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With today marking the MLB trading deadline the Jays are stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place, as one of my high school teachers used to say. The Jays have three conceivable options: to go for it, to retool for the future or to stand pat. Those are slightly dramatic terms for the three options, but you all understand what Iím saying. J.P. and the front office face some tough choices today.



(You were expecting a report about that series in Oakland? I spent three hours yesterday watching the game. Iím not spending any more time writing about it. A man can only take so much.)

So, here go three different 1,000 word essays advocating each of the three alternatives. Each essay is written from its own point of view and is meant to stand alone.

Go For It

The window is small, folks. The window is small. While it wonít close after this season, itís going to get increasingly more and more difficult to compete with the Yankee Machine and Red Sox Nation. Letís look briefly at each team. The Yankees just got Bobby Abreu, but they also got him for 2007 and didnít have to pick up his $2 million option. He doesnít look like heís aging particularly well, but heíll still be a productive player next year and the Yankees can re-evaluate him after 2007 to see if they want to pick up the option. Iíd take Abreu over Sheffield going forward. The Yankees also got Cory Lidle to take over from Sidney Ponson, but they are still starting Jaret Wright and an often-ineffective Big Unit. Hideki Matsui is out for nearly the whole year, as is Gary Sheffield, Robinson Canoís been hurt and Bernie Williams is still starting. The Yankees this year are vulnerable.

Will they be in the future? I donít want to sound fatalistic, but itís hard to imagine them being in worse shape than they are this year in the next few years. Yes, the minors are relatively bare, but Philip Hughes is one of baseballís top pitching prospects. However, the less control the Tampa Mafia has the better it is for the franchise and Steinbrennerís been less involved in the last year or so, by all reports, than he was in, say 2002 when Mondesi was summoned to New York. Letís look at all the big money players coming off New Yorkís book in the next two years. Mike Mussina ($17 million 2007 option), Randy Johnson (last year Ė 2007: $16 million), Jason Giambi (last year Ė 2008: $21 million), Abreu (2008 option for $17 million), Sheffield, Mariano Rivera ($10.5 million 2007 option), Jorge Posada ($12 million 2007 option), Carl Pavano (no way is his $13 million 2009 option exercised), Jaret Wright (last year Ė 2007: $7 million), Kyle Farnsworth (last year Ė 2007: $5.5 million), Shawn Chacon (paid $3.6 million this year), plus about $8 million or so from Tanyton Sturtze, Bernie Williams, Ponson, Octavio Dotel and Cairo. Thatís a lot of money, and I donít think the Jays can keep relying on the Yankees to make Pavano-sized mistake with it.

The Red Sox have nearly as much money, are better positioned for the future and have a very good front office. Jon Lesterís looking like heís going to be a good starter and while Jonathan Papelbonís pitching over his head; he could be the Red Sox closer for the next six-plus years. Neither Ortiz nor Manny shows any signs of slowing down and the Red Sox will ride these two as long as they can. The Red Sox have shown a willingness to reinvent themselves when necessary. Could you ever see the Yankees trading away Jeter midseason, even if the relationship had deteriorated somewhat? If they have several key contributors on near-minimum salaries theyíll find a way to fill their holes with whatever money they have. I wouldnít want to bet the Jays playoff chances on a hope that the Yankees or Red Sox canít fill their holes through free agency or, as in the Abreu case, the ability to absorb another teamís unwanted contract.

Sure, the Jays have only 11% odds at the playoffs, but would you wager that their odds are better at the beginning of 2007 or 2008? Realistically, is the team ever going to have a 1 in 4 chance going into any season in the near future? So, letís not gamble our fortune away and trade Ricky Romero, Adam Lind, Brandon League or Ryan Patterson. But, if we need to sacrifice a Casey Janssen, a Ty Taubenheim or a Francisco Rosario then thatís simply the price that has to be paid. Similarly, in the right deal, Dustin McGowan is expendable. Julio Lugo is a significant upgrade over John McDonald and with Russ Adams seemingly falling out of favour with the front office; shortstop is a hole that might have to be filled in the offseason. Why not trade for Lugo, get the two-month upgrade and hope that J.P. and his agent can come to terms on an extension.

If what the team is being offered isnít a significant upgrade over what we have, donít make the deal. Kip Wells shouldnít be our main target. But, Lugo is on the market and the market for him has apparently dried up to, basically, just the Jays and the Red Sox. Tampaís been unable to sign him to an extension and if they want a return on him, they have 24 hours to deal. J.P.ís got to be able to get a deal done there. The Jays are starting either Cat, Hinske or Zaun at DH against left-handers. Neither is a particularly appetizing option and we know that right-handed hitting Ryan Shealy is blocked in Colorado by Todd Helton, despite having two very strong years at Triple-A. Heís 27 and the Rockies have realized they can make the most of his value by moving him. He could be part of our DH platoon this year and beyond. Colorado apparently wants relief pitching, so letís look at Jason Frasor or Francisco Rosario. Or both. Maybe Accardo. Shealy would be an upgrade this year and beyond and if he costs a couple of arms, itís doable.

Why not look into Mark Redman? The nomadic southpaw isnít a good starter, but he can give you 10 starts down the stretch run that are around league-average. It isnít anything to get giddy over, but letís compare that to the inconsistencies of Casey Janssen and Dustin McGowan. Again, Redman is someone who could be kept around next year at a reasonable cost and give the team what Josh Towers was supposed to this year. As this year has demonstrated, the value of having consistency and average performance at the back of the rotation is something that shouldnít be overlooked. Particularly with Ted Lilly likely to leave as a free agent after this year, to slot Mark Redman in the number 4 hole isnít a particularly good feeling, but youíd know what youíre getting and would be able to use Marcum/McGowan/Janssen in the fifth spot. If all else fails, weíll get compensation for many of these to-be free agents. By being creative, J.P. can improve this team for this year, when we do have a real chance at making the playoffs and can improve us for the future. As much as Iíd like to say the team will be back in 2007, will the Jays have the ALís best offence again? Can we count on this many players having good years next year? And donít forget, another Kevin Mench groundball could do in our whole season in an instant. An injury to Halladay and this team is done.

Houston sat 6 games back of the Wild Card on July 31, 2004. Letís believe.

Stand Pat

Although many wonít be happy with the stand pat option, itís the only reasonable choice. The Jays are too far out of it to really make a charge and theyíre too close to give up the season. To deal with the second option first, the Jays canít raise the white flag on this season. Itís not fair to too many players in the clubhouse. Reed Johnson, Frank Catalanotto, Alex Rios, Lyle Overbay, Troy Glaus, Aaron Hill, Roy Halladay, B.J. Ryan, Ted Lilly, Justin Speier and Vernon Wells are all having very good to outstanding seasons. One canít have that many guys play so well and then go into the clubhouse, look them in the eye and say that you made a white-flag trade. Itís not fair to Ryan and A.J. Burnett who signed with Toronto, being told that this is the time the Jays intended to compete with and hopefully defeat the Red Sox and Yankees.

However, even more than matters of fairness or disappointing your own players, think about what such a trade would do to clubhouse morale. Clubhouse morale may be pretty low now, and there is no doubt that this loss stings much worse than a normal loss. However, as professional ballplayers do, the individuals on the team will put it behind them and it will be but a memory in ten days time. What wonít be a memory is if the team trades Lilly and Speier for players who arenít even in the majors. What message would that send to pending free agents like Cat (if heís not traded himself) or Gregg Zaun? The Jays make two of the biggest free agent signings in baseball, trade for a 40-HR hitter and are competing with Yankees and Red Sox teams with a number of holes and injuries. They are about five games out in mid-season and yet raise the white flag. If I was a player an entirely logical thought would be, ďHow does this team ever intend to win the AL East?Ē

Like any team in baseball, the Jays could stand to improve themselves in the offseason, but whatís the selling point? ďWeíre in the toughest division in baseball (or one of the two toughest). We are chasing the Yankees and Red Sox and got kind of close last season but had to give up because they were too far ahead. We got some nice shiny minor leaguers back and we swear, you will make everything different.Ē What does giving up say to the fans, who the Jays are trying to attract to the Rogers Centre in larger numbers?

Instead, why not take a gamble that the Jays do pull off a large winning streak. Gustavo Chacin is likely to be back in August and while heís no saviour, heís an improvement over Dustin McGowan. The Jays are going to have a tough time winning, regardless, without their free agent acquisitions playing like they are being paid to play and we need A.J. to step up. If he does, Halladay and Lilly keep pitching well and Chacin is back an 8-10 game winning streak isnít out of the question at all with this offence. That, combined with some key victories over the Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox and Twins in our head-to-head games might allow us to vault ourselves back into the thick of the race. If it happens, great. If not, the Jays can spend the time working on resigning the players we want to keep for 2007, such as Speier and Cat. If they leave, the Jays can get some nice compensation picks for some of them. This will allow the team to strengthen a mediocre minor league system and also gain some prospects that can be flipped for veterans at some future deadline if we are in a race. However, in the end, the most important point is that the Jays would take too much of a hit to throw in the towel on this season.

However, at the same time they are too far out of it to trade minor leaguers for major leaguers, hoping to leapfrog several teams into the Wild Card lead or AL East championship. The team had a several-year window with this set of players Ė it isnít a one-year shot and the Jays shouldnít place their chips on the 2006 wheel at the expense of a future year. They can contend in 2007 and 2008 and players likely to be dealt in any deadline deal, like Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Adam Lind or Francisco Rosario will be part of those teams. Rather than dealing McGowan for a two-month rental of Lugo, the Jays should use the next two months to evaluate him, both at Triple-A and in the majors in September, if itís clear itís not going to be this year. If they think he can contribute great and if he needs more work, thereíll be opportunity in the offseason to deal him for something that will help us in 2007 and let a team that has the time to work with him try to harness his potential.

A two-month rental isnít in the best interest of this team, and basically thatís all thatís being offered. Julio Lugo wants a $50 million/5-year deal and I really doubt J.P.ís going to shell out that money to him. Mark Redman or Kip Wells arenít part of any long-term plan in Toronto and Toronto canít deal anyone who is (which is what is being asked) for them. If it was 25% or 30% it would be different, but for a 10% shot the Jays canít even afford to trade someone like Jesse Litsch for someone who is arguably not even an upgrade over Marcum or McGowan.

As unappetizing as it is, the only reasonable course of action is to keep the team as it is right now. When youíre stuck between a rock and hard place, sometimes its best to stay there.

Retool for the Future

Likely no loss this year hurt as much as yesterdayís loss. For the first time all year the Jays have a real chance to win a game they trailed after 8 innings. There were two out, one on and the Jays have their All-Star closer protecting a 2-run lead. A tenacious at-bat by Mark Kotsay and a homer by Milton Bradley later, itís all over. The Jays have lost. They currently sit 6.0 games back of Boston in the AL East and 5.5 back of the Yankees in the Wild Card race. Not only are they chasing these two behemoths, but the Twins and their Pair of Aces and the White Sox stand between them. The Jays playoff odds sit at about 11.5%, but theyíve never pulled off a winning streak of any significance this season. Meanwhile, the Yankees have acquired a .400-OBP player and a league-average starter who will replace Sir Sidney Ponson, which is a notable upgrade in its own right. One of the Red Sox and White Sox will make a trade tomorrow and the Twins may just sit tight and ride Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano, neither of whom shows any signs of slowing down.

As difficult as it will be to make a white-flag trade this year, both to the players in the clubhouse and to the fans, this is what needs to be done. The Jays could get some significant return on many of their pending free agents and retooling for 2007 and 2008 is something worth exploring. Iíd like to keep many of our to-be free agents, such as Frank Catalanotto, Ted Lilly and Justin Speier. Nevertheless, I have to assume J.P. has explored contract extensions with them and has a good idea if Toronto can resign them. The fact the Jays havenít isnít a good sign. If J.P. can lock them up, he should do it. If not, the front office has to turn them into something valuable. Compensation is nice, but itís not going to help the big league team in 2007 or 2008 and thatís when we need to be looking to.

After 2005 Scott Eyre had a career 4.52 ERA and while he had a 2.63 ERA in 2005, his 2004 ERA was 4.10. Bobby Howry had a career 3.58 ERA and had put up ERAs of 2.74 and 2.47 in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Eyre received an $11 million/3 year contract, while Howry received $12 million over 3 years, both from the Chicago Cubs. Kyle Farnsworth got $17 million/3 years for his career 4.45 ERA. Thatís a deceptive stat though, because Farnsworth is a noted flame-thrower who had a 2.19 ERA in 2005 and 3.30 in 2003. Currently, Justin Speier has a 3.07 ERA and had a 2.57 ERA last year. ERA is just the handiest stat to use, but the rest of his statistics bear out the fact that Speier is one of the top setup men in the American League and, excluding closers, the best free agent relievers I can find are Mike Timlin, Scott Williamson, David Riske, Ron Villone, Danys Baez and Chad Bradford. I would be surprised if Speier couldnít find himself a ten figure deal over three years. The Jays have known that for a while and if they donít think they can afford him or are unwilling to commit that dough to a non-Ryan-like reliever, itís a sellerís market for pitching right now. While thereíll be no Austin Kearns for Speier, itís very conceivable Toronto could get a Triple-A B-prospect as opposed to an A-ball project. If the Jays can resign Speier, thatís great, Iím all for it. But if not, the Jays should cash in on him now. One could say the same for Scott Schoeneweis, as the phones should start ringing off the hook once J.P. faxes out a page showing his stats against left-handed batters.

Iím a huge Cat fan. He does a lot of things well, knows his limitations and accepts his platoon role without anything complaining. There should be no problem getting him at-bats next year, whether heís platooning with Johnson, being our normal DH or rotating between the two positions. But again, if heís not resignable, flip him. Heís got a .895 OPS and any GM can see his .417 OBP and ridiculous 41/23 BB/K ratio. Lots of contending teams need a corner outfielder and it shouldnít be hard to get a good return for him.

Ted Lilly would instantly become the best starter on the market. Mark Redman? Kip Wells? Rodrigo Lopez? Lilly would be nice to keep with our starting pitching woes, but heís had several clashes with Brad Arnsberg and done nothing to shed his rumour of being difficult to coach. Call it a gut feeling, but of our pending free agents he seems least likely to resign rather than chase the big bucks. Okay, he might not net Scott Kazmir, as Victor Zambrano did, but in 2003 Ponson himself gave Baltimore a return of Kurt Ainsworth, Damian Moss and Ryan Hanaman. In 2002 Ryan Dempster netted Juan Encarnacion, Wilton Guerrero and Ryan Snare. In the same year Chuck Finley got the Indians Coco Crisp (and another minor leaguer named Luis Garcia). And, sorry to be the one to do this, in 2000 Esteban Loaiza got the Texas Rangers Darwin Cubilian and Mike Young.

In conclusion, the Jays could get a real return for these four players and not just warm bodies and salary relief. Whether they package them, deal them individually or even just trade Lilly and Schoeneweis. J.P. should insist on Triple-A talent or young major leaguers back as the central parts of the deal, but even someone in Double-A is going to contribute faster than a 2007 draft pick. Iíd love to resign Speier and Cat, in particular, but if thatís not going to happen J.P. should cash in on several wide-open pennant races.

Oh yeah, and trade Bengie for cents on the dollar. Give Phillips some at-bats and reward Zaun for his actions in LíAffaire Hillenbrand.

So, the trading deadline is coming at 4 P.M. today. Which argument do you agree with? What should J.P. do? What would you do Bauxites? What will J.P. do?

The Three Options | 56 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pistol - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#151948) #

Given the number of games and, maybe more importantly, the number of teams ahead of the Jays buying shouldn't be an option (and I can't imagine it is).

Any player that's going to be a free agent should be available.  Whether they're traded should be based on the offers out there.  There's no reason to trade someone just to trade someone.  If the 2007 team can be improved by trading them now it makes sense to do it.  If not just hold onto them.

While compensation picks won't be ready for the majors until 2009 at the earliest there's nothing that says you can't trade them for major league players down the road.  Escobar leaving the Jays in large part got them Lyle Overbay as one of the two picks was used on Zack Jackson who was traded 18 months after being drafted. 

The Jays could end up with a ton of picks next year (Lilly and Speier would certainly return two picks each, and maybe SS Loogy and Cat as well).  A deep farm system allows you to do a lot of things and with the missing picks of the past two years and some mixed drafts the Jays could use a boost there.

Leigh - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#151949) #
Go for it. 

Trade a couple of the Generic JPitchers for Julio Lugo. 

I would deal Chacin, too, if he would net anything whatsoever.  Look at what happened with the Braves and Jorge Sosa:  he had a superficially great season in 2005 that was totally unsupported by his peripherals and the Braves held on only to designate him for assignment part-way through 2006.  Capitalize on what remains of Chacin's reputation.

Further, the Jays should commit to a better use of internal resources.  For example:  Molina should only play when Zaun is utterly incapacitated and nobody other than Ryan, Speier, Frasor, Schoeneweis and Accardo should be pitching relief innings of much consequence.
Mike Green - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#151956) #
I remember a somewhat similar discussion about the Astros a couple of years ago. The words then were "fish or cut bait".  The consensus then was "fish".

So, in the spirit of that discussion, I say "fish".  Six games is hardly insurmountable, and the prospect of success in the medium term is very low.  Carpe diem.


Dave Till - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#151958) #
The Jays can't afford to completely give up. Fan interest is starting to revive this year, after a long-dormant period; any hint of a salary dump will cause these fans to turn away again. Any savings obtained by dumping salary will be offset by an equivalent decrease in ticket sales.

And a dump runs the risk of the worst-case scenario: a star player demanding a trade to another organization. The Jays would have trouble surviving that.

And, if the Jays acquire a rent-a-player who becomes a free agent, they'll get draft picks. The Jays' system is a bit thin, and they need the extra picks.

What I suspect will happen is that the Jays will stand pat. Other teams will want too many prospects for too little return. There are probably too many GM's making an unconditional demand of McGowan and League for Expensive Joe Average.

Jordan - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#151969) #

I don't think JP's decision is all that difficult -- the players made it for him. Going 2-5 on a do-or-die road trip before the trading deadline is tantamount to putting a sign on the team bus: "We are not a playoff contender." Buying should not be an option unless it's at a rock-bottom price.

Selling doesn't seem very attractive either, unless some team is offering a helpful 2007-08 part in exchange for a pending free agent, and while that's not impossible, it's not terribly likely. I tend to agree that the Jays should wait till the off-season and see what's available -- the market should be deeper and the returns greater. And if worse comes to worst, hand out arbitration offers left and right to most or all of the FAs -- the Jays are nearing the peak of their current success cycle, so it's all the more reason to start planting the seeds now for the next wave of young talent in 2010-11.

It's disappointing that this season didn't come together better for the Jays, but when you lose 3/5 of your starting rotation to injury or spontaneous combustion and your middle infield is a merry-go-round, it's hard to recover. And would it be wrong of me to suggest that the Jays would have been better not to have signed Bengie Molina at all, giving the RH-catching duties to Jason Phillips and more at-bats to Gregg Zaun?

Finally, I have a funny feeling that Bobby Abreu's not going to deal very well with New York. I could easily be wrong -- he might be invigorated by a pennant chase -- but I've long thought there was something a little odd about that guy, and NY might exacerbate it.

Chuck - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#151975) #
And would it be wrong of me to suggest that the Jays would have been better not to have signed Bengie Molina at all, giving the RH-catching duties to Jason Phillips and more at-bats to Gregg Zaun?

This is exactly why Molina shouldn't be re-signed. Were he recognized for what he is at this stage of his career, a platoon player with modest defensive skills, and signed to an appropriate deal to fit that bill, fine. But Gibbons can't help himself when it comes to Molina. Even last year's less powerful version of Zaun deserves to play against RHP ahead of Molina. Seeing Molina DH (never mind catch) vs RHP illustrates the breadth of the gulf between Molina's actual and perceived ability.
Mike Green - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#151976) #
I liked the decision to sign Molina, and I still do.  I see the general manger's primary role as to provide the talent rather than to determine its usage. In obtaining Molina and Phillips, Ricciardi (learning from the Huckaby experience) fulfilled his role well.

Unfortunately,John Gibbons has had an off-year on a number of fronts, and his handling of the catchers is one of them. 
Ducey - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#151977) #

I agree with Jordan.  They have too many holes and there are too many teams in the race to realistically make a run at it.  If they can, they ought to trade some of their potential free agents.  I think they could trade: Lilly, Hinske, Speier, Fraser, Molina, MacDonald, SS Loogy, Downs, Tallet and Phillips.  Not sure how much you would get for any of them but Lilly might net something better than a first round pick.  The core of the team would be in place for next year and could be supplemented in the off season.

I don't subscribe to the "Yankee's are weak and only will be for this year" idea.  The Jays should worry about themselves.  You never know what will happen the Yankees next year.  This win at all costs mindset is one that causes Kazmir for Zambrano trades to be made.

John Northey - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#151984) #
The big challenge for JP is to guess what the new basic agreement will contain.  It is a safe bet no hard cap (ala the NHL) will appear but I suspect we'll see a stronger version of the luxury tax come in to hit the Yankees and Red Sox.  This could lock up the Yankees for a year or two, but no longer than that.  Also, compensation for free agents could change making it a bad idea to hold onto Lilly, SS, Speier, Molina, or a very good idea if the compensation increases (to slow free agency down). 

If I was JP I'd probably be looking to either lock up the FA's or trade them as it is far better to get something useful than risk getting absolutely nothing.  Any other winter I'd be saying keep them but now...

jeff - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#151987) #

After this past week, the Jays do not have a realistic shot at the playoffs. This team has not shown at any point in the season the ability to put together the kind of win streak required to make the playoffs.

There are two big differences between the 2005 Astros and the 2006 Blue Jays. The Astros had been surging for two months with one the best records in baseball over that stretch whereas these Jays haven't progressed at all from the start of the season. Second, despite having the exact win-loss record as the 2006 Blue Jays on July 31, the 2005 Astros had 1 game lead on the NL wild card, whereas we are 5.5 games behind. There is a huge a difference in making the playoffs if you only have to play .550 ball versus the .650 ball the Jays would have to play.

As for now being the time to strike against the Yanks, that may be true but let's not forget that the Yanks have been playing without Matsui, Sheffield, Cano and Pavano, getting inconsistent performances from the Unit and a guaranteed loss every fifth day out for serval weeks and still the Jays have not made up any ground. How can we expect them to make up that ground now that the Yanks have added Abreu and Lidle and will be getting Matsui, Cano and Octavio Dotel back shortly? We had our chance and didn't capitalize.

That being said, I would try set-up the team up as best I could to win in 2007. If there is an opportunity to acquire a player who will contribute in 2007, then take advantage. No point trading away depth and financial flexiibilty for a player you could lose to/acquire via free agency. The goal should be to keep the core group together and maximize financial flexibility for the upcoming offseason, while not bailing out on your players and fans.  In other words, stand pat.

Pistol - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#151990) #

Also, compensation for free agents could change making it a bad idea to hold onto Lilly, SS, Speier, Molina, or a very good idea if the compensation increases (to slow free agency down)

If compensation for free agents were to change it'd be unlikely to change for the 2007 draft.  It wouldn't be fair to change the rules this winter because decisions are being made today that impact it.  For example, the Jays offer for Lugo would be different if there was and if there was not compensation.  Or from another perspective, if there was no compensation Zito almost certainly would be traded but if there is compensation the A's would be less likely to trade him.

VBF - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#151999) #

I'm hesitant to deal Cat:

  • He could make himself affordable for a contract extension
  • Reed Johnson has had stamina problems in the past
  • I don't think we should be ready to hand a starting job over to Hinske, though I'm not slagging him
  • He's been the best and most consistent hitter on the team the last three years

Unless the 3 million dollars he's signed for can be put to a better use, I think he's a very important part of the lineup in the future, and at a very cost efficient price. Trading away a full-time capable .850+ OPS in favour of Hinske or Reed (nothign against them) makes me a little uneasy. Especially in the event that Vernon Wells leaves after 2007.

 

Mark - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#152012) #
There has been a lot of talk about the potential extra picks. I think it is important to understand that these picks in the first few rounds of the draft cost. They will probably average 800,000$ each to sign. How many can they sign? 2 picks for Lilly, Speier, SS, Cat, Zaun, is an extra ten picks. The jays are not going to spend and extra 8 million on the draft. So maybe 2 picks have better potential than Heilman. But he has 4 more years before he is a free agent and is fairly establised. You would have him for two years before he would start costing more than the picks would and there is certainty with him. The same argument is made with the two potential Hillenbrand picks and Accardo. It just makes monetary sense to avoid the bonus and go with young established players. I think the jays could afford two FA's to sign elsewhere. Anymore and there will be a lot of signability picks. Potential 3rd, 4th and 5th rounders going early at set prices.
Mike Green - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#152020) #
Here's the link for the 2007 $75 million payroll, from the Globe and Mail.  Shi Davidi's BBRRS rating is 24 karat gold.
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, July 31 2006 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#152026) #
I wonder if the $75-million is just a trial balloon, to see how the media and fans react to it.  I'd be surprised if the number ends up being that low for 2007.

It's also possible that they're planning to have it be $90-million (or whatever), and will host a big press conference right before next year's season tickets go on sale to announce the 'increase'.

If they go with a $75 mil payroll next year, they can forget about contending in the AL, given their salary commitments.

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