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Letís take a look at how the Blue Jays currently stack up for 2007.

The following players are about to become free agents (making the very safe assumption than Ben Molinaís $7.5M option will not be picked up):
Frank Catalanotto
Ted Lilly
Bengie Molina
Justin Speier
Gregg Zaun
Letís look at the best roster the Jays could put together if the season started tomorrow. This will give us an idea of what parts of the team need to be addressed by J.P. et al via trades and the free agent market.
The 2007 salary figures that appear in blue are my own rough estimates. ď~Ē indicates the player already has a guaranteed contract for 2007, ďArbĒ indicates a player is arbitration-eligible, and ď-ď indicates a pre-arbitration player who has no negotiating leverage and thus will be paid near the minimum. Iíve assumed the Jays will be granted another option year on Dustin McGowan and thus will start him at AAA Syracuse.
Player     2006     2007
SP Roy Halladay  12.750  ~   12.750
SP A.J. Burnett    7.000  ~   12.000
SP Gustavo Chacin    0.348  -     0.350
SP Shaun Marcum    0.327  -     0.350
SP Josh Towers    2.300  ~     2.900
- - - - -
Closer B.J. Ryan    8.000  ~     9.000
Setup Brandon League    0.327  -     0.350
LOOGY Davis Romero    0.327  -     0.350
Mid Jason Frasor    0.359  Arb     0.500
Mid Brian Tallet    0.327  -     0.350
Long Francisco Rosario    0.327  -     0.350
Swing Scott Downs    0.705  Arb     1.250
- - - - -
C Jason Phillips    0.700  Arb     0.750
1B Lyle Overbay    2.525  Arb     5.000
2B Russ Adams    0.343  -     0.350
SS Aaron Hill    0.336  -     0.350
3B Troy Glaus    9.250  ~   10.750
LF Reed Johnson    1.425  Arb     3.000
CF Vernon Wells    4.300  ~     5.600
RF Alexis Rios    0.354  Arb     1.500
DH Adam Lind    0.327  -     0.350
- - - - -
CI John Hattig    0.327  -     0.350
C Curtis Thigpen       -     -     0.350
MI John McDonald    0.500  Arb     0.750
OF Kevin Barker    0.327  -     0.350
- - - - -
Total payroll  69.950
The only part of this team Iíd be reasonably confident with as-is is the bullpen, though some would argue it needs more veteran presence. The starting rotation needs another solid option, the lineup needs an everyday catcher and middle infielder, Adam Lind may be better served with more development time in Syracuse rather than DHing in Toronto, and the bench is woeful (though addressing the lineup needs will concurrently improve the bench).
Letís assume Uncle Ted approves a budget of $90M for 2007. How would you go about improving this team? Keep in mind that youíll have to pay Josh Towers $2.9M whether you keep him on the 25-man or not, and try to be realistic when guesstimating free agent salaries.
2007, Today | 125 comments | Create New Account
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The Bone - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#156602) #

I had done a table but I couldn't figure out how to work.  Anyways, I'd sign the following 8 free agents: Ted Lilly, Tomo Ohka, Justin Speier, Alex Gonzalez, Luis Gonzalez (DH), Gregg Zaun, David Dellucci and Wes Helms.  I'd give V-Dub a raise.  I'd trade for one of the two young Diamondback catchers stuck behind Johnny Estrada using Adams, McGowan and/or other prospects.  In my table, this left enough over to pay both Towers and Hinske not to play for us.





Gwyn - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#156603) #
Koskie is also getting $3.75 million from the jays next year.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#156604) #
Good stuff Jonny, eye balling it quickly, Frasor might be a little low, and regarding Rios he'll have 2.13 years, not sure if he's a "super two", then again the team may well sign him long term for the numbers you've posted.

Given how this team spins numbers  regarding bonus payouts etc.., its quite hard to determine how much of the original $210 million pie Rogers doled out in 2005 is left.  My numbers ,if I recall, showed them having about $ 90 million still left. Ricciardi is quoted as saying the budget for 2007 is still 2 weeks out. I believe Shi David and Millson have been knocking around  the $ 95 million figure.

DH - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#156605) #

While $20 million seems like a lot, let's take into consideration that if Wells is going to stay, his 2007 salary will likely jump by a minimum of $7m to an even $12m/year. That leaves $13m to fill holes at C, SS, DH and one, if not two, inning eaters.

How about this.

A) Trade CF Vernon Wells to the Anaheim Angels for SP Ervin Santana, SS Maicier Izturis and C Jeff Mathis.

B) Re-sign Ted Lilly. 3 years $18m.

C) Re-sign Greg Zaun and Frank C. Let's say 2 years and 7 million for each.  

D) Sign one of Carlos Lee / Alfonso Soriano. 5 years - $65 million OR falling that trade McGowan + Marcum to Tampa Bay for Carl Crawford.

Now evidently this only makes sense if you can sign Soriano (or Lee to a lesser extent) or trade for Crawford to replace Wells production. If you can then you've not only replaced his bat, but also filled two holes and added Mathis as a prospect behind the plate.

The rotation: Halladay, Burnett, Lilly, Santana, Chacin.

Defense: Zaun/Mathis, Overbay, Hill, Izturis, Glaus, Soriano/Crawford, Johnson, Rios, (DH) Catalanatto and Lind.

Lineup: Soriano/Crawford, Johnson , Soriano, Glaus, Overbay, Catalanatto, Zaun, Hill, Izturis.

Payroll: Approx = $91million with Soriano, $83 with Crawford.

Pitching depth: Triple A: Marcum, Towers, Janssen, Taubenheim, McGowan


Jim - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#156606) #

There is no reason to pay Scott Downs or John McDonald more then one cent over the minor league minimum.

Non-tender them and either sign them for less or find someone else to be the 24th and 25th men on the roster.


Wildrose - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#156607) #
A quick roster question. Which Jays would not clear waivers if not on the 25 man roster next year?
Rosario I know for sure, McGowan has a medical appeal pending, what about Adams and Accardo?( last year when we had this discussion and somebody pointed out John Olerud may still have had options left , I'm afraid my brain started to smoke...)
Nigel - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#156608) #

Complicating the budget for next year are the cash flow issues of paying Hinske and Koskie to play for others next year and the offsetting savings from the Hillenbrand and Schoenweiss deals.  If I remember that nets out to about another $3m out of next year's budget - so your starting point is effectively a payroll of $72 million.  As hard as this is to say (because he's my favourite current Jay), I would actively look to trade Wells ( and not try to resign him) to fill some of the obvious holes (SP, SS and C).  I would then look to resign F-Cat and sign an outfielder of Delucci's ilk to make up a 4 member outfield rotation.   All of the cash available would then go to finding more pitching and whatever hole(s) remain after trading Wells.

The bottom line with Wells is that if you were reasonably likely to get the 900 OPS hitter that Wells has been is 4 of his 10 professional seasons (minors included - I'm being a bit generous and including his rookie ball campaign) and not the 750-800 OPS hitter that he has been in each of his other 6 seasons you might want to pay the $10-14 m per year that he is likely to command.  He might, but given the existing payroll its too much of a gamble.


Wildrose - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#156611) #
I have a pinch hit article in the pipeline that details with  the salutary effects of the R.C., particularly with the dome being closed,and the relative importance of being able to hit home runs.

That being said, I like the Soriano suggestion. For many years he was actually overated as a second baseman, now in the outfield , people tend to underate him. He or a guy like Frank Thomas would hit a lot of dingers in Toronto.

I do think the Angels are potential trade partners, ( I wonder given their win now mandate ,if they'd have any interest in Glaus as well?) The names Napoli,  Izriturus, and  McPherson  all are tempting ( wishing for Bradon Wood is too much). Stoneman has done a great job with building young , talented players.

js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#156612) #
-I like the way DH is thinking.

- I put this in another thread a few days ago. But this is what I'd do.

i would resign Lilly if I could, ideally aruond 3/19-20, and on top of that for sure sign another SP, hopefully Vicentelle Padilla for 8 million per year. That means at least 1, and up to 2 more league average starting pitchers.

I'd resign Wells to an extension hopefully for 12 per year, and no more then 13 per year. If it gets more then that, I think it is not worth it in dollar value and how much potential salary it eats. 13 is close to near market value and doable for the Jays. Sure he might get a lot more in the FA; I guess we'll see. Otherwise it'd hurt the Jays. If this happens, I'd let Catalanatto go, and throw in Adam Lind next year as LF/DH. If Wells is traded, I'd obviously resign Cat. If Wells is not extended and remains on the team, I don't know what to do with Cat then.

Speier had a sub-3.00 ERA but he let up 47% of his inherited runners score, 2nd most on the team, as I said in this post 
(near bottom), but he would add veteran presence on a young pen. Otherwise, I like the pen almost exactly as you laid it out. If Speier gets too expensive, I'd let him go. But the pen looks strong next year.

If Molina wants $3-3.5 million, I'd do it. But he will want more and he's simply not worth it because of his defence and speed. Otherwise, I'd go for Zaun and Phillips, for a combined $3 -3.5 million.

I'd sign a middle infielder, either Craig Counsell, Mark Loretta, or Alex Gonzalez, for $3.5 million. Actually, given all of the previous signings, I'd say that there is still money left, and I'd go for Julio Lugo if he isn't too expensive, maybe I could bend myself to give 4/32-34, which is the most I'd give and the least he'd take. Lugo would also add a bit more hitting depth to the lineup.

js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#156613) #
PS: was the Hinske trade in retrospect a bad trade? Given the depth he'd provide at 1b/3b?
js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#156614) #
I hope JP signs Frank THomas for the 3 years 15 milllion contract he wants. Even if he misses the last year, it'd be worth it with another year he had like this one. DO IT JP. Then we have our answer at DH
Wildrose - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#156615) #
Any discussion about signing Vernon Wells needs to take into account his home/road splits.
js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#156616) #
But from what I've read, he wants "near market value" from the Blue Jays, and guys like Ken Rosenthal have said the word $15 million. Jeff Blair, at first said "a 3/39 or 4/42" was in the cards, which is do-able. But a more recent Jeff Blair said it might take $15 million to resign Vernon (!), and the Jays would be willing to do it, he's told, because he's irreplaceable.

I don't think he's worth 14 or 15 million. I would give him 12 to 13. It''s up to him, but anything more then that will hurt the team I believe.

dan gordon - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#156619) #
Wells has now had 3 consecutive seasons of rather poor hitting on the road.  If you evaluate him based on his road numbers over the last 3 years, he looks like a player who is not worth anything even remotely close to the numbers being bandied about for his next contract.  I didn't realize that he was this consistently weak on the road.  In his defense, he did have a very good 2003 road season - he actually hit better on the road that year.
Ryan Day - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#156621) #

There is no reason to pay Scott Downs or John McDonald more then one cent over the minor league minimum.

 I won't quibble about McDonald, but I think you're underrating Donws quite a bit: League-average or better (115 ERA+ this year) relievers who can throw a lot of innings and start in an emergency don't grow on trees. You certainly don't give away the farm to keep him, but neither should you just toss him away unless you're sure someone else can fill the role.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#156622) #
What Ryan Day said.  Downs is 30.  Over the last 2 seasons, he's thrown 171 innings, walked 64, struck out 136 and given up 21 homers.  He holds runners well, and has stranded more than his share.  His ERA, FIP and exFIP are all solid.  To top it off, his ground ball rate is inching up.  There is every reason to believe that he will be a solid pitcher in 2007 (and 2008 for that matter). 
Jim - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#156623) #

I've liked Downs all the way back to his days in Montreal.  I still wouldn't pay him a cent over the minimum. 

If the Jays have anything in the minors it is bodies for the bullpen.

Relievers have huge variation year to year, I like Downs, but with a relief pitcher you really can't pay for certainty, so I'd rather not try. 

There are another guys just like Downs where you found him, a million dollars here and a million dollars there adds up over a roster. 

Throw in the fact that it frees up room on the 40 man roster for the offseason and my mind would already be made up.



js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#156624) #
I'm just gonna post this here cause I really really like it. Because of the very reason of bullpen instability is why he's a relative baragin at $1.25 million. That's not a lot of money, considering Koskie and Hinske are being paid $6 million to play elsewhere next year, and the way money was thrown around a bit excessively with Molina and Hillenbrand (IMO). Penny-wise, pound-foolish. Before the announced payroll raise, a few were becoming quite worried with the impossible budget of next year at $78 million. Downs has posted a solid ERA in two years and has stranded 28% of baserunners, while objectively at least he has not been put in low-leverage situations at all. Plus his peripherals are good as Mike Green points out. The guys that are variable are the younger guys I'd say.

Justin Speier: 17/36 = 47%
Jeremy Accardo: 13/31 = 42%
Scott Downs: 11/39 = 28%
Jason Frasor: 18/37 = 49%
Brandon League: 4/9 = 44%
Marcum: 2/6 = 33%
McGowan: 5/9 = 55%
Davis Romero: 0/7 = 0%
Rosario: 0/4 = 0%
The Man: 1/29 = 3.5%
Brian Tallet: 13/44 = 30%
Josh Towers: 0/2 = 0%
Pete Walker: 3/5 = 60%
Scott Schoeneweis: 9/40 = 23%
Vinnie Chulk: 7/9 = 78%
Ty Taubenheim: 0/2 = 0%
The Bone - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#156625) #
I don't think Koskie's 3.75 million has to be accounted for because it has previously been referred to as having been "written off" by Rogers.
Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#156626) #

Downs is 30.  Over the last 2 seasons, he's thrown 171 innings, walked 64, struck out 136 and given up 21 homers.  He holds runners well, and has stranded more than his share.  His ERA, FIP and exFIP are all solid.  To top it off, his ground ball rate is inching up.  There is every reason to believe that he will be a solid pitcher in 2007 (and 2008 for that matter)

Wait a sec... I assumed, based on the last game, that Downs was going to be the closer now!  Did I read that wrong!?!? :)

Jim - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#156627) #

Because of the very reason of bullpen instability is why he's a relative baragin at $1.25 million.

This kind of thinking and you end up with Josh Towers at 5.5 million over 2 seasons.  Downs probably just threw the 80 best innings of his life and it's in the past.  Don't overpay for mediocrity, if you can't find a better pitcher then Scott Downs for more then 1 million dollars you shouldn't be the GM of a major league team.

Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#156628) #

Downs, if I can't sign him for $1 million or less before the November tender deadline, I'd just as soon non-tender him.  He might be a Type B or C free agent assuming we still have compensation in place.  Although as a fan I like Downs and I also like him because he's a change of pace from the power pen the Jays have, if I can get compensation for him I'll take the pick and spend the money on another guy for the pen.

The key with the arbitration guys is to not have to go to arbitration.  But the bullpen really can't just be stuffed full of kids and forgotten about - that's not how real contenders operate.  By all means, I don't think you need to spend a lot of money on the bullpen except at the very front (and I wouldn't mind bringing back Speier at $3 million a season to be the #2 guy, with League as the #3 man who pitches the seventh).  The pen I'd like is to have BJR and League at the front end of the pen, and Accardo, Frasor and Tallet at the back, with one more righty and one more lefty to be brought in from the outside (or brought back as in Speier's or Downs's case) unless someone lays claim to a high-leverage job in the spring.  But still, I think the pen as posted by Jonny is two men short, if we were to DFA Downs.  I would not assume that Rosario or Romero will be ready quite yet - they're excellent guys to have at AAA ready to go when the inevitable injuries strike.

As for the lineup, I haven't given it any serious thought but Lugo gives you a nice alternative in the leadoff spot to Reed Johnson, if you were to go to Lugo.  And I want Zaun back - I don't mind giving him a two-year deal and paying him four times what he's making now.

I thought Jason Phillips was a free agent, if he isn't then he may be an attractive backup but I wonder if the Jays would prefer a catch-and-throw guy to back up Zaunie.  Maybe the c-&-t guy could be signed as a third catcher to split time with Thigpen in Syracuse and help him learn the position.

Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#156629) #

Jim, the advantage of Downs is that he doesn't cost talent to bring in.  If you want to find a better pitcher than Downs by trawling the free agents, you're probably either going to pay more money or get an iffier player.  If you trade for the pitcher, you might get lucky and find someone who will take a non-prospect for the guy you want, but given the price of bullpen arms these days I'm a bit doubtful.  If you go with a Rule 5 or waiver wire pickup, there's no way you're getting a LHP of Downs's quality... guys that good aren't available by the time the priority gets to the Jays.

I agree that Downs for $1.25 million, if that's the price, is no particular bargain.  But it is a safe thing to do... provided there's enough risk being taken elsewhere I like the idea of a safe hand in a pen full of young guys.

One possibility - this might be a neat trick - is a challenge trade where someone who needs a lefthander gets Downs and the Jays pick up a righthanded reliever in exchange.  Lefthanders are scarcer, and the Jays have Tallet to fill the hole.

Another possibility is to market Downs as a starter for a lower-end team.  Anyone think of a bad team that needs a lefty starter but has a nice cheap pen arm to pick up?

Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#156631) #
I like Downs and Romero a whole lot more than Accardo and Tallet, both objectively and subjectively. Spending $3 million for Tom Martin (as happened a couple of years ago) is unwise, but one is going to have pay more than the minimum to get a pitcher as good as Downs. 175 innings is pretty good evidence of an existing talent level. 
Jim - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#156633) #

there's no way you're getting a LHP of Downs's quality

Downs himself was a minor league free agent, so how can this possibly be?

He had 175 good innings, but so did Josh Towers.  He's useful, but he's really got no value as a starter, and there are plenty of failed starters kicking around for nothing that will benefit from a move to the bullpen.

Personally I save the 1.25MM, but it certainly isn't the kind of move that makes or breaks a season.



Jim - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#156636) #

But the bullpen really can't just be stuffed full of kids and forgotten about - that's not how real contenders operate

How about Ryan and the kids and forgotten about.





It seems to me that most good bullpens are kids and the forgotten.  Oakland, Anaheims good bullpens, plenty of other examples exist as well.

Trying to pay for certainty in the bullpen is a fool's errand.  Ask JP Riccardi.




Original Ryan - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#156637) #
Downs, if I can't sign him for $1 million or less before the November tender deadline, I'd just as soon non-tender him.  He might be a Type B or C free agent assuming we still have compensation in place.

I may be wrong on this, but I don't believe it's possible to get compensation picks for non-tendered players.
Mark - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#156639) #
I think the jays need to be creative on the trade front as this years stud free agent class are going to be untradeable the day after they sign.

These are some trades I would consider.
Reed Johnson to Cleveland for Jhonny Peralta.
Cleveland needs corner outfielders and they have soured on Peralta

Aaron Hill and Any minor league pitcher(McGowan, Romero...both?) for Tim Hudson.
With Marcus Giles rumoured to be gone and the braves starting to rebuild this trade makes sense. At 10 million a year Hudson will be fairly pricey, but as a third starter should produce better than any of the free agent options. Plus, I may be alone on this but I think Russ Adams can handle 2nd.

Re-sign Speier 3 years/9 million
Re-sign Zaun 3 years/9 million
Sign Craig Wilson 2 years/7 million
Resign Cat 2 years/6 million
Matt LeCroy 1 year/1 million

They will add about 24 million to the 69, coming in at 93 million.
They solve the middle infield problem.
Wilson/Cat LF platoon should be as good as Reed/Cat
Lecroy/Lind DH platoon should work.
3 potential #1 starters

Of course speculating and potential trades is kinda senseless but my point is the jays, for once should consider making trades while their player's value is high instead of the standard "eating half of salary to get rid of players." ( I know with the O -dog the traded when his value was probably as high as can be, but between trading Adams for nothing and Hill for value, I'd choose the latter)
Ron - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#156640) #

Here are a few thoughts:

- Thereís no way the Jays can head into next season with Chacin, Marcum, and Towers in the starting rotation. Heck the Jays shouldnít even go into next season with Chacin and Marcum in the rotation. Only one of the 3 listed should start the season in the Jays rotation (and in the number 5 slot).

- Itís time to trade Vernon Wells. I get a really bad vibe about signing this guy to a 13-15 mil contract over 4/5 years. He represents the best trading chip the Jays have. The Jays can solve a lot of needs by trading him. Wells for Santana/Aybar/Mathis makes a lot sense for the Jays and Angels. I would gladly add in McGowan or Rosario to make the deal work.

- McGowan and Rosario should be shopped around. Both are out of options and thereís no way I would give them a major league roster spot just because of their situation. In one season McGowan has gone from the Jays best prospect to complete flame out. Heís not a young kid anymore and still he canít find the strike zone. Arnsberg said it best, when he said Dustin is still a ďthrowerĒ and not a pitcher. When he releases a pitch, even I donít think he knows where it is going. Much like Russ Adams, if McGowan is going to succeed in the Majors, it wonít be with the Jays.

- I wouldnít mind seeing the Jays go after Kerry Wood and Mark Mulder on incentive based contracts. I would love to see Zito in a Jays uni but Jayson Stark is hearing the bidding for Zito will start at 15 million dollars on a long term contract. I donít think Zito is worth 16-17 million a season. Gonzo or Barry Bonds would look good as the DH. Of course them wanting to come here is a whole different issue.

- I would keep Hill at 2B and go after a SS. I would call the Indians to see if they have any interest in moving Peralta. I would give Lugo a call but Iím guessing he wants Fucal money (3yrs/39 million). I would take a pass if thatís what he wants.

jjdynomite - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#156641) #
I have a feeling trading Aaron Hill, the one unqualified major league success JP has had so far (note his defensive stats), and arbitration ineligible for the next 2 years, is the last thing on JP's agenda.  But that's just me.
Jordan - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#156642) #
Downs was pretty highly regarded once upon a time -- the Cubs dealt him straight-up for Rondell White, and while the Expos were seen as losing that deal, everyone agreed he had a live arm. It takes some lefties awhile to get their acts together -- Downs may be just getting there now.
Jordan - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#156643) #
For my money, the most important acquisition the Jays could make would be a great glove at shortstop, putting Hill back where he belongs at second base and creating an airtight infield defence. The Jays can't outhit the Yanks and Red Sox and may not be able to outpitch them, but they can at least be the division's defensive wizards (with help from a Johnson-Wells-Rios outfield). If that shortstop can also hit leadoff, a la Lugo, it becomes a no-brainer.
VBF - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#156644) #

I think you could get Peralta for much less if you're willing to take on the remaining 12.4 million on that contract. It's fairly backloaded and Peralta didn't have a particularily inspiring year last year.

What I would do if I'm not VBF:

-Trade Vernon for Young Pitcher A: Santana, Robertson, whomever. I do believe you'd have a difficult time getting Santana and Aybar or Mathis, but Santana alone would put us miles ahead.

-Take Vernon's money and outbid everyone on Lee or Soriano (Soriano's scary, that low .300s OBP the last few years really turns me off) but Lee, definitely. Go up to 16 per.

-Now, for the price of Vernon, you got a pretty damn good pitcher and matched Vernon's offensive production with a player who's consistently been the same or better. Even if you have to pay Lee a few more million than you'd pay Vernon, it's defnitely better value than signing Vernon in the first place.

-Sign Gil Meche/Padilla/Lilly, somewhere in the range of 7-9 per, depending whihc of the three was signed. (Padilla shoudl get more than Ted).

-Resign Zaun, 6 million, 2 years +mutual option for 5 million in third year


  • Reed
  • Hill
  • Overbay
  • Glaus
  • Lee
  • Rios
  • Zaun
  • Lind
  • Peralta

Rotation: Halladay, Burnett, Santana, Meche, Chacin. 6th starter: Marcum when somebody inevitably gets hurt and/or is really bad.

All that for about 25+ 70 = 95 million. Not a bad team. And if payroll hits 100, as Blair hinted earlier, you even have the option of forgetting Meche and going after Schmidt.

But, being VBF, I just couldn't stand seeing Vernon leave. I hope some Doc rubs off on him and he picks a value that may not be what he'd get on the open market, but something that he can take care of the next several generations of Wells' with.


ayjackson - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#156645) #

nice post jonny!  getting a lot of action.

my comments:

-  I'd resign Speier at the expense of Tallet in your bullpen.  I have no confidence in Tallet and believe he could useful in trade.  If McGowan doesn't get his fourth option, then he's the long-man and Romero goes to AAA (I'm sure he'd see a lot of time with the Jays due to injury)

-  I'd prefer to keep Wells.  I think 4 years and $50m would get it done because that would be the equivalent of playing out his contract and signing for $15m per season in FA (without the risk of not achieving the same results in his FA year).

-  If the situation dictates a Wells trade, I think it can be fruitful with LAA and HOU interested.  I have been a proponent of the Santana/Mathis/Aybar or Izturis angle but am growing concerned about Santana's elbow.  He is still young and may have TJ in his future.

-  Houston may be in the market for Wells and its in Texas, so Jason Hirsch and Chris Burke jump out at me there.

-  I would offer Eaton, Padilla and Lilly fair value contracts (3 yrs, $15-21m) and hope one bites, though I would not try to outbid teams to get one.

-  Failing one of those, I'd look at the likes of Wolf, Armas, Suppan and Marquis to come in and compete with all the kids for a spot.  We need some healthy competition for the backend spots next year (along with Chacin, Marcum, Janssen, McGowan, Rosario, Taubenheim)

-  I found the Johnson for Peralta suggestion very intriguing

-  I'm of the belief that too many moves in one offseason has a detrimental affect on team chemistry in the following season and thus, improvement is usually delayed

-  One other possibility is trading Lyle Overbay for a stud starter and moving Cat or Lind to 1B.  The idea here is that Lind may project to be our future 1Bman and that trading the big O now, maximizes his value.  This could be a bitter sweet move if it happened.

Ryan Day - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#156646) #

 I'm not seeing Ervin Santana as the saviour of the Jays' pitching staff. Good young pitcher? Sure. But I wouldn't bet on him putting the Jays over the contention line. A 4.28 ERA with 141 Ks and 70 BBs in 204 innings doesn't really entice me to give up Vernon, and his 5.95 ERA on the road sure ain't pretty. He's young, but he's also one season away from arbitration.  Erick Aybar and Jeff Mathis don't exactly make me do backflips, either.

 If you can't come close to replacing Vernon's value to the Jays, there's no point in trading him just to trade him. Three guys who might be good aren't necessarily worth an All-Star centre fielder in his prime.

js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#156648) #
I agree Santana for Wells is a horrible deal. Wouldn't touch it.

-John Gibbons is officially back next year, as is the whole staff. Is this a good thing - didn't the coaching staff fail to get guys (pitchers) ready for this year? Well at lesat we'll know they'll be ready for this year.

From reading these notes it looks like Riccardi is sensible about what to sign Vernon too - like I said its just Vernon who was to come through and see that this team is close to winning and he's the leader.

Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#156651) #

I may be wrong on this, but I don't believe it's possible to get compensation picks for non-tendered players.

You're right, OR; I'm a dope.

Lefty - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#156655) #

There isn't much in the above post to disagree with. In fact in chat I was pretty much throwing up the same flags over a month ago on this rumour that won't die.

Santana is one of those guys who is hot or not. When his stuff is on, he's electric. And on so many other days you might confuse him with Kelvim Escobar. His free agent clock started early due to pitching injuries in Anahiem and he's been worked very hard on a contending team.

Only way I'd entertain Wells and Santana as the primary pieces in a deal would be if the Angels threw in Izturis. But even then I'd want to know if Izturis still had the lateral movement to play either short or second. I note due to lack of development of their extraordinary corner infielder prospects Izturis has been used primarily at third. Hence my caution on his middle infield proficiency. I do like his bat and his ability to steal a few bags, thus putting pressure on infield defenses and opening up holes for the 2-3 and four spots in the order.

Someone above also mentioned looking at trading Reed. This is also something I have mused over in chat. Ricciardi has indicated that he would like to fill a hole or two through trade. When we look at this roster, we need to determine who has a trade value. My guess, is that other than Wells, and bearing in mind the depth chart, resignable value players, Sparky may represent the best bargaining chip that Ricciardi has. He had a career year, reasonably cheap for a mid market team and possibly surplus to the Jays core needs.

All I know for sure is that this will likely be a very entertaining offseason of speculation and wheeeling and dealing.



Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#156656) #

I'm encouraging everyone here to suggest the one free agent out there they would like the Jays to sign most, from another team.  This doesn't count the potential returnees like Zaunie, Bengie, Speier or Cat.  Just players from other teams.

Once we get a good number of suggestions up, I'll post a ranked-preference poll like I did with the shortstops at the trading deadline, and we'll see who we can all agree on.

Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#156657) #
Remember, this includes all the facts like the money it will cost and all that.  Play within the budget.
So far we've had the following suggestions...
The Bone suggested Tomo Ohka, Luis Gonzalez, Dave Dellucci and Wes Helms.  Is there one of those you'd like to get the most, Bonerman?
DH suggested Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano.  Got a preference?  I assume it's Soriano, since you listed Lee as lesser.
Nigel suggested Dellucci... is that who you'd like to see?
js suggested Padilla.  Is he your man?  You also suggested Counsell, Lugo or Loretta, and the Big Hurt.  (As did Wildrose)
Mark suggested Craig Wilson... the White Whale of the embittered Blue Jays fan.  He also suggested Matt LeCroy, who is a White Whale of a different kind.
VBF suggested The Thrilla Padilla, and also Gil "Ga" Meche.
Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#156658) #
As for me, I know my choice is somewhat... unusual.  But if there is one guy I think would be a solid deal, undervalued, it's Orlando Hernandez.  Even at 41 years old.
js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#156661) #
Soriano will get near $100 million. Before I'd say Gil Meche but I don't like his peripherals he has had devastating injuries in the past.

Thus, I would go, for SP: Vicentelle Padilla as my number 1, he has the best stuff. The drawback is that he is kind of weird. The team has great chemistry and distractions must be limited. Perhaps he'd feel more at home with a Spanish teammate such as Bengie. I don't know how Spanish the Rangers were last year.

My number 2 for ptichers are: Randy Wolf (coming off a bad year, steal?), then Adam Eaton and Jeff Suppan. Won't cut it: the Tony Armas Jr.'s of the world.

As for the middle infield problem: Julio Lugo, Alex Gonzalez, Mark Loretta, Adam Kennedy, Ray Durham.

All are listed in order of desire so you can take top 1 or 3 or whatever.

ayjackson - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#156662) #

really there's not all that much out there....there are three that I see as sexy - Lugo, Zito and Schmidt - and likely overpriced.

DH signings could be interesting Thomas, Sheffield and Alou, amongst others.

But the scrap heap is the way to go this year, which is why I'm touting the lefty-righty platoon for the #4 spot with Randy Wolf and Tony Armas!

js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#156663) #
Oh I forgot about Frank THomas. I would walk through a sewer lit on fire to sign him.

Tony Armas would get eaten alive in the AL East, dont-ya-think. You have to be careful with switching mediocre NL pitchers over to the AL.

jjdynomite - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#156664) #

1. Is Zito really unattainable?  Wouldn't it be unbelievable for Mr. Rogers to say (paraphrasing): "screw it, the payroll is now $100+ million a year".  And then JP swipes him away from the Spankies or Red Sox.  It's really unfortunate none of the Jays' young starters have stepped up consistently (I am not sold on Chacin and Marcum in a contending rotation) because beyond Zito and (too old and from the NL) Schmidt, I don't really like any FAs out there any more than Ted the Tease himself.  Funny how *last* off-season's pitching FA's were supposed to be a weak class.

2. Back to reality, I would pursue Lugo hard.  He's familiar with the AL East, said good things about the Jays, and I can't imagine a 31-year-old SS with a .760 OPS being *that* off-the-charts expensive (4 years/32 million tops).  At least the Yankees aren't looking to fill that position; unfortunately, the Red Sox probably are.

3.  Finally, because Zaun (if resigned) and Ali G for an entire season is less than optimal, therefore Mike Napoli or Jeff Mathis from the Angels is who JP should target.  Of course, this may have to be part of the hypothesized Wells deal, because I can't imagine anyone else on the Jays' roster (except for Rios, who better not be going anywhere) that Stoneman would want.

P.S. Time to stick a fork in the Pods.  Fine by me, Boomer should ride off into the sunset on his Budweiser truck.
VBF - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#156667) #
Not pertaining to Bruce Wrigley's question, but the White Sox are interested in trading Podsednik, Freddy Garcia, and Juan Uribe. We discussed this in the chat a couple weeks ago, though I can't remember the source. I think it was from The Sun Times.
greenfrog - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#156668) #
The Jays are going to have to choose one of three basic strategies:

1. Re-sign Wells to a multiyear deal. Then fit in some spare parts around him: a second- or third-tier starter (ideally two starters); a starting shortstop; a catcher; maybe a DH.

2. Keep Wells for 2007, but don't extend his contract. Now you've got about $20-25M to play with (based on the rumoured payroll increase). Add a mix of somewhat-splashy and lesser-but-solid talent (say Lugo, Meche, Speier and Zaun).

3. Trade Wells (and maybe one or more other players) and restructure the team, ideally with more emphasis on dominant pitching. One far-flung possibility I liked: Wells for Bonderman. Put Rios in centre and take advantage of the relative abundance of corner OF talent out there (Johnson, Cat, Dellucci, Wilson, etc).

There has been a lot of hype (which Godfrey and JP have fuelled intermittently throughout the season) that the Jays are pursuing option #1. But I wonder whether the front office isn't thinking hard about the latter two options.

skippy23 - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#156669) #
Isn't Padilla the guy who doesn't listen to his manager and throws at guys?

Why would we pay Carlos Lee MORE than Vernon? If we're going to shell that much money out for one person, why wouldn't it be Vernon? He's heading into his prime...

My son wants to trade Rios to Texas for Michael Young. He's 9.

These are my thoughts.
slitheringslider - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#156671) #
Carlos Lee and Alfonzo Soriano might both be a little bit more proficient with the bat than Vernon Wells, but they are both a couple years older and not nearly the same caliber defender as Wells. I would rather overpay Wells, who is on the upward curve in his career than Soriano or Lee, who are just getting over the hump. I don't think we can get fair market value for Wells if we trade him right now, Santana sounds intriguing, but I don't have much faith in him staying healthy over the next couple years.

Trading Johnson right now might not be a bad idea. As much as I like him, I am not ready to bet my life savings on him repeating the year he had this year. If we can get a decent shortstop out of him, it might be worth it. But we would also lose a lot of depth.

With good FA pitchers becoming increasingly rare, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ted's price surpass the Esteban Loaiza Line (3yr/21mil). However, it is absolutely necessary that we get one of Lilly/Meche/Padilla. I am not betting the bank on Dustin McGowan breaking out.

I am sorry to be a pessimist, but some of the trade proposals are absolutely ridiculous. Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum for Carl Crawford??? Chuck Lamar is not running the show in Tampa anymore.

One more thing, whoever signs Alfonzo Soriano to a multiyear deal is going to regret it, and soon. Everything about his season yells CONTRACT YEAR. He picked a right time to be good.
Jordan - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#156672) #
suggest the one free agent out there they would like the Jays to sign most, from another team.

My money's on Lugo.
js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#156673) #
Lugo's line at Rogers Centre:

117 AB, .376 average, 6 HR, 9 SB, 9 BB, 20 K, 1.029 OPS

He hit well this year then sucked in LA, but he was jerked around pretty good. He isn't the best fielder, but he's solid, no? He could be a solid hitter. He's not young though. 31

earlweaverfan - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#156674) #
The only change I would make to Jonny's original bullpen list is take out Tallet and re-sign Speier, leaving Ryan, Speier, League, Frasor, Romero, Rosario and Downs.  Tallet is unimpressive, and Accardo has been a big disappointment.  Whether we could get anything for them in a trade is an interesting question, but even if not, we would better off without them.

I am intrigued by VW a lot.  I think that he was much better this year, because he worked out much earlier, got further prepared by going to the Worlds, and surprise, surprise, avoided an awfull first month for the first time.  Perhaps he has finally learned that a horrible or great April is up to him.

Now, maybe he could be persuaded that he should take road games more seriously, too.  If he decided he wanted to, I would bet he could turn that part of his game around, as well.  I would give him a little less than he wanted over four years, but with a big incentive extra payday for ramping up run production on the road (while not falling back at home)

I would re-sign Ted Lilly, Zaun and Catalanotto, too.

I would pursue Lugo hard, or alternately ship Marcum, Accardo, Tallet and McGowan to Texas for Michael Young - would that come close?  It might give VW another reason to stay in Toronto, if that decision was hanging in the balance.

My biggest gap at this stage would be a fifth starting pitcher; I am not sure that there is anyone good enough available at a decent price (FA or trade) that I could snag this year; maybe I would keep my powder dry until 2008.  Santana from the Angels?  No way!  If Lugo was already landed, I would keep Marcum as my initial #5, while waiting for Ricky Romero, Dustin McGowan or Purcey to make the bigs

If my budget was still big enough, I would pursue Carlos Lee for 3+ years or Luis Gonzalez /Frank Thomas for a two -year contract as my DH. If I could pull that off, I would package a re-signed Catalanotto in any other trade I wanted to pull off, leaving Lind as the fourth OF, and sometimes backing up at DH.  Otherwise, the Cat would be my usual DH.

VBF - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#156676) #

Marcum, Accardo, Tallet and McGowan to Texas for Michael Young - would that come close?

You're about 4% of the way there.

Think Hill and Rios at the very least.

Lefty - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#156681) #

Just to go on the record in saying that Tallet will be a very useful arm in next years pen. As he was this year.

I'm not sure why he gets so much derision. Maybe he's not that new shiney unproven prospect or something.

And to just dismiss Accardo is plain foolishness. He was virtually lights out before the trade, but as was noted by the more asute writer / analysts showing signs of wearing down after abusive useage in the Giants pen.

Gibby and Ricciardi would have been wise to have lightened his load down the stretch but didn't. I only hope he can bounce back next season.

greenfrog - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#156682) #
I think Lugo could be a useful pickup because he's significantly better than McDonald/Adams/Figueroa/Alfonzo. And signing him would allow Hill to stay at 2B, where he's a better defender. But Lugo is going to get overpaid. His career numbers (.277/.340/.402) are strikingly similar to Hill's (.284/.346/.386)--and at 31, Lugo is edging past his prime, especially as a shortstop--so I can see why JP is thinking about playing Hill at SS and finding a cheaper 2B option.

Newton - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#156685) #

In order to trade Vernon the club needs to be confident in the following:

a) that Rios can be a solid defensive MLB CF

b) that a corner OF bat more consistently prolific than Vernon's will be available to the club in the 13 mill per  season price range

c) that it is getting at least 1 young/cheap major league ready player: a starting pitcher or middle infielder, in exchange for Vernon

If the club can be reasonable sure that each of these 3 outcomes can be achieved in trading Vernon they should go for it. 

Trading VW and not replacing him with a prolific corner OF bat would be a major step backward. 

On an entirely different note, Peralta could be a major bargain this off-season at SS.







david wang - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 12:49 AM EDT (#156686) #
Lugo would be a bottom of the order guy and paid 7-10 million, but sadly, there isn't much else in FA in terms of average SSs.
rpriske - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 07:04 AM EDT (#156688) #
It is easy to say trade Wells, but it is so hard to gauge exactly what they would get for him, that I left that option alone.

Resign: Zaun & Lilly
Sign: Gil Meche & Alex Gonzalez

I like the Frank Thomas idea. Another idea is Mike Piazza. Turn him into the DH/back-up to Zaun.
ayjackson - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#156689) #
I think Alou, if DHing agrees with his back, could put up some nice power numbers in Toronto.
andrewkw - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#156691) #
If I was JP the day the Big Hurt files for free agency I give his agent a call and say he can have 3/15 in Toronto today.

An unlikely scenario would be Lugo not getting the multiyear deal he wants.  He's had a bad second half as a super sub in LA, so perhaps he signs a 1 year deal above market cost.  I'd rather pay him 11 million next year then 9 million for 4 years.  Although at age 31 he and his agent must realize time is running out for the multiyear deal. 

kettch - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#156693) #
If I was JP the day the Big Hurt files for free agency I give his agent a call and say he can have 3/15 in Toronto today.

While listening to last night's Mets/Dodgers game, I'm pretty sure I heard Dan Shulman mention that, right after Thomas's 2 HR game on Tuesday, the Oakland brass have put the gears into motion to offer Thomas a 2 year contract extension. (I guess with the aim of extending him before he files for free agency while Oakland still has exclusive negotiating rights?) Apparently they weren't too keen on offering him 2 years before Game 1 against the Twins. Ah well.
greenfrog - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#156694) #
A question: which of the Jays' impending free agents will likely be offered arbitration? I'm assuming Lilly, Speier, Cat. What about Zaun and Molina? (Can the Jays buy out Molina and offer him arbitration?)

Either way, we could end up with a handful of extra draft picks next year. Of course, they could be offset by our own free agent signings.

Craig B - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#156698) #

A question: which of the Jays' impending free agents will likely be offered arbitration? I'm assuming Lilly, Speier, Cat.

If any of them would be welcome back - that is, if the Jays don't have other plans for their spots in the roster - then I would assume all three will be offered.  Lilly might not, if the Jays are committed to replacing him.

What about Zaun and Molina? (Can the Jays buy out Molina and offer him arbitration?)

I actually think - I'm only 80% confident though - that you can't buy out Molina and offer him arbitration as well.  I could be wrong on that, though.

Zaun I would most certainly offer arbitration to.

Either way, we could end up with a handful of extra draft picks next year. Of course, they could be offset by our own free agent signings.

Well, the good news is, if for some reason Cat, Speier, Zaun and Lilly were all offered arbitration, and all of them left to different teams, and all were Type A free agents (they might all be, or at least close - some may be Type B) the Jays would land eight extra picks in the first or second round and compensation round.  Even if the Jays went out and signed three Type A free agents (I think that's the max you're allowed) to take their places, they still only lose the Jays' own first, second, and third-round picks.  So it's still a good deal - you're up five first- or second-rounders plus you move up on two other picks.

Marc Hulet - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#156699) #
Darin Erstad's bat might be declining but he would bring leadership and an intensity not seen for a while. He would help bring a winning, veteran presence to any outfield position, first base or DH. And I am sure he would love the challenge of playing New York and Boston.

I like Alou to a lesser extent. Maybe even Trot Nixon if Cat isn't back. The Jays need some hardened vets with playoff experience to help balance out their younger, promising roster.

Pitching in the free agent market is going to be very overpriced. I'd try and work something out in a trade... maybe looking to Tim Hudson in Atlanta... media reports suggest Atlanta may try to ditch his salary. Throw him in the third hole behind Halladay and Lilly and hope he finds his old form... Offer a package including McGowan, maybe Rosario since both are out of options.

Craig B - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#156700) #

We can draw some inferences about the free agent classifications from what the classifications were last year.  Cat was NOT a Type A 1B/DH/OF, somewhat to my surprise.  Bengie Molina was a Type A Catcher.  Ted Lilly was a Type A starting pitcher, but close to the bottom of the Type A's... he'll probably move up that list this year and certainly be an A.  Justin Speier was a Type A relief pitcher.  Gregg Zaun was not a type A catcher.

Cat was a type B 1B/DH/OF and ranked 40th on the list, six spots below the last Type A guy (Phil Nevin).  There's a pretty good chance that Cat will move up on the list, maybe enough to push him into Type A.

Zaun was right at the top of Type B for AL catchers - one spot back of Joe Mauer, who was the last Type A.  Zaun will have moved ahead of some of the A guys with a really strong season, but it may not be enough if catchers behind him improve.

Type B players get just the signing team's pick, with no compensation pick.

The rankings are based on the last two seasons.  If you asked me to guess, I'd say at least four of those five guys will be Type A, with a very good chance of all five.

Jordan - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#156702) #

Lugo would be a bottom of the order guy and paid 7-10 million

I'm not at all sure he's bottom-of-the-order. His last three Tampa Bay seasons went like this:

2004: 581 AB, .275/.338/.396 

2005: 616 AB, .295/.362/.403 

2006: 289 AB, .308/.373/.498 

He bombed in LA -- .219/.278/.267 -- and he may not be cut out for the NL, but up till that point, he was putting up around a .350 OBP over his last 1,500 at-bats. And as a Devil Ray, he's 78-20 in SB-CS his last three years. That looks like a leadoff hitter to me.

But yes, he will cost at least $7M a season, and he'll get three years in this market -- probably more on both counts, since the Red Sox could really use him and they have money to spend too. Basically,  you could give the same contract to Julio Lugo or Ted Lilly.

All that said, I looked over the more advanced defensive metrics just now -- Defensive Win Shares and Chris Dial's ratings -- and Lugo is slightly below the median in both. So possibly his defence no longer matches its reputation. The top priority, to my mind, is to get a terrific glove at shortstop -- any accompanying offence would be a bonus.

VBF - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#156703) #

I'm not sure if Frank Thomas would be willing to come to Toronto.

After the Burnett signing, Ken Rosenthal said the Jays were just finished talking to Frank Thomas, but didn't really dip into that. Now if he signed for 500,000 to Oakland, I can't possibly imagine why we didn't land him, as 500,000 is a pretty easy figure to trump. At the time Shea was slotted as a 1B/DH and there was definitely a spot to be made for him. My guess is that the Jays really lowballed him (Minor League spot + invite) or Frank Thomas didn't care about money and went where he wanted to. Which is of all thing surprising, because he didn't have alot of teams following him around, and wasn't in a position to be too picky.


js_magloire - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#156707) #
Another tidbit from Keith Law that I disagree with. Here's to AJ breaking out next year and leading the Jays to a WS with Halladay and BJ too.

TIm(toronto): Keith, if the Jays ever made the playoffs wouldnt Halladay and Burnett be scary and enough to advance in a short series ?

SportsNationKeith Law: (12:55 PM ET ) Halladay yes, because he's been very effective on short rest in his career, so you can use him 1-4 or 1-4-7. Burnett is just not in that class. He's more of a Javy Vazquez type - good stuff, so-so results. A lot of his indicators headed in the wrong direction this year - groundball rate way down, home run rate up, K rate down.

Mick Doherty - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#156708) #

alternately ship Marcum, Accardo, Tallet and McGowan to Texas for Michael Young - would that come close? 

That's silly. Young is virtually untradeable at this point; the Rangers hype him as The Man and he's earned that, too. I'd be more surprised by TEX trading Young than I would by NYY trading Jeter. Seriously, if TOR offered Halladay for Young, I think the kid GM's response in Texas would be "and who else?"

Chuck - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#156710) #
Now if he signed for 500,000 to Oakland, I can't possibly imagine why we didn't land him, as 500,000 is a pretty easy figure to trump.

$500K was the base. Incentives ended up adding another $3M. Still, a very cheap deal for the season he gave Oakland.

I would imagine that Thomas' decision on destinations was predicated on getting as much playing time as possible and using 2006 to leverage a more serious payday in 2007. Having the opportunity to become Oakland's fulltime DH must have seemed very attractive. I don't know that many other teams could have given him that chance, Toronto included.

Ricciardi must have figured he had DHs coming out of the ying yang (Hillenbrand, Hinske, Catalanotto, the threat of not being able to move Koskie) to have made Thomas a terribly high priority.
Chuck - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#156711) #
Darin Erstad's bat might be declining but he would bring leadership and an intensity not seen for a while. He would help bring a winning, veteran presence to any outfield position, first base or DH. And I am sure he would love the challenge of playing New York and Boston.

I didn't realize we had player agents posting here.

What does Darrin Erstad bring to the table that's of actual tangible worth? Strong defense at 1B and, if he ever recovers from his physical ailments, possibly solid defense still in center field. But he hits like a shortstop, and not a particularly good one. He hasn't done anything with the bat since his amazing age-26 season in 2000. He'll be 33 next season. Get the fork ready.

I wouldn't even pay him $350K for the 25th spot on the roster.
Mike Green - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#156714) #
Can we try for a little more temperate language, please?

I agree that Michael Young is an above average hitter and an average defensive shortstop, which makes him a valuable commodity but not one of the best players in the league.  He is 31 years old as well.  I also agree that Darin Erstad's injuries have greatly impaired his value.  There is some evidence that when healthy, he still plays a very good defensive centerfield.  That would not justify his salary for any club.  He is not a good fit, at any salary really, for the Jays.

The Bone - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#156716) #
Instead of spending 3/15 on Frank Thomas, why not go out and find the next Frank Thomas...or the next Jim Thome.  To me, we have an ideal situation for a vet DH who sucked in 2006 - Sign him cheap on the hopes of a bounce back year and if he fails, we have a solid plan B in Lind
Mick Doherty - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#156719) #

You're either overrating Michael Young, or have completely abused and raped hyperbole. Maybe both.

Or, you know, neither. I didn't say I thought Young was better than Jeter or that he SHOULD be worth more than Halladay, or anything like that. Just that, living here in the DFW area, I literally cannot imagine a trade of Young at this point. His name is the first off everyone's lips in the media and on the team when talking about "what went right in 2006" (answer: not a whole lot) and Showalter even mentioned him first and foremost -- and I think the only one he mentioned by name -- when he was fired and addressed what he'd miss.

I'm not overrating Young; I think lots of people are, here in the DFW area, and if you'd actually read my post (or at least read it carefully enough to understand it) you'd know that. As a GM, I would trade Young for Halladay 9assuming a reasonable doctor's report) in a heartbeat and would never trade Young for Jeter. Of course, neither would the Yankees. I'd be stunned if NYY traded Jeter. I'd just be more surprised if TEX traded Young. It's not like TEX has a former All-Star shortstop and future Hall of Famer playing 3B who could slide over or anything. You know, like the Yankees, uh, do.

Finally, and sorry it's off topic, but that's a truly disgusting mis-use of the term "rape." Talk about hyperbolic.

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