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As fans, we are often undone by our expectations.

Example: 2004 wouldn't have been half as bad if 2003 hadn't had so many improbable bright spots.

I'll always have a special place in my heart for the 2003 Toronto Blue Jays. I attended 66 games that year, which led me to meet you guys and, through a series of odd circumstances, to my current job. That baseball season changed parts of my life.

We had no illusions going in. The non-Halladay pitching staff was... Not to be uncharitable, but they were awful. Consider: Mark Hendrickson, Jeff Tam, Scott Service, John Wasdin, Tanyon Sturtze.

The batting was colourful, at least. Old guys, short guys, kids, a guy from Alaska, platoons. And yet somehow this scrappy, ragtag group (plus legitimate baseball player Carlos Delgado, who must have felt like Kenny Rogers in Six Pack*) drove in a lot of runs. Reed Johnson and/or Frank Catalanotto either hit a single (Catalanotto) or got hit by a pitch (Johnson) right before Vernon Wells or Carlos Delgado chauffeured them home with a fireworks display. I know it wasn't the case, but my recollection of 2003 was that every Jays loss was a 10-9 loss, and every non-Halladay win was a 11-10 win.

Considering that, and an overall winning record, when the 2004 team added Ted Lilly and Miguel Batista as starters and an almost entirely new bullpen filled with decent if not spectacular pitchers, it felt like big things were afoot. Possibilities! Slim outside chances! And that's why the Season From Hell was so Hellish: we felt hope and we were burned.

This is why we're seeing so much cautious, guarded optimism for 2013. 2012 was pretty Mayan for the Jays, so these big moves can't possibly be enough, right?

Sports fandom is about grand emotional rollercoasters, the kinds of experiences you can't find in a Robert McKee formula screenplay. Everything is organic and unpredictable. The only variable we control is our own reaction: if we expect the worst, our emotional crash is minimized. But do we want that? Aren't we missing out on the emotional release of wallowing in that trough at the lowest point in the season?

And when the team bounces back, we want to have been down at the low so we can ride the slingshot all the way back up to the peak and feel that exhilaration.

* In Six Pack, country superstar Kenny Rogers attempted to crossover into a film career, playing a race car driver who inherits a group of orphans and turns them into his pit crew. It's terrible.

Expectations | 177 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 08:53 AM EST (#266591) #
Well said NFH. Cat & Reed were spark plugs who played hard. Wells & Delgado had a lot of talent. I suppose that year they were a feared duo.

For 2013 I believe we have some character players JPA & Lawrie. We should have talented & confident players in EE & Bautista. The rest of the lineup has some success in their ML playing history. I hope that they can tap into this. We will know soon enough what kind of results & overall performance we get.

I for one have high expectations & will accept the pleasure/pain involved. Winning streaks/losing streaks.
blarry - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 10:28 AM EST (#266592) #
Recent history tends to weigh heaviest on expectations. While I have fairly lofty expectations for the 2013 Jays the tsunami of injuries in 2012 is tempering my exuberance somewhat. A successful April will shunt that aside.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 11:19 AM EST (#266593) #

This team was amongst the leaders for a time with their offense.   The hitting in 2012 started out effectively selective, it got better, then people gave up.   Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, et al led off and everyone was expected / needed to hit.  The Bullpen was less than effective / sucked once Sergio Santos succumbed and Plan B turned out to fail.   Plan C and the A.A. Rescue Plan made things better.   The Rotation was an Adventure from Game One and it went over the cliff.   Until everyone gave up / injuries overwhelmed, the Team was within 2 games of a Playoff berth.

Presently Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera will lead off, with Lawrie and Rasmus hitting 6-9 - a huge improvement.   Maicer Izturis (versatile) replaces Kelly Johnson, John Buck (experienced with the top 4 starters) replaces Jeff Mathis and Emilio Bonifacio replace (the ancient one) Omar Vizquel - a huge improvement.   Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle allow Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero to # 3 & # 4 Starters with J.A. Happ (long time sought after) as # 5 Starter - another huge improvement.   Santos returns, with Casey Janssen and Steve Delabar having showed late inning talent, allows A.A. option in filling vacancies - a huge improvement.

It's possible, even a disaster like 2012 might not keep the Team from the Postseason, this year.   And A.A.'s not done yet, it's just not in his nature not to be busy.

Jimbag - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 01:05 PM EST (#266597) #
Well said, Richard. Every move made in the off-season so far has resulted in an upgrade, IMO. My only reservations are that JJ will be facing AL hitters for the first time, whether Buehrle stays young for another year, overall team chemistry, and health. There's going to be a lot of new faces in the clubhouse, so chemistry is kind of the big wild card there...the other question that seems to have gone unspoken so far is how Bautista recovers from his injury. EE stepped in to fill his shoes nicely last year, but I don't think its reasonable to expect that to happen again. Bautista is a significant part of the offense, and in any other year his injury would have been the big story - I'm optimistic (I'm always optimistic!), but so many years of the Jays, Leafs and Roughriders tends to wear down real expectations.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 05:17 PM EST (#266600) #
Josh Johnson's A.L. stats are small sample stuff - four games in 2012 (7.0 IP at Clev., 7.0 IP vs Bos, 6.0 at TBR and 7.0 IP vs Tor), none in 2011 and two games in 2010 (7.0 vs Tex, 8.0 vs TBR).   Team Record: 3-3, 42.0 IP, 29 Hits, 7 R, 7 ER, 10 BB, 38 K.    I think he'll do well (game logs can be eye-opening).
Lylemcr - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 05:24 PM EST (#266601) #

I agree with Richard.

Last year, everything just went wrong.  The first couple months, it looked promising.  (Drabek even had flashes of brilliance.)  Then we lost 3 starting pitchers in 4 days and everything just fell apart. AA made a couple trades to bandaid it, then Bautista went down and everything just failed.  Everything was even going wrong in the minors. 

For me, this year is all about health.  The team is better this year than last year, but the same coulld have been said about 20012 vs 2011. 

I would definitely kill a rooster or something before the season starts, because the team was cursed last year....


dalimon5 - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 06:41 PM EST (#266604) #
The Jays need to go out and get Matt Moore. Stud pitcher. The new David Price. Offer up Lawrie and Gose. Maddon will figure out a way to use both 3B. This kid Moore is gonna be special. What will it take? Gose + 2 stud pitching prospects + change might also get it done.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 08:08 PM EST (#266605) #
In the "Do you remember?" dept. sponsored by Ane Brun, other key players in the 2003 club's terrific offense were Greg Myers (.307/.374/.502 as a 37 year old) and Josh Phelps.  There was a lot of good young position player talent on the club (Wells-24, Hudson-25, Hinske-25, Phelps-25, Werth-24).  Werth was traded for Jason Frasor in the off-season and went  .263/.338/.486 for the Dodgers in the outfield in 2004 (while the Jays rushed Rios to the majors early in 2004 due to injuries).  Wells, Hinske and Phelps regressed in 2004, while Hudson improved some. 

On the pitching side, Kelvim Escobar had been the Jays second best pitcher in 2003 but left as a free agent during the off-season. 

JohnL - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 08:40 PM EST (#266606) #
Expectations / 2004...

I always remember the last comment in the 2004 Blue Jays preview, written by Coach:

I will make one guarantee ó this is the best Blue Jays team since the World Champs in 1993. Enjoy it.

File that, I guess, with Paul Godfrey's "guarantee" that Mike Sirotka would win more game for the Blue Jays than David Wells for the White Sox. Different situations, similar result.

Interesting, of course, to look through the Jays' top prospects on that page (top 5: Rios, McGowan, Quiroz, Bush, Gross), and the 25 man roster linked on that page (top 10 includes Hentgen, Chris Woodward,  Phelps).
TimberLee - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 09:24 PM EST (#266607) #
Expectations certainly influence one's opinion. I saw "SixPack" with my (then) young son because he was a fan of the "Gambler" record, and I recall we both rather enjoyed the movie. I'm afraid to watch it again. Just like I'd be afraid to watch the 2004 Jays again.
Mike Forbes - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 10:49 PM EST (#266608) #
Looks like the Rays are about to trade James Shields and Wade Davis to KC of all places. They'll get Wil Myers and prospects in return.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 09 2012 @ 11:15 PM EST (#266609) #
The Royals look busy: .   It will be interesting to see what happens.
melondough - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 12:32 AM EST (#266610) #
I wonder if AA can get Wade Davis now that KC owns his rights. He would be a perfect addition to the pen since he could be counted on as our 6th starter if need be. His numbers were fantastic last season. Not sure what KC's biggest need is but from what I understand they already have a stacked bullpen so I see this as very plausible assuming AA has a position player he can offer them (Davis?)
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 01:07 AM EST (#266611) #
Isn't Wade Davis' potential as a Starter - Kyle Drabek with Brett Cecil's upside to be fair?
hypobole - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 02:26 AM EST (#266612) #
The quality and quantity of prospects surrendered only makes sense if the Royals view Davis as a starter.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 05:40 AM EST (#266613) #

As far as I can check stuff on Josh Johnson, I think an extention is warranted this offseason.   I believe he's that good, even with his injury risks.   As for Mark Buehrle, he usually finishes his games in under 3 hours so as long as he's keeping us in games, he's going to do well here.  With Morrow (now healthy), Romero (offseason surgery correcting his problems) and Happ (found his stuff again) following we have as good a Rotation as any staff we've had since ??? 93 ???   Should we get someone better than Happ for the Rotation, letting Happ be 6th Starter in the Bullpen, this might be the best staff ever.   At least I'll feel more comfortable about our depth.

With Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, Encarnacion heading the Lineup, and with Lind (Bonifacio/Davis), Rasmus, Izturis (Bonifacio) batting (in some order) 5,7,9, and Lawrie, Arencibia (Buck) batting 6 and 8, this could be as strong a lineup as any we've had.  The Bench, with an opening, is stronger than we've had in a long time.

As good as this Bullpen is, I still think it can be better.   Santos, Janssen and Delabar are locks because they can pitch late innings well.   Loup and Lincoln are AAA-bound because they can be if neccessary.  That leaves Esmil Rogers (RHP power arm), Brett Cecil (LHP - out of options), Jeremy Jeffress (RHP - power arm, control issues) and an unlikely Darren Oliver (LHP) competing for the last 4 spots.   I can understand the Grilli offer.

I think after 2003-4 and after 2012 we deserve better karma.

John Northey - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 06:37 AM EST (#266614) #
Sheesh, the Royals are going all-in it seems. Wil Myers looks like as blue chip a prospect as you get - OPS over 900 in the IL last year at 21 and can play CF/RF and has played at CA, 3B as well (doubt he'll catch a single game in the majors though). The Rays will probably end up smelling like roses yet again despite losing Shields. They also gained a first round pitcher (Jake Odorizzi), a top 25 prospect (Mike Montgomery, LHP starter), and a young 3B (Patrick Leonard).

Sigh. Glad they lost Shields, not happy they got so many quality prospects plus a super prospect who could be helping them this year. Such is life in the AL East where the poor team has a super-GM, and you have 2 super-rich teams mixed with team luck.
greenfrog - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 08:40 AM EST (#266615) #
Bloody hell. The Rays-Royals trade looks very bad for the Jays, as it makes the Rays significantly better short- and long-term. How the heck did the Rays get Odorizzi thrown in?

The only potential silver lining is if the Rays' pitching depth turns out to be a bit less deep than it appears. If a couple of players underperform or get hurt, the team could miss Shields' annual 220 IP.

To me, the Rays look like the best team in the division, now and in the future. The Jays are obviously much improved, but they've been adding older players while the Rays are adding excellent young foundational players in their early 20s. A pitching core of Price-Moore-Hellckson-Archer-Cobb-Odorizzi, and a hitting core of Longoria-Zobrist-Myers-Jennings-Joyce, plus a few complementary pieces (Escobar, Loney), and the team looks like a potential championship ballclub.

Also: I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rays trade Price next off-season for an even larger haul of premium young talent.
Mike Green - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 08:47 AM EST (#266616) #
Amazing.  The Rays lose Upton, with Shields coming up next, and look like a significantly better team than last year's which won 90 despite underperforming Pythagoras.  Desmond Jennings moves to centerfield, Myers and Joyce at the corner outfield spots, Longoria, Escobar, Zobrist and Loney around the infield. 

Another gold star, Mr. Friedman.

melondough - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 08:53 AM EST (#266617) #
"To me, the Rays look like the best team in the division, now and in the future."

Absolute Nonsense.

Random Thoughts:

- Very good trade for Rays but they definately take a hit in the short term. Shields is a stud pitcher. It will take years for Odorizzi to even approach that status (if he ever does)

- If any team has shown that pitching wins titles it's the Rays. Myers looks like he can be another Longoria but pitching wins games

- I would take Jays top four starters over Rays. Top three is a tough call but I would choose Jays. Think Hellickson is over-rated

- Only concern I have is Rays take Shields $ (due $9M in 2012 and $12M team option for 2013) and sign Marcum or Depster. No way I see them going after Sanchez or Jackson

- It will take time for Myers to be a star. I don't see it happening this year. Same with the two youn pitcher....if they ever do (we have seen many failed highly touted players).

- TB finishes with 88 wins

- Jays continue to improve team and finish with 90 plus wins

John Northey - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 09:10 AM EST (#266618) #
The thing with the Rays is they know they are on a super-tight budget and will be for the foreseeable future. They cracked $70 million once (2010) but the $60 million range is more their comfort zone ($57 mil is their average the past 5 years). Longoria is their pricey long term star but won't crack $10 mil until 2015. Price will probably be their only guy over $6 mil (arbitration) in 2013. With Shields ($9 mil) they were expected to be around $60 mil this year, instead they will be less and have a potentially stronger team.

Sigh. It takes talent to dump guys at the right time and to sign the right ones. Tampa has done that beautifully lately.
Oceanbound - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 09:43 AM EST (#266619) #
Aren't the Rays getting Niemann back next year as well? Sigh. Never underestimate how desperate a GM can get if he feels like he's in trouble.
hypobole - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 09:48 AM EST (#266620) #
The Rays will not be better this year with this trade, but it's a case of short term pain for long term gain.

Myers did not play in the IL, John, Omaha is in the American Division of the PCL, so his numbers may be a bit inflated.

Montgomery has severely regressed the past 2 years after being a Top 20 prospect in all the minors. He's probably a bust, but TB is one of the few organizations that could actually fix him. If they do they almost assuredly win this trade big time.
John Northey - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 10:08 AM EST (#266621) #
Thanks hypobole, I thought Omaha was IL for some reason. That does make a big difference in evaluating Myers, shaves probably 100+ points of OPS from him.

Checking I get a year of 253/314/439 from Myers in Tampa based on his Omaha numbers not factoring in that he is a year older now in his development and the better coaching he'll get (I have to think Tampa has far better coaching than KC).

BJ Upton in CF last year hit 246/298/454 so Myers should be able to out hit what they got last year. Scary eh? Lose a guy to free agency, get a better player.
Mike Green - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 10:21 AM EST (#266622) #
The old American Association clubs play in a separate division of the PCL with a severely unbalanced schedule.  You can get a flavour of the differences between the two divisions from the team batting totals

Here's a picture of the ballpark where Omaha plays.  It's short down the lines (310 and 315) goes out sharply and then apparently curves quite a bit.  There is a narrow isthmus in straight-away centerfield where it is 402.  It looks to me to be a good home run park.  I would guess that Omaha is one of the better "old AA" environments, but nothing like Albuquerque or Colorado Springs, of course. 
greenfrog - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 10:25 AM EST (#266623) #
Subtract Shields, Davis, Upton, and the usual posse of complementary players (e.g., Scott, Pena, Keppinger).

Add Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery, Escobar, Loney, TBA.

The Rays are taking a hit, but Moore, Hellickson, Archer and Cobb should benefit from the additional year of experience. I wouldn't be surprised to see Moore hit his stride next year - his OPS against dropped by over 100 points in the second half last year. The Rays should also benefit from a healthier Longo (74 games last year) and Niemann (eight starts).
ayjackson - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 10:38 AM EST (#266624) #
I might not be as bullish on the Rays as MG, and I think that Shields is an excellent pitcher, but with their SP depth, it's hard to see the Rays skipping a beat this year. They have so many young starters, it just takes one to replace the couple of WAR that Shields leaves on the table.

In fact they have too many starters. I wonder if AA and AF have the balls to deal with each other. I'd love to pick up one of the Rays surplus starters with 3+ years of control left.
ayjackson - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 10:44 AM EST (#266625) #
Imagine what David Price could return in a trade. I think the Rays will use this salary "freedom" to try to extend Price. I expect he'll be extended or traded in the next 13 months. But if the Rays are getting any sense of a reluctance on Price's part, or that the price will be too steep, they could try to flip him sooner than later, and complete the rebuilding* package.

Needless to say, there are only a couple of teams in the league with the prospects to pull off that trade.

[Gose, D'Arnaud, Sanchez, Norris and Smoral get it done?]

Mike Green - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 10:59 AM EST (#266626) #
So, to be clear, the MLE calculator John has used does not break down the PCL into "old PCL" and "old AA".  As a result, it will give figures that are too high for old PCL clubs and too low for old AA clubs.

Still, Myers strikes out a lot; the over/under for his OBP in 2012 is likely to be about .320.  His batting line will likely look similar to Upton's line over the last 3 years, but with more pop.  There is nothing wrong with a guy like him hitting 5th or 6th in your order. 

I think that the Rays are better.  The hidden aspect is defence.  Last year, with Longoria out over 1/2 the season, Zobrist at shortstop a lot of the time,  Pena and Upton a little older, the club's defence was just above league average.  Over the previous 3 years, it was the best in the majors.  My expectation is that with Escobar at short, Loney at first, Zobrist at second, Longoria back and Jennings in centerfield, the Rays' D will again be the best in the majors.  Which (I anticipate) will do wonders for the confidence for the fine young pitchers on the club.

92-93 - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 11:38 AM EST (#266627) #
Oh no, the annual winter Jays vs. Rays arguments on Da Box. IMO, looking at this on paper is silly. Until the Jays pass them and prove otherwise the Rays and the Yankees are better teams.
John Northey - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 11:53 AM EST (#266628) #
92-93 - its the web - if we don't argue Jays vs Rays or Jays vs Yankees what will we yak about?

The Yankees keep losing players and look to be a lot weaker but there are a few months left before the season starts. The Rays are doing a rebuild while contending (as they always do). The Orioles...well...I think we all expect them to crash to earth next year. The Red Sox are retooling but seem addicted to DH/LF/RF/1B types which could cause them issues (Ortiz, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes) as Ortiz will DH almost all the time thus no DH rest for the others, however they did dump pretty much all their other DH/1B/LF/RF guys so I guess it could work out.

The Rays are amazing to watch though. Every year they keep a low budget and keep contending. The high draft picks from their horrid years still help but it is clear their GM is one of, if not the best in the game. One wonders what trick they'll pull next. Hopefully AA can keep up now that the Jays are in 'contention mode'.
92-93 - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 12:09 PM EST (#266629) #
The Yankees lost Martin and haven't remotely started their offseason yet. I don't see how they look to be a lot weaker. Sure, Swisher and Soriano might be on their way out, but Gardner and Rivera didn't really play in 2012 so that's a wash, and there will be other additions to the roster.

Is anyone else having a terrible time on here with Chrome? My text keeps getting deleted while I type.
greenfrog - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 12:12 PM EST (#266630) #
Oh no, the annual winter Jays vs. Rays arguments on Da Box

This is a major trade that is absolutely worth discussing, as it will bear on the Jays' playoff chances for a long time. I actually find myself becoming more of a baseball fan as I get older (not just a Jays fan). I like keeping up with the state of other teams, and it's refreshing to talk about something other than Lind's L/R splits or whether this is the year Travis Snider will turn into a star.
92-93 - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 12:20 PM EST (#266631) #
Dissect the trade to your heart's content (I think it's a good one for both sides).

I was commenting on the idea that melondough called the Rays being the best team in the division "absolute nonsense", which usually leads to the posting of the xFIP and FIP of every arm in both systems in an attempt at showing that the Jays are right up there with the Rays on paper.
Mike Green - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 12:38 PM EST (#266632) #
It isn't Jays vs. Rays for me (the odd barb aside).  It is pure admiration for the intelligent construction and maintenance of a sustained competitive low-budget team in a tough and well-financed division. 

Shields was a 16th round pick in 2000, and had shoulder surgery in 2002.  In 2003, at age 21, he had a so-so season in the California League.  Friedman became Director of Player Development for the Rays in 2004.  In 2004, Shields perfected a change and went on to the career that he has had, leading to the acquisition of Wil Myers (and others); I am not saying that this was purely the work of player development people but surely they did play some kind of role. 

bpoz - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 01:35 PM EST (#266633) #
The AL East has 2 big $ teams. NYY & Boston.They are willing to spend . Too bad C Lee & others are signing else where. This does not sound right. Money talks but I cannot remember the Sox & Yanks getting 50% of the best FAs in recent history.

1 small $ team TB. They use super genius & super luck. Their no name bullpen performs brilliantly. They seem to get more out of all their players than expected. Their SPs stay healthy. They do not drop likes flies. They have no choice but to trade players before they leave as FAs. It is too bad very few fans are enjoying their window of contention.

That leaves Toronto & Baltimore.

Toronto was always a very strong 3rd place finisher. But that counted for nothing. Well a lot better than the horrors of Baltimore & the Rays for decades.
Both teams have a great chance of winning 85+ games. Both have talent & if things go right then I can see 94 wins.

This division is complicated.

melondough - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 01:44 PM EST (#266634) #
TB did well but other than Myers I donít think there are any guarantees especially in the short term. Blue Jays should benefit from this in 2013 and possibly 2014 (not having to face Shields probably 4 or 5 times).

As Per John Sickels Royals top Prospects before trade (written Nov 13/12)only Myers looks like a "sure thing". Odorizzi looks like a keeper (but one never knows) and the other two were ranked as "C+" by Sickels. I generally like his grading but if you don't then I guess this means little...

1) Wil Myers, OF, Grade A: I believe in him. Now we'll see if the Royals do. Love the power and overall package, main concern is strikeouts which could inhibit batting average, at least in the short run.

4) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Grade B+: Borderline B. I've always liked Odo, but I do worry about the fly ball tendency becoming a problem. My guess is that he could struggle in the short run, but long-term I still expect him to be a number three starter.

14) Mike Montgomery, LHP, Grade C+: Tough to rank. The talent is still in there somewhere, but he hasn't pitched well for two years now and I don't know how you fix him.

17) Patrick Leonard, 3B, Grade C+: Sleeper prospect showed power in Appy League, along with solid plate discipline and defense. Has received little attention outside of Royals circles, but that could change in 2013. Breakout candidate.
greenfrog - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 02:38 PM EST (#266635) #
Pat Hentgen has been named the Jays' bullpen coach:
John Northey - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 02:44 PM EST (#266636) #
TB will be helped more in 2014 and beyond by this trade. BJ Upton is now replaced nicely by Myers in 2013, but they are still down a starter (Shields) and a solid reliever (Davis) who could've filled in whenever someone went down in the rotation.

The challenge in Tampa is that they cannot expect the pen to be as amazing as it was last year (3 guys with ERA+'s over 150, another 2 in the 120's among their top 6 relievers) plus one of these years they'll have illness of some kind in that rotation.

Tampa's rotation & games started
2012: 33/31/31/31/23/8/4/1 - 13 by non-top 5
2011: 34/33/29/29/23/9/4/1 - 14 by non-top 5
2010: 33/32/31/29/29/4/4 - 8 by non-top 5
2009: 33/32/30/23/20/18/6 - 24 by non-top 5
2008: 33/32/31/30/27/5/2/1/1 - 9 by non-top 5

Each of the past 5 years they have had at least 2 guys with 30+ starts and 5 with 20+ starts. Just once more than 14 by non-top 5 starters.

The Jays those same years...
2012: 32/31/21/16/16/13/11/9/6/3/2/2 - 46 by non-top 5
2011: 32/30/20/20/14/13/10/8/4/4/4/3 - 46 by non-top 5
2010: 32/31/28/26/12/9/9/5/4/3/3 - 33 by non-top 5
2009: 32/29/25/24/17/11/9/5/4/2/2/2 - 35 by non-top 5
2008: 34/33/28/25/19/12/6/5 - 23 by non-top 5

The Jays best non-top 5 starts in those 5 years was 1 better than the Rays worst. The past 2 years the Jays had more than a full season's worth out of their 6th and beyond starters. A total of 68 non-top 5 starts for the Rays over 5 years, a total the Jays reached in less than 1 1/2 years (2012/2011). It seems the Rays are extremely good at both keeping starters healthy and at picking the right ones to fill in when someone goes down. The Jays, not so much.
92-93 - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 02:48 PM EST (#266637) #
The downgrade from Shields to his replacements is unlikely to be large enough to outweigh the improvements they can make with that 9m he's owed, and Wil Myers could pretty quickly represent an upgrade from what the Rays got in LF & DH in 2012.
Lylemcr - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST (#266638) #

I am not a big Sheilds fan, but in the same breath KC has had a line of "Can't miss" prospects missing.  (Butler, Hosmer, Gordon,etc).

If I was a KC fan, I would be happy to get some good veterans in there.  Finally.....  (But it is a good thing that I am not :))

hypobole - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 03:04 PM EST (#266639) #
Don't understand calling Butler and Gordon "misses"
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 03:18 PM EST (#266640) #
Gordon was a miss in so much as he took so long to develop that he was beyond cost control quickly. He's still a good player, but the Royals had to pay for his talent as soon as he started putting up numbers (in contrast to say Evan Longoria or Mike Trout).

Calling Butler a miss makes no sense unless you place a huge premium on defense.

As for the trade and where it places the Rays: I personally think that losing Shields and Davis is going to hurt the Rays dramatically. You just can't replace Shields, particularly his innings, on the open market. I'm not even convinced that Greinke would do it. Davis was also really valuable as a swingman in the Carlos Villaneueva mould. Tampa has depth, but they are 1 David Price rotator cuff away from not having the pitching to compete.

As for what they've added- I'm underwhelmed. Myers is more Adam Dunn than Ryan Braun and Odo is pretty much Wade Davis but 2 seasons younger. Monty and Leonard I don't see being significant contributors to that team.
Mike Green - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 03:50 PM EST (#266641) #
I am pretty sure that the Rays would be delighted if Myers hit like Adam Dunn did in his 20s. 
greenfrog - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 04:06 PM EST (#266642) #
Yep, Dunn's 20-something bat combined with solid RF defense would be very valuable. I'm sure the Rays would take that.
hypobole - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 04:24 PM EST (#266643) #
Re: Gordon, there is a difference between taking longer to develop and missing. As for him being a "good player", no AL outfielder has more fWAR the past 2 seasons than Alex Gordon.
greenfrog - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 05:26 PM EST (#266644) #
Grilli is going to be bringing the heat in Pittsburgh in 2013:
Lylemcr - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 07:09 PM EST (#266645) #

Ok. Ok...

Calling them a miss is wrong.  People had these guys as world beaters.  (like Trout and Harper or Blalock and Tex).  I remember in our auction draft, they went for a crazy amount of money in thier rookie years.  They are good, but just never lived up to thier billing.  (Mind you I do regret saying Butler is a miss.  He had a great year last year.  First guy to get 100 RBI in a long time for KC).  So getting two established big leaguers for a grade A prospect, a grade B prospect is not too bad...


So...  It makes me think.  This is a really good trade for KC.  They are not saying, let's wait till the next young player comes.  They have the players now, they just need some veteran leadership.  Maybe with some new attitutudes, the players take it to the next step.


Nick Holmes - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 08:26 PM EST (#266646) #
This popped up in the Royals/Rays thread on BBTF:

Looks like a whole lot of parity  in the AL East, and nine out of fifteen teams in each league at or over .500.
Very early.
Very very early....
Thomas - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 09:27 PM EST (#266647) #
That is a great trade for Tampa. I agree with Mike Green in that they look like a better club in 2013 than they did in 2012. What they lose in this trade for the coming year, they've made up for with the acquisitions of Escobar and Loney. They may even come out ahead on this transaction depending on if and how they spend the $9 million that Shields was owed. They'll suffer a loss on the mound, but they have the Triple-A arms that makes it unlikely it would be as noticeable as it would be for some other clubs.

Wil Myers may not pan out or reach his maximum potential, but the odds that a prospect of his calibre becomes an above average major league hitter are very good.
TamRa - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 11:10 PM EST (#266648) #
I don't have a strong opinion about the Rays being way better or way worse. But subjectively it seems to me like the Rays often get praised for doing things that, when the jays do them, are not so warmly received. Or not so optimisticlly percived.

A couple of tiny examples:

Look at Upton's numbers and say "surly Myers will top that" and admire the Rays for such a deft manuver. the thing is, the new guy does not always "surly" do what the glowing clippings say he will do. Morre and Price both, in their rookie year, did not set the world on fire. they were good but not great. other really hyped prospects did pretty much crumble the first year ortwo. Not saying AT ALL that Myers will, of course. Just noticing that when an optimist regarding the Jays starts anticipating what lawrie (for instance) mightdo in 2012 the voices of caution come out in legion, but when optimisim is expressed about the competition everyone seems to just nod sagely.

"Rays are adding young studs while Jays are adding older guys" - for the whole time that AA has been seeking to add young core players the refrain has been "when are we going to pony up and sign established guys?!!?!" - now that we are, it's "look how cool Tampa is for acquiring young core players!"

Rays are going to get Neimann/Longo/whoever back for a full season - wow!"
Every pre-season someone, usually me, points out that(in the case of 2012 just to use current examples) Bautisa, Lawrie, Arencibia, Morrow, and Santos missed significant time and i get waved away with a dismissive "people get injured every year" (which is true) - but where's that comment in this thread?

or don't the Rays project to lose anyone to injury next year?

There are other examples, but I don't want to go into full rant mode. I could just do with a little less dewy eyed fandom for the Rays. I'ts like being in a room full of 13 year old girls and saying "what do you think of Beiber?"
lexomatic - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 11:34 PM EST (#266649) #
People are talking as if Loney is a 300/400/500 hitter.
He's done that ONE half season in his career. He's never hit more than 15 HR in a season (that same half season), and outside of that he's never hit .290 in the majors. He's not a good hitter for the position. His realistic upside is .290 15 HR
Sure TB has a history of getting something out of washed up 1b... but really he represents a glove, with the potential to be a non-black hole in the lineup. potential. He could be the worst 1b in the league.
His .630 ops isn't an improvement on Pena's 685 ops from last year.

hypobole - Monday, December 10 2012 @ 11:51 PM EST (#266650) #
To further lexomatics point, Adam Lind had an OPS+ of 96 last year, which most everyone here agrees is unacceptable for a 1B/DH. Loney's OPS+ was 73.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 04:50 AM EST (#266651) #
Grilli signs with Pittsburgh, turning down more money from Toronto to do so. It shows a lack of confidence in your abilities to do that. It's not as if Pittsburgh is getting to the World Series any time soon. Too bad, he would have been useful. What does A.A. do now?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 05:27 AM EST (#266652) #
Even hardened Tampa sport's writers are resigned to seeing Price be traded next off season. After the Greinke signing, Price will be too "pricely" for them to sign. It could cause problem resigning anyone (Josh Johnson) good with that precident.

Wil Meyers has flaws (written down by too many) for all he's the number 1 prospect. Chances he's the guy Tampa's needing - next year - are slim to none. It may even take more than one year to go that.

Tampa lost a very good (Jay killer) Starter and are now filling their roster (#4 & # 5 Starter) from a selection of guys not better than J. A. Happ. The guys coming over in the deal have problems (reading what's written) which could slow them down even considerably. I don't think this team is that good. Winning and losing, success and failure are on a knife's edge for this Team. Everything they do must succeed, and mistakes can 't be made. This Team is a David Price injury away from being the 2012 Jays.

hypobole - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 06:16 AM EST (#266653) #
Tamra, you're the one sounding like a 13 yr old.

First, I'm sure you know, but choose to ignore, the fact the Rays and Jays are in 2 different financial stratospheres. The Jays until this year have had profits to spend, but chose not to. The Rays don't have that choice to make.

The Jays did something similar a couple of years ago, albeit on a smaller scale when they traded Marcum for Lawrie. The posters here for the most part were positive, a fact you have conveniently omitted.

And to make you happy, yes, both the Jays and Rays will have injuries.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 06:20 AM EST (#266654) #
I think the big thing with the Tampa trade is seeing how a team with extreme financial limits is doing what it has to in order to contend. They cannot afford more than 2 or 3 guys making $10+ mil as their budget appears to be $60-$70 mil max a year. Their GM seems to also understand that hitters are more stable than pitchers as a rule thus prefers to have salary invested in Longoria than in Price and the like. If he can get cheap long term deals (ala Moore) he does it, if not he trades them ideally for more talent that hasn't used up a year+ of the cheap early seasons.

Looking at Tampa during the past 5 years you see a constant shift in the rotation yet very good results. 20+ start guys and their ERA+ by year...
2012: Shields/Price/Moore/Hellickson/Cobb 108/149/100/123/95
2011: Shields/Price/Hellickson/Davis/Nieman 134/108/128/85/93
2010: Price/Garza/Shields/Nieman/Davis 144/100/75/89/96
2009: Shields/Garza/Nieman/Price/Kazmir 105/110/110/98/73
2008: Shields/Sonnanstine/Garza/Jackson/Kazmir 124/101/119/100/127

Shields has been a mainstay, but so was Garza, Kazmir, Hellickson is now one, Davis has been, Nieman (8 starts last year), ... you get the idea. The trick is to have a strong team building up kids constantly, get maximum use while you have control, then trade them for more kids before you lose them to free agency. Garza got them 5 prospects, Kazmir 3 (just one provided value as a utility infielder), Jackson got them Matthew Joyce (solid RF). Not a ton out of them yet, but rather than losing them for draft picks they got guys who were already partially developed and avoided the millions it costs to sign first round picks.

The Jays, on the other hand, can afford a $120+ million payroll thus with double the cash can do things the Rays cannot, such as trade FOR guys like Johnson & Reyes instead of dumping guys like that in a desperate effort to keep the pipeline of talent flowing. Nothing wrong with admiring what the Rays do on a budget while pushing the Jays not to be on such a tight one.
Parker - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 08:54 AM EST (#266657) #
TamRa, the difference is that the Rays system has proven to be effective, whereas the Jays system of squandering assets to acquire mediocre relief pitching has yet to get them to the World Series.

Everyone gushes about Tampa's moves because they WORK. It's not just luck. The Rays organization keeps finding ways to compete against all odds, while the Jays organization just keeps finding excuses.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 09:57 AM EST (#266658) #
It shows a lack of confidence in your abilities to do that.

Oh please. As if you know why he wants to stay where he is or what it means.

It's not as if Pittsburgh is getting to the World Series any time soon.

They're closer than people might think. They finished 18 games behind Cincinnati, which is a lot - it's almost as big as the gap between Toronto and New York - but the Reds were nowhere near as good as their record suggests and I think the Pirates were somewhat better. I think the real gap between the two teams is much less than 18 games - more like 6 or 7. The Pirates have a lot of pretty exciting young talent - the problem is the two hideous holes they have at catcher and shortstop. They've addressed one of those issues already, as even if he doesn't hit, Russell Martin represents a large upgrade on Rod Barajas.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 10:16 AM EST (#266659) #
Funny how people talk nice about guys like Halladay taking the home town discount, but then complain when another player does the same. Guess it depends which end of the discussion one is on. If winning is all that matters then guys should be lining up to go to the Yankees for a discount.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 10:28 AM EST (#266660) #
it's almost as big as the gap between Toronto and New York

Well, this off-season the Jays have added Johnson, Buehrle, Reyes, Bonifacio, Izturis, and Cabrera (with some bullpen additions and subtractions, including the potential loss of Oliver), while Pittsburgh has added Russell Martin and re-signed Grilli. If you're going to compare the relative playoff chances of the two teams, it seems to me you need to take into account the full extent of each team's off-season moves, which arguably make Richard's case more defensible.

After all, it's not about where each team finished last year, it's where they're likely to end up next year. The 2013 Jays have a lot more proven talent than the 2012 Jays did.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 10:30 AM EST (#266661) #
Disecting a good team like TB is a great analysis.

Just a few thoughts. Their rotation has been good & deep.

They traded for Kazmir and then traded him away. The net gain +/- of the players involved, I do not know. But he was good for them. Same with Garza.

With Shields traded & Price probably next year, it looks like Hellickson & Moore will have to carry the rotation. Of course there are about 7 good candidates to fill in.

Many comments make sense. Nobody has said it BUT I certainly feel disappointed that Hellickson & Drabek were rookies the same year and TB's was good & ours was bad. Hellickson was not considered that much better than Drabek.

As the future unfolds, I hope our kids coming into the Majors compare well with their kids.

So I am rooting for Alvarez to be good.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:02 AM EST (#266662) #
I guess I ought to justify why I think Loney was a good acquisition.  It is well known that he is a good defensive first baseman, but the comment has been made that he had a horrific 2012 with the bat (which is true).  It was also inconsistent with the rest of the career. He had a career-low BABIP of .269, despite a line drive rate of 24.7% and a very low pop-up rate.  The poor BABIP led to a batting average 33 points below his career average, which was a good part of his issue.  How did that happen?

His BABIP on line drives was .626 (league average .705); his BABIP on ground balls was .200 (league average .239); his BABIP on fly balls was .089 (league average .134).  The hittracker record of his home runs does show a different picture from 2012 to previous years, with a lower speed off bat and shorter true distances.  It is possible that he was just hitting the ball with less authority last year.  Loney did have what sounds like a significant motor vehicle accident in December 2011. 

One never knows, but my instinctive reaction is that Loney's issues with power, as a 28 year old, are more likely to be resolved than flailing away due to a recurrent back injury.  I would also venture a guess that some of it was bad luck, and even if the power does not return at all, he will be a better player in 2012 than he was in 2011. 

Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:07 AM EST (#266663) #

It shows a lack of confidence in your abilities to do that.

Oh please.
As if you know why he wants to stay where he is or what it means.

Further to this, it seems to me that the single biggest determinant of where a player wants to play -- and yes, there are exceptions -- is where he played last year. Just as many of us in the real world are averse to change, so too, it would seem, are professional athletes. So you get guys who want to stay in Pittsbugh or KC or San Diego. The desire for continuity in their lives seems to trump everything else. And that's just human nature.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:20 AM EST (#266664) #
I wouldn't expect too much out of Loney, but no one expected much from Casey Kotchman, either, and he turned in a very good season for Tampa. The Rays have some magical pixie dust they manage to sprinkle on one or two players every year.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:50 AM EST (#266665) #

Loney stunk last year, no question. And he'd not be the type of player a team with reasonable resources would pursue. But TB is forced to pursue bargains. They must figure that Loney will give them defense at the very least and, with enough pixie dust, has at least a theorically plausible chance of revisiting his career OPS+ of 104 (he put up a 110 as recently as 2011). That still wouldn't make him a very good first baseman but would mean he's value for the dollar they are paying: 2MM for 1 to 2 WAR.

Defense still figures to be the biggest inefficiency in the market to exploit, even though most teams seem to be paying more attention to it now than ever before. A resource strapped organization like TB must invariably field a strong defensive team to be successful, since it will mean optimal deployment of their scant funds.

jerjapan - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 12:11 PM EST (#266666) #

the difference is that the Rays system has proven to be effective, whereas the Jays system of squandering assets to acquire mediocre relief pitching has yet to get them to the World Series.

Parker, this seems a bit unfair.  are you saying that you would prefer Snider, Thames and Molina to Santos, Delabar and Lincoln?  3 inconsistent young players for 3 major league pitchers doesn't seem to be "squandering assets", and all three of the relievers we got have upside and years of affordable contracts.  Hard to predict the injury to Santos - this isnt a mike sirotka lack of due dillignece scenario, that's just the risk you take acquiring pitchers. 

a cost-effective bullpen frees up other assets - like the big moves this off-season.  and nobody in the front office was arguing that these trades were going to get us to the WS.  AA is agressively improving all parts of the organization, major and minor, and this is an approach I strongly support. 

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 12:42 PM EST (#266667) #
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 01:00 PM EST (#266668) #
Rich Thompson and Eugenio Velez could very well end up being helpful pieces to the big league club at some point this year.

Thompson has a career 3.00 ERA with 56k's in 54 innings in the majors. Velez has been a useful utility guy for both the Dodgers and Giants in the past. He could very well be the favorite right now for the 25th man on the roster.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 01:56 PM EST (#266669) #
What does futility look like? Eugenio Velez went 0 for 37 last year. He is 9 for 92 over the past two seasons.

I hope AA checked him for a pulse before signing him.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 02:00 PM EST (#266670) #
Oops, Velez didn't even play in the majors in 2012. He last played in 2011 so move the numbers I cited back a year.
hypobole - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 02:39 PM EST (#266671) #
In 2011, Miguel Gonzalez was a combined 0-7, 5.40 ERA in 18 games over 3 minor league levels (A+, AA, AAA) and was susequently released by the Red Sox. Signed as a minor league FA last year by the O's, he was called up mid-season and in 18 games, he gave them 105.1 IP of 130 ERA+.

Not saying Velez or any of the other 4 will provide any value to the big club, but it's scouting, far more than raw numbers, that finds diamonds in the rough.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 03:05 PM EST (#266672) #
I think Velez is more a warm body intended to occupy space and time rather than a potential diamond in the rough.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 03:22 PM EST (#266673) #
The Jays want to make a good first impression in Buffalo. It was expected they would sign some higher quality minor league free agents to make Buffalo a winning team.
hypobole - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 03:35 PM EST (#266674) #
Velez' 0 for 37 piqued my curiosity (although not enough to actually look it up). Anyone know what was the longest 0-fer any Jay had last year?
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 03:37 PM EST (#266675) #
Velez was also originally signed by the Jays.
MatO - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 03:51 PM EST (#266676) #

What does futility look like?

I think you've coined a new term.  Futility player.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 07:27 PM EST (#266677) #
Looking some more at TB & their budget. Price should get Linecum money in arb which is about $20mil I believe.
Hellickson may be arb eligible, I do not know how much he would get. Moore has no bargaining power, so he should be cheap. He may have signed a long term deal.

They have to lock up their young talent to long term deals IMO. It is cheaper. But an injury or poor performance can hurt them badly.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 07:31 PM EST (#266678) #
The Jays' rivals are gradually putting their rosters into place, with more moves no doubt pending. Some notable signings / additions to date:

Red Sox: Ross, Gomes, Napoli, Victorino, Uehara (great sign)

Rays: Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery, Loney, Escobar

Yankees: Kuroda, Pettitte, Youkilis, Suzuki

Orioles: McClouth

It will be interesting to see which of the remaining free agents sign in the AL East (maybe one or more of Swisher, Dempster, Sanchez, Hamilton, Lohse, Jackson or Saunders? A lot of these players have been linked to non-AL East teams).

I would still love to see the Jays nab Dickey in a ninja trade, though it seems unlikely.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 08:34 PM EST (#266679) #
I did enjoy Charlie Pierce's reaction to the Youkilis to New York story when it was just a rumour:

Dear Yankees: Please, oh, pleeeeaassssse do this thing. Overpay for a red-assed clubhouse lawyer who's headed down the other side of the hill on a rocket sled. Wreck your infield and your chemistry all at once. When Manny Ramirez popped him, most of the opinion was on Manny's side. That says something.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 09:12 PM EST (#266680) #
One potential Achilles' heel for the Yankees going forward is Sabathia's health. He's pitched a lot of innings in his career (2564.1) and had some elbow soreness late in the season last year. He's under contract through 2016 (vesting option for 2017), so if he has significant injury issues, it could be a real financial headache the Yanks, given A-Rod's problems, Cano's looming free agency, etc.
TamRa - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 09:22 PM EST (#266681) #
Everyone gushes about Tampa's moves because they WORK. It's not just luck. The Rays organization keeps finding ways to compete against all odds, while the Jays organization just keeps finding excuses.

You don't gush about a move in advance because it works.

you are basing it on OTHER moves that have worked in the past.

You have no evidence that the same magic will happen again.

Do we automatically assume that James Loney will suddenyl be all-that because the scraped Casey Kotchman off the trash heap, and Carlos Pena, and travis lee and they came totown and woke up? How long do we assume dumb luck is a repeatable skill.

To be sure, if we are giving them credit for, say, developing their pitching prospects well - i'm there. Hat's off to them on that.

Am I going to assume that because Rodney had a completely unpredictable awesome season that the next bum reliever that comes to town will pitch like Mariano Rivera? I'm not.

I'll judge the acquisition of Escobar, or Loney, or whomever based on the precived merits of that move, not with rose-colored lenses because past moves have worked in unexpected fashion.

Oh, and as far assaying their moves work:

Jose Molina and Carlos Pena were offensive zeroes last year, their long presumed shortstop of the future, Reid Brignac, still hasn't done anything but fail in the majors, Luke Scott was barely average, BJ Upton only ever had one season worthy of his skills, top prospect Desmond Jennings didn't set the league on fire despite much praise as a prospect, super-prospect Matt Moore was league average and walked too many, Wade Davis didn't cut it as a starter...

And that's just looking at the 2012 team. Still they won 90 games, but i don't think Jays fans would be contentwith that many "failures" for the 2013 Jays, even if they do win 90 games. Not saying they should be.Just noting the dewy-eyed gaze cast towards central Florida.

*also not saying that Moore and Jennings won't yet be special players - just speaking of last season only.

If you go over to Retrosheet and look at all their transactions, you have to go back to 2007 to find a really strikingly well-made trade (the acquisition of Garza). the free agent signings in the last 4 years have been either outright failures (Pat Burrell), ordinary results from ordinary expectations (Johnny Damon, for instance), or lucking into something no one including they could have reasonably expected (kotchman, for instance) - and a fair sampling of each..

The reality is that the recent Rays, like the so-called "moneyball" A's back in the day, have been the recipient of an excellent run of high level pitching from a remarkably healthy staff. Which is not something to be dismissed lightly, but it covers a multitude of weaknesses elsewhere on the team.

Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 09:27 PM EST (#266682) #

I did enjoy Charlie Pierce's reaction to the Youkilis to New York story when it was just a rumour

On the schadenfreude meter, the Youkilis signing is a double whammy, enraging fans both of the Yankees and the Red Sox. Good times.

Wonder if he'll get Clemens' old locker. Or Boggs'. Or Damon's. Or Luis Tiant's. (Okay, that was a big time jump. I imagine I skipped a whole bunch of names in the intervening two decades.)


Lylemcr - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 09:47 PM EST (#266683) #

Why Gush over Tampa?

They remind me how the expos used to be.  They keep on getting great players and losing them.  Sooner or later the fans get tired of being just competitive and losing thier superstars....

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:06 PM EST (#266684) #
What fans are the Rays going to lose?

Seriously though, I have to agree with what was said a little earlier about their success: it all comes down to the pitching!

For years I've had to listen to how amazing the Rays are, like the A's before them, or the Braves before them. How about the Giants or the Cardinals? I've been subjected to Moneyball, and "Scout's Honour". No doubt there's a "Friedmanball or Madonball" coming soon.

Its all crap! They just had decent, healthy and consistent starting pitching staffs, nothing more. True to form, the Braves were never the same once Glavine and Maddux moved on and the A's fell apart once Hudson, Zito, and Mulder moved on. That's why I can't approve of this deal from the Rays perspective, Shields is a huge loss to that pitching staff and I don't think they will be able to replace him adequately, particularly after Garza has already moved on.
hypobole - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:09 PM EST (#266685) #
"Sooner or later the fans get tired of being just competitive and losing thier superstars...."

I think this backward. It's because of the fans, or actually the lack thereof, the team keeps losing its stars and struggles to remain competitive. If they actually had a paying fanbase commensurate with the product the organization has put on the field the past 5 seasons, the team would be much better off.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 11:56 PM EST (#266686) #
Tampa's moves work, because they must work. There is no room for error, because there's no money for errors. You be as bad as this team was and for as long as they were, two things will happen. You will get a lot of low draft picks, whether or not you draft well. Eventually you will learn how to draft well, if you do it enough. It's not as if no one else could do this, it's they don't want to do "the meticulous attention to detail" Tampa does. That A.A. now does. Imagine if J.P. took just five High School picks each of his draft years, where would Toronto be?
Thomas - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 12:57 AM EST (#266687) #
The reality is that the recent Rays, like the so-called "moneyball" A's back in the day, have been the recipient of an excellent run of high level pitching from a remarkably healthy staff. Which is not something to be dismissed lightly, but it covers a multitude of weaknesses elsewhere on the team.

Perhaps, just perhaps, part of what contributes to Tampa's excellent run of starting pitching has been consistently very strong defence, multiple elements of which (Molina, Pena, Upton, Jennings) you dismiss in your post by only looking at one element of their skill set.

Speaking of trades I don't understand, I don't get this three team trade from Arizona's perspective at all, other than they had clearly soured on Trevor Bauer considerably and prioritized landing a shortstop. I know you have to jump on what's in front of you and it would have complicated the Marlins trade, but I would have loved it if the Jays could have swapped Hechavarria and odd parts for Bauer.

Thomas - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 01:16 AM EST (#266688) #
That's why I can't approve of this deal from the Rays perspective, Shields is a huge loss to that pitching staff and I don't think they will be able to replace him adequately, particularly after Garza has already moved on.

Really? I'm having a hard time understanding how, given Tampa's financial constraints, you can't approve of them acquiring the 3rd best prospect in baseball for two years of James Shields (to assume that Davis for Odorizzi, Montgomery and Leonard is a wash, for simplicity's sake).

I can understand, maybe, trying to squint and defend it from K.C.'s point of view. But I can't see how gaining $9 million to cover increases in other player's salaries or potentially to sign a replacement at a reasonable rate whilst gaining a top prospect isn't the right gamble to take from Tampa's perspective. Any short term hit in 2013 could be a massive gain in 2014-2018. And there's no guarantee on any short term hit depending on if, and how, they spend that money owed to Shields.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 07:44 AM EST (#266689) #
The weird thing about the Tampa/KC trade is it should've been going the other way.  Tampa is at the playoff stage of the success cycle - they could be in the playoffs easily in 2013 thus one would expect them to be chasing down high end starters with just 2 years left and the like, not chasing down prospects.  Meanwhile KC was 16 back with a very rich strong team ahead of them in the Tigers and a team OPS+ of 96 and an ERA+ of 96 (funny coincidence) thus not super strong in any one area other than bullpen which is always the most variable area.  Thus KC should be stockpiling prospects still, not trading top ones for guys who could be gone before they get good.

Of course, there is the other issue - KC has sucked for 20 years with one 500+ season since pre-strike days and on a 9 year losing streak.  If I was the GM there I'd be looking for short term solutions to save my job too.

Magpie - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 08:31 AM EST (#266690) #
Imagine if J.P. took just five High School picks each of his draft years, where would Toronto be?

Well, if he'd taken the next high that got schooler that was drafted instead of the player he actually picked.... you'd end up with Scott Kazmir instead of Russ Adams, which would indeed have been nice for a little while. And then you get Jeff Allison instead of Aaron Hill, Scott Elbert instead of David Purcey, Cameron Maybin instead of Romero, Tim Alderson instead of Arencibia, Gerrit Cole instead of Cooper, and Jiovanni Mier instead of Jenkins. So it's not like they'd be in a place that was noticeably better.

It's not like Ricciardi was going to hit a home run drafting high schoolers anyway, if Travis Snider and Kevin Ahrens mean anything. And they do.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 08:35 AM EST (#266691) #
Ben Badler of BA had a pretty good 13-year-old girl's spontaneous reaction to the Rays-Royals trade:

Ben Badler ‏@BenBadler
Wow wow wow do I love that trade for the Rays.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 08:41 AM EST (#266692) #
Thomas, first off without the starting pitching there's no way that Tampa could get away with taking the offensive hit that they do when they add these good defensive players (Longoria notwithstanding). Its also alot easier to look good defensively when hitters aren't making solid contact (Miguel Tejada is exhibit A here).

Regarding my criticism of the trade: part of it is because I don't believe that Myers is the 3rd best prospect in baseball, nor do I believe that KC does. I also think that Odo is going to be far less valuable than Davis and the rest of the "prospects" I place very little value on.

But probably more importantly, I think this all falls apart (think pre-2008) the moment that Tampa has to deal David Price. Given this, and the current state of the division, I would have tried to strike while the iron is hot one more time. Flags fly forever and I just don't see them getting closer than this anytime soon. Shields would still have value next offseason and they could have tried the Marlins blow it up and rebuild method then.

Of course I have to acknowledge that Tampa has a habit of proving me wrong, but I just don't see it happening. There's only so many times you can get away with putting Casey Kotchman ver x.0 at first base and sandbagging the middle of your lineup. Also, for the record, Kotchman was not actually good, just good relative to his own track record.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 09:20 AM EST (#266693) #
Interesting how people write off the Rays success as being lucky with healthy and pitching, saying they couldn't have that great defense without the great pitching.  The great pitching goes hand-in-hand with great defense. 

I was going to mention the 100 OPS+ for their offense, but hit a few oddities.  They were 8th in OBP and 11 in Slg and 12th in OPS yet had a 100 OPS+ - I didn't think Tampa's park was a pitchers one yet checking the stats is is a strong one.  In 2011 they had a 104 OPS+, 105 in 2010, 106 in 2009, and a 101 in 2008.  Thus every year they have been contenders they've had a league average or better offense which has been disguised by the fact they are in a pitchers park since 2010 - the one year park factors have been saying 'strong pitchers park' since 2010, and neutral before that.  Guess they changed something in the park in the winter of 2009/2010.  Outside of this year their pitching has been good but not great - 100+ ERA+ each year but it had 2 great years (2008/2012 with 116/120 ERA+) and 3 mediocre ones (100-105 ERA+).

Seems to me that Tampa has taken advantage of every little bit they can these past 5 years.  Defense is the hardest thing to measure and they have done an exceptional job of finding the best defense to go with that staff while not losing the offense (or at least not to such a degree to make their offense poor).  As more and more teams get smart with defense the cost of it will rise making it more vital than ever to find another undervalued area - I suspect coaching which they already have started into with a bigger ML staff than most.

92-93 - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 09:29 AM EST (#266694) #
"That's why I can't approve of this deal from the Rays perspective, Shields is a huge loss to that pitching staff and I don't think they will be able to replace him adequately, particularly after Garza has already moved on."

Funny that you mention Garza considering the circumstances. The Rays traded Garza when he got expensive like Shields 2 full seasons ago and haven't missed a beat since, making the playoffs twice and plugging that rotation hole with Jeremy Hellickson and freeing up dollars to be spent elsewhere on the roster. They know exactly what they're doing and this trade makes them better than they would've been with Shields in 2013, not worse as people are suggesting. That 9m that Friedman now has to shore up the rest of the roster is more valuable than the difference between Shields and the rest of TB's SP options.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 10:30 AM EST (#266695) #
John touched on a couple of very interesting points.

First the trade from KC's perspective. In a vacuum it makes little sense other than an act of desperation. If they were to replace Frenchy with Swisher or Hamilton and sign Anibal Sanchez to replace Hochever they may be a legitimate contender. But I can't see that happening, so all they have done is move the needle from weak to mediocre.

They may put a few more bums in the seats - they haven't drawn 1.8 million since 93. To put that in perspective, the Jays, despite their own attendance woes, have only had 3 seasons since 1982 when they've drawn less fans than KC's best since 1993.

The 2nd point of John's was Tampa's coaching. Some of us see coaches as fungible, but a good pitching coach may be one of the most valuable members of an organization - far more valuable than even the manager. They have a guy in Hickey who has a track record of fixing other teams castoffs, with the most stunning success being Rodney last year, and keeping his homegrown arms healthy and effective. How many wins is that worth?
John Northey - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 11:42 AM EST (#266696) #
Yeah, Tampa's trainers/pitching coaches/whoever else keeps those pitchers in shape has done an incredible job the past 5 years.  I'm surprised no one else has poached their staff at this point.  I know I'd be trying to take away anyone I could from their staff right now as they clearly have been doing stuff right and by hiring some of them you might get the inside scoop on those tricks.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 11:43 AM EST (#266697) #
I would take an even broader perspective. Having a strong pitching coach is wonderful, but how much better to have a strong pitching coach and developmental system as a whole? Coaching isn't only about what happens at the major-league level. It might be worth noting that Shields, Moore, Hellickson, Cobb and Archer were drafted in the 16th, 8th, 4th, 4th and 5th rounds, respectively. Pretty good track record.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 11:57 AM EST (#266698) #
Oh I would completely agree with the comment on Tampa's development system and their coaching staff being incredible. I too am surprised that other teams haven't come calling yet.

But this is just another argument as to why Tampa should be keeping Shields: at some point their staff will get poached and then it becomes even harder to build a winner on a budget. Also, to the point about how moving Shields and spending the 9M will make Tampa a better team: I challenge you to find a post-arbitration player (who is available in a trade or as a FA) who more dramatically outperforms their salary than Shields. I'll believe that Tampa is a better team when I see it.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 01:04 PM EST (#266700) #
The Jays' rivals are gradually putting their rosters into place, with more moves no doubt pending

Red Sox in serious discussions with Dempster, per MLBTR
TamRa - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 03:13 PM EST (#266701) #
Perhaps, just perhaps, part of what contributes to Tampa's excellent run of starting pitching has been consistently very strong defence, multiple elements of which (Molina, Pena, Upton, Jennings) you dismiss in your post by only looking at one element of their skill set.

to be clear, I'm not dismissing those players, I'm discussing the reaction among many Jays fans to the situation relative to similar situations in Toronto.

How many Blue Jays fans react to criticism of, say, Colby Rasmus by saying "yeah but he's got great defense!"

How much slack did Aaron Hill get on that score? Lyle Overbay?
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 04:22 PM EST (#266703) #
I believe Colby's defensive stats in Toronto have been pretty mediocre, per BRef and fangraphs. Subjectively, he also doesn't look that great defensively, but that's just my take. Also, it's hard to cover up a 515 OPS (Rasmus's OPS in the second half last year), no matter how good your defense is, even at an up-the-middle position.

I think if Rasmus posted, say, a 750 OPS with outstanding defense, fans would be pretty happy.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 04:37 PM EST (#266704) #
Yikes, technical error.  I posted that many Bauxites have praised Lawrie, Hill and Escobar for their defensive contributions even while their bats slumbered (and also gave full credit to Butterfield for his role in helping infielders improve defensively).
92-93 - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 05:02 PM EST (#266705) #
"Also, to the point about how moving Shields and spending the 9M will make Tampa a better team: I challenge you to find a post-arbitration player (who is available in a trade or as a FA) who more dramatically outperforms their salary than Shields."

Shields makes 9m in 2013. Over his last 3 seasons he has posted 5.1 bWAR for a whopping average of 1.7. I challenge you to explain to me how he dramatically outperforms his salary.

"I'll believe that Tampa is a better team when I see it."

Better than who? Toronto? You've seen it every year since they dropped the Devil. If you mean better than last year's version, it's still the first week of December so that's pretty hard to evaluate. All I know is this trade shouldn't make their prospects for a contending 2013 any worse.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 05:04 PM EST (#266706) #
Really surprised the Diamondbacks couldn't get more than they did for Trevor Bauer in the trade with Cin and Clev.  He'd have been a nice get for the Jays as a possible 5th starter, either from the start of the season or waiting in AAA.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 06:23 PM EST (#266707) #

Regardless of how Travis d'Arnaud performs next year in Buffalo, Colby Rasmus is the key to all moves.   Colby is in his 2nd Arby year, possibly becoming a Free Agent after the 2014 season.   His performance over the next year will shape the direction this Team goes.   Will he merit an extention?   Will he have quality trade value?   Or will he just walk away after 2014?

Anthony Gose is the next key piece during this time.  (I don't know how he'd rate as a prospect, if he was still eligible, but I think still very high.)   If Colby rates an extension or is just kept through 2014, Anthony becomes blocked until 2015, when Melky possibly leaves.   If Colby's traded, then Anthony's called up, maybe before he's ready.   That means Moises Sierra is the top Outfielder remaining, with the next best thing in High A-ball.   At no time will A.A. have two rookies starting in the same season if he's got a choice.

At Catcher we don't have the depth we once had (Carlos Perez and Yan Gomes were traded in the last six months), with A.J. Jimenez (recovering from Tommy John) at AA and Sean Ochinko at A+, being the closest to Travis.   I believe A.A. prefers Eli Whiteside to pitch in AAA.  J.P. Arencibia and John Buck will hit a lot of HRs and produce offence Eli and Jeff Mathis can't.   At the CF position / Outfield position, after Moises, Kevin Pillar in High-A is our closest prospect.   I just don't see that A.A. has enough information to make a trade before he know what he has, next year.   (Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Lius Perez best return time is 2014.)    I fully expect any acquisitions A.A. makes will be in Free Agency - it only costs money.   With the Grilli offer, it shows A.A. has some money left to spend. 

John Northey - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 06:42 PM EST (#266708) #
Guess it depends on measurement tool.  Shields is worth $109.5 million over his 7 years according to FanGraphs, or $15.6 mil a year, the past 3 he averaged $16.3, the past 2 $20.6.  That is anywhere from $6 mil to $11 mil of value each year. 

The big question is, what is their replacement for him going to do in 2013/2014 and what is Myers going to do vs their next best option and how is the $8.5 million difference in salary between them going to be used.  Myers looks like he should equal BJ Upton's production, worth roughly $15 mil last year.  So if Myers matches that (and most feel he should) then the dollar spread could be $0 to $5 mil per year, with $8.5 mil extra in the bank thus at least a $3.5 million surplus for Tampa.

And that is how you compete on a low budget in the AL East.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 06:46 PM EST (#266709) #
IMO something has changed. There seem to be more block buster trades. Marlins/Jays, TB/KC & Cleveland/Arizona/Reds so far.

I am convinced that 2 weak teams have become a lot stronger, Jays & KC. To continue to be conservative I believe that LAA has to be weaker because they lost whatever they gave up for Grienke.

I believe we have to wait for Vegas to post their odds for the picture to become clearer. Hot air can be spouted by anyone except Vegas. I mean that respectfully.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 08:05 PM EST (#266710) #
Another one, Eli Whiteside, lost to waivers and a 40-man Roster count of 39.   Who is A.A. acquiring this time.
Thomas - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 10:37 PM EST (#266711) #
Regarding my criticism of the trade: part of it is because I don't believe that Myers is the 3rd best prospect in baseball, nor do I believe that KC does. I also think that Odo is going to be far less valuable than Davis and the rest of the "prospects" I place very little value on.

You're entitled to your opinion on Myers, but I'm going to trust the opinion all the major prospect evaluators and websites, who will probably rank Myers in the Top 5 and almost certainly noted in the Top 10 (I think he'll be 3rd, as I noted).

But probably more importantly, I think this all falls apart (think pre-2008) the moment that Tampa has to deal David Price.

I'm not convinced Tampa has to deal David Price anymore. Perhaps they will, but I think that they have been faced with a situation where they had to get one of Price or Shields off their payroll in the next couple of years and chose to keep Price and deal Shields when he had more value and when they had a number of arms who look like they should be given a chance to step into a major league rotation.

Shields would still have value next offseason and they could have tried the Marlins blow it up and rebuild method then.

I think Shields would have less value offseason and I'm certainly not convinced Tampa has to "blow it up." I don't see why a team with a core of Jennings and Longoria and Myers on offence and, even if they trade Price, a front of the rotation that includes Matt Moore and Hellickson, not to mention a good number of supplementary pieces and that is in a good position to win somewhere around 90 games next year would be forced to "blow it up" even if they are forced to trade Price.

ayjackson - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 10:53 PM EST (#266712) #
With Bauer off the market, I'd like to see the Jays take a run at Teheren.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 12 2012 @ 11:16 PM EST (#266713) #
If Tampa Bay continues with a less than $65.0 MM budget, I cannot see them keeping Price.   After the Greinke signing, any Ace who also a top Pitcher will be asking for more than that - $25.0 MM - $30.0 MM per year, 6 or more years.   I cannot see Price as not wanting that security.   Then I ask how you can pay more than one-third of your payroll to just one person.   Accepting $25.0 MM per year and not asking for $30.0 MM per year will be the only "hometown discount" Tampa will get.
bpoz - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 09:44 AM EST (#266714) #
Richard SS makes a good point about 1 player D Price being paid a significant % of the payroll.

I believe that we have signed 2 Latin pitching prospects. Alberto Guzman DOB 12/7/92 RPH 6'1" 180lb and Yonardo Hernandez DOB 9/20/95 RHP 6'1" 170lb.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 10:03 AM EST (#266715) #
Here is an interesting update on Tampa's stadium situation. 
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 10:40 AM EST (#266716) #

B Pro have published their top 10 prospects:

  1. C Travis d'Arnaud
  2. RHP Noah Syndergaard
  3. RHP Aaron Sanchez
  4. LHP Sean Nolin
  5. CF D.J. Davis
  6. RHP Roberto Osuna
  7. LHP Daniel Norris
  8. RHP Marcus Stroman
  9. LHP Matt Smoral
  10. RHP Alberto Tirado

Mostly it is not a surprise, Nolin at #4 is the major difference.

jerjapan - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 11:20 AM EST (#266717) #

Interesting trade proposal over at BP.  I think both teams could benefit from this move. 

Anthony Gose and Prospects for Jonny Venters and Randall Delgado
No team has had a busier offseason than the Blue Jays, who essentially acquired an entire franchise this November and also signed Melky Cabrera to a relatively cheap two-year deal. One player negatively affected by all this movement is Anthony Gose, who, before was on the cusp of starting for Toronto, and now is somewhat buried on their outfield depth chart.

At just 22 years old, Gose has a lot of future value to a franchise, but the Blue Jays clearly want to compete for the AL East crown now while the Yankees and Red Sox appear vulnerable. Therefore, I propose the Jays flip Gose plus prospects to Atlanta in exchange for reliever Jonny Venters and starter Randall Delgado. In Venters, the Jays get potentially one of the most dominating lefty relievers in baseball. Delgado would likely be next in line to start for Toronto this year and could develop into a No. 2 or No. 3 starter down the line. For Atlanta, Gose will compete with the Bravesí in-house options for the left-field job this year, and if his plate discipline improves, could be a valuable starting outfielder for many years. To even out the deal, Toronto should send a couple mid-tier prospects to the Braves, nobody too major though. óPaul Singman

ayjackson - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 11:26 AM EST (#266718) #
Who's worth more, Teheren or Delgado?
John Northey - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 11:27 AM EST (#266719) #
Uh, no to that trade.  Unless Delgado is a potential stud I sure wouldn't do it.  Venters is a LH specialist according to the article who walks over 4 per 9 IP.  Delgado also walks around 4 per 9 IP so far as well.  Gose could be a Devon White in CF here, fantastic defense with 1/2 decent offense.  That is worth a lot more than a LH reliever or a 5th starter.
Chuck - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 11:34 AM EST (#266720) #

Gose could be a Devon White in CF here

And is nice insurance should Rasmus not turn the corner in 2013.

ayjackson - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 11:41 AM EST (#266721) #
Braves are said to be interested in Bonafacio. I'd be more interested in Teheren. Maybe if we add Norris, there's a deal to be done.
Beyonder - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 12:10 PM EST (#266722) #
Mike Cormack tweeting that Anthony Alford was granted his "release" from school, whatever that means. Hopefully he is going to devote his full attention to baseball.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 12:16 PM EST (#266723) #

How far away is the next batch of Outfielders in the system?   Do you consider Rajai Davis, Emilio Bonifacio, Moises Sierra and Mike McCoy as your best outfield depth for next two or more years?   Anthony Gose is a valuable asset, who has shown (in small sample of a small sample) he can play up here.   I think he can be another Devon White, or better.   If you move Anthony in a trade, you need to hit a Grand Slam HR in what comes back - nothing yet proposed  on this site is good enough.

I read the Tampa Stadium article.   Amazing, sixteen more years in that dump!   Anything that works for Tampa is fine for me.   I was just thinking Price's next arbitration, just upcoming, might earn him $20.0 MM for 2013 (that's why Shields and Davis was moved).   Even with the new TV monies coming into play in 2014, Tampa's going to need a lot of pre-arb players playing.      

Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 12:37 PM EST (#266724) #
Teheran was not apparently hurt, but many have felt that he is a likely candidate for TJ and the decline in performance year-over-year at Gwinnett makes me wonder.

The Jays have plenty of lower level pitching prospects, who are 2-3 years away.  I wouldn't be that excited about acquiring Teheran, even if the cost was Bonifacio/Norris. 

whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 12:37 PM EST (#266725) #
Assuming DJ Davis doesn't move quickly (some seem to think he will) then I would say we are a while away from the next OF prospect who is on Gose's level. I wouldn't move him before the trade deadline (when we know whether Rasmus is anything) unless we were getting a top 2-3 starter in the package.
Beyonder - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 12:43 PM EST (#266727) #
At this point, while it is fine to have high hopes for Gose, it is hard to imagine that he did anything to improve his prospect status from last year (39th overall, according to BA). He is unlikely to fetch anything close to a "grand slam" in a trade. I would jump at the chance to trade Gose for Dickey, and would happily re-sign Dickey for the two years, 26 million that he seems to want.
John Northey - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 12:43 PM EST (#266728) #
If I was St Petersburg I'd play hardball with the Rays too.  They built that park to draw a team, took a long time but they got one, and they signed a 30 year lease to keep them there.  If the Rays don't like it now, too bad they have to make good not the city.  After the stunt the Marlins pulled (again) this winter after getting their new park I know I wouldn't think of building/subsidizing one if I was on a city council.  Plus, of course, the last thing the Jays need is a Rays team that has strong financial strength as well.

As to trading Gose, if it got an ace (such as Dickey or Felix Hernanez) I'd do it.  Otherwise, why bother?  Gose has tons of talent and could be in the outfield this year for the Jays if needed, if not then could be out there next year as a major position shift occurs (Bautista to 1B, Encarnacion to DH, Lind to anywhere but here as the Jays buy out his contract thus putting Gose or Rasmus into RF).

TamRa - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 02:12 PM EST (#266730) #
Anthony Gose and Prospects for Jonny Venters and Randall Delgado


I've always been a supporter of his but just laying aside that instinct - in objective baseball terms Gose likely has as much on-field value over the next five years as Rasmus does. And at a lower retention cost. I think I'd maybe make that deal for Rasmus before I would Gose.
Beyonder - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 02:29 PM EST (#266731) #
Is that a quote from somewhere Tamra, or your own thought?

BTW, Hamilton apparently signs with Angels for 5 yrs, 125 million.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 03:20 PM EST (#266732) #
Dempster signs with the Red Sox for 2/$26.5M. I wonder if there is a vesting year or third year option.

The Red Sox have an interesting team. They clearly have money to spend, having added a bunch of veterans on two- and three-year deals. It's not a bad strategy for a rich team. They could end up in the playoff hunt, but if not, those contracts aren't going to impede them much. And they haven't given up any prospects or draft picks.

If Boston falls out of the playoff race, they might even be able to deal some of the veterans for younger talent at the deadline. Basically, they're adding shorter-term assets without much downside for the organization, given its payroll flexibility.
Chuck - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 03:23 PM EST (#266733) #

Where's Mick these days? We need a voice from Tejas.

The Rangers lose out on the Greinke bidding, lose Hamilton and Napoli to free agency, trade Young, and piss off Kinsler by talking about changing positions.

If you can't succeed, I guess you can always secede.

Chuck - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 03:25 PM EST (#266734) #

Dempster signs with the Red Sox for 2/$26.5M.

Dempster 2/26. Napoli 3/39. Victorino 3/39. The new market inefficiency? 13 million-dollar a year players.

Jonny German - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 03:37 PM EST (#266736) #
Wow, the Angels surely aren't afraid of big contracts.

Josh Hamilton 5 years $125M

Albert Pujols 10 years $240M
CJ Wilson 5 years $88M

Vernon Wells 4 years $84M
(and in August extended Jered Weaver at 5 years $85M, buying out final year of arb-eligibility)
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 03:54 PM EST (#266739) #
I'll venture a guess that the Braves wouldn't do a Rasmus for Ventners and Delgado deal.  If Rasmus continues on the path (or anywhere close to it) of the last two years, he will certainly be a non-tender candidate after next year.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 04:00 PM EST (#266741) #
Wow, the Angels surely aren't afraid of big contracts.

No kidding.  It seems to be a thing in LA.  The state is bankrupt, but the ballclubs are rolling in money. 
MatO - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 04:10 PM EST (#266744) #

Mike Cormack tweeting that Anthony Alford was granted his "release" from school, whatever that means.

Apparently, because he was released he can join another college team without having to sit out a year of football which you must do if you transfer to another college on your own.

ayjackson - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 06:37 PM EST (#266749) #

Teheran was not apparently hurt, but many have felt that he is a likely candidate for TJ and the decline in performance year-over-year at Gwinnett makes me wonder.

Well he absolutely raked in the minors in the previous four years, including a 24 start stint at AAA in 2011.  He's still a top 50 prospect and would be great depth at AAA.  Those 18-20 year-old pitchers aren't doing the 2013-14 Jays any good.  Trading one of them forward for a Bauer-Teheren-Hultzen type makes good sense to me.

ayjackson - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 07:22 PM EST (#266750) #

Apparently, because he was released he can join another college team without having to sit out a year of football which you must do if you transfer to another college on your own.

I'm seeing a lot of people refute this claim on the web.  It's being reported preserves his three years of eiligibility, but must redshirt one year first.  People are erroneously citing the example of Russell Wilson and other football transfers who were finished their undergrad with eligibility left and transferred for grad school.  (allegedly)

Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2012 @ 08:32 PM EST (#266751) #
I agree with the concept, ayj.  Bauer would have been a good addition and sending Norris+ the other way would have suited me fine. 

Teheran's decline last year (while repeating the level) at Gwinnett was wide-ranging and unexplained.  I certainly would want to know more about what the issue was.
MatO - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 09:37 AM EST (#266752) #
I've seen Alford's situation described both ways so it's a bit confusing.  I found it interesting that he was released rather than him having left the school and that this distinction was important.  In any case, if he has to redshirt that would certainly benefit the Jays in having him play baseball full time.  He could still take a shot at football if baseball didn't work out as Jay Schroeder and Chris Weinke did (ironically both ex-Jay farmhands).
Dave Till - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 09:51 AM EST (#266753) #
I have no idea what Alford's situation really is, but my thought is that one of the reasons that managers get paid what they do is that it is their job to get talented young men focused (or focussed, for you Brits reading this :-)) on playing winning baseball. The rest of the job is relatively easy.

As for Rasmus versus Gose: they're both fascinating ballplayers because they have more potential than they have actual. Recently, I realized that Rasmus and the slightly younger version of Vernon Wells are remarkably similar players. Both are center fielders with significant power and low OBP, and both have had stretches where they have looked very good versus stretches in which they were awful. Rasmus has never played as well as the very young Vernon did, but there's always the chance that he could.

Gose is an electrifying ballplayer who, at present, seems to be able to do everything but hit. Unfortunately, hitting is Job One for a hitter. The tantalizing thing about Gose is that he could improve his hitting - and, if he does, watch out.

As a Jays fan, I am enjoying watching the offseason moves of the Boston Red Sox. They are attempting to win by spending enormous amounts of money on Grade B free agents. Dempster, Victorino, and Napoli will help them, but none of them are all-star caliber. And it's not as if they've hired a world-class manager. At this point, I'd pick them for fifth in the AL East - and, if my prediction is correct, I will enjoy every minute of their decline and fall. (Enjoy your dream job, Mr.  Farrell.)

greenfrog - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 10:18 AM EST (#266754) #
I actually think Boston has made some reasonable moves this off-season. The way I see it, Boston has lots of cash to burn. But instead of giving out five- to seven-year contracts (Lackey, Stewart, Gonzalez), they've kept the contracts short and sweet. They haven't lost any draft picks and (unlike the Jays) they haven't traded any prospects from their decent farm system.

While Napoli and Victorino are sort of meh, the Uehara and Dempster contracts look fine.

While I prefer the Jays' moves overall, the moves by the Red Sox might enable them to hang around the playoff race and/or have a few extra assets to deal at the deadline, and won't impede their chances in the medium to long term.
Beyonder - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 10:28 AM EST (#266755) #
I don't understand what Boston is trying to do either. They saved themselves about 60 million in 2013 by getting rid of Beckett, Gonzales, and Crawford. They have already given up 47 million of this savings to sign Napoli (if it goes through) Dempster, Gomes, (David) Ross and Victorino. Not sure if they still want Cody Ross, but if they do, signing him will eat into much of the remaining savings from last years' salary dump.

I realise the main impetus for the deal (in addition to a couple nice prospects) was the long term savings (particularly Crawford's terrible contract), but I would have a hard time getting excited about any of these moves.
John Northey - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 11:29 AM EST (#266756) #
As others have said, Boston's moves seem to be an effort to move from a sub-500 to a 500 team while the Jays are trying to shift to a 90+ win team.  To do that you need all-star capable players at multiple positions and in the rotation.  Johnson, Reyes are both that type, but Boston's signings all catch me as slightly above average players who are useful to fill a hole but not to push you to the top.
greenfrog - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 11:41 AM EST (#266757) #
Here's a question: assuming you need to line up at least six starting pitchers for the season (probably seven), which of these rotations looks stronger?

Johnson / Morrow / Buehrle / Romero / Happ / Jenkins

Lester / Buchholz / Dempster / Doubront / Lackey / Morales

I would take the Jays' sextet, but it's perhaps not as large a gap as you might think. There are a lot of question marks around both rotations. I do think the Jays would do well to add another strong SP.
92-93 - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 11:50 AM EST (#266758) #
Completely agree, greenfrog. I think we're the only people on the planet who aren't laughing at everything the Red Sox are doing and see some solid motives behind it. Boston is A LOT better than people are giving them credit for. It's easy to remember last year's disaster and forget that they missed the playoffs on the last day of 2011 and were a consensus World Series favorite heading into 2012.
Chuck - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 12:02 PM EST (#266760) #

The snark on the forums is that the Red Sox are blazing a path to .500 and it's hard to see that the case is otherwise.

Fans and organizations often look forward with anticipation to a time when such-and-such contracts will finally be off the books, after which the presumption is that only rational decisions will be made and sound contracts signed. Boston's far-in-the-future day of relief magically became the present when the Dodgers came calling last season but the new set of contracts is no more inspiring than the ones they were unburdened of.

Like teams that are chronically "building for the future", this naive hope of what tomorrow will bring is laughable when we see the same self-defeating patterns persist year after year.

John Northey - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 12:13 PM EST (#266762) #
Interesting rotations...
ERA+ in 2012...
Jays: 104 / 144 / 106 / 74 / 85 / 96 (Johnson / Morrow / Buehrle / Romero / Happ / Jenkins)
Sox: 90 / 95 / 124 / 89 / -- / 115 (Lester / Buchholz / Dempster / Doubront / Lackey / Morales)

ERA+ lifetime...
Jays: 133 / 104 / 119 / 105 / 97 / 96
Sox: 119 / 113 / 99 / 90 / 107 / 105

2012 in order high to low...
Jays: 144 / 106 / 104 / 96 / 85 / 74
Sox: 124 / 115 / 95 / 90 / 89 / --

Lifetime high to low...
Jays: 133 / 119 / 105 / 104 / 97 / 96
Sox: 119 / 113 / 107 / 105 / 99 / 90

The Jays win in pretty much every situation listed above I think. 
greenfrog - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 12:32 PM EST (#266763) #
I guess my feeling is that you also have to look beneath the single-stat approach to envision how things might reasonably go in 2013. For example:

- Is Jenkins really a "96 ERA+" guy? He's pitched 36 innings in the majors, 20 of them of the often-meaningless September variety.

- How much can you reasonably expect from Romero? I think the honest answer is that no one has a clue. In light of his physical/mental issues last year, there are some big red flags. He could be good, awful, or somewhere in between.

- Yes, Morrow had a 144 ERA+ last year, but that was in 124.2 IP. He's only ever pitched 150+ innings once (in 2011). Do you count on him for 200 innings in 2013? I am hopeful that he'll have a good year, but he has yet to establish himself as a durable starter.

- How many innings can the Jays expect from Johnson? I think it's fair to be reasonably optimistic about his health, but there is probably more risk there than with other front-rotation starters with a track record of durability.

It's a potentially very good rotation, but I think there are more question marks than simply listing its pitchers' component ERA+ stats lets on.
whiterasta80 - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 01:05 PM EST (#266764) #
Anibal Sanchez has now re-signed with the Tigers, anyone else think we should pursue Rick Porcello? What kind of return do you think he merits?
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 01:14 PM EST (#266765) #

If A.A. is going to acquire/sign a Pitcher good enough to challenge J.A. Happ for the 5th Starter role, he should hurry as what's left isn't that appealing.   Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse and Shaun Marcum are supposed to be better than James Anthony, while Joe Saunders, Francisco Liriano and Carlos Villanueva are not that good.   I think the whole idea is to get better, not "penny pinching" again, so quality matters.   Ideally I'd be comfortable with a decent 5th Starter (???) pushing Happ and Carlos Villanueva (pay him starter monies) to the bullpen as 6th and 7th Starters/Long men.  Cost of two Pitchers however, could add $15.0 MM - $20.0 MM to the overall salary structure, which may be one Pitcher too much.   And I no longer think we can trade for anyone, less than the best.

If A.A. is trying to acquire/sign Pitching Depth good enough to act as 7th/8th -9th starters, he really needs to"get lucky"/depend on his Scouting Staff.   As good as the Pitching presently assigned to Buffalo is, A.A. acquisition(s) need(s) to be better.   Everything he's done so far for that need - it's a little bit light.   As everyone else is doing this, he needs to "be right" all the time.

Houston needs a cheap DH - has asked about Adam Lind - .

Presently Anthony Alford is a childish village idiot hood who doesn't know what he wants to be, let alone grow up yet.   If one of those guns was fired, not hitting anything or anyone, Anthony does Jail - no ands ifs or buts - years.  Until he makes nice, on the record, and publicly announces his career path is in Baseball, on the record, I don't care what he does.  

Beyonder - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 01:51 PM EST (#266767) #
Richard. Uncharitable and unfair. Alford is 18 years old. I realise it is sometime fun to say outrageous things from an anonymous perch, but "childish village idiot hood" is a pretty brutal condemnation for a kid you have never met and about whom we all have only the sketchiest info. The best information we do have, btw, is that the charges are likely to get pleaded down to some sort of misdemeanor.

Personally, I give the guys some credit for following his heart to football, when a more immediately lucrative career path was wide open to him in baseball. Many kids would have gone straight for the money.
John Northey - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 02:41 PM EST (#266770) #
Good questions greenfrog, it was more a quickie attempt to see the Boston vs Toronto rotation.  I expected Boston's to be better in the career figures than it is though.  I'm sure the Sox expected better than a 95 ERA+ from all of Lester / Buchholz / Doubront / Lackey not to mention the disasters of Beckett (83) and Matsuzaka (53).  I suspect they expected Aaron Cook to be better too (77 ERA+ with 1.9 K/9 IP).  Daniel Bard moving from pen to rotation was a total disaster too (70 ERA+ after a 154 over 3 years as a reliever).

No matter how bad 2012 was here in Toronto, in Boston it was much, much worse.  They will improve significantly this year most likely just because there is no way those guys are that bad again, is there?  Well, we can hope :)
greenfrog - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 03:18 PM EST (#266771) #
MLBTR says the Jays (and Texas and Baltimore ) are intensely involved in RA Dickey talks:

I think the Jays should go hard after Dickey. Maybe the Jays can keep Gose and Arencibia and flip a couple of their high-upside, younger prospects for him (just not d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Sanchez, Osuna, or Davis). If the Jays can realistically extend Dickey, I think they should make it happen. Adding Dickey would give the Jays a deep, potentially dominant rotation.
85bluejay - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 03:35 PM EST (#266773) #
Usually, if the jays are linked in rumors, it doesn't happen, so I'm not getting my hopes up - that said, Arencibia and Rasmus I can live without - I'm okay with Buck and Bonificao for 1/2 season.

BTW - I can't seem to post to this site using Google chrome - any ideas why?

Beyonder - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 03:40 PM EST (#266774) #
I don't know who those higher-upside younger prospect are, but if AA can acquire Dickey without giving up a single A-list prospect he should be enshrined in the Level of Excellence tomorrow.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 03:41 PM EST (#266775) #

Richard. Uncharitable and unfair. Alford is 18 years old.

Nonense!   At age 18 almost eveyone is at the village idiot stage of growing up - some have more trouble than others.   Hoods seldom act beyond childish motives, however it dressed up.   Kids and guns equals Hoods - age, sex, race, religion matter not.   Jail time is what it is, I'm surprised, but pleased, if Anthony avoids it.   Gun goes off, whether or not any damage is done - blood is drawn in the act, no matter how - doesn't matter with some US States - jail time ensues.

I'm willing to give him a second chance, but only once.   If he publicly makes nice (does all the right things) and says I'm switching to Baseball, then all is well.   He stays with Football, I wash my hands of him as bad news. 

Mike Green - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 03:43 PM EST (#266776) #
No one is enshrined in the Level of Excellence until the honouree is old enough to have his/her first routine colonscopy.  No pain, no gain. 
Beyonder - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 03:50 PM EST (#266779) #
Heyman is really pounding the Jays/Dickey connection. Now he's mentioning D'Arnaud. Getting scared.
Mike Forbes - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:19 PM EST (#266782) #
Sounds like a deal for Dickey would involve Arencibia and Gose. Obviously not crazy about the Gose part but I do believe in Colby Rasmus. Of course, nothing is for sure.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:27 PM EST (#266783) #
New York Mets is another Team that leaks like a sieve.   Most BIG Teams also have a Press that speculates all the time about everything.   Just have to wait and see.
Ryan Day - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:29 PM EST (#266785) #
Joel Sherman of the NY Post speculates it's largely about whether or not Dickey will sign an extension with the Jays at this point.
John Northey - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:29 PM EST (#266786) #
I wonder if the Dickey deal could be for JPA and Rasmus.  That would take major guts on AA's part to trade two everyday players and put rookies in place.  Of course, then he could go out and sign Michael Bourn to play CF :)
Mike Forbes - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:30 PM EST (#266787) #
No one has more media leaks than the Boston Red Sox. Any deal they do is known like a week before it's actually done.
85bluejay - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:30 PM EST (#266788) #
If Gose and/or D'Arnuad are involved, then I hope the Jays lose out
Moe - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 04:44 PM EST (#266792) #
It's Gose and JPA. If Dickey were to sign the extension he was seeking from the Mets, that would be reasonable given the recent prices for pitchers.

Of course, one has to wonder why the Mets are refusing to give him such a reasonable contract.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 09:17 PM EST (#266807) #
Anyone around Baseball who's willing to estimate how well the Blue Jays are going to do in 2013, say 85-87 to 88-90 wins.   It's possible acquiring R.A. Dickey could be as much as a 3-5 win gain.    That makes it 88-91 to 93-95 possible wins.   I think it could be more.   Trading Gose and d'Arnaud would hurt - but - flags fly forever.
Gerry - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 09:26 PM EST (#266809) #
The Jays might be in a win now mode. Catchers can take 2 or 3 years to get acclimated to the major leagues. The Jays might rationalize that a win now with Dickey and JPA will be better than a more risky Happ/d'Arnaud combo.

Mylegacy - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 10:21 PM EST (#266812) #
"The Jays might be in a win now mode."


IF - the Jays trade d'Arnaud and Gose for can bet you're last ten bucks and my stash of single malt that the jays ARE going for it.

These are the THREE questions we SHOULD be asking:

1) "Have you EVER in ALL your life seen a guy throw an 80+mph knuckler?
2) "Is there something about an 80+ mph knuckler that is a game changer?"
3) "What does AA know - or thinks he knows - about this unprecedented pitch and the 38 year old guy that throws it - that would make him trade two truly outstanding (near can't miss) prospects for him?

My answers are:

1) I've never seen anyone else in my 66 years throw an 80+ mph knuckler.
2) AA must think so.
3) In AA I trust.

Time for a double.

Mylegacy - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 10:25 PM EST (#266813) #
Read a bit about RAD's Kball(s)...
Mylegacy - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 10:44 PM EST (#266814) #
More RADporn -

John Northey - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 10:57 PM EST (#266815) #
I'd say if the Jays do get Dickey and it costs either/both of Gose & d'Arnaud it will go down as the biggest risk the Jays have taken since the McGriff/Fernandez for Carter/Alomar trade.  What is funny is if it is d'Arnaud/Gose then the old Halladay trade works out to Halladay for Dickey and Drabek which would be a bit funny, that trading away our Cy Young winner would result in a future trade for...a Cy Young winner.

In truth, d'Arnaud & Gose is too much.  One or the other should be enough.  Ideal would probably be Buck & Sierra but I cannot imagine the Mets are that dumb...of course, the refuse to give Dickey a 2 year $26 mil extension so who knows?

Mylegacy - Friday, December 14 2012 @ 11:17 PM EST (#266816) #
To get a car from (more or less) 36 mph to 37 mph takes an extra 2 hp - to get that same car from 236 mph to 237 mph takes an extra 69 hp. (More or less - you get the idea...)

To get from "now" (we're a contender) to "we're a favorite" cost MORE than the moves to contention. That final piece of the puzzle USUALLY costs WAY more than that piece is worth in any abstract sense. BUT - if the flag is there at the end of season - all will be forgiven. Is this a tough decision to make - natch. BUT, if AA thinks this is a difference making deal then DO IT. AA does - I trust AA.

The prospect cupboard is FAR from empty. Even the catching and CF prospect cupboards are FAR from empty.

I want me some 200 innings of in your face knucleballs. Bring it on!

Lylemcr - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 12:52 AM EST (#266819) #

If it is true, That makes Romero\Morrow our number 4\5.  That is a crazy rotation.  We could have 75+ wins from our starting 5 alone.  Happ is a # 6, and some Jenkins #7 (with Hutchinson\Drabek\McGowan coming back?  Maybe...) 

Then there is the botom half of the offense....  Lind\Cooper, Rasmus\Gose, JPA\Buck\DArnard,  Izturis\Bonifacio.....  Not awesome, but that is better than the mariners top half.  Probably 75 Hr..  Not bad defense....  What if Lind and Rasmus get thier stuff together....WOW...  Now that would be an offense.  (If not, that issue be solved at the trading deadline.) 

The Bullpen is maybe the only thing that does not make you drool.  If Oliver comes back and Perez\Santos is 100%... It will be pretty good too.  With Beurle and Dickey as Inning eaters, the bullpen won't be as taxed as last year, so it could be just better from that alone.    

Let's assume it is Gose\D'Anard and a picher (Jenkins?) in the trade.  Here is what the Jays would have.  Sanchez, Syndergard, Nolin, Osuna, Norris, Stoman and many others for pitching.  For catchers, there will still be Jiminez and Nessy.  And after losing Gose, they still have DJ Davis.  They also have Sierra, Pillar and Smith in the OF and Lopes and Lugo for IF.    Dean is an interesting 3 bagger.  I would love to see a big bat at 1st somewhere.  But the Cupboard is far from bare.....

As I look at the snow outside....  I really can't wait till spring.

electric carrot - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:06 AM EST (#266820) #
To get a car from (more or less) 36 mph to 37 mph takes an extra 2 hp - to get that same car from 236 mph to 237 mph takes an extra 69 hp. (More or less - you get the idea...)

Now you're talkiing Mylegacy!!  None of this Kenny Rogers fold'em stuff. I've always appreciated your optimism.  I also agree with everything Greenfrog has said about this trade.  For crying out loud -- let's WIN the East. 
dan gordon - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:06 AM EST (#266823) #
No way would I give up D'Arnaud in a deal for Dickey.  D'Arnaud has the potential to be a real difference maker for a long time.  Look at how valuable Posey is to the Giants.  Now, if it's J.P. and Gose, and if they can sign Dickey to an extension, sure, but D'Arnaud could be one of those guys who's so much better than other players at his position, that you just wouldn't be getting adequate compenstion if you trade him.
grjas - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:12 AM EST (#266829) #
So if they get Dickey, who the heck is going to catch him. Hope JPA is part of that deal, otherwise with his sometimes awkward blocking style, the poor guy will end up in traction.

Here is a nice quote from 20 years ago that summarizes the challenge.

"Because Blue Jay catcher Pat Borders was not used to catching the knuckleball, Candiotti became afraid to throw it and gave up seven runs in 7 2/3 innings of two starts against the Minnesota Twins."
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