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On Saturday it seemed as though Ervin Santana was about to sign with his new team.  By 5pm that thought was gone.  The news from last week suggested that Santana had sort of changed agents.  He still has the same agent but the agent was no longer with the same company and the principal of the agency who had been calling the shots was now out of the picture.  With that change the internet was alive with the news that Santana had decided to sign a one year deal with a team and the Jays were one of the teams that were rumoured to be interested.  There was a flurry of activity on Saturday and then silence.  There could be a decision in the next few days.  Ken Rosenthal is reporting this morning that several of the Jays players made a come to the Jays sign and had a photo taken of themselves holding it before sending it to Santana.  Santana is from the Dominican Republic, like many of the Jays players.

Meanwhile the Jays continue to play without generating much news.  Other than Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera no-one is getting buzz from their hitting.  RA Dickey pitched well on Sunday, other than that the starters have all been giving up runs.  We have by my count eleven pitchers hopeful of a job in the starting rotation.  Of those eleven, just one has a WHIP under 1.33.  The one is Drew Hutchison at 0.8.

There are many stories in the press about how much more settled this team is this spring, but it has yet to show itself on the field. 

Today is an off day with games resuming tomorrow.

Spring Training, Santana Watch Edition | 143 comments | Create New Account
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ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#283177) #
John Heyman's report on CBS is fairly close to Rosenthal except he expresses some doubt as to whether Baltimore has offered anything more than $13 million and suggests that Alou may be able to get a longer deal with the O's.

Sources suggest the Toronto Blue Jays have offered in the range of the $14-million asking price while the Orioles were slightly below that. There was some idea Baltimore might be able to enhance its offer by adding an incentive package but there was no word as to whether they had done that.....The Orioles...might be amenable to a three-year deal, as well, depending on the price.
soupman - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#283178) #
the fact that this is dragging would seem to indicate that they (alou and santana) are looking for more. that doesn't bode well for him coming to toronto, as aa has no track record of winning any bidding wars that i'm familiar with...or even appearing to have any wherewithal in such situations.
Mike Green - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#283179) #
I would be leery of making a multi-year commitment of money to Santana.  I just don't think he is as good as Jimenez.  If the choice is 3/35 or nothing, I'd probably stay away too. 
Mike Green - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#283180) #
Brandon Guyer is out of options and may be released by the Rays.  He'd probably be better than Sierra or Pillar in the 5th OF/platoon DH role. 
greenfrog - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#283181) #
An interesting tidbit in Blair's column on the Santana situation is that the Jays matched the Phillies offer to A.J. Burnett.
Brent S - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#283182) #
I've always liked Guyer. His ability to hit lefties as well as play CF would certainly help the Jays.
christaylor - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#283183) #
Rotowire has a rumor about ES having a long term offer, but prefers a one-year deal (one of the teams mentioned is the Jays).

How seriously should one take the DR connection?

Oh, all I am sayin' is give Sierra a chance. Well maybe Gose too...

Perhaps the kid pitchers... let it be.

BalzacChieftain - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#283184) #

The Cardinals have signed Aledmys Diaz:

A 4-year deal, that is speculated to be in the $15-20M range. I wonder if that will move him up past Kolten Wong on the depth chart or not, or if he'll be seeing significant time in the minors. They also have Mark Ellis slated for a utility role and of course signed Peralta in the offseason, meaning they have some decent middle infield depth. A possible trade partner for the Jays to get a two-bagger?

BalzacChieftain - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#283185) #
Edit on last comment: Apparently Diaz's deal is 4 years, but only for $8M total. That would make more sense for the Cards to stash him away for depth and insurance purposes, at that price. And perhaps some healthy competition for Wong.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#283186) #
Dave Cameron at Fangraphs has put together a model for either predicting or explaining this year's free agent deals, with length of contract and AAV. He ends up giving Santana a market value of 3/35 and suggests that Santana's agency failed to adjust from their ludicrous first position in time to get a deal while the money was still there to be spent.

Meanwhile, Rich Griffin at the Toronto Star, has instead gone to the Star's shallow well of explanatory systems and caricature to insinuate that collusion is responsible for poor Ervin's plight.
Mike Green - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#283187) #
Thanks, CBDC.  I hadn't seen Dave Cameron's piece when I wrote 3/35; it's just a figure that seemed to reflect where things might be headed. 

It is interesting that Cameron's formula provides for discounted term lengths for catchers but not for pitchers, who have comparable durability issues. It is also interesting that the 3/35 figure comes from a projected WAR of 2.3.  I'd have Santana at about 1.9. 

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#283188) #
Yes, ZIPS had him even lower at 1.7. Steamer gave him a 2.9 and thus the mean was 2.3.

Using the same model, Drew can expect 2 years at $8 million (though that's not what the market gave players with an average 1.6 WA - they got 3 years at 7 to 10), and Kendrys Morales can expect 1 year at 5 million rather than the QO he turned down.
Mike Green - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#283189) #
I would be much happier with Drew at 2/16 or even 2/20 than Santana at 3/35. 
85bluejay - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#283191) #
With Braves pitchers falling like 2012 Jays pitchers, the Braves are now said to be interested in Santana.
I wonder who would say no to a Rickey Romero for Dan Uggla trade - move a mil. or so to even contract.

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#283192) #
I wonder who would say no to a Rickey Romero for Dan Uggla trade - move a mil. or so to even contract.

Uggla is owed more than $10 million more than Ricky, so I imagine Toronto would. Quickly.
85bluejay - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#283193) #
I did mention if money was moved to even out the contracts
Mike Green - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#283194) #
Uggla would be more interesting if he had conventional splits rather than reverse splits (both last year and over his career).  If he had conventional splits, you might be able to trade Izturis and Romero for him with the $ being close and Uggla being a good candidate to split a job with Goins (or Kawasaki).
Eephus - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#283195) #
To weigh in on this whole Santana business...

Would I like the Jays to sign him? Definitely. He's a major league quality starting pitcher with a significant chance of giving you 200 decent-to-very good innings. We don't have a lot of those lying around. Adding a rotation lock like Santana would also, as others have mentioned, buy some more time for Stroman and Drabek to work on things in the minors and for Happ to get healthy (assuming that's the problem. I hope it is.)

Should the Jays sign him? The opinion I'm hearing a lot is that we have all the money to do it, so if we don't get him than it's Rogers/AA's fault and @#$##@@#$@ this team is cheap. That can be a valid point, but lets not forget that Ervin Santana is a human being, with the right to choose what city he wants to move his career to. There are factors in play aside from money, so lets not be so quick to jump down anyone's throat if he decides Atlanta is a better option. Also I think it's pretty awesome some Blue Jays have been campaigning to Santana to get him here. As far as players feel about this team and this city, that can't be a bad sign.

A bad sign would be if he signs elsewhere and we discover Anthopoulos never made a competitive offer...

greenfrog - Monday, March 10 2014 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#283196) #
Keith Law was on TSN 1050 today. He said that the Jays should be willing to increase their bid for Santana to $15m or $16m if necessary, because the team is essentially in win-now mode, with 2014 their best chance of winning with the current group (and because most of the organization's interesting prospects are 3-4 years away from the majors). He thinks that the Jays need Santana more than the Orioles do.
Michael - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 04:08 AM EDT (#283198) #
I wonder how much of a discount Santana would take if you promised not to give him a qualifying offer after this year? Obviously you don't do it for free, but since the qualifying offer this year might have cost him his long term contract, I wonder if he'd rather do a 1 year $15 mil contract where the team will make him a QO if he pitches well or a 1 year $12 mil contract where the team guarantees it will not make a QO to him.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#283199) #
"I would be much happier with Drew at 2/16 or even 2/20 than Santana at 3/35."

Santana isn't coming to Toronto for 3/35 and the Jays aren't giving him the 4 year deal he seeks so you have nothing to worry about there.

I would definitely prefer Santana on a 1 year deal to Drew on a 2 year deal, though. This team needs an SP much more than a 2B, as bad as Goins is.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#283200) #
10 years ago MLB players made 58% of revenues. They currently make 42%. Suggesting some form of collusion may be going on among owners in a sport where that has already been proven to occur isn't exactly shallow.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#283201) #
I would definitely prefer Santana on a 1 year deal to Drew on a 2 year deal, though. This team needs an SP much more than a 2B, as bad as Goins is.

Personally, I think that it's pretty close.  Do I see 970 innings of starting pitching coming from Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, Hutchison, Rogers, Redmond, Stroman and Nolin?  Probably.  Do I see the last 200-300 innings from the final four pitchers being replacement level or better?  Yes (better actually).  The way I conceptualize it is that if you give 15 starts to each of Rogers and Redmond, you'll probably end up with an ERA of just under 5, whereas Santana will give you an ERA somewhat over 4.  The difference is likely in the 10-15 run zone.  That's definitely worth something but I don't see it as much of a difference from the improvement of Drew over Goins.  For what it's worth, if this club is going to compete seriously, it will likely be because they get good first halves from both of Morrow and Hutchison and a good second half from at least one of them, with Stroman or  Nolin taking over if needed (or taking some of the Rogers/Redmond starts). Santana would give them a bit of wiggle room if there are a couple of early injuries. 
Beyonder - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#283202) #
I'd be interested in hearing more about the chain of logic involved in inferring collusion from management's greater share of revenues. Seems to me that in any growing business you would expect the equity holders to reap more of the rewards than employees. That's why people bother to be equity holders.
GrrBear - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#283203) #
If you want to compete with the big boys like the Red Sox and Yankees, you have to make these medium-to-high risk gambles like Santana even if the cost seems excessive. It's the price of doing business in the AL East. We saw last year what happens when you have no starter depth - isn't it worth $15 or $16 million bucks to try and avoid that outcome again? If the Jays aren't willing to make that gamble, then what the hell are they doing? Hoping everybody stays healthy and one or more of the kids pan out? Learn from your mistakes or watch the past repeat itself.

Given that there have been several Jays who have been openly campaigning for Santana, you have to wonder if they were doing this not just for Ervin's benefit, but also to signal the front office that they want some sign that the Jays are doing everything they can to compete. Hey, the rest of us would like that, too.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#283205) #
MLB is not like any equity business for two reasons.  It is a monopoly, and the majority of its "employees" are well known to its customers.  When people buy an Apple computer, it's not because of the name of any of the thousands of Apple employees but rather because it is Apple.  The only people with profile are at the very top- the Jobs and Gates of the world. In MLB, the branding occurs through the league, the team and the players. Fans buy their tickets in part to see their favourite players. 

How many monopoly large entertainment industries are there? 

greenfrog - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#283206) #
I notice that Drew has zero experience in the majors at 2B and 3B. I think he has the potential to be valuable at those positions for the Jays, but it should be noted that he has no track record in this regard. Also, it's getting pretty late in the spring to be making a position switch and getting used to a new team and defense. I would also be a bit concerned about him on the RC turf, given his injury history.
Beyonder - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#283208) #
Mike. I don't agree with anything you have said here, but I don't think it matters. Explain again how MLB's greater share of revenues in the past ten years implies that collusion has taken place? Assume if you want, for sake of argument, that they are a monopoly as you claim.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#283209) #
Well, I agree at least with some of what Mike has written (i.e. fans go to see their favourite players and, consumers don't buy Apple computers because of the names of Apple's employees) but like Beyonder, I can't see how that supports an argument that a greater share of revenues, standing alone, is proof of collusion. When revenues tanked after the attacks on the WTC, and the players' share of revenues increased because it was guaranteed, was that therefore proof of less collusion?
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#283210) #
I didn't say that MLB has organized collusion.  This is not 1987.  I don't agree though that 42% of revenues for the players is a natural result of a growing industry.  I think that it's the result of the billionaires (owners) doing better than the millionaires (players) in recent collective bargaining after Marvin Miller cleaned their clock a few times to restore some balance.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#283211) #
The percent of revenue shift I think is due to the ever growing amount that is shared revenue between clubs. The more that is shared the less incentive there is to spend.  IE: if you are guaranteed $50 mil of revenue no matter what you do (and I think MLB clubs are guaranteed more) then that money is viewed by owners as pure profit - there is no incentive to spend it on anything as you will get it if your club goes 0-162 or 162-0.  The incentive to spend is based on local TV revenue, attendance and any extra sources that are depending on team success.  FYI: that does NOT include merchandise as that is shared revenue as well (out of every $30 spent [after cost of material/marketing/etc.] on Yankee hats/shirts/etc. the Jays get $1 as do the Yankees and all other teams) outside of extra profits that any retail outlet would get from selling them (ie: in stadium sales help the Jays, but buying it at Walmart helps the Jays no more than it helps any other club).

In truth, if you want teams to spend more then you need clubs to have a bigger incentive to do so.  Expanding the playoffs to a 16 team method ala the NBA/NHL would help as playoff revenue is crucial to those other leagues and helps push the horrid teams to do well (with obvious exceptions).  Having more penalties for repeat last place finishes would help too, such as a $50 mil penalty if you finish last 2 years in a row with a payroll that is less than 75% of the median payroll both years (Houston fits this, Miami often would too).  I'm sure the players union is scratching their heads trying to figure out how to increase the incentives to win without putting in items that cut them down (ala revenue sharing).
Beyonder - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#283212) #
No doubt Mike. But inequalities in bargaining power exist in most commercial arrangements. I don't know what you think the "natural result" of a growing industry should be, but I suspect there is no such thing. I also don't see what is unfair about players receiving a 42% share in revenues, while accepting none of the risk if revenues go down.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#283213) #
There is no natural result.  That was my point.  If you are asking what I think is fair, I have my political biases and then if you put a picture of Jeffrey Loria in front of me for about 30 seconds, I'll say that the players should get 95% and the owners 5%. I don't have a lot of sympathy for baseball owners in particular.  Little risk is being undertaken at this point in time, because of the nature of their monopoly. No matter whether they do a good job or a bad one, they will make money, and lots of it. Players don't have the same luxury.

Beyonder - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#283214) #
I doubt you have political biases Mike, but I'll bet you have very well-thought out points of view.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#283215) #

No matter whether they do a good job or a bad one, they will make money, and lots of it.

I don't disagree with your broader point, but I'm not sure that I would agree with this statement.  There's no iron law that says baseball, or any sport or enterprise, will always be highly profitable because the product is entertaining and commands a high level of public interest.  All that helps, no doubt, but there is a great deal of skill involved in commercializing the product and finding ever more numerous and innovative ways of separating fans from their money.  Nonetheless, the players have reaped enormous benefits (in absolute terms) from the new forms of revenue the owners and their other employees have been able to tap into, even if their relative share of the revenues has decreased (in part because accessing the new revenue sources has required the owners to invest in additional revenue producing talent who happen not to be ballplayers, and who deserve a share of the revenue their skills help generate).   

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#283216) #
I agree, Four Seamer, that it has not always been the case that owners could sit back and rake in the dough, and that the current glory days may end.  And if you want to give owners as a whole some credit for MLBAM, I'll buy it.  I might give them less credit than others- like I said, I'll cop (do people still use that expression or does that mark me as past 50?) to being biased.

In the particular case of Rogers, the owner clearly spent a considerable sum of money in 2013 and will again in 2014.  I think that they would be well advised to spend some more, particularly in light of the size of the media market and the divisional competition that they face.

greenfrog - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#283217) #
Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 59m Executive from interested club on Ervin Santana sweepstakes: “I think they’re talking to everyone.” Meaning, the field could be expanding.

Looks like the Jays have some competition. The strategy of waiting until well into ST seems to be inuring to Santana's benefit.

Perhaps some team will offer Santana a backloaded multi-year deal to his liking. Right now my gut tells me he's signing somewhere other than Toronto. I don't see the Jays getting into a bidding war for his services.
soupman - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#283218) #
if they sign santana on a one-year deal - great; if they don't then what's changed from a week ago?

it is a bit disconcerting to see the team members openly criticizing the club's current composition by lobbying for santana. maybe these rank-and-filers *cough* might form a credit union and throw in a few hundred grand in each from their meager wages instead of just making stupid signs they then proceed to send around on twitter.

with that said, i still think santana is gaming the market with no real intention of signing in toronto. and i still think aa has little interest/skill/finances to get into a bidding war against other teams that maybe place a greater emphasis on the on-field product than what it says in a spreadsheet

in conclusion: santana isn't a good pitcher, imo - but he's likely going to be better by a wide margin than the collection of half-baked prospects, busts, and misfit toys the jays will be forced to run out there instead. i don't see the folly in a one-year overpay at this point.
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, March 11 2014 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#283219) #
At the time of purchase, baseball teams aren’t an obvious “cash cow” to the new owner. There’s no guarantee of some incredible return on investment because if there were, the purchase price would be higher to begin with. Mike, you’re looking back and finding the success of the owners obvious in retrospect, but the owners have to actually purchase the team facing the risks and rewards of an uncertain future. Remember, too, that at the time of sale, no one else in the market was prepared to pay more. For everyone else, the price was too much -- too risky. Your comment that “the glory days may end” is exactly right -- without the benefit of hindsight, we don’t know what will happen.

Anyway, I’d guess, as others mentioned, that the recent collective bargaining agreements is the biggest reason for the change in numbers. Not only revenue sharing but the tax for going over the soft cap (this has kept the Yankees’ spending down in recent years) and the draft pick compensation rules, as we’ve seen with Ervin Santana et al.

Sabermetrics has probably also played a big role. Teams are much better managed these days than they used to be, and this helps to control salary costs. Teams now are less likely to spend money on veteran free agents, compared to 10 or 20 years ago, when they can play younger players instead for a fraction of the cost.

Those sabermetrics guys also cost money. I’m not saying it’s a huge difference but I’d guess that front office expenses are greater than they used to be. That money, by the way, like all expenses, comes out of the 58% of owners’ revenue, if I’m understanding this correctly -- i.e., if we’re talking about revenue rather than profit.

Other possibilities are that more money is being spent on the minor leagues or that the measurement itself is off (don’t know how reliable any of those revenue numbers would be, either now or in the past). The latter means, of course, that the owners might be doing better or worse than 58-42.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#283220) #
A one year deal is rarely a bad thing, it just depends on cost.

For the Jays (and anyone else signing him) there are 3 costs involved...
1) Salary - the easiest part to measure
2) Draft pick - From the #12 pick to a 3rd round pick depending on the club signing, for the Jays it is a high 2nd round pick
3) Draft cap space - if you sign a joke player for that 2nd round pick to a $1k bonus then you have a massive amount of cash to help sign your top pick and with 2 in the first 11 picks the Jays might need that cash.  A top 11 pick is something that could have more value than one year of Santana so it might be more valuable to do that joke pick and use the cash to sign #10 & #11 rather than signing Santana.

Lots of variables to juggle.  Back in Gillick's day you'd sign him without thinking about the lost draft pick but in the past 10-20 years things changed a LOT and now the massive value a high pick can provide is tough to ignore (6+ years at below market rates plus first shot at signing him beyond those 6 years).
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#283221) #
Santana to the Braves. Too bad.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#283222) #
Unrelated to baseball, one time Bauxite and cuttlefish distributor Mike Moffat has a puzzle to solve.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#283223) #
Not much of a mystery to me.  It's pretty obviously a booty call- leaf for camouflage, pillow for the obvious suggestion.  Moffat must be hanging with a pretty staid crowd now...what else would a mysterious note at a university relate to?
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#283224) #
Right now my gut tells me he's signing somewhere other than Toronto.

I guess my gut was right. Looks like the Braves are serious about contending this year.

I do think that this is something of an embarrassment for the Jays, who look rather parsimonious at the moment.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#283225) #
I do think that this is something of an embarrassment for the Jays, who look rather parsimonious at the moment.

To whom? Those venting on the internet about a process they don't understand? I think they'll live with that.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#283226) #
As you know, CBDC, I don't think that Santana signing somewhere else for $16 million or something like that is a big deal.  But, the players sure made a thing of it.  I did not like it (for example) when Lind was quoting as saying that the club couldn't expect more than 120 innings from Hutchison and Stroman, and so needed Santana. 
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#283227) #
Mike, the reports on the internet suggest that he signed for the qualifying offer, which was not a surprising target. It's also no surprise that he gave that opportunity to Atlanta, not Toronto. The players' view is a concern, I don't disagree at all. I doubt that Stroman will give many innings. I'm hoping for something out of Drew.
China fan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#283228) #
Seems that Santana accepted the same $14.1-million from the Braves that he had also been offered by the Jays. So clearly he wanted to rebuild his value in a friendlier pitching environment.

Still, I suspect the Jays could have acquired Santana if they had offered $15.5-million or $16-million. And I think they should have done that. My own opinion is that the owners are tying AA's hands, but admittedly we can't prove exactly who's at fault for this.

The bottom line: this is a huge PR disaster for the Jays, and the whole off-season has been very badly handled in terms of communications and managing the expectations of the fans, and in terms of payroll management. For a reasonable sum of money, the Jays could have greatly upgraded their pitching, and they're going to suffer for it this year. They've also now got a problem with disgruntled players (Bautista and others) who will be angry that the team failed to upgrade its pitching.

For this, we should probably blame the entirety of the management and ownership side.
China fan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#283229) #
A quick glance at Twitter shows that the Jays are being blasted quite angrily by a lot of bloggers and media commentators who are normally a lot more neutral or balanced in their comments. It's a leading indicator for the broader fan reaction that is probably now happening. And It's another example of how the Jays have shot themselves in the foot, in their handling of Santana and the entire off-season. They have alienated thousands of fans who would have been supporting the Jays a lot more strongly if they had acquired even one significant pitcher in the offseason. Instead they're facing a likely rebellion from many fans. It's been terrible communications -- in addition to the terrible decision to restrict spending at a crucial time in the team's development.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#283230) #
It feels like Darvish all over again.
China fan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#283231) #
Even worse, it's as if the Darvish fiasco had happened in the middle of spring training, with fans in the midst of deciding whether to buy tickets or give up on the team.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#283232) #
To me the difference between Darvish and Santana is that Darvish would've been a big upgrade while Santana may or may not have been.

I think Hutchison will have a solid year and could be more valuable than Santana. That Happ will not do well, but be replacement level thus not horrid. That Redmond would be a decent #5 guy and Rogers a reasonable #6 or #7.  Morrow is the great unknown though...if he stays healthy he'll be an asset, but the risk for him is high and I'd rather not have Happ or Rogers in the rotation for more than a few starts each.  Plus I keep thinking we'll see McGuire at some point and he'll be a decent (1-2 WAR) starting pitcher.

Santana was a nice to have - just to push everyone and shift guys back a slot. However, he was hardly as critical as I think Darvish could've/would've been. To compare the two cases is like saying having whipped cream on your cake is as critical as having the cake.

ogator - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#283233) #
Last year, the Jays were "all in" with a window of opportunity to contend. This year they have made no significant additions to the team. So, in fact, they believe they have enough in-house talent (barring injury) to contend, right now. If after two months, this year's team does not look like a contender, I think they have to start selling off veterans whose talent can only depreciate going forward and start over. I have no idea how they will try to sell that rebuild, restructure, patch job, to a frustrated fan base.
China fan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#283234) #
Just to clarify -- I don't Gerry is trying to compare Darvish and Santana as players, and I'm certainly not doing that. We're comparing them as media phenomenons. Darvish is a lot better pitcher than Santana, but in both cases the Jays allowed their fans to believe that both were obtainable. Both became public-relations disasters because of an inability to communicate a clear strategy or a logical approach to building the roster.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#283235) #
I still don't understand Mark Ellis; the Jays could have easily offered him significantly more playing time and more money than the Cardinals did. 

It seems to me the club (and this is probably mostly Anthopoulos) tied itself down to one vision of improving itself during the off-season and then found the money involved not to its liking.  It would have been a lot better if Anthopoulos had at the outset that the club could use help behind the plate, at second base, in the outfield and in the rotation but that it was unlikely that all four of the needs would be met through the free agent market. This business of indicating that he was intending to acquire two starting pitchers was poorly advised.

China fan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#283236) #
"....This business of indicating that he was intending to acquire two starting pitchers was poorly advised...."

But it does lend some evidence to the theory that Rogers pulled the rug out from under Anthopoulos in the middle of the off-season. It seems plausible that AA thought the owners were supportive of his plan to bolster the rotation -- the obvious weak point on the team. And then, to his surprise, they wouldn't give him anything more than the $14.1-million that he had saved by letting Josh Johnson walk. I admit this is a theory, not proven, and perhaps AA is just incompetent in spin-doctoring, but personally I think the former is more likely. I can't really argue against those who prefer the latter, however.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#283237) #
Not disappointed at all - which pitcher is going to want to rebuild his value @ Rogers centre?
The players lobbying for Santana doesn't really bother me - I mostly view it as Bautista & friends doing a favour for his Friend and new agent Jay Alou.
I'm in the camp that believes in Esmil Rogers.
I'm concerned about 2nd base - if we can snag someone like Franklin/Ackley/Owings before the season opens, then I'm happy - Encouraged that I heard AA mentioned last week that if they made a move for that position, they would look for a long term solution.
Beyonder - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#283238) #
CF. What did the Jays do to "allow their fans to believe that both (Santana and Darvish) were obtainable?"? I'm pretty sure that we as fans were driving the bus on those two ideas. There were no press conferences or interviews that I can recall in which anyone from the team said these players were obtainable. We got our hopes up, and now we are disappointed.

Having said that, I agree that it was a huge PR mistake to broadcast the goal of acquiring two starters. Hopefully AA learned from that one.

My takeaway from this offseason is that AA is much more willing than we would like to trade away Stroman and Sanchez. I don't feel like he was ever in on any free agent deals until something (almost) fell in his lap. He can only have intended to acquire a starter or two through a trade, and those two are his only tradeable commodities (without blowing up the team).
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#283239) #
If you wanted a starting pitcher, there were other options available at less money.  Kazmir and Haren leap to mind.  I sure would have preferred either of them to Santana. 

China fan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#283240) #
"...What did the Jays do to "allow their fans to believe that both (Santana and Darvish) were obtainable?"? I'm pretty sure that we as fans were driving the bus on those two ideas..."

In both cases, the Jays did nothing to dissuade the growing wave of rumors that they were in the hunt for both. They knew what everyone was saying and what nearly everyone believed. They knew that the fans thought that they had a serious chance on both. They failed to communicate clearly that both were far from certain.

Of course there's a huge difference between the two cases too: in the Darvish case, the Jays were never close to acquiring him. In the Santana case, they were close to acquiring him and probably could have got him for an extra one or two million. But I'm discussing the perception, not the reality, and any PR specialist at any organization (especially one so dependent on fans and marketing) should have noticed the perception on Darvish and Santana and come up with a much better way of dealing with that perception.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#283241) #
Beyonder, I for one would be very happy to see Stroman turned into someone who could make a solid contribution to the rotation. That's the high-water point for Stroman and I don't think it's one he'll attain.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#283242) #
probably could have got him for an extra one or two million

Where did you learn that CF? Alou came back to the Jays and said 'it's a deal at 15 or 16?" Curious to know where you learned that.
Beyonder - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#283243) #
Agreed CbDC, but I think the asking price for the Samardzijas of the world was both Stroman and Sanchez. And I'm not keen on adding anyone to the rotation who doesn't have at least as much upside and controllability as Samardzija.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#283244) #
CF, the reason that I ask (other than the obvious one of suggesting you not get worked up about baseless and predictable conjecture) is that it would seem a very odd decision for Santana to make. Taking a one year contract was a pretty obvious sign that he still wants to set to try and set himself up for the mega-payday.

The Braves won 96 games last year, finished first in their division, and scored the 4th most runs in the National League. He'll be pitching in a division with the Marlins, the Phillies and the Mets instead of the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Orioles. With the kind of money he hopes to make in the long run, monetizing pitching for the Braves vs the Jays at 1-2 million seems a tad light to say the least for someone hoping to turn this opportunity into the monster contract, leaving aside that some to all of it will disappear when the overall tax difference is considered.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#283245) #
I think you forgot the Senators, CBDC.  Your point is still valid.  The NL East is a lot weaker than the AL East, and the Braves appear to be a better ballclub than the Jays.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#283246) #
You also forgot to mention that Andrelton Simmons and the rest of the Atlanta defence is good for pitcher ERAs and the Jay defence is not.  It's something that I would take into account if making a decision like this.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#283247) #
AA was on the radio - said the agent told him Santana wanted to pitch in the NL
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#283248) #
I did forget the Senators. They fell into the hole where my nouns went.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#283249) #
I suspect Santana was another case where our old GM (JPR) might have got him and regretted it later. I think AA has the right idea sticking to a budget and not moving far from it, and last winter probably reminded him of why he was doing that in the first place.

For every Darvish that you regret not signing there are many you might regret signing (Fielder is one many here pushed for which would've been a mistake, Pujols is a mess for Angels, Cano will be for Seattle within a few years). Last winter Johnson looked like a good guy to get, but boy did he flop like a fish out of water. Reyes was good when healthy, but Buehrle and Dickey were at the bottom end of expectations.  Romero got a long term deal and tanked, Morrow the same.

The best method is to keep building from within. It is hard, takes time and patience and good drafting. I suspect AA was put into a pressure situation last winter and this winter was determined not to give in. We'll see if it works out.

92-93 - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#283250) #
"In both cases, the Jays did nothing to dissuade the growing wave of rumors that they were in the hunt for both. They knew what everyone was saying and what nearly everyone believed. They knew that the fans thought that they had a serious chance on both. They failed to communicate clearly that both were far from certain."

Even worse - they are now communicating they thought they had a deal done and couldn't consummate it. Blame the player, AA, I'm sure that is earning you a ton of sympathy right now.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#283251) #
Is there any proof that pitchers who go to the NL actually fool GMs into thinking they are better than they really are, resulting in larger FA contracts?
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#283253) #
How would you gather evidence on this one way or the other? 

Do GMs look at ERA when trying to decide how much to offer a free-agent pitcher?  Of course, they do.  When people say that the starting pitching on the 2013 Blue Jays was its greatest weakness, they will of course point to the ERAs.  They don't say, "Hmm, the Blue Jay starting pitching had about the same xFIP as the Royals, and so they could improve the club through the starting pitching or the defence or both and end up near where the Royals did on the run prevention side last year".  When Josh Johnson signed for a relatively paltry $8 million for San Diego, wasn't his 6.20 ERA in Toronto last year a big problem for him?

I think that the NL bit is inaccurate.  I don't think that Santana would be happy pitching for Colorado.  I do think that he would prefer to work in a favourable environment for pitchers.  And he is not alone in that.

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#283254) #
Mike, I was thinking the same thing about the Braves (elite talent and defense). It's an attractive destination for someone in Santana's position. I wonder if Santana would have ended up with the Jays, had Medlen not injured himself.

For me, the issue isn't so much missing out on Santana, which is just one transaction that didn't work out. The issue is that the team was built to win now, but the Jays have neglected to make the necessary complementary moves to elevate the team to "solid contender" status.

I also dislike the secrecy and misdirection of the front office. As a fan, I find it very off-putting.

I'm glad I have yet to buy any tickets for the 2014 season. I'll reevaluate after two or three months.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#283255) #
I'd think there would be a ton of evidence if NL FAs were consistently getting larger contracts than their advanced stats indicated they deserved.

I'd like to assume MLB GMs aren't morons and have access to Baseball-Reference. This common idea that pitchers need to go to the NL (West) to "build" value doesn't really make any sense to me. Teams this offseason were able to recognize that Nelson Crus is a career .242/.299/.435 away from Arlington, and Ian Kinsler had little trade value because of the same thing.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#283256) #

AA is suggesting the Jays thought they had a deal with Santana before the Braves offer came in and pipped them.  But that has essentially been AA's approach all winter, the agents know to check-in with AA before they sign with anyone.  So AA has been saying to the agents, allow us to top a deal you have with another club.  So I guess turnabout is fair play.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#283257) #
Well put greenfrog. You can't go half way with a team like this. You saw the model last year with the Red Sox and there were plenty of options out there to improve this team without crippling us financially.

I told my ticket agent in December that I'd purchase when they had finally got around to doing something to improve the team. I told him the same thing in January and I'll tell them the same thing when they call next. I'll commit as soon as you do: ball's in your court.
Rich - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#283258) #
If you were a Mark Ellis or Ervin Santana (or any other free agent for that matter), why would you even consider signing with the Jays unless their offer was much better than anyone else's?  The franchise hasn't been to the playoffs for 20 years and plays in the what is usually the toughest division in baseball.  They finally went for it in 2013 and even that attempt imploded.  Never mind the taxes, artificial turf, cold springs and falls...I honestly can't blame any player for signing elsewhere and it will continue to be this way until the club starts performing better on the field or drastically overpaying (which isn't likely).  Can you really blame Ellis for choosing to play in front of full houses for the best organization in the game?  Or Santana for picking a perennial playoff team? 

The 2014 Jays are not a playoff team by any stretch of the imagination, though I think they will be better than last year.  But where to go from here is a tough call.

soupman - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#283259) #
i'm not sure it really matters where he goes in the era of dips, park factors, etc. are front offices still going to be swayed by the 'back of the card' stats? i think a similar discussion could be had about josh johnson going to would seem that even if front offices might be less inclined to put stock in ERA, for example, the anecdotal evidence suggests that (at least in these two cases) FAs still seem to believe they can build value this way.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#283260) #
You could make an all star team out of the guys that the Jays "just missed" on.

Man I really enjoyed Carlos Beltran ALMOST putting up 56 HRs for us the past 2 seasons.

Anibal Sanchez's 180 innings of 163 ERA+ ball that he ALMOST threw for us last season really stabilized the rotation.

As Aroldis Chapman has put up a 14.8 career K/9 its been really reassuring that we were in it until the very end.

Its PR crap! And not even good PR crap, this is PR crap out of like the 1900s. Everyone knows close only counts with hand grenades.

soupman - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#283261) #
i think aa's comments are telling. obviously he wasn't getting the last call. which says to me santana wasn't thrilled about coming here - which should have been clear to fans when the rumour was "he wants to sign NOW!" proceeded to get two offers, and then sat on them. give aa credit for not bidding against himself, i guess.
92-93 - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#283262) #
When Alex Anthopoulos starts informing us about all the players he was close to acquiring that didn't work out, I'll believe him that they were in on Beltran, Sanchez, and Chapman. Until then, I don't.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#283263) #
i'm not sure it really matters where he goes in the era of dips, park factors, etc. are front offices still going to be swayed by the 'back of the card' stats?

I believe that while front offices are certainly becoming more sophisticated in terms of player evaluation, I can't help but believe that the surface numbers still carry a great deal of weight.

Pitching in a more favourable park, in front of better defense, against lesser opponents, will obviously yield better surface numbers. But it will also keep Santana in games longer, pushing up his innings pitched. 220 innings looks a whole lot more impressive than 190 innings, even if you do the mental gymnastics to explain the difference.

grjas - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#283264) #
I think the key issue with AA this offseason is his FA strategy. It should be clear to him he has a handicap when bidding on FA’s who have a choice where they play. The Jays play on a crappy field in a tough division in a tougher league and a foreign country. And they haven’t won in 20 years. They are down the list of preferred destinations – just ask Kinsler who likely rejected a trade to us or Burnett who apparently took similar money to play in the NL rather than the ALE.

So why does AA try to “value sign” when he has a competitive disadvantage. It’s non-sensical. In most cases he is going to have to overpay (not value pay!!) in dollars or years to attract an FA. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson and shows some smarts in the next offseason. Hopefully Happ and Romero are motivated by their teammates’ support for Santana. Clearly their teammates also think they suck.
soupman - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#283265) #
did anyone watch the game today? romero's line looks decent (albeit against rays non-prospects).

stroman is further increasing my opinion that he needs more time to develop his secondary stuff before he comes anywhere near the hallowed ground at skydome.
Original Ryan - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#283268) #
It seems like Anthopoulos badly miscalculated the market heading into this offseason. With all the extra cash floating around the league, he shouldn't have been surprised at the prices players commanded. In order to acquire another starter or two, he should have known he was going to have to pay up in order to compete for talent. If Anthopoulos was going to adopt a more conservative approach and make people meet his price, I wish he had done it back in December 2012 prior to entering into negotiations with the Mets to acquire Dickey.

I'm willing to cut Anthopoulos a bit of slack on misreading the market for his surplus relievers. Teams have had a rather sudden shift in their thinking when it comes to valuing relievers. That said, I'm not prepared to cut him much slack. People in the sabermetric community have been saying for years that relievers were generally overvalued, and now that all teams use advanced metrics to some degree or another, the shift was bound to happen at some point. Anthopoulos put a lot of effort into building up this surplus of relief pitching, but now he's in a bind because he can't convert that surplus into anything worthwhile and there isn't enough room on the roster to carry everyone.

All in all, an awful offseason for Anthopoulos and the team.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#283270) #
That's all true, Original Ryan, but somehow with the snow falling again and the temperature falling again, it just isn't, um, nice to remind us about the failings of the surplus reliever strategy in addition to the bargain starter strategy. 
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#283271) #
The only positive thing I can say about the off-season is that at least AA hasn't started dealing his best prospects out of desperation (yet).

It may be that the organization is going to have to do a reset over the next year or two (dealing desirable veterans like EE, Bautista, Dickey, Buehrle and Rasmus for young talent). Assuming the Jays fall out of contention during the 2014 season, I would not object to this strategy, as long as it is done right. The only problem is that it's harder than ever to extract top prospects for veterans, with the best prospects being all but untouchable.
Rich - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#283272) #

It may be that the organization is going to have to do a reset over the next year or two (dealing desirable veterans like EE, Bautista, Dickey, Buehrle and Rasmus for young talent). Assuming the Jays fall out of contention during the 2014 season, I would not object to this strategy, as long as it is done right. The only problem is that it's harder than ever to extract top prospects for veterans, with the best prospects being all but untouchable

Unless of course your top prospects are named Marisnick, Hechevarria, Syndergaard, or D'Arnaud.  Ouch.
Eephus - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#283273) #
I think the guy who just might make that big trade look good for Miami is Henderson Alvarez.
scottt - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#283274) #
It's kinda hard to rebuild once you trade all your prospects for veterans.
Besides, Buehrle and Reyes would probably just be salary dump.

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#283275) #
The Jays still have an interesting farm system, and they have the potential for a good draft in 2014. They could potentially have a solid top-ten system in 2015, even if Stroman graduates. Of course, this depends on whether they further deplete the system through trades, and on how the low-minors prospects develop.

In my opinion, the Jays have some valuable trade chips. I would put them in three categories:

- Elite: EE, Bautista (elite talent and team-friendly contracts)

- Near-elite to solid: Reyes, Dickey, Buehrle (Dickey's contract is very affordable; and, as Dave Cameron pointed out recently, Reyes's contract is actually quite reasonable for an elite SS. Reyes would be in the elite category but for his injury last year. Buehrle has a big contract but the remaining obligation is getting smaller)

- Minor trade assets: Rasmus, Lind, Cabrera, Janssen, Santos, Cecil, maybe another reliever or two

The key to trading veterans is to make your move before they start to decline. You have to be ahead of the curve.

If Bautista is healthy and productive this year, he's probably the best trade chip (he might also want out of Toronto if the team is mediocre again in 2014). Teams are starting to become aware of just how good EE is, though.
Thomas - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#283278) #
Soupman, apparently Romero was helped noticeably by some fine defence today, as well, including a John McDonald-esque double play by Jonathan Diaz.
Eephus - Wednesday, March 12 2014 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#283280) #
If I were to guess what the rotation looks like as of this moment, it's probably Dickey/Morrow/Buehrle/Hutchison/Happ, though not in that particular order. I suspect Rogers makes the team as a reliever and de-facto backup starter while Redmond is the guy they try to sneak down to AAA (barring a spring turnaround). I think they'll give Happ every chance to figure it out since they don't want 12 million+ invested this season in two guys who don't as of now seem good enough to pitch in a Major League rotation (Romero being the other.)

Not getting Santana means AA is forced to put a lot of faith in a healthy Brandon Morrow. We'll see how that goes.

christaylor - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 05:15 AM EDT (#283283) #
Sounds good enough for me, there are only so many ground balls with eyes (or in this case ground-balls that get blinded) that happen each year.

Romero deserves a shot if his yips and inability to find the strike zone go away.
Charlie - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#283286) #
grjas, I have to think a lot of AA's "value sign" strategy is dictated by the Rogers higher ups. We all know that AA came in with a clear eyed assessment of the upgrades needed (2B, SP x2, C) and the players available to fill those roles (Ellis, Drew; Tanaka, Jimenez, Santana; Navarro, etc). It may be true that AA "misread" the market for these players early in the offseason but I have to suspect that he figured it out eventually that it was going to take more cash than originally budgeted to close the deals. If this is right, then it means we probably didn't get these guys because Rogers balked at extra spending. Ahh the joys of corporate ownership.
christaylor - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#283293) #
Charlie, I resonate to this line of thinking, but where does it go? Let's say it's true. Let's say there are three outcomes come late July:

A) The Jays are in a comfortable position for a play-off spot.

B) The Jays are in a precarious position for the 2nd wild card.

C) The Jays are long since toast and 2014 is a repeat of 2013, but even worse.

In C, AA is on the phone selling every asset to the highest bidder. The Jays have another 3 years in the wilderness, perhaps more.

In, B, Ownership would have to be silly not open the bank for AA. But, who know what's available... and who know how the team gets to the N wins it needs to be considered on the bubble.

Lastly A, which may be the least interesting, in a way, but the most interesting in another -- AAs 2012 plan worked out, just a year too late. Does the overship approve acquisitions? Rally the troops in the attempt to celebrate that it has been 20 years since the Jays 3 year reign of two world championships?

I have no ideas, nor a time machine, nor insight into what Rogers allowed AA to do. I think it is just as likely that AA never really liked any of the players available to him this off season (with the exception of Fister, was available, but wasn't) and said, "The next few months will be easy." Good for him, if this is the case.
katman - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#283295) #
AA clearly thought he had a done deal, and didn't. But even Jerry Howarth is on the radio today talking about lack of depth and too many question marks. Not a good sign at all.

Meanwhile, Esmil Rogers doesn't look good at all today, Jeffress still hasn't found what he's looking for in a Jays uniform, Neil Wagner doesn't look like he's heading north. Drabek is dangerously close to "non-prospect" territory. Stroman has shown that he needs AAA, Ricky's stat improvement masks in-game shakiness, and Happ may not have enough time to rehab get himself straightened away before Opening Day. Morrow still doesn't look very good, either, but he has been sidelined so long that more runway is deserved.

On the brighter side, Hutch, plus McGowan looks like he's settling in (starter still = bad idea), Melky is hitting and moving better, and Goins continues to play very good defense.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#283296) #
I had a chance to watch the Carlos Correa show today and it was worth it. His two bombs were both healthy shots. The first cleared the wall in left center easily and the second was high over the wall in center slightly to the right of the 400 ft mark. He also looked good in the field.

Bo Porter plays a healthy shift.

The Jays couldn't muster much after the first third of an inning against the Astros' starter, Dallas Keuchel. In the first inning they wasted 2 singles and a double without scoring and then managed a total of 3 more hits through 3.2 innings.

If I were a betting man, I'd place a small sum that the Astros will win more games than the Blue jays this year.
electric carrot - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#283297) #
I'll take the bet ComebyDeanChance and beware that I have an Adam Lind Bobblehead from the Auburn Doubledays that I could put out there.

scottt - Thursday, March 13 2014 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#283298) #
When Ricciardi was given the green light to spend he said the team need a closer, a #2 pitcher, a power bat and a left handed bat. He signed Ryan and Burnett and traded for Glaus and Overbay. That was close, but it's clear that there wasn't any money left after that as he couldn't even out bid Kansas City for Gil Meche.

The 5 year contract seems like a stretch, but Meche was very good for 3 years and retired at the end of the 4th year.

That's basically where the Jays are once again. Farm system almost depleted, payroll maxed out against an arbitrary glass ceiling. Except, Ricciardi at least looked like he was trying to improve the team.

soupman - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#283300) #
'depleted farm system'? who'd they actually lose that would be any use this year? no one, in my view.

China fan - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 04:49 AM EDT (#283301) #
"....Farm system almost depleted...."

Many assessments by independent experts have disagreed with this. It's not a top-3 system any more, but it still contains a lot of good prospects.
China fan - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 04:56 AM EDT (#283302) #
"...McGowan looks like he's settling in (starter still = bad idea)...."

McGowan was sidelined for 10 days because of a severe flu, and he's only now returning to game action. As a result, he's only been stretched out to 2 innings so far, and he's expected to hit a maximum of 4 innings by the end of spring training. So he's not a rotation candidate for the opening of the season. But what's wrong with stretching him out? He could be very useful as a long-man in the bullpen and as a possible replacement for injured rotation members during the season. His health is being monitored carefully as he stretches out, so it isn't causing any unusual health risks (beyond those that he always has). It's likely that Rogers or Happ will be in the rotation as the season starts, and Redmond might be waived. That would leave only McGowan, plus perhaps Rogers or Happ, as the long men in the bullpen. I think he could be valuable in that role, and he could still gradually work himself into a rotation spot as the season unfolds.
Original Ryan - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 06:56 AM EDT (#283303) #
'depleted farm system'? who'd they actually lose that would be any use this year?

Clearly d'Arnaud. Syndergaard and Marisnick could have been mid-season call-ups.

John Northey - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#283304) #
Well, at 4 IP per start he could be useful in the 5th slot as there are 4 off-days in April thus the pen would have lots of chance to recover from a short start or 3.  Looking at the schedule you have (trying to shift it so higher ups get as many starts as possible)
#1-3 vs Rays
#4/5/1 vs Yankees
off day
2/3/4 vs Astros
1/5/2 vs Orioles
off day
3/1/4 vs Twins
2/5/3 vs Cleveland
off day
1/2/4 vs Orioles
3/5/1 vs Red Sox
off day
2/3/4 vs Royals
1/5/2 vs Pirates
Now into the tough part - 20 straight games without a day off, rotation now at 1/5/2/3/4 thus giving the weakest starter (#5) the magic after Dickey slot.  If it is McGowan then his hard heater would be well placed after the knuckleball and would be followed by Buehrle (soft lefty) and Morrow (hard heat) then whoever (might be Hutchison or Happ).  You've also given McGowan a few extra days there too which would help keep him healthy but never skipping a start entirely.

Mike Green - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#283305) #
For what it's worth, if I were managing this club with the talent on hand,  I wouldn't use a 5 man rotation.  I'd run it like this: Dickey, Hutchison, Buehrle, Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle.  Dickey and Buehrle throw 70 pitches max and preferably 60.  Hutchison and Morrow have regular starts, but throw an inning the day of each other's start if they need the work.  Two assigned long-men for the Dickey and Buehrle starts- maybe McGowan and Romero the way things are looking.  It's not happening, but the frustrating thing is that what you could really use from Dickey and Buehrle this year is  240-250 decent innings each.  I think that you're more likely to get 54 starts of 4-5 innings than 32 of 8 innings given the type of pitchers they are, and even if they do give you those 8 innings, it means that you won't be able to leverage the talent in the bullpen to its potential.  At the end of the season what you hope for is a distribution of innings, something like 240 for Dickey and Buehrle, 160 for Hutchison and Morrow, 100 each for McGowan and Romero say, 80 for another long/middle pitcher who follows Hutchison/Morrow and the remaining 300 innings split among Janssen, Cecil, Santos, Loup  and September callups. 

When was the last time that the Blue Jays attempted something innovative?

John Northey - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#283306) #
With the current pitchers on hand there are a lot of interesting possibilities.
1) 5 day rotation, Dickey/Buehrle then tandem for Morrow, McGowan, Happ, Redmond, Rogers, Hutchison.  Still a 5 day rotation, but using 8 pitchers leaving 4-5 slots for the pen (Janssen, Loup, Cecil, Delabar, Jeffress lets say).  4-5 innings each for the tandem starters, 6-7 for the big 2 (sometimes 8 or 9 but not often). 

2) 4 day rotation, Dickey/Buehrle going 80 pitch max, tandem for 3/4 slots (60-70 pitch max) using names above, assigning a tandem to Dickey & Buehrle but for just 2-3 innings.  So something like Dickey/McGowan, Buehrle/Redmond, McGowan/Happ, Morrow/Rogers - 8 pitchers in 'rotation' but few innings for the pen normally.

3) 3 day rotation with Dickey/McGowan (60-70 pitch max), Buehrle/Redmond (60-70), and Morrow/Rogers (60 max) leaving tons of space in the pen (6-7 slots) that would get used.

#1 is the easiest to implement as it could be sold as 'playing it safe' with the injured guys. It would allow a good mix and match for slots 3-5 to screw up the opposition as you could easily do soft/hard or left/right combos.  Stuff like Morrow/Happ, McGowan/Rogers, Redmond/Cecil perhaps. As the season progresses and pitchers can go further you might shift to a more traditional 5 man rotation, or perhaps keep this going and on side throw days the tandem guys would be available for an inning.  You might have fewer injuries and pitchers feeling safer to 'let it all out' like they do in relief given shorter times on the mound.  No more than twice through the order for the tandem guys should really help a lot in how well they do one would think.  #3 would need a team that has an innovative management team and is down on its luck overall as it would be extremely risky since it is so different from the norm (no one would ever have a complete game for example).
Mike Green - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#283307) #
#3 is a lot like mine.  I wouldn't want Morrow to be expected to throw that many pitches in light of his record, and hence the Morrow/Hutchison arrangement.    You could also skip the odd start for Dickey and Buehrle during a string of many games without off-day.  The thing is that any of the three options would in my view be better than trying to find 5 starters to go 6-7 innings for 32 starts. And I think that's exactly what Gibbons has in mind.
mathesond - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#283308) #
When was the last time that the Blue Jays attempted something innovative?

When Butterfield put the infield into major shift mode?

When they deliberated drafted low-cost players in rounds 4-10 a couple of years ago to afford overpays?

I dunno, do either of those count as innovative?
greenfrog - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#283309) #
It's not a top-3 system any more, but it still contains a lot of good prospects.

Most rankings seem to have the Jays' farm system somewhere in the middle of the pack, maybe towards the back half, but with some upside, at most of the better prospects are quite young.

For what it's worth, ESPN's updated organizational future rankings (compiled by Law, Olney and Bowden) just came out and ranked the Jays 22nd (up from 24th, I think). This overall ranking factors in several categories (majors, minors, finance, management, mobility). #22 seems about right. Fangraphs just ranked minor league systems by impact. The Jays placed 24th (commentary by author set out below).

Not too long ago, this was an emerging top-tier system. Then they went all-in on 2013, made the Jose Reyes-Mark Buehrle trade with the Marlins, as well as a couple smaller win-now deals, and here we are. Their position player portfolio ranks among the game’s leanest, though the top handful of pitchers still offer plenty of hope for Jays fans.
greenfrog - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#283310) #
To clarify: the above quotation is from the recent fangraphs article ranking the minor league systems by impact (the Jays ranked #24).
John Northey - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#283311) #
A good question is what would the Jays system be like without the 3 big trades (Happ, Marlins, Dickey)?

Trade #1
Players Added: Happ, David Carpenter and Brandon Lyon (only Happ still here)
Lost Prospects: Asher Wojciechowski, Carlos Perez, David Rollins, Joseph Musgrove, Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, Kevin Comer
Still relevant: Happ here, prospects Wojciechowski (#10 for Houston), Perez (non-prospect now in Baltimore), Rollins (age 24 season, just 7 games above A+), Musgrove (21 this year, in rookie ball for all 3 pro seasons), Comer (21 this year, reached A- last year).  Only Wojciechowski is a strong prospect right now, but Comer and Musgrove could easily become good ones.

Trade #2
Players Added/subtracted: many
Prospects lost: Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, could argue Adeiny Hechavarria and Henderson Alvarez were prospects too sorta. 
DeSclafani reached AA last year and did well and is Miami's #5 prospect, Nicolino is their #4, Marisnick #3.  Hech had a bad year (56 OPS+) but would be the #1 guy for 2B here right now. Alvarez and his 108 ERA+ would be solid in this years rotation but he did miss half a season last year.

That trade saw AA give up way too much for what he got when you factor in the massive salary bump it caused.  Clearing out Hech and Escobar so Reyes could play made some sense, and the Marlins would want prospects back but 3 of the Marlins top 5 are from that trade and that is just too much.

Trade #3
Players Added: Dickey, Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole (catchers were just so we'd have someone to catch Dickey)
Players lost: Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra, John Buck and Travis d'Arnaud
d'Arnaud is the Mets #2 prospect with #1 being Syndergaard.  Ugh. Becerra is just entering his age 19 season and had a 646 OPS in rookie ball last year in RF.

So without those trades the Jays rotation would be a total mess - Morrow, Rogers, Redmond, Alvarez and one of the kids or Romero. But Syndergaard, DeSlafani, Nicolino, Wojciechowski would be in a dog fight for that 5th slot with McGuire, Nolin, Stroman, Stilson, Drabek, McGowan, and Hutchison.  Behind the plate they might have decided to not sign Navarro and go with d'Arnaud and Kratz. Hech and Escobar would be fighting it out over who is at 2B and who is at SS. Plus some random signings might have happened.  Better or worse?
Original Ryan - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#283313) #
Better or worse?

Tough to say, but without Reyes, Buehrle, Dickey and Happ you would have an extra $51.2 million to work with this year (according to Baseball Reference) if the budget were the same. Factor in the money that had been allocated for Johnson/Santana, and you're up around $65 million.

While I opposed the Dickey and Happ trades when they were made, I did support the Reyes/Buehrle trade and I understood AA's reasons for trying to be competitive last season. It's just unfortunate that things have worked out so horrendously to this point.

Gerry - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#283314) #
Neil Wagner has been optioned to Buffalo.  That is a bit of a surprise but there are a lot of Jays relievers who are out of options.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#283315) #
I see not getting Ervin Santana has taken the barricades down for despair. Everything from the drafting strategy to some new Ricciardi canards that bears a sufficiently unique relationship to the truth that they might have been written by Ricciardi himself.

I've been thinking along entirely different lines lately. I don't think the problem is that the franchise is spending too little. I think it's spending too much. One of the things that the Braves stated when they raised their payroll for Santana rom around $93 million to $107 million, much less than the Blue Jays payroll, was whether it was the right time to do so. I think the Blue Jays dramatically raised their payroll last year at the wrong time. They are now a franchise evaluated in the bottom third of franchises by Forbes, which is a measure of franchise market, and a top third payroll and with a team that it expected to finish last.

They are also a team that in my opinion greatly need a new park. I remember before the Expos entered their death throes that there was considerable talk of a new park. The truth there, and the frank truth in Toronto, is that there is considerable and justifiable concern about investment in a new baseball facility. The RC is not a suitable baseball facility. I am skeptical about the ability to retrofit a stadium with its wiring and plumbing under concrete floors, and an exterior structure created without thought to sunlight for natural grass. Moreover, this would take place in a climate that was initially considered inhospitable to natural grass.

I do not think the Blue jays will be competitive this year, yet they will again have one of the highest payrolls in the league. To my mind, it makes much more sense to put this money toward a necessary new stadium as has happened in virtually every other market same Montreal, which folded, Tampa, Oakland and Boston.

I think that last year Toronto reacted to the probably unprecedented humiliation of having its manager leave in mid-contract for a divisional rival and taking the best coaches. I think that drove the moves and payroll increase, and it was unrealistic to expect the kind of outcome that was hoped for. I don't think they asked the same question Atlanta did.
greenfrog - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#283316) #
I would love to see a really beautiful baseball stadium with natural grass in Toronto. I would go to games all the time. I dislike the RC - too drab, too sterile, too loud (I'm referring to the piped-in noise; the sound of cheering crowds is pleasant). It feels dated, and not in a good way.
Original Ryan - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#283318) #
I am skeptical about the ability to retrofit a stadium with its wiring and plumbing under concrete floors, and an exterior structure created without thought to sunlight for natural grass. Moreover, this would take place in a climate that was initially considered inhospitable to natural grass.

Based on what they can now do with artificial lighting systems, it appears that growing grass at Rogers Centre is feasible. It just might take a bit of trial and error in the first season or two to get a decent playing surface.

Richard S.S. - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#283319) #
Until a Pitching prospect has reached 180.0 IP, it's much too early to pine for his availability. Being inning-limited is not an asset no matter how good he (anyone) is supposed to be,

A.A. was going to sign/trade for two Starters (Anabal Sanchez/Jake Peavy) and sign a Bat and see what 2013 brought. We know what happened there. Chances are good A.A. could have convinced everyone they were not "all in", just filling holes.

After what actually happened, no one would believe they weren't "all in". Doing this at the time of the World Baseball Classic, with a new Manager was unfortunately a big mistake.

With half of Spring Training still to go, it's too early to decide much. This Team will hit, that we know for sure. This Team will defend much better, that we know for sure. This Bullpen will be as dominant as before, that we know for sure. The whole season, the whole offseason has been/will be about just one thing, Starting Pitching. Nothing else matters as much as there.
JB21 - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#283320) #
I've been to 20+ of the current MLB stadiums and the RC is not as bad as you're making it out to be. Sure, it's no PNC, Camden, etc. but when the dome is open on a Summer night it's a great place to watch baseball. Every year they seem to be doing something better to make it a better experience, last year adding the ability to essentially tailgate out in CF was a big plus in my opinion. Also, the location is great.

Now, if they can just find a way to find to put grass in there... THAT would make a huge difference in my opinion.
greenfrog - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#283321) #
JB21, that's just my subjective opinion about the RC; I recognize that these things are a matter of personal preference. I agree that the location is great.
christaylor - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#283322) #
Excellent point -- let me put my own spin on the same point. Over the past three seasons I've been to 20+ games at Fenway and Yankee Stadium. I was at one in Toronto. I enjoyed the atmosphere in the one in Toronto the most.

Let's not let the unique wonder that is the SkyDome (Michael Snow sculptures and all) go the way of the Astrodome and the Big O. Remember they tore down Ebbett's Field and the Polo Grounds and... wait a minute, Yankee Stadium.

Fenway Park should be torn down before the Dome. In fact, it ought to have be torn down around the turn of the century.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#283323) #
JB21, I agree the location is great. Unfortunately the team does not own the land, simply the building. The building will soon be 30 years old, and except for vintage parks like Fenway, and Chavez Ravine, is one of the oldest park in the majors. Even Yankee has been replaced. Turner is to be replaced and the A's would love to move to San Jose to a new park.

PNC, which you mention, is a beautiful park. It's built at the edge of the river beside attractive bridges. At the end of a summer's game, fireworks are shot off from a barge over the left field wall. It cost only around $400 million to build, which would obviously be somewhat more in Canada with the labor rules and tax structure. But still....

How much longer can the Blue Jays move forward with the RC? Players don't want to play on the concrete and turf and one can't blame them. I agree the location's great, but the day of the multipurpose, artificial turf stadia has passed. My point was that the team's motives for spending so much money were the wrong ones, and the money would be better used in being saved for a new park.

Atlanta, incidentally, is careful with its money and is planning a move out of Turner by 2017.
Original Ryan - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#283328) #
A new ballpark in Toronto would cost a lot more than $400 million, largely because you will need a retractable roof. Target Field lacks a roof because it would have cost an additional $100 million to put one on.

The Atlanta situation really isn't comparable. A wealthy county outside of Atlanta offered the Braves a sweet deal on a new ballpark in a better location, and the Braves understandably jumped at the chance. Canadians tend to be more resistant to the idea of publicly-funded sports stadiums, and with the boondoggle that the then-SkyDome became, I highly doubt Ontario taxpayers will be keen on building the Blue Jays another ballpark any time soon.

A new ballpark would be very difficult to justify as there isn't an obvious need for one. Unlike the situation in Atlanta, Rogers Centre's location is great. Further, while Rogers Centre was the last of the multi-purpose facilities built, it contains most (if not all) of the other features that newer ballparks possess, such as luxury suites, premium seating areas, a retractable roof, etc. Adding grass will make Rogers Centre much more baseball-friendly, and there are likely numerous other improvements that could be made to the facility once the Argos leave. The Cardinals did a great job of turning the "cookie-cutter" version of Busch Stadium into a beautiful ballpark. I see no reason why the Blue Jays couldn't do something similar with Rogers Centre, and the Blue Jays wouldn't be hampered by a lack of other amenities like the Cardinals ultimately were.
JB21 - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#283331) #
One quick other point, yes, the stadium is one of the older in the league, but stating that as a fact is cheery picking the fact that the RC was built right before the majority of the league built parks. Camden Yards is just about the same age as the RC, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
John Northey - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#283332) #
I cannot disagree more.  A new stadium is the last thing the Jays need.  It will not add one win or draw one more fan at this point in time.  The 'new park smell' stuff was at a peak from the time the Skydome opened in 1989 through the late 90's.  Now it has an effect for maybe one year. 

Mets: moved in 2009, dropped from #1 to #5 and lost another 600k fans the next year
Pirates: moved in 2001, went from #12 to #11 then down to #13 in attendance settling in at #15/16 for 9 straight years and climbed back to #11 with a playoff appearance.

Jays? No moving, went from 12th in 2010 to 6th last year despite coming in dead last in 2013.

The only issue with the park is in drawing free agent hitters who fear hurting themselves on turf which will be gone once the grass is put in. The roof is a plus for players as they know the games will happen without rain delays or freezing their butts off while still having sun in the summer.  I just don't see anyway that Rogers could justify spending $500+ million on a replacement, nor do I see any level of government offering up that kind of cash or anything close to it. I know despite being a baseball fan I'd vote against a new park paid for by taxpayers.  Just imagine the reaction from Joe Public.  Hint - it would not be good.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#283334) #
I didn't intend on a publicly funded park. The Canadian experience with those in Montreal and Toronto has not been good.

I will say I'm surprised at the level of support for the Rogers Centre. Even without the turf issue, it's not a park that appeals to me, but I guess there are different tastes. As I said, I'm not nearly as optimistic that the turf/grass issue can be resolved by a retrofit. It strikes me as a million layers of problems both anticipated and unanticipated.
whiterasta80 - Friday, March 14 2014 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#283337) #
In my mind there is nothing wrong with the RC that can't be fixed. This isn't Olympic Stadium with a broken roof, terrible location, and is probably 20,000 seats too many.

The dome has an incredible location, the retractable roof is functional and is a big plus, and I think the layout/dimensions are great.

On the down side- it needs grass (apparently on the way) and the seats could stand an upgrade big time. The mass of concrete isn't beautiful, but its functional and isn't a major issue to me.

Overall I think its a great place to watch a game.
electric carrot - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#283339) #
I enjoyed the atmosphere in the one in Toronto the most.

Fenway Park should be torn down before the Dome. In fact, it ought to have be torn down around the turn of the century.

Wow!  christaylor you must be my alter ego.  I could not agree less.  Fenway is so much fun and more interesting than the Dome for me.  To me the Dome is one of the bottom circles in Dante's Inferno and Fenway is one of the top circles in his Paradiso.  Truly perplexed by your statement.
christaylor - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 02:20 AM EDT (#283340) #
We all have our preferences and really there's no accounting for taste.

But, yup, Fenway is a dump that I went to a lot because I could walk there at the time. A much better place for history and watch a game is new Yankee Stadium, which is a total delight. I grew up a Jays fan. (Just to get all my bias and history out there clear as day. Hello alter ego.)
JB21 - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 02:52 AM EDT (#283341) #
In my opinion, you're both right. If I had to pick one of the two to watch my only live MLB game this season, I'd pick Fenway in a heartbeat. Now, that being said, I've been to Fenway 4 times and 2 of the times I sat in, by far, the most uncomfortable seats I've ever sat in at a MLB park. Fenway is a baseball experience that every MLB fan needs to experience (if at all possible) but it has a ton of flaws. (none that good beer and good friends can't fix)
92-93 - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#283343) #
I completely understand where christaylor is coming from. If you were to only go to a baseball game every few years, you'd want it to be at Fenway. It's a place every baseball fan should attend at least once, and I've seen the Jays play there on numerous occasions. But I went to 24 games at the SkyDome last year, and would I have wanted those experiences taking place at Fenway? Nah. I love the SkyDome on a nice, summer day, with the dome kicked back and 35,000 people inside, and I love being in a comfortable, controlled environment watching baseball on days when the weather is gloomy outside. It might be a terrible field for our players to be playing on, but it's a convenient stadium to get to and it isn't cramped at all, even on nights when it's sold out. You also have a pretty solid view of the game no matter where are you sitting in the stadium, which is something that definitely can't be said for a place like Fenway.
Eephus - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#283344) #
I agree that accessibility is a very underrated aspect of the Dome. It's not much fun getting to by bicycle, but I love the trip from Union station along the Skywalk (assuming that's what it's still called) to the ballpark. Just something about it that brews up the anticipation of seeing a live baseball game.

I've never been to Fenway so I can't comment on that, but I've been to Citi Field and while that is a gorgeous park, you have to take an off-beat subway line to get there and nothing else of interest (unless the US Open is going) is around there. Same goes for the Oakland ballpark, except that's even more in the middle of nowhere, in a dangerous neighbourhood AND is a godawful place to watch baseball. You feel like you're sitting inside some weird grassy gymnasium that was half-built.

ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#283346) #
I see Scott Boras is now berating the Mets. Turns out Scott is deeply concerned with the 'credibility' and 'integrity' of the teams that won't sign his free agents who unwisely turned down $14.1 million for 2014.
soupman - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#283347) #
skydome isn't in the top half of stadiums in the league, but i don't think it deserves its reputation as one of the 2 or 3 worst either.
Magpie - Saturday, March 15 2014 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#283351) #
Fenway is a dump

Well... but it was being constructed at the exact same moment in time when the Titanic was being built! (The Fens and the Titanic were introduced to the world in the very same week in April 1912 - the ship went down early Monday morning, and the first game at Fenway was played the following Saturday.)

As long as the roof is open and there are at least 35,000 people on hand, I think the Dome's all right. (I like it better at night, myself.) And I actually like cycling to the Dome - straight down Spadina to Bremner - but you're coming from much further away, aren't you?
Rich - Sunday, March 16 2014 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#283366) #
I am not much of a fan of the RC but weather-wise having an open air ballpark without a retractable roof is simply a lousy idea in Toronto.  I spent many a frigid April or September night at the CNE and it's not much fun for the players or the fans.  Yes, I know the weather's not really much better in Detroit and I wish the roof were open more on 15 degree days but playing 81 games outside plus potentially playoff games doesn't work very well here.
Eephus - Sunday, March 16 2014 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#283367) #
but you're coming from much further away, aren't you?

That is true. I used to take the waterfront trail to get to the Dome but now all the construction on Queens Quay kinda ruins that. Definitely seems easier to get there from the North or the West.

Having an enclosed park definitely seems like a necessary evil for Toronto. It's not the prettiest looking thing in the world but it beats shivering your butt off in the seats during a windy April night game. I'm sure if given the choice, the players also prefer not to play in 4 degree weather.
raptorsaddict - Sunday, March 16 2014 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#283385) #
The Dome is going to be here for the next 50 years. And it is going to continue to be a cash cow for Rodgers with non-Jays events such as concerts, etc. It ain't going anywhere.

Personally, I'm ok with that. With grass, upgraded seats and other continued capital investment there is no reason it can't one day be viewed as a retro-cool, ahead of its time future stadium that has aged well. As others have said, from a functional perspective there is very little to complain about.

Chuck - Monday, March 17 2014 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#283389) #
The Dome is going to be here for the next 50 years.

I was going to cite the Houston Astrodome as a potential parallel. It was home to the Astros for 40 years but now sits empty. But I believe it has lost out on hosting non-baseball events to the NFL team's new stadium and that kind of competition may never be an issue in Toronto.

I think it's not unreasonable to imagine the Dome being the home of the Jays for another two decades, unless Rogers ultimately decides that people are no longer showing up specifically because of the stadium.

John Northey - Monday, March 17 2014 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#283393) #
As to the Morrow as #5 story hitting the media...
The way the days off are the roation goes...
7 games
Off day
6 games
Off day
6 games
Off day
6 games
Off day
20 games in a row

That suggests...
Top 5 go to start the year, then 2 more before an off day happens where you can skip a guy.  So ideally you put your #5 in the #3 slot in that case. So lets see how we do it maximizing the best starters while minimizing #4/5 guys.
Opening 7... 1-2-5-3-4-1-2
Day off (#5 misses a start)
Next 6... 3-4-1-2-5-3
Day off (#4 misses a start)
Next 6... 1-2-4-3-5-1
Day off (#2 gets extra day rest, #4 two days off, #5 extra time too)
Next 6... 2-3-4-1-5-2
Day off
20 game stretch with rotation set as...

Is that optimal? Hard to say but only the #4/5 starters miss starts or get pushed back more than 1 day with the #2 guy getting an extra day at one point by having the #5 guy start in the #3 slot.

Of course, right now the Jays are talking of starting with Dickey-Hutchison-Buehrle-Happ-Morrow which messes up that plan.
James W - Monday, March 17 2014 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#283408) #
All predictions true or your money back:

The team is just not that creative. I say it'll go 1-2-3-4-5-1-2-off-3-4-5-1-2-3-off-4-5-1-2-3-4-off-5-1-2-3-4-5-off-20 in a row.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 17 2014 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#283409) #
And it is going to continue to be a cash cow for Rodgers with non-Jays events such as concerts, etc. It ain't going anywhere.

I did a quick check of the RC calendar. Including Argos games, there is a little more on average than 1 non-Blue Jay event day per month averaged over the year. And some of these days are for low or non-revenue events such as a winter slo-pitch tournament where teams pay $990, and and Women's Cancer event

Paraphrasing Winston Churchill, some cow, some cash.
Parker - Tuesday, March 18 2014 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#283429) #
Maybe that's why the fans at RC are so rowdy and badly behaved:

They may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning they will be sober and Rogers Centre will still be ugly.
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