Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
In honour of the Christmas gifts bestowed upon us by the front office of the Toronto Blue Jays, enjoy this brand new photograph from your pal NFH:

Here's the original image on Instagram.

That's a 1993 Back To Back AL East Champions mug. The subsequent 19 years worth of washes has faded it slightly. Here's hoping that next Christmas I'll have a new one.

In Honour of the Best Christmas Ever | 77 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 24 2012 @ 04:42 PM EST (#267461) #

Rogers is broadcast the 1992 World Series, in it's entirety, starting Christmas Day.  I'd like to see the complete 1992 World Series and the complete 1993 World Series made available on DVD by Rogers. 

If at all possible I'd like a 1992 package to include six Regular 1992 Season games, including the 1992 A.L.East clincher, the complete A.L.C.S verses Oakland, and the complete 1992 World Series.   In addition, I'd like a 1993 package to include six Regular 1993 Season games, including the 1993 A.L.East clincher, the complete 1993 A.L.C.S verses Chicago, and the complete 1993 World Series.  That could earn them some serious money.

Named For Hank - Monday, December 24 2012 @ 06:01 PM EST (#267462) #
I'd buy this. But I'm easy in terms of delivery -- MLB offers a ton of games inexpensively on iTunes as singles and packages, and I'd happily shell out for the full 92 and 93 series on there.

(For the record, the final game of each is available for two bucks.)

Nick Holmes - Monday, December 24 2012 @ 09:09 PM EST (#267464) #
I'll wait 'til 2014 for back-to-back championships, even!
JohnL - Monday, December 24 2012 @ 10:02 PM EST (#267465) #
NFH, Your Back to Back coffee mug made me pull out a couple of my (non-Christmas) gifts from the Blue Jays: '92 & '93 shot glasses. The 1992 one was nice, with the gold inlay, but the 1993 being Back2Back was sweet as well. I had 4 of each, but time has taken its toll, and I'm down to a pair from each season.

I find they're best appreciated with some single malt inside.


Named For Hank - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 12:24 AM EST (#267466) #
JohnL, those are spectacular. That '92 one is a thing of beauty.
Magpie - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 09:18 AM EST (#267468) #
I'd like to see the complete 1992 World Series and the complete 1993 World Series made available on DVD by Rogers.

Oh yes. Good times!

I wouldn't mind a decent team history/franchise highlights as well. I had a terrible time finding video footage of Jim Clancy the other day. It's twenty-five years since I saw him pitch, and I no longer trust my memory. Some guys are still vivid - Stieb, Henke, Ward, Cone. Some guys have become a little fuzzy - Clancy, Key, Hentgen. And some are simply lost in the mists...
John Northey - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 10:41 AM EST (#267471) #
I have an old Jays game with Jimmy Key pitching on it from around 86 or 87.  Wonder if I can find a way to move it onto the computer - used to have the hookups but they stopped working when I went to Windows 7 (sigh).  Heaven forbid old hardware works on newer machines.  Also have the season summaries from 89, 91, 92, 93 iirc.  The Jays used to put out a video each year summarizing the past season and TSN would show all of them in the spring.  I taped them all but when I played it back a couple years ago it was unviewable as I recorded at the 8 hour speed and the tape was of poor quality in the first place - worked great for watching back in the early 90's but 20 years later it doesn't work :(  Hopefully the Jays rerelease those online or something - wouldn't cost them much to make into digital files and then could sell them for a couple of bucks with no further costs beyond bandwidth.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 11:58 AM EST (#267472) #
man that back-to-back mug brings back memories. I had one but have no idea where it ended up.

I still have my ticket and plastic frame from the game where we broke the 4 million attendance mark somewhere. I'll take a pic if I can find it.
JohnL - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 02:19 PM EST (#267474) #
uglyone, I do have my "4,000,000" t-shirt from that game. Everyone was waving them as rally flags. It was the game they clinched the 1991 title.

Don't think I have that ticket, but have some other tickets, including from a couple of '92 & '93 (Game 6) WS games. Also a ticket from the Alomar-Eckersley home run game at Oakland in 1992. Almost as good as the two Oakland Tribune front pages I kept:

"A's BLOW IT!" after that one, and "SKY DOOM!" after they were eliminated after game 6.
Nick Holmes - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 02:57 PM EST (#267475) #
The thing I remember most vividly about Jim Clancy now is the organ tune they used to play every time Murray Elder would say his name...
Magpie - Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 06:52 PM EST (#267478) #
Clancy had just two good pitches - a heavy sinking fastball and a slider - and like a lot of those guys, his night frequently depended on whether the home plate umpire thought his slider was a strike. Mike Timlin was exactly the same.

It made Clancy one of those guys where you knew right away, no later than the second inning, if he was going to have a decent game or of he was going to get shelled.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 10:57 AM EST (#267481) #
Today's fangraphs article on Bourn ("Michael Bourn, Chopped Liver?") got me thinking. Given that Bourn's market has collapsed somewhat, should the Jays try to land him on a pillow contract? Presumably Toronto would be an attractive destination for a short-term deal (maybe 1/$15M?). If adding Dickey made the Jays one of the top few teams in the AL, adding Bourn might just make them an unstoppable force. While the Jays would lose a draft pick, their #10 overall selection is secure. Gose could take over in 2014.

Of course, this would require another bump in spending, and a decision would have to be made about Rasmus. Would Rogers consider such an aggressive move? Would it be worth it?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 11:15 AM EST (#267482) #
Bourne is a Boras client and will still earn big bucks. A.A. doesn't like signing Boras clients because he takes a long time drawing out negotiations, negotiating with multiple teams at the same time. All the same, A.A. might trade for a Boras client, provided he doesn't have to negotiate an extention.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 11:38 AM EST (#267483) #
Bourne is a Boras client and will still earn big bucks

Sometimes, but not always. Do the names Ryan Madson (2012 off-season), Edwin Jackson (2012 off-season), and Stephen Drew (2013 off-season) ring a bell? (Oh yeah, those guys.) All are Boras clients; all signed one-year pillow contracts when their markets fell apart.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 11:43 AM EST (#267484) #
I think Bourn most likely gets a multiyear deal (maybe three or four years instead of five or six), but there is a chance he goes pillow. It might be worth looking into.
Jonny German - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 03:37 PM EST (#267490) #
I'm not convinced Bourn will be a better player than Rasmus in 2013. Probably he will be, factoring in speed and defence. But it's no kind of certainty.
scottt - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 10:15 PM EST (#267491) #
I wouldn't give away a pick for a one year deal.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 26 2012 @ 10:24 PM EST (#267492) #
I've felt Bourn would be a good one if the Jays can find a deal for Rasmus.  He is very much like Devon White - high end defense with 100 OPS+ offense.  If he could be had on a one year deal, and the Jays can find a home for Rasmus then Gose gets to spend the year in AAA and in 2014 Gose takes over CF.  I don't see it happening though unless a good deal for Rasmus appears (and it could) and Bourn takes a lower than expected salary.  However, he did get a qualifying offer which means signing him costs a first round pick thus making him a poor choice to sign to a one year deal unless it is a major bargain. 

Now, given the Jays do have a protected 1st round pick it makes it a bit more tempting.  Still, unless they get a silly offer for Rasmus I don't see it happening.  It all depends on ones view about defensive values and how good Bourn is.  Knowing AA he has an idea as to what Boras is looking for and also knows what he could get for Rasmus.  Still, I just don't see it happening at this point.  Too much money, and too many talented players at that position here (Gose & Rasmus).  It'd be nice, but not vital.

hypobole - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 01:43 AM EST (#267493) #
If the Jays sign Bourn, they lose not only their 2nd rounder, but about $1 million of bonus pool money as well. This is why the players tied to compensation are far less appealing.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 07:40 AM EST (#267494) #
I agree that Bourn is a long shot. But remember that 2013 will likely be the last year the Jays have Johnson, and in 2014 some key veterans (Dickey, Buehrle, Bautista, EE and Reyes) will be a year older. It would be unfortunate if the Jays fell a bit short next year because they scrimped on, or got lazy about, a couple of positions.

My guess is that the Jays go with Rasmus and Lind/Cooper and then attempt to make changes on the fly as necessary. We'll see whether it pans out.

One point to remember about signing Bourn on a one-year deal. Yes, the Jays would lose a draft pick. But they would stand a good chance of gaining a compensation pick, possibly a higher pick, the following year (which could prove to be a better draft class).
greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 08:08 AM EST (#267495) #
too many talented players at that position here (Gose & Rasmus)

The word "talent" gets used pretty freely when discussing players, but the word can have different meanings. For example, one might differentiate between proven talent (i.e., with a demonstrated track record) and latent talent (i.e., athleticism that may or may not translate into results). We all know Rasmus is "talented" in that he apparently has the physical tools to succeed. But to me this gloss can be a bit misleading, as he has posted a 574 and 515 OPS in the second half in each of the last two seasons (while admittedly posting a 742 and 821 OPS in the first half of those seasons). Whereas Rasmus's less "talented" replacement, John Jay, has been a significantly better player over the last two years. So while talent (in the sense of athleticism, potential, etc.) is desirable, being "talented" doesn't necessarily mean that a player is the answer to particular team's needs at a particular point in its development.

Fangraphs WAR from 2009-12:

Rasmus: 2.8, 4.3, 0.8, 1.4 (total: 11.3)

Bourn: 4.9, 4.7, 4.1, 6.4 (total: 20.1)

As John points out, it depends on how AA evaluates the players involved. Is Rasmus more of a 4.3 or 1.4 WAR guy? If Bourn is in fact worth a few extra wins, would he be worth a one-year deal (assuming it's even possible)? Might the Jays need those extra wins to hold off the competition and claim the division?
John Northey - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 08:38 AM EST (#267496) #
Another factor is how ready is Gose and can his defense be in the same area as Bourn (which is where his value is)?  Mixed in Rasmus for reference.
Total Zone per 1200 Innings in CF: Gose: 21  Bourn: 34 (10 lifetime)  Rasmus: 10 (2 lifetime)
BIS runs saved per 1200 inn: Gose 16  Bourn: 21 (12 lifetime)  Rasmus 7 (1 lifetime)
UZR/150 games: Gose: 55.3  Bourn: 22.5 (10.7 lifetime)  Rasmus: -0.6 (-2.2 lifetime)

Big sample size warnings of course, but note how Bourn last year had a 'career year' defensively by all 3 measures (2 via B-R, 1 via FG).  Gose's numbers were behind Bourn in 2 spots but well ahead in a third, while being over Bourn's lifetime figures across the board.  Bourn does have a 100 OPS+ lately, 90 lifetime while Gose was at just 70 last year but had a much stronger September once he went through a demotion/promotion cycle (262/347/393) which was similar to Bourn (274/348/391 last year, 272/339/365 lifetime).

In short, it is entirely possible that Gose could produce just as well as Bourn as soon as next year, and has the potential to out perform over the next 3-5 years.  Both have a lot of value in CF due to defense, which would be largely lost if they moved to RF or LF thus you wouldn't want both on the team at the same time, at least not at the price Bourn is asking.  The more I look at it the more it would need to be a one year deal at a bargain price (under $10 mil) to make it worth it, and even then you'd need to find a taker for Rasmus first.

Note: these measures didn't exist when Devon White was playing, thus not available but by Total Zone he saved a max of 33 runs in 92, with his runs saved hitting 18 in 91/93, TZ/1200 Inn was peaked at 30, lifetime 9 in CF.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 08:53 AM EST (#267497) #
Until I see Gose look remotely comfortable hitting a breaking ball, I will be unconvinced that he's ready. For me, brief September samples (notoriously unreliable - remember Randy Ruiz?) don't count.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 10:20 AM EST (#267498) #

The MLB Draft has some compensating factors.   Toronto has Pick #10, the last protected 1st Round Pick, while in each consecutive round they will have the ninth pick of that round.  If signing a Free Agent with a Qualifying Offer (Q.O.), you will lose your 1st Round pick (or 2nd, if 1st is protected).   No one else gets your pick, it's just gone.   There will be a compensation pick available, between round 1 and 2 for the Q.O. picks, if you lose a Qualified F.A.   Those picks come after the 6 "equalization" picks MLB gives up between rounds 1 & 2 and 2 & 3.   Toronto will have the 46th pick (2nd round) which has value, it formerly came between 1st and 2nd rounds.   Toronto wil, have the 72nd pick (3rd round) which has value, as it formly occurred late in Supplemental Round or early in the 2nd Round.   The last pick of inherent value is Toronto's 102nd (4th round) formerly late 2nd or early 3rd Rounds.

Now that being said, we are to give up the 46th pick, for someone with no power.   Giving up a top pick for an outfielder who might not be better defensively than Rasmus.   Giving up a pick for someone who should hit better and run better than Rasmus.   That money I'd use to sign J.P.Howell and Mike Gonzales (LHR) for the pen, or find a bat to hit LHP that Lind can't hit.

John Northey - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 10:25 AM EST (#267499) #
Good point greenfrog.  Points in Gose's favour though are having the AAA hitting coach here in the majors in 2013 (thus able to help him if he is here - he was here in September but not July/August) and the fact Gose has been one of those hyped prospects for awhile now.  At 511 minor league games Gose is getting up there for a quality player - you expect high end prospects to make it fairly quickly.  As I posted in another thread, games in the minors before getting a regular spot in the majors: Delgado: 680 games, Young 524, Kent 344, Olerud 0 covering 4 of the best the Jays ever produced.  Others are McGriff 528, Fernandez 445 (last 143 were too many, held in minors due to Alfredo Griffin...dumb move on Gillick's part), George Bell 307, Shawn Green 322.  That covers a lot of top players over a lot of time.  The 300's seem a reasonable amount for a future All-Star with the low 500's also being reasonable.  Delgado was kept down far too long due to Molitor & Olerud being here and the horrid defense when he tried to play LF (not as ugly as Cecil Fielder at 3B but fairly bad).
greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 10:46 AM EST (#267500) #
No power is not tantamount to "no value." Rasmus had 23 HR last year but was not a particularly valuable CF. Bourn had 9 HR and was a tremendously valuable CF. You have to look at the complete package as it exists (not as you wish it existed).

A 46th overall selection is not nothing, but it has significantly less value than, say, a top-15 or 25 selection. It is certainly not a "top pick." Besides, if Bourn turns down a qualifying offer after 2013, the Jays would receive an even higher pick in 2014.

I'm not advocating strongly for Bourn - more like musing aloud. While I badly want Rasmus to succeed, I've seen enough to have my doubts about him (both offensively and defensively) and I don't want the Jays to do with the lineup in 2013 what they did with the rotation last year (which some fans on this site thought was in great shape last off-season). If you're all in, go all in.
uglyone - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 10:48 AM EST (#267501) #
I think having two young high upside talents in Rasmus and Gose precludes us bothering to sign just a "decent" CFer, especially since the price point will likely be high in dollars, let alone in draft picks/draft money.
bpoz - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 10:50 AM EST (#267502) #
Did we have a poll on the Rasmus trade ? I could not find it.

I am leaning towards that being a bad trade. I felt that it was a good trade earlier. Although I had trouble figuring out exactly what we gave up.

We gave up Money for M Teahen, We also paid the rest of B Tlllet's salary & the other lefty Terry Someone. But we saved money on Dotel & Fraser.

The talent we gave up was Zep & Z Stewart, I liked Zep but I can see him being worth little to some. But I liked him. Z Stewart did not live up to his hype IMO. Maybe he develops into a good reliever, since as a reliever his FB is 95mph. That is what I read some where.

Dotel & Fraser I believe were worth a Comp pick each.

Rasmus has elite talent and has a good chance of putting it all together in the next 2 years. Gose will push him. I understand that Gose wins when you compare potential.

A great 2013 will help both the Jays & Rasmus. Rasmus would have value in staying or as trade bait.

Intricated - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 11:12 AM EST (#267503) #
I wonder if Rasmus will simply do better in 2013 with a stronger Supporting Cast around him than he had in 2012.

- Not forced to hit #2/5 in a weak lineup with little alternative (albeit he seemed to prefer hitting #2 there and generally did better, at least initially), so he can fit more naturally into a #6/7 slot to take more advantage of his power in more RBI situations.  He does have better stats with RISP career-wise (113 tOPS+ RISP vs. 94 tOPS+ bases empty) and especially in 2012 (129 vs. 82).
- Not forced to come back and play through a groin injury as Cabrera/Davis/Gose/Bonifacio are capable of playing CF to various levels of defensive prowess, but at least tolerable for a stretch or two.
- Not forced to face (tough) LH pitchers (career vs. RH 110 tOPS+ vs. LH 72 tOPS+ and 2012 vs. RH is 96 vs. LH 72; that includes a horrendous 46 vs. LH starters in 169 PA).
- Not forced to play more games than he would be valuable for.  Maybe he gets tired after ~140 games (as his half splits could be indicating), maybe when he goes 0-10 he goes into freefalls.  Give him more games off to regroup.

I'm referring to "force" in a very general manner, unclear what combination of coaching staff, player, or circumstances that put Rasmus into the situation he faced last season.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 11:15 AM EST (#267504) #

After Farrell trade, A.A. grabs a Power-Arm reliever for basically spare parts.   He signs the best available Middle Infielder to a good contract.  

He now plans to go hard after two free agents (his words), but calls on the availability of Josh Johnson - and the rest is history.   Of course he's blown the budget, by a huge amount.   Signing Melky Cabrera - two years, $16.0 MM - covered by the $8.5 MM received in The Trade.  And he didn't increase salary to do it.  (Small gain of $0.5 MM.) 

The R.A. Dickey acqusition moved out $6.0 MM (John Buck) but took in $5.75 (Dickey; $5.25; Thole: $0.5).   He didn't increase salary to do it.   (Small Gain of $0.25 MM.)

Now chances are good Darren Oliver isn't coming back.  That feels up $3.0 MM for use, $3.75 MM total, and not increasing salary.

If anyone has a better idea on how much A.A. has left, tell me.  But it's no way enough for Bourn.

uglyone - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 11:27 AM EST (#267505) #
I still think people ignore Gose's age at their own peril.


V.Wells (22): 103pa, 4.9bb%, 14.6k%, .114iso, .313/.350/.427/.777
A.Gose (22): ???

V.Wells (20): 94pa, 4.3bb%, 19.2k%, .088iso, .256/.287/.344/.632
A.Gose (20-21): 189pa, 9.0bb%, 31.2k%, .096iso, .223/.303/.319/.622


V.Wells (22): 448pa, 6.5bb%, 15.2k%, .172iso, .281/.333/.453/.785
A.Gose (22): ?

V.Wells (20-21): 694pa, 8.4bb%, 15.9k%, .185iso, .257/.322/.442/.764
A.Gose (20-21): 482pa, 10.2bb%, 21.0k%, .133iso, .286/.366/.419/.785

Obviously, they're totally different types of hitters (and these numbers of course don't account for Gose's speed edge), but still, but the comparison still shows something about Gose's performance relative to age, IMO.
John Northey - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 12:53 PM EST (#267509) #
Richard, if you trade Rasmus that saves around $4-5 million (based on B-R estimates).  Mix in that $5 with $3.75 saved and you are up to $8.75 million.  Suppose Bourn finds his market has collapsed as teams don't all value his defense as much as Boras does.  Say he goes for a $10 million one year deal - an extra $1.25 million which I suspect Rogers could swallow if needed.  I suspect Boras though will demand $15 million and $6.25 mil is getting a bit towards the point Rogers would be going 'uh no' to at this point.

Still, the more I look at it, and going over past statements by AA, I could easily see Gose in CF in 2013 and could see him being nearly as valuable at a much, much lower price.  The past statements are ones that said he would rather break in no more than 1 rookie a year.  Now that all slots are filled with vets and the two rookies who looked to be likely to start in 2013 are gone (d'Arnaud and Hechavarria) Gose and Sierra are the only ones left who are ML ready or almost ready.  Heck, even the rotation and pen could be rookie free in 2013 (at least for the core 5 starters and bullpen opening day).  Aaron Loup is the only rookie for the pen I see as a likely candidate. 

So, if you are AA would you be brave enough to trade Rasmus and his potential to allow Gose to take over in CF?  What would you look for in a trade?  Ideally you'd get guys you can store in AAA as prospects/backups for anywhere on the diamond as AAA is short on replacements outside of Gose/Sierra/David Bush/ it is kind of weak down there.  More kid pitchers might be ready mid-season, but AJ Jimenez,is the likely backup for CA (666 OPS in AA at age 22), I don't see any 2B/3B/SS prospects in AAA/AA/A+ last year as anyone who did well was 24+ it seems.  Sigh.  Lots of pitching, little hitting on the way at the moment.  Which also makes one wonder what they'll do in 2 years once Cabrera's deal is done.  Hopefully the Jays will be coming off of back to back WS wins and have 4 million fans a year in the park with sky high ratings thus making it a no brainer to chase the best talent there is. :)
Thomas - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 01:10 PM EST (#267510) #

"I suspect Boras though will demand $15 million and $6.25 mil is getting a bit towards the point Rogers would be going 'uh no' to at this point."

I think you're right in that any one-year deal for Bourn would be about $15 million. However, just looking it at from a financial standpoint, that $6.25 million would go a long way if it gave the Jays approximately two additional wins on the season (ballparking Bourn as a 4.5 WAR player this year and Rasmus as a 2.5 WAR player, which may be generous as he hasn't reached that total combined in the last two yers). Admittedly, you can probably do this ad nauseum and wind up justifying a $180 million payroll and that this one-year deal proposal is entirely speculative, but I think there's a strong case to made that those additional wins may be financially rewarding for Rogers if it meant the difference between winning a Division and being a wildcard or gaining an additional round of home field advantage. AA may be right in that Rogers has invested as much as it is willing to, but there is a very reasonble argument that trading Rasmus for some (albeit probably small) return, going with Bourn for a year and bridging the gap to Gose makes sense, even if you're selling low on Colby.

John Northey - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 01:38 PM EST (#267511) #
 Thomas: good points there.  The big question is just how valuable is Bourn's defense anyways?  You don't just factor in what it was worth to Atlanta but also what it would be worth to the Jays.  Ideally an analysis of how many balls would likely be hit into the ranges of Rasmus & Bourn given the new Jays staff and see what the results would be, then factor in the likely better offense from Bourn (as Rasmus has been a sub-90 OPS+ hitter in all but one season) and you can see the end result of one vs the other.  Also factor in the loss of a high 2nd round pick vs the potential gain of a higher pick in 2014 (assuming Bourn plays at a level worthy of a qualifying offer).  Then mix in Gose and expectations for him in 2013 as well.  Lots of variables there, with the biggest being how one feels Rasmus will do in 2013 - will he be the 23 year old with a 132 OPS+ who looked like a budding superstar or the high 80's OPS+ guy he's been in his 3 other seasons, and what do other teams think as well.

I think this is Rasmus' last season to show he is more than a high 80's OPS+ guy - if he doesn't do it this year then his big age 23 season will be written off as a fluke by pretty much everyone and his trade value drops to near zero.  If he comes back and hits like he did a few years ago, or if you prefer how he did in June (137 sOPS+) then we have a woohoo in CF, or someone the Jays will regret trading.  Rasmus is now AA's biggest challenge - do you keep or trade.  If you trade do you go for Bourn or do you trust in Gose.  A wrong choice and the Jays could end up in the low 90's for wins and oh so close.  A right one could mean 95 wins and a woohoo.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 01:40 PM EST (#267512) #
Also, the benefits of obtaining Bourn on a one-year deal (as opposed to a four-, five- or six-year deal) should not be underestimated. The Jays would dramatically lower their risk with such a contract. Edwin Jackson is an interesting comp in this respect. Last year the Nats obtained all the benefit (189.2 innings of solid performance) with minimal risk of injury, underperformance, etc. This year he's a year older and at 4/$52M, the Cubs are effectively buying high - they're assuming a lot more risk.

However, I suspect all this will be moot as Bourn (and Boras) will want to secure a multiyear contract after Bourn's excellent 2012 season. I imagine someone will give him at least three or four years. I just think AA should make the call about a possible pillow contract, as Bourn might be interested in re-entering the marketplace after helping the Jays go all the way on national TV. It did wonders for Angel Pagan.
bpoz - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 01:46 PM EST (#267513) #
It will be interesting to see where & for how much Bourn signs.

E Bonificio is listed as a CF. He can also play 2B. I wonder where he fits in. R Davis can also play all the OF positions. M Izturis IF.

That is excellent depth in case of injuries.

For Gose, Sierra, Cooper & Jimenez Buffalo will provide a better evaluation. I would like them to force their way on to the team. Cooper & Sierra have 1 option left.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 01:53 PM EST (#267514) #
A wrong choice and the Jays could end up in the low 90's for wins and oh so close

I would be wary of assuming that the Jays are a lock to end up in the low 90s, with or without a decent performance from their centerfielder. The team looks good on paper and seems to have "won the off-season," but it hasn't accomplished anything yet (and there are some question marks, for example, re some players' injury histories).
hypobole - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 02:09 PM EST (#267515) #
If the lack of market for Bourn ends up with Boras getting him a pillow contract, rest assured there will be an agreement with the signing team that there will be no qualifying offer at seasons end. Otherwise it would make little sense. It has been suggested this is the reason why the Nats failed to make an offer for Edwin Jackson, but did so for Adam Laroche.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 02:30 PM EST (#267516) #
Think Buffalo, and how to have more than just Roster filler there.   Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra and Chad Jenkins are not filler but not much else can be said.   Buffalo needs to be in the Post-Season at least once in the two-year contract, and very close the other year.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 02:31 PM EST (#267517) #
Good point, hypobole. I wonder whether this is the reason Jackson never received a qualifying offer from Washington (prearranged deal with Boras).
Mike Green - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 03:13 PM EST (#267519) #
My son got me Nate Silver's The Signal and The Noise for the holidays.  There's a very well-written section on prospect evaluation, particularly when it comes to the scouting evaluation of the relevant personal characteristics (some of which are not really great for well-rounded human beings).  Recommended, although the discussion of Bayesian probability was much too generous for my liking.

In the "You Be the Manager/General Manager" department, I wonder which position players people think should be the 13 carried by the club (assuming no additions or injuries between now and opening day and that the club is stuck with a 7 man pen), and their roles.  My choices:

Arencibia, Thole (platoon catchers with Arencibia getting some starts against RHP and Thole catching Dickey),  Encarnacion DH/1B, Bautista 1B/DH, Izturis 2B, Reyes SS, Lawrie 3B, Melky LF, Gose/Bonifacio CF, Rasmus RF, Lind PH, Davis OF/PR, Bonifacio is your super-utility guy and gets 500-600 PAs by getting 50 starts in the utility infield role due to rest/injuries in addition to the platoon CF role.  I think that Gose adds more value as a platoon CF from the outset of the season than LInd does as a DH.  I also think that moving Bautista to first base would likely lead to better defence and less risk to his health.  Davis would get 10-15 starts for Rasmus against a tough lefty.  I would prefer to have another infielder on the roster rather than Lind, preferably a shortstop, but even better would be a 6 man pen with Lind and a shortstop. 

TimberLee - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 03:26 PM EST (#267520) #
I almost hate to think about it, but my main concern with the BlueJays' outfield in 2013 is Bautista - specifically, how he comes back from the tendon sheath surgery. Most of the few players who have had a similar procedure have had considerable difficulty hitting with much power, at least for a year or so after. Many people will be disappointed if he doesn't slug 35 homers, I think.
Chuck - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 03:53 PM EST (#267521) #

Recommended, although the discussion of Bayesian probability was much too generous for my liking.

I'm about 3/4 through the book and enjoying it greatly. What issues do you have with the discussion on Bayesian proability?

grjas - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 05:17 PM EST (#267522) #
Re Bautista, this article is certainly sobering.
Mylegacy - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 06:20 PM EST (#267523) #

Grjas - has just introduced us to the 800 pound gorillia in the room. Mr Jose Bautista's wrist.

I for one would be shocked, shocked I tell you - if Jose's wrist allows him to be the power hitter we know/want/need in 2013. Remember Overbay after his wrist injury? Have you ever seen anyone have such an obviously painful wrist injury as Jose suffered?

I've already been thinking about Plan B - Cabrera in LF, Gose in CF and Rasmus in RF - or Plan C Cabrera in LF, Rasmus in CF and Sierra in RF. Neither Plan seems to have the "it" we need to come anywhere near what a healthy Bautista could give us.

Should AA be shopping for a RH power bat? Is any such beastie available - even with a trade? Should AA be looking now - before the league knows we "need" a bat? Could all the wondrous work of the winter come to naught if the "Slugger who used to called Bautista" is no more?

It is for times like these that Scotch comes into it's own. Single malt of course.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 07:05 PM EST (#267524) #
Yep, the thing about Bautista is that his whole offensive game is built around a very violent swing. I mean, it was that swing that got him into trouble in the first place - it's not difficult to imagine him aggravating the injury.

However, he says he feels great and he wanted to play in the WBC. So let's hope that with a few more months of rehab he'll be hale and healthy. I would also like to see the Jays rest him a bit more during the season. Maybe 130-140 games instead of 150-160?
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 27 2012 @ 10:57 PM EST (#267525) #

Options for Jose Bautista are:

1) Doesn't play in WBC: i) doesn't get hurt: a) returns to 100% form - chances are slim.

                                                                 b) return to pre-2010 form - chances are lim, but a better likelyhood.

                                                                 c) somewhere in between - best chance this year.

                                    ii) does get hurt. Worst Case Scenario

2) Does play in WBC: i) doesn't get hurt: a) returns to 100% form - chances are slim.

                                                             b) return to pre-2010 form - chances are lim, but a better likelyhood.

                                                             c) somewhere in between - best chance this year.

                                 ii) does get hurt.  Worst case scenario.

3) Worst Case Scenario.  

Bautista is out for too much of the year.   It could even be a Career-Ender.   We could fill this position in Spring Training as Players are released by Teams that have no room, but they still have value.   Or trading for a decent Player with a bad contract.   We can fill the spot with what we currently have on the Team, but it makes the Team weaker.   I just don't think A.A. is concentrating on it now, but it must have been considered.   A.A.'s having a budget crunch, as he exceeded even his projections by a huge margin.   Adding Melky Cabrera and R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole did not increase payroll one bit as the monies changing hands created a wash.   A.A. might even be $.75 MM ahead to add to Oliver monies ($3.0 MM).

Richard S.S. - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 01:00 AM EST (#267526) #
I would start R.A. Dickey in Game One, 02 April 2013, at Home to Cleveland (3 Games).   He's Cy Young Winner, and out of respect for the accomplishment, the Opening Day Starter.   I want him pitching as many games as possible.   I would start Josh Johnson as the next starter, because Brandon Morrow's more effective as 4th Starter than Johnson would be, and more likely to get a win.   Third Starter should be Mark Buehrle, who could be more than enough different than Romero to make Morrow better, and more confusing to opponents, winning more games.
John Northey - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 06:22 AM EST (#267530) #
My bet is if Bautista is hurt they try in house options first - Gose, Sierra and Davis.  If that doesn't work then the trade nightmares come into play.  I suspect AA is hunting for solid AAA guys who have a hole in their game (ie: weak defense, strikeout prone, injury prone, whatever kept them in AAA instead of the majors while still having talent) and hope that a mix/match of them will cover limited injury periods.
Dave Till - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 07:23 AM EST (#267531) #
Re Bautista: his wrist is a concern, but he was belting home runs on minor-league rehab shortly after he injured it the first time. I think it's safe to assume that he's smart enough and dedicated enough to do all the necessary work to fully heal it.

If his power drops off, he'll still be useful, as he has such extraordinary plate discipline. He could wind up being a table setter for EE.

As for Gose: he's very young, so it's hard to reach any conclusions about him. It's a little worrying that he is having trouble making good contact - that's the hard part of the job. But he doesn't need to get a whole lot better at it to be a useful major leaguer.

And it's great to be supporting a team where there is more than one option for Opening Day starter. That means that the team has two or more good pitchers. I still remember the year that the Jays sent Erik Hanson out as their #1 pitcher.

John Northey - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 09:20 AM EST (#267532) #
Dave, I think you mean more than 1 good option for opening day starter :)

For opening day starters a full list is here.

Starting pitchers most common...
7: Halladay
4: Stieb
3: Key
2: Morris, Hentgen, Lemanczyk, Romero, Clancy
1: Marcum, Bomback, Loaiza, Wells, Clemens, Hanson, Cone, Guzman, Stottlemyre, Underwood, Singer (1977)

I suspect we'll see a new one in the 1 column (Dickey) this year.  A bit surprised Stieb only had the job 4 times.  The year Stottlemyre got it Stieb started game #2 (1990) due to opening day being a one game 'series' in Texas and game #2 being at the SkyDome.

Most common starter at each position...
CA: Whitt (9)
1B: Delgado (7)
2B: Damaso Garcia (7)
3B: Rance Mulliniks (7)
SS: Alex Gonzalez #1 (8)
LF: George Bell & Shannon Stewart (6 each)
CF: Vernon Wells (9)
RF: Jesse Barfield (8) (Bautista is up to 3)
DH: Otto Velez & Paul Molitor (3 each) - Lind will tie it if he starts this year.

Mike Green - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 10:14 AM EST (#267534) #
My problem with Bayesian analysis is the sloppy way that a priori assumptions are integrated with new evidence.  It works well in practice if the assumptions are reasonable or if there is enough evidence that the assumptions become of marginal significance. 

To illustrate, an assumption might be made that the Yankees have a 95% chance of making the playoffs in 2013 based on their record of performance in the past 20 years, their 95 wins in 2012, and the addition of the second wild card.  That is a reasonable (if somewhat rosy) assumption and then if they lose their first 5 games of the season, Bayesian analysis will do pretty well in giving us an up-to-date probability of success .  On the other hand, an assumption might be made that the Blue Jays have a 5% chance of making the playoffs in 2013 based on their record of performance in the last 20 years, their 73 wins last year and the addition of the second wild card.  That is not a reasonable assumption, and if Bayesian analysis is applied when they win their first five games of 2013, the result will be a poor one.  Bayesian analysis treats all underlying assumptions as essentially of the same merit; evidence, weak or strong, ought to cause one to revisit (if not necessarily change) assumptions. 

Jonny German - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 11:12 AM EST (#267535) #
Regarding the question of opening day starter: I had a look at the Jays schedule up to the All Star break. I counted how many times each starter would be pitching the first game of a 3- or 4-game series, and how many times each would be pitching the last game of a series. The ideal scenario is to have Dickey pitching the first game of a series as often as possible and pitching the last game as rarely as possible, to get the maximum benefit of him messing up opponents timing. The schedule this year does not have extra off days in April and the Jays rotation is strong, so it's likely that the pitchers will stay in their "slots" until injuries force adjustments.

Number of times pitching the first game of a 3- or 4-game series:
#1 	5
#2 	8
#3 	5
#4 	5
#5 	5

Number of times pitching the last game of a series:
#1 	9
#2 	5
#3 	6
#4 	6
#5 	4
So by this logic Dickey should be the #2 starter.
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 12:20 PM EST (#267537) #
Awesome!  I was also interested in these numbers, but knew that if I waited long enough, someone else here would work it out for me :-)


Now we just have to bring this data to the attention of AA/JG.

Mike Green - Friday, December 28 2012 @ 02:27 PM EST (#267542) #
Johnson, Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, Romero would be unconventional.  Buehrle, Dickey, Johnson, Romero, Morrow would split up the lefties, but would also be odd after Romero's tough season in 2012.  Johnson, Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow and Romero would be conventional but might not take best advantage of the knuckleballer effect. 
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 29 2012 @ 05:41 AM EST (#267546) #
Watching the 92 World Series again bring back good memories. And I remember the Three Greatest Home Runs hit by a Blue Jay Player.
1) Roberto Alomar - ninth inning verses Eckersley. Up to that point, Toronto still had the "choke label" for many earlier series. Alomar also drove in the winning run in extra innings. Giving Toronto a 3-2 lead.
2) Ed Sprague's ninth inning blast verses Reardon tied the Series up at a game a-piece instead of trailing 0-2.
3) Carter's 93 series winning blast. The last time Toronto was relevant to meaningful games.
John Northey - Sunday, December 30 2012 @ 05:58 PM EST (#267556) #
Well, the Marlins are at it again - talking of trading Giancarlo Stanton who is a right fielder entering his age 23 season with the following OPS+ in his 3 ML seasons - 118-141-158.  Wow.  What would it be worth for the Jays to give up to get him, and how would the team shuffle players?  My first thought is Gose, Sierra and a couple of top pitchers plus see if they'll take Lind (might have to send cash), then move Bautista to 1B, Encarnacion to DH.  That would be a scary killer lineup.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, December 30 2012 @ 07:17 PM EST (#267557) #
Here's where I wish the Jays still had TDA, might be able to entice the Marlins with a package built around him.  Then again, maybe AA tried that already back in November and the Marlins said no.

Seriously, what might it take for Stanton?  A couple of the good pitching prospects - Sanchez and Osuna maybe?  And someone else like Gose?  Throw in Adam Lind if we pick up all his salary?

I would die to have Stanton on this team.




bullpen including Santos, Janssen, Delabar, Rogers, Oliver maybe, other guys...

greenfrog - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 12:31 PM EST (#267558) #
Stanton would be a brilliant addition to almost any club, but there are a few reasons why he might be a mismatch for the Jays: (1) relegating the Jays' farm system to bottom-tier status (assuming acquiring him requires the Jays to move something like Sanchez, Osuna, Gose and Jimenez), (2) arguably too many right-handed bats in a row, (3) Bautista and/or EE being unhappy (possibly) about moving off their positions, and (4) Stanton's salary should quickly soar in arbitration.

I would almost rather see the Jays make a play for someone like Chris Sale (who is likely near-untouchable), as Sam suggested a couple of months ago. The rotation in 2014 and beyond would really benefit from the addition of a young front-rotation SP.
TamRa - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 02:15 PM EST (#267559) #
I could see doing without Stanton - but the thing that would make me worry is the idea that if we didn't, NY or Boston might

Thomas - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 03:23 PM EST (#267561) #
The Jays don't have the players to get Stanton in the minors. Gose, Sanchez, Osuna plus would be beaten by some other team, I'm fairly sure.
Chuck - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 03:58 PM EST (#267562) #

The Jays don't have the players to get Stanton in the minors.

I agree with this. Stanton just turned 23 and already has 1500 MLB ABs with an OPS+ of 140. He appears poised to become one of the top handful of players in the game.

ramone - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 04:41 PM EST (#267563) #
Well it's not Stanton but this seems kind of fun:

Potential HOF #TimRaines will be an outfield and base-running coach for the #Blue Jays in 2013, Raines says.#MLB
John Northey - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 05:47 PM EST (#267566) #
Stanton is very unlikely, but boy would it be fun eh?  Just tell the Marlins to pick any 3 guys (maybe 5) from the minors.

Raines as a baserunning coach sounds like a very smart move as, last I knew, he has the best base-stealing percentage of all time career wise.

Richard S.S. - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 06:13 PM EST (#267567) #

Stanton just turned 23 and already has 1500 MLB ABs with an OPS+ of 140. He appears poised to become one of the top handful of players in the game.

Stanton despite having already turned 23, in 1500 ABs with only an OPS+ of 140, still hasn't become one of the top players in the game.                 That works.

hypobole - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 08:42 PM EST (#267568) #
Who changed the channel to Comedy Central?

I'm with Thomas and Chuck. Stanton is almost untradeable, at least for fair value. Marlins don't want/need established major leaguers and few teams have the prospect package to get it done.

Considering 38 year old Dickey, with only 1 year of below market value salary cost a Top 10 and a Top 50 prospect, how much more is a 23 year old star with 4 years of control worth?

As for the argument his salary should soar in arbitration, that is great, because arb is directly tied to on field production. If his salary soars, that means he produced at an elite level. Even if his salary becomes prohibitive in his final arb year, he still would be tradeable for a strong return, even with only a year of control left.

Here is fangraphs take from a month ago.
Original Ryan - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 10:30 PM EST (#267569) #
Players with at least 1,200 plate appearances and an OPS+ of at least 140 between 2010 and 2012:

                        OPS+  PA  
1    Miguel Cabrera     174  2033
2    Joey Votto         166  1842
3    Jose Bautista      165  1737 
4    Albert Pujols      154  2021
5    Ryan Braun         152  1991
6    David Ortiz        151  1594 
7    Prince Fielder     150  2096
8    Buster Posey       149  1238 
9    Josh Hamilton      146  1745 
10   Matt Holliday      146  1879
11   Paul Konerko       143  1868 
12   Evan Longoria      143  1547 
13   Robinson Cano      141  2074
14   Adrian Gonzalez    141  2092
15   Matt Kemp          141  1806 
16   Giancarlo Stanton  140  1498

Granted, Stanton ain't no J.P. Arencibia, but he's still a pretty darn good player.

Mike Green - Monday, December 31 2012 @ 11:40 PM EST (#267570) #
Stanton's 3 closest age comparables are probably Juan Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera and Frank Robinson.  So far, he's between Cabrera and Robinson, but closer to Cabrera but he is a better fielder than Cabrera ever was.  I imagine that the Marlins could do better than whatever the Blue Jays would be able to offer.

Raines as baserunning coach?  Yes, please!

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 01:18 PM EST (#267573) #

Stanton will be expensive, in acquiring and in keeping.   Much too rich, right now, for Blue Jay tastes.   A.A. needs to conserve his assets for mid-season acquisitions. 

This season will show A.A. what he'll need to do.   Is this a 1990-type Team, a 1991-type Team, or, a 1992-type Team?

A.A. keeps, (7) from 2012, Bautista, Rasmus in OF; Encarnacion, Lawrie, Arencibia, Lind in IF; Rajai Davis as Bench.   He brings in, (5-6) for 2013, Cabrera in OF; Izturis, Reyes in IF; Thole, Bonifacio as Bench with one more spot to fill.   A.A. keeps, (2) from 2012, Morrow, Romero for Rotation; but brings in, (3) for 2013, Dickey, Johnson, Beuhrle for Rotation.   A.A. keeps, (7-8) from 2012, Santos, Janssen, Delabar (mid-2012), Happ (mid-2012), Brad Lincoln (mid-2012), Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup in the Bullpen.   He brings in, (2-3) for 2013, Esmil Rogers, Jeremy Jeffress for the Bullpen with possibly another one coming in/returning.   Is this the best Team ever?   Let's see. 

electric carrot - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 01:36 PM EST (#267574) #
Not sure what he was like when with the White Sox or the Yankees but I remember Raines making a few boneheaded baserunning mistakes as an Expo (stolen bases notwithstanding.)  Does anybody know if he got better as he got older?
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 02:18 PM EST (#267575) #
I agree that there is almost certainly a better match out there for Miami if they want to move Stanton. Texas, maybe (start with Profar and go from there)?

I think the Jays could put together a competitive package if they included 2012 draftees (which I believe are ineligible to be traded until this summer unless as a PTBNL, e.g. Comer in the Happ trade). But this would absolutely gut the system, as the Jays would have to send the Marlins a mammoth package starting with Sanchez, Osuna, Davis and Stroman and tacking on multiple prospects like Smoral, Tirado, Barreto and/or Nessy. While such a trade might work for Miami in theory (a bulk shipment of high upside + youth), it doesn't seem realistic for either side.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 04:27 PM EST (#267580) #
Stanton is a player I'd be willing to gut the system to acquire, but as others have mentioned, it's hard to see a fit. Toronto's cupboard is pretty bare at the upper levels of the system, and I really doubt Miami would accept a bunch of guys who haven't even made it to A-Advanced yet. For a player of Stanton's calibre, Miami is probably looking for a couple of near-ready top prospects.
92-93 - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 04:40 PM EST (#267581) #
If I were the Marlins GM the only way I'd trade Stanton to Toronto is if Lawrie & Gose were coming back. There is no package the Jays could put together without Lawrie that would remotely interest me.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 05:27 PM EST (#267583) #
I think it's all about timing. When do the Marlins envision themselves being competitive again? No sense in trading for one good player who could hit free agency ahead of the curve.

I think I would prefer a package of elite prospects akin to the Teixeira or Colon trades of the past -- something that could provide multiple impact players while maximizing the years of control. For example, if St. Louis were interested, I would ask for something like Tavaras, Miller, two of Rosenthal/Martinez/Wacha, and a lower-level prospect or two with upside. No way St. Louis does that trade, though.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 07:16 PM EST (#267585) #
It's not just about timing as you can't ignore the risk element. I think I'm stating the obvious here, but a prospect in the low minors is a bigger gamble than one at the AA or AAA level. To give up a player like Stanton, Miami is likely going to want a couple of players who are as close to "sure things" as prospects can get. I just can't see them being interested in a package where the centrepieces have yet to prove themselves at the upper levels of the minors.

On the subject of timing, Hechavarria and Marisnick were key players in the earlier trade with the Marlins. If the Marlins didn't expect to be competitive at some point while those guys were still under control, there would've been no point in acquiring them. As such, I think it's safe to assume that prospects currently in AA or AAA will still be under control when the club expects to be competitive. It would be a ridiculously long rebuilding plan if they weren't planning to compete at some point within the next five to six years.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 07:42 PM EST (#267586) #
Right - hence my hypothetical trade with St. Louis.
JB21 - Tuesday, January 01 2013 @ 07:59 PM EST (#267587) #
Raines isn't going to be with the big league club, he's going to be the minor league roaming base running and outfield coach. Too bad, I'm actually friends with his wife and would've loved to see him with the big league club this year.
In Honour of the Best Christmas Ever | 77 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.