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The Toronto Blue Jays have avoided arbitration with Carlos Villaneuva by signing the right-hander to a one-year deal worth just over $2.2 million. 

- The Jays have also come to terms with second baseman Kelly Johnson on a one-year contract worth $6.3 million and outfielder Ben Francisco will get just over $1.5 million for 2012.  The above link from has been updated.

Carlos Villaneuva, pitching against Philadelphia July 2, won six of ten decisions with the Blue Jays in 2011 with a 4.04 earned run average.  Over 33 appearancances, 11 of which were starts, he struck out 68 batters over 107 innings.

The 28 year-old Villaneuva earned his first win as a Blue Jay at the Dome on May 10 when he pitched a scoreless tenth inning during the Jays 7-6 victory over Boston. He was 5-1 with a 2.99 ERA in July but he landed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain that forced him to miss nearly all of August.  Villaneuva is expected to resume the long relief role with the Jays in 2012.

Kelly Johnson, jogging to first after drawing a walk against Baltimore September 10, hit .270 with three home runs and nine runs batted in after coming over from Arizona in the Aaron Hill-John McDonald trade in August.
The 29 year-old Johnson made his Jays debut at the Dome August 25 after needing a couple of days to get his passport and went 1-for-2 with a walk.  His first Toronto home run came August 31 in Baltimore during the Jays 13-0 win.  All three of his home runs with Toronto came on the road in 2011.  His on-base percentage with the Jays was .364.

Ben Francisco
, being congratulated for a home run against St. Louis in the 2011 National League Division Series, hit .244 with the Phillies but had an on-base percentage of .340 along with six homers and 34 RBI.

The 30 year-old Francisco has been to the last three post-seasons with the Phillies.  His biggest hit was a pinch-hit three-run homer against St. Louis in Game 3 of the 2011 NLDS that gave the Phils a 2-1 series lead.

Starter Brandon Morrow and reliever Casey Janssen remain on the arbitration docket.   Teams and arbitration eligible players had a Tuesday 1 p.m. ET deadline to reach an agreement but both sides can still negotiate prior to their hearing sometime between February 1-21.

In other news and notes...

Sportsnet's Shi Davidi has a feature on pitching prospect Drew Hutchison.  New Hampshire Fisher Cats Sal Fasano:
"To me, he's one of the best competitors that we have.  He's got good stuff, there's no doubt about his stuff, but he really likes to compete. And when he gets a chance to win, he really knows how to finish it."
Charlie V Signed, Sealed & Delivered - Johnson & Francisco Too! | 177 comments | Create New Account
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Sister - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 02:18 PM EST (#250711) #
Per Rotoworld, both Kelly Johnson and Ben Francisco avoided arbitration and signed (for 6.35 and 1.57 million, respectively).
TamRa - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 02:24 PM EST (#250712) #
Kelly Johnson signed for 6.375
Ben Francisco signed for 1.5375

Morrow and Janssen still on the clock
Flex - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST (#250713) #
Remember when many were scratching their heads — and worse — over Anthopoulos suggesting the Jays payroll for the coming season would be "high 80s"?

Shi Davidi tweets that his estimate, based on new arb agreements and those still to come, is that payroll is "headed to the $80 million range"!/ShiDavidi/statuses/159360745681846272

So it's in the ballpark of what Anthopoulos suggested, and also leaves room for another acquisition.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 03:24 PM EST (#250714) #
Payroll stands at almost exactly 70m right now, leaving out Morrow & Janssen and giving Lawrie, Arenciba, McCoy, Snider/Thames, Cecil, Alvarez, and Perez the MLB minimum. MLBTR projects Morrow/Janssen at 5.8m, so rounding up we have the current Jays 25 man roster at 76m. I consider that to be outside of the ballpark AA suggested, and presume he didn't mean "current payroll" as he said it. The high 80s figure currently includes draft+IFA bonuses (which it shouldn't) or room for future acquisitions (which would be a current budget, not payroll).
uglyone - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 03:26 PM EST (#250715) #
Ya I have it at almost exactly $69m with only Morrow and Janssen unaccounted for. You factor in $4-6m for those two and there's still a good $10+m to go before this team gets in the "Mid-to-high 80s" range.

SS Y.Escobar $5.0
2B K.Johnson $6.375
RF J.Bautista $14.0
1B A.Lind $5.0
DH E.Encarnacion $3.5
CF C.Rasmus $2.7
3B B.Lawrie $0.5
LF E.Thames $0.5
C J.Arencibia $0.5

OF R.Davis $2.75
UT B.Francisco $1.54
BC J.Mathis $1.5
IF M.McCoy $0.5

XX M.Teahen $5.5

Total: ~ $49.865 = ~$50.0m

SP R.Romero $5.0
SP B.Morrow ---
SP D.McGowan $0.6
SP B.Cecil $0.5
SP H.Alvarez $0.5

RP S.Santos $1.0
RP D.Oliver $4.0
RP C.Janssen ---
RP J.Frasor $3.75
RP C.Villanueva $2.28
RP J.Litsch $0.975
RP L.Perez $0.5

Total: ~$19.105 = ~ $19.0m

Total: ~$69.0m with Morrow and Janssen still to sign ($4-5m?)
China fan - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 03:32 PM EST (#250716) #
If the Jays acquire a starting pitcher (Floyd, Garza or Oswalt or equivalent), it would add $8 to $10 million to the payroll for 2012, and this would amount to exactly the "high 80s" payroll that Anthopoulos mentioned. Why would we have to consider this as "budget" instead of "payroll," 92-93?
92-93 - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:00 PM EST (#250718) #
Because the current payroll is 76m (if you include non-guaranteed contracts that haven't even been handed out yet), not high 80s. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:12 PM EST (#250719) #
I'm a bit torn about KJ's arb deal. Given his salary progression, it seems likely that Johnson will be gone after 2012 with no draft compensation. I kind of wish AA had signed him to a two-year deal (maybe with a club option for a third year), giving the team some flexibility at 2B and/or on the trade front. A one-year arb deal doesn't give the Jays much beyond ensuring that we have a regular second baseman for 2012.
China fan - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:15 PM EST (#250720) #
But clearly anyone who talks about "payroll" is talking about his planned payroll for a year, including any anticipated and expected hirings. Especially when the off-season is not yet over.

If my office is 10 people and one position is vacant, and someone asks about payroll, I'd give the payroll for 10 people, not for 9 people. And if an employee with a $30,000 entry-level salary is temporarily filling a position that is likely to be replaced by someone with a $100,000 salary, I'd give the higher payroll figure, not the lower figure.
China fan - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:34 PM EST (#250722) #
I agree with Greenfrog. I would have liked to see Johnson on a 2-year deal. But there's something odd about AA's attitude towards Johnson. He's never sounded very enthusiastic about the guy. He hinted that he would have been very happy with the draft choices if Johnson didn't accept arb. He's even threatened to switch him to LF. Presumably AA must have a plan to replace Johnson by 2013. Perhaps it's the old notion of switching Escobar to 2B and putting Hechavarria at SS. Or some other move. But AA's lack of enthusiasm for Johnson is becoming increasingly tangible.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:38 PM EST (#250723) #
MatO in the other thread that AA said that the payroll for 2012 would be in the upper 80s.  If he spends $10 million or so on a pitcher before the bell rings, that expectation will be met. 

I am not keen on Gavin Floyd.  His career FIP and xFIP are much better than his ERA, but it seems to result from problems holding runners on.  Opponents are 113-18 attempting to steal over his career, and batters do much better with runners on than with the bases clear.  His ERA last year 4.37 (career 4.50) is probably a reflection of his true ability.  I'd rather have Oswalt or Jackson.

John Northey - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:41 PM EST (#250724) #
I'm sure AA tried to get Johnson to have some team options but odds are Johnson plans to have a good year and to get a 3 year deal or more next winter. I suspect Johnson will be a high trade probability mid-season if Adeiny shows anything in AAA and/or the Jays are out of contention. If the Jays are winning then losing Johnson at the end of the year for nothing would be sad but acceptable (winning >>> draft picks)
Kelekin - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:54 PM EST (#250726) #
I have to agree that Johnson could still be dealt for value at mid-season.  The problem of course is we have no real 2B replacement, unless Hechavarria magically starts hitting.  I don't mind Johnson at all honestly, and wouldn't mind seeing him for 2-3 years, but I don't see that happening.
Flex - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 04:57 PM EST (#250727) #
For what it's worth, I listened to the interview again. The exact quote from Anthopoulos is: "Our payroll, right now, we're sitting in the high-80s right now. You know, we have room to move up."

I think you can parse that a few different ways. He lead into that with a vague reference to budget: "I have an area that I'm generally asked to stay around."
China fan - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 05:02 PM EST (#250728) #
Flex, I think you've completely resolved any lingering questions about what AA meant. He meant that the payroll limit was in the high 80s, and therefore the payroll could "move up" to the high 80s without any problems. So he was pretty clearly opening the door to a $10-million acquisition, presumably a starting pitcher, which would bring the payroll to the high 80s in 2012.
Flex - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 05:14 PM EST (#250729) #
China Fan, that's how I would read it. I think he was using "payroll" as a synonym for "budget" and I think we can forgive that given he was on live radio and trying to manage a lot of things in his head at once.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 05:15 PM EST (#250730) #
Honestly, I don't see KJ fetching a whole lot at the trade deadline, not without additional years for the acquiring team or the prospect of draft compensation. Unless he's absolutely raking and slots in perfectly on some win-now contender's roster, maybe as part of a package. As for Hechavarria, I think his real value is as a SS (ditto Escobar). Unlike some Bauxites, I don't really see a Hechavarria-Escobar middle infield in 2013. More likely AA acquires another 2B on the trade or FA market.

As for winning >>> draft picks, playoff contention seems unlikely in 2012 (never say never, though). Continued rebuilding seems much more likely, meaning that in 2012 the Jays will get neither winning nor draft picks nor a significant trade return for Johnson.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 05:22 PM EST (#250731) #
When AA said we have room to move up, he meant past the high 80s figure. That quote was taken completely out of context.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 05:23 PM EST (#250732) #
Basically, I think AA took a gamble that he would get two draft picks for Johnson, with Arby's as a fallback option (the latter giving AA an acceptable 2B option in 2012). It's certainly not the worst outcome; I just don't think it was AA's preferred outcome. I imagine KJ was open to a longer-term deal, but it was probably more years and/or $$$ than AA wanted to pay.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 05:56 PM EST (#250733) #

In a tweet today, Wilner attributed a quote from AA that all contracts signed today were non-guaranteed and the players could be cut in ST for 1/6 severance.  I understood this to be the case for arb awards to 6 year veterens, but not to be the case for arb awards to players with less than six years service time and certainly not to be the case for a standard player contract reached in negotiation between the two sides.

Does this seem wrong to anybody?  What am I missing?

StephenT - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 06:27 PM EST (#250734) #
Why wouldn't you include the millions that Hechavarria and other expensive prospects are making?
Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 06:28 PM EST (#250735) #

One-word gut reactions:

  • Villanueva: good
  • Johnson: overpaid
  • Francisco: Meh.

Yes, I obviously put a lot of thought into that!

ayjackson - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 06:33 PM EST (#250736) #

Why wouldn't you include the millions that Hechavarria and other expensive prospects are making?

It depends what you're measuring.  If you're measuring player costs, you include all minor leaguers salaries and bonuses expected for draft picks and international signees.  If you're measuring major league payroll, you include 25-man roster.  You should probably include an amount to reflect injury callups.  Hechavarria will make $1.75m this year on a major league contract, so you'd probably include that with the 25-man payroll.

ayjackson - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 06:41 PM EST (#250737) #

 The high 80s figure currently includes draft+IFA bonuses (which it shouldn't)

I agree with this, except I'm not sure it shouldn't include draft and IFA bonuses. These are proscribed amounts now, not subject to management's discretion, so they are more easitly included in payroll budgetting.

Flex - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 07:08 PM EST (#250738) #
That quote was taken completely out of context.

You sound like an obfuscating politician caught in a falsehood. The context was a discussion about budgets and how much money he had to spend. In what possible way could that be construed as taking it out of context?

Besides that, the whole point was to clarify the exact wording around the statement of "high 80s". Seriously, what's the issue?
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 07:13 PM EST (#250739) #
Tim Lincecum is seeking $21.5M in arbitration (SF countered with $17M). Meanwhile, Matt Moore will be making $14M over the next five years, with 2017-19 club options for $7M, $9M, and $10M, respectively. No guarantees, but that deal will be a monster steal (obviously) if Moore blossoms into a durable ace.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 07:23 PM EST (#250740) #
A high-80s payroll is still well below the AL East ($119.6M) and AL ($104.7M) averages, lest we succumb to the soft bigotry of low expectations. Or take our eye off the ball. Or something.
MatO - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 08:15 PM EST (#250741) #
In my opinion AA was quite clear.  The payroll today was in the upper 80's and he's supposed to stay within certain parameters.  To go outside those parameters he would have to go to Beeston and he would go to Nadir Mohammed at Rogers.  They would only do that if they were guaranteed to win.  At no time did I get the impression that the budget was in the upper 80's.  It's funny, if JP had made the same comments about the payroll in the high 80's he would have been roasted.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 10:45 PM EST (#250742) #
Last years payrolls, via shows us there were...
$150+ million: 3
$100-149 million: 9
$75-99 million: 8
$50-74 million: 5 (Jays landed here)
Sub $50: 5 (Royals the only sub-$40)

The median (1/2 over, 1/2 under) is $90 million.

So, if the Jays spend under $90 million it is a safe bet they are below 1/2 the teams in MLB. Cracking $100 puts them firmly in the top 1/2, and $125 puts them top 7 (based on last year).
TamRa - Tuesday, January 17 2012 @ 11:59 PM EST (#250743) #
My spreadsheet - contracts per Cott's-
Signed (16/25 +2)-
Romero - 5
McGowan - 0.6
Santos - 1
Oliver - 4
Frasor - 3.75
Villanueva - 2.2775
Litsch - 0.975

Mathis - 1.5
Lind - 5
Encarncion - 3.5
Johnson - 6.375
Escobar - 5
Rasmus - 2.7
Bautista - 14
Davis - 2.75
Francisco - 1.5375

Hechavarria - 1.75
Teahen - 5.5

Total = 67.215
Arbitration (2) -

Morrow - 4.2 / 3.9
Janssen - 2.2 / 1.8

Total - 6.4 / 5.7
7 pre arb players (doesn't matter that much WHO these are but most are strong favorites) are needed, since the minimum went up further this hear than the pre-arb raises usually go, it will be interesting to see if teams will consider the new minimum sufficient raises or if there has to be a token amount above that for those with some service time. I have chosen in several instances to go with the new minimum where it constitutes a nice raise on the 2011 salary, and tried to give a bit more to those who are on a higher "tier" in service time.

Also note that teams seem to be very found of complex numbers instead of round numbers, but no one can forecast to such fine detail so this group HAS to be an approximation)

2011 salary in parenthesis for comparison)

Cecil (2.071 service time) - .53 (.4431)
Snider (2.015) - .52 (.4358)
McCoy* (1.101) - .48 (.4223)
Arencibia (1.059) - .5(.4174)
Perez (0.119) - .48 (.4 pro-rated)
Lawrie (0.055) - .48 (.4 pro-rated)
Alvarez (0.051) - .48 (.4 pro-rated)

*Might be Valbuena (2.032) or some other

Total = ~3.47
GRAND TOTAL = 77.085 / 76.385

Notwithstanding Morrow and Janssen are likely to sign multi-year deals which might not have much relation to the figures submitted today.

TamRa - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 12:13 AM EST (#250744) #
Here's something you don't see every day:

Writing on my blog, in this post:

On January 4 I estimated the total 2012 salary of the six arbitration eligible Blue Jays. the total was $18.56 million

Now with all the figures on the table, the total of all six players if the team were to win both arbitration cases is 18.59 million.

If they lose both it would be 19.29 million. The latter is 3.9% off and the former is a mere 0.16% off

That said, I wildly under-estimated Rasmus and over-estimated Morrow so I guess no picking the powerball yet.
Shane - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 12:27 AM EST (#250745) #

So, if the Jays spend under $90 million it is a safe bet they are below 1/2 the teams in MLB. Cracking $100 puts them firmly in the top 1/2, and $125 puts them top 7 (based on last year).

Curious at this point where the Jays rank as far as age compared to some of the clubs above them in payroll?

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 08:55 AM EST (#250746) #
Thanks, MatO.  I don't know about AA, but Rogers' off-season definitely is headed for a plain F.  They obviously are showing no gratitude to AA for the Vernon Wells miracle.  Hubris.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 09:07 AM EST (#250747) #
Some easy checks via 2011 rosters and Baseball-Reference
NYY: H: 30.6 P: 30.8
Phillies: H: 31.8 P: 29.4
Boston: H: 30.1 P: 30.6
----$150 million----
LAA: H: 28.9 P: 28.4
NYM: H: 27.8 P: 29.7
Cubs: H: 29.4 P: 29.6
CWS: H: 30.0 P: 28.4
----$120 million----
Giants: H: 30.2 P: 28.2
Twins: H: 27.5 P: 28.7
Cardinals: H: 29.3 P: 30.2
Dodgers: H: 29.9 P: 28.7
Tigers: H: 28.6 P: 27.4
----$100 million----
Blue Jays: H: 28.3 P: 26.9

Yes, our pitchers averaged sub-27 years old. Thanks in large part to the 5 guys with the most starts all being 26 or younger. The 7 with the most innings pitched were 27 or less (just one was 27) then comes Camp at 35 then 2 more sub-27'ers. McGowan at 29 was the oldest guy to start a game last year.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 10:41 AM EST (#250749) #
Excellent research & accuracy by all.

However some are including parts like Draft pick bonuses and others are not adding it into the total. But these figures have been identified & separated out. Are these figures for the start of the season or for the end of the season. If prospects come back for Fraser & Oliver if traded then payroll will go down. Payroll would go up if July additions were expensive eg a RP @ $3mil would add about $1.5Mil to the payroll. Another Rasmus type deal would add payroll to 2012 and possibly 2013. Tallet & Miller's salary was basically eaten IMO. Fortunately J Rivera was a different case, but I am not sure. It took a long time for him to be traded to LAD. Also Teahen to be DFAd took time. Things should move faster now that Nadir M is more familiar about how baseball works, when he has to give his OK on this type of deal.

AA has stated that he prefers to think 2 or more steps in advance. IMO AA is keeping a surplus just in case.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 12:24 PM EST (#250750) #
It would be smart to hold some cash in reserve, but if the Jays are unable to have a budget at or above the ML median level ($90 mil) then there is a major issue.

Still, in the end, we are just at the 'early 80's' level with this team right now. Talent is showing up, climbing through the ranks and getting time in the majors but the 1983 moment of breakthrough hasn't occurred yet.

For reference, pre'83 the Jays were always in last place. But in 1983 the Jays were in contention for most of a season. The Jays were 1st as late as July 25th and just 1 1/2 back on August 23rd then 3 extra inning losses pushed them back and they never recovered - helping explain the 'Stieb for closer' idea.

FYI: their last series at home before the crash saw crowds from 27k to 30k to 35k to 42k against the Brewers (a good team at the time in the same division). This was in Exhibition Stadium where seagulls ate your food, benches facing nowhere were part of the stadium and most seats were metal and either ice cold or burning hot. If the crowd was over 25k all those over that initial 25k were probably not facing the field (went a few times with that situation).
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 01:42 PM EST (#250751) #
I think the "early 80s" stage of development is an interesting and possibly quite plausible hypothesis, but I would be wary of turning it into a self-fulfilling prophesy, ie, perpetually saying we're not ready to spend more because winning isn't yet "guaranteed." Since winning is never guaranteed, you never spend more, even if someone like 25-year-old Darvish is available to help you for the next five or six years. Ditto the attendance argument, ie, saying we'll spend more when fans start turning out more. Since the team never becomes a legitimate contender, attendance never rises (fans having some common sense). Ergo no substantial spending increases, etc.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 02:30 PM EST (#250752) #
Oh, agreed in some respects greenfrog. We've been in pre-1983 mode since 1996 I'd say (1994/95 were dreams of winning when the time had already passed by).

The Clemens, AJ Burnett, Frank Thomas, BJ Ryan signings all were attempts to speed things up. The GM's felt the team was ready to contend when it wasn't quite there. The question is how do you get there and how do you know you are there?

I'd say having the team within 5 games of first in August is mandatory before signing free agents to any great degree unless a perfect fit comes along (as many, myself included, felt Darvish was). Fielder is a good fit but not perfect (limited defense = potential headaches quickly plus demands for over 5 years - cut to 3-5 and a fit could happen).

There are others out there who could help but if I was in AA's shoes I wouldn't touch a 30+ free agent unless he came at a crazy low price for who knows what reason. This teams window could start at any time but you don't want it shortened by being stuck with an unmovable contract (only so many are as crazy as the Angels were last winter).
Mike D - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 02:55 PM EST (#250753) #

Further to Greenfrog's point, here's the shorter version of AA's oft-stated theory of building a contender:  The one thing that would be absolutely fatal to the organization's goal of sustainably and perennially fielding a contending team would be to actually try to field a contending team.

I realize that I may be simply shooting the messenger, of course.

sam - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 03:11 PM EST (#250754) #
I agree with greenfrog and Mike D here. Management are simply finessing ways of saying we're not spending money, period. As a fan, I'm also a bit offended by statements that once fans start showing up at the ballpark money will then be spent to improve the team. I spend a significant amount of money each year going to games. I feel, in part, that my attendance is a signal to management that I enjoy the team and would like to see it improve. Statements mentioned above tell me well, you're not spending enough of your money on the Jays and that's why we can't improve the team. I'm sorry, but I'm all tapped out.

I think there's a known correlation in this city between winning and fan attendance at baseball games. Statements made this offseason seem to be forgetting 30 plus years of history.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:01 PM EST (#250755) #
I think AA is doing everything right; I just wish he had a bit more financial flexibility so that he could make precisely the moves he wants to make. Not for quick fixes, but to add useful assets.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:08 PM EST (#250756) #
What useful assets would you have added this winter? IMO the only pieces that would've been better than what was taken (IE: no Pap, I'm find with Santos) would've been Darvish and Fielder with the condition of no more than 5 years on Fielder after the mess we saw with Wells and other super-long term big money deals.

Now, if their scouts said 'no' to Darvish being a future ace (and at around $20 mil a year for 6 years he darn well better be) then you are down to Fielder.

Some guys out there would've been useful parts but signing free agents in their 30's is buying into a declining asset. You will get 1 or 2 years at the value you see now then watch it drop as you keep spending the cash and I want this to be a contending team for more than 1 or 2 years.

Sometimes limiting GM's financially can work better - see our last two GM's and what they did with extra cash. In the end you need a team that is ready to win, pushing 90 wins without free agents before you go nuts. That is AA's method and it is a method I fully agree with. I'd love to see Pujols here along with a few other super-free agents but unless the Jays plan on a $150+ million budget it would be a mistake and I've never seen evidence they will go that far.
92-93 - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:28 PM EST (#250758) #
So John, in your opinion Carlos Pena isn't better than Ben Francisco? Ryan Madson isn't better than Jason Frasor?
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:31 PM EST (#250759) #

The funny thing is that we really shouldn't be having this conversation right now.  So far AA hasn't failed to do anything I would have wanted him to.  There isn't a single free agent signed so far that I would have prefered him to outbid on. There are plenty of trades that I feel we could have topped (Latos in particular), but that deal really depends on what the Padres think of our prospects. But my strategy this offseason would have been the following.

1. Wait until the closer carousel ends and sign the guy at the end for cheap.

- Yes, we could have ended up with Ryan Madson or Francisco Cordero, but the Santos deal is a pretty good strategy nonetheless

2. Re-sign Kelly Johnson:

- Check

3. Go after Pujols and Fielder but don't give them stupid money, failing that give Lind one my chance. 

- Pujols got stupid money, Fielder hasn't signed anywhere yet.

4. Get a starting pitcher.  Take a run at Darvish but don't pay him more than Roy.

- Darvish got (will get) more than Roy. I would have liked Latos or Pineda but I'm not sure we could have given the teams what they wanted without Lawrie. Oswalt and Jackson are still out there and its unclear who is going to give Jackson his 5 year deal.

5. Chase down the second wild card.

- Well the Angels just joined the second wild card discussion and its not even clear that it will happen this year.

All in all we should probably wait until April 1 to evaluate this offseason.  Even then, there is something to be said for moving all of our AA hitting prospects up to AAA, padding their stats, and then making the move for a Votto, or a Felix, or whomever becomes available.

Chuck - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:36 PM EST (#250760) #

What useful assets would you have added this winter?

I wonder if people aren't more disconcerted about the dreaded payroll parameters language than the seeming lack of pursuit of high-end free agents?

92-93 - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:38 PM EST (#250761) #
" So far AA hasn't failed to do anything I would have wanted him to."

The GM came straight out and said he wanted to add a front of the rotation starter and a middle of the order bat. So far he's accomplished neither. But yay, he traded for Santos and signed a 41 year old reliever. 2015, here we come!
MatO - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 04:54 PM EST (#250762) #

You sign Fielder for $25M and you trade Lind and you still come in under $100M in payroll.  That's not a far cry from the upper 80's.  The team doesn't get any older so you're not sacrificing anything other than a draft pick which might help you sometime near the end of the decade.  Would Nadir go for it?  Or is it Beeston?

I think there's a lot of pent up demand in the GTA.  McCown said that the biggest recent topic on the call-in portion of his show has been the Blue Jays and not the Leafs.  He said that the callers are generally pissed-off.  That's a good thing, because at least they care.

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 05:06 PM EST (#250763) #
I would have liked to see the Jays add Darvish - *if* AA and his scouts really liked him (which, from the multiple trips to Japan, I'm guessing was the case). He seemed to be a great match for the team, and signing him wouldn't have cost any prospects or draft picks. He's really the only FA I've been high on this off-season, although there have been a few complementary pieces that might have helped had the team landed Darvish or Latos or Pineda.
Ron - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 05:27 PM EST (#250764) #
The big question is does ownership really care if the Jays win or not?

The Jays have been near the bottom in attendance for awhile now. Despite the low attendance, I'm pretty sure Rogers is still turning a profit. There's very little incentive for ownership to change the status quo. The Jays could average 5000 fans and they would still probably be turning a profit because of all the other reasons that have been mentioned on this site numerous times.

AA’s statement about being able to spend more money if he could guarantee a winner is complete bullshit. We all know nobody can guarantee a winner. Beeston comments about spending more money if the fans buy more tickets is insulting (haven't you noticed we haven't heard from Beeston since then).

Rogers doesn’t have to spend money on the baseball club just like how I don’t have to spend money directly on the Jays. I’m going to cut back on the amount of games I go to this season unless I see some changes or the Jays are in legit playoff contention. If you’re fed up with ownership, I urge you to do the same.
China fan - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 06:02 PM EST (#250765) #
Although I agree with much of Ron's point, and although I agree that Rogers should be spending more money, I think it's slightly unfair to take AA literally in his use of the word "guarantee." Of course he knows, better than anyone, that there are never any "guarantees" of anything in baseball. To interpret this word in its absolute literal sense would be a misinterpretation of what Anthopoulos meant, because no rational person could ever expect a "guarantee" in baseball, and AA is nothing if not rational. What he meant, in my view, is simply that the odds have to be much higher, and very strongly in the Jays favor, in order for a big expensive acquisition to make sense. If it's a 50-50 gamble on a $100-million investment, he is not a gambling man. And while I would personally like to see Rogers making a few gambles with their baseball money, I find it understandable that Anthopoulos would prefer to minimize the expensive gambles. He'd prefer the odds to be 80 or 90 per cent in his favor.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 06:25 PM EST (#250766) #
Obviously, Rogers wants the Jays to win more, since that means more money.  But they're not going to invest a whole lot of cash into this team in the hopes that that happens.  They're perfectly fine with fielding a decent team on a low payroll, and rake in the profit.  If the Jays win big on a low payroll, even better.  But Rogers isn't going to blow their brains out to bring a winner here.  Sad but true.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 06:57 PM EST (#250767) #
The words guarantee & winner probably mean pennant race & the 96 win or close to it magic number.
I doubt it means guaranteed WS championship. Especially with the 1 game playoff.

Our roster has a lot of talent but it is inexperienced. As a track record is established then maybe AA will bet on the man. His words were that he bet on Bautista the man. Bautista, I believe gave an honest effort. Cecil may not have been in acceptable physical condition, Snider may have had a wrist injury because something shortened his season and also changed his swing.

Trading Wells contract & creatively getting Rasmus & ditching Tallet, Miller & Teahen proved to me that AA is very smart & tough.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 09:10 PM EST (#250770) #
There are many ways that I could have been happy with the off-season. Pujols or Fielder or David Ortiz or Kuroda or C.J. Wilson or Darvish. Oswalt or Jackson would be a significant improvement.
rfan8 - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 09:26 PM EST (#250772) #
I think if you had told me in Sept that the club would essentially stand pat I would have been ok for one more year but the whole payroll parameters discussion and the speculation created on the internet re: Darvish and others has left me wanting more.  I know some of it may not fall on AA and his team but I still feel disappointed that we weren't able to make more headway towards contention.
MatO - Wednesday, January 18 2012 @ 10:54 PM EST (#250773) #
AA is nothing if not very calculated.  He doesn't shoot off his mouth like JP.  He said the word "guaranteed" and I thought that this was an odd choice of words.  I figured he didn't really mean it quite like that.  Then he said "guaranteed" again  and maybe even a third time, so it's obviously the word he wanted to use.
Mylegacy - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:12 AM EST (#250777) #
Yes - he said "guaranteed."

Got him eh? Not.

Reporters were after him over the "parameters." Inquiring minds wanted to know - what were the "parameters" - what could cause the "parameters" to be bent - or - dare I say it - broken.

AA said (and I paraphrase): "If I thought we needed to go past the "parameters" I'd have to ask the Beest."

The reporters - spotty little dicks like they are pressed him, they said (again I paraphrase), "Ya - but could you get WHATEVER YOU TRULY THOUGHT YOU NEED TO WIN - not just bent the "parameters" a bit?"

AA then replied (and again I paraphrase), "Ya IF I could GUATANTEE I'd get a championship - then - yes - I think I could get WHATEVER I needed."

In other words ladies and gentlemen (to paraphrase), "Within the "parameters" I'm doing my thing. Out side them I need to go to the Beest. To blow the doors off the "parameters" I've got to convince the Beest who has to convince the suits - AND - IF I WAS SURE IT WOULD give us a championship - then I think the suits would agree to JUST ABOUT ANY REQUEST."

That's NOT THE END OF IT - the bottom line is this: AA STOLE a FANTASTIC CLOSER for a kid who MIGHT be a contender - some day - in some role. AA's got the CLOSER for at least SIX FREAKIN' YEARS. He DID not trade for a starter (yet) BECAUSE he VALUED what he had as being worth MORE than what he could have gotten. Including just paying a $150 million dollars - and a first draft choice - for a two ton DH with delusions of being a Prince...

Unless I totally don't understand his job description - making those decisions IS HIS JOB.

So far - ME PERSONALLY - I'm over the moon happy with the guy - he got us Santos, Escobar, Johnson, Rasmus, LAWRIE (for Brett's sake) and DRAFTED and SIGNED internationally a SPECTACULAR HAUL. You wanna all burn the guy - go do it.

ME - to me - this guy's got so much rope left before he hangs that I'll run out of single malt long before he has to get nervous about running out of rope. AA is the BEST THING ever happened to this club in the last 20 odd years.

Grow a pair guys - if you can't stand the tides - get off the freakin' boat!

Definitely time I had me a single malt - think I'll make it a double! 

TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:11 AM EST (#250778) #
I pretty much agree with John.

Everything he said about 30+ free agents really needs no elaboration except to say that it's fine if the guy is a role player like Oliver or McDonald, but not if he's a 8-figure guy or close to it.

As for the trade market, in hindsight I wouldn't have been all that pleased giving up an equivilant package for any of the starting pitchers that were dealt. And I have a ton of confidence in our guys.

Yes AA said he wanted to add a front-guy, any GM would be insane to deny interest....but you do not operate in a video-game vacuum. Everything comes at a cost.

Usually every off-season there's some move some team made and I think "D'oh! Why didn't the jays do THAT?!"

I still kinda feel that way about Darvish, and if someone does bring Feilder in for 5 years or less i'll definitely feel that way again. but otherwise, nothing is really jumping out at me as the "one that got away"
scottt - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 07:01 AM EST (#250781) #
At this point, I'd be surprised if Fielder gets 6 years. Unless it's front loaded with a player opt out clause.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 08:55 AM EST (#250783) #
We need a Front-line Starter and a Big Bat (aka: Middle of the Order Bat). A Front-line Starter will take some work to pull off, with chances of a Free Agent Starter being better next Offseason. Are we contending in 2012? Or 2013? Or 2014? Beyond this point, A.A. is a failure and should be replaced. A Big Bat is available this offseason but not next offseason or the one beyond (as best as can be examined). Lose Fielder and who's the Big Bat before 2015 we can add? Six years at $ 25.00 MM/per year is not going for it this year, it just gets us one step closer to do so. Or did A.A. give up?
hypobole - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 09:30 AM EST (#250787) #
Richard, this isn't the first time you've made these ridiculous delusional comments about replacing Anthopoulos.

If Rogers wanted AA to sign Fielder for what Boras is demanding, Fielder would be a Jay now. Or do you have some inside source that AA doesn't want to spend money that the owners are telling him to spend?

For your vision to come true, what has to be replaced is ownership from Rogers to someone like Ted Lerner or Mike Ilich. However we're stuck with Rogers. The one positive with them is they make smart business decisions. And they know full well replacing AA would be both stupid and shortsighted.
bpoz - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:48 AM EST (#250793) #
Just to talk about something new.
On the Jays site I found a section with video highlites of players in 2011. I wanted to see how hard our SPs threw their FB.

Romero 93,Cecil 92,Janssen 93, Drabek 93,McGowan & Alvarez 94 Morrow 97 & Litsch 91.
I know that they rely on other pitches & also movement, deception etc is important.
I was disappointed in Drabek as he was 90,91 most often and only had the 1 pitch at 93.
In 2008 McGowan's highlight showed 97.

I work nights so I don't watch the games on TV & also don't get Rogers, but I do listen to Jerry & Alan for a couple of innings. Russ Langer of LV speaks so well as a Sept guest announcer, but you have to listen, he states the type of pitch, velocity, location & K or Ball. His sentences amaze me and force me to not let my mind wander. Jerry & Alan are very pleasant but different, my mind can wander.

I did see a game at my sisters house and Cecil was pitching. At 88,89 he kept the ball down & it moved well, he pitched a very good game & won, but at 90,91 the ball was straight & up in the zone and he was lucky no damage was done.

I know that we have praised & not praised our various pitchers. Anyone care to elaborate on any of them. I strongly feel that by 10 starts into the 2012 season a lot of our pitching staff will have been evaluated by the FO and decisions on player movement will have to be considered.
MatO - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:00 AM EST (#250794) #
Beeston on the FAN with Blair at 11am.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:33 AM EST (#250796) #
Can anyone post a few bullet-point highlights of the Beeston interview?
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:45 AM EST (#250798) #
Ya, I'm not advocating AA should be replaced. He's an exceptional GM who has done a fine job for the franchise. Disappointed with ownership and what I consider missed opportunities in Fielder and Darvish.
92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:08 PM EST (#250801) #
"We have taken that (amateur draft) from paying 2 and 3 million dollars in 2009 to well over 15 on an annual basis, because of the way Alex collected those draft choices."

More lies from Beeston.

John Northey - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:14 PM EST (#250804) #
If the team in 2015 is still in the 80-88 win quagmire it seems to have been in since Joe touched them all it is a safe bet AA would have failed and would be replaced. If in 5 years you cannot build up the system to get at least one 90+ win season there is a major issue. Maybe ownership being cheap, maybe the GM not being creative enough (hard to put that tag on AA though) or lucky enough (ala JPR).

For now though I'd give AA the benefit of the doubt. This winter has mainly been quiet but one of 3 pieces was acquired (closer) without giving up any guys who were reasonably expected to be key pieces in 2012 (Stewart might have been, but he was far behind many others in the rotation battle).
John Northey - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:15 PM EST (#250805) #
Argh... meant Molina not Stewart.
China fan - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:23 PM EST (#250806) #
Can you elaborate a little, 92-93? The word "lies" is a rather harsh word, so do you really want to accuse him of deliberately lying? Someone will correct me, but I believe the Jays have been spending $11 to $12 million annually on the draft under AA, which is a huge increase from the Ricciardi era. And isn't it possible that Beeston was including the international signings, of several million dollars per year, which would bring it up to something near the $15 million that he mentioned. It can be argued that the draft and the international signings should be lumped together in one figure, since they're both essentially the Jays budget for signing amateur prospects. In that case, it wasn't a deliberate lie by Beeston, but just a different way of categorizing the amateur signings -- and his main point is essentially true: there's been a huge increase in the Jays spending on draftees and amateur signings under AA. Not really a "lie."
92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:31 PM EST (#250807) #
I know no matter what AA or Beeston say you will put the most positive spin on it as possible and will actually disregard what they say to mean something else.

In this case, he said the amateur draft budget increased from 2-3m in 2009 to 15m now. Neither figure is correct, no matter how you look at it. Without international FAs the Jays spent considerably more than 2-3m in 2009 on the draft (it was nearly 5m), and considerably less than 15m now (it was under 11m). With international FAs the Jays # in '09 was clearly MUCH higher than 2-3m, so pretending like they jumped to 15m currently and making that out to be a fourfold increase is complete bullshit.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:33 PM EST (#250808) #
Blair, in the most polite of ways seemed to have a go at Beeston in the interview. The answers on Fielder are a little disappointing. I get the impression that management completely misread the Fielder situation. I feel as they knew that Fielder was a perfect fit, yet knew they wouldn't get the resources to sign him so they pushed a notion that the team wasn't going to commit to a long term deal beyond six years. That was all fine and dandy for us fans and made plenty of sense at the time when it looked like he was going to get 8+ years. However, he seemed to insinuate (or maybe the fans did?) that if the years came down the Jays could be competitive in his sweepstakes. In light of the interview and Beeston's comments, I think it's now clear that that was a complete lie. The Jays had no intention of pursuing Fielder/making the team better in that department at any cost. I would have much preferred if they were honest from the get-go and said look we're not going to improve this team at all through free agency. Irregardless of fit this team will only improve through trade and prospect development like the Tampa Bay Rays or I guess Cincinnati Reds.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:39 PM EST (#250810) #
""We have taken that (amateur draft) from paying 2 and 3 million dollars in 2009 to well over 15 on an annual basis, because of the way Alex collected those draft choices.""

Whoa.  The Jays have not once spent 15 mill on the amateur draft, let alone well over on an annual basis.  Did Blair call Beeston out on that?
BlueJayWay - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:41 PM EST (#250811) #
Haven't listened yet, but that sounds disappointing.  I'm almost hoping Prince signs elsewhere for like 4 years just to see what the Jays would say to rationalize it.
China fan - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:41 PM EST (#250812) #
"I know no matter what AA or Beeston say you will put the most positive spin on it as possible and will actually disregard what they say....."

Quite a ridiculous statement. I've been consistently saying that the Jays are not spending enough, that they should sign one or two of the big-ticket free agents, etc. You must be imagining someone else.

It's equally bizarre that you would lump AA and Beeston together in the same sentence, as if anyone who defends AA must be a sycophant for Beeston too. There's a very substantial difference between the two of them. I think AA's moves so far have been almost flawless, and often astoundingly good. Beeston, on the other hand, deserves plenty of criticism for not making a stronger case to the owners that AA should have a bigger payroll. It's clear that AA is doing a great job within his parameters, while Beeston is failing to increase those parameters. Do you really not see any distinction between AA and Beeston? Do you imagine that every fan who defends AA must be equally a fan of Beeston?

MatO - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:49 PM EST (#250813) #
Well, one of the reasons that draft dollars increased from 09 to 10 is that they didn't sign 3 draft picks in 09 that they did in 10.
92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:54 PM EST (#250814) #
Sam, excellent points. Beeston certainly made it seem like even at 5 or 6 years the team would be unwilling to commit that sort of $ to Fielder, which is a complete reversal from earlier in the offseason when he was saying that the money wasn't the issue, the length was.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 12:56 PM EST (#250815) #
Sam, excellent points. Beeston certainly made it seem like even at 5 or 6 years the team would be unwilling to commit that sort of $ to Fielder, which is a complete reversal from earlier in the offseason when he was saying that the money wasn't the issue, the length was.

Right.  I think earlier on they expected Fielder to sign a long deal, so they'd use that as the reason (or excuse) for not signing him.  Now, it looks like his market has collapsed to the point where he might take a shorter deal, so they have to start spinning the rationalizations to cover that outcome.
joeblow - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 01:02 PM EST (#250816) #
I'm not happy with dishonesty from the team regarding verifiable info, like documented portions of their payroll.

I'm quite happy to have a dishonest organization regarding strategy and tactics. This includes players targeted in trades or free agency, drafting and even budget. It is a competitive advantage to keep this info secret. You do not see public companies giving out info like this, like line items in their budget, or possible mergers and aquisitions.

It's fun to play armchair manager. But to get upset when the team is not following your blueprint is egotistical. Let's evaluate the results. Opening day is a few months away.

MatO - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 01:06 PM EST (#250817) #

My favourite part is when Beeston repeated the mantra that they will spend the money when they've built up the organization to where they can compete.  Blair asks him if they could win this coming year and Beeston says yes!

Sal - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 01:12 PM EST (#250818) #
I think people should start freaking out about Fielder after he signs, not before. There are a lot of assumptions about what he has on the table and if the Jays can top that.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 01:19 PM EST (#250819) #
MatO, I enjoyed that as well and I think that's what Blair was getting at as well. There's a strong current of hypocrisy running through Beeston's statements and Jays management.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 01:45 PM EST (#250820) #
I'd like to draw people's attention to MLB's positional rankings for prospects. I know a lot of people are high on our system but in my opinion there is a clear lack of high end prospects. For example, they're published top ten's for RHP, LHP, SS, and 3B. No Blue Jays. Now I imagine Travis d'Arnaud might make it on to the catchers list and Anthony Gose just might sneak on to the outfielders list, but still if the organization is going to go the prospect route which now seems obvious. If there simply aren't guys who will be perennial silver sluggers or pitchers with cy young potential than the team will always be average.
pubster - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 01:59 PM EST (#250821) #

I dont know why people are so negative.

I for one am super pumped about this upcoming season and cant wait for it to begin.

The Jays have more talent in their system today than at any point in the past 10-15 years.

Wasn't AA considered a genius not too long ago?

I think AA had an incredible 2011. The 2012 Jays look much better than the 2011 version. This is great way to measure the type of job AA has done, no?

If AA didnt trade Vernon Wells last season, the payroll would be about 90M. Would y'all be happy then?

I agree 100% with MyLegacy.

If you think AA should lose his job, I dont really even know what to say. Except you probably dont have great problem solving skills :)

jester00 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:25 PM EST (#250822) #
With regards to sam's post about Mayo's top 10's, just because there aren't any Jays on his list doesn't make it right.  Half of his top 10 right handers haven't even thrown a pitch in minor league ball yet.  And Manny Banuelos is the 2nd best left hander?  The guy who walked 5 batters per 9 last year?  Really?  We could potentially have 2 outfielders in the top 10 with Gose and Marisnick and d'Arnaud is definitely in the top 10.  I think its way too premature to say we don't have any guys who have silver slugger potential or cy young potential.  It's Jonathan Mayo.  Take a breath and let's watch this year unfold.  We have loads of young guys who could make big leaps this year.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:31 PM EST (#250823) #
Only one RHP has not thrown a professional pitch. The point here is if the Jays are expecting to compete with farmhands they should be populating these lists. I distrust Mayo's analysis too, but at the same time I don't see any Jays being potentially better than anyone on these lists or contributing in a manner at the ML commisurate to the impact these guys could have in the next two to three years.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:40 PM EST (#250824) #
Keep in mind that the Jays just graduated Lawrie, Thames and Alvarez from the minors - at least two of whom look like impact guys in the majors. Something to keep in mind when bemoaning the lack of 3B and RHP on top 10 prospect lists by position.
TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:44 PM EST (#250825) #
"If the team in 2015 is still in the 80-88 win quagmire it seems to have been in since Joe touched them all it is a safe bet AA would have failed and would be replaced."

IMO, if Rogers remains cheap, as is the common argument, then the best move would be to carry Alex as long as he will stay...if they know full well it's a money issue and not a management issue, then why change the GM?


"If there simply aren't guys who will be perennial silver sluggers or pitchers with cy young potential than the team will always be average."

I don't see a cause for pessimism there. Lawrie is as good a bet as anyone this side of Hosmer to be that kind of hitter.

Rasmus and Snider still have huge upside.

d'Arnaud looks like the kind of guy who'll be a very above average player for his position.

Escobar is in hand for 4 more seasons and is an above average hitter for a middle infielder.

That's over half your lineup right there.

Gose is the other guy at the upper end of the majors, but there are not a few potentially excellent hitters at lo-aq (last year) and below.

Yes, there's no great 1B down there, there's no "next" 3B (as if we need one), and all the best middle infield prospects are 3-4 years away...but every system has that kind of holes. Imbalances and such.

As for the pitchers, I'd say that - though "Cy Young potential" is a very fuzzy standard, there are probably 4 or 5 guys that can be described that way.

I would caution that being on those league top-10 lists is of very little concern. there are great pitchers and hitters across the league who never made those lists, there are failed pitchers and hitters who were all over those lists.
jester00 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST (#250826) #

You don't see any way guys like Norris, Nicolino, Snydergaard, Hutchison or even Sanchez have a shot at this list next year?  The Jays system was behind the 8 ball because of JPR's preference for low ceiling college players, but AA has littered the system with potential high impact players over the last 2 drafts.  I agree that we don't currently have some of the high impact players right now that other teams do, but that is about to change this year in my opinion.  We just have to have a bit of patience.  I believe the Jays will be populating these lists soon. 


As well, if Lawrie was still eligible he would be #1 on the 3rd base list.  And I'd wager that Alvarez would be on the top RH list too.  We are heading in the right direction in terms of prospects, and this years draft will only add to that with the extra picks.

sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST (#250827) #
I don't know if I see much more than Edison Volquez out of Alvarez. Two solid pitches, with average command? That's not frontline stuff.
hypobole - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:51 PM EST (#250829) #
D'arnaud is one of the top 3 catchers in the minors. If JPA had been left in AAA, he would be in the top 5-7. Lawrie would probably be the top 3B if he had kept his rookie status. Add Eric Thames and Henderson Alvarez to the Jays who lost their rookie status last year also.

Gose and Marisnick are on all Top 100 lists, usually in the top 50. Hutch, Norris, Syndergaard and Nicolino are on many Top 100 lists as well. And there are a lot more arms in the low minors, like Taylor, Robson, Cardona, Osuna, Musgrove and others. The Jays have a plethora of young talent.
jester00 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 02:59 PM EST (#250830) #
Henderson Alvarez has average command?  In 96 minor league innings he walked only 1.7/9.  In 63 major league innings he walked 1.1/9.  That is well above average command.  His 2 pitches are both above average and his 3rd pitch (slider) came a long ways last year.  He absolutely has frontline stuff.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:02 PM EST (#250831) #
If Hutchison doesn't make this list after a year like last years then he never makes this list. Ultimately he doesn't project to be anything more than a three. He has solid command of three average pitches. I think you need to read scouting reports of guys who are considered frontline now.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:04 PM EST (#250832) #
It's a very good farm system, with the exception of the middle infield which is very thin beyond Rookie ball.  Projecting which pitchers have "Cy Young potential" is very difficult.  Could Drew Hutchison be as good as Mike Mussina?  I don't see why not.  Could Daniel Norris or Justin Nicolino or Noah Syndergaard or Alex Sanchez be great?  Of course.  It would be nice to have the equivalent of a Matt Moore or a Tim Lincecum or a Mark Prior hanging around, but those guys don't come around very often and even when they do, they sometimes get hurt and disappoint you terribly. 

This does not, however, justify a laissez-faire attitude towards winning in 2012. 

sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:13 PM EST (#250833) #
Mike Green, I agree with your comments. I think it's a crapshoot when talking prospects. We have a good farm system. I'm not debating that, but there's a lack of high end talent in the upper minor leagues that could contribute in the next two or three years. You may say those Matt Moore's and David Price's come along very often, and that may be true, but you have to have guys like that if you want to win playoff games and the Jays don't.
92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:14 PM EST (#250834) #
If you want high end prospects and you don't plan on competing in the short-term, you trade Jose Bautista. The Jays pissed away the prime of the best pitcher in baseball, and they're doing the same with the best hitter.
MatO - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:16 PM EST (#250835) #

If AA didnt trade Vernon Wells last season, the payroll would be about 90M. Would y'all be happy then?

What did they do with this money they saved?  Stuck it in their pockets.

jester00 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:17 PM EST (#250836) #
The only thing keeping Hutchison off of any prospect list is this:  6'2 / 165lbs.  If he had the same season he had last year and was 6'2 215, everyone would be going nuts over him.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:18 PM EST (#250837) #
Jester, you and I have completely different definitions of what constitutes frontline if you assume two slightly above average pitches constitutes frontline starting pitcher in the American League East.

92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:23 PM EST (#250838) #
MatO, don't you remember the narrative? They used that money to invest in Jose Bautista long-term. Which is funny, considering we're supposed to believe Rogers has never limited the front office from doing something they thought there was value in, so the two should have nothing to do with each other.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:25 PM EST (#250839) #
I guess that's why Trevor Bauer (6'1 175) ranked #4 isn't on the list?
92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:30 PM EST (#250840) #
Jester, command and control are VERY different things. I'm not saying Alvarez lacks command, but rather that his minor league BB rates and short MLB stint isn't proof of tremendous command, yet. Scott Baker has excellent control, while Roy Halladay has excellent command.
jester00 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:31 PM EST (#250841) #
Well I guess the stikeout is sexy.  I'll reserve judgement on Bauer and his 25 innings of minor league ball.
sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:42 PM EST (#250842) #
I know there's an Arlington resider who frequents Batter's Box. I'm curious how the Rangers would fit Fielder into their budget. With the Darvish signing they're looking at a payroll next year anywhere from $125 million to $135 million. With Fielder, that pushes it close to $150 million. Even the money that might be saved if Hamilton walks and when Young's contract comes off the books will likely be diverted to Cruz, Kinsler, Napoli, and the entire rotation, not to mention replacement players of similar value.
hypobole - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 03:45 PM EST (#250843) #
Pretty well everyone can name #1 starters (Halladay, Lincecum, Kershaw, Verlander etc). What are some examples of 2's. 3's and 4's?
whiterasta80 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 04:07 PM EST (#250845) #

#2 starters: Cliff Lee, Matt Cain, Jeremy Hellickson, Dan Haren, Josh Beckett, Yovani Gallardo

#3 starters: CJ Wilson, Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner...

But seriously.  I think the idea is that your #1 is a borderline guarenteed win and pitches deep every time out, the #2 is someone who always keeps you in the game and on any given day can beat a #1, #3 is someone who is competitive and an innings eater. #4 is someone who pitches just well enough to stay in the rotation for the entire season and has some upside and #5 is an audition place for a young guy or someone who just eats innings (probably multiple guys over the course of a year).

On a playoff team, using recent Jays as examples

#1: Roy Halladay (obviously, lets say the 2009 version)

#2: Ricky Romero (2011 version)

#3: Shaun Marcum (2008-2009 version)

#4: Brandon Morrow (2011), Dustin McGowan (2007) 

#5: Alvarez (2012), Drabek (2011), McGowan (2012), Josh Towers (2005)... you get the picture

Of course nobody actually constructs rotations so perfectly. The best approach is to pair 2 or 3 #1s and pray for rain with the rest (see Philadelphia 2011, Arizona 2001, Giants 2010 etc...). But there are other options (Pat Hentgen would most likely be described as a 3 by most people, Ricky Romero a #2 or 3 but I'm fine with them at the top of certain rotations).

Mike Green - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 04:18 PM EST (#250846) #
The #2 on the World Champions was probably Jaime Garcia, with an ERA+ of 102.  The #2 on the American League champions was Derek Holland or Matt Harrison.  The Brewers #2 was probably Shaun Marcum.  The Yankees #2 was probably A.J. Burnett, but if you want to argue that it was in fact Ivan Nova and his 165 IP, you could.  The Tigers #2 was Max Scherzer with an ERA+ of 92. 

People have this idea of the mythical #2, but plenty of playoff teams and World Series champions have got there without a great #2.  It's obviously better if your "#2" is Derek Holland rather than A.J. Burnett.  That first baseman with a sub-.300 OBP who doesn't run or field well is doing more to hurt your team than your second best pitcher who didn't perform anywhere near expectations and put up a 90 ERA+ in 180 innings. 

sam - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 04:21 PM EST (#250847) #
No particular order within groups. Based off results in regular season, stuff, presence on mound, and playoff experience.
1A. Lee, Halladay, Kershaw, Verlander, Sabathia, Lincecum, Hernandez (Sea).
1B. Romero, Beckett, Lester, Cain, Weaver, Hamels, Shields, Price.
2A. Kennedy, Hellickson, Haren, Carpenter, Gallardo, Latos.
2B. Wilson, Greinke, Gonzalez, Garza, Cueto, Jimenez.
3. Fister, Buerhle, Sanchez, Vogelsong, Hudson (Atl), Marcum, Kuroda, Cahill, Masterson, McCarthy, Santana, Morrow, Lohse, Bumgarner, Harrison, Hudson (Ari), Rodriguez, Garcia, Chacin, Ogando, Nova, Pineda, Jackson, Holland, Billingsley, Danks, Floyd, Scherzer, Davis, Hochevar, Dempster, Zimmerman, Niese, Santana, Jurrjens, Oswalt, Niemann, Liriano.
4. Karstens, Volquez, Harang, Wolf, Saunders, Lannan, Humber, Leake, Vargas, Pavano, Guthrie, Lewis, Myers, Westbrook, Nolasco, Pelfrey, Porcello, Lowe, Carmona (new name), Lackey, Happ, Worley, Peavy, Sanchez (KC), Collmenter.
5. Cecil, Dickey, Stauffer, Norris, Morton, Lilly, Colon, Tomlin, McDonald, Tomlin, Hernandez (Wsh), Capuano, Hammell, Francis, Volstad, Arroyo, Burnett, Penny, Wood, Bailey, Chen, Correira, Blackburn, Garcia, Pineiro, Zambrano.

I think Darvish is 2B, and I think Matt Moore and Steven Strasbourg pitch at a 2A level next year.
Chuck - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 04:23 PM EST (#250848) #

I think the idea is that your #1 is a borderline guarenteed win

This is a huge overstatement.

Roger Clemens won 354 of his 707 starts, just a sliver over 50%. I don't know how many of his 707 starts his team won, but I'd be willing to bet it is nowhere near "borderline guaranteed win".

Ignoring Romero's rookie season, and looking just at seasons 2 and 3 when he got really good, he won 29 of his 64 starts, less than 50%.

uglyone - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 05:04 PM EST (#250853) #
"I'd like to draw people's attention to MLB's positional rankings for prospects. I know a lot of people are high on our system but in my opinion there is a clear lack of high end prospects. For example, they're published top ten's for RHP, LHP, SS, and 3B. No Blue Jays. Now I imagine Travis d'Arnaud might make it on to the catchers list and Anthony Gose just might sneak on to the outfielders list, but still if the organization is going to go the prospect route which now seems obvious. If there simply aren't guys who will be perennial silver sluggers or pitchers with cy young potential than the team will always be average."

1) Brett Lawrie and Henderson Alvarez are both YOUNGER and BETTER than many if not most of the guys on the top-10 3B and RHP lists.

2) We have a slew of pitching prospects who are very comparable to many of the names on that RHP list.

3) LHP and SS are definitely 2 slots where our system is weak. 2B as well.

4) D'Arnaud was 5th on the catching top-10 last year, and is likely #2 on this year's list.

5) Gose and Marisnick both have a shot at the top-10 OF list.

6) Young Jays that were recently on these top-10 lists include C.Rasmus (24), T.Snider (23), B.Morrow (26), K.Drabek (23).
John Northey - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 05:12 PM EST (#250854) #
I see it more as...
#1) ERA+ 120 or better, 200+ IP on a consistent basis
#2) ERA+ 110 or better, 200+ IP regularly
#3) ERA+ 100 or better, can reach 200+ IP
#4) ERA+ 95 or better, hits 200 IP sometimes
#5) use whoever is the best of what you have left

For a playoff team you want #1-4 all above 100, with an ace at 140+ and #2 at 120+.

What is funny is the Jays 1993 - only 6 guys had more than 3 starts. Of those 6 only 3 cracked 100 for ERA+ with Hentgen's 112 the highest. Go figure.

1983's breakthrough team had 5 guys with 10+ starts (4 man rotation that season mostly). ERA+'s of 142-111-110-100-91 with 3 guys over 200 IP. That is more what I'd say is a realistic goal for a rotation - a horse (Stieb) then 3 solid horses (Clancy, Alexander, Leal) and a mule (Gott).
smcs - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 05:25 PM EST (#250856) #
Roger Clemens won 354 of his 707 starts, just a sliver over 50%. I don't know how many of his 707 starts his team won, but I'd be willing to bet it is nowhere near "borderline guaranteed win".

In his 707 starts, his team went 433-273, a .613 winning percentage. That works out to 20.8 wins for every 34 starts and 99 wins over 162 games. Halladay is at .616, King Felix is at .556, including 34-33 over the last two seasons.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 05:25 PM EST (#250857) #
The thing is the second best starting pitchers on most playoff teams do not meet the definition in John's post. Pitching, of course, matters, but the key is to improve on what one has. That is why the logic that only a "true #2" can help is flawed. 

What are the chances that Noah Syndergaard, say, rises through the system quickly and delivers 200 innings per season of 115 ERA+ ball between ages 22 and 24?.  I don't know if it is 5% or 15%, but it's not 1%.

92-93 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 06:10 PM EST (#250859) #
Here's another direct quote from Beeston for the spin doctors to play with:

"I know from the dollars that we are spending and the dollars that we're spending on the signings of free agents and Jeff you follow closely enough to know that if we're not number 1 we're 1 or 2 over the last 3 years and we have 6 more draft choices in the first 50 this year."

The Blue Jays have never been 1 or 2 in any given year of draft spending, and are nowhere close over the last 3 years. Even in 2010, when they spent the most they ever have on the draft, it was more a function of the # of picks (because of Beeston hamstringing Ricciardi the year before) than them going wildly overslot. They were 25% over.
smcs - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 06:48 PM EST (#250860) #
BA (free) Draft Bonus Expenditures by Team -- 2009-2011 -- (chart at bottom). Jays are 4th over that time period, about $1MM behind the Red Sox for 3rd, about $60 000 ahead of the Royals, and $11MM behind the Nationals for 1st. The Jays are solidly in 3rd behind the Pirates and Nationals in spending on the 2010-11 drafts. I haven't been able to find any lists for spending on international free agents for 2011. The way I read the quote is that Beeston is combining the two (Draft + IFAs). I have a feeling that the Jays are either really far behind the Rangers, or really, really, really far behind the Rangers (depending on how Yu Darvish and the Cubans are classified) for 2011 IFA spending, but that's mostly based on my shoddy memory.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 07:47 PM EST (#250861) #
This is the kind of thing Baseball Reference is great for:

According to this, his teams went 433-273 (.613) in his starts.

greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 08:04 PM EST (#250862) #
To me, the failure to bid aggressively for Darvish (more or less a perfect fit in Toronto) pretty much said it all. The Jays are certainly going to try hard to compete, but they're going to build from the ground up (however long that takes), and IMO they're probably not ever going to spend much more than the AL average (assuming they get to that point - still a ways to go on that front).

There are reasons for optimism in Toronto (bright young GM, solid front office, promising farm system, improving big-league club, potentially strong market, wealthy owner), but also reasons to be frustrated (Rogers' parsimony, front office spin glossing over two decades of mediocrity, relatively low popularity of baseball in Toronto). Which is probably why these threads are so divided.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 09:13 PM EST (#250864) #
Interesting comment by Keith Law in his latest chat (why can't people learn to spell Anthopoulos?):

Bill (Toronto)

As a frustrated Jays fan I ask your opinion, does Alex Anthopolous's lack of significant movement this offseason lead you to believe he believes in the core group on this team, or is he hamstrung from making significant moves by Rogers Cable?

Klaw (2:10 PM)

I don't get the idea that he should have made moves just to make them. The guy is a value whore. If he can make his club better, he will do so. I don't think he's seen great value this offseason, except the deal he did make for Santos, which everyone I've talked to in the business thought was a steal for Toronto.
TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 09:31 PM EST (#250865) #

I invite the negativists to find similar professional opinion who speak ill of Anthopoulos or his choices. Everything I hear from people who get paid to have an opinion is that essentially the Jays are doing just what they need to be doing, with the only caveat being the one we all agree on - that it's arguable Fielder is too good a fit pass on.
Jonny German - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 09:47 PM EST (#250866) #
That's a very large caveat. In several senses.
TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:09 PM EST (#250867) #
"People have this idea of the mythical #2, but plenty of playoff teams and World Series champions have got there without a great #2."

Exactly, and also true of almost any statement anyone makes about "you can't make the playoffs without a..."

you can find counter examples pretty much every time.
"You may say those Matt Moore's and David Price's come along very often, and that may be true, but you have to have guys like that if you want to win playoff games and the Jays don't."

Oh? And what similar prospects have the Cardinals developed over the last, say, five years?

the Angels? (Trout yes, but how much is he contributing YET - if they win next year it will be Pujols and the pitching, not because they can't live without Trout)

The Tigers? same comment as above - yes Porcello is good but were they a playoff team BECAUSE of Porcello?

Phillies? Arizona?

Let's say you say Upton in Arizona!"


How much better is he that Lawrie, for instance?

to me it's just one more verse in the same old song - "The Jays are being outdone by everyone, oh how crappy they are"

I don't mean to say that's your intent but there's a subconscious narrative that comes out in these discussions all to easily.

Mylegacy - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:22 PM EST (#250868) #
"If you build it they will come."

So many Jays' fans want Rogers' to open the golden fleece and shower some more coin on free agents - we get that.

Consider this: in 2010 the Jays were 22nd in payroll ($62,234,000) and 26th in attendance (1,625,555) and in 2011 the Jays were 23rd in payroll ($62,560,800) and 25th in attendance (1,818,103). Very little move in either category.

On average we've been (roughly) the 22nd and a half in payroll and the 25th and a half in attendance. Have the Jays really been so bad they deserved to have only 4.5 teams have LOWER attendance than them? Are there so few baseball fans in the GTA? Do you blame Rogers from tying to build depth and with younger better players FIRST before they spend lavishly?

AA has improved the major league team and the minor league system dramatically with SMART moves - rather than expensive moves. He's INVESTED more in the minor league system than the Jays EVER have before. He is building the depth at both levels - we fans can see how much better we are. IF Jays fans won't come out to watch an offense led by Bautista and Lawrie and our pitching staff - KNOWING that the team has made the BEST PROGRESS it's made in 20 odd years - where's the quid pro quo? Surely - we as fans - have got to get out and support the team - say JUST up to the 20th WORSE attendance instead of the 25th BEFORE we can seriously expect Rogers to open the vault?

AA's doing his part - when the fans do more - Rogers will do more - because they will be able to afford to do more. I KNOW WE WANT IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND - get over it.

Bums in seats will equal dollars in payrolls - SHOW UP - get us up to - lets say 10th in attendance - and then if Rogers isn't getting us up near 10th in payroll - THEN - raise a stink - for now - for crying out loud - shut the fu*k up and show up at the games.

Bums in seats + AA in the front office - the closest we're gonna come to a winning and funded situation.

greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:43 PM EST (#250870) #
TamRa: for the most part, the "negativists" are focusing on Rogers, not AA. Most Bauxites, so far as I can tell, myself included, think that Alex is doing a terrific job as GM.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:44 PM EST (#250871) #
It won't work. When you haven't been in a pennant race really for 15 years, you cannot expect more fans to come to the game on their own.  They expect a commitment to winning from ownership commensurate with their revenues (not simply their gate receipts).  Fans know that the Jays are on Sportsnet nationwide and that Rogers is making plenty that way.  The possibility of "synergies" is why Rogers owns the club in the first place. 

The only legitimate reason for inaction this off-season is that the club is so far away from winning that it makes sense to save.  I don't buy it. 

Chuck - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:53 PM EST (#250873) #

AA's doing his part - when the fans do more - Rogers will do more -

Does the world of entertainment actually work like this though? Should it? In what other entertainment medium are fans asked to support a mediocre product with the hope that this support will lead to a better product (with the implicit understanding that absent that support, the product will not get better)?

Rogers has the deep pockets, not the fans. If Rogers wants to play the payroll parameters card, it is certainly the fans' right to counter with the discretionary income parameters card. If Rogers wants to dig a little deeper and put out a better product, maybe more fans will come. It is certainly not incumbent upon the fans to subsidize a major corporation absent a show of good will. As ye shall sew, so shall ye reap.

Chuck - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:56 PM EST (#250874) #

Most Bauxites, so far as I can tell, myself included, think that Alex is doing a terrific job as GM.

Agreed. AA does not need defending. No one is attacking him. He's almost uniformly well respected in these parts. It's his employer that is inviting our wrath.

TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 10:59 PM EST (#250875) #
"The GM came straight out and said he wanted to add a front of the rotation starter and a middle of the order bat. So far he's accomplished neither. But yay, he traded for Santos and signed a 41 year old reliever. 2015, here we come!"

I didn't say what HE WANTED to do, i said what *I WANTED* him to do.

I said from September that Darvish was the only SP i had any interest in adding (with a note on a couple of others i could have put up with adding)

I want to see the guys we've already got get a full shot.

I didn't see any hitter on the market I wanted - particularly at the price those who moved would have cost. i don't see any that DID move that I would have wanted Alex to pay the same price to acquire.

*I want Lawrie at 3B
*I want Rasmus in CF
*I Want Bautista at least in the line-up
*I want Escobar at SS more than any other SS
*I want JPA as the catcher more than I want any other available catcher (and the promotion of d'Arnaud kept in order)
*I want Snider in LF (and Thames if he fails) more than i want any of the outfielders who have moved this off-season or are reported to be available.
*I'd like better than Johnson but I looked all over early in the fall and couldn't even come up with a good suggestion about who to chase that would be obviously better.

that leaves Lind and EE - before you ever START the off-season, there's only two places to add the "big middle of the order bat"

Pujols for stupid money, or Fielder? I wouldn't have objected but I'm perfectly fine with the reasoning not to.

what other #4/5 type hitters at those positions have moved this winter?

David Ortiz? (they guy who want's $16.5 mil?)
Rizzo? HE's our clean-up hitter, next year or ever?

the Luke Scott's or Casey Kotchman's of the world?

where's the guy, other than arguably Fielder, which AA could have had and simply failed?

I don't think AA saw anyone HE wanted, I'm VERY sure i didn't see anyone *I* wanted.

which was what i said in the comment you quoted.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:02 PM EST (#250876) #
"The only legitimate reason for inaction this off-season is that the club is so far away from winning that it makes sense to save"

To be fair to the Jays, it could be argued that the only offseason moves that would really put them in a position *both* to win in 2012 and long-term would be to sign Darvish and/or Fielder, but that these players (at least at this stage in the team's development) are too expensive or risky. You may or may not accept this argument - I'm not sure even AA believes this, especially vis-a-vis Darvish - but it's not an unreasonable one to make.
TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:03 PM EST (#250877) #
"Agreed. AA does not need defending. No one is attacking him. He's almost uniformly well respected in these parts. It's his employer that is inviting our wrath."

Well a couple of folks have implied "if he doesn't do xyz he should be fired" in a couple of years, as if he failed.

Not a few comments are grousing about what he hasn't done this winter of high expectations and not all of them amount to "he didn't sign Fielder"

(there was a wide sentiment for going after Gonzales or Latos which resulted in dissatisfaction in some quarters)

I don't think the long knives are out, but I think some are occasionally fondling the hilt.

TamRa - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:09 PM EST (#250878) #
I think when they say "if they come we will build it" what they are trying clumsily to describe (and i make no defense of their market relations skills) is more like this:

"if/when the core gels and the team wins enough to excite the fans, and attendance clearly trends upward as a result, THEN we will spend for the right parts to push it over the top"

Was that not the main thesis of what both AA and Beeston have said this winter? "If we sign Mr. X, is HE the guy who puts us over the top? Are we one player away?"

That's all a fairly consistent theme, albeit poorly communicated at times.

what they are resisting doing is what the marlins are doing - go out and buy a half dozen pieces and throw them all in the blender and see if you get a team out of it.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:09 PM EST (#250879) #

If the rumors of the Brewers being "Way" over budget are true there may be an option there. WIth Braun out 50 games they might consider moving Greinke. I'd love to get in on that if possible. 

greenfrog - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:11 PM EST (#250880) #
I think you could argue that Kuroda or Jackson or Oswalt or Madson or Beltran would have been a fine addition (especially on the bargain one-year deals that Kuroda and Madson received). But to me, those players really only made sense (ie, as complementary pieces) if we'd landed Darvish.

IMO Darvish was the domino that could have set a couple of other moves in motion and lead to contender status. No Darvish, no real need for the other moves. Keep rebuilding and look to catch the next wave.
MatO - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:21 PM EST (#250881) #

AA's doing his part - when the fans do more - Rogers will do more -

How would this logic have worked with Rogers' core businesses?  You only build the infrastructure for cable TV or cellular phones when customers show they want it.  That's not the way it happened.  They spent money to create a market.  They didn't wait for the market to come to them.

whiterasta80 - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:42 PM EST (#250882) #
I will say this, even as someone who admittedly wants Prince on the team pretty badly. I suspect that Boras has at least a little bit to do with all the negative press we are getting for not being aggressive with Prince. I hope AA doesn't change his no comment policy or go too far beyond his valuation on any player. That being said if Prince goes for less than 6/130 then I will question either AA's baseball savvy or Rogers commitment.
Spifficus - Thursday, January 19 2012 @ 11:44 PM EST (#250883) #
I can't think of a comparable resource in their core business that correlates to players (who are both employees that produce as well as a currency). In this case, it seems that they want to use this currency first to build to (or near) a critical mass, and then use subsequent gains in revenue to fund the maintenance of it. I get the impression there's some flexibility there, but we haven't seen that translate in the free agent market yet (though we have in other areas, such as taking on superfluous salary to aquire talent, and significant investments in the draft, IFA, and the related scouting infastructure).
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:48 AM EST (#250884) #

Paul Beeston signed a three-year contract - two years ago.   How long does he stay with the Jays?   Who is his replacement / heir?

At the end of the 2014 season, it's possible A.A. will have been this Team's G.M. for five years.  Now if this team is not a playoff team in that time?   Parallel, so far with J.P. Ricciardi?   A.A.'s advantage is he doesn't need to bottom out payroll to knock down the price to the SkyDome / Rogers Center for a few years.

I like what he's done to the Team in his first two years.  He's basically done 3-4 years of work in just 2 years.   The one thing to remember, most of the cream-of-the-crop prospects ('10s and '11s) are still in RK, RK+, A-, A, A+ and not much higher.  It will be two to three years before they arrive (MLB).

Somethings aren't always available at an equitable price: Front-line Starter (Sabathia, Lincecum type); Bona Fide Closer (Marianno Rivera/Jonathan Papelbon type); Middle of the Order Bat (Pujols/Braun/Fielder type).   I sometimes have time to listen / watch what I PVR, including Primetime Sports / Fan 590.   I find I agree that when The Big Ticket Free Agents become available you should go after them.   This offseason, only two players (of Closer, Starter, Bat) were worth going after: 1) Jonathan Papelbon, as the closest thing to the legend Mariano Rivera available; and 2) Prince Fielder, an impact Bat of a type and an age rarely available anymore.

You need three big pieces before you can really contend / make the playoffs.   Darvish was not, in A.A's opinion, worth a $50+ MM posting and a $60+ MM signing.   Once Papelbon was signed, a cost-effective Santos was as good as any and better than most.   Fielder, however, is still available.  Signing him means in 2012, 2013, 2014 (are we contending yet), 2015, 2016 (last year of Bautista) and possibly 2017 we'll have an impact Bat in the lineup.

92-93 - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 05:01 AM EST (#250885) #
"I invite the negativists to find similar professional opinion who speak ill of Anthopoulos or his choices."

I invite you, TamRa, to find the "negativist" who speaks ill of AA or his choices.
Mike Green - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 09:37 AM EST (#250886) #
Greenfrog, I don't agree at all that it was Fielder or Darvish or bust for the Jays' off-season.  If the club had signed Beltran and Oswalt (or Wilson or Kuroda), I would have jumped for joy.  Beltran to RF, Bautista to 1B, a good rotation and a good ace reliever, and I would feel that the club had given it a fair go at winning in 2012. 

If the club signs Oswalt or Jackson between now and the end of the off-season, I would take a wait and see approach.  Maybe Snider and Thames both look good in spring training and the organization decides to take the leap with both of them in the corner OF slots.  It's not how I would have handled this off-season, but at least you can see it. 
Flex - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 10:06 AM EST (#250888) #
I don't think the long knives are out, but I think some are occasionally fondling the hilt.

Nice to see some real writing going on here.
Shane - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:13 PM EST (#250890) #
I find it interesting how you just move Bautista to 1B like it's a button you press.
sam - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:18 PM EST (#250891) #
Jonathan Mayo has d'Arnaud at three on the catchers list. The Blue Jays website, on the other hand, disagrees and says d'Arnaud is ranked second.
greenfrog - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:24 PM EST (#250892) #
I actually think Bautista to 1B is an intriguing idea, if not for 2012 then maybe a couple of years down the road (Joey Bats being signed through 2016 if you include the club option year). You could have Rasmus, Gose and Marisnick in the OF, Lawrie at 3B and Bautista (somewhat of an elder statesman at that point) at 1B. He's certainly athletic enough to do it. But I would prefer to see him pushed off the RF position by a group of premium outfielders, rather than a "make the best of the situation" move that doesn't really produce a contender.
Shane - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:25 PM EST (#250893) #

FWIW this was Jim Callis this morning on Twitter:

"Mesoraco, but it's close. @aurum626: Mesoraco or D'Arnaud? #Reds #BlueJays"

Shane - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:40 PM EST (#250894) #

Sure, as theoretical idea it's interesting for down the road. It wasn't happening now. You just jerked your best player back and forth from RF to 3rd last year, might be good to leave that alone for a year. Not to mention Lind seemingly was going no where (unfortunately for my tastes) this offseason. If Bautista's defence continues to weaken maybe he'll be more in agreement with such a future move and they're be no fuss. Beltran would have been great, but bumping Bautista isn't where i'd have moved him. LF or DH issues could have used some Beltran punch. DH especially as conjoining Lind & Encarnacion would have finally minimized Lind from his gawd awful ability to hit lefties. To mention nothing of the fact RF or LF still has Beltran and his knees on turf so...

Mike Green - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 01:45 PM EST (#250896) #
I am pretty sure that Jose Bautista would be a decent defensive first baseman for quite a few years, and I am doubtful that he will be a good defensive right-fielder for that period.  The Jays have quite a few very good outfield prospects and much less talent at first base, so the move is a natural thing. 

The Cardinals moved Pujols around between the outfield and third base for a few years before settling on first base when he was 24.  Perhaps Bautista would resist mightily, but somehow I doubt it.  The man is a great hitter, and he needs to focus on that rather than trying to run around chasing after balls.  I would guess that he would accept that. 
Shane - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 01:59 PM EST (#250898) #
I don't disagree Bautista wouldn't be decent at 1B, nor do I disagree that his abilities in RF are on the down slope. The move in time could be "a natural thing" for sure, provided Rasmus/Gose/Marisnick all continue to trend upwards. It wasn't seemingly entertained this offseason. He seems like a great guy, but just assuming he'll accept that at this point is just that, an assumption. It doesn't appear to be on Anthopoulos' agenda at this point.
Mike Green - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 03:12 PM EST (#250899) #
Sure.  It's not as though any of the options are great.  Travis Snider may or may not be ready.  David Cooper (if he hits .290/.360/.420 as MatO suggests) is not much of an improvement on Lind because he has the same minuses in the field and on the basepaths. 

Publicly, the club has said that Lind is their first baseman (and perhaps cleanup hitter) for 2012.  My point was merely that there were better options than that, in addition to Pujols and Fielder. All of those options would require the expenditure of a significant money, but not necessarily a princely sum.  

Shane - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 05:04 PM EST (#250900) #
Doesn't seem Cooper is valued by anyone for much of anything considering he's been left in the minors for years, and he hasn't been traded. So yes, we're still stuck with Lind and still short a RH'd bat that can hopefully force him into having far less AB's vs. LH'ers. We knew from October 1st Fielder & Pujols weren't being signed by Toronto.
Dewey - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 06:01 PM EST (#250901) #
If Rogers wants to dig a little deeper and put out a better product, maybe more fans will come. It is certainly not incumbent upon the fans to subsidize a major corporation absent a show of good will.           As ye shall sew, so shall ye reap.

So, Chuck . . . maybe "as ye shall sew, so shall ye darn" would be O.K.  But if you're going to reap, ye must first sow.  (Ye can sew, too, if you want.  Keep yourself in stitches, at any rate.)

All that aside, I agree entirely with your comments on Rogers, my very-least-favourite company.

greenfrog - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 06:22 PM EST (#250902) #
I would argue that a lot of Jays fans are already subsidizing the team through their (not-insignificant) cell phone, home phone, digital cable and internet monthly bills - which they often use to watch Jays games, check out baseball content on the web, etc.
sam - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 06:29 PM EST (#250903) #
Nolan Ryan went on a Dallas area radio show today. When asked about Fielder, Ryan noted that Boras speaks in broad generalities, noting that Boras has spoken about 8 years, 10 years, and topping Howard's contract in Philadelphia. Boras has yet to propose a concrete offer.

While I would go nowhere near Fielder for 10 or 8 years, Howard's contract extension of 5 years $125 plus an option for an additional year is appealing if that is what Boras is referring to. Boras could also be thinking along the lines that that contract kicks in this year and Howard was at the time of the signing on a previous contract that paid him $19 million (2010) and $20 million (2011). That would look like seven years with an option for an eighth at $164 million, slightly above what Adrian Gonzalez got this year.

Ryan does not say the price being asked has dropped, but if Boras has mentioned beating Howard's contract (5-$125) then I think maybe there's something there that suggests the years have dropped? My reasoning is such that if you're trying to "beat" someones contract, why choose Howard's (5-$125)? Why not choose Texiera's 8-$180, or Gonzalez's 7-$154, or Cabrera's 8-$152? Each are longer and pay average annual salary close to Pujols. Why choose the shorter term contract unless you mean you're looking for Fielder to sign a similar term contract, but at a higher average annual salary?

I think Fielder slots in between Howard and the Texiera, Cabrera, Gonzalez deals. 6 years $145 million. An option after year three.

Is that territory in which might antagonize fans? Still a bit rich, but if it's a 5 years $125 contract, or something very close, than ya I might be a bit peeved.
jester00 - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 06:31 PM EST (#250904) #

Further to our bantering about the Jays prospects yesterday, Sickels has updated his Jays top 25.

Chuck - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 06:42 PM EST (#250905) #

But if you're going to reap, ye must first sow. 

Acckkk. Total brain fart spelling sow the way I did. You know how you go through life with certain words that you never type? Ever? Well, sow is just such a word for me. So the part of the brain responsible for spelling hears the "so" sound and knows enough to not spell it "so", so then it sends a signal to the part of the brain responsible for homonyms and after fighting through cob webs, waking the snoozing desk clerk, and then milling through several mildew-covered options, it panics and grabs the first one it sees.

And then I am called out by a retired English teacher.

And I would have it no other way. Thank you.

greenfrog - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 06:42 PM EST (#250906) #
I really think supply and demand will govern with Fielder, unless the demand is so weak that he ends up signing a Madson-like "pillow contract" (unlikely IMO). I think a few teams will bite in the 5-6 year range, and one or two might offer 7-8 years. I do think the AL makes more sense for him, but it seems unlikely to me that the Jays are getting involved.
scottt - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 07:29 PM EST (#250907) #
A pillow contract only makes sense if you are waiting for a spot to open on a big spending team. What makes sense is an opt out after 2 or 3 years.
TamRa - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 11:19 PM EST (#250911) #
"I invite you, TamRa, to find the "negativist" who speaks ill of AA or his choices."

I started to fire up the search on this and I caught myself. I'm concerned that calling out people by name is a bridge too far. I suppose you can read insincerity into this - it would be easy to say "when called on it you couldn't produce evidence so you weaseled" - if so, I'll just have to let the accusation stand.

and I might change my mind. But for the moment, my instinct is "don't make it personal"
Mylegacy - Friday, January 20 2012 @ 11:56 PM EST (#250912) #
Tamra - well put!
bpoz - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 11:32 AM EST (#250916) #
IMO AA, like many other GMs will be judged by the media & fans. Some media will do that, as a tactic to generate interest in their work.

AA is going to make some moves that don't work out. For example a draft pick that he did not select turns out to be awesome & his selection ends up a bust. I would not count that as a negative because he is selecting based on tools, etc. The tools were there but the results were not, which happens often.

An opinion expressed respectfully is OK with me, even if I disagree with it.

The Rasmus trade IMO is a great example. I marvel at the creativity in using multiple teams. But IMO AA gave up a lot, so Rasmus has to produce a lot. I think AA paid a lot for Rasmus so IMO AA values Rasmus accordingly and expects him to provide accordingly.
I score it...we have Rasmus and nothing/nobody else. WE gave up 4 young players in Zep, Stewart & the 2 potential draft picks for Fraser & Dotel. We also paid out a lot of money.
Teahen 2012+ 2011 share $8mil?, Tallet, Miller & PJ Walters 2011 share $1mil?, $1mil? to ST Louis to complete the trade. Total $10mil? Rasmus certainly helps the present team and only IMO Zep could help the present team. But in the future beside his contributions, Rasmus could be traded for big value. Over or under on Rasmus, I am leaning toward under. I hope I am wrong and Rasmus wins many awards. I also admire AA's guts for doing this.

In the next 2-3 years AA will have to make hard decisions, that IMO he will be evaluated on.
1) As Bautista's contract gets used up do you trade him or keep him & maybe extend him.
2) If the team does well in his opinion, 94 wins?, what does he do? Look at Texas, they are trying to deal with good success but no championship.

That is 2 situations that may be significant, IMO there will be more.

Regarding Texas, I applaud what they are doing but a key injury, under performance, WC 1 game loss 2 years in a row and they get nothing ie no WS championship.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 11:47 AM EST (#250917) #
Bpoz, interesting comments on the Rasmus deal. I wasn't all that impressed by him post-trade, but let's see what he can do going forward. You also have to remember just how inadequate our CF options were before Rasmus - for example, Davis (238/273/350 in 2011) and Patterson (239/273/359), both with sketchy defense. Rasmus is 25, plays a better CF (although to my untrained eye his defense seemed uneven last year) and has a career 251/322/432 line. I think Rasmus will be a very solid player (or better) if he can develop some mental and mechanical consistency.
Dewey - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 02:27 PM EST (#250922) #
I'm concerned that calling out people by name is a bridge too far.

This is sooo much of our time.  To me it’s a clear attempt to evade responsibility for what one says or does.   Yes, it is weaseling.   I spent a lot of time this past year around hospitals, keeping an eye on an old friend in trouble.   Hospitals’ primary concerns are cost, confidentiality, and covering one’s butt.  Patient care ... well, yeah there’s that too, somewhere down the line.  The nurses all worked in what they called “teams”.  You know, the team (everybody) is responsible.  So, of course, no one is.  Nobody could ever be found who was directly responsible for anything.  Disgraceful.

If you say something, or do something, you are responsible for that -- personally responsible.  It has to be “personal”.  You said it/did it.   Sorry if that’s uncomfortable.  “Calling people out by name is a bridge too far” only if the person called out suffers from the delusion that they are infallible.  If you make a slip, mess up, get something wrong -- have the grace to acknowledge it, apologize if appropriate, and carry on.  People will think more of you for that.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 03:07 PM EST (#250923) #
I don't know...if I were TamRa I wouldn't even have bothered to respond, because (a) I have better things to do than sift through old threads for "evidence" of such triviality; and (b) feeding trolls is generally an unproductive use of one's time.
92-93 - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 03:46 PM EST (#250925) #
I'm being called a troll now by the person who essentially had the exact same response to TamRa's nonsense. Interesting.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 05:12 PM EST (#250926) #

In his time with us, Colby Rasmus has and will generate positive War on just his defense, he's that good.   He may or may not be popular enough to win a Gold Glove (after Jeter won how many, being a popular but unperforming selection?).   A.A. thought he was that big an acquisition (Zach Stewart - it's doubtful he'd ever make this team; Jason Frasor - we didn't make the postseason last year so, was he a loss; Marc Rzepczynski - wasn't a Starter for us any more, and the same things that troubled him as a Starter, still come up occasionally as a Reliever; Octavio Dotel - wasn't likely to be back, so may have cost us a draft pick; and, Corey Patterson - had lost his value to us), and was able to clear some blockage for better acquisitions and young prospects to emerge.

hypobole - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 05:49 PM EST (#250927) #
TamRa, you stated a couple of posters (folks) implied that if AA didn't do xyz, he should be fired.
It was one poster on a couple of occasions. No one else on this board has made that suggestion IIRC.
bpoz - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 07:40 PM EST (#250929) #
IMO another tough call for AA will be JPA or d'Arnaud some time in the future. If he can keep them both, then I would be happy.

In the MacCowan interview with AA, AA specifically said that d'Arnaud would spend all of 2012 in LV, needs to win the MVP & JPA spent 2 years at LV. My take in this is...don't ask me about d'Arnaud coming up in 2012. I am very cool with that, AA can change his mind anytime he wants on anything.
TamRa - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 08:33 PM EST (#250931) #
I've said before and I say again, d'Arnaud will (barring grievous injury to JP) spend all of 2012 AND at least the first couple of months of 2013 in Vegas, then the jays will look at how to handle the hand-off, either in July of 2013 if trading JP makes sense in the context of the moment, or in the following off-season.

At that point JP will be arb-eligible but still have enough control to make him a valuable property, plus the team will have a much better idea where the critical hole that needs filling is.
TamRa - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 08:41 PM EST (#250932) #
"If you say something, or do something, you are responsible for that -- personally responsible. It has to be “personal”. You said it/did it. Sorry if that’s uncomfortable. “Calling people out by name is a bridge too far” only if the person called out suffers from the delusion that they are infallible."

It's not MY comfort I'm worried about. I've caught considerable grief here a few times before (almost always from one obsessed "opponent")

Rather, it's the comfort of the folks who have to read through the ensuing back-and-forth which will no doubt ensue.

As for the delusion the person refereed to suffers from, it has been my experience on forums in general that it pays to never underestimate the defensiveness of those accused.

If it makes yall fell better, particularly 92-93 given that it seems to mean so very much to him to win the point, I withdraw the comment. If I must argue I'd rather argue about baseball.

A part of me really would like to dig out the comments I have in mind and have a massive debate about it, but I'm trying to refocus my urge to debate and win into subjects of more importance than this one.

let's move on, shall we?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 10:15 PM EST (#250933) #

This nonsense about trading J.P. Arencibia and when Travis d'Arnaud comes up shall bl--dy well cease, pardon the language.    When one of: Yan Gomes, A.J.Jimenez, Carlos Perez or Santiago Nessy become good enough to play at the Major League level and only then should trading a Catcher be considered.   And that might take 2 - 3 years.   Let A.A. deal with GM problems.

Let's talk about trading from strength: Pitching (Hutchison, McGuire, Jenkins, Wojciechowski, Nicolino, Syndergaard, and Sanchez, just to name a few) and Outfielders (Gose,Sierra, Marisnick, Knecht, Crouse and Hawkins, just to name a few).

bpoz - Sunday, January 22 2012 @ 01:35 PM EST (#250940) #
Thanks for introducing the topic of trading from strength Richard SS.

AA has obtained players that have the potential to be elite or close to it. Namely Morrow, Escobar, Rasmus, Gose & Lawrie. I have a dictionary, unfortunately it does not define elite in baseball terms. IMO Bautista qualifies for the Jays.

When ST starts or maybe the season starts the media & gambling houses will rank the teams. At that time we will know the ranking of the Jays as contenders or long shots for 2012. As the season plays out that determination will get clearer.

IMO AA & his staff's actions for 2012 will be influenced by that. Even now I believe AA is thinking of future seasons. The 2013 & 2014 seasons right now appear complicated & unclear, but his overall philosophy on building a contender should stay the same. What ever it is.

My view is to have more SPs (3-5) with ERAs under 3.50 and 200+ IPs per season for about 3 years. I looked at the rotation of SF & Philly and they have SPs with ERAs under 3.00 for multiple years. The truth is, under 3.00 is what I want.

I strongly disagree from trading any of our very good pitching prospects just in case we lose any like that.
I believe our hitting line up should be like NYY & Boston...few or no holes. Catcher IMO is an easy spot for both & Gardner NYY & SS, 1 OF for Boston. Potentially the Jays may have no holes, Lind & EE are capable of 30Hr so IMO that is not a hole but ANY team can do better in a position or 2. KJ at 2B may be a hole but not if he has an Avg .280 with .330 OBP, I guess.

Gose & Marisnick have the tools to be elite, so I would be reluctant to trade them as well.

One area that I see as trading away if we are out of contention is pending FAs because they are lost when the season ends and players that you think can be easily replaced like Lind. Lind also has a friendly contract.
KJ, EE, Carlos V as pending FAs. I would try to sign Janssen & Morrow to cheap multiyear deals. Multiyear is a good guarantee for the player, but i see Janssen as wanting a better role. I don't mind Morrow multiyear as our 4th best SP because so far he has not impressed me as capable of a 3.50 ERA.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 22 2012 @ 01:49 PM EST (#250941) #
Anything could happen (even contention) in 2012, but I could see AA packaging a few players at the deadline for another frontline cost-controlled player. Perhaps some combination of Oliver, Frasor, Carlos V, Cecil, EE, Lind, KJ, maybe a prospect or two...who knows. There are some potentially useful trade chips on the team. If two or three of these players are having career years, he might be able to persuade a contender to part with some real talent again this year (a la Rasmus/Escobar).
bpoz - Sunday, January 22 2012 @ 02:25 PM EST (#250942) #
I like your comment greenfrog. I would like to ask you on June 1st or june 15th who you think is getting desperate because of their performance by then.

With 5 playoff spots hopefully, that leaves IMO 4 spots for NYY, Boston, Texas & LAA. Oh I still like TB as possibly having the deepest rotation. I will be pulling for them, just for the pleasure of making those other 4 teams($$$$) squirm.

It is not my decision to make but no extra WC in 2012 most likely does not affect the Jays...contention wise.
bpoz - Sunday, January 22 2012 @ 03:07 PM EST (#250943) #
Jays signed 16 yr old SS Ronnie Demorizi from DR for $105,000 per Jaysprospect.
92-93 - Sunday, January 22 2012 @ 04:59 PM EST (#250946) #
I don't care about "winning the point". I'm frustrated that the people who consistently defend the organization at every step can't recognize valid criticism for what it's worth, and separate that from being down on a GM that's doing everything he can with what he's given.
sam - Sunday, January 22 2012 @ 05:49 PM EST (#250947) #
Demorizi is nice looking player. He looks very comfortable fielding the baseball with good instincts, stuff that coaches love but is lost on stat-heads. He has a good frame that'll grow and when all is said and done will be an impressive physical specimen. He's a switch-hitter who has a ways to go with the bat. There's some bat speed there, but I'm not convinced he'll ever hit for power with his swing right now. It looks like he desperate to get inside the ball and has completely changed his natural swing path. You hope that the Jays can iron out some of the intricacies of swinging a baseball bat before muscle memory kicks in. I don't think you can project anything as plus, but that can always change. He looks a solid prospect.

Some Jays fans may look at video of him (attached below) and see a very vague resemblance of Tony Fernandez. Similar body types, actions in the field, switch hitters with eerily similar handsy-swings. Who knows.
John Northey - Monday, January 23 2012 @ 12:25 AM EST (#250948) #
ERA under 3.00 plus 200 IP from 3 guys? Now _that_ is asking a lot.
Checking the Jays playoff years plus '87...
1985: 1 under 3, 3 with 200 IP
1987: 1 under 3, 2 with 200 IP
1989: 0 under 3, 3 with 200 IP
1991: 2 under 3 (both under 150 IP), 2 with 200 IP
1992: 2 under 3 (one with 53 IP), 2 with 200 IP
1993: 0 under 3.80, 2 over 200 IP

So never, in a playoff or near playoff year, have the Jays had 3 starters under 3 for ERA, but they always have at least 2, sometimes 3 with 200 IP.

Workhorses = vital
Super low ERA = optional

Other years in the 83-93 window...
1990: 1 under 3, 2 over 200 IP
1988: 0 under 3, 2 over 200 IP
1986: 0 under 3, 3 over 200 IP
1984: 1 under 3, 4 over 200 IP (4 man rotation, 22 starts to all others)
1983: 0 under 3, 3 over 200 IP

Same pattern repeated with that amazing 4 with 200 IP in '84.

Now, last year Tampa had 2 sub-3 and 2 at 200+ IP; Yankees 1 under 3, same over 200 IP; Red Sox 1 sub 3, 0 over 200. So Tampa has done it, Philly of course did it (spending the almost the Jays entire budget on your rotation helps) but that is a very rare thing indeed.

It is a good goal, to have at least 3 guys who COULD have a sub-3 ERA and 200 IP (in 93 the Jays had Hentgen, Guzman, Leiter who all had the sub-3 and 200 IP potential plus Stewart & Morris who had 200 IP potential) but you just can't expect it unless you are doing the Philly method ($20 mil each for 2 guys and a home grown stud).
bpoz - Monday, January 23 2012 @ 09:35 AM EST (#250951) #
Wonderful work John N. You approached this question by year, I had not even thought of approaching it that way. I actually looked at it by pitcher and looked for 2-3years of that PARAMETER. It is a nice word, most of the time.

I understand ERA of 3.5 but How do you convert ERA+ 120 and 150. I was lost in that discussion. Thanks.

Philly has 3, SF 2. Felix Hernandez has done it twice 2009 & 2010 but not 2011 ERA 3.47.

My parameters are high, the parameters you used are even higher.

Now for the wishey part. I mean wishful, the wonderful days of JK are past.
Was 2010 a fluke? Each of Marcum, Romero, Cecil & Morrow flirted with no hitters that year. They were pulling for each other and things were going very well. Also in 2009 Zep had a 3.67 ERA, the injury to his middle finger in 2010 ST cost him half the season. Nobody can deny the possibility that he could have been the 5th SP and done well enough to make it a Big 5.
Health is always an unknown, except we know injuries will happen. For 2012 I am hoping for ERAs under 4.00 from a few starters. 200IP from Romero and hopefully Morrow & Cecil, but will these 2 crack the 4.00ERA level.Alvarez may have an IP limit 180IP? but he may get close to 4.00. A few growing pains are acceptable and expected. A M Pineda season is possible, but it is a different home park. There is enough quantity in the system to produce 200IP & 4.00- very soon from others.

I think 4 4.00- ERA pitchers in 2012 or 2013 is fairly realistic, but maybe not.
John Northey - Monday, January 23 2012 @ 10:11 AM EST (#250954) #
ERA+ is basically an indicator of how much better than league average your pitchers are (park factors are included).
100 = league average
ERA of 100 (neutral park) by 10 year gaps...
2011 4.08
2001 4.47
1991 4.09
1981 3.66

An ERA below 4 is above average pretty much since the Jays first became contenders in '83 (4.06) but it jumped in the 'steroid era' by about 1/2 a run before coming back down.

Romero's 146 was an ERA of 2.92 so it is safe to say you need a 140 ERA+ to be a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher (Frasor at 2.98 was a ERA+ of 144). A 3.50 ERA would be an ERA+ of about 120 (Francisco had a 120 ERA+ with a 3.55 ERA). ERA+ around 90 is the same as an ERA of 5.00 (Perez/Miller). A 70 ERA+ puts you around a 6.00 ERA (Drabek) while a 50 ERA+ is around a 9.00 ERA (Rommie Lewis).

So my target was a staff with an ace of about 3.50, 2/3 in the 3.50 to 4.00 range and 4/5 in the 4.00 to 5.00 range. That would be a staff that would be acceptable but not 'woohoo'. A smart GM always tried to stock up on the 3.50 and better guys hoping a couple will crack 3.00 (ERA+ of 140) each year. Guys who consistently do that (Halladay, Lee) are $20+ mil a year and very, very hard to get your hands on.
bpoz - Monday, January 23 2012 @ 11:24 AM EST (#250957) #
Thanks John. So 3 SPs that are consistently 3.50 or better should make for a nice, comfortable staff.

Cashman in NYY may make a run at 2 such FAs in the next off season. There could be 4 or 5 like that. Smart move to save his money. AJ comes off the books after 2013.

Will Washington be smart enough to grab 1 of them. If so including Strassburg, their rotation could challenge the Phillies.

Anyone else? The Cubs should shed payroll & then go after 2 such FAs. They are probably trying to lock up Garza or trade him and then get him back if he is a FA in 2013.
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