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Such a holiday


Well, if you're just playing out the string, might as well make sure that the Yankees are just playing out the string as well. Gives one's life a little bit of purpose...

Anyway, I think I'll share some random predictions regarding the home team and the months ahead.


1. J.P. Ricciardi will return in 2009. Mind you, his team will need to win at least 90 games if he's going to return for the final year of his contract. But even if Ricciardi is replaced before his contract runs out, do not expect his successor to blow it all up and start over. Ted Rogers will not hire someone who has that in mind. If the Jays were to blow it up, and commit to losing 90 games for a year or two, it would cost them big-time in attendance and TV ratings and general economic synergy. It's not going to happen. Rogers Communications is a publicly traded company, with a board and stockholders - they're not in business to lose money. And Ted Rogers is 75 years old. He's only three years younger than George Steinbrenner, and I don't think he's much interested in a five-year plan at this stage. I think he wants to win, as soon as possible.

2. Paul Godfrey is moving on after this season. And that means there's an opening for a team president - the person who stands between the owner and the GM. I don't think Paul Beeston is coming back, and I don't have a clue who might fill this role.

3. Brad Arnsberg is going to be replaced. I don't think he's in the loop anymore. Cito Gaston has made more visits to the mound in the last two months merely to visit pitchers than he did in his entire first term as manager.

4. A.J. Burnett is gone. We all know that, right?

5. The Jays will pursue two free agents with particular zeal - Jason Giambi (assuming the Yankees don't exercise their option) and Ben Sheets. The idea will be to lock them up while the Yankees are going hard after Sabathia and Teixeira. Plan B - I dunno. Raul Ibanez? Pat Burrell? Jon Garland? Oliver Perez? Well, not Perez (a Boras client.)

6. Travis Snider will spend most of the 2009 season in Syracuse.
1 September 2008: Labour Day | 46 comments | Create New Account
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China fan - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 04:55 AM EDT (#191648) #
I think those are all very shrewd and astute predictions, and I can't disagree with any of them.   I wonder if the Jays have enough money to make a serious run at both Giambi and Sheets.  It would take at least $25-million per year for the next two or three years, no?   Of course the Jays will save a big chunk of change next year when Burnett, Thomas, Eckstein and Stairs are off the books, but those savings alone are insufficient to pay for Giambi and Sheets both.  Maybe Rogers will boost the payroll.
 If the Jays only have enough money for one of those two free agents, I'd vote for Giambi.   The team badly needs a slugger, and Snider is unlikely to be ready in 2009.  As for pitching -- there's a good chance that the Jays have enough pitching depth in 2009 without a free-agent signing.  In my opinion, the most likely rotation next season is Halladay, Marcum, Litsch, McGowan and Purcey.  A bit of a gamble, but could be fine.  A couple of those pitchers could falter, but the Jays have lots of depth with Janssen, Cecil, Parrish, Richmond, Romero and Wolfe.   Sheets would be great to have, but I think the offence should be the top priority when Ricciardi is looking at free agents.
China fan - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 05:10 AM EDT (#191649) #
Well, my math is maybe a bit faulty.   If you add up all the money that the Jays paid in 2008 to Burnett, Thomas, Eckstein and Stairs, it's roughly equal to $25-million or $26-million.   But some of those savings might need to be applied to a free-agent shortstop.  And $25-million or $26-million per year is probably not enough to pay for Giambi and Sheets anyway.
TamRa - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 05:52 AM EDT (#191651) #
Fully agree on #1, pretty much agree on #2 and i think that both Beeston and gillick will have the opportunity to take it if the want it; regretfully agree on #3 but I think he will make the choice, not the team; no need to comment on AJ; I'm not sure about what slugger they persue, but I have a hunch about the pitcher. i was going to hold it for the blog but i already ask Wilner about it so it's out there but i want credit (lol)

The Jays won't even sniff at the 8-figure guys. They will surprise everyone and sing Pedro Martinez to a low-base incentive-laden contract for one year with an option figuring that when(if) he breaks down Mcgowan or Cecil or maybe Janssen will be ready by then.

Finally, I expect a play for Khalil Greene if they can get him in a slaary dump and not a full price.


Pistol - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#191653) #
If you add up all the money that the Jays paid in 2008 to Burnett, Thomas, Eckstein and Stairs, it's roughly equal to $25-million or $26-million.   But some of those savings might need to be applied to a free-agent shortstop.  And $25-million or $26-million per year is probably not enough to pay for Giambi and Sheets anyway.

Not to mention that most players salaries increase each year so it wouldn't be nearly that much.
Dave Till - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#191654) #
If Godfrey moves on (a distinct possibility), who will they get to replace him who won't want the clout to fire J.P. and rebuild the organization in his image? Or are they just looking for somebody to handle the business side and create a Beeston/Gillick-style partnership? How is this going to work?

I agree that J.P. will be back. A new GM would want to put his own manager in place, and the Jays are committed to giving Cito another year (as they should be).

I didn't realize that Cito was visiting the mound, not Arnsberg. Is Mel Queen now calling the shots when it comes to pitching? I assume the decisions to demote Litsch and Marcum weren't of Arnsberg's doing. Maybe Queen will take Arnsberg's place.

I agree: A.J. is gone. I just hope it's not to the Yankees (who will bid on him, I'm sure).

As for free agents: I guess it depends on what the budget is. I can't see Giambi coming here, but you never know.


Frank Markotich - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#191655) #

Magpie, on point 1 what is your basis for saying that Ted Rogers "wants to win"?

I'm sure he does in the sense that like anybody he'd rather win than lose, and I'm sure he is aware that a winning team will generate more revenue. Still, I have never heard anything to indicate that Rogers (the person or the company) would take victories for their own sake over net income (i.e. wins generate revenue but also have a cost). Spending the extra money is not a guarantee of winning, though it may be necessary.

Do you think Rogers sees the team in the sense of something other than a business venture?

Magpie - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#191656) #
I think mainly that Rogers would rather win than lose. By no means is he as obsessed about it as Steinbrenner. (Not many of the humans actually are.) But on the whole, Rogers thinks winning is likely to be good for business. And a modest budget bump for 2009 - another 5-10 million beyond what they're spending now - is quite within the realm of possibility.
Moe - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#191658) #
I agree, it seems the Jays are generating revenue (and profits) for Rogers and if it takes another 5 million to tell customers that the Jays will contend, they'll do it. That's why right now, I'd also bet on JP staying for one more year. Nevertheless, I don't see them handing out any long term deals mainly because they have to think about possibly starting over after 2009 or '10.

So who might come? I could see Giambi, I don't think the Yankees will pick up the option (too expensive and they already have too many DH types) and he's probably fine with a 2 year deal. He's a big name that you can sell, but he starts getting slow, so I'm not sure whether that's a smart move. What about Abreu? I'm not sure he would be interested in coming in as a DH and he'd probably want more than 2 years, but given the trend that midlevel FA a squeezed out (either get a star or go young), you never know.
As for pitchers, I would think Sheets is too expensive (and too long term), plus he's from the NL. What about someone cheaper as a stopgap? Byrd is having a solid 2nd half. And if you want a  big name, isn't Randy  Johnson a FA -- just kidding.

As for Arnsberg, I don't quite understand the situation. He is a JP guy and seems to be good at what he does. So, (a) why would he be cut out by JP and (b) why would Cito (who is not a pitching guy) not be willing to work with him?

westcoast dude - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#191660) #
AJ Burnett will be back if he wins 20 games, in other words, if he has a comfortable groove. Of course, if he leaves he's taking a chance on messing up his mojo, not fitting in and possibly getting hurt on his new team. There's only one thing more important than the money, and that's being a 20 game winner--back to back.
Magpie - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#191661) #
why would Cito (who is not a pitching guy) not be willing to work with [Arnsberg]?

No idea. Arnsberg seems to have been out of the loop on some of the decisions made regarding Litsch and Marcum. For the moment, it may simply come down to the fact that Gaston and Arnsberg may not really know each other, haven't worked together before, and may not be communicating very well with each other. That may or may not get fixed, but in the meantime, during the game, Gaston is going to take care of business himself.

Butterfield, whose real specialty is working with the infielders anyway, looks safer. But while Butterfield is still the bench coach in name, it sure looks to me like the job of being the manager's consigliere is being handled by Tenace. During the games anyway.

Gaston has no real network within the game, no long list of cronies and associates. Tenace and Leyva is about it. If he were asked to appoint a pitching coach, he probably wouldn't have much he could suggest. Mel Queen. Maybe Pat Hentgen, who knows?


John Northey - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#191662) #
Just put together a spreadsheet taking advantage of Cot's Contracts.  I ignored bonuses that were signing bonuses that were paid the day they signed or on a certain year (listed with that year) as the Jays have mentioned in the past those do not affect future payroll decisions.  Example: Overbay was paid $3.8 million when signed thus many sources list him as getting $7.95 next year rather than $7 but that bonus was to up his pay in 2007.  Wells has $8.5 million in bonus pay for 2008/2009/2010 paid to him plus his salary of $0.5, $1.5, $12.5 thus I list his pay as bonus plus salary for those years since that is what he gets those years for all practical (and Rogers accounting) purposes.  Guys who are arbitration elgible I guessed at, removing guys like Zaun and AJ who we know are going, and putting all pre-arbitration guys down to $500,000 ($400k is the minimum but some will be higher, some lower).

Player Position 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Notes
Overbay 1B $7.000 $7.000





Hill 2B $2.590 $4.000 $5.000 $8.000 $8.000 $10.000
last 3 are team options
Rolen 3B $11.000 $11.000




Card paying $4 mil bonus after 2010
McDonald SS $1.900






Lind LF $0.500





Jays choice
Wells CF $10.000 $21.000 $23.000 $21.000 $21.000 $21.000

Rios RF $5.900 $9.700 $12.000 $12.000 $12.500 $12.500 $13.500 $1 mil buyout on 2015
Barajas CA $2.500





500k buyout
Thigpen CA $0.500





Jays choice
Scutaro IF/OF $1.100






Inglett 2B/LF $0.500





Jays choice
Bautista 3B/LF $2.500





estimate, $1.8 this year
Snider DH/LF $0.500





Jays choice
 








Halladay SP (R) $14.250 $15.750





Marcum SP (R) $0.500





Jays choice
McGowan SP (R) $0.500





Jays choice
Purcey SP (L) $0.500





Jays choice
Litsch SP (R) $0.500





Jays choice
 








Ryan RP (L) $10.000 $10.000





Frasor RP (R) $1.500





Estimate, $1.1 this year
Accardo RP (R) $0.750





arbitration
Janssen RP (R) $0.500





Jays choice
Tallet RP (L) $1.000





640k for '08
Downs RP (L) $3.750 $4.000





League RP (R) $0.750





arbitration
Carlson RP (L) $0.500





Jays choice
Camp RP (R) $0.750





arbitration










Totals
$82.240 $82.450 $40.000 $41.000 $41.500 $43.500 $13.500

So the Jays right now are looking at being $15 million lower in payroll for 2009 than 2008.  Mix in the fact ML payrolls as a whole climb 10% per year as a rule (very strong rule) and the Jays could have $15 + $9.7 = $24.7 million available for 2009.  The problem is 2010 is a nightmare with more committed for 2010 already than the 2009 payroll would be if all stayed the same as today.  If all else stayed the same (ie: everyone made the same in 2010 as 2009 outside of pre-signed contracts) the Jays would be looking at a $100.2 million payroll in 2010 but some of those cheap guys will reach arbitration and some arbitration guys will be looking at raises.  Arbitration guys would include Marcum, McGowan, and Janssen (Lind & Inglett would just miss).  McDonald, Barajas, and Scutaro will all be free agents after 2009.

Now, if you add 10% per year then the Jays would have a $117 million payroll (roughly) in 2010 available thus $17 million to pay for raises to Marcum/McGowan/Janssen and to sign/find replacements for McDonald/Barajas/Scutaro.  I expect the Jays to look for a trade involving Wells and/or Rolen as those are the biggest payroll slots that could be cleared (no way Halladay being traded although his contract might be restructured - big 2009 bonus to eat some of that space and open up space for 2010 while extending him to 2014).  No question that Wells is the elephant in the payroll though - if Wells was a signing done more by Godfrey than JP then JP has his argument that could save his job (I didn't want to blow that on him, could've replaced cheaper and saved Rogers $20 mil a year) but it still will screw up the payroll for years.
Thomas - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#191663) #
I expect the Jays to look for a trade involving Wells

Which team is going to want to trade for Wells at $117 million over six years?
Moe - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#191664) #
Which team is going to want to trade for Wells at $117 million over six years?

If he has a great year in 2009 -- and I think there is a real chance of that, not only because of the 2003, 06... pattern -- and salaries keep rising, you could find a taker, especially if the Jays throw in a prospect and/or ask for little in return (which I take as a given)

However, in that scenario, unless they decide to blow up the team, they may want to keep him. Yes, 20 mill is a lot of money and V.W. won't be a CF any more at one point but there is a real chance he produces in the 15 mill range. Then, if the Jays keep doing what they have been doing for the past years (win about 85 games and talk about next year) he is not overpaid enough to get rid of him at all cost, especially if there is no one in the organization taking is spot.


Mylegacy - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#191665) #

On Wells and the several billion we're going to have to pay him over the next few years.

Every now and then - and now is one of those times -  Wells hits like a "natural." By that I mean it appears his mind is just a part of his batting experience. His body just reacts. That's why when his body is in sync with his inner cosmos - he hits like a god. However, when his body is more in sync with his lower bowels he hits  like sh*t. I like him - if I had faith in his astrological charts for the next 5 or 6 years I'd say keep him - since I don't believe in astrology - I'm a bit more skeptical.

Ron - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#191667) #

I spent almost an hour typing out my experiences on my recent vacation (I saw the Red Sox and Yankees in Toronto and the Jays at Yankee Stadium) but I closed it without saving it. But let me say going to Monument Park was a real treat. If any of you are going to head down to Yankee stadium this month, you better get there early. I went to line up 3 hours before the game started and there were already about 150 people in line. I was lucky enough to get in and check out all the plaques. Itís great to see it on television but itís a million times better to be there in person to observe all the history. I expected security to encourage us to hurry up so the line would move quicker but it wasnít the case. I was able to snap a ton of pictures. As you exit Monument Park, you walk along the OF wall and the Jays were out warming up at the time. Halladay was tossing to Arnsberg about 10 feet away from me. Because I hadnít been on the internet, I didnít know Snider had been called up. I gave him a big ovation before his first AB and when he made that leaping catch and his double. The Yankee fans didnít really get on me for cheering on the Jays. I didnít get any beer poured on me but one fan did say ďno matter how bad it is for the Yankees, at least we are not TorontoĒ. I didnít really have a comeback for that so I agreed with him, lol. Overall, it was just an incredible experience to soak up the atmosphere in Yankee stadium.

Pepper Moffatt - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#191668) #
I expect the Jays to look for a trade involving Wells

Which team is going to want to trade for Wells at $117 million over six years?

There's a team in New York that could use a CF and has money.  And isn't the Mets.
Magpie - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#191669) #
I spent almost an hour typing out my experiences on my recent vacation (I saw the Red Sox and Yankees in Toronto and the Jays at Yankee Stadium) but I closed it without saving it.

If you get around to typing it all again...; it sure sounds like a worthy Pinch Hit to me. (I think those are Matthew's department.) I for one would like to read it, and I doubt that I'm the only one.
Skills - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#191670) #

I'm sure your Yankee Stadium experience was wonderful, but just for the record, Yankees fans are awful. I've lived in northern NJ my entire life and have had to deal with Yankees fans the entire time. While their fandom does not necessarily reflect who they are as people, I have found that generally their baseball knowledge extends to the Yankees only (except for what ESPN broadcasts, which is essentially Yankees and Red Sox only). Every prospect that comes up is destined to be a hall of famer and every free agent signing is a good one. The payroll difference is practically irrelevant despite the ability to repeatedly absorb gigantic mistakes like Pavano that would torpedo virtually any other teams to compose a competitive roster. Every year, whether realistic or not, they think they have the best team in the league.

Since 2001 its been great watching their flawed teams falter in the playoffs. This year has been especially sweet since I told several Yankees fan friends of mine at the start of the season that the Yankees would miss the playoffs because their pitching staff was garbage (Wang is no Halladay), Ian Kennedy is not the same talent as Phillip Hughes, and highly touted young pitchers (Hughes, Kennedy, Joba), even those legitimately talented, cannot be expected to fulfill their potential right out of the gate (see e.g. Carpenter, Escobar, Halladay).

I haven't heard too much from these friends recently, but I hope this year's difficulty encourages them to learn more about baseball instead of just being Yankees yeasayers.

greenfrog - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#191671) #
Wells will command a big salary from 2010 on, but if Rogers wants to keep the team competitive, the company is going to have to increase payroll by then anyway. Which will make Wells's contract a less hefty chunk of the team's total payroll. I think if he can stay mostly healthy, play a strong CF (and I know some metrics say he's in decline), and consistently post an 800+ OPS, Wells will be a valuable player to have around. Overpaid, possibly, but still valuable.

I don't really understand the team wanting to replace Arnsberg (if in fact there is substance behind that rumour). Of course, there is usually more to the story. But the Jays have allowed the fewest runs in the majors this year - how often does a team get to make that claim? - and they were great in that dept. last year too. Does anyone really think our pitching staff is underachieving? Could it be that we're starting to take all the fantastic run prevention for granted?
Thomas - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#191672) #
There's a team in New York that could use a CF and has money.  And isn't the Mets.

Point taken and the Jays should at least listen if the Yankees make any serious offers. Although, I'll reiterate that it will be awfully hard to unload Wells, as John seems to suggest the Blue Jays do, without eating an awful lot of that contract given his performance over the past two seasons (he's hitting well this year, but when you weigh that against 2007 and add in the injuries and money....).

And, if the Jays eating a big chunk of the contract it doesn't make sense because the team is trading low on Wells and  it doesn't free up a huge amount of payroll space each year. I'm not arguing against attempting to trade him more seriously after 2010, say, but that wasn't what was proposed, given that he was talking about the payroll crunch in 2010.
Thomas - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#191673) #
I wish we had the ability to edit our posts.
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#191674) #
"Point taken and the Jays should at least listen if the Yankees make any serious offers. Although, I'll reiterate that it will be awfully hard to unload Wells, as John seems to suggest the Blue Jays do, without eating an awful lot of that contract given his performance over the past two seasons (he's hitting well this year, but when you weigh that against 2007 and add in the injuries and money....)."

I agree and I think it's highly unlikely to happen, but...

The Yankees need a CF and they're going to get one from somewhere.. and there doesn't seem to be too many of them out there.  Who else might be available that Yankees would want?
Ducey - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#191675) #

Nice chart John,

Is it just me or should the Jays be looking to unload BJ?  He is making $10 million a year, seems always on the edge of blowing saves and has the Closer TM thing going.  He should be better next year than this due to further recovery on his arm.

Seems like the kind of guy that could be traded for some offense.  League, Downs, Accardo should be able to cover his spot.  When you have some big holes in the lineup, a $10 M closer is a luxury the Jays don't need.

Mondesi is to JP as Wells will be to the next GM?

Ron - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#191676) #
If you get around to typing it all again...; it sure sounds like a worthy Pinch Hit to me. (I think those are Matthew's department.) I for one would like to read it, and I doubt that I'm the only one.

I'll do my best to try to have something done within the next week. My quality of writing probably isn't good enough to be printed on the site though.
scottt - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#191677) #
Ryan will probably be traded after 2009 to free $10 million. League has looked good in August. If you haven't noticed, his fastball touched 100mph in that Yankees series. Accardo should bounce back by then.

By the time Overbay becomes a FA, they might have more economical options at 1B.

They'll have to look for a catcher in 2010, unless they extend Barajas this winter.

Rolen is there for 2 more years. No quick fix there.

The Jays don't have the depth to cover if Rios or Wells go down, so trading Wells doesn't solve anything. Things would change if he's the 2009 AL MVP, but let's stay sober here.



Jays2010 - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#191678) #

Magpie I think you are correct in pretty much all of your predictions. Even though JP is a fan of Ben Sheets, I don't see him signing with us unless we're handing out a 5 year deal, though. Contrary to what I seem to be reading a lot of, I don't think Sheets is going to get a 3 year deal; I'd say it'll be 4 or 5 years, probably between 15-18 mill/yr. I also think we'd be one of the top 3-4 teams in the Giambi sweepstakes, assuming that he signs in the AL (which he should) and JP has interest. I can't see many teams making sense for Giambi, and the only team better than us that might actually be a fit is Tampa, but I doubt that as well.

WillRain - I totally agree that Khalil Greene will be our top SS target, with JJ hardy an outside possibility depending on whether or not we are able to move the right SP.  I also think the Pedro Martinez idea makes sense. Maybe even trading for Brad Penny or someone else with one year left on their contract. If you look at the pitching we have, we may only need a 1 yr stopgap mid-rotation type guy and our 2010 rotation would be very strong and the AJ savings and impending departure of Overbay (or so i hope) will give us the money to have a stronger offence.

In regards to moving VW, he'll make 107 mill over 5 years after 2009. Considering the Hunter and Ichiro contracts, I don't think Wells will be immovable if he has a big year in 2009. The Jays may have to eat a bit of salary to get better prospects, but I don't think it would be too substantial. I also don't see him being traded, because as others have said, Ted Rogers seems to want to win and I think he has more or less given JP a budget to work with around Wells that is flexible. I also expect the payroll in 2010 to be at least 110-115 million because I don't think Uncle Teddy would have wanted 20% of the payroll tied up in one player before he gave the go-ahead to extend VW.

I also expect there to be one trade that may require 2 or 3 good young players/prospects for a potentially elite player, and one secondary trade (such as Khalil Greene). I expect JP to decide which players/prospects he deems redundant or not part of his "vision" and move them for a cheap, controllable hitter or pitcher. Either way, I expect the opening day 2009 roster to be stronger than the 2008 roster even with the departure of AJ.

Skills - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#191680) #
If Khalil Greene is our top SS target, I pray that we miss that target by a wide margin. I know little about his defensive prowess (though it certainly cannot top Johnny Mac's), but Greene's offensive numbers are pathetic. Yes, he hit 27 home runs in an extreme pitchers park last year, but he has struck out more than 100 times the last 2 seasons, rarely walks, and does not hit for average. His OBP was under .300 last year and is at a pathetic .260 this year. In addition, his power seems to have disappeared and he'll be turning 30 next year. It's possible that last year was his career year. I agree that the problem with Johnny Mac is that he constitutes a hole at the bottom of our lineup, but I can't see how Greene does do the same, despite being closer to a brand name. I don't know about everyone else, but I can't see the appeal of Greene.
John Northey - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#191681) #
Hmm.  Mondesi vs Wells.  Seems a good comparison.  Neither contract is a killer on its own and both were/are useful players just not worth the contracts they were given.

The Jays basically are about to hit a big payroll crunch in 2010 as the Wells and Rios contracts hit the high points that they level off at until 2014.  How to deal with that?
  • Sign Halladay to an extension in 2009 with a big bonus up front eating some of the budget room for 2009 while freeing up cash in 2010 (ie: $10 million bonus in 2009 along with a $15 million deal this year, then $5 million in 2010 followed by $15+ mil each year after for another 3 or so years - I know that may not be enough but that would be the gist of it)
  • Trade BJ Ryan to gain $10 million - assumes Accardo/League/someone else is ready to step into closer role but a warning as League and Accardo are arbitration elgible thus making them closers may not save much thus Ryan should be here for 2009 then traded between 09 and 10 while hoping the hit in 2011 won't be too hard if League or Accardo get 30-40 saves.
  • Trade Rolen to gain $11 million in 2010, but who do you put there who is cheaper and reasonably good?
  • Trade Wells to gain $21 million in 2010, shift Rios to CF, Snider to RF, Lind to LF, hunt down a DH - might not save too much though as a good DH would probably cost at least 1/2 of what Wells would make.
  • Figure out how to keep getting 10% increases each year to make it irrelvant.  Thus $107 million in 2009, $118 in 2010, $130 in 2011, $143 in 2012, $156 in 2013, $173 in 2014, $190 in 2015.  If that seems way to high just remember a $100 million payroll was crazy high when JP started here in 2002.
The key element for the future is long term deals at below market values.  Guessing right on which prospects will make it (like Wells) and minimizing the ones that don't (Hinske) will decide the Jays future.  The rotation is about to get very expensive starting in 2010 once Marcum/McGowan/Litsch hit arbitration (cheap until then).  The pen could too if Accardo, League and other arbitration eligible guys are kept on.  Tough choices are coming quick and the winter of 2009/2010 will be a big one here.  If JP is kept until the end of his deal then that will be his legacy period.  If he isn't then I hope they dump him in September so a new GM can get set for what will probably be one of the Jays busiest offseasons. 

This upcoming winter won't be too big.  Payroll is flexible, but with issues in a year thus 3-5 year deals won't be easy to set up.  No free agents except guys we don't want (Wilkerson) or are about to release despite option years (Zaun).  If JP goes nuts with Rogers money then we know he is scared for his job - ie: signs a big free agent to fill in DH or a starting pitching role.  If he gets a solid SS and does an incentive deal with Pedro Martinez then we know he feels safe and is just trying to keep the team growing.
The_Game - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#191682) #
If Ted Rogers wants this team to win, he really isn't showing it.
scottt - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#191683) #
If you define winning as anything over .500.
Thomas - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#191684) #
I don't know about everyone else, but I can't see the appeal of Greene.

If you want to understand the appeal of Greene, read my 2008 Padres season preview.

Why? Because it's fantastic. But also, scroll about 2/3 of the way down the article and read the section titled: Khalil "Two-Face" Greene. To post the most relevant excerpt, over the last four years (heading into 2008) here are Greene splits:

Home: 1,059 plate appearances: .230, .292, .377
Road: 1,090 plate appearances: .280, .334, .511

Out of PETCO, Greene has a slugging percentage over .500 and an 850 OPS. Now, this doesn't mean he'll hit Jermaine Dye when out of PECTO on a full-time basis. In fact, he probably won't. But, he doesn't have to equal his road stats to be an above-average offensive shortstop.

Caveats apply, in that Greene's stats have gotten worse over the past two years and this year is obviously a bit of a red flag. However, if you want to know why Greene has appeal, particuarly if you can pick him up cheaply after a down year, it's predominantly because of his home-road splits.
Thomas - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#191685) #
The link doesn't work, but search the Box archives for "2008 Padres Preview" and you can find it if you are so inclined.
Jays2010 - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#191686) #
Thomas obviously you hit the nail when you showed Greene's home/road splits. At the least, he is a far better guy to take a gamble on then Eckstein. He could easily be a top 10 offensive SS and is supposedly very good defensively. I love Johnny Mac, but a true contender simply cannot afford to have his bat in the lineup everyday
Magpie - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#191687) #
Petco Park in San Diego is, quite simply, the worst place to hit in the history of the game. And it's clearly gotten into Greene's head as well by now.

Free Khalil Greene!

John Northey - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#191689) #
Greene is interesting but only if he costs virtually nothing. 

He will be a free agent after 2009.  In 2009 he makes $6.5 million. 

His RZR is .835 this year, consistent with his 839-799-832-848 over the last 4 years. .357 OOZ/9 Innings
McDonald's RZR is 814, down from last year's 845.  .347 OOZ/9 innings (.574 last year, .422 the year before that)

Greene looks to be in McDonald's area for fielding, perhaps a slight notch below but not that drastic.  Greene's OPS+ as a ML regular has been 114-95-97-100-63.  The 63 is this season.  Greene hasn't played since July 30th when he broke his hand hitting a storage chest in anger after K'ing for the 100th time of the season.

So, outside of this year Greene has been a solid ML player (a John McDonald who hits for a 100 OPS+).  This is where scouts come in very handy.  Greene is entering his age 29 season and should be in his peak, not his decline.  Why the sudden drop?  He did have an eye infection in May according to Rotoworld so I wonder if that lingered all season.  Can his bat return?  It should.  If you can get him for a bag of balls (or Jason Frasor or one of our many utility infielders) do it.

Skills - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#191691) #
I see your point Thomas and it is a good one. The splits aside, I'm still wary given a move to the superior talent level in the AL, unless as other posters have suggested, the cost is minimal. If we can get him on the cheap, I can see it may be worth a try given the possibility Greene merely needs to be freed from Petco prison.
Wildrose - Monday, September 01 2008 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#191693) #
Keep in mind any team that employs Paul Depodesta will be well aware  of Greene's intrinsic value and will demand  top talent in exchange.
brent - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#191694) #

First, I want to acknowledge that JP is on the right track by dumping Shannon Stewart and trading Stairs and Eckstein. I wish JP had done things like this in earlier years to let young players have a chance to see if they could stick in the majors. Now is the time to do it when wins are not so important. I would rather go with a young team out of spring training than have players like Zambrano, Wilkerson, Stewart etc. clogging up positions. I won't begrudge their contracts (very small), but rather they delay letting rookies get their shot. I think JP is too conservative in waiting for prospects to force his hand. Minnesota does a better job of letting players have a chance (by necessity I suppose). The young players know they have a chance and try to run with it. JP at the first sign of adversity for most prospects sends them down (or runs out there veteran minor leaguers and sends them down, too). I hope his learning curve will improve in this matter.

Greene with a broken hand- I'll pass and scoop him up in another year as a deadline deal or free agent. Goodbye power for one year after a broken hand or wrist.

Jimbag - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 01:24 AM EDT (#191696) #
I agree JP will be here, and that AJ won't. JP hasn't done a terrible job, in my opinion, he's just gotten too fixated on one area at a time. He'll sign too many middle infielders (last year), or too many middle infielders (this year) or get too crazy with outfielders (uhhh...both years?)...right now it seems like he's intent on picking up pitching prospects to bolster the struggling pitching staff. Prospect pitchers for Stairs and Eck - because that addresses a serious need in the organization.

As for Arnsberg, I don't think he's gone. Cito seems to be taking a very "hands-on" approach to this team, letting the various players know that he believes in them no matter what (which I think is the reason for his mound visits)....I think he'd rather deliver any advice or criticism in person and reassure the pitchers it's not "personal".

Arnsberg has done a great job with the Jays - even if all he's done is let the pitchers develop and be themselves, rather than try to change their delivery or their focus. Trusting your staff enough to let them mature on their own without meddling TOO much is a vastly underrated talent....just reading Jim Bouton's book is proof enough of that (and if you've played any organized sports with a "my way or the highway" coach, you know what I mean)

Giamibi - I'd pass on. Fasano has a better moustache, and is cheaper...and I expect them to be of roughly equivalent value offensively next season. Giambi loves NY, loves being in the spotlight, and I think will wither next season if he isn't part of a "big show". I'd say the same about Jeter, too...and it's not like I have quantifiable numbers to back up what I'm saying (though I know that's pretty much de rigeur here) - yet I'm saying it all the same. I think A-Rod would produce similar numbers just about anywhere, (all-star quality numbers, that is) - but I think Giambi and Jeter would fall off considerably. And no, I'm not comparing Fasano to Giambi in any category other than moustache quality.

As for who to target for free agents in the off season - JP marches to his own drum. I think he'll make an agressive play to keep AJ signed.

I do agree with Snider spending next season in AAA, though. Unless there is some injury problems or a deal that comes out of the blue.

TamRa - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 06:36 AM EDT (#191697) #
Keep in mind any team that employs Paul Depodesta will be well aware  of Greene's intrinsic value and will demand  top talent in exchange.

This might be true in the abstract but this is not a baseball decision for the Padres. They are almost certainly going to have to slash payroll dramatically. They are unlikely to move Peavy, they might decline the option on Giles, that leaves Greene as one of the top earners on the team.

They are not in a position to get full value for him.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#191699) #
Giambi is interesting but I'd be careful about him.  This is a guy who got big via steroids, is entering his age 38 season, and is the type of player who traditionally doesn't age well.  His OPS+ is 136 and for 3 of the past 4 years has been at that or higher (a 108 in '07).  He is basically Frank Thomas light, and we know how the real Frank Thomas did here this year :P  A one year deal is OK, but any more than that is just asking for trouble and given how JP has been about drug abusers (see his reaction to Zaun) I don't see Giambi coming here.

Moe - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#191701) #
They are not in a position to get full value for him.

There should be demand for SS with some power. So even if the Padres need to dump salary, there should be several teams interested given that it's a one year deal. However, given the Jays experience with players struggling after having hand injuries, I could see them not being too interested and hence being outbid.

What about other teams dumping salary? For sure the Tigers. Maybe Cleveland. The Yankees have so many 1B/ DH they might be willing to drop one, but likely only outside the division. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#191705) #
Here are my opinions on the topics under discussion:

a. I am not sure whether you can infer from all of Cito's trips to the mound that Arnsberg is gone.  Cito has been taking a more hands-on approach to managing generally this time 'round.  If Cito can get along with the hitting hard-ass (Tenace), it wouldn't surprise me if he could get along with the pitching one. 

b. I am not optimistic about how Khalil Greene would do in the RC in 2009.  He's had a pro career filled with poor W/K ratios, with the exception of 2004.  The ratio was even worse than usual this year.  Once you make the adjustments for Petco and the NL, my guess is that he comes out as a .255/.285/.420 hitter in the RC (in other words, slightly behind Rod Barajas).  With his defensive abilities, that does have value but you do have to look carefully at the cost in player(s) and dollars.

c. The DH options (free-agent variety) are potentially numerous- Manny, Thome, Delgado, Giambi, Ibanez, Giles.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#191710) #
One thing I had thought of but didn't mention is that Greene makes me think of Tony Batista.  He looked good at short his one year there before moving to third (costing us Tony Fernandez who had a 124 OPS+ at third, while putting Alex Gonzalez back in at short with his 78 OPS+ for 2000 - a year the Jays finished 4 1/2 back - think that shift might've cost those 4 1/2 games?  Not to mention Homer Bush at 2B with his 33 OPS+ - thanks Ash, good thinking there).

Batista up to age 25 was a solid ML'er at SS with a bat that was more than acceptable (111 OPS+ in '99).  Then at third he hit for 102/87 (released)/105 and at age 29 collapsed completely with 73-80-Japan-79-86 before being forced to retire.  He slugged over 500 while hovering around 300 for OBP, then slugged over 400, then the OBP kept dropping as pitchers knew he'd swing at anything.  Like Greene, he had value at short but not anywhere else.  Unless Cito and crew can teach Greene as well as they did Devon White (OBP sub-300 pre-Toronto, just over in Toronto hitting the 340's a couple of times) I'd be nervous about trading for him.  Or at least trading anything of value for him.

Blue in SK - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#191723) #
Maybe JP can convince someone to take Overbay off his hands. Overbay should have some value as a league average, good glove 1B with a reasonable contract. Assuming Lind & Snider can handle 1B & LF, that would free up a few bucks to go after a DH or SS. After a year in which many felt the Jays were to RH heavy, next year the Jays will require a RH hitter who can fill in at 1B/OF/DH (or maybe that's Bautista's role).
Shaker Mo - Tuesday, September 02 2008 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#191730) #

<i>AJ Burnett will be back if he wins 20 games, in other words, if he has a comfortable groove. Of course, if he leaves he's taking a chance on messing up his mojo, not fitting in and possibly getting hurt on his new team. There's only one thing more important than the money, and that's being a 20 game winner--back to back.</i>

westcoast dude, this: s one of the strangest things I have seen on this topic. "a comfortable groove"? "his mojo"? Seems to me that winning 20 games is precisely the type of thing that is going to convince some other team to give AJ an even bigger contract.

To your remark that "there's only one thing more important that the money"...I agree. It's "even more money".

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