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How much money do the Jays have left for 2006 if they have indeed signed B.J. Ryan for 5 years and $47M? Heres my guess at the 25-man roster theyd go with if the season started today, and how much I think it would cost. Naturally its inconceivable that there will be no more trades or signings, but this is useful for getting an idea of how many dollars can realistically be added. Numbers in bold are for contracts that have already been signed and publicized.

SP	Roy Halladay	 $12,750,000
SP	Gustavo Chacin	 $350,000 
SP	Josh Towers	 $2,300,000
SP	Miguel Batista	 $4,750,000
SP	Ted Lilly	 $4,500,000 
		
Closer	B.J. Ryan	 $8,500,000 
Setup	Justin Speier	 $2,250,000
LOOGY	Scott Schoen.	 $2,750,000
Mid	Jason Frasor	 $350,000 
Mid	Vinnie Chulk	 $350,000 
Long	Scott Downs	 $800,000 
Long	David Bush	 $350,000 
		
C	Gregg Zaun	 $1,000,000
1B	S. Hillenbrand	 $5,500,000 
2B	Orlando Hudson	 $1,000,000 
SS	Russ Adams	 $350,000 
3B	Corey Koskie	 $6,250,000
LF	Frankie Cat	 $2,700,000
CF	Vernon Wells	 $4,300,000
RF	Alexis Rios	 $350,000 
DH	Eric Hinske	 $4,325,000 

OF	Reed Johnson	 $900,000 
OF	Gabe Gross	 $330,000 
Inf	John McDonald	 $500,000 
C	Gil Quiroz	 $330,000 

        Grand total:  $67,835,000

Ive estimated B.J. at 8.5 / 9 / 9.5 / 10 / 10. The arbitration-eligibles are Johnson, Hillenbrand, Hudson, Lilly, Downs, McDonald, and Walker. For 2007 there are 5 players under contract for a total of $34M Halladay, Koskie, Hinske, Wells, and Towers. Ryan would make it 6 under contract and approximately $43M.

So, 12 million dollars, a dynamite bullpen, a weak lineup, and too many pitchers. What shall we do?

The State of the Budget, November 28 | 219 comments | Create New Account
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Marc Hulet - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:26 AM EST (#133434) #
Dealing Miguel Batista will clear up some cash. As much as I like the Cat, I would do the same with him... Gross can likely manage similar production.

Dealing Hinske or Koskie would also help, if you can find someone to take their contracts off the books, but I highly doubt it.

By clearing these players I would simply be looking to shed salary and not be too concerned with who is coming back the other way... Although perhaps Batista and League could land Mench.
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:45 AM EST (#133436) #
I've seen a few mentions, including the link below, that the Jays have $30 million for this offseason (prior to Ryan) which would put them closer to $85 million.

http://torontosun.com/Sports/Baseball/2005/11/26/1324860-sun.html

But then the GM says: "Each club has to do what each club has to do," said Ricciardi. "We've got a budget going to $70 million to $75 million (from a little over $50 million in 2005). I don't think anybody should have to explain itself as to how it spends its money."

Perhaps he'll elaborate at this afternoon's press conference.
Mike D - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:47 AM EST (#133437) #
Jeff Blair thinks the contract will break down as follows:

06: $2M + $6M bonus
07: $5M + $4M bonus
08-10: $10M annually
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:51 AM EST (#133438) #
Blair also wrote that: "On another front, the Blue Jays made what are described as "significant inroads" this weekend in their pursuit of free-agent outfielder Giles, according to a person familiar with negotiations."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051128/JAYS28/TPSports/Baseball

Jordan - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:08 AM EST (#133439) #
Blair's column also pegs the 2006 payroll at $75 million, which would leave $8M in the scenario described above. If the Jays are indeed hot on the trail of Giles and Burnett, there's going to be some very creative accounting or a lot of salary dumps to make that work.

Encouraging indications on Giles. As I suspected, signing Ryan has signaleld to the marketplace that the Blue Jays are a team to take seriously in the off-season.
leisl - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:42 AM EST (#133440) #
SP Roy Halladay 18.8%
SP Gustavo Chacin 0.5%
SP Josh Towers 3.3%
SP Miguel Batista 7%
SP Ted Lilly 6.6%

Closer B.J. Ryan 12.5%
Setup Justin Speier 3.3%
LOOGY Scott Schoen. 4.1%
Mid Jason Frasor 0.5%
Mid Vinnie Chulk 0.5%
Long Scott Downs 1.2%
Long David Bush 0.5%

C Gregg Zaun 1.5%
1B S. Hillenbrand 8.1%
2B Orlando Hudson 1.5%
SS Russ Adams 0.5%
3B Corey Koskie 9.2%
LF Frankie Cat 4%
CF Vernon Wells 6.3%
RF Alexis Rios 0.5%
DH Eric Hinske 6.4%

OF Reed Johnson 1.3%
OF Gabe Gross 0.5%
Inf John McDonald 0.7%
C Gil Quiroz 0.5%

Not that the percentages taken up of total salary helps. But I thought it would be fun to see how it shapes up...
MatO - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:55 AM EST (#133442) #
A few points to quibble with:

No way Lilly gets a 50% raise after last season. I'd say he's closer ot the $3.1M he made last year. Hudson I think makes $2-3M in arbitration. As mentioned above, BJ makes $8M according to Blair.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:14 AM EST (#133448) #
Hillenbrand, Batista, Lilly, and Catalanotto figure to make around $16-17 million next year. Add Koskie and it's around $22 million. All of those players can be traded and cleared off the books (Hinske is a lost cause). We may not get much in return for them, but if it helps in the way of possibly adding Burnett AND Giles, it's worth looking into.

All the players mentioned are replaceable. Hill can replace Koskie, Batista has already been replaced (by Ryan), and Catalanotto can be replaced by Gross/Johnson. Lilly and Shea will be more difficult to replace, but if we land Giles and Burnett, problem solved.

Easier said than done? Obviously. I think we have a good shot at AJ, but very little chance at acquiring Giles (despite the reports), but if JP is going after star level talent, then mid-level talent (Shea, Lilly, Batista, etc) shouldn't get in the way.

Damn Jeff Blair for getting my hopes up. Although, he was right about BJ Ryan.
Ducey - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:14 AM EST (#133449) #
I wonder whether the above salary chart could be added permanently via link or one of those handy buttons up top under ODog. It could be updated periodically. It would save someone typing it out everytime there is a discussion regarding a trade or FA signing.
Donkit R.K. - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:23 AM EST (#133452) #
It's been awhile...
Am I wrong in thinking Giles is being underrated, even with 3/30 being thrown around as a starting point? Personally, I'd be willing to go 3/42 or 4/48 without a second thought to land Giles - he looks to me like the perect player to hit ahead of VW.
NFH is also an eternal optimist, so I don't think this is going to become another challenge, but I'd be willing to wager that if the Blue Jays sign Giles he finishes top 10 in MVP voting... if they add a second competent bat (say, .820 OPS plus) too, top 5...
Ducey - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:26 AM EST (#133453) #
I am figuring JP is going hard after both AJ and Giles with the intention of getting one - not both. He will then make some trades depending upon who he gets.
jmoney - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:49 AM EST (#133464) #
Well I don't know about that. If J.P. is pursuing both then you have to be prepared to sign both.

I mean what if they both want to sign with you? Do you say. "Gee I kind of want the other guy more, you were kind of plan B."

I think if the Jays can sign both then they do so, and worry about who they move off the books at that point.
VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:57 AM EST (#133465) #
JP has always struck me as someone who likes "to keep his options open". If I had a dollar for everytime he said that phrase...

I don't think that they believe they can sign both. not financially, but I doubt both AJ and Brian Giles will accept JP's proposals.

If they do, then yea, he will have to say that. I'm sure he would like to have both, and maybe he can get creative with contract structure, etc, but there's a chance he will have to pick one over the other.

Life is good being a Jays fan.
Jonny German - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:41 PM EST (#133469) #
Marc, Why on earth would Toronto want Mench on the team, let alone give up two assets to get him?

Mike D (or anybody), what's the impact of paying a player in Bonus+Salary as opposed to straight salary? I assume the bonuses are paid as lump sums or a series of lumps sums rather than as regular paychecks, but does it greatly effect the total value of the contract? Does it have luxury tax ramifications?

MatO, I think the arbitrators look at 10 wins and say "Giddyup". I was definitely low on Hudson, I'll bump that to $2M in the next go-round.

Ducey, I'll be posting a thread exactly like this one with every major move.
timpinder - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 12:48 PM EST (#133471) #
I think it's safe to say Batista's gone and his salary will be money in the pocket soon. J.P. has extra infielders and extra starting pitchers. I'd love to see him pull off a Florida Marlins' move and ship maybe Hudson or Adams and Chacin somewhere with the stipulation that Hinske tags along, just like the Marlins did with Lowell when they sent Beckett to Boston. With Hinske and Batista gone, that would clear up almost $10 million. I'd hate to lose Hudson, but to get rid of Hinske and his contract it would be worth it.

Bush could move into the rotation to replace Chacin, and I'd rather have him there than Chacin anyway. Chacin is going to leap backwards in 2006, while Bush's numbers will improve since he's had a steady WHIP of 1.24 (well above league average) over 2 seasons compared to Chacin's 1.38.

As for Koskie, I wouldn't panic and I'm not ready to see his contract dumped. I think he'll bounce back this year with a .270+ average and around 20 HR's.

Any possibility a big spending team would be desperate enough for a 2B and SP that they'd be willing to take on Hinske????????
bird droppings - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:05 PM EST (#133473) #
I am soooo pumped for this press conference!

I am at work... in London, UK... wearing my O Dog jersey... listening to the Fan 590. God, I miss Corey's ads. Sooo bad.

I am giddy. People at work think I am insane.

I must say that a couple links today were fantastic reads. I enjoyed both the Shea vs. Hinske article and the Ryan contract article.

CRAZY!
Wildrose - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:15 PM EST (#133475) #
A few points:

-I thought the speculation by Blair that Ricciardi is close to a contract extension is important. I don't think Godfrey/Rodgers would sign off on the Ryan deal given the 10 million dollar backload in 09/10 unless J.P. was their man.

- I'm not sure I'd get my shorts in a knot over a hard salary number for this year's player expentitures(e.g." its only $75 million"). I think there's all sorts of ways to backload and structure contracts over a given period. The $10 million dollar allocation for 2009/2010 on the Ryan contract is a pretty good indication that the budget for those years will remain healthy.

-You can't trade Koskie after only one year ( except perhaps with his permission back to Minny where he has his off-season residence). What kind of message does that send to prospective free agents?


bird droppings - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:26 PM EST (#133477) #
Press Conference...

1. BJ Ryan - 5 years, 47 million.

2. AL teams not look forward to the ninth, "Let them have the nervous ninth for a change." - Godfrey

3. BJ has donated $250'000 of his bonus to the Jays Care Foundation - single largest donation ever.

4. JP and BJ talked. Both happy. Duh.

5. BJ Ryan Flex Pack available... free ticket to season closer.

6. Questions...

A. JP - 5 Year contract brought up by BJ. JP is comfortable with it. 4 or 5 years not a big difference.

B. JP on Highest Paid Reliever - "Billy Wagner hasn't signed yet."

C. BJ - Re: Why Toronto? Ryan influenced by Greg Myers, Pat Hentgen.

I missed some of the conference because my boss walked in and then the 590 cut off early.
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:26 PM EST (#133478) #
"Mike D (or anybody), what's the impact of paying a player in Bonus+Salary as opposed to straight salary?"

Someone over at Primer suggested that a player's signing bonus has different tax implications than salary (from Ryan's perspective).

Also I believe in the event of a work stoppage Ryan would be guaranteed the signing bonus whereas if it was salary he wouldn't get paid for the time not played.
Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:28 PM EST (#133479) #
First Sportsnet cut away, so I went to the Fan. Then the Fan cut away, so I went to the Score.

I should have just started with the Score. They're still running the Q&A, but I'm only half listening because Theo is destroying the living room.
VGeras - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:29 PM EST (#133480) #
Any other interesting questions asked? Anything about Giles, Burnett or even Batista?
Jordan - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#133482) #
Hillenbrand, Batista, Lilly, and Catalanotto figure to make around $16-17 million next year. Add Koskie and it's around $22 million. All of those players can be traded and cleared off the books (Hinske is a lost cause).

As mentioned in another thread, Hinske does have some value -- he'll give you a .260/.330/.440 line over 140 games, he can play either infield corner, and he runs decently for a big man. That's not much, but it's something. The difference between him and Hillenbrand as a first baseman is about 20 points in batting average and not much else. One or the other will probably be starting there Opening Day (not that that thrills me, exactly); I doubt both will make the team. Hinske's salary might look untradeable, but by the time this increasingly pricey off-season is over, he may look a lot more affordable than previously believed. It was only a year ago that Batista's contract looked like an albatross; today, he's a relative bargain. Youneverknow.

I imagine a couple of the players listed above could be dealt away, but not all of them. If the Jays somehow managed to snag Giles -- and I still think it's a major longshot -- I think it's likelier they'd slot him into right field, keep Cat and Sparky as a LF platoon, and try to package Rios along with other young talent for a bat. Lilly has very little trade value with that ERA and is bound to improve anyway. Koskie is staying put, for a number of reasons.

The likeliest players to be dealt away are Chacin, Hudson, Rios and Batista -- they have the gaudy features and the affordable price tags. I wouldn't be at all surprised if all four of them started 2006 with another ballclub.

Four Seamer - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#133483) #
You can't trade Koskie after only one year ( except perhaps with his permission back to Minny where he has his off-season residence). What kind of message does that send to prospective free agents?

Maybe I'm overly cynical, but I don't imagine trading Koskie would have any effect on prospective free agents at all. Don't be deceived by the union's public posturing - it's every man for himself come contract time. If it takes moving Koskie off the books for the Jays to come up with enough scratch to sign Expensive Free Agent, Expensive Free Agent (or at least his agent) is going to encourage the Jays to do it.

Had they traded him mid-season, or move him during the off-season just for the sake of dumping his contract, there might be some damage to the team's reputation sufficient to give a prospective free agent signing second thoughts, but when it comes to making space for another big money acquisition, I think that player is going to be concerned with his own dimes, not where Koskie (or any other player) is going to have to go to earn his.

After all, Ryan doesn't seem too put out by coming and taking Batista's job, two years removed from his signing as a free agent.

VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:37 PM EST (#133485) #
I had to cringe when Ted Rogers said something like this (paraphrase):

I would like to thank Rogers Communications who are the main reason the Blue Jays are in Toronto. Without them, there would be no more baseball in Canada.

I loved the Godfrey quote though. Swirsky's on taking callers now. He is ecstatic about the signing.

Joe - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:38 PM EST (#133486) #
I've got to wonder where these American news sources get their names. The MLB.com article on the Jays signing Ryan refers to the Globe and Mail as the "Toronto Globe and Mail," and this isn't the first place I've seen it referred to like that. Certainly, it's never been called the Toronto anything here, and I don't see a mention of it as the Toronto Globe and Mail anywhere on their site, either.

So what gives?

Jordan - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:43 PM EST (#133488) #
"Let them have the nervous ninth for a change." - Godfrey

No smiles in the Batista household over that one.

Wildrose - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:49 PM EST (#133489) #
Some comments from the press conference:

-J.P. (asked by Griffin) if he was signed as well for the next five years, frowned ( you can really tell he hates Griffin), blew him off and said "were in discussions".

-Ryan mentioned Hengten/Myers really influenced his choice as former teamates and former Jays. ( I guess that $9000,000 on Greg last year did buy something...)

-Ted Rodgers was there, but did not say much, important symbolically.

-J.P estimated $68 million commited this yeaar.

-Giles and Burnett's agents were informed of the signing and are still being pursued.

_J.P. had this guy targetted for a year.
Mosely - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:50 PM EST (#133490) #
"With all due to respect to (sic BJ's wife), we know more about BJ than she does" - Ricciardi

/Low brow, but had to snicker
Paul D - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:52 PM EST (#133491) #
Joe, I see that all the time. I'm guessing they just do it because the Globe isn't all that well known in the States, and if they just said Globe and Mail, people wouldn't know the reference point, ie, that it's a Canadian paper. Anyone ever seen the National Post referred to by an American journalist, does it get the same treatment.

Also, on to the silly. I've heard that BJ's entrance music is something by Slipnot. I think that this demands a thread/poll, as to what his entrance music should be.

I've got a couple of suggestions:
TNT - AC/DC. You can't go wrong with the DC when it comes to closer music, and this is a good one, and it hasn't been taken yet.

Blind - Korn. Starts out quiet. Gets really loud. I think this would pump people up.

Carmina Burana (Introduction)- This is the song they sing in the Ricard's Red song... sort of cool classical song, lots of loudness. I got the idea for a classical song from Ric Flair, and thought that this one would be a good one.
Wildrose - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 01:56 PM EST (#133492) #
I think that player is going to be concerned with his own dimes, not where Koskie (or any other player) is going to have to go to earn his.

I think your over-estimating a players thirst for money. One important aspect of free agency is choosing your destination, be it a competetive club, or in Koskie's case, his favourite childhood team. Start trading free agents one year after signing them, be prepared to have agents stop answering your calls.

Mylegacy - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:09 PM EST (#133495) #
68 mill gone, JP says 75 to spend... 7 mill left + deletions of Koskie? Hinske? Batista? Cat?

Veeery interesting...

The only chill on the party now is Boston's Beckett and Mota additions. If healthy Beckett is Clement/Schilling and Mota is better than not bad.

We'll NEED AJ just to keep even. I say get AJ. Get bats by trade, spring cuts, rule five, whatever we can. If we have dominate pitching and defense we have a fighting chance.



Spicol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#133497) #
C. BJ - Re: Why Toronto? Ryan influenced by Greg Myers, Pat Hentgen.

I am so pleased to see that the organization is treating players well enough that word is again being spread about Toronto. It seems the wounds caused by Interbrew, and to a lesser extent, Gord Ash, are finally starting to heal.
costanza - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#133499) #
Certainly, it's never been called the Toronto anything here, and I don't see a mention of it as the Toronto Globe and Mail anywhere on their site, either

I don't think the phrase "Toronto Sports Network" appears anywhere on www.tsn.ca, either. It doesn't mean, though, that it's not what it's called in the "rest of Canada". :-P

Carmina Burana (Introduction)- This is the song they sing in the Ricard's Red song

Yes, and in one out of every five movie trailers. Way, way overplayed

GeoffAtMac - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:25 PM EST (#133500) #
I was at the press conference covering it for my school. Here are some interesting tidbits:

-I spoke with Jeff Blair -- he says that a journalist friend of his in Baltimore claims that BJ is a very funny guy with a very down-to-Earth sense of humour

-Also, Jeff Blair is a very friendly guy; some of the other T.O. beat writers, not so friendly

-Ted Rogers said that the Blue Jays would have been moved to the States if he hadn't bought the team -- there was no further clarification of that

-Ted Rogers was also limping, and looks rather frail (not sure how he looked on TV)

-I asked BJ at the press conference who the person in the '05 Jays lineup scared him the most...and he kind of said he didn't have too many problems with the Jays lineup, but that Vernon burned him once

-BJ had to enter from Rogers Video (at Bloor/Jarvis), and for a moment he couldn't get into the press conference -- it was a Spinal Tap-worthy moment for those who have seen the movie
joemayo - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:28 PM EST (#133501) #
-J.P. (asked by Griffin) if he was signed as well for the next five years, frowned ( you can really tell he hates Griffin), blew him off and said "were in discussions".

definitely. JP just glared at Griffin while the question was being asked, replied "we're in discussions", then looked away as if getting ready to answer the next Q. as much as i like JP, he does come across as being somewhat immature with the whole Richard Griffin relationship.

oh well, good to finally get this signing official. it should be fun to be a jays fan during the next few weeks...

Paul D - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:39 PM EST (#133504) #
<i> Yes, and in one out of every five movie trailers. Way, way overplayed </i>


Come on, we're talking about closer music here! This is the genre that lives on AC/DC and Guns N Roses and all kind of overplayed fun stuff.
joemayo - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:43 PM EST (#133505) #
-I asked BJ at the press conference who the person in the '05 Jays lineup scared him the most...and he kind of said he didn't have too many problems with the Jays lineup, but that Vernon burned him once

lol, i heard a reporter saying he was from a university newspaper, but i didn't catch which one. nice work Geoff.

Vernon took him deep in a 4-1 loss to Baltimore back in April. BJ said he'll be glad to not have to face Vernon anymore.

DrJohnEvans - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:51 PM EST (#133506) #
Ive estimated B.J. at 8.5 / 9 / 9.5 / 10 / 10.

The Globe is reporting 2/5/10/10/10, with a $6m bonus in the first year and a $4m one in the second. So essentially 8/9/10/10/10.

Whoo-hoo, we came in at $500,000 under the estimate for 2006!

GeoffAtMac - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 02:53 PM EST (#133507) #
I'm actually at Ryerson now -- I just haven't changed my 'Box' name since graduating. I am glad I made it into mainstream media though!
SK in NJ - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:00 PM EST (#133508) #
"definitely. JP just glared at Griffin while the question was being asked, replied "we're in discussions", then looked away as if getting ready to answer the next Q. as much as i like JP, he does come across as being somewhat immature with the whole Richard Griffin relationship."

Wasn't Griffin behind the whole "White Jays" thing? If so, I don't think you can blame JP for not being respectful to Griffin.

Off-topic: The A's are close to signing Esteban Loaiza reportedly for 3-years, $21 million. Yes, THE Esteban Loaiza. Wow. Bad time to be a buyer. This makes me a feel a little better about the Ryan signing, but a little worse about what Burnett might command.
joemayo - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:14 PM EST (#133511) #
Wasn't Griffin behind the whole "White Jays" thing? If so, I don't think you can blame JP for not being respectful to Griffin.

that wasn't Griffin it was Geoff Baker (or Dave Perkins, i can't remember). but Griffin did support the article

Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST (#133512) #
"Off-topic: The A's are close to signing Esteban Loaiza reportedly for 3-years, $21 million"

Is there a source on that?
Mark - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:22 PM EST (#133513) #
Ken Rosenthal on Fox Sports is reporting it.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:24 PM EST (#133514) #
http://fantasybaseball.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.asp?sport=MLB&id=5368

"The A's are close to signing free agent Esteban Loaiza to a three-year contract for slightly more than $21 million, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports."
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:41 PM EST (#133515) #
I wouldn't think the A's would be in the market for an average starting pitcher, let alone pay him $7 million/year. Wow. I wish I had that one in the free agent prediction contest.

So much for OBP and defense. Old, average starting pitchers - the A's new market inefficiency!
Jonny German - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 03:53 PM EST (#133516) #
that wasn't Griffin it was Geoff Baker (or Dave Perkins, i can't remember). but Griffin did support the article

It was Baker's article, and was accompanied by a supporting column from Griffin which included the ludicrous and defamatory claim that the Jays would not have been interested in Jackie Robinson. I don't blame JP for still holding it against them (as I still hold it against them as well), but I agree that he doesn't handle the situation as well as he could.

rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:24 PM EST (#133520) #
"So much for OBP and defense. Old, average starting pitchers - the A's new market inefficiency!"

The end of an era.
Mike Green - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:38 PM EST (#133521) #
Hmm. Loaiza has actually been above average over the last 3 years with a very pretty W/K ratio. I hate to say it, but in terms of the numbers, the differences between him and AJ Burnett are very, very small.

Personally I would rather have Dave Bush than either, but that is definitely a subjective opinion. It isn't well understood, but there is definitely an age curve for pitchers, and both Burnett and Loaiaza are on the wrong side of it.

Luckily, BJ Ryan is one of those rare exceptions due to his K rate; if he loses 1K/9IP over the next couple of years and also loses half a walk/9IP, he'll be about as effective. That should be doable.
VGeras - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 04:39 PM EST (#133522) #
Mets signed wagner...4 yrs 43mil

5th yr option at 10mil or 3mil buyout
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:10 PM EST (#133523) #
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2239708

Just to clarify, the $43 million includes the $3 million buyout. So it'll be either 4 for $43 or 5 for $50.

So if BJ Ryan pitches well the next 5 years he'll still be in line for another big contract if this is any indication.
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:13 PM EST (#133524) #
"Loaiza has actually been above average over the last 3 years"

But that includes 2003 which is a huge outlier. His best ERA+ besides 2003 is 111.
Mike Green - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:23 PM EST (#133525) #
Well, Loaiza's 2005 was quite nice too. There are 2 ways to look at his career to date. First, he's a poor pitcher who got lucky in 2003. Second, he turned a corner in 2003, and while he's not as good as he seemed then, he's no longer a poor pitcher, with his 2003-2005 performance being a fair reflection of where he is at.

There's a lot of merit to the second approach. It's not only ERAs but K/W and K/IP that suggest that he's an above-average pitcher.
jmoney - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:33 PM EST (#133529) #
Wagner should send a present to J.P. I don't think he'd get that deal until the Ryan deal came out...

The Ryan deal looks better in comparison as well when you consider the age difference.
Gerry - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:45 PM EST (#133531) #
If Loaiza is worth $7 mil per year what is Batista worth?

Here are some numbers:


Batista 2005 ERA+ 109
Loiaza 2005 ERA+ 105, advantage Batista

Batista ERA+ last five years - 116
Loiaza ERA+ last five years - 104, advantage Batista

Batista number of ERA+ seasons in last 5 - 5
Loiaza number of ERA+ seasons in last 5 - 3, advantage Batista

Batista - age 34
Loiaza - age 33, advantage Loiaza

Batista salary $4.75 mil
Loiaza reported salary $7 mil, advantage Batista by >$2 mil

Summary: Batista has value, in performance and cost


SK in NJ - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 05:56 PM EST (#133533) #
Loaiza's ERA+ last season was 105. That's not bad, but it's not very good either.

ERA+ per year...
2001: 95
2002: 78
2003: 154
2004: 84
2005: 105

Using 3-year or 5-year splits is pointless, since it's lifted by his outlier season in 2003.

Loaiza can eat up innings and has generally stayed healthy. A league average 200 IP starter is valuable. Maybe Beane saw Loaiza's ratios last season and thought Loaiza could carry those over to the AL. Although, Washington plays in a pitcher's park, and his home/road splits were noticeable (2.86 ERA at home, 4.71 on the road).

I've doubted Beane before and looked foolish doing so, so I'll just trust his judgement for the time being.
Ron - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 06:02 PM EST (#133534) #
I heard Godfrey on Prime Time Sports and mentioned the budget was 75 million for next season.

I guess the budget will be 85 mil for next season then.

When asked about a contract extension for JP, he said stay tuned. I would like to know what Godfrey is smoking because he called JP the best executive in baseball.

At this point there's no chance in hell I'm giving JP an extension. Under his reign, 3 of the 4 yrs the Jays have been below .500 (although he had to slash payroll). With 2 years left there's plenty of time to see where the chips fall.
Andrew K - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 06:18 PM EST (#133535) #
Sickels has his review of the Blue Jays pre-season top 20 prospects
http://www.minorleagueball.com/

(i.e. this is the list of top 20 prospects as of the start of 2005, and a review of how they got on.)
VBF - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 06:19 PM EST (#133536) #
I've been mulling over closers music and the best ones that aren't already taken. And the best one really hasn't been taken.

BJ Ryan should make his closer's music "Thunderstruck".
Named For Hank - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 06:29 PM EST (#133537) #
At this point there's no chance in hell I'm giving JP an extension.

At the press conference, Godfrey spoke of patience and the pain of rebuilding. He's not in this for the short term, nor was he expecting J.P. to deliver an immediate winner. In other words, J.P. has delivered what Godfrey expected from him and what J.P. was hired to deliver.
HollywoodHartman - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 06:49 PM EST (#133538) #
Jim - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:09 PM EST (#133541) #
This is from an email I got from the A's official website:

The Oakland A's today announced that they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Esteban Loaiza on a three-year contract through 2008 with a club option for 2009.

Loaiza was 12-10 with a 3.77 ERA in 34 games, all starts, with Washington in 2005. He struck out 173 and walked just 55 in 217.0 innings.
Jim - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:10 PM EST (#133543) #
I really enjoy Money Talks. I've been waiting for someone to break that out.
rtcaino - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 07:43 PM EST (#133547) #
At the press conference, Godfrey spoke of patience and the pain of rebuilding. He's not in this for the short term, nor was he expecting J.P. to deliver an immediate winner. In other words, J.P. has delivered what Godfrey expected from him and what J.P. was hired to deliver.

I agree with what youre saying. However, I feel JP still has to put up some Ws. This year is the big test. If our key players are healthy, and we are not competing for a playoff spot, then JP has not delivered was he was hired to deliver.

That said, I think this will be a very competitive team this year.
Nick - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:23 PM EST (#133550) #
Different subject:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2239461

Carlos Delgado said at his Mets press conference that he would stand for God Bless America. I feel the issure has been way overblown and completely distorted but this puts a little closure on the speculation. I think it's funny how New York City, one of the most liberal cities in the US with a 6-to-1 Democrat to Republican registration ratio, got branded as this intolerable uber-patriotic pro-war city. I think the uproar would have been more from the press, particularly the Post.

Anyway - ESPN had a 10 question poll surrounding the Jays and the Ryan signing in particular. The results were mixed and a bit amusing. I think it's fun to get a glimpse into how outsiders view the team, even if it's not worth very much. After my vote, 17,237 people had voted.

Some of the highlights:

-69% of voters said the Jays overpaid "by a lot." Not surprising, even if I am in the miniscule 3.1% "not at all" choice.

- Even though so many thought Toronto overpaid, 53% still characterized the signing as a "good move." I'll pretty much agree with that.

- As far as what the best option was for the Jays in filling the closer role for 2006, the leading answer was signing Ryan with 26%. This one was a mixed bag with 21% for Batista, 21% for Trevor Hoffman, 15% for Kyle Farnsworth, 12% for Bob Wickman, and 5% for Todd Jones. Of course, this being ESPN, what may have been the actual best or 2nd best option of using Speier or Frasor was not a choice. I'm guessing the 21% for Batista don't watch the Jays on MLB Extra Innings.

- 75% don't think Ryan will be the Jays' closer in the 5th year of his contract. I don't know the answer, but I hope like hell they're wrong.

- Assuming Mo Rivera is the best closer in the AL, the voters chose Ryan 5th best closer after K-Rod, Joe Nathan, and Huston Street. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but those are all darn good pitchers.

- The vote was split between the biggest need for the Jays - power hitter or front-line starter. I think it's clear that either would be nice, but a power hitter would be nicer, all things being equal.

- Suprisingly, 65% view Burnett as a better potential signing than Giles. I guess I'm in the minority on that one.

- 41% think the Jays will contend for the AL East or the wild card next year. Not a choice, but I choose "Let's wait for the rest of the offseason to decide." 41% is not a big number but certainly bigger than it would have been in the past. I think it's more a reflection of people's evolving view that the Yankees and Red Sox may be vulnerable after all.

Finally, I am not an Insider on ESPN, but it appears Gammons and Olney at least don't view the signing in a negative light. Have any other prominent writers/analysts other than Rosenthal really lambasted this signing?
Nick - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 08:38 PM EST (#133551) #
The likeliest players to be dealt away are Chacin, Hudson, Rios and Batista -- they have the gaudy features and the affordable price tags. I wouldn't be at all surprised if all four of them started 2006 with another ballclub. I think this is a fair statement, but I would hate to lose Hudson. It depends on what the Jays got in return. I know you have to give something to get something and Hudson would be one of the first people I would ask for if I were an opposing GM. But his defense is incredibly valuable at a pretty cheap price. Especially considering the seemingly pitching-heavy philosophy. I like Chacin as well but believe he might be valued more elsewhere, especially if Toronto signs Burnett.
Dave Till - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:08 PM EST (#133553) #
Esteban Loaiza for three years? Huh?

From all I've heard, Godfrey and Rogers are pleased with J.P.: the team isn't losing money, attendance is up, the team is now an attractive destination for free agents - what's not to like?

I have no idea how much is in the budget, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jays land one or two more big names. I don't know whether they'll land Giles or A.J., but they're genuinely in the running for both players.

And, if they don't sign a big name, a package of Batista + Adams + Chacin + a couple of pitching prospects should land somebody.
Wildrose - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 09:30 PM EST (#133557) #
One interesting theory gaining traction on the Ryan signing is the effect of inflation on a back-loaded long term deal.

Gasko in his fine article in the Hard Ball Times today, noted that baseball salaries ( and I assume revenues as well) increase by about 10% per year. That seemed a little high for me, so by using the U.S.A. Today salary data base, I checked the numbers.

By compulating total salaries paid to all players in 2000, compared to 2005, I found wages in baseball increased by about 30%.

Now if the same trend continues, over the next 5 years, Ryan's 2009/2010 back loaded $10 million salary looks a lot more palatable, in essence it would be worth $7 million in today's dollar.

All this presumes the expiration of the current CBA in 2006 does not result in salaries slowing down,(I'm sure some baseball owners look at the NFL/NBA hard cap, and the extremely punitive NBA luxury tax, and have to wonder why Mr. Selig does not follow suit).

I'm liking this deal more and more.
Ron - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:07 PM EST (#133560) #
The NBA doesn't have a hard cap. You can re-sign your own players and go well over (like what the Knicks have done for years)the cap "limit".

Stark said he heard rumblings the owners and players may extend the current deal for another year. Almost every team is making money right now.
jamesq - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:34 PM EST (#133562) #
Just saw an interview with Ken Rosenthal on Sportsnet.

1)He reiterated his opinions expressed in his article about how he thought the move will be regretted down the road as it was too much for the Jays to spend in relation to their budget.

2)Still very much in the hunt for AJ Burnett. He believes once again the Jays will shock with the money offerred.

3) Batista has some market value-talked about a Mench trade.

4) If the Jays were to get Giles, he thinks JP may move Vernon. His rationale is that talented players like Vernon, with relatively modest salaries, are becoming much more valuable in this market.

In short he said watch the jays-more coming!

nicton - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:42 PM EST (#133563) #
Out of Batista / Koskie / Hinske, I think only Batista has any trade value. His salary is a little more then the Cubs paid FA non-closer RPs this year. Hinske and Koskie have highly inflated salaries for the production they give vs players available in FA. Unless you swap almost contract for contract, they'll be tough (impossible) to move...
Wildrose - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 10:54 PM EST (#133565) #
Ron I'm well aware the NBA does not have a hard cap. Read my post more carefully, I state quite clearly that the NBA has a punitive luxury tax.
Pistol - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:24 PM EST (#133566) #
"Rosenthal believes once again the Jays will shock with the money offered (on Burnett)"

Will Carroll wrote today that prior to the Ryan signing that Burnett was expected to sign in the 5 for $70 range.
Ron - Monday, November 28 2005 @ 11:40 PM EST (#133567) #
Wildrose you wrote"
"I'm sure some baseball owners look at the NFL/NBA hard cap, and the extremely punitive NBA luxury tax"

It seems like you wrote NBA hard cap. Anyways I don't want to split hairs. I do feel like a stiffer luxury tax may help out small market clubs.

BTW Godfrey on the Fan said he already talked to Selig about Ryan's contract. Obviously Selig wasn't pleased but Godfrey told him they had to give him that offer to sign him.
Nick - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:12 AM EST (#133568) #
"Will Carroll wrote today that prior to the Ryan signing that Burnett was expected to sign in the 5 for $70 range."

It's pretty clear the 5/$50 estimates were low after a guy throwing 1/3 the number of innings (albiet much more effectively) would sign for 5/$47.

5/$70 is too much for Burnett. I hope someone outbids the Jays or something else falls through because I have a gut feeling the Jays will sign AJ and that the contract will be a big mistake down the road.

It seems Toronto is very focused on signing AJ and if the Ryan signing is any indication, the team will stop at nothing to get him. Publicly, it doesn't seem any other team in the AJ pursuit is as determined as the Jays. I hope I'm wrong and other teams are going after him as hard or harder than the Jays. We'll have to wait and see.
rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:19 AM EST (#133569) #
I really hope we do not get AJ. 50/5 is bad enough. 70/5 is insane.
VBF - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:37 AM EST (#133570) #
If JP will stop at nothing to get AJ, then we would want less teams involved. The more teams involved, the bigger the chance of someone challenging JP. JP's memo to MLB thus far has been: Don't test me.
Smaj - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:41 AM EST (#133571) #
$70M over 5 years for AJ???!!!! Have mercy. These are numbers that simply do not make fiscal or statistical sense. If that is Burnett's price tag, then please JP put the phone down & walk away...quickly.

Giles is the better target. $36M over 3 years might get it done quickly.

As to the possibility of trading Vernon Wells, I would expect a blockbuster for the young Cf'er who still has plenty of upside.
rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 01:46 AM EST (#133572) #
Man, Jeff Blair being subscription only sucks. Will his blog continue to be free?
JayFan0912 - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:46 AM EST (#133573) #
5/$70 Million is a big mistake IMO. I don't have the numbers, but he will easily become one of the top 5 paid pitchers in the game... and he doesn't even have a .500 record.

I would rather sign giles, and then trade VW for ace pitching, or not trade for pitching at all. This team's pitching wasn't the problem, and they have a lot of prospects coming up ... the difference between chacin/towers/bush and burnett is simply getting more upside. With this deal, JP and co. must be certain burnett will become an ace, otherwise this contract is an albatross, injury or no injury.

It's important to remember that in 2 years, halladay and VW become free agents; with this contract, the jays will have to scramble to find the money to resign them (Most of their prospects reach arbitration years). I'd much rather patch things in the rotation with prospects, than give up any flexibility you may have in the future.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:57 AM EST (#133574) #
These are numbers that simply do not make fiscal or statistical sense.

How so? Do you believe that the salaries of players under the control of organizations have anything at all to do with what a player can command in free agency?

I am not arguing that it's a good way to spend the team's money -- I'm arguing that "it doesn't make statistical sense" is nonsense. All that determines a player's worth in free agency is what other free agents are going for that year. Nothing else.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:07 AM EST (#133578) #
Burnett for $70M would be a joke. That's almost Carlos Delgado money (didn't JP recently say "we just got out from underneath contracts" like this?). With all the young pitching coming through our system, do we really want to blow the rest of the surplus on one player with a great arm and an uneven track record? At least Ryan had all the right statistical indicators, over several years, working in his favour.
CeeBee - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:17 AM EST (#133579) #
I hope they're talking Canadian Tire money ;)
70m/5yrs things are really going nuts if this is the going rate for a starter who's only going to be, at best your number 2 guy.. Even for a number one starter its pretty hefty, but I'd rather see doc get that money than AJ.... sorry AJ, nothing against you but doc's been a jay his whole career and it would be nice to keep it that way. :)
MondesiRules - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:42 AM EST (#133580) #
Pistol - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:44 AM EST (#133581) #
And for the latest rumor, this from Bob Elliot in today's paper:

"And now Ricciardi is looking for another high-ranking officer/free-agent, making a five-year, $55-million offer to outfielder Brian Giles."

http://torontosun.com/Sports/Baseball/2005/11/29/1328545-sun.html
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:52 AM EST (#133582) #
Five years for Giles? He'll be 39 in the last year of his deal! I think Giles is in the same mold as Moliter when we got him in 1993, but five years? I'd rather give him three years and $12-13 million per than go to five years.

If that is true, I can't see any team touching that (much like the Ryan deal).
Smaj - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:54 AM EST (#133583) #
OK NFH, I'll bite on your comment.

Save the basic supply & demand rhetoric from Eco 101 concerning the Free Agent crop, its understood that this is a key variable, BUT the only variable....

"All that determines a player's worth in free agency is what other free agents are going for that year. Nothing else"

........is pure nonsense. What are you basing this opinion on? Where are your examples from this opinion?

My comment is specifically made toward the Blue Jays & AJ's rumoured asking price of $70M over 5 years.
Free agency is a reactive market from year to year with many variables to consider. However in this case for AJ Burnett it appears (again we do not know for certain) but it appears the Jays are drivers in this bidding process. Statistics should play a role and act as a major tool in determining player trends concerning future performance which can/should have bearing on the salary range & length of contract offered by any organization. We all know AJ's stats & rankings (they have been posted here consistently). The statistical analysis also provides a range of historical performance expectations for pitchers akin to AJ. Thus economically & statistically $70M over 5 years for AJ does not make sense...especially for the Toronto Blue Jays.

To think that MLB executives do not study statistics before making contract offers is naive & laughable given the millions of dollars being invested. Are bad decisions going to be made, absolutely! But I know in todays financial decision making process statistical data is very prevalent before a free agent offer is made.
Jordan - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:55 AM EST (#133584) #
Keep in mind, this comes from the pen of Bob "Corey Koskie Will Not be Blue Jay" Elliot, so caveat emptor on this rumour.

But if this offer turns out to be genuine, then I think you can conclude three things:

1. Giles will not get a better offer than that. He may get more dollars per season, but nobody's going to offer a guaranteed fifth year to someone who'll be 39 by the time the contract ends.

2. AJ Burnett is off the table. I was beginning to suspect this anyway, when there was very little talk about Burnett over the past week, and Blair stoked that fire when he mentioned in yesterday's column something along the lines of "the Jays are zeroing in on Brian Giles, and if AJ Burnett wants to get involved, he'd better move fast."

3. For 5 yrs/$55M, I'd rather have Giles than Burnett -- both for what they'll contribute overall and for their specific value to this team.

If the Ryan, Wagner and Loaiza signings (and this purported Giles offer) are telling us anything, it's that fans had better add at least $1 million and another guaranteed year to any estimated contract they think their team should be handing out. The Blue Jays are single-handedly re-adjusting the expectations of this marketplace.
Jordan - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:01 AM EST (#133585) #
I notice Rosenthal saying that a Giles signing in Toronto would be followed by a Wells trade. I can't see that at all -- what's the point of adding offence only to follow it up by dealing an equal amount away? And who's going to play CF -- Rios? He's hardly an inspiring right fielder as it is.

I still think that any Giles signing -- which admittedly, might look closer to reality today than yesterday -- would be followed by a Rios deal, not a Wells trade. This is a ballclub with a lot of players earning more than their contribution justifies -- Wells is probably the one bargain on the roster.
Smaj - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:25 AM EST (#133586) #
Interesting at 5 years for Giles. I wonder if JP has been given a budgetary guideline beyond 2007? Assuming a Giles or AJ signing for 5 years plus the notion of signing Doc & to an extension really commits plus our new closer's contract really commits a large percentage of the payroll to a few players.

A Wells trade seems very illogical given his strengths & Jays needs.

Jordan - you have perked my interest concerning:

"This is a ballclub with a lot of players earning more than their contribution justifies"

When we look at the current 25 man roster who is dead weight in your opinion (beyond the obvious whipping boys of our 1st & 3rd basemen types).
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:29 AM EST (#133587) #
Whoa. Alex Rios is the best defensive right fielder in the American League, better than Ichiro and better than Vlad. Yes, his routes to the ball are sometimes indirect, but with raw speed he gets there more often than anybody else. His arm is not quite the equal of Ichiro's or Vlad's, but it's close.

That doesn't mean that Vernon Wells should be traded if Giles is acquired. But, the reasons for that are primarily offensive. If Giles were to be acquired, the offence would be put a great number of runners on base, but have barely adequate power and little base-stealing ability. To trade away the kind of power Wells brings would result in an inefficient offence. In other words, Wells would have more value to the Jays offensively than he would have to other teams.
rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:34 AM EST (#133588) #
Interesting at 5 years for Giles. I wonder if JP has been given a budgetary guideline beyond 2007? Assuming a Giles or AJ signing for 5 years plus the notion of signing Doc & to an extension really commits plus our new closer's contract really commits a large percentage of the payroll to a few players.


- I wonder if we got a budget increase that we don't know about? If keeping to the three year rolling budget, presumably JP knows what he has for that third year now. Maybe they decided to keep it hush hush to strengthen their bargaining position... you know, and then decided to offer Giles five years anyway.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:35 AM EST (#133589) #
To think that MLB executives do not study statistics before making contract offers is naive & laughable given the millions of dollars being invested.

Who said that? Not me. But here's what determines a free agent's salary: whatever the highest bidder bids. Period. No matter what numbers you crunch to show you if it's good or bad or relative or whatever else, you either pay or you don't get the player. Do you think that if the Jays show A.J. Burnett some spreadsheet about his relative value he'll say, "Well, I was asking for more, but since the statistics show I'm worth only this much I'll take it"?

You can fiddle with the numbers and proclaim good and bad to your heart's content, but in the reality of baseball those numbers will not impact the actual player salaries when it comes to free agents.

If you are saying that the Jays and the Jays alone have put the price for Burnett at $70 million, that's ludicrous -- they have to bid against someone, don't they? If Burnett does indeed become a Blue Jay for 70/5, it will be because they could have him at 70/5 or not have him. They are "drivers in this bidding process" just as much as any other team that desires Burnett.

Clement got what seemed like a ridiculous contract last season -- this time, the Jays are not playing wait-and-see, because they lost out. If they want to acquire free agents, this is what they'll have to do.

Again, I am not saying that I like this or that I think it would be a good investment. I'm saying that if the Toronto Blue Jays want A.J. Burnett, they will end up paying some ridiculous amount like this because that's their only option. There's no way they can get him for less than the largest bid.

Save the basic supply & demand rhetoric from Eco 101 concerning the Free Agent crop, its understood that this is a key variable,

I know nothing of economics and I know nothing of statistics. Beyond high school, I have done no math and my only further education was Applied Photography at Sheridan, a hardcore, hands-on technical course. I have not studied economics on my own and I don't plan to.

I'm not coming at this from any angle aside from realism.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:41 AM EST (#133591) #
I wonder if we got a budget increase that we don't know about? If keeping to the three year rolling budget, presumably JP knows what he has for that third year now. Maybe they decided to keep it hush hush to strengthen their bargaining position... you know, and then decided to offer Giles five years anyway.

B.J. Ryan mentioned the commitment to winning that Ted Rogers had personally conveyed to him -- I think that maybe if the team shows some success that the payroll will continue to increase. I can see J.P. gambling with that rolling payroll -- make the run now, and if you don't get any closer to the big prize you'll have to jettison a bunch of salary next year/year after.
koanhead - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:41 AM EST (#133592) #
A. J. Burnett. I'm not sure I understand why people worry about signing this guy. He has one of the better arms in baseball. Sure, he's had TJ surgery but he actually bounced back from that fairly quickly and is just as good a pitcher as he was before. Maybe even better -- his walk rate is dropping; granted, his K rate is as well, though not by much, but he's also inducing more ground balls. He doesn't give up many hits, and he's never been prone to allowing the long ball.

In fact, Burnett is a guy with a career line of 7.58 H/IP, .69 HR/IP, and improving 3.97 BB/IP, 7.93 K/IP and an improving 1.99 K/BB. His K/BB for the last 5 seasons looks like this:

2001, 1.54 in 170 1/3 IP
2002, 2.25 in 204 1/3 IP
2003, 1.16 in 23 IP (Tommy John surgery)
2004, 2.97 in 120 IP
2005, 2.50 in 209 IP

As far as I can see, he's a damn good pitcher who's only gotten better since his surgery. And who's had no elbow problems since that I know of. More importantly, he's also never had any shoulder problems that I know of.

Burnett is no Big Unit, and he's certainly no Rocket or Pedro. But he is far and away the best free agent starting pitcher on the market. If the Jays need another starting pitcher, Burnett is the guy to go after. And I see little reason to worry about injury in his future. Certainly no more so than with any other pitcher.

I say sign him, keep Hudson for those ground balls, go hard after Giles for as long as possible, and trade some combination of Hillenbrand, Batista and Chacin (before the mirrors break and the smoke clears) for a real bat. The Jays could do worse than a rotation of Halladay, Burnett, Bush, Lilly and Towers.
JayFan0912 - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:43 AM EST (#133593) #
I still think that any Giles signing -- which admittedly, might look closer to reality today than yesterday -- would be followed by a Rios deal, not a Wells trade. This is a ballclub with a lot of players earning more than their contribution justifies -- Wells is probably the one bargain on the roster.

I think the only players earning more than they deserve are koskie and hinske. Koskie though has an excellent chance to bounce back, while hinske is simply dead weight. Is there a way he could be dropped of the 40 man roster ?

Rios doesn't have a lot of value right now ... and more importantly, his value increases if he plays a more demanding position -- a place at which his mediocare bat doesn't look as bad. He has a good chance of improving on his production (1 HR to 10 HR is a big jump), which suffered this year as he adjusted his batting stance. Also, Wells might fetch a very good player, which may earn more money, or be grouped with another prospect to bring back a thumper. I was thinking something along the lines of ben sheets, teixeira, and the red sox want to trade away a ramirez while needing a CF.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:45 AM EST (#133594) #
Apparently ESPN radio this morning is saying that Joe Torre will consider moving either Jeter or A-Rod to centre field if the Yankees don't acquire a genuine centre fielder this winter.

No more Tony Womack in centre? Awww...
MatO - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:48 AM EST (#133595) #
Blair was on the FAN last night and I only caught a part of what he said but what I did hear was that the Jays had concluded in the last week that they weren't going to get Burnett.
Pistol - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:54 AM EST (#133597) #
"2. AJ Burnett is off the table."

I suspect that it might be an either/or situation with Burnett and Giles. If one is signed the Jays won't sign the other.

It sounds like the Jays definitely want to sign one or the other prior to the winter meetings and then make trades from there. Burnett doesn't seem to be in a big hurry to do this prior to the winter meetings and if that's the case he might be left with one less offer.

If the Jays indeed say to Giles 'here's $55 for 5, but only if you sign prior to the end of the week' I suspect there's a good chance he'll do it as I can't imagine him having too many offers in that ballpark. If he lets that go he might be leaving $15-20 million on the table.

Burnett on the other hand is almost assured of 5 for $65 whether it's from the Jays or someone else. His urgency wouldn't be as great.

If it's either Giles or Burnett I'd prefer Giles, and that it fills more of a need on the team is a bonus in my mind.
Jordan - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:55 AM EST (#133598) #
When we look at the current 25 man roster who is dead weight in your opinion (beyond the obvious whipping boys of our 1st & 3rd basemen types).

Well, I overspoke that point. Koskie and Hinske, of course, and Hillenbrand if they bring him back at the dollars Jonny proposed at the start of the thread: that's about $17 million worth of mediocrity there. It's not hard to argue that Ryan (and possibly Giles) will be overpriced for what they deliver, as valuable as that will be. But to be honest, the rest of the roster does reflect pretty well their contributions, and "overpaid" is so fluid a term in this marketplace as to be close to meaningless. I'll retract my previous statement.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:22 AM EST (#133600) #
A lot of people have complained about the length of Ryan's contract, and the years supposedly offered to Giles & Burnett. But is it a fair trade, I wonder, to have 2-3 really good years followed by a couple years of mediocrity? By the time these players are becoming contractual burdens, players like Wells, Hudson, budding-superstar Rios, Adams and Hill will be getting expensive, and some will have to walk anyway.

Is Ricciardi setting up a competitive cycle on his own terms?
the shadow - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:23 AM EST (#133601) #
Why not go for Giles, and instead of Burnett take a run at Millwood
Lefty - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:41 AM EST (#133603) #
I second this notion. It seems we have fallen into the trap of thinking Burnett is the only guy out there. Why not make a run at Millwood. Something in the range Loaiza is reportedly signing for in Oakland.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:51 AM EST (#133605) #
I don't think Millwood is going to end up being much cheaper than Burnett. As soon as Burnett signs, everyone who didn't sign AJ is going to be calling Millwood and his agent... who, I'm pretty sure, is still Scott Boras.

I don't think there's any way Millwood signs before Burnett, and I doubt there will be any sort of bargain deal for the AL ERA champ.

jsut - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:56 AM EST (#133607) #
I'm starting to wonder if JP is offering long contracts because he's not going to take an extention and is expecting to not have to clean up the potential mess if the players don't pan out.
Wildrose - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:56 AM EST (#133608) #
Ricciardi must have some pretty positive cash flow numbers for the future, I note in this Star story, the team is talking an extension with the Doc.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 11:12 AM EST (#133610) #
If you are pondering the future of Aaron Hill, you might want to take a trip through the past with Steve Treder in today's THT. The piece includes shortstops-who-might-have-been-third-basemen; there are some interesting historical parallels to Hill, and the "crossroads' theme couldn't be more appropriate to him, in light of his acoustic blues passion.
Kingsley Zissou - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 11:59 AM EST (#133615) #
Holy crap!!!
I just spent the past week in Cuba, with no access to North American media. I'm BLOWN AWAY!
LOVE BJ RYAN...let's get Giles done before the end of the week so we can dispatch Batista and Hinske at the meetings.
Mike D - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:08 PM EST (#133618) #
J.P. is on mlb.com's Live Radio right now...
Mike D - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST (#133621) #
J.P. just said that the Jays have not offered Giles five years, and that it would be a deal-breaker if Giles required a five-year pact.

His gut feeling is that Giles would prefer to play on the west coast, but that the Jays can attract him if the right situation out west doesn't arise.

As an aside, the Newark Star-Ledger apparently ran an article today saying that Giles has ruled out the Yankees and is leaning toward Toronto, but is waiting to see if the two L.A. clubs step up their offers before he signs with the Jays.
Flex - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST (#133622) #
Thanks for the tip on Ricciardi on MLB.

I didn't hear all of it, but during the part I did hear, he shot down the idea of a five-year offer to Giles. To quote approximately -- "If it's gonna take five years, we won't be involved."
Sherrystar - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST (#133623) #
Mike D, any tidbits from the broadcast would be appreciated for those of us at work.

Cheers
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:23 PM EST (#133624) #
JP just denied the five year talk on MLB.com's radio. He said if it takes five years, then "we're out". Ricciardi also said Giles seems like a West Coast guy.

I guess we should only trust Jeff Blair with these types or rumors.
Flex - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:24 PM EST (#133625) #
Shoulda known Mike'd be on top of that.
VBF - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:26 PM EST (#133626) #
Bob Elliott giveth, Bob Elliot taketh away.
Mike D - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:28 PM EST (#133627) #
Not too much else of interest. J.P. likes Toronto fans and has been impressed with their patience and understanding. B.J. was the only reliever the Jays were interested in, and if they didn't land Ryan they wouldn't have signed anybody for the 'pen.

J.P. was complimentary and diplomatic regarding Batista, and stuck to the line that Batista is a member of the rotation "unless something changes."
rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:30 PM EST (#133628) #
That is good news. 4 years doesn't seem nearly as bad for Giles. I wonder what the LA teams are offering him right now? Does LA even have a GM right now?

""As an aside, the Newark Star-Ledger apparently ran an article today saying that Giles has ruled out the Yankees and is leaning toward Toronto, but is waiting to see if the two L.A. clubs step up their offers before he signs with the Jays.""

I don't know how accurate that is, but I like the idea that we are next in lines.
Skills - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:33 PM EST (#133629) #
I love it too, because the Star Ledger is my local paper and it is oh so nice to hear it reporting that the no one wants to go to the Yankess. This is definitely the Bizarro offseason so far.
Jordan - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:34 PM EST (#133630) #
J.P. just said that the Jays have not offered Giles five years, and that it would be a deal-breaker if Giles required a five-year pact.

Can't say I'm sorry to hear that --- I would have thought that Giles wouldn't merit a five-year deal, and it's good to hear JP's not simply lapping the field because he can. It's also good to get confirmation that a Bob Elliot report is about as reliable as a '74 Impala on a winter morning.

Sounds to me like it's going to come down to the Dodgers, Angels and Blue Jays -- and since Giles likes Southern California, the Jays are going to have to go above and beyond whatever those two teams offer to bring him onboard. Don't pop the champagne corks quite yet.

rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:36 PM EST (#133631) #
"Don't pop the champagne corks quite yet."

Za? It's 12:30. What else am I supposed to drink?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:38 PM EST (#133632) #
If the Jays are competing with the Dodgers and Angels, it doesn't sound too promising. Both teams can offer Giles a big paycheck. We have to hope that the Angels are putting all their focus on Konerko and the Dodgers are still GM-less by the time Giles makes a decision.

I have noted to not trust Elliot rumors. I should have known better. Jeff Blair and Mike Wilner are a lot closer to JP and more trustworthy. If they say something, I'll listen.
Jordan - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:39 PM EST (#133633) #
Here's the Newark Star-Ledger article referenced earlier:

Brian Giles, whom the Yankees targeted for center field, has decided not to return to his hometown San Diego Padres but may be leaning toward Toronto if he does not get an attractive offer from the other two southern California teams (Angels, Dodgers).

A friend of Giles said Giles wants at least a three-year deal with a contender. Joe Bick, Giles' agent, said yesterday Giles' decision is "in progress" and "we haven't put any deadline on anything."

I like that "friend of Giles" part. Is that like "Friend of the Museum"? Do you have to make an annual donation to remain a Friend of Giles?

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 12:48 PM EST (#133635) #
Sheffield is probably the most similar (I use the word loosely) recent free agent to Giles. 34 year old great pure hitter. Sheffield got 3 X 14 in a seemingly less favourable market two years ago, and has earned his contract so far.

If you look at 5/55 as three years @14, one year at 8 and one year at 5, you could justify that. There is definitely risk, as there is with Ryan.
DepecheJay - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 01:16 PM EST (#133639) #
I was wondering...

Everyone has said that in order to sign the "Big 3" (Ryan, Burnett, Giles) the Jays would have to get creative...

My question is, since Ryan will only make 2 million this season, does that mean the Jays still have a crap load of money to spend? Or is his bonus being counted towards the team budget. If it is, that's 8 million that will go towards the budget that's under Ryan's name.

If it's only 2, there's a good chance that the Jays would somehow be able to pull this off.
Sherrystar - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 01:18 PM EST (#133640) #
Here I was getting excited and then reelized you guys are right... don't trust Elliot (although I like listening to him when he come sont he FAN!)

Looks like Giles will end up on the West Coast and we'll still be searching for "2 bats"

I suppose this means that Burnett is still possible/likely?
Fawaz - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST (#133641) #
At the end of that column, Elliott notes that Delgado "collected 74 HRs and 244 RBIs in two seasons before being dealt." Perhaps he means that the same bizarro jays that dealt Delgado (obviously not the ones that let him walk after his 4 year - not 2 year - deal expired) are making a 5-year offer to Giles.
Ducey - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 01:38 PM EST (#133642) #
Rotoworld is reporting that the Dodgers offered Konerko a 5 year, $60 million dollar deal.

If true (and who knows - Marty York presumably caught on somewhere) this would likely take the Dodgers out of the running for Giles. It may also raise the price for Giles.
Jacko - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 01:43 PM EST (#133643) #
Well, I overspoke that point. Koskie and Hinske, of course, and Hillenbrand if they bring him back at the dollars Jonny proposed at the start of the thread: that's about $17 million worth of mediocrity there. It's not hard to argue that Ryan (and possibly Giles) will be overpriced for what they deliver, as valuable as that will be. But to be honest, the rest of the roster does reflect pretty well their contributions, and "overpaid" is so fluid a term in this marketplace as to be close to meaningless. I'll retract my previous statement.

I think it's a fair statement that at least one, and possibly two of those guys are going to be dealt at the winter meetings.

Given Hinske's low perceived value, it will probably be Koskie and/or Hillenbrand. If they manage to deal both, I would not mind seeing Hill in a semi-platoon role with Hinkse (though I'm not entirely comfortable with Hinske moving back to 3B next year).

Kieran - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 02:06 PM EST (#133644) #
To echo a previous comment, should we be reading anything into the $2M salary for Ryan in '06? Is the bonus counted against the budget (I presume so)?

Why would the Jays/Ryan have structured his contract such that his salary is only $2M this year...there must be some reason, no?
VBF - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 02:10 PM EST (#133645) #
Coming out of the blue, and something that just hit me, but should we be worrying about Ted Rogers' health? He was looking mighty frail at the press conference. What happens when he moves on? Who makes the decisions, because from what I understand, many of his people are against getting involved in the Blue Jays.

And, if something were to happen to the Rogers ownership and the team was left ownerless, does anyone think that the upcoming resurgence in baseball in Toronto will be enough to attract other ownership?
Kieran - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#133646) #
I don't have an insider's perspective of Rogers, but presumably as a major corporation they have a succession plan for Ted Rogers in place. Hopefully the board of directors is supportive of the Jays, but again, I have no insight.
Leigh - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 02:18 PM EST (#133649) #
should we be worrying about Ted Rogers' health?

This is like mentioning a no-hitter in the sixth inning.

rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#133650) #
Well he isn't young. Hopefully that acts as more of a motivation for immediate success than anything else.
Wildrose - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 02:23 PM EST (#133651) #
Why would the Jays/Ryan have structured his contract such that his salary is only $2M this year...there must be some reason, no?

Generally from the players perspective a bonus can be taxed differently than salary. Not sure if it has any impact on the employer.

Newton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 03:01 PM EST (#133653) #
Rogers:

They got a sweetheart deal on the Dome and benefit from the synergies inherent in owning a content producing sports franchise for their media interests.

The additional 20 mill a year in payroll will easily pay for itself on the whole, even if the baseball operation operates at a loss, if the team contends for the next few seasons.

The Greater Toronto Area is one of the 5 largest markets in North America (behind only New York, L.A., and Chicago I believe).

Rogers couldn't have purchased the Jays at a better time (about half of the new payroll money can be attributed to the savings enjoyed due to the strength of the Canadian Dollar)and the team isn't going anywhere.

The comment getting everybody worked up is merely some manifestation of a great and aging Canadian's yearning to carve out a legacy for himself.
Ron - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 03:16 PM EST (#133655) #
According to Newsday, the Jays are one of the teams where Vasquez can not be traded to.
Sherrystar - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 03:23 PM EST (#133656) #
Not an issue as J.P thinks he a "6 inning pitcher" and thus the Jays aren't interested.
rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 03:29 PM EST (#133657) #
""According to Newsday, the Jays are one of the teams where Vasquez can not be traded to.""

Well tell Newsday to tell Vasquez that we don't want him anyway and he'd be lucky to pitch for the Blue Jays. What a jerk.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 03:43 PM EST (#133658) #
Well tell Newsday to tell Vasquez that we don't want him anyway and he'd be lucky to pitch for the Blue Jays. What a jerk.

"You'll be sorry you didn't come to the prom with me!"
Blue in SK - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 04:20 PM EST (#133659) #
Just finished reading Blair's follow up article (Tuesday paper version of the G&M) about the Ryan signing, and I noted a couple of interesting point.

1) Blair says JP will be signing a new 3 year extension, running his contract thru 2010. His sources say the deal is done and could have been announced yesterday, except for the Ryan press conference.

2) JP figures he has $68M committed to 2006 and doesn't want to spend more than $75M.

3) Godfrey was asked about the $75M budget number that keeps getting floated around (rather than the $85M that most expected). His answer was rather obvious, in that JP doesn't feel he needs to spend that much and that it was all part of a larger plan. Godfrey also mentioned the trade deadline, implying that perhaps JP has put some funds aside to pick up a player in July. My take on that would be that JP doesn't seem like the kind of GM to rent a player for a half season and therefore he might be taking on someone's multi-year deal.

4) In connection to the above comment about the $75M budget, Godfrey also mentioned non tendering players as a way to get around the budget. Which I found odd since JP is on record as saying he doesn't intend to non-tender anyone, but I suppose if JP is able to sign both Giles and Burnett, he might be forced to non-tender someone.
Ron - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 04:49 PM EST (#133661) #
Any extension given to JP at this point doesn't make any sense. In his 4 years what has he accomplished at the big league level besides slashing payroll? I think he's done a decent job with the farm system but I don't expect BA to rank the Jays in the top 10.

He has 2 years left on his deal and just let's see what happens.

If an extention to 2010 happens soon, I'm going to rip Godfrey and Rogers. Nevermind, I already have.
rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:02 PM EST (#133662) #
"I think he's done a decent job with the farm system but I don't expect BA to rank the Jays in the top 10."

Gerry guessed they would be in and around 20th.
Malcolm Little - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:08 PM EST (#133663) #
Yikes....Who would be a candidate for non-tendering? I hope not Lilly, who with that All-star TM appearance, would be tradeable.
Ron - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:32 PM EST (#133665) #
According to Doug Melvin, McGowan is untouchable.

Brewers: Rumors that the free-spending Blue Jays are after Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay are off-base, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said. Melvin debunked a published report out of Toronto that the teams were working on a swap of Overbay for 23-year-old right-hander Dustin McGowan, telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "We never really asked about (McGowan). They told us he was an untouchable." Melvin said he has not spoken with Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi since the GM meetings in Palm Springs.

rtcaino - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:36 PM EST (#133666) #
Makes sense with Dustin. Him for Overbay seems like a mismatch.

Rotoworld has this to say about Doc and JP:
According to the Toronto Star, the Jays could include extensions for Roy Halladay and GM J.P. Ricciardi in their current shopping spree.
Halladay is owed $25.5 million over the next two years. Ricciardi is also signed through 2007. An extension with the GM should be easier to get done.

Nothing Earth shattering here. But posting it seemed like a better idea than studying.
Ducey - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:39 PM EST (#133667) #
"If an extention to 2010 happens soon, I'm going to rip Godfrey and Rogers."

Well, thanks for telling us all. Perhaps you should convey this directly to Godfrey himself now - to give him the opportunity to let JP dangle and thereby avoid your damning criticism. Given your long stated support for JP I am sure your insights will carry particular weight with the Blue Jays administration and help to avoid the travesty that would occur if Rogers was to reward JP for doing what he said he was going to do.

In your letter to Godfrey I suggest you make particular note of JP's failure to win it all while trimming payroll down to $50 million, avoid a spate of injuries in 2004, trade a bag of balls for Adam Dunn, get Darcy Tucker and Gary Roberts signed, forsee Hinske's downturn and Koskie's injuries, and failure to find more diamonds in the rough like Downs, Walker, Chacin, Towers, Zaun, Johnson, and Myers.

Along the way I expect you will easily be able to show that most of the other GM's have been flawless in their decision making and that JP has clearly been one of the worst.

Save it Ron, we have heard it too many times already.
Wildrose - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:51 PM EST (#133668) #
Disagree with Ron, Ricciardi has made some mistakes, notably over-rating some former Oakland farmhands (e.g.Arnold, Miller, Hinske), but I think deserves a chance to finish the job, now that the hard part in terms of slashing salaries is over. I'd never have my G.M. on less than a five year term, you'd be asking for too many poorly thought out short term solutions.
Ron - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 05:57 PM EST (#133669) #
Ducey, how nice of you to avoid mentioning the 4 year record of the Jays under JP's regime.

I'll brush of your snide/condescending remarks.

In no way am I saying JP should be kicked to the curb right now. I'm saying there's 2 years left on his current deal and it would foolish to give him another extention right now. Why not wait until at least the end of this season to see where the Jays stand, especially when you consider this is the first off-season where he's not operating under one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.
Ron - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:01 PM EST (#133670) #
I would like to add hopefully a roster member opens up a new thread on whether JP should be given a long term extension right now. Free free to move my 2 posts if a new thread is created.

Thanks.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:10 PM EST (#133671) #
Ducey, how nice of you to avoid mentioning the 4 year record of the Jays under JP's regime.

DIdn't Ducey say this:

In your letter to Godfrey I suggest you make particular note of JP's failure to win it all while trimming payroll down to $50 million, avoid a spate of injuries in 2004

Are those not direct references to the team's on-field performance?

You can't honestly believe that J.P. Ricciardi was brought in to cut payroll to $50 million without killing the team and yet was expected to immediately win with that $50 million team? You cut the team down, then you rebuild it -- you don't cut it down and suddenly have a contender.
Jim - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:12 PM EST (#133672) #
I disagree with probably half of what you said, but this one stuck out:

'Koskie's injuries,'

Yeah, couldn't see those coming...

NDG - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:16 PM EST (#133673) #
I also agree with Ron. While JP has done a good job at the first task he was given (shedding salary), the rest of his performance has been pretty non-descript. Granted this is the first year he could have reasonably been expected to compete, but why not see if he does? It's not like renewing him one year early is a slap in the face. There's no real need to do it two years early.
Wildrose - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:19 PM EST (#133674) #
Regarding Mcgowan, I think he's a significant talent. I'd wager his next 5 years of production will match that of A.J. Burnett, especially if financial considerations are considered. Overbay is a talent but I wouldn't do that deal.

The problem of putting your G.M.on a short leash as Ron demands, is that you'd force your front office to do such poor short term deals. Either you believe in your guy, or you get rid of him, there's no middle ground.

Lefty - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:25 PM EST (#133675) #
I sincerely doubt Ron is a lone voice in the wilderness on this one. Many of those - on this site - who used to attack anyone who had the timidity to question any move by the GM who walked on water.

Some of his former greatest defenders have been openly and rightfully pointing out the team seems to be without a real direction. Signing Ryan wasn't rocket science. So far JP for all of his moves hasn't done anything yet. Nada.

I happen to agree with many of those who are questioning this team. It is our right as loyal followers of our team.

Ripping Ron for questioning whether JP should be signed to a multi year extention with two years left on his current deal smells like someone just having a bad day at the office and wanting rip out someones orifice.

Rob - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:38 PM EST (#133676) #
I would like to add hopefully a roster member opens up a new thread on whether JP should be given a long term extension right now.

I am sick and tired of contracts, extensions, salaries, general manager evaluations and everything related to things that don't have to do with nine men hitting a little white ball with a stick.

How about talking about baseball for a change? I hear it's a pretty good game.

HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:41 PM EST (#133677) #
Random Trade Idea....

If we sign Giles should we maybe persue Nick Johnson? Something like Rios + Batista + Prospects?
HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:44 PM EST (#133678) #
Well Rob, What do you think about the game's in the past month or so?...
Ducey - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:45 PM EST (#133679) #
Not a bad day at all. I just get tired of guys like Ron saying the same thing over and over and over. I got it - he doesn't like JP.

If he doesn't like or likes the Ryan signing I would like to hear about it. Even rip JP about it, great. But I don't need to hear about how JP is bad because he did not win yet and signed Hinske etc.
mathesond - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 06:47 PM EST (#133680) #
How about talking about baseball for a change? I hear it's a pretty good game.

Gee, when's the next game? Or did you want a thread discussing the rules of the game?
Ron - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:02 PM EST (#133681) #
"The problem of putting your G.M.on a short leash as Ron demands, is that you'd force your front office to do such poor short term deals. Either you believe in your guy, or you get rid of him, there's no middle ground."

- I have never demanded a short leash on JP. If I did, I would have wanted him fired after the year from hell. You'll notice I never have said he should be fired right now either. What I am questioning, is if it's a smart move to give him another long term extension right now? I believe at the earliest, the Jays should look at that option after the upcoming season, the season where he has significant payroll at his disposable for the first time. What is the rush? JP still has 2 years left and said he's not going anywhere.

I'm more than willing to give 5 years to JP to see how things shake out before I demand he be fired ASAP. And this upcoming season is the 5th year. I understand he came into a tough position in regards to contract that's why I'm interested to see how the Jays do this upcoming season. But there has to be a point where on field results should be expected and demanded by the fans and ownership. Hence that's why I feel like it's a better move to revisit extention talk after this upcoming season. JP has said himself he wants the team to contend next season. All that's left is to see whether that happens or not under his guidance.

I believe 5 years is long enough to get a good grasp whether a GM is doing a good, mediocre, or poor job. After 4 years I belong in the mediocre camp, but this could change to good after this season.

"Not a bad day at all. I just get tired of guys like Ron saying the same thing over and over and over. I got it - he doesn't like JP.
If he doesn't like or likes the Ryan signing I would like to hear about it. Even rip JP about it, great. But I don't need to hear about how JP is bad because he did not win yet and signed Hinske etc."

- Where did I say how JP is bad?





Pistol - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:04 PM EST (#133682) #
"a roster member opens up a new thread on whether JP should be given a long term extension"

You'll have to settle for a poll question.
VBF - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:13 PM EST (#133683) #
So the spring training schedule came out (was it mentioned here)? The Jays will play an exhibition game against Team Canada managed by the Great Whitt North in the second week iirc. Anyone going? My reading week is the second last week of February, so when I go down I'll just see some intraquad games IF all goes well :(

Then Doc will take on Halladay on Opening Night Tuesday, April 4th in which will hopefully be a great game.
kinuck - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST (#133685) #
For those of you losing sleeping over JP's latest shopping spree, have a read of Blair's latest column. No more 5-year contracts.
Pistol - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:28 PM EST (#133686) #
nicton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:29 PM EST (#133687) #
I assume Ryan' salary is considered as $8 mil for '06. Would that be correct?? The signing bonus, as far as the $75 - 85 mil payroll is concerned, would come out the year paid and not at $2 mil per year over the length of the contract...
Newton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 07:50 PM EST (#133688) #
If its possible, McGowan for Overbay should be accepted by the Jays in a Heartbeat.

Overbay may never become an elite player but he should post 45 doubles and 20 or so HR with an OPS of about .850 over the next 4 years with .900 upside.

His stat line reminds me of a former teammate of his, Luis Gonzalez, who was a late bloomer with solid but unspectacular power and solid plate discipline throughout his late 20's and early 30's.

McGowan probably has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming a significant big leaguer while Overbay is a legitimate big league hitter who is entering his prime.

Overbay would also be a better addition than Mench.


RhyZa - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:01 PM EST (#133690) #
I think it's safe to say that you're underestimating McGowan.
Newton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:59 PM EST (#133692) #
McGowan is what he is, a once elite pitching prospect who had TJ surgery and remains a solid prospect with more limited upside.

There are probably 75 or so Dustin McGowan calibre pitching prospects in baseball right now (K an inning at AA/A solid K-BB ratio, good fastball) based on an estimate of 2-3 per team.

There certainly aren't 75 relatively cheap .850 OBP first baseman out there for the Jays to snag.

Overbay steps in as one of our top 3 hitters without blinking.

Maybe my 1 in 4 chance of McGowan becoming a significant big league pitcher was a little off (how many of any given year's top 100 prospects become legit big leaguers anyway... take a look at old prospect lists and you'll see how 1 in 4 is probably a generous estimate) but this is an easy one.










jgadfly - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 08:59 PM EST (#133693) #
"If its possible, McGowan for Overbay should be accepted by the Jays in a Heartbeat" as per Newton comment
I would rather take the risk of McGowan becoming "a significant big Leaguer" at minimum salary than take on "a legitimate big league hitter who is entering his prime" ??? and who is also entering his contract years where he will translate what success he has into mega$$$ via FA...as while as creating quite the logjam at 3rd base...Koskie Hillebrand Hinske & Hill which would have been advantagious a few years ago but unfortunately not today
Newton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:33 PM EST (#133697) #
Overbay plays first base and is relatively cheap for a player entering his prime because he hasn't eclipsed 20 HR of yet in his big league career or had a huge RBI season.

Hinske and/or Hillebrand need to be tacked on in a cost saving move given our budgetary contraints as it is, so I don't see the logjam.
Leigh - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:51 PM EST (#133699) #
If its possible, McGowan for Overbay should be accepted by the Jays in a Heartbeat.

I agree completely.

Except that I think Newton is actually selling Overbay short in terms of where he would fit into the Jays' offensive hierarchy.

I looked at BP's Equivalent Average, my favourite catch-all offensive stat, to try to solve the hierarchy. I took the average of the last two seasons for each player on the Jays. For Hill and Adams, I just used last year. Here are the rankings:

1. Koskie .276; 2. Wells .275; 3. Hillenbrand .275; 4. Catalanotto .274; 5. Zaun .268; 6. Hudson .265; 7. Hill .264; 8. Adams .260; 9. Hinske .256; 10. Rios .253; 11. Johnson .253.

And Overbay? .289, which is significantly better than any hitter that the Jays have. The gap between Overbay and Wells (.014) is bigger than the gap between Wells and Hudson (.010). Think about that for a second.

In order for McGowan to be considered a more valuable property than Overbay, you have to come up with some probabilistic value statement to support it. For example: you could say that you believe that there is a 25% chance that McGowan will be four times as valuable as Overbay - in which case - it's even. But of course, a pitcher being four times as valuable as your (would-be) best hitter is absurd. Do you want to say that McGowan has a 50% chance of being twice as valuable as Overbay? Sounds unlikely. Given the fact that Overbay would be, as of this writing, the best offensive player on the Jays, and given the inherently iffy nature of pitching prospects, I think that it would be very difficult to manouevre the two variables (probability and value) in any realistic way that could lead to a conclusion that McGowan is the more valuable asset.

At any rate, Newton is right.

Nick - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 09:55 PM EST (#133700) #
Small sample size alert, but just for fun, here are BJ Ryan's numbers against some of the key Red Sox and Yankees:

Johnny Damon: 3-19, 2 BB/9 K
David Ortiz: 3-13, 2 HR, 0/4
Manny Ramirez: 2-10, 1/4
Jason Varitek: 2-13, 1/6

Jason Giambi: 1-13, 1 HR, 4/7
Derek Jeter: 2-10, 1/3
Hideki Matsui: 2-19, 1 HR, 1/6
Jorge Posada: 6-19, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4/7
Alex Rodriguez: 0-7, 2/2
Gary Sheffield: 4-6, 1 2B, 1/2
Bernie Williams: 5-14, 1 2B, 7/0

He might not be relevant anymore, but it appears Bernie Williams sees the ball pretty well against Ryan. He was the only one listed above who never struck out and also had the most walks.

While we're at it, some others:

Paul Konerko: 1-6, 1 HR, 1/1
Jim Thome: 1-10, 0/4
Eric Chavez: 3-14, 0/6
Raul Ibanez: 0-11, 1/8
Ichiro Suzuki: 4-10, 0/1
Carl Crawford: 2-17, 2/5
Aubrey Huff: 4-17, 2/3

Among Jays, Hinske and Koskie are pretty happy to have Ryan on their team:

Hinske: 2-14, 1/7
Koskie: 2-13, 0/8

Erubiel Durazo is the only other player besides Ortiz with 2 HR against Ryan. No one has more, as far as I can tell. Posada has the most hits. Vernon Wells is the only Jay with a HR against Ryan.
Newton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:08 PM EST (#133703) #
Jgadfly and RhyZa:

Leigh is a very wise man.

Barring the re-appearance of 03 Vernon, Overbay does step in as the club's best hitter (Until we get Giles...)

W



Ducey - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:22 PM EST (#133704) #
Koskie's age 29 season: .267/.368/.447
Overbay's age 28 season .276/.367/.449 (last year)

No way I trade a potential ace starter for a guy who isn't much better than Koskie and can't do better than a Hinske/ Hillenbrand platoon.
Pistol - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:25 PM EST (#133706) #
2005 VORP:
Overbay - 33.3
Hillenbrand - 32.5
Newton - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:32 PM EST (#133708) #
Hillenbrand was our best hitter last year... in a bizarre way you made my point.

Overbay made 445,000 bucks and isn't eligible for arbitration until after 06.

Also he performed better in 04 than he did in 05 and he walks 80 times a year making for more consistent production.

Consider his 50 doubles in 04 and I see a 25 HR .850-.875 OBP 1st baseman next season.

Jacko - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:33 PM EST (#133709) #
McGowan for Overbay in a heartbeat? Are you guys high?

I'd consider if it Overbay was 24, but he'll be 29 next year. Most players have their best season at the age of 27, so 2004 was likely his best season. He's basically a clone of Frank Catalanotto. Who, if you look at the stats, also had his best year with the bat at the age of 27.

Overbay might be the more reliable short term choice, but McGowan has a chance to be something special. Maybe even starting in 2006 (TJ players tend to need a consolidation year before their command and control comes back completely). He could be the Jays #2 by the end of 2006 (#3 if they sign Burnett).

Be careful about just looking at H/IP and K/IP when judging pitching prospects. McGowan has a perfect pitchers build, and all scouting reports indicate he has great stuff. And unlike Brandon League, he's actually translated that stuff into performance. Throwing that away to get anything less than a superstar would be a bad idea.

And Overbay definitely is _not_ a superstar.

However, if all the Brewers want is a live arm, I would have no issues with trading them League for Overbay.
Jacko - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:35 PM EST (#133711) #
Speaking of Hillenbrand.

If all it took to get him was Adam Peterson, then I see no reason why Brandon League would not be plenty to get Overbay.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 10:51 PM EST (#133712) #
Overbay's WARP1 in 2004 and 2005 were 7.0 and 6.4. Hillenbrand's were 4.2 and 3.5. Overbay has been a significantly better hitter and a significantly better defender over the last 2 years. VORP does not account for defence.

Pitching prospect evaluation is a difficult thing. Dustin McGowan might end up as a great pitcher, but then so might Ricky Romero, David Purcey, Zach Jackson or for that matter Josh Banks. In reality, they're all good prospects, but not great ones. For myself, I think that McGowan's best chance for success is in relief, and I do think that he can be dominating in this role. I believe that his value will exceed Overbay's over his pre-free agency years.

But, what do you do? You've got bullpen prospects galore for the next 5 years, and you definitely need a bat or three over the next 2 years. I think that it depends on the other trading options.
Mark - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 11:26 PM EST (#133713) #
What do you do when you have so many pitching prospects? You hold on to them all and bring up the ones that force the issue. If only 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 is going to be a stud, I would rather sacrifice getting nothing for three prospects and have one become an ace than getting players that marginally improve your team and hoping that you held on to the right one. The pitchers the jays should trade are Chulk and Bush, capable players that they have a sense of what their ceiling is. I remember when Carpenter, Halladay and Escobar were the big three prospects and every winter and spring there were rumours having them go every where. I think Halladay was traded to the Rockies 200 times. The jays held on to all three, and all three provided many valuable years of service for a good price. Two of them ended up winning the Cy Young. Imagine if we traded Halladay for Darren Bragg and Brian Rose!

Trading from a position of depth is risky because you just don't know. Michael Young for Loaiza is a good example. The reasoning for trading him was we had Abernathy and Joe Lawrence and Izturis as 2B depth. The two we held on to are now useless and the two we traded became all stars.
I am not saying never trade prospects I am just saying if you are going to trade a high end prospect you need more than Lyle Overby (or Esteban Loaiza) Players like Gomes, Quenten, or Morneau.

Jacko - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 11:30 PM EST (#133714) #
McGowan is definitely ahead of Banks and Romero. Probably ahead of Jackson as well. Purcey is the only one I would consider to have the same sort of ace potential as McGowan.

Not sure what you're basing your "better suited to relief" comment on. He's done fine as a starter all through the minors.

joemayo - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 11:31 PM EST (#133715) #
Nothing Earth shattering here. But posting it seemed like a better idea than studying.

lol. that's actually a great lead in to my post. there's a good interview up on ESPN.com with JP. nothing new in regards to rumours, it's just a good listen. one highlight, JP says as of right now, Batista is the #4 starter next season. i guess that doesn't mean much considering tomorrow he could be traded, but it's interesting to hear nonetheless.

also, the Game-night hosts joked that Halladay should be sending JP flowers b/c he'll be in line for another 5 wins with BJ closing games behind him. JP came back with the fact that Roy lead the league in complete games despite only pitching until the beginning of July so BJ should be sending him flowers.

like i said, nothing earth shattering, i'm just bored of studying...

Cristian - Tuesday, November 29 2005 @ 11:47 PM EST (#133716) #
Gammons latest column is called "Jays not done yet". Any Insider willing to give us a rundown of what Gammons writes?
nicton - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 12:18 AM EST (#133717) #
Mark Is that an endorsement for or against McGowan for Overbay??? Escobar was lost for draft picks and Carpenter was lost for nothing. The question is which Carpenter will McGowan become?? The one that was 49 - 50 for the Jays or the one that is 36 - 10 for StL...
Wildrose - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 12:19 AM EST (#133719) #
I think that it would be very difficult to manouevre the two variables (probability and value) in any realistic way that could lead to a conclusion that McGowan is the more valuable asset.

Hmm..., lets run the numbers. Say we use BP's Pecota predictions . Overbay is forecast to have a cummulative VORP of 45.1 over the next three years. For whatever reason Pecota see's a significant decline in his numbers. Pecota does not measure his fine defence (rate 110) which is of value. Overbay is arbitration eligible this year as he has 3 years, 26 days of service time. A player of this standard will cost you $5-6 million over the course of the next three years.

Lets check out McGowan. The Jays control his contract for the next 6 years. Pecota likes him even less than Overbay. Going foreward they see him as a swing starter-long reliever scoring a VORP of 60 over the next 6 years. A player at this level would cost you about $ 3 million dollars.

Lets review;

-Overbay VORP of 45.1 for 5-6 million, then you no longer control his contract.

-McGowan VORP of 60 for 3 million.

Advantage McGowan.

Actually I believe Pecota is wrong on both of these players. I actually quite like Overbay, he's got outstanding plate discipline, a good glove, and doubles power. I see him putting up a VORP of 110-120 for about 15 million in the next 3 years. I like McGowan as well, 98 MPH fastball, good breaking pitches,strong body. I think his upside is huge. I see him at the minimum , being Josh Towers, a 30-35 VORP type of pitcher, and at the high end, a dominant ace, giving you 50-60 VORP per annum.

Lets take the low end for sake of arguement regarding McGowan;

Overbay 120 VORP for $15 million

McGowan 180 VORP for $9.5 million (using the Towers contract as a template for the last 3 arbitration years)

As I've shown its not even close. McGowan is the superior commodity in terms of relative value, even at the low end of his ceiling.

Trading Overbay for McGowan is poor roster management.

Wildrose - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 12:41 AM EST (#133720) #
Let me restate my conclusion. Trading McGowan for Overbay would be short sighted roster management. I like Overbay and I'd love to see him in a Jay's uniform, I just think McGowan has too much upside to trade away.
R Billie - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 03:30 AM EST (#133723) #
Anyone requesting McGowan in any trade should be rebuffed. Well I shouldn't say any trade. I would have dealt him in a package for Beckett if I didn't have to take Mike Lowell. But for Lyle Overbay (who is a very nice player), McGowan is off limits. Just too much upside.
Leigh - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 08:30 AM EST (#133726) #
Have you guys ever seen that Family Guy episode where Peter has the choice between a free boat and the contents of a mystery box? He stupidly chooses the mystery box.
PeterG - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 09:11 AM EST (#133730) #
I would hardly equate McGowan to a mystery box. Almost every scout in the Jays(and many in other) organizations have suggested that he has more stuff than Halladay. He has three + pitches, all of major league calibre. The only 2 things holding him back at the present time are experience(hasn't started above AA) and improving the location on his 95+ fastball. We're not talking location like Brandon League location here, it is more of a refinement. When he pitched here in September, he missed just off the plate or got to much of it at times. His curve and change-up were good. He had 2 3inning stints in which he was virtually unhittable.

JP says McGowan is untouchable. I will certainly defer to his judgement because, in this case, I believe he is right. McGowan still projects as a top of the rotation starter and soon.
Craig B - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 09:14 AM EST (#133732) #
PeterG, the choice of that handle was INSPIRED. Thanks for the chuckle!
Newton - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:48 AM EST (#133743) #
McGowan might be an all-star this year, at AA.

Overbay would be the Jays best hitter this year barring the signing of Giles.

Upside is like a drug that impairs judgement, its great to be optimistic but realism and reason win championships.

I'd like to extend an invitation to all of you touting McGowan as a can't miss ace, please join my annual baseball pool.

My wife wants a new dishwasher and you're contribution would be much appreciated.
Newton - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:56 AM EST (#133745) #
Hey guys, remember when Rios was the next Juan Gonzalez...

Remember when his value was sky high?

Remember those Ben Sheets rumours?

A BJ in the hand is worth 4 in the Bush leagues.
Joe - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 11:08 AM EST (#133749) #
Please don't post ESPN insider or other copyrighted material here. Summarizing salient points is one thing; copying verbatim is something quite different.
Leigh - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 11:17 AM EST (#133752) #
A BJ in the hand

That would be some trick!

I was actually thinking that "Paul Byrd in the hand is worth Dave Bush." Not as advocacy for a trade (Byrd is a free agent anyhow, and I rather like Dave Bush), but as an example of the primacy of what is over what could be.

OntarioMediator - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 11:23 AM EST (#133754) #
My mistake. Someone requested the information, I have an ESPN Insider account, so I decided to post the article. My apologies. I will refrain from posting.
Newton - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 11:33 AM EST (#133757) #
The cost of the BJ is always a concern.

While I would recommend McGowan for Overbay, I'd obviously prefer the Jays to explore all reasonable free agent options before dealing prospects (ie. Durazo).

Durazo vs. Overbay purely as players (apart from mode of acquisition) is an interesting question. Both former D-Back top prospects have comparable plate discipline, Durazo having more power but being useful only as a DH. Durazo also hasn't been as durable as Overbay to date.
Its a tough call but I think I'd prefer Overbay by a small margin, plus Overbay will be cheaper in terms of dollars over the next couple years.

If the question is Durazo as a FA vs. Overbay acquired in a deal for McGowan I'd prefer Durazo.







Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 12:11 PM EST (#133767) #
In response to Jacko's question, I believe that McGowan is much more likely to be dominant in a relief role than as a starter because that seems to the post-TJ experience. There has not really been a dominant post-TJ power-pitching starter over a period of years- Kerry Wood, Matt Morris are the classic examples. There have been dominant post-TJ relievers, Gagne and Mariano Rivera, and post-TJ starters who rely more on sharp control and guile, Tommy John and David Wells. We'll see how Smoltz and Burnett do this year.

My view based on historical experience is that TJ surgery does affect a pitcher, and the ability to throw 180-200 innings of 95 mph fastballs and curves seems to be one of the ways. I also noticed that pitchers who took longer off than McGowan did have historically fared better in the long run.

In the case of McGowan, the organization seems to agree. In published reports in the Star (BBRRS=hot and sour soup) some time ago, there were indications that he would be used in relief at least for the time being.
Cristian - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 12:53 PM EST (#133782) #
Sorry for the confusion Ontario Mediator. A summary of Gammons' main points rather than the article was what I was looking for.
R Billie - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 07:22 PM EST (#133831) #
Pitching is a mysterious fig. The Jays could have easily cut bait on guys like Halladay, Hentgen, Escobar, or Carpenter early in their careers when they stumbled.

It's not so much a question of who has the better value between McGowan and Overbay. It's more a question of, IF McGowan turns out as a dominant starter OR a reliever, how much money and risk is saved from not having to pursue another Burnett or Ryan down the road?

I mean by that token, why not trade all of our good pitching prospects for real live productive hitters? There are a lot of teams looking for pitching and most of them have a useful hitter (old or young) that they may be willing to give up.

As I said, I like Overbay. I conceed he would be our best hitter but I think that's wholely immaterial in my decision to trade for him at the cost of McGowan. We're not operating in a vacuum where our best pitching prospect traded for a very good but not great hitter is the only possibility.

There are plenty of moves that could be made where McGowan can stick around. There are still free agents out there that could be signed without having to give up anything but a draft pick. Maybe they're not as good as Overbay or as cheap as Overbay. But I'd rather hold onto an arm like McGowan has (98 mph with movement as a reliever is nothing to sneeze at) because they're so relatively scarce and hard to acquire.

Sure there are a lot of prospects like McGowan (certainly not 2-3 per major league team that are close to the close to the big leagues). How many of these risky but high ceiling prospects are on the JAYS? And how quickly can you replace him in the minor league system? The Jays have shown they don't have an affinity for high school power arms, and other than Peterson and maybe Purcey they haven't drafted hard throwers in general.

Call it irrational but I've seen Overbay's numbers and I've also seen McGowan pitch. I'm not interested in that deal.
Leigh - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 07:51 PM EST (#133832) #
why not trade all of our good pitching prospects for real live productive hitters?

I would be completely in favour of such an initiative.

Jordan - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 07:54 PM EST (#133833) #
And if the Jays don't land Brian Giles, you may very well see that strategy put into action.
Gerry - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 08:41 PM EST (#133841) #

Why not trade all of our good pitching prospects for real live productive hitters?

I would be completely in favour of such an initiative.

Ah, the Yankee plan, empty the farm, live for today, to hell with tomorrow. Leigh, why do you favour such a plan, it appears very short sighted?
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 08:58 PM EST (#133844) #
Ah, the Yankee plan, empty the farm, live for today, to hell with tomorrow. Leigh, why do you favour such a plan, it appears very short sighted?

I don't think I agree with that plan either, but when the alternative is 12 consecutive years of finishing no better than 3rd, saying "to hell with it" and taking a run at the brass ring does seem like a pretty sensible idea.

Leigh - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 09:45 PM EST (#133854) #
Leigh, why do you favour such a plan, it appears very short sighted?

I suppose that it is a little short-sighted. The plan calls for trading pitching prospects for MLB hitters. The reliability hierarchy goes like this: 1. MLB hitters, 2. MLB pitchers, 3. Hitting prospects, 4. Pitching prospects. Why not trade away the flakiest commodity for the most reliable?

I wasn't really advocating a Yankees-style go-for-it-all blitz, I was trying to make a point about probability. I stand by the original point (that I'd trade McGowan for Overbay). If McGowan has a 30% chance of becoming a "10", why not deal him for Overbay, who we know to be a "7" (that is: 10*0.3 = 3, which is less than 7)?

By that same logic, I would not trade McGowan for a player that we knew to be a "2", because McGowan's actual value (how good he could be multiplied by the probability that he will actually be that good) is greater (using the above arbitrarily assigned 30%, "10" numbers).

Overbay represents standing on 17. McGowan represents saying "hit me" on 16 in the foolish hopes of spiking a 5, which could happen (and that would be great) but will most likely leave us with no chips.

Gerry - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 09:50 PM EST (#133857) #
But is not the criticism, by some, of JP's administration, that he plays too many safe bets, not enough "go for it". This probably applies to drafts more than major league activities.

The counter argument to your proposal is that the Jays have a lot of average prospects and not as many who are top tier, McGowan is top tier, but I agree even top tier comes with a risk.

If it was Marcum, Janssen and Jackson for Overbay I would probably agree with you, McGowan's ceiling is too high.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:12 PM EST (#133864) #
And that's where the touchy part comes. McGowan is not in the Felix Hernandez/Brandon McCarthy prospect range. His stuff is excellent, but his numbers were good but not great and he's had TJ with at this point an uncertain recovery.

If ceiling is the most important factor in evaluating a pitching prospect, the Jay drafting strategy of the last 3 years of selecting exclusively college pitchers has been entirely wrong. It makes no sense to draft Bush, Banks, Marcum, Maureau, Isenberg and Janssen early if they are considered fungible and of less value than high-risk, high-ceiling pitchers. As far as I am concerned, the Jay drafting strategy was the right one, and these pitchers are as valuable as the high-risk, high-ceiling ones such as McGowan, League, Rosario and Perkins.

May I gently point out that League and Rosario were the highest rated prospects on the basis of their respective ceilings not so long ago. Rosario was given a very high rating before last year in some publications on the basis that he was throwing 96 on the side after his TJ surgery.

I'd mull the options before considering trading McGowan for Overbay, and would probably make a counter-offer with other players involved.
Leigh - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:17 PM EST (#133865) #
I agree Gerry. If the prospects ceiling is high enough, then the eqaution works out in McGowan's favour.

If the following is true: McGowan has a 60% chance of being twice as valuable as Overbay, then I would say that we should keep McGowan.

I'll admit, Gerry, that you are in a better position to fill in the variables than I am (because I don't know that much about McGowan).

I just get frustrated sometimes by what I perceive as a blind affinity for prospects (and the accompanying fear of regret). Let's say, for example, that Gabe Gross has the best-case scenario potential to be the same quality player as Raul Ibanez. I am utterly convinced that there would be people here (if that were true about Gross' potential... I'm making it up) saying "we can't trade Gross for Ibanez", unwilling to trade the potential for the actual, even when it makes sense from a probabilistic or actuarial perspective.

But, if McGowan is really a super-duper prospect, then my "rational" approach dictates that we keep him. I'm more than happy to defer to guys like you, Gerry, for the qualitative analysis (because you are knowledgeable about the prospects).
CSHunt68 - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:21 PM EST (#133866) #
"Overbay represents standing on 17. McGowan represents saying "hit me" on 16 in the foolish hopes of spiking a 5, which could happen (and that would be great) but will most likely leave us with no chips."

Since you favour probabilities, the odds say that you should hit on a 16. Unless you like losing. ;) Only fools and their money stand on a 16. And we all know what happens then ...
And, as all serious blackjack players know, 17 is a terrible hand.
FYI.
Continue the baseball discussion. :)
CSHunt68 - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:26 PM EST (#133868) #
Oh, just to clarify, you should hit a 16 when the dealer shows a 7 or up.
With the Yankees and Red Sox in the division, you should probably play as if there were a ten showing. :( I wouldn't gamble on the dealer busting.

Actually, the analogy is apt. The Jays really need to take chances to overcome the inherent edge that both teams have. It's as if they're starting every season 10 games or more in the hole, just on the basis of the talent that money buys. It's unlikely that both teams will collapse. The Jays need to hope that they're going to bridge the gap by overachieving. Game theory states that, to win in those circumstances, you need to take chances. Which is why you hit on a 16 when the dealer doesn't have a bust card.
Leigh - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:26 PM EST (#133869) #
Huntsy, I don't much about blackjack... I'm just addicted to metaphor.
CSHunt68 - Wednesday, November 30 2005 @ 10:58 PM EST (#133876) #
Yeah, but your metaphor was bad. ;)
With the "up" cards the Red Sox and Yankees are showing, it's a fool's play to not hit on the 16.
Trading for Overbay would be like standing on 16 and hoping (praying?) that both NY and Boston bust.
Keeping McGowan might just be playing for that four or five to show up.
:)
R Billie - Thursday, December 01 2005 @ 12:49 AM EST (#133896) #
Thank you CS for putting in words what I could not.

Overbay is a nice player and helps the team. But I'd rather roll the dice on a less likely option in the hopes that it wins big than settle for a player that will take us just marginally forward.

Not to say that I wouldn't trade a card with less potential for that player.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 01 2005 @ 09:51 AM EST (#133918) #
If you're going to gamble, then you've got to go for it. No half-measures. That would mean opening up a spot for McGowan in the starting rotation by trade or non-tender or both. So, you'd have a rotation of perhaps, Halladay, McGowan, Chacin, Bush and Towers, and a bullpen of Ryan, Frasor, Schoeneweis, Speier/Chulk, Downs and Marcum. That could end up as a fine, fine staff with lots of money (and bench roster spots) left over for offensive improvements.

The point is that you have to decide. We're heading into 2006. This is the point that the team should be ready to make a push. A judgment should be made whether McGowan is going to be a good starter. I don't think that he is, but there is nothing wrong with the contrary view as long as that view is fully acted upon.
Mike D - Thursday, December 01 2005 @ 12:18 PM EST (#133926) #
Leigh, I understand your point but I don't agree with your math. If McGowan has a 30% chance of being a "10" and is therefore a "3," then that assumes a 70% chance of being a "0."

Assuming that there are various odds of him being anywhere from 0 to 10, you would have to add up all the results (of performance levels times the likelihood of attaining it) before you compared him to Overbay, an established "7." Because McGowan might be considerably better than a "7," to trade him for Overbay would probably require concluding that he's *likely* to be less than a 5 or so. Otherwise, the upside compels you to keep him. If you have someone with a lower ceiling -- i.e., best case scenario is that he turns into a 7, and the best case is not assured -- then you trade him for an established 7 every time, assuming contracts and all other factors work out.

As for my own thoughts, I'm a bit more optimistic than Mike Green. I think some minor work on mechanics could turn McGowan into an excellent pitcher. Hard, moving fastballs are not easy to come by, and I'm basing this on seeing him pitch only last year (i.e., post-surgery).
Leigh - Thursday, December 01 2005 @ 01:18 PM EST (#133932) #
Leigh, I understand your point but I don't agree with your math. If McGowan has a 30% chance of being a "10" and is therefore a "3," then that assumes a 70% chance of being a "0."

Yeah, I know. I just wanted to justify it, I suppose (try as I might, I can't extricate that damned legal education from my advocacy techniques).

I stand by this, however: Overbay is more likely to be the more valuable of the two players.

If you add up all the numbers for McGowan, using my absurdly arbitrary system, you might get something like 30% chance of being a "10", 10% chance of being "8", 10% chance of being "6", 5% chance of being "4", 5% chance of being "2", 40% chance of being "0"... you would get 4.7 (to Overbay's established 7). We could add in a 10% chance of an Overbay career-ending injury or Phelpsian competence disappearance "0", knocking him down to 6.3.

I still don't see how you can reasonably fiddle with the numbers in such a way as to make McGowan the more valuable player.

However, there does exist (as Mike G. and others have pointed out), a certain element of risk-aversion here. I might agree that we should take that longshot (McGowan).

CeeBee - Thursday, December 01 2005 @ 08:03 PM EST (#133962) #
I'll got out on a limb and risk my reputation by saying that McGowan will turn out to be better than Overbay could ever dream of being. :) Of course, I have no reputation to worry about and it's quite easy to speculate, but I really do like his arm and I've see too many good arms get traded for rent a player deals that didn't work out.
binnister - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 02:51 PM EST (#134058) #
RE: Above projected salaries

Reed Johnson signed for half-a-million more than projected on this list.
Nick - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:06 PM EST (#134875) #
Jonny - I think Koskie makes $5,250,000 in 2006, not $6,250,000.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 10:37 PM EST (#134886) #
Good catch, Nick. I'll include that in the updated budget projection tomorrow morning.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 06 2005 @ 11:09 PM EST (#134893) #
Oops, spoke too soon. I have Koskie at $6.25M instead of $5.25M because he got a $3M signing bonus to be paid over 3 years.
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