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New thread time.

The Oakland Aís traded for Jed Lowrie, just 11 months after he signed a 3-year contract with the Houston Astros, and he may become the teamís new shortstop given Marcus Semienís defensive problems last year.

Bud Black, who has connections to Mark Shapiro dating back to his days in Cleveland, was floated by some as a possible replacement for John Gibbons if he wasnít kept for the 2016 season. He still may be a name to keep an eye on if Gibbonsí tenure with Toronto ends after the 2016 season, but meanwhile heís landed a front office job with the Angels.

Several names bandied about as possible cheap arms that could help the bullpen were dealt in recent days, as Allen Webster was dealt to the Pirates and the Cubs acquired Rex Brothers.

A Lowrie to Lawrie Double Play Combo | 100 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 11:29 AM EST (#315684) #
Thomas is right.  It is time for a new thread.

On the other thread, when I said that Bautista and Encarnacion are more like Delgado than like Carter, I meant that they are both superior hitters.  Carter was a decent, but not great, hitter in his prime.  Bautista and Encarnacion can age gracefully and still provide plenty of value with the bat, especially as a DH. 

John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 11:44 AM EST (#315686) #
I see Bautista as more Winfield (who was a DH/RF after age 35) than Delgado (798 PA 130 OPS+ post 35) or Carter (1768 PA 89 OPS+ LF/DH/RF/1B 272 RBI in 3 years plus one All-Star Game).

His most similar through age 34 though isn't promising...
Jay Buhner (483 PA left), Bob Allison (72 PA), Darryl Strawberry (373 AB), Dean Palmer (retired), David Justice (779), Danny Tartabull (retired), Ron Gant (1027), Jeromy Burnitz (1458 AB, 101 OPS+), Jason Bay (Retired), J.D. Drew (248 AB). Ugh. OF course, most of those guys had peaks well before Bautista did, and also were in part time roles by age 34.

Winfield at 34 had a 120 OPS+ and was full time for the next 2 years before getting a serious injury and missing a full year right after a 159 OPS+ season. He had 4 more full time productive years (first 3 with 120+ OPS+, 4th with a 105), then 2 part time years with sub 100 OPS+. I think the final year was just a 'lets make sure I'm done' year as he had a 49 OPS+ in 130 PA. A ground out pinch hitting for Paul Sorrento in a 17-7 game was his last time in a major league game.

If Bautista could have a finishing kick like that I think we'd be very happy. That would be a 5 year deal after 2016 - a 135 OPS+, 2185 PA due to missing a year to injury. That would be the best case. worst case is the similar batters from BR.
uglyone - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 11:53 AM EST (#315689) #
i do think EE and Joey should probably get bonus points for being more fit and athletic than the likes of Thomas or Delgado were.

not that it necessarily matters.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 12:01 PM EST (#315690) #
Winfield was more of a pure hitter than Bautista.  He hit .300 in his prime in San Diego, and at age 32, hit .340 in Yankee Stadium.  His power was less consistent than that of Bautista or Delgado.  Winfield is pretty much the stereotype of the hitter who will age well.  Musial would be the perfect example.  I'd bet that George Brett would have been better at age 40 if he had spent his career off the turf.
Dave Till - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 12:33 PM EST (#315693) #
A double play combination of Lawrie and Lowrie? I feel sorry for Oakland's announcing crew.
Jevant - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 01:05 PM EST (#315694) #
Rumblings from Slusser are suggesting that it's one of Valencia or the Golden Brett that will be dealt (Semien sticking at SS, Lowrie the new 2B), with Canada's Own the more likely to move. Stunning from a certain perspective that he could be on his 4th organization if that trade happens this year.
John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 02:03 PM EST (#315698) #
Jays could use him at 2B for the first few months, then as backup at 3B/2B/1B. Brett Lawrie probably has more value to a team needing an everyday 3B or 2B though, but his sub 2 bWAR each of the past 2 years suggests he really isn't a full-time player.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 02:30 PM EST (#315700) #
Here is how Lawrie's age 25 BBRef comps have done.
Magpie - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 02:31 PM EST (#315701) #
Winfield is pretty much the stereotype of the hitter who will age well. Musial would be the perfect example.

Winfield's career progression looks exactly like what you'd expect it to be - it looks like the averaged development of a hundred players rather than the work of a unique individual human. I suspect that's a little unusual. His best season comes at age 27, and he declines gradually and steadily from that point (the two seasons at age 32 and 36 that look exactly like his peak were both fueled by extraordinary BABiP good fortune.) He wasn't as good as Musial, but his career path was even more predictable.
Chuck - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 05:35 PM EST (#315706) #
Matt Hague is off to Japan. I really think so.
Kasi - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 05:59 PM EST (#315708) #
As much as we'd like to know how people age, it's a crapshoot. We all thought Halladay was a workhorse that would pitch forever. He was never really reliant on velocity and just knew how to pitch. Then bam injured and out of the league very quick. I think Jose and EE could age well, but I don't know. What I think I do know is that neither of them are going to be good in the field much longer. So if they can get a home town extension for one of them I'm fine with slotting them in at DH for 17-19 or so, preferably EE since he is younger.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 06:05 PM EST (#315709) #
Whether you resign Bautista or Encarnacion, you need to make the best choice, not keep the fan favorite. Neither is a great defender, nor is either a picture of health. Edwin has learned to play an acceptable 1B, but not full time. Having a strong offense shouldn't preclude having good Defense. Jose has a great arm, but is a below average defender without it, above average with it.

Jose will go from $14.0 Million to much, much more over at least three years. I just don't know if I want to got there. Edwin will go from $10.0 to a lot more and will want at least four years. He'll be cheaper, but I still don't know if I want to go there. Either way, the decision might be moot. Too much time has to pass before a decision should be made.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 06:28 PM EST (#315710) #
I don't care if Lawrie is free or just cash. A.A. traded him and good things happened. I'm not saying he's bad luck, but...
greenfrog - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 06:59 PM EST (#315711) #
First Shapiro needs to figure out what the long-term plan is (in part, this will depend on how much money he has to spent). The long-term plan will presumably go a long way towards determining whether to try to extend Bautista and EE.

Also, Bautista or Encarnacion may decide they want to test free agency. There has been some speculation that Encarnacion might be more open than Bautista to staying in Toronto.

One potential concern about EE is his violent swing, which might make it tough for him to stay healthy as he gets older. He has already dealt with an assortment of nagging injuries over the last couple of years (wrist, finger, back).
Kasi - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 07:39 PM EST (#315714) #
Jose has dealt with the same issue as well. He missed time last year wig back and shoulder injuries, both I think from swinging the bat rather than playing in the field.
John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 08:12 PM EST (#315717) #
I'd go for Bautista because he plays the outfield still (could be a Winfield situation with 20-50 games in RF, 100-130 DH or something like that for awhile, plus some 1B) while EE I hate to see in the field at all now.

EE seems more injury prone (Bautista 153/155 the past 2 years, EE 146/128) but Bautista had his bad years too (12-13 he played 210 total). Really is a crap shoot. Logic says EE should last longer given the younger age, but Bautista has shown a higher level 155 OPS+ in his 30's vs EE's 150) last year EE slightly out OPS'ed Bautista but it really is a coin flip between them, no matter how I juggle it. I'm guessing the Jays talk with both after 2016 (assuming both have decent years) and see who will sign first at a rate the Jays consider acceptable.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 08:23 PM EST (#315718) #
Next year the Jays have six Free Agents and will clear around $45.0 Million from Salary. There will be decisions on whether or not any are resigned. Arby increases might absorb close to $15.0 MM of that clearance, but that's still not impactful. Spending $170.0 Million this offseason means you'll be at $140.0 Million or less next offseason, needing not much. With the Salary about $121.0 - $122.0 Million now, getting a Top Starter, quality Reliever and a BIG LH Bat is doable. The Jays must make the Postseason this year. Future decisions can be made next year.
John Northey - Thursday, November 26 2015 @ 10:25 PM EST (#315723) #
The cheapest, easiest way I say is to do a trade with Cincinnati who will be cutting payroll I'm sure and get Joey Votto (a LH power bat signed until 2023 for $199 mil or if you prefer, 7 years at just over $28 mil per with an 8th year for free or 5 years at $40 per and 3 years for free. Also Aroldis Chapman a LH closer who is extreme high end making around $12 mil via arb then a free agent. Then go sign a free agent starter (Price) for $30 mil per, that puts another $50-55 per year for the next 7 years locked in for 2 guys plus $12 mil for one year. That is the dream situation to me. But assumes the Jays are willing to risk $55 mil a year for the next 7+ years for a 1B and SP.

Eh, I used to push Reyes for Tulo but never thought it would happen so who knows?
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:08 AM EST (#315724) #
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/11/extension-candidate-jose-bautista.html

Wow! That's a lot more than I'd be willing to spend. If they get a top Pitcher, they could be at $100.0 Million with Pitcher, Martin, Tulowitzki, Donaldson and Bautista. That's scary. If Pitcher acquired, no Bautista, but even if no Pitcher acquired, still no Bautista. If both, salary at $180.0 - $185.0 Million, or more.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 03:01 AM EST (#315728) #
Yup Richard that's about right which comes down to the simple math that you can't have that many 20 million dollar players on a team with only 150 million payroll. AA pretty much maxed out the commitments which probably means if we get another pitcher it will probably be in the Estrada range.
Glevin - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 06:00 AM EST (#315729) #
"As much as we'd like to know how people age, it's a crapshoot."

It is except that the older a player gets the more likely they are to get injured/fall off a cliff.You look at the Yankees the last few years with Teixera, ARod, Sabathia, Beltran, etc...and I think that's a reasonable expectation for an aging core team with excellent players. Some great seasons, lots of injuries, some uneven seasons and one steep decline to near uselessness. Look at someone like Pujols who is one of the best hitters ever. He's still a fantastic hitter but he's gone from a 9-10 WAR player to a 3-4 WAR player. He hasn't had a 5 WAR season in 5 years. Betting on 4 or 5 players to maintain value in their mid to late 30's is an awful bet to make with potentially disastrous long-term consequences.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 06:12 AM EST (#315730) #
Yes, I agree, Kasi. Much as I'd love to see Price sign here, I think we'll end up with a cheaper pitcher. I don't think we'll see any more top prospects traded this year either. You got to have some cheaper, good young players in the lineup to balance out the big ticket items.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 06:17 AM EST (#315731) #
Well Kasi, I hope he's better than just being another #3 - #4 Starter.
Parker - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:00 AM EST (#315732) #
I'd give Semien a longer look at short, personally. He does commit his share of errors, but despite that he grades out as average defensively, and added 1.4 wins with his glove in 2015. A budget-conscious team could do a lot worse than an average defensive shortstop with projectable 20HR power and who won't even hit arbitration for a couple more seasons.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:31 AM EST (#315733) #
I just don't understand why people have suddenly forgotten how to do math all of a sudden.

How does Bautista getting a potental $6m raise raise our payroll to $185m exactly?
John Northey - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:44 AM EST (#315734) #
I think the smart move is to let Bautista and EE both play out 2016 then try to sign one of them, perhaps make the same offer to both and say 'whoever takes it first gets it'. 4 @ $20 might be ideal but it'll probably take 5 @ $22 to keep either. Why take on an extra year of risk by signing them early unless one offers the Jays a big discount in years or dollars.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:54 AM EST (#315736) #
uglyone, just figure out the possibilities.
In 2017: Tulowitzki $20.0 MM, Martin $20.0 MM, Donaldson (at least) $20.0 MM, Possible New Stud Pitcher (at least) $20.0, Bautista $20.0 MM. That's five Players possibly earning $100.0 Million. I'm not forgetting Estrada's $14.5 MM, but I'm including him in the other 20 players that will be earning up to $85.0 MM, an average of $4.25 MM each, oops.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:55 AM EST (#315737) #
yep i agree with that 100%.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:03 AM EST (#315738) #
i agreed with john, i mean.

richard, i don't see any reason why any team should spend $5m per slot on the bottom of the lineup and bench, plus the bottom of the rotation and bullpen.
Thomas - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:20 AM EST (#315739) #
To be fair to Richard, he said that figure was an average.

If the Jays keep Ben Revere, he'll likely be earning $7-8 million at that time, which would offset a player earning the MLB minimum for his numbers. A #3 starter signed through free agency to replace Dickey could cost $10-12 million a year, which would offset another player or two at the minimum. I assume his use of that number was to indicate that's where the payroll would be without another substantial upgrade at a high salary, but it wasn't meant to imply the team would not have some other mid-level talent/additions.
Richard S.S. - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:48 AM EST (#315741) #
It's possible the Jays won't acquire a Top Pitcher, but another Mid-Rotation guy just won't do it. There's not enough top prospects available for that significant trade, so that trade deadline Stud they could need then needs to be acquired now. It's called Free Agency, it only costs money.

The Jays' 2016 should be fine; fan expectation are very high after the MAGIC of last year, but if Roger's isn't totally incompetent, there shouldn't be any limits. It's 2017, that can be fascinating.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:56 AM EST (#315742) #
well sure, the way you keep the elite players is by not spending $40m on the dickey/estrada/chavez/revere/saunders ilk.

the way i see it, the bench and bullpen should be dirt cheap, so that's 11 of 25 roster spots that should average $2m at most. then pillar, travis, pompey, stroman, and 1 of hutch/osuna/sanchez in starting spots are even cheaper. So we're up to 16 of 25 spots for less th an $2m average. Then you could still go with one cheapo vet starting slot each is the lineup and rotation, a la cola/smoak/estrada last year if need be. so basically 16-18 slots averaging
less than $2m per slot.

1B Cola 0.5
2B Travis 0.5
CF Pillar 0.5
LF Pompey 0.5

UT Smoak 2.0
OF Saunders 2.9
IF Goins 0.5
C Thole 1.8

SP Stroman 0.5
SP 1 of hutch/sanchez/osuna 0.5

RP Cecil 3.4
RP 1 of hutch/sanchez/osuna 0.5
RP 1 of hutch/sanchez/osuna 0.5
RP Hendriks 0.5
RP Loup 0.9
RP cheapo 0.5
RP cheapo 0.5


That's 17 of 25 slots, which would have cost $17m. $1m each. And that's with spending more on bench players than ideal or even necessary.
Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:59 AM EST (#315743) #
Matt Hague is off to Japan. I really think so.

I had forgotten the lyrics to the Vapors' song and so looked them up.  Pretty creepy, if you ask me. 
Jevant - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:20 AM EST (#315744) #
Can't see the Jays being back in on Lawrie. When everyone is healthy, he doesn't really have a home here.
Thomas - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:21 AM EST (#315745) #
Uglyone, I think some of your salary projections for 2017 are very optimistic, including the fact that Drew Hutchison will receive no raise through two years of arbitration or that a bullpen composed of the existing relievers with no major acquisitions would be a strength.

I'm not opposed to the idea of reacquiring Hendriks though
Jevant - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:24 AM EST (#315746) #
Jose's defence is entirely wrapped up in his arm...and most defensive metrics say that even with the arm he was a below average defender (he's had exactly one positive WAR defensive season since 2005...and that was in 2009).

I love Jose. I'm on record now with saying by the time he's done with Toronto he'll be the greatest Jay of all time (factoring in longevity & peak). But I wouldn't be surprised at all if 2016 is his last year in Toronto, since betting on anyone with a 4/80 or 5/100 starting in their age 36 season seems like a losing proposition, even for the best conditioned athletes. I hope I'm wrong.
Jevant - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:25 AM EST (#315747) #
Oakland's come out pretty strong in saying that Semien is their starting SS.

Also, with Donaldson-Tulo-Travis (or Goins), where does Semien play?
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:43 AM EST (#315750) #
Uglyone your projections basically eliminate the best type of deal, that of buying out the last couple years of arbitration and getting 2-4 years into FA. Aka buying out the prime of their career for a good rate. You want players on reasonable contracts through their late 20s, not signing guys at max rate post 30. With your strategy you basically concede ever signing a player before their four years of control are over in exchange for loading up on old guys who are in decline.

Throw in some deals there for Stoman, Pillar, Pompey, Osuna or Travis similar to what players like Carrasco and Gomes have in Cleveland. Aka 5 years, 20-25 million dollars, but most importantly deals that you'd never get on them if you just waited til FA. Buy out the first 1-4 years of FA and you get solid contracts for players in the prime of their careers. You can't invest in your youth on a 145 million payroll if you have 100+ million locked up in five players.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:46 AM EST (#315751) #
And yeah no way you do a 5/22 for Jos going into age 37 season. That's pretty out there, maybe 3/60 but even then I'd be very wary.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:49 AM EST (#315752) #
If I were LaCava right now I'd look at locking up Stroman with a similar deal to Carrasco, although it might take a few more million. His deal is four years for 22 million with two option years. A similar deal here would take control of Stroman four years past his arb years.
John Northey - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:56 AM EST (#315754) #
I"d be very nervous about locking up Stroman after the Romero & Morrow deals unless it is a killer good deal (ie: eats up 2 or more free agent years at under $20 per, ideally as team options).

Donaldson, Pillar, Goins, Travis - wouldn't lock any of them either as Donaldson will not be a free agent until age 33 when decline starts moving quickly, Pillar is the same (I think 32 is his free agent year), Goins is a backup, Travis is too big a risk right now. Pitchers are always a major risk so I'd avoid them too for long term deals unless every last scout I had said 'he is safe' and even then I'd be nervous.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 11:06 AM EST (#315755) #
Well Donaldson is already one of the five best players in baseball. Locking him up probably means 25 million/year. As for Pillar, Travis or Pompey I think at least one in that group could get a solid deal that carries them into FA years. I agree probably not Pillar, but I could see it happening for one of the other two in the next year or so.

As for your point on pitchers, sure they're always a risk. But if you eschew extending your own guys that means you're either always relying on young guys or you're out there trying to sign a Price, which is a much greater risk. I'd not be averse to locking up Stroman now and locking up Osuna in a year provided he makes transition over to starter.

No one is ever safe, but if you don't extend young guys you'll never get ahead in value.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 11:28 AM EST (#315759) #
"Uglyone, I think some of your salary projections for 2017 are very optimistic, including the fact that Drew Hutchison will receive no raise through two years of arbitration or that a bullpen composed of the existing relievers with no major acquisitions would be a strength. I'm not opposed to the idea of reacquiring Hendriks though"

sorry that wasn't for 2017 - just an example of how it could have worked right now.

in 2017 and going forward it would mean letting some of the less productive guys due arby raises go and start replacing them with the next crop of kids (in 2017 that would be Alford 22 Tellez 22 Pentacost 24 Harris 24 Jansen 22 Urena 21 reid-foley 21).
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 11:30 AM EST (#315760) #
"Throw in some deals there for Stoman, Pillar, Pompey, Osuna or Travis similar to what players like Carrasco and Gomes have in Cleveland. Aka 5 years, 20-25 million dollars, but most importantly deals that you'd never get on them if you just waited til FA. Buy out the first 1-4 years of FA and you get solid contracts for players in the prime of their careers. You can't invest in your youth on a 145 million payroll if you have 100+ million locked up in five players."

if younger players start earning those kinds of paydays then you can then trade or not re-sign the older guys and the Cycle of Win continues.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 11:35 AM EST (#315761) #
"Uglyone your projections basically eliminate the best type of deal, that of buying out the last couple years of arbitration and getting 2-4 years into FA."

I'm not even sure these are the best type of deals.

They feel like better deals than expensive FAs but iirc they burn us just as bad. Isn't this exactly what we did with Wells, Hill, Rios, Lind, Romero, Morrow, Santos? didn't those crush our payroll more than any FA signings ever did?

Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:05 PM EST (#315762) #
The whole discussion surrounding  the question "when, if ever, do you extend a young player?" is an interesting question in risk analysis.  Successful GMs over the years have answered the question in a variety of ways.  I will point out that when the team makes a good deal (e.g. the early Pujols and Longoria deals), it can help set up a franchise for an extended run of success.  I would also say that I generally prefer the approach with an age 22-25 position player who the team has confidence in. 
Parker - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:16 PM EST (#315763) #
I had forgotten the lyrics to the Vapors' song and so looked them up. Pretty creepy, if you ask me.

They're about a guy who suffers a complete breakdown and gets committed to a mental hospital after his girlfriend leaves him, according to the band.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:29 PM EST (#315765) #
I'd rather float 5-8 million dollar deals (and no Wells is not a good example) to multiple players than 20+ million on a single player over thirty. For one the best seasons of most players career are pre thirty and second it spreads out risk. Romero collapsing sets us back a lot less than let's say Martin or Tulo collapsing.
Thomas - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:48 PM EST (#315769) #
I wouldn't be opposed to exploring a long-term deal for Stroman, either. As for the injury risk factor, the reason you'd sign a young pitcher to a long-term guaranteed deal nonetheless is the corresponding discount the club would receive from the player for mitigation of that injury/poor performance risk through a guaranteed payday. If it makes sense for Stroman based on the numbers, I wouldn't let the Romero experience stop me for a second.

Position player deals are inherently safer, but the Carlos Carrasco contract could be a great value for Cleveland at a cost of only $22 million in guaranteed money. He was worth 3.8 WAR (or pick your metric of choice) in the first year, alone.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:54 PM EST (#315770) #
Mike the EE and Bautista deals should have done that, but they got impatient and made some poor deals that set the team back. Would they need Martin with Gomes or D'Arnaud around? Would they be in such dire pitching regarding their rotation. The pitchers we traded would make an extremely potent young rotation, among the best and cheapest in baseball. For all the wheeling and dealing AA did the only ones he won on was Wells and Donaldson, (well Travis too) and even with Wells they threw away Napoli's value after fleecing the Angels.
Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 12:58 PM EST (#315771) #
They're about a guy who suffers a complete breakdown and gets committed to a mental hospital after his girlfriend leaves him, according to the band.

I figured that the lyric "I've got your picture, I'd like a million of you all around my cell" referred to a prison cell.  I guess that might be a bit literal.

I wouldn't be opposed to a long-term deal for Stroman either if the numbers were right.  Carrasco's contract is a nice example- he wouldn't likely have earned more in arbitration in 2015 than he got under the contract, but in 2016, coming off the year he had, he'd likely get more than the $4.5 million that the Indians pay him under the contract.  The real payoff for the Indians is if he's a good or better pitcher in a couple of years.  That's maybe a 50-50 shot. 
Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 01:06 PM EST (#315773) #
Maybe someone has said this along the way, but I did not realize that Albert Pujols has been a terrific post-season performer posting a .323/.433/.599 line in the equivalent of a half-season's worth of PAs.  That is better than his regular season slash line in all departments.  I wonder if Albert has one more great season left in him...
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 01:17 PM EST (#315775) #
"I'd rather float 5-8 million dollar deals (and no Wells is not a good example) to multiple players than 20+ million on a single player over thirty."

and I'd rather spend $20m on a proven elite player and 2 kids rather than on 3 $5-10m mediocrities who happen to be a few years younger than the elite guy.
John Northey - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 01:21 PM EST (#315776) #
uglyone - I agree 100% on that, get the elite players and fill in with kids and hope is a far better strategy than be mediocre everywhere. The mediocre everywhere is the Gord Ash strategey and it failed (only real star acquired was Roger Clemens and that was purely Beeston as I recall). That was the draft strategy of JPR and it failed. AA did high risk/high reward drafting plus high wire act trades and it got the Jays into the playoffs. I just hope Shapiro and crew will see that high wire acts, while scary are also the ones that produce the best overall results. In the AL Central you can get away with mediocre, but not in the AL East.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 01:25 PM EST (#315777) #
"Would they need Martin with Gomes or D'Arnaud around?"

they would certainly be worse at the catcher position. Not even sure TDA will be playing catcher next year after being exposed in the playoffs. I bet you Plawecki takes over.

"Would they be in such dire pitching regarding their rotation."

they'd have Syndergaard instead of Dickey, which would be nice, but likely not a big upgrade at the moment. Last year Dickey gave us 215ip of 96era-, Noah put up 150ip of 88era-. Noah also gave up a ton of HR in the 2nd half. Hopefully him that wasn't hitters making an adjustment to his stuff.
Dave Till - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 01:33 PM EST (#315778) #

I wonder if Albert has one more great season left in him...

You never know, but his OBP has been descending steadily since 2008:

.462
.443
.414
.366
.343
.330
.324
.307

I'm not sure that I want to know the next number in this series. His power was up this year - is he selling out to the fastball or something?

And remember when people were saying that he was lying about his age? His peak years were his age 28 and 29 seasons.

John Northey - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 01:58 PM EST (#315779) #
Pujols was a lock HOF'er when he left St Louis and since has played like he has nothing to play for. His 4 worst seasons by any measure are the 4 years since he left St Louis. Of course, in 2 of those 4 years he got MVP votes and one of those years he made the All-Star team so a guy who was at his old level who drops is still a valuable player but 13.3 bWAR over 4 years when he was below that in 2 seasons combined just twice before (his first 2 ML seasons, and his last 2 in StL).

Signing guys from age 32 to whenever for a long term deal is asking for money to be wasted. I hope the Jays don't go stupid with Bautista or EE.
JB21 - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:04 PM EST (#315780) #
That's if Pujols was actually 32. To be fair, he's been injured, saying that he's "played like he has nothing to play for" is pretty harsh.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:13 PM EST (#315781) #
Yeah John i've been agreeing with everything you've been posting this offseason as well. I'm tired of the "value medicore depth" strategy, especially since the first year we finally abandoned it we made the playoffs. As a 2nd tier payroll, I say go big money on elite vets and depend on your GM for finding good prospects and great value cheapo vet options for depth. that's the upside play imo. yes there's more risk and yes the richer teams can load up on more reliable depth but the key imo is to match them in elite talent first.

thing is, you need a GM with skills to do that. Myself I don't think signing market value 2-3war players is good GMing. A good GM gets you those marginal wins for much less than market value, imo.

But elite talent is elite talent - it's hard for even the best GMs to clever their way into elite talent. You either have to draft it or pay up for it.
Glevin - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:21 PM EST (#315782) #
"and I'd rather spend $20m on a proven elite player and 2 kids rather than on 3 $5-10m mediocrities who happen to be a few years younger than the elite guy."

I would too but that's never the real choice. Not only do you have to pay the elite guys much more money, you have to do it for much longer. Scherzer wasn't just the most expensive deal for a pitcher, it was also the longest. To make up for that cost, you could have signed say, Hammels, Volquez, and Liriano and not have any deal longer than 3 years so you when those contracts were up, you could go out and sign more players on shorter deals and in the end not assume anywhere near the same risk or cost as you do with the elite player. (Never mind assuming that you have two kids you can put in the rotation and have a shot at succeeding. Most teams don't have that.)

In the end, the days of trying to build a team through free agency seem done. Pretty much every single long-term contract to an elite player has been awful or will be awful and it is way too hard for teams to recover from. Even teams with bigger payrolls than the Jays are hurt by these albatrosses. Baseball has changed along with he playoff structure. You don't need to be dominant anymore. You just need to make the playoffs. This also means it makes more sense to try to build long-term solid team than a short-term great team.
Parker - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:29 PM EST (#315783) #
His 4 worst seasons by any measure are the 4 years since he left St Louis.

That is a fact, no doubt, but it coincides with the fact that they're also the four seasons furthest down the decline side of his peak. Combine that with some nagging injuries, and maybe he's still digging as deep but the well is just drying up.
John Northey - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 02:44 PM EST (#315784) #
Yeah, that was a bit harsh. I suspect Pujols is playing his best still he just can't play at the otherworldly level he was at where a good Bautista year was a poor year for him during his St Louis days. Now he is a 110-130 OPS+ guy, still very useful but not the superstar he is being paid to be.

Baustisa and EE are both high risks for a cliff dive - from 150 range to 120 or lower during a contract. The big plus for both is they have established a 130-150 level these past few years so a drop would probably keep them over 100 for OPS+ so still over late Joe Carter level thus useful but not $20 mil of value. Going to 5 years with either would be risky, so the Jays need to try to be creative, perhaps a 3 year with options that go live with 120+ games played or something thus allowing a 3 year deal to be a 5 year worth $100 mil if they are healthy but just a $60 mil risk if anything goes wrong.

Price worries me as does Greinke. Doing any search for 30+ year old pitchers and seeing how they did for 7 years rarely gives one hope. For every Randy Johnson there are dozens of Roy Halladays. Guys who were elite into their 30's who couldn't keep it until 37, or even 35.
Mike Green - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 03:56 PM EST (#315785) #
Pujols had a BABIP of .217 last year. His HR/fly rate was up near his peak levels; his line drive rate was down, but his pop-up rate was also down.  He used to kill fastballs, but in 2015, he basically was about average against all types of pitches. 

It wouldn't shock me if he got the BABIP up to .260/.270 and maintained the power for a year.  If that happened, his walk rate would probably go up a bit too. 

SK in NJ - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 04:13 PM EST (#315786) #
Finding elite talent is not easy. AA made it look easy by acquiring Donaldson for practically nothing of value other than Barreto, but more often than not for elite players you either develop them, pay A LOT for them, or in rare cases stumble onto them (Bautista/Encarnacion). The Jays tried that the strategy of "pay a lot for star players + no depth" and it lead to 2013 and 2014. Trading very little for an MVP making $4.3M is not an every season ordeal, which is why AA deserves a lot of props for that trade.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 04:14 PM EST (#315787) #
It's not signing mediocrities. It's signing the players who will be the 20-30 million guys to good contracts in their 20s when they are at the top of the game. Let's just look at Stroman. Elite talent and if a FA now would easily get 20 million a year. But by signing him to a long term deal before his arb ends you give him more cost certainty now in exchange for locking up the first 2-4 years of his FA to below market cost. He takes the hit in his first years of FA because you gave him a nice bonus over what he would get in arbitration. If he stays healthy it's a huge win for the team. If not well than it sucks, but it doesn't suck any less than signing a 30 year old to 20+ million and having him get injured and lose his value, except than it's 20 million a year in sunk costs and not 6-10.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 04:19 PM EST (#315788) #
Also not sure what this narrative on D'Arnaud is. He had a good series against the Cubs and poor ones in the other two. Way too small a sample size to write him off. Than again you've never been a big fan of his.
SK in NJ - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 04:24 PM EST (#315789) #
I also think signing Stroman this off-season to a deal that buys out a year or two of free agency (via team options) would be a smart play. Pitchers are always a risk, both in health and performance, but Stroman has already shown the ability to pitch at an elite level. It's a risk I'd be ok with regardless of how it looks in hindsight.

If Travis were healthy, I'd consider him a candidate too, but he needs to have one full season before I feel comfortable with his health. Pillar is someone I'd go year to year with in arbitration.
jerjapan - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 04:48 PM EST (#315791) #
For all the wheeling and dealing AA did the only ones he won on was Wells and Donaldson, (well Travis too) and even with Wells they threw away Napoli's value after fleecing the Angels.

That's a pretty unfair characterization Kasi - he got Lawrie for Marcum, Estrada for Lind, Liam Hendricks for a non-prospect  minor league catcher, Danny Valencia for Hendricks, Yunel Escobar for Tim Collins, Delabar for Thames, Miguel Oliva for futures and a 500k buyout - essentially buying a 1st round pick, for peanuts, got Colby Rasmus for some mediocre middle relievers and taking on Mark Teahan's bad contract.  

Mike Napoli did have one crazy year for Texas, but we also got a supplemental 1st round pick for Francisco.  Implying that the Wells deal wasn't a massive win for the Jays, even with Napoli's fluke season factored in, is false - and you of all posters hate Wells type contracts!

The jury is clearly still out on the deadline deals this year,  but I recall a commenter saying that it was the greatest trade deadline for any team in history. 

And it's been widely reported that AA was behind the Diaz / Bautista trade - JPR simply approved the move that AA recommended. 

Clearly the Dickey deal was a bust, and the Miami deal may be depending on the young players we gave up, but overall, AA's trade record was a good to very good one. 
Vulg - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 05:09 PM EST (#315792) #
Clearly the Dickey deal was a bust, and the Miami deal may be depending on the young players we gave up, but overall, AA's trade record was a good to very good one.

I'd suggest his record is excellent. I'd add Tulo to your list as well.

Deal outcomes aside, I think the Jays will really miss AA's tenacity as a negotiator. Cherington went on record giving kudos to the Jays' "persistence" on pursuing Donaldson, as the Sox were shut down when they inquired.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/08/cherington-on-ramirez-donaldson-sandoval.html

It's going to really suck when he ends up in some other team's head office. Hopefully it's an NL club.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 05:56 PM EST (#315793) #
I never liked the Revere trade since we had someone better in Pompey. Tulo the jury is still very much out on. Goins hit better than him down the stretch plus isn't a massive injury risk. I forgot about the original Lawrie trade. Also on Jose I'm sure there are people on the staff now who've suggested acquisitions while AA was GM. But he gets the credit and so does JP. I also wouldn't call the Rasmus trade a clear win as we shipped them Jackson and some other guys who were very instrumental in them winning the ws that year.

But yeah for all you listed there are trades like Happ/Saunders (Happ was better than Estrada last year), the Gomes fiasco, the letting EE get claimed on waivers by Oakland and of course the big two trades of 13. Someone can go and sum up the WAR of all players acquired by the Jays in his tenure through trades to what we let go. I'm not going to do the math but ofc Donaldson is the big win. Dickey and Buerhle and Estrada have been solid inning eaters. Tulo is yet to be written as is Travis. But will that match Thor, Gomes, Escobar, D'Arnaud and all the other pitchers and young prospects we gave up? (Very curious how Barreto and the guy we sent to the Mets will do) We'lol find out in the coming years. Too early to say now if there is a Michhael Young in that group.
jerjapan - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 06:19 PM EST (#315794) #
Gomes was a total fluke.  He's the sort of player picked up in minor league drafts or a minor league FA, but fair enough, if we give AA some credit for Jose, than we have to agree that Gomes was great in his first season with Cleveland and could be solid going forward, even though this year was a bit of a lost one for him.

Saunders was injured in a fluke - hard to call that a loss, injuries will happen.  Yes, injury prone player, so you take a risk acquiring him, but  I'm not sure that you can blame that injury on his being injury prone.

EE is the Jays cleanup hitter.  Not sure how you can fault AA at all for his movements on the waiver wire. 

Also hard to bemoan Escobar when AA got him on the cheap in the first place.

Sure, Tulo has yet to be written - but that deal could easily be a massive win for the Jays.

To me, the only clear mistake is Dickey, and that's assuming that D'Arnaud and Thor continue to develop. 

You can't win if you don't play the game though.  I still very much think that AA was onto a market inefficiency in terms of prospect overvaluation. 

Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 07:13 PM EST (#315795) #
You can absolutely win by not playing the game. Look at the Cardinals and Giants, two teams with tons of success lately. They develop heavily from within and rarely make big trades or FA acquisitions. Cardinals guys from outside are pretty much Lackey and Holliday. As for the Giants look at their infield. All drafted by them, all three win or above players. Cardinals rarely sign expensive players post thirty and he Giants main ones have been resigning their own guys in Posey, Lincecum, Cain and others. Sure they occasionally trade or sign FAs but it's a minor part of their teams.

Every World Series team since the Yankees has heavily developed from within. This market inefficiency you think exists doesn't work. It's as dead as the Yankees teams of the middle 2000s. Maybe there is a key trade mid season to shore up a weakness., but these teams know the value of cost controllable young talent. (Add the Royals to that list too) Even the Yankees don't trade their young talent for mid season help anymor, because they know how valuable guys like Severino and Bird will be going forward.
jamesq - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 07:49 PM EST (#315796) #
Breaking news: jays sign J.A Happ 3 years-$36,000,000.
Wow!
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 07:56 PM EST (#315797) #
well, there it is.

exact opposite to the way I would have spent $42m on SP this offseason but there's our "deep" pitching staff. as i've been annoying everyone here enough the last couple of days all i'll say is that Happ's AL numbers were not very good unfortunately, last year or any other year.

Sure hope Stroman is the Ace that he's looked like so far.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 07:58 PM EST (#315798) #
"Also not sure what this narrative on D'Arnaud is. He had a good series against the Cubs and poor ones in the other two. Way too small a sample size to write him off. Than again you've never been a big fan of his."

no narrative other than that he can't field the position, neither with his glove nor his arm.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:04 PM EST (#315800) #
"The Jays tried that the strategy of "pay a lot for star players + no depth" and it lead to 2013 and 2014."

disagree entirely. AA tried to be cute and never targetted best-at-their-position types - always getting guys with flaws that he though made them sneaky elite (the old knuckler, the injured former ace, the fip-beating mr.consistent, etc) after that failed, he learned, and decided to target the truly elite - martin tulo donaldson price. that's when we got good.
Cracka - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:05 PM EST (#315801) #
Wow. First impression is that this is a horrible deal - seems to really overvalue his 11 outstanding National League starts and pretty much ignore his 70 AL starts since 2012 at essentially a replacement value level: ERA+ of 91, 90, 90, 82 in AL starts (and 209 in Pittsburgh); FIP of 4.31, 4.26, 4.12 (and 2.19 in Pittsburgh). 172 IP this season was his most ever.

Is that really worth 3/$36???
Vulg - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:14 PM EST (#315803) #
Breaking news: jays sign J.A Happ 3 years-$36,000,000. Wow!

Awful.

So they're going to take arguably the best offense in MLB and wrap poop around it for a pitching staff.

I was afraid they were going to do this on the cheap and that's where it looks like we're headed.

I'm sure the other American League playoff hopefuls will be shaking in their boots at the prospect of facing Stroman, Chavez, Happ and Dickey.

FREAKIN HAPP ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Vulg - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:16 PM EST (#315804) #
I was thinking Estrada but typed Dickey.

My bad, the foam around my mouth got in the way.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:26 PM EST (#315805) #
25yrs, Pre-arb: 24gs, 6.1ip/gs, 77era-, 75fip-, 83xfip-, 4.9awar/32gs
41yrs, $12.0m: 67gs, 6.4ip/gs, 96era-, 111fip-, 113xfip, 2.4awar/32gs
32yrs, $13.0m: 46gs, 6.0ip/gs, 100era-, 124fip-, 120xfip-, 1.9awar/32gs
33yrs, $12.0m: 57gs, 5.7ip/gs, 100era-, 98fip-, 98xfip-, 2.6awar/32gs
32yrs, $4.7m: 47gs, 5.9ip/gs, 103era-, 99fip-, 95xfip-, 2.3awar/32gs
25yrs, Arb-1: 60gs, 5.6ip/gs, 124era-, 103fip-, 102xfip-, 1.3awar/32gs


it's actually kinda funny how diametrically opposed this is to what i was hoping to see this offseason. I guess this raised our "floor" but those are some mighty suspect floorboards imo.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:27 PM EST (#315806) #
those are last 2yrs stats of course.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:33 PM EST (#315807) #
kinda hilarious that rogers finally gives the jays $140-150m to spend and we fire our amazing GM and get this hunk of a starting staff. this is so toronto sports.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:34 PM EST (#315808) #
at least it's clear why AA bolted now.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:45 PM EST (#315812) #
Well sure AA bolted. He realized his acquisitions didn't leave the team enough to sign a guy like Price long term. The payroll wouldn't work past 17 when Donaldson, Tulo and Martin are all expensive. They got some decent starters to fill holes for 2 years though until the next wave of prospects are ready. In 18 guys should be coming up from the minors and Estrada and Chavez will be gone and they'll have more flexibility to spend on othr players and extend their own young talent.

This is what I've been saying all along. AA spent too much on too few players and basically restricted any long term deals from being made because of the payroll constraints Rogers made. Now LaCava just has to manage his way through the next couple years until some money comes off the book. This is what happens when you manage a 145 million dollar team like its a 185 million dollar team.

That being said I don't mind Happ. He was fine before and if his numbers from Pitt hold up I like him well enough.
Parker - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:49 PM EST (#315813) #
This Happ signing is disgraceful. What a waste of money.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:49 PM EST (#315814) #
heh, keep trying, Kasi.

$42m Shapiro has already spent on just the rotation so far.

$42m.

yeah, poor Shapiro had no room to work with!
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:04 PM EST (#315817) #
42 million? Keeping Dickey was a no brainer. Happ for next year at 10, Estrada at 13 and Chavez at 5 makes a lot more sense than singing Price to 30+. This team needs multiple starters, not just one.

Also don't blame Shapiro, blame LaCava, he is the one making these moves. That being said I wouldn't mind if they had gone a few million more and picked up Leake.

As a bonus I think for the Jose and EE lovers out there it increases the chance one of them gets resigned.

You guys are all way to hung up on revenue and payrolls. Once you realize what Rogers is willing to spend you will realize that signing Price was never an option. You all want this to be a 180 million dollar payroll team. Go complain to Rogers and cut your subscriptions and all that, but guess what they're not spending anymore. (Hint: spending 90 million dollars for four players in Price, Martin, JD and Tulo is not wise when you only have 140-150 million to play with)
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:07 PM EST (#315818) #
I absolutely love this new phrase you've invented.

"ONLY $150m"

"ONLY $150m"

only.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:23 PM EST (#315819) #
Which is not a lot given the long term commitments this team has under contract already. Not to mention replacing the value of Jose and EE after next year. 150 million is not a lot when 2/3 of it is for 5 players.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:30 PM EST (#315822) #
It is more than plenty, obviously.

$42m he just spent on our rotation - i'd be surprised if any other team in baseball spent $42m on their rotation this offseason.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:43 PM EST (#315825) #
Oh I'm sure Boston will spend that much. They've said they'll outbid any team going for Price by 30 million already. Then again we had multiple rotation slots to fill. Four bodies makes more sense than 2 (just Dickey plus Price) given what the Jays needs are. Price, Stroman, Dickey, ?, ? Isn't really a solid plan. Now we have depth but not a second ace. The Jays had to choose to go with Price or spread risk over three pitchers.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 09:51 PM EST (#315828) #
that assumes that signing these 4 pitchers lowers our "risk" in those slots significantly.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:03 PM EST (#315832) #
Any chance we can have league average starters (and that is what this guys are) rather than ever have to go with guys like Doubront and Francis again is something I'm happy with. It certainly mitigates injury risks by spreading out salary over multiple people. Considering we needed to fill multiple spots and have viable 6/7 options in case of injuries that makes sense.
uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:13 PM EST (#315835) #
there's plenty of room between $36m happ and jeff francis. like buying low on a $3m career borderline SP estrada last year.

buying high on 3 career borderline SP and a 41yr year old trick pitcher, all primed for serious regression, is not exactly the low risk play. and what's worse, if they suck, then - unlike estrada or Doubront or francis last year - we're stuck with them in the rotation for a long long while before ever pulling the plug. that adds risk, doesn't lessen it.
Kasi - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:31 PM EST (#315839) #
Why is Dickey prime for regression? He's been better every successive year he's been here. As for the other three they grade out as 3/4s, which is what this team needs to bridge the gap. I don't think the org has the same faith in Osuna or Sanchez as you do, and Hutch is still a huge question mark.
scottt - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 10:53 PM EST (#315843) #
League average starters will often produce league average results.
Also, they will make the bullpen work hard every day.

I guess what we're hoping now is that they give 5 good innings and there's enough arms in the pen to rack up the wins. Maybe that can work.

uglyone - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 11:06 PM EST (#315844) #
he's prime for regression because he's 41yrs old. noone would be surprised if this was the year he blew up for good. hopefully it's not. but each year is a gamble with him now. he also posted much scarier xfip and siera than usual this year, so that might be a worry. also he was unpitchable come playoffs.

but whatever - there's a decent chance we get mediocre #2-5 pitching for our $42m investment. on balance i'd say there's a bit bigger chance it comes in under than over that, though. and unfortunately a complete implosion is a distinct possibility too.
SK in NJ - Friday, November 27 2015 @ 11:28 PM EST (#315846) #
"disagree entirely. AA tried to be cute and never targetted best-at-their-position types - always getting guys with flaws that he though made them sneaky elite (the old knuckler, the injured former ace, the fip-beating mr.consistent, etc) after that failed, he learned, and decided to target the truly elite - martin tulo donaldson price. that's when we got good."


Look at the prospect capital he gave up to acquire those players in 2013. Whatever his logic or rationale was at the time, he clearly felt he was getting superstar talent. Reyes was coming off a 4.0 WAR in Miami (and 5.9 the year before), Dickey was coming off a Cy Young, Buehrle was Buehrle, and Johnson's arm hadn't completely exploded yet. It's a risky and unsustainable way to build a team.

I wouldn't even group Donaldson with those deals because his deal was entirely different. He had four years of arbitration left when he was acquired. He didn't have a gigantic free agent contract and he wasn't an impending FA. It was just a horrible deal by Beane. Tulo is more along the lines of the Miami/Mets deals (big contract, team looking to dump him, etc). We'll see if he ages better than Reyes.
hypobole - Friday, December 04 2015 @ 11:00 PM EST (#316537) #
I guess what we're hoping now is that they give 5 good innings and there's enough arms in the pen to rack up the wins. Maybe that can work.

Worked for the Royals. Twice.
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