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It has been very quiet in Blue Jay land.  The expected influx of starting pitchers, second basemen and right hand hitting DH's has not materialised.  Will anything happen between now and the new year?  We can use this thread for the drip, drip, drip of the wait.

There are a couple of small items of news today, Monday.

The Jays have signed free agent infielder Jared Goedert.  Goedert is a 28 year old with AAA experience who has played mostly at 3B.

Also the Jays today announced their winter tour and this year it is all Ontario.  They start in Oshawa on Jan 9th.  Per Grgeor the participants include Lind, Delabar, Thole, Rasmus, Morrow, McGowan, Rogers, Redmond, Gose and John Gibbons.  From the release:

The fourth annual Toronto Blue Jays Winter Tour presented by TD, featuring some of your favourite Blue Jays players, will be making stops throughout Ontario to Oshawa, Kingston, Peterborough, St. Catharines, London and Mississauga during the month of January.


All I Want for Christmas is a Player | 212 comments | Create New Account
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eudaimon - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 01:29 PM EST (#281594) #
Probably not going to happen but who knows... apparently Philly is "very willing" to trade Jimmy Rollins. He's a good defensive SS so I assumed he'd be a pretty good fielder at 2b. He makes 11m next year with an option for 2015. His hitting isn't as good as it once was but he hit over 20 HRs in 2012 and might hit hitting at the RC. He still has a bit of speed as well.

I'm guessing the Blue Jays don't have too much salary room to work with. Philly could use some relief help so maybe something could be worked out there,

Shaker - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 01:44 PM EST (#281595) #
I would have preferred we plucked MIF Cord Phelps (age 25, AAA OPS .838 in 360 GP) rather than 3B Goedert (age 28, AAA OPS .792 in 375 GP) .  Not sure why we let Phelps slip through to the O's.

My wish list is now topped by a signing of Shawn Marcum to be our #4...sad, I know!

whiterasta80 - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 02:08 PM EST (#281596) #
No thanks on Rollins, too much money, too little performance and if he can't hit in Philly (1.5 in HR factor) I doubt the Rogers Centre (1.289) does much for him.

I am still hopeful of being wrong on this but it is looking more and more like AA is not going to make the big move this offseason. I don't see any Lohse/Bourne situations pending (wouldn't the Kyle Lohse contract look good right now) and upgrades are disappearing every day.

I will say this: there are perfectly justifiable reasons to not have made any significant moves yet (Cano- too expensive, Feldman wanted to go to Houston, Vargas a risk at RC etc...) however it will be incredibly ballsy of AA to head into next season without a significant FA signing or trade to hang his hat on.

P.S. My ideal completion of the offseason:

If we have money: Garza, Brandon Phillips for Sean Nolin? (Shouldn't take much if we are assuming his contract). Trade Lind to Pittsburgh for salary relief and poach Kendrys Morales at the end of the offseason for below market value.

If we don't have money: Sign Paul Maholm, Brian Roberts, Johan Santana, and Franklin Guttierez (4th OF). Hope to catch lightning in a bottle somewhere.
Lylemcr - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 02:59 PM EST (#281597) #

Someone from the bullpen depth for Ackley and Montero.  I still feel that we don't need to make a huge splash to fill our 2b situation.  We have a good offense, if everyone stays healthy.

They need a starter.  Ideally, it would be Tanaka, but I am not sure I would trade Sanchez(or strip the minors of even more players).  I would like to see a couple projects (like Scott Baker).




whiterasta80 - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 03:14 PM EST (#281598) #
Janssen for Beckham now that the CWS deal Reed?
katman - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 04:45 PM EST (#281600) #
All I want for Christmas is a player we don't have to give up great upper-level prospects to get. Not even for elite value in return. Real elite players will require trades that leave the Jays uncompetitive for years, and I don't want to do that for something I see as a longshot.

Unfortunately, the Jays don't seem to have been given any budget to sign free agents. That, or they've shown poor management in waiting until most of the viable affordable upgrades are gone. Either situation is depressing.

Really, if there was no more money, there's a strong case to just sell on this team (too many holes, too limited defensively, too much sloppy play), and create the in-house talent that people like Sanchez will need to be competitive. Which would make the Jays' timing good again.

There's an argument that the time to sell is AFTER many of the top names are gone, and clubs are looking at a very bare cupboard for upgrade options. It's just worth understanding that this is a sell strategy, not a buyer strategy.

The down side of executing this strategy, apart from the wait time and prospect risk, is that it effectively spells the end of AA's job. Some Bauxites may or may not consider this to be a downside - but AA certainly does.
Thomas - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 04:51 PM EST (#281601) #
Why would the White Sox want Janssen? The Reed-Davidson swap indicates they have fully recognized the team is years away from contention.
Shaker - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 05:04 PM EST (#281602) #
I don't agree with the tear-down just yet.  We are one SP away from having a pretty darn good ballclub.  That starter will likely come via trade and will be a reasonable #2-3 type.  Could be a Brewer, could be a Cub, could be an A or a D-Back.  Have patience.

Looking out past this current "window", you can see our rotation is well set up as we will (hopefully) have Sanchez, Stroman and Hutchison in the #2, 3 and 4 slots.  We can nab a #5 anywhere, so we will be just one starter away from a presumably strong, cheap and young rotation.  Lawrie is still young and controlled, one (maybe 2) of the current Buffalo OF should be fine and we should be able to develop a few other players (Jimenez, Barreto, Lugo?)  along the way.  Of course we will have to add bats via trade and FA but it has ever been so.

greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 07:38 PM EST (#281603) #
Not to be too pessimistic, but I think it's more likely that Sanchez, Stroman and Hutchison will combine to produce one SP in the #2-4 range. Between injuries, missteps, and trades, it seems to take a few prospects to generate a decent ML starter (unfortunately this seems to be especially true in Toronto).

It's easy to forget about all the touted arms who never made it (in recent years, this list includes Drabek, Molina, Cecil, McGowan, Jenkins, Stewart, McGuire, Litsch, Mills, Rzepczynski, and Purcey, to say nothing of what happened to Romero). It's tough to succeed in the majors as a starting pitcher.
Mike Green - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 07:41 PM EST (#281604) #
The Indians have signed Shaun Marcum to a minor league contract.  Seems like a good idea.
Parker - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 08:05 PM EST (#281605) #
Anthpoulos is probably getting his resume in order at this point. I doubt ownership has given him approval to make any major changes after last year's abject disaster of a season.
eudaimon - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 08:42 PM EST (#281606) #
I think AA has a long leash barring another disaster this season. AA is a good seller and even if his performance was in question I bet he would be able to convince the powers that be to give him more time. This place is pretty doom and gloom now but last year the vast majority (including many reporters, analysts, etc) were pretty excited about AA's moves and the prospects for 2013. I think we can all agree that we got some pretty bad luck last year, hopefully we get average to good luck next year and get to the playoffs.

I expect AA has a few good moves in him this offseason. To me it's clear that there's not much budget to work with, I'm not sure why people suddenly expect Rogers to "open up the pocketbook" any more than they have. I'm happy with our catcher situation now (especially the trade for Kratz, but just getting rid of JPA is nice) but we definitely need a 2b, Goins just won't cut it. By trading Lind and a reliever or two he can open up some salary, there's also prospects that can be included in a trade.

greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 09:04 PM EST (#281607) #
In retrospect, a nice move might have been to sign Loney at 3/21 and trade Lind for a second baseman, catcher or some other need. This would avoid the Jays' current problem of having two or more DHs and no two-way first baseman.

This off-season the Jays could have signed Loney and Ellis, traded for Hanigan, and traded Lind for something, and the team would currently look quite a bit better for 2014. The farm system would be intact and payroll would have increased only marginally (if they were willing to spend another $10-11M, they could have added Kazmir or Colon, too). It's curious that AA chose not to go this route. It will be interesting to see what happens from here on out.
eudaimon - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 09:22 PM EST (#281608) #
My guess is that they're planning on playing Encarnacion at 1b mostly full-time next year, using the DH spot mostly to give breaks to the regulars (especially Bautista). If so I don't think we'd need Loney. This is all based on the assumption that Lind will be traded which I think is likely (I'd bet on a trade with the Pirates).

I like Hanigan too, though he's not a sure thing as a 33 year old catcher coming off a (very) down year. I'm happy with the catching position now. The key for me is 2b, if they go into spring training with Goins or Carroll I'd be extremely disappointed, though I very much doubt it'll come to that.

SK in NJ - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 09:33 PM EST (#281609) #
I agree with getting Ackley and Montero from the Mariners. I'm not sure if Montero has options left, but if so you can stick him in AAA to learn 1B while Lind plays 1B in 2014, and Ackley obviously takes over at 2B. Not sure what the Mariners would want to get that done, though.
greenfrog - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 09:41 PM EST (#281610) #
Agreed that Navarro is not the worst option, but I have concerns about his defence. I would have been fine with Hanigan and Navarro splitting time (with the better and healthier performer catching more games than the other). In that scenario, Thole or Kratz would be the third catcher, either hanging around the ML roster or starting in AAA or AA.

Suffice it to say that I like Hanigan/Molina/Lobaton quite a bit better than Navarro/Thole/Kratz.
eudaimon - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 09:51 PM EST (#281611) #
I'd like Ackley/Franklin, but I'd pass on Montero. His minor league stats/potential look nice for a catcher but not a 1b.
John Northey - Monday, December 16 2013 @ 11:22 PM EST (#281612) #
I'd take Montero as long as the cost is low.  Remember, this guy looked like a lock for stardom before going to Seattle where things are extremely chaotic according to reports.  Two years and an 89 ML OPS+ over 663 PA will do that.  He should have options left as only one appears to have been used so far.  Maybe they are nuts enough to trade him for relief help (a weakness of theirs in 2013 - their top 7 relievers allowed 3.5+ BB/9 each, although 5 did have more than a K per inning but just one with over 10 IP had an ERA+ above 100).
Eephus - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 12:18 AM EST (#281613) #
I gotta say, there have been a lot of (reasonably) cheap free agents or trades this offseason that would've looked good in Blue Jay blue (Colon, Ellis, Hanigan and Fister come to mind.) But hey, there are 29 other teams in MLB remember, and many of them can offer things that Toronto cannot, such as favourable state income tax, recent playoff competitiveness, and delicious deep dish pizza. (Hey, if I was a baseball free agent that would be near the top of my list. Just sayin.)

You know what though, I kinda like the way AA has played his cards so far. He's in a REAL tough situation, don't forget. Everyone knows he has a roster that has to win pretty darn soon, and for teams looking to trade desirable players that's an awful lot of leverage right from the start. If he traded say Sanchez and Stroman for Samardjiza (probably fudged that name) we'd wax poetically about what could be for those two, but we'd also be thrilled and excited at this new shiny toy that might put us over the top. I feel like that is definitely the source of our rampant anxiety about things so far, that without a big splash this off-season 2014 is certain to be a failure. Yet until games are actually played, a "big splash" move only makes you better on paper. We learned that the hard way last year.

I am sort of ranting here and I apologize for that but I must emphasize I have a lot of sympathy for the tough position AA is in. To use the Samardijza example again: say he doesn't do that trade, Sanchez and Stroman flame out and the Shark goes on to make a few all-star teams. We'd be all over AA for not doing the trade. Say he does make that kind of trade, and whoever we send over grow into elite players while the Shark hurts his arm or is ineffective in the AL East. Again, we'd be all over AA for making the wrong move. Being the GM of a major league baseball team ain't an easy job, and frankly I'm glad we have someone in charge who isn't too, too rash in making big risky moves.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 12:57 AM EST (#281614) #
I must be getting as old as I feel...going into 2014 I'd be happy with Dickey, Morrow, Buehrlie (he's doing the ball in the sock thingy this off-season), and two of Hutchison, Nolan and Stroman. I'd like to watch the kids grow.

Batting, I'd be happy to see: Reyes, Cabrera (now that they've removed the snake from his spine), Bautista, Encarnacion, Rasmus, Lawrie, Lind/Sierra, Goins/Izturis, and Navarro. I've always thought that the players in "mega-trades" do much better in their second year with their new team. Is it April yet?

katman - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 03:59 AM EST (#281615) #
In fairness, Navarro was the catcher I had said I wanted. Not because he's ideal, but because it fixes the offensive hole, and the defensive options were JPA-level offense. Wasn't so confident Hannigan would bounce back. Kratz is a good complement. So C is not ideal, but it's fine.

What disturbs me is watching free agent pitchers who could have helped us at reasonable cost slip away, ditto options like Loney, and 2B possibilities. As other readers have pointed out, AA is in a poor negotiating position for trades, and our farm system will be impaired by another heavy round of that.

Nor do I see the bullpen core as much of a depth to trade from. Janssen, McGowan, and Perez will all remain significant injury risks, and random bad stuff does happen. I think we can trade 1 good reliever, plus 1-2 from the out of options fringes, but that's it. And Janssen's durability & injury issues mean that he's valued more highly by the Jays than by any other team, so he probably stays. Throw in a market with a bunch of good relievers still left, and not much leverage there.

I just don't see this team as it is beating the competition that has emerged in this league, even with some bounce back performances.

The off season isn't over. But I do NOT like how it has started.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 06:22 AM EST (#281616) #
Goins had a 66 OPS+ in his rookie season with 2:28 BB:K in 121 PA. In other words, he was overmatched. He hit 202/211/303 in September. As a 25-year-old at AAA, he hit 257/311/369.

His career minor-league line is a bit better than that, and I like what he did defensively in a small sample last year, but I'm having trouble seeing Goins/Izturis as the starting second baseman for an otherwise flawed team that has aspirations of winning the division next season (I don't see "earning a berth in the winner-take-all wild card game" as much of a goal for a $150M team; in any case, we know the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox aren't gunning for a wild card spot).

I don't blame AA for not paying retail for players like the Shark. On the other hand, this is a predicament of his own making, so I don't think excuses are appropriate at this stage. It's not as though he was just hired in November to improve some other GM's roster and farm system.
Shaker - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 07:46 AM EST (#281617) #
Greenfrog, if what you say is true about our pitching prospects - and the legal teams at Carpenter, Halladay & Escobar and at Arnold, Chacin & McGowan agree - then aren't we better off trading our prospects to land an ace? That would be the opposite of a teardown, no?
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 08:19 AM EST (#281618) #
How have the Rays attained such a high success rate in converting pitching prospects into starting pitchers (Garza, Shields, Price, Hellickson, Moore, Archer, Cobb)? Whether it's acquiring the right prospects, developing them the right way, or simply keeping them healthy, the Jays could do worse than emulating the Rays organization.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 08:51 AM EST (#281619) #
Why don't we just sell the current team to Montreal and buy the Rays?

It seemed to work out for Washington- buy an organization with excellent player development systems and hit the ground running.
Beyonder - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:16 AM EST (#281620) #
"What disturbs me is watching free agent pitchers who could have helped us at reasonable cost slip away."

I get this, but I think there is reason for hope. AA has reapeatedly stated on the record that his goal is to land starting pitching. AA would not publicly set the bar this way if he did not have a plan for accomplishing that objective. When I see guys like Gavin Floyd and Phil Hughes sign for so relatively little, I just can't believe we are getting outbid on these guys. So I think we can infer that AA is not looking at the low end of the starting pitching market. He must be looking at the high end -- or at the trade market. I expect we will be players on at least some of Jiminez, Garza, Tanaka, or Santana. Jeff Neimann might also be a good pickup, depending on how he has recovered.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:16 AM EST (#281621) #
Right now my major concern is 2B.  Catcher is OK, not great but OK.  DH we can live with Lind/Sierra (Cabrera or Bautista at DH, Sierra in LF or RF whenever a LHP is going).  The rotation I'd like a solid #1/2 type added to the mix but the cost might be way too high and hopefully the kids will develop and Morrow will have a healthy can dream.  But 2B? Goins having a 70 OPS+ is about as good as we can hope for right now as I doubt anyone wants to see Izturis get regular playing time.  I just hope Seattle is willing to deal one of their 2 young extra second basemen.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:26 AM EST (#281622) #
Goins defends well on Our turf, anything he gives on offense is a nice bonus. Emilio Bonifacio's career numbers are better than Goins, but he showed he couldn't play on Out turf. Maicer Izturis' career number are better than Goins and struggled playing on turf. Eventually offensive struggles affect defense and we get years like last year. Goins has two assets most 2B candidates don't: he defends very well on Our turf and he's younger.
Shaker - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:41 AM EST (#281623) #
Dick Bosman is the minor league pitching coordinator for the Rays (since 2001).  He's a former mlb pitching coach and a 5-time Opening Day starter with a no-hitter on his resume.

Most Rays pitchers seem to spend extended time in the upper level of the minors, rather than get rushed.  Polishing their pitches and "maturing" their arms could be a factor. (Price was rushed but he was #1 pick overall.)  Shields 31 GS in AA/AAA, but age 24 when he hit the bigs, Moore 27 GS in AA/AAA, Cobb 42 GS, Hellickson 54 GS, Archer 75 GS.  Archer was both a Cub and Indian until AA. Garza was developed by the Twins.

As a compare: McGowan 24 GS, Hutch 6 GS, Drabek 27GS in AA + 14 AA Phillies.

I don't know if they have the secret recipe or are more likely the exception that proves the rule but it sure is an enviable track record.  I would like to see our young pitchers (Hutch, Drabek, Stroman, etc) spend time in Buffalo only to be called up after showing success in AAA.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:54 AM EST (#281624) #
It's easy to forget about all the touted arms who never made it...


Nestor Molina was traded for Sergio Santos and that makes him a success. He's not our prospect so he doesn't belong on that list.

Brett Cecil was an All-Star and looks to have a good career ahead of him. He's pitching better now than ever. As a Starter, he was a decent # 5 starter. He doesn't belong on that list.

Dustin McGowan is heathy and pitching very well. I have no idea whether he starts again. Chad Jenkins pitched well as a Starter up here.

Zach Stewart and Mark Rzepczynski were part of the trade that brought us Brandon Morrow and were a success. They are not our prospects and don't belong on the list. Deck McGuire's story isn't over yet. Jesse Litsch had some good years as a Starter, Kyle Drabek's story isn't done yet.

Which nitwit touted Brad Mills and David Purcey?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 11:15 AM EST (#281625) #
James Loney took a cut in pay to sign with Tampa (they wanted him back). He would go 3/36 to sign here, but I doubt any less. I don't understand the fascination with no-hit catchers. Navarro, Kratz and Thole are good placeholders for Jimenez. They didn't sign Ohka and Bsnks for the novelty of it. A.J. Jimenez likely starts for this team in 2016.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 11:32 AM EST (#281626) #
I've never understood our reluctance to give Chad Jenkins a run in the rotation at the major league level.

As a reliever he's looked quite good but even in his starts (6 of them) there is reason to be encouraged. He's never given up more than 3 runs or walked more than 3. I will grant you that he hasn't thrown deep into games but is that a function of him tiring or not being given the rope? He's never even been allowed to throw 100 pitches in any of his starts either.

He's had good control throughout the minors and he profiled as an inning eater when we drafted him (body still seems to suggest it to me).

On top of that we are talking about a guy with first round pedigree who's options have already been burned the past 2 years. I get that his stuff is not lights out and that he wasn't anything special in the minors but he's looked more than passable to me at the major league level. I don't buy the line that we were trying to compete last year when Esmil Rogers, Ramon Ortiz, Todd Redmond, and Chien Ming Wang all got starts ahead of him in 2013.

Good teams just don't do that kind of thing- they find out whether their controllable talent is going to sink or swim. Look no further than the Rays last season. When Jeremy Hellickson went down with injury the Rays didn't call up 30 year old JD Martin (2.75 ERA, 1.2 WHIP in AAA- sorry a cursory search didn't find better metrics). Instead they called up Chris Archer who was having a generally nondescript AAA season (3.96 ERA, 1.46 WHIP). Why? Because he is the guy that might help them for 6 years rather than 6 weeks. How did that turn out? Well the Rays are probably more inclined to deal David Price than they were beforehand. Oh yeah, and they did that in the middle of a pennant race.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 12:38 PM EST (#281627) #
Brandon Morrow was traded to the Jays for Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez. Stewart and Rzepczynski had nothing to do with it.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 12:51 PM EST (#281628) #
Rzepczynski and Stewart (via a 3rd part involving the White Sox) were traded to get Rasmus.  Pretty good for the Jays I'd say given Zach Stewart has yet to have an ERA sub 6 after leaving Toronto and Rzepczynski has been hot and cold since leaving (solid for Cleveland last year in 20 1/3 IP and solid for the Cards stretch run in 2011 but otherwise very much a 7th man in the pen guy). There were others in that trade but Frasor came back as a free agent, Patterson we were glad to see go, Dotel was a 'meh'. 

Prospects are funny things. Often they flop but when they work  Makes the trades of 3 or 4 for a solid player a good idea often but be careful you don't include a John Smoltz (traded for Doyle Alexander) or Jeff Bagwell (for a middle reliever for under 1/2 a season).
uglyone - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 01:10 PM EST (#281629) #
I agree with the sentiment that the lack of moves so far is not a big deal. There really isn't one move so far that I'm jealous of in any way. Most of the big pitching prizes - Tanaka, Lee, Samardzija, Garza - are still out there.

And notions like signing Loney to trade Lind don't even make sense.

This team is a lot better than they looked last year. Overreacting to a disaster year doesn't help anything. The problem with last year's squad wasn't a lack of talent, but the presence of 4 absolutely disastrous sinkholes in the roster. The thing to remember is that upgrading these sinkholes to just average this year is tantamount to upgrading average slots to star performances - it's just as big an improvement either way.

Going into the offseason, there were 4 areas that needed addressing:

1. SP
2. 2B
3. C
4. LF

In reverse order.....

LF is well worth betting on Cabrera's bad year being largely due to his tumor. It's a perfectly good explanation for the hobbled Melky we saw last year, and there's most definitely a good chance we'll be upgraded there just by standing pat. Pillar/Gose/Sierra as backup OF are more than fine, and their price is right. League average performance out of this slot is a pretty decent bet.

C should now be significantly better than last year. Personally I wouldn't have dumped JP, and think it's likely he bounces right back to his .710-720ops self this year, but regardless of that the Navarro/Kratz combo should give us a fighting chance to get league average performance out of this slot as well.

2B has yet to be addressed. As of now, it looks like it will be the same sinkhole it was last year, though I guess at least there's a chance that it will just be an offensive sinkhole this year, not a defensive one.

SP has yet to be addressed, but I'm on board with the idea that it should either be top of the rotation guy(s) or bust. I'm not upset in the least with not getting guys like Fister. Ideally I'd like to see all of Hutch, Nolin, Stroman starting the year in AAA....but that would be a luxury - teams in need of SP can't really afford to keep all of their kids in the minors, so handing the #5 spot to the best of the kids is probably the way to go here. The #4 spot would go to Morrow, with other questionable vets like Happ, McGowan, Romero, Redmond, Rogers, in the mix as backup. Either way, that mix of kids and questionable vets is more than fine as a mix for the bottom 2 slots IMO.

That leaves Dickey and Buehrle in 2 of the 3 top slots....with one slot still open. That's the one spot we absolutely have to fill this offseason, and I think we will (though I think we'll probably also overpay to do it). If we then add another mid-to-bottom of the rotation guy to keep all the kids in the minors most of the year that's not a horrible idea, but it is more of a luxury move.

But again, this team isn't near as bad as it looked last year. There's a lot of good potential bounceback here.

If we look at the available projection systems (OPS for hitters, ERA for pitchers):

Player: Steamer/Oliver

SS J.Reyes .774/.799
LF Cabrera .762/.761
RF Bautista .895/.877
DH En'cion .870/.912
1B AdamLind .794/.784
3B B.Lawrie .788/.795
CF C.Rasmus .771/.770
C D.Navarro .719/.761
2B Izturis .672/.656

UT Sierra .695/.673
OF Pillar .690/.676
IF Goins .619/.615
C E.Kratz .706/.718

SP Dickey 4.20/3.91
SP Buehrle 4.55/4.13
SP Morrow 4.22/4.10
SP Happ 4.56/4.49
SP Redmond 4.27/4.57
SP Rogers 4.60/4.71
SP Nolin 4.48/4.95
SP Hutch 3.44/4.21

CL Janssen 3.36/2.87
SU Santos 3.11/3.43
SU Cecil 3.36/3.87
MR Delabar 3.42/3.84
MR Loup 3.56/3.86
MR Wagner 3.54/3.84
MR Perez 3.69/3.85
MR McGowan 3.68/4.12
MR Jeffress 3.94/4.44

The batting lineup is a very good one, with 2 elite bats, 5 other above average bats, 1 average bat, and 1 hole. If we could upgrade that hole to mediocre that would be a big boost.

The Bullpen of course looks great.

The rotation is not very good, but even then it's very unlikely that it could be as bad as it was last year again, especially with Hutch/Nolin/Stroman in the mix.

But adding one top of the rotation starter (tanaka? Lee?) would be the one move we really need to do. Dickey/Buehrle as #2/3, and then Morrow/McGowan/Happ/Romero/Redmond/Rogers/Hutchison/Nolin/Stroman battling it out for the #4/5 slots would make a pretty solid rotation IMO.
Paul D - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 01:43 PM EST (#281630) #
I agree with pretty much everything you've said, although I'd nitpick and say that Fister is a top of the rotation guy.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 02:32 PM EST (#281631) #
My apologies for the Morrow/Rasmus mixup.

I can agree on a Front-of-the-Rotation type as a mandatory acquisition. However, anyone who follows Dickey in the rotation will occasionally benefit from the Dickey Effect. So New Acquisition/Dickey as 1/2 is ideal, but Dickey/New Acqusition as 1/2 is acceptable.

Moises Sierra is out of options which is why The Jays are having him get 1B experience in Winter Ball. Edwin wants to be full-time DH, so Lind and Sierra will be our First Basemen. Sierra will also be 4th Outfielder.

My one concern is the Bench. Backup Catcher is Thole or Kratz. 4th OF is Sierra. Maicer Izturis is 2B/3B/SS Backup. With Goins as 2B, we have one open position. No one here is a decent or better pinch-hit option. Here is where we need the big bat type, who could play a position or two or more.

My other issue is the other pitching. Morrow (for all his health issues) is a very good Starter and is likely to make the team.
J.A. Happ is a decent #5 Starter, but could also start in the Bullpen as #6 Starter/Long Relief. Lesser versions of #5 Starters are Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond who would also do well as #6 Starters/Long Relief. That might leave us with three Pitchers for one Position and no one having options.
Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup and Neil Wagner can be optioned to AAA is necessary, but they are very good Relievers.
Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Brett Cecil and Dustin McGowan are very good Relievers who are out of options. Jeremy Jeffress and Luis Perez will be very good Relievers, who are also out of options.

Chad Jenkins could Start up here, I just don't understand why his time up here gets cut short before they can see how good he can be. I also think he could be a very good reliever up here.

I have no idea whether Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek or Deck McGuire will be valued assets. Drew Hutchison, Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman will pitch up here in time, hopefully not needed this year.

Wait for A.A. to do something makes watch paint dry exciting, in comparison,
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 02:41 PM EST (#281632) #
I don't agree.  There is a hole at second base, and the possibilities are thin at shortstop, corner OF and corner IF spots.  One has to bear in mind that the upper minors are basically devoid of useful position player backups.  At third base (for instance), you want to project 122 games of Brett Lawrie and 40 games of Jared Goedert.  There is a good core of position player talent on this club, but so far, AA has done an uninspired job of supplying a supporting cast.

I love what the Cardinals have done.  Move Carpenter, trade Freese for Bourjos, promote Wong, sign Ellis.  Wong is a much better prospect than Goins, but the Cardinals wanted to have a back-up plan. 

cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 02:50 PM EST (#281633) #
uglyone I agree with your assessment but the importance of this Jays' offseason is how the issues described therein will be addressed, not to mention other 24 teams have known Jays' situation of needing to win soon with current roster.
whiterasta80 Mike Green : Signing for catching lightning in a bottle somewhere is a good idea like the Indians' signing of Marcum but IMO this idea shall not be the foundation of building towards next season during offseason because of the unpredictable performance of these signees. IMHO they were signed usually if they would perform above what their performance records suggest.

So Mark Ellis looks like a good deal but he seems to be off the free agent dance floor very soon. Anyway, talking about catching lighting in a bottle, Jared Goedert's signing is counted as one but why not trying out former 1st round June draftee Brandon Wood and Canadian Jeff Francis. Wood is only 2 month older than Goedert.... Wood also had performed better in offensive numbers during his minor league seasons than Goedert.

Recapping from a comment on the trade rumor site, "Not saying he shouldn't make a move, but sometimes the smart move is no move." ....
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 02:56 PM EST (#281634) #
Mike Green, "I love what the Cardinals have done.  Move Carpenter, trade Freese for Bourjos, promote Wong, sign Ellis.  Wong is a much better prospect than Goins, but the Cardinals wanted to have a back-up plan."

Your perspectives plus uglyone's assessment on the roster are very good. The Jays needs back-up plan. Are Navarro the starting C, Kratz on the bench and Thole the back-up plan a good combo of catching to carry the team into season 2014 ? IMHO, signing one more C who has some MLB experience but failed for some reasons is good. JPA would have been the guy to stay in Buffalo but signing with the Rangers is good for him.
Paul D - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 03:26 PM EST (#281635) #
Is everyone convinced that Izturis can't start at 2B? I know he was terrible last year, but couldn't he put up a 88 OPS+ and play average defence at second?
Shaker - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 03:36 PM EST (#281636) #
Now imagine the 4-series stretch where Izturis is at 2B, Goins is at SS and Goedert or LaRoche is at 3B.  It will happen and it will hurt.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 03:56 PM EST (#281638) #
I had high hopes for Izturis last year, and I still think that he can hit.  He definitely has lost a step, though, and I don't think that expecting league-average defence at second base is reasonable. 
eudaimon - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 05:12 PM EST (#281639) #
You're probably right that Izturis could bounce back to something resembling passability. He lost a step last year for sure, but I wonder if his poor fielding is partly attributable to adapting to the turf given his reputation as a good fielder (and having years of data to back that up , at least according to fangraphs). It's also odd that he posted the lowest BABIP (.249) of his career since his rookie cup of coffee (.291 career BABIP) while also striking out at a slower rate than he did the previous three seasons. His LD% was mostly the same as years past, though his ground ball% was up a bit.

I think with a year on the turf under his belt Izturis should be a better fielder (too bad they don't have fielding splits, I'd be curious as to how his fielding stats changed as the season progressed). It's also likely that he'll hit better as well. He may be a bit slower but I think his likely BABIP is probably still in the .270-.300 range.

In short, reports of Izturis' demise are probably exaggerated. Still, I don't want to go into the season with him pencilled in as a starter.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 05:53 PM EST (#281640) #
It's hard to know what to expect from Izturis in 2014. His career OPS+ is 90. The last five years his OPS+ has been 109, 90, 105, 81, 65. He turned 33 in September. He could rebound, or he could be well below-average offensively and/or defensively.

A 90 OPS+ season coupled with average-ish defence would be great, but might be too much to ask. Maybe Seitzer can help him have a better offensive season.

What concerns me is the long gap between early April and the trade deadline in late July. If a couple of the position players bomb out, it could be another long season. AA had a hard time finding a replacement for Reyes last year, as other GMs were demanding a lot for a temporary replacement at short. It might not be easy to find even a halfway decent second baseman during the first half.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 07:11 PM EST (#281642) #
Question: would it make sense to sign Drew for 2/25 or 3/33 and move Reyes to 2B? In the big picture, the financial commitment isn't great, the Jays have two protected high picks in 2014, and the move would bolster the infield nicely for next year (assuming Reyes can transition smoothly to 2B). Better defense, better offense, modest financial outlay, no prospects traded.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 07:20 PM EST (#281643) #
Also, Jim Bowden proposes a package of Stroman, Norris and Gose for Samardzija. Any takers?
Gerry - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 07:43 PM EST (#281644) #
Signing free agents adds player value to the system in return for cash.

A trade exchanges player value for player value.

I would have liked the Jays to have signed more than one free agent to add more player value to the system. These don't have to be long term deals but players for 2B and OF have signed one year deals. I hope there are some additional free agent signings in the Jays future.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 07:49 PM EST (#281646) #
greenfrog FanGraphs say yes on two articles, 1 and 2. IMO, If Drew is signed, shall the Jays give up some draft picks ? Interestingly, FanGraphs started a crowdsourcing for Drew's contract. IMO, a 2 year contract for modest money value plus the bulk of the money coming from plate appearance of game appearance incentive per season.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 08:00 PM EST (#281647) #
The Jays have numerous options for starters by the middle of the season. For contractual reasons they would like to leave Stroman in AAA for a while. Drew Hutchison and Sean Nolin need more time in AAA. My June if you need a starter you can count on one of them.

SO how do we get to June? One answer is to use Dustin McGowan as a starter and hope to get 10-12 starts out of him before he gets injured. The same goes for Brandon Morrow. And maybe Jeremy Jeffress.

cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 08:03 PM EST (#281648) #
Gerry: Signing free agents adds player value to the system in return for cash. A trade exchanges player value for player value. ---- quotes of today.
Shaker: Most Rays pitchers seem to spend extended time in the upper level of the minors, rather than get rushed.  Polishing their pitches and "maturing" their arms could be a factor. (Price was rushed but he was #1 pick overall.)  Shields 31 GS in AA/AAA, but age 24 when he hit the bigs, Moore 27 GS in AA/AAA, Cobb 42 GS, Hellickson 54 GS, Archer 75 GS.  Archer was both a Cub and Indian until AA. Garza was developed by the Twins.
whiterasta80: When Jeremy Hellickson went down with injury the Rays didn't call up 30 year old JD Martin [...] Instead they called up Chris Archer who was having a generally nondescript AAA season (3.96 ERA, 1.46 WHIP). Why? Because he is the guy that might help them for 6 years rather than 6 weeks. How did that turn out? Well the Rays are probably more inclined to deal David Price than they were beforehand. Oh yeah, and they did that in the middle of a pennant race.

I agree with Gerry. 1 or 2 year deals to plug the holes in 2B and SP. These signees don't need to make a lot of game appearance but need to perform consistently; Jays' prospects like Goins, Jimenez, Nolin etc. need playing time to showcase their performance progresses in Toronto, not to mention the possibilities of rising performances from Redmond, Rogers and McGowan in SP's role. In other words, WYSIWYG (What you sign is what you get) signees are good.

Is Drew that type of player ?

uglyone - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 08:45 PM EST (#281649) #
I don't see any concern about the bench. It's a better bench than last year's overpaid shitshow. As good or better offensively, and much, much better defensively. Not to mention dirt cheap. With three nice prospects in AAA too (OF Gose, IF Burns, C Jimenez).

Last year's bench:

DeRosa .733
Davis .687
Bonifacio .579
Thole .497

and even worse, that bench sucked defensively too.

Not to mention cost us near $10m.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 09:15 PM EST (#281650) #
Gose is nowhere near major league ready.  He needs another full season in triple A, unfortunately.

As for the start of the season, there is a legitimate possibility that Hutchison will be ready for the rotation.  If not, having Redmond and Rogers throw 10 starts, 60 innings each at the start of the year is tolerable (a lot more so than the situation at second base and quite possibly in left-field).  Sean Nolin could very well start the season in the major league bullpen (as the left-handed long man) and benefit from it. 

uglyone - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 09:23 PM EST (#281651) #
Gose has hit righties for a .685ops so far in his career, and is an ace defensive CF with great speed. And he's a baby still.

He's already better than many bench OF in the legaue.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 09:53 PM EST (#281652) #
As a 'what if'... if the Jays trade Lind then Cabrera goes to DH to save his back then we get Sierra/Gose in LF (although their best positions are RF/CF respectively).  Defense would be better but on offense it is hard to say...
LF: 259/309/358
DH: 253/347/425

2014 projections via Steamer ... Oliver
Gose: 233/296/346 ... 225/288/339
Sierra: 245/301/394 ... 235/295/378
Cabrera: 285/336/427 ... 288/337/424

Cabrera is certainly in eyeshot for the DH, a bit low in OBP (10 points) but dead on with slugging and up 30+ points in average
Gose vs LF last year is worse no doubt.
Sierrra vs LF last year is up a lot in Slg (20-36 points) and down a bit in OBP (8-14 points)

So trading Lind and going with those 3 should produce similar results to last year, a bit weaker based on these projections but a big improvement in defense and baserunning (assuming Cabrera can run in 2014 and that Gose/Sierra would run better than either Lind or Cabrera which seems a very safe bet).

Lind projections: 265/333/461 ... 263/328/456 - namely a bit lower in Avg/OBP vs Cabrera but 30-40 points more in Slg.

Ideally I guess you'd trade Cabrera and keep Lind but I don't see anyone chasing after Cabrera.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:07 PM EST (#281653) #
The Jays are going to need some outfielders in 2015, what with Cabrera and Rasmus heading for free agency and Bautista declining on defence. The team is no doubt hoping that Gose earns the job as starting CF after this season, if not before.

Assuming, of course, that Rasmus doesn't get extended.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 10:44 PM EST (#281654) #
I don't think Gose sees himself as a AAA player. His attitude last season was poor in Buffalo, what will it be in 2014?
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 11:09 PM EST (#281655) #
Could Bautista play LF and RF, Cabrera LF and 1B as a RHB, Lind 1B as a LHB ? In this case, playing time in RF is needed; Sierra would fit in ideally but Moises was noted by some people for below average defense..... Can both Cabrera and Sierra take groundball at 1B ?

Also if a IF/RF/LF type batter can be found, a guy like Kawasaki could play D off the bench ? So would the Jays looking for a batter with a strong and accurate defensive arm ? Maybe getting Ichiro from the Yankees to play RF and some CF is a solution.  Recalling from the PIrates getting A.J. Burnett for 2 seasons, Ichiro will play the last season of his contract for 6.5M and could hit 1-2 at the top of the order with Reyes.

LF Cabrera, Bautista
CF Rasmus, Ichiro
RF Bautista, Ichiro
1B Lind, Cabrera

Then the outfield is set with 4 OFers, the 5th slot is hence flexible for use:
1) 2B/corner OF
2) C/1B/corner OF
3) 3B/corner OF (a mini-Bautista....)

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 11:14 PM EST (#281656) #
And franklin guttierez (ideal 4th OF/Lefty Masher, defensive wiz) is about to go off the board. If he gets less than 1/6, 2/9 Alex is asleep.
Hodgie - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 01:35 AM EST (#281659) #
If Franklin Gutierrez is the bar used to judge the competency of AA I am glad that I have hockey to distract me until pitchers and catchers report. Honestly, at the rate he is going Gutierrez could very well be the inspiration for a whole new M.A.S.H series. I would think the last thing the Jays need to spend payroll on is a former defensive wizard that has barely seen 600 plate appearances combined over the last 3 seasons as a presumptive starter in Seattle. Personally, I would prefer a fourth outfielder that could actually play an inning or two.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 05:58 AM EST (#281660) #
Until the Tanaka posting is resolved, and until A.A.'s Relievers gain more value, A.A. is unlikely to do more than maintenance issues/minor signing stuff. Three of the Pitchers he's after are more basic trades. I have ideas on who, but speculating without anything more concrete is foolish. The fourth Pitcher he's after is a "dominoes will start to fall" (A.A.'s words) type of deal and that really has me interested.

MLB Players have Value based on who and what they are. Prospects have Value based on the value of who they could be. That's why agreements are hard to make. Some GM's are not that good, Example, we got Morrow and Delabar from one such GM. After a really good signing of a top Free Agent, his subsequent moves seem born of desperation. Some GM's can only sign Free Agents, because they can't make good trades.

I think people forgot how much extra money was available this offseason. Prices Free Agents are signing for now just show that. I suspect Seattle, Texas, LA Angels, New York, Boston, LA Dodgers could fund their entire Team with just TV Revenues. More and more Teams are signing new TV deals that let them operate at a higher payroll budget.

I believe that when monies were discussed at the time of the Miami deal, provision was made to add one or two big pieces each year. Why? Because your Team is never good enough, you always have to add/upgrade one piece of the puzzle, just to stay current. I think that by Trading for a piece, moving dollars for dollars, A.A. could still sign a piece.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 09:27 AM EST (#281664) #
Mike Trout was pissed off last year when he was sent down out of spring training.  He took his irritation out on opposing pitchers in triple A. 

Rewarding Gose for poor performance is a bad idea from a development perspective.  In 2010-11, I thought that he was a very good prospect, but he has taken steps backward since then.  There is still time for him to become a good player, but he is going to have to dedicate himself to the craft rather than expect that things will be handed to him on a plate.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 10:08 AM EST (#281665) #
I doubt Gose will be on the opening day roster this year. The only way I see it is if there are injuries or the Jays trade Lind and give LF to Gose/Sierra.  With no options Sierra will be on the team unless he royally screws up I suspect.  Pillar being a right handed hitter is not fighting with Gose but with Sierra for that 4th OF slot but with a full set of options (I don't think any would've been used last year) he should be in AAA to start 2014.  Pillar and Gose will fight with each other for the first injury call-up I suspect while Sierra is the RH 'DH' (DH in quotes as I figure he'd be in LF or RF to give Cabrera or Bautista a rest at DH).  Gose does have the big advantage of being the only LH OF who is a prospect on the edge of the majors.  But with Lind needing to face only RHP that gives a big advantage to Sierra and Pillar.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:08 AM EST (#281667) #
I think it's pretty clearcut right now.

PH Sierra (esp. RHB @1B/DH)
OF Pillar
IF Goins
C Kratz

Three very good defensive players, and a 4th decent one. Potential of league average offense from most of them.

Gose will stay in AAA until either he forces the Jays' hands or a hole develops that needs filling. He's not going to start ahead of Rasmus, Cabrera, or Bautista and I highly doubt they want him sitting on the bench.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:39 AM EST (#281671) #
Hmm. What does the AAA lineup look like right now?

CF A.Gose (23): AAA 927pa, .721ops / MLB 342pa, .655ops
RF B.Glenn (27): AAA 70pa, .837ops
LF A.Loewen (30): AAA 828pa, .835ops / MLB 39pa, .576ops
3B J.Goedert (29): AAA 1562pa, .792ops
SS S.Tolleson (30): AAA 1956pa, .781ops / MLB 129pa, .623ops
2B R.Schimpf (26): (AA 666pa, .809ops)
1B D.Johnson (34): AAA 3550pa, .921ops / MLB 1556pa, .747ops
DH A.LaRoche (30): AAA 1714pa, .835ops / MLB 1336pa, .640ops
C J.Thole (27): AAA 363pa, .829ops / MLB 1161pa, .645ops

UT J.Diaz (29): AAA 1096pa, .672ops / MLB 4pa, .000ops
OF J.Tolisano (25): (AA 1136pa, .730ops)
IF K.Nolan (26): (AA 504pa, .717ops)
C A.Jimenez (24): AAA 30pa, .525ops

Potential mid-season call-ups:

OF K.Wilson (24): 242pa, .708ops
3B A.Burns (23): 291pa, .728ops

something like that.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:50 AM EST (#281674) #
Just thinking about rotation options, how much did Ricky Romero's implosion destroy the Jays? If he were still 2009-11 Romero, a healthy above average innings eater, the entire dynamic of the rotation changes. Suddenly it is Dickey, Morrow, Romero, Buehrle, and Happ: three 200 IP starters, a wild card with upside (Morrow), and a decent #5 starter. Instead, the rotation looks in shambles and Romero is basically $7.5M of dead weight.

Fix Romero and the Jays rotation might be salvagable as is. Chances of that happening? Probably not too good.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 12:22 PM EST (#281678) #
SK in NJ So Romero is the weak link.... To fill that hole is management.
1) Keep developing the likes of Redmond, Rogers
2) More or some starting pitching duties for the likes of Jefferies, McGowan
3) Get a SP from outside the organization, preferably through free agent.

IMO, AA can get a SP like A.J. Burnett, who is
1) in last 1 or 2 seaons of his contract
2) underperform with his team
3) a personal performance comeback is possible

However, Burnett going from AL East to NL central is easier to outperform the previous season`s record, usually not the other way against Red Sox, Yankees and Rays.

uglyone: for the MLB bench and AAA lineup,
MLB bench
IF Tolleson
1B/RF/LF D. Johnson
1B/3B LaRoche
C Kratz

Backup to MLB lineup
LF/RF D. Johnson
3B LaRoche
C Thole
IF Goins
OF Pillar

Goins and Pillar would be called up to MLB to test their performance progresses under MLB situations. Don`t know about Gose if his attitude is said to be poor.

The AAA lineup and bench shall be configured accordingly, based on the connection between MLB backup and bench with AAA. If the management thought is that AAA and MLB lineup are not interconnected, things are different.

soupman - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 12:26 PM EST (#281679) #
i've been thinking similar things recently.

doc tried to make a comeback - so, that says to me that the jays have been doing things right.

and what i mean there is - mcgowan looked GREAT at the end of the year in limited usage. carpenter (aka. 'the one that got away') was 29 when he finally found health and really started to roll.

stroman looks ready to take a roll at some point maybe down the stretch.

then there's a litany of guys like drabek, hutchison, nolin, any one of which i could see taking a nice reliable turn every 5 days. hey - back in 92-93, the jays had guys stepping up to fill roles.

there's plenty of reason for optimism; the lineup has a couple big question marks, but even with that - there's a terrific core there, i think. should be a great year! i mean, c'mon - this is almost identical to the team that 12 months ago was the WS favourite in vegas. maybe they come back hungry. let's hope, anyway!
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 12:41 PM EST (#281680) #
5 legit MLB starting arms, even though the last three are major question marks:


then legit young arms in AAA:


* I'm pretty sure both McG and Stilson are coming to camp as SP, but not 100% on that.

then the fringe arms:


Admittedly, calling Happ and McGowan "legit MLB arms" might make them sound like better options than they are.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 01:09 PM EST (#281681) #
I believe Stilson is now permanently in the bullpen.
JB21 - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 02:09 PM EST (#281682) #
And Carreno is a Met.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 03:00 PM EST (#281683) #
Morrow is a legit starting arm, who due to his propensity to get hurt, can be expected to throw 125 innings in the rotation with an ERA of about 4.4.  Redmond is a fringe starting arm who can be expected to throw 150-160 innings in the rotation with an ERA of about 4.45.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 07:21 PM EST (#281686) #
Richard S.S., "MLB Players have Value based on who and what they are. Prospects have Value based on the value of who they could be. That's why agreements are hard to make. Some GM's are not that good, Example, we got Morrow and Delabar from one such GM. After a really good signing of a top Free Agent, his subsequent moves seem born of desperation. Some GM's can only sign Free Agents, because they can't make good trades."

Can the rationale go the opposite: if a GM can make agreement based on evaluation, he or she is a good GM.
Anyway, with most free agents signing with teams, shall the Jays look for undervalued free agent ? Also, I found a 2B Will Rhymes whose BB/K is ahead of all players in the IL and PCL for a large margin, 2.24 BB/K ahead of 1.82 BB/K with 70 AAA PA or more.

cybercavalier - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 07:28 PM EST (#281687) #
Talking about catching lightning in a bottle based on a previous post, how about Jeff Francis, Rox' top pick of 2002 June draft.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 08:17 PM EST (#281689) #
It seems a bit silly to predict how Morrow will do in 2014. Mike's estimate seems like a reasonable averaging of the possible outcomes, but who really knows what Morrow's future will bring? Would any of us have predicted 54.1 IP from him in 2013? He could throw 75, 100, 125, 150 or 175 innings in 2014, or he could blow out his arm in April.

I hope he'll be a solid contributor next year, but I'm not counting on it (just as I did not assume that Romero would contribute significantly in 2013).
sweat - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 09:29 PM EST (#281690) #
There's no doubt in my mind that AA is waiting out the market. He's waiting for guys like Ubaldo and Santana to get squeezed by their qualifying offers. Right now, it's a long off season, and those guys are waiting and seeing, but as soon as Tanaka goes somewhere, that will be another team that doesn't need them.
He's asked certain players/agents to give him a call before they sign a contract elsewhere, so that he can change his offer accordingly depending on who is left.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 02:21 AM EST (#281691) #
No, the opposite is not true. A good GM must do many things, including always getting them right. The great GMs survive their mistakes.

Brandon Morrow is capable of being a quality #2 Starter, no ifs, ands or buts. He has a severe form of Diabetes that make it very hard for him to stay 100% healthy. (I have no concept of how hard it is to stay healthy with that problem). The injury he rehabbed is also a Surgery Option. We can't tell until Spring Training whether the rehab worked, or he needs Surgery anyway. His track record of pitching more than 130 is abysmal, and his chances of doing so, minuscule.

I can understand waiting out the market for pitching, but I don't understand what A.A.'s offering. Too many 5th Starter types, too many really good Relievers, mediocre/ non-existent infield backup, less than desirable Bench might be solvable via trades. But the option of doing it otherwise might no longer exist.

As the vulture said from the branch on a tree, "Patience my ass, I'm gonna go kill something".
soupman - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 09:05 AM EST (#281692) #
"Talking about catching lightning in a bottle based on a previous post, how about Jeff Francis, Rox' top pick of 2002 June draft."

He's a health risk and has a career ERA around 5. Nothing in the peripherals look to be trending towards changing that. I'd be much happier if the canadian on the team stepped up and became a top 5 3b instead.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 09:33 AM EST (#281694) #
Tanaka's Team is planning to make a record offer for him (MLB Trade Rumors) and apparently he will accept it. Now the feeding frenzy on Starters begins. A.A. needs to be on the ball now.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 01:32 PM EST (#281696) #
Thanks for replying. I think the "catching lightning in a bottle" plan is flawed because it takes "bottle" players as a given undervalued asset and yet to expect them to outperform previous season's records. For example, both the Astros and the Indians scouted Kazmir and he became an Indians last season; he landed a 2 year contract as an A's this offseason. What did the Indians base their decision in trying out Kazmir while the Astros passed ?
uglyone - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 01:43 PM EST (#281697) #
I guess there's a decent argument to be made that Redmond is underrated, but I have a hard time calling a 29 year old with 80 career ip and 2 pitches anything more than fringe as of now. But I guess his career AAA line has been good enough that expecting not-horrific MLB performance from him isn't too crazy.


AAA: 652.2ip, 7.7k/9, 2.5bb/9, 1.1hr/9, 1.26whip, 3.83era
MLB: 80.1ip, 8.7k/9, 3.1bb/9, 1.6hr/9, 1.31whip, 4.59era

That MLB line actually isn't too out of whack with projecting off of that AAA line, surprisingly. That's a large AAA sample (and yes, almost all those IP are as an SP) with both solid frontline and solid peripheral numbers.

Of course, while Morrow has plenty of warts, there's no denying he's a legit MLB starting arm.


As MLB SP: 584.0ip, 9.3k/9, 2.5bb/9, 1.32whip, 4.33era

The fact that Redmond at age 28 was able to come kinda close to Morrow's career SP line for less than 80 innings doesn't really put them on the same level just yet.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 02:21 PM EST (#281699) #

Any chance of Deck McGuire competing for the #5 spot in the rotation? He hasn't faced AAA hitting yet, but he is the only prospect in the system that has had a normal career path in terms of innings, and his improvement in Double-A was substantial (8.18 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, 0.69 HR/9, and 3.58 FIP were all career bests for him). I'm not a big fan of promoting starters from Double-A to the Majors, but if the alternatives are rushing higher upside arms (Stro, Hutchison, etc) or using junk fringy types (Redmond, Rogers, etc), then I'd rather go with Deck (assuming he proves worthy in ST) and see what he has.

It was mentioned that Chad Jenkins deserves a look, and I agree with that as well (I'd prefer Jenkins to win the #5 spot over Redmond).
I'm not sure why the Jays are wasting their prime with Redmond types when they can promote their own former 1st round picks to see if they have anything worthwhile. Worst case is they suck, but at least there is a glimmer of upside involved.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 07:56 PM EST (#281704) #
I see Raul Ibanez has signed with the Angels for 1/$2.75M plus incentives that could increase his salary up to $5M.

Ibanez has had pretty impressive career longevity. He's up to 300 HR, 1032 R, 1181 RBI, with only about 500 PA before his age-29 season. Last year he hit 29 HR while playing for Seattle. He has a career 113 OPS+. He'll be 42 in June. Pretty good for a guy drafted in the 36th round.
John Northey - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 08:54 PM EST (#281705) #
Seriously doubt McGuire would break camp with the club. He'd have to be lights out with tons of K's in the spring and the rest would have to do poorly for that to happen, and even then it might not.  I wouldn't be shocked if McGuire starts next year in AA actually just due to the numbers game.
ML: Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ, Redmond (no newbies)
AAA: Jenkins, Romero, Hutchison, Drabek, Nolin
AA: McGuire, Stroman, Sanchez, not sure who else but those 3 probably could all handle AAA right now.

Add yet another ML starter and Redmond probably ends up in AAA with Jenkins released (which would be weird given he has done well in the majors) or in the pen.  Hate listing Stroman in AA but where else do you put him other than the pen?

I'm sure a trade is coming that will clear some of that logjam out in order to get a #1/2 pitcher but who goes and who stays will be interesting.

John Northey - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 09:23 PM EST (#281706) #
And for those wanting good memories... just found the division winning game from 1985 on YouTube.  Lots of fun. If the Jays make the playoffs again it'll feel a lot like that year did I bet - tons of buildup, hopes after frustrating years and then 'woohoo' followed by a series where the most common phrase was 'oh no, not Brett'.
PeterG - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 10:16 PM EST (#281707) #
Stroman will be at AAA....with even an outside chance of being in the show. I can see Romero starting at AA..
greenfrog - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 11:22 PM EST (#281708) #
Quaere whether the Blue Jays are about to make the same mistake at shortstop that they did at catcher in 2013, namely, badly overestimating their projected starter's defensive abilities.

I say this because Drew is available, and he plays plus-plus defense (per BP) and is a solid hitter for a SS. Rather than spend an enormous amount of money on a starting pitcher, wouldn't it make more sense to spend a fraction of that amount on a good shortstop for the next 2-3 years and move Reyes to 2B? Keep in mind that the Jays don't have any SS prospects on the horizon.

I know the Jays would never do this (partly because they're facing a budget crunch, partly because Reyes is a "proven shortstop" in the same way that some pitchers are "proven closers," and partly because it might annoy Reyes and confuse the fan base). But it might the best move the team can make between now and April - assuming that Reyes would be a good defensive second baseman.
McNulty - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 11:51 PM EST (#281709) #
With Tanaka not being posted, I'm sure that's going to drive the prices up for Garza, Jiminez and Santana again. They won't be at the insane levels they reportedly were in Nov/Dec, but they'll still be pricey.

John Northey - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 12:49 AM EST (#281710) #
How is Reyes at SS for defense? We keep thinking he is poor but what do the stats say? (argh...have 'what does the fox say' in my mind now)
B-R: Rfield = -4, 6 straight years in the negatives, lifetime -19 runs
FanGraphs: -8.0 UZR/150 last year, 0.5 lifetime but negative for 5 years running.

Ouch.  Both list him as poor defensively.  So if I was AA I'd talk with Reyes about a position switch and see if he is OK with 2B. If not, then hold off another year and try CF if Rasmus leaves and Gose isn't ready. Or get a strong defensive 2B (such as Goins) and mixed with Lawrie you would minimize the effect of Reyes defense.  Hopefully.

Drew is projected to be bad on offense (236/315/386 in 2014) but wonderful on defense although he has had some horrid years on defense (UZR/150 of -14.4 in 2012, double digit negative in 2006-2008) so I'd be a bit nervous about counting on him.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 12:53 AM EST (#281711) #
Whether or not a Prospect makes the Majors determines their ultimate value, not how they preform in the Minors. Too many Prospect only have value in Trades.

Deck McGuire may be a Major League Starter, but until he pitches up here, no one knows. Chad Jenkins can pitch up here, either as Starter or Reliever. Why he's never been given a chance is unexplainable. Todd Redmond is a surprise. How someone with good Minor League numbers, is ignored for so long is another surprise. Confirms my opinion on bad GMs.

The Jays biggest issue is Front of the Rotation Pitchers, they've only got one of them. They need at least two more. Of everyone who has pitched up here, only Brandon Morrow is capable of being a Front Line Starter. His issue is staying healthy, and so far he can't. Marcus Stroman might be that type of Pitcher, but he at least 1-2 years away. He's innings-limited too much to be of much use this year. No one else is close.

That's why standing pat with in-House options is fool-hardy, no one not named Dickey or Buehrle could pitch 200+ innings. That means Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond will being Pitching for us in August and September (innings limits).
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 01:25 AM EST (#281712) #
I don't think the defensive metrics have considered the Lawrie-effect. Reyes should be able to move a step or two to his left and leave Lawrie to make up the difference. A.A. knew the price for Josh Johnson would be steep, but he wanted Reyes, so the rest is history. As long as he has good defensive 2B and 3B, he'll be good enough at SS.

Before moving him to another position, better make sure his replacement is better than he is. Who is the rising star at SS in the organization? I willing to bet 4-5 years away, unless someone pushes forward sooner. The Jays rarely draft stud position players, and don't develop them well when they do.
Eephus - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 03:46 AM EST (#281713) #
I for one don't understand the very popular desire to move Reyes to second base. By my observations from last season his range is below average (let's not forget he suffered a serious ankle injury also) but his arm is very, very stellar. That sounds like the kind of guy you move to third base, not second, where there's less territory to cover and a plus arm would be even more valuable. His bat would obviously be ass-kicking at second base, but defensively he'd be playing a position not suited to his best defensive asset. (Moving Reyes to third on this team however, doesn't make a whole lotta sense.)
SK in NJ - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 07:05 AM EST (#281714) #
I agree if you're going to move Reyes anywhere it should be to 3B and not 2B, but with Lawrie there, that isn't really an option. I think the Jays are just going to have to deal with his defense at short and hope his offense makes up for it. They knew what they were getting into.
John Northey - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 08:35 AM EST (#281715) #
I wonder if that was part of the reason for the Lawrie at 2B experiment last year - planning on Reyes going to 3B in the not too distant future.  But with Lawrie's injury issues I'd leave him at 3B and try to find another solution to Reyes' defense.
greenfrog - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 09:00 AM EST (#281716) #
Remember also that Reyes (1) suffered a serious ankle injury last year (and had still not fully recovered even after a few months) and (2) now plays on injury-exacerbating turf. If the Jays keep him at short, I expect his defense to become a real issue during the next couple of years.

However, I expect the team to have trouble facing up to this issue at the moment, given how much they have invested in Reyes at their SS, both financially and emotionally. They might acknowledge that there is a problem in a year or two.
Mike Green - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 09:08 AM EST (#281717) #
On a positive note, I am much higher subjectively on Reyes' offence than the projections.  I think that he is going to be a better hitter in his early 30s than he was in his 20s.  With that level of offence, you can tolerate -5 to -10 runs/season defence. 

It's difficult to know where he fits best in the medium term- good speed, slow first step, good footwork, good arm.  Maybe you make him into Ben Zobrist- some right-field, some second base, occasional shortstop. 
John Northey - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 10:04 AM EST (#281718) #
A way to look at it is to look at NY.  Jeter has been a negative on defense in all but one season (based on UZR/150), 4 times more than 10 runs to the bad.  Yet his overall WAR was negative just twice (rookie and last year, both under 20 games).  Since 2002 Jeter has been under $10 mil in value just twice, last year and 2011, with 2011 listed at $8.7 mil.  So if Reyes can keep hitting his defense won't be enough of a negative to drag him down and Jeter has shown you can get away with it into your late 30's.  Yes, it might be more optimal to move him to 3B but as long as Lawrie is here it wouldn't make sense.  Far better to invest in strong defense at 2B (thus Goins) and see if they can get a strong arm in LF for balls that get by SS (Sierra would cover that as would Gose...not sure how Pillar's arm is).
Ryan Day - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 12:19 PM EST (#281719) #
In a year or two from now, we may have a different view of Lawrie - maybe he's an all-star, or maybe he's just a guy who plays pretty well but gets hurt a lot. If it's the latter, moving Reyes to third becomes a much easier proposition.
eudaimon - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 12:51 PM EST (#281721) #
Let's not get too carried away here. We're making it seem like Reyes is a terrible defender, but from what I can tell (and from looking at stats) he's just average-mediocre. His range/UZR have definitely declined in the last few years but he's still at a better level than Jeter was even at his prime. (His range/UZR also were a fair bit worse than usual last year, perhaps because of that injury which I think affected him even after his return). Check out his fielding stats on fangraphs, last year he came in at -1.3 total which really isn't that bad (adjusted for position) and then take a look at Jeter's.

Don't get me wrong, I think signing Drew and moving Reyes might be a good move, though I don't think this would happen unless they move Lawrie to 2b (I think Reyes' arm is wasted at 2b and he would be an amazing 3b, while Lawrie's excellent range might theoretically, at least, play better at 2b). It probably won't happen in general either. I'm not sure about Reyes, but I know SS is one of those positions players get attached to, kind of like closer, and it might be easier said than done to move him off there

krose - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 01:07 PM EST (#281722) #
John N Why do you think Jenkins might be released if a front line pitcher is brought in? Why Jenkins?
John Northey - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 01:22 PM EST (#281723) #
I see Jenkins as on the bubble due to how the Jays have used (or not used) him.  He gets 3 starts, does well then is forgotten about despite all the changes in the rotation.  Maybe it was just poor timing or something, but his getting 3 starts while Ortiz & Wang had 10 starts between them seems odd.  He finished as #10 in starts, #14 in innings, but was #6 in ERA.  He had the best ERA of any starter (3.60 vs 4.15 for Buehrle) and was #3 for relievers at 1.96.  Yet he seems ignored and forgotten.  Never trusted in a game the Jays were trailing by less than 2 in, highest leverage being 0.84 in a game he came in with the bases loaded in the 3rd with one out.

Jenkins does deserve more of a shot I'd say, but the Jays braintrust is very scout based and Jenkins doesn't K a lot thus would not be viewed as likely to keep it up.  Heck, even stat based people wouldn't be enthused I'd think (I know I see him as a backup choice not a prime one). A shame as he only does what he needs to do and might be a fine #4 starter or even #3.  Odds are we'll never find out though.
Ryan Day - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 01:41 PM EST (#281724) #
Reyes' post-injury play in 2013 may not be the final word on his mobility. He'll have an entire offseason to work on rehab and strengthening his ankle; I would guess he'll definitely be better than in 2013, but how much better is certainly debatable.
whiterasta80 - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 02:14 PM EST (#281725) #
Funny that the Jays can have Buerhle on the team and dismiss a guy who's upside is Right-Handed Buerhle as quickly as they do Jenkins.

If I was another team he's the arm I'd be targeting as a "throw in" in any deal.
uglyone - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 02:41 PM EST (#281726) #
His upside is not Buehrle.

Age 20

M.Buehrle (A): 98.2ip, 1.23whip, 4.10era
C.Jenkins (--): ---

Age 21

M.Buehrle (MLB): 51.1ip, 1.44whip, 4.21era
M.Buehrle (AA): 118.2ip, 0.94whip, 2.28era
C.Jenkins (--): ---

Age 22

M.Buehrle (MLB): 221.1ip, 1.07whip, 3.29era
C.Jenkins (A+): 62.1ip, 1.46whip, 4.33era
C.Jenkins (A): 79.1ip, 1.26whip, 3.63era

Age 23

M.Buehrle (MLB): 239.0ip, 1.24whip, 3.58era
C.Jenkins (AA): 100.1ip, 1.20whip, 4.13era
C.Jenkins (A+): 67.1ip, 1.26whip, 3.07era

Age 24

M.Buehrle (MLB): 230.1ip, 1.35whip, 4.14era
C.Jenkins (MLB): 32.0ip, 1.34whip, 4.50era
C.Jenkins (AA): 114.1ip, 1.54whip, 4.96era

Age 25

M.Buehrle (MLB): 245.1ip, 1.26whip, 3.89era
C.Jenkins (MLB): 33.1ip, 1.11whip, 2.70era
C.Jenkins (AAA): 21.2ip, 1.71whip, 7.48era
C.Jenkins (AA): 15.0ip, 0.87whip, 1.20era

Chad Jenkins is not good, and some fluky MLB small sample relief totals don't change that. He's been old for every level he's been at, and has been a thoroughly mediocre minor leaguer.

C.Jenkins (MLB, 24-25): 65.1ip, 3.58era, 4.59fip, 4.53xfip
C.Jenkins (AAA, 25-25): 21.2ip, 7.48era, 6.62fip
C.Jenkins (AA, 23-25): 229.2ip, 4.35era, 4.27fip
C.Jenkins (A+, 22-23): 129.2ip, 3.68era, 3.52fip
C.Jenkins (A, 22-22); 79.1ip, 3.63era, 2.94fip

His upside isn't even Jesse Litsch, let alone Buehrle.
Ryan Day - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 03:31 PM EST (#281727) #
"Mark Buehrle's ceiling" isn't a particularly useful term, because I don't think many people thought Buehrle had Buehrle's ceiling. I feel like I've been reading articles about his inevitable collapse for 5 or 10 years now. The guy's been in the majors for 14 years, won 186 games, and has 13 straight years of 200+ innings, but BA never even put him on their top 100 prospects list.

Needless to say, Jenkins' chances of having a career remotely as successful as Buehrle are pretty remote. But I also don't think you can close the books on a pitcher at the age of 25, and the fact he dramatically cut down his walks this year is encouraging.

I wouldn't simply hand him a spot in the rotation, but Chad Jenkins becoming a useful back-end starter would not be one of the top 100 most surprising things to happen to baseball.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 06:00 PM EST (#281728) #
Things that looks the same are not the same. Bananas and Squirrels are living things, but not the same. Men and women are classed as Homo Sapiens, but not the same (species). Baseball stats are baseball stats, but MLB stats are not the same as Minor League stats.

If you are going to compare Jenkins with someone, use someone with a similar career path. Why do prospects look bad in the Minors? Someone time it's because they are. Sometimes they're working on something. Sometime it's because they are bored, not challenged enough. Sometimes it's because they are drafted by Toronto.

In 2012, Jenkins pitched in Toronto: August 07 - September 14 as a Reliever 0-1, 4.91 ERA, 18.1 IP. He made 3 Starts, 23, 28 September and 02 October: 1-2, 3.95 ERA, 13.2 IP. While in the Minors: 5-9, 4.96 ERA, 114.1 IP.
In 2013, he pitched in Toronto: 12, 26 and 31 May as a Starter: 1-0, 3.60 ERA, 15.0 IP. He made 7 appearances as a Reliever after August 23: 0-0, 1.96 ERA, 18.1 IP. While in the Minors: 0-3, 4.54 ERA, 39.2 IP.
How the Jays have treated Jenkins is a disgrace.

He's more effective than others have been, Romero, Laffey, Drabek, Cecil, Happ, Careno, Johnson, Rogers, Wang, Ortiz. Someone forgets how bad the Pitching has been on this Team. To not give Jenkins a long try was foolish. To say he's no good is short-sighted.
eudaimon - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 06:39 PM EST (#281729) #
Are we really pining for more Chad Jenkins? Prospect fetishism has reached new heights. The chances of him becoming a 4-5 starter aren't sub-zero but they're pretty close. Mark Buehrle dominated the minors in his short time there (30 starts) while Jenkins has looked thoroughly mediocre. The most likely explanation for Jenkins' success last season is that no one knew who he was. Once they get a scouting report on him he's toast. Are we really chastizing the team for not having confidence in a guy who in his last full minor league season (age 24) posted an ERA of 4.96 in AA with a 4.5k/9 ratio?
greenfrog - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 06:43 PM EST (#281730) #
Jenkins's career BABIP in the majors is .262. Given that the average BABIP for pitchers is around .290-.300, he can expect to give up more hits going forward. Given that to date he's allowed 8 HR in 65.1 IP and is striking out 4.27 batters per 9 IP, I would expect things to get tougher for him. While his career ERA is 3.58, his career FIP is 4.59.

On the plus side, he's shown good control in his career.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 07:10 PM EST (#281731) #
You are really reaching to say, "The most likely explanation for Jenkin's success last season is that no one knew who he was." That is utter nonsense and you know. Everyone is scouted so heavily these days (because it's so easy to do) that no one is unknown. First Round Picks are never ignored, ask any scout. From the 7th of August in 2012 until the 29th of 2013, Jenkins was ignored. I don't believe that and no one else should.

When Pitching was a disaster in 2012 and 2013, it was an ideal time to try Jenkins out. But now, we'd know if he was a keeper or a prime trade assets. Right now, we don't know if he's good enough to be anything. If I have a choice between Jenkins, Happ, Rogers and Redmond, I'd pick Jenkins first.

It's called waste, this Team does it too much.
greenfrog - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 07:51 PM EST (#281732) #
I think that he is going to be a better hitter in his early 30s than he was in his 20s

I wouldn't bet against Reyes having a few more excellent offensive seasons, but he's been merely very good the last couple of years (OPS of 780 in 2012 and 2013). Apart from his terrific 2011 (144 OPS+), he's had an OPS+ under 120 every year. I would expect him to hit somewhere between 275/330/425 (low end) and 300/360/475 (high end).

With above-average defense at SS, that's a star or superstar. With below-average defense, that's merely a very good one-way player.
cybercavalier - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 08:12 PM EST (#281733) #
@eudaimon so Let's have 3B Reyes, SS Drew and 2B Lawrie in the regular lineup ? Reyes plays part time SS, Lawrie plays part time 3B. Drew plays part time 2B. Then get a backup like Tolleman who can play all those three IF position adequately to cover playing time.
Frankly, for pitching. If Rogers and Redmond are fringy, how about hand them inning limits. As Goins, Pillar and Sierra getting chance in 2013, so shall Jenkins get chances on starting. For the logjam on reliever arms, would trades of Happ and/or a few arms for cash return good value(s) for the Jays ?

Is AA waiting his chance so that the market value of
1) reliever rises high enough to exchange good value ?
2) SP lowers enough to sign one economically
3) 2B lowers enough to sign one economically

Richard S.S. - Friday, December 20 2013 @ 10:55 PM EST (#281734) #
A.A. is at his most dangerous when he's been too quiet for too long.

Of course, he could be enjoying the Christmas season with his family.

Naah, he's too driven to be inactive. I think he's moving to sign a Free Agent Pitcher, while waiting for the Trade Market to develop.

I've noticed the Reliever Market, $5.0 or better for mid to late 30s Pitchers - overpaying the old men. With Tanaka off the Market, GMs are scrambling to fill holes with very limited resources.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 10:46 AM EST (#281735) #
One of my pet peeves about this site is how literally everyone takes comparative statements.

Obviously I know that Jenkins (or anyone actually) isn't likely to have a career even a fraction as good as Buerhle's. I'm not an idiot.

My point was that Jenkins profiles as a workhorse who gets by on finesse and control more than power. Like Buerhle (or, yes Jesse litsch).

And I completely disagree with just dismissing his "fluky" performance to date. I think that you wait until someone stops performing at the major league level no matter the track record.

We got a year and a half out of Gustavo Chacin by doing this. And that is the downside of doing it.

Maybe they hould have dismissed George Brett, or Tom Glavine, or Roberto Clemente. Robinson Cano sure looked like he was going to be more Altuve than Ryne Sandberg. Some people just turn it up in the big.
cybercavalier - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 12:09 PM EST (#281736) #
@whiterasta80 I think your last comment is linked to one of your previous comments.
So to see if some people would have turned it up in the big, bring them up to play in the majors. Other than AA waiting out the market to get good value(s) out of trading these strength, whatever playing time left after counting in IPs from that trio of Dickey, Buerhle and Morrow and mainstay relievers in the pen shall be given to guys like Jenkins (testing his sustainability in MLB starting pitching waters, like Chris Archer), Redmond and Rogers (expanding their workload or defining their reliever roles), McGowan (testing his own capacities, like JD Martin ? but better).

In essence, I am writing a summary of thoughts....
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 12:10 PM EST (#281737) #
This is what I would like to see:

AA trade for Franklin from SEA, giving up someone like Janssen or a couple of lesser but still talented relievers.
- Have Franklin battle Goins/Izturis

AA sign Ubaldo Jimenez or Masahiro Tanaka

This gives the Jays a roster 'on paper' of:
Stroman (I think he's the highest rated of the 5th options)

SS Reyes
CF Rasmus
RF Bautista
1B Encarnacion
DH Lind
LF Cabrera
3B Lawrie
2B Franklin
C Navarro

Realistically, in my opinion, the roster would actually be like this:

Hutchison (a question mark but most likely in my opinion to return ala Marcum after his tommy john)
McGowan/Drabek/Happ (huge question marks for all of them, together can they be a reliable #5?

I believe the Jays only feel they have 2 good SP's that are reliable and do not want to use Stroman, Nolin or Sanchez until they're ready, and even then they can all flop in the AL East.

I wouldn't count on Morrow at all. He's coming back from a rehab of the same injury that finished the careers of Vincente Padilla and other pitchers (Radial nerve issues).

The 'actual' line up has lots of holes in it because Lawrie, Bautista and Lind are definitely likely to be injured or see time on the DL. You better have proper replacements and right now Gibbons doesn't. This doesn't even take into account freak injuries that will happen to other players. I'd like to see a player or two added who can start on most teams but not on the Blue Jays because he's squeezed out until an injury happens.

I also think AA wants to have a rotation, at the end of the season looking something like:

Dickey, Jimenez, Stroman, Nolin, Drabek/Mcgowan with Sanchez in the minors. Buerhle, Morrow, Hutchison I think will be traded for a strong SP or position player in the next 8 months.

People say the Jays never get lucky but they do. They got lucky with Bautista and Encarnacion. It only appears they get unlucky with injuries because I consistently see the Jays constructing rosters that "if all went right," would have a good chance. Part of building a successful team is creating depth and preparing for injuries. I do think AA used to manage like he was playing a video game but the last season opened his eyes to the realities of the game. You can't always go high risk/high reward then call it unlucky when the risk is realized (Johnson returning from injury to pitch in the AL East, Dickey pitching like an ace at the Rogers Centre, etc). To be fair, it's the fans and media calling it an unlucky season but AA knows it was the risk of chasing high reward players on the cheap.

I'd love to see Lind traded or replaced with someone who doesn't take up as many roster spots - he's consistently facing back issues and can't hit lefties. There's a reason why players like him and Matt Joyce aren't high end commodities considering their strong batting skills against RHP.

In addition to a high risk/reward 2B and SP I would like a new broadcast team for Jays games. I particularly enjoyed Matt Devlin's broadcasts in the middle of the season. Buck and Tabler call a game like they think a baseball game should sound like to a viewer, if that makes sense. It's about entertainment with them. I hate that though, I want information, enlightenment and insight. Let the baseball players entertain, don't add icing to it. This is the same reason why, though I love the quality of LA Dodgers games, I can't actually stand Vin Scully because his in game stories are so distracting to the plays actually happening. I like the Red Sox and Rays broadcasts where I'm hearing refreshing commentary, specifics about in game strategy and battles. Player psychology and unspoken rules of the game. I love baseball for that. Buck and Tabby just talk in mostly generic terms "Jon Maddon is looking to get his team to hit the first pitch strike more often," and when they do talk specifics it's usually about the opposing teams players.
Hodgie - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 12:25 PM EST (#281738) #
"Maybe they hould have dismissed George Brett, or Tom Glavine, or Roberto Clemente. Robinson Cano sure looked like he was going to be more Altuve than Ryne Sandberg."

Not sure these are the greatest examples to use when justifying faith in the unsustainable major league performance of a 26 year old pitcher that has been old for a "prospect" at every minor league level he has played. Clemente isn't relevant at all to the discussion and one need only look at the relative performance of Brett, Cano and Glavine and their age at each level to see that they are not appropriate comparisons to Jenkins' less than impressive career arc.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 12:37 PM EST (#281739) #
The Rangers just signed Choo to a seven-year deal. They should have a nice team next year, with a good balance of pitching, offense and defense.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 01:04 PM EST (#281740) #
Choo was the last significant Free Agent non-Pitcher to be signed. Drew headlines what's left, other than the last top Starting Pitchers. Now we see how good A.A. really is.

He doesn't have to acquire the best Pitcher out there as Pitching behind Dickey in the Rotation will make him better. If A.A. isn't heavily active yet, he have a hard time explaining that.

If he's unsuccessful and uses A.A.-speak to talk about term or only valuing someone to a certain price but not beyond, that should get him fired. I like A.A., but there are limits.
cybercavalier - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 01:15 PM EST (#281741) #
@dalimon5 I like how you use this internet space for voicing your opinions; do you type, save things up and post them here once the material are good enough ?

Regarding the Jays' suffering from unluck, I think high risk/high reward and catching lighting in bottles as plans are flawed as they base on players defying performance records and outperforming previous seasons' performances. Obviously they can be used for complementing more prudent plan(s) such as how whiterasta80's describing Rays' management on pitching prospects. In other words, A bunch of players deemed beneficial to these plans play in Buffalo and/or New Hamsphire with prospects like Gose, Goins, Pillar and Sierra who for reasons need to play more in Triple-A. Call this combination "throwing enough balls towards the home plate to get a strikeout or hit a home run."

whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 01:23 PM EST (#281742) #
Hodgie, again with the reading far too much into a simple comment. There are many many examples of players who have outperformed their minor league performance. Yes I chose hall of famers as examples here. Much like I did with Buerhle I am trying to make a point with examples that everyone would recognize. Maybe I should choose a bunch of fringe major leaguers whom nobody has ever heard about so that we can discuss my point rather than nitpick at something that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Jenkins isn't going to the hall of fame, congratulations for recognizing that.

I would also add that Jenkins has shown plus control at every stop in the minors and that seems to have translated to the majors. His performance hasn't looked fluky to me and even if you assume that to be true one can play the "throw them to the wolves" approach and luck into Gustavo Chacin-esque years.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 01:37 PM EST (#281743) #
Basically my point is this. Jenkins has had 6 starts at the major league level and all have been acceptable. There are plenty of explanations other than talent (he's almost always been an emergency starter where the opponent hasn't had an opportunity to scout for example). However any explanation is conjecture. I feel that he's earned the right to pitch until he has a bad start. If he gives us 5 more decent performances I'd extend the rope further.

Incidentally my preference is very clearly to add Garza and Ubaldo, but failing that I feel that Jenkins deserves discussion alongside the Redmond and rogers of the world instead of the Mcguires
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 01:52 PM EST (#281744) #
Cybercavalier, I'm glad you like how I use the internet to VOICE my opinions. I wouldn't use it for anything else on this site. Batter's Box is described as:

* an interactive online magazine of baseball commentary and analysis
* source of daily original insight into Blue Jay major- and minor-league clubs
* peña or marketplace of intelligent and literate discussion about baseball
*a propaganda front for Global Petrochemical & Armaments Corporation.

Unless readers are given a clarification as to who's who behind the user names why on earth would any one of them assume that the posts are anything other than random commentary and analysis of the baseball club? Generally speaking, opinion?

This thread is a speculation one entitled "All I want for Christmas is a player" and described as "Will anything happen between now and the new year? We can use this thread for the drip, drip, drip of the wait." Moreover, your response comes off as anything but an "intelligent and literate discussion" as described on the Batter's Box 'About' Page.

I would suggest you type, save things up, spell check and then preview the material before you post.

Think before you speak, and don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

Merry Christmas
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 02:48 PM EST (#281745) #
Being a Jenkins supporter doesn't mean I want him starting on this Team next season. Far from it, but baring severe injuries he's not Pitching up here for us this year. His opportunity came in 2012 and 2013, and the Team pissed it away. I think he could be a decent 4/5 Starter, maybe a three, or he could be a valuable trade asset. Right now, no one knows for sure what Jenkins could be, and I think that was a waste.

We have J.A. Happ, Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman as Pitchers who can pitch up here now. As such, they have good to great Trade Value. We have Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Steve Delabar and Brett Cecil as late inning/Closer type. As such, they have good to great Trade Value. We have Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Rasmus and Adam Lind as Power Bats (20+ HR). As such, they have good to great Trade Value. We have a lot of prospects with good to great Trade Value (although I don't know who is what). Somehow all this should be enough to acquire one front line quality Starter.

Rogers is a Mega-Corp who is not quite yet a Multi-National. As such, they make Billions of Dollar$. Spending $185.0 MM a year on a huge asset like the Team and Stadium should not be a problem.
Chuck - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 03:43 PM EST (#281746) #
Maybe I should choose a bunch of fringe major leaguers whom nobody has ever heard about so that we can discuss my point

Not that I am terribly invested in the debate you are currently engaging in, but fringe major leaguers are exactly the types of players you should be citing if you want to make a case for Jenkins. Furthermore, why use the qualifier "nobody has ever heard about"? I'd say there's a very good chance that if you cite a player you have heard about, many of us will probably have heard of him too.

eudaimon - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 04:31 PM EST (#281747) #
I definitely don't think we should jettison Jenkins, he might become something yet. I just don't think the Jays did anything wrong by not having that much faith in him thus far based on his track record, and I don't think we should at all plan as if Jenkins might start in the majors next year. He should start at AAA.
cybercavalier - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 05:37 PM EST (#281748) #
@dalimon5 Thank you for letting me know your perspectives on my sentences but let us keep the topic on baseball, as described on the Batter's Box 'About' Page.

Have a good day
Hodgie - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 07:05 PM EST (#281749) #
"There are many many examples of players who have outperformed their minor league performance."

Then might I suggest you use appropriate examples when making a comparison to a prospect that struggled for much of his minor career despite being old for his levels, not HOF talents that either spent their minor league career as the youngest players in their leagues or had no significant minor league experience at all.

"rather than nitpick at something that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. Jenkins isn't going to the hall of fame, congratulations for recognizing that. "

Merry Christmas to you too whiterasta80!

Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 08:15 PM EST (#281750) #
Chances are good, unless A.A. meets a price he's willing to pay, we've had our offseason already. That is A.A.'s biggest problem, unwillingness to take a bigger risk. He has too many Relievers/ Starters without options to fill available spots, so he'll do something there. This offseason determines whether attendance and TV viewership may decrease if A.A. doesn't do something very significant.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 21 2013 @ 09:51 PM EST (#281751) #
So, on paper, which teams are currently the best in the AL? Maybe something like:



The next tier:



Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 12:28 AM EST (#281752) #
Elite: Detroit, Texas (I agree).
Next Level: Oakland (never elite, just very good), Tampa Bay (fits this high only if they don't trade Price).
Third Level: Boston (everything going right for two years in a row?), LAA ,maybe Toronto, NYY.
Fourth Level: KC, Baltimore, Cleveland.
Basement: Seattle, Minnesota, Chicago and Houston.

That's how I'd rank those Teams.

Boston had almost everything exceed expectations. That's never happening twice in a row. Without Price I don't think Tampa will be good enough, not enough experience. NYY has major health issues as an ongoing problem. I don 't think they are young enough or good enough to be good enough. Baltimore almost never hits well and pitches well at the same time consistently. Toronto has it 's best chance this year, whether or not A.A. does enough to make a true difference.
Sal - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 10:13 AM EST (#281753) #
"That is A.A.'s biggest problem, unwillingness to take a bigger risk"

So, you think AA took no big risks with last year's big trades? and you think he took no risks when he signed Bautista and Encarnacion after one good year only each?

Unless you mean dumb risks (eg Cano, Fielder, Pujols, Hamilton type signings), then your claim has no grounds.
John Northey - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 12:22 PM EST (#281754) #
Yeah, last winter was all about risk and he came up craps but such is life sometimes.  I remember in the 80's when people complained all the time about 'stand Pat' Gillick for not doing more until the big trades pre-1991 season.  Of course, that team built up via the farm over a long stretch without trying to jump start it unlike the Jays post-Gillick who seem to go 2 or 3 years then go nutty on free agents or trading for expensive players and flop.  1977 saw some jump start attempts (otherwise Ron Guidry would've been a Jay) then from 78 to pre-84 it was all about building with the biggest move really being the trade of Alfredo Griffin (fan favorite) and Dave Collins (solid speedster in LF) for Bill Caudill (closer which the team was in need of then...there was talk of moving Dave Stieb to the pen in desperation).  Funny how it was kids who did the trick though (Fernandez, Barfield both playing everyday for the first time, Henke taking over as closer, Key an All-Star in his first year starting).

The lesson?  You need your kids to come up and perform. Instead we've been seeing them traded while vets get shots.  Tough call though, as if those kids aren't ready or not capable then it won't work anyways. Right now only Lawrie, Lind, and Goins reached the majors as a Jay and Gose/Sierra/Pillar don't appear ready to take over in the OF.  The pen has home grown talent (Janssen, Cecil, Loup for example) but the rotation is barren (Jenkins 3 starts was the most for anyone who reached the majors as a Jay).  We need so see a few come up and succeed for this team to win but Lind right now is the best home grown talent on the club (Lawrie wouldn't fully count as he was developed by Milwaukee).

bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 12:29 PM EST (#281755) #
A bit early, but Merry Christmas everyone.

Greenfrog, If I had made a list such as you did, I can almost guarantee that at the end of the season at the very most only 2 of my ELITE selections would still be there. I feel quite confident in assessing my ability to pick 60-80% inaccurate. I cannot figure it out but but there must be some kind of formula I can use for the 2 of 5 advantage.

bpoz - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 12:42 PM EST (#281756) #
To add something to John N's comment.

Gillick was looking for something. I am not sure what exactly.

1) He got a lot out of the Rule 5.
2) After 1 good season quite a few players were traded for a low level prospect. Pete Vukavich for Rick Bosseti. Dale Murra y or Tommy Under... for Fred McGriff & whomever.

He knew something because he also succeeded in other cities. Seattle, Philly and maybe Baltimore.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 01:02 PM EST (#281757) #
When you read, do you consider the 'when' that's being discussed.

The Bautista deal is a fair deal at the time. Even if Jose was only a 25 HR, 80 RBI guy the rest of his career. The risk was minimal, with the biggest risk being in not signing him. The Encarnacion deal was even less of a risk. When A.A. saw the hitting changes Edwin had made, he thought he would be getting a 20 HR, 70 RBI corner infielder. That was not a risk just good business. Power hitters are rare, especially now. With 30 teams, at least 13 hitters per Team, or that's 390 hitters, only 70 hit 20 or more HR. That's less the 2.34 per team. Toronto had 5. Arencibia tied 53rd with 21; Rasmus tied 44th with 22; Lind tied at 37th with 23; Bautista at 17th with 28 and Encarnacion tied 3rd with 36.

Signing Jose and Edwin weren't risks. Not signing them was.

The 2012 offseason was a windfall/ lottery win. Everyone said so, and I won't believe anyone who says they didn't. Acquiring Reyes, Buehrle, John Buck and $8.5 Million was a big win for A.A. Johnson and Bonifacio weren't. Trading Buck and his salary covered the cost of the Dickey acquisition. I consider that trade a win for A.A. Were they risky? Yes. Should the risks be taken? yes.

Being a great GM is making decisions and always being right, but surviving your mistakes. A.A. is not there yet.

"Unwillingness to take a bigger risk" is the key phrase.
Will he acquire a front-line Pitcher in trade knowing he's giving up too much. That's the biggest risk. Needing to sign a front-line Free Agent Starter and meeting the exorbitant demands. That's the biggest risk.

That's the biggest risk, knowing the deal was bad to start with, but needing to make it anyway for short term gain.

Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols were stupid signings. Indicators of decline were glaringly obvious. Prince Fielder contract was unwise but not a mistake. He's a huge power bat, and there's a shortage. If he gets you to the World Series, it's worth it. The Robinson Cano contract is immaterial. It makes Seattle relevant again at a time they needed not to be.

Despite all the nay-sayers, Toronto was relevant and significant last offseason. They could get there again, just acquiring/signing a front-line Starter.
Sal - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 05:42 PM EST (#281758) #
That's just pure hindsight. Signing Bautista was a big risk at the time. There were many who were upset with that signing as it was not clear if Bautista was a one-year wonder or not. Encarnacion was a smaller risk because he got a smaller dealer.

Also, in hindsight, you claim that Hamilton's and Pujol's contracts were stupid and Fielder's is not. Had Fielder performed terribly last year would you still claim that Fielder's contract is not stupid? Would you still maintain that claim if Fielder starts declining this year or next year?

You keep asking for a front line starter. Last year we traded for Dickey who was supposed to be the ace you keep asking for, and the numbers supported the notion that he probably was indeed an ace, but it was never a sure thing and it has not workout as we hoped .. so far. We also got a #2 or #3 start in Josh Johnson, and that did not work out too well either. We added $50M-$60M/year to the payroll and parted with a few top prospects in the process. If all of that is "not taking big risks", I don't know what is.

John Northey - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 06:39 PM EST (#281759) #
With trades there are two measures - how did it look at the time and how did it end up in the end?  A classic...
  • Doyle Alexander to the Tigers for John Smoltz - classic win now trade, worked for Detroit as it got them to the playoffs (the Tigers won all 11 of Alexander's starts, made the playoffs on the last day of the season) and worked beautifully for Atlanta obviously. The Tigers I'm sure wish they picked a different minor leaguer to send in the deal, but Smoltz was a 20 year old in AA with a 5.68 ERA 5.6 BB/9 vs 6.0 K/9 and 1.2 HR/9 so other than being very young for the level he showed little of what he'd become. Full marks to Atlanta's scouts (and Bobby Cox who did the deal) there.

For the ones mentioned...

  • Bautista appeared to be a failed prospect - in the 90's for OPS+, mediocre (at best) defense at 3B for the Jays 'catcher of the future' Robinzon Diaz who never became anything. The big contract was a risk, but iirc he just needed one more good year (120's OPS+) and then to be a utility guy to make it break even (what he was before). Obviously it worked out extremely well.
  • Encarnacion was forced on the Jays in the Rolen trade (the Jays seemed to want Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart a lot more while Encarnacion was a 'eat the contract' deal).  The big risk of sending him to Oakland who released him shortly after and he resigned here was the move of genius as it gave him the kick he needed to move from slacker to working hard. Again, risky signing but again one solid year pays off almost all of it and they got that already.
  • Hamilton looked bad at the time due to a mix of age, injury, and history. A contract that hits $32 mil a year at the end when he is 35 and 36 is just nuts and seemed so at the time.
  • Pujols...that was a 'wow'. He had his first year of decline from superstar at 31 then he signed that crazy deal that sees him getting $30 mil at age 41.  10 years from 32 to 41...for a 1B who was showing first signs of slowing down? Really?  I thought a 5 year deal would've made sense but 10 was insane
  • Fielder...see above but to a lesser degree.  At 28 he was young for a free agent, so a 5-7 year deal could work.  But 9 years again leads to issues.

The big issue is length. Dickey for 3 plus an option isn't a big risk. Bautista & Encarnacion for the years they got weren't killer risks as the dollars weren't payroll killers. But 9 year deals are so incredibly risky that I find it astounding teams sign them let along for well over $20 mil a year.  Lets check some of the best the Jays ever had and what would've happened if they were signed to a Fielder type deal (age 28 to 36 thus the safest range of all those deals I list as crazy)...

  • Roberto Alomar: the Jays could've done this as he was a free agent pre-age 28. For ages 28 to 33 (6 years) it would've been wonderful (129 OPS+ with just one year under 650 PA) but from 34-36 it got ugly (85 OPS+) and he retired. Imagine if he was making $7-8 mil a year here at that point (a high salary for the era).
  • Dave Stieb: coming off his ERA title in 1985 it would've covered up to 1 year after he retired.  5 good years in the middle but the final 3 would've been a write off (as they were in real life after Gillick tore up a 'lifetime deal' that paid him under $2 mil a year and gave him a $3 mil a year deal ... not one of Gillicks smarter moves).
  • George Bell: coming off his MVP performance ... age 28 to 33 saw a 103 OPS+ and very poor defense then retirement. 3 years with a sub 100 OPS+. Boy that would've been bad eh?
  • Joe Carter: at 28 he was in Cleveland 36 he was still being used everyday for some reason (it was his 2nd year with a sub 100 OPS+ and his OPS was slg heavy).
  • Carlos Delgado: this would've worked, just one year sub 128 for OPS+ (2nd last year of the stretch). Was still hitting well when hurt in Mets land (142 OPS+ then career over). The last 5 years though were all below 3 WAR though due to defense.
  • Roy Halladay: Last year was his age 36 season. This stretch covers his 2nd Cy and 2 2nd place finishes. The last 2 years though were write offs with a total WAR over those 2 years of zero.

So what do you see? That guys rarely last to age 36 and beyond. We all remember the odd cases such as Paul Molitor who last into their 40's but forget how many guys don't come close.  The Jays outfield of the 80's were all done well before age 36.  But Alomar, Stieb and Halladay were done at 36, Delgado at 37, Carter hung around to 38 but was done at 34 (negative WAR each year after that).  Signing guys beyond that is just asking for headaches.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 08:12 PM EST (#281760) #
Nonsense, A.A. liked enough if his defense in right and hoped his offense would be better than 25 and 80 he figured to get as full time RF. And if I remember correctly 25 and 80 and good defense was worth $12.5 - $15.0 MM back then. Risk is in every second of every day in everything you do and are. Some people see risk where others do not. That's just life and everything.

Hamilton was showing an obvious decline that even I noticed when he was signed. Pujols was starting to miss playing time and had experienced a drop in numbers that should have been noticed. People think FAT Ballplayers are a big risk. Both Players were over 31 when their contracts were signed. Was that stupid or just grossly unwise?

Prince Fielder was 27 when his contract was signed. So for the next six years he should give good value. Then last three years, might be a problem. That's a risk, but not an unreasonable deal.

R.A. Dickey is a front-line Starter, even Doc had off years. I consider him a front-line Starter even if no one else will. As for the rest, Risk is contingent on need. People judge others (always) by how they see themselves. If nothing A.A. does is acceptable to you, you'll never be as objective as you should be. Why? Because that's how people are.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 08:27 PM EST (#281761) #
Has anyone noticed how long it 's been since A.A. has said anything? I think 7-8 days, but it could be more. I think the closer you get to January 1, the closer it gets to Rosters being set. Trades become harder then. I think the rush on Starters commences soon - someone's patience will give out.
John Northey - Sunday, December 22 2013 @ 10:00 PM EST (#281762) #
Depends on lots of factors as to timing.  Recent Jay history for January to March transactions...








Interesting.  So big deals don't happen often even when the Jays were in contention but sometimes key decisions do get made that might be regretted later along with many minor free agent signings.  This year the big thing is that Seattle has 2 extra second basemen, there are a few really good free agent pitchers out there, and Tanaka is still floating around.  So potential for big moves in the 2 key areas left for the Jays.
greenfrog - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 12:27 AM EST (#281763) #
A lot of talent is getting pumped into the AL East and AL West this off-season. I like that AA isn't making any big dumb decisions, but it does feel as if some opportunities are passing the team by.

There are a few players on that list that I would have liked to see the Jays add (of the realistically-priced ones, Kazmir might have been the best get, even with the attendant risks). There are still a few big names out there that might be worth chasing down (notably, Drew, Burnett, Tanaka, maybe Jimenez). Obviously Tanaka will get a huge contract if posted and will almost certainly end up somewhere other than Toronto.
BlueJayWay - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 07:13 AM EST (#281764) #
A lot of talent is getting pumped into the AL East and AL West this off-season. I like that AA isn't making any big dumb decisions, but it does feel as if some opportunities are passing the team by.

The AL East has indeed signed a lot of the top guys, but four of them (Ellsbury, Kuroda, Napoli, and Loney) have all stayed in-division from last year. Plus, Robinson Cano has left the division, along with some other guys like Granderson. It doesn't really seem like the overal talent level has changed, imo.
greenfrog - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 08:33 AM EST (#281765) #
Those players have stayed within the division, but the Yankees have also added McCann and Beltran from the NL. The AL West has added Cano, Choo, Kazmir and Feldman from outside of the division.

The net gain to the AL East and AL West is significant, although it the AL West is arguably where more of the action has been this off-season. There are still some top-50 FAs that could end up in those two divisions. I guess we'll have to see how it all plays out in the end. Who knows, the Jays might even sign someone like Jimenez.
John Northey - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 08:53 AM EST (#281766) #
The Yankees are interesting... spending a lot on Beltran is risky as he is entering his age 37 season and while his last 3 years were very good (140+ games played each year, 128+ OPS+)  one wonders how long it can continue.  A 3 year deal might be 2 years more than ideal...lets hope. McCann we wanted here as he is in his prime years (tail end - 30 years old this year) but did have an 87 OPS+ just in 2012 so we can hope he ends up being a mistake.  Sadly odds are both will be solid for 2014 and drastically help in 2 of their big holes (CA had a sOPS+ of 70 last year, LF/RF/DH were also messes all below 90 sOPS+) even if they perform at the bottom end of expectations.
JB21 - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 11:08 AM EST (#281767) #
The Yankees did fill two of their major holes but they created another at 2B, which IMO will be tough to fill. Their rotation definitely has question marks, as does 1B, SS, 3B.

As for All I Want for Christmas... Ryan Franklin & Masahiro Tanaka. Is that too much to ask? If so... then I will settle for just Ryan Franklin.

Can we compete with this lineup? I think so.

SS - Reyes
CF - Rasmus
RF - Bautista
1B - Encarnacion
DH - Lind
3B - Lawrie
2B - Franklin
C - Navarro
LF - Cabrera

BC - Kratz
BOF - Pillar
BIF - Izturis
BRH - Sierra

SP - Dickie
SP - Tanaka
SP - Buehrle
SP - Morrow
SP - McGowan/Redman

RP - Santos
RP - Delabar
RP - Cecil
RP - Loup
RP - Wagner
RP - Jeffress
RP - Rogers/Redman

Janssen/Happ traded in the Franklin trade, if McGowan is healthy he starts in the rot, if not, Redman until one of the young studs are ready. Tanaka obviously just costs money.

AAA Rot - Hutch, Stro, Drabek, Romero, Nolin
AA Rot - Jenkins, McGuire, etc.

Merry Christmas yall!
John Northey - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 11:14 AM EST (#281768) #
I think it'll be interesting if Tanaka does get posted. I suspect if so he will be looking for a shorter contract with a guarantee of free agency ASAP.  I could see AA doing a 3 year deal net value of $50 mill ($20 to old club, $30 to Tanaka) letting him go as a free agent after just 3 years.  Risky, but not a killer risk while letting Tanaka get a shot at $100+ mil contract as soon as possible.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 11:35 AM EST (#281769) #
How is Nick Franklin and his sub-average defense, his .225 AVG, ,303 OBP, .382 SLG with 113 SO in 369 ABs that much better than the incumbent? We could have kept Kelly Johnson if we wanted a below average 2B who can't hit and strikes out a lot. I think he can get better offensively, but Goins is already much better defensively than he ever could be. I'd like Dustin Ackley as 2B if possible, even though unlikely.

John Northey - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 01:31 PM EST (#281770) #
Franklin has been a top 100 prospect 2 of the past 3 years for both BA and  His minor league batting line is 287/360/459 and reached the majors at 22 last year.

Goins has never been a top 100 prospect, at 25 reached the majors, lifetime 273/330/376.  His best stats are 289/342/404 - so his best ever for OBP and Slg are far below Franklin's average year and his batting average peak is barely better. 

Franklin's defense by UZR/150 was just -9.6 vs the impossibly good 33.1 that Goins had.  Not sure how scouts rank them as neither reached 1000 innings and normally you don't put a ton of trust into 1 year fielding stats. 

3 years in age is a big spread.  The offensive side is a blowout for Franklin.  Defense a blowout for Goins.  Ideally you'd get Franklin as the everyday guy at 2B and have Goins as backup, assuming the minor league track record for Franklin is more indicative of his ability than what he did in the majors last year (225/303/382)
PeterG - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 03:42 PM EST (#281771) #
well u have a player....Brent Morel (3b) claimed off waivers from White Sox....
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 04:17 PM EST (#281772) #
Okay, thanks John. In that case, Franklin looks like a decent acquisition for two out of option pitchers (of the type we have too much of).

I looked a Brent Morel's Game Logs. He looks to have an option left. He was called up late in 2010 to Major League. He stayed up all of 2011. He started the Season in MLB in 2012, only to be sent down early then not returning that year. That's only one option isn't it? He was a brief mid-season call-up in 2013 before going down and being placed on waivers. That seems to be only his second option used.

I have no idea why he's claimed, if not for Buffalo. Any ideas?
John Northey - Monday, December 23 2013 @ 11:43 PM EST (#281773) #
He would be the same as any other waiver claim AA has made in the past - claim him, hold for a bit, then try to sneak off the 40 man for extra depth.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 12:51 AM EST (#281774) #
a little Xmas pick me up for all the downtrodden Jays fans.

there's two available projection systems at the moment, STEAMER and OLIVER and here's how they project the Jays, Sox, and Yanks current rosters this year - OPS and ERA.

SS Reyes .774/.799 ---------- CF Victorino .763/.772 ---------- CF Ellsbury .751/.733
LF Cabrera .762/.761 --------- RF Nava .766/.761 --------------- RF Gardner .724/.725
RF Bautista .895/.877 -------- 2B Pedroia .793/.753 ----------- LF Beltran .813/.810
DH En'cion .870/.912 -------- DH Ortiz .887/.895 --------------- C McCann .786/.833
1B Lind .794/.784 ------------- 1B Napoli .807/.813 ------------- 1B Texeira .806/.781
3B Lawrie .788/.795 --------- 3B M'brooks .771/.766 ---------- 3B Rodriguez .735/.686
CF Rasmus .771/.770 -------- LF Gomes .768/.764 ------------- DH Soriano .727/.706
C Navarro .719/.761 --------- C Pierzynski .705/.719 ----------- SS Jeter .715/.646
2B Izturis .672/.656 ---------- SS Bogaerts .738/.787 ----------- 2B K.Johnson .703/.731

UT Sierra .695/.668 ----------- UT Carp .769/.769 --------------- UT Wells .671/.654
OF Pillar .690/.673 ------------ OF Bradley .738/.752 ----------- OF Suzuki .683/.644
IF Goins .619/.615 ------------ IF Holt .690/.685 ----------------- IF Nunez .670/.661
C Kratz .706/.718 ------------- C Ross .684/.651 ----------------- C Cervelli .669/.687

SP Dickey 4.20/3.91 ---------- SP Peavy 3.84/3.73 ------------- SP Sabathia 3.84/3.74
SP Morrow 4.22/4.10 --------- SP Lester 3.90/3.93 ------------ SP Kuroda 3.92/3.74
SP Buehrle 4.56/4.13 --------- SP Lackey 3.82/4.26 ----------- SP Nova 3.99/3.95
SP Happ 4.56/4.49 ------------ SP Buchholz 4.13/3.52 -------- SP Phelps 4.35/4.20
SP Rogers 4.60/4.61 ---------- SP Doubront 4.13/4.27 -------- SP Warren 4.35/4.39
RP Hutchison 3.44/4.22 ----- SP Workman 3.87/4.76 -------- SP Pineda 3.93/3.97
SP Redmond 4.27/4.57 ------ SP Dempster 3.90/4.39 -------- SP Nuno 4.38/3.93
SP Nolin 4.48/4.95 ----------- SP Webster 4.58/5.04 ---------- SP Huff 4.01/4.84

RP Janssen 3.36/2.87 -------- RP Uehara 2.18/2.39 ----------- RP Robertson 2.88/2.98
RP Santos 3.11/3.43 --------- RP Tazawa 3.17/3.74 ----------- RP Kelley 3.32/3.58
RP Cecil 3.36/3.87 ----------- RP Miller 3.29/4.04 -------------- RP Claiborne 3.92/3.96
RP Delabar 3.42/3.84 ------- RP Mujica 3.75/3.44 ------------ RP Cabral 3.94/4.66
RP Wagner 3.54/3.84 ------- RP Badenhop 3.91/3.73 -------- RP Betances 4.05/5.23
RP Loup 3.56/3.86 ----------- RP DelaRosa 3.93/4.81 --------- RP Turley 4.23/5.55
RP McGowan 3.68/4.12 ---- RP Breslow 4.06/3.72 ----------- RP Banuelos 4.38/4.91
RP Perez 3.69/3.85 ---------- RP Villareal 4.05/4.84 ---------- RP Greene 4.20/5.75
RP Jeffress 3.94/4.49 ------- RP Wilson 4.09/4.26 ------------ RP Campos 4.25/4.78
RP Drabek 4.02/5.36 -------- RP Wright 4.58/5.16 ------------ RP Ramirez 5.02/6.01

Just get me Tanaka for christmas, Alex.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 06:57 AM EST (#281775) #
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a great 2014 to all Bauxites. I hope we have a lot of Jays victories to read and write about next season !
PeterG - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 09:26 AM EST (#281776) #
I think Morel was claimed to be available in case of a Lawrie injury....probably will be given a shot in spring training to be rhb off bench although at this time Sierra is leading candidate....
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 12:19 PM EST (#281777) #
Munenori Kawasaki has signed a minor league deal with the Jays. I'm actually glad to have him back, mainly because I don't trust Reyes to stay healthy all season and I never want to see Izturis play short-stop. At least Kawasaki can play defense and draw some walks.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 12:39 PM EST (#281778) #
Interesting chart uglyone. The Jays starting pitching lags behind the other two while the Jays offense is on par with Boston but the Yankees still have a ways to go.

Based on these numbers Boston wins with the Jays and Yankees behind.
eudaimon - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 01:37 PM EST (#281779) #
I'm happy Muney is back as well. One part is his play on the field - good defence at key positions, decent (and long) at bats and some steals. The other is that he seems to give energy to the team. I read a report a while back that Lind was on the trade block partly because his attitude didn't fit with the team's vision. Lind seems like a quiet, perhaps dispassionate type while Munenori is the opposite.

He'd be an ideal backup INF, a better option than, say Jamey Carroll. If I had to choose I would also prefer him over Goins as a starter at 2b as well, perhaps in a sort of Platoon with Izturis (Kawasaki being seemingly weak against lefties, Izturis having fairly neutral splits and likely rebounding a bit from last year).

It seems that AA definitely has "intangibles" in mind when it comes to signings (DeRosa, Vizquel, maybe Blanco?), which kind of go against the notion that he's a "fantasy baseball" style GM.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 03:15 PM EST (#281780) #
Other than the apparent pitching issues this Team has, the other half of the Team has many fewer issues.

Adam Lind is at 1B as Edwin prefers to D.H. They have Moises Sierra learning to play 1B in Winter Ball. Moises is out of options, so unless traded he makes this team as 4th OF. Chances are next to nonexistent that A.A. makes any change here.

Ryan Goins plays very good defense on turf while Maicer Izturis doesn't. I'm comfortable with Goins at 2B and think he'll learn to hit well enough. I'm also very sure most people disagree here. As we might not have any choice, it doesn't matter.

Maicer Izturis eventually became decent on turf, but took almost as long to hit a little better. A.A. could buy him out, but that indicates he's made a mistake. That's why Maicer will stay.

It matters little as to whom the 2nd Catcher will be. As long as he can catch Dickey, I'm satisfied.

The 25th Man on the Roster, 4th on the Bench is the key acqusition for this Team, hopefully a big bat. Why? A.A. has too much tendency to form a Bench on the cheap, not realizing the value of better quality there. This bench will scare no one.
Parker - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 06:27 PM EST (#281781) #
I'm elated that Kawasaki is coming back and I hope he gets to spend the whole season on the 25-man roster, because I love his approach at the plate and I think his infectious energy and positive vibe could really help a team that last season seemed like it was just going through the motions. On top of that, he's not completely lost in the field; he's a more-than-competent backup middle infielder who seems happy with the role he's been assigned.

Merry Christmas (or non-denominational happy holidays) to everyone at the Box!
CeeBee - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 06:58 PM EST (#281782) #
Looks like Tanaka will be posted.
Time for Alex to get busy! Well, after Xmas anyway.
And Merry Xmas and best of the holidays to all here on Da Box, the best Blue Jays site on the web! :)
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 07:15 PM EST (#281783) #
Kawasaki being resigned is a true Christmas gift to many of us.

Speaking of Christmas -

Mylegacy wishes all his Box brethren and sisterens the very best of the season to you all and your assorted wives, children, bits-on-the-side, what-evers and etc. May you all find true Joy and be filled with the true spirit of the season - which I believe to be - Scotch - single malt of course!

And a very Happy New Year to the lot of you as well!

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 07:52 PM EST (#281784) #
I wish all a restful (not if you have kids) and Merry Christmas (New Years wishes can wait). Drive carefully because others may not.
TimberLee - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 08:23 PM EST (#281785) #

Best wishes for a happy Christmas or whatever else you may be celebrating to all the contributors and commenters on this site which has brought me considerable enjoyment throughout the past year.

 Imagine how much more enjoyable it will all be if Our Team has a successful 2014 season.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 24 2013 @ 10:06 PM EST (#281786) #
Our power returned late this afternoon.  Good job, Santa- you can bat cleanup in my batting order anytime...As a great songwriter once wrote, you don't know what you've got til its gone.
pooks137 - Wednesday, December 25 2013 @ 01:07 AM EST (#281787) #
Adam Lind is at 1B as Edwin prefers to D.H.

I found this assertion interesting Richard.  Has Edwin openly expressed a preference to DH over playing 1st?  I don't recall any such public statement, though I may have  missed  it.

I seem to recall that many players, especially younger ones, do not like to DH as it limits their role on the team and value (and salary).  I also seem to recall it being demonstrated that players whom can play the field perform better offensively when they field a position than when they DH, as the long periods of  inactivity between at bats seems to affect some of them.

I know Edwin's offense did improve when he was relieved of  having  to play third full-time.  I see that Lind and EE seemed to split 1B duties almost equally last year, and both are considered below average fielders, with metrics giving an advantage to Lind.  Edwin's splits seem to be unchanged whether he fields 1B or plays as a DH as well.

Likely a negligible difference, but the current 50/50 split seemed to work well.  Although, I would try to do whatever makes EE happy, as he would seem to have a greater role on the team beyond 2014.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, December 25 2013 @ 01:24 AM EST (#281788) #
As a great songwriter once wrote, you don't know what you've got til it's gone. Nice one, Mike Green. It's shaping up as a long cold winter for Jays fans, but we can always hope 2014 proves to be a Cinderella season.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 25 2013 @ 11:05 AM EST (#281790) #
If you can't listen to it live, Podcasts are available for most things. The Roger's Radio App or TSN Radio covers a lot of stuff. Learning to read helps. If I can see or hear something so can someone else.

Any entries on this site I'm forced to use my iPhone, because the site on my computer won't post comments. So providing information access for the lazy is no longer a capability.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 25 2013 @ 11:05 AM EST (#281791) #
How about career years.

I think EE may qualify for 2012 & 2013. Both years 500+ ABs. The only guy to do it in 2013. Also very good numbers both seasons.

Pitching? None for SPs. Dickey & Buehrle were good. 200+IP.

Maybe more of our Good hitters get 500+ ABS. Somehow Morrow & Romero get 200+IP, they have done it before but not often.

Quite often/sometimes you acquire a good player and you get little value. JJ had 16 starts for the Jays 6 very good & 7 very bad IMO. So IMO he had a bad season. It happens.

I hope for a lot of good in 2014.

Merry Christmas.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 08:41 AM EST (#281796) #
AA and Beeston won't offer Tanaka more than five years.

So in other words, he won't be coming to Toronto.
John Northey - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 11:22 AM EST (#281797) #
Actually, Tanaka might try for a short term deal so he can hit free agency quicker and get a mega payday.  I could see him going for a 3 year deal with the net cost to a club being $60 million ($20 to his old club, $40 to him) so he has a shot at a massive deal after proving he can pitch here (making it a clause that he is released after 3 years and made available in free agency to all clubs - this has been done before).  That way he could potentially pull in $25-30 mil a year over 7 years and not have to worry about payments back to his old club.  I could see him doing a percentage deal with them on whatever deal he signs, thus making a short term deal easily in his best interests.
Oceanbound - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 11:45 AM EST (#281798) #
I don't get it, John. Tanaka is essentially a free agent now, and he's got a good chance of getting a $100m contract. He's getting paid, and he doesn't need to wait for it.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 12:04 PM EST (#281799) #
A couple of years ago, Texas paid approximately 6/$120M for Darvish's age 25-30 seasons. It seems reasonable to expect a team to bid a similar amount (if not more) for Tanaka's age 25-30 seasons. Perhaps a $20M posting fee plus a 6/$120M contract (total investment: $140M)?
Parker - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 12:45 PM EST (#281800) #
You guys unfeatured the wrong post.

I guess I'll just come back when an "ignore user" feature is added to the forum.
Beyonder - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 01:03 PM EST (#281802) #
Agree totally with Parker.
JB21 - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 01:45 PM EST (#281803) #
I also agree. I´m going to assume it was an accident as I don´t believe such things as the "featured" comments is actively used as pretty much 99% of the comments are "featured". It seems like something we should get rid of (along with Ricky and the old jerseys on the banner).
ayjackson - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 04:20 PM EST (#281804) #
I think most already ignore RSS. But I imagine the post was unfeatured due to the profanity.
Parker - Thursday, December 26 2013 @ 04:59 PM EST (#281805) #
Hey, I self-censored the profanity. There was a TV show not too long ago that featured the same word in its title (including asterisk). My post might not have contributed much though; I'll allow that much.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 09:02 AM EST (#281806) #
Tanaka would be foolish to not cash in for as many years and as much money as he possibly can (I'm guessing six years is all but guaranteed). I want the Jays to sign Tanaka, but they won't even be in the conversation unless they bend on the five year policy. Don't get me wrong, I think he is a potential injury risk and despite Darvish panning out and Kuroda excelling in the AL East, Japanese pitchers in general are still a huge gamble, but it is the type of risk the Jays need to take and hit a home run with in order to take the next step.

Regardless, I've already conditioned myself to expect the team to stand pat. Best case is probably someone like Ubaldo if his market dries up, but outside of that I'm not expecting anything.
Thomas - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 10:22 AM EST (#281807) #

I agree that I think it's extremely likely Tanaka goes for as long of a deal as he can right now. If you're a pitcher, I don't see why you'd gamble with the risk an injury that ends or limits your career for the chance to make a few more million dollars. As noted, it's not like Tanaka would get less than 6 years or an AAV of below $15 million per. He'll still hit free agency in his early 30's and, if he's been a success, he'll get another pay day. If his skills don't translate to the majors or he suffers an injury, he'll still have made something close to $100 million.

I don't see a compelling reason at all to gamble on a short contract.

Thomas - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 10:35 AM EST (#281808) #

Zips projections for the Seattle Mariners have been posted. Nick Franklin is projected to hit .248/.321/.400 and that's playing half of his games in Safeco. He's projected to post 3.2 WAR.

His number one comparable is Jay Bell. I haven't had the time to look into whether Bell is actually a strong comp or is just the player that the formula generated, but everything about Franklin suggests this is the exact sort of player the Jays should be trying to acquire to fill that 2B hole.

Chuck - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 11:41 AM EST (#281809) #
everything about Franklin suggests this is the exact sort of player the Jays should be trying to acquire to fill that 2B hole

The Mariners are in an odd situation where they have two second basemen they have no use for. You'd think being able to pry one of them loose should be halfway doable.

Mylegacy - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 11:59 AM EST (#281810) #
Those of you getting into bouts of wild excitement about Tanaka can just go get a cold shower. The Jays will NEVER even have a CHANCE of getting any Japanese player WORTH HAVING.

(As I understand it) the Max you can "offer to pay" for the "rights" is 20 million. Lets say five teams each "put up an offer of 20 million" (pretend the Jays were one of those) Tanaka then negotiates with the five teams and finally the Yankees, or Dodgers or Texas offer the guy a 10 year 10 Gazilliondollar contract. (The team, from among the five which Tanaka signs with pays the 20 million to his former Japanese team and then pays Tanaka whatever was negotiated with his agents - the other four teams get their 20 million dollar bond back - assuming they even have to "post" a bond - MLB might just "trust" that if successful they will pay the dough) - NOW PRETEND - for the sake of humour - that the Jays have matched the 20 million dollar "posting" offer AND have matched the Dodgers several Gazilliondollar offer (what the heck - lets pretend the Jays beat the offer by a few million) there is NO CHANCE - ZERO - NADA that a Japanese  STAR player leaving Japan to go to the "USofA" will then says - "WTF, I'm not goin' to the Dodgers, or Boston, or NY or Texas - I wanna go to that great US city - Toronto, CANADA.

NEVER, EVER gonna happen - unless the Jays seriously overbid the other four teams (in the example I'm using) - and we KNOW - that ain't never, no-how, ever, gonna' happen. IF you were a STAR Japanese player would you seriously consider going to "America" so you could end up in "Canada"?

Never gonna happen - under this new system where the Jays don't have an "exclusive" right to negotiate with the Japanese player.

CeeBee - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 12:06 PM EST (#281811) #
Thanks Mylegacy. I really needed that cold shower. hmmm, maybe I'll just go in the hot tub and get my hopes back up :)
uglyone - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 12:29 PM EST (#281812) #
Tanaka will go to the highest bidder, period.

If the Jays want to be the highest bidder, they can be.

and they were willing to pay a 33yr old Buehrle and a 30yr old Reyes near $20m per year each for 3+ years, for the record.
greenfrog - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 12:33 PM EST (#281813) #
Time to start singing, "We don't need a Masahiro / We don't need to find our way home"?

The Jays' best shot at a Japanese star was Darvish. Many of us wore ourselves out clamouring for him during the posting period. But let's not reopen that debate. The Jays chose a different strategy, and that strategy has so far failed (while the Rangers have been very good every year with Yu). Fine. Time to move on.
uglyone - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 12:36 PM EST (#281814) #
If we had a legit shot with Darvish, then we have a legit shot with Tanaka.

If we didn't, then we don't.
Oceanbound - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 02:07 PM EST (#281815) #
The situations are incomparable. Darvish was forced to negotiate with only one team.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 03:43 PM EST (#281816) #
everything about Franklin suggests this is the exact sort of player the Jays should be trying to acquire to fill that 2B hole.

Agreed. The Mariners need relievers and the Jays have a surplus. I wonder if something like that would interest the Mariners. They seem determined to win next season so maybe a deal centered around Janssen would entice them (add a reliever if necessary).

One of the reasons I like the Jays being OK with Goins at 2B is that they need cheap young talent to surround their expensive players with. That's the only way they will be able to compete without drastically increasing payroll. If they can replace six cheap years of Goins with six cheap years of Franklin, then that's an upgrade worth pursuing.

At this point, I just want Tanaka to sign somewhere so things can start moving. This off-season has been terribly boring.
Chuck - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 04:20 PM EST (#281817) #
If they can replace six cheap years of Goins

Goins will soon be 26. There's little basis to forecast his career beyond 2014 with any degree of confidence let alone tallying up the number of cheap years that lie ahead. There's at least a fair chance he'll be out of professional baseball by age 30.

SK in NJ - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 04:29 PM EST (#281818) #

Goins will soon be 26. There's little basis to forecast his career beyond 2014 with any degree of confidence let alone tallying up the number of cheap years that lie ahead. There's at least a fair chance he'll be out of professional baseball by age 30.

I'm not expecing Goins to start beyond this season, if he does at all (Kawasaki is probably more deserving based on last season). My point was they need to concentrate on cheap players to round out the roster, and hope some of them stick. Goins is going to be cheap if he pans out, and it's better to go that route (whether it succeeds or not) if the payroll is not going to explode to $150-$180M.

greenfrog - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 05:59 PM EST (#281819) #
I still think the Jays should be in on Drew if the market for him is weak. Drew at 2/22 - 2/26 would be a good signing, not only for 2014 but also for 2015. I doubt the Jays are willing to concede defeat on Reyes at short, though - even if it would make the team better at a reasonable cost. Realistically, the team needs better defence, and acquiring Drew is a cost-efficient way of doing this.
CeeBee - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 06:14 PM EST (#281820) #
I wonder if Drew would be at all interested in playing 2nd? That should improve things in the infield as well.
greenfrog - Friday, December 27 2013 @ 06:49 PM EST (#281821) #
The other advantage to signing Drew is that the team would prevent the Yankees or Red Sox from getting him on the cheap.

I think it would be a mistake to open the season with Goins as the starting second baseman. If he struggles offensively, as is likely, the Jays will be left with Izturis and Kawasaki at 2B. I think it would be a mistake for the team to spend half the season or more with these players covering 2B (full-time), SS (backup) and utility infielder. Look at St. Louis - even with Wong starting at second, the team signed Ellis as insurance. They see themselves as contenders in 2014, and they're planning accordingly.
JB21 - Saturday, December 28 2013 @ 08:32 AM EST (#281822) #
You mean the same St Louis Cardinals that went to the World Series all while giving Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso 800 at bats in 2013? The two combined for a negative WAR and their hitting stats we're absolutely atrocious with their defense not being much better.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 28 2013 @ 09:43 AM EST (#281823) #
Yes - and instead of going with Kozma in 2014, they're going with a middle infield of Peralta, Wong and Ellis. They've also upgraded their outfield defense with Bourjos. Nothing wrong with learning from experience. The Cards certainly have the track record to back up their personnel decisions. The Jays, on the other hand, do not.
Mike Green - Saturday, December 28 2013 @ 10:46 AM EST (#281824) #
One possibility with the personnel on hand is to slide Navarro into a C/DH role,  with him DHing against LHPs and doing some catching against RHP.  Ideally, you'd go with 3 catchers on the roster in that configuration and you can really only do that if you go with a 6 man pen.  I know that this seems impossibly radical.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 03:21 PM EST (#281825) #
While we're assessing the personnel on hand, Buster Olney has ranked the top ten lineups, rotations, bullpens, and defenses in the majors. The Jays are absent from all four lists, including the two or three teams appended as "honourable mentions" at the end of each list.

I find this sobering, as Olney is a respected writer and has no apparent bias one way or the other when it comes to the Jays. Perhaps it's fair to describe the Jays (as currently constituted) as roughly a middle-of-the-pack team in most facets of the game.
ayjackson - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 04:28 PM EST (#281826) #
Healthy, I think our lineup (hitting) and bullpen would be in the 5-10 range.  Not surprised or disappointed to be off the MSM radar after last offseason.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 06:43 PM EST (#281827) #
Had the Jays signed Kazmir and Drew and traded for Hanigan (i.e., added more pitching, defense and offense), I imagine both the MSM and the sabermetricians would have a lot more love for the Jays than they're currently exhibiting.

Of course, the point is to win, not win the off-season...
timpinder - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 09:46 PM EST (#281828) #
The Jays were 9th in the league in runs scored last year despite being absolutely decimated by injuries. That they're not included in the top 10 lineups by Olney is an oversight. Their bullpen should also be in the top 10.

It looks like Olney just threw these lists together while overindulging in rum and eggnog. There were some big surprises on the lists.

The Jays have no business sniffing the top 10 lists for rotation and defence, however.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 10:07 PM EST (#281829) #
I just learned that Paul Blair died a few days ago.  Blair was a great defensive centerfielder and an anchor of many of Earl Weaver's great clubs. He was a good hitter in his 20s, but his batting  took a nosedive after a serious beaning in 1970. By all accounts, he was a good guy in addition to being a helluva ballplayer. 
greenfrog - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 10:10 PM EST (#281830) #
Olney is ranking teams in all of ML baseball, not by league.

It may be that the Jays missed the top ten lineups *because* they have a number of players who are injury risks (at least on artificial turf). And injuries aside, there are real question marks at 2B, C, and in LF. There is a lack of positional player depth, too.

Also, the offense's ranking in 2013 isn't necessarily a reliable gauge of it's likely performance in 2014. For one thing, other AL teams (like Texas, KC, NY, and Tampa) have upgraded at one or more positions, and players like Bautista are a year older, so standing still can mean losing ground.

Olney might have been overly pessimistic about the Jays, but I doubt their omission from these lists was an oversight.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 10:15 PM EST (#281831) #
Buster Olney suggested early in the off-season that the Red Sox should trade John Lackey to the Angels for Howie Kendrick so that Kendrick could play first base for them. That's not a typo. Just wanted to point that out for anyone who wants to freak out about Olney snubbing the Jays.

I actually like the fact that the Jays are being ignored this winter. Last off-season saw the most hype for any Jays team in 20 years and we know how that ended up. Sneaking up on teams in 2014 wouldn't be a bad thing.
85bluejay - Monday, December 30 2013 @ 08:39 AM EST (#281832) #
As a sucker for upside, I would be happy if the Jays take a flyer on Adys Portillo recently designated by the Padres (he has all 3 options intact), I see some Jeremy Jeffress in him - of course, they would have to slip somebody off the 40 man roster - Morel/Wilson/Storey?
timpinder - Monday, December 30 2013 @ 10:47 AM EST (#281833) #
I'm aware that Olney's list was for all of MLB. And in the entire league (I was referring to Major LEAGUE Baseball), the Jays had the 9th most runs scored despite their many injuries that included the loss of their lead off hitter and their two best sluggers for significant periods of time. I expect improvements from Lawrie and Cabrera this year, and Navarro/Kratz should be an improvement over JPA.
Their rotation is weak and as currently constructed the Jays would need a full healthy season from Morrow and for one of their young pitchers to step up and be a top 3 for them to make the playoffs. Their lineup should keep them in it though.
When I compare that lineup to all the other teams in baseball, in my opinion they are easily in the top 10. Olney's opinion doesn't really matter though. The questions will be answered in September and October.
greenfrog - Monday, December 30 2013 @ 12:59 PM EST (#281834) #
timpinder, a few points:

- First, while the Jays were ninth in MLB in runs scored, seven of the eight teams ahead of them were AL teams. So the Jays were essentially eighth out of 15 teams in the AL in RS. Replace Adam Lind at DH with a pitcher, and the Jays' offense as measured against all ML teams would look worse

- Second, the RC was the fourth-friendliest hitting environment in baseball (1.118 runs):

So the Jays' runs total is getting a nice boost from their ballpark, distorting the true performance of their offense vis-a-vis all teams

- Third, the Jays dealt with some significant injuries in 2013 (Reyes, Bautista, Lawrie, Rasmus), but the starting lineup is arguably at relatively high risk for injuries (given the combination of player age and injury history and the RC turf). Given the lack of positional player depth in the organization, if one or two starting players goes down, the Jays will be back to having a lineup with several significant holes. It's unclear what the team can expect at C and LF, and the Jays also lack the SB threat that Davis provided last year

In my view, the Jays could have a decent, even strong, offense in 2014, but there is a case to be made for ranking the current (status quo) lineup outside the top ten in baseball.
bpoz - Monday, December 30 2013 @ 05:34 PM EST (#281836) #
greenfrog, I agree. I feel the RC is tough on players legs which leads to injuries. Since the RC will not change in 2014 or whenever we can expect the injuries to stay high. This takes away a little from the bad luck opinion.

Big years from Reyes, Bautista, EE, Lind, Rasmus & Lawrie should provide a V strong offense. This goes for any teams offense.
Mike Green - Monday, December 30 2013 @ 05:57 PM EST (#281837) #
Starter xFIP is a pretty good way of measuring team performance net of park and defence.  Here's the chart for 2013.  The Blue Jays had the 3rd worst xFIP in the majors, but the differences between #3 and #8 (the Athletics) were pretty small.  The difference between the Jays and Rays' starters in FIP is less than half the ERA difference.  The Blue Jay starter xFIP of 4.21 could stand to improve somewhat, but it's not as though it is the only significant barrier to success.

It is interesting how comparable Blue Jay starters were to Oriole starters. The major difference leading to the Orioles' starters superior ERA appears to have been defence (hello Manny Machado!).
greenfrog - Monday, December 30 2013 @ 06:54 PM EST (#281838) #
Interesting. For what it's worth (this commentary is quite dated), this is what Keith Law said about the relative merits of FIP and xFIP: "The latter normalizes the pitcher's HR/FB rate. It's not clear, to me at least, whether that is smoothing out ability as it eliminates noise."
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 31 2013 @ 01:11 PM EST (#281839) #
Olney's top ten teams for 2014:

1. Detroit
2. LAD
3. St. Louis
4. Boston
5. Oakland
6. Texas
7. Atlanta
8. Washington
9. KC
10. Pittsburgh

HM: TB, Cincy, Arizona, Cleveland, LAA

Not sure I would rank TB outside the top ten. They're a very good all-around team. Baltimore might be a top-15 team. No idea how the Yankees will do - if Sabathia breaks down the way Halladay did (quite possible), they could struggle, although I expect them to stay reasonably competitive. The Jays obviously have a number of question marks but could be a top-15 team if they stay healthy, maybe top-ten depending on several variables (health, pending acquisitions, the progress of Nolin/Stroman/Hutchison, whether Redmond, Rogers or Happ can be a competent back-end starter, whether Gose and/or Pillar take a step forward as the fourth OF).

No doubt there will be movement on this list as the off-season continues to unfold.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 31 2013 @ 02:13 PM EST (#281840) #
Interesting. For what it's worth (this commentary is quite dated), this is what Keith Law said about the relative merits of FIP and xFIP: "The latter normalizes the pitcher's HR/FB rate. It's not clear, to me at least, whether that is smoothing out ability as it eliminates noise."

Keith is speaking about individual pitchers.  If you look at an entire rotation (as I was), HR/FB is largely a function of park factors. 
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