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Recently, one Bauxite mused ...

...the last "notes from nowhere" thread is now almost as ancient as my memory of R. Sierra ever playing for the Jays.

Fine. Here it is. Now ... what's going on? Terry Mulholland is going to camp with the Dodgers, you say? Seventy-eight-year-old Terry Mulholland? That'd be right up there with the Jays extending an invite to 1920's RHRP Howard "Mul" Holland ... 'cept of course, he died 37 years ago, taking 123 fewer wins (and 141 fewer losses) than Terry, so far anyway, into eternity with him.

So seriously ... what are you hearing this fine Groundhog Day?

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Sister - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 11:47 AM EST (#140496) #
There was an interesting CP article in today's Halifax Chronicle Herald (sorry, site down so I can't link right now) on the World Baseball Classic. Of interest:

-pitch counts for the first round are now 65 (rather than 50) which is going to change Canada's strategy of using two starters per game.

-key game for Team Canada is against Mexico -- so Bedard or Francis will start

-Dempster is having second thoughts and may participate

-Team is happy with Bullpen

-Still waiting to hear as to Gagne's availability and well as Hill.
VBF - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 11:55 AM EST (#140498) #
Seventy-eight-year-old Terry Mulholland?

Yes, then they can bring in Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.

What do you mean he's dead?!

Jim - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 01:43 PM EST (#140500) #
I'm going to be in Clearwater from the 7th-14th of March. The first two nights I don't have a room yet. Any advice from anyone on a decent place to stay that maybe has a halfway decent sports bar (Big East Tourney etc) at least within walking distance? When the other half gets down the 9th we are at a nice resort but I'm going down for a few days to take in some spring training action alone.
Paul D - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 01:54 PM EST (#140501) #
Speaking of Sierra, I read on Gleeman's website that he signed a minor league deal with the Twins.
cbugden - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 02:47 PM EST (#140502) #
Looks like thinks the Jays are the favourite to win the East.

Don't know if any of you folks are going to the WBC but I will be at all the Pool B games in Arizona next month. Looking forward to seeing Canada place at least second so they can move on to the next round.
Wildrose - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 03:14 PM EST (#140503) #
Here's the article , Sister refers to regarding Team Canada.
Ron - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 05:10 PM EST (#140505) #
HollywoodHartman - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 05:47 PM EST (#140506) #
Hey, I saw that Sunny Kim lost the first arby case of the year. When are the hearings for Shea and Walker set for?
Thomas - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 05:50 PM EST (#140507) #
It's pretty obvious our key game is against Mexico, I'd hardly call that a point of note. Anyone who thinks we'll beat the USA or that we'll lose to South Africa is dreaming. Thus, with two nations from our pool making the playoffs it's obviously going to be one of us or Mexico and therefore our game is of incredible importance. Obviously we could beat the US with some great pitching or lose to South Africa if everything went wrong, but Whitt and Baseball Canada would be foolish not to structure the roster to get our best matchup on that day.
Glevin - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 06:18 PM EST (#140508) #
According to Rotoworld, the Jays still have a deal on the table for Molina.
6-4-3 - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 06:30 PM EST (#140509) #
Blair had the same bit up earlier today:

What agent is representing Molina right now? I'll probably be proven wrong, but the whole "I'm going to sit out unless I get 6 million" strategy doesn't seem to have gotten GMs to dash to the phones.

More in Blair:

* Gibbons claims that he's happy with Zaun starting if the Jays don't get Molina, but wants to give Gregg more rest.

* Wells might bat 5th, even against LHP.

* Gibbons high on Downs, is willing to use him more, and save the SS LOOGY for "crucial" situations.

* Jays might trade one of Frasor, Speier, Chulk with Rios to fill any hole that pops up early in the season.
Geoff - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 06:31 PM EST (#140510) #
And the source they list at rotoworld is, although they link to a Star story, kind of like this:

HollywoodHartman - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 06:54 PM EST (#140511) #
Just some info for all you fantasy junkies: Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball is now up and running.
eeleye - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 07:34 PM EST (#140512) #
Anyone want to do a yahoo fantasy baseball pool with me? If you do, you are so going down.
Glevin - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 08:00 PM EST (#140513) #
For all you fantasy players, I am reading "Fantasyland" by Sam Walker which is THE best book on the subject I have ever read. He (A Wall Street Journal writer) joins tout wars as a rookie player and actually scouts players and hires his own NASA sabermetrics guy. Very funny and perseptive.
Skills - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 08:04 PM EST (#140514) #
Speaking of which, what's the offseason schedule with BBFL? Also, have the rosters been archived? I miss my team! Come home New Jersey Stratuses, I love you!
melondough - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 08:28 PM EST (#140515) #
Cbugden, enjoy the game in Arizona. I will be seeing DM Republic (Ortiz, Manny, Beltran, and on and on) against Venzezuela (Chacin and Qurioz and who else matters) in Orlando on March 7th.

Looks like Burnett will be making an appearance in TO. Good to see.
sweat - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 09:10 PM EST (#140516) #
FYI, yahoo fantasy baseball leagues are open.
Andrew - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 09:28 PM EST (#140517) #
I'd be up for a free league with some Bauxites.
Geoff - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 10:30 PM EST (#140519) #
Why does Molina want to come here so much? Is he looking to redeem his .228 OBP in 73 AB at the RC?

Save for Camden Yards, he hasn't performed well in his career in AL East parks. I'm all for a guy who loves to face challenges, but if he performs here like he has in the past, a $1-million contract would be cash wasted.
6-4-3 - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 11:21 PM EST (#140520) #
Just because I'm not sure if you're joking or not, and because (thanks to Pinto's day-by-day database) this was so easy to come up with:

Players whom the Blue Jays should not pursue, because they obviously can't perform at Skydome (minimum sample 73 ABS)

What "slugger" puts up the sub-Huckaby line of .120/.185/.280 in Toronto? Well, let's just say that it's a good thing that JP didn't go after Paul Konerko.

.244 / .258 / .463? Same deal goes for Nomar, who obviously can't pick up the ball well with Toronto's hitter's eye.

.273 / .305 / .364? Good thing the Jays dumped Michael Young when they had the chance. L----- was probably more valuable.

And now, players the Blue Jays should pursue:

.359/.412/.602 in over 100 at bats, Julio Lugo's avaliable, and somehow JP's not on the phone.

.390/.444/.573 in over 80 ABs, why trade for Overbay when a gold glover like Darren Erstad is available?

OPS of 1.007 for a player who can play second, third, short, and come out of the bullpen . . .why did JP let Menechino go?

The Dome's a symmetrical-fenced park that slightly inflates offense. Unless there's a specific reason why Molina would specifically be affected by playing here, there's no reason to cite his limtied Skydome split. If Molina doesn't want to come here, it's probably because he's still kicking himself (or his agent) for not signing before Johjima, Hernandez, and Lo Duca found new teams.
Geoff - Thursday, February 02 2006 @ 11:38 PM EST (#140521) #
Just think how poor Konerko's numbers would be if he didn't hit two home runs in eleven at-bats last year. ;)
melondough - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 07:35 AM EST (#140522) #
So Sunny Kim loses his arbitration case and gets $600K rather than than the $800,000 he asked for:

So should Walker take note? Will he get the $850K he is asking for or the $575K offered? Let's compare the two pitchers 2005 stats:

Kim: 6-3 (10 GS, 14RP), 4.90, 1.43 Whip, 83IP, 55K, 21BB, 41IR, 14IS, 10 HR allowed.

Walker: 6-6 (4GS, 37RP), 3.54, 1.36 Whip, 84IP, 43K, 33BB, 31IR, 11IS, 10HR allowed.

Other than last years stats, what are the other aspects the arbitrator will look for? I guess the question that has to be asked is weather the arbitrator would have given Kim less than $600K if Colorodo asked for it. Percentage wise, there is a big gap between what the Jays have offered and what Walker has asked for. I wonder which pitchers each side are planning to reference.
Chuck - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 08:43 AM EST (#140523) #
Other than last years stats, what are the other aspects the arbitrator will look for?

Three things: service time, service time, service time.

kinguy - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 08:50 AM EST (#140524) #
eeleye99, If you get a league going, I'm interested.
3RunHomer - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 09:42 AM EST (#140526) #
Woo Hoo! BBFL and Yahoo Fantasy Leagues! Spring must be comin'.

About Team Canada - How nervous do you think the Oriole brass is about Bedard pitching "real" games this early in the year? I'd be ready to poop my pants. The guy has an injury history!
Wildrose - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 10:38 AM EST (#140528) #
I think the worries about injury and the World Classic are overstated. If Bedard was not pitching for Canada , he would be pitching for the Orioles in spring training, with essentially the same strict pitch limits in place. I don't suscribe to the "theory" that baseball players turn it " up a notch", in meaningfull games. We're not talking hockey or football here, baseball is like golf, if you try too hard you're most likely to fail.

Players get hurt in spring training as well, why should this tournament be any different if proper preparation is adhered to? I've read numerous articles placing emphasis, on communication between the various MLB team trainers/pitching coaches and the Team Canada brass, ( in fact Canada has offered the Oakland A's trainer to accompany Rich Harden from Oakland's nearby spring training facility in the Phoenix area to Canada's games to monitor him if he were to pitch for Canada).
greenfrog - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 10:46 AM EST (#140529) #
Another Jays-positive (well- cautiously-optimistic) article:

This quote sums things up nicely: "To begin with, unlike in 1996, the Jays did pick up some genuine talent. Itís a definite high-risk, high reward strategy."
slitheringslider - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 11:01 AM EST (#140530) #
Burnett, Ryan, Overbay, and Glaus are more talented and established players than Garcia, Merced, and Plesac ever was. I am extremely happy about the Jays offseason so far. It is funny that he mentioned Benito Santiago, lets hope JP does not relive Gord Ash's mistake by wasting cash on a over-the-hill FA catcher (Bengie Molina). The addition of Molina would be one FA too many, and 4 million too much.
einsof - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 02:16 PM EST (#140535) #
From today's Molina's agent.
"I think we will wind up signing a one-year, two-year or three-year deal," Nero said. "But there's a chance it won't be before opening day.

"Bengie is being very patient with this. He understands the process. He's getting ready and, if he hasn't signed with anyone, he'll be in the World Baseball Classic. This is just a problem with the market and the way baseball teams allocate money for the catching position."

Read entire article at --might require simple registration.
Craig B - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 02:42 PM EST (#140537) #
.359/.412/.602 in over 100 at bats, Julio Lugo's avaliable, and somehow JP's not on the phone.

Sigh. Lugo's a very good defender and he always kills the Blue Jays (he's also hit well vs the Red Sox and O's). No offence at all to Russ Adams, but bringing in Lugo for him would be a huge boost, in my opinion, to the Jays' chances.

Robert Dudek and I had a conversation the other day about the massive role that Adams is being handed as leadoff hitter and everyday shortstop behind a groundball staff on turf. It's exceedingly rare for such an inexperienced player to be tasked such massive responsibility for a supposed contender's performance. We're going to learn a heck of a lot about Russ Adams as a ballplayer this year.

Mike Green - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 02:43 PM EST (#140538) #
Orlando Merced was actually a good player in Pittsburgh. Any similarities with current Jays are purely coincidental.:)
Newton - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 02:46 PM EST (#140539) #
Spend the Molina money in a deal to acquire an OF upgrade.

Rios is not big league corner outfield material. He might be someday, but he definately isn't on a team expecting to contend in 2006.

Make Rios prove himself in the minors like the team did with Doc after his premature big league adventure.

Its such an obvious weakness. If I were GM I wouldn't rest until I upgraded this position.

Mike Green - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 02:59 PM EST (#140540) #
It's exceedingly rare for such an inexperienced player to be tasked such massive responsibility for a supposed contender's performance. We're going to learn a heck of a lot about Russ Adams as a ballplayer this year.

Adams is 25 and he has a full year under his belt. He was a 1st round pick. It's not so much his inexperience, but the amount of development that he needs to make in both areas. Usually a young player who needs to make both offensive and defensive improvements to be a valuable contributor will be placed in less visible roles (at the bottom of the order or in a platoon situation). Gibbons might choose to start the season with Adams down in the order to take the pressure off.
Craig B - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 03:20 PM EST (#140541) #
Orlando Merced was actually a good player in Pittsburgh.

Couldn't touch a lefthanded pitcher. Limited his usefulness pretty substantially, although he was a good player 2/3 of the time.

Pistol - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 04:06 PM EST (#140542) #
I was going to write that Adams did better once he started leading off, but his numbers at leadoff are much worse than at #9 overall (although most of that was his dreadful September which may or may not be fatigue related). Not that a couple hundred ABs necessarily means anything.

I don't think Adams will reach a point, at least this season, where he hits so well he's a clearly better alternative than Johnalonotto leading off. And he certainly could be worse leading off than those two. So I'd probably put him 9th for now and best case he's Adam Kennedy and worst case he should be hitting 9th.

But if youíre going to put Adams 9th it almost forces Aaron Hill to the #2 spot. Although, thatís not a bad idea. So against RHP youíd have:

1. Cat (L)
2. Hill (R)
3. Overbay (L)
4. Glaus (R)
5. Wells (R)
6. Hinske (L)
7. Hillenbrand (R)
8. Zaun (S)
9. Adams (L)

And then against LHP:

1. Johnson (R)
2. Hill (R)
3. Overbay (L)
4. Glaus (R)
5. Wells (R)
6. Hillenbrand (R)
7. Rios (R)
8. Zaun (S)
9. Adams (L)

Ducey - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 04:38 PM EST (#140543) #
"We're going to learn a heck of a lot about Russ Adams as a ballplayer this year."

Hopefully Russ Adams will learn a heck of a lot about being a ballplayer too.

I think the Jays can protect him a little. While he would lead off and start vs. RH, he could bat ninth or sit vs. LH. The Jays could also bring in MacDonald for him as Ryan's caddy in save situations.

You don't want MacDonald batting much but he is a superior glove who could see late inning acton in maybe 70 or 80 games. That would spell Adams and Hill a little anyway.
Glevin - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 04:39 PM EST (#140544) #
"This quote sums things up nicely: "To begin with, unlike in 1996, the Jays did pick up some genuine talent. Itís a definite high-risk, high reward strategy"

How is Roger Clemens not considered genuine talent? And Merced actually had an OPS+ of 111 and 117 the two previous years. I think the column overstates "the trade". Craig Wilson has turned into a decent player, but the Jays didn't trade away anything from their young core and they weren't pretending that the guys they got were fabulous anyway. Santiago was not a bad signing either because he wasn't blocking anyone other than Charlie O'Brian anyway. Those moves did nothing to endanger the Jays long-term. There were other problems, but the 1996 off-season was not all that bad. The worst move was trading Olerud, but they had a better hitter ready to replace him. They just didn't get anything for him.
Ducey - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 04:53 PM EST (#140545) #

What's the advantage of Cat/ Hill over Adams/ Cat vs. RH?

Adams compared to Hill has an extra year of pro ball, played the whole year, and led off last year. Their numbers vs. RH:
Adams .268/.329/.399
Hill .265/.323/.366

Not a huge difference but Adams has the edge. As well he had 11 SB vs Hill's 2. I don't know where you find this but I would bet Adams saw a lot more pitches per AB as well.

I would trust Cat more in the 2 hole with hit and runs, pulling the ball throught the left side etc.

I would vote Adams/ Cat.
Pistol - Friday, February 03 2006 @ 05:10 PM EST (#140546) #
"What's the advantage of Cat/ Hill over Adams/ Cat vs. RH?"

There may not be one, it just gives the lineup consistency (which managers and players seem to like). In the lineups I listed above I only flipped Hillenbrand and Rios/Hinske (to break up three RHs) with everyone else in the same spot.
6-4-3 - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 01:03 AM EST (#140551) #
"Sigh. Lugo's a very good defender and he always kills the Blue Jays (he's also hit well vs the Red Sox and O's). No offence at all to Russ Adams, but bringing in Lugo for him would be a huge boost, in my opinion, to the Jays' chances."

I know that, but the point was that Lugo's not a 1.000 OPS hitter, much like how Molina's not a .480 OPS player. I found it funny that when Skydome batters are sorted by slugging percentage you get Tejada, Vlad, Sheff, Delgado, LUGO, Giambi, Man-Ram, Edgar Martinez. One of these things is not like the others.

It is, however, downright frightening to think that if either Adams or Hill get injured or crash, then the internal options are limited to playing McDonald or playing Santos.
eeleye - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 01:14 AM EST (#140552) #
Can you fantasy baseball poolers make a morning draft time, say, the last day of February at like 10 or 11 AM? It's giving me weird times....I think better ones will come when we're closer to the season! Maybe I'll just wait.

HollywoodHartman - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 01:16 AM EST (#140553) #
Right you are, the same thing happened last year. New draft times will be up soon.

Also props to occasional Bauxite/Opinon Gatherer Extrodinare TangoTiger for getting his defenceive scouting report and a quote in a recent article.
timpinder - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 01:49 AM EST (#140554) #
Just to add to Pistol's post, here are the possible lineups, but with their three year splits against lefties and righties. (Avg/OBP)

Against righties:

SS Adams .279/.337
RF Catalanotto .310/.368
1B Overbay .286/.390
3B Glaus .251/.344
CF Wells .274/.320
LF Hinske .253/.334
DH Hillenbrand .285/.329
C Zaun .245/.351
2B Hill .265/.323

Rios .278/.320

Against lefties:

LF Johnson .300/.349
2B Hill .298/.387
CF Wells .328/.394
3B Glaus .262/.387
1B Overbay .285/.329
DH Hillenbrand .315/.353
C Zaun .281/.353
RF Rios .263/.322
SS McDonald .243/.294

Adams .186/.295

I would have Adams lead off against righties, but I'd have him bat 9th against lefties, or have him available on the bench with McDonald starting.

Based on their numbers, I wonder if Gibbons would consider flipping Overbay and Wells depending on whether they're facing a lefty or a righty. Maybe even push Hillenbrand up to the #5 spot against lefties.

At any rate, that's a pretty solid lineup, especially against lefties.
eeleye - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 02:22 AM EST (#140555) #
I have a weird question. How come free agent pitchers like Jarrod Washburn and AJ Burnett sign big contracts (they are usually late 20's), but these young breakouts always sign for so little (ie: Ensberg: 3.8, Willis: 4.5, Teixera: 7.5, etc etc...) shouldn't these guys be signing massive contracts too? Or is it because there rights are owned by a team for like 5 years and salary arbitration offers them less????? How does this work?
MulRedux - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 05:06 AM EST (#140556) #
You basically answered your own question. Free agents are paid more because there is unrestricted competition for their services.
Glevin - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 12:29 PM EST (#140557) #
Jays OBP/SLG against righties last year vs Boston
Adams-.329/.398 Gonzalez-.329/.383
Catalanotto-.367/.448 Nixon-.364/.483
Hill-.323/.366 Loretta-.338/.342
Glaus-.353/.523 Lowell-.283/.333
Hillenbrand-.336/.422 Ortiz-.413/.641
Wells-.292/.397 Crisp .366/.503
Zaun-.352/.364 Varitek-.347/.457
Hinske-.358/.452 Manny-.401/.622
Overbay-.390/.449 Snow-.350/.376
Rios-.315/405 Youklis-.379/.367

Even assuming Hinske can play OF, which is not guaranteed, the Jays are worse than Boston at 5-7 positions. (Adams numbers are slightly better than Gonzalez and Hills are about the same as Loretta's but considering the massive difference in home parks, the edge should go to Boston). The Jays lineup, is still really no better than league average. For example, Detroit was better against RHP at SS, 2B, 1B, DH, and about the same at RF and C with a much worse home park for hitting. (And better at CF if Granderson plays there instead of Logan). The Angels are better vs RHP at CF, (yes, Erstad was better than Wells versus RHP last year, RF, 2B, 1B (albeit in a small sample size), and DH. You could look at any team in the AL and find the same thing. The Jays lineup is just not that impressive.
Nick - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 01:08 PM EST (#140559) #
You won't get better draft times on Yahoo unless you upgrade to a Plus league. The live draft options for free leagues are extremely limited.
eeleye - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 02:54 PM EST (#140560) #
Yahoo Sports League: Blue Jays 2006
password: bluejays
League ID: 28421
Online Draft date: Sunday, February 19, 7:30 PM
Please note: bring it on.

Let me know what rule changes you guys want to do, and what point categories you want. There are 10 teams. I can change the draft time if needed...for some reason it gave me all great draft times today, but yesterday was giving me crap. This should be a lot of fun, I've never done a pool with people who actually know about baseball. Please join!

andrewkw - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 07:34 PM EST (#140561) #
eeleye99 any chance you could add more teams to your league?
eeleye - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 07:38 PM EST (#140562) #
Andrew: why don't you start up a second pool, because its easy, it would fill up fast, and after 10 teams, your players get diluted and its less fun that way.
budgell - Saturday, February 04 2006 @ 09:23 PM EST (#140563) #
Another league set up.
League Name: Hinske in right!
League ID: 33159
Password: bluejays
Draft Date: Sun Feb 19 7:15pm EST
Geoff - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 11:33 AM EST (#140568) #
Another arbitration Q:

How is it that Ensberg settles for $3.8 million while Hillenbrand demands $6.7 million? Is the simple answer that his agent is nuts for not taking the Jays' offer and save Shea the time and cost needed for arbitration?

Nor do I understand how Beckett is worth just $4.325 million while Shea is offered $5 million. I don't think I'll ever get it, but the business side of sports seems always intriguingly bizarre.

HollywoodHartman - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 11:41 AM EST (#140569) #
Service Time, Service Time, Beatleguice!... I mean service time.
Geoff - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 12:35 PM EST (#140570) #
I figured that response would come up, but then is Shea's service time that much greater than Ensberg or Beckett?
Greg - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 12:56 PM EST (#140571) #
I don't know exactly how service time works
But Hillenbrand's played 5 full seasons
and Ensberg 3
CaramonLS - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 01:01 PM EST (#140572) #
Everytime you goto Arb, you get more money, even if your production stayed the same during the entire time.
Pistol - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 01:14 PM EST (#140573) #
This is a little simplistic, but a decent starting spot.

Teams control players for the first 6 seasons of their careers. That is, a player is unable to become a free agent until after 6 seasons.

Typically, for the first three seasons of a player's career they'll make close to the minimum salary. These players generally have no control over their salary. For the first three years of a player's salary will be be something like $330k, $375k, $425k. This is what makes young players so valuable if they perform.

Following 3 full years of service time a player becomes eligible for arbitration. This will occur for the next 3 years unless a player and team agree on a longer contract.

However, arbitration is not equal. The longer a player has been in the league (service time) the higher his salary will be. Said another way, if you had two identical players but one was entering his 4th year and the other was entering his 6th year the player entering his 6th year would make considerably more.

This was at BPro earlier this year, that referenced a paper written by John D. Burger and Stephen J.K. Walters, from Loyola College in Maryland, which concluded that:

* An arbitration-eligible player entering his fourth year of service time is priced at 44% of his market value;

* An arbitration-eligible player entering his fifth year of service time is priced at 61% of his market value;

* An arbitration-eligible player entering his sixth year of service time is priced at 64% of his market value.

This is why player's salaries will increase each year even if they perform the same (and sometimes they'll still make more if they perform worse like Lilly did this past year).

Take Shea Hillenbrand for example. He's had one year contracts for every year he's played. Following his third year he went to arbitration, and then again after his fourth season (which was last year in Toronto). His salaries have been:

2001 - $  200,000
2002 - $  260,000
2003 - $  407,500
2004 - $2,600,000
2005 - $3,870,000
2006 - $      ???

Hillenbrand has asked for $6.7 million and the Jays have offered $5.0 million. Assuming that they don't agree on a middle ground an arbitrator will decided what contract amount Hillenbrand will make after each side presents their case. And there's no middle ground - it's either one side or the other.

(And using the % above you could conclude that Hillenbrand and his agent feel he's worth $10.5 million on the open market and the Jays think it's closer to $7.8 million.)

Assuming that Hillenbrand and the Jays don't agree on a contract longer than one season Hillenbrand will be eligible for free agency following this season.

eeleye - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 01:54 PM EST (#140574) #
There is no way Hillenbrand is going to win his arbitration case. I think he is worth something more like 8 million dollars market value than 10 mil. 5 million is more than fair for him in his last year of arbitration. If he hits those 25-30 homeruns he says he can, I am guessing his average will drop a bit. He'd be a 10 mill player if he could hit 25-30 with 100 RBIs (never done) and a .290 average.
eeleye - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 02:08 PM EST (#140575) #
PS: what would you say our team's biggest weakness is right now? Our volatile up the middle defence (except for Wellsy) or our luke-warm corner outfielders? Do you think Adams and Hill and breakthrough this year and/or the Catalanatto/Rios/Hisnke/Johnson thing will sort itself out well too? Those are my only worries about this year....we shouldn't definitely NOT sign Molina.
Andrew K - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 03:56 PM EST (#140576) #
I'm not sure whether the greatest weakness is production from the corner outfielders or the lack of a proper backup catcher.

If Zaun gets an injury which lasts for more than a couple of weeks then it's really going to hurt the team -- and I think he might. On the other hand, it seems more likely than not that Rios won't progress much, and that's a big hole in the lineup.

I'm sure that JP can plug one of these two holes, by a spring training or early season trade, but I worry that he might not be able to cover both.
Geoff - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 08:08 PM EST (#140577) #
Actually, wasn't last year Shea's 5th? Are you not counting 2001 for some reason? Shea's salary would only jump only a small amount closer to his market value for year six, by the mentioned formula.

And is Mark Teixeira's great fortune due to his high draft pick (5th overall) and (subsequently) performance?

His first three years:
2003 Texas Rangers $750,000
2004 Texas Rangers $2,625,000
2005 Texas Rangers $3,625,000
and to come:
2006 Texas Rangers $6,000,000
2007 Texas Rangers $9,400,000

whereas Pujols languished with trying to feed his family on:

2001 St. Louis Cardinals $200,000
2002 St. Louis Cardinals $600,000
2003 St. Louis Cardinals $900,000
2004 St. Louis Cardinals $7,000,000
2005 St. Louis Cardinals $11,000,000

....and was a 13th round pick.

Are agents that powerful in the early years of a player's career?

Beckett's first four full seasons (2nd overall):
2002 Florida Marlins $2,156,250
2003 Florida Marlins $1,725,000
2004 Florida Marlins $1,509,375
2005 Florida Marlins $2,400,000
and now
2006 Florida Marlins $4,325,000

I don't see how Beckett is not pulling down $5 million or more. Or Brad Wilkerson (33rd pick) with 4 and 1/3 of a season gets $3.9 million in 2006.

Vernon has what, $10 million and 2 years left on his contract before becoming a free agent? Likewise, Hinske. Would Hinske still get that money with the threat of, or through, arbitration anyway? Would Vernon get a lot more given the opportunity today?

And $3,975,000 can not be 44% of market value for Lidge for this year. Is he not worth much more than Wilkerson?

I'll stop there.
Keith Talent - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 09:54 PM EST (#140578) #

from Jeff Blair:

'Woke up this morning, with a whine glass in my hand Ö'

As far as I can tell, "Please set your watches back 200 years" was not as of Tuesday evening part of the standard flight attendants message on all overseas flights arriving in Canada. Not yet. Still, as the results of our federal election showed, there is some kind of appetite to go back to a simpler time, unfettered with quaint notions of things like equal rights, public health care - you know, things of that nature.

So, knowing Jeff Blair swallows Liberal claptrap whole makes him a better baseball writer how? Possibly a cute segue into a piece on an aging Piazza; but more: unnecessary, alienating, ignorant.

Thomas - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 10:18 PM EST (#140579) #
So, knowing Jeff Blair swallows Liberal claptrap whole makes him a better baseball writer how?

And bringing your political views up here serves what purpose?

Jim - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 10:18 PM EST (#140580) #
It's not a formula, it's more of an average of the players at that level. Even if it were a formula his market value isn't stagnant, it would change between year 5 and year 6.

I don't know about Beckett and Teixeira's contracts, but if I were guessing they signed away some of their arbitration years and in that process got paid more their 2nd and 3rd seasons. Same thing that happened with Wells and Hinske.

The arbitration awards are based on what players with similar stats with similar service time were awarded. So there must be similar players to Lidge who in this year of arbitration were paid around $4MM dollars.

To answer your question, I would say yes Vernon would get more money then he signed for and Hinske less. For the player though it's guaranteed money that you might not get if you have a career ending injury so you guarantee yourself never having to 'work' again even if you lose some of your high end years of arbitration.

jsut - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 10:53 PM EST (#140581) #
It's Blair's blog, he can post whatever tripe he wants. That's the point.
Pistol - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 10:59 PM EST (#140582) #
Actually, I'm pretty sure Teixeira got a major league contract when he signed which is why his salaries aren't typical. Perhaps Beckett did as well.

Pujols is just a freak that put up numbers virtually no one else ever has.

Please talk politics in a more appropriate area - that is not on Da Box. We're not interested in talking about much else besides baseball related topics here, and especially about topics that are as divisive as politics.
Geoff - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 11:11 PM EST (#140583) #
Beckett and Teixeira signed one year deals this year rather than go through arbitration. Same for Ensberg and Wilkerson.
Geoff - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 11:18 PM EST (#140584) #
Correction: Teixeira signed for two years. Anyhow, thanks to you who try to make sense of these money mysteries.

I'll fade back into ignorant bliss now.
VBF - Sunday, February 05 2006 @ 11:49 PM EST (#140585) #
Welcome Back, Geoff. The ignorant bliss is great.

Re: Weakness

I don't think we have a real definite weakness, but we do have alot of worry. Not only are the acquisitions going to have to perform, but the foundation is going to have to maintain their performance. I'm really hoping Chacin, Towers, Adams, Hill, Frasor, and SS can maintain or improve their performance from last year, but I don't know if they all can. Who knows if we'll be in the market for a shortstop come July?
Jim - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 08:27 AM EST (#140587) #
If Beckett and Texieria signed deals this year to avoid arbitration they probably had major league deals when they signed out of the draft. Not uncommon for players selected that high. Their salary numbers might be straight salary or it might be reported with some percentage of their bonuses paid over the life of the deal. If you are looking for the perfect arbitration example look at what Dontrelle Willis got this year. He signed for a fraction of his market value - less then what Hillenbrand will get even if he loses, but it was a record for a first year arbitration pitcher salary.
Flex - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 10:19 AM EST (#140591) #
Did anyone notice the story on Inside the Dome about Vince Perkins? It says his shoulder is still sore. But I don't have insider access to get the details.
Mike Green - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 11:52 AM EST (#140593) #
Lee Sinins reminds us that today is Babe Ruth's birthday. Leaving work early to go to a bar seems like an appropriate remembrance. Monday, schmonday.
einsof - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 12:43 PM EST (#140595) #
Ken Rosenthal as of 20 minutes ago--

Catcher Bengie Molina's free-agent odyssey is nearing a conclusion. The Blue Jays are close to signing Molina to a one-year, $5 million contract with a $7.5 million option for 2007, has learned

rIbIt - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 01:02 PM EST (#140596) #
Talent is always a plus, no question, but Molina seems like fools gold.

For those interested, the BOS Herald has a small, complimentary paragraph about the Jays new status. Toronto is included in the writer's picks from each league to give the Sox headaches in '06.

Molina signing seems to point to DH ABs for Zaun. If so, a trade must be in the near future as there are already to few Dh ABs to go around.
binnister - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 01:14 PM EST (#140597) #
seems to point to DH AB's for Zaun

Why should it? You don't want your backup catcher at DH. If something happens to Molina, then you're looking at having your pitcher take a few AB's himself. I think we'll be looking at the 2 catchers basically splitting the catching duties 60/40 (Molina/Zaun). That can only be good news to the post-30 catcher's knees.

IF this signing goes through, I think the more important question is what happens to Q. Are the Blue Jay's going to wash their hands of him? Would they be able to make a deal with any team that picked him up off waivers?

eeleye - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 01:14 PM EST (#140598) #
This move is consistent with every single move JP has done so far this winter. Is it heavily questionable? Yes. But does it improve the team? Also yes. Bottom line is that Molina is definitely a better catcher than Zaun and should be the starter, with Zaun as back-up.
King Ryan - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 01:39 PM EST (#140601) #
Bottom line is that Molina is definitely a better catcher than Zaun

Why do you believe this? I think it's very much open for debate, considering how much Molina's defense has declined. Pinto's PMR ratings had Zaun at being better at fielding grounders, and he's much better at not allowing passed balls (10 PB in just 105 games for Bengie.) Both are considered good game-callers, neither are good at throwing out runners, and neither are great hitters although Zaun is better at getting on base.

He may help, but I wouldn't have signed him.

eeleye - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 01:53 PM EST (#140602) #
Also, when you think about it - Piazza signed for 2 million dollars! Frank Thomas signed for like 1.5 million, though he can't catch, lol. I better Piazza destroys Molina's numbers this year. ps: molina is younger and a better hitter than zaun who had a career year and may not put up his numbers like last year.
The Bone - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 01:57 PM EST (#140603) #
Molina was marginally better than Zaun last year, considering both offense and defense. Win Shares gives them both 15 win shares, though Molina ranks higher in WSAB and Zaun had a higher amount of Expected Win Shares.

Molina's season last year seems like a fluke, but then Zaun has seemed like he's ready to fall of a cliff almost since Day One.

I think Molina makes more than he deserves, but that's the cost of doing business and its not my money. Moreover, his contract seems moveable.

To me, this signing is a winner if, at least initially (until we find out who is a fluke and who is for real) Zaun and Molina have a platoon or a 50/50 job share. But if Molina gets 5 times as many games because he makes 5 times as much money, I'm not sure this signing improves the Jays at all

I see Molina as a security blanket - Zaun's gotta have a high chance of blowing up sometime soon - now if it happens this year, it won't ruin our playoff chances
binnister - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 02:03 PM EST (#140604) #
The way I'm looking at it:

Production from Blue Jays catcher position (2006):

.275/.350/.425 20HR 90RBI = $6M

Pistol - Monday, February 06 2006 @ 02:07 PM EST (#140605) #
A new Molina thread is up.
Nick - Tuesday, February 07 2006 @ 12:47 PM EST (#140718) #
People are still writing about Moneyball. Murray Chass with more of the same in the Times today.
Joe - Tuesday, February 07 2006 @ 01:34 PM EST (#140720) #
For those interested in getting the Season's Pass - note that opening day tickets aren't available in advance, so you'll have to go to the box office on the day of the game to get those tickets.
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