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Jose Bautista's season is over. He's having surgery on his wrist.

And prospect Marcus Stroman's season is over as well. He's been suspended for 50 games for using a banned stimulant called methylhexaneamine.

The fun never stops.
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Ryan Day - Tuesday, August 28 2012 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#262763) #
On the bright side: Ricky Romero's not dead yet.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, August 28 2012 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#262768) #
And Romero puts together a very nice game, while the offense gives up.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, August 29 2012 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#262771) #
John Sickels has an article on 1-2-3-4-5 starters and their minimum qualifications. Be nice to see how Morrow, Romero, Happ, Villanueva and Alvarez are valued.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 29 2012 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#262773) #
Thinking about next year. How well will Bautista, Lawrie & JPA have recovered? I have faith in EE, Escobar & Rasmus to produce. For LF & DH there is a large number of players Lind, Cooper, R Davis, M Sierra. We may be able to add a stop gap player as well. 2B will be tricky. Looks like that great offense which was first to score 500 runs will not be as good next year. Too bad.

The pitching should be better because I do not expect this much injury next year. Some of the 60 day DL guys will not be available next year. Romero, Morrow & Alvarez should contribute much more next year. I have a lot of faith in them for next year if they stay healthy. Happ could do OK. I would like him to be our #5. For #4 I would settle for someone as good as Happ, which is nothing great but again I will take OK.

If Oakland, Baltimore & CWS can compete why not us?
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 29 2012 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#262832) #
I have no doubt that this is just a speedbump for Romero and he will be back to his '09-11 form (or close to it) for 2013. That makes him a solid #3 on any staff that hopes to be in the playoffs.

I also am of the opinion that Henderson Alvarez and J.A. Happ should be counted on for nothing but competition for the 5th spot in '13. Alvarez has been found wanting in the A.L. East without an out pitch, and Happ will be facing much more dangerous lineups in the A.L. East. Both have decent upside and are both young and have a good chance to improve, but to count on both of them doing this is illogical.

One of those two should be the #5 in the rotation, while the other moves to the 'pen. I've said on BB before that perhaps the Jays should have (or should now) let Alvarez iron out his difficulties in a 6/7th inning role, since two pitch pitchers can certainly succeed in those situations. Texas has done it similarly with Feliz and Ogando.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#262845) #

ESPN's new TV deal with MLB  gives each Team $23.33 MM as part of their cut.  The article also includes FOX, TBS and NBC looking for Baseball Programing (content).   Richard Dietsch of Sport Illustrated (on Prime Time Sports 29 Aug 12) says the Post-Season Broadcasts package should earn at least that kind of money for Teams.

That $46.66 MM, from MLB, per Team (50-75% increase) indicates Beeston`s "spend money" interview has some basis behind it.   We now have the money to sign Greinke.   We now have the prospect to trade for anyone.   We can now have a payroll in the $110.0 MM - $120.0 MM range with minimal funding from Rogers.   Interesting...

TamRa - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 03:34 AM EDT (#262848) #
if one assumes that Rogers would simply rubber stamp the whole extra, say, 50 mil to go directly to payroll, then sure, you could play in the 120-130 range (and that's assuming that the money is all going into the major league payroll which may or may not be the best application) but there's one major flaw in the thesis:

there is no reason to assume that any and every other team would not do likewise. if so, what you would end up with is a world in which a 130 million payroll is more or less league average and you have to spend 170-180 to "run with the big dogs" - which leaves you no better off competitively.

ogator - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#262849) #
If Rogers were to bank that money (Rogers? Put money in their pockets rather than on the field?) well, then they would be sternly admonished by Mark Carney and maybe even Jim Flaherty. No one wants that kind of comeuppance!
BlueJayWay - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#262851) #
More free money for Rogers to pocket.  Yay.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#262854) #
Maybe the Bank of the Blue Jays (as it once was) would be interested in purchasing them now. 
AWeb - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#262855) #

It just occurred to me, that if teams do pocket the new money for the most part (which a lot will, at least initially), the next labour negotiation will be quite something for MLB. Players will be rightfully demanding a lot more, maybe something along the lines of the other three big sports (a % of revenue guaranteed, essentially). WIth this much money floating around, someone will break the bank for a top guy...

Now if the Jays could just develop a few players worth mega-deals, Votto/Braun/ agents seem to be increasingly less useful crops of players as teams continue to lock up absurdly longterm deals for young players. I'm not sure who the Jays should splurge on, I'm all in for Hamilton as a risky gamble with high year-to-year upside. His risk should keep the contract length shorter, right? Maybe "just" 5 years, 125 million? Not my money, just outbid other teams and see if he'll come.

Maybe a trade for a big contract is more likely. Unfortunately, with this new money, not many teams will be looking to dump good but (previously) overpaid players. 

Moe - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#262856) #
"We now have the money to sign Greinke."

Except the same is true for all teams which is why there will simply be upward pressure on salary across the board.

It'll make contract that looked like marginal overpayments look cheaper so in that sense it frees up some money. But for the Jays to go out and sign top guys, their regional TV money has to go up, not the national money which everyone gets.

Beyonder - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#262861) #
... and before we commit Cole Hamels-type money to Greinke, we should ask whether we'll get Cole Hamels-type production in return. Greinke's ERA+ for the last three years is: 100, 103, and 105 (Hamels: 133, 138, and 134). IMO he's still dining out on his Cy Young year in 2009. I expect AA to steer far clear from Greinke, and I think that's a good thing.
ayjackson - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#262863) #
That article indicates that ESPN has signed up for 8 years and $700 million.  That is an increase of $350 million per year from the existing contract, or $11.7 million per team.  If you assume that there will be another contract with a similar increase, then there may be in the neighbourhood of $20-25 million per team in the coffers going forward.
92-93 - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#262867) #
"But for the Jays to go out and sign top guys, their regional TV money has to go up, not the national money which everyone gets."

Their regional TV money is an accounting matter, how much one division of Rogers chooses to give to another. While it certainly doesn't hurt that TV & attendance figures are way up in 2012, only time will tell if Rogers is willing to reinvest any of that in the MLB product, taking risks even if they aren't the greatest value deals going forward. Recent MLB history has shown that it's possible to dump contracts no matter how many articles the media writes about it being among the worst contracts in baseball, so it would be nice to see the team sign some veteran talent and make itself better for 2013 even if it means having to swallow/trade some cash down the line. Even in a free agent market without the elite gems there's plenty of talent that could help the club be competitive in 2013, and it will be really disappointing if they sit out of the market yet again.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#262872) #
For myself, I am most interested in talent that could make the club better in 2013 and 2014.  I think that it will be a lot tougher for the team to compete in 2013 than it would have been in 2012.  This is not an endorsement of a "closed purse string" policy, of course. 
Beyonder - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#262878) #

Do you mean that going into the 2012 season it should have been easier to compete than it will be in 2013? With the benefit of hindsight, there is no realistic addition AA could have made this offseason that would have enabled the Jays to compete. Romero's nightmare season, combined with the injuries to Bautista, Lawrie, Morrow, Santos, JPA, and Huch would have doomed this season even if we had acquired Gio Gonzales (or insert name of favourite free agent/trade target).
bpoz - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#262880) #
I totally agree with you Beyonder. 2012 has had way too many injuries. Right now IMO we are more LV 51s than Jays. I wonder which is the higher % LV or Toronto.

The good news is that we have 2 more elite major league players EE & Janssen.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#262882) #

...there is no reason to assume that any and every other team would not do likewise....

This is Free Money.   Unfortunately, some of the Teams are using it to pay debt load.  Sometimes it's a Team's debt load or sometimes it's an Owner's debt load.   Even rich ones need 'assistance' occassionally (MLSE purchase?).   Stadium up-keep is usually on-going due to lack of finances for doing it all at once.  (How much would it cost, per year, to maintain a natural grass field in the Rogers Center/SkyDome).      

This is Free Money.   Some of the Teams have needier (greedy) owners.  A team can be fully funded on revenue earned - ticket sales, concessions, souvenirs, MLB subsidy (as K.C., Pittsburgh and Florida/Miami did at one time).   Adding TV money lets you do more (keep More).   Sometimes it's just cash flow problems that control decisions

Some of the Teams, using creative financing, need it to get current.   Example: Using 2013 Season ticket purchases to pay off 2012 debts.   Occassionally one or more 'companies' fund other 'company' or 'companies'.

...there may be in the neighbourhood of $20-25 million per team in the coffers going forward....

If you have three or four good players leaving pre-arb years, that $20.0 -$25.0 MM increase could vanish just there.   Too many teams have other needs for this money, while others will spend.  

Greinke is of interest because he's a very good #2, borderline #1 Starter, that might still scare off some teams.   I find these of interest because you can link through to two others articles.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#262891) #

Signing a Free Agent just costs money, and not precious prospects.   I believe Romero is working things out and will return to form leaving this aberation is behind.   I believe Morrow has taken the next step and is the Front-of-the-Rotation Pitcher we hoped he would become.   With a Front-line Pitching acquisition, we can contend.   Balitmore is strange, Boston will suck in 2013 but maybe not in 2014, New York is more worried about a Luxury Tax reset than they are about acqusitions and Tampa's problem is money, money, money (TV deal is not enough).

New "Stud" Acquisition, Morrow, Romero, possible new acquisition, Alvarez, Happ, resigning Villanueva (for Starter to be Long Man in Bullpen/#6 Starter), Cecil gets us 7-8 deep.   Santos, Janssen, Delabar, resigning Lyon, Lincoln, Loup gives us a quality six in the Bullpen.   Encarnacion, Hechavarria (or resigning Johnson), Escobar, Lawrie, Arencibia and Mathis gives us a good Infield, while Bautista, Rasmus, Sierra and Davis fill out the Outfield.  Adam Lind (mayor may not make this team) could be DH, but money needs to be spent upgrading the Middle Infielders (McCoy and Gomes are not enough). 

The 'extra' monies should make it easier for A.A.   With up to $27.5 MM available over 8 years, it could cover a Big Free Agent Deal and pay for itself.  

Mike Green - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#262892) #
I was speaking without the benefit of hindsight.  Even with hindsight, the injuries that occurred in 2012 will have effects in 2013.  Hutchison will be out.  Recovery from wrist surgery can be expected to reduce Bautista's production.  And the absence of a good option in left-field is now obvious (and unnecessary). 

During the 2011-12 off-season, I would have been delighted with one-year acquisitions to help the club.  I will not feel the same way this off-season. 

92-93 - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#262899) #
Where's the harm in bumping payroll to 100-110 million to get in some veteran talent on one year deals?
Mike Green - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#262900) #
There is no harm in it, but the benefit is very small compared to the alternative of spending on players who will actually help the club win in 2013 and (much more likely) 2014.  If the club spends an extra $20 million this off-season on 1 year contracts which can be expected to bring the club from a 79 win to an 83 win club and then doesn't spend the following off-season, I will not be excited. 
bpoz - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#262911) #
IMO the FO will decide the budget. The fans may have an input. If the budget goes up $8mil, how much is due to the fans & how much to the FO. I simply do not know.

Zaun was specific which I like in an opinion. He said they should get 1 more big bat. His most likely spot for it was LF or DH. Which ever spot it is then adjust the other spot with what ever you have. In the off season many Bauxites will be specific which is good.

Actually AA was fairly specific if I remember correctly. He is going to concentrate on the rotation and not search hard to improve the offense & Pen.
scottt - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#262915) #
Let's sign Villanueva already.

grjas - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#262916) #
If AA doesn't sign the guy- assuming a reasonable price point- he should be shot. He wants to be here and has been one of our best starters this year period. Not to mention his relief pitching.
Hodgie - Thursday, August 30 2012 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#262920) #
"If AA doesn't sign the guy- assuming a reasonable price point- he should be shot."

Are you sure you didn't mean to post this here?

TamRa - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#262924) #
In terms of cost/benefit, I don't see many free agent starters i like better than Villainueva. I'm sold on the guy.

In 2011 he had good totals after nine starts (54 IP, 52 hits, 13 BB and 33K with a 3.67 ERA) before his arm gave out and he started getting roughed up.

this year he's now had 11 starts and he only seems to be getting better.

65.1 IP, 54 H, 17 BB, 65 K, and a 3.03 ERA

I see no reason to not lock him down as the presumptive #4 starter next year (and only the question of endurance keeping that from being #3)

Pencil it in as

1. Morrow
2. ???
3. Romero
4. Villainueva
5. Happ/Alvarez/McGowan/someone else?

and I'm just as good with that as with the idea of going out and finding some other guy outside the organization to write down at #4.

On the other hand, if you don't sign anyone and it goes like this:

Alvarez/McGowan/Cecil/Laffey/ someone else?

then the margin for error is a lot smaller but with health that might very well end up better than this unfortunate year.

either way...I would feel very goof about Carlos having a spot in that rotation.

scottt - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 06:02 AM EDT (#262926) #
I would feel very goof if Boston signs him.
Thomas - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 07:08 AM EDT (#262927) #
but with health that might very well end up better than this unfortunate year

The Jays need to have their sights set higher than finding a rotation that "might very well end up better" than this year's.

That being said, add me to the chorus of people who want to see the club retain Villanueva, whether it's to begin him in the rotation or have him act as a reliever ready to step in when inevitable injury/underperformance occurs. I see no reason not to do the former, but there's still a lot of value to be had even if they think he's best utilized or can only handle 15 starts (to go along with 40 relief innings).

AWeb - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#262928) #

The Jays could go with a hybrid rotation, with two-three top starters and a couple of paired starter combos, ala the Colorado Rockies

It should be fascinating to watch this unfold - the unfortunate part is the Rockies have terrible pitching and Coors has reverted part of the way to pre-humidor silly-ball Coors, so it's damn hard to figure out if it is working. But there isn't a single starter on the team with the track reord to really complain about being used this way.

I can think of a few posters around here who are probably very happy that a team is finally committing to trying this strategy, which I think makes increasing sense in an age of 12-13 man pitching staffs. Wouldn't this make even more sense in the playoffs, as starting pitchers are wearing down anyway?

Richard S.S. - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#262950) #

...a hybrid rotation, with two-three top starters and a couple of paired starter combos...

With three Top Starters (pitching 6-9 innings) and two pairs of tandem Starters (each: 4-5 IP or twice through the batting order), it leaves 5 spots for the bullpen.   Preferably 3 Top Relievers (Closer and 2 Setup) for late innings and two Middle Relief/Longmen/Spot Starter types.   That should be more than enough Pitching.   Allowing for LF, CF, RF, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B and C, it permits a Top Quality 5-man Bench (rotating through the DH spot).   I just don't think A.A. will try it...yet?

greenfrog - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#262951) #
I want the Jays to re-sign Villanueva but it doesn't sound to me like it's happening, for whatever reason. My sense is that if the Jays wanted to keep him, they would have made some overtures by now.

Payroll is around $84M this year (per Cot's). Perhaps Rogers isn't giving the Jays much more to spend over the next year or two (it certainly would explain why AA is going with a budget bullpen - a promising bullpen, to be sure, but an inexpensive one).
Richard S.S. - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#262952) #

If my understanding is correct, 5 days after the last game of the World Series Teams make qualifying offers ($13+-ish MM) to the Free Agents.   Seven days after that Free Agents must accept or decline their Team's offer.   Day 13, Free Agency commences.   From the end of the season (last game October 3rd), until Day 13, Teams have exclusive rights (for basically 6 weeks) to negotiate with their Free Agents.

With Villanueva scheduled to make 7 more starts (18 total) with an average of 6.0 IP per start (approx. 141.0 total innings pitched, a career high - 107.0 in `11), I`d like to see how he finishes the season before I sign him.   J.A. Happ (LHP), who`s under control for two more years, is facing the same scrutiny.   Consistency and staying strong and healthy will be important to Villanueva, considering he will be inning limited in 2013 (at age 29).   I`m willing to give him Starter money, have him compete for a Starter`s job in 2013, but be prepared to be in the Bullpen, long relief, our 6th Starter (on a 5-man Rotation).

A.A. says Morrow (RHP) and Romero (LHP) have the only Guarenteed Rotation positions.   A.A. has been looking at a lot of our prospects (Starters) fixing in his mind which Top prospects can be traded this offseason.   I believe A.A. will acquire two Starters this offseason,making the 5th and 6th Starters (Happ, Alvarez, Villanueva?) very important. 

grjas - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#262954) #
I believe A.A. will acquire two Starters this offseason.

I hope you are right but Rogers money aside, i think it will be a challenge. There's a lot of teams looking for pitching: excitement over the extra playoff berth, and more money from the tv deal. I think he will be hard pressed to get more than one top 4 pitcher in a sellers market.

Makes signing up carlos all the wiser.
jerjapan - Friday, August 31 2012 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#262955) #
Great play by Sierra, and Mathis, to end the game tonight.  Zaun was practically foaming at the mouth.  "I've got my juices flowing".  Love that guy.
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#262957) #
Not sure if it's been posted already, but Fangraphs has an interview with Anthony Gose

and some analysis of CV's terrific start yesterday

bpoz - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#262962) #
M Sierra is looking good. Maybe he makes the 2013 team.
grjas - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#262968) #
Interesting comparing stats between sierra and snider. Much as i hated seeing snider go, so far sierra is matching up nicely.

Stats as follows. Sierra first
. Ab- 77/100
. Hr- 3/1
. Rbi- 6/7
. Bb- 3/11
. Ba- .286/.287
. So-20/19
. Obp- .313/.370
. Slg-.429/.409
. Ops- .741/.772

So holds his own on average, slight edge in power,equal in strike outs, way behind in walks.

And he has a lot less mlb experience. Still early of course, but promising, especially combined with his arm which some scouts say was the best in the minors. If he sticks next year, not many runners will be testing any of our outfield arms.
grjas - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#262969) #
Sorry meant to add the stats are since the trade.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#262972) #
Rodney on in the eighth to get the 2 key strikeouts, and then a doppelganger ending to last night's game.  How many games in a season end with a runner being thrown out at the plate anyways?
Gerry - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#262974) #
That was a weird slide by Vizquel. He could have chosen to go to the outside of the plate or the inside. The ball came in high and Molina had to go back to take it in. Vizquel went to the outside and basically ran into Molina as he was getting the ball, if he had slid to the inside he probably would have scored.
JB21 - Saturday, September 01 2012 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#262975) #
Why is Vizquel on this team? He's wasting a bench spot. Although Sept call ups addresses that, but he shouldn't get into a game for the rest of the season, and next year we can move on and have an actual MLB player on the end of our bench.
TamRa - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 02:34 AM EDT (#262976) #
The working thesis in the spring was that Vizquel's value was increased by having him serve as an unofficial player coach to Escobar (primarily) Lawrie, and eventually Hechavarria.

It might also be tied to a handshake deal for Vizquel to stay on in the org as a coach/instructor.

bpoz - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#262978) #
Does anyone care to discuss the reasons why Vizquel was not pinch run for.

We know that there was nobody left on the bench to pinch run as McCoy was already used. Ashby pointed out the short bench factor.

Wilner went 1 better, pointing out that it was Sept 1st so the bench could have been bigger and Gose probably scores as the pinch runner. I actually thought of that before Wiliner announced his opinion.

However on further thought this morning, I know that the FO is smart so there has to be another reason for waiting to call up the players. I believe that getting a better AAA team is more important than winning a couple of games at the ML level when the team is already eliminated.
So if we are in negotiations with Buffalo as a show of good faith, I would agree to some parameters.
1) If both teams are still in contention, then the ML team is allowed to promote players. Lower levels can then supply players to strengthen the minor league losses.
2) If the ML team is not in contention then wait. However the AA team has been out of it for a long time so S Dyson could have been promoted, just as Nolin was demoted. Both Toronto & Dunedin would have been strengthened and the weakening of NH is not so important.
Moe - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#262980) #
Does anyone care to discuss the reasons why Vizquel was not pinch run for.

My guess is the Jays wait until the AAA season is officially over. I'm not that upset that no one is called up yet, who would have thought that it would be this critical on right on 09/01. I'm more upset about the bench construction/oversized bullpen. One could also argue that Vizquel could have been stopped at 3rd. EE was coming up and he was only the tying run.

The play that upset me even more then the final out was the unnecessary steal with 2 on, 2 outs and EE at the plate. That should never happen.

TamRa - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#262994) #
I'm still a bit curious on a couple of points - Cecil was not going to pitch again in Vegas anyway, they could have made that move. And Frasor appears to be re-habbed.

Not that this would have helped in the pinch-run situation y'all been discussing.

Gerry - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#262997) #

AA had a chat with the media before yesterdays game. Mike Cormack has the transcript.


I've always said that in the past. Obviously he's a great defender, great athlete. You have to be careful breaking too many players in at the same time. There's a reason they have three options and a lot of them use at least one, if not more. So with young players it might take a year or two or three before they finally establish themselves, so right now I don't know if we've thought about it a whole lot. Obviously Kelly's (Johnson) a free agent and we'll examine that at some point. Yunel (Escobar) is obviously our everyday shortstop. Second base right now without anybody under contract, I really don't know how the off-season is going to play out as well. Does Kelly come back? Will something else occur in a trade? We have Adeiny either way. He's got options left. We don't have to make a decision on him.

Gerry - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#262998) #
JP Arencibia is DH'ing for Dunedin in a 5pm game. He doubled in his first at-bat.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#262999) #
With d'Arnaud still recovering from his knee injury, I wonder if the club will give him some time in left-field during the off-season.  You could work an interesting LF/DH "platoon" arrangement with Davis, d'Arnaud and Lind, at least to start the season- d'Arnaud starts every day, DHing against lefties with Davis in left-field and playing left-field against righties with LInd DHing.

ogator - Sunday, September 02 2012 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#263000) #
With respect to the comment that leads this thread, now is he dead?
scottt - Monday, September 03 2012 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#263002) #
The bit about Cecil going to the pen in the future is interesting and that he sees Nolin helping the team some time next year.
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