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Bill Madden of the New York Daily News is reporting that the Blue Jays have signed LH reliever B.J. Ryan to a five year, $47 million contract.

Originally, Sportsnet published a denial from J.P. Ricciardi that the deal had been done, however they are now confirming the signing, but not the money.

Meet the new closer:
B.J. Ryan
Bats Left, Throws Left
Height 6' 6", Weight 230 lb. 
Born December 28, 1975 in Bossier City, LA

Year Tm  Lg  W   L   G  GS  CG  GF SV   IP     H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO  HBP  WP  BFP   ERA 
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+
 1999 CIN NL  0  0   1   0   0   0  0    2.0    4    1    1   0    1    1   0   0     9  4.50 
      BAL AL  1  0  13   0   0   3  0   18.3    9    6    6   0   12   28   0   1    73  2.95 
      TOT     1  0  14   0   0   3  0   20.3   13    7    7   0   13   29   0   1    82  3.10 
 2000 BAL AL  2  3  42   0   0   9  0   42.7   36   29   28   7   31   41   0   2   193  5.91
 2001 BAL AL  2  4  61   0   0   9  2   53.0   47   31   25   6   30   54   2   0   237  4.25
 2002 BAL AL  2  1  67   0   0  13  1   57.7   51   31   30   7   33   56   4   4   252  4.68 
 2003 BAL AL  4  1  76   0   0  17  0   50.3   42   19   19   1   27   63   3   2   219  3.40 
 2004 BAL AL  4  6  76   0   0  19  3   87.0   64   24   22   4   35  122   1   0   361  2.28
 2005 BAL AL  1  4  69   0   0  61 36   70.3   54   20   19   4   26  100   2   5   290  2.43 
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----+---+----+----+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+
  7 Yr       16 19 405   0   0 131 42  381.3  307  161  150  29  195  465  12  14  1634  3.54 
And whither Miguel?
Blue Jays Sign B.J. Ryan | 267 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:21 PM EST (#133081) #
Wow! JP got one!

5 years is a bit much imo for a closer and I wonder who we lost from the 40 man, but dang it is nice to finally see the Jays win one. And if this is what it takes, I guess that is the way it is.

Now Batista is freed up to be a starter or trade bait. Also this should help with AJ and Giles.

I'll shift my estimate from 89 to 92 wins :)
King Ryan - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:23 PM EST (#133082) #
Well, I'm certainly not thrilled about giving a relief pitcher FIVE years, but I do love BJ Ryan, so maybe that's a risk you have to take.

The per/year $$$ is only about 1M more than what most of us predicted in the prediction contest, but geez...five years...

Ultimately though, as long as this doesn't prevent JP from being able to upgrade the offense, than I'm in favor of the signing. BJ is only 29 so he should almost certainly be effective for the next three years of that contract. And even if he stops being dominant, he's a lefty so he'll still have uses! ;)

The bullpen looks pretty damn awesome right now.
Sherrystar - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:23 PM EST (#133083) #
Can anyone remind me who the last "big" free agent the Jays signed in terms of being in demand by multiple teams including the Yankees? (I don't think Koskie counts does he?)
rtcaino - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:24 PM EST (#133084) #
In last three years
207 IP
285 K
160 H
88 BB
rtcaino - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:26 PM EST (#133086) #
(9 HR)
MattAtBat - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:26 PM EST (#133088) #
From the other thread...
Earlier I said:
5 years and 47 million? That is too much money! I know the Jays needed to make a splash, and I have no problem with the years... but that is Billy Wagner money. Also consider the deal Armando Benitez got last year from the Giants (3/21.5), a guy who had a better previous season (47/51 SV chances, 1.96 ERA, .152 BAA, etc.) and had proven to be a good closer over many seasons. Granted he's 3 years older than B.J. and had more wear-and-tear on his arm, but STILL -- this contract (if accurate) totally changes the market. The Mets are probably only wondering what it will take to sign Wagner now (though, in reality, they are only going to be bidding against themselves. I'm willing to bet that Philly will be more likely to look at cost effective alternatives than the Mets.)

You'd have to agree that this contract is overpaying BEYOND overpaying (in other words, the Jays need to overpay, but considering the years that they would give along with this kind of money...), well... I just don't know. This could be it for our big FA splash, and it was probably the only area (bullpen) that didn't need attention. Does anyone disagree?

I am going to revise my earlier comments:

This will be a good deal depending on what happens from ensuing moves. If Batista is moved for something mediocre (i.e. a 15-18 HR hitter) then I don't think it's all that great. Ditto if Batista goes into the rotation, the Jays fail to sign or trade for another starter.

But if Batista leaves (in a package) for a good piece of the puzzle, then I'm aboard. It think JP must clear out his 4.7 Mil (approx.) in 2006 salary and make some more moves.

I know that despite all the statheads who may think that a closer who is "THE MAN" is overrated (me included), time and time again this appears to be disproven by failed experiments. BUT -- 9 million for a guy to pitch 70-ish innings?? That's $128,571 per inning (based on last years totals). Those inevitable blown saves will be even more costly this year.

One more thought. Presumably this cuts into the Jays budget for this year more than we imagine (9.4 M/yr), because the contract probably includes a large signing bonus in an attempt to please the player and front-load the contract. Some Toronto writer (Elliot? Griffin? Allan Ryan?) mused that JP doesn't really know what will happen with the Jays budget after 2007, but if the $210 is allotted for the next 3 years, then the Jays will be slashing payroll... With all the contracts expiring, it's hard to say really, but the safe bet is that to prevent a fire sale, JP should front-load. This leaves money for one more big name FA plus a little extra for trade differential. That's why moving Batista is important. I don't particularly care what the Jays get back for Hinske or Batista, frankly.
SK in NJ - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:27 PM EST (#133089) #
Too many years and about $2 million more annually than I would have liked, but....

Who cares? The Jays have money to spend, and instead of spreading $9 million around for a trio of Batista's, Ligtenberg's, and Hentgen's, Ricciardi went ahead and used that on one star quality player. No complaining from me.

I'm at the point where I want to win. Screw the economics. Just put a winning team out there! This is a good first step.

Keep it coming, JP.
Ducey - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:31 PM EST (#133090) #
I'll move this this over too...I wouldn't want to be ignored ;-)

Rotoworld says:
"According to the New York Daily News, the Blue Jays have agreed to terms with B.J. Ryan on a five-year, $47 million contract.
So much for him being undervalued. That's a tremendous amount of money for a closer, even if Ryan will probably be asked to pitch more than most save specialists. We like his chances of remaining a quality reliever for the duration of the contract, but, well, that's a lot of money. "

I am actually happy with the money. It is a lot overall but less per year than I thought he was going to sign for. The Jays now look to have one of the most solid bullpens in the AL.

Probably a good move by JP. (I say probably because what do we really know sitting on our couch.) He locks up a guy early and doesn't get into a bidding war or risk losing him late when he has few options. The deal might make TO more attractive to a starter who would like a strong bullpen behind them. Maybe it make the Jays look like contenders and attracts a bat too.

What's up with JP and lefties?
John Northey - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:31 PM EST (#133091) #
IMO the last big free agent was probably Roger Clemens. And in that case the Jays had to bid high to get him as well. Just the way it is.

So, with any luck, after 2006 we'll finally have a left hander in the Jays all-time team bullpen :) I guess Plesac might be there, but if Ryan delivers then he'll be the best left handed reliever in Jays history. Wells was a swingman and starter, Key a starter, hrm... what other decent lefties spent time in the pen for Toronto? Schoeneweis was good last year.

The teams all time pen imo is Henke, Ward, Eichhorn, Quantrill, Koch with Timlin, Escobar, Plesac, Lamp (11-0 in '85 is hard to beat even with a mediocre ERA) on the edge.
Alexander - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:33 PM EST (#133092) #
*Homer Simpson jumps into thread*

"WOOHOO!"

Guys - no worries about the money...its Mr. Rogers, not ours! No more guys named Tam (cringe), Lightenberg, etc...today is a GOOD day. We have an actual closer. My God.

Cheers
Named For Hank - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:34 PM EST (#133093) #
You'd have to agree that this contract is overpaying BEYOND overpaying

It's only overpaying if:
1) He'd sign for less; or
2) There's a same-or-better option available to the Jays for less.

If neither of those are true, then he's worth exactly what he costs.

So, does this mean that the bats will come by trade? There's still money left to spend, though if Burnett joins the club I think that'll eat the last of it (I'd be happy to be wrong -- anyone got an estimate?).

Does this make the Mench-for-Batista rumors more plausible?
VBF - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:34 PM EST (#133094) #
9th innings are a lock now. Being someone who witnessed many of Batista/Adams/Ligtenberg/Acevedo/Politte's blowups live in person, this is re-assuring to say the least.

Heck, having a closer enter the playing field to cheers/standing ovations will be refreshing.

And for the most important question to be answered:

What is BJ Ryan's Stridin' out of the pen music and what can the cheer club do?
Mylegacy - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:34 PM EST (#133095) #
These are Batista's stats from the BJ's site:
4.10 71 0 0 0 31 39 74.2 80 39 34 9 2 27 54

Here are Ryans from the Baltimore site:
2.43 69 0 0 0 36 41 70.1 54 20 19 4 2 26 100
Gerry - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:35 PM EST (#133096) #
We know the Jays got BJ. What we don't know is what else is going on in the market. Some of the things we don't know are:

Could it be that BJ is the only guy that JP could get?
Could it be that Giles is staying on the west coast?
Could it be that signing BJ will help land Burnett?
Could it be that JP has a deal in place for Batista plus other parts?
Could it be that JP is following the Marlins plan. Sign free agents and either win or trade them away if you don't?
Sherrystar - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:36 PM EST (#133097) #
Ducey, J.P.'s fascination with lefties stems from the promotional deal he signed with Ned Flanders for his store the "Leftorium"

Yes, the signing has made me a lil nutty...
MattAtBat - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:36 PM EST (#133098) #
I gotta disagree with Koch. Despite the saves, he was very unreliable. You could make a better argument for the past 2 years that Justin Speier has put together.

But I think we are getting ahead of ourselves... the Blue Jays have a BIG NAME FREE AGENT CLOSER. Wow. This is a first.
Named For Hank - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:36 PM EST (#133099) #
No more guys named Tam

Every time I manage to forget that Jeff Tam was a Blue Jay, someone has to bring him up again.
Noah - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:37 PM EST (#133100) #
While the years scare me a little bit, I think this signing marks a turning point for this franchise, but more importantly a turning point for the Riccardi era in Toronto. We finally have a closer, and hopefully JP can make so moves to continue to improve the team. I would expect to see a Batista or Lilly trade in the next week or so because of this trade. Hopefully he can ship Batista to some unsuspecting soul :-p.
BrockLanders - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:39 PM EST (#133101) #
I hope by Riccardi's nose that Ryan is a package deal with Burnett. Then I can live with it. But it kind of irks me to think that Mariano Rivera makes 10.5 million per year and probably could never get a deal like BJ got tonight.
Noah - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:40 PM EST (#133102) #
Gerry I think you hit a few of those right on. I think this moves means that they have a deal almost setup for a starting pitcher (hopefully batista, but maybe lilly or bush), I also think it helps bring in burnett. This move helps to demostrate that the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to winning ball games, that they are ready to take the next step!
MattAtBat - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:41 PM EST (#133103) #
Hopefully he can ship Batista to some unsuspecting soul

Why do I get the feeling that Batista will have his one career year this year, and it won't be in a Blue Jay uniform. I think his one aberration will make sense in his upcoming contract year. After all, this guy has the stuff and flashes dominance from time to time. Why do I get bogged down and start to feel guilty about demanding a Batista trade...

Gerry - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:42 PM EST (#133104) #
Comparables:

Mariano Rivera $10.5 mil
Troy Percival $6 mil, high was $7.8mil
Trevor Hoffman $5 mil, high was $9.6 mil
Keith Foulke $7.5 mil

Average of high salaries is $8.85 mil. Over 5 years total would be $44 mil.
greenfrog - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:42 PM EST (#133105) #
Gerry makes a good point. It isn't overpaying if JP wasn't going to be able to land anyone else (ie, Giles, AJ). Being left empty-handed after this off-season would have been a huge disappointment. JP can do so much more on the trade and FA markets now. He can really start to put together the kind of team he wants.


Ron - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:43 PM EST (#133106) #
The O's offered him 3yrs/18 mil ... LOL

5 year contracts to FA pitchers are very dangerous, and it's even more dangerous when the figure is 47 mil.
I feel sorry for fans of small payroll teams, because this type of signing impacts the worth of other players.

But I've been saying all along the Jays need to role the dice. Having payroll flexability is worthless if you can't bring in quality players. I also don't like Miggy, so I'm giving this deal the THUMBS UP!!!

We've all seen Ryan pitch the last 2 seasons, and he has been amazing. He throws hard, gets batters to miss, and controls the strike zone. We also know he put up his numbers while pitching for an AL East squad.

I just wonder how much budget room the Jays have left. I would like to see the Jays non-tender Lilly and put that money towards somebody else either through a trade or in the FA market.

This signing should show AJ that the Jays mean business. This is an organization that is willing to overpay in money and years to get you. You simply don't make this type of signing if you have no intention of competing next season.

Although the contract is a bit hard to swallow, it's not my money so it's all good!

But if the Jays don't land 2 power bats, than even with BJ, I don't see this team going anywhere next season.
Maldoff - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:44 PM EST (#133107) #
I like this signing. It really does bode well for the Jays in the free agent market, and turns them into a 6-inning team. Once you get to the 7th, they can throw Frasor and SS LOOGY in a split role, Speier in the 8th, and then Ryan in the 9th. I will help out the starters more than we expect!

That said, they still need to make another big move, and I hope it is for a bat. While I think AJ Burnett is great, I also see tons of prospects coming up, and Burnett being very risky and overpriced. And judging by the trades lately, we can swing Batista and a B-level pitching prospect for a solid 3 or 4 starter, which is what Miguel was supposed to be all along, IMO.
Noah - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:45 PM EST (#133108) #
so we got BJ, that'll hopefully lead to AJ later this week, anyother J's we can get?

CJ Nitkowski? (hopefully not)
DJ Carrasco?
JJ Putz?
TJ Tucker?

how many J names can we find? lets get them all :-p

MattAtBat - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:47 PM EST (#133109) #
As long as it doesn't include RJ Broadhead from Sportsnet. I can't stand that guy.
Sherrystar - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:48 PM EST (#133110) #
Just remember, when it comes to major league FA's the money flies like the wind... just look at the Scott Eyre sigining (I'm still shaking my head). You have to overpay to scoop someone up. Glad JP swooped in quick.

Mark - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:48 PM EST (#133111) #
Awesome! Brilliant! I am so excited. I would think it could be something like 7-8-10-10-12 million a year. At least 7 or 8 for the first year. that would leave 12 or 13 million left. Good for one more big time FA and some wiggle room for trades. BTW as people discussed in the last thread, from what I understood the jays DO know what their 2008 payroll will be and Godfrey said they will always be on a 3 year cycle.
Alexander - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:48 PM EST (#133112) #
AHAHAHA

Sorry about the reminder, Hank. Those were some painful times. It got to the point where if I saw him throwing in the bullpen or walking (waddling?) to the mound I would turn off the t.v. or leave the ballpark.

My idea of hell:

Nine innings of Blue Jays baseball. Jays versus anyone, featuring Jeff Tam on the mound for the full nine and Joe Carter doing the play by play AND colour.

Eternal hellfire seems more appealing.
Named For Hank - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:49 PM EST (#133113) #
Average of high salaries is $8.85 mil. Over 5 years total would be $44 mil.

So he's getting around what the "star closer" guys are getting. Now, you can argue that he's not quite as good as Mariano Rivera, but Mariano Rivera is not available to the Jays. So it doesn't matter.
King Ryan - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:49 PM EST (#133115) #
Don't forget Wagner who got 9M. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a lot of those players were older at the time than Ryan is now.

The $/year doesn't bother me as much as the length. Five years for a reliever is just crazy. But, as was said, if that's what it takes then that's what it takes. Better to roll the dice than to walk home empty-handed.

About time the Jays got somebody named Ryan. Even if it is his last name.
StephenT - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:52 PM EST (#133116) #
Can anyone remind me who the last "big" free agent the Jays signed in terms of being in demand by multiple teams including the Yankees?

I'm pretty sure the Yankees were after Clemens at the end of '96. I'm not sure if they were after Randy Myers at the end of '97.

Matthew E - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:53 PM EST (#133117) #
Well, apparently the guy can pitch.

I don't think this move addresses the team's biggest needs. But then, it's only November.

I'm trying not to think of Randy Myers.

As long as everything turns out okay I don't care how we get there. But stap my vitals if this is my idea of how to put a team together.
Named For Hank - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:53 PM EST (#133118) #
One thing to remember is that while Sportsnet has confirmed the signing, they emphatically have not confirmed the dollars. For all we know, the $47 million could include performance bonuses, be in Canadian dollars, or even be just plain wrong. There was talk about an incentive-laden contract -- I'm especially happy with this deal if it includes performance-based stuff.

What should the Cheer Club do to celebrate? I'm going to wear a Jays jersey tomorrow. I think that the Cheer Club should have a standing offer to all free agents who sign in Toronto of dinner at Burger Shack.
Ducey - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:54 PM EST (#133119) #
"Mariano Rivera $10.5 mil
Troy Percival $6 mil, high was $7.8mil
Trevor Hoffman $5 mil, high was $9.6 mil
Keith Foulke $7.5 mil"

Gerry, I was looking up some 2005 salaries too:

Smoltz 9.0 m (not sure if this was signed w/ idea he would close)
Gagne 8.0 m
Isringhausen 8.25 m
Wagner 9.0 m
BJ Ryan 2.6 m
Lidge 500 K
K Rod 450 K
Ron - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:54 PM EST (#133120) #
It's hard to compare players salaries because they were signed in different times.

For example spending is back up this year and last year. But before that, their were a few lean years in terms of salaries for FA's.

If Rivera was on the market right now, I think there would be a chance he would land a 4yr/50 mil contract.
Ryan Day - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 10:57 PM EST (#133121) #
Well, that's a lot of money. And a few more years than anyone expected. (though of course, we don't have details on the deal - option years, etc.)

Is it too much? It's hard to say. Most people were saying around $6-7 million per year; if that goes up a million or two, is it such a huge deal? (yes, I realize the absurdity of saying that) As they say, if you're going to overpay, overpay for the best.

Whether the number of years is a problem depends on how you think Ryan will age. I don't have the kind of scouting information to make that call, but I don't think it's out of the question that Ryan can still be a quality reliever at 35.

And I do think, as some have mentioned, that this is an effective "We're Serious" announcement. Even though Ryan only has the one season, he seems to have acquired the Closer Aura, and a lot of people regard a True Closer as one of the essential building blocks of a championship team. Who knows what effect, if any, this will have on the Jays' chances of signing Burnett or Giles, but I like the statement.

So yeah, I like the deal. Maybe I'll hate it in 2009, but for now I'm definitely happy.
the mick - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:00 PM EST (#133122) #
I don't know too many fans who will like the five years, but who cares? The Jays have a true closer for the first time since...Duane "The Human Heart Attack" Ward? Nah, could it be that long?

No more Tums a-popping or my wife turning off the TV when Miggy would come in to close.

Everyone's been waiting to see if JP could get something done this off-season. Hats off to you, JP. Building block number one in place!
greenfrog - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:03 PM EST (#133123) #
And of course, we keep our 1st-round pick in June 2006. Which is pretty cool. It makes the draft a lot more exciting.
King Ryan - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST (#133124) #
According to this article, this is the largest contract ever given to a reliever, in terms of total dollars.
Ducey - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST (#133125) #
Ah, maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves...

Here is the official site:

http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20051125&content_id=1272416&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor

A Jays official said negotiations are continuing and nothing is finalized
Ryan Day - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:09 PM EST (#133126) #
Sportsnet has similarly updated their story, calling it a "preliminary agreement", according to "a high ranking baseball official."
Twilight - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:11 PM EST (#133127) #
I am very happy with this deal. BJ Ryan is a great closer, and the fact that the Jays just beat out a whole bunch of bigger clubs on a big name guy is very reassuring. I think this sends a message to all the other clubs out there: Toronto is back.

I definitely think JP has a plan to move Batista. First he was a starter, then lost that job and became the closer. Now he's lost that job. I don't think he's too happy, so he's probably going somewhere.

As for his music...I'll have to think about that one.
VBF - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:12 PM EST (#133128) #
Here is a picture of our new King:

Oh, yea, it's got to be metallica. Dude looks electric. Or how bout go all out like 'Major League' and have them play "Wild Thing".

Gerry - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:12 PM EST (#133129) #
I assume BJ has said "I will sign with Toronto". The suits are working on the contract terms and technically nothing is final until the contract is signed. But, baring a shopstopper, BJ is headed to TO.
jgadfly - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:21 PM EST (#133130) #
Show me the money...is this really "the big gamble" for JP...Ryan is a prerequisite part of the Blue Jay puzzle They need a closer to be sucessful. If they are successful the fans will come to the Rogerdome and more $$$ will flow into the BJ pockets from increased attendance/concessions/advertising/TV How much revenue can be generated from increased attendance? How many more people will Burnett/Giles/+2nd bat put into the seats? Enough to offset their contracts? "If" they win the money should be there...if they lose the new Mgt will trade these FA's for prospects and JP will be happy coaching High School basketball ...Hello either way JP will be happy coaching HS BB...the Q is will it be sooner or later?
Newton - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:23 PM EST (#133131) #
As a fan I love the idea of acquiring a dominating closer.

However, the only way we get value for our money on this deal is if we utilize BJ uncoventionally ie. he goes 110 innings or so innings in high leverage relief situations a la Brad Lidge for the 2004 Houston Astros.

If he tosses 60 innings and gets 45 saves its just not a wise allocation of our scarce resources.

We have him locked up for 5 years (huge risk) but the benefit is we don't have to worry about him whining about how he is being utilized with respect to his perceived value on the open market as he's already cashed in big time.

Let's hope the Jays will be creative and innovative and use BJ in the most effective manner possible.






Jordan - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:25 PM EST (#133132) #
Okay, there's a whole bunch of things to look at here.

Let's start by assuming it's 5 years and $45-$47M. That's an average of a little more than $9M a season, though few contracts pay out exactly the same amount every year. As pointed out above, $9M/season is maybe $1M above the going market price for closers, so the per-year salary isn't out of line. I stand by my contention that Jason Frasor could have given 65% of Ryan's perfomance for 3% of this price, but that's moot now. The Jays wanted a top closer, they got one, and the annual cost is pretty much what the market is demanding in a weak free-agent year.

The controversy will center around the length of the deal. I think most people would agree that if the deal were for 3 years at $27M, it would be widely acclaimed. I think it's worth overpaying for a fourth season if you have to, but it's an open question whether Ryan will still be effective at that point. I wouldn't count on it, personally, but if everything breaks right, it should be fine. The fifth year has every likelihood of being a washout -- in April 2010, if Ryan is still pitching and still a Blue Jay, this contract will probably look very ugly.

So it really comes down to whether the last two years were necessary to close the deal. My theory is this: JP wanted to nail this one down as early as possible. Ryan had other 4-year offers on the table for $9M per, but JP said, "I'll give you five years, but I need your signature *now*." JP perceived the need to act quickly -- and remember, he acted too slowly last year -- and so he was willing to cough up the fifth year, which even he must expect will be a waste of Ted Rogers' money when the time comes. Basically, I think JP concluded that getting Ryan signed a week earlier than he otherwise might have done was worth that gamble. We shall see.

So, setting aside the contract, we have two other questions: is Ryan a good addition, and is he a wise use of the new payroll room? The answer to the first is, of course. He's a tremendous, dominant pitcher: the fact that he relieves obviously makes him less valuable than a starter, but if you wanted a lights-out closer, there are very few better -- and I do think the Jays needed a lights-out closer. Keep in mind also that because he's lefthanded, the Jays now have two southpaw relief options and need no more than that. With solid right-handed setup men like Frasor and Speier in the 7th an 8th, other teams can't stack their lineups against Toronto. This is now a very, very tough bullpen to face, and thanks to Roy Halladay, it will essentially get every fifth day off.

Is it a good use of their payroll room? That depends, obviously, on a bunch of things. I do think that part of the strategy of pursuing Ryan was to make this a more attractive destination for AJ Burnett, who's now got to feel much more confident about seeing his leads protected in a Jays uniform. Snagging Burnett would use up pretty much all the remaining extra salary, and would rule out Brian Giles' arrival in all but the most convoluted scenario. But Ryan's signing also makes Miguel Batista expendable -- and at $4.75M, he's a more attractive trade target than you might think. If the Jays could somehow unload even half of Eric Hinske's remaining dollars too, they'd have several more million available to accommodate a mid-range salary acquired in trade. So, as I say, the jury's still out on this signing until we see what other dominoes are left to fall. But the early indications are very positive.

Some people will inevitably compare this signing to the Randy Myers acquisition, but the two are completely different. For a top-line FA closer, Ryan's arm is fresh: he's thrown fewer than 400 innings before his 30th birthday, and few of those IP were high-leverage (he's closed just 131 games). Myers, by contrast, was at 600 IP at the same age, and he was over 800 by the time the Jays signed him. Billy Wagner is a better comp: he also stood at about 400 IP after his age-29 year, and his four seasons since then (but for injuries in 2004) have been extremely solid. And Wagner's arm had seen a lot more high-pressure wear and tear than Ryan's -- he had finished nearly 250 games before 30.

Really, all that matters to JP is Ryan's performance from 2006-08 -- those are the contention years. The next GM won't much like the 2009-10 portion of the contract, but as they might say on The West Wing, that's the next GM's problem. JP wants to win now, he has the money to win now, and he's making his run at it. Good for him, and good for the franchise.
huckamaniac - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:30 PM EST (#133133) #
I don't care about the money, I don't care about the years, just as long we got him, I'm happy. Regardless the deal is big! I don't want to be too cynical, but could it be that JP knows he probably won't be here in 5 years anyway and is just deciding to balls out to try and win now.......if Ryan doesn't work out it won't be his problem because he won't be here to have to deal with it anyway.
westcoast dude - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:39 PM EST (#133134) #
Who cares what we had to pay, we got him!
Not long ago, the Canadian dollar was a joke, but by next spring when Iran opens its own crude oil market priced in euros, the Canuck buck will be at a par with the greenback, no problemo. (provided Dubya doesn't nuke'em, first).
I can forsee the day when FAs will be wanting to come North, just as is already happening in the mining and oil patch. It's a great time to be Canadian and a great day for Blue Jays fans.
Next step is to stop playing national anthems before the games, like the good old days.
VBF - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:56 PM EST (#133135) #
Answering the all-important question, BJ Ryan's music is "Duality" by Slipknot, the same music as Eric Hinske, according to the Orioles scout.com message board.

Which prompts the question, will the Jays bring back the maligned "We are Toronto" segment? I hope not.
BrockLanders - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:56 PM EST (#133136) #
This is how I grade the BJ Ryan deal:

Pros:
-Hes relatively injury free.
-Great deception in his delivery
-an energetic guy
-fills an important need
-.206 OPP.BA against righthanded batters

Cons:
-last two years of contract could prove costly
-has only season under his belt as closer
-has to overcome the stigma of being a lefthanded closer
-his exorbitant contract could inadvertently drive up the price of current jay players when their contracts come up
Named For Hank - Friday, November 25 2005 @ 11:57 PM EST (#133137) #
I stand by my contention that Jason Frasor could have given 65% of Ryan's perfomance for 3% of this price,

I know you said it was moot, but really -- that's a meaningless thing to say. You could find a guy to give you 25% of the performance for 0.001% of the salary, too, but neither of those guys are going to deliver what B.J. Ryan will.

You can't measure a performance-to-salary ratio in any meaningful, useable way, because you can't go to B.J. Ryan and say "Jason Frasor is 65% as good as you. Here's what we pay Jason Frasor. We'll be generous and double it for you" and expect him to sign on the dotted line. It don't work that way.

The only measure of the over-or-underpayment on this contract are what other lights-out free agent closers go for this off-season. End of story. If there's someone better out there who goes for less, well, then the Jays can feel bad about the ticket price for B.J. Ryan. Otherwise, the only measuring stick that is of any use at all in the real world is what the available closers will sign for.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:01 AM EST (#133138) #
From the Associated Press article:
Ryan's contract might have a repercussions on Billy Wagner's negotiations with Philadelphia and the New York Mets. Wagner earned $33 million over four years in a contract he agreed to with Houston before the 2002 season.

The New York Mets have offered just over $30 million for three years, a deal that contains a 2009 option that could raise the value to $40 million. The Phillies also are trying to re-sign him.
So Wagner is already rumored to be $10 million per, with the Ryan signing set to up that.
Joseph Krengel - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:03 AM EST (#133139) #
Dan Plesac will ALWAYS be the all-time left-handed reliever for the Jays as far as I am concerned. I made up my mind on that the day he set Quantrill's (I think it was him) shoe on fire in the bullpen during a season-opener a few years back.

Still, this bodes well. I say that because the dollars being attached (although not confirmed) to this deal seem too high for a spur of the moment signing. I find it hard to believe that J.P. would commit those resources without having something else in the works.

Anyone else notice that ESPN's rumour tracker has Overbay being dealt to Toronto? Anyone actually an insider?
John Northey - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:06 AM EST (#133140) #
So, the Jays pitching for 2006 at the moment (subject to many more changes I suspect) is...

Cl: Ryan
Setup: Frasor (can close when needed)
Setup: Speier (can close when needed)
Setup: Chulk
Loogy: Schoeneweis
Long: Walker
Long: Downs

Starters
Halladay
Lilly
Towers
Chacin
Batista

In minors
Bush, League, McGowan, etc.

Trade bait: Batista, Lilly, Bush

Add in AJ, trade Batista & Lilly, put Bush back in the 5th slot and I'll be very happy. I'll be amazingly happy if Giles is added too. As is, I'm happy. The Jays have 4 backups for the starting rotation (Walker, Downs, Bush, McGowan) who should be decent if needed, plus an ace closer with up to 3 others who could step in if needed (Batista, Frasor, Speier). Adds chips to the betting table for trades and just cost a chunk of that budget and a second round pick. Nice.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:24 AM EST (#133142) #
Any guesses as to who the "high-ranking baseball official" is that advised AP of the preliminary agreement?
Cristian - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:28 AM EST (#133143) #
I don't understand why everyone is worried about the years? I understand that last year all the cool sabrheads were saying what a folly it is to sign a pitcher for more than 3 years. However, doesn't this just apply to starters? Topnotch relievers don't pitch as much, arguably put less strain on their arms and aren't subject to the same performance deviations as starters. Tell me. When was the last time Rivera had a bad year? Wagner? Am I crazy to put Ryan in same class? I don't think so. He's been that good for the past two years. In fact, in this free agent class I prefer him to Wagner.
Flex - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:50 AM EST (#133144) #
Ryan's era is well over 2 and his whip is over 1. He's had more seasons in his career when his era was significantly over 4 than he has had seasons under 3. He's had one season as a closer. The sole advantage he has over Wagner is his age. I think BJ Ryan *could* be a great closer, but he isn't one yet.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed though.
Flex - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:53 AM EST (#133146) #
I also have no doubt Arnsberg will help him get better. I am sure he has said something to Ricciardi along the lines of "I'll help you get the most out of this investment."

It would surprise me, therefore, if over the next two years Ryan wasn't substantially better than he was last year. I'm just saying he hasn't done it yet.
6-4-3 - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:08 AM EST (#133148) #

Ryan's era is well over 2 and his whip is over 1. He's had more seasons in his career when his era was significantly over 4 than he has had seasons under 3. He's had one season as a closer. The sole advantage he has over Wagner is his age. I think BJ Ryan *could* be a great closer, but he isn't one yet.

It's true that Ryan's had more bad seasons than good seasons, but it's also misleading to put it that way.

Ryan, age 23 - 26: 4.66 ERA, 1 HR per 9, 5.5 walks per 9, 9.3 Ks per 9

Ryan, age 27 - 29: 2.60 ERA, .4 HR per 9, 3.8 walks per 9, 12.3 Ks per 9.

You can say that he's been a bad reliever for half his career, but you can also say that he's improved every aspect of his game over the past three years.

andrewkw - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:19 AM EST (#133149) #
wow. I am shocked. In a good way. Good for the Jays / JP. Ryan has been a fav of mine for a while. 5 years and the highest contract ever for a reliever is crazy but hey you do what you got to do. Ryan doesn't have an injury history and if he has 3 great years and the jays make the playoffs in 1-2 of those years then the deals well worth it imo. So what if he's not earning his 9.3 million in 2010 if he's already got a ring.
actionjackson - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:29 AM EST (#133150) #
Does anyone happen to know if Camden Yards rates as a pitchers/hitters/neutral park? It looks like Mr. Ryan has vacillated between being a groundball and a flyball pitcher, but when you're striking out that many, does it matter? I always thought Camden Yards was more of a hitters park and if so, his home stats from the past three seasons ('03-'05, though it says '02-'04 on the ESPN site) should translate well to the Rogers Hornsby Centre. They are: 6-4, 21/27 svs(remember a lot of blown saves happen when you're a set-up guy), 1.88era, 111g, 110ip, 74h, 25r, 23er, 4hr, 42bb, 148k, .187oppba. Whoa! Road numbers decidedly not as good, but if Camden Yards is a hitters haven, we have landed a special pitcher here. Well, we've landed a special pitcher regardless. Way to go JP. Just the beginning I hope!
rtcaino - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:41 AM EST (#133151) #
Also from the linked article:

"With the signing of the hard-throwing Ryan, the Blue Jays appear poised to now deal their previous closer, Miguel Batista. They have reportedly had discussions with the Texas Rangers about an exchange of Batista for outfielder Kevin Mench. The Blue Jays were also pursuing righty free agent starter A.J. Burnett and were said to have also offered him a five-year deal. It was unclear if the Ryan signing would now preclude them from continuing their efforts to land Burnett."
TamRa - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:25 AM EST (#133152) #
Quote:
***Snagging Burnett would use up pretty much all the remaining extra salary, and would rule out Brian Giles' arrival in all but the most convoluted scenario.***

Not so much.

Best estimate for 2006 payroll pre-Ryan:

$56.5 million

Add Ryan at something like 8.5 in the first year ...(8.5/9/9.5/10/10?)
...and take off the minimum salary guy he bumps and you are at something less than $65 million.

If we assume $80 million available over each of the next two years, that means we'd have about 15 to speare.

Sign Giles for, shall we say, 11 per, and you have $4 million left....seemingly barring the door, BUT....

Trade Batista (almost a given now) for minor leaguers (or pre-arb players at least) and now you have 8.5-9 million, enough for a first year of an escelating deal on Burnett.
Or a trade for Dunn or Glaus or whomever.


And if the fit is too snug, you can always find a taker for Cat and his 2.7 million.

And that's without dreaming the impossible dream of moving Hinske.

No, we can still afford all three unless a big chunk of this is a signing bonus.

Here's hoping for momentum.
Jabes - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:45 AM EST (#133153) #
Why do we want Kevin Mench - .264 .328 .469? That's marginally better than Alex RIos. And that's in arguably the friendliest hitters park in the AL.

Magpie - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:45 AM EST (#133154) #
Does anyone happen to know if Camden Yards rates as a pitchers/hitters/neutral park?

Despite its reputation, Camden has actually been a pitcher's park in 9 of the last 10 seasons.

slitheringslider - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:54 AM EST (#133155) #
5yr/47mil is definitely too rich for my blood. But I have to agree that if Ryan puts up 3-4 good years and the Jays win the world series, it would be a good investment. I hope it's rather a 4 yr deal with perfermance based option of a fifth year, that would make me a lot happier about the deal. this makes me happy about 2006.
DepecheJay - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:00 AM EST (#133156) #
So that he can't break Doc's leg again
actionjackson - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:17 AM EST (#133157) #
Yikes! In that case Magpie look out. His road record is quite human when compared with his home record of the past 3 seasons. To wit: 3-7, 18/23 svs, 3.41era, 110g, 98.2ip, 86h, 38r, 37er, 5hr, 46bb, 137k, .233oppba, 1.34whip, 4.2bb/9ip, 12.5k/9ip. Also when looking at his splits for last 3 years at ESPN.com, I couldn't help but notice that he struggled with a runner at 3rd, runners at 1st and 3rd and runners at 2nd and 3rd, but with the bases loaded he kicked ass. I have no explanation for that, other than the force play at every base making him relax a little. Maybe I'm overanalyzing, but when you've waited as long as we have for an impact deal, you just want to sink your teeth into it and check it out from all angles. I am concerned about the huge difference in his home/road numbers, if as you say Camden Yards is a pitchers park.
rtcaino - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:20 AM EST (#133158) #
Ya I really don't think Mench would be much of an upgrade. Right now I'd trade miggy for prospects. Then trade League with Hinske, just to get ride of him. And try to sign an impact player.

C'mon Giles.
MattAtBat - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:27 AM EST (#133159) #
From Geoff Baker at the Toronto Star, with some quotes from Gibby and Paul Godfrey that are new:

Jays Close to Signing Marquee Closer

Sounds like it's not quite done yet, and until I see him at a press conference, I'm afraid of counting my Blue Jays before they hatch.

actionjackson - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:29 AM EST (#133160) #
Giles is da man. If there's money left for Burnett, when all the wheeling and dealing is done, then sure give him a shot. But, I think in the current market, Giles is cheaper (strangely, I know he's 35, but he shows no sign of slowing down, particularly with his batting eye).
MattAtBat - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:38 AM EST (#133161) #
I'm admittedly being overly optimistic when I say this, but I think Home/Road splits are less relevant for a closer than any other type of pitcher.

Think of the intangibles in play:
Home - The emotion involved in getting two strikes or two out on a batter... fans cheering for you, knowing your team has the bottom of the inning if you fail.

Road - The entire stadium is behind the comeback in the bottom of the inning, and surrendering runs could mean your team loses instantly.

In other words, (and lord I hope numbers back me up on this) closing at home will always be easier than closing on the road, because of those things you just can't statistically measure.
MattAtBat - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:56 AM EST (#133162) #
I looked into the numbers and they don't really back me up. Oh well, let me be an optimist.
MattAtBat - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:18 AM EST (#133163) #
The only guys who seem to back up my now retracted statement are players who seem to pitch the same home and away despite pitching in a hitter's ballpark. There are two from 2005 to my knowledge:

1) Brian Fuentes
2) Francisco Cordero

That's all i got. They are presumably outliers. If anyone cared to do a full statistical analysis of teams closers from 2003-2005 to prove what I now believe to be a false statement, go for it...
R Billie - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:51 AM EST (#133164) #
If this is true and if Ryan is paid the contract average of $9.4 million for 2006, that should leave nearly $17 million of budget. Enough to bring in one more big guy and one or two medium guys. And hopefully a backup catcher.
R Billie - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:52 AM EST (#133165) #
I'm thinking if the Jays are involved in a deal with the Rangers it could involved the rumoured Batista for Mench with Adrian Gonzalez or Gerald Laird also involved. Though I'm not too high on Laird.
Dave Till - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:20 AM EST (#133166) #
I'd like to wait until the contract is official before adding Ryan to the Blue Jays' bullpen. It sounds like things haven't been worked out yet.

Usually, free agent signings are good if the player in question is among the very best in the game. You have to pay more for such players, but it's usually worth it. (Recall that the Jays were widely perceived as overpaying for Clemens when they signed him.) Ryan is a dominant closer - clearly among the very best - he hasn't been overworked, and he's a clear upgrade from Batista. I'd say it's a good move (if it really happens).

Of course there's some risk to this deal. Five years is a long time. The Jays' last two big-money imported closers didn't work out (Caudill and Myers). But a team can't win unless they take a chance and upgrade the roster through free agency. Even if it doesn't work out, I'm still pleased that J.P. and the Jays are giving it their best shot.
BallGuy - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:44 AM EST (#133168) #
I think it is in Saturday's Star but if this signing goes ahead the Jays would still have about $25-30 million to put towards signing other FAs. That is still pretty good money. However, this is also the money that is needed to keep some current players around so some clearing will need to be done. Batista, according to the papers, is the favourite to be move.
This is bold move by JP; he needed to make a bold move. I think others will follow. JP has served notice that the Jays are a force to be reckoned with in the free agent market.
nicton - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:55 AM EST (#133169) #
For those estimating payroll totals. Are you assuming arbitration amounts for Hillenbrand/Lilly/Hudson and have alreay added those figures in?? What about players to be renewed??? Thanks...
Jordan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:13 AM EST (#133170) #
You can't measure a performance-to-salary ratio in any meaningful, useable way.

And I don't mean to. My point is that if the Jays had wanted to look in-house for a closer, they had someone on hand who would've done a better job than Batista and would've been at least league-average in closing out games, allowing that $9M/Yr to be invested elsewhere. These aren't the 1984 Jays, for whom the lack of a closer was a festering psychological wound; getting someone to slam the door with authority in the ninth wasn't, to my mind, the top priority. That's all I'm saying.

Ryan is very obviously an excellent addition to the club, not only because he promises to make the 9th inning close to automatic, but because he frees up Batista for other work and (I think, anyway) assures Burnett that he'd easily hit 15 wins as a Blue Jay. And it's quite likely that JP decided there were no bats on the market he could realisically land, even by paying top dollar. If that's JP's strategy, then it's a pretty good one and I respect it. But this signing can't be judged in its entirety on its own; we need to see how it fits in with the overall off-season activity before deciding if it was the right approach.

Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:19 AM EST (#133171) #
Right now I'd trade miggy for prospects. Then trade League with Hinske, just to get ride of him.

And Moffatt said there were never any posts like this...

Why do you want to trade a very valuable piece in this off-season for prospects? We saw mediocre starters go for big money last year, so isn't an at least mediocre starter signed for only $4.7 million worth a lot in a trade? And why do you want prospects instead of major league ready guys? If the team is making a push, I think it would be downright idiotic to trade for the future instead of trading for a piece to help right now.

And don't get me started on "just to get rid of him". What kind of stupid plan is that?
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:32 AM EST (#133172) #
And I don't mean to. My point is that if the Jays had wanted to look in-house for a closer, they had someone on hand who would've done a better job than Batista and would've been at least league-average in closing out games

I agree about seeing how it fits in with the off-season strategy, but I wanted to point out that league average is... well, not good enough, really, no matter how cheap it comes.

I think that this signing will make both other signings and trades easier to work, because Toronto is now on the "serious" list. It should be especially attractive because Toronto made a significant upgrade to an already-excellent bullpen. Those last few innings are going to be spectacular.

I can't help but think of the Ken Rosenthal interview with J.P. a few weeks ago where J.P. grabbed the mic at the end and played interviewer, which went something like this:
JPR: Ken, I wanna ask you some questions. What rating did you give our bullpen going into last season?
KR (sheepishly): Oh, uh, a very bad one.
JPR: And how would you rate them now that the season is over?
KR: I'd give them a B+.
JPR (expecting even a better rating): Well, I'll take that.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:40 AM EST (#133173) #
"Those last few innings are going to be spectacular."

There's a lot of reason for optimism, but nothing is guaranteed in the bullpen universe. A player can plummet like Keith Foulke or soar like Cliff Politte. Will the SS Loogy continue to be effective? Did Speier have a career year? Is Frasor the real thing? Did Ryan have a career year? Is Walker on the verge of becoming consistently hittable? We really don't know yet. If in fact the Jays are about to sign (JP says that Ryan and his agent are "still talking to other people, too"), the bullpen looks to be in great shape. But I'm wary of setting unrealistic expectations.
HoJu - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:56 AM EST (#133175) #
Rotowire's take:

The reportedly is for five years and $47 million, both astounding numbers for a closer. It's not as if having a better closer was enough to close the gap between them and the Red Sox and Yankees. The Blue Jays have more money to spend this offseason, but they just used up a big chunk of it on just a marginal improvement.
Jordan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:03 AM EST (#133176) #
KR: I'd give them a B+.
JPR (expecting even a better rating): Well, I'll take that.

I took a lot more grief than that for the B+ grade I gave out. :-)

Keith Talent - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:04 AM EST (#133177) #
Ken "Astros in 7" Rosenthal

That's all you need to know.

And you know what: every year some player is getting record money. And a solid closer improves your team's team bottom line in ways that can't always be measured statistically. With Ryan, and then Speier, Chulk, Frasor I can't wait until next year. It's going to be a virtually 7-inning game for us.

People just want to get on record with an opinion because when it goes wrong they can go "I told you so" and when it goes right, everyone is so happy they don't care about all the negative stuff that was said earlier.
BallGuy - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:18 AM EST (#133178) #
"...but they just used up a big chunk of it on just a marginal improvement."

I think this statement is only true if this signing is the only transaction JP makes. However, I think this is opens up a lot of possibilities: it shows other FAs the Jays are serious; it could make a starter more comfortable about coming here knowing a victory is in reliable hands; it allows JP to deal some pitching and prospects for a bigger bat. Riccardi has said that he may be inclined to trade and this signing makes that a lot easier to do.
HoJu - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:26 AM EST (#133179) #
I agree BallGuy. If this is the only thing JP does, the Jays aren't that much better off. But as you say, it opens some doors for other moves and is obviously an upgrade over Batista in the pen.
jmoney - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:30 AM EST (#133180) #
Well I've always wondered about the value of a closer, but they do seem to have more value then simple numbers would show.

As Jays fans, I think we know this would be a lot of money for a reliever. However, after years of suffering and the idea that players don't want to come to Canada, or we don't have the money to make them come. We finally landed a free agent, and that's a message that's heard across the league.
SK in NJ - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:34 AM EST (#133181) #
BJ Ryan's opponent's OPS over the last two seasons were .549 and .571.

Mariano Rivera's opp-OPS
2002: .542
2003: .571
2004: .565

Rivera was on another planet in 2005, but that's mighty similar production, except Ryan K's about four more per 9 innings. Rivera was still considered the top closer in baseball during those years.

Is Ryan as good as Rivera? No. But is he a top 5 calibre closer? Yes. This is not Randy Myers II. This is Duane Ward-1993 part II, if anything.

I don't have an issue with the salary as much as I do with the years. If it was 3-years, $28 million, it would have been a lot more prudent. However, this is the best FA the Jays have ever gotten since Roger Clemens in 1996. You have to overpay to acquire star level talent, and if signing Ryan turns on a light in Brian Giles' and AJ Burnett's heads and they say "wow, the Jays are trying to win it all", then it has its benefits.

In 2003, Ricciardi didn't want to give 3 years and $6 million per to Kelvim Escobar. Instead, he wanted to give that same money to Batista and Ligtenberg. In 2004, instead of trying to sign Delgado, he wanted Koskie and Clement (but settled for Koskie, Shea, and SS). A lot of people have been complaining that JP likes to have 3 "solid" players instead of 1 star. Now he's paid $9 million to a star (yes, Ryan is a star closer), instead of rotating that money around more Shea's, Batista's, and Ligtenberg's. We have to take the next jump.

Ricciardi has two years left on his deal, so chances are he doesn't give a flying (you know what) about anything past 2007. Yes, it's possible that Ryan becomes a "must trade" in 2-3 years, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. If Ryan ends up saving 40 games and striking out 100+ batters for Blue Jays playoff teams before that we get to that point, wouldn't it worth it?
leisl - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:36 AM EST (#133182) #
I agree with BallGuy, this deal definitely puts the Blue Jays back onto the map for other FAs and trades.

Also, for all those out there who think that the money could have been used for Delgado last year... remember, the payroll increase was "approved" in mid year and Delgado would have cost the Jays about 16-17 mil in arbitration last year, quite a bit more than the 4 million (11 net after trade with Mets) that the Marlins paid to use Delgado.
daryn - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:39 AM EST (#133183) #
I'm willing to add the same 3 wins as John, but not 89-92, more like 82-85

Seems like a LOT of money for a closer, in a world where closers seem to only last a couple years..

And Miggy only blew 8 saves last year... Big Mo blew 4.... for nearly 10Mil/yr???

BUT, maybe its a loss leader? Maybe this helps attract a Burnett because he'll think we can hold a lead???

What I AM willing to say is
"Ok, J.P. you have my attention... what next?"
westcoast dude - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:41 AM EST (#133184) #
There can be few things more deflating then putting down a C-note to take a hot Babe with Goddess potential who has maybe never even seen a ball game to a tight barnburner and then see a blown save turn into an ugly loss. The place gets deathly quiet; it's like witnessing a train wreck. She looks at you and thinks, "Why did I waste my evening with this clown?"
This is not a "marginal upgrade." BJ is like Viagara and single malt without the side effects and liver damage. How can you put a price on that?
BallGuy - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:50 AM EST (#133185) #
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
Ducey - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:01 AM EST (#133186) #
"Ricciardi has two years left on his deal, so chances are he doesn't give a flying (you know what) about anything past 2007"

Seems highly unlikely (not to mention insulting):

a) how does signing a bad deal help his job prospects post 2007? - not the kind of reputation you want when there are only 29 (in any given year quite a few less) other jobs like it on earth
b) it was reported recently Godfrey was working on a long term extension for JP
c) if JP was so excited to get out to TO why would he not have tried to go to Boston (his supposed dream job) this offseason?
d) don't you think JP has a little desire to see things through? It would be only natural to have invested emotionally and intellectually in the team, players and people surrounding the Jays.

With respect to the length of the deal - it seems to me that unless Ryan is hurt, you can always trade him. If he has three good years lots of teams will be happy to take him at a trade deadline.
rtcaino - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:10 AM EST (#133187) #
Especially so if the market keeps escalating. In three years 9 mill for a closer may not seem all that unreasonable.
rtcaino - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:10 AM EST (#133188) #
ďĒAnd Moffatt said there were never any posts like this...

Why do you want to trade a very valuable piece in this off-season for prospects? We saw mediocre starters go for big money last year, so isn't an at least mediocre starter signed for only $4.7 million worth a lot in a trade? And why do you want prospects instead of major league ready guys? If the team is making a push, I think it would be downright idiotic to trade for the future instead of trading for a piece to help right now.

And don't get me started on "just to get rid of him". What kind of stupid plan is that?""

NFH: I admit I was being mainly tongue and cheek. As well as not really explaining myself very well (it was 3:30 AM). I didn't really mean specifically to give away Miggy, and trade League to get ride of Hinske.

What I meant to say and didn't was: I think best case scenario is to sign a guy like Giles. Ok there's really only one of him. But to get him and maybe one more impact bat, and one more impact starter we may nee to free up salary. Between Hinske and Miggy, we can pay for Giles for one year, and most of his contract next year

Thus trading Miggy and not taking salary back such as in Mench. What I meant by prospects is more near major league guys. Or someone cost effective like a back up catcher. Obviously maximizing assets is the name of the game. And adding cheap major league talent would be the best case scenario in any trades of this nature. For example, I'd do the Texas deal without taking on Mench. Just give me A-Gon.

And Hinske, we can all agree is not worth 5.5 million. If signing Giles came down to dumping Hinske, and we absolutely needed to dumb salary, sending a prospect the other way may be what is needed to get the deal done. Obviously League isnít who the jays are going to offer. I just used him as an example of someone with value that might get the deal done.

So yes, I admit. None of this was said very well in my post:

ďYa I really don't think Mench would be much of an upgrade. Right now I'd trade miggy for prospects. Then trade League with Hinske, just to get ride of him. And try to sign an impact player.

C'mon Giles.Ē

But again: 320 AMÖ.
Pistol - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:27 AM EST (#133189) #
I guess BJ Ryan's visit to Toronto went better than the Star reported a couple weeks ago.

Five years is probably two years longer than you want with a pitcher, any pitcher, but if it's the difference between signing Ryan and not signing him, well, you have to take chances sometimes. Plus, he's relatively young - at the end of the five year contract he'll be the same age as Billy Wagner is today and he's going to get at least 3 years, and probably 4 now. I'm sure the Jays did their homework to feel comfortable with Ryan as their closer at 34.

As pointed out above, the top closers are getting $10 million/year and there's no reason to believe that's going to come down. If $47 million is accurate the contract may be structured something like $8.5, $9.0, $9.5, $10, $10 so the Jays would be paying a little less than the top closers are getting. (And don't you think that Billy Wagner and his agent love this move? One, the Mets and Phillies don't have Ryan as a fallback option which increases his leverage - he'll come in at a minimum of 4 for $40 now.)

The Jays needed to consolidate their roster and Ryan helps them do that. Frasor and/or Speier may have been able to do an adequate job of closing at a fraction of Ryan's contract, but it's about putting the best 25 out on the field, not the most economical 25. BJ Ryan is certainly a lot better than the 12th man on the pitching staff and clearly upgrades the team. Signing Ryan only is a bad move if it prevents the team from making other moves to improve.

However, without trading anyone on the current roster away I believe the Jays still will have at about $15-17 million of room to add to the payroll for next year.

With this signing I think there's no question that the Jays will be making a trade of at least one of their pitchers. Batista is the most obvious candidate as his salary would free up money for the Jays to use on the lineup and there's apparently been some interest in him since he could start. However, I wouldn't rule out the Jays trading Chulk, who had an excellent season despite a low K rate, or Speier, who despite being the Jays best reliever the last several months of the season never seemed to fully gain the trust of Gibbons. Good relievers are in high demand, as the signing of Eyre and Howry show, so the Jays should have no problems moving a reliever or two for good value.

It's often said that a closer is an unnecessary piece for a team until they're ready to contend. Well, I think the Jays with this signing just announced to the other 29 teams that they're ready to contend.

SK in NJ - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:29 AM EST (#133190) #
Ducey,

I never said JP wanted to leave. I meant his contract ends after 2007, so he's (naturally) trying to win in 2006 and/or 2007. You think he cares (right now) about the ramifications this may have in 2008 and beyond? If he did, he wouldn't have gone five years in the first place (and wouldn't be talking five years for Burnett as well).

If the Jays make the playoffs in 2006 or 2007, Ricciardi will likely be retained (if he wants to be). At that point, he'll have to work around Ryan's deal. But the Jays still have to make the playoffs before the end of 2007 for that scenario to play out.

This deal was meant primarily for the next two years, IMO. The new GM in 2008 or even Ricciardi himself if he's retained can work around Ryan when that time comes. But clearly, the objective is to win within two years. I don't blame JP for that mindset. If this team finishes below .500 again, JP may be looking for another job after the 2006 season. Might as well go all out.
Jim - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:29 AM EST (#133191) #
I have but 2 problems with this signing.

A. The bullpen was probably this team's biggest strength, so it's a pretty big outlay for something that is far from a weakness. Especially with many arms in the minors that project as relievers.

B. If there is another move coming with Batista, then the timing is bad if that deal isn't already done because the Jays would certainly lose some leverage with this signing.

Ryan can pitch and he got market value, I just don't know how much better it makes the Jays in 2006-2010.
StephenT - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:33 AM EST (#133192) #
I agree the Randy Myers signing isn't a great comp because he was 5 years older when the Jays got him. But I don't think Ryan's track record (3 good years) is as good as Billy Wagner's at the same age (5 good years out of 6).

A closer comp might be the Mark Davis signing by the Royals after '89. (Though that doesn't mean Ryan is going to follow the same path.)

Thomas - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:56 AM EST (#133194) #
It is a year more than Iíd prefer to have given Ryan, but the marketplace often dictates you need to go beyond your comfort zone in order to make a signing. Actually, Iíd have preferred 3 years, but I was resigned to the fact Ryan would get 4. Itís more money than I would have liked to give him, but I think this signing has to be measured not only in terms of Ryanís perceived value, but what the signing says about Torontoís desire to win right now. If this deal helps convince Burnett or hopefully Giles that Toronto is ready to compete with New York and Boston, it has to be evaluated with that in mind, as well.

I am a big fan of having a lights-out closer, especially in playoff time. Not only can you see you the advantage on the field, where one-run leads are safe, but I think it also provides psychological peace of mind to the team, knowing that virtually every time they hand Ryan the lead the game is in the bag.

JP had to strike soon. While I hadnít heard reports about Philadelphia or the Mets turning their interest to Ryan, I think once Wagner picked a team to sign with the loser would have quickly looked at Ryan.

Interestingly, Ryan had one appearance last year against the Yankees where he allowed 4 earned runs (5 runs) in 0.2 innings. His peripherals indicate what we can expect from Ryan in the future, but I thought it was interesting to note that without that appearance Ryanís ERA would have been 1.92. One can do this for any number of relievers, but itís much rarer that closers have one disastrous outing that affects their ERA, simply because if they often give up a couple of runs they have lost the game or are pulled. Ryan obviously did not have his best stuff in that game and Mazilli left him in to mop up the mess he and Julio had made. I watched that game on TV and Ryan did not want to be in there mopping up a mess in a game the Orioles were losing by several runs, but Mazzilli left him in there until he got out of it.

I also agree with Pistolís thinking when he said, ďat least one reliever.Ē I think Batista is as good as gone. I would be extremely surprised to see him as Jay in 2006. However, I think Chulk might also be traded (Iím more hesitant on Speier, although he wouldnít be the breaking point of a deal), as JP will have to put together a package to get a corner outfield bat (assuming Giles goes elsewhere). If the Jays do deal two relievers, it still leaves them with Ryan, Frasor, Speier and Schoeneweis as their back four. Then they can keep Walker as the long man, which one can guess they intend to do given his spot on the 40-man and use League/Gaudin/Gronk/Andrade/whomever as their middle men, which still gives the team a really strong pen.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:01 PM EST (#133195) #
I can see Pete Walker being DFA'd to make room on the 40 man roster for Ryan... No big loss, there's probably even a chance we could bring him back as a minor league free agent.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:03 PM EST (#133196) #
Minor league contract I should say.
JayFan0912 - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:50 PM EST (#133198) #
I think ryan is a good investment. He's a big guy, which makes him less likely to break down with increased workload... and those K/IP look very good. You can say he has gotten better in the last couple of years, which may mean he hasn't reached his peak yet.

Re. freeing money to sign both giles and burnett

The best way to free money is to trade a bunch of hinske/batista/koskie -- their contracts will amount to 15 Million next year, and each has a replacement.

You would figure a number of teams may be interested in koskie, if it doesn't cost them a lot. The dodgers made a run at koskie last year, and need a 3B this year. Minnesotta may be interested in him, and so would a number of other clubs.

Batista may be traded as soon as next week. He may fetch a nice prospect in return. The rangers may be also interested in SS, I don't think they have a single lefty reliever, in a park that is very generous to left handed bats. Perhaps Batista and SS (and Gross) will get you A-Gon/Mench.

Hinske would be the hardest to move, with the jays having to cover some of his contract ... I really can't think of anyone dumb enough to take on his contract.
Rob - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 12:51 PM EST (#133199) #
I guess BJ Ryan's visit to Toronto went better than the Star reported a couple weeks ago.

Well, here's what the Star said on November 15: The one night stopover made in Toronto yesterday by Baltimore Orioles reliever B.J. Ryan will likely be as close as he gets to playing baseball in this city.

The Toronto Star getting something wrong does not surprise me. Here's what Jeff Blair said the very next day:

Ryan has also told friends that he is impressed with the Blue Jays and the city of Toronto and that he believes the visit to Toronto last week went surprisingly well.

There you go.

Wait a second...on Tuesday, November 15, Ryan's visit was "yesterday" but on Wednesday, November 16 it was "last week"? That's just confusing.

RhyZa - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:08 PM EST (#133200) #
colour me excited, I can see being analyzed both ways (probably to death too ; ) but like almost everything, only time will tell. The money and years automatically seems staggering but such as the market dictates these days, and when you calculate the other factors which could vary from minor to major - Jays needing to make a splash and catch the attention of other FA's (namely AJ and Giles), the luring of a player this side of the border, not getting left behind with a lot of money and no one deserving to spend it on, and the like, maybe it's justifiable rationalization in saying thats where the extra year or so and 9 mill come in. And being one of Batista's biggest detractors, it's going to be refreshing going into the 9th (if not 8th.. I see him being used this way to an extent which will make him earn his $$ even more so) with a certain level of confidence because needless to say, I had none last year, and to me at least, he was worse than whatever his numbers suggest. And granted we probably have to save some bucks elsewhere but it also gives us some flexibility/options as I don't think JP should necessarily be in a weaker negotiationg position in that we have to shop El Artista; I think he'd thrive in a setup role.

Allow me to qualify the following in saying another bat or 2 and another starter definitely do need to follow and if this prevents any of that happening (not that it should, in my estimation), especialy the former then I can see this plan being misguided. But bullpens are always unpredictable from year to year, which is why I believe it to be a stretch to label our pen as a bonafide strength and that it would continue the same this year and onwards. While not having the numbers at hand to back me up, I could easily see it being somewhat luck-related or an abberation headed for a decline this season but BJ provides with some insurance, a costly one no doubt but solid insurance nonetheless, against that. On the flip side, with relievers being unpredictable you might say that's an awful lot to bank on a reliever, but his peripherals strongly suggest he's the real deal and not headed for adecline anytime soon. So in a world of unpredictability, the value in having a sure thing is well, mighty valuable.
RhyZa - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:26 PM EST (#133201) #
And with Texas reeling from the Beckett sweepstakes, they're probably still on the tilt. A good time as any for JP to resume talks with them.
Jordan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:30 PM EST (#133202) #
The signing is getting a big thumbs-down from the Primer crew, which bodes very well for the Blue Jays.

The more I think about this move, the more I like it. There are criticisms related to the length and the total dollars, both of which will inevitably come home to roost, but nobody's criticizing the choice of Ryan himself. The reality is that Ryan is a top reliever and that the Jays are a better team for having him onboard. When the season starts, nobody's going to care about the contract -- they'll only care that Ryan is finishing off games with a vengeance.

Someone at Primer said that this contract would only make sense for the Mets, because they're "going for it." Announcement: the Blue Jays are going for it, too. And they've started by poaching one division rival's closer, a guy who didn't want to pitch for another division rival. And the Jays aren't done spending yet.

Thomas makes a good point: JP struck first and left the other teams scrambling for the available relievers. The pressure's now on them to overpay for what's left, while JP can get on with making over his club. Wagner will almost certainly end up with a richer contract than Ryan, and while the Phillies and Mets may grind their teeth, that's the price you pay for being reactive in a seller's market.

My hunches have been wrong before, but I've got a feeling right now that Burnett will be a Blue Jay before the winter meetings start.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#133203) #
If it's true, I'd be happy with this acquisition. Obviously, five years is a year or two more than would be ideal, but sometimes that is the price that has to be paid for a genuinely special talent.

It also opens up the possibility of a truly lovely six man pen- three lefties and three righties, and an extra bat (hopefully a right-handed pinch-hitter with power). Dreams, I've got dreams.
Chuck - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:47 PM EST (#133205) #
I agree with Jordan.

Basically, any analytic used to measure the worthiness of the contract would result in a thumbs down. But, some things to consider:

a) it's not my money (if Ted Rogers overpays, I can still sleep at night)

b) there's money to be spent NOW and, unfortunately, not a buyer's market to spend it in

c) the team is better with Ryan than without

Basically, I want to see a better product next season. I don't care how much money Ted Rogers spends (my cable bills won't drop if he elects to not spend the money) and I only care about how intelligently he spends it if there are alternatives.
Ducey - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 01:56 PM EST (#133206) #
SI says:

"The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Red Sox have asked about Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay, and says a rumor is "circulating" that the Sox are offering right-hander Matt Clement to Milwaukee."

Seems way too much to pay for Overbay...Maybe the Jays could trade for Clement. Who would you rather have, Clement or Burnett?
King Ryan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:11 PM EST (#133208) #
The Red Sox wouldn't offer Clement to the Blue Jays.

Here are Dan Szymborski's ZiPS projections for Ryan:

2006 ZiPS Projection - B.J. Ryan
-----------------------------------------------
 W   L   G  GS   IP    H   ER  HR  BB  SO   ERA
-----------------------------------------------
 6   1  34   0   74   52   23   4  29 105  2.80
Looks good to me! Although I suspect that the "34 games" is a typo.
Smithers - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#133209) #
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5110978

Ken Rosenthal doesn't like the deal at all. So what? I don't think that this is money frivilously wasted if it's simply the first domino to fall in a chain of events that land JP all the pieces that he's after. Saying that this grossly inflates the market is only in regards to the length of the deal as far as I can see, since $10M a year in 5 years for a top closer might seem standard. As JP said before, if you're going to overpay for someone, might as well be a young player who hasn't yet reached their peak.

I think that the way Brad Arnsberg handled the pitchers last year and his positive effect on the staff is a point that should not be taken lightly - I wouldn't be surprised if Ryan's numbers get even better.
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:39 PM EST (#133210) #
One way to look at these big free agent contracts the Jays have/will/hope to dispense is that the $240 million 3-year budget is not static. I would expect that if things go according to plan, that rolling budget will increase and these big free agents will use up less of, albiet still a large portion of, the payroll on a proportionate basis. If the right moves are made, you can generate excitement down the stretch, increased attendence, increased TV ratings, possibly even home playoff games, increased merchandise sales, etc. If things don't go right, the other extreme is none of that happens, the Jays are screwed, the team loses money, people get fired, and the team finishes in last. But that is the nature of taking risks. The option of being so cautious in a seller's market and ending up adding more average players results in more of the status quo - finishing in 3rd yet again. No one will be happy if this all blows up in JP's face, but I personally would be downright depressed if JP did not make a a strong and aggressive effort to acquire top-shelf talent. I'm very excited about adding Ryan (although a small part of me will be nervous until the official announcement is made.) The team is going for it, there is a real sense of hope, and a chance of watching meaningful games next year.

I completely disagree with those that are concerned that the Jays are spending money on a perceived strength rather than a weakness. I say add good players, sort the rest out later. BJ Ryan was available and liked the organization. Should the Jays go after someone of a lesser talent just because that lesser player plays a position that the Jays have below-average production? That's ridiculous. The priority characteristics to acquiring good players is: production, talent, availability, and attitude, in that order. Way down the list is the position the player plays.
rIbIt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:40 PM EST (#133211) #
Good Signing. Ortiz, Matsui and (lol) Palmiero will now kill the Js considerably less in late game situations.

BTW, f**k the $$$. The bullpen will now be tighter than Arod in the post season.
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#133212) #
To make my thought compelte - add injury history and susceptibility to future injuries and budgetary impact in my characteristics of the attractiveness of possible player acquisition. I'm sure there's other important things I am leaving out but the point is that a player's position is not a primary concern.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:43 PM EST (#133213) #
I agree. Rosenthal gets himself all worked up, but his article doesn't reflect a lot of careful analysis. If he'd taken a closer look, he would have seen some good reasons for the deal, including:

- BJ's excellent stats and peripherals (and positive trend) over the last three years. In short, he's a top-flight reliever

- His age. Unlike Wagner, Hoffman, and Gordon--all currently in their mid- to late-30s--Ryan will be 34 when the contract is up

- His relatively low IP and good health

- The flexibility it provides JP in revamping his team (including the possibility of dealing some significant contracts elsewhere). In other words, there was an opportunity cost associated with not signing Ryan: potentially losing out on the FA and trade markets this off-season (signing Ryan improves JP's position on both fronts)

Rosenthal might dislike the 4th and/or 5th year, or the dollar amount (although even he seems to think $9M/year is about right for Ryan), but he misses the big picture from the Jays' perspective.

In any event, JP's job isn't to keep other GMs happy by constraining the market value of other relievers. And didn't the owners have a wee problem with this practice back in, oh, 1985?
TamRa - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#133214) #
Quote:
***For those estimating payroll totals. Are you assuming arbitration amounts for Hillenbrand/Lilly/Hudson and have alreay added those figures in?? What about players to be renewed??? Thanks...***

My estimates are based on projected contracts for all unsigned players. Such things are shaky at best but it's all we have to work with.

Regarding some of the comments about clearing salary (NFH I think)...the idea in getting a propsect (or at least a pre-arb player) for Batista is not so much "trading for the future" as it is clearing salary for other acquisition. A trade of, for instance, Batista for Blalock while it might have arguable value, does not accomplish that task.

In short, we had - after signing Towers - about $23 million to work with (assuming an 80 million payroll)

If Ryan makes about 8 this year then we have 15. Conventional wisdom is that we'll need at least 20 in the first year to sign Burnett and Giles....so that means we need to clear 5 million or more off the payroll if we are still envisioning signing both those players.

Batista for pre-arb players accomplishes the majority of that goal. Clearing a few more by dealing Cat, or Schoe, or Shea, or at least half of Hinske puts us back on budget to still be in the arena for both Giles and Burnett.
Ron - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#133215) #
From reading around the internet, JP is getting hammered for this contract. And to a point I agree with them. JP has always preached financial responsibility and was stunned himself from other high FA deals like Benson. Now that the shoe's on the other foot and he has money, he goes out and overpays for BJ Ryan (in other peoples eyes). This is like Glen Sather complaining about salaries getting out of hand when he was the GM with the Oilers in the late 90's, and then once he moves to the Rangers he goes crazy with the contracts.

Every single FA contract given out has an impact on other players, and as a result other clubs. Before this season, a lot of people in Da Box were screaming bloody murder at the contracts given out last season to FA's. I've noticed I'm the only person in this whole thread that has mentioned I feel sorry for fans whose teams have smaller payrolls. I guess when it's your team that spends money, it doesn't really matter, but if other teams hand out questionable big dollar contracts than it's time to have an moral outrage.

And of course I'm not surprised some fans on other sites and have already started ranting on how their needs to be a salary cap in baseball.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:47 PM EST (#133216) #
By the way, does anyone know whether there is a tax disadvantage for players who come to Toronto? You hear this all the time in the US media, but I'm not sure it's actually true.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:48 PM EST (#133217) #
Sorry Ken. Here in Toronto we don't have the luxury
of being able to lure whoever the hell we want here. We had to give him five years because some idiots in the past didn't want to play in Canada in the past. Maybe Rosenthal is sore that Toronto has beaten his homebase Baltimore team six of the last seven years despite having a higher payroll. At any rate, as long as the Jays continue to get the top free agents this year we can expect a lot of bashing and second guessing from ESPN and FOX guys because they just can't stand to see us back. Thank you, JP for building a solid foundation so guys like BJ and whoever else we get this offseason can help us go toe to toe with Boston and New York. Because we all know the last ten years have been unfair and cruel to Toronto and real Blue Jay fans who have been slighted by free agents. I hate to sound biased and cynical, but its been a frustrating ten years watching the Jays and baseball in Canada lose popularity just because we can't compete in the free agent market like the glory days. Signings like this are helping us get back there. Here's to Blue Jays baseball, which is well on its way back. Hopefully we can add Burnett or Giles, or even both to keep us on the right track. Its time for Yankees fans to suffer for a while.
Flex - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:52 PM EST (#133218) #
Says Rosenthal: "The deal would make no sense for a pitcher with Ryan's job description or track record, no sense for the Blue Jays, no sense in any historical context. Ricciardi, who previously worked in Oakland under Billy Beane, a GM known for properly valuing players, might never live this down."

And in the end, he pronounces the deal "nuts."

I have a lot of respect for Rosenthal's opinion, and I've never seen him this exorcised. Frankly, I think he's more right than wrong. Without question adding BJ Ryan makes the Jays better, but at what cost to financial flexibility and the ability to meet other, more pressing needs? It's all right to say, Hey, it's Ted's money, who cares how much he costs? But you'll care when a major bat that could've been had for another $2m a year goes to someone else because too much of our budget was eaten up by Ryan.

The only thing I can think is Ricciardi has a very clear sense that he's not going to get any other premier FA to take his money, and he had to do something.
RhyZa - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:54 PM EST (#133219) #
Ron, agreed but its kind of like, and... ?

these are the rules, it's either contend or get left behind, especially in the AL East. Until the rules change that created this monster, I don't see why one would expect everything you mentioned in your thread to be any different.

Petey Baseball - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 02:56 PM EST (#133220) #
"I agree. Rosenthal gets himself all worked up, but his article doesn't reflect a lot of careful analysis. If he'd taken a closer look, he would have seen some good reasons for the deal, including:

- BJ's excellent stats and peripherals (and positive trend) over the last three years. In short, he's a top-flight reliever

- His age. Unlike Wagner, Hoffman, and Gordon--all currently in their mid- to late-30s--Ryan will be 34 when the contract is up

- His relatively low IP and good health

- The flexibility it provides JP in revamping his team (including the possibility of dealing some significant contracts elsewhere). In other words, there was an opportunity cost associated with not signing Ryan: potentially losing out on the FA and trade markets this off-season (signing Ryan improves JP's position on both fronts)

Rosenthal might dislike the 4th and/or 5th year, or the dollar amount (although even he seems to think $9M/year is about right for Ryan), but he misses the big picture from the Jays' perspective."



I agree with Greenfrog and his analysis. It seems like Rosenthal isn't looking at the big picture, and realizing that the Jays just want a dominating closer just hitting his peak level locked up, to make a run in '06, '07 and '08.
To me, Rosenthal's message is: Hey, Toronto, know your role and settle for your 75-82 wins. The spending is for the American big spender teams, like mine in Balitmore. You guys haven't gotten a big free agent in years, and we fine with the Yankees and Red Sox sapping up all the best players on the free agent market and making the playoffs every year.
nicton - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:04 PM EST (#133221) #
I don't know if this means the Jays are back on the map for free agents, but it does add a team to the list of clubs to "use" when trying to drive up your FA price. Ryan may have been trying to do that and got " an offer he couldn't refuse. " Its a good signing, although a little high. Makes the Koskie signing last year look even worse. How nice would it be to have an extra $11.5 mil over the next 2 years???
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:06 PM EST (#133222) #
JP has always preached financial responsibility and was stunned himself from other high FA deals like Benson. Now that the shoe's on the other foot and he has money, he goes out and overpays for BJ Ryan (in other peoples eyes).

And those other people are dumb. Unless there's someone else out there who's a free agent who will take less money and who is as good or better, it's not "overpaying". It's paying what it takes to get B.J. Ryan this off-season, not a penny more. Do people think that if the Jays didn't sign Ryan that he'd take half as much from another team?

K-Rod makes less -- so what? Can the Jays get K-Rod on the free agent market for what K-Rod makes? Emphatically no.
King Ryan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:10 PM EST (#133223) #
This isn't really the same as last year.

Last year, BAD pitchers like Eric Milton and Russ Ortiz were getting 8M a year. Paul freakin' Wilson got 25M for 3 years. There's a big difference between overpaying for mediocre to bad players and overpaying for terrific pitchers like Ryan.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:11 PM EST (#133224) #
Ugh. The front office better hope they can get some decent bats for free. I don't care how good a closer you are, you're not going to get any saves if your team doesn't score any runs.

Ryan has had three consecutive years with positive ERA+s, including last year, his first and only year as a closer. How many games have the Orioles won in those 3 years? 74, 78, and 74.

Clearly adding Ryan makes the Jays a better team. It would be hard *not* to spend 9 million on a player and improve a team. They've still got some money left, but if they go and and get a starter, they won't. If someone like Kevin Mench winds up being the best hitter this team acquires in the off season, they're not going to be anywhere near the playoffs. They'll be lucky if they finish .500.

The off-season is still very, very young, so there's lots of time. But this move has eliminated the possibility of bringing in two big bats, which I don't think is a good thing.
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:11 PM EST (#133225) #
While Rosenthal characterizes the Ryan signing as laughable I find his column to be laughable. I love how he glosses over the fact that MLB is "awash in revenue" and adds that MLB officials will be be "outraged" after preaching fiscal responsibility to MLB GM's. Fiscal responsibility is code for collusion and fixing the market. MLB officials would love to do that if possible. Look, no one is putting a gun to anyone's head to sign any player to any type of contract. So what if the Ryan contract increases what Billy Wagner gets? Should I cry because a portion of the Mets' revenue will go to Billy Wagner instead of Fred Wilpon? Who the hell cares? It is a tight market at a time when MLB teams are earning record revenues. What does Rosenthal expect to happen?

To lump the BJ Ryan contract with other terrible contracts in the past is preposterous. Rosenthal casually mentions that the competition for Ryan was intense with other teams, notably the Indians, close behind in terms of year and dollars. Landmark bad contracts mostly involved teams negotiating against themselves and paying contracts well above what the market dictated. Think Kevin Brown/Dodgers, Manny Ramirez/Boston, A-Rod/Texas, Denny Neagle/Colorado, Magglio Ordonez/Detroit, etc. Toronto paid what the market dictated.

Comparing Ryan's deal to past reliever deals like Mariano Rivera and, unbelievably, Bruce Sutter, is stupid. The market is fluid. Rivera signed his contract in a different market and returned to a team he was comfortable with and played for his whole career. Toronto needs to convince a player from outside the organization to move his family and life to a totally new city, and beyond that, a new country. Two totally different situations. Comparing Ryan's average annual salary to Bruce Sutter's total contract value is equally idiotic. What about how much Ryan is getting compared to Babe Ruth largest contract? Wow, now the Ryan contract looks even worse. Please.

Ken - next time take things in context instead of being so intellectually lazy so you can write your column in a few hours so you can whip up the masses into an outraged frenzy that rich billionaire owners get to keep less of their record-breaking revenues created by the talents of the best baseball players in the world.

Ron, I don't feel sorry for anyone. There are ways to compete in MLB using various management styles. Oakland, Minnesota, and Florida have done it. Do you feel sorry for them or just the teams who have had inept management in the past (Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Tampa)? I say the past because I think Tampa and the Brewers are on the upswing without having to sign $9M/year closers.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:13 PM EST (#133226) #
The Jays overpaid for Ryan, no doubt about that.. But, when you got money in your pocket, the fans demand that you spend it on the highest quality player possible... And thats exactly what he did. He's adding optimism to the fan-base and making his team that much better... Now that the rest of the baseball world knows that we're for real, you'll see alot more interest in Toronto from current and future free agents.

Congrats JP, you've done well.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST (#133227) #
But this move has eliminated the possibility of bringing in two big bats, which I don't think is a good thing.

Why has this move eliminated that possibility? Because all the big bats in baseball are free agents this year and will all go for more than the Jays can spend?
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:21 PM EST (#133228) #
NFH - You are exactly right

King Ryan - exactly right.

I still think the Jays have a shot at Giles. Other than that, I'm not sure what "big bats" are available. I think the major impediment to signing or acquiring big bats is not budget room, but rather availability. Therefore, I don't think the Ryan signing impacts the odds of succeeding or failing in acquiring the elusive big bat to as large a degree as it might seem.

Of course, I agree the offense needs to be upgraded. I will repeat what I have already said before and that is that acquiring Brian Giles is the single best move Toronto can make to improve the 2006 club.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:23 PM EST (#133229) #
Why has this move eliminated that possibility? Because all the big bats in baseball are free agents this year and will all go for more than the Jays can spend?

Who said anything about free agency?

This move has eliminated that possibility because the Jays no longer have the resources to acquire and pay for those bats, unless you're of the opinion that Kevin Mench is a big bat.

Under what scenario do you see the Jays being able to acquire two 12-15 million dollar quality bats with the cash and player resources they have at their disposal?

Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:25 PM EST (#133230) #
Other than that, I'm not sure what "big bats" are available.

Anything is available in baseball if you're willing to pay the price.

Matthew E - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:25 PM EST (#133231) #
By the way, does anyone know whether there is a tax disadvantage for players who come to Toronto? You hear this all the time in the US media, but I'm not sure it's actually true.

I heard a discussion on the FAN about this once. I think they were talking to some agent. The guy said that if you get good advice, and all major-league pro athletes can afford good advice, it's easy to set things up so that playing in Canada is tax-neutral compared to playing in the States. It might be a little more of a hassle, but it's the kind of hassle that can be passed along to an underling, so it should be seamless as far as the player's concerned.

Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:25 PM EST (#133232) #
The Jays overpaid for Ryan, no doubt about that..

I beg to differ. How much less was he willing to sign for, and where did you get the information? Or alternately, what other free agent closer who is as good or better is signing for less money? Or, the last possibility, what team has an ace closer under contract for less than the free agent costs this season that they're willing to trade away?

There's plenty of doubt about it. If there's one thing I hate it's the word "overpaid" being bandied around like it actually has meaning. B.J. Ryan is "overpaid" in the sense that all professional athletes are overpaid, but compared to what other ace closers are getting? He's above the average by what, 10%? And that average includes guys like Lidge and K-Rod who are making way, way less than they'd command on the free agent market.

The only number that matters is what a free agent is getting this year -- no other numbers have any relevance at all to the equation.
CeeBee - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:32 PM EST (#133233) #
"Under what scenario do you see the Jays being able to acquire two 12-15 million dollar quality bats with the cash and player resources they have at their disposal?"
Why do both big bats have to cost 12-15 million? Is there not the possibility of a trade for either a young big bat or a big bat thats signed for a couple more years for considerably less?

nicton - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:37 PM EST (#133234) #
How much of an improvement ( win-wise ) do you see signing Ryan have?? I know its hard ( impossible ) to measure. I'm guessing 4 games. Maybe...
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:38 PM EST (#133235) #
I didn't say anything about them costing 12-15 million. I said 12-15 million in quality.

Open question to those in support of this move: At what point do you say a free agent signing was a bad move? Is any free-agent signing automatically a good move? Is any free-agent signing at a dollar amount which is reasonable for that quality/position automatically a good move?

At what point are you willing to criticize a transaction?

Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:39 PM EST (#133236) #
Pepper - to some degree what you say is true. But I'm not sure what kind of good matches were out there with teams with productive sluggers and the Jays with their average farm system and average major league players. I am personally a little put off by JP's apparent (in public anyway) dismissal of the opportunity to acquire Manny Ramirez. Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell are other high-profile players who maybe could be had at the right price. But really, what are some names of others? We all speak in generalizations about "big bats," but what is really out there with Delgado and Thome off the market? I think Giles would be terrific and I think Frank Thomas would be risky, but if healthy, an outstanding hitter. Who else - realistically?
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:44 PM EST (#133237) #
Under what scenario do you see the Jays being able to acquire two 12-15 million dollar quality bats with the cash and player resources they have at their disposal?

Well, this assumes that the big bats are veterans with large contracts. I'm not well-versed in who has what and what the contracts are, but I'll believe you if you tell me that there are no bats available for less that $12 million. Certainly a big bat with a favorable contract will be harder to acquire, but harder isn't the same as impossible. Likewise, there are scenarios that involve partial salaries being paid by the other team (like with the Marlins and Mets). And, of course, there's always the possibility that the Jays will be able to clear some space by dealing away larger-contract players who have become expendable. Ricciardi said that they weren't going to work out Hillenbrand's contract extension until all the trade offers had been mulled over, for example. Sure, Hillenbrand doesn't make a ton of money, but he makes enough to make a difference.

And here's the last thing to think about: what if the Jays blow a chunk of next year's budget to make a push this year? They saved last year, after all -- the options aren't just "save for next year" or "spend exactly half of the money alloted for the next two years".
King Ryan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:46 PM EST (#133238) #
Mike -- I will never say that acquiring a terrific pitcher in his prime, like BJ Ryan, is a bad decision. A bad decision would be giving lots and lots of money to players who are mediocre. Like giving 8M a year to the likes of Eric Milton and Paul Wilson, or giving a ridiculous contract to Chan Ho Park. But acquiring a pitcher the calibre of Ryan can almost never be a bad move in my opinion.
Ron - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:47 PM EST (#133239) #
I just hope JP has a few things cooking in regards to bats. I think it's important at least one of the bats is a HR hitter. I looked at Giles numbers and his slugging% is high but he's not really a big HR hitter (even away from Petco he wasn't a HR masher). There were numerous times last season when the Jays were trailing after 6 innings and I wish we had a feared HR hitter in the lineup that would alter the game with one swing of the bat.

I don't know if the Reds are open to trading Dunn, but if I was the Jays GM I would be willing to give up a lot to get him.

The Jays go nowhere next season without adding 2 bats (even if AJ signs here).
nicton - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:47 PM EST (#133240) #
Corey Koskie was a terrible FA signing.


My favorite saying: "for the right price" Which side is the price right for?? Carlos Quentin for Corey Koskie is "the right price." If you are a Jay...
Thomas - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:49 PM EST (#133241) #
Pepper, I'll take a shot at your question. I don't object to the transaction like you did, although whether I support or not is another matter. My answer is a cop-out: It depends on the situation and the context. To be facetious, $15 milllion a year is too much for Ryan. I wouldn't pay that and I doubt anyone on here would. But if Ryan can bring other FAs to Toronto, if his signing allows us to trade other pitchers, etc.. etc.. it is worth more than just his performance. Again, I don't see why this precludes two big bats. We can still sign Giles and we can still sign someone like Thomas to an incentive-laden deal. There is still the ability to explore trades, which might not bring a "big bat" like you envision, but I don't really see two guaranteed big bats on the market. Only Giles.
King Ryan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:50 PM EST (#133242) #
<i>They saved last year, after all -- the options aren't just "save for next year" or "spend exactly half of the money alloted for the next two years".</i>
<p>
Except, unless you sign everyone to one year deals, the money you spend this year will total the money spent next year. Say the Jays up their payroll to 100M this season. Next season, they're payroll would probably still be 100M! And that would put them way, way overbudget.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:53 PM EST (#133243) #
I didn't say anything about them costing 12-15 million. I said 12-15 million in quality.

But your implication was that they didn't have enough money to do it, wasn't it? Or am I misunderstanding your question? I'll turn it back to you with the same question I asked before -- why is it impossible? Your answer was that they'd be worth $12-$15 million in quality, but that they don't have to cost that much... so what's your answer? I don't get it.

Open question to those in support of this move: At what point do you say a free agent signing was a bad move? Is any free-agent signing automatically a good move? Is any free-agent signing at a dollar amount which is reasonable for that quality/position automatically a good move?

At what point are you willing to criticize a transaction?


Well, I think that a free agent signing at an amount that's reasonable for the quality/position of the player is good if it addresses the needs of the team.

I don't believe that I've said that this is a great move, or that I'm all giddy inside about it. But it does improve the team and it does make the team a more attractive location and it does send that "we're serious" statement to other potential Jays.

I am defending it against charges of overpayment just because I think that the idea that B.J. Ryan would sign for significantly less is ludicrous. There are two options: pay this much for B.J. Ryan, or don't have B.J. Ryan. Now, whether or not the Jays need B.J. Ryan is a whole different animal.
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:54 PM EST (#133244) #
First, I think it's perfectly reasonable to criticize the move. I just would disagree. What I deplore is the hand-wringing of the Rosenthals of the world who scream "overpaid" every winter and lump all signings in the same basket.

I would criticize a move if the player was not good, in my view. As King Ryan alluded to earlier, signing below-average to average pitchers like Benson, Milton, and Ortiz to large contracts is poor management. Ryan is not average. He is a premier closer in my opinion. I think he can be consistently good over the life of his contract.

I think signing very good free agent players that improve your club is a good move.

I am much more hesitant about Burnett. He is more likely to be average than Ryan in my opinion.

My ideal off-season would be signing Ryan, Giles, and Thomas. I can't give reasonable speculation on trade possibilities because so little of the real substance of the trade market is public knowledge.
CeeBee - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 03:55 PM EST (#133245) #
Hindsight is 20-20, or at least close to it. Almost no signing is a bad signing until one can look back on it. Conversely, almost every signing is a risky signing because like in life, nothing is guaranteed in baseball either.
So after beating around the bush, I'll say I'm worried more about the length of the contract than the amount, but in 3 years it may look like a steal. :)
Jabes - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:03 PM EST (#133246) #
Whoever is having a dump because the Jays have signed Ryan to too high a contract and are therefore driving up the prices on FAs should relax.

If the Red Sox, Yankees, or even the O's, made this same deal would they be complaining? It's a free market, and apparently the Indians had a comperable offer so JP didn't just go crazy.
Mylegacy - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:09 PM EST (#133247) #
This is ESPN's Scouting Report on Ryan BEFORE last season:

2004 Season

B.J. Ryan posted career highs in holds (21), ERA and strikeouts in 2004, demonstrating that he has become one of the best lefthanded relievers in the American League. After the best stretch of pitching in his career during the first half, Ryan was called on as more than just a situational lefty by manager Lee Mazzilli. Ryan allowed opponents to bat just .200 against him, one of the best marks in the AL.

Pitching & Defense

Ryan has deceptive pitching motion that is tough on hitters. His best pitch is a sharp-breaking slider. Lefthanded hitters struggle mightily, as the pitch starts in the strike zone and breaks sharply down and in. Until last season, Ryan used his low-90s fastball simply to set up the slider. Now, with increased movement on the pitch, hitters must respect it. It's a reason he is more effective retiring righthanded batters, leading to an expanded role.

2005 Outlook

Ryan's steady improvement over the last three seasons makes him one of the best lefty relievers in the game. He could assume the closer role in 2005, as the Orioles' confidence in Jorge Julio has eroded the last two seasons. A solid spring could turn ninth-inning duties over to Ryan.
Mylegacy - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:15 PM EST (#133248) #
I'm a big fan of this move.

This is exactly what we got JP for. Jp (and I) think that this 29 year old lefty is poised to be the next Rivera. We cannot afford Rivera once he proves he's Rivera...BUT if JP is right we've got real value for money. We will control the best (or near best) closer for the years he's 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34...PERFECT!

Sign AJ, and trade for bats. Let the games begin!!
Flex - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:24 PM EST (#133249) #
For old time's sake I went and looked at the stats for Tom Henke's career. Fascinating that he never had more than 34 saves in any year he pitched for the Jays. He wasn't even a full time major leaguer until he was 28 (I knew Texas had jerked him around; I just didn't remember how much).

His prime years with the Jays were age 28 to age 34 -- a nice seven-year run of dominance that matches up well with the time period the Jays have locked up with Ryan (though in one of those years Tom only recorded 20 saves). His peripherals were all very similar to what Ryan has posted the last two years. As the years progressed Tom struck out fewer, though that didn't seem to hurt his effectiveness.

We were more innocent then, and it was a different era for closers, but it would be nice to think Ryan could do for us what Tom did.
rIbIt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:33 PM EST (#133250) #
Let the games begin? They have, and Toronto has been sitting in the clubhouse for years, watching other teams play.

Role definition is obviously very important in sports, particuarly, pro sports. This WILL pay off. If it doesn't, I'll cover the remaining salary for 'ol Teddy.

Not only is this a positive move, remember to factor in the addition by subtraction vs. a rival.

Prediction; TB will finish ahead of BAL - and not just because of this signing.
Cristian - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST (#133251) #
I've asked it before and no one has answered it so I'll ask again. Why is everyone worried about the years of this contract? I know last year all the cool kids were saying it's folly to sign a pitcher for more than 3 years. However, why is this? Is it the insurance? That's the only reason I can think of.
Flex - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:40 PM EST (#133252) #
It's because pitchers break down so easily and unexpectedly. Look what happened to Duane Ward: Full time closer at age 29. Done the next.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:41 PM EST (#133253) #
My point is very, very simple. You guys are looking for way too much subtext.

How, given ALL the resources the Jays have at their disposal, including, but not limited to, cash, stocks, government bonds, players under minor and major league contracts, real estate, off-shore oil investments, personal favours, classic car collections, hedge funds, call options, charitable gift annuities, 401k(s), front office personnel, outsourced call centers, cell-phone account receivables, RSPs, RRSPs, RESPs, petty cash, antique video game systems, publishing rights to popular songs, put options, charitable remainder unitrusts, junk bonds, unused airmiles, Canadian Tire money, copper futures, precious gems, Jerry Howarth, civil war memorablia, political IOUs, lunch money from Mom, merger arbitrage portfolios, and minor league stadiums, are the Jays going to able to acquire two bats, where acqusition can be through trade or free agency, of a caliber that would normally cost upwards of $12 million a season in a free market? How much more difficult is it going to be now that they've spent a roster spot and $47 million dollars over 5 years on a non-bat?
Andrew K - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:52 PM EST (#133254) #
How, given ALL the resources the Jays have at their disposal, including, but not limited to, cash, stocks, government bonds, players under minor and major league contracts, real estate, off-shore oil investments, personal favours, classic car collections, hedge funds, call options, charitable gift annuities, 401k(s), front office personnel, outsourced call centers, cell-phone account receivables, RSPs, RRSPs, RESPs, petty cash, antique video game systems, publishing rights to popular songs, put options, charitable remainder unitrusts, junk bonds, unused airmiles, Canadian Tire money, copper futures, precious gems, Jerry Howarth, civil war memorablia, political IOUs, lunch money from Mom, merger arbitrage portfolios, and minor league stadiums,...

And that's what you call a very, very simple point?

Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:56 PM EST (#133255) #
I didn't say it was short. :)
Dave Till - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:57 PM EST (#133256) #
Pepper, you forgot "cash from vending machines" and "sales of inedible hot dogs".

I'm very VERY disappointed in you. :-)
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 04:59 PM EST (#133257) #
Heh. I forgot about those sources of overpriced dreck.

Maybe they do have enough after all! :)
Ken Kosowan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:00 PM EST (#133258) #
Is anyone else having nightmares about Ken Dayley again?

I remember thinking that back then, (1991 figures) he had received a rather sweet contract.

Granted, the situation is a little different, as will Ryan's role; however... I see similarities between the two southpaws.

Does anyone else?
Cristian - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:01 PM EST (#133259) #
How, given ALL the resources the Jays have at their disposal, including, but not limited to, cash, stocks, government bonds, players under minor and major league contracts, real estate, off-shore oil investments, personal favours, classic car collections, hedge funds, call options, charitable gift annuities, 401k(s), front office personnel, outsourced call centers, cell-phone account receivables, RSPs, RRSPs, RESPs, petty cash, antique video game systems, publishing rights to popular songs, put options, charitable remainder unitrusts, junk bonds, unused airmiles, Canadian Tire money, copper futures, precious gems, Jerry Howarth, civil war memorablia, political IOUs, lunch money from Mom, merger arbitrage portfolios, and minor league stadiums,...

Very funny. I love how Jerry Howarth is thrown into the mix.

Are top tier relief pitchers really that prone to blowing up? When was the last time Rivera or Wagner had a bad year? We're locking up Ryan for his age 30-35 years, which should be his prime. Arguably JP could have scoured the waiver wire and tried to find the next Derrick Turnbow, failing that relied on Frasor or Speier. I still think that the amphetamine ban will make blazing fastballs even harder to hit. It's no wonder JP is going after stuff. Let's see how slow the bats are this coming year. It may not be such a bad thing to go after pitching in this market.

Dylan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:03 PM EST (#133260) #
I think it's way too early to say whether this is overpayment or not. The deal hasnt been finalized and other closers havn't signed. There isnt much to compare it too, the market hasnt been diffined. Everyone is comparing it to Rivera but that was a different market. Also if the Jays are able to move Batista, his salary has to be taken into consideration. If Ryan isnt signed Batista most likely stays. I know he was mentioned in trades before but I think that was a product of the Jays expecting to sign a closer.

If this deal is made, its not a terrible signing, he's a great closer, and it shows other FAs that the Jays are committed to winning and willing to spend to do it. Allthough I would have liked to see the Jays go after Tom Gordon, who still has some good years left and wouldnt have commanded as long of a commitment.

Pistol - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:08 PM EST (#133261) #
I don't know why it's any more difficult for the Jays to acquire two '$12 million' bats today than it was on earlier this week. They have about $15-17 million to add to their current payroll and can easily move Lilly and Batista to add another $10 million if they wanted to.

The cash isn't the problem in the Jays quest to acquire hitters - it's finding a willing partner to get it done (either signing a player or a team to trade with).

Now if they sign both Burnett and Ryan cash is more of a consideration if two big bats are going to be acquired. But right now I don't see why it's stopping the Jays from upgrading the lineup (and I'm not certain two '$12 million' bats are really necessary - an upgrade in RF and DH production would go a long way).
Jdog - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:14 PM EST (#133262) #
Im glad to see Ryan as a BJ , my father will now be able to watch the whole game with me and not leave when he hears Batista is warming up. But, i just dont agree with spending big money on a bullpen guy period. Bobby Jenks was the closer for the most recent champion, who was the previous one? Anyways for those saying that this signing lets others know the Jays are serious about winning and paying for players.....i say take the 9 million you are going to pay Ryan and split it up and add 4.5 million to the max you are willing to go to get Giles and Burnett....or any other player that will have a greater opportunity to affect a game. That being said......just please add another Bat....we just need someone who is going to improve the team by being in the line-up every game. Booya
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:17 PM EST (#133263) #
So you said it's impossible and I said tell me why is it impossible and you said nuh-uh YOU tell me how it's possible.

But seeing as how I had listed some ways I thought it was possible and you didn't address 'em, I'll say NUH-UH YOU TELL ME WHY IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!

Stamped it, no erasies!
RhyZa - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:22 PM EST (#133264) #
It's fun to gauge the reaction for this deal from different sites. For example, I'm enjoying SOSH's take on this deal, see the last few pages of the non Red Sox off season thread. Naturally, there are those that are critical of the move, but then there are also some really insightful posts defending the move.

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=1973&st=120

Off topic but somewhat related... being a fan of all sports, almost to unhealthy levels in some, it never fails to amaze me that baseball has the smartest fans, by far.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:26 PM EST (#133265) #
They simply don't have enough money or prospects. It's that simple.

But since you like challenges, here's one.

There were 61 hitters last year with VORPs over 40. A VORP of 40 isn't anywhere near a $15 million a year player, but I'm being generous (David Eckstein had a VORP over 40 last year).

I bet that the Jays will not acquire two or more of them between now and April 1.

What's your wager?
jgadfly - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST (#133266) #
RE;Ryan...of all the FA signed(or rumoured2bs) so far who would you want to acquire for your BJ's... Tanyon Sturtze (age 35) for $1.5M/1yr...Scott Eyre(age 34)for $11M/3yr...Bob Howrey(age 32)for $12M/3yr...Billy Wagner(age34) for $40M+/4yr...BJ Ryan(age29)$47m/5yrs...Ryan has both his age and success working in his favour...in 5yrs time he will still be younger than all of these guys will be at the end of their contracts...He's the best fit so far...the scary aspect is that Cleveland could still top the BJ's
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:47 PM EST (#133267) #
Just for kicks, since the Jays last made the playoffs, here are the closers in the World Series matchups, champs first:

2005: Bobby Jenks, Brad Lidge
2004: Keith Foulke, Jason Isringhausen
2003: Ugueth Urbina, Mariano Rivera
2002: Troy Percival, Robb Nen
2001: Byung-Hyun Kim, Mariano Rivera
2000: Mariano Rivera, Armando Benitez
1999: Mariano Rivera, John Rocker
1998: Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman
1997: Robb Nen, Jose Mesa
1996: John Wetteland, Mark Wohlers
1995: Mark Wohlers, Jose Mesa

I'll leave it to Magpie or someone to put together data tables on the value of closers, but suffice to say, in the years in which the above pitchers appeared in each respective World Series, the guy usually was having a fantastic year.

Some you might laugh at today, such as Mark Wohlers, John Rocker, Jose Mesa, or Byung-Hyun Kim. But in the year their respective teams made the World Series, they were dominant at least in the regular season. That includes Bobby Jenks. I am sure there are exceptions, but they are just that - exceptions, not the rule. I don't think Miguel Batista or Jason Frasor would or could put together the type of season most of the above guys put together in their World Series year.

I'm not sure what this proves, if anything. I just thought of this on the fly, so feel free to poke large holes in this argument if I'm wrong or I'm making no sense or using false logic. I just thought the list was interesting.
Nick - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 05:53 PM EST (#133268) #
But Mike - which of those 61 players do you think was a realistic and sensible acquisition target before the BJ Ryan signing and now, as a result of the Ryan signing, are no longer possible to acquire? Name names, dammit! :)
6-4-3 - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:18 PM EST (#133269) #
The VORP list is here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=1

Possible targets include Nick Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Dunn, Burrell, Alou, Floyd, Giles, and Abreu. The "easiest" way to get the two 40+ guys would be to sign Giles and trade for Johnson, Dunn, or Abreu.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:19 PM EST (#133270) #
Nick has it -- Moffatt, you're saying that by signing B.J. Ryan they can't have these guys, which implies that they could before -- otherwise, what's the problem with signing B.J. Ryan?

I'll look at your wager, though, and see what I want to bet. I think there should be something to go with the team record, too, if they don't get two major-major bats.
King Ryan - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 06:38 PM EST (#133271) #
61 players, eh? Let's go through them.

1. Derrek Lee. Wasn't going to happen then or now.
2. Alex Rodriguez. Ditto
3. Albert Pujols. Hah!
4. David Ortiz. Not a chance in hell.
5. Jason Bay. Wow...Jason Bay number five?
6. Michael Young. I don't want him.
7. Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins aren't That Crazy.
8. Travis Hafner. Not chance then, not a chance now.
9. Mark Teixeira. Maybe if we traded Halladay.
10. Vladimir Guerrero. Not a chance then, not a chance now.
11. Carlos Delgado. Too late.
12. Miguel Tejada. Not then, not now.
13. Brian Roberts. Not then, not now.
14. Manny Ramirez. Too much money, even before Ryan.
15. Todd Helton. Rockies won't trade him.
16. Derek Jeter. LOL
17. David Wright. Not then, not now.
18. Brian Giles. Still have a chance.
19. Chase Utley. Could probably be acquired. Don't see how Ryan changes this.
20. Morgan Ensberg. Nah.
21. Andruw Jones. Not then, not now.
22. Jeff Kent. Not then, not now.
23. Victor Martinez. Not then, not now.
24. Ken Griffey Jr.. No thanks.
25. Jason Giambi. NTNN
26. Jhonny Peralta. NTNN
27. Bobby Abreu. JP wasn't interested in his contract even before signing Ryan.
28. Gary Sheffield. NTNN
29. Paul Konerko. Still have a chance.
30. Richie Sexson. Might be able to acquire him. Ryan's signing won't affect it.
31. Lance Berkman. NTNN
32. Adam Dunn. Heh. I highly doube we had the resources to acquire Dunn anyways. But if we did, we still do.
33. Grady Sizemore. NTNN
34. Hideki Matsui. NTNN
35. Felipe Lopez. Heh. Overrated anyways.
36. Jim Edmonds. NTNN
37. Pat Burrell. Might be able to acquire him. Ryan's signing won't affect it.
38. Julio Lugo. Julio Lugo???
39. Jimmy Rollins. Nope.
40. Geoff Jenkins. Uh, no.
41. Rafael Furcal. Wasn't going to sign him regardless.
42. Johnny Damon. No thanks.
43. Marcus Giles. NTNN
44. Chipper Jones. NTNN
45. Aramis Ramirez. NTNN
46. Moises Alou. No thanks.
47. Alfonso Soriano. No thanks.
48. Chad Tracy. Meh.
49. Carl Crawford. 2007 MVP? NTNN
50. Cliff Floyd. Hmmm. This is an intersesting option. Not affected by the Ryan signing though.
51. Jason Varitek. NTNN
52. Troy Glaus. Maybe we could acquire him. He makes a lot, but not so much that it's really hurt by the Ryan signing.
53. Ichiro!. NTNN
54. Tony Clark. No thanks
55. Bill Hall. Bill Hall?
56. Nick Johnson. Could probably get him for Rios, knowing Bowden.
57. Mike Sweeney. Nah.
58. Mark Ellis. Nah.
59. Melvin Mora. Move all 5 of his children to Canada?
60. Joe Mauer. Bwahaha!
61. David Eckstein. Nah.

Well, that was fun. So, in conclusion, we can still maybe get Giles+Burrell.

Chuck - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:01 PM EST (#133272) #
"Is anyone else having nightmares about Ken Dayley again?... I see similarities between the two southpaws."

Dayley's K/BB and K/9 ratios the 3 years prior to becoming a Blue Jay:
2.0:1, 4.8:1
1.3:1, 6.3:1
1.7:1, 6.2:1

Ryan's ratios over the past 3 seasons:
2.3:1, 11.3:1
3.5:1, 12.6:1
3.8:1, 12.9:1

They appear to be very different animals.



Wildrose - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST (#133273) #
perlhack - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:26 PM EST (#133274) #
59. Melvin Mora. Move all 5 of his children to Canada?

I believe the quintuplets have an older sibling, hence Mora has six children.

Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:32 PM EST (#133275) #
Moffatt, you're saying that by signing B.J. Ryan they can't have these guys, which implies that they could before

YES. That's exactly what I'm saying.

I don't understand why people can't seem to understand that. I think I've been very crystal clear about this point - that spending $47 million dollars will tend to limit your options somewhat. I really don't see what's so difficult to understand about that. I mean, you might disagree, fine, but I don't see why people don't understand what I'm trying to say.

Chuck - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:32 PM EST (#133276) #
Oops. I appear to have gone a little crazy cutting and pasting all those ":1"s. Obviously the K/9 ratios shouldn't be n:1!!!
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 07:37 PM EST (#133277) #
But Mike - which of those 61 players do you think was a realistic and sensible acquisition target before the BJ Ryan signing and now, as a result of the Ryan signing, are no longer possible to acquire? Name names, dammit! :)

I think they could have got two of them before. Two of Giles, Burell, Dunn, Ramirez, Griffey Jr., and Abreu.

They can't now. Suppose they sign Giles. Given all the raises everyone is due, that pretty much exhausts their payroll room. Where are they going to get the money to pay the high salary of one of these guys and find the talent to acquire them and the roster spot (okay, the roster spot is a really easy problem to deal with). It's a much, much easier problem when you've got an extra roster spot and $9 million kicking around.

But hey, if it's still possible, J.P. would be crazy not to do it, right? I mean, everyone agrees that the Jays need more bats. I'm putting my money where my mouth is and saying that it won't happen. I even made this wager laughable favourable for the opposition, but putting the cutoff low enough to include guys like Utley and Eckstein, who clearly aren't what we mean by "big bat". Yet nobody is in a rush to take my money. Hmmm.

Wildrose - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:01 PM EST (#133278) #
To a degree I'm torn by this deal. We've just spent 9 million/year for somebody who'll give us only 70-80 innings per season (albeit those innings are in so-called high leverage situations), whose chance of injury is fairly high in the next 5 years, on a team whose strength is pitching, particularly in the bullpen and that has a significant weakness in scoring runs, that has not been addressed.

Now if this signing can somehow lead, to better hitting down the road, I'll be happy and I'm prepared to wait for this outcome.

Any time in an environment like Toronto, where you can improve your talent base with an outstanding talent like Ryan it's a good day. Ricciardi's dictum that good hitting is easier to aquire, than good pitching, will be put to the test.
Gerry - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:06 PM EST (#133279) #
Mike:

Before the season ended JP said the Jays were looking for two bats, not 30 home run guys, but more Hillebrand/Koskie guys. Those guys don't cost $12 mil. So you are correct, JP will not be signing two $12 mil bats, but I believe he never intended to.
brent - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:29 PM EST (#133280) #
I agree with Ron. I still feel for small markets, and baseball does need a cap (NYY, NYM, Bos, LA) are the biggest offenders. A cap at 100 million still wouldn't help these teams without being able manage themselves better.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 08:53 PM EST (#133281) #
Obviously he never intended to do that if he signed Ryan. That's precisely my point!
Ron - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:02 PM EST (#133282) #
I'm not in favor of a hard cap ala NFL and NHL.

I wouldn't mind seeing a NBA type cap where you can resign your own players above the cap. Of course this cuts down your chances of signing FA's though. If not a hard cap, I wouldn't mind seeing a lower luxury tax threshold with a dollar for dollar tax above the set limit.

Oh yeah btw has there even been a study that indicates what are the 5 prime years for hitters, SP, and RP's?

If I had to guess I would say ages 27-31.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:09 PM EST (#133283) #
Not sure but (on average) I think hitters are in their prime around 27-29.
slitheringslider - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:17 PM EST (#133284) #
I think average power hitters and power pitchers peak in their mid-twenties, around 24-26 (I know it is surprising). Contact hitters and control pitchers peak in their late twenties, around 27-29. I don't remember where I read this, but this is it as far as I remember.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:47 PM EST (#133285) #
Yet nobody is in a rush to take my money.

Now now, I was trying to figure out what to bet you and then Theo got into the cupboard and dumped a five litre bottle of vinegar all over himself. And then after I washed him and while I was changing him he had the mother of all poo bombs.

Moffatt, if J.P. doesn't pick up two of those 40 or better VORP guys by Spring Training, I'll cut off all my hair. I won't shave my head bald, mind you, but I'll cut all this shoulder length hair I've been growing since Theo was born.

What'll you do if he does acquire two?
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:50 PM EST (#133286) #
Moffatt, if J.P. doesn't pick up two of those 40 or better VORP guys by Spring Training, I'll cut off all my hair. I won't shave my head bald, mind you, but I'll cut all this shoulder length hair I've been growing since Theo was born.

What'll you do if he does acquire two?

I'll shave my head bald. :)

Anders - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:51 PM EST (#133287) #
"I think they could have got two of them before. Two of Giles, Burell, Dunn, Ramirez, Griffey Jr., and Abreu."

I think there is a basic problem with this assumption. Sure, the Jays *could* have gotten two of those guys before. I dont think there was any realistic way that was going to happen though. The fact that we may now be precluded from getting two of these guys doesnt change the fact that we werent going to get two of these guys anyway.


Giles: We may still sign, for upwards of 10 million.

Burrell: Has 3 years left on a six year, 50 million dollar deal, roughly 8+ million per. I would absolutely love to have him, but I doubt the Phillies would be looking at much less than a Wells type player in return. I dont see how money (his contract is quite reasonable) changes anything.

Dunn: Made 4.6 million this year on a one year deal to avoid arbitration. Going into his fifth year, he's gonna make some green. A long term deal is coming at some point. We would have to give up a ton to get him. I dont think BJ changes any of this. I doubt he'd get 12-15 million dollars though.

Ramirez: The Jays would probably have to take a large portion of the 3/57 he is still guaranteed (with 12 million deferred) and/or give up some good prospects. Would he come to T.O.? probably not. Sure, money affects this.

Junior: He just turned 36, and he's played in 445/810 games the last 5 seasons. I believe his contract (9/116.5) runs for another 4 years or so, with a ton of deffered money. Pass thanks.

Abreu: We would have had to give up Wells. Wasn't gonna happen. I believe he's going into the last year of his contract, and is supposed to make 13+ million.
We passed on Abreu a long time ago.

I completely agree that we're not going to get two of these players. I would bet a lot on it too. Because it was never going to happen. The only one of these players I see this 5/47 affecting is Manny, because thats just really a money issue. That said, Manny doesnt want to play here. Junior's old and done, and we'd all love Dunn/Burrell/Abreu, but I dont think were really in a position to acquire one of them, let alone two.

The only way this affects us is how much money we have to spend on the free agent market. We could still sign one of the catchers and Giles if we wanted. The only two bats I dont think we can bring in now are Giles and Konerko, and we didnt want Konerko anyway.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:53 PM EST (#133288) #
I'll shave my head bald.

How is that different from your normal haircut?
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 09:55 PM EST (#133289) #
Umm.. a lot less hair and a lot less money spent on hair dye?
Fawaz - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:01 PM EST (#133290) #
Does anyone have any idea what Tampa Bay's payroll situation is going to be like next year? I can see new management being interested in dealing from it's glut of outfield talent (come home, Jonny!) for a couple of guys that would instantly be their no. 2 and 3 starters in Batista and Lilly (I'm hoping that Lilly becomes expendable after JP announces his second major signing in AJ Burnett). There'd have to be more to the deal (cash), but it's the kind of thing this signing makes possible with respect to premium bats.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:07 PM EST (#133291) #
I'd like to match the spirit of your bet, but you probably picked the wrong guy to offer a hair related bet to, as I change my haircut and facial hair about 15 times a year. I mean I even dyed my hair hot pink* because I was going to a Conservative Party convention. So I'm pretty flexible on the hair thing.

* I didn't really dye my whole head hot pink. That would be dumb. Instead I got really bleached out cap hilights, then dyed *that* pink. Which is much cooler. :)
Mike Green - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:18 PM EST (#133292) #
"Cap hilights"? Man, I'm old.

The Jays did score 775 runs last year. The addition of one big bat and one or two secondary bats could push that figure over 800 runs. That'll work with an improved and hopefully slimmed-down bullpen.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:20 PM EST (#133293) #
Heh.. cap hilights are rarely used these days. Most people prefer foil hilights because pulling hair through the caps hurts. But with caps, you can get the bleach closer to the root.
Ron - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:33 PM EST (#133295) #
Call me crazy but I like getting hair highlights through the cap method. I actually enjoy the feeling when my hairdresser plucks the hairs out!
budgell - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:41 PM EST (#133296) #
ok, when did this thread verr into queer eye territory? have faith in j.p.. b.j.'s signing is (i hope) part of a master plan. the 40 man roster WILL look significantly different a week from now, including a significant offence upgrade.
Named For Hank - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 10:58 PM EST (#133297) #
Doesn't have to be hair. Make me an offer, Moffatt!

You'll buy tickets to the Lord of the Rings musical on a night when there's baseball?
Jonny German - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:02 PM EST (#133298) #
The Jays go nowhere next season without adding 2 bats (even if AJ signs here).

Interesting... so if the Jays bring back exactly the same lineup, the one that scored 775 runs in 2005, they'll go nowhere. 775 runs just ain't enough, no matter how good your pitching is. Is that what you're saying? Somebody better tell the White Sox, because they just won the World Series fielding a team that only scored 741 runs.

I even made this wager [laughably] favourable for the opposition

No you didn't; you picked the random definition that a "big bat" is somebody who had a VORP over 40 in 2005, not to mention taking it as written in stone that two of these big bats are undeniably 100% essential to the Jays having the remotest chance of winning the World Series. I say the Jays would have to be considered strong contenders if they were to acquire Frank Thomas, Jonny Gomes, and Austin Kearns. This is entirely possible, and none of these three met your 40 VORP criterion.

Smaj - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:06 PM EST (#133299) #
Interesting questions posed concerning the acquisition of offence vs. more pitching and associated costs. Here is a rough breakdown (with ample speculation) of the projected payroll for 2006 (also shows 2005 salaries as well).

PLAYER SALARY 2005 (US$) 2006 Salary:

1. Roy Halladay 10,500,000 = $12.7
2. Miguel Batista = (4,750,000 TRADE?)
3. Shea Hillenbrand 3,870,000 = $5m in arb???
4. Corey Koskie 3,500,000 = $5.25
5. Ted Lilly 3,100,000 = $3.5M in arb???
6. Eric Hinske 3,100,000 = $4.325
7. Vernon Wells 3,070,000 = $4.3
8. Frank Catalanotto 2,700,000 =($2.7M TRADE?)
9. Scott Schoeneweis 2,500,000 = $2.75
10. Justin Speier 1,900,000 = $2.25
11. Gregg Zaun 950,000 = $1M
12. Pete Walker 400,000 = $500,000???
13. John McDonald 400,000 = $500,000???
14. Orlando Hudson 365,000 =($3M?????TRADE?)
15. Josh Towers 358,000 = $2.3M
16. Reed Johnson 342,000 = $342,000???
17. Jason Frasor 332,500 = $332,500
18. Alex Rios 331,000 = $331,000
19. Dave Bush 327,500 = $327,500
20. Vinnie Chulk 326,000 = $326,000
21. Gabe Gross 318,500 = $318,500
22. Russ Adams 316,000 = $316,000
23. Gustavo Chacin 316,000 = $316,000
24. Brandon League 316,000 = $316,000
25. Guillermo Quiroz 316,000 = $316,000

Total Team Salary: $45,038,500 in 2005
Projected for 2006 SO FAR (assuming ARB etc.): $58.06M
Include $8M in 2006? for BJ Ryan = $ 66.06M for 2006
Subtract Pete Walker from Roster = $ 65.56 for 2006

If the Jays are targeting $80M Payroll for 2006 the balance remaining is very roughly $14.44M

Assuming Batista is traded adds $4.75M = $19.19M Balance

Possibly trade Catalanatto's $2.7M = $21.89M Balance

**IF THE JAYS HAVE $21.89M balance** JP could possibly:

1) offer Giles 3 years at $11.5M/per ($10M; $11.5M & $13M) which may be high bid.

Bringing 2006 Budgetary balance = $11.89M Left

2) offer AJ Burnett 5 years at $10M (could backload contract)

2006 Budget has $1.89M Left

3) Assume Batista & Cat went to Texas for Mench (Mench =$3M in ARB???)

Jays are only $81.11M in 2006.

*JP could backload contracts to free more cash
*Who has ever said $80M is the 2006 Budget?
*Jays still have the Hudson, Adams & Hill conundrum.
*Would still have Lilly & a glut in the bullpen with Downs unaccounted for in above salary structure.

Again the ARBITRATION Factor is a massive unknown variable in predicting the 2006 Team Salary. But to say that strong offers to both Giles & Burnett are not fiscally feasible given the BJ Ryan offer does not appear accurate.

At this point why not attempt to sign all three targeted Free Agents (BJ, AJ & Giles)? Is an $85M Payroll in 2006 unrealistic? Probably not if all 3 Free Agents are acquired.

Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:28 PM EST (#133300) #
Interesting... so if the Jays bring back exactly the same lineup, the one that scored 775 runs in 2005, they'll go nowhere.

Yes. 775 runs just ain't enough, no matter how good your pitching is. Is that what you're saying?

No. Somebody better tell the White Sox, because they just won the World Series fielding a team that only scored 741 runs.

Ignore context much? But let's use your logic. Last year the White Sox won 99 games last year. Generally speaking, 11 runs equals a win. So by your logic, the Jays should win about 102 games next season.

Would you care to wager that the Jays will win over 97 games next season? It's a pretty good bet for you - I mean, I'm giving you 5 games in hand.

No you didn't; you picked the random definition that a "big bat" is somebody who had a VORP over 40 in 2005

Fine. Pick another definition. I feel my criteria was pretty generous - I wouldn't consider there to be 61 big bats in baseball. Sure the list is somewhat arbitrary, as it left out some very good hitters, but it also left in some not very good ones.

I know the off-season is the time for optimism, but this is getting crazy. This team has played .480 baseball over the last 4 years and have had 3 losing seasons over that time. They've got a number of glaring weaknesses, yet the seem to be addressing areas that wouldn't seem to be of critical importance.

Okay, you don't like my suggestion that the Jays need two big bats. That's fine - I doubt many people will. In your eyes, what must the Jays do to have a reasonable chance at a playoff spot (whatever you define reasonable as - 10%? 25%? 40%?)

Wildrose - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:31 PM EST (#133301) #
Nice summary Smaj, a few points...

-Reed Johnson is arbitration eligible.

-Perhaps the team could pay 50-70% of Hinske's salary and dump him on a team with a need for third basemen. I'd expect nothing of value back.

-Ricciardi has stated numerous times he's willing to spend 85 million this year.

-Hudson's arbitration numbers seem a little high for a first year arbitration player whose main value is defence which is hard to quantify.

-I'm not sure they'd trade the Cat, unless they had more faith in Gross.
Jonny German - Saturday, November 26 2005 @ 11:57 PM EST (#133302) #
Ignore context much?

No, I don't. You'll notice I didn't say the Jays were a better offensive team than the Sox - by OPS+ they were equal. I'm sure you could find a different measure to show that the Sox were indeed better, but I doubt it would be by much and I'll shave MY head bald if the Sox were the worst offensive team to ever win the Series.

But let's use your logic. Last year the White Sox won 99 games last year. Generally speaking, 11 runs equals a win. So by your logic, the Jays should win about 102 games next season.

No idea how you arrived at that as my logic. My point was simply that the current Jays offense is not by definition too weak to win the World Series. In combination with their pitching, it probably is, and I'm certainly not advocating that they do nothing to try to improve their offence going into 2006. But the major, important difference between the Jays and Sox of 2005 had nothing to do with offence.

Fine. Pick another definition. I feel my criteria was pretty generous - I wouldn't consider there to be 61 big bats in baseball.

Whether or not your criterion was generous, it was based on the assumption that two big bats are what is needed. I disagreed - none of Thomas, Gomes, or Kearns would really fit a legitimate definition of "big bat", but as I said I'd like the Jays chances with those three on board.

I'm not going to try to set a definition of what the Jays need to do to be a contender in 2006 - they need to add more talent, yes, but there are so many thousands of ways they could go about that that setting a definition of what they must do beyond "they need to add more talent" is a mug's game.

I don't deny that I'm an optimist. My optimism stems from my assessment of the assets on hand and my confidence in Ricciardi & Co. Many of you don't have any confidence in Ricciardi & Co. Some of you seem to believe the Yankees and Red Sox are indominatable, that they have some sort of supernatural protection that will keep them from ever coming back to the pack. You're welcome to those opinions.

actionjackson - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:02 AM EST (#133303) #
I know the thread has moved on a bit, but I have to re-visit that Rosenthal article.
'O Rosen-thal, O Rosen-thal; How sil-ly is your ar-ti-cle,
You made me laugh; 'Til I did cry,
I thought that I; Would split my side
O Rosen-thal, O Rosen-thal...'

Where do I start. First he says the Indians were willing to go 4, maybe 5 years. Therefore, the winning bid was going to have to be 5 years, and it was. Then, he says a more reasonable contract would be 3/$27 mil, which averages out to $9 mil per season. How is it that 5/$47 mil is so much more unpalatable than 5/$45 mil?

Then, he drags out Bruce Sutter's contract from yesteryear. What the %#@&! Well, let me do the same. Before 1981, Dave Winfield was given a 10/$25 mil contract by the New York Yankees. Before 2001, Alex Rodriguez was given a 10/$252 mil contract by the Texas Rangers. Comparisons like these are lazy and laughable, and a decent, respected writer like Rosenthal should know better. It's like taking a great hitter from the deadball era and an average hitter from the steroid-inflated '90's and concluding (without adjusting for eras, ballparks etc) that because the '90's hitter's raw OPS is better, he is the better hitter. Ludicrous!

Then, he drags Milton, Ortiz, Benson, Wilson into the conversation equating their horrible signings with Ryan's. Maybe the reason Ryan got so much money is because league average starters like that are getting $8 mil+ per year. Please, don't put Ryan in the same category as those stiffs. It's insulting even to the average baseball fan's intelligence.

Do I think Ryan's signing was the right opening move for the Jays? I'm torn. I look at the 5 years we won the division and all the others we legitimately contended for it and we always had 1 and sometimes 2 lights out closers. I know Batista is not in that class. Was there a need? Yes. Was it of the first priority? No. However, it does set us up quite nicely for the Winter Meetings, so despite the steep price, I think it was the right move. Others need to follow in order to put us in a position to truely contend, but, on balance, I like it. That doesn't mean I don't share Rosenthal's feelings that the market is insane, but the market is what the market is, you either go all in or you fold, and folding is not acceptable to the restless natives, who call themselves Jays fans.

...Now, let's clear some salaries and get some hitters and maybe a Burnett. Although, he will be extremely expensive, what about Millwood? Or, does anyone know of teams needing to shed salary, who would be looking to trade a pitcher? Beckett was traded last week: the price (taking on Lowell) was silly talk for the Jays, but I wonder if there are any Lowell's out there that play corner OF, that would be worth gambling on, in conjunction with a young pitching stud. You know, guys who had a bad season, and their employer's are itching to get out from under their huge contracts, but in order to do so, they have to offer us a good pitcher, as happened in that case. We've got to think outside the box (not da Box), as it were. Hmmm...
Oleg - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:16 AM EST (#133304) #
I seem to remember way back in an interview with either Ricciardi or Keith Law that they mentioned that they were of the opinion that that a good bullpen in the A.L. was undervalued. It was something along the lines of a good bullpen is just as important as a good starting rotation. Could this be in keeping with that approach? Does anyone else remember Ricciardi or Law saying that?
Ron - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:24 AM EST (#133305) #
"Interesting... so if the Jays bring back exactly the same lineup, the one that scored 775 runs in 2005, they'll go nowhere. 775 runs just ain't enough, no matter how good your pitching is. Is that what you're saying? Somebody better tell the White Sox, because they just won the World Series fielding a team that only scored 741 runs. "

- I know the Jays finished 5th in the AL last season in runs scored, but nobody that followed the Jays from Game 1 to Game 162 would say the Jays had a good offence. They often scored a lot of runs when the game was already out of reach. If the bats stay the same, I feel like they might not score 775 runs next season.

- The Jays pitching last season wasn't the main reason they failed to make the playoffs. They simply didn't clutch up after 6 innings in tight games. There simply wasn't anybody on the roster that could change the game with one swing of the bat.

- The Jays could bring in AJ but the offence still looks extremely weak. Heck the Jays had Hillenbrand or Koskie batting clean-up for most of the season. Mark my words, if Koskie or Hillenbrand is the main clean-up hitter for next season, the Jays won't win 90 games, and thus miss the playoffs.
jamesq - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:51 AM EST (#133307) #
Anyone know why there hasn't been an official confirmation that a deal has been struck (pending a physical or whatever). Given the denials reported in the press by the jay's front office, am I being sceptical when I say this may not happen?


Are the jays rethinking it? Is BJ holding out for some other team to top the jays offer?

Magpie - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:00 AM EST (#133308) #
They often scored a lot of runs when the game was already out of reach.

Really?

How often? More than other teams?

People just say things...

RhyZa - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:16 AM EST (#133310) #
I'm sure JP buys into the high leverage innings theory, which would in all likelihood make the value of a star closer greater than a starter who would probably demand a similar deal in the current market. And I also assume he feels the guarantee on the return of the investment is a much safer bet than an SP (debatable, but especially with Ryan I'd say less injury risk and the #'s support less of a chance of underperforming), which is why priority wise he didn't hesitate on adding this piece now and working on the others subsequently.
Thomas - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:16 AM EST (#133312) #
Oleg, I remember him saying that, as well. I donít remember when, though.
MattAtBat - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 03:44 AM EST (#133313) #
I remember it too. JP talked about shortening the game in AL is as important as having a deep bullpen in the NL (or something to that effect.)
ds - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:54 AM EST (#133314) #
Wow...huge thread going on here. Great discussion though.

My two cents:

There are only a couple of elite players on the FA market that are available to be signed. I would much rather see the Jays overpay for one of those players than spending less money on a player who is only 65% as good. Why spend more money on Konerko for less years when he's not even an elite player? You can trade other assets to get a comparable player.

I actually prefer getting Ryan over getting Burnett. The advantage of Ryan over someone like Burnett is that he doesn't have the same injury concerns. Yes, pitchers can fall off ay any point.....but there is always some risk with every signing. At least there is no history of arm problems.

I think it is easier for a team to break in a starter than to break in a closer. A pitcher has a couple of bad starts....no problem. A team can afford for a starting pitcher to work through any issues. A closer has a couple of bad games.....it becomes very deflating to his teammates. I think Batista did an admirable job considering his experience in the role, but he is not that lights out closer that a team would love to have...which is now in Toronto.

If McGowan is not able to cut it as a starter by the end of next year, I could see them moving him into a setup role for Ryan. He was outstanding out of the bullpen this past season. It would be like the old days of Ward / Henke. Imagine that for the next 5 years.

The Jays are now in an even better position to trade some of their surplus arms for a bat. I would think all of Lilly, Batista, Chacin, Bush, Jackson, Banks, Janssen, League and Marcum would be available. I doubt Towers, McGowan, Romero or Purcey would be traded anywhere, unless the reward was too good to pass up. That's a lot trading chits that Toronto currently has. The only issue is finding a trading partner.

Ryan as an acquistion by himself would receive a thumbs down for the offseason, strictly because it does not address all the team's issues. But if by signing Ryan it allows them more flexibility in trading, well I'm all for it. Yes, 10 million is a lot to pay for a closer. But that is the going market rate. If you can't develop elite players in house or trade for them, you have to step up and sign them when they are available. JP has done that. Let's just hope that BJ holds up his end and performs like he has the last two years.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:58 AM EST (#133317) #
I don't deny that I'm an optimist. My optimism stems from my assessment of the assets on hand and my confidence in Ricciardi & Co.

I think this is exactly it. I think there's a *lot* of unwarranted confidence in this front office. They've done a number of great things in the past, such as gutting salary without too much impact on the field, and acquring free talent such as Zaun, Towers, and Walker.

What they haven't been able to do is construct a roster that wins ballgames. In my view, the team spends way too much focus on pitching, overemphasizes "character" at the expense of talent, carries too many pitchers, carries too many infielders, tries to have *all* their bats be identical (a moderately high average hitter that doesn't strike out too much and hits 10-20 homerruns) instead of having a diversified offensive attack, lacks a good bench, doesn't carry enough talent in AAA for injury insurance (Syracuse hasn't had a winning season under this front office).

Again, I expect most of you will disagree with some/all of that. Just one's person's take, though I expect that it will be verified in the results of the upcoming season.

Some of you seem to believe the Yankees and Red Sox are indominatable

I sure don't. That's what is so frustrating about watching this roster construction and watching .480 baseball for the last 4 years. The Red Sox and Yankees can be beaten!

RE: NFH - Lord of the Rings tickets, eh? That should be doable. Now I just need to think of something that I'd like.

jmoney - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:15 AM EST (#133319) #
Well I've digested the deal for a few days. I've read this board. The link to the thread on SOSH, and I have to say I feel pretty good about the deal.

I guess I was one of those guys that always thought you should cobble a bullpen together on the cheap, and spend your cash on your starting 9 and top 3 starters.

I think J.P. tried just that with varying results.

A bullpen on the cheap seems to be a luck based proposition since average relievers seem to have up and down years.

When it comes to Ryan. I think the Jays got one of the best relievers in baseball and when you look at what he makes annually its not out of wack with what the other top guys in the business are getting.

The only issue is five years... But if you absolutely had to give out a five year contract (Which I figure J.P. did have to do) then I figure a guy like Ryan is the guy to do it.

I think there is a lot more cost certainty in this contract then a somewhat similar contract to Burnett. (Who I still hope we sign)
BallGuy - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:27 AM EST (#133320) #
I disagree with what you say about the front office Pepper. I can see critics' points when it comes to 'success' on the field of play but here is why I personally have confidence in JP and staff.
The Ryan signing reminds me of the Carter/Alomar trade because it is bold and makes an impact on the team. The Carter/Alomar trade was part of a series of moves (as I suspect the Ryan deal is as well) that all lead to a stronger team. At that time Gillick had a plan; he didn't make it public and was second guessed often for his moves (or lack there of) just like JP is today. JP has always had a plan and now that he has some extra money to play with he can change the plan so he can do some different things. Sure he is being criticized for not doing his "Moneyball" thing but he doesn't have to now because of the extra money.
By the time we hit Spring Training we will see more of JP's plan in place.
kinuck - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:43 AM EST (#133322) #
I don't have a problem with this deal at all. In fact, from a tactical point of view, it was a very smart move. If the Blue Jays wanted to keep BJ away from the Yankees (a divisional rival), it was going to cost at least $9 million a year, if the Blue Jays wanted to keep him away from the Indians (a wild card contender next year), it was going to cost five years. The fact that they were able to "steal" from another divsional rival (Orioles) is an added bonus. So in my mind, the benefits are not simply that we now have a top flight reliever for the upcoming years, but we also don't have to face him within our own division or any other potential wildcard contenders.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:46 AM EST (#133323) #
I see what you're saying, but the context is a lot different.

The Jays had won 96, 87, 89, and 86 games in the four seasons before the Carter-Alomar trade.

Named For Hank - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:30 AM EST (#133325) #
I was just kidding about making you go to Lord of the Rings musical, Moffatt. It's too cruel, meaner than making Robert wear the Hillenbrand All-Star jersey in my opinion.

I suppose I should start a new thread for challenges related to the B.J. Ryan signing. I'd like to put together a multi-participant challenge over how many wins the Jays will end up with.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:45 AM EST (#133328) #
I've survived Rent, I can survive Lord of the Rings, the Musical. :)

As an aside, TradeSports is offering contracts on the 2006 World Series. The Bid Ask for the Jays is between 1/100 and 1.6/100. This means if you wager $1.60 on the Jays, you win $100 if they win the Series

I've been pretty bearish about the Jays chances, but they're not that low. Looks like a very good deal.

Jim - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:21 AM EST (#133332) #
'Some of you seem to believe the Yankees and Red Sox are indominatable, that they have some sort of supernatural protection that will keep them from ever coming back to the pack.'

I don't know if it's supernatural, but the problem is you need them both to come back to the pack AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.

It's been 12 seasons since the Blue Jays won more games then the Yankees.

In that time they have finished 15,34,15,25,15,4,14,26,20,18,23,15 games behind.

In 12 years they have finished within 15 games twice. 4 back in 2000 when the Yankees had a huge lead and played like poo for the month of September and 14 games back in 1999.

That's 224 games back over 12 seasons for an average of 18.7 games back.

I'll believe the Blue Jays will finish ahead of the Yankees at the same point that Atlanta doesn't win the NL East: When it happens.
BallGuy - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:26 PM EST (#133341) #
The context may be different in terms of wins but the framework is the same; the path to 'x' number of wins is similar whether that is 80, 90 or 100 wins.
rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:28 PM EST (#133348) #
The idea that the Ryan $$$ should have been spent on Delgado is flawed. A # of mets fans seem to think that the Js are both nuts and selfish for making this decision. While Carlos may indeed flourish w/Beltran, mets fan will be grumbling soon enough.

What's flawed, as someone mentioned earlier, is the idea that certain teams should know their role. It's short-sighted to suggest that, because the Js are in the East and have 0 chance of finishing higher than 3rd, the transaction is a waste.

Among other benefits, this signing will do two things for late game situations;
- give the Js offense more momentum, knowing there's an Ace in the hole (pen)
- scale back the confidence of opposing lineups

On too many occasions teams like Boston, NY, or even Baltimore seemed to know that they would win if they just kept things close.

Js fans had to deal w/the opposite scenario. Unless there was a significant run differential, it was the other team's game to lose.





The Bone - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST (#133351) #
One point I wanted to make about the B.J. Ryan signing (and excuse if this point has been made earlier in this thread, as I was away yesterday and have only scanned through the 100 posts I missed). To me, B.J. Ryan's signing doesn't preclude the Jays from adding any other free agents. True, his 9 million dollar per year salary seems like a big cut into our offseason spending pie, but itreally only amounts to a 4 million dollar payroll bump. Ideally, Batista's 4.75 million dollar salary will be packaged for a bat that is useful to us, or jettisoned in a straight salary dump. I understand that it is unwise to assume salaries can be just moved away, but in this case J.P. has a failsafe for his worst-case scenario. In a worst case scenario that I personally find implausible, J.P. would not be able to package Batista or Lilly for a bat nor could be simply dump them for a prospect. In that case, I truly beleive J.P. would go back on what he said earlier this offseason and would not tender Lilly a contract, moving Batista back into the rotation. J.P. made his statement that he would tender all his arb-eligible players contracts because he is certain as am I, that it won't come to this worst-case scenario. I am also certain that there is zero chance that both Lilly and Batista will be on the team in 2006, and that is why I feel that our 2006 payroll has been bumped only about 4 million dollars with this signing.

R Billie - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:54 PM EST (#133352) #
What they haven't been able to do is construct a roster that wins ballgames. In my view, the team spends way too much focus on pitching, overemphasizes "character" at the expense of talent, carries too many pitchers, carries too many infielders, tries to have *all* their bats be identical (a moderately high average hitter that doesn't strike out too much and hits 10-20 homerruns) instead of having a diversified offensive attack, lacks a good bench, doesn't carry enough talent in AAA for injury insurance (Syracuse hasn't had a winning season under this front office).

I think that's my problem with the team in a nutshell. They finally got the above average pitching this past year that they were lacking in prior years but the offence was nowhere to be seen in support of it. For a guy that came in believing run scoring was important to success in the AL, that sure isn't what they've produced except for 2003 when Wells had a career season.

Instead of improving on that lineup they continued to shed key pieces of it in the following seasons, culminating for some reason with the departure of Delgado from a team completely devoid of power when payroll flexibility reached an all time high. And so far they've used that flexibility they've gained from Delgado to lock up players like Koskie, Ligtenberg, Speier, Schoeneweiss, and Towers to multi year deals and trade for Shea Hillenbrand.

They had a starting pitcher in Escobar who arguably delivered the same performance as Clement and even Burnett and yet would not go more than 2 years $5 million for him while bidding 3 years, $7+ million for Clement and perhaps now 4 or 5 years and over $10 million for Burnett.

And eventhough I'd rather spend $9 million on Ryan than spread it around among inferior players, I'd rather have seen most of the financial flexibility applied towards a much needed overhaul in offence. Ryan and Burnett together for $20 million a year (maybe $100 million over 5 years) can only help so much if the offence stays at the same level.

The affinity for dirtbags is fine. As long as that isn't costing you value on the dollar. It definately has been for the Jays. And the policy of staying away from dangerously high and long contracts which seemed to be in place for proven commodities like Carlos Delgado seems no longer to be in place for folks with a much more uncertain impact on performance like Burnett and Ryan.

If an excess of $10 million per year for 3+ years is spent on Giles, would a starting offer of at least that much not have been in order for Delgado who is both younger and superior offensively? I'm still trying to figure out what the plan here is as it seems to change often. Though as a symbolic signing alone Ryan has value. I'm just not sure if it's almost $50 million worth of value over the next 5 years. I also suspect it was ownership driven as they also told JP before 2005 that they were happy EXCEPT they wanted a reliable closer since that's the complaint fans were probably giving them most often.

Ron - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:48 PM EST (#133356) #
Wow I thought I was the only person on this site that isn't all gung-ho over the job JP has done during his tenure. Frankly he's done a mediocre job and the record the past 4 seasons and the farm system reflects that.

I hate to rehash an old topic, but I still question the move to let Delgado go. I know the Jays said they had to wait until the stadium deal was complete before they could justify a payroll bump. I know deals can collapse at the last minute. But somehow I still feel like he could have been retained. The Jays could have backloaded his contract like the Marlins so if the stadium deal collapsed he still could been have dealt to another club. I wasn't impressed when Godfrey offered Delgado 2yrs/12 mil and said it was a fair market offer.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like Delgado would improve the Jays next season.
rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 04:10 PM EST (#133362) #
I disagree. Delgado, despite his hollow numbers, would not be a good fit w/the Js. Carlos is Jalen Rose. He'll get you 30/100 a year, but there's no D and he's often looking for His in critical situations.

Nothing personal to either player. In the right situation (& at a lower price) they'd be a nice commodity. But in both cases, not what Toronto needs or wants.

BTW, they're both amiable guys and can be interesting quotes, but they dominate their respective locker rooms in a negative way.
Ron - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 04:28 PM EST (#133363) #
Ribit, you truly believe Delgado wouldn't help the Jays next season?

Would you rather have Hillenbrand or Delgado at first base next season?

RhyZa - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 04:32 PM EST (#133364) #
I'm sorry, I know both teams and of both players very well, and that's just a horrible comparison, even putting aside the fact that two sports are hardly comparable. There are about 10 adjectives I could use to describe Jalen, none of them flattering, which in no way would apply to Carlos. He would be so lucky to even be mentioned in the same breath as him, one of the most consistent power hitters in the game. Maybe Mondesi, at best.
rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 04:44 PM EST (#133365) #
What a selection!

Will Delgado help the Mets next year? Obviously. To the extent that he's being paid? Nope.

The reason he's missed so much around these parts is because, unfortunately, there's was no capable replacement ready to step in.

Well, they did have a ROY a few years ago, but...

For what they're being paid and the length of their contracts, I'll take Shea.

When he's ON, Delgado is terrific. No argument there.

rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:19 PM EST (#133366) #
Rhyza, yes, the sports are different. The individual contributions over the course of a season to the overall success of their team - is comparable.

Both are main, strictly offensive, cogs to their squads.
Both take up huge percentages of their team payrolls.
Both are widely respected for their #s, but not for their wide array of skills.

Jalen Rose, back in the day? What a talent. Heart, determination, clutch performer and heady.

Carlos, like JR, is a shadow of his former self.
Oh, and they both dress well.

Mondesi? You serious? Give Rose more credit than that.
R Billie - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:23 PM EST (#133367) #
"Overpaying" Delgado is only an issue if the money you save on him is being used effectively otherwise. In 2005 it wasn't used effectively. Maybe had Koskie been healthy but the Jays knew what they were getting into with Koskie's age and fragility.

The funny thing is that these players that put up good numbers contribute to winning no matter what someone thinks of their attitude. Ramirez and Sheffield are uber-cancers and yet their teams make the playoffs year after year. Everyone can say Escobar is a head case and unfocused compared to Clement or Burnett. That doesn't change the fact that his recent ERA+ is comparable or superior to theirs.

Yeah having Shea instead of Delgado is cheaper. He's also a much lesser player who contributes much less towards the team's run scoring. The idea of Moneyball is not to decrease the production to reduce the amount of money you have to pay any one player. It's to maximize the total production of your roster based on taking advantages of inefficiencies in the market.

But just because there are inefficiencies to take advantage of (and I really question how much the Jays have taken advantage of them outside of secondary guys like Zaun, Speier, and Towers) that doesn't mean you can ignore the top end performance your team needs to be not just above average but EXCELLENT. You need to be excellent to get into the playoffs. The Jays haven't even been .500 over the course of the last 4 years.

And is their major league talent increasing? I would argue they have less talent now than when JP started. Especially talents like Delgado and Escobar who were lost for a total of two draft picks. There is young talent in the minors but nothing above and beyond upper middle class among MLB organizations. Major prospect assets like Izturis and Lopez were surrendered with next to nothing to show in return.

This steady trickle of assets out and the seeming requirement to overpay for assets coming in doesn't bode for a playoff calibre team any time soon. Despite the context in a tougher, higher spending division, the Jays have in general been hurting themselves as much or more than helping themselves. Outside of the draft, which has been solid but not great, where has the talent been increased in a major positive direction?
Willy - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:25 PM EST (#133368) #
How, given ALL the resources the Jays have at their disposal, including, but not limited to, ... Canadian Tire money, copper futures, precious gems, Jerry Howarth,...are the Jays going to able to acquire two bats... .
,
Actually, Moffatt, those of us *really* in the know understand that it was touch-and-go whether Bo Jr could overlook the atrocities committed on the Jerry and Warren show to come here. And, although it's not widely known, Adam Dunn can't stand St. Jerry either. Too bad. Budget, schmudget.
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 06:22 PM EST (#133374) #
BTW, they're both amiable guys and can be interesting quotes, but they dominate their respective locker rooms in a negative way.

Urge to deal out Frank Grimes rant growing...growing....

Jalen Rose doesn't have half the positive attitude and positive glow that Delgado had. Are you a Toronto Blue Jay? If no, then you have absolutely nothing to talk about. Only Blue Jays will know exactly what role Carlos had, and from all accounts in quotes and interviews, he was nothing short of a positive leader in the clubhouse. Sheesh. Rose doesn't belong in the same sentence as Delgado.

rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 06:41 PM EST (#133375) #
VBF,

You m-i-s-s-e-d the point. 1) High Salary 2) Offense ONLY

Positive glow? Sure. Rose's smile is not as bright, but he's a good guy just like Delgado.

BTW, Carlos is a good player, w/excellent numbers. There's nothing wrong w/that. But who would build a team around either player?

Jdog - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 06:54 PM EST (#133376) #
So David Ortiz a guy who is going to be highly paid and Offense only is not a good guy to build a team around?
R Billie - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:31 PM EST (#133378) #
You CAN'T build a 25 man baseball team around any one player. You MAY be able to build a basketball team around one star (if he's Allan Iverson) but you more likely need two or three.

The Jays have Roy Halladay in his prime signed for two more years. Is there anyone you'd rather have? But clearly he alone isn't enough. Delgado alone wasn't going to be enough to carry an offence where you need good production from 6 or 7 of the 9 slots to have good run scoring output (in relation to the teams you have to compete with).

The answer wasn't to lose Delgado. It was to keep him and lose the unproductive hitters around him. Or to trade him for good prospect value even if you had to eat a third of his remaining money after 2003 instead of trying to trade him half way through 2004 without his consent.

Are we seriously saying now that we didn't have the financial flexibility to offer him a competitive 3 or 4 year deal but we DO have the financial freedom to sign PITCHERS to 5 year deals near or at 8 figures?
rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:39 PM EST (#133379) #
Yes, offense-only players can be valuable. If he wasn't such a jerk, I'd build a team around Bonds, no question. I'm certain there are other examples of valuable O-only athletes in every sport.

Of course I'll take Ortiz over Delgado. Wouldn't you? He's younger and is Clutch!

OK..."Jalen Rose IS Delgado" is a little harsh. His #s are not as good as Delgado, but there are fewer differences than similarities.


Named For Hank - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:59 PM EST (#133381) #
Instead of improving on that lineup they continued to shed key pieces of it in the following seasons, culminating for some reason with the departure of Delgado from a team completely devoid of power when payroll flexibility reached an all time high. And so far they've used that flexibility they've gained from Delgado to lock up players like Koskie, Ligtenberg, Speier, Schoeneweiss, and Towers to multi year deals and trade for Shea Hillenbrand.

They had a starting pitcher in Escobar who arguably delivered the same performance as Clement and even Burnett and yet would not go more than 2 years $5 million for him while bidding 3 years, $7+ million for Clement and perhaps now 4 or 5 years and over $10 million for Burnett.


R Billie, you make it sound like the Jays had the payroll increase before Delgado and Escobar were gone. That is completely, totally not true. Comparing what the Jays were willing to spend when their payroll was $50 million to what they're willing to spend on the same position when their payroll is $80 million as if that shows some inconsistency is at the very least dishonest.
Named For Hank - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:04 PM EST (#133382) #
Are we seriously saying now that we didn't have the financial flexibility to offer him a competitive 3 or 4 year deal but we DO have the financial freedom to sign PITCHERS to 5 year deals near or at 8 figures?

Yes. When they did not have the flexibility to sign Delgado, their payroll was $50 million. Now the payroll is $80 million. Without getting the deal for the sale of the stadium done, the payroll was not going to increase. The sale of the stadium had been pending for more than five years, so expecting that it would go through any time in the immediate future was impractical and far from a sure thing. What if they had backloaded a Delgado contract and then the deal had not gone through, or been delayed five more years? The team would be screwed.
Anders - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:10 PM EST (#133385) #
How soon we forget. We didnt re-sign Escobar because he was getting a lot of money, and because while he had a lot of talent, he couldnt pitch out of the stretch. Call it a mental block if you want, but its not like he was tearing it up with the Jays. In the two years prior to his signing with the Angels he walked too many people, had era's of 4.30 both seasons, and allowed a lot of hits.
SK in NJ - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:50 PM EST (#133390) #
http://video.msn.com/v/us/dw.htm?p=33/64&g=6a285aea-2f85-41e2-98a4-84e33b9f4dcb&m=us&pl=Fox%20Sports_Top%20News

Someone mentioned the Rosenthal interview with JP during the winter meetings. I'm sure everyone has seen it, but there is the link to it in case you haven't. Fast forward to the end of the interview where they discuss the bullpen. Seems appropriate after what Rosenthal wrote re: the Ryan signing.

Also in the interview, Ricciardi said "we're not going to be ones that everyone points to and says they didn't do the right thing with their money". A week or two later, Rosenthal is accusing JP of one of the worst signings ever.

A lot of irony in that interview. Seems a bit more entertaining now.
GeoffAtMac - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:57 PM EST (#133392) #

Check the other BJ Ryan page for a link to an update on the signing.

A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow.

Jim - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:01 PM EST (#133393) #
'Urge to deal out Frank Grimes rant growing...growing.... '

Someone has to do it. I nominate you.
rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:06 PM EST (#133394) #
I don't think anyone disputes the fact that this signing is a luxury. Pre-stadium purchase, obviously, a comparable signing would/could not have happened.

IMO, this will turn out to be a more valuable signing than meeting Delgado's demands would have been.
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:26 PM EST (#133395) #
He'll get you 30/100 a year, but there's no D and he's often looking for His in critical situations.

This is just nonsense. You can't compare the emphasis on defence in basketball to baseball. They're completely unrelated to each other. But that's already been addressed...

I disagree. Delgado, despite his hollow numbers

Please, explain.

clutch

Oh, nevermind. You're one of those people.

Fawaz - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:35 PM EST (#133397) #
Call me VBFBF after that last post.
HollywoodHartman - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:37 PM EST (#133398) #
Hey VBFBF is my joke... I used it on more then 1 occasion in the game chats last year.

Anybody know what time the PC is tomorrow?
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:52 PM EST (#133399) #
Joke? :)

I emailed Sportsnet to ask them. I'll let everyone know once I can get a time.

VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:56 PM EST (#133400) #
Also thanks for that link. Really, really good to see the Jays get some US media attention. Much-911*, mlb.com front page, AND Mike Wilbon!

US media....so dreamy...


*Canadian Media, yes I know.

HollywoodHartman - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:17 PM EST (#133405) #
What did Wilbon say?
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:40 PM EST (#133409) #
I'm just assuming that the biggest free agent signing of MLB this year will make the show somewhere. I wonder if he'll wear a JP mask?
Fawaz - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:50 PM EST (#133411) #
Gawrsh, that's what you get for missing game chats since the demise of the game threads. I miss all the fresh material.
rIbIt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST (#133413) #
FWIW, any emphasis on D points to one player assisting an opponent's scoring. Which, some players tend not to do.

I'm aware you have a pie chart ready to dismiss clutch hitting, so you win there.
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:20 PM EST (#133414) #
Yes, but to varying degrees.

If Jalen Rose is on the court, there's an exhorbitant amount of pressure on Rose's defence and thus, his poor defence will be much more exposed. (see Raptors roster, circa 2005).

I'm not saying Delgado was good at defence. I am saying that a team can get away with a poor defensive first baseman most of the time, if he is better at other dimensions of the game (the reason for him being on the team). And because he can get away with it most of the time, his shotty defence hurts the team in a minimal way.

As for the pie charts, that's definitely not my area of expertise :)
Named For Hank - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:25 PM EST (#133418) #
pie charts

Whenever someone says "pie chart", I perk up and pay attention until I realize that the "chart" part makes it decidedly less yummy.

Like bait and switch, really.
Mike D - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:43 PM EST (#133419) #
On the "intangible" front, thanks to the B.J. signing the Jays are the lead story on MLB.com. A lead story in which Mr. Burnett is prominently featured, no less.
zinger1453 - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:03 AM EST (#133425) #
the jays do need another starting pitcher for sure, but bringing in AJ Burnett is good if he doesn't get more than $10 million/year. He is a National League pitcher and he wasn't exactly lights out last season with the Marlins. Coming over to the American League will only make things tougher on him. I think the jays are better off to bring in Jarrod Washburn, who is used to American league hitters and spend that extra cash on a clean up hitter to give Wells some protection in the lineup, as was the case with Wells hitting 3rd, and Delgado hitting 4th, in 2003 when they put up huge numbers. I know there isn't much out there in the free agent market, but making a trade and eating some contract up would be better than paying burnett 12 mil/year, and only being able to bring in kevin mench or erubiel durazo to pick up the slack offensively
MattAtBat - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:20 AM EST (#133428) #
does anyone know what durazo's VORP was in 2004 (i.e. his VORP when reasonably healthy?)
MattAtBat - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:22 AM EST (#133429) #
I found it. it's 57.2 -- not too shabby for a DH. Worth the risk if you ask me.
Leigh - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:13 AM EST (#133432) #
he wasn't exactly lights out last season with the Marlins.

Yes we was. 2.5 k/bb, 8.5 k/9, 0.5 hr/9.

Coming over to the American League will only make things tougher on him. I think the jays are better off to bring in Jarrod Washburn, who is used to American league hitters...

Right... Washburn: 1.8 k/bb, 4.8 k/9, 1.0 hr/9.

Compared to...

Halladay: 6.0 k/bb, 6.9 k/9, 0.7 hr/9.

Towers: 3.9 k/bb, 4.8 k/9, 1.0 hr/9.

Lilly: 1.7 k/bb, 6.8 k/9, 1.6 hr/9.

Chacin: 1.7 k/bb, 5.4 k/9, 0.9 hr/9.

Bush: 2.6 k/bb, 5.0 k/9, 1.3 hr/9.

I think it to be clear that Washburn would be the fifth best starter on the Jays, behind Halladay, Towers, Bush and Chacin (but ahead of Lilly). Slot Burnett in his rightful place (oh so close behind Halladay!), and Washburn drops to sixth.

Blue Jays Sign B.J. Ryan | 267 comments | Create New Account
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