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Jose Guillen is the latest to strike it big - 3 years and $36 million.


It's a lot more than most, if not everyone, expected, but I kind of like the deal. He's put up pretty good numbers in pitcher's parks and it's just a three year deal.

-----

In case you missed it Jeff Blair has some Jay rumors involving Bedard, Cain or Lincecum, and Jason Bay. The article was updated late last night with some more Giant info (the Jays reviewing Lincecum video) so something might be cooking there. Rios is the player the Giants would be most interested in (that HR Derby performance at the All Star Game in SF probably didn't hurt) and perhaps Glaus as well.

Bob Elliot writes that the Indians inquired about Rios, but nothing came of it. He also mentioned the Padres had interest in Josh Towers. I imagine Towers would be pretty excited about pitching in that park (not that any pitcher wouldn't be).

The Jays lost Ty Taubenheim to the Pirates as they cleared a spot on the 40 man roster.  Ricciardi indicated that the Jays have a couple players they are interested in for Thursday's Rule 5 draft.  I suspect any player the Jays selected would be for the utility bench role.  It'd be a bonus if the player hit left handed.

----

It looks like the Red Sox are the front runners for Johan Santana right now.

Winter Meetings - Tuesday | 96 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
melondough - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:26 AM EST (#176932) #

If his skills are still intact, Lofton would be a useful extra outfielder

I see Lofton's value as being the speed he is known to posess.  Although he had 23 last year, just a word of warning that he had just 3 SB's post all-star break.  The previous year he had 42 total and a much better 18 post all-star break so it does not appear to be an annual trend.  He is way up these in age,  I would be very careful here.

jmoney - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:21 AM EST (#176935) #
Lofton would be alright if anything he's a veteran presence with good speed who always seems to be around the playoffs. :)
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:39 AM EST (#176937) #
I repeat: Tim 'Tug' Hulett Jr. for the Rule 5. Left-handed bat, can play 2B/3B/SS, he has a full year of Triple-A experience and he has a pro OBP of .398.
ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:43 AM EST (#176938) #
I will be extremely dissapointed if the Sox get Johan Santana without giving up Clay Buchholz. In fact, I will consider it an absolute disaster. I don't care whether it's the Yanks or Sox getting Johan, I just want one team to give up either Phil Hughes or Clay Buchholz.

Ellsbury is not even on par with these guys - in 552 ABs last year between AA, AAA, and MLB, he hit five homeruns. He had most of the ABs (363) at AAA and his OPS there was 740. There is a reason this guy is not coming up at the top of prospect lists, and I hope the Twins don't see him and Lester as a some fantastic package.

FisherCat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:52 AM EST (#176939) #

Just throwing this out there: Considering the Jays probably need to be creative in any trade they make.  Would you do this?

Jays get: Bedard & Tejada from the O's

O's get Lincecum (or Cain) & SS prospect + from the Giants

Giants get Glaus & Lind + mid level pitching prospect from Jays.

I know it would probably have to be Rios instead of Lind, but I can dream can't I?

timpinder - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:32 AM EST (#176942) #

Alex Rios for Franklin Gutierrez and Cliff Lee?  No, thank you.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12042007/sports/eyeing_as__os_100643.htm

Rios and McGowan for Bedard, a guy who is only controlled for two years and has never thrown 200 innings?  Uh, no.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/03/AR2007120302272.html

As for the talk of Cain and Lincecum, I really hope Ricciardi avoids Lincecum.  I expect a retort from Jdog, but personally I do not want a 5' 10", 155lb power pitcher with the Jays.  His arm is going to fall off.  Cain might not have Lincecum's stuff, but he's 6' 3", has pretty good form, has thrown 191 and 200 innings in his two years in the bigs and just turned 23.  If the Jays could get Cain for Glaus and pitching prospects or even Cain for Glaus and Lind, I'd take it.  The Reds want starting pitching for Encarnacion and I wonder if Burnett would do the trick.  When Burnett's healthy he should outperform Cain, but I'd rather have a durable guy go out there every fifth day and put up an ERA of 4.20 than a guy who post an ERA of 3.75 but misses 1 in 3 starts.

If Glaus, Lind (or prospects), and Burnett turned into Cain and Encarnacion (or La Roche, who I covet), I would be a happy fan.

Jdog - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:41 AM EST (#176943) #

I still think its rather silly your scared off my a guy being short, but I do agree with you about Lincecum, but it has more to do with his unusual mechanics. I think he is too big a risk. The more I think about trade possibilities the more I think the Jays should part with my favourite jay Alex Rios....IF they could get a Bedard, Tejada package for RIos and Burnett....I would do it. Then you have an extra LH bat in the lineup (Lind) and a huge upgrade at SS and someone who can be pencilled into the rotation.

timpinder - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:41 AM EST (#176944) #

It has been reported that he Orioles rejected an offer of Philip Humber, Aaron Heilman and Carlos Gomez for Bedard.  I think the Orioles are going to ask for the moon and I hope the Jays don't bite.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/bal-sp.meetings04dec04,0,1351227.story?track=rss

ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:42 AM EST (#176945) #
Here is a look at the controlled fury that is Tim Lincecum. The author really loves his mechanics and would have made him the #1 pick. He (author) was recently hired a scout by the D-Backs.
J Ges - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:28 AM EST (#176947) #
Lincecum was very highly rated going into the '06 draft. He dropped to #10 because teams were scared off by his mechanics. IIRC, the Jays were ready to grab him had he been available, & that was very likely had SF not drafted him. The Jays had to "settle" on Travis Snider as a fall back option.
FisherCat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:46 AM EST (#176948) #

Ken Rosenthal is reporting, on Fox Sports, about a possible trade between the Marlins and Tigers (Willis & Cabrera for A.Miller & Maybin, etc)

Tigers are serious players this hot stove season!

Geoff - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 12:01 PM EST (#176949) #
If the Jays can get Cain for Glaus & Lind I hope they don't take another moment to think about their decision. Ring it up.

But in the completely shocking department, might there be a possibility that the Giants could be after Vernon, given their need to find a big star to fill some shoes, who has a marketable personality and a face to fill some billboards, program covers, etc. A guy with a lot of talent who fills a big positional hole, dollars be damned?

I can't recall whether VW has full no trade and although would shock and dismay a number of fans here,  it's not unthinkable, is it? Could be Wells and a pitching prospect for Cain.

May the suspense continue...

(and what of those predictions of a dull Jays offseason now?)

Pistol - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 12:29 PM EST (#176950) #
Wells has a full no trade clause.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 12:38 PM EST (#176951) #
and what of those predictions of a dull Jays offseason now?

You're the one trading Glaus/Lind and/or Wells, not Ricciardi.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 12:56 PM EST (#176953) #

IF they could get a Bedard, Tejada package for RIos and Burnett....I would do it.

That may be a fairly even deal, in talent and contractual terms, but I just don't think it makes us any better.  I think there may be deals to be had that make us a better team - even small ones like Marcum and Thigpen for Jeff Clement or Tallet, Frasor and a B prospect for Josh Fields.

Geoff - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 01:04 PM EST (#176954) #
You're the one trading Glaus/Lind and/or Wells, not Ricciardi.

I was predicating my excitement on my trust that Blair has good leads on a possible trade brewing so far and that he's not blowing smoke.

I, of course, am just blowing smoke -- but not causing myself to titillate. I thank Mr. Blair for that.

If there is nothing to Blair's news, this remains a dull offseason. But if the Jays are seriously evaluating the Giants' two young starters, would you not bump the intrigue level up a good margin?
Chuck - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 01:39 PM EST (#176955) #
But if the Jays are seriously evaluating the Giants' two young starters, would you not bump the intrigue level up a good margin?

Given the current market for starting pitchers, I cannot fathom that Glaus/Lind for Cain or Lincecum is even plausible, and that's taking into account Blair's credibility, Sabean's fondness for players past 30 and the Bonds money currently burning a whole in his pocket.
Geoff - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 01:46 PM EST (#176956) #
With more thought, I concede it is rather unthinkable for a trade of VW to occur. Not too often has a player with so many years and money left on his contract been traded. Only Arod and Hampton come to mind, and neither were so close to the beginning of their big deals.

And usually it's players who have worn out their welcome one way or another, like Arod, Hampton, Ramirez, Brown, Vaughn, Johnson, who are big-money players likely to be moved at any time other than midseason leading up to the trade deadline just prior to when their contract expires. So it would be a grand shocker.

My apologies to the sensibilities of the more sensible.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 02:36 PM EST (#176957) #

This is still a dull off-season. I'm sure every team in the league has inquired about Lincecum, Cain, Bedard, Bay, etc. The Blue Jays being interested doesn't mean it's going to happen or that it's even a realistic possibility, so I don't think there's anything to be excited about. Until a move of any significance actually happens, I'm going to expect Paul Bako (or someone equivalent) and maybe a Matt Clement type reclamation project, and that's about it.

As for trading Wells, he has a full no trade clause and his contract is heavily backloaded. Aside from that, trading him now coming off his worst season is rather pointless because the Jays would not only get little in return for him but would likely have to eat a good portion of his salary. It's better to just hold on to him for a few years and hope he's tradeable after the .900 OPS season that he seems to have every 3 years or so. Even then, the contract gives Vernon all the leverage (NTC + opt out clause), so he's not a guy I'd expect the Jays to move anytime soon, if ever.

Geoff - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 03:17 PM EST (#176959) #
Another trade has brewed.  The Tiggers have traded Infante and Ohman to the Braves for Jose Ascanio.
Geoff - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 03:18 PM EST (#176960) #
Correction...the Cubs traded Infante and Ohman to the Braves.
Geoff - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 03:22 PM EST (#176961) #
Those Tiggers, meanwhile, acquired Denny Bautista  from the Colorado Rockies  for Jose Capellan.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 03:51 PM EST (#176962) #

Here is the latest from Ken Rosenthal:

The Blue Jays are willing to trade outfielder Alex Rios in a deal for a premium starting pitcher and have talked to the Giants about Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. The Giants are reluctant to move either pitcher, but would consider a hitter such as Rios, who is three years away from free agency.

If the Jays traded Rios, they likely would go with Adam Lind in left field and a platoon of Reed Johnson and Matt Stairs in right. Some Jays officials believe that Lind would bat .270 with 20-25 home runs if he were given 500 at-bats.

The chances of the Jays trading for Orioles left-hander Erik Bedard, a native of Canada, are extremely remote. The Orioles are unlikely to trade Bedard within the division, and the Jays cannot offer a strong enough package of prospects for the pitcher.

The Jays also are listening to offers for right-hander A.J. Burnett, but ideally they would add a pitcher such as Cain or Lincecum to a rotation headed by Burnett and Roy Halladay.

Seamus - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 04:06 PM EST (#176963) #
That is so interesting..

I would support this, as young pitching is the most valuable asset a team can have these days.

It seems sort of counter intuitive though, considering that the Jays had great pitching last year, but struggled to find consistency with hitters.  I wonder if this is part of a larger plan..
Seamus - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 04:21 PM EST (#176964) #
Also strange that a day or two ago Rosenthal reported that the Jays were looking to sign Rios to an extension..  now they're shopping him apparently
melondough - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 04:23 PM EST (#176965) #

Here is the latest from Jordan Bastian - "Rumours Flying around about Jays"

http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071204&content_id=2317267&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor

They are obviously looking to make a deal.  I am guessing we make a move but there is certain to be a lot of moving parts.  For instance if we obtain Cain I would guess management would first want to have a deal in place to move Burnett.  Maybe we could replace Rios with Cameron.  I like what they are doing - they know pitching is at a premium and even if it requires moving a budding star in Rios, they can later move a pitcher or two to obtain a bat or two (since the bats appear to come cheaper).

Pistol - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 04:38 PM EST (#176966) #
Anything coming out today seems to say what Blair wrote yesterday.

Speaking of which, the Globe blog has a few new updates.

3RunHomer - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 04:52 PM EST (#176967) #

IF they could get a Bedard, Tejada package for RIos and Burnett....I would do it.

Rios and Burnett won't even bring Bedard, much less Bedard and Tejada. Burnett is not the kind of player the Os are seeking ... $13 million pitchers who are hurt all the time don't have any trade value.

ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 05:07 PM EST (#176968) #
Cameron and Andruw Jones, possible replacements for Rios, do not hit righties well. Kosuke Fukudome does bat lefty so that while I can't find his right/lefty splits, we can assume he's probably a good fit in our lineup. The guy does also provide some serious walks - he walked in 15% of PAs last year. With him, the added incentive of breaking into the Japanese market is considerable. It looks like he has not decided where he wants to play, but perhaps he's simply waiting for offers.

If the Jays are indeed able to spend some money this offseason, trading Rios for a young SP and signing another RF would be a nice way of effectively spending money on pitching despite there not being an attractive FA.

ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 05:09 PM EST (#176969) #
$13 million pitchers who are hurt all the time don't have any trade value.

That depends on how good they are - Burnett throws 98, strikes out a bunch, and keeps a good ERA. He has serious trade value.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 05:11 PM EST (#176970) #

Rios and Burnett won't even bring Bedard, much less Bedard and Tejada. Burnett is not the kind of player the Os are seeking ... $13 million pitchers who are hurt all the time don't have any trade value.

They'd be acquiring a lot less salary with Burnett's $12m than they'd be getting rid of with Tejada's $26m.  Further, Bedard is as oft-injured as Burnett.  So, combining the players, Rionett and Bedada are quite similar.  That said, I don't think it helps either team.

Mike D - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 05:11 PM EST (#176971) #
3Run, if your point is that Burnett is too risky to justify his salary, that's one thing.  But I don't at all agree that Rios, and Rios alone, would be an inadequate return for Bedard based on a talent/age/salary/health analysis.
seeyou - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 05:31 PM EST (#176974) #

Rios and Burnett won't even bring Bedard, much less Bedard and Tejada. Burnett is not the kind of player the Os are seeking ... $13 million pitchers who are hurt all the time don't have any trade value.


Agreed.  I read a rumour in a Baltimore newspaper that stated that the Orioles are asking for Rios, Burnett AND McGowan , which is probably more realistic of what it would take to get the Orioles to deal their two biggest stars to a divisional contender.   If it looked like the Jays were going to trade Glaus and Halladay to the Yankees or Bo Sox, how much would us Jays fans demand in return?  And despite the fact that I love Tejada as a player, there's no way I agree to a deal at that cost.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 05:49 PM EST (#176975) #

I read a rumour in a Baltimore newspaper that stated that the Orioles are asking for Rios, Burnett AND McGowan , which is probably more realistic of what it would take

Breaking this down,

Rios>>>>Tejada  (no explanation necessary)

Burnett + McGowan >>>>>>Bedard  (two aces better than one - these 3 were 1-2-3 in OPS against last year)

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 06:09 PM EST (#176977) #

Tigers acquire Miguel Cabrera for Maybin, Miller and four other prospects.

timpinder - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 06:15 PM EST (#176978) #

The Marlins are going to be amazing in a couple of years.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 06:15 PM EST (#176979) #
That should say "set to acquire."
ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 06:17 PM EST (#176980) #
It should also say Miguel Cabrera AND Dontrelle Willis (who is going to get crushed in the AL...)
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 06:36 PM EST (#176981) #
So far this offseason 2 players taken in the first round of 2005 have been dealt. Garza netted Delmon Young and Cameron Maybin brings Cabrera.

Wonder what we could get with Ricky Romero?/rhetorical question
Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 06:57 PM EST (#176982) #
The Marlins are going to be amazing in a couple of years.

More likely they'll be amazing, or pretty good, anyway, for one year, and then sell off everyone who makes more money than I do.

Frankly, I'd rather have Cabrera. He's 24 and his most comparable hitter is Hank Aaron. He's got a career line of  313/388/542. That's just ridiculous.
Ozzieball - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 07:02 PM EST (#176983) #
Mike Rabelo is one of the 'four prospects' headed the other way.

At this point the Yankees could get Santana and the wild card could still come out of the central.

Ozzieball - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 07:10 PM EST (#176984) #
The Florida Marlins also now have zero players under contract for more than one million dollars for next year, so far as I can tell.
http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005_01_19_mlbcontracts_archive.html
Hanley Ramirez's 402 000 last year (I know it's going up) would be the largest contract on the team right now.

CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 07:16 PM EST (#176985) #

Yikes, we better call up Loria and help the Marlins cut payroll.

Oh well, next year Hanley will be "too expensive" for them.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 07:25 PM EST (#176986) #

Apparently the White Sox were offering up there last prospects for Cabrera as well - Fields, Danks and Gonzalez.  Maybe there'll be enquiries for Glaus now that the slugger options out there are limited.  The Sox, Dodgers and Angels might see Glaus as a better option at $12m and 3B than Andruw and his questionable millions.

If they were smart though, they'd realize their best option is right in front of there eyes - in Fields, Laroche and Wood.

Dave Rutt - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 07:40 PM EST (#176988) #
According to the Detroit Free Press, the other prospects are Eulogio de la Cruz, Burke Badenhop, and Dallas Trahern, all pitchers.

Never heard of any of them, but I bet de la Cruz speaks at a lot of funerals.
moffydream - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:07 PM EST (#176989) #

<a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/mlb_experts/post/Buzz-from-the-winter-meetings?urn=mlb,56042"target="_blank">Hank Blalock</a> anyone? If we use Glaus for Cain/Lincecum deal, Blalock will be best option for 3B.

Ozzieball - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:16 PM EST (#176991) #
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071204.WBbaseball20071204190223/WBStory/WBbaseball/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20071204.WBbaseball20071204190223
Jays willing to offer 2.5M to LoDuca. Rotoworld suggests that the deal is unattractive to LoDuca, who can probably get more money and start somewhere else.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:26 PM EST (#176992) #
Rios>>>>Tejada (no explanation necessary) Burnett + McGowan >>>>>>Bedard (two aces better than one - these 3 were 1-2-3 in OPS against last year) Is this sarcasm? Burnett has almost no trade value. He's got a player's option for 24/2, which means he's gone unless he can't pitch, in which case you pay 24 for him to sit. McGowan's good, but nowhere near Bedard. Tejada's a middle infielder with considerably more value than Rios. Rios and McGowan may or may not get you Tejada, but not Bedard. Toronto's deepseated problem is its lack of prospects. If JP trades Rios and McGowan he's heating by burning the floorboards. Virtually nothing he's drafted since 2002 has any trade value, which is what Rosenthal was saying more politely.
3RunHomer - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:32 PM EST (#176993) #

3Run, if your point is that Burnett is too risky to justify his salary, that's one thing.  But I don't at all agree that Rios, and Rios alone, would be an inadequate return for Bedard based on a talent/age/salary/health analysis.

I think that Blue Jay fans underestimate Bedard's trade value just because he's an Oriole (and Jays fans consider all Orioles bums). Bedard is expected to bring a Santana-like return to the Orioles. 11 teams are bidding for Bedard and the price is going to be multiple good players, not just one.

3RunHomer - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:40 PM EST (#176994) #

Tejada's a middle infielder with considerably more value than Rios. Rios and McGowan may or may not get you Tejada, but not Bedard.

I know a blog full of Orioles fans who'd jump at Tejada for Rios (many Os fans have an irrational dislike/hatred for Tejada). But  now that Cabrera is off the market, demand for Tejada as a 3B might climb.

John Northey - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 08:47 PM EST (#176995) #
So, will the combined payroll of the two Florida teams be as much as either gets from revenue sharing?

Kind of scary how low their payrolls will go and how big the locked in profit will be for their respective owners. If MLB shared revenue is anywhere near what I figure it is getting to ($75-100 million per team based on a minimum of $20 mil from national tv, $20 from merchandise [univerally shared], satellite radio [I think is around the $5 mil mark], internet revenue [at least $10-$20 mil] plus revenue sharing and other sources) then I figure any team that is in it purely for the money will just sit back and cash cheques.
Ozzieball - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:12 PM EST (#176996) #
Rios and McGowan may or may not get you Tejada

McGowan had ace-level peripherals last year and has a ways to go before he hits FA. He is worth several times more than a declining shortstop who is probably already a 3B levels of defence. Even Brian Sabean isn't stupid enough to make that trade.

Also Rotoworld reporting that Riccardi intends to start Janssen next year. This may or may not be posturing in trading for starting pitching, since we know he was kicking the tires on Cain and Lincecum.
TamRa - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:47 PM EST (#176997) #
Have some of these recent posts been by Orioles fans? Or are some of you bending waaaaay over backwards to try to avoid the apperance of being a homer?


Jdog - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:53 PM EST (#176998) #
Amen to that. Its border-line crazy whats being said
subculture - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 09:59 PM EST (#176999) #
Rios and McGowan may or may not get you Tejada


I bet either one gets Tejada, and maybe cash thrown in as well.  Those are the Jay's most tradeable players (maybe Halladay excepted), and the O's have already proven they can lose miserably with Tejada and have no reason to think next year will be different with an older version.  Plus Tejada's wanted out of Baltimore for a few years now....

However neither may get you Bedard, but I'm not really sure Bedard will be better than McGowan, and how do you replace Rio's in outfield or lineup?

And all this talk of trading Glaus, but IF he's healthy (nobody's mentioned he's hurt lately) he's a huge part of the Toronto lineup. 

How about trading the Big Hurt?  Any value?  Let Stairs DH vs righties, Glaus DH vs tough lefties (while playing 3rd other days) to give him regular breaks, and pick up a decent utility guy to spell the IF positions.  Jason Bay doesn't make much sense unless you trade Rios, which I wouldn't.

Rotation:  Halladay, McGowan, Marcum, Burnett, Jannssen, Chacin (long relief)
Bullpen:  Ryan, Accardo, Downs, Frasor, League

I'm happy with this team... and come trade deadline, if it makes sense, pick-up Tejada or another SS for the stretch.
HippyGilmore - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:33 PM EST (#177001) #

If it doesn't cost us any pitching, I'm all for adding Cain or Lincecum, even if the cost is Rios. A five-man rotation of Halladay, Burnett, McGowan, Cain/Lincecum and Marcum is beyond ridiculous, and the bullpen is already pretty awesome. Our offense wouldn't have to be great to win with that pitching. As always, it would boil down to staying healthy, but if we're not going to spend with Boston and New York that's what it's ALWAYS going to come down to.

timpinder - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:51 PM EST (#177002) #

If the Jays keep and extend Rios, then having an outfield over the next several years of Snider-Wells-Rios could be equally ridiculous.

As for trading Glaus, I do believe he'll hit if he's healthy and he's a big part of the team in 2008.  However, it's quite possible he'll opt out after this year, along with Burnett.  If trading Glaus or Burnett now nets a SS, 3B, or SP that will be controlled by the Jays for multiple years, you'd have to give it strong consideration.  Perhaps the team would be slightly worse off in 2008, if say, Burnett was traded for Encarnacion and Glaus+ was traded for Cain, but imagine Santos and McDonald as the Jays' starting 3B and SS next year and a rotation minus Burnett but with no replacement.

greenfrog - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:53 PM EST (#177003) #
I wonder if the Jays are secretly worried about Rios's post-All Star power outage (only 7 HR). If Rios is basically a .290/.350/.480 right-fielder, he's relatively replaceable. Of course, he could break out over the next couple of years (maybe Denbo can help him), but he really did seem to lose his power stroke in the second half. Lots of singles, not a lot of really powerful swings.

I'd be surprised to see the Jays land Lincecum or Cain. Sabean seems extremely reluctant to deal them, and according to the Jays website, JP is basically saying that they had some minor talks that never really evolved. The problem is that there are so few good pitchers available - you can't acquire them without paying a premium. And the Jays don't have enough prospect depth to really go for it in a trade.

Kudos to the Tigers, which under Dombrowski have been one of the most aggressive teams (in terms of drafts, trades and FA signings) over the last few years. It must be exciting to be a Detroit fan.

 
jgadfly - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 10:59 PM EST (#177004) #

... IF... Rios is traded, ( which is an interesting method of negotiating a long-term extension), couldn't those monie$ be directed toward Fukudome to lessen the loss that Rios would entail while at the same time increasing revenues via the Japanese fan base market ?

melondough - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:03 PM EST (#177005) #

I'd be surprised to see the Jays land Lincecum or Cain. Sabean seems extremely reluctant to deal them, and according to the Jays website, JP is basically saying that they had some minor talks that never really evolved.

First, I think it should be assumed if the Jays make a deal with SF, it will be for Lincecum.  Every recent report that I have seen says so. 

Here is all you need to know from the latest MLB.com excerpt:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jspymd=20071204&content_id=2317548&vkey=hotstove2007&fext=.jsp&partnered=rss_mlb

Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Tuesday at baseball's Winter Meetings that he and his assistants were still considering the "interesting proposal" he cited Monday that would feature Lincecum. That deal is believed to be for Toronto outfielder Alex Rios, who is to the Blue Jays what Lincecum is to the Giants -- a potential cornerstone for the future.

Sabean acknowledged that the Giants talked with the Blue Jays on Monday and Tuesday, although he didn't reveal Toronto as the sole remaining possible trading partner involving Lincecum.   Addressing the deal in general terms, Sabean said, "There's really only one scenario which I spoke to yesterday which is intriguing. But not intriguing enough to pull the trigger. ... It's just one of the things we haven't shut off yet. There are some things we've shut off and some things we've kept alive. That's one that's still alive."

 

Greg - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:11 PM EST (#177006) #

From the "Take it with a grian of salt" category...

I may be mistaken (and it may not matter, people have been known to lie on ocassion) but McPhail has said
A) They won't trade Bedard within the AL East
B) The Orioles are aiming at contending in 2010 and therefore are only seeking pre-arb players

Leads me to believe a Bedard trade with the Jays is unlikely, and a trade for Tejada involving Burnett similarly unlikely.

ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:11 PM EST (#177007) #
Nice point about the second half, Greenfrog. I think Rios is basically established though as a very good hitter with excellent defensive skills. One reason for the potential trade is that so few quality starters make it to free agency, and when they do, they tend to be quite old. Starters in their thirties are less durable and predictable than hitters, who get hurt quite a bit less and age better. There are also not many young top notch starters on the way up - our excess starters are all likely 4/5 guys.

To restate the point, it's easier and safer to get position players from free agency since they age better and actually become free agents more often. BJ Ryan is an example of a guy who actually made it to free agency, but after seven years in the majors, his elbow ligament - err back - fell apart.

As an aside, it's a bit surprising Jeremy Accardo's name is not coming up in more trade discussions - he's a classic sell high guy right now. He is affordable, young, and his excellent season makes him a Proven Closer. Some teams pay big money for those.

Rios + Accardo ought to net us something good, and they both are relatively replaceable - more so than Burnett will be when he leaves next year.

melondough - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:12 PM EST (#177008) #

I retract my last comment that said the Jays and SF are only discussing Lincecum not Cain.  This does not appear to be the case.  From http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/04/SPVKTOFV9.DTL:

"The Blue Jays want Cain for Rios, according to a high-ranking Toronto official, while the Giants seem more willing to part with Lincecum.....Toronto wants Cain instead of Lincecum because Lincecum isn't as proven as a big-leaguer and could have durability issues because of his slight frame and irregular mechanics. Conversely, Cain could evolve into a Curt Schilling type, a horse of a pitcher with an overpowering repertoire.  That could change. The teams were scheduled to talk again here. The Giants could sweeten a Lincecum package with other players or agree to surrender Cain....There was talk that the Blue Jays spoke with the Giants about Lincecum, offering Lind instead of Rios. The Blue Jays would probably need to offer more, but the Giants have no interest in taking on third baseman Troy Glaus."

 

CaramonLS - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:21 PM EST (#177009) #

^ ^ I really hope that is just a JP savvy negiotiation technique.  (However, I really doubt it).

The Giants want to do Rios for Lincecum, so JP asks for Cain who is more "valuable", offer less for Lincecum, and then later on they "settle" for Lincecum + prospect for Rios.  :)

ANationalAcrobat - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:22 PM EST (#177010) #
If anyone can confirm or disprove my assertions about the health of starters and position players, I would be very interested. Most of my assertions in my last post are only assumptions, though they do seem fairly safe.
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:24 PM EST (#177011) #

This Lincecum/Cain for Rios deal seems to have evolved from speculation to serious business. I'd be thrilled getting either for Rios. As much as I like Alex, you don't get a chance at 23 year old potential aces who have major league experience.

Now Cain or Lincecum? I could careless. Although, I did vote for Lincecum in the poll.

Greg - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:25 PM EST (#177012) #

Well I'm not sure about specifically 30-something pitchers and hitters
But I do know that most projection systems are far more accurate for hitters than pitchers...if that addresses your point at all

Hitters are, on the whole, safer investments

Greg - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:29 PM EST (#177013) #

Who would the other prospect from the Giants be?
I don't know much about their system, but by all accounts the cupboard is pretty bare aside from Shierholtz

Anyone know anything about this Osiris Matos fellow?
He's got a kick-ass name

subculture - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:43 PM EST (#177015) #
So how do you rank these pitchers, in terms of value and potential wins, and also keeping in mind cost:  I ask b/c I'm not sure myself, but it seems a relevant question.

Lincecum
McGowan
Cain
Marcum
Jannssen

Do we need both of these guys, if not who gets us more in a trade?
Ryan
Accardo

re: Rios, I think we're underestimating his value a bit... put him in CF and he's in the top 5.  He's part of the reason Jays pitching did so well last year, with his defence...

Greg - Tuesday, December 04 2007 @ 11:56 PM EST (#177016) #

I think Accardo has more trade value by far

For what it's worth, here are the ZIPS projections for those 5 pitchers
IP - ERA - K/BB

Lincecum, 173IP - 3.28 - 173/67
Cain, 206IP - 3.68 - 173/76
McGowan, 161IP - 3.97 - 131/54
Marcum, 162IP - 4.67 - 121/43
Janssen, 80IP - 3.04 - 58/15

Janssen is of course projected as a reliever.  As a pitcher I think he'd be in Marcum's ballpark.  Just in my own opinion I'd rank them Cain/Lincecum...followed by McGowan...followed a bit further down by Marcum/Janssen

Cain will be 23 in 2008
Lincecum 24
The Jays all 26

Jdog - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:02 AM EST (#177017) #

Hypothetically, if all those pitchers pitched for the Jays next year I think Lincecum might give the least valuable performance (strictly for next year).  I just dont think he is quite major league ready, especially AL East ready.  The funny thing is, he could pull a Fransisco Liriano and go from looking completely inconsistant to dominant in the blink of an eye,  i just think he's a year away

Wildrose - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:04 AM EST (#177018) #
Here's a further breakdown on Lincecum.
melondough - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:06 AM EST (#177019) #

So how do you rank these pitchers, in terms of value and potential wins, and also keeping in mind cost?

I would go: Cain, McGowan, Lincecum, Janssen, Marcum.

Cain has looked good two years in a row which is the main why I would rank him first.  Lincecum on the other hand is more comparable to Mcgowan  - I thik they are real close.  I am not as big a fan of Marcum as many others.  I ranked Janssen 4th but he was so dominant (and can hold runners) that I think he could easily be the 2nd best of the bunch come this time next year.   Also keep in mind that Cain and Linceum will both be 24 when the 2008 season starts.  McGowan Janssen, and Marcum will each be 26.  I would love to see the Jays move Marcum if they could get enough in return, otherwise I would say they should hold onto him and hope lightning strikes twice (just remember how we all felt about Marcum at the end of 2006). 

If they are able to land Cain or Lincecum, then I wonder if JP would be willing to move Marcum (he himself said he would like to see Janssen start and so would I).  Hallady, Cain, Burnett, McGowan, and Janssen looks pretty good to me.  That being said, in a perfect world I would like to see them do the following:

- Rios for Cain (or better yet Marcum and Lind for Lincecum), then

- Marcum and Burnett for Bedard

 

Wildrose - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:08 AM EST (#177020) #
Blair  reiterates that Rios is indeed on the trade block.
Jdog - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:08 AM EST (#177021) #
Actually before getting harrassed I would like to retract that statement. Having just looked at Lincecum's numbers from last year he performed much better than the 2 starts I saw of him.  I do believe we would see a fair bit more of inconsistency from him than any of the others
Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:12 AM EST (#177022) #

So how do you rank these pitchers, in terms of value and potential wins, and also keeping in mind cost: 

I rank:

Cain - 23, 96mph fastball, bigger than a house. Nice success so far for a kiddy. What's not to like.

McGowan - 26, if not for more health challenges than Michael Jackson has had face lifts - he'd already be a proven top 10 pitcher. Also has a 96 mph fastball and is bigger than an apartment building - also has "facial lamb chops" - if that sort of thing interests you.

Lincecum - 23, a Davis Romero clone ie 4' 6" tall weighing in at 122 pounds (sort of) - who, unlike Davis has the nastiest set of pitches this side of a healthy Pedro Martinez. He'll be fantastic till he breaks - then, can they repair him? Do they have the technology?

Marcum - 26, a control righty that can get lefties out. A rare commodity indeed.

Janssen - 26, similar to Marcum, slightly better stuff - BUT - Marcum HAS proved he can talk the talk and walk the walk. Janssen might get his chance to do so in 08. IF he produces as I think he will - he'll pass Marcum on this list. But that's as far as he'll go. However, that ain't half bad!

We need BOTH these guys: Ryan & Accardo. AND, Wolfe and League and Downs - we need all of them for sure - Our ONLY chance in the AL Killing Fields is if we have one AMAZING part to our game. AND, we do - it's our pitching, both starters and bullpen.

Rios should be a stud. But I've got me fears. I don't think he's tough enough. We COULD survive - with similar production if we had Lind, Wells and Johnson/Stairs. However, if we move him he'll probably get really pissed, get an edge and turn into King Kong.

slitheringslider - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:13 AM EST (#177023) #
So how do you rank these pitchers, in terms of value and potential wins, and also keeping in mind cost: I ask b/c I'm not sure myself, but it seems a relevant question.

Lincecum
McGowan
Cain
Marcum
Jannssen

Do we need both of these guys, if not who gets us more in a trade?

Ryan
Accardo

I think Lincecum has the most dominant stuff, he has 3 plus pitches, and I think in terms of ceiling, he can be better than both Cain and McGowan. Not only that, his arbitration clock just started last year, so the Giants can control him for the next 5 years, adding to his value. The only downside to Lincecum is his size and violent delivery. A lot of scouts are concerned that he is going to break down, which is why a lot of people prefers Cain.

Cain and McGowan is actually pretty similar in terms of stuff, Cain is 2 years younger, which adds to his value. In terms of ceiling, both are about equal. Both are build like traditional power pitchers, therefore scouts prefer them over a small scrawny guy like Lincecum. I am not sure about the contract status on Cain, but I know that Cain has already used up 2 years, which means he is probably a year closer than McGowan in terms of free agency.

Marcum and Janssen are also comparable pitchers. Both projects as mid-rotation starters. Nothing more.

If I am the Jays, I would be in no rush to trade either Ryan or Accardo. Good bullpens can win a lot of games, and reduce the strain on starters to go to distance. If Ryan and League recover to full strength, a bullpen of Ryan, Accardo, League, Downs would dominate the late innings, while the mid-innings won't be shabby either with Wolfe, Frasor. However, if someone is willing to overpay for Accardo, I would move him. Accardo definitely has more trade value than Ryan, he is younger, cheaper, healthier, and just as good. As Kevin Towers has shown in San Diego, bullpen arms are replaceable unless they are elite closers. It would be a lot easier to find the next Accardo, then say, the next Rios.
slitheringslider - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:29 AM EST (#177025) #
if the giants dont want glaus then lind+ litsch/ janssen looks really good.even all 3 of them if needed.

Trades are not just about quantity it is also about quality. What the Giants are after, is a cornerstone offensive player they can build their lineup around. That's the only way they will trade potential aces they can build their rotation around. Lind looks to be above average at best, while litsch/janssen are more back-end starters than an Ace. I would be very surprise if someone would trade away an Ace for that package. It is only if they see something in Lind that we don't see.
subculture - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:35 AM EST (#177026) #
The thing about Marcum in addition to his control, is his freakish (IMO) athletic ability which helps explain his success.  He controls the running game very well, and I remember one play last year, though I can't remember against which team, maybe Tampa.

Man on first with speed, breaks to steal second and gets a GREAT jump.  Batter hits a sharp comebacker to Marcum's right side - he stabs it cleanly, pivots toward 2nd base, THROWS the astonished runner OUT, and the SS throws to first to complete the doubleplay by a large margin.

Basically Marcum was able to field what should have been a single to his right-side, whirl and throw a strike to 2b, FASTER than Zaun would have been able to simply catch the ball and throw to 2b. 

Oh, and his sick changeup which sets-up hitters so he can blow a 88 mph fastball right by them....

My point is that though I think McGowan's upside and trade value is higher, I'm 50-50 on which pitcher will ultimately be more successful... of course if they help the Jays win a WS then it's all good baby...

melondough - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:37 AM EST (#177027) #

Is anyone aware of another OF that would compare to Rios?  Someone who is a young budding star still 3 or more years away from having his salary skyrocket.  I ask because I wonder if another team is going to come along now that they know Cain is available and provide some stiff competition to Toronto's bid.

ANationalAcrobat - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:46 AM EST (#177028) #
Lincecum talk is about as exciting as anything - it's Tim freakin' Lincecum, like Obal said in the poll. Let's not lose track of the Yankees though; here is what Hank Steinbrenner had to say earlier today:

Im very pleased, Steinbrenner said. We got Andy Pettitte back, and everything I wanted to accomplish at the beginning of the off-season has happened. We got Pettitte, Rodriguez, Posada and Rivera back. Weve got our young pitchers. Im very glad we didnt have to lose Hughes and Cabrera. Everything is copacetic.

I'm a little bit shocked at how much he is talking to the media and how much he seems to be involved. It certainly is his damn team, but I somehow doubt he's the most qualified man for the GM job. I suppose the best thing for Toronto is continued intervention, since a difficult owner can lead to poor decisions and the Jays can beat the Yankees if they make poor decisions.

Greg - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:48 AM EST (#177029) #

He's a different kind of player, but Brad Hawpe is sort of similar to Rios

Hawpe is two years older, but also has fewer seasons under his belt.
They both have had 2 years in a row of OPS+ 120 hitting
Rios is obviously better at defence

I don't think Colorado is in the market for Lincecum or Cain...but it's fun comparing what Rios has done the past 2 years to other players just for the hell of it

Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:52 AM EST (#177030) #
Random Tim Lincecum Fact of the Day: Tim Lincecum's middle name is LeRoy.

Just throwin' that out there. I admit that the capital R is a bit unsettling.


Greg - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 12:55 AM EST (#177031) #
I hope he gets traded to the Jays for the sole reason that maybe then I'll actually hear someone SAY his name so I know how to pronounce it
Sanjay - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 01:03 AM EST (#177032) #

I would rather they not trade Rios, but maybe focus a deal around Lind/Glaus/Litsch for one of Cain or Lincecum. 

But, if JP is serious about trading Rios, then why not get into discussions with the Twins with regards to Santana.

Boston is offering Lester / Crisp / Lowrie / Masterson for Santana. 

We could offer Rios / McGowan and another top prospect and be equal or better to what the Bosox are offering.

Rios is a must more valuable asset than Crisp.

McGowan has better peripherals than Lester does.

We would now have to add a prospect that would match the ability of Lowrie and Masterson.  Or maybe a combination of Lind and one of Marcum/Janssen.

timpinder - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 01:49 AM EST (#177033) #
IF a Rios for Cain deal actually happens (please J.P., do not trade Rios for Lincecum, his arm is going to fall off), how about Shawn Green's return to the Jays for a year in right field?  Lind in LF, Green in RF, Overbay at 1B and Stairs occasionally relieving Thomas at DH against tough righties would go along way to improving the Jays offense against righthanders.
Seamus - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 01:53 AM EST (#177034) #
Some speculation from ESPN.com
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=winter_meetings

The latest starting-pitching name to be linked to the Mets: A.J. Burnett. There were indications that the Mets have inquired about Burnett, whose contract allows him to opt out of his deal next winter if he so desires.

Amarsh - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 02:14 AM EST (#177035) #
Shawn Green platooning with Reed Johnson could be a feasible option.
Even in poor years for both of them, Johnson still had a .913 OPS against lefties (warning: small sample size), and Green had an .865 OPS against righties.
I know that splitting 3 positions among 5 outfielders isn't ideal, but that might be the easiest way to replace Rios.


R Billie - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 02:19 AM EST (#177037) #

I just don't see the point of making a short term trade for one year of Santana and giving up two premium players in Rios and McGowan.  If the idea is to compete in 2008 then there isn't much point in adding a big pitcher but subtracting a potentially big pitcher as well as your best all around position player (who is a plus both offensively and defensively).  I'm shocked the Jays are trading Rios with their great need for improved offence but I've long since given up trying to figure out the end goal.

There's a reason the Red Sox don't want to give up Ellsbury and won't even DISCUSS Bucholtz in a Santana trade.  They're much more in a position to give up Bucholtz than the Jays would be to give up any good young player.  But they refuse to do so because they're only interested in maximizing their opportunity to win in 2008.  If the Jays can't maximize their opportunity to win, there's no point in making a trade.

The Mets already traded the player I liked best in Milledge.  But they can probably put together a deal that will interest the Jays.  I doubt it will be the value of Burnett.  But it seems the Jays will try to trade their best all around player in Rios for a starting pitcher and then I'm not sure what they'll do to address the fact that they're both weakening the run support their pitchers will get as well as the outfield defence SIGNIFICANTLY.  Lind, Wells, and a Johnson/Stairs platoon is very different from Wells, Rios, and a Johnson/Stairs platoon in right instead of left.  Any replacement outfielder you get outside of Cameron or Jones isn't going to be anywhere near Rios defensively.

The upshot is, the Jays seem destined to be forever stuck in this two steps forward, two steps back cycle every year.  The minor leagues aren't nearly enough to compensate for the attrition of talent to free agency and there is barely enough new/improved talent coming in to maintain the current 80-85 win level.  And yet this team is only going to continue to get more and more expensive.  There isn't nearly enough forward momentum in talent accumulation to catch up to the Yanks and Sox.

unclejim - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 04:14 AM EST (#177039) #
Just a note on expense... Rios is about to rocket in price... I think the deal with Rios is to see if he wants a long term contract, otherwise trade him while we can get a really good return. Maybe JP knows that Rios doesn't see the Jays as a long term future so is seeing what he can get now ? I guess we'll have to leave that to speculation...

Moneyball was all about looking for the gaps in the market and posters commenting on the relative high price of starters and low price of position players have got it right. We can replace Rios far easier than we can, say, replace Burnett, which we're gonna have to next year if we can't trade him now. So lets replace Burnett now and deal with the bat later. Makes sense to me.

A rotation of  Halladay, McGowan, Cain/Lincicum, Marcum, Janssen, Litsch (with more to come from the minors) etc will be cheap for 3-4 years and still one of the best, if not the potential to be THE best in the leagues. Maybe we'll have to splash on a few bats for this season and next, but I'd feel really good with our budget about a rotation that strong and that cheap.

Given we're never gonna outspend the Yanks/Sox so this is the best way forwards. Its a gamble yeah, but what other options do we have ?

Dave Rutt - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 06:21 AM EST (#177040) #
I hope he gets traded to the Jays for the sole reason that maybe then I'll actually hear someone SAY his name so I know how to pronounce it

It's something like "LIN-seh-kim", though the i in "kim" is more like "euh".

Sorry, that probably doesn't make any sense. I'm an engineering student, I'm not supposed to know how to talk.
Exit - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 08:19 AM EST (#177041) #

I like the idea of landing a young stud pitcher as Cain or Lincecum even at the loss of Rios. The loss of Rios certainly hurts the current lineup but what about going after signing Geoff Jenkins to take over in right.  Lefty Bat with some thump could fill some void in the offense while giving us another left handed bat in the lineup. Any thoughts?

SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 08:42 AM EST (#177042) #

I'm always a bit scared of trading an all-star position player for a young NL pitcher, regardless of that pitcher's upside. Rios is fairly established as an .850 OPS outfielder, and his prime years should yield better numbers than that. And it's not like he's nearing free agency either. He has three more years regardless of whether a long-term deal can be agreed upon. I just hope that IF that type of trade happens that the Jays are very careful in determining the health of Cain and especially Lincecum.

As for what the Jays would do to replace Rios on offense, it can't be done internally. Rios is the best offensive asset the team has at this point. He can hit 30 HR, bat .300, and I believe he was the only non-Stairs Jays player to have an .800 OPS against RHP last season. Lind has potential, but he's slow and may not be fully ready to hit everyday at the MLB level. The team's best bet might be to sign Andruw Jones to a $12-15 million per year contract if they trade Rios. Maybe trade Glaus to off-set the additional cost, but they simply cannot survive with Lind and Stairs/Johnson at the corners given the lack of stars at the other positions.

I don't expect a deal to get done, but I think it's safe to say it's in the "serious" stage of discussions right now. It's just a shame that after 6 drafts the most valuable assets on the team still have Gord Ash's fingerprints on them. The Jays should be keeping Rios and trading prospects for stars (ala Detroit), not the other way around.

Bones - Wednesday, December 05 2007 @ 09:00 AM EST (#177044) #
Ranking those 5 pitchers, I would go:

Lincecum, Cain, McGowan ....................................(HUGE gap).................................................Marcum/Janssen (Tie)

I really don't think there is much of a gap at all between those first three pitchers.  Lincecum has the best stuff, but is slighly built and the least experienced.  Cain is the youngest and most experienced, but is a severe flyball pitcher and could catch a nasty case of gopheritis in the AL East.  McGowan has similar stuff and experience to Cain, but is a small notch below the other two because he is a full 2 years older than the other two, which makes a difference.  He does get the most GB's of any of the three, though, so that offsets the age issue to some degree.  In short, all three are superb young pitchers.

As for Marcum and Janssen, the don't really belong in the same conversation as the other three guys.  I like both guys a lot, but they are the two oldest guys of the five, and both have average stuff (at best), and don't project to be anything more than solid 4/5 starters in the bigs (maybe 3s if everything breaks right).  It is likely that we saw the best that each of those guys has to offer last season, and we should be expecting some regression from both.  Janssen, in particular, could be in trouble if he doesn't start to miss more bats (39 K's in 72 IP as a reliever bodes poorly for the future).  If they can each throw about 180 innings in 2008 with an ERA around the league average (4.50 or so, maybe a bit lower) then we as Jays fans should be ecstatic

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