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The Jays are starting their second manager search in two years.  Media stories suggest the Jays are not out front of this yet.  Reportedly Sandy Alomar or Brad Ausmus had not been contacted by the Jays as of yesterday.  I would have thought that the Jays had seen the writing on the John Farrell wall at least a week ago and would have a list of interview candidates ready to go yesterday.  There are not a lot of manager openings at this time so the Jays can still have a lot of guys to pick from, even if they take their time.  However AA told all the coaches that they were free to seek work elsewhere.  While some might be OK with seeing Boston pick up John Farrell, they might be less happy if he picks over the best of the Blue Jay coaches.

There have been numerous names mentioned as possible managerial candidates, mostly by the media and fans.  We should have an idea of who the team is talking to soon.  One story yesterday suggested the Jays would talk to Manny Acta and Jim Tracy.  Why Tracy, was he not a disaster in Colorado?

Let the speculation begin.

Manager Idol 2012 | 149 comments | Create New Account
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Brent S - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#264752) #

I found some fairly insightful comments on BBTF regarding Jim Tracy. This particular comment comes from Rockies fan Tom Nawrocki:

Jim Tracy certainly has his good points as a manager. These include:

* He's not afraid to put rookies in the lineup. This year, when Troy Tulowitzki got hurt, Tracy slapped Josh Rutledge out of AA into the lineup at shortstop and basically left him there the entire season.

* He uses the entire roster. If you play for Jim Tracy, you better expect to be on the field a lot.

* He's patient with a player if he thinks he can do the job. He's more than willing to wait out slumps.

* At least in Colorado, he was always very positive and well-liked.

And he's got some serious drawbacks, too:

* He's a very poor judge of talent. He doesn't seem to have any grasp of what makes a decent offense, so he ends up playing the kind of players he likes: grinders, aggressive players, guys who swing at a lot of pitches. He seems to make a lot of decisions about who can play based solely on the players' attitudes; boy, did they love Michael Cuddyer out here. He especially likes high-average hitters who don't do much else offensively.

* In a related issue, he doesn't like passive players, which means guys who will take ball four. The Rockies traded away several of their most patient hitters over the last off-season, including Seth Smith and Chris Iannetta. Dexter Fowler, who was probably the best player on the Rockies this year, had to fight for playing time early in the season, and ended up leading the team in walks with just 68.

* He's not much of a strategist. His lineup decisions are all over the map, and he wants very strict roles for his bullpen guys. He's terrible at knowing when to pinch-hit for his starting pitcher.

It's not a surprise that his two biggest successes, the 2004 Dodgers and the 2009 Rockies, came when he first took over the team. If the talent is already there, he does a pretty good job of giving it room to succeed. Once he starts making decisions about who can play and who can't, though, he's sunk.
Chuck - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#264754) #

I would have thought that the Jays had seen the writing on the John Farrell wall at least a week ago and would have a list of interview candidates ready to go yesterday.

More like two months ago when the speculation started. Once there was a reason to believe that keeping Farrell here in 2013 would have been doing so against his will, and thus not very productive for the organization, you'd have thought that some contingency plans would have been drawn up.

However AA told all the coaches that they were free to seek work elsewhere. 

Strictly speaking, do the coaches even have contracts at the moment? I thought they didn't meaning that they are free to do as they wish and don't require the organization's blessing or permission to do so. Or is there some language built into their contracts granting the Jays an exclusive window or first right of refusal or some such?

Chuck - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#264755) #

Bengie Molina, Jose Molina, Mike Napoli (sort of), Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson.

The new market inefficiency: ex-Angel catchers.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#264756) #
Did a search for potential managers and got a list of guys playing in 2009 who were viewed as potential 'player-managers'.

Included were familiar names who are retired now like Carlos Delgado (now that'd be interesting), Jason Varitek, Chipper Jones, plus a name that isn't as big in Tony Clark. I cannot recall any rumours about any of those guys outside of Varitek as managers so I figured we might as well toss them in as the '1 in 1000' shots, especially since I cannot see the Jays going for another with strong Red Sox ties.

Another site listed Managers for 2011 - - the first 2 are now managers while others are Ted Simmons, Tim Wallach, Mike Quade (briefly Cubs manager then fired after 91 loss season), Ryne Sandberg (desperate for a shot), Bobby Valentine (heh), Don Wakamatsu (solid shot), Jim Fregosi (oh god no), Don Baylor (no interest), Ken Macha (great for 4 years in Oakland, sub 500 2 years in Milwaukee), and many others.

The list is long of potential choices. Who knows which is best for a young team?
bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#264757) #
Farrell now has a 3 year contract compared to 1 year left with Toronto. I believe in luck ie some people are lucky and others are unlucky. So without any deep analysis Farrell is lucky to have the Boston situation.
But he & the Boston FO have to win something by 2014-15. Even reestablishing approximately 92+ wins will be enough.

I liked Roberto Alomar, besides being very talented & healthy he seemed to not make baseball mistakes. By baseball mistakes I mean base running & base stealing ie he did not get out much. Tony Fernandez kept getting thrown out at 3B a lot as far as I remember. Lawrie is a risk taker I believe and I wonder if that hurt the team. But maybe he is young and is still learning the limits of his abilities.
My gut tells me that an experienced manager will be able to cope better with these types of mistakes. But maybe the Alomars were taught how to not screw up by someone, in which case Sandy Alomar Jr would have the advantage over any other new managers.

It looks to me that the Jays will be young for a while with Hech, Gose & others like d'Arnaud, McDade & others challenging for opportunities.

There are a lot of big spenders challenging for the 5 playoff spots available. Now you can add Oakland in the mix because Beane has added some expensive help (C Young) because he believe he has a strong team. It looks to me that he is going for winning over the next few years.

I do not know how hard it will be to win 88-92 games. That is my target for success, even if does not get you a spot in the playoffs. Also AA, IMO prevented us getting to that mark in 2010 & 11 with Eveland & JoJo.
Oceanbound - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#264758) #
Oh boy, Jim Tracy? The people who thought getting rid of Farrell was addition by subtraction would get their minds blown.

John, the people who write at Bleacher Report know less about baseball than you and me. That list is just some guy pulling random names out of a hat.

bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#264759) #
The Rockies got worse each year from 2009-12 and by about 8-10 games.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#264760) #
Oceanbound - not a shock as I never heard Delgado listed as a manager candidate before but figured why not toss out the name as it is an interesting thought - he was known for standing up for what he believed in which is a good trait in a manager but I doubt he has much interest right now.

Sandy Alomar - would it be a plus or a minus that his brother is the Jays resident HOF'er? Some players might see it as proof he is someone who knows stuff, others would see it as 'he got the job due to his brother'. Commanding respect from millionaire players is not easy. Cito had a ton of 'presence' in his first shift here, but seemed to fade by the end of his second. First impressions matter, as does building & keeping trust (see Tim Johnson for how vital that can be). That explains a bit about why the vast majority of managers are ex-players - it gives a bit of extra strength to what they say as they have shown they know what it is like to be in the majors as a player thus some respect is there to start.

It'll be interesting to see who AA picks. An experienced ML manager would be a sign of 'win now', another rookie could be a sign of further youth and long term thinking although some rookie managers have done well. A hard nose to get players back in shape? A players manager to keep things loose? A teacher to build things up? And who (of the real candidates) fits those?
China fan - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#264761) #
"..... you'd have thought that some contingency plans would have been drawn up...."

And I'm sure that Anthopoulos did have a contingency plan. But Gerry's point was that Anthopoulos hadn't contacted the possible managers to set up interviews by yesterday -- and the explanation is probably just that it would have leaked out very fast if he was actually arranging interviews before Farrell departed. He would have had zero bargaining power in the talks with Boston if it was known that he was already arranging interviews with Sandy Alomar and Tim Wallach....

The other point is that he doesn't need to rush out to arrange interviews with the candidates that he interviewed two years ago. He already knows them pretty well. So that would explain why he hadn't contacted Alomar as of yesterday, even though he does need to re-interview Alomar at some point. Of course he does need to interview some new candidates, and Ausmus might be one of them, but I don't think it's so surprising that he hadn't contacted Ausmus on the first day of his managerial search.

Another point is -- how much competition is there for the leading candidates? There are only one or two other managerial vacancies at the moment, no?
John Northey - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#264762) #
Hmm... who is likely to be let go as manager this winter and what jobs are open right now?

Toronto is open obviously, Colorado Rockies, and that is it. Others who are in danger? Generally it would be guys who ran teams that disappointed - Cleveland, Minnesota, Seattle, Philly, Mets, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers are who come to mind. Houston already replaced theirs. Generally though you'd dump the manager by now if you were going to (with obvious exceptions like how Gord Ash handled Tim Johnson, waiting until spring training to do so). So if it is just Toronto vs Colorado for managers and there are many good candidates then there really isn't a big rush outside of a desire to settle things early.
China fan - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#264763) #
Apparently, at his press conference in Boston today, Farrell said he had asked permission to talk to the Red Sox a year ago, and Anthopoulos refused. It certainly raises the question of whether AA should have just traded the guy a year ago, rather than keeping a manager who would prefer to be elsewhere. The counter-arguments, I suppose, are that AA probably assumed that Valentine would be the Sox manager for a few years, so the Farrell issue would die down. And perhaps he wouldn't have gotten much of a return from the Sox if he had agreed to let Farrell go last year. But the counter-counter-argument is that Anthopoulos should have known that he was letting himself in for a year of soap opera and torn emotions from Farrell, and the question would never be settled, and so he should have dumped him a year ago -- or never hired him in the first place.
Dewey - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#264764) #
Also in the Boston Globe today (behind a paywall) are Nick Cafardo’s “Notes”, the header for which states re Jose Bautista:  “The Toronto slugger said he will miss Farrell and said the team’s poor record had nothing to do with Farrell’s managing.” 
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#264765) #
The Jays claimed injured RHP David Herndon off waivers from the Phillies. That's 5 waiver claims in less than a week. YOLO, right?
Brent S - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#264766) #

Herndon has massive splits in the small sample size that is his career:

vs RHP: .261/.304/.354 (321 PA)

vs LHP: .350/.443/.611 (187 PA)

He also had Tommy John surgery last June, so presumably he won't be ready until mid-season. Probably a 60-day DL stash.

Mike Forbes - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#264767) #
Also, Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen today. Jays will probably try and claim him aswell.
MatO - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#264768) #
Herndon was originally an Angel signee.  I suspect they want convert him to catcher.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#264770) #
Any thoughts on the trade between Oakland, Miami & Arizona. Oakland improved for sure. Arizona gets depth in Pennington & Bell should help. I do not know what Miami is thinking. They should get a lot for a proven reliever especially since they will pay $8mil of his salary.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#264771) #
Also, Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen today. Jays will probably try and claim him aswell.

Um, no.  Unless they want the Pride Parade to make a little detour to Rogers Centre next June. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#264773) #
Will Rogers give AA sufficient financial resources and autonomy to obtain the right candidate? If you hire someone like Martinez or Ausmus or Alomar Jr., how many years do you give him? Probably three, I guess. I see that Francona got four years, but he has more of a track record.

Also: I would not be opposed to a new team president. I know it's too late now, but I feel that Beeston might not be the right person for the job in 2013-14. A fresh perspective might help the team. It's not clear to me what Beeston actually does, other than attempt to placate the fans and (in theory) cajole ownership into spending a few extra million on payroll.
greenfrog - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#264774) #
Judging by many of the comments on Sons of Sam Horn, a lot of Boston fans were ready to give Aviles away for nothing. I think he could be a useful utility player and sometime starter, but it also depends on how the rest of the team is constructed. If Davis (LF), Aviles (2B), Hechavarria (SS), Rasmus (CF), Arencibia (C) and Lind (DH) constitute 6/9 of the lineup - or if even three or four of these players are starting on a regular basis - it could be a long season. No amount of managerial acumen is going to turn that into a productive offense.
hypobole - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#264775) #
"Judging by many of the comments on Sons of Sam Horn, a lot of Boston fans were ready to give Aviles away for nothing."

Judging by many of the comments on Batters Box, a lot of Toronto fans were ready to give Farrell away for nothing.
scottt - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#264776) #
Boston gave Youkilis for nothing. They also gave away Crawford and Gonzalez for very little.

greenfrog - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#264777) #
Judging by many of the comments on Batters Box, a lot of Toronto fans were ready to give Farrell away for nothing

Sounds like a fair swap, then:) Or, as the Bard succinctly put it:

Nothing, my lord.



Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#264778) #
Wow, bit shocked at Guillen being fired given he has 3 years left and was just running the show there for one year. Sure shows how 'getting your man' doesn't always mean 'getting what you want'.

Miami came in dead last in the NL East, just 4 teams in the NL worse than they were despite spending a fortune...
$10 mil for Guillen (4 year deal, 1 year of service)
$106 mil for Jose Reyes (6 year deal)
$58 mil for Mark Buehrle (4 years)
$27 mil for Heath Bell (3 years, traded after 1)

Imagine if the Jays went on a crazy spending spree like that this winter and fell to 93 losses. Marlins were at 90 last year vs the Jays 89 this year.

Did it help at the box office at least? They climbed from 16th (6 straight years) to 12th. About 700k more fans bought tickets this year. Of course, a new park helped draw those fans too (I'd go just to see that weird center field thing they have). New parks and spending a couple hundred million just doesn't go as far as it used to.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#264779) #
Boston gave Youkilis for nothing

Actually, to be precise, they gave Manny for nothing and Youkilis for free (as a Bauxite a long time ago put it)
Gerry - Tuesday, October 23 2012 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#264780) #

A few final words on Farrell from Shi Davidi in Boston......

To borrow from the title of a popular self-help book, Alex Anthopoulos is from Mars, John Farrell is from Venus, and at the end of the day, the two of them simply aren’t right for each other.

From the plentiful he-said, she-said taking place right now by some involved in and around their messy breakup, even from those trying to sanitize the chain of events that led to Farrell’s requested trade from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Boston Red Sox, that much seems patently clear.

It also raises doubts about Farrell’s ability to effectively communicate some things people suggest have bothered him over the past year, such as the club’s failure to add veteran starting pitching last off-season, the decision to recall Travis Snider over Anthony Gose in July, the failure to acquire an available starter such as Jeremy Guthrie mid-season, and being told not to sit shortstop Yunel Escobar in favour of rookie Adeiny Hechavarria late in the season. There is also some debate whether Farrell warned Anthopoulos in the weeks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline that the failure to add a significant player would badly deflate the clubhouse.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#264781) #
Consider Aviles as Toronto's starting 2B, because upgrading here is distant on the list of A.A.'s priorities.   My only problem is this time spent on the Farrell situation has taken away time A.A. would be using on his Starter search.   Apparently he knows of a few good Starters that are available, but not known to be available.   This move he wanted to get done quick, to set the tone for his offseason.   If he has to also find a Manger right away, opportunities could slip away.   All I know from listening and reading is that it's a short list, of perhaps four candidates for the position, with two candidates not being available two years ago.   So who was under contract prior to 2011, but no longer this offseason, besides Manny Acta and Ozzie Guillen?
dan gordon - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 02:44 AM EDT (#264783) #

Given some comments by Farrell about not having the players to play the game the way he wanted, which I take as meaning he wanted to be doing more running, I am looking forward to seeing the Red Sox run themselves into a lot of outs.

I hope the next manager is a little less small ball oriented.  More important is what they do to fix the starting rotation, LF and 1B.  I'm fine with Aviles at 2B. 

China fan - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 06:31 AM EDT (#264784) #
I was a little disappointed in the Shi Davidi article on Farrell. Since he was one of the few Toronto journalists who flew to Boston to talk to Farrell yesterday, it should have been better than it was. In the excerpt cited by Gerry above, the key paragraph is the list of things that Farrell may have been upset about -- Gose over Snider, Escobar over Hechavarria, etc -- but the entire paragraph is badly weakened by a small buried phrase ("people suggest") which muddles the sourcing of the whole thing. It's very unclear whether Davidi has unnamed sources with actual inside information, or whether he is merely quoting rumor and outside critics and speculation.
Thomas - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#264785) #
Based on everything I've read about him, I hope Brad Ausmus gets some serious consideration. He and Dave Martinez would be right near the top of my list of preferred candidates.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#264786) #

While I don't think he would get the job, I think that the Jays should at least talk to Mike Redmond.  Redmond knows the system having managed in Lansing and Dunedin, and seems to work well with the younger guys.  I say this because I have seen his name mentioned in the Marlins job.  I think that Ausmus would make a fantastic manager, but I think he has to pay his dues.  Redmond has done that and I think he too could make a fantastic MLB manager. 

While I don't think he will get the position, if Redmond is in fact in the running for the Marlins post, I wouldn't let him  just walk away without at least giving him a glance. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#264787) #
I think that Ausmus would make a fantastic manager, but I think he has to pay his dues

Of all people, I certainly appreciate the value of experience, but I imagine that Anthopoulos will balance that factor against pure managerial ability.  I personally would not be surprised if he does not make a "safe" choice. 
mike in boston - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#264788) #
On WEEI this morning they were pointing out (and lamenting) how quiet the Toronto press contingent were during the Farrell press conference Q&A.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#264789) #
I think a lot of the Jays' current woes can be traced to a miserly owner. So many moves and non-moves can be traced to the $70M - 85M budget. Beeston and AA ratcheted up the expectations last year (remember how excited fans were during the Darvish bidding?), then sat back while other teams added the best FA and IFA players available. Now Farrell is gone (fine by me), the team finished 73-89, the RC still has injury-inducing turf, and fans are losing faith - probably not the best environment to sell to potential managers, coaches and free agents.
soupman - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#264790) #
While I don't think he would get the job, I think that the Jays should at least talk to Mike Redmond.  Redmond knows the system having managed in Lansing and Dunedin, and seems to work well with the younger guys.

There's an MLBTR article saying he's actually the early front-runner. Makes sense to me. I think the success of Scoscia and Guillen in the last decade have put an undue emphasis on "i remember him as a player" hirings. though i don't doubt alomar jr would be a fine choice, for example, i do wonder whether his close ties to robbie might give him more of a direct line to upper management than aa would be comfortable with.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#264791) #
Early front-runner for the Marlins' managing job, you mean...?
bpoz - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#264792) #
I am trying to gauge, actually figure out what the Toronto fans think and what the Toronto media think.

I do not like wishy washy opinions, but I try to respect everyone. My opinion is that I am happy that Farrell is gone. But that is not an over whelming sure thing opinion.

I have not heard much from the fans, so I do not know their opinion. I imagine that a poll is being done by someone.

The media, to me seem undecided. I am hearing criticism of the Jay's FO for letting him go, but without much support for keeping him either. I am also hearing criticism of Farrell, but the media in most cities seem to criticise the manager. It could be that being non committal is a sound MO.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#264794) #
The problem child type of player could be a source of 1 SP for the Jays. I am sure that a list could be made. Lind Jays, is a problem as he is under performing and is owed $7mil. Burnett NYY, H Bell Miami, under performing and owed big $, so the seller pays a portion.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#264797) #
Rather than problem child I'm thinking 'slump this year, old team scared' as opportunity or 'great player, too expensive' as chances. Will the Jays pony up the cash though? Also, the too expensive could shift quickly as MLB is flush with cash so $20 mil might soon seem like $10 mil does today with top players getting $30 mil a year.

So who fits the bill? In all cases scouting of guys arms, velocity, likelihood to recover vital to know.

Tim Lincecum: One year on contract ($22 mil) then 1 year arb then free agency. Poor year for him, great for team making him easier to trade without fear of fan reaction. K/9 fine, BB/9 high, HR/9 mediocre-high. 67 ERA+ looks worse than it is - 5.18 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 3.82 xFIP - not a $20 mil pitcher at that level but not sub-replacement either.

Johan Santana: One year + option ($25.5 plus $5.5 buyout or $25 for 2014). 136 lifetime ERA+ but missed 2011 and just a 79 in 2012. If recovers at all would be worth 1/2 that contract, hard to imagine paying all of it in a trade unless something real good came with him.

Roy Halladay: 1 year $20 mil plus option for same. Just an 89 ERA+ before getting hurt last year, just didn't pitch like Doc should. Philly might be ready to clear out some salary and Halladay would be an easy one to let leave I'd think out of everyone they have given his 2012.

Cliff Lee: 3 years, $25 per, $12.5 buyout or $27.5 in 2016. Very expensive, just 6-9 in 2012 (but 127 ERA+ in 30 starts). I think the Phillies would be silly to trade him, but again finances and if the GM gets caught up on W-L record (which would be very dumb) could open him up.

Barry Zito: $20 mil in 2013 plus $7 mil buyout (or 18 mil option) for 2014. Had first 1/2 decent season in awhile W-L wise but ERA+ was just 84 with just one year over 100 since going to SanFran in 2007 - an inning eater is all you'd expect and SF would have to pay a chunk of that salary.

Then you get the usual last place team guys like Felix Hernandez who might be available if their team is determined to make a splash or the player is too expensive/close to free agency.

Either AA has to part with Rogers cash or with top prospects. No sign of a willingness to do either yet, but we'll see.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#264798) #
Dave Cameron today thought the Jays might go for someone like Haren. Having a slew of scouts to watch Jackson's last few starts would also seem to be suggestive of the type of player the team will pursue. Maybe durable mid-range arms available on 1-3 year deals?

So, who's on the (realistic) short list of free agent SPs? Sanchez, Peavy, Jackson, Haren, Marcum, McCarthy...?
Shane - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#264799) #

"On WEEI this morning they were pointing out (and lamenting) how quiet the Toronto press contingent were during the Farrell press conference Q&A."

Not surprising. Only 3 TOR media guys traveled there as well fwiw. Richard Griffin did a live chat during the press conference and had a few interesting things to say about it and Farrell.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#264800) #
Since this is the "active" thread, just wanted to say this: MLBTR shows that the Mariners have released Munenori Kawasaki and bought out Miguel Olivo's 2013 option ($750K buyout, $3M option) - I guess having John Jaso for 3 arb years and Jesus Montero before arb makes him expendable.

Immediate thoughts: another catcher for AA to pick up (maybe getting ALL THE CATCHERS is the new market inefficiency :-)

Also, just when you thought no one could get worse as a backup infielder than Omar Vizquel and get a significant amount of ABs, I give you M. Kawasaki: Over 115 PA: 192/257/202, OPS: 459, OPS+ 35. Same -0.4 WAR as Omar in only 115 PA (Omar had 163). MK's salary: $625K, Omar's: $750K. Omar's line: 235/265/281 = OPS 546, OPS+ 49. So yes, we COULD have done worse :-)

hypobole - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#264801) #
One more name to add to the durable mid-range arms would be Joe Saunders. I can't see guys with a (more or less) history of health like Sanchez, Jackson Saunders signing 1 or 2 yr deals however. I'm thinking Buehrles' 4 yrs/$56 Million would be the price/yrs range if teams are as flush with money as suggested by the new TV deal.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#264802) #
I have to admit I hate the idea of the Jays opening the vault for some of these guys, particularly when GMs have been coming up with gems in the bargain bin (Fister, Hammel, Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen, Kuroda, Jackson, Diamond, the Oakland staff, Dickey, Vogelsong)...I mean, these guys are cheap, and many of them emerged out of near-obscurity.

To me, it seems a bit crazy to give a lot of money to some of the current free agents, who are likely to decline or be fairly mediocre going forward. On the other hand, the Jays' rotation needs a lot of shoring up. What's a GM to do?

I guess I would rather see shrewd moves to get pitchers the club believes in, rather than throwing money at somewhat-meh SPs out of desperation (unless they're Kuroda-cheap), especially in a seller's market. Keep your best prospects, make shrewd lateral moves, bide your time...the organization will get there if it's proactive but prudent. If Beeston starts dictating moves (like Godfrey before him?), I predict bad things will happen.
92-93 - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#264803) #

I think a lot of the Jays' current woes can be traced to a miserly owner. So many moves and non-moves can be traced to the $70M - 85M budget.

I have to admit I hate the idea of the Jays opening the vault for some of these guys, I guess I would rather see shrewd moves to get pitchers the club believes in, rather than throwing money at somewhat-meh SPs out of desperation (unless they're Kuroda-cheap),

Pretty confusing, greenfrog. First you blame the state of the franchise on the payroll, and then you lump about 5 different kinds of pitchers (young premier arm, young meh arm, international signing, scrap heap guy, mid-rotation SP) into one big group saying those are the ones you'd target. Well, the Blue Jays can't add a 10-12m Kuroda/Jackson and keep payroll in the 85m range. It's simply not possible with their current committments, which will already amount to around 82m after the arb raises. They refused to trade for someone like Gonzalez last off season (who I assume means Gio), and I don't see how that sort of trade makes more sense for the club today than it did a year ago when their roster looked a lot better and deeper. If your plan for 2013 is for the Blue Jays to strike gold by throwing as much shit at the wall and hoping something sticks, well, I sure as hell hope AA isn't forced by Rogers to think the same.

Thomas - Wednesday, October 24 2012 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#264804) #
Jeff Blair had an interesting interview on the Fan and said that he believes the Jays are looking for a managerial candidate like Farrell, in that they are looking for someone with experience in player development and who has an organizational philosophy. In that sense, he speculated that Wakamatsu may have an advantage compared to some of the other candidates who have been suggested.
hypobole - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#264805) #
I thought greenfrog meant Miguel Gonzalez, lumped in the same group as Diamond, Vogelsong, Dickey and Blackley of the A's. These were guys who bounced around, mostly in the minors, who suddenly "found it". While any team is more than happy to end up with one of these guys, these types (before success) should never be part of Plan A. Plan A should be a staff of pitchers who've proven to be league average or better in the recent past. And if Rogers has to use a few of the millions of profit they've sucked from the Jays and crammed into their vaults, so be it.

With the Jays in Buffalo and glaring needs in the starting rotation, the Jays should be able to acquire at least a few solid potentials to install in the AAA rotation along with Alvarez, Jenkins and possibly McGuire (although he has done nothing to merit promotion). These should be the Plan B guys, the ones pitching best brought up when injuries hit the major league staff. And if one or more of them clicks and the Jays end up with too many major league quality pitchers? There is always a market to solve that "problem".
Thomas - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#264806) #
Surprising no one, Lovullo has officially left to become the bench coach of the Red Sox.
greenfrog - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#264809) #
Yes, Miguel Gonzalez, not Gio.

To clarify: my point is that there are more cheap-but-effective SPs out there than many people realize. I listed Kuroda and Jackson in that group for 2012 because of the extremely short-term nature of their contracts. They might not be cheap in terms of AAV, but they're "cheap" in the sense that they maintain lots of flexibility and carry minimal risk. All of the players I listed have a low overall price tag, and cost little (in terms of cash, prospects and/or draft picks) to acquire.

What's the upshot? I think it's a fool's game to pay a lot for mediocre pitchers. This is what Boston did in the late Epstein era. This is what Miami tried last off-season. Did you notice anything about the teams employing the pitchers I listed? Here's a hint: Detroit, Baltimore, NYY, Washington, Oakland, San Francisco. Smart teams are finding bargains, not doling out for the next Gil Meche, John Lackey or Heath Bell.

I know this sounds contradictory. I want the Jays to spend money, and I'm not saying don't pursue any of the players under discussion. But I want them to make good investments, not desperate (buy-high) ones. And I don't see a clear route to winning in 2013 - it could happen, but I'm more interested in sustainable success.
MatO - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#264811) #

Smart teams are finding bargains

AA has added something like a thousand scouts hasn't he?  Yet they've missed out on all those guys mentioned plus Chapman (AA complained that they should have looked at him more closely) and Cespedes.  What exactly are all those scouts doing?

Moe - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#264812) #

Smart teams are finding bargains

AA has added something like a thousand scouts hasn't he?  Yet they've missed out on all those guys mentioned plus Chapman (AA complained that they should have looked at him more closely) and Cespedes.  What exactly are all those scouts doing?

Talk about selection effect. How many bargains end up not working out and are never reported on? If it's other teams, we only hear about the ones that do work out. And it's not like the Jays never succeeded in that. In fact, one of the things Riccardi did well was building a quality pen on the cheap. The Jays didn't give up on EE when they easily could have. And then there is the guy on the right on the Battersbox banner....

greenfrog - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#264813) #
I seem to remember Chapman being a financial issue - AA liked him, but chose (or was required to choose) not to spend the money to acquire him.

Personally, I would rather see the Jays invest $30M on someone like Soler (as the Cubs did) than spend an equivalent amount on someone like Haren. I don't want to go back to the days of patch, patch, patch, and never having a championship-calibre foundation.

As I've said before, I think the Jays missed a huge one-time opportunity with Darvish, Cespedes and Soler (one-time because of the expiring CBA). They had a chance to go big on some really exciting young players and make a very good system an obscenely talented one. Instead they wussed out, mumbling about "parameters" (this off-season it's more of the same: "we can look at some guys we might not have looked at in the's not a bottomless pit, though").

Beeston can tout all the snake oil he wants - I'm not buying the "go big" (writ small) plan of spending on overpriced middling players.
bpoz - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#264814) #
I guess we are going to talk about the Jays rotation a lot.

Players that made 30 starts in 2012 :- Romero & Alvarez. 20+ starts Morrow 21, Happ 24. So I am going to call these 4 plan A and I expect 1 addition to plan A from outside the organization. How long is the Jays exclusive window with Villanueva?
Regarding Villanueva, he wants to be a starter and has some success. It is his durability that is questioned. I will defer to other Bauxites regarding durability. Does it help to stretch out your arm in ST compared to mid season. Injured players get rehab + as much as 30 days in the minors to stretch out their arms. Just to be clear, I believe that this mid season thing is rushing things because of the needs of the team. I believe that AA will not let Villanueva walk, he is an asset. Reasonable price is what is being determined right now and only AA knows his price.

There is a scarcity of quality/respectable SP available IMO. The A teams like NYY & Boston will get their FA targets and then the B & C teams. IMO the Jays are not in the A category. But if somehow AA gets another SP in trade or FA after signing Villanueva, he will have 6. We will need more than 5 for the season but there is Happ pen, and Alvarez minors as an immediate solution. I am unsure what happens if Romero has another 2012.

Many Bauxites say you need a plan B & C. Or B1 & B2.

I think Plan B2/C is that 2+ months into the season if Jenkins, McGuire, Nolin & Stilson are looking good enough then they can fill any vacancies.

That still leaves Plan B/B1. That 6th SP, I mentioned earlier & Cecil/Lincoln who would be in the pen.

This is a bare bones plan.

Also, I think that AA moves very fast on the players he wants. In his 1st off season, J Buck, K Gregg & A Gonzales were signed fast IMO.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#264815) #
Beeston can tout all the snake oil he wants

Touting snake oil, bindering women, the intention of the Almighty...some days I feel like I have been transported back to a darker time.  I guess that I ought to be rooting for the Giants as an antidote. 
MatO - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#264816) #
AA said something to the effect that if they had been better prepared on Chapman then they would have put in a higher bid and that this wouldn't happen again (lack of preparedness).
John Northey - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#264817) #
If you go big, go big on the top talent, not on middle of the road. A guy with a 140 ERA+ can drop 20% and be a solid starter (drop 28 points, 112 ERA+). A guy with a 105 drops just 10% (to 94/95 range) and you debate replacing him.

Zack Greinke is at 114 lifetime, so a 10-20% drop puts him at the 95-104 range. Realistic peak is a 125 (over that just once in career, a freakish 205 season). He lands in the mediocre range - not worth $20 mil a year but might get it.

Jake Peavy after a few injury riddled years finally had a good one again. But again, a mid 110-120 range guy.

FanGraphs has a nice leaderboard for free agents but I'm not seeing any starters who jump out. Trades will be needed I suspect to get more than a guy I'd count only on as a 3/4 type with potential for #2 (Peavy, Greinke, etc.). Those mediocre types should never get more than 3 years or $10 mil per unless you are the Yankees.
92-93 - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#264818) #
Peavy & Greinke are mediocre?! It's the same old song and dance here every off season. It's October and people are already starting to rationalize why the Blue Jays shouldn't spend significant money on the FA market. Amazing.
Chuck - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#264819) #

Touting snake oil, bindering women, the intention of the Almighty...some days I feel like I have been transported back to a darker time. 

More Americans believing in angels than evolution. The Winnipeg police force recommending a curious crime-fighting strategy. I think mankind is due for another Enlightenment. The last one ain't sticking so good.

rtcaino - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#264820) #
He said, "Bring on the brand new renaissance.."
John Northey - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#264821) #
Check their careers and recent careers. Once Greinke has had an ERA+ over 125 in his 8 full seasons. The last 3 years it has been 100/103/114. His K/9, BB/9, HR/9 suggest more is possible but would you want your job on the line by giving him 5 years at $100 mil? Based on his last 3 years giving more than 3/$30 is a risk, $3/$45 being the max I'd go. Now, he is just entering his age 29 season so he might be at a prime stage, but pitchers are always a crapshoot when it comes to guessing peaks. If you sign him and expect a Cy Young contender/All-Star then you will most likely be disappointed as only his freakish year (205 ERA+, 80 points higher than before or since) did he make the All-Star team or get Cy Young votes (he won it).

Peavy is entering his age 32 season and this was his first 30+ start season since 2007. He had a great year this year, with a 129 ERA+, but the past two years before were 93 and 88's.

Both guys land firmly in the 'your scouts better be dang sure' category. As I said, 3 years is as far as I'd consider for either, $10-15 per year. Going to $20+ per year on a 5 year deal is screaming 'dumb move you will regret'. Early on I wanted the Jays to chase these guys but the more I look at it I'd rather they hunted down guys who have shown that they can perform consistently at a high level recently. Both catch me as #2/3 guys at this stage, not aces, but will demand ace prices.
Hodgie - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#264822) #
Now we are holding being outbid out on Chapman against the front office? Tough room. Maybe it has been forgotten that Anthopoulos was promoted October 2009, Chapman signed in January 2010 and there was this tiny matter of having to trade the best pitcher in baseball in between. The front office and Rogers have their fair share of faults, but being cheap on IFAs has not been one of them.
China fan - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#264823) #
A new report by Buster Olney claims that the Jays had a choice of Mike Aviles or Andrew Bailey in the Farrell negotiations with Boston.

If true, this may be the first case in history in which Anthopoulos had a chance to acquire a relief pitcher and declined to do so.
greenfrog - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#264824) #
The Jays have not been cheap on IFAs. They've done a good job of obtaining Latin American talent under AA. However, the last year or so has unquestionably been a missed opportunity (Darvish, Cespedes, Soler, maybe a few others). These are young star-level players that were available because of a set of unique circumstances (Darvish because of his talent; the others because of the expiring CBA that limits IFA spending). The problem is that this new level of competition required spending a lot more than the Jays have spent to date (for example, on players like Hechavarria, Osuna, Cardona and Barreto). Notice that the three GMs who ultimately snapped them up are not exactly short on baseball acumen.
Gerry - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#264825) #
Chad Beck has been claimed by the Pirates.
scottt - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#264826) #
With a protected draft pick, the best FA should be picked regardless of price, if only to swap them later for some top prospects.

If FA are too expensive, then high ceilling prospects must be retained.

I don't know what scouts can tell you about players who have already peaked. Santos, anyone? What is needed is more along the line of a full MRI.
JB21 - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#264827) #
Thoughts on Lance Berkman as a DH option?
TamRa - Thursday, October 25 2012 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#264828) #
Berkman doesn't want to DH, is thinking of retiring, and if he were not going to do either he's likely only going to make an exception for Houston.

Otherwise, I'd love to take a chance on him.

Speaking of older guys - MLBTR reports that it now seems less likely Tori huter re-ups in Anehiem. if that's true i'd be ALL OVER him.

Mike Green - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#264829) #
Casey Janssen on the modern closer role and other items of interest.
greenfrog - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#264830) #
Hunter is a good suggestion. He had a very good 2012 (albeit fuelled by the highest BABIP of his career). To me he seems like the kind of final complementary piece you add to an excellent roster - sort of like Dave WInfield in 1992 (but with a bit less pop).

Of course, you'd have to convince Torii to spend his twilight years with a team that (1) has artificial turf, (2) plays in Canada, (3) went 73-89 last year, (4) hasn't been to the playoffs in 20 years, (5) just had its manager defect to a divisional rival, (6) has major pitching question marks, and (7) currently has entrenched players in RF and CF.
John Northey - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#264831) #
Torii Hunter... funny, I thought of him as a poor contract but in his 5 years for the Angels he had an OPS+ above his career average every season plus had his 3 highest OPS+ figures ever and just once had sub-600 PA but that year he still cracked 500 - net OPS+ of 122 in LAA. I remember thinking that Wells would be more likely to do well on his deal than Hunter on his - go figure that they both ended up in LA and Hunter drastically outplayed Wells over the past 5 years.

Hunter will be interesting this winter. Odds are he expects to make as much as he did this year ($18 mil) as he had his highest OPS+/batting average but his walks and HR are down and K's are up plus he is entering his age 37 season. A $10 mil deal for one or two years makes sense, but I cannot see anyone going to $18-20 for 3 (which is what I suspect he wants).

Is he a fit here? Maybe in LF but I'd expect a 100-110 OPS+ going forward as the core elements suggest he is due for a significant decline and his career OPS+ is just 111.
greenfrog - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#264832) #
I doubt Hunter is going to be chasing every last dollar (although two or three years would be be nice from his perspective). Like Beltran, I imagine he wants to play for a good team/organization, in a good environment (city/climate), probably on natural grass, ideally in RF (maybe with some DHing).
MatO - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#264833) #

1) has artificial turf, (2) plays in Canada, (3) went 73-89 last year, (4) hasn't been to the playoffs in 20 years, (5) just had its manager defect to a divisional rival, (6) has major pitching question marks, and (7) currently has entrenched players in RF and CF.


Mike Green - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#264834) #
Hunter is an interesting study, if not an interesting acquisition target.  The usual pattern as players age is more strikeouts, more walks, lower batting average, and power steady.  Hunter had, according to fangraphs, the best year of his career at age 36-37 (he turned 37 in July), and he did it in a strange way.  His K rate was the highest of his career, and his IsoP was the lowest it had been since 2000 (by far), but his batting average was the highest of his career.

His batted ball pattern suggests that it was not all (or even mostly) luck.  His line drive rate and ground ball rates were the highest of his career, the pop-up rate was (by far) the lowest of his career, and he maintained his HR/FB rate. 

Original Ryan - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#264835) #
On the minor league affiliate front, it appears that Ottawa is continuing to overstate how close it is to landing a AA team for 2014.
AWeb - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#264836) #

Much like many of us struggle to mentally adjust to the recent realities of what makes a good hitter (.750 OPS is good again after .800 being a mental baseline for quite a while. Before that it was hard to accept a .850 OPS guy wasn't necessarily a good hitter), I don't think everyone has accepted exactly how much money teams have to spend at this point. The national TV deal alone gives teams an extra 25 million a year, starting in a year or two. Local TV deals have skyrocketed. My point is that $20 million/year is no longer an ace deal unless it's really long-term (like Votto or Braun) so the player gets essentially long-term health insurance. Teams locked up most of the best young players in the  last few years to long-term deals, not just because history showed it to be a good idea, but the owners knew this money was likely on the way. The long-term deals let them avoid negotiating with players while swimming in a pool of money. Smart owners got out in front of it and locked guys up.

Anyway, $20 million/year might get you a Greinke, but I doubt it. It might get you Peavy. The pitcher Greinke has been (not the potential guy, just the actual results guy), being above average, rarely missing a start, with the occasional stretch of brilliance - that guy is easily worth $20 million/year right now, and will likely get closer to 25 million. He might get $30 million/year. "Not worth it" is a relative target that is likely to rocket upwards the next few years. For instance, I see serious proposals saying Swisher might be worth $12-15 million/year as a free agent. This sounds crazy when I first read them, but some of them seem to be saying it in the "Swisher will be disappointed to only get" sense. My brain still draws an imaginary line at $10million/year as the money for top players, not above average guys, but that line is probably at $20 million now.

If Rogers won't spend their money on the team, fine, but don't pretend that money doesn't exist or somehow other franchises aren't figuring out that they can spend it.

BlueJayWay - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#264837) #
Agreed AWeb.  MLB is swimming in cash and without a hard cap, a lot of that money will be spent on players.  We'll have to adjust what an average, "run of the mill" free agent type is worth now.  Gotta pay to play.
Chuck - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#264838) #

To AWeb's well stated points:

The AL slash line in 2012 was 255/320/411 for a 731 OPS. A mental readjustment of what average means is certainly warranted. Just as we were likely slow to mentally adjust as the numbers started their ascent some 20 years ago, we will probably be slow to mentally adust now that the numbers appear to have returned to those 20-year ago levels. Thank goodness for Sean Forman's OPS+ to help keep us grounded.

It will be interesting to see which teams spend and which teams don't given the impending influx of new cash. And it will be interesting to observe the PR games played by the latter group. Hopefully we won't have a ringside seat.


92-93 - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#264839) #
"Hunter is a good suggestion. He had a very good 2012 (albeit fuelled by the highest BABIP of his career). To me he seems like the kind of final complementary piece you add to an excellent roster - sort of like Dave WInfield in 1992 (but with a bit less pop)."

So in other words, you're saying the Blue Jays should have zero interest, am I correct?
Moe - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#264840) #
It will be interesting to see which teams spend and which teams don't given the impending influx of new cash. And it will be interesting to observe the PR games played by the latter group. Hopefully we won't have a ringside seat.

The Jays will spend more money. Simply because the influx of cash increases average salaries and all deals will go up. The more interesting question is whether the Jays relative position will chance. In other words, will the Jays spending go up adjusted for inflation and move into 8-12th range (STL territory) or will they just increase their payroll for salary inflation and stay in the 15-20 range?

John Northey - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#264841) #
$20 to $30 mil for Greinke? That would be nutty if its gone that far. All-time MLB there have been 24 contracts with an average annual value of $20+ million. $28 million is still the record, set by Roger Clemens for a partial season (paid less, but for 2/3rds of a year thus pro-rates to $28). The only others over $25 million are the two A-Rod contracts with Ryan Howard at exactly $25 million. Pitchers over $20 mil are Clemens (twice), Sabathia (twice), Santana, Cain, Lincecum and Halladay. That's a fairly high end group.

Now, it is possible that finances in 2012/2013 winter will be adjusted up ala the 2000-2001 winter - in 1999 the first $100 million deal was signed (Kevin Brown) but 2 years later A-Rod shattered it with his $250 million deal. Delgado that winter set the record for AAV at $17 mil then was beaten that same winter by Jeter/Ramirez/A-Rod ($25.5). If it is that nuts this winter then hopefully AA charges out of the gate and does something fast. EE and Bautista's deals will look amazing, as will pretty much any long term deal pre-2013.
92-93 - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#264842) #
A 32 year old Mark Buehrle got 4 years, 58 million BEFORE this new TV deal was announced. Keep that in mind when discussing how much you think a 29 year old Zack Greinke is going to be offered.
hypobole - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#264843) #
"will the Jays spending go up adjusted for inflation and move into 8-12th range (STL territory) or will they just increase their payroll for salary inflation and stay in the 15-20 range?"

Moe, where do you get the "15-20 range"? Because everything I've seen puts the Jays payroll in the 20-25 range. And it's not because of lack of revenue. If their payroll was commensurate with revenue, they would have been in the lottery. The Jays have salted away a ton of money during AA's tenure and there is no reason (other than pure profit-taking) the Jays can't boost their payroll substantially.
John Northey - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#264844) #
92-93: the Buehrle deal is $14.5 per year, a long way from $25-30 range that was suggested Greinke could be at. Also Buehrle in 4 of his earlier 5 seasons had a 120+ ERA+ with 200+IP each year, Greinke hasn't been at that level since 2009 with his freak 205 ERA+ (highest otherwise is 125 - Buehrle was over 125 4 times).

Buehrle's deal is what I'd expect for Greinke if that giant TV deal wasn't signed. But it was so now who knows? But if someone gives him a 5-7 year deal at $20+ per I suspect they'll regret it.
greenfrog - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#264845) #
So in other words, you're saying the Blue Jays should have zero interest, am I correct?

Well, the Blue Jays finished 20 games out of a wild card spot in 2012, which doesn't exactly scream "cusp of serious contention." They still seem to be a few players away. The team's needs are arguably even greater that they were last off-season: two good starting pitchers, second baseman, left fielder, DH (maybe even a centerfielder, depending on whether you think Rasmus and/or Gose is the answer).
Shaker - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#264846) #
Could someone please clarify for me the potential for Adam Lind to be the 1B/DH at Buffalo in 2013?

I believe the Jays used their 3rd and final option (year) when they demoted him in 2012.

I have read that a player can be outrighted to the minors (without his consent) only once in his career.  Does this apply to a demotion that burns an option?

I guess Lind's 2012 demotion was without his consent.

Does this mean he can elect free agency and receive his full Jays contracted pay if he was DFA'd in 2013?


John Northey - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#264847) #
Guess the question is where do those 20 games come from for 2013? Checking sOPS+ (OPS+ vs position)

DH/1B/RF only positions with sOPS+ over 100 in 2012 - Encarnacion splitting between DH/1B and Bautista why that happened, although RF ended at just 106. Encarnacion should help either DH or 1B again in 2013, Bautista if healthy should skyrocket RF production. Other

3B/CA/SS/CF/2B all between 87 and 90 for sOPS+ : not disasters but not good either vs the league. Lawrie we expect to improve, hopefully JPA/d'Arnaud/Mathis will do better than JPA/Mathis did this year, Escobar has to do better one hopes, Rasmus ... hrm ... and Gose would not be expected to be better, Johnson vs Hech ... hrm.

Then comes LF - 74 sOPS+. Has to be better doesn't it? Rajai Davis and Gose killed this slot (75/19 sOPS+) and Thames wasn't a big help (81). Snider had 36 PA with a 121 sOPS+. So, who is there in 2013? The battle right now is Gose vs Davis vs Sierra vs whoever else is invited to camp, none showing promise of doing a lot better.

So improvements to LF and 1B or DH should do well, as the other slots should be equal or better if healthy.
bpoz - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#264848) #
92-93, your comments about the money and Rogers cheapness annoyed me. I apologize for that. I thought your responses had a critical/negative tone to the comments of other Bauxites. But that changes the tone/intent when you consider the huge influx of funds each team will receive.

Is the figure really about $25mil/team? Doing the math for various teams budgets at $55mil low, $82mil middle & $150mil high you can see that $25mil is very significant to 55 & 82 but not to $150mil. A lot of us would understand "significant" since we have experience with pay checks & bills ie yay & oh no.

But as far as baseball goes none of us understands this term significant increase. I am sure this will lead to a lot of discussion and even arguing/disagreement because none of us can be correct on this thing. I use the word thing because there are branches & layers involved.

To get to a couple of specific examples simulations.
1) No matter how well he plays Lawrie is going to get the ML minimum as is Trout & Harper. I am just putting names to the CBA rules. Please correct my mistakes.
2) D Olivers $3mil option is looking cheap. If Janssen's rate of closing success stays the same that is another financial coup.
Just go through our pen, Delabar & Loup will probably get under $1mil and if we resign Fraser or Lyon it could be for over $3mil so they would be the highest paid reliever.
3) There is a big pay difference between E Longoria & J Bautista. If healthy they could challenge for MVP and still be huge bargains. Not as cheap as Trout.

Somehow this could just be the tip of the iceberg. V Wells is not looking as bad, especially for LAA who is rich. AJ Burnett was a gift to Pittsburg.
bpoz - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#264849) #
The LAA outfield is crowded. Trout, Trumbo, Hunter, Wells and Bourjos would be the 4th OF. I think LAA would be willing to trade Wells for a very small return and would have to pay some of his salary. I actually expect changes to that OF.
IMO Wells was very good at one time. The LAA OF is hard to crack by most outfielders in the league.
AWeb - Friday, October 26 2012 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#264850) #
I think that this offseason will be like the 2000-2001 offseason, as mentioned above. Past max salaries may become irrelevant very quickly. In some ways I hope it does become a bit silly, because if the owners get all that money and don't spend it, baseball is looking at labour trouble in the future. Greinke is the best starter available this year, he will almost certainly get money that pays him at the top end of all starters, because that almost always happens.

My worst fear for the Jays is they try and pull contract offers like they did to Delgado when he left (I remember the Jays were counting on lower salaries and offered an amount that in retrospect was insultingly low). AA pulled amazing deals for Bautista and EE, but that's not happening on the open market for players with no connection here. You might get lucky and strike gold on a low-end guy, but it's way more likely you find a bunch of replacement filler that way. Frankly, 75-80 wins is the easy part. To get the last 10-15 wins, you need either a few stars to develop from the minors (I'm less hopeful than last year, but it's possible still, right?), or you need to pay top dollar for them and swallow the downside later.

Here's something else to consider - according to a reasonable (and possible too low if used to look forward), fangraphs had 17 position players and 2 pitchers worth more than 25 million last year (basically 5.6 WAR and up). In 2011 it was 22 and 7. Bautista is valued at 27, 37, and 14 million the past three years. That would be ~26 million a year as a "fair" value, with one year way above that. My point is that $25 million a year is a very good season, but it's possible to get surplus value out of it too. It's weird, it's hard to accept, but $25 million/year may not be a lot to pay for a top player anymore. I grew up when 2-3 million was the top value, and then all of a sudden it went to 10 million, and then again all of a sudden, it went to 20. MLB seems to jump once in a while, and it would be nice if the Jays led the way this time, rather than getting buries in yesterdays player values.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 02:57 AM EDT (#264851) #
It is possible to think improving the offense is the key.   I believe the Hitters didn't have confidence in the Pitchers, while the Pitchers didn't have confidence in the Hitters.   To get the Team to close to 100% it's possible, 3 Starters, 1B, 2B, LF, Bench and a couple of Relievers, might not be enough.  Lawrie, Rasmus, Escobar, Arencibia, Bautista and Encarnacion must also always be very good.   In addition, I`m expecting major changes in the Coaching Staff beyond Manager and 1B Coach.   I just wish it would start to happen soon, anything.
Moe - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#264852) #
Moe, where do you get the "15-20 range"? Because everything I've seen puts the Jays payroll in the 20-25 range. And it's not because of lack of revenue. If their payroll was commensurate with revenue, they would have been in the lottery. The Jays have salted away a ton of money during AA's tenure and there is no reason (other than pure profit-taking) the Jays can't boost their payroll substantially.

I was going more off long-term memory. The Jays were 21st this year and as you said were 20-25 in 10/11/12. However, they were higher under JPR and spent a lot on the draft and IFA in 10/11/12, so I think it's fair to say that the Jays as presently constructed are a 15-20 team in spending. 

However, that was not my point: my point was that they will increase spending because everyone around them will. As others have argued, salaries are due to explode because of the massive increase in revenue. So the question is not whether payroll will go up but whether it will go up more than for other teams. Will the Jays go to 15th (as in 2009) and say "look we spent all this money" or will they break into the top 10 in spending? I agree, that based on revenue, they should be higher (e.g. STL) but I'm worried that the Jays will increase nominal spending while inflation adjusted spending stays flat and they linger at 15th.

Imo, the biggest mistake by AA was not some trade he did or did not make but that he didn't see this salary spike coming. Many people have predicted this inflow of cash into the game, as evidenced by the high prices paid for teams recently. With that knowledge, deals like the one for Buerle will look like steals after this off-season and he wasn't in the game for any of these guys. As crazy as that sounds, it is possible that Fielder's deal will look cheap in a year or two,
bpoz - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#264853) #
The salaries of V Wells & Halladay are counted into 2009. If someone knows the numbers then we can do the math and calculate the % of total salary.

AA got rid of Wells salary for 2011+. Add $6mil to 2010 for the Halladay deal. I don't know the $ & years affected by F Thomas & BJ Ryan but they also count. Also M Teahen ? Lastly the cost of an added SS team.
IMO AA budgeted for all of this as I consider him very sharp when it comes to spending. He also gambles with low $ values & short term deals. You win some & lose some. So EE looks like a big 2012 win, McGowan is a 3-5 year gamble.
I believe that AA knows statistics, average & mean. Lost days to injuries can be calculated. Then you can decide if 40 days lost to A Lind, R Howard or M Texiera have equal value or not. There is the $ value & the talent value lost, and how well the replacement did & at what cost.
grjas - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#264854) #
To get the Team to close to 100% it's possible, 3 Starters, 1B, 2B, LF, Bench and a couple of Relievers, might not be enough.

Guess you're writing off the season as that will never happen. Don't think we are that far off, but given last year's disaster - when even most of our healthy players underperformed- who knows. If we really are though, we're better to trade Bautista and develop our younger pitchers to take a run at 2015 and 2016 ... Rather than try for this type of wholesale change.
Hodgie - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#264855) #
In completely unrelated Manager Idol news, I am almost ashamed to admit that I now look forward each Saturday to results like these, the possibility of a (un)perfect season and the potential benefit it could have to the Jays. It has been a long and cruel year when .......
Magpie - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#264856) #
It's always easier to improve something that's really awful than it is to improve something that's average. The Jays were 11th in a 14 team league in preventing runs, well below the league average. Whereas they were 7th in the league in runs scored, right at the league average, and just having Jose Bautista for close to 150 games should improve that all by itself.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#264857) #
I never write off the season before it starts.   I expect everyone on this Team to be better next year.   I expect A.A. to make the best possible acquisitions he can, and give us the best depth he can.   At best guess, 8-10 new faces will be on this team next year.   The performance in 2013 will give us the best ideas on what is needed to be done for 2014 and on, because by that time the 2010`s Draft and the best of 2011`s should be in AAA.   Anyone who underachieves two years in a row should be be moved out.
John Northey - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#264858) #
In 2009, via Cot's Contracts, the Jays payroll was $80,538,300. Vernon was just $1.5 plus a $8.5 million bonus (his bonus was $8.5 each year for 3 years), as 2010 was the point when the salaries started escalating. Halladay $14.25, BJ Ryan $12 were the two highest with Rolen at $11.6.

FYI: Wells gets $21 mil a year for 2013 and 2014 and is the highest paid Angel until 2014 ($23 mil for Pujols then).
bpoz - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#264859) #
I agree with you Magpie about improving something awful vs average. But I apply that statement to the Jay's farm system. That has become a reality under AA according to the experts.

The Major League team under AA has not done much. IMO that is directly due to his philosophy of asset acquisition & building a young team. J Buck to replace Rod Barajas, A Gonzales for Scutaro & K Gregg for BJ Ryan who was injured. Buck was the only position player to get us a draft pick. he then used relievers to get him draft picks and high upside players & Marcum for Lawrie.

2011 was a year to get experience for JPA & T Snider & a few SPs, also we had weak placeholders for Lawrie & someone in CF.

I think growing pains of youth for 2012 was expected. How Oakland & CWS had success against Texas, LAA & Detroit shocked me. The injuries definitely killed any lowish probability of success.
Those 2012 injuries will also impact 2013 IMO. Without being injured Romero under performed. Bautista's injury most likely will hurt his 2013 contribution. For Lawrie & Alvarez 2013 is another year to improve towards their potential. So again I have a lowish probability of success for 2013. But then anyone can overachieve, Cecil did it in 2010. I am not going to get into the speculation game this off season. Once acquired I will ponder the impact of Ace pitchers & big bats, once in ST like Santos & once around the all Star break.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#264860) #

I thought I'd see what A.A.'s acquisitions might cost, especially as next year's Payroll will be approximately $73.90 MM - $76.40 MM.  I've included Lind's salary or being waived, Hechavarria's bonus, Davis's option, McGowan, Perez, Drabek and Hutchison.

With Romero's and Morrow's salaries at $15.5 MM, adding three more Starters could cost between $23.25 MM and $31.0 MM for a total of approximately $38.75 MM - $46.5 MM.

With Bautista's and Rasmus' salaries at $17.75 MM - $18.5 MM, adding an Impact LF bat could cost between $8.75 MM and $14.0 MM for a total of approximately $26.5 MM - $32.5 MM

With Encarnacion's, Aviles, Escobar's, Lawrie's and Arencibia's salaries at $16.0 MM - $16.75 MM, adding an Impact 1B or DH bat could cost between $8.0 MM and $16.0 MM for a total of approximately $24.0 MM - $32.75 MM.

With Santos', Janssen's, Delabar's and Happ's salaries at $10.65 MM - $11.65 MM, adding three quality relievers (or two if Oliver returns) could cost between $8.75 MM and $12.0 MM for a total of approximately $19.4 MM - $23.65 MM.

With Mathis' and Davis' salaries at $4.5 MM, adding two quality Middle Infielder could cost between $5.0 MM and $8.0 MM for a total of approximately $9.5 MM - $12.5 MM.

Adding in the Must Pays: Lind's salary waived or bench, McGowan's contract, Hechavarria's Bonus, Hutchison's, Drabek's and Perez's salaries are approximately $9.5 MM.

If A.A. does everything he needs to and maintain depth he needs a total of approximately $127.7 MM - $157.4 MM.   That gives you a likelyhood of all that is needed happening of zero.

92-93 - Saturday, October 27 2012 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#264861) #
Next year's payroll stands at 70m before the arbitration raises due for Rasmus, Happ, Cecil, and Aviles, which will bring it to approx. 82m.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#264862) #

Romero  $7.5 MM, Morrow  $8.0 MM are the Starters (3 openings): $15.5 MM.   Santos  $2.75 MM, Janssen  $3.9 MM, Delabar $500 K are the Bullpen (3 openings): $7.15 MM.   Must pay: salaries of Perez, Hutchison and Drabek  $1.5 MM (on Major League payroll when put on D.L. - MLB salaries continue as does service time); McGowan  $1.5MM: $3.0 MM.   Total:  $25.65 MM.  

Encarnacion  $8.0 MM, Escobar $5.0 MM, Lawrie $500 K, Arencibia $500 K are the Infield (1 opening): $14.0 MM.   Bautista  $14.0 MM is Outfield (1 opening): $14.0 MM.  Mathis  $1.5 MM, Davis  $3.0 MM form the Bench (2 openings): $4.5 MM.  Must pay: Lind  $5.0 MM (whether waived or on Bench).  Total:  $37.5 MM 

Arbitration Raises:  Happ (Bullpen) should earn  $3.5 - 4.5 MM.   Aviles (2B) should earn $2.0 - 2.75 MM.  Rasmus (CF) should earn $3.75 - 4.5 MM.  Cecil (AAA Starter)should earn $1.5 - 2.0 MM.  Total:  $10.75 - 13.75 MM.

I make the totals as: $63.15 MM for 12 on 25-man Roster, 5 on 40-man Roster, 10 openings and $10.75 - 13.75 MM for 3 (arby) on 25-man, 1 (arby) on 40-man.

A.A. may not be able to fill all the openings outside and may have to use in-house, but until that happens we wait.   Anybody can put down numbers, let`s just do the work and support the numbers please.   


spud77 - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#264863) #
Like the trade for Happ you mean?
bpoz - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#264864) #
Thanks for the salary calculation Richard SS & 92-93. I usually think that you are dreaming big Richard SS. Then your proposed acquisitions do not happen. But I heard P Hentgen & D Ward say pretty much what you have been saying. Starting pitching has to be elite. Hentgen named some team and then said how great their pen is because the SPs would regularly get them into the 7th or 8th inning in a position to win. He then said timely hitting in which a solo HR will win the game.
D Ward said the SP must improve so that Romero can be the #3 & Morrow can be the #4.
Neither mentioned that a Ward/Henke combo can successfully finish the games.

I now respect/congratulate you on your suggestions. I have been aiming at mediocre targets all along. I did not like the Burnett & BJ Ryan signings & F Thomas. I was not really happy with B Molina $4mil, so much either. My aims have been OK/happy for stop gap A Gonzales types for SS & 2B when the need arises while I wait for something better. Eventually Escobar/Rasmus are acquired and provide potential that hopefully is realized. This type for thing happens all the time as I recall, G Bell, F McGriff, T Fernandez, Alomar etc... as examples of hope being realized.Of course Alomar cost us Fernandez but that was a strong line up. Failures too, P Huffman & M Lemonjello etc...

But what do AA & Beeston think? What is their time table? I believe they have been reasonably clear about not paying for high priced FAs. They even may have doubts about paying our own super stars like Delgado & V Wells expensive long term contracts. How do they feel about a J Morris, D Winfield, P Molitor signing or a D Cone trade at this time in our history? So I am just waiting & watching with no explicit expectations. I am now more open to every ones expectations & suggestions.
Shaker - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#264865) #
I was really upset by the Happ trade until very recently. Now I see it has actually fairly reasonable. Let's break it down...

To acquire a veteran reliever like Lyon at the trade deadline is not cheap. It's unfortunate we had to do it but it was necessary and worked out very well for the Jays. Let's assume we shipped Carlos Perez to get Lyon. I'd say the Matt Capps to the Twins is a reasonable analog. The Nats got Wilson Ramos and another prospect in that one.

Now let's agree that we were going to cut Cordero and Francisco and it was going to cost us $3M in salary to do so. Would you sell Kevin Comer (who had just received $1.65M signing bonus) for that $3M? Sure I think you take the bird in the hand on that deal.

Might you also trade a 24th rounder (Rollins) to add bullpen depth on the AAA-MLB shuttle (D Carpenter)? Sure why not, when you need that depth.

So now we're down to Happ. A back of the rotation starter with a career 97 OPS+. He's a good AL #5 or a poor #4. You've scoured the league for starting pitching and this is about as good as it gets without costing you much. You agree to send Asher Woj. You control Happ until the end of 2014. It could be worse.

You put it all together, talk it over with your crew and you say "it's not what you want to do, but it's what you have to do". Lunhow in Houston knows you need these bodies too, so he busts you with one last, little request. He wants Musgrove thrown in to make it all happen. You blanch, take a deep breath and move on. Done.

There that wasn't so bad, was it?

Not defending it, just trying to rationalize it in my own mind.
Thomas - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#264866) #
It's unfortunate we had to do it but it was necessary and worked out very well for the Jays. Let's assume we shipped Carlos Perez to get Lyon. I'd say the Matt Capps to the Twins is a reasonable analog.

I don't see why it was necessary for a team not in contention to acquire a pending free agent reliever. Secondly, the Capps trade may be a reasonable analog, but that is also recognized nearly universally as a bad trade for the Twins.

bpoz - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#264867) #
Well said Shaker. That makes good enough sense to me to not put a negative slant to it.
I am not sure of Lyons value to the success of the 2012 Jays. By the deadline while close the Jays were still a long shot IMO. But he still could have been flipped for something.

Happ has value in 2012 & 2013. Detroit got A Sanchez, CWS F Lirano & LAD J Beckett and there were others. Many had a string attached either FA or expensive $. Some established pitchers had bad years Romero, Lincecum & J Lester.
Lucky Cain, Bumgarner, Voglesong & Zito took up the slack. Every year there will be a huge need for SP depth at the trading deadline.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#264868) #

When acquiring Relievers in a Trade or as Free Agents there is always an overriding concern, can he pitch in the A.L. East?   Brandon Lyon can, which means he has value to Toronto, even now - he's proven.   Re-signing him should be a priority, he has show he's good value.   J.A. Happ looks like he can pitch here too, although sample size is smallish.   He is under Team control until after the 2014 season, and is a LHP, increasing his already good value.   In fact I think he has more value than Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano and Josh Beckett, although it might be close.   The David Carpenter piece of the deal was basically clearing 40-man Roster space for both Teams. 

DEALS UPDATE: We dump Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, David Carpenter and John Farrell, losing Asher Wojciechowski, Joseph Mushgrove, David Rollins, Carlos Perez, Travis Snider, Eric Thames and P.T.B.N.L. as well.  In return, we acquire, J.A.Happ (thru 2014), Steve Delabar (thru 2017), Mike Aviles (thru 2013), Brad Lincoln (thru 2017) and Brandon Lyon (pending Free Agent).   That's a good deal. 

Waveburner - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#264869) #

I don't really agree with the trade if you break it down like that. To me parting with a recently drafted high bonus sandwich pick in order to dump an unwanted middle reliever and a bench bat to save like 3 million bucks is pretty miserly. That's not the action of an organization maximizing assets, that is one that is maximizing profits and nothing else.

Although I wouldn't quite break it down like that. I agree on Carpenter-Rollins, pretty inconsequential (although they lost interest in Carpenter pretty fast). Seeing as Lyon was a pending FA he had less value, and I dont think he quite merits even a prospect like Perez on his own. Taking back salary offsets things. I also think this explains why Lyon was not traded for a prospect later. I very much doubt the Jays were offered much more than another Carpenter-esque prospect for Lyon. And if that is the case, why not hold onto him and try to re-sign him?

So then you have Wojciechowski, Musgrove and Comer for Happ. Which seems like a lot as you have 3 recent sandwich first rounders. However I think it speaks quite clearly to two things.

One, that after a year of looking at Comer and Musgrove firsthand, Jays scouts were not as high on them as they were at draft time. Also that Wojciechowski's lower velocity and lack of third pitch meant bullpen arm at this point.

Two, they like Happ quite a bit better than the raw statistics say. The peripherals are good, let's hope they are right. If he eats innings with an ERA around 4.00, it will be a good trade. 

greenfrog - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#264870) #
I think Waveburner sums it up pretty well. I think the Jays see Happ as having a bit of upside (he had the best velocity of his career in 2012). He could be a useful #4-5 starter, maybe even a #3 if he can improve his secondary stuff. Some pitchers develop late.

Also, as noted at the time of the trade, the Jays may have needed to clear some space on the 40-man roster. Whatever you think of the trade, moving multiple non-elite prospects in exchange for, essentially, one starting pitcher helped them do that.
Thomas - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#264871) #
The Jays don't seem to be swayed by how impressive Ausmus apparently was in his interview in Boston, as Shi Davidi reports he isn't a candidate. Jim Tracy and Manny Acta are also noticeably absent. Tim Wallach will be interviewed this time around.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#264872) #
Maybe the Jays see Ausmus as someone who might not be sufficiently loyal to the Jays. He seemed to really want the Boston job (I think he might be from the area).
Original Ryan - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#264873) #
They may want someone with at least some managerial or high-level coaching experience. Either would likely cut down on the amount of on-the-job training the new guy will have to do. As far as I can tell, the only coaching/managing Ausmus has done is with Israel's WBC team.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#264874) #
Whereas they were 7th in the league in runs scored, right at the league average

The RC was undoubtedly a factor in the Jays' scraping out an average RS total. The team had a team OPS+ of 93, second-worst in the league (behind Seattle). A full season of Bautista (assuming he comes back healthy and durable) isn't going to be enough to right the ship.
Thomas - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#264875) #
Original Ryan, that apparently is their rationale for not interviewing Ausmus, as per Shi Davidi. It's not clear what coaching experience the team considers sufficient to meet their threshold, but I think that's the same reason why Sal Fasano is being spoken about as a candidate for a job on the team's coaching staff, but not as a serious contender for the manager's position.

Having coaching experience would likely cut down upon the learning curve any manager would have to go through. I don't doubt that. However, I wouldn't set that as a minimum requirement and I wouldn't close myself to the possibility that a candidate's strengths could sufficiently outweigh the strengths of the other candidates, even considering his lack of coaching experience. Maybe the the lack of coaching experience would be evident in Ausmus' interview vis-a-vis interviews with Wallach, other candidates and the records Anthopolous has from the Farrell search, but I find it strange that Anthopolous, who always talks about acquiring as much information as possible and getting opinions from everyone in the room, would close himself of to the possibility of a group of candidates (there may be others similarly situated, but Ausmus is just the most prominent) because they lack one particular skill, regardless of what other strengths they possess.

Apparently Ausmus really wanted the Boston job and he currently works for the Padres, so he might be so focused on one of those two and have turned down an invitation to interview, as he did with Miami, but the Jays never gave him a chance to decline.
Magpie - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#264876) #
The RC was undoubtedly a factor in the Jays' scraping out an average RS total.

Most years, but not in 2012. The Dome played as the most neutral scoring environment in the AL in 2012. The Jays scored and allowed 753 runs in their home games, 747 runs in their road games.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#264877) #
OPS+ : "OPS measured against the league average, and adjusted for ballpark factors. An OPS+ over 100 is better than average, less than 100 is below average."

Am I missing something? Obviously an OPS+ of 93 is well below average. The Jays were also 9th in the league in OPS.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 28 2012 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#264878) #
Also: Aaron Hill's 2011 OPS+ (137) would have been the second-highest on the Jays in 2011, and the third-highest in 2012 (131).

The next best hitter on the 2012 roster was Brett Lawrie (97 OPS+).

That alone would give me pause if I were AA before considering any more trade proposals from Kevin Towers.
ayjackson - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#264879) #
Free agents can start changing teams on Saturday. Let's hope this managerial search is taken care of in short order.
John Northey - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#264880) #
No question the manager search does need to reach a conclusion soon as you want to form the 2013 team with input from whoever the new manager is. If the manager is from outside the organization especially since they'd have a viewpoint on players that AA won't and that might be useful when debating who to sign/who not to sign.
Mike Green - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#264883) #
Greenfrog, the 2012 Jays significantly outperformed their OPS+.  Baserunning, not hitting into double plays, and hitting well with runners in scoring position contributed to this accomplishment.  The latter contributor is probably not sustainable.

I don't agree that only the pitching staff ought to be improved.  The 2012 Jays had position players delivering replacement level performance (in one case for a third straight year).  This can be improved without a huge outlay of funds...

bpoz - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#264885) #
Is Cito even a candidate? Or is he firm in his decision to retire. Certainly the Jays know all about him.

There will be many mistakes made in player movements by all the teams concerned. AA has said that he will only go after the players he targets, short list most likely, and not go after leftovers.
92-93 - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#264888) #

I make the totals as: $63.15 MM for 12 on 25-man Roster, 5 on 40-man Roster, 10 openings and $10.75 - 13.75 MM for 3 (arby) on 25-man, 1 (arby) on 40-man...Anybody can put down numbers, let`s just do the work and support the numbers please.

Your numbers don't include the 3m option they will pick up on Oliver (but does include Rajai's, so not sure why you're picking and choosing options) or the 1.75m owed to Hechavarria. If you use Lincoln, Loup, Oliver, and Jenkins to round out the bullpen and Hechavarria, Cooper, and Sierra for the bench you get to 70m owed before the 4 arbitration guys.

Magpie - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#264893) #
...the 2012 Jays significantly outperformed their OPS+. Baserunning, not hitting into double plays, and hitting well with runners in scoring position contributed to this accomplishment.

I dunno about that. They did do a decent job of staying out of the double play but I certainly didn't think they were particularly good at running the bases. And they didn't do anything special with runners in scoring position. Everybody hits better with runners in scoring position. The Jays were middle of the pack there as well.

I'm much more inclined to think that the OPS+ is missing something about the year just gone by, and I suspect it has something to do with how the park played in 2012.
greenfrog - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#264896) #
I don't think the offensive stats are a huge mystery. In 2012, the Jays were:

- 7th in the AL in runs scored...but only four runs ahead of the 9th-place team (the Jays actually scored five fewer runs than the AL average)

- 9th in the AL in OPS

- Tied (with two other teams) for second-worst in the AL in wRC+

- Tied (with three other teams) for 9th in wOBA

- 11th in offensive WAR (fangraphs)

While the Bautista injury and other injuries were no doubt a factor, the offense was also absolutely horrible in the second half. Post-All Star break, the Jays were 12th in the AL in runs scored and tied for last in OPS (671).

It's clear that the Jays were a below-average offensive team in 2012, and at or near the bottom of the pile in the second half. Cherry-picking the final AL runs scored ranking might make it seem like the Jays were a comfortably average offensive unit, but the stats tell a different story. In my view, there is more going on here than no-Bautista.
China fan - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#264897) #
"....Your numbers don't include the 3m option they will pick up on Oliver...."

As far as I know, Oliver is still contemplating his future and is giving serious consideration to retiring.

Personally I hope he's back. But I'd put it at a 50-50 chance.
Mike Green - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#264900) #
The 2012 Jays' offence outperformed the OPS, both at home and on the road. 
92-93 - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#264901) #
Every player could retire tomorrow. If we're evaluating the current payroll commitments I don't see a reason to exclude an option the Jays are near certain to pick up (Oliver) while including one they very well may not (Davis). If Oliver actually decides to retire I imagine AA will look to spend that 3m on another veteran reliever, such as Jason Frasor or Brandon Lyon. Going into the season relying on Santos, Janssen, Delabar, Lincoln, and Loup would be a really bad idea.
Hodgie - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#264905) #
"Cherry-picking the final AL runs scored ranking might make it seem like the Jays were a comfortably average offensive unit, but the stats tell a different story."

Out of curiosity, how does making a determination on the quality of the Jays offense using runs scored differ from judging the quality of the Baltimore Orioles using their won/loss record?

Mike Green - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#264906) #
If one is projecting how the Jays' offence is going to do (assuming no personnel changes) in 2013 and how many games the Orioles club (assuming no personnel changes) is likely to win in 2013, you are in both cases wise to look beyond the Jays' runs scored in 2012 and the Orioles W-L record in 2012.  In other words, components matter in both cases. 
greenfrog - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#264909) #
"#Dbacks give Toronto permission to speak to 3B coach Matt Williams about managerial opening"

Twitter / Jack Magruder
greenfrog - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#264911) #
how does making a determination on the quality of the Jays offense using runs scored

I am taking into account runs scored, just putting that number into context instead of ending the discussion at "they finished 7th in runs scored. Average offence. Should be much better next year with Bautista." The Jays were only a hair above the 9th-ranked team in RS, which isn't surprising - rather, it's consistent with most other credible metrics, which indicate that the offense was very lackluster.

As for the Baltimore angle, I would say that had the Jays allowed 709 runs (instead of 784), thereby finishing +7 in runs, and somehow managed to win 93 games along the way, I would (a) be over the moon, and (b) argue that a team's W-L record is what ultimately matters, even if this outcome is "unfair" according to Pythagoras.
Magpie - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#264914) #
they finished 7th in runs scored. Average offence.

It wasn't because they happened to be 7th in the league that made me think they had an average offense. It's the fact that they scored 716 runs when the league average was 721 that put the idea in my head.
Magpie - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#264915) #
So if you want to persuade me that wasn't an average offense, you're going to have to actually remove some of those runs. We're not talking about 2013. We're talking about the 2012 offense, which came within .00694 of being perfectly average.
greenfrog - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#264916) #
I'm actually not trying to persuade you, Magpie. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.
Magpie - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#264917) #
The 2012 Jays scored 716 runs. That's not an opinion. And an average offense would have scored 721 runs. That's not an opinion, either. However, at a certain point either above or below that 721 figure, an offense can no longer reasonably be called average. So maybe it's a question of semantics.

I figured they were close enough - within five runs - to that figure that "average" was still an accurate enough term. But strictly speaking they were indeed below average; 716 is indisputably less than 721.
grjas - Monday, October 29 2012 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#264918) #
Well actually they had an above avg offense for about half the season and a below average for the rest. Wasn't long ago we were celebrating their top 2 run scoring offense. Well, actually it seems like a long time ago.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 30 2012 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#264937) #
Was the good half 50% of the season. April was not good.

I think we have to measure chemistry & the make up of the line up.
If Olerud can get on base at .450 then 2 big bats behind him can drive him in. But he is a slow runner.
If Jeter fails to do anything there are about 6 others to pick him up, so 2 weak spots somewhere.
A tough out that consistently requires the pitcher to throw many pitches will get him out of the game sooner.

Chemestry:- a fearsome duo. Manny & David O. Bautista & EE ? Now where would a 3rd 25-30 HR hitter slot in. JPA, Lind DH, Rasmus are capable & hopefully will produce that power. So we need an OBP guy & one that can make the pitcher throw a lot of pitches. We can always use more power but maybe we do not need it. Also what is an easy out? A lineup loaded with easy outs means that you can pitch around the guy that can hurt you. So IMO NH had a lot of easy outs. So pitch around McDade. I miss bball12 & his input. Hi to him.
rpriske - Tuesday, October 30 2012 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#264951) #
The Red Sox announced that they've hired longtime Blue Jays coach Brian Butterfield to coach third base in Boston. Butterfield joins manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo as former Blue Jays personnel in Boston
scottt - Tuesday, October 30 2012 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#264969) #
My take on that is that, like Ausmus, he's positioning himself for the manager job, once Farrell is shown the door after a year.
grjas - Tuesday, October 30 2012 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#264975) #
Was the good half 50% of the season. April was not good.

Quote from mlb:
Prior to Bautista’s injury, the Jays were 45-45. Middling, to be sure — and suffering under a raft of injuries to the pitching staff — but still hanging in. They were leading the league in runs scored and ranked second in home runs. ...

That was july 16. And obviously 90 more than half the season. Wasn't that long ago we were celebrating the offence on this site. As i say, just seems like a long time ago. Sigh.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 31 2012 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#264992) #
Thanks for the info grjas. Hopefully it is accurate.
If so it suggests that the Jays offense was quite good up to then. The offense tanked after that. So now AA has to try to figure out why it was good and then why it became bad.
He still has some coaches left I think. I mean are they still Jay coaches because they have been given permission to look elsewhere. Their input if available will have value IMO.
Hodgie - Wednesday, October 31 2012 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#265000) #
The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round, 'round and 'round, the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round, all through the town.....
JohnL - Wednesday, October 31 2012 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#265015) #

all through the town.....

 I love this quote from Farrel in that article, about Butterfield's father:

"..his dad (Jack Butterfield) being a longtime developer, person and coach..."

A long-time person: that's what everyone strives to be.

grjas - Wednesday, October 31 2012 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#265043) #
Yeah i agree bpoz. I can't help but wonder if their lack of bench strength hurt them when the injuries piled up and the minor leaguers came up short. There also seemed to be a lot of players playing hurt- rasmus, lawrie to some extent, lind, johnson. Makes you wonder if like romero they were pressing themselves to play when they shouldn't have.

All conjecture of course, but makes it tough for the team to assess just how big a gap they have in offense.
bpoz - Thursday, November 01 2012 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#265060) #
Pre AS the Jays were 13 runs scored behind the leader Texas. Post AS they were 47 runs scored ahead of the last place Astros.
Oakland lead all of baseball with 394 runs scored post AS and were the 3rd worst Pre AS with 319 runs. So maybe some young kids clicked post AS and there could also have been promotions. Maybe the veterans did it.

All these things have to be looked at.
Gerry - Thursday, November 01 2012 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#265079) #
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Jays are looking for a manager with experience at, you know, managing. He throws out some names we have heard before, Manny Acta, Jim Treacy and one we have not, Jim Riggleman. Don Wakamatsu also fits the bill in an internal candidate.

He reports that the Jays have not contacted Cleveland regarding Sandy Alomar Jr.
John Northey - Thursday, November 01 2012 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#265081) #
Latest stuff has AA saying he needs to follow his gut - that he didn't do that with Farrell. Not sure what that means but it will be interesting. Who was a rumored candidate late time who went on to succeed?
Mike Green - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#265087) #
In the Hall Watch department, Bill Dahlen is on a ballot now.  He might be the most egregious omission from the Hall.  He's right there in the Luke Appling, Ozzie Smith, Bobby Wallace range of shortstops, and ought to have been in the Hall 60 years ago. 
greenfrog - Friday, November 02 2012 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#265088) #
The new Moneyball: follow your gut.
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