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Some rumors floating around today:

* Spencer Fordin checks in after the first day of the winter meetings.

How about first base? Just who will replace Carlos Delgado? Ricciardi said that he'd need at least two bats to do that, and he commented on the rumors that he's pursuing ex-Yankee Tony Clark by saying, "Only if some other things fall apart." He said that the same thing applies to ex-Jay John Olerud, and concluded that he's not interested in Fred McGriff.

* There's been some rumblings that part of the solution to filling the holes in the Jays lineup at 1B & DH could come from the White Sox.

Carlos Lee or first baseman Paul Konerko could be dealt as (Kenny Williams) attempts to clear the decks for a significant free-agent acquisition to remake a team that has already lost free agent Magglio Ordonez.

Lee, a 28-year-old right-handed hitter, batted .305, with 31 homers and 99 runs batted in, and had an on-base percentage of .366. He interests the Blue Jays, even though he will make $8-million next season (as will Konerko, who has his own supporters in the Blue Jays' front office) and even though adding him and Koskie means the Blue Jays would move either Eric Hinske or Miguel Batista, or both, perhaps throwing a prospect such as Gabe Gross in as a sweetener.


There's also apparently interest in Steve Klnine:

Ricciardi confirmed that the Blue Jays are considering making a formal offer to left-handed reliever Steve Kline, a key member of the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen, who was not offered arbitration by the club.

* Rios for Nick Johnson? Not likely.

One recently published rumor had Washington sending first baseman Nick Johnson to the Blue Jays for promising young outfielder Alexis Rios, but baseball sources said Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi nixed the trade and has no intention of dealing Rios.

* In Minnesota, the Duluth News expects Koskie to sign with the Jays soon if a deal with the Twins can't be completed.

Koskie, a free agent who made $4.5 million this year, can't get a deal done with the Twins this weekend, the Manitoba native is expected to take the three-year, $16 million offer of the Toronto Blue Jays.

* Mike Nakamura is headed to Japan to play for the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Jays Roundup - 12/11 | 155 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jordan - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:34 AM EST (#9895) #
A few free-agent signings to add to the mix:

--> Red Sox sign David Wells

--> Angels sign Steve Finley

--> Rangers sign Richard Hidalgo

The Hidalgo deal -- one year, $4.5M -- could be the steal of the meetings.
_Jordan - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:44 AM EST (#9896) #
I just want to post something Jeff Blair wrote this morning in the Globe...

Reports that Ricciardi approached the Washington Nationals about a trade that would send Rios to the NL club for Nick Johnson are wrong. Officials with both clubs say it was the Nationals who approached the Blue Jays and that Ricciardi was properly dismissive, since Johnson will be a free agent in two years (the Jays have Rios for five more years) and is often hurt.

...what Bob Elliott wrote yesterday in the Sun...

The Blue Jays are attempting to deal their former No. 1 pick to the Washington Nationals for first baseman Nick Johnson. Jim Bowden, new general manager of the Nationals, and Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi have discussed a Rios-for-Johnson swap.

And what one Bauxite wrote back on Dec. 4:

I can see it going the other way around: the Jays inquire about Johnson, Jim Bowden asks for Rios in return, and the call ends five seconds later. Washington would be insane to turn down that offer, and the Jays would be insane to make it.

The moral of the story is: don't overreact to rumours.
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:50 AM EST (#9897) #
Would anyone else be THRILLED if the Jays were SOMEHOW (A dreamer can dream, can't he?) able to pick up Koskie, Lee or Konerko, Kline, and Clement while somehow being able to dump Hinske and Batista at the same time?

Yeah that's stretching it a bit, heck it's WAY out there, but until the action starts picking up I've got all these crazy scenarios running around in my head.
_the shadow - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:55 AM EST (#9898) #
My advice to JP would be to lock up the "piggy bank" 'till the meetings are over, and some sort of sanity returns to the dealings
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:56 AM EST (#9899) #
http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playernews.asp?sport=MLB
COMN (and its not broken this time ;-)...)

Philadelphia apparently turned down an offer from the A's involving Tim Hudson...

Koch is apparently close to coming to the Blue Jays (as disgusting as it sounds, I like it if the guarantee is under a million) and the Jays are actually showing interest in Olerud now...

Pavano might get more than 10 million a year??? Sheesh...

Dave Roberts seems terribly popular these days. One big steal can do a lot, I guess...

Papers in Minnesote still seem to think that Koskie will be in Canada next year...

How about Matt Anderson on a minor league deal?...

Is Clement really worth 3/21 and is Arnsberg's presence enough to keep him from the Angels if theor offer blows the Jays' "out of the water"?...

Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez for Tim Hudson... Who wins?...
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:00 AM EST (#9900) #
I would be beyond thrilled if the Jays gave up Hinske and Batista and landed Lee or Konerko and then signed Koskie. As long as they turned around and signed a very good pitcher (a starter like Clement or a reliever like Kline) I'd be ecstatic. If they picked up both, I'd predict we'd be able to go home again (3rd place!) and have a good chance to compete for the WC in '06.
_Jim Acker - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:10 AM EST (#9901) #
Has anyone taken a look at Konerko and Lee's numbers at Skydome?
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:11 AM EST (#9902) #
Before someone blasts me for being unrealistic and idiotic keep in mind that I don't expect any of it to happen.

I'd be happy with Koskie/Clement... anything else would be gravy!
Named For Hank - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:12 AM EST (#9903) #
...but if Hinske returns to his Rookie of the Year form after being traded, certainly the calls for J.P.'s head will be echoing throughout the internet. We all know how that works. ;)

A farewell tour in Toronto for Olerud would probably go over well with the fanbase. Though Hentgen didn't work out so well, at least he got to retire a Jay. Wouldn't it be great to see Olerud retire as a Jay? Of course, thoughts like this are not the way to build a successful baseball team, and that's a big part of why I'm not a GM.
Named For Hank - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:13 AM EST (#9904) #
Has anyone taken a look at Konerko and Lee's numbers at Skydome?

Not me... Share! Share!
_Paul D - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:13 AM EST (#9905) #
Why are the Jays looking to sign Koskie to a three year deal when they've got Aaron HIll, who appears to be a year away, ready to take over?
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:14 AM EST (#9906) #
I'm in the same camp as Dave ... merely speculation. I think Koskie, Kline, and Koch are realistic possibilities as FA's right now (unless they really are serious about Clark or Olerud) and the chances with Clement are fading with each huge contract/offer received by the Ortizs and Pavanos of the world. I don't know how legitimate the rumors involving the White Sox are, and I doubt the Jays will be able to dump Hinske and Batista to get a slugger like Lee or Konerko but it sure does sound nice...
_Jim Acker - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:14 AM EST (#9907) #
Let me re-phrase....Does anyone have, does anyone know where you can find, Lee's and Kornerko's dome numbers?
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:16 AM EST (#9908) #
If they lock up Koskie for three years, I hope Hill can come up sometime in '06 as a super utility guy (any reason he couldn't play some 2B/SS/3B/LF/DH in a pinch?) and is prepared to take some serious PT away from Koskie in '07 (and Koskie will be able to do some DH'ing).
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:17 AM EST (#9909) #
Because Koskie is a proven player that has played 3rd base his entire career while Aaron Hill (a shorstop) is still in the minors and has only played 3rd at the AFL.

I think people are wrong to assume that when Hill hits the majors it'll be as a 3rd basemen. Why is he being written off as a shortstop? If you ask me, he's the teams shorstop of the future, with Russ Adams being traded simply because his arm isn't strong enough and it's very erratic. And the talk of getting rid of O-Dog and moving Adams to 2nd is insanity IMO. Why oh why would you trade a gold glove caliber 2nd basemen with some decent pop for a 2nd basemen?

Hope that answers your question :)
_doctor_payne13 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:17 AM EST (#9910) #
Provided that Koch were to sign for $1 million or less, I'd be fine with it. Despite walking WAY too many guys, he still had 1 K/IP, a decent ERA, and he pitched fairly well down the stretch with Florida.
_Chris H - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:19 AM EST (#9911) #
I was surprised to read the information about the Jays going after Kline. Everything i had read to-date had him going to the Yankees...

It will be interesting to see what happens if the Jays are able to acquire both Koskie and Konerko. What does happen to Hill? I am in the camp that believe he will be ready at some point in 2005 to join the big club and contribute. He would be blocked at 3B, 2B, and short...

C.
_jfree - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:20 AM EST (#9912) #
espn player pages splits have the stats for each stadium

Lee at skydome over the past 3 seasons
366/469/610
while konerko has put up a 179/247/299 line at the dome over the past three seasons.

i don't know how much stock you put in these numbers but if you put any you'd have to favour lee.
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:21 AM EST (#9913) #
I used to be a huge Koch fan when he was with The Jays, and maybe Arnberg (Sorry if I got his name wrong, he's still new to me :) ) can help him back to his tip-top form (how long ago was that again?) It's a risky move though if you intend using him as a closer or a setup guy strictly because he's imploded SO MANY times over the course of his career in the 9th inning.

A bullpen that consists of Speier, Koch, and Kline sounds nice to me though. Speier is a consistent pitcher that gets the job done, same with Kline although I believe he's better than Speier, and then you've got your power pitcher in Koch who can at times overpower batters.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Billy Goat make his return to the 'Dome.
_jfree - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:22 AM EST (#9914) #
sorry that's konerko's numbers against the jays over the past three years, it's even worse at the dome where he's put up a 100/163/175 line.
_the shadow - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#9915) #
I'd be happy with Koskie/Clement... anything else would be gravy

Amen brother
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#9916) #
Konerko put up that line (.117 GPA) in 40 AB and Lee put those numbers (.364 GPA) in 41 AB. I think Lee is the much better choice since he destroys lefties and still hits righties very well. Konerko, on the other hand, had a pretty big platoon split doesn't he? As long as Lee can play 1B, anyway.
_Pumped 4/05 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:23 AM EST (#9917) #
Anyone know the contract situations of both Konerko and Lee?
_Jim Acker - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:25 AM EST (#9918) #
Good work on the stats. Does anyone know how long the sox has each of those guys signed for?
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:26 AM EST (#9919) #
Assuming (you know what happens when you assume) that Gross is part of the deal (if it happens of course) why not keep Lee in his natural position in left? He's got a strong throwing arm from what I recall and for a big guy he can flash some leather. Cat on the other hand is coming off an injury plagued season and it might be a better move for him to play 1st or DH instead?

Anyone else get the feeling that Cat, whose entering 2005 with a new contract, is the forgotten man in all this?

IMO, one of the following 3 will not be in Toronto next season:
Sparky
Gross
Cat

I don't think Cat would get dealt, but how is it possible to give all 3 playing time while not taking away from guys like Rios in right? Someone's gotta go (I'd rather it be Gross)
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:31 AM EST (#9920) #
According to baseball-reference, Lee played a grand total of 0 games at 1B last year (no surprise, I guess, as a teammate of The Big Hurt and Konerko) and a total of 5 in his career (way back in 1999).
Upon looking up his splits on ESPN.com, Konerko is still just about an .800 OPS guy against righties over the past three years. Perhaps he's the better bet since he plays 1B anyway...
_jfree - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:31 AM EST (#9921) #
it's only over 40 ab for the last three years while at tougher yankee stadium he's hit 432/488/784. What does everyone think about Placido Polanco? I know he primarily played 2B last year but has played just as much 3B as 2B over the past three years. He's three years younger than koskie and is a better overall hitter, he also might come a little cheaper than our Canadian friend. If we could pick him up, deal hinske in a package for either lee/konerko or kearns, then add clement and Kline to the staff we'd be looking quite good for third place this year and nipping at the yanks for second.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:33 AM EST (#9922) #
Lee in left would be best, for sure, but Cat at first still harkens memories of the game the Jays lost in '03 when he made the terrible play(s) on the lats play of the game. The exact details escape me, but I do remember it was horrendous :-P.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:34 AM EST (#9923) #
I thnk Polanco is a much smarter move than Koskie, but I also don't think there's any chance of it happening unfortunately.
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:38 AM EST (#9924) #
Donkit, the game you are speaking of was the 3rd game of a series at Cleveland two seasons ago. First, Cat booted the ball then he rushed to pick it up and throw him and his throw was terrible and it lost the team the game.

Cat might be a good fit for the DH spot though. And if we're looking for a 1b, I'd rather have the natural (Konerko) there than Lee/Cat.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:39 AM EST (#9925) #
Thank you Dave, and definitely I deifnitely agree concerning the best fit at 1B... 1B isn't an important defensive position, but it is a defensive position nonetheless...
_GeoffAtMac - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:43 AM EST (#9926) #
I am not sure the Jays can "legally" trade Catalanatto because he just signed a multi-year deal. Isn't there a rule against trading players in the first year of a multi-year deal? (I seem to remember that being a sticking point to trading Batista in '04).

I agree that Kline would make an excellent pickup -- if he does well we have the added bonus of a more solid bullpen, as well as a flippable guy at the deadline. I would welcome Koch back as well -- although he is certainly erratic at points, we would just need to be choosy about how we used him (i.e. not the closer unless he is back to tip-top form).

PS Who is 'Sparky' that is referred to above?
_DaveInNYC - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:48 AM EST (#9927) #
Geoff, when I said Sparky I meant Reed Johnson. I should clarify better next time, sorry for the confusion.

And Geoff, your probably right about that rule. So if the Jays pick up a 1b and a DH that means that Cat and Reed would probably platoon in left leaving Gross as the odd man out.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:49 AM EST (#9928) #
I wouldn't advocate a trade of F-Cat ... he's fine as a DH/LF...
_Braby21 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:50 AM EST (#9929) #
And Geoff, your probably right about that rule. So if the Jays pick up a 1b and a DH that means that Cat and Reed would probably platoon in left leaving Gross as the odd man out.

If the Jay's don't pick up a 1b & DH Gross will be the out man out anyways. JP says that he will start next season in Syracuse.
_Wildrose - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:53 AM EST (#9930) #
Geoff, I believe there's no rule persay regarding trading Cat ( there is one however in the NBA), but an unwritten rule exists. If you traded a guy in his first year of being a free agent with your team, why would any future free agent trust you enough, to sign with your squad.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:02 PM EST (#9931) #
Braby - I knew that Gross in Syracuse was a possibility, but when and where did JP explicitly state that?
_Wildrose - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:05 PM EST (#9932) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits3?statsId=5778&type=pitching
I'm a little surprised with the lack of interest in Kline as well, St Louis declined arbitration, the Yanks went out and re-aqquired Stanton, Comm for his 3 year splits, pretty good. He's coming off an injury to his finger maybe that's the hold up?
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:08 PM EST (#9933) #
Hopefully J.P.'s "Moneyball" ways ;-) (find someone undervalued by the market) leads to a bargain deal for Kline to join the Blue Jays.
_dp - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:09 PM EST (#9934) #
Anyone else here want to keep Gross, or just me? Of course, it depends on what we get back. But in a full season's worth of AB at Syracuse, he's posted a .284/.381/.454 line, and in every level he's struggled hitting for power at first while keeping his walks consistent. If he could post that AAA line for the Jays in '06, it'd be worth waiting while he struggles in '05. 2005 doesn't matter- in 2006, I'd rather have Gross for the minimum than Cat for $2M.

I like the idea of picking up Koch. I have no rational basis for this.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:11 PM EST (#9935) #
I agree with dp, but if it allowed us to move Hinske and Batista's contract, and landed us a good everyday 1B then I'm not sure moving Gross is such a bad idea. I would think that we could get Konerko plus a mid-level prospect or solid bench player for Hinske,Batista, *and* Gross, eh?
_Lee F. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:13 PM EST (#9936) #
Konerko at the Dome
Games: 24
At Bats: 89
Average: .146
OBP: .189
Hits: 13
Strikeouts: 17
Walks: 3
Runs: 9
RBI's: 7
HR's: 2

Lee at the Dome
Games: 21
At Bats: 80
Average: .338
OBP: .396
Hits: 27
Strikeouts: 7
Walks: 8
Runs: 15
RBI's: 10
HR's: 2

Those are career numbers at the Dome, clearly favours Carlos Lee
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:15 PM EST (#9937) #
Clearly is a small sample size...
_dp - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:18 PM EST (#9938) #
Donkit-

Salary dump deals are tough to evaluate. OTH, I think whoever we bring in with the saved cash has to be better than Gross's expected peak. I've been following Gross pretty closely since the Jays got him, and have always appreciated the way he learns a level. I think his upside is pretty high. And I have a feeling his trade value will be higher after some time at AAA- IIRC, he really came on strong toward the end of his time at Syracuse this year.
_Ryan B. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:24 PM EST (#9939) #
Konerko has one year and $8M left on his contract.

Lee has two or three years with his '05 salary being $8M. I think it increases the next season to $8.5 or something like that.

I think some of you are missing the big picture. The Jays have always wanted Johnson (Sparky) to be a 4th OF and not a starter. That means if Lee comes he will play left, Wells in center and Rios in right. Cat will DH and Johnson will come in off the bench. Gross will be shipped of for Lee so he won't be a factor.

And the Jays are out of the Clement sweepstakes because he has priced himself out of their market. He will now go for between $8 and $9M a seaon, something the Jays can't afford. I've heard a Rios for Kip Wells rumor but I don't think it's very realistic.

Source - The Score/Jeff Blair
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:29 PM EST (#9940) #
Ryan B. ... whos playin first next year then? The scrap-heap guys that have been mentioned (I'd be happy if it was, say, a platoon with *ahem* Choi and Colbrunn as long as Tony The Tiger isn't involved)...

dp- I am a big fan of Gross as well and would be sad to see him go, but I still feel it'd be alright for a Konerko or Lee level guy, combined with the dump of Hinske and Batista (who are still good players, but hamstring a 53 million dollar budget)
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:34 PM EST (#9941) #
Time to go fail a political science final... I'll learn to study instead of procrastinating at a baseball website someday... *sigh*
_greenfrog - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:34 PM EST (#9942) #
JP apparently doesn't think the Jays are out of the Clement sweepstakes (see the G&M article by Blair). I think JP likes Clement a lot and would be willing to pay him $24M for 3 years, and maybe even a bit more. Whether this is enough is an open question.
_dp - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:44 PM EST (#9943) #
Time to go fail a political science final...

reminds me of my undergrad days...blogs were the death of me then...

what's the class? i bailed on polisci after my masters.
_6-4-3 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:49 PM EST (#9944) #
Speaking about scrap-heap first-basemen pick-ups, early in the season, Peter Gammons had this to say about a 1st baseman:

"The rap on him was that he had a slow bat, a long swing, whatever, and that he couldn't hit an above-average fastball . . . While he hasn't hit for average, he's on a 40-homer pace."

Name that player (without google), and for bonus points, name his actual home run total.

Despite the Season From Hell (TM) and Delgado leaving, I'm finding this to be a fun time to be a Jays fan. Money's avaliable, many different combinations of players might be brought in, and rumors are flying.
_Gwyn - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:54 PM EST (#9945) #
Name that player (without google), and for bonus points, name his actual home run total.

Hee Seop Choi. I can't remember his home run total but it was nowhere near 40, I'll guess 18 ?
Thomas - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 12:55 PM EST (#9946) #
I have a polisci exam in an hour, too.

Fwiw, Koch also struggled with personal issues last year, and ended up leaving the Marlins about three weeks or a month before the season ended. I'm no big fan of his, but for a small deal I don't have huge objections to bringing him back.

Also, the Dodgers claimed lefty Frank Brooks on waivers.
Named For Hank - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:00 PM EST (#9947) #
I'm finding this to be a fun time to be a Jays fan. Money's avaliable, many different combinations of players might be brought in, and rumors are flying.

Amen. Check out the post volume the last few days compared to last week.
_the shadow - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:06 PM EST (#9948) #
I don't think the Jay's will get Koskie,so I think they should make a real run at Clement and (or)Kline, one of the 2 would be nice but 2 for 2 would be a miracle, and better
Gerry - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:07 PM EST (#9949) #
If someone is bored today they could count how many posts over the last few days expressed dismay over the Jays plans to trade Rios for Johnson, and how many posters were upset with JP for even thinking of such a thing.

What a waste of bits and bytes.
_Cristian - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:12 PM EST (#9950) #
I just want to be on the record as being against the Jays picking up Koskie for about $5M. Feel free to throw it in my face if Koskie signs and plays brilliantly. But Koskie to me is the kind of guy you sign in February for $3M, tops.

By the way, dumping Hinske to the ChiSox makes sense when you think about it. The Sox are a heavily righthanded team and could use a lefthanded bat in the lineup. And if there was a 3B more disappointing than Hinske last year, it would have been Joe Crede.
_Ryan B. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:22 PM EST (#9951) #
Name that player (without google), and for bonus points, name his actual home run total.

It is Jeff Liefer? Didn't he hit like 20 HR's for the Brewers?
_Joseph Krengel - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:23 PM EST (#9952) #
http://www.canadasdebate.com
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the White Sox looking to trade Lee or Konerko to clear salary room for a run at a big-ticket FA? If that's the case, then why would they take on Hinske and Batista, who stand to make just a shade less than the player they would ship out?
_Fawaz K - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:40 PM EST (#9953) #
Based on what Blair's said on the score, the Sox will likely not be done if this deal goes through. They may have something else lined up to flip Hinske/Batista over to someone else or use them to replace other high-priced talent they might soon jettison. Of course, it just may be that Kenny hasn't thought this through...
_John Northey - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 01:53 PM EST (#9954) #
I'm on Cristian's side when it comes to Koskie. At first I thought it would be good, but after digging through the numbers and finding the only 31 year old third baseman to improve since 1970 was Ken Caminitti and that was via steroids while the rest declined by 20 points in OBP and even more in Slg, well, that is enough to make me say 'thanks but no thanks' to a 3 year deal. One or two, sure. 3? No way. In 2007 Koskie will be a player a team wants to do a salary dump with. Given the Jays should be (hopefully) contenders by then I'd rather not see them with a $5-6 million dollar black hole.

Could Koskie be as productive in '07 as today? Sure. But I sure wouldn't bet on it.
_Geoff - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:04 PM EST (#9955) #
I agree on the Koskie thing...if Hinske is jettisoned what does Koskie give you at 3 and 16 plus losing a draft pick that Joe Randa at 1 and 3 doesn't?
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:06 PM EST (#9956) #
I agree. I wouldn't mind having Kosie for a year, but a three-year deal is too long IMO. Just out of curiousity, is John Hattig projected to start next year in AAA?
_Spifficus - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:14 PM EST (#9957) #
I hope the Twins ante up for Koskie, because the contract the Jays seem to be offering is one year too long. A 2 / 10 contract would put me more at ease. I just don't want this team to be saddled with a $5M contract for a declining player when it looks like this is the most likely destination for our Corey Koskie replica.

As far as Gross goes, I've always been an optimist. He seems to struggle to get used to a level - took him half a year to start hitting in AA, and it took him half a year to start hitting in AAA, and I think that's all we were seeing at the end of this year. I have this lingering feeling that he can be a Paul O'Neill (.300/.400/.450) once he gets settled, and I'd hate to see that used to get rid of Hinske. One of our young pitchers might be a better alternative. Given the curret market, Bautista shouldn't be just dumped - a "Workhorse, 15-Game Winner" type like Bautista digned to a cheap contract (relative to this market, anyway) should be able to net us something we can use long-term. He doesn't NEED to be traded, after all.

I'm with DP on Koch - I like the idea, and yet I really have no reason to.
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:18 PM EST (#9958) #
I also like the idea of picking up Koch. He has a bad reputation, and thus won't cost much money, but he still has the potential to be a decent reliever again.
_Ryan B. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:31 PM EST (#9959) #
I never even considered Joe Randa but looking at him he may be a better option for the Jays then Koskie. The big plus for me is that he will be cheaper and they can put that money into a last-ditch offer to Matt Clement.

My question is if the Jyas lose out on Clement who is the next guy on the list? Will he be a FA or come via trade? What will it take to get this player in a trade?
_Scott Levy - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:33 PM EST (#9960) #
If the White Sox trade Lee for Batista, they save over $3 million over the next two years. If they trade Lee for Hinske, they save $5 million in 2005, about $4 million in 2006, but than have to pay Hinske's salary in 2007 while Lee comes off the books. If Kenny Williams wants to save money this year and next year, the deal makes sense for him. I guess he can plug Hinske at 3B, and use Crede in a trade.

I don't know if I want to use Gross just to get rid of Hinske though. Gross is good insurance should Cat get injured. Maybe Chacin and Hinske for Lee?
_lurker - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 02:49 PM EST (#9961) #
Those guys' numbers at the Dome are totally meaningless. They came against Blue Jay pitchers, and if they became Jays, they wouldn't face Blue Jay pitchers. Duh.
_greenfrog - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:03 PM EST (#9963) #
I don't think these stats are totally meaningless, though your point is well taken. Some players do hit better in particular environments.

On a different note, the BoSox just signed David Wells (pending a physical) to a deal that could be worth $16-18M for two years (ie, assuming Wells makes enough starts, etc). I think this could be a very good deal for them. While Pavano, Clement and others are getting all the hype--and will command hefty contracts of at least three years--Wells could prove to be good value. Only $8M is guaranteed, so the risk is limited. He will also likely be in demand at the trade deadline, should the Sox be out of contention and want to flip him for prospects.
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:08 PM EST (#9964) #
dp- Just Political Science 100... Intro Politics Power & Culture I believe its called. I think I did well enough to make a 60, but in hindsight the exam wasn't very difficult so I should have paid attention/attended class more as an average booster. I didn't put much effort in the class cuz I don't plan to continue studying political science and though my professor seems like a genuinely likable man, he also seems like a genuinely unlikable professor. I get a different prof second term though...
_Donkit R.K. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:12 PM EST (#9965) #
"...should the Sox be out of contention..." ~ greenfrog

Let's hope they are, indeed, out of contention because of the surprising excellence of thos pesky Blue Jays ;-) ...
_Geoff - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:15 PM EST (#9966) #
I was looking at the stats of Koskie, Randa and Valentin on baseballreference.com - can anyone explain why for all three batters there was a different number for league average OPS is computing their OPS+ figure
_S.Bialo - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:20 PM EST (#9967) #
Geoff: OPS+ takes into account league norms and park factors.
I'm not sure to what extend park factors are used. (ie, just home park vs. league, or does it compute an average based on every park the player played in?)
Coach - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:44 PM EST (#9968) #
If someone is bored today they could count how many posts over the last few days expressed dismay over the Jays plans to trade Rios for Johnson, and how many posters were upset with JP for even thinking of such a thing.

Bob Elliott, who hasn't stopped grinding his axe since J.P. was hired, creates yet another spurious rumour out of a complete distortion. As usual, it paints the Jays in a bad light. Jeff Blair, always accurate and impartial, flatly says it isn't true. Gosh, who to believe?

The moral of the story is: don't overreact to rumours.

Agreed completely. Before you react at all, consider the source. If it's Elliott, Baker or Griffin, try to remember they have so much respect for the truth they use it only as a last resort.

Getting Koch when the Bosox got Mantei at 750k would be a real disappointment.

I'm skeptical, but there's a point on the risk-reward scale where Koch is worth a try. For me, that would be well under a million with some incentives. If Arnsberg could help Billy put the tiniest wrinkle in that laser-straight heater, what a deal.

It's actually quite similar to what the Red Sox are doing with Mantei (and before him, Fox, Howry and Williamson) -- if a guy throws hard enough, you never know when he'll rebound from arm trouble, or in some cases, head trouble. Supporting my theory, Howry didn't pan out in Boston but was great last year in Cleveland. Auditioning these former flamethrowers is a decent idea; investing heavily in them isn't.

While we're on the bullpen, I agree that Steve Kline is statistically one of the more attractive LOOGY candidates in a lean market, but I hope he gets a better offer somewhere else. It's a character thing. Anyone who would even think, "I hope Mark Prior takes a line drive off the forehead and we never have to see him again," let alone say it, is impossible for me to like. He's a loose cannon, was my least favourite Cardinal and would immediately become my least favourite Jay.
_Mike Forbes - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:45 PM EST (#9969) #
http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cle/news/cle_news.jsp?ymd=20041211&content_id=920756&vkey=news_cle&fext=.jsp
The Indians interest in Clement seems to have faded quite abit, they're turning their attention to Mr. Loazia. COMN.
_Ryan C - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 03:58 PM EST (#9970) #
I like what Wilner said just a few minutes ago on the FAN. The Jays are interested in Koch, but not as a closer. He would be coming in as a back of the bullpen guy behind Frasor, Batista(if he doesnt start), Speier(if he comes back), and possibly League(whenever he arrives). And in that scenario Billy Koch ain't a bad option depending, as always, on price.
_dp - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:03 PM EST (#9971) #
if a guy throws hard enough, you never know when he'll rebound from arm trouble, or in some cases, head trouble.

Yeah, the Marlins learned that with Benitez, though he hadn't fallen apart the way the other guys you cited had.

The Jays should just give up on Clement and Koskie. Clement isn't worth $10M, Koskie isn't worth $5-$6M. The market won't likely get worse next winter, and it isn't like this year matters much. I'm comfortable with Doc/Lilly/Bush/Batista/Chacin(ect).

If JP has to give up Gross to move Hinske's contract, that sucks. Gross is gonna be a fine player, I think a better hitter than Rios.
_greenfrog - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:12 PM EST (#9972) #
I don't want to see Koch back on the Jays. Grooved fastballs, control issues--are 6th- or 7th-inning meltdowns any better than 9th-inning ones? For me, Koch would just be the latest in a long line of mediocre relievers signed by Ricciardi. I think relying on Arnsberg to turn around Koch's career is just wishful thinking.

I would rather see JP sign one good reliever, for a change, instead of a raft of sketchy ones. Unless we're already planning to muddle through 2005 to get to the "contending" years.
_6-4-3 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:23 PM EST (#9973) #
Hee Seop Choi. I can't remember his home run total but it was nowhere near 40, I'll guess 18 ?

15, but that's good enough to earn you this lovely picture of Bok Choi:



Enjoy!

And I wouldn't mind seeing Koch with the Jayts again, if only because I still have his bobblehead. He'll be cheap, and it's not like the Jays have a great pitcher that he'll be putting out of work. If he doesn't pan out, he'll be a cheap mistake.
_Fawaz K - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:29 PM EST (#9974) #
I imagine Justin Miller won't love Billy Koch as much if he ends up losing his roster spot to him.
_jim854 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:35 PM EST (#9975) #
Coach,
The best line of the day: they have so much respect for the truth they use it only as a last resort. I agree with you completely. Thanks for the laugh.
Coach - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:45 PM EST (#9976) #
Greenfrog, precisely which "good reliever" would you recommend signing? Percival went for $12 million. That's insanity. Robb Nen and Eddie Guardado were "sure things" to earn their last huge contracts. I'm very curious what you would do on the Jays' budget -- this mysterious "good reliever" must mean you advocate Eric Crozier at first base or Josh Towers in the rotation, right?

Anyone who could pick a Joe Borowski or Joe Nathan every year not only would be undefeated in fantasy ball, they'd soon have a well-deserved job in a major league front office. J.P.'s harshest critics love the myth that he turned down Gagne in the Prokopec trade, but if the Dodgers were trying to peddle Eric, then a failed starter, that means all 30 GMs missed the boat on a superstar closer. Then there are players like Tim Worrell, who took $700,000 less to be a setup man in Philly than he was offered as the Jays potential closer. In other words, you can't always get what (or who) you want.

The most cost-effective way to acquire an ace reliever is to draft him. League is exciting and Rosario isn't far away, but I can't promise there won't be some of what you call muddling and some of us call development before Toronto has its own Frankie Rodriguez.
_Ron - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 04:54 PM EST (#9977) #
I wonder how the Lawton for Rhodes deal impacts the Indians pursuit of Clement. I know they have a 3 year offer but I wonder if they will up it later on.

The Pirates also sent cash to the Tribe to complete the deal.
_Vernons Biggest - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 05:02 PM EST (#9978) #
The Indians interest in Clement seems to have faded quite abit, they're turning their attention to Mr. Loazia.

Maybe the Indians think/know Toronto is close (or another team) to signing Clement and are just trying to lock someone up.
_Ryan B. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 05:56 PM EST (#9979) #
CBS sports and Roto World are reporting Jarrett right failed his pysical with the Yankkes due to a shouder problem, thus his deal is off.

That means that Yankkes need another pitcher, making it even harder for the Jays to get Clement.
_Mick - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 06:13 PM EST (#9980) #
The Yankees are looking to sign Pavano and Milton, especially with Wells going to Boston. The only way that affects Clement is how much it will drive up the price.
_Braby21 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 06:19 PM EST (#9981) #
Ya that's what Rotoworld is saying Mick.

"The Yankees and Carl Pavano are currently putting the finishing touches on a four-year deal worth about $40 million."

They also think that Seattle may be in the Clement "frenzy"
_Ron - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 06:35 PM EST (#9983) #
http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/tor/news/tor_news.jsp?ymd=20041211&content_id=920829&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp
Gibby spoke to the media today. A few interesting tidbits:

- Likes the idea of Hudson batting 2nd in the order
- Against Right-Handers, he's leaning towards Adams leading off
- Against Left-Handers, he's leaning towards Johnson leading off unless Adams proves he can hit lefties (he only hit .100 last season although in only 72 AB's)
- Might be more aggressive next season in terms of putting players in motion
- Looks like the Regular Season line-up will play together in the final 10-14 days of Spring Training. It appears the organization is hoping this curbs the slow start of the past 3 seasons.
_Jim - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:02 PM EST (#9984) #
'Red Sox signed Halama today for 1 million. His relief numbers last year were very good. Both Halama and Mantei are better signings than Koch.'

For players at this salary level don't ignore what post-season bonuses might be worth to them. I think the Winners share of the WS was over 400k a player. If Boston and Washington are offering equal money, there is a chance for a 40% bonus over there which I think gives them a nice advantage on those lower middle class FAs.
_Eric - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:20 PM EST (#9985) #
The Jays should stay far away from Paul Konerko. Take a look at his home/road splits the last three years and take into account U.S. Cellular Field is considered the Coors of the midwest. Lee is much more worthwhile.
_Nicholas - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:22 PM EST (#9986) #
Any one think Wright's failed physical has anything to do with Pavano's signing. Meaning, sign Wright today and wait to see if we can get Pavano. If we do Wright fails his physical...
_Ryan B. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:36 PM EST (#9987) #
I think the Yankees made a strong move with Pavano. Why, because he is a one year wonder. Before last season he didn't have a single year where you would say, "Yea, that kids worth $10 M." I think Pavano will fail in the big apple much like Vasquez did.

The price for pitchers keeps going up which is bad news for the Jays. Now teams that missed out on Pavano such as Boston, Seattle, Detroit ect. along with the teams already interested will be all over Clement. I think Toronto has a better chance of landing Randy Johnson then Clement now.

The positives are that they have that cash to spend else where. I'm hoping the Twins keep Koskie so a more cost effective Joe Randa could be signed. Maybe if Randa is inked then Toronto could up there offer to Clement by a million or millian and a half per season. $8.5M/season will put them right in the thick of the Matt Clement sweepstakes.
_Ryan B. - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:38 PM EST (#9988) #
The Brewers will trade Dan Kolb to the Braves for Jose Capellan, the Journal Sentinel reports.
It looks like John Smoltz is going to return to the rotation after all. The Brewers could be getting a closer of the future in Capellan, but they might also decide to start him off in the rotation. Luis Vizcaino and Mike Adams are the top internal candidates to replace Kolb. The Brewers could also look at trading for Ugueth Urbina or signing Robb Nen.


Source: Roto World --> ESPN

Nice touch by the Braves in my book. All depends on those rookies that the Brew Crew are getting though.
_JackFoley - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:39 PM EST (#9989) #
With the Kolb trade, Smoltz is now back in the rotation. I wonder how effective he will be.

Back to the Jays---I'm sure this has been discussed, but if no Clement, what about Kevin Millwood?
_Mick - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:44 PM EST (#9990) #
Halama to the Red Sox could be a great move for Boston. I think it makes Halama an Andujar candidate here on Da Box (for the third straight year -- maybe we should re-name the award for him) in that he has great potential to be a low-risk-high-reward investment.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's the better of the two lefties they signed today, over Wells. Not saying that's likely, just that it wouldn't be a shock.
Pistol - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:48 PM EST (#9991) #
Steve Phillips said on ESPNews that Renteria signed with the Red Sox - 4 years, $40 million.

Haven't seen it anywhere else.
_Mick - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 07:56 PM EST (#9992) #
And Jayson Stark on ESPNews says it's going to be a "trade" with the Cardinal signing Cabrera.
_just a fan - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 08:16 PM EST (#9993) #
A slight diversion from this thread: Today's National Post has reprinted an article from the New York Times by Lee Jenkins, describing in detail how Al Leiter was betrayed by the Mets. Leiter, a life-long Mets fan, had wanted to end his career in New York, and had decided to sign with the Mets for less money, when the Mets withdrew their offer.

All I can say is "what goes around comes around." Ask Paul Beeston if he will be sending Leiter a message, empathizing with Leiter's pain at this betrayal.

Some slow day, you might start a thread dedicated to stories about players and owners/general managers who have chosen loyalty over a bigger salary or a healthier bottom line.
_R Billie - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 08:26 PM EST (#9994) #
I think Boston is making some brilliant signings. Matt Mantei, David Wells, and now John Halama for a one year role as a lefty at a million. Halama has a 2.64 era in over 130 relief innings over the last 3 years and is tough on lefties in general. In other words the ideal LOOGY with plenty of starting experience (not that he's ever been a good starter).

Epstein is going to spend big money to keep Martinez and Varitek around but he's also scraping some of the most desirable pieces up from the bargain bin as well. Epstein is just starting his career but he's in the enviable position of having tons of money relative to everyone but the Yankees and knowing just what to do with it.

These are the types of signings I was hoping the Blue Jays could make. Although if they reel in Steve Kline that would be a pretty good pickup. You have to believe his market is a lot bigger than Halama's though seeing as he's probably the best lefty reliever name on the market.
_R Billie - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 08:31 PM EST (#9995) #
Oops. Forgot to mention Renteria. He's an extreme doubles hitter at the best of times. He and Fenway seem to be made for each other. A very effective replacement for Garciaparra and an upgrade on Cabrera as an all-around player. Huge off-season for the Red Sox so far.

Meanwhile the Yankees are wondering about Jaret Wright's shoulder, overpaid for the consistently overrated Eric Milton, and are paying Carl Pavano just $2 million less than what the Red Sox will be paying for Schilling and Martinez. Meanwhile they also seem to want to trade Vazquez who may be one legitimate pitching talent they should keep (though not at $10 million per season).
_R Billie - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 08:34 PM EST (#9996) #
If the Jays start bidding in the $8 million range on Clement, and I seriously doubt that they will, there has to be some more desirable talent at that price point than a mid-rotation starter. Heck, Edgar Renteria just signed for $10 million.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 08:40 PM EST (#9997) #
Some slow day, you might start a thread dedicated to stories about players and owners/general managers who have chosen loyalty over a bigger salary or a healthier bottom line.

That's going to be one short thread...

Never did understand why anyone expects players to be loyal. Owners aren't. General managers aren't. Fans aren't, not to players. So why should the guys with the short careers be loyal? I can't believe people are still whining about Al Leiter signing with Florida ten years ago, and the two words I have for them are "Tom" and "Henke."

The good news for the Jays - they gave up 823 runs last year. That's tied for 7th in the AL and you have to figure that just giving Pat Hentgen's 80 IPT to Roy Halladay will cut at least 40 from that total even if nothing else changes. I'm also reasonably sure that if David Bush picks up Justin Miller's 16 starts, he'll at least be able to keep his ERA below 6.05...

The bad news, of course, is they scored only 719 - which is nowhere near enough - and their best hitter is gone. The good news here is that they scored 719 runs with Delgado having a bad, injury-marred season - they don't have to replace his 2003 production just to break even.
_Tyler - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 08:49 PM EST (#9998) #
Anyone heard any more about this potential Hinske/Batista for Lee deal? I can't believe it's possible that Kenny Williams would make that deal, but I'd be all for making it if it's out there. The chance to remove 550 deadweight at-bats from the lineup while adding Lee to fill some of the power void that Carlos has left is just huge in my mind, and the chance to do so while retaining a modicum of flexibility for the future is even better.

It looks like Joe Randa is still out there...I'd be interested in signing him for one season to fill in until Hill is ready if this Hinske deal can be swung.
_Nolan - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 09:01 PM EST (#9999) #
If the rumour has it that a Hinske/Batista for Lee trade is possible, what about trying to get Joe Crede back in it?

He was about as bad last year as Hinske, but with more power. He's a year younger than Hinske and considerably better defensively (I believe).

I think it would be a great deal of trading two disappointments and seeing if they can turn it around in a new setting. I also believe that Crede has more upside than Hinske.

Dugout Dollars is still not working 100%, but I believe Crede is still making close to league minimum.

I'm guessing we'd have to throw in another player into the trade to make this work...just not sure who. I think Crede could be had pretty easily and would be better than either Hinske or Randa.
Mike Green - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 09:20 PM EST (#10000) #
I'm not a big fan of the Halama signing. Reliever's ERA is a deceptive stat. Halama has been more effective in relief than starting, but 2.63 doesn't come anywhere close to describing it.
Pitching in Boston instead of Tampa Bay will affect him significantly, as he's vulnerable to the home run. My guess (based on his FIP from this year, and Boston's inferior defence to Tampa's) is that he ends up with an ERA between 4.5 and 5.5 next year.
_Jdog - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 09:31 PM EST (#10001) #
All I gotta say is that Josh Phelps is probably glad Halama stayed in the American League
_Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 09:36 PM EST (#10002) #
I like Joe Crede quite a bit myself - he made $ 340 K last year, but he might be arbitration eligible this winter. He's got two years and about 100 days of service time. He'll be 27 in April, so he should be hitting his peak right about now. My impression of his defense is... pretty darn good and certainly better than our guy.

He's a bit of a hacker (32 and 34 walks the last two years) and he doesn't strike out all that much for a guy with some pop (75 and 81 Ks). He has no speed whatsoever, and all of this is often a formula for a GIDP machine. But hits the ball in the air rather than on the ground, so he doesn't kill you that way.
_Ron - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 09:41 PM EST (#10003) #
JP had a meeting with Clement's agent this morning and of this afternoon he said the Jays were still very much in the running for Clement.
_the shadow - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:24 PM EST (#10004) #
With the price for Clements approaching the 9m per year mark, I hope as far as the Jays are concerned that common sense prevails
_Andrew - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:31 PM EST (#10005) #
How much of an upgrade is Koskie over Hinske? I realize he's better defensively, but at least stats-wise, the two of them were very similar. As far as hitting goes, Koskie does probably have more power than Hinske, but that's not saying that the power's not there in Hinske, at least judging by his rookie year. And considering that Koskie's on the decline and Hinske still has room to develop, is this at all worth giving up a pick for? And even then we'll have to try to shop Hinske to teams that don't want him.
_Jdog - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:41 PM EST (#10006) #
Andrew I tend to agree with you. I think going after someone like Lee should be a major priority. Or what about JD Drew, I just hope Jp doesn't have his mind so set on Koskie and Clement that he loses sight of players that could be much better deals and much better help to the team. I have enough confidence in Bush to forget all about going after another starter and just focusing on some good bats.
_6-4-3 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:42 PM EST (#10007) #
How much of an upgrade is Koskie over Hinske?

Good question. Going by last year, here's some comparisons:

Hinske:

OPS+ 74 (26% below average, park adjusted)
VORP: -2.2
Win Shares: 8

Koskie:
OPS+ 113
VORP: 26.7
Win Shares: 14

So Koskie's a pretty big improvement on Hinske. But, he'd also be more expensive, he might lead to Hinske playing first, might lead to Hinske being dumped for little to nothing, etc. And Hinske might bounce back.
_Peter - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:49 PM EST (#10008) #
I heard that the Jays are very close to making their first signing its believed to be Steve Kline. Also if they sign him he will become the closer.I also heared that the Jays will most likely trade Batista by the end of the meetings.
_Scott Levy - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:55 PM EST (#10009) #
Hinske is set to make $12.96 million over the next 3 years. The Jays are rumored to be offering Koskie $15-16 million over 3 years. The net difference between the two would be roughly $3 million over 3 years, or $1 million a season. Is Koskie $1 million better than Hinske? Absolutely, maybe more.

Of course, getting rid of Hinske is easier said than done, and could present a problem for the Jays.
_Scott Levy - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:56 PM EST (#10010) #
I heard that the Jays are very close to making their first signing its believed to be Steve Kline. Also if they sign him he will become the closer.I also heared that the Jays will most likely trade Batista by the end of the meetings.

Source?
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 10:57 PM EST (#10011) #
Just say no to Clement.

We all know that a move to the AL usually means higher walk numbers, and lower K numbers. We also know that Clement is a pitcher that relies on his strikeouts, and doesn't have very good control. Look at Miguel Batista as a great example of what happens to pitchers that don't have good control in the NL and move to the AL. In fact, Clement walked batters, and allowed homers at a much higher rate in '04 than Batista did in '03. Move him to the AL where he gets to face David Ortiz instead of Al Leiter, and I can see him leading the league in both of those categories.

He also had a 4.50 ERA away from home last year, and a 4.07 ERA on the road over the last three years. In the AL, a 4.07 ERA is good, but in the NL it really isn't; it's Jose Lima. And let's not forget that last year was Clement's first season with a good ERA. He has a career ERA+ of 98, and he's already 30.

Getting Clement to sign for the same money that Batista signed for last year would be OK, but at 8-10 mil per season? No, thanks.

If Clement signs in the AL I will pick him as my "bust of the year," but if he signs with the Jays I obviously hope I'm wrong.
_FTP - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:00 PM EST (#10012) #
If Clement isn't signed, who else would the Jays be looking at? Millwood? Odalis Perez? Or maybe guys like Tony Armas through trade?
_JackFoley - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:06 PM EST (#10013) #
If Clement isn't signed, I don't know if there's a starter out there that would make much of an impact. I'd rather see the money spent on bats.
_Jonny German - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:07 PM EST (#10014) #
I think Toronto has a better chance of landing Randy Johnson then Clement now... $8.5M/season will put them right in the thick of the Matt Clement sweepstakes.

This just in: it'll take a whole lot more than $8.5M/season to get Randy Johnson in a Blue Jay uniform.

if no Clement, what about Kevin Millwood?

I've wondered about that too. He was severely overrated at one time, but I think there's a chance that this market will underrate him, and if healthy he's as good as many of the pitchers getting 3 years $20-something. The health is a kicker (which can be mitigated somewhat if he'll take an incentive-laden contract) and the market will _really_ have to forget about him before he becomes a cost-sensible option... he made $11M last year and $9.9M in 2003.

[Halama] has great potential to be a low-risk-high-reward investment.

I share Mike Green's skepticism of placing too much weight on reliever ERA (as well as ignoring his starter ERA), and with the upside being "effective LOOGY" I think it's low-risk-medium-reward. You can only contribute so much in 50 innings.

I wouldn't be surprised if [Halama's] the better of the two lefties they signed today, over Wells

I've been expecting Wells to come crashing down for so many years that I've stopped expecting it. The man apparently is a freak, like Clemens or Randy only fatter.

[Epstein's] in the enviable position of having tons of money relative to everyone but the Yankees and knowing just what to do with it.

I don't think he's shown that yet. He's made some good signings (which Toronto could not have made, not for the same amounts), but they're small-time deals. He hasn't yet wielded the big cash... the rumours about what Varitek and Pedro are being offered sound like Yankee-type overpaying.

I'm with you in enjoying the horrible offseason the Yankees are having (and BTW, Mick, that includes Milton). It'll be very surprising if the Yanks head into 2005 as favourites to take the AL East.

Dugout Dollars is still not working 100%

Dugout Dollars generally works with IE and not with FireFox. I'm concerned that DD hasn't been updated since July, there isn't any other site for MLB-wide contract info.

Cue FireFox plug from Joe.
_Ron - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:11 PM EST (#10015) #
Delgado wanted 64mil/4 years from the O's. Because of this the O's might turn their attention to Sexson

Source: Baltimore Sun
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:14 PM EST (#10016) #
I've been wondering for a while now what's happened to Dugout Dollars. Has it been abandoned? Is the Webmaster OK?

I do miss it.
_JackFoley - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:15 PM EST (#10017) #
Wow, that's insane. I wonder if the asking price will be the same for the Mets to sign King Carlos.
_jgadfly - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:21 PM EST (#10018) #
here's a question ...could the Blue Jays be the third team involved with the Yankees & the White Sox around the RJ circus ... sending Batista back to Arizona with prospects & Yankee cash, Vaquez (possible Hinske mix) to Chicago & Lee plus mix to To... or some variant there of ?
_whizland2000 - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:27 PM EST (#10019) #
Astros have a press conference for later on tonight. It is not yet known what the press conference is about.
Source: MLB radio
_greenfrog - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:31 PM EST (#10020) #
Re relievers- virtually every reliever acquired by JP--and there have been many--has been mediocre. Of the few that have been decent (eg Lopez, Politte, Miller, Walker, Speier, Frasor), almost every one is long gone or has fizzled out in a big way. After three years, only Speier and Frasor are left--each of whom had respectable, but not great, years in 2004. And the team still has no closer.

To me, this is muddling through, not development.

I understand that JP hasn't had a lot of money to spend, and that his strategy has been to address the bullpen last, after adding position players and starting pitching. Some of this turnover is strategic (based on the theory that cheap relievers can be found every year). I think Ricciardi has also had some bad luck--some relievers he's acquired have collapsed spectacularly (eg Prokopec, Tam, Ligtenberg).

More than anything, I suppose I'm frustrated at watching the Jays sign "value" retreads, who, over the long haul, prove not to be that valuable at all. The idea of reacquiring Koch seems perfectly symbolic of this pattern.

Should the Jays go out and spend a ton of money on a Foulke or Benitez? Probably not. (Although the Giants seem to have gotten Benitez for a reasonable price--$21M for 3 years.) But it is hard to get excited about the next round of temp relievers destined to join the team.
_Peter - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:44 PM EST (#10021) #
I think Steve Kline would be a great pick up for our pen. But i am angry that we will probably not end up with Koskie or Clement.
_jgadfly - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:45 PM EST (#10022) #
...perhaps make that a fourth team involved in the RJ mix...
it's a good thing that I'm not in charge of the $$$ that are floating around Anaheim when I can't even count on my fingers
_jfree - Saturday, December 11 2004 @ 11:57 PM EST (#10023) #
Well according to espn it looks like the yanks have signed pavano to a 4 year 39M deal and jaret wright has passed a second physical so his 3/21 deal is still alive. I can't tell if this is good news or not, the yanks will probably sign milton too, so all those teams trying for pavano will now look to pedro, clement, o. perez and millwood now seem to be the best starters left. Will we get any of them? I really like our chances if we're going up against the tigers and mariners for clement. By this time tomorrow we should know!
_DaveInNYC - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 12:18 AM EST (#10024) #
For those wondering what the Astros press conference was about... they announced that Roger Clemens has accepted his offer of salary arbitration meaning that he'll either pitch for the Astros next season or retire.

Geez, and here I was thinking they signed Beltran to a 10 year deal.
_Peter - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 12:32 AM EST (#10025) #
I just Saw on rotoworld that the Mariners are now trying to sign Perez. So i gusy its between us and the Tigers.
_mathesond - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 12:52 AM EST (#10026) #
Wouldn't it be ironic if the Yankees found themselves with a rotation of Mussina, Vazquez, Wright, Pavano, and Milton, and wound up doing a reverse-Mondesi deal where they sent Brown to Toronto for AA guys? (Paying a hefty part of his remaining salary, natch)

The best part would be Toronto then flipping Brown to Philly for Howard...nothing like a little Cotes-du-Rhone to make the trading season come alive :)
_Ron - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 01:07 AM EST (#10027) #
Score said the Twins aren't moving from their offer of 8 mil/2 year deal. I also believe Koskie wants a no trade clause which the Twins don't want to include in the deal. It's looking closer and closer Koskie is signing with the Jays.
_Robbie - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 01:22 AM EST (#10028) #
I hope that the Koskie deal falls through.

On a seperate note, on The Score, Jeff Blair said that JP was still very confident about nabbing Clement after a meeting with his agent this morning. He also said that the Jays are still very interested in Carlos Lee, and that they had serious discussions with teams oving Miguel Batista. Blair further emphasized that Batista is a pretty good deal compared to the signings this offseason, and that there is a lot of interest in him on the trade market.
_Ryan B. - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 01:53 AM EST (#10029) #
Oh no!

The Red Sox had a meeting scheduled for Saturday night with Carlos Delgado's agent.
A real longshot. Delgado might have been a possibility for Boston if it looked like his market would be weak, but now that it seems certain he'll get at least $11 million per season, the Red Sox aren't likely to try to upgrade at a position at which they're already set.


I don't want him in the division, yet alone on the Red Sox. I hope the chances are really slim like it says.
_Fozzy - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 02:58 AM EST (#10030) #
The Red Sox had a meeting scheduled for Saturday night with Carlos Delgado's agent.
A real longshot. Delgado might have been a possibility for Boston if it looked like his market would be weak, but now that it seems certain he'll get at least $11 million per season, the Red Sox aren't likely to try to upgrade at a position at which they're already set.


Ryan B, in the future, could you please cite when you use information copied directly from another source, in this case Rotoworld? Thx.
_Fozzy - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 03:01 AM EST (#10031) #
http://redsox.bostonherald.com/redSox/view.bg?articleid=58454
Or the Boston Herald. COMN for the full article, courtesy of RW; nothing really interesting to report on it.
_jbrando - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 03:19 AM EST (#10032) #
I have been thinking about Kerry Lightenberg. Given the amount of money committed to him, I often hope that there is the slighest chance he pitches productively this year, possibly even regaining his old form.

Glancing at his stats, I noticed that his K/9, K/BB and HR/IP totals didn't really change all that much last year from previous years. His totals of 8.02 K/9 and 1.96 K/BB were only slightly less than his career norm and he actual gave up home runs at a lesser rate. The most indicative stat was his hits/IP, which was an inexplicably high 1.328 compared to his career 0.9. This is quite obviously the reason his ERA increased by about 200% of is career.

So, I ask the question, what can be expected next year? Will keep giving up such a high rate of hits?

A couple of stats give some reasoning to why his hit total was so high last year and what can possibly be expected next season.

First of all, he gave up all 6 six of his home runs at home. Given a low Groundball/Flyball ratio and the fact the Skydome is noted to give up the long ball, a possibly explanation is found. However, his HR/IP still isn't that bad, and can't be considered the major cause of the spike in his stats. Also, he gave up hits at a higher rate at Skydome. If Lightenberg was a groundball pitcher, one could reason that the turf was the reason for the increased hits, but he is not.

Two very revealing and in our case, optimistic, stats are his DER(defensive efficiecy ratio) and LD%(line drive percentage). His DER, which is the percentage of outs made on balls in play, was by far the lowest on the team(by .37) for players who pitched regularily. This gives an indication as to why his hit rate was so high.

Furthermore, his LD% was one of the lowest on the team. To me, it makes absolutely no sense that the Jays converted outs at the poorest rate for a pitcher who gives up fewer hard hit balls then most of his teammates.

I believe that the poor stats fielded by Lightenberg last year, while slightly the effect of pitching at skydome, were mostly the result of a combination of bad luck and poor fielding.

Given the fact that the Jays should be an improved to defensively next year (Koskie, if signed, Wells/Rios all year, no Dave Berg anywhere near the turf), I think its reasonable to expect Lightenberg to return to a reasonable level of performance this year. Also, I think the Jays should stress using him on the road.
_JackFoley - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 03:59 AM EST (#10033) #
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/10398742.htm?1c
COMN --- Tim Hudson to the Dodgers for Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez.
_JackFoley - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 04:06 AM EST (#10034) #
http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/tor/news/tor_news.jsp?ymd=20041211&content_id=920983&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp
"Another possibility involves Kevin Cash, Toronto's backup catcher. The Devil Rays have expressed interest in Cash, who graduated from North Tampa's Gaither High. The Jays swung a trade with the Rays at this time last season, sending Mark Hendrickson and receiving Justin Speier in a three-team transaction."

That from Dr. Prison Fence and his co-correspondant Plastic Hum. COMN.
_BirdWatcher - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 04:18 AM EST (#10035) #
The Ligtenberg story is truly bizarre. Against Boston, NYY and Anaheim, he pitched 13 innings, giving up 38 hits/walks and an unbelievable 23 earned runs. Against the rest of the league, he pitched 42 innings, giving up 60 hits/walks and 16 earned runs. If anybody can explain those splits, be sure to let Kerry know !!
_Ron - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 04:39 AM EST (#10036) #
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/sports/10396500.htm
I might as well say hello to the newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays...... Corey Koskie

"The Toronto Blue Jays, who met with Koskie's agent late into Friday night and early Saturday morning, appeared close to a deal.

The Blue Jays, who have had a three-year offer on the table for the Canadian-born Koskie all week, were ready to strengthen the $15 million-$16 million package to as much as the $20 million range if necessary.

Koskie said earlier in the week that he expected to know by the end of the weekend where he would play in 2005 He called the prospects of playing for Toronto "exciting."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons seemed excited about the possibility of getting Koskie.

From what I see, he's a good, productive player, a leader type," Gibbons said. "And he's coming from a winning team. He knows how to win."

I assume Koskie will bat Clean Up for the Jays unless somebody else like Carlos Lee is aquired.
_Caino - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 05:35 AM EST (#10037) #
The guys the A's got.

"In Jackson, the A's will receive one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Jackson, a 21-year-old right-hander...is a hard thrower and was highly coveted by the Arizona Diamondbacks... was reportedly one of the reasons Los Angeles could not make a trade for Diamondbacks left-hander Randy Johnson."

"The A's also will receive Perez, who hit .296 with 22 homers and 88 RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas last season."

See what we missed out on with Delgado. I'm glad we won't be seeing any more no trade clauses in Toronto. So long as J.P. is aournd any how.

A lot of night hawks eh? Exams for you guys aswell I take it?
_Caino - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 05:40 AM EST (#10038) #
A lot of action too. Who said the winter meetings were all hype?

No seriously, who? I sear someone said it.
_Moffatt - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 08:19 AM EST (#10039) #
I hope some people are ready to eat a bit of crow today.

My hypothetical Hudson to the White Sox trade ended up being more generous than the package they actually got from the Dodgers, if reports coming from the meeting come true. It also means that, yes, Hudson was traded for prospects. :)
_greenfrog - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 12:35 PM EST (#10040) #
Strengthening the offer to Koskie to $20M if necessary? Arrggh! I really hope this isn't true.

I think the Twins have Koskie valued correctly, and that the Jays are willing to overpay because (1) the team just lost Delgado, and is in desperate need of a power hitter; (2) Hinske just had an awful season at 3B, and the Jays have no other options at that position for 2005; (3) JP has money to spend, has been stuck on the free agent and trading sidelines thus far, and is probably out of the running for Clement; (4) JP is following Theo Epstein in identifying team defense as an undervalued commodity in baseball. One thing Koskie can do well, even if he is injury-prone and strikes out too much, is play D.
_Jonny German - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 10:09 PM EST (#10041) #
I hope some people are ready to eat a bit of crow today.

Maybe I'll wait until something actually happens. And while I still don't think it's a good trade for the A's, I like the LA rumour better than your CWS proposal.
_Moffatt - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 10:44 PM EST (#10042) #
I like the LA rumour better than your CWS proposal.

Really? Why?

At best Perez and Harris are a wash. Personally I'd rather have Harris, but I'll call that even.

There's a ton of hype behind Jackson, but a fair amount of it is just that. Hype. He looks like he might have arm problems and didn't perform all that well last year, probably because he was rushed a little.

Brandon McCarthy, on the other hand, lead minor league baseball in strikeouts as a 21 year old. Jackson is very young, but McCarthy is only two months older. At High A last year he walked 21 and struck out 113 in only 94 innings! His stuff does find the center of the plate a little too much (10 HR allowed), but he is only 21.

On top of that, you'd get Casey Rogowski, a potential sleeper, who may end up being a decent LF/1B/DH bat with great on base skills.
Thomas - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 11:08 PM EST (#10043) #
While I don't think the Jackson/Perez trade is a great return for Hudson, nor is it true at this point that return is still better than your White Sox proposal.

Jackson is closer to the majors than McCarthy (in 2003 he had 170 k's in 160.1 innings at A+ and AA) so he's at least a year or two ahead of McCarthy in his development. Secondly, he's got the arm that McCarthy doesn't have. He hits mid-90's regularly and his fastball is outstanding. There is a lot of projectability there that McCarthy, who I am not familiar with in any great deal, doesn't seem to have. Jackson's got arm troubles, but they aren't supposed to be lingering, and if they were I doubt Beane would make this trade.

I think getting someone who can step is essential for Oakland, because they are a stage right now where they must continue to contend with Anaheim and Texas. Jackson could become part of the Oakland rotation next year, if he's an Athletic. I'm not sure he will, but he could. Jackson might not be able to step in and perform well, but there's a chance he can. There is no chance McCarthy can.
_Jonny German - Sunday, December 12 2004 @ 11:30 PM EST (#10044) #
Thomas has hit on the major points. I'll admit that I wasn't giving Jackson's injury concerns a whole lot of thought.

I really don't know what you see in Willie Harris. .380/.470/.640 looks real nice, until you note that it was in 100 AB... in AAA... as a 25-year old. Besides that, he hasn't ever shown himself to be much of a hitter. In over 700 Major League at-bats, he sports a .601 OPS. Perez, on the other hand, has shown himself to be a solid hitter throughout the minors and is 1-1/2 years younger than Harris.

Let's see, Rogowski... .286/.401/.472 as a 23-year-old first baseman in High A. Nice enough, but he wouldn't crack the Top 20 Prospects of a decent farm system.

One thing I would definitely like about having Brandon McCarthy striding to the mound for my team...

Youre sharpening stones,
walking on coals
To improve your business acumen
Sharpening stones,
walking on coals,
To improve your business acumen

Enemy sighted, enemy met,
Im addressing the real politik
Look who bought the myth,
by jingo,
buy America
Thomas - Monday, December 13 2004 @ 12:54 AM EST (#10045) #
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-wintermeetings-dodgers&prov=ap&type=lgns
There's a story on the AP regarding the trade talks.

Relevant quotes include:

DePodesta said published reports naming right-hander Edwin Jackson and infielder Antonio Perez in connection with a possible Hudson trade ``aren't entirely accurate.''

``We haven't even gotten to the point where we've made an offer,'' DePodesta said. ``We've talked about specific players. We're on the same wave length in terms of players. I don't think there's much mystery on either side.''

and

Beane said the A's are ``closer to a trade,'' but added he wouldn't say there's anything imminent.

``Don't assume who or what you think it is,'' Beane said. ``I don't think a real big deal is going to happen and you can decipher what you think is a big deal.''


So maybe something else will go down before Hudson?
_Moffatt - Monday, December 13 2004 @ 08:09 AM EST (#10046) #
There is a lot of projectability there that McCarthy, who I am not familiar with in any great deal

If you were familar with McCarthy, I think you'd feel differently about the trade. He's outstanding.

McCarthy is the key to the trade. Harris is just a nice little tactical piece. Rogowski is a throw in who could be useful one day.
_Jonny German - Monday, December 13 2004 @ 09:30 AM EST (#10047) #
If you were familar with McCarthy, I think you'd feel differently about the trade. He's outstanding.

I'm familiar with McCarthy in that his stats are outstanding. Projectability doesn't show up very well in raw stat lines. Do you have a scouting report on him?

At any rate, I'm at the agree-to-disagree point on the LA package vs. the CWS package in pure talent terms. What I'd really like to hear is how the CWS package makes sense in the context of the Oakland A's. They'd be trading away the best pitcher on a team that figures to contend and the only thing they'd be getting for 2005 is a utility infielder. I just don't see how that makes any sense. Granted, I don't see how the Jays signing Corey Koskie makes any sense unless they have a plan to get Hinske out of town, and I'm confident that they do.
_Thamas - Monday, December 13 2004 @ 11:07 AM EST (#10048) #
I'm not sold yet, Mike.

From Sickels, who is a pretty good authority on prospects:

McCarthy is a skinny 6-7 right-hander, weighing just 185 pounds. His fastball is average at 89 mph, but his changeup and curveball are very good. His command and feel for pitching is outstanding, as shown by the K/BB.

Since he doesn't have a super fastball, McCarthy's margin for error is less than that for many premier pitching prospects. But his control is tremendous, and he understands the craft of pitching. He's probably a year away from being ready for major league action, but he looks like a solid pitching prospect to me.


Now, that's a pretty good endorsement of a "control artist" as Sickels dubs him. But look at what he said about Edwin Jackson coming into this season.

Drafted in the sixth round in 2001, out of high school in Columbus, Ga. Jackson is athletic, with a perfect pitcher's body at 6-3, 190. He has a plus fastball, good command of his slider and changeup, and has a good chance to make the rotation this spring. One of the best prospects in baseball without a doubt, second only to Cincinnati's Ryan Wagner among National League RHP prospects.

Well, let's ignore the Wagner part of the comments, shall we? This seems like a more thorough endorsement to me of someone who has had success (albeit not with the same K/BB as McCarthy), who has a good frame with three good pitches. I'm not convinced that McCarthy is better than someone who appeared on basically every top 100 propsect list in the winter; always in the top 10 or 15.

Given the choice, especially given Oakland's situation, I take Jackson.
_Moffatt - Monday, December 13 2004 @ 01:23 PM EST (#10049) #
They'd be trading away the best pitcher on a team that figures to contend and the only thing they'd be getting for 2005 is a utility infielder.

That's all they get in the LA package! Unless you think an injured pitcher with an ERA of 6 in AAA is going to help out the A's next year.

McCarthy might break the White Sox out of camp (which IMO would be a mistake). If McCarthy were with the A's, I wouldn't be surprised to see him up and contributing by August 1st. Although McCarthy's fastball isn' t, well, all that fast right now, it has a decent amount of movement. Since McCarthy is a twig, he should add velocity as he fills out.

It's actually scary how much in common my proposal has in common with the Dodgers one: A bench infielder and a top pitching prospect. I threw in a third player. Given that I thought Hudson was arb elig for next year I think mine wasn't generous enough to the A's, but it's not as if the Dodgers one is any more so.
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