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Jeff Blair reports in today's Globe and Mail that the Jays have signed Reed Johnson to a one year, $1.425 million contract.

Johnson will likely continue in his current role platooning with Frank Catalanotto in LF, backing up the CF & RF, pinch hitting against left handers, and serving as a late inning defensive replacement.
Jays Sign Reed Johnson | 30 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Craig B - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 08:57 AM EST (#133997) #
If Sparky can perform at the same level as last year, he'll earn his money and then a little bit. So I think this is a good signing, not the least reason of which is that I'm a huge fan and I like to see guys like Reed Johnson get rewarded.
Jordan - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 09:13 AM EST (#133999) #
That's a good deal for a proven fourth outfielder and fan favourite. Nicely done on both sides.
Pistol - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 09:18 AM EST (#134003) #
In other Jays news, the team has signed Dan Cholowsky to be an area scout covering Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona.

And random fact of day - Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona are the only 4 US States that meet at the same point.
Wildrose - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 10:30 AM EST (#134009) #
As always, lots of solid details in the Blair story. You just get the feeling the Jays will not be outbid on Burnett.
Petey Baseball - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 10:40 AM EST (#134012) #
Thanks for that tidbit Pistol.
Wildrose - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 11:03 AM EST (#134017) #
For those interested in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, I came across this story. It details what mechanism will be used if a team raises an objection to one of its players participating in the Classic. It's good to know, that if Colorado objects to , having Jeff Francis pitch for Canada, that Baseball Canada has some leverage in the matter.
Mike D - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 11:17 AM EST (#134021) #
It's funny. In our interview with Ricky Romero, he told us that Reed treated him to dinner in Toronto last season shortly after the draft. I guess I should've realized that Romero was more highly paid!
VBF - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST (#134025) #
Doesn't anyone think this is a little too much money for a marginal 3rd outfielder and replacement level player?
Jim - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 12:32 PM EST (#134033) #
You aren't getting a free agent any cheaper who is better, and they have no one in the system who could replace him so no.
Mike Green - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 12:52 PM EST (#134037) #
Salary inflation does continue, as Studes pointed out in yesterday's THT. All I know is that if Reed Johnson is getting 1.4 in his first year of eligibility, O-Dog will likely come in on the higher side of the 2.5-3 that I suggested earlier.
Craig B - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#134049) #
a marginal 3rd outfielder and replacement level player?

OK, I usually bite my tongue when people misuse the concept of a "replacement player" but I gotta draw the line here. Sorry, VBF, it's not you (I don't mean to pick on you), it's almost everybody.

The "replacement player" is the imaginary player who can be plugged into a role at zero cost. In MLB terms, the best example of replacement players are six-year minor-league free agents who will sign two-way deals for the major league minimum. Young players who aren't good enough to crack a major league lineup are another source of "actual replacements", but in fact these players aren't the best example because the pool is very limited - for pitchers, there's almost always some young player on the 40-man who can be slotted in, but for position players there often isn't. For pitchers, if you add up what Scott Downs, Chad Gaudin, Brandon League, Dustin McGowan, Matt Whiteside, Shaun Marcum and Justin Miller did, you get "replacement level" (a 5.97 ERA, if you do the accounting, which is just about typical in a league with an ERA around 4.50 - the AL had a 4.35 ERA). As I say, it's much harder for hitters but you get the general idea.

There is no way that Reed Johnson is a "replacement player". He's just about an average major leaguer with the bat, and his defense is quite valuable (though not at a key defensive position).

He is way, way better than the replacement level - on the open market, he would probably command a little more than what the Jays are paying him based on performance. Net Win Shares Value (get your copy of the THT Annual 2006 today, including NWSV calculations for every major leaguer!) has him worth over $1.9 million last year.

VBF - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 02:55 PM EST (#134059) #
Interesting. Thanks for the clarification, Craig. I stepped a little too far out of my boundary with the replacement level remark, and what my own misguided definition was :)
Jacko - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 02:57 PM EST (#134061) #
Not that the Jays need to penny pinch as much as they used to, but is there any reason why Gabe Gross could not step in and be the 4th outfielder next year?

Or is the plan to have Gross and Johnson both on the roster, and use them to stack the lineup against RHP and LHP appropriately? Gross/Rios and Cat/RJ platoons would probably produce above average players.
RhyZa - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST (#134062) #
its a question worth asking since I'm sure some might have wondered the same thing, nice response Craig.. I know these kinds of statements aren't exactly popular anymore but when you combine them with the numbers I don't think it's too ridiculous to state that Reed also seems like he has that mojo that would help a contender when it matters most, whether with a big catch, a bunt, bowling over the catcher etc.. he has it written all over him.
Mike D - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 03:27 PM EST (#134066) #
Craig's example is very helpful. "Replacement level" isn't Reed Johnson or players that grade out as roughly average (though I think Sparky has definite value).

Think Andy Dominique or Brian Lesher.
Mike Green - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 04:08 PM EST (#134069) #
To put it more concretely in Reed's case, here are the non-qualified (due to insufficient at-bats) left-fielders in the AL by GPA. As you can see, Reed Johnson is in the middle of the pack. Timo Perez, Tony Womack and Eric Byrnes delivered roughly replacement level offensive performance in 2005.
DiscoDave - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 05:23 PM EST (#134080) #
Im not much a Sabermetric guy. Johnson is a good guy to have on a roster, as mentioned above. You need a Johnson on your team to spark the offense with a timely hit/bunt/sb/sac and intense play. These do not always show up in the boxscore. I guess Im just oldschool. :-)

As far as im concerned Sparky can be a Jay for a long, long time.
Mike Green - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 05:28 PM EST (#134082) #
You don't have to be a sabermetric guy to understand the difference between bad (replacement level) and average. Here's bad in traditional and non-traditional form.
DiscoDave - Friday, December 02 2005 @ 05:40 PM EST (#134085) #
its great to see the yanks have to give Womack 330 ABs last season.
Malcolm Little - Saturday, December 03 2005 @ 07:04 AM EST (#134110) #
Is it just me, or is Rios, a pitching prospect, and the very reasonably priced Batista all for just park-inflated (potentially) Kevin Mench a little on the crazy side?

I know Toronto has received crap hitting from Rios, but his defense is top notch (if and when he hits better, he'll be considered a GG candidate), and he's very young. Batista is valuable, especially so with this off-season's FA market (hello, Loaiza, hello!).

What am I missing here? I am not thinking they'd get Teixiera with that package, but that deal only makes sense without the prospect's being even C+ grade and/or with a young guy also going back to the Jays.

I dislike trading a super young guy without receiving one back in a challenge trade type format.
Malcolm Little - Saturday, December 03 2005 @ 07:05 AM EST (#134111) #
In today's Dugout at Primer, there's a report of Gaudin's being released.....true?
Pistol - Saturday, December 03 2005 @ 08:05 AM EST (#134114) #
Gaudin was designated for assignment to make room for BJ Ryan on the 40 man roster. Any team can claim him now. If no one claims him he'll stay with the Jays.

My initial thought is that someone will claim him. However, I can't imagine that the Jays didn't see the situation coming (a crowded 40 man roster) so it means that they don't think that highly of Gaudin and/or there's no trade value for him (or enough value in return in another trade to free up a spot on the 40 man) so perhaps he'll go unclaimed.
6-4-3 - Saturday, December 03 2005 @ 01:24 PM EST (#134124) #
When I first saw the news on the Score, I didn't understand why they had DFA'd Gaudin, but with the Rule 5 draft less than a week away, wouldn't now be a good time to slip someone past the waiver wire?
Matthew E - Saturday, December 03 2005 @ 02:48 PM EST (#134126) #
Chad Gaudin = Brandon League.

1. Hasn't done anything in the major leagues yet, but
2. Has all the potential in the world and
3. Is too young to give up on.

I hope nobody claims him.
Twilight - Monday, December 05 2005 @ 06:07 AM EST (#134245) #
I am a lot more optimistic about League. If he can learn to control the stuff he's throwing, with that velocity and spin and the speed-changing slider, 3 years from now he could very well render BJ Ryan redundant.

Of course, that's very, very optimistic thinking. But he's got a ton of raw talent. I can at least see him settling into a setup role though, and having that as your setup would be quite nice too.
Craig B - Monday, December 05 2005 @ 10:15 AM EST (#134260) #
In the Fall 2005 "Outside the Lines" newsletter, put out by SABR's Business of Baseball committee, there was an interesting chart of Cost per Marginal Win for 2004 and 2005.

The Jays were 4th out of the 30 teams in baseball in Cost per Marginal Win in 2005, with a marginal payroll of $36,871,500 and 31.4 marginal wins, a cost of $1,174,252. Cleveland led baseball ($735,462 per marginal win) and Milwaukee was second, with Tampa and their ultra-cheap $29 million payroll just edging the Jays out for third. Oakland and Washington came 5th and 6th. The White Sox, the top playoff team, were 7th at $1,316,071.

The Yankees were 30th and last at $4,298,681, followed by the Royals and Dodgers.

I think that this metric shows just how efficient the Jays were at using their limited payroll in 2005.

In 2004, though, it was not so rosy... the Jays were 22nd although still ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees. The Indians were also 1st in this measure in 2004 followed by Tampa and Florida. The Twins and Cards were the best playoff teams in cost efficiency in 2004 (St. Louis were again the best NL playoff team in cost efficiency in 2005).

The moral of all this is obvious - the way to be cost-efficient is to use young players, good or bad.
DrJohnEvans - Monday, December 05 2005 @ 01:46 PM EST (#134285) #
Gaudin was designated for assignment to make room for BJ Ryan on the 40 man roster. Any team can claim him now.

If Kevin Cash's legacy vanishes without a ripple, I will be very upset.

Leigh - Monday, December 05 2005 @ 02:14 PM EST (#134292) #
Craig, is 'marginal' roughly equivalent to 'replacement level'? And if so, does that mean that a position player's monetary value is essentially his WARP multiplied by the league average cost per marginal win?
Craig B - Monday, December 05 2005 @ 03:39 PM EST (#134311) #
Yes. Marginal payroll is $8,848,000 and "marginal wins" are wins over a .300 winning percentage, which is approximately replacement level.

I think .300 is a bit high for a "replacement level" but fairly reasonable in the context of what cost/marginal win is trying to do... a roster actually assembled out of all minimum-salary players would not in fact win 49 games but probably somewhat fewer, about 36. But in fact, teams don't have to assemble a team on the fly with all minimum guys at once, and a normal team, even a very bad one, will be able to build around some younger players on minimum salaries that have better than replacement-level talent.
Craig B - Monday, December 05 2005 @ 03:42 PM EST (#134313) #
Forgot to answer one part of Leigh's question. A player's value isn't quite as simple as what you are suggesting - since there are considerable restrictions on player movement (an extremely unfree market in talent). Check out Net Win Shares Value at The Hardball Times for a better approximation of dollar value for individual players. (Although NWSV has some small problems of its own, which I can't go into now).
Jays Sign Reed Johnson | 30 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.