Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Should the Jays be more like the Twins?

I think they're already way too much like them. In 2009, anyway.



                   vs AL East     vs AL Central      vs AL West
Minnesota             .313           .630       .475
Toronto               .361    .605         .559

Short of switching to the AL Central, I really don't see how this is going to work.

You try that aggressive base-running against Cleveland and Kansas City and it helps you win games. But don't try it in the Premier League. It only helps them beat you.
Jays vs Twins | 116 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
TamRa - Sunday, October 11 2009 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#207385) #
This drum has been beaten too hard for too long.

There's no there there.

What I've learned over the last decade is that apparently for a lot of sports fans, being malcontent is a way of life. There's always someone doing it better somewhere down the road and why is "our" team such a bunch of screw ups.

Heck, even in NY there's a decent amount of whining about their juggrunaut in any given year.

But a lot of the time the complaints don't hold up to analysis very well.

The only sense in which I'm impressed by the Twins is that Gardenhire seems to get more out of them than a roster full of guys like Nick Punto should produce.

But not so much by the rosters or anything.


Alex Obal - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#207389) #
Don't strike out. Don't pop up. Hit liners and grounders. Be really fast. Walk as much as you can subject to those constraints. Run like the wind, but don't be overaggressive. Abuse pitchers who can't hold runners. Play excellent defense.

The above, I could live with, as a guiding philosophy. "Hit and run, bunt, and run into outs" I'm less sympathetic to.
Magpie - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 12:27 AM EDT (#207390) #
The Blue Jays need to be quite a bit better than the Twins. I see no reason whatsoever not to think that right now - in 2009 - they're just about as good.
Mick Doherty - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 12:44 AM EDT (#207391) #

they're just about as good.

Indeed. I know Pythagoras has been taking an analytical beating in these parts recently, but by da olde Greek's count, the Twins were good for 86 wins this year, while the Jays, playing in a much tougher division, were good for 84.

The difference between them is splitting hairs, to the point that I think the Yankees would have swept the Jays, too ... possibly excepting a Halladay win. That's the one advantage the Jays clearly have over MIN -- a HOFer at the front of the rotation. Otherwise, same teams, different situations.

Ron - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#207392) #

Hereís something interesting from Sports Media Watch ďYoung men preferred The Ultimate Fighter to the first day of the baseball postseason. Wednesday's episode of The Ultimate Fighter drew 1.1 million viewers in the men 18-34 demo, topping all three MLB Division Series games on TBS -- Yankees/Twins Game 1 (948,000), Cardinals/Dodgers Game 1 (903,000) and Rockies/Phillies Game 1 (488,000).Ē

With the way society is going, Iím curious to see if interest in Baseball will continue to dwindle moving forward. The slow nature/pace of Baseball turns a lot of people off. Iím a diehard MLB fan but even I started to DVR games this season while I was home. With a DVR, why bother to watch commercials, pitching changes, players stepping out of the box, etcÖ when I can skip it. It's a much better viewing experience to just press play once the game has been on for 60 or 90 minutes already. I know Colin Cowherd likes to point out how MLB is losing a generation of fans and how the sport doesnít appeal to young people. Am I the only person that has trouble sitting down and watching a Baseball game from start to finish here?

Magpie - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:24 AM EDT (#207394) #
I know Pythagoras has been taking an analytical beating in these parts recently...

Well, let's forget Pythagoras. I'm just thinking about the schedule.

Minnesota played 24 games against NYY-Bos-TB-Blt and went 7-17; expand that to the 72 games Toronto played and they go 22-50.
Minnesota played 73 games against CHW-CLE-KC-DET and went 46-27; cut them back to the 30 games Toronto played and they go 19-11.
Minnesota played 40 games against LAA-Tex-Oak-Sea and went 19-21; cut them back to the 34 games Toronto played and they go 17-17 (better than expected, but they'd still get 10 games with Texas, who they played well against.)
Keep their 3-5 record against Toronto, keep their 12-6 record against the NL.
What does that add up to?
         
73-89

Toronto played 72 games against NYY-Bos-TB-Blt and went 26-46; cut them back that to the 24 games Minnesota played and they go 8-16.
Toronto played 38 games against CHW-CLE-KC-DET and went 23-15; expand that to the 73 games Minnesota played and they go 44-29.
Toronto played 34 games against LAA-Tex-Oak-Sea and went 19-15; expand that to the 40 games Minnesota played and they go 22-18.
Keep their 5-3 record against Minnesota, keep their 7-11 record against the NL. What do we have?

86-76
Magpie - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#207395) #
Oops, 86-77. I guess they lose the playoff to Detroit...
Spifficus - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#207396) #
I think one thing that would help is to ubiquitize MLB.tv. Get it on consoles for greater market penetration. Make multiple viewing angle choices the norm. Let me listen to the radio feed while watching any of the video feeds. Keep rolling out new little features like they did with twitter feeds, player tracking, etc. I mean, what appeals to our ADD-addled society more than being able to watch 4 games at once, especially if there were a tonne of different doo-dads to click on for each? No need to worry about the pace of the game when you have the option to change it at will.
Dave Till - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#207398) #
With the way society is going, Iím curious to see if interest in Baseball will continue to dwindle moving forward. The slow nature/pace of Baseball turns a lot of people off.

People have been predicting the death of baseball for quite some time. In the early 1970s, there was much talk of baseball being eclipsed by football, but it still seems to be here. If you picked any demographic other than men aged 18-34, I suspect that baseball would be doing a lot better than Ultimate Fighter in the ratings. (Yes, I know, I know: television networks tend to cater to men aged 18-34, as they are more likely to buy the products advertised on commercials.)

One thing that I keep wondering: why does the American League have an unbalanced schedule? I know, it's supposed to foster divisional rivalries and save travel costs, but it's not really doing the latter. The Jays had to travel twice to the West Coast and twice to Texas this year. By comparison, I looked up a copy of the 1985 schedule, which was balanced - that year, the Jays went to the West Coast twice, and one of the trips included a stop in Texas, so the Jays actually had less long-distance travel that year.

Before the leagues went to three divisions, I recall that there was tremendous pressure to keep the schedule balanced - AL teams wanted the Yankees to visit more often, as they were a good road draw. I suppose, nowadays, that teams in the West and the Central prefer not to have the Yankees and Red Sox arrive too often, as they're more likely to get to win if they play in their own division.
scottt - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#207399) #
Pavano was actually decent. The Twins offense, not so.

It figures that without Morneau, they'd be no match for the Yanks.

Yankees-Halo and Dodgers-Phillies (hopefully) will be great match ups to watch.

The team to emulate to get to the play off is the Angels. Every starting pitcher needs to be better than average and the closer has to be solid. That might not be the actual result at the end of the year, but that's what they're aiming for.

I like Scioscia's style of play too.
Chuck - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#207400) #

It is time for the media to forego the tiresome narrative of how the Twins are sound at "the fundamentals" and how they are all "real ballplayers". The "everyman" role that were obliged to fill in the David and Goliath saga was not without a few logical holes (as many as it takes to fill the Albert Hall?).

Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez are far too reminiscent of the oft dazed and confused Alex Rios. Physically talented but babes in the intellectual woods.

Nick Punto, their polar opposite, does what little he can with his extremely modest skillset, and even a "real ballplayer" such as he showed that he could commit a gaffe that would embarass even Rios (to say nothing of providing the execrable Chip Caray with an in for more unabashed Jeter love).

The Twins won a weak division. Their "fundamentals" consisted of exploiting the power numbers of several players having career years (the true "real ballplayers"). They didn't will their way to the executive offices with cunning and hard work. They petered their way into middle management. And were then portrayed as something they weren't, because the post-season script demanded that the role be filled.

Yes, I was rooting for them to defeat the Evil Empire. But they barely deserved the opportunity to do so in the first place.

nanook - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#207401) #
Look around, I don't think sports preferences are dictated by age. Even in my demographic, which is three times the bottom end of the 18-34 crowd, I think interests are changing.
I'm a baseball/boxing guy, but I'm in the minority. At the office or on the course most of the talk is UFC/NFL.
I do agree that MLBtv could add a breath of fresh air, and maybe new fans, to the game.
My own experience with the Hockey Package tells me channel-surfing is the perfect ADD antidote.
Never watch every second of a game, but never watch a commercial either.
Baseball can't, and shouldn't, do much to change the pace of the game, but it can move coverage into the 21st Century.

lexomatic - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#207402) #
i would make the argument that lately we're too much like the Twins in that there's tons of pitchers in the system and no hitters. And the twins were always pretty terrible at turning pitching depth into hitting prospects.
VBF - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#207403) #
With the way society is going, Iím curious to see if interest in Baseball will continue to dwindle moving forward.

In 2008, highest television ratings and attendance in history.

In 2009, amidst what some say is the biggest recession of the past half-century, baseball had 4th highest attendance in history.

The trends from the 1980s to now have been a very steady increase in baseball's popularity. Averaging 30k a game used to be considered above average. Nowadays it's slightly below average. Baseball will be fine and continue to be fine for a long time.
Helpmates - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#207404) #

The only sense in which I'm impressed by the Twins is that Gardenhire seems to get more out of them than a roster full of guys like Nick Punto should produce.

So you're not impressed with the fact that there exists in Minnesota a stability/continuity/integrity in their front office, that they've had two managers in the last twenty-five years, that there's an organization-wide philosophy that's instilled in their players from rookie ball to the majors, that they draft and develop their own players...that's not impressive?  Perhaps you're more impressed with the Ricciardi model of doing things.  Hmm...

Mick Doherty - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#207406) #

So you're not impressed with the fact that there exists in Minnesota a stability/continuity/integrity in their front office

Indeed. Reminiscent of the old Alston-LaSorda Dodgers, only with about half the relative budget ...

christaylor - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#207407) #
Like they drafted and developed Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez? Joe Nathan? Liriano? Cabrera? Casilla? I know what you're saying but that had to pointed out. The Twins aren't exactly filled with their draftees (of course, of course, Maurer, 1st overall and a no-brainer pick for them).

On the other hand, yes, I think JP's recent drafting record is better than the twins. Hill, Lind, Marcum, Romero, Snider, Cecil, Litsch. Mauer was a nice pick but he was first over-all, anything less than a star with that pick is a disappointment. Morneau was a 3rd rounder but it was Ash who passed on him (oh and I just looked who knew Alexis Rios was drafted as a 3B). The Jays, relative to the Twins seem positively stacked with their draftees compared to the Twins.

Consistency is nice but not necessarily a good thing in an of itself, and change isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. I may be in the minority, I'm glad the JP experiment was tried, especially if the team takes what was good about his regime moving forward while excising he bad.
TamRa - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#207408) #
So you're not impressed with the fact that there exists in Minnesota a stability/continuity/integrity in their front office

Isn't this the same crowd that has been yelling for 2-3 years that JP has had the job too long?

and yet now we're supposed to praise a "stable" front office that went six years in a row without breaking .500 but still got to continue on? what do we want? fire the guy who "hasn't got it done" in six/seven years? Or cultivate "stability"?

 that they've had two managers in the last twenty-five years,

You mean the manager who rode the coattails of a World series through eight consecutive losing seasons? Shall we keep Cito on for the next 6 or 7 years and never finish over 500 but be proud of our "continuity"?

that there's an organization-wide philosophy that's instilled in their players from rookie ball to the majors,


Where's the benifit in a "organization wide philosophy" if it doesn't produce any better results than we have here?

that they draft and develop their own players...that's not impressive?

In the nine man lineup listed on BR, the Twins have 4 homegrown players and the Jays have five. In the five man rotation, Among their six busiest starters, 5 of thiers were home grown, 4 of ours were.

Perhaps you need to elaborate on that point a bit more?

 Perhaps you're more impressed with the Ricciardi model of doing things.  Hmm...

I'm certainly not any LESS impressed.

92-93 - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#207409) #
"So you're not impressed with the fact that there exists in Minnesota a stability/continuity/integrity in their front office, that they've had two managers in the last twenty-five years, that there's an organization-wide philosophy that's instilled in their players from rookie ball to the majors, that they draft and develop their own players...that's not impressive? Perhaps you're more impressed with the Ricciardi model of doing things. Hmm..."

Mr. Griffin, we come to Batter's Box to get AWAY from your writing, not to be subjected to it. Continuity in the front office? In 2001 the Jays had had 2 GMs for like 25 years...did that mean change wasn't needed and Ash deserved to stay? Damn, we should have kept him for continuity. And no, drafting and developing your own players is NOT impressive, because, well, EVERY team does it. Yet another person blinded by the realities of the imbalanced schedule, it's really sad. Ron Gardenhire is a fail of a manager, and you'd think that Magpie's table would open some eyes...guess not.
TimberLee - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#207410) #

  I think Ron's note about the TV ratings that show more men 18-34 watched  Ultimate Fighting than the MLB playoff game is worth paying attention to. Attendance at the MLB ballparks and the size of the TV audiences are two different things, and , while it is reassuring to MLB that ticket sales remained pretty strong during a major US recession, the continuing decline of TV ratings has to be a concern.

  From time to time commenters on various sites have dealt with this concern, usually talking about how the "pace" of the game can be speeded up. Here are some of the ideas I have seen:

  -  Limit the number of times a catcher can visit the mound, just like some years ago a limit was put on coach/manager visits. Personally, I would disallow all such visits. They can straighten out their signs or whatever between innings.

  -  Make a relief pitcher deal with at least two batters. If his team claims he must be removed due to an injury, he can't be used in a game for five days.

  -  Impose a penalty for intentional walks. Any time a batter is thrown four balls (intentional or otherwise) and no strikes, the next hitter starts with a one-ball count.

  Is this worthy of discussion here? How about in January?

 

 

92-93 - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#207411) #
The easiest way to speed up the game is to actually enforce the rule that's in place - 12s in between pitches. Fining Jonathan Papelbon $1,000 for taking too long is equivalent to fining me a loonie - it isn't going to make me think about not doing it the next time. If umpires wouldn't let hitters step out of the box after every damn pitch maybe the game would go somewhere.
Chuck - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#207412) #

From time to time commenters on various sites have dealt with this concern, usually talking about how the "pace" of the game can be speeded up. Here are some of the ideas I have seen:

I don't think any rule changes are required, at least any related to in-game strategy. A simple solution would be to make the damn batters stay in the damn box and make the damn pitchers stay on the damn mound.

The seconds of stolen time after every single pitch kill the pace and needlessly lengthen games. I'm not sure how and why leaving the batter's box entirely, after every single pitch, became the norm, but it wasn't always so. And these pitchers that go on walkabout after every pitch... don't get me started.

Chuck - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#207413) #
It appears that I am not alone with respect to either my ideas or choice of adjectives.
Jim - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#207414) #

The Twins aren't exactly filled with their draftees (of course, of course, Maurer, 1st overall and a no-brainer pick for them).

According to my local media 14 of the players on their 25 man playoff roster played for their AA team in New Britain.  They have to develop at least some guys.

Mauer was far from a 'no-brainer'.  It was quite the opposite, most thought they should take Mark Prior and they went against it and were called cheap because Mauer wasn't as expensive.

ayjackson - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#207415) #
damn funny
Ozzieball - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#207416) #
Well at the time Mark Prior wore the "best prospect ever" tag that Stephen Strasburg now wears. Unless you can say that the Twins had the magical foresight to see Dusty Baker breaking Prior's arm, then yeah it was a pretty big cheap out at the time (despite what each player has become).
Lugnut Fan - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#207417) #

I don't think any rule changes are required, at least any related to in-game strategy. A simple solution would be to make the damn batters stay in the damn box

This rule does exist in the minor leagues.  Once a hitter steps into the box, he must keep at least one foot in the box until his at bat is completed.  If he steps out of the box, the pitcher is awarded a strike.  There have been some strike outs that I have witnessed as a result of this rule.  I think the intent was to someday enforce it in MLB.

TamRa - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#207418) #
Mauer may or may not have been Prior's equal at the time of the draft but he wasn't a Matt Bush pick either. He was a legitimate choice and the point remains that whichever of the two the Twins had taken, it is a given that if you have the #1 pick you are supposed to get a guy who's going to be a big contributor to future success. Some teams don't get that memo but it is the defacto assumtion.

all the arguing over whether or not one should have picked Mauer or prior is a distraction from the point - which is that the assertion that the Twins draft well cannot be supported by the fact they have Mauer any more than praise for the Rays should rest on the fact that they have Upton and Longoria.


Ron - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#207419) #
During Spring Training, the Umpires visit with every club and remind them of the pace of the game issues. Once the real games start, it mostly goes out the window. Besides restricting the number of times a pitcher or batter can step out, pitchers should also be further restricted in the number of warm up pitches once they are on the mound. I donít understand why a pitcher needs 10-12 pitches on the mound after they have been warming up in the pen for 5-10 minutes.

MLB also needs to look into the start time of games too. I know they have bumped up the start times for weeknight World Series and the ALCS games but last nightís game between the Rox and Phils ended at 2:15AM Eastern time. If you have work/school the next morning, chances are you didnít stay up that late to watch the end of the game. No playoff game should ever be on at 2AM. And donít forget, this was only a 9 inning game.

Mike Green - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#207420) #
The Twins were a mediocre club in 2009 (as they were in 1987 when they won a World Series).  The AL Central looked to be weak at the start of 2009, but how weak was not really clear until mid-season. 

As for the use of one-run strategies, I am a moderate.  The bunt, the hit-and-run and the steal all have their places (depending on the opposing inner defence, including pitcher, and the game situation) and really ought to be part of a club's arsenal.  You can take this view without subscribing to Gene Mauch's view of appropriate early game tactics. 
TamRa - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#207424) #
Finished!

I spent most of the weekend compiling the data on WAR totals for players drafted by all teams since 2002.

A full explanation of the findings can be seen here:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/270960-producing-results-from-the-mlb-draft-a-case-study?just_published=1



Jim - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#207425) #
I'm not saying that the Twins are geniuses for taking Mauer.  I'm just saying that a lot of what they do have they have developed, and they made the right choice on Mauer/Prior.  It's easy to say that you should get a good player at #1, but for whatever reason (money, local product), they made the right call.

I'm certainly not advocating this Twins nonsense.  Riccardi put together a better team on average over the last 5 years then Minnesota (he did have more money to work with).  I was just pointing out that Mauer was not a clear cut top choice, in fact it was the total opposite.

The first pick is no guarantee either... Chilcott, Clyde, Goodwin (twice), Abner, King, McDonald, Wilson, Benson, Anderson, Bullington, Delmon Young....   is there anyone in the world who didn't think Delmon Young was going to be a star?  Everyone agreed, sometimes you just get burned.

Jim - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#207426) #
I read your article Will, I'll need more time to digest some of the results and I do think that while Toronto has been a bit underrated, you are going to see them slide down those rankings as time goes on.  Even the most optimistic Jays fans realizes that the system is fairly poor relative to others and the more recent draft classes are going to cost the Jays some slots in this ranking as time goes by.  Doing this in 2012 is going to give you a much different answer.

Maybe here they could give you some room to post a lot of the data that went into your rankings to give us something to think about?
brent - Monday, October 12 2009 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#207427) #

You won't see this come up in the numbers, but Tulo ended the last two games with the tying run on 2nd base.

 

The Fan 590's solution today to the Jays- spend 120 million on payroll and become a player development machine. Uh, thanks guys for clearing that up for us. At least one of them said that developing players was the main focus of most teams already.

TamRa - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#207428) #
I do think that while Toronto has been a bit underrated, you are going to see them slide down those rankings as time goes on.

In the respect that there are not that many upper level guys who will join the ranks of the majors over the next two years, I'd tend to agree. Since Mills and Ray already had call ups, the "next wave" looks to be JPA, Campbell, Farquhar, and maybe Mastroianni (and probably some surprise pitcher like Bell)

There's not a large group there.

OTOH, in terms of WAR, there's not a lot of scrubs (of the Thigpen sort) that will be here a while doing very little which works to not hurt the 4th column, and there should be a pretty stead accumulation of WAR points from Snider, Lind, Hill, Marcum, R-Ro, Zep, and Cecil (and maybe Listch) which will ramp up the third column pretty well.

What I can't reasonably predict is what kind of progress the rest of the league will make during the same time frame.

I will tell you (and if the guys want me to do a pinch hit to pour out the data we can work on that) is that for probably 2/3 of the teams, or close to it, one or two players dominate the WAR totals. for instance, the Cardinals have 23 players...but Brandon Ryan of all people is their leader. The only guy among that 23 that's going to run up impressive WAR totals is Rasmus. A lot of teams are similarly situatiated so theres not a lot of teams on the list that will pass the Jays by just because they lack the top shelp players to make that kind of leap.

I could see the Rox and Rays pasing us if their prospects live up to their billings. But if I was taking an over/under of being #10 at the end of the 2012 season, I think I'd still take the under.

Ron - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#207429) #
I read Will's article and it was interesting although a lot of factors could skew the numbers. The WAR totals don't include players brought back from trades involving drafted players.  A perfect example is the Young for Gaza/Bartlett trade. If you were to add subtract Young from the Rays and add Garza and Bartlett, the Rays number would be higher. Teams that also draft mostly college players also have an advanage since collge players usually reach the Majors quicker than High School players. And than you have the issue of the starting point being in 2002. For example if Lincecum was drafted and signed in 2002 instead of 2006, his current WAR would be much higher (assuming he didn't suffer any major injuries).

Iíve changed my opinion of the drafts under JP. I no longer think it was really bad. I think itís fair to call it average now. I donít believe a Roy Halladay type player is in the group though. I feel like certain fans knock the drafts because there isnít a really ďsexyĒ player that was drafted. There doesnít appear to be a Halladay, Mauer, Lincecum, Ichiro, Jeter, Teixeira, Hernandez, Greinke, Rivera, Fielder, Howard, A-Rod, Pujols, Ramirez, etcÖ in the group. While I give JP more credit, I still feel like avoiding Boras clients and High School pitchers in the 1st round was extremely idiotic.

christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#207430) #
I remember the Prior/Mauer debate -- that's why I added the "for them" in the comment... I think many thought the Twins would take Mauer because he was a local kid.
christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#207431) #
I've only given your article a cursory read (good job) and it certainly deserves another better read not at the wee hours of the morning but I don't think it is particularly surprising that one player dominates the rankings. The reason being that most players are at or around replacement level and while I haven't done the stats on WAR, every bone of my statistical intuition screams that WAR values are not not normally distributed.

What this means for your study is that most of the players that go into a players ranking will be close to the 2.0 cut-off you used (as most players in the league are close to 0). Those rarities who really exceed replacement level are rare and their values will dominate the rankings. I really wish more advanced baseball stats would used standarized ( z-scores) to get around the problem of non-normality as I know it plays havoc with any analysis that are more advanced than simple comparisons between/among two/a few players.

That said, JP has never really gotten his due for drafting talent that has reached the major leagues and when people have tried to give him his due for this and this study confirms this idea. I've found the usual response to praising JP's production of ML players is to state "well he hasn't drafted any impact major leaguers" (whatever that means). Hopefully players like Snider, Romero and Cecil neuter this form of argument (and I don't see why they couldn't as they all have quite a bit of talent).
christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#207432) #
"While I give JP more credit, I still feel like avoiding Boras clients and High School pitchers in the 1st round was extremely idiotic. "

What would you have said if those players weren't signed? Check that - what did you say when that strategy was abandoned this year and the players weren't signed.

While I think the strategy of avoiding any player is short-sighted calling it idiotic is just flat out wrong. A lot of factors go into drafting in the 21st century and sign-ability is a major one for the Jays. As for avoiding high-school pitchers on average this makes a ton of sense when one studies the average payoff from said pitchers, it isn't quite as bad but drafting a high-school pitcher is more like buying a lottery ticket than any of a college hitter/pitcher or a HS hitter. They flame out early and often, wasting high picks on them isn't a good use of resources for a team with limited resources. Example: Porcello -- he turned out to be a good pick (thus far) but could easily end up with TJ/labrum issues after this season and that's a $10.5M major league contract down the drain. Then there are the Todd Van Poppels and Brien Taylor's of the world.

Sure as many will point out, Roy Halladay was a HS pitcher, but even there we're talking about a pitcher who nearly flamed out, has the highest ERA of any starting pitcher ever in a season and had to be sent out to A ball to have his entire delivery rebuilt. He was *this close* from being a bust. Roy isn't a story about the value of drafting HS pitchers, but the value of having excellent player development that is flexible and intelligent enough to understand the needs of the talent being developed.
brent - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#207433) #

One 6 WAR player or two 3 WAR players is the question USS Mariner looks at here: http://ussmariner.com/2009/10/12/roster-construction-theor/

The Jays only had Halladay that cleared 6.

Scutaro, Lind and Hill all cleared 3.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

parrot11 - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 02:35 AM EDT (#207435) #
I'm not sure what the OP meant by be more like the Twins. What the Jays to do is spare no expenses in hiring the best front office staff possible, make sure that they have a top 5 farm system, be patient, and spend only when the time is right and for the right type of player(s). One of JP's big problem was that he often times (and unnecessarily) spent at the peak of a player's value. He was also afraid of losing anyone and tried to retain everyone. Teams like the Jays need to pick and choose carefully to whom they commit longterm and should not sign players longterm before they have to. Don't be afraid of going year by year in the arbitration years or to lose players to free agency.
Ron - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 03:43 AM EDT (#207436) #
What would you have said if those players weren't signed? Check that - what did you say when that strategy was abandoned this year and the players weren't signed.

While I think the strategy of avoiding any player is short-sighted calling it idiotic is just flat out wrong. A lot of factors go into drafting in the 21st century and sign-ability is a major one for the Jays. As for avoiding high-school pitchers on average this makes a ton of sense when one studies the average payoff from said pitchers, it isn't quite as bad but drafting a high-school pitcher is more like buying a lottery ticket than any of a college hitter/pitcher or a HS hitter. They flame out early and often, wasting high picks on them isn't a good use of resources for a team with limited resources. Example: Porcello -- he turned out to be a good pick (thus far) but could easily end up with TJ/labrum issues after this season and that's a $10.5M major league contract down the drain. Then there are the Todd Van Poppels and Brien Taylor's of the world.

Sure as many will point out, Roy Halladay was a HS pitcher, but even there we're talking about a pitcher who nearly flamed out, has the highest ERA of any starting pitcher ever in a season and had to be sent out to A ball to have his entire delivery rebuilt. He was *this close* from being a bust. Roy isn't a story about the value of drafting HS pitchers, but the value of having excellent player development that is flexible and intelligent enough to understand the needs of the talent being developed.

I didnít even bother to comment on the draft fiasco. There was a period in the summertime where I didnít check out this site because I was so frustrated with everything related to the Jays. If I were to comment at the time, I would have said it was another blunder by the Jays. To not sign 3 out of your top 4 picks is inexcusable for any professional sports organization. What made it worse was Beeston saying the gloves were going to be off in terms of going over slot in the draft. The Jays had trouble shelling out a couple hundred thousand (Iím talking about the difference) to sign those 3 players yet they didnít have any trouble forking over 100,000 for Millarís AB bonuses.

Yes I understand there is great risk in drafting High School pitchers but that should never preclude you from doing it. I will never defend a draft strategy where you handcuff your own ball club.

Iím completely baffled as to why the Blue Jays donít invest more in the draft and international rookie free agents. I see smaller market teams like the Aís, Royals, Pirates, and Twins become more aggressive yet the Jays continue to play nice with the Commissioners Office.


brent - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 04:17 AM EDT (#207437) #
I have to wonder if they decided they wanted to wait for the 2010 draft that is supposed to be deep. The Jays should have more picks than any other team.
Jim - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#207438) #

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Yep.  I think what the Orioles, Rays and Jays have to do is different from the other 25 franchises need to do who aren't in the AL East.  If you are going to try and track down Boston and New York, you have to cast your lot with high risk/high reward players.  I think for the rest of the league it's a case by case decision.  If you've got a deep system that generate multiple options to compliment your 6 win 'risk', then it makes more sense, if you are a bit thinner you might be better off spreading the 'risk' around multiple 3 win players.

Jim - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#207439) #

If one was to look again in 2012, then the 2009 draft should be considered at that point, and that most likely will kill the Jays relative to the rest of baseball.

lexomatic - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#207440) #
"Sure as many will point out, Roy Halladay was a HS pitcher, but even there we're talking about a pitcher who nearly flamed out, has the highest ERA of any starting pitcher ever in a season and had to be sent out to A ball to have his entire delivery rebuilt. He was *this close* from being a bust. Roy isn't a story about the value of drafting HS pitchers, but the value of having excellent player development that is flexible and intelligent enough to understand the needs of the talent being developed."

I think christaylor, that you are also forgetting Halladay's excellent makeup in the equation. Not many players are a) that coachable B) have the drive to succeed after that big a setback. Not that there are any comparables really, but i doubt that there'd be as much as 1/10 who succeed.
I'm going to read Will's article now

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#207441) #
If you look at drafts 2002-09 and compare WAR to date, your results will be heavily biased to collegiate drafts.  The Denard Spans of the world take longer to develop than the Aaron Hills (although both have significant value). 

I wondered how the Dodgers did so well.  It wasn't so much great acumen with high schoolers, but using the free agent compensation rules well (as the Red Sox did).  During the key 2002-05 period, they had seven first round picks and five second round picks.  For every Billingsley, there was a Greg Miller, Scott Elbert and Luke Hochevar.  Plus they hit the jackpot with Matt Kemp.

All that said, Ricciardi's drafts were probably, on balance, a little better than average. 

 

jmoney - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#207442) #
I'd trade with the Red Sox position any day, but it is somewhat satisfying to see them finish second to New York and then get swept out of the playoffs.
TamRa - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#207443) #
a lot of factors could skew the numbers.

Clearly. That's why I tried hard to be specific about what was being measured. For instance:

The WAR totals don't include players brought back from trades involving drafted players.

That wasn't the subject of the study. What you manage to get from a trade is an entierly different skill set than what you come out of the draft with. One might do a study, if one wished, of all the trades a GM made and the WAR of those players dealt (post trade) and those acquired - it would probably be quite interesting to do so for various GM's.

But that's not what this is - this is strictly a look at how well the team DRAFTED.

Teams that also draft mostly college players also have an advanage since collge players usually reach the Majors quicker than High School players

True of course. But that is a part of the "nature of the beast" of a snapshot study. In the same way that Ryan Roberts has more WAR than Travis snider - right now. Nothing you can do about that.

And besides, it's a false assumption that the High School player will inevitably be a better producer and "catch up" with the college player at some point. it's perfectly possible that a good college player will always have more WAR than a similarly talanted High school player because he had more total years in the majors. If that were to happen than the decision to go with the college guy can't be faulted.

Likewise, if the teams goal is to get younger faster, then drafting players who can come quickly is also a valid choice. Even if the passed over High School player catches up 3 or 4 years hence. Furthermore, I believe that the going thesis right now is that high school talent is more likely to bust (though that might be incorrect) - if so then the balance of taking the "safer" player is a valid consideration in evaluating the success of the team.

To me this is a difference which makes no difference. In the final analysis here, we are looking at where teams stand NOW in terms of this measure. Ever how they got to this point - here they are.

The one big skewing factor is, as someone noted, the number of high picks a team had. A good addendum to this study would be to see which team had the most pick through the third round over the course of the study.

 For example if Lincecum was drafted and signed in 2002 instead of 2006, his current WAR would be much higher (assuming he didn't suffer any major injuries).

What makes you assume he would have gotten to the majors any faster if he'd have been signed out of high school? that seems like a pretty huge assumption to me. (Not to mention the fact that Lincecum is, I think, in the top 5 of all these players in WAR anyway)

There doesnít appear to be a Halladay, Mauer, Lincecum, Ichiro, Jeter, Teixeira, Hernandez, Greinke, Rivera, Fielder, Howard, A-Rod, Pujols, Ramirez, etcÖ in the group.

I wouldn't make that assumption re Snider just yet. And, by the way, Lind hit basiclly as well as Longoria and Tex this year (albeit the age is a factor) - we'll see if he stays up there.

christaylor:

every bone of my statistical intuition screams that WAR values are not not normally distributed.

I wasn't at all sure aI was using the best measure. My first inclination was win shares. there might be a better marker out there for sure.

Jim:

If one was to look again in 2012, then the 2009 draft should be considered at that point, and that most likely will kill the Jays relative to the rest of baseball.

A relatively small precentage of the players in this study were drafted in 2006, and of those only 10 had a +2 impact - and 3 or 4 of those were top 10 picks.

So no, if we take that as a a guide - 2012 is too early to think the 2009 draft will have much impact. In fact, it's more likely that Jenkins came fast and gave a bit of a bubble to the Jays 2009 results. By 2015 then you probably take a hit for the gap unless Marisnick or someone turns out to be a real star.


Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#207444) #
You cannot compare Toronto with New York, but Toronto vs. Boston is a fair comparison.  There is no reason in the medium term for the Jays to have a significantly lower payroll than the Red Sox.  Jim Balsillie would be the perfect owner for the club in so many ways.
christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#207445) #
"I think christaylor, that you are also forgetting Halladay's excellent makeup in the equation. Not many players are a) that coachable B) have the drive to succeed after that big a setback. Not that there are any comparables really, but i doubt that there'd be as much as 1/10 who succeed.
I'm going to read Will's article now"

True enough, I didn't mention Halladay's make-up and drive to succeed, but in the interviews I've heard, he even ascribes that to people who helped him (his sports psychologist and his book the ABCs of pitching). At any rate, there is something special about the psychology of Halladay, but I see no reason why that couldn't be present in college pitchers, or hitters from HS/college.

Perhaps psychological tests are the next step in scouting (I suspect few teams use detailed tests) and could even be the next little "moneyball" advantage teams could make use of...
christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#207446) #
That was an interesting read (as ussmariner of is - it is definitely one of my favourite baseball blogs).

One thought struck me, JP took a lot of a hit for building a roster with a lot of good players but very few great ones. This article makes the case for diversifying (because of the 2009 Mets example), which is exactly what the JP rosters with many good players and few great ones accomplished. However, the article notes that if players art appropriately valued neither a diversification strategy nor a strategy that invests in high WAR players at a few players wins out.

However, I think things might be different in the AL east, for the Yanks/Sox, even if a 6 win player goes down those teams easily fill in the roles with an addition like Nady or Bay (yes, Manny really did go down there even w/o injury) in 2008 or Alex Gonzalez (for Lowrie/Lugo) or V-Mart (for 'tek who is is probably done as a player) in 2009. The Jays are competing with teams that can, if a 6 WAR player goes down, plug in a 3 WAR player without blinking, usually.

I feel the diversification strategy is probably better in the long run for a team like the Jays, it makes the team more resistant to injuries and hopefully the team can uncover undervalued skills that aren't captured by WAR (which admittedly I can't think of because WAR seems to me a very good measure of a players talent level).

Thanks for pointing out the link (my baseball blog reading has taken a dive of late, because of well, life).

Also brent - in another thread, you mentioned a 30 team black out and another person mentioned because it is because you're in Korea have you tried using something like Hotspot Shield (by anchor free); also I have heard that the blackout restrictions for the postseason.tv option aren't as strict... so for the $10 it costs it might be worth a try if you want to see the playoffs.
christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#207447) #
Balsillie would be perfect, he could name the team the Toronto Blackberries for all I care as for reasons that confound me the team has refused to make blue a major feature of its uniforms despite the team name being the Blue Jays.

If the team president does nothing other than bring back the Blue in Blue Jays, I'll be happy. I suspect he'll be a marketing type and I really hope the fan-base would call for the Blue to return to Blue Jays. Going to games, it is really apparent, that most folk are wearing retro uni-forms (even retro from seasons that weren't especially great such as caps from the mid/late-90s era). While I have one of the new J caps (I'd never be caught in one of those horrible T ones) it gets very little use compared to my WS era away cap or even my Japan Ham Fighters cap.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#207448) #
Looking at how the Jays are acting so far under AA I think they are going for a new direction vs the other teams.  IE: doing _real_ moneyball.

Pro scouting has always existed and has always been important, but it has faded in relation to drafting lately.  The Rule 5 draft has produced stars still but seems to be an afterthought.  Same with minor league free agents and waiver wire claims.  You get spare parts but rarely anything of long term consequence.  The Yankees and Red Sox blow a fortune on the latest obvious guys (big dollar free agents) and on their draft/international scouting.  The Rays are focused on development with a big advantage of 10 years of high picks.  The Orioles are, at the moment, draft based but have shifted gears a lot in the past lost decade.

If the Jays focus on finding the diamonds in the rough they could improve drastically quickly.  Dig through the AAAA/ML bench guys and find the guys who are forgotten by their clubs - the David Ortiz, Greg Zaun, Joe Inglett types of the world.  Guys who are cheap, ready for the majors, and waiting for that big chance.  High level scouting of them should identify which are really ready to break out and which are truly AAAA'ers (good enough for the minors but not good enough for the majors).  Statistical analysis can cut down the numbers quickly (if a guy hits under his weight in AAA odds are he won't break out in the majors) but quality scouting can find what the Jays need.

What do the Jays need?  They need depth - and lots of it.  Cheap depth.  Last year we wasted around $1 million on  Kevin Millar when we had a solid AAAA guy in Randy Ruiz ready to step in.  Joe Inglett was left in AAA most of the time while over $2 million was spent on Jose Bautista.  Simple ways to save around $3 million with comparable players (yes, Inglett hits left vs Bautista's right but the principle is the same). 

Next year we have $4 million going to Scott Downs, potentially $3+ to Bautista, and we had $1.9 this year for McDonald.  Barajas got $2.5 this past year to hit for a 71 OPS+.  These types of guys should not be paid at that level if the Jays want to win.  Save that $11 million and spend it on a star (find another $10 ideally so you can get a top level one) and fill the scrub slots with, well, scrubs.  Downs, Bautista, Barajas, McDonald, Millar, Camp, Accardo, Tallet, and Frasor all  could be potentially replaced for the ML minimum each.  Yes, Downs has done well and Accardo has potential still.  However, if you are surviving on a tight $80 mil or less budget and want to hold Halladay and are stuck with Wells then you have just $40 million or less left over.  Blowing $10-20 million on parts that can be replaced for the ML minimum is just a poor use of resources (and yes, this is the area of JP that bugged me the most over the years).  If pro scouting lets the Jays save that $10-20 million and spend it on getting a top level player to add to Halladay/Wells then it is a very smart thing to do and will potentially allow this team to move to the upper level of the AL East while on a budget in short order.

In truth, I'd allocate that money to improving the minors more than getting another star with that tight of a budget, but in the end it is money that can be far better spent than on getting guys like Bautista/McDonald/Barajas/McDonald/...
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#207450) #
Bautista/McDonald/Barajas/McDonald/

That second purely voluntary paycheque McDonald received for his pinch-running efforts was entirely unnecessary and was the proximate cause for Ricciardi's dismissal!
John Northey - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#207451) #
And that contract for McDonald is proof of how a solid pro-scouting wing can save millions.  $1.9 per year for two years vs the ML minimum is about $3 million total that would've easily paid for a few pro scouts to find another defense first and always guy who can hit for a 60 OPS+ with 1/2 decent baserunning skills who is currently sitting around in AAA or AA or even the independent leagues.  Guys like McDonald should be a dime a dozen.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#207452) #
McDonald signed a 2 year extension in 2007.  Many felt that a 1 year extension would have been better, but Ricciardi saw fit to reward McDonald for his excellent defensive year in 2007.  At the time the extension was signed, the club did not have a starting shortstop.  Scutaro was signed a couple of months later (for 2 years, and for less money than McDonald).  It was unclear then who would start.

You cannot really look at the McDonald situation in isolation.  Ricciardi actually did get himself an excellent starting shortstop and a replacement level middle infield backup for $3.2 million per year.  That's good, and made up for the Royce Clayton failure, in my books. 

Incidentally, the Scutaro signing would be a classic example of a pro scouting success, while Royce Clayton would be an example of a pro scouting failure.
lexomatic - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#207453) #

Pro scouting has always existed and has always been important, but it has faded in relation to drafting lately.  The Rule 5 draft has produced stars still but seems to be an afterthought.

And it's how the Jays of the 80/90s were built (partially). Gruber, Bell, Mcgriff and I'm not sure who else came through rule 5 drafts. This was Gillick's strength, not drafting. It's funny to think, but the Jays are taking it Old School (pro scouting) while also doin' the Moneyball thing (exploiting something underused to advantage). This most optimistic view of things puts the front office in the ideal position of having feet in both doors. ok the koolaid's down now.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#207454) #
Mike - good points there, but my point is McDonald should never have been signed for $1.9 million even for one year.  A strong pro-scouting wing, and a strong 'moneyball' office (ie: looking for ways to maximize return per dollar) for that matter, would know that McDonald is the type of player who is extremely replaceable at ML minimum wage.  Especially when he is on the wrong side of 30.

Scutaro was a great pickup in retrospect, and the 2 year deal well worth it.  However, again, was it needed?  The Jays would've still had control over Scutaro in 2009 and he wasn't guaranteed the starting shortstop position after 2008 (87 OPS+ would not dictate a major contract in the 08/09 offseason although who can say for certain when you mix in the regular playing time he had).  The Jays took on all the risk with little reward possible in those contracts, especially with Eckstein signed in 2008 (although I do forget the exact timelines there) who, again, was an overpayment for what you got ($4.5 million).

I think the key to the Jays future is avoiding those $1-5 million contracts and focusing more on building up a solid ML minimum wage crew and a solid high end crew.  Paying for Halladay only goes bad if he gets hurt, paying for mediocre talent can go bad much easier.  Talent at the far end of the scale (Halladay) is very rare, talent at the lower ends (Eckstein) is plentiful if you know where to find it.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#207455) #
Hopefully you don't need a strong pro-scouting wing to tell you how good a player who has been with you for 2 and 1/2 seasons is. 

As for the Moneyball approach to John McDonald as of 2007, there was a debate then about whether his defence was very good or almost as good as Adam Everett's.  The Fielding Bible had him at +33 over 2005-07 in part-time play.  That's a spectacular figure.  UZR now is not quite so positive, but at the time, I seem to recall that UZR was pretty comparable.  Tango certainly talked up John McDonald's overall value as being solidly between replacement and average.

I wouldn't have signed McDonald and certainly not on those terms, but I understand where it came from.

brent - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#207456) #
Christaylor, I'll have to look into the shield thing. Thanks.
Jim - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#207458) #

If overpaying John McDonald by a million dollars is a huge issue then they should just board up the RC and call it a franchise.  Who knows what other offers he had.  Maybe there was an NL team with no SS and a GB staff who thought he'd be worth a million and a half and had other offers.

I'd rather not pay him $2 million dollars a year, but I do not mind having McDonald on the roster at all as long as they still think he's an above average glove at short.

92-93 - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#207459) #
When you see the team cheap out and not sign 3 of its first 4 draft picks, you worry about wasting millions on veterans like JMac.
Ron - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#207460) #
You're the GM of the Jays and Brian Sabean offers Madison Bumgarner for Adam Lind and Brandon League, do you accept?
Ron - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#207461) #
What makes you assume he would have gotten to the majors any faster if he'd have been signed out of high school? that seems like a pretty huge assumption to me. (Not to mention the fact that Lincecum is, I think, in the top 5 of all these players in WAR anyway)

I did a poor job of making my point. I meant to say just imagine if Lincecum was drafted and signed in 2002, (assuming he was already a College pitcher in 2002) his WAR would be a lot higher than what it is now because he would have had a couple more years in the Majors. Now of course this is assuming he stayed healthy and productive.


TamRa - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#207462) #
Oh that?

Well I addressed that directly in the article.

And again in this thread. Ryan Robers has 3 times the WAR Snider has, but Snider's a vastly better player.

It's an inherent condition of the study. no way to overcome it except to not to an analysis until after all the players in question are retired.


Magpie - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#207463) #
Gruber, Bell, McGriff and I'm not sure who else came through rule 5 drafts.

Willie Upshaw, Manny Lee, Lou Thornton, Jose Nunez, and Willie Canate. But not Fred McGriff - he came (along with Dave Collins) in the Dale Murray trade.

Those guys did have to be carried on the major league roster all year long. It didn't much matter early on (in the case of Upshaw and Bell), as the team was going to lose 100 games anyway. It did get tricky later on. They worked out some kind of deal with Cleveland so they could send Gruber to AAA, but everyone else had to stay, despite:

                 G   PA  AB   R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BAVG  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+    
Upshaw (1978) 95  250 224  26 53  8  2  1  17  4  6 21 35 .237 .298 .304 .602  70
Bell (1981)   60  168 163  19 38  2  1  5  12  3  2  5 27 .233 .256 .350 .606  69
Gruber (1984) 15   16  16   1  1  0  0  1   2  0  0  0  5 .063 .063 .250 .313 -19
Lee (1985)    64   43  40   9  8  0  0  0   0  1  4  2  9 .200 .238 .200 .438  20
Thornton (1985) 56   75  72  18 17  1  1  1   8  1  0  2 24 .236 .267 .319 .586  58
Canate (1993)   38   57  47  12 10  0  0  1   3  1  1  6 15 .213 .309 .277 .586   5
Since those days, Tomas Perez and Corey Thurman both came over in the Rule 5 draft. Can't think of anyone else.
Jim - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#207464) #
You're the GM of the Jays and Brian Sabean offers Madison Bumgarner for Adam Lind and Brandon League, do you accept?

GOOD LORD NO.

Also, yes if you are going to not sign your draft picks consistently then there is no point in even trying to field a team.  If paying a few fringy guys a few million dollars too much in total keeps you from signing anyone in the draft then just submit your name for contraction.
christaylor - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#207465) #
"You're the GM of the Jays and Brian Sabean offers Madison Bumgarner for Adam Lind and Brandon League, do you accept?

GOOD LORD NO."

Yes, Lind is easily worth more than Bumgarner himself. I'm kind of tired of this over valuing of prospects. It started as a reaction to trades like the Nathan, Liriano trade but it has become ridiculous, no GM wants to part with good prospects regardless of the player, the (reported) Halladay offers were pathetic and CLE got fleeced on Lee.
Thomas - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#207468) #
Also, yes if you are going to not sign your draft picks consistently then there is no point in even trying to field a team. If paying a few fringy guys a few million dollars too much in total keeps you from signing anyone in the draft then just submit your name for contraction.

Absolutely. There's obviously point to trying to trim some pieces of fat on the payroll, but to go John's route of getting rid of everyone who makes between league minimum and $5 million (who isn't a position player or starter in their first 3 or 4 years) is ridiculous.

This team is far better serving keeping a good number of Accardo, Frasor, Tallet, Downs and Camp then trying to build a bullpen from minor league free agent signings. You're not going to replace their production and might not even come close. A couple of the minor league signings might work out well, but a few of them will be Jeff Tam-style disasters.

Matthew E - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#207470) #
Well, let's qualify that. I think it depends on just how good you're intending to be that year. If you figure it's a rebuilding year and you're going to stink, there's no point in paying extra for a supporting cast. There's no reason for a bad team to be expensive. If you actually have ambitions, of course, then you have to spend a bit on the spear carriers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#207471) #
Actually, if you're intending to be competitive in 2014-15, the best course is to use the roster spots in the bullpen to try a bunch of very low service time options in the hope that one will stick and be a valuable contributor when the time comes.  Attempting to build a team that  can expect to win 75 games in the AL East, rather than 70 games, is a waste of time. 

If ownership now believes that it can compete in the AL East in the immediate future, it ought to announce that the annual payroll will be in the $100-$110 million range consistently in the short term.  I don't see that happening. 

Mylegacy - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#207472) #
The problem with the bullpen in 2009 was simple...too many young starting pitchers going 4 to 6 innings. For a bullpen to be really effective everyone has to have a role. The guys in our bullpen are mostly up to the job. With a bit more stability from last years starters - upgraded by a Marcum or McGowan and we'll be fine.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#207473) #
True, there would be a few disasters but you also get that with the $1-5 million players.

In the end what is needed is an assessment of what a player's range of potential value is.  If it is $500k to $5 million then paying $1.9 million makes sense.  If it is $500k to $2 million then paying $1.9 million isn't a good idea.  You need to figure out odds of them reaching the peak, what that peak is, and what the pitfalls potentially are.

Thus a 2+ year deal for a guy in his 30's who has never been more than a backup is tossing money in the toilet more often than not.  A 2+ year deal at 1/2 the potential value for a guy in his late 20's though could be a good value. 

My statement about avoiding those $1-5 million contracts completely is a bit extreme, but remember, the Jays are in the AL East where mediocre won't do the job.  You either get the top end talent and pay for it (Halladay and the like) while filling in holes with the cheapest decent parts you can find.  Spend every last cent you have on the big guns and pray they are healthy and if they are then watch out.  If you blow it all on guys who, if healthy, will help you get to an 85 win season then you are just spinning your wheels.  If we have Bautista, McDonald, and guys like them getting 400+ PA's each then the Jays will most likely be stuck in 3rd/4th place and out of the playoffs.  If instead you save that $4-5 million and find another $4-5 then you can get a solid guy instead to play everyday who can help the team to 90+ wins.  Yes, injuries happen but that is where a great pro-scouting department comes in - get those top notch AAAA guys signed and ready to jump in if needed ala Ruiz this September and pray you don't need them. 

The Rays had a simple formula, stay healthy (7 starters this year, 3 over 30 starts.  Last year 9 starters with 4 over 30 and a 5th at 27 starts).  The Jays need to plan on it the same way - stay healthy and win, get hurt and lose.  Setting a team up to be mediocre either way is just following the Leafs example and that is just painful.
JohnL - Tuesday, October 13 2009 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#207474) #
Since those days, Tomas Perez and Corey Thurman both came over in the Rule 5 draft. Can't think of anyone else.

I can think of at least one other Rule 5 Blue Jay from relatively recent years... a guy who made a decent play earlier this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OH_AspRMog
Ron - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 12:25 AM EDT (#207475) #
Yes, Lind is easily worth more than Bumgarner himself. I'm kind of tired of this over valuing of prospects. It started as a reaction to trades like the Nathan, Liriano trade but it has become ridiculous, no GM wants to part with good prospects regardless of the player, the (reported) Halladay offers were pathetic and CLE got fleeced on Lee.

If Bumgarner was offered for Lind/League, I would have to think about it. Bumgarner might be the best pitching prospect in all of baseball. The Giants are looking to get a slugging OF this off-season and it appears they will make a run at Holliday and Bay. If they don't land either player, I could see them being interested in Lind. If the Jays are going to rebuild though the draft, by the time the Jays hopefully contend for a playoff spot, Lind will be up for free agency.

If you thought the offers for Doc were pathetic just wait until you see the offers the Jays will get in the off-season. The last 2 veteran aces to be traded were Santana and Lee. Every club is going to use those deals as what they deem a fair offer. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ian Kennedy/Ramiro Pena/Francisco Cervelli type offers for Doc.
brent - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 02:17 AM EDT (#207476) #

Does anyone know a little more about AA's new addition from Washington other than the bland press release. I cruised some Nat's Blogs but only one even mentioned him leaving and had nothing to say.

Being a Jays fan by blogospheres is way better than probably being one for: Pitts, Washington, Florida, and TB.

Magpie - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 06:19 AM EDT (#207477) #
Bumgarner might be the best pitching prospect in all of baseball.

TINSTAAPP
AWeb - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#207479) #
Filling out a roster with major league minimum guys works great for one year (where successful), and then players don't want to be major league minimum anymore. If you want to fill all the replaceable parts of a team (bullpen, bench, a few starters) with that type of player, I hope you like massive turnover, year after year. There is something to be said for a team keeping familiar players around for a few years, from a fans perspective. I'm sure the building block guys (Halladay, Lind, Hill) wouldn't be too keen on having 6-10 new teammates with no major league experience each year. Imagine being a starting pitcher on a team and having to rediscover trust in the bullpen every year, or having to work on the double play with someone new each March. Continuity is often overvalued, but I think it is possible to undervalue it as well.



Jim - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#207480) #

You could make a case for trading Lind, but you've got to get up the middle players for him.  Bumgartner's scouting reports don't match the numbers he put up in AA.  I've seen him a few times and he's a great prospect, but not nearly enough value for Lind. 

I won't be suprised if they can't move Roy, the offers are going to be brutal.   It was unfortunate that Lee was available at the same time, that drove down the price the Phillies would have paid.

 

MatO - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#207481) #

Getting players through the Rule 5 draft has gotten a lot more difficult since they increased the minor league service time for eligiblity by one year a few years back (4 years for college players and 5 years for HS).

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#207482) #
Carlos Gomez would probably be available for not much.  The Twins have an outfield jam and Delmon Young is GM Bill Smith's prospect. 
Helpmates - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#207483) #

Delmon Young is GM Bill Smith's prospect

What does that mean?  They got him from the Rays, and he's not a prospect.

Matthew E - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#207484) #

The Jays need to plan on it the same way - stay healthy and win, get hurt and lose. 

I strongly disagree, and here's why: your team will never be healthy. Never. Never ever. There will always be injuries, and there will always be important injuries. You have to plan for that. You need depth and flexibility and more than one superstar in addition to luck.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#207485) #
The Young/Garza-Bartlett trade was one of Bill Smith's first moves.  For that reason, I would imagine that Smith has a lot invested in him; right now, that trade looks terrible but Young just turned 24 and I bet that Smith would rather run out an outfield with Span in center and Young in left than with Gomez in center and Span in a corner. 

Young is basically where Lloyd Moseby was at the end of 1982, a year older and more offensive performance so far but after 3 years he still hasn't done a thing.  I used the word "prospect" very loosely- in the sense of a player who has proved nothing at the major league level but who is "young enough" and with enough talent that he reasonably could be expected to improve significantly. 

Chuck - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#207486) #

They got him from the Rays, and he's not a prospect.

Delmon Young is frustrating, addle-brained and has a bunch of holes in his game. But he's been a major leaguer from ages 21 to 23, posting OPS+s of 91, 102, 97.

If you say he's not a prospect because he is already a major leaguer, then I agree with you.

If you say he's not a prospect because he definitely won't turn into anything, then I'd disagree. I wouldn't bet on him turning things around and evolving into a major talent but it's not entirely out of the question. He is very young to have 1700 major league ABs under his belt.

Chuck - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#207487) #
Damn, too slow.
Rich - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#207488) #
Spend every last cent you have on the big guns and pray they are healthy and if they are then watch out.  If you blow it all on guys who, if healthy, will help you get to an 85 win season then you are just spinning your wheels.

I tend to agree.  It's a gamble but gambling is the only chance you have when your opponents can simply outspend you for talent.

This also reminds me of a comment BP made about the Jays lineup a few years back - something to the effect that they had decent players at every position (Cat, Rios, Wells, Overbay) but that they didn't have a single above average hitter.  This made it exceedingly difficult for the team to score enough runs to contend.

If you are going to go this route however you MUST do an exceptional job at finding low priced talent as depth in all areas is still critical to a contender.
cascando - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#207489) #
I would imagine Carlos Gomez is a Bill Smith prospect by the same definition, given that he was probably the centrepiece of the Santana deal.  But they are (and were) somewhat redundant.  I'd like the Jays to take a shot on either of them (Gomez or Young) if they can be had for any of the young arms other than Cecil, Romero or Rzep.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#207490) #
While perfect health is virtually impossible I did show how it happened for the Rays - they had 4 guys with 30+ starts and a 5th with 27 in 2008.  That is how they got to the playoffs - incredible health for their key pitchers.

As to their lineup,  4 hitters qualified for the batting title including Longoria who was left in the minors for awhile at the start of the season.  The got spare parts hitting for a 100+ OPS+ (Eric Hinske, Gabe Gross, Cliff Floyd, Ben Zobrist, and Rocco Baldelli all had 100-500 PA).  No one had 200+ PA with a sub-80 OPS+ and just one guy was in the 70's over 100 PA.  Just two pitchers had ERA+'s under 100 (barely-98 and 97) with over 35 IP and after one flop you got to go to under 20 IP to get another.  That is a lot of luck and health mixed together.  This year they had one guy over 100 IP with an ERA+ sub-80, and another sub 70 at 99 2/3 IP.  Their #1 catcher had a 51 OPS+ and their CF/RF/DH were all sub-80 for OPS+ while just two guys on the bench (both under 100 PA) had a 100+ OPS+. 

To win it takes a lot of things going right.  You need to set up a team to be able to win if things go right.  The Jays under Gord Ash never did this, and under JP were moving towards it as well.  Those mid-level contracts can and will kill a team unless you take risks - get those guys who could break out and hit for a 120+ OPS+ or could collapse and hit under 80.  Get those pitchers who could strike out everyone or walk everyone.  Take the chances on the highest potential possible.  That is how you win when you are faced with the Yankees and Red Sox.  Some years you end up fighting for last (if all goes wrong) but some years you'll fight for the top as well.  In 2008 if all went right the Jays were positioned well.  This past year they had too much to overcome.  But if they keep signing the McDonald's of the world then JP/Ash land is where they'll be (75-85 wins).
zeppelinkm - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#207491) #
Not signing Paxton was a huge blunder. If the general consensus for a player is that "yeah, if he has a good year he'll be a top 20 pick next year", and you got him this year, much later then that, you sign him. It doesn't matter if next year's draft is going to be deeper. You had a chance to sign a 1st round type talent this year.

It still grinds my gears just thinking about it.


zeppelinkm - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#207492) #
Sorry guys. I had left the browser open for a day and read through the thread and commented after Brent (way, way back up). After posting it, I am reading through the comments and saw that much has been added!
Ron - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#207494) #
To win it takes a lot of things going right.  You need to set up a team to be able to win if things go right.  The Jays under Gord Ash never did this, and under JP were moving towards it as well.  Those mid-level contracts can and will kill a team unless you take risks - get those guys who could break out and hit for a 120+ OPS+ or could collapse and hit under 80.  Get those pitchers who could strike out everyone or walk everyone.  Take the chances on the highest potential possible.

Do you mean going out to get the AJ Burnett's, BJ Ryan, Frank Thomas, Troy Glaus, Scott Rolen's of the world? The Jays under JP already rolled the dice with big name/high risk,high upside free agents and veteran players with no meaningful game in August to show for it.


Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#207495) #

I can't believe the doom, gloom and utter despair that permeates this site and presumibly the people who write here regularly.  People on this site do not understand Baseball as well as they think they do.  Numbers will lie, that why you pay taxes.  Players will disapoint people as will people.  Umpires lose concentration, get distacted by the littlest thing, just like everyone else.  Economics and financials are difficult for most people.  And this could go on.

The Rogers Center (AKA Skydome) can, by itself, totally support the Blue Jays and itself, in it's entirety.  Rogers Corp knows this, it all depends on who's hired as President.  But then I've said this before.  This team will receive as much money as it can justify, because Rogers knows the return from the Center will be good, possibly very good.  No one will buy this team without the Dome, because that's the value of this team.

I think there will be more sweeping changes than we can imagine occurring with this team.  But attendence will increase because of the changes, of that, you can be sure.  If you know how Alex thinks?  Only time will tell. 

TamRa - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#207496) #
There are enough variables that it is quite possible to do the right thing and still not contend.



92-93 - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#207497) #
I'm really curious to see what sort of contracts Harden and Bedard get this offseason. They'd be good arms to target if AA is given money to spend, because they have very high ceilings and can't really expect too much guaranteed money after yet another injury-plagued season. A rotation made up of Halladay-Bedard-Harden-Marcum-Romero with depth in Rzepczynski-Litsch-Cecil-Richmond-McGowan-Purcey-Mills-Ray-Stewart wouldn't be too shabby.

I recognize that it makes a big difference who the replacement pitchers could be, but I wonder if fans would prefer their team sign John Lackey or Erik Bedard AND Rich Harden, because I think the price might be similar.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#207498) #
What kind of budget are we talking about?  If you've got $120 million, you can spend on pitching and a centerfielder and a shortstop and a bench and keep much of the bullpen.  Personally, I would be loathe to spending money on Bedard who has a torn labrum and will likely be out until well into the second half of 2010. You're really talking about some kind of Lieber/Carpenter deal when the value comes (potentially) the following year or the year after that.
FisherCat - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#207499) #

In case anyone forgot, there are still some Blue Jay prospects applying their trade as we speak.

Case in point: Bobby Ray pitches tonight in the Arizona Fall League for Phoenix @ 8:35 EDT.

As a side note, his Phoenix teammate Stephen Strasburg is set to make his MILB debut on Friday night.

92-93 - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#207501) #
Mike, my 2nd paragraph was not referring to the Blue Jays, but MLB in general. What's a more efficient allocation of resources, a dependable frontline starter (Lackey) for 16m or two unreliable starters who are typically frontline when healthy for a few million cheaper?
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#207502) #
Fair enough.  Personally, I'd make Harden an ace reliever and try to get 100 good high leverage innings out of him.  Bedard is a reasonable bet for a club swimming in cash.  On the other hand, Lackey's averaged 170 innings per year for the last 2, with an ERA+ of 119.    $16 million/year for that? 
brent - Wednesday, October 14 2009 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#207504) #

Unless you have a 110+ million payroll, I don't think a team can afford the luxury of a Rivera or Harden as a closer. They just can't make up the value in comparison to a starter.

Food for thought today: Purcey had nearly identical fangraph value as Cecil. Take a second and digest that.

92-93 - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#207505) #
One would assume that Lackey gets at least the 5/80 Burnett got last winter. He certainly deserves it more.
brent - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#207506) #

For some extra perspective, let's compare teams that were within approximately 5 million of the Jays' payroll:

(in higher pre-season payroll to lower order but teams added or subtracted during the season)

Giants+ 88

Indians- 65

Bluejays- 75

Brewers= 80

Cardinals+ 91

Rockies+92

Reds= 78

Diamondbacks= 70

That would average out to be 80 wins. The same amount of money goes a lot farther in the NL than the AL of course. Just try and picture St.Louis or Colorado winning 90+ games in the AL East. It's laughable.

John Northey - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#207507) #
For further perspective none of those teams, even with the inflated win totals, would've made the playoffs in the AL East (95 wins required). In fact, only the Dodgers (95 wins exactly) and Angels would've made it in the majors.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#207509) #
I wouldn't assume that Lackey will get anything like what Burnett got.  Burnett was desired by the Yankees, which puts him in a different salary range to begin with.  One guesses that the Yankees believed that he was likely to hold his value well because of his stuff and that the ART did a very good job on his arm.  Personally, I think that expecting an ERA+ of more than 105 and an average of more than 170 innings over the life of Burnett's contract is unreasonable, and if this is worth $16 million to you, you must have a budget of $200 million.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#207510) #
As for Harden's usage, in the last 5 seasons, he's thrown 125, 46, 25, 148 and 141 innings.  There is absolutely no  basis to believe that he is capable of throwing 180 innings in a season, and a reasonable expectation is probably 130-140 innings.  The difference in leverage between an ace reliever and a 130-140 inning starter more than makes up the difference. 

One of the current inefficiencies results from the artificial "starter" and "reliever" designations.  It does make a difference how many innings a pitcher throw and the leverage attached to those innings. To happily pay Harden $8 million, if he has a slight chance of throwing 180 very good innings as a starter, while declining to pay him $8 million if he has decent to good chance of throwing 80-100 very good innings as an ace reliever, is stupid. 

There are a relatively limited number of pitchers who can throw 200 good innings in a year consistently over a 5 year period.  In the history of the Jays, the ones who could are Stieb, Clancy, Key, Morris, Cone, Leiter, Woody Williams, Hentgen, Wells, Clemens, Halladay and (let's say) Lilly.   A few might throw 200 very good innings for 5 seasons over a period of 7 or 8 like Chris Carpenter.  That small number of pitchers is over a 30 year period.  The whole idea of trying to build a staff around 5 pitchers making 34 starts of 6 innings in length (on average) assumes a distribution of pitching talent and durability that (it seems to me) is not really there.  You want guys like the above throwing 200 innings or more, but as for the rest, the effort to try to have them throw that many is built around on artificial and inefficient notions.

92-93 - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#207511) #
"I wouldn't assume that Lackey will get anything like what Burnett got. Burnett was desired by the Yankees, which puts him in a different salary range to begin with."

First of all, this is ridiculous. The Yankees didn't put Burnett into his salary bracket, the open market did. Early reports were that the Jays offered 4/54 to get him to not opt out, so clearly the Yankees desire did not put him into any different salary ranges. And even if that was true, I see no reason why the Yankees wouldn't be players on the market's best FA pitcher yet again. They have over 40m coming off the books and would be well advised to pursue another SP to complement Sabathia/Burnett at the top of their rotation, because Pettitte is getting on in years, nobody has any confidence any more in Wang, and Joba failed yet again to handle a starter's load and very well could find himself back in the bullpen.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#207512) #
If the Yankees are seriously interested in Lackey, he'll probably get Burnett-like numbers.  I am not sure that they will be, for a couple of reasons.  Most importantly, he doesn't have the stuff that Burnett does so they may seriously doubt his ability to reproduce his 20s level of performance in his early 30s.  The Yanks also didn't draw what they hoped, and it wouldn't shock me if they decided to pull back a bit on the spending (particularly if they win the World Series in 2009). 

Incidentally, if Lackey is worth $16 million on the open market, Halladay is probably worth $30-$35 million.  Not that he would get it.  It would indeed be strange if Lackey's 2009 contract was based primarily on his performance until 2007 rather than his 2008-09 performance, but the FA market is definitely marked with peculiarities.

brent - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#207513) #
Mike Green, I didn't realize you were talking about 80-100 innings. I thought you meant around 60-70. Harden would usually be doing 2 innings at a time or how do you envision using him? He's not going to come here to pitch in games that the Jays are losing by a run or are tied to miss easy saves.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 15 2009 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#207521) #
1.5 innings per appearance, 65 appearances.  Bringing in your ace in the eighth inning with the game tied ought to be standard.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 16 2009 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#207526) #
WillRain has had his website crash?  Any attempt to reach the site that was available earlier this week just gets 2008 and strange stuff.
TamRa - Friday, October 16 2009 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#207535) #
They were moving back to a different....I dunno what it is? Host? MoveableType to Typepad or vice versa...i dunno.

Still haven't smoother out all the bugs yet

It'l be right eventually.


VBF - Friday, October 16 2009 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#207536) #

Do you mean going out to get the AJ Burnett's, BJ Ryan, Frank Thomas, Troy Glaus, Scott Rolen's of the world? The Jays under JP already rolled the dice with big name/high risk,high upside free agents and veteran players with no meaningful game in August to show for it.

So you don't sign big name free agents because of the risk? The risk is going to be the fact of competing in the AL East. That's not a suggestion to building a team around big name free agents--you need to build a young core of good players and add these free agents where the holes exist. If you didn't sign those guys, are you making the playoffs? Probably not either. Where would the saved BJ Ryan money have gone towards and why is that allocation less risk than BJ Ryan? It's not like we're unable to retain key players solely due to money around here...And last I checked AJ Burnett, Troy Glaus, Scott Rolen all worked out and Frank Thomas was the team's best hitter for one of the two years he was signed for.

If you really want to get on JP for money, there are some genuinely terrible contracts he gave out. 4 million dollars ro John McDonald? Paying a 2.5 million dollar bonus to Jose Bautista if he broke camp in 2009? 1 million guaranteed money to Billy Koch? Surely there would have been other unique ways to have these players on the team without donating money to them.

Ron - Friday, October 16 2009 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#207543) #

So you don't sign big name free agents because of the risk? The risk is going to be the fact of competing in the AL East. That's not a suggestion to building a team around big name free agents--you need to build a young core of good players and add these free agents where the holes exist. If you didn't sign those guys, are you making the playoffs? Probably not either. Where would the saved BJ Ryan money have gone towards and why is that allocation less risk than BJ Ryan? It's not like we're unable to retain key players solely due to money around here...And last I checked AJ Burnett, Troy Glaus, Scott Rolen all worked out and Frank Thomas was the team's best hitter for one of the two years he was signed for.

If you really want to get on JP for money, there are some genuinely terrible contracts he gave out. 4 million dollars ro John McDonald? Paying a 2.5 million dollar bonus to Jose Bautista if he broke camp in 2009? 1 million guaranteed money to Billy Koch? Surely there would have been other unique ways to have these players on the team without donating money to them.

I was responding to Johnís comment about how the Jays need to take risks. You will find a lot of people who donít feel like the signing/trades of AJ Burnett, Troy Glaus, Frank Thomas, and Scott Rolen worked out.

I have no problem with the strategy of signing big name free agents under the right circumstances. If you looked at the archives here, I supported the AJ Burnett signing. The Jays this off-season should avoid handing out big long term free agent contracts though. The Jays have been stuck in sub .500 hell for too long. They truly need to commit to rebuilding through player development even if this means losing more than 90 games in a season.


John Northey - Friday, October 16 2009 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#207544) #
And there is the big issue - how do the Jays jump to the 95 win level needed in the AL East?

In 2008 their runs for/against were better than the Rays (60 fewer runs scored but 61 fewer runs allowed which should've led to a better W-L record than Tampa had). If the Jays had the same good fortune as the Rays did then the Jays would've been the AL East winners in '08 and the Ryan/Burnett/Rolen deals look one heck of a lot better.

Think about how close they could've been if not for what is generally viewed as luck (performing below what runs for/against say you should be at). Now, where are they today? Someone else checked and found that the Jays would've had 86 wins had they played an AL Central schedule instead of an AL East one. They scored more than they allowed which again suggests an above 500 team. Mix in that they have Marcum back for certain and no more Millar (78 OPS+) or Rios (95 OPS+) and things are looking better. No more Ryan blowing leads, a lot of the kid pitchers maturing.

Of course, a million things can and will go wrong (Scutaro, Lind, Overbay, Hill, Rolen production down - especially with Rolen gone and Scutaro likely gone) but still...

Ah, the fun of dreaming.
TimberLee - Tuesday, October 27 2009 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#207753) #

What is the largest number of responses in any one thread on daBox?

Also, it would be helpful if each comment were numbered so someone jumping in later could easily and clearly identify to which earlier comment he was replying. (Like this is 116 here.)

Jays vs Twins | 116 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.