect ranking.

I agree that he's in a bit of uncomfortable situation re his comparisons of Sanchez and Syndergaard, as he has ranked Sanchez much higher than Syndergaard over the last couple of years.
China fan - Sunday, October 20 2013 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#279920) #
"....The Jays under Beeston better develop talent well because they are not going to get it in other ways, unless they pan out in completely unforeseen ways like Bautista and Edwin...."

If you want to condemn the Jays as an organization, you've just weakened your case considerably by implying that Bautista and Encarnacion are mere flukes, who just landed on the Jays roster by sheer luck. The success of those two players may have have "completely unforeseen" to you and to the average fan, but the Jays believed that both were worthy of acquisition. (And yes, the Jays later dumped Encarnacion, but then they brought him back again, which no other team did.) The point is that every team acquires its players in a variety of ways, including little-noticed trades or low-cost free-agent signings that eventually produce great players.

If you want to condemn the Jays for finishing poorly in 2012 and 2013, that's fine, you're perfectly entitled to be dissatisfied as a fan. But instead you're arguing that the good players on the roster are mere flukes, while the poor players can be fully blamed on the organization. That's inconsistent and illogical. If you're blaming them for a lack of good players, you've also got to give them credit for the great players who do exist on the roster.
jerjapan - Sunday, October 20 2013 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#279921) #
AA did not develop future stars and trade them away. He traded what are essentially lottery tickets. They could become stars, or they could become busts.

Well, I guess you could call D'Arnaud and Syndergaard, top 25 prospects according to Sickels and others, 'lottery tickets', but again, this is misstating facts.  their odds of contributing at the big league level are vastly higher than that.  not to mention the quality prospects the Marlins received, also not 'lottery tickets'. 

I do think the Jays have signed some good free agents recently, but almost entirely of the minor league variety (perez, wagner, kawasaki), so I think we agree here, at least in terms of big names.  On the lower level front,  Oliver was a good signing, DeRoasa was okay, Izturius, Blanco clear busts.  Cabrera seemed smart at the time, but hard to predict the tumor.   the whole stockpiling of draft pick strategy involved some smart signings as well. 

why do you say that AA hasn't been given leverage to sign free agents?  rogers seems to be very willing to open the pocket book these days. 

Ultimately, I think it'll take a year or two to resolve this discussion ... if the Jays walk the walk with the big market budget over the next few seasons, I don't think it matters much if those players are free agents, IFA, trade acquisitions or homegrown talents. 
China fan - Sunday, October 20 2013 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#279922) #
"....I do think the Jays have signed some good free agents recently, but almost entirely of the minor league variety...."

The Jays acquired Edwin Encarnacion as a free-agent signing in December 2010. They don't necessarily have to offer 7-year contracts in order to acquire good free agents.

On the larger point of whether the Jays should be more aggressive on free agents: sure, I'd love to see them spending more money and offering longer multi-year contracts and bigger contracts. At the same time, we should acknowledge the risks of losing payroll flexibility if the Jays are locked into too many big contracts. It's a balancing act. So far, arguably, the Jays have perhaps erred too much on the side of being prudent and careful and retaining flexibility. But the acquisition (by trade) of the very expensive contracts of Reyes and Buehrle does suggest that the Jays are shifting somewhat into a more aggressive mode, so it might be worthwhile to wait and see what happens in the upcoming off-season before we assume that they are unwilling to take risks on big multi-year deals.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 20 2013 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#279926) #
The Red Sox and Cards seem to have done pretty well without massive free agent signings.

I don't think the answer to what ails the Blue Jays lies in the luxury free agent market. The organization needs to get its house in order first (management, drafting, scouting, player development, coaching, etc). The organization seems to have trouble acquiring young talent and/or shaping it into productive major-league talent.

So, fundamentals first. That's not to say the team can't compete in 2014, that is, with a few Pittsburgh/Oakland/TB-calibre off-season acquisitions. But that brings us back to the question of organizational fundamentals...
John Northey - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#279929) #
No question in my mind the draft is vital for the success of an organization. Digging into it we can see beautiful drafts in the Gillick era (other than 1st rounders where he did a few pretty bad things) and Ash era (how did he screw that up) but horrid ones in the JPR window thus far (Aaron Hill being by far the best his drafts produced then probably Shaun Marcum or Ricky Romero neither of whom might add anything of value to their ML careers from now on).  AA's time frame has just begun and it'll be awhile until we have a strong idea on the success/failure of it. 

Of note for the Jays of the 80's - via draft: Stieb, Barfield, Moseby, Key, David Wells, Cerutti all important members of the pre-91 teams.  The 91-93 teams added in Olerud, Kent, Sprague, Hentgen, Timlin, Derek Bell, Woody Williams via the Gillick drafts.  Without those quality drafts the Jays would not have those 2 WS banners.  Another key was international free agents like Tony Fernandez, and Rule 5 picks George Bell, Gruber, Lee, Acker, and Upshaw.  The only free agents of note on the 1992 team were Jack Morris and Dave Winfield with Pat Tabler being the only other player acquired that way.  FYI: neither Morris or Winfield had a 3+ year long deal let along a 7 year deal.
SK in NJ - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#279930) #
Again, I am not advocating huge free agent spending sprees. I'm saying the Jays should not set arbitrary guidelines for which free agents they go after (5 year or less) because it limits the talent they can acquire. If they can't develop their own talent (they haven't in many years), then how do you want them to improve? The answer to that, apparently, is robbing Peter to pay Paul. In other words, kill the farm system in order to make the big league team better via trade. In baseball, a team can have a top 5 farm system and a top 5 MLB team at the same time. Why not strive for that?

As far as Bautista/Edwin being unforeseen talent, that's not a knock on them or the Jays organization. That is calling a spade a spade. You can't rely on 29-year old's busting out every year. At some point you need conventional player development, meaning players coming up through the minors and developing organically in their early 20's. That's necessary.
Richard S.S. - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#279931) #
Lincecum is seeking a one or two year contract (MLB Trade Rumour App). I don't know his value as a Starter, but even with his issues, he'll be in high demand.

Pillar, Sierra and Gose can play up here. I think Pillar might be the best. Goins can play up here. The small sample is to insignificant to say he can't hit here.

Happ, Roger and Redmond showed they could Start. Wagner, Jefress, Perez, Perez and others have shown the can pitch up here. Drabek, Hutchison can Start up here. And Nolin and Stroman look close.

They are not star players, just serviceable (or better) parts. You don't always need Stars, just people who can play.
Mike Green - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#279933) #
Drew Hutchison had a great outing in the AFL.
John Northey - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#279935) #
Lincecum would be very tempting, but also very risky.  Over the past 2 years his ERA+ has been 72, HR/9 1.0, BB/9 3.9 SO/9 9.0.  The HR/9 rate would worry me the most as the dome is prone to home runs and if a guy is having issues (he used to be 0.6 during his peak 4 years) then you have to fear that Toronto would make it worse.  I expect him to make a strong comeback but only in a place that isn't super-homer friendly.
Wildrose - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#279937) #
The Red Sox and Cards seem to have done pretty well without massive free agent signings.

Actually the Red Sox have been quite active on the free agent marketplace. They have 9 free agents under contract, led by John Lackey at 5 years/ 82 million. In fact they signed 7 guys just last off-season.

What they do though is look for depth signings and are prepared to overpay for short term value. This is a quote from Alex Speier as part of a 3 part story on Boston's ownership structure.

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2013/05/25/demystifying-red-sox-ownership-part-3-more-han

However, according to multiple sources familiar with the team's decision-making this offseason, some of the areas of emphasis for Henry included:

-- A desire for shorter-term deals, even if that meant paying higher average annual values.

-- The devotion of resources to building depth as opposed to a concentration of dollars in star players.

-- A need to rebuild a disciplined lineup with one of the highest walk rates in baseball.

-- Challenging the team's decision-making processes and ensuring that a diversity of voices took part in them. Henry noted publicly, for instance, that he wanted Bill James to have more influence.

I would say that this would be a good formula to emulate. I think to compete in the A.L. East you need to use all your resources.
Mike Green - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#279938) #
The six top teams in W rate- the Rays, Reds, Indians, A's, Red Sox and Braves- all did pretty well for themselves this year.  In a low batting average environment, you have to get on base somehow to have a functional offence.  The Cardinals bucked the trend by posting a very good .269 batting average, thanks to leading the majors in line-drive rate. 
Wildrose - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#279939) #
Unfortunately though there are obstacles to signing free agents in Toronto.

I think Koji Uehara illustrates this issue quite well. The guy had an outstanding season and provided excellent value for Boston. Sadly though he should have been a Jay. People forget that the team was ahead of the curve in terms of talent identification and actually had obtained Uehara in a trade with Texas in January of 2012. The Japanese hurler blocked the deal with a no trade caveat and AA on the rebound made the very unfortunate signing of Francisco Cordero.

Another guy who may have been a Jay is Carlos Beltran, AA is rumored to have had over 40 discussions with Beltran's agent, apparently willing to beat the Cardinals contractually all for naught.

I don't think it's impossible to sign free agents in Toronto, but your really going to have to  work at it, and probably at the end of the day you may have to financially overpay. Really it's a shame Toronto is a great city. I do think with so many prominent Dominican stars on the team there may be some leverage to obtain fellow countrymen for the team.



Wildrose - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#279942) #
The organization seems to have trouble acquiring young talent and/or shaping it into productive major-league talent.

I'm not so sure this generalization is all that accurate. I mean if AA doesn't sit beside Larry Beinfest on that bus at the winter meetings maybe the Marlin and Met deals don't get done. Instead we'd maybe  be talking about Toronto instead of the Cards as having the top farm system in the game ( the Jays were # 5 in 2012 and were second to the Cards, with 5 players to the Cards six players, in this past years top 100 prospect list as to who originally drafted those players). I think it's far too early to say that the AA regime can't develop minor league talent.

I think the bigger question that will rage on for the next decade is should they have traded away all this young talent ? My view even if he didn't sit beside Beinfest, AA was under pressure from upper management to get things kick started, to trade young talent for established players and to further grow the Rogers brand. From a financial point it seems to be working quite well as the team has had a sharp increase in revenues. It remains to be seen if this process will lead to better on field results however, this debate is far from over.
greenfrog - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#279943) #
Wildrose, what I meant was that the Red Sox succeeded this year despite eschewing the big free agents available last off-season (a strategy I endorsed at the time). Lackey is a holdover from the Epstein era who happened to rebound this year. But he's the exception - last year Boston dealt its remaining big contracts (A-Gon, Stewart, Beckett) in a salary dump.

My view last off-season was that the Red Sox's approach made a lot of sense given the state of the organization and the new CBA rules. This remains my view.
greenfrog - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#279944) #
Wildrose, you're using generalizations to refute a generalization. Specifically, how many minor-league or amateur players have the Jays under AA turned into productive major-leaguers?
Wildrose - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#279946) #
Wildrose, you're using generalizations to refute a generalization. Specifically, how many minor-league or amateur players have the Jays under AA turned into productive major-leaguers?

Not really. I gave specific examples of top 100 prospect draft ratings. AA has been on the job for only 4 years, your determinant using " productive major leaguers" as the end determinant is obviously a straw man argument as there simply hasn't been sufficient time for most players in this time frame to become every day major leaguers. Hopefully your not promoting the viewpoint that the team return to the early J.P. Ricciardi years of only drafting only College Seniors so as to fast track talent to the big leagues or rushing young prospects to the majors before they are ready just to satisfy impatient fans. Generally high school players take 5 to 6 years to become productive major leaguers. We can re-visit this argument  5 years down the road.
Wildrose - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#279948) #
My view last off-season was that the Red Sox's approach made a lot of sense given the state of the organization and the new CBA rules. This remains my view.

I'm glad you clarified this and I agree with you about the CBA. Given the limitations on spending both on the draft and on international players ( not to mention taking away draft choice compensation for most free agents) it's forcing teams to look more closely at improving through free agency.
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