Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Andruw Jones makes his way to the Dodgers - 2 years, $36 million. I guess those CF signings didn't work out so well for the LA teams last year.


In Jays news, Jeff Blair writes that the Jays have a Rios for Lincecum offer on the table and the Giants are considering it, although it's expected that nothing will happen on that front in the near future. Of course, Jones signing with Dodgers might make the Giants more likely to make a move with one less CF available now.

On top of that the Jays may be closing in on a deal with Paul LoDuca on a one year deal in the $3-4 million range ("including bonuses"). LoDuca is apparently considering his various offers.

Rule 5 draft this afternoon. I'm guessing the Jays don't do anything, or lose anyone, in the major league portion of the draft after acquiring Coats yesterday.

Update:  The Jays selected reliever Randy Wells in the Rule 5 draft.  Wells was taken from the Cub organization.  He pitched for AAA Iowa in 2007 and put up decent numbers - 101 Ks, 41 BBs and 11 HRs in 95.2 innings.
Winter Meetings - Thursday | 116 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:46 AM EST (#177175) #
The Jays chose Randy Wells in the Rule 5.  No word on who was dropped from the 40 man yet.
Thomas - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:48 AM EST (#177176) #
The Jays didn't lose anyone, but did grab reliever Randy Wells from the Cubs. Wells spent last year in Triple-A Iowa and posted a 4.52 ERA. With 101 strikeouts last year Wells saw a big jump in his strikeout rate as it rose to 9.50 from 7.96 and 7.70 (his rates at each level during a season split between AA and AAA). He walked 45 batters in 95.2 innings and gave up 11 homers. The raw stats don't stand out, but I guess JP and his scouts saw something they liked in him. No idea who was dropped.

Huglett wasn't picked. I liked his profile, but it became apparent upon acquiring Coats that the Jays likely weren't going to take him.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:49 AM EST (#177177) #
Not a big fan of the pick... basically a wasted roster spot, kind of
like the Rule 5 pick of Talley Haines a few years ago (who? exactly).
Randy Wells is big: a 6-5 right-hander... Played at Triple-A Iowa
for the Cubs. Converted catcher. Throws only 88-90 mph with the
fastball. Has solid command and control. Second best pitch is an
average change-up and he also has a below-average slider.
Noah - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:56 AM EST (#177180) #
Wells seems like an odd choice, at first glance he did have a nice bump in K/9 innings but he also has seen his BB/9 innings increase as well.  I can't help but feel that there must've been something better out there than him.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:59 AM EST (#177181) #
Results can be viewed here
Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:04 AM EST (#177184) #
The Jays picked second baseman Marcos Cabral and first baseman Brant Colamarino in the triple A portion of the draft.  They lost Kurt Isenberg and Dustin Majewski.


moffydream - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:09 AM EST (#177185) #

I'm little surprised that Jays didn't go for one of D'Antona, Huglett, Crabbe.

They all has good OBP, is utility player, and young.

Wells doesn't impress me. I don't want to see more RHP who doesn't have stuff.. We have tons of pitchers like that..

Only thing that I like is his K/9..

Thomas - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:17 AM EST (#177186) #
Shame about losing Majewski. He was kind of getting squeezed out by Smith, Mathews and the others, but I think he still has a decent chance at becoming a 4th/5th outfielder because he can play all 3 outfield positions. He's a line-drive hitter with a good batting eye and has a bit of pop. I'm not sure if he'll make it or not, but if we do regret losing someone in the minor league portion it will be him and not Isenberg.

Finally, someone has to ask this, and I might as well get it out of the way since my copy of Moneyball is in another country. Isn't Colamarino the guy with titties?

Thomas - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:21 AM EST (#177187) #
Of course, guys drafted in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft have even less chance of becoming something than players drafted in the amjor league phase do, so the odds are not with Majewski, but he has the right tools to be a fourth outfielder.
John Northey - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:24 AM EST (#177188) #
Interesting. In Aug/Sept he threw 22 2/3 IP, 8 BB, 27 K, 2 HR. His last two games he threw a total of 9 innings, suggesting he has a bit of endurance. Over those last 9 IP he allowed 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 HR, 1 BB, 12 K.

Something tells me the Jays had a scout at those last two games and he saw this guy at his best. Should be interesting in spring to see if he can impress. Costs just $25-50k to see ($25k if he is sent back and they take him back, $50 k otherwise). Given no one else was lost in the draft it was worth it as the Jays have enough cash around to risk this much.
John Northey - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:37 AM EST (#177189) #
As always the minor league part is fairly secondary although you sometimes get lucky (Goose Gozzo helped a lot in the drive of 89).

Marcos Cabral hit well in mid-A (SAL) last year, 289/374/402, after missing 2006 for some reason. Played 15 games at SS so he should be useful at A or AA next year and might be a utility guy someday (2010 I'd figure).

Brant Colamarino was an A so he might have been part of the Moneyball thing. Hasn't been too impressive though. 243/297/436 at AAA, 275/347/463 at AA. His AAA experience was a brief stay in 2005. Last year (his 4th at AA) he hit just 241/319/377. For a first baseman who has just 6 games in the outfield and 1 at second base in his career I wouldn't be expecting too much. Might be released before the season ends, unless the Jays have seen something fixable in his swing.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:37 AM EST (#177191) #
Wells has been a swingman and starter in his minor league career.  He was in Lansing a few years ago, and Lugnut Fan may have some comments on his stuff.

Halladayfan32 - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:41 AM EST (#177192) #

RHP Ryan Houston was given his outright release to make room for the Wells pickup.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2007/06/c8347.html

Pistol - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:45 AM EST (#177194) #
Isn't Colamarino the guy with titties?

That's the one.
radiojay - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 12:16 PM EST (#177197) #
A little surprised by this one. Wells got off to a bad start in 07 and was moved out of the rotation. Other starts later in the year weren't very good, but he was a good bullpen guy. I don't see him contributing at the big league level, however.
Jordan - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 12:18 PM EST (#177198) #

Judging from the poll on the left, I'm in the minority, but I hope the Giants turn down the Rios-for-Lincecum offer. Not that it's not fair from a talent standpoint -- I think it is -- but I don't see how this would make the Jays a better team now or down the road.

The Jays' problem is not pitching. They have a good rotation, an excellent bullpen, and (judging from the latest stats) an all-world defence. For 2008, they can probably count on solid efforts from Halladay, Burnett and McGowan, as well as a decent follow-up effort from Marcum. Litsch and (if they put him in the rotation) Janssen can expect major steps backwards, thanks to those BB/K rates, but by and large, the starters looks good for next season. Moreover, there's a lot of pitching in the pipeline: Purcey, Romero, Ginley, Banks, and Cecil, to name five. Sure, Lincecum would be a great addition, and someone needs to step up following Burnett's disappearance after 2008, but are you going to outpitch the opposition in the American League, or outhit them? The Jays need to power up the offence, not power it down.

Rios is entering his prime: he hits for average, hits for power, runs very well, and is outstanding fielding his position. He could play CF right now, and if Wells' defensive effort in 2007 is a trend rather than a blip, he may be there sooner rather than later. But more to the point, Rios is a key member of an offence that looks a lot less threatening on the field than it does on paper. There is good reason to think Glaus and Thomas are in serious decline, and there's no guarantee Overbay's 2007 wasn't just bad luck. Looking down the road, there is no imminent replacement for Rios coming up through the system: all the Jays' top outfield prospects are still in their teens, and for my money, Travis Snider opens his major-league career at first base. Moreover again, Rios is a key part of the Jays' great defence: replacing his glove 110 times a year with Matt Stairs' is a recipe for disaster (never mind that Stairs won't come close to repeating his career year with the bat either).

Dealing Rios for Lincecum doesn't make this team better for either 2008 or the inevitable rebuilding phase that will start in 2009. Sign Rios to a long-term deal that buys out his arb-eligible years and make him the centerpiece of the post-Ricciardi era, along with Wells, Hill, Lind, Snider, perhaps Ahrens, and any of the six catchers the Jays currently have in development. Brian Sabean, put down that phone.

CaramonLS - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 12:32 PM EST (#177200) #

Dealing Rios for Lincecum doesn't make this team better for either 2008 or the inevitable rebuilding phase that will start in 2009. Sign Rios to a long-term deal that buys out his arb-eligible years and make him the centerpiece of the post-Ricciardi era, along with Wells, Hill, Lind, Snider, perhaps Ahrens, and any of the six catchers the Jays currently have in development. Brian Sabean, put down that phone.

Perhaps that is exactly the reason why JP has decided to move him.  Rios can play CF and I'm not sure if you've noticed, but he is a better player than Vernon Wells and can be even better in the future.  Why would Rios take 10 million per season when he can just ring up his Arb years, getting around that much, and then get Andruw Jones/Hunter/Wells money?

That is one of the reason I've always been critical of the Wells deal.  We have 2 CFs on our team and like it or not, you're going to be paying both CF premiums no matter what happens.  Also Rios is part of the problem with this team:  Too many damned Right handed batters with bad splits.  Rios is OK vs. RHP, was better than most of our team, but a platoon can do his job and make up for the lost power with ease.  Locking him up long term is kinda silly, you need lefties patrolling the corners to get the most out of this offense (or any offense for that matter).  Not locking him up at least leaves open the chance that there could be a long term future for Lind/Snider on the corners, as early as the 2009 season

RhyZa - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 12:36 PM EST (#177201) #
Realistically, barring some kind of rule change, we have to swing for the fences to beat out the Sox or Yanks.  I think this matters more than keeping the team in balance, or within striking distance of competing within the specific areas of offense, pitching or defense. 

The question is who will give you higher upside out of Rios and Lincecum?  Not as easy an answer as some make it appear, Rios still has untapped potential and it wouldn't surprise most of us if he explodes to new heights soon.  But this answer should be the same as who you would rather have.
Gerry - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 12:37 PM EST (#177203) #

Majewski had some power and walked a lot but he didn't hit, he averaged around .270 at high A and .235 at AA.  He didn't improve over the last 3 years so he was probably looking at another year in AA if he stayed with the Jays.

Isenberg is another player who could never master AA, he didn't have any "plus" pitches and was exposed against better hitters.

Cabral is probably a pick for organizational need.  Many of the Jays shortstops should be at third base, Sergio Santos, Anthony Hatch and Jesus Gonzalez are all stretched at short.

Colamarino's pick could be Chip Cannon insurance.  Cannon could be headed for AAA, although the Jays might be worried that he would be overmatched there.  With Josh Kreuzer moving up to AA, Cannon looked to be headed to AAA.  Colamarino gives the Jays another option.

I am sad to see Ryan Houston go, like Tracey Thorpe Houston had the good fastball but not the other pitches to support it.  Houston is currently pitching in winter ball.

raptorsaddict - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 01:06 PM EST (#177207) #
On a bit of a different note, Gammons has an excellent article on ESPN Insider that points out how the Tigers' past willingness to go over slot allowed them to make the Cabrera/Willis deal.  I know I've seen numerous posts here on BB urging the Jays to take the best player available in the draft, price be damned (not to mention enough complaints about Romero), and I think Gammons makes a compelling case that the Yanks/Tigers/Bosox are now doing just that, and to great effect. There is absolutely no reason for the Jays to not be doing exactly the same thing.  We have the money, and while I know the risk is quite high in baseball draft, the payoff is just too much to pass up.  I'd rather see us blow 10 million in the draft year after year than to spend it on a near-decrepit Frank Thomas.  Actually, I'd rather see us do both of those things, but if I had to choose, it would be the former.  If we're ever going to compete, this team is going to have to produce a large amount of talent internally, and the current baseball market is so distorted by the draft slotting behaviour of teams, as well as the nature of international free-agency, that a large investment in our farm system over the next 5-7 years is really our best chance to develop a sustained period of championship level ball.


Wildrose - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 02:01 PM EST (#177213) #
Wilner's update on this A.M's  activity.
ANationalAcrobat - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 02:18 PM EST (#177214) #
I'd rather see us blow 10 million in the draft year after year than to spend it on a near-decrepit Frank Thomas.

Thomas led all 2007 Jays regulars in OPS+ while playing in 155 games. He's not the problem.

TamRa - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 03:10 PM EST (#177215) #
One line in today's sun article on the Rios deal said the Reds were interested in Rios. It was widely reported that the Reds were making Hamilton available earlier in the winter. Now, given that Hamilton had an arguably better year than Rios, I find that odd unless they live in fear of a relapse. But if I could get them to expand the deal to Hamilton + Phillips for Rios + ???

I think that would be a good return on Rios too - and I say that as one who loves Rios and hate to see him dealt. But if we had a chance to add a guy like Phillips and not lose any production in RF (not only that, Hamilton is a lefty!) then I'd be pretty pleased.

Thing is, I have no idea what "???" would have to be to make them bite, or if Phillips is simply untouchable period.


seeyou - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 04:44 PM EST (#177218) #
A couple of links for those who are interested:

Nice interview with Wells' reaction to moving to the Jays: http://padres.scout.com/a.z?s=315&p=2&c=708926
At the very least, seems like he's got a good head on his shoulders.

And it's interesting to see the reactions of Giants fans to the Lincecum-Rios rumours,such as this blog
Most seem to be against the trade.  Some of the counter-proposals are downright ridiculous, such as the guy who wants us to throw McGowan in and take back Fred Lewis.  Yeah, right.

Jones signing is in LA interesting.  They've got a pretty crowded outfield now, is there any chance we could make a play for Andre Ethier if the Rios-Lincecum deal goes through?  Young, talented and LH, he'd look pretty good in the Jays lineup.

Jordan - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 04:55 PM EST (#177220) #

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but he is a better player than Vernon Wells and can be even better in the future

So if he's the best player on the ballclub (and I'm not sure I agree), why trade him away? For an unestablished pitcher with fewer than 150 major-league innings under his belt? Bolstering a rotation that doesn't need the help while creating a huge weakness offensively and defensively that won't be filled internally for years?

I appreciate we're all tired of the status quo and would love to see a big December splash, but I still don't get the enthusiasm for this deal. Alex Rios is a young, affordable, superstar hitter, and on the Blue Jays, that constitutes a population of one. Someone in another thread called Rios the type of player the Giants could shape their franchise around. I need to have explained to me why the Jays shouldn't view him the same way.

Noah - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 04:59 PM EST (#177221) #
Not sure if someone's mentioned this already, but there's an article up on tsn.ca stating that Major League Baseball has concluded that their is not enough evidence to give a suspension to Troy Glaus.  Other players pardoned include Gary Matthews Jr., Rick Ankiel and our old friend Scott Schoenweis.  Jay Gibbons and new Royal Jose Guillen weren't so lucky as they were given 15 day suspensions.

http://tsn.ca/mlb/news_story/?ID=224537&hubname=

At least we know that if Glaus comes back next year, we wont have to worry about him getting suspended.

CaramonLS - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 05:12 PM EST (#177223) #

So if he's the best player on the ballclub (and I'm not sure I agree), why trade him away?

Because I just told you why and you ignored the rest of my post.

Jordan - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 05:17 PM EST (#177224) #

The rest of your post was largely a rant against the Vernon Wells contract, which seems to me to have nothing to do with the relative merits of Alex Rios. I don't care what Ted Rogers spends on Rios, and if JP's talk of a long-term offer for Rios is accurate, neither does Ted, so cost isn't a factor. And are you seriously suggesting Rios is a less valuable player because he bats from the right side of the plate?

Nobody has told me yet how swapping Rios for Lincecum makes this a better ballclub, now or in the future.

scottt - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 05:27 PM EST (#177225) #
Rios is arguably the best Blue Jay offensively and defensively. On top of that, he's was one of the few healthy Blue Jays last year.

The Giants were more interested in cashing on Bonds' record last year than fielding a competitive team and finished last in their division.
They should be in rebuilding mode. If they get him, they might hand up trading him back to a contender after a year if they don't sign him to a long contract.

ANationalAcrobat - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 05:50 PM EST (#177226) #
Nobody has told me yet how swapping Rios for Lincecum makes this a better ballclub, now or in the future.

Here are some arguments that could be made:

1. Lincecum throws high 90s with excellent breaking stuff. His talent and potential are very unusual. I feel he is simply the better player.

2. The team is too right handed. Trading Rios and replacing him with the lefty Lind balances the lineup and strengthens it against RHPs.

3. It gives Lind a chance to play in the majors, where many feel he will stick as an effective and inexpensive outfielder for many years. A Wells/Lind/Snider outfield is the goal here.

4. Rios is right about to get expensive, while Lincecum won't be doing that for a little while. I realize the goal isn't to field the cheapest club possible, but if it lets you spend money elsewhere, then it helps.

5. It's easier to replace an outfielder on the free agent market than it is to find a starting pitcher (Carlos Silva's the top gun right now!)

Now where's Chuck to pick apart what I just said?

VBF - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:00 PM EST (#177228) #
A lot of people are making the argument of keeping Rios by saying that he's one of the few highlights of the offense. It is true, and there's very likely possibilities that the offense could get worse next year with or without him. The offense comes down to the return of Wells/Glaus/Overbay. So if you don't see that improving, why not play to your strengths and capitalize on the opportunity to have one of the best rotations in the league not just today, but four years down the road. I think the value added from Lincecum over any fifth starter exceeds the value of Rios' replacements. Then, when you factor in the possibility of at least one of Overbay/Wells/Glaus returning to being an elite hitter, I think the trade makes sense.

It seems much has changed since yesterday, but if Thigpen or Diaz is the reason the trade hasn't gone through, I'm willing to bet that Lincecum will be Jay.



Ryan Day - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:08 PM EST (#177229) #
and for my money, Travis Snider opens his major-league career at first base.

Pretty much everything I've read suggests Snider is a good bet to stay in the outfield, at least at the beginning of his career. Admittedly, he'll have to contend with Ricciardi's infatuation with moving players to less-demanding positions, but I think it's reasonable to put Snider in the Jays' outfield plans.
grjas - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:10 PM EST (#177230) #
Here are some arguments that could be made (Potential Rios trade):

I would add two more to the mix:
  1. Linecum provides protection for the inevitable AJ departure
  2. Furthermore, AJ now becomes expendable in 2008- can they turn him into a good trade (hopefully for OF) as JP recently mused?
I hate to see strong OF talent disappear, but if JP could also pull off #2 with good return this could work out well short and long term.
Jordan - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:14 PM EST (#177231) #

postamble();
Jordan - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:15 PM EST (#177232) #

Here are some arguments that could be made:

Right on.

1. Lincecum throws high 90s with excellent breaking stuff. His talent and potential are very unusual. I feel he is simply the better player.

Reasonable enough. But I'd argue that Rios has delivered two solid seasons at the ML levels and still has room to grow, while Lincecum has had a dazzling '07 debut but not much else. Plus, pitchers are always higher injury risks than hitters. I'd rank them about even.

2. The team is too right handed. Trading Rios and replacing him with the lefty Lind balances the lineup and strengthens it against RHPs.

The Jays won't be too right-handed for long -- Thomas is gone after this year and they'd love to clear out Glaus asap. But I'm also not a believer that a talented lineup needs to be "balanced" in this way.

3. It gives Lind a chance to play in the majors, where many feel he will stick as an effective and inexpensive outfielder for many years. A Wells/Lind/Snider outfield is the goal here.

I don't see that Lind would have to be squeezed out -- my ideal is also a Lind-Wells-Rios outfield, with Reed Johnson a solid fourth OF and Matt Stairs hopefully a useful bat off the bench. I'd give Lind 500 AB this year and see what he can do with it. I think he's ready.

4. Rios is right about to get expensive, while Lincecum won't be doing that for a little while. I realize the goal isn't to field the cheapest club possible, but if it lets you spend money elsewhere, then it helps.

I can see the merits there, but speaking for myself, I don't have a problem spending money to retain good talent, which is what Rios looks to be. But I'm open to the idea that the club is thinking long-term about how best to arrange its financial resources; I just think the "big contending year" is the wrong time to be doing it. And that leads us to:

5. It's easier to replace an outfielder on the free agent market than it is to find a starting pitcher (Carlos Silva's the top gun right now!)

Again, I can see the merits -- but take a look at what Torii Hunter and Andruw Jones just went for on the open market, $18M a season or more. And their best years are quite probably behind them, while Rios has at least three or four more peak seasons to come. Moreover, I don't see that the Jays need to replace either an SP or an OF at the moment. When Burnett leaves next winter and the Jays have taken their best shot at a championship, there'll be time to reassess. Heck, maybe these teams reconsider this deal again, in light of what each player accomplished in '08.

These are reasonable arguments, and they must be what's fuelling JP & Co, who must also believe that Lincecum will be the next big thing. I personally think Rios is already the next big thing (those 43 doubles forebode a power surge), maybe even the new Bernie Williams, and I think he's critical to the ballclub's offence and defence, especially considering the huge dropoff to the Johnson/Stairs combo. But it's good to hear the case for the other side. 

david wang - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:22 PM EST (#177233) #
It comes down to pitching being much more valuble than corner OFers, even if they can play CF.

For 10-12 Million on the free agent market, you can sign Jose Guillen, who put up numbers similar to Rios last year. 116 OPS+ vs 122. While for 10-12 million, you can sign Carlos Silva, maybe not even, who has been a slightly above league average pitcher in his career. Linceum projects to become a 1 or a 2 provided he can stay healthy. Rios' defence can be said to be wasted in RF, and while his value to teh Jays is as a RF, his value to the rest of the league is as a CF. The Jays can replace Rios' overall bat by playing a lefty vs righties, against who Rios was rather ordinary. There is also the fact that Lincecum will be much cheaper soon and Rios will probably command a 15 Million/year contract.

Adding more pieces to your rotation can only be beneficial as your pitching pieces can be traded for hitters later on.
seeyou - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 06:25 PM EST (#177234) #
Someone in another thread called Rios the type of player the Giants could shape their franchise around. I need to have explained to me why the Jays shouldn't view him the same way.


Because the offensively, the Giants don't really have a young player they are committed to for the future.   The Jays already have their franchise OF for the future, and like it or not, his name is Vernon Wells.  Three years from now when Alex Rios hits free agency, and the Jays are committed to paying Wells $21 million a year over the next four years and (I hope) have a ML-ready OF replacement in Travis Snider, it will be pretty hard for us to match the type of offers (think Hunter/Wells money, multiplied by three years of inflation)  that Rios will likely get.  So,  for me, this deal boils down to what is more valuable for the Jays: three years of what projects to be All-Star (but not superstar) performance by Alex Rios, or 5+ years from a young pitcher that projects to be a future ace.  In my mind, when that's your decision, you've always got to go for the pitching.  But given the fact that the Jays have stated that they think their window to contend is the next couple of years, a strong argument could be made for  hanging on to Rios.  Hey, who knows, maybe the Jays could get an even better return for four-time All Star and World Series MVP Alex Rios after the 2009 season (in my dreams).  That's what's great about this rumour from my perspective: I'll be excited if the Jays pull the trigger, but I can happily console myself with keeping a player as good as Rios.
timpinder - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 07:09 PM EST (#177236) #

I'm with 'seeyou' on a couple of points here.  While I'm personally opposed to Rios for Lincecum because I think Lincecum's arm is going to explode on the field, I'm just a fan and I concede that the scouts who have watched video of him are more knowledgeable than I am.  So if Lincecum is the next coming of the vertically challenged Pedro Martinez and stays healthy, then I absolutely agree that 6 years of an ace pitcher is more valuable than 3 years of an all-star outfielder.  Until the Jays have an unlimited budget like the Yankees, they'll always have to weigh years and dollars vs. talent, to maximize gains. 

I've also wondered about the Dodgers excess outfielder.  With Glaus now safe from suspension and with the Dodgers needing a 3B and a SP, I wonder if a trade could be made.  If the Jays get Lincecum, one of Marcum or Janssen could be expendable.  Could Glaus and Marcum net Ethier and La Roche (who Ricciardi covets)?  I'd rather have 6 years of La Roche than 1 year of Glaus, and if Ethier could play RF then Lind-Ethier-Wells could patrol the outfield until Snider arrives. 

R Billie - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 07:17 PM EST (#177237) #

Let's not forget Rios' range and arm in the outfield.  You have to subtract a number of extra base hits saved by his long runs into the gap or down the line as well as a few runners thrown out on the bases.  Remember throwing out Ichiro at home on a medium depth sac fly?  That happened.

And there's going to be a ripple effect for the rest of the outfield.  Stairs/Johnson move to right field and while Johnson is a hustler he's not in Rios' class on defence.  And Lind takes over left field.  Instead of two guys with CFish range, you only have one.  This does make a difference to your pitching staff.

I'm not arguing that Lincecum isn't equivalent talent but the risk on the Jays' side here seems so large in comparison.  The kid has 146 innings under his belt or something like that.  We'd all like to dream of big things for him two years from now...but there's absolutely nothing to guarantee he won't go the way of Rich Harden.  Great stuff, iffy control, can it all hold together for 200+ innings a year?

CaramonLS - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 07:45 PM EST (#177238) #

Jordon, how is "Why would Rios take 10 million per season when he can just ring up his Arb years, getting around that much, and then get Andruw Jones/Hunter/Wells money?" A rant against the Wells contract?

He will be too expensive for the Jays to afford.  That is the point.

As to the point "Is the less valuable because he is a Right handed bat"?  The answer is Yes.  He is.

I don't care what Ted Rogers spends on Rios, and if JP's talk of a long-term offer for Rios is accurate, neither does Ted, so cost isn't a factor.

Excuse me?  Of course it is!  Cost is always a factor!  If Rios was offered 10 million and countered with 16-18, why on earth would the Jays pay that much for a corner OF?  Remember the Jays made an offer to Carlos Delgado too.  Remember how that went?  An offer is what it is.

It is better for the Jays to have a pitcher who has a) higher potential, b) cheaper for a couple more years, enabling the Jays to put the money in a different area.

Ryan Day - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 08:08 PM EST (#177239) #
Rios being right-handed doesn't have anything to do with anything. He hit lefties better in 2007, but was just about even in 2006. And the short-to-mid term future includes Overbay, Stairs, Lind, and Snider, maybe someone like Coats (who could be really useful if he can play the infield). Add one more decent left-handed bat and no one cares what side of the plate Rios hits from.
CaramonLS - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 08:32 PM EST (#177241) #

75% of the league throws Right handed.  Almost every single Right handed Bat has splits which favor hitting left handed pitching.  Splits matter and "decent" Left handed hitting doesn't cut it in the AL East.  And our "Above Average" Right handed hitters fall to "Average or Below Average" when facing Right handers.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 08:34 PM EST (#177242) #
I have already expressed my opinion that trading Rios for Lincecum would be overpayment, but I had two additional thoughts.

I wondered about the possibility of Snider "pulling a Pujols" and making the transition directly from the Midwest League due to the majors, until I checked out Pujols' Midwest League line.  Pujols had the wonderful strike zone control from the get-go.  Snider could use a year to work on it. Trading Rios incidentally does not open up a spot for Lind.  That spot is open now in left-field, with the notion that Reed Johnson is an acceptable everyday left-fielder/leadoff man being seriously misguided.

There is a conceivable reason to make the trade.  It may be that Rios will simply not agree to any contract covering his free agency years, public protestations to the contrary.  If one perceives the next 3 years as pretty much a lost cause, having Lincecum under control in years 4 and 5 may have much, much more value than the draft pick one gets when Rios leaves.  No one is going to say "wait til '11", of course...

Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 08:37 PM EST (#177243) #
Oh yeah.  Glaus will not be suspended, but Gibbons and Guillen will be.  I guess two Gs were enough to get the message home!
Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 08:46 PM EST (#177244) #
MGL weighs in on the proposed trade in BTF (later on in the comments).  You can check out this type of analysis in spades in the Book Blog.
Ryan Day - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 09:07 PM EST (#177245) #
Splits are important, but it's possible to overreact to them - particularly when you consider just about every Jay had splits way out of line with their careers in 2007. Even Overbay stopped hitting right-handed pitching - prior to this year, he'd never put up an OBP lower than .383 against righties.

So yes, if you conclude that everyone will maintain their freakishly bad performances against right-handed pitching, then they have a problem. But it looks less severe if even a couple players level out, and not at all bad if someone like Lind can earn a spot in the lineup.

JayWay - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 09:31 PM EST (#177248) #
Jason Stark believes that the O's top two offers for Bedard are from the Red Sox and Jays.

Is this thing still on?

ANationalAcrobat - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 09:45 PM EST (#177250) #
This scares me, a lot. Bedard took a massive step forward this year, increasing his K/9 by 3, lowering his BB/9, and lowering his H/9 by 2. His WHIP went from 1.38 and 1.35 in the last two years to 1.09. He is now a tremendous pitcher and it would undoubtedly cost an arm and a leg to get him. I really don't know what the hell the Jays could offer that wouldn't cripple us.

He has four years of service time, but if the Jays traded for him, they'd have to be confident they could re-sign him. As a Canadian, he probably wouldn't be opposed to playing here.

scottt - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 09:53 PM EST (#177251) #
It's kinda of silly to stick to Vernon Wells just because he got that big contract. If he doesn't hit in 2008, he shouldn't be anything more than a defensive replacement. It's about production, not payroll.

Replacing the best right handed bat by a platoon doesn't improve the offense. For the most part, Rios wasn't put in a position to produce in 2007 otherwise he would easily have had 100 RBIs.

There appears to be zero interest for Glauss and Burnett.

In other news:

The Baseball Writers Association of America passed a motion that players with bonus clauses in their contracts will be banned from receiving votes for any BBWAA awards starting in 2013. (Why wait that long?)

The Nationals appear to be leading the Lo Duca biddings.

Lind is still more likely to start in right field than Kenny Lofton.




scottt - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 09:57 PM EST (#177252) #
Also, there's a rumour  that Peter Angelos has ordered his people not to even consider trading Bedard within the AL East.


Mylegacy - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:04 PM EST (#177253) #

The Rios trade goes this way:

1) We've got Rios - or

2) We've got Lincecum and Lind. The question is are the Jay's better with those two or Rios? I say no question, JP's right on. This would be a righteous trade. 

HollywoodHartman - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:04 PM EST (#177254) #

I believe it's more than a rumor. In the ESPN article Stark pretty much dismisses the Sox and Jays because of that, despite the fact that they present the best offers. Because you know... Bedard being in the division may prevent them from taking the AL East in the next couple of years...

TamRa - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:13 PM EST (#177255) #
^^
Blair says NO ONE in the Jays managment, least of all JP, is at all interested in Lofton. He also says that they feel Lind is ready to play every day in the majors now.

Jdog - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:32 PM EST (#177256) #
Where are you getting the info on Lofton. It makes sense to me, I just cant find it on Blairs columns.
jeff mcl - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 10:59 PM EST (#177257) #
Wilner has made acquiring Loften his own personal mission quest and won't drop it even though JP has no interest, which is why you haven't seen Blair mention it.
John Northey - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:03 PM EST (#177258) #
If Angelos won't trade within the east then a 3 team trade (sort of) could happen. A NL team trades for Bedard, paying less than he is worth just due to that restriction. They then flip him to the Jays or Sox for what they were offering the Orioles.

It could happen and would be quite funny, even if it is to the Sox. Day 1: Bedard traded, Day 2: Bedard traded again and Orioles get pissed.
timpinder - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:08 PM EST (#177259) #

Here's the Blair blog regarding the lack of interest in Lofton:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/baseball

Here's Blair's latest for Friday's paper:
http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071206.wspt-blair06/GSStory/GlobeSports/home

Blair adds that another possible benefit of adding Lincecum is that he could, "help Dustin McGowan at the front end of the rotation post-Roy Halladay".

Blasphemy!  Halladay is immortal.

timpinder - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:15 PM EST (#177260) #

It's also exciting to hear Ricciardi mention that the Jays were even more active than the media knew and that there were still some possible moves. 

My gut tells me the Jays are going to make a play with the Dodgers to cover 3B post-Troy Glaus.  The deal is going to be centered around Glaus and La Roche.  Call me crazy, but that's my prediction.  The teams match up well.  The Dodgers need a power hitting 3B and pitching, which the Jays have, and the Jays want to replace Glaus and could use an outfielder if Rios is gone.  The Dodgers have and extra outfielder and of course La Roche, and Blair has stated the Jays "covet" La Roche.

It's complete speculation, but I'm hoping.

subculture - Thursday, December 06 2007 @ 11:56 PM EST (#177261) #
If you trade Rios, you're suddenly weaker in both RF and LF, and the lineup looks less intimidating than Kansas City. 

I'd sooner trade Wells, though it might be too late now, esp. after a crappy year.  I think Wells will rebound though, but that contract just didn't make sense.

If you add Lincecum to the rotation, you're pushing Litsch or Chacin out, and reducing the starts by Marcum or McGowan (one of which would become the 5th pitcher I assume).  I don't think this benefits the Jays that greatly, UNLESS they trade Burnett for young positional prospects or current players, to replace Rios, Glaus, or JMac.

Otherwise, I think we're becoming too focused on pitching, and our offense is really going to struggle against the power arms in the AL.   Though we will beat lefties!  And probably eke out some wins against the NL teams in interleague...

CaramonLS - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 12:21 AM EST (#177262) #

If you add Lincecum to the rotation, you're pushing Litsch or Chacin out, and reducing the starts by Marcum or McGowan (one of which would become the 5th pitcher I assume). 

If there is one thing I have learned, if the starts by either Marcum or McGowan are actually reduced during the season, that is great news.  Rotations NEVER stay healthy through the entire year, so if we're skipping those guys, we're probably doing just fine.

scottt - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 07:50 AM EST (#177265) #
Rios played 161 games last year. Lincecum played 24. While it makes filling the roster easier after 2008, it does not make the Jays any better this year. Besides, you can have an outfield of Wells, Rios, Lind and Snyder as long as you rotate them in the DH slot.


timpinder - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:15 AM EST (#177267) #

I'm not sold on Lincecum, but if he does come to Toronto for Rios and K's a batter an inning and posts an ERA of 4.00 like he did with the Giants, then I think that the Jays would be a better team in 2008.  I'll always take pitching over hitting, and hitting is a lot easier to find.  If you concede the divisions to the Red Sox, Tigers and Angels, then the Jays' competition is the Yankees and Indians for the wildcard.  Even with Rios, the Jays are probably two big bats away from being able to slug with those two teams, but the Jays' strength is their pitching, which is already better than New York's or Cleveland's.  In a 4-game series with the Yankees, for instance, Halladay-Burnett-McGowan-Lincecum could shut down the Yankees scary lineup (which is getting older).  The Jays' lineup would not spectacular (though I think it would be solid), they could probably put up some runs against Pettitte-Wang-Mussina-Hughes/Kennedy. 

To steal a thought from Mike Green, the Jays are closer to winning by pitching and defense a la the LAAofA of the last few years.  So why not build on your strength?  Assembling a crushing lineup isn't realistic right now, but a deep rotation of Halladay-Burnett-McGowan-Lincecum-Marcum/Janssen/Litsch, and a bullpen anchored by Ryan-Accardo could shut down any lineup in baseball. 

Mick Doherty - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:26 AM EST (#177268) #

 If you concede the divisions to the Red Sox, Tigers and Angels,

Really? Isn't it, um, early to be doing that? (In all three cases!)

timpinder - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:28 AM EST (#177269) #
I'd also like to add that some people need to get 2007 out of their heads.  The offense is not as bad as it seems.  Think 2006.  The team was ravaged by injuries last year and saw career lows from Zaun, Wells, Overbay, Thomas and Glaus.  While Thomas could repeat, the others should improve.  Lind also went through the expected adjustment struggles and should improve.  Lind seems to have followed the same path as Hill when he broke in, which was two months of mashing followed by a few painful months of adapting to the pitchers' adjustments.  Lind began to figure it out faster than Hill and started to hit again in 13 AB's in July, and was decent in his September call up.  He will be fine offensively if he fills in for Rios.  I don't think I'm being a homer when I say that Hill-Wells-Overbay-Thomas-Glaus-Stairs-Lind-Zaun-McDonald is a fine lineup even if the Jays don't add another bat.  It won't touch the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians or Tigers, but it is solid and above average, and the Jays' pitching could be superior to all.
timpinder - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:31 AM EST (#177270) #

Mick,

of course it is!  Anything can happen.  But right now, on paper, those are the best teams in their divisions and I was making a point.  Actually, nevermind, Texas is going to take the West!

bryanttelfer - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:34 AM EST (#177271) #

I agree with the philosophy that you always should give up a bat for an arm when all things are equal. Pitching is beyond thin right now, and a solid arm is worth more than an offensive bat right now.

That being said, I don't think Lincecum-Rios is a good trade. I don't think Lincecum's delivery is an injury worry; the way he uses his hips and that long stride to the plate doesn't look like a heavy strain when you watch it frame by frame. I'd be a little worried how he pivots the elbow coming through the slot, but otherwise, it's a pretty clean delivery. I'd worry more that the oddity of his delivery has been the reason for his '07 success, and once the caliber of hitters you get in NY and Boston have a chance to get used to his mechanics, you're going to end up with a 4-5 starter in the rotation.

Trading Rios for a fourth or fifth man in the rotation doesn't make sense. His defense and his bat are very strong pieces for the club, and while they can be replaced, it would be at a cost. It only makes sense if Lincecum is a reliable third position SP. Lincecum might be that, while Rios is already a proven above average bat in the lineup and glove in the field. I think it's a gamble, no two ways about it.

On the plus side, if it happens and works out the way JP hopes, the Jays are stronger with Lincecum on the club than with Rios. 4 plus starters, with depth on the 5 slot? Lind as a starting LF is a pretty good option, especially the way he's improved his defense in '07. You'll lose some defensive depth, especially when Stairs is starting, but at worst you're looking at a league average outfield. Once Lind chews up some more AB, it's very reasonable to expect he'll put up starting numbers at least.

Marc Hulet - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:55 AM EST (#177273) #

There aren't many baseball people out there that don't see Lincecum as at least a star No. 2 starters and possibly a No. 1... His stuff is that good. In this day and age of baseball, as much as I value Rios, Lincecum would be a steal... even if he slots into the third or fourth spot in the Jays' rotation right now. If the trade goes through, Toronto may very well have of the top 3 No. 3 (McGowan), No. 4 (Lincecum) and No. 5 (Marcum) starters in baseball.

The only real concern is that with his size, all-out effort approach and "unique" mechanics, Lincecum will burn very brightly for 6-10 years and then burn out very quickly... But with baseball you never know what will happen.

jmoney - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 11:10 AM EST (#177274) #
I think his delivery helps him give the batter fits but when you look at his stuff. I just don't see the guy being a bottom of the line starter.

Hell BJ Ryan doesn't have anywhere near the stuff of Lincecum and his deceptive delivery has been throwing off the AL East for years.

electric carrot - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 11:14 AM EST (#177275) #
The other thing to consider here is that God bless them the Jays are in the AL East with a lower payroll than the big two in that division. So I believe that high risk high reward guys like Lincecum (and Glaus and Burnett for that matter) make more sense in that environment than they would say if we were in the NL central. It seems to me that we need a year where 75-95% of things go our way to make it past one or two of those two giants. For that reason and others stated above I support the Lincecum idea.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 11:14 AM EST (#177276) #

If the trade happens, I'm pretty sure Lind would start in LF with Reed Johnson starting in RF (barring a trade/signing of another OF). I don't think Stairs figures to be anything more than a 200-300 AB bench player. It's possible that Lind figures his hitting out and at least hits RHP at a decent clip, but Johnson getting the bulk of playing time in RF would give the team two significant albatrosses in the lineup (Johnson and McDonald), unless Reed hits like he did in 2006, which is unreasonable to expect. Johnson, over a full season, is probably a .740-.770 OPS player. He brings defense, speed, and hopefully a decent OBP, but the Jays are in no position to hide a mediocre corner OF. The Red Sox and Yankees can do that, not Toronto.

I think a big reason why the hitting was so good in 2006, outside of a few career years (Reed, Zaun, Overbay) was the depth on the bench. You'd be hard pressed to find a better bench than Zaun, Johnson, Hinske, and McDonald anywhere in the league. Assuming the LoDuca rumor has legs, the bench may consist of Stairs, LoDuca, Scutaro, and an additional player (Adams, Coats, whoever) in 2008. That's solid. The Jays won't lose much by going with LoDuca over Zaun or Stairs over Lind/Johnson (they might even gain a bit). They'll definitely gain offensively with Scutaro over McDonald. If the Jays could afford to sign Mike Lamb as a back-up IF, then I'd be fairly comfortable with or without Rios on having at least a decent offense because there would be enough depth to cover key injuries.

Ultimately, I see Rios staying with the Jays. Pitching is a hot commodity, and I just don't see Rios himself getting a pitcher that will be worth trading him for. Lincecum is probably the only shot. It would take a lot more than Rios to get Bedard, Haren, etc.

John Northey - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 11:18 AM EST (#177277) #
Trading for someone who will burn brightly for 6 years is a great thing to do imo. You only have control of a player for that long in the majors anyways so as long as you watch out when free agency hits (ie: don't go nuts) and you'll be laughing.
bryanttelfer - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 11:39 AM EST (#177278) #

I think his delivery helps him give the batter fits but when you look at his stuff. I just don't see the guy being a bottom of the line starter.

Depends. There are plenty of excellent rookie years that turned into bad careers. Again, I'm saying Lincecum doesn't have good stuff, but there haven't been enough ML innings to be able to classify him as elite caliber either. If his effectiveness relies on batters thrown by his delivery, I think he'll get mangled in our division. That's not something we'll know until next year, which does make him a gamble, while Rios is a proven commodity. If he performs at the level JP believes he is, absolutely he'd be worth more to the ballclub than Rios. We just can't say that for sure going into this deal. 


Hell BJ Ryan doesn't have anywhere near the stuff of Lincecum and his deceptive delivery has been throwing off the AL East for years.

It's a lot different for relievers. Remember, a lineup is going to see your starter 2-3 times in a game, where as they might see a particular reliever 3-4 times over the entire season. Lincecum's stuff looks good, especially if it doesn't rely solely on the delivery to be effective. We just can't judge that yet because he hasn't been up long enough.

Halladayfan32 - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 12:31 PM EST (#177280) #

RHP Justin James was traded to the Reds to complete the deal that sent Buck Coats are way.

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-news-display&nid=A21929421197045087A

Wildrose - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 12:57 PM EST (#177281) #
If his effectiveness relies on batters thrown by his delivery, I think he'll get mangled in our division.

I posted this on this on another thread, but here it is again, the author makes a pretty strong case about Linecum's stuff being outstanding.

  
Mike Forbes - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 01:06 PM EST (#177282) #
Tim Lincecum's stuff is on par with AJ Burnett's. Lincecum doesn't throw quite as hard at 95ish but that seems to be so he can locate his pitches better seeing as he can crank it up to 98 when he needs it. Lets not forget he has the deadly curve that the Jays could soon become famous for. Halladay, Burnett and McGowan all feature stellar curves as out pitches, an absolute treat to watch.
Wildrose - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 01:07 PM EST (#177283) #
but there haven't been enough ML innings to be able to classify him as elite caliber either.

This is true enough, but we do have his college career to draw upon as well, essentially one of the most predictive pitching  stats  for gauging future pitching success is K/inning strike out ratio, Linecum is of the charts in this measure. 
HollywoodHartman - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 01:11 PM EST (#177284) #

No, it just says that IN ADDITION to his amazing stuff he has phenominal offspeed pitched.

"While Lincecum is mostly known for his fastball, he does have very strong off-speed pitches. If he uses these pitches a little more often, he could move quickly from a very good pitcher to one of the best pitchers in the league. With the Giants going with some younger players, their defense could improve next year. That could make Lincecum's numbers look even better. "

Wildrose - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 01:25 PM EST (#177285) #
So Lincecum has equity of 50 mil (in today's dollars) over the next 6 years, and Rios has 30 mil in equity over the next 4 years. The projections and calculations for Rios are more certain. And if Lincecum is indeed a larger-than-average injury risk, then we can reduce his equity somewhat.

MGL sums this deal up the best ( although he does not examine which is easier to obtain , top end pitching or top end hitting ?) If healthy Linecum has more potential value moving forward. That big if off-course is health. At the end of the day nobody can really predict injury, but pitching is such an unnatural  act for the human body you'd have to think Linecum at some point (especially given his age) will get hurt.

If I'm the G.M. I'm not sure I have the brass ones to make this deal given the injury risk, this however has to be weighed against the fact your the third most handicapped horse in your particular race, maintaining the status quo aint going to win the race, so maybe you need to push it. Tough call ,that's why Sabean and Riccardi get paid the big bucks.
TamRa - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 02:40 PM EST (#177289) #
On the notion of "hiding" a poor offensive Right Fielder...

Stairs v. RHP over the last three years:
.273.357.484.841
Johnson v. LHP in the same span:
.305.380.451.831
Rios overall in 2007:
.297.354.498.852


That's not a huge drop-off....

Of course, Rios isn't done imporving...but just as a matter of taking a step back offensively from where we are now....it's really not that much. Certainly easily overcome if, for instance Vernon hits like he can.

SheldonL - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 03:19 PM EST (#177290) #
Pitching wins championships...at least it does in the AL. Boston's staff featured Beckett, Schilling; NYY had Wang, Pettite, Clemens; Cleveland had Carmona, Sabathia and Westbrook; LAA had Lackey, Escobar, Weaver.
The Garland trade serves as a reminder that a strong SP is worth on par with a .300 hitting SS with Gold Glove credentials.

Pitching wins games. Other contenders realize this as well. Detroit's rotation now features Willis, Verlander, Bonderman - perhaps the best 1,2,3 in the league with Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers rounding out the 4 and 5.

Thus, a chance to have a rotation of Halladay(career ERA3.63), Burnett(career ERA3.76), McGowan(4.08 ERA last year), Marcum(4.13 ERA) and Lincecum(4.00 ERA). That's pretty damn good...possibly unmatched by any other AL team.
Every one seems to think that the Jays can't score runs. May I remind y'all that Glaus only had 365 AB's last year(he produced a good .262 avg and 20 HR's); had he been healthy that would have been a 30-35 HR season. Also, Overbay's hand was surely not 100%; a guy with a career .284/.362/.454 does not magically reduce to a .240/.314/.391. Furthermore, Wells was plagued all season...there's no way he's a .245/.304/.402 hitter.
The odds of these guys repeating such dreadful seasons is ridiculously low.

If the Rios trade goes through, we could have quite a potent offence
2B Hill(hit .291 the last two years with growing power)
RF Johnson(he's a left killer - lifetime .308/.377/.462; had his best season in a platoon role)/Stairs(give him 250-300 AB's to show that last year's performance was no fluke)
CF Wells(chalk him up for .285 avg, 30 HR's and 35 2B's)
DH Thomas( a repeat performance from last year is very likely considering he's in tremendous shape; remember he struggled out the gate so he could theoretically post a .500+slugging percentage with 30 HR's)
3B Glaus(he's 30Hr's and 80+ BB -money in the bank!)
LF Lind(give him an extended shot and I'm sure he'll produce at the very least 20 HR's with a .280 avg which is about average for a corner outfielder)
1B Overbay(he's good for a .290 avg, 20 HR's and a shot at 50 2B's)
C Zaun/LoDuca(not a traditional platoon; but rested catchers have been a good thing...see Molina-Zaun)
SS Scutaro/MacDonald

That's a worthy offence that combined with the aforementioned rotation should produce a division contender!

NOTE: Marcum hit a wall at the end of the season. Remember that after 18 starts, he had a 3.31 ERA among the league leaders. This can be attributed to the fact that the season before he was starting in the minors and then called up as a reliever. He then started games in September. In spring training he was used primarily as a reliever and by mid-May was being stretched out again. My point is that we should not just consider him an average number 5; he's a legitimate major leaguer whose endurance will be improved upon this off-season to make sure he can do the distance of a 32 game season!

FUN FACT: Lincecum had a very impressive first month to his career but he then stumbled to the tune of 22 ER, 14 walks in 18.2 IP in four starts; these are the sorts of hiccups every young pitcher faces. But Lincecum bounced back! He had a season of 4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP in 24 starts (146.2 IP, 122 hits, 65 walks, 150 K's).
If you take out the 4 start-nightmare out of the equation, Lincecum had the following line:

127.2 IP, 99 hits, 51 walks, 129 K's
3.05 ERA! 1.12 WHIP!
The kid is very polished at a very young age(look at Halladay's 2000 season and McGowan's 05 and 06 seasons for rookie hiccups)......J.P., get this deal done!
ayjackson - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 03:37 PM EST (#177291) #

I'm not sure if this is news, but Bill James projections are up at FanGraphs.  Here is Adam Lind.  There are pretty favourable offensive projections with Lind, Rios, Thomas, Glaus, Overbay and Wells projected at OPS of over .800.  Hill is projected just under .800 and Zaun and Johnson around .740.

The starting pitching looks good too.

subculture - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 03:47 PM EST (#177292) #

That's an interesting way to look at it.. so what's missing then is the runs allowed that combination will hurt you with compared to Rios.

Then, you've lost Johnson's defense in LF which was very good there, but may just be average in RF.  And if Lind does not develop to plan, your lineup has a huge hole in a production spot.

And if Well's misses any time for injury, no more subbing Rios in there, you've got to rely on Johnson, Lind, and Stairs as your OF... I'd take Kansas City's at that point.

I LIKE Lincecum A LOT!  But I'm not confident that we can replace Rios.... we need ANOTHER guy like Rios, not one less!  I think I'd trade Marcum or maybe even McGowan right now for a guy 90% as good as Rios. 

Last year McGowan, Marcum, Janssen and Accardo all flourished b/c there were openings for them... Litch too... next year, there are more arms that might not get that chance, if we trade for more pitching... (UNLESS WE TRADE BURNETT, then I"M ALL EARS!)

scottt - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 04:14 PM EST (#177293) #
It's Boston's offense, not their pitching that carried them last year. Same with the Yankees. And it's Vernon Wells hitting .226 in 452 AB against right handed pitching at the top of the order that sunk the Jays. Given that his loss of production was due to a shoulder injury, I wouldn't plan for more than a modest .250 until he demonstrate otherwise.




Chuck - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 04:23 PM EST (#177295) #
It's Boston's offense, not their pitching that carried them last year.

Boston averaged 5.35 RF/G (3rd in the league) and 4.06 RA/G (1st in the league). The league average was 4.90. Not even taking into account Boston's park, which traditionally favours hitters, the offense exceeded the league average by 0.45, the pitching by 0.84.
RhyZa - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 04:30 PM EST (#177296) #
Without looking into the stats, I could tell you their pitching won it for them more than the offense.

With that said, my instincts tell me these blanket statements of 'pitching wins' or 'offense wins' is non factual. Both need to be great, and the greater of one or the other relative to the league average can both lead to success.

Chuck - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 04:57 PM EST (#177297) #

With that said, my instincts tell me these blanket statements of 'pitching wins' or 'offense wins' is non factual. Both need to be great, and the greater of one or the other relative to the league average can both lead to success.

Hallelujah brother!

Further, as far as roster construction goes, there is a possibility of being too pitching-heavy, if this comes at the expense of hitting. Not that I think the Jays' chances of making the playoffs differ much with Rios vs. Lincecum -- I don't see those chances as strong one way or the other -- there is an argument to be made that Rios has more incremental value than Lincecum were the team to make the playoffs.

In the playoffs, the #1-3 starters pitch disproportionately more than they do doing the regular season, and the #4 and 5 starters disproportionately less. As such, while strong #4 and 5 starters can get you to the playoffs, they end up being underused, for lack of necessity, while in the playoffs. Thus one of Halladay, Burnett, McGowan, and Lincecum would not be leveraged as highly as Rios in the playoffs (the #4 starter would start just once in a 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-game series, while Rios would play every day).

This could be the rationale that is dissuading Boston from giving away the moon to acquire Santana. Yes, while a front-3 headed by Santana (Santana, Beckett, Dice-K) would obviously be stronger than a front-3 without Santana, the Red Sox #4 starter (presumably Schilling) would be handed a low leverage playoff role as a result of acquiring Santana. The argument could reasonably be made that Boston is likely to make the playoffs with or without Santana, and that they see the incremental value of keeping Ellsbury over Crisp (to say nothing of keeping Lester around) to be greater than the difference between the with-Santana front-3 and sans-Santana front-3.

A team confident of making the playoffs has to ensure that it has a strong front-3 in the rotation, and can let the back-end of the rotation slide, spending those dollars instead on hitters. The 1987 Twins rode a strong front-2 of Blyleven and Viola to the World Series, albeit on an 85-win team that most certainly did not start the season believing that making the playoffs were a given.

lexomatic - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 05:08 PM EST (#177298) #

the only thing I can think in regards to Chuck's comment is this:

Is it better to make it to the playoffs or have a roster structured to do well in the playoffs? I'll take door number 1 any day, because in a short series anything can happen. Secondly there is a history of pitching & defense teams doing well... especially if they have a tough bullpen. The Jays could potentially have that magic roster construction ratio that allows them to be a team that succeeds with a pitching and defense formula.. they would also have the potential for a big offense if everyone's healthy & does not regress too much.

In other words, if I had to choose between too much defense (pitching+defense) or too much offense, i'd choose the D, because at least there's a history of success that way if you don't ahve the league's best offense.

Lefty - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 05:21 PM EST (#177299) #
I'm fine with a pitching and defense team, its boring as hell, but if it succeeds then the average fan will turn out for the odd game.

The Angels succeeded with such a concept, but every game is a mighty struggle for the offense to get an extra run or two needed. Luckily for the Angels they have great team speed to chip in. Something the Jays severely lack.

SheldonL - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 05:24 PM EST (#177300) #
I'm with Lexolmatic here. The history of pitching winning trumps offence.

In 2006,
the Yanks made it with Mussina having a phenomenal year and Wang garnering Cy Young votes. Oakland had stellar performances from Haren and Zito. Minnesota had wunderkid Liriano for 16 starts, Santana was his usual self but more importantly Bonser and Radke helped out tremendously - one had a 4.22 ERA and the other 4.34 ERA. Minnesota didn't have a tremendously prolific offence. It also helped that they had a lights out rotation - in my opinion, we currently have a very strong bullpen too.
The Tigers that year also showed that pitching helps: Verlander, Rogers, Bonderman and Robertson each had ERA's under 4.09! They combined for 812.2 IP
That's really my point. Our Jays starters can collectively approach 1000 IP (out of 1458 possible IP - that's 162X9) with a cumulative ERA under 4.00!
That's championship calibre!
That trumps a Rios line of .310/.338/.535 when we already have a strong offensive supporting cast(believe it or not).
timpinder - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 05:41 PM EST (#177301) #

ayjackson,

The starting pitching certainly does look very good, but the projections show a decline for every single member of the bullpen.  I must say I'm not at all surprised by that. 

I found it interesting that Lind projects to hit better than Rios next year (849 OPS vs. 837 OPS).  While James' projections might be just a little high for Lind, his minor league stats and sweet swing have me convinced that they're pretty close.

I've compiled the entire roster on Word, and based on the projections provided, the Jays should have a decent lineup with six of their nine starters having an OPS of over .803, and Hill just a little behind with a projected OPS of .786.  The projections also suggest a great rotation and average bullpen.  The lineup could use some more homerun power, and Lind projects to have the highest slugging percentage of the entire Jays' staff.  I hope he mashes in AAA and forces the Jays' hand.

SheldonL - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 06:00 PM EST (#177302) #
my last post about pitching winning cahmpionships, I promise!

In 2005,

The Angels won their division thanks to four pitchers posting ERA's under 3.75(Washburn, Colon, Lackey, Byrd) in 813.1 IP.
The ChiSox had Garland, Buerhle, Contreras and Freddy Garcia posting ERA's under 3.88 over 890.1 IP. It also helped that Brandon McCarthy posted an ERA of 4.02 in 67 IP over 10 starts.
Boston had terrile pitching...Schilling was hurt, only Wakefield had a respectable ERA of 4.15...the others ranged between 4.45-4.57
The Yanks had a good season from Randy Johnson(3.87 ERA). Wang pitched well in 18 starts (4.02ERA). Aaron Small and Chacon combined for about 21 starts and both had ERA'a under 3.20).

That's it, I swear!
Mylegacy - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 06:32 PM EST (#177303) #

The Hardball times has an interesting article on Tim Lincecum's stuff. They seem impressed. Me too.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/anatomy-of-a-player-tim-lincecum/

Wildrose - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 06:46 PM EST (#177304) #
They seem impressed. Me too.

I'm glad your impressed this is the third time this article has been linked.
Malcolm Little - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 07:51 PM EST (#177305) #

I just want to remind people of how far Rios has advanced in the last two years; before the 2006 season, I spent the offseason here reading threads about trading Rios for Craig Wilson of the Pirates. And now, he could go for a potential ace. (For the record, then, I didn't want the Jays to trade him, as I thought he would still bust out. Now, I do want Lincecum, and I'd pounce on that.)

ANationalAcrobat - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 07:59 PM EST (#177306) #
How many of you knew that Lincecum is in fact controlled for six more years? I certainly didn't, until I read about it on McCovey Chronicles.

I've read rumours that if Noah Lowry is traded for an outfielder, Lincecum will be staying put. Those of you who want Lincecum can take heart from the fact the Lowry sucks. His GB rate is decent, but he walks as many as he strikes out, and his strikeout rate is not even that bad. His FIP and XFIP are miles away from his ERA, though he was a good pitcher as recently as 2005. Of course this is all in a pitchers' park in the NL West. I'm pretty sure I want the Lincecum trade going through, so I'm hoping no one thinks is Lowry is any good.

scottt - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 08:12 PM EST (#177307) #
Boston averaged 5.35 RF/G (3rd in the league) and 4.06 RA/G (1st in the league). The league average was 4.90. Not even taking into account Boston's park, which traditionally favours hitters, the offense exceeded the league average by 0.45, the pitching by 0.84.

Can you post the teams that finished in the top 3 in both, as well as where the Blue Jays landed. 

Ultimately, what matters is the number of wins, how close does that match RF/G - RA/G
Chuck - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 08:21 PM EST (#177308) #
Can you post the teams that finished in the top 3 in both, as well as where the Blue Jays landed.

Look here.
Geoff - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:00 PM EST (#177310) #
Not to be left out of any rumor mill, the Yankees are being bowled over by the Giants to trade Lincecum or Cain for Hideki Matsui.

Hadn't seen news of this here yet, but here you go.

IN other news, Damaso Marte was once a Yankee.
Jimbag - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:06 PM EST (#177311) #
There's a lot of crystal balls here that are getting all fogged up. Last year I thought the Jays would be winning ballgames 11-9, and losing them 13-8. All the signs at the beginning of the season pointed to the Jays having a weak pitching staff and an explosive offense. While we saw a little of both over the course of the season, we most often saw the exact opposite.

No one can truly say what Lincecum will develop into as a pitcher - his numbers to date are certainly promising, but it's still early days. He has great velocity (which cannot be taught), apparently good control (not having seen him pitch once last year I can't verify that), mechanics that seem to addle batters, and he's young! If the trade were to take place and he delivers on his potential, then the Jays win the deal hands down. However, Rios is a more proven quantity - aside from the freak staph infection, he's been very durable. His defense is (minus the odd mental gaffe) very very good. His arm is underrated, not just for sheer power, but for accuracy as well. His range is well above average for a RF, and his offensive abilities seem to be developing with every game he plays. He hits for average, for power, and he makes productive outs when the situation calls for it.

Someone said earlier that you should make (or not make) this trade based on what you think each player will become in the future. I couldn't agree more.

If I were the GM, I think I'd make this deal. Then I'd go out and sign someone with a great reputation for treating ulcers to the medical staff.

Even if nothing comes of this rumour - this is what winter baseball is all about. 2 young and promising players possibly being swapped for each other to fill a need for their respective teams. This trade has every hope of being the quintessential Win-Win deal for both teams involved...but I'll leave that up to the Sybils in the crowd to debate.

melondough - Friday, December 07 2007 @ 10:20 PM EST (#177312) #

Interesting article that summarizes the disdain most of San Francisco have for the possibility of Lincecum being dealt:

http://www.examiner.com/a-1092886~Liotta__Is_Rios_really_that_exciting_.html

I found his reasoning of why this deal is even being contemplated quite enlightening.  More specifically...

"So the Giants are desperate. And desperate ainít where you want to be when you want to make a trade.  These Giants have a lineup of has-beens and nice players on the downside of their career. Not an ounce of hope among íem. Apparently, while everybody was watching Barry Bonds hit all those home runs, the Giantsí cupboard of hitting talent was going bare.   Which leaves this team staring at wasting two or three years of great outings from Matt Cain and Lincecum. Thatís why theyíre forced to consider Alex Rios and a deal that could come back to haunt them for the next 15 years.  Thereís another thing going on here, too. The Giants are treating Lincecum like he is found money and thatís a mistake. They never expected to be able to draft him, but there he was, available for the 10th pick of the 2006 draft."

Oh, how I would so love this deal to go through.  I don't mean to get caught up in all this "Lincecum is God" business but I have to believe he is worth more than Rios.  Let's offer Rios and one of Litch or Pursey and get on with it.

dalimon5 - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 12:46 AM EST (#177313) #
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071206&content_id=2320492&vkey=hotstove2007&fext=.jsp

Looks like rios-lincecum only goes down if the Giants can't find any other alternative. It may be awhile before anything happens. There is also an article by Bastian at the blue jays official mlb site saying that Toronto is also looking into extending Rios for 4 years.

zeppelinkm - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 07:01 AM EST (#177314) #
If Lincecum goes to the Yankees for a trade focused on Matsui, all I can say is, what the hell? Rios is younger, better defensively, and every bit as offensively capable as Matsui (with greater upside to boot). Why would the Giants want to build their offense around a 33 year old when they can do it around a 27 year old?

The Yankees would come out unquestionably on top if a trade like that goes through. Surely the Giants are asking them to throw in another high end prospect to make that deal work. Additionally, the trade off to the Yanks for losing Matsui and gaining Lincecum is undeniably advantageous to the Yankees. That amount of pitching gain would more then make up the hit on their offense. Not a good situation for the Jays.

scottt - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 08:16 AM EST (#177315) #
Lincecum is not the type of pitchers the Yankees typically go after. If he was a Yankee he would have been on the offer sheet for Santana.
Chuck - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 08:24 AM EST (#177316) #

While I can certainly see Sabean wanting Matsui, given his fondness for veterans, I can't fathom for an instant that Cain or Lincecum would be involved. For what it's worth, Joe Sheehan doesn't believe that such a deal is plausible either.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 10:30 AM EST (#177317) #
I'm in favour of Rios (and a prospect such as Cecil, Diaz or Thigpen) in exchange for Cain. I'm opposed to Rios-for-Lincecum (an exciting young player who is riskier than Cain), but just barely.

I'm optimistic about Lind long-term, but our outfield could become a liability without Rios, who could be the cornerstone of the club in a year or two. If we got the 2007 versions of Lind, Wells and Johnson, the 2008 club would be in serious trouble. Of course, things start to get more interesting in 2009 or 2010, when we could have an OF of Lind-Wells-Snider.

I also think Rios could be on the verge of a few big years. He's been around the league a few times, is in his prime and should benefit from better protection in the lineup this year. Plus we have a new hitting coach favoured by Jeter and Posada...

lexomatic - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 11:39 AM EST (#177318) #
I'd definitely like to avoid throwing in Cecil to any possible trade... if anyone from greenfrog's list i'd have to say Thigpen because it doesn't seem like he's got a role here.
Dave501 - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 12:19 PM EST (#177319) #
Nobody wants Joey Lawrence the 2nd, err, make that third... woah.... uh, i mean Thigpen, nobody wants Thigpen.  Don't count on him being a name that's going to swing a deal one way or another.
mathesond - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 12:46 PM EST (#177320) #
I wouldn't mind seeing the Jays make a play for Jhonny Peralta. I have no idea what sort of package it would take, although I can't help but think Cleveland would have interest in Jeremy Accardo, for starters. According to the previously linked Joe Sheehan chat, the Indians have an SS in Cabrera that seems to be ready to step in right away. Of course, it's entirely possible that Cleveland would prefer to trade Cabrera.
subculture - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 01:44 PM EST (#177322) #
Seems like no-one's talking much about the DEFENCE part of PITCHING and DEFENCE wins games ;)

These numbers aren't based on anything but my opinion, but let's say Lincecum has a .75 era less than the guy he replaces.

Now, let's inflate all the starter's era by .25, as a result of weakening the outfield defence in 2 places (due to lost range, errors, less assists, extra bases taken by runners).  And if Wells misses any time, fughedaboutit..

And how about the SPEED part of grinding and eking out low-scoring games?

Let's remove the stolen bases that Rios would steal, and likely increase the number of double plays the slower jays lineup would hit into. 

Chuck said it best, it's how much better you are in both the RA AND the RS column that gets you wins... also, when you've got JMac in your lineup, you can't afford another unproductive spot.

I'm not saying the Jays are a crappy hitting team... but they need to be firing on all cylinders to compete with the big boys, and without Rios I just don't see it. 

Excalabur - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 03:32 PM EST (#177323) #
So, defense is important. 

But there's no way that Rios to Lind is 40 runs.  Exceptional defenders are about +20 to +25, horrific ones usually get to about -20 before they get moved to an easier spot defensively (unless they're named "Jeter").   I think a more reasonable estimate would be about 20 to 25 runs worse, or 1/8th of a point of RA.


And it's not clear that being mediocre at hitting and quite good at pitching is better than being bad at hitting and awesome at pitching.  I'd in fact argue that if you're going to have JMac in the lineup, you want to be as good at pitching as possible, and sod this hitting thing more-or-less entirely.  
Roy-AJ-Dustin-Tiny Tim-Marcum would be a hell of a rotation, even if Marcum regresses some. 

greenfrog - Saturday, December 08 2007 @ 05:54 PM EST (#177328) #
I'd in fact argue that if you're going to have JMac in the lineup, you want to be as good at pitching as possible, and sod this hitting thing more-or-less entirely

This might be an accurate description of the Giants, who finished 71-91 last year.
SmP - Monday, December 10 2007 @ 04:37 AM EST (#177382) #

There is no way the Rios for Lincecum deal will go through. Period. I'm surprised Sabean is even considering it. Kudos to JP for the attempt.

There is no way that the Jays will make the playoffs in the near future. Rios or Lincecum won't change that fact.

I have been reading this board regularly for a few years now, and like every other year, I will make my one and only comment for the year:

The Jays will, unfortunately, flirt with the .500 mark again.  However, I'll still watch them religiously like the masochist that I am.

Keep up the posts, I enjoy reading them.

Cheers!

P.S. What happened to JP's 5 year plan?

P.P.S. Isn't it time that the Jays get a legimate/proven Manager? To me that would be the first sign of a club willing to contend.

VBF - Monday, December 10 2007 @ 10:58 AM EST (#177385) #

This might be an accurate description of the Giants, who finished 71-91 last year.

You could probably make a similar argument for the A's, the past few years.

TamRa - Monday, December 10 2007 @ 10:05 PM EST (#177419) #

P.S. What happened to JP's 5 year plan?

P.P.S. Isn't it time that the Jays get a legimate/proven Manager? To me that would be the first sign of a club willing to contend.

------------------------------------

How many "proven" GM's are sitting without a job? By my count - One...and that one criticized for leaving his farm system almost barren.


How many currently employed "good" GM's will leave there current team to work for the Jays? I don't see even one.


How many currently employed GM's have assembled powerhouse teams that make the playoffs virtually every year? Two...who just happen to run the two teams with virtually unlimited payrolls. Even the best of the rest - Shapero, Beane, Towers...have teams that cycle up and down in the standings - every single one of the teams who are sometimes contenders have had sub .500 records in the last five years except the Phillies.


So, given your profound distaste for JP, maybe you could break your pattern for a second post this year and show us a "proven" (your word) who is available and has better results than JP that he should be replaced with. Absent such an individual, your only choice is to start over with another novice and hope he proves out - 5 or 6 years from now - to be better.

Doesn't sound like a promising prospect to me.

Winter Meetings - Thursday | 116 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.