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I figured we could do with a Winter Meetings catch-all.  I don't know about you but aside from Opening Day, the Winter Meetings may just be my favourite time on the calendar.  Today's day one and the hot stove is pre-heating with some Jays content.

 



Here's what's doing so far:

The Orioles have apparently acquired Mark Reynolds from Arizona in exchange for David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio.  Welcome to the AL East, Mark.  Hope you packed your sombreros.

In Jays 'news':

Buster Olney has tweeted that the Jays "will not" deal for Zack Greinke at the Royals current asking price.  He suggests that price may lower once Lee signs and Greinke becomes the top dog on the market.  And that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

In other news, Gordon Edes has tweeted that the Jays are "in hard" on Carlos Pena

So, stay tuned to Rotoworld and MLBTradeRumors for all the latest gossip.  And post here with anything that breaks.

Winter Meetings are Heating Up | 235 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 03:39 PM EST (#226940) #
the Jays are "in hard" on Carlos Pena

You give some reporter 140 characters to describe increasing interest and what is the first thing he thinks of?  Ah, for the good old days.

Pena had a .222 BABIP last year.  As you would expect, his line-drive was way down but what is surprising is that this GB rate was way up.  Usually, a player with Pena's power will try to uppercut more and that will be the cause of the declining BABIP and batting average.   He may have one or two more good years left in him.
Mylegacy - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 03:40 PM EST (#226941) #
Pena          3620 AB, 171 2X, 20 3X, 230 HR, 650 RBI, 241/351/490
Overbay     3889 AB, 287 2X, 10 3X, 122 HR, 524 RBI, 274/358/447

Me, I just as soon have Lyle back. For this deference you "go hard?" Pourquoi? (Pourquoi is French for can any of you a**holes give me a good reason)

92-93 - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 03:41 PM EST (#226942) #
Isn't that better than being "hard on" Pena?

I sincerely hope Boras is just using Toronto to drive up the price and that us not knowing about AAs moves until they happen continues.
Forkball - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 03:48 PM EST (#226943) #
Me, I just as soon have Lyle back

Seems odd that the Jays would be in heavy on Pena (in 30s and declining, and in demand), particularly when there's not much difference between he and Overbay, and Overbay would probably cost you fewer dollars and years.

If they like Pena and it's a 2 year or less deal then it's no big deal to me, but I bet you could get Overbay for 1 year and $5 million (or less) pretty easy.  Or better yet, just play Lind there and sink or swim.
andrewkw - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 03:52 PM EST (#226945) #
I don't think Lyle would come back.  I remember reading some quotes about how he didn't want to come back.  Of course with his options limited if you offered him 5 million dollars and another year starting he might take it.

I like Pena, if the deal is cheap 2 years is fine.  Even a 3rd option, but assuming he is cheap, he probably would just as soon go back to Tampa, unless cheap is still not cheap enough for them.

Mike T - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 03:56 PM EST (#226946) #
This report about A.A. in hard for Pena has got to be false. At most  he contacted Boras to get his thoughts on what he and Pena want. Which he probably does for all Free agents he has some interest in.
It will be like last year, do some trades and sign some Free agents at bargain bin prices. Buck, Agon  worked out nicely. I expect more of the same. Save the money for draft/etc.. This team is not prepared to compete, MLB hasn't added a second wildcard yet...lol

eudaimon - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 04:03 PM EST (#226947) #
Pena has more upside with the bat than Overbay. He his over 40 HR a few years ago. He can put up a nice OBP, like Overbay. If he can hit even .230 he would be a nice addition to the offense (he hit .227 in '09 but had a OBP of .356 and a SLG of .537 with 39 HR). He'd likely come pretty cheap. Pena is definitely not as good a fielder though...

Pena is a bit more exciting to me than Overbay. I'm sick of seeing him struggle to get a .800 OPS, and sick of him being an automatic out versus lefties. (Pena hits righties better too, but a casual look at the splits seems less extreme than with Overbay in terms of lefty/righty hitting ability). If we can get Pena cheap, and let our coaching staff work with him, I would be pretty happy despite the defensive downgrade.

I'm not much of a fan of any Greinke deal, unless of course we get a great offer. I think AA is in on every player available, feeling out where he can get good deals and where he can't. Glad to see he's not desperate to get any specific player or to make a big splash.

Wildrose - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 04:18 PM EST (#226951) #
Latest from John Heyman has the Mets, Red Sox and Jays talking with Russell Martin. A later tweet from a NewYork writer says the Mets are not interested.
Forkball - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 04:24 PM EST (#226952) #
He'd likely come pretty cheap

I don't think Pena is signing cheap at all.  Especially with the Nats out there needing a 1b and money to burn.
earlweaverfan - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 04:32 PM EST (#226953) #
Especially with the Nats out there needing a 1b and money to burn.

Mercy me - I had thought the Nats just burned that money.
dan gordon - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 04:41 PM EST (#226955) #

Pena's BA the last 4 years - .282, .247, .227, .196  Quite a trend there.  Reminds me of one of those IQ tests, like can you determine the next number in this series...

Interestingly, despite playing in a pitchers' park, he has hit much better at home than on the road.  His career BA in Rogers Centre is under .200, although he does have 11 HR's in about 150 AB's.  Wilner says he doubts the Jays are seriously interested.  Thank goodness.

earlweaverfan - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 04:48 PM EST (#226956) #
Isn't it interesting just how many Jays rumours have been either utterly false, or just way overrated?  And isn't it interesting how the Jays' actual moves so far have had no forewarning?  And how even the rumours that seemed to have some basis in fact (see Upton, Uggla and so far, Greinke) were expressions of interest by AA that tested the cost and found it way over-priced?

I would be quite hopeful about a 2-year Pena contract, and even a little optimistic about a Russell Martin gambit, while not being intereted at all in Greinke, but I would be totally surprised by the news that AA had signed up even two out of the three of them.



85bluejay - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 05:25 PM EST (#226959) #

I'm a bit confused - I was just listening to Bob Elliot on the fan590 and he seemed to indicate that the

Jays were telling other clubs that they are a Greinke type acquisition away from contending ( was in the car and

only caught latter part on conversation) did anyone else listen to the conversation?

BumWino - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 05:44 PM EST (#226961) #

To:  Mylegacy

Dear Friend

At 3:40PM, today, you were drunk as a skunk.  Lit, stinko, wasted. 

You know, screwing up on the word "deference," inferring that your best friends are rectums, and wanting Lyle back.  Incidentally, I don't want Pena, either. 

Why? = Pourquoi?  

I can inquire as to the location of the men's room in seven different languages.  Need-to-know linguistic skills for any drinker.  

bpoz - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 05:54 PM EST (#226962) #
Regarding Bob Elliott or anyone saying that "the Jays are TELLING others that that they are a Greinke type acquisition away from contention" is opposite to their rule of keeping quiet.

It must be a fake right and go left move. I dunno.
BumWino - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 05:58 PM EST (#226963) #
Dan, regarding Pena's declining average, the next number in the series is a buck-eighty.
stevieboy22 - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 05:59 PM EST (#226964) #

It must be a fake right and go left move. I dunno.

I wouldn't use the word must, as there is a good chance it might just be untrue...

bpoz - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 06:21 PM EST (#226965) #
Braden...I am enjoying the Winter Meetings too. I used to be afraid of the Rule 5 draft in past years, but this year I really have faith in AA and his scout's database.

I feel he will somehow stock up on good talent.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 06:40 PM EST (#226966) #
So far this offseason, the Jays have allegedly pursued Uggla, Upton, Greinke, Martin, Pena, Diaz, Reynolds, Wigginton and Gonzalez. The number of players they are rumored to be pursuing outnumbers the the players they're not. The only surprise is that they weren't rumored to be in on Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

Meanwhile, the players they have actually obtained so far (Lawrie and Villanueva) came without a peep prior to the transacton.

Having said that, i expect the jays to replace Marcum with a true #1 starter. I do not expect the team to go into next year with a Morrow/Cecil/Romero rotation + filler. Which is why the Greinke rumors make sense.

The other reason the rumors make sense is that the Royals may be interested in Lawrie and Drabek as the key parts. While there seems to be a view that Snider + Drabek would be too much, Snider's bb rate is declining rather than improving, his obp is floundering and his ZIPS next year is projected at .260/.320/.465 - not terrible at all, but not something that I would expect to start a conversation about Greinke. If Anthopoulos could pull off Snider and Drabek for Greinke deal it would, in my view, be an extraordinarily good trade.

The Pena rumor makes sense too. Although a few expressed dismay that the Jays didn't pursue a deal for a first baseman who's apparently signing with Boston for $154 million/7, while costing prospects, that kind of deal now would be bizarre. Pena could fill in for a couple of years until David Cooper is ready (j/k). He's a short term solution who's much cheaper now than he was after any of the previous three seasons since he moved to TB. In that time, his woba was an amazing .430 in 2007, then .374 in each of '08 and '09. This year it fell to .326, which is the definition of a buyer's market.

As to the Overbay comparison, there is none. For the same 2007-2009 period, Overbay's woba was .309 (missed time due to injury), .342 and .363. If you take out the highs and lows for Pena over the last 4 years, you end up with two .374 seasons as a mid-point, which would be the best seasons of Overbay's past. Plus, I can't see them playing LInd at first and Arencibia behind the plate in the same year.
BumWino - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 06:52 PM EST (#226967) #

Hi, Dean

What about Davis from Oakland?  Is he chopped liver?

electric carrot - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:01 PM EST (#226968) #
CBCD you kind of took away my thunder because I agree with all you just said and was going to say something similar.  But I'll add two comments and one prediction:

1.  Clearly in the minority here but I would love to get Greinke and if it cost Snider and Drabek I could live with that.  Maybe it's not a good trade but when I think who would I rather either a) Greinke with a somewhat below average left fielder or b)Drabek and Snider, I would choose the former.

2.  Zack Greinke if I recall correctly won a cy young.  That's right isn't it?  That wasn't some other guy named Greinke was it?

3.  If AA gets Greinke there will be much complaining about the price being too high -- but that those claims will prove false.


Ryan C - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:06 PM EST (#226969) #

The other reason the rumors make sense is that the Royals may be interested in Lawrie and Drabek as the key parts.

Making the deal essentially Marcum + Drabek for Greinke.  Does that make any sense?

Chuck - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:12 PM EST (#226970) #

What about Davis from Oakland?  Is he chopped liver?

He's the wurst.

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:21 PM EST (#226971) #
Chuck, I"m hesitant to post after yours, as the thread ought to be closed in honor of it.

Ryan C., it makes a great deal of sense from a Blue Jays perspective. Greinke is an ace, the Cy Young kind that rarely comes along. Marcum's not. Don't get me wrong, I like Marcum, especially since I think he was the first guy out of the dugout to congratulate others this years. And Drabek's a good prospect, but lots of pitchers die above AA. Not that he will, but for Greinke I think you do that deal and be happy for it. I'd rather move Snider though. I think one more 'meh' season out of him and the bubbles are out of the soda.
Mike Forbes - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:31 PM EST (#226972) #
I dont know exactly what Id give up for Greinke, but a rotation of Greinke/Romero/Morrow/Cecil/Drabek could very well be the best in the majors if things were to go to plan.
Mylegacy - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:42 PM EST (#226973) #
Another brief point on Pena - IF we get him then FOR SURE Lind is DH - that means we don't TRY Lind at 1st - gotta give the guy a shot - AND we don't get Manny or Manny Lite.

Pena + Lind or Lind + Manny. Sorry girls - but for only a few bucks we can really juice our OBP - at least. Getting Manny and who knows, maybe Lind gets a "real" position and gets motivated. At least that's a shot at win-win. As to Manny being a short duration rental - who cares - there are other DH's available every year.
Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:54 PM EST (#226974) #
Greinke had an xFIP over 3 in his great 2009 season, which was, to a great extent, driven by a 4.5% HR/FB rate.  Pitching in Toronto in the AL East, he just isn't going to do that.  The range of reasonable and positive expecations would be an ERA of between 3.3 and 3.9.   Somewhat better than Marcum, nowhere near as good as Halladay.
Spifficus - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 07:56 PM EST (#226975) #
Doesn't xFIP neutralize the HR/FB rate?
Spifficus - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:00 PM EST (#226976) #
And, nevermind. I read that as 'driven down', which is why I got a tad confused... that, and a lack of diligence in my coffee intake today.
timpinder - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:02 PM EST (#226977) #

BumWino,

Going back to an earlier post you wrote about MyLegacy's drinking, I want you to know that you're not an alcoholic if you're a connoisseur, and you're not a drunk if you can afford it.

As for Pena, I don't want to see him in a Jays' uniform.  He's poor defensively, he's declining fast and will be 33 years old through most of the season and the last thing the Jays need is a another guy who will hit some homeruns but have a low average and OBP, and strikeout 33% of the time.  If you're going to get a short-term fix move Lind to 1B and sign Manny to DH for a season with a 2012 team option or vesting option.

Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:02 PM EST (#226978) #
Yes.  That's why his xFIP was 3.15 while his ERA was 2.16. 
Alex Obal - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:13 PM EST (#226979) #
Greinke was pitching frustrated much of last year. I know, I know... but he's so talented that I might be willing to weight his 2010 a bit less.

Article is also notable for sanctimonious rant wherein journalist chastises Greinke for talking to journalists. USA, USA...

92-93 - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:34 PM EST (#226982) #
I'm honestly confused why anyone would consider trading your top 2 prospects (plus more apparently) for Greinke instead of signing Cliff Lee. Does his youth really make up for the fact he's an inferior pitcher that would cost dearly in prospect price? And if the team was going to acquire Greinke, why would they trade away Marcum for a top prospect? A Greinke-Marcum-Romero-Morrow-Cecil rotation would have been tremendous backed up by Stewart/Rzepczynski/Litsch etc.
christaylor - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:50 PM EST (#226983) #
I agree he won't be able to repeat that, there's almost zero chance that Greinke would pitch for the Jays with a defense as bad as the 2009 KC Royals.

I'm not sure I agree that Greinke is no where near as good as Halladay, once you consider them at both at the same age:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hallaro01.shtml#1998-2003-sum:pitching_simple

...ZG needs to get out of KC for us to know for sure and who knows what he'll do going forward, but he's a rare talent and I've found the talk about him being "close" to Marcum, pretty absurd. 29, arm problems, a RH control pitcher? I'm a Marcum fan and dislike the trade, but... c'mon. Greinke is and probably will be nearly as good as Halladay, but I guess we'll see how his age 27-33 seasons pan out.

I guess it doesn't matter... the talk about Upton/Greinke has just seemed like a tease.
christaylor - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 08:59 PM EST (#226984) #
It is much more costly to sign Lee than the cost of two top prospects + Greinke's salary.

I'm also not sure that one can make such a persuasive argument that Greinke is inferior compared to Lee, but even if one could, there's no way Rogers signs the blank cheque it'd take. Parting with Snider/Drabek/Lawrie (plus -- there's no way two of them go), I'm sure Rogers could not care less about.

At any rate, the almost zero chance that Lee or Greinke pitch in a Jays uniform next year and... on another topic, I hope there's the same chance that Pena and Manny are on the team.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 09:04 PM EST (#226985) #
According to Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown, the Yankees have offered Lee, 32 years old, a six-year, $140 million contract, but the pitcher is holding out for a seventh year. Neither side is confirming those numbers.

When you're the Yankees you can afford lunacy deals for 32 year old pitchers. No one else can go near that.
Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 09:19 PM EST (#226986) #
Cliff Lee's BBRef comps are funny; Denny Neagle, Schoolboy Rowe, and Chris Carpenter are the best of them. I think that he'll probably do better than that, but I don't like him $22 million annually.

Mike Green - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 09:20 PM EST (#226987) #
Yikes, $23 million annually.  What's an extra million when you are making that much?
VBF - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 09:20 PM EST (#226988) #

I'm honestly confused why anyone would consider trading your top 2 prospects (plus more apparently) for Greinke instead of signing Cliff Lee.

That's easy. The difference is most (all?) GMs have to ask their owners for permission to sign Cliff Lee.  Only the really unlucky ones have to ask their GMs if they can trade two prospects.

92-93 - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 09:39 PM EST (#226989) #
I have a hard time believing that figure and that a 7th year would be a holdup because that assumes somebody would be willing to go 7/140. Last I heard a 6th year was bringing him back to Texas. Where is that quote from?
Thomas - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 09:59 PM EST (#226990) #
I have a hard time believing that figure and that a 7th year would be a holdup because that assumes somebody would be willing to go 7/140. Last I heard a 6th year was bringing him back to Texas. Where is that quote from?

I read the Lee rumour too and the wording of that report seemed to imply he'd sign with Texas for six years. That 7th may be a holdup, because Lee may prefer Texas to New York, all else being equal, so if Texas matches New York's offer on term and dollar value, he'll sign with the Rangers. So, he's telling New York that a 7th year would get it done, as he knows there is no way the Rangers will match that. Meanwhile, he's telling Texas a 6th year will get it done, because he'll take Texas' offer, all else equal, and this would force New York to go to 7. So, for him, the 7th year is the holdup, because that would guarantee he signs with the Yankees, rather wait to see if Texas matches the 6 years.

Of course, there's no way to know how Lee really feels until it's all over with, and even then we'll be relying on rumours of what was offered to evaluate the alternatives.

If Lee would sign with Texas tonight for 6 years, I'd probably offer if it was Daniels. It would be risky and potentially hurt at the back end, but almost all marquee free agent contracts come with risk and diminished returns at the end of the deal. That decision is also based on the premise that Texas' payroll will increase shortly due to their new cable deal. If the payroll is to remain constant or only increase at the rate of industry inflation, I'd be more hesitant.

greenfrog - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 10:23 PM EST (#226991) #
Put me in the "don't do it" camp when it comes to ponying up for Greinke. Drabek and Snider (and...?) is a ridiculous price to pay for someone who isn't even going to be here in 2013 (he'll be priced out of the Jays' market by then).

For years, Ricciardi kept getting seduced by the siren song of "we could be a contender, if everything breaks right, and we just sign one more free agent..."

Those days should be well and truly over. AA has the Jays trending in the right direction, but Boston, NY, and Tampa still have better teams. Replacing Marcum with Greinke (and Overbay with Pena, and Lewis with Davis, etc) just isn't going to make enough of a difference. The Jays need to build from within, then (as in '85, '92, and '93), strike when the iron is hot. Right now it's just sorta room temperature.
Mylegacy - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 10:30 PM EST (#226992) #
The Grienke that stole Christmas.

IF - Grienke is actually traded I think we've got a serious shot at him. KC can afford to play hardball until General Lee is actually rounded up and signed for several trillion dollars. The losers in that battle will then turn their 8 inchers on KC - at that time what we've offered will be tested. I wouldn't be surprised to see AA's package look pretty good at that time and AA could always puff it a bit as he may have enough minor league talent to make the deal.

Just sayin'.

greenfrog - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 10:45 PM EST (#226993) #
I like the idea of trading for Greinke, but only if the price is something like Stewart, Arencibia, and Thames. I'll hang on to Drabek, Snider, and Lawrie, thanks very much.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 06 2010 @ 11:00 PM EST (#226994) #
Thomas, I read the messages inferred exactly the way you did.

According to tonight's Rosenthal rumors, Lee's likely to get his 7 years.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/MLB-Winter-Meetings-Cliff-Lee-likely-to-get-7-year-deal-120610

Ron - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 12:05 AM EST (#226997) #
John Farrell was on MLB Network today and he said Vernon Wells won't be moving off CF to make room for Rajai Davis. On a different note, the Jay's contacted Marcum's agent a couple of days ago asking if he was interested in a long term extension.
BumWino - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 12:24 AM EST (#226998) #

Tim Pinder, thank you so much for your sage remark regarding both Mylegacy's and my own proclivity for drink.  I feel much better now. 

Indeed, I consider myself a connoisseur of virtually any gros rouge which features the necessary economy of purchase that, by definition, I am able to afford.  Nevertheless, your kind words and understanding are sure to add a modicum of spring to my step as I indolently shuffle through these unhurried days of my golden years.

Thanks again, Tim.  God bless.   

TamRa - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 01:15 AM EST (#227002) #
Snider's bb rate is declining rather than improving, his obp is floundering and his ZIPS next year is projected at .260/.320/.465 - not terrible at all, but not something that I would expect to start a conversation about Greinke. If Anthopoulos could pull off Snider and Drabek for Greinke deal it would, in my view, be an extraordinarily good trade.

The Pena rumor makes sense too. Although a few expressed dismay that the Jays didn't pursue a deal for a first baseman who's apparently signing with Boston for $154 million/7, while costing prospects, that kind of deal now would be bizarre. Pena could fill in for a couple of years until David Cooper is ready (j/k). He's a short term solution who's much cheaper now than he was after any of the previous three seasons since he moved to TB. In that time, his woba was an amazing .430 in 2007, then .374 in each of '08 and '09. This year it fell to .326, which is the definition of a buyer's market.


Maybe it's just me but I don't follow the logic that says a 23 year old with a decline in his walk rate is a guy who's "floundering" and ought to be dealt, but a 33 year old with steadily declining results in his best skill is a "buyer's market"
BumWino - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 01:49 AM EST (#227004) #

Chuck, yours is the best witticism I've seen in many a moon on a baseball blog.  You win the prize!

I shall forthwith petition the powers-that-be on this blog to o-pun the grab bag of prizes and let you take your choice.  And what an assortment!  Everything from stuffed animals to a plaster of Paris Jesus to kewpie dolls to ashtrays to string, sealing wax and other magic stuff to timeless novelties such as plastic dog excrement and plastic drunk vomit to a book of assorted money-saving coupons to a used Lada to my all-time favorite, a whoopee cushion.

I used to take a whoopee cushion concealed under my suit top into boardroom meetings.  In the middle of the first presentation, I would abruptly stand, excuse myself, and walk very quickly to the door.  As I opened the door, I would depress the whoopee cushion in such a way that a remarkably wet sound of flatus was produced, then I would hang my head in mock-shame for a brief moment, and then hurry out the door, closing it behind me.

I'd head up to our tiny lunch room for a 10-minute smoke and coffee before returning to the boardroom.  Watching the staff try to stifle their laughter always amused me.  Eventually one of them would ask, "Are you feeling better now, sir?"  To which I would laconically reply, "Yeah, I clean up real good."          

 

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 06:23 AM EST (#227007) #

Let's talk about whether or not Zach Greinke is a Stud Ace, or just another good pitcher on a bad team.   (Because if you think he is neither, then I apologise, I will not respect your opinion in this matter.)   This http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=greinza01&t=p&year=2010 deals with game logs.    

1) 8 GS: at least 6.0+ IP, less than 2 ER given up, 3-2 with 3 N.D.   Team finished: 3-5.

2) 6 GS: at least 6.0+ IP, exactly 2 ER given up, 2-1 with 3 N.D.   Team finished: 4-2.

3) 7 GS: at least 6.0+ IP, exactly 3 ER given up, 4-1 with 2 N.D.   Team finished: 4-3.

4) 5 GS: with less than 6.0 IP, 0-5.   Team finished 0-5.

5) 7 GS: at least 6.0+ IP, more than 3 ER given up, 1-5 with 1 N.D.   Team finished 1-6.   Indications are K.C. was a bad offensive team with a bad bullpen.

Rare is the talent that can pitch at the top of a Rotation and be dominant.   Rare is the team with a talent that good anywhere else.   But usually with one, you can get the other.   Pitching is everything, if you don't believe that, explain how San Francisco won.   Zach Greinke will thrive here.   He's under contract for two years (ages 27, 28), making $13.5 MM each year.  A three-year extention (ages 29 - Shaun Marcum's age, 30, 31), with (1-3) option(s) should be possible.

Kyle Drabek will not be our Ace this coming (2011) season (age 23).   Kyle Drabek will not be our Ace in 2012 (age 24).   Kyle Drabek might be our Ace in 2013 (age 25).   Kyle Drabek could be an Ace by 2014 (age 26).   (Kyle is1 day away from being 23, and has spent 5 seasons in Baseball.)   And in his brief MLB debut, he did not impress.

Travis Snider has dominated the Minors for all that he's been rushed to the Majors.   He will be 23 prior to the start of Spring Training, and has already spent 5 seasons in this organization.   (Brett Cecil has just spent his 4th season with us.)   Travis has struggled to be consistent, that could come.   Travis has struggled to balance his walk and strikeout rates, that could come.   At his best, he will be a very slightly above average defender. 

I would trade Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider to the K.C. Royals for Zach Greinke in a heartbeat.  Failure for Alex Anthopoulos to do so, removes him from my A-List of Gms.   To Alex I give:  Montrose's Toast: "He either fears his fate too much, or his desserts are small, who dares not to put it in to the touch, to win or lose it all."  James Graham: 5th Earl of Montrose.  1612-1650.  Royalist General during the English Civil War.

pooks137 - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:11 AM EST (#227008) #

Perusing the Baseball America transactions log, I see that old friend Brian Dopirak has signed on with the Houston Astros.

Houston could end up with the Las Vegas 51s platoon at first base last year between Brett Wallace and Dopirak if he were to get the call.

pooks137 - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:13 AM EST (#227009) #
Oh, and Battersbox minor league favourite from 2010 Chris Lubanski is also now property of the Florida Marlins.  Definitely some spots open at Las Vegas for next year.
Wildrose - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 09:46 AM EST (#227011) #
Here's the latest from Elliott's column.

The Jays are currently "pricing" free-agent closers: Rafael Soriano, Jon Rauch, Bobby Jenks, Mike Fuentes and Octavio Dotel, according to scouts.

"The good thing," said a scout for another club also looking for a closer, "is that there are more guys wanting to close then there are openings."

Also he seems to feel the Grienke deal is just simmering, not boiling. 

Right-hander Zack Greinke, the Kansas City Royals and 2009 Cy Young award winner. The Royals termed talks with the Jays as "slow." Slow is better than "call us back when you are serious" which is supposedly what the Royals told the Texas Rangers, who are also asking about Greinke, low-balling all the way.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:10 AM EST (#227015) #
The link did not work, Paul.  Was it Brett Lawrie in an elf suit or something?

The latest rumour has the Nationals putting a very big number in front of Cliff Lee.  I had no idea that when Bernanke spoke of a new round of "quantitative easing", he meant that the Fed was going to arrange for a convoy of Brinks trucks to dump money in Nationals Park.  They sure could have got a big crowd on Fan Appreciation Day if they had hopped to it.

John Northey - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:14 AM EST (#227016) #
If I was AA I'd be calling Washington up and seeing if they have any top prospects (other than their big 2 unless they've gone totally bonkers in ex-Expo land, in which case they can pick any one player [or two or so depending] off our roster they'd like in exchange) that they'd be willing to trade for Bautista. It is obvious they have shifted to a 'win at all costs' situation and I'd be knocking on their door to see if deals like the old Expos at the end were doing are available.
Anders - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:16 AM EST (#227017) #
The Score has an interview up with AA... it's about as illuminating as all his other interviews, really.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:59 AM EST (#227022) #

The Jays are currently "pricing" free-agent closers: Rafael Soriano, Jon Rauch, Bobby Jenks, Mike Fuentes and Octavio Dotel, according to scouts.

J.J. Putz is said to have signed for 2 years and $10M with Arizona, pending a physical. This sounds rather inexpensive to me.

It's a funny offseason. Eric Hinske settled for 1 year and $1.35M with Atlanta while Ty Wigginton gets 2 years and $8M from Colorado.

 

bpoz - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 11:53 AM EST (#227025) #
Great interview Anders. Thanks for the link.
zeppelinkm - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 12:36 PM EST (#227028) #
Seconded. Thanks Anders.

In my most humble opinion, that is by far the best interview with AA i've read so far. 

Maybe I'm a sucker, but I seem to like him more and more.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 02:33 PM EST (#227033) #
I think ponying up for Soriano would be a brilliant idea. I'd give him a B.J.Ryan deal in a heartbeat.

You put him at the top of the 'pen and he's the perfect stabilizer for us to be able to fill the rest of the slots with out young talent in house.

He'd actually be worth the money - the rest of the guys I don't think I'd be happy to get even if we were able to get them for substantially cheaper.

Spifficus - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 02:40 PM EST (#227034) #
With Soriano's injury history, I would find a Ryan deal a wee bit excessive.
bmac - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 03:25 PM EST (#227038) #
I picture BumWino sitting in a dim rim, lit by an oil lamp or fire, wearing plaid robe over his plaid pj's and possibly wearing a night cap (likely drinking one too), using a fountain pen or feather pen to hit the keys on the keyboard of his circa 1997 PC, dog sleeping at his feet.
TamRa - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 03:51 PM EST (#227040) #
Definitely some spots open at Las Vegas for next year.

Not in the outfield - Thames-Mastro-Loewen move up from AA.

Open question whether or not Cooper comes on as 1B though
92-93 - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 03:59 PM EST (#227041) #
I thought the assumption was that Loewen was on his way to Milwaukee for Villueneva...it's gonna take some getting used to not call him Charlie V.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 05:09 PM EST (#227042) #
I don't follow the logic that says a 23 year old with a decline in his walk rate is a guy who's "floundering" and ought to be dealt, but a 33 year old with steadily declining results in his best skill is a "buyer's market"

That's largely an argument based upon mis-phrasing what I wrote. I didn't write that Snider 'ought to be dealt' because he was 'floundering' - I wrote that I'd be surprised if he's what the Royals want for Zack Greinke. Greinke's won a Cy Young after a phenomenal season. Snider seems like someone with good power and trouble with the strike zone, off-speed pitches and good fastballs. His obp last year, which is what I described as 'floundering', was down to .304, a significant drop from his previous year. I think there's a difference between writing that I'd be surprised someone would be what gets Zack Grienke and saying that someone 'ought to be traded'. And I think it's fair to say, as I did, that another 'meh' season would make for a serious hit on any trade value he may have.

As for Pena, I wasn't suggesting that he is more likely to bring Zack Grienke, I'm suggesting he'd be a good short-term first baseman. I can't see Lind being their first base option next year and if Pena had had his .400+ woba last year instead of his worst, we wouldn't be talking about him at all - he'd be in the 7/154 million group. His woba the previous two years was .374, a big drop from the prior .400+ season for sure, but still as I noted, was the best that Overbay ever did. He's only one year removed from that level and his poor last year helps buyers. To me at least, he seems the perfect guy to take a short term chance on from the free agent market.

Coming back to Snider/Greinke, I suspect that if there is any truth to the rumors being published, that it's Drabek rather than Snider that Anthopoulos is reluctant to include. Snider and some other pitcher for Greinke is a no-brainer, assuming of course that Greinke will sign an extension. If he won't do that, I wouldn't trade anyone from their top 6 or so prospects for him.
Ryan C - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 05:41 PM EST (#227044) #

AA was just interviewed on the FAN and gave the impression that the Jays interest in Grienke was being overblown.  Paraphrasing, he said that anytime anyone is available that he thinks would help the team, he will at least make the call to find out the asking price.

As for the current starters, he said that he could see Litsch, Rep, or Stewart moving into the 4/5 spots in the rotation.  Drabek's name was also mentioned.

 

christaylor - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 05:58 PM EST (#227047) #
Yikes. Forget Soriano, no RP should get a B.J. Ryan deal. Maybe if the Jays were a 92 win team last year, who coughed up a ton of late-inning leads, then maybe it wouldn't be awful...maybe.

There are always cheap, but good risks to fill out the back end. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Purcey hits his stride as a RP next year.

Unless the team nabs Greinke, Beltre and Pena, spending on RP would be a waste.
Wildrose - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 06:26 PM EST (#227048) #
The "Double AA" interview ( as McCowan calls him) on the Fan is really quite good. ( now archived) Some highlights.

http://www.fan590.com/media.jsp?content=20101207_173850_8676
 
-Had trouble getting a hold of Marcum to tell him about the deal. He was at an NFL game and was quite " emotional " about the move.

- Almost got Lawrie off-season  last year, glad he didn't though. ( this tells me reading between the lines that perhaps Cecil/ Romero were on the table).

-People told him Lawrie should have been the Southern league MVP

- Calls him a 5 tool player-notes he has above average speed.

-Flat out says he's essentially only okay at second-feels his  arm/good hands are better suited for third. Also feels his plus arm and good foot speed make him an ideal RF( even mentions him at Centre).

-Asked about his  " bad attitude ", says they've known him for a long time and have done lots of due diligence ( he's been a long time Baseball Canada player), roomates, coaches, former teamates-no problem. Cocky and assured ( as Marc says), may rub people the wrong way-very competitive.

-Side stepped Grienke questions

- McGowan throwing-but wait and see.



  
earlweaverfan - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 06:45 PM EST (#227049) #
Snider seems like someone with good power and trouble with the strike zone, off-speed pitches and good fastballs. His obp last year, which is what I described as 'floundering', was down to .304, a significant drop from his previous year.

Can anyone explain the simplest way of finding out what Snider's peripherals were like during the different segments of the season?  it seems to me (from memory) that Snider's story for 2010 went like this:
A) Start of season until 2-3 weeks before his injury - his hitting stats were poor, but the announcers kept saying that he was taking good swings but just not getting strong results
B) His 2-3 weeks before his injury - he was on fire.  That was especially true of the game in which he got injured
C) His first few weeks back in the bigs were more like the start of the season
D) His last few weeks (September-October?) when again he was hitting a ton.

If this picture is true, I really want to know what B + D were like, if extended to a full season - as that is the hitter I think he can be from now on out.  I never expect him to be a 1000 OPS guy, with tons of Bautista-like walks, but still, it would not surprise me in 2011 to see him 30-5 HR, with a .330 OBP, and with much more upside to spare, for future years.

Count me in the don't trade Snider camp, and given AA's stepping back from pursuing Upton and Greinke discussions, I think that he could also be in that camp.
SJE - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:09 PM EST (#227051) #
I also thought  the interview with AA on The Fan 590 was great. I found it interesting that when AA discussed what position Lawrie would be best suited for, he mentioned RF.  Although that doesn`t seem like a big deal, AA went on about how rare it was in todays game to have specialized player to play RF.  Bob response was yeh, but we already have a RF who hits a pile of homers. Brunt and Mcgowan chuckle. There is dead silence from AA. Maybe its just me, but is AA dangling Jose Bautista when value is at its highest like Marcum, and Gonzalez.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:15 PM EST (#227052) #

Can anyone explain the simplest way of finding out what Snider's peripherals were like during the different segments of the season?

Call up Travis Snider at BB-ref. Go to the game logs. Click a "start game" and then click an "end game". It will calculate the cumulative numbers for that period.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:21 PM EST (#227054) #
As for C and D, his obp in September was .319, and he hit 6 homers (off I. Nova, L. French, Guthrie, Sabathia, Vasquez, and J. Manship). September stats are not always helpful.

You could write off his August (C) when his obp was .281 as the result of injury if you prefer, but I suspect it had as much to do with facing TB/NYY/BSR regular pitching two-thirds of the games he played. HIs obp over that period is about his season mean.

I don't mean to be negative on the guy - I agree he could hit 30 homeruns with a .310-.320 obp. I just wouldn't take him as the centerpiece of a deal for Zack Grienke if I was KC.
melondough - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:21 PM EST (#227055) #

Sorry I know this has been asked before but I am still unsure of the answer.  How does the order for the supplementary round work?  Is it based on final standing of the team that signs "your" player, on the team losing the player, the Elias ranking (I was told not once already), or something else all together?  More to the point, does the pick that the Jays would receive for a "B" player like Gregg change based on who signs him? 

With respect to the 1st round I am hoping Boston signs Downs.  It was reported today that they intend to try and do so.  Assuming Boston doesn't sign Crawford, Lee, Konerko, or Soriano (don't see Soriano nor Lee on their radar) then I would gladly take the 24th overall pick if I were AA.

BumWino - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:27 PM EST (#227056) #

Dear bmac

When I read your assessment of my wretched existence, I exclaimed aloud, "I THINK HE'S GOT IT!  BY JOVE, HE'S GOT IT!"

Thank heavens at least a few of you good people are able to relate so closely with a person who is old.

Some dude ax me 'bout bmac, like we go, "He da man!"

Thanks again, bmac. 

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:27 PM EST (#227057) #
Apologies for my poorly edited last post. I created a second paragraph for the second sentence, and neglected to remove the third sentence, so that the phrase 'that period' in the third sentence refers to the the August/September period, not solely the August period when his obp was .281.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:33 PM EST (#227058) #
is AA dangling Jose Bautista when value is at its highest like Marcum, and Gonzalez

If he's going to trade Bautista, I suspect it's unlikely to be while there are major free agents available. I would imagine he'd wait until there are at least some disappointed Carl Crawford/Jayson Werth suitors to befriend.

i wish Lee and Crawford would sign so that the market can open. This thread title seems to have referred to a short-lived phenomenon.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:35 PM EST (#227059) #
SJE I was picking up a couch so I missed some of that interview. But he did not respond to the J Bautista comment and he mentioned Drabek last. If he had said nothing of Drabek then I thought he was GIVING Drabek the #4. He spoke most enthusiastically of Litch IMO, mentioning that he won 13 games one season. I wonder why.
RhyZa - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 08:08 PM EST (#227061) #

Not intending to be sarcastic, but I wonder if the Brewers added a C+ type prospect, would most of the doubters be happy? 

I think the big problem for most of the critics of the deal is it seems too risky to give up a proven commodity for 1 prospect, rather than hedge the bets over 2.   And maybe they're right, maybe AA should have got a 2nd for fair value for Marcum.  Then again, maybe that was the dealbreaker and he really wanted Lawrie.

Hopefully his assessment of Lawrie was correct, and not an infatuation.

TamRa - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 08:11 PM EST (#227062) #
Bob response was yeh, but we already have a RF who hits a pile of homers. Brunt and Mcgowan chuckle. There is dead silence from AA. Maybe its just me, but is AA dangling Jose Bautista when value is at its highest like Marcum, and Gonzalez.

Maybe. But alternately he might have an idea he's not going to extend Bautista easily and he knows that Lawrie is a year away.


TamRa - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 08:27 PM EST (#227063) #
That's largely an argument based upon mis-phrasing what I wrote. I didn't write that Snider 'ought to be dealt' because he was 'floundering' - I wrote that I'd be surprised if he's what the Royals want for Zack Greinke.

I admit that the shorthand reference did use "floundering" when you only said one part of his game was floundering, but I have to be able to infer that if you think KC should want more, then you think it's a deal we should make - right?

nider seems like someone with good power and trouble with the strike zone, off-speed pitches and good fastballs. His obp last year, which is what I described as 'floundering', was down to .304, a significant drop from his previous year.

But he's only 22! The very fact that his previous year total was significantly better than .304 deomonstrates some ability does it not? I'd be very hesitant to suggest a 22 year old producing league average offense in the major leagues can be safely concluded to be doing all now that's he's capeable of doing. I know that's not what you are saying, but if we are discussing the Jays willingnes to deal him and the Royals desire to have him than we have to be discussing not what he did in 2010 but what he can reasonably be expected to do 2011-2017 and I don't think they, or any of us think that .304 is a reasonable representation of what is likely to happen.

I think there's a difference between writing that I'd be surprised someone would be what gets Zack Grienke and saying that someone 'ought to be traded'.

Granted, but again - an opinion that the Royals ought to want more is almost a defacto opinion that the Jays ought to make the deal, is it not?

As for Pena, I wasn't suggesting that he is more likely to bring Zack Grienke

Of course not.

Snider and some other pitcher for Greinke is a no-brainer


Which is what I thought you were saying - so where did I go wrong using the phrase "ought to be traded"?

By the way, i disagree with that opinion but that's neither here nor there.


TamRa - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 08:36 PM EST (#227064) #
I thought the assumption was that Loewen was on his way to Milwaukee for Villueneva...it's gonna take some getting used to not call him Charlie V.

That's Griffin's assumption (well, technically, he said "someone not on the 40") so they have to wait until after the rule 5 draft, but that could be anyone - given that Loewen is out of options it would be far more likely to be Emaus.

But that's just speculation on his part because there are roster rules in play between now and that draft and there's plenty of reason not to complete the deal now - everything from the Brewers wanting to hold open a roster spot until the draft (which they do by V being on our roster and whoever they stand to get not being on there's) to it being a player like Emaus or Loewen, to it being someone lower down that's almost certainly not going to get taken but who would still constitute a screw up if he was traded and then someone surprisingly drafted him.

Long story short, it's possibly Emaus - it's probably not Loewen.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 08:59 PM EST (#227066) #
TamRa,

in answer to your questions:

1. Yes, his earlier higher obp demonstrates some ability. I don't retract the remainder of what I wrote, though.

2. Yes, if 'ought to be traded' means 'ought to be traded for Zack Greinke', then they mean the same. I hadn't added the last clause to what you'd written. But I think if Toronto could extend Greinke, and they could trade Snider and a pitcher other than Drabek for him, then they should do it. I suppose reasonable people can disagree on that.
jgadfly - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 08:59 PM EST (#227067) #

RE: Chuck's BB-ref  ...  WOW !  ...    I didn't know you could do that.  Sure is faster than me using pen,  paper and my fingers .   THANKS Chuck !  ...AND the Stats go back to 1957 !    whoa !

 After his horrible start in April where Snider hit .125 BAve, .250 slg, and 2 HR's in his first 19 games he followed it up by hitting .291 BA, .521 slg with 12 HR's in his next 63 games ( projecting 31 HR's over 164 games ) 

I wouldn't trade Snider straight-up for Upton and does one really want your-go-to pitching Ace to have had problems with handling pressure .

BumWino - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 09:17 PM EST (#227068) #

Back in the USSR in the 1930's, the very paranoid Boss, Uncle Joe Stalin, initiated essentially political purges of various groups--religious, ethnic, military, intellectual, etc,. etc.--at about the same frequency as he changed his underwear. 

Some historians have estimated that as many as 20 million people were either executed with or without a brief "show" trial or shipped off to the rapidly expanding gulag to be worked/starved to death. 

Stalin once remarked, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths, a statistic."  

Strangely, a significant percentage of Soviet citizens didn't blame Stalin for the terror.  They were sure The Boss didn't know about it, or he would have put an end to it.

I'm mentioning this, because it seems to me that Toronto has just commenced its fourth payroll purge (in less than 18 months) yesterday by divesting itself of Shaun Marcum.  I suspect Jose Bautista will be next.  And the team may not pick up any of Hill's options before the Opening Day deadline. 

Purge #1 - Rolen and Rios. (executed by J.P.)

Purge #2 - Halladay, Barajas and Scutaro.

Mini-purge - Gonzalez for Escobar ( A-Gon earning $2 million+ more than Yunel)

Purge #3 - Gregg, Downs, Buck, Encarnacion (and others like Overbay and Tallet who really did need mercy-termination).  

Purge #4 - Marcum and....

Each individual move can be easily justified by the quick-thinking, lightening-speaking Alex Anthopoulos, but nevertheless there does seem to be a pattern developing here.

How many years down the road before the Blue Jays contend?   My guess:  Not until the team has new owners.

Incidentally, in my analogy:  Nadir = Chairman Joe Stalin; Paul =  People's Commissar; Alex = Execution Squad Captain.   

Shane - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 09:50 PM EST (#227070) #

Not resigning after one year deals with Barajas, Gregg, Buck is a "purge"? Releasing Encarnacion is a "purge"? Trading one year of Gonzalez for a better, younger player is a "purge"?

Purging never sounded so delicious.

eudaimon - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 09:59 PM EST (#227071) #
Let's see what happens the rest of the offseason before we call this a firesale/extermination. I have heard no real rumors of Bautista being traded, other than vague implications that are extended from AA's consistently vague interviews. I see an organization with a lot of young talent, and maybe a few bucks to spend on top, not a Florida Marlins style firesale. Marcum (who was going to be cheap, at least this year) being traded for a highly touted 2b, who can probably switch to 3b, when we have a fair bit of pitching talent behind him isn't really evidence of this. Neither is letting go of a soon to be overpaid 'closer', an aging reliever ready for a multi-year deal that will net us draft picks, an overachieving catcher who will net us draft picks when he signs, and a defensively challenged and offensively questionable 3b who is more likely to be successful at 1b (and is not really particularly impressive offensively if at 1b).

It makes no sense especially when one considers that the Blue Jays are mentioned in trade rumors for essentially every major player. Greinke, Upton, Pena, Uggla, etc. Clearly management is not afraid of making a big splash move to help us win next year.
Matthew E - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:19 PM EST (#227072) #
Besides, it's not like Anthopoulos is breaking up a championship team here. The 2010 Jays were a fourth-place team that overachieved themselves all the way into... fourth place.

Remember: the good is the enemy of the great. Marcum is good. Lawrie might be better. These are the risks they have to take.

I'm not saying this approach is going to work... but if anything will work, it's this.

electric carrot - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:34 PM EST (#227073) #
Remember: the good is the enemy of the great.

I'm not against this trade but I am against that statement.  I think the enemy of great is really poor players.  This was clearly the case with the Jays last year in a few positions: 5th starter, DH, 2nd base and one long relief pitcher.  The key to being great is upgrading those positions not Marcum whose a #2 or #3 starter on just about any great team last year.


Marc Hulet - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:40 PM EST (#227075) #
I hate to feed a troll but you can't really claim the Jays are purging salaries. Look at the Romero and Lind deals. Alex Gonzalez was traded for a player who has upside and a 4.3 WAR season under his belt. Gonzalez' top WAR of his 12-year career was 3.4 in 2010. Escobar has passed that twice in his four year career. Hardly a purge.

Morrow for League is technically a purge from you definition... but that worked out pretty well too. Rajai Davis was brought in despite being considered too expensive for Oakland. He addressed a club need, and they're willing to pay to fill that void.

The Jays also gave a lot of money to two Latin prospects... for a total of almost $3 million.

Oh, and the club invested heavily in increasing its scouting staff. I believe Toronto now has the largest scouting staff in baseball.

Toronto isn't purging. The organization is being financially responsible; the organization is also a business and cannot afford to flush money down the toilet. Ask the '99 Rays how well throwing money at people went over in terms of success. Or  the '01 Rockies.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 10:40 PM EST (#227076) #
My guess: Not until the team has new owners.

A long time ago, there was a TV show about some guy who each episode picked some poor soul and gave away $1 million. If that guy's still alive, perhaps he's the fictional new owner you're thinking of.

Until he buys the team, please list the owners that had the gate receipts the Blue Jays had in 2009 who spent as much on player expenses as Rogers. I'm curious who these 21st century sports mega-philanthropists are.
chocolatethunder - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 11:07 PM EST (#227078) #
I have to disagree with the purge argument, this is not like 2001 when gonzalez, mondesi, quantrill purge...this is more about acquiring young controllable talent that will rise at the same time...very hard to accept though as I was a big Marcum fan, just hope the plan continues with success and please don't give up Snider and Drabek
Ducey - Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 11:26 PM EST (#227080) #

And maybe they're right, maybe AA should have got a 2nd for fair value for Marcum.  Then again, maybe that was the dealbreaker and he really wanted Lawrie

I get the impression from AA's interviews that he doesn't really care to obtain lesser ranked prospects.  He is looking for high ceiling guys or nothing.

BumWino - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 12:26 AM EST (#227082) #

Hi Chocolate

Your reply has more validity than the others.  But take a step back and look at what you have just written. 

"Young, controllable talent that will rise at the same time."   Why?  So the players all hit their arbitration year and FA year at the same time?  Jays lose 'em all and have to start all over again at rock-bottom? 

The entire point of my post is that building from within, the odd trade and very rare FA signing is the way to rise to contention.  To contend year-after-year, the team has to be prepared to retain solid verteran players until talented rookies or other rising younger players push them aside.

Rogers' policies won't allow that natural evolution of team talent.  Won't spend the money to retain, for example, John Buck until young Arencibia demonstrates conclusive competency in handling the very young starting pitchers.  

Result?  Rogers maximizes its profits on the baseball team, while the fans are in fact being scammed.  And Anthopoulos said Rogers was the wealthiest owner in MLB. 

The bullpen stinks at the moment.  Why not retain Downs and Gregg, then add Crain and whoever, and let Carlson and Roenike go?  Because that costs more money and that is not the Rogers' way.

I never attended a single game last year.  I kept wondering how the team would have done with Halladay in the rotation instead of so-called fifth starters(10-22)  Eveland, Tallet, an injured Litsch, Mills, Drabek, a recovering Zep, etc., etc.

Further, I don't give a good goddam who calls me a "fair-weather" fan.  If Rogers doesn't want to invest at least league-average payroll in the team, they certainly aren't going to see a dime from me.    

Ryan C - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 12:42 AM EST (#227083) #

The entire point of my post is that building from within, the odd trade and very rare FA signing is the way to rise to contention.  To contend year-after-year, the team has to be prepared to retain solid verteran players until talented rookies or other rising younger players push them aside.

I agree with you statement, I don't agree that it applies to the 2011 Blue Jays.  They're not a contending team yet, so there's little point in throwing money away by paying high free agent salaries to "solid veterans".  If we were talking about a team on the verge of playoff contention, that's a different story.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 12:59 AM EST (#227084) #
I think my good friend BumWino (BW) is viewing AA's moves - when coupled with Jay's recent history since the hiring of JP - and has concluded that the present moves are part of a continuing payroll "purge." While no question, both BW and I have had considerable experience being able to judge when a bottle is 50% full, I prefer to see AA's latest moves as giving us a bottle half full rather than a bottle half empty.

While I do believe JP & AA were/are both concerned about the money - I believe that AA's not lying when he says 'Money" isn't the real issue - "Value" is the issue and building a perpetually contending mostly internally produced  "Core" the goal. AA believes that collecting and grabbing "Value" - in the form of high end players - players HE THINKS can become the "Core" of a continuing contender - this is the only sustainable way forward in the AL East. 

Entering the 2011 season Marcum would have been the Jay's number 3 starter - Clearly Morrow is the most talented, Romero a young left handed Marcum (at worse), and then Marcum with Cecil (a younger Romero) followed by TWO pitchers who many scouts think will eventually be number 2 and 3 behind Morrow - namely Drabek and Stewart. Throw in Scrabble and Jenkins - both quite near and literally an other dozen - who will keep coming up over the next 3 to 5 years - and as a group they from a "Valu(able)" and "Core" strength. AA feels that Brett Lawrie is CLEARLY a better "Value" and better "Core" player for the Jays than would be Marcum. Is Brett going to be better than Marcum in April 2011 - no. But by April 2012 and for years thereafter AA BELIEVES Lawrie will most assuredly prove to be a very smart "Core" "Value" addition.

I have a feeling that when BW and I do lunch one day we'll discuss this situation over a glass or two of some suitable beverage and BW will come around to my view - or perhaps - if he's buying - I just might see myself coming around to his - 'specially if he orders a second round. Time for a single malt.
david wang - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 01:14 AM EST (#227085) #
Brunowino, you have to consider that AA still has 3 months before ST and will surely be spending money on FAs and further increasing the payroll in that time.

Also note, why keep Gregg and Buck and forgo those two picks when you can sign Crain/guerrier and martin/torrealba to perform the same job?

Retaining your solid veterans when you are an average team leads to mediocrity. That should not be the goal of a sports team and I'm glad AA is gunning for number one.
TamRa - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 01:48 AM EST (#227086) #
Ignoring the laughable suppositions about purging in this thread...

Rosey speculated tonight that the White Sox, being close to their budget and woefully understaffed in the bullpen, might trade Quintin for bullpen help.

I find that hard to believe, unless they were trading for a stud BUT, since i love a good trade speculation - how about we send the Frasor and, say, Roenicke  for Quintin?

They have to take that, right? right? Someone agree with me....!

smcs - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 02:02 AM EST (#227087) #
"Young, controllable talent that will rise at the same time."   Why?  So the players all hit their arbitration year and FA year at the same time?  Jays lose 'em all and have to start all over again at rock-bottom?

If every single piece of talent hits their peak at the same time along the same path, the Jays will win a World Series.  If that does happen, I do not care how rocky that bottom eventually is.  The odds of this happening aren't quite astronomical, but they would be long odds.  Not all of the talent currently in the system (or yet to be added) will peak at the same time.

To contend year-after-year, the team has to be prepared to retain solid verteran [sic] players until talented rookies or other rising younger players push them aside.

The Jays should not and cannot afford to retain 'solid' veteran players.  They must by exceptional players or locked up early.  Look at the extensions of Lind, Hill and Romero.  This is how the team must be built.  Does this mean the Jays might end up looking like fools for certain contracts?  Absolutely.  But it also means the Jays will look very smart.  Just compare the first contract extensions handed to Eric Hinske and Vernon Wells.  By the end of them, Hinske was stealing money, but Wells was vastly outperforming his contract.

Won't spend the money to retain, for example, John Buck until young Arencibia demonstrates conclusive competency in handling the very young starting pitchers.

How, exactly, does Arencibia prove this AND the Jays justify the Buck contract?  Just a paragraph ago, you said that 'the team has to be prepared to retain solid verteran [sic] players until talented rookies or other rising younger players push them aside.'  These two thoughts of yours disagree with each other.  In 2011, I bet Buck is better than Arencibia, but in 2012 or 2013?  To retain Buck for 2011 would have meant a 3 year contract.

Rogers maximizes its profits on the baseball team, while the fans are in fact being scammed.

No.  Based on the most recent draft and the Halladay trade (where the Jays threw in $6MM), I cannot buy this argument.  I think it is complete and utter BS that the Sportsnet ONE exists and, as a Cogeco subscriber, I cannot watch it, but in order for people to want to pay extra for another channel, the Jays have to be a good team.  Toronto is not a good sports city.  It is a fantastic hockey city, but a bad sports city.  However, when a team is winning, this city is behind it 110%.  There is a reason the Jays have sold 4,000,000 tickets in a season 3 of the 4 times it has ever happened.  Put out a bad product and the city doesn't care and the fans can't be scammed.  There are plenty of bad owners in MLB (Pirates, Royals, Orioles, Mets, Dodgers, Padres, Marlins and Astros, to name a few), but Rogers is simply not one of them.

The bullpen stinks at the moment.  Why not retain Downs and Gregg, then add Crain and whoever, and let Carlson and Roenike go?  Because that costs more money and that is not the Rogers' way.


The reality is that bullpens are built out of nothing all the time.  Jason Frasor was 25 and had started out his season by repeating at high A when they got him, made his debut with just 3 games pitched above AA in 2004 at age 26.  Scott Downs was a waiver pick-up, same with Shawn Camp (who I still say was the Jays best reliever last year).  The Jays are going to get 3 picks in the top 70 or so of next years draft for Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg next year.  If you want talent rolling all through the system, this is how to do it.  You get your team screwed up when you are locked into ridiculous contracts for spare parts.  You start overthinking the bullpen on your team and you talk yourself into getting Brandon League for Brandon Morrow.

I kept wondering how the team would have done with Halladay in the rotation instead of so-called fifth starters(10-22)  Eveland, Tallet, an injured Litsch, Mills, Drabek, a recovering Zep, etc., etc.


Not to belabor the points on Halladay (read old threads to see how much Doc has been missed), Halladay is the best pitcher and person that I have ever had the privilege of watching or cheering for.  That being said, when it came time to talk contract extension, nobody in the Jays front office could look him in the eye and honestly say that Toronto was his best chance for winning a World Series.  He was walking away after his contract ended.  Once that became clear, the Jays began to talk to other teams about potential trades.  Yet again, if you want a continuous flow of talent through the system, the Jays have to recognize when they must sell on an asset in order to maximize returns.  That trade even included Rogers kicking in $6MM so that the package of players coming back was better.

If I were a Phillies fan, I would be furious that the owners did not want to pay Halladay and Lee, but ended up bringing in Oswalt later in the year.  That was a move that harmed them this year and years into the future.
BumWino - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 02:17 AM EST (#227088) #

To:  Mylegacy 

Hi, Friend

A very comprehensive explanation of  AA's master plan to improve the team over time.  I am aware of it, and I agree with your assessment.

Jays have more than ample starting pitching, so I don't object to the Marcum trade in principle, only that it represents more of the same; an ongoing obsessive cutting of payroll.

The Marcum trade is far less risky--in terms of the team's chances for success in 2011--than letting John Buck walk and leaving the young starting staff at the mercy of a rookie catcher. 

Some people view letting Buck go as a good thing because he allows too many passed balls.  These are the same people who consider Lind's fielding deficiencies at first base to be of critical importance. 

In spite of Encarnacion, Buck, Fred Lewis and the other spazz fielders the team trotted out last year, Jays were still the third best fielding team in the AL. 

Taking the long view, my main concern is the team's future in Toronto.  Jays now play to 39% stadium capacity, the lowest in MLB.  Jays are the worst road draw in MLB.  The American owners would all love to see the team moved south.

The 2011 edition needs at least a few more quality relievers and Manny at DH.  Then, win or lose, at least the fans get their money's worth.

Instead, Jays next move will likely be to trade Bautista for a couple of sure-thing, can't-miss prospects.     

 

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 04:18 AM EST (#227089) #

Going here http://www.fan590.com/onair/primetimesports/  will allow you to listen to Keith Law and then Alex Anthopoulos talk Blue Jay stuff.

1) Brett Lawrie will play 3B or he will play RF or he will play 2B.   But one thing is clear, he starts on the big club in 2012.   His bat is too good not to.

2) Alex Anthopoulos is not done with Zach Greinke.   He just needs to do the deal or expand it.   Until someone else gets Greinke, Alex will still be in on him.  

3) Jesse Litsch, as per John Farrell and as per Alex Anthopoulos is one of our starters, with Marc Rzepczynski or Zach Stewart or ? will be our other challengers.  

3) Cubs sign Pena.  

ZekeBella - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 07:21 AM EST (#227091) #

Taking the long view, my main concern is the team's future in Toronto.  Jays now play to 39% stadium capacity, the lowest in MLB.  Jays are the worst road draw in MLB.  The American owners would all love to see the team moved south.

That worried me at one time too until I realized that since Rogers owns the "Rogers" Centre then they would be cutting off their nose to spite their face by selling their, by far, #1 tenant.  If the owners of the 2 entities were different I am sure we would be well into the Expos on Exile St. process.  

I like that AA is trying to expand the Greinke deal if that report is true, I still think that Alex Gordon is more than the sum of his numbers so far and if he was included I might be won over. I trust AA but not to the point that I would approve of Snider and Drabek for Greinke, who IMO is not a sure thing in the Halladay category. (Not that I have recived any documents from AA for my signature)

Pena is gone and I would like to see AA take a run at Laroche. What about Derrek Lee? I am not hearing his name. Is he still out there and worth a flyer? Then there is Paul Konerko if we really want to dream.  

 

ZekeBella - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 07:32 AM EST (#227092) #

What about Derrek Lee? I am not hearing his name. Is he still out there and worth a flyer?

Ok, I will answer my own question. As per Elliott http://www.torontosun.com/sports/baseball/2010/12/07/16467271.html  there is interest in Lee by the Jays. Also, they have talked to agents for Jesse Crain and Kerry Wood, By his own admission AA may just be juggling too many balls at the same time. 

 

Jevant - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 08:41 AM EST (#227094) #
This must be a joke.
Jevant - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 08:46 AM EST (#227095) #
Extremely well said.  Thank you.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 08:54 AM EST (#227096) #
In spite of Encarnacion, Buck, Fred Lewis and the other spazz fielders the team trotted out last year, Jays were still the third best fielding team in the AL.

That sounds like a statement that has a number in support, and I am wondering which number, BW?
bpoz - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 09:02 AM EST (#227097) #
My compliments BumWino... You have a FLAIR FOR WORDS... you have generated a good quantity of responses.

As you start with an initial comment and then follow up responses to responses... there is a lot of real value in the total responses of you and others.
Like 39% capacity & keeping our good players & adding talent...EH!! I always get a laugh at the EH.
From another Bauxite, I liked the WS comment. If we win the WS following your method or going opposite I will jump for joy. Now do I bet that you will be SNARLING all quoting poetry, as long as you are not silent.
Your writing skills are good. Also dramatic. I am sure people are thinking of taking a 2nd wack at them.
The detailed & well thought of responses of others reveals much of their particular view towards contention.

My worst purge was Olerud.

And lastly where is Magpie? I miss him!!
Chuck - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 09:29 AM EST (#227098) #

Jays were still the third best fielding team in the AL. 

Their Runs Allowed has them ranked 9th. Their Defensive Efficiency has them ranked 11th.

What is the ranking of third based on?

Matthew E - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 09:41 AM EST (#227099) #
"Remember: the good is the enemy of the great."

I'm not against this trade but I am against that statement.  I think the enemy of great is really poor players.


No, because, if you have a really poor player at one position or another, and you have the opportunity to replace him with someone who could be great, you'd do it in a heartbeat. There's no problem there. But if you have someone who's good at that position, you'd think twice about it, or three times. You might not do it at all... and then you wouldn't have that great player. And that's a problem if you need great players, which the Jays do.

It doesn't really look to me like the Jays are purging salaries. Is Marcum really that expensive? Is Downs? Most of the guys the Jays are moving out are just spare parts in the first place and not worth getting exercised about.

To contend year-after-year, the team has to be prepared to retain solid verteran players until talented rookies or other rising younger players push them aside.

But the roster's only so big. I'd rather they used that roster spot to protect a young player who actually had some future value to the team, instead of using it to give at bats to a guy who's only around because I'm too scared to put last year's PCL MVP in the lineup.

Result?  Rogers maximizes its profits on the baseball team, while the fans are in fact being scammed.  And Anthopoulos said Rogers was the wealthiest owner in MLB.

I don't like Rogers any more than you do and probably less. But anybody who isn't trying to (reasonably, responsibly) maximize his profits on his business is an idiot. I hope Rogers makes all kinds of money out of owning the Blue Jays; why wouldn't I wish that? Anthopoulos's approach makes good baseball sense, and I appreciate that; I'm not going to condemn it just because it also makes good economic sense.

When I'm looking at a baseball team's problems, there are some I will just never take seriously. I'm never going to worry about whether the backup catcher or the backup first baseman is good enough. If they aren't, it's easily fixed, and in the meantime it's not that big a deal. The same thing goes for the bullpen and the fifth starter. Bullpens change all the time and any competent front office should be able to put together a serviceable one quickly. There are always good relievers available. The fifth starter? The Jays are probably better off in that sense than most other teams in baseball, whatever the results in 2010. But there'll always be some instability at the back of the rotation; it's unavoidable. Try one guy, he doesn't work, try another guy. Happens to everyone. It's not a problem, unless you don't have anyone plausible you can even try.

Let's see, what does the pitching staff look like right now... Romero/Morrow/Cecil/Litsch/Drabek, or something, with Rzepczynski and Stewart and Richmond around if someone falls down (I hope Litsch can make it back, but somehow I'm not getting that vibe). Frasor/Camp/Purcey/Villanueva/Carlson/who's-that-guy-they-just-picked-up-with-all-the-strikeouts; that doesn't look too bad to me. It doesn't look like a problem. It doesn't look like a fire sale.
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 10:43 AM EST (#227102) #

I never attended a single game last year.  I kept wondering how the team would have done with Halladay in the rotation instead of so-called fifth starters(10-22)  Eveland, Tallet, an injured Litsch, Mills, Drabek, a recovering Zep, etc., etc.

Further, I don't give a good goddam who calls me a "fair-weather" fan.  If Rogers doesn't want to invest at least league-average payroll in the team, they certainly aren't going to see a dime from me.

Earlier, BW, me boyo, you came on all charming and Irish and funny, and if it seemed like you had bent down too often to kiss the Blarney Stone, well, what of it?

But here you stand revealed, if I can be direct with you, as part of the problem.

I don't know whether you live in Toronto, but a very eloquent Irish-born businessman in this town, Mathew Barrett (of the Cork Barretts, doncha know), was once CEO of the Bank of Montreal.  The year that he took on the role he traveled across the country to talk to bank staff everywhere.  When he came back to Toronto, he brought all his executives into a room and told them what he found.  Employees everywhere had said to him the Bank was a mess, and needed fixing, and then said something to the effect:  "When the Bank gets its act together, I'll get my act together"

That lovely attitude is precisely what you seem to be saying.  Not content with the arrival of four strong young pitchers (one of whom you so lament having been traded).  Not content with a team you thought had the third best fielding of all teams (you were wrong, but so what, you thought they were that good).  Not content with one of the all-time leading home-run hitting teams - I don't care how cynical you are, when those get hit, you would be standing up to cheer. 

So when does the team get good enough for you to deign to grace them with your presence?  Is it all about money spent, whatever the on-field experience?  If you were in Tampa Bay this year, would you have spurned the home team just because their salary base was lower than average?

The aforementioned Mr. Barrett got it dead on, when he said to his leadership group - Well, I've got news for you.  Each of us here in this room is the Bank.  There is no one else to wait for.  We must all get our act together.

Do you grant the possibility that if people like you all started to show up at the stadium, that Rogers might use those funds to go the second, third or fourth mile to put the best possible team on the field?  Or do they have to get their act together first?
bpoz - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 10:45 AM EST (#227103) #
Mathew E... W Abreu?

AA may not be finished.

I heard B MacGowan ask about Greinke, AA responded by saying he preferred not to comment about any players belonging to another organization, I think.
Also blabbing about players you want could drive up the price IMO not AA's opinion.

AA has said that going into the winter meetings that he was looking for opportunities to acquire future high talent players BUT was also keeping the strength of the 2011 team in mind. Further, he believes that for many deals the ground work is being done now and deals will be completed in 1 or 2 weeks.
I read that he is talking to everyone and is juggling many balls in the air. I also read that the media believes that many deals will happen once C Lee & C Crawford are signed.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 10:46 AM EST (#227104) #

instead, Jays next move will likely be to trade Bautista for a couple of sure-thing, can't-miss prospects.

I sure hope so - How about Bautista plus to the reds for Yonder Alonso and Volez/Bailey?

But if AA follows his plan, making Bautista available should be expected - last offseason I was hoping

the team would be more aggressive in making lind/hill/Frasor available

Matthew E - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 10:56 AM EST (#227105) #
Abreu! Thank you.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 01:06 PM EST (#227109) #
85bj...Please explain in more detail your reasons for moving J Bautista. I ask respectfully. Cannot afford him as a FA?

You are getting back youthful talent with some ML experience & success as your goal. So then the 2011 team would gain some strength while losing some.

Does V Wells contract start to look more affordable to other teams now?

"I SEE" a good player's cost in stages.
Stage 1: Pre-Arb inexpensive.
Stage 2: Arb... salary increase but less than FA stage & 1year at a time.
Stage 3: Multi Year extension. Pay extra for Arb years left but but get a discount on the 1st few FA years. V Wells about $5mil?
Stage 4: Open market long term & very expensive.

Please correct any minor or major wrongs in my 4 stages.

We can look at some history. eg A Hill has played 6 years for the Jays with 4 potential years left 2011-14. I don't know the $ amounts paid or the 4 year future break down.
The 2008 injury & 2010 low batting average are blemishes on his time here so far. Have we paid High,OK or low so far. Do we have to get his regular performance or close to 2009 for his cost, going forward?

I honestly believe the Jays will mostly or always stay away from stage 4. So as stage 3 progresses you trade the player or keep him for the draft picks. If trading him then his best value is right after a very good season, the better the season the higher the trade value demanded, but pulling the trigger would be hard.

I think I have proposed a sensible theory/objective. I also expect people to disagree with this theory from various angles. I think for that final piece to win a championship, then Buy High. Hopefully not long term cost. $... or J Smoltz player cost. I am OK with Jeff Kent being traded.
Does anyone have a couple of examples of a big time player coming, but the prospects all became sort of ordinary.
eudaimon - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 01:51 PM EST (#227112) #
Comparing the Blue Jays to the Expos is a bit much. We averaged a bit more than 20000 people a game last year, ranking us 26th in the league. The 39.9 figure is misleading because the stadium is very large.

I don't know if you remember, but the Expos were averaging less than 10k a game for a while, the worst in the majors. We have a long way to go before that happens. There is some buzz associated with this team I think, and acquiring one decent name will help bolster attendance.

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 02:00 PM EST (#227113) #

a couple of sure-thing, can't-miss prospects.

Sorry if someone has pointed this out already -- I didn't see it -- but repeat sloooowly after me ....
There ... ain't ... no ...such ... thing!

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 02:10 PM EST (#227114) #
Shaun Marcum a spare part, Matthew?  Really?  He sure wasn't last year.  A starting pitcher who gives you 195 very good innings is nothing like that.  He would have been a noticeable upgrade on whomever the Yankees sent out after Sabathia in the playoffs.  That is not a spare part in my book. 
Matthew E - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 02:18 PM EST (#227116) #
Shaun Marcum a spare part, Matthew?  Really?

No, I didn't mean Marcum; I meant guys like Buck, Downs, Gregg, Encarnacion, Lewis. Useful but not worth disrupting your plans over.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 04:23 PM EST (#227123) #
I predict for this year's Winter Meetings; this hour, this minute, this very second will SOON be known - forever more - as the - wait for it - The calm before the storm.

Cue Jaws type music.

On other Stuff: After listening to KLaw and AA on the FAN about Lawrie I'm even more psyched about our new, "little" 6'  213 pound, bouncing bundle of defensively challenged, Canadian joy. Isn't he cute - yes he is - yes he is.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 04:34 PM EST (#227125) #
I have a sad note to pass on...

I live on the 14th floor of the Beacon, on Cameron Island, on the walkway around Nanaimo Harbour, here in beautiful Vancouver Island. I bought - at great personal expense (on sale at Zellers) - two 8' tall inflatable Santa's - one for each balcony. Last night - in the midst of a Pineapple Express - one of them bounced around so much - despite being tied with more rope than was used is my favorite BSDM movie - that the fan which keeps it inflated broke off - rupturing his - for lack of another suitable word - his anus. Despite the best medical assistance that my wife and I could provide - he passed this morning at 7.30 AM, PST.

His family has requested that in lieu of flowers please send money - or better yet - 18 year old single malt. All donations gratefully received.

stevieboy22 - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 04:38 PM EST (#227126) #
Just out of curiosity Mylegacy, what is your go to brand? Johnny Walker?
Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 04:44 PM EST (#227128) #
...er - BDSM.

As to single malts - The three "G's" - Glenlivet, Glenmorangie or Glengayne. 

MatO - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 04:57 PM EST (#227129) #

Johnny Walker is not single malt.  I prefer Lagavulin but it's been priced out of my league over the years.  If I'm fortunate to be gifted a bottle I feel that I'm not worthy enough to drink it.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 05:19 PM EST (#227130) #
Allright, I'll ask.. What's your favorite movie of said genre? :-)
Chuck - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 05:36 PM EST (#227131) #

Allright, I'll ask.. What's your favorite movie of said genre? :-)

I'm guessing it was the one he shot on his balcony, where poor Santa got defiled. The weather conditions were presumably such that Santa's cries of Rudolph, the prearranged safe word, went unheard. Roger's telling of the story may lead to the one and only Google hit combining the words Santa and anus.

 

VBF - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 05:52 PM EST (#227133) #

I don't know if you remember, but the Expos were averaging less than 10k a game for a while, the worst in the majors. We have a long way to go before that happens. There is some buzz associated with this team I think, and acquiring one decent name will help bolster attendance.

I know its public and easy to count and all but why attendance has always been the go-to stat for determining whether a team is sustainable or not is beyond me. The worst thing that could happen to the Blue Jays isn't averaging 9,000 people a game. It would be for Canada's largest businesses to move their headquarters from Toronto to Calgary and for Sportsnet/TSN to stop covering their games, which is what inevitably put the Expos on life support and made them completely dependant on ticket revenue.

The fact that the Jays survived Canada's recession while losing several major long-time partners and were able to bring on some great new companies is a huge win for their financial health.

 

Jdog - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 07:08 PM EST (#227136) #
Ryan Doumit seems like somebody who is available and could be a good fit with the Jays. You could probably acquire him by just being willing to pay 70% of his salary. But A guy who can you can move from C, 1B, DH and LF would provide some good depth to a lot of question marks right now. He had a big year a couple years ago and is still only 29. Nothing special but I think he would be a good buy low candidate. Despite below average defence as a catcher at least he provides a little Arencibia insurance while adding depth at other positions of need.
budgell - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 07:12 PM EST (#227137) #

Brilliant Chuck, cuttlefish worthy even.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 08:00 PM EST (#227138) #
I'll never tell - my lips are sealed - except when single malt is available.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 08:19 PM EST (#227139) #

Mike Wilner has an excellent blog post up, it's worth a read. Here are some experts:

First of all - the Blue Jays want Adam Lind to be their starting first baseman next season.

Further to the Lind discussion, Anthopoulos also told us - without mentioning any names or speaking specifically about any players out there - that the Blue Jays arenít interested in having Manny Ramirez as their designated hitter in 2011.

Anthopoulos also didnít deny interest in free agent catcher Russell Martin. 

There were updates on Scott Richmond (heíll compete for a job in Spring Training, stretched out as a starter but aware that there may be a spot for him in the bullpen), Jesse Litsch (Alex absolutely believes Litsch will be healthy and ready to go at the beginning of Spring Training) and Dustin McGowan (playing catch right now, pain-free - no one is getting their hopes up, but so far, so good), and an explanation that Shawn Hill was let go because he had a ďflare-upĒ in his final regular season start, and as much as the Jays like him and his stuff, they just donít believe that heíll be able to stay healthy enough to stay on the mound on a regular basis.

The Jays have three open spots on the 40-man roster to use, and Anthopoulos said that he has an eye on three players, at least one of whom he doesnít expect to be available when they pick. 

Loewen, as Anthopoulos explained, mostly because heís out of options and if the Jays had put him on the 40-man roster (to protect him from Rule 5) heíd have had to have made the team out of Spring Training or face going through waivers, so itís either risk losing him now or risk losing him then.  The risk of losing Loewen is much lower now, because even if he gets taken, heíd have to make whichever team selects him out of Spring Training or the Jays get him back.

 

BumWino - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 08:27 PM EST (#227140) #

To: Mylegacy 

Re: Inflatable Santa Passing

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in this, your hour of greatest need.  Today, you and yours will occupy a very special place in my thoughts and prayers.

Oh my dear God, I can't stand it.  I am being wracked by uncontrollable sobbing and I am involuntarily tearing up.  I hate myself when I utterly lose control and break down like this. 

And what a horrible, horrible way to go.  Being terminally goosed by a fan.  The mere thought of it has me walking around my humble abode with my buttocks pressed tightly together like a chartered accountant's.

"When I go, I'd rather be dropped from a helicopter from 1,000 feet, or chopped up in one of those gigantic snowblowers that clear mountain roads, or have my nuts chewed off by a Laplander." 

--quote from "Naked Gun"

Nick Holmes - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 09:06 PM EST (#227143) #
When I die, I'd like it to be peacefully in my sleep like grandpa, rather than screaming in fear like his passengers.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 09:08 PM EST (#227144) #
BW

Console yourself old man - by late this afternoon - after a small wee dram - I'd actually forgotten about the Red Robin suited, bearded, gift bearer's demise.

Hopefully, his twin on the other balcony will last until Christmas - I hear Zellers is sold out - drats!

Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 09:19 PM EST (#227145) #
Nick I can sympathize with your Grandpa's (sic) passengers - earlier in my working life I used to cover a part of northern BC from Hwy 16 up to the Yukon and from Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii these days) to Burns Lake - West to East (almost exactly the same sq miles as France). As a result I had to fly in many small airplanes - and I had four crash landings. While all four were at airports - two of the landings were not down the runway but actually hit the runway sideways after landing on grass - bouncing over the runway - and eventually coming to a stop on the grass well past the other side of the runway. After another the ice was so thick on the plane we couldn't get the door open and needed to get someone on the ground to break the ice with a hammer.

Ah, and some wonder why I've this deep and abiding relationship with single malt. Trust me Nick - flying with pilots like your that Grandpa could drive a guy to drink!

eudaimon - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 10:34 PM EST (#227146) #
I know its public and easy to count and all but why attendance has always been the go-to stat for determining whether a team is sustainable or not is beyond me

I think there is a pretty solid correlation between attendance and sustainability.
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 11:19 PM EST (#227147) #
earlier in my working life I used to cover a part of northern BC from Hwy 16 up to the Yukon and from Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii these days) to Burns Lake

Great country - just curious, did you ever fly in to Telegraph Creek?  That seemed like a real test, justifying a good scotch afterwards!  I did not fly in that way, but I did watch a float plane land on the Stikine River, and having landed, then having to gun its engines enough to push the plane up against a strong current, alongside the wharf, so that someone could tie up the plane, before it floated downstream again.  Breathtaking!!
BumWino - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 11:29 PM EST (#227148) #

eudaimon.  According for Forbes magazine, Jays 2009 attendance accounted for just under 23% of total revenue ($37 million of $163 million total).  Attendance has declined almost every year since Rogers took over full ownership of the team.

Average general admission is $23.84 and average fan visit yields $39 revenue per.

The team has an accumulated profit (2004 - 2009) of over $60 million.  But this is barely scratching the surface compared to the programming, recognition and promotional benefits Rogers derives from owning the team.  None of those figures, of course, include the gain on equity investment.

Rogers Communications had a gross profit in 2009 of $4.09 billion.   Wealthiest owner in MLB according to Anthopoulos.   However, the team is run like it's a small-market team.  

ayjackson - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 11:41 PM EST (#227149) #
So Carl Crawford to the Red Sox for 7/$142m?
Mylegacy - Wednesday, December 08 2010 @ 11:45 PM EST (#227150) #
Earlweaverfan - No on Telegraph Creek - however I have flown in a helicopter through the Grand Canyon of the Stikine! Flew through half way up - about 1000 feet over the water and 1000 feet under the top - on both sides were mountain goats with their kid's - the mothers would place their body between the kid and the helicopter to protect them from us - a sheer drop if they made one misstep. Absolutely unbelievably spectacular - one of the highlights of what I am quite happy to report has been - so far - a fairly "interesting" (in the Chinese Curse form of "interesting") life that I've been fortunate to lead.
Mylegacy - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:02 AM EST (#227151) #
SEVEN / ONE -FOURTY -TWO!!! Wow.

If the Sox had just got back their walking wounded they'd have been a favorite to win the AL East - but with AGon and now Super Carl - wow - seriously wow.

The good thing from the Jay's view is that we always knew we had to beat two of the Sox, Yanks and the Rays - now we know which two!

NOW - wouldn't it just awful if the Yanks didn't get Lee and Andy didn't come back - my heart would just go out to them!  With the Sox being so strong they'll dominate their games against the Yanks, us and the Rays - that means we actually have a chance as the Yanks and Rays will be spanked by them as badly as we get spanked. We might just get ourselves into the Wild Card hunt in 2011. 

andrewkw - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:06 AM EST (#227152) #
Very bold move by the Sox.  The Rays knew he was gone, but I don't think they expected to be playing him 17-19 times a year. 

I wonder if this + Gonzalez will be enough for The Rays to give up and become sellers?  They've been shopping Garza despite the fact he's still a few years away from free agency to save a few more bucks.

VBF - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:36 AM EST (#227154) #

I think there is a pretty solid correlation between attendance and sustainability.

When we're talking about conventional teams that don't draw hundreds of thousands of viewers on television, aren't a marketing expense for their ownership and aren't  located in one of the top 5 economic hubs in North America. Ticket sales are by far not the be all and end all.

The Texas Rangers signed a 20 year 3 billion dollar television deal, which works out to 150 million per season (for simplicity's sake I'll ignore time value of money). At an average ticket price of $30, they'd have to draw 5 million fans per season (which they physically couldn't do) just to match that number. A severe attendance decline wouldn't necessarily indicate financial instability.

Is poor attendance sometimes a sign of a team in trouble? Yes, but not when team is so strong with its television and the corporate community like the Blue Jays.

chocolatethunder - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:37 AM EST (#227155) #

Ahhh I hate the Red sox, and Yankees...you just know that the Yankees will respond like a world power and do something to arm themselves...yikes....anyway on to Jays stuff and after reading AA's interview it sounds like Martin will be an option, and IMHO could see maybe Nick Johnson being of interest as he could be both a dh/ first baseman.....I actually feel strange suggesting this minor move after the red sox blst but whatever....also it seem that the jays needs is a 3/4 outfielder...a starter, some bullpen help, and a closer

 

 

VBF - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:38 AM EST (#227156) #
Uh yea, what BW said. Except the last sentence.
RhyZa - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 12:53 AM EST (#227157) #
I never quite believed in the theory that the Jays had any kind of window because the Yanks and Sox were getting old or have too much money tied up.  The resources are endless, mistakes can be covered up, and the only way is to keep trading Marcum's for younger players hoping that it all clicks at the same time to greater potency than before. 

Baseball needs to get with the times and follow suit of the other pro sports.  Tradition is bad in this sense.
RhyZa - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:00 AM EST (#227158) #
That said, it's a pretty horrible contract.

But I don't see how they don't do very well short term.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:35 AM EST (#227160) #

...if the Yanks didn't get Lee and Andy didn't come back...      We might just get ourselves into the Wild Card hunt in 2011. 

Now you know why I continually 'harp' on trading for Zach Greinke (whom N.Y.Y. will be after, like a bear after honey, as soon as they lose Lee).   I think we can survive in the post-season with Greinke, but not without, we're not quite good enough.   I am willing to trade Drabek and Snider to do so, whether or not the deal expands.   I think the minors are strong enough to make this deal.

1) We need an ACE; we've got the other four.   2) We need a TOP CLOSER, until we find our own.   3) We need a Free Agent RELIEVER, or via trade; we can find another 4 or 5 arms for the Bullpen.  4a) We need a CF HEIR.   4b) I can settle with Davis, Wells and Bautista as our outfield, if we get a 4TH OUTFIELDER as good as or better than Davis.   5) I like Lind, Hill and Escobar as our Infield, needing a THIRD BASEMAN better than the previous occupant.  6)  We need a D.H., preferably able to play 1B.   7) We need a CATCHER better than Jose Molina.

I think in trading for Brett Lawrie, we will have a Stud who will be in the lineup in 2012 as 2B, 3B or RF.   Alex Anthopoulos needs to leave the Winter Meetings with a WOW deal, something J.P. never could, to excite the fans.   We need to fill 1 or 2 of the 7) with a STUD this off-season, with the other 5 -6 of the 7) being filled as best as we can.  Besides Lawrie, and / or others, we need to fill another 1 or 2 of the 7) each following off -season.  

Alex has shown his talent in acquiring talent for the future in Trades, Drafting, International and Free Agent signings.   Now he must show his talent in taking advantage of windows of opportunities that briefly appear - like now. 

Ryan C - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:20 AM EST (#227161) #

Alex Anthopoulos needs to leave the Winter Meetings with a WOW deal, something J.P. never could, to excite the fans.

Really?  Like this line of thinking doesn't make any sense to me at all.  Do we really care so much about making a BIG DEAL, or do we care about making a smart deal, even if it's not that big?  Is a splashy, flashy deal in December really going to sell more tickets in April?  And why do we care if it does?  I don't care if the fans are excited in December, I just want to win baseball games, that is what will really get people excited.

christaylor - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 05:43 AM EST (#227163) #
"Baseball needs to get with the times and follow suit of the other pro sports. Tradition is bad in this sense."

Good gawd, no. The salary cap (among other changes) quickly made hockey unwatchable (save for the playoffs, perhaps) for me. Socialism for billionaires and parity that brings an inferior product are just traps. Luckily the sheer strength of the player's union and massive revenues will win out in this case. I don't mind the luxury tax system and perhaps that threshold could be lowered (and transfer payments increased). Apparently according to some measures, the damn PIrates are turning a profit. If this is true, and it seems to be (but one can never be sure b/c of creative accounting) then every team crying poor is just silly.

If the price of watching a high quality product is Yankee/Red Sox dynasties for the end of time. Sign me up, I'm a baseball fan first and foremost and while I have an affinity for the Jays because they were my team growing up, I have no particular loyalty for the pajamas that players wear, especially since the pajamas the Jays currently wear have so little Blue on them...
christaylor - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 05:56 AM EST (#227164) #
It depends on how one defines a "wow" deal -- the team always needs upgrades. If there's another League/Morrow deal out there, sign me up. I thought it was a wow deal at the time.

I agree, I don't think there's any trade or FA signing the Jays could make that would be wow enough to move tickets one iota. Not Greinke (which I'd love to see happen if the price is something like Drabek/Hech -- which seems in line with what the leaks say the Royals are after)... not signing Beltre (or Lee).

The only player who might excite the fans enough to really set the fans buzzing? Halladay returning. Not going to happen.

I get the sense that AA views this season as one in which he's looking to see if the gains the team made last year are real and if key pieces of the team can rebound. If yes, next offseason will be his equivalent of JP's 05-06 offseason. If not more Marcum-like trades are probably the result. I hope I'm wrong a Greinke with an extension and a reasonable Beltre deal are in the cards. That team wouldn't be crippled for the future and could, if everything breaks right, compete in 2011 even with an improved Sox team (and weakened Yankees/Rays).
sam - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 06:20 AM EST (#227165) #
Richard I disagree with you on almost all your points. I don't see how you can think we have a window of opportunity right now. In fact, as fans I think we need to get out of this mind set that windows of opportunity exist. Look at the Jays under Riccardi, he thought we had a "window of opportunity," purged on some free agents, resigned our own and what happened? The Jays are building a ballclub that has a perennial window of opportunity, the idea being that by acquiring talent in abundance will habitually pay off. This process takes time and caution and can easily be re-routed by quick, callous decisions. The Jays are the fourth best team in the division and I'd tend to agree that no amount of additions this offseason will make our team better than the Red Sox, Yankees, or Rays. The simple man would say, position by position is our team better than the other? And the answer to that is no.

For me, this has been a successful meetings. He traded an asset when its value was highest and in doing so acquired a talent that could be exceptional. If media reports are correct he has also refused to cave into demands of other teams in trades. The Jays are far from the team that will compete annually for the playoffs.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 06:25 AM EST (#227166) #
I really like the Crawford signing from the Red Sox point of view. He's young, athletic, and five of his last six seasons have been very good. Boston is showing why they're going to be a force to be reckoned with for quite some time. If you're going to spend, might as well spend on the best.

From the Jays' point of view...not so much.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 08:15 AM EST (#227167) #

I always thought  a heading to your reply treated like this: ...if the Yanks didn't get Lee and Andy didn't come back...      We might just get ourselves into the Wild Card hunt in 2011. meant your whole reply / argument / rebuttal dealt with that.   I definitely tried to explain what I thought, I'm sorry people disagree.   I just think this team can be much better (with a trade or two for a Top 5 / High-Upside player(s) at a needed position(s), and / or a Free Agent or two signing of a Top 5 / High-Upside player(s) at a needed position(s)) than other people think.

Alex Anthopoulos spent a considerable amount of time trying to acquire Justin Upton, and failing to do so.   Excuse: they want too much.   Alex then spends significant time on an acquisition of Zack Greinke, and failing to do so (as yet).   Excuse: they want too much.   Then Alex says (to paraphrase): he's in on so many deals / trades that he's dealing with too much.   Then the Shaun Marcum trade, and still needing a P.T.B.N.L. for Carlos Villanueva.   An on-the-ball A.A. would have gotten Villanueva rolled into the Marcum trade, or he would have gotten a decent second player.

Boston should make the post-season.   Baltimore should not be better than us.   Tampa Bay should not be better than us.   If New York does not get Lee, Pettitte or Greinke (but we get Greinke), we just might beat them.   This is the window of opportunity I speak of.   I think a Trade for a piece, without "stripping the minors", and a free agent piece, without crippling the Team financially is possible.   Doing this each off-season should be feasible, while smaller trades, drafting, international signings (or normal Alex stuff) keep the minors getting stronger.   If no one agrees, fine, now you know what I believe.

85bluejay - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 08:37 AM EST (#227168) #

sam

well said - completely agree - I'm amazed that the same fans who give JP the longest rope, are now impatient

after just 1 yr. of AA - I like the Marcum trade, hope they are shopping Bautista - somebody is going to overpay

for Greinke, hope it isn't the Jays - AA has given every indication that 2011 is another building year and I'm okay with

that.

Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 08:49 AM EST (#227171) #

This move pretty much kills any Jays interest in Greinke right?   Seems like it would be a complete waste to trade young assets for him, given the Red Sox lineup.  If the Yankees sign Lee it's game over, let Arencibia catch, see if Lind can play first, let Drabek and Stewart have a shot at the rotation, etc.

Dave Till - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 08:57 AM EST (#227172) #
This, unfortunately, is one of the occupational hazards of doing business in the AL East - two of the teams in the division have extremely deep pockets. I fully expect the Yankees to counter by paying whatever it takes to get either Lee or Greinke.

The worst part is when people praise the Red Sox or Yankees front offices for being full of clever people. How easy is it to win when you can order up the best players from free agency or from cash-strapped opponents like ordering breakfast from a room-service menu?

The risk that the Jays run in playing the long game is that the fan base may lose interest. If attendance plummets at Ted's Shed this summer, will Rogers stick to their long term plan, or will they cut their losses and bail?

ayjackson - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 08:58 AM EST (#227173) #
I agree Paul. It looks like a sellers market. The Jays should be looking to cash in on Bautista, if anything.
Moe - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 09:33 AM EST (#227176) #
The Mets picked up Emaus in the rule 5 draft. The Jays took a pass.



Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 09:47 AM EST (#227177) #
The Red Sox payroll in 2010 was $160 million.  It looks like it is going to be something over $150 million at least for the next few years.  Anthopoulos has said that he recognizes that the Jays are a large market team. What this means is that the club will need to spend something close to the Red Sox figure in order to have a chance to be regularly competitive. I am not in any way suggesting that 2011 is the year to begin that pattern, but the clock is ticking.

Alex Obal - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 09:52 AM EST (#227178) #
With Gonzalez, Ortiz, Crawford, Drew, and Ellsbury, you'd think the Sox would consider signing Downs just so they won't have to face him.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 09:57 AM EST (#227179) #
Carl Crawford's BBRef comparables are awfully impressive for a guy with a career OPS+ of 107. The two best comps are Roberto Clemente and Johnny Damon.  The negative one on the list would be Cesar Cedeno. 

Clemente has quite a few oddities in his stat line.  Here are a couple.  He hit more triples in his 30s than in his 20s, despite playing from age 20-37.  He had more triples than stolen bases every year in his 30s.  Somehow I don't think Crawford is going to do that!



Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:04 AM EST (#227180) #
I thought about that Alex, but the Sox actually hit LHP noticeably better than RHP last year; that will probably be reversed in 2011 but they should be pretty spectacular against anyone.  Lowrie switches, but hits lefties much, much better.  And they have Pedroia, Youkilis and Cameron. 

Obviously they could use a lefty out of the pen nonetheless.:)

Magpie - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:08 AM EST (#227181) #
Seven years, $142 million for a player - for a left fielder - with a career OPS+ of 107? A guy who has had exactly one season when his OPS+ rose above 117? (Lyle Overbay's managed that three times.) A guy who's a fine defender solely because of his tremendous speed, but will now spend half his time patrolling the smallest left field area in the major leagues.

Interesting.
bpoz - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:24 AM EST (#227182) #
So then the only soft spot in Boston's line up is catcher? They have improved their speed & defense... but has their Hr power been weakened?

I have heard and believe that a line up with no soft spots will eventually "get" most pitchers and really kill the bullpen.

So do the NYY still have the strongest line up?
Forkball - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:25 AM EST (#227183) #
The worst part is when people praise the Red Sox or Yankees front offices for being full of clever people. How easy is it to win when you can order up the best players from free agency or from cash-strapped opponents like ordering breakfast from a room-service menu?

Well, it's hard to look clever when you have lots and lots of money and it makes sense to sign the best players.  The problem you run into is when you sign the 2nd tier free agents to big money and they're generally smart about avoiding that.  But it would be interesting to see how they might operate on a $100 million budget.

The risk that the Jays run in playing the long game is that the fan base may lose interest.  If attendance plummets at Ted's Shed this summer, will Rogers stick to their long term plan, or will they cut their losses and bail?

I think it's hard to argue that the fan base has been very interested; attendance was 1.5 million for a 85 win team this year.

And I think AA has been executing his plan pretty much as laid out.  If anything, he's probably ahead of where he anticipated being a year ago so I can't see where Rogers wouldn't be buying in.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:30 AM EST (#227185) #
The career OPS+ for Crawford severely understates what he is likely to do.  The Rays brought him up at age 20, and he was terrible for a couple of years.  For comparison sake, Roberto Clemente had an OPS+ of 107 through age 28, Johnny Damon had an OPS+ of 99, Carlos Beltran had an OPS+ of 113 and Vernon Wells had an OPS+ of 108. 

Of course, it is not likely that he will deliver $20 million of value annually for 7 years...

Mike D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:35 AM EST (#227186) #
This tips me permanently into the camp in favour of expanding the playoffs, which thankfully looks like it's going to happen.
Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:40 AM EST (#227187) #
The risk that the Jays run in playing the long game is that the fan base may lose interest.

I wonder what that would be like.
TamRa - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:49 AM EST (#227191) #
So do the NYY still have the strongest line up?

They are close but I don't think so.I think they are real close to each other right now.

I think the jays are closer to them than most will say but clearly behind them.

I think the jays right now are clearly better than the Rays and O's.

If the season started next week, we'd be the obvious choice for 3rd and a pretty dark horse for 2nd if everything went right for us and a lot went wrong for one of the Evil empires.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:00 AM EST (#227193) #
Incidentally, I don't subscribe to Paul's view that the fact that the Jays are unlikely to compete should push up the timetables for Drabek and Stewart.  The club needed to assess what was best for the players' medium term development, taking into account factors such as command, composure and focus, and act accordingly.  The assessment (at least as regards the start of the season) by the club's likely competitiveness. Obviously, a club may be more hesitant to bring in a young pitcher in the middle of a pennant race than if the club is out of contention. 
Thomas - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:03 AM EST (#227194) #
Alex Anthopoulos spent a considerable amount of time trying to acquire Justin Upton, and failing to do so.   Excuse: they want too much.  

So, would you pay whatever Arizona wanted for Upton?

Alex then spends significant time on an acquisition of Zack Greinke, and failing to do so (as yet).   Excuse: they want too much. 

So, would you pay whatever KC wanted for Greinke?

Then Alex says (to paraphrase): he's in on so many deals / trades that he's dealing with too much.  

You're paraphrasing wrong. He said it was easier last year, when he came to the meetings with the sole goal of trading Halladay, then it is this year when he has multiple potential trades and signings. At no point did he say it's "too much."

Then the Shaun Marcum trade, and still needing a P.T.B.N.L. for Carlos Villanueva.   An on-the-ball A.A. would have gotten Villanueva rolled into the Marcum trade, or he would have gotten a decent second player.

This assertion is based on what evidence, exactly?
Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:11 AM EST (#227195) #
Let's put it this way: it's never time to panic. It's never time to go against your better judgment. It's never time to make a deal that hurts the team. It is likely that Anthopoulos knows all this.

There are times to focus on short-term return over long-term return. I don't think the Jays have reached that point. But even if they had, that still doesn't mean that they have to let the Royals or D-Backs hold them up.

What is the logic? We have to do something right now! This is something! Therefore we have to do it!

Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:13 AM EST (#227196) #
I don't know what Crawford's issues might be about playing CF, but that would, in my mind, be a way for the Red Sox to get much more value out of the contract. They could then flip Ellsbury and find a RHB for LF to balance out the lineup.

The Green Monster will mean that for half his games, Crawford will not be able to adequately leverage his superb defensive skills. It's like hiring Joshua Bell to pluck a fiddle at a square dance.
Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:18 AM EST (#227198) #

This assertion is based on what evidence, exactly?

What kind of crazy talk is this? This is the internet. Evidence is optional.

Paul D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:18 AM EST (#227199) #
Incidentally, I don't subscribe to Paul's view that the fact that the Jays are unlikely to compete should push up the timetables for Drabek and Stewart.

My point is more that they shouldn't be traded for Greinke or any other player on a two year window.   Sure, if you think they need more AAA time, keep them there.
bpoz - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:25 AM EST (#227203) #
NYY did not make the playoffs in 2008 & Boston in 2010. They then reacted by BIG FA signings & a big trade that will require big $.

I hope neither team wins the 2011 wild card.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:27 AM EST (#227204) #
Evidence?  You want evidence? I'll show you evidence.
Shaker - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:29 AM EST (#227205) #
[guess I put this in the wrong post]

So here are the actual 3 year average (2008-2010) stats for 2 very good fielding LF, prorated to 600 AB:

Player A:  46 SB, 18 CS, .293 AVG and .346 OBP

Player B:  48 SB, 12 CS, .297 AVG and .349 OBP

 

Player B is the better player, his name is Carl Crawford and his salary is over $20M.

Player B is the "optimal" platoon of Rajai Davis and FA Scott Podsednik.  Combined salary would be less than $5M

 

Do you see $15M worth of difference?  I donít.

Yes Carl has more power but Iím not sure we need that.  His SLG was .454 whereas our platoon was .406.  Buying a $15M slugger should take care of that if you like.  Defense would be close, too.


Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:32 AM EST (#227206) #
This tips me permanently into the camp in favour of expanding the playoffs, which thankfully looks like it's going to happen.

Were the Jays in the AL Central, say, would you still think this? I don't ask rhetorically as I really don't know your answer. It just seems, based on your comment, that part of your motivation is that a playoff spot would now open up for a third AL East team in general, and one in specific.

The dilution of the playoffs is a distasteful inevitability as far as I am concerned. I really like that the regular season means a great deal. In fact, I would like to see it mean more. Recognizing that time zones and flight schedules and rivalries are all impediments, I would prefer to see a single divison in each of the AL and NL. Top four teams get in. Top two get home field advantage.
Parker - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:48 AM EST (#227213) #

Regarding Crawford's somewhat pedestrian career OPS+

OPS+ doesn't take baserunning into account, right?  I'm not saying the contract is a good deal for the Sox, but it's a much better deal than if Crawford ran the bases like Lyle Overbay.

whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:49 AM EST (#227214) #

Chuck, when your idea gets serious consideration from MLB I'll get behind it. It is a better idea, no doubt, but it isn't the one floating around out there for whatever reason. Until then, this is the only proposal I've seen that evens the playing field for the Jays, Rays and Orioles.  I don't like the idea of building a team from scratch that is better than everyone else in baseball only to have the Red Sox and Yankees buy 3 type A FA's each to surpass us and  I don't like the idea that we can conceivably be the third best team in baseball and not have a shot at the playoffs.

I would also argue that the addition of a second wild-card would place a premium on winning the division, which I think is a good thing. Its not perfect, but its better than what we have.

John Northey - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:10 PM EST (#227223) #
I'd agree with adding a 2nd wildcard. Make it so wildcards have a tougher road (I'd love a one game playoff to determine who gets to face the strongest division winner) and we get a bit more fun with the end of season races.

I miss the old 2 division format, but know that since they split each league into 2 we haven't had a pure playoff anyways. Heck, I'd be perfectly fine with an NHL/NBA style setup if it wasn't for the snow we'd be watching guys play in during the 100% in November World Series - although that could be fun to watch on TV.
Forkball - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:13 PM EST (#227224) #
The Green Monster will mean that for half his games, Crawford will not be able to adequately leverage his superb defensive skills.

I think this is overblown.  He'll have less fly balls to catch, but that doesn't mean his impact is minimized.  There's lots of balls that go off the wall that you can keep to a single if you play it quickly and well.  And he'll be shallower so he'll have the opportunity to catch line drives that would be easy singles if he were at a 'normal' LF depth.

But yeah, you'd probably prefer him to play RF than LF.
Mike D - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:25 PM EST (#227226) #

Were the Jays in the AL Central, say, would you still think this? I don't ask rhetorically as I really don't know your answer. It just seems, based on your comment, that part of your motivation is that a playoff spot would now open up for a third AL East team in general, and one in specific.

Yes.  I would be very sympathetic to whatever other teams were in the AL East.  If La Liga in Spain were divided into divisions like baseball with a "division winner/one wild card" format, I would have a problem with both Real Madrid and Barcelona being put in the same division, and I'd be highly sympathetic to the complaints of whatever random Spanish sides were permanently put in with them.

The dilution of the playoffs is a distasteful inevitability as far as I am concerned. I really like that the regular season means a great deal. In fact, I would like to see it mean more. Recognizing that time zones and flight schedules and rivalries are all impediments, I would prefer to see a single divison in each of the AL and NL. Top four teams get in. Top two get home field advantage.

I would support this wholeheartedly.  I don't see why a team playing in Minnesota, Cleveland or Texas should enjoy a massive, seemingly permanent structural competitive advantage over teams playing in Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto.  Your proposal would generally eliminate it (leaving the competitive environment somewhat less fair to AL teams than to NL teams, although not terribly so).  But if it's not going to happen, then an extra playoff spot is the least baseball can do.

Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:38 PM EST (#227228) #

But if it's not going to happen, then an extra playoff spot is the least baseball can do.

You're probably right. And it means more revenue for MLB, which is really the driving force. 

Even a return to two divisions per league, an east and a west, with two division winners and two wild cards, if even from the same division. Nah, apparently we need five playoff teams.

ayjackson - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:42 PM EST (#227229) #

The Angels must have cash burning a hole in their pockets.  Losing out on FA's left, right and centre.

I wonder if they have a top prospect they'd be desperate enough to trade for a silver slugging right fielder? 

whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 01:47 PM EST (#227230) #
How about a CF with an albatross contract?
Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 02:17 PM EST (#227233) #
The Angels must have cash burning a hole in their pockets.

Adrian Beltre would now seem to be earmarked for a good chunk of that, no?
ayjackson - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 02:20 PM EST (#227234) #
I don't agree that going to 10 playoff teams in a 30 team league is too many, but I haven't seen a satisfactory 10-team proposal out of the league office yet.
Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 02:53 PM EST (#227235) #

How about a CF with an albatross contract?

Gary Matthews? Yup, that's a stinker and plenty of observers called it from the day they signed it. But there's only 1 year and $10.9M left on it so it's not a big factor going forward.

Vernon Wells? 4 years and $86M remaining. I'm no longer convinced that's more than he'd get on the open market, not when Jayson Werth gets 7 years and $126M. It's now interesting that Wells has the option to opt out after 2011, forgoing the final 3 years and $63M. If he repeats his 2010 he just might do it.
Chuck - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:21 PM EST (#227238) #

If he repeats his 2010 he just might do it.

Unfortunately for Wells, 2011 is an odd-numbered year. And that hasn't spelled good news since 2003.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:27 PM EST (#227241) #
Wells' opt out right gives the Jays one more reason to move him to right field now.  If he doesn't like it, the response is simple: "go ahead, put up good numbers, then opt out and choose a team that will play you in centerfield".  He might find that he actually likes it because he wears down less as the season goes on. 
Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:35 PM EST (#227243) #
Wells' opt out right gives the Jays one more reason to move him to right field now.  If he doesn't like it, the response is simple: "go ahead, put up good numbers, then opt out and choose a team that will play you in centerfield".  He might find that he actually likes it because he wears down less as the season goes on.

That sounds okay to me, but who plays centre? Davis? Mastroianni?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:47 PM EST (#227248) #
Davis to centerfield, Wells to rightfield, Bautista to first base. 
Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 03:48 PM EST (#227249) #

Pending further acquisitions, the best lineup the Jays can field today is something like this:

C Arencibia
1B Lind
2B McDonald
3B Hill
SS Escobar
LF Wells
CF Davis
RF Bautista
DH Snider

Which is to say, no current impediments to moving Wells off centre.

Not that it's even a remote possibility that the 40-man won't change between now and spring training... with Emaus gone the bench looks like Molina-Mastroianni-McCoy and your choice of Lawrie or Hechavarria.

Waveburner - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 07:57 PM EST (#227267) #
Is Lawrie really on the 40 man already? The Jays site lists him but he was a HS draftee in '08. Not even the College guys need protection yet. Is this a mistake or am I missing something?
sam - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 07:58 PM EST (#227268) #
What about something like this,
Davis RF
Escobar SS
Bautista 3B
Wells CF
Lind 1B
Hill 2B
Snider LF
Arencibia C
Thames DH

I think that DH/1B spot can easily be filled through free agency. I think it's obvious that there'll be more moves this offseason.

Also to reiterate a previous point about competing. Does that lineup really compare to New York or Boston?

Crawford
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youk
Papi
Drew
Scutaro
Tek
Ellsbury

or

Granderson
Jeter
Cano
Rodriguez
Tex
Swisher
Posada
Nick Johnson?
Gardner
Jonny German - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 08:57 PM EST (#227270) #
Is Lawrie really on the 40 man already? The Jays site lists him but he was a HS draftee in '08. Not even the College guys need protection yet. Is this a mistake or am I missing something?

I think it's either an error on the Jays site or the Brewers agreed to add him early when they signed him.

What about something like this... Thames DH

That's not necessarily a better lineup than the one with Johnny Mac in it, but I agree that it makes sense to have Thames on the team over Hech or Lawrie. I didn't consider him because he's not on the 40.

The lineup has nothing on Boston or New York as it currently sits, and it will still trail them when AA is done his offseason. But it will get much better, and there's upside across the board.
christaylor - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 09:05 PM EST (#227271) #
Can't go wrong with a link to the best Sphere not covered in leather...
sweat - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 10:50 PM EST (#227274) #
I heard Bautista say in an interview with Mike Wilner that he doesn't want to play first, because it would be a waste of his best defensive asset, his arm.  If you were going to move Vernon anywhere, it would be left.  I would also be more inclined to have Snider play right over Vernon, as it seems to me Snider has a better arm than Wells.
Matthew E - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:04 PM EST (#227275) #
I'm a fan, but I'm not a charity.  Rogers had a $4.09 billion dollar gross profit last year.  If the head bean counter, Nadir, doesn't want to invest in the team, that's his perogative.  If fans continue to stay away in droves, that's their perogative.  Nobody is at fault.  If and when the product improves to the point where the team has a reasonable chance to contend, I'll be back.

That's one way to look at it. I look at it this way:

I'd love to still live close enough to Toronto to go to ballgames regularly. I'm not a charity either, which is why, when I put down money at the ticket counter, I expect to get a ticket in return. So far I have, every time I've tried it. And more often than not, I've seen a real good ballgame. I haven't regretted such a transaction once, whether the Jays were headed to the playoffs that year or not.

Of course, if you'd rather have a grievance than a good chance of seeing an entertaining baseball game in person, that's your prerogative.
Magpie - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:19 PM EST (#227276) #
The Rays brought him up at age 20, and he was terrible for a couple of years.

True, but even if we toss them out, his career OPS+ is still just 113, and he's still only had one year better than 117...

I'm not saying the contract is a good deal for the Sox, but it's a much better deal than if Crawford ran the bases like Lyle Overbay.

Yes, and it would be even better if Crawford could get on base like Lyle Overbay, whose career OBP is .358. Crawford's had exactly one season when he was able to surpass that.

you'd probably prefer him to play RF than LF.

If the man doesn't throw well enough to play CF, he's certainly not going to play out in RF.

Crawford's a good player, but he's absolutely not a superstar. His power is nothing to write home about (he has never hit 20 HRs or slugged .500 - this past season is the closest he's ever come.) Well, that's not his job - he's a top of the order hitter. But he simply doesn't get on base all that often - he's a .300 hitter, but he doesn't take a lot of walks so his OnBase is above average, but that's all. Which is why he's scored 100 runs just three times in his career - and that is his job. He's never led the league in anything except the speed categories (stolen bases and triples). He's a wonderful left fielder with great range, but he's still just a left fielder. And of course left field in Fenway is the size of a postage stamp anyway, and the foul territory is essentially non-existent..

So I think this is quite a bit like the contract Ricciardi gave Vernon Wells after his career year. There are all kinds of ways it can turn out worse - Crawford's central skill, his speed, often doesn't  age as well as power.... Which means that when Wells is in the final year of his contract, he may actually be a better player at that moment than Carl Crawford, by then in the fourth year of his....

On the other hand - Crawford was indeed very good last year, much better than he's ever been before - contract year or not - and he could certainly do the same thing again, a time or two. And as the Red Sox also seem capable of printing their own money, so I don't imagine they have to sweat the consequences down the road.

dan gordon - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:23 PM EST (#227277) #
No, the Jays lineup isn't close at the moment, but they still have a lot of work to do - that's why they still have 3 spots open on the 40 man, and I've seen where AA said they might still have to drop others off to make room.  If you look at the guys who played more than a handful of games for the team last year, so far they have dropped Buck, Encarnacion, Overbay, Wise, Lewis, Gregg, Downs, Tallet and Marcum.  That's a lot of bodies.  The only guys brought in who will likely be with the Jays to start the season are Villanueva and Davis.  Arencibia, maybe Drabek/Stewart/Rzepczynski will get promotions, but that still leaves a lot of talent to replace.  Unless they are not really trying to do much in 2011, and are waiting for future years, which is  something I thought about when I heard the Marcum deal.  If they want to have any kind of shot in 2011, they need to add 2 guys for 1B/3B/DH/OF - assuming they have Lind and Bautista for 2 of those spots, and that Wells and Snider man 2 other OF posts and Davis is the 4th OF.  I think they would be well served by adding a decent catcher as well - I know they are apparently 1 of 4 teams to have made an offer for Russell Martin, but the Yanks or Red Sox will probably get him.  Frankly, though, I think dealing Marcum has done them in for 2011, unless they can somehow replace his performance level - mid 3's ERA and 5th best WHIP in the league.
Thomas - Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 11:56 PM EST (#227279) #
Crawford's central skill, his speed, often doesn't  age as well as power.... Which means that when Wells is in the final year of his contract, he may actually be a better player at that moment than Carl Crawford, by then in the fourth year of his....

Didn't Bill James demonstrate that players with Crawford's profile tend to age very well, given that batting eye and power are typically two of the last skills players develop?

As for that Vernon Wells proposition, I will take the Crawford side against anybody who wants to bet on Wells, in a heartbeat.
electric carrot - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 12:09 AM EST (#227280) #
I will take the Crawford side against anybody who wants to bet on Wells, in a heartbeat

not sure what your bet is here -- but I would bet that Crawford's contract will play out worse for the Sox than Wells' will for the Jays. When I saw the #s for Crawford's contract I said to myself "Did the Red Sox learn NOTHING from the Vernon Wells deal?" 

As far as I am concerned this is nearly the same kind of deal with a different team and a different player attached -- oh yeah -- and way more money involved.

Red Sox I'd like you to meet albatross. Albatross, this is The Red Sox.

ha ha.  (but unfortunately not till after 2013).



 


christaylor - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 12:14 AM EST (#227281) #
"Didn't Bill James demonstrate that players with Crawford's profile tend to age very well, given that batting eye and power are typically two of the last skills players develop? "

He showed that players with "old skills" walks/power don't age very well -- which really isn't the same thing. Any power/eye Crawford will have would have developed by now.

Alex Obal - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 12:18 AM EST (#227282) #
It would be tough to make criteria that satisfy everyone. A fair amount of Crawford's value is intangible. A fair amount of Wells' 'value' as measured by your favorite catchall stat will hinge on his defense, which will likely be good in a corner, and not so good in CF.
TamRa - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 12:51 AM EST (#227283) #
Vernon Wells? 4 years and $86M remaining. I'm no longer convinced that's more than he'd get on the open market, not when Jayson Werth gets 7 years and $126M. It's now interesting that Wells has the option to opt out after 2011, forgoing the final 3 years and $63M. If he repeats his 2010 he just might do it.

It's fascinating.

In light of the Werth and Crawford deals,I'm reminded of what i wrote 2 years ago:

http://thesouthpawbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/11/in-depth-look-at-vernons-contract.html



92-93 - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:09 AM EST (#227284) #
If a contender was willing to go 5/80, you have to think Vernon would want out. Just hope he puts up a 100r 30hr 100rbi 10sb .290 season.
Thomas - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:23 AM EST (#227285) #
not sure what your bet is here -- but I would bet that Crawford's contract will play out worse for the Sox than Wells' will for the Jays. When I saw the #s for Crawford's contract I said to myself "Did the Red Sox learn NOTHING from the Vernon Wells deal?"

My bet was in response to the comment of Magpie's I quoted right above my post. Namely, that in four years Wells may be a better player than Crawford is in four years (which is how I read it). I have no idea how one would measure "play out," unless you are talking about pure performance.
Thomas - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:25 AM EST (#227286) #
"Bet" should have been in quotation marks, as Magpie never suggested anything more than that it was a possibility Wells would be better. He didn't say he thought it was likely. However, I would bet anybody who did.
Magpie - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 07:42 AM EST (#227291) #
a possibility Wells would be better

Yes, quite possible even if not exactly likely. (Simply because Crawford is younger.) And it's also true that when players with great speed get old, they become players with good speed. (i.e. not too slow to play.)
Mike Green - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 09:30 AM EST (#227293) #
The likelihood that Wells will be better than Crawford in 3 years is under 20%.  Wells will either be very clearly a terrible defensive centerfielder at that point, or an obviously lesser defensive corner outfielder than Crawford.  The possibility that he is better rests on significant offensive improvement from Wells in his early 30s.  Occasionally that happens (Jose Cruz Sr., Chili Davis), but not very often. 

Subjectively, I believe that Crawford is going to adapt to Fenway like a duck to water, and post a bunch of .310/.380/.500+ lines in the next few years.
christaylor - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 09:38 AM EST (#227294) #
"if Wells remains a guy who is a 110 or better OPS+ player on average over the next three yerars, he will have a strong financial incentive to opt out"

I think this might end up being true, yet Wells will probably not opt out... perhaps because he's comfortable and the sense is that his 07/09 so damaged his reputation.

Good blog post, like much of what you've written here and elsewhere in the past...
christaylor - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 09:48 AM EST (#227295) #
This tends to get brought up in the context of CC -- but I'm not sure how much added value there is being the best defensive LF in baseball. I agree he'll probably adapt well to Fenway at the dish (perhaps not .310/.380/.000 well) because of the park and the lineup but, he may not adapt well to playing the quirky LF everyday. I'm not also convinced that defensive stats that we have now even capture the oddities of LF in Fenway... one of which exposes Crawford's arm (players trying to Green Monster singles into doubles).
bpoz - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 10:20 AM EST (#227297) #
Regarding good players like Wells & Crawford... I am only using them as examples... because we know whom they play for, know their team mates and OK Wells has to face BOS but Crawford does not.

I just want to talk baseball theory & winning theory if those two sort of vague concepts exist.
I am really looking for peoples expertise here, which I find very valuable.
I am going to say that the Jays line up has more potential power, the RSox definitely more speed, someone prove this right or wrong, if possible.

I seem to be unable to express what I want to say because I am finding it too complicated. I will just throw some factors out and hope a few are not nonsense.

Boston's lineup has more experience,patience,speed,only Catcher may be a soft spot and they may swing at fewer bad pitches.

Toronto has more power,maybe only 1 soft spot in the lineup.I will assume the unknown 1B/DH bat is going to produce a lot (20+Hr). Also Jay's new team offensive style.

So now comparing Wells & Crawford:
Crawford Speed...Wells power.
The need of the team in general... Wells drive in runs, Crawford less urgent that he drive in runs? So they should approach their roles differently?
Injuries will make a definite statement but which home park has the offensive advantage. Dome Open/Closed.
Does one player have an advantage over the other, big or small?
Sorry for being so unclear and Thank You.
Hodgie - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 10:45 AM EST (#227300) #
Tom Tango posted an article yesterday at insidethebook.com looking at the aging curve of great "speed" players. He surmised that great speed players do see a slightly smaller regression in WAR than the average great player.

That got me thinking about what seems to be a common theme in the blogsphere these days, that being WAR over values defense and thus over states the value of speed dependent players such as Crawford. If there is some truth to that thought (and I confess to not have a clue) I can't help but wonder if the expected WAR regression for Crawford is greater than what is currently being predicted.

I am curious as to the Box's thoughts on the matter. Oh, and I know it really doesn't mean much of anything but I happened to notice that Crawford has a career .708 OPS at Fenway in 76 games. Of course, it is still a small sample AND he won't be facing Boston pitching while playing there but a guy can dream.

david wang - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 11:40 AM EST (#227304) #
What would it take to pull Grady Sizemore off the Indians?

Isn't that a big risk trade that the Jays might want to try?
Forkball - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:28 PM EST (#227309) #
Not really.  He'll be 28 next season and is coming off of seasons where he missed lots of games.  It's starting to look like he peaked at 23.

That'd be similar to the opposite of the Marcum trade.

I'd guess that any player the Jays acquire, that they look to be a core player, is going to be 25 or under.

John Northey - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 01:36 PM EST (#227310) #
An interesting one David...
Sizemore: $7.5/$8.5 million in 2011/2012, age 28/29 seasons (in prime). Had 4 years of 120-130 OPS+ then a 110 then a 58 last year over 140 PA (ugh). His fielding went from a solid plus to a negative in the last 2 years in CF. In 2009 he was worth $8.6 mil according to FanGraphs (-$1.2 last year) so even at that level he is worth his contract.

If the Jay scouts feel he is recovered enough to be a solid everyday player, then we might have something here. Cleveland is projected to have a $53 million payroll on B-R right now and after losing 93 last year odds are they won't contend in 2011/2012. Depending on what they ask for it might be a good 'buy low' opportunity. Would we take Travis Hafner also in order to save Cleveland another $13 mil each of the next 2 years (plus $2.75 buyout in 2013)? He has hit as high as a 181 OPS+, lifetime 139 but injured big time in 08-09 but had a 131 OPS+ last year over 110 games. He is a DH who can play 1B in an emergency.

So $20 mil a year, we get (potentially) 2 big bats into the lineup for 2 years. You'd have to clear out an outfielder who is here though to do it.

Makes one wonder about a Travis Snider or Bautista trade to get a prime ace for the rotation or really good 3B. Quite the thing to picture.
TamRa - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:04 PM EST (#227314) #
I've lost track of the original comment, but the comparison of the wisdom of the Wells deal to the wisdom of the Crawford deal needs to be a comparison of years from the signing, not calendar years.

Wells signed his deal just after his 28th birthday and it was an extension to a previous deal that let stand the last year of that deal so, by default, included the existing year.

From that day he was under contract for 8 ensuing seasons (assuming no opt out) at the following rate of pay (bonuses included:

'07 - 5.6
'08 - 9.0
'09 - 10.0
'10 - 21.0
'11 - 23.0
'12 - 21.0
'13 - 21.0
'14 - 21.0

Crawford signed at 29 years and 4 months, and it averages a bit over $20 million over the next 7 years. Which is to say that, if the money is distributed evenly (we don't know yet) then only one of Well's years is noticebaly more expensive than each of Crawford's years, and three of them were remarkably more inexpensive.

So the comparison, to be valid, is Wells in '07 v. Crawford in '11, Wells in '10 v. Crawford in '14, Wells in '13 v. Crawford in '17

so, in other word - as we look ahead to the '11 season, are we more comfortable - or as comfortable - with Wells at $23 million as the Sox will be five years from Now looking at Crawford making a bit over $20 million at the age of 34.

To be consistant with the logic I described in that blog post, I'm going to argue the Sox will be fine with that BECAUSE prices continue to inflate. $20 million in '11 is noteable more money, in the baseball economy, than$20 million in '15

In other words, by the time Crawford's value begins to decline, the relative burden of his contract also declines.

As it has and will continue to with Wells.

given that the baseball economy has apparently recovered, and given that there's a new TV contract coming up, I'm going to say that IF Wells' decision is based on money alone (and it might not be) he will opt out.

5/85 (17 per AAV) trumps 3/63

And if that offer comes from the Rangers, it has the temptation of home and is a better hitting enviornment.

but he has to post another 120-something OPS+ this year and not be wretched on defense or he won't get such an offer.


Parker - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:36 PM EST (#227319) #

I'd love to still live close enough to Toronto to go to ballgames regularly. I'm not a charity either, which is why, when I put down money at the ticket counter, I expect to get a ticket in return. So far I have, every time I've tried it. And more often than not, I've seen a real good ballgame. I haven't regretted such a transaction once, whether the Jays were headed to the playoffs that year or not.

I couldn't agree more.  The girlfriend and I were lucky enough to be treated to back-to-back wins against the Yankees in June.  We enjoyed a good old-fashioned whuppin' of A.J. Burnett (Joey Bats went deep twice!) in the first game, and a 14-inning nail-biter in the second game that almost caused us to miss our flight home .  It's obviously much more enjoyable when the good guys win, but just being there was an amazing experience.  A lot of you folk who live within reasonable driving distance of Jays games don't know just how good you have it.

CSHunt68 - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 02:48 PM EST (#227320) #
"Crawford's central skill, his speed, often doesn't  age as well as power"
Speed is the last thing to go on a player, as has been pointed out.
christaylor - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 03:39 PM EST (#227324) #
"Bautista trade to get a prime ace for the rotation or really good 3B."

I've wondered about this...I've landed on the opinion that Bautista wouldn't bring very much back in trade now. There's just too much uncertainty with him, both about his performance next year and how much he'll cost past 2011. On the other hand, I think he's almost certain to be traded in June/July and the return will depend entirely on how much he regresses.
Ryan C - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:18 PM EST (#227330) #
I think he's almost certain to be traded in June/July and the return will depend entirely on how much he regresses.

You assume he will regress. I don't take that as a given.
TamRa - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 04:43 PM EST (#227333) #
well, he can regress SOME and almost certainly will - but it's not a given (or likely) he regresses to his previous level.

if he drops back to, say, around 35 homers on the year he'd still be a damned valuable player. but that wold technically be a regression.

Personally i think repeating 50 homers would almost exactly as shocking as having done it the first time.


Magpie - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 05:18 PM EST (#227339) #
Speed is the last thing to go on a player, as has been pointed out.

For some guys, sure (think Davey Lopes, and lots of other guys.). But for some guys, it's the first thing that goes. (Think Reggie Jackson, and lots of other guys.) I think Crawford will more likely be in the Lopes camp - he won't be as fast, but he'll still be fast.

Other Crawford notes - he's been a little bit better on turf (.301/.342/.459) than on grass (.291/.332/.425) I think this is what you'd expect from a guy whose offense is basically speed and batting average. He hasn't hit particularly well in his 76 career games at Fenway. That may have more to do with Boston's pitching than the park, although until the emergence of Jon Lester the Red Sox basically haven't had any LH pitching during Crawford's career.
BumWino - Friday, December 10 2010 @ 05:53 PM EST (#227341) #
Hey, Mike.  Thanks for the link.  Man, I could really dig Monk's beanie.
scottt - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 11:10 AM EST (#227368) #
On Crawford, it's as simple as comparing his Fenway numbers to his numbers facing Boston--or to his number facing Boston at home if you can find that.
Magpie - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 02:47 PM EST (#227384) #
On Crawford, it's as simple as comparing his Fenway numbers to his numbers facing Boston--or to his number facing Boston at home if you can find that.

Good thinking! Crawford vs Red Sox pitchers, at home and away...

              G   PA   AB    R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  SB  CS  BB  SO  BAVG   OBP   SLG  OPS
at Fenway    76   338  320  35  88  24   3   4  33  26   1   9  61  .275  .301 .406 .708
at the Trop  68   301  284  44  93   8   6   8  28  36   3  12  45  .327  .349  .482 .831
Crawford's overall numbers  vs the Red Sox (.300/.330/.442) are very close indeed to his career numbers against everyone (.296/.337/.444).
Parker - Saturday, December 11 2010 @ 03:34 PM EST (#227386) #
Lots of doubles at Fenway, but that that K/BB ratio sure looks ugly.  Boston must've figured that wasn't a very significant sample size (especially given that Boston's pitchers walked more batters than any other team in the AL in 2010) because a .301 OBP from your leadoff htiter isn't exactly thrilling, especially when you're paying the guy superstar money.
scottt - Sunday, December 12 2010 @ 07:23 PM EST (#227438) #
That will be very interesting to watch, but Boston should have high OBP guys in the 2nd and 3rd slot anyway.
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