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The first week of spring training was somewhat like the off-season, not much to report. The Jays won three games then lost two. The Jays will pay seven games this week before taking the next two Monday's off. This year the Jays have only one split squad day and that is a day when one of the games is against Canada's Junior team.

There is no expected change to the 12 or 13 players targeted to head north. Ryan Goins is 1-8 at the plate, Anthony Gose is 2-9 and Kevin Pillar is hitless in 6 at-bats. Moises Sierra is hitting .333 and in the lead for the right handed DH, fourth outfielder role. Munenori Kawasaki is hitting 400 and doing his best to send Goins to AAA. If Goins hits .125 for the spring, would the Jays go with Kawasaki?

The one change I noted is that Melky Cabrera is running better than last season, that is a big plus for the Jays. Melky hit 455 in week one.

On the pitching side Drew Hutchison had the best week among the fifth starter candidates. Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond pitched twice and each had one good and one not so good appearance. Ricky Romero dodged a bullet and pitched a scoreless inning. Kyle Drabek was wild. Sean Nolin did OK but he would be bottom of the list for potential number five starters. Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez both gave up some baserunners. So Hutchison takes the early lead but he has options left and there are four weeks of spring games left.

On the bullpen side Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos have not pitched yet. Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar have looked OK. Neil Wagner and Aaron Loup were hit around a bit. Luis Perez hasn't pitched yet. Don't forget Chad Jenkins who hasn't allowed a baserunner in three games but he has been pitching late in the games. Dustin McGowan pitched a good inning, John Stilson pitched to one hitter and struck him out with the bases loaded. Jeremy Jeffress has been hit and miss.

So not much notable happened in week one of games, hopefully some players will step it up in week two.

Spring Games, Week Two | 164 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 08:49 AM EST (#282978) #
Did Happ throw in a B game yesterday? He threw only 1 inning in his 1st outing, and yesterday would have been his scheduled day.  I know the club is saying that Happ is their 4th starter, but it looks to me like Hutchison might get the nod when the bell rings with Happ, Rogers and Redmond fighting it out for the 5th spot.  Hutchison was apparently sitting at 93 and hitting 96 in his outing.  He is going to be very effective if that continues and he can remain healthy...

Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 09:51 AM EST (#282979) #
Happ is scheduled to pitch today. Here is the schedule from Gregor Chisholm:

March 3 @ Minnesota:

J.A. Happ (two-to-three innings)
Dustin McGowan (two innings)
Kyle Drabek (two innings)
Sean Nolin (one inning)
Mickey Storey (one inning)

March 4 @ Philadelphia:

R.A. Dickey (three-to-four innings)
Sergio Santos (one inning)
Steve Delabar (one inning)
Neil Wagner (one inning)
Marcus Walden (one inning)
Liam Hendriks (one-to-two innings)
Mike Green - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 09:54 AM EST (#282980) #
Thanks, Gerry.  I haven't counted right, forgetting that Buehrle and Morrow shared their first outing.
John Northey - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 10:38 AM EST (#282981) #
I figure Goins only loses the job if ...
A) the Jays get another second baseman
B) his offense is extremely poor - ie: weak ground balls mainly, few hard hit

Average, OBP, Slg are secondary in the spring to line drives. Right now it is just hitting the ball hard and getting the batting eye going that matter.  The only stat that can really jump out is home runs - if someone hits 10 in spring then the Jays will make room - but generally I figure it is hard hit balls (or avoiding them for pitchers) and BB-SO ratio (mainly for pitchers) that matters.

Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 01:27 PM EST (#282985) #
Today is the first day of instant replay. The Jays Twins game is one of the parks with the system ready to go.

Meanwhile JA Happ is struggling in the first inning.
Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 01:31 PM EST (#282986) #
And Happ is pulled in the first inning, four walks, two hits.
Lylemcr - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 01:52 PM EST (#282987) #

Please, Hutchinson and player X take the 4th and 5th spot!!!!  Happ might be best in Buffalo as the 6th starter.

Is there any chance that Cecil could become our 5th starter?

Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 02:26 PM EST (#282988) #
Dustin McGowan comes out for the third and walks two and allows hits to two hitters. The first four hitters reached. Then he got three outs and escaped. Jays trail 7-0 and don't have a hit.
Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 02:41 PM EST (#282989) #
Edwin gets his first spring chicken wing, a 2 run shot. Lawrie singled ahead of him.
Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 03:11 PM EST (#282990) #
John Gibbons reviews a play....and the ruling on the field is upheld.
Eephus - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 03:38 PM EST (#282991) #
Yikes. I know this is Spring Training and all, but wow.

Thought Nolin did a good job there.

Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 04:12 PM EST (#282992) #
The two best pitchers for the Jays today were Bobby Korecky and Mickey we need to hear more?

Andy Burns got another hit, now hitting 667 in a small sample size. Start getting in those 2B reps Andy.
katman - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 05:11 PM EST (#282993) #
I agree on Korecky, who entered a super pressure situation and did great. If he could do that consistently, he'd be a major league set-up guy at least. Instead, let's just say that today was a good day for him.

Storey was good, but there's a case to be made that the performance rather than the stats favor Nolin.

Meanwhile, Happ has looked poor, there's no way McGowan is a rotation solution, Drabek is the same guy he has been, Redmond is a question mark, and Esmil Rogers isn't jumping forward as an immediate solution. So glad we didn't bolster the pitching staff with any reliable major league arms. Now we can just wait for one of our MLB pitchers to get hurt, and the fun will really begin...

We have some spring training to go before any white flags go up - but if we don't see some notable improvements in the rotation, a white flag it will be.

greenfrog - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 06:38 PM EST (#282994) #
I've learned to care about health, not performance, in March. Put it this way: this was Josh Johnson's line last spring:

4-0, 1.13, 16 IP, 8 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 21 K

ST stats are largely meaningless.
jerjapan - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 06:49 PM EST (#282995) #
Anyone with recommendations for Dunedin or spring training in general?  I'm lucky enough to be taking my march break in florida this year.
Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 07:05 PM EST (#282997) #
Are you going to major league or minor league games?

Are you interested in the beach?
Eephus - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 07:10 PM EST (#282998) #
ST stats are largely meaningless.

I tend to agree, for the most part. Runs allowed and strikeouts seem particularly useless this time of year (lesser competition, guys out of position behind you, etc.)

If a pitcher is constantly wrestling with the strikezone (like Happ and Drabek, for instance, have been so far) then being slightly concerned is perfectly reasonable. At the same time, it's March 5th. These guys have plenty more innings and chances to get comfortable before the big games start.
stevieboy22 - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 07:13 PM EST (#282999) #
"Anyone with recommendations for Dunedin or spring training in general? I'm lucky enough to be taking my march break in florida this year."

I go down every year around the same time. Some of my basic advice:
- Have a car. Florida is really tough to get around without one.
- If you are going to a game in Dunedin, try getting your tickets before hand. Sometimes you can get them at the gate, but if its sold out and the visiting team travels well, you will have to pay an arm and a leg from a scalper. Otherwise you can usually get an ok deal on a site such as "vivid seats".. Thats where I go... You can usually get tickets near the plate for 20 - 40 dollars...
- I park in downtown Dunedin and walk down... You can find free parking there...
- I never stay in the Clearwater/Dunedin area... Im more of a fan of the Treasure Island/St Pete Beach area... Lots of great music and you can walk anywhere, which is great if you like to drink a few sodas... Clearwater Beach is suppose to be great for drinking and walking as well..
- I find the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area to be pretty safe. I usually go to some of the sketchiest bars you can find and always have fun stories. People tend to smoke in these bars; which is kind of weird...
- I like to go to Lennys (in Clearwater) when I am heading to Dunedin for breakfast.. Its not even that good, but its something that is part of the experience...
- Elis BBQ is a fun experience..
- They actually have a decent selection of craft beers at the stadium...
- All the stadiums are fun to go to because they all offer different things, my favourite is probably Brighthouse field in Clearwater.... Actually it might be Florida Auto Exchange, but I'm biased... I have been to most of them in Florida...
- There are TD Banks all over the place in Florida... Which is good if you use them..
Gerry - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 07:55 PM EST (#283000) #
I agree with steve. If you are going for baseball only you can stay in Oldsmar which is convenient for the parks but not on the beach or known for nightlife.

I have not stayed there but there is a large golf resort just north of Dunedin, Innisbrook, if that's your thing.
greenfrog - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 07:57 PM EST (#283001) #
Thanks for the recommendations - I've never been to spring training, but I'd like to go sometime, and it's nice to have some suggestions.

To be fair to JJ, he did have that one cold-weather start in Detroit that really seemed to derail him early on. His season might have turned out better had he been babied a bit more in the early going.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 10:40 PM EST (#283003) #
Toronto looks to play 30 games, or 6 Starts. Somewhere around the 19th of March, we should have the best idea of how this Pitching Staff is turning out.

There are people, (Jayson Stark ESPN for one) who think that despite what Toronto says to the contrary, they are still in on Ervin Santana - at their price.
christaylor - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 04:04 AM EST (#283005) #
From the radio, Happ said, "His slot kept slipping."

The coach replied, "Let's just go with that..."
christaylor - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 04:08 AM EST (#283006) #
Will this be next year's best AA move not-made/made?

Tune into the OK Blue Jays' Chatter 2015 (starting in June) for a preview.
christaylor - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 04:11 AM EST (#283007) #
Hm. From the radio. Happ was pitching backwards, for a lefty, that's unusual.

Or is he doing his best Shaun Marcum impression?
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 06:56 AM EST (#283008) #
Was he being interviewed on As It Happens?
sweat - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 09:27 AM EST (#283012) #
I would agree with most of these. You should also try and see the Jays in Clearwater against the Phillies. FYI they never sell out here, as they have a bunch of standing room tickets where you can also sit on a berm in the outfield. So ignore any scalpers unless you are paying cost.
Making the trip to the Yankees park is also a good idea. Both are nice diamonds.
I'm a big fan of El Huarache Azteca, a mexican place just off Bayshore, super cheap, and more authentic than I have had in Canada.
Quite a bit of the golf is cheap in the area.
Depending on where you stay, biking part of the Pinellas trail can take you right to the Jays park.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 11:08 AM EST (#283017) #
"- I park in downtown Dunedin and walk down... You can find free parking there..."

Suggestion - unless you've been to Dunedin multiple times, do not do this. You will spend way too much driving around looking for parking. Do yourself a favour and splurge on the $10 parking that can be had on anybody's front lawn right next to the stadium.

It was a shame seeing Iris' is no longer around.

Buy your tickets early, especially for weekend games. The scalpers were asking for $50 minimum on Sunday vs. the Yankees.
sweat - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 12:46 PM EST (#283023) #
There is a giant parking lot at the corner of Highland and Virginia Street with free parking. It would be about a 1 km walk (10 minute walk) south to get to the game. While everyone is lining up to drive out of there, you are having a nice stroll back to your car.
Definitely busy for Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox games. It would be smart to buy ahead.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:27 PM EST (#283026) #
I parked next door to the stadium on Sunday and it didn't take me more than 5m to get out. If you're looking to save $10, park for free as far away as you want. If you're looking to save time, don't bother.
short - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:43 PM EST (#283029) #
Any chance there will be a minor league spring training schedule available soon?
Gerry - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 02:02 PM EST (#283031) #

The minor league spring training schedules are usually not detailed anywhere.  Those schedules are fluid and subject to last minute changes so teams don't like to suggest they are set in stone. 

Generally minor league games start in mid-March.  I would guess games would start next week sometime, between the 10th and 15th.  Look at the websites for the Bisons and Fisher Cats.  Once games start they often print a quick summary.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 05:25 PM EST (#283036) #
Here are a few suggestions.

1. If you are staying for more than a couple of days, look at renting on or Anywhere from Palm Harbor to Clearwater, and closer to the water is best because you are also closer to the Pinellas Trail. As someone else mentioned, the Trail offers the opportunity to bicycle to the game and there is plenty of room to lock a bike at the park. As someone else mentioned though, you always need a car in Florida. Public transportation is usually for people without any expectations or who wear orange

2. If you are driving to the game, it's important to remember that everything seems to take twice as long in the area, simply because there are so many cars. It's a 16 hour traffic jam.

3. If you really are that hung up on saving a few bucks for parking, there is a lot at Main and Douglas that's free, but to get in on a Yankees/Phillies/Red Sox day it means be way early. Otherwise, Douglas north of the stadium offers lots of paid parking which is never more than $10.

4. Go to the Joli Mon off the Trail in Dunedin. The food's decent and they have Red Stripe. In Ozona (coastal Palm Harbor) is Molly Goodhead's and the Pig.

5. There are lots of movie theaters. Don't text once the trailers start. (Actually I like that rule.)

6. Go to Joker Marchant in Lakeland where the Tigers train. I think it's the best park. As others have said, Brighthouse in Clearwater and Steinbrenner in Tampa are musts too. The Rays have done a nice job in Port Charlotte which is south of Sarasota. The Pirates field in Bradenton is some 19th Cish fun.

7. The Jays park could be called the plainest. Nevertheless, under the 3rd base stands is a craft beer room with a good selection. Chad sells Bud and Bud Lite in the stands and sings during the Stretch. There is also good beer in Brighthouse down the 3rd base line. Joker Marchant has the best overall food/beer in my view.

8. Lastly, if it's a really hot day, save some money and buy seats up higher under the roof.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 11:00 AM EST (#283046) #

Luis Perez hasn't pitched yet this spring but was sent to minor league camp today.  Apparently he is injured and will start the season on the DL.

Casey Janssen throw on the side yesterday as he comes back from a sore shoulder.  If all goes well you might see him an a game on Sunday or Monday.

Gibbons expressed confidence in JA Happ today but also noted he has been battling a stiff back.

Gerry - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 11:15 AM EST (#283047) #
Just saw a Bisons tweet, minor league games start next Tuesday, the 11th.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 11:33 AM EST (#283048) #
I wonder if Santana is still holding out for a long-term deal.  If Josh Johnson signs for $7 million and A.J. Burnett signs for $16 million, you'd think that Santana would get $10-$12 million on a 1 year pillow contract.  I was wondering about his ugly HR/FB numbers of the last 2 years and how that might translate to the RC.  He actually gave up more home runs at home (in LA and in KC) over the two years- 35 to 30.  It's unlikely that he would have a significantly worse home/road split in the RC.  The issues would really be about divisional strength.

Usually pitchers aren't really happy about coming to TO for the pillow contract though...

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 12:37 PM EST (#283049) #
I bet Santana has had some pillow offers.

There is speculation that the Jays are holding fast at around 3/27. Would Santana bite at 3/36 or 3/39? Probably he's still holding out for more.

The other day Gregg Zaun, noted medical expert and raconteur, suggested that Santana might be a year away from TJ surgery. Make of it what you will.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 01:23 PM EST (#283050) #
I think Greg Zaun might be a year away from brain surgery. He is basically the Don Cherry of baseball at this point.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 01:30 PM EST (#283051) #
Not one Rogers employee has criticized the Blue Jays inaction this offseason. I wouldn't put too much salt in anything Gregg Zaun says.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 01:31 PM EST (#283052) #
(That was for Dewey.)
short - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 02:04 PM EST (#283053) #
Thanks Gerry.

I found this as well today:

I apologize if links are not allowed.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 02:21 PM EST (#283054) #
I suspect the Jays, and others, have deals on the table (verbal if not formal) for Santana but he wants similar to Jimenez' deal (4/$50).  After rejecting 1 for $14 mil he'd have a lot of trouble accepting one year for less I suspect, or 3 years for less than what he thought he'd get for 2 years.  His ego will be the biggest issue right now, but his biggest asset is teams having issues - if/when a contender has a starter go down for 2014 suddenly he becomes a lot more attractive.  But wait too long and his money starts to go down as he has less time in 2014 to play and teams start thinking of him as 'damaged goods' due to missing spring and the like.

A 3 for $27 deal would be reasonable from the Jays POV as $9 mil a year for a guy who has a 100 ERA+ over 180+ IP would be well worth that much I suspect (same as Dickey/Buehrle last year pretty much). I think Santana can do that but there is risk still.  I hope AA sticks to his guns here as I don't think Santana is a $12-15 mil a year player and 4 years is just too much unless it is at a bargain rate.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 02:32 PM EST (#283055) #
I too would be just as happy if the club passed on making a long-term commitment to Santana.  I liked Ubaldo a lot more.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 03:14 PM EST (#283056) #
Its not the passing on Ervin that would bother me as much as the inaction. If we didn't add pitchers in favour of Omar Infante then I could understand it. If we felt that Joe Saunders add give us the same as the other pitching options then that's fine. But right now I see alot of ifs in a lineup and Ervin represents the only tangible move (barring a trade) that could show intent.

Not saying that I want Ervin at 12-15/yr, I'm just saying that I want something that improves the team.
Dewey - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 04:04 PM EST (#283058) #
WTF?  Hey, I see new, mangled, or impossible-to-construe remarks here every day.  But I do thank you for your generosity, 92-93.  Something else Da Box has plenty of, on its good days.  As long as people make an effort to keep “led”/“lead”  and “fewer”/“less” straight, I’m content -- more or less.  One’s standards tend to soften with age, I find . . . along with much else.

Agree about Zaun.  Ours is the age of the gasbag.

[Weird, the preview page didn't include my post?]

John Northey - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 05:04 PM EST (#283059) #
Yeah, it is frustrating when the changes are...
Gone: Johnson, JPA, Davis, Oliver
Added: Navarro, Kratz

I mean, sheesh.  After last winter that is a pin dropping.  Navarro/Kratz (Thole as #3) are an improvement over JPA/Thole/Blanco.  But Davis vs Sierra appears to be a loss while Oliver & Johnson are to be replaced by in-house options.  Not exactly a big 'woohoo' of a winter.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 05:47 PM EST (#283060) #
I do think that getting rid of Arencibia is going to have a larger effect than one might think. Arencibia is a bad baseball player with power. WAR alone won't be able to measure the difference not having him as the everyday C will have on the team's performance.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 05:49 PM EST (#283061) #
I still can't believe AA didn't trade Rajai Davis last July and that he intends on replacing him with Sierra. Rajai is the perfect 4th OF/platoon partner for Lind.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 06:20 PM EST (#283062) #
Rajai is the perfect 4th OF/platoon partner for Lind.

And a very imperfect full time outfielder as Detroit is possibly going to spend a great deal of time to discover (now that Dirks is hurt).

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 07:22 PM EST (#283063) #
Baltimore is reportedly considering Santana (Ervin), and is willing to offer 3/30, but the asking price is apparently around 4/50 (per MLBTR).

It makes sense that Baltimore would be interested (team on the cusp of contention, would only have to forego a third-round pick, comp system creating a drag on market prices).

As I've said before, Baltimore should be an interesting comp for the Jays this year and next. One team sees value in the market for flawed mid-range FAs, the other apparently doesn't.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 07:34 PM EST (#283064) #
Also, will Jose Abreu be the latest IFA that the Jays regret passing on? Dave Cameron says the reports are positive and calls him a potentially top 10-20 hitter in MLB.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 09:02 PM EST (#283065) #
Rajai is the perfect 4th OF/platoon partner for Lind.

Except for the part where he didn't want to be a 4th outfielder or a platoon player.
JB21 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 09:32 PM EST (#283066) #
I'm pretty sure he signed up as a platoon player for the Tigers prior to the injury to Dirks.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 09:38 PM EST (#283067) #
Big thanks Stevieboy, ComeDeanByChance and others for the Dunedin advice! 
John Northey - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 10:31 PM EST (#283068) #
Well, Davis was $2.5 mil a year here the past 3 years, but in Detroit he'll be $5 mil a year.  Quite the jump for a guy whose #1 asset is speed and is turning 33 this year.  An outfielder with a lifetime 87 OPS+ who isn't viewed as a strong defender needs that speed to be an asset. Hopefully he can be good for Detroit as he was fun to watch here but I can certainly understand not wanting to pay him $5 mil a year to be the RH part of a platoon.  I fully expect Sierra to hit at least for a 90 OPS+ although Oliver has him listed as a 249/309/377 hitter this year vs Davis' 262/313/371 - is the speed enough to cover the $4.5 mil difference in cost for those 2?  I don't think so.
JB21 - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 11:41 PM EST (#283069) #
Considering we don't have to pay his salary, why not?

He hit .319/.383/.474 for an OPS of .857 last year. I'd take that yes.
Thomas - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 07:38 AM EST (#283070) #
Gerry (or anyone else), do you know the pitching schedule for tomorrow's game?
92-93 - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 09:14 AM EST (#283071) #
"Except for the part where he didn't want to be a 4th outfielder or a platoon player."

Well, that's what he eventually signed up for, so his desires didn't appear relevant.

"I fully expect Sierra to hit at least for a 90 OPS+ although Oliver has him listed as a 249/309/377 hitter this year vs Davis' 262/313/371 - is the speed enough to cover the $4.5 mil difference in cost for those 2?"

YES. First of all, those projections aren't vs. LHP. Secondly, Rajai is an incredible speed weapon off the bench. Thirdly, carrying Sierra as your 4th OF is stupid because it leaves you without a CF. Rajai, though not particularly good at the position, can handle the 8. If you can afford to guarantee JA Happ's contract for no apparent reason, you can afford essential roster players like Rajai Davis.

Gerry - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 09:49 AM EST (#283072) #

I do not know how is pitching tomorrow.  Usually Gregor Chisholm posts the schedule but his last one posted was for the 4th.

The Toronto Observer is a paper affiliated with one of the cities journalism programs.  Each spring training they send down some students to interview Jays minor leaguers.  There are a bunch of stories at this link.  Check out the picture of Rowdy Tellez in his story, he is a big guy.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 09:52 AM EST (#283073) #
There is one other option.  You could keep Gose and Sierra/Pillar, and have a shorter bullpen.  Unfortunately, this is a case where two of Anthopoulos' issues, cheapness and love of long bullpens (to preserve assets), conspire together to make for a lesser ballclub. 
Lylemcr - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 10:38 AM EST (#283074) #
Maybe Davis did not come back because the Jays wanted to put thier money somewhere else and give one of the young outfielders a chance to earn a spot.
92-93 - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 10:56 AM EST (#283075) #
In their pockets, presumably.
Gerry - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 12:37 PM EST (#283076) #


From Wilner....Buehrle, Stroman and Romero, who were supposed to pitch today, will pitch tomorrow. Hutchison moved to Sat., Dickey Sun

John Northey - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 12:48 PM EST (#283077) #
If you were going to platoon Gose & Sierra/Pillar then keeping 2 of them up makes sense but at this point the Jays still see Gose as an everyday player (or platoon one) so having him up right now would be a waste.

As to Davis...yeah, he was nice to have for a long time but c'mon, a guy with a high 80's OPS+ who is mediocre (at best) defensively in the outfield is not a major asset even with his great speed and especially not as he goes into his mid-30 range.

greenfrog - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 01:11 PM EST (#283078) #
Davis is a minor asset who can contribute a little if used properly. Maybe he helps the Tigers eke out an extra win or two or three this year.

The Jays could replace his value with a different type of player (for example, with OBP, power and/or defense instead of speed and decent LHP-hitting ability), but they would have to do so with a somewhat valuable player and not a scrub.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 01:18 PM EST (#283079) #
Having Gose up and doing some backup work fits perfectly well if you don't have another player who can back up centerfield.  He has had 2 years at triple A, and hasn't done much.  You can give him another year, but there is a lot of merit to the view that he'll learn better at the major league level (given his lack of success at double A). 

Like I said, there are 2 good options- acquire (or retain in the case of Davis) a backup major league centerfielder or use Gose/Pillar in that role.  Expecting Moises Sierra to back-up Rasmus is a bad idea; even if he hits better than expected, he'll give back with the glove what he gains with the bat.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 01:23 PM EST (#283080) #
Minor point because neither option is terribly palatable: I would imagine that Bautista (experienced there) would get the call in CF before Sierra. Probably Kawasaki or Izturis before either of them. Any of these scenarios would have to be a pretty big emergency one would imagine.

Of course Melky (if healthy) can cover CF about as well as Davis did too.
92-93 - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 01:33 PM EST (#283081) #
You're seriously obfuscating Davis' value by stating his OPS+. Rajai hit .297/.363/.455 vs. LHP the last 3 years. He hit .319/.383/.474 vs. LHP in 2013. He's very efficient stealing bases. He can play CF adequately. Those are the only things that matter when assessing his value to the current Blue Jays roster. I'd love if they had someone like him around.
92-93 - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 01:37 PM EST (#283082) #
"Of course Melky (if healthy) can cover CF about as well as Davis did too."

I saw Melky in person and while he does look like he's moving around much better than last year, I really don't think this is the case. He isn't even a good corner OF when healthy.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 01:41 PM EST (#283083) #
The Jays never really used Rajai properly. They gave him a ton of (largely ineffective) PAs against RHP. It seems to take the Jays an eternity to figure out the significance of a player's platoon splits, assuming they ever do.

Or, more likely, they're just too cheap or careless to acquire the right players to create an effective and versatile roster.
soupman - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 02:39 PM EST (#283084) #
i thought that once EE took over 1b, that Lind and Davis would be great platoon partners last year. even if just at dh. i was hoping they'd bring him back.

i still don't get why people felt like lind was such a no-go in LF...i mean, this year he probably can't move enough, but last year he at least showed up looking like he could reasonably be expected to settle under a ball. he did make it to the show at that position, after all.

Lylemcr - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 04:07 PM EST (#283085) #

I have read a couple columns raving about how Hutchinson has looked great so far.  He is throwing hard, locating pitches and having good movement. 

What have others heard? 

That would make me very happy to have him as #4 and an array of others until Stroman\Sanchez are ready to claim #5.

John Northey - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 05:12 PM EST (#283086) #
greenfrog - now that is a very, very good point.  The Jays really blew it with Davis over the past few years as he would've been perfect in the role of RH DH (well, in LF/CF/RF while regular gets a semi-rest at DH) but instead kept playing nearly everyday it seemed (over 300 PA each of the past 3 years, getting almost double the PA vs RHP as he did vs LHP). 

It really isn't that hard to do a platoon.  Heck, even Jimy Williams was able to do them (although he was fairly dumb about who to keep out everyday and who to platoon).  To not be platooning Lind and Davis last year was pretty close to inexcusable imo. LF should've been a kid (Pillar/Gose/Sierra) getting a full shot while Davis/Lind kept platooning at DH once Cabrera went down.  CF the same when Rasmus went down.  By those points it was clear this team was going nowhere so that would've made sense but instead Davis had plenty of playing time as did Lind.

Augustt: Cabrera just 1 PA, Rasmus 42.  Meanwhile Lind had 101, Davis 84 and kids Pillar 49, Gose 42, Sierra 31 = 122 total.  Now, all 3 kids had OPS in the 500's (sucks) but Davis was 604, Lind 736, and for scary Izturis 447 (Goins got 31 PA as the Jays just had to try something).
September: now they got smart - #3/4/5 in PA were Sierra/Goins/Gose giving them all a real shot with OPS of 909/514/756.  If they did that this year 2B would again be a black hole but Gose/Sierra would earn full time play.  Pillar though had just 61 PA with a 640 OPS, fewer PA than Davis who the Jays had to know was going away post-season.  What jumps out about September is just 15 hitters played (plus 4 pitchers coming to bat) despite the massive injuries - why weren't more guys called up?

So in September the Jays clearly decided Pillar was no more than a #4 guy (maybe #5) while Sierra and Gose were needing full shots and both did OK (Gose was very Slg heavy with an OBP sub 300). Thus why Sierra will be the RH DH/4th outfielder ala Davis and Gose the likely first call-up in event of injury.  If a 5th outfielder is needed I expect Pillar to get the call as he probably isn't top of mind for the Jays so if his development is weakened they wouldn't worry about it.
92-93 - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 05:15 PM EST (#283087) #
Rogers looked pretty solid on Sunday. I think he has a good shot at making the rotation. His numbers as a starter last year weren't stellar, but the 2.4 K/BB was decent and at least he averaged slightly over 5 innings per start, which is brought down by having to be integrated into the rotation mid-season from the bullpen. In 5 of his 20 starts he gave up 5 runs or more, and the Jays lost those games. In 3 of them he gave up 4 runs, but in all of those he went at least 5 (they did lose all 3 as well). The rest were all good if not great starts. Not the worst guy for a 5th starter in the AL East - he gave them a chance to win 3/4 of the time he took the mound.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 06:58 PM EST (#283088) #
How much will playing winter ball limit Rogers's innings this year?

With such wide swings in performance from start to start, you have to think that Rogers's issues are at least partly mental (and we all know that ninety percent of baseball is half mental). Last year he seemed to lose concentration at times. If he can improve the mental side of his game, he could really take off.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 07:53 PM EST (#283089) #
Tomorrow (March 7) might be the Blue Jay birthday day of the year.  The birthday boys include: Joel Carreno, Denis Boucher, Jeff Kent, Joe Carter, Jeff Burroughs and Galen Cisco. 
electric carrot - Thursday, March 06 2014 @ 09:12 PM EST (#283090) #
I may be the only one who thinks this but I say if at the end of April we only have 8 wins (like last year) we go ahead and write Manny Ramirez his last contract and see what happens from there.  I'll need something to keep me interested.

92-93 - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 07:21 AM EST (#283091) #
I don't see any reason to wait.
greenfrog - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 07:35 AM EST (#283092) #
Well, he is a proven RH bat that fits within the Jays' financial parameters.
92-93 - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 07:51 AM EST (#283093) #
"How much will playing winter ball limit Rogers's innings this year?"

The 3 starts he made? I don't see why that should have any effect. If the Jays thought his arm was tired, they shouldn't have allowed him to throw down there.
whiterasta80 - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 09:46 AM EST (#283094) #
"Well, he is a proven RH bat that fits within the Jays' financial parameters."

Says who?

Jokes aside we've gone down the former superstar road any number of times. Used to work very well for us (Winfield, Molitor, Morris, Canseco, Clemens). But lately it has been pretty awful (Vizquel, Thomas...).

I'll take far more interest in young kids coming up than an aging former superstar who has an addiction to estrogen-based masking agents.
92-93 - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 09:55 AM EST (#283095) #
Frank Thomas was awful?! He was the team's best hitter. I think you're confusing that with the next season when he was ran out of town.
Mike Green - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 10:35 AM EST (#283096) #
Ramirez is going to be 42 in May.  He hit .259/.328/.370 in triple A last year.  Tiger Williams had a saying for that...
soupman - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 10:38 AM EST (#283097) #
sure, sign manny - but please don't do it because you have put any stock into the club's ST record
Mike Green - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 11:16 AM EST (#283098) #
Incidentally, Inside Edge has an interesting breakdown on the differences between Goins and Izturis.  They break down the plays by routine, likely, even, unlikely and remote.  About 95% of a second baseman's plays are routine or likely, and the great majority of those are routine.  On those, Izturis was actually slightly better (98.5% to 97.6% on the routine and 100% for each on the likely). The difference was that Izturis had 8 plays even or less (1 even, 2 unlikely and 5 remote) and didn't make any of them, whereas Goins had 5 plays even or less and made 4 of them (3-3 on the evens, missed on the unlikely and made on the remote). 

To get a perspective on standards, the top defensive second baseman in the game over the last few years would arguably be Dustin Pedroia.  Over the period 2011-13, Pedroia made 99% of the routine plays (excellent), 91% of the likely plays (excellent) and 90% of the 30 even plays he had (superb).

Normally, you'd look at the metrics (UZR, DRS and so on), but the sample size for Izturis' deterioration in 2013 and Goins' performance in 2013 is extremely small.  In this case, I'd be inclined to put some weight on the Inside Edge reporting.  I doubt that Goins would be a 100% on the evens over a full season or that Izturis would be 0% on the evens.  Even if you make Goins as good as Pedroia at 90% and Izturis at 20%, it's 7-8 plays a year difference.  There are probably no more than 2-4 plays difference on the remote/unlikely.  Typically, you're talking about 12-15 plays of this type per year and no second basemen is going to average more than about 4 of them.  It looks to me realistically like you're looking at 9-12 plays difference or 7-10 runs per season.  Against LHP, the offensive difference is probably significantly greater than that, with the edge to Izturis. 

Eephus - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 01:28 PM EST (#283099) #
Those Rays spring training jerseys are just atrocious. Just pick one colour and go with it!
John Northey - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 03:13 PM EST (#283100) #
Interesting to look at the fielding stats Mike...
Odds of happening - Best among regulars 2012/2013 (19 qualified) - Goins 2013
1-10%: 25.0% - 100% (1 play)
11-40%: 64.7% - 0% (1 play)
40-60%: 89.7% - 100% (3 plays)
60-90%: 95.0% - 100% (7 plays)
90-100%: 99.6% - 97.7% (85 plays)

For the extremely easy plays Goins was behind (for 2012/2013) Johnson, Izturis, Kawasaki and the perfect group of Vizquel/DeRosa/McCoy/Lawrie/Hechavarria (made all the super easy plays).  The magic is him making 11 of 12 plays with odds of under 90% of making them.  Can he do that again in 2014? Guess we'll see but odds are strongly against it.
Gerry - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 09:29 PM EST (#283101) #
The Jays have signed Radhames Liz. Liz was a top Orioles prospect at one time, but he had trouble throwing strikes. He pitched in Korea for the last few years.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 09:57 PM EST (#283102) #
Ervin Santana is willing to sign a one year deal and as soon as possible.

Rogers/Beeston will look really, really cheap when Santana signs elsewhere.
JB21 - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 10:13 PM EST (#283103) #
Especially with Happ hurt.

Did anybody see Romero pitch today? The numbers looked encouraging. Apparently he k'd the last guy to end his 2 innings of work and the bench exploded and came out to greet him as he came into the bench, pretty awesome stuff.

I'm really pulling for Ricky.
Doom Service - Friday, March 07 2014 @ 10:53 PM EST (#283104) #
The good: Romero's fastball seemed a bit zippy. They didn't have radar guns, but his velocity looked decent. Four groundouts, no flyouts, one hit. During an in-game interview, Marcus Stroman talked at length about what an outstanding mentor Romero has been.

The bad: He bounced a number of pitches. He walked a guy. Pitching the 7th and 8th, he was facing exclusively AA and AAA guys. Control was ok, but didn't show much command.

It was better than a bad outing, of course, but I wasn't as excited as Buck and Jerry were.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 04:20 AM EST (#283105) #
The Jays should be all over one or more of Santana, Drew or Morales. These are players that have a good chance of improving the team. They won't cost a first-round pick or saddle the team with burdensome contracts. Prices have come down and at least one (Santana) is apparently now available on a one-year deal. Signing them will enable the Jays to avoid rushing prospects and/or starting their service clocks unnecessarily early. It would force players like Goins to earn a position on the roster. And if the Jays fall out of contention, these players will give the team useful tradeable assets.

The Jays need to stop looking gift horses in the mouth. This is a good buying opportunity.
Eephus - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 04:36 AM EST (#283106) #
Oh Ricky. I've watched him (on TV) a few times in the spring and the one thing that shouts out to me is: the stuff is definitely still there. I remember hearing some reports when he was coming through the minors (possibly in a BB interview with Brian Jeroloman) about how good Romero's raw stuff was (how his fastball had just crazy good movement, etc).

It seems like (from watching him this spring) his fastball moves so much that he's almost not sure where to target it. Romero wants to guide his pitches into the strikezone so very much that he holds on too long, and that results in the pitches we've seen that bounce six feet in front of the catcher.

At this point, I'll only be optimistic about Ricky if he's consistently dropping his breaking ball in for early strikes. He did that a couple of times today.

christaylor - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 07:59 AM EST (#283107) #
If Rickey can makes 17 starts and neither RA or Buehrle are hurt, then Jays make the playoffs. By the 10th start AA inaction looks amazin'.

OK Rickey, let's play ball.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 08:22 AM EST (#283108) #
They didn't have radar guns, but his velocity looked decent.

The stadium gun (I was at the game) showed his fastball 90-91. He had one 87, one 89 and I believe one 92. He looked a lot better than Marcus Stroman or Redmond. You're right that the batters he faced weren't regular major leaguers and any optimism should be tempered.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 08:46 AM EST (#283109) #
Rogers/Beeston will look really, really cheap when Santana signs elsewhere.

To whom? I seriously doubt that Toronto would give up a 2nd round pick plus the salary required for one year of Ervin Santana. I also doubt that Santana wants to use his one year contract pitching in Toronto for a team that finished last, against AL East hitters. Though stranger things have of course happened.

I think the only people calling a team spending $130 million on salary in the Toronto market, with the 9th highest salary for a team evaluated 21st out of 30 teams by Forbes, cheap, are people who are really in need of some fresh rhetoric.
Beyonder - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 09:02 AM EST (#283110) #
Boy, do I ever agree with all of that CbDC.
scottt - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 09:03 AM EST (#283111) #
Santa's agents want to wait until after the draft. He does not like the idea.

What would make sense would be to sign him and trade him. This way the Jays can recover the lost pick and Santana does not pitch in the RC for long.

If it's either play for Toronto until June or play in independant leagues until then... Can Rogers afford Erwin for 3 months?

At this point everybody is pulling for Ricky, even the guys competing with him.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 09:13 AM EST (#283112) #
Remember that the Jays would recoup the draft pick if Santana has a good year and then turns down a QO.

Rosenthal has reported that Santana wants to join a team with a good offense. Toronto potentially meets that criterion (Rosenthal mentions the Jays and O's as potential fits). And it has a strong Dominican contingent. It doesn't seem like such an improbable match to me.

I think the biggest factor is probably that the Jays don't feel confident enough to go "all in" on a FA by spending $12-16M or so on Santana. They'd rather go with the status quo and see how the season shapes up (while monitoring the trade market for financially cheaper options like Samardzija). I think the falling dollar is likely a factor as well.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 09:22 AM EST (#283113) #
At this point everybody is pulling for Ricky, even the guys competing with him.

What was truly gratifying yesterday was the crowd support. There was a 'bachelor party' group of guys having fun behind us yesterday, who were yelling "We want you back in Toronto, Ricky". The crowd was there for him.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 09:52 AM EST (#283114) #
It doesn't seem like such an improbable match to me.

Fair enough, though I wouldn't be nearly as optimistic about a future draft pick as you are. I think players will look more seriously in the future at the offer that the MLBPA bargained for them, which is a generous one, than they have been doing. That, coupled with the reasonably strong chance of a poor year from Santana make a future draft pick less likely. I perhaps overstated the unlikelihood of the match. I was largely responding to the suggestion that the reason it wouldn't occur was that the team is 'cheap'.
Geoff - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 10:07 AM EST (#283115) #
I'd be willing to bet the Mariners are the team that is signing Santana for 1 year. Possibly the Rangers, but more likely Mariners.

The Jays ought to sign Morales if he's coming without the big premiums free agent sluggers usually charge. Trouble is his agent is not going to let him sign for below market value. Don't know where Kendry would fit on the Jays, but there ought to be a way to make it work. Even as a regular pinch hitter and spot starter, he would add greatly to this or any ballclub.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 10:20 AM EST (#283116) #
MLBTR is reporting that the Jays are in play for Santana, offering 1/14.
SK in NJ - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 11:11 AM EST (#283117) #
CbDC, the Jays are spending $130M for a team positioned to finish last place. So logically, they either have to scale back (dump salary) or add on to help the current roster. Sitting on their hands and hoping for internal improvement makes how much they are spending now a pointless thing to bring up.

The Jays have two first round picks this draft, and if they were to sign Santana, might be able to recoup an extra pick next year if he has a good season. Losing a 2nd round pick for a MLB asset and then potentially turning that asset into a better or similar pick a year later is more logical than standing pat on a flimsy rotation and holding a vice grip on the 49th pick (or whatever the Jays 2nd rounder is this year) as if the odds are great that it will amount to anything to begin with.

Rogers will look cheap if they don't sign Santana because they have been spouting for months that money is not an issue. If it's not an issue, and term on a one year deal is clearly not an issue, then what's the excuse?
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 11:27 AM EST (#283118) #
Keith Law's Insider scouting notes on some Jays players:

- Stroman has a chance to be a SP in the majors (he has the repertoire and the durability to start), and more than a back-end one, if he can get his FB down in the zone. He notes that the A's worked to help Sonny Gray give up a bit of velocity in exchange for more consistent downhill plane to mitigate his fly-ball tendencies, and that the Jays need to do something similar with Stroman

- As for Romero…"it was ugly, 89-92, half of them in the dirt or way off target."
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 11:31 AM EST (#283119) #
Re Santana: if the price is in the 1/14 range, my vote is to go for it. The risk is minimal, he's a useful asset, and he could significantly bolster the rotation (not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of stability, i.e., avoiding cycling through a ton of SP arms and messing with the optimal development of the pitching prospects).
ayjackson - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 11:53 AM EST (#283120) #
I hope we get Santana at that price; but even more, I hope it is at the expense of Happ in the number 4 spot, and not Rogers/McGowan/Hutchison/Stroman in the number 5 spot.

I think Happ has an option, but I'd prefer if he were DFA'd and maybe traded for International $$$$.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:13 PM EST (#283121) #
It would be nice if Santana made it here.  The pitcher that I am most excited about though is Hutchison.  Time will tell.
CeeBee - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:16 PM EST (#283122) #
I'm all for signing Santana if only to buy some 3A time for Stroman. The rumoured 1/14m deal seems like a good deal for both parties at this point in time.
China fan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:21 PM EST (#283123) #
Still unconfirmed, but the usually reliable ESPN guy in the Dominican Republic, Dionisio Soldevila, is reporting that the Jays have signed Santana for $14-million.
PeterG - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:21 PM EST (#283124) #
done deal.....Santana is a Jay according to Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets.
JB21 - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:24 PM EST (#283125) #
New thread time?

Looks like AA's strategy worked out. I really hope Hutch gets the #5 spot.
China fan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:36 PM EST (#283126) #
Other insiders are tweeting that the Santana contract is not yet a done deal, but the Jays are "working on it" and "optimistic" that they can get it done.

The deal seems to make too much logical sense for it to fall through now. But weirder things have happened.
China fan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:41 PM EST (#283127) #
Another ESPN insider is saying that Santana is waiting until 5 pm to see if the Orioles will top the Jays offer. If not, he'll sign with the Jays. One would hope that Anthopoulos would be willing to add a bit more money if the Orioles match the $14-million.

The great thing about Santana, if acquired, is that it gives the Jays so much more depth for the rotation, since Stroman can begin the season in AAA and Happ can do an injury rehab in the minors, so the Jays have a #6 and #7 readily available (plus Rogers as the long guy in the bullpen). It's really the ideal situation -- but recognizing of course all the caveats about Santana's injury risks etc.
85bluejay - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:44 PM EST (#283128) #
Apparently, Santana will wait until 5pm and if he doesn't get a better offer, then sign with the Jays. With Jimenez, I was ok with a maximum of 3 yrs. - With Santana, because of all the rumours about his arm, 1 yr. was my max. comfort level - so, I'm thumbs up with this deal - of course, given the Jays luck, Santana will probably blow out his arm in April.
85bluejay - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 12:49 PM EST (#283129) #
the plus thing about Santana, is that he is a candidate to give you 200 innings - which is what the Jays need most - also, I hope Happ pitches well enough to move him by the end of spring - Happ, Sierra plus for Franklin?
85bluejay - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 01:06 PM EST (#283130) #
I'm rooting for Esmil Rogers and his changeup to win a rotation spot
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 01:19 PM EST (#283131) #
Apparently the O's have offered $13M plus incentives, and Santana is weighing the two offers.

I'm not sure I can take another Darvish-like missing out on a useful player.
christaylor - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 01:34 PM EST (#283132) #
"CbDC, the Jays are spending $130M for a team positioned to finish last place."

Don't get fooled by the name, regression to the mean works both ways.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 01:46 PM EST (#283133) #
Rosenthal confirms that the O's are in the mix for Santana (as they should be). Sounds like it might be 50/50 he ends up in Toronto.
China fan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 02:30 PM EST (#283134) #
Now some sources are predicting that the Orioles will nab him. This is a bit of a roller-coaster. Not quite Yu Darvish, but would still be very frustrating if the Jays fail to land him. I agree with those who say that the Jays have no reason not to acquire him. There will be a huge amount of fan dismay and cynicism if they don't do the deal.
JB21 - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 02:33 PM EST (#283135) #
You need to see what he signs for with the Orioles before you jump to conclusions. That is IF he does sign with the O's.

The frustrating part is that it was leaked as a done deal for 1/$14MM.
Mike D - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 03:18 PM EST (#283136) #
Losing out to Baltimore in order not to sign any player for less than a below-market steal? If that happens, I would love to see a logical argument as to why last place isn't guaranteed. Just absolutely ironclad ensured.
China fan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 03:30 PM EST (#283137) #
The notion that a sports result is "iron-clad guaranteed" is what creates fortunes for Las Vegas casinos and inflicts heavy losses on over-confident gamblers every year. Nothing in sports is guaranteed. Let the season play out, and hope that nobody remembers to check your predictions at the end of the season.
Original Ryan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 03:32 PM EST (#283138) #
Max Wildstein is the one on Twitter who reported that it looked like Santana was heading to Baltimore. Is Wildstein a credible source? I hadn't heard of him until today.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 03:37 PM EST (#283139) #
Rosenthal is reliable - he's the one I'm waiting to hear from. Or one of the ESPN sources.

The Canadian reporters mostly seem to repackage / retweet the scoops of Rosenthal and the other leading US or Latin American journalists.
christaylor - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 04:05 PM EST (#283140) #
The first Jays talk of the year is about to start, I'm curious how it'll go. I'm absolutely baffled by the defeatism and "let's get into perpetual rebuild mode exhibited by some, for lack of a better word, fans on this and other message boards.

I have a list of questions:

1. Were you optimistic this time last year and if so, why?

2. Do you believe in the concept of addition by subtraction?

3. Have you ever been part of a newly assembled team in the course of your own employment? If so, did all you and your co-workers come together quickly?

4. Do you think the Blue Jays hit the "fold" button last year at some point? If so, why not?

5. What made you think that AA's moves were for one year only last year?

Just curious -- I'd like to see my childhood team do well at the box office and in the ratings. I'd like to go back to the days when baseball wasn't pre-empted for the Memorial Cup on the local sports channel. I get it, it has been a rough twenty year stretch, but, y'know, worse -- you could be a Cubs fan.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 04:08 PM EST (#283141) #
If Santana signs with the O's, it would be shrewd in an additional, less obvious sense. By signing him, Baltimore would give up a third-round pick. But by making him a QO next off-season, they could potentially gain a sandwich-round pick.

This, of course, in addition to having another useful pitcher on the team in 2014 at a bargain rate (factoring in the drastically reduced risk of a one-year contract).
PeterG - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 04:37 PM EST (#283142) #
It has just been reported on MLBTR that Bautista and Santana have both left Peformance agency for Alou.....could this be part of the deal? It certainly seems like an interesting, and perhaps related, development.
Mylegacy - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 05:11 PM EST (#283143) #
Methinks we lose this one...AA always says - "if you hear about it it's wrong." AA is the Ninja dude...I think it's pretty obvious that Santana wants the O's - he's using the Jays as a stalking horse. Pity - freakin' pity.

Oh well...Rogers and Hutch looked pretty good today.

China fan - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 05:25 PM EST (#283144) #
The Jose Bautista factor is an intriguing one. Not only does he share a new agent with Santana (after both left their old agent at the same time), but Bautista is also openly lobbying for the Jays to sign Santana. So if the Jays fail to sign Santana, they might be risking the wrath of their top hitter. Here's what he told Jon Morosi today:

"We're missing Josh Johnson, who was supposed to be a big key to our rotation. One-fifth of your rotation shouldn't be overlooked. That's important. That's why it's so important that we add (Santana)."
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 06:00 PM EST (#283145) #
Losing out to Baltimore in order not to sign any player for less than a below-market steal? If that happens, I would love to see a logical argument as to why last place isn't guaranteed.

Well one logical argument would begin with noting that your own is based on no facts at all. You have no firsthand knowledge of the negotiations, or of what is in the mind of the negotiators, only a theory that the FO is not signing a player (who you assume wants to sign with Toronto) solely because they are bent on a below-market steal.

I suspect if Santana wanted to be a Jay he would be by now. If the rumors and reports are true, the Jays are in the weak bargaining position of having to allow Santana to shop their offer. That's about as weak a position as it gets. If Santana wasted to be a Jay I suspect he would be by now. Instead, it appears that the Toronto offer, if there even is one, is only of interest to him in that it can be shopped. "Won't someone, anyone, please match or beat this offer?"
Mylegacy - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 08:20 PM EST (#283147) #
"...two more teams..." now in the Santana Sweepstakes.

Jay's only seem to win when the game is over before we even know it's been played...sigh...

greenfrog - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 09:28 PM EST (#283148) #
This flurry of activity may just have been a ploy to revive the Santana sweepstakes, if only to get him the best possible pillow contract. He's still represented by an agent and these shifts in approach don't happen by accident.

Remember also that the goal is to land a big contract next off-season (the prize isn't an extra million right now). Pitching in the RC for a year probably isn't the best means to that end. And who knows - some team might make a multiyear offer after all.

The Jays need to know how high they're willing to go and stick to that number. Maybe they land Santana, maybe they don't.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 10:06 PM EST (#283149) #
I was more hoping we could pick him up at 3/27-3/30. A 1 year deal isn't awful, but could make for some tough decisions next year. First world problems I guess.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 10:06 PM EST (#283150) #
The usual A.A. parameters on whether or not it's a deal/ under negotiation/offer made don't always apply. When the other side leaks like a sieve, nothing is secure.

Bautista's influence may be the deciding factor. I don't know what else will.
Geoff - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 10:45 PM EST (#283151) #
From what I read today, Santana doesn't have a new agent. His agent simply left the organization (Proformance) that he was member of, to go out on his own.

Think Jerry Maguire, except without the notions of making the world a better place and the cheesy love story that goes with it, for Mr. Jay Alou.

I'm not sure if it was the honchos of Proformance who were demanding that Alou not permit Santana to accept a one-year pillow contract but it does seem suspicious that Alou's leaving that group and the change of contract course do coincide.

Show me the offer sheet, AA. Show me the offer sheet that I can shop around.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#283152) #
Santana was represented by Bean Stringfellow. He fired him and is now represented by Alou, if I understand correctly.
Beyonder - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#283153) #
"the Jays are in the weak bargaining position of having to allow Santana to shop their offer. That's about as weak a position as it gets."

True, but all you have to do to end that dynamic is threaten to pull the offer, or give the other side a deadline for acceptance. I doubt the Jays would let themselves be used for leverage in this way for very long -- not bargaining 101 - but probably 201.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#283154) #

greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#283155) #
Santana has some leverage, in that the Jays' need for a starting pitcher is strong. Also, Jays fans are getting antsy, making it less palatable for AA to simply announce, we're pulling our 1/14 offer. There is pressure on the front office to land Santana. As a result, Santana can probably string the Jays along for longer ("days," perhaps) than he would normally be able to.
Beyonder - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#283156) #
Where did all this leverage materialize from? Two days ago the Jays were going to stand pat and have open auditions for he 4th and 5th slots in the rotation. Now all of a sudden Santana is in the drivers seat? No one even knows if that offer was even made.

AA seems more than willing and able to deal with fan disenchantment.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#283157) #
Because fans' expectations are being stoked. Just because AA has been saying that he's comfortable with his current roster, doesn't mean that he is - or that he's immune to mounting fan disenchantment. And it doesn't look good when one of his rivals, a team that also needed starting pitching, goes out and adds -both- of the starting pitchers he said would be an upgrade to his pitching staff, at a discount (and adds at least one bat to boot).
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#283158) #
Also, many Jays fans have started to suspect that the team isn't really serious about building a championship team, in part because they've passed on every free agent (and almost every IFA) of note over the last few years. If they now say that they're pulling their one-year offer to Santana, who would very likely help the team, it would only cement this impression and risk alienating more fans, both now and when the team fails to compete during the season.

So yes, Santana has some leverage with the Jays.
Original Ryan - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#283159) #
Santana was represented by Bean Stringfellow. He fired him and is now represented by Alou, if I understand correctly.

It appears that Santana was always represented by Jay Alou, who was part of Stringfellow's firm. Alou has since left, but has retained Santana as a client. From Alou on Twitter:

Jay Alou ‏@JAloujr Mar 6
@Ken_Rosenthal Ervin Santana is still represented by the same person that he first signed with 15 years ago. No change

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#283160) #
Where did all this leverage materialize from? Two days ago the Jays were going to stand pat and have open auditions for he 4th and 5th slots in the rotation. Now all of a sudden Santana is in the drivers seat? No one even knows if that offer was even made.

I was thinking much the same this morning. They announced specifically that they were not involved with any free agents in order to not be used as salary leverage, as they apparently were with Jimenez. Now, they are being publicly used as salary leverage. "If I don't get a better offer than $14 million by 5pm ET I'm signing with Toronto. What? No better offer? Well then, who said anything about 5 PM, let's wait!!"

It looked to me like yesterday was all about just squeezing a bit more money out of Baltimore. But maybe Alou has been able to push the restart button on the Santana free agency, getting Toronto back in as the leverage team despite the earlier efforts of the FO to not get played. We don't even know if there is an offer on the table but it's all over that Toronto is standing as the longing suitor with a $14 million offer in their hand, pleading for him to sign. The most predictable part is that if he signs elsewhere we'll hear the popular and baseless claim that if Toronto had only offered a bit more, if they'd only offered incentives, or another million, he would have signed in Toronto.

In any event, I obviously don't know about Jay Alou's capital arrangements with his old firm and what he may be walking on, but it looks like he's walked into his own firm with at least a couple of clients and put his name on the map with Casey Close, while Scott Boras is left to playing with some Toronto mooks through the media after giving Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew what looks like bad advice.

Well played Mr. Alou. Having announced that they wouldn't be used for leverage, the Toronto Blue Jays are back to being used as leverage. And well played KC. They correctly predicted that Santana would reject their qualifying offer and get a draft pick out of losing a player that they have recently made clear they have no interest in if they can get a pick instead.

I still hope he comes to Toronto because the Jays are desperate for pitching. He's a Dominican not an American, and may be swayed to a team with a lot of Dominicans, even if it's one that finished last and is not in the US and has a terrible park. Perhaps the best chance at a pitching addition that Toronto has.
Beyonder - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#283161) #
It's not a question of pulling it -- just say it is open for 24 hours, and if he doesn't accept, he doesn't accept.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#283162) #
This is Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe's take:

The bidding for Santana had come down to the Orioles and Blue Jays Saturday night, according to a major league source. The Rockies were also in it for some of the day, while the Phillies did their due diligence but did not appear to be in the hunt. A one-year contract worth between $13-$14 million seemed to be in the cards for Santana. Teams were wary of his past elbow issues and there had been talk of a John Lackey type clause (play for the minimum if he had to undergo Tommy John surgery) if he signed a longer deal.
92-93 - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#283163) #
"The most predictable part is that if he signs elsewhere we'll hear the popular and baseless claim that if Toronto had only offered a bit more, if they'd only offered incentives, or another million, he would have signed in Toronto."

Baseless? It's pretty freaking clear that Ervin Santana is looking to sign with the team that offers him the most money. Keep up the rhetoric.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#283164) #
Keep up the rhetoric.

And you keep up the gratuitous and anonymous personal shots, 92-93. It's important to play one's long suit.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#283165) #
I'm not sure that the above conclusion is 100% clear. Santana might be willing to sign with Toronto for, say, $15M and Baltimore for $14M.

Santana might have tax or other reasons for adhering to a sliding scale.

This is all hypothetical, of course. It might simply be a straight-up auction.
PeterG - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#283166) #
If AA was willing to offer Burnett 16 mil, as was reported, he should be willing to do the same for Santana, who imo, is the more productive of the two. We need a stopgap while prospects develop properly, not to mention a more exciting season along the way.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#283167) #
Santana's agent will tell Toronto if it's the case that he will definitely sign with Toronto with any specific 'sweetener'. The club doesn't on it's own initiative keep upping its own offer. That's called 'bargaining with oneself'. This was the point I was trying to make above. If it's the case that the difference between the offer and a deal is a specific incentive, or an amount of salary, or some other feature, then it's up to the player's agent to make that offer. He may say simply, 'if you do this, we have a deal'.The player doesn't necessarily want to do that if either, he's not really that keen on that landing spot, or if he simply thinks he can get more and wants to wait. It will be the player that decides if the team is within earshot of a deal.

But the team doesn't, and shouldn't, unilaterally improve its offer and bay at a receding horizon, without an indication that it will result in a deal. And one can't infer from a player signing for x with team a, that the player was prepared to sign for either x or x+ with team b and that team b refused that offer.

85bluejay - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#283168) #
What's with all the gnashing of teeth, jumping out the window sentiment over Santana? While there's certainly aspects to Santana's game to like - his experience, likelihood of 200 plus innings, deepening the Jays pitching options - he's no panacea - he's a pitcher with a suspect elbow who throws a lot of sliders, his career has been consistently inconsistent, he would be a HR prone pitcher pitching in a HR friendly ballpark and he has pitched horribly at Rogers centre - While I would give a thumbs up to a 1 yr. 14 mil. deal with the Jays, I would not be panicking if he signed elsewhere including Baltimore, would not get into a biding war for him, would not be crapping on AA/Ownership over this and it certainly wouldn't drastically alter my outlook for the coming season.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#283169) #
Well, he was the #6 free agent on Keith Law's top 50 FAs list for 2014. In November, Law wrote: "He's one of the best free-agent starters available, and should get four years and top-of-the-market money as a result."

Even with his flaws, the fact that he's now available for around 1/14 - roughly $100M and four years less than Santana's original ask - probably explains the spike in fan interest. The Jays have had major starting pitching issues over the last two seasons. They could use the rotational depth, and this is probably their best chance to really shore it up until the end of July.
Dewey - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#283170) #
But the team doesn't, and shouldn't, unilaterally improve its offer and bay at a receding horizon, without an indication that it will result in a deal.

I’m interested in the metaphor, cdbc.  What do you mean exactly?  Baying at the moon seems to be involved, but to what end isn’t clear.  (Why *do* wolves bay at the moon, anyway?  I’m never sure what that might signify, as a metaphor or in actuality.)
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#283171) #
Not sure Dewey if it's a mixed metaphor or simply a bad one. Receding horizon bargaining sometimes refers to one party moving the goalposts (to mix metaphors again)back and putting a deal farther away. If one party is willing to bargain with them self and unilaterally increase their own offer, the other is encouraged to wait and see how far they will go, which may be beyond what was iniyy required.

It may well be that Santana wants to go to Toromto. The issue noway be no more than the Toronto premium, a concept the Front Office no doubt hates. But if that's the case, then his agent will tell them where the deal is. If a deal doesn't get done with Toronto he didn't want to come here. It won't fall apart over peanuts.
Dewey - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#283172) #
O.K., thanks for the response. It’s the words “bay at” that were throwing me, I think. I follow the idea of chasing a moving target/receding horizon.

 And I wish they’d make up their minds soon.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#283173) #
Keith Law's scouting notes on three Jays players from their ST game against Minnesota:

- Hutchison "looked solid with his fastball/changeup combination, not quite where he was before Tommy John surgery but much of the way back." He had more control than command. His delivery looks good. The Jays should feel comfortable with him as the fifth starter, should they choose to put him there

- Drabek showed below-average stuff across the board

- Law saw some issues with Lawrie's mechanics at the plate, as he was on top of everything, hitting almost every pitch into the ground. It might have been an off-day for Lawrie, but Law's assessment is that Brett "has raw tools, but this swing isn't working for him -- he hit .265/.320/.401 over the past two years -- and he doesn't walk or play enough defense to be an everyday solution if he's not hitting for a high average."
92-93 - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#283174) #
"and he doesn't walk or play enough defense to be an everyday solution if he's not hitting for a high average."

That's a pretty strange comment; you don't hear anyone say that about Manny Machado or Nolan Arenado, for instance. Is Law really still caught up in the idea that Brett Lawrie can't handle the infield, like he was saying the entire time he was a prospect?

I find the Drabek comments interesting, especially the part about his curveball, which was heavily touted after the Halladay trade. He was supposed to have an MLB-ready curve but when he got to the bigs we never really saw it, perhaps because he so frequently fell behind. Now Law is saying it isn't even a good pitch anymore. At some point you have to give up on Drabek as a starter and see if you can get whatever you can out of him in the bullpen. The list of MLB SPs who have undergone 2 TJs is very short, as is the list of guys who have their first one at his young age.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 09 2014 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#283175) #
Machado is two and a half years younger than Lawrie, so his 279/309/435 career slash line might have more upside than Lawrie's.

Arenado is also over a year younger than Lawrie, and his dWAR in his rookie season (3.6) is higher than Lawrie's best to date (2.3 in 2012).

Lawrie's defence should be able to carry him far, but a 720 OPS (320 OBP or so) at 3B leaves something to be desired, especially for a "natural" hitter. A couple of years ago, Law talked about him having one of the sweetest RH swings in the game. What's going on?
greenfrog - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#283176) #
Jeff Blair's latest column echoes quite closely the sentiment of various posters in this thread.
scottt - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#283190) #
Drabek has four pitches but never commanded any of them.  It's probably best to let him try to regain his previous form.  Even if he was lights out in the pen, there would be no room for him there.

cybercavalier - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#283197) #
Drawing idea from another post that the Jays being cheap if not making competitive offer to Erwin Santana, the Jays shall sign a free agent 2B for 1 year whose main asset is his batting, especially batting for power. If the Jays wants to look for an economical solution in buying Goins one season in developing his hitting in AAA, a batter like former Jays Ryan Roberts could be a choice. He ranked 28th all time HRs among active second basemen and he is a Cubs` NRI this spring..... Could his batting be complementary to the skills of Kawasaki, Izturis and Tolleson ?
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