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The GM meetings start today. There are usually few deals announced at these meetings but the discussions set the scene for the winter meetings in three weeks. Right around now free agents start narrowing down their suitors and getting into their real options including dollars. Reportedly some free agents will show up at the meetings for some face to face meetings and to apply pressure on the GM's by taking a lot of meetings.

Look for all the usual baseball reporters to start delivery reports later today.

In other news this is the last week of the AFL. Salt River, the home of the Blue Jays, are one half game out of a playoff spot.

The Jays did make some news today, they signed Marcus Walden, Jon Diaz and Larry Broadway to minor league deals. Where will Diaz fit in? Will Goins be the shortstop in AAA with Diaz in the majors as backup? Will Goins be in the majors with Diaz playing short in AAA? Will Kevin Nolan get the AAA job? I guess it's early yet in the hot stove league.

GM Meetings Thread | 162 comments | Create New Account
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Gerry - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 03:48 PM EST (#280509) #
According to Jon Heyman the Tigers are open to trading Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 04:19 PM EST (#280512) #
According to Jon Heyman the Tigers are open to trading Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello.

I think Porcello would be a good pitcher to get, assuming the team actually tries to improve their infield defense. He has been trending upwards the past few years and is still very young. Two years of (expensive) service time left. Not sure what it would take to get him, though.
finch - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 04:22 PM EST (#280513) #
And the Rangers have gone on the record that their short terms goals are more imporant than their long term goals. Profar for Bautista anyone?! Some have argued on another thread that Profar > Bautista in terms of value but it sounds like the Rangers would value Bautista more in the short term. In addition, Bautista has 3 years left on a great rate of $14M per year, including the 2016 option.
christaylor - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 05:23 PM EST (#280515) #
Profar makes no sense for this team. It takes a certain sort of prospect fetishist to want the Jays to acquire him -- heck, d'Arnaud makes more sense for the Jays to acquire. A Bautista for Profar trade makes about as much sense as the Jays trading Dickey (or Bautista) for d'Arnaud.

Scherzer would be too expensive for my tastes, but I echo the sentient that Procello would be nice to see with improved defence, but even if not -- it would be an acquisition that would rankle a bit, many were hoping the Jays would draft him back in the day (there's probably even a comment from the 2007 draft thread... but y'know the High School Pitchers orthodoxy (true but trivial).
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 05:51 PM EST (#280518) #
I would not make any deals with the Tigers, for the simple reason that Dombrowski usually comes out ahead in trades. It's hard to beat the house.
Chuck - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 06:06 PM EST (#280519) #
but I echo the sentient

Trying to suggest that some in these parts are not sentient?

finch - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 06:40 PM EST (#280521) #

Jurickson Profar makes a lot of sense. becase he is young, uber superstar potential, and already reached the majors at the age of 19, and played decently at 20. He would take care of your 2B needs for the next 6-10 years. Bautista, on the other hand, is breaking down physically over the past 2 seasons and as a leader on the team, he has a pretty negative attitude. Although I'm not in the clubhouse, it also seems that he has a me-first type attitude from what I do see on the field. In my opinion, it would be an addition by subtraction. If I was AA I would pull the trigger on this trade but I would need more in return. Texas is in a win-now moment, as we are as well, but you can replace Bautista with someone from the FA market; someone like Choo.

My second priority for the team would be to acquire a veteran pitcher to come in and help the young Jays pitchers, teach them how to work and how to be a pro. Someone like Roy Halladay. You could also groom Roy into a future front office position within the organization or potentially into a pitching coach down the road.

Priority #3...young Ace....Chris Sale :)

92-93 - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 07:05 PM EST (#280523) #
"many were hoping the Jays would draft him back in the day (there's probably even a comment from the 2007 draft thread... but y'know the High School Pitchers orthodoxy (true but trivial)."

I was certainly one of them. I can't figure out what was worse, picking Ahrens or Arencibia over Porcello. Legitimate arguments to be made on both sides.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 07:10 PM EST (#280524) #
Helps that when you write down the date of the G.M. Meetings, you use the right year. My mistake. Now to wait for something to happen.
Chuck - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 07:27 PM EST (#280525) #
teach them how to work and how to be a pro. Someone like Roy Halladay.

When he left Toronto, the myth of Halladay as a teacher and mentor was dispelled. He may have led by example, given his incredible work ethic, but he kept very much to himself. Hard to imagine that being any different now.

dalimon5 - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 07:32 PM EST (#280526) #
Profar being a superstar or very good second baseman for 6-10 years is enough reason to make the trade...don't need to criticize JBau's attitude based on game behavior.

Pigs will fly before Halladay coaches in the major leagues...the man's an extreme introvert by all accounts.

Chris Sale will be waay harder to get than Profar because the CWS have no reason to trade him. Profar can be 'replaced' or substituted by Kinsler/Andrus.
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 08:00 PM EST (#280527) #
Porcello was highly regarded at the time of the 2007 draft. He was seen as one of the best players available but fell to #27 because of Boras's demands. He ended up signing a $7M, multiyear deal that included a $3.58M signing bonus. It was pretty clear that he was a more exciting talent than Arencibia. At the time, the Jays likely didn't have the budget to sign Porcello and the rest of their high picks (even assuming the Jays would have taken a hot HS pitcher over a college position player in the first round - by no means a safe assumption).

Another forward-thinking move by DD.
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 08:07 PM EST (#280528) #
It's interesting to speculate where the Jays might be now had they hired Dombrowski instead of Ricciardi before the 2002 season. The Jays chose Ricciardi, the Tigers chose DD, and the rest is history.
metafour - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 08:08 PM EST (#280529) #
Profar makes no sense for this team. It takes a certain sort of prospect fetishist to want the Jays to acquire him -- heck, d'Arnaud makes more sense for the Jays to acquire. A Bautista for Profar trade makes about as much sense as the Jays trading Dickey (or Bautista) for d'Arnaud.

You are right; a team that has no 2B and has an aging and defensively declining SS has absolutely no need for a young, star caliber middle infielder.....

/sarcasm.
Paul D - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 09:55 PM EST (#280530) #
I agree that Profar doesn't have use on a team that's aiming to win next year if Bautista is the cost.  That could be a nice trade if you're trying to win in 2016, but it makes the team worse next year.
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 10:29 PM EST (#280532) #
Profar would be a good player for the Jays to acquire, as the team would have him for his dynamic and healthy years, before the RC turf-induced injuries started piling up in his mid/late-20s and beyond.

I think St. Louis is a better trading partner for Texas, though.

John Northey - Monday, November 11 2013 @ 11:37 PM EST (#280534) #
If Texas is indeed on a 'win at all costs' kick right now then the Jays should jump in.  2B was a disaster zone in 2013 and right now lines up to be the same in 2014 (unless you really think Goins is the best defensive 2B ever). 

Profar is pretty good.  Lets compare him to a famous Jay who came up at 20 and was part of a trade.  Robbie Alomar.
17: 696 OPS vs 691 (A- vs A)
18: 883 OPS vs 844 (A ball)
19: 820 OPS vs 851 (AA ball)
20: 807/644 OPS vs 742/709 OPS (AAA/Majors)

The left side is Profar, right side Alomar.  Profar has been behind Alomar in OPS production but not by as much as one would expect for anyone being compared to a HOF'er.  Now, Alomar did play everyday in the majors at 20 vs Profar getting 'just' 324 PA in the majors at 20 and Alomar had a 105 OPS+ vs Profar's 76 last year.  Still, it is interesting eh?  Alomar played in hitters parks (including Vegas) due to being in the Padres system, so one cannot use park effects as a case against Profar in this comparison.

Am I saying Profar is a new Alomar?  No.  However, that is his peak potential with a likely potential of 'Alomar lite' which I think would be perfectly acceptable.  If I was AA I'd be asking what the price is for him and try to work some magic.  Odds are Texas would want Bautista plus pitching while the Jays would want Profar plus other near ML prospects.  Texas has tons of middle infield potential near the majors so some kind of match is possible but still very unlikely as every other team in the majors I'm sure wants Profar too.
Lugnut Fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 07:10 AM EST (#280535) #
I think Porcello could be had by the Tigers for quite a reasonable price honestly.  They have Drew Smyly who came out of the bullpen, but could definitely be a left handed starter in the rotation.  I don't think the Tigers are seriously looking to move Scherzer honestly (yet).  They are dangling him out there, but I don't think they will pull the trigger on a move unless someone totally blows them away with the return.
Thomas - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 08:47 AM EST (#280536) #

If AA truly is set on acquiring a front-end starting pitcher, another name that makes sense that hasn't been talked about is Jeff Samardzija. Not necessarily because I think he's a front-end starting pitcher, because he's not, but as an asset that could probably be acquired for prospects or young players only without trading away any contributing pieces.

I myself am much more in the Stroman/Hutchison/Happ/Rogers school than in the trade Aaron Sanchez to get another starting pitcher school.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 08:58 AM EST (#280538) #

Bautista for Profar is a no brainer, IMO. It is probably a downgrade short-term (unless the Jays sign someone like Choo, Granderson, Cruz, etc, to replace Bautista and/or Profar busts out in a big way in 2014), but the Jays really need to steer away from the "window period" and more towards a long-term, constantly evolving roster that has a chance to win every year. Profar is far more likely to put the team in better position to do the latter than Bautista is. Of course, the Rangers can probably get more than Bautista for Profar if they actively shop him, or at least a player who fits more of a position of need (i.e. starting pitching).

I could see the Rangers trading Kinsler or Andrus for Bautista, but that doesn't really help the Jays too much from a contract standpoint (Kinsler has 4+1 and Andrus is locked up until the end of time) or from a short/long-term growth standpoint.

If only the Jays had the foresight to trade Bautista after 2011.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 09:24 AM EST (#280539) #
It's interesting to speculate where the Jays might be now had they hired Dombrowski instead of Ricciardi before the 2002 season.

Dombrowski wasn't even hired to be the GM - he was initially the President & CEO, then took over as GM.

I don't think Rogers ever would have given Dombrowski the level of control he got in Detroit. Even if they'd managed to hire him, he might not have achieved the same results.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 09:47 AM EST (#280541) #
Besides, it's not like Porcello is the highlight of Dombrowski's career: He's been a decent starter. He's getting better, but he's already eligible for arbitration - the Tigers might get one or two years of Star Pitcher before he's a free agent, but it won't come cheap.

And this all came with the risk of a major-league contract for a high school pitcher, which I still think is insane.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 10:57 AM EST (#280542) #
In my mind, a Profar deal will be closer to the Braves/Diamondbacks deal for Justin Upton. Upton was a better player at the time iirc but Profar is being traded (if traded this winter) with more years of control and playing a rarer position.

The trade was essentially Prado/Delgado and outer prospects (INF Ahmed and SP Spruill) for Upton/Johnson.

A similar trade for Jays/Rangers could be something like Bautista and outer prospects/players (SP Hutchison OF Sierra SP Rogers) for Profar/Holland.

I would do that 8 days a week because of an aforementioned comment that the Jays need to stop thinking on a fixed window and start thinking about competing annually - short term and long term, you know, like how a winning team does...
92-93 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 11:15 AM EST (#280543) #
Anthopoulos doesn't have the luxury of building a team that can compete down the line; he needs to win now. People on Batter's Box have been continuously pushing the year of contention further and further away from the present, and at some point it has to stop. It doesn't make much sense for AA to have made the moves he made last winter and then decide to take another 1-2 year break so he can MAYBE build a sustainable winner.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 11:18 AM EST (#280544) #
When it comes to Profar, I think, of course, about Robbie Alomar.  Alomar came up at age 20 and put up a 107 wRC+.  By the time the Jays acquired him after his age 22 season, he had established himself as a slightly above-average hitter at second base who had played three complete seasons.  He had terrific speed and was a pretty decent fielder. 

Profar is nowhere close to where Robbie was at age 20 (last year Profar's wRC+ was 75).  He's got a decent chance to end up as good, but he's going to have to be better as a hitter, and that isn't going to be that easy.  He is not likely to hit .320 or to draw more walks than Robbie, so he is going to have to hit for more power.

At this point, the Rangers have a ticket.  It's an awfully good  ticket, but not the best one.  It's not like Robbie Alomar or Derek Jeter or Chipper Jones at age 20. 

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 11:34 AM EST (#280545) #
And I agree with 92-93 about the approach to things.  Trading Bautista (plus presumably other parts) for Profar doesn't make a whole lot of sense for this club unless one intends to dismantle and start again.  If that is the case, it really ought to be another GM who does the work. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 11:54 AM EST (#280546) #
I don't think many of us are clamoring for a straight up Bautista for Profar swap. I would love to see a combination of players move to address team needs. Profar in combination with SP would address team needs. In order to get that type of player + some you need to trade a player of Bautista's level. That's the issue, not one which involves sacrificing a 'win now' mentality for 'win later.'

Again, baseball teams do not have to compete 'in windows.' If you can't see that after what the Rays have been doing years after their perennial first round pick selections then maybe you should revisit their GM's track record for fielding a competitive team in the present and the future. Arguing that Bautista for Profar is a counter productive move to a "win now" window is akin to the Rays not trading Shields for Wil Myers because it's not a 'win now' move. You can argue the Rays would have had a better chance in the playoffs with Shields, but then where would they be this year after he walks? The Wil Myers trade was made with foresight, something that the Blue Jays can use more of to avoid competing in 'windows.' Watch what TB does with David Price...the'll take a bit of a hit in the short tem but will be better positioned down the road. Wouldn't you rather compete with a serious chance to make the playoffs and take your chances in the playoffs, year after year for a decade or more? I know I would rather have that than an all star team that makes the playoffs and still has no guarantee in the playoffs for 3 or so years followed by years of mediocrity and losing seasons.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:04 PM EST (#280547) #
And I agree with 92-93 about the approach to things.  Trading Bautista (plus presumably other parts) for Profar doesn't make a whole lot of sense for this club unless one intends to dismantle and start again.  If that is the case, it really ought to be another GM who does the work. 

Why can't the Jays trade Bautista for Profar (assuming Texas would have any interest) and still field a competitive team? Good teams do not have "window periods". They build with a combination of young/controllable talent and veterans. Now, if the Jays can keep Bautista and get a young/good/controllable 2B by other means, then that would be more ideal, but they shouldn't be against moving Bautista for a young player just because it gives off the illusion that they can't win short-term that way.

92-93 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:05 PM EST (#280548) #
Andrew Friedman has earned the right to make those kind of trades because he built a winner from scratch, and his moves are made under the guise of extending the current window. AA, on the other hand, is being asked by fans to make moves to expand a window that still doesn't exist. Furthermore, I can't remember the last time the Rays created a hole by trading an asset because he got too expensive. When they traded Garza, Shields, and now Price, it was because they have a boatload of MLB-ready arms ready to step in. Trading Bautista opens up a massive gaping hole in the Jays offense and outfield.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:09 PM EST (#280549) #
"Why can't the Jays trade Bautista for Profar (assuming Texas would have any interest) and still field a competitive team?"

Because they have very little money to spend on the FA market, Bautista is their best player, and Profar is an unproven prospect.
Beyonder - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:13 PM EST (#280550) #
"Good teams do not have "window periods"."

What does that mean? Aren't you simply saying that teams that are consistently good are consistently good?

All teams rebuild. Some do it faster. Some do it on the fly. Some don't do it well at all. Very few are consistently good.

The question for this team is whether, after the "all-in" moves that were made last year, which of these two poker phrases applies. Is the team "pot-committed"? Or should they stop "throwing good money after bad"? Trading Bautista for Profar falls into the latter category, and I can't say that I disagree with it entirely.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:27 PM EST (#280551) #
"Andrew Friedman has earned the right to make those kind of trades because he built a winner from scratch, and his moves are made under the guise of extending the current window. AA, on the other hand, is being asked by fans to make moves to expand a window that still doesn't exist. Furthermore, I can't remember the last time the Rays created a hole by trading an asset because he got too expensive. When they traded Garza, Shields, and now Price, it was because they have a boatload of MLB-ready arms ready to step in. Trading Bautista opens up a massive gaping hole in the Jays offense and outfield."

This is a money response. Thinking more about it, I think I agree with you. Friedman has that track record and AA does not and it's easy to expect the latter to imitate the former but another thing entirely for it to actually happen. If AA can't spin these types of moves then Rogers should replace as necessary. Good post.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:31 PM EST (#280552) #
If the Jays can do what the Pirates did last off-season, they'll have a shot at making the playoffs. The question is, can they pull off a comparable series of moves? While the current roster isn't terrible, right now the Jays don't feel like a team on the cusp of greatness (offensively, defensively, on the mound, or in terms of coaching/management).

Perhaps they can improve enough to have a shot at 90 wins and a playoff berth.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:43 PM EST (#280553) #
Remind me greenfrog, did the Pirates do anything outside of adding Martin & Liriano? There was the Hanrahan trade too which cleared salary, probably for those additions. That trade was pretty huge for them, as they now have Melancon for 3 years at arbitration prices and it freed up 7m in 2013. Obviously if the Jays could pull off 2 low-risk moves like that and have them work out as well they'd be golden.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:44 PM EST (#280554) #
92-93, if the Jays traded Bautista for Profar, they would have quite a bit more to spend on the FA market. In theory at least, they could make that trade, then use the proceeds to add a solid corner OF and still have money left over.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 12:52 PM EST (#280555) #
I should've been more clear - I didn't mean they wouldn't have the payroll room to get better this year. The problem is that the Jays management is against setting the market for FAs, so while it's easy to say they should trade Bautista for Profar and sign Choo, the latter actually happening is extremely unlikely unless Beeston does a stance reversal and allows AA to hamstring the team 4-7 years down the line with 2 massive FA signings. What would be more likely is that Bautista would be replaced by a Marlon Byrd type signing, and I don't think that's an avenue that should be explored. If it were as easy as trading Bautista and picking up McCann, Choo, and Profar to round out the offense count me as on board. I just don't think, knowing what we know about this front office, that that's a realistic approach to this offseason.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 01:02 PM EST (#280556) #
Pittsburgh: Martin, Liriano, Melancon, Grilli

Bautista/Profar: here's a hypothetical question: would you rather have Profar, DeJesus (for example) and an extra $8-10M to spend on further additions, or Bautista, Goins, and no cash? My point is, Choo and Byrd aren't the only two options for replacing Bats.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 01:20 PM EST (#280557) #
Marlon Byrd is off the market, but the sentiment remains.

I'd avoid dealing Bautista unless we are sure we are winning the trade. Fans haven't taken to kindly to trading our best player over the years regardless of who it has been.

It sounds like we have some money but I think we have to decide where to spend it and then look for under the radar signings for the other slots (ala Boston/Pittsburgh). Personally I'd prioritize (in order) SP, C, 2B, SP, LF.

C- if it isn't McCann I look at Kurt Suzuki or maybe John Buck. Suzuki did an awful good job handling the Nats and A's pitching staffs this year even if he can't hit anymore.

2B- if it isn't Cano then maybe Kelly Johnson or Brian Roberts (not alot here IMO). I did like the Jonathan Diaz addition as a system depth add.

SP- I'd be pushing hard on Garza but failing that I like Jiminez, then Feldman, Haren and Nolasco. I wouldn't want to go any lower than that for our first starter. With the second starter I'd be inclined to take a gamble such as Halladay, Baker (second yr removed from TJ is appealing), James Macdonald, or Johan Santana.

LF- Actually I'd give Reed Johnson a call as a 4th outfielder who could step in if need be. Theoretically we could go after Choo I guess.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 01:25 PM EST (#280558) #

Because they have very little money to spend on the FA market, Bautista is their best player, and Profar is an unproven prospect.

But trading Bautista for Profar (assuming no other salary is involved) would save the Jays over $13M, which could go into signing Granderson or Cruz or McCann, etc. My point was, that move in isolation isn't a rebuilding move under the assumption that they could allocate the saved resources to replace Bautista (and make other upgrades).

If it was just Bautista for Profar, and Sierra takes over in RF, etc, then yes, it would be a downgrade (short-term). I'm assuming the posters here would want to spend the saved money on talent, and speaking for myself, that is what I am advocating. The Jays need a mix of young/cost effective talent plus veterans. Right now it is heavily lop-sided.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 01:35 PM EST (#280559) #

What does that mean? Aren't you simply saying that teams that are consistently good are consistently good?

All teams rebuild. Some do it faster. Some do it on the fly. Some don't do it well at all. Very few are consistently good.

The question for this team is whether, after the "all-in" moves that were made last year, which of these two poker phrases applies. Is the team "pot-committed"? Or should they stop "throwing good money after bad"? Trading Bautista for Profar falls into the latter category, and I can't say that I disagree with it entirely.

No, I mean good teams do not accelerate winning by creating a window period. The good teams will have winning happen organically, and when it does, it goes on for however long they can sustain it. The Jays tried to manufacture a window period, and good teams (or organizations) usually do not do that. That is why I'm hoping that AA balances his "now or never" approach by trying to win in 2014 but still keeping an eye on long-term sustainability.

Beyonder - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 01:46 PM EST (#280560) #
I don't know that the window is artificial. Everytime I have seen it referenced, the window being referred to was Jose's and encarnacion's prime years. That window is real, and closing.
China fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 02:18 PM EST (#280561) #
"....Anthopoulos doesn't have the luxury of building a team that can compete down the line; he needs to win now. People on Batter's Box have been continuously pushing the year of contention further and further away from the present, and at some point it has to stop...."

I agree with the first sentence. As for the second sentence: I think it is half-correct. From my reading of Batter's Box, about half of the community here has been clamoring for "win-now" moves for the past couple of years: we want the Jays to sign free agents, spend money, acquire veterans to fill the holes in the lineup, and do whatever is necessary to make the Jays finally contenders again. The other half of the Batter's Box community, as 92-93 notes, prefer to see the Jays develop prospects and build their system, regardless of how long it takes to do a proper build.

Personally I'm in the first camp. I can see some logical appeal to the second camp, but ultimately I fear that this school of thought is too heavily influenced by an over-exaggerated evaluation of the quality of the Jays prospects. People at Batter's Box tend to be close followers of the Jays farm system and top prospects, and this sometimes can lead to a tendency to overrate the likely major-league performance of a Sanchez or Nolin or (earlier) a Nicolino or Zach Stewart or a Gose or d'Arnaud. Having watched these guys closely for years, many of us tend to think they'll be major-league stars and therefore the Jays need only wait for them to develop. This is what can lead to the tendency to expand the window and push back the likely year of contention.
eudaimon - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 02:23 PM EST (#280562) #
I'm not sure the window really exists. AA didn't go about creating a window based on the assumption that the team would suck afterwards, the window only refers to the time when Bautista / Encarnacion are signed to team-friendly contracts. I think we have some interesting longer-term prospects that can help us win after that "window," more of convenience than necessity.

I'm not sure I support trading Bautista in general. He's a fan favourite, and as someone else said fans don't generally appreciate when you trade their favourite players. He's also still a very good player with the potential to be elite. If he can get back to taking walks on a level he is capable of (as he did in 2010-2011) and avoid the injury bug he can definitely be elite. Maybe a different hitting coach and more time in the DH spot (by trading Lind, perhaps).

Profar will probably be an excellent player. However, he might take a few years to become useful. His fielding, at least according to fangraphs, isn't anything too special so he needs to produce with the bat to be an above average player. It'll probably come with time, but last year he struggled quite a bit. I think we can compete right year with the right roster moves, trading one of our best bats for a question mark isn't really the way to go.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 02:37 PM EST (#280563) #
An excellent point China fan about how we do get addicted to our own prospects and how even the best ones have a failure rate.  However, the flip side is what happened in 2013 - traded for Johnson, Buehrle, Dickey, Bonifacio and signed free agents Izturis and Cabrera thus, in theory, solving the rotation, 2B, and LF plus adding a super-sub for all IF/OF positions.  It, obviously, flopped in 2013.

The great stretch of 83-93 was made possible via good drafting (Barfield, Moseby, Olerud), smart trash heap pickups (Alexander), smart use of ignored rules (Rule 5 draft Bell, Upshaw, Lee, Gruber, ...), amazing trades (McGriff and Collins for relievers, Mulliniks for next to nothing, the value for value trade of Fernandez/McGriff for Alomar/Carter) plus 3 free agents at the end (Morris, Winfield, Molitor).  Note when the free agents became critical - at the very end of the window not the start.  Without depth in the minors it is _very_ hard to make a winner last.

China fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 02:50 PM EST (#280564) #
"....Without depth in the minors it is _very_ hard to make a winner last...."

I agree. And I think Anthopoulos has been doing a generally good job of striking a balance between veterans and prospects on the roster and the system. He hasn't emptied the system, he hasn't taken a scorched-earth policy to trading away all of his best prospects, he has tried to keep a good range of excellent young players. He has kept Gose, Sanchez, Nolin, Jimenez, Norris, Osuna, Stroman etc, and he has a range of other young players who could still improve: Hutchison, Drabek, Lawrie, Jenkins etc.

As for the off-season strategy of a year ago: I still think those trades and acquisitions were a good gamble to make. Not all gambles succeed. This one had a good chance of working, but all gambles have a risk of failure, and that doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't worth trying.
China fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 03:23 PM EST (#280565) #
If I was to criticize Anthopoulos for anything, it would be his player evaluations in general. He has been right on many players: the bullpen is filled with good acquisitions; he was smart in his acquisition of Rasmus and Lawrie and his long-term contracts for Encarnacion and Bautista; and he seems to be correct in his calculation that he could give up on Travis Snider, Nestor Molina, Zach Stewart, etc. But his evaluations have sometimes failed. Examples of this: Arencibia, Izturis, Bonifacio, arguably Josh Johnson and Henderson Alvarez, and the decision to trade Yan Gomes. Most of those moves did look good on paper. But there was an error in evaluation and projection of how those players would perform and develop.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 03:33 PM EST (#280566) #
But trading Bautista for Profar (assuming no other salary is involved) would save the Jays over $13M, which could go into signing Granderson or Cruz or McCann, etc.

The problem that I have with this whole discussion of Bautista-for-Profar is that the Rangers could conceivably go out and sign Granderson or bring back Cruz and keep Profar. Given the Rangers' competitive position, they would likely be a more attractive option for a free agent than the Blue Jays right now. Further, losing a late-first round pick (if they signed someone other than Cruz) would be preferable to losing a major league-ready talent.

This is a bad offseason to be shopping around a power-hitting outfielder in a trade. I just can't see why the Rangers would be interested in making a trade like the one suggested, given the potential alternatives available.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 03:42 PM EST (#280567) #

The problem that I have with this whole discussion of Bautista-for-Profar is that the Rangers could conceivably go out and sign Granderson or bring back Cruz and keep Profar. Given the Rangers' competitive position, they would likely be a more attractive option for a free agent than the Blue Jays right now. Further, losing a late-first round pick (if they signed someone other than Cruz) would be preferable to losing a major league-ready talent.

I agree. I don't think Bautista/Profar has any chance of happening, but I was just using that as an example.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 04:13 PM EST (#280568) #
Agreed on the odds of any trade to get Profar - very low odds, I'd put it under 10% perhaps as low as 1% or 2%.  Given how AA operates it is a safe bet he has talked to Texas about it though.

Odds are to get anyone in a trade (who is of serious value) we'll be losing some of the pitching depth.  Guys like Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Norris, Nolan, Stilson...  You get the idea.  Drabek and Hutchison have some value, but limited due to their recent injuries.  Basically, a team looking to build depth in pitching propsects will be calling the Jays for a 3-for-1 type deal (3 prospects near majors for 1 solid ML'er).  That's what I expect to see offered but no idea if AA would go for it...guess it depends on the arms and the return.  It is nice to see rumours about teams wanting JPA though.  Hopefully something happens soon so we have something real to talk about instead of what if.

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 04:33 PM EST (#280569) #
I'm not understanding the Bautista for Profar push. Really.
The value that has always been assigned to Profar was that he had a really high floor - and that could make him an all-star, but wouldn't likely make him a super-star or anything.
I haven't checked myself, but did the original poster who put the OPS comparisons between Alomar and Profar check which leagues they were in? That makes a difference (Though I think both teams had teamsTexas/ Cal/ and other high offense leagues). I think he'll be better than last year, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him be a consistent 275 15 HR 10 SB kinda guy. That has value, but...

Anyways, that aside, here are the other issues that bother me. If you trade Bautista:
-How does it affect Encarnacion & the rest of the offense? I could see Encarnacion losing a bunch - not to previous levels, but the team offense is not so sure that it can handle losing Bautista without getting a few major upgrades at C and 2b. Most of the players available present defensive improvements (by the numbers) but offensive regression.
- How much value needs to be replaced: In this case, you need to get back for RF (or RF + C) the difference between
the production the Jays got at 2b (I wish Fangraphs would actually separate out the stats)
All the players who played 2b last season -39.7 runs offensively, and -13.8 defensively (I had no idea how horrible they were until just now).I think when you adjust the playing time and replacement value, you're still looking at about -2 WAR right there.
Bautista was worth 22.3 O and -0.5 D for 4.2 WAR in 118 GP. Assuming an average replacement, that's about 4.7 WAR
Profar was worth -11.6 0 and -2.9 D for -0.4 WAR in 85 GP.
If you go by his Steamer project for 2014 of 1.4 WAR that gives you +3.4 difference in WAR.  Let's call it 2.5 to be conservative. That means you need to replace 2.2 WAR.
OF that got 1.2 WAR or more who are FA

N. Cruz 1.5
J. Ellsbury 5.8
S S. Choo 5.2
C. Granderson  1.4 (60 gp)
C Crisp 3.9
N McClouth 2.5
C Beltran 2.0
R Davis 1.2 (120 gp)
There's not a lot out there.

JPA was a -0.6 WAR and if you replace him with C Ruiz who was at 1.4 for a swing of 2.0 that's nice. But it's also in defense.
John Buck was at 1.4, Pierzinski 1.6 , Navarro 1.7, McCann 2.7, Salty 3.6
Then you're looking at backup territory. Suzuki was at -0.2 FYI, I'm not interested in that.

Anyways, it's DOABLE, but I don't know if the team is really much better.

If the Jays strengths in terms of asset depth don't match with what we need, then the task is to trade that depth (RP) for assets that we do want. Sort of how AA got Gose, or that Craigslist paperclip guy. That's the tactic that should be taken if the FA market is crazy or weak.
While people about clearing Bautista's salary off the books would allow for a replacement - he's been ridiculously underpaid the last few years. You can't get what he's done in the FA market without going to probably 18 mil a year. So far I have no reason to believe Rogers will spring for that money. Also a few of those guys who could really push the team towards winning would cost picks.

All I remember hearing about was problems with Detroit's bullpen - I'd see what I could get for a few relievers - either to keep or to trade).
If this team is going for it, then they need much more than Profar. Otherwise, they might as well trade everybody and go for a rebuild. This team has a bunch of really old guys. If you get rid of Bautista there is no reason to keep them.

eudaimon - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 04:47 PM EST (#280570) #
Apparently Mark DeRosa has retired (as per Rotoworld). He gives up his 750k salary.
China fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 04:48 PM EST (#280571) #
Mark DeRosa has announced his retirement. It's a bit of a setback for the Jays, since DeRosa did very well as a pinch-hitter and bench guy. Will be hard to replace him. Does this increase the chances that the Jays bring back Kawasaki and/or Izturis as utility guys?
Ryan Day - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 05:02 PM EST (#280572) #
Also of note, Shi Davidi tweets: "Alex Anthopoulos reiterates #BlueJays policy of not handing out contracts longer than five years."

So we can probably rule out any major FA contracts. Maybe you could get McCann for five years? People might go somewhat less nuts for a catcher.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 05:10 PM EST (#280573) #
Dumb policy, as most hard and fast rules are.  We don't like to give out contracts longer than 5 years, but we would gladly do so if we had a young Albert Pujols.  As the Cardinals did. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 05:33 PM EST (#280574) #
The Five Year Policy will make it very difficult for the Jays to get big time free agents, but it shouldn't prevent them from getting one of Garza, Jimenez, or Santana, as I can't imagine any team giving either of those three more than five years.

McCann is probably out of the question now (I think he will get more than 5 years) and Cano was never a realistic option.

If AA does sign a pitcher, Garza would be the best option (has pitched with success in the AL East, won't cost a pick), but he is not the most durable pitcher, so that might present an issue.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 05:37 PM EST (#280575) #
Actually....
If the Cardinals signed Pujols to, say, a 7 year deal when he hit free agency what would that have meant?  That would've covered his age 27 to 33 seasons.  For the first 5 years he hit 324/423/602 for a 172 OPS+ - Jose Bautista 2010/11.  In the 2 years tagged on he has hit 275/338/485 for a 130 OPS+ - Jose Bautista 2013.  Both are solid, but one is clearly a lot better than the other and by chance the divider was at the 5 year mark. 

Others? OPS+ for first 5 post reaching free agency age (6 full years in majors), then years 6/7, then years 6-10 (ie: what you get after year 5 on a 7 year deal and a 10 year)  Using guys who are well known
  • Jeter 121, 112, 108
  • A-Rod: 154, 155, 145 - reached at age 25 so a very young free agent
  • Vernon Wells: 102, 72 so far (just finished his 6th year since having the potential to be a free agent)
  • Ichiro!: 111, 85 - just finished his 7th year since reaching free agency, the opposite of A-Rod a very old free agent
  • David Ortiz: 145, 145, 154 (!) - talk about value eh?  One more year left if the Sox had signed him to a 10 year deal when he reached free agency service time for the first time.
Hmm.  Actually, better results than I expected using just a few examples that came off the top of my head for guys who have had long enough careers and were viewed as stars who are still kicking.  It'd be interesting to do a full study though to see if value drops drastically in years 6/7/.. for star quality players.  Each year you tack onto a contract is a big risk for a club as it adds one more year of high prices that might produce nothing (see Wells and Ichiro) or might be a bargain (Jeter, A-Rod, Ortiz all would've been nice deals at the end given normal salary raises....A-Rod's initial 10 year deal was a good one, Texas just blew it with dumb contracts to lesser players).

If I was a GM I'd be very hesitant to give out 6+ year deals just due to how far into the future you are locking up a player who may or may not be solid at that point.  If you sign a super-star level (such as Pujols) then at least the reduced level is still near star quality.  With a guy like Wells it dropped to useless territory.  The higher the initial starting point the lower your risk of having an albatross on the team.

This year no hitter under 30 has reached free agency with a solid track record (minimum 10 WAR).  At 30 you get Kurt Suzuki (CA), Chris Young (CF), Jacoby Ellsbury (CF), and Brian McCann (CA).  At 31 you get Stephen Drew (SS), Franklin Gutierrez (CF), Shin-Soo Choo (RF), and Robinson Cano (2B).  For pitchers Jair Jurrjens is just 28, Matt Garza/Scott Kazmir/Ubaldo Jimenez/Josh Johnson 30,  and Carlos Marmol/Ervin Santana/Gavin Floyd 31 years old.  Giving more than 5 years to any other free agent is just asking for it.  In truth, giving any of these guys a 10 year deal would be dumb too as you know the last few years would be write offs.  Perfect world you pay only up to age 32, 35 is pushing it as cliff diving by MLB players after 32 is common and by 35 few are still kicking let alone productive.  Looking at that list there are a few targets for the Jays worth pursuing.  Sadly the best at 2B won't sign until January or later I suspect unless some GM/owner goes insane and gives him the $300+ mil he wants.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 05:43 PM EST (#280576) #
" This team had a bunch of really old guys. If you get rid of Bautista there is no reason to keep them. "

A bunch of old guys ? Really ? With Derosa retiring that leaves only Maicer Izturis as the only position player over 30. Buerhle and Dickey are the only pitchers 35 or older and only a few others like McGowan, Happ, and Jannsen are over 30, and just barely at that.The jays have a lot of problems but I don't think old age in ballplayer terms is one of them.
Also, put me in the camp of acquiring at least one starting pitcher. I wouldn't feel comfortable heading into spring training with Dickey, Buerhle, and hoping the rest of the candidates will stay healthy and succeed. I don't agree with trading Bautista either, at least for this year. Give him another year and then look for a trade then, whether he has success or not in 2014. I also think AA should plug the trouble spots at second and catcher with free agents or a reasonable trade. Maybe I'm just too cautious, but I think the Jays still have a good framework of players and would improve a lot with the addition of a solid starter or two, and a decent catcher.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 06:04 PM EST (#280577) #
The five-year policy does seem rather arbitrary. As Mike notes, it might prevent you from signing a young Pujols. In some cases, it might lead indirectly to giving longer contracts than the circumstances warrant (BJ Ryan's contract, for example), because "five years is OK." Flexibility and good judgment would seem to be the best policy (after honesty, of course).

In one sense, though, the five-year policy makes sense. Giving out lengthy contracts to position players who play on the RC turf probably carries some risks that don't exist in other places.

My guess is that the policy partly serves as an official-sounding way during the off-season of telling fans, "don't get your hopes up."
China fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 06:21 PM EST (#280578) #
"....With Derosa retiring that leaves only Maicer Izturis as the only position player over 30...."

Bautista, Encarnacion, Reyes and Lind are all 30 or older.
eudaimon - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 06:23 PM EST (#280579) #
In his defence they are all barely over, definitely not yet in the "old man" category.
China fan - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 06:27 PM EST (#280580) #
Yeah, I'm not arguing that they're "old men" -- I'm just correcting his numbers.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 06:32 PM EST (#280581) #
If I was a GM I'd be very hesitant to give out 6+ year deals

Pursuing free agents, except for the few odd cases, will see you pursuing someone who's at least 28 which means that you will be paying for a whole lot of decline with a long deal.

On the other hand, if you sign one of your own guys before he is eligible for free agency, when he's young and hasn't hit his peak yet (or what you are gambling will be his peak), a deal longer than 5 years shouldn't necessarily be a non-starter, and thus not a policy that AA should rigidly defend.

The Cardinals signed 24-year old Pujols to a 7+1 contract. Tampa signed a 22-year old Longoria to a 6+3 contract. The Jays don't currently have a young potential star position player worthy of such a deal, but some day they might.

christaylor - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 07:08 PM EST (#280582) #
" Most of those moves did look good on paper. But there was an error in evaluation and projection of how those players would perform and develop."

I know he's "the decider" and the public face of the process, but it is possible some of these mis-identifications were by weak links in the scouting staff, perhaps AA has found weak links on the staff and has replaced staff? The most charitable interpretation is that AA listened to one or two scouts for all those decisions and they've move on, or the least charitable, there's a flaw in the process AA has implemented and who he listens to... there are indications that he might get invested in certain people on staff a little too much (e.g., the public comments re: Gibby).
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 07:32 PM EST (#280583) #
If the Jays' window was 2013, does that mean they were just defenestrated?
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 08:51 PM EST (#280584) #
Well, in reply to China Fan , I said players over 30 and Encarnacion, Lind and Reyes are 30. I did miss Bautista who is 33 , probably because there was so much speculation on him being traded. On the other hand, Encarnacion turns 31 in January, and Lind and Reyes have their birthdays during the season. While they are not old for ballplayers, they are definitely approaching late middle-age ,and that can be a concern going forward.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 09:08 PM EST (#280585) #
There still remains the possibility that a deal longer than 5 years will make sense for someone like Lawrie.  Not right now, but youneverknow.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 10:07 PM EST (#280586) #
I don't see DeRosa as a significant loss.  He had a 100 OPS+ which means in his last 5 years his total OPS+ was 90.  He would've been entering his age 39 season, his UZR/150 was 2.1 at 2B, -31.6 at 3B, and 9.1 at 1B.  At 3B lifetime he was -7.9.  For 2B/SS we have Goins and Izturis while 1B has no shortage of backups (easy to move guys from RF or LF or wherever to 1B generally).  Odds are he wouldn't have a 100+ OPS+ in 2014 given any serious playing time and his defense was viewed as poor and the stats say he was poor at 3B which is where he'd be needed the most.  As a RH DH I'm sure the Jays could do better.

Nice guy but shouldn't be hard to find another 3B/DH who hits right handed to platoon with Lind and backup Lawrie.  Wonder what Mark Reynolds wants?  Lots of K's but lots of power and plays 3B and can do 2B in a pinch (2 games last year) - he'd be a late signing as he'd be looking for full time work right now.  Odds are a few RH 3B will be kicking come spring though.
finch - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 11:31 PM EST (#280587) #
Late Tuesday night rumor has Toronto and Philadelphia talking deal. Bautista rumoured to go in exchange for Dominic Brown plus. Probably for pitching but what pitching do they have that Toronto wants?
John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2013 @ 11:40 PM EST (#280588) #
Now that would be interesting finch... generally the rule is 48 hours to see if it is for real.  We know the Jays (AA) have wanted Brown for a long time (since the Halladay trade). 

I think the Phillies would be nuts to trade Domonic Brown at this point as he is one of their few young players.  Darin Ruf is a 1B/OF who would be nice (RH, could platoon with Lind and get time in the OF).  Hernandez, Cesar is a 2B/CF who they gave a bit of time to last year who has been showing a bit of a bat (700's OPS) the past two years. Biddle, Jesse is a hot LH arm in AA (10K/9 but 5.3 BB/9 but entering age 22 season).  Clearly if they do a trade for Bautista they are still in a win now phase (which seems to be doubling down a bit too much imo).  Not sure they have enough pieces for the Jays without giving up some of their core.
finch - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 12:07 AM EST (#280589) #
I would want Brown plus the first round pick of the 76ers and hope you can get #1 and draft Wiggins...wrong sport.

Franco would be a nice get. Power 1B/3B or Liddle I guess we will see what tomorrow morning brings.
85bluejay - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 07:43 AM EST (#280590) #
Don't really believe the Phillie rumors - Brown was extremely streaky last year - if the Jays are contemplating moving Bautista, I would hope they shop him around - teams like Texas, Seattle would seem to be better matches.
scottt - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 07:48 AM EST (#280591) #
Bautista for Brown would be a salary dump. If you get a 2B in the deal and use the extra cash to improve elsewhere it might be a good trade. That's a couple of ifs.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:05 AM EST (#280592) #
Oh, no question Bautista for Brown would be a salary dump. If the Jays do the trade they'd be getting more than Brown back I'd hope.  The Phillies do seem ripe for the picking though if they have any young talent left as right now they should be going into rebuild mode as their team is very old and expensive (5 of 8 regulars last year were over 32, Lee is going into his age 35 season, Papelbon 33).  3 of their 5 sub-30 starting pitchers (10+ starts) had K rates below 6 which is not a good sign and another was at 6.1 so counting on those kids to become a new ace rotation is a fools game (going against the odds).  It is hard to see a clear match up unless the Jays can get parts from the Phillies to use with a 3rd team to get a second baseman or catcher or starting pitcher to go along with Brown.

As to Brown's streaks - he had a bad April & September (sOPS+ in the 90's) a hot May/June (over 140 sOPS+) and a solid July/August (in the 110's).  He'd be risky to get, especially as the centerpiece in a Bautista trade. I see it as an interesting rumour though due to AA wanting Brown for a long time and generally he gets who he wants eventually (see Gose).
China fan - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:10 AM EST (#280593) #
The Bautista-for-Brown rumor is from a very poor Philadelphia source. It also fails the "sniff" test -- the basic credibility test -- since it is so illogical. And most important, it is already being shot down by Shi Davidi, who has very good Jays connections from his daily conversations with the organization. Davidi, in a tweet today, says the rumor is "nonsensical" and has "no validity to it."

I wish the Box could devote its collective analytical abilities to more plausible possibilities....
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:17 AM EST (#280594) #
The rumour would make more sense if Brown was a good defender as well as a potential offensive threat. No more one-way regulars, please.
lexomatic - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:26 AM EST (#280595) #
This is a good article about the trade rumor.
I don't know how to use the new link feature - it doesn't work for me, so you get to copypaste this
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/some-thoughts-inspired-by-a-late-night-trade-rumor/

SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:56 AM EST (#280596) #
That rumor made no sense. Trading Bautista for a young player would only make sense if that young player (or players) filled organizational positions of need. In that particular trade scenario, the Jays would trade their starting RF for a LF/DH. It never made any sense. I'm not sure why it even gained any steam as a rumor, outside of Twitter now being the home for fake scoops.
FisherCat - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 09:04 AM EST (#280597) #

"...The Jays don't currently have a young potential star position player worthy of such a deal, but some day they might..."

This caught my eye as the WHOLE reason why, in the Ricciardi / AA era, that the Jays have been mediocre & unable to compete with everyone else in the AL East!  They have not internally developed a Pedroia/Lester, Cano, Machado, Longoria/Price.  You know the type of guys you WANT to give a 7 year deal to.  Think of all the internal all-star types that have been drafted/developed by JPR-AA and how they've panned out.  A.Hill; A.Lind; S.Marcum; B.Cecil; C.Janssen; JPA; R.Romero?  Some of them showed promise of being franchise cornerstones, but either got injured or signed the initial big contract & didn't deliver.

Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 09:17 AM EST (#280598) #
Pitchers are a different kettle of fish, because of the increased risk of injury and its effect on both playing time and performance.  The Rays weren't really interested in signing Price long-term a couple of years ago because of this. 

It's the 22-27 year old great position players who you should be open to signing for 6+ years.

Paul D - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 09:30 AM EST (#280599) #
Speaking of, should the Jays be trying to sign Lawrie long term right now? I'd be for it. Yes, there's risk, but but the risk of him getting injured is why he signs the deal. Could you buy out one of his free agent years for a $30 million deal?
Hodgie - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 10:01 AM EST (#280600) #
The Bautista rumor is silly and not worth commenting on, let's get back to figuring out how to get Holland and Profar for Mark Derosa and a bucket of balls.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 10:14 AM EST (#280601) #
FanGraphs has Lawrie at $6.7 mil of value for last year, $11.1 the year before.  What is funny is his 43 games in 2011 are shown as worth $11.3 million - shows how off the charts he was in that first call-up. So for his next 4 years he is under team control, so the Jays ideally would do a 3+3 deal = 3 years guaranteed plus 3 option years worth $20 mil guaranteed but up to $50 mil if all options exercised.  Doubt his agent would go for it but might be worth a shot.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 10:26 AM EST (#280602) #
I don't know what the best approach to Lawrie is right now.  I would worry about the effect of a long-term contract on his performance.  Developing some maturity is an issue for him, and given that he has taken a step backward each of the last two years, I probably wouldn't do anything right now.  He wasn't the defensive force last year that he had been before, probably due to the effects of his injury and the absence of Brian Butterfield (why do my fingers always fly to Paul when I type Butter's name?)

On the other hand, if he arrives in camp focused and healthy, and it is pretty clear that he is going to reduce the number of crazy things he does, and he starts off the season well, I might take a different attitude. Lawrie came up with Arencibia and I am not sure that they are the best pair for each other, in the baseball sense (of course).

Chuck - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 11:36 AM EST (#280603) #
FanGraphs has Lawrie at $6.7 mil of value for last year, $11.1 the year before.

Not to be overly pedantic, but that valuation for Lawrie is the value of his WAR were those WAR acquired on the free agency market. Most players in years 1 to 3 will have their theoretical value greatly exceed their actual cost. It's just the way the game is rigged, and what leads to such a high incremental FA WAR in the first place.

Lylemcr - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 11:40 AM EST (#280604) #
Any trade talk that does not include doing something about our starting pitching, I don't want to hear.  Offense is not "BIG" the issue last year. 
Chuck - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 11:41 AM EST (#280605) #
Oh, and I'm with those who would take a wait and see approach with Lawrie. He's much too volatile, both in personality and on-field performance, for my tastes. The error bars on any projections for him are awfully wide.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 11:55 AM EST (#280606) #
I could see Lawrie being a perennial all-star. I could also see him totally broken down & out of baseball before he's 30. He's so obviously talented, but also volatile. I still fully expect him to land on the DL from fist-pumping too hard at some point.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 12:01 PM EST (#280607) #
If Lawrie wants to take an extension based on something near his floor (say 140 games/yr, .270, 15, 60) then I'm prepared to extend him right now up to 6 years. On the other hand if he wants to be paid on potential then there's no need to extend him.

I would be willing to bet that going year to year with arbitration-level players (or players with time left on their contracts) pays off more often than extending them does. Looking at the recent Jays contracts we certainly would have been better off year to year with with Romero, Wells, Lind, and Hill. Conversely we would have been hurt with Bautista and Encarnacion but net I still think we would be ahead and I still think a "show-me" strategy is best.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 12:14 PM EST (#280608) #
In the case of Lawrie at this point in his career, talk of a floor seems to me to miss the point.  He plays the game, and does everything else, with so much intensity that there is a significant risk that he will sustain injury which will prevent him from playing the game or from playing it with any ineffectiveness whatsoever.  There is some kind of risk of this for every position player, but usually the risk is small enough that it plays a minor part of the assessment (save for catchers) when the player is in his early 20s.  Not so for Lawrie.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 12:47 PM EST (#280610) #
The FanGraphs is free agent value, but remember that we are planning for what Lawrie would be worth on the market in a few years plus arbitration years.  For the Jays there is value in locking him up as they then know what his cost will be.  For Lawrie the value is knowing he is set for life.  Risk for the Jays is Lawrie running into a wall one time too many, for Lawrie the risk is that he might have been in line for a $100+ million contract in 4 years.  The longer the Jays wait the more they know, but also potentially the more it will cost.

Given the Jays aren't Tampa (ie: not broke) they can afford to wait and see with Lawrie and I suspect they wish they did that with Morrow and Romero and Lind and Hill (and further back Wells & Rios).  The last long term deal that worked out was probably Dave Stieb's in the early 80's.

Chuck - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 02:11 PM EST (#280611) #
For the Jays there is value in locking him up as they then know what his cost will be.

Given that the marketplace still prefers oWAR to dWAR, Lawrie is not likely to ever get compensated per FG's valuation model. Too much of his value, for his bank account's sake, is tied up in defense. While we are seeing defense valued more heavily than ever before, it would still take a seismic shift for the market to value all WAR the same.

Shaker - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 03:22 PM EST (#280612) #

Luckily for us, arbitrators still use counting stats to determine salary.  With Lawrie's injury record we will be better off going to the arbitrator then signing him long term, until much closer to free agency.

 

PS Nice one Hodgie, gave me a good laugh.

CeeBee - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 04:21 PM EST (#280613) #
Would you sign Salty for 4 years? I think I would unless the $ per was crazy. Trade J.P. for whatever I could get, maybe the White Sox would part with Beckham for Arencibia? or is that crazy either way?
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 04:30 PM EST (#280614) #
Salty is a LH platoon catcher.  Can't hit lefties well enough, and his defensive capabilities are so-so.  I doubt that I would want him catching Dickey.  He's not a great match with the needs here unless he came reasonably cheap, and you could also acquire a RH knuckleball-catching partner.
Shaker - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 05:51 PM EST (#280615) #

I like the idea of trading one of our Catchers for Beckham.  JPA and Beckham have the same salary.  If we had to sweeten the pot hopefully they'd take one or two of our "out of option" players such as Redmond and/or Sierra.  Becks has had some very odd (platoon splits) and inconsistent results but he may pull it all together eventually.  He had great numbers as a minor leaguer and then as a rookie.  From there it went pretty much downhill but in 2013, for example, he put up a .347 OBP and .745 OPS in over 300 PA vs RHP.  That's not the tiniest sample...He also had a .780 OPS overall as late as mid-August, before completely falling flat on his face.

(Somewhat related) Does anyone think it wise to sign Jose Molina as the bigger names get too expensive?

adrianveidt - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:21 PM EST (#280616) #
This is the most exciting part of any Blue Jays season right?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 08:30 PM EST (#280617) #
The only way Bautista gets traded is a big offer is made. Of an approximate 390 players (13 hitters on 30 teams) only 70 hitters had 20 or more HR. Encarnacion was tied for 3rd with 36. Bautista was 17th with 28HR. Lind was tied for 37th with 23. Rasmus was tied for 44th with 22 and Arencibia was tied for 53rd with 21.

Power hitters are scarce and in high demand. Chances are good A.A. could get anyone he wanted if Bautista is available. I just don't know if he'll be available. From what I've heard from the GM meeting was everyone was talking about the lack of power hitter available.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 13 2013 @ 10:15 PM EST (#280618) #
If everyone is chasing power hitters then maybe it is time to trade Bautista.  Power is good, but overall hitting (plus baserunning) is what scores runs not just HR.  If teams are overvaluing the home run then it might be the right time.  But only for a really good return - ie: fix at least 2 of the problem areas and get a lot younger in the process.  Texas is who I keep going to because they have middle infield prospects (4 iirc) who are blue chip plus incumbents who are solid and signed long term (Kinsler through 2017+, Andrus through 2022+) while being weak in the outfield/DH/1B (LF has a sOPS+ of 96, CF of 98, RF 110, DH 93, 1B 80) which the Jays could help (Bautista plus Lind).  For those two though I'd be expecting Profar plus.  With a deep rotation (4 guys with ERA+'s over 110 and 18+ starts each) maybe Nick Tepesch or Justin Grimm (back end of their rotation, entering age 25 seasons) would be available for more depth, or someone else there could be mixed in or a 3rd party mixed in to help.

It all depends on what AA thinks is possible.  If there is some outfielder out there he can get who would be solid but has worn out their welcome elsewhere then I could see it happening but as others have said, for Bautista to be traded it has to look like a clear win for the Jays to hometown fans while the other team is in a big 'win now' phase and desperately needs that corner outfield power.  Or he has to sign a big free agent a couple days later to shift the front pages (assuming Ford can get off of the front page).
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 12:38 AM EST (#280619) #
This, to me, is the most exciting time of the year, followed by the Trade Deadlines and the Draft. The Season lasts half a year and it can break your heart. This time of a year is a more mellow time when passions flow slower. It's a time to speculate and have fun.
John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 08:07 AM EST (#280620) #
Since the strike there is no question this is the most interesting time of year for Jays fans. We have hope, we have dreams, anything is possible.  The regular season? At first it is fun, then they tend to tank early, have a recovery (woohoo!) and tank again (boo).  Once they start fighting for the playoffs in September then that will become the exciting time again.
ogator - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 09:10 AM EST (#280621) #
I think it is time to start beating the Marcus Stroman drum. He had a good year in double A and is having a good time in the AFL. He will be on the pitching staff some time next year. And it may very well be as a member of the rotation. He may be good enough to force his way into the rotation in the spring and Hutchison is not far behind. How many starters do they really need? I think it would be a mistake to create a hole in the batting order to pursue more pitching.
Original Ryan - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 09:48 AM EST (#280622) #
I think it would be tough to get an acceptable return for Bautista right now as there are five big-name outfielders on the free agent market -- Granderson, Choo, Ellsbury, Cruz and Beltran. It's likely that any team interested in acquiring Bautista would also be in the mix for one of those free agents. It wouldn't make much sense to trade away major league-ready assets when there's a good chance you might only need to give up a draft pick to acquire a top outfielder.

It's possible things might change later on during the offseason once the free agent situation gets sorted out, but then you're potentially left with a shortage of buyers which creates its own problems. It would be harder to get teams in a bidding war for Bautista, and the teams that are bidding might not have the players that would address Toronto's needs.

Reiterating what I said earlier, I think this is a bad offseason to be shopping around a guy like Bautista.
Beyonder - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 09:58 AM EST (#280623) #
Not to be contrarian, but I would think that a quick glance at the price tags on those 5 guys would do a lot for Bautista's marketability.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 10:14 AM EST (#280624) #
The travails of our mayor did not, surprisingly, have me thinking of Eddie Gaedel, but rather about Hall of Names. Alas, the Ford Focus ball club would have only 7 members- Curt Ford (utility OF), Dan Ford RF, Hod Ford SS, Lew Ford LF-CF, Dave Ford RP, Russ Ford SP and Whitey Ford Ace. By contrast, his predecessor's club would have a plethora of players, a mass of Millers.  The Miller Times would include 3 Bobs, Stu, Andrew, Dyar, Frank, Jake, Wade and Jim on the pitching staff.  Bing, Rick and Ward in the outfield with Elmer and Hack as backups, Dots, Keith, Eddie and a nobody around the IF and Corky and Damian catching.  With Marvin representing all these Millers, keeping the payroll under control might be an issue...
Beyonder - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 10:18 AM EST (#280625) #
Seriously -- you couldn't work a Miller genuine draft reference into that post?
John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 10:19 AM EST (#280626) #
agator - that is why I've been feeling the Jays top priorities should be 2B then CA and only then a high end starter.  Right now they have tons of back end starters - for the #4/5 slots I'm fine with pretty much any combo of Drabek, Hutchison, Stroman, Rogers, Happ, Redmond, Morrow, Jenkins, Romero, McGuire, or Nolin.  That's 11 pitchers who all have a decent likelihood of having at least a 90 ERA+ some with potential of much more.  That is endurable.  Not ideal, but workable.  Add a high end pitcher (120+ ERA+ being strong possibility) and you would be set.

2B? Right now it is very, very ugly. Izturis is poor defensively and offensively.  Goins has a rubber bat.  After those two who is next? Only AAAA calibre players who AA signs this winter if he cannot find a real solution.

CA? JPA could be respectable and get up to a power heavy 90 OPS+, Thole has shown potential of being solid in the past but just was totally screwed up in the majors and AJ Jimenez should be in Buffalo awaiting a call this year.  Not in great shape by any stretch, but unlike 2B there is some faint hope.
92-93 - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 10:31 AM EST (#280627) #
I'm with Beyonder. The only OF on that list that makes it tough to get a king's ransom for Bautista is Beltran because he'll likely only need a 3 year deal to secure his services. Bautista's value is heavily tied to his 2 affordable years plus the option, whereas the teams that land Granderson, Ellsbury, Choo, and Cruz are going to have bad contracts on their hand 5 years from now.

As for 2B vs. C, I have a hard time understanding your logic John. It took Ryan Goins a month to post basically as much WAR as JP Arencibia has ever posted in a season. You need to really ignore defense to suggest there's hope at C that doesn't exist at 2B. I'm definitely finding a C first if it were me.
PeterG - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 10:57 AM EST (#280628) #
 I agree 92-93. Catcher is a much higher priority than 2b.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 11:50 AM EST (#280629) #
The Blue Jay 5-Year Policy is very likely to bite them in the butt this offseason. Too many Teams have too much money to spend for Toronto to be so restrictive.

To be competitive, a Team must have it's Starters win 75 or more games. If they can't do that, get better Starters.

R.A. Dickey should win 16-18 games this season. With all the issues, health, offense, defense, new League, new Home field, he still won 14 games. I would not be surprised if he won 20. Mark Buehrle should win more than his usual 12-14 games. He had 5 non-wins last where he pitched very well (more than 6.0 IP and less than 2 runs allowed). He should easily be in the 14-16 range next year.

Whether or not you agree with my predictions, you must admit we are still a long way from 75 wins. Dickey and Buehrle won 26 games last year. With the improvements/upgrades A.A. will make, they might win 10 more.

That's the reason A.A. needs 2 proven Starters, they need 39-49 more wins. Drabek, Happ, Hutchison, Lincoln, McGowan, Morrow, Redmond, Rogers, Nolin, Stroman are the in-house options. No one on that list will average 15 wins.

The reason I, amongst others, want Front-of-the-Rotation Starters is very simple. They regularly win 14-16 games every year. If they can't, why do you want them?
92-93 - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 12:30 PM EST (#280630) #
Some pitchers who weren't "front of the rotation starters" in 2013:

Justin Verlander
Madison Bumgarner
Yu Darvish
James Shields
Mike Minor
Ubaldo Jimenez
Felix Hernandez
Hiroki Kuroda
Jose Fernandez
Chris Sale
David Price

We get it, you think the Jays need more starting pitching. We don't need a new post everyday enumerating in a ridiculous fashion why that's the case.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 01:27 PM EST (#280631) #
Call your list what you want, they are still capable of being # 1s winning the average 15 games. I browse other sites and occasionally come across more "A.A. speak" where he starts down-playing his needs this offseason.

That being said, who's our 2B, is way down on my list. Ryan Goins showed me he could defend his position well. That's remarkable, because where did he ever play on turf before? I'm willing to have him learn to hit on the MLB level.

Melky Cabrera is healthy once more. He should gives us what A.A. thought he would. He may or may not be ready to start the season. That's why who the # 4 and # 5 Outfielders matters. Giving each of 4 regular Outfielders 121 games will keep them sharp and healthy for October play.

Catching is the Elephant in the room that won't go away while other issues are dealt with. Without overpaying for catching, means having a pitching staff Catchers can't turn down. To avoid a power loss that inevitable in any acqusition (replacing JP), you need to acquire one who also has power with his other talents. Everyone (most everyone) likes McCann regardless of his price. If not, replacing JP is harder.

John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 01:45 PM EST (#280632) #
Well, to rate Goins as anything beyond 'John McDonald' you need to put a ton of faith in defensive stats for 262 innings where he had a UZR/150 at record levels (33.1).  In the majors for guys with 600+ innings at 2B the best UZR/150 was 14.7.  In 2012 it was 17.1.  2011 20.5, 2010 12.1, 2009 14.0, 2008 20.7, 2007 19.4.  From 2007 to 2013 the best for anyone with 600+ innings in total over that time frame is 17.0  Over the entire time frame that UZR/150 exists the best score is 16.3 by Rey Sanchez.  John McDonald is 2nd at 16.2 btw.  Cutting to 250+ Innings total over that time frame Goins is #1 with Sanchez #2.  I had to cut down to 164 innings to find Kyle Seager who has a 33.8.

Goins defensive fRAR last year was 6.5 vs -7.3 for offense - he gets over 0 due to position (3.5) and league (0.5).  If you cut his defense to human levels (cut in half) he then loses 3.25 RAR which puts his RAR to 0.05 and his WAR to 0.005 not 0.4.  IE: if his defense isn't at Ozzie Smith levels he is at best a replacement level player.  All reports on his offense have said what we saw is what we should expect.  He is John McDonald v2 - someone you can stick in there while Reyes is hurt or whoever is at 2B is hurt but you sure don't want out there everyday unless your only alternative is Izturis.  Plus there is nothing coming up at 2B or SS that I can think of that might be ready in 2014 or 2015.  To count 100% on Goins to be the regular and Izturis being your only backup is just idiotic.
Ryan Day - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 01:45 PM EST (#280633) #
I would think that a quick glance at the price tags on those 5 guys would do a lot for Bautista's marketability.

Not just the price tag, but the years: Bautista is only signed for another two years, plus an option year. Most of those guys, aside from Beltran, will be looking for 4-5 years, if not more.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 01:45 PM EST (#280634) #
There's a new post on MLB Trade Rumors site on replay that's interesting.


John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 01:54 PM EST (#280635) #
Via MLBTradeRumors -MLB Amending Posting System Proposal; Agreement May Not Be Reached - it appears Tanaka might not be available after all.  Or if the posting process is killed could MLB go to full attack mode on the Japanese leagues and just ignore contracts they have signed ala the old Federal League battles from way back when?  Or perhaps individual clubs would contact other clubs and try to make a deal on the side.  Of course, Selig could put a stop to it instantly by refusing to recognize the MLB team involved as having rights but it is an option as it has happened before.
Chuck - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 02:30 PM EST (#280636) #
To be competitive, a Team must have it's Starters win 75 or more games

The World Series winners got 67 wins from their starters. The starters went 67-42, the relievers 30-23.

Chuck - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 02:53 PM EST (#280637) #
I'm willing to have him learn to hit on the MLB level.

Goins has never hit much in the minors and he'll be 26 next season. What's the likelihood that he'll learn to hit in the majors?

Mike Green - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 03:24 PM EST (#280638) #
I take a middle view on Goins.  I don't think he's Bill Mazeroski, but it is possible that he is a very good defensive second baseman.  As for his batting, he has usually been a capable enough minor league hitter against RHP.  His lines have been:

2010- .285/.346/.385
2011- .290/.338/.424
2012- .299/.349/.412
2013- .274/.323/.385

He did not look good against RHP in the majors and posted a 1/17 W/K in 77 at-bats.  That is worse performance than you would expect from his minor league record.  The club also gave him over 1/3 of his PAs against LHP.  There is no reason to believe that he can hit left-handed pitching well enough.

I think that there is a decent chance that Goins can perform acceptably well as the left-handed part of a platoon- hitting .265/.320/.370 say, with good defence. As I have said before, I'd prefer if the right-handed part of the platoon would be someone like Mark Ellis rather than Maicer Izturis. 

Chuck - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 03:55 PM EST (#280639) #
he has usually been a capable enough minor league hitter against RHP

For a guy who doesn't hit much, it's good to see a big L/R split so that he can at least contribute as part of a platoon.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 04:14 PM EST (#280640) #
Ryan Goins was a 4th round pick in 2009, a JPR safe college pick. He signed 16 July 2009. He was hurt in 2011 which limited playing time. He hit well in 2011 and 2012, and struggled in AAA, which is expected. At the MLB level he had an 8 game hit streak to start out and finished his 34 game cameo by hitting in 9 of his last 10 games.

He has little power, some speed, will walk and not strike out a lot. That's a lot better than most of the hitters on this Team. He showed right away that he could handle playing on turf. There a a lot of experienced Baseball players who can't. In his 34 games, 148 chances, he made one error. That a lot better than most players on this team.

You can usually make most stats mean anything you want. You either like him or you don't. Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins join the team and the team starts feeling like a winning team. Bautista was hurt and didn't play. Encarnacion and Rasmus were hurt and missed games. They won 12 games in September and lost 8 where they were close.

Dickey and Buehrle will give you 26-36 wins next year. The entire remaining in-house Starters of which you need three will be hard pressed to win more than 8-10 each. So you need our Relievers to win 31- 47 games. As good as our Bullpen was last year they only won 29. That's not always doable.
Chuck - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 04:27 PM EST (#280641) #
The business about 75 wins from your starters... where does this even come from?

The Cardinals and Tigers both had terrific starting rotations with ERAs of 3.42 and 3.44. Their starters won 77 and 76 games, just barely clearing your bar. And as I mentioned earlier, Boston's starters won only 67 games.

I think you may need to recalibrate your model.

92-93 - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 04:57 PM EST (#280642) #
I'd be a lot more willing to add Mark Ellis to this roster now that Mark DeRosa isn't taking up a roster spot.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 05:08 PM EST (#280643) #
I agree that the departure of DeRosa does make that a lot easier, 92-93.  If the club can acquire Hanigan, Ellis and Samardzija without too much talent going the other way, I'll call it a pretty good low budget off-season. 
Thomas - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 05:25 PM EST (#280644) #

The World Series winners got 67 wins from their starters. The starters went 67-42, the relievers 30-23.

Why use facts when you can make bold and unsupportable statements?

Mike, I like all three of your targets and brought up Samardzija in another thread, but I'm not sure Chicago will move him for what we'd classify as a low cost.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 05:35 PM EST (#280645) #
You are probably right, Thomas.  If Samardzija's value is perceived to be at his FIP level over the last 2 years rather than at his ERA level, I wouldn't be interested.  Too much talent spent on a position of relatively less need (in my opinion).
China fan - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 05:49 PM EST (#280646) #
If we're evaluating the value of pitchers on the basis of FIP and xFIP, we could have just kept Josh Johnson.
China fan - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 06:01 PM EST (#280647) #
"....Dumb policy, as most hard and fast rules are...."

It would be reasonable to bash Anthopoulos for his "five-year-limit" policy on contracts if it actually was a "hard-and-fast rule." Inflexibility is usually a poor idea, since there should always be exceptions in the right situation. But in reality, Anthopoulos doesn't have a hard-and-fast inflexible dogmatic rule about this at all. He would be willing to add a 6th year in certain situations. Here's what he actually says (in an interview with Davidi):

"I dont think Id ever rule anything out under the right context and the right circumstances. If youre prepared to pay someone five years at X, and a sixth year comes out at almost the same total dollars, sure, then you can explain that. But for the most part its the basic framework, being averse to the incredibly long terms weve seen with some of the seven, eight year deals.
Parker - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 06:04 PM EST (#280648) #
Chuck, you could very well ask that question about ANY of the subject's baseball analysis...
John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 06:24 PM EST (#280649) #
Ellis is basically DeRosa with endurance, a guy with a likely 90's OPS+ who plays 2B but can be mixed in at 3B/1B/DH if desired and SS in an emergency.  He would probably be more expensive, in the $4-6 mil range I'd guess, but his fielding is very good (9.1 UZR/150 at 2B lifetime, 7.8 last year.  If signed he'd expect to be the everyday 2B though and unlike DeRosa could do it (480 PA last year) and be productive.  The more I look at him the more I like actually but there is a major issue - he is entering his age 37 season thus 120 games is all the Jays should expect ... could Goins/Izturis cover the remaining 42 plus cover 3B and SS?  Maybe.  It all lands under what would Ellis cost and what other options are available.
John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 06:38 PM EST (#280650) #
I find it funny how many say those 7+ year deals for guys who are 30+ are a good idea.  I mean, c'mon, do you really think Cano will be worth $30 mil a year in his age 36+ season?  Really?  Or McCann?  I don't.  I wouldn't want to be the GM who has to eat those deals.  The number of cases of super-long term (over 5 year) contracts signed as free agents that have flopped is high.  Fielder is likely to, A-Rod's 2nd sure did, Pujols' looks like a disaster in the making, and others from the not so distant past were ugly too (Zito, Werth, Hamilton, Griffey Jr, ...).  Each year you add increases the risk of having a disaster contract on the books.  And some of those disaster deals weren't even for 6+ years!

Now, if you have Yankee money and don't worry about costs then go on and sign Cano to 100 years if you want.  But I remember the mess Delgado's contract was doing to payroll, what Wells and Rios' looked like they were about to do.  So unless you get a young (sub 30) free agent who is superstar level (ie: 6+ WAR expected each year) then don't go to 7/8/9+ years.

Oceanbound - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 06:50 PM EST (#280651) #
It's not like the GMs actually think Cano will be worth 30 mil in his late thirties, either. It's part of how free agency works. You pay for someone's decline phase while hoping he works out during the front end of the contract.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 10:44 PM EST (#280652) #
The numbers are easy. You need basic arithmetic for this. Total wins needed to win playoff berth minus Relief wins equals Starter wins.

You don't always have a great Bullpen. But you do calculate 20-25 wins from them. Expecting more is unwise.

You do need good Starters. But more important is beating your AL East opponents.

Intricated - Thursday, November 14 2013 @ 11:10 PM EST (#280653) #
Hrm...:

Average number of wins by relievers per team for 2013 = 25.8
Median number of wins = 26.5

Average for 2013 playoff teams = 26.4
Median = 28

Looks like expecting anything less than 20-25 wins is both uncommon and unwise.
Parker - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 08:59 AM EST (#280654) #
Richard, perhaps you could explain your rationale behind using pitching wins as your primary yardstick for measuring the quality of a pitcher. Pitchers don't win ballgames, TEAMS do. It doesn't matter if you have the five best starters in MLB, they're not going to win any games without their offense scoring any runs.

Basically, when you talk about pitchers needing to have a certain number of wins, you're not even discussing the merits of that particular pitcher specifically; rather, you are discussing the pitcher's ability combined with his team's offense and defense, with a healthy dose of luck thrown into the mix.

Of course, good pitchers are more likely to record more wins and bad pitchers less likely, but a pitcher's wins total is not a reflection of that pitcher's individual ability but a reflection of the strength of the entire team (including the starting pitcher) on the days he pitches.
Mike Green - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 09:04 AM EST (#280655) #
CF, I wasn't proposing that Samardzija's value ought to be based on his ERA (or his FIP or his xFIP).  What I was saying is that if the Cubs expect to get a return commensurate with a starting pitcher whose expected performance next year is 180 innings and an ERA of 3.5 (in the NL Central), you probably don't want to deal with them, but if the Cubs expect to get a return associated with a starting pitcher whose expected performance next year is 180 innings an ERA of 4.0 in the NL Central, it's a different story. 

My own view is that one ought to combine the measures of past performance with the weight given to ERA increasing as the number of innings pitched increases.  There are two issues with Johnson- expected performance level and durability.  The second is probably of somewhat greater significance and makes the decision to not qualify him pretty clearly the right one.

John Northey - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 10:17 AM EST (#280656) #
To figure out what the Jays need in a starter we should look at how many runs the Jays score - the key is to score more than you give up.  The pen should have a better ERA than the starters so lets assume the pitchers ERA is a good indicator of how many runs the Jays need to score +1.
Games scoring 10+ runs: 11 - even Romero should win these and the Jays did win all 11
Games scoring 5-9 runs: 54 - most pitchers should win these, Jays went 36-18
Games scoring 4 runs: 28  - this requires an above average game for most Jays were 12-16
Games scoring 3 runs: 28 - must allow 2 or fewer, normally need a #1 for these games Jays were 9-19
Games scoring 1 or 2 runs: 33 - no margin for error, Jays 6-27
Games shutout: 8 - could have Sandy Koufax or Pedro Martinez at his peak pitching and would still lose

So for 65 games pretty much any of the candidates we have for the rotation should be able to win over 50% of the time, ideally closer to 75-90%.  Jays won 72% of them which isn't that good.  The Jays were actually only 7-8 when scoring 5 runs.

So clearly for the Jays to win they need to score 6+ runs a game as they were sub-500 when scoring 5/4/3/2/1/0 runs in a game.  That is bad.  That is really bad.  So yeah, better starters would help a lot and it doesn't need to be ace level but just 'acceptable' as in a 90 ERA+ level or JA Happ level (he had a 90 ERA+ which worked out to a 4.56 ERA.  He lost once with 5+ runs of support, but the lowest run support he had that won was 5 runs which isn't good (he had 6 games of 1 or 0 run support, 4 with 2/3 runs so those were hard to win, just 1 with 4 runs and 1 with 5 runs and 6 with more than that). 
Gerry - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 12:22 PM EST (#280657) #
The Jays have finally made a move...they signed Dan Johnson.  I assume he will play 1B in Buffalo.
Eephus - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 02:32 PM EST (#280658) #
Hypothetical Trade, Version 1.5!

Would you trade any of the Blue Jays spare outfielders (as in, Moises Sierra, Kevin Pillar or Anthony Gose) for Ryan Hanigan? What do you think, Argle-bargle, or Foofaraw?

(Personally, I'd lean towards yes-ish if it was Pillar/Sierra, no if it was Gose.)

Mike Green - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 03:09 PM EST (#280659) #
I'd trade Sierra + a reliever for Hanigan any day of the week.  Much as I like Pillar, I would probably trade him and a reliever for Hanigan.  With Hamilton ticketed for centerfield, I don't think that the Reds would be chasing Gose anyways.  I would even do Melky + $ for Hanigan (assuming that the Reds wanted a veteran), and plan on a left-field platoon of Gose and Pillar unless another option presented itself before now and March. 
katman - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 04:29 PM EST (#280660) #
Just wanted to say that I've found the exchanges between Richard S.S. and others clarifying and valuable re: starter and reliever wins. It helps to frame the problem.

I'm glad it has been (mostly) civil - what seems obvious to the poster may not be so to a reader, who learns from exchanges offering enlightenment. Vitriol, not so much.

John Northey - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 04:51 PM EST (#280661) #
That is a core concept behind this site - to be civil with each other and try to learn from each other while having fun.  You want swearing in every post, there are lots of those sites out there.  Flame wars? No shortage there either.  But reasonable talk?  Now that is as rare as a JP Arencibia walk.

As to the wins per pitcher type, well, in 2012 there was a team with a 4.30 ERA from its starters which ranked 20th in MLB but they led in pitcher wins.  That was Texas who got one of the two wild cards and barely missed winning its division.  Pitcher wins  is not the same as quality pitching.  Often they go hand-in-hand but a killer offense will get those wins too.  Of course, having the 2nd worst ERA for starters (as the Jays did in 2013) does make getting 70+ wins out of the starters kind of difficult.
greenfrog - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 05:51 PM EST (#280662) #
Some interesting KLaw chat tidbits from earlier today:

- Sanchez still has ace potential but he and the Jays have a lot of work to do to get him on the right track

- Still sees Profar as a future star

- Sees Stroman as most likely Jays' minor-leaguer to join the rotation, as Hutch may have IP limit

- Hanigan looks like a quality backup but not more, given his age and the fact that his BB rate is inflated because of where he's hit in an NL lineup

- Wouldn't bank on the Jays finding a prospect as good as JP Crawford with the #11 pick this year

- Thinks EE + Janssen for Kinsler + Holland wouldn't make sense for the Jays
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 06:21 PM EST (#280663) #
Someone has to win games. MLB has decided Pitchers will the recipient of the credit for a win. Don't ask me why, I'm not MLB. If you don't like that fact, gee, too bad.

It has been shown that Starters win some games and Relievers win others. Why? Sometimes the Starter was not good enough, sometime either the Offense wasn't good enough or the Defense wasn't good enough or both. Sometimes the Bullpen fails too.

Time and space are the same thing. Because you can be accurate at when or you can be accurate at where. Never both. Team wins and Pitcher Wins are the same thing. When you are talking about Team you are talking about Team wins, but when you are about Pitchers you are talking about Pitching wins. Never both.

Everyone with more than one full year in the Majors has a career average. It matters not whether you are a hitter or a pitcher. Every year the average adjusts, because year by year performance is usually a plus or minus performance of the year before. Rarely are there big gains or losses.

It has been determined that approximately 95 wins gives you a chance to be in the postseason. Sometimes more, sometimes less. You need to pick a number to start with. Bullpens win games, because MLB said so. I looked at the Relief wins of Toronto from 1987 through 1993 (I kept records then). They won as few as 20 and as many as 33. So I arbitrarily decided 20-25 was a fair average for Bullpen wins. The rest is basic math.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 06:43 PM EST (#280664) #
I've noticed that scoring runs and preventing runs have a tenuous relationship with the Team.

A healthy Melky Cabrera will provide better offense and defense than Left Field had last year. A healthy Jose Reyes will provide better offense and defense at Short Stop. A healthy Brett Lawrie (if we are lucky) will provide a better offense and defense at 3rd Base. They all missed time at their positions last year.

Now the issues at Catcher and the Bench can be resolved. How? That we wait for A.A. to solve.

Dan Johnson has MLB experience so he could be a call-up next season, in case of injury to EE or Lind.
Gerry - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 08:41 PM EST (#280665) #
Mike McCoy has signed with the Red Sox. The signing of Jon Diaz probably assured McCoy's exit.
greenfrog - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 08:52 PM EST (#280666) #
Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but Chad Mottola is the new minor-league hitting coordinator for the Rays. It's an interesting move. It says something when Andrew Friedman wants you coordinating the development of his minor-league hitters.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 15 2013 @ 09:31 PM EST (#280667) #
If I have a choice I'd like A.A. to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez. He looks like he's figured out how to pitch in the AL and he's still with some upside.

Gerry,
Is it possible A.A. is looking to get younger and better in A.A.A. where he can?
smcs - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 10:40 AM EST (#280668) #
It says something when Andrew Friedman wants you coordinating the development of his minor-league hitters.

Ya, that you didn't ask for a lot of money.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 11:17 AM EST (#280669) #
Yes, I thought of that interpretation. No doubt the Rays have less money to spend than other organizations do. On the other hand, judging by the results on the field, the Rays seem to be getting pretty good results for their coaching dollar.
Parker - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 12:56 PM EST (#280670) #
When a coach fired by a team with no recent success in developing talent is immediately picked up by a team with a very strong track record in developing talent, I have to assume the team that fired him is the one who made the mistake. Time will tell, though.
CeeBee - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 04:53 PM EST (#280671) #
How many top notch position players besides Longoria have the Rays actually developed in the last few years? Maybe Mottolla will do better than his predecessors but IMO the bar isn't set too high.
Parker - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 07:10 PM EST (#280672) #
I'd settle for the development of league-average players at this point.
Hodgie - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 08:00 PM EST (#280673) #
The Rays have developed an incredible amount of pitching, position players not so much. On their current roster, they can be credited with developing Desmond Jennings and for not ruining Evan Longoria. Not exactly what I would call setting the bar high...
Mike Green - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 09:25 PM EST (#280674) #
Mottola had a good reputation here.  I have no idea whether he was offered his old job as minor league batting instructor, but, if not, it would be right in character for Friedman to pick up good surplus talent.  This isn't a knock against Seitzer at all. 

We've had this discussion about the Rays' modus operandi before.  The core of their position player talent for the last few years has been Longoria, Zobrist and Jennings.  Longoria and Jennings were developed by the organization and Zobrist took a big leap forward offensively in the organization.  They've supplemented it with a number of talents, like Kotchman and Loney, who have done better with the Rays than elsewhere.  Now, of course, they have Wil Myers...

Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 09:27 PM EST (#280675) #
How about a package starting with Gose, Delabar, Hutchison and Stroman for Price?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 16 2013 @ 11:10 PM EST (#280676) #
Anthony Gose has more upside than Kevin Pillar and Moises Sierra, but I'm not sure how much more. He's basically MLB-ready with 6 years of control.

Steve Delabar is seen by many as Closer material. He's an All Star Reliever with at least 4 years of control.

Drew Hutchison is the best young Starter with MLB experience we have that's shown he can pitch at this level. He should be 18 or more months away from Tommy John surgery so he'll be at his best at Spring Training. He's got at least 5 years of control.

Marcus Stroman is our best Prospect. He's the closest we have to being MLB-ready as anyone else. He could be a mid-2014 call up or a Starter in 2015. He's got 6 years of control.

David Price would be the Ace of the Pitching Staff, under control for two more years. There's a chance of signing him to an extension if 6-7 year 20-22.5 per year (but possibly less). If not, finally a qualifying offer to gain a draft pick. A.A. just has to make the offer.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 17 2013 @ 11:51 AM EST (#280677) #
In one sense, it's actually encouraging that the Rays hired Mottola. If you consider Redmond, Farrell, Butterfield, Lovullo and Mottola (I'm probably missing others), other teams seem to covet the Jays' coaches. You just hope the organization is maintaining the overall quality of its coaching staff, and isn't overly exposing itself to being pillaged by other organizations.
eudaimon - Sunday, November 17 2013 @ 02:48 PM EST (#280678) #
Good point. I think Mottola is probably a good coach, just from the sounds of it Gibbons has his eye on "his guy" and hired him when the opportunity arose.
smcs - Sunday, November 17 2013 @ 04:33 PM EST (#280679) #
In one sense, it's actually encouraging that the Rays hired Mottola. If you consider Redmond, Farrell, Butterfield, Lovullo and Mottola (I'm probably missing others), other teams seem to covet the Jays' coaches.

Does that mean a Royals fan is sitting somewhere thinking "We're on the right track because Gibby and Seitzer got jobs?"

I get the sense that, like the other major sports, experience is a key factor in hiring coaches, and in justifying the hiring of coaches. That's how you get so many retreads and the same guys keep on appearing again and again. You could look at any team, and say that their old coaches keep getting hired.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 17 2013 @ 05:37 PM EST (#280680) #
Royals fans might think that if the Jays had done anything in the last 20 years.
smcs - Sunday, November 17 2013 @ 09:17 PM EST (#280681) #
Royals fans might think that if the Jays had done anything in the last 20 years.

Sorry. I picked the Royals because it was obvious. What I am saying is that the coaches in all of the major sports bounce around from team to team so often that every team could argue that their team must be doing something right, the way their former coaches keep on getting hired.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 17 2013 @ 10:12 PM EST (#280682) #
It's true that many coaches bounce around quite a bit. On the other hand, there seems to be a contingent of coaches/managers with stellar reputations (e.g., Joe Maddon, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan, Don Cooper, Roger McDowell, Kevin Long) who seem to stay in one place, at least for longer than most, which makes sense if you think about it. Barring some compelling circumstance, if you have someone excellent on your staff, why let him go elsewhere?

It would be great to see the Jays find at least one or two really, really good coaches and then keep them around for the long haul.
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