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I have heard through my sources that the Blue Jays have signed a new player, a pitcher by the name of Godot. Not much is known about him but Alex Anthopoulos and John Gibbons are waiting outside the RC for him to arrive. They are confident that his arrival will change the fortunes of the team.

Another thing we are waiting for is next Sunday when pitchers and catchers report. Will the price of a starting pitcher get down into AA's price range before then? The Jays have played a waiting game until now but from next weekend the stakes go up. First, a pitcher arriving after the start of camp can feel like they are behind their teammates and perhaps feel they are less a part of the team. Secondly, once spring training starts and in particular when games start, pitchers will start to get injured, and teams with a lot of money could decide they need to sign one of the remaining pitchers.

Kendrys Morales has been linked to the Jays. It remains unclear whether the Jays interest is planted by his agent to drum up interest or if the Jays have a genuine interest. Morales comes with the draft pick attached which drives down his value. One option for the Jays would be to sign Morales assuming they sign a pitcher, at the cost of a third round pick, and then trade Adam Lind. Morales is his own platoon partner whereas Lind needs a partner. To me it seems like a long shot and I would assume his agent is trying to generate interest but as a GM, I think AA should consider it.

I got around to listening to Shi Davidi talk on prime time sports from last Thursday. In addition to his point about some in the front office prefering the kid pitchers he made an interesting comment about the draft pick compensation. Teams that forfeit their pick don't just lose a pick, they also might lose financial flexibility. Approx. half the first round picks that signed in 2013 did so for less than the slot allocated to that pick. That difference can be used by teams to overpay players later in the draft. So if a team was to sign Santana or Jimenez and if they picked past he first ten protected picks, they lose their pick plus the dollar flexibility that comes with that pick.

So will this be the week when one of the premier starters sign?

Jays Sign Godot | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 07:48 PM EST (#282458) #
I was hoping they'd be able to get Beckett from the Dodgers.
greenfrog - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 08:43 PM EST (#282459) #
Nick Cafardo mentioned the Jays as one of the teams interested in Suk-Min Yoon. Yet another name being bandied about (of course, it could be another Boras-based bogus (BBB) rumour).

One of the things I'm finding annoying is the rumour that the Yankees plan to dominate the IFA market this summer by massively exceeding their spending limits under the new CBA (the penalty for doing so is not that severe - at least, not for a rich organization). It seems like a good strategy, but it's galling to have the Yankees not only spend $175m on Tanaka, but also spend $20m or so in Latin America in a year in which there are reportedly a lot of good prospects available.

I would love to see the Jays execute a similarly aggressive strategy, but it's probably too unorthodox and forward-looking for an owner like Rogers, as it would give the impression that the Jays were throwing away money in penalties in the short term.
SK in NJ - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 08:56 PM EST (#282460) #
Garza and Arroyo, two guys with no picks attached to them, got $12.5M and $9.5M AAV respectively (counting Arroyo's buyout makes it $11.75M AAV for two years assuming they don't pick up his 3rd year option). Since Arroyo is older, I'll exclude him from the comparison, but if Garza gets $12.5M AAV, then Jimenez and Santana should not get more than that given the compensation issue. I think both are looking at Kyle Lohse type contracts at best. If AA feels he can get it lower than that (which I doubt), then maybe waiting will pay off.

This seems like the ideal situation for the Jays to say "screw it" and sign a bunch of free agents at the expense of their post-1st round picks. Sign Jimenez, Santana, Drew, and Morales, while trading Lind, Happ, etc, to save some money. I know that's a pipe dream since it doesn't appear Rogers wants to increase payroll, but you can get these guys for 2-3 years tops and it would be an improvement. Fits right with the timeline for this team's "contending" years.
greenfrog - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 09:04 PM EST (#282461) #
Waiting for Godot has been frustrating, but it still doesn't compare to Passing on Yu (a much more painful production to sit through).
92-93 - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 09:38 PM EST (#282462) #
Davidi has been pushing the draft $ pool idea pretty hard, so I had already looked up last year's signings and slot recommendations and he's right. A lot of teams seem hesitant to forfeit draft picks, and it's probably because a good number of them were signing guys to below slot deals in round 1 so they could disperse that $ in later rounds. AA, on the other hand, seems to not have a problem playing hardball with his first round picks and losing that pool $.

I love the idea of trading Lind and signing Morales, but doubt they would double the cost of the DH before they improve the pitching staff.
Gerry - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 10:06 PM EST (#282463) #

Ken Rosenthal has an update tonight:

Ervin Santana's long international nightmare might be drawing to an end.

Santana's camp is talking with multiple teams and making progress toward a new deal for the free-agent right-hander, according to major league sources.

The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams in contact with Santanas agents at Proformance Baseball, sources said.

John Northey - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 10:17 PM EST (#282464) #
Well, the draft pick comp guys right now would have to sign for under the $14 mil they were offered.  Sucks for them, but a big learning lesson for all ML free agents from now on. If you get a qualifying offer, take it unless you are a $20+ mil a year player.  It'll be interesting to see what happens with Morales especially as I don't see him as worth $14 mil - FanGraphs has his value as peaking in 2009 at $13.5 mil and being worth under $8 mil every year since.  Now, a big part of that is a serious cost for his defense and position (-1.5 wins apiece) which is a major reduction in value (around $12 mil) if I read it right.  The 3 projection systems they list have his OBP in the 327-338 range, Slg in the 441-467 range.  Decent but nothing to go 'wow' about.   Lind is projected very similarly with 333-342 OBP, 443-469 Slg.   Lind is listed as more valuable at peak ($15 mil in 2009) and last year ($9.2 mil vs $6.2 mil) but has a lot of sub-replacement years (basically every other year is sub-replacement). 

Lind is the cheaper option with higher upside but needs a platoon partner, Morales is more predictable and expensive but can play everyday.  That seems to be about the extent of the differences.  I think it all depends on what the Jays could get for Lind in a trade. If it is a decent prospect or useful part (solid 4th OF, 2B who can be mixed in with Goins) or if they take Romero or Izturis with Lind for non-prospect then the 2nd or 3rd round pick is worth spending along with a bit of extra cash but not too much (ie: max $10 mil).

I only see it happening though as part of a series of moves starting with signing a starting pitcher and by clearing more salary with Lind. Who'd take that on is beyond me though.
92-93 - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 10:19 PM EST (#282465) #
And Wilner quickly shoots down the Jays involvement in Santana. Who knows...
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 09 2014 @ 11:17 PM EST (#282466) #
Samuel Beckett anyone.
Gerry - Monday, February 10 2014 @ 11:38 AM EST (#282467) #
Shi Davidi weighs in on the Santana rumours to state the Jays are not pushing forward to a deal.  The story implies that the Jays are waiting for a "deal" and if Santana and Jimenez get strong offers elsewhere the Jays will not be in play.  There was a tweet this morning that Jimenez and Santana were now looking for 3-4 years at $14M.  I suspect that if a team goes to four years it would eliminate the Jays.
John Northey - Monday, February 10 2014 @ 12:11 PM EST (#282468) #
If they get 4 years at $14 mil per I'd be impressed with their agents and not so impressed with the team signing them. Clearly at this point the players are getting desperate and I think AA has the right strategy (from a bottom line perspective) to wait them out.  I'm sure he has told them what he'd offer, roughly, but not bothering with paperwork until they agree on the framework.  Santana I don't see as likely to be of great value, most likely a 90's ERA+ with decent inning total. He could be in the 120's but with the dome and defense I expect a lot worse (lifetime 100 ERA+).  Jimenez is a Burnett type signing - wild but could be 'wow', and that is what I like the Jays to chase, go for the potential to be 'wow' even if there is a big risk of 'oh crap' as in the AL East you need some 'wow' to win and our rotation is lacking in that (Morrow could be, some of the kids have potential, Dickey obviously can be but none are remotely close to being a sure thing).

Meanwhile I keep hoping Baltimore does something dumb so the Jays don't keep coming in last :P
John Northey - Monday, February 10 2014 @ 12:24 PM EST (#282469) #
Btw, via B-R you see a couple of clear divisions for cash in the AL.

Super-Rich: Yankees ($195.5 mil payroll)
Rich: $149-$165 range: Boston, Detroit, Angels
Well Off: $129-135 range: Jays, Texas
Poor: $78-90 range: KC, CHW, Cleveland, Baltimore, Twins, Seattle, Oakland, Tampa
Welfare: $48 mil for Houston

Major gap between the poor and well-off, $39 million or about a 50% payroll increase needed to go from Poor to Well-off.  Slightly smaller gap from Well Off to Super-Rich in percentage terms.  If the Jays add a $14 mil pitcher then they shift to the lower end of 'Rich'.

Really, compared to the rest of the AL the Jays are not being that cheap.  There are 9 other clubs spending far, far less than the Jays and none are likely to jump anytime soon to the Jays level.  One free agent (which the Jays have suggested they want to sign) could shift them to the 2nd tier (highest non-Yankee / Dodger level).

In the NL you have...
Super Rich: Dodgers ($218)
Rich: $149-$165: Phillies & Giants (both in $150's)
Well-off: Washington ($130)
Middle Class: $90-129: St Louis, Cincinnati, Arizona, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Colorado (all in $90-110 range)
Poor: $78-89: Padres, Mets, Cubs
Poorer: Pirates ($70)
Welfare: Miami $41.2 mil.

A very big middle class in the NL vs the AL which hasn't got one.  The poor teams are close to the middle too.  But in the NL the Jays would be #4 in spending.  Overall in the ML the Jays are 8th out of 30.  Not bad really.  That should be plenty for a playoff team, yet somehow isn't.

Richard S.S. - Monday, February 10 2014 @ 02:14 PM EST (#282470) #
If A.A. signs Santana or Jimenez, getting the best value out of them would be to pitch them after Dickey. Right now we have Dickey, Buehrle and Who? In 2015, we have Dickey. Buehrle and Who? In 2016, we have Dickey and Who? In 2017, we have Who?

Another year and no playoffs, do you think Anthopoulos or Beeston stay, or are let go? I doubt A.A. would still be GM more than another two or three years. He'll never see the end of any contract that goes longer than three years. Very few people from the current team will be here beyond 2015 and 2016.
Gerry - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 12:05 PM EST (#282506) #
Phillies sign AJ Burnett.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 12:51 PM EST (#282507) #
No big surprises there - Burnett stays in the NL, and pitches close to home in Maryland.
greenfrog - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 01:29 PM EST (#282508) #
Good for Philly (not because AJ is a sure thing, but rather because of the limited risk) and a tough break for Pittsburgh. Did he get a no-trade clause? I could see AJ possibly being on the block in July.

Will Santana and Jimenez be able to match Burnett's AAV? I could see anywhere from 3/36 to 4/60 for each pitcher. Maybe 3/36 or 3/39 for Jimenez and 3/45 for Santana (wild guesses). Not sure whether either has enough leverage to finagle an additional year (vesting or otherwise). I could see their agents holding out for a vesting fourth year or team option with a significant buyout.

But who knows? Maybe the Jays are dreaming of an even smaller contract - something like 2/28 or 2/30 plus a third year team option with buyout.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 03:32 PM EST (#282509) #
Burnett has apparently signed for 1/16. 

I don't understand why anyone would pay more for Santana than for Jimenez, as greenfrog suggests above. Is there something I am missing?

ogator - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 05:49 PM EST (#282510) #
I have assumed all winter long that the Jays were going to somehow acquire a starting pitcher before the season begins and there is still quite a bit of time for that to happen. But I've started to wonder whether one can make a reasonable argument that going forward, Todd Redmond and/or Esmil Rogers are just as likely to be successful in the Rogers Centre as Ervin Santana or Jiminez for a fraction of the cost. So I ask the learned brethren of Batter's Box, is that a reasonable argument? Or perhaps the argument should be made that a combination of Stroman, Nolin and Rogers and Redmond are just as likely to be successful as Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jiminez.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 07:42 PM EST (#282511) #
I think that Jimenez adds significantly to this club, in part because he is likely to be better than Rogers/Redmond but also because the 3/4 slots will be filled at the outset of the season by pitchers whose durability is very much in question.  That doesn't mean that I think that the club should spend 4/60 on him. 
John Northey - Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 11:12 PM EST (#282513) #
For 3 years or less I like Jimenez.  Santana would need to be a 1 or 2 year deal only though imo as I don't expect him to be better than internal options.  Given Morrow's fragile body I would like another solid guy though.  Sigh...if only Romero hadn't crashed and burned (and burned and burned).
Michael - Thursday, February 13 2014 @ 03:37 AM EST (#282515) #
"But I've started to wonder whether one can make a reasonable argument that going forward, Todd Redmond and/or Esmil Rogers are just as likely to be successful in the Rogers Centre as Ervin Santana or Jiminez for a fraction of the cost." You can make that claim/argument but I think it would be clearly wrong. You can make the argument that the amount better is not worth the cost and there you are probably right. For a quick look here's PECOTA ranking of these four.
1 Ubaldo Jimenez 158.7 3.60 1.31 152 1.8
2 Ervin Santana 172.3 4.25 1.3 126 0.6
3 Todd Redmond 48.7 4.45 1.33 41 0.2
4 Esmil Rodgers 78.0 5.47 1.53 59 -0.6
Note that I think Redmond and Rodgers are getting extra credit in the predictions for pitching in relief and their rate stats as starters would likely be a bit worse (~+0.5 ERA IIRC). I think the main argument is not that you expect our hodge podge of replacement level pitching to outperform these guys - you don't. Instead the arguement is that these two free agents are only about 1 or 2 wins at best better than the replacement guys, and they command a steep price in cash and compensation picks. Is that difference worth it? Probably not.
92-93 - Thursday, February 13 2014 @ 08:12 AM EST (#282519) #
"So I ask the learned brethren of Batter's Box, is that a reasonable argument?"

Mike Green - Thursday, February 13 2014 @ 07:41 PM EST (#282542) #
ayjackson - Thursday, February 13 2014 @ 11:21 PM EST (#282543) #
I don't know if that story has changed, but it is consistent now with my understanding from Blair tweets and retweets that Fregosi was taken off life support, BUT IS STILL ALIVE, albeit in critical condition.
Jays Sign Godot | 24 comments | Create New Account
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