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It looks like winter outside and the winter meetings are in Orlando where I assume it doesn't look like winter. There was so much activity last week that one has to wonder if this week will be a let-down. It seems the market is still undefined particularly in starting pitching where the Jays are looking.

There were some GM meetings a month ago where trade discussions started, we will see if it leads to much this week.

The rule 5 draft will be on Thursday to finish off the meetings. I don't see the Jays picking anyone but they could lose a player.

In his search for starting pitchers AA has said that it seems that the free agents will be too pricey for him. The Jays have a raft full of #5 starter candidates so he really needs a #2 or #3 starter. Can he find one without giving up Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman? If he doesn't trade one of those pitchers he might have to trade a player off his major league roster. That is where the Jose Bautista trade rumours start.

How do you suggest we find a #2 or #3 starter?

UPDATE: Jays to make an announcement at 12:30pm today, Monday.

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Ryan Day - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 10:37 AM EST (#281410) #
The Jays will be making an announcement at 12:30.

It doesn't feel like there's been enough buzz for there to be a trade or free agent signing yet, so I'm guessing someone signed an extension. Lawrie?
Ron - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:02 AM EST (#281411) #
According to Heyman, Halladay is retiring. He will sign a one day contract with the Jays and retire as a Blue Jay.
Beyonder - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:08 AM EST (#281412) #
At this rate this will be AA's best acquisition of the offseason.
85bluejay - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:14 AM EST (#281413) #
While I've advocated for Ackley, I'd be happy with Nick Franklin/Chris Owings/Didi Gregorius (with Reyes to 2nd).
If Colby Rasmus has a good year, he is going to be wanting Ellsbury/Choo money and the jays 5 yr. limit would be a tough obstacle - I also would be against a 7 yr type extension because as much as I like Rasmus, he's too inconsistent (ala Vernon Wells, who's contract I also opposed)  & the turf at Rogers is too tough on legs/back for such a longterm contract - So, I'm open to moving Rasmus , perhaps with Happ to Seattle for Ackley/Franklin and Paxton - I would then sign Franklin Gutierrez ( excellent defense) as a short term bridge to Gose.
Thomas - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:14 AM EST (#281414) #

What a great gesture by Doc.

And what a terrible shame that injuries have cut his career short.

Subversive - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:22 AM EST (#281415) #
I wouldn't have thought anything could make me love Roy Halladay more than I already do, but this does.
CeeBee - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:24 AM EST (#281416) #
I was kind of hoping the Jays would sign Doc and hopefully he would regain a bit of his mojo.... never thought this would happen though. Sad to see him retire so soon and without a ring. Pitching for a living is one heck of a tough profession.
Lylemcr - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:42 AM EST (#281419) #

HOF!  I hope he joins the team in some capacity.  I bet he would make and excellent pitching coach someday.

John Northey - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 12:22 PM EST (#281420) #
Wow, bit of a shock. Halladay doing a one day contract so he can retire a Blue Jay.  Didn't see that one coming.  In 5 years hopefully we'll be seeing the 2nd player in the HOF with a Jays cap on, and probably the first to be developed by the Jays (Jeff Kent was as well but I figure his HOF journey will be a long one and I doubt Delgado gets in at any point in the near future).
John Northey - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 12:30 PM EST (#281421) #
Just thinking about the HOF voting for the next 6 years and guys who should be HOF locks.
2014: Maddux, Glavine, Thomas
2015: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez
2016: Griffey Jr
2017: Ivan Rodriguez (if not for PED rumours), Manny Ramirez (if not for multiple PED catches)
2018: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome
2019: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay

Can anyone reasonably argue any of those guys shouldn't get in on a first ballot (outside of PED's in 2017)?  Safe bet many writers will leave each off their ballots for one reason or another, but all deserve to be in quickly (with ManRam the obvious exception due to his inability to avoid the drugs).
smcs - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 12:45 PM EST (#281422) #
What is the deal with the Tigers cap on the podium?
Thomas - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 12:48 PM EST (#281423) #
One of his sons plays baseball for a team called the Tigers, I believe.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 01:02 PM EST (#281425) #
Sad that his signing wasn't a reclamation project ala Dave Stieb in 1998. A would have loved a chance to go to the dome one last time and cheer on Doc regardless of how he was performing at the time.

Class act (remember the newspaper ad when he left) and the best Jay of his generation. I worry that his lack of numbers "only" 203 wins, "only 2000 Ks" etc...will keep him out of the HOF, but to me he was just about the best pitcher of his generation.
adrianveidt - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 01:11 PM EST (#281426) #
Nice to see he got out of it before his arm totally fell off, still relatively near the top of his game and with some dignity.
Original Ryan - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 01:18 PM EST (#281427) #
I worry that his lack of numbers "only" 203 wins, "only 2000 Ks" etc...will keep him out of the HOF, but to me he was just about the best pitcher of his generation.

Halladay has the benefit of time. While many current HOF voters would likely hold Halladay's win total against him, quite a few writers who embrace the non-traditional stats will become eligible to vote over the next five to ten years. Halladay might not get in on the first ballot, but I suspect he'll get in eventually.

christaylor - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 03:01 PM EST (#281428) #
I'm curious what people think -- is this guy a HOFer?

Mike Green - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 03:02 PM EST (#281429) #
The non-traditionalists have to choose between Halladay and Mussina.  Halladay had the higher peak; Mussina had the better career.  I'd vote them both in (easily), but probably both will have to wait some.  I am guessing that Halladay gets the recognition as the best pitcher of his decade from the traditionalists and walks in on the 3rd ballot or so...

Great pitcher.
Mike Green - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 03:03 PM EST (#281430) #
...or an unwitting answer to christaylor's question.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 03:18 PM EST (#281431) #
Bias may be setting in here but while I recognize that Halladay wasn't Pedro or Maddux, I always saw Halladay as a considerably better pitcher than Mussina.

To me, Mussina was the epitome of the Hall of Very Good, but because he was a Yankee long enough I suspect he'll get in.
Hodgie - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 03:25 PM EST (#281432) #
Dave Cameron weighs in with his thought on Roy Halladay. I think that Halladay should be in the Hall but whether he will is another matter.
Ryan Day - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 05:46 PM EST (#281436) #
In other big news, Shi Davidi reports that Thad Weber is being sold to South Korea.
Gerry - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 05:50 PM EST (#281437) #
Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal report that the Jays were part of a three way deal with Texas and and a third team. The Jays were dealing Sergio Santos but one of the players in the deal failed a physical and deal fell apart.
Parker - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 07:10 PM EST (#281440) #
Hopefully it wasn't Santos who failed his physical.
timpinder - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 07:38 PM EST (#281441) #
My guess is that the Jays were in on the Texas and Oakland deal, and Anderson failed the physical.
Nothing to support that though.
John Northey - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 08:28 PM EST (#281443) #
The article at MLB Trade Rumors (Trade Involving Blue Jays, Rangers Fell Through) says it was a player other than Santos who failed the physical. Interesting that it was agreed to two weeks ago and kept silent.  Good ol' AA.
greenfrog - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 09:05 PM EST (#281444) #
Well, AA is certainly undeterred after last season's trades.

I would like to see the Jays keep Santos, other things being equal. Probably the plan to trade him was in part to save the $4.5M Santos is owed in 2014 (including 2015 buyout). He's relatively cheap to a deep-pocketed team, but perhaps not to the Jays right now.
John Northey - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 10:20 PM EST (#281447) #
Santos probably is worth it but with the deep pen he is available (as is Janssen) to whoever is looking for a 'proven' closer.  I'm sure no one is untouchable out there for the right deal.  The Jays would probably prefer trading one of the expensive guys in the pen, but the cash difference isn't enough to sway them as none are $10 mil guys.
greenfrog - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 10:39 PM EST (#281448) #
Deep pens, like deep rotations, can get shallow quickly.

AA probably wants to create financial room to go after a starter. It's hard to blame him. With Santos's contract and injury history, he probably wouldn't command a lot on the trade market, at least on his own.
Gerry - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:00 PM EST (#281449) #
The most encouraging thing I have heard today is that AA is looking at free agent pitching. Free agents just cost money (or maybe a pick) but they add to the player assets of an organization at the cost of cash. Trades do not add to the depth of an organization as you trade assets for assets. I hope AA lands a pitcher through free agency.
greenfrog - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:06 PM EST (#281450) #
$4.5M is actually a pretty significant amount of savings. If you're looking at paying $15M a year for a starting pitcher, that's almost a third of his salary in 2014. There aren't that many players the Jays can move to free up cash without depleting the talent on the major-league roster. It makes sense that AA would be willing to move SS.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:08 PM EST (#281451) #
Baseball is flush with cash..that's the recurring message going around the media...yet AA and a bunch of other (not all) GMs want to explore the trade route before signing free agents. Am I missing something? If teams are so flush with cash why don't they try to improve the team without sacrificing assets? It's like every team wants to operate like the A's and Rays whether they're small, mid or big market.
greenfrog - Monday, December 09 2013 @ 11:32 PM EST (#281452) #
The problem is that free agent starting pitchers can blow up pretty good (Zito, Pavano, Meche, Silva, Schmidt, E-Jax, Lackey for most of his contract, to name a few).

It sometimes seems as if the lower-cost, unheralded signings are the ones that end up working out (Santana, Haren, Kazmir), although there are of course a lot of busts in the bargain bin as well.

There are plenty of counterexamples of successful free agent SPs. I'm not necessarily opposed to going that route (I've probably never advocated as hard for a player as I did for Darvish). It's just that there is considerable risk there. It seems as if you're not giving up any assets, but you are giving up financial resources that can no longer be deployed in other ways (opportunity cost).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 12:05 AM EST (#281453) #
I get that but couldn't the exact same thing be said for trading for a pitcher? High risk, giving up assets instead of dollars. See: Josh Johnson, Robert Allan Dickey trades. I still don't understand why GMs would prefer to go the trade route when they can spend cash. If they can't afford to sign free agents because they're too expensive I get that, but we're being told they're all flush...
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 12:06 AM EST (#281454) #
A.A. doesn't decide who gets traded, he just get to agree to trade that person. Sergio Santos has the least mileage on his arm of all Toronto's Relievers and a decent Contract. Right now, A.A. has too many very effective relievers. Time to thin out the crowd, the best he can.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 12:19 AM EST (#281455) #
Dalimon, the Jays have already increased payroll quite a bit. Even if they go to $150M, quite an increase from 2012, the Miami trade and some salary increases mean the Jays don't have a lot of financial flexibility left to spend on a Tanaka or Jimenez (which would explain trying to move Santos). Cash and prospects are both assets. Sometimes it makes sense to deploy one, sometimes it makes sense to deploy the other. And sometimes it makes sense to stand pat.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 08:38 AM EST (#281458) #
You have to go to Bluebird Banter site to the article on Encarnacion for Price trade speculation. It talks about of A.A.'s massive future deal.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 08:41 AM EST (#281459) #
The Brett Anderson scenario in the aborted Santos 3 team trade doesn't work for me - Oakland just acquired Johnson and his $10m salary to close, why won't they have just taken Santos with his lower salary, more controllable yrs. and fresher arm than allow  him to go to a division rival - I like Anderson, but he's not cheap (8 & 15), hasn't pitched 150 innings since 2009 and his very smart G.M  who has access to Anderson medicals just decided to pay 2/22 to a health challenged pitcher (Kazmir)  rather than counting on Anderson. - I think Oakland should not expect much more than salary relief for Anderson & Santos would be a significant overpay IMO.
It's fun to speculate about whom the starter was - I'm thinking maybe Yovani Gallardo who's had health problems of his own, with Texas maybe sending some of it's young mlb pitching (Tepesch/Grimm) to the Brewers.
jensan - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 10:15 AM EST (#281461) #
Why not go for Cole Hamels -30 years old and you are set for 6 years, and not trade Sanchez or any of the prospects.

Trade for a 2b, there are a ton of them out there with your relief Corp..

Starting Pitching is Dickey, Hamels, Buehlre, Morrow and Happ. Hutchison,Drabek is 6 and 7.

Your budget is around 155 million salary, but it is real pitching staff. Gives your prospects in the lower levels to develop over the next three years
Chuck - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:01 AM EST (#281462) #
Why not go for Cole Hamels -30 years old and you are set for 6 years, and not trade Sanchez or any of the prospects.

Trade what for Hamels?

Hodgie - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:02 AM EST (#281463) #
"The problem is that free agent starting pitchers can blow up pretty good"

All pitchers can blow up at any time as we know all to well. The problem is not the how but rather the who and the what, what being the minimum expected performance for the resources surrendered to acquire the who. Some of the poor contracts listed were perfectly fine (Meche, Lackey) while I am not sure that the Nationals would feel they received great value from Haren for their $13M last season. There is just no getting around the fact that all pitchers carry enormous risk and the ROI versus what a team can reasonably afford to spend in assets needs to be taken into consideration when evaluating the worth of the acquisition. If my retirement plan consists of mortgaging my house to buy tickets for the $80M Lotto I shouldn't be overly surprised when I am living on the street in my golden years.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:10 AM EST (#281464) #
In other big news, Shi Davidi reports that Thad Weber is being sold to South Korea.

This opens up a spot on the 40 man for either a trade acquisition or a Rule 5 pick.  Presumably, if the club trades a RH reliever, it can then pick one of the many available in the Rule 5 to fulfil a lower leverage role. 
John Northey - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:11 AM EST (#281465) #
Why not Hamels? Because the Phillies are still in a win-now mode and no way on earth they'd trade him for less than a kings ransom.  Might as well ask for Felix Hernandez - who Seattle won't trade now with a clear win-now going on.

Of course, one never knows what could happen.  No one saw Alomar/Carter for McGriff/Fernandez before it happened all those years ago (I was hoping for the Jays to get Alomar but never dreamed of that type of deal) so anything is possible.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:28 AM EST (#281467) #
Hamels is under contract for the next 5 years (with an option for a 6th), and he'll only be 35 at the end of it. Even if the Phillies wanted to go into rebuilding mode, Hamels could still be a part of their next competitive team.

If they wanted to rebuild or clear salary, Cliff Lee is a more obvious target.
Doom Service - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:38 AM EST (#281468) #
Rajai Davis is now a Tiger, as per
perlhack - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 12:01 PM EST (#281469) #
Speaking of Hamels, Buster Olney states that the Phillies are now "willing to consider" trading Lee and Hamels. Probably with all sorts of caveats.

I guess Halladay was the thread holding the team together.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 01:18 PM EST (#281473) #
Ruben Amaro doesn't seem to know if he's coming or going, at least if any of the rumours are to be believed (and of course, there is no specific reason to do so).

When your team is full of guys over 30 (Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Lee, Papelbon, soon Hamels), you seem to be in a win-now mode. And you've committed to many of these guys for a number of years, so you don't seem to be planning a rebuild any time soon.

So if you're looking to move Hamels and Lee, it's got to be for current value, not prospects, right? Because if you're looking for prospects and starting over, you've got a lot of difficult tearing down to do. And if you're looking for current value, are you not just looking to fill one hole by creating another?

Domonic Brown is young and cheap. While his second half power drop-off should invite at least a little suspicion of his earlier homerun pace, his name is in the rumour mill as well. To what end? Just who are the outfielders lined up to take his place?

It's not clear to me what Philadelphia is trying to achieve this off-season. The Ruiz signing confirms a seeming pre-existing win-now frame of mind (warranted or not). But these players who are purportedly being made available? I just don't get it.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 01:29 PM EST (#281475) #
I'm going to miss Rajai Davis. An incredibly frustrating player to watch every day, but one of the best baserunners I've ever seen. Seeing him come in as a pinch runner and steal one or two bases when everyone in the stadium knows he's going to be running was just amazing.

Hopefully Anthony Gose can get to that level some day.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 03:06 PM EST (#281481) #
So true, Chuck. I just read that they want three young players for Brown. Well Brown in a young they want three players who aren't as good as Brown? Or they want prospects to complement their win-now roster?

John Northey - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 03:16 PM EST (#281482) #
I won't believe the Phillies are willing to trade anyone who might help them win now until someone is traded.  Luckily we know AA is likely asking about Lee, Hamels, and everyone else on that team and keeping an eye open just in case.

B-R estimates a $155 million payroll for Philly next year and most expect another losing season.  If they start dumping then Hamels, Howard, and Lee would be the big 3 ($72.5 mil next year for them) followed by Utley ($15 mil and $10 mil), Papelbon ($13 mil each of the next 2 years) and Rollins ($11 mil).  Lots of that could be shed in the right deals, although I don't imagine anyone is insane enough to take Howard off their hands (151 games over the past 2 years combined, 244/307/445 103 OPS+).

Jays would obviously be interested in Hamels, Lee, and Utley.  Now _that_ would be cool to see.  Would cost every decent prospect and kill the budget, but boy would that jump the Jays to 'winners of the winter' again.  Agree to take on Howard and they might do it for next to nothing ... c'mon, its just money (yes, said in jest).

John Northey - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 03:18 PM EST (#281483) #
FYI: if the Jays did do that (not a chance) the payroll would crack $200 million.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 03:52 PM EST (#281486) #
I'm sure the Phillies would love to get rid of Ryan Howard's contract, so I'd expect they'd try to attach it to something - eg you can have Cliff Lee at a reasonable price, but you have to take Howard & 80% of his salary.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 04:06 PM EST (#281487) #
If the Jays are taking Howard's contract, then they better be able to get Lee for a bunch of used balls. Howard's contract is terrible and his performance the past few years has been just as bad.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 04:27 PM EST (#281488) #
Fangraphs now has spray charts with hang-time.  Wow.  I've been writing about the importance of hang-time for evaluation of outfielder defence for a long time- google tells me that it has been at least 9 years. 

Now maybe we can have some transparent evaluations of outfield defence (and perhaps an objective definition of what a line drive is for pitcher and batter batted ball purposes as well).
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 04:35 PM EST (#281489) #
Check that.  Fangraphs spray charts include batted ball hang times for batters (but only within fairly broad ranges) and pitchers, but nothing for fielders.  That is, you can see the hang-time ranges for the fly balls that Colby Rasmus hits but not the ones he tries to catch.  You can get a very nice split for R. A. Dickey, though. 
timpinder - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 04:39 PM EST (#281490) #
It looks like Brett Anderson is off the board.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 04:59 PM EST (#281491) #
Dave Studeman posted a cool chart on THT. Average leverage is basically stable by inning.  That is why it is hard to effectively leverage relievers- role definition basically conflicts with workload demands over the course of a season. Nonetheless, managers could do better than they do... 
John Northey - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 05:06 PM EST (#281492) #
Weird.... with all the talk about Anderson that he went (with cash) to the Rockies for 2 prospects that are a bit suspect. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen.  Jensen has yet to reach AA and never has had a K per inning and is entering his age 23 season.  Drew Pomeranz is entering his age 25 season with a lifetime 89 ERA+ and 4.6 BB/9 vs 7.6 K/9.  Neither seems too impressive.  One would've thought the Jays would slaughter that offer easily.  Strange.
soupman - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 05:11 PM EST (#281493) #
even more weird is that coors isn't exactly the stadium best built to handle anderson's tendency to give up the long ball.

finch - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 05:31 PM EST (#281494) #
I believe AA made his move too soon. He gave up his top 2 prospects last year for a 37 year old knuckleballer. INSTEAD, you would think that Syndergaard and d'Arnaud could have landed the Jays Chris Sale or David Price. Oh well...middle of the pack we go again.
timpinder - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 06:25 PM EST (#281495) #
"One would've thought the Jays would slaughter that offer easily. Strange."

As I speculated before I'm convinced that they did, and that Santos was involved. I'd bet that the Jays were in on the Rangers - A's trade as the third team and the "other player" that failed the physical was Anderson. Dividi confirmed the report by Morosi and Rosenthal and added that the Jays would have been getting a starting pitcher had the deal not fallen apart.

The timing of the trade was right based on the report, Anderson is rumoured to be damaged goods, and now he's been shipped off to Denver at what looks like a huge discount.

I'd normally by irked by another good starter going elsewhere for what looks like pennies on the dollar, but I have a feeling AA called it off after seeing Anderson's medical records.
eudaimon - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 06:35 PM EST (#281496) #
It's all money. AA probably didn't want to (or have the budget to) pay BA 8 million next year for a very questionable amount of production. The A's were likely looking mostly to unload salary and it probably would have taken a much better prospect to make them want to eat any of the cash.

It's still possible that BA could still be traded here, who knows.

The RA Dickey trade was also about money. The main reason RAD was attractive to AA was because he thought he could be signed to potential bargain of an extension. Even if TB for some reason wanted to trade Price within the division be would be a fair bit more expensive by the end of the contract and probably hard to re-sign. Personally I still like the RAD deal, he got much better in the 2nd half last season and I think he'll age nicely while providing a lot of less tangible benefits (Gold Glove, improving the ERA of pitchers around him).

I think it's clear that the budget is mostly set. There hasn't been much talk of signing big free agents or taking on big contracts. AA continues to explore probably his only real option, which is to try to get good deals by acquiring the right player and selling high on the right prospects (as much as possible, anyways).


Gerry - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 09:23 PM EST (#281499) #
According to Bob Elliott, who has a lot of contacts in baseball due to his lengthy service time, the Jays have offered Colby Rasmus to two teams for starting pitching.
timpinder - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 09:38 PM EST (#281500) #
The Reds match up well with the Jays in that regard. Like Rasmus, Latos and Bailey only have one year left, and the Reds could use a CF.

I'd be alright with a Gose/Pillar platoon if the return for Rasmus+ was Latos.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:47 PM EST (#281502) #
Latos has two years of control left, so for that reason, Bailey would be a more realistic trade target for Rasmus. Maybe Rasmus and a reliever for Bailey would work. Then sign someone like Franklin Gutierrez to fill-in at center for a year or two.
Eephus - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:49 PM EST (#281503) #
The Reds match up well with the Jays in that regard. Like Rasmus, Latos and Bailey only have one year left, and the Reds could use a CF.

I explored a similar idea in a thread about a month ago. If I recall correctly the consensus among us was that it would be a good deal for the Jays, but that the team is much more likely to get a Bailey-like contribution from within the system than they would a Rasmus-like contribution. As in, Colby would be much harder to replace, and I agree.

Personally, if the Reds are going to trade a starter I doubt it will be Latos. With Cueto's health questions, Latos is the #1 pitcher on that staff and this is a team with a shot at a division title. Latos will also likely be cheaper than Bailey in 2014 (I'm assuming Homer gets a big arbitration raise) and is younger. Not saying Cincinnati wouldn't trade Latos if the right offer came along, but that offer would involve significantly more than just Colby Rasmus.

If anyone gets dealt, my moneys on Cueto.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 10 2013 @ 11:51 PM EST (#281504) #
In the aborted Santos trade, Brett Anderson was not the pitcher who failed the physical. He was traded today to some other team (of no interest). No one accepts injured players any more. He's at best a mid- rotation guy. I'd like to think A.A. sets higher standards this offseason. Doesn't the MLB site have an injury list of some sort?

Of all the deals, A.A. has out, one has to get accepted.

With Philadelphia "shopping" Lee and Hamels, what the likelyhood of A.A. pulling of another big one?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 12:00 AM EST (#281505) #
How about the Blue Jays acquire Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley (you have to take the package to get the Pitchers) for Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, J.A.Happ, Edwin Encarnacion, Maicer Izturis and 5 top prospects?
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 12:02 AM EST (#281506) #
I'm okay with the patience shown by the Jays FO, spring training isn't until March - look at the dreadful deal done by Arizona because they were "determined to get a bat at these meetings".
Better to make no moves than force a bad move. Offering up Rasmus is a move I like especially because I think if he has a great year, he may be too rich for the Jays & as I've mentioned I like someone like Gutierrez as a buy low replacement until Gose is ready - If Choo signs elsewhere, then I like the chances of Seattle biting -they're under incredible pressure to do something to compliment Cano. The Reds have already said that Hamilton is their starting CF & I don't think they will rent a CF for a 2nd consecutive year.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 08:10 AM EST (#281507) #
If the Jays take Ryan Howard the cost should be D level prospects as the Jays would be eating tens of millions of dollars for Adam Lind level offense.  Lee/Hamels/Howard/Utley would add $87.5 million to next years payroll putting the Jays into Yankee territory ($200+ million).  They could take Izturis ($3 mil) and maybe Lind ($7 mil), Buehrle ($19 mil) and Happ ($5.2 mil) but that still would put the Jays near the luxury tax level and I cannot imagine that Rogers would like that plus losing Buehrle would put the Jays at 3 solid (Dickey/Lee/Hamels) plus Morrow & whatever.  No way on earth you'd trade a valuable asset like Encarnacion

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 08:53 AM EST (#281508) #
Rasmus for starting pitching?  No thanks.  I have more confidence in the young Jay pitchers than I do in a Gose/Pillar platoon in CF.

In any event, I am pretty sure that the Reds are going to give Billy Hamilton a fair shot in centerfield.  The first Billy Hamilton was "sliding"; what will this one be?

greenfrog - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 09:39 AM EST (#281509) #
I doubt Rasmus would have a lot of trade value, given that this is his walk year, his salary is not insignificant, he has been inconsistent in the past, and he's had some injury issues.

These days it seems a player has to be under control for at least a year and a half to be a hot trade commodity.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 09:41 AM EST (#281510) #
Howsabout Rasmus for Billy Hamilton - who says no?  6 years of control vs 1 year, but solid ML'er vs prospect with question marks (other than his speed of course).  I'm sure the Reds wouldn't go for it, but an interesting thought...
Paul D - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 10:22 AM EST (#281512) #
The Reds hang up if that's the offer. Maybe Hamilton for Gose + Rasmus. Although I don't know why the Reds would do that.
Beyonder - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 10:29 AM EST (#281514) #
I'd be much more in favour of re-signing Rasmus at a discount this offseason, than for trading him for Hamilton -- who in my view comes with the exact same set of problems as Anthony Gose, without the upside of Gose's arm and potential to hit for power.

Agreed with MG about Pillar and Gose, though I think Pillar will surprise in left field this year. I predict we will find that the Reed Johnson comps undersell what Pillar can do.

On the pitching side of things, I believe pretty strongly now that our best bet is to plug the best of: Romero, Hutchison, Stroman, Happ, Drabek, or Nolan into the last two spots.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 10:58 AM EST (#281515) #
I like Pillar quite a bit too.  Johnson gave the Blue Jays 3 pretty good years (6.4 WAR in less than full-time play), and has had an 11 year career in the majors; Pillar shouldn't be ashamed if that's what he looks back on after his career is done. 

Don't forget to add Rogers and Redmond to the list of possible starters at the beginning of the year.  Redmond is a good bet to give you 30 starts, 170 IP with an ERA of about 4.5 (and maybe somewhat better than that).  That won't kill you.  It will likely be cheaper in dollars/talent to upgrade on Ryan Goins (who is perfectly suited for a back-up middle infield role).
Gerry - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 11:13 AM EST (#281516) #
If the Jays front office wants to trade for starting pitching they have to trade someone.  The Jays list of desirable, non-pitcher trade assets goes EE, Bautista, Reyes, Lawrie, Rasmus and Melky.  The Jays have replacement outfielders in the system and passable guys are available as free agents.  Rasmus has a lot of value but is a year away from free agency.  I would be reluctant to trade him but the list of highly valued assets that the Jays could trade in return for a top of the rotation starter without too much disruption goes EE, Bautista, Rasmus, Sanchez/Stroman.  Pick your poison or stay with what you have now.
Beyonder - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 11:32 AM EST (#281517) #
I'm in favour of staying with what we have right now, but I'm worried that management has set the bar for themselves at bringing on two top-end starters -- they haven't left themselves much wiggle room to go in another direction.

I feel like Sanchez/Stroman are one year away from being precisely the types of assets we would be looking to acquire this offseason.

I think the guy we would get the most return for out of that group, who would cause the least disruption if he were traded, is EE.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 12:03 PM EST (#281518) #
The Jays list of desirable, non-pitcher trade assets goes EE, Bautista, Reyes, Lawrie, Rasmus and Melky

I think that you could safely stop at Rasmus, Gerry.  It is probably worthwhile to do a bit of math on what a better #2/#3 starter means, and what it is likely to cost in dollars/players.

Take Samardzija or Burnett.  Put them in the AL East in Toronto with the current defence behind them, and you are probably looking at an ERA of just under 4.  That's about 10 runs a season better than someone like Todd Redmond (180 innings at .5 runs/9IP difference). And that improvement of 10 runs (aka 1 win) will come at a helluva cost.  What you are mostly paying for is the mythology that you must have 3 good starters who will go 200 innings in order to win; the frustrating part of the myth is the failure to acknowledge that almost any pitcher and certainly not Samardzija or Burnett can be projected to throw 200 innings in any particular season.  The Red Sox and Cardinals last year each had two pitchers throw 180 innings plus.  The Rays had 1 (David Price) and he too was hurt. The Athletics had three (but they all got a huge boost from the ballpark and the defence).  The Rangers had two (their third starter threw 120 innings).  The Pirates had only one.  Really, it was only the Tigers who fit the myth.

It'll be a lot cheaper to get someone who is 10 runs better than Ryan Goins at second base or Melky in left-field. 

Ryan Day - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 12:18 PM EST (#281519) #
The Indians are apparently shopping Asdrubal Cabrera. He could be a nice fit at second, depending on the price.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 01:12 PM EST (#281520) #
I've made my views known before both on the 'wisdom' of signing Cabrera and the potential for upgrade at his position. I think that's the biggest single area where an upgrade can be made.

I would also be careful of expecting much from Stroman. I think he will be a home run machine, particularly in the Rogers Centre.
Shaker - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 05:27 PM EST (#281522) #


Please acquire Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley. 

Thank you.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 05:39 PM EST (#281523) #
Dean they have to be able to hit Stroman for him to be HR prone. I for one am excited to see him in the majors because his combination of track record and stuff are better than any arm we've seen since McGowan.
China fan - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 05:57 PM EST (#281524) #
"....Ryan Goins (who is perfectly suited for a back-up middle infield role)...."

Is his defence adequate at SS in major-league games? I haven't seen any real discussion of this question. Of course he played SS in the minors, but does this translate into major-league defensive adequacy? If it does, Goins makes a fine back-up for the whole middle infield, and Izturis becomes redundant on the bench (assuming the Jays find a starting 2B somewhere).

Interesting, for what it's worth, Gibbons said this week that Goins would be his starter at 2B if the season was beginning today. That might be pure flattery if Gibbons knows that AA is likely to acquire another 2B, but it was interesting to hear.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 06:53 PM EST (#281525) #
Dave Cameron recommends taking Gibbons's comments about the team's comfort level with Goins as the starting 2B with a large grain of salt.

He also thinks Rasmus doesn't have as much value as the Jays would like because of his spotty track record and one year of control. Have to agree with him on that one.

AA says he's working on a deal with a three-team component that he thinks can get done, per Chisholm. Must be a relatively small deal if AA is discussing it with the media in advance.
Eephus - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 07:14 PM EST (#281526) #
Colon to the Mets. 2 years, 20 million total looks like. Too bad, he would've been a nice addition here but the NL and Citi Field is definitely a better fit for him.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 07:31 PM EST (#281527) #
I think it was Jamie Campbell today that tweeted that McGowan is almost a certainty to enter camp as a starter this year.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 07:39 PM EST (#281528) #
Last year, we discovered Emelio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis had "issues" playing on turf. Ryan Goins has very good value, but just to this team. He can play turf. Can the next 2B acquisition?

A.A.'s getting hammered on the webby and in the media. He hasn't said with whom he's taking or about who's being traded. Already people are thinking small deal. Three-team component deals are never that small.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 07:39 PM EST (#281529) #
I wonder if NL hitters will start wearing Colon out in 2014, even when they're not heading out on the town.
katman - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 09:47 PM EST (#281530) #
We are rapidly running out of options EXCEPT trading what's left of our best prospects, in order to bolster a second-rate team with a Tier 2 starter (at best). This is not good management.

If the budget is frozen, this is an uncompetitive team. Acknowledge the mistake, sell, and be done with it.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 10:47 PM EST (#281531) #
As currently projected at B-R the Jays are at $132 mil for 2014.  Just 4 AL teams have a higher payroll (Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, Angels) with the Yankees at $152 million the highest. Next is Texas at $115 million.  If they cannot be competitive at that level then AA should be fired immediately and a hunt on to find someone who can work with less as they do in Texas, Cleveland, Oakland and Tampa Bay (who is currently under 50% of the Jays budget).

Yeah, the Jays should be able to be near the top in payroll but guess what? Right now they are.

Hodgie - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 11:07 PM EST (#281532) #
I am a little surprised how many are under the assumption that last year's performance was reflective of the true talent level of the team and are already prepared to prescribe a fire sale.
Thomas - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 11:07 PM EST (#281533) #
Well, the Jays have reached a verbal agreement to sign Tomo Okha to a minor league contract. So they're not going to leave the Winter Meetings empty handed.

In case you hadn't heard, he's a knuckleballer now.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 11 2013 @ 11:52 PM EST (#281534) #

Put me in the camp that thinks the Jays can rebound significantly next year. But I think the ceiling of the current roster is about 85-90 wins. I think we'll need a move to get into the playoffs, and not a Tomo Ohka move.
John Northey - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 12:03 AM EST (#281535) #
Well, minor league contracts never really hurt.  Okha had 10 starts here in 2007 with a 78 ERA+, had another 71 IP in Cleveland (72 ERA+) in 2009.  In 2010 and 2011 he was in Japan, but nothing listed at Baseball Reference for 2012 or 2013.  He is entering his age 38 season, so about mid-career for a knuckleballer (yes, that is a joke).  His first ML season was 1999 and he is an ex-Expo so it is nice to see hm get another shot, in AA from what I read at MLB Trade Rumors
85bluejay - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 07:02 AM EST (#281536) #
Even if it doesn't work out, the Tomo Okha move allows "catcher of the future" Jimenez to gain experience catching a Knuckleball. Keep the patience AA,it's only December - I hope the Jays take a shot at J.D. Martinez in the Rule V draft - have him compete for the 4th outfielder spot.
Ryan Day - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 09:59 AM EST (#281537) #
Alternately, if the Jays are planning on trying to woo Tanaka, perhaps Ohka acts as a kind of goodwill ambassador.
eudaimon - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 10:44 AM EST (#281538) #
Looks like the Rule 5 Drafts is done. Here's what relates to the Blue Jays:

ML Phase: Toronto takes Brian Moran, LHP, Tacoma (SEA), trades him to the Angels for international cap space
AAA: TOR: Roberto Espinosa, RHP, Altoona (PIT), TOR: Richard Bleier, LHP, Frisco (TEX), TOR: Scott Shuman, RHP, Richmond (SF)

Chicago WS takes Evan Crawford, LHP, New Hampshire (TOR)
Mike Green - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 11:16 AM EST (#281539) #
Bleier looks to be a LOOGY- a failed starter with very large splits. 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 11:20 AM EST (#281540) #
I like the Rule 5 pick of Brad Moran to acquire an International Bonus Slot worth $224K of International Money. Smart move.

Espinosa is a 21 year old RHP in A-ball, might Start, might Relieve.
Bleier (26) is a LHP. Always a use for LHP.
Schumann (25) is a wild throwing RHP who might be something. But this is a head scratcher.
John Northey - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 02:37 PM EST (#281541) #
Cannot complain about using the Rule 5 to get international FA cap space.  Cost the Jays only a small amount of cash and adds 10% to their cap room I think. Moran wasn't going to be here for 2014 (too many relievers as is) so that works well. 

The AAA guys are 'meh' as most minor league rule 5 picks are. If you cannot make the ML or AAA roster then how good can you be? Goose Gozzo was a cool exception (had a great month or so with the Jays years ago) but it is rare for these guys to be more than roster filler.  Evan Crawford not being on the Jays AAA roster is interesting but losing him isn't exactly big (what would he be, #20 for the pen or something?).
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 05:52 PM EST (#281542) #
The international cap space deal is promising insofar as it indicates that AA is still thinking about the organization's long-term future. Was that the pending trade with "a three-way component" Alex was referring to the other day?

I wonder whether AA's inability to pull off a significant trade stems from the Dickey negotiations. Alex reportedly wanted Dickey for a while, but the talks only started going somewhere when he finally agreed to include Syndergaard in the trade. Could it be that Epstein and other GMs are refusing to accept anything less than Sanchez or Stroman because they're guessing (based on past experience and the pressure the Jays are under to win) that Anthopoulos will eventually relent?

If this is true, I support AA's decision to stand firm and not set a precedent of overpaying in prospects for win-now talent.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 06:12 PM EST (#281543) #
Whether or not A.A. does anything is unimportant to the needs of the Team. While three or more good Relievers could go to the minors (Delabar, Loup, Jenkins and Wagner), there are nine Pitchers without options to fill a lot fewer spaces. Three of those nine are 5th Starter/Long Reliever types (Happ, Rogers and Redmond), when you need maybe only one.

A.A. may think his extra Pitchers might have value, but he might run out of time to do anything if he waits too long. Then value is put on waivers, because he can't do anything else.

Roberto Espinosa is the cream of the crop of the Rule 5s. While Beier and Shuman could be filler material, Espinosa is too young to evaluate correctly. He might be something.

A.A. said the Ohka signing is something to try out. Dickey, Thole and Nickeas can evaluate what they have with Ohka.

While I think the budget for this year is in the $150.0 MM - $155.0 MM range, I don't think A.A. want to go there. The Navarro deal was about what JP would make. The Brad Lincoln trade was clearing Bullpen (out of option) space. Anything coming back is gravy. So far he's spent nothing and increased payroll by nothing. We are now 5 weeks into Free Agency. Two - three weeks from now, Teams stop making trades as Rosters are mostly set. I expect by Christmas, anything good pitching-wise will be gone.
eudaimon - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 09:37 PM EST (#281544) #
According to Rotoworld:

"Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail reports that the Blue Jays have discussed a trade with the Royals involving Billy Butler. Blair says Toronto would receive "prospects plus Butler," but the talks haven't "moved beyond the discussion stage." It's not clear what Kansas City would receive in the deal. With Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind already on the roster as first base/DH options, the Blue Jays seem likely to trade for Butler only if they can also deal Lind."

A trade of Lind seems likely if AA is expressing interest in Butler.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 10:05 PM EST (#281545) #
At Drunk Jays Fans site I'm reading a Ben Nicholson-Smith tweet: #BlueJays focused on at least three pitching targets. But Anthopoulos says "we're not going to close the door on the fourth." Then he tweeted: That text message Anthopoulos sent to a rival GM at 3 am must be about a pretty major deal, right? AA:"That's just because I can't sleep."
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 10:09 PM EST (#281546) #
eudaimon, "hasn't moved beyond the discussion stage" is pretty vague. Anthopoulos has probably had dozens of similar "discussions" with a number of teams this off-season. And, of course, that the rumour is being tweeted would seem to make a trade less likely.

Who knows, maybe it's a leak designed to show fans that the FO is at least trying to make something happen.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 10:33 PM EST (#281547) #
Butler makes $8M next season with a $12.5M team option in 2015. I could see the value in trading for him while moving Lind in a separate deal. Lind makes $7M and needs a platoon partner, while with Butler you get a higher OBP durable hitter who hits lefties and righties about the same. For about the same cost, it's a good trade-off. The issue is what the Jays would have to give up to get Butler and what they would get back for Lind. The Royals are going for it so I doubt they'd want prospects. Maybe Rasmus since they have a hole in CF? I'm not sure going from Lind/Rasmus to Butler/Gose is an upgrade, it would save some money.
Jake W - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 10:40 PM EST (#281548) #
Interesting to note that of the top six college players as rated by Baseball America, three were drafted by the Blue Jays in 2011 (Tyler Beede (1,rhp), Aaron Nola (22,rhp) and Luke Weaver (19,rhp)).  As for the top three players, Carlos Rondon was drafted by Milwaukee in 2011 (16th round,lhp), Jeff Hoffman (rhp) was never drafted, and shortstop Trea Turner was drafted by Pittsburgh in 2011 (20th round).  I suppose this strategy produces outcomes such that outlets like Baseball Prospectus rank the below AA-level talent of the Blue Jays as amongst the best in baseball.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 10:41 PM EST (#281549) #
And now I see Elliott is reporting that Chicago is asking for Sanchez, Stroman and a third player for the Shark. Looks to me like an opening gambit, with a view to ultimately securing Sanchez *or* Stroman and another prospect or two.

I don't know - it seems shortsighted to deal your best prospects for two years of someone like Samardzija (who would be a nice addition, no question). The best organizations seem to keep their top prospects and spin off their second- or third-tier prospects. Where would TB be right now had they dealt Cobb and Archer two years ago for, say, a couple of years of Ubaldo Jimenez?

On a different note, it's funny how a prospect's official "ceiling" can evolve. A couple of years ago, people were saying that Syndergaard's floor was high but his ceiling was that of a #3 (because of his mediocre secondary stuff). Around the middle of last year it was bumped up to #2. More recently, Mike Gianella said in a BP chat that Noah has "ace" potential.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 12 2013 @ 11:01 PM EST (#281550) #
One thing that I've been thinking about lately is the "giving up six years of control" label that is commonly applied to prospect trades. The thing is, it's often quite feasible to extend a good young player beyond those six years (sometimes through club options). Consider, for example, the contracts of Evan Longoria, Matt Moore and Martin Perez. Giving up an excellent prospect can actually mean giving up seven or eight years (or more) of a talented player's best, cheapest and healthiest years.

And this doesn't always have to happen during a player's first year or two in the majors. Quality players can get extended, sometimes quite reasonably, for a couple of years as they approach free agency (EE and Escobar, for example).

More than ever, it seems to be key for teams to retain their very best young prospects. I imagine this is one reason why Kinsler (not Profar) and Freese (not Wong) got traded this off-season. And why the Red Sox decided to keep Bogaerts and JBJ in the fold last off-season, in lieu of flipping them for Reyes and co.
John Northey - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 08:40 AM EST (#281551) #
Of course, those first 6 years include at least one (except in rare cases) at the start where they are no more than a backup or near 0 WAR player.  Plus, even the best prospects can be a bust.  Just look at Travis Snider who was the #6 prospect in baseball (Baseball America 2009) and the #11 a year before.  He now has 3 years 91 days of ML service time and his bWAR is 1.9 (-0.2 in Pittsburgh) over 1347 PA.  Heck, the best hitter developed in Jays history, Carlos Delgado, was -1.4 WAR in his first 82 games over 3 seasons and just 1.5 in his first full season before a 2.6 in his 2nd full season and bursting out his 3rd full season (probably his 4th in service time). 

So, when evaluating kids in trades remember to heavily discount their first year or two, so view it as a 4 year deal for a developed player but with a high risk of the player never being anything even if he is a top 10 prospect.

Mike Green - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 10:28 AM EST (#281552) #
The December 13 birthday team is fun and meets Cancon regulations:

C-  Matt LeCroy
1B- Bill Everitt
2B- Mike Mordecai
SS- Dale Berra
3B- Hank Majeski
LF- George Shuba
CF- Larry Doby
RF- Joe Christopher

Bench- Bubba Taylor (OF), JC Martin (C), Tyler Pastornicky (IF), Nate Oliver (IF)

With the pitching staff, we have a couple of swingmen (Lindy McDaniel and Billy Loes) that need to move in and out of the 5th slot and bullpen

SP- Ferguson Jenkins
SP- Jack Taylor
SP- Carl Erskine
SP- Ricky Nolasco
SP- Billy Loes

RP- McDaniel
RP- Dr. Ron Taylor
RP- Jeff Robinson
LOOGY- Dave Hamilton
RHLong- Josh Fogg
LHLong- Fritz Coumbe

Everitt played 5 seasons at 3B/1B around the turn of the century, hit for a good average and would draw a walk.  Something like Kevin Seitzer, maybe.  Majeski is a name that everyone would likely know had it not been for World War 2.  He came up for the Boston Bees (later the Boston Braves) in 1939 and hit passably as a 22 year old fine-fielding third baseman.  For some reason, Manager Casey Stengel preferred Sibby Sisti (who was even younger) and Majeski was sent down to the high minors where he was a dominant player.  He spent 3 years in military service during the war, and eventually made his way to the Athletics organization where he was a fine player from age 30-34.  Shuba was a part-time leftfielder who had one big year for Brooklyn at age 27 in 1952.  Christopher was a part-time rightfielder who had one big year for the Mets at age 28 in 1964

Anyway, it is a club with a solid pitching staff and would score a few runs, but alas probably not enough to get over .500.

greenfrog - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 12:35 PM EST (#281553) #
Of course, those first 6 years include at least one (except in rare cases) at the start where they are no more than a backup or near 0 WAR player

I disagree that except in rare cases excellent prospects are no more than a backup or near 0 WAR player at the start. Lately there have been a lot of high-end prospects who have hit the ground running: Perez, Myers, Wacha, Miller, Fernandez, Trout, Harper, Parker, Gyorko, Archer, Cobb, Rosenthal, Cole, Ryu, Gomes, Teheran, Puig, to name a handful.

Even a player like Lawrie, who has struggled intermittently with the bat, has been 10.2 bWAR in his first 2+ seasons (Arenado for Colorado and Iglesias for Boston/Detroit are further examples of a player contributing with the glove right away).

In any case, whether or not a player struggles in his debut, at that stage he's dirt cheap for whatever level of production he's providing. (If the Jays had a few more of these players, they would currently have far more financial flexibility to improve the team.) And if the player is inconsistent early on but subsequently improves, it is sometimes still possible to extend him relatively cheaply as he approaches free agency (the EE and Escobar examples I provided).
John Northey - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 01:13 PM EST (#281554) #
There is value in being the only team that can negotiate for those first 6 (often 7 for clubs like Tampa who keep the player in AAA for April) years.  Still, for every hot prospect who took off I'm sure I could find one who didn't. 

Hmm... lets see... lets check BA pre-2010 (the year after Travis Snider)
  1. Jason Heyward: 6.4 WAR, 18.4 overall
  2. Stephen Strasburg: 1.5 WAR, 8.4 overall
  3. Mike Stanton: 2.7 WAR, 14.8 overall
  4. Jesus Montero: minors 2010, 0.6 WAR 2011, 0.3 WAR overall
  5. Brian Matusz: 3.0 WAR, 1.5 over the 4 years (ugly 2nd year)
  6. Desmond Jennings:0 WAR, 8.7 over 4 years
  7. Buster Posey: 3.7 WAR, 17.6 over 4 years
  8. Pedro Alvarez: 0.5 WAR, -2.2 second year, 6.8 overall
  9. Neftali Feliz: 2.3 WAR, 5.5 in 4 years
  10. Carlos Santana: 2 WAR, 14.1 in 4 years

So from that set of 10 you get 3 with under 2 WAR in 2010 (or in rookie season), 4 under 8 WAR over 4 years (ie: not league average), and of those 4 2 are total flops (Montero & Matusz).  But you also have 3+ WAR in rookie year from 3 of them (including Matusz who collapsed after that).

Bottom line? The cream of the crop can flop or can be 'wow' but it seems equal odds as to which you will get in year one.  However, if it is a top 10 MLB prospect odds are really good you have a star or at least 2 WAR player.  Would need to do this for multiple years to get a really good idea but don't have time for that right now.

bpoz - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 03:13 PM EST (#281558) #
I among many Bauxites liked Noah Syndergaard a lot. I thought that he could be an Ace/v good. 200+IP with an ERA 2.5-3.5. He is a hard thrower with that tall lean body.

I loved J Key. I then liked the ML league career starts of B Cecil & Zep. It is OK that they have not developed into Key or D Wells, whom I also liked. They have value to any team. Brad Mills disappointed me. I am now waiting for S Nolin & J Labourt. Daniel Norris seemed to click after his Lansing pitching coach had a talk with him.

I do not like trading prospects like Syndergaard & Henderson Alvarez. If the instant contender strategy had worked then I still do not like this.

The Expos traded R Johnstone and it hurt them long term. Detroit traded John Smoltz and that hurt them long term.
Toronto traded for David Cone twice and that cost us Jeff Kent a v good 2B player. He had his best years with the Astros. So Jays, Mets, Astros. Seems he was under valued. Maybe?
Mike Green - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 03:28 PM EST (#281559) #
The Expos traded R Johnstone

How about a Friday afternoon Mulligan on that one?  It took me a few seconds to realize that you were referring to the Big Unit, aka Randy Johnson, aka the pitcher with the porn star name.
Thomas - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 05:07 PM EST (#281562) #

He had his best years with the Astros.

National League MVP Award voters would, justifiably in my opinion, disagree with this assessment.

bpoz - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 06:20 PM EST (#281565) #
Best years with SF. I hope they paid well to get him from the Mets.
JB21 - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 08:30 PM EST (#281569) #
If the Jays don't trade Kent for Cone we may not win our first WS in 92, and who knows, maybe Molitor doesn't sign here after the 92 season and we don't win in 93.
John Northey - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 11:20 PM EST (#281570) #
Exactgly JB21.  I remember 1992 and the Cone trade - I told everyone that the Jays just won the World Series that day at the time.  Adding a real ace to a strong club was a 'wow' moment.  We had Gruber at 3B who was a solid defensive player who was good offensively the year before and an All-Star the two years before that.  Kent's best position was 2B where Alomar was so there really wasn't anywhere to put him long term (didn't know Gruber was done at the end of 92).  The rotation was killer with Morris/Key/Guzman but Stottlemyre wasn't much more than a #5 (91 ERA+) while Stieb was done like dinner that year and David Wells was best in the pen (6.39 ERA as starter, 3.68 in pen and would be released the next spring).  Cone was a key element and showed the Jays were for real.

Yeah, I would've liked to keep Kent and dumped Sprague or Gruber in many respects but in the end I don't things could've worked out better as the Jays never were close enough that Kent would've made the difference I think... maybe in 1998 (4.4 WAR vs Jays regular at 2B Grebeck 1.0 but Fernandez also spent time there and added 2.7 WAR split between 2B/3B) but otherwise the most he would've added would've been making the team look better but no more playoff appearances.

Nah, I like how that worked out.  The Jays got what they needed and the Mets messed themselves up (traded Kent for Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinoza who earned 1.2 WAR total between them in their Mets careers, released Espinoza after 1/2 a season and lost Kent as a free agent).
katman - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 11:29 PM EST (#281571) #
IF Omar Infante headed to Royals for 4 years, north of $30 million.

1B James Loney back to Rays for 3 years, $21 million.

Our upgrade options continue to fade away...

Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 14 2013 @ 07:21 AM EST (#281572) #
Pittsburgh and Milwaukee need First Baseman. We have Adam Lind. They have Neil Walker and Rickie Weeks. Lind gains in Value. He can hit 20+ HR every year and a lefty masher should get 10+ HR. 1B producing 30+ HR?

If they want First Basemen, it's now got to come in Trade.
JB21 - Saturday, December 14 2013 @ 09:04 AM EST (#281573) #
Pittsburgh asked for Lind, we asked for Walker in return and they said no thanks.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 14 2013 @ 10:30 AM EST (#281574) #
Hard to imagine AA giving Infante (who will be 32 later this month) four years after what happened with Izturis in 2013. Can't say I blame him.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 14 2013 @ 10:58 AM EST (#281576) #
With the re-signing of Loney, Molina and DeJesus, the addition of Hanigan, and having a more experienced Myers for a full season, the Rays are going to have terrific defence next season. I expect them to be a very good team in 2014, even if Price gets traded.
scottt - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 08:53 AM EST (#281577) #
Izturis was 3 years for 9 million with a club option. Peanuts overall.

If anything can be learned from that it's that the guys nobody want are not guaranteed to outperform.

It would seem the Jays have hit the ceiling on their payroll which mean they need to keep their pitching prospects.
Trading Buehrle would provide some flexibility, but are there any takers?
bpoz - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 10:29 AM EST (#281578) #
AA seems too quiet. I wonder what he is up to.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 11:45 AM EST (#281579) #
Buehrle was going to use the Dead Ball Training that Delabar and Cecil used to good purpose last year. He should be as good or better next year, so I'm not trading him unless a Number One Stud comes back. People who can pitch 200 plus innings over 30 plus starts are very hard to find.

The Ohka signing is part of an idea A.A. has, train your own Knuckleball pitchers. It's viable with Dickey, Thole and Nickeas on hand to make any changes needed and teach how to be most effective. This could work.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 12:20 PM EST (#281580) #
10 days between now and Christmas while we wait for our present from A.A. The Mashiro Tanaka posting is taking forever to resolve. The Team is Company-based with Shareholders. The $20.0 MM ceiling is not enough when they were expecting $50.0 MM - $75.0 MM, so they don't want to post him. Now they have to convince him to stay. Chances of anything happening soon are remote.
JB21 - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 01:00 PM EST (#281581) #
Mark Ellis to the Cards to platoon with Kolten Wong. The Cards should (again) be elite in 2014.

What are the chances that the 2014 Blue Jays look like this?

C - Navarro, Kratz/Thole
1B - EE
2B - Goins/Izturis
3B - Lawrie
SS - Reyes
RF - Bautista
CF - Colby/Pilar
LF - Melky
DH - Lind/Sierra

SP - Dickie, Buehrle, Morrow, 2 of Hutch/Stro/Nolin/McGowan/Drabek/Happ/Romero/Rogers/Redman
RP - Janssen, Delabar, Santos, Cecil, Loop, 2 of Wagner/Jeffress/McGowan/Perez/Redman/Rogers

At this point and time, we're running out of options for second base so unless we sign a FA pitcher and/or give up some prospects for a #1/#2 we may be starting with the above. I'm actually okay with this, as long as the budget wasn't fixed, and AA has flexibility to add during the season if need be. I'd rather not trade many more prospects as there's a chance that the Stromans/Nolins of the world could do just as well as whomever we acquire for cheap. Garza for a Nolasco type contract would be fine with me though, allowing the AAA rotation to be stacked, and we don't lose any prospects, or any draft picks.

JB21 - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 01:05 PM EST (#281582) #
Also, I relocation from Southwestern Ontario to Vancouver for a new job this Spring and wondered if any of the West Coast members wanted to catch a Canadians game or two this summer. My e-mail is if any are interested. I'll probably follow up again closer to the season, you know, in another 5 months, haha. I'm in South America right now with some time to kill this afternoon...
Landomar - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 02:35 PM EST (#281583) #
Ugh, for a one year deal, I was hopeful that we'd sign Mark Ellis. I don't like just sticking with our current Goins/Izturis combo, and we're running out of options. Perhaps we can trade for Ackley or Franklin, but other than that, I'm not sure what else is left out there.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 02:41 PM EST (#281584) #
I would have loved to see Ellis here on a 1 year deal, even one plus a vesting option.  AA said that he was paying more attention to defence this off-season, but I have seen only a little evidence of it (the non-tendering of JPA would be the only thing).
greenfrog - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 03:28 PM EST (#281585) #
This has been a weird off-season. The Jays needed a good catcher, a second baseman, a starting pitcher or two, and possibly an outfielder.

There were a number of interesting names out there at each of those positions (at the low-to-mid end of the market, for example, Hanigan, Kazmir, Colon, Nolasco, Ellis), but the Jays passed on all of them but Navarro, whose defensive rep is not exactly stellar.

My guess is that in general, AA wants higher-ceiling or more established/frontline players across the board (this has been his MO in the past with acquisitions like Lawrie and Rasmus); we'll see how his strategy works out in the end.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 10:21 AM EST (#281587) #
Anyone think Tanaka will still post, I don't? Time for A.A. to make a preemptive strike before anyone does.
Shaker - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 12:16 PM EST (#281588) #

Can someone confirm that both scouts and metrics would agree that Gose is a better fielder than Colby in CF?

How would those 2 grade vs rest of league in CF?


Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 12:24 PM EST (#281589) #
The metrics (DRS, UZR) suggest that Colby Rasmus is a modestly above-average defensive centerfielder.  That fits with my observation.  The sample size for Gose is too small for the objective metrics, but subjectively he is very raw.  Strong but very erratic throwing arm.  Fast, but poor routes to the ball.   I doubt that Gose is any better overall, and he might be not as good.
John Northey - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 12:29 PM EST (#281590) #
Since his Japanese team would have his rights for 2014 and 2015 if he isn't posted I wouldn't be surprised if Tanaka is kept in Japan for one more year.  The only way he wouldn't is if he threatened to 'retire' then become a full free agent in a year (unless that loophole was closed).

I guess the question is how much would you commit to Santana, Garza or any other free agent still out there?  I'd have trouble giving what they want as none jump out anymore as safe bets.
greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 12:39 PM EST (#281591) #
Gose's age might give him a defensive edge over Colby over the course of a full season in 2014. Rasmus has had injury issues, and said himself late last season that his entire body was aching from the artificial RC turf. Gose might be better able to withstand the wear and tear of playing centerfield in the RC over 162 games.

That said, Gose seems very raw, both defensively and offensively. It's also unclear how he will respond mentally to adversity in 2014. Last year he seemed immature at times (for example, his response to being sent to AAA to start the year and his comment that "I suck" when using a leg kick at the plate).
Shaker - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 12:57 PM EST (#281592) #
Green is good.  Thank you both.

I suppose this means that the talk/thought of trading Colby is in fact premature (Alex just testing the waters) and we will hold Colby at least until mid-season.

Disappointing that Gose - now with >600 milb games, including 300 in Jays org - is still raw both at the plate and in the field.

greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 01:10 PM EST (#281593) #
I will also be interested to see how Rasmus responds to the eye injury he sustained in September (that resulted from Gose's inadvertent throw in the outfield). Head and eye injuries are scary.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 03:32 PM EST (#281599) #
I heard Mike Wilner talking on a Blue Jays This Week podcast. He said Edwin asked to be full time DH. That's very interesting if true.
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