Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

Last Friday, just in time for the home opener, Ken Rosenthal broke the story that several Jays players were willing to defer salary so that the jays could sign Ubaldo Jimenez. AA and paul Beeston basically confirmed that in interviews. I wondered what impact that freeze had on the off-season. What transactions that we thought the Jays were in on, were they in fact no-where near? I assume AA became aware of his budget shortly after the season ended. As the season was coming to a close he was talking about adding starting pitching. By the winter meetings he was focused internally. But he never made that public, and all winter the fans thought that the Jays were all-in, and could add to the payroll for a playoff push. All off-season the Jays were thought to be waiting on Jimenez and Santana. Were they?

Remember that Rogers appointed a new CEO last year, one who has the reputation of a cost cutter. His arrival could easily have come with a directive, all budgets are frozen until I get to review the operations. I don't remember the exact date but the CEO did not meet with the Jays until early this year.

So how do off-season events look now?

The Jays did not have the budget to sign Tanaka. Knowing that, did they even bid? We don't know but why would they bid?

The Jays were disappointed when Detroit traded Doug Fister. Detroit received a minor league prospect in return. AA has said that the Jays "did not match up" with the Tigers. The Tigers motivation for the trade remains uncertain but they just signed Miguel Cabrera and they tried to sign Max Scherzer. Could payroll reduction have been one of the reasons for the trade? If so, did the Jays not match up because they couldn't take on Fister's $7.2M salary?

The Jays did not, and do not, have the budget to acquire Stephen Drew. They could not acquire him in the off-season and not when Reyes got injured. Similarly, the Jays could not afford Ubaldo Jimenez or Kendrys Morales. And they probably did not bid on Matt Garza.

We all know now that Ervin Santana back out of his deal with the Jays. We don't know why. We know he was in contact with some of his friends on the Jays. Did one of them say to Santana "I have agreed to take a pay cut so you can come to Toronto"? Maybe Santana was not comfortable with that, perhaps he did not understand the players would get the money back the next year, maybe he didn't want to have the pressure of his fellow players sacrifice riding on him. We may never know.

Back in February Scott Boras called out Rogers. He said “They’re a car with a huge engine that is impeded by a big corporate stop sign … a successful and committed ownership that needs to give their baseball people financial flexibility.” In retrospect it sounds like Boras knew what the Jays budget situation was.

Do Ryan Goins, Dustin McGowan and Drew Hutchison owe their position on this team to Rogers frugality?

These are the events I remember. Are there others that you remember that could have been impacted by the budget cap?

Blue Jays Financial Situation | 52 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Paul D - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#284344) #
The problem with this stuff is that you never know what to believe. It was reported that the Jays were in on Burnett, correct? If that's the case, how were they going to pay for him? Or did that happen early enough in the off season that the budget hadn't been updated yet?
Thomas - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#284345) #
Or was that report inaccurate?
finch - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#284346) #

Moving forward, I do believe that the Blue Jays have the green light to add additional payroll but I do believe Rogers might be a tad hesitant than they were last offseason. They aquired, last offseason, a lot of a salary with no substance to show for it. I think the ownership is in a wait-and-see mode with AA and Paul Beeston. If this team is in wildcard contention come mid June, I think you'll see ownership give them the green light to aquire players at the deadline.

mike in boston - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#284347) #
Moving forward, I do believe that the Blue Jays have the green light to add additional payroll

On what basis do you hold that belief?
finch - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#284348) #

A large corporation owning a cable network that owns the Blue's in their best interest to put a product on the field that is competitive and looks to win. It's more profitable for Rogers to have a winner rather than a losing team. They want to maximize profits for their shareholders and the way to maximize that revenue stream is through advertising both on television and in stadium/sponsorship. The year that the deals went down with Florida and New York, both AA and Beeston said that the money is there...all they have to do is ask. Did they lie to us at that point? No, they didn't. They proved the money was there. Why would things change now? Again, AA said the money is there when needed. They've proved that statement to be 100% accurate.

This story is all based on specuation. Nothing has been confirmed has it? The Blue Jays, reported, have an internal cap on FAs and other players. Is it possible that Jays internal number for Ervin Santana was, for example, $8M/season? Yes. Is it possible the players, knowing that it wasn't enough, OFFERED themselves to defer salary in order to make up the diffenence? Yes. People ASSUME the Jays didn't have the funds. MY belief is that the Jays HAD the money BUT didn't want to go over their in-house salary cap for Santana, thus the players were willing to defer salary in order to make the deal work, to get their buddy Santana.

John Northey - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#284349) #
I think there are a lot of factors in play.  Right now the Jays do have one of the larger budgets in baseball - via you can see they have a $137 million payroll this year, #8 in the majors and only the top 10 are in eyeshot (#10 is Texas at $133 million, #11 is Cincinnati at $114 million).  They are $11 mil behind #7 and $21 mil behind #5.  The Dodgers are #1 by a mile at $235, Yankees #2 at $197 then Phillies at $177 followed by Detroit at $163.  Basically if they signed the big 2 starters (Santana & Jimenez) they would've shifted to the top 5.

If I ran Rogers and saw the Jays came in last place, saw an increase in TV ratings and attendance despite that, I'd be saying 'might as well stick with the current budget' also.  Why spend another $20-30 million when you have no guarantees that things will get better?  Outside of Tanaka none of the free agents were _that_ tempting and he was an arm/leg/other major organ cost.

I read at Offseason In Review: Toronto Blue Jays that the Jays didn't make the $20 mil qualifying offer to get into the bidding for Tanaka which, if true, is a bad thing. They may not have thought they could meet his demands, but you go there just in case something happens (Yankee offer falls through, Dodgers hit a speed bump financially due to crazy payroll then suddenly he could've been affordable).  But, as I said, I can see why Rogers would say 'hold on a minute' after jumping payroll and seeing nothing (in wins) for it.
PeterG - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#284350) #
If reports that Jays offered Santana 14 mil and thought the deal was done (and previously offered Burnett 16 mil,) are true and they appear to be, then there is no cost cutting in the 2014 budget and there is more money available if necessary. One has to be somewhat circumspect in spending, however, as has been done. I think the OP is looking for a bogeyman where none exists. Nothing wrong with asking the question, I suppose, but the answer appears obvious.

Gerry - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#284351) #
The money available to sign Santana was coming from Buehrle, Reyes, Bautista, Encarnacion and Dickey. That doesn't endorse the "there is money in the budget" assertion.
Mike Green - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#284352) #
Please cue "Rumours of Glory" for this thread (slide forward to 1:00 or so if you want to miss Bruce's patter).

I have no idea what to believe.  I don't know what promises were or were not made to Anthopoulos at the time of the Marlins' trade.  I do know that it was a dangerous move on his part to assume that Rogers would be good for significantly more money after their interaction with Ricciardi in 2008-09.  Reyes, Buehrle and Johnson (as a whole) did not offer great value, and money was likely to be an issue given the other needs of the organization and the lack of talent in the organization once the trade was made.  And as for this off-season, who the Ford Frick knows?
dan gordon - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#284353) #
I know the signing, or lack of signing, of big time free agents is a sore point for many fans. A lot of those contracts blow up in teams' faces, though. I would love to see a study done of free agent contracts to see what percentage of major signings turn out to be good or reasonable deals for the team, and what percentage turn out to be the kind they regret, and try to unload. If you looked, for instance, at every player currently in mlb who was signed to a free agent contract (not resigned by his existing team) for, say 3+ years and $10+ million/season, what percentage of those contracts are regrettable?
gnor - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#284354) #
The problem with this post is that you are guessing, picking at straws. You have no facts to back up your speculations, other than rumor and conspiracy theory.
There are several reasons AA changed his mind about starting pitching over the Winter:
  • Hutchison was lights out in the AFL
  • Rogers was lights out in the DWL
  • Morrow was throwing full speed with no issues.
  • They have far better depth than they had last year.
  • The lineup was healthy and ready to give run support.
Stephen Drew: why would you sign him when we already have a fine shortstop? He's not worth the money he wants.
Santana: If you were looking to sign a pillow contract as a pitcher, would you sign in the AL East? Why do you think JJ went to San Diego?
Budget constraints: AA said several times that the money was there ($14 mil) to sign Santana. He chose Atlanta over Toronto for the same money, and I don't blame him.
Tanaka: there are several very good reasons why not signing him is a very good idea. If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand.
Players deferring salary: Bar room talk. A couple of guys shooting the bull, got back to agents, became rumor, rumor takes on life, becomes truth. Until you see players lining up at AA's door to hand back money, it's just so much BS. I would love to hear what the MLBPA would have to say if anything like that ever became even a remote possibility.

PeterG - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#284355) #
There has been absolutely no proof that money was coming from other players. The PA were have nixed it. If u have seen Ubaldo in his first two starts, it is obvious that he would likely have been a bad sign.....all that was really made available to AA, other than coming close on Santana or a foolish long term contract, was to trade prospects for a proven starter. I believe that he made the right decision in not doing so.
gnor - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#284356) #
Hey Dan - I don't think we have to look much farther than Vernon Wells or Alex Rios to see examples of what you mean. BJ Ryan and Frank Thomas never completed their deals either. The Yankees are notorious for poaching free agents and signing them to long term deals. How has that worked out? I don't know the percentage, but it's high enough to make me wary of anything over 3 years.

gnor - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#284357) #
We used to have a saying in construction: "A lot of high rises get built in the pub." There is no way in the world that it could have happened. The MLBPA would have put a stop to it for one thing. It's just a BS rumor that got blown out of proportion. You are a far better writer when you stick to reality.
Gerry - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#284360) #

As a coincidence Ken Rosenthal has a new report that states the Players Association had approved the salary deferral plan.

The PA will not let a player reduce his deal. But the Jays had agreed to pay the players in 2015 with interest so the players were not losing out by agreeing to defer salary.

I admit my article includes speculation. But by the same measure any story that says the Jays were interested in player X is also speculation, other than Santana. There is no evidence that the Jays bid on Tanaka or made an offer to Burnett. That is as much speculation as my comments above.

uglyone - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#284361) #
I must be the only one who thinks this us an epic nonstory.

The Jays had one of the higher payrolls in baseball, and were ready to add $14m to that to add Santana.

Obviously finances are not a major concern.
PeterG - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#284362) #
The same Rosenthal is one of those who said that the jays had matched the Philly offer for Burnett  but he chose the Phils. Maybe BJ players were hoping for an increased offer to Santana but realistically that deal was dead as soon as the Braves came in.

I agree with Ugly that this is a non story.
mathesond - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#284363) #
"If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand."

It's comments like these that keep me coming back!
Intricated - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#284364) #
I got the sense from AA's unwillingness to explicitly state where the money for Santana would be from that this salary deferral was legitimately in play.  Interesting to hear that it was already approved by the union.

I also feel some from other pieces of the story that this doesn't (or rather didn't) necessarily mean ownership has a firm grasp on the pursestrings or their unwillingness to "invest" in the team to win; perhaps it was just prudent financing:

Rogers would have a full year of an extra 14M to do as they please, say invest in other parts of their business that could provide a return higher than the (assumed) fair interest rate agreed upon before they would be obligated to dish it back out to the players (evenly, in bi-weekly instalments during the season if I understand MLB payroll, so even more time they have to utilize parts of the 14M).

I also think there are some optics at play here in just the symbolic gesture of Jays' players deferring their salary to bring Santana to Toronto.  It ought to have meant something to Santana and influence his (initial) willingness to sign.  To a lesser extent, it might have been spun as a positive by the marketing department as well.

Not a clear cut "win-win" if this went through (although wins on the field makes everything else moot), but I can see it going down that way... before Medlen did, of course.

mathesond - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#284365) #
"If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand."

It's comments like these that keep me coming back!
Lylemcr - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#284366) #

I am not a Santana or a Jimenez fan.  I would rather hang my hat on Hutchinson and McGowan to see what they can do.

No tears here.

monkeyman - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#284368) #
i'm actually not too fussed by the starting pitching.  i think its a stretch to say right now, ubaldo or santana are better than hutchison or mcgowan.  every team other than the yankees or dodgers will need some cheaper players outperform their salary.  i would say that morales would look pretty good as depth.  more interesting to me is the talks AA had about Matt Kemp.

What i am clear on is that Rogers is choking on the NHL deal.   Bonuses were crappy in the media division.  The Jays AND ROGERS are better off if they flip the team to MLSE, take the net cash injection and deal with half the content.  Its Canada's team, let TSN and Rogers both promote them and value the content in the payroll.

Mike Green - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#284369) #
...and back.  Right, Mr. Matheson? :)

It should be noted that Blue Jay management play the rumour mill (perhaps unwisely so) and so it shouldn't really surprise them when it comes back to bite them. 

I was not fixated on the starting pitching as the off-season began, notwithstanding the organization's insistence that this was the major need of the organization.  There were a number of ways that the club could have been improved (at various cost levels), and the only improvement was to the catching.  It wasn't an impressive off-season, no matter how you slice it.

92-93 - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#284371) #
Ken Rosenthal stories tend not to be very speculative unless he makes it clear that's the case, so all these posts denying the reality that Rogers cut off AA are pretty funny to read.
greenfrog - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#284372) #
Kazmir would have been a better get, but Santana at 1/14 made good sense for the team. The Jays could still use another workhorse arm of decent quality.

The off-season was unfortunate, because so far the team is looking fairly good in a number of respects. A good starting pitcher, a good second baseman (with Goins and Diaz as bench players) and a RH bat, and the Jays would have quite a nice 2014 squad.
scottt - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#284374) #
Baseball Prospectus has the Jays payroll at $137M. That's probably pretty close to the limit.

So yes, I believe there was no money available to sign anyone this winter.

Trade at the deadlines? That's a big maybe. Would have to handle someone not good enough for a qualifying offer and probably cost a prospect.

greenfrog - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#284375) #
AA has strenuously tried to remain cryptic about the team's financial resources (ostensibly to avoid giving free agents and opposing teams leverage in negotiating with the Jays), but the team's finances ended up in the national spotlight anyway (two pieces by Ken Rosenthal!). Life is like that. The Jays should just fess up and admit that payroll will likely be in the $130-140 range for the foreseeable future (if in fact this is true). Then we could all take a deep breath and move on to another subject, like how best to allocate those ascertainable resources.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#284376) #
I think the Blue Jays had the money to acquire any player that was better than any existing player. Acquiring a Bona Fide Ace - one that was better than anyone on staff - that would be approved (the money would be there). But unless the acqusition makes the Team a Postseason favorite, I don't think A.A. was interested. I think there was money to take on salary if some salary went the other way.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#284377) #
I think the Blue Jays had the money to acquire any player that was better than any existing player. Acquiring a Bona Fide Ace - one that was better than anyone on staff - that would be approved (the money would be there). Acquiring a Monster Bat - like Braun or Kemp would be approved for the same reason. But unless the acqusition makes the Team a Postseason favorite, I don't think A.A. was interested. I think there was money to take on salary if some salary went the other way, but even that wouldn't be more than $5 - $8 MM.
greenfrog - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#284378) #
Ubaldo is now 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Today he walked five in 4.2 IP against the Yankees. The Orioles are 2-5.

Kazmir, who required a much smaller financial commitment, is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA, although he walked four in six innings today.
TangledUpInBlue - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#284379) #
As a coincidence Ken Rosenthal has a new report that states the Players Association had approved the salary deferral plan.

But I thought Gnor had just said this was impossible! And he said it with such certainty. Gnor?

For those saying/speculating that the players went to management, and not the other way around, you should read John Lott's column on the matter. To begin with, he writes: "During spring training in early March, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos met with his five highest-paid players to discuss whether they would be willing to defer part of their 2014 salaries so the club could sign free-agent pitcher Ervin Santana to a one-year contract. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, each player agreed to defer roughly US$3-million each this year in return for repayment plus interest in 2015." He also quotes Edwin Encarnacion: “If they ask me to do that for anybody — it doesn’t have to be [Santana] — I do it."

So from that, it seems pretty clear to me that the proposal was coming from management. And if that's true, it also puts the lie to all the talk, mostly from Beeston, that ownership has always been willing to step up whenever the baseball people deem it appropriate, that they've never said no, etc. Of course Beeston never put himself in position to get rejected with a direct "no", but the result is the same -- ownership refused to spend the money on Santana, contrary to the wishes of the ball club.

Now, that said, I also agree with those who are saying Santana is no great loss. McGowan seems fine, especially for the salary difference. But this may well explain the other holes on the roster (2nd base and the bench) and, more importantly, it suggests that the future of the organization is going to be one of strict spending controls. All thoughts of being a top-5 spender to match the market size are gone.

Here's the John Lott article:
Mylegacy - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#284380) #
I'm somewhat concerned about Rogers future. Specifically, cable tv is being eroded significantly by Netflix, and other computer to tv set technologies, etc. It reminds me of how "land lines" are losing out to "cell" phones.

If you look at Rogers stock (RCI.B): over 10 years it has outperformed the TSX by nearly 200%! Over 5 years it's nearly just even. Over 3 years it's Rogers by 40% over the TSX. Over 2 years it's the TSX on top by about 4% and over 1 year it's the TSX over Rogers by over 25%.

Unfortunately, for the Jays (and we die hard fans) - I believe that "our" team is owned by a strong company in (unfortunately) a slowly declining industry.

Thank the gods (chose yours from the attached list of thousands) for scotch (single malt) a wee dram of joy in a world of hurt and pain...

John Northey - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#284381) #
Well, as I mentioned #5 is $21 mil more than the Jays - significant but not a crazy spread - while #11 is $23 mil lower than the Jays.  Not much question the Jays have a top 10 budget and that #5 is in reach if things keep going well in the attendance/TV ratings area.

Of note in that area - after 3 games the Jays are up 11,573 per game vs last year, easily the best in baseball...of course, it does help that this year started on a weekend vs the Yankees whereas last year was 3 vs Cleveland during the week.  For a more relevant set the first weekend set was vs the Red Sox (also a big draw of course with the added benefit of getting to boo the manager who left) and the Jays saw 132,293 come out for that weekend vs 127,710 this year vs the Yankees - a drop of 4,583 or 1,528 per game.

It'll be interesting to see the attendance during the year and to take note of TV ratings - last year and the year before were around the 500k mark per game, if the Jays maintain that or improve on it by years end then the budget could go up.  If not...
John Northey - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#284382) #
I wouldn't worry too much about Rogers and cable.  The Jays (and all sports) are premium properties still due to the simple fact that most people won't DVR/PVR the games.  People want to watch sports live, thus sit through the commercials vs regular TV where you can tape it and fast forward through the ads (I've done that for over a decade now).  That will help increase the value of the Jays to Rogers, or to whoever would buy the team from them (Netflix Canada or something) as the value of programs that people feel the need to watch live is sky high now.
PeteMoss - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#284383) #
Rogers is also one of the biggest (if not the biggest) provides of wireless phone services and internet. They are covered as cable fades.
PeteMoss - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#284384) #
Upon further research:
57% of their revenue comes from wireless phone/data service (61% of their profit)

About 15% from Cable.

They also own TV channels, radio stations... they've got money coming from everywhere.
christaylor - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#284385) #
I wonder if this discussion is really merely the by-product of PTSD (Poor Toronto Sports Disorder) from the InBev years (and more).

Summary of my read through of this discussion:

1) Sensible people point out the Jays are spending more than enough.

2) People who believe Rogers is cheap and doesn't care about winning. They want the Jays to spend more, more, more (hey, that's a good disco tune) and buy any shiny bauble on the market that catches their fancy, damn the consequences. I am sympathetic, but a choosing to read tea leaves in click bait and hanging on AAs every word as if he is the POTUS dealing with Russia -- not so fun for me.

3) Myself, I wish the Jays were the spend-o-matic Yankees of a while back and would have thrown down a truck load of money for McCann and Cano. It is just money, right?
Oceanbound - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 07:18 AM EDT (#284386) #
2) People who believe Rogers is cheap and doesn't care about winning. They want the Jays to spend more, more, more (hey, that's a good disco tune) and buy any shiny bauble on the market that catches their fancy, damn the consequences.

There's a world of difference between what you're describing and what the actual situation is, which is the team having very obvious weaknesses, and being unable to plug those holes because they have no money.
christaylor - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#284387) #
"the actual situation is, which is the team... being unable to plug those holes because they have no money."

I doubt any one on this board knows whether this is the actual situation.

As for the bit I cut out... I've watched baseball for a lot of years and it keeps teaching me that if you think something is obvious, think again, or wait.
Thomas - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#284388) #

Some people seem to be talking about the wisdom of signing Santana or Jimenez. I think that is missing the point. You can believe the Jays had strong pitching depth, or perhaps more accurately, sufficent pitching depth that the focus of the offseason should have been on plugging other holes in the lineup. Mike Green is one example of a poster who has been outspoken about his belief that pitching should not have been a priority.

However, we have a situation where, from all reports we've read, AA wanted to sign Santana at a particular price. And now it turns that particular price could only be reached by several players agreeing to defer their salaries, which it seems came at the request of management. This also explains why there was a decision to only offer Santana a one year contract, as opposed to a 3-year deal, even though the Jays have very little pitching depth at the advanced minors behind Stroman and Sanchez, as the players agreed to defer their salaries for a year. [Admittedly some of the preference for a one-year contract may have come from Santana hoping to increase his value, but perhaps 3 years of guaranteed money would have moved the needle in favour of the AL East as opposed to one year of guaranteed money in the NL East.]

And that doesn't even address the club's refusal to find a better second baseman than Ryan Goins, which looks particularly strange given the presence of Jose Reyes and his injury risk at shortstop and Stephen Drew currently an unsigned free agent.

greenfrog - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#284389) #
Don't forget that Beeston has admitted that the Jays have been monitoring the exchange rate. In the last year, the dollar has lost over seven percent of its value relative to the US dollar.

I think the Jays probably would have preferred Santana on a one-year deal, given his injury/performance history and the risks associated with giving pitchers multiyear contracts generally.

People may be content with McGowan and Hutchison now, but let's see how the pitching depth stacks up in a few months.
gnor - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#284390) #
The first thing I want to say is that nobody really know what those weaknesses are yet. With a significant part of the team injured or under-performing last year, it's pretty hard to tell what needs fixing. I do have to say that 2 of the most egregious under-performers from last year – JJ and JPA – are no longer with the team.
  • Where are the holes? There are question marks: Hutchison, Morrow, and McGowan are three of the better arms in baseball, but none of them has pitched for a while. Every one of them had a good Winter, and was readyto go this year. If none of them falter, then there are no holes. if all of them do, then all the money in the world isn't going to help. Isn't it better to wait and see?
  • Rogers is cheap, or Rogers has no money is getting really, really, old. The Blue Jays have the 8th highest payroll in baseball right now, and there was a further $14 million to sign Santana, had he decided to come here. To argue that they didn't sign Tanaka or Cano to long term deals that stand a huge chance of coming back to bite them is just stupid. It's not being cheap, it's being smart.
  • Signing free agents isn't like picking cans off a shelf. They have minds of their own, and the freedom of choice. They con't choose not to sign here because it's Canada, or the taxes, or anything else. They don't sign here because The Jays haven't won in a long time. They had no trouble attracting free agents in the 90s after they had gone to the playoffs a few times. When this team gets to the playoffs, the free agents will come knocking. Nothing to do with money.
gnor - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#284391) #
I agree with John below that live sports is the remaining mainstay of cable TV. While the TV industry is slowly giving way to mobile devices, the internet, and so on, professional sports doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon. Fans will continue to consume sports over a variety of devices, and I believe "TVIP" will become popular as well, with paid programming available via XBox, Apple TV, and so on. In the past, Rogers has shown the ability to jump on new technology, and I have no doubt that it will continue into the future, whatever that may be.
gnor - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#284392) #
"And now it turns that particular price could only be reached by several players agreeing to defer their salaries, which it seems came at the request of management."
At the request of management? Where did you hear this? The whole salary thing is a bunch of BS, blown out of proportion by the rumor mill, and now it's growing legs and arms. There is absolutely no way the MLBPA, or even the agents would allow something like this to go through.
Until I hear it from the mouths of the players themselves, or see them lining up at AA's door to hand back some money, I will believe it's nothing more than BS.
Paul D - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#284393) #
The Rosenthal article linked earlier indicates that it had approval of the union, as does the quote from Encarnacion. (Note that it wasn't just a deferral of salary, it was deferred with interest).
uglyone - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#284397) #
"from all reports we've read, AA wanted to sign Santana at a particular price"

Well, actually, the reports indicate that the players REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to sign him, while AA's level of interest has never really been clear, and he could easily have just been going along with the players, with a "if you guys want him that bad, then defer your salaries to make it work" attitude.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#284398) #
And count me as one of the ones who was never overly interested in signing a santana/jimenez this offseason, and that was even when it was unclear whether hutch/mcg would be ready.

Their first few starts this year aren't a huge surprise.

Now Tanaka or Drew, on the other hand, were definitely on my menu.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#284408) #
"Well, actually, the reports indicate that the players REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to sign him, while AA's level of interest has never really been clear, and he could easily have just been going along with the players,"

This suggestion is even worse. It means AA didn't want the player, and was willing to saddle the Jays with 14m in commitments down the line knowing it's unlikely to be his problem anyway. When you start letting the inmates run the asylum...

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#284410) #
Here is an article on Keith Pelley's statement to the CRTC on Rogers' finances.  The complaint is partially about the rights' fees associated with sports programming.  This cuts differently in the case of the Blue Jays- you'd think that Rogers would have a special interest in maximizing the value of the franchise which they own and broadcast. 
PeteMoss - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#284414) #
The thing that sucks about Rogers owning the team is that they can bury the money being made or lost in their financials and we'll never know. If the Jays were owned by a non-media org - Bell and Rogers would be falling all over themselves offering up money for the broadcast rights.

Rogers has gotten themselves a monopoly on virtually all of the money the team makes - radio/tv/stadium, etc. So you never know if the team is making or losing money.
christaylor - Tuesday, April 08 2014 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#284415) #
Perhaps Jays fans should start a movement to all each buy a voting share of Rogers and then show up to a shareholder's meeting... to start asking questions.

Not that expensive... but I believe only 10% of the voting shares are public.
Dave Till - Wednesday, April 09 2014 @ 06:41 AM EDT (#284435) #
Some thoughts:
  • This has actually happened before in Blue Jays history. I seem to recall that some Jays (or maybe it was just Todd Stottlemyre) offered to defer part of their salaries to re-sign Tom Henke after 1992.
  • We don't know for sure what Rogers' budget is. If they are really interested in cost-cutting, they'll start a fire sale after or during this season. If they trade Reyes, Buehrle and Dickey for prospects, we will know what is happening.
  • Most teams have budgets. The real problem is that the Jays are in the AL East, where the Yankees have unlimited money and the Red Sox have enough money to go buy Liverpool FC as a side project.
  • When the Jays spend big, it usually doesn't work out. If it hadn't been for the generosity of the Angels, they would still be paying for Vernon Wells. And the B.J. Ryan contract worked out so badly that I seem to recall reading that it was a line item on Rogers' budget.
  • Free agents tend not to want to come to Toronto if they have choices. We've got a dome and artificial turf, it's a foreign country, and the AL East provides statistics-dampening tough opposition week after week. Pitchers, especially, would rather go elsewhere. Which is what I think happened to Santana: if reports are true, he preferred the Jays to the Orioles, but fled to the relatively pitcher-friendly haven of Atlanta at the first opportunity.
  • As someone else has pointed out, favourite off-season target Ubaldo Jiminez is being beaten like a gong so far this year: 13 hits and a league-leading 8 walks in 10.2 innings. And the Orioles are now committed to him until 2017.
Blue Jays Financial Situation | 52 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.