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With the still-active HC2 now at 116 comments, here's another open thread for gossip, discussion and breaking news.

Best wishes to our friends and relatives in the U.S. for a happy and safe holiday weekend.

Yesterday, technical gremlins "ate" an entry by Mike D. on the Bruce Chen signing. Sorry for any inconvenience; I really don't know what corrupted that thread. To me, Chen is this year's Trever Miller, more or less. Last winter, the Jays signed a lot of NRIs, because there were so many holes to fill. Fourth outfielder, another bench player and a couple of pitching spots were up for grabs in Toronto, and even Syracuse needed depth. This year, fewer jobs are available. The Jays should try out a few relievers and a couple of shortstops, but they will find it difficult to make the 25-man roster.

If they don't sign a more established lefty and Miller or Kershner can't find the strike zone in Florida, I suppose Chen could head north with the Jays, but it's more reasonable to expect him to end up in the Syracuse bullpen, waiting for an opportunity. The signing makes sense; he's been in eight organizations because they all see his potential. It costs very little to audition him, and it's worth a try.

The real free-agent frenzy begins soon. All those hitters who used to get multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts will be jockeying for the best spots at the now-standard rate of about a million for a one year deal. Pitchers may cost a bit more, but the majority will settle for less than they are expecting. A friend points out that the Red Sox, especially if they get Schilling signed and land Foulke, will have to make some difficult payroll decisions. Byung-Hyun Kim, for example, could cost Boston $4 million or more in arbitration, so unless Theo can pull off a last-minute trade, he might be non-tendered, and I presume J.P. would be interested.

Take it away, hijackers...
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_Shrike - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 02:55 PM EST (#84349) #
Wishcasting here, but I'd love to see BK in a Jays uniform for 2-3 million in salary. He genuinely has the talent to be an above-average starter, and has performed capably as a closer in the past, meltdowns at Yankee Stadium notwithstanding. The Jays are in dire need of a player fulfilling either role, if they want to move from pretender to contender status. I am tentatively forecasting the Jays to reach 85-90 wins, and even if they meet the top end of that projection, they won't make the playoffs.
_Young - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 03:40 PM EST (#84350) #
Not knowing what JP is thinking, if we can get BKim then I would love to see him as a starter. I think an above average starter is much more important than a good closer (I don't think Kim is as good as Gagne-Smoltz-Rivera, an easy gimme). But there will be interest in Kim if he becomes a FA, and I doubt the Jays will be lucky enough to get him to sign with us for less than 3 million (probably our budget for our other starter).
_R Billie - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 03:48 PM EST (#84351) #
BY Kim would be an adequate replacement for Escobar as second starter, assuming he can get a little more oomph back on his fastball which was a bit short this year. I might also look at a guy like Matt Clement who is a virtual Escobar clone. Neither of these guys will be cheap if they are tendered arbitration though and they probably won't be cheap even if they aren't. I think you'd be looking at an $8 million two year offer at minimum to get either of these guys. All things considered that would still be a better investment than Escobar.

I've always liked Chen but his fastball must be pretty straight for him to give up that many homeruns.
Craig B - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 03:57 PM EST (#84352) #
Kim would be great, but I have to admit I prefer him as a reliever, not a starter. His K numbers as a reliever are phenomenal, and they had quite a bit of a dip last year; as a starter he struck out 6.0 men per 9 innings, compared to 9.7 per 9 innings as a reliever, which is in line with his rates from 2000-02 (14.1, 10.4, 9.9)

I'd be much happier with Kim as my closer, I think he will deliver more value there. In the end, it's all wishful thinking, as the Boston budget will comfortably encompass Kim unless it takes much more dough than expected to land Schilling.
_R Billie - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:01 PM EST (#84353) #
Recent notes from Rotoworld:

The Yankees & Mets have shown interest in Batista which likely spells an end to the Jays' chances of getting him. He's looking for a three year deal. The Mets may also pursue Guerrero or Tejada.

The Yankees apparently offered Tom Gordon a 2 year, $7 million deal. He's said to be seeking $5 million per year. The Devil Rays like him as a closer and the Jays met with his agent before but right now his demands don't seem in line with either of those teams' budgets. The Yanks also offered Gabe White 2 years, $5 million and are also interested in keeping Heredia. Talk about bullpen bloat with Karsay's $5 million and Rivera's $10 million salaries already on board. They haven't even started signing up starters yet.

Oddly enough the Angels may have some interest in Eddie Guadardo. It would be pretty bad if they pushed the Jays' compensation pick down by signing guys they don't even need.

The Rockies would consider trading pitcher Shawn Chacon and shortstop Juan Uribe. Both could be of interest to the Jays, especially Chacon who showed ace-like stuff before getting hurt last year. It's said he probably won't need surgery to correct his elbow problems but he's a risk.
_Geoff - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:02 PM EST (#84354) #,0,1985562.story?coll=sfla-sports-front
Another closer option is Braden Looper, who is expected to be non-tendered by Florida...COMN for details
_R Billie - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:22 PM EST (#84355) #
Yeah I forgot about Looper. He's not a dominant guy but he would compete with Lopez and a righted Politte for late inning quality. I like him but I wouldn't spend much more on him than I would on a guy like Ligtenberg.
Craig B - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 06:03 PM EST (#84356) #
The Yankees & Mets have shown interest in Batista which likely spells an end to the Jays' chances of getting him.

I don't think it does. Given that the Yankees are aiming not to increase their overall salary budget (and still need to buy four whole starters to get up to the 7 they want), and the Mets are aiming to cut their budget substantially, it's possible that the Jays can just plain offer Batista more money.
_Dan - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 07:40 PM EST (#84357) #
I thought Matt Clement (Cubs?) got his option picked up (6 million) for next season?!?

Oh well, if JP is going to play the 'trade for the arbitration eligible player' (ie Lidle last year, ie Lilly this year), he's going to have to pay a higher price (well, the problem is twofold). 1) You give up someone for the right to the player, then 2) you pay the player an arbitration amount. Free agency somehow simplifies this problem, because you can negotiate a contract (not a great chance of getting good value though), and you don't have to give anything up for it...Well this isn't completely true, I guess, baseball economics work for the small market by getting the signing team to give up 2 top 50 draft picks to the player's original team(if i'm not mistaken). So really, it all evens out in the end. I guess what I was trying to prove got defeated as I wrote this. In essence, a GM has more control over who he's giving up in an arbitration eligible player (thru a trade), because he can negotiate the player's he's giving up (ie in the Lilly trade, Bobby Kielty was an OF in a deep OF system). I was wondering if there is a reference anywhere that better explains baseball economics. I'm not a baseball prospectus subscriber or that well knowledgeable other then general baseball interest.


_Paul D - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 08:08 PM EST (#84358) #
Dan, you might want to try Doug Pappas' home page.
Here it is:

There's links to lots of good stuff there. I'm not sure if it will answer all your questions, but it should give you a good start.
_Jordan - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 10:36 PM EST (#84359) #
I can't see the Jays having any interest in Uribe: he owns a lifetime .298 OBP and a 59/235 BB/K rate in 1,155 ABs. He's basically a less-talented Homer Bush. Keep in mind that barring injuries, the team probably expects Aaron Hill to be fielding grounders at shortstop no later than September 2005. They don't need another young prospect, they need a Bordick-type veteran who can fill in for Woodward and push him for playing time as necessary. Chacon is intriguing, but there are too many warning flags. He was on the DL twice this past season, and I've read reports that his velocity is down about 5 mph since his successful rookie campaign. Even healthy, he doesn't have great command of the strike zone, something the Jays insist on in their young pitchers. For what the Rockies would ask -- probably the O-Dog or one of the prize outfield prospects -- I'd say no.
_Jurgen - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 12:24 AM EST (#84360) #
Dammit, Leskanic signed with the Royals.

1 year, $1.5M with an option? J.P. couldn't match that?
_Tassle - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 01:14 AM EST (#84361) #
I'd do O-Dog for Chacon straight up in a second. He's not due to make that much in Arb, and talented young pitcher just entering their arb years aren't that easy to find. His home/road splits aren't that different, suggesting Coors didn't affect his ERA too much, but I'd take a 25-year old pitcher who has proven he can pitch at the major league level for 3 years for a middle infielder we don't even need.
_Ryan - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:22 AM EST (#84362) #
1 year, $1.5M with an option? J.P. couldn't match that?

Leskanic was a Type B free agent. If the Jays had matched that offer, they also would have had to give up their first round pick in 2004.
_Tassle - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 10:12 AM EST (#84363) #
I'm surprised Leskanic himself didn't wait until after December 7th to sign. I'm pretty sure he could have found more money or more years on the truly-open market.
_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 11:03 AM EST (#84364) #
Leskanic's deal is not as cheap as it appears. His base salary is 1.25 million in 2004 but he gets 250,000 after 45,75,105,135 and 150 days on the active roster. Also only arm injuries count if he is on the dl so really his deal is for twice the amount of money.
_R Billie - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 11:57 AM EST (#84365) #
Kristian speaks true. Leskanic could actually earned up to twice his base salary just by keeping his arm healthy. Kind of an odd ball contract; you usually don't see players agreeing to such a heavily incentive based deal. If he does stay healthy he's not especially cheap but chances are he'll perform. The Jays had no chance to sign him as they don't want to give up a first rounder for a relief rental.
_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 01:39 PM EST (#84366) #
There does not seem to be many alternatives left for a reliever that will come at a reasonable price. To me Chad Fox would still be a great buy and if Looper gets non tendered he would be a top choice as well. I think Hawkins, Gordon, Benitez will all be too expensive.
_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 04:00 PM EST (#84367) #
The Red Sox have asked and been given permission to have a 24 hour extension in the potential deal with Schilling. Just enough time to move that 14 million to 15 million.
_R Billie - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 05:52 PM EST (#84368) #
I agree that the high end guys might be out of their reach, especially with Gordon wanting $5 million and the Yankees supposedly having offering him $3.5 million already and maybe a team like the Devil Rays will actually compete with that.

I wonder if they'll hold out hoping that a go-to guy like Hawkins or Quantrill or someone else gets left out in the cold come late December. I think it will be hard not to pounce on the non-compensation free agents come December 7th though. For instance if they have a chance to get a pair of guys like Ligtenberg & Rincon on December 8th that might be hard to pass up. They won't be relief aces but the two together would make the Jays' pen a lot deeper and more experienced.
_lightbulb - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 06:12 PM EST (#84369) #
Red Sox land Schilling, according to the globe and mail online.

How do you do that link thing?
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 06:28 PM EST (#84370) #
Jayson Stark on the Schilling Deal.

To link, you need to write the following:

[a href=""]GO TO FARK[/a]

But you have to use < > in place of the [ ]

And you should always hit preview if you link to something. Everytime I don't I always forget to add a " or make some other error.


Leigh - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 07:32 PM EST (#84371) #
This whole Schilling thing is a real bummer.
_lightbulb - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 07:54 PM EST (#84372) #
I know. Schilling is a great competitor and really anchors the Sox staff along with Martinez. (Check out Schilling's career numbers.) If Schilling and Martinez stay healthy, and the Sox make the playoffs, watch out.

I guess the only consolation is that the Sox are going to be carrying a massive payroll. And that team performance is never guaranteed in baseball.

I've also heard the Red Sox farm system is now pretty threadbare. Can anyone comment on this?
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 07:57 PM EST (#84373) #
I don't think it will be too bad. The arms race between the Red Sox and the Yankees should be fun to watch. How long will it be before the Yankees sign Sheffield?

As I understand it, the trade is:

_R Billie - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 07:59 PM EST (#84374) #
Yeah, they've pretty much emptied the last vestiges of their farm system to get Schilling. And they probably convinced him to take slightly less so they could throw money at Foulke as well. I don't blame Boston; if I were them I'd go for it now with the team they have. I liked Boston a lot last year before they added Schilling and possibly Foulke. If they get Foulke it'll be hard not to call them favourites.
_sweat - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:04 PM EST (#84375) #
While this news is somewhat worrying to the Jays, this doesn't mean we have no chance to make the playoffs. If the Jays can do what they are supposed to all year against the rest of the league, i think they can still split their season series with boston and new york.
_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:10 PM EST (#84376) #
It just unfortunate that the Jays are in the East with New York and Boston. I thought after last year the Jays could contend for a wildcard or even division title if the pitching caught up with their hitting. However, both the Red Sox and Yankees will just keep spending so that Jays now need to look towards 2005. If we were in the Central we would be a favorite. It just shows how much is wrong with Baseball and the collective bargaining agreement. There is no competitive balance at all.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:14 PM EST (#84377) #
Yeah, it's tough competing against a team that hasn't won anything since World War I. :)

Seriously, though, there's always been tough divisions and weak divisions. Sure they'd win if they were in the AL Central. So would about 10 other teams. The Jays are a good team, but that's the only division they'd be considered favorites, though they'd have a shot at winning the NL Central. If the Rangers had any pitching, the Jays could finish last in the AL West.

_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:21 PM EST (#84378) #
I agree with the points on the Divisions, I am a firm believer of playing the hand your dealt. I just think the problem is with baseball in general not only the Jays situation. Parity like the NFL is great for the fans which baseball is not even close to having. Thank goodness JP and his team have done an amazing job at building a great farm system that hopefully will allow us to have a 1 or to year window in 2005,2006 or even 2007.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:26 PM EST (#84379) #
Parity like the NFL is great for the fans which baseball is not even close to having.

The parity in the NFL doesn't come from the economic system. It comes from the fact that they only play 16 games a year.

After the first 16 games this year weren't the Royals like 15-1? Two or three fluke performances in the NFL turn an also ran into a playoff team and a playoff team into a juggernaut. If baseball only had 16 games a year and one game playoff series, there'd be a different champion every year too.

_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:32 PM EST (#84380) #
I disagree with that on some level. The Economics and the collective bargaining agreement in the NFL has just as much to do with parity as playing only 16 games. All teams have the same salary cap and the same amount to spend on players which in baseball is nowhere near true. Its hard to compare the two sports I realize but Economics does have a huge role in parity that the NFL has successfully created.
_Jurgen - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:32 PM EST (#84381) #
There's no way Texas would take on Ramirez's contract, but I wonder if Boston could/would flip Garciaparra and, say, Damon and Lowe to Texas for A-Rod.

Texas would take on more money in '04, but they'd be "free" of A-Rod.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:38 PM EST (#84382) #
Another thing football has is their scheduling system where teams that were lousy before get to face lousy teams the next year. That helps a ton. How many games do the Jays have this year against the Red Sox and Yankees? 36? 38?


_Kristian - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:43 PM EST (#84383) #
Another thing football has is their scheduling system where teams that were lousy before get to face lousy teams the next year. That helps a ton. How many games do the Jays have this year against the Red Sox and Yankees? 36? 38?

Well Mike you points are well take but you wont get me to agree that Economics and the Collective Bargaining Agreement does not play a large role in the parity created. Maybe I am just venting due to the fact that I want to see the Jays build on last year and we get Hentgen and Lilly then Boston gets Schilling and we know the Yankees will now make a huge move. It is early in the offseason though.
_Tassle - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 08:55 PM EST (#84384) #
I'm surprised 'Zona didn't push harder for Youkilis. He has to be considered the jewel of a completely depleted system now.
_Mick - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 09:29 PM EST (#84385) #
Jurgen, the Texas management would walk through fire to do that deal. An ALl-Star shortstop, All-Star CF and All-Star SP -- the three top areas of need in Texas -- for the privilege of unloading the A-Rod contract. Goodness, I think the Red Sox could offer a hell of a lot less than that and get A-Rod if they wanted him.
_Shane - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 09:39 PM EST (#84386) #
He has to be considered the jewel of a completely depleted system now.

That could very well be, in a sad sort of way. The Yankees & Red Sox's current farm systems are pretty much a joke. Between Toronto and Tampa Bay, they may have the best Top Ten prospects in the AL East just by themselves. Youkilis? That dude has no power to speak of.
_lightbulb - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 10:17 PM EST (#84387) #
Anyone able to predict the Red Sox payroll in 2004? To what extent will they be affected by the luxury tax?
robertdudek - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 10:46 PM EST (#84388) #
One of the top prospects in the A.L. East is Yankees catching prospect Dioner Navarro. The talent is a little thin after that.
robertdudek - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 10:48 PM EST (#84389) #
I don't think Arizona is at all interested in a player like Youkilis. I'm sure they wouldn't know what to do with him.
_Jurgen - Friday, November 28 2003 @ 11:08 PM EST (#84390) #
Goodness, I think the Red Sox could offer a hell of a lot less than that and get A-Rod if they wanted him.

The problem is that Boston doesn't want to go over the cap, so I think Texas would have to take $25M worth of players from the Bosox.
_Young - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 12:55 AM EST (#84391) #
About Arizona, didn't they have Jack Cust a few years back? Isn't he similar (not very) to Youkilis, walks more than he hits, not very athletic. Obviously Cust didn't pan out, but when you get tossed around like he did between organizations, it would be hard to move up the ladder.
Leigh - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 01:12 AM EST (#84392) #
If the Rangers had any pitching, the Jays could finish last in the AL West.

The Jays are way, way better than either Texas or Anaheim, and they might just be better than their expansion cousin, the M's
_Tassle - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 01:16 AM EST (#84393) #
Maybe they are better than Anaheim right now, but would they be better than Anaheim with Escobar and Guerrero? I really don't think so.
Leigh - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 01:18 AM EST (#84394) #
Gee, I must have missed the Guerrero signing.

Gammons: The Red Sox and Yankees are each going for it in 2004. Toronto's future, meanwhile, is looking better all the time.
_Cristian - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 04:20 AM EST (#84395) #
*tongue in cheek*

Who knew when the Jays left Brandon Lyon unprotected that him and table scraps could bring Schilling.
_Kristian - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 10:10 AM EST (#84396) #
Now the latest is the Yankees signing Sheffield to a 3 year deal and Boston focusing on signing either Foulke or Gordon while trying to get Arod in exchange for Manny. I guess they really want to end the curse right now.
_Gwyn - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 10:39 AM EST (#84397) #
Funny little 'fact of the day' om TSN this morning.

This is the tenth time the Red Sox have signed a pitcher with 150+ wins, only one has gone on to win more than 25 games for Boston.
robertdudek - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 11:08 AM EST (#84398) #
Youkilis and Cust are not at all the same ...

1) Youkilis plays an important defensive position (3B - albeit not that well); Cust is a defensive liability in leftfield - a born DH.

2) Youkilis is a contact hitter without much power - he rarely strikes out; Cust fans A LOT and has tons of power.

3) Cust has been young for every level he's played at - he was drafted out of high school; Youkilis was drafted as a college senior and has been older than his competition.

The only similarity is that they both draw walks and aren't fast.
_Kristian - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 11:18 AM EST (#84399) #
Food for thought.... who has the better Big 3 Boston or Oakland??


_Jason Robar - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 03:14 PM EST (#84400) #
How long will it be before the Yankees sign Sheffield?

According to Newsday (via ESPN), Sheffield's signing is imminent. But the New York Daily News says that the Yankees will wait until after the arbitration deadline to see if they have to give up draft picks or not.

_Steve Z - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 03:59 PM EST (#84401) #
Paul Molitor is one of 15 newcomers on the 2004 HOF ballot. Is he a lock for first-ballot admission? And when he is eventually elected, what are the chances the Hall will have him inducted as a Blue Jay?

Of the 32 names on the ballot, there's quite a nice representation of 10 former Blue Jays -- Joe Carter, Danny Darwin, Cecil Fielder, Jimmy Key, Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Randy Myers, Dave Parker, Juan Samuel, Dave Stieb.
_Cristian - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 04:03 PM EST (#84402) #
Considering Paul Molitor played 15 seasons with the Commissioner's team, I find it highly unlikely he would go into the Hall as a Jay.
_Jabonoso - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 04:42 PM EST (#84403) #
Boston farm jewels? After De la Rosa departure are H Ramirez and K Shoppach (sp?), Youkilis had his hyped AA performance moment of fame, but he is no serious big league player to be, he has not been able to bat above .270 or slugge above .350 in AAA or winter league. No glove, no speed, his AA .400 obp+ start to look meaningless. And it will go down as he won't be pitched around anymore.
Nothing will make happier than Dave Stieb in the HOF! How do you see his chances are?
_NDG - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 05:00 PM EST (#84404) #
Basketball Hijack

Trade Completed - Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies for Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter (see homepage link)
_Jeff Geauvreau - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 08:32 PM EST (#84405) #
The Scouting Department: Top Outfielders
by Josh Boyd at Baseball America

Blue Jays Alexis Rios was named # 1 Outfielder in the Minor Leagues ,Grady Sizemore, Indians was named #2 and Delmon Young, Devil Rays was # 3 . Gross was at # 11.

The whole column is available to BA subscribers only. Click my name for the link.
Craig B - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 08:54 PM EST (#84406) #
Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies for Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter

Eh, I can live with that. By not taking too much talent out of the frontcourt the Raptors have basically resisted passing completely on this season - but that's probably the right thing to do. I assume that Grunwald isn't done... Rose is about the worst player in basketball for this team (ballhog, turnover-prone, poor shooter, no defense, doesn't care), so I expect he'll be just passing through. Marshall is the gem here, and Baxter can certainly play and has some bulk.

Most similar 23-year-old players to Lonny Baxter's 2002-03:

Othella Harrington
Eric Montross
Erick Dampier
Sean Rooks
Eric Leckner

Not a terrible group of comparisons. If he can be any of the first four guys, he'll add something to the Raptors.
_Jurgen - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 02:09 AM EST (#84407) #
I'll eat at Arby's if the Red Sox can trade Ramirez for A-Rod. (Actually, I really like Arby's so I might just eat there anyways.)

There's no way that deal happens unless Texas saves a lot of money (and Boston get some much needed cost certainty) in the process, ie. Garciaparra, Lowe, & Damon for A-Rod. (That's my prediction and I'm sticking with it.)
_Wildrose - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 12:49 PM EST (#84408) #
Quick basketball hijack. For the life off me I don't get this Raptor deal. They pick up a major malcontent in Rose, 56 million in future salary obligations vs the 41 million they dispose off,and get rid off a fan favourite in the Junkyard Dog. I guess Davis was such a malcontent that something just had to be done.

I wonder if baseball sabermetric values such as having a flexible payroll etc..ever enter into NBA decisions. I know if I owned the Raptor's I wouldn't be adverse to letting J.P. run the show ,(he does have some basketball insight as a former top high school basketball coach in the Boston area), I'm afraid as much as a nice guy Grunwald is, the job just isn't getting done.
_Metric - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 01:46 PM EST (#84409) #
I've pretty much given up any expectation of MLSE to act competently. The Leafs are a perpetual medeocrity, and the Raptors should be so lucky.
Leigh - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 04:49 PM EST (#84410) #
ESPN is reporting that Sheffield will accept an offer from the Yankees of over $36M for 3 years.
Pistol - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 05:59 PM EST (#84411) #!NEWSROOM/columnstoryS1130BROWNCOL.htm
There's a brief article on Jason Arnold if you click on my name - nothing really new, but worth reading if you're looking for anything Jays related right now.
Pistol - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 06:00 PM EST (#84412) #
Does anyone know where to find the Elias rankings for free agents? I can only find the articles about it, but not the actual rankings.
_Cristian - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 06:26 PM EST (#84413) #
_Cristian - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 06:27 PM EST (#84414) #
Ignore the above link. It is for the 2000 season. Don't I feel like an idiot.
_Cristian - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 08:03 PM EST (#84415) #
Here's an attempt to redeem myself:

AL Rankings
NL Rankings
_Blue in SK - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 11:37 PM EST (#84416) #
Help! Why would the Yanks wait until after the 7th of December to sign Sheffield? Let me rephrase that, why would Sheffield even be eligible for salary arbitration? I thought he would be UFA (i.e. no compensation required) after 16 years of experience in MLB. So could the Braves offer him arbitration and hold onto Sheffield for another year? I don't understand, is it because he isn't a 5/10 man? I thought that only gave the player the power to veto a trade.

Any enlightment is appreciated.
Pistol - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 12:02 AM EST (#84417) #
1. The Yanks aren't waiting until 12/7 because: a - they need to make a headline now after the Schilling trade, and b - the Braves will offer arbitration regardless.

2. For UFAs teams have the option of offering that player arbitration. The player decides whether or not to accept arbitration.

If they offer arbitration and the player signs with another team the original team gets compensation (depending on their free agent 'type').

Players that accept arbitration remain with their team and play on a 1 year contract, the amount that's decided by an arbitrator (if the 2 sides don't agree on a different contract before then).
_Blue in SK - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 10:34 AM EST (#84418) #
Thanks Pistol, I completely understood reason #1 - the Yankees being the Yankees need to make a splash following the Schilling deal, and naturally the Braves will offer arby in order to receive their compensation pick(s).

I understand reason #2, but I doesn't make sense to me - why call them unrestricted FAs if there is compensation (draft picks) involved. Not that I care that the Yankees lose their picks, since they can "afford" the losses, but sure makes it difficult for a small market to upgrade a team via FA since. This forces small market teams to build through draft picks, since they picks are more important to them then to the big spending teams.

All in all, it reinforces a 2 tier system - the spenders, those who can acquire players through FA, vs. the hoarders, those who need the picks to keep a sustainable, competitive team.
_R Billie - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 12:49 PM EST (#84419) #
It isn't called unrestricted free agency because there's only one type of free agency in baseball. There's no such thing as "restricted" free agency in baseball. In hockey you have restricted and unrestricted free agency but even unrestricted free agents sometimes require a small compensation pick (3rd or 4th round pick). It's the younger restricted free agents in hockey that require 3 or 5 first rounders to sign.

In baseball you're either a free agent or you're not, regardless of your age. And if you're a good enough player to warrant compensation then your team always has a chance to get it by offering you arbitration before the deadline.
_Blue in SK - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 02:35 PM EST (#84420) #
If I knew how I would post the link but Rotoworld, in their Strike Zone article has a break down of the top 10 prospects for each of the AL East teams. An interesting read, my initial thought was were is Russ Adams?
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 04:09 PM EST (#84421) #
Yankees sign Aaron Boone.

1 year, $5.75 million.


I'm sure the Jays are going to love these ever increasing Luxury Tax cheques.

Pistol - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 04:27 PM EST (#84422) #
I can't imagine Boone's agent asking for that much let alone the Yankees agreeing to it. Makes you wonder what the starting point in negiotiation was.

Sometimes I think the Yankees intentionally overpay their players to give the perception that they are worth that much. I'm pretty sure it's not the case, but you never know.

Maybe that HR against the Sox gave Boone a blank check. He is clutch now.
robertdudek - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 04:31 PM EST (#84423) #
Boone is a very good defensive 3B who is a decent hitter. He's durable. I think he's worth about 3.5 million easy.
_Jordan - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 04:49 PM EST (#84424) #
That's quite a list at Rotoworld. I'm not sure how Jason Arnold ranks ahead of Guillermo Quiroz, unless you're talking about proximity to the majors. But that wouldn't explain why Vince Perkins and Brandon League are ahead of David Bush and even John-Ford Griffin. Adams should at least be above Aaron Hill - he's a year ahead of him and has performed well at Double-A. Well, everyone has their own ranking system, I suppose.
Pistol - Monday, December 01 2003 @ 05:10 PM EST (#84425) #
Just a couple observations from that list:

McGowan's K rate and BB rate both improved when he moved up to AA (and now that I think of it Jordan probably mentioned this in his review).

Quiroz hit 20 HR in 369 ABs being one of the youngest players in the Eastern League. I would think that projects to more than 20 in the majors.
_Shane - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 12:08 AM EST (#84426) #
Anyone notice this yet? 'Nother Hudson trade rumor.

Castillo gets $16 million over three years

Castillo chose the Marlins' deal over a three-year offer from the Mets. Had he gone to the Mets, the Marlins were working on trades for either Orlando Hudson of the Blue Jays or Junior Spivey, who was traded Monday from the Diamondbacks to the Brewers.

_S.K. - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 02:30 AM EST (#84427) #
Any thoughts on what our 2B situation would be if Hudson got dealt to the Fish for (I'm assuming) a young SP? I think it's been agreed that Cat is not an option at 2B anymore, so then we're stuck on JP signing a bargain 2B to go with the bargain backup SS he's also shopping for. No easy task...
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 10:20 AM EST (#84428) #
It's a slow news day, great for catching up on reading. I highly recommend tangotiger's recent article on catching defence at Easy to understand, and the evaluations accord with (at least my own) subjective impressions. As an added bonus, the Box' own Craig Burley gets a mention.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 11:42 AM EST (#84429) # reports that the Yankees did sign Gordon to a 2 year 7.25 mil contract.
_Steve Z - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 12:10 PM EST (#84430) #
Remember the Blue Jays' $1 SARS promotion at the Dome? Well, it lost out to the Altoona Curve's 'Awful Night' as Best Game Promotion of 2003. Deserving of a hijack? Probably not! But, the genius of the Curve should inspire us to think of some suggestions for the 2004 Jays season... any ideas?
_Mick - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 12:40 PM EST (#84431) #
According to Lee Sinins today ...
According to NY Newsday, the Yankees and Dodgers are discussing a Kevin Brown for Jeff Weaver trade.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 02:24 PM EST (#84432) #
Here's a parlour game for you. Identify the unprotected pitcher for a Rule 5 selection. Baseball America lists the 40 man rosters, and you can get very good histories off the Baseball Cube. I'll lead off with "Jerrod Riggan". Never heard of him? Neither had I, but he's almost 30 and has been striking out a batter an inning since he was 25 and walking very few. He pitched in triple A Buffalo and Norfolk last year. He may or may not be Aquilino Lopez, but I'm quite sure that he'd do better than Jeff Tam as a middle reliever.
_Mick - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 02:34 PM EST (#84433) #
Wasn't Riggan part of the Mets/Indians Robbie Alomar trade?
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 02:50 PM EST (#84434) #
You're probably right, Mick. By the way, New Hampshire's team now has a website: It looks like there are five nicknames in the running including the cool Granite State Mountain Men, but seeing as they have already printed up T-shirts with the Primaries logo, my guess is that it will be the Primaries after all.
_Jordan - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 03:17 PM EST (#84435) #
Thanks, Mike -- the Manchester vote is now in its own thread.
_Scott Lucas - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 03:45 PM EST (#84436) #
Yankees sign Enrique Wilson for $700,000.

The spirit of Luis Sojo lives on.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 06:19 PM EST (#84437) #
Marlins re-sign Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell. Lowell's deal is for 4 years if the new stadium is approved, and 1 year otherwise. Hmmm, don't think I've ever heard of a contract like that, but perhaps there has been.

I guess Cabrera is an OF, although statistically he was fine at 3B. He'll probably progress faster offensively this way though.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 09:19 PM EST (#84438) #
Cubs apparently have signed LaTroy Hawkins to a 3-year deal: The numbers so far this off-season do not suggest salary deflation.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 11:08 PM EST (#84439) #
That stinks. I was really hoping that the Jays would sign Hawkins. At least the Yanks or Sox didn't sign him, but still, I wanted Hawkins to be a Jay. Nevertheless, if he was going to be signed this early, one can understand why the Jays weren't in the running because there is a first round pick involved.
_Mick - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 11:13 PM EST (#84440) #
I wonder if this means Urbina goes back to Florida? Or maybe back to Boston? I was sure Oogie would end up in Wrigley.
Pistol - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 11:19 PM EST (#84441) #
The numbers so far this off-season do not suggest salary deflation

Give it time. Less than 10 players have switched teams.

Most teams seem to have a fixed budget and the total dollars being spent this upcoming year will be less. With players under contract already getting raises (as most contracts work) the free agents this year will get squeezed.

Those teams who wait will get lots of bargains.

What I am a little surprised at is the number of 1st round picks that will be given up. Hawkins and Ibanez wouldn't have been players I thought teams would give picks up for, and Escobar to a lesser extent.
_Young - Tuesday, December 02 2003 @ 11:44 PM EST (#84442) #
So who has given up first round picks now?

Yankees - Sheffield
Angels - Escobar
Cubs - Hawkins
Mariners - Ibanez

Any other teams?
_R Billie - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 02:20 AM EST (#84443) #
Considering that Hawkins made $3 million in 2003, a 3 year average of $3.6 million isn't a huge raise. He was originally seeking $5 million so there really must have been not much bidding on Hawkins after he established his asking price. That's the only reason I can see for him settling so quickly. I was expecting him to make under $4 million but I was expecting it to drag out a bit least past the arbitration deadline. Although indications seem to be the Cubs are not commenting on it so they might wait until after the deadline to make the agreement official.

The White Sox traded for SS Juan Uribe in exchange for a minor league infielder.
_Steve Z - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 08:34 AM EST (#84444) #
Three recent columns related to the Jays position within the backdrop of the Yanks&Sox:

John Donovan of wrote this column, while there are two surprisingly good local columns today: one from Dave Perkins of the Star, and the other from Ken Fidlin of the Sun.
robertdudek - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 09:56 AM EST (#84445) #
The Angels didn't give up a first round pick, since they are picking in the top half of the first round.
_Smirnoff - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 11:01 AM EST (#84446) #
What do you all think of Rod Beck as a cheap, closer option?
_Donkit R.K. - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 12:25 PM EST (#84447) #
Rod Beck would be a good option, though I question the fact he'll remain cheap. I mean, he isn't going to be getting paid top money but I think he'll get 4+ million over two years from someone. If I was JP, though, I'd bite on that assuming it doesn't ruin my chances at another good starter.
_Kristian - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 12:33 PM EST (#84448) #
Well the choices seem be getting smaller and smaller. Benitez, Urbina, Fox or maybe a non tender like Looper. Baez might not be a bad risk to take but the Jays have yet to address their bullpen needs this offseason. Everyone can talk about draft picks but to the casual fan in Toronto they want to see the Jays improve on 2003 and contend for at least a wild card in 2004. I dont think 2005 and 2006 are that important except to the most astute baseball fans who know what JP is trying to build.
_Matthew E - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 12:38 PM EST (#84449) #
I wouldn't be interested in Beck if he was at all expensive. I'd rather try to build my own closer than spend real money on one. What's wrong with Lopez? I'd be quite confident making him the guy. There are better ways to spend money, whether it's for '04 or further along.
_Spicol - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 12:42 PM EST (#84450) #
Jeremy Giambi has been released.
_Smirnoff - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 12:44 PM EST (#84451) # has Beck getting a $1.5 million offer from San Diego to return to his setup job and $1 million offer from Colorado to be their closer. If those offers are really the best out there, I'm surprised we are not involved in trying to acquire him.
_Spicol - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 12:45 PM EST (#84452) #
Beck has an offer from the Padres for $1.5M. Is that what you guys had in mind?

Personally, I don't think he's worth any more than that.
_Ryan - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 01:22 PM EST (#84453) #
I was browsing through Alex Gonzalez's ESPN player page and found something interesting. ESPN says his 2003 salary was $4,500. If his salary for 2004 was around $5,000, he might be a decent pick-up for the bench. Although if his salary was closer to $6,000, it would be a waste of money.
_Smirnoff - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 01:25 PM EST (#84454) #
I agree with you. That's around what I'd offer. Maybe a little more and the closer role to start the season.
_R Billie - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 01:25 PM EST (#84455) #
We don't know that the Jays are not involved with Beck. We don't know that they're not involved with any number of relievers and I'd be surprised if they didn't contact the agent of every warm bodied reliever out there to get a feel of their asking price and availability. If they've inquired about guys like Worrell then I don't see why they wouldn't inquire about Beck as well. It only makes sense unless they just don't like Beck from a baseball standpoint. And if $1.5 million is his offer for a setup job and $1 million is his offer for a closer's job then the Jays could split that difference and offer him a closer's job for a bit more than the Rockies.

For all we know the Jays may have already reached tentative agreements with one or two free agents pending the arbitration deadline this Sunday. I'm as anxious as anyone to know what the Jays' real supply of possible additions is after that day but I don't think we should fret over guys who are signed by teams that don't care or don't mind if they give up draft picks in 2004. The Jays have to be reactive to how the market plays out; they don't have the luxury of being proactive except with guys like Hentgen.
_Cristian - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 01:53 PM EST (#84456) #
The White Sox have picked up Juan Uribe from the Rockies for a minor leaguer. This in itself does not mean much to the Jays. However, it is now likely that Graffanino will be on the market as a Woodward partner/replacement since Uribe will probably be the White Sox utility infielder.
_MatO - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 03:03 PM EST (#84457) #
The FAN is reporting that Quantrill has signed with the Yankees for 2 years at $3.8M per year.
_Mick - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 04:03 PM EST (#84458) #
Ryan, I know it's just a typo, but that's one of the funniest things I've ever read on this site.

You're right ... Alex Gonzalez would be overpaid at six thousand dollars a year.
_Scott Lucas - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 06:05 PM EST (#84459) #

"The makeover of the Twins continued Wednesday when starting pitcher Eric Milton was traded to Philadelphia for infielder Nick Punto, reliever Carlos Silva and a player to be named."
_Mick - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 06:19 PM EST (#84460) #
Good Lord. Scott, I thought you were kidding. Unless the player to be named is, oh, Randy Wolf, I don't get it. This is the reverse of the Millwood trade from the Philly fan's perspective.
_Cristian - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 06:20 PM EST (#84461) #
The above article requires registration. However, it seems that some Primates have been registering to a bunch of these online papers as
member name: bselig
password: bselig

It's good to give the above a try whenever confronted with a member only paper.

If the Twins aren't picking up part of Milton's salary I will be shocked. At 9M, Milton is overpaid for what he has done lately. I guess this means that Stewart might stick with the Twins.
_Ryan - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 06:35 PM EST (#84462) #
The Manchester team is going to be called the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (huh?), which just barely beat out the Manchester Millers. Fisher Cats got 24.5% of the vote while Millers got 24.1%. Primaries got only 9.7%, coming in fifth.

Here's the press release.
_Scott Lucas - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 07:06 PM EST (#84463) #
Good Lord. Scott, I thought you were kidding. Unless the player to be named is, oh, Randy Wolf, I don't get it. This is the reverse of the Millwood trade from the Philly fan's perspective.

Have you no faith in Nick Punto, Mick?

Sorry about referencing a registered site. I must have a cookie for it on my machine. Here's a CNN link.
_Jordan - Wednesday, December 03 2003 @ 07:37 PM EST (#84464) #
The Milton trade is now in its own thread, and there's an new Hijack Central just opened up, too.
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