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Welcome to the dead zone of the sports season. No more real football until next month, the hockey all-star break is approaching and we have to slog through a 29-day February before Spring Training arrives. Below the fold are some stories for your reading pleasure.


Ace will be back in Dunedin starting March 2. (Image from Tampa Bay Tribune)


Here are 10 pounds of baseball stories in a five-pound bag...
  • The Toronto Star looks at five free agents remaining on the market that could help the Jays in 2016
  • The Toronto Sun says Major League Baseball is looking at raising the bottom of the strike zone and has a Q&A with three young Jays
  • BlueJays.com has a feature on Dalton Pompey and looks back on the Munenori Kawasaki era
  • Sportsnet takes a look at three prospects in the farm system
  • Jays minor leaguer Jason Leblebijian is swinging the thunder from down under
  • The Buffalo News says Gary Allenson is back at the helm for the Bisons and has a story on the Herd's recent Hot Stove luncheon
  • The Bisons are looking at ways of bring Canadian fans out to the ballpark with the lower loonie
  • The New Hampshire Union Leader says the Fisher Cats will have Bobby Meacham back as manager
  • The Norwich Bulletin catches up with Marcus Stroman and Connecticut native, pitching coach Pete Walker
  • Global News says Kevin Pillar is all about the 6ix

Some dates to keep in mind. Blue Jays pitchers and catchers report to Dunedin February 21 with workouts the next day. The Spring Training opener is March 1 in Clearwater against Philadelphia and the Dunedin home opener is March 2 against the Phillies. The regular season opener is Sunday, April 3 in Tampa Bay and the Dome Opener is Friday, April 8 against Boston.

Hang in there, Bauxites! We'll get through this together! ;D

Aladdin Sane! Getting Desperado For Baseball! | 173 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 06:18 PM EST (#318188) #
Reposting this since I'm interested in people's opinions and there's no other conversation happening:

Great read on the increasing frequency of player opt-outs today at BP (free content).

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28295

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. 
scottt - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 06:50 PM EST (#318189) #
Alex Rios? Seriously?
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 10:31 PM EST (#318190) #
I hope the dollar doesn't impact on the Jays' future relationship with Buffalo.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 26 2016 @ 11:50 PM EST (#318191) #
Welcome to the dead zone of the sports season. No more real football until next month, the hockey all-star break is approaching and we have to slog through a 29-day February before Spring Training arrives.

I'm enjoying the Raptors season immensely. They'll be sending Kyle Lowry to the all-star game as a starter, which is in Toronto, thanks to an impressive and late rally in the fan voting. Demar Derozan will likely be joining him.

Two games out of 1st in the Eastern Conference and 5th overall. Good fun.
Jevant - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 08:29 AM EST (#318192) #
That was my exact reaction. Pretty sure I'd take any AAAA level OF bat over Rios at anything more than the minimum.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 10:08 AM EST (#318193) #
"I hope the dollar doesn't impact on the Jays' future relationship with Buffalo."

Heck, it might encourage Buffalonians to make the trip to Toronto to see some games, especially if the Bisons graduate players to the big club.

(Yeah, there's a fair bit of wishcasting involved)
christaylor - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 10:52 AM EST (#318195) #
It is a long slog, as has been noted, but my thoughts have turned nostalgic for this time in 2013, because of a comment in the last thread (on all people Alex Gonzalez 2.0). My question, "What made us all so optimistic about 2013?" I missed this article in the to and fro of the baseball season. In short, it makes a decent case for the Marlins doing better in the 2012 trade. The RA Dickey trade also was a mistake, but these after the fact analysis is beside the point.

From just looking at what AA started with on the 2012 roster, what could have been the process that led him to think that going for it was a good idea, leaving aside optimism, wish-casting on 2012 under-performance, and a rare freeing up of resources from Rogers? Was this time in 2013 merely a hope and change moment?

I recall feeling more optimistic for 2013 than 2016 - which seems ridiculous, but also seems rational to expect from a team that had a historic offense in 2015. To get back to the main question, are you more optimistic now about the Jays regular season record than you were three years ago?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 11:34 AM EST (#318196) #
As long as A.A. was getting multiple draft picks for inexpensive average-ish players, he didn't need to spend much. When the Qualifying Offer supplanted the former way of acquiring picks, that moved A.A. into going after more costly acquisitions. The trade that fell through in 2012 Offseason, because the Pitcher signed an extension with his Team, would have netted A.A. a pick from a QO. Sometimes you must acquire a pick from a QO so you can sign a Free Agent with a QO, if necessary.

I think who A.A. went after in Miami had as much to do with the QO A.A. could make as it did the expected talent level he was acquiring. The rest was serendipity and bad karma.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 11:57 AM EST (#318197) #
I just realized that Pillar was almost on the same value pace in 2014 as he was last year.

2014: 122pa, 0.7fwar, 3.7fwar/650pa --- 0.9bwar, 4.8bwar/650pa
2015: 628pa, 4.3fwar, 4.5fwar/650pa --- 5.2bwar, 5.4bwar/650pa

But the funny thing is that 0.8fwar pace improvement didn't come from an improvement in hitting OR fielding - it all came from baserunning.


Breaking down fangraphs WAR, pacing all of them out to 650pa:

2014: -5.9bat, +17.1fld, +4.8bsr
2015: -5.2bat, +15.7fld, +8.4bsr


The only improvement Pillar made last year was on the basepaths, where he was twice as valuable. He was just as valuable at the plate and in the field the year before.

So was either year a baserunnig outlier? Let's look at the rudimentary "spd" metric on fangraphs (which iirc is just a combo of SB/CS and XB):

AAA 2013: 7.1
AAA 2014: 6.6
MLB 2014: 2.5
MLB 2015: 5.8

Looks to me like his 2014 baserunning was likely the outlier, not his 2015 baserunning.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 11:58 AM EST (#318198) #
"To get back to the main question, are you more optimistic now about the Jays regular season record than you were three years ago?"

This is easily the best roster I can remember us starting a season with.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 12:35 PM EST (#318201) #
Here's another story log to throw on the campfire. Sportsnet has a good piece on Jays hopeful and Guelph, Ontario native Scott Diamond.

"With just a few short weeks remaining until Toronto Blue Jays pitchers report to spring training, Scott Diamond is putting the finishing touches on a curveball he hopes could help him crack the teamís opening day roster."
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 01:18 PM EST (#318202) #
After 2012, A.A. knew he needed two quality Starters and a Big Bat. Then he would reevaluate the Team after the 2013 season to see what he needed to do. The Free Agent Starter (I believe to be Anibal Sanchez) A.A. signed was vetoed by Paul Beeston. The Big Bat (I didn't know who) took less money and term to sign elsewhere. The big trade fell through because the Pitcher in question (I believe to be Jake Peavy) would rather sign a very Team-friendly extension than play in Toronto. A.A. then went to plan B or C or whatever and the Blue Jay Universe changed.

Whether or not you like/dislike the Dickey trade, it was cost neutral, didn't increase payroll at all. In the 101 regular season games, 44 of his starts are of just 2 runs (not earned runs) or less; 28 of his starts are of 3 or 4 runs (not earned runs), but no more; and, 29 of his starts are of 5 runs (not earned runs) or more. That's very good performance considering how poor the Jays have been for most of his time here.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 03:15 PM EST (#318203) #
The bat was Carlos Beltran I thought...just checked though and he was a free agent 2013-14 not 2012-13. Ah well. So much for my memory.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 04:24 PM EST (#318204) #
Bronson Arroyo just signed with the Nationals for $2m with $6m in incentives (for 32 starts). Should we have been in on that deal?

Mlbtr is reporting that the Orioles were the mystery team in the Cespedes sweepstakes, NOT the Jays.

PeterG - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 04:34 PM EST (#318205) #
Sportsnet 360 has been reporting on ticker for over an hour that Jays have signed Randy Ponder to a minor league contract. I can't find anything about this and a google search for the name turns up a 2012 U of Missouri football player......nothing about baseball.

Anyone have more info? Could the tv ticker be wrong?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 04:50 PM EST (#318206) #
Randy PONDLER.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 04:51 PM EST (#318207) #
Pondler is a 17 year old Nicaraguan left handed pitcher. I assume he will be sent to the GCL for this season.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 04:52 PM EST (#318208) #
Sorry, 19 year old.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 05:10 PM EST (#318209) #
This from a Fangraphs chat just blew my mind:

Dave Cameron: Top prospects are worth more than $40 million.

James W - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 05:37 PM EST (#318210) #
Consider how much Bryce Harper would have been worth 4 years ago. Then he put up seasons of 5.1, 3.7, 1.0, and 9.9 bWAR. (Of course, BA's #6 prospect that winter, Jesus Montero, has contributed far less than $40 million of value.)
PeterG - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 06:23 PM EST (#318211) #
Thanks for the Pondler info. The 360 ticker said (and still says) Ponder.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 06:54 PM EST (#318212) #
When you start "trimming" staff, you generally keep the ones that are still cheap, not always the most competent. Most people can't spell and don't care, expecting the computer to take care of it all. Computer don't always handle people's name the same.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 07:47 PM EST (#318213) #
Arroyo still plays? Not at the major level apparently. He's going to be 39. It's a might late for a return. Pass.
scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 07:51 PM EST (#318214) #
This is easily the best roster I can remember us starting a season with.

I think we were better last year before all the spring training injuries.
It's close anyway.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 08:13 PM EST (#318215) #
you think?

Stroman - Stroman
Dickey - Dickey
Buehrle - Happ
Estrada - Estrada
Hutch - Hutch
Sanchez - Sanchez
Norris - Chavez

Cecil - Cecil
Castro - Storen
Osuna - Osuna
Loup - Loup
Hendriks - Sanchez
Estrada - Chavez
Redmond - Hutch


Donaldson - Donaldson
Bautista - Bautista
Encarnacion - Encarnacion
Martin - Martin
Reyes - Tulowitzki
Saunders - Saunders
Smoak - Smoak
Pillar - Pillar
Travis - Travis

Valencia - Colabello
Pompey - Pompey
Goins - Goins
Navarro - Thole


I think we're much better this year.
finch - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 09:41 PM EST (#318216) #
Uglyone, I agree with you, I think we are much better this year. For me, the key to the rotation, aside from injuries, is JA Happ. Buehrle could eat 200 innings. I hope we get that kind of production from Happ.
Chuck - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 10:12 PM EST (#318217) #
Buehrle could eat 200 innings. I hope we get that kind of production from Happ.

The odds would seem long. His career high, from last year, is 172. Even as a Pirate, with an ERA below 2.00, he averaged fewer than 6 innings per start.

scottt - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 10:15 PM EST (#318218) #
I'd rather have Tulo than Reyes.
Happ is not the workhorse that Buehrle was.
Navarro vs Thole  is a loaded question. Navarro was a bit of a drag because Martin was healthy and he wasn't getting enough time. Thole could be a drag if Martin isn't as healthy and he gets too much time.
Last year's Travis was a promising player with potential. This year's Travis is a talented guy who might never be healthy enough to contribute significantly.

For the rest, it's mostly the same team, but one year older and that mostly mean lower output and higher chances of injuries.

I'd love career years from Saunders, Pompey, Sanchez, Stroman. But what are the odds?

I think I'll like this year's bullpen. I hope I will. It could be much better than last year and I was the guy who was blaming the bullpen for most of the losses.

This could be a great spring training if they dodge all the sprinklers and the PFPs.


uglyone - Wednesday, January 27 2016 @ 11:10 PM EST (#318219) #
I dunno.

I see Tulo and Storen as bigtime upgrades, and on top of that while last year we didn't even know they could play in mlb, this year we know osuna pillar and travis have impact potential. Add being much more confident in the likes of smoak/cola/goins/estrada.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 03:30 AM EST (#318220) #
The Jays have a good roster to start the season, although they could use another good starting pitcher.

The potential problem, of course, is the dearth of surplus prospects to trade for key upgrades at the deadline. Of course, if the Jays are right there and a partial rebuild is looming after 2016, Shapiro might relent and trade a good prospect or two to upgrade the roster for another playoff run.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 07:21 AM EST (#318221) #
Who would you need at the deadline? Anyone other than a Pitcher or two, I would be surprised. People are worrying about too many needless things.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 07:54 AM EST (#318222) #
A pitcher or two like Price, Hamels, Cueto or Kazmir? That should be easy enough to acquire.

Seriously though, most contenders need upgrades at the deadline. For example, look at last year's ALDS teams (Toronto, Texas, Houston, KC). All added major pieces at the deadline; all had the key prospects needed to make those deals. It's naive (or wishful thinking) to think that your opening day roster will be the roster you go with in September and October.
scottt - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 08:02 AM EST (#318223) #
It depends. You can find cheap upgrades at the deadline if you only need to replace an injured played with a decent one.
Elite starters will always cost a lot, but in the playoffs, you can use the bullpen more, if it's where your strength lies.

This year, they will need to start strong. That's the key.

uglyone - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 10:10 AM EST (#318224) #
our chance to get an impact pitcher was on the free agent market. we had the money, and the options.
John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 11:48 AM EST (#318225) #
Right now the best way to get an impact pitcher is to chase the injured guys (Cliff Lee, a couple of others) and hope one is ready by July/August. No idea what those guys are asking but if you can do an incentive contract based on total starts/playoff starts then it'd be well worth it.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 12:01 PM EST (#318226) #
What a great idea, who besides Lee and possibly Lincecum would be available.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 12:26 PM EST (#318227) #
Getting an ace at the deadline is not mandatory. There will be mid-tier starters available that won't cost top prospects, and the goal is to reach the post-season, which can be done without a significant mid-season acquisition. You use the trade deadline to patch up holes. That doesn't have to mean trading for an ace.

This regime, rightfully, will hold on to prospects. They want to win in 2016 and yet the only players they have traded to improve the 2016 team were Hendriks and Revere. The value of prospects has increased dramatically, especially considering the FA market. The Jays need to develop their talent, and they can certainly do that while trying for the playoffs at the same time. Sacrificing one for the other should be a thing of the past.
bpoz - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 12:57 PM EST (#318228) #
What if we cannot resign any of our own free agents at the end of 2016. I mean the really good ones.

QO goes to EE, Bautista, and possibly Dickey. Cecil and Storen do not get a QO.

So they all leave. How bad are we now? Do we have any chance at a wild card? I am talking 2017.


88 wins may get you a WC. 90 for sure, lets say.
Vulg - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 01:18 PM EST (#318229) #
I'd have to think that catching options are still being considered.

Josh Thole has contributed negative WAR for 3 seasons in a row. Thankfully, he was limited to 52 plate appearances last season. As Martin's direct backup, he's in line to grab most of the 192 PAs that Navarro soaked (he actually caught in 39 games).

I wonder if this is why Dickey rumors started circulating about a month ago. Either way, the less we see of Thole, the better ... unless it's Quintero who'd be filling in (Derrick Chung is 28 and never been above AA).

cybercavalier - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 02:40 PM EST (#318231) #
Talking about Jays former or current prospects, Robinson Diaz is a free agent and Guillermo Quiroz -- a former Giants -- is also a free agent. Torontonian George Kottaras has signed with the Giants. Quintero fillng in appears like Raul Chavez who filled in 168 PA .631 OPS in 2009 in Toronto and 217 PA and .580 OPS in the PCL in 2010. Is this signing going backward to history ? Signing a Diaz guy would be better because he is younger and not counted on to contributed. Or Quiroz who used to be a backup shuttle from AAA to San Fran.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 02:56 PM EST (#318233) #
Disagree that mid-tier starting pitchers will always be available at the deadline for lesser prospects. Last year was an anomaly in that there was a glut of pitching available; that won't always be the case. And teams are going to want the likes of Alford, Vlad Jr., and (maybe) Greene. They aren't going to give up a quality #2 or 3 starter (a non-ace like, say, Kazmir) for C prospects. Plus, the moves a team needs to make are dictated by multiple factors, including the state of the competition. If your rival goes out and gets a #1 and you get a #4, you may end up missing the playoffs.

Also, you might argue that the goal is simply to make the off-season, but others might argue it should be to build a championship-calibre roster. The way AA did that at the deadline last year was by paying fair value for elite talent in the rotation and at SS and solid talent elsewhere (LF, bullpen). Those types of moves simply won't be possible this July. And the free agent pickings next off-season will be very limited compared to this off-season.

jerjapan - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 03:04 PM EST (#318234) #
So they all leave. How bad are we now? Do we have any chance at a wild card? I am talking 2017.

Bpoz, IMO, we are well positioned to remain competitive in 2017 OR to take a short-term reboot.  we will have roughly $100 million in salary commitments depending on arbitration, with a pitching staff built around Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna (at least of one whom figures to start), Hutch, Happ and Estrada.  The pen will be in flux, but there are lots of reasonable wildcard types in the org.

If we add a couple of solid arms, a starting OF and resign one of Jose / EE to DH, we should be solid.  I think our chances of resigning Edwin are excellent, but I also feel that the new FO is much more conservative than the last one, so they could see all the FAs as a chance for a quality reboot - a few comp first rounders and another year for the young minor league talent to develop and we would be competitive again by 2018/19.  It's not impossible to conceive of one of Storen / Dickey getting the QO, and EE and Jose will definitely get one barring injury. 

We have a lot of cost-controlled young talent in Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Travis, Pillar, Goins, Pompey and Cola, quality vets on reasonable contracts in Tulo, Martin, Estrada and Happ, lots of money to spend if the FO follows through on what they have said (if you but tickets they will pony up) and a wave of minor league talent at the A level.  And the AL East is not quite the powerhouse it once was. 

Oh, and this year's MVP should still be around. 
greenfrog - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 05:26 PM EST (#318236) #
Jerjapan, if that was the plan (staying competitive in 2017), wouldn't it have made sense to add one of the excellent free agents available this off-season (perhaps on a backloaded deal) such as Price? Next year's free agent crop is significantly worse and the bidding will likely be even more competitive. How do you propose that the Jays fill the holes created if/when Dickey/Cecil/Storen/EE/Bautista/Saunders/Smoak depart?
jerjapan - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 06:32 PM EST (#318238) #
Greenfrog, I totally was in on the idea of signing Price, but aside from Bautista, I don't see any major holes next offseason. 

Storen we got in exchange for Ben Revere (and cash!) who I believe we acquired for ... uhhh, nothing?  actually that's not fair to Alberto Tirado -16th best Phillies prospect according to MLB - but an MLB average OF, or an above-average quality reliever can be had for the $7-9 million dollar salary hit.   so let's call that 3 players x 8 million + 10% inflation for next year's FA market and say we get ourselves a Revere / Saunders type for left, and 2 Cecil / Storen types for the pen.  26.5 million with no significant prospect capital lost.

One of Osuna / Sanchez to the rotation replaces Dickey.  I've suggested for a few weeks that given the number of 1b / DH types who are FAs next year means that EE has a limited market and some strong ties to TO.  I think he could be had for much less than the 4 years / $72 million that Alex Gordon signed for, or the 3x25 with an opt-out deal the Mets deal with Cespedes.  Let's say he gets the 4 years / $56 million dollar deal that Zobrist got - even though I'd rather have Zobrist. 

That's $140.5 million in salary commitments by my (admittedly offhanded) calculations. 

rotation features: Stroman, Hutch, Happ, Estrada, Osuna / Sanchez
pen:  2 FAs, Osuna / Sanchez, Loup, and several of the many fungible arms we already have - Girodo, McFarland, Schultz, Tepera, Dragmire, Delebar, Jenkins, etc.
IF:  Cola, Travis, Tulo, Goins, MVP
OF:  Pompey, Pillar, FA
DH:  EE
Catcher:  Martin, ???

Definitely we could use another OF in the scenario, but another Revere / Saunders type OF still fits in with our budget there (call it an even $150) - assuming that the Jays are competitive next year, that the dollar doesn't remain at a ridiculous low, and that the FO was serious when they said they will spend more if we perform on the field.

I don't think we'll be as good as we are right now - but competitive?  for sure - assuming that the org doesn't already want 2017 to be a retooling year.  that one I'm not sure about ...

what do you think?
 

scottt - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 06:37 PM EST (#318239) #
You can probably add Thole to your list of players to replace next year.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 07:59 PM EST (#318240) #
well I guess Dickey could go all Wakefield on us and resign into perpetuity, but if not, Thole has to be the most replaceable player on the team.
John Northey - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 09:06 PM EST (#318241) #
I think we'll have a far better idea about 2017 by mid-2016. Does Pompey step up? Does Saunders have a strong comeback year? Do any of the prospects climb like Pompey & Norris did in 2014? (A+ to AAA to majors in one year) or like Osuna & Castro did last year (A+ to majors in one spring)? There is always a pleasant and an unpleasant surprise in the minors each year. Lets hope for a few pleasant ones.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 28 2016 @ 11:57 PM EST (#318246) #
The outlook for 2017 depends on what happens in 2016. For example, if the Jays are out of it for whatever reason at the deadline, then trading JB/EE becomes an option (waiving their 10/5 rights in that scenario should be an easier sell), and that might speed up the retooling process. If they make the playoffs again, then I can't see ownership green-lighting a scale back, in which case Shapiro/Atkins will have to find cost effective ways to replace the departing FA's while remaining competitive.

Ultimately, I don't see a scenario where the Jays bring both (JB/EE) of them back. Re-signing one of them is probably the best case, and even then, you're dealing with two of the top power hitters of the last five years in a market filled with money. Those two will get paid, and if the payroll doesn't increase dramatically, it's going to be hard to fit them in. Cecil and Storen leaving will create a pretty big gap in the pen as well.

It's not going to be easy to sustain winning beyond 2016, but that's where Shapiro/Atkins will have to be creative. Overall value (WAR) will need to be looked at instead of offense. The Jays can't replace JB and EE on offense. They'll need to find players with good enough bats that can compensate for the drop in offense with defense and base running.
bpoz - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 01:17 PM EST (#318247) #
Thanks for all the responses about 2017.

It is tricky. We will need to see how 2016 plays out. As mentioned.

I do not see how the offense does not go way down. With EE and JB gone we lose 2 guys that can hit 40 Hr each. The protection they provide in the lineup is also gone. JD and Tulo have to suffer.

The defense most likely gets better. I do not know how though. You are not going to replace JB with a defense only guy. We get a LF that can provide decent offense ie: not an offensive black hole.

The rotation should be good I hope. Stroman, Estrada, Happ, Hutch, Sanchez and Osuna. That is 6. I speculate that if healthy at the end of 2016, Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna are in the rotation because they all have enough ML experience, results and high potential.
Estrada, Happ & Hutch will have some trade value. I assume that 150-200 IP each and a half decent Era allows you to fill a hole or two. If they are better then keep the best 2. Still Hutch is the wild card because he is cheap if he is decent.

As far as the pen goes, I hope Loup becomes good again. So we have 1 supposedly good arm. If the Gms can pull off another Storen trade that is 2 good options.

Committed payroll is down. So we can pick up a FA or 2 that is cheap. 1 or 2 arms for the pen.

Depth may or may not be a problem. It is philosophical in nature. Acquire and pay for it or use the waiver wire. Or just fill in with prospects, they are cheap for sure.

uglyone - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 03:33 PM EST (#318249) #
2017 we have about $100m committed to this team:

2B Travis 26
3B Donaldson 31
SS Tulowitzki 32
C Martin 34
1B Colabello 33
DH Tellez 22
LF Pompey 24
CF Pillar 28
RF Alford 22

UT Barney 32
OF Carrera 29
IF Goins 29
C Thole 30


SP Stroman 26
SP Estrada 33
SP Happ 34
SP Hutchison 26

SP/RP Sanchez 24
SP/RP Osuna 22
SP/RP Greene 22
SP/RP Reid-Foley 21
SP/RP Harris 23

RP Loup 29
RP Tepera 28
RP Delabar 33
RP Schultz 31
RP Girodo 25


If we spend that $50m wisely, we should be able to contend no probs.
mathesond - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 03:45 PM EST (#318250) #
It just occurred to me that getting JB and/or EE to waive their 10/5 rights might be made a little easier as an in-season trade would mean they can't be given a qualifying offer, and thus would enter free agency unencumbered with draft pick compensation.

Of course, management may prefer to hold on to them even if the season isn't successful, as they are fan favourites (merch sales, etc.), and will bring back compensation should they decline the QOs
greenfrog - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 04:27 PM EST (#318253) #
It seems a stretch to assume that the likes of Alford, Reid-Foley, Greene and Harris are a good bet to make the 2017 roster.

Also, while Tulo, Donaldson and Martin are wonderful players, they're unlikely to be as good (or healthy) as they were in 2015.

Then assume that at least one or two pitchers are going to get hurt, and a couple more are going to underperform, and the roster starts to look somewhat iffy.

It's fine to wait and see how the team and farm system look later this year, but if the front office does decide to try to compete in 2017, it may regret passing up on this year's FA crop (or not: Price could get hurt in 2016 and Heyward could turn out to be a dud). Either way, I don't see Shapiro being aggressive in next year's FA market. Which leaves trades - and I imagine Shapiro will be looking to add to, not subtract from, the farm system.

Richard S.S. - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 07:38 PM EST (#318254) #
He who made $10.0 million from the Jays to play around 30 games over three years was signed to a minor league contract.
Chuck - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 09:52 PM EST (#318255) #
And Maicer Izturis was also signed.
John Northey - Friday, January 29 2016 @ 10:35 PM EST (#318256) #
Eh, on a minor league deal I'm good with signing Izturis. If he makes a comeback he could be a good backup. If not he costs very little.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 05:44 AM EST (#318257) #
It's fine to wait and see how the team and farm system look later this year, but if the front office does decide to try to compete in 2017, it may regret passing up on this year's FA crop (or not: Price could get hurt in 2016 and Heyward could turn out to be a dud).

I doubt there will ever be a moment's regret for not paying whatever insane price it would have taken for David Price to return. I think there will be considerable regret for trading away the amount of talent they did for a few weeks' of rentals.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 07:09 AM EST (#318258) #
It hurt to lose some top prospects, but I have no regrets about the results, nor will I going forward. After 20 years of mediocrity, the wild ride of last August to October filled with thrilling moments in a sold-out stadium made the Blue Jays relevant again.I think the pressure of the playoff games was a valuable learning experience for the younger players and that 2016, with any luck, will result in another playoff run.I will take that over seeing those traded prospects come to spring training this year, hoping that some of them would turn into stars for a team that once again finished second or third, or worse, last season.
uglyone - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 09:13 AM EST (#318259) #
"I doubt there will ever be a moment's regret for not paying whatever insane price it would have taken for David Price to return. I think there will be considerable regret for trading away the amount of talent they did for a few weeks' of rentals."

which is funny, given there's a 5% chance any of those prospects will be anywhere remotely close to as good as David Price at any point.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 09:59 AM EST (#318260) #
Landing Price made the Red Sox the favourites in the division this year, and maybe the favourites for the next couple of years as well. Plus, there is so much money in baseball these days that $200m for a relatively young star free agent for seven years (even with an opt-out) really isn't all that much.

I don't fault the front office for passing on Price - they're evidently taking a more methodical, long-term, "build from within" approach - but it is possible to envision a different, more ambitious path for the Jays that would have included a higher payroll and (perhaps) Price in the rotation.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 11:30 AM EST (#318261) #
I really don't know about the Red Sox being the favourites in the division at all.
Vulg - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 12:23 PM EST (#318262) #
It hurt to lose some top prospects, but I have no regrets about the results, nor will I going forward. After 20 years of mediocrity, the wild ride of last August to October filled with thrilling moments in a sold-out stadium made the Blue Jays relevant again.I think the pressure of the playoff games was a valuable learning experience for the younger players and that 2016, with any luck, will result in another playoff run.I will take that over seeing those traded prospects come to spring training this year, hoping that some of them would turn into stars for a team that once again finished second or third, or worse, last season.

Couldn't agree more. Those are the kinds of runs and memories that you wish for as a fan. It's fun when a gamble works.

As for the discussion on 'favorites', money talks. This is how Vegas breaks it down for the AL Pennant:

Boston Red Sox 9/2
Houston Astros 11/2
Texas Rangers 13/2
New York Yankees 8/1
Toronto Blue Jays 17/2

Fangraphs also has them behind the Red Sox and Yankees, if you prefer projections based on statistical modeling.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/an-early-look-at-the-projected-standings/

http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=Standings

If anybody has a more objective way of looking at it, please share. As it stands, this only highlights how the Jays were outmaneuvered this offseason, as they were easily the best team in the East when 2015 ended.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 12:32 PM EST (#318263) #
Marcus Stroman pitched better than David Price from the moment he returned to the Rotation and through the Playoffs. We, as fans know how amazingly good he can be, but no one else sees him that well. Looking at R.A. Dickey, Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ in comparison with all Boston Starters not named David Price, and I think it's possible the Jays' Rotation might just be better. Yet the Jays' Rotation doesn't rate that well, that has to be to our advantage.

If Aaron Sanchez starts, it's not possible he makes 30 or more Starts and pitches in the post season. When that happens, the Jays will need another Starter just as good. If Aaron Sanchez pitches in the Bullpen, it must be as a two-inning Reliever to build up his innings for Starting in 2017. With Aaron Sanchez joining Roberto Osuna, Brett Cecil and Drew Storen in the Bullpen, this will be scary-good, probably one of the best. To move Sanchez out, his replacement must be very good.

The Jays have a world-class Offense that fears no rivals. All things being relatively equal, I can not see the Jays missing the Postseason.
uglyone - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 12:58 PM EST (#318264) #
Betting Odds are not a great way to judge. Betting action on BOS and NYY is always heavy, and they take advantage of that.

And a reminder that the Fangraphs' projections are currently incomplete - as of now they are only the Steamer projections, and don't include the Zips projections. Only once they complete their individual team releases of zips will they add that into their depth charts.

And based on the current playing time on their depth charts, Zips would project the Jays as better than the Sox.
Glevin - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 01:17 PM EST (#318265) #
I'd probably have the Red Sox a little ahead of the Jays and Yankees as favourites largely because they have an amazing system and more money than the Jays so if it is close, they are in a much better position to be able to add the players they need. That said, it's basically a toss-up at this point between the three teams.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 01:35 PM EST (#318266) #
One advantage the Red Sox have is a willingness to spend on international players like Moncada. That will always make things a bit tougher for the more frugal Jays. It isn't only about being outspent on the ML free agent market.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 01:42 PM EST (#318267) #
There is no question that Price (2.22 FIP, 2.91 SIERA) pitched better for the Jays in 2015 than Stroman (3.54 FIP, 3.28 SIERA) pitched for the Jays in 2015.

That's no knock against Stroman, who was excellent last year (and who apparently hadn't fully recovered from his knee injury). Stroman is a potential ace or #2 with plenty of talent and intangibles. Price is a proven ace with plenty of talent and intangibles. It would have been nice to have both on the team.
scottt - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 01:49 PM EST (#318268) #
I think the Yankees will be better than the Red Sox.  People point at Arod and co and forecast a huge drop  in offense because of age, but Boston has Ortiz and several defensive liability including Ramirez, Sandoval and Pedroia who just had his worst defensive season.

No question that Baltimore and Tampa don't look like contenders anymore.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 02:18 PM EST (#318269) #
...the Jays were outmaneuvered this offseason, as they were easily the best team in the East...

Ridiculous, completely and utterly ridiculous.

1) The 2016 Offense needed nothing, yet Devon Travis (starting 2B) and Michael Saunders (starting OF) missed most of 2015 on the D.L., and are returning.
2) The Jays signed/resigned/picked up option on Jose Bautista ($14.0 MM), Edwin Encarnacion ($10.0 MM), R.A. Dickey ($12.0 MM), Marco Estrada ($11.5 MM) and J.A. Happ ($10.0 MM), all at well below Market Value.
3) The Jays traded their 5th best Reliever, whom the Manager lost confidence in, for a decent 5th Starter who could reprise the Estrada from last year. The Jays traded a good, but surplus Outfielder for a top Closer/Set Up guy.

The Jays filled their holes with good choices, both on the Roster and in Buffalo, and saved more than $15.0 Million doing so. Right now Rogers is spending in the neighborhood of $200.0 Million Canadian to field this Team. The rubber hits the road in April as Toronto plays 17 Games in 19 days verses the A.L. East.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 03:09 PM EST (#318270) #
From the time of the Trade Deadline, everyone pitched well, just some better than others:

Hitters verses D. Price: .207, .255, .302; 4.83 K/BB; being paid $30.0 Million.
Hitters verses Stroman: .208, .262, .292; 3.00 K/BB; being paid $592 K.

Hitters verses Estrada: .174, .244, .352; 2.17 K/BB; being paid $11.5 Million.
Hitters verses RDickey: .238, .274, .383; 3.00 K/BB; being paid $12.0 Million.
Hitters verses JA Happ: .221, .252, .315; 5.31 K/BB; being paid $10.0 Million.

Numbers can say anything you want them to say, to prove anything you want to prove, to mean anything you want them to mean.
uglyone - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 03:13 PM EST (#318271) #
Using fangraphs depth charts playing time projections, but using only zips:

TOR

HIT: 31.3
PIT: 14.6
TOT: 45.9

BOS

HIT: 22.4
PIT: 18.7
TOT: 41.1
greenfrog - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 05:46 PM EST (#318272) #
As talented and ebullient as Stroman is, he still has a lot to prove before he attains Price's stature. Stroman has yet to pitch a 200-inning season in the majors.

Price, on the other hand, has pitched three 220+ IP seasons, made five All-Star teams, won a Cy Young award (and been runner-up twice). The last two seasons, he struck out more than a batter an inning, walked 1.38 and 1.92 batters per 9 IP, and totalled 12.5 fWAR over those two seasons. As I said, he's a proven ace.

Stroman's 27 regular-season innings + 19.1 postseason innings last year were very encouraging, but that is simply not the same thing as Price's 1400+ inning AL track record as a dominant thoroughbred starting pitcher. Just as Lawrie's .293/.373/.580 debut didn't make him the equal of Mike Schmidt or Brooks Robinson. You have to earn it.
Vulg - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 08:27 PM EST (#318273) #
Ridiculous, completely and utterly ridiculous.

Not quite as ridiculous as your Random Capitalization and presentation of Opinion as Fact.

Chuck - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 08:33 PM EST (#318274) #
Numbers can say anything you want them to say, to prove anything you want to prove, to mean anything you want them to mean.

Go ahead. Try us.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 10:17 PM EST (#318275) #
Really.

There is no question that Price (2.22 FIP, 2.91 SIERA) pitched better for the Jays in 2015 than Stroman (3.54 FIP, 3.28 SIERA) pitched for the Jays in 2015.

From the time of the Trade Deadline, everyone pitched well, just some better than others:
Hitters verses D. Price: .207, .255, .302; 4.83 K/BB; being paid $30.0 Million.
Hitters verses Stroman: .208, .262, .292; 3.00 K/BB; being paid $592 K.

Of course in the Postseason the obvious rookie must struggle?
Stroman: 1-0, 4.09, 19.1, 1 HR, 2.50 K/BB.
D.Price: 1-2, 6.17, 23.1, 4 HR, 7.67 K/BB.

Paul Beeston always said he could make figures say anything he wanted them to say. It's easy to say the Blue Jays lost money when you control what's reported as income. Concessions could be reported as Rogers' Centre/Skydome income and not Team income. Television income is regularly reported as much less than comes in from MLB. When fair market value is considered losses seem unreasonable, but never the less unfair.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 10:26 PM EST (#318276) #
Someone said this:
Vulg - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 12:23 PM EST (#318262) #

to which I disagreed with:
...the Jays were outmaneuvered this offseason, as they were easily the best team in the East...
and said this:
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 02:18 PM EST (#318269) #

And in defense of their statement said:
Vulg - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 08:27 PM EST (#318273) #

My reply:
Thank You.

cybercavalier - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 10:35 PM EST (#318277) #
3) The Jays traded their 5th best Reliever, whom the Manager lost confidence in, for a decent 5th Starter who could reprise the Estrada from last year.
Numbers can say anything you want them to say, to prove anything you want to prove, to mean anything you want them to mean.

I would not agree that numbers can be massaged for meaning. Estrada pitched 541 IP before coming to Toronto. Chavez pitched 537.2 IP when arriving in Toronto this winter. However, Estrada's career WHIP has been better than Chavez'. Age factor would not be an issue as Chavez is only just about a month younger than Estrada. Careers' strike %, pitches per IP and pitchers per plate appearance has been similar between each pitcher.  Assuming Richard S.S. is correct that Chavez himself is already a decent 5th starter, he is possible to repeat Estrada's 2015 surge performance given the same Blue Jays' player environment in Toronto.

One Achilles' Heel to this assessment is Richard's 3) statement that Chavez is already a decent 5th starter.

All numbers come from MLB.com
cybercavalier - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 10:52 PM EST (#318278) #
A pitcher or two like Price, Hamels, Cueto or Kazmir? That should be easy enough to acquire.
Right now the best way to get an impact pitcher is to chase the injured guys (Cliff Lee, a couple of others) and hope one is ready by July/August.


Kazmir had been released by the Angels, came back more than a year later with the Indians, then flourished again with the A's. So the impact of injured guys shall be looked at individually. How is Cliff Lee doing lately about baseball ?
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, January 30 2016 @ 11:13 PM EST (#318279) #
Paul Beeston always said he could make figures say anything he wanted them to say.

If by "always said" you mean "never said", then you are correct.
China fan - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 11:55 AM EST (#318280) #
"....There is no question that Price (2.22 FIP, 2.91 SIERA) pitched better for the Jays in 2015 than Stroman (3.54 FIP, 3.28 SIERA) pitched for the Jays in 2015...."

When assessing the 2015 seasons of two pitchers and which one "pitched better" over the year, I think it would be fairer to include their post-season performances, especially since Stroman had only 4 regular-season starts.  Stroman's FIP in the post-season was 3.39, while that of Price was 4.03.  And there was at least one game where the Jays chose to give the start to Stroman instead of Price, which suggests that the difference between the two pitchers was not necessarily in Price's favor, or at least was fairly close, at least in some situations.

"....Stroman's 27 regular-season innings + 19.1 postseason innings last year were very encouraging, but that is simply not the same thing as Price's 1400+ inning AL track record as a dominant thoroughbred starting pitcher...."


Yep, I can't dispute this broader point.
China fan - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 11:58 AM EST (#318281) #
"....I think there will be considerable regret for trading away the amount of talent they did for a few weeks' of rentals...."

I suspect there will be much more regret for the countless trades and expensive contracts over the previous 21 years that did NOT result in a post-season appearance.
China fan - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 12:03 PM EST (#318282) #
"...on a minor league deal I'm good with signing Izturis....."

The pessimistic scenario:  the Jays have obtained some worrisome information about the health of Devon Travis and are acquiring middle-infielders to replace him and to provide back-up depth in case Goins is the starting 2B for the full season.

The optimistic scenario: Travis is back to full strength in the majors by the end of April, while Izturis is a wise acquisition as a buy-low bounce-back candidate.

The reality: maybe a little of both?


bpoz - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 12:08 PM EST (#318283) #
Lots of bad in the last 21 years. Some good.

We had to compete with NYY and Boston, for a playoff spot. We ended up 3rd most often I believe. We played those 2 teams about 18 times a year. Also another divisional rival TB who has our number for some reason.

In theory if the Jays are the 3rd best team in all of baseball behind NYY and Boston, it means nothing. Playoffs that is.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 12:17 PM EST (#318284) #
...The reality: maybe a little of both?

When Devin Travis returns to the Roster and both Troy Tulowitzki and Ryan Goins are healthy, what happens to Darwin Barney? To keep him, he's apparently out of options and needs to clear waivers to possibly stay a Blue Jay. Was Izturis signed as a possible replacement should Barney be lost in waivers?
Mike Green - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 01:38 PM EST (#318285) #
I had a look at the Steamer projections for the Yankees.  Some of them just made me scratch my head.  Masahiro Tanaka- 197 innings?  He's thrown 136 and 160 (including minor leagues) the last two years.  Dellin Betances- 55 innings?  He's thrown 90 and 84 innings the last two years.  They may combine for 252 innings, but the distribution is all wrong. 

Greg Bird, by the way, has a better offensive projection than either Teixeira or A-Rod.  That is probably correct. You'd think that he would get more than 245 PAs (as Steamer projects) though...
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 02:32 PM EST (#318286) #
At The Letters podcast for November 24, 2015 discusses Jesse Chavez with Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle.
China fan - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 02:45 PM EST (#318287) #
"....Was Izturis signed as a possible replacement should Barney be lost in waivers?...."

Hadn't thought of that.  Good point, Richard!
greenfrog - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 04:56 PM EST (#318288) #
Here's a question. Let's say Gallardo can be had for 2/28. Should the Jays make that deal?

I would be pretty tempted, even though Gallardo is unlikely to be all that great. The Jays would have really nice depth in the rotation, with Stroman/Estrada/Dickey/Gallardo/Happ/Hutchison/Chavez. It would allow the Jays to keep Sanchez and Osuna in the 'pen in 2016, and use Chavez as a true swingman. Hutch could start 2016 in the minors, if necessary or appropriate. It would give the Jays coverage when the inevitable pitching injuries/underperformance crop up. It would also give the team some additional innings in 2017 when Dickey and Chavez depart.

Yes, Gallardo could end up being pretty mediocre over the next couple of years. But there is value in having decent-quality depth in your rotation (especially if your offense and defense are good), rather than having to rely on AAAA players. He might even rebound a bit and have a good, solid, adequate 150-175 inning campaign.

Thoughts, Bauxites?
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 05:27 PM EST (#318289) #
To try to evaluate the Jays Pitching as well as others, I thought of this old 2012 article, which works just as well now as it did then.
http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/8/7/3226335/defining-1-2-3-4-5-starters
China fan - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 06:55 PM EST (#318290) #
"....It would allow the Jays to keep Sanchez and Osuna in the 'pen in 2016...."

I like the idea of additional starting depth, whether it's Gallardo or someone else.  But at the same time, the Jays cannot endlessly postpone the Sanchez rotation experiment.  He's too young and too good to be permanently assigned to the bullpen without a proper try-out in the rotation -- and "proper" means more than just a few weeks in the rotation (unless he fails badly and swiftly).  If he holds his own, the Jays need to leave him there for a few months and see if he improves and evolves into a top-end starter.  As long as there's a possibility of that scenario, he deserves a fair chance.  So, if not in 2016, when?  I'd say the time is now to bite the bullet and give him a proper chance.  So this implies that the Jays need to acquire a high-leverage reliever (to replace Sanchez) rather than a low-end veteran starter who could needlessly occupy a rotation slot and bump out Sanchez. 

Same thing applies to Osuna, but his rotation opportunity could be postponed to 2017, purely based on his age and his relative lack of major-league innings (compared to Sanchez).  I don't necessarily disagree with those who might argue that Osuna might have better rotation potential, but he can afford another year in the bullpen without losing his rotation potential -- whereas Sanchez is closer to the key decision point of whether his long-term role is in the bullpen or the rotation.

The other rotation options -- Hutchison, Chavez etc -- are (in my opinion) back-up options if Sanchez fails the rotation test.  Of course the plan could be rewritten if Hutchison looks great in the pre-season; there's nothing wrong with a scenario in which Hutchison simply beats Sanchez in the spring competition.  But if Sanchez looks good in the spring and Hutchison seems no better than him, I'd say it's Sanchez who has the greater long-term potential at this point, so he's the one who deserves to get what Hutch got last year:  a full season in the rotation.
Chuck - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 06:58 PM EST (#318291) #
He might even rebound a bit and have a good, solid, adequate 150-175 inning campaign.

Gallardo has pitched 180 innings or more for 7 straight seasons. I would certainly welcome injecting him into the middle of the rotation. It just feels like a lot of things are going to have to break right for the rotation to not be a problem. Having another inning-eater would accommodate some mixing and matching when injuries and poor pitching occur.

jerjapan - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 07:53 PM EST (#318292) #
I certainly would relish adding Gallardo - or any more FA talent, but I agree ChinaFan that Sanchez needs a real chance at starting - and it sounds like he's been working hard to achieve that goal this offseason.  Osuna could handle another year in the pen - he's going to need time to build up to a regular starter's workload - but I also think that this year is somewhat make or break for sanchez as a starter, and i would hate for Chavez to take those turns and then leave as a free agent if it ends up limiting sanchez's ceiling. 

to me, Chavez's value is more as a quality insurance policy / swingman than a reliable starter - but perhaps the FO thinks he can go all Estrada on us next year - his earning a QO would certainly be a wonderful outcome. 

greenfrog - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 09:27 PM EST (#318293) #
Apart from 2015, Gallardo has spent his entire career in the NL. I'm not sure how much longer his streak of 180-inning seasons would last if he pitched the next phase of his career in the Rogers Centre / AL East, especially given his apparently declining stuff. If the Jays could get 160-175 innings from him in each of the next two seasons, with, say, 2 WAR per season, I'm sure they would be thrilled.

I imagine there are a few teams waiting for his price to come down from the 4/55m range (per fangraphs crowdsourcing) to something in the 2/26 - 2/30 range. Given that fangraphs crowdsourced Kennedy at 3/37, it's possible that 4/55 was a bit low. In any event, I expect Gallardo will get at least three years. It reminds me of a few years ago when Kyle Lohse became available for 3/33 towards the end of the 2012-13 off-season (at the time, I thought the Jays should take advantage of his availability at a low price). He went on to post a couple of 2.3 fWAR seasons in 2013 and 2014 before struggling in 2015.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 09:35 PM EST (#318294) #
I should note that Baseball Reference's Marcels system projects Gallardo to throw 171 IP in 2016, while Steamer likes him for 181 IP.
CeeBee - Sunday, January 31 2016 @ 10:20 PM EST (#318295) #
I'd pass on Gallardo. IMO he's not worth losing our 1st round pick over since there are still other options.
uglyone - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 12:19 AM EST (#318296) #
I see gallardo as a similar but slightly more reliable version of the guys we already picked up.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 08:13 AM EST (#318297) #
I think Chavez is better than some are giving him credit for, at least based on his last two seasons. Unless Sanchez comes into camp with a swing-and-miss pitch and better command of his fastball, it would be counter-productive to put him in the big league rotation over someone who projects to be better than him in 2016. If you want to win in 2016, then Chavez should be the #5 starter (based on current options). Much like Estrada should have been the #5 starter last season over Sanchez and/or Norris.

If they want Sanchez as a starter, then put him in AAA where he can actually work on his repertoire, rather than risk his K:BB catching up to him in the bigs in a season where they are going for the playoffs. This "MLB rotation or MLB bullpen and nothing else" option with him fans seem to have is absurd. He has options left and needs to work on some things. Isn't that what the minors are meant for? If they feel they can get by without him in the pen, and he doesn't win a rotation spot in ST, then start him in AAA.

With this FO's track record with developing SP's, I'm far more comfortable with their decision making than I would have been with the previous FO. If Sanchez makes the MLB rotation, then I'm confident it will be because he improved his command and secondary stuff.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 09:16 AM EST (#318298) #
Also, I like the idea of using Osuna as a multiple inning reliever. Storen wants to pitch 1 inning an appearance. That's ideal for a closer. Cecil is an elite lefty who can pitch the 8th. If they use Osuna as a 6th/7th inning guy and give him adequate rest between longer appearances, then it would be a good way to increase his IP without starting him. Whether that makes him ready for a SP role in 2017 is questionable, but it would make such a transition a little bit easier.
Mike Green - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 10:36 AM EST (#318299) #
I see Gallardo a bit differently than Chuck.  Yes, he's been relatively durable but he is a completely different pitcher than he was 5 years ago and he is on a lot thinner ice.  Last year's pretty ERA was built on great performance with runners on.  It's hard to sustain success striking out 5.5 and walking 3.3 per 9.  It wouldn't shock me at all if he posts an ERA close to 5 in 2016. 

People have concerns about Estrada, but to my eyes, there's a lot more to worry about Gallardo.  Estrada had better W/K numbers, many fewer line drives, less hard contact...I know that Steamer sees it differenly.

uglyone - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 11:28 AM EST (#318300) #
to add to Mike's point - Gallardo's formerly passable velo (92-93mph) dipped down to a subpar 90-91 last year, which accentuates the tightrope he's walking.
Chuck - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 12:05 PM EST (#318301) #
I have no particular love for Gallardo and concur that his game may well have moved to the razor's edge. But I am also very weary about Estrada, Happ and Sanchez as starters, to say nothing of everyone else not named Stroman. And quantity may be a bigger concern than quality for the lot of them, Stroman included.

There may well already be enough raw material on the staff to cobble together a passable rotation, and maybe even a good one. But it could be a mushroom cloud. One more middling starter added to the mix could mitigate the latter. Maybe.

SK in NJ - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 12:33 PM EST (#318302) #
I don't like Gallardo. However, if there was no draft pick compensation involved, then it wouldn't bother me if the Jays signed him. Another arm couldn't hurt. The issue is, you lose a draft pick to sign him. That to me is the deal breaker. Losing a pick for Russell Martin is fine. For Gallardo, no thanks. The Jays did fine with getting Happ and not losing a pick.

If the Jays are going to add a starter, I'd rather have it be someone like Cliff Lee where it's a long shot but the upside outweighs the risk. With Gallardo, you get what you pay for, and it's not anything that Happ, Estrada, or Chavez couldn't already do (possibly better).
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 01:09 PM EST (#318303) #
Lots of good points here.

There are definitely red flags with Gallardo, but this is also the reason why he might be available on the cheap, instead of for something like 5/80. The question is, given the makeup of the Jays roster, would the potential benefits of adding Gallardo outweigh the costs (contract, draft pick, injury/performance risks)?

Personally, I like having some redundancy on the roster in a go-for-it year. It might be a while before the Jays assemble as good a team as they have in 2016. If the plan is to go with Stroman and a bunch of average (more or less) starting pitchers (plus a good offense and defense and bullpen), I would like the Jays to have enough pieces to ensure that the pitching staff is well-stocked, with the various arms slotted into the roles for which they are best suited. There likely isn't going to be a saviour like Price added at this year's deadline.
Chuck - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 01:38 PM EST (#318304) #
I do agree that the draft pick for Gallardo is a legitimate sticking point, and certainly seems to be for 29 of the leagues GMs, thus explaining Gallardo's availability.
uglyone - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 02:32 PM EST (#318305) #
Yanks just lost Greg Bird for the year. Big chunk of insurance lost.
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 03:00 PM EST (#318306) #
Case in point why redundancy is good.

Note that I'm refraining from "Bird in the hand"-type puns.
China fan - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 04:48 PM EST (#318308) #
"....redundancy is good..."

And by this same argument, it makes sense to find out if Sanchez can be a legitimate starter.  If he is, it gives them further bullets for the rotation. Redundancy is good.  Chavez can be stashed in the bullpen, Hutch can be stashed in Buffalo, and the Jays are legitimately 7 deep in the rotation, without even needing another acquisition.

If Sanchez doesn't have the repertoire for the rotation (and I'm not necessarily convinced that a groundball pitcher of his calibre cannot be successful in the rotation even without a big strikeout pitch in his arsenal), if he fails a proper audition for the rotation, he's still a valuable high-leverage pitcher in the bullpen.
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 05:49 PM EST (#318309) #
It's a fair point, but for 2016, I think I would rather have Sanchez as part of a dominant late-inning quartet in the bullpen, so that you're not robbing Peter (the bullpen) to pay Paul (the rotation) and suffering through the ups and downs of a young starting pitcher with a history of control issues in a prime contending year. Also, pitchers will get hurt and underperform -- this may be especially likely in the Jays' case, as (apart from Dickey) their starting pitchers have limited track records of performance and durability. So, "legitimately seven deep" is arguably a bit misleading. Lastly, the Jays are going to need starting pitchers in 2017. Adding one more now can't hurt, especially in light of the weak free agent market next off-season and the shallow pool of talent in the high minors in the Jays' system.

If the Jays end up having surplus pitching at the trade deadline, so much the better -- use that asset to acquire a needed player at a different position.
uglyone - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 06:03 PM EST (#318310) #
@alexfan590
On who will lead-off, Gibby indicated it'll probably be Tulo but admits he's been thinking a lot about it. #BlueJays #PrimeTimeSports
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 06:08 PM EST (#318311) #
All that said, Gallardo wouldn't be my first choice to bolster the rotation. Ideally the Jays would find a front-rotation starter to significantly increase the quality of the team's starting pitcher innings. But that ship has sailed, for now, anyway.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 06:11 PM EST (#318312) #
Tulo is the only one with a decent OBP.
scottt - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 06:21 PM EST (#318313) #
Sanchez will likely end the year in the bullpen, but he's still good for 15~20 starts before that.

For 5 or his starts, Sanchez had 0-2 runs of support and an ERA of 5.20.
For another 4 he had 6+ runs of support and an ERA of 1.65.

It's almost like his performance didn't matter.

Richard S.S. - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 06:52 PM EST (#318314) #
I don't think anyone denies that Sanchez and Osuna will be stretched out in Spring Training. That sets them up as at least two-inning Relievers, and possible short-term Rotation answers. I don't know what the plan is, but Aaron Sanchez needs to throw more than 110.0 innings this coming season, while Roberto Osuna needs to throw more than 70.0 innings as well.

Would having Drew Storen and Brett Cecil throw two or more innings each time in Spring Training have them sharper when Season starts, or would that be counterproductive?
grjas - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 08:34 PM EST (#318315) #
I'd be pretty disappointed - and surprised- if the jays can fit Gallardo's 14-16mm a year salary into their budget. Would certainly rather have Price than Happ and Gallardo, whose combined price tag wouldn't be that much lower than what Price signed for.

If the money was there and they didn't even bid....
92-93 - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 08:57 PM EST (#318316) #
"Unless Sanchez comes into camp with a swing-and-miss pitch and better command of his fastball, it would be counter-productive to put him in the big league rotation over someone who projects to be better than him in 2016. If you want to win in 2016, then Chavez should be the #5 starter (based on current options). Much like Estrada should have been the #5 starter last season over Sanchez and/or Norris."

Two points on this. It sounds like you're suggesting the Jays handled the rotation out of spring poorly last year. The way I remember it, Estrada was going to be in the rotation until a pre-season injury held him back from being properly stretched out and ready to assume a full workload. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "projects" in this context, but if you're using some system to say that Chavez is a better starting option than Sanchez, it's probably a bad idea. The coaching staff should have a look at all the arms in spring and make a decision from there who the best 5 options are in the rotation, with the MLB bullpen being considered as well. I have no idea if that will mean Chavez, Sanchez, or Hutchison in the 5th spot, but I certainly don't care what Steamer or Zips thinks about it.

I like the look of the pitching staff from top to bottom, and think there's enough there to get through an MLB season. If Sanchez and Osuna had spent 2015 in AAA posting solid SP numbers we'd be looking at an MLB rotation of Stroman-Dickey-Estrada-Happ-Hutchison-Chavez with two top prospects waiting in the wings, and we'd probably be more confident about it. Obviously part of that is knowing that Osuna/Sanchez are a big part of the bullpen as well, but I'd be surprised if those 8 arms weren't enough to get through a season with a few spot starts from others sprinkled in. I particularly liked the acquisition of Chavez, much like I did Estrada last year - he fits the perfect complementary role on this roster.

And if we are signing good FAs to fantasy contracts, can we target Fowler on a 3 year deal?
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 09:28 PM EST (#318317) #
Grjas, just to play devil's advocate (I would have liked to see Price sign with the Jays, too): if Gallardo signed with Toronto on a two-year deal, in addition to Dickey and Stroman and Hutchison, Shapiro would have:

- Happ at 3/36
- Estrada at 2/26
- Gallardo at 2/28 (let's say - might be more like 3/42)
- Chavez at 1/4.7 (projected)

Notice a pattern? All of these pitchers are on short-term deals, which mitigates the total risk considerably for Toronto. Price, on the other hand, is signed to a 7/217 contract, with a player opt-out after 3/90 - in other words, a contract that carries much more risk for the team. So it isn't just about how the Jays spend that $30m in 2016 that would have been allocated to Price - it's about the total risk to the team of those diversified contracts versus the risk that Price's contract (plus the contracts for any other SPs added) would have carried.
greenfrog - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 09:37 PM EST (#318318) #
I can see a scenario in which Sanchez starts the season in the rotation, but I can't help but feel that the Jays should go with a bullpen anchored by Osuna/Sanchez/Cecil/Storen and let the rest of the pitching staff sort itself out. A lockdown bullpen can be a real asset (look at KC the last couple of years), especially with so many of the SPs going 5-7 innings. Dazzling stuff aside, I'm not convinced that Sanchez will provide that much more value in the rotation than, say, Hutchison or Happ or Chavez, at least not in 2016.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 10:37 PM EST (#318319) #
Yovanni Gallardo consistently fails to get into the 6th inning. His average number of innings pitched per start has been falling year after year. I'd much rather have Mark Buehrle back, at least he pitches.

I agree with greenfrog, having a lockdown Bullpen is vital with some many pitchers failing to consistently pitch 7.0 innings, sometimes failing to pitch a lot less. It's possible Storen, Osuna Cecil and Sanchez might not be enough.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 11:11 PM EST (#318320) #
"Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "projects" in this context, but if you're using some system to say that Chavez is a better starting option than Sanchez, it's probably a bad idea."


Chavez has had two consecutive seasons of good MLB performance as a starter, with ratios that suggest it is sustainable. Sanchez is coming off a season where he started 11 games, and despite a good ERA and excellent GB rate, had awful peripherals all across the board (5.21 FIP, 5.05 BB/9, 5.73 K/9, 17.8% HR%, etc). Even if you don't want to give any attention to Steamer, ZIPS, and other projections, how can you possibly project him to be better than Chavez in 2016 knowing what we know as of today? Sanchez would have to prove in ST that he's a lot better than his 2015 performance, and even then he might be a downgrade from Chavez strictly from a short-term standpoint. Maybe we just disagree on Chavez's talent level. I think he's a 2 WAR calibre SP.

Don't get me wrong, I think Sanchez has upside. He has a great GB rate and maybe that means he can be a FIP beater to some degree, but he still needs to work on commanding his (to this point) one plus pitch (fastball), and work on another pitch that can initiate some swings and misses. The question is, do you want him to work on those things in the big league rotation when he might still be an unfinished product (thereby hurting the 2016 team), or do you want him to show progress in the minors first and then call him up mid-season when a need arises? To me, I'd prefer the latter. I think Sanchez in the pen is far less necessary now that the team acquired Storen, and I'd honestly try to develop Sanchez as a SP from the get go rather than keep jerking him around. He wants to start. If he doesn't win a MLB rotation spot, then let him start in AAA.

I truly hope Sanchez comes into camp with a refined change up (that he's apparently working on again) and improved command. The Jays could use a surprise rotation candidate to pop up. I just don't think it's reasonable to expect it in February 2016 after what he showed last season as a SP. He needs to prove it in the spring.
cybercavalier - Monday, February 01 2016 @ 11:22 PM EST (#318321) #
And if we are signing good FAs to fantasy contracts, can we target Fowler on a 3 year deal?
Notice a pattern? All of these pitchers are on short-term deals, which mitigates the total risk considerably for Toronto.

Saunders, Pillar are all about to enter or already in their primes of career. Carrera can play some corner OF. Jr. Lake and play all OF and hit. If one GM wants another OF, why not try a veteran who has shown in 2015 that he made the most of his opportunities. Grady Sizemore to 1/2 M ?

Can one GM do anything one want in fantasy contract ? Maybe Sizemore would still be a basestealing prospect when he is on 1st base.

Outside of Tulo who possesses a decent OBP and whom Gibby mentioned, how about Saunders? The leadoff gets most PA in a season -- is it an ideal spot to test the progress of recovery, improvement and whatnots ? JB batted leadoff too before moving down the order during his 50+ HR season. Test Saunders similarly at leadoff in April ?
China fan - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 07:47 AM EST (#318322) #
"....Maybe we just disagree on Chavez's talent level. I think he's a 2 WAR calibre SP...."

That's indeed possible for Chavez in 2016.  But what about this scenario:  let's say Aaron Sanchez is a 1 WAR or a 1.5 WAR pitcher in 2016, but capable of using the major-league season as a springboard to a 3 WAR season in 2017 and perhaps even a 4 WAR season at some point in the future.  In that scenario, don't the Jays accept a slight decrease in the performance of the number 5 slot in the rotation this season in order to pave the way for a potentially great career for Sanchez?  I'm not saying that Sanchez wouldn't outperform Chavez this season, but even if he doesn't outperform Chavez in the short-term, he has so much more long-term potential.  And the way to achieve that great career might be to give him a full season in the major-league rotation in 2016 (not in Buffalo, where he doesn't learn nearly as much).  Chavez might be slightly better in the short term, but there's a chance that Sanchez is a lot better in the long term.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 08:08 AM EST (#318323) #
There's also the bullpen downgrade to consider, as well as the possibility that Sanchez's delivery is better suited for a relief role.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 10:05 AM EST (#318324) #
In the job openings department, there is this.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 11:01 AM EST (#318325) #
Here are a couple of interesting split tidbits that may factor into pitcher role decision-making.  Jesse Chavez has been much better the first half of the year than the second over his career (with an ERA difference of over 2 runs and batted ball rates consistent with that), but within a game has pitched as well the 3rd time through the order as the first and second. Aaron Sanchez has (both as a starter and as a reliever) thrown much much better for the first time through the order and for the first 25 pitches than otherwise.  It shows up mostly as balls getting hit harder, a higher BABIP and a higher HR/FB rate. This was true, to the best of my recollection, throughout his minor league career.  J.A. Happ for his career (and last year) has been a good pitcher from pitches 26-75 but tails off after that. 

If everyone is healthy (always a big if), there is a certain logic to starting Chavez in the rotation with Sanchez and Osuna in longer relief but relatively higher leverage roles.  So, Cecil takes the eighth and Storen takes the ninth.  Sanchez, Loup and Osuna take over (as needed) in close games for the 5th-7th innings.  Sanchez and Osuna might in a particular game throw 3 (or even 4) innings if the game situation calls for it.  Say Sanchez comes on with a 4-3 lead to begin the 6th inning, and hasn't thrown in 3 days, and that Cecil and Storen don't need work.  He's pitching well and the Jays tack on 4 insurance runs in the 7th.  You let him finish unless he fades.  Loup gets the higher leverage 6th or 7th inning lefty(ies) if required. 

You go into the season anticipating that in a typical decent start Stroman will give you 7 innings, Estrada will give you 6-7, Dickey and Chavez will give you 6 innings and Happ will give you 5.  There would be opportunities for Sanchez and Osuna to establish that they can throw longer outings and maintain effectiveness.  It seems to me a workable arrangement and would allow for adjustments in mid-season so that Sanchez and Osuna might throw in the 100-140 inning range if all goes well for them. 

Vulg - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 11:23 AM EST (#318326) #
I'd be pretty disappointed - and surprised- if the jays can fit Gallardo's 14-16mm a year salary into their budget. Would certainly rather have Price than Happ and Gallardo, whose combined price tag wouldn't be that much lower than what Price signed for.

If the money was there and they didn't even bid....


I suspect the Jays only indicated interest when it became clear that Gallardo would still be available close to spring training. I can't imagine them being interested at $14M - $16M, but if he's the major casualty of this off-season's FA bonanza, then I understand the FO kicking the tires.

Given what Atkins has said about starting pitching, I expect them to at least try and be opportunistic with what's left in the market, such as it is:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/freeagents/_/type/available/position/p

There are many eyes on Lincecum and Cliff Lee is reportedly considering only 'the perfect situation'. Pickings are pretty slim.

I suppose Latos is another interesting option. He had an excellent 3 seasons with the Reds before being hurt in 2014 and sucking in 2015. At 28, I'd think he still has some potential. Unfortunately, he seems like a bit of a douchebag, but hey, anything the club picks up now is going to come with warts. Interesting write-up on him from a Royals perspective:

http://www.royalsreview.com/2016/1/11/10734484/royals-trade-rumor-free-agent-mat-latos
jerjapan - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 12:18 PM EST (#318327) #
You go into the season anticipating that in a typical decent start Stroman will give you 7 innings, Estrada will give you 6-7, Dickey and Chavez will give you 6 innings and Happ will give you 5.  There would be opportunities for Sanchez and Osuna to establish that they can throw longer outings and maintain effectiveness.  It seems to me a workable arrangement and would allow for adjustments in mid-season so that Sanchez and Osuna might throw in the 100-140 inning range if all goes well for them. 

Mike, that's an interesting post / concept, and the notes about Sanchez are fairly stark and clear. 

I think you've pretty much outlined the perfect deployment of resources given the staff on hand - several serviceable starters who start to struggle once they've got twice through the order, with a quality option in AAA (Hutch) or pushing Chavez into the pen if he fades again in the second half.  High leverage opportunities in relief for Osuna and Sanchez, plus a good chance to build them up (Osuna in particular) in terms of innings.

It's pretty unorthodox though, and this FO seems very conservative to me.  would they ever have promoted Castro and Osuna out of spring training like AA did? 
grjas - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 12:33 PM EST (#318328) #
Grjas, just to play devil's advocate...

All valid points greenfrog. But I think there are times you just have to take a sizeable risk and this was it. It's one of the very rare times that the Jays are extremely competitive and attractive to a top tier free agent. In Price, they would have a pretty healthy guy who would be a great mentor to their excellent young pitchers, and a huge fan draw. So if they were ever to sign on to a top level free agent pitcher, this was it.

Having said all that I think Vulg is right that the Jays don't have the budget to sign either Price before or Gallardo now.

The starting pitching could range anywhere from brutal to very good so it will be an interesting year to watch. And despite my disappointment over Price, I will be surprised if they aren't playing meaningful games in September which to me is the most important yardstick.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 12:35 PM EST (#318329) #
they had the budget to sign price. they decided to spend more money elsewhere.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 12:38 PM EST (#318330) #
and i think for all the question marks being brought up about our kid pitchers, some people are underrating the question marks around dickey, happ, estrada, chavez - all of whom could be replacement level this year without surprising anyone.
pubster - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 02:39 PM EST (#318331) #
Any of those pitchers can have an off year, but I think it's unlikely that they all have a bad year.

I guess early in the year the Jays have to figure out whos going to be good and who isn't.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 02:50 PM EST (#318332) #
Blue Jays to acquire Darrell Ceciliani from the Mets. More outfield depth I assume.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 02:57 PM EST (#318333) #
The Jays have picked up outfielder Darrell Ceciliani from the New York Mets for either cash or a player to be named later. The 25 year-old left-handed batter hit .345 with Las Vegas last season but just .206 in 68 at-bats with the Mets. His first hit came in his first at- bat, a pinch-hit single against the Cardinals' Michael Wacha June 1. His only homer came against the Braves' Mike Foltyniewicz June 14.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 03:01 PM EST (#318334) #
thumbs up on Ceciliani. he can run and field at least, and his bat has some upside in terms of maybe not being unplayably bad.

another part of Gibbons interview last night - said Saunders wasn't a lock to start, as he wanted to see what Pompey can do. didn't mention anyone else.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 03:48 PM EST (#318335) #
Ceciliani is OK for AAA and we'll see if there is anything there as the year goes on. Depth is always good to have.
In AAA last year he was in Vegas thus video game numbers - 345/398/581 in 255 PA. In AA over 891 PA he hit 278/326/392 (Eastern League 2013/14) which is probably a better view of what he can do. 125-42 lifetime SB-CS in the minors. 21-5 last year between AAA and the majors (5-1 in the majors). K'ed in 1 out of 3 PA for the Mets last year (ick). 119 per 600 minor league PA's so that might have been due to rookie jitters or who knows what.

406 games in CF, 67 in LF, 14 in RF lifetime minors. Left handed hitter so could be a platoon mate for Pompey if Saunders can't play. Seems defense and speed are things the new front office likes too which is good to see.
grjas - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 04:07 PM EST (#318336) #
they had the budget to sign price. they decided to spend more money elsewhere.


For clarity, my point is that should they sign Gallardo now it would show that within their budget, they could have dealt with the problem areas (eg depth) and still afforded Price.

Anyway, not likely to happen.
pubster - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 04:38 PM EST (#318337) #
The Jays won't be able to afford Price because of the contracts they gave to Albert Pujols and Ervin Santana.

Oh wait good thing that didn't happen :)
mathesond - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 04:58 PM EST (#318338) #
Not to mention Ubaldo Jimenez!
cybercavalier - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 05:46 PM EST (#318339) #
Talking about filling rosters of New Hampshire and Buffalo. Would signing former Jays prospects or players mean anything ?

R/R 3B/1B Ryan Roberts September 19, 1980 (age 35)
R/R C Guillermo Quiroz November 29, 1981 (age 34)
LHRP David Purcey April 22, 1982 (age 33)
R/R C Robinson Diaz born September 19, 1983 (age 32)
L/L 1B David Cooper February 12, 1987 (age 28)
RHRP Joel Carreno March 7,1987 (age 28)
S/R IF/OF John Tolisano October 7,1988 (age 27)
R/R IF/OFJustin Jackson December 11, 1988 (age 27)
R/R OF Johermyn Chavez  January 26, 1989 (age 27)
R/R 3B/1B Kevin Ahrens April 26,1989 (age 26)
S/R 1B Mike McMade
May 8, 1989 (age 26)
R/R SS/2B Tyler Pastornicky December 13,1989 (age 26)
R/R OF Mike Crouse
November 22, 1990 (age 25)

For example, Cooper was reportedly considering retirement. Would the Jays signing him to AA or AAA to get more or less part time plate appearance make human resources or public relation sense ?
Chuck - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 07:26 PM EST (#318340) #
Would signing former Jays prospects or players mean anything ?

Only to you.

92-93 - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 08:29 PM EST (#318341) #
"they had the budget to sign price. they decided to spend more money elsewhere....some people are underrating the question marks around dickey, happ, estrada, chavez - all of whom could be replacement level this year without surprising anyone."

The decision to not sign Price had very little to do with the 2016 budget, it was about the 7 year commitment.

I would be pretty surprised if any of those pitchers were healthy and only managed to be replacement level (a very low bar). The rotation isn't great by any means, but you can't just ignore what those guys have each done for the last 3 years. Even Estrada's terrible 2014 had a 0.6 bWAR. Most people, other than Sanchez & Osuna, would be pretty happy with the plan Mike Green outlined.

I really can't wait for spring to start, so we can start focusing on important things like the need for an 8 man bullpen.
scottt - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 10:41 PM EST (#318342) #
Currently the Bisons have Humberto Quintero behind the plate, Casey Kotchman at first, David Adams and Jon Berti and second, Andy Burns at third and Jio Mier at shortstop.

The only outfielder listed is Melky Mesa.

The pitchers currently on minor league contracts are Scott Copeland, Scott Diamond, Chad Girodo, Roberto Hernandez, Bobby Korecky, Wade Leblanc, Pat McCoy, Brad Penny and Daniel Schlereth.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 02 2016 @ 11:33 PM EST (#318343) #
If they make an extremely early decision on signing David Price, then he could fit in the Budget.

Bautista, Pillar and Saunders are the Outfield with Price.
Bautista, Pillar and Saunders are the Outfield without Price
Smoak, Goins, Tulowitzki, Donaldson and Martin are the Infield with Price.
Smoak, Goins, Tulowitzki, Donaldson and Martin are the Infield without Price.
Colabello is the D.H. with Price.
Encarnacion is the DH. without Price.
Thole, Barney, Lake and a 3rd Base backup are the Bench with Price.
Thole, Barney, Lake and Colabello are the Bench without Price.
Price, Stroman, Dickey, Sanchez and Hutchison are the Rotation with Price.
Stroman, Dickey, Estrada, Happ and probably Hutchison are the Rotation without Price.
Osuna, Cecil, Storen, Loup, Chavez, Tepera and either Biagini or Schultz are the Bullpen with Price.
Osuna, Cecil, Storen, Loup, Chavez, Sanchez and one of Tepera, Biagini or Schultz are the Bullpen without price.

Stronger Offense and a better Bullpen without Price. There are always difficult decisions that must be made. Term has as much to do with those decisions as costs.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 12:43 AM EST (#318344) #
"The decision to not sign Price had very little to do with the 2016 budget, it was about the 7 year commitment. "

whatever the reason was, they had the budget.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 01:50 AM EST (#318345) #
Cost to pay Price lets the Jays pay Encarnacion, Estrada and Happ, this year. Saving $30.0 plus Millions over each of the following six years could very well do so much more.

Saying it's the 7 years that matters is not completely accurate. Spending that much money (21.4% of the Budget) over that long a term (full MLB contract plus one Free Agent year equivalent) is much more telling.
jerjapan - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 08:08 AM EST (#318346) #
Scottt, the newly-acquired Darrell Ceciliani has options and will be in the Buffalo OF, as will one or both of lake and Carerra if they clear waivers.  Maicer Izturis will be in the IF, matt dominguez at 3b and the pen will also have optionable guys from the 40 man like Schultz, Tepera and McFarland.  cant recall if venditte and rowen have options but the AAA depth is slowly coming together.  the pen might be quite strong, and the IF hopefully solid.
scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 08:19 AM EST (#318347) #
"The decision to not sign Price had very little to do with the 2016 budget, it was about the 7 year commitment. "

Not really. They could have tried a 7 year contract with a 1 year opt out. With so many players leaving a the end of the year, Price would have surely followed suit. Next year free agency is very weak too. They didn't even talk to him.

pubster - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 08:43 AM EST (#318348) #
Long term contracts like the one Price got generally don't work.

Just look at all the contracts that posters wanted the Jays to take on and were upset when nothing materialized.

ie. Pujols, Fielder, Jimenez, Santana.

The Jays wouldn't be contending right now if they signed all those guys.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 08:49 AM EST (#318349) #
The Jays had the budget for Price only if they were willing to enter the season with Price, Stroman, Hutchison, and "pray for a damn miracle" as their 2016 rotation in MLB and AAA. In other words, it wasn't a realistic option, never mind the long-term ramifications of that contract. People need to realize that Price got (at the time) the biggest contract ever for a SP. The Jays likely would have had to surpass that amount to sign him, and even then there's no guarantee they could have outbid Dombrowski (who has a history of grossly overspending on players beyond market value). Does that sound like something Rogers would have green-lighted?

I'm really not sure why this is still a thing. The Jays were never going to sign Price. He was a rental in order to try to make the playoffs and the ultimately win a World Series. That was it.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 10:06 AM EST (#318350) #
Price is still a thing because everybody talks about him on this board with their slant at the end of their comment to try to make their point seem obvious.. It wasn't realistic for the Jays to sign him once Boston decided to throw as much money at him as they did with that much term, but nobody knows if Price would have required more money from Toronto to sign here. At the same time, it's naive to think that we could have signed him to a long term with a 1 year opt out...how does that make any sense if you're not in the business of throwing money away to cover sunk costs? I guess I just feel like everybody knows about the Price saga and it's kinda done...now there's the JBau and Edwin sagas to deal with.

This year will be a good year for baseball fans. We get to watch Tulo all year plus the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Padres coming to town.
China fan - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 10:42 AM EST (#318351) #
"...I really can't wait for spring to start, so we can start focusing on important things like the need for an 8 man bullpen...."

No, we don't debate the 8-man bullpen during the spring.  Only from April 1 to Aug. 31, please!
christaylor - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 10:45 AM EST (#318352) #
I find the Price talk tired and pointless, but dlimon5 raises a nice point Bautista and EE will raise sagas of their own.

I kind of hope the Jays sign neither of them - we've had a front row seat to their health issues and they are on the decline. Signing both might mean a competitive team in 2017, but what about beyond that? I'd rather, if the money is there, that the Jays put the $ elsewhere, either in FA or via trade. Cespedes is probably a better bet than either of them for a contract in 2017 and beyond, especially if he's good enough in 2016 to choose the opt-out.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 11:57 AM EST (#318353) #
Thank christaylor; other than trying to change the topic on Price, you state explicitly a new observation ?
-----------------------------------------
Jerjapan, the way you presented the Buffalo roster appears that the pitching depth is strong. By presenting explicitly showing how AAA depth is slowly coming together, the discussion becomes one by itself. To fill in empty or spot on roster, I would not mind signing former Jays.
Does the disabled list (DL) on the Buffalo's roster post no limit of players on it ? Therefore, can players be moved onto and out of it before each game ?

So assuming options of assignment to minors are available
On the Bisons' roster,
C Humberto Quintero, one of AJ Jimenez or Sean Ochinko ? Quintero may be aged to catch full time so one of Robinson Diaz or Guillermo Quiroz could be signed.

1B Casey Kotchman (add 1B David Cooper ?)
2B David Adams, Jon Berti, Andy Burns (add IF/OF Tolisano ?)
3B Matt Dominiguez, Andy Burns
SS Jio Mier, Andy Burns
IF Maicer Izturis
OF Melky Mesa, Darrell Ceciliani, one of Lake or Carrera (plus LF/RF Brad Glenn, IF/OF Tolisano, IF/OF Justin Jackson, OF Mike Crouse ?)

SP Scott Copeland, Scott Diamond, Chad Girodo, Roberto Hernandez, Wade Leblanc, Brad Penny
RP Bobby Korecky, , Pat McCoy, Daniel Schlereth, two of Schultz, Tepera and McFarland, Pat Venditte, Rowen (plus RP David Purcey)

Given how IP from Price is lost thru free agency, his IP is shared by callup pitchers -- I think they are Copeland, Diamond, Schultz and Tepera. Will Venditte give two relieving pitching arms in one person -- LHRP on one day and RHRP on next day ?

Filling the Bisons' roster with players would be easy but what potential would it provide to Toronto other than training for prospects ? Ceciliani is an example of low cost high reward signing -- hopefully he can hit MLB pitching well to combine with his defense and speed.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 11:58 AM EST (#318354) #
ignore the name price.

we had the budget to sign an impact top of the rotation pitcher, and we spent it on a handful of guys in their mid 30s who have never established themselves as permanent members of an mlb rotation.

it's silly to think this shouldn't be a subject of discussion in the very offseason these decisions were made.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST (#318355) #
"I kind of hope the Jays sign neither of them - we've had a front row seat to their health issues and they are on the decline. Signing both might mean a competitive team in 2017, but what about beyond that? I'd rather, if the money is there, that the Jays put the $ elsewhere, either in FA or via trade. "

we could have put that money into a 30yr old elite Ace SP.
christaylor - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 12:45 PM EST (#318356) #
It has been a subject of discussion but it was rendered irrelevant wish-casting a long time ago, by the big names being signed and the Jays FO choosing their path. I think we agree on Price, Greinke? I would have loved to have either on the team even if even it made losing Bautista and EE a certainty.

I suggest considering the roster construction - this team is built to win with offense, a smile from Pythagoras and league average starting pitching and the team is a regular season contender in 2016. The current rotation while completely uninspiring does certainly have that potential. I wouldn't rule out major steps forward from Sanchez and Hutch.

Does the FO want a reset come 2017? Probably. If we didn't have the magical run at the end of 2015, we're probably talking about none of this and swallowing hard at another rebuild/retool. It looks like the FO is walking a middle path to see if 2016 works -- if the team looks like 2013, 2014, or any number of teams 50-50 after 100 games. Then everyone here will probably be more likely to swallow shifting major short-term pieces for futures.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 12:53 PM EST (#318357) #
"it's silly to think this shouldn't be a subject of discussion in the very offseason these decisions were made."

It's silly to assume that the Jays could have made the types of moves you suggest (Price), plus have a realistic chance of re-signing Bautista/Encarnacion after the season, all within the parameters Rogers has set (around $140M). It was never a possibility. Spending $30M on a pitcher when the team had 3 MLB starters in MLB and AAA combined (or 2 if you want to remove Dickey's salary to afford someone like Price) was never going to happen.

If you want to argue that the Jays could have gotten better than Happ and Chavez, then you're dealing with many caveats. For example, Shark signed for 5/90 with the Giants coming off a 2.7 WAR season. He would not have signed with the Jays for that amount in all likelyhood. So how much do you outbid the Giants to sign him? 5/100? 5/110? A pick is lost in that scenario as well, which also had a $ value attached to it. Then you have Mike Leake coming off a 1.7 WAR signing for 5/80 with the Cardinals. How much do you outbid St. Louis in that scenario? The list goes on. Replace those guys with any of the mid-tier or upper mid-tier SP's not named Price or Greinke. Many assume that because player X signed with Team Y for a certain amount that any team could have signed that player for the same dollar value. It doesn't work that way.

The Jays were simply not in a position to break the bank on a single free agent. Rogers was not increasing payroll, and the team won't have their current level of surplus value on the roster beyond 2016 (Bautista/Edwin become FA's, and Martin's salary jumps to $20M). They needed to make practical moves short-term so that it gave them more options long-term. They still have a chance to win in 2016 with the moves they have made.

Again, I don't know why this is still a thing.
Dave Till - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 12:55 PM EST (#318358) #
I believe that the Jays would never have signed Price even if they had made a serious offer, for the same reason that the Dodgers did not re-sign Greinke. The Red Sox probably would have gone higher if necessary - given their starting rotation (cruddy) and the money they had available (lots and lots), the Jays would eventually have given in.

I think that there's no good solution to the Bautista situation. If the Jays re-sign him, they pay market price for his decline years. If the Jays do not re-sign him, he will become the starting right fielder (or first baseman or DH) for the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees in 2017, since either division rival would likely be more than happy to kick the Jays and their fan base squarely in the teeth.

As a fan, I hope they keep him, but I can see the logical reason for letting him go. The worst outcome would be the Jays not signing him and not pursuing a replacement - this would wipe out all of the fan goodwill built during 2015's awesome run.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 01:12 PM EST (#318359) #
"It's silly to assume that the Jays could have made the types of moves you suggest (Price), plus have a realistic chance of re-signing Bautista/Encarnacion after the season,"

Price is better than Bautista and Encarnacion, and much younger.
finch - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 01:45 PM EST (#318360) #
"Price is better than Bautista and Encarnacion, and much younger."

In any event, Price is easier to replace, internally, for the Blue Jays over Beutista/Edwin. Sanchez, Stroman and Osuna have a greater likelihood of become Price than Alford, Tellez and Urena have of becoming Bautista/Edwin.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 02:35 PM EST (#318361) #
"Price is better than Bautista and Encarnacion, and much younger."


That doesn't mean that paying him $220M (or whatever it would have taken to outbid Boston) over seven years was the smart move.
jerjapan - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 02:51 PM EST (#318362) #
It's sort of impossible to talk about the Price scenario without talking about an opt-out option - these clauses appear to be the new normal, and many of the teams signing players to contracts with these clauses are actually expecting the opt-out to be exercised. Price for 7 years and $217 million is a lot different than Price for 3 years and $90 million. He's exactly the sort of player that would likely perform well enough to take the opt out and go for another massive payday. Barring catastrophic injury, that's the likely scenario.

I'm not sure how much health insurance mitigates those scenarios, does anyone know?
pubster - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 03:45 PM EST (#318363) #
Price is a good pitcher, but didn't everyone want Stroman to start in the Game 5 vs Texas?

Sure he'd get us into the playoffs, but then you'd have to pitch him Game 1 and Game 5 (unless you're a genius and tire him out by using him as a RP).

He has a career post season ERA of over 5 (63 total innings pitched).
Gerry - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 04:18 PM EST (#318364) #
The Jays will have dirt basepaths in 2016. John Lott has the full story, involving digging up concrete and keeping the right amount of dirt on the field.
China fan - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 05:15 PM EST (#318365) #
John Lott is now freelancing for Vice Sports.  Not sure if this will be his main gig in the future, but I hope he continues to write as much in 2016 as he did in 2015, whether it's entirely for Vice or whether it's for a variety of new clients.  He's one of the best.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 05:27 PM EST (#318366) #
Pubster brings us a good point -- players outperforming many other in the regular season may not do so in the postseason. A-Rod ?

A question for Chinafan: besides Mr. Lott, who else are good writers for Jays news and information that we can continue to read online, including this site :) ? The 5-men rotation article presented by Richard days ago is a good read.

scottt - Wednesday, February 03 2016 @ 06:26 PM EST (#318368) #
The Jays signed Burnett with an opt-out before it was popular and the only way to load up on draft picks.

The front office chose to ignore Price while the fans were asking for him.
It's hard not to talk about him because he was here for two month. And he was fantastic.

Estrada and Happ are riskier moves than Price. Hopefully it turns out well, but I wouldn't bet any money on them and that's exactly what the Jays have done.

People want to talk about EE and Bats because they have been here for years but it makes perfects sense to offer them QOs, take the picks, and put a left bat at first and a good defender in right field.  The only thing I don't want to see is them signing team friendly contracts to play DH or first base elsewhere.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 12:34 AM EST (#318369) #
Other than Minor League signings, nothing else should happen. With a full 40-Man Roster, any acquisitions made loses some one else.
Paul D - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 08:58 AM EST (#318370) #
Arod's bat got, and won, the 2009 Series for the Yankees. Any players who are devalued because someone doesn't think they can perform in the post season are players that GMs should pounce on.
John Northey - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 11:26 AM EST (#318371) #
A-Rod was misread by many. His lifetime playoff line is 259/365/457 for an 822 OPS which is quite a bit lower than his regular season 937 but still very good.

Price has a 3.09 ERA lifetime regular season vs a 5.12 in the playoffs. That is a very poor playoff number and moves him from ace to scrub.

Ah you say, but A-Rod was bad once. Not really. At 19 he was 0-2 in the playoffs then had a 875 OPS in his next chance at 21. At 24 he had a poor division series 615 but hit 409/480/773 in a losing effort to the Yankees. In 2004 he was over 1.200 in the first round, 895 in the LCS. 2005 635 in the DS, 2006 205 OPS (1 for 14) which is where the 'A-Rod sucks in playoffs' came from I suspect but by then he was well established as being solid in the playoffs but had 2 poor series in 2 years. Sheffield was 1 for 12 that same playoff but no one remembers. His last 4 have been poor (5 for 47).

So the question becomes do some players do better in playoffs consistently while other do poorly? With 330 PA in the postseason we can safely say A-Rod isn't as good in the playoffs as the regular season but overall has been good just not HOF level. Price has just 63 1/3 IP so not enough to say for certain but I know I wouldn't be chasing him if I needed a playoff performer (ie: team is a near lock to get there but needs pieces to go all the way).

One needs to be careful with that of course. The Jays in 1991/2 decided they needed a playoff performer and got Jack Morris who just had one of the best game 7's ever. But he then proceeded to suck in the playoffs (0-3 ERA over 7, not even used in the playoffs the next year). Meanwhile 'Mr May' Dave Winfield got the winning hit in the final game of the 92 WS (he hit 045/222/045 his previous WS experience in '81). Go figure.
China fan - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 11:29 AM EST (#318372) #
"....besides Mr. Lott, who else are good writers for Jays news and information that we can continue to read online...."

I've always liked Shi Davidi for his reporting and analysis, but he doesn't delve deep into the statistical analysis.  I also like some of the other SportsNet writers, including Zwelling and Nicholson-Smith, but again more as feature writers and reporters, rather than as analysts.  Beyond that, I surf widely in the Jays blogosphere, but haven't found the perfect source.  A good question for the community here:  are there specific writers at the other blogs that we should be following more closely?
jerjapan - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 11:38 AM EST (#318373) #
I like Stoeten's content at Andrewstoeten.com, but the comments section can be a sharktank.

and I follow our very own Tammy Rainey, writing at Bluejaysplus now that her site -the southpaw- has run it's course.
China fan - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 01:12 PM EST (#318375) #
Yes, I should have mentioned Stoeten -- his stuff is good value too.  In fact, the success of his blog is an interesting argument in favor of avoiding the dressing-rooms and press conferences:  you can actually do better stuff from a distance, analyzing the personnel moves and stats without any need for contact with the organization.  Of course that's not the only approach that works, but it provides a nice balance to those journalists who are compelled to interview the players and add their comments into everything.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 01:55 PM EST (#318377) #
Considering who might be a Reliever when the Jay break camp is interesting, especially with the locks to make the Jays. After all, someone's got to talk about this stuff. There is best-case scenario: Roberto Osuna, Drew Storen, Brett Cecil and Aaron Sanchez form a powerful backend with both Sanchez and Osuna as two-inning Relievers. There is worst-case scenario: Roberto Osuna, Drew Storen and Brett Cecil for a strong backend with no one as multi-inning Relievers.

There are two Relievers who should make the Bullpen, each depending on moves not yet made. Of the three present options to Start, only Drew Hutchison doesn't go into the Bullpen if he loses the job.

Jesse Chavez (RHP), 6'2"160, (32): is capable of pitching more than one inning effective, but not suited to late inning relief.
Aaron Loup (LHP), 5'11"205, (28): is basically a LOOGY now, although he's been the victim of bad luck. It's unknown if he can be better.

There really is only one spot open, but a second just might be available. Unfortunately having an option(s) still makes a difference.

Joe Biagini (RHP), 6'4"215, (25), Rule-5 Pick: is someone the Jays would very much like to keep. He's coming off a successful year so should be motivated and could do well with projected uptick in stuff.

Ryan Tepera (RHP), 6'1"180, (28): has a wee bit of an issue with the HR ball, otherwise he pitches very well which I found surprising, but it shouldn't be unexpected.

Bo Schultz (RHP), 6'3"220, (30): pitched in some high leverage innings last year, but seemingly was the forgotten man when Lowe and Hawkins were acquired. What is he capable of now is the question?

Ben Rowan (RHP), 6'3"195, (27): is an excellent Minor League Reliever and except for a brief cameo in 2014 hasn't had a sniff. Is there a bias toward Minor League Relievers?

Blake McFarland (RHP), 6'5"230, (28): is another excellent Minor League Reliever, waiting for a call-up.

Steve Delabar (RHP), 6'5"220, (32): might be done as a Major League Reliever unless he can reclaim his dominance with his stuff, which is too bad.

Brady Dragmire (RHP), 6'1"180, (23): is an excellent Pitcher still about one or probably two years away. Might be a surprise sooner.

Chad Jenkins (RHP), 6'4"235, (28): is an average Starter/Reliever at the MLB level, who didn't find favor at that level. In my opinion didn't get enough of a chance to prove he could be better.

Arnold Leon (RHP), 6'1"205, (27): seems to have found himself as a decent MLB Reliever, but I have no idea as to how good he is.

Pat Venditte (RHP/LHP), 6'1"180, (30): is a decent MLB Reliever who throws with both arms. He's most effective as a LHP vs LHB.

Chad Girodo (LHP), 6'1"195, (25): is an excellent Minor League Reliever, waiting for a call-up.

Wil Browning (RHP), 6'3"190, (27): is a Minor League Reliever struggling to reach AA. I have no idea where he ends up.

Wade Leblanc (LHP), 6'3"215, (31): is a barely average MLB Reliever, and that's all I got.

Pat McCoy (LHP), 6'3"220, (27): is another barely average MLB Reliever (not as good as Leblanc).

Daniel Schlereth (LHP), 6'0"210, (29): is an average MLB Reliever, who might be good enough to make.

The above stuff is my opinion, but I don't know enough to be more accurate so I've tried to be as objective as I could.

cybercavalier - Thursday, February 04 2016 @ 05:28 PM EST (#318384) #
Given Richard's list of relievers, we need to return two PTBNLs to the Mets and the Nationals for our trades with them. Which two players or pitcher would you give away. Given that the Nationals were dealing from an area of bullpen strength, Delabar would be going to the Nationals ? If the Mets rotation and bullpen can still improve, how about trading Jenkins to complete the Darrell Ceciliani trade but the Jays want cash in return. In fact, the Mets-Jays trade is Jenkins = Ceciliani + cash.
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