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The World Series could end as soon as tonight, and the WS is closely followed by the hot stove season.  The general managers of the teams who have been eliminated have been talking and ideas are being floated.

One of those ideas hit the internets today when it was reported the Jays were interested in Gordon Beckham of the White Sox.

The article went on to suggest that a deal could be expanded to include a starting pitcher such as Hector Santiago or John Danks.


Having floated the trade idea the story then tries to show why it will not happen:

He (Beckham) was limited to 103 games due to the removal of a fractured left hamate bone, a strained ligament in his left wrist and a right quad strain that slowed him for the season's final six weeks.

There's a strong possibility that nothing short of an overwhelming offer would pry loose Beckham from the White Sox, as even in their current reshaping mode, the club hopes to contend in 2014.


The article then suggests the overwhelming offer would include either Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman.


More rumours are sure to hit soon.

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whiterasta80 - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#280166) #
Management would have to be more worried about Sanchez's mechanics than I am if they were considering moving Sanchez for Beckham and John Danks. That said, it would fill two glaring holes quickly and acceptably.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#280167) #
The way I read the article on mlbtraderumors was that the Jays might try to swing a deal for Beckham (personally doesn't appeal much to me) + a major league pitcher, and that the White Sox like Sanches/Stroman.

I would imagine that if the Jays get Beckham + <insert decent White Sox starter>, then one of Sanchez/Stroman would have to be on the table...

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#280168) #
Sorry, read that too fast - missed the line about Danks/Santiago, and thought you omitted that information entirely. Please forget what I wrote..

ramone - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#280169) #
I think Danks and Beckham would be a terrible acquisition for the Jays at almost any cost
finch - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#280170) #
Sale on the other hand, plus Beckham for Sanchez or Stroman plus low prospect would work for me.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#280171) #
I think it was reported that AA had asked about Beckham in the past.  Hopefully this story is just putting that past interest into a modern day story.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#280172) #
Don't hamate injuries take a long time to fully recover from? To the extent that you might not have Beckham at 100% until mid-to-late 2014?

Anyway, I'm not sure it really matters, as Beckham hasn't been that great since his rookie year. And if he does happen to turn it all around, he's entering his arb years and could get expensive fast.

I'd take a chance on Beckham, but I wouldn't give up much for him.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#280173) #

I checked BRef for Beckham and Goins.

Beckham is a slightly below average hitter and fielder.  His RAA (runs versus average) were -14 and -7 for the last two seasons.  His WAR (replacement level comp) was .7 and .8.

Ryan Goins had a RAA of +8 and a WAR of 1.4 in a quarter of the at-bats as Beckham this season.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#280174) #
Beckham has a reverse platoon differential over his career.  You have to believe that he has recovered significantly to offer much for him.

On a lighter note, the October 30 birthday team is interesting.  An outfield of Desmond Jennings, Ed Delahanty and either Joe Adcock or Danny Tartabull with the other DHing and Buck Freeman around to take at-bats as needed for the OF/1B and DH, an infield of Bill Terry, Marco Scutaro, Jason Bartlett and Jim Ray Hart with Dave Valle catching and Charlie Deal and Bobby Bragan  backing up.  That's a helluva lineup for a birthday club.  The pitching isn't as great- Jim Perry, Mark Portugal, Scott Garrelts, Ian Snell and Joe Johnson/Manny Parra in the rotation with Lee Tunnell, the other of Johnson and Parra in the bullpen with 3 players you don't know.  The defence down the middle of the diamond is pretty good and that will help out the pitchers, and the offence is first-rate.  You'll have 3 or 4 big bats in the lineup most days. 
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#280175) #
Listening to a Jeff Blair podcast (2nd or 3rd hour on the 25th, or 1st hour on the 28th) he had an interesting tidbit. Toronto will acquire a Top of the Rotation Starting pitcher, under 30, in a Roster-changing move. That's something I've not heard before.
92-93 - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#280176) #
Gordon Beckham has hit .244/.306/.364 in 4 injury-riddled years since his rookie season, and the White Sox should have to send the Blue Jays prospects (not the other way around) if they want them to absorb Danks' contract. This would be a bad way to allocate 20m of available payroll funds.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#280177) #
Is there any reason to believe that John Danks would be any better than Josh Johnson?
monkeyman - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#280178) #
as a calgary boy, tartabull and valle (dukes) brings back some great memories.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#280179) #
If I recall right, Tartabull put up some pretty astounding numbers for Calgary one year.   Checking...he went .300/.385/.615 as a 22 year old...about what you would expect from Tartabull in the PCL, but it must have been fun to watch all those dingers.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#280181) #
Checking FanGraphs I see Beckham lifetime at 2B has a 0.6 UZR/150 - IE: league average defensively.  Last year was a slight negative (-1.3) after a slight positive the year before (+1.4).  Beckham is a guy who is a lot like Izturis I think - nothing special offensively or defensively just mediocre all around thus really not what the Jays need.  If AA goes for him he better be dumping Izturis as part of the deal as both are basically similar players - able to play 2B/3B but not SS (kinda sorta but not really), league average all around on defense with an 80 to 90 OPS+ being the best you should plan on as expecting more is just asking for headaches.  Beckham is 85 OPS+ lifetime while Izturis is at 90 but Beckham is 5 years younger.

Yeah, if Beckham is the answer the question better be 'Who is a mediocre backup for 2B/3B'.
eudaimon - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#280183) #
Beckham is an odd case. I don't know anything about his background but he has only 297 careers ABs in the minors, 38 of which came this year (presumably as part of a rehab assignment?) with the rest coming in 2008-2009. I wonder why he was rushed so quickly. The numbers seem to state that he's a steady if unspectacular fielder which is nice to have at 2b. He hit well in his first year but the league adjusted and he has stagnated since.

His value depends on his hitting, I think. Someone on fangraphs made a "bold prediction" that he would hit 20 HR in 2013. Obviously that didn't quite work out, but I wonder if there's some potential here that we're missing. For what it's worth his minor league OPS in those 297 ABs is .876

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, October 30 2013 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#280184) #
Bob Dutton (covers the Royals) confirms Kevin Seitzer is taking the Jays hitting coach job.
Eephus - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#280185) #
Well, that baseball season left me with the worst feeling ever. If you excuse me, I'll be in the Angry Dome...


There we go. 2014 anyone?
Mike Green - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#280186) #
I am glad to hear of Seitzer's hiring.  It still remains puzzling that the pitching coach will be back and that there does not appear to be help for the catchers, at least so far.
Parker - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#280187) #
I hope Seitzer knows what he's doing and it wasn't just a case of his being in the right place at the right time in KC. The Royals fired him over his "philosophical differences" with Ned Yost, which sounds like a euphemism for Yost's belief that Seitzer has the wrong coaching philosophy. I hate that now I second-guess every move this organization makes, but it looks to me like the GM got to hire "his guy" and now the manager is getting to hire "his guy."

Then again, the coaching might not even be an issue. Farrell's comments about Toronto's player evaluation really bothered me. Maybe Toronto has a penchant for acquiring uncoachable players. I certainly don't blame the coaching staff for J.P. Arencibia's bewildering inability to internalize even the most fundamental aspects of hitting and catching. A team firing its hitting coach and keeping its pitching coach after the hitting is average and the starting pitching is an almost unprecedented disaster makes little to no sense on the surface either.
Chuck - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#280190) #
The Royals fired him over his "philosophical differences" with Ned Yost, which sounds like a euphemism for Yost's belief that Seitzer has the wrong coaching philosophy.

To me "philosophical differences" sounds like a euphemism for "I didn't like him".

Thomas - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#280194) #
Having philosophical differences with Ned Yost doesn't sound like a mark against you in my books.
85bluejay - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#280195) #
Congratulations to John Farrell & the Red Sox - well deserved - I don't get all the hate for Farrell - players/managers/executives/teams do this all the time, there really isn't too much loyalty in business - for me, loyalty has more to do with family/friends - Toronto fans didn't seem to mind when Brian Burke still employed by Anaheim was sealed & delivered to the leafs - I was impressed by the job that Cherington did last offseason & not surprised by Boston's success - even more impressive is that the team kept all their quality prospects & now have one of the best farm systems in baseball in addition to being World Champs.

 Kevin Seitzer is interesting & I generally support the manager having his guy - the big criticism of Seitzer in K.C  seemed to be a lack of HR production, something that shouldn't be a problem in HR friendly Rogers Centre - From what I've read, Seitzer is an up the middle rather than a swing for the fence guy -   I'm a big fan of OBP & wearing down the starter - it will be interesting to see how Bautista, in particular adopts to this approach (that is, if he's still on the team)

I'd rather the Jays keep their quality prospects like Stroman & Sanchez - I'd prefer seeing Stroman in the rotation than Danks - I also hope that AA's infatuation with Beckham has dwindled and the rumour is just a rehash from previous years.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#280210) #
The Dodgers declined Mark Ellis' option at $5.75 million ($1 million buyout).  I like him.
JB21 - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#280211) #
Same, good defense and could platoon at second as well as back up in the IF as well.
Gerry - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#280212) #
The Jays have picked up options on Casey Janssen, Adam Lind and Mark DeRosa. They decline the option on Munenori Kawasaki.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#280213) #
I don't agree with the Lind, DeRosa and Kawasaki decisions.  I guess they really like Goins.  It is definitely a judgment call.

None of the decisions are, on the other hand, earth-shattering.
perlhack - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#280214) #
Not a hot-stove item, but interesting nonetheless.

Anthony Cardenas, 2006 Cubs draftee who would break up an A.J. Burnett no-hitter in 2012, explains in New Yorker magazine why he quit baseball.
Paul D - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#280215) #
I imagine that Lind could still be traded.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#280216) #
I've looked at some of the names mentioned that Toronto was/is interested in. If they are an "injury- risk" asset, A.A. will no longer target them. We've just had too many " injury issues" already, we don't need more.

Everyone so far listed as being of interest to the Jays is not "new" news. Although I wouldn't turn down Brian McCann, at whatever his price. He just ticks too many of the boxes for needs.

I see Starting Pitching as the Number One Priority and Number Two Priority. Catching is Priority Number Three. Ryan Goins is enough of a Second Baseman (he defends) to push that need way down on the list.

I like the Seitzer hiring, he's enough different from everyone else we've had the last few years to make to make him interesting. Picking up options on Casey Janssen and Mark DeRosa were easy decisions. At present, they are unwilling to use a 40-man Roster space on Kawasaki. It's possible he'll be signed to a minor league deal to keep him around. Adam Lind earned his option. Replacing what he gave for $5.0 MM is not that easy.

I have an idea who A.A. might go after, and perhaps others might too. I don't want to jinx any acquisition so I'll shut up.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#280217) #
I imagine they'll try to bring back Kawasaki for considerably less than his million dollar option.

I think all the decisions were correct, and frankly, quite expected.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#280218) #
Next up Josh Johnson. I believe a decision has to be made by Monday evening as to making a qualifying offer.

Given the recent Tim Lincecum deal , I believe all things being equal that they will qualify him.
John Northey - Thursday, October 31 2013 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#280219) #
Funny, Cot's didn't list an option for Kawasaki and they are normally very good at that sort of thing.  Hopefully he comes back on a AAA deal but he is hardly an answer to anything beyond who to call up if a backup infielder is needed for a few weeks.

Brian McCann is very interesting.  A free agent, probably needs compensation (a second round pick for the Jays), should cost about $15 mil a year over 5 years I suspect.  His 2012 is scary (87 OPS+ in 121 games) but otherwise he is a lifetime 117 OPS+ catcher who averages 130 games a year.  Bats left so a platoon can work nicely with him although Thole is likely sticking (knuckleball) and he hits left as well.  Turns 30 this year so a 3 year deal is ideal while a 5 year might require eating the last 2 years.  His defensive stats at B-R are negative but not grossly so. Since he took over catching full time for Atlanta in 2006 they've gone from a 4.60 ERA to a 3.18 this past year, 3.6 or lower every year since 2009 (since 2009 ranked #3, 3, 4, 4, 1 in ERA out of 16 or 15 teams).  Now, he hardly is 100% responsible for that, but it certainly is a good sign for his handling of pitchers.  As a negative he has been in the playoffs 4 times and his teams lost all 4.

He certainly would be an ideal fit. Would he be willing to switch to the AL - he caught all but 1-3 games a year (those being DH games) and here he'd probably DH a lot more often depending on what happens with Lind/Encarnacion this winter.  Would Toronto appeal to him?  Hard to know. At up to 5 years I could see it working but anyone would be nuts to offer longer than that to a catcher (I'd hesitate on going over 3).  Still, he is what the Jays need and JPA's peak is his basement.
Parker - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#280220) #
I hope ditching Kawasaki means the team has big plans for second base. If they were going to hand the job to Goins you'd think it'd be prudent to keep Muni around just in case Goins falls flat on his face next season. Kawasaki has at least shown ability to get on base, while Goins managed only two walks in over a hunndred plate appearances. I'm hoping that letting Muni walk means that they've targeted a proven ML pivot and they're planning to let Goins take over as utility infielder.

While I don't have anything concrete to base this on, I suspect that Kawasaki's contributions to the team are worth more than his option and the roster spot he'd occupy. Goins meanwhile hasn't proven he can hit at the major league level (he sure can't draw a walk in the majors) and has options remaining. I'm pretty disappointed with this decision.
christaylor - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#280221) #
I like the decisions -- I expect JJ will be qualified.

On second base, I don't think it is a priority either, but I can see something happening there as it seems like a position where one could upgrade relatively easily... given the market for pitching, it might be better to hope on one of the back end starters blossoming a bit. Drabek is young enough to hope on -- I'd say better than even he's a useful arm at the back end or in the pen in the next two years.

I'm not sold on McCann especially given the years he'd need -- I'd rather AA go after defensive catcher who can hit at catcher replacement level with the money spent elsewhere... McCann probably has to move off C during whatever contract he gets and he doesn't quite hit enough for 1B/DH.

I'll consider the hot stove season success with one quality FA pitcher signing on a 3 year (whatever money) deal, a roll of the dice starter, and something done at catcher. Does anyone even claim JPA if he's on waivers? Whatever AA does, I'd bet we're going to think this a quiet off-season, even if only because of the contrast effect from what happened last year.
Parker - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#280222) #
Wildrose, thanks for injecting a little sanity into my half-cocked ranting. I never considered the possibility of bringing back Kawasaki at a reduced rate.

Honestly though, is he not worth $1M? Even if he agreed to come back at the league minimum that only saves the team a few hundred K. It seems unlikely this savings would be the deciding factor as to whether the team could afford to sign a catcher.

I suspect some ML team will give Kawasaki $1M even if the Jays won't. He's practically worth the million just for the PR he brings to a team.
Chuck - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#280223) #
Rotoworld says that Richard Griffin is reporting that Kawasaki is expected to return to Japan.
Wildrose - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#280224) #
Honestly though, is he not worth $1M? Even if he agreed to come back at the league minimum that only saves the team a few hundred K. It seems unlikely this savings would be the deciding factor as to whether the team could afford to sign a catcher.

Richard Griffin on twitter is reporting Muni is going back to Japan.

Roster update from #bluejays include refuse option on Kawasaki. Sources say Mune likely back to Japan for $2M and Jays were aware.
Mike Green - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#280225) #
The major league minimum is $500,000.  DeRosa's salary is $750,000.  The declining of Kawasaki's option for $1 million surely had nothing to do with money but rather a preference for Goins.  I understand it (Goins did look better defensively in his appearance here) but don't agree with it.

What I don't like about the picking up of DeRosa's and Lind's options is the roster implications (and the unlikelihood that Lind will deliver value for money in light of his career record).  It likely means that you have Lawrie, Reyes, Goins, Izturis, Encarnacion, DeRosa and Lind covering the infield and DH, and you will not really be able to add a second baseman like Ellis without making some other roster move or having bench deficient in other respects. Obviously if you move to a shorter bullpen, this concern would be alleviated, but I don't see evidence that this will happen. 

eudaimon - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#280226) #
I could see Lind being a trade chip this winter coming off a nice year. It could be a nice "sell high" situation, definitely worth 7.5m
John Northey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#280227) #
I wouldn't view Kawasaki being gone as a big issue - he was, at best, a guy who would fill in at SS whenever Reyes is hurt with league average defense and a walk heavy OPS in the 600's.  At worst he would've been a below average fielder with an OPS in the 500's.  Not a ton of value there, just a fun guy to have around. I think its great he got his big league shot and made the most of it but his future will be as a coach or TV personality in Japan I suspect after a few more years of playing there.

As to the Jays infield situation now...
DH/1B: Encarnacion/Lind with DeRosa platooning with Lind
2B: Goins/Izturis
3B: Lawrie with Izturis & DeRosa backups
SS: Reyes with Goins backup

It seems clear to me that isn't going to be the situation in March let alone April.  Goins can easily be sent back to AAA, DeRosa is a guy who could probably be traded for a D prospect if space is needed (or just lost on waivers), Izturis will be the challenge as he has no value right now after showing exceptionally poor defense (UZR/150 was -26.7 at 2B, -23.1 at 3B, -22 at SS) and a very poor bat (65 OPS+) but has $7 million left on his contract ($3 per year for 2014/5 plus $1 mil buyout for 2016 $3 mil option).  Boy was Izturis a poor signing in retrospect.  Encarnacion/Lind/Reyes/Lawrie aren't likely going anywhere.

So what is likely?  If a new 2B is signed/traded for the Jays would likely send Goins to AAA and use DeRosa/Izturis as backups forcing Reyes to play everyday.  Ideally the Jays would find a trading partner who would take Izturis as part of a 'your ugly contract for mine' deal with the Jays getting an overpriced but good 2B back.

Who are the 2B in the majors who might be available?  Sub 500 teams normally are the dumpers.
White Sox: Gordon Beckham arbitration, likely sub $5 mil so not likely
Minnesota: Brian Dozier is still pre-arbitration so no chance
Angels: Howie Kendrick $9.4 in 14, $9.5 in 15 but has right to block trade to 4 teams so not likely
Seattle: Nick Franklin pre arb
Houston: Jose Altuve pre arb
Miami: Donovan Solano pre arb
Philly: Chase Utley $15 mil 2014, $10 in 2015 (potentially $15 mil if no DL time for knee injury), with 3 more years of $15 mil if he gets 500 PA each year
Mets: Daniel Murphy arbitration, not likely
Milwaukee: Rickie Weeks $11 mil in 2014, $11.5 in 2015 if he gets 600+ PA
Cubs: Darwin Barney 56 OPS+ so irrelevant
Padres: Jedd Gyorko pre arb
Giants: Marco Scutaro $6.7 in 2014 and same in 2015 but with 112 OPS+ don't see him moving
Rockies: DJ LeMahieu pre arb and Josh Rutledge pre arb

Not many jump out.  Chase Utley and Rickie Weeks are the only ones who seem to fit the profile of overpriced but still useful.  Kendrick seems expensive but worth it and is with a rich team. 

Utley has a 125 OPS+ last year but is entering his age 35 season so probably won't be around by the time the Phillies rebuild (which they really need to do I think) thus clearing his salary would make a lot of sense for them.  Weeks would be a pure dump as he has an 80 OPS+ last year after a 93 the year before (lifetime 103) and is entering his age 31 season.  Milwaukee would be wise to clear him out as they have a tight budget.  $7 mil for Izturis is cheaper than $11 mil for Weeks and avoids the $11.5 risk if they play Weeks everyday.  But would he be an improvement? Probably not by much if at all as he was a -16.9 UZR last year.  So I don't see that happening either unless they gave the Jays a prospect of some value back as part of the deal.  Milwaukee is weak at 1B as well and has a kid who played well at 2B so maybe a Lind/Izturis for Weeks plus prospect might work for everyone as long as the Jays feel Weeks can recover to some degree or feel safer cutting him an $11 mil cheque to go away vs Izturis on the roster (thus needing a good prospect back).  Their catcher is very good (Jonathan Lucroy) but signed to a very team friendly contract for 2014-2016 with a nice option for 2017 - the Jays would love him but he'd cost a lot more than eating some salary.  Of course, they also have Ryan Braun who is owed a ton and plays LF.

So for the ultimate mix-match the Jays eat Braun/Weeks salaries and get Lucroy to catch sending Milwaukee a roster eater in Izturis, a catcher in JPA, and a 1B in Lind plus one of the outfield prospects so their payroll drops (drastically) and the Jays have a LF/2B/CA for next year although 2B would still be weak with Weeks while Cabrera goes to DH and is part of a LF/DH PED mix with Braun who is owed $117 between now and 2020 ($16.7 mil a year for 7 years).  Risky as you don't know what you get with Braun but high reward potential and if you can steal away Lucroy then it could work nicely.  But boy would that be a gutsy one to try to pull off.
John Northey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#280228) #
FYI: Josh Johnson's option not picked up, removed from 40 man roster and is now a free agent.  Also free agents are Ramon Ortiz, Rajai Davis and Darren Oliver as per the Blue Jays site.
John Northey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#280229) #
Ignore my last post - Johnson is off the roster due to being a free agent, the Jays still do a qualifying offer.  Just a big dazed there.
Beyonder - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#280233) #
This is appropos of nothing, but this discussion of the taxes applicable to Kobe Bryant's salary really puts the lie to the myth that Canadian sports teams are pariahs due to excessive taxes.

"Bryant's total take home of that $24.3 million check, however, is subject to heavy taxes, which could total as much as 55 percent of his salary. That would reduce his take-home pay to closer to $11 million, according to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant who heads up the sports and entertainment group at FMRTL in Cranford, N.J.

In his tax bracket, Bryant is subject to paying a federal tax at the top rate of 39.6 percent, which would mean $9.6 million will be withheld and given to Uncle Sam. As a California resident, he's subject to paying an additional 13.3 percent, or $3.2 million, in state taxes. California has the highest state income tax in the United States. The Medicare tax and surcharge would reduce his total take to about $10.9 million, Raiola said."
Wildrose - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#280235) #
I think Lind will be perfectly fine in terms of value moving forward.

Last year his War was 1.8 ,  Steamer a very good projection system has him at 1.7  for 2014.

With the new cash infusion from various shared revenue streams each team gets in 2014 ( probably in the 30-35 million range ), the average value of a marginal win is expected to climb significantly up into the 6 million range.

If he hits his rather conservative projections ( and I think he should only face lefties which would drive his numbers higher) he's probably worth 10.2  million in 2014 and is being paid $ 7 million. He has a 2015 $7.5 and 2016 $8  million club option which is well within aging and inflationary parameters.

As I've said many times,  Adam Lind is the least of this teams problems.

92-93 - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#280236) #
An evaluation of Lind that ignores his 2010-2012 as well as the team's current commitments and likely payroll ceiling is pretty pointless. Yes, the 2013 version of Lind was worth 7m on the open FA market. No, that doesn't mean picking up his option was the right move for the Jays.
ogator - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#280238) #
I would like to express an opinion that is contrary to what most people are contrary to what AA is saying. I think starting pitching is NOT an issue.
Group 1: Buerhle, Dickey...will be starters
Group 2: Morrow, Happ...Major League experienced starters
Group 3: Stroman, Nolin ...Look very close
Group 4: Drabek, Hutchison..injured but could be very close
Group 5: Redmond, Rogers....have been effective at times
Group 6: Mcguire, Jenkins, Romero..unlikely to be effective
but not absurd suggestions
I think there are 10 reasonable starters for five positions. I think 2B, Catcher and maybe LF are more serious concerns. Won't groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 be able to produce three Major League Starters? I would never qualify Johnson because it is a ridiculous expense for someone who might be effective but might be a complete bust. We already have a mitt-full of those guys and the ones we have come at a fraction of the cost.
Mike Green - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#280239) #
In response to the comments about the dollar value of Lind's 2013 production, Kawasaki delivered 0.8 WAR (fangraphs) and 1.3 WAR (BBRef) despite spending a good part of the season in the minors.  If you really believe the dollar numbers for win production and use them to support Lind's renewal, you'd make the declining of Kawasaki's option a grievous error.  I don't believe either that the dollar values are accurate or that the declining of Kawasaki's option was a grievous error. 
John Northey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#280242) #
ogator - very good point on the pitchers.  Right now though I wouldn't expect more than 100 ERA+'s from anyone on the list, although many have potential for 120+.

For needs I'd rank it...
1) 2B - total disaster in 2013, Izturis is not the answer to any question beyond "where will $7 mil be wasted in 2014/5" and Goins has defense but his offense is unlikely to be more than John McDonald level and that adds up to not much (remember, his WAR was high due to defense that ranked at better than anyone ever recorded by modern methods by a massive margin so extremely unlikely to be repeated).  Cano would be a dream, but his contract will be a nightmare so the Jays need to hunt hard to find someone solid.

2) CA - near total disaster in 2013.  JPA fell apart, Thole tore apart AAA but looked lost at the plate in the majors and the top prospect is a year away.  There are always decent options each winter out there but will the Jays find the right one?

3) Rotation Ace - we have 10 guys who should produce 80-100 ERA+ level production if healthy (mind and body) but for a #1 we need more. How to get?  Lord knows.  A few interesting free agents are out there, an interesting possibility from Japan is there too.  Trades are always possible. However, this is also the most expensive area to find and the Jays had 2 guys who should've been ace or near ace level in Johnson and Dickey but didn't get that so you know there are no guarantees. 

I'd be very happy if AA solves #1 & #2 above.  #3 would be nice but will be hardest to achieve and even if done has no guarantees.
Shaker - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#280244) #

I share your view and wonder if we are actually in the minority?

I do have a fundamental difference with your conclusion though.  It is because of the depth we have in pitching that picking up the Josh Johnson lottery ticket is an excellent idea.  If he performs to his ceiling it was obviously wise to qualify him.  If he only pitches 100 IP at a high level then he can be supported by any of the pitchers you list above (most likely with Hutch or Drabek or one of the swingmen, Esmil or Redmond).  Obviously if JJ repeats his 2013 season it will have been unwise to qualify him, but any pitcher in baseball can get hurt as JJ did last year.  You simply have to look at former aces such as Halladay, Haren, Lincecum, Sabathia to know that anything can happen to a pitcher - which is why you need to have depth - either in the minors or in the pen.

Just as it was last off-season, entering this season with Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, JJ and Happ is plenty good enough to contend.  The difference this year is the return of our top young pitchers Drabek and Hutch along with the development of Stroman and Nolin which will great reduce the pain of the inevitable injuries to our starting staff.

Of course, I'd rather have Tanaka than JJ, but that seems highly unlikely given all the info we have at this point.  Remember, one is a >$100M commitment the other is <$15M.

Shaker - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#280245) #
I had a look last night at 2013 AL OPS rank by position. 

Using and a min 300 PA, I was surprised to find the following about the Jays:
RF: #1
1B: #2
DH: #2
CF: #2
SS: #3

That's 5 out of 9 hitting slots where were are in the top 3.  Only 3 other teams had 2 players in those 5 positions land in the top 3 in OPS: Boston, Detroit and Oakland.  Division winners.

You are well aware of the debacle at 2B and C.  The other 2 positions are LF and 3B...

I guess I have been overrating Brett Lawrie.  I now realise he will not be a top 5 3B in the AL anytime soon.  Ahead of him are perennial stars Miggy, Longoria, Beltre, Machado (for now), along with youngsters Seager, Moustakas and Chisenhall.  It's a crowded field and despite Lawrie's incredible athleticism on D, he is actually a mediocre AL 3B.  More shocking than that statement was the fact that (in a higher number of plate appearances) Lawrie had both fewer Runs Scored and RBI that Mike Aviles!  That blew my mind.  Until otherwise demonstrated, the impatient Lawrie should probably bat in the bottom third of our lineup.  My mind is open on this, not closed, but still I was shocked....

On to LF...Rajai Davis was 12th in OPS, however, if used in a strict platoon vs LHP he was 3rd.  (He was also 6th in 2012 vs LHP.)  With Melky you have to allow for the 2013 mulligan spine issue.  In 2011, he was 5th among AL LF.  In 2012, he was 2nd to Ryan Braun in the NL, but just as I give him a 2013 pass, I give him a 2012 pass, too.  I believe Melky will hit well in 2014.

Back to C and 2B.  I think a major offensive upgrade at one of the 2 positions (along with a defensive upgrade at the other position) and we are set.

Do we send Janssen and Izturis back to Cali and take 2B Kendrick in return??

christaylor - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#280246) #
"WAR... what is it good for?"

I think the dollar values are fine for supporting Lind's renewal and for declining Kawasaki -- it is an open secret that WAR has problems judging the contribution of defense. I feel WAR also has issues evaluating players that are skewed to being offense/defense specialists, and Kawasaki certainly belongs in that group. There's no penalty for being one-dimensional.
Wildrose - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#280247) #
An evaluation of Lind that ignores his 2010-2012 as well as the team's current commitments and likely payroll ceiling is pretty pointless. Yes, the 2013 version of Lind was worth 7m on the open FA market. No, that doesn't mean picking up his option was the right move for the Jays.

I agree and that's exactly what Steamer projections examine, the 2010-2012 period would have played a significant part of the 2014 projection.

Without knowing what the payroll ceiling is, if it even exists, discussion about it's limits  is also rather pointless. Given the team agreed to several club options on Lind, I imagine they have a good idea about what he is going to cost down the road.
Mike Green - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#280248) #
The Steamer projection has Lind as a better baserunner in 2014 than in 2010-13.  Not credible.  It has him as essentially as a league average defender at first base (using UZR stats over several years, without regard for DRS or subjective observation).  It projects him as hitting .267/.332/.465 (optimistic but possible).  It projects him as having 587 PAs, more than in any season since 2010- unreasonable in light of his age, position, and PA pattern (which is consistent with the injury which we know explains it). 

Over his career, Adam Lind has delivered 5 WAR, if you accept UZR's account of his defense and less if you use DRS'.  That is over 5 seasons.  Expecting him to do better at age 30 than he has done on average from age 24-29 (with a peak season in 2009) is not a winning proposition. In other words, plausible projections are at around 1 WAR.  He basically has about the same value as Kawasaki...

Dewey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#280249) #
It continues to puzzle me why people here continue to cite Drabek as a solution to anything at the major-league level.  What has he done -- ever -- that makes you think so?  Did none of you see the game in which he was shelled this year at Rogers Centre?  The poor guy looked absolutely lost. 
John Northey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#280250) #
Drabek is a lottery ticket - he has a live arm but has trouble with pitch selection and accuracy (which describes tons of pitchers actually).  He _could_ be good, but likely will be nothing much.  Have enough like him and you'll hit a star eventually but the trick is to get solid coaching and patience.  I wouldn't count on him, but listing him as one of 10 options for the rotation isn't crazy by any means.  Odds are he'll spend most of 2014 in Buffalo's rotation and if he can figure it out he'll be up here, if not he might disappear entirely by 2015.
Wildrose - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#280254) #
The Steamer projection has Lind as a better baserunner in 2014 than in 2010-13.  Not credible.

I don't have a lot of exacting faith in base running stats quite frankly. Any metric that has Edwin Encarnacion as the third best base-runner on the current roster makes me wonder, especially after reading he was the fourth slowest runner home to first in all of baseball according to Acta Sports ( Fielding Bible). I think Steamer does a lot of regression with baserunning given it's dubious variation.

It has him as essentially as a league average defender at first base (using UZR stats over several years, without regard for DRS or subjective observation).

His DRS is about -6 per/150 career, not far off his -2.7 career UZR. I'd blend the two and with aging  I think his projections are about right. I think he'll spend half the time at D.H. anyway, so less a problem.

It projects him as hitting .267/.332/.465 (optimistic but possible). 

As I said earlier, no way should he face many lefties. The plate appearances are far too high in this scenario. As an everyday player they project him to have a .797 OPS. As a left-handed platoon hitter though, his career OPS is .850 which I think he's quite capable of achieving  in 2014.

He basically has about the same value as Kawasaki...

As Chris says, the variable nature of baserunning and fielding metrics make guys like Kawasaki hard to evaluate on the margins.

Listen he's not perfect, but I think he can achieve a 1.5-2.0 WAR in 2014. If he fails , he's only on a one year deal. I do think it's reasonable to look for a some sort of plan B option however. Any ideas?


Wildrose - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#280255) #
Wilner is reporting maybe not so fast on the sayonora for Kawasaki.

I'm told Kawasaki does not have a deal with any team in Japan, nor is there a $2MM offer waiting. Conceivable he returns to #Bluejays org.

I'm actually not opposed to a Kawasaki/Ellis combination at second. I think though they'd have to pay Izzy to go away.

John Northey - Friday, November 01 2013 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#280257) #
There are just 3 options with Izturis.
1) Keep him for the remaining 2 years and let him go then ($7 mil over 2 years) as he eats a roster slot
2) Release him and choke on the $7 mil
3) Trade him as part of a 'my headache for yours' deal. I see few options though as where could the Jays hide a big salary backup?  Unless they were willing to go for the big Braun risk of course.  Or Ian Kinsler in Texas as they probably want Profar to take over at 2B and Kinsler would not be happy as a backup (105 OPS+) and makes $63 mil over the next 4 years.  So Izturis eats up $7 mil of that leaving the Jays with $56 mil to deal with over 4 years but a guy who actually might be an asset while the Rangers get a backup which is what they'd want at this point plus payroll flexibility.

Of course, if Texas is insane enough to trade Profar here for pretty much anything (he is a 20 year old 2B who had a 76 OPS+ over 324 PA last year) I'd do that and just release Izturis.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#280263) #
Giving Josh Johnson a one year contract at $8.0 MM instead of a qualifying offer saves us $6.0 MM if he accepts. Or $14.1 MM if he doesn't. Making him a Qualifying Offer of $14.1 MM will be the most he's ever paid. Given the fact that he's unlikely to accept more than a one year offer, to build his value, so he's a guarantee to accept a Qualifying Offer.

I believe it's a huge risk to spend that much money on anyone being so unexplainably bad for a full year. That $14.1 MM is better spent elsewhere.
Paul D - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#280264) #
I could see Kinsler being available in trade, but I could also see him being a terrible defensive 2b as he ages, and I really think that the Jays need to get someone with great defence in there (which is why I'm not opposed to some sort of Goins/Ellis platoon)
JB21 - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#280267) #
Re: Josh Johnson, I enjoyed this piece, and I really believe the Jays have to pick up Josh Johnson's option (Or obviously sign him for less if you are able to do so).
smcs - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#280269) #
I'm not sure the Jays can sign Johnson for less than $11MM. Per Article VI of  the CBA,

B. Maximum Salary Reduction

(1)Maximum Salary Cut Rule

A Club may not tender, sign or renew a Player under reserve to the Club pursuant to Article XX(A) of this Agreement and paragraph 10(a) of the Uniform Player’s Contract to a Uniform Player’s Contract that provides a salary for:
(a) Major League service that constitutes a reduction in excess of 20% of his salary for Major League service in the previous season or in excess of 30% of his salary for Major League service two seasons prior to the first season covered by the new contract;

Chuck - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#280271) #
Even if you accept the premise that random variability goes a long way towards explaining Johnson's poor numbers, there is the non-inconsequential caveat of his health history. He has been healthy just one of the past three seasons and just four of his career eight.

So had he logged 80 innings of 3.60 (matching his xFIP), would he necessarily be a shoo-in for a qualifying offer? I imagine he'd get one, but I'm not convinced that he necessarily should.

His xFIPs do portray him as a much more consistent performer (between 3.07 and 3.73 for the past 6 years) than do his ERAs (1.64 to 6.20). So one could argue that his expected level of performance is actually quite predictable. But from year to year, the big problem is that you don't know if he'll be healthy or not. I understand that this can be said of all pitchers, but of Johnson especially.

Shaker - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#280272) #

I agree with everything you said above, especially your last sentence.

Do you believe there is a better FA starting pitcher who would sign with us?
Original Ryan - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#280273) #
I'm not sure the Jays can sign Johnson for less than $11MM. Per Article VI of the CBA,

That applies to players "under reserve" (e.g. players who are arbitration-eligible). As far as I know, it wouldn't apply to Johnson if he were a free agent and the Blue Jays didn't make him a qualifying offer.

Chuck - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#280274) #
Do you believe there is a better FA starting pitcher who would sign with us?

I obviously have no idea who would sign with Toronto, nor for how much. If we accept the position that FAs are less inclined to sign with Toronto than someone else (a separate argument altogether) then this would push the organization in Johnson's direction, the rationale being that they couldn't likely sign someone else whereas with Johnson, a QO might be too good for him to turn down. And that would be predicated on the position that someone -- anyone -- from the outside just absolutely had to be brought in.

Given the variability of starting pitchers, and the team's pressing needs at at least two positions, I'd sooner spend the available dollars on the greater certainty that position players present than on pitching.

Gerry - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#280275) #
Jeter just signed a $12M deal, he made $17M in 2013. That is a 30% drop.
smcs - Saturday, November 02 2013 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#280276) #
I give up trying to figure this CBA out. Someone needs to do for the MLB CBA what Larry Coon did for the NBA CBA.
SK in NJ - Sunday, November 03 2013 @ 03:32 PM EST (#280284) #
Without the QO, I can't imagine any scenario where Johnson re-signs with the Jays. I'm sure a team like the Cardinals or Pirates would sign him to a one year deal with incentives, and give him a much better chance to 1) improve his value for next year (NL, pitcher's parks, better defense), and 2) win.

If the Jays want to bring Johnson back, offer him the QO and hope for the best. I might be tempted to do that, but the Jays have so many holes to fill, I don't think AA will.
Shaker - Sunday, November 03 2013 @ 03:50 PM EST (#280285) #
"but the Jays have so many holes to fill, I don't think AA will."

I don't see how SP and C are so many holes to fill. In fact it's an extremely short shopping list. Granted if the C we get can't hit we also need to find a 2B, but really if we can find a good glove/good bat player at one of 2B or C, the other position becomes less worrisome. As an example, if we were to sign McCann, we'd be fine with Goins at 2B. Conversely if we landed Kendrick we'd be ok with a glove first catcher to platoon with either JPA or Thole.

Either way adding a SP is job one. If we can trade for someone better/more reliable than JJ (like Fister or Bailey) great, but if we can't without hurting our club, then we may as well QO JJ and roll the expensive dice. This is the gamble Alex Is dealing with today.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 03 2013 @ 10:37 PM EST (#280290) #
Some GMs grossly overprice their players. Fans of a team or players do the same things. They are not reasonable about the subject either.

The caliber of the Starting Pitcher acquired is a question to the posters on this Site. I think we need a Front-Of-The-Rotation Starter better than anyone presently here to give us a chance at the postseason. Others will settle for much less which means another lost season.

1) New Acquisition; 2) R.A. Dickey; 3) New Acquisition; 4) Mark Buehrle; 5) Brandon Morrow or someone else will be a good enough Rotation to compete, if A.A. stays away from injury risk pitchers. We'll have Happ, Rogers, Redmond, Drabek and Hutchison as primary backups.

In addition, I would trade Jose Bautista because his value is needed in a trade. I'd trade/replace J.P. Arencibia and find the best possible person to take over. I'd trade/buyout Maicer Izturis (about $6.0 MM) because our bench must be MUCH better. Josh Thole, Mark DeRosa, and Maicer Izturis are mediocre pitch-hitting potential.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 03 2013 @ 10:47 PM EST (#280292) #
Will Josh Johnson be the Pitcher, next year, that A.A. thought he was getting, this year? I don't think A.A. can take a chance on that. A.A. needs a surer thing. Brandon Morrow is rehabbing an injury instead of Surgery, which takes 6-8 months to recover from. Most of the time, Surgery is still needed. He's enough of a question without adding Johnson too.
John Northey - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 12:43 AM EST (#280295) #
The market for free agents will be quite interesting this winter - it could go crazy as all teams have over $30 mil more than they had last year (minimum).  Of course, in a rational market that $30 mil being a fixed amount of revenue regardless of what you do on the field would not factor into salaries and instead would be pure profit for each owner.  But MLB is not always rational.

Adding an ace is a VERY difficult thing to do.  Getting Dickey, Johnson and Buehrle last winter was a major thing to do, and incredibly bad luck to have all 3 put out poor seasons vs recent performance.  The QO for Johnson is a very hard choice, but since it is a one year deal it might be worth it as next winter a QO might be $20 mil and if he is healthy (major if) he can be an ace. 

For free agents, FanGraphs has it up now and it is funny to see the leader in fWAR is A.J. Burnett followed by Bartolo Colon and Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte.  There are 4 who won't be coming here for certain.  Ubaldo Jimenez is next but he has an $8 mil team option.  The others with 3+ WAR are Ricky Nolasco (traded mid-season so no compensation possible) and Ervin Santana who is a bit homer prone thus not ideal for here.  Matt Garza (2.2 fWAR) will get tons of attention too.  Now we are getting to the low 2's thus no guarantee of performance (if there ever is). 

Tanaka from Japan will generate tons of interest, but that 160 pitch game followed the next day by a closing performance will probably scare off some teams (pitched great, but could damage his arm).  After that you get into the trade possibilities and those will be very expensive as well.
Parker - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 08:22 AM EST (#280297) #
I don't know why everyone keeps saying it's bad luck that all the acquired big-ticket pitchers were disappointing. Johnson has been a concern for a few years with injury problems and declining velocity, combine that with pitching half his games in Rogers Centre and against AL East competition, and you have a recipe for disaster. Buehrle's never been an ace (despite now being paid like one) and his performance this year was actually better than expected. Dickey can't really be projected by conventional means, but there was no reason to expect anything other than regression based on the home field and tougher competition, as well as being a year older (and already almost 40.)

To me, the "bad luck" was that the team wasn't an absolute hitting powerhouse, but I don't know if that's bad luck, bad coaching, or bad organizational development philosophy. If it was bad luck, that bad luck was more than offset by the good luck in most of the bullpen's first half performance.
John Northey - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 08:45 AM EST (#280298) #
Well, the only starter with an ERA+ over 100 was Chad Jenkins (in 3 starts) out of the 13 guys who had 1 or more starts.  Random odds should've produced more than that.
  • Johnson: only once in his career did he have an ERA over 4, and that was in 15 1/3 IP in 2007.  Injuries were not a shock, but the total disaster that his ERA reached was a surprise. His xFIP was just 3.58 which would've been perfectly acceptable as an ERA.
  • Dickey: in his past 3 seasons with the Mets he had ERA+'s of 138-112-139 but here it dropped to 97 with an ERA over 5 as late as June 25th
  • Buehrle: his 98 ERA+ was his worst since 2006 and only the 2nd time in his career he was below 100 and was over 5 for ERA as late as June 13th
  • Morrow's 73 was almost 1/2 of last years breakthrough 143 and his 54 IP was his lowest ever in the majors (even counting his relief years)
  • Romero was a pure disaster from start to finish
  • JA Happ was hit in the head by a ball - a perfect description of the season.

The 6 guys counted on in the rotation saw 5 have seasons that could be described as their worst in 3+ years if not their whole careers, while the 6th had a freak injury just as he was getting things on track. How you can count that as anything but terrible luck where everything that could go wrong did is beyond me. No one pre-season predicted all 5 of the core would have their worst season in years.  No one saw 3 of the 5 failing to get 90 fact Johnson/Morrow/Romero totaled just 143 innings.

Lets hope for something to go right for the rotation next year.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 09:04 AM EST (#280300) #
In 2012, three starting pitchers went down in a week with debilitating injuries.  Cries of bad luck resounded throughout Rogersville. 

I can't decide whether the immortal words of Branch Rickey (luck is the residue of design) or George W. Bush (fool me once, shame on you...) are more apt.  That will be the last time that you read those two names in the same sentence.

China fan - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 10:02 AM EST (#280302) #
Mike, are you suggesting that it's impossible to suffer bad luck for two seasons in a row? Or that the oddities of fortune and luck are not factors in a baseball team's results?

Personally I think luck (or, define it this way: unpredictable stuff) is a huge factor in baseball -- and it's probably a much bigger factor that we analysis-minded statistically-obsessed fans would like to admit.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 10:34 AM EST (#280309) #
I definitely think that luck is a factor.  However many here have wondered about the ability of the pitching coach at the major league level and about the development process, and are perplexed that the pitching coach remains here (for one thing).

For years prior to 2007, Tampa was unable to develop pitching.  New (and better) management came in, and sure enough the organization began to develop pitching both starting out with top draft picks and with pitchers drafted later.  It may be a complete fluke, but somehow I don't think so.
bpoz - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 10:51 AM EST (#280312) #
If the FO or anyone thinks that the Jays are in a 3 year window of contention, then some of the following may happen.

1) We keep all/most of our good players for the next 2 years. Dickey, Beuhrle, Bautista, Reyes & EE. We also qualify JJ. At the end of 2014 we get to qualify JJ again.
2) The above players in #1 eventually in the future will have their contracts expire. In some cases after 2014 or 2015. At this time they can choose to accept the QO if offered or decline it. All decliners will get us a draft pick I believe.
3) So the possibility is there to improve the farm system at least.
92-93 - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 11:21 AM EST (#280315) #
Somebody is going to be very upset when Dubya is named baseball's next commissioner.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 11:26 AM EST (#280316) #
Nah, it's going to be the ghost of Branch Rickey, with the slogan "the world is our minor leagues". 
Shaker - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 11:33 AM EST (#280317) #
Dickey and Buehrle both pitched as Top 20 pitchers in the 2nd half last season. 

Dickey was 2nd in IP and 20th in ERA, while Buehrle was 15th in IP and 13th in ERA, both in 14 post-ASG starts.

You may remember Dickey was hurt in May and posted a 5.80 ERA.  At the time most of the Jays pitching depth was on the shelf recovering from TJ.  That will not be the case this year.  Dickey could take a few starts off if his neck flares up again and can return to dominance.  He's a great pitcher (Northey shows the track record above) and saying otherwise is nonsense.  He'll be fine.

Buehrle is also fine and has been for more than a decade. Yes he started badly with a 6.35 ERA in April adjusting to new team, city and division.  People love to say he can't pitch in the Boston, well no one pitches well in Fenway...over the last 3 years Verlander's ERA is a miserly 2.81.  In Fenway?  5.21.  It's a tough park and a tough lineup.

JA Happ is a #5 starter and there are no expectations for more than that.  People love to ignore the fact that he had a 3.98 ERA going into the game he was shellacked in the head by a batted ball in Tampa. In 11 post-ASG starts he had a 4.37 ERA.  He'll be fine.

That's 3/5 of the rotation, now you turn to the high-risk, high return part of the staff.  Morrow had come off a fantastic springboard season in 2012 and JJ had a similarly good year in 2012.  Hopes were high but so were the known risks.  After the JPR regime, I think the club (and many on this blog) realised safe and secure was no way to play it in the ultra-competitive AL East.  So we rolled the dice and they came up snake eyes.

That may or may not happen this year if we retain Morrow and JJ.  If it does, we appear to have plenty of (quality) depth to drop in their place.  If they pitch near their ceiling then we probably look a lot more like the 2013 Red Sox than the 2012 Red Sox.  Predicting a mid-3 ERA and >150 IP combined from Morrow and JJ doesn't seem that far fetched.  Predicting a 6 ERA and 130 IP? Extremely unlikely from that duo, but it happened.

Parker - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 01:27 PM EST (#280334) #
There's no way that Josh Johnson puts up an ERA similar to his xFIP in front of the Blue Jays defence.

Other than that, I don't disagree that Buehrle and Dickey will have three months worth of games where they could be considered among the league's best pitchers. It's too bad all the other games they pitch in have to count as well. I don't buy the "adjustment" theory either. I'll allow that Dickey's early-season woes may have been at least partly injury-related, but I don't agree that both pitchers needed half the season to figure out how to pitch effectively at Rogers Centre, and that effectiveness can be projected forward.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 04 2013 @ 08:00 PM EST (#280362) #
One thing concerns A.A. as much as anything else. If this team fails to get into the postseason in 2014, does he keep his job?

That being said, which shows promise for next year, returning 23 of 25 of last years players or returning with just 18?
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