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The mid-season point is upon us and the Jays are not where we wanted them to be. The Jays have a losing record, are 4.5 games back of the Yankees and 4 games back in the wild-card. The Jays have played 91 games, they have 71 left. The Jays will need to go 45-26 to finish with 90 wins. Fangraphs projection system believes that 82 wins will get a team into the wildcard game. That seems to be overly optimistic or pessimistic, depending on your point of view. Baseball reference has the same numbers. Both systems give the Jays a 26%-28% chance to make the playoffs. A 40-31 finish will give the Jays 85 wins a decent shot. If the Jays can live up to their pythagorean record from the first half they can do that. But they need shutdown relief pitching and fewer errors.

Given that information what would you do?

First, are you for it and forget about the future? Will you hedge your bets and trade for value if its there and perhaps not overpay for rentals? Or would you sit relatively pat and just tweak the roster?

If a trade is available for a dependable starting pitcher, who would you be willing to give up?

Specifically, who would you deal from the following lists? Assume you need to deal a prospect from list A and a prospect from list B, who are your choices to trade?

List A is Daniel Norris, Jeff Hoffman, Dalton Pompey and Anthony Alford.

List B is Matt Boyd, Richard Urena, Jairo Labourt and Sean Reid-Foley.

If you had to trade a player off the big league roster, which of the following would you trade? Danny Valencia, Chris Collabello, Ryan Goins or Dioner Navarro.

The expected challenge in the trade market this year is the number of teams still in contention. This is more of an AL issue than an NL issue. There are just four teams realistically in play for the NL wild card. There are around ten teams in the AL. This could set prices higher if fewer teams are selling and more are buying. How would you play the sellers market?

I would try and improve the team, hopefully by trading for assets that would be under control for a couple of years. I would almost go for it but not at any price. From my lists I would trade Jeff Hoffman, Sean Reid-Foley and Chris Colabello. In general hitters are less risky than pitchers but pitchers who have already had TJ surgery are at an increased risk of seeing material damage done to their careers.

The 30% chance that the Jays have to reach the playoffs seems right to me. They have the capability to pitch better but I would prefer if the Jays could pick up a starter and move a pitcher, say Sanchez, to the pen. They could also hopefully pick up another seasoned reliever. That would give two extra strong pillars in the pen.

What would you do?

WWYD - Mid Season Decision Time | 122 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#304990) #
First, are you for it and forget about the future? Will you hedge your bets and trade for value if its there and perhaps not overpay for rentals? Or would you sit relatively pat and just tweak the roster?

Door #2, Alex (er, Gerry).

Specifically, who would you deal from the following lists? Assume you need to deal a prospect from list A and a prospect from list B, who are your choices to trade?

List A is Daniel Norris, Jeff Hoffman, Dalton Pompey and Anthony Alford.

List B is Matt Boyd, Richard Urena, Jairo Labourt and Sean Reid-Foley.

It's all about getting value coming back.  My perception (which may or may not be accurate) is that others view Jeff Hoffman as having more value than I do, with the issue not being upside but rather realistic chance of reaching the upside. As for List B, I would be extremely reluctant to trade Richard Urena because it puts the organization behind the 8 ball at shortstop.  Is it a given that someone like Andrew Cashner would require someone from List A and someone from List B?  I don't think that it is, and that might make him a more attractive target than the bigger names.  I'm not sure that Samardzija would require one from List A and one from List B either...

If you had to trade a player off the big league roster, which of the following would you trade? Danny Valencia, Chris Collabello, Ryan Goins or Dioner Navarro.

It's desirable if one of Valencia or Colabello and also Navarro are gone, with a depth catcher and whatever you can get coming back.  Dioner is a perfectly acceptable catcher, but with Martin and Dickey around, he offers less than Josh Thole.  Martin does not need to spend the post-All Star break period chasing knuckleballs, and Navarro DHing is not a good idea. 

Kasi - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#304991) #
We can't take a lot of salary and I dont want them to get rentals. So that does limit us. That's means people like Cueto and Hamels are out. Cueto since we'd just lose him. Hamels because we'd have to give them prospects to get them and prospects to take money from his contract, basically costing us double.

So if we can get someone young or cost controlled akin to Donaldson I'd be happy with giving up top prospects, I have no idea who is available so it's hard to speculate. I don't mind limited selling, as long as it's one of our old guys (like Beurhle) or a hitter to improve our pitching.
Kasi - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#304992) #
Choices to trade. I'd say Pompey, Boyd and any or all of group three if they have value. I do like Valencia though.
christaylor - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#304993) #
I would like to hear a good argument against a) standing pat b) not getting Pompey/Norris/Sanchez/Castro up here for another roll at the dice of April's plan c) not clearing out the deadwood, Cola to free up the Jays to evaluate Smoak with daily ABs, Navarro, to evaluate Dickey with his catcher to see if QO is in the work d) Gibby's teams have had trouble with end of the season shenanigans. A hard-ass manager might help with this if such rumblings come out of the club house again. What vet managers with scary reputations can be coaxed out to work for a couple of months?
hypobole - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#304994) #
IF we're going to trade multiple prospects, I'd say gut the farm and trade anybody/everybody for at least 2 good stating pitchers who will be here this year and next. Then after next year, have a selloff of assets and tank.

Navarro and Colabello won't fetch much, but at least it will keep Gibby from constantly using them as DH or in LF respectively.

I would stand pat though or a minor low cost move (ie Colabello or 1 or 2 list C prospects), unless the team either gets very hot (then buy) or very cold (then sell).
ayjackson - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#304996) #
Labourt and Pompey are they only prospects from either list that I would trade (for the usual suspects of available starters). Pompey, only because Pillar could bridge the gap to Alford, hypothetically.

I'm not really interested in the usual suspects though. MG suggested Andrew Cashner a few days ago and that's the sort of extendable arb-guy I'd be interested in.
electric carrot - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#304997) #
I'm for doing nothing and seeing if the team can figure it out with the personnel that we already have. I think the starters will do better and the hitters will fade a little and hopefully we just get a little luckier in the one run games and terrible timing for errors and poor relief efforts.
Gerry - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#304998) #
Doing nothing is a good option without consideration of prior history. Last year AA did nothing and was criticised by Bautista and Jansen for it. He cannot do nothing again this year and risk losing the clubhouse, and his job.
ayjackson - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#304999) #
I have thought about Bautista's reaction if they do nothing. But he is not worried about the club's future, only its present. If things don't work out in the second half, you have to seriously consider trading Bautista in the offseason.
greenfrog - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#305000) #
If the Jays are looking at rentals, Kazmir and Samardzija are two pitchers who might not cost all that much. They would also be pitchers the team could feel reasonably good about starting in the playoffs, should the Jays make it that far.
Beyonder - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#305001) #
History cuts in different ways. AA may well lose the clubhouse if he doesn't make a deal at the deadline, but he could lose the fanbase (and his job) if he goes "all-in" on another big trade that doesn't work.

I would stand pat, and if anything, see what EE would fetch in a sellers market.

Mike Green - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#305002) #
For the "do-nothing" group, what about left-field?  We've got Colabello/Carrera getting the work.  Is that all right in your books, or would you suggest something else?  Maybe that falls within the "minor tweaks" category.  electric carrot suggested trading Encarnacion a little while ago, with Colabello presumably becoming the full-time DH...
Gerry - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#305003) #
I don't think Colabello has hit well enough to offset his fielding in left. I also don't think he has a lot of trade value so if the Jays can find someone better, Colabello might be out of a major league job.
Mike Green - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#305004) #
I think that Colabello has some value as a first baseman. 
Chuck - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#305005) #
With regards to Colabello, both the Jays and potential trade partners would want to know is, what exactly is he? Defensively, he's pretty clearly a 1B/DH. Offensively, it's a much tougher call. His .421 BABIP is certainly obscuring matters.

Subbing in a .322 BABIP (I arbitrarily chose Billy Butler's career mark) in place of the .421, Colabello's slash line drops from 325/371/500 to 257/308/432. This translates to an OPS+ somewhere between Pillar's 99 and Encarnacion's 115. Call it 105.

Would that be good enough to warrant trading EE and giving Colabello his old job? What kind of return could EE fetch when his numbers are down and a possible underlying injury might be presumed to be at the root.

And would a 105 (by a 31-year old) be good enough to interest any potential trade partners? All organizations have fulltime numbers crunchers so my little 10-minute math exercise is a very tame version of a rigorous analysis they would surely do. Colabello's age and BABIP are not going to go unnoticed.

A team like St. Louis might see him as a useful short-term upgrade, but how many suitors would there be and how much return, really, could even be expected?

I fully expect Colabello to last the season in Toronto and stick around long enough in the off-season to maybe factor in as a plan B in any 1B/DH decisions. And I fear we have not seen the last of him in the outfield.

Chuck - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#305006) #
FYI, my Colabello remarks were made not as a response to Gerry's and Mike's. Their posts were not yet up yet when I started typing my blatherings.
hypobole - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#305007) #
I've mentioned the Angels and their black hole at DH. Colabello doesn't have much value, but he would have more to a team in need than the Jays, where he is superfluous.
hypobole - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#305008) #
You can trade EE, have Smoak/Cola at 1st and use the DH spot for Bautista's shoulder, Reyes days off (remember AA's comments?), Donaldson days off etc.

EE would actually bring back value, either a SP or prospect(s) to trade for SP or replace prospects used to trade for SP.
Kasi - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#305009) #
But at 10-5 now that's difficult to do. And damn I have his parrot shirt too. Still the smart move is to trade him if possible for pitching help. But it would have been much easier preseason.
Chuck - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#305010) #
There is every chance that the late blooming EE is done with his peak. His OPS+ from age 27 to age 32, all as a Blue Jay: 109, 111, 153, 145, 151, 115.

His peak came relatively late, at ages 29-31. He is now playing like he did at ages 27-28, meaning 1-2 WAR rather than 3.5-5.0 WAR. Anyone willing to cough up a meaningful return would be banking on what would seem to be a fairly unlikely return to recent form.

But you never know. He could surprise and post another 150 next year.

China fan - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#305011) #
"....what exactly is he? His .421 BABIP is certainly obscuring matters...."

A lot of people expected Colabello to regress to much lower hitting numbers as the season wore on and as his BABIP returned to something closer to normal.  Indeed, if you look at his numbers since June 1, his slash line is a much more ordinary .288/.331/.441.  But his hitting has actually bounced back in the past 22 games.  His slash line since June 12 is an impressive .299/.349/.494.   So his season could be interpreted this way:  hot beginning, brief slump in early June, and a return to good hitting since then.  Overall, he has 221 plate appearances this season and a .871 OPS.  He could still suffer a major regression, but it's harder to argue that case as he climbs well over 200 plate appearances.

Looking at two other hitters who might be due for regression:  Travis has maintained an .859 OPS since returning from his injury, and Pillar has a .903 OPS since June 1.  Both of them, like Colabello, are moving past the "flash in the pan" sample size. 

Jonny German - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#305012) #
List A: Trade Hoffman. Then Alford, then Norris, then Pompey. Would really take a lot to convince me to trade Pompey.

List B: I dont feel strongly about any of these 4, but its probably Reid-Foley that Id let go first.

Big League Roster: Trade em all! Least valuable being Valencia, then Navarro, then Colabello, then Goins.

Overall Id play a hedge, focusing my efforts on getting just 1 starting pitcher rather than spending more and getting 2 starters. I would not trade for any relievers unless they came quite cheaply in terms of prospects.

And regardless of anything else, I would install Dalton Pompey as the starting left fielder from the start of the second half. Its a blindingly obvious upgrade over the current situation and its completely free.
China fan - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#305013) #
"....Its a blindingly obvious upgrade...."

You mean a defensive upgrade, right?   Because it's not clear that a 22-year-old who is hitting well at the AA level this season will hit better than Colabello, Valencia and Carrera in the majors.  He didn't hit better than any of those three in his 91 plate appearances in the majors this year.  I agree that he's probably improved since then, but is he ready for a full-time job in the majors?  That's unclear.
PeterG - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#305014) #
AA's job is in jeopardy either way so why not do the right thing which is probably nothing. I say probably because a trade for controllable pitching might be possible and if so, I would be willing to deal Navarro or EE from roster or Pompey or Ney from prospect pool. It would be a horrible mistake to deal any highly regarded pitching prospects. This is part of Jays history and a big reason for the playoff drought.

He will try to do something, if possible, to avoid the clubhouse issue but he can't be held hostage to it. The most likely player to rebel and ask for a trade is JBO and that would be a positive imo. The roster needs to be more balanced and moving him when we still can (likely the coming off season) is likely to happen imo regardless who is the GM.
greenfrog - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#305015) #
It's worth noting that EE has been very good this year from the month of May on. Here is his wRC+ by month:

April 65
May 132
June 156
July 95

I would not be so quick to assume that he's in a substantial decline. My guess is that he'll be a very good hitter in the second half, probably around the 120-140 wRC+ level.
Sal - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#305016) #
If you think this year's pitching is bad, think about next year when Buehrle and Estrada are gone. Stroman's return should help, but it will still be horrible, especially if we trade our top pitching prospects.

We need young pitching badly. We cannot afford to trade away any of it. We should be trading for it instead. I don't want another Syndergaard debacle.

This team has a few great or very good cornerstone players to build around with 3+ years of control starting 2016
3B:  Donaldson
C: Martin
2B- Travis
CF- Pillar - Yes this one might look weird, but he is about the 40th best position player in baseball and seems to be getting offensively.

It also has decent league average players that can hold their own:
SS: Reyes
1B: Smoke
Util: Valencia

Bautista and Encarnacion are both good but declining. The team is no longer built around them.

It seems to me like the right move is to move Bautista and Encarnacion for some young pitchers, 1B, and OF help. If you can be creative and move Reyes as well that would be ideal.

Paul D - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#305018) #
It seems to me like the right move is to move Bautista and Encarnacion for some young pitchers, 1B, and OF help.

This seems like a very strange decision to me. It seems that there's one school of thought that trading away prospects is a great way to be mediocre forever. Maybe that's true, but a guarantee of being mediocre forever is to trade away your superstars for lottery picks. The only way trading away Bautista or Encarnacion makes any sense is if you're getting a young, mlb proven player back, and those are not the type of players you get for Bautista or Encarnacion.

I wonder if the ages of various posters influence how we feel about this. On the one hand, I feel like I've been watching this team be bad to okay for the past 22 years, while on the other hand, trading a borderline near Hall-of-Fame second basemen helped them win the World Series when I was 13.

PeterG - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#305021) #
what if JBO and/or EE don't wish to sign extensions which is a definite possibility. Do u want to see either walk for nothing as FA.

Unless a team has a Yankee style budget, growing your own pitching is the only way to escape mediocrity. It is particularly difficult for Jays to sign a FA pitcher because most in that category would prefer the National league and especially avoid the AL East with the offence friendly parks. So Jays have to overpay substantially for FA pitcher.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#305023) #
What about the forgotten man, Michael Saunders? Where does he fit in the future, and will he help before the season is over ? As for who I would trade among the prospects, I can only pick who I would least like to trade, Alford and Urena. Alford because he seems to be doing very well despite a lack of baseball experience, and Urena because as someone pointed out, we're going to need a new shortstop in a few years. Also, they are both position players, something we seem to have less of in top prospects than pitchers.
cybercavalier - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#305024) #
It also has decent league average players that can hold their own:
SS: Reyes
1B: Smoke
Util: Valencia

Unless a team has a Yankee style budget, growing your own pitching is the only way to escape mediocrity. It is particularly difficult for Jays to sign a FA pitcher because most in that category would prefer the National league and especially avoid the AL East with the offence friendly parks. So Jays have to overpay substantially for FA pitcher.

Looking back in history, Roy Holladay brought Michael Taylor, who brought Brent Wallace, who brought Anthony Gose who brought Travis. Can the Jays pull off a trade for a starting pitcher or two whom cascaded from trades of position players ? The Jays got Donaldson for Lawrie and others. So how about cascades of trades of Navarro, Valenica, Tolleson to land an undervalue starting pitcher who can be converted from a reliever?
Sal - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#305026) #
The reason I would trade Bautista and Encarnacion is that:
1- They're good now
2- They're declining
3- They have 2 years of control

We should be able to get good value back. I think the team will be much better positioned if we have another Pillar in RF and a good controllable pitcher or 2 instead of Bautista. The Jays will never be able to sign ace pitchers. The only way is to draft them or trade for them. And trading declining yet still productive assets provides the best value when trying to acquire such talent.
subculture - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#305027) #
I say that if you can get a solid mid-rotation starter by trading any of Encarnacion, Colabello, Navarro + fringey prospects, then go for it. If not, then stand pat but improve your defence!!

The Jays are probably the 1 team in MLB that doesn't need the bat of Colabello or Reyes (versus Carrera/Pompey and Goins). They have an incredible offensive lineup, play in a hitters park, in a hitters division (relatively weaker pitching this year in AL East). On the flip-side they lost their 'ace' Stroman, their best prospects Norris and Castro got rocked and needed to be sent down, supposed anchors Dickey and Hutchison have been very inconsistent, and their bullpen has only now seemed to stabilize. If there was ever a situation screaming to field a stronger defence at the expense of a less powerful offence, THIS IS IT!! Losing Saunders hurt the team's flexibility, but if Cola takes bats away from Saunders when he returns, I will be advocating the firing of Gibbons AND AA.

We need to be building the confidence of this pitching staff, not undermining it. No more Cola outside of DH (maybe 1B if really necessary), and Goins should get more starts with groundball pitchers, and definitely replace Reyes late in games with leads.

Also for folks who wish we had kept Hechevarria, how do you compare him to Goins? I think that given regular at-bats, Goins would prove the slightly superior player.. but I don't watch enough Marlins games to be able to compare with confidence.

Chuck - Monday, July 13 2015 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#305028) #
What about the forgotten man, Michael Saunders? Where does he fit in the future

He's hardly been forgotten. It's not like the team has suitably patched up LF in his absence and moved on without him. Even before his unfortunate spring injury, his health history was already checkered. He's simply not someone you can count on and slot into a starting role. There are ABs waiting for him if and when he comes back.

christaylor - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#305030) #

Does anyone believe that Reyes will play a position other than SS for the Jays? If so, when?

There may be no crying in baseball but there is more than data involved in personal decisions. My vote would be as long as he's in a Jays uniform her is a SS.
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#305031) #
If there was ever a situation screaming to field a stronger defence at the expense of a less powerful offence, THIS IS IT!!

Well, MLB hasn't imposed a cap on runs yet, so scoring more runs works just as well as giving up fewer. Let's think about LF for a moment. The updated FanGraphs numbers now have Colabello as a net negative on the year, at -0.1 WAR. That's including his time at 1B and DH, so his figure as a LF is probably worse. Meanwhile, Ezequiel Carrera is at 0.1 WAR. So those two, who comprise the LF against RHP, or the LF and RF when Bautista is the DH, are replacement level on the year. Looking at the projection systems on FanGraphs, they're also projected to be replacement level the rest of the year. The good news, then, is there's a chance here for a clear upgrade. A 2 WAR player rest-of-season gives you exactly that -- 2 extra wins. Now whether such a player's available, I don't know. I've mentioned Justin Upton, who might be available, though the projection systems at FanGraphs only forecast something like 1.3 WAR rest-of-season. Maybe there are better names out there.

Let's now contrast that with getting a pitcher -- say, Johnny Cueto, who's believed to be the best pitcher available. The projection systems have him at 1.8 WAR rest-of-season. Pretty good, but... who's he going to replace? These same projection systems have Hutchison as 1.0 WAR rest-of-season, R.A. Dickey at 0.5, and Felix Doubrant at 0.4 (over 43 IP, so potentially better). Now maybe you trust those numbers, maybe you don't, but they're the best we have, and what they're saying is we'll get something like a win or win-and-a-half by upgrading to Cueto.

So: With so many teams clamouring for more pitching, maybe the cheaper, easier deal is to find a LF. And there's also the point I made a week or two ago -- an offensive upgrade for the Blue Jays, because of the cascading effect on runs scored, does more for the Blue Jays than other, weaker-hitting teams. What looks like a 1.5-2.0 WAR upgrade in LF, assuming this comes in some measure from his offence, would be even better than that with the Jays. Having a good offense should actually encourage us to get even better hitters. (Of course, having someone who helps out on defence as well would be ideal.)
Parker - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#305032) #
I love Colabello's bat as much as anyone, but there is literally no gain from his being in the lineup if he's not at 1B/DH - as of the break, he is actually a BELOW replacement level player as per Baseball Reference.

It's hard for me to believe a player with a 140 OPS+ could actually play badly enough in the field to entirely negate his bat, simply because a player THAT bad in the field shouldn't even be considered an option there. Even if the Jays think his defensive numbers aren't legit due to sample size, the fact remains that his combined value has continued to hover right around replacement-level the entire time they've played him. His fielding numbers aren't showing any improvement with experience, if that's the Jays' game - in fact, the eye test makes him look like he's actually getting worse out there. Somehow.

I think the Jays should trade Encarnacion rather than Colabello, but one way or another, a team that is trying to contend really cannot permit Cola to continue his butchery in left.
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#305033) #
Re. Colabello, I doubt he has much trade value, but I would also guess he'd have some. One important point is he's cheap -- two more years after this one at league minimum (if I'm not mistaken). Also, the recent trend, it seems, is for teams to get back major league-ready talent when they trade their stars, and I could see Colabello being a useful one guy out of four guys (say, two major leaguers and two prospects).
Chuck - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#305034) #
Assuming Reyes is a Jay for only two more seasons (ages 33-34), I'd say that he will only be a shortstop. It ain't easy to move entrenched erstwhile stars off their positions and I don't think the Jays will even bother trying, especially with no heir apparent sitting in the wings.

If Reyes does intend to play into his mid and late 30s, you figure a position change would be likely.

Jeter, Larkin and Ozzie stayed at SS until they were 40, but they were legacies and given special consideration. Trammell mainly stayed at SS but eventually played a few hundred innings at other positions (wasn't making room for Chris Gomez one of the reasons?).

Ripken returned to 3B. Tejada moved to 3B. Garciaparra was an injured mess so had no choice but to move.I would think that an offense-first shortstop like Reyes would be expected to move off of shortstop, unlike defense-first shortstops like Vizquel and Aparicio.

TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#305035) #
James Shields, by the way, at 1.6 WAR rest-of-season, would be almost as good as Cueto. So what about Shields and Upton together? Anthopoulos would have to have about $10M lying around to make it work, but the prospect haul going back to San Diego would, I think, be pretty small. I say that largely on account of Shields having either negative or very little positive trade value -- his contract was backloaded ($10M this year, $21M the next three years) and presumably only San Diego was willing to pay him that much prior to this season.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#305036) #
I imagine Colabello has some trade value - he's cheap and he can hit, even if he can't field. He could be a bench player for a lot of teams, or a 1B/DH for a team that's in-between long-term solutions. He might get you an okay reliever or a utility infielder.

But he must still be in an option year, right? If that's the case, send him back to AAA, where he'll be available if anything happens to Edwin or Smoak. The Jays should vow to never, ever play him in the outfield again, but he's a perfectly cromulent player to keep around as long as he's used within his limits.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#305037) #
Colabello's defense has negated his unsustainable offense (-0.1 WAR despite 143 wRC+). As his offense starts to dip, he is going to hurt the team a lot more than help. If they can trade him for even a marginal bench piece, I'd consider it an upgrade. He is a butcher in left, and does not grade out positively at first, either. Carrera should get most of the LF AB's the way the current roster is set up. Ideally they would call up Pompey and put him in left.

I wouldn't do anything unless it involves getting a long term piece. Someone else brought it up, the rotation looks very thin on paper next season without Buehrle and Estrada, and Dickey isn't pitching well enough to justify bringing him back. Trading prospects for rentals, especially if one of them is Norris, is not going to help matters.

My suggestion is standing pat. Go with Norris in the rotation, Pompey in left, and hope Sanchez can still keep a low ERA as a starter despite his peripherals suggesting he's been anything but good (5.15 FIP, -0.1 WAR). If this team were first place in the East, then I might have been more for going for a rental, but not at one game under .500.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#305038) #
AA was quoted as saying that rentals were not his preferred targets, so I'm curious what pitchers with at least an additional year or more of control are out there. Hamels is the obvious one but his NTC and contract are a hurdle.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#305039) #
Of the lists you give all of B group should be available along with all of the guys you list from the active roster.  Pompey is the only one of the A list I'd be OK with, the rest I'd need a guy who is a clear #1 starter and under team control for at least 2 years after this one before I'd consider the trade.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#305040) #
Ideally I'd have Pompey back up in LF and mixed into CF whenever possible.  Cola at DH as often as possible and traded if someone buys into his offense.  Norris into the rotation asap and Navarro gone even if just released as he is eatting PA from better hitters and Thole might be what Dickey needs. 
PeterG - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#305041) #
I would prefer to keep Cola as a 1b/dh and try to trade EE for controllable pitching either now or in off season. We are rolling the dice to keep EE as he may prefer to become a FA after next season to signing again with the Jays.
jester00 - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#305043) #
re: SK in NJ. I think if AA is looking for a pitcher with years left, the guy to go after is Tyson Ross. SD should be the team AA targets in my opinion. I'd be looking for a deal something like Ross, Benoit/Kimbrel, and Venable for ??? If we could get something like that. I'd be willing to give up something substantial. One of Norris/Hoffman + Pompey? Not sure if that would work for either team, but that's hopefully what the Jays are trying to pull off.
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#305044) #
...along with all of the guys you list from the active roster.

Yeah, I don't think Gerry came up with a very difficult list of major leaguers for us. The difficult questions surround the names that other GMs would actually want -- Pillar, Travis, Sanchez, Stroman, Hutchison, and Osuna.
bpoz - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#305045) #
This team has to shed payroll. AA did not add any RH relief help in the off season, probably due to $. He has a lot of young players that are making the ML minimum.

Anyone good coming to the Jays will increase payroll. B Beane made trades last July for very good players. That probably increased his payroll. If so, did he have permission from the owners? I think he probably did.

For this year, I think AA cannot do much because of payroll. I would try to trade Reyes now and also in the off season to reduce payroll. I would keep Buehrle for the rest of the year because I do not think that he can be replaced. Buehrle can help us get to 87 wins much more than Reyes can IMO.

Reyes IMO can be replaced defensively and we probably still have enough offense without him.

87 wins on a cheaper payroll for a few years probably will keep the owners happy. The fans will always want more but for a little while 87 wins is much better than we have been getting.

Mike Green - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#305048) #
The difficult questions surround the names that other GMs would actually want -- Pillar, Travis, Sanchez, Stroman, Hutchison, and Osuna

It makes little sense to trade Travis.  He's a player of considerable value and the drop-off to Goins is pretty significant.  You could conceivably trade Pillar for a left-fielder and promote Pompey to play centerfield (it might make sense in the context of a larger deal involving Colabello and a starting pitcher coming back as well).  It doesn't make sense to trade Sanchez now- his value is not at its highest because of the injury.  I wouldn't trade Stroman. I doubt that you could get value for Hutchison.  I might deal Osuna, but the price would be high.

In most cases, it's pretty obvious what one is giving up and the real question is what the return is.
christaylor - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#305049) #
I diagree. The Jays being at their limit of payroll parameters doesn't make them need to shed payroll. In fact I don't think it is too hard to imagine that any payroll shedding would be pocketed by Rogers with the side in the dollar.

christaylor - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#305050) #
On Sanchez and Hutch - none of us will ever know, but do bumps in their career path affect and MLB GM as much as a fans? I would guess not, but you never know... their value certain isn't higher than six months ago, but it may not be that much less to a team looking for young pitching.
China fan - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#305051) #
"....You could conceivably trade Pillar for a left-fielder...."

Why trade Pillar?  If he is able to maintain a .900 OPS and good defence as a CF, he is incredibly valuable.  (His OPS is .903 since June 1.)  Given his history of adjusting successfully to each level that he plays at, it's quite possible that he can sustain most of this hitting ability.  Even if his OPS falls to .800 or .780 over the longer term, he is still a very valuable commodity if he remains a good defender in CF.  And he's cheap and team-controlled for many years.  Why trade him if there's even a possibility that he could sustain his hitting?   The only reason to trade him is if the Jays are convinced that he's a .680 hitter in the longer term.  In that case, of course, they should sell high.  But why would the Jays think this, after all the evidence of the past 6 weeks?  They've got to keep him and find out.
jerjapan - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#305053) #
I really don't see AA selling the farm, nor do i see him standing pat.  Just browsing other teams rosters, what about a Cola / Valencia for a reliever - Houston lines up well, with Will Harris and Josh Fields looking comparable - 29 and 30 years old, with 3 good MLB seasons between them, including this one.  Houston could use some OBP and Valencia in a straight platoon at 3b with Valbuena makes sense to me. 

these are the kind of at-the-margins AA has historically made at the deadline, and they've worked out - picking up Happ, Valencia for minimal prices (unless Joe Musgrove turns into something, which he might). 

Thought experiment - if AA does dump salary (which i seriously doubt) - what happens to the savings?  We spend it acquiring other big name FA deals that the Miami's of the world are looking to dump?  We did get Martin this off season, so the right type of FA will come here - who would that be next off season?  I'm with Christaylor - big savings are going into Rogers' pockets. 

SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#305054) #
The Padres are an interesting team. They line up well with the Jays needs (SP, RP) and have a GM who is not that stat oriented. I wonder if the Jays could swap Reyes for Melvin Upton's contract to soften the prospect blow in order to get other assets from the Pads (Ross, Kimbrel, etc). Reyes is a bad contract but Melvin is one of the worst in the league, and Reyes fills a need for the Padres. Upton is terrible but use him as a 4th OF for two years. Wishful thinking maybe, as I can't stand having a bad fielder up the middle, but the Jays will have to be creative financially.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#305055) #
Why trade Pillar?

No sensible GM would plan to trade Pillar.  The point is that there are times when valuable players are traded because the return makes sense.  Gose for Travis would be an example of this kind of trade.  Pillar and Colabello for Justin Upton and Cashner (say) might make some sense, although the $ probably wouldn't make it fly.  You can substitute other names if you think that the value exchange isn't right.  Being willing to trade a player does not mean that you think he is of little value.

In this case, the Blue Jays have Pompey and Alford behind Pillar.  It is, relatively speaking, an organizational strength, but you do need a corner outfielder coming  back...
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#305057) #
but do bumps in their career path affect and MLB GM as much as a fans?

Here's Anthopoulos on The Fan a few days ago:

"There's times where, you're talking about a player, and all of a sudden they pitch really well, or they hit a home run, all of a sudden the calls don't get returned, the price might change a little bit, there might be ownership slow-ups, things like that, you know, "we're just a little delayed," and the deal ends up going away. That's why in the off-season it's easier because the stats don't change, the performance won't change, the alternatives are there. In-season, though, timing is huge, and really within two or three days or a week, someone's value can skyrocket, whether it's in the minor leagues or the big leagues, so if you have a chance to close, you'd better do it fast."
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#305060) #
It's really hard to imagine how you could trade Pillar and expect to better this year, never mind the next five. The return would have to be very special. Which is kind of what you're saying, Mike, but I think the trade idea you mention is an example -- I don't think that helps us this year, and it sure doesn't help over the long run.
China fan - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#305061) #
"....Being willing to trade a player does not mean that you think he is of little value....."

Yes, but you still shouldn't trade a player if he is transitioning from "low value" to "high value", because you'll never get a fair return.  You're selling low, because his trade value will be determined by his career path (always being perceived as a marginal 4th outfielder) rather than his potential new value as a good-hitting CF.  You'll never find a trading partner who is willing to give you fair value for him, until he has established himself over two or three years.  He has far more value to the Jays than to any trading partner at this stage in his career.  The presence of other OF in the system (Pompey, Alford) simply means that the Jays can keep afford to keep playing Pillar in CF until he fails -- which he might never do.  You can't simply assume that Pompey and Alford will be as good as Pillar, since it's quite possible that Pillar might be able to sustain his good hitting.  At this stage, it's far more plausible that Pillar will sustain his current pace, rather that hoping that Pompey and Alford will climb the ranks from Dunedin and New Hampshire to reach Pillar's current apparent status as a .900 OPS good-defence centrefielder.

TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#305062) #
You're selling low

Or high. You never do know.
China fan - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#305063) #
You can never be 100 per cent certain of whether you're selling low or selling high.  But the data tells you something.  And the results of the past 6 weeks are a pretty important data point, even if it's not infallible. 
christaylor - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#305064) #
If true, AA comments seem to be a good for not making any in-season trades -- too much volatility in the market.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#305066) #
CF, I have no idea how other teams would view Pillar.  If he's seen as a 4th outfielder, you don't want to trade him.  Simple as that. All I was saying is that if you found a trading partner who saw him as cost-controlled CF at the 3-4 WAR level and was willing to trade players of like value at other positions, I could see a trade. 
ayjackson - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#305068) #
Shields is an interesting target...with an interesting contract:

4 years/$75M (2015-18), plus 2019 club option

signed by San Diego as a free agent 2/11/15

15:$10M, 16:$21M, 17:$21M, 18:$21M, 19:$16M club option ($2M buyout)

perks: hotel suite on road

deal does not include no-trade clause, but Shields may opt out of contract after 2016 season (no later than 3 days after World Series)
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#305071) #
Shields has been hit pretty hard this year on the road.  He's 33 years old and is owed $21 million next year.  That's quite a back-end load.  I'm not excited.
Jonny German - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#305072) #
It sure sounds like AA could get a whole lot of value for Pillar by trading him to China Fan, were China Fan the GM of another team.
jerjapan - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#305077) #
AA could get a whole lotta value trading Pillar to anyone.  A plus defensive CF generating runs with his legs and bat?  Fangraphs has him at 0.9 WAR, which is just ahead of Reyes at 0.8 and behind EE at 1.3, fifth on the team for offensive players. 

Not bad for a minimum salary guy with 5 years of control and plus intangibles.  But I guess we should just 'sell high' on the guy because he doesn't walk a lot? 

I do differ from China somewhat though - I think lots of GMs would pay for a player like that.  Just look at Beane with Graveman last year - a low profile gamer type on the way up.  Beane appears to have found real value there, and the Jays are obviously happy with the deal.

hypobole - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#305081) #
162 qualified MLB hitters

Pillar - rank

Swing% - 22nd
Contact% - 63rd

O-Swing% - 7th
O-Contact% - 51st

Z-Swing% - 97th
Z-Contact% - 56th

Zone% - 24th

Spifficus - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#305086) #
Thought: Imagine what he could do if he swung at strikes!
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 14 2015 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#305087) #
Second thought: Decent Guerrero impersonation, but it needs more zone swings to really sell it.
Sal - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 05:24 AM EDT (#305099) #
" Fangraphs has him at 0.9 WAR, which is just ahead of Reyes at 0.8 and behind EE at 1.3, fifth on the team for offensive players."

Is this offensive WAR only? Because he is actually at 2.3 WAR this year.
finch - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#305100) #
By the time August roles around, Daniel Norris, Miguel Castro and Jeff Hoffman will all be a part of the Blue Jays bullpen.

TangledUpInBlue - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#305101) #
Shields has been hit pretty hard this year on the road. He's 33 years old and is owed $21 million next year. That's quite a back-end load. I'm not excited.

On the road: 5.01 ERA, .827 OPS, .357 wOBA
At home: 2.77 ERA, .724 OPS, .317 wOBA

So, yeah, pretty bad splits, but he's also been unlucky with an HR/FB rate of 17.9% (vs. a career rate of 11.5%). Actually, it's been even worse at home, but it's also unduly affecting his road numbers. Overall, his xFIP is 3.30, his SIERA 3.25, which is essentially tied with his career peak, and the projection systems have him at 1.6 WAR rest-of-season. Given the contract, I agree there might not be a lot to get excited about, except that he would surely help this year and he'd likely come very cheaply in terms of prospects. That I like.
TangledUpInBlue - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#305103) #
By the way, on the issue of pitching candidates, the Blue Jays Plus website's been running a terrific series on potential trade targets -- five so far, and four of them (Cueto, Latos, Kazmir, and Leake) look pretty darn good.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#305104) #
It should also be noted that Shields has played his entire career in good contexts- in Tampa with their defence, in Kansas City with their defence.  He is vulnerable to the home run (and it would be worse in Toronto).  It is true that he has suffered with San Diego's defence in 2015.  His career ERA is 3.79 and I don't see any reason to believe that he would do better than that in Toronto, and he might do worse.  I don't buy that Shields has a better projection than Mark Buehrle (0.9 WAR) over the second half of the season; in fact, my money is on Buehrle. 
Ryan Day - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#305105) #
I suspect the problem with Pillar's trade value is that most people only started thinking he was a good player two or three months ago. Not even the Jays thought he was their best centre field option at the start of the season, and most people were more likely to talk about his lack of walks than anything else. He never made any sort of meaningful prospect list.

So while Pillar is almost certainly another lesson on the unpredictability of projecting players, there's the question of how sold other teams are on his ability & future, and how much they'd give up for it.
TangledUpInBlue - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#305106) #
I don't buy that Shields has a better projection than Mark Buehrle (0.9 WAR) over the second half of the season; in fact, my money is on Buehrle.

FanGraphs uses FIP to calculate WAR. I'm not sure if the projection systems do the same, but if so, they're underestimating Buehrle's true value, past and future.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#305108) #
Right.  As they are overestimating Shields'. 
TangledUpInBlue - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#305109) #
Maaaybe. The thing you mentioned about defence shouldn't affect his projected numbers (if they're based on FIP or xFIP), and actually the HR/FB rate this year (which shows up in FIP but not xFIP) might make his projections look worse than they should be (if those projections are using FIP). On the other hand, I agree that there might be something to the poor road numbers that aren't being recognized properly in the projections.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#305110) #
K% way up, HR% way up, BB% up, Pit/PA constant. Weird. It's his first season in the NL...

I do think you'd be buying low.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#305111) #
The WAR projection systems have him at a 3.40 ERA over the rest of the year.  In my view, they do not adequately account for the impact of context on a pitcher like Shields.  It seems likely that he's trying to do more of the work himself because of the poor defence behind him.. On the other hand, he's benefited from an excellent context in prior years.  Toronto is not as positive context as KC (2013-14) or Tampa (2010-12) and about the same (taking into account defence and park) as San Diego 2015. 

Shields is more of a horse than an ace...He is worth having, but $21 million is a lot to spend.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#305112) #
On the other hand, if you see it as a rental at slightly below market rates and a long-term contract at market rates and pay accordingly, that would be fine.  I doubt that the club has the current $ for that.  I'm also doubtful that San Diego would see it like that either.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#305114) #
Just say no to Cueto (and any other rentals) or Shields. We don't need to spend prospects for 15 starts from a player and we don't need to spend prospects for an over the hill pitcher like Shields who we're going to have to pay 20 mill a season too. Haven't we talked enough about the awful contracts we took on? Repeat after me you can't buy a title. It won't work so stop mortgaging your future for it.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#305118) #
#1 - clear out salary, start with Navarro.
#2 - see if Thole with Dickey works better.  Martin is a great catcher but Thole/Dickey works well together.
#3 - Get Norris back up here as #5 and see what happens
#4 - Pompey in LF and have a killer defensive outfield while having Cola as a PH late in the game
#5 - DH/1B - EE/Smoak with Cola as backup.  Valencia gets mixed in vs LHP
#6 - if someone wants Cola or Navarro or Valencia or Carrera in order to get relief or starting help do it.

Pen first for trades, rotation if cheap enough but odds are it won't be.  We know AA will keep a finger in every pie out there until he gets what he wants or it is gone at too high a price.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#305121) #
I agree with John Northey, except I'll add that the team should move Colabello at all costs (either trade him or demote him). If he is negative value with a BABIP above .400, then I want no part of him when his offense starts to fall.

Now is not the time to start trading prospects for rentals or big contracts. Not when the team is a game below .500 in July. If anything, they may want to mimic 1998 to some degree. Trade all the replacement level veterans and go with younger talent that 1) might be an improvement over the vets, and 2) may be able to fill spots on next season's team.

For example, in addition to replacing Colabello (with Pompey) and Navarro (with anyone else), try to trade Dickey. I'm sure there won't be many, if any, teams willing to give up talent for him, but he's been a below replacement starter this season with ratios that show no sign of improvement (strike outs are down, walks are up, home runs are up). Have some combination of Norris, Sanchez, Doubront, and Boyd fill the last two rotation spots along with Buehrle, Estrada, and Hutchison.

Position players: CA Martin, 1B Smoak/Valencia, 2B Travis, SS Reyes, 3B Donaldson, RF Bautista, CF Pillar, LF Pompey, DH Encarnacion

Bench: Smoak/Valencia, Carrera, Goins, and back-up catcher (without Dickey, Thole is unnecessary, so fill this spot with some waiver pick up like Kratz).

Rotation: Buehrle, Hutchison, Estrada, Norris, Sanchez (Doubront/Boyd on call if need be)

Bullpen: Osuna, Hendriks, Cecil, Delabar, Loup, Shultz, Doubront (long man since he's out of options)

That roster may not go on the 2nd half run this team needs, but it keeps all the prospects in tact, removes/replaces all the replacement level talent in favor of younger prospects with upside, and likely improves the team, if only marginally (potentially more than that if someone like Norris pans out).
grjas - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#305124) #
John northey nailed it. Wouldn't rule out getting an average LF if cheap. And a late inning reliever with more than one year would be ideal, if the price is right. I have also given up on rentals and expect AA has as well.

Of course with tampa and a west coast swing coming- both usually death traps - i worry this conversation could change in two weeks.
scottt - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#305126) #
I'm behind John as well.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#305127) #
I agree with John as well. We need to enhance the teams defense. Gibbons has to be told or forced to stop playing Navarro at DH. Sure put him at catcher to give Martin time off, but the DH should be used to give position players time off the field and Colabello the occasional start. Colabello in the of has to stop as well. Carrera is okay there but no more Colabello.

I don't mind them getting a stability rental pitcher if it only costs them a B like Boyd, but for the most part the Jays shoukd stand pat.
greenfrog - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#305128) #
I wonder if AA is considering making a play for CarGo. He would look pretty good in the Jays OF. He's controllable through 2016 and is relatively affordable, too.

An outfield defense of Pillar/Gomez/Bautista would be very solid, and the following lineup would be devastating (if a bit right-handed):

SS Reyes
3B Donaldson
RF Bautista
CF Gomez
C Martin
1B Smoak
LF Pillar / Pompey
2B Travis
PeterG - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#305129) #
Cola would not have negative value if he was playing his proper position which is 1b.dh......He is cheap and controllable and can cover those positions. Much smarter to move EE for better return as he might not sign back here anyway.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#305130) #
The one path I don't want to see the team go down is the rental path. Rental players are normally the target of teams like the 1992 Blue Jays, to push them over the top in the playoffs. To win it all. Not to push start a team that is in second last place in its division. I would rather the team stood pat than traded anything of value for a rental player. I would rather the team traded Buehrle and Dickie and gained something where they might not otherwise, than trade a player of value for a rental player. It may not be seen as cricket to make a QO to Buehrle, in which case we'd get nothing for a pitcher with a 114 ERA+.

On Shields, his ERA+ is 95, trailing not only Buehrle, but Estrada (110), Sanchez (109) and Dickie (104). For all the talk about how bad our starting pitching has been, other than Hutch and whoever has filled in for Sanchez, they've been better than Shields. Guaranteeing 65 m. USD for a guy like that hitting his mid-30's, and giving up value for the chance, is unlikely.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#305131) #
While I agree that the Jays won't and shouldn't go nuts on Shields unless a chunk of that contract isn't the Jays responsibility, for ERA+ I get...
Dickey: 80, 101 lifetime
Hutchison: 73
rest of staff with 5+ starts: 100+ (Buehrle, Estrada, Sanchez, Norris)
Shields: 89 this year, 110 lifetime

ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#305133) #
John, you're right about Dickey's ERA+. My mistake.
Kasi - Wednesday, July 15 2015 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#305134) #
Posts about Jays articles on BBB are saying the Jays are being asked for Stroman even for rentals. Sorry too rich for anyone's blood. AA has to say no to anything like that. If anything try to go after a lower tier guy like Cashner.
greenfrog - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#305137) #
Ask yourself why rumours about being asked for Stroman are being leaked by the Jays.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#305138) #
"Everyone was asking for Stroman, that's why we didn't make any deals."

that's assuming the leaks are coming from the jays side...

Gerry - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#305139) #
I went to the Cuba Dominican game at the pan-ams yesterday. On the bad side the pace of the game was terrible, it took 50 minutes to play the first inning, two and a half hours for five innings and four hours for the game. Both starting pitchers were slow, the catchers called numerous time outs for no obvious reason and the counts were long. The Cuban starter went five innings, faced 20 hitters, and probably threw 120 pitches. The count went to 3-2 on more than half the hitters.

On the positive side there was lots of action, some deep home runs, stolen bases, balks, an almost brawl after a brushback pitch, a manager ejection, and more. Even though the pace was slow there was action.

Both teams had lots of supporters in the park although the atmosphere was not as loud or raucous as I was expecting. The Cuban and Dominican ex-pats must be getting Canadianized.

When the Dominican manager was ejected he took a chair and tried to sit behind the dugout, that didn't sit well with the umpire and it took about five minutes to have him leave the crowd area.

The standard of play was not as high as I thought it would be, the pitchers were probably AA level and the hitting was mixed. Former major leaguer Pedro Felix was playing third for the Dominican team. Alfredo Despaigne was a big star in Cuba, I am not sure if he still is, but he hit a shot that went way past the left field wall.
Kasi - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#305142) #
Well Sullivan on FG, who is usually a pretty sane writer went in on the Stroman for Cueto deal today. If AA does that I'll stop following this team and call for his firing.
John Northey - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#305147) #
I don't see AA doing that unless Stroman is in a lot worse shape than we know. 
jerjapan - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#305156) #
Kasi, let's not straw man so blatantly please!  the proposed deal was Stroman for Cuerto, Leake and Tony Cingrani - who has three more years of control.

still a debatable deal, but one I'd consider and  not nearly as lopsided as you imply. 

can we cut it out with all this "AA is a moron who's going to trade the next Bagwell for Larry Anderson?"  Yeah, Syndergaard for Dickey hurts, and the Indians got lucky with Yan Gomes. 

On the other hand, I'm sure Beane wants Donaldson back, the Angels now know that Wells was a sunk cost and the Pittsburgh Pirates would like a do over for Diaz / Bautista (a move AA recommended to JPR).

hypobole - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#305162) #
"On the other hand, I'm sure Beane wants Donaldson back"


Lawrie has been OK, as has Graveman. 3.1 bWAR between them so far vs Donaldson's 4.7. But in my estimation (and I'm guessing Beane's also) the prize was Barretto. He's the A's top prospect and a consensus Top 50. Lawrie IIRC has 2 more years of control and Graveman 5. Plus there is Nolin, who may, though probably won't amount to anything in the majors, but is still a chance at some value.

Donaldson does have 3 more years of control left, but he's going to become expensive. Finally, would the A's be in playoff contention without the trade? Highly unlikely.
jerjapan - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#305166) #
Hypobole, I actually like the deal for both teams, I'm more talking about what I perceive to be industry consensus - the Fangraphs piece today on the players with the top trade value had Donaldson at 17.

Here's Dave Cameron:

he was traded for a package that was perceived to be way less than what a player like Donaldson should command. And even as the guy who most often argues for building teams through depth rather than paying premium prices for a few stars, I have to admit that the Donaldson return seemed light. In fact, the Donaldson trade which brought back four players who werent even remotely considered for placement in this years series was perhaps the most obvious quality-for-quantity (both in terms of individual players and years of control) trade weve seen in a while, given that he wasnt traded under any kind of duress; the As clearly could have kept him for 2015 if they chose to do so, but they decided theyd rather have four quarters than a single dollar bill. But I bet that if the As had a chance to hit the undo button on that deal, they would do so, even with a pretty decent half-season from Kendall Gravemen and Franklin Barreto looking pretty solid in the Cal League. While Im probably more in agreement with the As depth-over-stars approach to roster construction than most, even from my perspective, that deal looks like a mistake.

IMO, Cameron seems more generous than many to Beane's end of the deal.

I just don't think you can add up the projected WAR under control and call a deal a win or a loss (not saying that this is what you're doing - but I do think that's happening on the Box a bit these days). 
bpoz - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#305178) #
The Barreto results so far make Beane's trade not as bad as previously thought.

AA is going for it somewhat and Beane is doing a partial rebuild. So the trade makes sense for both sides.
Mike D - Thursday, July 16 2015 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#305183) #
At this point, I'd stand pat. The time to add pitching was in the offseason. I'm terrified of the rumours of the Jays offering to raise the quality of the prospects offered in exchange for short-term financial relief of whatever rental contract they acquire.

The Jays' road to pitching perdition was paved with a variety of penny-wise moves that have proven to be pound-foolish. Consider how many opportunities the team has had to bolster their pitching without parting with years of control over talented young players. The Jays have:

* completely opted out of major league free agent pitching since 2012, when they signed Oliver to a 2yr/$7M deal and Cordero to a 1 yr/$4.5M deal. Their last three offseason FA pitching shopping lists have all read "none of the above."

* completely opted out of the Cuban or Asian pitching markets

* drafted McGuire over Sale, and while this is obviously a disaster in hindsight, it was also definitely controversial at the time and became more controversial when Sale signed easily. The thinking was that McGuire would have a high floor and enable the Jays to take riskier picks on Sanchez and Syndergaard in the sandwich round, but even at the time McGuire was seen as having #4 upside.

* declined to sign Paxton (and Beede and Bickford, although they likely wouldn't have been of help this season)

* traded Syndergaard, which despite obviously being a win-now move was significantly motivated by obtaining an ace for the 2013 win-now team at a much cheaper contract than the going rate for free agent aces. Dickey's been disappointing, but it's not like putting him in a homer dome with Arencibia as his opening day catcher was low-risk from a baseball perspective. I don't blame AA for trading Alvarez, Nicolino and DeSclafani because that was a more worthwhile (and financially committed) gamble.

Anyway, count me as among those who don't want to see any more young players go out the door to spare Rogers' bottom line during the windows when quality pitching has no cost beyond the financial (and perhaps a lost draft pick). I say stand pat.
cybercavalier - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#305185) #
Previous posters have covered lots of bases so I just chipped in two ideas.

If Dioner Navarro is traded to the D-backs, Canadian shortstop from Kitchener plays in the D-back organization.

Lars Davis from Grande Prairie have been an assistant coach with University of Florida Gator Baseball. Can Canadian post-secondary baseball teams attract recent MLB or MilB players to coaching ? Delabar showed that returning from coaching to playing again professional baseball possible.
greenfrog - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#305187) #
Buster Olney says the Jays have about $10m to upgrade the team. For what it's worth. If true, that's a pretty impressive commitment on Rogers' part, considering the state of the loonie and the Canadian economy at the moment.
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#305188) #
Interesting, Greenfrog. That's kind of within range, though perhaps at the high end, of what's been speculated all season. Don't know if it's generous of Rogers, since Anthopoulos was told he had that money (if the speculation is right) all year, and has been saving it for a deadine deal. Though it's generous to the extent Rogers hasn't retracted the commitment. Olney's report is, however, better than Shi Davidi's, who reported recently they had something like $5M available. So who to believe, I don't know, though I suspected when I read Davidi's article that Anthopoulos might be pretending, to other GMs, that he's shorter on cash than he really is. Anyone who's read or watched Moneyball can see how that can work to your advantage.
hypobole - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#305191) #
"Hypobole, I actually like the deal for both teams, I'm more talking about what I perceive to be industry consensus - the Fangraphs piece today on the players with the top trade value had Donaldson at 17."

But the comment I disagreed with didn't have anything to do with Cameron's evaluation or industry consensus, it was that Beane wants Donaldson back i.e. he regrets the trade.

Beane at the time obviously felt the trade was beneficial or he would not have made it. Of the players he received, Barretto and Graveman have performed pretty close to best case scenario. Lawrie's 107 wRC+, is his best since 2011 and has stayed relatively healthy. Nolin has been injured again, and yeah, Beane would have hoped for better, but he was nowhere close to the centrepiece of the deal anyway.

Donaldson has been fantastic, but he was pretty well just as fantastic in Oakland the past couple of years also. None of this points to Beane desiring a do-over.

Beane had his reasons. I don't think Beane is going the read Cameron's piece and go "What was I thinking? I wish I'd never made the deal."
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#305194) #
Part of the deal from Beane's perspective, though, was the potential for a breakout from Lawrie. It was even possible -- unlikely, perhaps, but possible -- that Lawrie would provide value that wasn't far off from Donaldson's. That hasn't happened, and at this point you have to be pretty close to figuring he is what he is. It's also the case, as I think Cameron says, that Donaldson has exceeded expectations -- 6.5 fWAR last year, 4.7 already this year (projected to be around 7.3). Including Beane's.
Mike Green - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#305196) #
At this point, I'd stand pat

Got you loud and clear, Mike D.  There sure is a diversity of opinion among Bauxites on the pitching acquisition question.  It seems to me that there are other internal questions- left field, 1B/DH and Dickey/catcher.  Are you in the stand-pat school on those ones as well?
hypobole - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#305197) #
Donaldson had 7.6 fWAR in 2013. Combine that with his 6.5 fWAR in 2014. How much expectation exceeding would 7.3 fWAR be?
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#305198) #
Well he's on pace for 8.4. The 7.3 is from using the projections. He's been better than expected thus far -- I think that's safe to say.
hypobole - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#305200) #
Donaldson had a superb first 2 months.

Month - wRC+
Mar/Apr - 154
May - 178
June - 99
July - 137

He could end up around the 8.7 mark, but I'm guessing it will be closer to 7.3.

There is something as well that I've thought of (which means teams analytics have as well) and that is regressing hitting stats much more than what is found on the web. Consider 2 teams. One is involved in a lot of blowouts, the other in a lot of tight games.

The hitters on the blowout team have a great opportunity for stat-padding - great hitters will seem greater, mediocre hitters will seem good, because they will have a disproportionate amount of PA's versus the worst relievers on the opposing teams, fewer PA's versus the best relievers and face fewer lefty or righty specialists than the hitters on teams that play a ton of tight games. I'm sure there are teams that have regressed stats which contextualise hitters numbers much more than we have access to.
greenfrog - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#305210) #
For somewhat-reasonably-priced rentals, my preferred acquisitions would probably be Kazmir and Shark. They're AL-tested and good enough to make a real difference for the Jays, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.

I would prefer to see the Jays hold on to the likes of Norris, Alford, Hoffman, Pompey and Osuna. I don't think the Jays will be able to do this if they want to acquire Hamels or Cueto.

I would, however, part with some serious talent (along the lines of Hutch, Hoffman and Pompey) if the A's were willing to part with Gray.
Mike Green - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#305211) #
As for Donaldson and stat-padding in 2015, the numbers aren't supportive.  He's hitting .347/.417/.793 in high leverage situations in 2015 and .325/.399/.575 in medium leverage situations in 2015.  He's hit a paltry .267/.311/.471 in low leverage situations.  No padding at all.
hypobole - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#305215) #
Mike, you're probably right, and the high/medium leverage #s seem to indicate that. But low leverage is meaningless in the context I was referring. The first few PA's vs Chris Archer (or any starting pitcher great, good or poor) are low leverage, just as much as a PA vs a AAAA pitcher in a 10-0 game.
Hodgie - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#305217) #
What I find amazing is how quickly Pompey has been de-valued in these parts. I can't help but wonder if his early struggles in MLB this year have caused people to lose perspective. For comparison, a list of prominent prospects with their age and wRC+ in AA this season:
  • Joey Gallo (21) 193 wRC+
  • Kyle Swarber (22) 188 wRC+
  • Dalton Pompey (22) 176 wRC+
  • Miguel Sano (22) 157 wRC+
  • Michael Conforto (22) 157 wRC+
  • Trea Turner (22) 142 wRC+
  • Byron Buxton (22) 135 wRC+

Count me in the "do not trade Pompey" crowd.

Mike Green - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#305219) #
Not exactly.  Many early-game at-bats are medium-leverage at-bats (0.85-2.0). Anyways, if you look at Josh Donaldson vs. pitchers, he's basically killed all kinds of left-handed pitching from Derek Holland to Dallas Keuchel to C.J. Wilson.  Good RHPs usually do well against him but not overwhelmingly so (Felix Hernandez, Yu Darvish) and the ones who have really held him back have certain similarities (Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hideki Kuroda, Koji Uehara).  David Robertson fits in the first category, I guess.  In low leverage situations, he's more likely to see a pitcher of the second type.
Mike Green - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#305222) #
Colabello's back in left field again tonight. 
christaylor - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#305223) #
Damn. I wonder if there is some kid in AA they can call up to stop this...

Gibby needs to stop this gong show or someone needs to stop the Navarro / Colabello gong show Gibby insists on putting on.

christaylor - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#305225) #
LF ought to be an easy position to fill - find a players with a good bat and passible D. Since 2002 there seem to be only 3 seasons where the Jays seems to have been able to manage that...

...and that is being kind and including Johnson's 2006 mirage season.
Mike Green - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#305228) #
Dalton Pompey has had 134 career major league PA.  He's hit at .205/.276/.369 with a .259 BABIP not helping at all.  Notwithstanding that, he's a career .3/.4 WAR (fangraphs/BBRef).  There is no reason to believe that he'd be anything less than an average player in left-field if given a full-time job because of regression up from his BABIP and his minor league record.  It looks to me like a decision to play Carrera/Colabello over Pompey will cost about a win/season. 
christaylor - Friday, July 17 2015 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#305238) #
LF ought to be an easy position to fill - find a players with a good bat and passible D. Since 2002 there seem to be only 3 seasons where the Jays seems to have been able to manage that...

...and that is being kind and including Johnson's 2006 mirage season.
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