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The Blue Jays have traded Ben Revere to the Nationals for Drew Storen. The Jays trade from a surplus to fortify a weakness. Michael Saunders and Dalton Pompey are now the left fielders. Meanwhile Storen was unhappy backing up Papelbon. Who is the closer now in Toronto?

Meanwhile Jeff Blair tonight is saying that he has heard that Dickey is being offered around. More to come???

Update: The Nationals have thrown in some cash and the Jays will give the Nationals a player to be named later, which could be anything from a non prospect to a decent player.

Revere is projected to deliver 1.7 WAR in 2016 (Fangraphs). Storen had a 1.1 WAR in 2015.

Revere Out, Storen In | 258 comments | Create New Account
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Richard S.S. - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 10:50 PM EST (#317698) #
The Hot Stove is heating up again. Going to be interesting here again.
PeterG - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 10:55 PM EST (#317700) #
Blair reports that lads are not done.....Dickey in play. Perhaps they want Sanchez to start.
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 10:58 PM EST (#317701) #
Hard not to like this deal. Looks like LF is Pompey's job to lose now.
finch - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:06 PM EST (#317702) #
Don't be surprised if the Jays get Justin Upton once RAD is traded. 2017 core will be Donaldson, Tulo and Upton.
whiterasta80 - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:18 PM EST (#317703) #
Like the deal a lot, don't love the idea of putting pompey in the leadoff spot before he's earned it but maybe Travis can handle that once he's healthy.
uglyone - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:21 PM EST (#317704) #
Excellent.

full credit for a perfect move.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:34 PM EST (#317705) #
I agree this is a good move, especially since the Jays are getting cash to even out the salaries. With that said, it does hurt the OF depth. Say what you want about Revere, he's definitely flawed, but a 2 WAR outfielder is an asset, especially when the other LF options on the team aside from Pompey are a rehabbing Saunders and Lake. Maybe Shapiro can work out a deal for another OF.

Regardless, Storen-Cecil-Osuna is an excellent pen. Not as good as the Yankees, but a pretty damn good counter punch. I guess this means Sanchez will be a starter.
uglyone - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:34 PM EST (#317706) #
best is we can give storen the headline "proven closer" role, freeing us up to use the three better RP already in house for any and all high leverage situations.....or even free them up to start if need be.

very very happy with this move. shatkins nailed it.
rpriske - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:47 PM EST (#317707) #
Now I like Ben Revere and think the team will miss him... but, boy, does this seem like a good trade.

Very nice.
Smaj - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:50 PM EST (#317708) #
Love this trade. Trading from a surplus & acquiring a proven back end RP who absolutely destroys right handed bats. Now I assume Sanchez competes for a spot in the rotation. I also believe this helps Pompey's psyche from a confidence standpoint. Great deal for the Jays (curious to see who the ptbnl is in the deal).
Mylegacy - Friday, January 08 2016 @ 11:55 PM EST (#317709) #
I'm ecstatic over this move!

I've been hoping we didn't have to keep two VERY young, VERY high end, starting prospects in the bullpen...and now ...this spring we can try BOTH as starters and keep the loser in the pen. IF - Stroman, Estrada, Happ, DIckey and stiff one or stiff two turn out to be OK(ish) then a pen headed with Osuna, Storen, Sanchez and Cecil looks as good as any - even the Uberpen in NY.

In left we can hope a guy with one knee can run like a deer on plastic-over-concrete and/or hope a guy who does run like a deer can hit. Seems like a reasonable risk to free one of our two young Uber Starting Pitcher Prospects from another year in the pen. As to a leadoff hitter - Travis will be EXCELLENT when he returns and until then Pompey's speed will at least keep things interesting - if he can get on base a few times before Travis gets back!

This IS a move even AA would approve, and so do I!

Vulg - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:02 AM EST (#317710) #
Decent trade. I thought Revere's market value might be a bit higher after seeing what Span fetched, but at the very least the Jays dealt from a position of surplus in exchange for a need.

Agree with others that this signals Sanchez getting a legit shot at the rotation. I maintain that Osuna has the better makeup for surviving lineups a 2nd and 3rd time. Hopefully Sanchez figures it out.

I'm actually most excited by the Dickey news. I think he's done. It'll be interesting to see what kind of value Shatkins can extract for him if Blair's rumor holds true.
Glevin - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:05 AM EST (#317711) #
I generally don't like giving up value for relievers but this is a great trade. Revere is a decent player but probably replaceable for the Jays and Storen allows the Jays to move their young bullpen guys into the rotation (or at least try them there). I don't understand how they got Storen for so little when you look at how much it cost to get Giles and Kimbrel. No, he not quite at that level but he's a very good reliever who strikes out guys, is young enough, and has a reasonable contract.
katman - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:25 AM EST (#317712) #
The Jays are going to miss Revere. I know a lot of people here don't like him, but they will, and the Nats will enjoy him a lot. At the same time, the Jays had to do this.

They desperately need starter depth this year, which means Chavez must be a Plan B option and ditto Hutch. AND they're going to need cost-controlled starters after 2016. That means they need to try Sanchez and Osuna for the rotation in 2016, and really hope that at least one sticks. And the one who doesn't stick, needs to be a setup guy for the innings boost.

Storen makes that possible, in a way that Rodney and others do not. Chavez, Loup, Cecil, Sanchez/Osuna, Storen closing, +2 is fine, because that's a really good core. Otherwise, we were going to be really weak in the pen if anyone goes to the rotation. By September, odds are that the Sanchez/Osuna winner is moved to the bullpen for innings reasons. Which will be great for the playoffs.

Starters: Stro, Estrada, Dickey, Happ, Sanchez/Osuna/Chavez.

That's... OK, with upside to very good. I sure wouldn't want to trade 200+ innings of Dickey from that, though, unless we're getting an equally good workhorse pitcher in return.

As for Upton, if that was even a possibility, the Jays would have been contenders in situations where they've been absent this off-season. Nothing's impossible, but my strong bet is "not happening." Better hope Saunders can play.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:41 AM EST (#317713) #
revere is fine. we just have 4 better OF than him, and 3 of them are much cheaper.
laketrout - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:51 AM EST (#317714) #
If we want to ogle at his pitching mechanics...
Drew Storen pitching mechanics in slow motion 1000 FPS
Jonny German - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 04:53 AM EST (#317715) #
Thumbs up, a sensible move.

On one hand I'd be happy to see Dickey traded, but it would have to be in connection with another starter coming in. I don't like the idea of 2 of Chavez / Hutchison / Sanchez / Osuna in the rotation to start the season. The first 2 not necessarily being very good, and the second 2 being needed to keep the bullpen respectable (particularly important on a team without workhorse starters).
Dave Till - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 06:31 AM EST (#317716) #
I agree with the general consensus: this is just one of those moves that seems extremely logical. Too many outfielders, not enough relievers? Problem solved!

I do wonder whether Storen's awful August and September was due to some kind of mechanical issue, or whether it was just because job-sharing with Jonathan Papelbon is not exactly the ideal workplace environment. I'm assuming the latter, and that Storen will be extremely happy to be away from Washington. He'll probably start off as the setup man to Osuna in Toronto, though, which might not be what he wants.

Revere is a good player, but isn't a good match for Toronto's offense. Part of his game is stealing bases, and you don't need a base stealer batting ahead of Toronto's power hitters. He seems like a good guy - I wish him luck in Washington.

As for Dickey: he had a 2.80 ERA in the second half. With Buehrle gone, the Jays will need somebody who can go deep into ballgames and throw a lot of innings. Happ - even in his new and improved Pittsburgh form - doesn't go more than six innings a start. Hutchison and Chavez can't be relied on to go deep. Stroman and Estrada have gone deeper into games, but haven't been at that level for very long. Without Dickey, the Jays might need a 13-man staff to soak up all of the innings, unless they trade for a similar workhorse.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 07:15 AM EST (#317717) #
I think you make Storen the closer. He's a free agent at the end of the year and he needs to up his value.
Osuna will still rack a save here and there for what it's worth. It's not like a 21 year old needs to worry about his save total.
And now the bullpen looks very good.

It's important to have a good bullpen to limit the innings of Stroman, Estrada and Happ. The later because he needs to throw with velocity to be effective. They probably need to start the 6th starter in AAA now, either Shanchez or Hutch. Sanchez will finish the year in the bullpen with Osuna. Loup still has options if they want to try another lefty. They can even have Biagini as the last guy who only throws in blowouts. There should be plenty of those, anyway.

I still like Dickey because he racks up innings and the Jays don't have a good backup catcher anyway at this point.

Thumbs up. It needed to happen and the yield is more than I was expected.
Hopefully Storen is successful in the AL who hasn't seen a lot of him.
He's a guy who likes to throw a slider with two strikes.


Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 07:37 AM EST (#317718) #
Before anyone jumps to conclusions, there are a few things people are forgetting. Drew Storen basically replaces Mark Lowe from last year. The fact that he can close is an excellent bonus. The Bullpen is now four deep. Late last year, Los Angeles (A.L.) pitched their closer in five straight games being desparate to get into the Postseason. At least now the Jays have a top #2 Closer. With the prevalence of tweeting, I find it very strange no one talking about Sanchez being stretched out to Start. Offseason work is much different for Starters and Relievers. Gibbons only trusted Sanchez and Osuna in the Postseason with Cecil being hurt. At least now, there are options in case of injuries. Just when the Bullpen got better, why are people in a rush to weaken it? I think they are still another top arm short of being good enough in the Bullpen. Let's wait to see what else happens before rushing to make changes. Spring Trainging is early enough for that.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 07:41 AM EST (#317719) #
Read some comments from general Jays fans on sports sites. They all hate the trade. Sigh.
CeeBee - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 08:01 AM EST (#317720) #
I liked Revere but I really like this trade.
China fan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 08:10 AM EST (#317721) #
In addition to the good points already made in this thread, I think this trade indicates that Shapiro and Atkins are continuing to get good updates on the health of Saunders and Travis. I'd like to see Pompey competing for the LF and lead-off jobs at spring training, but I don't think the Jays will just hand those jobs to him. I know they've been getting regular off-season reports on Saunders, and I think they assume that Saunders gets the LF job and Travis gets the leadoff job (when healthy) unless Pompey wows everyone in the spring. But it's still unclear who will be the leadoff hitter until Travis is back. Will be interesting to watch that develop.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 08:52 AM EST (#317722) #
Tulo most likely.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 09:33 AM EST (#317723) #
In chess terms, this is a P-K4 move- attacking and clearing space. Simple but effective.

There was a lot of conflict in Washington about reliever roles. We will see how Walker/Gibbons handle it. Personally I am more interested in the possibility of Osuna starting than Sanchez.
Lylemcr - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:04 AM EST (#317724) #
Revere's .342 OBP always bugged me. I really wanted Pompey to take the job and Saunders to be #4. I think Pompey has the potential to a much better WAR than Revere. So does Saunders(if healthy)

There are some that are angry, thinking we should have got more for him. It might be true, but it is nice to have a veteran arm in the bullpen. Period. Now the Pen, is a little deeper.

Also, it cost the Jays Tirado and Codero for Revere.

There are rumors the Jays are trying to shop around Dickey. This tells me they want Sanchez\Osuna to start.
Chuck - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:20 AM EST (#317725) #
I think I may be the least thrilled of anyone in these parts by this trade. Not that I have any particular love for Revere, but I'm not sure Storen for 60 innings of a 3.4 xFIP is the best way to spend $9M.

Yes, his 60 innings are much needed, but I don't get the excitement over him.

SK in NJ - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:33 AM EST (#317726) #
There is always a greater risk for the team getting the reliever in these types of trades. Relievers in general are so volatile. Revere is what he is, so he's the far safer player of the two.

This deal hinges on how Pompey and/or Saunders do in LF. They tendered a contract to Saunders even though he missed nearly all of 2015 with a messed up knee. Keeping him and using Revere as a trade chip makes a lot of sense if Saunders is healthy. Pretty risky deal in that sense from the Jays standpoint (unless they get another outfielder), but a risk worth taking since this move opens up a lot more possibilities, notably the option of moving one of Sanchez/Osuna into a starting role instead of needing them in the pen.
Chuck - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:38 AM EST (#317727) #
Saunders was a health risk coming into the 2015 season. Given his most recent injury, he's the exact type of player you don't write into concrete plans for 2016, even as a 4th outfielder. To do so would be a level of hubris the baseball gods would be challenged to overlook.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:52 AM EST (#317728) #
I agree, I'm not expecting anything from Saunders, which is why I was reluctant to move Revere. However, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. They tendered him and traded the starting LF. They must be comfortable with his health.

I still want them to add another OF, somehow. Someone like Austin Jackson would fit nicely as a LF/4th OF type if he comes cheap.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:56 AM EST (#317729) #
It is silly to write Saunders off due to a common injury which is almost always recoverable from. Even sillier to think his health status isn't intimately known by the jays and part of their logic for making this deal.
jerjapan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 11:58 AM EST (#317730) #
Jeff Sullivan was talking about injured players yesterday in his piece on the Span signing, and he figures that guys coming off injury are actually undervalued:

"teams are too cautious with players who have injury questions. We’ve seen, for example, the Dodgers work to accumulate a bunch of affordable arms with injury backgrounds. That’s taking advantage of what they perceive to be a soft part of the market."

The Dodgers are a pretty smart FO.  I think, assuming the team has done their due diligence, that Saunders will be fine.

Is Zeke Carrera still in the org?  Between him and Lake, I could see Pompey starting in AAA again if Saunders wins the starting job outright in spring training. 

Good trade IMO, but yet another free agent after 2016 has me wondering what the team is thinking for next year. 

Will the PTBNL have any value?  I  know often in the season those are recent draft picks who can't be named due to the rules around trading draftees, but I assume that it's a marginal player when he goes unnamed in the offseason.
Parker - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:08 PM EST (#317731) #
Not a fan. I was hoping that the team was finished with trading legitimate assets for relievers now that AA is gone, but it seems that's not the case. I disagree that outfield depth is a strength for the team, as Pompey still hasn't shown he can hit in the majors, Saunders might never play in the outfield again, Pillar could regress significantly, and Bautista has been one of the worst defenders in the outfield in all of baseball over the last two seasons. Revere was pretty much the only known quantity the team had in the outfield, and now he's gone.

If Pompey doesn't step up and Saunders doesn't come back healthy, the 2016 outfield is going to be a bloody mess. Hopefully the team can pick up some depth before the season starts.
Glevin - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:10 PM EST (#317732) #
If it were just Saunders who could play left, I'd be worried but the Jays have Saunders, Pompey, Lake, and Carrera who are all capable of playing LF (and Collabello for emergencies I guess). Revere is OK but the difference between him and those guys is pretty small. Yes, there is a good chance the Jays go into retooling/rebuilding after this season but that always a possibility with Bautista and Encarnacion coming off the books but a lot will be determined by what kind of season they have.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:20 PM EST (#317733) #
I don't doubt that the Jays have kept tabs on Saunders and his knee. If they knew he was damaged goods they never would have tendered him a contract. However, you can't take for granted that he'll come back like nothing happened. Maybe he will, but you still have to cover your tracks in case he doesn't. The depth in the OF took a hit.

It was still a good trade, though.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:24 PM EST (#317734) #
WAR = average of ra9war and fipwar

all stats as RP

Last 2yrs

Cecil (29): 107.2ip, 65era-, 59fip-, 63xfip-, 1.5war/65ip
Storen (28): 111.1ip, 59era-, 73fip-, 88xfip-, 1.5war/65ip
Sanchez (23): 59.1ip, 42era-, 71fip-, 81xfip-, 1.7war/65ip
Osuna (21): 69.2ip, 63era-, 73fip-, 85xfip-, 1.5war/65ip

that is a pretty sweet back of the pen.


WAR = average of fwar and bwar

last 2yrs

Saunders (29): 299pa, 117wrc+, 4.6war
Pompey (23): 146pa, 88wrc+, 2.5war
Revere (28): 1260pa, 95wrc+, 1.9war

and then there's Carrera and Lake as depth.

made no sense to waste money on revere or block pompey when that had a very good chance of literally making us a worse team. meanwhile Storen is a legit frontline upgrade to the pen.
bpoz - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:27 PM EST (#317735) #
I like the trade. Closers have great value IMO. I remember the Expos never had a decent closer, but a great team otherwise.

I also remember Joey Mac Laughlin.

Pardon the spelling.

uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:29 PM EST (#317736) #
ach that is war/650pa for the hitters.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:29 PM EST (#317737) #
And out come the pessimists with their monotonous opinion on the trade, to critique the Outfield.
1. Jose Bautista is Right Field until he's a Free Agent. It doesn't matter how good or bad he is defensively.
2. Kevin Pillar caught everything that was in the air last year, but you only need him to play Center. That he'll do.
3. There is a certain point in the Spring when a Player can get bought out for 25% of his arbitration contract. I wouldn't worry about Michael Saunders, he can play or he can't, easy decision.
4. Everyone else up for consideration can play very good defense at multiple OF positions. With this team you need their offense?
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:35 PM EST (#317738) #
"If Pompey doesn't step up and Saunders doesn't come back healthy, the 2016 outfield is going to be a bloody mess."

last 2yrs

RF Bautista (35): 1339pa, 154wrc+, 5.3war/650pa
CF Pillar (27): 750pa, 93wrc+, 4.8war/650pa
LF Saunders (29): 299pa, 117wrc+, 4.6war/650pa
OF Pompey (23): 146pa, 88wrc+, 2.5war/650pa

if by "bloody mess" you mean "arguably the best OF in baseball", then I agree.
Parker - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:35 PM EST (#317739) #
If it were just Saunders who could play left, I'd be worried but the Jays have Saunders, Pompey, Lake, and Carrera who are all capable of playing LF (and Collabello for emergencies I guess).

Right, I forgot about Lake, and I suppose if Carrera is back he could fill in, but he was AWFUL defensively for the Jays last year. I feel my point still stands though - is the dropoff from Revere to Lake/Carrera going to be less than the dropoff from Storen to a reliever free-agent-signing? I guess it depends on whether the Jays are getting 2014 Storen or 2015 Storen. If this trade means that Colabello spends any significant time in the outfield in 2016, it's hard not to see it as an automatic loss for the Jays.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:36 PM EST (#317740) #
"Good trade IMO, but yet another free agent after 2016 has me wondering what the team is thinking for next year."

I think they are prioritizing wins in 2016 first and foremost, which is the right thing to do given how the roster is constructed and where they fall on the win curve. I don't think "Shatkins" (still have to get used to that) care that Storen only has one more year of control left because their needs and assessment of wins/dollars will change by this time next year.

As far as plans after 2016, that is anyone's guess. A lot will depend on how the team does in 2016. With Bautista, Encarnacion, Cecil, Storen, Dickey, Chavez, Smoak, and Saunders all impending free agents, it certainly looks like there will be a lot of change in 2017 regardless of which direction they choose.
melondough - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:41 PM EST (#317741) #
I think between Carrera and Lake they have enough depth in the event of injury. We are really spoiled with this allstar lineup. It's actually quite ridiculous even without Revere....

Travis
Donaldson
Bautista
EE
Tulo
Martin
Cola/Smoak
Pillar
Pompey/Saunders

With Goins, Barney, Thole, + 2 of Cola, Smoak, Pompey, & Saunders on the bench. That's 14 that have all the qualities of a championship winning team: pedigree, game changing power, some speed and ridiculous defensive metrics that can be put in place late in games to protect leads.

Add that to a lock down bullpen led by Osuna, Storan, Sanchez, and Celil and a starting rotation that has more upside than any other I can think of and they are good to go. I hope this ends their off season moves (other than AAA depth).

And before I am given a hard time about my comment above I would be interested to hear how many teams you readers feel have a starting 5 with more upside than Stroman, Estrada, Haap, Dickey, and Sanchez or Hutchinson. I think Hutchinson could just as easily blossom this year as the more popular prediction of sucking wind.

And yes I realize there is potential for downside but I am talking just about Jays starting pitchers upside versus those on other teams.
King Ryan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:42 PM EST (#317742) #
"If by "bloody mess" you mean "arguably the best OF in baseball", then I agree."

And you're ignoring the part where he said "If Pompey doesn't step up and Saunders isn't healthy" because....?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:43 PM EST (#317743) #
Has anyone else noticed how much Jays news always seems to happen on Friday?

The back of the Bullpen, were they great? Maybe. Were they very good? Absolutely. With Storen, they are now four deep, with a strong dependable 'pen. It's hard to say, but the Jays might be done unless something else falls in the lap.

Five weeks or so until Pitchers and Catchers report, so some movement in Pitchers signings will start happening soon, but prices will be down for that to happen.
Parker - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:43 PM EST (#317744) #
last 2yrs

RF Bautista (35): 1339pa, 154wrc+, 5.3war/650pa
CF Pillar (27): 750pa, 93wrc+, 4.8war/650pa
LF Saunders (29): 299pa, 117wrc+, 4.6war/650pa
OF Pompey (23): 146pa, 88wrc+, 2.5war/650pa

if by "bloody mess" you mean "arguably the best OF in baseball", then I agree.


I, uh, don't even really know how to respond to this. Maybe someone more patient could explain the foolishness of the above comment?
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:48 PM EST (#317745) #
"And you're ignoring the part where he said "If Pompey doesn't step up and Saunders isn't healthy" because....?"

because A) pompey doesn't have to "step up" to be better than revere and B) every player is an injury risk.
John Northey - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:55 PM EST (#317746) #
Huh. Guess the new GM & President like Saunders & Pompey more than we knew.

Storen is only signed for 2016, then is a free agent. Had a FIP of 2.71 and 2.79 the past 2 years but his ERA went from 1.12 to 3.44. His K/9 climbed to 11 last year vs 2.6 BB/9. Solid closer but I never like reliever for everyday player trades. This could be an exception though as Revere is an extra piece with Saunders and Pompey around. It also frees up Osuna and/or Sanchez for the rotation or to make the pen very deep. A very good thing.

Depending how Storen does in 2016 the 2017 draft could be killer for the Jays as he, Bautista, Encarnacion, RA Dickey, Jesse Chavez, Saunders, Cecil, and Smoak are all free agents. Wow, this team could vanish after 2016.
China fan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 12:59 PM EST (#317747) #
"....Maybe someone more patient could explain the foolishness of the above comment?...."

I think both of you are making legitimate points, but the truth is somewhere in between.  Nobody should assume that Saunders will definitely be back to full strength in 2016, especially after his much-delayed recovery last season, with its mysterious prognostications and setbacks.  He carries a higher injury risk than the average player   But the Jays are carefully monitoring his progress and getting regular updates, and the odds are that he's good to go.  Similarly, we shouldn't assume that Pompey is ready to step into a full-time job, but it's definitely a possibility -- if not in April then probably later in the season.  So, between the two of them, there's a pretty high probability that the Jays can find a full-time LF.  But at the same time, it wouldn't be prudent to project Saunders or Pompey to continue their two-year average statistics (or even their pro-rated 2015 performance in the case of Pompey).  Maybe it will happen, but there are risks in any unproven rookie (which Pompey practically is) or in any veteran who is coming off a disastrous injury that basically sidelined him for the entire year.  I don't think it's fair to describe the Saunders injury as a normal one -- since nobody seemed able to accurately predict the trajectory of his recovery last year.
melondough - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 01:02 PM EST (#317748) #
Here is a link to a fun read on Jays Journal highlighting 12 things you may not know about Storen (sorry I wish I knew how to create a link without pasting below).

http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2016/1/9/10740116/better-know-a-drew-storen-12-facts-about-the-new-blue-jays-reliever

Some interesting facts from this article:
1)He was a bat boy for Expos
2)He is one of 3 Jays taken in the first round in 2009....all before Trout
3)And this just happens to be Storen's walk up song, so yes "he is gonna fit in pretty well in Toronto"....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9jaMJvYNq0
Chuck - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 01:04 PM EST (#317749) #
It is silly to write Saunders off

Writing him off and not banking on good health are two different things. He may well surprise (me, at least) and log 300 solid AB. But I wouldn't want to count on it.

cybercavalier - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 01:04 PM EST (#317750) #
Looking at the big picture, this is a decent trade that the Jays deals from strength to address a weakness in bullpen that cannot be expected to be remedied by simply a surge of a unknown status of a known reliever. Free agency reliever would be overpaid. B J Ryan went for Tommy John and his deal is regarded as a bust. So the price of losing Revere is much less than committing a 3+ seasons contract to a free agency reliever.

Outfielder, especially LF is much easier to be replaced. Previous posters have mentioned details on Pompey, Saunders and Carrera. Also some 3B, 2B, 1B and C players could also play LF to various proficiencies, for example Cola. Maybe Goins can pinched a few innings and substitute Travis out of the game at 2B for defense.

In the minors, Is Chris Dickerson signed for this particular caution if an corner OF would be needed in emergency ? Matt Tuiasosopo would be the guy the season before.

On the other side of the border, the Bisons roster on the team's website appears quite empty of players -- only one OF Melky Mesa is listed. Hopefully more batters will come.

Chuck - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 01:12 PM EST (#317751) #
I remember the Expos never had a decent closer, but a great team otherwise.

There were some decent closers in their history: Jeff Reardon, John Wetteland, Ugueth Urbina, Mike Marshall, Rocky Biddle.

Okay, not so much Rocky Biddle.

cybercavalier - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 01:13 PM EST (#317752) #
Whether Saunders surprises with his performance shall not be a reason that the Jays depends a corner OF on. I would not say an analogy: shall 1B Casey Kotchman play LF in T.O. because Cola did ?As Scott Richmond played for the Bisons and Jays previously, 0.910WHIP Karl Gelinas shall be signed for Bisons 2016 ?
Chuck - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 01:18 PM EST (#317753) #
Also some 3B, 2B, 1B and C players could also play LF to various proficiencies, for example Cola.

One would hope that we saw the last of this unfortunate strategy mid-2015. Colabello gave away all his offense with his poor defense. Let's get outfielders to play the outfield.

uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 02:18 PM EST (#317754) #
"Writing him off and not banking on good health are two different things. He may well surprise (me, at least) and log 300 solid AB. But I wouldn't want to count on it."

not sure what the difference is between saying "we can't reasonably expect even half a season out of him" and "writing him off", tbh.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 02:24 PM EST (#317755) #
and i'm not sure why we're questioning the years of control. Revere is expensive even this year - I'd have even less interest in keeping him next year.

and I think a 2nd year of committment to Storen at this price or higher would be a negative too, especially for a reliever. There's no such thing as a bad one year deal, but multi years at a big price is dangerous for any RP.

and i'm not sure about the narrative of "we keep adding one year deals" or "sacrificing years of control". is that even true? I dunno. Happ and Estrada are multi years. the chavez and storen deals lower our years of control but i'm not sure i could build a narrative out of those 2 moves.
jerjapan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 02:34 PM EST (#317756) #
I don't think it's a 'narrative' around one year deals, but the FO clearly seems very content with having a team in transition at the end of 2016.  I think the statement Adkins made about the priority being to fill the AAA rotation over negotiating with Edwin speaks to that. 

If I were to guess, I'd say Rogers wants to see if we are a sustainable winner before ponying up the dough.  I've come to terms with this year's budget - if we look good after next year, that's when I expect to see them prove the "If they come, we will build it" position. 

uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 02:34 PM EST (#317757) #
I present this only as a curiosity, not as any type of argument.

Storen 2yr Stats (Age 26-27)

Pre-Papelbon: 92.2ip, 36era-, 65fip-
Post-Papelbon: 17.2ip, 182era-, 121fip-

feel free to Choose Your Own Narrative, however.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 02:48 PM EST (#317758) #
And i'm still haunted by the possibility that starting revere and his 65wrc+ in the playoffs with the most PA of anyone on the team and poor defense over Pompey, who was scorching hot at the plate when called up and a much better defense, may well have cost us a world series.
jerjapan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 02:57 PM EST (#317759) #
Ugly, I was checking what other fans think at Stoeten's sight, and others - it does seem like there is a narrative around 'tons of draft picks' in 2017.  since this likely means we lose Jose and EE, I have no idea why people are so happy with it, but they seem to be ....
jerjapan - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 03:01 PM EST (#317760) #
Don't be surprised if the Jays get Justin Upton once RAD is traded. 2017 core will be Donaldson, Tulo and Upton.

Finch, I'd be crazy surprised if we scored Upton, and mildly surprised if we trade Dickey.  Why are you saying this?
PeterG - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 03:12 PM EST (#317761) #
EE might well accept a QO of 16 mil (approx.). Of course, JBo would not. Trades still remain possibilities also.
joeblow - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 03:17 PM EST (#317762) #
Like the move. Pitcher on his final year and getting out of the mess in Washington are both positive. Don't really care who the closer ends up being, it's another option.

That Pitchers Power Drive gizmo in the youtube video is pretty interesting. Wonder if teams are using it at any level. Anyone familiar with it?
JB21 - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 03:26 PM EST (#317763) #
Unless EE implodes in 2016, he's not accepting that QO. He's 2 years younger than JB.
melondough - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 03:33 PM EST (#317764) #
The Blue Jays are a Cespesdes away from being World Series favorites. How many teams are just one player away like the Jays are?
Glevin - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 03:44 PM EST (#317765) #
"The Blue Jays are a Cespesdes away from being World Series favorites. How many teams are just one player away like the Jays are?"

I think almost all of them. The talent in baseball is incredibly spread out right now so many many teams are still in the running where one quality player would make a huge difference. I don't think the Jays be the favourite even with Cespedes. I don't even think there is such a thing as World Series favourties anymore because now it's mostly about making the playoffs. Anyway, there are too many teams of a similar quality so the Jays will be one of about a dozen teams with a realistic chance at the World Series. (In 2014, there were 12 teams that were given a 50:1 or better odds at the World Series. Right now, there are 21).
finch - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:20 PM EST (#317766) #
Jerjapan,

Call it an educated guess ;)
The Indians were high on Upton when he was made available via trade prior to Atlanta getting him. The Indians poked around this season when SD was looking to trade him. Lacava is a huge Upton fan, as AA was. There is obviously interest on the Jays side. There also seems to be no movement w/ the FA bats. Would he be interested in a 1 Year deal + player option to increase his value playing in Toronto, in the launch pad? Probably. I don't anticipate Bautista and Encarnacion being back next year (I assume they would value the picks more to restock the minors). It's one of those moves that makes sense for both sides. If they can move Dickey and his $14M then I wouldn't be surprised.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:26 PM EST (#317767) #
I'm not sure Storen for 60 innings of a 3.4 xFIP is the best way to spend $9M.

Money isn't not our concerns. Especially not money spend on 1-year deals.
Incidentally, Storen doesn't cost 9M as the Nationals will cover the difference between him an Revere.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:38 PM EST (#317768) #
Pompey still hasn't shown he can hit in the majors/

He can't show anything if he doesn't play, so he needs to be at least the 4th outfielder before he runs out of options.
Pompey is a huge question mark for 2017 when Bautista is gone. Shapinks needs to figure him out now.

Revere was pretty much the only known quantity the team had in the outfield

Not really. He makes good contact and relies on speed but can't take a walk and isn't anything special defensively.
He could lose some speed, make a bit less contact and he's value plummets.
Frankly it was aggravating to watch him get stranded on bases because the coach is afraid the next batters will hit a homerun.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:39 PM EST (#317769) #
There is no such a thing as a bad minor league deal, they cost nothing. There is no such a thing as a bad one year deal, because it's only one year and if necessary, no one is untradeable.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:42 PM EST (#317771) #
Sorry guys, I don't know how a double post shows up.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:48 PM EST (#317772) #
Depending how Storen does in 2016 the 2017 draft could be killer for the Jays as he, Bautista, Encarnacion, RA Dickey, Jesse Chavez, Saunders, Cecil, and Smoak are all free agents. Wow, this team could vanish after 2016.

You mean Storen could be worth a QO? Way too early to tell, but I hope he's going to make a huge difference in those 1 run games the Jays always seem to lose.
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 05:51 PM EST (#317773) #
With Ortiz retiring, EE could be going on the market at the perfect time for a good DH.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 06:06 PM EST (#317774) #
i get the Bautista/EE angst, but losing the likes of Dickey/Saunders/chavez/cecil/smoak, if we do, is pretty typical roster turnover.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 06:08 PM EST (#317775) #
but I hope he's going to make a huge difference in those 1 run games the Jays always seem to lose.

I hope for this every year and every year I'm disappointed. It's staggering how bad the Jays have been in one run games over the last decade and a half.
uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 06:13 PM EST (#317776) #
even though i'm not a fan of the SP approach this offseason, I still don't see how trading Dickey would be a good thing...unless somehow we're flipping him for a better SP, which seems unlikely.

it's too late to care about saving payroll room for a front rotation SP.
John Northey - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 07:34 PM EST (#317777) #
With Dickey the big questions are
A) Do the Jays have confidence he will be solid 200+ IP 100 ERA+ in 2016?
B) Will someone make a good offer (at least 2 solid prospects or 2 solid relievers or mix and match would be the bare minimum the Jays should be after)
C) Do the Jays feel that Sanchez and/or Osuna will be ready for 2016? Or that another kid in the system will be?
D) How tight is the Jays budget for 2016? If super tight now then someone might have to go and Dickey might be the easiest to part with.

I think B is the big one - getting a solid offer. Ideally someone overpays (3 very good prospects plus a solid reliever) but I don't see that as likely.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 08:26 PM EST (#317778) #
The overpay might happen as people know the Jays are listening on R.A. The Gold Standard would be three very good prospects and a good Left-Handed Reliever, then adding two good prospect to the three you receive to acquire a young quality Starter. But without that, replacing R.A.'s 200 innings is impossible in house.

If Michael Saunders is LF, then Junior Lake is 4th OF (he's out of options), because Dalton Pompey has options left and Ezequiel Carrera might have one left.
Vulg - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 08:44 PM EST (#317779) #
I think almost all of them. The talent in baseball is incredibly spread out right now so many many teams are still in the running where one quality player would make a huge difference. I don't think the Jays be the favourite even with Cespedes. I don't even think there is such a thing as World Series favourties anymore because now it's mostly about making the playoffs. Anyway, there are too many teams of a similar quality so the Jays will be one of about a dozen teams with a realistic chance at the World Series. (In 2014, there were 12 teams that were given a 50:1 or better odds at the World Series. Right now, there are 21).

I like looking at Vegas odds as a proxy (albeit an imperfect one) but 50:1 is a pretty arbitrary cutoff. I'd also disagree that "almost all" teams are a player away.

There are a dozen teams at 18:1 or better, a list that includes the Jays who are at that cutoff before it drops to 25:1 (note that the Sox are 2nd at 8:1 and Yanks also ahead at 16:1). Granted, some of that is designed to lure squares and Yanks/Sox bandwagoners, but at the end of the day, money talks.

I think it's disingenuous to say that the whole league is as close as the Jays - they were a couple of games away from being in the World Series. That's really the source of my frustration with ownership right now. The team was close, the fans showed up in droves, the financial impact was proven in their Q3 financial reports ... and yet the budget remained the same.

Maybe Rogers was unwilling to take a $33M chunk out of its juicy profits (Price/Greinke) but you can't tell me that a Kazmir or a Chen or a Zimmerman a) wasn't digestible and b) wouldn't make you feel buttloads more comfortable heading into the season (citing SPs because I think that's where most of the uncertainty resides at the moment).
scottt - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 08:59 PM EST (#317780) #
Some years the Jays had little offense and some years they had little pitching.
Right now they still have the best offense in baseball and the bullpen looks strong.
The question marks are mostly in the rotation. Can't wait for spring training.

uglyone - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 09:52 PM EST (#317781) #
Agreed, Vulg.

the rest of the teams would love it if the jays spread out some of their talent.

removing the names from our lineup, it's pretty astonishing what our lineup has actually done on the field the past 2yrs.

1. 135wrc+, 6.4war/650
2. 141wrc+, 7.3war/650
3. 154wrc+, 5.3war/650
4. 150wrc+, 4.6war/650
5. 129wrc+, 5.7war/650
6. 127wrc+, 5.8war/650
7. 120wrc+, -0.2war/660
8. 117wrc+, 4.6war/650
9. 93wrc+, 4.8war/650

yes, some of those are small samples and others have health and age concerns but damn, that lineup is flat out crazy.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 10:01 PM EST (#317782) #
I doubt the Jays are trading Dickey. He has a skill set that the Jays need right now (200+ IP) and the team has been trying to accumulate depth in the rotation all winter. At one year/$12M, he's fine value for what he is, and I doubt he'll have any significant trade value anyway. Keep him for a year. It's not like he's declining. His RA9-WAR has increased every year since the trade (2.4 to 2.6 to 3.6), so if an age related collapse is on the way, there's been no sign of it, especially given how he pitched from June to September of last season. If he's the same old Dickey next season, then he's a solid rotation option and he'll be gone after 2016 regardless. With the team's offense, defense, and now bullpen, they can get by with a deep average rotation.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 09 2016 @ 10:49 PM EST (#317783) #
This team looks finished to me minus a lefty reliever. The rotation depth is better and the bullpen depth is better.

To me it looks like Aaron Sanchez is the real wildcard and if he takes a rotation spot and runs with it he could be the difference maker for this team.
jgadfly - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 12:53 AM EST (#317784) #
"Maybe Rogers was unwilling to take a $33M chunk out of its juicy profits ... " Vulg

As I understand this trade, the Nationals are covering the difference between Revere's contract and Storen's arbitration award so Jays still have a little under $10M to play with ???

As I see it, the Jays have two tradeable commodities ... Dickie/Thole at $12M (???) and Tulowitzki at $20M . How feasible would it be to trade either one or both.

Another question, how much money would the Jay revenues increase if they continued to have capacity sales to mid season ? Is the following equation accurate ... 42 x 20,000 (49,000 capacity - 29,000 2015 average) x $40 average ticket price = $33.6M)

Looking around who would be a good fit for Tulowitzki ? ... National League preferably ... the Mets for one of their surplus young pitchers plus Flores ... that might free up $16M ... Who might need Dickie for higher end younger BP arm (s)... that might free up $10M ... total $26M now possibly available ... would Davis' power compensate for Tulowitzki loss ? Increase attendance dollars sign Bautista for DH with Alford arrival... draft pick for EE ... 4 young starters in place, Davis at 1st, Flores at SS plus young arms ready from farm ...

Is it worth the gamble ? I don't know, beyond my payscale ... that's why they have Shapyrokins

scottt - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 09:03 AM EST (#317785) #
He should fit well in Toronto.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 09:21 AM EST (#317786) #
As I see it, the Jays have two tradeable commodities ... Dickie/Thole at $12M (???) and Tulowitzki at $20M . How feasible would it be to trade either one or both.

The Jays don't have anyone better to start or play shortstop.

Dickey is on his last year and he's old. It's typical for knuckleballers  to be unhittable for stretches and get hammers for others. You mitigate that with a good bullpen so I don't think he would be a better fit anywhere else. Especially when you consider that he comes with his own catcher.

AA traded up to get Tulo. Trading him would make the team weaker. The payroll will probably go down next year with all the free agents, so if they wanted to add a lefty bat, they could just do that and overspend this year.  It's not like Rogers' bank account would go red.
bpoz - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 09:59 AM EST (#317787) #
I actually cannot believe this trade. The person responsible should be praised IMO.
I also praise the signing of Happ and the trade for Chavez.
I thought Happ was expensive. But it looks like he was not, when you compare what other similar pitchers got. So we moved faster than anyone else in getting pitching that we could afford. Both Happ and Chavez are #4s by my standards.

I actually thought Revere would be non tendered. The suggestions that many made the he could be traded for something was another thing I did not believe.

I admit I was wrong.

How equal are Revere and D Span? I am interested in knowing. Pillar is certainly better, right?
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 11:48 AM EST (#317788) #
The Bullpen needs a Second LHP that can pitch to RHB and LHB and be successful, and better than just having Aaron Loup. As much as people would like putting Aaron Sanchez in the Rotation, I think moving him out of the Bullpen seriously weakens it. Osuna, Storen, Sanchez, Cecil, Loup, Chavez, New Acquisition could be one of the best Bullpen's around. There's still work to be done and options available depending what the GM and others are looking for. If Sanchez is going into the Rotation, any replacement for him must be very, very good or even better just to leave the Bullpen the same. Limiting Gibbons options is never a good thing.

If Sanchez is in the Rotation, he must be the #2 Starter. Power must follow Power for best effect or leave him in the 'Pen. But anything that moves Hutchison and Chavez from #5/#6 Starters to #6/#7 Starters is a good thing.Winning Games One and Two in Tampa is always a priority, but winning Games Four and Five of the Home Opener is just as important. At least with Sanchez in the Rotation, all the GM and others need to find is a good #6/#7/#8 Starter that can challenge Hutchison and Chavez for 1st Call-up status.
uglyone - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 01:19 PM EST (#317789) #
Span is a much much better player than revere.
uglyone - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 01:20 PM EST (#317790) #
and losing Tulo so we can pay more for Chris Davis seems bizarre to me.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 01:35 PM EST (#317791) #
Here's an article on Storen from last August, describing him as "a real shutdown reliever" and his slider as "perhaps the best breaking ball in the game":

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-pitch-that-drew-storens-slider-became/

Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 01:41 PM EST (#317792) #
With full consideration, Troy Tulowitzki is one of the very best at his position in all of Baseball. If you remember what A.A. gave up for him, that's much, much lees than what he's worth. Despite what anyone else thinks, Ryan Goins isn't a Starting Shortstop for anyone else, and won't bring anything much back.

If you are going after a big LH-Bat, Chris Davis is a poor choice. Give Justin Smoak comparable plate appearances over the last three years and I believe he'd hit as many Homeruns.
John Northey - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 02:32 PM EST (#317793) #
Despite what we've seen here there is more to baseball than Home Runs. Chris Davis would be nice, sure, but he is very limited and a 5+ year contract is silly for him. Upton is 100x more attractive for the Jays (and anyone else). Heck, I'd rather have Yoenis Cιspedes too. Dexter Fowler might be interesting but at this point he'd look like a Saunders replacement, not an upgrade.

For now I think the lineup is set. Some more AAA signings are likely that could fight it out for backup slots (CA/OF, infield is pretty set).

The staff has a rotation that is pretty set unless a #1 type shows up on the doorstep for very little or Dickey is traded (Stroman/Dickey/Happ/Estrada/Chavez/Hutchison/etc.). The pen is getting pretty full again unless a high quality arm shows up cheap (Storen/Osuna/Sanchez/Cecil/Loup/ plus battle royal for last 2 slots among the guys out of options and who knows who else). After last year seeing 2 A+ guys called up to start the year who knows what could happen in 2016? Especially when one of those kids became a very effective closer and the other was useful in a trade mid-season.
uglyone - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 02:41 PM EST (#317794) #
davis has 2 good seasons in his career, and last year would have been our 4th best hitter. i don't get the fascination myself.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 03:59 PM EST (#317795) #
He hits left.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 04:22 PM EST (#317796) #
I actually thought Revere would be non tendered. The suggestions that many made the he could be traded for something was another thing I did not believe.

It's not like he came to Toronto for free. His defense is got enough for a left fielder, but his value depends on how you value his stolen bases. On a traditional lineup with a contact guy behind him, he's a got value. Hitting in front of the MVP and 2 power hitters, not as much.

I thought Happ was expensive. But it looks like he was not, when you compare what other similar pitchers got.

It's Happ. He was here before and nobody was excited to see him on the mound. We didn't get similar pitchers. We got Happ. If right handed hitters eat his lunch, it's not going to matter how much similar pitchers got.  Some teams don't hit lefties well.  If he's good for 5 innings, I would say Shapkins lucked out.

uglyone - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 04:35 PM EST (#317797) #
So it looks like 11 of the 12 pitching slots are spoken for.

SP1 Stroman
SP2 Dickey
SP3 Happ
SP4 Estrada

RP1 Cecil
RP2 Storen
RP3 Loup

SP/RP Chavez
SP/RP Osuna
SP/RP Sanchez
SP/RP Hutchison

And I wouldn't be surprised to see them pick up one of the serviceable RP that falls through the FA cracks before spring.

I still wish they left more SP slots open for the kids to compete for, but at least I hope that all 3 of Osuna, Sanchez, and Hutch are stretched out and given a legit shot at that #5 slot against Chavez in spring training. I understand that the top 4 SP are all locks mainly due to just salary, but given their age and history I'm sure there will be a need to fill in for them in a while - and I hope it's clear in ST (Both to them and to us) that if they don't win that #5 slot, the first choices to step into the rotation when needed will be those 3 kids.
JB21 - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 04:38 PM EST (#317798) #
And most of our rightys crush RHP, your point?
JB21 - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 04:40 PM EST (#317799) #
It is possible that 1-2 of those SP/RP's start the season in the AAA rotation (which wouldn't be a bad thing IMO).

I really hope Osuna gets a chance at starting.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 05:41 PM EST (#317800) #
There's a good article on the Sportsnet site about Marcus Stroman. An interesting point in it is that Stroman had to continue rehab on his knee after he resumed pitching in September, even on the days he pitched. He certainly pitched well even though he still wasn't a hundred percent physically. Another thing from the article that impressed me is that he has not let up on training, and that Aaron Sanchez has been working hard with him since the American Thanksgiving. To me it indicates that maybe Sanchez has his eye on starting and is doing everything possible to be physically ready to do it. Anyway, the story shows Stroman is a driven athlete and I wouldn't bet against him having a big year in 2016.
uglyone - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 05:44 PM EST (#317801) #
From Atkins interview on MLB radio:

"Won't make that decision until we have to for Aaron, to give him clarity on his role." - Atkins on Sanchez as SP or RP.

"I think he will be with us. I think we'll listen on any player. We are certainly not actively shopping him." - Atkins on RA Dickey

"We'll hopefully come to terms with something that makes them happy Would we like to have them here long term? Absolutely."- Atkins on JBEE

Meeting Bautista re: extension talk next week, Atkins says. Been in contact with EE and Jose both.

Visit with JB "isn't with the end goal of walking out of there with an extension" but about establishing trust and talking about 2016 goals.

So you don't have an offer, but you've made it clear to them that you'd like to have them back?
"Correct" - Atkins
uglyone - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 05:45 PM EST (#317802) #
I believe there was also a comment which sounded like leaving Osuna open to starting but I can't find it now.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 06:19 PM EST (#317803) #
There has a massive amount of Blue Jay content on MLB Trade Rumors site. The Atkins thing is mentioned. TSN has Atkins speaking on it's site. Considering it's a dead day here at work (12-hour shift), it's almost hard to keep up.
scottt - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 07:54 PM EST (#317804) #
Most of our rightys didn't do much during the playoffs.
In baseball, you always tweak.

scottt - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 08:07 PM EST (#317805) #
At this point, I don't really see Hutch in the pen. I think Loup will need to compete for his spot this year. He should win it easily, but if he has a bad spring, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts at AAA.

What's less clear is who will be the pitchers riding the shuttle between Toronto and Buffalo.
There's quite a few guys out of options that could be picked up on waivers.
I see Chavez more as the long guy.

cybercavalier - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 08:28 PM EST (#317806) #
Minor things: Matt Hague is heading to Japan next season while it seems that Muni Kawasaki would be leaving for Japan and not coming back. From Toronto perspectives, could Buffalo be a kind of "cash cow" that contracts of unused baseball talents - players and whatnots - are sold to organizations outside of the MLB ? Besides financial return, would Jays' reputation in farm system attract baseball talents across the globe to come to Canada to develop baseball ? In essence, the Jays is the "launching pad" for baseball in Canada.

Since this season, the Toronto Raptors basketball team owns a minor league team in Mississauga. Winnipeg, Ottawa and cities and towns in Quebec the province holds baseball franchises that are not affiliated with MLB, not to mention the Intercounty Baseball League. I wonder those teams in Winnipeg, Ottawa or Quebec the province can be another player flow into and acquisition out from the Jays system. Or those teams going overseas for showcases.

We know the focus is Toronto but let us take the current opportunities to develop baseball in Canada, especially in the Priaries.
cybercavalier - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 08:42 PM EST (#317807) #
To scottt, I think Hutchison would be playing in Buffalo if he did not make it: I think this was what you meant.

I am more worried about batters in Buffalo: some homegrown talents are still not ready to reach the MLB, yet. The closest is Andy Burns. Schrimpf, Nolan, Glenn are all minor league free agents. Carrera is not a homegrown talent. Goins, Pillar and Pompey improved without burden because I think Donaldson, EE, JoeyBats, Cola and Martin carried much workload of runs generations. 2016 may be the last season that such talents would be on the same team.
cybercavalier - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 09:18 PM EST (#317808) #
Minor thing again: does Saunders have options ?

If his health is improving after spring training, all Pompey, Carrera and Saunders could play in Buffalo with Mesa. Lake, without options, is the 4th OF in Toronto.

For a full time LF, I was just looking at 30 year old Canadian RF/3B/1B/LF/2B Jamie Romak who hit 27 HR and 100 RBI in the PCL 2015. His striking out rate of about 35% is high that is based on meager 39 MLB PA. Maybe he is another Matt Hague of 2015.



JB21 - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 09:34 PM EST (#317809) #
In baseball, you generally trust 162 games worth of data over 11.

The Jays were the best hitting team vs. RHP last year.
Mylegacy - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 11:16 PM EST (#317810) #
Saunders? Health improving...?

Wrong questions...right questions...Does anyone know of any successful MLB outfielder with a knee with only a small piece of its meniscus left? Do people with mostly bone on bone in their knee last for any reasonable time running on plastic glued to concrete? The only one I can think of was Andre Dawson - and watching him play in his later years was painful - to say the least. Saunders has never been mentioned in the same breadth as Dawson even when they both had two legs working.

I can't see Saunders lasting for more than a month or two - unless he's DHing or sitting on the bench knitting. My wife could teach him some neat patterns, she's a whiz with two needles and a ball of wool... I know she's really good at pulling it over my eyes...

John Northey - Sunday, January 10 2016 @ 11:59 PM EST (#317811) #
Wouldn't be shocked if the Jays trade Saunders should he look healthy in spring to someone in a LF for LF trade. Luckily the only other team with the fake stuff is Tampa leaving 28 teams to work a deal with.
Jevant - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 09:55 AM EST (#317812) #
9 word take that exactly reflects my opinion.

Side benefit: Revere can't lead off any more for the Jays. Hopefully that means a better player will get the most budgeted at bats.
jerjapan - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 11:02 AM EST (#317813) #
CyberCavalier, try this awesome chart at BlueBirdBanter:

http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/pages/blue-jays-option-and-outright-status

the short answer- saunders can't be optioned. 

John Northey - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 11:37 AM EST (#317814) #
Might see a few guys vanish at the end of spring who the Jays would like to keep around. I could see Osuna going to AAA to start for a month or so - would allow another pitcher to be protected on the ML roster, allow Osuna to be fully stretched out, and would add a year of control for the Jays (down for over 20 days I think and Jays get a 7th year of control over him). Pretty strong incentives to send Osuna down without breaking any written or unwritten rules. Sanchez would need to be down for 70 days to gain an extra year of control. Pompey 88 days.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:05 PM EST (#317815) #
I think if there's any chance the Jays could start 2016 with Hutchison, Sanchez, and Osuna all starting in AAA, they should do it. That would mean acquiring at least one more high leverage relief option, and maybe using Ex-Fausto as the long reliever, but it's doable. I highly doubt it will happen, but neither of those three got any real chance to develop in the minors (especially Sanchez and Osuna) due to perceived needs on the big league roster, so aside from the other benefits (service time, years of control, etc), it would be beneficial from a development standpoint as well.

The key would be to acquire another reliever good enough to make carrying Osuna as a reliever unnecessary (looking at the FA list, Joe Blanton makes a ton of sense). If you go with Storen-Cecil-Blanton in the late innings, Loup as the lefty specialist, and Hernandez as the long man/6th starter, then that leaves two spots for some combination of Leon, Biagini, Delabar, Jenkins, Rowen, Schultz, Tepera, etc.

That would give the Jays 9 starting options (Stroman-Dickey-Estrada-Happ-Chavez, Hernandez as the long man, and Hutch-Osuna-Sanchez in AAA) with a bullpen still capable enough to win.

It's a long shot, but if there's a way to make it happen without hurting the 2016 team, go for it.
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:16 PM EST (#317816) #
the jays are trying to win a world series here. not an AAA championship.
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:17 PM EST (#317817) #
"Does anyone know of any successful MLB outfielder with a knee with only a small piece of its meniscus left?"

I tried googling it but the sheer number of meniscus injuries was overwhelming.
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:18 PM EST (#317818) #
why would we waste most of Osuna's apparently limited innings in AAA?
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:32 PM EST (#317819) #
"the jays are trying to win a world series here. not an AAA championship."


If the MLB talent is upgraded to the point where Osuna/Sanchez are no longer a necessity in the pen, then why would you waste them there for one more year? As it stands today, the Jays would need at least Osuna in the pen since they only have two other guys who they can count on in the later innings (Storen/Cecil), but add one more late-inning pen arm, and suddenly you don't really need Osuna/Sanchez in relief roles anymore. Gibbons didn't use Mark Lowe too often last season. That 4th RP loses importance compared to the top 3, which is why Sanchez can be made into a starter now if they choose to since Storen effectively replaces him. If someone can bump Osuna to the 4th relief spot, then you can make the same type of consideration with him.

Ultimately, I think Osuna will end up in the pen regardless since the team might not have enough to spend to sign a pen upgrade, and Osuna apparently prefers coming out of the pen, but if they feel there's even a small chance that he can be a good starter long-term and they can somehow find the funds to add a Blanton type, then it's a move you have to consider. It has nothing to do with helping AAA. If anything, it helps the big league club, especially with depth. You can always call them up and pitch them in relief again if need be.
Dave Till - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:38 PM EST (#317820) #

I think if there's any chance the Jays could start 2016 with Hutchison, Sanchez, and Osuna all starting in AAA, they should do it. [...] I highly doubt it will happen, but neither of those three got any real chance to develop in the minors (especially Sanchez and Osuna) due to perceived needs on the big league roster, so aside from the other benefits (service time, years of control, etc), it would be beneficial from a development standpoint as well.

A lot might depend on whether the Jays manage to re-sign Jose and EE. If either or both of these guys will be leaving, you might as well play for this year and then worry about developing starters.

could see Osuna going to AAA to start for a month or so - would allow another pitcher to be protected on the ML roster, allow Osuna to be fully stretched out, and would add a year of control for the Jays (down for over 20 days I think and Jays get a 7th year of control over him). Pretty strong incentives to send Osuna down without breaking any written or unwritten rules. Sanchez would need to be down for 70 days to gain an extra year of control. Pompey 88 days.

After what happened with Kris Bryant last year, I am assuming that the players' union will eventually work to close this loophole. Teams are starting to abuse it a bit too much.

uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:44 PM EST (#317821) #
"If the MLB talent is upgraded to the point where Osuna/Sanchez are no longer a necessity in the pen, then why would you waste them there for one more year?"

how the heck are we going to suddenly add 5 more relievers better than Osuna and Sanchez?
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 12:54 PM EST (#317822) #
So you want every reliever in the pen, 1 through 7, to be better than Osuna and Sanchez before you consider stretching them out? You either really hate the thought of starting them in the minors or you are greatly overvaluing the value of the bullpen beyond 3-4 guys. Maybe both.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 01:10 PM EST (#317823) #
If you wonder where changes could be made try this. Whomever is chosen as D.H. should always be at least average-ish as a defender at a position. With the size of Bullpens these days, Benches can be tiny indeed. You must always have as Backup Catcher good enough to play 100 games if needed; a 4th Outfielder who can play Center Field well; and a Middle Infielder who can play both Shortstop and Second Base well. That leaves just one Roster Spot for someone to backup both 1B well and 3B well. Ideally the D.H. can do this but Encarnacion does not play 3B even poorly and just 1B barely well. That means one of Smoak or Colabello is too many.

Change Number One needed: real quality First Baseman. Reallocation of Bench strength. When this happens - who knows?
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 01:11 PM EST (#317824) #
I think you have an odd concept of what stretching out entails.

It doesn't take long to stretch out a reliever, and it doesn't require milb time either.

And they should all be stretched out in spring training regardless.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 01:34 PM EST (#317825) #
"There aren’t a lot of success stories with guys that pitch late in a bullpen (for an extended period) and then transition to the starting rotation," general manager Ross Atkins said Saturday. "There certainly are guys that transition as relievers, get acclimated to the major leagues and then become starters, they typically are pitching in more versatile roles.

"This is my opinion, not research, but there are a lot of things that happen to a delivery, too, from a pitching standpoint and from a pitch repertoire when you’re only pitching one inning. Those things are relatively obvious – you use your fastball more, or certainly less pitches than you would as a starting pitcher, so developing those becomes much more difficult in those shorter stints, and then typically that can impact a delivery. Effort levels can vary a bit more, you’re not having to focus on getting deep into a game, and you can really go max effort for shorter stints. Over time, that makes it more difficult to adjust to a more deliberate delivery that would last 200 innings over the course of a year pitching deep into ballgames."

====================================

The above is a far more realistic/accurate view of RP to SP conversions.

Sanchez and Osuna are not Marco Estrada. They are not 31-year old's with huge IP totals under their belt who could sit in the pen for a month before being given a SP workload for the rest of the season. Development comes first. If you view them as starters, then you develop them as starters. If you view them as starters but pitch them in the pen, then put them in situations where they pitch multiple innings (long relief). Whether that development happens in the Majors or minors, it has to happen somewhere.

Your view of turning him back into SP's despite being 1 inning relievers is way too simplistic, especially as it relates to Osuna and Sanchez.
pubster - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 01:36 PM EST (#317826) #
Id keep Osuna and Sanchez in the MLB.

No point in using a healthy season in AAA. Pitchers go down all the time. Who knows how long Osuna and Sanchez have.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 01:49 PM EST (#317827) #
"A lot might depend on whether the Jays manage to re-sign Jose and EE. If either or both of these guys will be leaving, you might as well play for this year and then worry about developing starters."


I agree that building a team capable of winning in 2016 should be the top priority. Chances are this is the team's best chance to win one in terms of payroll + talent, so if Osuna/Sanchez give them a better chance to win, then keep them in the bigs.

My point is if they are able to add another late inning reliever to go with Cecil and Storen, then using Osuna and Sanchez in the pen is essentially pointless because how many high leverage relievers do you need beyond 3, maybe 4? The value of the 4th and 5th relievers diminish greatly in that scenario.

If Osuna spends all of 2016 in the pen, then they might as well keep him there. That may not even be a bad thing if his mechanics are questionable and they question his durability long-term. But if they view him as a SP, then converting him to a SP in 2017 after two full seasons of high leverage one inning relief and very limited IP in the minors is not as easy as ugly and others may think. There are obviously exceptions, but that conversion is much harder than the opposite (SP to RP).
John Northey - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 02:09 PM EST (#317828) #
The way I see it there is a ton of benefit to sending Osuna down from a service time situation, along with keeping him ready for when a starter goes down with injury or ineffectiveness (it is very rare a team goes all year with just 5 starters). Sanchez I'd stretch out in spring and then if not needed in the rotation immediately leave him as the 8th inning guy (along with Cecil). If the Jays make the post-season odds are Sanchez and Osuna will both be back in the pen (inning limits) regardless.

With this teams offense you are after 5 starters who can have a 100 ERA+ and get 6+ innings each time. Sounds easy but it isn't. You want a pen that has 2 closers (as few guys can go 3-4 days in a row and be effective) and 2 solid setup men. The last 3 need to be inning eaters with the 8th man being someone with options (same with 7th) so they can flip flop between AAA and the majors as needed.

Option guys for the pen (can't refuse AAA assignment) are Brady Dragmire (who), Blake MacFarland, Roberto Osuna, Ben Rowen, Aaron Sanchez, Bo Schultz, Ryan Tepera. Others who can pick free agency instead of going down are Pat Venditte, Aaron Loup, and Drew Hutchison (which puts a 'oh crap' into the idea of sending him to AAA).
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 02:15 PM EST (#317829) #
"Whether that development happens in the Majors or minors, it has to happen somewhere. "

given their quality and our team goals this year, that should happen in the majors.

Of course, nothing Atkins say there contradicts what I've said, either. I'm happy to hear him view their bullpen usage as temporary.

Of course, it helps to look at shatkins' history in player development. Carrasco spent lots of time in the mlb pen before successfully transitioning to starting. Didn't hurt him any. Salazar raced through the upper minors with only about 60ip each at A+, AA, and AAA.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 02:41 PM EST (#317830) #
New York has a great Bullpen and a reasonable Rotation. Boston has a very good and despite adding Price, only a reasonable Rotation. I'm ignoring Baltimore and Tampa.

Toronto has a world class Offense, better by a very large margin that anything in the A.L. East. The Rotation is possibly better to definitely better, but absolutely better than reasonable. Adding Drew Storen to the existing threesome of Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez and Brett Cecil finally makes the Bullpen comparable.

The Rotation and the Bullpen are still under construction. Any decisions to be made, other than Sanchez being a two-inning Reliever, will not happen until late in Spring Training. Please remember, if you pull a Reliever from the Bullpen to put in the Rotation, you must replace him with a Reliever just as good or better or you are wasting the move, weakening one area to strengthening another. That's always bad planning.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 03:00 PM EST (#317831) #
From 2004-11, Carrasco pitched in 186 total games; 181 starts and 5 relief appearances. A total of 1084 innings. He pitched out of the pen in 2013-14 because of he was coming back from injury. Not exactly the same situation here.

Salazar has made 2 relief appearances in his entire pro career, both in the minors.

The Indians do not develop starters/pitchers like AA did. It's vastly different (and better, IMO).

The only reason Osuna and Sanchez are being looked at as relievers right now is because they were big league relievers last season. If they were both in the minors when Shapiro/Atkins took over, then either one being looked at as a bullpen option right now would be considered ridiculous, especially Osuna given his age. But you can't turn back time.
jerjapan - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 03:25 PM EST (#317832) #
SK, you are being far too definitive in your statements - it's not at all clear that developing a starter as a starter in the minors is superior to as a reliever in the bigs, for the myriad reasons that have already been discussed - you continue to ignore valid points like the quality of coaching / teammates / opposition in the bigs, or the very real risk of injury for a pitcher - better to get value out of him for the big league team if he's an injury time-bomb. 

If it's about building up Osuna's innings, it's entirely possible that he gets to his innings ceiling out of the pen this year. 

service time is a different issue - and even your 'evidence' - the Adkins quote - could be more about justifying a service time issue than a developmental philosophy.  We just don't know. 

do you not think that Osuna's experience in the playoff race / playoffs has some sort of significant developmental impact?

And of course, there is the issue of Osuna's unusual career path - hard to compare him to other pitchers since I can't think of a single other pitcher who has had a similar career- for better or worse. 

uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 03:26 PM EST (#317833) #
Carrasco made more appearances as a reliever than a starter in each of the previous 2 seasons. Didn't stop him from becoming a good SP. Salazar raced through the upper minors.

As for their development, it was so good that Carrasco and Kluber finally had their first effective seasons as SP when they were 27 and 28.

They have also had plenty other success with SP who began their careers as RP like Hernandez, Masterson, Westbrook, etc.
PeterG - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 03:28 PM EST (#317834) #
John, on what grounds do u think Hutch can refuse a minor league assignment. I think that is incorrect. He has remaining option years and less than 5 years service time (article 19). I think he can be optioned to Buffalo.
pubster - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 03:33 PM EST (#317835) #
Didn't Pat Hentgen say that he thinks young SPs should pitch in a big league bullpen as an intermediate step before starting in the big leagues?
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 03:46 PM EST (#317836) #
"And of course, there is the issue of Osuna's unusual career path - hard to compare him to other pitchers since I can't think of a single other pitcher who has had a similar career- for better or worse."

Carlos Martinez, Alex Wood, and Chris Sale could be recent comps. Morrow, Buehrle, and Santana old comps. Pedro, Escobar, Padilla, Smiley and Hampton even older comps.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 04:00 PM EST (#317837) #
"SK, you are being far too definitive in your statements - it's not at all clear that developing a starter as a starter in the minors is superior to as a reliever in the bigs, for the myriad reasons that have already been discussed - you continue to ignore valid points like the quality of coaching / teammates / opposition in the bigs, or the very real risk of injury for a pitcher - better to get value out of him for the big league team if he's an injury time-bomb."


Every pitcher is an injury time bomb regardless of how they are used. That's not the discussion here. It's about maximizing an asset.

Some want Osuna/Sanchez in the pen because it helps the 2016 team. I'm fine with that if they are needed there. Some want Osuna/Sanchez in the bigs because they don't want to waste their innings in the minors. Personally, I don't buy that. Sanchez has one plus pitch, and Osuna still needs time to refine his secondary stuff (which looked very good for a 20-year old). Development time in the minors is not a waste of time; it can help a starter develop their repertoire so that their big league innings mean more.

I never said one development plan is better than the other. I'm saying that limiting a pitcher to the bullpen at an early age before they get innings under their belt CAN hurt their long-term viability as a starter. Osuna and Sanchez were pitching high leverage one inning stints. They were not being stretched out in the pen, they were relievers. Pitchers throw fewer pitches in the pen. They go max effort in the pen. They don't develop their 2nd/3rd pitches in the pen. Their innings totals are greatly reduced in the pen. And so on. That Atkins quote is spot on, IMO. If both guys spend another full season in the pen, it will get harder to transition them back to starters. Not impossible, but very difficult, especially when you consider they lack SP innings to begin with (unlike Carrrasco and Salazar).

If they are needed in the big league pen in 2016, then keep them there. If not, use their options and stretch them out in the minors. What's the big deal, exactly?
jerjapan - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 04:11 PM EST (#317838) #
Ugly, checking those comps, I don't see the same innings / injury history that you get with Osuna - 43 2/3 IP is his minor league HIGH ... although I know winter ball, extended spring etc can generate innings.  Carlos martinez was up to 104 IP in his last full minor league season, and hit just under 110 in 2013 when he broke in with the Cards pen.  Alex Wood came from the college program, as did Sale and Morrow - so older, more innings under their belt - despite their short stays in the minors, I'm not sure they fit the comp.

Buehrle was from college, pitched 99 innings in his first minor league season and then 170 between the minors and the bigs in his rookie season.   

I stopped checking the stats at this point, but none of the guys I checked are comparable to Osuna - which only goes to my point that it's hard to say don't develop him in the bigs because we have so little evidence as to what works. 



Jevant - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 04:12 PM EST (#317839) #
I was assuming he meant the fact he was 20, coming off a relatively recent TJ, no low-minors experience, and became an elite closer for a division winning club, rather than "RP to SP".
jerjapan - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 04:17 PM EST (#317840) #
What's the big deal, exactly?

I guess they could struggle, sure, but I can't really see another scenario where they aren't needed in the big league pen.   The AL East should be a dogfight next year.  

And who says you can't work on a second / third pitch as a reliever in the bigs?  all sorts of big leaguers play around with pitches on the side - why not do that with the best coaching / teammates / facilities to help you out?

This conversation has got my pretty interested in the topic though, so if anyone has any worthwhile reading on the subject of minor league development, I'd love to see it. 
Vulg - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 04:23 PM EST (#317841) #
ESPN Insiders did their annual top 10 rotations today (Buster Olney article):

1. Mets
2. Indians
3. Cardinals
4. Cubs
5. Giants
6. Dodgers
7. Pirates
8. Nationals
9. Diamondbacks
10. Rays

Honorable Mentions: Red Sox, Astros, Mariners, Rangers
scottt - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 05:38 PM EST (#317842) #
Others who can pick free agency instead of going down are Pat Venditte, Aaron Loup, and Drew Hutchison (which puts a 'oh crap' into the idea of sending him to AAA).

Loup and Hutch still have options and cannot declare free agency. Because of their service time, they would have to clear optional waivers, but that's usually a formality at the beginning of the season when all the rosters are full and nobody can actually claim the player.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 05:58 PM EST (#317843) #
Carrasco made more appearances as a reliever than a starter in each of the previous 2 seasons. Didn't stop him from becoming a good SP.

Carrasco started 169 minor games and 40 major games before that.
Osuna has started 29 games in the last 5 years.

He's never reached 45 innings as a starter and he already blew his elbow once.
It worries me and I'm sure it worries him too. He prefers to stay in the pen.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 06:02 PM EST (#317844) #
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/roberto-osuna-and-the-aging-curve-for-young-relievers/

Is an interesting read.

Richard S.S. - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 06:11 PM EST (#317845) #
In 2014, Marcus Stroman pitched his way into the #1 Starter consideration with a terrible Blue Jays team. In 2015, Marcus Stroman returned (not 100% - his words) and pitched better than Price with a very good Blue Jays team. He starts 2016 with a very good Blue Jays Team.

Marco Estrada was amazing in 2016, but when the Trade Deadline deals went down he pitched like a #1 Starter. He goes into 2016 with a very good Blue Jays Team.

R.A. Dickey has made 44 of his 101 starts giving a Cy Young performance. Once of the Eastern Coast Sports writer think he's picked up his 2012 pitches again, citing his last two-thirds of the season as support. Either way, he's never played a full season with a team this good.

J.A. Happ has pitched for some not-so-good teams most of his career. The changes he made in Pittsburgh were basic as easily repeatable. He starts 2016 with the best team in Baseball, your Toronto Blue Jays.

You could pitch a ring-tailed Baboon as 5th Starter and still win the A.L. East. You just need a better Bullpen than your competition. If you don't understand that, watch paint dry, you,ll think less.
greenfrog - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 06:18 PM EST (#317846) #
the best team in Baseball, your Toronto Blue Jays

http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=Standings
scottt - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 06:43 PM EST (#317847) #
Tied with the Mariners for the second wild cards?
jerjapan - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 06:51 PM EST (#317848) #
The results are up for the fangraphs poll on how fans view ownership.  Rogers ties for 4th least popular with Cinci, slightly behind a bunch of other teams.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/team-ownership-ratings-by-the-community/

what stands out to me the most though is how many Jays fan's voted - nearly 8% of the total votes cast were for the Jays - the Mets were next at just over 5% (and everybody hates those guys). 

Has Toronto always been such an active online fanbase, or are people just energized, one way or the other, by the playoff run and the AA / Shapiro / Rogers imbroglio?



greenfrog - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 07:09 PM EST (#317849) #
I wonder if anyone at Rogers has seen that article, and if so, whether they even care. It might be useful for the baseball executives at Rogers asked themselves, "What can we do to consistently rank in the top ten (or five) of team owners?" I guess they would need to feel that doing so could increase (or avoid decreasing) profits.

In any event, I think it's great that fangraphs is polling fans on this issue and posting the results for all to see.
China fan - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 07:23 PM EST (#317850) #
"....It worries me and I'm sure it worries him too. He prefers to stay in the pen..."

Your mind-reader skills are dubious.  Osuna made a casual comment about how he enjoys the challenge of being ready to pitch every day.  It was a brief and vague comment, and it mostly meant that he has a positive attitude about his bullpen job.  Don't read too much into that casual remark.  He never said that he would never want the opportunity to be a starter at some point in his MLB career.  He was a starter for most of his life, and I've never seen anything to suggest that he didn't enjoy being a starter.  I'm sure he realizes that starting pitchers have much higher salaries than relievers.  Even a successful closer won't get the same salary as a successful starter.  I'm absolutely sure that Osuna has never ruled out the idea of being a starter in the majors, and I'm sure he would happily try it out.  As for injury risks: lots of relievers get injured too.  There's nothing to indicate that he cannot handle a heavier workload because he is "injury prone" or "fragile" or some such nonsense.
Michael - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 08:54 PM EST (#317851) #
Interesting that by WAR the main difference from fangraphs between the Jays and Red Sox is Price. The Jays have a WAR of 39.9. The Red Sox have a WAR of 44.2. Price is down for a WAR of 5.3 (and Estrada is the lowest starting 5 WAR at 0.6, so replace Estrada with Price would be net +4.7 which covers the existing 4.3 gap).

Other AL East teams include Yankees 41.8 WAR, Rays with 35.5 WAR, and Baltimore with 29.9 WAR.
scottt - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 09:40 PM EST (#317852) #
Nah. The difference isn't in WAR. They  don't see the Jays scoring runs like last year. That's not because of Price.
And they are very generous with the Red Sox run prevention. I wasn't following them, have they improved defensively?

scottt - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 10:01 PM EST (#317853) #
He was a starter for most of his life

In 2011, at 16, he was playing for the Diablos Rojos in Mexico.
He had 2 starts, but pitched out of the bullpen 11 times, 3 as the closer.
From 2012 to 2014, in the Jays system, he started 9, 10 and 8 games but his ip/start actually went down every year, from less than 5 to less than 3.
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 10:24 PM EST (#317854) #
Zips strongly disagrees with Steamer, for the record.

If we use zWAR projected based on Fangraphs’ current Depth Charts playing time:

Donaldson 6.8 —– Betts 4.9
Bautista 4.7 —— Bogaerts 3.0
Tulowitzki 4.2 —- Pedroia 2.8
Martin 3.7 ——– Ortiz 2.6
En’cion 3.6 ——- Bradley 2.2
Pillar 3.1 ——– Hanley 1.8
Saunders 1.8 —— Pablo 0.9
Travis 1.2 ——– Swihart 0.8
Smoak 0.6 ——— Castillo 0.7

Pompey 0.5 ——– Young 1.1
Cola 0.3 ———- Hanigan 0.7
Goins 0.3 ——— Holt 0.6
Thole 0.0 ——— Shaw 0.0
Barney 0.3 ——– Vazquez 0.3

Jays 31.2 ——— Sox 22.4

Stroman 3.5 ——- Price 5.4
Estrada 2.2 ——- Buchholz 2.6
Dickey 1.8 ——– Porcello 2.3
Happ 1.5 ———- Rodriguez 2.0
Chavez 1.4 ——– Elias 1.1

Jays 10.4 ——– Sox 13.4

Storen ??? ——- Kimbrel 1.2
Cecil 0.9 ——– Uehara 1.1
Osuna 0.9 ——– Kelly 0.9
Sanchez 0.6 —— Smith 0.8
Hutchison 0.4 —- Tazawa 0.5
Loup 0.3 ——— Ross 0.2
Tepera 0.1 ——– Layne 0.2

Jays ~4.0 ——— Sox 4.9

Total: Jays 45.6 — Sox 40.7

Steamer thinks the Sox are a good 5 wins better than the Jays, Zips thinks the Jays are a good 5 wins better than the Sox.

Based on last year, I’d lean towards Zips having a better read on the players on these rosters, but we'll see.
uglyone - Monday, January 11 2016 @ 10:29 PM EST (#317855) #
Scott, thing is you're missing a ton of innings for Osuna. He was pitching all year as a 16yr old, far more than just the 13 appearances he made in the pro league. Just as in his rookie ball years he was pitching all through extended spring training. Not to mention all the unlisted amateur tourneys and offseason leagues he almost assuredly took part in as an elite local talent.

He has thrown far more in his baseball life than just the 27 starts listed on his stats page.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 01:02 AM EST (#317856) #
Jays fans are certainly angry but a stable ownership, very little meddling in the baseball operations, with a top-10 payroll does not make for terrible owners. Not being a great owner is not the same thing as being a terrible owner.
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 08:10 AM EST (#317857) #
Those 27 starts are his only professional starts. Any starts should count, but what are we talking about here, little leagues?
He pitched enough to need TJ surgery but the innings total seem low. His nickname is "little cannon", so he must have been throwing hard at an early age.
scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 08:18 AM EST (#317858) #
I'm sure he realizes that starting pitchers have much higher salaries than relievers.

Do they? What's the difference in the pre-arb years? I don't think there's a huge difference until he reaches free agency.
I mean, if the Jays were to put him on a long term contract, I'm sure he wouldn't mind starting. If it was me, I'd try to make a few millions before putting too much strain on that arm again.

Of course, he might be satisfied with his 1.5 signing bonus and the 0.5 he made last year.
Jevant - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 09:14 AM EST (#317859) #
Toronto fans always seem to turn out in droves on Fangraphs (it's been commented before by Fangraphs that they have a lot of Toronto-centric traffic), and that goes back to before the playoff run. So probably a bit of both, but it isn't surprising that there are a higher number of Jays fans participating than many teams.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 09:47 AM EST (#317860) #
very interesting article here on an under the radar signing:

http://jaysprospects.com/2016/01/12/gabe-noyalis-blue-jays/
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 10:46 AM EST (#317861) #
Jays fans are certainly angry but a stable ownership, very little meddling in the baseball operations, with a top-10 payroll does not make for terrible owners. Not being a great owner is not the same thing as being a terrible owner.

Glevin, I agree with you about your last sentence and the idea that Rogers is a stable owner.

But I've really started questioning the 'top ten payroll' statement - it gets repeated a lot by both fans and management.  It's hard to figure exact payrolls as they are in flux, much of what I found online is for the start of the season, and obviously that doesn't include the 7.3$ million we paid price, or the other midseason additions, but it's still telling. 

at the start of 2015, we aren't 'top ten', but tenth (122.5 million), and we are closer to the 17th place team (Baltimore at $110)  than we are to the 9th place team (Phillie, at just under 136$). 

Spotrac has us at 14th right now, without the arb guys being included (and we do have a healthy dose of arb money owed). 

I'd say at the start of the season we were more of a 'top fifteen' payroll, and expect that will be true of us next year as well.  Even with arb settlements, we are well behind the big boys (NYY, LAD, LAA, BOS, SFG, DET).  Looking at current salary commitments and arb projections, plus the likelihood of a team adding more in the offseason, we are still behind WAS, TEX and CHC, close to teams like STL and SEA and ahead of KC. 

So 11th?  12th?  obviously the dollar is a factor, but again, I think it's clear that we are in the middle of the second tier, payroll-wise. 


John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 11:37 AM EST (#317862) #
B-R has the Jays in 10th at the moment factoring in likely arbitration awards. The Angels and Mariners are within $3 million so it wouldn't take much to shift the Jays to 12th. Within $3 million the other way is Texas, Washington St Louis. So a tight grouping there.

Payroll ranges...
Oh God they are rich: NYY & LAD both near $230 mil
Well off but not peak: Boston $198 mil
Upper class: $160-179: Detroit, Giants, Cubs
Jay Class: $135-145: Washington, Texas, St Louis, Toronto, Angels, Seattle
Middle AL: $105-125: KC, White Sox, Baltimore, Minnesota, Mets
Middle NL: $97-104: Colorado, Philly, Padres, Arizona, Pittsburgh
Lower: $82-92: Cincinnati, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Oakland
Cheapskates: $60-68: Tampa, Miami, Milwaukee

The 3 cheapskates combined are spending less than any of the top 3 teams. Jays are spending more than any 2 of the cheapskates. Must suck to be one of the 10 fans of Tampa Bay.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST (#317863) #
I wonder if a salary cap/floor is put into place in baseball where it would go...
$200 mil cap I suspect (at the moment)
$100 mil floor hitting Tampa/Miami/Milwaukee hard while being a pain for Cincinnati, Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Oakland but not that harsh.

I couldn't imagine the players union agreeing to anything lower than $100 mil as a floor if they gave in on a cap. Luckily for those bottom 3 the players union will probably keep fighting a cap tooth and nail but might give in on a 'reverse luxury tax' to go with a stronger luxury tax. So those bottom 3 get taxed for being below a certain level while the uppers get hit hard for going over.

As to the Jays - they are solidly upper-middle class for payroll and probably will continue to be there as long as the team keeps winning. If the Jays slump and get under 3 million fans/500k per game watching in 2016 then expect a purge and sub $100 mil payroll in 2017 or 2018 depending. 'Only' $67.5 mil committed for 2017 right now dropping to $53 in 2018. Tulo and Martin the only big contracts long term to worry about.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 12:20 PM EST (#317864) #
"the jays are trying to win a world series here. not an AAA championship."

If the MLB talent is upgraded to the point where Osuna/Sanchez are no longer a necessity in the pen, then why would you waste them there for one more year? As it stands today, the Jays would need at least Osuna in the pen since they only have two other guys who they can count on in the later innings (Storen/Cecil), but add one more late-inning pen arm, and suddenly you don't really need Osuna/Sanchez in relief roles anymore. Gibbons didn't use Mark Lowe too often last season. That 4th RP loses importance compared to the top 3, which is why Sanchez can be made into a starter now if they choose to since Storen effectively replaces him. If someone can bump Osuna to the 4th relief spot, then you can make the same type of consideration with him.

Ultimately, I think Osuna will end up in the pen regardless since the team might not have enough to spend to sign a pen upgrade, and Osuna apparently prefers coming out of the pen, but if they feel there's even a small chance that he can be a good starter long-term and they can somehow find the funds to add a Blanton type, then it's a move you have to consider. It has nothing to do with helping AAA. If anything, it helps the big league club, especially with depth. You can always call them up and pitch them in relief again if need be.
---------
As some posters pay attention to AAA, let us see what kind of minor league free agent batters worth mentioning. According to BBRef and Baseball America,

Mitch Maier
has not player affiliated baseball in 2015. If he returns to AAA, would he be Luke Scott of last season Bisons ?
Tony Gwynn Jr. plays LF/CF/RF; how valuable is he over Ezequiel Carrera even though Gwynn Jr. is older ? If Pompey starts the 2016 season in Buffalo, what duplicate values do Gwynn Jr. and Junior Lake bring to Toronto ?
Roger Kieschnick plays LF/CF/RF; he strikes out quite a lot per PA thru out his minor league career, could Bisons turn his tendency ? Recalling both JoeyBats and Matt Tuiasosopo were experimental to vastly different results.
Russ Canzler plays LF and 1B and bats righthanded. Does he resemble Cola or Casey Kotchman ?
Julio Borbon was sought after as a Ranger; now he is available, shall he be signed to Bisons ?
Tyson Gilles the Canadian played LF/CF/RF for Phillies' AA. Is he a backup to Canadian identity in Pompey playing for the Jays ?
pubster - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 12:58 PM EST (#317865) #
If Rogers is terrible ownership than what was Interbrew or Harold Ballard?
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 01:06 PM EST (#317866) #
69 cents. And falling.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 01:17 PM EST (#317867) #
Nobody is denying that the dollar is low (I mentioned it in my last post), nor that the Interbrew years were lean (I believe that is the 'two wrongs make a right' fallacy). 

However, I don't think saying Rogers is 'top ten' in payroll is at all representative, as I tried to articulate in my last post, which Northey kindly clarified in his. 

And CDBC, if Rogers has limited ability to handle currency fluctuations, the inverse of your argument is that obviously their spending will be positively effected when the Canadian dollar is strong?  except that our 2012 opening day payroll was 75.5 million, 24th in MLB.  The Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar in April that year. 



Glevin - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 01:41 PM EST (#317868) #
"However, I don't think saying Rogers is 'top ten' in payroll is at all representative, as I tried to articulate in my last post, which Northey kindly clarified in his. "

It might be top-10 one year and top-15 the next, but my overall point is that they have a payroll that is high enough to be competitive. It is easier to build a winner with more money but Rogers' salary limitations are definitely in the reasonable range.

I'm not trying to make the argument that Rogers are amazing owners. They aren't. They are, however, decent owners. Not having a top-5 payroll doesn't make you bad owners. There is really nothing that makes Rogers terrible owners. They are stable, they spend enough money to win, and they don't interfere in the baseball side of the game.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 01:49 PM EST (#317869) #
Yeah, it is challenging to know what to expect when we have a dollar in free-fall.

Upper class: $160-179: Detroit, Giants, Cubs - where the Jays should've been when the dollar was at par, could argue it if the fans support keeps up all 2016 via the Jays making the playoffs again

Jay Class: $135-145: Washington, Texas, St Louis, Toronto, Angels, Seattle
Where they are now and probably will be for awhile more.

Middle AL: $105-125: KC, White Sox, Baltimore, Minnesota, Mets
This is where they are going if things get much worse for the dollar. If we see the dollar stay under 70 cents from now until off-season 2016/17 the Jays might feel forced to keep expenses in this range, ChiSox are another large market in this area while KC & Minnesota are spending above where they should be. The Mets are a freak show financially right now. Baltimore will be in this range forever most likely with the odd year shooting up to upper-middle, other years to the mid-NL level.

Lots of variables, but the 2 biggest are how the Jays do (and how crowds react to that) and what the dollar does. The dollar the Jays have no control over, but how the team does they have some power over. The new management team has a big challenge ahead of them. Kids are more important than ever as is controllable years. I'd say Osuna is destined for AAA for April for sure now and I'd be surprised if Pompey is up before June. Doing that adds another year of control without any eyebrows raised (unlike the Cubs last year).
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 02:03 PM EST (#317870) #
Adding to the problem of the falling dollar seems to be the lunacy of GMs.

Gerardo Parra just got 26/3 + 1.5 buyout/12 option from the Rockies. He's a lifetime OPS+ 97 hitter who had a good 100 games with Milwaukee last year. Over 7 seasons, he has total bWAR of 12.5 - just under 1 WAR per year. Mind you, he's had 2 really good years: 6.1 bWAR in 2013 on the strength of a 4.0 dWAR and 3.0 bWAR in 2011. Subtract that one good year (2013), and his dWar over 7 seasons is -0.2. In other words, no reason to think he'll do that again - they'll be lucky to get a 0.0 dWar out of him, IMHO (he was negative in 2014 and 2015 for 3 different teams).

So, $9M/year for a 1-1.25 WAR corner outfielder?? Wow..

Dave Till - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 02:48 PM EST (#317871) #
My thoughts on Rogers as owners:

- No one really trusts Rogers (owners of the Blue Jays) because no one really trusts Rogers (provider of cable and Internet service). If the Jays were owned by Large Anonymous Corporation, Inc., they might receive less bad publicity.

- The Jays are one of the few teams owned by a corporation. Publicly owned corporations are constrained by the need to return profits to their investors and shareholders. Other teams are owned by rich guys who see this as a sort of hobby (or as a way to extract large wads of cash from their home city to stave off the threat of relocation).

- Rogers wouldn't seem so bad as owners if the Yankees and Red Sox weren't such big spenders. Had David Price signed with a team outside the AL East, the Jays would not have gotten as much flak for losing out on him.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 02:53 PM EST (#317872) #
There is really nothing that makes Rogers terrible owners. They are stable, they spend enough money to win, and they don't interfere in the baseball side of the game.

Things could certainly be worse, I agree.  Some of the fan anger stems from things that I think maybe beyond Rogers control - certainly playing in the AL East, and competing against the Sox and Yanks with Canadian dollars, isn't Rogers fault - but it does beg the question what a 'high enough to be competitive' payroll actually is.

Of course, lots of people don't like Rogers the corporation - telecommunications companies are pretty lucky to be operating in Canada, and while that's not Rogers fault, it comes at the expense of the consumer.  There were human faces in AA and Beeston which mitigated that, and I'm sure that Shapiro and Adkins will become more that human face over time - Stoeten was speculating that it's a 'good cop, bad cop' type scenario, with Shapiro being the indifferent bringer of bad news (neither grass nor EE are priorities - let's sign our AAA rotation first!) and Adkins in the AA roll.  But then Rogers pulls tone-deaf moves like the Ted Rogers statue and the AA / Beeston fiasco.  Not enough to make them bad owners - but these moves do sort of symbolize why people dislike Rogers as owners in the first place.

Ultimately, my hope is that a bit of this bad press gets Rogers to open the pursestrings a bit - trade deadline acquisitions, an extension for Jose, a spike in payroll next year - then we can really see what we have in Shatkins, who right now are too much the face of an unpopular corporation for the average fan to judge them on their actual merits. 


SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 03:48 PM EST (#317873) #
Rogers is fine as an owner. Could be better, but could be a lot worse.

AA was pretty much allowed to do anything he wanted to as long as it fit the "payroll parameters". If you have a top 10 payroll and that type of freedom, then what's the complaint? It's not Rogers' fault that AA's 2013 off-season was a huge failure in hindsight. They provided him the money in 2013 and 201,4 and didn't see any type of return on that investment. They saw 2 months of reward last season and people expected them to start spending like the Red Sox because of it. While that would have been nice, that's not how corporate ownership works. Maybe a full season of high attendance and another playoff appearance will improve payroll in 2017. As is, $140M is enough to field a contender.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 03:53 PM EST (#317874) #
It's officially official. Alex Anthopoulos has joined the Dodgers front office as their new vice-president of baseball operations.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 03:57 PM EST (#317875) #
And CDBC, if Rogers has limited ability to handle currency fluctuations, the inverse of your argument is that obviously their spending will be positively effected when the Canadian dollar is strong? except that our 2012 opening day payroll was 75.5 million, 24th in MLB. The Canadian dollar was worth more than the US dollar in April that year.

This is what galls people IMO. Rogers sets a budget that is not commensurate with Jays market potential. Toronto has always gravitated towards the scrappy overachiever. Yes, they are a corporation, but Rogers is comfortably one of the wealthiest owners in all of MLB. They are the uninterested bully.

To emphasize this point, Rogers decided to start payroll in 2016 roughly where it ended in 2015, immediately after the nation screamed "TAKE MY MONEY". They took it. They even highlighted it in their financial results (yay shareholders). They just didn't funnel it back into the roster. Note that the profitability of Rogers' sports properties spiked up dramatically in 2015 - no need to have the cable/wireless side subsidize a sporting side-interest (though you could make a strong business case for investment given they are both content owner and presenter!).

Beyond this, I'm sure many found ownership's antics over the past 24 months distasteful. Namely, the embarrassing public pursuit of Paul Beeston's successor (poor Ed underestimated the tightness of MLB's circle) and the bald-faced lying to the media about promising Anthopolous the same job description once Ed realized the PR nightmare he had on his hands (he was either lying to the public or to Shapiro).

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/rogers-anthopouloss-job-would-have-been-the-same-under-shapiro/

I don't see how anybody can be surprised at the results of such a poll.
pubster - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 04:20 PM EST (#317876) #
I don't think its healthy to be upset at how Rogers runs the team.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 04:26 PM EST (#317877) #
If you have a top 10 payroll and that type of freedom, then what's the complaint?

Calling it a top ten payroll is my complaint.  Call it the 10th best if you must, cause it's not even close to number 9.  I could call it a top 17 payroll and be more accurate than 'top ten'. 
eudaimon - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 05:02 PM EST (#317878) #
Our payroll is literally within the Top 10. We are number 10. Maybe not by much, but by enough that we are not #11.

Maybe it's because I'm a converted Montreal Expos fan, but I really have a hard time considering Rogers a "very bad" owner or complaining about a top 10 payroll. You want to see bad? Start by reading Jonah Keri's "Up, up, and away!". The later owners singlehandedly destroyed the franchise.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 06:29 PM EST (#317879) #
To have a $145.0 US Million budget with the rate of exchange we are currently enjoying, Rogers is spending around $215.0 +/- 5.0 CDN Million. Since they hedged the Currency Market, acquiring US Dollars at a better rate earlier, it might not be quite that much. As long as Trade Deadline monies are available, that should be enough. I still think there's extra if it's needed.

Things might be a little easier without Beeston limits. But then we still need to find out what Shapiro's limits are. The one problem I have with Rogers is simple, the Jays are the massively visible 'Face of the Company' that everyone see and comments on. As long as the Jays are doing well so will the Company and the better the Jays do, so does the Company. The "health" of the Blue Jays is the "health" of the Company.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 07:08 PM EST (#317880) #
Not only have the Dodgers signed Anthopoulos, but they've also poached Ismael Cruz (under whom the Jays landed Franklin Barreto and Guerrero Jr., among others). Ugh - losing top talent is tough to take.

It looks as if the Jays will be a mid-market organization for quite some time, given the state of the dollar and Canadian economy. Let's hope Shapiro and the rest of the front office can make the most of the limited resources they have.

Incidentally, does anyone else find the term "Shatkins" a bit tasteless or derogatory? I don't find it clever at all.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 07:17 PM EST (#317881) #
I don't think its healthy to be upset at how Rogers runs the team.

It's no less healthy than getting upset when your team loses or a favorite player gets hurt. That's just sports. It's all good in moderation.

There's just more of a spotlight on 'management' now because of transparency in spending, salary caps, etc. Success starts at the top.

My favorite punching bag at the moment is the New Jersey Nets, who finally got around to demoting their GM this week. Billy King basically sunk that franchise for a decade and Prokhorov thinks he can buy success as if he owned Chelsea or Manchester City. It's all great fun to watch when it's not your team :)
Four Seamer - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 07:53 PM EST (#317882) #

Incidentally, does anyone else find the term "Shatkins" a bit tasteless or derogatory? I don't find it clever at all.

I'm with you here, greenfrog.

scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 08:07 PM EST (#317883) #
Actually, the only thing that bothers me is the Shap-eye-ro pronunciation.
So skipping that part--no matter for what--soothes my soul.

How about Shap-and-Atkins?

Chuck - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 08:11 PM EST (#317884) #
How about Shap-and-Atkins?

Or, more practically, SA. SA replaces AA. No comedic value or poopy subtext, but does the job quickly and efficiently.

scottt - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 08:49 PM EST (#317885) #
Sold.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 09:04 PM EST (#317886) #
People think their ideas are cute or even innovative, when just the opposite takes place. It becomes tasteless or insulting, and in some places in this world, it gets you killed.

Mark Shapiro is M.S. or the P.C. (President and CEO). Ross Atkins is R.A. or the G.M. Nothing else is needed, most of this is just being lazy.
Parker - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 10:01 PM EST (#317887) #
Way to take the forum to a new low, Richard.

What happened to the "featured comment" system, anyway? I'd rather not have to read garbage like the above.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 10:12 PM EST (#317888) #
I literally never even thought of a negative of SA, so apologies to those that did. SA works for me
John Northey - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 10:42 PM EST (#317889) #
I'd say SA works well. If the Jays drop to a bottom 10 payroll and bottom 10 in w/l record then the other nickname could be appropriate. Lets have the Jays play at least a game or two with the new guys in charge before we make insulting nicknames I say.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 12 2016 @ 11:16 PM EST (#317890) #
Actually, the only thing that bothers me is the Shap-eye-ro pronunciation.

Apparently this has come up a few times and the EYE-pronunciation is what he says is correct.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/2015/08/31/5-things-about-new-blue-jays-president-mark-shapiro.html

Regarding nicknames, SA works. The important thing about all of the derivatives is the connotation that they share a hive mind, and this preserves that!
Magpie - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 05:39 AM EST (#317891) #
It's not like [Revere] came to Toronto for free.

True dat. But would anyone have any objections to trading Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado for Storen? That's the most mystifying thing to me. Ben Revere plays for two months just the way he always his, and his trade return goes from a couple of pretty fringey minor league relievers to an actual major leaguer.

Leadoff could get interesting. I assume it'll be Saunders if he's ready to go. But if he isn't, who the hell knows? I wouldn't normally expect Gibbons to press it on Tulowitzki, as he pretty clearly didn't enjoy it much last year. But that leaves Pompey or Pillar, for all intents and purposes.
scottt - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 07:03 AM EST (#317892) #
the EYE-pronunciation is what he says is correct.

I know, but it tramples on my memories of Jacob Two-Two.
China fan - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 08:11 AM EST (#317893) #
".... I wouldn't normally expect Gibbons to press it on Tulowitzki, as he pretty clearly didn't enjoy it much last year....."

Tulo still has one of the highest career OBPs of anyone on the team.  And you want a leadoff hitter who can get on base.  Someone with a high career OBP should be ideal.  Tulo's career numbers are probably more significant than his numbers for a few weeks last August.  Maybe the Jays will assume that his difficulties last August were an anomaly, and he will revert to his high-OBP performance in 2016.  And keep in mind that the Jays had a phenomenal record (18-4 or something like that) with Tulo hitting leadoff.  That wasn't necessarily BECAUSE of him, but it shows that the team doesn't necessarily suffer when he's not hitting well.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 08:28 AM EST (#317894) #
"Calling it a top ten payroll is my complaint. Call it the 10th best if you must, cause it's not even close to number 9. I could call it a top 17 payroll and be more accurate than 'top ten'."


According to Cot's, the Jays have ranked 9th, 10th, and 10th in payroll in 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. That's a top 10 payroll. That's also in USD. They've done more than enough to supply the GM with the resources to win. Maybe some feel they should be a top 5 payroll, but they've only had 2-3 months of real success in the three years they've invested heavily in the team. It's not going to happen overnight.

When the Jays stumbled upon Bautista and EE, they were given a huge payroll spike a year or two later to win with them. The money was just poorly spent for the most part (August-October 2015 aside).

Maybe Rogers prefers operating in the middle tier of payrolls. With the declining dollar, it would make sense to do that from their perspective (though frustrating as a fan). However, they could have easily tanked payroll in 2014 when the previous year failed, or in 2015 when the previous year was mediocre. They didn't. Then when they lost faith in AA, they replaced Beeston with a sabermetric mind in Shapiro. Even if that was by accident (they wanted Kenny Williams first), it was still a smart move.

It could be a lot worse.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 08:43 AM EST (#317895) #
Someone mentioned the Jays losing Ismael Cruz to the Dodgers. I think his replacement might be on the way (speculation on my part):

http://www.baseballamerica.com/international/indians-changing-latin-american-director/
pubster - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 11:07 AM EST (#317896) #
"It's no less healthy than getting upset when your team loses or a favorite player gets hurt. That's just sports. It's all good in moderation."

I agree with this 100%.

Thats why I don't understand why people don't just enjoy whats going on instead of finding things to complain about.

At the very least do it for your own health/peace of mind.
Vulg - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 11:44 AM EST (#317897) #
I think riding the highs and lows is just part and parcel of being a fan. I think anybody who has remained a steadfast Jays fan over the past 20 or so years has mastered the 'moderation' aspect of it.

Personally, I find commiserating and/or celebrating with fellow fans cathartic and fun. Talk radio and internet forums are just an extension of watercooler talk.

Even the debates are a nice and occasional distraction from life's true priorities (family, work and bourbon at the moment).
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 11:57 AM EST (#317898) #
Sure, SA works. Is Tony LaCava still in there somewhere? Maybe we should use SAL?

Of course, then every time it's mentioned I would think of a certain mustachioed catcher/coach/instructor in the Jays' minor leagues.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 12:29 PM EST (#317899) #
Or you mix Gibbons into it should the Jays start losing and it becomes SAG. Or we get mad at Rogers again and it becomes SARs. I'm sure we could have fun with acronyms all day.

Sigh. Lets see more moves/signings so we have more interesting things to talk about.

Four Seamer - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 12:33 PM EST (#317900) #
I'm all for calling them by their actual names, since that seems like the polite thing to do. 
CeeBee - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 01:11 PM EST (#317901) #
Or we go generic and refer to them as management or upper management. Personally, names are fine, for now anyway :)
bpoz - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 02:00 PM EST (#317902) #
Thanks Magpie for saying what I meant about Revere.

Cordero and Tirado for Revere. I loved Tirado. He is young with a high upside IMO. So to be honest I did not really like that trade. How well would Pompey have been if he had those ABs. We have to wait for the answer to that question. I am willing to make a quick decision whenever Pompey puts 400 ABs in a regular role.

Also Cordero & Tirado for Storen is a massive steal for the Jays in my eyes.

ayjackson - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 08:25 AM EST (#317911) #
I like "Shatkins". It's clever and very cynical and, until they earn our trust, appropriately so.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 09:32 AM EST (#317912) #
Joining two words to make a "shat"? Clever for a four-year-old, maybe.
mathesond - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 10:06 AM EST (#317913) #
Re: the Shatkins debate

The portmanteau-ing of the English language (or 'Pornglish, as I will now call it), is but a reflection of how the times we live in influence the ways we communicate.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 10:16 AM EST (#317914) #
It's not clever, nor is it appropriate "until they earn our trust". That's ridiculous. They haven't done anything wrong except replace someone that many Jays fans have decided to turn into a demigod after he left the organization.

I used "AA" or "Alex" because I didn't want to misspell his last name (which I likely would have done repeatedly if I tried). I used "JP" and "Ricciardi" interchangeably depending on how I felt. Just spell their names out or use MS or RA. It's not that hard.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 11:56 AM EST (#317915) #
Well, we know that Shapiro and Atkins haven't traded all the pitching in the farm system for two months of rental pitching and a job in LA. That's more than we know about 'Autonomous Alex', who's now happily buried below all the Executives with the Los Angeles Dodgers in California, almost as far down as the Blue Jays farm system is now in the farm rankings.
mathesond - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 12:04 PM EST (#317916) #
Connor Greene got traded? I hadn't heard...
uglyone - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 12:16 PM EST (#317917) #
lighten up, Francis.

Call it Shapkins, then.
China fan - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 12:48 PM EST (#317918) #
"....we know that Shapiro and Atkins haven't traded all the pitching in the farm system for two months of rental pitching and a job in LA...."

I responded in great detail to this absurd Rogers corporate propaganda in an earlier thread, and you didn't care to debate it.  Instead you just repeat it.  You can repeat it a hundred times, but repetition doesn't make it so, regardless of what you might wish.
Vulg - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 12:55 PM EST (#317919) #
That's more than we know about 'Autonomous Alex', who's now happily buried below all the Executives with the Los Angeles Dodgers in California, almost as far down as the Blue Jays farm system is now in the farm rankings.

Oh, I wouldn't feel too sorry for Alex. :)

If you listened to the interview on PTS this week and wiped the rage away from your retinas, you'd know that he has a very sweet gig as part of a very collaborative leadership team (Friedman, Zaidi and Alex have been dubbed the geek squad). It's a job he selected out of multiple offers and they all work for a guy who, unlike Alex's old masters, wants to win first and foremost:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/dodgersnow/la-sp-dn-bigger-u-s-steel-20151221-story.html

He likes his new situation so much, he's even moving his family to SoCal, something he didn't anticipate doing at all.

Life sure sounds awful for somebody who gutted a team and left it in shambles!
Dave Till - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 01:17 PM EST (#317920) #
My $.02: "Shapkins" results from us not knowing who is responsible for what in the Jays' new front office. Does Shapiro handle most of the trading, or is he leaving roster construction to Atkins and just doing what Beeston used to do? We don't really know.

I can't really see anything that any GM/president, old or new, has done really wrong here. I am happy with the trades that Anthopoulos made last year - after all, we got some really memorable baseball. And I don't really have any complaints about what Shapkins has done this year - they've been busy filling holes in the roster and doing a reasonable job of it.

Sure, I'd have preferred to have David Price back, but I don't think Anthopoulos would have signed him either. The Red Sox paid an insane amount of money for him.
pubster - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 01:18 PM EST (#317921) #
Why not just call him Atkins as he's the GM? No need to lump the President into this too.
Dave Till - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 01:19 PM EST (#317922) #
(I need to proofread better. I used the word "really" four times in one paragraph. :-))
uglyone - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 01:23 PM EST (#317923) #
pubster, the entire point of the mashup is that Atkins is more of an assistant, and that this is shapiro's show.
Glevin - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 01:55 PM EST (#317924) #
"If you listened to the interview on PTS this week and wiped the rage away from your retinas, you'd know that he has a very sweet gig as part of a very collaborative leadership team (Friedman, Zaidi and Alex have been dubbed the geek squad). It's a job he selected out of multiple offers and they all work for a guy who, unlike Alex's old masters, wants to win first and foremost:"

In L.A. he is one of a whole bunch of guys who might have some input but will have no decision making. Friedman and Zaidi have their say and then there are AA, Byrnes, Colletti, and Hunnisucker who have all been GMs before who all have senior advisory positions. AA is one of half a dozen people that give their input. It might be great and collaborative and the Dodgers spend a lot of money ans are likely to win something eventually but in terms of influencing the product on the field, it's a massive step back even from being GM where he didn't get final say. It's a great job but it doesn't really gel with the idea of AA leaving because he wanted autonomy.
uglyone - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 02:08 PM EST (#317926) #
I'd say working in that front office will only improve his chances of getting a prime GM gig going forward.
John Northey - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 03:42 PM EST (#317929) #
From what I read AA was getting close to burn out from the GM job - non-stop, 24/7 work. He was always thinking about it, never could take a real day off. With a young family that is just asking for a divorce and kids who hate you. My kids get mad because I work on the computer at home - I go to all their events, take them to movies but they still feel that I'm divided due to work. Can't imagine if I was a GM who had to take calls at all hours and the like.

AA's new job is closer to 9-5 where he can take a day off with the many other ex-GM's around to cover for him if needed.
John Northey - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 03:51 PM EST (#317930) #
I suspect in 3 years we'll be going 'phew' to not keeping Price and seeing $30 mil in dead money on the Red Sox ledger. Signing pitchers who are 30+ is just asking for trouble. I'd have loved him back too but at 7 years $217 mil that was a bridge too far.

Don't forget Boston has Hanley Ramirez' dead contract to deal with too. He should recover to some degree from that 90 OPS+ last year but I wouldn't want my job to depend on it. Plus $95 mil locked in for Pablo Sandoval who collapsed to a 76 OPS+ last year (I thought I coudl remember people going 'why didn't the Jays sign him and keep Lawrie instead of this Donaldson trade' last year).
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 03:55 PM EST (#317931) #
I responded in great detail to this absurd Rogers corporate propaganda in an earlier thread, and you didn't care to debate it.

To be honest, I didn't think anything you wrote merited a response, but I'll provide one.

In one paragraph you suggested I engaged in "absurd hyperbole", shortly before accusing me of "incoherent hatred". Together, your comments brought to mind Tomas Mulcair's rebuke to Justin Trudeau during one of election debates. After Trudeau had just criticized Stephen Harper for running deficits, he immediately sought to take credit for his own plan to run deficits. Mulcair said, “Justin — when your advisors tell you two things that are contradictory, pick one, you can’t say both”.

You then gave us your fantasy about how Autonomous Alex is willing to consult with others (well, one other) in his new LA role, when you wrote:

Yeah, I can see where Anthopoulos might actually prefer this situation over the one in Toronto. In Toronto, after years of being vetoed by Rogers, he faced a situation in 2016 where he was going to be vetoed by Shapiro and Rogers -- so he'd be hampered by two vetoes, not one. In Los Angeles, he'll be able to discuss deals with his long-time friend, and he's unlikely to be vetoed by the owners very much at all. So arguably he'll actually have more autonomy in Los Angeles than he would have had in Toronto. And probably a higher salary, and certainly a bigger payroll to play with. A better deal, all round, for Anthopoulos, despite the gleeful assumptions of his inaccurate enemies on this site.

In this imaginary world, Autonomous Alex kindly consults with his "lifetime buddy" (presumably Farhan ), before doing what he wants. Good of him to do so, given that Farhan is the GM and all. That's all Autonomous Alex need do apparently, as the only other potential 'veto' in this fantasy is ownership, which is reduced to an ATM with an unlimited balance, and for which Autonomous Alex holds the debit card.

Of course, Stan Kasten the President and CEO of the LA Dodgers, Andrew Friedman, President of Baseball Operations, Josh Byrne, Sr. VP of Baseball Operations, all of whom now outrank Autonomous Alex along with Farhan, are simply airbrushed out of the picture to create this imaginary autonomous role for Autonomous Alex.

I don't mind at all that Autonomous Alex chose to head for sunny California. Lots of Canadians do that if they can. It's clear he's now in the sub-basement of the Dodger front office hierarchy below numerous others when he wouldn't accept reporting to a single baseball president in Canada. I don't see the victimization or heroism in that, and when he complained that the job in Toronto Canada "wasn't the right fit" it looks like he is happy with a job that fits several sizes smaller in Los Angeles California. I would also question when he knew the new job wasn't the "right fit", and whether that played into his decision to trade away the farm system for some short-term rentals.

Finally, your claim that my post is the fault of "Rogers corporate propaganda" shows that for some, there is nothing too silly to say that it should not be made as a criticism of Rogers.
John Northey - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 04:39 PM EST (#317932) #
The criticism of Rogers is a lot like what I see in politics. For the past decade if it was a cloudy day it was the fault of Harper. Now the Liberals are in and if it is a cloudy day it is now Trudeau's fault (or in Alberta Notley's fault). Logic has nothing to do with it, or reality. I was a Maple Leaf fan as a kid (lost interest after the year+ long lockout) and survived Harold Ballards years - now THAT is a bad owner, shrunk seats so he could fit more into the old rink that was falling apart. He cut scouting so much that one year they only drafted guys from one city iirc. He felt the GM was secondary so put a young kid in charge who wasn't close to ready for the job. He'd do anything to get into the newspaper. In baseball just look at the Expos...oh yeah, you can't anymore as their old owner cut, cut, cut until there was nothing left and he sold it to MLB and was handed Miami.
China fan - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 05:23 PM EST (#317933) #
"...his decision to trade away the farm system for some short-term rentals...."

Speaking of fantasies, CBDC, let's explore what your theory would have us believe.  Here's what we would have to believe for your theory to be correct:
  1) Anthopoulos deliberately traded away "the farm system" in exchange for two months of glory, thereby sabotaging the long-term future of his own organization (the Jays) in exchange for a couple months of very short-term rewards.
  2) He hoped nobody would notice this.  Because if any employer noticed that he had sabotaged his own organization for short-term ego, he would certainly have zero chance at any future job in baseball.
  3) Even though this sabotaging of the "future" of the Jays was obvious to CBDC and his chums, nobody else noticed it.  The Dodgers were so unaware of this obvious destructive behavior that they actually recruited AA for a high-level job.
  4) In order to justify all of this, AA created an illogical explanation -- "autonomy" -- and then immediately abandoned the same goal. 
  5) Anthopoulos was so illogical that he abandoned a great job at a fine Rogers-owned company in exchange for a much worse job at another organization.  So he not only sabotaged the Jays future, he also sabotaged his own future, for no logical reason, except perhaps to cause problems for his employers.

Or we could believe my theory, which is far less of a fantasy, and contains the following logical elements:
  1) Anthopoulos traded away 2 or 3 good prospects (and a few marginal prospects) in order to win the division and advance to the playoffs.  In exchange for those prospects, he strengthened the long-term future of the Jays by improving attendance, improving TV revenue, improving merchandising revenue, creating excitement in the home market, building the fan base, providing a crucial long-term upgrade to the Jays at a premium position (shortstop), and acquiring other assets such as Revere who could eventually be flipped for a good reliever (Storen). 
   2) Despite all this success and achievement, Rogers wanted AA to accept a substantial demotion -- the loss of his traditional autonomy -- plus the symbolic knowledge that the owners had such a low opinion of him that they wanted him to accept a new boss who would strip him of his normal authority.
   3) He knew he could get a good job at many different places, including baseball organizations.  So, rather than accept a demotion, he quit the organization.  He did this for the sake of his own happiness and his family's happiness.
   4) Anthopoulos had lots of offers from baseball organizations, because everyone knew that he had done a good job in Toronto and had improved their long-term future and had NOT destroyed its farm system or sabotaged its long-term chances.
   5)  He accepted a very good offer from the Dodgers, knowing that he would have a high salary, a high degree of influence, a comfortable life, and access to the huge financial resources of the Dodgers, including a huge payroll that allowed him to work on deals and trades that wouldn't have been possible in Toronto.
   6) None of this violated his own principles.  He never said that he demanded full autonomy from ANY employer.  He only said that he wasn't happy with the loss of his autonomy in Toronto, because that was a demotion.  There's a huge difference between a demotion and being recruited for a new job.  Most normal people wouldn't be happy to accept a demotion in their current job, but might go elsewhere for a different that contains attractive elements such as money, influence, resources etc.
    So which of these two theories makes more sense?
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 06:43 PM EST (#317934) #
CF, we've heard the 'Autonomous Alex was the Victim' line all off-season. Posts speak for themselves. While I can see why you'd might wish to tune-up yours, and apparently would like to misrepresent mine, readers can judge for themselves.

There is no doubt that notwithstanding the wispy scenario you conjured in a previous post, wherein Autonomous Alex would need only discuss his moves in LA with his lifelong bff before blowing them by a neutered ownership, he is instead buried well down the Dodgers hierarchy. According to his advocates, it was cruel and unusual for Rogers to make the Autonomous One answer to a baseball president in Toronto, yet in LA he has smaller fitting role than here.

This outrage of having Autonomous Alex reporting to a baseball president was very publicly in the works since 2014, when Toronto wished to recruit Duquette as President. Curiously, the advocates of Autonomous Alex raised not a peep. By July of 2015 it was known that Shapiro would be the new President. It was obvious at that time that Autonomous Alex would be reporting to Shapiro.

Two questions arise. First, what on earth did those screaming all of this offseason think Shapiro, or Duquette, were being recruited for, if it was not to be a 'baseball president'? Maybe they thought he was being recruited to play in the office fantasy baseball league. Otherwise, there is a clear disconnect between the silence last summer when Shapiro's hiring was announced and the mad cry this offseason that Rogers somehow erred in hiring a 'baseball president' (LA has two of them), because it hurt the pride of Autonomous Alex. We now know he was willing to accept a much lesser role in Los Angeles, where despite your fantasy of him running the team collegially with his bff he wasn't even put on the same Sr. VP level as Josh Byrnes. I said at the time that if Rogers became concerned after 2013, when payroll was top 10 and the Autonomous One's team finished in last place, about the absence of oversight from a baseball perspective, I could certainly see why.

The second question that arises, to me at least though I can understand why some might not want to ask it, is when was it apparent to Autonomous Alex that his terribly diminished role, in having to report to a 'baseball president', would be one he was not willing to accept. It strikes me that this is something that he would probably have considered well before the end of the season. I don't think that it was anything Rogers said, when according to the Autonomous One himself they offered him a 5 year deal, tons of money and an opt-out after one year to try it out. In other words it seems to me that it is highly believable that Autonomous Alex may have traded away the farm for some short-term rentals knowing that he wouldn't be the one having to pay the future price.

The reason Toronto got Price, was that no one else was willing to part with a prospect of the quality of Daniel Norris for a short term rental. The Yankees for example, were apparently unwilling to trade Severino for a rental. And as much as all the 'Flags Fly Forever' folk claimed that was a good idea at the time, any parent knows that their kids will trade a lifetime of early bedtimes to stay up late tonight. Until, of course, tomorrow comes as it has now for the Jays.

The Lowe deal was ridiculously bad. One of the pitchers traded for that short term rental, Nick Wells, would likely be the third highest rated pitcher in the system now. As a 19 year old in the NWL, he fared far better than Jon Harris did in the same league as a 21 year old. Far better.

If you are going to trade virtually the complete minor league pitching staff, including your two best young pitchers in Norris and Hoffman, I think you get better than a couple of short term rentals and a good defensive shortstop who put up average offensive numbers last year. And I think it's a fair question to ask whether Autonomous Alex, who is now anything but autonomous, made those trades having already decided that he wouldn't accept the kind of role that was in his future in Toronto, though he will obviously gladly accept a lesser one in LA. I certainly think it's fairer than disparaging Mark Shapiro, Ross Atkins or Rogers because Autonomous Alex wouldn't accept a GM position in Toronto if that meant oversight.
scottt - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 08:09 PM EST (#317938) #
The Lowe deal was ridiculously bad. One of the pitchers traded for that short term rental, Nick Wells, would likely be the third highest rated pitcher in the system now. As a 19 year old in the NWL, he fared far better than Jon Harris did in the same league as a 21 year old. Far better.

Lowe was a bad deal because he blew his first appearance and Gibby got spooked.

I still like the Tulo and Price trades. The team was too good to miss the playoffs.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 10:09 PM EST (#317939) #
Yes, the Jays gave up a lot in the way of prospects, but Norris, Hoffman and Wells are not sure things. Norris "has battled consistency and his delivery since back in his high school days" (Kiley McDaniel) and Hoffman so far has been striking out fewer batters than you'd like. Wells is barely out of rookie ball and, while projectable, is a 40 FV pitcher who "currently flashes back-end stuff" (McDaniel).

It's fair to disagree with Anthopoulos's moves, but in my view it's excessive to excoriate him for them. He had a couple of choices at the deadline: the conservative, go slow, build-from-within option (option A) and the go-for-broke, assemble a world-beating team option (option B). He chose option B. Fans loved it (I'm guessing you did, too) and the city was mesmerized for two and a half months, with soaring stadium attendance and television viewership. We spent the summer debating whether this was the best Jays team ever, and the Jays came extremely close to making the World Series. They have a pretty good team in 2016, too. Personally, I'm happy that we'll be watching Tulo and not Reyes (who was fast becoming untradeable) play shortstop in 2016 and beyond.

On balance, I don't have a problem with Anthopoulos's moves.
pubster - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 10:29 PM EST (#317940) #
I think I've just become a big fan of CBDC.

I feel the exact same way but I think you're way smarter than me!
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 11:49 PM EST (#317941) #
He had a couple of choices at the deadline: the conservative, go slow, build-from-within option (option A) and the go-for-broke, assemble a world-beating team option (option B). He chose option B. Fans loved it (I'm guessing you did, too) and the city was mesmerized for two and a half months, with soaring stadium attendance and television viewership. We spent the summer debating whether this was the best Jays team ever, and the Jays came extremely close to making the World Series.

Actually, at the time I didn't like the rental deals. I indicated i wouldn't criticize them then though, because it would have been a downer on others' enjoyment. He traded virtually the entire minor league pitching fleet.

To get Tulowitski (and I agree that Reyes couldn't play short and had to be replaced) he traded Hoffman, Tinoco and Castro. Hoffman was their top prospect after Norris. I could see a GM being more reticent to keep emptying the pitching cupboard after doing that, but he went on to trade Norris and Boyd for a Price rental, and Wells and Brent for a Lowe rental. It's one thing to trade pitching, it's another to trade it for rentals, and it's still another to trade it for rentals after you've already thinned yourself out. If you wanted to trade Norris in the off-season, you'd get a lot more than a two month rental.

Most people loved the Dickey trade at the time. Now most people would love to have Syndergaard. At least we got a few years out of Dickey, whereas Price was gone at season's end.

Anyway, reasonable people can differ on these things of course.....
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:11 AM EST (#317942) #
What is the cost of any deal? No one will ever agree on costs. If you can't objectively judge any deal on it's merits, you'll never understand the cost.

Jeff Hoffman, as of last reports, is not as good as he was pre-Tommy John surgery. Everything I've read over the past year agrees. He was expected to Start in the Rotation in 2017, possible late 2016 call-up. Let's see if that happens.

Daniel Norris was sent down because he had trouble getting people out. Other peoples words, including Blue Jays people. All indications are he's still having big problems. He made the 2015 Blue Jays Rotations on his own merits and failed. Chances are he's still not ready at all in 2016.

Anyone opposed to the acquisition of one of the best Shortstops in all of Baseball is not a Blue Jays Fan. They might be a Baseball Fan but I doubt it. Most likely they are a Minor League Baseball Fan.

All of Baseball noticed the Blue Jays when David Price was added and the Jays were the talk of Baseball for over two months. A.A. had a deal for Mike Leake for Norris and others before Price feel into his lap. Everything happens for a reason.
China fan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:25 AM EST (#317943) #
"....According to his advocates, it was cruel and unusual for Rogers to make the Autonomous One answer to a baseball president in Toronto...."

Cruel and unusual?  What are you on about?  Nobody has said that Anthopoulos was persecuted.  You're inventing that silly claim.  The "advocates" are simply pointing out that Anthopoulos was demoted, after a brilliant season, and as a result the Jays lost his talents.  If anyone was mistreated, it was the Jays organization, which found itself unable to retain the services of a highly talented executive because Rogers botched the transition.

"...in LA he has smaller fitting role than here..."

You keep gleefully repeating this, as if you actually think AA has somehow been punished or exposed as a liar.  Yet your theory is totally implausible.  Please explain to us why Anthopoulos would deliberately quit a good situation and go to a much worse situation.  That's illogical behavior, yet you want us to believe that's what he did.  In fact, since you can't explain it, it's far more logical that AA would rather be in a good organization, with a high payroll and good owners, instead of working for Rogers, an untrustworthy organization that had botched the Beeston replacement process and then expected AA to silently accept a demotion after a fantastic season.

"....it seems to me that it is highly believable that Autonomous Alex may have traded away the farm for some short-term rentals knowing that he wouldn't be the one having to pay the future price....."

What a bizarre theory.  So you think instead he shouldn't have tried to get into the playoffs last year?  You think he should have just sat on his duff, collected his paycheque, and watched the Jays miss the playoffs again -- just so that he could wait patiently to see if maybe Daniel Norris and Jeff Hoffman could perhaps bring the Jays into the playoffs in 2017 or 2018, with Jose Reyes as the erratic shortstop?  Such a weird strategy that you're advocating: the "total faith in Norris and Hoffman" strategy.  (Oh sorry, I forgot Nick Wells, who could perhaps have helped the Jays reach the playoffs in 2020, if everyone broke perfectly.)  Your strategy is:  forget any immediate prospect of the playoffs, just keep putting all your faith in two or three prospects and hope they don't get injured or fail to live up to your expectations.

"... Until, of course, tomorrow comes as it has now for the Jays...."

So the Jays have already met their doom?  You're already convinced that the 2016 season will be a failure?  Your pessimism knows no bounds.

"....If you are going to trade virtually the complete minor league pitching staff..."

Virtually the complete minor-league pitching staff??  Seriously?  I keep challenging you to support this statement, and you keep refusing to debate it -- you just keep repeating it without evidence.

"...a good defensive shortstop who put up average offensive numbers last year...."


Completely false.  What you meant to say, of course, was:  "an excellent defensive shortstop who was one of the top 5 players in the entire major leagues as recently as 2014, and who posted an OPS of .777 last season, which is far above average for a shortstop."   (Or if you prefer to measure by wOBA or wRC+ he was still one of the top 5 hitting shortstops in the majors last season.)

"...I think it's a fair question to ask whether Autonomous Alex, who is now anything but autonomous, made those trades having already decided that he wouldn't accept the kind of role that was in his future in Toronto..."

Yet again, you want us to believe that AA deliberately sabotaged the long-term future of the Jays.  Yet you never answer the obvious question:  who on earth would have hired AA if he had done such a thing?  I've repeatedly challenged you on this, yet you refuse to explain.  If it's so completely obvious to you that AA "traded the entire farm system" and destroyed the future of the Jays, why did he have so many job offers from baseball organizations, and why would the Dodgers offer the senior VP's job to him?  Why would anyone want somehow who destroyed the future of his own organization, as you allege?  Or is it some bizarre conspiracy in which he was already being paid by the Dodgers last season in order to please the Dodgers by destroying the Jays as a paid agent of a competing team?  Please do explain, because we are waiting breathlessly.

China fan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:40 AM EST (#317944) #
In summary, CBDC wants us to believe:  1) the Jays are doomed in 2016 and in future seasons because their minor-league pitchers have vanished;  2) Anthopoulos deliberately destroyed the future of the Jays, while hoping that nobody would notice;  3) the Dodgers somehow didn't notice that AA had destroyed the future of the Jays and still offered him a senior job as VP of baseball operations;  4) the Jays have no good pitchers remaining in the minors;  5) Tulo is just an ordinary player who wasn't worth trading for.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 04:43 AM EST (#317945) #
At some time you have to ask yourself, are they expressing an honest opinion or are they trolling for a response. There is a noticeable difference.

Just look at A.A.'s trades this way, he was clearing out some of the dross out with the floss, making room for better talent. A.A. was always on a time limit, the moment he signed Jose and Edwin to extremely team friendly deals. 2013 was the litmus test, either his trades would work or the salary would stay in the $130.0 - $140.0 Million. One way or another he would make this team better. In 2015, the bill came due.

Talented Free Agents rarely sign with Toronto, especially the ones you want. Trades are different, the Talented have to come. Didn't A.A. prove there's no such of a thing as an untradeable contract. He also proved that if you wouldn't meet the price, you couldn't make the deals.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 07:34 AM EST (#317946) #
Cf, if it assists in bringing to an end a debate which richly deserves being brought to an end, I am not asserting that I know that Anthopoulos willfully sabotaged the future of the team for his own ends. I am suggesting that it is fair to ask whether he was aware that he would not be coming back, given that the search for a 'baseball president' for the Jays to oversee baseball operations had been in full swing for some time, well before the end of the 2015 season, and whether that influenced his decision to make short-term, and some might say 'short-sighted' deals that greatly diminished the minor league pitching staff. I am also saying this is more fair than the over-the-top criticisms of Mark Shapiro, Ross Atkins and Rogers that have been levied, essentially because Anthopoulos would not accept a collaborative role in Toronto whereas he is obviously willing to accept a diminished role on the West Coast. I agree I have engaged in hyperbole in responding to what I considered to be hyperbole. You are a smart poster and while I disagree with your overall view on this, I do not want to protract a debate beyond seemliness.
Dave Till - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 08:04 AM EST (#317947) #

I am suggesting that it is fair to ask whether he was aware that he would not be coming back, given that the search for a 'baseball president' for the Jays to oversee baseball operations had been in full swing for some time, well before the end of the 2015 season, and whether that influenced his decision to make short-term, and some might say 'short-sighted' deals that greatly diminished the minor league pitching staff.

I'm wondering whether AA was thinking as a Canadian baseball fan rather than as a rational executive. 22 years is a long time.

Also, 2015 did seem like a good time to go for it. Joey Bats and EE aren't getting any younger, and the Jays probably won't have enough firepower to contend after they decline or depart (unless Pompey and/or Alford take big steps forward.

Beyonder - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 09:33 AM EST (#317949) #
I wonder whether AA didn't have his eye on the president's job himself. Those are the only circumstances in which I can envision a person turning down a job that was reportedly going to pay him 10 million dollars over five years (with an option to leave after one year), to stay in city he claims to have loved, and whose fans (presently) adore him. I'd earlier thought that he had another GM job lined up, but clearly that was not the case.

Either that or there was far more friction between AA and Shapiro that we are privy to. If Shapiro was upset about the rental-type trades, I think that's within the realm of reasonable positions to take.

"Fit" is usually a euphemism for some other very real and specific reason that the departing employee doesn't want to publicize.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 09:45 AM EST (#317950) #
I think it probably just comes down to this: Rogers did not want AA back, and once AA had a chance to leave on his own, he did. I don't think Shapiro had anything to do with this. AA is willing to be the 3rd (at best) or 4th banana in LA. Shapiro and Friedman are both sabermetric guys, so any type of philosophy clash or autonomy issue obviously was not a bother to AA when he took the job in LA. I think it's clear it was a Rogers/AA/Beeston issue, starting with searching for Beeston's replacement last winter, and carrying forward.

Neither party likely wanted to continue the relationship. For optics, a contract offer was made, and maybe they could have worked through it had AA agreed to it, but the writing was on the wall long before Shapiro was hired.

No one is at fault for anything. The Jays hired someone good, and AA seems happy with the decision he made. Time to move on.
Beyonder - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 10:28 AM EST (#317951) #
Perhaps SK, but I don't believe that Rogers makes a 10 million dollar five year contract offer, with an opt out after one year -- for optics' sake. I see that as a genuine and competitive offer to keep someone they wanted to keep. We don't know what AA is being paid in LA, but I think it is safe to assume it is far less that the offer Rogers made. It is possible that AA is simply a very principled and family-oriented human being who thought it was worth turning down millions of dollars in exchange for lifestyle. I haven't met many people in my life who are that principled.

I totally agree with you that no-one is at fault for anything.
pubster - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 10:41 AM EST (#317952) #
If AA would rather be further down the ladder in LA than be GM in Toronto I think that shows there was some strain with his relationships in Toronto.

Maybe he didn't like how Beeston was handled.
jerjapan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 10:49 AM EST (#317953) #
No idea why people are talking about Nick Wells as if he was a significant loss.  Tony Blengino at Fangraphs had this to say about Seattle's return for Lowe at the time:

The three prospects acquired for Mark Lowe don’t even qualify as lottery tickets; the best of them, Nick Wells, is more of a 50-50 raffle ticket.

He probably would have made the bottom ten of our top 30 (definitely behind Harris, Reid-Foley, Greene, Maese, Perdomo, Hollon and Dawson), which really casts doubt on the idea that our system has been emasculated.  But I and others more eloquent than I have posted evidence to the contrary of this for several months now.  Some people just want a soapbox to shout from, despite the evidence. 

pubster - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 10:50 AM EST (#317954) #
I also loved the trade deadline moves.

I'm anticipating Atkins doing a great job. Maybe I'm just an optimist.

Hodgie - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 12:59 PM EST (#317957) #
Could I make a humble request that "Autonomous Alex" and the like be dropped from future discussions? Whether or not you agree with his personnel decisions or departure, I see nothing in the manner in which Anthopoulos conducted himself during his time with Toronto that warrants the condescension.
jerjapan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:19 PM EST (#317963) #
very much agreed, Hodgie.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 03:45 PM EST (#317964) #
Could I make a humble request that "Autonomous Alex" and the like be dropped from future discussions? Whether or not you agree with his personnel decisions or departure, I see nothing in the manner in which Anthopoulos conducted himself during his time with Toronto that warrants the condescension.

Sure. Ditto for the childish derivations of Shapiro and Atkins.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 03:48 PM EST (#317965) #
68 cents, and falling.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 03:51 PM EST (#317966) #
Some people just want a soapbox to shout from, despite the evidence.

One suspects jerjapan's concern isn't so much someone 'shouting from' a "soapbox", as much as the particular "soapbox" not being the same one he shares with the crowd.
pubster - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 03:59 PM EST (#317967) #
CBDC, once I disagreed with Jerajapan and he told me my opinion was stupid.

Then he told me to stop acting like I'm better than other posters. Lol.

Vulg - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 04:48 PM EST (#317968) #
If AA would rather be further down the ladder in LA than be GM in Toronto I think that shows there was some strain with his relationships in Toronto.

Maybe he didn't like how Beeston was handled.


Or, maybe it's not the ladder that is being portrayed here. Or more likely, both. Alex described a pretty flat organization in his interview and cited the fun of going into the Dodgers office to share ideas and generally work with Farhan and Andrew (guys he's known for a very long time).

Whatever the case, he chose the Dodgers opportunity over others for a reason. I doubt that reason was to be subservient cog. Attempts to downgrade what he was able to accomplish in with the team last season or even its current state (i.e. chock-full of assets and a contender) just come off as silly.

Regarding his relationships in Toronto, reading between the lines from his interviews on McCown's show, there certainly seemed to be a lack of trust. Part probably stems from the Beeston mess. I'm sure some of it is that there was no relationship at all until the late stages of last season. I'm guessing part of it also stems from the mixed messages that came out of Alex 'keeping the same job' as part of Rogers offer, which overlaps heavily with Shapiro's job description.

Anyways, it doesn't really matter now. Shapiro is in a great situation. If Atlanta could turn Shelby freaking Miller into Inciarte, Blair and Swanson then surely the current FO can work magic with the studs on the Jays roster. At the end of the day, Alex assembled a team that was a couple of games away from a WS. We'll see what Shapiro does with it.
scottt - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 06:14 PM EST (#317973) #
If you wanted to trade Norris in the off-season, you'd get a lot more than a two month rental.

Right, but Stroman was healty in the off-season. The trade for Estrada turned out to be brilliant.

the Jays came extremely close to making the World Series.

Actually, they came extremely close to losing to Texas. They came as close to being swept by the Royals as making it to the World series.
jerjapan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 06:53 PM EST (#317975) #
One suspects jerjapan's concern isn't so much someone 'shouting from' a "soapbox", as much as the particular "soapbox" not being the same one he shares with the crowd.

Utterly false.  I'm just tired of your hectoring and patronizing attitude.  If you read back through my posts, you'll find I invite disagreement, and have actually been quite polite to you over the years, (until you decided that anyone with a problem with Rogers was a naive idiot).  I was anti JPR when the crowd liked him, pro AA before he was widely praised and couldn't give a damn about people agreeing or disagreeing with me.  I enjoy reasoned discourse and forceful argument, but frankly, I don't think your discourse has been either reasoned or forceful for some time. 

Pubster, you've complained about this 'stupid' comment before, and I've already refuted it.  But here is our exchange.  You can review and decide if you are misrepresenting me or not. 

"It's Rogers' money. They can spend it however they want to. Who are we to tell them how to spend their money?

ie. Who am I to tell you guys how to spend your money.

If you want the Jays to spend $200 million on payroll then buy the team and spend $200 million on payroll.

Until then just try to enjoy the game and embrace that you have no control over what happens."

jerjapan - Monday, December 07 2015 @ 09:38 PM EST (#316756) # 'Buy the team'.

Come on man, this is stupid. I'm trying to enjoy the offseason and continue to be a fan but that doesn't mean I can't be pissed of at indifferent corporate ownership.
pubster - Monday, December 07 2015 @ 09:54 PM EST (#316757) # So youre trying to enjoy the offseason by being pissed off at a corporation?

My whole point is for people to sit back and enjoy the Jays and quit complaining.
jerjapan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 07:05 PM EST (#317976) #
Sincere apologies to those that are tired of this back and forth.  I love this team, love the discussion on the Box, and think that SA may indeed be excellent leaders for the Jays. 

I also believe that Shapiro and Atkins, SA, Shatkins, Shapkins or whatever you want to say is not insulting (we've certainly used non-insulting short forms for the last 2 GMs regularly) but from now on I will refer to them as SA, since I want to emphasize the fact that I don't see it as being one or the other. 

I also think it's fine that I continue to be skeptical about Rogers, and corporations in general, but I'm happy to give it a rest for a while.  I've made my points, let's see what happens this season - are SA competent leaders?  Does Rogers step up (as Shapiro has implied) if fan support continues at the end of 2015 level?  I certainly hope so, and will be happily wrong about their quality as owners if they do. 

Jimbag - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 12:12 PM EST (#317991) #
I don't understand how the Jays' searching for a new president (Duquette, or Shapiro) was necessarily going to affect AA's ability to pull the trigger on trades / signings. I use the word "necessarily", because it is never a given what specific roles and duties will be performed by anyone on a management team until that team decides who does what. In other words: Presidents don't necessarily have to personally oversee and approve of trades / signings / contracts. There's a hell of a lot more to running a baseball club than simply constructing a roster. I can certainly understand the idea of the president having to be consulted about raising payroll or approving additional expenditures, but not specifically having to approve of each individual roster move.

In Shapiro's case, yes, he does want to be the final architect of the roster. That's fine, I'm just not sure Duquette would have done the same...or any other candidate for the position. Which is why I question the "alarm bells" bit about AA likely losing autonomy when the Jays first announced they were looking for a new Pres.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 03:07 PM EST (#318000) #
I forgot, this is the post where egos fight each other, and a scary place it is.
pubster - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 10:49 AM EST (#318044) #
'Buy the team'.

Come on man, this is stupid.

-----

Sounds like youre saying its stupid to say "buy the team" which was my opinion. No?

Anyways I'm just having fun. Just killing time til the season starts to be honest.
pubster - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 10:51 AM EST (#318045) #
This was literally your entire post:

"
'Buy the team'.

Come on man, this is stupid. I'm trying to enjoy the offseason and continue to be a fan but that doesn't mean I can't be pissed of at indifferent corporate ownership.
"

What else could you be referring to as stupid other than what you quoted? Not cool bro, not cool.
jerjapan - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 12:25 PM EST (#318048) #
"That is stupid" refers to your statement "buy the team" - which of course is impossible, and IMO dismissive of those of us posting our unhappiness with the offseason - essentially what you are saying is 'you don't get to have an opinion unless you buy the team' - it did NOT refer to you as a person. 

Perhaps we just agree to drop it?  Obviously we see it differently, and I did not mean to imply that I think YOU are stupid.  I think we need some baseball to distract us!

pubster - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 05:19 PM EST (#318054) #
Why isn't it possible to buy the team? Rogers did!

The point that I am making and that I think CBDC was making is that if a poster has a different opinion than you, you are quick to insult the poster's opinion.

ie. Calling someone's opinion stupid.

jerjapan - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 06:23 PM EST (#318057) #
I only recall one other person weighing in on the topic, and they called you a dick, not me.  Your posts all through that thread were full of insults, and if you can't take my olive branch, fine.  I'm done talking to you.
pubster - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 01:13 PM EST (#318135) #
Lol.

Dude lighten up.

After you started name calling I name called back.

I was just trying to show what kind of place this would be if everyone just throws insults around.

Lets just be respectful of each other opinions and there is no problem. I'm sure you can agree to that.
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