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We now know that Matt Clement won't be a Blue Jay, as he signed a 3 year, $25 million dollar deal with the Red Sox. At that price I'm quite happy the Jays didn't try to top Boston's offer.

But now what do the Jays do with all their spending money? There's still 132 remaining free agents out there (give or take a few). Names such as Eric Milton, Odalis Perez, and Moises Alou have come up a lot in these parts. The number of available free agents is going to grow next week, as team's non-tender some of their arbitration eligible players.

So, Bauxites, what should the Jays do?
Now What? - The Question of The Weekend | 88 comments | Create New Account
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Pistol - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 09:44 AM EST (#7568) #
I'd wait to see who gets non-tendered before making a move. There could be some pretty good players in the group, and the advantage of them over current free agents is that they'll be several years younger.
_mathesond - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 10:04 AM EST (#7569) #
I haven't heard much noise about Magglio Ordonez. I wonder if he'd be game for a 1-year deal, a la Garciaparra, to showcase himself for next years FA market.

Of course, why would the Jays need a one-year rental slugger...unless there was a handshake deal to move him at the deadline to a contender...
_NDG - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 10:20 AM EST (#7570) #
I still like my suggested move for Piazza. Only one year left on his deal, and being a catcher, he's the most likely to give a future discount based on the Jays becoming a contender (since he'll get a first hand look at the Jays young pitching talent) I'm not saying this is probable, just possible. Whereas, there's no chance of Ordonez resigning here.

Although I'd still wait till after the arb deadline.
_Jordan - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 10:52 AM EST (#7571) #
I expect little or nothing will happen until the non-tender deadline. Just flipping through various media reports via Google News, I've seen a few interesting names raised as possible NTs: Doug Mientkiewicz, AJ Pierzynski, Jay Gibbons, Miguel Ascencio, Scott Schoeneweis, and conceivably Shawn Chacon.
Coach - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 10:55 AM EST (#7572) #
I'd wait to see who gets non-tendered before making a move.

For sure. That flooding of the market will also change the landscape for potential trades.

There are many possible options for the bat the Jays need. Ordonez and Piazza strike me as wishful thinking, however. It may be more difficult to acquire a lefty reliever, though the Angels seem to operate just fine without one, and I'd prefer an all-righty 'pen to one including the likes of Heredia or Creek. Either Chacin or Downs could end up as the #5 in Toronto or a stud starter in Syracuse, but I'd be happy to see one (or both) of them convert to a big-league relief role.

I've never been on the Steve Kline bandwagon and continue to hope they "lose" him to a richer club. It's nothing to do with his pitching; he's a loose cannon around a microphone who has been blatantly disrespectful of his manager. Nor is my concern entirely about his character. He's developed a tendon problem in his finger that may be related to the gout in his left foot, and was on the DL with a torn groin, pitching to a total of three batters in September. Let someone else take the risk.

Domestic chores, last-minute shopping and a series of parties will make me scarce around here until Monday. Have a great weekend, Bauxites.
_Mike Forbes - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:21 AM EST (#7573) #
I don't condone Kline's attitude but from a pitching standpoint, Kline is the best reliever on the market. Plus, maybe if he starts doing some great things on the mound mixed in with some weird quotes in the clubhouse he could become a huge fan favorite in SkyDome.
_#2JBrumfield - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 12:51 PM EST (#7574) #
I'd prefer an all-righty 'pen to one including the likes of Heredia or Creek.

Amen to that! I'd prefer to never ever hear about Doug Creek again :) Creek helped Pete Walker become a Yokohama Bay Star with one of the worst relief performances I'd seen live at a game (that even includes Ligtenberg's disaster against Anaheim but at least the game was already out of hand). In a game against the Twins in April 2003, Creek faced three batters, he proceeded to surrender two solo homers and a hit by pitch to help the Twins come from behind to beat the Jays - spoiling a good effort by Pete Walker, who was in line for the win. I know it was 2 seasons ago but I still get bitter over that. Thanks, Coach! :)

....if he starts doing some great things on the mound mixed in with some weird quotes in the clubhouse he could become a huge fan favorite in SkyDome.

I remember an interview with Kline not that long ago on ESPN radio late one night. He does seem like a character. The big issue was MLB giving him a hard time about wearing a dirt-covered cap every time he pitched. Kline said something to the effect that MLB doesn't pick on the star players who wear dirty caps or dirty batting helmets but he said they're picking on him because he's one of the scrubs. I don't know if MLB fined him or not but Kline doesn't seem to be someone who pays much attention to authority figures so I can see why Coach may be concerned about his attitude.
_Wes - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 12:53 PM EST (#7575) #
I don't mind us missing out on Clement. A team in the Jay's position should seek to acquire players via trade rather than via Free Agency, the reason: its much more difficult to acquire a player at below market value when he's a free agent.

I wonder if teams ever try to anticipate market shifts such as the one that is taking place this season. The correction in the U.S. economy in the early 2000's definately impacted player salaries, and a more stable north american economy coupled with a couple of great seasons of baseball has resulted in a renaissance of the free spending days of the late 90's.

Why are we so keyed in on Kline. The guy pitched 50 innings as a lefty and only struck out 30 or so batters. His ERA looks great, but that is a classic lure to those who haven't learned to read behind the traditional numbers and thus overpay.

I'd love to see Nick Johnson in a Jay's uniform.

_greenfrog - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 01:24 PM EST (#7576) #
Was Alou offered arbitration by the ChiSox?

He can definitely hit (.300/.367/.513 career; .293/.361/.557 last year at age 38). I guess the question is, how much would it take to sign him, and does he fit in with the Jays' (very) long-term rebuilding plan? It seems to me the Jays would be better off finding a young slugger with long-term value (a la Teixiera, Lee, or Kotchman) than Alou. Alou seems like a guy you add when your team is close to contending.
_Rich - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 02:03 PM EST (#7577) #
I don't see any problem adding Alou at a reasonable rate:

- The offence is still several bats short;
- The team is very left-handed leaning;
- There is available cash now that Clement is elsewhere;
- There's no cost involved other than salary (I don't believe he was offered arbitration, but don't quote me).

Alou is 38, but his numbers have increased in each of the past 3 seasons and if he can spend a lot of time DH'ing he will be more likely to stay healthy.

Lee I would love to have had, but he'll cost more both in salary and player compesation. Kotchman is injury-prone and would also require giving up some value to obtain. Teixiera is a Boras client who is not far from arbitration and would cost a steep price in a trade. To me Alou is the perfect DH for the next 2 seasons if he'll take $5 million per or so.
Pistol - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 02:05 PM EST (#7578) #
Just because a player, say Alou, isn't likely to be around when the Jays contend next doesn't mean you shouldn't sign that player if they can help you, and aren't blocking a young player.

You're still trying to win games this year.

If you're a 70 win team in the same division as the Sox and Yankees why would any player want to sign with the Jays, unless you're offering significantly more money (or are Canadian)?

The only reason Clement was coming to Toronto this year is if the Jays were offering more money and/or years. If he had interest in Toronto he would have signed last week. It's probably too strong to say Clement was using Toronto, but he strung them along waiting for a more desirable offer (not that I blame him). If I were to guess I'd suspect that the Jays were at best 4th on his list after the Sox, Angels, and Indians. If the Jays were an 85 team win this year that looked like they were on the upswing maybe Clement would have been more interested.

If you're an awful team is anyone coming to the park or watching or listening to the games? You do that and you're revenues will drop, and then you won't have money in the future even if you're spending less now.

So if you have a chance to improve your team you should do it. A 1 year deal for a player like Alou isn't hurting anything. He's not costing the team a draft pick and he's not blocking anyone.

It seems to me the Jays would be better off finding a young slugger with long-term value (a la Teixiera, Lee, or Kotchman) than Alou.

Well, yeah, but who are you willing to give up to get those players? Lilly? Bush? Rios? Hill?

For the very reason you want to trade for these players those teams will want to hold onto them.
_BirdWatcher - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 03:21 PM EST (#7579) #
The Jays better do plenty because 2005 right now looks like a disaster. Bottom line - assuming Halladay and Lilly stay healthy and play to form, that means the Jays have exactly TWO pitchers on the staff who are MLB quality.. After losing the Clement sweepstakes, what's worrisome is Ricciardi, out of desperation, seems to have reappointed Batista as the no.3 starter. This looks like a replay of last year's sorry Hentgen experiment. And, please, don't give me the "innings eater" argument - this guy will be 34 next season and is coming off a year where he recorded a 1.5+ WHIP, a 5+ ERA, walked 4+ batters per 9 IP while striking out less than 5 batters per 9 IP. That's hardly good enough as a no. 5 starter, let alone no. 3. Ricciardi's approach to the 4th and 5th starters amounts to little more than a hope and a prayer that 2 saviours will emerge from a group including an admittedly promising but unproven David Bush, a questionable Josh Towers, a "rushed-to-the majors-too quickly" Chacin and, for good measure, throw in Justin Miller, Chad Gaudin and Downs. Let's be honest - at best, this group would represent perhaps a better than average AAA staff. By the way, did anybody notice - THE TEAM HAS NO CLOSER ! Also, the set-up men include either totally unremarkable journeymen(Ligtenberg, Glynn, Douglass and maybe Speier) or unproven kids (Frasor, Chulk and Frederick). Taking into account the fact the Jays will play almost 25% of their games against New York and Boston (40% win rate ?), they will do well to reach 70 wins with this pitching staff. OK, JP - plenty of scope to show us your magic !!
Mike Green - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 03:40 PM EST (#7580) #
I'm with Coach- no lefty reliever required, and wait for a bat until the non-tenders on Monday. Names that interest me include Doug Mientkiewicz, Hee Seop Choi, Ryan Howard. It's easier to decide what's a reasonable trade when you know what's available at no cost, save for salary.
_Robbie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 03:42 PM EST (#7581) #
Birdwatcher, take it easy dude. While not a fan of Batista myself, I think he's much better then a #5 starter. In fact, I think moving him to the rotation is a good move. After all, his first half last year as a starter was very respectable.
_Hosken_Powell_F - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 03:42 PM EST (#7582) #
For some reason, I've always thought that Doug Mientkiewicz would end up at first for the Jays next year. Also, I don't think Jay Gibbons would be a bad option, to add a little pop in Left Field.
_greenfrog - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 03:50 PM EST (#7583) #
Rich: I agree that signing Alou for 2 years at $5M per would seem to be a good deal. It doesn't look like he's slowed down much, though I don't know what kind of fielder he is, or whether he would be willing to DH--or come to Toronto at all. But I like the idea of having him on the team. He might raise fan interest a bit, and signing him, along with Koskie, might help keep Toronto on the map as a potential destination for other free agents in the future.

Of course, we would be adding another LF/DH type (along with Cat, Reed Johnson, and potentially Hinske. We still don't have a true first baseman).

One way to go could be to sign Alou and trade Hinske. Then go find a first baseman (the latter is easier said than done. I suppose Choi or Nick Johnson are the most obvious candidates, though I'm not really crazy about either of them. In any event, I'm not thrilled with the idea of Hinske at first next year).
_R Billie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#7584) #
In case you didn't notice Birdwatcher, the Jays were chasing a prominent starting pitcher for a month but lost him to a much richer team. Unless you have about $20 million to augment the team's budget they aren't going to be able to just go out there and add proven starters at the drop of a hat. 29 other major league teams are trying to do exactly the same thing, many with larger payrolls who aren't doing as well as the Jays.

Batista was a much better pitcher in the first half of last season and a much better pitcher in previous seasons. He was battling injury problems in the second half and I have no problem giving him another shot at the rotation. In fact I would say that the Jays are better off paying Batista $4.7 million as a third starter than paying Clement $8 million. Batista IS a proven major league pitcher with successful playoff experience. You can't get much more proven than that. You also can't guarantee anyone you sign will remain completely healthy. Batista may have put up poor peripherals in net but for the first half he was going 6 to 8 innings with regularity and that's all you can ask from a pitcher in the middle of your rotation.

The Jays aren't going to spend on 4th and 5th starters because they can't afford to and the number of candidates they have is more than sufficient to get "acceptable" performance out of those slots. Bush isn't proven and nor is he ever going to be if you don't give him a regular starting job. He shot through the minor leagues in two years and pitched like a veteran in the majors. If you're not going to give the 4th or 5th spot to him then to whom? What team in their right mind unless they had an extra $50 million burning a hole in their pockets would replace Bush in the rotation?

Out of Towers, Chacin, Glynn, Gaudin, Miller, and others you can find a major league average pitcher. Which is more than 80% of the teams out there have for a 5th starter. Please go around the majors and find me all of the teams that have an above average 5th starter and then out of those teams count the ones that aren't spending 50% more than the Jays. I doubt you'll need more than 2 or 3 fingers.

The most obvious and glaring weakness on the team remains the offence. Two years ago LA had the best ERA and defence in the majors. They were still barely a .500 team. You can't win games without scoring runs and it's far more important that the Jays upgrade from nobody at DH (or left field) to a very significant somebody and if possible upgrade from Hinske at 1B to someone better. We're talking about a team that couldn't score runs and lost their only standout offensive player from 2004. And you want to put more money into starting pitching which is the riskiest investment you can make on the free agent or trade market?
_CaramonLS - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 04:10 PM EST (#7585) #
How About David Dellucci?

He can't touch Lefties, but he can really crush rightys (Don't have his split numbers) - .242/.342/.441 - 331 ABs, 17 HRs, 107 games.

Texas offered him arbitration, but he seems like he would be a great guy to take a flyer on.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 04:11 PM EST (#7586) #
Taking into account the fact the Jays will play almost 25% of their games against New York and Boston (40% win rate ?), they will do well to reach 70 wins with this pitching staff.

Whoa, there! Easy, big fella!

I'm pretty sure they played almost 25% of their games against NY and Boston last year as well.

They won 67 of them. Not So Good. They allowed 823 runs. Actually, Not So Bad. Tied for 7th in the league. Their problems are when the other guys are pitching. They only scored 719 runs.

It's a much better than average AAA staff. Its a better than average American League staff.

What happens if you give Hentgen's 16 starts and 80.1 IPT at 6.95 ERA to Roy Halladay? Got a better than even chance to improve there.

What happens if you give Justin Miller's 15 starts and 81.2 IPT at 6.06 ERA to Dave Bush? Also have a better than even chance to improve there as well.

Miguel Batista is not an "inning eater." But he managed to work 198.2 IPT last year with an ERA just over the league average (4.80, league average 4.63). It was regarded as a disappointment, and rightly so.

I have some worries about Batista. Something clearly was wrong with him in the second half of last season - its obvious if you look at his August and September numbers, but it goes back earlier than that. Midway through June he stopped striking out people. He was still effective through the end of July anyway, but he stopped getting away with it in the final two months. He may be best suited to the swingman role he had in Arizona - he simply may not be a guy you can run out there every fifth day for six months.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 04:37 PM EST (#7587) #
So, Bauxites, what should the Jays do?

Get a bat. The biggest bat you can find. I'm starting to really warm up to the Moises Alou idea.

Two reasons, basically.

1) Its the major weakness. Only two teams in the league scored fewer runs than Toronto last year, and one of those teams has just added Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre to their lineup. Meanwhile the Jays have lost their best hitter.

2) I think, when you're coming off a 67-94 season, you have a better chance of getting hitters to come on board than pitchers. That's even if all things are equal, which they aren't. If all things are equal, I imagine a starting pitcher is going to think "Hey, I can go to Toronto, pitch great, and go 11-15. Or I can go to Boston, and even if I have trouble, they'll score so many runs I could still win 15 games. Hmmm, decisions, decisions."

But that's not as much of an issue for a hitter.
_Rob - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 04:40 PM EST (#7588) #
What's the big deal with unproven players? Frasor, Chulk, Frederick, and Bush are all "unproven," which is automatically a bad thing? Reminds me of the time I applied for a job and they wouldn't hire me because I had no experience. Well, how do I get experience if nobody will hire me?
_Moffatt - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 04:42 PM EST (#7589) #
Even worse is when players have "proven" they can't play the game yet still manage to find jobs. :)
_Jacko - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 04:54 PM EST (#7590) #
How about Kevin Millar?

He's indicated he wants out because Boston plans to platoon him with Doug Mientkiewicz. Boston already has a younger, cheaper replacement for him in Kevin Youkilis, so they probably won't ask too much for him. Finally, he's what we need -- a righthanded OF/1B with some power.
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 05:12 PM EST (#7591) #
I would love to get Millar, but I don't think the Jays are in the position to trade away prospects for mid-30 year olds. So who would the Jays trade? The Sox wouldn't want Hinske.
_Chuck Van Den C - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 05:21 PM EST (#7592) #
How About David Dellucci?

I thought I read that he signed a 2-year, $2.5M contract.
_BirdWatcher - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 05:38 PM EST (#7593) #
Magpie - let's put some numbers to your comments. Assume Halladay repeats 2003, Lilly repeats 2004, Batista matches his first half 2004 (hack, hack, cough, cough) and we upgrade those results to 200 IPs, Bush matches his 2004 and we upgrade him to 180 IPs. Finally, let's take Towers' 2004 results, upgrade them to 200IPs and call that our 5th starter. Here's what we've got so far:

Halladay 22-7, 266IP, 96ER
Lilly 12-10, 197IP, 92ER
Batista 13-10, 200IP, 89ER
Bush 9-7, 180IP, 74ER
"Towers" 15-15 200IP, 111ER

Starters 71-49 1043IP, 462ER

Last year, Jays pitchers toiled for 1421 innings, so that leaves 378 innings to be covered by relievers. Last year's relievers were a brutal 18-37 with 298 ER in 516 IPs for a 5.2 ERA(note-this includes a handful of starts by the likes of Chacin, Glynn and Kershner but it's close enough for these calculations).

If we assume a repeat of last year, that works out to 218 ER for 378IP and a 14-28 W/L record for the relievers. So, for the year as a whole, that gives the following:

85-77 W/L record with 680 ER OR 722 total runs allowed (assuming the same ratio of TR to ER as in 2004). Last year, the Jays scored 719 runs. A team with a 719/722 runs scored/allowed ratio is probably going to win about half its games, so the 85 number doesn't appear to be totally out of whack.

There are a million assumptions built into these numbers, so it's easy to cherry pick the results depending on your outlook for 2005. Obviously, my pet peeve is Batista plus it's probably stretching it a bit to assume Halladay can duplicate 2003 (especially the 266 IPs !). What really stands out from these results, however, is the bullpen. If there was a way to get the bullpen ERA down to 4-4.25 (which should translate into about a .500 W/L record while alsohelping to boost the starters), that might be the quickest way to move up in the standings. Especially given the Jay budget constraints, maybe they should be focusing on a closer and 2 "proven" set-up guys.
_Cristian - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 06:10 PM EST (#7594) #
I would love to get Millar, but I don't think the Jays are in the position to trade away prospects for mid-30 year olds. So who would the Jays trade?

Let's not forget that Millar is afraid to live outside the United States in this post 9/11 world. At least that was his excuse for not playing in Japan like he had originally decided. I can't see Millar wanting to play in Canada, he has the safety of his family to think about.
_Ron - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 06:18 PM EST (#7595) #
"Let's not forget that Millar is afraid to live outside the United States in this post 9/11 world. At least that was his excuse for not playing in Japan like he had originally decided. I can't see Millar wanting to play in Canada, he has the safety of his family to think about."

If safety was really a huge issue for himself and his family the US is one of the last places you want to play/live in.
_okbluejays - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 06:34 PM EST (#7596) #
I don't like the thought of Alou at all.

I've recommended Odalis Perez in the past, but it sounds like either the Jays don't like him or his number might get too high.

What about a guy like Millwood? There's a guy who needs a turnaround. Is it possible that he'd be available on some sort of two year deal for 15 million or so, or is that a pipe dream? Would we want him at that number? Has he been offered arbitration and has he said whether he'd accept it? I just haven't heard him mentioned, and I don't know what the story is.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 06:48 PM EST (#7597) #
I like Millwood too (I posted about him yesterday I think) but I'm all keen now on finding a bat.

Birdwatcher the Number Cruncher! If everything goes perfectly (which is more or less what you were projecting, right?) they get the runs allowed down below 700. I'll be Shocked and Amazed if that happens. I'd settle for getting them down to about 750 or so. Halladay doesn't need to be 2003 Doc to account for most of that; he just needs to be better than last year, and he needs to make his starts. Those starts will be a big upgrade on Hentgen.

Its hard to see how the bullpen could be as bad as last year... Gulp. They could find a way, but still...

They need to score more runs! And to that end, could we possibly get more than 17 HR, 66 RBI and .233 out of the Designated Hitters in 2005? It would really, really, help.
_CaramonLS - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 06:54 PM EST (#7598) #
Thats too bad Chuck. Dellucci would have been a decent OF option to have, not a bad bat considering his 331 ABs.

Millar... Check out his Fenway/Other splits, I think its VERY drastic. Well over .300 at home, around .250 on the road. Not to mention he is Horrible defensively.. absolutely horrible.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:16 PM EST (#7599) #
This is from the ESPN website. COMN

ESPN's Peter Gammons reports A's ace Mark Mulder has been traded to the Cardinals for pitchers Danny Haren, Kiki Calero and catcher Daric Barton.
_Fozzy - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:27 PM EST (#7600) #
Wow Magpie, that blows my mind if it's true.

If at the start of the off-season you would have told me that Barry Zito would be the only one remaining, I'd have called you ass-backwards :)
_Mosely - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:33 PM EST (#7601) #
Why would the A's get rid of Mulder AND Hudson? This is a bit of a shock isn't it?
Pistol - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:40 PM EST (#7602) #
Is it possible that he'd be available on some sort of two year deal for 15 million

He'd take that in a heartbeat. I'm not sure why anyone would want to pay him that much.

ERA+ the last 5 years:

And he ended this year injured.
Pistol - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:43 PM EST (#7603) #
Of course, Millwood wasn't nearly as bad as he looked, his FIP was 3.82.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:51 PM EST (#7604) #
Why would the A's get rid of Mulder AND Hudson?

Could be he's tired of hearing "Oh, Beane's not that smart. He just got lucky coming up with Hudson and Mulder and Zito..." :-)

Mulder's not a FA til after 2006, but the A's may have some worries after his second half last year. Through 30 June, Mulder was 10-2 with a 2.90 ERA. From that point on, he was 7-6, 6.10. He walked 83 guys in 225.2 IPT, which is pretty good for Ted Lilly or Miguel Batista, but poor by Mulder's previous norms.

Danny Haren looked last year like he was ready to step up into someone's rotation. Kiko Calero is already an awfully good relief pitcher - he's 29 years old, he strikes out 10.5 per 9 and lets the other guys hit just .176. Those are over the last two years (his entire ML career.)

And Billy Beane keeps the member of his Big Three who is a) the youngest, and b) strikes out the most people.
_Ducey - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 07:54 PM EST (#7605) #
Brave move by Beane. Clearly he recognizes that Oakland needs to retool and get a bunch of young arms before they make a push for the playoffs again.

I don't much about the arms they are getting but I imagine they are good.

As far as the Jays go, I think they should be looking to do something similar. Waiting until the seaon starts would likely be the best move as far as trades go. You can count on some teams that are in the playoff hunt to suffer a key injury - then you can flip a Ted Lily or someone for some good prospects. You can't trade Hinske now but if he hits .280 in the first half you might be able to.

In the near term, I don't think there is much long term help on the freeagent market. I would pick up a Travis Lee or Burnitz if possible/ cheap. Lee seems alright. He hit .275 w/ 20 HR in 2003 and again you could flip him at the trade deadline. Burnitz would likely cost too much because of his monster Coor's aided year.

Other than that just keep talking trade and check the non tenders Monday night.

I would not waste any money on the bullpen. I think Peterson is ready to step after a good Fall league. There are enough arms there with Chulk, Chacin, Speier, Fraser, Miller, and some of the other pickups to put together an average pen.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 08:03 PM EST (#7606) #
Ohmigawd, The Wrath of Khan is on Spike TV...

I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you. And I wish to go on hurting you. I shall leave you, as you left me - as you left her. Marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet - Buried alive!
Buried alive!


So cool...
_Rich - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 08:04 PM EST (#7607) #
I'd like to see a Millar for a prospect deal too. If JP got him, he'd come; it's not like he's a superstar who can demand who he gets to play for. A lineup like this would be at least a league average offence in my estimation:

Cat / Johnson
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 08:06 PM EST (#7608) #
I'm sorry. I'm really too old to be this much of a geek, I know...

Waiting until the seaon starts would likely be the best move as far as trades go.

Probably true, but the thing is, Ricciardi has money to spend. If you don't use it, you lose it.
_Moffatt - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 08:10 PM EST (#7609) #
I've started a new thread about the Mulder to the Cardinals deal.
_Cristian - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 08:50 PM EST (#7610) #

I read "I've started a new thread about..." and I thought the sentence was going to finish "The Wrath of Khan".
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 09:10 PM EST (#7611) #
I thought the sentence was going to finish "The Wrath of Khan"

Its just ending now on Spike, but if you missed it, SPACE just started running it as well. :-)
_Captain Kirk. G - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 10:47 PM EST (#7612) #
Here's an idea:
Maybe the Jays should sign ANYBODY who is slightly better than Scott Downs. Give us something to rejoice about. But hey, JP's 25-year plan looks to be right on track.

Marketing Idea: Let's all show up with a banner that says "JP Has Scott Downs Syndrome"
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:00 PM EST (#7613) #
Probably true, but the thing is, Ricciardi has money to spend. If you don't use it, you lose it.


I wonder if JP can give the 9mil back to Mr. Rogers and ask him to tack it onto the 2006 payroll.
_Ron - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:01 PM EST (#7614) #
Gammons reports the Dodgers offered Koskie 20 mil but he took the 17 mil from the Jays instead.

Looks like a home country discount.
_Ryan Lind - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:02 PM EST (#7615) #
Errr, I meant to say the 2006 budget.

Also, I estimate that Corey Koskie is at least slightly better than Scott Downs.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:02 PM EST (#7616) #
I wonder if JP can give the 9mil back to Mr. Rogers and ask him to tack it onto the 2006 payroll.

Alas, I fear Rogers would go "Well, if $44 million is all you needed last year... how does $45 million sound this year?"
_Ron - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:05 PM EST (#7617) #
Marketing Idea: Let's all show up with a banner that says "JP Has Scott Downs Syndrome"

I'm sure people with downs syndrome would be really thrilled with a sign like that :(

After all, we all know downs syndrome is something to really joke about right.
_Magpie - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:08 PM EST (#7618) #
Maybe the Jays should sign ANYBODY who is slightly better than Scott Downs.

I know. Its not nearly as thrilling as trading for Orlando Merced or Joey Hamilton. Not to mention signing big-name free agents like Randy Myers and Otis Nixon and Benito Santiago and Erik Hanson.

I miss those days too.
_Jordan - Saturday, December 18 2004 @ 11:13 PM EST (#7619) #
Magpie: COMN.
_Ducey - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 12:24 AM EST (#7620) #
Ricciardi has money to spend. If you don't use it, you lose it.

I guess you are right but I would like them to go into the season with some flexibility rather than be trapped under the bloated carcass of some free agent they signed now just to spend the money. Depending upon who they draft they could be looking at $4 million in a signing bonus. It would be nice if they could just take the best guy rather than worry about signability.
_Wayne H. - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 12:35 AM EST (#7621) #
The Jays could add their lost second round pick (Corey Koskie) money to their first round money and sign the best available player.

I also like the idea of replacing that second rounder with a first or second round talent (or several) that "slipped" due to signability issues. They could get some major injections of talent that way, even without a second round selection.
_Magpie - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 12:41 AM EST (#7622) #
Jordan - this could be my new hompepage!

It is very cold... in space.

Anywhere, we're done Trek for tonight. Trying to decide between X-Files or CSI reruns.

Anyway, I'm scanning down through Rotoworld and read the following amazing item:

Doug Waechter surrendered two runs and four hits in seven innings yesterday for Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican League. Unfortunately, he was outpitched by Jaime Navarro.

Jaime Navarro? The Jaime Navarro?
_jsoh - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 12:57 AM EST (#7623) #
Jaime Navarro? The Jaime Navarro?

No. a Jaime Navarro. I hear he comes in 6-packs
_Mike Forbes - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 01:25 AM EST (#7624) #
Chad Bradford would be a nice setup man, he may be non-tendered Monday.. Stay tuned.
_Magpie - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 01:25 AM EST (#7625) #
Here's the very last transaction on the Jaime Navarro page at Babeball Reference:

December 13, 2000: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The rest is silence.
Thomas - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 03:25 AM EST (#7626) #
Re: Bradford, I agree completely, though I'd be suprised if he's not dealt as opposed to be non-tendered. I heard Kevin Towers was going after him.
_mathesond - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 09:37 AM EST (#7627) #
I wonder just how much of Sammy Sosa's contract the Cubs are willing to eat, and how serious Sammy is about taking out the guarantee for 2006 in order to leave the Cubs.
_Dan Julien - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 10:46 AM EST (#7628) #
I don't think a roundup will open before I go home for Christmas(Happy Holidays everyone)..
Rotoworld reports that A source told the New York Post that the Red Sox are planning to trade Kevin Millar and Doug Mientkiewicz in order to make a run at Carlos Delgado.

Am I the only one that would like to see take this defense first thing one step further and set up a Hinske/Mientkiewicz platoon?

Hinkse vs LHP(2004)
.268 AVG, .405 SLG, .726 OPS, 1 HR put 42 at bats

Mientkiewicz vs RHP(2004)
.246 AVG, .362 SLG, .697 OPS, 1 HR put 53.6 at bats

The offense numbers are not impressive but our team ERA would seriously go down.
_Vernons Biggest - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 11:05 AM EST (#7629) #
What about the Jays trading for Aubrey Huff, currently one of the most underrated players, who the Rays are looking to deal for anyways.
_west coast dude - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 11:30 AM EST (#7630) #
I like the idea of keeping the available money in the bank and signing a Ted Williams clone with the first round draft pick.
Pistol - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 11:33 AM EST (#7631) #
It would be nice if they could just take the best guy rather than worry about signability.

I don't know why this is a concern. It's not like the Jays, under JP, have been drafting players because they are 'signable'. All of the 1st round picks have been paid according to where they were drafted. The Jays easily could have taken other players to save money and haven't.

Said another way, with the exception of a couple late picks that got big money to not go to college, no player picked after Purcey got a larger bonus than he did.

The Jays have drafted some seniors to keep the price down after the first round, but I don't think they're sacrificing better players. Hell, Dave Bush was a senior pick.

If it's a case of Weaver or Drew asking for a $10 million signing bonus you won't see the Jays take them, but in that case it's very unlikely that they're worth that much anyway.

The top pick this year got $3.1 MM, the second pick got $3.1 million. Picks 5-7 were in the $2.2-2.5 MM range. I'd be shocked if the Jays picked a player only because they were trying to save less than $.5MM. If there's a difference between players the savings down the road will be much greater than that and the Jays certainly recognize that with their payroll.
_Cristian - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 01:52 PM EST (#7632) #
The offense numbers are not impressive but our team ERA would seriously go down.

How much do you think team ERA would improve with a Mintkiewicz/Hinske platoon at 1B? Keep in mind that defence at first isn't nearly as important as defence at other positions and that Delgado was, at worst, a league average defensive first baseman last year. Personally, I want no part of a Mintkiewicz/Hinske first base platoon.
_Ryan Lind - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 02:01 PM EST (#7633) #
How would they platoon when they're both lefties?
_Ducey - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 03:51 PM EST (#7634) #
Apparently Kielty and Josh Phelps will be non tendered. I think the Jays should grab both. This would presumably be cheap (maybe $3 million max between the two) and would work well as the right half of a 1b and dh platoon. We know Josh can hit lefties. Kielty has hit .277/.382/.507 against them over the last three years. This last year was his worst of the three but that is why he would be cheap.

Kielty could play a little outfield too. Against lefties you could have Menechino at short, Phelps at DH, Kielty at 1st, Reed in left. Against righties you would have Adams at short, Myers at DH, Hinske at 1B and Cat in left. This would also provide a little depth and flexibility to maximize machups, rest guys and deal with the injury bug.

On top of this you get the PR of having traded both of them away for something and getting them back for nothing!

I looked at Gibbons but his 3 year numbers .260/.323/.466 vs righties (his better side) don't excite me much. Maybe you sign him if you want Gross to stay in AAA all year and you don't want Cat to play much outfield. I think he has a pretty good arm for left.
Pistol - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 05:01 PM EST (#7635) #
FWIW JP already said he has no interest in Phelps.
_Braby21 - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 06:39 PM EST (#7636) #
COMN for Mientkiewicz's numbers over the last couple years.

Nothing really special, I think Hinske can play almost as well defensively over there, and he will be able to put up the (lack of) numbers that Doug put up in 2004.
_Braby21 - Sunday, December 19 2004 @ 06:47 PM EST (#7637) #
According to

"Guillermo Quiroz homered, singled and walked in his three plate appearances yesterday for Zulia of the Venezuelan Winter League.
Quiroz is batting .245 with 15 extra-base hits and 16 walks in 110 at-bats. "

"The Blue Jays are expected to re-sign Gregg Zaun and keep Greg Myers as his backup, but Quiroz should end 2005 as the Blue Jays' top catcher"

Love to hear that Quiroz it keeping up the power numbers. Hopefully the average will come up. I'm interested to hear if he's defense have improved. I know he had some trouble in Sept, especially catching Batista.
_WillRain - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 01:42 AM EST (#7638) #
"So, Bauxites, what should the Jays do?"

First, a pox on the notion of blowing in 60-70% of our available cash on a one year guy.

Beyond that, one can either put band-aids on situations by spending on temporary fixes (Tino Martinez, for instance, or Brad Fulmer) or try to add players who will grow up with the team and be effective in the coming years when it counts. My numbers one and two reflect that line of thinking.

Here's what I would do, begining Tueday morning:

1. Throughly explore the availablity of AJ Burnett. Rumored at one point to have been in discussions with the Orioles, if he can be had, for a reasonable price, and we have the oppertunity to sign an extension, it should be persued. Trading one of our top shelf pitcher prospects, plus a couple of other lesser prospects would not go amiss for 3-4 years of the sort of pitching he's capable of. This one would knock out some of those which follow since AJ can probably command 5-6 mil in Arbitration.

2. Expend every effort in persuit of Nick Johnson. The acquiring of Guillen gives the Whatevers more players than positions. With a runner in CF, Rivera and Guillen on the corners, and slugger Wilkerson at 1B...there's no place for Johnson to play and no reason he should be expensive. but he'll get that way the longer we wait.

Assuming he's not non-tendered (and surely Bosden's not that insane) there's no reason who something like Gaudin + Negron + an A ball guy (or maybe the right to send down Goodwin and keep him) shouldn't be in the right neighborhood. Maybe a 4 mil arbitration settlement, REALLY needs to be locked in for 3-4 years.

An argument can be made for Huff or Durazo put the price, IMO, would be much higher.

3. I love Hinske's "please don't trade me" attitude...BUT... the risk of him playing away the last of his tradability with another sucky year is high. I'd investigate sending him and Kerry Lightenberg to the Tigers for Urbina. They've shopped UUU around, and they've made an offer to virtually every 3B around. Look like a match to me. Saves 1.5 mil this year if you can do it.

4. Sign Antonio Osuna. Esprcially if you don't make the Urbina deal. About 2 mil ought to get it done (he played for 750K last year)

5. Sign one solid lefty and one decent guy. Kline or merker for the first one, Hammond maybe for the second, or take a low cost flyer on Gabe White not being finished. A combined 3 mil or so might do this.

6. There being no affordable young FA starters, i'd offer 2-3 mil to Orlando Hernandez and see if he bites. This would give us time to ease a yonger pitcher into the rotation if he got hurt, and a good bang4buck if he didn't.

That pretty much uses up our available funds.

Millar wouldn't be a bad pickup if any of this fell through.

Finally, as much as I've always trusted JP's judgement, the one way I blatantly disagreed with him has become an "I told you so" moment for me. the one young inexpensive guy who'd look real good at 1B for us next year, IMO...Jayson Werth.
_west coast dude - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 01:46 AM EST (#7639) #
Alou hit a couple potholes, blew some tires and spun out; the perfect metaphor.
_Kyle - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 02:48 AM EST (#7640) #
Whats with all the Mientkiewicz bashing? He is a gold glove and except for last year which I believe was an outlier he is good to get On base .360-.400 - If they can't Get Nick Johnson or Durazo, this makes the most sense. A minky/Phelps Platoon would work fine actually. Hinske is no 1st baseman, there is simply no room on this team for him. If we can get set at 1B put him on waivers.

Phelps vs. LHP career .908 OPS .535 Slg .373 On Base - He is useless as a full time 1st base though.

I totally agree on makign a run at Burnett but the price will be high, The O's are going insane at not getting any free agents yet and we know that they were haavy into the Hudson sweeps, I think that they could assemble a better crop of almost ready major league arms.

If the Tigers would do an Urbina - Hinske deal then do it in a second. And if Gabe white can be had get him - check his stats.

Orlando Herdandez? Why even bother, we arent going to make a run this year - I would rather another rookie get some experience in the 5 hole. Batista will be better this year also. Same goes for Alou, whats the point - put Gross out there and give him a chance.

They should grab as many young, good bullpen arms as they can right now - with a quality bullpen they should win 15 more games next year - because their crap pen blew at least that many last year.

And finally if the Jays really were offering Clement that kind of cash, there is no way they couldn't offer delgado 10-11M Delgado is worth 2 Clements.
_Justin - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 03:13 AM EST (#7641) #
WillRain, I completely agree with what you were saying. I like the idea of signing Orlando Hernandez, if he is cheap. I'm not sold on Batista as the closer, but I'm also not sold on him in the rotation. I think the team would be better with him as the closer though.

A.J. Burnett is the best pitcher on the Marlins and it would be pretty pricey to get him. I'm sure they'd want someone to fill into the rotation, someone like David Bush, and they might be looking at an OFer. For gods sake no sane general manager could be happy with Juan Encarnacion as his starting RFer.

Burnett is coming off of Tommy John surgery, which is why his first half numbers werent too good, but I live in Florida and got to see him pitch a number of games, and his stuff is just filthy. I'd only do a deal to get him if he signed an extension though. I do like most of your ideas though.

I dont post here much, but I do read here everyday and I'd just like to say that this is the best baseball related website I have ever been too. I'd love to post more but everytime I sit down to read the site, it seems as if the conversation has died down. Still, I love this site and would one day love to join the cheer club and watch a game.

Hope everyone has a happy holiday season and a great new year.

_Caino - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 03:43 AM EST (#7642) #
What do people think about whether the possibility of getting Durazo has increased at all after the A's big trades, since they won't be contending this year??
_Ryan Lind - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 03:53 AM EST (#7643) #
I don't think there's a chance they will trade Durazo and I think the A's will contend this year.
_Michael - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 04:34 AM EST (#7644) #
The Jays need to improve the offense (1b/dh/maybe of) and the bullpen. And, like nearly every team, could use more starting pitcher: although that is an ancillary concern.

So any cheap, non-closer (for cheapness), high K/9 relief pitchers would be good bets. Who are the FA who might fit the bill?

While some are better than others any of the following (assuming they could come cheap like 1 year < 1mil or 2 year 1.5 mil total) could do ok. And the best bet is to wait and grab as many as possible that get overlooked and are willing to sign cheap:

- Wilson Alvarez
- Brian Boehringer
- Ricky Bottalico
- Jason Christiansen
- Valerio de los Santos
- Chad Fox
- Roberto Hernandez
- Steve Kline
- Curtis Leskanic
- Dan Miceli
- Mike Myers
- Jeff Nelson
- Robb Nen
- Antonio Osuna
- Jay Powell
- Scott Service
- Paul Shuey
- Scott Williamson
- Jeff Zimmerman

Obviously given my choice I'd take, maybe, Nelson, Osuna, Sheuy, Williamson, and Zimmerman if all these guys are going for the same price. But realistically, we'll have to settle for some of the second tier guys from this list as most, but not all, of these players will get more than 1 year < 1 mil or 2 year at 1.5 mil total. The thing is, you can't totally know who will get such an offer and who will not up front. Which is why looking at the non-tenders will be interesting too as that will likely double the length of this list.
_Chris H - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 08:14 AM EST (#7645) #
I dont see why Durazo isnt available. I understand that Durazo is considered Beane's "holy grail" but he has a solid youngster (Dan Johnson) who is ready now. I wouldnt be surprised to see Durazo dealt between now and spring training.

Pistol - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 08:29 AM EST (#7646) #
Only 3 of 41 players accepted arbitration: Clemens, Polonco and Villone.
_PeterG - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 10:18 AM EST (#7647) #
I am assuming that Zaun did not accept arbitration. Does this mean he will likely sign elsewhere thus giving the Jays unexpected compensation?
If so, I guess JP is looking for one or two journeyman catchers to use as stop gaps until Q is ready.
_Chuck Van Den C - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 10:43 AM EST (#7648) #
Peter, since Zaun was offered arbitration, the Jays can still negotiate with him until Jan 8.
Coach - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 12:18 PM EST (#7649) #
Does this mean he will likely sign elsewhere thus giving the Jays unexpected compensation?

Peter, the Cash trade made me think they must be pretty close to working out a deal with Zaun. It simply hasn't been an urgent priority, with the winter meetings, today's deadline to prepare for and the sudden, sad loss of Bobby Mattick.

If my hunch is wrong, they would have to find a platoon partner for Myers (Frankencatcher II: The Return Of Tom Wilson?) and one more veteran in Syracuse to mentor and rest Quiroz would be a good pickup. What's the Incredible Huck doing?

any of the following ... could do ok.

Michael, before endorsing them, you might want to do about a minute of research on the health of these guys. Williamson and Zimmerman? Sheesh.
_Mick - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 03:31 PM EST (#7650) #
Quick, sign Zimmerman, Nelson and Powell! And you, too, can re-creat the success of the (69-93) 2003 Texas Rangers! What, Esteban Yank not available?
_Mick - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 03:32 PM EST (#7651) #
That was a typo, for "Esteban Yan," but "Esteban Yank" is pretty funny, come to think of it.
_Axil - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 04:43 PM EST (#7652) #
I doubt the Tigers would want Hinske if they have Guillen and Infante...Unless they don't want Vina in a starting role. I also think that Urbina is a bad fit for the Jays. Speier can close this year. He can do a good job.
_Mick - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 05:00 PM EST (#7653) #
Okay, Urbina ... and in another thread, talk of Ryan Glynn's potential. Doug Davis has already been through here. Why in heaven's name would any sane team in search of pitching collect castoffs from the Texas Rangers???
_Four Seamer - Monday, December 20 2004 @ 05:02 PM EST (#7654) #
Why in heaven's name would any sane team in search of pitching collect castoffs from the Texas Rangers???

Because the Esteban Loaiza experiment was such a smashing success...
_WillRain - Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 03:14 AM EST (#7655) #
To answer the "why" vis-a-vi Urbina.

It's really rather simple. If we can persuade them to take Hinske for him, we deal ~$13 million over 3 years for 4 million over ONE year....if we get then somehow to take Kerry Lightmeup in the same deal, it's 15.5 for 4.

understand now?
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