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We now have our shortstops for 2010.  Blue Jays ink veteran shortstop Gonzalez (no, not that one, the active one) for $2.75 in 2010 and $2.5 in 2011 (club option) while Blue Jays, McDonald reach a deal for 2 more years for $1.5 per year.


Alex Gonzalez's Baseball Reference page shows us he is a lifetime 78 OPS+ player hitting 247-294-395.  He has never had a 100 OPS+ and entering his age 33 season I wouldn't expect one now.  Backing him up is good ol' John McDonald.  He of the 57 lifetime OPS+ hitting 238/276/317.

So, we know they can't hit.  What about fielding?  Both have fantastic reputations so lets see via FanGraphs...
Alex Gonzalez: UZR/150 = 10.5 last year, on DL in 2008, 5.9 in 2007, 16.9 in 2006.  Very solid
John McDonald: UZR/150 = 2.1 last year, -1.4 for 2008, 12.4 in 2007.  Hrm, not impressive for a guy who lives by his glove although playing time was short lately so it could be sample size issues.
Note: the leader in 2009 for UZR/150 was Jack Wilson at 20.4 over 105 games followed by Cesar Izturis at 14.1 then Adam Everett followed by Elvis Andrus followed by new Blue Jay Alex Gonzalez.  Brendan Ryan of the Cardinals didn't qualify with 100 starts but was at 13.8 while Paul Janish played just under 600 innings at 24.6 (others with under 300 innings were also high but sample size issues go nuts then).  Scutaro was at 1.0

For raw dollar value we get (via FanGraphs)...
Gonzalez at $35.4 million lifetime, peaking at $10.1 in 2007 and $2.4 million last year.
McDonald at $2.2 million lifetime, peaking at $2.9 in 2005 and just $200k last year

Thus we now have two no-hit solid (if not great) field shortstops for a total of $4.25 million in 2010 and (potentially) $4 million for 2011.  For comparison it cost $4.5 million for one year of David Eckstein in 2008.

What does this mean for 2010?  One thing is it strongly suggests no major league ready shortstop is coming in a Halladay trade (a guy in A ball or who is likely to start in AA in 2010 is possible still).  It also should make all the kid pitchers really, really happy to know they have a pair of solid defensive shortstops behind them thus keeping their ERA's down (as well as low run support on the negative side).
Short Is Now Covered For 2010 | 109 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 12:16 PM EST (#208803) #

Dang, Neary, great minds think alike -- I posted the same item at exactly the same time you did, so deleted mine ...

Welcome to Toronto, Alex
The Blue Jays have a new shortstop. So long, Marco. Have a seat, JMac.

ESPN.com is reporting, " ... Free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, whose midseason arrival in Boston helped the Red Sox secure a playoff spot, has signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, with a $2.5 million team option for 2011."

LouisvilleJayFan - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 12:23 PM EST (#208807) #
Coincidentally enough, if you click on Alex Gonzalez's name in the ESPN.com story, it takes you to the page of the other (former Jays super prospect) Alex Gonzalez.
Denoit - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 12:26 PM EST (#208808) #
Meh.. takes another SS off the market so Scutaro and the RedSox can hopefully work out a deal. It would be nice to have the Sox first round pick (Assuming they dont sign another player ranked higher). Good defence will be nice to have behind the young pitching.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 01:05 PM EST (#208811) #
Who has the best shortstops/prospects amongst all those after Roy Halladay?   
kinguy - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 01:44 PM EST (#208813) #
Jays announce new minor league managing staff.  Sal Fasano is the new manager in Lansing.



Gerry - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 01:45 PM EST (#208814) #

Gonzalez could also be a valuable trading chip at the trade deadline next season and he might bring back some lower level talent at that time.  The Jays have Johnny Mc available to cover from August to September.

John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 02:02 PM EST (#208815) #
Something to remember is that Gonzalez and Johnny Mac are not the type of guys you would hesitate to release if needed to make room for a kid who impresses.  So if the Jays trade for a guy in AAA who by mid-season is ready it wouldn't be that expensive to release either of these guys to make room.  Same if someone in the system comes on gangbusters this year and climbs to AAA and earns a shot by early 2011 rather than waiting until 2012.

I'm still not feeling this was the best allocation of financial resources, but at least it isn't a Vernon Wells or BJ Ryan situation.

Ron - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 02:05 PM EST (#208816) #
Why bother signing some of your high draft picks when you can give a middling defender with a anemic bat 3 million over 2 years. A player like McDonald deserves nothing more than a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. To make matters worse, McDonald isnít some guy in his mid 20ís, the Jays have locked him up for his age 35 and 36 season. Iíve had a night to sleep on this signing and it still doesnít make any sense on any level.

I can accept the Gonzalez signing since only 1 year is guaranteed and heís still a solid defender. With the potential departure of Scutaro and Overbay this off-season, the Jays could field a team that is allergic to working the count and drawing walks.

 ÖÖÖ. Barry Bonds is still a free agent

lexomatic - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 02:38 PM EST (#208817) #
With the potential departure of Scutaro and Overbay this off-season, the Jays could field a team that is allergic to working the count and drawing walks. out of all that's been said, this is actually what bothers me the most about the current makeup of the team.EE has shown some patience, but I think he's at best an 70bb/120k kinda guy. Lind will walk some, but what are we talking 60/110? Snider will take walks but right now he looks like a 60/160 guy. Wells would have a good year at 40/80 Hill as well at 40/90. SS WOULD BE 30/100 ish. Bautista will walk a little but again he's a 60/100 guy. We don't know who the catcher or rf/dh are ...so far that's approx 300bb/660k. probably somewhere in a range of 450-475 for guys who will walk an average amount in those 2 positions, or 400-450 if not.
Denoit - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 02:57 PM EST (#208818) #

Who has the best shortstops/prospects amongst all those after Roy Halladay? 

I would love to see Starlin Castro from the Cubs come over. But Cubs have major payroll issues. If they sent Josh Vitters over as well as a couple good arms I would even consider taking Bradley off their hands to make it happen.

Mike D - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 03:00 PM EST (#208819) #

Gonzalez could also be a valuable trading chip at the trade deadline next season and he might bring back some lower level talent at that time.  The Jays have Johnny Mc available to cover from August to September.

Gerry, I was thinking exactly the same thing.  He's exactly the kind of rental that can yield a prospect or two.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 03:25 PM EST (#208820) #
It's true.  I just would rather have just about anyone else playing short than Johnny Mac in 2010 after the Kevin Millar Experience of 2009.  Give me some 27 year old 4A player who just might surprise me in a good way and if he doesn't, that would be fine. 
Mylegacy - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:03 PM EST (#208821) #
Gonzo is a very good defensive SS. He and Hill will be an EXCELLENT defensive duo.

With Marcum and McGowan trying to return from injury and our boat load our young pitchers - their defense will be SIGNIFICANT in how our pitching develops over the year.

HOWEVER - EVERYTHING hinges on who comes back in the Roy trade - that could change everything. So far - I've no big problems with the JMac and Gonzo deals.
Wildrose - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:09 PM EST (#208822) #
Blair wades in with his , in my opinion , somewhat reasonable observations.

This is about managing a 25-man roster; about ensuring, frankly, that 4-1 losses do not become 8-1 losses and drain a young starting rotation and bullpen.

I'm just amazed how tough and bitter this bauxite crowd has become.

christaylor - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:11 PM EST (#208823) #
I don't hate this. J-Mac seems overpaid but the Gonzalez deal looks decent.

However, I do hope that AA finds a way to wring more offence out of the positions not yet set - C, 3B are the obvious suspects but more offence from 1B and the 2009 unfilled OF position (or if a Lind-Wells-Snider OF is in play, then from DH).

Not that SS has been a position of strength but last year was a nice surprise with Scutaro.
timpinder - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:21 PM EST (#208824) #

Ron hit the nail on the head.  Let 3 of your top 4 draft picks walk because they're going to cost too much money, then sign a no-hit / average defense shortstop for $3 million, who could have been replaced at league minimum.  It's absolutely ridiculous.

Fans are getting frustrated and negative FOR GOOD REASON.  On TSN a fan wrote that after being a fan for 15 years he's sick of this organization and he'll cheer for whichever team gets Doc.  I won't go as far as to say "any" team, but if it's Boston, I'll be quietly cheering for the Sox and I'm sure a Red Sox Halladay jersey will be in my closet soon thereafter.

Ryan Day - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:33 PM EST (#208825) #
I don't absolutely hate the McDonald deal, but I do have to ask "why now?" There's a couple months of free agents, trades, rule 5, waiver claims, and non-tenders to come. Surely you could at least look around for a cheaper, better version of McDonald. Heck, make it part of the Halladay trade - never mind an elite short prospect, just insist on that guy in AA with the great glove who can't hit. Were other teams really chasing after McDonald that hard?

It seems to make even less sense with Gonzalez, who's already a great glove, no-hit ss. You could carry a backup who has some bat but not a great glove, and mix-and-match depending on the situation. It's not a franchise-crippling move, but it's not putting the team any further ahead, either.

Gerry - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:41 PM EST (#208826) #
I don't mind the Jays bringing back Johnny Mc as a bench player and I don't really mind the dollars but I still don't get the second year.  McDonald said he had a two year offer from another team but I would play chicken on that.
TamRa - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 04:53 PM EST (#208828) #
Who has the best shortstops/prospects amongst all those after Roy Halladay? 

1. Castro - Cubs
2. Wood - Angels
3. Dejesus/Gordon - Dodgers


Concerning the deals - the one circumstance in which the McDonald contract made sense is if the Jays were going to bring in a younger guy for J-mac to mentor as Vizquel did for Andrus.

The ONE way that AA could make the McDonald deal look ill-advised is be signing another similar veteran SS.

i'm ok with Gonzalez (at least he's not Cabrera) but my already unimpressed opinion of the McDonald deal just dropped considerably.

Also, the big question now becomes: Who leads off?


Thomas - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 05:09 PM EST (#208829) #
Blair's column is worth a read.

He says that Anthopolous spoke to Cabrera, but was scared away by his price, and also asked Tampa about Reid Brignac before deciding that Gonzalez was the best option.

He also points out that with Encarnacion's defence at third, the Jays thought it would be worth it to be sure to have a good glove at short to compensate.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 05:34 PM EST (#208830) #
What's a million bucks for a season?  About a buck off for a bleacher seat.  It sure would have been nice if the club took the extra million they are paying Johnny Mac and put it to a use like that. 

Ah well.  Chalk it up to a rookie mistake.
brent - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 06:18 PM EST (#208832) #

Everyone should remember that the picks the Jays didn't sign are still around this year. If they miss out on them, then we can freak out on the Jays' brass. We might actually be happier with the talent they could bring in come June.

Mike Green is right about the value of a million. How about more giveaways or promotions too. I would suppose there is a bit of an unfortunate disconnect between the GM and the other things that the Jays do.

brent - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 06:24 PM EST (#208833) #
Does anyone know anything about Dan Rohn, the new AAA manager? Is he being brought in for after Cito leaves?
Ron - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 06:43 PM EST (#208835) #
Fans are getting frustrated and negative FOR GOOD REASON.  On TSN a fan wrote that after being a fan for 15 years he's sick of this organization and he'll cheer for whichever team gets Doc.  I won't go as far as to say "any" team, but if it's Boston, I'll be quietly cheering for the Sox and I'm sure a Red Sox Halladay jersey will be in my closet soon thereafter.

Ownership better be prepared to see crowds that are routinely under 10K. I felt like last season was the tipping point for fans getting off the sinking ship. The Jays have been irrelevant for about a decade and a half and ownership is doing everything in their power to drive more fans away.

Raising ticket prices, removing perks for season ticket holders, and not signing high draft picks is bad, but trading away Roy Halladay will be the big sucker punch for a large group of fans. The Jays could receive 2 blue chip prospects for Halladay and the casual fan will still probably think itís a terrible deal. The Jays need to get back at least one player who will be on the opening day roster just for optics. Also most fans will view a Halladay trade as the beginning of another rebuilding cycle. I donít envy the Jays marketing department.

Mylegacy - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 06:49 PM EST (#208836) #
As I see it: with our picks, picks for our 2009 non-signed, two picks for Scoots and one for Barajas we will have NINE picks BEFORE the 4th round.

Now - lets try and sign two or three of these guys. Seriously, with AA boosting the scouting we'll have a better chance of having in depth knowledge about the guys - and their families and SIGNABILITY than in previous years.
Dave Till - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 07:19 PM EST (#208837) #
I can see the logic of signing two shortstops. The Jays have nothing at all in the system, and no utility player who can cover the position in an emergency (Inglett can play second but not short). As for whether the money is right: it depends, I guess, on what the Jays' budget is. I have no idea how much money AA has to play with.

I was wondering: how many teams have had two players with the same name? The Mets had two pitchers named Bob Miller, and the Dodgers have had two Mike Marshalls. The Griffeys are another obvious choice. Tim Raines Sr. and Jr. played together for one game in Baltimore. There must be others,

As a fan, just for entertainment, I hope I get a chance to see Johnny Mac play short the way he played it before he hurt his ankle, and before the Jays decided to try players who could, you know, hit.

Ron - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 07:36 PM EST (#208839) #
AA talked to the media today and he said he will likely offer arbitration to Scutaro and Barajas. Travis Snider is not guaranteed a spot on the Jays roster. If he doesn't perform in Spring Training, he will be down in AAA.
6-4-3 - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 08:09 PM EST (#208841) #
Does anyone know anything about Dan Rohn, the new AAA manager? Is he being brought in for after Cito leaves?

When he was with the Mariners, there was a "Free Dan Rohn" campaign among M's bloggers who wanted him to replace Mike Hargrove.  At one point, Rohn was basically manager in waiting with an odd title (video/scouting consultant or something like that), but he wound up getting fired for undermining Hargrove. 

I can't find any of the articles about him during his M's tenure, but if memory serves me right, he had the same vibe that Manny Acta had before he got the Nats job: sabr-influenced, willing to challenge conventional thinking, etc. 
jerjapan - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 08:26 PM EST (#208842) #

I'm neither excited nor horrified by these moves, but they do leave me with a few questions ...

How possible is it that McDonald's dramatic decline defensively is due to a small sample size?  Do defensive skills decline at around the same age as offensive skills?

And who leads off?  Bautista?  Inglett?  Wells?  I know many consider lineups to be an overrated aspect of the offense, but still, we are looking at a team that lacks both OBP and speed  (and with only moderate power deeper in the lineup ...)

 

VBF - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 08:30 PM EST (#208843) #
I very much dislike both shortstop signings though I'll need more moves by Anthopoulos before I drink the "AA sucks" kool-aid. The only two arguments that I can see for signing Gonzo is that "Gonzo is a good defender and will give pitchers confidence".

For one, you can't let public perception get in the way of the truth about Gonzalez's defense. He's older, he's going to decline much like how McDonald will (or has). The team isn't making the playoffs next year and without any legitimate shortstop prospects the attitude should be "let's get the best glove out there we can and make things easier on the rookie pitchers". Offense should be the last priority. So is Gonzalez really the best  < 3 million dollar defensive shortstop on the market? I find that really hard to believe. Especially (as Alex Obal pointed out to me), Wilson Valdez signed a minor league deal with the Phillies and plays a much better defensive shortstop.


The_Game - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 08:34 PM EST (#208844) #
The Gonzalez signing is fine, in itself. His defense itself is worth $2.5M. The McDonald signing, however, is terrible and makes no sense at all.

And if Snider actually starts the year in AAA (you never know what could happen with Cito running things), this organization has completely lost it.

Wildrose - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 08:40 PM EST (#208845) #
I don't mind these moves.  The team obviously doesn't want to throw their young pitchers to the wolves,  and given the ground ball tendencies of some of their youngsters  ( Romero 54%, Rzepczynski 52%)   this seems like is a reasonable goal.

Given that they don't have unlimited amounts of money ( Rogers just laid off 900 more employees today) the signing of Gonzalez provides good value particularly on the defensive side of the ball ( 11.1/ 150 cumulative UZR over the past 3 years), I think he easily provides good value.

The MacDonald signing is a bit harder to understand. I think most  Bauxites and reasonable observers feel he's a solid defender ( he always does quite well on the Fans scouting report- in fact he was second on the team in 2009-first in 2008 and 2007) so on an observational basis he seems quite good. In  terms of  quantitative  analysis , at least with UZR ( anybody have his fielding bible numbers?) he's been a little bit above league average-seeming to do generally better when he plays more regularly. If your goal is to keep your young pitchers throwing with confidence , you could do a lot worse.

Like Blair, I can't throw AA under the bus so quickly for this move. We do know that he has Tom Tango as a personal consultant, perhaps Tango has done some of his with/or without you type analysis which shows MacDonald to be of more  defensive value than some expect. The team has had him for several years so he's a known commodity on the field and in the dressing room. Some have advocated signing a random minor leaguer instead, the problem is would this player provide the kind of defence that they seem to want ?

Evaluating defence in any sport is extremely difficult. Anybody who relies on  the NHL +/- system is  a fool. In  basketball you need to break down tape and  talk with the coaches to see what schemes they're using.  In baseball you send out your scouts and they report back. Signing  MacDonald to me points out that AA doesn't yet have the confidence in his scouting staff to make such decisions.  You don't have minor league UZR reports to fall back on, in short your taking a shot in the dark when chasing good minor league defensive players. If Gonzo goes down, you still know your infield defence will be respectable with MacDonald in house, and this seems to be the team's immediate focus.        
 
 

timpinder - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 08:49 PM EST (#208846) #
If Snider begins the year in AAA, when will his service clock start ticking?  Am I right in assuming that he didn't get enough at-bats in 2009 to start counting down his 6 controlled years if he starts 2010 in AAA?
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 09:06 PM EST (#208847) #
I love the theory that with Encarnacion, who doesn't hit much, at third, you have to get a good glove no-hit shortstop off the free agent market to help tidy up the mess. Sounds like a team-building strategy to me.

I join with those who wonder why JMac at a major league salary. He's the prototype of the minor-league contract, invite to ST guy.

I also wonder why Gonzales now. The Jays will have to offer Scutaro arbitration and I'm not as sure as they obviously are that someone is going to sign him when it costs picks.

I can't really get with the 'why won't Rogers join in the 'Buy a Playoff Spot Movement' comments. As someone pointed out they laid off nearly a thousand workers. I don't expect Rogers - or anyone else who might buy the team for that matter - will be looking hard at tossing money not covered by revenues down the loo.

christaylor - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 09:23 PM EST (#208848) #
"I love the theory that with Encarnacion, who doesn't hit much, at third"

.251/.340/.466 slash line with 26 HR is nothing to sneeze at... I don't think any of us ought to put too much weight on what an injured EE did with the Jays. 2010 could easily see him meet or exceed his 2008 stats.
Jim - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 09:52 PM EST (#208851) #
I think that this team has no chance to win in 2010. 

I think that this team needs to put the best defense on the field that they can because their only hope is that they hit with their pitching prospects.

Can someone please explain to me why they needed both Gonzalez and McDonald for guaranteed dollars?  They both do the exact same thing, why would you need to pay two players? 

Here are two lines from John McDonald's transaction record:

July 22, 2005: Sent to the Detroit Tigers by the Toronto Blue Jays as part of a conditional deal.

November 10, 2005: Purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Detroit Tigers.

If you sign one and he gets hurt it seems pretty obvious that you can go out and get THE EXACT SAME PLAYER FOR NOTHING. 

The Jays traded Tom Mastney for McDonald when he was 29.  How could McDonald be worth more when he's 35? 


Signing either of them is fine.  They are both overpaid at those numbers, but whatever.  THERE IS NO REASON IN THE WORLD TO SIGN BOTH.  THEY CAN'T PLAY AT THE SAME TIME.



Four Seamer - Thursday, November 26 2009 @ 11:42 PM EST (#208852) #

 THERE IS NO REASON IN THE WORLD TO SIGN BOTH.  THEY CAN'T PLAY AT THE SAME TIME.

Don't give Cito any ideas.  Maybe this talk of starting Snider in AAA is a precursor to Johnny Mac manning a corner outfield spot.

On this US Thanksgiving, I am thankful I am moving to Calgary, so I won't have to watch this slop on a daily basis.

lexomatic - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 12:02 AM EST (#208853) #
obviously jim, the more experience someone has at a job, the more they're paid...even if they're not as good as they once were.
rtcaino - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 12:06 AM EST (#208854) #
Jeeze, lots of down souls around these parts.

Once you resign yourself to rebuilding, it is kind of exciting. The draft will be great, and we have been saying this for a long time, but it should be fun to watch the young pitching develop in the minors and the majors.

At any rate, both our SS's have such minimal impact on the teams long term prospects that getting too upset about the signings is just an unecessary detriment to one's well being.

Of course I fully empathize with everyone's frusterations. Just at this stage I don't see much other option but for the team to take a step back and adjust it's self. Unlike some, I will try to get to a fair few games this year.



I'm sure Bryan Colangelo is just as mystified as many as to why on earth AA would sign such defense oriented players that offer so little on the offensive end. Though after the Bobcats game maybe he's starting to reconsider.
brent - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 05:09 AM EST (#208855) #

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/03/alex-gonzalez-i.html

Alex missed all of 2008 with a knee fracture. Did anyone watch him much last year?

http://www.tangotiger.net/scout/index6.php?prim_fld_cd=6

That is the link comparing the fans rating of Alex with other shortstops. He would compare closely to Scutaro.

Jim - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 09:04 AM EST (#208856) #

Of course I fully empathize with everyone's frusterations. Just at this stage I don't see much other option but for the team to take a step back and adjust it's self. Unlike some, I will try to get to a fair few games this year.

I fully support a complete teardown and rebuild.  I just look at these transactions and wonder how I'm now supposed to trust AA to trade Halladay.  Why sign BOTH of these guys before Scutaro declines arbitration? 

If you are going to sign Gonzalez why burn a 25 man spot on McDonald.  You could give that utility role to a young player you grab in the Rule 5 draft or an extra body you obtain in a Halladay or Overbay trade. 

Either of them alone for one year at the money is fine.  The second year for McDonald is a joke, and both of them together doesn't make a damn bit of sense. 

The change it had to come... we knew it all along.  Guess we need to get on our knees and pray.
ayjackson - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 09:28 AM EST (#208857) #

They're all tyrants - being liberated from the fold is actually something to behold!

Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 09:31 AM EST (#208858) #
with/or without you type analysis

The change it had to come... we knew it all along.  Guess we need to get on our knees and pray.


Doctor, Doctor, give me the news.
Forkball - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 10:00 AM EST (#208859) #
Unlike the mistake of giving MacDonald 2 years was, this move I think is great.

The Gonzalez move on its own is a perfectly acceptable move.  One year for a veteran player who will hold the position down, not block anyone, doesn't cost much, when there isn't a good long term shortstop available to acquire is what the Jays should be looking for right now.  And if there's a situation that arises where the Jays can acquire a SS (like in a Halladay trade) you don't have so much invested in Gonzalez that you can't make him an expensive bench player or trade him.

The natural follow-up of course is to make sure Scutaro is offered arbitration. 

But here's what I really like about the move:  the Jays are moving on from Scutaro.  If JP was GM he would have signed him to at least a 2 year deal with a easily vesting option for a third year.  Why?  Because he had a really good year and you have to lock those players up - 85 wins, here we come!

I'm assuming AA has concluded that:
  1. Scutaro likely had a fluke, career year this season. 
  2. Even if it wasn't a fluke, depending on a shortstop for his 34-36 years isn't a good idea and likely to be a waste of money in the later year(s) of the contract, if not next year.  
  3. Even if Scuturo continues to play well he's not going to be a part of the next contending Jays team so it'd be pointless. 
  4. The draft picks that Scutaro yields will be worth good value.  And while these players won't be sniffing Toronto for 4-5 years, if they are successful picks you either have depth where you're comfortable making a trade of other prospects or you could trade them.
So while the Gonzalez signing isn't all that exciting on the surface I think it's what is below the surface that is valuable here and that's the sound long term thinking that AA is employing and a refreshing change from JP.

lexomatic - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 10:12 AM EST (#208860) #
Doctor, Doctor, give me the news.
green is red, gold is lead... [how can i get a line break in here?] unrelated note, minorleagueball currently has interesting stuff in regards to a Halladay trade... the Angels system review http://www.minorleagueball.com/2009/11/23/1171053/los-angeles-angels-top-20#storyjump count me less than excited for an Angels trade . and there's fan video of casey kelly in the afl i haven't looked for anything else though.
lexomatic - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 10:29 AM EST (#208862) #
and we're also back to the "major-league ready" crap
best talent... grrr


http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/11/jays-looking-for-a-bat-and-an-arm-for-halladay.html
Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 10:52 AM EST (#208863) #
Ramon Castro is a free agent catcher who I would be interested in.  He is a career backup catcher who struggled mightily in 90 ABs at the end of the season, but can actually hit better than Barajas and has a decent arm.  If only he could stick to salad at the buffet...
jmoney - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 10:58 AM EST (#208864) #
I'm hoping AA has a chance to sit down and do an interview with Gerry. This sad Jays fan is starting to get behind the guy.
rtcaino - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 11:05 AM EST (#208865) #
I agree in an acedemic sense, the second year is unnecessary. A contract negotiation text book would likely conclude that the contract is for too much. While another team may have offered 1.5 a year, and another team may have offered 2 years, I highly doubt these were the same team.

Maybe AA just got schooled by the agent, or maybe him and beeston looked at each other, shrugged, and decided to focus efforts elsewhere as opposed to squable over a few hundred grand.

However, even if jmac's arm falls off, the 1.5 isn't likely to be much of a hinderance. And if at this time next year they jays end up with 2 ML capable short stops they want more than JMac, they can probably flip him freeing up some or most of his salary.

So I doubt this signing will have much, if any, material negative consequences for the team going forward.

-- and on the bright side, at least it the contract has generated some discussion on bbox.

//

I saw (on realgm wiretap) that the BoSox would have offered AGon more money than the Jays. (Of course no offer was imminent, and they wanted him to wait around in his prom dress to maybe get picked up.) but I do like that signing him takes an option away from teams like the Sox that would have been considering signing him or Scutaro.

//

Question - are the other that SS's available type one or two free agents?

I'm sorry if this has been mentioned and I missed it.

Chuck - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 11:14 AM EST (#208866) #

While another team may have offered 1.5 a year, and another team may have offered 2 years, I highly doubt these were the same team.

And even if other teams did so, so what? Why on earth get into a bidding war over John McDonald? You offer McDonald one year for $500K. If he doesn't accept it, let him move on. Other teams shouldn't be setting the price tag for AA.

John Northey - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 11:24 AM EST (#208867) #
There is a difference between ML ready and what Ash used to go for (proven talent) and what JP did (just not trade unless it is forced). 

Ash was burned very early on in his Cone trade where he thought he got a premium kid and got nothing much.  Rather than seeing it as a sign that the kid just didn't work out and to do better scouting ahead of time he decided to go for 'proven talent' from then on thus the Clemens trade for Wells/Bush/etc. and the Wells trade for an injured pitcher.  The trick is to find that talent that is just below the surface - namely kids ready for the majors but not there yet or who just had a September call up type level of experience.  Those guys will be cheap for 2-3 years then have another 3-4 years of arbitration before free agency hits around the 2014/2015 off-season - namely at the point that Hill's and Wells' contracts expire. 

If I was running the team that is what I'd be planning around - how to make this team strong for 2011-2014 with 2011 being the back to 500 level and 2012 being the year to push the envelope with 2013/2014 being serious contenders.  The kid pitchers will be getting expensive by then as will anyone you get via Halladay who is ML ready, as will Hill by then.  If you get the pipeline going well though you should have solid kids ready by 2013/2014 to contribute in various roles (injuries, trade bait, etc.) which would allow the Jays to feel safe spending $110-$120 million on the roster ($35 for Wells/Hill, $40 for the rotation lets guess, $25 for Lind/Snider, and $10-20 for bullpen/spare parts and 2 hitting slots [DH/1B or LF/RF]).  Might be a bit tight there, but it could be done if some talent comes up through the system by then to fill in at 1B/DH or LF/RF and to replace 3B/SS and to fill most of the bullpen.  Not easy, but possible.

Hrm.  Putting that figure together made me a bit more nervous actually - as if everyone develops as hoped it would get quite expensive.  However, if a solid Halladay trade occurs and AA can do a couple more like it as others get expensive then things could work out.  Anyone drafted in 2010 could be ready by 2013/2014 especially if they do a good job identifying guys who could be solid talents and mix in some high end guys to be ready in 2015/2016.

ayjackson - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 01:59 PM EST (#208868) #

Miguel Tejada is allegedly a SS.  He is type A.

Orlando Cabrera is type A as well, but the Twins are prohibited from offering him arbitration.

Denoit - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 02:10 PM EST (#208869) #
I'm ok with these team losing, anyone who says they will not go watch games because this team is no good is not, in my opinion, a true fan. If it means finishing in the bottom 10 next year and maybe even the year after to set up this organization for the long haul im ok with that. If they recieve a top 10 pick for two years that gives them the chance to draft two really good players. Next year will be a long year without Halladay, but Ill be at the Dome supporting my team through thick and thin.
Denoit - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 02:47 PM EST (#208870) #

I meant this not these in the previous post.

Noticed something that may be of interest. Apparently the Argos are thinking of moving out of the rogers center http://www.torontosun.com/sports/football/2009/11/27/11953666.html  This may finally lead to the field being held in better shape not always having to deal with putting down extra turf for the football games? (just a thought). It  may even lead to a type of field that the Rays have with the entire basepaths dirt. I dont know if the quality of the turf could be improved if its a more permanent feature, but it may be somethign they think about.

John Northey - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 03:16 PM EST (#208871) #
An interesting thing at the hardball times was a column mentioning that the Jays could have just pushed Boston into signing Scutaro by removing the best 'plan b' out there in A-Gon v2.  Thus giving the Jays a first round pick most likely (Boston appears unlikely to be involved in the other A class free agents) instead of seeing Scutaro go to someone who might not have a first round pick to give (a sub-500 team or someone who would sign a higher ranked A free agent as well).

Don't know how likely that is, but still it would hold some extra value.  Something else to think about - if A-Gon v2 does stick around for the two years and plays regularly then he probably would be a B free agent thus providing another pick to the Jays in the sandwich round.  An interesting spin to put on it at least.
rtcaino - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 03:28 PM EST (#208872) #
I was just about to mention that article. Makes the AGon signing look pretty clever.
85bluejay - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 03:36 PM EST (#208873) #

On reflection, unlike most posters, I'm generally supportive of the 2 signings especially Gonzalez -good defence for young pitching, very manageable contract,

expiring contracts are receptive for contenders looking for temporary help in July, allows The Jays to let Scutaro go & collect 2 valuable draft picks (there is NO

chance that Scutaro will accept arbitration) and I don't see a better alternative. The JMac. contract is sorta meh - if the fragile Gonz. gets hurt or is flipped

 we have an experienced backup - I myself would have preferred Mike McCoy get a shot, but he will probably play everyday in AAA . I think AA is off to a sound

 start and am more confident he will handle the Halladay trade well and am excited about all those early picks in June  - in fact, my frustration at those 3

unsigned picks is beginning to dissipate as I am excited to see what AA's crew will do.

 

P.S - I'm very happy to see AA is going to offer arb. to Scutaro & Barajas - remember when JP flinched at offering Delgado arb. when there was no

chance the proud Delgado would accept after the manner in which JP had treated him. 

Forkball - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 03:44 PM EST (#208874) #
I think that's thinking about something too hard.

At best, the Jays signing Gonzalez makes it less likely that Scutaro is going to accept arbitration since the Jays have more or less indicated they've moved on.  No reason for Scutaro to accept arbitration when there's going to be other teams interested.  His counting stats aren't good and his salary last year was low.  That makes it likely his arbitration award would be pretty low, and lower than what teams should offer him.

Worst case he accepts arbitration and you have a highly tradable player on a one year contract.

Something else to think about - if A-Gon v2 does stick around for the two years and plays regularly then he probably would be a B free agent thus providing another pick to the Jays in the sandwich round.  An interesting spin to put on it at least.

At that point (or next year if the Jays decline the option) Gonzalez probably wouldn't be looking at a two year deal (he could only get 1 year this year) so he'd probably accept arbitation.  The more likely scenario is trading him for a low minor flyer.

92-93 - Friday, November 27 2009 @ 03:56 PM EST (#208876) #
If it means finishing in the bottom 10 next year and maybe even the year after to set up this organization for the long haul im ok with that.

Why does this team have to be bad in 2010? Weren't we promised a reduced payroll in 2009 so the team can push forward in 2010? I think I'm a "true fan", and I find it unacceptable that this team plans on cutting payroll for a second straight year, perhaps even below 60m if they get their wish and trade Halladay and Overbay. Revamping your scouting system does not mean that at the same time you can't be competitive. This team should be spending north of 100m, and I'm not going to support an organization run by a corporation that clearly only carries about making money - it's why I stopped watching the Leafs before the lockout. If that calls into question my fandom, so be it. Frankly, I'm not sure why more people aren't crying afoul about the continued reduction in this team's payroll. There's only so long Beeston can pretend "the money is there if we ask for it", and he's sold the fan base nothing but lies since taking the helm.
TamRa - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 01:03 AM EST (#208882) #
...I find it unacceptable that this team plans on cutting payroll for a second straight year, perhaps even below 60m if they get their wish and trade Halladay and Overbay. Revamping your scouting system does not mean that at the same time you can't be competitive. This team should be spending north of 100m...

Well, laying aside a fruitless debate over whether they WILL suck ext your or SHOULD -

IF (and we have no way as fans of verifying this) the team had a $60 mil payroll and ACTUALLY plowed an unprecidented amount of money into player procurment and development then I'd be down with that.

A lot of good arguments have been made on this board over the years - convincing arguments in my opinion - that if an MLB team ever stepped up and changed the paradigm by pouring an unmatched (or at least, unmatched by anyone but the Yankees) portion of their operating budget into player development (as opposed to overspending on marginal major leaguers) that the long term benifits of that would greatly exceed the investment. And be well worth the short term sacrifices at the major leagule level.

Of course, it will be frustrating for us because we've have a devilish time indipendently verifying as fans that they were, in fact, making that investment and not just poketing the saved cash.

Jim - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 01:23 AM EST (#208883) #
Weren't we promised a reduced payroll in 2009 so the team can push forward in 2010?

No I'm pretty sure some fans dreamed that up, even though it was obvious that it would never happen. 
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 03:33 AM EST (#208884) #
AA has said the team's primary concerns now are Catcher (and possibly backup catcher as well),and Outfield (not an outfielder).   The difference between Scutaro and Gonzales is small, compared to the difference with Snider in LF and ????, or the difference between the new RF and Rios.   I believe Gonz and McD have slightly more range in the hole than Scut does.   This team might hit better!
jerjapan - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 10:53 AM EST (#208885) #

The more I think about it, the more I really like the Gonzalez deal for the reasons listed above- good D, affordable contract, may yield picks / prospects, may push Boston into signing Scutaro.  As 92-93 says, we don't need to go cheap next year to rebuild.  Critique him if you want, but Brian Burke with the Leafs is aggressively looking to spend money and build the farm at the same time, with some promising results (wins and losses aside ...)

McDonald's deal is okay if you believe his defensive struggles are sample size related, that he can step in for Gonzalez if he's dealt for a prospect,  and that having a quality fan favourite / teammate helps the team somehow.  However, the deal worries me for another reason - the same concern I had with Kevin Millar last year.  What's the risk of a minor league invite or a low cost contract like Johnny Mac's?  the risk is that Cito Gaston is your manager and will use veterans inappropriately.  McDonald got about 150 ABs last year, under a manager that supposedly wasn't wild about him.  If you closely limit McDonald's role to defensive replacement, pinch runner, injury fill in and spot starter who gets pinch-hit for, fine.  But if he's getting key ABs at the end of games, or (shudder) playing  OF, then he hurts the team.

Petey Baseball - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 01:20 PM EST (#208887) #
Do not forget as well that McDonald can play second base and third as well, which leads me to believe he will see plenty of action considering the defensive deficiencies of EE.  Another encouraging sign from AA is that his comments recently suggest an emphasis on plus defense (his interview this past week on the Fan attributes the Gonzo-Mac signings to having plus defense in a important position) therefore I cannot help but think he is open to moving Vernon to right field. 
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 02:40 PM EST (#208888) #
Who plays Right Field?  Until A.A. announces the move of Vernon Wells to right field (not this year, or next, or next), we'll need a Right Fielder.   At least better than Rios was.  Jermaine Dye (36) Type A is the best available with a big step down to the next best.
lexomatic - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 04:33 PM EST (#208889) #
Richard, there has been stuff lately about how brutal Dye is in the field... and how even if he plays a close to average first base he would still only be a 1.5 win player. he won't be worth the money he asks for. he's a dh, that probably won't hit enough to be a real positive.
as for jmac.. i want him hitting as little as possible. if he has to sub in for defensive purposes great, the odd start to keep him fresh, ok, starting at 3b? heck no. starting at 2b? not there either. i'd rather someone who can kinda maybe hit a little (like all those 2b/ut types like Inglett or that signing earlier in the offseason) to spell Hill or Encarnacion. I want jmac only doing late and close defense, and backup at SS
Dr B - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 07:23 PM EST (#208890) #
McDonald's deal is okay if you believe his defensive struggles are sample size related, that he can step in for Gonzalez if he's dealt for a prospect,

With apologies for taking you of context a bit here, I'd say it would be okay if you had bottomless pits of money and can afford to flush large quantities. (c.f. Yankees). Otherwise you are better off saving your pennies for something useful.

I find it interesting how short (or non-existent?) the honeymoon AA is having here on The Box. JP Ricciardi early moves were, to say the least, mixed yet he was generally positively received. This McDonald move is by no means a killer, but it smacks of the pointless moves JP was capable of.

As Jim says, meet the new boss...
zeppelinkm - Saturday, November 28 2009 @ 10:11 PM EST (#208891) #
I agree with those who don't like the signing of MacDonald, at least at the price he came at.

It's so simple to me. The team is not spending a lot of money. Spending 1.5 million for your back up infielder is excessive. You can justify it many number of ways (I don't agree with most justifications i've read), but the fact is that he is not going to be a significant contributor, for better or for worse. He's the backup. 

You find the best glove you can for 500K and sign that guy to be your back up infielder.  If your team is doing well and your primary SS goes down with a significant injury, then you pry a Johnny Mac away from a team with a mid level prospect. It really shouldn't be that hard to do, no?

But this team really needs to be spending its money where it can earn the greatest returns. Increasing the scouting department is a good step. The next step is to sign all the talented players your team drafts.

Honestly, to all those who have justified this move I ask this in seriousness:

Would you prefer the Jays sign Johnny MacDonald to this 2 year deal, or would you have preferred they signed all their draft picks from the draft this year?

I know it's simplistic to think the two are mutually exclusive, but man, that was some serious penny pinching, so it almost feels like they are.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 02:26 AM EST (#208893) #
Thanks Lex.   I hadn't realized the deterioration of Dye's abilities was at that stage.   So anyone with a good trade package that includes a stud, ready-to-play, young Right Fielder wins the Roy Halladay sweepstakes?   Who's got that available.
mathesond - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 09:49 AM EST (#208895) #
The Dodgers
christaylor - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 11:46 AM EST (#208896) #
Before the McDonald signing is condemned as a waste of resources that could be better used for signing draft picks, I think we'd all be better of taking a wait and see approach to how the draft signings play out. I don't like it either but when the two SS signings are taken together, the package is good, I suspect if the team had spent more on AGon and less on J-Mac, fewer folks would be complaining.

A major theme in the posts is how the money directed to JMac could have been better used on draft pick signings. I've never seen nor any evidence that the funds this organization directs to major league payroll influences the money paid out to draft picks. They are apples and oranges - and I believe rightly so; having two separate budgets for the two makes a ton of sense.

As much as many who overvalue prospects and draft picks and pour over farm system ratings, $1.5 million being paid to McDonald to be a back up has a higher expected value (w/respect to the contribution to the major league team) than paying the same money to a high school pitcher or college player. So many of said picks produce nothing for the major league team - at least more than half. It is a losing argument that the team ought to spend tens millions on the draft - too many prospects flame out, too many are up for a cup of coffee. I like the idea of increasing the scouting staff but not because they'll evaluate the players drafter in the first few rounds, it is finding players later in the draft where the scouts will more than pay for their salaires.

Furthermore, it is a losing proposition to pay top dollar year after year for Boras prospects - or at least that the impression that I have. Exhibit A - Hochevar. I'd love to see a study that examines the money paid out in bonuses to Boras clients versus the value said prospects bring back to the team (using the numbers from fan graphs). I'd bet that on the whole, major league teams are being burned.
ayjackson - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 12:13 PM EST (#208897) #

I agree that we can't judge the Jmac signing before we see what is spent on the draft next summer.  But at the same time, let's remember on signing day next august that the first $1.5m out the door in this budgetary year was for 10 games of Jmac.

Truth be told, I don't think our failings on signing day this year were budgetary.  I think it was either (a) calling bluff / sticking to best offer, or (b) there was a belief that players were going to lose leverage in future drafts due to an expiring CBA.

Dr B - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 02:30 PM EST (#208898) #
As much as many who overvalue prospects and draft picks and pour over farm system ratings, $1.5 million being paid to McDonald to be a back up has a higher expected value (w/respect to the contribution to the major league team) than paying the same money to a high school pitcher or college player.

One always has to be a bit careful with expected value as the results can be a bit misleading. Would you rather have a star player for one year, or a backup for ten?

I think the point is well taken that one can overvalue prospects. That said, you should be able to get a Paxton and a McDonald for the price they are paying just for McDonald. Or you could spend your money on more useful major league players.

rtcaino - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 04:21 PM EST (#208899) #
Hopefully the Jays have a strong draft and I don't have to hear about those picks getting away anymore. People talk about them as if we actually lost the draft picks, as opposed to simply rolling them back a year.

I'm not saying it was an ideal outcome, but I really don't think that it will have such a negative impact on the franchise a few years from now.
Thomas - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 04:45 PM EST (#208900) #
I'm not saying it was an ideal outcome, but I really don't think that it will have such a negative impact on the franchise a few years from now.

Perhaps not, but the upcoming draft will be interesting to watch. I wouldn't be surprised if Paxton is both drafted higher than he was this past year and signs for a bigger bonus than was the source of controversy this year. He might very well not because of injury or poor performance, but I'd wager he's more likely to increase his standing than slip on the draft boards.

I don't think the issue was budgetary either. I think the Jays would have found the $150,000 if they had truly wanted to give in to Paxton's demands, but it was still a miscalculation, IMO. I do think the budget will be at issue in this draft, as I'd be surprised if the Jays met or exceeded slot in every case if they wind up with 8 picks in the top 80 or so.

jerjapan - Sunday, November 29 2009 @ 07:23 PM EST (#208901) #

I don't think our failings on signing day this year were budgetary.  I think it was either (a) calling bluff / sticking to best offer, or (b) there was a belief that players were going to lose leverage in future drafts due to an expiring CBA.

AY, I think you are probably right about this, and with the chance to repick this year, it COULD still be a good move.  You don't want to set a precedent for going over slot ...

But, that said, the axe was falling on JP one way or the other - why not let him go slightly over slot and then allow AA to set his own precedent the next year?  A touch duplicitous perhaps, but that could have resulted in a best of both worlds scenario?

 

brent - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 06:45 AM EST (#208902) #

Having a peek at fangraphs comparing the Jays:

OBP 15th in MLB, 7th in the AL and 4th in the East

SLG 7th in MLB, 5th in the AL and 3rd in the East

wOBA 8th in MLB, 6th in the AL and 4th in the East

FIP 14 in MLB, 5th in the AL and 3rd in the East

My conclusion is that playing in the AL East sux, and the Jays best chance is to change divisions :)

christaylor - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 07:35 AM EST (#208903) #
Perhaps it is just cock-eyed optimism, but the talk of the "budget being there when the team contend" that surrounded that AA hiring seemed both sensible and reasoned. Couple that with a robust (fingers crossed) recovery an a low US dollar policy that seems to be the new normal, the Jays ought to be in decent shape if enough player moves work out during the twenty tens.
christaylor - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 07:41 AM EST (#208904) #
It is true that expected value can be misleading and the examples of a star for one year vs. a backup for ten (although depending on the back up, the back up could be more valuable such as in the case of a super-sub like Hairston) and JMac versus a draft pick are certainly extreme examples. Expected value tends to be more informative when comparing players who are in the same ball park (a good one would be signing JMac versus Everett, although for all we know the Jays inquired and Everett wouldn't back up).

All I was driving at is that many who complain about the missed signings of last year or of prospects in covetous ways fail to recognize that at least as often as not such players have a value of zero.
christaylor - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 09:43 AM EST (#208907) #
Andruw Jones goes to the White Sox for $500,000k -- would have been a smart signing (low risk, good upside) for the Jays OF, I hope AA was in on him at least.
Mike Green - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 09:51 AM EST (#208908) #
David Laurilia has a great interview with Mike Boddicker on Baseball Prospectus Unfiltered on the hook, the fosh, Oil Can and life.
christaylor - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 10:21 AM EST (#208909) #
"Can was funny. And he still is." -- methinks he means funny strange, not funny ha-ha.

I always liked Oil Can as he was there as I came to consciousness as a baseball fan, prized his card and saw a TV interview with him (on TWIB I believe) that blew me away. One can't help but think a 100+ inning jump from his 23 to 24 seasons derailed his arm and denied baseball fans from seeing how good he could have been.
Mike Green - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 11:47 AM EST (#208914) #
Craig Calcaterra has left the practise of law, and is now writing for nbcsports.com alongside Aaron Gleeman and Matthew Pouliot.  The mainstream media is changing...

Congratulations to Mr. Calcaterra on a bold career change. 

FisherCat - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 03:08 PM EST (#208918) #

I got this little tidbit from Foxsports.com:

Would you trade Jason Bay for Matt Holliday and a high draft pick?

The Red Sox just might.

The Sox failed to reach a deal with Bay during their exclusive negotiating window, leaving them with a choice of the two top left fielders in the free-agent market.

One rival executive, however, says the Sox do not intend to keep Bay even though they continue to negotiate with him.

Their preference, the executive says, is Holliday, raising the possibility of the Bay-for-Holliday "trade."

Under baseball's warped draft-pick compensation system, a high-revenue team that exchanges one Type A free agent for another actually nets an extra pick ó a supplemental choice between the first and second rounds.

Oh, but this gets better.

If the Sox lose Bay and sign both Holliday and free-agent shortstop Marco Scutaro, they not only will receive the same number of selections, but also might end up in better draft positions.

Signing Holliday would cost the Sox their first-round pick. Signing Scutaro, a lower-ranking free agent, would cost them their second-round selection.

But, if the Sox lose Bay after offering him salary arbitration, they will gain two picks ó a likely first-rounder and the sandwich pick...

 

Although it's not the end of the world, it would surely stink if 2 years in a row the Jays get screwed out their AL East brethren's 1st RD pick because they also signed a "better" free agent. 

timpinder - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 03:29 PM EST (#208919) #

That would definitely be a bummer.  Many changes are needed.  Are we in store for those changes after 2011 when the next bargaining agreement expires?  The player ranking system and the draft compensation rules, the lack of a real salary cap, and the lack of a hard slot limit for draftees are among the many problems that NEED to be addressed. 
Also, I know it's not a bargaining issue, but the lopsided interdivisional scheduling and inter-league "rivalry" scheduling need to disappear too.  Good riddance to Selig, by the way.

John Northey - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 04:09 PM EST (#208920) #
Most likely we'll see draft choice compensation changed to sandwich picks only.  Perhaps even automatic without the arbitration issue we deal with right now.

Thus Scutaro would equal a between round pick.  A reduced number of those going on as well - thus no more B's getting picks (such as Barajas).  I could see the players pushing for it.  It is also possible all compensation would vanish - ideal for the players to kill stuff like the 'trade' the Sox are talking about.

A draft slotting system is almost a lock to be in as most ML players would be in favor if they get anything from the owners in exchange while it is worth a lot to the owners.  Perhaps even a 'keep the pick' rule ala the NHL which, iirc, keeps rights forever once drafted.  Some possibilities.

Remember, the players mainly care about the major leaguers (thus a higher minimum is a lock) while the owners care about the bottom line.  Put it all through that focus and the draft is sure to get a whole lot tighter.

zeppelinkm - Monday, November 30 2009 @ 07:28 PM EST (#208924) #

Chris you raise some good points, but I still don't think anyone has adequately addressed the fact (and this was pointed a few posts below me), but why not have a MacDonald type player and Paxton? This was not an unattainable goal. You're right that most draft picks do not work out, but if this is the case then shouldn't the Jays be trying to stock their system with as many high ceiling prospects as they can to increase the liklihood that they do "hit" on one of them?

 

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 06:14 AM EST (#208927) #
http://riveraveblues.com/2010-draft-order/  shows the Blue Jays draft picks.   Please note picks #38, #69 #96 are those unsigned picks from 2009.   It will not matter how many supplemental picks there are, #11, #38, #69, #96 will be Toronto's unchangeable Picks for 2010.   Picks #44, #75, #109 (4th round) and higher, will adjust to the number of supplemental picks made.   And they thought 2007 was a windfall year!   Toronto could conceivably have 5 picks in the first 50 chosen!!
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 06:47 AM EST (#208928) #
I don't get the talks of rebuilding. You're not rebuilding until you have solid prospects waiting in the wings and the Jays have none.

Rebuilding would start with signing the best draft picks available regardless of asking price.

This is not rebuilding, it's reducing costs.



christaylor - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 10:26 AM EST (#208929) #
Personally, I would have liked the Jays to have both JMac and Paxton in 2010 as well. However, I'm willing to give the organization the benefit of the doubt on the Paxton negotiations because there's so much information that we fans just aren't privy too. With the rules being that the pick is not wasted, I don't see the failing to sign the picks last summer as a major blow. Serendipitously the bevy of picks gives AA and his army of scouts a litmus test right out of the gate in year one.

On high ceiling picks -- it is hard for any Jays fan to argue against high ceiling picks for this org when it is so easy to point to Roy Halladay. However even he came a hair's breadth from being a complete wash-out. On the other hand I think JP went safe far too often. A mixture is needed, I think. For example, college hitters are the safest picks and they ought not to be ignored. In recent years the mixture safe picks with athletic, high-upside high schoolers has seemed to have become more balanced. To go too far in the other direction and nab too many "high ceiling prospects" (which I believe is usually just short hand for risky and raw) is to court disaster, especially if things get unlucky and a couple of draft classes fall on their faces. This does point to another issue we've all discussed here -- improving the player development in minors. A couple of steps have been made, but I truly hope AA gets innovative. Ideally the Jays would own all their farm teams but realistically they can ensure that each stop along the minors is a positive place for player development.

I'll, like many, be watching this Jays draft more closely than usual. Last year's draft surprised somewhat but this year's draft will be a big signal on how AA regime will operate. To this end, the failure to sign picks last summer will give we fans even more information about how the org will be built than a usual draft.
christaylor - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 10:36 AM EST (#208930) #
"Rebuilding would start with signing the best draft picks available regardless of asking price. "

...and if ever player the Jays draft starts asking for major league deals north of $10M the team ought to just ante up?

I am not sure why you're getting hung up on the word "rebuilding", each team, every year, rebuilds an aspect of the organization. As mentioned above, I don't understand the fetishization of solid prospects. I'm just going to name some names, Gordon, Clement, Balentein, Fields, Dukes, Gomez, Young. These are prospects that were all considered solid in the past few years, but one could hardly build a solid team out of them.

I can't help but think that a "moneyballer" would stay far away from trading for highly touted prospects as their perceived value is out of whack with their actual value. It might to be back to the bad old days of Ash trades in trading for for proven players, but trading Halladay for players that have established themselves with more than a September call-up may just net a better package than trying to pick off gems from a farm system.

It is also not defensible to call the SS moves merely reducing costs. I'd wager the prevailing sentiment around here is that Scutaro had a career year and will be an expensive bad sign for whoever inks him. I'd take the bet that value of the combination of AGon & JMac will be worth more than Scutaro in 2010.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 10:39 AM EST (#208931) #
I strongly encourage Bauxites to sign up for fangraphs.com projection survey.  It's easy, and the results are very well organized.  You sign up as a Blue Jay fan; projections for each player are broken down by team fans and other team fans.
They are asking fans to do three projections a day. Today's are Jay Bruce, Edwin Jackson and Ricky Nolasco.

It looks like they'll be able to get 100 or more "other fan" projections for each player.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 10:40 AM EST (#208932) #

 I saw this proposal in the MLBtraderumors comments section and it intrigued me (I didn't post it there).  We get rid of Wells, but send $8m per year and take back Lowell and his 2/$24m contract back, which might even things out.  Wells might really benefit from the Monster (a lot of his popups might go for homeruns!)  Obviously this dude is out to lunch with some of his analysis (contract year for Lowell, Kelly a SS/2B), but might be close on value.

What do you think??

 

IMO, the Boston Red Sox are so entitled to acquire Roy Halladay, that they might even take Vernon Wells in the deal!

Trade Proposal:

- Red Sox acquire OF Vernon Wells, SP Roy Halladay, and cash considerations.

- Blue Jays acquire 1b/3b/DH Mike Lowell, RHP's Clay Buccholz & Daniel Bard, SS C. Kelly, and OF J. Reddick.

* Along with Deal, the Blue Jays agree to pay 8 million a season to boston for Vernon Wells remaining contract (2011-2014)
- 2011: 21 mill
- 2012-2014: 23 mill

Roster Outlook: Blue Jays

C- Jessie Chavez/??
1b- Lyle Overbay
2b- Aaron Hill/C.Kelly
SS- A. Gonzalez/J.Mcdonald
3b- E.Encarcion
LF- A.Lind
CF- J. Reddick
RF- T. Snyder
DH- Mike Lowell

Rotation:

- Romero, Buccholz,Marcum,Cecil,Richmond

Roster Outlook: Red Sox

Lineup:

1) Ellsbury-CF
2) Pedroia- 2b
3) Youk- 3b
4) Ortiz-DH
5) Martinez-C
6) Wells-LF
7) Drew-RF
8) L. Anderson-1b
9) J. Lowrie-SS

Rotation:

- Halladay, Beckett,Lester,Matsusaka, Wakefield

Why this deal benefits...

Red Sox:

- Acquire a big arm for their rotation that will probably signs an extension: 5yr 100 guestimated. A Big bat in Vernon Wells; Yes it's true, he's never panned out of his contact and even with the Toronto paying 8 mill per season from 2011-2014, Wells price tag is still pretty steep: 2011(13mill), 2012-2014(15mill per season). But maybe a change of scenery might reigenerate the once all star caliber outfielder.

For the Blue Jays, They acquire a plethora of young talent from this deal. Yes i know the Lowell acquiring might be shaky, but Lowell is in his contract year and is ready to proove he might still have it. Another key fact is that Vernon Wells and his contract ARE GONE!! People may not agree on the 8 mill per season from 2011-2014, but when you put the numbers together, it'll save the Blue Jays a nice chunk of change.

90 million - 32: that's 58 million saved from 2011-2014.

Is Boston this desperate to acquire Roy Halladay? They shouldn't be but in order to beat the Yankees, they need extra leverage and Roy Halladay is that extra leverage.

christaylor - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 11:31 AM EST (#208936) #
Ah, the internet, where the sons of Sam Horn go to daydream.

Personally, I'm not really in favour pairing Wells with Halladay in any deal, Wells' value almost has to be at its nadir and including his contract will make any team balk at including anything of value in return.

Lastly with respect to the above deal, Kelly seems like a player the Sox want to hold on to and good on them as from a-far he seems like he's got a bit of a screw loose when it comes to his career.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 11:56 AM EST (#208938) #
Here is Jay Bruce's fangraphs card. The fans' projection (currently with 94 votes, mostly non-Reds fans) looks to me to be solid. 
timpinder - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 12:40 PM EST (#208939) #

Thanks for posting the Jays' 2010 draft positions.  Some argued that failing to sign 3 of their top 4 picks in last year's draft was a non-issue since the Jays were going to be compensated for those unsigned picks in the 2010 draft.  However, if I read the draft order correctly, the Jays are worse off.  A 1st round sandwich pick will become a 2nd round pick, a 2nd round pick will become a 3rd round pick, and a 3rd round pick will become a 3rd round sandwich pick.

 

Mike D - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 01:02 PM EST (#208940) #
They're not worse off, Tim.  The Paxton pick will be compensated by the #38 pick in the draft wherever it occurs -- i.e., whether there are 1 or 100 sandwich picks awarded.
jmoney - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 01:07 PM EST (#208941) #
They actually have to sign their picks this year for me to care.
FisherCat - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 03:50 PM EST (#208943) #

FWIW (courtesy of MLBtraderumors.com):

Keep this in mind with Scutaro - while he is a Type A, his 83.069 number is outranked by Rafael Soriano, John Lackey, Mike Gonzalez, Johnny Damon, Jason Bay, Jose Valverde, and Matt Holliday

 

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 04:29 PM EST (#208945) #
Halladay says that he will not waive his no-trade clause for a mid-season trade.
timpinder - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 04:40 PM EST (#208946) #
Thanks Mike D.  I didn't know the number was static and I assumed their pick would slip as more sandwich picks were added as free agents were signed this off-season.  The site listed it as a 2nd round pick, not a sandwich pick.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 05:16 PM EST (#208947) #

Wells' value almost has to be at its nadir and including his contract will make any team balk at including anything of value in return.

I imagine in such a scenario (Halladay and Wells in the same package) the Blue Jays could not realistically expect anything back. Basically, they'd be forfeiting one year of Halladay to escape from a 100MM burden -- the addition by subtraction of Wells' contract.

How could the Jays not be interested in such a deal? Absent moving Wells with Halladay, are they going to get back 100MM worth of talent for one year of Halladay? 50MM even?

I can't envision any team deciding it was worth it to them to accept Halladay and Wells for nothing. That Wells contract is one honking huge albatross, something our American brethren like to refer to as a toxic asset.

Paul D - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 05:33 PM EST (#208948) #
Paul D - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 05:34 PM EST (#208949) #

Well, I can't get the linking to work, but here's the url:

http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091201&content_id=7735044&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor


Petey Baseball - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 06:04 PM EST (#208950) #
I'd have to agree with Chuck: A trade that rids the club of the "toxic asset" that is the Vernon Wells contract should still be the top priority. This is sheer speculation, but I believe this is partly why the 'Doc trade saga has dragged on; the Jays simply can't find a taker for Halladay and Vernon in the same deal.  The Yankees have the cash to do it, but would Wells approve a trade to New York? (I'm assuming he has a NTC)  Kind of a baseless theory yet it seems to me the Halladay trade could have been done last July if there weren't other elements involved.  
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 07:22 PM EST (#208951) #
What seems to be overlooked here and at MLBTR is that the Jays would be sending $8m per year plus absorbing Mike Lowell's $24m price tag in the deal.  I think that's going a long way to making Wells' contract earnable for any new team.  I'm not sure $8m is the number, but at some point his price tag would be more palpable to Boston than it would to us (based on relative size of payroll).
Chuck - Tuesday, December 01 2009 @ 08:16 PM EST (#208954) #
I was speaking hypothetically about a 'Halladay+Wells for nothing' trade, not about any specific rumours making the rounds.
rtcaino - Wednesday, December 02 2009 @ 08:19 AM EST (#208958) #
Jmoney- I am not so much concerned about signing all of the draft picks, as much as I am concerned about signing the picks that they would not be compensated for not signing.

I would also be less happy if they picked less talented guys with those picks to ensure signability. However, with some homework, they should be able to find talented and signable guys with those picks.

I also hope that the volume of picks does not prevent them from going over slot for any particular player.
Denoit - Wednesday, December 02 2009 @ 08:42 AM EST (#208960) #

FWIW (courtesy of MLBtraderumors.com):

Keep this in mind with Scutaro - while he is a Type A, his 83.069 number is outranked by Rafael Soriano, John Lackey, Mike Gonzalez, Johnny Damon, Jason Bay, Jose Valverde, and Matt Holliday

You can remove Johnny Damon from the list, he was non tendered. Not that I think it would have mattered anyways. Even if the Jays end up with a Supplemental and a 2nd Round I would be ok with it.

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