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Sportsnet's Shi Davidi says second baseman Kelly Johnson has accepted arbitration from the Blue Jays.

Kelly Johnson on JaysVision during lineup introductions against the Yankees September 18.  The 29 year-old, acquired from Arizona for second baseman Aaron Hill and shortstop John McDonald in late August, made $5.85-million in 2011.

Kelly Johnson will get to exchange more high-fives with the Blue Jays in 2012 after accepting arbitration.  He gets congratulated after scoring the tying run in the ninth inning in an eventual 5-4 win over the Orioles at the Dome September 10.  Johnson batted .270/.364/.417 with four doubles, two triples, three home runs and nine runs batted in during his 33 games with the Jays last season.

Davidi also notes the following about Johnson's decision to accept arbitration.
"The decision removes another item from Alex Anthopoulosís winter checklist, although the general manager indicated Wednesday afternoon that Johnsonís decision wouldnít preclude the search for a longer-term solution at second base since he can also be used in left field."
The Toronto Star's Richard Griffin also expands on the possibility of Johnson playing left field for the Jays in 2012.

"Anthopoulos also explained that in an earlier telephone conversation he told Johnsonís agent, Mike Milchon, that there was a chance that if Johnson accepted, he could become a left fielder. If that was ever designed to send Johnson in another direction, it didnít work.

'Kellyís got positional flexibility as well. He played a lot of left field before. We talked about signing him as a left fielder. Thereís absolutely a scenario where he could be a candidate for left field. So we havenít ruled (that) out if thereís a player we can get. The fact that Kelly can go out there and play left, (means) thereís more competition for (jobs) and he can do more things for us. Weíre open-minded. Again, if we can get a core piece, a controllable piece, we have the ability to do that.' "

The Globe And Mail's Jeff Blair discusses the trade possibilities that exist with Johnson's decision to accept arbitration.
The Blue Jays already have two left-handed hitters who play left field in Travis Snider and Eric Thames, so that might increase the likelihood of a trade. Anthopoulos said he had other second base options available in the trade market if Johnson had declined the arbitration offer (the Jays would have received compensatory picks from the team signing him) but with the possibility of a left-field stint it is unclear whether Johnsonís decision actually closed the door firmly on those other options. The Blue Jays will now have to make a roster move Thursday to make room on their 40-man roster.

Johnson will not be the only one sampling the menu from Arby's as Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and Milwaukee Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez have also accepted arbitration.  Are you happy Johnson is back in the Jays nest for 2012 or would you have preferred the two draft picks instead?  The floor is yours, Bauxites.

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sam - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 01:41 AM EST (#248126) #
Yu Darvish will be posted tomorrow. There will be a four day silent auction, at which point Darvish's team will either accept the highest bid or decline. Darvish would then have 30 days to negotiate a contract with the the team whose bid was accepted. Either way, something will have to give in the next four days. Either the Jays bid big on Darvish or they pursue Gio Gonzalez and the trade route. It'll be really interesting to follow the Darvish situation along with the Fielder situation in the next couple days.
China fan - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 02:12 AM EST (#248127) #

Given that Anthopoulos doesn't like the unpleasantness of arbitration hearings, and has always managed to avoid them in his tenure as GM, are we likely going to see him working on a multi-year deal with Johnson?  A multi-year deal (even a 2-year deal with team-friendly options) would also make it easier for the Jays to trade Johnson mid-season if Hechavarria seems to be emerging fast, or if the Jays prefer another 2B from the trade market.

But personally I find it hard to believe that the Jays could find a better 2B in the next few weeks.  Johnson posted a .781 OPS with the Jays, completely consistent with his career OPS of .784.  Tthat's a huge upgrade over Aaron Hill's numbers with the Jays over the past couple of seasons -- and likely to be better than almost anyone else the Jays could find.

92-93 - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 02:26 AM EST (#248130) #
Obligatory Bill Risley mention.

The only reason Beeston & AA have started up this payroll parameters talk is to pretend they aren't seriously in on Darvish, right?
greenfrog - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 02:32 AM EST (#248131) #
I think AA is too smart to assume that KJ wouldn't accept arbitration, so he must be satisfied (if not exactly thrilled) with having him on the team in 2012. Of course, that might have been before the new "parameters" became a reality. The problem might be that the Jays are still in rebuild mode, the Santos trade notwithstanding, in which case Johnson (and foregoing the draft picks) represent more of an obstacle than a solution.

In any case, the Jays still look to be in good shape for next year's draft, with two first-round picks, three supp picks, and a second-rounder.
christaylor - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 03:37 AM EST (#248132) #
I don't see how having KJ on the team presents an obstacle in any situation. The new CBA and second wild card have changed how best to rebuild and the bar for much a team needs to be built to be a serious contender.

Add Darvish and Fielder to this team in a two wild-card playoff format, you've got a team that should and will be mentioned as a playoff contender.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 04:05 AM EST (#248133) #

I'm glad they have Johnson.

I was rather alarmed to see the story linked on the other thread that AA is still quite upset that he "had to trade Nestor Molina" and that, although he likes Santos, he didn't want to trade Molina.

TamRa - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 04:07 AM EST (#248134) #
meh, screw Fielder.

Darvish alone is enough to put the team on the map, IMO.

(with the usual caveats)

85bluejay - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 06:52 AM EST (#248137) #
I will be shocked if the Jays win (or bid seriously) for Darvish - I expect the Rangers/Yankees to win his rights. Except for Ichiro, I can't think of a Japanese player who has met/exceeded expectations since coming over. Fielder - forget about it, no Boras client is taking a 5 year deal when another penny is available.
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 07:35 AM EST (#248138) #

I would bid on Darvish before trading for Gio Gonzalez.  From the accounts I have read in the Detroit papers, I think the asking price is fairly high.  The A's were starting with the top two prospects in the Tiger system (Turner and Castellanos) along with some additional pieces.


There was also some speculation that Darvish may wait two years when he will be a free agent and I believe 27 years old because there is some concern on his part of only being able to negotiate with one team.  I guess we will see what happens.

85bluejay - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 07:57 AM EST (#248139) #
Hope the Jays take a shot at one of the LHP in the rule V draft - of course, with Johnson back, they have to drop a player & then a 2nd player if they decide to select someone in the Draft
budgell - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 08:24 AM EST (#248140) #

Good for the Jays?  Too early to tell. 

If they don't make any other "serious 2012 contender" type moves this off season I prefer the picks.  If we see Fielder or Darvish (or more likely an impact move that no one saw coming), I prefer KJ.


greenfrog - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 08:54 AM EST (#248142) #
Having KJ on the team is an obstacle in the sense that this is likely the last year the Jays will be able to inject talent into the farm system via a draft bonanza. With the new CBA, having extra draft picks will be harder than ever to come by for teams like Toronto (no more handful of Type B picks every year for players like Olivo, Gregg, Molina, Rauch and Francisco). If KJ had declined arbitration, the Jays would have had:

- Eight picks instead of six in the first two rounds of the 2012 draft

- An extra $7M or so to allocate to other needs

- No obstacle to acquiring Beckham or some other low-cost / long-term option at 2B

Of course, acquiring a 2B through a trade would have required giving up talent, and it's not clear that there was a player out there who would have outperformed KJ in 2012 (offensively, at least). All in all, I'm content with having KJ in the fold for next year.
Gerry - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 08:58 AM EST (#248143) #

The Jays have to drop a player from the 40 man roster to make room for Kelly Johnson.  Expect the announcement later today.

The Jays would also have to drop a second player to give them room to pick up someone in the rule 5 draft.

Charlie - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:04 AM EST (#248144) #
The Jays are apparently talking to the Mets about Jonathon Niese. He's 25, under team control until 2015 and his peripheral stats from 2011 suggest he might be a little better than his 4.40 ERA (in the NL!) attests. Specifically, he posted an above average strikeout rate (19.2%), a below average walk rate (6.3%) and was a solid groundball pitcher (1.10 GB/FB ratio), all which culminated in a 3.36 FIP.

The Mets are apparently looking for at least a placeholder starter and a prospect for Niese (or so says MLB Trade Rumors). Who would you feel comfortable with the Jays shipping out in return for Niese? Jesse Litsch may have been born to validate the phrase "placeholder starter", although it feels like his experience could be quite valuable to our rebuilt bullpen. As for prospects, I don't really have a good sense of what type the Mets go for.

At any rate, the fact that MLB Trade Rumors is reporting on the Jays' interest probably means we are anything but interested.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:07 AM EST (#248145) #
I think a lot of us feel AA's pain. Molina could turn out to be a very good MLB pitcher (and if Marco Paddy was recommending dealing Santos for him, that says something). Good arm, fabulous control, great makeup, still young, outstanding 2011 numbers. When you're an organization like the Jays, you want to stockpile as many good young arms as possible. Losing Molina was no doubt painful.
Forkball - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:15 AM EST (#248146) #
Given that Anthopoulos doesn't like the unpleasantness of arbitration hearings, and has always managed to avoid them in his tenure as GM, are we likely going to see him working on a multi-year deal with Johnson?

What would a multi-year contract accomplish?  AA loves flexibility so I'm not sure why he'd want to get tied up for more than 1 year on a 30 year old 2b coming off a terrible year.

More likely, I think Johnson will end up signing a 1 year deal for $6 million with a team option for the same amount in 2013.
John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:29 AM EST (#248147) #
Having Johnson isn't a negative, but I suspect the 2 draft picks would've (in the long run) been worth more. Still, you have a second baseman who has a strong incentive to play well in 2012 and could easily be traded if needed mid-season, perhaps for stronger prospects than you'd get in the draft.

As to Darvish, I'm glad the whole debate over him will be over soon and we'll finally know if the Jays are serious about him or not. I see him getting bids from $30 million (teams hoping for dumb luck) to a potential max of $60 million (beating the old record but not by a ton). It all depends on if you see him as an AJ Burnett (solid 110 ERA+ starter) or a Roy Halladay (superstar). Using the old 'double it over 5 year' rule you'd be looking at $60 to $120 million over 5 years, or $12-$24 million a year. I find it hard to imagine teams being willing to risk $24 mil a year over 5 years on anyone who hasn't played in the majors yet, but $15-20 I could imagine thus a winning bid of $45 million is my prediction. Will that be the Jays? Doubtful but there is a better than 0% chance (I'd put it at 25% - it all depends on what AA saw in Japan and what Beeston thinks he can do with a star from Japan in the local market - a deal this size requires Beeston to be in the middle of it).
Lylemcr - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:33 AM EST (#248148) #

For me, Hech has 1 year to prove that he can play SS in the Majors.  This works our pretty good in that perspective. 

If everything works out even better, KJ has a monster year and the Jays get some high picks for him next year. (He seems to rotate good years and bad years.)  If the Jays end up out of the playoff picture, they trade him for some prospects.

Darvish...  Who knows?  AA keeps his cards to close to his chest.  I wouldn't be surprised if this is the guy he wanted from day one.  The money is mostly up front money (for the posting), he is young and he doesn't cost those precious precious draft picks.  If we get Darvish, our rotation could be in the ballpark of the rest of the AL East (except the Rays). 

StephenT - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:40 AM EST (#248149) #
KJ's bat is similar to Jose Reyes'.  Why would he take arb?
Thomas - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:59 AM EST (#248150) #
Among the more interesting names in the Rule 5 draft are Nick Barmese, Cesar Cabral, Drew Cumberland, TJ McFarland, Dae-Eun Rhee, Josh Smoker and Phillipe Valiquette. Cumberland would profile as an infield reserve and the rest are pitchers who could be used in low-leverage bullpen roles. Cabral, McFarland, Smoker and Valiquette are all lefties, while Rhee and Barmese may have the best long-term starting potential. There are one or two outfielders of interest, but there isn't a need (or even perhaps space) for an outfielder on the MLB roster.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:14 AM EST (#248151) #
Pujols to sign with Angels, 10 year 250+M, full no trade.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:23 AM EST (#248152) #
Crazy. So much for the gently-tapering-off inflation theory.

Also, the Jays' wild card competition just got tougher. The Rangers and Angels should both have strong teams for the foreseeable future.
Wildrose - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:23 AM EST (#248153) #
Per Chisholm - Jeroloman DFA'D.
John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:35 AM EST (#248154) #

$250 over 10. Finally someone has almost tied A-Rod's pre-2001 deal (10 years, $252 million) and this is the first non-ARod deal over $200 million. Sucks that he is now in the AL and able to fight for those 2 wild card slots but it is amazing to see.

Weird that it took over a decade for someone to approach the record set back then. Jeter signed for $189 mil pre-2001, and Man-Ram had $160 that winter. Since then only 4 deals have been for more than Manny before today (A-Rod's second, Mauer, Teixeira, and CC Sabathia).

Obviously if you are a fan of the A's or Mariners you have to be depressed as the AL West has now gone nuclear ala the AL East with 2 teams willing to spend a lot (Rangers & Angels) and the rest...not so much although the Mariners have shown a willingness to spend in the past leaving just the poor A's in the dust. Same for the few Houston fans left as they are about to move from the cheapskate division to the 2nd most expensive one. Guess Pujols just wanted to keep beating up on them :)
Wildrose - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:40 AM EST (#248156) #
Reports are filtering out that C.J. Wilson is also close to signing with the Angels.
John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:40 AM EST (#248157) #
As a side note: this makes Mark Trumbo, the Angels current 1B, very available I suspect. RH hitter who can also play RF hit 254/291/477 as a rookie (113 OPS+) had a 945 OPS in AAA (PCL) in 2010 but just 789 over 169 games in AA.

Wonder if he'd work well in a Jays mess in LF/DH/1B with Lind/Snider/Thames from the left and EE from the right? Problem is that'd be 5 guys for 3 slots and with a short bench that probably wouldn't work too well. However, if one of the LH hitters goes to AAA (Snider or Thames) then he'd work nicely as only one LH hitter in those 3 slots would play whenever a LH pitcher was around while he'd also play vs RHP in the DH or 1B slot letting EE avoid RHP for the most part (unless he is on a tear).
85bluejay - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:57 AM EST (#248160) #

I like the selection of Javier Avendano in the minor league portion of the draft - 21 and seems to have possibilities - Jays Venezuelan knowledge - also selected a Venezuelan catcher.

I expect Oakland will probably speed up their rebuild with Rangers & Angels likely to dominate in the coming years. Angels will also probably non-tender/trade Morales, he's more intriguing to me than Trumbo

Wildrose - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 10:58 AM EST (#248161) #
Heyman speculates what's driving the Angels prolificacy is their new local T.V. RSN going from $50 million per year to $ 150 million.

The Angel's broadcasts averaged about 65,000 households last season ( mid market numbers) , but in fairness with the Dodgers tanking, a competitive team could probably dominate the L.A. basin.

The Blue Jays averaged about 500,000 viewers last season ( note we count differently up here - actual viewers as opposed to households). At what point ( if ever ? ) does Roger's start drawing upon what seems to be a rather substantial RSN largesse?

greenfrog - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 11:09 AM EST (#248163) #
Angels also add CJ Wilson (5 years/$75M). Team is looking good in the short term.
Chuck - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 11:27 AM EST (#248165) #
Hey, don't make this all about the Angels. The Pirates just scooped Dana Eveland.
MatO - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 11:41 AM EST (#248168) #
Beeston's comments concerning spending money when the fans start showing up is a sharp contrast to how Rogers itself was built.  The company has in its history invested huge amounts of capital (cable TV and then cellular networks) in the hopes of attracting customers.  In other words they went out and helped create a demand.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 12:06 PM EST (#248173) #
"Hey, don't make this all about the Angels. The Pirates just scooped Dana Eveland."

Actually, I just didn't want to preempt the "Orioles acquire Dana Eveland" thread that should be posted on the Box any moment now.
Magpie - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 12:06 PM EST (#248174) #
I called this one! Back on 12 September I announced that the Angels would sign Pujols because money would be no object for Moreno this winter. But I didn't think they'd get Wilson, too.

Very curious to see what they do next. They've talked about Trumbo moving to third base (I think he could handle it), and there's been all sorts of talk about trading an outfielder (Bourjos, obviously) to clear a spot for Trout.
ayjackson - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 12:36 PM EST (#248183) #

Marlins apparently offered up to $100m for Wilson, but he wanted to play on the West Coast.  That's a lot of money to leave on the table.


joeblow - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 01:13 PM EST (#248193) #
I'm ok with Johnson playing 2B next year. It may be selfish and short-sighted but it does make the team better for now. If I'm John Farrell, that's one less thing to worry about.

The prospect list is quite heavy with pitchers versus position players. My biggest concern for this team over the mid to long-term is the lack of infield depth. Is there a point where you start trading pitching prospects for position prospects?

DaveB - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 01:53 PM EST (#248199) #

Johnson accepting arbitration was predictable and not a negative at all for the Jays. He's the best immediate solution for 2B and could be moved at the deadline for a decent prospect (or as part of a package for a very good ML-ready prospect) if any contender has problems at the position. If the Jays acquire a "future core" quality 2B, then Johnson turns into the utility player that Teahen should be, overpaid for that role but useful and still trade-able. The Jays already have six picks in the first two rounds of the draft, more than enough to keep the pipeline full if they draft well.
rpriske - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 03:24 PM EST (#248213) #
I have no real problem with keeping Johnson. There wasn't a lot better out there and besides, SOMEONE has to hit 9th (and I am hoping J.P.A. proves he doesn't belong there.)
TamRa - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 03:38 PM EST (#248221) #
"Morales, he's more intriguing to me than Trumbo"

and then some - it's not even close.

Of course, I'm not sure why they would non-tender such a good hitter unless they don't think he'll be able to play.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 03:49 PM EST (#248225) #
Johnson won't be hitting ninth.
Chuck - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 04:49 PM EST (#248233) #

Given Johnson's ability to get on base, perhaps he could bat second.

Placing lefty bats in 2-4-6-8 means somehow permuting Johnson/Lind (or replacement)/Thames or Snider/Rasmus.

Escobar can bat 1. Bautista 3. Lawrie 5. Encarnacion 7. Arencibia 9.

Yes, talking batting order in December is a foolish game to play. The snow hasn't even accumulated yet and I already want it gone.

92-93 - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 05:10 PM EST (#248236) #
Using the current roster I'd go with one of these two orders for now:


Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 05:24 PM EST (#248238) #
If it were me, Adam Lind would not be batting cleanup.  He's had one cleanup hitter's season in the last five. 

If the season opened today, I would platoon Lind/Encarnacion at first base and have Snider and Thames both in the lineup with Snider getting most of the time in left-field and Thames getting most of the DH work.  And if the season opened today, I would have Lawrie batting 2nd and Bautista hitting 4th. Lawrie is (I am quite sure) the 2nd best hitter on the club right now. 

92-93 - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 05:48 PM EST (#248242) #
Right, I should have been clearer - those are my lineups knowing the manager's tendencies. Farrell said he still considers Adam Lind his cleanup hitter barring the acquisition of someone better, so that's the premise I was building upon, as well as there being no platoons. I also wish they'd acquire another bat so that EE would be pushed into more of a 400-550 PA type role, spelling Lind vs. LHP at first. Guys like Carlos Pena, Carlos Beltran, or Josh Willingham would work for me.
bpoz - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 07:58 PM EST (#248256) #
This is probably boring, but does anyone know how the WS baubles work.

Do Rasmus, Tallet & Miller get anything. If so what?

I know know that Arthur Rhodes would have received a ring either way. Texas or St Louis. Also was Rhodes being paid by Texas while pitching for St Louis?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 08:27 PM EST (#248258) #
If the organization line is "Lind is our everyday first baseman" (AA) and "If so, Lind is our cleanup hitter" (Farrell), this would reflect poorly on both of them.  I am hopeful that it is simply a December position, although frankly I do not see what the purpose is.  Why wouldn't you say, "there are several positions where we can upgrade our talent and we will be trying to upgrade wherever we can"...The core of the club is Bautista, Escobar, Lawrie and Romero, and it is a good core. 
92-93 - Thursday, December 08 2011 @ 09:41 PM EST (#248264) #
I'm scared that the answer to your question, Mike, is that the current projected payroll of 67-70m is all AA has to spend. Otherwise I don't see any excuse for them not adding at least one more bat and arm to battle for LF/1B/DH PAs and a spot in the rotation. There's lots of talent to be had on one year deals even if you refuse to bring spending anywhere close to MLB average.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 01:27 AM EST (#248274) #
I disagree, in response to: :

Could you go to Rogers and ask for more fundsÖ

A.A. said:

ďWe donít need to. I have more than enough resources to put a good product and a competitive team on the field. Itís on me to be able to do it. There has never been an issue with that, there hasnít been a problem at all with all of that stuff.

ďThat being said, if thereís something out there that makes a lot of sense, we always have the ability to go to ownership. Theyíve always been willing to help and try to make the team better.Ē

IMO 92-93, you are too much a pessimist, lighting up a bit please.   Let the off season play out more.

TamRa - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 05:56 AM EST (#248283) #
not that they would trash him publicly (nor would they tell us if they were trying to replace him) but AA and JF have said all the right things about expecting an improvement from Lind (mainly about the adjustment to being a full time player)

Now it might be all smoke and mirrors...but then again it might reflect their professional judgement.

I'm not prepared to say it "reflects poorly on them" unless he underwhelms again. The constant supposition that they are more interested in selling us on an inferior product than the are in building a superior product is odd.

I seem to recall a lot of skepticism this time last year about the idea he could play a competent 1B.
Dave Till - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 06:51 AM EST (#248284) #
I think Kelly Johnson brings a lot to this club, especially OBP, but I have a horrible feeling that a season of him and Colby Rasmus might be difficult to take. In many respects, they're the anti-Lawrie.

Perhaps I'm overreacting to this a bit, since I was raised in a very WASP environment where people tend not to show emotions much, but: some people are just naturally more stoic in nature. (The extreme example was John Olerud, who never seemed to change facial expression as he went out and hit .363.) Players who are more emotional are more fun to watch - George Bell is still one of my all-time favourite Jays - but they run the risk of melting down.

I don't have a real handle on Kelly Johnson - what he is like as a player or as a person. (Part of this was because he arrived when the Jays were already out of contention, so I was mostly following games on the radio or by fast-forwarding through recorded games.) As long as he puts up decent numbers, he'll be fine - if the Jays score runs and win ballgames because of his contribution, I think I can manage to supply the missing emotion, if required.

As for Colby Rasmus, I say he deserves a mulligan: he was traded away from a team that went on to win the World Series, he was sent to a new league and a new city, and he injured himself just as he was beginning to overcome the culture shock. He might carry some baggage with him - who among us doesn't? - but getting talented players to do their best is what the Jays are paying John Farrell for. The world is full of players that are easy to get along with but can't hit, but there aren't many who are capable of what Rasmus is capable of doing.
rpriske - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 08:38 AM EST (#248285) #

Bautista shouldn't be hitting third. He WILL be hitting third, but he shouldn't be.


Read 'The Book' for a full explanation, but the 3rd spot in the batting order is WAY over-valued. The 2 and 4 spots are more important. (One example: which spot in the batting order comes up more often than any other in the least productive situation possible, two-out and none on? That's right...)

Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 08:58 AM EST (#248287) #
92-93, the $70 million payroll is a possibility.  If the club is effectively punting 2012 because of payroll constraints, the Molina trade is a little harder to understand.  That may be why Anthopoulos went to such lengths to lament his departure.

I wonder if Rogers' acquisition (with BCE) of MLSE has something to do with all this.  Back in the day, the corporate concentration folks might have been interested in the acquisition.  These folks like most of us who remember the 70s seem to have lost some of their, um, power. 

ogator - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 10:02 AM EST (#248295) #
  How can Rogers possibly cry poor today?  Where will they ever find 6 mill for Kelly Johnson.  If Rogers ever says they have limited resources or AA ever says he can't afford this player or that player because of budget constraints, the 50,000 people who used to fill the Dome back in 1992 should all gather in the Dome and laugh themselves silly.
92-93 - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 11:34 AM EST (#248306) #
Now I'm confused. Isn't the Santos trade easier to understand knowing the severe payroll constraints AA is working with?
bpoz - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 12:19 PM EST (#248309) #
You are right on 92-93.

Average people on a strict budget have to spend wisely. Shop around, don't be compulsive and often do without in their belt tightening.

In relative figures Florida & LAA made huge spending increases. But the Jays on absolute figures did not change much. We are still at about $65mil per year. And the talent looks like it is better.
Over the next 3 years we will see how it plays out. Our good players must somehow be kept. Right now J Bautista is earning 20% of the budget. I am guessing at the spending philosophy. I think money will be made available to keep some of our players.
Bautista is the same risk of injury as Overbay. Overbay's injury caused his production to drop, he could not be traded and we were committed to him long term.

I see that as a serious danger.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 12:41 PM EST (#248314) #
If one is punting 2012, acquiring a "proven closer" now is silly.  You might still make the Santos trade on the basis that you believe that Santos has a brighter future in 2013 and beyond than Molina. 

At this point, I still hold out some hope that all of this is a ruse and that the club will make a serious effort to compete in 2012.  We shall see. 

Magpie - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 01:32 PM EST (#248321) #
does anyone know how the WS baubles work.

It's up to the team. The Cardinals voted 51 full shares, 11 partial shares, and 8 cash prizes. Rings are entirely a perk provided by the team.
92-93 - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 02:26 PM EST (#248327) #
I sure hope Santos wasn't acquired because he's a "proven closer", because he isn't. He's had one year of success back there, like countless other relief arms scattered across the majors, and in it he blew 1/6th of his chances. Santos was acquired because he's a low cost, controllable player that fits the timeline of what AA is doing and because ultimately the FO decision makers probably didn't believe Nestor had a future in the rotation. If, however, AA's opinion of Molina wasn't in line with people like Law & Goldstein and it really was this painful for him to make the trade, I'd be pretty upset that he parted with a potential 2/3 for a reliever just because he didn't have the resources to do something like absorb Huston Street's salary for a bag of baseballs.
MatO - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 03:24 PM EST (#248331) #
I'm a little uneasy with AA's apparent angst with giving up Molina.  Even a mid-rotation starter is more valuable than a closer.  Would everyone be in favour of the trade if Alvarez was the one traded?  I'm not sure Alvarez is any better than Molina and Alvarez has also been mentioned as a possible bullpen guy because of the lack of a third pitch.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 04:09 PM EST (#248336) #
Alvarez has had 10 major league starts where he looked and performed very well.  The belief that he will be a successful major league starter has a little more behind it than the similar belief for Molina.  He is also most of a year ahead in the developmental path. 

I took Santos' acquisition as an indicator that the club was trying to win in 2012.  We will see if that inference was right. 

MatO - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 04:28 PM EST (#248339) #
Well, Alvarez had about ten more starts than Molina in AA.  So maybe a half a season ahead.  But the 5 starts Molina had at AA were spectacular.
Shane - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 04:38 PM EST (#248342) #
Crippes, I can't remember? Does Alvarez also have some issues amoung the media scouting types, that he too may be headed to the bullpen due to lack of quality MLB secondary pitches?
TamRa - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 04:56 PM EST (#248345) #
No, the buzz that went around on that was the result of a poorly worded sentence by, i believe, Bob Elliot which refered to another pitcher potentially working in relief but was phrased such that it looked like he was saying that about both the other pitcher and also Alvarez.

All that was cleared up many times.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 05:02 PM EST (#248346) #
Alvarez is a fastball, change-up pitcher with great command.  Some scouting types suggest he will not be great unless he develops a better slider (or curve, I guess). Alvarez has good sink, as well as throwing 95, so he gets quite a few ground-balls. Molina is a fastball, splitter pitcher with great command.  He doesn't have quite the mustard on his fastball that Alvarez does, but his split is apparently devastating.
Shane - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 05:50 PM EST (#248349) #
RIght. What i'm speaking towards is what Green's addressing. Alvarez's secondary stuff was routinely getting chirpes from Goldstein & Law as being an issue. Thanks.
hypobole - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 07:08 PM EST (#248350) #
Pineda in Seattle also had negativity prior to last year about his lack of a quality 3rd pitch. Although a 3rd pitch is a necessity for most starters, there seem to be a few who can succeed with only 2,
greenfrog - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 07:23 PM EST (#248352) #
I'm pretty high on Alvarez. He's not your typical two-pitch pitcher, in the sense that he has so much movement and such great control (in addition to good velocity and great poise). He really does a lot with his FB and change - working in and out, on the corners and just off the plate. The ball dips and dives a lot. You'd love to see a great infield defense behind him, because he's so efficient and gets so many ground balls.

That said, having an effective breaking ball would make him that much better, even if he throws only a dozen or so a game.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 10:38 PM EST (#248360) #
That is exactly the way I feel about him.  He has everything he needs to be a good pitcher at age 21-22, and with a small improvement he could be a great pitcher in a couple of years. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 09 2011 @ 11:58 PM EST (#248364) #
Alvarez threw 160 Innings last year, up from 112.1 in 2010, 124.1 in 2009, 46.1 in 2008 .   I don't know how long he'll go in 2012, but he makes my roster always, even if we've added Darvish and Gonzales.   He needs to pitch here more, than in the minors.   Why?   Because he can.
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