Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Eight Blue Jays have filed for salary arbitration with American League MVP Josh Donaldson headlining the list.

The Arby's Oven Mitt is surrounded by other mascots at a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers game.

Sportsnet looks on how much Donaldson could earn through arbitration after a stellar 2015 season. Michael Saunders is the only other Jays position player to file. The rest are hurlers Brett Cecil, Jesse Chavez, Steve Delabar, Drew Hutchison, Aaron Loup and Drew Storen.

Meantime, a few Blue Jays players will be making the rounds across Canada. Cecil, Chris Colabello and Dalton Pompey will be in Fredericton, New Brunswick this weekend as part of the Jays Winter Tour that also includes stops in Toronto and Ottawa.

A couple of luncheon dates to keep in mind - Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez will be in Buffalo for the Bisons Hot Stove Luncheon January 20 and Pompey, should-have-been Hall-of-Famer-by-now Tim Raines and general manager Ross Atkins are slated to be in Vancouver January 29 for the Canadians Hot Stove event.

Extra Innings...
  • The Vancouver Canadians make the list of the Top 100 Stadium Experiences.
  • Bob Elliott runs down the Top 100 influential Canadians in baseball.
  • has a review of its Top 10 games of 2015.
  • The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are getting six extra home games in 2016 thanks to construction problems at the new stadium in Hartford, home of the Yard Goats.
  • Sports Illustrated looks at the new apartment building overlooking the ballpark in Lansing.
  • Former Jays minor leaguer Boomer Collins is hoping to succeed in another sport with a bat and ball.
  • Last but not least, the Jays have a new director of player development and they have sent out their invites for Spring Training. The preceding link also details a couple of number changes for Pompey and Justin Smoak
Arby's, Hot Stoves & Winter Tours | 232 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Dewey - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 02:32 PM EST (#317903) #
Don’t know if this link will work, but Monte Irvin could play.  (Yes, I saw him play.)

Monte Irvin, Star Outfielder Who Lost His Prime to Racism, Dies at 96  By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN  New York Times   JAN. 12, 2016

obit includes the following:

“Most of the black ballplayers thought Monte Irvin should have been the first black in the major leagues,” Cool Papa Bell, a Negro leagues star and Hall of Famer, was quoted as saying in the book “Baseball for the Love of It” (1982), by Anthony J. Connor. “Monte was our best young ballplayer at that time. He could hit that long ball; he had a great arm; he could field; he could run. Yes, he could do everything.”
Vulg - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 02:47 PM EST (#317904) #
Buster Olney continues his Top 10 series with team bullpens and infields:

1. Yankees
2. Royals
3. Red Sox
4. Astros
5. Cubs
6. Cards
7. Jays
8. Pirates
9. Orioles
10. Marlins

Blurb about the Jays 'pen:

Manager John Gibbons has not declared how he'll use the depth that the Blue Jays might have in their bullpen, but no matter how he aligns the group, he'll have a lot more options than he had last spring. Newly acquired Drew Storen could be the closer, or perhaps Roberto Osuna will get the job again, and Gibbons has All-Star reliever Brett Cecil, Aaron Sanchez and lefty Aaron Loup as well.

1. Cubs
2. Giants
3. Royals
4. Jays
5. Rangers
6. Cards
7. Astros
8. Mariners
9. White Sox
10. Yankees

And the blurb about the Jays infield:

The upcoming campaign could be the first full season that Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki play together on the left side of the Jays' infield, with enormous potential for damage. Ryan Goins was an important player for the Jays after establishing himself at second base; he had a .361 on-base percentage after the All-Star break and is a good defender.

Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak could again share time at first base, though Colabello might have wedged himself into more playing time by hitting .321 last season, with a .367 on-base percentage. Toronto's first basemen combined for 110 RBIs last season, third most in the majors.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 05:03 PM EST (#317905) #
That last stat is under the radar, at least to me. I guess with different players sharing first base I didn't realize that their combined totals were so good. The Kim signing sounds decent. Does he oversee Latin America, or will someone else be appointed ? ( Sigh ) These are the dog days of the baseball offseason.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 09:22 PM EST (#317906) #
There was some discussion of the batting order with the current personnel.  For what it's worth, the optimal lineup would have Bautista/Donaldson batting 1-2 with Encarnacion batting 4th.  It has about much chance of happening as a John Tory-Madonna collaboration on Space Oddity for the Grammy Awards, even if Tory could pass as Major Tom...
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 09:27 PM EST (#317907) #
While on vacation in Costa Rica, I wondered about perhaps seeing a game.  I googled "Costa Rica baseball".  The second item was this one. Sometimes work just follows you around.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 10:07 PM EST (#317908) #
May 1 2015


And gibby might be even more willing to do that with Tulo here to slot into the cleanup spot.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 10:26 PM EST (#317909) #
That was an unusual day. Pillar batted 5th, followed by a struggling Saunders, a struggling Pompey, a struggling Goins and Jon Diaz.

It was a sensible batting order but almost conventional in light of the big dropoff in talent. I would be shocked if Donaldson and Bautista fill the 1 and 2 slots more than twice this season.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 13 2016 @ 11:06 PM EST (#317910) #
Looking at the Jays who filed for Arbitration, for a projected total spend of $36.0 Million. Despite the move that's ongoing to a younger man's game in this Sport I think that's not always right. Teams must keep those who can still do the job well. Of those who have filed for their final Arby year, only Cecil and Storen are worth signing long term. I just checked last three Seasons as they are current enough to be most accurate.

Brett Cecil is one the best at what he does, and dominant when he does it. He's projected to make $3.4 Million this Season, but at the going rate he's worth twice as much, which he won't get. He turns 30 in very early July, so that puts limits on how long he should be signed. I'd offer $15.0 Million over three years, possibly with an option year, but nothing more.

The Jays thought enough of Drew Storen, to trade away their only leadoff hitter and a PTBNL. I heard him talk when he was acquired to understand what happened last Season. He's an extremely good pitcher who's an effective Closer, and very good at what he does. He's projected to make $8.8 Million this Season and will be 29 around mid-August so I could easily offer more term. I'd offer $32.0 Million over four years and possibly $40.0 million over five. Regardless of what the Jays plan with Roberto Osuna, he's not pitching more two days in a row, so a second Closing Option is always needed, Unfortunately, $8.0 - $12.0 Million is the going rate for a quality Closer, and that's where the game still is going.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 02:00 PM EST (#317925) #
Apart from Donaldson, potential stopgap leadoff candidates include Pompey, Tulo, Martin, Saunders, maybe even Goins (who, remarkably, had a .361 OBP in 217 PA in the second half of 2015). None is a perfect choice. Ideally, Pompey would earn a starting role in spring training, hit the ground running in April, and not look back. Of course, if he ends up platooning with Saunders, the Jays would have to come up with a different plan.
John Northey - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 02:25 PM EST (#317927) #
With this lineup I'd want raw speed at the bottom of the order, ideally in the 7 hole so the 8/9 hitters have a chance to drive someone in. Pompey as a 7th place hitter would be nice. So...
SS: Tulo
3B: Donaldson
RF: Bautista
DH: Encarnacion
C: Martin
1B: Smoak
LF: Pompey
CF: Pillar
2B: Goins

Pompey & Pillars speed might help Goins get some RBI's while Goins (if his OBP is for real) could help the top of the order get more RBI's. Eh, we'll see what happens. I suspect Pillar 7th, then Saunders 8th and Goins 9th until Travis is back and healthy - once Travis is at 100% then he'll move to #1 with Pillar 8th, Saunders 9th depending.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 02:49 PM EST (#317928) #
LF: Saunders
3B: Donaldson
RF: Bautista
DH: Encarnacion
SS: Tulowitzki
1B: Colabello/Smoak
2B: Travis
C: Martin
CF: Pillar

Could switch Saunders/Tulo seeing as how our bottom 3 should get on base better than average for the guy at the top of the line up, but I just think Tulo is more comfortable in the middle of the line up. It looked like he really started turning the corner when he went there before injury.
Chuck - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 06:45 PM EST (#317935) #
My guess is that if Travis is healthy, he leads off. Saunders may well end up in the leadoff spot, but nothing in his history suggests that getting on base is a skill of his.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 07:02 PM EST (#317936) #
On too many sites I read what a great loss David Price is. Since acquired by the Jays, when they were really good, he was really good. But during the same time:

D Price:11 GS, 9-2, 2.30, 74.1, 18 BB, 87 K, .207 .255 .302;
Estrada:12 GS, 8-4, 2.59, 76.1, 23 BB, 50 K, .174 .244 .352;
Dickey: 12 GS, 9-3, 3.26, 77.1, 14 BB, 42 K, .238 .274 .383;
J.A. Happ didn't have the support David Price did;
JA Happ:11 GS, 8-3, 1.85, 63.1, 13 BB, 69 K, .221 .252 .315;
Marcus Stroman doesn't have enough to compare;
Stroman: 4 GS, 4-0, 1.67, 27.0, 6 BB, 18 K, .208 .262 .292.
Do we miss David Price? Yes we do, but not as much as everyone thinks we do.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 14 2016 @ 07:52 PM EST (#317937) #
Jays are sniffing around Gallardo again. I'm not even sure he's good 5th Starter material for the Jays. During the same period as above:
Gallardo:11 GS, 8-3, 3.47, 57.0, 20 BB, 37 K, .313 .371 .480.
rpriske - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 09:08 AM EST (#317948) #
I would rather have Gallardo than Dickey, Happ, Hutchinson or Chavez.

If they get him he should be their #3 starter, and he COULD be better than Estrada.

SK in NJ - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 11:53 AM EST (#317955) #
Delabar signs for $835K (projected $700K by MLBTR) and Saunders signs for $2.9M (projected correctly at $2.9M by MLBTR).

Six more to go.
uglyone - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 12:46 PM EST (#317956) #
i don't get the delabar signing. guy had been flat out awful aside from one half season.
jerjapan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:04 PM EST (#317958) #
We can cut Delabar for 1/6th the cost in ST I believe?  I'm not sure of the timelines for that, but we did it with Reed Johnson back in the day - makes sense to take a flier on him, IMO.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:07 PM EST (#317959) #
Six more to go.

Cecil signs for 3.8 (proj. 3.4), Storen for 8.375 (proj. 8.8).

Remaining: Chavez/Hutch/Loup and Mr. MVP.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:10 PM EST (#317960) #
If you take Cecil + Storen + Delabar, their "agreed" total is basically the "projected" total (12.175 vs 12.2), just that Storen agreed to a bit less and that was shared between Cecil + Delabar, more or less. Saunders right on projection.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:13 PM EST (#317961) #
According to Twitter, Loup got 1.050 (proj: 0.9). Jays being a bit generous?? Or worried about arbitrators awarding large raises due to salaries jumping this offseason?
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 01:16 PM EST (#317962) #
Also according to Twitter, deadline is past, and Chavez, Hutch and JD are going to arbitration...
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 05:53 PM EST (#317969) #
MLB Trade Rumours has Drew settling for $2.2 Million.
JB21 - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 05:53 PM EST (#317970) #
JD and the Jays filed almost the same numbers, only 450k difference. This is odd. Why wouldn't they settle? Why wouldn't the Jays give him 450k versus going to an arbitrator and having to present a case against their own player? The MVP of the league.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 05:56 PM EST (#317971) #
Donaldson filed $11.8 MM while the Jays filed for $11.35 MM.
Chavez filed $4.0 MM while Jays filed $3.6 MM.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 06:07 PM EST (#317972) #
A.A. went to the Arbitrator because they were in brand new territory for a Super Two of that talent, at that age. There was absolutely nothing to compare with. This year, that has not changed, it's still brand new territory. This is future contract territory. Donaldson has been 3-5 years older than most Super Twos and that's not changing any time soon.
scottt - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 06:19 PM EST (#317974) #

It's probably more a question of math than a grocery list of defaults and shortcomings.
Why did JD file for 11.8? Why not 18.2?

vw_fan17 - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 07:24 PM EST (#317977) #
Maybe, with the new regime, the "file and trial" approach has been dropped? How high up did that policy originate?
Thomas - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 07:35 PM EST (#317978) #
Arbitration can be an uncomfortable experience for the player. While, it's no sure thing that the negotiating figures were the same as the filing numbers, I'm a little surprised that the Jays couldn't settle with Donaldson given a relatively minor difference. It doesn't appear as if either side was being unreasonable.
CeeBee - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 07:47 PM EST (#317979) #
Maybe they're working on a long term deal.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 08:33 PM EST (#317980) #
Looks like the Jays offer to Donaldson was exactly a $7.05M raise over last season's salary, matching Chris Davis' arbitration raise from a few years ago. I guess they didn't want to go over that and set a new record. Davis was coming off a 53 HR and 7.0 WAR season when he got that raise. Donaldson is coming off a better season (8.7 WAR) and an MVP. Combine that with salary inflation, and I think Donaldson will win his case if it goes that far. It's only $450k.
China fan - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 09:38 PM EST (#317981) #
"....Why wouldn't they settle? Why wouldn't the Jays give him 450k versus going to an arbitrator and having to present a case against their own player?...."

I remember expressing a similar concern last year when the Jays went to an arbitration hearing with Donaldson.  I was worried that it would alienate the player, or cause a rift between him and the organization.  But if you look at everything that's happened over the past 12 months, it's pretty obvious that I was very wrong about that!
John Northey - Friday, January 15 2016 @ 11:30 PM EST (#317982) #
I remember years ago a team and a player both filed for the exact same amounts. I think often the team and player both push in negotiations for very different figures than we see when numbers are exchanged. You never want the other side to know what you are filing at as it gives them a big advantage. For example, if you figure 'fair value' is $11.5 mil for Donaldson and the Jays file for $10 mil while Donaldson files for $12 mil then Donaldson will win, but if the Jays file for $11.001 then the Jays win. The arbitrator just picks the figure closest to what he(or she) thinks is a fair value for the player in question. If the Jays file, say, $1 mil and Donaldson asks for $30 mil the arbitrator will pick $1 mil as it is closer to $11.5 (if that is the fair value).

In the past players and teams negotiated up to the last moment before the hearing quite often. I suspect Donaldson and Chavez will both settle the question is will either get a multi-year deal instead as I suspect in both cases that is what they both are going for.

AA had my thought process with Donaldson I suspect - namely that he has a long time until he is a free agent (in baseball terms) so why sign him to a multi-year deal unless you get a killer deal? Right now the Jays are 100% protected if he gets hurt - only have to pay this year and that is it, same if he suddenly drops in production - the risk of higher pay in future years was secondary as he figured (thanks to Beeston I suspect) that more money would be there if the Jays are winning and if they aren't then he probably wouldn't have to worry about escalating costs. Shapiro I suspect is more on the 'lets get contract figures locked in stone' side after his years in Cleveland where he had to trade guys a lot to keep his budget in check.

There is another big variable in play too - the MLB players contract is up so a strike or lockout could occur in 2017 or there could be significantly new rules in place. Free agency could start in year 5 or 4 even (at one time there was serious talk of it in year 3 and getting rid of arbitration all-together). I could see something like that happening - have teams get a right of first refusal on deals for players with 4/5 years experience, then full free agency after 6 as it is now. No one knows what will happen but Shapiro might have an idea based on what he's heard in the Cleveland front office and now in the Jays and that would be a big factor in any deals.
melondough - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 12:26 AM EST (#317983) #
So given the 6 signings made today, has anyone worked out final team payroll (accountinf for transfer of money from Narionals).

It appears that the Chavez plus Donaldson numbers together will vary by $850K at most, so maybe the estimate can have that small and inconsequential range assigned.
John Northey - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 02:12 AM EST (#317984) #
BR has a good estimate at $141.3 but ...
Donaldson filed $11.8 MM while the Jays filed for $11.35 MM. BR est $12
Chavez filed $4.0 MM while Jays filed $3.6 MM. BR est $4.7
BR Cecil est $3.4 vs $3.8
BR Hutch est $2.6 vs $2.2

Cecil & Hutch = break even
Donaldson either $200k saved or $650k saved.
Chavez $700k saved or $1.1 mil saved.

So the range now is $140.2 to $139.55 suggesting a pre-season budget of $140 million which seems about right.
China fan - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 09:10 AM EST (#317985) #
I think Shi David has a better payroll estimate than BR, because he's watching the Jays contracts very closely.  For example he estimates that Washington is sending $2.1-million to the Jays to equalize the salaries of Storen and Revere.  He estimates that the Jays still have about $4 to $5 million left to play with, assuming that the payroll is $140-million.  He speculates that the Jays might be holding back this money for mid-season deals, like Anthopoulos did last year.  My own speculation is that $5-million could be enough to acquire a very good reliever, which in turn would make it easier to shift Sanchez or Osuna to the rotation (if they are good enough to win the spring-training competition).

I'm still disappointed that the payroll doesn't seem to be increasing, despite all the additional revenue last season.  I would hope that Shapiro and Atkins, at a minimum, have the ability to go to Rogers and make the case for increasing the payroll if there's a strong reason for doing so.  For example if they have a chance to extend the contracts of Bautista or Encarnacion, or if they see a chance to acquire an excellent starting pitcher (not Gallardo but someone better), I hope they can go to Rogers and make the argument for increasing the payroll.  There's no excuse for Rogers not to listen to such a case, if one can be made.

melondough - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 09:45 AM EST (#317986) #
Chris Davis to Balt $161m for 7 years. Terrible use of money. I believe be was ranked as most likely to under perform contract before free agent period began. Thesis based on typical power decline observed by players of his age.

Kennedy 5 years for $70m to KC. Last year 9-15 with a 4.28 era, age 30. In 2015 was 13-13 with a 3.63 era but he is in national west pitchers park. He also got an opt out option after 2 years. Big overpay IMO.

Guessing Gallardo situation will now get resolved this weekend. He's 29 and better than Kennedy IMO. Not sure why Kennedy seems to get more love on the rumormill. He's going to get a similar deal to Kennedy. No chance I would want him for anymore than 4 years and not for anything above $50M (with no opt out). That said, it ain't gonna happen now. My guess is he goes to Astros for 4 years $60M.
John Northey - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 10:11 AM EST (#317987) #
Actually with our dollar in free-fall (below 69 cents yesterday) I'm very happy the Jays still have a $140 mil to spend on payroll and just hope they still spend significantly on the draft and international free agents.
bpoz - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 11:03 AM EST (#317988) #
I like the short form SA.
I also do not know how much power MS, RA and Lacava have. They have to work within their parameters.It should be a good team. A Tinnish is in there also.

I feel optimistic about the new team.

I feel that they may have sufficient pitching depth. Rotation and top of the pen. Injuries and poor performance factor into this evaluation. I am fine with 2 of Happ, Chavez, Hutch, Sanchez and Osuna being the #4 and #5 in the rotation.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 11:39 AM EST (#317989) #
Chris Davis signs with Baltimore for 7 years, $161M (full NTC too)

Ian Kennedy with Royals for 5/$70M

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 11:57 AM EST (#317990) #
Josh Donaldson will be expensive, because he's superbly excellent at what he does. All of Baseball knows he will get paid very, very well, because this should be his Free Agent years instead of being just Arby years. He gets $11.35 Million or $11.8 Million in 2016. Next year he's not taking less than $17.75 Million and possibly as much as $18.85 Million. His final Arby year will easily eclipse $22.0 Million.

So could someone tell me what a fair market five year deal would be for Donaldson? He get at least $50.0 Million through his last three Arby years. I don't see Donaldson taking anything less that $90.0 Million. I can see him as being worth well in of excess of $100.0 Million. He'll be playing his first Free Agent year at age 33 as a Third Baseman. Do we want to pay that kind of money ever?
greenfrog - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 12:22 PM EST (#317992) #
Here's a question: would you rather have Happ at 3/36 or Kennedy at 5/70? In the current FA market, the Samardzija and Kennedy contracts make Happ's and Estrada's contracts look pretty reasonable. It's not just about AAV; the shorter terms are a real plus to the latter deals.
scottt - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 01:17 PM EST (#317993) #
For example if they have a chance to extend the contracts of Bautista or Encarnacion.

Baustista will hit free agency and take the best offer.  I don't understand people who pretend otherwise.
Encarnation is a DH. The Jays will probably spend the money elsewhere.
Donaldson could be worth extending, but it wouldn't be a team friendly contract.
uglyone - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 01:18 PM EST (#317994) #
both those announced deals today seem pretty much horrific to me.
scottt - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 01:27 PM EST (#317995) #
Kennedy 5 years for $70m to KC. Last year 9-15 with a 4.28 era, age 30. In 2015 was 13-13 with a 3.63 era but he is in national west pitchers park. He also got an opt out option after 2 years. Big overpay IMO.

13-13 was 2014.

Some people like his peripherals. His strike out rate is up. His walk rate is down. His FIP reflects 1.7 HR per 9.
The hits are up, but is that because of the defense behind him?

Personally, I just see replacement value.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 02:14 PM EST (#317996) #
If from everything I've heard and read, the plan is to turn Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna into two-inning Relievers for 2016 in order to increase their inning load to permit them Start in 2017. It has the advantage of keeping their ability in the Bullpen where it is needed now, while they stretch out.

Between the Minors, the Majors and the Postseason Sanchez (24 in July) pitched around 110.0 innings in 2015. If he can get to around 140.0 or more in 2016, he could easily be able to Start in 2017. On the other hand, between the Majors and the Postseason Roberto Osuna (21 in February) only pitched around 80.0 innings in 2015. Even if he can get to around 110.0 or more innings in 2016, it's unlikely he could be able to Start before 2018, due to ongoing inning limitations. So a decision should be made before Spring Training starts, Starter in 2018 or full time Closer now?

R.A. Dickey (42) and Jessy Chavez (33) will become Free Agents in 2017, creating at least one opening in the Rotation. Marco Estrada (34) will become a Free Agent in 2018, creating an opening in the Rotation. J.A. Happ (36) and possibly Drew Hutchison (28) will become Free Agents in 2019, creating at least one opening in the Rotation.

There's not a big rush necessary to get Starters into the Rotation if you can figure out Drew Hutchison's problems for him or if he figures them out for himself. Jessy Chavez is good enough Starter in April and May before his stamina issues start, so Drew has at least as much as three months to solve his problems. And that should be more than enough. But there's a problem if that's the 5th Starter solution. Who's Starters maybe #6, but #7, #8, #9, #10? Right now, it might be a bunch of guys named 'who?', if they're signed yet. There's another problem if that's not the solution, and throwing Sanchez into the Rotation won't solve the problem as it just creates another problem. The question is, "Can Drew Hutchison become what he's supposed to be? Or do you force the issue and make changes to what he does?"
greenfrog - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 02:28 PM EST (#317997) #
If the market for Kennedy is 5/70, I'm assuming the Jays are out on Gallardo, who will likely go for 4/50 or 5/65 or something similar. I wouldn't mind the Jays giving him a two or three-year deal (say, up to 3/39 or so) to provide a chunk of adequate innings not only in 2016, but also in 2017 after some or all of Dickey, Chavez, Storen and Cecil are gone) but I don't think that deal is likely to happen.

It would be good to add one more quality pitcher (ideally better than Gallardo) to the staff who is controllable beyond 2016.
PeterG - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 02:57 PM EST (#317998) #
Don't want Gallardo for what it will cost. I would rather see 1 or 2 FA relievers and I think we will. There are still over 25 FA relievers remaining with major league experience. Craig Stammen is the one I would most covet.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 03:03 PM EST (#317999) #
Chris Davis' numbers make Donaldson really expensive long term. What are the Jays willing to pay? I think the offer should be made now and pulled if they go to arbitration and never made again. Gaining draft picks isn't a bad way to go.

I fully believe R.A. Dickey accepts a Qualifying Offer if it's made because he might retire if not. I just don't know how long he wants to keep playing and I don't think he knows either.

I agree with scottt, Jose Bautista takes the best offer and walks. I just don't think the Jays offer enough, so a Qualifying Offer should be made. He's still considered an average or better Defender, so he'll not want to D.H..

I firmly believe the Jays D.H. must be able to play a position with at least average defense. Right now we have three people who can play 1B. Two have Defensive issue while one has Offensive issues and none are a Starting 1B. Edwin Encarnacion gets a Qualifying Offer, whether or not 1B gets resolved.
JB21 - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 03:31 PM EST (#318001) #
CF, last year was a different story. JD made a big mistake and overvalued himself. There was a huge gap last year. This year, not so much.
scottt - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 05:01 PM EST (#318002) #
I don't know if there's really that much room left in the pen. Osuna and Sanchez will end the year there, and they will probably need another starter at the deadline.  Next year is another story.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 05:11 PM EST (#318003) #
A.A. basically told the Arbitrator and Donaldson's Agent he had no idea what someone of that talent and that age was worth as a first time Arby. He wanted the Arbitrator to establish that value. His mistake was not folding the Arbitrator's number into a long term deal: $4.3, $8.6, $12.9, $17.2, $21.5 ($60.9 Million over five) or $5.0, $10.0, $15.0, $20.0, $25.0 ($75.0 Million over five). One of those deals might have worked. Now even $80.0 over four might not be enough.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 05:29 PM EST (#318004) #
A.A. basically told the Arbitrator and Donaldson's Agent he had no idea what someone of that talent and that age was worth as a first time Arby. He wanted the Arbitrator to establish that value.

His mistake was not folding the Arbitrator's number into a long term deal: $4.3, $8.6, $12.9, $17.2, $21.5 ($60.9 Million over five) or $5.0, $10.0, $15.0, $20.0, $25.0 ($75.0 Million over five). One of those deals might have worked. Now even $80.0 over four might not be enough.
China fan - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 05:30 PM EST (#318005) #
On the JD arbitration: nobody knows if he overvalued himself this year, because we only know his FINAL number, which he submitted to the arbitrator, which may have been very different from the number he gave to the Jays during the negotiations.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 06:15 PM EST (#318006) #
Re Kennedy and Davis: it may be that next year's weak free agent class is affecting the size of the contracts being handed out this off-season.
jerjapan - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 06:21 PM EST (#318007) #
Here's a question: would you rather have Happ at 3/36 or Kennedy at 5/70?

Absolutely agree greenfrog.  I wasn't crazy about the Happ or Chavez moves at the time, but they, along with Estrada, are looking better by the minute.

Interesting the gap betwen pitchers and position player contracts this offseason - Alex Gordon in particular looks like a bargain.  Next year's crop of starters is particularly weak, but one area that does seem to have some surplus is 1b / DH, which may bode well for our chances of keeping EE.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 07:10 PM EST (#318008) #
The Jays guessed right on the SP market by jumping early (Happ, Estrada, Chavez). They likely underestimated the relief market by trading Hendriks, but for win curve purposes, the deal makes sense, and adding Storen at least softens the blow for 2016. I would rather guess wrong on the relief market than guess wrong on the SP market. If the Jays did not sign Happ or trade for Chavez, and needed a 2 win or better starter in free agency, it would have cost them at least 4-5 years, $70-90M, and a draft pick based on how the mid-tier FA market has ended up. So while the Jays could have done better than Happ, it would have been way, way more costly.

I think Shapiro played the off-season very well. It was risk averse, but after the past three seasons of trading off prospects, the Jays needed to put emphasis back on the system. They still have a team good enough to make the playoffs in 2016, and they've been able to maintain prospects, draft picks, and some financial flexibility.

As far as Bautista/Edwin, with the way the FA market has played out, I think both of them are gone after 2016. Or at least the possibility of signing both is gone (assuming Rogers doesn't increase payroll dramatically). Signing one might be more realistic, and probably the better long-term gamble. For example, re-signing Bautista, moving him to 1B/DH, and getting a plus defensive RF might mitigate some of the value lost by Edwin leaving at least from a defensive standpoint.
cybercavalier - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 08:24 PM EST (#318009) #
Re dalimon5:

Would having Saunders leading off evaluate his performance early in the season that a new OF can participate if he needs improvement in Buffalo ? Another idea is whether JoeyBats' RF range decline with age enough for Saunders to entertain RF in 2016. Likewise, JoeyBats could entertain LF: one more position may improve his bargaining when his contract ends in 2016.
Vulg - Saturday, January 16 2016 @ 09:56 PM EST (#318010) #
Here's a question: would you rather have Happ at 3/36 or Kennedy at 5/70?

That Kennedy deal is terrible, largely because of the term. Locking in a 31 year old into a 5 year deal at $14M AAV when he's provided a net negative WAR (0.5) over the past 3 years (in the NL West!) is pretty dubious. As a Jays fan, I'm happy the Royals did this.

My opinion of the Happ deal hasn't really changed. The term mitigates the risk - at least he has the opposite dynamic of Kennedy (i.e. most recent results are encouraging). The gamble here is that he continues that great 11 game stretch he had with the Pirates given a) AL East vs. NL Central and b) no more Searage. I think that and the sample size (i.e. has he truly figured it out?) would have kept his value suppressed to roughly where it is now.

Personally I like Kazmir at $16M AAV for the same term as Happ. A while ago I lumped Kazmir, Leake and Chen together in a 'tier' and interestingly, they've all come in at that annual value. Leake is my favorite of that bunch (he's only 28 and has solid peripherals), but again 5 years is a bit scary.

One name I'll be tracking as the season evolves is Yusmeiro Petit. If LaCava and crew felt he could have been the next guy to fill that Villanueva/Estrada/Chavez role RP who could potentially be a legit starting option, then I think they should have found a way to close that deal. He only got $2.5M with a $0.5M buyout for a $3M value in 2016 (vesting thresholds for 2017). Not egregious and right up their cost-conscious alley. Their interest must have been serious to finish "close finalists" in the Petit sweepstakes.
John Northey - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 12:36 AM EST (#318011) #
Kazmir for $48 over 3 years wasn't available to the Jays I'd be willing to be a lot on. He'd have demanded either a 4th year or more money to come here (as most free agents do). Kazmir is one of those guys I would need very positive scouting reports on after all it was just in 2012 he was in Indy ball. Going to the NL should help him look good for awhile on the surface but I think the AL East would've knocked him down.

Leake at 5 years / $80 mil for a guy with a 101 ERA+ lifetime, 4.21 FIP just doesn't interest me one bit.

Chen I wanted the Jays to chase down but it looks like the Marlins got him for a deal I don't like - $28 mil the first 2 years then an opt-out, could be $96 mil over 6 depending on innings pitched. Lots of variables that could screw up Miami.

At least with Happ we know he is a good #6 guy as a worst case (well, worst is DL for 3 years).
uglyone - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 03:18 AM EST (#318012) #
not being the worst deal of the offseason doesn't make a deal a good one.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 06:39 AM EST (#318013) #
That's one way to look at it. Another way is that Happ's deal looks like pretty good value compared to the contracts being given this off-season to average-to-decent free agent starting pitchers. Per Jeff Sullivan:

You could say the market has agreed upon a price for mid-level innings-eaters around 30 years of age. The Kansas City Royals reportedly agreed on Saturday morning to sign right-handed starter Ian Kennedy to a five-year deal worth $70 million.

It’s a big contract, a surprising contract, but one that falls right in line with similar deals inked by Mike Leake (5/80), Wei-Yin Chen (5/80) and Jeff Samardzija (5/90). Looking back at our crowdsourced contract estimates, it’s clear that nobody expected this class of durable, mid-rotation starters to get paid the way they did[.]

I would say the Jays have done pretty well to add adequate innings in Happ/Estrada/Chavez for the price they paid. That doesn't mean the Jays couldn't use a #1/2 like Price to strengthen the front of the rotation, but that's a different issue. Personally, I prefer Happ at 3/36 to Kennedy, Leake, Chen, and Samardzija at the prices their respective teams paid for them.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 08:10 AM EST (#318014) #
On the JD arbitration: nobody knows if he overvalued himself this year, because we only know his FINAL number, which he submitted to the arbitrator, which may have been very different from the number he gave to the Jays during the negotiations.

Exactly. Numbers are filed 'blindly', that is each party does not get to see the other side's number until they have both filed. There have actually been a few occasions in baseball salary arbitration where the club has filed a higher number than the player.
melondough - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 09:28 AM EST (#318015) #
Scott Boris is a very smart man....

As per Rothenthal....
Chris Davis, if he remains a Texas resident, will not pay state income tax o $42M deferred, reducing impact of lower present-day value.
Chuck - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 09:28 AM EST (#318016) #
There have actually been a few occasions in baseball salary arbitration where the club has filed a higher number than the player.

It sounds like Levitt and Dubner when they started writing the first Freakonomics. Each couldn't see accepting a profit split less than 40/60... in the other guy's favour.

Glevin - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 09:32 AM EST (#318017) #
Another way to look at is this: Had Happ waited and not signed with the Jays, how much would he get now? I'd have to think significantly more than the Jays paid (either in years or salary or both.) That doesn't make it a good signing but it is good for the market. This is essentially why the Jays are trying to move in a different direction. Free agents are insanely expensive and if you want to win on a budget that isn't in the top-5, you have to build through building a solid system.
John Northey - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 10:51 AM EST (#318018) #
Yeah, that is how I'm looking at it. Happ vs Kennedy/ Leake/Chen/Samardzija is a good deal and when it comes to free agency you need to consider the market.

I see 5+ year deals for pitchers as asking for trouble, especially when they are 30+. Using the Lahman database - ( and data from 1969 to present (since MLB hit Montreal, most years are DH years)...
Pitchers with 10 seasons pre-age 30 of 180+ IP: Bert Blyleven, CC Sabathia. Years of 180+ IP post age 30: total of 9 between them, just 3 for CC.
Guys with 9 years of 180+ pre age 30: Fernando Valenzuela - none since, Felix Hernandez - now has 10, starts age 30+ next year.

Most would say Hernandez is a good guy to sign long term as he has shown durability but I say no given the 3 others listed who had 29 years of 180+ IP pre age 30, but just 9 after with only CC having any chance of more (sure wouldn't want to bet on it).

With 8 years pre age 30 you get names like Dwight Gooden, Dennis Eckersley, Vida Blue, Dave Stieb (those guys totaled 6 180+ IP age 30+, half by Stieb). Of course in that group you also get Greg Maddux, and Mark Buehrle (total of 20 age 30+)-they are the only ones age 30+ with more years than Stieb in this group.

Removing guys who reached 180 from 2010 to 2014 thus avoiding guys who are likely to get there again we see from those who had 5+ years of 180+ IP pre age 30, 838 seasons of 180+ pre age 30, 751 from age 30 onward. Out of 207 guys qualified by this standard only 89 had 4 or more years of 180+ age 30 and beyond or less than 50%.
finch - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 11:10 AM EST (#318019) #
Random Question:

With the Canadian Dollar plummeting at a rapid rate, would the Blue Jays be eligible for any revenue sharing AND/OR competitive balance picks? How does MLB handle the difference in Canadian Dollar vs. US Dollar?
scottt - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 11:54 AM EST (#318020) #
The competitive draft picks are for the bottom teams in revenue and market size.
Unless Montreal gets a team, the Toronto market size is huge, so the Jays are permanently excluded.

In 2016, teams in the 15 largest market are not allowed to receive revenue sharing welfare.That includes the Nationals, the Astros, the Braves and, of course, the Blue Jays.

SK in NJ - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 12:15 PM EST (#318021) #
Happ had no draft compensation attached to him and was coming off a better season (3.3 WAR) than most of the mid-tier starters available this winter. If he had waited a little bit longer before signing, then his contract likely would have increased in the process.The Jays signed him before the market really set itself, so it was considered an overpayment when it happened. Not anymore. That's the issue with free agency in general. You are not always paying what a player is worth, but what the market determines the player is worth.

The Jays had a lot of SP slots to fill and they didn't want to trade prospects or lose draft picks to fill them. Happ for 3/36 compared to other mid-tier SP contracts this winter is a much better deal due to the salary, years, and lack of draft compensation. It's a bit of a gamble in thinking his 2nd half 2015 performance can carry over, but even if it doesn't, he's still a capable back-end MLB starter. If the Jays are going to have front-end SP's in their rotation going forward, it will be guys they have developed. It's not going to come via free agency.
jerjapan - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 12:34 PM EST (#318022) #
I'm becoming more optimistic about resigning EE over the past few weeks. 

Jose figures to get a lot of money as one of the few legit FA OFs in 2017, but there are only a few teams out there that can find a spot for a DH only type like EE.  Obviously, Boston with Ortiz retiring, but they may find Hanley Ramirez, 1B, is just as frightening as Hanley Ramirez, LF.   NY has Arod,  Detroit's got Martinez, Texas has Fielder, the Angels have Pujols.

The White Sox are rid of Adam Laroche after this year, but may want Melky's glove out of the picture.  Oakland is stuck with Billy Butler, Seattle will want to keep Nelson Cruz out of the OF as much as possible.  Minnesotta just signed Byung Ho Park to DH, and Houston has an affordable option in evan gattis. 

This leaves the likes of KC, Cleveland, Baltimore and TB (who will have 14 million coming off the books as Loney and Logan Morrison are FAs).

And plenty of 1b/DH types who are FAs - Lind, Mitch Moreland, Napoli, Texeira, Carlos Beltran, etc.

With the "I'm not Darth Vader" Shapiro cover story in the Star yesterday, perhaps even Rogers and the FO are thinking about the value of a fan-friendly move - and EE will be much cheaper than Jose.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 01:10 PM EST (#318023) #
With the Canadian Dollar plummeting at a rapid rate, would the Blue Jays be eligible for any revenue sharing AND/OR competitive balance picks? How does MLB handle the difference in Canadian Dollar vs. US Dollar?

You may have seen the same Morgan Stanley prediction of 59 cents US by the end of 2016. That will be a calamity in every respect. For several years there was a currency 'equalization' payment made by other clubs to Toronto. But it was rather small, $5 million if I remember correctly, and the payment was terminated several years ago.

I think its highly likely that other clubs will underwrite what now looks like fundamental weakness in the Canadian dollar. In the 90's, when the CDN was higher than it is now, two Canadian hockey franchises moved to the US.

The competitive balance picks are allocated in the CBA to clubs in small population areas.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 01:27 PM EST (#318024) #
...They likely underestimated the relief market by trading Hendriks,...

Nonsense, Liam Hendricks was, at the time of the trade, was the Jays 5th Reliever (behind Osuna, Sanchez, Cecil, Loup). He didn't get any better over time this offseason. He is exactly who he is, a good reliever who pitches much better when the Jays trail than when they lead. The acquisition of Storen would make him the Jays 6th Reliever. I'm sure they can do better.
SK in NJ - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 01:55 PM EST (#318025) #
While Hendriks' 2015 WAR might be a bit misleading due to a lot of his work coming in lower leverage situations (to no fault of his own), that doesn't mean he wasn't an asset. He was clearly one of the best relievers on the team last season, and would been projected to be this season as well prior to the Storen trade. We have seen what relievers have been traded for this off-season, and Hendriks had elite peripherals in 2015. My guess is the Jays thought it would be easier to acquire RP in free agency when they made that trade, but then the relief market exploded, and it became harder to do it.

I have no issues with the trade. Chavez is projected to be a 1 win improvement over Hendriks in 2016, and it could be more (I think Chavez might be a bit underrated). Not to mention relievers are so volatile that you can't really project them accurately year to year unless they have a track record, which Hendriks doesn't. So the deal made sense from a win curve standpoint. However, Hendriks was still an asset. To suggest he was behind Loup in terms of value is ridiculous, and I think Loup is a bounce back candidate.
Thomas - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 02:04 PM EST (#318026) #
I am very confident the Jays 6th reliever will not do better than posting an ERA under 3.00 in nearly 65 innings for a league minimum salary.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 02:07 PM EST (#318027) #
...Happ vs Kennedy/ Leake/Chen/Samardzija is a good deal and when it comes to free agency you need to consider the market...

J.A. Happ was not seen as "the new improved (Pittsburgh) Happ" but rather as the pre-Pittsburgh version, or someone jumps faster than Toronto. The changes he made are easily repeatable and Russell Martin will see he stays with it. I expect Happ to make 30 plus Starts; 180.0 plus I.P.; 13 or more wins, at least 1.0 K/9; and, an ERA under 4.00. It's possible he could be better.

For the money Ian Kennedy was paid (incl. Draft Pick loss) he should be a lot better than J.A. and he isn't. The last good year he had, worth what he is being paid, was 2012. Happ is an all-round better deal.
Mike Leake is a 28-ish year old average number three Starter and is expensive now, as if he's expect to be much more. Happ is an all-round better deal.
Wei-Lin Chen is a border-line #2 Starter being paid as so much more. He might be better than Happ and Estrada, but never at that price.
Jeff Samardzija is an over-hyped, over-evaluated, over-paid under-achiever who makes Drew Hutchison look like an All Star.

melondough - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 02:37 PM EST (#318028) #
Just to change gears a bit, who you would rather have at the back end of your bullpen this year (RP ability only, ignoring age, contract, ability to transition to a starter)....

Three of Osuna, Storen, Sanchez, Cecil OR three of Tazawa, C.Smith, Uehara, and Kimbrel?

And what if you had to make a choice between those 4 Jays or those 4 Red Sox? Which group would you rather have for this year?

My feeling is that I would rather have Storen, Ozuna, and Cecil over Kimbrel, C.Smith, and Uehara. And definitely I would prefer the 4 Jays over the 4 Sox. The only area I would say Boston may have an edge is if we were comparing top two in each pen. I can see an argument being made for taking Smith and Kimbrel over Ozuna and Storen but it's close, maybe even a tie.

You think I am being a homer or is my argument reasonable?

Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 02:39 PM EST (#318029) #
Of those nearly 65 I.P., how many were low pressure innings and how many were not. Liam Hendrik's a RHP who is not better than Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Drew Storen, Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup. With Jessy Chavez possibly not Starting and needing a spot, it's possible he is not even on the Team. I think that despite their issues, both Ryan Tepera and Bo Schulz are better than he is. When you lose the confidence of the manager, actually being traded is the best thing that can happen.
uglyone - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 03:51 PM EST (#318030) #
i can't agree with Sullivan's take there, greenfrog.

leake shark chen have been much better than kennedy in recent years. in 2 of the last 3yrs kennedy has been flat out useless.

in fact, I like Happ flat out better than Kennedy. and i don't like happ at all.
uglyone - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 04:19 PM EST (#318031) #
Last 2yrs as SP:

Chen (30): 62gs, 6.1ip/gs, 86era-, 99fip-, 3.4awar/32gs
Shark (31): 65gs, 6.7ip/gs, 101era-, 94fip-, 2.9awar/32gs
Leake (28): 63gs, 6.5ip/gs, 97era-, 105fip-, 2.6awar/32gs
Happ (33): 57gs, 5.7ip/gs, 100era-, 98fip-, 2.6awar/32gs
Kennedy (31): 63gs, 5.9ip/gs, 109era-, 101fip-, 1.6awar/32gs

Last 3yrs:

Chen (30): 85gs, 6.1ip/gs, 89era-, 99fip-, 3.2awar/32gs
Shark (31): 98gs, 6.6ip/gs, 106era-, 96fip-, 2.6awar/32gs
Leake (28): 94gs, 6.4ip/gs, 94era-, 104fip-, 2.6awar/32gs
Happ (33): 75gs, 5.6ip/gs, 103era-, 100fip-, 2.3awar/32gs
Kennedy (31): 94gs, 5.9ip/gs, 116era-, 108fip-, 1.1awar/32gs

i'm sure the royals will work their magic with kennedy and make me lool silly but man imo that deal stinks something awful. imo he should have received a 1yr offer as a reclamation project.

but imo the other three I would far rather have than Happ.
uglyone - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 04:24 PM EST (#318032) #
"While Hendriks' 2015 WAR might be a bit misleading due to a lot of his work coming in lower leverage situations"

leverage is included in reliever war.
uglyone - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 04:26 PM EST (#318033) #
melondough I might lean jays too.

mostly because uehara might be toast this year and tazawa is the worst of the 8. but also because kimbrel took a big step back last year and is likely not the ace reliever he was.
John Northey - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 05:02 PM EST (#318034) #
Just thought why speculate...
save situations: 429/444/657
Non-save: 209/249/275

Hmm...strongly suggests that pressure gets to him.
Worst OPS against: Tie Game, 2nd worst within 1 run
Best: 2 out RISP, next is 4+ run spread.

High Leverage: 359/462/821 or Bonds on drugs
Medium: 389/425/528 or Ted Williams
Low: 176/221/253 or a good pitcher hitting

Clearly in 2015 Hendricks had trouble in pressure with one exception. I can see why Gibbons didn't use him much in the playoffs (5 IP total, 3 ER).

For his career
High leverage: 350/393/550
Medium: 298/363/469
Low: 269/302/446

He has value, no doubt, and those 1 year splits could be a fluke. But I sure wouldn't want to bet anything on it.
SK in NJ - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 05:40 PM EST (#318035) #
"Of those nearly 65 I.P., how many were low pressure innings and how many were not. Liam Hendrik's a RHP who is not better than Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Drew Storen, Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup. With Jessy Chavez possibly not Starting and needing a spot, it's possible he is not even on the Team. I think that despite their issues, both Ryan Tepera and Bo Schulz are better than he is. When you lose the confidence of the manager, actually being traded is the best thing that can happen."

What are you basing that on exactly? We have one year of sample size on Hendriks as a reliever. He was excellent. He ranked 1st in FIP (2.14) and WAR on the team for all relievers, ahead of Cecil (2.34), Osuna (3.02), and Sanchez (3.10 as a reliever). Schultz and Tepera were both negative WAR relievers so I'm not sure why you grouped them into this. Just because Gibbons lost trust in Hendriks, it doesn't say anything about his value or the type of season he had. Gibbons lost faith in Pompey last season, too. It means nothing.

It would be impossibe to pinpoint anything negative out of Hendriks' performance last season. K/9 of 9.88, didn't walk anyone, lowest home runs allowed on the team, nearly 50% GB rate, etc, etc. Based on 2015, he had every characteristic of a late inning reliever except the opportunity. Relievers are volatile, so it's hard to predict what he'll do for the remainder of his four years of control, but he was an asset. If he comes close to what he did last season in Oakland, then they'll be pretty darn happy.
John Northey - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 09:28 PM EST (#318036) #
SK in NJ - take a look at the breakdown of Hendriks stats and you'll see why Gibbons lost faith in him. The more pressure the worse he did, which is a good way to scare any manager away from him. The best thing for Hendriks would be to be on a mediocre or poor team right now and build up his confidence and the team not having to worry about losing a few close ones early on. Given Oakland was last in the west last year he should have lots of chances and might emerge or might collapse totally, but he will get that shot. Here in Toronto he'd be a low-leverage reliever only with Osuna, Sanchez, Storen and Cecil getting the pressure innings.

Remember too, Hendriks has 5 years in the majors and last year is the only one with an ERA+ over 80 - this isn't a guy who is a hot prospect, just a guy who had a really good year pitching in low pressure situations who may or may not have learned something. A lottery ticket. I agree that Schultz or Tepera could easily have a better year in 2016, not to mention Delabar among others.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 10:23 PM EST (#318037) #
Here is what Hendriks did in high leverage situations.  The short story: he struck out 31% of the batters he faced, walked nobody and of the batted balls he gave up only 7.7% were hit hard.  Nonetheless, he was tagged for a .583 babip in this situation and his ERA was ugly in that narrow situation.  His xFIP in high leverage situations was 0.67.

Not all managers would have reacted the way Gibbons did to Hendriks' bad luck.  I am confident that Kevin Cash, Joe Maddon and Bruce Bochy would not have.
Alex Obal - Sunday, January 17 2016 @ 11:35 PM EST (#318038) #
It would be interesting to see someone try to quantify the idea that Hendriks is more prone to untimely hanging sliders than a normal pitcher. The sample size would almost certainly be too small to be convincing but at least it would suggest that Gibbons and crew saw something other than just (final) results.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 02:05 AM EST (#318039) #
A lot of revisionist history going on very recently. Pompey told reporters he was overwhelmed by where he was. Until he publicly said that he was the Blue Jays starting Center Fielder. Saying Gibbons didn't trust him wasn't accurate.

Bo Schultz pitched very well and in high pressure situations. He occasionally had control problems ,but only gave up runs in 9 of his 31 games (but in 3 of his last 4). Ryan Tepera's only problem was the HR ball. He pitched in 32 games giving up 14 runs but only 12 Earned runs, all by 8 HR. Otherwise he pitches very well in high pressure situations.
Thomas - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 07:31 AM EST (#318040) #
Bo Schultz (who I like more than the Jays seem to) pitched a grand total of 3 innings in high pressure situations in 2015. He gave up three runs in those 3 innings.

Hendriks pitched 3.2 innings in high pressure situations in 2015. He gave up five runs. I hope the Jays aren't making decisions about Hendriks' ability to pitch in high pressure situations based up on sample sizes under 5 innings.

Also, it's a mischaracterization to refer to Hendriks' career in the majors and suggest 2015 is a fluke, since it was the first year he spent as a full-time reliever. I'd be much more inclined to use that as an indicator of likely future performance than his career as a starter.
scottt - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 07:51 AM EST (#318041) #
Henriks' issues were probably just mental. He was trying to establish himself as a setup guy since he's given up on ever starting and to do that with the Jays he had to be better than Cecil, Sanchez, Osuna. Not that different from Cecil's performance in the closer role.

Anyway, that's the impression I get when reading his parting interview.

John Northey - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 08:52 AM EST (#318042) #
Heh. I always find it funny when people complain about sample size, then use a small one to dismiss a bigger one.

Hendriks has been in the majors for 5 seasons. 253 1/3 IP total. In his last 64 2/3 he did well. Sure, his first full season as a reliever but that doesn't erase the previous 188 2/3 IP. To ignore it is risky to say the least. For example, Cliff Politte (to grab a name from the Jays past) had a great first year as a reliever 2.42 ERA, 3.32 FIP The next year he had a 3.11 FIP but never again below 3.50. His ERA was sub 3 only once more in his career. Guys have fluke years all the time, especially in relief. That is why I think a lot of teams went coo-coo this winter signing relievers to $8+ mil a year deals. Just too much variability in them.
Spifficus - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 09:30 AM EST (#318043) #
The difference here, though, is that Hendricks was a quantifiably different pitcher in those last ~65 innings vs his previous ~189 - he was throwing 4 MPH harder. It's still risky - can his arm hold up with the new velocity - but far less so from a fluke perspective.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 11:54 AM EST (#318046) #
Prior to 2015, Hendriks pitched in 39 big league games; 34 of them were starts. This was not only his first full season as a reliever, but he gained a higher than normal amount of velocity out of the pen. He's a completely different pitcher in the bullpen than he was as a starter previously, which is not unusual. Cecil was a failed starter too. Now he's one season away from being the 'Andrew Miller' of a free agent market.

Relievers are volatile. There's no question about that. However, you can't look at numbers from a different role to judge someone. A lot of good relievers are failed starters, including Mariano (before anyone overreacts...I'm not comparing anyone to Rivera). Hendriks the SP and Hendriks the RP have no real similarity.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 12:22 PM EST (#318047) #
What is a High Pressure Situation for Pitchers?
1) Tied Game, yes;
2) One Run Lead, yes;
3) Inherited Runners, yes.
Anything else may very well just be less stressful.
CeeBee - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 12:28 PM EST (#318049) #
Must be a slow winter's day. Can't believe we are arguing about Liam Hendriks. If only we had some minor league signings to talk about.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 12:59 PM EST (#318050) #
Bo Schultz pitched 43.0 innings in 31 games, and pitched more than two innings, three times.

He pitched in three tied games, succeeding twice;
He pitched in four games up one run, succeeding twice;
He inherited runners in nine of his games, succeeding four times.

He pitched in the ninth or tenth six times, successfully all six.
He pitched in the eighth seven times, successfully five times.
He pitched in eight games: 14.1 IP, 1.26 ERA, .140 .214 .160, in June when the Bullpen desperately needing a fresh quality arm.

Yet from July 29th, in 13 games, 16.0 IP, he basically pitched mop-up. He pitched 3.0 innings in four games after August 30th.
What do we have? I don't know.
John Northey - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 01:16 PM EST (#318051) #
From July 31st on we had a pen of Osuna, Sanchez, Cecil, Lowe, Hawkins, then whoever else was no more than mop up.

So I wouldn't worry too much about Bo Schultz getting few innings then. In the 2nd half of the season 30 games each for Cecil, Sanchez, Osuna (all very effective). 27 for Hendriks (2.81 ERA in 25 2/3 IP). Lowe for 23 games, Hawkins & Loup got 18 each, then Schultz 17 games and Tepera 16. Delabar & Francis were in 6 each then Jenkins got into 1 game. And that is it for the 2nd half relievers over 71 games. Surprised how much Gibbons made use of 9 relievers over that stretch and still found a bit of work for 2 more (poor love for him). Just the one complete game for Dickey but Estrada, Dickey both got over 90 IP, Price & Buehrle in the 70's for IP. Hutch starts were the one time every 5 days the pen could get work in for the non-pressure guys.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 01:25 PM EST (#318052) #
Ryan Tepera was called up in early May, for a Jays' Bullpen running out of arms and he pitched in 32 games, 33.0 IP.

He was 1-1 in Tied Games; 0-1 in One Run Leads; and, 7-4 with Inherited Runners. So let's say he's just not quite yet a High Pressure Pitcher.
He gave up runs in just nine of his appearances, but eight Home Runs in seven games, six being Solo shots.

He did pitch very well otherwise: 32 G, 3.27 ERA, 33.0 IP, 6 BB, 22 K, .193 .250 .420. If he could control the Home Run ball, he could be extremely effective.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 04:30 PM EST (#318053) #
Not much worth going after on the Free Agent Starter market.

Yovani Gallardo is a good 5-inning #4/#5 Starter and nothing more.
Mat Latos is young with upside, but with a multitude of issues.
Tim Lincecum might be recovered enough from surgery and have enough left.

I wouldn't touch anyone else except on a Minor League Contract.
Thomas - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 05:27 PM EST (#318055) #
Heh. I always find it funny when people complain about sample size, then use a small one to dismiss a bigger one

To suggest that pitching in relief is no different than pitching as a starter is foolish. No one is suggesting that you completely disregard his previous major league innings, but baseball history is littered with mediocre starters who have become good relievers.

That's fundamentally different than using 3 high leverage innings as an indication of someone's true talent in high leverage situations.

eudaimon - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 05:51 PM EST (#318056) #
Jays sign some dude named Ryan Schlereth. Anyone want to micro analyze this one for the benefit of us all?

jerjapan - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 06:29 PM EST (#318058) #
Former 1st rounder and top ten Tigers prospect, he's a two pitch reliever with no control, and less velocity then you'd expect for all the K's he's accumulated in the minors.  I actually like this type of signing better than the Wade Leblanc types - not like 29 year olds regularly learn to control the strike zone, but at least he strikes guys out. 
jerjapan - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 06:52 PM EST (#318059) #
BTW, that should read Daniel Schlereth, not Ryan - infamously the 'other guy' in the Max Scherzer to Detroit trade.  Scherzer for Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson looks like it might be even worse than Thor and TDA for Dickey.
Chuck - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 07:26 PM EST (#318060) #
Shaun Marcum has retired. He and good health were chronic strangers.
scottt - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 09:29 PM EST (#318061) #
That's not uncommon for pitchers.
melondough - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 09:47 PM EST (#318062) #
Is there a better owner in all of sports than Mike illich?

Tigers get Upton for 6 years and around $125M.

scottt - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 09:48 PM EST (#318063) #
He's a two pitch reliever mixing a low-90s fastball and a high 70s curveball.
The velocity is fine because he's left handed.

High contact rates even outside the strike zone and barely 40% of pitches over the plate.

Looks like a middle reliever for Buffalo.

melondough - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 09:52 PM EST (#318064) #
p.s. I am not suggesting that "better" means smart.
scottt - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 10:06 PM EST (#318065) #
He's 86 year old and wants a world series win.
melondough - Monday, January 18 2016 @ 10:08 PM EST (#318066) #
And he gets an opt out after year 2. This is becoming a very disturbing trend this offseason, started by Price I believe. Are the days of long term commitment going by the wayside?
#what big money no longer buys
John Northey - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 09:57 AM EST (#318067) #
Within a couple of years these player opt-outs are going to start looking really bad. Someone is going to get hurt and the team on the hook for hundreds of millions for zero production. Seeing guys walk hurts but teams don't seem to have figured out just how much they are giving up by giving that opt-out. Note how no team has a reverse opt-out.
James W - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 10:49 AM EST (#318068) #
If Justin Upton signs a 6-year contract with no opt-out clause, and gets hurt, then there is no difference between this hypothetical contract and the contract he actually signed.

"Reverse opt-out" = club option, essentially. The industry has just never signed any 2-year deals with a 4-year club option. Upton's deal is essentially that, just with a 4-year player option.
Spifficus - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 11:15 AM EST (#318069) #
Toronto had the interestingly structured Aaron Hill deal, with the multi-layered options that could have worked out to a 4 year deal with a 3 year option.
mathesond - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 11:22 AM EST (#318070) #
I remember AJ Burnett's opt-out, which at the time I thought worked out well for the Jays - they paid him $31M for 3 years, and he left 2/24 on the table to go sign a (more lucrative) deal with the Yankees. Given the 'payroll parameters' at the time, I thought the Jays benefited greatly when AJ left.
melondough - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 04:50 PM EST (#318072) #

If we could somehow sign Bastardo then I think it would make the offseason a very resounding success. A lefty with a career average of 11K/9 with very good WHIP would look beautiful coming out of our pen. It would also allow Sanchez to become the starting pitcher he apparently now wants to be this season.
scottt - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 06:24 PM EST (#318073) #
Contracts with opt-outs after 2 or 3 years are huge win-win. The signing team always makes a Qualifying Offer after the opt-out and gets a draft pick. What's not to like?

Teams used to receive draft picks for losing players they couldn't afford to keep. Now those picks go to teams that sign free agents on those contracts. It's the new way of buying draft picks.

jerjapan - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 07:19 PM EST (#318074) #
man, that baseball essentials article was written by a 19 year old - I trust the box more than teenagers, (although some of them are pretty knowledgeable).  when did so many kids start writing this content?  I'm thinking we all might need to pay more attention to our sources?  or is this kid legit?

As for player opt-outs - this is obviously an advantage for the player, but also not the insanity that some see it as for the team - Fangraphs has a bunch of content on this topic, and pegged the value of the David Price opt-out at $10 million value for Price.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 08:11 PM EST (#318075) #
The proper way to structure a contract with an opt-out is simple. Any player who opts-out also automatically refuses a Qualifying Offer, he no longer has a choice.. Any player who opts-in gets the next year guaranteed, but all subsequent years are Team Options with buyouts being 25% of that year's salary.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 08:47 PM EST (#318076) #
Bastardo would be a nice get. Given that his fWAR totals over the last four years are 0.8, 0.6, 0.8, 0.6, it seems obvious that he will be worth 0.8 WAR in 2016.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 10:06 PM EST (#318077) #
Reading up on it a bit via MLBTradeRumors it seems Bastardos wants 3 years $18 mil. I doubt the Jays get him for less. $6 mil a year for 40-60 IP LOOGY? Not a fan, but it'd be a nice to have. Still that money is better saved for a mid-season pickup IMO.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 11:23 PM EST (#318078) #
I agree with Aaron Sanchez, being a starter is his best role to start the year. If he fails plug him in the bullpen like last year. If you start Sanchez in the bullpen he stays there and Roberto Hernandez is your 7th starter.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, January 19 2016 @ 11:52 PM EST (#318079) #
It's unclear from John Lott's twitter feed whether he was released by the Post today. Fingers crossed.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 12:10 AM EST (#318080) #
Getting a reliever can allow Sanchez to be a starter. In other words, letting our farm products -- capable pitcher or hitter -- to be inserted into prominent role on the team -- closer, starting pitcher or position player before they could prove other positions are more suitable.

By the way, was my last post, which ask scottt about pitching, deleted ?

scottt - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 07:56 AM EST (#318081) #
Are there unrelated cuts on the same day as the Postmedia layoffs? Lott is at the unaffected National Post.
Jevant - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 08:29 AM EST (#318082) #
The Post's entire sports section was shut down.

From Lott himself:

"This is not entirely accurate. But things have definitely changed. I will respond more fully tomorrow morning.

Robbie @JaysSource @PatrickMSports @LottOnBaseball was let go by the national post today along with a few others".

ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 10:07 AM EST (#318083) #
Are there unrelated cuts on the same day as the Postmedia layoffs? Lott is at the unaffected National Post.

scott, I question where you get your information. According to the Canadian Press,"Multiple people lost their jobs at the National Post's sports department. Gelfand said the company is creating a national sports writing team to consist of existing employees." Jevant has quoted John Lott's tweet, which I referred to also. As I stated yesterday, fingers crossed on John Lott. I think he's the best reporter covering the Blue Jays.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 10:09 AM EST (#318084) #
John Lott will hopefully find an equally good gig for someone else. His work for the Post was consistently excellent.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 10:12 AM EST (#318085) #
CBDC, Lott's twitter feed clarifies that he was a freelancer for the Post and will not be as of today.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 10:19 AM EST (#318086) #
Thanks Mike. I hadn't yet read his update on twitter. Like him to plug others.

Here's a link to John Lott's last column at the Post, from yesterday's WT2016 presser.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 10:44 AM EST (#318087) #
Sportsnet and TSN should be all over those "Free Agent Reporters". A lot of good writing might not be available for us any more.
finch - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 11:09 AM EST (#318088) #
Can't find the linked article but Baseball Prospectus made a very interesting case, arguing for Russell Martin for the HOF.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 01:56 PM EST (#318089) #
Rodney to SD for 2 million guaranteed plus incentives - this would have been a good deal for the Jays to be in on IMO, as would Al Alberqueque (to LAA) for just over 1 million. 

I would have prefered Joe Blanton at 4 million to Jesse Chavez at 5 million + Liam Hendricks as well.

Can't see us in on Bastardo if these waters are too deep for the club.  Anyone have a sense how much money is left over?

John Northey - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 02:28 PM EST (#318090) #
My bet is under $5 mil now, probably more like $1-2 mil total. Expect nothing more than non-roster invites now.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 02:35 PM EST (#318091) #
It's a slow period for our Jays so I thought I'd look at needs.

Backup Catcher: As long as R.A. Dickey is a Jay, Josh Thole will be the Backup Catcher because Martin does not catch Dickey again. Dickey only gets traded if a guaranteed 200.0+ Inning Pitcher is coming back. The only problem is, "Who is the #2 Backup Catcher". What the Jays presently have is poor. If they are willing to pay very well, the quality of the #2 Backup Catcher could very well be better.

Fifth Starter: If Aaron Sanchez, Jesse Chavez and Drew Hutchison are the Jays #6, #7 and #8 Starters,they have a good team. If one or more of those Pitchers are in the Rotation, the Jays have big problems. The biggest issue the Jays have is the costs of the solutions. Are they overpriced? As per Shapiro, they have the funds.

Bullpen: John Gibbons wants a second LHP as good as Cecil, the Postseason proves him right. They'd like an upgrade on Loup. What they get depends on who wants to be here, and not overpriced.

Third Base: Who plays Third Base if Jose Donaldson can't? Having three people who can play First Base is not an asset when you don't have a Staring 1B in the bunch. Until the Jays acquire a Starting 1B, we had better pray Josh Donaldson doesn't gets hurt, because getting a First Baseman isn't a priority this year.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 03:39 PM EST (#318092) #
My bet is under $5 mil now, probably more like $1-2 mil total. Expect nothing more than non-roster invites now.

Sadly I think you're right John, although I'm crossing my fingers there's enough money if someone the FO likes falls into their laps as spring draws near. 

Richard, the backup at 3B would be Matt Dominguez, one of AA's last moves was to claim him on waivers in September - drafted 12th overall in 2007, he was a top 100 prospect for several years but he's done nothing in over 1000 ABs with Houston, or really even in the minors. 

He does have an option, but he's a pure pedigree / upside hail mary.  
cybercavalier - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 04:53 PM EST (#318093) #
Richard, during last season, was Torontonian Kottaras the #2 backup catcher playing in Buffalo ? Matt Hague could and did play 3B for Buffalo although he was listed as 1B. Now he will be playing in Japan next season. Navarro is a PaleSox. From the 2014 crop of catchers, Erik Kratz is now a Padres.

Matt Dominguez, according to on astros message board,  strikes out often but play decent defense. So if Donaldson is down with injury, the Jays' offense which scores many runs can afford to have a defense first starting 3B. Whether Dominguez could reach his prospected potential at 3B is another issue but his defense shall cover 3B well according to past performance.

scottt - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 05:58 PM EST (#318094) #
Thanks for the info on the Post. The local media was focused on the local newsrooms layoffs. There was also a statement about not having to do layoffs in Toronto because they have one local paper and one national paper.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 08:10 PM EST (#318095) #
The Mets have signed Bastardo to a 2/12 deal. A bit pricey, but I think it's a good deal for them.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 08:18 PM EST (#318096) #
Last year was last year. This year it's different and it might not be as good. Justin Smoak and Chris Colabello together make a great First Baseman, except they take two roster spots and not one, and that's the problem with an A.L. Bench.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 20 2016 @ 11:11 PM EST (#318097) #
Yeah roster crowding is becoming an issue...
CA: 2 - Martin & Thole
DH/1B: 3 - Smoak/Colabello/Encarnacion
2B: 1 - Goins (later Travis)
3B: 1 - Donaldson
SS: 1 - Tulowitzki
LF: 2 - Saunders & Pompey
CF: 1 - Pillar (Pompey backs up)
RF: 1 - Bautista (Saunders & Pompey back up)
UT: Darwin Barney (plays all IF)

Assorted others in AAA for all positions (otherwise Buffalo would have major issues).

Others on ML roster...
Matt Dominguez - 3B, lots of ML experience but 2015 in minors all year
Ezequiel Carrera - OF, not that good, but OK as a 4th or 5th OF
Junior Lake - OF, can do CF, played 2B/3B/SS (mainly SS) in minors so can be a super-utility instead of Pompey (who I expect to be in AAA starting).

CA: Derrick Chung (AA), Danny Jansen (A), Humberto Quintero (vet, probably the top choice if Thole isn't up to the job)
IF: 8 guys - ones with numbers below 50: Casey Kotchman (missed 2014, hit well in AAA in 2015, 1B/DH), Andy Burns (AAA, has played 10+ at SS, 2B, 3B, 1B, LF), David Adams (just 43 ML games, 2B/3B/1B).

No one who jumps out at me there. No one else is beyond 'prospect' stage among hitters. Expect a lot more NRI's before spring hits.
Glevin - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 05:01 AM EST (#318098) #
"Rodney to SD for 2 million guaranteed plus incentives - this would have been a good deal for the Jays to be in on IMO,"

Rodney could get a chance to close to SD. He'd be a 6th inning guy for the Jays. No way he'd come here unless the Jays gave him a lot more money.

"I would have prefered Joe Blanton at 4 million to Jesse Chavez at 5 million + Liam Hendricks as well"

Joe Blanton and Jesse Chavez fill completely different parts of a roster. Chavez is a starter who can relieve as well. He has started 47 games in the last two years and pitched 310 innings. Blanton has started 4 games in the last two years and had a 5.30 ERA in those starts. His last season as a starter which was three years ago, he had a 6.04 ERA. Chavez is completely capable of being a decent starter and Blanton isn't.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 07:52 AM EST (#318099) #
Blanton would have been a good signing, but he is strictly a reliever at this point. He shouldn't be a starter or swing man. Chavez is a SP. Still, 1/4 with incentives is a nice deal for the Dodgers. I would have liked to have Blanton in the pen.
Chuck - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 08:10 AM EST (#318100) #
Are we all talking about the same Joe Blanton? The one who's been a batting practise pitcher for years, save for 30-odd effective relief innings as a Pirate?

No thanks. Or do people see him as another Liam Hendriks?

Gerry - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 08:48 AM EST (#318101) #
Munenori Kawasaki is now a Cub.
Jevant - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 09:16 AM EST (#318102) #
To be honest, I'm not sure how roster crowding is an issue. Without Travis, you have a pretty clear roster as you note. Backup C, backup 1B/U, backup OF, backup INF. That's pretty standard AL roster construction. The specific names could fluctuate (I wouldn't be shocked if Pompey is in AAA to start the year with Carrera as 4th OF), but that roster is basically what you have.

And it's basically the same roster that they ended last year with, with Saunders instead of Revere, and Thole instead of Navarro. Pretty stinking good.
uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 09:49 AM EST (#318103) #
yeah not upset even a tiny bit we weren't in on rodney or blanton. these are exactly the kind of fungible rp arms i abhor guaranteeing roster spots to.
Chuck - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 10:53 AM EST (#318104) #
these are exactly the kind of fungible rp arms i abhor guaranteeing roster spots to.

With you. I'm not convinced that Rodney and Blanton have more to offer than Schultz and Tepera, paid at league minimum.

Pay money for high-end talent, not the dregs at the end of your roster.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 10:59 AM EST (#318105) #
It's not quite Roster crowding, it's Bench competition and backup Bench competition.

Thole's just fine as the main Catcher for a few weeks. His backup shouldn't need to play that much. It's when the longer injury occurs, the need for a better 2nd Backup Catcher becomes mandatory as each Catcher should play half the games. That's what the Jays need.

Ryan Goins is amazing, but he needs to establish he can hit better. Until that time, he's good enough. Devon Travis is the Jays' Starting 2B, the day he returns. He stays there until he proves he can't do the job. Darwin Barney did everything he needed to do for this Team last year. While he might not hit as well this year, his Defense will be exceptional. Where does he play when Travis returns. Conserve every asset who can play up here as much as possible.

The Jays have a three-headed monster at First Base. Chris Colabello hits very well, with power; is getting better defensibly at First; he's cheap, pre-arb, but he's 32. Justin Smoak hits with power, but not for average; is an excellent defender with great reach but limited range; he's in last Arb year and getting pricey, but he's only 29. Edwin Encarnacion hits very well and for big power; is barely average defensively within limits; pricey and getting expensive, and he's 33. And that takes up one Roster space too many.

For very, very short term, Goins or Barney might subsitute for Josh Donaldson at 3B. But for longer periods, more than one or two games, there will be nothing at the MLB level. And nothing even MLB average will be available. At best, the 2nd Backup at AAA is all there is and he is what he is.

The Pitching is still under construction, with almost all of the work being done. The Hitters/Batters are done, everything is great. But at this time of year we look for holes, and they are there.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 11:10 AM EST (#318106) #
Blanton is a not a fungible player. He was very good as a reliever last season (1.1 WAR overall) and all of his peripherals were great (K/9, BB/9, GB% near 50%, FIP/xFIP, etc). On a one year deal that tops out at $5M if he hits his incentives, that's not a bad deal. Relievers are volatile, but that's the beauty of a one year deal.

The Dodgers are a sabermetric organization that now employs the demigod himself (AA). How can you doubt them?
jerjapan - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 11:25 AM EST (#318107) #
Pay money for high-end talent, not the dregs at the end of your roster.

Chavez certainly has the better recent track record,  but I'm not convinced he's that much better than Blanton and we are paying him more than Blanton signed for.  Blanton was clearly better as a reliever, but started 10 games last year, 4 in the bigs - two solid starts, two poor ones. 

It's still hard to tell exactly what the club has in mind for Chavez, but I'd still rather have Blanton pitch 4-5 innings and have Hendricks as a bridge to the top relievers.  Now if the club views Chavez as another Estrada, different story.

And either Blanton or Rodney could be dumped if the roster spot were needed - one year deals are not hard to move, and even if there was no salary relief to be had, the team can afford to swallow a million or two.    Not sure if Rodney cares more about closing games or about winning them, but his incentives don't have to be based on saves.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 11:29 AM EST (#318108) #
I don't know who the Jays will sign to Minor League contracts. But for acquisitions for the Team are Tim Lincecum or Mat Latos worth considering? Is Tyler Clippard worth signing?

With the acquisition of Drew Storen the Bullpen became four deep and scary good. Immediately the interwebby and the Talking Heads were putting Aaron Sanchez in the Rotation. Two problems arise. There is no way Sanchez makes the 35-38 Starts (Postseason included) needed. The Bullpen is now three deep and not much more than average but good. I can see making Sanchez a two inning Reliever this season so he builds up his innings for 2017. The only other option is Chavez starts and pitches until he runs out of gas, then Sanchez takes over.

Nothing is final until the Season starts, but until then, the possibilities are endless. I prefer Sanchez starting in 2017.
uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 11:34 AM EST (#318110) #
yeah, but Dodgers have more money than God. they don't care about cost.

and imo having one good year as a long reliever doesn't mean you're not fungible. He's 35 and all previous career innings as RP were horrific. Maybe his new slider has legit suddenly turned him into a good pitcher or maybe his new approach just fooled guys who thought they had a book on him. Yusmero Petit was even better as a long man in 2014, then was below replacement in 2015. happens all the time.

I didn't want to give Smoak $4m this year and wouldn't have wanted to give Hendriks $4m this year or Delabar $4m a couple years back either.

uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 11:39 AM EST (#318111) #
I think you're overthinking, richard.


are locks to start the season in the rotation.


are locks to start the season in the bullpen.


are all battling for the 5 spot, with Chavez the likely default 5sp and the other three in the pen.

leaving one pen slot open for delabar/tepera/shultz/girodo/whoever else we pick up for cheap.
Chuck - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 11:54 AM EST (#318112) #
Not sure if Rodney cares more about closing games or about winning them, but his incentives don't have to be based on saves.

Don't believe you can give incentives based on counting stats other than playing time (games started, innings, at-bats, etc.).

I would guess that Rodney would want to close because this is what he has spent a number of years doing and would like to position himself for a contract next year based on 40 saves rather than 40 holds.

SK in NJ - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 12:26 PM EST (#318113) #
"I didn't want to give Smoak $4m this year and wouldn't have wanted to give Hendriks $4m this year or Delabar $4m a couple years back either."

I've said before, I'm not against going cheap in the pen, so I have no issues with seeing if guys like Biagini, Leon, Jenkins, Rowen, etc, can be RP options rather than spending money on middle relievers. The difference here is that Blanton signed a one year deal and has the peripherals after a direct role change that suggests that he may have turned the corner. His prior performance as a starter is irrelevant since it's a different role and not a role he will have going forward. If you have the resources to take that type of low risk/high reward gamble, then you take it. The Jays likely do not have that financial flexibility, which is fine, but Blanton would have definitely been an upgrade to the bullpen.
uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 12:36 PM EST (#318114) #
The prior experience I was talking about was as a reliever, not a starter. He was horrible.

I don't want to force ourselves into a situation where we have to keep any reliever with only one good year of middle relief on the roster no matter what. That he's 35 with very meh stuff makes it even sketchier. Heck even if he has more than one year of good middle relief, like Rauch did.

actually that's a good comp - Rodney/Blanton v Cordero/Rauch. no thanks.
uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 12:38 PM EST (#318115) #
Prior to last year, as RP:

Blanton: 17gms, 32.1ip, 7.24era, 5.59fip, 3.98xfip

Jevant - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 01:30 PM EST (#318116) #
This, with the possible exception that they put Hutchison in the AAA rotation, and have 2 of the "open pen slots" that you note in the last sentence.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 01:46 PM EST (#318117) #
"actually that's a good comp - Rodney/Blanton v Cordero/Rauch. no thanks."

Different projections. Cordero was coming off a season where his K/9 and velocity plummeted before he signed with the Jays. His ERA was still very good, and that's likely why AA invested in him, but his secondary numbers had collapse written all over it. AA was fooled by the ERA. Rauch was coming off a good season before he signed with the Jays, but he was a FB pitcher with average (6-7) K/9's. Not anything special. Blanton's secondary numbers are far more encouraging than either one of those guys prior to joining the Jays.

Mark Lowe, at age 32, was not a MLB quality pitcher prior to 2015. Yet, the Jays gave up 3 prospects to rent him for 2 months before he signed with the Tigers for more than double what Blanton got this winter. So while Shapiro/Atkins are doing the smart thing by not letting the market dictate their behavior, the point is if they want to add for 2016 without hurting financial flexibility beyond 2016, then guys like Blanton are the rare breed this off-season. A one year market value deal for a team with a one year window seems pretty ideal to me.
bpoz - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 01:48 PM EST (#318118) #
The 5th rotation spot.

Hutch in AAA will improve. Probably dominate. He can work on whatever he has to work on. IMO.

Sanchez starting in AAA. IMO he has not proven long term that he can control his stuff. He is quite good in the Jays pen. So he stays on the Jays if not as a good starter then as a good reliever.

Osuna AAA. No way. Too good. IMO he is good in the Jays rotation or v good in the pen. Just a feeling I have about him.

Chavez in the rotation will be mediocre IMO. But anyone can surprise.

Fact:- My opinions are often wrong, but I try.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:02 PM EST (#318119) #
If Sanchez is starting, it will be in AAA, IMO. There is too much riding on 2016 for them to put an inferior rotation option in the 5th starter spot when they have better options than him already on the team (Chavez/Hutch).

It wouldn't surprise me if Hernandez makes the team as the swing man, and Hutchison/Sanchez are both in AAA. That's assuming the team feels comfortable without Sanchez in the bullpen. If they don't, then Sanchez will be in the pen. I don't see him starting the season in the MLB rotation, unless he somehow learns how to command his fastball and adds a swing-and-miss pitch to his arsenal all before April. Not something I'd bank on.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:07 PM EST (#318120) #
Fact:- My opinions are often wrong, but I try.

Wise words bpoz!  I think I need to focus on that statement more often before i hit 'submit comment' ...
uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:13 PM EST (#318121) #
"Different projections. Cordero was coming off a season where his K/9 and velocity plummeted before he signed with the Jays. His ERA was still very good, and that's likely why AA invested in him, but his secondary numbers had collapse written all over it.AA was fooled by the ERA. "

whereas both Cordero's primaries and secondary numbers have already collapsed.

"Rauch was coming off a good season before he signed with the Jays, but he was a FB pitcher with average (6-7) K/9's. Not anything special. Blanton's secondary numbers are far more encouraging than either one of those guys prior to joining the Jays."

Rauch had many seasons under his belt as good or better than Blanton's one good partial season in long relief.

"Mark Lowe, at age 32, was not a MLB quality pitcher prior to 2015. Yet, the Jays gave up 3 prospects to rent him for 2 months before he signed with the Tigers for more than double what Blanton got this winter. So while Shapiro/Atkins are doing the smart thing by not letting the market dictate their behavior, the point is if they want to add for 2016 without hurting financial flexibility beyond 2016, then guys like Blanton are the rare breed this off-season. A one year market value deal for a team with a one year window seems pretty ideal to me."

AA gave up one longshot prospect for one of the hottest relievers in baseball for a playoff run. Good trade. That one longshot prospect is hit and miss to make the top 20 in a bad system. I hope we do the same thing this year to fill a need heading into the playoffs, rather than gamble a guaranteed contract on a guy who could just as easily suck this year.

as for the other 2 throw ins, one has already been waived.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:16 PM EST (#318122) #
August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs notes that Toronto is looking at the largest projected performance dropoff (measured by WAR) from returning players, citing Donaldson (hard to project 9 WAR for anyone), EE (aging curve), Estrada (possibly undervalued by projections), Goins and Pillar.

that concern actually makes sense to me, although i think it's mitigated by a full year of Tulo and the return of Saunders.

Boston and Washington are the two teams predicted to have the biggest gains.  

Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:19 PM EST (#318123) #
It's very possible everyone's conception of Jesse Chavez is inaccurate. Josh Donaldson was his Teammate and said the Jays should acquire him. So for someone who played with David Price, still thinks Chavez is a good acquisition, that's good enough for me as it should be for others. There's no question he has stamina issues due to trouble keeping weight on. But for a 5th Starter, two good months in April and May can make a difference.

For some Players being traded can be crushing, or at least very difficult. J.A. Happ was something special in Philadelphia and a different Pitcher after being traded. I don't know if one sentences applies to the other. I heard Pittsburgh's Pitching Coach talk about Happ (might still be available as a Podcast) shortly after he was signed. The changes he made were simple, repeatable and changed the way he pitched. It's not possible to be as good as he was in Pittburgh unless those changes were automatic. Expecting him to be like he was in Pittsburgh is wrong, but to stay like he was when in Toronto is equally wrong. He will be better, but how much, no one knows.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:23 PM EST (#318124) #
If Sanchez is starting, it will be in AAA, IMO. There is too much riding on 2016 for them to put an inferior rotation option in the 5th starter spot when they have better options than him already on the team (Chavez/Hutch)

This of course assumes that Sanchez is an inferior option to Chavez and Hutchison. Last year at this time, fans were optimistic about the 2015 Hutchison. Fangraphs pegged him as under-rated and a 'breakout' candidate. We saw how that went. I'm not sour on Hutchison (unless its a Cavados sour), and I'm not as ready to write off Sanchez for 2016 as you are. I don't think anyone knows how it will shake out this year. I think Spring Training is going to be more interesting than it has been for the past few years because of the rotation options.

And speaking of Spring Training, you have to admire those Red Sox fans. There is only one spring training game in Dunedin that is already sold out - March 11 vs. the Red Sox. Some years I don't go to the games that the Red Sox visit Dunedin because the park is filled largely with Red Sox fans, many of whom drive up from the FM area. This year I think it will be fun.
uglyone - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:48 PM EST (#318125) #
"August Fagerstrom at Fangraphs notes that Toronto is looking at the largest projected performance dropoff (measured by WAR) "

only by steamer projections. not zips.
Mylegacy - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 02:59 PM EST (#318126) #
Just thinkin' 'bout the Kid Pitchers: Stroman, Osuna, Sanchez and Hutchison. For ANY team having four such exciting, high upside, young starters at this stage (and at their ages) in their careers is quite rare. We are lucky to have them! IF - all four have earned being in the rotation by 2017 we will have the financial flexibility to keep AT LEAST one of Bautista or EdWing AND getting Donaldson signed to a multi-year deal.

In my opinion, the growth of these four starters will determine just how competitive our Jay's will be over the next 5 to 10 years.

When their careers are done I see Stroman and Osuna as both having had well above average, perhaps even Ace careers. Sanchez and Hutchison BOTH have SERIOUS upside and SERIOUS threats to reaching their potential highs. I suspect at least one of them will put enough together to end up having, AT LEAST, a solid mid-rotation starter career - if I had to guess which - I'd suggest Sanchez.

However, It would not be too big a surprise for all four to become at least mid-rotation horses. That would be absolutely yummy.

SK in NJ - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 03:19 PM EST (#318127) #
CbDC, I'm honestly unsure of what to expect out of Hutchison, but if I was a betting man, I'd still take him in 2016 over Sanchez (who has a lot of work to do as far as his repertoire). I actually think Chavez is being a bit underrated, despite the question of durability. He's still the best guy for the #5 spot as of now, IMO.

Sanchez has one plus pitch (which he has trouble commanding more often than not as a starter), but has an elite ability to induce GB's. Maybe working on a changeup in addition to FB command can turn him into a MLB starter, but I think expecting it in April 2016 is optimistic. I wouldn't be upset if he proved me wrong, though.
John Northey - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 04:43 PM EST (#318128) #
OF course, the Jays had over 100 wins based on the various WAR's last year iirc so of course they'll be dropping from that or they'd be overwhelming favorites.
scottt - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 05:59 PM EST (#318129) #
EE is only going to be 33.

I'm worried about Happ and Chavez, not EE, Pillar and Goins.

With Gibby, WAR doesn equal Win. All those guys could do better than last year and the Jays would still not win 100 games.

John Northey - Thursday, January 21 2016 @ 10:52 PM EST (#318130) #
Lets go over Fangraphs drops (Steamer)
CA: Martin 3.5 to 3.3
1B: Smoak: 0.6 to 0.3
1B: Colabello: 0.8 to 0.6
2B: Goins: 1.5 to 0.2 (!)
2B: Travis: 2.3 to 1.5
3B: Donaldson: 8.7 to 5.9
SS: Tulowitzki: 2.3 to 3.1
LF: Saunders: -0.1 to 0.8
CF: Pillar: 4.3 to 2.5
RF: Bautista: 4.5 to 3.7
OF: Pompey: 0.2 to 0.8
DH: Encarnacion: 4.5 to 2.6 (!)

Wow. For offense it is almost 100% drops outside of Saunders, Pompey, and Tulowitzki with a few big ones (Goins, Donaldson, Pillar, Encarnacion all over 1 WAR drops).
AWeb - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 09:24 AM EST (#318131) #
Projections generally have almost everyone getting worse though - the only way to have a projection significantly better than your last season is to have previously been a good/great player and had a terrible year, or to be a young player who was great in the minors. You're either expected to regress to the mean, or you're getting old and may not recover. The Jays just happen to have almost nothing but guys who could regress to the mean after being so great positionally last year.

I don't think it's unfair to say the Jays offense last year was basically the best case scenario for the players they assembled though. Three great hitters, a great 1b platoon, useful-level offense from Goins and Pillar, Pillar's defense (he can't possibly get as many chances to make great plays next year can he? It reminded me of Trout's great defense year when he stole ~5 homers - great to do, but most years, you simply don't get the chances). Only the veteran SS's were disappointing at the plate.

The Jays need some unexpected pitching greatness (or at least goodness) to repeat last years results. A good entire year from Dickey, Estrada repeating last year, Hutchinson returning to reasonable form, Chavez being above average, Stroman lasting the whole year, etc.
johnny was - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 10:22 AM EST (#318133) #
For many here, it will be the intersection of two of our favourite things when Josh Donaldson does his cameo on Vikings.
Dave Till - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 11:50 AM EST (#318134) #
Regarding Fangraphs and offensive regression: the 2015 Blue Jays were so far out there in runs scored totals that you would have to expect a regression. They led the league in runs scored by 127 runs. The difference between the Jays and the second-place Yankees was greater than the difference between the Yankees and the 14th-place Rays. The Jays are not going to score nearly 900 runs again because nobody does. (The last AL team to score more than the 2015 Jays was the 2009 Yankees.) But I think they'll still score enough runs to lead the league.

As for Hutchison: I've never seen a home-road split like his before, so I have no idea what to expect. At home, he pitched like a Cy Young winner; on the road, he pitched like someone who should start thinking of looking for another day job. I assume that these extremes were a statistical fluke, but that's just a guess.

Sanchez is one of the rare players whose stuff is so good that he managed to make it to the major league level without having mastered command of it. Most pitchers aren't good enough to get away with that. If he finds his command, he could be great - but you could say that about hundreds if not thousands of minor-league pitchers. I'm not expecting anything from him as either a starter or a reliever, but I am doing a lot of hoping.
uglyone - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 02:13 PM EST (#318136) #
"The Jays just happen to have almost nothing but guys who could regress to the mean after being so great positionally last year. "

this isn't actually true though. only a few players aignificantly exceeded expectations, while a few did not.

zips sees this, even though steamer doesn't.
John Northey - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 02:16 PM EST (#318137) #
Lets all hope ZiPs is more accurate for 2016 then :)
uglyone - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 04:37 PM EST (#318138) #
i'll go with the one that doesn't project wild mysterious changes in performance.
scottt - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 06:39 PM EST (#318139) #
3B: Donaldson: 8.7 to 5.9

Going by baseball-reference:

So, basically, 7.7, 7.3, 8.8, to 5.9?

Steamer is basically predicting everyone on the DL 1 to 3 months.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 07:03 PM EST (#318140) #
Projections are usually pessimistic, occasionally confusing and always debatable. I don't like them because bias might play a part.

Once a Player has played two or more years, they establish Career Average numbers. Career Average numbers tell you what a Player will do next year if relatively healthy. Normal years are generally close plus/minus to Career Averages. Using anything more than the Player's last two years might be inaccurate. It will show possible trends when compared with the whole. If the Player doesn't have two years to compare, it gets harder.

If you examine every Blue Jay, you will find most were within Career Averages. Others were very poor and some don't have two-year numbers to work with. Projections say the Jays will score fewer runs. I would be shocked if they did because I expect them to score more.
cybercavalier - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 07:27 PM EST (#318141) #
To find command, would a pitcher experiment in Toronto or Buffalo ? Numbers of Triple-A team feature lineups of veterans who had played in the MLB. Instead of a regular 5-day rest in the rotation, would juggling him to maximize chances to pitch to those batters in lineup  ?

Day 1 against team A which has 5 veterans in lineup. pitches 6 innings
Day 2 rest
Day 3 rest. end of 3 game set
Day 4 against team B which has 6 veterans, rest
Day 5 against team B, 7 2/3 innings
Day 6 rest
Day 7 rest,
Day 8 rest, end of 4 game set
Day 9 day off
Day 10, against team C which features 6 prospects and young players. available as a RP against veteran pinch hitter.
Day 11, available as a RP against veteran pinch hitter.
Day 12, rest, end of 3 game s
Day 13 against team D which feature 4 veteran staters
Day 14, start, pitch 6 innings
cybercavalier - Friday, January 22 2016 @ 07:38 PM EST (#318142) #
From a previous post that a 2nd backup catcher is thought to be needed behind Thole.

According to this November Sportsnet article, Robinson Diaz is a minor league free agent. However, Scott Diamond is now a Jay. Henderson and Molleken are signed to other MLB teams.
Would the Jays still want Diaz, Travis Snider and Brad Lincoln ?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 03:21 AM EST (#318143) #
I've spoken to several people who are Blue Jays fans like I am. Word is the Jays have asked Roger's for more money. I don't know where they got their information. I just want to know if anyone has heard something similar. Something might have broke for the push.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 08:40 AM EST (#318144) #
The Mets reportedly get Cespedes for 3/75, with an opt-out after one season (after which he'll have earned $27.5m). With a relatively weak free agent class next year, it seems likely that he'll be gone after 2016. Still, the addition of Bastardo and Cespedes strengthens the team nicely for the upcoming season.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 11:11 AM EST (#318145) #
I do not put too much stock in WAR projections because the error bar for one season projections of defensive contributions is unbearably large.  There is however value in especially the offensive element of the projections. 

Personally, I break the offensive side down further into two aspects- performance and durability which are measured pretty well by wOBA and PAs.  So, if you look at Edwin Encarnacion say, he's a 33 year old DH and occasional first baseman who in the past 4 seasons has put up wOBAs of .396, .388, .389 and .392 and  has PAs of 644, 621, 542 and 624.  Steamer projects him for a wOBA of .371 and 540 PAs.  Is that a reasonable level of age-related decline in both performance and durability?  Probably not.  The figures should probably be in the .380-.385 wOBA range and 570-600 PA range.  I suspect the problem is that Steamer may consider career performance which, in Encarnacion's case, is not particularly relevant. A similar thing probably occurs with the 30 year old Josh Donaldson- in that case because (probably) of consideration of his 2012 part-season before he was established as a major league third baseman.  He also benefited more than the average player from the move from Oakland to Toronto.  Instead of his BABIP being much higher on the road as it was in 2013 and 2014 (due to the large foul territory in Oakland and consequent higher pop-up rate there), it was much higher at home in 2015.  Steamer projects Donaldson to do worse than his career norm in performance, with a wOBA of .365 vs a career of .366.  Given the more favourable conditions for Donaldson and the irrelevance (in my view) of the 2012 part-season, this is probably noticeably low.

The Blue Jays are unusual in that they have 3 late bloomers at the core of their lineup in Donaldson, Encarnacion and Bautista.  It really should not be a surprise that projection systems would have some difficulty with them.

As for the defensive stars, Pillar and Goins, the issues are somewhat different. Pillar is a 27 year old centerfielder.  Over his career spanning one and a half seasons, he's a according to UZR and +22/150G according to DRS. Steamer projects him at +5.6.  That's probably too much regression and likely fails to take account of the DRS figure at all.  The figure should probably be in the +8 to +12 range. Goins is a middle infielder who will be 28 in February.  Over his career, spanning just about a season at second base, he's +11/150G according to UZR and +22/150G according to DRS.  At shortstop, where he has played half as often, the figures are +12/150 UZR and +24/150 DRS. Steamer projects him at +3 in 323 PAs or about +6/150.  That is too much regression and likely fails to take account of the DRS figures at all.  A number of in the +12/+14 per 150G is reasonable.  Incidentally, Steamer projects Pillar for 135G/535PAs.  Those figures are also unreasonably low.  He's been a durable player throughout his minor and major league career, and there is no reason to anticipate that he would have fewer PAs than a typical 27 year old regular centerfielder.  He doesn't have a long major league history and Steamer probably docks him for that.  It's a bit of a late bloomer problem too.

On the optimistic side of the defensive projections, Steamer has Tulowitzki as a +7.3 player defensively (i.e. more valuable on a rate basis than Goins).  That's not reasonable looking at the statistical record (never mind the clear subjective difference at this stage in their careers).  It is interesting that there was not a single player whose offensive Steamer projection seemed to me to be outside the reasonable range. 

For what it's worth, I do not have the same level of disagreement with Steamer's projections of the pitchers.  Steamer has Hutchison with a better projection both by ERA and FIP than Estrada.  Much as I like Hutchison subjectively, this does not make sense to me.  Subjectively, I believe that Stroman's projection (200 innings/3.7 ERA and WAR) is pessimistic, but it is certainly well within the reasonable range given his history.

uglyone - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 02:06 PM EST (#318146) #
I keep wanting to try and lay it out fully but it's always too much work.

Let me try a simplistic comparison of the projections with recent performance, knowing that it's far from perfect.

I'll just quickly lay out the 2yr fWAR, and then the Steamer and Zips forecasts....and I'm just going to pace them all out to 650pa, so that we're judging pure quality of play and not projections of playing time (of which I really have no problems with from either projection system). I'll project the bench guys for 150pa so that it gives us a better eyeball of their impact on team projections.

Donaldson (30): 7.1 --- 5.8stm (-1.3), 6.6zip (-0.5)
Martin (33): 5.7 ------ 4.7stm (-1.0), 5.1zip (-0.6)
Tulowitzki (31): 5.4 -- 3.8stm (-1.6), 4.9zip (-0.5)
Bautista (35): 5.2 ---- 4.1stm (-1.1), 5.0zip (-0.2)
Encarnacion (33): 4.5 - 3.1stm (-1.4), 3.9zip (-0.6)

Now the post-30 aging factor usually counts for about -0.5war a year. Which is basically what Zips is projecting for these guys. Steamer projecting them ALL to decline by 1.0-1.5war is fairly bizarre. There's really no justification for it. I could see an argument for one or two of them having misleading 2yr stats but not all of them.

Pillar (27): 4.3 ------ 3.0stm (-1.3), 3.4zip (-0.9)
Travis (25): 6.4 ------ 3.1stm (-3.3), 3.8zip (-2.6)
Saunders (29): 4.1 ---- 1.8stm (-2.3), 2.6zip (-1.5)
Smoak (29): 0.3 ------- 0.7stm (+0.4), 1.0zip (+0.7)

Aging factor has no bearing on these projections. And there's really no problem projecting these guys to decline from their 2yr numbers given their lack of track record at this level of performance. But again we see steamer more pessimistic by zips by a good 0.5-1.0war in every slot.

Pompey (23): 0.4 ------ 0.4stm (----), 0.3zip (-0.1)
Colabello (32): 0.0 --- 0.3stm (+0.3), 0.1zip (+0.1)
Goins (28): 0.2 ------- 0.1stm (-0.1), 0.1zip (-0.1)
Thole (29): -0.2 ------ 0.2stm (+0.4), 0.0zip (+0.0)

Nothing of note here.

So that's a full 6+war projected difference in pure performance level from the starting lineup.

And that's with Zips still projecting reasonable declines from the entire starting lineup over what they've done the last 2yrs. It's not a rosy projection by any means.

The extreme declines projected from Steamer just don't make any sense to me.
Chuck - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 03:56 PM EST (#318147) #
Agree with Mike that projection models may treat late bloomers overly harshly, subjecting them to more typical ageing curves.

I think that were the Jays to repeat their 2015 season, their run scoring would regress based on chance alone. So to use their 2015 runs scored as a basis for future projections may not be entirely appropriate.

Their bases-empty/men-on OPS split was 733/878, compared to 711/756 for the AL as a whole. Their improvement with men on base was far greater than the norm, 145 points versus 45, and I'd suggest that random variability played a huge role in that (even if the local scribes might have more emotionally stirring, inspirational cause-and-effect explanations).

Mike Green - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 06:24 PM EST (#318148) #
I definitely agree with Chuck that the club offence as a whole cannot be expected to again substantially outperform the team slash line by superior clutch hitting.

The best case scenario for the club is that Saunders is healthy and able to give them 500 PAs as a mobile corner outfielder and Bautista is willing to begin his move to first base on a part-time basis. Their best lineup against a right handed starter has Saunders, Pillar and Pompey in the outfield and Bautista at first base.If they can get this happening 100 times in 2016, they have a fighting chance at reducing their runs allowed by 40 or 50. This would put them in good shape even if runs scored are off by 80 or 90.
John Northey - Saturday, January 23 2016 @ 10:22 PM EST (#318149) #
There are a few very big variables in the run scoring for 2016. When does Travis return, how well will Tulo do with a full season away from Colorado, will losing Navarro (thus not seeing him DH with that 88 OPS+) be a net plus despite Thole being the backup CA? Will having Thole around all year help keep Martin more in-tune? How badly will Colabello drop off? Etc.

If the core hits well then the offense could be scary due to the multiplier effect - without easy outs you kill the starter early and dig into a teams bullpen which helps you the next day as your opponents are weaker and weaker due to tired relievers and/or needing to call up more (lower quality) from AAA. Should be interesting to see what happens.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 12:29 AM EST (#318150) #
When Devon Travis starts hitting and getting into real games, we should expect him 4-6 weeks later. Devon has always hit and had a reputation for good, but just good defense. April 6th - May 16th: Until he was injured, he was better, sometimes a lot better. When he returned, June 26th - July 28th, he was much better. Since his shoulder's been fixed, he just needs ABs - lots, and he'll be fine.

Justin Smoak and Chris Colabello lost 171 ABs to Navarro. Both hit better than Navarro in one way or another. Russell Martin won't get beat up once or twice a week catching Dickey, so it's highly possible he's much better. Josh Thole catches R.A. Dickey and is invaluable for this Team, beyond price, so his offense is immaterial.

Troy Tulowitzki was the big bat on Colorado's team - a key piece of the offense. With Toronto, he doesn't have to be the big bat. He just has to be better than Reyes, and that should be easy.

Chris Colabello didn't have consistent ABs, but still hit very well. Is it possible he finally figured out how to hit? Despite word getting around Opponents' Pitchers, they still couldn't figure out how to stop Chris' hitting.
Alex Obal - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 03:52 AM EST (#318151) #
Saunders complicates things. If healthy he might be the best option in-house, but the injury risk makes him a pretty high-maintenance use of a roster spot.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 05:59 AM EST (#318152) #
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were healthier than normal, so their numbers overall were better than Career Average, but within acceptable limits. It's possible adding Donaldson to the lineup took some pressure off them, which made things easier for them.

No one knows how good Josh Donaldson could be, even himself. But for Josh to have just a Career Average-type year will be good enough. With Jose and Edwin hitting behind him, he could be a continual MVP. So that's 3, 4 and 2 in the lineup covered.

Troy Tulowitzky doesn't need to be the offensive powerhouse Colorado needed him to be, so he fits perfectly in the 5 spot in the lineup. He'll have a good year and possibly be even better.

On this Team, the #1 hitter does not need to steal bases, he just needs to get on base, a lot. Whoever becomes the leadoff hitter until Devon Travis returns, needs a good OBP in addition to their hitting. I would put the Left Fielder, likely to be Michael Saunders there.

How the 6, 7, 8. and, 9 fill out depends on who plays. But if Saunders gets a boost as #1 he could be a very viable #6 once Travis returns.
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 09:42 AM EST (#318153) #
Bautista and edwin were both injured last year.
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 09:56 AM EST (#318154) #
I'm not worried about their bases empty/runners on splits at all - by fangraphs baseruns (which removes all cluster luck) the jays were still by far the best offense in baseball with 5.26nper game, yanks were second at 4.73.

In fact their bases empty split wasn't really abnormal - their 102wrc+ with bases empty was barely off the league leading dodgers' 105wrc+.

In general imo there's more reason to expect an increase in offense rather than a decrease - namely that there's a good chance that we'll see significant offensive upgrades at SS, LF, and 2B.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 10:18 AM EST (#318155) #
In general imo there's more reason to expect an increase in offense rather than a decrease - namely that there's a good chance that we'll see significant offensive upgrades at SS, LF, and 2B.

We'll have to disagree about that.  There's Steamer on one side and unbridled hometown optimism on the other (not that there's anything wrong with sunny ways).

I am puzzled by Alex' comment about Saunders and a roster spot, given his injury history.  Presumably in spring training, it will be discovered whether his knee is indeed fully healed or not and the decision will be made with ample time having been given for recovery (unlike last season's decision-making process on him).  If it is healed, I cannot see that the club has a better option for outfield/first base than the one I have described and it's not as though the club is swimming in outfielders.  The Pompey/Pillar/Bautista OF with Colabello/Smoak option just isn't as good.  Steamer is right about that.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 11:23 AM EST (#318156) #
Your question for today:"Who was the best MLB player born today?"

The candidates include Jose Quintana, Scott Kazmir, Rob Dibble and Wally Judnich.  It hasn't been a great day for ballplayers, but in the names department, we have Bunk Congalton, Pop Rising (amen brother), Dave Brain, Pinch Thomas and the immortal Johnny Dickshot.  It's a Hall of Fame Hall of Names day.

vw_fan17 - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 12:32 PM EST (#318157) #
Steamer is right about that.

So, if things go way better than expected, will Steamer come and apologize and admit he was wrong? :-)
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 12:47 PM EST (#318158) #
The insinuation that last year's offense was some kind of outlier overachievment is just not factual.

Here's a comparison of each player's 2yr split from '13-'14 compared to their '15 wrc+.

(Min 50pa)

Full Timers

Pillar 76 -------> 93 (+17)
Donaldson 138 ---> 154 (+16)
Encarnacion 148 -> 150 (+2)
Bautista 149 ----> 147 (-2)
Martin 121 ------> 114 (-7)
Reyes 108 -------> 93 (-15) / Tulo 153 -> 91 (-62)

Part Timers

Colabello 81 ----> 142 (+61)
Goins 41 --------> 84 (+43)
Valencia 106 ----> 127 (+21)
Revere 91 -------> 102 (+11)
Smoak 100 -------> 107 (+7)
Navarro 99 ------> 84 (-15)
Thole 56 --------> 34 (-22)
Pennington 77 ---> 53 (-24)
Pompey 105 ------> 81 (-24)
Saunders* 110 ----> 47 (-63)


Travis --- ------> 135

* - Saunders less than 50pa but his absence can't be ignored.

(and yes, the hot part timers received more PA than the cold ones, as will always happen).
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 12:55 PM EST (#318159) #
And I'll compare the health of the Big 5 using the same 13/14 to 15 method, using average Games Played per year.

Bautista 137 -----> 153 (+16)
Encarnacion 135 --> 146 (+11)
Martin 119 -------> 129 (+10)
Donaldson 158 ----> 158 (+0)
Reyes/Tulo 114 ---> 110 (-4)

Noting that the biggest "health improvement" came from Bautista, who was forced by injury to DH for a quarter of the season, and whose fielding was hurt by injury for longer than that.
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 02:00 PM EST (#318160) #
Not sure if I mentioned it a couple days ago but I thought about mentioning it at least - and that was the Jays might want to consider Cespedes.

And some pretty good sources now say the Jays were definitely in on him.

Now I'm sure we weren't in the same ballpark as the winning bid but the target definitely made sense to me.
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 02:01 PM EST (#318161) #
In which case I'll add that I sure hope we're in on Cliff Lee.
SK in NJ - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 02:45 PM EST (#318162) #
The Jays definitely need another OF. Saunders/Pompey is not enough. After that you're looking at Carrera and Lake as the depth options, and we don't even know if Saunders is 100% yet, although I'm sure he'll be "in the best shape of his life" shortly.

Allegedly the Jays were the "mystery team" on Cespedes based on some report on Twitter. Hard to say whether that's true or not, but it was absolutely the right target if true, and would have improved the team tremendously. Maybe they do have enough to add another OF, even if it's someone like Austin Jackson. If Bautista gets hurt and Saunders isn't reliable, then the Jays are in big trouble. Another OF can at least mitigate some of that risk. Cespedes would have been amazing, but it doesn't have to be a star OF. Someone like Jackson who can provide a 1-2 WAR and can play multiple positions would definitely upgrade the roster.
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 02:50 PM EST (#318163) #
again, what OF are you comparing to when you say having 3/4/5/6 OF like saunders/pompey/carerra/lake isn't "enough"?
uglyone - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 03:04 PM EST (#318164) #
AL East OF Depth Charts

Last 2yrs fWAR


Bautista (35): 1339pa, 10.8war
Pillar (27): 750pa, 4.9war
Saunders (29): 299pa, 1.9war
Pompey (23): 146pa, 0.4war
Carerra (28): 265pa, 0.4war


Betts (23): 867pa, 6.7war
Bradley (26): 678pa, 2.9war
Young (32): 722pa, 1.5war
Castillo (28): 329pa, 1.3war
Brentz (27): 26pa, 0.0war


Gardner (32): 1292pa, 6.0war
Ellsbury (32): 1136pa, 4.9war
Hicks (26): 615pa, 1.6war
Beltran (39): 980pa, 1.3war
Heathcott (25): 30pa, 0.5war


Kiermayer (26): 899pa, 9.5war
Guyer (30): 679pa, 4.2war
Jennings (29): 650pa, 3.4war
Mahtook (26): 115pa, 1.8war
Souza (27): 452pa, 1.5war


Jones (30): 1263pa, 9.1war
Reimold (32): 273pa, 0.5war
Trumbo (30): 907pa, -0.1war
Hoes (26): 152pa, -0.7war
Urrutia (29): 36pa, 0.1war
greenfrog - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 03:15 PM EST (#318165) #
Cespedes would have been a good fit for the Jays, at least for 2016. It's not hard to envision him putting up great numbers at the RC. And he has actually hit RHP slightly better than he's hit LHP, which would have made him a good fit for the Jays' lineup.

The Jays should have a good team in 2016, but it's disappointing to see them refrain from making another move or two that could have helped make them a dominant team. As fangraphs has noted, this year's free agent class was very strong. Someone like Price, Heyward or Cespedes (or even a complementary piece like Bastardo) would have made sense for the Jays (in a 1992/93 way), although big-ticket FA signings always carry a fair bit of risk.
jerjapan - Sunday, January 24 2016 @ 03:56 PM EST (#318166) #
I'll be stunned if we add another significant piece - I think both ownership and the FO have been as clear on this as possible.  Cecspedes ended up agreeing to a real value deal for the Mets - if we can't get in on something like this, I don't see us doing anything bigger than a Cliff Lee type injury flier, or some minor league deals. 

And sign me up as agreeing that we have sufficient OF depth - not that I wouldn't have loved Cespedes. 

Richard S.S. - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 12:15 AM EST (#318168) #
For 2016, the Blue Jays have no problems within the Outfield. If there was any question about Michael Saunders' health, the Jays would have acquired an outfielder better than Junior Lake long before now. If they are satisfied, we should be too. If Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar or Michael Saunders go on the D.L., Dalton Pompey gets called up from AAA where he starts the season.

The 4th Outfielder is only on the Roster for the day of the Injury, or to give someone a day off. They are not the longer term replacement. I would be shocked if it was any different, this year. Junior Lake (26) is out of options but under control thru 2021. He defends all OF positions well enough, despite being a light hitter. Ezequiel Carrera (28) is out of options but under control thru 2020. He also defends all OF positions well enough and hits fairly well. It's not so much who's the 4th OF, it's who won't get claimed when they don't win the job.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 01:26 AM EST (#318169) #
Non-Roster invites to Spring Training:
1B: Matt Dean and Rowdy Tellez;
2B: Jon Berti;
SS: Richard Urena;
3B: Andy Burns;
LF: Dwight Smith Jr.;
CF: Roemon Fields and Anthony Alford;
Starters: Connor Greene and Taylor Cole;
Relievers: Wil Browning and Chad Girodo.

This is where the Call-ups and Trade Assets come from. These are the players, this year, the Jays think will move the fastest.
scottt - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 08:18 AM EST (#318170) #
not that I wouldn't have loved Cespedes.

Not particularly attracted to a guy who chain smokes between innings.
John Northey - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 11:14 AM EST (#318171) #
Cespedes will be available next winter when the Jays will probably be chasing a RF/DH/1B hard. Unless of course Bautista and/or EE sign cheap and quick.

This year in LF Saunders/Pompey/etc. will do. The kids in the minors are hopefully going to charge hard towards the top. Ideally you get EE & Bautista for 2017 but not on a 5 year deal each. One on a 1 year deal and the other 3 years would be perfect I suspect.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 12:07 PM EST (#318172) #
2015 starting OF: Saunders, Pompey, Bautista.

2015 players used in the OF: Pillar, Colabello, Carrera, Valencia, Goins, Pennington, Tolleson, and Diaz.

2014 starting OF: Melky, Rasmus, Bautista

2014 players used in the OF: Pillar, Pompey, Gose, Encarnacion, Mayberry, Mastroianni, Tolleson, Diaz, Reimold, Sierra, Glenn, and Gillespie.

You're not going to have all-stars in the minors in case of injury, but you do want to have at least some type of depth so that in an emergency you are only relying on one Carrera, and not 4 or 5 of them.

The Jays could use another OF. It doesn't have to be a star, but someone who can hold down an OF spot for an extended period of time without hurting the team would be good, especially with the uncertainty around Saunders and the fact that Bautista is 35. Having Pillar last season was very fortunate. Maybe Pompey plays that role this season, but it's not a very common thing that happens.

Of course, if there's no money left, or very limited funds, then that changes everything. I'm going on the assumption that the Jays being a "mystery team" for Cespedes implies that they have a decent amount left so spend. I don't actually believe they do.
uglyone - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 12:43 PM EST (#318173) #
The Jays choosing to play the likes of Cola or Valencia in the OF instead of Pompey or Carrera says nothing about their depth or the need for depth.
Dave Till - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 03:55 PM EST (#318174) #
It's hard to find good depth players for the obvious reason: if they were any good, they wouldn't be depth players - they would be starters.

I guess the trick is finding players that other teams don't want that you think either can be fixed or can adapt to the Rogers Centre. The best case is Alex Gonzalez The Second, who was picked off the discard pile and saw his fly balls turn into home runs.
John Northey - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 04:55 PM EST (#318175) #
Need to follow Earl Weavers rule - look for what a player can do and give them a chance to do it. ie: if a guy is great at defense use him for defense, if he can only hit then keep him off the field as much as you can and let him hit.
bpoz - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 08:25 PM EST (#318176) #
Very good points Dave Till & John N. Your points are good because I agree with them. Even if I did not agree, Your points would still be respected by me.

For A Gon #2, I give Cito a lot of credit. A lot of hitters flourished with him. A Lind had his best year with Cito.

I am not here to promote Cito. It is just that he guided our best ever teams.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 25 2016 @ 10:01 PM EST (#318177) #
For all we talk about, this Offseason is about two things, the Jays Pitching staff and the AAA Team in Buffalo. I expect everything to take a back seat to that. Most of what needs to be done is done. The rest waits for prices to fall as they always do.

Marcus Stroman fills the place in the Rotation last occupied by Aaron Sanchez, multiple replacement pitchers and David Price. I don't think he'll have any problem succeeding there. R.A. Dickey replaces R.A. Dickey and could be better. Marco Estrada replaces Marco Estrada and should be just fine. J.A. Happ replaces Mark Buehrle and I expect him to be better. Which Starter replaces Drew Hutchison is still a work in progress which might get solved in Spring Training.

I suspect Aaron Sanchez to be in the Bullpen as a multi-inning Reliever, building up innings so he can start in 2017 (replacing Dickey). He joins two returning Relievers, Roberto Osuna and Brett Cecil as a dynamic Back End. Drew Storen replaces Mark Lowe and as a power-arm Closer, and to backup Osuna as well. That makes this Bullpen scary-good.

Filling holes with short term fixes is fine, but sometimes more than this year is important. Shapiro and company has done a good job thus far, but until they really know what they have, there are limits on changes. Good luck.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 07:54 AM EST (#318178) #
Junior Lake is a fine depth piece. He has some upside, is still young, and has years of cheap control left in the event that he turns into something. You just don't want him to be your primary depth piece because right now he's a replacement level player at best. As of now I suspect Pompey will be counted on heavily. Saunders will have to prove he's not only healthy but healthy enough to last an entire season, and he had trouble doing that with two good knees. That's why I'd prefer getting a more established 4th OF, which would mean Pompey starts in AAA, and then in a best case they can pass both Lake and Carrera through waivers (or lose one but still have the other).

I don't expect this regime to allow Gibbons to play his video game lineups (Colabello in LF, Francisco at 3B, etc) so I'm confident that actual OF's will be playing in the outfield this season in the event of injuries. Just add one more piece.
scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 08:05 AM EST (#318179) #
Mario Scutaro was a better find than Alex Gonzalez.

Scoot didn't fall apart until age 38.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 10:38 AM EST (#318180) #
An old rotation thing I did was figure out ERA by rotation slot using best ERA for slot 1, etc. 33/33/32/32/32 starts

#1: Stroman (1.67, 4 starts), David Price (2.30, 11), Estrada (3.28, 18 of his starts) = 2.73 ERA 210 2/3 IP
#2: Estada (3.28, 10 starts), Sanchez (3.55, 11 starts), Buehrle (3.81, 12) = 3.56 ERA 201 1/3 IP
#3: Buehrle (3.81, 20), Norris (3.86, 5), Dickey (3.91, 7) = 3.84 ERA 193 IP
#4: Dickey (3.91 26 starts), Doubront (4.87 4), Hutchison (5.47 26) = 4.09 ERA 199 2/3 IP
#5: Hutchison (5.47 26), Redmond (6.75,1), Copeland (8.03, 3), Boyd (14.90 2) = 6.09 160 1/3

So the #1 slot works out nicely (2.73 ERA) but #2/3 are interchangeable, #4 not much worse, and #5 sucked as it almost always does (it hold most #6 and beyond guys).

For example, in 1992 (which was headlined by Cone, Guzman, Key, Morris) for #5 you'd have had ERA's of 10.66, 6.39, 5.70, and 5.63 over 32 starts (Linton, Wells, Stieb, Hentgen...3 very good pitchers in there who just didn't have it in 1992).

For 2016 the key is to be as close to that 2.73 ace hole as possible. Stroman might do it. Estrada has a good shot at duplicating last year, Happ covering the #3 slot, Dickey the #4, a crowd trying to have a sub 6 ERA in that last slot. I suspect #1 will be worse (Stroman and Price were too good last year), #2/3/4 similar and #5 better. Hopefully an improvement at #5 compensates for any drop in #1.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 11:01 AM EST (#318181) #
Great read on the increasing frequency of player opt-outs today at BP (free content).

Russell Carleton suggests that since the first few years of a mega-contract are below market value in terms of $/WAR (he notes that this is typical for elite FAs), the teams are forced to either provide the opt-out (and hope the player uses it) or add years to the end of the contract (the albatross phase when the player recoups losses from the productive front-end of the contract). 

there is also a link to an article on the immortal Julio Franco, who was still playing semi-pro ball in Japan at 57 this season.  he is one of only 7 documented players in the 4,000 hit club - along with obvious members like Ichiro and Rose is the awesomely named Jigger Statz.  I thought I'd heard all the great baseball names via Mike Green's posts, but this might even beat 'Ugly" Johnny Dickshot. 

uglyone - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 11:24 AM EST (#318182) #
John - another way to slot our SP would be to combine estrada and norris as well as hutch and stroman, as each replaced the other in tbe rotation.

and then combine the smorgasbord of sanchez and other #6+ sp with price, as he filled that hole after the trade.

#1 Estrada/Norris: 33gs, 3.35era
#2 Buehrle: 32gs, 3.81era
#3 Dickey: 33gs, 3.91era
#4 Price/Sanchez+: 32gs, 3.97era
#5 Hutch/Stro: 32gs, 4.89era

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 01:22 PM EST (#318183) #
In 2015, as a Toronto Starter, David Price pitched:
9-1, 11 GS, 74.1, 57 H, 20 R, 19 ER, 4 HR, 18 BB, 87 SO.
In 2015, as a Toronto Starter, Aaron Sanchez pitched:
5-4, 11 GS, 66.0, 58 H, 28 R, 26 ER, 8 HR, 26 BB, 37 SO.
In 2015, Scott Copland, Matt Boyd and Felix Doubront pitched:
2-4, 09 GS, 39.1, 66 H, 36 R, 33 ER, 6 HR, 6 BB, 25 SO.
I don't think I missed anyone.

This is who Marcus Stroman needs to replace. He needs to be better than:
16-9, 31 GS, 179.2, 181H, 84 R, 78 ER,18 HR, 50 BB, 149 SO.
That's a lot to expect from him, but that's the bare minimum the Jays need from him. It's highly possible he could be better.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 02:01 PM EST (#318184) #
Junior Lake was claimed off waivers: with the low ranking for Toronto in the waiver wire, the fact that Toronto claimed him meant he is not sought after. For a 4th outfielder, would Grady Sizemore a good candidate. A former all-star when he was young, he played for the Rays and Phillies last season. Based on these two MLB videos:
his speed is about 8 metre per second from 3rd base to home plate without sliding
he still knows how to produce runs at a situation off a Jarred Cosart's 2-2 pitch

With uncertainty around Saunders and need for rest for JoeyBats, Sizemore would be a good signing for about 3 M - the salary of 2014 Navarro.

cybercavalier - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 02:08 PM EST (#318185) #
One unexpected benefit for signing Sizemore is his possible regaining his basestealing performance. Still he could replace Revere in leadoff as a CF, allow better matchup against RHSP with an outfield of JoeyBats and 2 of LHB Saunders, Carrera, Sizemore and RHB Pillar.
christaylor - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 02:45 PM EST (#318186) #
"One unexpected benefit for signing Sizemore is his possible regaining his basestealing performance."

Um, how could this happen? Perhaps by watching this over and over until he has to run from the sound of it echoing in his ears?
Chuck - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 05:38 PM EST (#318187) #
If John Gibbons promises to swear off donuts, maybe he could be the backup catcher.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 10:44 AM EST (#318194) #
The only uncertaincy about Michael Saunders exists on this site. I'm absolutely sure he's good to go (physically just fine). Shapiro and Company would have done something otherwise with the uncertaincy over Dalton Pompey (is he mentally confident?). If someone needs a D.L. stint, then Pompey gets the call. Everything is just that simple.

The 4th Outfielder plays the day of the Injury and maybe he plays one or two more, depending on how long it takes the replacement to arrive. The 4th OF plays when days off are needed or when they are needed to pinch-hit/pinch-run. Rarely will they get more than 150 ABs, and shouldn't. When that happens a Team usually has much bigger problems.

Ezequiel Carrera and Junior Lake are pre-arb, cheap, out of options and as good as is needed, this year. They are not the same as each has a different skill set and do things differently. But with all the firepower on this Team, shouldn't needing Offense from your 4th OF be a little ridiculous.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST (#318199) #
"Junior Lake was claimed off waivers: with the low ranking for Toronto in the waiver wire, the fact that Toronto claimed him meant he is not sought after"

Nah. Platoon guys slip through the cracks all the time.

Lake can hit lefty mlb pitching, and can field. There's not much doubt about that.
Arby's, Hot Stoves & Winter Tours | 232 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.