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Sigh. We all knew it was coming. The good news is he will probably eat up a chunk of their budget for a long time and not be a Cy candidate for most of those years. Plus he might feel sad when he turns around and sees that scary (in a bad way) infield defense.

via MLB Trade Rumors
7 years $217 million. $31 mil per year, the most expensive per year contract ever. Tied with Miguel Cabrera. Plus an opt out (player opt out) after 3 years. Kind of glad the Jays didn't go for that deal as the team takes on all risk, with no big reward should prices go up for pitchers and he does well, outside of those first 3 years.
Price is Right for Boston | 196 comments | Create New Account
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Vulg - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:06 PM EST (#316148) #
I'll feel a tiny bit better if the opt-out is Price's option and not the 'Sox.

If they're going to be way better for the next few years, I want them to at least live with the albatross that the contract will eventually become.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:12 PM EST (#316149) #
blech.

it's like we traded AA to boston for cherington.

what a nightmare.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:14 PM EST (#316150) #
It is Price's option. If it was the Sox option then it would be idiotic for the Jays not to have matched. Being Price's option it is a dumb deal - 100% risk for the team, minimal for player, record per year deal with ability to get a better one in 3 years if still on top and salaries go up higher.
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:18 PM EST (#316151) #
He probably wins 20 games in each of the next 3 years and then take the opt out. He'll only by 33 by then.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:18 PM EST (#316152) #
It looks like the Jays didn't even test the water.

http://www.tsn.ca/jays-did-not-make-contract-offer-to-david-price-1.402718

That being said, I think he is worth it. I think he is great on the field and in the dugout. He is 100% professional out there.

And... why Boston!!! I wish it was Chicago....
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:20 PM EST (#316153) #
It's a nightmare if Boston wins a WS with Price. Anything else is just every day life.
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:28 PM EST (#316154) #
Boston spending money doesn't help Toronto.
It only makes things worse and it doesn't matter how much more their payroll is.

This is a bad contract only if Price is injured.

I can't wait to see the predictions for next year.
I think it's back to 3rd place again.

StephenT - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 06:41 PM EST (#316156) #
Opt-outs actually don't hurt the club.

- If the player does well and leaves, you would have agreed to that short-term deal upfront anyway.

- If the player does badly and stays, he'd of course have stayed anyway if there was no opt-out.

Opt-outs can actually benefit the club, e.g., the player does well, leaves, and then has his bad years for someone else.
Dave Till - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:04 PM EST (#316157) #
I was hoping it wouldn't be Boston. Sigh. Reason #4376 to dislike the Red Sox - they took our ace pitcher.

If the Sox go with a 5-man rotation, and don't hold Price up to pitch their home opener, he will face the Jays on April 10.
TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:08 PM EST (#316158) #
They are bad for the club. And good for the player, which is why players want them. You're structuring a deal where the club gets all the downside risk and the team gets limited upside. If the team is getting surplus value from the contract, or expected to in Years 4-7 of the contract, then the contract gets nixed. See, for example, Zack Greinke.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:10 PM EST (#316159) #
I asked my (very) old Granddad if he remembered David Price...

Me: "Granddad, do you remember David Price?"
Granddad: "David Price...sure do...that's the guy we traded who was so good we ended up using him in the bullpen."
Me: "Ya Granddad - that's how I want to remember him too."

TangledUpInBlue - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:17 PM EST (#316160) #
It's like saying a lottery player shouldn't care if the top prize gets cut from $1,000,000 to $10,000 on the grounds that, if you lose, it doesn't matter and if you win, you've come out ahead regardless. That analysis misses the point about the importance of that potential windfall.

Bringing it back to baseball, would anybody argue that it wouldn't have mattered had the Jays given Bautista and EE an opt-out after their second year or whatever? Of course it matters -- the Jays have benefitted from the surplus value they've gotten in both contracts. They took the downside risk, sure, but benefitted in the end from the upside potential of those deals.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:21 PM EST (#316161) #
According to Bob Nightengale the Red Sox were determined to get either Price or Greinke. There were various ultimatums issued for decisions today. Per Nightengale, this morning Price thought he was going to the Cardinals but the Red Sox topped that offer by $20M.
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:29 PM EST (#316162) #
Greinke's contract was great for the club. Their got their money's worth and somebody else will pick up the bad years.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:32 PM EST (#316163) #
The point is that the best-case scenario was the club getting their money's worth. Very hard to win when you're signing deals like that.



scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:44 PM EST (#316164) #
I don't understand that lottery analogy.

For Price it's $217 million guaranteed, but he can get a bit more after 3 years and likely will.

For the Sox is it's basically getting a Cy Young for 3 years at $93 million with a small odd of getting less than that and be on the hook for the whole $217 million.

Bautista and EE didn't sign 7 years deals. What's funny is that a lot of people here wish they had and would love to have them both for another 2 or 3 years when their value is coming down soon.

scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:46 PM EST (#316165) #
The Sox will win. Their fans will spend money. Don't worry about them.
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 07:50 PM EST (#316166) #
April 10 or later. I think the Blue Jays can hit against Price. I'm worried about Happ and Chavez facing any of the division rivals.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:02 PM EST (#316168) #
I find the doom and gloom about the Sox after they blow all that money on Price funny. Last winter it was watch out they just signed Pablo Sandoval for 5 years/$95M and Hanley Ramirez for 4 years/$88M and now a year later the Sox would dump both in a second if they could.

FYI: Sox now at $183 mil with 3 arbitration cases to go - that includes $9 mil paid to Allen Craig who isn't on their 40 man roster and has another year to go. Their 2017 payroll is over $150 mil already, 2018 over $122, 2019 just shy of $100 mil, so in 2020 and beyond they finally get some space with mainly Price & Pedroia on the roster those years.

The payroll figures are all via http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/al-east/boston-red-sox/
John Northey - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:05 PM EST (#316169) #
FYI: Yankees are at $184 for 2016 now with 9 arbitration cases to go. $120 in 17, $93 in 18, $45 in 19 so they'll be going nuts next winter I suspect and are probably chomping at the bit this winter.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:24 PM EST (#316170) #
Signing a pitcher to a 7 year deal is never a good idea so happy the Jays didn't do it but don't like to see the Red Sox strengthened.

The Red Sox might be the team to beat in the East but are certainly close to the Jays at least and a lot of it isn't just about getting Price and Kimbrel. Like many people, I like to look at a team and think "who is likely to improve, who is likely to stay roughly the same, and who is likely to get worse." With the Red Sox, the only key player you would really expect to have a worse year is Ortiz because of his age (And possibly Uehara but he only threw 40 innings last year anyway). The rest of the team is either young/prime players you'd expect to improve or stay the same and veterans coming off worse years than you would expect. Was Hanley a bad signing? It was awful but he had a WAR of about 9 the previous two seasons and a -1.3 WAR last year. Sandoval was also a bad signing but he went from having a 2+ WAR every year to one of -1. Again, both bad signings but it's also very reasonable to assume that both will improve significantly this year and they don't even need to get close to where they were two years ago to improve a lot. (Hanley being essentially replaced in the OF by Jackie Bradley is maybe the biggest defensive quality swing in an OF in MLB history.)
Alex Obal - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:24 PM EST (#316171) #
Red Sox: "How about $93M* over 3 years?"
David Price: "Only if you give me a $128M* insurance policy in case I suck after 3 years."
Red Sox: "Deal."

*probably a bit off since the deal is likely backloaded?

It would be interesting to hear what 3-year contract would be equivalent in value. Like, if you simply offered him $120M over 3 would he take that over this deal?

All of that said, I really like Price and would estimate the odds of him opting out pretty high. At first I thought he'd be a risk long-term without the weapons-grade fastball. But he's got intangibles, man. He won me over.
jerjapan - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:37 PM EST (#316172) #
We couldn't have been certain Price was going to the Sox, there goes one more reason for signing him ... it sure does make it even more painful that, with Price and Kimbrel in the fold, the Sox could be the favourites to win the division.  It could be tough next year - the Yanks will spend eventually, the Sox are much improved - Sandoval and Ramirez can't be that bad again next year, can they?

Nice move by the Twins getting Korean slugger Byung Ho Park for 4 years and about $26 million including the posting fee.



jerjapan - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:40 PM EST (#316173) #
Ah Glevin, you beat me to it on the Sox, and you even said it better than I did....
James W - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 08:55 PM EST (#316174) #
It's $90M over 3 years, then $127M over the next 4 after the opt-out. (30-30-30-31-32-32-32 million by year, to be more precise.)
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:02 PM EST (#316175) #
Player opt-outs vary in importance depending on the structure of the deal and the player's age.  In this case, Price is 30 and the deal is apparently $30 million for 2016-18, $31 million for 2019 and $32 million for each of the last 3 years.  Let's imagine that he puts up 3 years of 200 inning/130 ERA+ per year (his career ERA+ is 126 and his ERA+ over the last 3 years is 128).  Would you give a 33 year old a 4 year contract at $31.75m per annum?  Maybe, but it's not going to be a lot more than that.  Mainly, the deal gives Price the option of leaving after 3 years if he just doesn't like it in Boston and he has pitched well while there...It would be a lot different if he were 27.

The odds of Price having a dominating season in 2016 (5 WAR+) are probably about 1 in 2, if you look at his history or his comps.  He's got a very noticeable chance of getting hurt or just having a bad year, perhaps 1 in 4, and the rest of the cases are seasons in between (like his 2013 year with Tampa).  The mean is probably a 4 WAR season- just under 200 innings and an ERA+ of 125-30.  The Red Sox were a good club by the end of 2015, and obviously this acquisition makes them quite a bit better.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:20 PM EST (#316176) #
It sucks that he went to the Red Sox, but I'm not upset about the Jays going elsewhere for their pitching needs. Price has a ton of his miles on his arm and is 30. A seven year deal at over $200M for someone like that is a huge risk. The same caveats apply to most free agent deals for players in their 30's; most of the value will come in the first half of the deal while the decline will likely happen in the second half. It's a risk the Red Sox can afford to take, but the Jays with their payroll staying around the same as last season had no chance of matching or exceeding that, nor should they. If they were going to spend $200M on anyone, the only FA out there that would have made sense for that is probably Heyward, and even that would have been a huge gamble.

I'm sure many fans on this site will love watching the Red Sox team building philosophy. Dombrowski is basically AA on steroids when it comes to being a GM. Some times it will work, other times it will be a huge loss in value, but one thing is for sure he will spend a ton. I honestly like the Red Sox young players more than the vets they spent hundreds of millions of dollars on.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:25 PM EST (#316177) #
Lets not give the division to the Sox. They are a 78 win team that just added a pitcher who could be 4-6 WAR, getting them to an average Jays season between 94 and 14. Krimbrel was a 1.3 WAR guy last year, peak of 3.3 and he cleared out a lot of Boston's minors (4 guys). That gets them (optimistically) to 85 wins. Sandoval getting to a 2 WAR would be dreamland for Sox adds 3 wins, now 88 and in contention. Ramirez was a 4-5 WAR guy, lets dream for the Sox and put him at 4 after his -1.3 last year adds 5 more wins getting them to 93. That is if EVERYTHING goes right and nothing new goes wrong they will win as much as the Jays did in 15. So yeah, they have a shot now but are they favorites? I sure wouldn't bet on it when the Jays talent level was 102 wins and they lost 1/2 a year of Price and 1 year of Buehrle in exchange for full seasons from Happ and Chavez.
scottt - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:30 PM EST (#316178) #
If you're upset about Price going to Boston because they are willing to pay him, how would you feel if it was Bautista?
Jimbag - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:36 PM EST (#316179) #
I fail to understand how a GM can "go for broke" like this when his contract isn't about to expire.

Okay, seriously though, I think the Jays will make soup out of him at Fenway this year.

John Northey - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:42 PM EST (#316180) #
On the bright side - he is one heck of an expensive long reliever. :)
electric carrot - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:45 PM EST (#316181) #
This contract has CC Sabathia written all over it.  First three-four years -- yahoo -- after that, cross your fingers and grit your teeth. I and I honestly just don't think this Red Sox team is worth adding David Price to it.  I look at that team and outside of Betts, Pedroia, Boggarts and one or two others I just see a bunch of flakes. There not going to win the AL East.  Not next year anyway.   
christaylor - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:48 PM EST (#316182) #
I wonder if he'll continue to tip his pitches like he did during the KC series.

Not unexpected and I will get to a starts or two over at Fenway -- that said the Sox roster is a bit of a mess with 3 DHs and a 2B in decline.
hypobole - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 09:57 PM EST (#316183) #
"blech.

it's like we traded AA to boston for cherington.

what a nightmare."

Huh? Boston is not a contender. They're a last place team.

http://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20150908141208869
John Northey - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 10:04 PM EST (#316184) #
To see how Boston Fans are reacting ... yes, lots of very happy people there.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 10:36 PM EST (#316185) #
"This contract has CC Sabathia written all over it. "

except that price isn't a 300lbs alcoholic.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 10:41 PM EST (#316186) #
"I find the doom and gloom about the Sox after they blow all that money on Price funny. Last winter it was watch out they just signed Pablo Sandoval for 5 years/$95M and Hanley Ramirez for 4 years/$88M and now a year later the Sox would dump both in a second if they could."

Pablo, Hanley, Porcello were cherington's big market version of shapiro's "diversified risk" strategy - signing 2nd tier 3war guys for the appropriate $/war figure of $19-20m on a safer 5yr term - instead of ponying up for a "risky" longer term deal to a guy like Lester.

if they had signed Lester and Miller last year instead of those guys, they'd have been worlds better.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 10:45 PM EST (#316187) #
Price: $31m, projected 5.3war
Dickey/Estrada/Happ/Chavez: $42m, projected 5.3war

embarassing, really.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:04 PM EST (#316189) #
Although the Jays won't be out $217m if one of their starting pitchers, say, tears a labrum.

I'm not saying I'm not envious of Boston (I am), but the deal does carry a fair bit of financial risk.
Parker - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:04 PM EST (#316190) #
Price: $31m, projected 5.3war
Dickey/Estrada/Happ/Chavez: $42m, projected 5.3war

embarassing, really.


Yeah. The Jays should've signed Price for $31M.
rotorose - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:07 PM EST (#316191) #
Huh? Boston is not a contender. They're a last place team.

Those of you who keep telling yourselves that Boston is not a contender forget that, without Price and Kimbrel, Boston went 32 and 22 in August and September last year. With an ace, a lights out closer and a young and improving core of position players, Of course they are a contender.
sam - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:11 PM EST (#316192) #
What about Eric Wedge guys?
electric carrot - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:15 PM EST (#316193) #
except that price isn't a 300lbs alcoholic.

Sabathia was a great 300 pound pitcher until he hit that part of the age curve when people tend to get worse.  As for the alcohol, I really don't know the story there but I personally never heard anything about it until after he stopped pitching well.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:17 PM EST (#316194) #
he was mocking me about Boston not being a contender.

but the fact that the sox had a babip-infused hot month after they were virtually eliminated last year means nothing.

we were a much better team than boston heading into this offseason. and now both teams have added near $45m in payroll this season.

one team turned that $45m into a massive upgrade, the other into a possible downgrade.

through our front office ineptness, we've let the sox catch us.
pubster - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:20 PM EST (#316195) #
Price: $31m, projected 5.3war Dickey/Estrada/Happ/Chavez: $42m, projected 5.3war embarassing, really.

Marcus Stroman and Estrada project to 5.2 war. At less than half the AAV and only 2 years. Josh Donaldson projects to about 7 war at 4Mill(ish). Kevin Pillar apparantly was worth 4.3 WAR last year. I think he might have been playing for free.
hypobole - Tuesday, December 01 2015 @ 11:33 PM EST (#316196) #
uglyone, you refused to believe Boston would be a contender in 2016, arguing long and hard with Kasi and I.

You were the one mocking us on multiple occasions on the thread by mentioning their last place standing.

BTW I disagree wholeheartedly on our front office ineptness.

Maybe we can revisit this conversation in October. :)

uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 12:00 AM EST (#316197) #
2yr Stats

wrc+

Bautista (35) 154 ------ Ortiz (40) 135
En'cion (33) 150 ------ Betts (23) 121
Donaldson (30) 141 ---- Ramirez (32) 114
Travis (25) 135 ------- Pedroia (32) 105
Tulowitzki (31) 129 --- Young (32) 102
Martin (33) 127 ------- Bogaerts (23) 96
Colabello (32) 120 ---- Sandoval (29) 96
Saunders (29) 117 ----- Swihart (24) 91
Pillar (27) 93 -------- Bradley (26) 74

Smoak (29) 94 --------- Shaw (26) 119
Revere (28) 95 -------- Castillo (28) 83
Goins (28) 67 --------- Holt (28) 98
Thole (29) 63 --------- Hanigan (36) 88
(Pompey (23) 88 ------- Vazquez (25) 70)


era-

Stroman (25) 77 ----- Price (30) 74
Dickey (41) 96 ------ Rodriguez (23) 91
Estrada (32) 100 ---- Porcello (27) 101
Happ (33) 100 ------- Miley (29) 110
Chavez (32) 103 ----- Buchholz (31) 111
(Hutchison (25) 124 - Kelly (28) 112)
(Sanchez (23) 87 ---- Owens (23) 109)


Sanchez (23) 42 ----- Kimbrel (28) 57
Osuna (21) 63 ------- Uehara (41) 59
Cecil (29) 65 ------- Tazawa (30) 84
Loup (29) 92 -------- Ross (28) 115
Jenkins (28) 72 ----- Workman (27) 71
Tepera (28) 80 ------ Layne (31) 74
Schultz (30) 106 ---- Mendez (28) 74
(Delabar (33) 127 --- Hembree (27) 92)
(Estrada (32) 65 ---- Wright (31) 96)
(Chavez (32) 72 ----- Barnes (26) 98)

still worlds better offensively but we've let them catch up and probably pass us on the pitching side.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 12:14 AM EST (#316198) #
p.s. i wasn't complaining about you mocking me hypobole. I thought it was a quality jab.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 12:23 AM EST (#316199) #
So Stroman then Price then Hutchinson then... uh... Osuna and Sanchez with who for #6 if no Dickey no Estrada no Happy no Chavez?

I wanted Price here but 7 years at an all time record per year rate with an escape clause if he does really sell is not my idea of value.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 12:51 AM EST (#316200) #
That would exactly be the plan. Stroman, Price, Sanchise and whatever. Old dudes chasing rings? Mike Bolsinger types, non-prospects who had good years in AAA last year? Soft-tossing lefties? Scott Copeland? Aaron Small? Whoever you like best. Just hope the offense can brutalize everyone in its path and maybe even galvanize whichever scrap-heap guys you settle on. Get to the playoffs in one piece and then ride your aces.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 12:59 AM EST (#316201) #
Signing Price would still leave room to pick up dickey's option or sign estrada or happ and still come out around the same impact on current payroll.

Price
Stroman
Dickey
1 of Hutch/Sanchez/Osuna/Hendriks/Greene/CheapoFAs
1 of Hutch/Sanchez/Osuna/Hendriks/Greene/CheapoFAs

i would have preferred that by a good margin.
Mike D - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:17 AM EST (#316203) #
I do not think that the Jays should have matched or exceeded this specific contract. But to me, that's beside the point.

What Price represented was a three month window when winning baseball games was Job One for the club, not Job Seven.

It was a break from "payroll parameters," "nothing out there that would make our club better" and "just not matching up on value."

It was a break from whining about the "gorillas" in the AL East, musing about realignment and writing off seasons because one key player got injured.

It was a break from the insulting idea that the risk of short-term success being "not sustainable" made it necessary not to pursue it, or the even more insulting idea that if fans would just shell out already, the team would be able to add talent.

It was a break from wasting big league playing time on replacement level retreads, and from repeatedly choosing "none of the above" in free agency and rolling with "Jose Bautista, Third Baseman" or "Dustin McGowan, No. 4 Starter" or "Miguel Castro, Closer" and the McCoys and Tollesons and on and on.

I think Happ and Chavez are better baseball moves than they are optically palatable moves in Toronto, but that said, the disinterest the team is showing in optics is disappointing (especially after AA left). We all know, deep down, that this is an ownership that perceives there to be far better ways to spend revenue than on ballplayers. But never mind the baseball case -- I have a hard time seeing the *business case* for offseason complacency, given last year's stretch drive. The most frightening thing I read today was Chisholm's tweet that the revenue bump might actually *be* reflected in the team's offseason activity, because it's being used to stave off or delay what would otherwise be a payroll tear-down.

Anyway, I don't mind Price going at that number, although I obviously mind where he went. But it's sad to go back to reality. Last year's wave was just a wave, not a sea change.
sam - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:50 AM EST (#316204) #
I would not be against the Jays dealing Pillar for Shelby Miller.
King Ryan - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:08 AM EST (#316205) #
Well said Mike.

I don't regret not signing Price (or any pitcher) to this contract, but this team had a chance to really ride some momentum and instead they've squandered it by letting the GM walk and filling out the roster with no-name retreads. Just really pretty sad.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:13 AM EST (#316206) #
yeah Mike that's one helluva post. almst had me tearing up.

another thing i'm getting the distinct impression of is that much like Ricciardi and maybe AA too, Shapiro doesn't have the respect for the AL East that he should. or will soon enough.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 06:32 AM EST (#316207) #
I am not as high on Miller, would be thumbs up for a Pillar for Danny Salazar trade - more upside & more years of control.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:04 AM EST (#316208) #
Great post, Mike. You captured the angst of a Blue Jay fan in a nutshell. I don't get the idea of trading Pillar suggested by some posters. He went from being considered the fourth outfielder coming out of spring training to playing virtually every game of the season with superior defence and timely hitting.I'd like to see Dalton Pompey actually hit major league pitching before I would consider him a replacement.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:11 AM EST (#316209) #
Today is non-tender day - should be interesting - a new set of players to go dumpster diving.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:18 AM EST (#316210) #
Interesting - last year the Red Sox decided they didn't need an ace, could win with a rotation of 3s & 4s & we saw how that went - the David Price signing is a reversal of that philosophy - The Jays who took off when they landed an ace (plus a solid #2) have decided they can win without an ace but with mostly 3s & 4s.
Jevant - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:58 AM EST (#316211) #
Quite simply, there's absolutely no way that AA signs Price for that deal anyways.
Paul D - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:58 AM EST (#316212) #
Sabathia was also better than Price when he signed
Jevant - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:01 AM EST (#316213) #
Let's deal with one offseason at a time. Dealing with Bautista going to NY or LA or Bos is next year's disappointment.
Jevant - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:09 AM EST (#316214) #
It sucks that Price is gone. But if you've already written off the 2016 season, Shapiro and the future of the team based on what's happened in the last 3 weeks, I'm sure the Red Sox bandwagon has room.
Mike D - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:32 AM EST (#316215) #
Oh, I haven't given up on 2016. If the Jays make the right mid-market type moves in the bullpen, they could certainly be next year's Royals. I'm confident that the Jays will be a playoff team on paper by April.

But I don't think there will be a relentless focus on adding to the team, either this offseason or at the deadline. It's back to focusing on "value" and "sustainability." My problem is that I really think that the team *could* sustain a big-market approach, but ownership doesn't want to do it, or thinks it's too risky.

I also think that big-ticket superstars are always tradeable if the concern really is the rumoured Shapiro-as-told-to-AA worry that the Jays are going to be caught with an overripe big league team and a thin minor league system. But that won't enter into the equation as the Jays resume their philosophy of cautiously steering clear of payroll risk.

Regarding the AA era, I personally always thought that trading top prospects freely and imposing tight self-controls on free agent spending was a backward approach to team building in a sport with no salary cap and a crapshoot first round of the draft. It seems that Shapiro half agrees with me, but only half.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:38 AM EST (#316217) #
We all know, deep down, that this is an ownership that perceives there to be far better ways to spend revenue than on ballplayers.

I'm not one of the '"we" that claims to know this. Interested to know what proportion of revenue you think other teams spend on salary vs. Blue Jays.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:39 AM EST (#316218) #
"Pablo, Hanley, Porcello were cherington's big market version of shapiro's "diversified risk" strategy - signing 2nd tier 3war guys for the appropriate $/war figure of $19-20m on a safer 5yr term - instead of ponying up for a "risky" longer term deal to a guy like Lester."


Hanley got a $22M AAV from Boston. Lester signed for a $25M AAV. Calling what the Red Sox did last off-season 'diversifying risk' is a reach. They could have easily re-signed Lester instead of Hanley and/or Panda. The Jays did not have a similar choice with Price, unless you think Rogers is drunk with holiday spirit.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:42 AM EST (#316219) #
Just to be clear, I would have voted thumbs down to the Price contract if the Jays had signed him unless the team budget had increased accordingly - I certainly haven't given up on 2016 - but I would support listening on JB & EE and moving them ( I know we need their ok) rather than just getting the pick next year - I still like the offense without JB & EE especially if you can add a couple of LHB (eg. Morneau)
mathesond - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 09:00 AM EST (#316220) #
All this talk about Price costing Boston $217M seems a little off base. The Red Sox have him for 3 years at $30M per. After that he will opt out (everyone opts out, why would he be any different?). I would like to think the Jays could have handled $90/3, but hey, what do I know?
John Northey - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 09:08 AM EST (#316221) #
He has the highest AAV of anyone ever and that peaks during the opt out period of course. Plus there is far higher than a 0% chance that he gets hurt or starts to lose it and moves from elite ace to meh middle man or worse (see Dickey for an example, or Stieb - Great ages 30-31-32 then boom).

All the risk is on Boston with that deal. All reward for Price. If he is a Cy candidate in 3 years he can go back on the market and get another 5 year deal. If he isn't he can just sit on the $31+ a year from then on.
Magpie - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 09:13 AM EST (#316222) #
Yes, seven years is scary. Bu there's security in great players. There always has been. Even when they decline, they can still help you. And great players are often better than the rest at staving off the inevitable decline that comes to all athletes. Price will be 30 years old when next season begins. In the five seasons after he turned 30, Roy Halladay finished in the top 5 in CY Young voting each time. Price has a better health record than Halladay had at this point in their careers, and Price hasn't been worked as hard as Halladay was, either.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 09:29 AM EST (#316223) #
the even more insulting idea that if fans would just shell out already, the team would be able to add talent.

Perhaps only in Toronto is it an 'insulting idea" that if fans spent more on the product the team would be able to buy more talent. Outside of Toronto, the notion that increased fan spending on the product allows the team to add talent is not regarded as "an insulting idea". It's regarded as obvious.

In Toronto, ticket prices are less than the mlb average. They are half the price paid by fans in Boston and New York. Some Blue Jays fans it seems, feel entitled to have the team spend with the 'big boys' while they pay much less for tickets, in miniature dollars, or more likely, they don't pay anything at all. Any other notion it is claimed, is "insulting". Some insult.

pubster - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:21 AM EST (#316224) #
Why is everyone so upset with Jays management? They just spend $12mil a year on Happ. So they are willing to spend money.

I'm guessing there's only 1 team in the entire league that would have given Price 7 years at $31Mil per year (ie. The Red Sox).
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:37 AM EST (#316225) #
weren't people here saying the jays should follow the Cardinals strategy?

well the Cards were in on Price for $30m, too.
pubster - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:49 AM EST (#316226) #
But ultimately even the Cardinals weren't willing to pay Price what the Red Sox paid.

It's not like the Jays are unique in this regard.

Some posters make it sound like every team offered Price $210Mil (except the Jays) and he chose Boston.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:55 AM EST (#316228) #
Sure, but they have no players over 20 million (only two over 15) and only three contracts on their books that carry past 2017. Also not to mention cheap pitching depth. They can afford to do it, we can't. Keeping a Price could have worked if there wasn't only two signed starters between AAA and the majors going into the offseason. That's not a problem the Cards have.
jerjapan - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 11:10 AM EST (#316231) #
Perhaps only in Toronto is it an 'insulting idea" that if fans spent more on the product the team would be able to buy more talent. Outside of Toronto, the notion that increased fan spending on the product allows the team to add talent is not regarded as "an insulting idea". It's regarded as obvious.

CBDC, you don't work for Roger's do you?  

What's insulting to me about this idea is that it's been promised for a while, and when the fans did step up and spend their 'miniature dollars' (since when is $40 million in extra fan spending 'miniature' anyway?), there has be no bump in the talent-buying. 

Sure, it was the previous regime that said this - AA and Beeston - but it's the same ownership that, through their public faces of the team, have basically not followed through on public promises.  You can call it good corporate governance.  I call it misrepresentation and disregard for fans. 

Honestly, what's with the notion that only wealthy people have a stake in the team?  That's borderline insulting.  And it may not even be the right way to maximize profits.

For those discussing the value of the opt-out in Price's contract, Eno Sarris speculates that it has $10 million in value for Price - perhaps a surprisingly low figure.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-value-of-the-opt-out-clause-in-the-david-price-contract/
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 11:36 AM EST (#316234) #
"Sure, but they have no players over 20 million (only two over 15) and only three contracts on their books that carry past 2017."

Wainwright (34): $19.5 $19.5 $19.5
Tulowitzki (31): $20.0 $20.0 $20.0 $20.0 $14.0 $15.0*

Holliday (36): $17.0 $17.0*
Bautista (35): $14.0

Molina (33): $14.0 $14.0 $15.0*
Martin (33): $15.0 $20.0 $20.0 $20.0

Garcia (29): $11.5 $12.5*
En'cion (33): $10.0

Carpenter (30): $6.5 $10.0 $13.8 $14.8 $18.5*
xxxxxxx
Vulg - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 11:50 AM EST (#316235) #
Why is everyone so upset with Jays management? They just spend $12mil a year on Happ. So they are willing to spend money. I'm guessing there's only 1 team in the entire league that would have given Price 7 years at $31Mil per year (ie. The Red Sox).

Why do people keep pointing to one player or a group of players as a proxy for ownership's willingness to invest in a Championship caliber team?

Why am I upset? Because the Jays set a mid market budget for what should be a large market team. Last year, $140M was good for 10th overall. That amount will likely rank them a bit lower this year (eg. Cards are willing to spend and salaries always inch upwards). The luxury tax kicks in at just under $189M.

Honestly, I don't even care if it's Price or another front line starter. Point is, given the team that is currently in place, I find it frustrating that ownership isn't willing to wade even into Detroit Tigers or Washington Nationals territory (i.e. $160M). I don't think it's unrealistic for the Jays to play with the "almost-big" boys (i.e. anybody other than the Yanks or Dodgers).

This is exactly the behavior that turned me off of the Maple Leafs nearly 3 decades ago, pre salary-cap. That ownership should have been able to run laps around every team in the league outside of the Rangers and they never did. It kind of sucks investing your disposable income and emotions into a team that responds with apathy.
jerjapan - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 11:51 AM EST (#316236) #
Dombrowski is basically AA on steroids when it comes to being a GM.

An interesting thought - Dombrowski has certainly shown a willingess to sign make big trades - Cabrera of course was a huge win - and sign the big FA contracts.  Would AA have done so with a bigger budget?  He did trade for Reyes and Buehrle, so perhaps. 

Verlander's deal doesn't cripple the Tigers, but his decline phase started earlier than anticipated and the team lost value on the deal.

Cabrera's first deal was a huge win for the Tigers - Fangraph's has him at roughly $296 million in value for an 8 year, 152 million dollar contract which bought out his last year of arbitration and then 7 years of FA.

Will his $248 million dollar extension be a good deal?  it was widely panned at the time of the extension. 

Dombrowski doesn't have anything near the draft record that AA does - since 2010 - the first of AA's drafts, the Tigers have scored Nick Castellanos, Drew Smyly, James McCann, Tyler Collins, Buck Farmer, Cory Knebel of note. 

Certainly a far cry from Thor, Sanchez, Dyson, Pompey, Pillar, Norris, DeSclafani, Stroman, Alford, Davis, Greene, Pentacost, Reid-Foley, Harris, Maese, Espada, Tellez and the boatload of talent shipped out over the past few years in trades. 

Heck, even if you argue that the Tigers were drafting later or forfitting 1st round picks because they were more competetive, you could cut all of AA's first picks and only lose Harris and Davis from that list.   Pompey and Pillar were both late-round gems. 

I just hope our draft team stays intact! 
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 12:31 PM EST (#316240) #
Cathal Kelly penned this exactly one month ago, after Shapiro's first press conference:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/kelly-for-mark-shapiros-blue-jays-winning-isnt-everything/article27074360/

there's nailing it and then there's nailing it.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:01 PM EST (#316243) #
I am not conceding the division to Boston. Let them win it. I learned from 2013 when everyone picked the Jays, fans and analysts. I too picked them. 93 wins was my number.I got that one wrong. My sure fire or almost prediction.

The Jays just have to get in like the 2014 SF Giants, er... Madbum and the 2015 Cardinals.

Shapiro will look bad if 2016 is not good enough. Someone will take the fall for that.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:01 PM EST (#316244) #
A few Q & A
Q) What does Rogers want
A) Massive profit no matter what

Q) Would signing Price for $31 mil a year for 7 years do that?
A) Maybe for a year or two, but by year 7 he'd be losing money unless he is Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson.

Q) How do the Jays maximize profits?
A) Make the playoffs on as small a payroll as possible.

Q) Does spending $20 mil a year more on Price vs Happ imporve those odds drastically?
A) No. Happ = 1-3 Wins a year, Price = 3-6 wins, so best vs worst case is 0 to 5 win spread between them. Jays won division by 6. Yeah, that could come back and bite them but if I was Shapiro would I pay $20 mil a year more to have likely 3 more wins a year or use that $20 mil to help improve areas that might be negative Wins otherwise? Like the back end of the rotation and pen.

As I've said many times, the Jays generate enough revenue to easily pay for Price plus more. But the question isn't that, the question is would Price bring in enough extra revenue to be worth $30+ mil a year vs other options and I think the answer is 'no'. If he led the Jays to the World Series then maybe but he has shown he is not a playoff pitcher so far thus any playoff premium for getting the team to the next round isn't there, or at least not proven to be there.
JB21 - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:10 PM EST (#316246) #
Is this the same Cathal Kelly that talked about how the clubhouse was broke after the Reyes/Tulo trade and that nobody acknowledged LaTroy Hawkins when he arrived into the clubhouse? He's a hot take sport writer.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:17 PM EST (#316247) #
jerjapan, you missed Tiger draft pick Devon Travis and Pentacost was a Jays 1st round pick.

Do agree the draft team AA assembled has been better than DD's in that time frame. That's the crucial aspect, since GM's don't really draft. Still wish AA had paid Kris Bryant's asking price back in 2010.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:29 PM EST (#316248) #
Interesting... just read the Marlins may not offer a contract to Henderson Alvarez - should the Jays try to get him from the Marlins for a D prospect? Estimated to get $4 mil in arbitration and should be ready about 2 months into the season at which point the Jays might need another starter as someone will get hurt or be ineffective by then I'm sure. When healthy in 2014 he was worth 3 bWAR, and has a 105 lifetime ERA+ now. Very tempting, and if they do release him how much do you offer him? He has this year and next as arbitration years.
Dave Till - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:34 PM EST (#316249) #

In Toronto, ticket prices are less than the mlb average. They are half the price paid by fans in Boston and New York. Some Blue Jays fans it seems, feel entitled to have the team spend with the 'big boys' while they pay much less for tickets, in miniature dollars, or more likely, they don't pay anything at all.

From what I've read, ticket prices have nothing to do with player salaries. Tickets are priced to maximize revenue.

I would guess that the Toronto fan base isn't much better or worse than other MLB fan bases at supporting teams that are not winners.

Dave Till - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:38 PM EST (#316250) #
I think that people tend not to trust Rogers, the baseball team owner, because they don't trust Rogers, the cable and Internet service provider. I suspect that everybody who has dealt with the latter has a story or two to tell.
jerjapan - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:38 PM EST (#316251) #
Good catch Hypobole, Travis - 13th round 2012 - is one of their best pics since 2010.

Pentacost was their 2nd pick (after Hoffman) in the first round that year, which is why I left him off, but at 11th overall, he would've been unavailable to the Tigers who didn't pick higher than 20th. 

I'm optimistic too about the draft team remaining intact - the GM has more impact than you might think in terms of setting the philosophy, but you're right, after the first few picks, it's largely up to the draft team - those are the guys who deserve the credit for the Pillar / Pompey / Travis types. 

John Northey, I agree with you on two points - Rogers does want to make the playoffs, just at the smallest cost to them possible. And I would go after Alvarez if he's a not-tender candidate - the Jays could do what KC did with Kris Medlen, who could be a real asset for them next year.  I would actually be okay with the offseason if we make a value signing or two like that and add a couple more arms for the pen / rotation this year.

And yeah, as much as I dislike Rogers, I think that Cathal Kelly piece was a bit of a troll job.  Stoeten has this to say about Kelly's latest piece:  "youíll probably need to spend ten minutes afterwards shaking your head at the thoroughness of the pandering to the worst, lemon-sucking cretins of the fan base".
Jevant - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:45 PM EST (#316252) #
He's a hot take sport writer. I tend to call those "weak" or "poor" or "not worth reading" sports writers.
pubster - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 01:51 PM EST (#316253) #
I guess I'm in the minority but I love Rogers as the team's owner.

They are so much better than the previous regime. Back then the Jays didn't even own the dome.

A top 10 payroll should be good enough to win.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:06 PM EST (#316254) #
I guess I'm in the minority but I love Rogers as the team's owner.

They are so much better than the previous regime. Back then the Jays didn't even own the dome.

A top 10 payroll should be good enough to win.


Context is everything. Hell, I'm fine with a top 20 payroll if the team doesn't have a realistic chance at the playoffs or is in a building phase.

But right now, with this team and how close the Jays are ... it's a shame. And a big part of what makes it a shame is that the expenditure into payroll is not reflective of the size of the market. It was said for years that if the Jays produced a winner, the market would prove itself and the money would be there. Well, the market proved itself and the opposite is happening - Rogers has decided to maintain a certain profit margin over "going for it" for a year or two.

It's too bad that the previous ownership set such a low bar for you in terms of what you should expect out of a Toronto based baseball team. Also, I'm not sure what point you're making about the previous ownership not even owning the Dome - Rogers purchasing it for a song ($25M !!) only supports the argument that they are in a position to spend more than they are.
pubster - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:17 PM EST (#316255) #
The previous ownership wouldn't pony up to buy the dome. They were way worse than Rogers and weren't even close to competitive on the field.

Since Rogers bought the Jays they have fielded much more competitive teams. I expect the jays to be very good again next year.

I wonder what their record was last year in non David Price starts after the trades.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:30 PM EST (#316256) #
Boston's much reviled strategy last offseason wasn't really bad strategy, it was just implemented horrifically. They signed 2 of the worst character/makeup guys imaginable in Hanley and Pablo, and had them completely fail. As AA finally learned, character and makeup do make a huge difference as long as there is inherent talent.

As for Porcello, his FIP and xFIP were in line with his career numbers. His ERA did take a hit, how much those 2 aforementioned duds at 3rd and in LF had to do with it can be speculated.

Washington's strategy last offseason was to sign Scherzer to a deal similar to Price's and their season went down in flames also. Again that doesn't mean what they did was bad strategy. But it's also a cautionary note to those who think the Price signing guarantees Boston anything.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:33 PM EST (#316258) #
"Boston's much reviled strategy"

much reviled?

it was praised to high heaven.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:39 PM EST (#316260) #
I think a lot of the fundamental disagreements about Price and other moves is about how you see the Jays. I tend to see it as passion versus reason. The passion side sees a team that almost won the world series, a team that was as good as any in baseball with elite offensive players still performing at an elite level and sees management pursuing mediocre players instead of the elite players to push them over the top.

The reason side sees the Jays post-AA as a team with no pitching, no depth, a below average system, one year left of elite offense under control, and an aging core that is likely to decline very soon. They think that committing to more long-term contracts or trading away more of the system might give a year or two of success followed by many years of awfulness.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:40 PM EST (#316261) #
John - absolute YES to henderson alvarez. now THERE is a value pick up. Dr.Andrews seems to think it was a surgically fixable injury, and has cleared him to start throwing ready.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:43 PM EST (#316262) #
"The reason side sees the Jays post-AA as a team with no pitching, no depth, a below average system, one year left of elite offense under control, and an aging core that is likely to decline very soon."

No, the reason side sees the Jays as one of the best rosters in baseball, on a very affordable payroll with no bad contracts, plenty of young cheap talent, and only one player in his serious decline years but he's an immortal knuckleballer anyways.

hypobole - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:53 PM EST (#316264) #
"Boston's much reviled strategy"

much reviled?

it was praised to high heaven.

You're right that at the time it was praised. Find anyone defending it after the fact.

You yourself seem to be using it as an example of poor strategy.
JB21 - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 02:55 PM EST (#316265) #
My thoughts exactly Jevant.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 03:19 PM EST (#316266) #
Inherited Young Cheap Talent, last 2yrs stats:

(pitcher war = avg of fipwar and ra9war)
(hitter war = avg of fwar ane bwar)

SP M.Stroman (24): 24gs, 77era-, 3.7war, 4.9war/32gs
SP A.Sanchez (22): 11gs, 87era-, 0.7war, 1.9war/32gs
SP D.Hutchison (24): 60gs, 124era-, 2.5war, 1.3war/32gs
SP L.Hendriks (26): 6gs, 145era-, 0.0war, 0.0war/32gs
SP R.Osuna (20): ?

RP A.Sanchez (22): 59.1ip, 42era-, 1.6war, 1.7war/65ip
RP R.Osuna (20): 69.2ip, 63era-, 1.7war, 1.6war/65ip
RP L.Hendriks (26): 71.2ip, 74era-, 1.3war, 1.2war/65ip
RP D.Hutchison (24): ?

CF K.Pillar (26): 750pa, 93wrc+, 5.4war, 4.8war/650
2B D.Travis (24): 238pa, 135wrc+, 2.4war, 6.4war/650
CF D.Pompey (22): 146pa, 88wrc+, 0.6war, 2.5war/650

and then 3 kids who all might be challenging for top 100 prospect status in AA this year.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 03:23 PM EST (#316268) #
"The reason side sees the Jays post-AA as a team with no pitching, no depth, a below average system, one year left of elite offense under control, and an aging core that is likely to decline very soon. They think that committing to more long-term contracts or trading away more of the system might give a year or two of success followed by many years of awfulness."


I think the above is definitely the more accurate view of the Jays roster. I hate "window periods". There is no need to create a window to compete in a league where a team can have both a top 5 MLB team and a top 5 minor league system at the same time. If AA did not rob Peter to pay Paul in 2013-15, then maybe the Jays could have been in much better long-term shape with an equal amount of short-term success, but he felt he had to nuke the farm system in order to improve the MLB team, and in the process created a team with a 1-2 year window. Really, it comes down to the 2013 off-season. Adding Donaldson, Martin, and Tulo was fine. It was the the huge amount of asset destruction in 2013 that caused this current short-term window.

Regardless, now that Rogers has shown that they are willing to be a top 10 payroll but not top 3 or 5, then the Jays have to build accordingly. I actually think the Red Sox have the right idea by developing their own stars and supplementing them with free agents during their cheap years. The issue is the Jays lack the young/cheap star level players outside of Stroman, Travis (if he's healthy), and at least defensively Pillar. They need a lot more than that, especially by 2017.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 03:40 PM EST (#316271) #
"The issue is the Jays lack the young/cheap star level players outside of Stroman, Travis (if he's healthy), and at least defensively Pillar. They need a lot more than that, especially by 2017."

wait a sec - how many young cheap impact performers are you expecting, exactly?
China fan - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 04:44 PM EST (#316274) #
"....the reason side sees the Jays as one of the best rosters in baseball, on a very affordable payroll with no bad contracts, plenty of young cheap talent, and only one player in his serious decline years but he's an immortal knuckleballer anyways...."

I completely agree with this.  But the default position of many people around here is to search for negativity and to hunt for reasons to complain. 

"...he had to nuke the farm system.... 
huge amount of asset destruction..."

I'd love to see people try to provide actual data to defend this claim, rather than the mythology that some prefer.  Look at the actual amount of talent on the Jays and in the farm system, including the large number of excellent major-leaguers and major-league-ready players who are 20 to 26 years old.  The key names in the farm system are still largely intact, except for the 2 or 3 good prospects who were used to acquire Tulo and Price. The rest were marginal prospects, easily expendable.  How is a farm system "nuked" by the loss of 2 or 3 good prospects?  As for the 2013 trades:  again it was the loss of 2 or 3 good prospects (including some such as d'Arnaud who are still unproven) in exchange for players such as Buehrle and Dickey who comprised 40% of the successful division-winning team's rotation in 2015.  Moreover, there's no evidence for the notion that you can simply hang onto your prospects and you'll magically turn into a top-5 team.  You always need to trade for veterans to plug the holes (as the Red Sox did with Kimbrel) unless you have a huge payroll and can sign up every free agent that you target.  Anthopoulos did the trading-for-veterans strategy just twice: once in 2013 and once in 2015.  It didn't work in 2013, but it did work in 2015.  So he batted .500 in his playoff pushes, which is a pretty darn good average.

"....I hate 'window periods'...."

After failing in their predictions of failure in 2015, the naysayers are now trying to create the myth that the Jays are going to collapse in 2017.  Who says the Jays are in a short-term "window"?  Nobody in the organization has ever stated that there is some "window" that will swiftly close.  This is purely a myth created by negative fans who assume that the Jays must fail.  There are plenty of talented young players on the Jays and in the minors who aren't falling off a cliff in 2017.  There is no guarantee that Bautista and Encarnacion will leave, or that they are irreplaceable if they do leave.  The "window" argument is cooked up by the naysayers to make us believe that the Jays will tumble off a cliff in 2017, and I don't see any evidence for it.  There is a very good possibility that the Jays will continue to be contenders for years to come.
China fan - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 04:59 PM EST (#316277) #
"....in Toronto, ticket prices are less than the mlb average. They are half the price paid by fans in Boston and New York..."

I'm not an expert on ticket prices and ticket sales, so I'm sure someone can address this question better than me, but isn't it true that Fenway and Yankee Stadium attract a huge number of visiting ticket-buyers who simply want to visit these iconic stadiums and soak up the experience of being in a famous stadium and watching a famous team?  I don't know how to find the data on this, but I believe a lot of the ticket-buyers at Fenway and Yankee Stadium are visiting tourists and business people -- because those two cities attract a lot more tourists and high-paid business executives than Toronto does.  It's like the tourists who buy tickets for a Broadway play -- they're willing to pay $100 a ticket because of the unique experience that they can't get in another city.  And then there's the reality that New York and Boston are the headquarters for a lot more wealthy corporations than Toronto, and that's a boost to corporate box revenue and season-ticket revenue.  I think it's unfair to imply that the ticket prices are proof of Toronto baseball fans being somehow "lesser" or "less committed" than the fans in Boston and New York.  I don't think the ordinary working-class baseball fan in Boston or New York can afford to pay double the Toronto price.  I think the ticket prices in Boston and New York are inflated by their status as a big destination for high-income tourists and business executives.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 05:08 PM EST (#316278) #
Boston as a destination for high-income tourists?  I've been there quite a few times, and I doubt that the Red Sox have an edge in that department over the Blue Jays.  There are, of course, a lot of high income earners in the Boston area in the medical, educational and high-tech fields, and baseball is generally more of a thing in Boston than it is in Toronto.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 05:51 PM EST (#316281) #
Ticket prices in Toronto would've been low due to the team being mediocre and attendance dropping for years, from 4+ million to under 2 million in 2011 (heck, 1.5 in 2010). 2013 saw 1/2 a million more due to the sizzle of the big trades. dropped again in 2014 and jumped this year once the team started winning, having full houses pretty much non-stop once it was obvious the Jays were really going for it. Thus low ticket prices pre-2015 made perfect sense as does the 10% jump this year (I think that is what it was) as the team needs to increase it slowly...a 25% jump in one year would scare off people no matter how good the team is. 10% or less won't.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 06:18 PM EST (#316284) #
Gate receipts have been a diminishing portion of MLB revenues for a long time. I look at attendance as a general proxy for interest.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2015/04/06/opening-day-graphic-mlb-revenue-today-vs-2010/

Most of the money comes from, you know, what Rogers specializes in.

It's great that so many give them such a free pass though. Long live their profit margin, lord knows bludgeoned Toronto sports fans haven't come to expect anything more.
Kasi - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 06:28 PM EST (#316285) #
Top ten not good enough? Would you rather be a Baltimore fan, who gets a lot less?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 06:44 PM EST (#316286) #
"As for the 2013 trades: again it was the loss of 2 or 3 good prospects (including some such as d'Arnaud who are still unproven) in exchange for players such as Buehrle and Dickey who comprised 40% of the successful division-winning team's rotation in 2015. Moreover, there's no evidence for the notion that you can simply hang onto your prospects and you'll magically turn into a top-5 team. You always need to trade for veterans to plug the holes (as the Red Sox did with Kimbrel) unless you have a huge payroll and can sign up every free agent that you target. Anthopoulos did the trading-for-veterans strategy just twice: once in 2013 and once in 2015. It didn't work in 2013, but it did work in 2015. So he batted .500 in his playoff pushes, which is a pretty darn good average."


Look at the $/WAR between the players acquired in the Miami/Mets deals, and the players given up. Compare it to the salary of the players involved. It was not a loss of "2 or 3" prospects. The loss in value was significant.

I'll put it another way, ignoring the minor bit players in those two trades (Buck, Mathis, Bonifacio, Thole, etc), the Jays got a $/WAR of $149.8M out of Dickey, Reyes, Johnson, and Buehrle from 2013-15. They spent $139M over that span for those four players. In other words, those four players cumulatively produced a value deficit relative to their actual salaries, and if you take out Johnson (who was hurt/pitched poorly), it becomes a $/WAR of $146.7M for $125M, which is still a terrible use of money.

On the flip side, of the players given up in those deals, only two of them made arbitration or higher money from 2013-15: Escobar ($15M/3 years) and Alvarez ($4M in arb in 2015). If you combine the $/WAR of Syndergaard, TDA, Alvarez, Escobar, Hech, DeSclafani, and Marisnick, it comes to $179.8M from 2013-15. Most of those players were making the nm so do the math. Hech was signed for $10M over 4 years, Escobar made $15M, and Alvarez made $4M. The rest were minimum guys. Surplus would be an understatement. That's not even factoring the future value as the majority of these players are under team control for many, many more years and will provide even more surplus value for years to come, while the Jays pretty much got everything they could get + one more season of Dickey. Why you chose to downplay that off-season is understandable given your agenda, but it's a bit unfair to do so.

As far as 2015, I had no problem with the Donaldson/Martin moves, and was indifferent on Tulo. The only player acquired over the past year which I had an issue with was Price due to the two month rental aspect of his acquisition. But I said repeatedly that AA had a great string of moves in his final year.

I also find it extremely funny that 95% of this site is hating on the Blue Jays right now, but one of the maybe 5 people on this site who have actually defending this team's off-season (me) is called a naysayer. In the above post, you agreed with ugly who has been one of the more vocally negative posters on this site about this off-season's moves, and in the next sentence bash the people who are defending the off-season moves (since some of my points were echoed by others). I'm not sure what is going on here but maybe all the hate towards Rogers has left mass confusion.

I've made my points about 2017, the window period, etc, enough times, and this post is long enough as it is.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 06:50 PM EST (#316287) #
we just gave smoak $4m to sit on our bench.

his arb was projected at $2m.

#diversifiedrisk
JB21 - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:00 PM EST (#316288) #
It seems to me that 'depth' is the buzz word in the RC offices this off season. SP, OFers, 1B/DH's. Would love to ffwd to the end of the off season to see the master plan.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:04 PM EST (#316289) #
11 pm tonight is the deadline to tender contracts. MLBTR lists Revere, Saunders, Thole and Delabar as the Jays non-tender candidates.

Guessing Delabar is the most likely to be non-tendered, but he should also be fairly cheap. Saunders physicals would determine his status. Revere is the most expensive with stats arb likes(BA, SB). Thole should be safe as long as Dickey's around.

I'll guess they all get tendered contracts. Thoughts?
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:06 PM EST (#316290) #
report is that all will be tendered other than thole.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:09 PM EST (#316291) #
$3.9 million for Smoak when he was projected at $2M is a very questionable move. Maybe the current regime likes him more than the projections show but they still could have gotten him cheaper. He was barely above replacement last season.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:15 PM EST (#316292) #
Might the Smoak contract be 2 yrs?
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:15 PM EST (#316293) #
give in to the darkside, SK.
JB21 - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:16 PM EST (#316294) #
hypobole apparently all are getting tendered except for Thole. I would assume that they will agree on a lesser number for Thole. Or maybe hand him a truck full of money like they did for Smoak.
Dave Till - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:23 PM EST (#316295) #
The Price signing made me very sad. After thinking about it, I don't feel that I have the right to criticize the Jays. They were just one of the 29 teams in baseball who weren't willing to pay an enormous sum of money to sign Price.

It's just... I have spent far too many of these last 20+ years watching the Red Sox and/or Yankees sign the best free agents in baseball as if ordering off of a menu. It's like running a hundred yard dash and watching your opponents slip the starter twenty bucks to get a five-yard head start.

2015 was special because, for a brief period of a month or so, the Jays were the team picking up all the good players, and the other AL East teams were standing around and watching. The Jays are like that thrifty household that saves its money wisely and eats healthy food for dinner every night while all the neighbours' kids eat pizza and show off their snazzy new toys. Sure, our family is financially stable, but everybody else is having more fun.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:23 PM EST (#316296) #
$3.9 for Smoak? Where's The Fire (WTF)? Ok, better question: who is channeling Gord Ash???
hypobole - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:27 PM EST (#316297) #
It's the analytic department that comes up with arb numbers. Gotta be a 2 yr deal.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 07:29 PM EST (#316298) #
smoak on a guaranteed $2m deal was rich for my tastes.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:19 PM EST (#316299) #
Top ten not good enough? Would you rather be a Baltimore fan, who gets a lot less?

For a market surpassed only by NY and LA? No, of course that's not good enough. Why the Baltimore comparison? Their market is small compared to Toronto's and encroached upon by Washington. That aside, it comes down to ownership's commitment to sacrificing profit margin for wins in the short term. Detroit also has a market significantly smaller than Toronto's but spent $20M more on payroll last year - but then, Mike Ilitch is known for his passion for sports and his commitment to the Tigers and Red Wings. Why not aspire to that instead?

Again, I'm talking about 2016 and maybe 2017 because the previous regime has put the team in the position they are - a locked in but pricey core that just needs another front-line pitcher and some bullpen help to be penciled in as WS favorites. Long term? Sure, I'm on board with the Jays being a rich-mans version of the Rays. But right now, opportunity knocks and it seems ownership is content to not make the most of it.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 08:36 PM EST (#316300) #
I like Smoak more than the crowd, but $3.9 million for a year seems awfully high. Smoak is a streaky hitter, but Gibbons never really bought into him. On June 12, Smoak went 3-5 to raise his season line to .279/.359/.516 as the Blue Jays won their 9th in a row.  He went 1-4 the next day with 3 strikeouts, and didn't get a start again for 4 days as Gibbons tried to give Colabello work against RHP as a first baseman.  Colabello responded and Smoak's season headed south. 

With Encarnacion and Colabello around and first base a logical resting spot for Bautista if his arm problems persist, it's unlikely that there will be much of a role for Smoak.  
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 09:04 PM EST (#316301) #
"give in to the darkside, SK."

Heh, I'm not there yet, but the Smoak signing is hard to grasp. If they feel he still has untapped potential, that's fine, but to guarantee him $4M when he's been a slightly above replacement level player for his career (and projected 0.4 WAR next season) seems like a huge waste of money for a team talking about value.

With Smoak, Colabello, Saunders, and Revere, I'm guessing a trade is on the horizon.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 09:35 PM EST (#316303) #
For sure, there are trades on the horizon and possibly surprising ones to some.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:56 PM EST (#316304) #
my spidey sense says no deals are coming.

I'm thinking we overpay for a reliever or two that are downgrades from Hendriks and that's about it.

So pompey and hutch get stuck in AAA with no chance at a roster spot unless there's an injury or three.

pessimist or realist? i'm not sure tbh.
pubster - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:58 PM EST (#316305) #
Did the Jays just pay twice the amount for Smoak than what was projected?

Doesn't sound very cheap to me!
Mike D - Wednesday, December 02 2015 @ 10:58 PM EST (#316306) #
I would guess that the Toronto fan base isn't much better or worse than other MLB fan bases at supporting teams that are not winners.

And you'd guess wrong, Dave! They are, statistically, in the very top handful of fan bases at supporting the team through lean years. I have researched it and am planning to write a guest post about this very topic when I have time.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:22 AM EST (#316307) #
I thought for sure only one of Saunders/Smoak would make the team. They seem really redundant...versus righties i'd sit Cola, have Edwin play 1st, DH Bautista and have Saunders out in Right.
uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 01:29 AM EST (#316308) #
http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/toronto-blue-jays-david-price-alex-anthopoulos-lose-gm-cost-team-resign-ace-offer-contract-120215

"But this much is known: Toronto would have offered Price a contract.

Sources say Anthopoulos began laying the groundwork to do so in August, before Mark Shapiro was named the teamís new president and CEO. Price, sources say, had genuine interest in returning to Toronto.

Ultimately, Anthopoulos rejected a five-year offer to remain the teamís general manager once it became clear he would no longer have the decision-making authority he enjoyed under former club president Paul Beeston.

Subsequently, Shapiro opted not to offer Price a contract. Shapiro determined that the teamís rotation dollars should be spread among multiple starters (Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ and Jesse Chavez) rather than a single ace. Priceís average annual value of $31 million is roughly equivalent to what Estrada, Happ and Chavez will earn in 2016.

Could the Blue Jays have afforded Price? Yes, in theory, they could have. But the Jays chose quantity over quality ó and thereís an argument to be made that they were wise in doing so. Toronto ended the season with little rotation depth in the upper minor leagues, and Shapiro wanted to spread the health and performance risk among multiple starters.

It could take several years to determine whether Shapiro made the correct calculation, but we know already that Anthopoulos would have taken a different approach with the former Cy Young Award winner."
JB21 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 01:48 AM EST (#316309) #
Offering Price a contract and signing Price to a 7 year 220M+ contact is two different things. These things are easy to say after the fact.
John Northey - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 02:03 AM EST (#316310) #
Smoak for 1 year at nearly $4 mil is an idiotic waste of money. In arbitration you'd kill him with his 226 batting average and sub 300 OBP. If you want more advanced stats, BR fielding has him at 0 WAR meaning he is average on defense thus his big calling card isn't much. $2 mil made a ton of sense, $4 mil makes none. Unless it turns out it is a 2 year deal it is a move that tells me we are looking at Gord Ash v2. I feared it with the depth moves but overpaying a 1B who is a backup just confirms it.

I really, really hope I'm wrong as it sucked the first time. Hopefully there is more than meets the eye right now. I can see Happ and Estrada even if I wouldn't have made those moves, Chavez I understand as a 6th man much like Estrada and Happ were in the past two years. I understand not signing Price to a record deal too. But overpaying backups I don't get.
Jonny German - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:58 AM EST (#316311) #
Like others I was surprised at the $3.9M, but in retrospect we probably shouldn't have been. Smoak made $2.7M in 2014 and it'd be pretty easy for his agent to argue that that should be the starting point of the discussion, rather than the $1M in 2015. And it's safe to assume that Shapiro & Co. have a more accurate arbitration projection system than MLBTR.

Not that I think it was the right decision, to sign him for this much. It's more of Shapiro's "risk management". If things go well in 2016 he's a bench player, as Colabello is the starting first baseman. But there's a risk that Colabello turns into a pumpkin, so you need a good backup (where by "you" I mean Shapiro and by "good" I mean veteran). Why not non-tender Smoak and re-sign him for less money? Too much risk that he'll sign elsewhere in the hopes of getting more playing time!

#sustainedmediocrity
whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 07:02 AM EST (#316312) #
With Ike Davis and Chris carter out there I don't think there was much risk of Smoak getting a big offer.

That said, non tendering a guy two years in a row is a pretty harsh move. I'd reserve that for guys without hope of being a solid competitor (see thole, jose). I saw enough from Smoak last year to think there's hope.

The list of non tenders is particularly interesting this year. Nicasio, tepesch, Aaron crow, henderson alvarez, yusmeiro petit, Pedro villareal, and neftali Feliz could all be targets.

SK in NJ - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 07:53 AM EST (#316313) #
I actually don't mind taking a chance with Smoak. He had a .243 ISO last season and has a pretty decent eye. A power/walk combination is enticing even if his BABIP will likely always be low due to the type of player he is. I just wouldn't have taken that chance if it cost nearly $4M. For the $2M that MLBTR projected, that would have been way more reasonable. Regardless, I don't expect him to be a $4M bench player since he can only play 1B and presents no real versatility in a bench role so this might spell the end for Colabello. If they keep both and repeat the platoon from last season, then it might lead to decent results, but the bench takes a bit of a hit as neither one can play anything other than 1B.
Jonny German - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 07:54 AM EST (#316314) #
With Ike Davis and Chris carter out there I don't think there was much risk of Smoak getting a big offer.

Not to mention Justin Morneau and Pedro Alvarez.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 08:44 AM EST (#316317) #
I'd reserve that for guys without hope of being a solid competitor (see thole, jose)

Dear Mr. Thole,

Your fellow Josh has it right.  Better to learn from Bautista's swing than from his name.

Best,

Mike
melondough - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:02 AM EST (#316319) #
As per Rothenthal time to say bye bye to Navarro. Reporting one year deal with CWS. Assuming a reasonable contract (tba) it's another frustrating sign that this new management team are out to lunch. For one year I would sign him if not for Estrada alone. It's not like we have another great backup plan #Thole?
melondough - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:04 AM EST (#316320) #
Ps I am going to puke if we could have resigned him to Smoak money
Paul D - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:19 AM EST (#316321) #
This new management team may be out to lunch, but letting Navarro go is not a sign of that. Pretty sure he'd be out under the old management team too. If the team is keeping Dickey, and they are, they need someone not named Russell Martin to catch him. Navarro can't do it.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:26 AM EST (#316323) #
I'm not worried about Navarro leaving.  They do need a backup catcher who can handle Dickey's knuckleball; it would be a shame if they ended up lowballing Thole and losing him (while highballing Smoak), and ended up with Martin catching Dickey next year with a generic back-up catcher.  If that happens, it would be easy to point a finger for mis-spent cash. 
Jevant - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:35 AM EST (#316324) #
Honestly, who really cares if Price was offered a contract or not? The only thing that matters is if Price would have taken the Jays money over the Sox money, if the Jays had been willing to offer it. By all accounts, the Jays weren't willing to offer it, so what exactly does it matter whether or not the Jays offered him a contract?

Presumably, LaCava heard that Price would cost $217/7. Or some lower amount earlier in negotiations, and decided it didn't matter, since the Jays wouldn't be paying it.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:37 AM EST (#316325) #
The Jays did sign Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal & he has experience catching the knuckleballer in Boston's system - so that's sort of a backup plan.
melondough - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 09:37 AM EST (#316326) #
If that's the case then if I were Dombriowski I would sign Thole or at least compete to drive his price up (maybe even put him in AAA just to keep him away from Dickey)

Don't the Red Sox have a knuckleballer? Woukd be a very smart move IMO.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 10:15 AM EST (#316329) #
I've long felt for a while that Navarro's ability to call a game was underrated. I'll miss him and do wonder about the impact it might have on Estrada who seemed to prefer throwing to DN.

That said, as long as Dickey is penciled in for 200 innings he wasn't a great fit on this team.

I agree that we paid for what Smoak might become, not what he is. A hallmark of the previous regime was its steadfast refusal to do this.

Of course the previous regime also had a habit of paying for what players WERE rather than what they are so it could balance out.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 10:25 AM EST (#316331) #
Thank you, Rob Neyer, for your fine work.  Long may you write.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 10:25 AM EST (#316332) #
I agree with Jevant.

Sure, there is a negative narrative that can be spun by the fact that the Jays didn't offer him a contract.

But the alternative was to offer him a contract for what you think he's worth (For argument's sake let's say that the number is 5 years and 130 million). The negative spin on doing something that is perceived as insulting is far worse in the minds of fans, at least as bad in the mind of Price, and now you open up the possibility of negative reactions from your own roster and/or other free agents.

I have no problem with not offering Price a contract and I certainly wouldn't want to have signed him at that number and those terms.

I wouldn't have minded Zimmermann on his contract and it likely would have been sufficient to satiate the fan base but I can accept a differing opinion on his abilities. Every other decent pitcher is still out there and in the meantime we've bought ourselves leverage with the guys we have signed.
uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 11:10 AM EST (#316334) #
we all knew price would come in around 7x$30m. if AA was prepared to make an offer, it would have been in the ballpark.

and for the first time in decades, a top FA might have actually preferred us to the red sox with comparable contract offers.

one thing i can guarantee is that any hope of that being the case again is gone. and for that matter you can kiss goodbye to any hope you had of bautista and ee giving us any kind of discount to stay with our dedicated contender of a team.
JB21 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 11:37 AM EST (#316335) #
You guarantee that any hope of JB or EE giving us any sort of discount to stay is gone because we didn't give David Price 7/217?
Jevant - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 11:45 AM EST (#316337) #
Just because AA was in the process of preparing an offer, doesn't mean it would have been in that ballpark or that ownership would have authorized him to make it.

Why would you guarantee that any hope of a FA preferring us to the Sox is gone forever based on the Jays not willing to pay the richest contract ever given to a SP??? One simply doesn't follow the other. Same with the Bautista/EE example (I actually agree the chances of getting anything other than a modest hometown discount is low, though it's not like Price went back to Toronto and said "I'll take less to play for you").

uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 11:52 AM EST (#316339) #
after a season in which he ponied up for tulo donaldson price and martin, i think it's silky to think he would even try to make a lowball show offer.
uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 11:59 AM EST (#316342) #
and yes, absolutely i believe that the moves that we have both made and clearly decided not to make have clearly demonstrated to bautista/encarnacion that the team has gone right back to the reach-for-mediocrity management they were so frustrated with before last year, and that last year's go-for-it that lifted the entire team was just a blip. the team is no longer interested in adding stars to the lineup, and clearly more interested in adding triple the Happs and Smoaks, so there is no reason for bautista and ee to stay here other than if it's their biggest payday - which of course it won't be.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 11:59 AM EST (#316343) #
In the short term, it basically comes to Price vs. Estrada, Dickey and Happ from the GMs perspective.  I understand that many would prefer Price and bargain-bin acquisitions to the other three, but surely we can acknowledge that many don't see it that way even in the short-term.  And then there's the significant long-term risk.  One of the reasons that the Yankees didn't make veteran acquisitions at the deadline last year was existing contracts like that of Sabathia.  The merits of Shapiro's decision rest to a significant degree on the budget that he has to work with in 2016 and after.  It appears to date that his budget is the same as it was in 2015 notwithstanding the success of the club and the escalating salaries of some key players.

Each case is a little different.  If I were Edwin Encarnacion (say), I would not take from the Blue Jays' failure to make an offer equivalent to the Red Sox offer for Price that he (Price) was not wanted here.  I would simply take it that the contract was too rich for their blood given other commitments and needs.  That has nothing to do with what they might feel about Encarnacion's contract expectations. 

China fan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:05 PM EST (#316344) #
"....Smoak for 1 year at nearly $4 mil is an idiotic waste of money...."

There's a simple explanation for the unexpected amount of this contract.  The projection of $2-million (predicted by unofficial blogs) was simply an error.  It was based on his 2015 salary of $1-million, but it should have been based on his 2015 arbitration value of about $2.7-million.  His arbitration value for 2016 is not based on his actual salary in 2015, it's based on what he would have received if he had gone through the normal arbitration process last year and this year.  So he probably would have received $4-milllion in arbitration this off-season, and the agreement for $3.9-million is roughly in line with that.  No need to get emotional over it.  Smoak's salary will be roughly his market value, and he can probably still be traded if the Jays decide to give the 1B job to Colabello.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:10 PM EST (#316346) #
I'll venture a guess that if Colabello is the starting first baseman and the Blue Jays want to trade Smoak, they'll have to send $ with him.  What is puzzling to me is that the club has two candidates for back-up work at first base- Bautista and Saunders.  The deal only makes sense to me if Shapiro and Gibbons aren't communicating well, and that Shapiro sees it as a 50-50 proposition about who is playing first base most of the time (as it was in June or even July of last year). 
Dewey - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:17 PM EST (#316348) #
Thanks for the Rob Neyer link, Mike.  This sort of Ďwindy loreí is what
keeps baseball interesting for me, not endless (and pointless)
speculation/fantasizing/conjecture about what might have been or what
possibly might be.  (My spirits will begin to lift once actual games
start next season -- I hope.  Maybe not, if it's just 'sustainable
mediocrity' for the duration.)
JB21 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:19 PM EST (#316349) #
ugly, so what you're saying is the season is a loss and there's no way that the jays' average pitching and above average fielding combined with their elite offence will give JB or EE any reason to want to stay in Toronto, a city that they clearly both really enjoy playing in.

You do realize that it's Dec 3 and the off-season isn't over, the season hasn't started, and believe it or not, the trade deadline in 2016 has not passed.
uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:25 PM EST (#316352) #
no, we'll be good this season thanks to having the best lineup in baseball and some excellent young pitchers.

but our pitching will be a question mark all year thanks to us sinking $50m into bottom rotation swingmen....and i'd bet a lot of money on this being bautista and ee's last year here. heck, if our rotation implodes (not probable, but deinitely possible) they're very good candidates to be gone at the deadline.

and hey did shapiro acquire even one established impact player in cleveland?
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:29 PM EST (#316353) #
That Morosi article might as well have been titled "click bait". Nothing in that article has any substance in it and unless he has an agenda to make Jays fans hate Rogers even more, it served no point whatsoever.

The funny thing is, he claims AA was preparing an offer in August before Shapiro came on board, which means a guy with no contract past the World Series who didn't even know who his boss was going to be (had he stayed on) was preparing to offer a contract that would have shattered the previous franchise record for dollars/term. Seems plausible.
uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:42 PM EST (#316355) #
"Smoak's salary will be roughly his market value, "

yay!
Dave Till - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:43 PM EST (#316356) #
I'm not really worried about whether the Jays made an offer to Price or not. It's probably better to make no offer at all than to make an insulting lowball offer. I don't think he would have taken a home-team discount to stay with Toronto.

Regarding Smoak: I wonder whether the Jays' internal analytics value him more highly than we do. He can do two things: hit a ball a long way every now and again, and catch everything thrown at him. I would be curious to see whether the catching part is more valuable than it appears on the surface: some industrious person could probably count the number of throwing errors with Smoak on first and compare them to the number with other first basemen.

As for Navarro: obviously he'll try to become a #1 catcher somewhere. There's very little chance that he will stay in Toronto.
hypobole - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:52 PM EST (#316360) #
For anyone interested, This is Jonah Keri's take on the Jays needs

"Biggest needs: SP, RP

The upshot: Here's another reshaped front office that moved quickly to address glaring needs. In the Blue Jays' case, it was replacing Price with J.A. Happ and re-upping Marco Estrada. Having those two starters in the fold, plus a full season of Marcus Stroman, could be enough to sufficiently complement the Jays' loaded lineup, one that includes terrifying sluggers and Gold Glove-caliber defenders alike.

The Jays could opt for one more innings-eater to fill the hole left by the retiring Mark Buehrle (and keep the combustible Drew Hutchison out of the rotation). They'll probably target a reliever or two to augment the bullpen depth they lacked in October too. But the notion that Toronto needs a brand-name ace to make another playoff run is flawed. This team is already pretty damn good."
Alex Obal - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 12:55 PM EST (#316362) #
Whether they need a brand-name ace to be favored to beat anyone in the playoffs is another question. (And whether they should care is another question too I guess)
Mike Green - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 01:10 PM EST (#316365) #
brand-name ace

I am firmly of the view that a no-name ace will do as well a brand-name ace.  To date in his major league career, Marcus Stroman has an ERA of 3.31 with FIP and xFIP to match.  Here's what Jeff Sullivan said about Stroman and Price in October that there was not much to choose between the two. 

It would be kind of cool if Gibbons chose to match up Stroman with Price regularly like one of those old Giants-Dodgers rivalries.   I wouldn't be worried about Stroman rising to the occasion...
Alex Obal - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 01:14 PM EST (#316366) #
Sorry. That should read "another brand-name ace," obviously...
JB21 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 01:26 PM EST (#316368) #
Dave Till, Navarro already signed with the White Sox.
JB21 - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 01:30 PM EST (#316369) #
I find it insane that Price will be getting paid 1 million per start and Stro will be making half that for the entire season.

Re: the Ace, I'm a big Price fan, but he was noticeably shaken in that first start against the Rangers. He also admitted this later. I generally throw out the notion that X player can't perform in the playoffs, but he has had a rough go at it.
jerjapan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 03:22 PM EST (#316376) #
Smoak can be released in spring training for a fraction of his contract can't he?  Like Reed Johnson back in the day?
Dave Till - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:01 PM EST (#316377) #

If we're talking about what Jeff Sullivan said about Marcus Stroman, this article might be of interest.

According to Sullivan, Stroman has:

  • A sinker like Roy Halladay's
  • A four-seam fastball like Johnny Cueto's
  • A curve like Jose Fernandez's (other comps are Yu Darvish and Corey Kluber)
  • A cutter sorta like Josh Beckett's and Johnny Cueto's
  • A slider like Gerrit Cole's and Chris Archer's
  • A changeup that doesn't have great comps, but five out of six ain't bad

Yow.

Gerry - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:18 PM EST (#316378) #
In the "this is not a surprise" list, Ross Atkins is the new Jays GM. It seemed obvious when Shapiro was hired that he would be the guy. Then it was double obvious when Atkins did not go the GM meetings as part of the Cleveland delegation.

I feel for LaCava but once he said he was a Blue Jay no matter what, he undercut his bargaining power.
jerjapan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:26 PM EST (#316379) #
So does anyone have any thoughts on Ross Atkins?
uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:37 PM EST (#316380) #
my thoughts on Atkins are that he's not the GM. that's shapiro.
Vulg - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:40 PM EST (#316381) #
So does anyone have any thoughts on Ross Atkins?

Don't know much about him yet, but the Cleveland Indians would not have ranked very high on my list of front offices I'd have looked to pillage prior to this whole process.

The Rays, Cards, Royals ... sure. One of the weak sisters of the American League Central? Not so much.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:51 PM EST (#316383) #
LaCava signed an extension likely knowing he wouldn't be the GM so I don't think it's screwing him over. I can't imagine Shapiro would have let LaCava makes moves that Atkins would have disagreed with, so these off-season moves were likely Shapiro's doing (with input from LaCava plus others in the front office).
85bluejay - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:52 PM EST (#316384) #
Shapiro is the actual GM , Atkins is GM in title only, which is why AA (& Cherington in Boston) said no thanks - Atkins may be a great hire, my problem is that there was no actual GM search but fait accompli.
Thomas - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 04:59 PM EST (#316385) #
Jim Henderson signed a minor league deal with the Mets.

He was a potentially useful bullpen arm at a low cost.
joeblow - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:23 PM EST (#316386) #
Cleveland North. New motto and the aspirations to mediocrity that go with it. I'm not even going to read his resume.
China fan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:33 PM EST (#316387) #
"....Shapiro is the actual GM , Atkins is GM in title only, which is why AA said no thanks...."

Exactly. This is precisely what AA meant when he said he wasn't a "good fit" with Shapiro.  He knew that Shapiro wanted only a loyal assistant, not an actual GM.


85bluejay - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:38 PM EST (#316388) #
With rumours that Eric Wedge will be joining the Jays - Gibbons must be brushing up his resume - it's the old Cleveland gang back together - cronyism at it's finest.
hypobole - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:43 PM EST (#316389) #
As far as the Atkins hire, I believe we should jump to a bunch of conclusions.

Agree we should limit hiring only from well run organizations. Jays were a mediocre organization, which is why hiring our last GM from that organization was such a mistake, as opposed to the successful previous GM hire out of the forward thinking A's organization.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:44 PM EST (#316391) #
"With rumours that Eric Wedge will be joining the Jays - Gibbons must be brushing up his resume - it's the old Cleveland gang back together - cronyism at it's finest."


Gibbons was hired by AA for the same reason.

People in positions of power hire people they are familiar with, and that usually means people they've worked with before. I don't know why people are freaking out about this.
China fan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:44 PM EST (#316392) #
In another thread, Scottt suggested that I like every deal the Jays ever do.  This, ironically, after I spent about a week criticizing the deal that effectively forced Anthopoulos to depart because he was stripped of his autonomy.  I've also criticized the many timid status-quo decisions (in years such as 2014) which left the Jays without crucial upgrades because of irrational payroll restrictions (in which the owners have prioritized short-term profits over long-term investment).  Another deal that I dislike is the decision to let Navarro walk. It strikes me as penny-pinching, and it means that the Jays will probably end up with a catcher such as Thole who hits far worse than Navarro. 
jerjapan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:45 PM EST (#316393) #
I don't think you can call it cronyism - I'd be concerned in fact if the new president DIDN'T have loyal talent that wanted to follow him.  And since LaCava already signed on to stay, this just looks like more talent in the FO. 

That said, I'm with Vulg - why are we raiding Cleveland, of all teams, for their leadership?
jerjapan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 05:48 PM EST (#316394) #
"Jays were a mediocre organization, which is why hiring our last GM from that organization was such a mistake, as opposed to the successful previous GM hire out of the forward thinking A's organization."

Ha, nails!  Hypobole, you just made me rethink my last comment in under a minute, an all-time record for me. 
scottt - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 06:01 PM EST (#316396) #
I don't know if Stroman will match up with Price, but Price can throw 200 innings and Stroman shouldn't.
In fact, Stroman will likely be out before the playoffs, unless we're grooming him for a career ending injury.

It's too early to tell, but the 2015 Blue Jays seems built for a great start and a late season bust.

uglyone - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 06:04 PM EST (#316398) #
i agree that gibby gets sacrificed at the first sign of troublem
85bluejay - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 06:18 PM EST (#316399) #
First of all I don't see people freaking out at all - in fact I said Atkins may be a good hire but it's cronyism plain and simple - that doesn't mean the people hired are incompetent.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 06:19 PM EST (#316400) #
Here's what Jeff Sullivan said about Stroman and Price in October that there was not much to choose between the two.

On the same point, what Gibbons said in deed, not words, was "Stroman. You start the big one. Price. To the pen". And we knew why.

And the Blue Jays didn't guarantee more than a quarter billion CDN dollars to the guy who got sent to the pen. Oh, the horror!
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 06:32 PM EST (#316401) #
Another deal that I dislike is the decision to let Navarro walk. It strikes me as penny-pinching

I would have much rather had Dioner Navarro than Thole too and will miss him for sure. Problem is, while Dioner caught Estrada much better than Martin, Thole has to catch Dickey. Or else they go with 3 catchers and a manager who runs with a short bench and an 8 man pen. That's a bench of Thole, Dioner and a reserve infielder/outfielder. I don't think it had anything to do with 'penny pinching' at all.
jerjapan - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 06:37 PM EST (#316402) #
Any chance Jiminez can learn to catch Dickey?  He's out of options and appears to be an athletic receiver when healthy.
pubster - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 07:04 PM EST (#316403) #
Navarro demanded a trade after the Jays signed Martin.

Martin's still here so I'm guessing Navarro still wanted to be somewhere else.


hypobole - Thursday, December 03 2015 @ 08:03 PM EST (#316405) #
First of all I don't see people freaking out at all - in fact I said Atkins may be a good hire but it's cronyism plain and simple - that doesn't mean the people hired are incompetent.

Cronyism does mean he was hired regardless of qualifications. Because I don't know how qualified he is for the job, nor does anyone else posting here, calling the hire cronyism is simply an uninformed opinion.
Jonny German - Friday, December 04 2015 @ 02:30 AM EST (#316418) #
I don't think it's a given that Stroman's innings will need to be severely limited next year. Think about the various pitchers that have had Tommy John - they often come back to a full workload. A few examples:

Shaun Marcum
2008 - 151 IP
2009 - 15 IP (minors)
2010 - 195 IP
2011 - 200 IP

Adam Wainwright
2010 - 230 IP
2011 - Did not play
2012 - 198 IP
2013 - 241 IP

John Lackey
2011 - 160 IP
2012 - Did not play
2013 - 189 IP
2014 - 198 IP

Obviously these are just some anecdotal examples, guys that recovered nicely. But I think they make it clear that there's no hard-and-fast rule about how many innings a pitcher can throw after missing a big chunk of time due to injury.
Jevant - Friday, December 04 2015 @ 08:47 AM EST (#316427) #
This might be the greatest comment of the offseason so far. Well done.
Mike Green - Friday, December 04 2015 @ 08:52 AM EST (#316428) #
Stroman's injury isn't as disruptive to a pitcher as TJ.  He was back pitching effectively about 5 months later.  

Roger Clemens had thrown 180 innings in 1984 (his first major league season) and then only threw 98 innings in 1985 due to significant shoulder surgery in his throwing arm (perhaps similar to what Devon Travis had done).  It may have ended up helping him in a strange way, and he threw 254 innings the following season while leading the Sox to the World Series. My view is that Stroman's injury, if anything, has benefited him by increasing his already-present focus. 

sam - Friday, December 04 2015 @ 09:19 PM EST (#316527) #
Wait, Marcus Stroman had TJ?
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