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The Blue Jays signed BJ Ryan to a contract worth $9.4/year. Which isn't a huge surprise.

The Blue Jays signed BJ Ryan to a contract for 5 years. Which is a huge surprise.

Or is it?

First, a quick look at Ryan's stats the past few years:

Season 	IP 	K/9	BB/9	HR/9	ERA
2003	50	11.3	4.8	0.2	3.40
2004	87	12.6	3.6	0.4	2.28
2005	70	12.8	3.3	0.5	2.43
Looks like a pretty dominating line and one that's not matched by too many other relievers. But the Jays aren't concerned with how he has pitched, they're more concerned with how he will pitch.

BJ Ryan turns 30 next month so he'll be under contract for his age 30-34 seasons. How have other dominant relievers fared in that period?

This is far from the most scientific way, but I looked at pitchers who consistently had a K rate over 9 prior to their age 30 season.

Trevor Hoffman: Has been dominant in each year that he's pitched. Hoffman only pitched 9 innings in 2003 (age 35) due to injury.

Mariano Rivera: Had a slightly down year in 2002 (age 32) with only 46 innings due to minor injuries, but otherwise has pitched at least 70 innings (not including the postseason) and has been the backbone of the Yankees during his tenure. Rivera turns 36 this week.

Troy Percival: Percival's K rate dropped sharply in 2004, his age 34 season, although he was still able to put up a 2.90 ERA that year. In 2005 Percival struggled to stay on the field and when he was on the field he struggled.

Billy Wagner: While Wagner just completed his age 33 season he's probably the most comparable pitcher to Ryan. And wouldn't you feel safe signing Wagner today to a one year contract? Wagner has been lights out whenever he's pitched. He's had two years when he's had injuries - 2000 (age 28) when he pitched just 28 innings and 2004 (age 32) when he pitched 48 innings.

Eddie Guardado: Everyday Eddie has remained a strong reliever through 2005 (age 34) although he missed some time in 2004 due to an injury.

Roberto Hernandez: Hernandez seemed to hit the wall when was 32 in 1997. Since then he's been an ordinary pitcher for many teams.

Tom Gordon: This probably isn't the best comparison because Gordon started most of his career before heading to the bullpen at age 29 in 1997. In his first full year in the pen Gordon was dominant, but then was injured for most of 1998 and all of 1999 (age 30 and 31). The first 2 years back Gordon pitched slightly over 40 innings good success and since then Gordon has been a workhorse for the Yankees. However, at age 37 Gordon's K rate dropped under 9 which may be a result of all of those innings from 2003-2005 with the Yankees.

Robb Nen: Nen was a dominant reliever through 2002 (age 32) for the Giants but was injured that year. After multiple attempts to comeback Nen recently retired having never pitched since that 2002 season.

Tom Henke: The Terminator first showed a decline in his K rate in the 92 Championship season (age 34). He bounced back in 1993 with the Rangers and was still a contributor when he retired following the 1995 season at age 37 with the Cardinals. (Henke had 36 saves and a 1.82 ERA in 54.3 innings in that final year - why did he retire again?)

Lee Smith: Smith's K rate started to drop under 9 in 1991, his age 33 season. However, he was still effective through his age 37 season in 1999. His innings pitched dropped off after his age 34 season - prior to that he was consistently pitching 70+ innings.

John Wetteland: Wetteland's career started going downhill in the 2000 season (age 33) and he didn't pitch after that point (and I'm unsure why - did he just retire?).

Kazuhiro Sasaki: Sasaki came to the Mariners in 2000 at age 32 after a successful career in Japan. Sasaki pitched well over the next three years before struggling through injuries and ineffectiveness in 2003 (age 35). After that season Sasaki headed back to Japan.

And for those that brought it up, what about Randy Myers?

Randy Myers: Myers pitched effectively through age 34 and then after signing with the Jays at age 35 in 1998 Myers struggled before being claimed by the Padres. Myers was out of baseball after that season.

In recent years both Keith Foulke and Armando Benitez both signed big free agent contracts and suffered significant injuries. Foulke's K rate has been a little under 9 in his career but he had great success prior to this season (age 32) when he had troubles with his knee. Benitez had many strong seasons before tearing his hamstring this season at age 32.

So what does this all mean? Well, only one pitcher crashed and burned (Nen). Several others pitchers suffered an injury of some sort between 30-34, but nothing that lasted more than one season. Most of the pitchers were able to retain their effectiveness through age 34.

Given that Ryan has no real injury history and has had a relatively light workload over his career (381 innings) I don't think the risk involved with a 5 year contract is as worrisome as it might appear at first.

BJ Ryan: 5 Years?!?! or 5 Years!! | 102 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:03 AM EST (#133318) #
Wetteland retired. I think he and Henke were both just tired of hotel rooms.
3RunHomer - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:31 AM EST (#133321) #
I see the Os on TV a lot, and Ryan seems to have a "stiff" motion to my untrained eye. He's a bulky dude ... maybe he just doesn't bend well. Hopefully it means nothing and he'll be healthy for all 5 years.

The Os sure weren't overly eager to keep him (and no, poverty isn't the reason). I'm guessing that Leo said, "Closer? Bah! Give me this Ray kid and we won't need no stinkin' Ryan."
Nick - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:15 AM EST (#133324) #

Bob Elliott's day-after article. Elliott seems to be favorable toward the deal. More relevant (and this could be bad or good depending on your viewpoint), Darek Braunecker, Burnett's agent, likes the move, although he hasn't spoken to AJ about it yet.

Elliott talked to O-Dog who plans on giving Ryan a big hug and kiss come spring training. No big surprise there. Players love all free agent signings - they are even less concerned than fans about a team giving out 5-year deals and lots of money.
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:38 AM EST (#133326) #
"Players love all free agent signings - they are even less concerned than fans about a team giving out 5-year deals and lots of money."

As they should be - and as we should be.

Jim - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:06 AM EST (#133330) #
'and as we should be'

Why shouldn't the fans care how the budget is spent? If the dollars were limitless I would probably agree, but when there is only x amount of dollars to spread around then it certainly is something that the fans NEED to be concerned with.
jmoney - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:19 AM EST (#133331) #
However, a fan doesn't have to be.

Most people just watch the games. If the team is good they turn up and if they suck, they don't.
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:28 AM EST (#133333) #

We dont need to be concerned with anything - except if the team is winning games.

If Mr Rogers decided that this years payroll was going to be $50 million again, you would likely be complaining that the regime isnt trying hard enough.

Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST (#133334) #
Your position and Jim's aren't really that different, since how a front office spends their budget has some impact on how many games the team wins.
Jim - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST (#133336) #
'If Mr Rogers decided that this years payroll was going to be $50 million again, you would likely be complaining that the regime isnt trying hard enough.'

Actually I don't really care what the payroll is. I just think that the types of fans that hang out places like this are certainly entitled to their positions on how the money is best spent.

Most of the people who post here aren't the type of fan who just forget the team when they are 72-90. Actually they pretty much can't be, or they would have forgotten years ago and never come back.

I can't even believe I'm responding to this, but it's not like anyone here complains that players make to much or don't deserve the money they make. Most of us just realize that running a baseball team is an exercise in the allocation of resources and we have opinions on how that is best done.
cade - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#133337) #
i know you guys ae usually all over this sort of thing, so my sincerest apologies if it's already come up -- but i laughed out loud when i read the last 2 paragraphs of allan ryan's column today (sunday):

'While B.J. is obviously a natural for the Blue Jays, the Baltimore media guide lists his given names as Robert Victor.

"Bo Junior," explained the big friendly from Louisiana when the Orioles were in town this season. "After my dad. That's just straight redneck-ology, right there."'

i love this guy.
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:58 AM EST (#133338) #
"Actually I don't really care what the payroll is. I just think that the types of fans that hang out places like this are certainly entitled to their positions on how the money is best spent."

Of course you are entiltled to your opinion. But you havent indicated how the money should be spent.

Maldoff - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:02 PM EST (#133339) #
Question of the Day:

Would you rather have the Jays sign AJ Burnett and try to make a trade for a bat, or create a package deal with Arizona for Javier Vazquez and Troy Glaus?
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:26 PM EST (#133340) #
Very good question. As far as a bat goes, I think the most pressing need is RF, which Glaus doesn't address. The Jays already have a pile of 3B/1B guys, and I doubt the Snakes are interested in getting Shea back. :)
HollywoodHartman - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:29 PM EST (#133342) #
That question is pretty vague so I'm just going to assume you mean Giles. I would go the FA route then. With regrads to the bat Giles would come for pretty much the same price and is an OF, which is currently more in need then an IF. I also believe Giles is a better player, despite the fact he'll hit 20 less HRs, that obp is just nuts, and the power will increase in the friendly confines of the RC. Vaz VS AJ is abit harder to judge. For the past 2 seasons Vasquez has been incredibly inconsistent, plus JP said himself that he didn't think Javier was a good fit for the AL. AJ on the other hand has never been great but he does have the stuff to be. Put him with Arnsberg, I truly believe that he could have an ERA in the high 2's/low 3's. Plus sigining the FA's would onl result in losing another couple draft picks... I think (Somebody verify this?). While it would take a nice pretty package to get Vaz/Glaus (McGowen, Bush, Rios, Cat?)
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:42 PM EST (#133343) #
"Question of the Day:

Would you rather have the Jays sign AJ Burnett and try to make a trade for a bat, or create a package deal with Arizona for Javier Vazquez and Troy Glaus?"

Tough one. I guess it depends on what Vazquez might have left and/or who the jays might be able to trade for. Any options in mind? Either way, Glaus would look a hell of a lot better at third than anyone else on the roster.

JayFan0912 - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST (#133344) #
The best scenerio would have the jays sign both giles and burnett, and trade a few infielders/batista/chacin for a bat.

I think the angels need a few stop gaps to fill in while their prospects gain enough experience to take over. They will probably lose washburn and byrd to free agency, and have a hole at 3B. I would see if they would like to trade kotchman for a package of hillenbrand, batista, chacin/bush, and a B prospect.
Mark - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:02 PM EST (#133345) #
I don't understand why everyone wants to trade Chacin. He is going to get paid nothing for the next 2 years, gives you 200 innings and a high 3/low 4 era and is young and a lefty who can still improve on consistency and control. He will probably out perform batista and lilly and maybe towers for a fraction of the price. You need value like this to be able to sign the Ryans of the free agent class.
BallGuy - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:22 PM EST (#133346) #
I think the reason for all the Chacin trade talk is partly because there is a line of thinking that says Chacin will most likely not duplicate his success of 2005 in the future based on some of his stats. So, the thinking goes, trade him now while he is most in demand and get something of value for him before his true colours show themselves and he becomes tougher to trade.
Perhaps someone can fill in the details of the stats that are cause for concern as I can't remember what they are.
JayFan0912 - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:25 PM EST (#133347) #
I don't understand why everyone wants to trade Chacin.

Right now, I think he could fetch a lot in a trade -- certainly more than batista. Kotchman is a guy capable of a .900 OPS, and he will earn a minimum paycheque for the next 3 years, fitting a real need for the jays.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:32 PM EST (#133349) #
A large part of the thinking stems from the fact that the Jays have a ton of pitching.

If you assume the Jays are going to get a #2 guy through trade or FA, then three rotations spots are taken up:

FA guy

That leaves two rotation spots left and a whole lot of candidates:

Batista (now he's not a closer)

Now one or two of Downs, Walker, and McGowan are likely to be in the bullpen. Batista is probably tradebait. You've still got one starter too many, and Chacin may be able to fetch some nice goodies on the trade market.
Pepper Moffatt - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 01:33 PM EST (#133350) #
I meant to add that the third of Downs/Walker/McGowan is likely not on the team.
okbluejays - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#133353) #
Been a while since I've posted. Anyways, I've found the discussion regarding Ryan very interesting. Generally, I am in favor of the move. But one consideration I have is this, and I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, but does anyone think we'd be better off going for Farnsworth at 3 years and, say, 18 million (let's assume that would work), and using the extra money elsewhere?

Ryan seems the safer bet for future success, but their stats, at least on a quick inspection, don't appear wholly dissimilar.

This would give us financial flexibility down the road (which JP may not be too concerned about), and would give us roughly an extra 3 million to spend over the next 3 years - which might allow us to "overpay" to bring in some other pieces we are interested in.
birdwatcher - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:30 PM EST (#133354) #
OK - time to run this drill again. We're looking at IP, K's, WHIP, ERA and VORP. Pitcher A goes 70 1/3, 100, 1.14, 2.43 and 25.2, Pitcher B goes 66 2/3, 56, 0.95, 2.57 and 22.8, Pitcher 3 goes 74 2/3, 62, 1.27, 3.26 and 17.9. Surprise, surprise - Pitcher A is BJ, Pitcher B is Justin Speier, Pitcher C is Jason Frasor. A few other data points - Jamie Moyer recorded a 31 VORP last year and Josh Towers came in at 34. Among hitters, Brian Giles had a 65 VORP, Vernon Wells came in at 32 and Kevin Mench was at 24.O. I wouldn't begin to claim that Justin or Jason could match BJ's line. But the point is how do you spend 50 million dollars most effectively ? On a hitter - yes. On a starting pitcher - yes. But on a closer ??? I just don't get it. Perhaps this is just a sequencing thing. If the Jays still end up with Burnett and Giles or their equivalents, then more power to JP - Mr. Rogers will have decided to do his best Steinbrenner imitation and it's just a spending orgy. But, if not, then this signing is going to look like a dud, even assuming BJ matches his 2005 line going forward.
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:36 PM EST (#133355) #
Thanks, cade. The possibilities with Bo Junior are endless.
PeterG - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:53 PM EST (#133357) #
While I would be interested in acquiring Glaus, I would not take him if it means taking Vazquez in the package. There is no fear JP will do that as he is on record as suggesting that Vazquez cannot pitch in the AL.

As for trading Chacin, I say yes. He is a the top end of his value. I think a mistake was made in not trading Rios coming off his MVP year at AA. Now, he will likely be dealt this winter for considerably less return. Chacin may not repeat his rookie season numbers; we have a number of lefties on the way up and if there is any way to obtain Kochman, I would trade Gus+ a good prospect to get him.
Ron - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 02:57 PM EST (#133358) #
I just wonder if Chacin as the main trade bait (perhaps packaged with another prospect or Chulk) would be enough to land Gomes or Kotchman. Maybe I'm dreaming, maybe I'm not.

I do know if the Angels sign Kornerko or trade for Manny, that might squeeze out Kotchman.

As for the D-Rays, they need starting pitching badly and have the bats to make a deal. If Chacin was dealt to the D-Rays then he would be their number 2 starter. Chulk could also help their pen.
slitheringslider - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 03:47 PM EST (#133360) #
I would think Chacin could definitely land Kotchman. Kotchman has not established anything in the Major League level yet, while Chacin was the arguably the leading rookie startin the ML. Kotchman right now is just as much of a hyped prospect as Rios was last year when he came up, and I definitely don't think Rios could fetch a Chacin type pitcher and a good prospect. I think it would instead be the other way, Kotchman + prospect for Chacin. Gomes, on the other hand, while more established than Kotchman, would also not cost us more than Chacin. I think some of you are underestimating Chacin's value. Chacin was definitely better than your average starter in the Major Leagues last year. Pitchers, are always more valuable commodities than hitters; besides, Chacin is Young, Cheap, and Good. Therefore, I feel like we would be surprised by the quality of hitters Chacin could fetch us.

If the price is right, I would definitely be willing to give Vazquez another shot. His problems over the past 2 years (I feel like) have mainly been mechanic related issue. I have confidence in Arnsberg to straighten that out if given the opportunity. Remember that Vazquez is not even 30 yet and is a more established pitcher than Burnett. I would be happy if the Jays land either Vazquez or Burnett.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 03:56 PM EST (#133361) #
I think Chacin can continue to be a good #4 or 5 starter, whether with the Jays or another team. He's now had two very good seasons in a row (one in the majors). He's a finesse lefty with average stuff, decent command and good makeup. I definitely feel more confident with Chacin on the mound than Dave Bush.
StephenT - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:50 PM EST (#133370) #
Another possible comp is Mark Davis, a lefty reliever with a couple of big years before the Royals made a splash by signing him to a big free-agent contract. It didn't work out (though that doesn't mean Ryan is going to follow the same path).
Petey Baseball - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 05:59 PM EST (#133371) #
How about Lilly and League for Kotchman?
Petey Baseball - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 06:00 PM EST (#133372) #
Wait....Lilly and Gross for Kotchman

Sign Burnett....sign Giles
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 06:12 PM EST (#133373) #

Lilly alone should be more than enough for Kotchman. Gross is worthless anyway. (Unless someone meeds to fill a minor - league roster spot.)

Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:13 PM EST (#133377) #


I was in Europe for the 2005 opener. Needless to say, I didnt get to see the game, let alone hear it. People in Ireland would watch fourth-division lawn-bowling before baseball. My question is this: How were Slash's renditions of the national anthems, in particular, the Canadian anthem? Does anybody hve an audio link?

Cheers and thanks
Kieran - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 07:58 PM EST (#133380) #

As both a die-hard Jays fan and the label rep for Velvet Revolver in Canada, I was at the '05 home opener and can tell you that Slash's anthems were killer. In fact, he had a really good time doing them...he was excited to take part in the event. He did look a tad of of sorts in a ball jersey though...
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:06 PM EST (#133383) #
Thanks Kieran - wish I could have been there to see/hear it...

Any idea where I might be able to hear it? I have looked damn near everywhere...cheers
Mark - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:19 PM EST (#133386) #
Gross is not a worthless player at all. Check his minor league numbers. In AVG, OBP, SLG,
2003 -NHV .319 .423 .481
2003- SYR .264 .380 .456
2004- SYR .294 .381 .454
2005 -SYR .297 . 380 .438

Although not spectacular not close too worthless. His top two comps by Pecota are Jason Giambi and Travis Lee, one a super star, one a serviceable major leaguer. Hopefully he falls somewhere in between them. He is also a plus defender in right or left and has an outstanding arm. Was responsible for two of the biggest momentum gathering plays this year by a jay (throwing out a guy at home in extras and the famous double play break-up). He also led the team in pitches seen per plate appearance and as he showed in spring his power can still develop. He should at the least be the jay’s fourth outfielder this year and could possibly take over in left or right. If Reed Johnson is going to get a big raise in arbitration, say more than one million than he should be included to sweeten a trade and replaced by Gross.
CaramonLS - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:20 PM EST (#133387) #
I said this before the trade deadline in 2005, JP could have had Kotchman if he wanted him bad enough.

Angels had a major hole at 3B with the McPherson Injury, and they wanted another piece for their bullpen (interest in Baez).

Hillenbrand + Batista is more than enough to fetch you Kotchman at the deadline, and probably another solid prospect and Rivera and/or DaVanon.

I really wish he would have done this. There were at least a few rumors that persisted (especially about Hillenbrand) that they were interested in those players the Jays had.
Rick - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:23 PM EST (#133388) #
I had no idea where to post this, but I thought it was definitely worthy of some attention. In a blurb on Raul Mondesi, Rotoworld reports the following:

Mondesi, who didn't join another team after being cut by the Braves last season, is currently running for mayor in his hometown of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic.

Then it goes on to speak about Mondesi wanting to continue playing baseball, but that isn't nearly as interesting as Mondesi running for mayor. That has been one rowdy town.
GeoffAtMac - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:47 PM EST (#133389) #

This has updates on the signing. (Filed about 20 min. ago.)

It says there will be an official press conference tomorrow -- does anybody know where or when it will be held?

Jim - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 08:56 PM EST (#133391) #
'Lilly alone should be more than enough for Kotchman. Gross is worthless anyway. (Unless someone meeds to fill a minor - league roster spot.)'

Ted Lilly for Casey Kotchman? Why stop there? Put Hinske in the deal and get back Brandon Wood while you are at it.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 09:35 PM EST (#133396) #
Well, here we go. It's a new era in Toronto.

I'd like to know how many think signing Burnett (say, at 5 years/$55M) is a good idea at this point. I just don't know enough about him--his stuff, makeup, coachability, health, etc--to say. My gut tells me it isn't worth it. We're squarely in the middle of off-season hype, and it's hard to be objective. The biggest red flags for me (dollars aside) are AJ's health, past underperformance, and potentially negative clubhouse impact. I actually think with a couple more good position players, the Jays could be competitive without him.

On the other hand, JP says "we've done our homework on him", so maybe the front office and coaches know something the skeptics don't.
Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:08 PM EST (#133401) #
"Although not spectacular not close too worthless. His top two comps by Pecota are Jason Giambi and Travis Lee, one a super star, one a serviceable major leaguer."

Mate, are you crazy?

Gross is TWENTY - SEVEN years old. He has not even proven he can be a servicable reserve outfielder at this point in his career - let alone an all star or someone who can play every day.

Alexander - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:09 PM EST (#133402) #
Jim - all jokes aside - Hinske should just be outrighted.

And Lilly has more value than you think - Kotchman is by no means a sure-fire superstar in the making.
CeeBee - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:12 PM EST (#133403) #
outright 15 homers? you gotta be kidding, right? On a team that needs every homer it can get.
Named For Hank - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:17 PM EST (#133404) #
Mondesi, who didn't join another team after being cut by the Braves last season, is currently running for mayor in his hometown of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic.

I want to live in any town where Mondesi is the mayor.

I think that the Cheer Club will have to put together a strong "Mondesi for Mayor" campaign and bring it out to games in the hopes of attracting international media attention.
sweat - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:35 PM EST (#133407) #
Trade Hillenbrand and keep hinske. Hillenbrand has value, hinske does not. They aren't as far apart as some people seem to think.
HollywoodHartman - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:39 PM EST (#133408) #
VBF - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:42 PM EST (#133410) #
I think that the Cheer Club will have to put together a strong "Mondesi for Mayor" campaign and bring it out to games in the hopes of attracting international media attention.

Great idea! This will put my "KING BO" sign on the backburner.

Rickster - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 10:54 PM EST (#133412) #
I'm really impressed with the passion and content that this site has to offer. A few points:
The Jays need hitting - Giles would be a perfect fit. Hinske isn't that bad if he only hits against righties and doesn't play during his three-week funks that bury the team.
I predict Batista will start and will have a better year than AJ Burnett and Matt Clement.
As for BJ, if you do the exact opposite of the Orioles at all times, you will do well. I try to live this every day of my life.
BallGuy - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:23 PM EST (#133417) #
Just to confirm Hazel Mae is STILL not engaged....

but she STILL is annoying.
Mick Doherty - Sunday, November 27 2005 @ 11:52 PM EST (#133420) #
Gross is TWENTY - SEVEN years old.

Born 10/21/79, at least according to BBRef, he's actually just a few weeks past his 26th birthday. Not a huge difference, but it does mean that 2005 was his Age 25 season, so not quite 27 yet. Maybe he can celebrate his 27th birthday with a World Series home run.

panoptican - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:44 AM EST (#133421) #
I know when you're a fan of a team, you generally look at the bright side of a signing like this but the differences of opinion between Jays fans and non-Jays fans on this deal are pretty amazing. It's been universally decried by non-Jays fans and in general, Jays fans have a pretty favorable view of it.
Dr. Phil - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:45 AM EST (#133422) #
Just sitting here trying to keep up with all the posts and thought I'd say that I'm excited. I was sitting at home earlier this summer watching the Jays and O's and thinking man this guy exudes confidence. There was something in the way he pitched that I thought, there's no way the jays come back in this one. And it was a quick, bang bang bang inning. I know he blew some games this year, but he has stuff, and confidence, which may set him apart from the rest, hopefully.
As for what to do, I agree that we need two bats, and I also agree that we just can't trade Lilly, Batista, Hinske, and Koskie, for a guy like oh Pujols, 4 average to below average players will never get you a superstar like that, unless the gm is a constant drunk, and even then that might not work.
But I think that the jays could still sign Burnett. I'm not going to go into exact dollar figures, mainly because I don't think it's necessary as it's still November to worry about dollar amounts. Then I'd still try to sign Giles. Once again, I don't care if the jays end up having to pay 85-90 million this year. Sign them and then worry about the money, (I know, I'd never make it as a gm with this line of reasoning) But we could non tnder Lilly which would save us some money, so it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'm not saying to non-tender him, as I do think he could net something in a trade.








I know that I've left out Batista, Cat, Johnson, Menechino??? and probably some others, however, if the Batista for Mench rumours were true, then I'd consider that. I could handle using Mench in LF (don't know if this makes sence, since it's been Rf that we've been talking about)
If we can't trade Batista, then maybe Lilly and start Batista, or non-tender Lilly (only if necessary) and start Batista.
this is getting overwhelming, but I think that the point is, we've got lots of time, with lots of options. Maybe look at packaging some of out young guys, for Dunn. I don't think that they want outfield help back, but I'd trade Adams/Hill + McGowan + prospect for Dunn, as it's a trade that we have plenty of options for a huge need. Now obviosly this makes no sense if you trade Batista for Mench, unless you want Mench in the reserve OF or DH role, but I'll stop rambling on now.
I guess I'm just happy at the signing, and trying to say for all you cynics out there, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. You know that JP is not done yet, so we shouldn't get to upset or too excited about any one single move that he does, but wait until spring training starts and then sit back and look at all the moves and then we can truly analyze JP's offseason to say whether it's been a success or not.
Go Jays
TamRa - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:47 AM EST (#133424) #
I think there are two seperate tracks here. Viewed in isolation, as an academic discussion of the economics of roster construction, this is not a wise use of funds. Full stop.

What we have with the Jays though, is a whole platefull of factors which mitigate towards doing what would, academicly, be the wrong thing.

The need to generate excitement - with the casual fans, with press, with the players, and with the potential signiees. They need the air of "big things are happening"

They need momentum - for a team that had been mourbound on the sidelines in terms of FA signings for nigh onto a decade now, they needed something that sent up a flare and said "these guys are for real"

They needed success - if Ryan (and burnett and Giles) followed the route of Matt Clement and teased us for some time and then followed the call of cash somewhere else (in this case, Cleveland) that's a psychological body blow to the whole process. And if they can land a guy now (as opposed to waiting and maybe getting stiffed or hijacked all the way round) that's important.

They needed speed - frankly, if Burnett had already agreed to a deal, it's likely the Jays would have found this deal too rich in my estimation. JP may be a bit paranoid about getting left at the alter.

They needed a top shelf guy - a speedy signing of, for instance, Paul Byrd, may or may not have been wise...but it would have done nothing in regards to this list of concerns.

I think all these intangibles led to this signing. itwill all backfire horribly if we go from this to ordinary moves like persuing Lyle Overbay and Kenny Rogers. But you can't know, sometimes, if it will backfire until you pull the trigger.
brent - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:52 AM EST (#133426) #
Huh? The GM who came out and said before that there was no point in having an expensive closer, has gone out and done that. If they are looking at him pitching the eighth and ninth, then he is worth a lot more than some relievers. Especially if it allows for another position player on the roster.
MattAtBat - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:05 AM EST (#133427) #
Sounds like good things are brewing down on Blue Jay Way (by way of Worcester, MA, that is...):

Jeff's Blair's latest from The Globe and Mail

Giles? I'll take him...

Also, since when is the budget going to be $75 million? The Toronto Star article has a quote from JP saying 70 to 75 million. Didn't he just trim 10 million and not tell anyone? I guess he remembered that with the raises everyone will be owed (arbitration eligibles and the like), as well as the hopefully better free agents next year, that he better save close $90 million for 2007.

mathesond - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:15 AM EST (#133433) #
Looks like The Hardball Times thinks the Ryan signing is good value
Leigh - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:29 AM EST (#133435) #
Trade Hillenbrand and keep hinske. Hillenbrand has value, hinske does not. They aren't as far apart as some people seem to think.

I totally agree.

HoJu - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:51 AM EST (#133441) #
Interesting that at the bottom of the THT article the top 2 most similar seasons to Ryan's 2005 belong to 2 guys named Ward and Henke.
Alexander - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:59 AM EST (#133443) #
"Trade Hillenbrand and keep hinske. Hillenbrand has value, hinske does not. They aren't as far apart as some people seem to think.
I totally agree." long as thgat means Hinske is glued to to bench/outrighted. You guys dont actually want to see this guy playing every day...right? Right?
GeoffAtMac - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:01 AM EST (#133444) #

Ryan signing will be introduced at 1 p.m. today.

VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:24 AM EST (#133445) #
Alexander, Hinske is not a bad player. He's not a very good player, but he's decent. He walks, he has a decent OBP, some pop, smart baserunning and above average defence for first base.

He's not the ideal first basemen, one would certainly like to upgrade over him at first base, but in a comparison between Hillenbrand and Hinske, both players are very similiar.

Hinske killed Hillenbrand in several offensive categories post All-Star break, boasting the envious .351 OBP. He's also a few years younger. If Hillenbrand made an out for all of his HBPs last year, his end of season on base percentage would have been .326.

Unless there's a scientific way to expect Hillenbrand to get hit by a pitch x number of times in 2006, I'm really not going to get my hopes up too much. We _really_ need a BSB.
Phil - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:45 AM EST (#133446) #
"Interesting that at the bottom of the THT article the top 2 most similar seasons to Ryan's 2005 belong to 2 guys named Ward and Henke."

Neat. Meaningless, I know, but:

At age 29, Ward saved 45 games with a 2.13 ERA. The next year he appeared in 4 games and that was it for his career.

At age 29, Henke saved 34 games with a 2.49 ERA. Eight years later (age 37), he saved 36 with an ERA of 1.82.

Whither BJ Ryan?
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:15 AM EST (#133450) #
"This is a guy we've seen pitch against us for four years," Ricciardi said. "He was an all-star last year, and he'll be going into his prime. I feel very good about this."

- JP loves his all-stars eh.

- Here's a link regarding Hinske and Hillenbrand over at Scout net. It's posted by a guy SpartacusII. He's a knowledgeable guy, though i don't know if he posts here under a different name. Some of you may have seen this already.
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:17 AM EST (#133451) #
"This is far from the most scientific way, but I looked at pitchers who consistently had a K rate over 9 prior to their age 30 season."

What about relievers who averaged over 12 in their three years prior to being thirty? I can't imagine there are very many of these guys.
jgadfly - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:27 AM EST (#133454) #
Thanks VBF ...I was about to wade in to defend Hinske with my usual unscientific and Non-Mathematically backed inferrences also known as the seat of my pants but I'm glad you entered the fray carrying the beleaguered Hinske banner...he does seem to draw an aweful(sp?) lot of flack from these I recall Hinske had as much success as anybody else on the BJ's in clutch situations (Who would you rather have at bat with the game on the line...Wells, Koskie, Hillebrand, Zaun ... I'd take Hinske...he takes alot of pitches...he will take a walk...when he doesn't strikeout he usually makes solid contact)...this season my sense was that Hinske was "unlucky" in that more often than not when "forcing" things (as opposed to going the other way) he would overpower the ball (like overswinging in golf) and the result would be either right at somebody or a dribbler for a groundout...perhaps we expect DelGadoesque results from him...perhaps because he is the senior BJ (with VW) with above average expectations on our parts (not many RoY in BJ history) and because he was signed to a longterm "pricey" contract that was his GM's mistake, not his , do we apportion too much of the blame onto him, and do we also do this because we see the greatest critic of his own failures... Eric Hinske himself...anyway cut him some one's as bad as some of us believe Hinske to be
Donkit R.K. - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:28 AM EST (#133455) #
Nicely said, Caino, I was thinking the same thing (i.e. averaging *12* K/9 over the past three years - seems like a rare streak).

From the Blair article:
"It's a bold stroke that suggests progress has been made in getting Ricciardi signed to a contract extension of his own, since he has just two years left on his current deal and is seeking an extension through 2010."
I just thought I'd point that out... that is intriguing.
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:39 AM EST (#133459) #
Some data:
Hoffman	        IP	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
1995 27 SDP NL	53	8.8	2.4	1.7
1996 28 SDP NL	88	11.4	3.2	0.6
1997 29 SDP NL	81	12.3	2.7	1.0
Percival	IP	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
1997 27 ANA AL	52	12.5	3.8	1.0
1998 28 ANA AL	67	11.7	5.0	0.7
1999 29 ANA AL	57	9.2	3.5	1.4

Wagner	        IP	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
1999 27 HOU NL	75	14.9	2.8	0.6
2000 28 HOU NL	28	9.1	5.8	1.9
2001 29 HOU NL	63	11.3	2.9	0.7
Nen	        IP	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
1997 27 FLA NL	74	9.9	4.9	0.9
1998 28 SFG NL	89	11.2	2.5	0.4
1999 29 SFG NL	72	9.6	3.4	1.0
Henke	        IP	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
1985 27 TOR AL	40	9.5	1.8	0.9
1986 28 TOR AL	91	11.6	3.2	0.6
1987 29 TOR AL	94	12.3	2.4	1.0

Lee Smith	IP	K/9	BB/9	HR/9
1985 27 CHC NL	98	10.3	2.9	0.8
1986 28 CHC NL	90	9.3	4.2	0.7
1987 29 CHC NL	84	10.3	3.4	0.4
MatO - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:41 AM EST (#133460) #
The difference between Ward and Henke is that before Ward became the closer he was the set-up man for Henke and was worked very hard. From 1988-1992 Ward pitched 100+ innings in each year, including appearances in 81 games in 1991 and 79 in 1992. Henke never had that kind of workload. Maybe that accounts for their differing longevity.
Chuck - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:43 AM EST (#133461) #
I haven't waded through all the Ryan-related threads, so I'm not sure if anyone has linked to this Hardball Times article yet defending the Ryan signing.
Mike Green - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:48 AM EST (#133463) #
What is special about BJ Ryan are his K rates and the low mileage on his arm. This makes him statistically a good risk in his early 30s. The truly good comps are Tom Henke and Trevor Hoffman.

Being left-handed is a nice little bonus, in light of the current bullpen composition. A bullpen of Downs, Schoeneweis and Ryan from the left, and Chulk, Speier and Frasor from the right would be a very nice thing indeed, like the bullpens of the Mustache Gang (the A's of the early 70s). Clearly defined roles would be easy to assign, and the manager can easily deal with left-listing lineups (or right-listing ones). A six man pen would open up a spot in the lineup for a right-handed power-hitter, like a LeCroy.
Alexander - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:12 PM EST (#133467) #

Lol as much as it hurts to admit, you guys do make some valid points.

With me it's more personal than anything - I just dont like Hinks as a player.

VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:38 PM EST (#133468) #
Anyone know if the press conference will be televised? TSN and SNET's schedules don't show it.
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:55 PM EST (#133472) #
It will be on the score. But don't put the channel on until one. Two horrid broadcasters are on talking about nonsense.
Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:24 PM EST (#133476) #
It's on Sportsnet, the Fan and the Score.

2006: $2 million
2007: $5 million
2008, '09, '10: $10 million each

plus a $10 million signing bonus. Don't know how the bonus is broken up or how it impacts on the budget, but I like that number for '06.
Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST (#133481) #
He's wearing number 52 at the press conference, which I suppose means that Bruce Walton has given it up.
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#133484) #
The bonus is broken up six and four.

Something tells me this guy and Gibby are going to get along pretty well. Lol.

I felt good about this aigning form the get go, and after the press conference I'm even more impressed with BJ. He said all the right things, and seems like a genuinly nice guy. He sure made a couple of Blue Jays look pretty silly in the highlight package.
Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:57 PM EST (#133493) #
The bonus is broken up six and four.

Is your source the Blair speculation from the other day, or did they announce it officially as that?
andrewkw - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:08 PM EST (#133494) #
Can't wait to get myself a Ryan jersey :)

Would it be the same price buying it online at as the jays shop in the eaton center? other then shipping of course. The US mlb / jays site is having a 20% off 3hr sale, but I'm guessing duty will cancel out any savings. Too bad the sale is for the us store only.

Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#133498) #
A custom replica jersey is $180 at the Jays shop and $170 at the Canadian online shop. You may be able to find it cheaper elsewhere, but make sure you're getting the official letters.

There's no duty on items bought from -- they're sent out to Canadian addresses from a Canadian warehouse, even if you order from the US site and pay in US dollars.
GeoffAtMac - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:28 PM EST (#133502) #
I was at the conference today. I posted some "juicy details" on the other page...not that juicy in truth, but interesting enough.
andrewkw - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:29 PM EST (#133503) #
There's no duty on items bought from -- they're sent out to Canadian addresses from a Canadian warehouse, even if you order from the US site and pay in US dollars.

wow thanks for the tip. I know you can get the jersey's cheaper but I'd worry about finding the offical lettering. I've seen tons of jerseys with fake lettering and they look well fake. An authentic jersey is 182.50 USD with shipping to canada thats roughly $213 cnd. Meanwhile the replica costs $205.50. There is one problem though. The US MLB site wont allow me to order a Ryan jersey "Your current entry cannot be processed. Some entries are prohibited due to guidelines for past and present player names. Please create a new entry" So they don't know he's on the jays yet. The 20% off sale ends in 33mins. I hope somehow they add it by then. Considering its going to be less then $8 difference. I'm surprised the blue jays don't put up links to buy a Ryan jersey right away. The Ryan flex pack they spoke of is also knowhere to be found online. Would it not make good buisness sence to have these for sale right away while everyones really excited. They could then do it again for Burnett, Giles or any other big name coming later in the winter.

Anders - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:04 PM EST (#133509) #

An interesting article from THT about whether BJ is worth the money he's getting. Mostly mathish.
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:12 PM EST (#133510) #
NFH, I was basing it on Blair.
binnister - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:55 PM EST (#133517) #

Isn't the 40-man full? Who came/is coming off the roster to make room for BJ? (Is there a grace period before that decision needs to be made?)
MatO - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:09 PM EST (#133518) #
Blue Jays' website shows 41 players on the 40 man roster after the addition of Ryan.
rIbIt - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:24 PM EST (#133526) #
If possible, forget about the $$$ for a second.
MLB observers are acknowledging Toronto's winning capacity? G-Damn.

Unrelated; what is the deal w/complaints about B.E.P. yesterday? Forget about Nickelback or Michael Bublay. Jully Black banged the anthem and B.E.P. bumped a couple tracks at the half. McCowan's entertaining, but "people older than 14" do actually listen to hip hop - in large doses.

Am I wrong?
Alexander - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:27 PM EST (#133527) #

Its because B.E.P. is garbage. This cannot be argues. Fergie is nice to look at from time to time - but thats all they have going for them. GARBAGE.

People older than 14 do listen to hip hop - Im one of them and apparently so are you. But B.E.P. are not hip hop. They are to hip hop what Nickelback is to songwriting.

Jully Black was great. Really talented lady, she is.

Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST (#133528) #
What's B.E.P. and what did it do yesterday?

And more importantly, who cares what McCown thinks about anything? He's more interested in stirring people up than actually having an interesting conversation. It's like American talk radio on his show: loud, boring, no substance.
Four Seamer - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:34 PM EST (#133530) #
Unrelated; what is the deal w/complaints about B.E.P. yesterday?

Probably because that "song" of theirs set back the women's rights movement by about three decades.

Paul D - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:47 PM EST (#133532) #
Probably because that "song" of theirs set back the women's rights movement by about three decades. And if you believe that that's possible, then the women's movement hasn't taken a single step in this country.
VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:04 PM EST (#133539) #
Andrew KW,

I actually got an email from the Jays right after the signing advertising their new BJ Ryan jerseys. I'm sure you should be able to get that sale, unless they ended it on that time, anticipating many people would go buy jerseys.

And for all you autograph buffs, Ernie Whitt and Gregg Zaun will be signing autographs at the Jays Shop at the Eaton's Centre December 10th.

MattAtBat - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:12 PM EST (#133544) #
NFH --

If you weren't joking (couldn't tell if you were)...

BEP = Black Eyed Peas

they played at halftime of the Grey Cup yesterday and there's a big kerfuffle about it because they are a large AMERICAN act, and Canada's highest rated event should be promoting Canadian talent (so goes the argument).

Not to get too off topic, but who the #@!$ cares if an act is Canadian. If a band plays good music, and entertains a crowd, what's the difference? (And for the record, Black Eyed Peas do have some good music, regardless of what you people niggling over genres and categorization.)
King Ryan - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST (#133545) #
BEP = Black Eyed Peas.

They did the Grey Cup halftime show yesterday and it was unbelievably awful. I'm not much of a fan of "hip hop" anyways, but it was still much worse than I would have imagined. None of the "songs" had any substance at all. It was just putrid. Imagine 20 minutes of a guy saying "PUMP IT LOUDER" while a girl rambles off childish nonsense about her "hump.'

Ugh, that really bothered me.

Ps. I'm glad we got Ryan and not Wagner.
Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:36 PM EST (#133546) #
Heh, I went and made dinner at halftime and missed all the controversy. Oh well.

Damn, that was a fine Grey Cup final, though. I recorded it when CBC re-ran it at midnight to send to some CFL-deprived friends living in California.
King Ryan - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:48 PM EST (#133548) #
I didn't know there was any "controversy" over it, I just thought it was really, really, bad.

I'm hard to please though.
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:15 PM EST (#133554) #
"Whacha goin do with all that junk? all that junk? inside your trunk?"

Definatly not the best lyrics ever.
VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:26 PM EST (#133556) #
I'm sorry this is going way off topic, but The Black Eyed Peas really aren't this women-hating, 'typical' hip-hop group as everyone thinks. Some people may misinterpret their latest song which is easy to do, but the majority of their songs promote good morals, and they do some pretty good social work in the world. They're miles ahead what the going rate in hip hop is.

Getting back on topic...

I think any talk about Frank Thomas or Mike Piazza coming to the Jays is just about done. This BJ signing was more/less unexpected, and with the 13 million or so we have left, I am confident it will be used for Burnett or Giles and if it doesn't, it will likely be used for taking on salary from a possible BSB. Any Thomas/Piazza money has been spent on BJ.

Btw, you can view what his new jersey looks like at Very stylin'.

Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:38 PM EST (#133558) #
Ryan said he would like to pitch for the United States in next March's World Baseball Classic. He said the decision would be up to the Blue Jays.

"I think he might be sick those weeks," Ricciardi interjected.

VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:51 PM EST (#133559) #
Ricciardi said he's willing to discuss extending the contract of staff ace Roy Halladay to pair him with Ryan for the full five years and also said rumours that he is moving on are premature.

Ricciardi said "we're talking about it," he said when asked if he wants to extend his stay.


rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:10 PM EST (#133561) #
Wow, inking Doc for an extra three would be awesome. I dunno how his agent feels about avoiding the open market though. If 50/5 is not enough to get AJ, Doc is going to get a boat load.
Joel - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:53 AM EST (#133606) #
I've gone through the thread as carefully as I can, so I hope I don't repeat anyone. A few thoughts came to mind on this signing, most of which stem from some accidental conditioning to think like a GM. :)

This is a fat contract and risky, although I agree with the observation that Ryan has not been injury prone, and his K/9 rate is worth paying for. Based on the above numbers that compared Ryan to Speier and Frason, yes, the two latter guys made for a very good, underrated bullpen last year, but my anecdotal unscientific first person oberservation of both the past couple years is that they have thrived in low (Speier) and medium (Frasor) pressure situations. They are not my closer.

Signing Ryan is not only about spending money and not feeling left at the alter. It also sends a message on a number of fronts that the Blue Jays intend to win now, and more realistically, that JP thinks they can win now. I hope my guess on JP's thinking is right. He must be thinking he has enough trades to make and young guys will hit their potential, that spending on a closer is a key piece of a puzzle on a 90+ win season.

Although I can't speak for FA starters, is it possible a Burnett would sign here partly in the confidence that the he thinks the closer situation is better? How many more wins is that for him? If my agent tells me that the 14 win season I was going to have is suddenly looking like 16, or 17 like 20, or whatever, I may be willing to sign.

Of course we can't predict the future, but I can't see Ryan doing any worse in Toronto (he will back up a better set of starters) than in Baltimore. The intangible is whether the rest of the bullpen can approximate or improve on their 2005 performances.

However, I don't see the team keeping Batista. I think his contract situation makes him tradeable, and he is versatile. The man was loyally to the team in trying differnent roles, and for that I commend him, but I think holding onto him is wasted money at this point.
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