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Jeff Blair reports that the Blue Jays signed A.J. Burnett to a 5 year, $55 million contract.

According to major-league sources, Burnett, who was 12-12 and had a 3.44 earned-run average with the Florida Marlins last season, will receive $7-million next season, including a signing bonus, and will be paid $12-million for the next four years of the deal. The contract is pending a physical examination, which Burnett is scheduled to undergo today in Tampa.

Allan James ('A.J.') Burnett was born on January 3rd in 1977. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the 9th round of the 1995 draft out of Central Arkansas Christian High School.

Burnett spent his first three years in the lower levels of the Mets' system. He showed signs of dominance with 157 strikeouts and 94 hits allowed in 147 innings pitched. However, control was an issue as Burnett allowed 120 walks over that same period.

Following the Marlins' World Series victory in 1997 they had their infamous 'firesale' and traded Al Leiter and Ralph Millard to the Mets for Robert Stratton, Jesus Sanchez and A.J. Burnett.

At age 21 the Marlins sent Burnett to Kane County of the Midwest League and he had a great year with a 1.97 ERA and 186 strikeouts against 45 walks in 119 innings. The following season Burnett was promoted to AA Portland and he struggled a bit there with a 5.52 ERA in 121 innings. Nevertheless, the Marlins were impressed and called Burnett up for 7 starts at the end of the 1999 season and had a 3.48 ERA over 42 innings.

From 2000-2002 Burnett continued to improve, with 2002 being his best season but still had issues with walks which led to several games where he had high pitch counts. In 2002 Burnett had 12 games where he exceeded 120 pitches in a game.

Burnett made just four starts in 2003 before tearing an elbow ligament and needing Tommy John surgery. Burnett returned quickly from surgery joining the Marlins for 19 starts in the 2004 season. 2005 was Burnett's first full season following surgery and he surpassed 200 innings with a 3.45 ERA.

Here are Burnett's career major league stats:

Year	 IP 	K/9	BB/9	HR/9	K/BB	GB/FB	ERA
1999	 41.3	7.2	5.4	0.7	1.32	1.78	3.48
2000	 83.7	6.1	4.7	0.9	1.30	1.17	4.79
2001	173.3	6.6	4.3	1.0	1.54	1.13	4.05
2002	204.3	8.9	4.0	0.5	2.26	1.10	3.30
2003	 23.0	8.2	7.0	0.8	1.17	1.29	4.70
2004	120.0	8.5	2.9	0.7	2.97	1.49	3.68
2005	209.0	8.5	3.4	0.5	2.51	2.42	3.45

The common thought is that it takes a year or two for a pitcher to regain his control following Tommy John surgery. However, with Burnett his walks were lower than they've ever been and his K/BB ratios were higher than they've ever been in 2004 and 2005.

The other interesting item about Burentt since his surgery is that he's turned into a groundball pitcher. Prior to his injury Burnett had a career GB/FB ratio of 1.18:1. Since the injury Burnett's GB/FB ratio is 2.02:1, including 2.42:1 in 2005.

The combination of a high GB/FB ratio and a high strikeout rate is rare. In 2005 there were just 12 pitchers with a GB/FB ratio over 1.75:1 (min 100 innings).

Rk	Player          Tm	G/F	K/G	BB/G	HR/G
1	Webb	        ARI	3.99	7.0	2.4	0.9
2	Westbrook	CLE	3.38	5.1	2.4	0.8
3	Lowe	        LAN	3.03	6.0	2.3	1.2
4	Mulder	        STL	2.88	4.9	3.1	0.8
5	Hudson	        ATL	2.83	5.4	3.1	0.9
6       Halladay        TOR     2.82    7.5     1.2     0.8
7	Burnett	        FLA	2.63	8.7	3.5	0.5
8	Carpenter	STL	2.09	8.6	2.1	0.7
9	Lidle	        PHI	1.95	5.9	1.9	0.9
10	Wright	        COL	1.95	5.0	4.0	1.1
11	Maddux	        CHN	1.94	5.6	1.5	1.2
12	Pettitte	HOU	1.87	7.5	1.8	0.8
And of those 12 pitchers just 5 had a strikeout rate in excess of 6 per 9 innings, with Burnett topping the list:
Rk	Last	        Tm	G/F	K/G	BB/G	HR/G
1	Burnett	        FLA	2.63	8.7	3.5	0.5
2	Carpenter	STL	2.09	8.6	2.1	0.7
3       Halladay        TOR     2.82    7.5     1.2     0.8
4	Pettitte	HOU	1.87	7.5	1.8	0.8
5	Webb	        ARI	3.99	7.0	2.4	0.9

While Burnett will be moving to the Amercian League, and will no longer get to face the opposing pitcher, he will have the benefit of the Jays superior defense behind him. And with his groundball tendencies he's very likely to be an enthusiastic member of the Orlando Hudson fan club.

With Burnett in the rotation the Jays will have to make a decision with one of their other starters, either moving one to the bullpen or making another trade. There are already strong rumors that Miguel Batista will be moved and it seems that David Bush would be the most likely candidate to move to the pen - remember he was a closer at Wake Forest before the Jays coverted him to a starter in 2003. Of course, Bush (or any other starter) moving to the bullpen creates more of a logjam there so it would be likely that the Jays would almost be forced to trade one pitcher and possibly two pitchers - likely in an effort to improve the lineup.

Regardless, Burnett, the prized free agent starting pitcher of the offseason, bolsters an already strong pitching staff. The Jays will now focus their attention on improving their lineup and have reportedly discussed Lyle Overbay, Brad Wilkerson, and Kevin Mench among others.

Welcome to Toronto, A.J.

A.J. A Jay: Burnett Signs With Toronto | 295 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
andrewkw - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:31 AM EST (#134541) #
woo hoo! so glad this is over. While this is very risky I really felt like it was Burnett or bust. Perhaps this year the 2nd game of the season wont be the lowest attended as it typically is (I already got my tickets).
Useless Tyler - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:31 AM EST (#134542) #
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHHH!!!

Best news you can get after coming back from a History exam you're sure you bombed.

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHHH!!!
andrewkw - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:43 AM EST (#134545) #
btw be sure to check out Richard Griffen's take. Headline "A.J. Doesn't really like T.O." and that he "wants no part of toronto". Seriously why would the star publish this?

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1133823011611&call_pageid=969907739730&col=970081600908
Pistol - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:47 AM EST (#134546) #
I don't have a strong opinion on the move either way, but it's nice to see the Jays get the players they have targeted. To get 2 of the top 3 players they were after is quite a success. I would have thought 1 of 3 would be a good offseason.

The Jays obviously feel that they get Burnett to take the next step from a good pitcher to a great pitcher. Yesterday I read something from Dave Duncan where he said something to the effect of a few changes could make a big difference with Burnett.

With Ryan and Burnett signed the Jays will forfeit their 2nd and 3rd round picks this year. That just means draft coverage will have to go a bit deeper this year!
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:51 AM EST (#134547) #
To get 2 of the top 3 players they were after is quite a success.

I couldn't agree more. J.P. knows ballplayers a lot better than I do; that's why he's in the GM chair and that's why he has done so well (on a dollar-for-dollar basis) since coming in. If they're landing top free agents, it's a good sign.

Especially when you think of how long it's been since top free agents signed with Toronto.

Pistol - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:53 AM EST (#134548) #
Maybe it's not intentional, but Burnett's salary will never exceed $12 million while Halladay will make $12.75 million this year and next.
Maldoff - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:55 AM EST (#134549) #
Great job JP!

OK, now that we have AJ and BJ, what's the next target? I need something else to talk about!!!

An interesting hitter came to mind last night....Preston Wilson. I think he could definately be the "bopper" we're looking for, although he strikes out a ton.
Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST (#134551) #
As Hannibal would often say towards the conclusion of an A-Team episode: "I love it when a plan comes together"

JP has now acquired the FA pitching that will allow him to deal from depth to acquire an impact bat via trade.

Oh and by the way the Mariners have offered Millwood 44 million over 4 years (rotoworld) for anyone who didn't think AJ's contract was for market value...
HoJu - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST (#134552) #
I'm also on the fence on this one. I wouldn't have been too disappointed if the Jays didn't sign him. There's a reason good organizations like the Cards don't offer pitchers 5 year deals. I hope this doesn't come back to bite us. But at the same time, it's very exciting to see the Jays making some big moves like this.
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:03 AM EST (#134553) #
Aren't we now morally obliged to ask Pittsburgh what they want for C.J. Nitkowski?
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:07 AM EST (#134554) #
There's a reason good organizations like the Cards don't offer pitchers 5 year deals.

If four years was sensible, five cannot be that bad, can it? The degree to which four years is a good idea can only be slightly greater than the degree to which five years is a good idea. It's one year.

Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:10 AM EST (#134555) #
If the price of pitching continues to rise and AJ pitches at the same level he did in 2005 throughout the contract his free market values at the conclusion of each season, if summed together, will exceed 75 million easily. So even if he misses a full season out of the 5 this could work out as a bargain for the Jays.
Twilight - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:10 AM EST (#134556) #
I for one applaud this signing. I do believe Burnett will be an effective 1A and with Halladay on board to start it all off, we can't lose. We might not win but we can't lose! lol. This next year is going to be a great one.
Kieran - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:14 AM EST (#134557) #
Alright, good job JP. Now lets deal from our strength (excess IF and pitching) and acquire an impact bat. I am rooting for Abreu.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:21 AM EST (#134558) #
As with the B.J. Ryan signing, I find the dollars staggering and the length frightening. Acquiring top free agents has become a very foreign concept to Toronto baseball fans, and it would be naiive to expect both pitchers to be full value for the full length of their contracts. But the real key to me is what follows these signings; Toronto now has 7 pitchers that most teams would happily slot into their starting rotations for opening day 2006. If the Jays can successfully transform this surplus into 2 upgrades to the batting lineup, the risk taken on with the two huge signings is justified as the price of going for it all, right now.

What I'd like to see next:

1. Go get Jonny Gomes
2. Don't trade Dave Bush
3. Don't get Kevin Mench
Flex - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:26 AM EST (#134560) #
One thing I take from all the reports coming out of Dallas is how hard Ricciardi has been working down there. He looked haggard last night, said the reports, with pained eyes and halting speech.

I like that the GM is grinding himself down to a nub to make his team better. Much as his attitude sometimes annoys me, it's clear he's got a work ethic to be proud of. Give the man a pat on the back.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:26 AM EST (#134561) #
Cool. Now all JP has to do is:

- Deal Batista and Hinske
- Trade for a 1B/DH and RF
- Acquire a backup catcher

That Griffin column is silly. If you could go somewhere you loved for 4 x $10-12M, or somewhere you (and your wife) really didn't want to be for 5 x $11M, would you really take the latter? No way. Not that there aren't arguably legit criticisms to be made (too much money or risk) but this one just doesn't fly. St. Louis might have been AJ's first choice, but he obviously has a strong desire to play in Toronto.

Incidentally, I hope we keep O-Dog. We should have enough other parts to trade now (including a lot of young pitchers).

Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:27 AM EST (#134562) #
I'm excited by the signing, not because I have any great love for A.J. Burnett but because now that this domino has tumbled I want to see where the rest of them go.

And I don't want to see Orlando Hudson traded, so any deal that means we'll be trading away pitchers is a deal I approve of.

I'm keepin' the radio on all day.
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:33 AM EST (#134565) #
MORE BREAKING NEWS??

Alright, take this for what it's worth, but SportsNet just reported that "an unknown team has upped the anty" on Burnett.
Keep in mind that this deal has not yet been officially announced yet.
Arg.
Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:33 AM EST (#134566) #
go get johnny gomes sounds good, but how?
HoJu - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:35 AM EST (#134567) #
I agree, it will be very exciting to see what comes next. That's one thing these two signings do, open up alot of possibilities. I'm listening to the radio myself and will be tuning in to MLB Radio later on to hear more reaction.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:37 AM EST (#134569) #
CSHunt, Sportsnet doesn't do a live daytime program anymore -- you're watching last night's highlights and news.
Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:40 AM EST (#134570) #
Thank god for Named for Hank, I've had just about enough of this. I'm trying to study for law school finals!
ainge_fan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:41 AM EST (#134571) #
The cool part, imo, is how the pitching ducks are all lined up even with a trade or two. I count around 15-16 guys who could easily pitch on this staff right now, with three or so who still have some AAA flexibility due to their experience. This provides the flexibility to deal for bats as many have mentionned. But more importantly, over the next year, that wave of young pitchers developing at AA/AAA will all start filtering up and conceivably provide significnt upgrades as they arrive. They'll be cheap for years. There's a good handful of real hard throwers, a bunch of good command guys, all of whom have bullpen and starting experience. There looks to be next to no need to go get quality pitching outside of the organization for the next several years - an amazing position to be in. This staff looks excellent heading into this year, and its pretty impressive to think that it will likely just get better each of the next three years.

This plan has been developing for years, fans have been waiting a long time to see the drafting and development bear fruit, and its pretty cool to witness it all culminating at one time. Can't wait to see what's next.
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:41 AM EST (#134572) #
That's good to know. :)
Damn cheap local sports stations! >-(
Come on over, A.J. :D
Now, if only he can get "the bats" he's said he needs to address. Overbay? Abreu?? Who knows ...
Sherrystar - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:42 AM EST (#134573) #
Pheww, got scared there for a second... sportsnet is on repeat. And if Blair says it's done, it's most likley done!(Unlike Gammons last night who said it would be done in the next hour!)

I'm excited! Just purchased my "BJ Ryan" flex pack and am awaiting further deals.

But I totally agree with NFH. Don't trade Hudson as Burnett will love the human vacum cleaner!
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:43 AM EST (#134574) #
If four years was sensible, five cannot be that bad, can it?

Gammons had reported that the Cardinals had upped to four years and $48 million, which makes 5 years and $55 million sound even better.

Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:47 AM EST (#134575) #
Burley:

You. Me. Opening Day. "I'm an optimistic moron" t-shirts. Full-sized tinfoil World Series trophy.
Kingsley Zissou - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:47 AM EST (#134576) #
I had the same flash of panic this morning while watching Sportsnet. I then also realized all the networks are too cheap to run a morning edition.
Ryan C - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:50 AM EST (#134577) #
So the Jays now have a pretty decent 1/2 in the rotation with Doc and AJ. Im certainly no expert but I suppose we still have Bush, Chacin, Lilly, Batista, and Towers to fit in somewhere as well as possibly McGowan by September. Who do you think stays and who goes?

Im guessing Towers is pretty well guaranteed a job in the rotation. And Batista is gone in a trade for something to clear a bit of salary. How does the rest shake out? Where do Bush and McGowan fit in?
Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:51 AM EST (#134578) #
To be fair, how often does anything happen in the world of sports on a weekday morning before noon?

As someone who frequently watches highlights in the morning,I'd prefer to see a live show. But I realize that there are not that many people, really, watching these morning highlights.
Ryan C - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:53 AM EST (#134579) #
Also props on the headline. With a name like AJ how could anyone ever doubt that he'd be A Jay?
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:08 AM EST (#134580) #

and here's him and his wife:

I'm absolutely positive you will fall in love with Toronto, Mrs. Burnett. Just give us a chance.

Kingsley Zissou - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:11 AM EST (#134581) #
resisting.......urge......to......say........what's......on.......my......mind...............
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:16 AM EST (#134585) #
Are you sure that's his wife?
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:19 AM EST (#134586) #
I think thats a young country singer Brandy Rich who sang the national anthem before their game.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:20 AM EST (#134587) #
Yes, I am a moron. The picture was worded "Brandy and AJ Burnett". Sorry about that.
Joe - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:24 AM EST (#134590) #
So - Just how many pitchers are there that look exactly like Leigh?
Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:25 AM EST (#134592) #
Yeah, Leigh, ditch that lawyer thing -- you have a real career in pitching, fella.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:30 AM EST (#134593) #
Joe, NFH: it's because guys who look like me often develop superior right-arm strength.
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:36 AM EST (#134594) #
His wife's name is Karen.
I also just read that he walked NINE GUYS in his 9-inning no-hit game. Yoiks! LOL I wonder what the record is for walks in a 9-inning no-hitter? I know Steve Barber walked _ten_ (and hit two) in 8.2 innings in '67 - a game the Orioles ended up losing in regulation, despite no-hitting the Tigers.
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:36 AM EST (#134595) #
LOL
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:38 AM EST (#134596) #
Sorry, answered it myself. :-/
"Burnett became the first pitcher in modern baseball history (since 1900) to throw a complete-game, nine-inning no-hitter and issue as many as nine walks. Cincinnati's Jim Maloney walked 10 in a 10-inning no-hitter Aug. 19, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs."
Wally - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:41 AM EST (#134597) #
Assuming the Burnett signing goes through, will the Jays lose any draft picks for either Burnett or Ryan?
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:41 AM EST (#134598) #
Burley:

You. Me. Opening Day. "I'm an optimistic moron" t-shirts. Full-sized tinfoil World Series trophy.

So there.

Just coming over the wire : apparently the Jays have traded with the Pirates for C.J. Nitkowski and the Royals for D.J. Carrasco.

RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:42 AM EST (#134599) #
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:45 AM EST (#134601) #
Wally, the Jays will not lose their draft pick, which is #14 overall and therefore protected.

The Jays lost their second-rounder to the Orioles for B.J. Ryan, but now presumably they will lose their second-rounder to the Marlins instead, and the Orioles will get the Jays' third-rounder.
Mark - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:46 AM EST (#134602) #
This is post of the year worthy!
Mark - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:47 AM EST (#134603) #
...was refering to Leigh's recent post
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:49 AM EST (#134604) #
gets my vote.

classic
King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:50 AM EST (#134605) #
Too bad A.J. Hinch retired not too long ago; he would have been the obvious choice for backup catcher.
Rob - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:51 AM EST (#134606) #
apparently the Jays have traded with the Pirates for C.J. Nitkowski and the Royals for D.J. Carrasco.

That's old news. I'm still waiting on the signings of e.e. cummings, B.F. Goodrich, J.G. Ballard, H.J. Heinz, I.R. Baboon, J.J. Jinkleheimer, A.K. Chesteron, B.L. Hutton and M. Night Shyamalan.

Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:53 AM EST (#134607) #
Don't forget R.J.R. Nabisco.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:55 AM EST (#134609) #
There's also J.J. Davis, T.J. Tucker, J.J. Furmaniak, J.J. Putz, and J.J. Hardy.

And of course J.T. Snow.
mp - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:58 AM EST (#134611) #
How about T J Hooker
rpriske - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:59 AM EST (#134614) #
T.J. Tucker!!
costanza - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:59 AM EST (#134615) #
That's good to know. :) Damn cheap local sports stations! >-(

Tell me about it... half an hour in the car, all I heard about on Ottawa's sports radio station was Sean Avery and Elisha Cuthbert... that, and some more about last Friday's Sens-Kings game...

Anyways, awesome news! How long 'till spring training? :)

einsof - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:00 AM EST (#134616) #
I think that JP signing his contract extension this week gave him that bit of extra umph he needed to get the AJ deal done--Now he gets to stay & see the fruits of his labour for better or worse..This signing is HUGE for Toronto in the statement it makes about the Jays organization...Overpaying was the only way we were gonna get AJ or BJ to come north of the border--but everyone now knows how serious we take our Baseball--Now lets make some trades for some BIG bats & spend some more of Ted's $$, even if the payroll goes to $85 million to get us the pieces we're still missing--Great job JP in getting (eh)J..
HoJu - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:05 AM EST (#134618) #
Bring back BJ Birdy
Kingsley Zissou - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:05 AM EST (#134620) #
Anyone heard when the press conference is today?
I'm assuming The Score will pick it up?

This guy's glad he's home sick in front of the TV today!
Thomas - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:06 AM EST (#134621) #
Apparently there will be a press conference this afternoon in Dallas. Does anyone know the time or if it will be carried on any of the sports networks?

Primey for Leigh.
Mark - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:10 AM EST (#134622) #
There is a PC scheduled for 12:00 to announce JP's extension.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:12 AM EST (#134624) #
Wilner said that there will be a press conference held in 50 minutes to announce his extension and they will deny any Burnett rumours (three times!).

Then they will hold an additional one a couple hours later once Burnett clears his medical.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:13 AM EST (#134625) #
Will either PC be on the radio or TV?
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:15 AM EST (#134626) #
Radio for the extension, yes. I'm unsure about the tv coverage. Radio and TV for the Burnett signing? I would hope so.
Wildrose - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:15 AM EST (#134627) #
I think what we see with Burnett, is a microcosm of the great Stahead verses Seamhead debate that is quite prevalent in the game today.

The number crunching bauxites have made some very reasonable arguements to support their arguement that Burnett is overvalued.

Seamheads, who base their evaluation of a player on keen observation, tend to like A.J. He has overwhelming velocity, truly one of the top ten fastballs in the game today.

As a child of both camps. I appreciate both viewpoints.

My opinion is that this signing entails quite a bit of risk . Having said that, you don't win unless you take on a certain degree of chance. The Seamhead in me is blown away by this guy. Having actually watched him several times, you come away shaking your head, thinking this guy should utterly dominate with his electric stuff.

Essentially he throws 3 pitches, 2 and 4 seam fastball and a power curve. What he lacks is a change-up/ split fingered pitch, thrown off the same arm motion as his fastball. The addition of a split finger could make him almost unhittable, ( for sake of comparison Harden primarily throws fastball, change-up and split finger). My guess is that because of fear of injury (the split finger is reputed to be hard on elbows) he did not use this pitch. Now that he has long term security will Arnsberger tinker with his repertoire given the risk involved?

The Seamhead in me likes this deal, with the covenant that Ricciardi utilizes his pitching excess, to obtain some bats.
Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST (#134629) #
Classic.

Imagine how much AJ would have received in Free Agency had he made the early decision to use his left hand.

Ball players really do need agents as soon as middle school these days.

Twilight - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:37 AM EST (#134630) #
I think Arnsberg will tinker a little bit. And unlike most people who try to tell AJ what to do, Arnsberg's opinion is highly valued. He taught Speier a change-up earlier in the year, I can definitely see him adding one for AJ. Change up is not too hard to learn, it's usually the 2nd pitch taught after fastballs are mastered.

Though if he is going to be throwing his change at 90 mph, is that really a change-up or just a fastball as opposed to insane fastball? :)

And when can I get my AJ Flex Pack? LOL
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:43 AM EST (#134631) #
Imagine how much AJ would have received in Free Agency had he made the early decision to use his left hand.

My post's reign as the best of this thread was shortlived.

seeyou - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#134632) #
The Star's running a new article confirming the signing:
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1133823011619&call_pageid=968867503640&col=970081593064


Baker's discussion of some trade rumours has me a little antsy though:

"Ricciardi spent time yesterday revisiting with the Philadelphia Phillies a potential blockbuster swap of Vernon Wells for right fielder Bobby Abreu. The Jays have also looked at a deal with the Rangers for left fielder Kevin Mench.

One scenario discussed by the teams would see Mench and first base prospect Adrian Gonzalez go to Toronto in exchange for Miguel Batista, Orlando Hudson and Brandon League, a reliever coveted by Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor dating back to his time working with the Jays a few years ago."
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:51 AM EST (#134633) #
I think what we see with Burnett, is a microcosm of the great Stahead verses Seamhead debate that is quite prevalent in the game today.

Count me as a Stathead [sic] who likes the signing.

Coach - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:53 AM EST (#134634) #
"I'm an optimistic moron" t-shirts.

I'll be there for the first two games for sure. How about "We built the bandwagon" shirts? I've been optimistic for four years, despite the constant vitriol from Baker, Elliott, Griffin and their camp followers. Moronic? In other aspects of my life, absolutely, just not baseball.

My faith in J.P.'s expertise (responsible for this site's existence) has never wavered. Many times, during the budgetary restrictions, I was less certain that Rogers would loosen the pursestrings once the foundation was in place. However, I refrained from attacking ownership in advance, saying only that I'd be an angry ex-fan if they reneged. Buying the Dome was the master stroke that made this spending spree possible; if the corporation had pocketed the extra profits at the expense of "our" team, I'd be leading the criticism.

Pundits whose primary purpose is to fire away at the Jays, their GM, escalating salaries taking money out of Jeffrey Loria's pocket, ballplayers making more than nurses, Moneyball or any other target du jour, will find plenty of ammunition in the length and value of Burnett's contract, as they did with Ryan's.

Statheads have legitimate concerns about giving "any pitcher" deals like A.J.'s and B.J's; even dinosaur scouts and seamheads salivating over pure stuff know it's a calculated risk. The loudest hue and cry will come from poseurs who never do any research or work but adopt sabremetric jargon to feel superior to baseball lifers. People who have relentlessly attacked Ricciardi from day one for their own peculiar reasons will also find fault, ignoring that so far, he's delivered everything promised, right on schedule.

Not surprisingly, I find the best things about the newest Fighting Jay to be intangible: for the first time in over a decade, other teams will simply hate playing Toronto. Three huge, intimidating pitchers will start -- and close -- more than 40% of Jays games. In addition to that immediate effect for at least the next two years, having a fellow gunslinger in town on a contending team can only increase the chances of Doc sticking around. And of course, this opens up a world of exciting trade possibilities. Batista for Wilkerson is quite palatable, but why not add Rios, Hinske and a couple of exciting young arms to the offer and get Nick the Stick too?

Well done, J.P. & everyone else who worked on (and approved) this deal. Thanks for rewarding our loyalty and restoring hope. It hasn't been this much fun to be a Jays fan since "Stand Pat" Gillick's expensive free agents and trade acquisitions, acquired just when the homegrown tree was ripe, helped put the "Blow Jays" over the top.

BCMike - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:53 AM EST (#134635) #
Well I'm pretty happy about this one. While his stats don't make him look as good as the money, I think his stuff and potential, combined with his k/bb & gb/fb ratios, indicate that he can be very successful in Toronto. While the deal is a pretty big risk, I would much rather gamble on a free agent signing than on an equivalent trade. Wasting money isn't as bad as wasting player assets. More importantly I think JP and company have done their homework and they have a plan in place to use their new found depth to acquire some offensive help.

As to how they are going to acquire that offense, I think you have to do everything possible to avoid trading Hudson. With so much money invested in pitching you should have your best defense on the field. The only way you deal Hudson is if you get an offer that knocks your socks off.

As for bats, I don't like the idea of Mench, especially if you have to give up anything significant. Wilkerson or Nick Johnson would be great and I would also like to see them go after Frank Thomas or Durazo. Anyway it should be an interesting week.
Jacko - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:57 AM EST (#134636) #
I think Arnsberg will tinker a little bit. And unlike most people who try to tell AJ what to do, Arnsberg's opinion is highly valued. He taught Speier a change-up earlier in the year, I can definitely see him adding one for AJ. Change up is not too hard to learn, it's usually the 2nd pitch taught after fastballs are mastered.

The 10 MPH difference will still be enough to give hitters fits.

However, I hope AJ is a better student than Gaudin, who failed to pickup a changeup in his year with the Jays.

Lefties sat on his wicked slider, and he desperately needed something else to throw to get them out. Maybe he'll figure it out over in Oakland. Count me disappointed that Gaudin failed to stick with the Jays.

Rookie Scribe - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:58 AM EST (#134637) #
I know it's just a rumour, but does anyone else find that proposed deal with Texas just a bit crazy? Batista AND Hudson AND League just for Gonzalez and Mench?

Hasn't Gonzalez already been on three teams already?

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:02 PM EST (#134638) #
The Jays are also going to have good #3-5 starters. At the moment we can slot in the best of Towers, Chacin, Lilly, Bush, McGowan, Batista, Downs, Marcum...the list goes on. And the next wave should be ready in a year or two: Romero, Banks, Purcey, etc.
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:03 PM EST (#134639) #
O-Dawg must stay. Especially if you hope that G/F ratio of Burnett's wasn't a fluke last year ...
Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:03 PM EST (#134640) #
MLB Radio/TV is covering the J.P. Ricciardi press conference now.
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:05 PM EST (#134641) #
I'm with Scribe. That's an awfully valuable package of talent to trade for a couple of promising but flawed hitters who play in a very favourable environment.

I'd rather trade with Washington -- it's a better fit from the Jays' perspective. I think Texas needs the Jays' package more than do the Nats, but that only convinces me more that the Jays should hold out for a better offer than this one. It does seem, however, that J.P.'s laserlike 2005 offseason focus is turning to Kevin Mench.

The baseball world has recently learned what happens when the laserlike focus is activated.
Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:06 PM EST (#134643) #
Leigh, I was merely picking up your scraps on that one.

Do you guys really have an award for best post?

That would be cool.

VGeras - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:10 PM EST (#134644) #
Insidethedome reports a Burnett press conference for 5:30pm Toronto time
BCMike - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:12 PM EST (#134645) #
I don't like anything about that Texas trade.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:15 PM EST (#134646) #
For now, I'm treating the Hudson/Mench deal rumours with the disdain they deserve. Right now, the team's expectation is at about 86 wins, thanks to the acquisition of Ryan. The Hudson/Mench deal would knock that down to below 85.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:21 PM EST (#134649) #
Let's take a took at Burnett using the Hardball Times pitching stats, specifically FIP and it's big brother, xFIP.

Here is the definition of FIP from the THT glossary:

"Fielding Independent Pitching, a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible. The formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor (usually around 3.2) to round out the number to an equivalent ERA number. FIP helps you understand how well a pitcher pitched, regardless of how well his fielders fielded. FIP was invented by Tangotiger." [THT glossary]

xFIP, according again to the THT glossary, "adjusts FIP and "normalizes" the home run component. Research has shown that home runs allowed are pretty much a function of flyballs allowed and home park, so xFIP is based on the average number of home runs allowed per outfield fly, and adjusted for the home run tendencies of the ballpark. Theoretically, this should be a better predicter of a pitcher's future ERA." [THT glossary]

Here are the NL Leaders (qualified) in xFIP in 2005:

1. Carpenter 3.04
2. Webb 3.06
3. Peavy 3.15
4. Pettitte 3.27
5. Burnett 3.30

Here is a list of pitchers appearing after Burnett - that is, NL pitchers who were outperformed by Burnett last season: Clemens, Prior, Oswalt, Martinez, Smoltz, Beckett, Willis, Hudson, etc.

As you can see from the definition above, these include park factor. What they do not include, however, is league factor. For that reason, I have included only NL pitchers on the above list, lest I be accused of comparing apples and oranges. You can league-factor all you want, but unless you are prepared to say that Clemens, Oswalt, Martinez, Smoltz et al. would not have been 'ace-like' in the AL in 2005, any attempts to strip Burnett of similar status are, in my opinion, misguided and overcompensatory.

Here are some Jays' xFIPs, for what it's worth: Halladay 3.05; Towers 4.45; Bush 4.71; Chacin 4.89; Lilly 5.04.
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST (#134650) #
Great to hear your take, Coach. Seems like your site is fairly popular these days.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:25 PM EST (#134651) #
I would be horrified if the Jays gave up anything of value for Mench.

In fact, if Mench were a Jay right now he would be undeserving of a spot in the starting lineup.
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:32 PM EST (#134652) #
Other Al East rumblings: Boston is in talks with the Angels and D-Backs about a 3-way deal that would send Manny to the Angels, Glaus to Boston, and a bunch of prospects to Arizona.

Source: Boston Herald, Boston Globe.
Michael - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:35 PM EST (#134653) #
Yeah, signing Burnett was supposed to unlock the trade doors but so far I haven't heard any good trade rumors.

The trade rumors with Texas are silly. Mench for Wells?

I think Wells is overrated, but still he is a league average CF defensively (at the very worst) who is 27 next year with a career 330 OBP and 481 SGP (811 OPS) playing in the skydome.

Mench on the other hand is a league average corner OF (at the very best) defensively who is 28 next year with a career 334 OBP and 484 SGP (818 OPS) playing in the ballpark at Arlington.

So mench has a slight edge in raw numbers but once you take in account any one (let alone all) of:

- home ball park
- age
- defensive ability at his position
- position he plays

it is clear that Wells is the better player.

And it isn't like Wells is too expensive as he is signed to the (relatively) cheap contract [the good upside of the 5/$15m contracts that he and Hinske signed, the bad part being the results of the Hinske one].

The Texas deal might make more sense if it was something like:

Mench + Soriano + $ for Wells (which frees up the ODog trade to someone else).

But I'd rather see the Adam Dunn talk start up again.

Wildrose - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:39 PM EST (#134654) #
Great to see the Coach make an appearance, he is after all the father of this Blog.

Coach - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#134655) #
J.P.'s laserlike 2005 offseason focus

The laserlike focus has always been there, aimed at this day and beyond. Kudos on the well-deserved extension.

No doubt it's been tough on the intense, driven Ricciardi to remain patient, knowing this day would come, while baseless criticism was flung in his direction. A long time ago, well before the Season From Hell, I asked a local scribe why he so frequently put J.P. in his crosshairs. "Because Rogers uses him as a human shield," came the reply.

As an aside to those talk-radio callers, Internet nuisances and columnists who love to display their ignorance and/or malice by pointing to the GM's won-loss record while rebuilding, it's finally time for that to matter. Anything less than three playoff berths in the next five years will be disappointing, even to me.

Great to hear your take, Coach

Thanks, Nick, but it's not my site any more. It's owned and operated by good friends of mine with more time (and desire) than I now have for this endeavour. I'm proud to be the founder and stand by about 99.44% of the million or so words I contributed. Going forward, consider me -- at least in hair colour -- the eminence grise.
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#134656) #
Not one person has ever said anything about Wells for Mench.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#134657) #
The problem with FIP and xFIP in evaluating Burnett is that he has given up more runs every year that he has pitched than would be anticipated from his HR, W, H and K data. If it happens once, it's likely bad luck. If it happens every season, the best explanation that I can think of is that he has particular problem pitching with runners on base, as reflected in his SB/CS and WP data. His teammate Dontrelle Willis every year of his career has done slightly better than his components would suggest, likely reflecting his superior performance with runners on base.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST (#134658) #
Mike, if I came in here talking about "clutch" this and "with runners on base" that, I'd be run out on a rail.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:46 PM EST (#134659) #
Going forward, consider me -- at least in hair colour -- the eminence grise.

Respecting that, I promise not to say a word more about A.J. Burnett until Opening Day, 2007. At which time, whether he soars or tanks, both of us will be much "grisier".
timpinder - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:47 PM EST (#134661) #
Now that the Jays have Burnett, I hope Hudson stays. I've always been an advocate of trading Hudson IF it brought in a big bat, but with the excess pitching now, I'd like to see the Jays dangle Chacin and Batista, Adams, and bullpen/minor league pitchers. (Hold onto Bush though) That should be enough to get a big bat. Halladay and Burnett will look a lot better with Hudson at 2B. I'd still trade him if that's what it takes to get a big bat here though.

Already have my flex pack tickets for 2006. Anybody notice that the Redsox and Yankees are the last 2 home series at the end of September!!??

Get your tickets for those games. If they're in pennant race....WOW.
Wildrose - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:48 PM EST (#134662) #
For the record, here's the difference, between N.L and A.L ERA in 2005. My calculation has it about 3%. I'm pointing this out as some comments have made it appear the difference is close to 10-15%. Leigh the Stathead in me, liked your FIP calculations.
Blue in SK - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:49 PM EST (#134663) #
I know I should enjoy the moment more, but I wonder who comes of the 40 man roster to make room for AJ? My guess would be Walker, and as much as I like his cinderella story, he seems somewhat easily replaced from within the organization. Heck, I would have rather kept Gaudin in the first place.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:51 PM EST (#134664) #
AJ is a twofur; BJ freed Batista to join the starting rotation. AJ frees Batista and Lilly ($8 mill). Batista and Lilly + two or three of the young guns HAS to be able to bring in a bat or two.

Exactly which bats?

JP..."go do the voodoo you do so well!!"(Apologies to Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles)
timpinder - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:54 PM EST (#134665) #
Mike Green,
Do you believe that is why Chacin pitched better than his numbers suggested he should? Because he pitches better with runners on base?

I've just never been a Chacin fan but I like Bush. However, the majority here seem to prefer Chacin to Bush.

Do you think that Chacin will continue, more or less, to pitch like he did in his rookie year? Your posts are informative I'd like to hear your opinion on it.
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:54 PM EST (#134666) #
I'd be run out on a rail.

More like hoisted on your own petard, really.

By the way, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Leigh in person, he really does resemble an exact midpoint between A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan. (Does that suggest Leigh to be ambidextrous?)
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:57 PM EST (#134667) #
Timpinder, the two reasons I can think of are that (1) Chacin completely shuts down the running game; and (2) Chacin's walk rates are far higher with the bases empty.

The first quality seems to be sustainable. The second? We'll see.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 12:57 PM EST (#134668) #
Mike, I do hope that you will mention Burnett one more time before opening day, in response to the research that I just did on Burnett's 2005 (as it relates to your runners-on-base comments):

Burnett, 2005, with bases empty: 2.51 k/bb, 8.29 k/9, 0.61 hr/9.

Burnett, 2005, with runners on: 2.50 k/bb, 8.83 k/9, 0.39 hr/9.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:04 PM EST (#134670) #
Does that suggest Leigh to be ambidextrous?

Considering the earlier context of this thread - with regard to the correlation between looking like me and being a good pitcher - few on the "training program" have the discipline to train each arm evenly.

Wildrose - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:05 PM EST (#134671) #
Also in fairness, and for the record, here's Primers 3 year Park Factors. Burnett would be well advised to continue to keep the ball down.
Maldoff - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:14 PM EST (#134673) #
I still think that if the Jays are looking for a hitter, Preston Wilson should be on their list. A signing of Wilson could mean Rios is done in RF, or they want to put Wilson at DH. Then you have Rios to trade for ANOTHER slugger. Makes perfect sense to me.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#134677) #
Chacin and Bush only matter till June or July...

Halliday
AJ
McGowan
Towers

...and by 07 Romero and soon thereafter Purcey...

Late 07 till 10/11

Halliday
AJ
McGowan
Romero
Purcey

WOW>>>>>
Mark - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:38 PM EST (#134678) #
Could these be done:
Batista + Reed Johnson = Wilkerson

Bush+ League+ Chulk = Gomes

BJ,AJ, Marcum, Gross, replace the departed players.
That is enough offence there (1 left, 1 right) plus Hinske and Hill as depth that is needed in the new stimulant free MLB
Wildrose - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:40 PM EST (#134679) #
Getting back to the Griffin story, that was linked earlier, well it's just damned bizzare.

I know one of the local Southern Alberta sports writers quite well. He tells me the competition in the Calgary market between the Sun newspaper chain and the Asper chain is quite intense. If a beat writer gets scooped on a major story, you'd better wear a fire retardent suit back to your editors office.

I can only imagine in Hog Town , with four major papers, that level of competition is even more pronounced.

If I'm the Publisher of the Toronto Star, I'm asking my Sports Editor why do we have Griffin in Dallas? Make no mistake about the Blair scoop, this is a day of utter public humiliation for the other Toronto beat writers.
King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:46 PM EST (#134681) #
Halladay.

It's spelled Halladay.

Sorry, but that bothers me.
Wildrose - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:46 PM EST (#134682) #
I'll also add the old biblical adage, " you reap what you sow."

If you relentlessly attack somebody, it's going to come back and bite you. Consider Griffin well bitten.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:48 PM EST (#134683) #
Batista + Reed Johnson = Wilkerson

Bush+ League+ Chulk = Gomes

Mark, I would hope that the Jays would jump instantly at one or both of those possibilities, were they to exist. What do people think of Mark's ideas from the other teams' perspectives?

Malcolm Little - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:49 PM EST (#134684) #
My two or three (or more) cents:

1. AJ is a great signing even for these dollars. I've said it elsewhere here and also at Primer, I believe, that a team has to go for it once in a while or else you are the Allard Royals or Ballard Leafs=no fun at all. We did not need more average players. We needed guys who could be A-range. I am comfortable taking risks to get a 28-year-old potential ace. And let's face it: this deal would have to be historically bad (Chan Ho Park bad) for JP not to be able to wiggle out of it either should A.J. surprise by not pitching well.

2. Trading either Hudson or Wells is crazy talk. I wouldn't trade Wells for Abreu, nor would I think that Hudson should even be linked at all to Mench. I wouldn't blame J.P. for floating these guys around to see if someone will give him the farm for one of them as they are probably as highly valued now as they will ever be, but to trade them now in the deals they're rumoured to be in would be ludicrous, and not the mysogonist Southern rapper kind either.

3. Mench at that price or any of the rumoured prices is not a superiour option to signing one of Sanders, White, or Wilson. I personally don't want Wilson, but I'd take him over dumping Rios + for a guy (Mench) who might tank out of Texas.

4. Wilkerson rumours, I enjoy. Nick the Stick rumours, I enjoy. Even Frank Thomas rumours, I enjoy. I simply don't want to see Hinkse & Hillenbrand as the uncontested everyday 1B/DH for the team next year. I would have to hope that both would be offered for trade, too.

5. Rios. I don't want him gone. He's too young to completely give up on him now....I could live with his being a fifth OF for a while (a year) w/ AFL action or something in addition to see whether or not his chronological peak years will be useful. This reeks of Felipe Lopez.
Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:52 PM EST (#134685) #
I live in New Jersey (USA), am listening to fan590 in Toronto now. Are these callers typical fare for the station? This guy just cited as bad moves JP made: trading away Phelps and getting rid of Lyon who according to this guy is playing well for Boston right now.
CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:54 PM EST (#134686) #
I really don't see how we can pry Gomes from our division rivals.

He is a guy with amazing power potential who has pretty much established himself at the major league.

I understand TB has a lot of OFs, but they don't exactly have a DH or 1B, with Huff moving they might just have enough room for everyone.

Crawford, Baldelli, Gathright OF, Huff = traded, Gomes/Young = DH/1B.



Jabes - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:54 PM EST (#134687) #
I think the best part of this signing is we get to see Kent "Coach" Williams post again.

Coach is there anyway you might make the occasional contribution? Thought about hosting your own podcast?
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:55 PM EST (#134688) #
Rosenthal is skeptical:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5142994

I think he's right to look past the hype to try to get a clear picture of where the Jays are at for 2006. It's true that there are some questions around the rotation and, more significantly, the offense. But I think in some ways he misses the larger picture, which is that the Jays have a chance to be a *lot* better than last year when it's all said and done.

Signing Ryan and Burnett both deepens the Jays' pitching and gives them a lot of flexibility to upgrade the offense--not only in the off-season, but at the trading deadline. Some other points:

- Rosenthal raises question marks about Towers and Chacin, saying "they are low-strikeout pitchers who invite contact." Well, first of all, they were both very good last year (particularly Towers, who blossomed in the second half). A high strikeout rate, while a good indicator of pitching ability, is not a prerequisite for success, especially when you've got a good defense. Second, these two (along with Lilly and Bush) are hardly the only rotation options the Jays have. No mention of the next wave of pitching talent on the way

- He rightly notes that questions remain about the offense. But even adding a couple of "mid-level performers" like Overbay or Durazo could really solidify the team, because we've been so weak at a few key positions, like 1B and RF and DH. And are we really sure that JP won't be able to obtain a true slugger like Dunn?

- No mention of the team's bullpen, which is now very deep and anchored by a pitcher who has been excellent for three years running

I wonder whether it isn't the size of the contracts that's piqueing Rosenthal and getting in the way of an objective analysis of the team's prospects.
King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:56 PM EST (#134689) #
Batista has quite a bit of value, I would imagine. In the rotation he'll be a league average starter who eats up 200 innings. Seeing the contracts given to Loaiza and such, I would imagine that many teams would love having Miguel for ~5M.

So, like a lot of other posters, I'll hold off on my comments until we see what trades JP can make from here on. My biggest problem with this signing is that I believe it may make it difficult to improve the Jays offense over the next few years. If JP can still get a good hitter or two, I'll change my mind about this deal.

Simply put, as excited as I am about the Blue Jays competing in the Free Agent market, if the heart of our lineup over the next couple years is Wells-Koskie-Hillenbrand, I will still be an unhappy Blue Jays fan.

I'm sure JP knows he's not done though. :)

P.S. Can we please stop using the metonym "bat" when referring to hitters? That's starting to get annoying.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:57 PM EST (#134690) #
I live in New Jersey (USA), am listening to fan590 in Toronto now. Are these callers typical fare for the station?

Pretty much. If you keep listening, I'm sure you'll hear the inane ramblings of Allan from Toronto at some point (I'm surprised he hasn't called-in yet today).

Lyon's ERA (in Arizona) after coming back from the disabled list in 2005: 13.91 in 14 games.

Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:57 PM EST (#134691) #
If I'm Washington, I don't like Reed Johnson plus Batista for Wilkerson - I think I would hold out for Alex Rios (which I think is still doable). Rios is more of a natural CF than Johnson is, in my view, and the Nats need a centerfielder. Rios also has the higher upside. I also might want cash to pay part of Batista's substantial salary, or a prospect.

If I'm the Jays, I'd do it. Wilkerson strikes out a lot, which limits his OBP to the .340-.380 range, but I think he has a chance to hit a lot of home runs.

The other deal, if I am Tampa, I absolutely do not do. But then I love Gomes and think of him as a longterm solution for them.
Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 01:57 PM EST (#134692) #
There's a short article by Rob Neyer on ESPN insider (not really worth reading) that links to Da Box article about one-run games. Neyer says the run differential might be counteracted by the fact that the Jays' peripherals suggested they would give up 20+ more runs and score 40+ fewer. He says BJ and AJ are not enough for us to win 15 more games and the AL East next year. He could be right, but he makes no mention of a full season of Halladay (that's a few games right there), plus, we all know JP is not done yet. P.S. I'm lovin the two letter names, really makes referencing people easy.
Jdog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:00 PM EST (#134693) #
I've heard someone mention (i think it was Blair) that Washington was considering a straigt up trade involving Batista and Wilkerson.....so i think Mike's idea is very plausible
Pistol - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:00 PM EST (#134694) #
The Jays went after Matt Clement last year and were turned down. This year they went after Burnett and got him.

Both were highly regarded National League power pitchers who, while good, had not pitched up to the level of their perceived talent. Clement went on to have a very ordinary season in 2005 (both prior to and after getting hit).

Here's how both pitchers looked in the 3 years prior to free agency (I took out the year Burnett missed):

Clement
Year Ag Tm  Lg	W	L	IP	ERA+	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
2002 27 CHC NL	12	11	205.0	112	9.4	3.7	0.8
2003 28 CHC NL	14	12	201.7	103	7.6	3.5	1.0
2004 29 CHC NL	9	13	181.0	123	9.4	3.8	1.1
							
Burnett							
Year Ag Tm  Lg	W	L	IP	ERA+	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
2002 25 FLA NL	12	9	204.3	121	8.9	4.0	0.5
2004 27 FLA NL	7	6	120.0	112	8.5	2.9	0.7
2005 28 FLA NL	12	12	209.0	117	8.5	3.4	0.5
You could just as obviously cherry pick someone else that was good that took off around age 30 (like Jason Schmidt) but my point is that this move is not without risk (not that anyone thought that it was riskless) and I'm always a little leary of paying on the hopes that they'll get better. But that's why they pay the big bucks to everyone in the front office.
Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#134695) #
Pistol, the HR rate is the key difference making AJ a much safer bet for success in the AL east than Clement.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#134696) #
Rosenthal is skeptical

Hell, *I'm* skeptical. That doesn't mean I'm not elated. Skepticism is a good reaction - clearly, we're at way too early a stage to say whether this is a good move or not.

But finally, for the first time in nine years, *we're going for it*. That is a GREAT feeling.

As for Neyer, if he thinks you're going to need to win 95 games to win the AL East next year, he needs a healthy does of skepticism himself. The Yankees and Red Sox were 90-win teams last year on their merits, and both are going to be older.

Coach - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:05 PM EST (#134697) #

Leigh and Mike, the debate is entertaining and I hope it continues. With no fear of being run out on a rail for incorrect analysis or heresy, here's my purely subjective opinion: if I was 30 years younger, didn't have two broken hands and got an opportunity as a DH, very few AL starters could make my knees buckle. The Jays now have two; any hitter would rather be with them than against them.

As to the wisdom, or folly, of five-year deals, I can only conclude that's what it took to get the club to the next level for 2006 and 2007. Digging in their heels at four years, while an admirable principle, would have achieved no positive results. It may be "proven" any number of ways, from stats to biomechanical analysis to polling pitching coaches, that B.J. Ryan is less likely to break down or lose effectiveness than Billy Wagner, but none of us knows what's going to happen. All pitchers risk injury, not just Burnett. Perfectly healthy Cy Young winners can take a line drive off the tibia on any given pitch.

Really, all fans can do is hope for the best and (if our teams are well-run) enjoy the ride, bumps and all. For example, I'm applauding the Byrd signing and the Tribe's apparent choice to let Millwood move on. That's based on instinct, developed over 45 years of paying close attention, and trust that -- right or wrong on any given decision -- Mark Shapiro knows exactly what he's doing. No stats were considered. :)

Ricciardi's pre-emptive strikes for the best starter and best reliever on the market will appear even more shrewd when the auctions heat up for the remaining, considerably inferior, available talent. The "losers" in the free agent bidding wars will only be more motivated to swap as the winter goes on. If that seller's market theory is correct, Doug Melvin should wait until March or even July to move Overbay. Similarly, though fans are eager for an exciting blockbuster, there's simply no rush for J.P. to make a deal. Versatility and flexibility are on his side in talks for whatever players he covets, given the bargain contracts of Batista, Lilly, Rios, Gross, Catalanotto, Hudson, Adams, Hill, McGowan, League, Frasor, Chulk and a host of attractive pitching prospects.

By the way, rumours can be fun, and many of us enjoy speculation, but it's especially ridiculous to be ragging on events that haven't happened yet, whether that's Burnett being abducted by aliens or "overpaying" for Kevin Mench.

Ryan B. - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:06 PM EST (#134698) #
Just a note, Blair is reporting that AJ will get $7M this season and then $12M for the next four years. That should give them a bit more flexability this year.
Rob - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:06 PM EST (#134699) #
If I'm the Publisher of the Toronto Star, I'm asking my Sports Editor why do we have Griffin in Dallas? Make no mistake about the Blair scoop, this is a day of utter public humiliation for the other Toronto beat writers.

Not only that, but the Star has now changed the headline of this story. It used to be something far more negative about the Jays not getting Burnett.

Actually, I'd like to meet the headline writer for the Star -- his creativity is off the charts.

Pistol - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:06 PM EST (#134700) #
"Pistol, the HR rate is the key difference making AJ a much safer bet for success in the AL east than Clement."

The Marlin's park is more of a pitcher's park than Wrigley (though I'm not saying the comparison is perfect).
King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:14 PM EST (#134705) #
Right now is probably a bad time to trade for Jonny Gomes. Last year, his batting average on balls in play, according to the wonderful Hardball Times, was .360. That's the highest mark among regulars in the majors. I doubt that's going to happen again, and I suspect we'll see a drop in his batting average over the coming years.

Of course, a .250/.350/.475 player is still quite useful. In fact, that's better than what Vernon did last year, but I just think that Gomes is more pricey now than he's going to be in the coming years.

By the way, I'm a huge fan of Mr. Gomes, myself. I love the way he's jacked up in all his at-bats. My favorite players are always the ones that don't screw around and try to kill the ball in every at bat. But some of the numbers are worrying.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST (#134706) #
Last year, his batting average on balls in play, according to the wonderful Hardball Times, was .360. That's the highest mark among regulars in the majors. I doubt that's going to happen again

I think it will happen again, at least once (or he'll come close), since Gomes hits the ball as hard as anyone in the major leagues. He kamikazes the ball.

And yes, the Hardball Times is wonderful. Everyone, why not celebrate the AJ signing by buying a copy of our 2006 Annual? Go to www.hardballtimes.com for details!

King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST (#134707) #
Actually, I'd like to meet the headline writer for the Star -- his creativity is off the charts.

My headline:

Ricciardi: All your Js are belong to us.

Haha! Am I good or what. OK, I'll leave now.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:17 PM EST (#134708) #
Joe Sheehan at BP has written a piece excoriating the Jays' moves:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4642

His conclusion: "Itís really not a matter of whether the Devil Rays will pass the Blue Jays in the AL East, just a question of when. To look at how these two franchises, each caught in a difficult competitive environment, have chosen to tackle the problem, is to see the difference between the gameís past and its present, between money as a panacea and money as a tool."
huckamaniac - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:18 PM EST (#134709) #
Blair's blog says that the Jays wouldn't do the Wells for Abreu deal, but the Jays are shopping Rios around as a CF. Regardless of how the signings turn out it's good to feel excited about the upcoming season for the first time in a while. I read Griffin's article this morning and between Cox, Feschuk and Griffin the Star's christmas party must be barrel of laughs. Here's the link to Blair's blog: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051101.wblai/BNStory/Sports
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:29 PM EST (#134718) #
"The loudest hue and cry will come from poseurs who never do any research or work but adopt sabremetric jargon to feel superior to baseball lifers."

-Coach Kent, earlier in this thread.

Joe Sheehan, Exhibit A.
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:37 PM EST (#134721) #
Exactly right, Craig. We can expect to see a flurry of articles about how great pitchers come out of nowhere (as if anybody can safely predict when that will happen), or how there are pitchers that can give you 70% of Burnett's ability for 10% of his money. Well, we don't want a pitcher with 70% of Burnett's ability.

Last year, the Jays were amazing in the dollars-spent-per-marginal-win category. I'm sure Sheehan was impressed. This year, the Jays are going for something probably less important to Sheehan, but more important to their fans: wins.
CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#134723) #
I'm not sure what to make of this whole situation. IMO I think Burnett is much less of a risk than Ryan is.

This is a lot of money to spend on 5 year deals without the track records of sucess that you might see pitchers getting in different years.

Has JP done the best he can given the circumstances this off season? So far I think he has lived up to the billing.

Part of me wishes we could have waited until next off season where it definately is a lot more plentiful as far as all free agents go.
Flex - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#134724) #
"Itís really not a matter of whether the Devil Rays will pass the Blue Jays in the AL East, just a question of when."

That's such an easy, lazy thing to say. But it's correct of course, just as it's correct to say, "It's not a matter of IF the sun will explode, just a question of when."

Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#134726) #
Itís really not a matter of whether the Devil Rays will pass the Blue Jays in the AL East, just a question of when.

He's right, of course. Assuming the Devil Rays stay in Tampa for another decade or so, they're bound to be better than the Jays at some point. Not for the next three or four years, but eventually...

Flex - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:43 PM EST (#134727) #
Ryan, I like that we both said "of course."
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:44 PM EST (#134729) #
And another thing:

Itís really not a matter of whether the Devil Rays will pass the Blue Jays in the AL East, just a question of when.

This is literally true, of course, but the statement implies that it'll happen soon. Uh, Joe? Name the second-best starting pitcher on the Rays. Mark Hendrickson? Casey Fossum? Doug Waechter? Seth McClung?
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#134730) #
Rats. Another "of course."
Ducey - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:46 PM EST (#134731) #
"Itís really not a matter of whether the Devil Rays will pass the Blue Jays in the AL East, just a question of when. To look at how these two franchises, each caught in a difficult competitive environment, have chosen to tackle the problem, is to see the difference between the gameís past and its present, between money as a panacea and money as a tool."

I can't read the article but have to wonder how the heck he came to that conclusion. The Rays as a model of anything???It is likely that at some point in history the Rays will pass the Jays. Heck, the Rays may win the series one day. When you finish last for 15 years you ought to have a few decent drafts. The reality is that they Jays are more likely to win more next year than the Rays. They are likely to sell just a few more tickets and make their fans more excited. Last time I checked, that was what the game was about.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#134732) #
Is it possible we're all tied into some bizarre hive mind? Possibly ruled by Ricciardi?

Because even if it means giving up my free will, it sounds kind of cool.

Callum - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#134733) #
The cherry on top of the proverbial Sundae would be a trade that ships Hinske somewhere else. Has ANYONE heard anything!!?
King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#134734) #
Joe Sheehan caught a lot of heat on this website when he criticised the Koskie signing also, but so far he's been correct about that. Admittedly, I am not a subscriber to Baseball Prospectus and therefore cannot read this article, but I wouldn't completely discredit his opinions. Based on what I have read of him, he seems like a smart man.

Of course, saying the D-Rays will eventually pass the Jays is pretty silly since that's obviously going to happen eventually. Just like the Jays will eventually pass the Yankees and the Dead Sox.
Dylan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:48 PM EST (#134735) #
"Rios. I don't want him gone. He's too young to completely give up on him now....I could live with his being a fifth OF for a while (a year) w/ AFL action or something in addition to see whether or not his chronological peak years will be useful. This reeks of Felipe Lopez."

I agree completly. JP seems to find a way to trade the wrong prospects. Lopez is the same age as Adams, JP just doesnt have the same patience with guys he doesn't draft. I think trading Rios will produce the same result. I remeber a ton of rumours around Halladay when he struggled. I think Rios could have a breakout season, he just needs to develop a level of consistency that all the good players have.
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:49 PM EST (#134736) #
Last year, the Jays were amazing in the dollars-spent-per-marginal-win category. I'm sure Sheehan was impressed. This year, the Jays are going for something probably less important to Sheehan, but more important to their fans: wins.

I loved this line, someone needs to email it to him.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:51 PM EST (#134738) #
"It's not a matter of IF the sun will explode, just a question of when."

Well, the Devil Rays passed the Blue Jays as early as... oh, yeah, that was last year. And they'll pass the oh-so-clever Boston Red Sox someday, too, no matter how many Mind Games they play.

And they'll win the World Series, someday, too. Probably the week that the sun explodes. It's just a question of when!

Anders - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:51 PM EST (#134739) #
Bill Hayes (sp) is reporting that Tom Cheek is one of the final nominees for the Ford C. Frick award
Flex - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST (#134742) #
"JP seems to find a way to trade the wrong prospects."

Do you count Adam Peterson? Kevin Cash?
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST (#134743) #
if confirmed, wonderful news... it's turning out to be a great day in Bluejay land.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST (#134744) #
The ballot for the Ford. C. Frick award is out. Cheek is on it, but he was not selected by the fans.
rtcaino - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:58 PM EST (#134747) #
"Bill Hayes (sp) is reporting that Tom Cheek is one of the final nominees for the Ford C. Frick award"

Kudos to all you guys who voted regularly. I voted several times, but not with the ferocity and dedication of many other Bauxites.
rtcaino - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 02:59 PM EST (#134748) #
"The ballot for the Ford. C. Frick award is out. Cheek is on it, but he was not selected by the fans."

O.
Mike D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:00 PM EST (#134751) #
I would never say that Joe Sheehan isn't a smart writer who thinks a lot about baseball and has perfectly defensible, well-reasoned positions.

But he, and writers like him, are sometimes guilty of fetishizing the undervalued ballplayer. A .250/.345/.425 hitter making $500,000 is a far better value than a .320/.360/.460 hitter making $5 million. Player A is likely to be widely underrated and Player B considerably overrated. But that doesn't make Player A better, or a team full of Player As a championship club.

There's also a definite sense in these articles that it's not a mid-market club's "place" to be active in big-money free agency. The Pudge Rodriguez signing by the eventual champion Marlins was criticized, because it wasn't the Marlins' "time" to compete.

Sometimes you have to make it your time. Pick on the contract terms all you want, but understand that the Jays have a tough time luring players and have to overpay.

Understand also that this isn't the Boston Braves acquiring Babe Ruth or, for that matter, the D-Rays signing Vaughn and Canseco. These are two potentially outstanding players in the very prime of their careers.
koanhead - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:02 PM EST (#134754) #
Hurry up, please. It's time.

Burnett and Ryan. As a Jays fan down here in the Maritimes I feel roight foine today. I ain't been this excited about the Jays since '93. I'm hungry to see who the hitters are that Ricciardi comes up with to complement these pitching moves. I'd do Batista for Wilkerson in half-a-second. Would JP? How about about Chacin and Rios for Wilkerson? I'd do that one even quicker. But what do I know? Nothing, that's what -- except that JP ain't done and I ain't gonna bitch and moan about who he trades and whoever the hitters are that he comes up with until I see how the '06 season plays out. I do believe I learned a little from the Hillenbrand deal. The Jays are halfway to where they need and want to be and I don't think the GM is geared for halfway measures. Might be spring before we see how the lineup and rotation shake out. I can wait, and I'll be waiting with anticipation rather than trepidation.

I only have one question. With Halladay and Burnett at the top of the rotation, how often is the the infield carpet at Rogers Centre scheduled to be changed?

Jim - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:04 PM EST (#134755) #
'The Yankees and Red Sox were 90-win teams last year on their merits'


No they weren't. They were both 95 win teams in the only measurement that counts.

Mike T - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:04 PM EST (#134757) #
Blue Jays News Conference at 5 et. live on The Score.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:10 PM EST (#134759) #
Cheek is on it, but he was not selected by the fans

The non-fan voting is independant of fan voting, right? So if Cheek was selected prior to fan voting, it wouldn't matter if he got ten bazillion fan votes -- he'd be on the ballot and not selected by the fans.

It ain't a bad thing -- it means he has a better shot at the award, doesn't it?
Coach - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:10 PM EST (#134760) #
The future has never been brighter in T-Bay. They finally got rid of a skinflint owner and one of the least competent general managers in the game since Hawk Harrelson. I know nothing of the nominal GM, but a whiz-kid could have few better advisors than Gerry Hunsicker. They have a superb nucleus of young talent and with any kind of reasonable payroll increase, can make rapid progress.

Obviously, there are market limitations. It's not like they are partnered with a national (or even regional) TV sports network, and even with free parking, they'll be lucky to get half of the Jays' attendance. They're going to be chasing the Jays for a while, until magically developing or acquiring a whole lot of pitching, but they could pass Baltimore any time. It's becoming quite a division.

Congrats to Tom Cheek, who's probably on a heavenly back nine with Cerrutti and Mattick right now, telling tall tales. I wonder if the HoF even releases fan voting numbers for the candidates selected by the Frick committee; hard to believe Tom didn't get an overwhelming response. Not just from Bauxites -- the FAN and the T.O. papers did some serious campaigning, and his following was national.
King Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST (#134762) #
I meant to respond to this earlier. From Craig B:

I think it will happen again, at least once (or he'll come close), since Gomes hits the ball as hard as anyone in the major leagues. He kamikazes the ball.

This is a valid point, but .360 is still really, really high. Gary Sheffield crushes the ball as well and his BABIP was .287. This is last year I am speaking of; I'm not sure what his career marks look like. Who else kills the ball on every swing? Adam Dunn? .290. Manny Ramirez was at .300. So I'm not sure that a mark of .360 is going to be repeated, even if he does smash the freaking thing.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST (#134763) #
Leigh, in response to your request and without naming names, here are 2005 splits for runners on and bases empty (near the bottom). The OBP and Slugging Pct. columns are the ones to notice. Here are the same splits for 2002-4. This time, the key columns are labelled none on and runners on. Pitchers do normally have some differences with runners on, but they are not usually this consistent and this large. The SB/CS numbers and the WP numbers probably are the reason.

In answer to Timpinder's question, I do like Chacin's ability to continue to perform well with runners on base. I expect that he will decline modestly from his 2005 performance, but I would not be shocked at all if he improves. It is common for young pitchers to improve their K rates somewhat in their first 2 years in the major leagues, and if Chacin does that to, say, 6Ks/9IP, he'd be a fine, fine pitcher.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:15 PM EST (#134764) #
I think I'll concede to King Ryan on Gomes. Good point.
jsut - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:16 PM EST (#134766) #

Coach, the numbers are on the frick site, at least for the top 3.

Throughout the month of November, more than 105,000 fan votes were cast exclusively at the Hall of Fame's Web site - the highest vote total in the three-year history of the online fan voting component to determine Frick ballot selections -with King (25,380), Niehaus (17,091) and Doucet (15,002) selected by fans for the ballot through the online vote.
Paulwog - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:20 PM EST (#134767) #
Wow ... great to see diehard Jay fans ...

I just linked over through Yahoo to a I dunno .... anyway i made it here.

Fantastic!
Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:23 PM EST (#134769) #
I wonder if the HoF even releases fan voting numbers for the candidates selected by the Frick committee; hard to believe Tom didn't get an overwhelming response. Not just from Bauxites -- the FAN and the T.O. papers did some serious campaigning, and his following was national.

I've always gotten the feeling the fan votes would trump the sections of the committee. If there's a duplicate, the Hall will claim the fans put the broadcaster on the ballot. That's just my speculation, but it would be pretty good P.R. on the Hall's part to make the fans feel they made an impact.

Last year Cheek got 6,958 votes from the fans. Jacques Doucet, the third place finisher this year according to the Hall's press release, got 15,002. I'm sure Cheek would have been among the top vote-getters, and I don't mean to rain on the parade today, but I'm a bit doubtful he more than doubled his vote total from last year.

Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:24 PM EST (#134770) #
But Mike, you said that his results-based stats were worse than his peripheral stats because he pitched poorly with runners on. As I pointed out, his peripherals are actually better with runners on than without. If you want to take it a step further and talk about a trend within his runners on numbers that points to poor obtuse results-based stats, I think that we are running into sample size issues.
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:27 PM EST (#134771) #
The goal of the Get Tom Cheek On The Frick Ballot is achieved. He is on the ballot. We succeeded.

End of story. Give yourselves a pat on the back, voters, and go for an ice cream sundae.
Cristian - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:35 PM EST (#134772) #
It's -20 outside. I think I'll make myself an ice cream sundae to warm up. Baseball season can't come soon enough.

By the way, I find the numbers being bandied about regarding AJ very interesting. One point that seems to be forgotten is the one guy who every stathead was happy to see signed, Batista, is the guy who everyone can't see leave fast enough.
Paul D - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:40 PM EST (#134773) #
Wow.
It's great that Doucet is on the ballot, I really think he deserves it, but is anyone surprised that someone who spent his career broadcasting the Expos in French got that many votes?

Good for him.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:44 PM EST (#134775) #
Leigh, it's a four-year pattern. Batting average goes up significantly with runners on base, while ISO power and walk rate stay similar. For a guy who throws a lot of stuff down and in the dirt, is among the league leaders in wild pitches and who is vulnerable to the stolen base, this is the pattern that I was referring to. Less really nasty stuff is being used with runners on because of the risk of a wild pitch or a stolen base. I am surprised that the K rate does not decline.

One of the things that I am working on for the Hall Watch series is the extent to which fielding independent pitching measures and context-adjusted runs allowed measure overall effectiveness over a period of years. My own view is that both are relevant, but neither is entirely accurate. Each pitcher tells a slightly different story, and usually some amalgam of both is the most accurate measure.
Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:55 PM EST (#134777) #
I agree, Mike, that none of these stats paint the entire picture.

We know that Burnett's peripherals actually get better with runners on, but singles allowed goes up. So, to what can we attirbute this? I would say (a)poor luck, (b)infield defence, (c)a managerial affinity to hold runners on when not needed; really, it's hard to tell. I'm inclined to say that the trend is illusory because of the sample size (in lieu of which I would buy (a), (b) or (c) above).
Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 03:58 PM EST (#134779) #
The egghead convention is down the hall, gentlemen. This thread is for rash predictions of championships and/or ultimate doom. :)

Seriously, I appreciate the distinctions you are both trying to draw but ultimately (especially over a five-year period) aren't the implications of things like a marginal advantage with men on base totally swamped by the error bars involved? Should we really be talking about bone chips, and whether Burnett's stuff is the kind that lends itself to longterm success?
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:02 PM EST (#134780) #
That's what I had in mind myself.
zaptom - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:03 PM EST (#134781) #
TSN will have the press conference online and on tv at 5pm et/2pm pt. Exciting times for J's and Jays everywhere.
Pistol - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:05 PM EST (#134782) #
For all the talk of lots of moves at the winter meetings there's only been the Gaudin trade and the Burnett signing.

Here's a Rosenthal nugget http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5141070:

"On the shortstop front, the Braves inquired about Blue Jays second baseman Orlando Hudson, whom they would move to short, but the Jays were not interested in catcher Johnny Estrada."

The Braves are trying to trade Estrada a year late. It is interesting that they'd want to move Hudson to SS.
mikerich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:10 PM EST (#134783) #
Is there any prior research out there that would indicate how much of an advantage AJ had with pitching to the pitcher in the NL?

Does anyone have a link to the numbers on how he did against that spot in the order, specifically, how many Ks came against pitchers year after year? How drastically would this affect his peripherals?

Sorry if this has been covered in another thread, I did a search of this site but couldn't really find much.
CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:15 PM EST (#134784) #
What do you guys think the problem was with Estrada anyways?

I don't see Steriods as being a factor, he is not a power guy, hits (slaps) and gets on base a lot getting a few doubles.

Was it just the injuries? Were they that much of a factor to take him from one of the leagues best to one of the worst?
bobbycola - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:18 PM EST (#134786) #
Who's listening to the FAN right now? Bob McCown's making some good points. He's saying that there's a possibilty of signing Zito, which would give us close to the best pitching in the major league. Once we've got this, maybe hitting isn't such a huge factor? Maybe we can win with mainly pitching? The White Sox sure proved it...

I dunno if I agree with that, just laying it out there.
Flex - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:21 PM EST (#134787) #
"I did a search of this site but couldn't really find much"

Waddaya mean? For years we've laughed, we've cried. We've shared our joy, our pain and our data tables! It's all here in blue and white baby!

Couldn't find much? Man, that's harsh.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:22 PM EST (#134788) #
I usually don't, but I am right now and he's making ZERO sense. He wants to trade for Zito and not sign him to an extension just to make a quick run. He thinks he should be able to trade a Marcum for him.

Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST (#134790) #
Well not only is trading for Zito without planning to sign him crazy, but assuming we become a pitching powerhouse and do the "White Sox thing" we're going to need some hitters. Keep in mind that had a 40+ HR guy (Konerko), a 30+ (Dye), a 20+ (Everett?, and even Pierzynski had about 19. We have a 20+ (Wells). Not sure we match up to well in that department.
Anders - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:37 PM EST (#134792) #
The Giants traded Latroy Hawkins to the Orioles for Steve Kline, according to USA Today/Rotoworld

"LaTroy Hawkins has been traded from the Giants to the Orioles for Steve Kline, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports.
This right after Nightengale said it was expected Hawkins would go to the Mets. Kline's career could turn around back in the NL, but we like this for the Orioles, assuming that Baltimore has no intention of allowing Hawkins to close. Between Hawkins and Chris Ray, the Orioles could do very well in the seventh and eighth innings. Someone like Todd Jones might be brought in to close."
John Northey - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:38 PM EST (#134793) #
I feel a bit guilty about my voting pattern now for the HOF, although seeing Tom Cheek on the ballot fills in for it. I voted often for Doucet along with Tom because I never though someone who broadcast in Montreal could be in the top 3 but felt he deserves to be there due to his being the French voice of the Expos for so long. Talk about a thankless job. Plus he was very good as the MC at the awards banquet at SABR 2005 in Toronto, couldn't help but like the guy and hope he can get in.

To me Tom should be in this year and Jacques Doucet next.
bobbycola - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:39 PM EST (#134794) #
Yea, I agree with you guys, but it is interesting to think about.
Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:42 PM EST (#134795) #
Starting Pitching and the Playoffs:

During a thread a couple weeks ago the current playoff format was discussed with a particular focus on how the attributes required for team success in the playoffs differ from those required for success in the regular season.

I don't think there can be much question that since the inception of the wild card, and likely before, that teams with 2-3 potentially dominant starters fare much better in the playoffs than those teams who might have qualified on the strength of pitching and hitting in the top third of the majors.

To me this distinction could yield the true value of adding a Burnett calibre arm, this is a guy who on any given day has a better chance than all but a handful of pitchers of shutting down any lineup in major league baseball.

If the Jays can qualify for the Playoffs Halladay and Burnett immediately become far more valuable than in the regular season because they pitch a greater percentage of total team innings in the playoffs as a corollary of the extra off days.

We need offence to make the playoffs to be sure, but if we do qualify AJ will have more value to us than Brian Giles ever dreamed of.

Ryan B. - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:42 PM EST (#134796) #
How great is it that the Jays are the talk of MLB right now?

The last few seasons you couldn't buy time for the Jays on MLB radio or any major US website/newspaper. I've always been a very proud, loyal Jays fan so it feels really good to hear this team finally getting some notice.
rtcaino - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:50 PM EST (#134797) #
How do I change my handle?
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:52 PM EST (#134798) #
Ryan, I was just going to make that point. Especially here in the states the Jays are pretty much last on the media's mind (although I'm not whining about it...that'd make me a White Sox fan with all their crying about East Coast bias).

It's been nonstop Jays today. Whether on the radio, ESPN, or ESPNEWS. Wilner was on ESPNEWS a few hours ago talking about what has been done and what else could be done. As Mike usually is, he was terrific. Today is a wonderful day to be a Jays fan.
mikerich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:53 PM EST (#134799) #

"I did a search of this site but couldn't really find much"

Waddaya mean? For years we've laughed, we've cried. We've shared our joy, our pain and our data tables! It's all here in blue and white baby! Couldn't find much? Man, that's harsh.

Sorry, it should have said "I did a search of this site and couldn't find anything about this specific topic."

HippyGilmore - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:54 PM EST (#134800) #
Way off topic, but read this:

While the cost-cutting Marlins still are refusing to lower their asking price of Robinson Cano for Juan Pierre, they have begun to tell teams that every player on their roster - including Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera - is available for the right price.

Wow. And it wouldn't be available in a "Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells" sense, because all the Marlins are looking for is lots and lots of minimum salary players. I'd mortgage the farm for either of those 2, maybe McGowan, League, Bush and Purcey, I wouldn't even know where to begin with guys like those 2. Probably idle speculation, but man would it ever be nice..

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-sbyanks064541230dec06,0,1675289.story
Alexander - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:55 PM EST (#134801) #
"I usually don't, but I am right now and he's making ZERO sense. He wants to trade for Zito and not sign him to an extension just to make a quick run. He thinks he should be able to trade a Marcum for him."

VBF, I agree that trading for Zito and not signing hm to an extension would be a bit mad to be sure, but if he could actually get him here for Marcum, it would be well worth it, dont ya think?

Cheers


Leigh - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 04:57 PM EST (#134802) #
The egghead convention is down the hall, gentlemen.

Sorry, Craig. I'll try to steer the conversation back to more worthy subject matter, like the causal connection between pitching prowess and one's history of incessant masturbation.

GO JAYS! AJ RULZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

rtcaino - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:00 PM EST (#134804) #
Bobcat isn't really the most authoritative person when it comes to trade scenarios. However, I feel in this case he represents the excitement that Jay Fans are feeling right now.

BTW, after the press conference, which should begin shortly, he is planning on having Anrsberg, JP and AJ. Good line-up.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:00 PM EST (#134805) #
But that's the thing--Marcum won't do it.

I said it before, but think of all the teams that will be interested in trading for a 27 year old Cy Young winner who is making 5 million this year. Then think about what Beane will want, and all the offers that will come in. The Jays are going to have to have some competitive advantage, and I really don't see it. And by the time we find ourselves dealing Chacin and Hudson, if we're still considering it, then we have to consider that for that price we're going to have to lock him up long-term which we cannot afford right now if we want some hitting.
Alexander - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:01 PM EST (#134806) #
Mortgage the farm? Id throw in my immediate family for Cabrera and Willis! (Abreau thrown in for my own satisfaction.)


C Zaun
1B S.Hillenbrand
2B O.Hudson
SS R.Adams/Hill
3B C.Koskie
RF B.Abreau
CF V.Wells
LF M.Cabrera

SP Roy Halladay
SP Dontrelle WIllis
SP AJ
SP Ted Lilly
SP Josh Towers

CL B.J. Ryan

ONE CAN HOPE!

God, its nice to at least have actual hope for 2006
Alexander - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:03 PM EST (#134807) #
Lol, I figured - thought J.P./yourself was actually suggesting that would be possible - cheers
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:06 PM EST (#134808) #
Jamie Campbell sure has the height advantage on Rosenthal.

Frank Thomas met with the Blue Jays today as per Jamie Campbell.
binnister - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:12 PM EST (#134809) #
ohhhh....activity in the cybercast!!
binnister - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:14 PM EST (#134810) #
Its offical 5years/$55 Million.

Brad Arnsberg at the table.
rtcaino - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:30 PM EST (#134811) #
ďJays were AJís first choice and thatís not agent speak.Ē
Sounds like agent speak.

Lots of good press for the Jays. I feel this entire situation reflects well on the organizationÖ Not as well as a play off berth mind you.
rtcaino - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:34 PM EST (#134812) #
I wish Blair was on PTS today... Bobcat is a bit off base in asserting that Zito is available for next to nothing. Did he see what Beane got for Mulder and Hudson?
dp - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:35 PM EST (#134813) #
I didn't read the article, not a premium subscriber...but...

The front-line talent the Rays have is great- Upton, Young, Crawford, Kazmir and Gomes has to be in that category. It's really a solid core of A-level talent, and Kazmir's got ace potential. Rounding out a staff of 3-4 pitchers isn't that tough if your offense is potent enough- look at the proposals people have talked about for Gomes here. I'd have no problem giving up Lilly and Batista for him. The team is so deep in the OF they could do that and still have enough OF talent to go around. Their managerment was horrid but has changed, and with smart moves that's a scary team.

I hope they won't be better than the Jays in the next 3 years, but it isn't outside the realm of possibility. One more reason why the AL East is the toughest division in baseball...

Rich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:36 PM EST (#134814) #
I don't buy that the Jays were AJ's first choice (not that this bothers me); if they were why would they have gone back to the Cards after JP guaranteed the fifth year?
binnister - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:39 PM EST (#134815) #
Ok, from a purely mathimatical point of view, how many WinShares will A.J. need to produce over the term of this contract for the Jay's to 'win'? (Assuming a 'win' is worth 2M? <--is that right?)

Also, is there a historical performance that we non-sabr people could point to? (For example, "AJ will need to pitch for 5 years like Earl Weaver for him to be worth the money paid")

Craig B - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:43 PM EST (#134816) #
the causal connection between pitching prowess and one's history of incessant masturbation

Geez, that whole conversation gives a whole new dimension to the term "throwing on the side".

John Northey - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:44 PM EST (#134817) #
ESPN has a poll up about the signing of AJ. The weird part is the question of where the Jays need to upgrade the most. Current results (12k respondents)...

42.4% Left field (Reed Johnson and Frank Catalanotto)
32.4% Catcher (Gregg Zaun)
25.2% First base/DH (Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske)

WHA?!?!?!

Why isn't right field listed instead of left field? Why is catcher listed? Why are more voting for catcher and LF than for 1B/DH?!?!?! Sheesh!

OK, I know why, Hillenbrand and Hinske are names fans outside of Toronto might recognize while Zaun, Cat, and Johnson are not. Still... sheesh!
Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:46 PM EST (#134818) #
Even if Cabrera and Willis are available (which I highly doubt), the Jays probably don't have enough to get them. The asking price must be like a half dozen prospects with star-potential each. Jays don't have that.

Also, I like the interest in Thomas. An incentive laden contract for him would be a wise move. Where did you hear that again?
BCMike - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:47 PM EST (#134819) #
Blair posted another update, nothing really new. Jays are shopping Rios as a centre fielder... they're interested in Wilkerson... JP likes Overbay and Mench etc.
nicton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:49 PM EST (#134820) #
Rotoworld has a little comment about Burnett being able to opt out after year 3. That sounds like the Jays were his 1st choice. This has MLBPA telling him to take top dollar even if Tor isn't the place he wants to be...
Skills - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:50 PM EST (#134821) #
Why isn't right field listed instead of left field? Why is catcher listed? Why are more voting for catcher and LF than for 1B/DH?!?!?! Sheesh! OK, I know why, Hillenbrand and Hinske are names fans outside of Toronto might recognize while Zaun, Cat, and Johnson are not. Still... sheesh! Why? ESPN is so garbage I am close to losing faith even in Gammons. All they know about are the Yankees and Boston. Everything else is ancillary. I tuned in for the Winter Meetings Special on ESPN News yesterday, watched for an hour, and the only mention of the Jays was Harold Reynolds trashing the BJ Ryan signing. The rest was centered around Manny and what Boston and NY were going to do.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:53 PM EST (#134822) #
Jamie Campbell said that JP was just getting back from an interview with Frank Thomas. But I caution you, in these winter meetings every GM talks to every GM about every player. We'd be shocked if we heard all the players JP's inquired about. I'm pretty sure it's strictly common practice.
MattAtBat - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:53 PM EST (#134823) #
Jamie Campbell on Sportsnet said he saw Frank Thomas go into a meeting with the Blue Jays brass today.

A good move in my opinion... let's say 2 yrs, 5 M guaranteed, with incentives to make it worth up to 12 M or so.
MattAtBat - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:59 PM EST (#134825) #
One more thing about Burnett. Both he and his agent mentioned Brad Arnsberg's name during the press conference more than any other name -- JP, Paul Godfrey, etc. -- I think we kept forgetting what a trump card he was during the negotiations.

As well, I think all the pessimists on this signing may look at Burnett's splits and think they will stay the same. Chances are they will get better because of working with Arnsberg. Hopefully he's here for the entire 5 years too :)
Magpie - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 05:59 PM EST (#134826) #
Hi gang! Just got home from work. Anything going on?

Oh.

Oh!

Well, gosh.

I feel I should actually contribute something, so Caramon - the problem with Estrada, besides the concussion, was lingering back problems coming after he was creamed by Erstad in June. He hit .193 in July; he started to play better in August but went back on the DL with problems in his back and neck; he came back and hit .205 in September. He especially had a terrible time hitting left-handed. And while he was away, Brian McCann gave a very nice account of himself.

Backs can be tricky, but Estrada's still just 29 years old. He's a little too good to be a backup, though, which makes him not a very good fit for this club.

Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:04 PM EST (#134827) #
Just been listening to MLB.com.

Gibby said, "we could have a total different look to this club in the next few days."

He also said, "we got Wells and Hudson you surround them with a few guys and you could see a big difference."

Looks like JP is going to do more than just fine tune!!!!
ALSO looks like no immediate plans to trade the O'Dog!!!!!
Lefty - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:09 PM EST (#134828) #
So ESPN is reporting Burnett can opt out after three years.

What does this mean? He can just walk or demand a trade?

What does this say about the worth of the contract? If Burnett pitches his ass off he can choose to walk in order to seek a bigger contract. But the Jays are stiffed if he pitches like a stiff?

I haven't heard of this new twist in contract language.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:17 PM EST (#134829) #
On MLB.COM Joe Sheehan is very down on this deal. He calls AJ an "average major league pitcher."
Lefty - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:21 PM EST (#134830) #
JP says he just came out of a meeting from upstairs and figures the team has 12 million more in flexibility and the possibility of clearing a couple of contracts.

He is sounding very positive about adding a hitter.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:30 PM EST (#134831) #
When asked if a bigger press conference could be held in the next few days JP said "We could see one, maybe not to this magnitude".

Frank Thomas *crosses fingers*
HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:43 PM EST (#134832) #
What I've heard (boards on scout.com)

Pirates aquire Sean Casey for Dave Williams

Milwood to the Mariners 4/44
Thomas - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 06:46 PM EST (#134833) #
It was hilarious listening to McCown push for Zito.
Waveburner - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:01 PM EST (#134835) #
Hell no to Kevin Mench! I really hope JP stays away from him. We only need one huge risk with poor road/home splits per off season, thank you very much. I'm not really on the Gomes bandwagon if the packages being offered here are what it would take. Would love Wilkerson and/or N.Johnson though. One of the Reds outfielders would be very interesting. Would they have any interest at all in Ted Lilly? Or Chacin?
nicton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:07 PM EST (#134836) #
The OF surplus the Reds had is no longer. Casey to Pitt, Dunn to 1B. Pena / Griffey / Kearns in OF. What are the chances all 3 Reds OF are on the DL at the same time?? 25%??
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:09 PM EST (#134837) #
If that's true about Casey to the Pirates, that's a shame. I'm a big Sean Casey fan, he's terrific, on and off the field. It seems like a pretty cheap price too, one the Jays could have easily matched. Darn.
BrockLanders - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST (#134838) #
I really think the so-called experts are looking way past the Arnsberg and Halladay factors when analyzing this pact. Halladay is like a secondary pitching coach and a workaholic to boot. If Burnett can't get better in this staff, its his problem. Hopefully, this unpolished gem can take it to the next tier in Toronto. And yes the money is insane but the jays have little wiggling room to improve their club this substantially.
HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST (#134839) #
Grady Little has been hired to be the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles
nicton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:19 PM EST (#134840) #
If Burnett can't get better in this staff, its the Jays problem...
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:37 PM EST (#134841) #
When Burnett was on the FAN earlier, he mentioned that he had previously played for Gibbons in the minors. I haven't heard this conenction mentioned at all. I know I never thought of the connection with Burnett being a former Mets farmhand and Gibbons being a former minor league manager for them. We heard all about Arnsberg. Thought that was interesting.
jayfanbrooklyn - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:44 PM EST (#134842) #
The sports blog deadspin is taking nominations for "why you hometown columnist sucks" I say we start emailing them (tips@deadspin.com) richard griffin as a nomination. Griffin's "aj doesnt really like toronto/pefers green to blue" column still comes up first when you google(news) a.j. burnett


suckshttp://www.deadspin.com/sports/hometown-columnists/give-us-your-best-skip-bayless-stories-141358.php
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:54 PM EST (#134846) #
Another item I haven't seen posted but may be interesting down the road is that the Jays have reportedly given Burnett a limited no-trade clause in which he can name 15 teams that he won't go to. It's always interesting to see what teams a player would refuse to go to. I hope this is a future non-issue. However, I am a strong opponent of giving out no-trade clauses of any kind. Flexibility can a precious thing.
Rich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 07:57 PM EST (#134847) #
I loathe Griffin as much or more as anyone on here, but I think he may have a point about Burnett. I find it hard to believe the Jays were his first choice. If they were, why would he have bothered asking St. Louis if they wanted to up their offer once the Jays guaranteed the 5th year? If I got the terms I wanted from the team I wanted to go to, I would stop soliciting other offers at that point, unless someone else was already at the same terms and might go beyond.

It also seems obvious that dollars were more important that Burnett's wife's alleged preference for Baltimore or Washington. Again, if I was dead set on playing there, I'd tell my agent to tell the GM there that I wanted to be there and let's work out a fair deal (much like Brian Giles did).

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy the Jays got Burnett even though 5 / 55 is pretty steep. But I don't believe he would have come here unless the Jays offer exceeded someone else's.
BrockLanders - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:14 PM EST (#134853) #
I was just thinking about the logjam on the rubber today. As of right now Batista, Bush, McGowan would be on the outside of the rotation. I think that are 6,7, 8 may be collectively better than the Royals top three (Grienke, D.Bautista, R. Hernandez). Jeez the weez.
Jordan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:29 PM EST (#134855) #
I find it hard to believe the Jays were his first choice.

Bluntly put, who cares? The Blue Jays were Burnett's final choice, and that's all that matters.

Despite what appears to be an excellent fit between the Jays and Devil Rays, I haven't heard any indication that the two teams are talking. I'd love to see Jonny Gomes in a Toronto uniform, but it seems very unlikely at this point.

There's nothing wrong with Mench or Overbay, provided Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske are off the team next year. "It's the same basic bear, Homer." Wilkerson would be nice.

loquax - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:34 PM EST (#134857) #
Remember that Joe Carter only resigned with Toronto in 1993 by the narrowest of margins, opting to take the bigger bucks over his hometown choice of KC. Of course, the relative merits of those teams don't exactly match up to the Jays and Cards of '06, but still...
loquax - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:37 PM EST (#134858) #
Oh, and a little OT, Johnny O has apparently retired. No more batting helmets at first base. Maybe we can lure him out of retirement for one more kick at the can. He could teach Hinske how to hit lefties.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:37 PM EST (#134859) #
Remember that Joe Carter only resigned with Toronto in 1993 by the narrowest of margins, opting to take the bigger bucks over his hometown choice of KC.

As I recall, the Blue Jays had God on their side that year.

Newton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:48 PM EST (#134860) #
Three Year Opt Out:

If this clause allows AJ to opt out after 3 years and become a free agent it essentially provides him with the best of both worlds; 5 years gauranteed plus the chance to cash in again after 3 years if the market continues to escalate and he is pitching well.

I wonder if this was a must from the Burnett camps perspective. It potentially eliminates the 2 greatest value years for the Jays without reducing the club's long term risk.

Remember Delgado's first big deal included a clause such as this which he utilized to get an even bigger deal...

I'm afraid that if all goes well AJ is here for only 3 years, but I'll be happy nonetheless if he produces at a level for 3 years that would make opting out an attractive option for him.
Rich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:49 PM EST (#134861) #
It's not that I care if the Jays were AJ's first choice or not; I don't. I'm glad they signed him. I do feel, however, that in this rare case criticizing Richard Griffin for pointing this out is probably unfair. I have no qualms ripping Griffin when he's wrong (which he almost always is), but in the interest of fairness I will defend him when he has a seemingly valid point.
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:53 PM EST (#134864) #
Non-Manny rumor out of Boston: David Wells and Doug Mirabelli for Mark Loretta.

Loretta suffered through injuries and fell off quite a bit after a career year in 2004 and very good year in 2003. He was one of the best 2B in baseball in 2004.

2005: 280/360/345
2004: 335/391/495
2003: 314/372/441

He was getting on base at a pretty good clip in 2004, albiet with no power, before tearing ligaments in his left thumb in May:

Pre-injury: 300/388/344
Post-injury: 266/342/348

Nothing official, just a rumor, but those are three interesting players in that trade.
Rob - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:54 PM EST (#134865) #
Maybe we can lure him out of retirement for one more kick at the can.

A smarter person than I could think of a funny line here mocking John Olerud's playing ability at this point of his career by the use of some clever pun involving "recycling the (aluminum) can" and "bauxite."

Dave Till - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:57 PM EST (#134867) #
I'm as pleased as punch that the Jays are going for it, and actually signing real-live top-drawer free agents. Of course there's an enormous amount of risk involved - the Jays have committed a huge sum of money to two pitchers. And pitchers can implode at any moment. The Jays will almost certainly eat a fair bit of this money somewhere down the road.

But the status quo was not acceptable. The Jays did not have enough talent on the roster and immediate help on the farm to contend in 2006 or 2007 without dipping into the free-agent market. The team's core players are entering their prime years. It is time to go for it.

And, if you're going to sign free agents, it's best to pay top dollars for the best available talent. Both Burnett and Ryan could take a step back and still be very useful. They're much better value than spending $21 million over three years for Loaiza (we've been there, done that, bought the T-shirt).

To give you an idea of how deep the Jays' pitching staff is: Dustin McGowan could fit very comfortably into many teams' starting rotations right now, and he's number eight or nine on the Jays' depth chart (Halladay, Burnett, Chacin, Towers, Lilly, Bush, Batista, and maybe Downs).

And, if you double-count Batista, the Jays have four pitchers who have spent at least two months as major league closers: Ryan, Batista, Speier, Frasor. Whoof. That's some pitching.

The Jays should be able to bundle two starters, Rios, and a couple of prospects for a serious bat. And, hey, they need a DH, and Thomas is available and probably cheap.

It's fascinating to see that everybody else in baseball is knocking the Jays, and everybody in Jayland is as happy as a pig in slops.

Yowza. It's been a long, long time since Our Boys last played in the big league.

And all credit to J.P.: he has now committed to the Jays for the length of these contracts. If the new pitchers crash and burn, he's willing to take the responsibility to clean up his own mess. I revered Pat Gillick when he was here, but he bailed on the Jays at exactly the point at which their farm system ran dry and their lineup started to grow old.
Dave Till - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 08:59 PM EST (#134868) #
One other point no one has mentioned: the Canadian dollar has gone up a lot in the last three years. When J.P. took the job, the Canadian buck was at 62 cents. It's at over 86 cents today. That's a few extra million to play with.
Rich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:12 PM EST (#134869) #
True about the dollar doing well, but I read somewhere today that the Jays may stand to lose some or all of the $5 million or so they have been receiving from MLB as a currency stabilization fund.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:18 PM EST (#134870) #
I was just looking at bostondirtdogs.com and they have this quote:

"Gammons on ESPN: "The Sox nearly cancelled the Beckett deal when they saw the MRI on his shoulder." File under: Yikes!"

As my father would say, dear oh dear oh dear!

lol

And this quote:

"J.P. Ricciardi, a guy the Sox wanted as their GM before they hired Theo Epstein, is announcing the return of the Blue Jays to the big time in unmistakeable fashion.

J.P., a native of West Boylston, signed closer B.J. Ryan by outbidding the field and now has done the same with free agent starter A.J. Burnett, who has agreed to a five-year, $55 million deal expected to be announced officially today at a press conference. Burnett has only periodically pitched as well as advertised, but put him at the top of a Toronto rotation with Roy Halladay, and no one will look forward to playing in Rogers Centre. Jays could use another power bat, but depending on whether the Sox hold onto Manny and Johnny Damon, and how the Yanks resolve their CF situation, Jays are looking to make a great leap forward in the AL East."

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!




Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:20 PM EST (#134871) #
A look ahead to 2007 (early, I know). Here is committed payroll, as far as I can tell:

Roy Halladay: $12,800,000
AJ Burnett: $12,000,000
BJ Ryan: $9,000,000
Cory Koskie: $5,750,000
Eric Hinske: $5,625,000
Vernon Wells: $5,600,000
Josh Towers: $2,900,000

Total: $53,675,000 for 7 players.

Projected remaining payroll for 18 more players assuming $85 million budget: $31,325,000.

Average player salary for the remaining 18 spots: $1,740,278.

Needs (assuming probable hitter/player roster composition of 13/12): 2 SP, 6 RP, C, 2B, SS, RF, LF, DH. 4 reserves (C, IF, OF, Util)

Of course, some of the cheaper parts are in place and will be under the team's control (Hill, etc.). I think this shows how valuable it is to have effective players making $350K - guys like Gus Chacin, Dave Bush, and Jason Frasor, even with the payroll increase. 2007 is supposed to be the big year (although I'm hoping for this year). It is crucial that Burnett and Ryan perform up to or beyond expectations and for 2-3 (preferably more) minimum salary players to be legitimate contributors. Probably stating the obvious, I know, but here it is anyway.
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:25 PM EST (#134872) #
"One other point no one has mentioned: the Canadian dollar has gone up a lot in the last three years. When J.P. took the job, the Canadian buck was at 62 cents. It's at over 86 cents today. That's a few extra million to play with."

Great point, Dave. Rogers is also getting a couple million a year more from the satellite radio deal and will soon pocket roughly $11 million when MLB finally sells the Nats. Coach has already mentioned the big one - purhcasing SkyDome.
nicton - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:42 PM EST (#134873) #
Rogers also paid out to purchase the Expos/Nats and paid into running them the last few years...
TamRa - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 09:49 PM EST (#134874) #
Okay, I'm not a subscriber to BP but I'm a fan - albeit one who finds most of their math over his head. And beyond that, I usually hesitate greatly to completely dismiss a thoughtfull analysis by folks clearly more informed than me (which leaves me free to rip Richard Griffin at length but I digress...)

BUT

I can't let this slide:

His conclusion: "Itís really not a matter of whether the Devil Rays will pass the Blue Jays in the AL East, just a question of when. To look at how these two franchises, each caught in a difficult competitive environment, have chosen to tackle the problem, is to see the difference between the gameís past and its present, between money as a panacea and money as a tool."

So, let me see if I can discern what the brilliant plan of the D'Rays is:

A. Suck Hard. Suck hard for a decade and accumulate enough high draft choices that you can't possibly be stupid enough to screw ALL of them up.

B. Wait. Wait for someone as brain dead as you to drop a potential ace into your lap for your rotation filler.

C. Figure out how to play a great outfield prospect at ever position. Or maybe Mr. BP can share with us who the super-prospect is that's going to be playing 3B, 0r 1B, or C, or 2B in TB in 2008...or even SS given Upton's obvious problems at the position.

D. Smile knowingly at the wisodm of your plan as your once-third-best pitching prospect get's DFA'ed because he can't be the last guy in the pen for the team you are confident of passing.

Sorry to be so snide. I tend to sympathize with the "you can't buy success" crowd more than not...but the D'Rays are HARDLY the model of building on the cheap. Guy could have cited Minnisota or Oakland or Cleveland and he wouldn't have gotten a peap out of me.

Flex - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:13 PM EST (#134876) #
Here's music to the ears of those who don't want the Jays to go after Kevin Mench. In Blair's latest blog, he says of Ricciardi:

"last night he appeared to have lost much of his interest in the Texas Rangers Kevin Mench.
"J.P. thinks he can do better," a source said."

So rest easy, Mench-dislikers.
Rich - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:16 PM EST (#134877) #
I'm a long-time BP subscriber and I admire what they do, but you should take Joe Sheehan's criticism of the Jays with a grain of salt. BP's analysis of the Ricciardi Jays has alternated between almost universal praise during his first 2 seasons to vehement condemnation starting with their 2005 preseason publication.

Basically, so long as JP subscribed to BP orthodoxy (don't overpay mediocre players, focus on control of the strike zone, favour risk-averse draftees), he was a golden boy, regardless of whether his moves worked out or not. Once he signed Koskie and hired Gibbons without a real thorough job hunt, JP quickly fell out of favour with BP as a guy who had lost his way.

Sheehan claims the AJ / BJ signings are insane, but I think most people, even JP, would agree the contracts are perhaps too long and certainly risky. BP forgets, however, that the Jays are no longer hamstrung by the kinds of limitations that teams like Oakland and Minnesota are, and that creating payroll room to chase big talent was a large part of the goal of JP's early cost cutting. In other markets, the ongoing cost cutting is an end in itelf; JP doesn't have to play by those rules anymore.

For all BP's recent venom towards the Jays, I've yet to hear any of their staff offer their own constructive plan of how to get past Boston and New York or what to do with the payroll increase. Sheehan's nonsensical claim about Tampa comes off as simple petulance - the Jays are no longer doing things his way and his response is to take shots at them.

I'm very interested to hear what other BP subscribers think about this.
HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:18 PM EST (#134878) #
Rosenthal reports: "The Padres are close to trading third baseman Sean Burroughs to the Devil Rays for right-hander Dewon Brazelton"
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:20 PM EST (#134879) #
Listen to this in the Star:

"Last-minute agreements on the structure of their deal with pitcher A.J. Burnett will give the Blue Jays added financial flexibility in pursuing the bats they need to retool their offence.

One of the changes finalized in the five-year, $55 million (all figures U.S.) deal agreed to early Tuesday morning was that Burnett would be paid a salary of just $1 million in 2006 ó along with a signing bonus of $6 million. That's significant in that teams are permitted to write off their bonuses over the length of a contract, meaning the Jays' target of a $75 million payroll next season is now that much easier to attain.

"It was sort of a 'You help us, we'll help you sort of thing','' Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker told The Star on Tuesday afternoon. "We were willing to work with them to help them get to where they want to be.''

The deal with Burnett calls for the Jays to pay him $12 million in each of the last four years of the contract. Originally, the two sides had talked of a deal paying Burnett $8 million in 2006, $10 million in 2007, then $12 million and up from there."

VERY INTERESTING! No wonder JP thinks he still has 12 million to play with!!!
John Northey - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:24 PM EST (#134880) #
One other point no one has mentioned: the Canadian dollar has gone up a lot in the last three years. When J.P. took the job, the Canadian buck was at 62 cents. It's at over 86 cents today. That's a few extra million to play with.

The Jays have, at various times depending on the direction the dollar was going, claimed each penny change equalled anywhere from $400k to $1 million per year in revenue. Thus, the 25 cent shift (it was at 61 at one point) adds up to a change of between $10 million and $25 million to the good for the Jays. Also of note, the Jays aren't giving away tickets to the degree they were at the end of the Ash era and the prices are going up. Plus tv revenue will grow for Rogers immediately when the team plays well, as opposed to the past when they'd have to wait for the next contract to come due.

Things are good finanically for the Jays for today and the near future. Lets hope the fans come out in force in 2006 and that the team gets off to a hot start and holds it all season.

Maldoff - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:26 PM EST (#134881) #
ESPN.com (under Rumour Mill in Insider) is reporting two more transactions:

Mets trade kris Benson (and his pin-up wife Anna) to Kansas City for Mike McDougal and Jeremy Affeldt

Frank Thomas will be signing with Oakland.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:27 PM EST (#134882) #
VERY INTERESTING! No wonder JP thinks he still has 12 million to play with!!!

Hmmm... given the freedom is a one year thing and the rumour about Frank Thomas I could easily see a one year incentive based contract given out. Money available this season, but if Thomas flops it keeps the cash available for 2007. If he does well then the Jays get draft picks when he leaves after 2006 while the Jays search for a young guy or two who are a year away right now, trading some of the excess pitching to aquire a high level prospect who would only cost $350k in 2007. Could be...

the mick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:30 PM EST (#134883) #
I'm a big BP fan but they've really gone against JP and old pal Keith Law for the most part. Will Carroll in his chat today noted that he didn't hate the signing of AJ, just doesn't like the idea of giving pitchers 5 years. BP, while mostly a great read, does get things wrong, as all baseball writers do. They dumped all over what the ChiSox did last year and last I checked, their year worked out all right.

J.P. has done something that hasn't been true of the Blue Jays in over a decade. He's got them on the front pages of the sports pages (and now websites) across North America. There is buzz and talk about the Jays. Long time Blue Jays fans remember how the-then Skydome used to rock with 40,000+ for each game. I'm not saying a return to those days are imminent, just that with the increase in payroll, at least excitement is out there.

As for BP, I admire what they do well, and like the rest, they're human.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:34 PM EST (#134884) #
Frank Thomas will be signing with Oakland.

Dang. He's the one I really wanted the Jays to take a chance on, as long as he wasn't too expensive.

Mark - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:36 PM EST (#134885) #
Potential 2007 worst case roster. Very strong pitching , weak hitting. Of course it will look totally different but there seems to be enough youth to allow them to pay a high percentage of payroll to a few players. It comes in around 67 million.

SP
Halladay 12.8
Burnett 12.0
Towers 2.9
Chacin 0.5
McGowan 0.35

RP
Ryan 9.0
Frasor 1.0
League 0.4
Jackson 0.3
Purcey 0.3
Marcum 0.4
Rosario 0.35
Bush 0.5

C
Quiroz 0.5

1B
Koskie 5.5

2B
Hudson 4.0

SS
Adams 0.5

3B
Hill 0.5

DH
Hinske 5.63

OF
Gross 0.4
Wells 5.6
Rios 1.5
Johnson 2.0
CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:41 PM EST (#134887) #
No Hillenbrand?
Ducey - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:44 PM EST (#134888) #
Well someone other than us likes AJ - from Rotoworld:

"Blue Jays signed RHP A.J. Burnett, who had been with the Marlins, to a five-year, $55 million contract.
ESPN is reporting that Burnett has an opt out after three years. Burnett will earn $7 million next year and $12 million in each of the following four, so he'd make $31 million before he could opt out. Since no one else is saying it, we will: this is a very good signing for the Blue Jays. Burnett is risky, but he's the one pitcher out there capable of being a dominant force for the next several years. If you're going to take a chance, it's much better to spend $11 million per year on Burnett than $7 million-$8 million on Paul Byrd or Matt Morris. And, frankly, everyone on TV and the papers expressing shock and disbelief at this deal just hasn't been paying attention. This doesn't raise the market for everyone else. Every team in MLB knew that Burnett could and likely would get this type of contract as a free agent. Deal with it. The money is out there, and it's going to get spent. "
Waveburner - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:56 PM EST (#134889) #
Thomas signing with Oakland would suck as I wanted to see the Jays go after him for DH. Typical Beane finding steals. If true, I think JP should seriously consider going after Nomar. You'd think Nomar would love the prospect of facing the Sox 19 times a year on a team that is showing it wants to contend. Would Nomar go up north?
BrockLanders - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:00 PM EST (#134890) #
After reading about all this peddling. I'm gonna have to sit on my hands before ordering an authentic O-Dawg road jersey.
Ron - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST (#134891) #
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051101.wblai/BNStory/Sports/?query=jeff+blair

JP has interest in Nomar. I mentioned his name the other day and I would love to see him in a Jays uni. His 2nd half numbers were close to his career line.

I imagine the Jays could try him out at RF like what some others teams are interesting in doing.

It also looks like JP has lost interest in Mench.



Dr. Phil - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:07 PM EST (#134892) #
Just wondering what effect these two signings will have on attendance, and in turn, on the revenue, and then again in turn, on the budget. This is once again very simple math, but wondering how it would affect the team.
If the average home attendance was to raise by 3,000 fans a game, which I think is a reasonable to low estimate, judging by the interest created

3000*82=~250,000 extra fans per year

I don't think the jays will have a problem drawing 250,000 fans a year in total, unless I'm being ridiculously over-optimistic.

For the next part of the equation I will need someone's help. What is the average cost of a ticket sold at the RC. I realize that it will fluctuate on a yearly basis, but we should have a rough estimate. Is it 30 dollars?? If so, then ticket sale revenue will jump by about 7.5 million dollars. What percent of that would go to the budget?? Can anyone with more insight and knowledge help me out here. I think that by signing these two players alone, they will basically pay for themselves, at least this year.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:30 PM EST (#134894) #
JP has interest in Nomar.

I can remember more than one interview where Ricciardi has expressed admiration for Nomar Garciaparra.
Ryan B. - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:32 PM EST (#134895) #
The craziness has officially begun:

- The Reds trade 1B Sean Casey to the Pirates for P Dave Williams

- Frank Thomas is close to signing with Oakland

- The Mets trade Kris Benson and his big contract to Kansas City for Jeremy Affeldt and either Mike McDougal or a minor league pitcher.

- Alfonso Soriano is close to being traded to the Dodgers for minor league pitcher Jonathon Broxton

- The Braves, Red Sox and D-Rays are close to completing a three team deal that would break down like this

To Atlanta: SS Edgar Renteria

To Boston: SS Julio Lugo

To Tampa: 3B Andy Marte

- John Olerud retired

Sources: ESPN.com, Rotoworld.com, Foxsports.com


jmoney - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:42 PM EST (#134896) #
Wow. Why do the sox need a GM again?

Unloading Renteria and his contract is a nice move. Lugo is no slouch, and Tampa looks even better landing a prospect like Marte.
VBF - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:42 PM EST (#134897) #
In answer to Dr. Phil's question, the Jays will likely draw 250,000 within their first 11 games. I don't think the average ticket prices they report are weighted, so I'll give my go at it.

20,000 seats @ $9 (500 level)
1500 seats @ $39 (Club Level Baselines)
700 seats @ $70 (VIP Club Level)
700 seats @ $62 (Club Level Infield)
2,000 seats @ $21 (200 level outfield)
2,000 seats @ $26 (100 level outfield)
2,000 seats @ $59 (dugout)
2,000 seats @ $57 (100 level infield)
15,000 seats @ $39 (Field Level Bases)
5,000 seats @ $28 (Field Level Baselines)

And that adds up to 51,000 seats(give or take) for a weighted average of $27.10 a seat, and on a sell-out day the Jays would bring in about 1.3 million in ticket revenue.

Last year attendance was over 2 million for an average about 24,500. Since Torontonians don't really come out for the single player regularily (Halladay only draws about 2-4000 more than expected), you can expect an Opening Day sell-out coupled by an April and May of 20,000ish weekday crowds, and 27,000-30,000 weekend crowds. Once the summer kicks in and if the Jays are in the thick of a pennant race, they will sell-out.

Rob - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:47 PM EST (#134898) #
From Blair's latest, re: the Burnett opt-out clause: It's a tough concept for people to wrap their heads around and you can bet the usual suspects will hammer the Blue Jays to death about it.

It looks like we aren't the only ones tired of or amused by some of the newspaper coverage in Toronto.

90ft_turnleft - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:47 PM EST (#134899) #
As A follow up to Dr.Phils Q/comment has there been any mention yet of an increase in ticket prices for next year?
Is Mr.Rogers or P Godfrey on record as saying yes or no, leading up to these signings,even going further back to last season with an eye on increased spending for the upcoming season/seasons.
My guess is there probably will be but I'm wondering if any of you can remember this Q being asked to them recently or not so recently.
I know the $210 mil # that was to be spread over 3 years,just not sure if a freeze on ticket prices was part of Mr.R's budgetary equation.
Any insight into my Q is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:48 PM EST (#134900) #
Taking a page from Caino, who has changed his name to TJ Caino in honor of the two free agent signings by the Jays thus far, I believe I shall now ask to be referred to as "N.F. Hank". I shall begin referring to other Bauxites in this manner.

Notably:

V.B. Fan

C.J. Burley

J.O. Bu

Feel free to add more to my list. C.S. Hunt and B.C. Mike already qualify.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:52 PM EST (#134901) #
One of the changes finalized in the five-year, $55 million (all figures U.S.) deal agreed to early Tuesday morning was that Burnett would be paid a salary of just $1 million in 2006 ó along with a signing bonus of $6 million. That's significant in that teams are permitted to write off their bonuses over the length of a contract, meaning the Jays' target of a $75 million payroll next season is now that much easier to attain.

I'm not sure I grasp this point entirely. However the Jays structure the payment, the result is that they are due to pay Burnett $7 million in the first year of the deal. Since they're not up against a salary cap but a self-imposed budget, I assume that they've allocated actual dollars to pay for salaries, and calling it a bonus versus salary versus a gratuity doesn't change the fact that they're on the hook for that money now.

The only thing I can think of is that this allows them to account for the expenditures differently in their financials, which would I suppose have some effect on the team's numbers, though not on their cash flow (unless there's some sort of tax impact I'm not aware of, although bonuses are generally taxable in the year received)

Ah, who cares about all this boring budget talk? I just want to hear about a few trades and then watch some games.

Jobu - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:56 PM EST (#134902) #
Well done N.F. Hank.

I wonder what R.O. B has to say about this trend.

J.O. Bu out.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:56 PM EST (#134903) #
M.Y. Legacy

Jonny German - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:57 PM EST (#134904) #
I'm not sure I grasp this point entirely.

It appears Baker was grasping for a point and ultimately failed - the article has been updated and now reads:

...Burnett would be paid a salary of just $1 million in 2006 - along with a signing bonus of $6 million. It will still count as $7 million on Toronto's books...

King Ryan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:00 AM EST (#134905) #
....sigh.

My middle name is James.

When I was young my parents used to call me R.J.

I hated it.
VBF - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:00 AM EST (#134906) #
90 feet,

Ticket prices are increasing in some categories. Field Level Baselines increased by $2, Bases increased by $2 and 4 new sections behind home plate on the 200 level called the 'VIP' zone increased by $8.

I'm actually quite surprised they haven't changed made the 500 level seats behind home plate more. Once the larger crowds come, I suspect this is what they will do.


And to whomever roster member reading this, I agree to changing my name to V.B. Fan.
Dylan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:13 AM EST (#134908) #
"Do you count Adam Peterson? Kevin Cash?"

Hard to compare Peterson and Cash with Izturis and Lopez. Cash was never a real prospect and Peterson was ok. I do remember JP trying to pump up Peterson as a future closer but thats about it. I think JP is a good GM, great in the draft, but alot of his trades havnt seemed to work out. Guys like Arnold and Griffin, Prokopec, Miller, Hinskie has been allright. Shea was a solid pickup. I also think this is the first time he's been able to do what he wanted with the team, so I guess time will tell.
zaptom - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:14 AM EST (#134909) #
And now for something completely different...

ESPN reports that Reed Johnson (otherwise now known simply as RJ) has agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,425,000. Thats up from $342,000 this year.

I like this guy, he brings his lunchbox to every game, is able to start or come in late without any fuss, and has good plate discipline. Is this new contract just a way of avoiding arbitration. It's only one year... which might be appealing to other teams seeking a quality 4th OF. Who knows.

All I need to do is figure out how to double my salary just by getting older...
King Ryan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:30 AM EST (#134910) #
Why do people miss Cesar Izturis? I don't get it.
Waveburner - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:46 AM EST (#134911) #
Probably because our last couple shortstops have been Chris Woodward and Russ Adams, neither exactly stellar with the glove. Though I agree, Izturius isn't near good enough to shed a tear over losing.
King Ryan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 12:49 AM EST (#134912) #
I mean, we still HAVE Cesar Izturis. He just changed his name to John McDonald.

And aged a couple years.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 01:23 AM EST (#134915) #
Rogers Sportsnet says the Jays and Dodgers could be getting together on a deal involving Corey Koskie. No word on who would come back the other way (Milton Bradley, maybe? Just a guess!). The Jays are also looking into getting Nomar Garciaparra as well. Man, this off-season's been fun so far.

#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 01:38 AM EST (#134916) #
Just speculation on my part but could Jose Cruz Jr. be coming back if Koskie were to be dealt to the Dodgers? The Dodgers do seem to have depth at catcher with Jason Phillips, Dioner Navarro, and Russ Martin.
Waveburner - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 01:44 AM EST (#134917) #
I'd much rather hang on to Koskie than take on Cruz again. Trading Koskie for Bradley however would be fine by me. I'd rather try to deal Hinske, but that's probably much harder to do without eating salary.
MattAtBat - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 02:47 AM EST (#134921) #
" The most interesting perk in A.J. Burnett's contract, according to a source with knowledge of the deal: Burnett's wife, Karen, is entitled to eight round-trip limousine trips per season between Toronto and her home in Bowie, Md. Karen Burnett does not like to fly. More significantly, Burnett has the right to opt out of his five-year, $55 million deal after three years, a clause that drew immediate scorn from rival executives. "On the off-chance that he's not overpaid, he can leave," one exec said sarcastically. "Fantastic."

- The Blue Jays wasted no time resuming their search for offense after announcing the Burnett contract, meeting with Arn Tellem, the representative for free-agent infielder Nomar Garciaparra. Lyle Overbay is being discussed as a possibility at first for the Blue Jays. One option for the Jays would be to sign Garciaparra as a DH and acquire the Brewers' Lyle Overbay to play first base, but those moves might be difficult to swing unless they traded Shea Hillenbrand along with either Eric Hinske or Corey Koskie."

This all from Ken Rosenthal's article: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5146662

Does anyone else think our main man AJ is a bit henpecked?

Dylan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 02:58 AM EST (#134922) #
" I mean, we still HAVE Cesar Izturis. He just changed his name to John McDonald "

lol ok, lets play McDonald for a year and see if he hits .220. I don't think Izturis is a stud or anything but he's great in the field, gets on base, steals bases, what else can you ask for from your ss. He started off hot then fought through injuries the rest of the year. He's won a gold glove, made the all star game and is the same age as Adams .... yah your right, why would you want a player like that on your team.
King Ryan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 04:20 AM EST (#134925) #
Izturis doesn't get on base any more than John McDonald does, and he had 8 stolen bases last year. Yeah, that's what every team needs in their leadoff man. Guys with OBPs under .300 who steal 8 bases and get caught 8 times. He's great in the field, but so is John McDonald.

I really don't understand what has so many posters in a tiff about Cesar. If the Jays had Izturis on the team right now they'd be looking to trade him.
King Ryan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 05:08 AM EST (#134927) #
Alright, that earlier comment was a mistake.

I will admit that I took things too far with my Izturis talk. It is obvious that Izturis has a good chance to become a better player than the Minister of Defense will ever be.

I'm just so tired of Cesar's name being tossed around like he's some kind of perennial superstar that makes JP look like a fool for trading him. It seems like 4 times a week someone makes a comment lamenting the loss of the great Cesar Izturis. But come on, he is not our Bobby Abreu or David Ortiz. He's Cesar Izturis. He's had one good year with the bat which still wasn't anything special. Let's see if he can build on his 2004 performance before labelling him (and Felipe Lopez) as the fish that got away.

Dylan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 05:47 AM EST (#134929) #
Hard to steal bases when fighting hamstring injuries. He had 25 the year before with a .330 OBP, not amazing but decent. He's 25 with some upside. He hit .340 for the first two months before having elbow problems, among other minor injuries, which ended with TJ surgery at the end of the year. Of course he's not gonna hit .340 for the year but it shows a degree of potential. You must really dislike em, like I said, I dont think he's a stud, don't think he's a dominant player but he's a decent hitter with great defence, but to say he's John McDonald? Maybe he's Adams without the extra power but better with the glove. Your telling me you'd flip a coin if you had to choose between the two. Maybe we can just send cash to LA for Cesar. I like McDonald, he's good off the bench late in the game, bunts well but thats about it. The Lopez trade is what bothered me the most. I'm not saying the jays should go out and get him but he had value, we just didnt get anything for him, Quantrill or Lopez.
Dylan - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 05:51 AM EST (#134930) #
Fair enough, I just think he's solid, his trade wasn't a huge bomb by JP, but wasn't great. I was just using it as an example.
Paul S - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 08:38 AM EST (#134947) #
Why are people poo pooing the opt out clause? If he invokes it he will have been a very good pitcher (otherwise he wouldn't think he could get a better deal) and you just got said good pitcher for 3/$31. I don't understand all the mocking this seems to be getting.

That "unnamed executive" probably has a case of the jealousies. Anonymous armchair snark. Go post on the internet, loser.
Arms Longfellow - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 09:06 AM EST (#134949) #
Haha, my brother LOVES AJ Burnett, he drafts him every year in the fantasy league. He right peed himself when I told him about the signing. I think it's good to have a guy who can be unhittable when he's in the zone (he was literally unhittable one game) for the playoffs YES I said playoffs, it's time for the Yankees to go into a recession for a few years.

I also am a big fan of Lyle Overbay and I'd be pretty damn happy to land him. Not sure if there's really any better options out there that the Blue Jays wouldn't have to give up a high ceiling prospect for.
rtcaino - Wednesday, December 07 2005 @ 11:03 PM EST (#135142) #
""I think it's good to have a guy who can be unhittable when he's in the zone (he was literally unhittable one game)""

Although he wasn't literally "in the zone"...
A.J. A Jay: Burnett Signs With Toronto | 295 comments | Create New Account
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