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Shannon "Not Just An Airport In Ireland" Stewart has signed a one-year deal worth $6.2 million to avoid the arbitration hearing originally scheduled for this Thursday.

The settlement, which was $300,000 under the midway point of the two arbitration sums (the Jays had offered $5.5 million, Stewart $7.5 million), means that the Jays are about $1.3 million under their 2002 salary budget if recent media reports are accurate.

The press release is here.

Jays avoid arbitration with Shannon Stewart | 15 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Coach - Tuesday, February 18 2003 @ 12:56 PM EST (#95970) #
The question is, was it worth $700 K to the Jays to avoid having a LF whose feelings were hurt? Maybe so; the hearing was sure to be unpleasant, and there was no guarantee of a club win, it was just something some of us assumed. The budget surplus doesn't seem like enough to land Rogers, and it's not like they have to spend every penny.

As R Billie says, in the other thread: "It might be the Jays' best move to add that extra money to their amateur draft coffers and splurge a little in the first two or three rounds. Maybe Ricciardi is a not a guy who likes juggling budgets around though; maybe that extra salary room will just be there to give them some trade flexibility mid-season."

For example, they could send Stewart and a million cash to a contender at the deadline for a pitching prospect...
_DS - Tuesday, February 18 2003 @ 01:01 PM EST (#95971) #
....which would be just in time to have Werth ready in RF, and move Cat to LF, where he is best suited for anyway.

Makes sense to me.
_jason - Tuesday, February 18 2003 @ 04:54 PM EST (#95972) #
Speaking of leadoff hitters, check out who maybe leading off for the Reds this season.
Mike D - Tuesday, February 18 2003 @ 05:53 PM EST (#95973) #
Wow, Adam Dunn leading off.

I think that this idea makes less sense in the NL than it might in the AL.

1) Hitting after the #8 hitter and pitcher limits Dunn's ability to make things happen with men on. Good OBP is most useful if a hitter is likely to get on base in innings in which lots of hitters will get on base.

2) Admittedly, Dunn should lead off a lot of innings. But when he doesn't, he will likely be getting on base with 1-2 outs.

3) Will Dunn see a lot of fastballs without the protection of other sluggers?

4) Most importantly, won't Dunn be intentionally walked a ton, given the fact that first base will open up when the pitcher bunts? And if the pitcher doesn't bunt, are the Reds prepared to trade increased K's and double plays? And if the pitcher should miraculously get on, won't that negate Dunn's speed by clogging the basepaths in front of him?

I say make Dunn a (similarly revolutionary) #2 hitter. Give their leadoff hitter great protection, and take advantage of his speed and OBP at the top of the order...just down a spot.
_Steve Z - Tuesday, February 18 2003 @ 06:02 PM EST (#95974) #
Another excelllent ST update by S-Ford!

Ken Huckaby might be the resident prankster, but IMO, he's best suited for the (still vacant) bench coach job!
Coach - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 09:07 AM EST (#95975) #
Both Griffin and Elliott have new columns on the Stewart settlement, as you would expect. Sounds like the Jays didn't really budge on their "final" offer (moving an easily-attainable $100,000 bonus into the guaranteed category) but Shannon and his agent came to their senses.

On the Dunn thing, I agree with Mike that it makes more sense in the AL. If and when the 8-hitter gets on, and the pitcher bunts him over, Dunn will get pitched around. It seems to me that using a guy there who could be a #3 or #4 wastes too much of his RBI potential; in theory, Bonds would be great at the top of the order, but who drives him in? I'm glad the Jays have "real" leadoff men -- Stewart, and after the inevitable trade, Catalanotto.
_Jordan - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 09:37 AM EST (#95976) #
I guess the question at this point is: will $1.3 million (or however much is left in the kitty) buy the team a better starting pitcher performance than what any of Miller, Hendrickson, Walker or Linton can produce? And that's keeping in mind that any experience those first two guys get will pay organizational dividends down the road, whereas throwing Kenny Rogers out there only pays off if (a) he pitches well and (b) you can flip him at the deadline. I'd rather pursue the first course and put the $1 million into the draft or, I don't know, give HBO free to all Rogers Cable subscribers.

I'm glad Stewart's signed at a good price. I have a feeling that with this manager and those hitters behind him, Shannon's going to have a very solid season.
_Sean - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 02:18 PM EST (#95977) #
On the Score, there was a brief fluff piece talking about how Stewart and Escobar, due to their contractual status, won't be in the Jays' future plans, and how JP is going to offer Kenny Rogers a one year deal for 1.3 M. It looks like the mainsteam media are fumbling their way to an understanding of how progressive baseball management works.

Unfortunately, the report was laced with inferences that the Jays are unhappily stuck with their budget just over $50M--you could almost see Friedman wanting to say that the Jays should fork out the extra money, and damn the consequences. At least he posited that the Jays are exploring long-term contracts with Hinske, Wells and Halladay: which is where we presumably all agree that the team should allocate their resources.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 02:51 PM EST (#95978) #
Friedman is a UWO grad. I swear Western's motto is, "Fork out the extra money, and damn the consequences". That explains all the $500 outfits on the students and the SUVs you see in the parking lot. I know, I went there from 1995-1999 and again from 2001-2002. :)

Speaking of stories, I'm going to have a piece about the Jays on my economics site shortly. It should be up by tomorrow morning. It's about opportunity costs and the decisions J.P. has made. It's written for people with a completely lack of knowledge of the Blue Jays, so you won't learn anything. I just thought I'd mention it.

Gitz - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 03:12 PM EST (#95979) #
Dunn is not yet arrived at the point of being "pitched around." While there's no doubt he's going to be a superstar, he had a terrible second half last year (.692 OPS). Admittedly, I didn't see many Reds games, so I don't know what was wrong. But it looks like he tried to be Jim Thome -- taking too many pitches -- without yet being as good as Thome. Maybe the move to #1 will spur Dunn to be more "selectively aggressive," whatever the hell that means, then the Reds will move him down in the order when he finds his power stroke. It's a good idea, in theory; the A's did it with Jeremy Giambi last year, and he reached base at a .400 clip. My problem with sticking lummoxes at the top of the lineup is that it simply clogs the bases. With Giambi and Scott Hatteberg both reaching base quite often in the early part of the season -- when the A's were struggling to score runs -- they were overly dependant on the home run. At least if someone was fast, like Ray Durham or Mark Ellis, they could score on a Chavez or Tejada double.

Oh, and as for the Reds taking advantage of Dunn's "speed": he was caught stealing nine times, too. Sixty-five percent is below the standard 70 percent break-even point, so colour me unsold on the value of his base-stealing prowess.
_jason - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 07:12 PM EST (#95980) #
"I'd rather have Wells' next four years than Hunter's, even at Hunter's price." - Joe Sheehan

That's pretty high praise and Sheehan picks Wells as one of his AL breakout picks this year. Athough I know most Blue Jays fans consider last year his breakout year.
_Jurgen Maas - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 07:16 PM EST (#95981) #
Sheehan seems to be one of the few writers out there with a realistic appreciation of Hunter's worth.
Coach - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 07:55 PM EST (#95982) #
Elliotte Friedman has a great job. Today, in beautiful sunshine, he did a no-sophomore-slump piece on Hinske, Wells and Phelps. They all seem healthy and optimistic, and Vernon in particular spoke of how relaxed he is, compared to the uncertainty of last spring. Josh doesn't like people to predict what he can do over a full season; he says we'll have to find out.

Mike's Jays piece on his economics site now has its own thread; thanks for the heads-up. It's good to see that even the pros appreciate J.P.'s approach.
_steve - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 08:17 PM EST (#95983) #
And Wells, the new Papa, appears committed to improving his strike zone judgment!
_steve - Wednesday, February 19 2003 @ 08:50 PM EST (#95984) #
Another daily ST update from our favourite beat reporter!
Jays avoid arbitration with Shannon Stewart | 15 comments | Create New Account
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