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Jan lays down and wrestles in her sleep
Moonlight spills on comic books
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An old friend calls and tells us where to meet
Her plane takes off from Baltimore
And touches down on Bourbon Street


The Blue Jays are in Anaheim this week, but not to play the Angels. The Winter Meetings are getting underway, and at the rate that free agents are being gobbled up, it seems likely that GM JP Ricciardi will try to make his moves as early as possible. Fiscal responsibility in baseball? The broken-down, 111-loss Diamondbacks are about to sign broken-down Troy Glaus to a 4-year, $41 million contract. What fiscal responsibility?

Welcome to the Winter Meetings, folks. First come, first served.

Spencer Fordin: Jays set for busy winter meetings

"That likely means a starting pitcher and at least two bats -- and perhaps some relief help as well. The offense is the clear priority, for a multitude of reasons. Toronto needs support at catcher and left field, in addition to whoever plays in Delgado's shadow. Oddly, for a fifth-place team, the pitching wasn't the problem."

and Jays' winter meeting checklist

"Dealing strengths: The Blue Jays have some depth in the outfield, where Reed Johnson and Gabe Gross are battling for the left-field slot. One of those two could get dealt for pitching help, much like the Jayson Werth deal at the end of last year's Spring Training. Other than that, most trades may involve mid-range prospects, which are starting to course through Toronto's system."


Geoff Baker: Jays aim for Clement, Koskie

"[T]he good news for Toronto management is that sources in Minnesota say Koskie is losing patience with the Twins holding firm at a two-year, $8 million (all figures U.S.) offer and won't wait until the Dec.19 deadline to decide whether to accept arbitration. That means the Jays, one of three teams already believed to have made Koskie an offer, can troll the deal-making lobbies and corridors of the Anaheim Marriott Hotel this weekend knowing they have a strong shot at the 31-year-old native of Anola, Man."


Winnipeg Sun: Koskie, Twins to split

"After 11 years with the organization, six years of manning the hot corner for the Twins, Koskie has come to grips with the idea of leaving the only team he's ever known." Sound familiar?


Mike Rutsey: Jays GM targets free agents

"Ricciardi is still interested even though signing them will cost him a second-round draft pick. 'We have to look at the fact that these guys (Koskie and Clement) are better (than potential second-rounders),' Ricciardi said. 'We have interest in both players.'

And hold on to your hats:

"To that end, Ricciardi also has mild interest in former Jays reliever Billy Koch, who last season was 1-1 with a 5.40 earned-run average in 24 games with the Chicago White Sox. He fared better in the National League after being traded to Florida in June. With the Marlins, he was 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 23 appearances."
Jays Roundup: December 9 | 222 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Four Seamer - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:05 AM EST (#9570) #
Well, if I was standing outside a broken phone booth with $14 million in my hand, I think I might sign someone less primitive than Billy Koch.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:11 AM EST (#9571) #
Very nicely done! Four Seamer correctly identified '90s curiosity Primitive Radio Gods and their one hit, the ostentatiously-titled Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand (cool tune, though).

Four Seamer wins one million points and a picture of some guy in a broken phone booth:

_Moffatt - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:20 AM EST (#9572) #
Awesome choice of song. I couldn't have done better myself. :)
_Four Seamer - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:21 AM EST (#9573) #
That was a great tune, although evidently the rest of the album did not quite live up to its promise. There was a time in the late 90s when practically every used record store I ever visited had more copies of that cd than any other title.
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:32 AM EST (#9574) #
Am I the only one who's underwhelmed by Koskie? He's good-not-great and he's going to be 32. It's a bad combination.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:36 AM EST (#9575) #
On the Glaus signing, someone over at BTF had this to say:

I think AZ has effectively forced the teams interested in Sexson, Delgado, etc, to match or exceed the contract that Glaus got. I feel no sympathy for the likes of SEA, NYM, BAL.


I think there's a fair amount of truth in that statement. Delgado's market value seems to be pegged at $12-13MM/yr. Especially if he goes to one of the above teams (bad-team premium).
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:37 AM EST (#9576) #
Am I the only one who's underwhelmed by Koskie? He's good-not-great and he's going to be 32. It's a bad combination.

I like Koskie, but I do wonder how much call there would be for signing him if he were, say, Armenian.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:39 AM EST (#9577) #
Am I the only one who's underwhelmed by Koskie? He's good-not-great and he's going to be 32. It's a bad combination.

Me too. I'm manifestly confused with the perception that Koskie is the solution to the problem. Seems almost like an overreaction to the depths to which Hinske plunged this year.
_Ron - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:46 AM EST (#9578) #
45 mil/ 4 years for a player that has been injured the past 2 seasons ....... and this is coming from the D-Backs who are paying millions in deferrred payments to players no longer on the roster.............

After 2 seasons it looks like the market is once again going back to how it was before. The owners must be making a ton of dough now to be giving out these contracts.
_Geoff North - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:51 AM EST (#9579) #
Does Moorad still think that he's an agent? That sounds like something Scott Boras would throw out there as an opening offer.
_Robbie - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:57 AM EST (#9580) #
The three year / 16 million deal apparently offered to Koskie by one of his suitors is WAY too much.
_Robbie - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:01 AM EST (#9581) #
I like Koskie, but I do wonder how much call there would be for signing him if he were, say, Armenian..

Heh, maybe the Jays see signing Koskie as a marketing move. They'll be able to take over the vibrant Manitoban Baseball market :P
Mike D - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:17 AM EST (#9582) #
According to our contest, Troy Glaus's deal with the D-Backs is the first signing we've all collectively whiffed on. One or more of us correctly called Percival, Womack, Benitez, Miller and Castilla (though not me, on any front).
_MatO - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:18 AM EST (#9583) #
The picture looks like Colin Farrell from the movie Phone Booth.
_Moffatt - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:20 AM EST (#9584) #
I'll have an updated thread RE: our contest early next week. I just have to find where I put that Excel sheets with everyone's entries.
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:22 AM EST (#9585) #
much like the Jayson Werth deal at the end of last year's Spring Training.

Which of course worked out REAL well...

I like Koskie, but I do wonder how much call there would be for signing him if he were, say, Armenian.

I know what you mean. He seems like a solid guy, but personally I think think of a lot of other options in the same price range (or lower) that the Jays would be much better off pursuing than Koskie.
_Tassle - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:24 AM EST (#9586) #
http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/news/mlb_news.jsp?ymd=20041208&content_id=919910&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp
Apparently, Carl Pavano still lives in Montreal in the offseason, COMN. From what I've read, the list of former Expos who just love the town is larger than MLB would want you to think.
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:24 AM EST (#9587) #
Ricciardi also has mild interest in former Jays reliever Billy Koch

Please, for the love of God, no...
_Ron - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:28 AM EST (#9588) #
I wouldn't mind the Jays signing Koskie.

How many players are out there that are in their early 30's or younger, have no character/off the field issues, can give you 25-30 HR's, and be in the 5-6 mil range this off-season?

If Glaus is worth 11+ mil, then I see Koskie being good value at 5/6 mil a season.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:30 AM EST (#9589) #
Which of course worked out REAL well...

Indeed it did. The Jays got a promising young arm in Jason Frasor, who held down the closer's job nicely for a month or so after jumping to the big leagues directly from Double-A, and who should be competitive for a role in next year's pen. The Dodgers finally got a breakout season from a young outfielder with power and speed, though he still has strike-zone issues. A win-win deal -- exactly the kind that teams should be pursuing.
Pistol - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:30 AM EST (#9590) #
According to our contest, Troy Glaus's deal with the D-Backs is the first signing we've all collectively whiffed on

Hey! I said 4x10 (although not with Arizona)
_Dunny - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:30 AM EST (#9591) #
I'd rather have Werth than 3 Frasor's. Frasor is Aquilino Lopez the 2nd.

Werth started and played a significant role on a playoff team.

I don't think this off season is gonna be very kind to J.P., There doesn't seem to be much value out there. In theory the Jays could offer Koskie 3 years 18 million while only offering Carlos 2 years at 7 million per... Anyone else see something wrong with this?
_MatO - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:40 AM EST (#9592) #
Speaking of Werth, the Dodgers signed Ricky Ledee in case Werth doesn't heal in the off-season from an elbow ligament problem. If it doesn't heal he may have to have surgery which would mean missing most if not all of 2005.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:42 AM EST (#9593) #
Ricky Ledee just won't go away.
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:56 AM EST (#9594) #
Indeed it did. The Jays got a promising young arm in Jason Frasor, who held down the closer's job nicely for a month or so after jumping to the big leagues directly from Double-A, and who should be competitive for a role in next year's pen. The Dodgers finally got a breakout season from a young outfielder with power and speed, though he still has strike-zone issues. A win-win deal -- exactly the kind that teams should be pursuing.

Frasor could end up being a solid big league middle reliever, but that's about as far as I can see him going. Werth is a solid OF with a rather good bat, something the Jays could definitely use. I would say that the Jays certainly got the worst of that trade.

I wouldn't mind the Jays signing Koskie.

How many players are out there that are in their early 30's or younger, have no character/off the field issues, can give you 25-30 HR's, and be in the 5-6 mil range this off-season?

If Glaus is worth 11+ mil, then I see Koskie being good value at 5/6 mil a season.


I certainly wouldn't mind either Ron, I just don't think he should be at the top of the list of bats to pursue; I would much rather see JP put a trade for Durazo as his top priority. Even failing that, there are other guys available in the same range who I would somewhat prefer.
_Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:10 PM EST (#9595) #
Frasor is Aquilino Lopez the 2nd.

That's a bold statement - Are you saying that Frasor '05 will be as bad as Lopez '04?
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:13 PM EST (#9596) #
According to Rotoworld the White Sox signed outfielder Jermaine Dye to a two-year, $10.15 million contract with an option for 2006.

Options are running thin for the Jays, JP needs to act quickly. What would it take to get Durazo from the A's?
_Blue in SK - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:17 PM EST (#9597) #
The Jays interest in Koskie had me also questioning why? But his OBP is very good, a career 375 OBP. His SLG isn't great (463) for what will be one of the Jays main source of power, but it's OK. He's gonna hit 20-25 HRs and drive in 80-85 RBIs - kinda what we expected from Hinske.

And, the 3yr/$15M seems reasonable; in the context of the Guzman, Vizquel, Womack and Castilla signings.

Personally, I would have preferred to see the Koskie dollars allocated to increasing the offer to Carlos and perhaps a good RP siginig (Steve Kline?). I could have lived with Eric on the corner till Hill comes along and claims the spot.
Named For Hank - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:19 PM EST (#9598) #
That's a bold statement - Are you saying that Frasor '05 will be as bad as Lopez '04?

I smell a wager!
_Dunny - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:21 PM EST (#9599) #
"That's a bold statement - Are you saying that Frasor '05 will be as bad as Lopez '04?"

haha, I dunno, that would be pretty hard. All I'll say is he will never be an effective closer or 8th inning guy. There has to be a reason he was wallowing in AA for so long. Ofcourse I could be totally wrong.

I'm not very confident when he takes the mound.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:22 PM EST (#9600) #
If Frasor saves more than 3 games this year Johnny can have my old Pentium 166 with MMX! Monitor Not included.

Free Shipping!
_Jordan - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:27 PM EST (#9601) #
Thinking some more about that ridiculous Glaus contract ... there is now no way on God's green earth the Jays could have kept Delgado. If Glaus, whose home run totals the last 5 years have gone 47-41-30-16-18, is worth $10M+ a season for 4 years, Carlos is going to start his bidding at $13M, and he could very easily wind up in the $15M/year range. The marketplace has gone '90s goofy again, and that does not bode well for anyone, especially the Jays.

With instant hindsight, it now appears the Jays could've offered arbitration to Delgado, since it's likely he'll do better than one year at $14.8M in this marketplace. That said, they did offer to extend arbitration on the handshake promise that Delgado would decline it if negotiations failed. Delgado refused, so that was that. And really, nice as the draft picks would have been, you have to measure the reward against the potential risk. That's life with a $53M payroll.
_MatO - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:31 PM EST (#9602) #
Frasor hardly wallowed in AA. He's pitched a total of 35 relief games there. His late arrival is due to TJ surgery in 2001 where he missed the entire season.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:32 PM EST (#9603) #
http://www.sports-wired.com/profiles/FR/tbc5347.asp
There has to be a reason he was wallowing in AA for so long.

Frasor spent all of half of a season in AA, and that was in 2003. He did spend what would appear to be a fair amount of time in A/Rookie ball (COMN), but it looks like he blew out his arm at the end of 2000/beginning of 2001. and missed the entire '01 season.

Frasor isnt as good as he was when he first came up. He also isnt as bad as he was during his slump of August/September. If he can work on the control (~4.5BB/9 aint gonna cut it out of the pen), then there's no reason why he couldnt be an effective reliever.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:33 PM EST (#9604) #
Doh! Scooped by MatO!

*shakes fist*
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:35 PM EST (#9605) #
According to Rotoworld the White Sox signed outfielder Jermaine Dye to a two-year, $10.15 million contract with an option for 2006.

Options are running thin for the Jays, JP needs to act quickly.


Why? Are you worried that there won't be any overrated players left? I don't want Ricciardi signing any of them anyway.

If the Sox want to spend their money on a Dye job, I say we let them. Keeps them (and Dye) from cluttering up the market when the teams who are serious about this want to get to work.
_Ron - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:37 PM EST (#9606) #
"The marketplace has gone '90s goofy again, and that does not bode well for anyone, especially the Jays."

I would argue it bodes well for the fans of the teams that have owners willing to shell out the big bucks to get FA's. If you're a fans of the Yanks, you couldn't care less about the payroll as long as they get the players you like.

The FA's signing this off-season prove how teams are doing better financially. I though the D-Backs were bleeding money with deferred payments but I was dead wrong because they gave Glaus 11+mil over 4 years. Look at the signings of Castilla, Guzman, Wilson, Lidle, Cormier, Visquel, Wright, Lieber, etc...

And then you figure in the offers for Pedro, Beltran, etc....

But I do agree this "marketplace" doesn't bode well for the Jays because the owner isn't willing to really up the payroll this off-season.
_Dunny - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:38 PM EST (#9607) #
OK, he has the potential to be a solid middle reliever.

Jason Werth is a good player, on a good team.

I'd rather have Werth
_Wildrose - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:39 PM EST (#9608) #
Frasor languished at AA because of arm surgery earlier in his career. At the end of the day I'm not sure Werth ,who has serious injury,contact and platoon issues will be any better than Frasor.

In regards to Koch, if he comes cheaply why not? He's still relatively young, power pitchers who return from injury profile well, we have a pitching coach who is apparently good at salvaging careers, and he is a good friend of Docs who wouldn't be scared of living in Canada.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:43 PM EST (#9609) #
If you're a fans of the Yanks, you couldn't care less about the payroll as long as they get the players you like.

Well. I suppose. But show me someone who likes the acquisition of Womack and Wright, and I'll show you a Mets fan. Or a BoSox fan.

I think Jordan's right. The GMs have completely lost their heads again. If mid-level talent (or, in the case of Glaus, high-ceiling talent with significant injury concerns) is going for these insane values, then there's no way that the Jays can compete for the top-shelf guys.

josh
_Wildrose - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:50 PM EST (#9610) #
I wonder how much impact MLB's new revenue sharing agreement has on all this free flow of money?
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:52 PM EST (#9611) #
I don't care what the other teams are doing; there's no reason to pay those salaries to those kinds of players. Within a year and a half they're going to be wondering what they were thinking. If the Jays can keep their heads and resist the temptation to open the vaults for any of these substars, it'll pay off for them in the long run. Maybe even in the short run.
_Dr. Zarco - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:54 PM EST (#9612) #
Looking back at that prediction contest, there were some good and interesting prediction. Damien Miller is my one bright spot, as I pegged him with Mil. The best prediction was probably from Jobu. He thought Miller was so good, he deserved a 3x77 contract from Seattle! Take that ARod!

This trend in escalating contracts for mediocre/decent players is disturbing.
_Smirnoff - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 12:56 PM EST (#9613) #
I don't care what the other teams are doing; there's no reason to pay those salaries to those kinds of players. Within a year and a half they're going to be wondering what they were thinking. If the Jays can keep their heads and resist the temptation to open the vaults for any of these substars, it'll pay off for them in the long run. Maybe even in the short run.

I feel the same way. But then how do we get out of this hole other than hit the fast forward button for a few years? That's what I'm struggling with right now. I don't see a way out that doesn't involve extraordinary amounts of patience and luck.
_MatO - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:00 PM EST (#9614) #
Dugout Dollars seems to be down. Does anyone know how much Nick Johnson makes or might make?
_Ron - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:06 PM EST (#9615) #
"I don't care what the other teams are doing; there's no reason to pay those salaries to those kinds of players. Within a year and a half they're going to be wondering what they were thinking. If the Jays can keep their heads and resist the temptation to open the vaults for any of these substars, it'll pay off for them in the long run. Maybe even in the short run."

Actually it does matter what other teams are doing because they're driving up the market for the players which effects the Jays. Just look at the Benson signing by the Mets, sure most thought it was foolish, but agents for other FA pitchers use that contract as a benchmark for their client. The same can go with hitters like Glaus which means players that perhaps JP thought he could land, have priced themselves out of the Jays budget room.

Teams like the Yanks and Red Sox don't care as much about bad contracts in the future because they can spend more to cover them up. Just look at the Yanks with Giambi. Even if they can't get his contract off the books, they can still get Beltran whereas if Giambi was with the Jays, they wouldn't be able to spend more to cover for big mistakes.

With such big payroll difference betweent teams in MLB, I wonder if small markets and middle market teams lobbied hard for a salary cap or a luxury tax with more teeth during the last CBA. I remember leading up the potential work stoppage, the owners were complaining about the rising salaries yet when a new deal was struck the luxury tax was set at well over 100 million dollars. I'm still puzzled as to why this happened. I was only a casual baseball fan at the time, but I was wondering why didn't the owners fight for a better deal like a luxury tax kicking in at 60 million?
_6-4-3 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:06 PM EST (#9616) #
Dugout dollars says that he made 1.25 million this year.
_BCMike - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:10 PM EST (#9617) #
Does anyone know how much Nick Johnson makes or might make?

According to ESPN he made $1.25 last season. Pretty sure he is arbitration eligible, but based on last season I wouldn't expect much of a raise. He should come in at under $2 mil.

You know what's bizarre... the players who have been starting firstbasemen for the Jays, over the last 15+ seasons, are all currently free agents.
Pistol - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:12 PM EST (#9618) #
This trend in escalating contracts for mediocre/decent players is disturbing.

The more bad contracts that other teams sign players for the better it is the Jays IMO.

Dye signed with the WSox 2 years, $9 million.
_Ducey - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:27 PM EST (#9619) #
I agree with Andrew E. 100%.

Some of these deals just don't make any sense. For Arizona to go out and grab Glaus for those $$/ years and with all the deferred money they have payable - what the hell are they thinking? Even if he works out (a big if) now they will be second or third worst in baseball.

I bet the Yankees were smiling when they saw that - Arizona will be giving Johnson away now. I bet they will also be smiling at the trade deadline when all these teams try to unload their latest blunders for next to nothing.

I don't think any of the free agents out there are a real good match for the Jays in terms of abilities/ money. Therefore, why make a move now? These transactions are no different than any other business deal. Why would you buy high and sell low? I expect they are working on some trades - I expect this is where the best deals can be made right now.
_Razz - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:39 PM EST (#9620) #
This Market turn is shocking. Is it worth it for the Jays to lay off, let other teams spend there money, and wait and see who are the best of the left overs? While I thought the non-signing of Delgado was a good idea, I'm beginning to think a 3 X 9mil, or even 10 mil for Delgado would have been a steal.

Clement now looks like a 8 million dollar pitcher, and Koskie a 6 million dollar player. Those are two players that were high on my list, if we can sign them both I guess we think of it, but those are the type of contracts that we'll be trying to get out of at this time next year.

What I'd like explained to me is where did all this money suddenly come from? Why the sudden change in signings amount between this year and last? Did MLB have a sudden influx of money I don't know about - a TV deal?

How does Arizona compare to Toronto in terms of revenue? (And what were the D-backs thinking signing Glaus???)

With the collapse of the Expos, the rise of the Canadian dollar, and the purchase of the Sky Dome shouldn't our budget be somewhat increased this year?
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:40 PM EST (#9621) #
Ron: of course it matters to the Jays what the other teams are doing to the market. But it doesn't mean that they can suddenly afford to pay millions to guys who aren't that great. But here's the thing: the other teams can't afford it either. They just seem to have forgotten for some reason. If the Jays can stay cool, they'll find themselves in an advantageous market position before too long.

What they'll do about their talent level in the meantime I'm not sure, but nobody ever said this'd be easy.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:49 PM EST (#9622) #

With such big payroll difference betweent teams in MLB, I wonder if small markets and middle market teams lobbied hard for a salary cap or a luxury tax with more teeth during the last CBA. I remember leading up the potential work stoppage, the owners were complaining about the rising salaries yet when a new deal was struck the luxury tax was set at well over 100 million dollars. I'm still puzzled as to why this happened. I was only a casual baseball fan at the time, but I was wondering why didn't the owners fight for a better deal like a luxury tax kicking in at 60 million?

Because the players were ready to walk out on the season in September, destroying all the goodwill that was built up since the last strike in 1994.

Both sides decided that it would be suicide to have a work stoppage, and struck a true compromise. Neither side really got what they wanted, but both sides decided that labour armageddon was worse than sticking to their guns. If I recall correctly, there were zero negotiations until about 24 hours before the strike deadline.

Did the NHL players have a legal option of going on strike last spring, right before the playoffs? That timing might have made the owners more inclined to come to the bargaining table. It certainly worked in baseball.
_MatO - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:53 PM EST (#9623) #
I believe the NHL CBA expired on September 15.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:53 PM EST (#9624) #

You know what's bizarre... the players who have been starting firstbasemen for the Jays, over the last 15+ seasons, are all currently free agents.

You know, John Olerud would be a pretty decent platoon firstbaseman. Pair him with a righthanded thumper, and the 1B problem is solved. Cheaply.
_Ryan B. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 01:59 PM EST (#9625) #
Why is everyone hung up on getting Durazo? I've seen nothing from him that is any more spectacular then Nick Johnson. Sure the guy gets on base but he hits around .260 and isn't a great fielder. I'd much rather have Nick Johnson. If the Jays are making a trade with Oakland it should be for Hudson or Mulder!!!!!

I might be the only guy that wants to give Crozier the 1B job next year If he fails then either adress it through a trade at the dealine or sign someone next off season. I think the bullpen needs to be a bigger priority then it has been made. Who's coming back that is worth a damn? Jason Frasor and ...Brandon League and ...that's it!

If Steve Kline is singed he will be of more value to this team then Koskie of Clement.

At $5 mill per Jermain Dye would have looked good in a Jays uniform.
_Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:02 PM EST (#9626) #
Money laid out in guaranteed contracts thru Dec 8 this offseason: $259M
Biggest contracts: Kris Benson ($22.5), Armando Benitez ($21.5), Jon Lieber ($21), Brad Radke ($18), Cristian Guzman ($16.8)

Money laid out in guaranteed contracts thru Dec 8 of the 2003 offseason: $165M
Biggest contracts: Kazuo Matsui ($20), Kelvim Escobar ($18.8), Shannon Stewart ($18), Luis Castillo ($16), Raul Ibanez ($13.2)

All are 3 year deals except Radke (2) and Guzman (4).
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:03 PM EST (#9627) #

With instant hindsight, it now appears the Jays could've offered arbitration to Delgado, since it's likely he'll do better than one year at $14.8M in this marketplace. That said, they did offer to extend arbitration on the handshake promise that Delgado would decline it if negotiations failed. Delgado refused, so that was that.

The minute the Jays offer arbitration, Delgado loses bargaining power with other teams (who will lose draft picks if they sign him). There's no way Delgado would do that "favour" for free when it could end up costing him millions.

If Carlos was serious about staying in Toronto in 2005 and beyond, he would have agreed to a two-month vacation with a contending team last summer. Then Toronto would have been on equal footing with everyone else when bidding for his services.
_Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:04 PM EST (#9628) #
If Steve Kline is [signed] he will be of more value to this team [than] Koskie [or] Clement.

I've got a 3 year, $12M contract here. Whose name should I put on it, Kline, Koskie, or Clement?
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:05 PM EST (#9629) #
If Steve Kline is singed he will be of more value to this team then Koskie of Clement.

No, because if he's singed he'll have to go on the DL.

Is Clement Koskie's hometown?

At $5 mill per Jermain Dye would have looked good in a Jays uniform.

Only if he was the one paying the Jays for the privilege of playing for them.
_Rob - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:10 PM EST (#9630) #
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041123/SPORTS0101/411230315/1007/SPORTS
I posted this in the last Hijack Central, but that thread seems to be dead. So here's the gist of it:

Sean Douglass signed a minor-league deal with Detroit.
Howie Clark did the same with Pittsburgh. COMN, it's near the bottom of the page.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:11 PM EST (#9631) #
I've got a 3 year, $12M contract here. Whose name should I put on it, Kline, Koskie, or Clement?

Mine.

Seriously tho. Clement. Not going to happen, but there you go.

And a "what Matthew E said" re: Kline/Dye.
_Ryan B. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:17 PM EST (#9632) #
I've read that Aaron Guiel will be lost via Rule 5. I'd like to see the Jays sang him up.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:17 PM EST (#9633) #
There seems to be a disproportionate amount of Nick Johnson talk. Have there been any substantiated rumours about him going anywhere at this point?
I have to say, I'd rather have Nick than Durazo.

Grand Funk out.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:21 PM EST (#9634) #
Have there been any substantiated rumours about him going anywhere at this point?

The only one that I've ever seen was Gammo's Rios-Johnson proposal.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:21 PM EST (#9635) #

There seems to be a disproportionate amount of Nick Johnson talk

Did the Expos/Nationals non-tender him? He doesn't show up on Lee Sinins' list (see item #5):

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/around-the-majors-cubs-re-sign-garciaparra/

He doesn't have a long term contract:

http://dugoutdollars.blogspot.com/2003_08_31_dugoutdollars_archive.html

And he seems to have more than 3 years of service time:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/johnsni01.shtml

If he's available, he would be a _great_ addition to the team. Maybe the resounding silence from the Jays' camp on this subject is evidence that he's something they are pursuing?
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:24 PM EST (#9636) #
If he's available, he would be a _great_ addition to the team. Maybe the resounding silence from the Jays' camp on this subject is evidence that he's something they are pursuing?

As long as it's not at the expense of Rios, I agree wholeheartedly.

Grand Funk out.
_Cristian - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:25 PM EST (#9637) #
Here's what I'd do with the Jays money.

Sit on it for now. Seriously, with all the money that's getting tossed out now it doesn't make sense to pay at current market prices. I suggest that the Jays wait until all the other teams are tapped out and then scoop up whoever is left in January and February. To me, there isn't that much of a drop off in performance from the Koskies of the world to whoever will be available in Jan/Feb. The drop off in price will be staggering though.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:26 PM EST (#9638) #
Whoops.

I got the free agent deadline confused with the "reserved players" deadline. Does anyone know when it is?
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:26 PM EST (#9639) #
The more bad contracts that other teams sign players for the better it is the Jays IMO.

Pistol, how is that?
Pistol - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:27 PM EST (#9640) #
Have there been any substantiated rumours

If they were substantiated they wouldn't be rumors.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:28 PM EST (#9641) #
Found it:

http://mb3.scout.com/fseattlemarinersfrm4.showMessage?topicID=1031.topic

The contract tender deadline is on December 20th.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:28 PM EST (#9642) #
If they were substantiated they wouldn't be rumors.

I meant from media outlets, as opposed to fans like us chit-chatting.

Grand Funk out.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:30 PM EST (#9643) #
Dang, that was from last year. Anyhow, it's around the 20th (maybe the 19th, which is the arbitration acceptance deadline...)

Anyhoo, it's a silly dream thinking the Expos will non-tender him, and there's no way the Jays would trade Rios for him. I wonder if Bowden would instead accept some "toolsy" prospects like Miguel Negron...
_Fozzy - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:33 PM EST (#9644) #
http://www.sportsnet.ca/mlb/shownews.jsp?content=20041208_174804_6236
I didn't see this posted anywhere else, if it is I apologize. Apparently on Tuesday, "Sportsnet's Marty York learned as the deadline for offering salary arbitration to Delgado was approaching, The Toronto Blue Jays' president was in a state of shock as he and his wife watched helplessly on the street while their Toronto house was engulfed in flames. One of the couple's four cats was killed in the fire." COMN. I for one am sorry to hear that, epsecially at this time of year.
_dp - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 02:37 PM EST (#9645) #
I think Gammons was saying Rios for Johnson, which sounds bad to me.

I'm starting to think the Jays should just stay out of the FA market and try to grab guys other teams are moving to clear salary. It seems foolish to try and outbid other teams right now because they're going crazy. Delgado for $11 million would've been an absolute steal given what Glaus got.
Named For Hank - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:03 PM EST (#9646) #
Man, that really, really sucks about Godrey's house and cat. I don't know how else to say it. At least he and his family are fine.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:24 PM EST (#9647) #

I'm starting to think the Jays should just stay out of the FA market and try to grab guys other teams are moving to clear salary. It seems foolish to try and outbid other teams right now because they're going crazy. Delgado for $11 million would've been an absolute steal given what Glaus got.

In a way, this is reminding me of auction day dynamics in Rotisserie Baseball.

In some years, teams blow their cash early, leaving bargains around at the end of the auction. In others, the good values are had early, and then things get more expensive at the end with more money chasing fewer players of quality.

Of course, real life is a little more unpredictable because the total amount of money chasing players each year is unknown, while in roto it's simple calculation ($260*12 - salariesOfProtectedPlayers).

The trick, in both cases, is to figure out what the supply/demand dynamic is going to be in a given year, and be prepared to pay more or less for particular players. This also varies wildly from position to position.

This year, bad/risky players have hoovered up a lot of money already, so perhaps there will be some quality bargains left once the smoke clears. The whole notion of "setting the market" only applies early on in this process. During the end game, raw supply and demand will take over. Players won't be able to pick their figure if there's only 1-2 teams left to sign them.
Pistol - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:31 PM EST (#9648) #
I was about to write nearly the exact same thing Jacko. I don't buy into 'setting the market'.

As you noted the big variable is how much teams will be spending on players, which seems like more than what most were expecting a month ago.
_Rusty Priske - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:35 PM EST (#9649) #
Rios for Johnson bad? Bad for Washington!

I have nothing against Rios, but Nick Johnson has way more upside. I'd do this deal in a second, as long the team docs agree.
_Johnny B. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:38 PM EST (#9650) #
Here's a few options for the Jay's at first base, players whose paths to the big leagues are being blocked by more established players:

1) Ryan Howard, Phillies, bats left, throws left, big power hitter
(blocked by Jim Thome)

2) Ryan Shealy, Rockies, bats right, throws right, big power hitter
(blocked by Todd Helton)

3) Jason Botts, Rangers, switch hitter, throws right, huge power
(blocked by Mark Texeira)

Any one of the players above could platoon with Eric Crozier, who is a decent first baseman, at least until they prove themselves at the major league level. My choice would be Ryan Howard. Trading for one of these players should not be expensive and could provide a solution at first base at a reasonable cost for years to come.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
_Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:43 PM EST (#9651) #
Paul Konerko only has one year left on his contract, and the White Sox appear to have an abundance of players for the DH/1B/OF mix.

If Thomas is goign to be out for a while they might want to keep him, but he might be a possibility.

Johnny B, I like your thoughts, but do you think that JP would go with a platoon of rookie first basemen? He's said in the past that he'd be concerned about having too many rookies on the same team. Although, Crozier can play the outfield, which could make him pretty usefull in a situation like that.
_Sean - TBG - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:48 PM EST (#9652) #
http://www.torontobaseballguys.com
I also agree with Jacko and Pistol - the more other teams blow their cash on mediocrity the less money there is for anybody else. For instance, if Corey Koskie starts asking for 4/$45 mil, any team with sense will tell him to go ask Arizona for that deal. Since they can't give it to him he'd have no choice but to settle for less.

BTW does anyone else think that Arizona is in big trouble if Sexson accepts his arbitration offer? That would be funny.
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 03:59 PM EST (#9653) #
Rios for Johnson bad? Bad for Washington!

I have nothing against Rios, but Nick Johnson has way more upside. I'd do this deal in a second, as long the team docs agree.


Absolutely. I've never been quite as on Rios as most seem to be. If Johnson is healthy, it sounds like a good deal for the Jays.

BTW does anyone else think that Arizona is in big trouble if Sexson accepts his arbitration offer? That would be funny.

I would almost like to see him do that, just to teach Arizona lesson in fiscal responsibility (then again, it should be fairly evident by now that the Diamondbacks aren't going to learn that lesson). Actually, it's not totally inconceivable that he could accept.
_RhyZa - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:01 PM EST (#9654) #
I have nothing against Rios, but Nick Johnson has way more upside. I'd do this deal in a second, as long the team docs agree.

WAY more upside? Are you guys serious? I've been away for a while but it seems like quite a few have soured on Rios pretty darn quickly. I'm guessing it must be the lack of power which they're already convinced he will never have after 1 year in the bigs.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:02 PM EST (#9655) #
Hey Johnny,

You have any more info on Howard? Isn't this the kid who hit 46 dingers in the minors last year? How old is he, and what would it take to get him.

Based on his power numbers alone, I'm surprised there isn't a lot more talk of possibly trading for him. You'd think he'd be a top target of J.P.
_Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:10 PM EST (#9656) #
Absolutely. I've never been quite as on Rios as most seem to be. If Johnson is healthy, it sounds like a good deal for the Jays.

Lee, I'm not trying to pick fights with you today, but I'm not convinced of this. If Johnson and Rios both had one year's service time, maybe. You're trading contract controlled Rios for Arbritration Johnson, and I"m not sure that makes sense for the Jays right now. I would love to see Johnson in a Jays uniform this year, but not at the cost of Rios.
_Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:10 PM EST (#9657) #
Absolutely. I've never been quite as on Rios as most seem to be. If Johnson is healthy, it sounds like a good deal for the Jays.

Lee, I'm not trying to pick fights with you today, but I'm not convinced of this. If Johnson and Rios both had one year's service time, maybe. You're trading contract controlled Rios for Arbritration Johnson, and I"m not sure that makes sense for the Jays right now. I would love to see Johnson in a Jays uniform this year, but not at the cost of Rios.
_Dr. Zarco - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:10 PM EST (#9658) #
It sounds like everyone is higher on Delgado than Glaus. I would rather have Glaus, so I don't understand the "well, if Glaus went for 11, Delgado might go for 13-15?!?!" talk.

Is that only due to Glaus having shoulder injuries the last two years? Since I don't really buy the "injury-prone" label, I think his bad luck is up. And if you do believe in "injury-prone," why would anyone want Nick Johnson?
Named For Hank - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:12 PM EST (#9659) #
WAY more upside? Are you guys serious? I've been away for a while but it seems like quite a few have soured on Rios pretty darn quickly.

Nope, just a couple. Most of us still love him. ;)
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:16 PM EST (#9660) #
Lee, I'm not trying to pick fights with you today

LOL, don't worry. :)

If Johnson and Rios both had one year's service time, maybe. You're trading contract controlled Rios for Arbritration Johnson, and I"m not sure that makes sense for the Jays right now.

In fact, you may certainly be right, once you take contract considerations into account. I wasn't think about that, though I should have been :) ; my comment was based purely on the fact that I have always considered Rios to be significantly overhyped, and that I think Johnson is more the kind of player the Jays' offense (and defense) could use right now.
_Scott - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:18 PM EST (#9661) #
http://twins.kfan.com/sports/twins/story.aspx?content_id=80ED4633-6995-4098-B85F-18B8641AAE65
COMN for a report from Minnie on Koskie. It sounds like he is coming to TO, according to the "source".

As well, Rotoworld is saying a Tim Hudson to St. Louis for Haren and Ankiel is close to happening.
_Grand Funk Rail - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:27 PM EST (#9662) #
Just me, or has no one mentioned Jay Gibbons in a while?

Grand Funk out.
_jsoh - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:28 PM EST (#9663) #
You'd think he'd (Howard) be a top target of J.P.

Except for the fact that he strikes out more than I do against RJ. JP seems to be massively strikeout-averse for whatever reason.

The main knock against Howard is that all those strikeouts in the minors is gonna translate into a positively Deer-ian level of performance at the majors - say 210/300/450.

Even noted hackmeisters like Dunn, Thome, or even Delgado didnt strike out anywhere near as much as Howard does in the minors.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:37 PM EST (#9664) #
Rios has certainly been hyped -- as a #1 draft pick, it comes with the territory -- and because he was so raw when he arrived in the organization, he was seen to have underperformed. His perceived value skyrocketed two years ago in Double-A, then flattened out again in AAA and the majors in '04. I've rarely seen a player go from highs to lows and back again at such an early stage.

To my mind, it's pretty straightforward: Rios has three tools (batting average, speed and defence), with scouts saying he has the potential for a fourth (power) once he fills out. Johnson has one skill -- drawing walks (his MLB batting average is .255 in more than 1,000 at-bats, a more than sufficient sample size). Rios, contract controlled and healthy, is 2 1/2 years younger than Johnson, arbitration eligible and oft-injured. Nolo contendre.
_Jordan - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:44 PM EST (#9665) #
I've got to say: I don't really have any interest in seeing Corey Koskie and Eric Hinske on the same roster. Koskie is the player Hinske would've been had he remained at his ROY levels, only Koskie is several years older. Koskie has been a very good defender at 3B, and if the Jays get him, I would like to see him stay at the hot corner and reinforce a promising infield defence. That would push Hinske to first, which is not an option.

So I would like to think that the acquisition of Koskie would be followed in relatively short order with the dismissal of Hinske, even if just in a swap of underperforming contracts. We shall see.
_Smirnoff - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:50 PM EST (#9666) #
Completely agree with Jordan's last two posts. I especially enjoyed seeing the nolo contenderein proper italics. :)
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:52 PM EST (#9667) #
I don't think signing Koskie is the most logical move either, particularly given that Hinske will be difficult to get any kind of value for.

So I would like to think that the acquisition of Koskie would be followed in relatively short order with the dismissal of Hinske, even if just in a swap of underperforming contracts. We shall see.

That's possible, but to me, having to pay Koskie what market value will apparently be AND dump Hinske for a similar underachiever would be too high a price to pay for a middle of the road 3B.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 04:55 PM EST (#9668) #
I'd like like to add to Jordan's post about Rios. He also has quite an arm, which is considered another "tool." IMO he has potential to be a huge star in this league for years to come.
_Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:14 PM EST (#9669) #
I agree with the Koskie/Hinske analysis. I'd also like to add that Koskie's at the age where performance dropoffs are common.

The Jays need Hinske to turn his career around. They need it. Not only because it's the best-case-scenario for third base, but also because the second-best-case-scenario is pretty sad.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:21 PM EST (#9670) #
Re: the Koskie signing. I honestly don't see a point. If you got John Hattig and Aaron Hill coming up, why have 2 MLB third basemen locked up for 5 million per? Doesn't make much sense to me. I'd like to see them spend the money on a Starting Pitcher, and a Left fielder to play w/ Vernon & Rios, and then trade for a 1st Baseman such as Durazo.
_H. Winfield Teu - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:24 PM EST (#9671) #
Appears Dodgers have a press conf. in a bit, some may speculate Clement...stay tuned.
_Pumped 4/05 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:26 PM EST (#9672) #
Great perspective Jordan, I couldn't agree more on the Koskie/Hinske situation.

I was saying the same thing yesterday, that moving Hinske to first is not an option.

However, it is starting to appear more likely that Koskie will be signed by the Jays. Would J.P. really go after Koskie that hard if he didn't have a deal already set-up to move Hinske? I would definitely hope not.
_Lee - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:34 PM EST (#9673) #
Braby and Matthew, I agree about the Koskie signing.

The Jays need Hinske to turn his career around. They need it. Not only because it's the best-case-scenario for third base, but also because the second-best-case-scenario is pretty sad.

You're absolutely right. If Hinske turned it around, it would have a huge impact on the Jays and their immediate future. For the team and Hinske himself, I really hope he does, although right now I have my doubts.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:42 PM EST (#9674) #
Who knows if Hinske will even get the chance to turn it around? JP doesn't seem to want to wait around to give him another chance, and should he? Probably not.

That being said, b/c of the payroll and the lack of interest for Hinske, JP will probably be forced to give Hinske a change, but who knows at what position.
_Four Seamer - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:48 PM EST (#9675) #
http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/news_story.asp?id=107564
Surprise, surprise: everyone's favourite New York art dealer is considering moving the Marlins to Las Vegas (COMN). I guess you don't get rich by turning down too many free lunches.
_Nolan - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:55 PM EST (#9676) #
I would be quite happy if they didn't sign Koskie and let Hinske have one more year at 3B.

I really believe that Hinske is a much better player than he showed last and it would be in Toronto's best interest to give him another shot to prove it. I see more advantages to this than any other option--if he succeeds, we can either give a sigh of relief that we have a decent 3rd baseman or get good trade value for him (selling high); on the other hand, if he plays "unwell," then we are in the same boat as now, and could either make a trade or let one of the youngsters take a shot at 3rd (Hill/Hattig).

I think the major disadvantage is that Hinske would be harder to trade if he plays lousy again than he is now.
_Magpie - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:57 PM EST (#9677) #
It sounds like everyone is higher on Delgado than Glaus.

Glaus is four years younger, but Delgado is a significantly more productive hitter.

Per 162 games:

Glaus 36 HR, .253, .357 on base, .497 slugging.
Delgado 38 HR, .282, .392 on-base, .556 slugging

Glaus was 6th in slugging percentage in 2000. Delgado was 2nd, and has 5 other top ten performances. Delgado has also had one of the top 6 on-base marks in four of the last five years.

Now if Glaus' shoulder will allow him to play 3B, that goes an awfully long way to making up for the differences in offense. But if his shoulder problems turn him into a first baseman, he's not nearly as valuable.
_miVulgar - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 05:59 PM EST (#9678) #
At $5 mill per Jermain Dye would have looked good in a Jays uniform.

This was sarcasm, right?

*shudder*
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 06:01 PM EST (#9679) #
http://msn.foxsports.com/story/3233520
Appears Dodgers have a press conf. in a bit, some may speculate Clement...stay tuned.

Turns out the press conf. is actually for Jeff Kent.
Named For Hank - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 06:02 PM EST (#9680) #
I really believe that Hinske is a much better player than he showed last and it would be in Toronto's best interest to give him another shot to prove it.

I agree. What does it hurt to give him one last shot if we're going nowhere next year anyways?
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 06:07 PM EST (#9681) #
I agree. What does it hurt to give him one last shot if we're going nowhere next year anyways?

As well as giving him another chance would prevent locking up another thirdbaseman when we got some good young one's coming up. Maybe one of the new improvements to SkyDome is adding another 3rd base???
_miVulgar - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 06:09 PM EST (#9682) #
I have nothing against Rios, but Nick Johnson has way more upside. I'd do this deal in a second, as long the team docs agree.

More upside?

Johnson is 26. Rios is 23. We've only seen Rios at the major league level for 400+ ABs in one season... who's to say what he can become or how good he will be at 26?

We do know more about Johnson as a major league ballplayer... he has a great propensity for getting on base and he also gets hurt alot. The most ABs he's had in a season was 378 in '02.

Defensively and on the basepaths, it's a no-contest in Rios' favour. Power? Johnson has shown more so far, but Rios is 2 inches taller and 30 pounds lighter (according to Baseball-Reference.com).

I'm not sure Johnson has a greater upside, but at this point, I would certainly say he has greater risk. Personally, I would rather have Rios.
_Four Seamer - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 06:09 PM EST (#9683) #
I really believe that Hinske is a much better player than he showed last and it would be in Toronto's best interest to give him another shot to prove it.

Let me add my voice to this chorus. If there isn't a deal out there for him that improves the ballclub, I fail to see the harm in running him out there again, especially if the only other alternative is Koskie. I'd only make the move if you can (a) get someone else to take his salary, or (b) package him with some young talent to get a useful part in return. But if you're just taking a bad contract back in exchange, just to make room in the lineup for Koskie, I can't see the point in that move.
Mike D - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:03 PM EST (#9684) #
Kent to LA is another move nobody predicted in the contest. Wise move for the Dodgers.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:04 PM EST (#9685) #
Kent's contract is 8.5 a year for 2 years.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:05 PM EST (#9686) #
I think that signing Koskie is the right move, if they turn around and go after Nick Johnson (and J.P. realizes he's dealing with Jim Bowden). Guys who play the right way (Sparky, maybe Hinske, Gross) and toolsy guys (Negron, Rosario) could go a long way with him. I'd start with an offer of Negron and Hinske for Johnson. I'd insist on including Hinske and go from pairing him with Negron, to Sparky, to Gross and then finally to Rosario if Bowden refused everyone else. I think GMs who like toolsy guys could be convinced to take on Negron or Rosario with Hinske for some solid value.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:10 PM EST (#9687) #
Did the Nationals sign Vinny C for 3B? or DH? If its 3B I can't see them wanting Hinske after spending a lot of cash on a third baseman already in this off season.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:11 PM EST (#9688) #
I'd be willing to bet that some in the not-so-well informed media will bash the Kent move when his numbers fall due to playing in the Ravine. They could also praise it if the Dodgers win even if he bats .200 because of his "excellent" defense and "veteran leadership". How long, do you all think, before the majority of the media (I can't say the media as a whole, there are some smart baseball guys out there) are as intelligent, baseball-wise, as the bloggers of today?
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:12 PM EST (#9689) #
They're also a Jim Bowden run squad who could look at Hinske's build and his rookie year and see "Dependable first baseman" written all over him. This is just one guy's opinion, though, and perhaps I am underestimating Mr. Bowden (though I kind of doubt it ;-) ).
_greenfrog - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:34 PM EST (#9690) #
Put me in the "just say no" to Koskie category. He is a decent player (a very good defender with slightly above-average OBP and power), but I just don't see how he really improves the Jays. He's 32, has a history of injury problems (and is joining another astroturf team, one that plays several months in cold weather), his AB have declined each of the last three years (422 last year), and he strikes out a lot (103 K in those 422 AB).

He also isn't cheap--the Jays are reportedly offering $16M for three years.

In any case, if the Jays sign Koskie, I've got to think that Hinske will be unloaded, er, traded asap.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:40 PM EST (#9691) #
"As a first baseman or a second baseman? The Dodgers could play Kent at second and trade or non-tender Alex Cora, but they might be more likely to use him over Hee Seop Choi at first base. We don't really think that would be an upgrade, but then again, we're sometimes wrong. "

From RotoWorld...

What would it take to get Hee-Seop Choi? He probabaly couldn't get away with playing every day, but there are solid platoon partners for him on the cheap out there. Would it cost any more than 1 million for 1 year for Cordero or Colbrunn? 2 million for 2 if the Jays must (I'd more readily give Colbrunn 2 years than Cordero for obvious reasons...)

Choi's 3 year splits vs. Righties (AB , AVG/OBP/SLG , GPA:
538, .245/.362/.452, .276

Wil Cordero's 3 year splits vs. Lefties:
226, .292/.372/.478, .287

Greg Colbrunn's 3 year splites vs. Lefties:
180, .322/.366/.583, .311

If they signed Koskie, then made these moves (perhaps Hinske, some money, and Vito for Choi is Beltre moves on) I think te infield would be pretty set.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 07:40 PM EST (#9692) #
Perhaps I should proofread my posts from now on...
Thomas - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:11 PM EST (#9693) #
Apparently, Carl Pavano still lives in Montreal in the offseason, COMN. From what I've read, the list of former Expos who just love the town is larger than MLB would want you to think.

Maybe I'm the only one, but I certainly found that to be interesting news.
_Ryan Lind - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:30 PM EST (#9694) #
Am I the only one who's underwhelmed by Koskie? He's good-not-great and he's going to be 32. It's a bad combination.

No, you're most definitely not. I know he's Canadian, but he's not really that great and he's 32. I wouldn't mind it if the Jays signed him at the right price, but it defenitely doesn't excite me.

I think I'm the only Blue Jay fan in the world who isn't really interested in Koskie OR Clement. :)
_Ryan Lind - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:32 PM EST (#9695) #
Oops, I should have read your second sentence before repeating what you said. Hehe.

PS. Has anyone heard anything on Justin Speier? I could have sworn he was arby eligible, but I haven't heard a damn thing as to whether or not the Jays offered it to him or whatever.
_Jim - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:44 PM EST (#9696) #
I think SF said that they had longer to decide on Speier.
_Rob - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:56 PM EST (#9697) #
http://www.battersbox.ca/archives/00002663.shtml#266342
COMN for Marc saying Dec. 20 is the non-FA arb deadline. Dr. Prison Fence confirms this in the next post. John McDonald is also arb-eligible, with the same deadline.
_Spifficus - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:57 PM EST (#9698) #
Yeah, the Dec 7th Arbitration deadline is the deadline for offering your Free Agents arbitration. Dec 20th is the deadline for offering a contract (or alternately non-tendering) arbitration eligables that aren't free agents. Speier falls into the second, non-FA group.
_Ryan Lind - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 09:03 PM EST (#9699) #
Non-free-agent arbitration. Can't say I've ever heard of it, heh.
_Rob - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 09:21 PM EST (#9700) #
Non-free-agent arbitration. Can't say I've ever heard of it, heh.

Basically, players with 3, 4, or 5 years of ML experience are eligible for arbitration. Once a player reaches six years of service time, he becomes a free agent, unless he has already signed a contract, of course. Speier was actually arb-eligible last year when the Jays acquired him from Colorado. They reached an agreement before the deadline.

Coming into 2004, Speier had 4 years and 82 days of service time, so he now has 5+ years and this is his last year under Jays control (he becomes a six-year free agent after 2005).
_Jim - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 09:24 PM EST (#9701) #
'Non-free-agent arbitration. Can't say I've ever heard of it, heh.'

Regular arbitration - the arbitration that JP bought out for Wells, Hinske and Halladay.
Thomas - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 09:45 PM EST (#9702) #
Maybe I'm in the minority here but, although I'm certainly not "overwhelmed" by Koskie, I'm not underwhelmed either. He's a solid player with a good batting eye and nice range at 3B who is the wrong side of 30, but not to the point where I'd be overly concerned.

However, as Jordan seemed to be alluding to earlier, I think it'll be premature to reach any conclusions on this move until JP trades Hinske. I don't see them both on the same team next year, and if, as expected, JP dumps the Hinske contract we'll have to evaluate the tandem together as a Hinske/X (whoever we would have on the roster/starting instead of the Hinske return) for Koskie/Y move.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 09:57 PM EST (#9703) #
http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/scomp.cgi?I=koskico01:Corey+Koskie&st=age&age=-32&compage=31
It's probably a fluke, but Koskie's BR comps have performed abysmally from age 32. COMN.
_Fawaz K - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 10:48 PM EST (#9704) #
Did the Nationals sign Vinny C for 3B? or DH?

If Bowden signed Castilla to DH in the NL, I'd forget about offering prospects and offer up Hinske, a helmet and a shiny keyring. Braby21's right; I can't imagine them taking Hinske on now.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:07 PM EST (#9705) #
Exactly.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:25 PM EST (#9706) #
from Rotoworld...

According to the Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman, the Diamondbacks are on the verge of signing Russ Ortiz. They think around the same as what most pitchers are getting, 3 for 21/22ish
_John Northey - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:27 PM EST (#9707) #
http://www.baseball1.com
Koskie hits the same thing I posted about Delgado. Once a player cracks 32 you are taking a _very_ big risk on them staying A) healthy and B) productive over a 3 year span. Koskie was 'just' 31 last season which should reduce the risk a bit but not too much I think.

Digging into it a bit more (and refining my query in the latest Lahman database...COMN to get it) I took all players born since 1940 who had at least 300 plate appearances at age 31 and checked what they did at age 34. This gives me 499 players who hit age 31 between 1971 and 2001.

Out of the 499, 183 were still regulars at 34 (37%)

Koskie though is more than average, he hit 251/342/495 last year

Of those with an OBP of 340 or better we get 125/265 making it to 34 or 47%.

Of those with both an OBP of 340+ and a Slg% of 490+ we get 55/84 or 65% still playing regularly.

What about those who played at least a game or two at third you ask?

We have 44/124 (35%) still playing.

Putting the 340/490 limits on we move to 9/14 or 64%

Of those 9 only one increase his OBP (by one point) and the rest dropped by (uh oh) 24 or more points of OBP. What about Slg%? One increased by 14 points (same guy) and the rest dropped by 28 or more points (4 by over 100).

NameAge 32Age 35
Bobby Bonilla290/374/504249/326/387
Brian Jordan316/368/534285/338/469
Doug DeCinces301/369/548256/325/459
George Scott285/341/515254/317/387
Jeff King271/346/497 
Joel Youngblood292/356/499 
Ken Caminiti283/352/495252/353/509
Kirby Puckett329/374/490 
Larry Walker363/445/630338/421/602
Mike Schmidt316/435/644277/375/532
Rance Mulliniks310/371/500 
Robin Ventura301/379/529242/340/401
Ron Cey281/389/499275/346/460
Travis Fryman321/392/516 


Now, many of these guys only played one or two games at third, but it does help cut the group down to just those who could at least claim to be able to do so. Ken Caminiti is the one guy to improve but it was during the time frame he admitted to being on steroids (the year after to be exact). Rance Mulliniks is near and dear to us all here but at 35 he was down to 250/364/333 over 240 AB's and was mainly a platoon DH. Mike Schmidt went from superstar to solid but was in steady decline after 31, and Koskie is no Mike Schmidt.

Thus odds are Koskie is in for a significant decline from his current level over the next 3 years and has a significant shot at being out of baseball before the contract would be up. That is, unless he starts up on steroids ala Caminiti. Not good.

I was in favor of signing Koskie earlier but after doing the research I now would, if I worked for the Jays, recommend passing on him unless he goes for a very low price or just 1 or 2 years or both. Since he won't be less than 3 at $5 mil per it just shouldn't happen.
_Jacko - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:41 PM EST (#9708) #

Any one of the players above could platoon with Eric Crozier, who is a decent first baseman, at least until they prove themselves at the major league level. My choice would be Ryan Howard. Trading for one of these players should not be expensive and could provide a solution at first base at a reasonable cost for years to come.

Johnny,

Last I checked, both Crozier and Howard bat left. So they would make pretty poor platoon partners. Random thought: Does anyone else think Crozier's build, lefthanded stance, and swing scream "Fred McGriff"?

Still, count me in on the Howard bandwagon. He has huge power, he's relatively young, and he's completely blocked by a future hall of famer at 1B, in a league that does not have a DH. The Phillies would have to be complete idiots not to trade him.
_Scott Levy - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:43 PM EST (#9709) #
ESPN's Peter Gammons is reporting that Russ Ortiz will get a four-year, $34 million contract from the Diamondbacks.

From Rotoworld.

Sheesh.
_Braby21 - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:49 PM EST (#9710) #
Rotoworld is King.

They're now reporting that Boston and Pedro will be finalizing a 3 yr 40 million dollar contract in the next day.
_Mike Forbes - Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 11:51 PM EST (#9711) #
The Diamondbacks seem to have zero sense of direction.. You lose 111 games, start rebuilding, then add overvalued free agents for huge money? What kind've sense does that make?
_Ryan B. - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:12 AM EST (#9712) #
Maybe it's all a ploy by the D-Backs to convince Johnson to stay and to intice Steve Finley to return.

Seems to me the team wants to file for bankrupcey
_Mick - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 01:06 AM EST (#9713) #
Hold on until you hear something with an AP label on it. If Rotoworld is projecting 23M and Gammons is saying 34M, let's consider the fact that of course, Peter Gammons is never, ever, ever wrong about these things. It's possible he just slipped on the keyboard and hit 3-4 when he was aiming for 2-3.

If this is one of those blind squirrel finding a nut moments for Gammons, then yes, the Diamondbacks are that same nut.
_Mike Forbes - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:15 AM EST (#9714) #
I'm gonna play GM of the Jays for a day.

-Sign Koskie, 3 years for 16 Million.

-Sign Clement, 4 years for 28 Million.

-Trade Eric Hinske, Josh Banks and Gustavo Chacin to The Reds for Austin Kearns. Kearns moves to 1b. Washington pays 50% of Hinske's contract.

-Sign non-tender to-be Jay Gibbons to play rightfield, 2 years for 5 million.

-Trade Gabe Gross to The Cubs for Kyle Farnsworth.

-Draft Royce Ring in the Rule 5 Draft to be a LOOGY.

I know, its probably stupid and I probably spend too much money.. But hey, its 3am and I can't sleep.. I had to think of something.
_Ron - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:16 AM EST (#9715) #
I cringed reading the Gammon's article when he said

"The $9 million for Jason Varitek will mean a cost-cutting shortstop -- Pokey Reese or Craig Counsell, as opposed to Julio Lugo or Kaz Matsui -- unless they are willing to go to $140 million. That, incidentally, would cost them $3.6 million in luxury tax."

140 mil in payroll only equals 3.6 mil in luxury tax?

The luxury tax system in MLB is a joke. If they wanted to even the playing field and bring parody a luxury tax threshold at a figure like 60 mil with 90 cents on the dollar over the 60 mil would make a lot more sense.

But of course judging by the signing this off-season, clubs seem to be in great financial shape. I thought the D-Rays were in the worst financial shape but it looks like they're filthy rich with the Glaus signing and potential Ortiz deal. And then they still owe 55 mil in deferred payments.
_Mike Forbes - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:17 AM EST (#9716) #
Two corrections, Gibbons would play leftfield, not right and in "I probably spend too much..." spend is supposed to be spent.
_Tyler - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:33 AM EST (#9717) #
-Trade Eric Hinske, Josh Banks and Gustavo Chacin to The Reds for Austin Kearns. Kearns moves to 1b. Washington pays 50% of Hinske's contract.

Respect for Jim Bowden is at all-time low if we now think we can get him to pay for deals that don't even involve his team.
_Eric - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 04:08 AM EST (#9718) #
If they wanted to even the playing field and bring parody

Well, a parody is what it is. If they're searching for parity, on the other hand...
_JackFoley - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 05:08 AM EST (#9719) #
http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/Sports/2004/12/10/775958.html
COMN. The first time I've seen Craig Wilson's name attached to the Jays.
_Eric - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 05:21 AM EST (#9720) #
I'd love to have Craig Wilson as a Blue Jay, certainly more so than Nick Johnson. I'd still prefer J.P. not to trade Rios to get it done, however. Maybe if Wilson was willing to cut his hair as part of the deal.
_Mike Forbes - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 08:09 AM EST (#9721) #
If we wanna compete with Boston we gotta have a guy with long hair!
_Mosely - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:08 AM EST (#9722) #
I don't like any of this talk at all.

They're even talking about bringing in Tony Clark to play first.

/I just threw up in my mouth.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:13 AM EST (#9723) #
I for one am not ready to believe most of the rumours being discussed hereabouts of late. It says here:

  • Rios will not be traded to Washington straight up for Nick Johnson. If there is a trade with those two as the principles, the Jays will be getting much more in return.
  • Eric Hinske will not be slated to play any position other than 3rd base for Toronto going into spring training 2005. In the very unlikely event that another 3rd baseman is acquired and Hinske is not dispatched, Hinske will have to earn a spot in spring training, be it left field, be it DH, be it first base.
  • The Jays will not head into spring training with a regular first baseman as weak as Tony Clark. Perhaps something like a platoon of John Olerud and Greg Colbrunn, but with $14M in spare change at this point I find it inconceivable that they'll go into 2005 with a first baseman who doesn't have more than outside shot at being league-average.
  • Austin Kearns cannot be acquired for a bucket of balls.
  • Tim Hudson cannot be acquired for 2 buckets of balls. The A's will not make any trade involving Hudson (or Mulder) unless it makes them better, on paper, for 2005. Of all the various Hudson rumours I've seen, some have a chance of benefitting the A's further down the road, but none make them better for 2005. Beane is not going to break up a contending team for the sake of getting something more than 2 first round picks. Beane has built a rather successful team employing the strategy of letting free agents walk.
_Marc - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:22 AM EST (#9724) #
I floated the idea of Craig Wilson about a month back when it appeared it he may be non-tendered by the Pirates, which is unlikely to happen now that they got Kendall off the books.
Wilson would be a great addition, but not at the expense of Rios... I would feel a little better if the Pirates added lefty Mike Gonazalez to the deal, but I doubt they would do that.

If the deal had to include Rios:
Wilson, Gonzalez, and Josh Fogg (predicted to be non-tendered on Dec. 20) for Rios, Towers, Chulk, and Crozier

If the deal could NOT include Rios:
Craig Wilson for Gabe Gross, Gustavo Chacin, and a second tier prospect. (Crozier, Rich, Buzachero, Cota, Davenport, etc).
_bird droppings - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:27 AM EST (#9725) #
Don't know if anyone cares...

But as the World's biggest MacGuyver fan I must inform you all that the episode with Reggie Jackson's '76 World Series Collection being stolen is on Spike right now...

Peace.
_Jim Acker - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:28 AM EST (#9726) #
We're now talking about the Jays acquiring Tony Clark...I wish there was a way to find a word to the describe the sound of my head slamming against my desk, over and over.

And to think last year at this time we thought the Jays could have won 90+ games for 2004. What's the projection this year?
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:29 AM EST (#9727) #
We're now talking about the Jays acquiring Tony Clark...I wish there was a way to find a word to the describe the sound of my head slamming against my desk, over and over.

Why do you insist on giving any creedence at all to rumours that make no sense?
_Braby21 - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:30 AM EST (#9728) #
Did anyone notice this little quote in the article...GREAT news...

"The Jays had been looking at free-agent third baseman Corey Koskie of the Minnesota Twins, but he will not be coming to Toronto."
_Jim Acker - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:36 AM EST (#9729) #
Why do you insist on giving any creedence at all to rumours that make no sense?

Because when insane things like the Troy Glaus signing happens, anything else can happen.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:37 AM EST (#9730) #
I don't think Tony Clark playing 1st next year "makes no sense". It's unlikely, but it could happen, particularly if the team decides to go for pitching, pitching, PITCHING!
_Spifficus - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:47 AM EST (#9731) #
http://www.washtimes.com/sports/20041210-120727-6428r.htm
Washington is apparently looking for a reasonably priced #2 starter (COMN). Maybe JP could spin Batista for Johnson...
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:58 AM EST (#9732) #
I still don't get the appeal of Nick Johnson. Here's his average counting stats over the last 3 years:

318 AB
51 R
82 H
17 2B
12 HR
53 BB
71 K

Those aren't good numbers, because he can't stay in the lineup. At all.

What about his rate stats then? His career line:

255/372/418

That's essentially Shannon Stewart minus 50 points of batting average and 25 points of slugging.

So you get a guy who hits for less power than Shannon Stewart, can't stay healthy, and plays first base!

If Tony Clark is such a horrible idea, why is Johnson a great one? With Johnson you get an extra 70 points of OBP but lose about 50 in slugging. That makes Johnson the better player, but not by enough to pay him more and give up one of your better starters.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 09:59 AM EST (#9733) #
Because when insane things like the Troy Glaus signing happens, anything else can happen

Fair enough, but I'm still holding to the belief that J.P. is one of the smarter GMs. Has he ever made a major move that you thought was a bad one at the time it was made? Sure there's things like getting John McDonald or re-signing Cat for what appeared to be more than market value, but those are miniscule next to something like the Glaus contract.

I don't think Tony Clark playing 1st next year "makes no sense".

We can disagree on that. I can't think of a reason to acquire Clark rather than just playing Crozier.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:04 AM EST (#9734) #
I can't think of a reason to acquire Clark rather than just playing Crozier.

It doesn't mean it won't happen, just that it shouldn't.

J.P. has stated an aversion in the past to having too many young players on the roster. He may prefer to have a veteran 1B rather than rookie. He may not, though. I don't know. But it's possible.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:06 AM EST (#9735) #
So you get a guy who hits for less power than Shannon Stewart, can't stay healthy, and plays first base!

Not hits for less power, just hits less often. Using your approximations for Stewart, he'd have an IsoP of .138 to Johnson's .163. I think Johnson has the potential to be a quality first baseman, but I agree that there is too much risk due to his affinity for injuries.
_Jim Acker - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:11 AM EST (#9736) #
I'm still holding to the belief that J.P. is one of the smarter GMs. Has he ever made a major move that you thought was a bad one at the time it was made?

Hard to characterize what a major move actually is. I don't beleive JP has ever acquired an all-star player before. That's not a knock on JP, it's just that I've always thought his major moves were cutting the fat in the Jays payroll, and bringing in players of better value.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:14 AM EST (#9737) #
It doesn't mean it won't happen, just that it shouldn't.

Well, let me ask you the same question I asked JA: Has JP ever made a major move that you thought was a bad one at the time it was made? Choosing your starting first baseman is a major decision. Clark and Crozier would both be very suspect choices, IMO, especially without platoon mates and good backup plans.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:15 AM EST (#9738) #
I don't beleive JP has ever acquired an all-star player before.

Theodore Roosevelt Lilly.
_Jim Acker - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:18 AM EST (#9739) #
I meant all star prior to being a Jay, and as much as I like Lilly, I think it's safe to say that only reason why he was an all star last year was because the Jays had to have one, and he was the lesser of all other evils on the roster at the time.
_Daryn - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:19 AM EST (#9740) #
by Named For Hank:

I really believe that Hinske is a much better player than he showed last and it would be in Toronto's best interest to give him another shot to prove it.

I agree. What does it hurt to give him one last shot if we're going nowhere next year anyways?


I agree.. lets take a longer term approach to the situation... we are probably stuck with Hinske's 3 Mil anyway, and even if we cut him we'd pay John-Ford Griffin at least $325,000 to replace him... what if we had Hinske DH, and let him think only about hitting for a year... maybe he raises his value and we can trade him

I have an idea lets offer Hinske a new contract, 1 yr deal for 6 Mil. and then cut him in 2006.

by Tyler:

-Trade Eric Hinske, Josh Banks and Gustavo Chacin to The Reds for Austin Kearns. Kearns moves to 1b. Washington pays 50% of Hinske's contract.

Respect for Jim Bowden is at all-time low if we now think we can get him to pay for deals that don't even involve his team.


I read that original post a dozen time trying to figure out the Washington involvement too... I eventually decided that maybe an owner or Manager in the Cinci system has that name... hehehehehe..
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:23 AM EST (#9741) #
Well, let me ask you the same question I asked JA: Has JP ever made a major move that you thought was a bad one at the time it was made?

Absolutely. No stinkers mind you, but I don't think Tony Clark at 750K is a stinker move.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:25 AM EST (#9742) #
I meant all star prior to being a Jay

So Pat Hentgen doesn't count since it was as a Jay that he was an All-Star? : )

Seriously though, I don't see the relevance of that. The most JP has ever spent on a free agent is $13.1M/3 years. That doesn't get you an All-Star level player.

as much as I like Lilly, I think it's safe to say that only reason why he was an all star last year was because the Jays had to have one

I'll agree that he wasn't a pure All-Star, but I he did have a very good season and was a reasonable choice. I'll speculate that there are 10 All-Stars every year that are worse than Lilly '04.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:27 AM EST (#9743) #
Absolutely.

Which?
_Spifficus - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:30 AM EST (#9744) #
I'm pretty bullish on Johnson for a number of reasons:

First, his injuries to this point seem to stem as much from bad luck as bad health. So, unless you think he's going to get hit in the cheekbone with a ball again (especially odd because he is considered a very good defender), or break another bone in his hand because of a HBP, he's not as much of a health risk as he appears.

Second, He's going to be playing 90% of next year at 26, so there's still room for improvement, especially when you consider the development time he has lost from those injuries.

Third, he can REALLY control the strike zone, which gives me a warm fuzzy, and makes me think his average can still significantly improve.

So basically, I think there's still more room for Johnson to grow. Is it worth Batista? That was more of a spur of the moment suggestion, and a reaction to the Rios for Johnson talk.
_Robbie - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:32 AM EST (#9745) #
Has JP ever made a major move that you thought was a bad one at the time it was made?

You guys are way too light on this guy. Firstly, general managers are not judged on the merits of how the trades they make seem at the time, but rather how they pan out. And anyways, I can say the same thing about Ash - most of his deals also seemed very reasonable at the time.

JP's track record has been weak at best. His agenda during his term as Jays GM has been payroll slashing. He was chosen as Jays GM because he somehow managed to convince the Jays brass that the team could be competitive (or at the very least, the same level of mediocrity that they had been at) at a much lower cost --- something that seems theoretically enticing but is practically not feasible.

I certainly have not been enamoured with some of the deals JP has made. I thought Stewart for Kielty was pretty bad. I wasn't a big fan of signing unproven 33-year-old pitchers to 3-year contracts (Re: Batista). I thought he really overpaid Lightenberg at the time. I wasn't impressed with the Hinske deal either at the time.

I find statements such as the one above very puzzling. JP generally makes moves that seem puzzling, and everyone here tends to back them up on the basis of their often blind faith in his abilities. You'll often hear things like, "He knows what he's doing."

A lot of people here also seem to point to the Jays strong farm system. The Jays farm system isn't even that strong, probably closer to average then anything else as evidenced by the sentiments of BA. Fans always over-rate their system - it's only natural to hope.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:36 AM EST (#9746) #
Which?

I thought Kielty for Lilly was terrible. :)
_Ryan01 - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:38 AM EST (#9747) #
So Pat Hentgen doesn't count since it was as a Jay that he was an All-Star? : )

How about Mike Bordick then?
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:41 AM EST (#9748) #
You'll often hear things like, "He knows what he's doing."

Cite.
_Matthew E - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:41 AM EST (#9749) #
I can say the same thing about Ash - most of his deals also seemed very reasonable at the time.

Like hell they did.
_Jim Acker - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:52 AM EST (#9750) #
I thought Stewart for Kielty was pretty bad.

Yes, but parlaying that into Lilly was pretty good.
_Robbie - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 10:58 AM EST (#9751) #
Yes, but parlaying that into Lilly was pretty good.

Oh, I don't question that. Those are just some deals that JP made that, at the time, not knowing anything about how they would turn out, seemed like bad ones.

If you would have asked me about Hinske after his rookie season, I would have told you I thought the deal stunk at the time but that I was terribly wrong. I also thought that trading for Prokopec was a good move at the time, but I was wrong there.
_Lee - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 11:05 AM EST (#9752) #
Tim Hudson cannot be acquired for 2 buckets of balls.

Damn it, there goes my on-the-quick rebuilding plan! Would a third bucket help? ;-)

I certainly have not been enamoured with some of the deals JP has made. I thought Stewart for Kielty was pretty bad.

I am no big fan of JP, as is well-documented. However, I will say this: as absolutely horrible, bone-headed, and lopsided as I thought the Stewart/Kielty trade was, JP succeeded in making up for his mistake and then some by somehow turning Kielty into Ted Lilly.

I wasn't a big fan of signing unproven 33-year-old pitchers to 3-year contracts (Re: Batista). I thought he really overpaid Lightenberg at the time. I wasn't impressed with the Hinske deal either at the time.

The deals you mention are actually some of the better ones I think JP's made, that just didn't seem to work out (yet) for whatever reason. I was actually genuinely excited about the Batista and Ligtenberg signings. Batista had shown a ton of promise and I thought he would step it up if given a consistent role in the starting rotation, and his contract was probably fair market value. And no one could have predicted the implosion of Kerry Ligtenberg; I have to give JP a pass on that one. As far as the Hinske deal, you're right. Hinske had a great rookie year but there was no need to sign him to that contract at that time.
_Robbie - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 11:08 AM EST (#9753) #
Cite.

I'm not going to search through the archives. My implication was that a lot of people have, to some extent, blind faith in JP. Especially towards the beginning of his tenure - as a former scout - player aquisitions that seemed questionable were attributed to his strong ability to evaluate talent, his experience drafting / scouting those players in the A's system etc. I didn't mean to generalize that statement to everybody, but I think it is true. Less so now then in the past, but still to some extent.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 11:25 AM EST (#9754) #
I don't think anyone has blind faith in JP, and I don't think many people did.

The difference is that we're not going to blast JP for things that worked out badly that we agreed with at the time. If JP made trade X-for-Y, and I said "Trade X-for-Y" is terrific, then Y stinks as soon as becoming a Jay, I'm not going to turn around and say "JP was an idiot for making that trade". I wouldn't want to be treated that way, so I'm not going to do it to others.

RE: The beginning of JP's tenure. Most of those moves weren't made solely on a talent basis: they were made to slash payroll. Which they did. If you think slashing payroll was a bad idea, blame it on Ted Rogers, not JP.
_Ryan B. - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 11:33 AM EST (#9755) #
What do you think is the worst deal J.P has made since arriving in Toronto?

For me it has to be that terrible Quantrill/Izturis for Prokopeck and I think some minor league pitcher that never panned out.

To pass on Izturis and see what he is doing now, it just sucks.

But then again that was a better trade then Wells for Sirotka. Stupid Gord Ash!
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 11:42 AM EST (#9756) #
I don't mind losing Izturis. Een with his spectacular D he's only worth playing if he's hitting over .260, and I don't know if his huge boost in BA is sustainable. I would suspect it's not.

The Lidle trade could bite the Jays hard if Rouse ends up developing.
_Lee - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 11:55 AM EST (#9757) #
For me it has to be that terrible Quantrill/Izturis for Prokopeck and I think some minor league pitcher that never panned out.

Agreed. Quantrill was maybe expensive for a reliever (I think he was making ab out $3M per at the time, right?), but not ridiculously so. I would have liked to see the Jays hold on to him and keep together that strong bullpen they had, but even if JP had to trade him, that was a horrible deal. I suspect that he may have been able to get more for Quantrill elsewhere WITHOUT giving up Izturis. Trading away Izturis, a great defensive player at a prime position who has matured into a solid hitter, is absolutely inexcusable any way you look at it.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:00 PM EST (#9758) #
Izturis has not shown he has matured into a solid hitter. The only thing he did last year was hit for average. If his average slips back down to .250, he'll be one of the worst hitters in baseball.
_Matthew E - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:06 PM EST (#9759) #
If I can trade an overpaid thirtysomething middle reliever (no matter how good he is) and a good-field-no-hit infielder for a young, promising starting pitcher, I'll do it every time. It might not always work out (and it could hardly have worked out worse in our example here) but I'll still do it every time.
_Lee - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:09 PM EST (#9760) #
Moffatt, he hit .288 with a .330 OBP, 62 RBI, and 25 SB. That's a solid though perhaps unspectacular offensive player in my book. OF course, if he regresses that changes things a bit, but even at that, I'd be more than happy to have him around for his defense alone.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:12 PM EST (#9761) #
he hit .288

This is good. Can he do it again? Batting averages tend to be the flukiest rate stat there is.

.330 OBP

For a guy who hit .288, this is bad. If Izturis hits .250 again, then his OBP will likely be somewhere in the 200s.

62 RBI

For a guy who had 600+ AB, this is bad.

25 SB

And 9CS. Overall that's good, but it's not worth all that much.
_Lee - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:13 PM EST (#9762) #
If I can trade an overpaid thirtysomething middle reliever (no matter how good he is) and a good-field-no-hit infielder for a young, promising starting pitcher, I'll do it every time.

That's overstating it a bit IMO. JP traded an excellent reliever and young, defensively great shortstop for a young, marginal starter. I happen to still be of the opinion that a good defensive SS is worth having even if he is a marginal hitter, so to me it was an aweful deal.
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:14 PM EST (#9763) #
good defensive SS is worth having even if he is a marginal hitter

Then you must be doing cartwheels at the MacDonald signing!
_Lee - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:22 PM EST (#9764) #
Overall that's good, but it's not worth all that much.

Right, I'm not saying that I'd pencil Izturis in the lineup every day for his offense, but it's good enough given his defense.

good defensive SS is worth having even if he is a marginal hitter

Then you must be doing cartwheels at the MacDonald signing!


Well, there's marginal and then there's marginal, if you know what I mean. Even still, I'd at least consider him an upgrade from Woodward.
_Robbie - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:43 PM EST (#9765) #
Izturis has not shown he has matured into a solid hitter. The only thing he did last year was hit for average. If his average slips back down to .250, he'll be one of the worst hitters in baseball.

62 RBI:
For a guy who had 600+ AB, this is bad.


Judging a player's offensive abilities on an if statement predicated on his average dropping 38 points just doesn't work for me. The 62 RBI's can be explained by where he hit in the batting order. If Adams put up those numbers along with Izturis' stellar defence, I think most fans would be raving. In fact, the Jays are sorely lacking a leadoff hitter, so Izturis' presence would have been refreshing. Just because the guy doesn't walk too much, doesn't mean you should trade him. I hope JP doesn't do the same think with Rios for this very reason.

That being said, I actually liked the deal when they acquired Prokopec. There's no denying, however, that the deal didn't turn out well, and that the Jays would be in a much better position today if they had Izturis on the team.
_Ryan Day - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:46 PM EST (#9766) #
All things considered, I'd rather have Izturis than whatever parts of Prokopec's shoulder he may have left in Toronto. But that's all hindsight: It was a good trade that turned out very, very badly. It happens.

The big problem with Izturis is that he was rushed through the minors in the whole "Alex Gonzalez might leave!" panic. He was a very talented and very rough shortstop who should have been given more time to develop. He's great defensively, runs well, and shows some promise with the bat; I think he's got a good chance to have an Omar Vizquel-like career.
_Robbie - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:53 PM EST (#9767) #
The difference is that we're not going to blast JP for things that worked out badly that we agreed with at the time. If JP made trade X-for-Y, and I said "Trade X-for-Y" is terrific, then Y stinks as soon as becoming a Jay, I'm not going to turn around and say "JP was an idiot for making that trade".

Mike, maybe it's not "fair," but that's the nature of the business. Most deals from either side in a trade can be justified accordingly; it's what happens afterwards that that determines whether it was a good deal. A general manager is in their position because they are expected to have a strong grasp of how to build a good team, one that should be better then fans. Regardless of whether you or I as fans agree with the moves they're making, if a deal turns out well, it was a good one. If it turns out badly, then it can be judged as a bad one. It simply does not matter what you or I think about them at the time as fans when it comes to judging how good a deal is. If you think a deal is bad, but it turns out well, does that make it a bad one?
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 12:55 PM EST (#9768) #
If you think a deal is bad, but it turns out well, does that make it a bad one?

Yes. If you don't think so, I'd love to play poker against you sometime.
_Ryan Day - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 01:09 PM EST (#9769) #
Lots of factors can influence the outcome of a trade. Some are predictable, some aren't. While we can blame a GM for acquiring a 37 year-old player or a young pitcher who's obviously been overworked, it's unfair to blame him for things no one can predict.

If the Jays traded Reed Johnson for Tim Hudson, I think most people would consider that a good trade. If Tim Hudson then gets hit by a car and suffers a broken leg, does it suddenly turn into a bad trade?
_Matthew E - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 01:56 PM EST (#9770) #
the Jays are sorely lacking a leadoff hitter, so Izturis' presence would have been refreshing. Just because the guy doesn't walk too much, doesn't mean you should trade him.

He's a leadoff hitter now? Are we talking about the same Cesar Izturis?

And the trade wasn't to get rid of Izturis. It was to acquire Prokopec and get rid of Quantrill's contract. Izturis was included because, we must conclude, the Dodgers wanted him. It's not like Ricciardi was hired and said to himself, "The real problem with this team is Izturis. If I can just dump him, my job's half done."
_G.T. - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:03 PM EST (#9771) #
You know, I've always thought the "You can't consider the results of a decision in evaluating it" a bit of a copout. Someone can argue on endlessly at the time a decision is made about whether or not it's a good one, then never have to say "Gee, maybe I was wrong... maybe I didn't have all the facts".

I suspect that behind a lot of "bad" decisions are rationales that the clubs simply don't feel the need to explain. Just because an executive doesn't publicly give a "good" explanation for making a move doesn't mean he doesn't have one.

An obvious example was the Derek Bell for Darrin Jackson trade. I doubt Pat Gillick really thought that Jackson was/would be the better player but, simply put, Bell had to go. The difference with that trade was that the "hidden" reasons behind the trade weren't really so hidden. Keith Hernandez-for-Neil Allen was a head-scratcher at the time, wasn't it, though Whitey's reasons for getting Hernandez out of town came to light later?

To the more common cases, a team may have one particularly good or bad scouting report on a player and act on that report. If that report turns out to be accurate, and causes the transaction to look better than I think at the time, do I really just write it off as "good luck" and continue to criticize the deal?
_Moffatt - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:43 PM EST (#9772) #
You know, I've always thought the "You can't consider the results of a decision in evaluating it" a bit of a copout. Someone can argue on endlessly at the time a decision is made about whether or not it's a good one, then never have to say "Gee, maybe I was wrong... maybe I didn't have all the facts".

It's not at all a cop-out. Again, any poker player knows this. Sometimes you have a great hand, do a decent job of reading the other guy, but something incredibly unlikely happens on the flop and you're dead in the water. It happens.

That being said, when you do make a move that tanks, you should ask yourself "could I have saw that coming?" and re-evaluate your decision making criteria. But from time to time a good move just turns out badly. But as long as your decision making criteria is good, you're going to win a lot more than you're going to lose. That's the important thing.
_Lee - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:44 PM EST (#9773) #
If the Jays traded Reed Johnson for Tim Hudson, I think most people would consider that a good trade. If Tim Hudson then gets hit by a car and suffers a broken leg, does it suddenly turn into a bad trade?

I agree. However, if you are trying to compare that scenario to the Quantrill/Izturis for Prokopec trade, it's not quite the same thing.
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 02:57 PM EST (#9774) #
You should ask yourself "could I have saw that coming?"

I don't know... could you have seen this one coming?
_Jonny German - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 03:10 PM EST (#9775) #
I think the general problem is impatience. It's fair at this point to look back on Pat Gillick's tenure as Blue Jay GM and say "Yes, he was a good GM, he built a consistent winner and took them over the top to win 2 World Series titles". He was GM long enough for luck to pretty much balance out.

J.P. on the other hand has not been GM long enough for us to know if he's been unlucky or lacking foresight, many of his transactions have not fully played themselves out, his rebuilding plan has not been fully implemented, and many observers are unwilling or unable to acknowledge what a huge factor money has been. Even since the time J.P. was hired and asserted that he could compete on a budget, the relative and absolute size of his budget has shrunk considerably.

All of which is to say, you can judge J.P. on process at this point, but it's far too early to judge him on results. Pat Gillick's results didn't look so hot in 1981.
_G.T. - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 03:16 PM EST (#9776) #
Pat Gillick's results didn't look so hot in 1981.

"A man's outhouse is his castle if he holds his nose and pretends the flies are pigeons"
_Magpie - Friday, December 10 2004 @ 06:40 PM EST (#9777) #
And anyways, I can say the same thing about Ash - most of his deals also seemed very reasonable at the time.

Well, off the top of my head, I can think of two Ash deals that had me shrieking in dismay the moment they were announced: a) the Otis Nixon trade, because I believed Shannon Stewart was ready to take over then and there (maybe not Opening Day 1996, but certainly by mid-season.)

b)the great Pittsburgh trade in November 1996 that brought in Dan Plesac, Carlos Garcia, and Orlando Merced. I hated it mainly because I regarded Merced as a complete waste of time and likely to be yet another way to take playing time away from the good young outfielders. I had no idea Garcia would be as awful as he turned out to be, it was getting Merced that made me crazy.
_Matthew E - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:55 AM EST (#9778) #
Actually, I didn't mind the Nixon signing; I figured he'd be okay as a transitional guy.

I hated hated hated the Garcia/Merced/Plesac trade, though. Hated.

And we haven't even mentioned Olerud/Person.
_G.T. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:13 AM EST (#9779) #
And we haven't even mentioned Olerud/Person.

... or the Cruz trade, the Quantrill trade, the Werth trade, etc.
_Rob - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:36 AM EST (#9780) #
or the Cruz trade, the Quantrill trade, the Werth trade, etc.

Actually, we've already rehashed the Quantrill trade many times above. Lee and Dunny have expressed their displeasure at the Werth trade, and Cruz was not traded away from Toronto. So we have mentioned them, or at least those that exist.
_Ryan01 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:29 PM EST (#9781) #
I think GT is referring to the trades in which Gord Ash acquired those players. Cruz for Timlin/Spoljaric, Q for Battle/Jordan and Werth for Bale. All solid moves that Ash deserves some credit for.
_Rob - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:01 PM EST (#9782) #
I think GT is referring to the trades in which Gord Ash acquired those players.

Well, I sure look like an idiot. Never mind then.
Coach - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:12 PM EST (#9783) #
G.T.'s memory is nearly as selective as Robbie's, or Bob Elliott's.

Wells-Sirotka came right after Sirotka pulled out of the Japan tour with a sore arm. I was appalled, though hardly surprised. Remember what the Mike Young-Esteban Loaiza deal had in common with Shawn Green-Raul Mondesi and Woody Williams-Joey Hamilton? All those marvelous acquisitions were immediately signed to insanely large contracts. Again, not surprising. Ash apparently figured if he paid Steve Parris, Homer Bush and Alex Gonzalez enough, they'd become assets instead of liabilities.

No GM is infallible. The good ones make fewer costly, crippling mistakes than the bad ones. Trying to predict the future health, performance and value of professional athletes is like trying to pick winners at the racetrack. Actually, J.P. has used the casino analogy. He wants to "be the house" -- that means after winning a hand (Wells) and losing one (Hinske) he still comes out ahead in the long run. A smart GM avoids making stupid bets, like signing a one-armed Glaus and increasingly wild Ortiz for $75 million or trading Kazmir for any Zambrano but Carlos. He knows he won't "win" every transaction, yet if they all make sense, he'll gradually improve his team.
_Moffatt - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:58 PM EST (#9784) #
Go figure that both of us would use card analogies.

I played in (and won) a small 8-player No Limit Texas Hold 'Em tournament yesterday, and I was struck by all the things poker, baseball trades, and economics/game theory have in common. Things like sunk costs, opportunity costs, risk vs. reward ("upside"), and playing your opponent as well as just playing the situation (e.g. fleecing Jim Bowden).

I think JP has the right idea thinking about being the house. Whether or not he's good at following that principle is up for debate, but I think he's got the right idea.
_StephenT - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 06:50 PM EST (#9785) #
G.T.'s memory is nearly as selective as ...

Nah, he was just bringing balance to the discussion, not attempting to mislead. If he was selecting his memories, he wouldn't have forgotten to collect $11 from me the last time we were at a Lynx game. :-)
_Robbie - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:53 PM EST (#9786) #
G.T.'s memory is nearly as selective as Robbie's, or Bob Elliott's.

I wasn't trying to say that the Ash era was a marvellous one; my point was that he too did make some good trades (along with many bad ones!). Thus far, I don't think JP's track record has been much better though. Adams, Hill and Bush aside, most all of the Jays young players are remnants from the Ash era. Lilly was a good trade. He's also brought in some role players that have worked out ok (Towers?). But that aside, his record of achievement isn't all that outstanding. JP's mandate was to slash payroll and field a competitive team. Thus far, I don't think he's lived up to the second part of that bargain.
_G.T. - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 12:37 PM EST (#9787) #
G.T.'s memory is nearly as selective as ...

Nah, he was just bringing balance to the discussion, not attempting to mislead.


Bingo. I responded to a post that ONLY mentioned bad Ash deals by making one that ONLY mentioned good Ash deals. And, predictably, it was only my post that supposedly showed selective memory.

Gord Ash certainly wasn't a stellar GM, but I believe that he gets way too much criticism here. Everybody is well aware of "mis-steps" of his tenure, but as Rob beautifully illustrated, some of his better moves appear to be forgotten.

(To me, Gord's biggest problem was a "lack of direction", but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that he was given no clear direction from above)

If he was selecting his memories, he wouldn't have forgotten to collect $11 from me the last time we were at a Lynx game. :-)

Oh yeah, heh. Well, I'm sure I'll be able to get that back at a Sens game soon, right? :)
robertdudek - Tuesday, December 14 2004 @ 01:15 PM EST (#9788) #
Robbie,

Calling Miguel Batista "unproven" suggests massive ignorance on your part. The guy's been an effective major league pitcher for over a half-decade and performed wonderfully in the 2001 post-season.

On another point, BA has consistently ranked the Jays farm system and drafts of the Ricciardi era as above average. I don't place much credence in their rankings, but I thought I'd point that out because you seem to.

The Jays record under Riccardi hasn't been dissimilar to the final years of the Ash regime - so "at the least", he's maintained mediocrity while slashing payroll.
robertdudek - Tuesday, December 14 2004 @ 01:37 PM EST (#9789) #
Lee,

I think you are forgetting the context of the Izturis-Quantrill deal.

Let me remind you that Prokopec was coming off an impressive rookie campaign. There were many people in baseball that thought that Prokopec had as bright a future at the time as Eric Gagne, who was an inconsistent starting pitcher. If you look at Gagne and Prokopec's 2001 numbers you'll find that they are fairly similar. Both pitchers gave up a lot of homeruns, had decent strikeout to walk ratios and very similar ERAs.

On the now defunct Baseball Primer, I praised the deal and started a thread there with a "Jays get Prokopec!" headline. At the time, it looked like the Jays had acquired a decent starting pitcher early in his career. That would have meant lots of cheap innings for years to come.

When Prokopec arrived in Toronto, his fastball was too straight, he had lost his command and then got hurt. Things turned out quite badly, but virtually no one was saying Prokopec would wash out at the time of the trade.

Getting rid of Quantrill was a salary dump. The Jays didn't think they'd be in a position to contend for at least 2 or 3 years (that was their thinking at the time) and by that time Quantrill would have been a free agent, aging pitcher with a very low strikeout rate. The Jays wouldn't have re-signed him.

Izturis was clearly a very good defender but also a weak hitter. I don't think he'll ever be a good hitter and frankly I'd rather have Russ Adams going forward in 2005 than Izturis.

But the most important thing about that trade was the presence of Felipe Lopez. Lopez was being talked about as following in the footsteps of Miguel Tejada - possessing all the tools to be a great shortstop.

No one at the time thought Izturis would turn out to be a better player than Lopez, and even today I'm not convinced that Lopez won't eventually have a better career than Cesar if Lopez finds the dilligence to address the weaknesses in his game.

It was a case of the Jays trading from a position of strength (shortstop) to try to shore up one of their weaknesses (starting pitchers). The trade addressed a need and saved the team money, so I can only conclude that based on all the information available at the time, the trade was sound from the Jays perspective.
robertdudek - Tuesday, December 14 2004 @ 01:50 PM EST (#9790) #
The acquisition of Jose Cruz for Timlin and Spoljalic - a potential superstar for two so-so relief pitchers (apologies to Timlin, but that's what he was at the time) was an absolute coup. It might rank as one of the top 10 trades of the decade based on information available at the time of the trade.

I'd do that kind of trade in a heartbeat: the potential payoff is so great in terms of value for dollar and the potential loss (two relief pitchers of no special distinction) that the expected net value is overwhelmingly positive.

Without a doubt it is the best trade Ash ever made. Cruz did not become a superstar but he's still been a pretty good player in his career - plays very good defence, walks, has some power. It's unfortunate that his power didn't develop, or else he'd be a bona fide all-star.

It's difficult to underestimate how highly Cruz was regarded as a rookie .
_Ryan01 - Tuesday, December 14 2004 @ 06:37 PM EST (#9791) #
"The acquisition of Jose Cruz for Timlin and Spoljalic - a potential superstar for two so-so relief pitchers (apologies to Timlin, but that's what he was at the time) was an absolute coup."

Of course, in hindsight, it was the BoSox that squeezed the best deal out of the Mariners that day, picking up Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb only a couple hours later. Not the finest day in Mariner history... though I guess they did reach the playoffs at least.
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