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Maicer Izturis. AA signed him today to a 3 year deal plus an option year (he does love having options) for $3 million per year.

He is the brother of ex-Jay Cesar Izturis and is similar in that both are defense first guys, except Maicer has shown a bit with the bat, having a lifetime line of 273/337/381 with a 94 OPS+. Lifetime he has 290 games at 3B, 246 at 2B, and 194 at SS. Twice he was put into the outfield covering all of 1 inning.

A solid choice as he enters his age 32 season - he is a perfectly good backup who can play close to everyday (twice over 400 PA, 5 times playing 100+ games in a season) thus takes over the old John McDonald role. I figure he is the stopgap until Hechavarria is ready or a better 2B is found, then he'll be a regular backup ala Davis in the outfield.

Also the Jays did a minor trade of cash for Jeremy Jeffress, a 25 year old reliever who has been very wild (30 BB in 38 2/3 IP) so far in his ML career. Can a day go by without AA getting another reliever? I don't think so.
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Craig B - Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 07:55 PM EST (#265320) #
At least he's a credible major league ballplayer, we were running badly short of those.

The market's likely to be much higher this winter than people are expecting, but I still see that third year as a Toronto tax.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 08:24 PM EST (#265322) #
Probably partly a Toronto tax, partly a supply-and-demand issue re decent middle infielders.

Looks as though Jeffress has had stretches of better control in the minors (in 2010 and 2012). Perhaps the Jays want to see if he can be a 3-4 BB / 9 IP guy (with big strikeout numbers) instead of a 6-8 BB / 9 IP guy.
Mike Forbes - Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 08:51 PM EST (#265323) #
If your fastball averages under 95 mph, you will be phased out of the bullpen.
Lylemcr - Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 10:12 PM EST (#265326) #
A much better backup infielder than Aviles. 
ayjackson - Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 11:33 PM EST (#265327) #

Morosi tweets Anibal Sanchez is looking for 6/$90m.  Wilner blogs  that Arencibia plus something might get us Jon Niese.

Some starters' xFIP over the past 3 yrs (minimum 450 IP):

1. Cliff Lee 2.93
2. Roy Halladay 2.96
3. King Felix 3.16
4. Zack Greinke 3.17
13. David Price 3.42
19. Dan Haren 3.56
19. Hiroki Kuroda 3.56
21. Jon Niese 3.58
22. RA Dickey 3.63
22. Anibal Sanchez 3.63
24. Brandon Morrow 3.65
26. Gio Gonzalez 3.72
26. Ricky Nolasco 3.72
26. Matt Garza 3.72
29. Ryan Dempster 3.74

ayjackson - Thursday, November 08 2012 @ 11:35 PM EST (#265328) #
Ooops.  Also noteworthy, and tied with Dempster at 3.74, Edwin Jackson.
John Northey - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 12:43 AM EST (#265329) #
Wow Greinke is great by xFIP. His FIP has been 3.34-2.98-3.10 over those years, ERA 4.17-3.83-3.48 to go with 10-16-15 wins. All told that suggests he is undervalued by traditional measures. He is, without a doubt, the hottest free agent this winter and it all depends on if you feel his FIP/xFIP numbers are his real talent level or if there is a reason his ERA and W totals are not as impressive. Whats funny is his highest inning total was his lowest win total, and his highest win total was in his lowest inning season - go figure. I hadn't looked super-close at Greinke's numbers but the more I look the more I like. Not 7 years at $25 mil a year like, but $20 per over 5 like (I know, still not enough to get him most likely).

My general rule is go big or go cheap. IE: Get Greinke or get someone a heck of a lot cheaper to fill space until the kids are ready.
JB21 - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 09:44 AM EST (#265331) #
Morrow and EE looking more and more like quite the deals that AA locked up. I'd settle for 3-4 year deals on Dempster & Marcum while we wait for the young kids to develop. Also, chances are these are the two pitchers we may not have to overpay (vs. the already over-inflated market) to get to play in Toronto (Canada).
John Northey - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 10:15 AM EST (#265332) #
The Mets are rumoured to be trying to trade R.A. Dickey. He is entering his age 38 season as a knuckleballer, so two strikes there, but his ERA+ the last 3 years is 138-112-140. he is signed for 2013 at $5 mil then is a free agent, with rumours of 3 years at $13 mil the request.

So, would you go for that? Lots of risk as knuckleballers are not famous for being reliable, plus his age of course. On the other hand, he is doing extremely well and would be inexpensive year one. Who would you trade to get him? Would you give him the 3 year/$39 mil deal? I know I'd be very tempted.
raptorsaddict - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 10:25 AM EST (#265334) #
John Northey, I wrote this in the last thread, thought I'd repost it here. If what you say is true as far as his contract demands, we might actually have a chance to get him.

Kind of off-topic, but this article at fangraphs made me wonder what Bauxites would consider giving up to get Dickey:

For me, it depends on whether you can do a "sign-and-trade" deal where you extend him or if it's only a one year deal. I'm thoroughly in the "Roll the Dice with Dickey" camp (all rights reserved). So, if the Jays are giving up prospects, I would like to see them get 4 years of control. Part of the structure of the contract could be tearing up his existing deal and giving him a front-end loaded contract this year (to get a lower overall price). I'm thinking 4/44, with 14, 12, 10, 8 (or the straight 11/per if he prefers).

As for prospects, it would be great to not give up one of the Lansing 3, but if forced I'd go Syndergaard, if only because the most recent stories I've read have talked about his lack of a secondary offering - I could change my mind and prefer they trade Nicolino tomorrow. Toss in, say, Marisnick and 2 lower-level prospects and perhaps a deal could be done. Or, if they wanted JP it could be Syndergaard + JP + filler.

Trying to win involves taking risks, and this is the type of situation where it might be possible to capitalize on the "fog of war" created by the unique circumstances of the pitcher in question to get an extremely high return on your investment. Of course, this is assuming his lack of UCL doesn't make his arm explode, although, even then, he might actually come back WAY better from TJ - who knows? Let me repeat: the man pitches in the major leagues with NO UCL in his throwing arm. What the $%^$#$? AND he's a knuckleballer who might be able to pitch for the next 11 seasons? Roll the dice AA, roll the dice!!!!!

MatO - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 10:53 AM EST (#265335) #
I've heard Blair say that the Jays aren't interested in Marcum because of some stuff that was going on behind the scenes with him the last time he was with the Jays.  That's as specific as Blair got.  I certainly don't recall any problems with Marcum.
Mike Green - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 10:55 AM EST (#265336) #
Knuckleballers have less risk than other 38 year old pitchers.  Dickey probably has more risk than other knuckleballers because he throws hard and has the missing UCL. 

Personally, I don't think he is a great fit in Toronto unless the club actually makes a credible effort to compete in 2013, i.e. by signing or trading for another quality pitcher and a left-fielder.  In that case, I would rather just trade talent to the Mets for the one year of Dickey and decide whether to make a qualifying offer after 2013.  It's a similar situation to Halladay, except that the 2013 finances are different and so the Phils would need less talent and might assume some of the salary. 

92-93 - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 12:28 PM EST (#265337) #
I believe what Blair said was that Marcum was optioned to Vegas midseason because he had become too big for his britches, or something of that sort.

It appears John Northey has done a 180 on Greinke.
MatO - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 12:48 PM EST (#265338) #

I believe what Blair said was that Marcum was optioned to Vegas midseason because he had become too big for his britches, or something of that sort.

Now that you mention it he did say something like that but I don't see the evidence.  He pitched all season at the major league level in 2010 and was injured all of 2009 but did have some rehab starts in the minors including LV at the end of the season.  He did appear in LV in 2008 for a couple of starts but he also appeared in Dunedin so they look like rehab starts since he was on the DL from June 21-July 22, 2008..  In 2007 he spent the whole year in the majors.  2006 was split between Syracuse and Toronto.  Sounds like Blair made that part up.

greenfrog - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 12:51 PM EST (#265339) #
At least with Greinke, we can be 99% sure he isn't signing with the Jays, whereas last off-season, there seemed to be a fair chance that AA would land Darvish. The net result is the same, but at least we won't have to endure a long night of checking MLBTR, not to mention a 1001 Yu jokes, only to behold the apparition of Aaron Laffey once all the dust settled (not that I'm bitter).
92-93 - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 01:46 PM EST (#265340) #
Greinke signs with the Blue Jays if he's their best offer (much like most FAs), it's as simple as that.

Clarence shipped Marcum off to Syracuse in 2008.

John Northey - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 02:44 PM EST (#265341) #
True enough 92-93, I keep flip flopping on Greinke... price of watching politics too much :)

Greinke from one direction can look mediocre, from another direction can look like an ace. His issues seem to be batted ball/home run per fly ball based rather than on the 'fundamentals' of K per batter, walks per batter and fly balls given up. That means he either is a great pitcher who just rarely gets final numbers to match or he is a decent one who has better than expects other numbers. Makes me think of Morrow in that respect - before last year his FIP/xFIP said he was as good or better than Romero but it wasn't until this year that the ERA showed it.

The advantage of being a fan and not a GM - I can flip flop and not see millions of dollars lost due to it :)
Mike Green - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 04:23 PM EST (#265342) #
Greinke's career ERA and xFIP are pretty close, but the ERA is modestly higher.  He gives up more line drives than average, holds runners very well, and is effective with runners on with one singular exception.  He gets killed with the bases loaded.  As compared with nobody on, he walks more, strikes out fewer, gives up many more long-balls and more hits.  It might just be a sample size fluke, or it might be something else (perhaps less tolerance for pressure than average or a profile of stuff not ideally suited to the situation). 

In any event, at this stage in his career, you are probably best off to look at the ERA over a period of years as the best indicator of what he is likely to do going forward. 

Chuck - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 04:27 PM EST (#265343) #

You wonder if, for some pitchers, if there may be something systemic leading to an ERA/FIP variation, and not solely the vagaries of random chance.

For Morrow, prior to 2012, he pitched very well with no one on base and not so well with men on base. His gap in these two scenarios was greater than that for most pitchers resulting in better FIPs than ERAs. Was this gap the product of random chance or was there something concrete behind this (a mechanical flaw pitching from the stretch, say)? For his career:

bases empty:  659 OPS
men on: 746 OPS

Conversely, consider Jim Palmer. He pitched almost 400 innings with a 2.86 ERA and a 3.50 FIP (25% worse). His splits explain, mathematically, why this is so:

bases empty:  641 OPS
men on: 622 OPS

What the hell is going on here? As the stakes got higher Palmer pitched better? This covers thousands of plate appearances, so the effects of chance were greatly tempered. Was Palmer able to somehow be better with men on base? If so, why wouldn't he just summon that mojo all the time?

All of this is to say that while it may be tempting to simply assume that a pitcher's ERA will eventually fall in line with his FIP or xFIP, maybe this isn't the case. Maybe there are pitchers who will consistently underperform or overperform their FIP/xFIP.

Chuck - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 04:28 PM EST (#265344) #
Palmer pitched almost 4000 innings, not 400.
Mike Green - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 04:50 PM EST (#265345) #
MGL (and many others) would suggest that if one is projecting next season ERA and had one season's worth of data to project from, you should use perhaps 2/3 FIP, 1/3 ERA, and with each successive year of data you have, you use progressively less FIP and progressively more ERA. 
vw_fan17 - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 05:07 PM EST (#265346) #
What the hell is going on here? As the stakes got higher Palmer pitched better? This covers thousands of plate appearances, so the effects of chance were greatly tempered. Was Palmer able to somehow be better with men on base? If so, why wouldn't he just summon that mojo all the time?

Pitching to the score? <runs and ducks for cover>

Perhaps it's just too taxing to pitch at 95%+ effort ALL the time - if you can get 1/3 to 1/2 of the batters you face out with 50-60% effort, why not? Save your energy/strength for those tough/important at bats.. A 2-out single usually isn't going to hurt that much..
greenfrog - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 09:17 PM EST (#265347) #
Dan Szymborski's 2013 AL East predictions are up. Based on ZiPS, he projects the Jays' roster (as currently constituted - no Maicer Izturis) to finish 78-84. The two teams with the best projected records are the Rays (86-76) and Yankees (85-77). Sample mini-quotes:

"The fact that seemingly half the team's potential starters required Tommy John surgery over the course of the season kind of overshadowed the fact that the team's offense wasn't very good, either."

"What will prevent the Jays from winning 90 is the state of the rotation."
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 09 2012 @ 11:05 PM EST (#265348) #
The Team was very competitive until after July 28th. Everyone noticed in Spring Training where the offense came from - it wasn't the Starting Lineup, it was the kids going back to the minors. The Bullpen trusted neither the Offense or the Rotation. The Rotation trusted no one. The Offense trusted no one.

The Bullpen improved more and more as the year went on. The selective offense disappeared. The Starting Rotation, as make-shift as they became, ran out of gas and the offense kind of gave up.

I wouldn't say the offense was bad, it just wasn't good.
dan gordon - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 12:46 AM EST (#265349) #
Article on Rotoworld today attributed to Sportsnet indicates that AA says they are not going to get a left fielder, and will fill the positon with R. Davis, A. Gose or other internal options.  One more nail in the coffin of the 2013 season.
TamRa - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 02:18 AM EST (#265350) #
the actual quote from Davidi's story:

"- At the moment, the Blue Jays seem inclined to go with what they have in-house at left field, which could mean some combination of rookie Anthony Gose and veteran Rajai Davis. "Weve talked about a few things, weve looked at a few things, its a bit more of a wait-and-see approach with left field right now and being a little more aggressive in terms of the rotation," said Anthopoulos. "With LF and some of the options, its more of a sit back and maybe let it come to us a little more.""

AA's words do not say what Davidi's spin seems to think they say. I do not accept as plausable the claim the jays won't try to do better in LF. Waiting for a situation to develop because you are willing to gamble that you might be left using Davis isn't the same as PLANNING to use Davis.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned much which I think is a lot more possible than it might at first seem - I think there's a better than 50% possibility that the Jays might leverage some deal by including Rasmus and let Gose go ahead and tackle CF - but that would only happen if they were confident they had upgraded LF. The whole LF/DH/1B/CF thing has a ton of moving parts.

Also, Rotoworld had a piece speculating about non-tender options and one name on the list was Kyle Blanks, who it was also noted might be a trade target before the N-T deadline arrives. Though he's a RH hitter, if the asking price is right he might be a very interesting buy-low option.

scottt - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 05:48 AM EST (#265351) #
The difference between Davidi and AA is just PR speech.

He's clearly saying he plans to use Davis and the 4th outfielder unless he sees a cheap upgrade along the way.

Why hasn't Lind been traded for a bullpen arm?
Shaker - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 07:27 AM EST (#265352) #
With about $20M left to spend on the open market and a goal of contending in 2013 and (more so) 2014 in the AL East, the ideal allocation would be to spend almost all of that on a front of the rotation starter.

Given the distribution of starters in the FA pool - Greinke then the rest - the second most optimal allocation would be something like $14M on a high end ("#2") starter and $5M on a league average ("#4 with upside") starter.

Spending big money on an LF bat when clearly the rotation needs reinforcements would be counterproductive. Waiting around for Nyjer Morgan or Nate Schierholtz or Juan Pierre to sign up for $1.5M as Alex is hinting at, is the smart play.
Magpie - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 11:17 AM EST (#265353) #
Clarence shipped Marcum off to Syracuse in 2008

He didn't, actually. Marcum went on the DL on June 21 (Gaston was hired the day before) with elbow issues. James Andrews looked at Marcum's arm and found that his ligaments were merely strained. Marcum was eligible to return from the DL around July 4, but first he made three rehab appearances in Dunedin and Syracuse. He returned to the Toronto rotation after the ASB, on July 22. Gaston said at the time that he was excited about finally getting to see him pitch, having heard so much about him.
Magpie - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 11:29 AM EST (#265354) #
As the stakes got higher Palmer pitched better?

One of the things Palmer is mildly famous for: in his long career, he never allowed a home run with the bases loaded. Not even once. Which itself suggests that he had a different approach when there were men on base. The phrase usually "pitching to the score" usually comes up when people want to mock Jack Morris - perhaps it's better to think of "pitching to the situation." A guy who knows what he's doing, and who he's facing, would not pitch the same way to Reggie Jackson with men on base as he would pitch to Bucky Dent with the bases empty.This used to be a well known part of pitching philosophy. Tommy John used to say that there's always an open base, and it's better to walk in a run than give up the big hit. It's Pitching 101.
China fan - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 11:37 AM EST (#265355) #
"..... One more nail in the coffin of the 2013 season....."

Yes, it's amazing that the Jays are even bothering to play those 162 games when the outcome is so obvious to our doom-and-gloom crowd. They should just forfeit the games. No point in even trying.
China fan - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 11:44 AM EST (#265356) #
"....He's clearly saying he plans to use Davis and the 4th outfielder unless he sees a cheap upgrade along the way...."

This might seem clear to you, but it's certainly not clear to Shi Davidi, the reporter who was actually on the spot, talking to Anthopoulos. He uses words like "could" to make it clear that this is a scenario, not a definitive decision.

Even in the worst-case scenario, if nobody else is acquired, Davidi specifically mentions Anthony Gose, rather than "the 4th outfielder." (Gose is not the 4th outfielder. He'll be a starter at Buffalo or a starter in Toronto, but he's not going to be a bench player anywhere.)

Anthopoulos will certainly make the rotation his priority, but there's no way that he has made any definitive decisions about LF at this point.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 01:06 PM EST (#265357) #

Just using select items from ...the actual quote from Davidi's story:

"... seem inclined... ...more of a wait-and-see approach with left field... ...its more of a sit back and maybe let it come to us a little more."

I don't see how these key items from the article suggest in any way that the Blue Jays will do something definite.

Anyone paying attention, to date, knows A.A.'s priority acquisitions this Offseason will be Starting Pitching (suggesting more than one), and then Left Field, and then 2B.  The Free Agent List is full of good outfielders (MLB Trade Rumors has 58 listed) and some not as good.   What's the rush.

A.A. has enough top prospects and other top values to make a big trade for a Pitcher, but until he knows who goes, he can't make any other trade for top players.   I suspect A.A. has "the extra $25.0 Million" everyone else is spending, plus whatever his "budget" is.   He has enough money for a major acquisition on the Free Agent Market, but until he knows how much will be spent, he won't know who else to sign.

With the acquisition of power arms Esmil Rogers and Jeremy Jefferies, the Bullpen is set with Santos, Janssen and Delabar being joined with two of: Brad Lincoln (does he have an option left?), Darren Oliver (if he returns), Aaron Loup (has option left) and Brett Cecil.   Then there's the signing of Justin Germano to a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Unless something magic happens, the infield is set with signing of Maicer Izturis at 2B.  D.H. is to be Adam Lind as he is still under contract (until traded).   The Outfield might be filled in-house, but unlikely.  The Rotation has the biggest holes.   On the bright side, there's still four months until Pitchers and Catchers Report.

Mike Green - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 01:23 PM EST (#265358) #
It's early days.  If the plan (A or B) is to use Gose as a platoon LF next year, I am opposed. 

Parsing quotes in the media about the plans is however not a whole lot of fun.  It's not the schmaltz, it's the results.../joemendelson
John Northey - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 03:07 PM EST (#265359) #
One thing to remember is AA never likes to fully reveal anything, unless it is painfully obvious such as the need for more starting pitching. LF has a few options and as others have stated there normally are a few guys left standing when musical chairs ends in February. So waiting until then and getting a cheap option isn't the worst idea. Especially if you feel Gose or Sierra or someone else is close to ready.

I like that he quickly signed a decent option for 2B who can shift to utility quickly if/when Hech is ready. DH/LF I'd like a power hitter but can live with scrap heap stuff. It is the rotation that is the big question. How to get an ace or solid #2 guy? One pitcher is enough to live with, two is ideal if high quality.
Shaker - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 03:38 PM EST (#265360) #
Would Oliver and Arencibia net you Derek Holland?

Might have to throw in a busted prospect like Jenkins too. Depends on how you (and how Daniels) view Holland.

Is he a #3 type?
lexomatic - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 04:57 PM EST (#265361) #
Here's a thought, would Melky make sense for the 1-yr pillow contract he'll probably be after?
Depends on the competition, but it wouldn't be a bad place for him to rebuild value.
pro melky:
good stadium to hit
some premium hitters to possibly hit in front of  (encarnacion/bautista). i see him as a good fit for the #2 slot
pro team:
puts Davis in his proper place as 4th OF
can be traded if the team is out of it and be replaced by Gose or someone. but also gives prospects more time.
1 yr commitment , so no big deal if he doesn't perform well.

He seems like a perfect bridge opportunity, though I'm sure it would be for a few teams
I wonder what the competition will be like.

ayjackson - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 05:39 PM EST (#265363) #
I think Jon Niese and Derek Holland would be nice mid-rotation lefties to target. Hopefully add another in FA. They might not cost you one of the great young arms Sanchez, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Osuna, or Norris.

I wonder what a year of Josh Johnson would cost.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 05:48 PM EST (#265364) #
The best part about Holland or Niese is that Arencibia could be the key piece in that deal.
China fan - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 05:54 PM EST (#265365) #
".....If the plan (A or B) is to use Gose as a platoon LF next year, I am opposed...."

I don't think there is any firm "plan" yet, but in general I agree with your point. Opening the season with Gose in LF is certainly not the best scenario, and I hope it doesn't happen. Gose could really benefit from at least a half-season in Buffalo. And LF just seems like such an obvious place for the Jays to make a big upgrade. With all the OF available in the free agent and trade markets, surely the Jays can add a few million to the payroll to make a substantial boost in the firepower of their lineup.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 07:49 PM EST (#265366) #
92-93 - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 07:53 PM EST (#265367) #

He didn't, actually.

He did, actually. Clarence sent Marcum to Syracuse on August 23rd with one week left in the minor league season. Wilner intimated at the time that there was a disciplinary measure involved, and that makes sense considering the circumstances.

This thread may help serve as a reminder.


greenfrog - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 09:52 PM EST (#265368) #
I see the Yankees are lined up to receive supplemental round draft picks for Swisher, Soriano and Kuroda, should those players sign elsewhere. I could see this being an area where the Jays really get killed going forward. AA did a nifty job of acquiring extra draft picks in recent years, but now teams like New York will be in a much better position to obtain compensatory picks by making qualifying offers, as they will generally have a disproportionately high number of expensive players who will be likely to decline those offers. Having an extra, say, eight or ten supplemental round picks over the next five years could give the Yankees a nice edge in building up their farm system.

To me, the draft is supposed to be somewhat of an equalizer, but (inadvertent or not) this aspect of the CBA seems to be a case of the rich getting richer.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 10:57 PM EST (#265369) #

Re: Marcum

In 2005: 158.0 (combined) IP.       In 2006: 131.0 IP.       In 2007: 159.0 IP.       In 2008:  168.1 IP.       In 2009: 15.2 IP.       In 2010: 195.1 IP.       In 2011: 200.2 IP.       In 2012: 136.2 IP.

Aside from Cito's discipline, Marcum had injury issues.   Otherwise 2006: 178.0 IP, followed by 198.0 IP; or following 2007, in 2008: 179.0 IP.     In 2009: oops 15.2 IP (had TJ). 

I would like my Starters to be healthier.   Signing Shaun Marcum must be Plan E.

Shaker - Saturday, November 10 2012 @ 11:37 PM EST (#265370) #
If Marcum isn't plan A then the Jays will get nothing. And by nothing I mean not one above average starter via free agency. So if you are not spending every hour praying for Marcum you are wasting your time.

All other starters will obviously come at a very steep cost to our organization, as evidenced by the Gio and Latos trades of last year.
Landomar - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 12:58 AM EST (#265371) #

For an "innings eater" starter hopefully we can sign a middling guy like Scott Baker, if a guy like this slides under the radar and ends up being available for a good value contract.  This type of move would help us, while also leaving some money to address other areas.

For a frontline starter I think we should explore trades.  Perhaps Arencibia+ for Jon Niese or RA Dickey.  Pursuing a move like that is more realistic for us that getting in a bidding war for Anibal Sanchez or any other "name" guy on the FA market.  I suppose it depends on what's out there in the trade market though.

Morrow, Niese, Baker, Romero, Alvarez or Happ.  Something like that would work while also fitting into our buget for this offseason.

scottt - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 05:45 AM EST (#265372) #
I clearly remember Marcum being very upset about being sent to AAA.

scottt - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 06:06 AM EST (#265373) #

The famous "I can't live in a world where Shaun Marcum is a prick." line.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 09:38 AM EST (#265374) #

If Marcum isn't plan A then the Jays will get nothing. And by nothing I mean not one above average starter via free agency. So if you are not spending every hour praying for Marcum you are wasting your time.

All other starters will obviously come at a very steep cost to our organization, as evidenced by the Gio and Latos trades of last year.

This year he's willing - to pay the price. 

If Marcum is the best Pitcher the Blue Jays can get, I will take nothing instead.   I want someone better than Morrow and Romero as the Team's long-term acquisition (3 or more years).  

A.A. said (I can't remember which PTS) he had the pieces to acquire Gonzales, but was unwilling to meet the price.   This year he's willing.   A.A. has said he's willing to move someone off the Major League roster in a trade.   Toronto has J.P. Arencibia, Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson at the MLB level with Travis d'Arnaud, MLB-ready with A.J. Jimenez close by.   One of Arencibia or d'Arnaud could be moved in a trade, neither being a crushing loss.   Toronto has Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus, Rajai Davis at the MLB level with Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra, MLB-ready with Jake Marisnik close by.   One or more of Rasmus, Gose, Sierra, Marisnik could be moved in a trade, without incurring a crushing loss.   Toronto has Yunel Escobar, Maicer Izturis at the MLB level with Adeiny Hechavarria, MLB-ready with no one right close by.   One of Escobar or Hechavarria could be moved in a trade, without incurring a crushing loss. 

A.A. has said he's willing to trade on of the "Big Three" and other top prospects in a trade.   This year, he's willing.   Toronto has Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard and Justin Nicolino as their best pitching prospects (with some Teams these guys are 1 year away, for other Teams, more than 1 and still others, 3 or more).   One of these three could be moved in a trade, without incurring a crushing loss.   There are still others from the minors,Osuna, Stroman, Davis, Stilson, Norris an more who will be of interest to other Teams.  One or more of these could be moved in a trade, without incurring a crushing loss.

A.A. has said he has more money to spend, also saying it has a limit.   A.A. has his "budget", which I believe is enough to cover raises for existing Roster players.   It is enough for inexpensive acquisitions to fill holes, with a small contingency for "just in case".   So a signing like Izturis is factored in.   A.A. will never tell you what that number(s) is.   Attendance was up this year, around 400,000 fans, approximately $10.0 MM more in revenue earned.  With an extra $25.0 MM per team in TV revenue being available next year (2014), most teams are willing to spend that money starting one year earlier.   Now A.A. has more money to spend.  Is it the full $35.0 MM?   Maybe, he'll never say.   He has a lot of holes to fill and upgrades to make, so he'll work with what he has.

To live in a world, where the Team's major acquisition is Shaun Marcum, must be a scary place.   If he's a third pitcher acquired and our 4th or 5th Starter, I'll accept that.  I'll take 1) New Acquisition, 2) New Acquisition, 3) Morrow, 4) Romero, 5) Marcum anytime.

Jdog - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 01:39 PM EST (#265375) #
The new CBA really should have limited draft pick compensation to players who were acquired by their organization via the draft or via trade. It does not make any sense to give the Yankees a draft pick for Kuroda signing elsewhere, you should be compensated when your home grown talent gets too good that you can't afford to keep them.
Shaker - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 02:01 PM EST (#265376) #
Jdog, smart idea.

Richard, can you list some pitchers that you rate as better than Morrow?
Then select from your list those pitchers you believe could be available in a trade.

SJE - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 02:32 PM EST (#265377) #
I maybe wrong but saying Morrow has to be a number 3 pitcher of the Jays pitching staff to compete is a little overboard. Show me a team that has a number 3 starter, the caliber of Morrow, and I will show you a team that should be preparing to print World Series tickets.To me an aquisition like Sanchez could help greatly but unless Romero turns it around next season the Jays really can not acquire enough to make this a great starting staff without completely gutting the farm system and breaking the bank.
TamRa - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 03:01 PM EST (#265378) #
IMNSHO, unless we sign Grienke, we're not going to sign a free agent who's better than Morrow. Sanchez might rate the #1 spot just on the cache that comes from being a big FA signing but I think Morrow is better.

Morrow's ERA+ last year was 144. Grienke topped that once in his career, in 2009, Sanchez topped it as a rookie, in 2006, and topped out at 117 n all the years since.

Most, if not all, of the SP who are better than Morrow are not available. We don't need a #1 - we need a solid #2 and a respectable #4

Happ (most likely)

Jonny German - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 03:37 PM EST (#265379) #
A few more relievers can't hurt either.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 03:58 PM EST (#265380) #
I agree with TamRa, although Morrow needs to have some sustained success and health to be considered a true ace (his career ERA+ is 104). He certainly looked as though he'd turned a corner last year.

It's hard to acquire front-of-the-rotation pitching (especially controllable pitching). I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jays acquiring someone like Jeremy Guthrie over a higher-end option like Sanchez (who, let's face it, is a hot commodity and is going to get a large contract).

A couple of potentially available trade targets are Trevor Bauer (who apparently ruffled some feathers in Arizona) and Jon Niese.

The Jays could acquire Bauer via a three-way trade, something like Arencibia + prospect (maybe Nolin or Nicolino) to Texas, Mike Olt + player/prospect to Arizona, Bauer to Toronto. Or maybe a three-way trade that sends David Wright to the D-Backs.

Or the Jays could send Arencibia and a player/prospect or two to the Mets for Niese.
Thomas - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 04:11 PM EST (#265381) #
I maybe wrong but saying Morrow has to be a number 3 pitcher of the Jays pitching staff to compete is a little overboard.

Or the idea that signing a pitcher who hasn't had an ERA over 3.70 (or an ERA+ under 110) in his last four seasons of at least 20 starts as a number five starter is merely acceptable.

TamRa - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 04:53 PM EST (#265382) #
Or the Jays could send Arencibia and a player/prospect or two to the Mets for Niese.

Theoretical question:

If you could trade JPA for Niese, and flip him (plus  others you can spare maybe) for Bauer - would you?

I'm thinking the Jays would take the "ready now" guy in this situation over the upside of the younger pitcher...but it's an interesting question
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 11 2012 @ 07:44 PM EST (#265383) #

To live in a world, where the Team's major acquisition is Shaun Marcum, must be a scary place.   If he's a third pitcher acquired and our 4th or 5th Starter, I'll accept that.   

I'll take 1) New Acquisition, 2) New Acquisition, 3) Morrow, 4) Romero, 5) Marcum anytime.

Line 1): This is a comment about Marcum being our only acquisition.

Line 2): This is MY idea of what I would like to see.

It's possible, but unlikely Tim Lincecum, Josh Johnson, David Price might be traded.   Anyone can be acquired if you meet their price.   There are whispers out there that suggest it to be possible / being considered.   A.A. knows who's available, he asks about everyone,  people talk to him because he says nothing, treats everyone with respect, so he's trusted.   I still like to dream, magic still happens, but baring that I'll wait for A.A. to do his thing. 



Shaker - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 08:24 AM EST (#265386) #

Are you aware that Josh J has thrown less innings over the last 3 years then S Marcum?

Are you aware that Marcum has a higher cumulative ERA+ than Lincecum over the last 3 years and that Lincecum's K:BB has fallen four consecutive seasons and that he is owed $22M in the final year of his contract after a season in which he put up a whip of 1.47 with an ERA+ of 67?

I won't comment on Price other than to say he's one of the best SP in MLB and we'd just be having the "trade for King Felix" chat. Here's what Rosenthal had to say about Price: "Several baseball sources believe the Tampa Bay Rays are unlikely to trade SP David Price this offseason but think he could be dealt the following year, IF [my capitals] it appears unlikely that the team can sign him to a long-term deal."

2012-11-10 10:24:39 |
greenfrog - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 09:22 AM EST (#265387) #
Marcum would be an OK addition on a short-term contract (one or two years) but at this stage in his career he has to be considered a significant injury risk. With his 85-88 fastball, I also think he's at risk of going into decline in the near future. Even if the Jays manage to stay in contention in 2013, there's a good chance he's completely out of gas by October (as was the case two years ago).
Mike Green - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 10:02 AM EST (#265388) #
The mph on his fastball has very little to do with Marcum's future.  He wouldn't have had the success that he has had if it mattered. 

There is risk to his future. He is 30 years old and he has had TJ.  He has given up more line drives the last couple of years, and fewer ground balls, with a five-pitch repertoire.  He probably will have to narrow his repertoire a bit to keep it up.  The trick will be to do that without hurting his arm.  I think he can.
John Northey - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 11:42 AM EST (#265390) #
Marcum is interesting. A steady performer with an ERA+ in the 110 range and 5 out of 6 years with 20+ starts (one year was TJ surgery). He is a guy who would be very expensive if he had a 95 MPH fastball. Milwaukee didn't make a qualifying offer so he should be available for $10 mil a year which, for a pitcher of his quality, if healthy, would be a bargain.

Now, just twice he has cracked $10 mil in value based on FanGraphs methods, with another year at $9 mil and last year at $6.2. That suggests he might be in the 3 years for $21 mil range which should work well within the Jays budget. If the Jays doctors & scouts say he is healthy I'd say go for it.

Of note: just 9 players qualify for draft pick compensation. Ortiz signed already, Josh Hamilton wants crazy money, Michael Bourn is a CF with a lifetime OPS+ of 90 but due to his defense has been worth $18+ mil a year, Kyle Lohse might be pushing it a bit as he has had one year worth $14+ million (this past season), Adam LaRoche was sub-replacement in 2011 so I'd be very careful there (1B with power), B.J. Upton has been a $15+ mil player for 5 of the last 6 years and it'd be nice to steal him from the Rays but that sub-300 OBP in 2012 makes me nervous, Hiroki Kuroda will probably stay in NY, Rafael Soriano is too expensive for a closer and Nick Swisher who would be a great fit but might be too expensive in years/dollars for AA's comfort.

So for lost pick risk there is Swisher, Upton, and maybe Lohse who the Jays would be serious about. FYI: Greinke is a no-compensation signing due to his being traded mid-season.
greenfrog - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 12:48 PM EST (#265391) #
The mph on his fastball has very little to do with Marcum's future. He wouldn't have had the success that he has had if it mattered.

I agree, if we're talking about the past. Some people can hold on longer than others with below-average and/or decreasing velocity, but unless you're R.A. Dickey or Phil Niekro, there is always a tipping point (as there is with control/command and movement).

For example, Doc's velocity in 2012 fell off noticeably and was the lowest of his career. He also got hit quite a bit harder in 2012. Causation or correlation? How low can he go before he isn't elite Doc anymore? I'm not saying that Marcum can't continue to succeed at 86-87 MPH (he has for a number of years, when he hasn't been on the DL), but if his FB starts averaging 83-84 MPH, things could get messy in a hurry.

Also, if we assume that there is a good chance Marcum will be fatigued or ineffective come September and October (as he has been the last two years), the Jays would need to think about how the rotation might look during the stretch drive and playoffs.
bpoz - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 02:07 PM EST (#265392) #
I posted earlier that D Ward when talking to M Wilner before playoff games said that the Jays need 2 SPs to put ahead of Romero & Morrow.
So Ward & Richard SS are in agreement. I have to respect that. They should be our #3 & #4.

Hentgen said something to the same effect. He looked at some good teams and said that you notice that their SPs are getting them through the 7th inning in great shape. So that a solo Hr can now win you the game.

So for now & the near future I can accept Happ as our #5. I will take Morrow & Romero as 2 pitchers occupying the first 4 slots. So I need 2 more. I like Alvarez as a candidate to be good eventually ie 2013 or 2014. Alvarez will turn 23 in April 2013, he has 41 ML starts to date. I am hoping for a bright future for him. He has all his options available, just in case he needs time in the minors.

So for 2013 I would like 2 SPs 1 for the opening day 5 man rotation & another for the #6 to be used in the pen or rotation as needed. My #7-#10 would be made up of 4 prospects that are reasonably close by mid July 2013. At the moment I count, Jenkins, McGuire, Stilson & Nolin as those 4. Hopefully that will be enough depth and adequate quality for 2013.

So who has a pretty good rotation in the AL right now? I think Rays, Texas, CWS and probably Oakland & Detroit.
Rich - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 03:30 PM EST (#265393) #
I find it hard to be too enthused about Alvarez, and not just because he didn't pitch very well in 2012.  His strikeout rates, lack of consistently effective off-speed stuff, and habit of elevating the ball don't bode well for a long, successful career as a starter.  I know he is young and certainly has a live arm so I'm not counting him out but on the whole I think it's a mistake to count on him as a rotation stalwart going forward.  Lefties hit .312 off him this season and he badly needs another weapon against them to succeed.
Dave Till - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 05:01 PM EST (#265394) #
Marcum has been successful because he throws four pitches for strikes from the same arm angle. When all his pitches are working, hitters have a 1 in 4 chance of guessing correctly. If they do, they hit him, but that's a pretty good percentage. He's had problems staying healthy, though. And if he stops being able to throw one or more of his pitches for strikes, the odds start to favour the hitter.

It's interesting that there have been discussions of personal issues with Marcum. When he was here - after Doc left - he appeared to be the unquestioned leader of the starting rotation. I have never been in the clubhouse, though, so I have no idea what is actually happening.

Alvarez throws two pitches for consistent strikes, has absolute composure on the mound, and achieved these at a tremendously young age, which made him stand out from the crowd. He does seem to need a third pitch, though, and it's hard to come up with a new pitch at the major league level.

By the way, I think I see why AA is collecting relievers - he's got a place to put them now. If you're a fringe AAA pitcher hoping for one last shot at The Show, Las Vegas is absolutely the last place you want to pitch. Buffalo, though, is a different story.

Lylemcr - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 05:33 PM EST (#265395) #

The idea that we are getting 2 starters better than Romero and Morrow is a bit crazy.  The last top pitcher that I can remember that the acquired was Roger Clemens. And that is only one guy. 

I might be a bit negative when it comes to the ownership, but I don't see it happening.

electric carrot - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 05:51 PM EST (#265396) #
Let's just make this nice and easy.  Let's pay a ton of money and get Zack Greinke locked in for a way too expensive contract for an absurd length of time. Then let's do a few cheapo moves that we've become acclimatized to that give us potential options for a better outfielder and first basemen, starting pitchers and bench guys. Then we have Greinke, Romero, Morrow at the top of the rotation and free for all for the other two spots.  Could be worse.  The offense I think will find its way. The bullpen looks pretty good already. If we play well for two and a half months and we look like we have a shot -- go all in and get another pitcher ahead of the deadline for some prospects. If not, we still have Greinke for a few years and one of those young pitchers is going to be good.
ayjackson - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 08:46 PM EST (#265397) #
Perhaps we could sign him for seven years, but with an opt out after four so he can leave and age somewhere else. That Burnett deal actually worked like a charm.
hypobole - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 10:25 PM EST (#265398) #
Overpaying for Grienke makes sense if the Jays have a realistic expectation of playoff contention and have a budget in the top 10 in MLB. The Jays have neither.

For a similar amount that Grienke will cost, the Jays could get a Jackson/Marcum and a Saunders/Blanton and still have money left over to address LF. Blowing the budget on one player when there are still quite a few holes to address makes little sense to me. In fact, I'd give the chances of the Jays signing Grienke as
hypobole - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 10:28 PM EST (#265399) #
The last line should have said the chances of the Jays signing Grienke are less than 1%.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 11:20 PM EST (#265400) #
Wow! People, you are being much too serious here. I am willing to concede my hopes are unreal. I do however believe getting a number one Starter is a priority, worth almost any price. YOU CANNOT HAVE TOO MANY NUMBER ONE STARTERS. I believe Morrow can be this good, but he's not enough.

We can trade a Catcher, Travis d'Arnaud or J.P. Arencibia, whoever gets the best price. Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson could handle the full time duties this year if needed. We can trade a shortstop, Adeiny Hechavarria or Yunel Escobar, as whoever's not traded plays.

I think trading d'Arnaud, Gose, Hechavarria, one of the Big Three and Alvarez for a #1 Starters is a good deal. I don't think it strips the minors to do so. Most of what we find above A+ is fringy AAA/MLB quality who's best value is in a trade.
John Northey - Monday, November 12 2012 @ 11:51 PM EST (#265401) #
Doing a Marlins method might not be a bad idea - sign Greinke with a decent but not crazy first year, climbing as the years go on (ala Wells for example) then, once he hits the super expensive years try to trade him for other parts as the kids come into place (hopefully). The problem is going past 5 years opens up a Pandora's Box of contract issues. So little has to go wrong for that type of contract to blow up in your face (again, see Wells).

A 5 year deal with opt-out after 3 years isn't the worst idea. As ayjackson pointed out it worked out nicely with Burnett. Plus, for Greinke, it gives him flexibility should the market go nuts after he signs.

The more realistic is Marcum and maybe Jackson. Still, fun to imagine creative ways to get the big names here.
electric carrot - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 12:40 AM EST (#265402) #
Overpaying for Grienke makes sense if the Jays have a realistic expectation of playoff contention

Hyperbole, we're talking about a 7 year contract.  If the Jays can't compete sometime in the next 7 YEARS(!) then I'm moving to Moravia. More seriously I think the window is more likely 2-3 years which is still in Greinke's good years. I'm not opposed to getting Jackson, but I personally believe that Greinke is better. I'm okay with Marcum too but I think it's likely that eventually one of the young guys will be better than him and his value middle to long term just doesn't strike me as that great for a team with a lot of good looking young pitchers.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:37 AM EST (#265404) #
A big question is how best to spend money. Is it better to get 2 decent starters (say, Marcum & Jackson) for 3 years or to get 1 strong starter (Greinke) for up to 7 at a similar cost per year for the first 3 years. You only fill one slot in the rotation, but you fill it in a stronger way. No draft pick selections to factor in here unless you mix in Lohse.

If the Jays scouts are high on Greinke and feel he can be a Halladay level pitcher then I'd go for him. If they feel he is barely any better than Marcum or Jackson (or someone else) then screw it get the cheaper option. Pitchers are a nightmare to project with the number of variables (babip is a crapshoot yet is vital to how well a guy does). A smart GM (like AA) will kick the tires on all of these guys and see what they want, but smarter still is picking the right one immediately and chasing hard before the market gets set by someone else. Then go out and trade for another high level starter if one is available.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 09:01 AM EST (#265405) #
Along those lines, I remember wanting Barry Zito more than Ted Lilly & Gil Meche combined.

The contract Greinke ultimately signs is going to make Darvish's 6/108 commitment look cheap. Sure would've been nice if AA was allowed to bid competitively.

Gerry - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 09:06 AM EST (#265406) #
Wow John N, posting at midnight and 6:30am.  Sleep much?
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 10:38 AM EST (#265407) #
The contract Greinke ultimately signs is going to make Darvish's 6/108 commitment look cheap. Sure would've been nice if AA was allowed to bid competitively.

I have no more idea than do all of those who pretend they know that Darvish would have come to Canada whether he would have or not. I do know however, that a 6/108 contract in Texas is not a 6/108 contract in Canada. Beyond the fact that Canada's federal tax code is completely unforgiving compared to the American one, there is no state tax at all in Texas. I suspect that what looks like 6/108 in Texas is much more along the lines of 6/125 in Canada, which is not a price I suspect Anthopoulos would recommend for a guy who'd never thrown in a AAA-league.

I also suspect the reason that Anthopoulos isn't chasing all the internet favorites that have made the rounds here in the last couple of years - Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Prince Fielder, Roy Oswalt etc - is not because Rogers won't kick up the dough for these gems, but because buying guys like this is a way of team-cripplihg rather than building. It's unfortunate, though perhaps not the least surprising, that the same folks who a couple of years ago were complaining because Rogers and Anthopoulos didn't throw hundreds of millions of dollars down a toilet for Carl Crawford show up every off season with the same complaint and a rotating series of names.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 10:47 AM EST (#265408) #
Nope - 3 daughters and a wife who needs to be up at 5:30 AM for work. Makes sleep an optional extra in life.

92-93 makes an interesting point about Zito, how he was viewed as a great idea to sign at the time. Checking back though his FIP the 3 years before signing with the Giants was 4.50-4.34-4.89 and his xFIP was 4.72-4.37-5.22. Would you sign a guy like that to a 7 year $126 million contract, even today let along in December 2006 (record for a pitcher at the time). There were warning signs, the Giants just ignored them.

Mike Hampton is another warning story. The Rockies went nuts in the 2000-2001 winter (the winter of bad contracts) signing him to $121 million over 7 year deal (previous record before Zito). His previous 3 years were better, FIP of 4.17-3.64-3.82 but no xFIP on Fangraphs for seasons pre-2002. His BB/9 the previous 3 years should've scared the Rockies though: 3.44-3.80-4.09, now that is asking for it at high altitude. He actually was never a negative for WAR after that contract, but also never was higher than a 3.0 which is far too low to justify that deal. According to FanGraphs he never cracked $10 mil in value in a season after signing.

So what does this tell us? That ignoring FIP and xFIP and BB/9 is just asking for it I'd say. Of course, then you get AJ Burnett who had a FIP of 3.45 before going to NY and then flopped. But, on the other other hand he also had a low xFIP his last year in NY (3.86 vs ERA of 5.15) and performed well in Pittsburgh (3.51 ERA, 3.52 FIP and 3.40 xFIP).
92-93 - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 11:07 AM EST (#265409) #

I have no more idea than do all of those who pretend they know that Darvish would have come to Canada whether he would have or not.

There's no reason to think Darvish would've turned down an offer from the Jays to play in Major League Baseball. I have no idea what the Canadian tax situation has to do with a player who wasn't a FA and was getting a pay raise no matter which MLB team he winded up with or how much taxes he was required to pay.

but because buying guys like this is a way of team-cripplihg rather than building.

The Giants have been so crippled by the Zito contract that they've won 2 of the last 3 World Series.

Remember how crippling the Vernon contract was for the Jays, and how that was repeatedly given as an excuse as to why this team couldn't contend? Well, the Jays traded away their 2nd best hitter so Rogers could save some money.

electric carrot - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 11:09 AM EST (#265410) #
It's unfortunate, though perhaps not the least surprising, that the same folks who a couple of years ago were complaining because Rogers and Anthopoulos didn't throw hundreds of millions of dollars down a toilet for Carl Crawford show up every off season with the same complaint and a rotating series of names.

Love the superior tone CBCD.

For the record I was very enthusiastic about Darvish who would have had little choice to say no to whoever was the top suitor and would very likely be a blue jay now if the brain trust had thrown the requisite dollars his way. So the Darvish lament continues. That was truly a missed opportunity.

But I don't recall being excited about any of the other names you mention and even if I and other people were, I don't think that this necessarily mean that Greinke is a bad idea.

bpoz - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 11:34 AM EST (#265411) #
I agree with ComebyDeanChance & John N. You have said exactly what I fear, ie being crippled.

So I am hoping for a better outcome eventually than what I am going to propose. Once you get into the playoffs anything can happen. The favorite can win it all or one of the long shots can win it. So the playoffs have a large crap shoot % as many of us have often mentioned.

With decent to good to very good performances from the players you have and an acceptable injury factor. We should be able to build a team that is talented enough to win 88-92 games and even more. That should get us into the playoffs a few times and then our chances of being lucky are as good as anyone else.
AA has given long term contracts to some players, so he is willing. Some contracts work & others do not.

Rasmus, Lawrie, Alvarez, Drabek & Hutch are examples of talented players we have. There are others on the farm. Hopefully enough will work out and then we will be good.

Happ is good enough for anyone,s rotation IMO and it is always possible for some youngster to beat them out at any time. That could happen. The last young pitcher to work out is Romero IMO. He had 3 pretty good years. Others are showing some promise. There is a very good chance that Morrow can give us some very good years. Alan Ashby has commented that Alvarez has a slider that may be close to working out. So you never know.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 11:53 AM EST (#265412) #
A wise man once said:

"I get a kick out of the shallow sloganeering that takes place on the internet from online 'risk assessment experts', who bandy about a few catch phrases...Toronto is not going to build a competitive playoff team without a significant number of gambles. This is one. It's not a 'perfect' contract from the team's perspective - that's the nature of the market."
bpoz - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 11:57 AM EST (#265413) #
The Giants win 2 WS in 3 years, The Phillies were not even close to the playoffs in 2012 and Texas lost the WC 1 game playoff.

That makes me 0 for 3. Sigh.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 12:12 PM EST (#265414) #
Your quote got me thinking of stuff 92-93. I ended up looking at Halladay's profile page. His 2012 was struggle & injury. He will be 36 next year, I hope he can have a good & healthy 2013. Hopefully he can win a WS & make the HOF.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 12:15 PM EST (#265415) #
CBDC, my complaint last year was not particularly that they didn't sign Darvish, but they didn't do anything at all about the obvious needs of the organization and that included not competing on Edwin Jackson, Kuroda and Beltran.  It wasn't only the large ticket items that AA apparently abjured but also the medium-ticket ones.

As for Greinke,  I have mixed emotions.  I think that the ERA reflects reasonable expectations, and that the modestly better FIP merely tells you that it is sustainable.  200 innings of 3.6 ERA is worth about 4 WAR per season which is what he has averaged since dealing with the psychological issues.  He is not prime-era Roy Halladay or Johan Santana.  Personally, I would rather if the club could pick up Halladay or Dickey for relatively less if they went that way, although I obviously won't complain if Greinke is signed.  I don't think that he will be a Hampton or Zito, but neither do I think that he will be a Cy Young contender on a regular basis. 

John Northey - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 01:29 PM EST (#265417) #
Hard to say who the best/worst choices are. Would it be reasonable to assume a pitcher would do better or worse than his FIP/xFIP say here in Toronto? Checking guys with 50+ IP...

ERA higher than FIP: Ricky Romero (5.77 vs 5.14), Brett Cecil (5.72 vs 5.03), Drew Hutchison (4.60 vs 4.48). The other 7 pitchers with 50+ IP had a lower ERA than FIP.

ERA higher than xFIP: Henderson Alvarez (4.85 vs 4.42), Carlos Villanueva (4.16 vs 4.09), Ricky Romero (5.77 vs 4.86), Brett Cecil (5.72 vs 4.52), Drew Hutchison (4.60 vs 4.03). The other 5 had lower ERA's than xFIP.

This suggests the Jays defense does a solid job turning balls into outs, or 'clutch' performance by the Jays pitchers/defense. The 50-50 ratio for xFIP suggests fly balls become home runs at a normal rate in Toronto.

Not a perfect check, but interesting. What changes on defense will there be in 2013?

2B: Johnson out, Izturis in which should be a net gain as Johnson had a -8 UZR/150 while Izturis lifetime is 7.6/150 (29.8 last year).

RF: Bautista full time vs Bautista/Gose/Davis/Sierra which, in whole, might be an improvement. UZR/150 has Bautista in RF doing better than anyone who had over 15 innings in RF.

SS: Escobar or Hechavarria while the 73 Vizquel innings are gone to Izturis or whoever. Hechavarria actually had a negative UZR/150 but that probably was more chance than anything as his rep is extremely strong.

LF: 'I don't know' is in LF vs Davis/Thames/Gose. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, in LF had a negative UZR/150 last season. That's 7 guys (plus 2 others who never had a ball hit to them in Gomes & Vizquel). This year has to improve as the three with 20+ IP who had the worse UZR/150 were Davis/Thames/Snider and 2 of them are long gone while Davis should be back to utility instead of full-time. Gose was a -6 per 150 but I'd expect that to improve if he spent time in LF rather than hopping around.

CA: d'Arnaud over JPA if a trade happens, and that'd be viewed as positive by many as Td'A has a better rep than JPA ever has had.

1B: EE vs Lind: Lind was slightly positive for defense (surprise surprise) while EE was negative. Odds are EE will get better, but there is a chance the Jays go get a new 1B and put EE back to DH full time which would be ideal.

I see the potential for improvements in LF/RF/2B while CA/1B/SS should be about the same as would be 3B/CF. If so then FIP's should be better in 2013 than ERA's.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 01:57 PM EST (#265418) #
Anyone looking for Scott Baker as a buy-low candidate for the rotation can look elsewhere.
As a complete question mark he signed for over 5 million guaranteed.

That's a pretty high price for admittedly some upside, but a huge unknown.
There's gonna be crazy dollars this year.

greenfrog - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 02:24 PM EST (#265419) #
The Cubs have lots of money. They're unlikely to contend in 2013. I imagine the plan is to sign some players like Baker in the hope of having some extra trade chips next July (or players they can extend if they prove healthy and productive).
sam - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 03:17 PM EST (#265420) #
Here's my offseason plan for whatever it's worth.

Rotation: Sign for one, trade for one.

Someone like Ryan Dempster I feel would be appropriate for our rotation. Someone with some experience and track record. He gets paid, which means an overpay of somewhere in the neighbourhood of three years and an option at $16 or 17 million a year.

Trade for Chris Sale. Much like last offseason where those controllable SP pitchers were in high demand, Sale certainly is one of the few who fits the bill. Had a fabulous season showing true power pitching. The asking price would be astronomical, but nonetheless would add serious gusto to the rotation. The White Sox have been known to deal (especially with the Jays) despite Kenny Williams promotion I see no reason to dismiss such a proposal. If the Gio Gonzalez trade last year is the floor for asking price, three pitchers and a catcher--none with particular star-power. Would JP Arencibia, Noah Syndergaard, Chad Jenkins, and John Stilson not meet that threshold? Perhaps substituting Marisnick for Jenkins and Stilson?

I'd like the Jays to trade for a 1B--someone like Ike Davis or Brandon Belt, however, I don't see how they do it without giving up Arencibia. Yunel Escobar and Moises Sierra are still valuable commodities, so I don't think it's that farfetched to suggest both could net a player of said calibre.

My starting 2013:

1. Lawrie 3B
2. Rasmus CF
3. Bautista RF
4. Encarnacion 1B/DH
5. Davis 1B/DH
6. d'Arnaud C
7. Gose LF
8. Izturis 2B
9. Hechevarria SS

Mathis C
Davis LF
LInd 1B/DH




AAA Callups

Anyways, there's some pitching depth there--especially once/if Hutchison and Drabek return to health. There's some talent in the rotation and a pretty excited starting nine.
greenfrog - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 04:45 PM EST (#265422) #
Would JP Arencibia, Noah Syndergaard, Chad Jenkins, and John Stilson not meet that threshold? Perhaps substituting Marisnick for Jenkins and Stilson?

I think Sale has just about the perfect profile for the Jays, but I don't see why the White Sox would trade him for a just-OK catcher and a few prospects (even with the promising but untested Syndergaard), unless they decide to do a massive rebuild. Even then it might take d'Arnaud, Hechavarria, a top pitching prospect, plus another decent prospect or two - I don't know. Sale is the kind of player you build a team around: an emerging young controllable front-rotation stud starter (tied for 8th in WAR among all pitchers in baseball last year - at age 23).
TamRa - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 05:06 PM EST (#265424) #
Sam, i'm pretty sure Cecil is out of options and i know McGowan is - i wouldn't expect either to be "in reserve" in AAA.
Paul D - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 05:09 PM EST (#265425) #
I don't think that Sierra has value.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 05:11 PM EST (#265426) #
I think CWS should go for it. If we can lose McGowan, Marcum & Lisch to injuries which affected 2 or 3 seasons & now Hutch & Drabek, then this could happen to anyone.

CWS have to hope that Danks can come back & everyone staying healthy AND pitching well. They have the talent I probably only have to beat out an ageing defense challenged Detroit club. Anything can happen.
perlhack - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 05:35 PM EST (#265427) #
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:12 PM EST (#265428) #
Everyone report to Twitter. Josh Johnson to Toronto.
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:14 PM EST (#265429) #
Morosi is reporting it, by the way.
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:15 PM EST (#265430) #
Oh. and Mark Buerhle?
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:22 PM EST (#265431) #
Hate to flood this thread, but Escobar and Hech to the Fish. Reyes could be coming back.
JB21 - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:27 PM EST (#265432) #
This is killing me. I want to know if Reyes is in the deal and if we gave up prospects, and if so, who.
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:30 PM EST (#265433) #
This is looking like the biggest trade in Blue Jays history.
JB21 - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:35 PM EST (#265434) #
Reyes, JJ, Buehlre, Buck, and Beneficio confirmed. Gave up the two SSs, Alvarez, possible JP?
JB21 - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:36 PM EST (#265435) #
Nicolino included.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:38 PM EST (#265436) #
He did, actually.

D'OH! Completely forgot that one. My bad. I've heard disciplinary rumours about Marcum, too. But he had been pitching pretty lousy as well.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 13 2012 @ 06:59 PM EST (#265437) #
gone: Nicolino, Marisnick, Alvarez, Hechavarria, Escobar

in: Reyes, JJohnson, Beurhle, Bonafacio, Buck
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