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TSN reports that the Jays have signed catcher-first baseman Jason Phillips to a minor league contract.
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Jonathan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:14 PM EST (#138476) #
All I can say, is JP has adminarbly filled another hole for the Jays. Regardless of the Hillenbrand/Hinske/Koskie logjam, this has been a FANTASTIC offseason for the Jays.

We have a perfect backup catcher alongside Zaun!
hugh - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:21 PM EST (#138479) #
Agreed, this is a perfect acquisition. Nice work JP!
Jonny German - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:23 PM EST (#138480) #
I'm also excited about this signing. J.P. strikes in the catcher bargain bin once again! The real beauty of it to me is that it's a minor league contract - I expect Phillips to start the year in Syracuse. Guillermo Quiroz take note: you've got April to prove you belong in the bigs
Leigh - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:27 PM EST (#138482) #
If Vernon can find the 'return to 2003 form' elixir, maybe he could share. Jason Phillips' 2003: .298/.373/.442 in over 400 at bats; I'd forgotten about it.

At any rate, Phillips fits the bill quite nicely.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:27 PM EST (#138483) #
That's a nice little piece of Quiroz insurance. It's a minor league deal so there's no commitment, but in case Quiroz doesn't work out the team has a capable backup, especially if he's spotted against lefties.

Thumbs up.

(and I just noticed it, but ESPN's 3 year splits have been now changed from 2002-2004, to 2003-2005)

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?statsId=6721&type=batting3
Cristian - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:32 PM EST (#138484) #
This signing has a decent upside. This is important because people have forgotten that Zaun ended 2005 poorly. Most put it to exhaustion but there is the possibility that Zaun won't return to 2004/first half of 2005 form. Good signing. I guess this ends the talk of Hinske being converted into a backup catcher.
Sheldon - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:47 PM EST (#138488) #
Looks like a good pickup. Any idea how Phillips is defensively?
Ron - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:55 PM EST (#138490) #
Good signing. I'm a little bit surprised Phillips wasn't able to land a backup job on another team.

I have very little faith in GQ so I'm glad Phillips is on board as insurance.

Sister - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 02:58 PM EST (#138491) #
Phillips played a considerable amount of time over the last three years (almost 500 at bats) at first. I am not sure if this is a product of his *perceived* defensive shortcomings or the Piazza effect?

dp - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:02 PM EST (#138492) #
Phillips reminds me of Tom Wilson for some reason...better on defense...<br><br>Good move, I still like the guy for his '03 and hope he can repeat. Minor league stats have always been good. Hits LHP well- hopefully they can use him right/sparingly.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:06 PM EST (#138495) #
Phillips has played 1B because the teams he has been on haven't had good first basemen (or at least 1B the manager liked) and at least decent catchers, first the Mets then the Dodgers.

He may not be good defensively (and he may be) but I don't think playing 1B is telling in any way.
Maldoff - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:09 PM EST (#138496) #
From ESPN.com's player scouting:

"Hitting, Baserunning & Defense

Phillips' aggressive approach at the plate cost him last season, especially when he tried to do too much to get out of his extended slump. When comfortable, Phillips has good power and is capable of hitting righthanders and lefties equally well. He also makes consistent contact and walks nearly as much as he strikes out. His speed was never a factor before, and if anything, Phillips appeared to lose a half-step while catching last year. Defensively, Phillips is a good catch-and-throw receiver who works well with pitchers. He also does a decent job controlling the running game."

Doesn't sound too bad, although this was before the 2005 season. And he's only 29 years old. Reminds me of Todd Greene.
Flex - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:09 PM EST (#138497) #
Reports I've read have him as a good defensive catcher. Apparently when he was with the Mets he gave Piazza a tip that improved his throwing to second base.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:16 PM EST (#138500) #
Here are the park factors of LA and Toronto (using BTFs 3 year weighted park factors):
Team	R	H	2B	HR	BB	SO
Toronto	1.08	1.06	1.10	1.22	0.98	1.04
LA (N)	0.90	0.94	0.86	1.12	0.90	1.06
Phillips should get a nice artificial boost moving to TO.
Jordan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:19 PM EST (#138501) #
His .298/.373/.442 season occurred when he was 27, so that's probably lightning in a bottle that won't be recaptured. But he's excellent Quiroz insurance, he hits lefties quite well (.271/.352/.423 in 291 AB the last three years), and is an altogether marvellous little acquisition. Props to JP.
Jdog - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:26 PM EST (#138502) #
Your posts regarding Phillip's defensive abilities are encouraging, as I have always heard that he was well below average defensively.

Could one of you English majors please let me know if my grammar is correct on the above statement.

Thanks.
actionjackson - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:33 PM EST (#138505) #
I'm not sure how much stock to put in Opponent Stolen Base %, because a lot of it depends on the pitchers you're working with, but for 2004 Phillips had a .689 OSB% and for 2005 it was .804. I couldn't get a read on his 2003 OSB% because he was listed as a 1B in the numbers I was looking at.

I would like to see a better arm at backup catcher, but I'm happy with this signing, especially if Phillips or GQ get the bulk of starts against LHP, so that Zaun can get a bit more rest and maybe hit more like he did in the 1st half last year. Zaun is also an on base monster with decent power against righties. I believe with proper rest he can hit .275-.280, with a .375-.380 OBA and .400+ SLG. I will qualify that by underlining with proper rest. Also, if Phillips is used primarily against LHP then .270/.350/.420 is not out of the question, but please Gibby keep him away from RHP.

Finally, the competition is extremely important to GQ's development. There's nothing like a legitimate threat to your job just a short plane ride away (assuming GQ starts in TO, with Phillips in Syracuse) to bring out your best. I personally would love to see GQ succeed, but I have my doubts, and I like the insurance this move provides.
CeeBee - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 03:38 PM EST (#138506) #
I'm wondering if Jason Phillips wasn't given a wink and a smile when agreeing to the minor league contract. I don't believe the Jays have room on the 40 man roster and with GQ out of options they may be planing to carry Phillips as a 3rd catcher/1st baseman but don't want to make the move now, which leads me to believe that JP probably has a deal or 2 in the works to clear out the logjam at 1st base. :)
Pistol - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:01 PM EST (#138509) #
If Phillips is a 3rd C then the Jays have to get rid of two of Hillenbrand, Hinske and Koskie and I don't think that's happening (nor should it).

I can't imagine Phillips was signed to be anything other than a competitor with Quiroz for the backup catcher position. Given Quiroz's recent performance & health (or lack thereof) I suscept Phillips felt that he has a good shot to make it.
Ken Kosowan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:08 PM EST (#138512) #
It's always nice to see more activity during the days of winter; but let's remember to evaluate each transaction rationally.

Jason Phillips was non-tendered by the Dodgers and might not have been offered a major league contract by any other team. He is at this point a backup catcher and utility man who is slated to play in Syracuse.

Let's not confuse J.P. with any of the other pickups this year. Does anyone remember the inexpcliable appreciation of Spike Lundberg last year?

From everything I remember, including Diamond Mind simulations (take those for what they're worth); Jason Phillips was a good defensive backstop.

I'm finding conflicting information about his defensive abilities online though.

Inside the Dome refers to him historically as an "oustanding defensive catcher".
http://scout.scout.com/a.z?s=325&p=8&c=1&nid=2349766&refid=400

FOX claims he is below average....
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/playerScouting?categoryId=104120

Do we have any statistical analysis that can determine J.P.'s defensive value?
jsoh - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:13 PM EST (#138513) #
Does anyone remember the inexpcliable appreciation of Spike Lundberg last year?

It wasnt inexplicable. It was wholly based on the fact that he's named Spike. I mean. C'mon. Spike!

Andrew K - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:15 PM EST (#138514) #
Great move. JP has had a very good offseason.

I guess this covers almost all the insurance positions. Who is the second Syracuse catcher? Apart from that, we have:

  • 2 catchers on the major league team, with a competent cover at AAA;
  • 4 OF on the major league team, with JFG at AAA;
  • enough corner infielders to make a chorus line;
  • 3 middle IF on the major league team, but not much backup at AAA. Santos surely won't be cover, and I wouldn't like to see Hinske or Koskie at SS or 2B, so do we need to sign a vet or two for Syracuse?
  • pitching to burn (not literally).

    The horrors of Dave Berg, outfielder, should never happen again.

  • timpinder - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:16 PM EST (#138515) #
    I like this signing. I was nervous about having GQ as the backup catcher.

    I assumed that Koskie or Hinske would be traded for catching insurance, but now I wonder what JP will be looking for in return.

    Incidentally, Bob Elliot wrote in the Toronto Star today that the Indians had asked for Hillenbrand, but they were told that he was not available. Therefore, it looks like it will be one of Koskie or Hinske getting traded.
    Ken Kosowan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:16 PM EST (#138516) #
    Has there been a Hall of Names for the Diamond Spikes yet then?
    Flex - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:17 PM EST (#138517) #
    Ken, what in the Fox report you cite suggests he's below average defensively? This is what it says:

    "Phillips is a good catch-and-throw receiver who works well with pitchers. He also does a decent job controlling the running game."
    Malcolm Little - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:22 PM EST (#138518) #
    I really like this. This is a wise move that in and of itself is not really all that big, but a few of these along side the big time deals we're all now becoming accustomed to do make a great deal of sense.

    Is it possible for JP and GQ to both be on the roster at the same time with both Hillenbrand and one of Koskie and Hinkse?

    Does a move like this make possible the outright cutting of Hinkse?
    Ken Kosowan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:25 PM EST (#138519) #
    My apologies Flex,

    The link should have been to this site. His defensive worth is referenced under Fantasy News.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player?categoryId=104120

    I doubt it's talking about his 1B defence, where he only appeared in 21 out of 121 games last year.
    Flex - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:26 PM EST (#138520) #
    Why would you outright cut a player you owe $11 mil over the next two years, especially when he has 20 hr potential?
    Petey Baseball - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:27 PM EST (#138521) #
    Let me start off by saying I love the pick up, getting a capable catcher for depth at the position. I can never hurt to pick up a guy with major league experience and pretty decent offensive and defensive numbers. Certainly on paper, an upgrade over Ken Huckaby, my personal fondness for Huck aside.

    However, I think some Bauxites are undervaluing Quiroz. I thought Q really hit the ball hard last season in August and September, and should be given a shot. His defense is sketchy, but he's a big strong kid capable of improvement. I was impressed with his strength to both fields in the two games I witnessed at RC where he was the starter. Not saying he should be handed the starter's role, but he should be given a shot now to prove himself at the major league level.
    Ken Kosowan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:27 PM EST (#138522) #
    I'd hope they don't outright cut Hinske. The man is willing to play almost any position and showed some offensive life last year.

    I wouldn't bail out just yet on Hinske.... monetary reasons aside.
    Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:30 PM EST (#138523) #
    Good idea, Ken, feel free to work one up as a pinch-hit and send it my way; you might struggle a bit, or need to get creative in looking for synonyms, as only seven men nicknamed Spike have played in the bigs, not including former Indian OF Charlie Spikes. Lundberg has not yet made The Show, of course.

    You might be able to do something with players nnamed or nicknamed after uniform parts -- Cap Anson, Gary Glover, Matt Batts all come to mind.
    Flex - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:31 PM EST (#138524) #
    I see the shaky defense tag comes from Rotoworld. They seem to be a minority of one in that opinion. Myself, I often find Rotoworld intentially snarky and somewhat random in their assessments.
    John Northey - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:32 PM EST (#138525) #
    This looks like a definate setup for another move or two. Phillips gives the Jays a 3rd catcher/1B/DH who is right handed. This opens up the potential to trade Hillenbrand while mixing Phillips with Hinske or Koskie as the DH while the other of Hinske/Koskie goes away in a trade. Given the nice potential for Phillips he should be a good one.

    Checking his minor league stats to see if 2003 was a complete 100% fluke...
    AAA - 296/351/484 - all at Norfolk 129 games, final 22 in 2003
    AA - 293/360/444 - all at Binghamton, 159 games 2001 and earlier
    A - 264/334/392 - 1997-2000 - sucked in '97, solid after that

    Hrm. Makes one wonder about the last two years (218/298/326 and 238/287/363 after a 298/373/442 '03 season) and if there is something behind the scenes that killed him.

    Did bad hitting coaches in NY and LA trying to change his method? His GB/FB ratio shifted to more GB each season, but not by much (1.15 to 1.33). His P/PA decreased as well each year, again not by much (3.66 to 3.54). Only 4 sac bunts despite very poor hitting those last two years, so I don't think he was asked to 'give himself up' a whole lot. His batting average for balls in play went from 340 to 247 to 272...hmmm...magic bullet here maybe?

    Injuries maybe, since he missed 5 games due to a hand injury in August, was listed as day-to-day...did he play through stuff he shouldn't have?

    The scouting report at TSN.ca said ...
    "Has the receiving skills to be a No. 1 catcher in the majors. He's disciplined at the plate with a little power and hits righties and lefties equally well." - not quite since he hit lefties 271/352/423 and righties 246/309/364 over the past 3 years. Last year he hit lefties to the tune of 270/353/472 (in '04 he just sucked in every direction)

    Hopefully the Jays think they know what hurt him the last two years and figure they can correct it. If so we have a heck of a catcher, if not he should be a decent 3rd catcher and backup at 1B (assuming 2 of Koskie and/or Hinske and/or Hillenbrand are traded thus creating the need for a 1B backup). Wonder if he can play third (just joking).

    Btw, whatever happened to the nice stats the Star used to have? Went there looking for Phillips minor league numbers and got a lousy looking page with just the most recent stats. At least TSN still has the good stats - http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/teams/players/bio/?id=2705&hubname=mlb
    Flex - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:32 PM EST (#138526) #
    Intentionally was the word I intended to type.
    Ken Kosowan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:36 PM EST (#138527) #
    Mick,

    I wish I had the time to do it, but alas; I'm in the middle of marking Grade 7 History assignments before my vacation ends.

    If someone else has the time or inclination; I say go for it!

    Can Ty Cobb or Pete Rose be used though? They sure knew how to use their spikes after all.....
    Ken Kosowan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:42 PM EST (#138528) #
    If I remember correctly, Jason Phillips was jockeyed back and forth between First Base and the Catcher's position due to the whim of Mike Piazza.

    Can his subpar performances over the past two seasons be due to the inept New York management or is it an issue of a catcher who simply doesn't have the abilities to maintain a full time position over a full season?
    VGeras - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:43 PM EST (#138529) #
    Phillips is an outstanding receiver, blocker and caller of the game, but he struggles throwing the ball.

    That is the defensive scouting report on him
    John Northey - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:44 PM EST (#138530) #
    Guess we should do a lineup update...

    CA: Zaun/Quiroz/Phillips
    1B: Overbay
    2B: Hill
    3B: Glaus
    SS: Adams
    IF: McDonald
    LF: Cat/Johnson
    CF: Wells
    RF: Rios
    DH: Hillenbrand
    Bench: Koskie/Hinske

    That is a total of 15 guys who I'd see as likely to be on the roster if the season started today. Does Rios still have options? If so then Rios and Phillips could be at AAA waiting for a shot while Hinske or Koskie are tossed into the outfield mix or Johnson becomes the everyday RF and Cat plays everyday in LF and Hinske/Koskie are pure bench players. This is assuming the Jays still go with a 12 man pitching staff as is likely (Ryan/Frasor/Chulk/SS/Speier/Downs/Walker in the pen Halladay/AJ/Lilly/Chacin/Towers starting).
    Curtis Dixon - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:49 PM EST (#138531) #
    I'm not 100% sure how minor league contracts work, but can Phillips refuse an assignment to AAA coming out of spring training, and become a FA again? I am just thinking he was signed to a minor league deal to conserve space on the 40 man roster, with the intent of adding him to it before the season (as someone noted above).

    Surely Phillips could catch on with another big league team rather than go to AAA, given his status as "established major league veteran".
    Mike Green - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:53 PM EST (#138532) #
    I concur. Two thumbs up.
    einsof - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 04:57 PM EST (#138534) #
    All I'll say about this move is, "thank god its a minor league contract." Phillips numbers offensively are ugly for the last 2 years (.287 OBP-yikes). I guess he'll do as a backup for a backup catcher.
    williams_5 - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 05:24 PM EST (#138536) #
    actionjackson touched on this a bit, but his ability to throw out runners (or lack thereof) is a little scary. If I am reading this correctly from ESPN.com, in '05 he allowed 78 SB's in only 93 games at catcher while throwing out only 19. Again, this may have to do with L.A.'s pitching staff as much as anything, as he was better in '04 (42/19 in 87 games), but that 19.6% rate from last year is rather Piazza-like.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=4027&context=fielding
    Mike Green - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 05:31 PM EST (#138537) #
    I guess an explanation is needed for my concurrence. Phillips' performance in New York and LA over the last 3 years translates to a .260/.325/.395 line approximately in Toronto. He's an acceptable defensive catcher by all accounts, although he does not throw well.

    If Quiroz cannot fill the role of right-handed half of a catching platoon, Phillips will do so capably. I have been impressed with the Red Sox' moves during the off-season, but their choice of Huckaby and Flaherty as backup catchers is mystifying, and the Jays' signing of Phillips makes these decisions stand out in bold relief.
    Ryan C - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 05:34 PM EST (#138538) #
    In other free agent news, it looks like the Astros have signed CF Preston Wilson.

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3562368.html
    J Mc - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 05:47 PM EST (#138539) #
    This is a shrewd move on JP's part. Get a decent receiver that is slightly above average defensively to put a wee bit of pressure on Quiroz or spell a tired Zaun. This is a solid aquisition. I've always been fond of the notion of defensive replacements in tight games (eg. Rob MacDonald)and I hope that Jason fits the bill. A platoon situation with 20HRs 80+RBIs at the Catcher spot would be nice, however, still a good move on JP's part. Now let's clear up the logjam ! Michael
    Chuck - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:01 PM EST (#138540) #
    This looks like a definate setup for another move or two. Phillips gives the Jays a 3rd catcher/1B/DH who is right handed.

    Ack! With all due respect John, if he sees any time at 1B or DH on a team with so many 1B/3B/DH types, then something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

    Like others, I can't see the team carrying 3 catchers. The calculus becomes problematic when you have 4 third basemen and want to also carry 7 relievers. Perhaps JP's next move should be to petition Selig to allow a 28-man roster. Or 29, just in case the team wants to make room for Roy Howell or Danny Ainge.

    Phillips hit well as an old (26) rookie, but the league appears to have figured him out. Still, the Jays needed a catcher, preferably a RH one, so Phillips helps. In agreeing to the minor league deal, his agent must have impressed upon him the potential that exists when a team's starting catcher is 35 and when the team's back-up has suffered two collapsed lungs.

    I can't comment on Phillips' defensive ability, but its axiomatic that the less you hit, the better you field. I'm sure his defensive rep has improved greatly as his OPS has tumbled from the 800's to 600's.

    I have been impressed with the Red Sox' moves during the off-season, but their choice of Huckaby and Flaherty as backup catchers is mystifying, and the Jays' signing of Phillips makes these decisions stand out in bold relief.

    I agree, Mike, that the Red Sox are going out of their way to sign crappy catchers with knuckleball experience, but isn't Kelly Shoppach still around? Doesn't he figure to be the front runner for Mirabelli's old job? At which point Huckaby and Flaherty reboard the crappy backup-catcher carrousel (not to be confused with the crappy situational lefty reliever carrousel).

    greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:26 PM EST (#138542) #
    A bit off-topic but does anyone know why the Orioles would be likely to move Tejada (and a young outfielder, possibly Nick Markakis, if you believe the Boston Herald) for Clement and Ramirez? Taking on two veterans with hefty contracts seems like exactly the wrong approach for a rebuilding team unlikely to compete in 2006--of course, that never stopped O's management before.

    VBF - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:44 PM EST (#138543) #
    Loving the glasses!

    Craig B - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:55 PM EST (#138544) #
    So Huckaby can't catch fastballs and curveballs from normal pitchers, but he can somehow catch a knuckleball? I don't buy it, the guy's a passed ball machine.
    Blue in SK - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:57 PM EST (#138545) #
    Also off topic, but the Bucs are apparently close to signing Burnitz, after he spurned the O's -

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06003/631666.stm

    If this happens, Craig Wilson should become even more available.
    Dave Till - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 06:59 PM EST (#138546) #
    Yay! A backup catcher! This offseason rocks my world.
    King Ryan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 07:13 PM EST (#138547) #
    Definitely a good move. You have to wonder why teams like the Red Sox were going after Ken Huckaby and John Flaherty, while Phillips basically got ignored. Even at Jason's worst he's better than Huck.
    birdwatcher - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:00 PM EST (#138551) #
    52 comments so far about the second/third string catcher. Must be a slow winter !! Hurry up and get here spring training.
    Magpie - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:05 PM EST (#138552) #
    What's this? The new backup catcher is... Ali G??

    Cool.

    syracuse - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:23 PM EST (#138553) #
    Unless Quiroz has a great spring training you have to think the Phillips signing will leave him at AAA at least to start next year ... his AVG in winter ball is .191 and falling:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://aguilas.terra.com.ve/&prev=/search%3Fq%3DZulia%2BAguilas%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DHPIB,HPIB:2005-21,HPIB:en

    Do you think maybe the Red Sox just signed Huckaby to take out Jeter again?
    Kieran - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:25 PM EST (#138555) #
    I don't believe GQ can start the year in Syracuse, unless the Jays are able to have him clear waivers. He is out of option years.
    Jonny German - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:27 PM EST (#138556) #
    Quiroz is out of options and can't be sent down to AAA without passing through waivers. Even with his poor performance this winter, there's no guarantee he wouldn't be picked up.
    Nick - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:28 PM EST (#138557) #
    Blair has updated his blog:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051101.wblai/BNStory/Sports/

    Couple interesting items, though nothing shocking:

    - Jays maintain interest in Molina - although it's on the back of the backburner. I think JP is just keeping the door open on the off chance that the market for Benji completely collapses and maybe he can can sign him to a cheap 1-year deal while Molina hopes things get better the following winter.

    - Blair refers to Phillips' defense last year as terrible and the primary reason he lost his job. (What about his sub .300 OBP?)

    - JP says that there will be an open competition between Phillips and GQ in Spring Training.

    - Blair contends that Koskie is the obvious odd man out and that the Jays will take prospects in return.
    Chuck - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 08:55 PM EST (#138559) #
    Do you think maybe the Red Sox just signed Huckaby to take out Jeter again?

    And perhaps they signed Flaherty to tell Huckaby where he can find Jeter away from the field should Huck not be able to accomplish the nasty deed on the field.

    And suddenly, the big picture emerges.

    Mylegacy - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:01 PM EST (#138560) #
    Here's how I see things working out IF there are no more trades:

    Hinske (L) and Johnson (R) split LF.
    Wells (R) CF
    Cat (L) and Rios (R) split RF
    Glaus (R) 3rd
    Adams (R) or Hill (R) SS
    Hill or Adams 2nd
    Overbay (L) 1st
    Hilly (L) and Koskie (R) split DH
    Zaun (switch hits)

    That way we make the MOST of our modest offense against righties and lefties. It also means that later in the game if the other team switches pitchers we'll have some pop off the bench. Also, it keeps everyone in the game and fresh.

    garth - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:04 PM EST (#138561) #
    I thought I read that the Jays were trying to get a rare option year exemption for Quiroz due to the fact he lost a full year to injuries. If this is possible then perhaps Jason Phillips starts the year with the Jays untill Quiroz proves he deserves a shot at the Majors. This would be the best case scenario. Can anyone else remember hearing this?
    King Ryan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:09 PM EST (#138563) #
    Blair contends that Koskie is the obvious odd man out and that the Jays will take prospects in return.

    Last year's gold is this year's coal, eh?

    I think getting rid of Koskie and letting Glaus play third is a mistake, but what else is new.

    actionjackson - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:15 PM EST (#138564) #
    Mylegacy, I count 14 players and JP and crew have never gone with less than 12 pitchers. Therefore, one still has to go. I am counting John McDonald and backup catcher (yet to be determined), plus the twelve you have listed. I would love to see 14 players and 11 pitchers, but I just don't think it's gonna happen. It would give so much bench flexibility to a team that needs it more than it needs the 7th bullpen guy waiting endlessly for his turn to come up. Who would you delete from: Ryan/Speier/Frasor/SS/Chulk/Downs/Walker in order to make the pitching staff an 11 instead of 12 man staff?
    actionjackson - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:18 PM EST (#138565) #
    If they could arrange that rare option year exemption, that would be sswweeeett. I don't want to lose GQ for nothing, but he could use some more time in Syracuse. Cross your fingers.
    Mylegacy - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:38 PM EST (#138566) #
    I say we go with 26! Lets be BOLD!

    BUT, if the suits at MLB won't let us then Walker draws the short straw.
    Lefty - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:43 PM EST (#138567) #
    Koskie isn't hard enough to be carbon.

    King Ryan, respectfully, there were a ton of posters questioning the Koskie signing. For the very reasons that proved to be true and will likely be the case again this year.

    I certainly do not recall anyone determing his value as either gold or coal, but maybe glass.

    Clearly the organization made a mistake signing him to that deal and this is reflected by the lack of market for him now.

    None of this is to disparage Cory Koskie, he's a fine journeyman ball player. Its not his fault he was so highly overvalued.
    nicton - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:50 PM EST (#138568) #
    The market, or lack of one, for Koskie would lead me to believe he will be a Jay this year. I can't see the wisdom in trading him, paying most of the contract, and getting little back. Think Mondesi/ Scott Wiggins without the salary relief...
    Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:51 PM EST (#138569) #
    It occurs to me, probably erroneously, that the Red Sox signing Flaherty from the Yankees and ex-Jay Huckaby COULD be seen as in the same vein as NFL teams signing the recently-released veteran quarterback of the team they are about to play or of a division rival.

    Why not pick the brains of the backup catcher who knows the competition's pitching staff as well as anyone? (With the exceptions of the new pitchers, of course.)
    King Ryan - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:53 PM EST (#138570) #
    Unfortunately, the Batter's Box Search Engine is not working for me right now, but I certainly remember many posters endorsing the Koskie signing with MyLegacy-like enthusiasm.

    Of course I could be wrong, but he was certainly the Jays' "big free agent signing" last season, and now the Jays are looking to dump him for prospects.

    I think "journeyman ball player" is far too harsh. He's a fine defender (much better than Glaus,) and his career OPS+ is 113, not bad at all for a good-fielding 3B. I don't think the Jays' mistake was signing him. The mistake was trading O-Dawg for Glaus. But I won't get into that here...
    Wildrose - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 09:57 PM EST (#138571) #
    I just don't get the Jays desire to trade Koskie over Hillenbrand. Koskie if used properly in a platoon situation is the far superior hitter. He's also the better defensive player. Moving to D.H. would potentially limit his injury tendencies ( that and a run of some good luck). The job of a G.M. is to overide foolish "man crushes" that some managers fall trap to. Also trading a free agent one year after signing him is bad form. Hopefully common sense rules the day and the Koskie rumours are false.

    I believe the Jays are seeking an options exemption on Rosario not Quiroz.

    Wildrose - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:05 PM EST (#138572) #
    Also if your going to call Koskie brittle and like "glass", let's be consistent here and refer to Halladay in the same breath, after all he's essentially missed as much time to injury as Koskie has in the past two years.

    Injuries to both Koskie and Halladay this past season are best described as being fluke occurrences, unlikely to happen again.
    Magpie - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:07 PM EST (#138573) #
    In a Roster populated largely by lawyers, I am the resident English major. Everyone's grammar makes me cringe. I have no hope for any of you. I have little hope for myself, which is especially maddening - do you know how much money I spent on my English degree? Do not get me started. Don't go there

    Anyway, in this state of perpetual despair, I normally refrain from commenting on the subject. Experience has taught me what usually results from collisions between my head and the brick wall. But if you insist, I'll make an exception.

    Hmmm...hmmmm..... well, you might have been better off using "had" instead of "have," if you're looking for some big-time nitpicking. It's close enough for government work.

    There. You're welcome. We done?

    greenfrog - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:13 PM EST (#138574) #
    I imagine there's some interest out there for Koskie. Especially if the Jays are picking up some of the tab. I wonder whether interested teams are waiting a bit to see if the pressure on Ricciardi mounts, forcing him to sell low. One thing I wonder about, though: who's going to play 3B in 2007 and 2008 (and '09, if Glaus picks up his player option)?
    Ron - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:19 PM EST (#138575) #
    If Koskie gets dealt I would feel a little bit sorry for him.

    Koskie said he turned down more money from the Dodgers to sign with the Jays because it was the team he dreamed about playing for while growing up.

    But if somehow Koskie remains with the Jays this season, it would be foolish to have Glaus start over him at 3B.
    nicton - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:28 PM EST (#138576) #
    Anyone know the 10 teams on Koskie no-trade list???
    Lefty - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:33 PM EST (#138577) #
    I can't quible with much of that. Perhaps we have a different assessment of what entails a journeyman though. Out in the real world journeyman implies a skilled tradesman. An honourable worker.

    The reason I mentioned it was an organizational mistake rather than a Ricciardi one is that the new budget came after free agent season. Maybe Ricciardi would have tried to land Glaus for money and not talent last winter. Obviously that would have been far far better than giving up Hudson.
    GregH - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:36 PM EST (#138578) #
    This post is off topic, but as this thread seems to be the active one, I hope I may be forgiven.

    As was noted in a previous thread, from information from the Jeff Blair blog, Orlando Hudson and Larry Walker are scheduled to be at a fundraiser at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys on Sunday January 15, 2006 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

    Scott of the Hall of Fame sent me an email this evening indicating that, despite the trade, O-Dog has confirmed his attendance.

    I think this is a golden opportunity for Bauxites to thank Hudson for all the memories.
    brent - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:50 PM EST (#138579) #
    I guess it was nice having Quiroz in the system, that is unless he starts tearing it up. I hope JP gives him a full chance to produce and do well. I like and support JP, but again I disagree with the young players who he his patient or not patient with. Losing Quiroz will be Lopez part II. PS I am still annoyed at watching Joe Lawrence play for two months while O-Dog stayed in the minors. I would rather see Quiroz as the backup catcher, than Rios as the starting right fielder everyday. Some prospects need to be eased in. Not all of them can take the job and run with it.
    david wang - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:50 PM EST (#138580) #
    Jason Phillips reminds me of Josh Phelps, killer on lefties can't touch righties, but if Josh could have played C past the minors, he could be a hell of a catching platoon. The scouting reports have me believe Phillips is a competent catcher, remember, we're not spending 10 million dollars here on a player where we already have 3 guys who can play there. ;) We're spending maximum a couple hundred thousand on a low cost-low reward-low risk player to compete with a raw prospect.
    brent - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 10:53 PM EST (#138581) #
    Please take some photos in St.Mary's and post them. I am on the other side of the world, but I want to see!!!!! The hall of fame there has a nice Honus Wagner bat by the way.
    Willy - Tuesday, January 03 2006 @ 11:08 PM EST (#138583) #
    In a Roster populated largely by lawyers, I am the resident English major. Everyone's grammar makes me cringe. I have no hope for any of you. I have little hope for myself, which is especially maddening - do you know how much money I spent on my English degree? ...

    Magpie, it's the best money you ever spent! And it shows, too. [Have to say, though, I don't know what post you're referring to with this "have"/"had" pair.] How do you cope around all those lawyers?
    HollywoodHartman - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:01 AM EST (#138584) #
    The Padres have signed lefty Shawn Estes to a 1 year/ ~$1 Million deal

    (MLB.com)
    Glevin - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:22 AM EST (#138585) #
    I like the Phillips signing. It fills a hole nicely. I'll be surprised if he doesn't make the team. I can see GQ packaged with Hinske/Koskie/etc... to get a better prospect back. I think Phillips might wind up playing quite a bit. As far as I see it, the Jays have two potential holes right now. RF and and MI.

    RF-the Jays have two options.
    1-The most likely. Keep Rios and hope he starts hitting. I think the best option.
    2- Try an IFer out there. I don't like this because the Jays defense is questionable enough. Besides, none of those guys has more than a decent bat anyway.
    3-Move Reed Johnson to RF full time. Johnson is one of those guys whose numbers would look worse with more time. Over the last 3 years, his OPS vs. righties is .702 which is hideous for a corner OFer. He's a good righty platoon guy.

    MI-Again a few options.
    1-Stay with John Macdonald. Bad idea IMO. His careers OPS is .593 and his career OPS+ is 58. As the primary backup to two young guys, you simply need to do better.
    2-Go out and sign someone. Rich Aurillia would seem like a perfect fit as he can play second and short, can hit some, and made only 600, 000 last year.

    As for trading, Hillenbrand would be the best guy to trade. He's really not a whole lot better than Hinske (I wanted a Hinske/Lecroy combo at DH) and would help the Jays obtain a better calibre of prospect. The problem is this. Whomever needs a DH (which Hillenbrand basically is) can go out and sign Piazza, Durazo, Thomas, or even Lecroy and not give up anything. some team might be willing to take a shot at Hinske at 3B.

    (Yet another reason I find J.P.'s plan so frustrating. the Jays could have accomplished a massive upgrade at offense signing guys like Reggie Sanders, and two of the aformentioned DHs which would cost the Jays lest than ten million a year in total and mean they would not give up Bush, Batista, or Hudson and they would not have to take a big 4-year risk in Glaus.)
    Geoff - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:19 AM EST (#138586) #
    Canadian baseball fans get pat on back: see bottom of page
    Joseph Krengel - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:03 AM EST (#138588) #
    So I guess that makes me the only person on BB who thinks Phillips was signed to push Guillermo Quiroz?
    Andrew K - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 06:39 AM EST (#138590) #
    Magpie, you also missed a misplaced apostrophe.

    I think the post submission form should have "preview", "submit", and "send post to Magpie for proof-reading and editing".
    yoni - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 07:18 AM EST (#138591) #
    Ummmm
    commenting on peoples grammer on a list like (even if requested) this reeks a bit too much of Ignatius J. Reilly to me.

    I think we are also analyzing the phillips signing a bit too much. After all he is signed to a minor league contract at a few hundred grand which can amout to nothing. This is what spring training is for. Seeing who is healthy and who can help right away.
    That is why I would wait for mid-spring traing before trading Hinske/Hillenbrand/Koskie/Whomever just because we never know who will Lilly on us and start the year on the DL.
    After all...let's say that they trade Koskie and then Hillenbrand goes down. Then who do they bring up to replace in the roster spot?

    Malcolm Little - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 08:17 AM EST (#138592) #
    I have little hope for myself, which is especially maddening

    A lack of an antecedent for the pronoun "which"!
    Pistol - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 08:35 AM EST (#138594) #
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20060104/JAYS04/TPSports/Baseball

    ".....Ricciardi going so far yesterday as saying he visualized an outfield of Hinske in left, Vernon Wells in centre and Frank Catalanotto in right against right-handed pitching, with Reed Johnson and Alex Rios available for late-inning defence."

    Hinkse vs RHP - 2005 (389 ABs):
    .283/.358/.452

    Hinske vs RHP - 2003-2005 (1107 ABs):
    .253/.334/.416

    Rios vs RHP (career - 629 ABs):
    .278/.320/.394

    If the option is '2005 Hinske' and '2005 Rios' perhaps its a good idea to have Hinske in the OF.

    The key is what you think Hinske and Rios will do this year. I'm not certain Hinske is as good against RHPs as he was in 2005 (based on the past three years) and Rios certainly has room for improvement over what he did in 2005.

    The OF defense would certainly be considerably worse as Hinske would be a downgrade in LF and Cat would be a big downgrade in RF from Rios.
    Pistol - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 08:36 AM EST (#138595) #
    The Star has Phillip's contract being $550,000 if he makes the team.
    Jay - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 08:44 AM EST (#138596) #
    Can one of the guys who have access to such information (e.g. Craig, Leigh, Mike Green, etc.) look into the BABIP for Phillips. I could swear that his hit rate is extraordinarily low for the last two years (e.g. 25%) while being about 35% in his "breakout" year. From what I have read, his underlying performance metrics such as isolated power, K/BB ratio and contact ratio all remained fairly steady over the 3 year span.

    Is there any valid reason to expect Phillips to have a lower BABIP than most other players or shouldn't this always revert back to the mean at some point in time? For example, could he be hitting more weak popups and less line drives than others in the game? If so, any reason for this or expectations of a cure?
    melondough - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 08:59 AM EST (#138597) #
    The Ottawa Sun reports that the talks between Koskie and the Twins are back on again. The Twins last yr had offered Koskie 2 yrs $8.5 million. Bob Elliott makes me believe that the Twins may want to only pay Koskie half of that for the remaining yr. My take from what he writes is that the vesting yr may be a large obstacle, though the Globe article posted earlier suggested it can be bought out at $500K. Seems like there is some confusion here.
    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/MLB/Toronto/2006/01/04/1378477-sun.html

    Here is a link to the Star article by Geoff Baker that says Phillips will earn $550K if he makes the Jays. This would be over a $200K raise from last season.
    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1136328631491&call_pageid=968867503640&col=970081593064

    yoni - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:14 AM EST (#138598) #
    I think that Hinkse in Left would be a horrible idea.
    Cat converting from infield to outfield was hard enough and he is much more of an athletic build then Hinske.
    Seeing Hinske lumbering around out there will not be fun.
    Pistol - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:28 AM EST (#138599) #
    "Can one of the guys who have access to such information (e.g. Craig, Leigh, Mike Green, etc.) look into the BABIP for Phillips"

    Everyone that access! Go to www.HardballTimes.com and look in the stats section. You can also calculate it fairly quickly with a spreadsheet (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR).

    SEASON - BABIP
    2003 - 0.319
    2004 - 0.230
    2005 - 0.251
    GeoffAtMac - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:40 AM EST (#138600) #

    Craig Wilson is up for grabs, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    The article says the Pirates don't want to pay a bench player $4 million per year -- so it looks like Hinske wouldn't ever be headed to Pittsburgh in any trade.

    Craig B - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:42 AM EST (#138601) #
    JC Bradbury's PrOPS (Predicted OPS) method derives an estimate of OPS from plate appearance outcomes and batted ball types. It looks at a player's line drive percentage, groundball/flyball ratio, walks, HBPs, strikeouts, home runs, and the home park he plays in, and estimates what that player would normally hit. It's essentially a way to take defense against a player and especially luck (and to some extent, fitness or lack thereof for a particular park) out of the hitting equation.

    (You owe it to yourself to check out JC's article on PrOPS, which is in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2006). Apparently, players who underperform their PrOPS tend to gain 80% of that underperformance back the following year.

    Jason Phillips was the unluckiest hitter in baseball according to PrOPS for 2004. His PrOPS of .732 was 110 points better than his OPS of .622. Then in 2005, Phillips was the 12th-unluckiest hitter... underperforming his PrOPS of .716 by 69 points.

    Phillips should be having more success than he has had the last two seasons, and I suspect that the Jays may have taken this sort of thing into account in going after him. If he can replicate his 2004/05 PrOPS in real terms, a .725 OPS from your backup catcher is really very good.
    Craig B - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:48 AM EST (#138602) #
    One more thing on Phillips the hitter... he's a very good contact hitter, but hits the ball on the ground rather a lot for a man with his lack of speed. Turf may help him get a few extra hits.

    Phillips (2005 data) is above-average in groundballs and line drives, hits a few more popups than average, is just about dead average in flyballs, and strikes out, walks, and bunts less than average.

    And one more PrOPS comment... players (like Phillips in 2005) who substantially underperform their PrOPS in a season have a very strong tendency to improve the following year.
    Jonny German - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:48 AM EST (#138603) #
    National League average BABIP was .298 last year, compared to Phillips' .251, despite Phillips having an average line drive rate - 21.0% to the league 20.7%. He also got short-changed on home runs, with 8% of his fly balls leaving the yard compared to the league average of 12%.
    Jordan - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:17 AM EST (#138604) #
    I could probably live with Hinske in left field if his bat made it worthwhile -- he's more athletic than his body type would lead you to believe, and arm strength has never been an issue for him. He'd most closely resemble Ryan Klesko out there, and while that's hardly a thing of beauty, it wouldn't be fatal -- if Manny Ramirez can play left, anyone can.

    My greater concern is the possibility of Catalanotto in RF. Cat's a decent enough fielder, but you can hide him in left and no damage is done. In right field, your range is tested and your arm, especially, is constantly under pressure. I don't much like the idea of opposing runners on first routinely taking third on a single to right. Cat had exactly 4 assists in 111 games in the outfield last year. Not that Craig Wilson would be much better, mind you (6 assists in 167 outfield appearances the last two years).

    If this really is going to be the normal outfield alignment in 2006, then Vernon Wells is going to have to really work to earn a third Gold Glove this season. And I wouldn't invest too heavily in any flyball pitchers on the Jays' staff. But nothing is written in stone until the Koskie situation sorts itself out.
    Pistol - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:17 AM EST (#138605) #
    "You owe it to yourself to check out JC's article on PrOPS, which is in The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2006"

    For those that think that Craig might be biased given his affiliation with HT, I bought the Hardball Times book last week and I'm especially impressed with the analysis section in the book. There's a lot of good stuff being generated from the batted ball data.
    Leigh - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:24 AM EST (#138606) #
    I feel very good about Jason Phillips.

    Re: Wilson
    Considering the desire for hitting - demonstrated by the package sent to Arizona - surely there is something that the Jays can do to land Craig Wilson, who is approximately as good a hitter as Troy Glaus. I hope that this has at least been considered, as it appears that Wilson could be had for little(field).
    Mick Doherty - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:52 AM EST (#138608) #
    In a Roster populated largely by lawyers, I am the resident English major.

    Sir, I resemble that remark! I even minored in Philosophy mostly to learn how to cope with the fact that there were no jobs for English majors.

    Flex - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:53 AM EST (#138609) #
    Wow, have you ever seen a guy with a batting average as consistent as Craig Wilson's the last four years?, .264, .262, .264, .264

    (Man, what's with that crappy 2003?)

    Decent OPS overall, I'd like to see Ricciardi take a chance on him, even with the injuries to his hand.
    Sherrystar - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:55 AM EST (#138610) #
    If Wilson is available, based on what he's done this off-season, I'm confident J.P. will give the Pirates a call. He would look amazing in right field.
    Blue in SK - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:03 AM EST (#138612) #
    Leigh, I agree with you about Wilson but, there doesn't seem to be a good match with the Bucs. Complicating matters is that Wilson is due about $4M from arbitration this year, meaning we would have to move some salary. That salary is not likely to be Hinske/Koskie/Hillenbrand since the Pirates have acquired Casey and Randa for the IF corner spots this off season.

    Maybe Cat plus a pitching prospect might due the trick. Jays take on $2M and Wilson takes over in LF leaving Rios in RF.
    fozzy - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:04 AM EST (#138613) #
    Sir, I resemble that remark! I even minored in Philosophy mostly to learn how to cope with the fact that there were no jobs for English majors.

    Ain't that the truth; I have an English degree and work at an electronic store. Didn't see that one coming.

    Oleg - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:09 AM EST (#138614) #
    "Ummmm
    commenting on peoples grammer on a list like (even if requested) this reeks a bit too much of Ignatius J. Reilly to me."

    Ummmm the original poster said, "Could one of you English majors please let me know if my grammar is correct on the above statement."
    Hodgie - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:12 AM EST (#138615) #

    If J.P. is going to focus on anyone for the OF, I would prefer he target somebody like Jason Kubel. Returning Koskie to the Twins seems like the most viable course of action, and should the Jays pick up a portion of the contract they would hopefully have the leverage to ask for Kubel in return.

    HollywoodHartman - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:14 AM EST (#138616) #
    What would it take to get him? I think we should give 1 of our 'pen arms (Chulk?) and maybe 1 or 2 other players.
    braden - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:19 AM EST (#138617) #
    Greetings from another English major. I'm currently working in Marketing where my knowledge of 19th and 20th century American fiction isn't exactly being put to the test.

    It does, however, provide me with a good excuse when one of my ideas flops. "What do I know, I'm just an English major."
    Jay - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:45 AM EST (#138618) #
    Thanks gang for the input regarding BABIP and PrOPS. I've been hemming and hawing about picking up the Hardball Times Annual and this may have just pushed me into it. I'll take a look. Thanks.

    Either way, it appears Phillips is due for a good shake. Mind you there always seems to be exceptions to the rule. For example, I seem to recall Kirk Rueter always having terrible peripherals but performing strong on counting stats. Hopefully Phillips truly has been unlucky and get find the pot of gold in the RC.
    huckamaniac - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:51 AM EST (#138619) #
    Does anyone else picture Hinske chugging around left field and Cat's hamstring exploding in right? I personally think Hinske in the outfield would be a disaster.
    einsof - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:03 PM EST (#138620) #
    Thank god that the Jays players don't have to be marked on their spelling, grammar & punctuation if they want to make the team. I would assume that many ballplayers like S.Sosa, Canseco & Delgado would never have reached the Majors. I keep expecting my posts to be sent back to me with a big red "D-" at the bottom. Am I being alittle paranoid?
    Chuck - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:16 PM EST (#138621) #
    Why you picking on Delgado? He's highly articulate in his second language. The league is chock full of rubes. I'm thinking that Delgado ain't one of them.
    Malcolm Little - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:43 PM EST (#138622) #
    Maybe Cat plus a pitching prospect might due the trick. Jays take on $2M and Wilson takes over in LF leaving Rios in RF.

    I thought Cat was a weakness last year, but it turns out that as of Sept., he had just about the league average raw OPS for AL LFers. Is Wilson really a better hitter, or so much better a hitter, that this makes sense? Isn't removing Rios from the starting outfield apparently J.P.'s goal?

    Koskie to the Twins I love. I wouldn't mind kicking in $ and a pitching prospect to get a youngish RF-type to platoon with or to spell Rios. Time was, the Twins were swimming in those, but in recent years, they've bled many away. Does anyone fit the bill? Did someone mention Kubel?
    TimberLee - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:43 PM EST (#138623) #
    Firstly, I expect that Koskie may go to the Twins for middle infield backup (and maybe a prospect) and to make some salary room. Currently, Toronto has one too many 1b/3B/DH and one too few 2B/SS. Quiroz probably will get April, and maybe May, to show he's worth keeping, with Phillips in Syracuse for that time. Walker likely won't pitch for the big team at all, even if he isn't traded (barring injuries to others, of course).
    Secondly, the general level of English usage here is better than that of BaseballPrimer posters which I have been reading for a few years. I generally refrain from commenting on even the most egregious errors because I recognize that some posters have English as a second language and I feel we should welcome any attempt at contributing to DaBox. However, some of you are pretty sad. Can we at least spell "definitely" correctly?
    I am done. Thank you.
    Malcolm Little - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:45 PM EST (#138624) #
    What's your Primer handle?

    Would some of you be recognizable Primates?
    TimberLee - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:49 PM EST (#138625) #
    I haven't contributed to Primer since they changed their rules and took much of the fun out of it. Now I just check them out for news and views. The other day there was an item there about the BlueJays' moves and the posters just couldn't stay on the topic, most of them veering off onto some rants about NY sportswriters with whom I am not familiar.
    Named For Hank - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 12:56 PM EST (#138626) #
    In a Roster populated largely by lawyers, I am the resident English major.

    Ha ha, my post secondary education involved two written exams in total, one of them in the class that was supposed to make sure we could speak English.

    But at the same time, I was doing six studio setups a week and we had frequent "put everything you've shot so far this term up on the wall so we can all cut you to pieces" sessions.
    Craig B - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:01 PM EST (#138627) #
    einsof wrote:

    Thank god that the Jays players don't have to be marked on their spelling, grammar & punctuation if they want to make the team. I would assume that many ballplayers like S.Sosa, Canseco & Delgado would never have reached the Majors. I keep expecting my posts to be sent back to me with a big red "D-" at the bottom. Am I being alittle paranoid?

    D-

    No, not paranoid at all...

    Named For Hank - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:02 PM EST (#138628) #
    I keep expecting my posts to be sent back to me with a big red "D-" at the bottom. Am I being alittle paranoid?

    Yep. If you actually worry about it, you're not one of the problem posters. The problem posters are the ones who just don't care.

    But really, we like to handle this by e-mail. What has brought this all to the fore is posters criticizing each other. If you see a post that you think is a total train-wreck, just hit "report abuse" in case we haven't seen it. Then we can send a quiet, private, friendly request to the poster to clean it up and re-post it, and no one has to feel "called out".
    melondough - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:08 PM EST (#138629) #
    JP RICCIARDI ON MLB RADIO IN ONE HOUR!!!!!

    Sorry if this has already been posted.

    Lets put all this speculation aside. For those of you who want to hear what the ACTUAL Blue Jay plans are then you will have a great opportunity today at 2pm.

    JP Ricciardi will be on MLB LIVE radio in one hour. I am really looking forward to hear what he has to say about the possibility of a deal with Minnesota. I bet his tone will tell us more than his words though.

    To hear it, go to:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp
    Chuck - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:17 PM EST (#138631) #
    Lets put all this speculation aside. For those of you who want to hear what the ACTUAL Blue Jay plans are then you will have a great opportunity today at 2pm.

    While it might be interesting to listen to Mr. Ricciardi, what makes you think he'll divulge the ACTUAL plans? If he's in trade talks with anyone, or shopping this guy or that, or targeting this guy or that, he's not going to go public with that. It's one thing to formally announce that offers have been made to FA's (as he did with Burnett and Ryan), but quite another to discuss trade talks.

    Perhaps he'll shed some light on the Hinske-to-the-outfield rumours, but even those might be nothing more than a way to make Hinske seem versatile for the purposes of moving him.

    I think the best way to find out what's really going on is to have Magpie chase down the assistant GM's with vermouth or peach schnapps or whatever it is that might get them to spill.

    CeeBee - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:30 PM EST (#138632) #
    Thoughts on Hinske in the outfield. I would not be too quick to judge a player position switch till I saw it in action. Has anyone actually seen Eric attempting to catch a fly, chase down a ball in the alley or the corner and make the throw to the cutoff man? He appears to run pretty good, especially given his linebacker appearance and who knows, maybe he will make the switch and be better for it, that is if the switch is actually tried. If Harmon Killebrew could play LF, 3B and 1B who's to say Eric can't as well. Now if only 40 home runs a years would be the result wouldn't everyone be happy even if the defense was a bit less then stellar?
    melondough - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:33 PM EST (#138633) #
    Yes, I agree. What I meant was that we may get SOME details on some of the many questions still remaining.

    It may be that JP mentions that they have no interest in trading for an OF. It may be that he says they would have to be bowled over to trade Cat. It may be that he mentions he has a few offers that he is mulling over.

    True, none of it will give us definate answers but I will be surprised if it does not at least eliminate one of the many issues that have been speculated on here.
    Craig B - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:43 PM EST (#138634) #
    By the way, einsof, don't read anything negative into my comment. Just a little joke.
    einsof - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 01:52 PM EST (#138635) #
    Thanks Craig B. -- I took in the right spirit.
    I'm getting ready to listen to JP on MLB radio & maybe if I listen hard enough to the tone of JP's voice, I can gain some insight into the Jays OF situation. Personally, I'd love to see C.Wilson in our OF & his power bat would add that extra umph to our offense.
    Lefty - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:06 PM EST (#138636) #
    Well stated Named for Hank.
    Chuck - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:12 PM EST (#138638) #
    This MLB radio show is torture. Ricciardi mustn't be available at the moment. I can't believe the hosts are intentionally choosing to fritter away so much time saying a whole lot of nothing.
    melondough - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:14 PM EST (#138639) #
    Ten minutes into the interview and I wonder if JP has fallen asleep yet. He must be so happy that they called him in!
    6-4-3 - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:15 PM EST (#138640) #
    What, you don't like the co-host's reminiscences about signing Rick Dempsey to a NRI in 1988, or the 10 player trade (with 8 pitchers!), or how Jason Phillips is really valuable because he could play first, if required?

    If only Fred Claire had the voice of Abe Simpson . . .

    Hey, JP's in.
    melondough - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:26 PM EST (#138642) #
    Did I misunderstand or did JP just say that they plan on bringing the team to Spring as is and may make only some minor tweaks if something presents itself?

    Based on his history, I guess this means something is up.
    Craig B - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:27 PM EST (#138643) #
    Fred Claire *is* Abe Simpson.

    The most interesting tidbit from the interview was that the Jays had had Santos on their radar for a long time, and had some interest in him when they drafted Adams (who they preferred as an older, college player who would make the majors sooner). He's more than a throw-in... this is someone that the braintrust have had their eyes on for a while.
    Chuck - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:28 PM EST (#138644) #
    Listening to Fred Claire is making my heart seize.
    6-4-3 - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:30 PM EST (#138645) #
    That is what JP said, but he also mentioned that he's always looking to improve some positions.

    I'm still waiting for Claire to announce his predictions for the 2006 all-star team, which would probably feature Honus Wagner, Mordacai "Three Finger" Brown, Cap Anson and at catcher, Rick Dempsey.
    Chuck - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:34 PM EST (#138646) #
    And of course the versatile Jason Phillips could always fill in at 1B should someone go down.
    Andrew K - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:37 PM EST (#138647) #
    Did I miss Ricciardi on the radio thing? I just got in. Did he say anything at all interesting?
    6-4-3 - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:43 PM EST (#138648) #
    Here's a brief summary:

    JP repeated his claim that the payroll's at 72 million, can go to 75.

    Thinks there's a buzz in Toronto about the Jays, sales already up 25%, should go higher in spring.

    Thinks Toronto is a great city, plays down notion that players don't want to play here, thinks that players are rediscovering Toronto now.

    Likes Sergio Santos, scouts liked him, they've been tracking him since they almost drafted him (chose Adams instead)

    Doesn't see Jays doing much more than some minor deals, because hes happy with the team right now.

    Glaus is a big baseball fan, was aware of what Toronto had done / was doing.

    So, basically he didn't really say anything interesting other than the Santos bit.
    Andrew K - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:46 PM EST (#138649) #
    Thanks. If he is serious about not changing the team much (which I doubt!) then he has no option but to carry 11 pitchers. Rather surprising.
    Chuck - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 02:48 PM EST (#138650) #
    I think 11 pitchers is a given. I'm worried they'll carry 12.
    Jonny German - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 03:15 PM EST (#138652) #
    The Jays have 24 players on the 40-man who are out of options, plus Hill and Adams. So unless Jonny Mc is going to play every day, some sort of move has to happen before opening day.
    CeeBee - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 03:17 PM EST (#138653) #
    If there are no more roster moves before spring training I'll eat my shirt ;)
    Andrew K - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 03:23 PM EST (#138654) #
    Yes, Chuck, I meant that it was surprising that they would only carry 11, not what seems to have become the usual 12.

    I'd forgotten that all of the bullpen are out of options. Walker is a good enough pitcher that I would hate to lose him to waivers.
    Pistol - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 03:25 PM EST (#138655) #
    "some sort of move has to happen before opening day."

    Assuming that there's no injuries between now and opening day.

    Of course it's more likely that a pitcher is the one that will get hurt so unless the Jays change course and only carry 11 pitchers a move would still need to be made.

    I would expect something to happen with the CI excess prior to ST - it's just not in JP's interest to appear to have to make a move which is why I think he's saying that they'll stay as is.
    yoni - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 03:45 PM EST (#138656) #
    I agree fully with the injury comment.
    Things tend to happen before the season starts.

    Also thinking Hinske can hit 40 homers is nothing but a wish. He has a line-drive swing that translates into no more then 30 at a career zenith.

    I hope he can play the outfield but I prefer Rios in Right (due to his arm...and hopefully his awakened bat...keep in mind how young he is and how this year should have been his rookie year) and Cat/Reed in LF then forcing Hinske to learn a new position again.
    Hinkse in my eyes (unless he pulls a Big Papi evolution by miracle) is a very good bench player this year for the Jays. He will sub in well for the coming DL trips Glaus, Hillenbrand and Overbay may have.

    I think
    Flex - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:15 PM EST (#138657) #
    "Also thinking Hinske can hit 40 homers is nothing but a wish."

    I think our friend was referring to Harmon Killebrew. No one is expecting Hinske to hit 40 HR.
    Newton - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:15 PM EST (#138658) #
    I fear a growing sense of complacency amongst Bauxites with respect to the Jays corner outfield situation.

    In my view neither Rios nor Hinske have any business in the OF of a club wishing to contend.

    The Corner OF slots and 1b were the key weaknesses heading into the offseason and we've addressed only one of these needs adequately.

    I will be very dissapointed if the Jays start the season with Rios or Hinske in the outfield on a regular basis.
    timpinder - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:30 PM EST (#138659) #
    I remember reading a rumor about a month ago that the Pirates were interested in Rios. For those of you who would like to see Wilson in a Jays uniform, maybe that's a possibility.

    Personally, I would like to see the Jays hang on to Rios. He's a good defensive player and he has potential offensively. Also, I worry that Wells won't be a Jay after 2007, and Rios could be a legitimate CF replacement.
    Ryan Day - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:35 PM EST (#138660) #
    The Corner OF slots and 1b were the key weaknesses heading into the offseason and we've addressed only one of these needs adequately.

    I wouldn't consider left field to be a weakness - at worst, the Sparky/Cat platoon figures to be about average. Sure, you could improve on it, but it wasn't a dire need. Rios, maybe, but that has less to do with last year than it does to do with what you, or the Jays, think he can do this year.

    Consider, too, that the Jays will be getting more power from centre field than probably anyone in the league. They also figure to have probably the 2nd-best hitting third baseman in the league.

    That said, though, I'm not crazy about having Hinske and Catalanotto in the outfield at the same time. Vernon's good, but he's not that good.

    subculture - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:46 PM EST (#138661) #
    I also agree - if possible, trade Hillenbrand and keep Koskie. Buy low, sell high. And at the very least, don't buy high and sell low. With Hinske, you have the depth to replace Koskie should he (or Glaus) get hurt. Though I'd prefer they trade Hinske as well and give John Ford Griffin a shot. Has everyone written him off completely, b/c it seems like I'm the only one who mentions his name anymore.
    Ryan C - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:50 PM EST (#138662) #
    I dont think Corner OF is really that much of a weakness. In a traditional sense yes, the corner OF spots is where you usually get a good chunk of power and the Jays dont really have that. But their CF has more power than is traditional, as does 3B now.

    Catalanatto is a solid hitter if a little light powerwise for a traditional LF'er. I have no problem with him being in the lineup on an everyday basis (platooning with Reed). Not that they can't improve there, but I certainly wouldnt call it a weakness. Rios needs to make some strides offensively, but with Wells, Glaus, and Overbay on the team I think they can afford to be patient with him. His defense is obviously excellent so he's not hurting them in the field. Id hate to see him gone only to blossom somewhere else.
    timpinder - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 04:59 PM EST (#138663) #
    subculture,
    You're not the only one. I think that Griffin would hit at least as well as Hinske, and he's played in the outfield in the minors. Furthermore, he will cost the Jays about $10 million less than Hinske over the next two years. If the Jays could trade Hinske AND Koskie, they would have some salary room at the trade deadline.

    I would like to see Rios stick around, but I wouldn't be opposed to trading Catalanotto and a RP or prospect for Wilson. Wilson in LF would be quite nice.
    Ron - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 05:13 PM EST (#138664) #
    Considering the Jays thought Hinske's arm was too weak for 3B I wonder how his throws would come out in LF.

    I think an OF of Hinske/Wells/Cat is just asking for trouble.

    Although if ManRam can play LF, I think I might be able to play it. I still crack up at the play he made 2 seasons ago when he cut off a throw from Damon while he was still in the OF.
    Newton - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 05:26 PM EST (#138665) #
    I'd rather have Koskie than Hillenbrand or Hinske.

    Trading Koskie seems foolish unless there is absolutely no market for the other two. Glaus has apparently been promised 3rd base, but Koskie would make a much better DH and corner infield backup than either of Hilly or Hinske.

    Unfortunately I have a feeling trading Koskie is being pursued to put Glaus' mind at ease with respect to his playing time at 3rd.
    Jordan - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 05:27 PM EST (#138666) #
    The other thing to remember about Catalanotto is that he may or may not be available all season long:
    Year    GP    AB
    2005    130   419
    2004     75   249
    2003    133   489
    2002     68   212
    You're doing well to get 400 AB a season out of Cat, and with a tougher gig in right field slated for 2006, I might take the under on 400. The Jays will need a lot of corner outfield options this season, because they have a lot of uncertainty.

    That said, the Braves went into last season with Raul Mondesi and Brian Jordan in the corners, and they did all right. Not that the Jays have a Jeff Francouer waiting in the wings (though Adam Lind may be ready to play that part in 2007), but the point is that the team you start the year with is rarely the team you finish with. The Jays will probably have the resources, in terms of both payroll and prospects, to swing a deal mid-season for a corner bat if they really need one. So a Hinske-Catalanotto combo in the corners on Opening Day should not be considered a fatal flaw.

    Leigh - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 05:38 PM EST (#138667) #
    I dont think Corner OF is really that much of a weakness. In a traditional sense yes, the corner OF spots is where you usually get a good chunk of power and the Jays dont really have that. But their CF has more power than is traditional, as does 3B now.

    In all likelihood, this response to Newton demonstrates precisely the complacency that he is talking about. While I would agree that Wells and Glaus represent positive expectations relative to their respective positions, this fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the outfield corners. If having a positive at one position causes you to accept a negative at another, then it seems as though the goal is to be average. Now that is complacency.

    Rios v2005 playing rightfield is a problem, irrespective of whether the centrefielder is Jim Edmonds or Tony Womack.

    I should note, however, that I do not believe that a Catalanotto/Johnson platoon is really that much of a problem. Johnson has the grit, determination, etc.; Catalanotto is our classic underrated Bill Mueller/Matt Stairs underrated type - all Championship teams have at least one of each.

    John Northey - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 05:39 PM EST (#138668) #
    As far as trading Koskie rather than Hinske or Hillenbrand (assuming one could trade any of them without paying the whole shot) goes I suspect JP figures Koskie would not be happy as a DH/backup 3B/1B while Hinske and Hillenbrand would be.
    CeeBee - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 05:46 PM EST (#138669) #
    Thanks Flex, yes I was referring to Harmon killewbrew who was my favorite player growing up. :) Of course it didn't matter where the Twins played him, he hit homeruns and played rather mediocre defense.
    VBF - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:11 PM EST (#138672) #
    Jeff Blair was on MLB Radio. You can listen to it here!
    Lefty - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:12 PM EST (#138673) #
    As an observer I never thought Hinske's throwing problem from 3rd was a weak arm, but rather a wild arm. Cripes if anything judging from he balls that would fly over the 1st baggers head and bounce off the wall I'd say his arm was too strong.

    If Hinske can add another glove to his arsenal I think this is a good thing. I hope he's shagging flies all winter.

    At any rate he doesn't need a plus arm to be ready to sub for Rios, Cat or Reed, it needs to be adequate.
    HollywoodHartman - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:26 PM EST (#138674) #
    Blair is on at on under the lights at around the 1:06 mark of the show. Also Dan Kolb has signed with the Brewers for 1 year. Bret Boone signed a minor league deal with the Mets.
    HollywoodHartman - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:38 PM EST (#138675) #
    The Score reports that Mark Prior has voided the rest of his contract and has become arbitration eligible. What exactly does this mean?
    andrewkw - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:42 PM EST (#138676) #
    The Score reports that Mark Prior has voided the rest of his contract and has become arbitration eligible. What exactly does this mean?
    He will earn more in arbitration then he would have under the original contract.
    Ryan C - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 09:59 PM EST (#138677) #
    In all likelihood, this response to Newton demonstrates precisely the complacency that he is talking about. While I would agree that Wells and Glaus represent positive expectations relative to their respective positions, this fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the outfield corners. If having a positive at one position causes you to accept a negative at another, then it seems as though the goal is to be average. Now that is complacency.

    It's not complacency exactly. It's that I happen to like the corner OFs we have at the moment. Obviously if you have the opportunity to upgrade without hurting yourself too much in other areas (ie dollars, future, roster size, etc) you do it. But I dont consider Rios or Catalanatto or Johnson to be a negative.

    If a deal came along that allowed the Jays to make room for another OF on the roster and push Rios to 4th OF I would certainly welcome that. I just dont want to see him tossed out with the trash because he hasnt produced yet and dagnabit we're trying to win this year. He was rushed to the majors before he was ready because of injuries and now we're stuck with him. I dont know how much better he can be, maybe he wont ever get any better, but I would rather take that risk than see him thrown away.

    Newton - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:25 PM EST (#138679) #
    Ryan C: People often overlook the cost of waiting for prospects to pan out.

    Wasting 500 MLB at bats on an unproductive Rios during a year when we'll be contenders is arguably a greater risk than dumping him and seeing him produce for another club. That is precisely why we're hearing these ridiculous Hinske as an OF rumours.

    We're on the threshold of real success and RF is an obvious weakness.

    Something needs to be done.



    brent - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 10:35 PM EST (#138681) #
    I think in house solutions i.e. letting the youngsters have a legitimate shot to perform, is the best way. Maybe JF Griffin is a possibility, however, JP evaluates and has a hard time adjusting his opinion (IMO). Don't push the panic button, yet. I think JP is just as concerned about most of us seeing a Cat and Hinske outfield. Give it some time, so he can make the right deal.
    BTW, does anyone understand Texas' logic when they make trades and sign players. The last three (?) GMs there I can't figure out. Go look at all the players sent in the completed Adam Eaton trade (at the baseball weekly website). Can someone explain it to me?
    Lefty - Wednesday, January 04 2006 @ 11:10 PM EST (#138683) #
    A couple things.

    I listened to the Blair tape at MLB Radio. Blair sees the Bluejays greatest deficiency at catcher. So I'm wondering that if Riciardi says the Molina notion is away on the backburner does this really mean he is close to a deal with him. I mean in JP speak.

    These posts touting John Ford Griffin as an option to Rios? To me this is a guy that will struggle to hit .230 in the big leagues. As well he is a liability in the field as I recall.

    Though I am not touting Rios big time. I think last season might turn out to be the proverbial sophomore slump. His skills sets are better than he showed in 2004. So I'm not a proponent of the get this guy outta here at any cost kind of guy. He's young cheap and plays great defense. He should still develop some.

    timpinder - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 12:41 AM EST (#138689) #
    I certainly would never want Griffin replacing Rios. I simply think that if Hinske and Koskie were traded, Griffin could become the lefty bat off the bench. I don't think he'd hit as well as Koskie, but I think he could match Hinske's production at a fraction of the cost.

    In my opinion, Rios should stay. Somebody has to play CF in 2008. If the Jays sign Halladay they might not be able to afford to keep Wells. Rios is already an excellent defender and has offensive potential. Anyone who's watched BP has seen what he's capable of. I think that he'll come around, and I hope he's in a Jays uniform when he does.
    Mylegacy - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 12:44 AM EST (#138690) #
    Rios will stay.

    When Wells leaves after 07, if we can't resign him, Rios is our center fielder. Unless Negron turns into Willy Mays this year that is...
    yoni - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 07:28 AM EST (#138692) #
    I agree that a cat/russ LF is not a big weekness.
    Remember, Bobby Cox has always had success with platoon situations at week positions going back to the old Garth Iorg/Rance days.
    Reed is still "young" and can improve a bit and Cat is always around .300. so put their numbers together and you have a more then efficient LF.
    I dont understand the hate on Rios.
    He is only 23.
    Vernon didn't blossom until 24.
    two years ago JP was going to trade Rios because he was afraid he was going to end up like Vernon (high k's low BB's and not enough power) and didn't want a Vernon clone on his moneyball scheme.
    Now he changed positions and is playing a wait a see game as Rios has shown a different style in the majors.
    Why don't we wait and see?
    Chuck - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 08:15 AM EST (#138693) #
    He is only 23.

    Actually, he'll be 25 in February.

    I dont understand the hate on Rios.

    I don't think it's a hate, just frustration. The Jays are going to need a lot of things to break their way to challenge for a playoff spot. Having a corner outfielder with a 700 OPS, should Rios not improve, will severely curtail those aspirations.

    Rios will likely improve, the question is how much? A 750 OPS? an 800 OPS? Of course, there's the chance that he'll do an Alex Gonzalez and never improve at all.

    yoni - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 09:48 AM EST (#138698) #
    Sorry.
    I meant 25
    I dont think that Rios will be that much of a bad link for a championship team.
    We can't have an allstar at all positions like the Yankees.
    The last 4 champs had more holes then the jays do now.
    We can't expect Rios to have the start to his career that Pujols has had.
    If he hits .280 and has 15 jacks then he is worthwhile in this lineup as long as everyone else performs as expected.
    I am more concerned about the catcher position.
    Zaun has been above and beyond for the jays (seeing as he was added just like Phillips is now...as an afterthought who had minor is any success beforehand...case in point) but at what 35 years old? how many catchers have continued success at that age and beyond (besides Myers fluke season)
    We all assume he will hit around .275-.280 but what if he turns Benito Santiago - circa Jays - on us? considering that Molina talks are dead almost and anyhow Molina is no Pudge we may have a bigger hole there then worrying about two outfield positions that have viable options
    Chuck - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 10:13 AM EST (#138702) #
    The last 4 champs had more holes then the jays do now.

    Yes, but they also had more elite players. The Jays don't have a huge collection of top shelf players, so they are in less of a position to carry weak performers.

    If he hits .280 and has 15 jacks then he is worthwhile in this lineup as long as everyone else performs as expected.

    What does that mean? He almost put up those numbers last year but barely cleared a 700 OPS. It's not everyone else's job to carry Rios.

    We all assume he will hit around .275-.280 but what if he turns Benito Santiago - circa Jays - on us?

    Your concerns about a 35-year old catcher are well founded, but I disagree with your claims. Zaun is a career .250 hitter. I can't imagine that anyone is expecting him to hit between .275 and .280. But he has a terrific batting eye and can draw enough walks so that his OBP is 100 points higher than his AVG.

    His profile as a hitter is totally different from Santiago's, who was a wild swinger with some power.

    As for aging, Zaun's advantage over Santiago is simple: he doesn't have as long a history of catching. He has been a catcher his whole career, but has been a backup and has not seen his body wear down from first-string use.

    Ryan Day - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 10:15 AM EST (#138703) #
    I don't think there's any way a Rios v.2005 gets 500 at-bats on the 2006 Jays. Heck, he didn't get 500 at-bats last year on the "okay but not really going anywhere" Jays - he spent a lot of time on the bench over the last couple months.

    I think he's got until June, maybe May, to show he can be a productive outfielder.
    yoni - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 11:23 AM EST (#138716) #
    I wasnt comparing Santiago and Zaun as players but as seasons that failed.
    Older Catchers regardless of how much they play early on in their careers tend to wind down fast.
    The 35 year old body can't take 130 games of catch and throw.
    As for whether the last 4 champ teams line up with the JAYS :
    I think we should have a forum and compare them.
    I am looking up the stats now.
    subculture - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 07:21 PM EST (#138773) #
    re: Rios and JFG, I wasn't suggesting a replacement either, but a cost-effective platoon similar to Cat/Reed, who I also think do an effective job. This would necessitate ditching 2 of Koskie/Hinske/Hillenbrand. What does JFG project to in MLB numbers? Is his bat similar to Gabe Gross?

    Mike Green - Thursday, January 05 2006 @ 08:52 PM EST (#138779) #
    Alas, Griffin's bat is not similar to Gross. He'll hit for a lower average, with fewer walks, but probably more power. Unfortunately, his also lacks the defensive skills of Gross, and would be challenged in right field. He is best suited to left-field, and would be an average defender, at best, there.
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