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Just two years ago, the Los Angeles Angels won 98 games, more than any other team in the American League.

This year? Well...

     When it starts to fall apart
     Man, it really falls apart




Mike Scioscia is now in his 17th season as the Angels' manager. He's been at his post longer than any other current manager in the game. The fact that he's never lost 90 games in a single season is one of the reasons why. But this will be the year, unless his team manages to go 21-17 the rest of way. Which doesn't seem likely.

So what happened?

Well, the 2014 Angels won 98 games mainly by pounding the other teams into submission. Their pitching and defense was roughly league average, but those Angels scored more runs than any other team in the major leagues, despite playing half their games in one of the better pitcher's parks in the game. Which I don't remember noticing at the time. I noticed the league MVP, of course, but the 2014 Angels had no offensive holes, nowhere. All nine regulars had an OPS+ better than 100  Just four of those players are still around - Trout, Pujols, Cron, and Calhoun - and those four are still producing at roughly the same level. One of the newcomers, Yunel Escobar is giving them production at third base comparable to what they received from David Freese two years ago. But at the other spots - yikes.

Observe:

                      2014                            2016 
C Iannetta .252/.373/.392  123 --- Perez .222/.250/.344  63
1b Pujols .272/.324/.466  126 --- Cron .274/.341/.466 118
2b Kendricks .293/.347/.397 116 --- Giavotella .260/.287/.376  82
3b Freese .260/.321/.383 104 --- Escobar .320/.368/.402 114
ss Aybar .278/.321/.379 103 --- Simmons .272/.305.336  78
lf Hamilton .263/.331/.414  115 --- Ortega .238/.273/.303  60
cf Trout .287/.377/.561  168 --- Trout .308/.426/.544 167
rf Calhoun .272/.325/.450  123 --- Calhoun .269/.350/.413  111
dh Cron .256/.289/.450  111 --- Pujols  .253/.319/.431  105


It's true that two of the departed 2014 regulars - catcher Chris Iannetta and shortstop Erick Aybar - were having career years with the bat. And sure, Josh Hamilton was such a huge disappointment in Anaheim that they literally gave him away to a division rival while continuing to pay him enormous sums of money. But even the Anaheim version of Hamilton was a much more productive hitter than Rafael Ortega or Daniel Nava. This year's offense is roughly league average. It's not all that bad considering their home park. But it's still a long way down from what this team was doing just two years ago.

But even more disturbing is the fact that only the hapless Twins have allowed more runs than the 2016 Angels. In this ballpark - that's just unfathomable. Everyone on the staff has spent the season circling the drain - the ones who were there in 2014 and are still around and the ones they brought in since. You might say that Garrett Richards is the exception - he was their best starter in 2014 until a knee injury ended his season in August. He was also their best starter this season, right up until the day his elbow blew up and ended his season in April. The Angels got just 6 starts out of their best pitcher this season, and as for everyone else....

                  2014                           2016 
Jered Weaver  18-9, 3.59  ---  Jered Weaver  8-11, 5.47
Matt Shoemaker  16-4, 3.04 --- Matt Shoemaker 7-13, 4.14
Hector Santiago 6-9, 3.75 --- Hector Santiago 10-4, 4.25
C.J. Wilson  13-10, 4.51 --- Jhoulys Chacin 3-6, 5.68
Garrett Richards 13-4, 2.61 --- Tyler Skaggs 1-2, 5.19


Santiago has been traded for Ricky Nolasco, who's gone 0-3, 5.70 in his 4 starts. He's fitting right in, you could say.

Meanwhile the bullpen, which was exceptionally strong in 2014, has been one raging dumpster fire. Two years ago, incumbent closer Ernesto Frieri imploded, but the Angels moved quickly enough to replace him and got excellent work from Huston Street and Joe Smith at the end of the game. They in turn received solid support from Kevin Jepsen, Mike Morin, Fernando Salas, and Cory Rasmus. Jason Grilli even pitched in with some league average work.

But this year? Well, Smith was adequate, until they traded him to the Cubs. Cam Bedrosian was very good, until he went on the DL. But Salas, Morin, and Street have been bad, badder, and baddest. With Smith in Chicago, and Street and Bedrosian on the DL, Fernando Salas with his 4.56 ERA is the closer du jour.

And of course, the Los Angeles Angels have the best damn baseball player in the whole wide world playing for their team. What a waste.

Yeah, we got matchups:

Skaggs (1-2, 5.19) vs Dickey (8-13, 4.51)
Shoemaker (7-13, 4.14) vs Estrada (7-5, 3.20)
Weaver (8-11, 5.47) vs Happ (17-3, 3.05)
Angels at Jays, 23-25 August | 297 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#329523) #
Albert Pujols is a nice reminder that most often players do not age as David Ortiz has.  He's 36 and he still has quite a bit of pop and walks almost as much as he strikes out.  Nonetheless, he's a below average player. 

The Angels have not been able to develop much talent the last few years.  The thin farm system is probably the biggest single reason for the decline. 

AWeb - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#329524) #
The Angels actually have a good defense by most ratings, which means the terrible pitching is all on their pitching staff. Let's see what the AL only numbers have to say...they have the second lowest strikeout rate and the highest HR rate? The Highest HR rate while giving up a below average rate of HR/flyball? Lowest GB rate? Well, not much mystery there. More advanced, they also have the slowest fastballs in the league (although Weaver alone must be pulling that down a comical amount with his 84mph FB). Any team willing to try Lincecum in the for 9 games must totally lack minor league filler arms as well. Without Trout, this is probably the worst team in the majors.

In general, this profiles as a pitching staff the Jays should destroy, since they strikeout a lot, and hit a lot of Homers (and flyballs in general). Still playing the games though...how about a nice easy series win this time? Winning game 1 would be a nice change of pace.
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#329526) #
Great write-up Magpie.  This Angels team is one heck of a trainwreck and it's not just on the field - they are expensive, with tons of dead money and have arguably the worst farm in the game.  

Sad seeing Pujols as a replacement level talent - he was so dominant for so long, I truly thought he'd offer more than the $67 million (per Fangraphs) that he's generated so far - with 5 years left on that $240 million deal. 

And of course, they go out and sign Tim Lincecum, who racked up an fWAR of -0.8 in 9 starts and is now 8 AAA starts away from tying his previous career total of minor league starts - the Freak had exactly 13 starts in the minors before making it to San Fran for good in 2007.

Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#329527) #
The Jays have had some crushing losses this year and instead of being demoralizing, losing streak-inducing losses they've resulted in good baseball. I think that suggests good character/mental toughness in the clubhouse. The 19-inning loss to Cleveland on July 1 is a good example. They ripped off an 8-1 stretch afterwards. I'm optimistic another good run is following after the 2 tough late-inning losses.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#329528) #
fun article on a particular subset of Sanchez' dominance this year: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-ridiculousness-of-aaron-sanchezs-sinker/
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#329532) #
(I know this is dreaming, so don't go too harshly on me)
Once upon a time, we traded Vernon Wells to the Angels, got them to take the whole lot of $$$, and gave us some good players too.

Not just wishful thinking, but wishfully wishful thinking.. They apparently need pitching. We have pitching. We could really use an outfielder with power to replace players leaving. What if something like this happened in the offseason:
-QO to EE rejected (odds are 98% IMHO as of now that this happens), Saunders rejects (somewhat likely), JBats accepts (maybe)

To the Angels:
-Estrada or Happ (with extension worked out), Osuna (who they move to the rotation), Upton or maybe Pillar, one decent/good pitching prospect

To Blue Jays:
-Trout, Pujols (Angels eat half the salary), maybe a pitching or outfield prospect

If JBats accepts the QO, this would give us a lineup of:
Travis
Bautista (1B)
Donaldson
Trout
Tulo
Pujols/Smoak/?? (DH)
Martin
Upton/Pillar
Pompey

Rotation:
Sanchez
Stroman
Estrada/Happ
Liriano
Biagini

Trout makes up for the losses of EE/Saunders, and with the contracts changing hands and the Angels retaining half of Pujols' salary, I think it ends up something like this:
Out: Happ/Estrada $12-13M + $10M EE + $5M Saunders = $28M
In: $12M Pujols + ~$22M = $34M
Net: +$6M

Pujols can still hit LHP (855 OPS this year), Smoak's not a total sinkhole against righties (720 OPS, IIRC), or Carrera or other. If JBats accepts the QO, salary is approx the same as this year - $14M vs $16-17M. Sign Dickey for $8M and you have a 5th starter in case Biagini doesn't work out. Or resign Feldman or such. Less than $10M/year total increase, and we've replaced EE for years with the other possible MVP in the AL for years. Bascially, it'll be a coin-toss for years which Jay wins MVP..

The only major hole this leaves is the bullpen. Perhaps resign Grilli as one option, Benoit as another? Sign a free-agent closer?

Ok, asbestos suit donned. Flame away :-)
uglyone - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#329535) #
Pillar back, Tepera down.

Loup stays. Goins stays.

7 man bullpen. 4 man bench.

I'm interested to see who fills in the last spot in the starting lineup now that only Joey is out....

...smoak at 1B?
...carrera in LF?
...barney in LF?

and hey has anyone else noticed that carrera is back to replacement level bat with bad D to boot? pompey can be more useful on both sides of the ball imo.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#329536) #
The statement of claim in the Encarnacion matter was re-tweeted by John Lott.  Like John, I have no idea about the truth of the allegations in the Statement of Claim.  It is however quite detailed.  It would be very difficult to separate that aspect of one's life (whether it was true or false) from hitting a baseball. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#329537) #
With a lefty on tonight, Gibbons gives Travis a rest (Travis has reverse splits over his career) and starts Barney.  Dickey is starting, so Thole catches and Martin DHs after a day off.  Good decisions. 
dan gordon - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#329538) #
The Fan just reported that Travis has a knuckle injury on his right hand, and had an injection today. Needs a day off. Saunders is hitting 8th today.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#329539) #
Sorry, no way on earth that the Angels trade Trout. Even if the GM is drunk and knows he will be fired tomorrow he wouldn't. He is signed through 2020 at $20 to $34 mil a year. He produces 8-10 WAR a year which you just cannot get unless you get lucky like the Angels did in drafting. I suspect the price would start at all of the Jays top 10 prospects and grow from there.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#329540) #
Ok, asbestos suit donned. Flame away :-)

It's not by accident that Tony Reagins is no longer a major league GM.

92-93 - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#329541) #
Saunders has hit .157/.281/.314 since the break. If the season ended today, he would not be worth a qualifying offer all things considered.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#329542) #
He produces 8-10 WAR a year which you just cannot get unless you get lucky like the Angels did in drafting.

As a counter, I offer Josh Donaldson.

Did I mention we take Pujols off their hands for half price - that's part of the appeal, and worth 1-2 WAR in and of itself, IMHO. Happ + Osuna + Pillar this season have approx 9 WAR themselves.. Some think Osuna would be worth 4-5 WAR in the rotation..
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#329543) #
If the Jays wanted Trout, you would think that two of Sanchez/Stroman/Osuna would have to be in the deal (plus a few other players/prospects, probably including Reid-Foley and Vlad Jr.).
christaylor - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#329544) #
Can we just make an MLB The Show 2017 trade thread already?

I am just kidding.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#329545) #
Pillar swings at a pitch head high, so Skaggs throws the next pitch down the middle. Pop another Tums, Scioscia.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#329546) #
Billy Hamilton of the Reds just made an utterly astonishing catch against the Rangers. Look for the highlight. Trust me.
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#329547) #
Agreed Magpie, that was unreal.  I love me some Pillar, but no way he makes that catch.

As for Trout - the Angels should trade the guy, no? 

uglyone - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#329548) #
why should the Angels trade the 25yr old best player in the world?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#329549) #
I love me some Pillar, but no way he makes that catch.

Strictly speaking, Pillar could make the catch. Great as the catch itself was, we've seen Kevin do that. But no way he - or anyone - gets to that ball. Not without a speedy automobile.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#329550) #
why should the Angels trade the 25yr old best player in the world?

Couldn't agree more. What on earth would be your motivation?

Chuck - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#329551) #
People have argued that Buck is miscast as a play-by-play guy, that he's more cut out for colour. Nope. He's just as vacuous in that role.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#329552) #
Alina, hearing the broadcast: "His name is Poo-Holes?"

So I looked it up. It's Catalan in origin, I suspect it's derived from a place-name. There are places called Pujols in south-western France, and it doesn't seem to actually mean anything.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#329553) #
Biagini had no command the entire inning, but then struck out Cron with a filthy 96mph heater at the bottom of the zone. The first strike to Pujols also had tremendous movement, and there was a nice looking curveball mixed into the inning as well. It will be interesting to see this winter if the organization views Biagini as a reliever, or if they choose to try him as a starter once they earn the ability to option him to the minors.

It's funny to see Saunders homer in the bottom of the 8th of a 6-2 game in light of that recent Fangraphs article about his WPA.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#329554) #
If you prefer not to use your relievers 3 days in a row, you probably don't want to be defensively warming them up in 4 and 5 run leads.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#329555) #
Here's the Hamilton catch:

Hamilton reached a top speed of 22 mph, had a first-step reaction of minus 0.03 seconds and covered 123 feet with a route efficiency of 97.2 percent.

Yikes.
ayjackson - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#329556) #
Have to wonder with all the changes if Gibby is gone in the offseason. Is Sandy Alomar Jr. still a coach in Cleveland? And whither Dave Martinez Jr. - did he follow Maddon to Wrigley?
Hodgie - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#329557) #
"Have to wonder with all the changes if Gibby is gone in the offseason."

It would obviously be with good reason. The man has only been able to guide the Jays to the second best record in baseball over the last calendar year, somehow trailing those hacks from Chicago in the NL.

greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#329558) #
I would say Saunders is a borderline QO at the moment. He currently has a wRC+ of 124 (OPS+ 123). His defense and baserunning are below average. If he can stay healthy, hit 30+ HR, and end up with a wRC+ of 130, I would think a QO is in the cards. A strong playoff performance would help, assuming the Jays advance to the postseason.
scottt - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#329559) #
I'm guessing Pujols in France would be pronounced like Pugeaux, almost like Peugeot.
I have no idea what the moto "como feras troberas" could mean.

uglyone - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#329560) #
"The man has only been able to guide the Jays to the second best record in baseball over the last calendar year, somehow trailing those hacks from Chicago in the NL."

with the burden of being stuck with untradeable albatrossi like tulo and martin no less!
scottt - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#329561) #
It looks like Bautista will be DHing for a while.

It's a balancing act, You don't want to exhaust the relievers, but you don't want them to rest for too long either.

Starting a series with a good outing from Dickey is a best case scenario.
So far the Angels pitching is as awful as advertised.

James W - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#329562) #
albatrosses would be the plural.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#329563) #
It was only a month or two ago that someone was arguing that even though Martin was good last year, he had generated 0 WAR this year and that he was therefore just another overpaid FA.

Care to revisit that argument?

2015 salary: $7m / actual value generated: $27.9m
2016 salary: $15m / actual value generated (prior to tonight's game): $13m

I didn't think so.
Super Bluto - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#329564) #
In Barcelona, Pujols is not an uncommon name and is pronounced with a soft 'g' sound. Kind of like the 'j' in a French name like Jacques.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#329565) #
Alomar Jr is with Cleveland as the 1B coach and is signed to a 2 year with a 3rd year option (2016/17/18). Dave Martinez is the bench coach in Chicago with the Cubs (he quit the Rays after they hired Kevin Cash as manager).

Right now I doubt Gibby is gone unless the Jays fail to make the playoffs.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 23 2016 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#329566) #
Good point VW_fan17. The Jays getting Donaldson was a miracle. AA was dang good at pulling off the impossible trade.

Pujols = $26-30 mil a year from now to 2021 (ouch)
Trout = $20-34 mil a year from now to 2020
Combined
2017: $46; 2018: $61; 2019: $62; 2020: $63

That is a lot for 2 guys. Given they are fighting with Oakland for last in the west 20+ games out maybe you could con them by eating all that salary and giving a few top prospects...maybe. But the GM, Billy Eppler, would be risking his career on it. If the Jays did that there goes all payroll space but would have a killer CF and a guy who might be a DH only going forward (his UZR ratings are in the toilet this year). Of course, FanGraphs lists Trout as being a $60+ mil a year guy from 2012 to last year, 'just' $55 mil so far this year so on his own he could be worth more than both combined are paid.

Still, it would have to cost Pillar along with a few prospects. Pillar was worth (Fangraphs) over $30 mil last year and over $22 this year so far for the ML minimum which means he is crazy valuable if you assume his defense is that good, which it is.

Y'know, the Jays might be one of the few teams that could pull it off. Payroll space (assuming none of the big free agents sign for $20+ mil), a guy in CF who could be in Trouts league on defense at least (no player covers all of Trouts skills). A few killer prospects on the mound who are close enough to trade especially given the strong rotation here (don't see the Angels wanting guys over 30 as a Trout trade would be a 'screw today, we want to win tomorrow'). If the Angels tell the GM to clear payroll space then it could happen. Dang would that be fun to see. Scary trade to do but if you look at the old Cone trades you can see that sending a stack of prospects is a good idea if you get a star.
dan gordon - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 03:12 AM EDT (#329567) #
The Angels are also paying $26.4 million of Josh Hamilton's contract next year, as they are doing this year. They'll also owe Pujols another $3 million once he gets his 3,000th hit, probably in 2018, although they will probably avoid the $7 million they would owe for 763 HR's. Then there is his million a year for the next 10 years after 2021 on a "personal services contract". That team has mismanaged a lot of money lately. At least they're not paying Vernon Wells any more, and they do lose Weaver and CJ Wilson, each making $20 million this year, after the season's over.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#329568) #
While Pujols is still productive with the bat,his mobility looks terrible.Last night,on the ground ball hit to Donaldson that Josh bobbled momentarily, Pujols was shown rumbling down the first base line like a sore-toed buffalo limping through a firepit. I was previously thinking it would be a good idea to pony up and pay Encarnacion a lucrative long-term deal, but now I'm not so sure.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#329569) #
Martin's early season struggles were awful enough for me to worry about him, but I'm glad he's turned it around. His wRC+ is right back in line with what can be reasonably expected from him, so whatever the heck was hurting his performance early in the year seems to have disappeared. With Bautista having a poor season, the Jays really needed the other stars to step up, and they have. Now they just need Bautista to come back and start hitting. Putting him at DH almost exclusively should hopefully help.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#329570) #
Donaldson being traded in his prime while he had four years of arbitration left was so absurdly rare that I wouldn't use it as a baseline to think Trout is even remotely a realistic trade target. The Angels have done some questionable things, but trading Trout even if it meant getting rid of every piece of bad debt they have is probably not going to happen.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#329571) #
I get why Donaldson was traded. It would have been similar to AA trading Bautista instead of signing him when he did.

Donaldson

Age 24: 31wrc+, -0.3war (104wrc+ AAA)
Age 25: --------------- (94wrc+ AAA)
Age 26: 90wrc+, 1.5war (155wrc+ AAA)
Age 27: 147wrc+, 7.6war
Age 28: 130wrc+, 6.6war

It was reasonable to think that Donaldson had not only peaked but that he was fairly likely to dissappear as quickly as he appeared. Even the "good" scenario likely viewed his age 27 season as a complete fluke and his age 28 season as the hopeful outlook for him going forward.

The fact that he went on to be much better with the Jays, and one of the truly elite players in mlb. is actually a pretty big surprise.

Age 29: 154wrc+, 8.8war
Age 30: 155wrc+, ~8.5war pace



Trout on the other hand is 25yrs old and has a decent chance to be the best player in the history of baseball.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#329572) #
Just wanted to look at some age progressions. 5yrs worth.


Russell Martin

Age 29: 485pa, 95wrc+, 2.5awar/650pa
Age 30: 506pa, 102wrc+, 5.3awar/650pa
Age 31: 460pa, 140wrc+, 7.4awar/650pa
Age 32: 507pa, 115wrc+, 4.4awar/650pa
Age 33: 398pa, 106wrc+, 2.8awar/650pa

Troy Tulowitzki

Age 27: 203pa, 113wrc+, 2.6awar/650pa
Age 28: 512pa, 141wrc+, 6.7awar/650pa
Age 29: 375pa, 169wrc+, 9.3awar/650pa
Age 30: 534pa, 99wrc+, 3.2awar/650pa
Age 31: 396pa, 113wrc+, 4.0awar/650pa


Both are good overall right now but not quite back up to where they've been in the recent past.

But if they finish off the season the way they've been playing for a while now, they have a chance to get there still.

(fwar only here)

Tulo

APR: 99pa, 67wrc+, 0.0war
MAY: 91pa, 91wrc+, 0.3war
JUN: 41pa, 148wrc+, 0.4war
JUL: 100pa, 135wrc+, 0.9war
AUG: 65pa, 157wrc+, 0.7war


Martin

APR: 67pa, 6wrc+, -0.5war
MAY: 95pa, 68wrc+, 0.0war
JUN: 84pa, 131wrc+, 0.6war
JUL: 80pa, 137wrc+, 0.7war
AUG: 72pa, 185wrc+, 1.0war

APR-MAY

Tulo: 190pa, 79wrc+, 1.0war/650
Martin: 162pa, 42wrc+, -2.0war/650

JUN-AUG

Tulo: 206pa, 145wrc+, 6.3war/650
Martin: 236pa, 150wrc+, 6.3war/650



If they can finish off the year the way they've been playing for a while both can end up with 4-5war pace type seasons.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#329573) #
Uglyone - that is why I tend to like the stars and scrubs method. Stars will produce at least at a decent level even in off-seasons while scrubs can be good if you get lucky. Average players, if they drop become worthless.

There is risk though as Pujols shows - his last year worth $25+ mil was the year before he signed with the Angels. and this year could be his second sub $10 mil, maybe 2nd sub $5 mil in value unless he has a very strong September - both years being with the Angels. He makes $25 mil this year and it raises by $1 mil a year until the deal ends. He has yet to be worth this years salary in any one season for the Angels. His peak value was over $50 mil twice with St Louis. He also has a full no-trade clause so eating his salary may not be possible.

I see Pujols as a big flashing warning light for anyone thinking of a 5+ year deal for Encarnacion or Bautista. Saunders entering his age 30 season might be able to hold value in theory but given he is having trouble holding it for a full season he might be the biggest risk.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#329574) #
Pujols to me is different because a) I never trust NL stats, ever and b) good chance he's a few years older than his listed age.

But agreed 100% with your take on stars'n'scrubs.

another feature of that strategy is flexibility at the bottom of the roster which we don't really have anymore with upton/smoak/thole locked in as our worst hitters. Would be nice if we had the flexibility to give kids like Pompey and tellez a chance to earn those jobs in september.

jerjapan - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#329575) #
why should the Angels trade the 25yr old best player in the world?

Because they have no chance to contend for the next several years?  Dan Gordon noted that they have over $40 million coming off the books in Wilson and Weaver this offseason, and another $47 million next year in Hamilton, Nolasco and Street, so I guess they could be aiming to contend for 2018, which still gives them 3 prime years of Trout's current deal.  But they still have over $100 million in contracts for 2018 already (including arbitration) and would have holes all over that roster.  They could easily spend a bunch of money again at that point, but there track record is more Arizona than NY when it comes to accelerating a rebuild. 

They really, really need to restock that farm.  A Trout deal is super unlikely, but I think they'd be foolish not to consider it. 

Dave Cameron on the subject:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-garrett-richards-injury-and-the-mike-trout-question/


uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#329576) #
He's 25. Same age as Stroman and Travis. He's the best rebuilding block in history.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#329577) #
albatrosses would be the plural.

It would be if albatross were the singular. But it isn't.  In this case, the singular would be albatrossus- a convenient short-form for albatross collossus- and the plural is indeed albatrossi. Thanks to uglyone, it is no longer necessary to say "that contract is a gigantic albatross", but rather "ew, that Pujols contract is an albatrossus". 

I missed the TV broadcast second half of last night's game.  Today in the Globe was a picture of Russell Martin sliding in face first to home on the short Upton Jr. sac fly (Jerry's call of the play on the radio didn't quite capture it).  How often do you see a catcher do that?  It's pennant race time.

92-93 mentioned that someone (Benoit? Grilli? Osuna?) was warming with a big lead and suggested that it didn't make sense to do that if you don't intend to let them pitch 3 days in a row.  Who was warming late?
Four Seamer - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#329578) #

92-93 mentioned that someone (Benoit? Grilli? Osuna?) was warming with a big lead and suggested that it didn't make sense to do that if you don't intend to let them pitch 3 days in a row.  Who was warming late?

On the radio broadcast, they had Osuna warming as soon as Feldman yielded a bunt single.  My eyebrows raised at that piece of information, to be sure. 

uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#329579) #
albatrossi sounds awesome though.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#329580) #
Uglyone - that is why I tend to like the stars and scrubs method.

I do as well for the same reasons John cited and because, as I have said opined times, I don't believe that compensation for WAR should be linear.

That is to say, $X per WAR is not a formula I am comfortable with. Stocking a team with 25 1-WAR free agents would cost $200M and win you 70 games. A high-WAR player, to my mind, is actually going to be underpaid for the value he delivers, because I believe that each incremental WAR a player delivers is worth more than the WAR before it. A low-WAR player is going to be overpaid (if obtained as a FA) because WARs 1 and 2 are not so special that a minimum salary player might not be able to give you those.

Trout is not only great, but underpaid, and will continue to be underpaid in his next contract. Or so thinks me. And trading an 8-10 WAR player for a handful of 3-4 WAR players makes no sense to me.

uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#329582) #
I'd go as far as saying the most important GM "skill" is the ability to find league minimum 1-2war players for the bottom of the roster. That is imo the best way a GM can add real value efficiency to the organization.

Getting stars is of course more important but that's a bit more obvious and either you're paying the price for it or you're getting some luck in the draft.

It's much harder to clever your way into cheap elite players than it is to clever your way into cheap bottom roster players imo.
Dewey - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#329583) #
92-93 mentioned that someone (Benoit? Grilli? Osuna?) was warming with a big lead and suggested that it didn't make sense to do that if you don't intend to let them pitch 3 days in a row.  Who was warming late?

Unless my memory is playing up again, I saw Cecil get up and throw maybe  half a dozen pitches in the top of the 7th, just before (with Pennington on base by a walk) Calhoun grounded out; so Biagini didnít have to pitch to Trout with a man on base.  The dugout apparently then changed its mind about bringing in Cecil, but word didnít reach the bullpen immediately it seems.   So it looks to have been a case of change of minds in the dugout not reaching the bullpen within microseconds, hence Cecilís continuing to warm up.  Peteís not the fastest draw in the west on the dugout phone, I guess.
James W - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#329584) #
My dictionary might not be the best then, Mike, but it's telling me that the plural of albatross can be albatross or albatrosses. Neither 'albatrossi' or 'albatrossus' are words (at least according to Merriam-Webster.)
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#329585) #
Do you get wafers with it?
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#329586) #
Thanks, FS.  OK.  So, it was 7-2 with one out in the ninth and Buss bunts for a base hit and then you start warming Osuna?  Really?  It's an extreme example of lockdown theory- against a weak non-divisional opponent.

As for the stars and scrubs theory, wasn't that the debate around Price/Estrada/Happ?  The problem is that very few players can genuinely be projected to be "stars" for a prolonged period.  Trout would be an obvious exception, but such players are very, very rare.  David Price is not one of them. For the majority of players, the star seasons occur in their pre-arb or arb years.

Chuck - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#329587) #
Do you get wafers with it?

Of course you don't get bleedin' wafers with it.

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#329588) #
My dictionary might not be the best then, Mike, but it's telling me that the plural of albatross can be albatross or albatrosses. Neither 'albatrossi' or 'albatrossus' are words (at least according to Merriam-Webster.)

Albatrossus is not a word?  Damn.  Can I get a video review please?
/s

The short-tailed albatross would actually make a decent Battersbox no-prize if cuttlefish are out of season.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#329589) #
Osuna didn't look like he was warming up with any sense of urgency - it looked to me more as if he was just doing a little bit of throwing, and if things suddenly went sideways then he'd start to ramp it up.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#329590) #
David Price

First 7gms: 5.9ip/gs, .373babip, 152era-, 71fip-
Last 20gms: 6.8ip/gs, .305babip, 72era-, 85fip-

Season: 6.6ip/gs, .320babip, 90era-, 82fip-
Career: 6.7ip/gs, .290babip, 80era-, 80fip-

David Price is one of them.


But no, the stars'n'scrubs is not just about Price and Happ. It's also about Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Tulowitzki, Martin. and conversely about Chavez, Dickey, Smoak, Upton.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#329594) #
Bautista and Encarnacion are examples of what I am talking about.  They do not have any reasonable chance of being stars from now on.  Devon Travis does.  Bautista and Encarnacion have reasonable chances to be good players. 

When Bautista signed his last contract, it was not on the basis that he was an established star.  Rather it was a calculated risk that he could maintain the performance that he had shown for one year and one month.  The interesting question right now of this type is a possible Donaldson extension.  He starts out at a higher level than Encarnacion, and the question is how long is he likely to be able to maintain it at star levels.  
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#329597) #
It didn't look like Osuna ever toed the rubber in the pen, just throwing from the front of the mound, but after an off day, there were 5 other relievers that should have been up warming in case Biagini got in trouble.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#329598) #
Fangraphs Rest of Season Player Projections (Zips/Steamer average):

wRC+

3B Donaldson 138 ----- DH Ortiz 139
1B Encarnaion 135 ---- RF Betts 125
DH Bautista 133 ------ 1B Ramirez 113
SS Tulowitzki 109 ---- SS Bogaerts 107
LF Saunders 109 ------ LF Benintendi 107
2B Travis 104 -------- 2B Pedroia 106
C Martin 102 --------- CF Bradley 105
CF Pillar 87 --------- 3B Hill 93
RF Upton 84 ---------- C Leon 84

UT Smoak 93 ---------- UT Shaw 91
OF Carrera 78 -------- OF Young 96
IF Barney 68 --------- IF Holt 87
C Thole 57 ----------- C Holaday 68

UT Montero 97 -------- UT Rutledge 74
OF Pompey 85 --------- OF Brentz 82
IF Goins 60 ---------- IF Marrero 56
C Jimenez 66 --------- C Vazquez 67

UT Tellez 85 --------- UT Moncada 79
OF Ramirez 84 -------- OF Hernandez 73
IF Urena 67 ---------- IF Dubon 75
C McGuire 59 --------- C Hanigan 62



ERA

SP1 Sanchez 3.71 ------ SP1 Price 3.40
SP2 Stroman 3.73 ------ SP2 Pomeranz 3.67
SP3 Estrada 4.06 ------ SP3 Porcello 4.00
SP4 Happ 4.06 --------- SP4 Wright 4.15
SP5 Liriano 4.08 ------ SP5 Rodriguez 4.23
SP6 Dickey 4.48 ------- SP6 Buchholz 4.33

RP1 Osuna 2.89 -------- RP1 Kimbrel 2.71
RP2 Cecil 3.22 -------- RP2 Ziegler 3.50
RP3 Grilli 3.24 ------- RP3 Ross 3.53
RP4 Loup 3.60 --------- RP4 Tazawa 3.71
RP5 Benoit 3.69 ------- RP5 Abad 3.76
RP6 Biagini 3.77 ------ RP6 Hembree 3.89
RP7 Feldman 4.17 ------ RP7 Barnes 4.16
RP8 Barnes 3.26 ------- RP8 Uehara 3.15
RP9 Tepera 4.00 ------- RP9 Kelly 3.93
RP10 Schultz 4.21 ----- RP10 Ramirez 4.21
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#329599) #
*Feldman, not Biagini....which likely means there were four other options to Osuna with a five-run lead.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#329600) #
35% of balls in play against Price have been hit hard.  23% have been line drives. He's induced fewer pop-ups than usual.   The .320 BABIP isn't an accident.  He's still a good pitcher, but they're paying him to be a great one.  We'll see if he can recoup things next year- the idea in a long-term contract is that the club does well in the first few years and pays for it later on. 

Albert Pujols' first year with the Angels (2012) was a lot like Price's 2016.  A good year, but not up to his previous standards.  We know how that one played out. 

uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#329601) #
His peripherals are elite.

His babip is normal since a brief bad start.

I know which way I'd bet.
pubster - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#329602) #
UO,

Would you bet that Price is going to have a good post season (if the sox make it)?
Cracka - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#329603) #
One thing to remember about the Price contract is that he has an opt-out clause after 2018 -- or essentially a 4yr/$127M player option for his age 33-37 seasons. It's a very player-friendly deal that pushes all of the back-end risk to the Red Sox. Right now, I don't think his performance would justify opting out...

uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#329604) #
pubster I believe his postseason performance on average would end up the same as his regular season performance.
Parker - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#329605) #
I don't think anyone is really worried about whether Price will earn his salary this year or next. It's the five years after that which are more of a concern.
eudaimon - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#329606) #
Osuna was warming up in the 9th. Buck assumed that he was warming up for his own reasons, not by the direction of Gibbons. I tend to agree that this is true.

Re: the Pujols contract, I tend to think that it is the reason that it's actually a decent idea to sign Bautista / Encarnacion. To get an elite hitter these days you often have to sign him to a ludicrous contract, like Pujols / Fielder / Stanton (it's not mentioned too much, but he's been worth only 1.7 WAR, already grades negatively as a fielder at age 26, has a rising K rate over his last four years, has been injured in both of the last two years for long periods of time, and is signed to massive money until 2026).

Bautista at this point isn't likely to get a 5 year contract, probably 4 tops. 3 likely. So you sign him to good money for those three years, and assume relatively little risk as it's a relatively short-term contract. If he has an elite, or even very good season in 2 or 3 of those years it will be a pretty good deal. It depends how you see his injuries this year. I personally think he'll be okay, especially if he moves to a 1B / DH role next year.

Encarnacion is a similar story, except that he'll get more money and years and might end up being more of a risk in that sense. But he's also been pretty durable over the years, and is showing little sign of slowing down. It's not out of the question that he'll post a few more elite, and then merely good seasons. On a 5 year deal he might not be that bad of a bet. I'd take that over the Pujols deal (speaking from when it was signed) any day.

Re: Price, his playoff performance was one of the reasons I'm happy we didn't sign him. Who knows if it's statistical noise or not - it quite possibly is. But he sure has a penchant for giving up a meatball in the postseason.



jerjapan - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#329607) #
It's entirely possible that Price pitches the next two seasons at the same level as he's pitching this year and he still opts out. 
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#329609) #
"Pujols to me is different because a) I never trust NL stats, ever and b) good chance he's a few years older than his listed age."

I have heard a number of conspiracy theories regarding Pujols, but insinuating he is a fabrication of the league he played in during the start of his career is the strangest. As for the more mundane accusations, considering the complete lack of any evidence to the contrary, there is not a good chance that Pujols is than his recorded age.

Hodgie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#329610) #
Of course, that should have read "there is not a good chance that Pujols is older than his recorded age."

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#329611) #
Fangraphs Rest of Season Player Projections (Zips/Steamer average):

They do a lot of regression or something, right? Or heavily weight recent outings?

Osuna has a 2.13 ERA, yet they're predicting 2.89 the rest of the way. Kimbrel's at 3.05, and they're predicting 2.71. In reality, so far this year, Osuna/Kimbrel are almost a full run apart, yet this makes it look like it's almost a wash. Not to mention some of the other SP: Happ's getting bumped a full run, while Price is getting dropped 0.6. That makes it seem like Price will be noticeably better in terms of ERA for the rest of the season. Except that so far, Happ's at 3.05 ERA, and Price is at 4.00 ERA. Sanchez is getting penalized 0.72 runs. I do see that Porcello is also getting penalized about the same. Biagini's going from 1.92 to 3.77? Based on what? Grilli's done 1.57 for us, yet he's projected at 3.24.

I get the whole peripherals, and regression to the mean thing. But shouldn't we also look at YTD performance and some kind of "living up to peripherals" stat, or add in a "significant change in performance" qualifier? The Grilli trade had a huge impact on his season.

I think we've sort of established that Estrada's changeup and high fastball will cause him to most likely outperform his peripherals every year.

While I'm sure these numbers have meaning and are useful, to me, they seem more like "if this was a video game, here's what it would project" type numbers, rather than what to expect based on the season thus far.. Then again, that's probably just me ignoring the math again :-)
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#329612) #
Fangraphs Rest of Season Player Projections (Zips/Steamer average):

wRC+

3B Donaldson 138 ----- 1B Rizzo 140
1B Encarnacion 135 --- 3B Bryant 138
DH Bautista 133 ------ 2B Zobrist 115
SS Tulowitzki 109 ---- CF Fowler 109
LF Saunders 109 ------ RF Heyward 101
2B Travis 104 ---------- LF Soler 101
C Martin 102 ----------- DH Baez 99
CF Pillar 87 ------------ SS Russell 94
RF Upton 84 ---------- C Contreras 93

UT Smoak 93 ---------- UT Coghlan 80
OF Carrera 78 -------- OF Szczur 77
IF Barney 68 --------- IF LaStella 96
C Thole 57 ----------- C Montero 85

UT Montero 97 -------- UT Candelario 76
OF Pompey 85 --------- OF Almora 73
IF Goins 60 ------------ IF Kawasaki 63
C Jimenez 66 --------- C Ross 72



ERA

SP1 Sanchez 3.71 ------ SP1 Arrieta 3.01
SP2 Stroman 3.73 ------ SP2 Lester 3.23
SP3 Estrada 4.06 ------ SP3 Lackey 3.53
SP4 Happ 4.06 --------- SP4 Hendricks 3.59
SP5 Liriano 4.08 ------ SP5 Hammell 3.99
SP6 Dickey 4.48 ------- SP6 ?

RP1 Osuna 2.89 -------- RP1 Chapman 2.03
RP2 Cecil 3.22 --------- RP2 Strop 2.77
RP3 Grilli 3.24 --------- RP3 Rondon 2.93
RP4 Loup 3.60 --------- RP4 Grimm 3.11
RP5 Benoit 3.69 ------- RP5 Edwards 3.33
RP6 Biagini 3.77 ------ RP6 Montgomery 3.79
RP7 Feldman 4.17 ------ RP7 Wood 3.81
RP8 Barnes 3.26 ------- RP8 Patton 3.77
RP9 Tepera 4.00 ------- RP9 Smith 3.88
RP10 Schultz 4.21 ----- RP10 Cahill 4.12
eudaimon - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#329613) #
If Price stays in the 3.5 - 4 ERA range I can't see him opting out. Price will be making 30 million + in the four seasons after 2018 (his opt-out year), which is insane money unless he's still actually an elite player.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#329614) #
"They do a lot of regression or something, right? Or heavily weight recent outings?"

yeah plenty of regression. they use multiple years of weighted data, factor in age curves, and regress towards underlying numbers as well.

they likely still underrate guys like Dickey and Estrada as guys who can consistently beat their fip (though they say they do try to incorporate that in there too), and guys having career years like happ (or bad years like Bautista) will definitely be projected to revert closer to career norms going forward.


uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#329615) #
Hodgie....

http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2011/2/16/1997556/cardinals-albert-pujols-contract-offer

http://www.businessinsider.com/mlb-is-albert-pujols-lying-about-his-age-2011-11

http://www.baseballessential.com/news/2016/05/25/no-things-not-looking-albert-pujols/


as for my bias against the NL....well, it's probably stupid, but I just can't get rid of it.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#329616) #
The 'stars and scrubs' has an exception in my mind. That is for pitchers because they are just so insanely risky. Who knew Halladay would fall off a cliff like he did? You see that for many great pitchers.

Checking 2000's top WAR pitchers...

Pedro Martinez: from 1997 to 2003 a 213 ERA+, just twice below 200 and always over 150. From age 32 (2004) on he had a 114 ERA+, mainly thanks to the first 2 years (a 124 and 146).

Randy Johnson: 1999-2004 (ages 35-40) 175 ERA+, led 5 of 6 years. Next 5 years a 104 ERA+, of course he was 41-45 then too. He might have gone another couple of years had he wanted to but with 300 wins, 4800+ K's, many Cy's, a WS ring and MVP, there really wasn't much to play for.

Kevin Brown: age 38 a 169 ERA+ over 211 IP, just 205 IP left in his career after that with an 89 ERA+

Greg Maddux: Age 36 a 159 ERA+ then 6 more mediocre years (92 to 110 ERA+, 104 overall). Again, could've kept going but no reason to.

Brad Radke : never really great, a 104 ERA+ in his last season, odd ending.

Mike Mussina: solid final season, didn't feel like continuing but 3 of his last 5 years were sub 100 for ERA+

Funny - the best of the group had quick drops but not to useless levels, in fact the top 6 all had decent drops at the end from star to league average pretty much with Mussina getting the best dead cat bounce for the end and leaving before it hit the ground again.
Dave Till - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#329617) #
For what it's worth: Pujols' three best seasons by OPS were his age 28, 26, and 29 seasons in that order. The first season in which he showed noticeable signs of decline was his age 31 season, which was his last as a Cardinal. It looks like St. Louis got out at exactly the right time.
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#329618) #
Bautista and Encarnacion are examples of what I am talking about.  They do not have any reasonable chance of being stars from now on.  Devon Travis does.  Bautista and Encarnacion have reasonable chances to be good players. 

When Bautista signed his last contract, it was not on the basis that he was an established star.  Rather it was a calculated risk that he could maintain the performance that he had shown for one year and one month.  The interesting question right now of this type is a possible Donaldson extension.  He starts out at a higher level than Encarnacion, and the question is how long is he likely to be able to maintain it at star levels. 


I'm going to disagree with your examples here, not necessarily on the principle.
Encarnacion IS a star now, and has a reasonable chance of continuing to be one for a few years.
I couldn't remember when Encarnacion's big breakout was, but since 2012, he is:
- 2nd in MLB in homeruns with 186. That's only 3 behind Chris Davis in that time. And 20 ahead of the next guy. In fact, there are only 7 players to hit 150 HR in that time frame.
Of those 7 players with 150+ HR
-He has the 2nd best plate discipline measurements to David Ortiz (3rd in BB%12.4 and 2nd in K% 15.1).
-He's got the 2nd best .ISO at .277 (.001 behind Stanton and .001 ahead of Ortiz)
He's also 2nd in Rbi and 40 ahead of the next guy.

Is there a huge risk of decline? Yes. There's also a big risk that he loses it instantly. It's a bad example because he IS a star, and can reasonably continue to be one for a few more season.

5 d :  a person who is preeminent in a particular field http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/star
Note, the intransitive verb example lower down is even more appropriate - to be outstanding or have an important or prominent role.

Also note, I'm not saying these are the best ways of evaluating a player... I'm just saying he's at the TOP of all producers in traditional measurements. That makes you a star, even if not in level of fame (and I wouldn't be surprised if he wouldn't have been better known playing in ANY US city). I was pretty surprised at his level of production over that time, to be honest.

#semantics
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#329620) #
The links you provide just further cement my point uglyone, there is no evidence at all that Pujols is older than is listed age. The entire basis of the speculation is as follows:

"Albert Pujols is good at baseball and is Dominican. Some Dominicans have lied about their age. Ergo, Albert Pujols must be lying about his age."

uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#329621) #
Due to his bad start EE has fallen all the way down to 15th best batin baseball at the moment.

This Year: 141wrc+ (15th)
Last 2yrs: 146wrc+ (10th)
Last 3yrs: 148wrc+ (7th)
Last 4yrs: 147wrc+ (6th)
Last 5yrs: 148wrc+ (6th)

and given his (typicial) progression this year I'd imagine he bumps back up into the top 10 by the end of the year:

APR: 84
MAY: 117
JUN: 208
JUL: 142
AUG: 156
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#329622) #
fair enough, Hodgie, but for the record those are pretty well respected writers there referencing team sources doubting his age. granted it's all speculation.

at least we have evidence that Ortiz is a juicer, though.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#329623) #
Donaldson's final two seasons with the A's saw him put up a 7.6 and 6.6 WAR respectively. Having him go to 8.0+ after that was obviously a surprise, but even if he maintained his A's numbers and slowly declined from there, he'd still be a star. They traded a player in his prime with the four cheapest years of control he'd have left in his career (arbitration). Those four years were not bloated free agent dollars; they were arbitration years, meaning he'd likely be vastly underpaid for practically the entire length of team control. If anyone can name a comparable to that, I'd be surprised. Star players traded with 1-2 years of arb left, maybe, but four? That's insane. When you factor in the return the A's got, which looked bad even at the time, it's a deal that is a complete outlier. It's not like the Bautista/Edwin deals where Pitts/Cincy traded him before the breakout and he just happened to breakout after the trade. Oakland knew they had a superstar and traded him anyway. Some times you can rationalize trades made by GM's, especially small market ones, but my god, that trade was abysmal (from the A's standpoint, obviously it was beautiful from the Jays standpoint).

Long story short, Trout's not going anywhere.
Dave Till - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#329624) #
Encarnacion is showing signs of age, but they're not as obvious, since he is hitting for as much power as ever.

When he was younger, he played third base - admittedly, not well, but he played a total of 674 games there. And he stole the occasional base, too: in 2012, his first big year, he not only hit 42 home runs but also went 13 for 16 as a base stealer. He's still apparently a smart runner, but he is noticeably slower now, and doesn't steal many bases.

Something else that I noticed is that his strikeouts have gone up. In 2013, he fanned only 62 times, which is a startlingly low total for a power hitter. In 2015, he struck out 98 times. This year, he has struck out 112 times, which is easily his career high.

(Something I didn't make clear in my earlier Pujols comment: his numbers don't indicate that he has lied about his age. The normal peak is about age 27 or 28, which is exactly where Albert's is. He's aged better than, say, Vernon Wells, whose last good year was age 27.)
Oceanbound - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#329625) #
fair enough, Hodgie, but for the record those are pretty well respected writers there referencing team sources doubting his age. granted it's all speculation.

Dan LeBatard and Jon Heyman are not "pretty well respected writers". They're both jokes. As for Neyer, he wasn't even speculating that Pujols' age was fake. He was speculating that someone else was speculating that Pujols' age was fake.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#329626) #
Top fWAR teams...

A. using fWAR for pitchers:

1. CHC 45.5
2. BOS 40.0
3. WSH 39.4
4. LAD 38.0
5. CLE 36.0
6. TOR 35.5
7. HOU 33.8
8. SFG 33.7
9. NYM 31.5
10. STL 31.3

B. using ra9WAR for pitchers:

1. CHC 55.2
2. WSH 41.5
3. BOS 41.1
4. TOR 39.7
5. CLE 38.6
6. SFG 35.3
7. LAD 35.0
8. HOU 32.2
9. MIA 31.6
10. STL 29.1
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#329627) #
What I mean by "star" in the baseball context is an excellent player, taken as a whole.  The offensive standards for stardom for a DH who runs poorly are obviously much, much higher than for a second baseman who runs well.  Encarnacion right now is just short of stardom- in an age 33 season where he has not had any significant injury. 

If you don't mind the broad strokes of WAR- 8 WAR generally is an MVP candidate, 5 WAR is a star, 2 WAR is an average player.  Encarnacion right now is a 4 WAR player.  He has a decent chance to remain a 3 WAR player over the next few years. 

SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#329628) #
lexomatic, the problem with Encarnacion is that after this season, a team is going to be paying him based on his career accomplishments, and not on what one can reasonably assess his value to be for the life of his next contract. That's where teams get into trouble.

The Jays got his best years already at a discount, so there's a huge amount of risk paying market value for his likely decline. It just doesn't make any sense unless you are prepared to come up short in value over the life of the deal and are OK with that. One of the reasons I liked the Martin signing was even projecting decline in the final two years of the deal, my hunch was that he'd provide enough surplus value in his first 2-3 years to justify the cost (thankfully he's bounced back this season otherwise that would have been a tall hill to climb). There was also the factor of adding runs/wins via pitch framing, which isn't factored into $/WAR and makes Martin slightly undervalued in that regard. With Edwin, he's a DH going forward with no base running ability. He's all bat, and once that starts to slip, so will his value. The same applies to Bautista and Saunders as well.

I'd say Edwin is a "star" now, maybe borderline depending on where you want to put the WAR cut off (I think 5.0 is reasonable, which would put him slightly below), but I'm not sure we will be saying that two years from now, and that's the risk involved for the Jays (or any team that wants him).

uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#329629) #
Perennial Top-10 hitter and ~4.5war pace player is hard not to call a star imo.

I mean, is Ortiz a star?
Chuck - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#329630) #
Encarnacion IS a star now, and has a reasonable chance of continuing to be one for a few years.

Encarnacion is a star hitter now.

eudaimon - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#329631) #
"The Jays got his best years already at a discount, so there's a huge amount of risk paying market value for his likely decline."

I don't really get this argument. It's like the reverse of "sunk cost theory", in that because we already got a great deal on something great we shouldn't then try to keep the player on a reasonable market value contract, because it will no longer be a "great" deal. Signing them again is no more risky than it would have been if we hadn't already gotten a great deal on their prime years.

Players like Edwin don't often grow on trees, but sometimes they do. The Blue Jays are lucky that they've been able to have two star type players in Bautista and Encarnacion, not to mention Donaldson all signed to team friendly contracts at the same time. Some of that is thanks to AA and his aggressive moves, but a lot of it is just due to luck.

At some point we will have to pay market value for a free agent. For a variety of reasons, it's very possible that the "best" deal (no longer a "great" deal, but still "good" presumably) might be to sign Edwin or Bautista.

Prospects of course are also great ways to get effective players for cheap, but it seems inevitable that at some point we will need to pony up.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#329632) #
If you look at Ortiz ages 35-40, he's not quite a star.  He's a very good player..  That is the upside for someone like Encarnacion.  Aging is cruel.

It's difficult to remember that Ortiz has been less valuable than Pedroia over the last 5 years.  Star hitter vs. complete player.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#329633) #
Barney is back in the leadoff spot against a RHP this time.  Bad idea. 
pubster - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#329634) #
Maybe the Jays let EE walk, and sign a couple of JA Happ's instead?
Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#329635) #
= they eat a medium-sized bad contract to trade for Ryan Schimpf?
pubster - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#329636) #
It would have been nice if the Jay's had kept Luis Valbuena.

Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#329637) #
I don't mind Barney in the leadoff spot, if Travis needs another day off. Shoemaker leans heavily on his splitter and has had reverse splits two years running. Tulowitzki #1? Upton's long swing against an anything-but-the-heater type? Donaldson, I guess, maybe. Saunders?
christaylor - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#329638) #
Doesn't someone have to DH? Sure Pedroia has 23 bWAR versus Ortiz's 18 bWAR over the past 5 years. That's easy to overlook, but the comparison puts the thumb on the scale for Pedroia because his job is more difficult. Unless a roster has players who can benefit and thrive using the DH as a rotating half-day off, there is relative value for an AL team rostering a player who can put up 2-3 oWAR. If that player is inexpensive, so much the better.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#329639) #
well, Ortiz is likely a hall of fame, and that didn't look likely at age 33. hard not to call that a star.

then of course we can debate whether DH's are properly valued by war in general. we do know that the offensive sidd of that equation is far more reliable, at least.

then of course we can point out that edwin has been far better than ortiz was at age 32-33. and that edwin's defensive value actually seems to be on the upswing in recent years.

either way, saying that the 6th or 7th best hitter in baseball isn't a star seems off still.



Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#329640) #
Unless a roster has players who can benefit and thrive using the DH as a rotating half-day off

Every roster does - injuries happen. I've always thought the AL's ability to rest players this way contributes significantly to its annual interleague dominance. Probably doesn't help quite as much as David Ortiz does, though, especially once you get to the playoffs.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#329641) #
Ortiz is a star in Boston/Red Sox Nation. When we go to the park my wife (a New Yorker) scoffs at the guy who has one job, "to hit the ball far". But the other part of his job description seems to include moving merch, a job he does really, really, well.

Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#329642) #
I keep getting annual and perennial mixed up, ya know? Botany's not my thing.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#329643) #
I thought this would be brought up, which is why I added thrive -- I'm skeptical whether players with minor injuries thrive as DHs. They do get some rest but some portion of the time they end up aggravating the nagging injury or creating another problem by playing hurt.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#329644) #
There's a difference?
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#329645) #
That was about botany. Not my thing, either.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#329646) #
Speaking of EE's defense and the arguable WAR analysis of DH's....

Last 3yrs:

EE @1B: 1123pa, 148wrc+, 5.0war/650pa
EE @DH: 895pa, 144wrc+, 3.9war/650pa

This year:

EE @1B: 307pa, 151wrc+, 5.5war/650pa
EE @DH: 334pa, 131wrc+, 2.7war/650pa

Seems like EE's defense has become good enough at 1B to make him a star, and that playing him at DH is hurting his value. This probably also says something about war unfairly dinging DHs in some cases.

.....and I just noticed that those PA totals don't add up, so it looks like fangraphs must be double counting games in which he played both spots. Still, there's probably some real data there and I doubt it changes much. In fact it might make it closer than it really is.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#329647) #
Yeah, it's a mystery. They might not thrive but at least they rest. Or maybe their bodies don't rest. Like you said. Their minds definitely rest, which has to help them in the future... right?... but you'd need an enormous sample size to really prove it, so all I have is faith.

Like, 'annual' means every year but an annual plant only lives one year so if you're going for a plant analogy a flash-in-the-pan fluke is like an annual so maybe 'perennial' is more appropriate to describe the yearly cycle of some 538 smart guy writing a breathless article in May about the NL's early success before the AL beats the holy hell out of them in the summertime. Where's Dewey?
Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#329648) #
For those who were unaware, like me, Edwin has a 0 DRS and +2 UZR over about 870 innings at first base the last two years. Not too shabby. I always thought he had pretty good range, even when his fielding numbers were awful two or three years ago.

Is he doing anything differently now?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#329649) #
I think it's as simple as him not making as many mistakes. He just seems to have cut down on errors and missed balls. I can't remember his last misplay tbh. I agree that his range and arm have always been good for 1B.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#329650) #
Just off the top of my head, Edwin's gotten decent (or has always been?) at scooping the low throw and/or fielding hard-hit ground balls. Maybe no more so than average, but he doesn't seem to be a poor 1B, in any case..
Chuck - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#329651) #
but the comparison puts the thumb on the scale for Pedroia because his job is more difficult.

His job is more difficult specifically because he has the skills to handle a more difficult job. Encarnacion does not have the skills for a job any more difficult than the one he currently has. Of course, he is excellent at the job he currently has, but it's not like he's being squeezed out of a more demanding job that he's capable of. (He was already drummed out of a third base gig because of his defensive limitations.)

grjas - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#329652) #
I know it's Schadenfreude, but Tillman's on the DL and Jiminez starts tonight.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#329653) #
Edwin's gotten decent (or has always been?) at scooping the low throw

It used to be an automatic error on whichever infielder threw the ball. Edwin was never going to catch it. He's improved considerably.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#329654) #
How many first basemen have delivered 15 WAR between ages 34 and 36?  Answer: 3- Johnny Mize, Mark McGwire (ahem), and Stan Musial.  There are 11 other players between 10 and 15, with only Rod Carew and Jeff Bagwell playing in the last 50 years.  Carew and Bagwell each delivered about 12 WAR.  There is no reason to expect Encarnacion to do as well, or better than these guys.   Most of the best first basemen/power hitters (McCovey, Murray) are in the 5-10 range for ages 34-36. Greenberg might have made 15 if he had got back from the war a little earlier in his age 34 season.  For most of the players, being a first baseman took more of a toll on the body than being a DH and led to substantial missed time.

Encarnacion is not the hitter that Mize, Greenberg, McCovey or Bagwell was, let alone Stan Musial.  Regardless how you define what he is now, it is not reasonable to expect star performance from him in the coming 3 years.  
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#329655) #
I was curious about Sanchez' hot start and to see if anyone else 23 or under had put in a comparable end of season run of power.  I got three other names- Greg Pirkl 1994, Jose Oliva 1994 and Don Drysdale 1958.  Drysdale hit 7 home runs in 66 at-bats that year. Oliva's story was very sad, and reminded me of the Walt Bond story from one of Bill James' books.
Dewey - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#329656) #
I keep getting annual and perennial mixed up, ya know? Botany's not my thing.

Well an annual blooms just once: a one-year wonder.  A perennial blooms every year, for several years.

* * *

But hey, back to who was warming up Ďlateí in yesterdayís game.  Can no-one corroborate my Cecil sighting?  I swear Shulman even mentioned it.  I remember seeing and hearing him, Cecil, slamming the ball into the catcherís mitt (with that exaggerated audio they have for it in bullpen shots).  And seeing Osuna standing behind and to the side of him,  just watching.  The old Ďget him back on the horse right awayí theory, I assumed.  I think that was the 7th,  so maybe not Ďlateí.  But I swear I saw it.  Címon guys, I need some support here.  Donít leave me in this miasma of doubt.
Paul D - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#329657) #
Between the dh, steroids and lack of numbers, I think Ortiz is a long shot for the hall of fame.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#329658) #
"I don't really get this argument. It's like the reverse of "sunk cost theory", in that because we already got a great deal on something great we shouldn't then try to keep the player on a reasonable market value contract, because it will no longer be a "great" deal. Signing them again is no more risky than it would have been if we hadn't already gotten a great deal on their prime years."


Signing Edwin from age 30-33 (his original contract) to a team friendly contract is a lot less risky than signing him from age 34-37 (his next contract) where he will be paid like an elite hitter on a free agent contract. This off-season, he will be paid based on his previous four seasons, not what he is projected to be in the next four seasons when decline is likely to set in. The risk is astronomically different.

I tend to agree that re-signing Edwin and/or Bautista likely is the best market move the Jays can make because they don't have anyone in the minors ready to take over and the free agent market is bad, but at the same time they have to be smart about the term. I don't think they care as much about the AAV, but if it goes into the 4-5 year territory, they will likely back out, and rightfully so, IMO.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#329659) #
Is Estrada's back hurting? Has the extreme rest schedule screwed with his rhythm? is babip getting its revenge?

not good.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#329660) #
Edwin missed a key fielding chance last inning. It looked as if he wasn't in the best position to make the play.
CeeBee - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#329661) #
Bad time for Estrada to lose his mojo or whatever he lost.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#329662) #
Can no-one corroborate my Cecil sighting?

Sure, I remember. For sure. He was beside Biagini, as I recall. Dickey was still on the mound. And I seem to remember Buck looking down the order, figuring who they wanted him for.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#329663) #
SK, nobody knew the EE deal was team-friendly at the time - it's just hindsight that allows us to see the value.  I still give props to AA and his team for it, just like I do for the Bautista deal ... they did their due diligence and it paid off.  But neither player was established - the contract was between their career years and their overall career.  It's like when a team buys out the arb-eligible years of a young talent for a few extra years of control - share the risk.

Eudaimon was, I believe (and please tell me if I'm wrong), simply pointing out that because one deal turned out to be a homerun for us doesn't mean you shouldn't try to resign that player to a "reasonable market value contract".  Off course, this includes the age of the player in the calculation.  If you can't get a reasonable deal, pass, but don't rule it out in advance.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#329664) #
Maybe the Navarro effect is finally kicking in. Then again the team is hitting poorly again, you're not going to win many games scoring 0 runs. Seems we can only hit bad pitchers. Last years team with mostly the same batters hammered good pitchers. There is some differences that are glaring in production and some that are just slight, but it adds up to a very inconsistent offensive performance.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#329665) #
Fifty miles from Dodger Stadium to Anaheim Stadium sounded much too far to me, having actually been there, and the Google agrees that's at least ten miles too much. But yeah, on the wrong day you could easily spend a few hours on the freeway...
Dewey - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#329666) #
O.K., thanks, Magpie.  Iíll rest easier tonight.  (As long as I donít think about tonightís game.)
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#329667) #
Would it make sense for the Jays to pursue Carlos Ruiz as insurance? Can he catch a knuckler?
scottt - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#329668) #
I know it's Schadenfreude, but Tillman's on the DL and Jiminez starts tonight.

I don't think it is. Not with Baltimore up 10-3.
scottt - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#329669) #
I expect a third catcher to join up in September and replace Thole on the playoff roster.

Shoemaker threw a lot of first pitch splitter for a watched strike.
Estrada threw a lot of first pitch changeup for a ball.

I start to wonder if the FO was right in giving him only 2 years.

92-93 - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#329670) #
Just catching up on the convo about Tuesday's game...

I assumed Cecil was warming up for Calhoun with Biagini ready for Trout and Pujols, but out came Biagini to handle the top of the order in the 7th.

Osuna was supposedly available for the 3rd game of the CLE series, so I had less of an issue with him choosing to get loose in the 9th than I did with Benoit warming up just because Trout led off the top of the 8th with a single. If you want to trust Benoit over Biagini that's fine, but you have some leeway with a 4 run game. And if you insist on getting Benoit hot because you're worried Pujols jacks a 2r HR and makes it a 2r game, just use him in the 9th inning.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#329671) #
Edwin's deal was team friendly in the sense that it was a small amount of guaranteed years (3) with a team option for a fourth year, and he was being paid to be a 1.5 win player. The only risk was whether he'd continue to be really good or back to his old level (pre-2012). Bautista's was more of a risky contract due to his lack of track record with power at the time and the length of the deal. Encarnacion at least showed his power potential years earlier so the jump in power wasn't a complete shock. It was a good contract by AA, but it wasn't the type of risk the Jays would be taking by extending him now. Not even close. He was younger and cheaper back then. Now he's older, more established, and will be way more expensive despite being at an age (or close to it) where power hitters can drop off.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#329672) #
you donít want the jays to ever sign a premium free agent, eh?


but back to the game - i wouldn't be surprised if having 6/7 days off between starts isn't part of Estrada's problems right now.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#329673) #
Wow. Still all tied up top.

Let's just stay healthy the rest of the season, shall we?
John Northey - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#329674) #
OK, I hate to say it but way to go Rays! Ugh, feel dirty cheering on the Rays. Still, better than having to cheer on the Red Sox to beat the Yankees in the past as having all 50 players involved getting injured in the same game wasn't really a good thing to hope for :P
scottt - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#329675) #
Finally, the Rays come through with a nice 11 innings walk off.
scottt - Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#329676) #
Now we can finally have the lineup everybody wanted with Bautista DHing and Encarnation at first.
Alex Obal - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#329677) #
Estrada has looked off-balance to me ever since the injury hit. It would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of August Estrada and April Estrada, see if anything's changed.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#329678) #
So when does Estrada hit the D.L.? He's gotten worse over the last three Starts (9th, 16th and 24th). I cannot see how he can get better pitching regularly at this level.

Options are:
1) D.L. him 15 days, then stretch him back out over his last four starts.
2) Acquire another Starter, then D.L. Estrada for the Season.
3) D.L. him and call Sanchez up for Estrada's next starts and pitch him until he's injured/arm falls off.
4) D.L. him and call up one the dregs from AAA early.
eudaimon - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#329679) #
SK, of course there is risk to signing either Bautista or Encarnacion. The thing is that you need to take a risk at some point, otherwise you'll never sign anyone ever. We got lucky signing both those guys to contracts that both worked out very nicely. If we sign them again, it won't be so cheap but it might still be a good risk to take depending on the exact terms of the contract.
China fan - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:18 AM EDT (#329680) #
"....Is Estrada's back hurting? Has the extreme rest schedule screwed with his rhythm? is babip getting its revenge?...."

When I saw Estrada throwing 3 straight balls to mediocre-hitting Cliff Pennington at the start of his 2nd-inning AB, and then walking him, I wondered if Estrada's pinpoint control had deserted him.  And I wondered if he was rusty from excess rest, or whether he was suffering from lingering injury.  He did allow 3 walks in 5 innings, which isn't normal for him.

After some digging, I don't think his poor results are a result of injury. None of the writers on the Jays beat seem to see any sign that Estrada is injured, and Estrada himself is adamant that his back is fine.  He also insists that the 6-man rotation isn't hurting him.  The BABIP explanation could be a better theory.   Hitters like Trout and Pujols can adjust a pitcher's BABIP in a heck of a hurry. 

But despite his denials, it's also quite possible that the extra rest isn't good for Estrada.  After the game, Brendan Kennedy dug up a couple of nuggets.  For example:  "Estrada has struggled with extra rest. After Wednesday, in 14 starts on five or more days rest he has a 4.36 ERA, compared to a 2.05 mark in eight starts on four days rest."

He also reported this tidbit on the 6-man rotation issue:  "Earlier this month Estrada said he wasnít concerned about how the teamís unusual compromise might upset his between-starts routine. 'Itís obviously a little different, but it only makes a big difference if you have an off-day in between or two off-days in between,' he said. 'Then obviously it turns from six days (off) to seven or eight or whatever.'  Wednesdayís start came after seven days off."

On the other hand, it's true that Estrada has been generally okay since the all-star break, with only 2 bad games, so we probably shouldn't worry too much.  Arden Zwelling insists nothing is wrong with Estrada.  His report from last night includes this:  "He took the mound with good stuff, throwing plenty of strikes and earning his usual amount of swing-and-miss. He threw good changeups and fastballs; he got plenty of weak contact; he threw a first-pitch strike to 17 of the 27 batters he faced..... Maybe an unfortunate game like this was bound to happen for Estrada, whose .215 batting average on balls in play is the lowest in baseball this season..... Estrada had a great changeup from the get-go Wednesday and leaned on it early in the game. But unfortunately for him, Mike Trout continues to be the best baseball player on earth."

In any event, regardless of whether the excess-rest theory is correct or not, Estrada has only 4 days of rest until his next start, so we'll see if he's better with fewer days off.
Michael - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 06:19 AM EDT (#329681) #
5 WAR is way too high a bar to consider someone a star player for any reasonable definition of the word. There were 45 position player all-stars this year. I think that is about the right level to consider someone a star player (obviously most all-stars are stars, but not all; however, some stars also don't make the team). If you think that is too generous, I'd think at the very least you'd consider there to be at least 30 position player star players at any given time (say the best position player on each team, on average, is a star player - obviously some teams get multiple stars and some get none, but that is a reasonable swag). Ok, even if you are so crazy as to think that is too many stars, clearly, the very best position player at each position in each league would give you 17 stars (8 in NL + 9 in AL). That seems way too few to me but clearly is our very minimum bar. You can be a star without being the best at your position in the league. Certainly expecting anyone to consistently be 5+ WAR is very high bar.

How many position players in mlb averaged 5+ WAR between 2012-2015 (this doesn't need to be consistently above 5, one great year and several ok could reach it)? 10 (all numbers based on fangraphs).

How many position players in mlb averaged 4+ WAR between 2012-2015? 25. (I.e., less than 1 per team)

How many position players in mlb averaged 3+ WAR between 2012-2015? 51. (slightly more than position player all-stars).

So Star is probably something like averaging 3.5+ WAR which has 37 position players doing so from 2012-2015.

What are some names from that list:

#1 Trout 37.6
#2 McClutchen 27.9
#3 Donaldson 24.5
#4 Posey 23.7
...
#10 (last 5+ WAR player, if this is the cut off Harper, Pedoria, Longoria, Stanton, etc. are not stars) Votto 20.2
...
#15 Stanton 18.2
#16 Bautista 18.0
#17 Jones 17.6
...
#21 Machado 16.5
#22 Encarnacion 16.4
#23 Pedoria 16.3
...
#25 (last 4+ WAR player) Wright 16.1
...
#33 Fraizer 14.9
#34 Martin 14.5
#35 Freeman 14.2
...
#37 (last 3.5+ WAR player) Brantley 14.0
#38 Tulowitzki 13.9
#39 Marte 13.7
...
#51 (last 3+ WAR player) Kendrick 12.1

By the way, past 51 you still have players like Ellsbury, Utley, Altuve, Mauer, Ortiz, Cruz, etc.

From 2012 to 2015 would people consider some or all of Tulowitzki, Ellsbury, Ortiz, Nelson Cruz to be stars? 3.5 WAR average as a bar would say no to these players.

This might be unfair to some as it looks for 4 years of data and some might not have been in the bigs yet or might have been injured for part of that time, but health is a skill and consistent performance is important (someone like Altuve was still in the majors that 4 years even if he became great late in that period, but is that a new level or a fluke? He's still below our 3.5 WAR cut off).

So ok, let's say we only care about single season over 5 WAR to be a star. If you go season by season the number of people with single season 5+ WAR by year are:

2012 - 19
2013 - 23
2014 - 26
2015 - 20

That's probably too few, but it is closer to the right number than the 10 people who averaged 5+ WAR, but how often was that a fluke season, versus a consistent performance level? If the level of a star is really 5+ WAR you'd expect a star to produce at that level consistently (since people were saying EE was "only" a 4 WAR player, but a 4 WAR player over 4 years could fluke a 5 WAR just like could fluke a 3 WAR just from chance/luck).

4 5+ WAR seasons: 2 players (Trout, McCutchen) No one else is a consistent "star" for that 4 year period.

Ok, so what if we let someone have an off year or injury, and only need 3 of 4 seasons 5+ war: 7 additional players (Posey, Cano, Beltre, Heyward, Cabrera, Zobrist, Donaldson).

So less than 10 players can even make 5 WAR 3 out of 4 years!

What if we said half the time was ok, so 2 out of 4 years at 5+ is a star: 9 additional players (Molina, Gordon, Gomez, Davis, Carpenter, Goldschmidt, Machado, Votto, Rizzo).

So if your bar is half the time they clear 5 WAR you have only 18 position players in baseball during this 4 year period. That seems too high a bar to me and too few players. That misses a number of other players including the following 1 time 5+ WAR guys: Wright, Braun, Longoria, Ellsbury, Tulo, Pedroia, Bautista, Stanton, Puig, Altuve, Cespedes, Freeman, Seager or the following 0 time 5+ WAR guys: Encarnacion, Ortiz, Desmond, Utley, etc.

I'd say most people would consider many of the above players stars during that time period.

Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Martin, Tulo is a good star core for stars and scrubs. Remember there are fully 30 teams in mlb, so even if you go all the way down to averaging 3 WAR and Kendrick as the 51st best position player from that 4 year period, you still are averaging less than 2 position player stars per mlb team. The Jays get 5, the average team gets 1.7. This free agent market is not a good one, it will not be easy for the Jays to replace what is being lost, re-signing these player to decent fair deals (which will be far more than they are being paid now) would be a good move.

I'm not saying Bautista at 5/$150 or 6/$165 is a fair deal. But the cost of a win is going to be around $8 M/WAR probably this offseason (factoring in the trend inflation, and that will go up in future years too). So EE has put up 19.7 WAR from 2012 through today (19th best position player), call it 20 WAR by season end. That's an average of 4 WAR/year over 5 years. A fair 4 year deal might be to expect 3.5, 3.25, 3, 2.75 WAR for the next 4 years which totals 12.5 WAR = $100 M. So 4/$25 might be a fair contract and certainly 3/$25 or 4/$22.5 would be a good deal for the team. I would be surprised if EE signs for less than $20M a year and wouldn't be surprised if he ends up making $30M a year given the FA market.

Bautista, due to this past season and injury, may well be much cheaper/shorter if he doesn't come back at full strength very soon. I think 3/$20 is probably more the market now, although someone may well do 3/$25 or more on the hope that things are fine (which is what rumors say the Jays offered before this season). 1 year QO would be great IMO, but unlikley.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#329682) #
"SK, of course there is risk to signing either Bautista or Encarnacion. The thing is that you need to take a risk at some point, otherwise you'll never sign anyone ever. We got lucky signing both those guys to contracts that both worked out very nicely. If we sign them again, it won't be so cheap but it might still be a good risk to take depending on the exact terms of the contract."


That's the thing though; I don't think the terms of the contract (at least with Edwin) will be a good risk to take. Bautista's season has been mediocre enough to where signing him to a shorter term deal has at least become a realistic outcome, and I'd be open to that. If either one wanted to sign a two year deal, even for a bloated AAV, I'd be fine with it. I just think that the longer the contract is, the less value the Jays will get out of it, and this time they'll be paying $20-25M a year instead of a more modest $10M (or $14M in JB's case).

I'd be more comfortable signing them if they were good defenders/base runners on top of their offensive ability. With them essentially being 1B/DH, it's a lot less desirable.
jjdynomite - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#329683) #
Wow good stuff Michael. Thanks for ranking the tiers -- it makes it apparent why the Jays have had such a fearsome lineup of late (well, except for the scuffling of earlier this season for Tulo and Martin and the SO-rama of practically the entire team).

The issue with MLB -- not often replicated in NFL with signing bonuses and non-guaranteed contracts (except for long-tenured QBs) or the NBA with early restricted free agency and subsequent early UFA -- is that big-time FA contracts are almost always paying for past performance. Just look at A-Rod and Hamilton getting DFA-ed over the past couple weeks. Sure this leads to the opposite scenario with young guns like Pillar and late-bloomers like EE and Joey delivering major bang for the buck, but other than that most MLB FA contracts end up being true sunk costs (or, well, the cost of doing business).

One sees this in the corporate world with inertia caused by the Peter principle or in unionized workforces like with teachers and public transit workers, but at least they can work into their 60s without a major drop in performance compared to their previous work rate. However, most MLB players, due to their athleticism, peak at, what, their age 28-29-30 years, and without performance enhancers, it's only downhill from there.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#329684) #
"you donít want the jays to ever sign a premium free agent, eh?"


I thought Martin was a good signing, even though I anticipate a drop off towards the end of the deal. It's about value and signing the right types of players (two way types). I want to avoid a situation where the Jays are stuck with guys in their mid-30's making big money and not yielding the type of return that the salary warrants. That's a far greater risk with sluggers in that age group who provide little to no defensive value, at least at a premium position.

If they can find premium FA's on shorter term deals, then I'm fine with that. Or in Martin's case, find a FA with a unique set of skills that at least has a chance to age a little more gracefully.
scottt - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#329685) #
Speed a huge part of Trout's value and it's hard to predict when speed starts to decline.
Trout is carrying 235lb around. He's underpaid for another year but after that he's got 3 year at 34M during which he should start to decline.

Estrada missed spring training and started the season late. He looked fine. He didn't seem to need exactly 4 days of rest to perform.

Last night game looked lost before they got the second out and Estrada had not yet made a bad pitch.

uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#329686) #
I think the evidence shows that hitting ages (much) better than defense, actually.
Chuck - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#329687) #
Trout is going to start his decline in his age 26/27 season? A man with an OPS of close to 1000 has his value predicated largely on speed?

What???

uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#329688) #
Stroman: best pitcher in baseball?

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/marcus-stroman-best-pitcher-in-baseball/
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#329689) #
"I think the evidence shows that hitting ages (much) better than defense, actually."


I haven't looked at the aging curve for catchers in a while, but I recall that it's a bit more graceful than other positions (assuming the catcher was good to begin with). Of course Martin is going to age/decline, but when you factor position and skill, he was a safer bet than someone like Edwin is, IMO. Even this season he's off last season's pace in terms of WAR (currently at 1.8 and projected at around 2.4), but his framing has yielded an RAA of 7.2 (9th in MLB), which is actually a significant improvement for him from last season. That's not going to show up in his WAR but it's value.

Like I said, I thought Martin was a unique signing. I would typically be against signing a player in his age bracket to that money, and he's probably not going to look as desirable a year or two from now if/when his game starts to slip, but value-wise, I thought the Jays did well there. I don't have the same optimism for an Edwin or Bautista extension if the deal is greater than two years.
Dave Till - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#329690) #
I found out today from Baseball Reference that George Bell's younger brother Juan, who played briefly as a middle infielder for a few teams, passed away yesterday at the age of 48. That's far too young.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#329691) #
I dunno, most world series winning teams have guys in their mid 30s making good money. I don't think this is something to be afraid of.
laketrout - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#329692) #
The biggest difference I've noticed in Stroman of late is his consistent delivery.

His first few starts of the season were okay but once he started to get into trouble he began experimenting with his delivery by quick pitching and using little bit of Johnny Cueto trickery.

Now he's back to a consistent delivery that isn't trying to emulate Cueto or David Price's delivery. Instead he's relying on excellent ball movement and control.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#329693) #
"I dunno, most world series winning teams have guys in their mid 30s making good money. I don't think this is something to be afraid of."

Nonsense, not in this decade they don't (unless you're referring to pitchers, which this conversation clearly is not).

I challenge you to find the last non-Yankee/RedSox player in his mid 30s making good money on a World Series winner. I'm too lazy to go through the rosters now, but all I can think of is Lance Berkman.
eudaimon - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#329694) #
SK, I will agree that depending on the value of the contract signing either of those guys might be riskier than it's worth. That's where you have to have faith in Shapiro et al to know what's a good deal, and what's not worth the risk. We won't know what the market for these guys is like until the offseason.
John Northey - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#329695) #
All WAR figures are BR WAR just because I like their site and it is easiest to pick one and go with it.

Looking at the rarity of 5+ WAR players I can see why AA went all-out to get guys like Martin (Twice over 5), Tulo (6 times over 5), and Donaldson (2 times over 5 pre-Jays, 2 times over here including this season of course). Dickey had a 5+ season the year before he came here. Bautista has 4 of those (including 14/15), Encarnacion has one (2012) and is at 3.4 this year (which shows how hard a 5+ season is to get). Pillar was 5.2 last year but 2.4 this year which shows how insanely valuable he is as he makes the minimum this year and next and isn't a free agent until after 2020.

Also of note: Devon Travis in his 131 career ML games is at 5.1 so he theoretically is a 5 WAR a season guy too. Boy, other ML teams must drool over the Jays lineup. Travis, Pillar - both controllable for years and already showing that talent level. Donaldson in arbitration years, Tulo signed until 2020. That is a killer core and beats Bautista/Encarnacion. I think the braintrust here has to recognize that mixed with Sanchez/Stroman at the top of the rotation and Happ becoming a very good affordable pitcher plus a killer closer in Osuna who is controlable for a long time means the Jays have a cheap quality core. Mix in Biagini who has been really good as a rule 5 and minor leaguers who are promising like Rowdy Tellez at 1B (296/384/501 in AA at 21) and Dalton Pompey who was viewed as better than Pillar at the start of last season (if he could just keep focused) and the Jays have a nice window right now. Lets hope the cash is there to fill in holes and that they don't go stupid and give 5+ year deals to guys who won't perform for the stretch.

Good backup catcher, maybe another starting pitcher, a few relievers, RF/LF/1B/DH. Three of those 4 might be filled already (Tellez/Pompey/Upton) with the 4th taken by one of the free agents (Saunders/Bautista/Encarnacion). Relievers grow on trees so I suspect we'll see a batch in during the spring and the Jays will see who has it and who doesn't. Rotation Sanchez/Stroman/Happ/Estrada locked in with #5 being a battle between Osuna/Biagini (if the Jays want to move them out of the pen) and Liriano (who once was a 5 WAR potential but that was years ago). Pen most likely is Osuna/Grilli/hold your breath. If none of the free agents sign don't be shocked if they pull off a blockbuster to get a big bat where the Jays eat a ton of salary.
John Northey - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#329696) #
Quick check... only guys making $10+ mil considered.

2015: Royals - most expensive hitters were Alex Gordon (31) and Alex Rios (34) both making $11/12 million.

2014: Giants - all their money went to pitching, most expensive hitter Hunter Pence (31) $16 mil, Buster Posey (27) $12.5, Angel Pagan (32) $10 mil

2013: Red Sox - Ortiz (37), Napoli (31), Victorino (32), Pedroia (29)

2012: Giants again - Aubrey Huff (35)

2011: Cardinals - Matt Holliday (31), Albert Pujols (31)

2010: Giants - Aaron Rowand (32), Edgar Renteria (33)

2009: Yankees - ARod (33), Jeter (35), Teixeria (29), Posada (35), Damon (35), Matsui (35)

2008: Phillies - Pat Burrell (31), Ryan Howard (28)

2007: Red Sox - Manny (35), JD Drew (31), Ortiz (31), Varitek (35)

2006: Cardinals - Pujols (26), Rolen (31), Edmonds (36) and we have a winner. Who knew?

Only the Yanks & Red Sox had $20+ mil hitters. Giants had pitchers up there. Clearly blowing the wad hasn't worked for many but maybe because the big 2 keep signing them all.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#329697) #
I'll try to do a thorough list by the end of the day, 92-93.
Kasi - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#329698) #
I don't think SK was saying don't sign FAs. But there is a big difference between signing a 28-30 year old FA to his first big contract and dumping a ton of money into 35 year old EE. I don't want to do the latter either. Anyway this team has a ton of proven all star hitting talent but they're not really performing as a team. If the team fails to win the division the blame at this point is partly to the relievers but mostly to the hitters. I don't expect this collection of 30+ year old hitting players to get any better next year (especially if we pay lots to retain EE and Jose)
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#329699) #
Sanchez turning into a front of the rotation starter has certainly made the 2017 roster look better than it was projected to look prior to the start of this season, but it will take some creativity to replace Bautista and Encarnacion in next season's lineup. A big reason why the Jays 2015/16 window was so big was because Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, and Martin combined to make $35.3M in 2015 and $50.65M in 2016. That is a lot of surplus value that won't be there after this season.

I'm fine with Pompey replacing Saunders, but how they replace the two big bats will determine what their chances are in 2017-beyond.

The extension to Smoak aside, I trust this front office in assessing value. They'll need to hit a home run this winter. Maybe more than once.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#329700) #
well they're still 3rd in the AL in runs.

and the only big bat not going right is Bautista.

last year we got much better production from cheapo bottom lineup hitters than this year, though.

2015 wRC+ ---- 2016 wRC+

Barney 26pa, 156 ---- Paredes 17pa, 137
Cola 350pa, 143 ----- Saunders 472pa, 126
Travis 238pa, 136 --- Travis 295pa, 115
Valencia 173pa, 127 - Smoak 308pa, 91
Tolleson 45pa, 110 --- Carrera 248pa, 84
Smoak 328pa, 108 ----- Barney 276pa, 82
Revere 246pa, 102 ---- Pillar 451pa, 77
Hague 15pa, 98 ------- Lake 39pa, 74
Pillar 628pa, 94 ----- Goins 184pa, 41
Carrera 192pa, 90 ---- Upton 86pa, 38
Goins 428pa, 85 ------ Thole 124pa, 22
Pompey 103pa, 82 ----- Ceciliani 28pa, -5
Kawasaki 34pa, 69 ---- Colabello 32pa, -39
Pennington 92pa, 53 -- Burns 7pa, -51
Saunders 36pa, 47 ---- Dominguez 12pa, -82
Thole 52pa, 34 -------
Diaz 16pa, 26 --------

interesting for a few reasons:

1. Improved Depth was a supposed focus this offseason.
2. Most top cheap performers last year did not start the season with a roster spot, but flexible roster let them win a spot. This year much less flexibility and opportunity.
3.The best hitting cheapo player is saunders, who management tried to ditch for a much more expensive, much lesser player. So this could have been even worse.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#329701) #
Thanks John, that confirms what I suspected - other than Ortiz, there hasn't been a WS winner with a mid 30s player making "good money" (in the context of this conversation) lately.

I'm certainly not saying it can't or won't happen, but let's not pretend that in the last decade teams have been rewarded for signing big ticket FAs in their mid 30s.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#329702) #
john's list is incomplete, and even then includes more than just ortiz. and you're already inching towards ignoring salary inflation, as i suspected.
Kasi - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#329703) #
Teams that have gone in big for mid season trades have tended not to do well either. I think KC with Cueto last year was the first exception to this.

As for this year vs last, really only Donaldson has stayed the same and Tulo got better. Everyone else is either slightly down or majorly down. Travis is having a good year here but he's still 20 WRC down from last year. Bautista and Pillar and Smoak are all big offenders of course, but the rest of the lineup is seeing small decline as well. Saunders has been good, but Colabello last year was definitely better. (if not sustainable)
eudaimon - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#329704) #
Kasi, for me the thing is that Edwin / Jose might actually be lower risk contracts than signing someone to a 7-10 year contract at age 31. You can see how a lot of these deals have turned out (Howard, Fielder, Pujols, etc).

For one, Edwin / Jose guys will require fewer years, which is always a good thing. For two, both might still be willing to sign with the team for slightly less or the same as the max bid of another team. For three, predicting the demise of older hitters isn't an exact science. Ortiz being a great example of course.

Like I said, it really depends on the contract details, which we can't know until the bidding (and the season) actually stops. But it seems silly to dismiss the option outright not knowing what the final numbers are.

I expect that Bautista, for one might be the one the Jays end up signing. He keeps care of himself, but is coming off a down season (unless he really cranks it up once he gets back... but even then). He seems like a solid buy-low option. If Edwin leaves he can play 1B and DH with Smoak (for whatever reason) backing up, which should do wonders for his health. I could us maybe signing him for 4/20, which I think is a decent deal from our perspective. Obviously not risk-free, but what deal is?

eudaimon - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#329705) #
Actually 4/20 might be a bit high. Depends how he finishes the season... which makes the whole conversation moot really.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#329706) #
"big money" bats

2015 ---- 2016 wrc+

Donaldson 155 --- 154
Encarnacion 150 - 142
Bautista 148 ---- 114
Martin 115 ------ 105
Tulowitzki 91 --- 110

Martin and EE have dropped a bit but look like they're trending back to the same level.

Bautista really the only drop off, mostly balanced by the Tulo improvement.

Travis and Pillar don't cost anything so aren't really part of the discussion.....though Travis lesser numbers are most likely due to him coming back eaely without much rehab or spring training (1st 15gms: 6wrc+, Since: 54gms, 142wrc+).
Kasi - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#329708) #
I fully agree on that eudaimon. Term to me matters a lot more than contract average. I'd be fine giving Bautista 2/45 or something. Certainly better than 5/100. (even though later has less contract average) I'd do the same or a bit more for EE, but I wouldn't give him 5 years either at the age he's at.

On the hitting thing a big difference between this year and last is sequencing. Last year's team was much better hitting with runners on. Fangraph's Jeff Sullivan had an article on Saunders current season being the most unclutch since well the stack has been tracked, which is why he has these good numbers but really hasn't helped the team win. This year's WPA numbers are 18th at 0.71. Last year was league best at 12.5. Clutch rating similarly fell from 13th to 24th.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#329710) #
Yes, term is more important than AAV. Two years for Bautista and three for Edwin is about the most I'd go for each player. Increase the AAV for less years and see if they bite. Edwin probably won't, but Bautista might coming off the season that he's had + injuries + age.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#329712) #
Eudaimon, after thinking EE was the buy-low candidate most of the year, I think you are right that Jose could be had on a value deal at this point.  Heck, he may even want a deal like Cespedes got - 'three' years but with an opt out after one.  EE has been showing that he can handle 1st - taking the DH only tag off him makes him far more valuable. 

As for mid-season deals, the Price trade worked out pretty well for us last year - it's not just Cueto.  This year there have been misses - Jay Bruce in NY, Hill and Reddick with the Dodgers - and hits- Miller, Chapman and Melancon have continued to dominate,

uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#329713) #
carrying some bad elderly contracts for a couple years isn't the end of the world. you can't contend every year.
James W - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#329715) #
Hunter Pence?
Kasi - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#329716) #
You guys keep bringing up Ortiz. (and Beltre is another good example) Yet neither of them get long term contracts either. Ortiz is currently on a one year contract. Before that he was on a two year one. The last time he had a contract more than 2 years long was the one from 2006 for 4 years and a team option. Since 2012 he's been on 2 year contracts. Beltre is on a 2/36 year contract himself atm. I see no reason for the Jays to go any longer with EE or Jose then those teams are. Give them a 2 year offer with a player option if they meet some requisites. There is 0 need to offer any of them a 5 year term.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#329717) #
my initial thoughts prior to the season were matching 3x$20m + $20m option deals, but with the caveat that their performance this season would have a huge effect on their price.

I think people have been spooked by bautista's pie in the sky $30x5 ask and baseless speculation on EE getting $25m longterm. I don't see much precedent for either getting close to that.
Kasi - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#329719) #
Given this years weakness in the FA markets and deals like the Chris Davis deal I don't see why some team doesn't offer EE 5/100+. All you need is one team to do it and there probably is one out there. I agree Jose has played himself out of anything more than a 2 year contract.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#329720) #
chris davis was 4yrs younger, higher peak value, and got $23m x7 which may not even have been matched by anyone else. they may have bid against themselves. i'd be surprised if EE approached that tbh.
Chuck - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#329723) #
After having yielded 14 HR in 50 IP, Wade LeBlanc has been DFA'd by Seattle.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#329724) #
Hunter Pence was 31 when the eventual champions signed him to a 5 year deal.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#329725) #
I could see Encarnacion getting big money on a four year deal. Not from the Jays, but from some team.

Bautista will be the the one to watch. Mediocre season, will be 36 at the start of next season, coming off two DL stints, no longer an outfielder, etc. Once the QO is rejected and he is attached to a 1st round pick, I could definitely see a scenario where he is back with the Jays on a two year deal, and I'd be fine with that. That would actually be a very positive development for the Jays if it happened.

Still a month to go in the season, though, so too early to tell what his market might be. Edwin's market is probably well known at this point. It will be expensive.
Chuck - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#329727) #
It will be interesting to see who Encarnacion's other suitors will be.

Boston is a destination that seems obvious except for the fact that they may decide their dollars are better spent on pitching and that with Ramirez and Sandoval around, might already be knee deep in DHs, though clearly not in EE's league.

Texas and Seattle seem like potential landing spots due to Fielder's retirement and Seattle's need for a first baseman (Lind is a FA though not one likely to be asked back).

In the NL, I only really thought of Washington, but they owe Zimmerman 48MM over the next 3 years and might not be in a big hurry to eat that contract.

Who else?

Dave Till - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#329728) #
I'm pretty much already picturing Encarnacion in a Red Sox uniform next year. They'll need to replace Ortiz, and EE is the closest available replacement. Money won't be an object, as the Sox have way too much of it.
jjdynomite - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#329729) #
Yankees too, because they have the financial wherewithal to go long, and Tex's $23 mil will be off the books, as will A-Fraud's $21 mil at the end of 2017.

It will be interesting to see if EE's "TMZ issue" will impact his suitors and/or Shapkins' willingness to resign him.
92-93 - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#329730) #
That does seem likely, Dave, though I'm holding out hope John Henry publicly begs his .322/.412/.637 star to return, smoothing the way for Papi to walk back his retirement notions without looking silly.
Dewey - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#329731) #
Baby steps. Tampa Bay just beat Boston 2-1.  All alone in first once more.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#329732) #
Bautista activated, Goins sent down.  Bautista leads off and Barney hits 9th as Travis sits for another day with the knuckle injury.
Hodgie - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#329733) #
I know it is completely irrational, however if there is anyone that I want to see the Jays spend 9 figures on by way of a post-deadline trade, it is this gentleman.
Dewey - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#329734) #
The New York Times has a nice piece today on Charles Conlonís old photos, including Mathewson and Cobb and Mordechai Brown.  Names to conjure with; and fine, fine photos.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/sports/baseball/archive-of-charles-m-conlons-historic-baseball-photos-on-auction.html?ref=sports&_r=0

Thereís a related link to an H.O.F. item on Christy Mathewson as the first Ďfaceí of baseball, with some splendid photos as well.  Both these are definitely worth a look -- if you like old windy lore and stuff.

http://baseballhall.org/discover/short-stops/christy-mathewson-first-face-of-baseball

Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#329735) #
The August 25 b-day Hall of Names team has some great players- Albert Belle and Rollie Fingers, but the player with the best name would be pitcher Dave Heaverlo. 
PeterG - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#329736) #
I don't see EE with the RS or Yanks at all. The former has better use for their money and the latter is moving in a different direction. The idea that these teams will just spend recklessly is just not accurate. RS have already and I doubt they continue. Of course, luxury tax in new CBA could change things making it either easier or harder for them. Not sure Edwin wants to go to either place either. I see him with one of the Texas teams.....better tax treatment so more money with an outside chance he returns to TO.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#329737) #
The most obvious fit for EE, in terms of team needs and payroll, is with the jays.

If my calculations are correct, we're up to a $155m payroll now, and that should only go up next year. No reason it shouldn't.

Our pitching is full. Our defensive positions are full. Our 1b/dh slots are not.
Parker - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#329738) #
I loves me some Votto, but that contract terrifies me, and there's no way Cincy eats too much of it given how good Votto has been so far, and isn't yet showing any decline.

That said, I'd sure rather have Votto at age-40 than Bautista.
85bluejay - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#329739) #
In the unlikely event that Josh Reddick continues his freefall and maybe decides that a 1 year pillow contract would be in his best interest, the Jays would be a great fit.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#329741) #
I'm pretty much already picturing Encarnacion in a Red Sox uniform next year. They'll need to replace Ortiz, and EE is the closest available replacement.

Actually Hanley is the closest available replacement. There are some players who, as one wag put it you have to watch everyday to appreciate how bad they are. Hanley's not like that. Watch him at first for a series, as I was able at Fenway in July, and you get to see pretty quick how bad he is. The Sox may move Shaw to first, sign Edwin to play there with an overpay, or else look at another option.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#329742) #
hard to get it right but with all the new contracts that may or mY not have money covered but I believe we're at about $155m this year.

And i believe we have about $125m committed next year to this roster:

SP Sanchez
SP Stroman
SP Estrada
SP Happ
SP Liriano

RP Osuna
RP Biagini
RP Grilli
RP Loup
RP Tepera
RP Schultz
RP Bolsinger



CF Pillar
RF Upton
LF Pompey
3B Donaldson
SS Tulowitzki
2B Travis
1B Smoak
DH Colabello
C Martin

UT Barney
OF Carrera
IF Goins
C Thole


With i'd guess at least $30m to spend to match current payroll, but imo no reason that shouldn't be closer to $50m.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#329745) #
Well, that didn't work. I had a quote from Bautista on pitchers he didn't like to face.

"Jered Weaver when he was throwing hard, and still now that heís throwing slow, I donít know why I canít get good rhythm off of him. I canít pick up the ball well out of his hand. Itís a challenge for me..."
greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#329746) #
The Jays are not playing a model game of baseball so far tonight.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#329747) #
If the Jays get shut down by Jered Weaver, then they deserve what they get.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#329750) #
Is Michael Saunders OK?  I'd much rather have him in right-field than Carrera (obviously). 

Chuck - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#329751) #
Is Michael Saunders OK?

Tweaked his hamstring yesterday, apparently.

Mike Green - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#329752) #
Wade LeBlanc DFAed?

Score one for the pessimists.  I hope no one bet the ranch on my account.

greenfrog - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#329754) #
Starting pitchers allowing 1 ER or fewer today against the O's, Red Sox, and Blue Jays:

Max Scherzer (2016 fWAR +4.0)
Jake Odorizzi (2016 fWAR +2.0)
Jered Weaver (2016 fWAR -0.4)
John Northey - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#329755) #
Can't believe Carrera worked a walk there.

As to EE - anyone with a hole at 1B or DH could take him.
Red Sox - have their DH retiring, Ortiz has suggested EE already
Yankees - losing both their DH and 1B, supposedly doing a youth movement but we all know the Yanks never do that for long.
Texas - lost their DH (forced retirement for Fielder) so they could use a replacement plus offense has been weak this year and are at the tail end of their competitive years.
Seattle - has Adam Lind at 1B, 'nuff said. 88 OPS+ this year, OK had to add that.
Houston - disaster at 1B and DH is barely adequate.
Washington - Ryan Zimmerman has been a disaster *(79 OPS+) and is owed $48 mil over the next 3 years so they might be hesitant to go there.
Mets - James Loney (86 OPS+), Lucas Duda (93 OPS+ out for year) at 1B

Those seem to be the primary places for EE or Bautista to end up (Bautista could still play the OF, didn't check who is weak in LF or RF). That list is probably the order I see it for possibilities.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#329756) #
I really wish the Jays did not have a lefty in the pen. There was no need to take Biagini out of the game for Cecil just because a lefty was up, especially since Biagini has been better against them this season than Cecil has. I'd rather have the better pitcher on the mound than the match-up. In this case, both favored Biagini staying in.

The LOOGY concept has to die. Just put your best guys out there and live with the consequences, especially when the splits don't even warrant a pitching change.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#329757) #
Why are the Jays pulling their old "lots of people show up for an important series against a weak team, so we'll show them by losing the series" trick from years gone by?
BlueJayWay - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#329758) #
Most disappointing series of the year, imo.
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#329759) #
stupid series. better be a wake up call.

ayjackson - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#329760) #
Pretty odd scheduling quirk with the four consecutive off days. Oh well, baseball returns to the dome tomorrow!
uglyone - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#329761) #
this post-deadline play feels a lot more like 2014 than 2015.
Magpie - Thursday, August 25 2016 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#329762) #
My Mojo remains Indescribably Awful. This was my big chance to go on a little streak - the Angels and Twins, coming in for a little homestand. But no. This is on me.

And Brett Cecil, too. Sheesh. You had one thing to do - keep Mike Trout in the dugout.

Grumble. Over to you, Eephus.
Alex Obal - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#329763) #
Good riddance. Games left against the Angels: Baltimore 0, Boston 0, Toronto 4.
John Northey - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#329764) #
With the August 31st final deadline for who can be on the playoff roster wonder if the Jays will make a trade of any substance? I still dream of Joey Votto and that high OBP but with Bautista hurting and stuck at DH it won't happen during the season. Right now an OF might be best as Saunders and Bautista are best at DH and I doubt Carrera/Upton puts a lot of fear into opponents (maybe into Jays pitchers and fans but not opponents). Maybe Ryan Braun from Milwaukee (owed $20 mil a year from now to 2020 plus option for 2021) he has a no-trade clause and seems to be in favor of using it plus he had a PED conviction. But at 32, in LF, with a 145 OPS+ even in the NL he is another guy with 5+ WAR at times (4 times and a chance at it this year) he could be the answer in LF for a few years allowing the Jays to have one of the winter problems solved (LF/RF/DH). FYI He also has significant RF time in the past thus could potentially move back there if the Jays feel the other options are best in LF. He just seems like a really good fit, assuming he cleared waivers and at $20 per isn't a killer to the budget.
dan gordon - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#329766) #
I like OBP as much as anybody, but I wouldn't touch that Votto contract. He's almost as old as Encarnacion (8 months younger), and has 7 more years to go at $25 million ($22 in 2017), plus an option year with a $7 million buyout in the 8th year.
John Northey - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:49 AM EDT (#329768) #
Good points but Votto > Encarnacion and $25 mil is a 3 win player now and Votto has been that every year but 2 his first call up (24 games) and a couple years ago (62 games). 5 times a 5+ war guy. If I was going to bet on him or EE I'd pick Votto. 7 years is a lot and I'd need scouts to feel he was going to be more than 3 wins for the first 3 to 5 years to feel it is worth the risk.
scottt - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 06:41 AM EDT (#329770) #
I see Votto only if he's available as a strict salary dump with Cincinnati eating some of it.
So, maybe a few years down the line.

The Jays seem to need a lot of atbats against  a pitcher to hit him.
Let's hope the 4 days rest cycle is lights out.

scottt - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#329772) #
Trade of substance before the Aug 31 deadline? How about a last shot at a left handed bullpen pitcher?
Or would Liriano be the lefty in the pen?

Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#329773) #
In the silver linings department, Melvin Upton Jr. can hit junk. 
SK in NJ - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#329778) #
Upton's WAR since the trade is up to 0.1 now after a horrid start, so he's settling in. That's a good sign since he's likely going to be playing everyday from here on out.

Not being able to hit Weaver still stings, especially when Boston and Baltimore lost. What a waste.
Magpie - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#329779) #
The Jays seem to need a lot of at bats against a pitcher to hit him.

Which happens a lot. But this is Jered Weaver's eleventh season. They've seen him plenty, and he's beaten them plenty (11-2, 3.31). And he's done the same to a lot of other teams.
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#329780) #
Buck was carrying on about how adding Bautista's bat lengthens the lineup.  He did not mention that not having Travis' and Saunders' bats shortens it by more. 

By the way, are Upton, Russell Martin and Edwin Encarnacion the only (more or less) fully healthy players in the lineup?  Tulo, Bautista and Saunders have various lower extremity injuries,  Donaldson, Pillar and Travis have various hand injuries, It seems like at least  2 regular players are out of the lineup pretty much every day.  With Barney, Carrera and Smoak not hitting, it shouldn't really be a surprise that the offence is inconsistent.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#329783) #
I really do hope some kids are given legit chance to steal playing time from the likes of carrera smoak and thole in September.

As of now our bench looks flat out weak, with barney the only valuable one thanks to his glove.
John Northey - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#329784) #
Agreed uglyone. Sadly I fear Gibby will stick with the vets in a pennant race like 90% of managers would do. Smoak should be glued to the bench except for defensive purposes in September, Pompey should be in the OF over Carrera and maybe over Upton too thanks to Pompey's great defense and tons of speed. For catcher almost anyone would be better than the guy with a 23 OPS+ and only 2 sac bunts, I mean a pitcher would probably do just as well.

Checking B-R 2nd half stats we see...
Over 800 OPS (IE: doing very well)
Martin (978 to lead), Encarnacion, Travis, Tulowitzki

700's (IE: decent)
Goins, Donaldson, Bautista

600's (IE: can live with it if solid defense)
Smoak, Saunders, Upton

599 or worse (IE: please hit for him Gibby)
Pillar, Thole, Barney, Cecillani (400's), Carrera (298 - at least he is outhitting Stroman).
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#329785) #
yeah as good as Pillar's glove is he still has to hit better than this to be a quality starter, even if his dWAR still looks good.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#329786) #
Gibbons is going to play as many veterans as possible down the stretch most likely, so I doubt having Pompey on the bench in September will amount to much beyond pinch running duties. Gibby was hesitant to give him PA's last September, and this season's race figures to be even more intense than last year's with 3 teams fighting for 1st place this time around. He will go with the guys he trusts, and I'm not sure Pompey is on that list, rightly or wrongly.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#329787) #
tbh i don't see any evidence whatsoever that gibbons favors vets over kids. probably the opposite, actually.

nor do I think he has anything personal against pompey, who he gave a long look to at age 21 and handed the starting cf job to at age 22.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#329788) #
Gibbons does not favor veterans in general, but down the stretch when he's had Carrera on the roster all season versus Pompey who hasn't had a big league AB in a year? My guess is he'll go with the guy he trusts (Carrera in this case).
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#329789) #
Gibbons does not favor veterans in general

I don't know about that.  In his first go-round, he certainly had many players under 25 on his clubs, and he stuck with Rios, Hill (and Russ Adams!) through various struggles.  In his more recent stint,  he hasn't given any significant playing time to a young position player except for Devon Travis (who was great from the get-go and made it easy) and Arencibia.  Maybe the Adams and Arencibia experiences have changed his outlook. 
SK in NJ - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#329790) #
Since coming back in 2013, the team has been "going for it", including trading a lot of prospect capital to acquire veterans, so he's been in a bit of a different spot than he was under the JPR regime. Regardless, they still have young players in prominent spots (Stroman, Sanchez, Travis, Osuna, Pillar), and even when AA went rookie crazy last season, Gibbons was playing them everyday until circumstances changed (demotions for Castro, Pompey, Norris, etc). I'm not a Gibbons fan by any stretch, but the team hasn't really had issues playing young players under his watch.

With that said, I still don't see him benching Carrera in favor of Pompey, or benching Martin in favor of Jimenez (Thole only catches Dickey anyway), or giving high leverage spots to Barnes instead of Benoit/Cecil, and so on. He'll go with the vets in September.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#329791) #
2nd stint.


Lawrie Pillar Gose Sierra goins arencibia pompey travis.

sanchez stroman osuna castro biagini hutchison hendriks loup norris.
92-93 - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#329792) #
Thole is a backup C who catches a knuckleballer, and Smoak and Carrera are bench players who start when a regular is injured. Exactly what playing time is going to be stolen, and who are these kids that we want stealing it?
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#329793) #
carrera kinda sucks so he'd be silly not to give someone else a look, especially when looking for a defensive replacement.

dickey won't be starting in the playoffs so it would behoove us to have a look at another catcher before then i think.
92-93 - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#329794) #
Does anyone else get a sense watching the games that other teams are better at covering the 5-6 hole than the Jays? It could be in my head but I feel like lately the Jays have had terrible luck hitting into and defending that spot on the field. Perhaps other teams employ better defensive shifting, or maybe it's just been a stretch of random bad luck.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#329795) #
The 3rd catcher would be taking playing time from Martin, not Thole (who only catches once every 5 or 6 days). Smoak doesn't figure to play much down the stretch anyway with Bautista at DH so even if they had a young 1B that was ready, he wouldn't be playing.

The only player who could be replaced by a young internal option is Carrera with Pompey. Other than that, there are no "kids" to steal playing time. Maybe AJ Jimenez, but again, unless he learns to catch a knuckleball, he'll be taking Martin's starts, not Thole's (though a bit more rest for Martin wouldn't be a bad idea).
Magpie - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#329796) #
In his first go-round, he certainly had many players under 25 on his clubs, and he stuck with Rios, Hill (and Russ Adams!) through various struggles.

For the most part it's not really the manager's call anymore. Gibbons certinaly hasn't given nearly as many regular jobs to young players as Cito Gaston did in his first tour, but I think the main reason for that is the system simply wasn't giving him many young players who could handle a regular job. Gibbons inherited Rios and Reed Johnson, who were playing regularly for Tosca. He definitely gave Russ Adams and Aaron Hill, a couple of first round picks, their first everyday jobs, and while I don't think much of the job the team did with Adams, I don't lay too much of it at Gibbons' door. Gibbons tried to make a regular out of Adam Lind, it didn't work, and Lind went back to the minors.

In his second tour, he inherited two young players John Farrell had made into major league regulars - Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia. He's given opportunities to a number of young players - Ryan Goins, Anthony Gose, Dalton Pompey - but Kevin Pillar and Devon Travis are the only ones to actually emerge as regular players.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#329798) #
Jeremy Jeffress got himself arrested for DUI. Dumbass.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#329799) #
Last year at this point, the Jays were mashing at historic levels, so there was little reason for Gibby to give any other hitters a chance.

This year, it's quite different, and imo it's just lazy to keep plugging in guys that aren't hitting and have never really hit.
Dewey - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#329801) #
I see a lot of people here frequently stating their esteem for Dalton Pompey.  Sort of reminds me of my own one-time man-crush for Travis Snider.  I was sure Snider was the real thing; was going to be a star for years.  Didnít work out.  And it broke my heart.  I see the same sort of enthusiasm for Pompey now, based on not very much, and firming up into almost-certitude.  Risky, guys.  Very risky.   I hope Pompey arrives soon and becomes a star, or even a solid regular.  But assuming that he will do so is folly.  And some of you do seem to be assuming that.

Now about Vlad, Jr. . . . Iím ready to drink that kool-aid I think.  Why?  Couldnít tell you.  Same reasons probably that so many of you have your hopes invested in Pompey.  Rating prospects will defeat the strongest of you, and often hurt you badly.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#329803) #
Yeah the love for a guy with a great 700 OPS at AAA ball is a little mystifying. He's not going to save the Jays. Heck the guy on BBB who actually attends all the Buffalo games calls him an average defender with one tool, his speed. Now I think that's a bit harsh but then again I haven't watched any Buffalo games this year. His numbers do seem to suggest that though.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#329804) #
It's not even about love of Pompey.

It's about realizing that both our starting RF and our backup OF aren't actually good, offensively or defensively, and we shouldn't just be happy not even giving anyone else a chance to help out.

Ceciliani could play a part there too.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#329807) #
Sorry Upton is certainly better than Pompey. Now he might be frustrating to watch at times with his K rate, but at this moment there is no comparison between them. He certainly has a better bad and is likely as good defensively. Maybe if you're talking about Carerra or Cecliani because they're worse defensively, but likely both are better bats than Pompey is right now.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#329808) #
But you really can't have that kind of confidence in that position, so much that you wouldn't even dare try something else. You might just be overrating Upton, the guy a team just paid $30m to get rid of.

Since Pompey made his MLB debut:

MLB

Pompey: 146pa, 89wrc+, 0.4fwar, 0.7bwar, 2.5awar/650
Upton: 1274pa, 86wrc+, 3.4fwar, 3.0bwar, 1.6awar/650
Carrera: 517pa, 85wrc+, 0.8fwar, -0.3bwar, 0.3awar/650

Fielding/Baserunning

Pompey: +4.1uzr/150, +10.6drs/150, 27sb/650 (86%), 6.7bsr/650
Upton: +2.4uzr/160, +3.1drs/150, 27sb/650 (76%), 4.6bsr/650
Carrera: -1.2uzr/150, -8.4drs/150, 18sb/650 (74%), 5.8bsr/650

AAA

Pompey: 713pa, 112wrc+
Upton: 54pa, 92wrc+
Carrera: 583pa, 119wrc+


Rest of Season Projections

Pompey: 85wrc+ Steamer, --- Zips, 85wrc+ Depth Charts
Upton: 83wrc+ Steamer, 84wrc+ Zips, 84wrc+ Depth Charts
Carrera: 77wrc+ Steamer, 78wrc+ Zips, 77wrc+ Depth Charts



I don't know why we'd refuse to even try something, given our anemic offense.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#329809) #
One of these things is not like the others... one of these things just doesn't belong...
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#329810) #
He certainly has a better bad

A Better Bad sounds like one of those rock bands that never quite made it. 

The deal with Pompey is not only with the fanbase.  Atkins said in early August  that Pompey has a chance to be a star and they didn't want to call him up to sit on the bench.  Unfortunately, the injuries to Bautista and Pillar occurred and the replacement outfielder was not going to sit on the bench.  Anyways, it is pretty clear that Pompey has not played as well this year as he has the previous two.  Whether that is due to his concussion or confidence issues or further loss of focus for some other reason, I have no idea. 

Good teams usually have a balance of young and old talent.  Consequences of an aging offence include an increase in strikeouts and a loss in speed.  Sound familiar?
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#329811) #
you're right, parker, because kids have small samples we should never give them a chance. good call.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#329812) #
Pompey's sample size at MLB is way too small to make any note of. Lawrie in an end of season callup was rated better than Trout. We saw how that ended up. I see little proof that Pompey will be a better corner defensive OF than Upton til end of season, maybe I'd believe it if it was CF but Pillar is there. Upton is actually breaking out offensively and has been quite good recently. Pompey is hitting 700 OPS at AAA this year. Pompey is not taking Upton's at bats. Pompey right now is a pinch runner and defensive replacement until he figures out how to do something with his bat. Hopefully he does next year since the Jays need that to happen.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#329814) #
You give chances to players uo when they prove they can handle their current level. Pompey being an average or below average hitter at AAA currently (700 ops) does not speak well to that. I do feel the poster who was right that said he's going to be the next Snider, someone overly hyped who never lived up to the expectations placed on him.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#329815) #
and that's the attitude that has us stuck with a black hole of a bottom of the lineup.

unlike last year, when we weren't afraid of jettisoning our first choices and giving others a chance.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#329816) #
Pompey is an above average hitter in AAA this year (106wrc+), even better since returning from his last injury (110wrc+), and even better over his entire AAA career (112wrc+).

And he offers plus D and baserunnning.

Our current starting RF is a below average hitter and fielder, and our backup OF is a replacement level player.
johnny was - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#329818) #
I'll take Pompey now based solely on his base-stealing prowess in the playoffs last year.  The speed element can be so disruptive and inning-altering, plus he's going to get called up in September anyway.
jerjapan - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#329819) #
I'm as confused about the lack of love for Pompey as some of you guys are about the love.  He's still just 23, has been dealing with concussion issues this year, and was likely rushed by the previous FO - a la Travis Snider. 

To my eye, he's a fine defender but he certainly  has some worrisome defensive stats according to BP.  Even with less D than we'd hoped for, I see the floor for him as a top 4th OF and his ceiling remains above average starter.  If he is healthy next year and continues spinning his wheels, than sure, time to re-appraise. 

I'm with Ugly on this, with Carrera turning back into a pumpkin and Bautista and Saunders hobbling around in the OF, he could be a key role (not 'roll' Dewey, never again!) player in September with a chance to earn regular playing time, depending on health.   

Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#329820) #
Upton is a better player so there is no space for him unless you want him in over the black hole that is Saunders right now. I don't see what the point is in rushing a player from the minors who isn't even good in the minors now. Players who succeed in the majors tend to actually be good in minor league action because it is a lot less difficult there.
CeeBee - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#329821) #
The problem isn't really Upton but Carrera turning back into his pumpkin self. Bautista should DH, not play RF and Saunders should DH mostly as well. Both have wonky legs. Not sure how it would hurt to give Pompey a chance in left and put Upton in right.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#329822) #
A team just paid $30m to rid themselves of Upton. He hasn't been good since. This is hardly a guy to just blindly keep the faith in, imo.

We should be looking everywhere for any spark, imo.

Pompey or Ceciliani getting a shot at OF time.

Montero or Tellez getting a shot at 1B/PH time.

Jimenez getting a shot at C time.

Our offense isn't good enough right now to just stand pat, imo.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#329823) #
And this isn't even just about Upton.

Our CF suddenly can't hit even a lick either.

And our LF can't field.
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#329824) #
There are lots of opportunities to mix and match, particularly after September 1.  With a ground ball pitcher starting for the Jays and a left-hander on the mound for the opponent, you might choose to go with an Upton/Pillar/Saunders OF.  With a fly ball pitcher starting for the Jays and right-hander on the mound, you'd probably try to get Pompey in there. 

Somehow I don't see the club doing it.  There were plenty of opportunities to give Pompey playing time in the field last September and he didn't get them.  I can't see Gibbons feeling any differently about it this year. 

Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#329825) #
So we should throw our entire OF into disarray because players are struggling. And yes this is everyone in the OF or DH options who play there occasionally. That includes Pillar, Saunders, Bautista and Upton as well as the AAA players. Sure I can accept an argument that Pompey might be better than half of the above group. Which half I don't know. So perhaps Pompey pushes out a struggling vet and brings a spark. Or maybe he becomes Pillar 2.0, yet with worse offense and worse defense while at the same time setting his development back.

What the Jays are likely to do is split Saunders/Bautista in the OF/DH roles and just play Upton and Pillar all the time and hope some of the vets regain their offensive form. They're not going to blow up the team and start playing AAA players.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#329826) #
Mike - laat september the offense was scorching (especially all 3 OF), and right now they aren't, so there's more motivation to try new things.

Kasi - i don't know that our OF isn't already in disarray. it certainly isn't good enough to be untouchable at least imo.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#329827) #
Why do you want Ceciliani, ugly? He's got a 0 OPS+ this year. Don't tell me you actually managed to learn something about sample sizes in the last 20 minutes.

This is why so many are so quick to dismiss your statistics-based "analysis" - you always seem to think you can have it both ways. Guy is terrible in a small sample? He'll improve. Guy is decent or better in a small sample? That's his true talent level!

(For players in the Jays organization, anyway. If a guy is traded away, all of a sudden his bad numbers are his true talent level and Alex Anthopoulos is a genius for getting something in return, etc. etc.)
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#329828) #
It's not even just that the players are bad. The team WRC isn't that bad. What this team really stinks at compared to last year is situational hitting. They led the league in WPA last year but are in the bottom third this year. Now hopefully that is just random noise and they have a better September, but this is how a player like Saunders can have the statistical season he's having but actually very little effect on the Jay's winning. Because this year he's done almost nothing in high leverage or close situations. He's great at getting a HR up big though.

I don't understand it either, but I get confused with the end points people choose for comparisons. Sample sizes just large enough to fit hot streaks, or just cut short of when a player was doing better and so on.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#329829) #
why ceciliani? because a) anyone can get hot b) ceciliani has been excellent in AAA in his 2 half seasons there (139wrc+), c) even though he hasn't hit in his small mlb sample he's still shown plus D and baserunning. he may be a dud but he's shown enough to perk my interest at least.

but remind me...are upton, smoak, thole, and carrera part of our organization still? do you ever stop to wonder if your bias claim adds up? I don't even know the answer to this because no offense i don't remember your old posts but has this team (and its kids) performed closer to my expectations or yours? and does calling me biased change that?
Mike Green - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#329830) #
Mike - laat september the offense was scorching (especially all 3 OF), and right now they aren't, so there's more motivation to try new things.

Gibbons said explicitly that he would only use Pompey to pinch-run, and in fact used Carrera preferentially to Pompey in the outfield in September, 2015 (including a start in centerfield!).  I don't know why one would expect the pecking order to be any different in 2016. 
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#329831) #
true. i guess it's more hope, based on our OF not being anywhere near what it was last september.

SEP '15

Revere 134pa, 102wrc+
Bautista 129pa, 184wrc+
Pillar 114pa, 138wrc+

Carrera 22pa, 69wrc+
Pompey 12pa, 215wrc+


zeke was ahead in the pecking order but neither played much given how good the starters were going.

Also iirc zeke was hot in the 2nd half last year while at the moment he's ice cold, so that might play in too.

lemme check....

Carrera 15: 1st half 80wrc+, 2nd half 115wrc+
Carrera 16: 1st half 114wrc+, 2nd half -26wrc+

so at least gibber had reason to stick with carrera's bat as the pinch hitter last year, that he might not this year.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#329832) #
Anyone can get hot. Sure. That's actually about the least misleading thing you've ever posted here. On the other hand, betting on a guy who has never actually gotten "hot" enough to earn a job in the Majors sounds a lot more up your alley. So, Ceciliani "may" be a dud, but Carrera definitely is one. Am I accurate in that interpretation?

The rest:

Thole just sucks. He wouldn't have a job in the Majors if it wasn't for hanging off Dickey's coattails. Once Dickey is gone, so is Thole, and good riddance to him. Then again, I doubt you were saying that about him when he came over from the Mets with his age 22-24 seasons of almost league-average hitting. Ugly Analytics would likely have said he was a lock to bounce back from his terrible age-25 season. After all, he was acquired by Alex Anthopoulos; how could he not bounce back?

Upton was acquired to be a 4th outfielder. He's had four bad seasons (including one at age 21) out of ten and owns a career OPS+ of 97. Close enough to league average for me. On the other hand, Ugly Analytics conclusion - after 90 PA this year for Toronto, his career is over. After all, the worst front office in all of professional sports agreed to eat a bunch of his contract to move him - what more evidence could Ugly Analytics need? Personally, I wouldn't be caught dead walking into a GM dealership and paying retail for one of their "products". But if someone offers to sell me a brand new GMC Sierra for $7500, I'd be an idiot to turn it down. You might not get that analogy, though.

Based on your dismissal of Upton, I'm surprised you don't like Smoak. Since Upton is crap after 90 PA, why isn't Smoak awesome based on his 150 or so PA where he was good this year? In addition to that confusing hypocrisy, you may also not have noticed that the farm system isn't exactly overflowing with hitters knocking down the door to the Majors - who should replace Smoak on the roster whose development wouldn't be crippled by spending 2/3 of his time riding the bench?

Carrera's not great. He never will be. But he's a better fielder than either Bautista or Saunders, and your pal "Gibby" is absolutely in love with his bunting. Are you saying you're smarter than "Gibby"? Kinda sounds like that's what you're saying.

As far as season expectations, I remember you flushing the season down the toilet the very moment that Price signed with the Red Sox. I, on the other hand, was cautiously optimistic that the front office personnel comprising the new regime might actually know what they're doing when it comes to running a baseball team. Other than letting John Gibbons and Luis Rivera keep their jobs, anyway.

uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#329833) #
I'm very consistent, despite your accusations.

I always want a battle royale for the bottom slots on the roster, with no favorites played.

Let the chips fall where they may. I have my favorites but am not upset in the least if they lose out to better performers....as long as they are actually better performers.

I think our lineup needs a boost and that we should leave no stone unturned - and definitely don't think we should just blindly stick with the likes of upton/smoak/carrera/barney/thole just because.....hmmm i don't even know that anyone's even given a "because", actually.

I'm surprised that everyone seems so adamant that the jays shouldn't even try anything new the rest of the season. You guys don't actually believe that, do you?
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#329834) #
"As far as season expectations, I remember you flushing the season down the toilet the very moment that Price signed with the Red Sox."

Ah, so it all becomes clear - the problem here is you and your memory, not me and my bias.

At least we cleared that up.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#329835) #
Actually, I've been thinking that the problem all along has been several different types of revisionist thinking.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#329836) #
"Upton was acquired to be a 4th outfielder. He's had four bad seasons (including one at age 21) out of ten and owns a career OPS+ of 97. Close enough to league average for me. On the other hand, Ugly Analytics conclusion - after 90 PA this year for Toronto, his career is over. Based on your dismissal of Upton, I'm surprised you don't like Smoak. Since Upton is crap after 90 PA, why isn't Smoak awesome based on his 150 or so PA where he was good this year?"

ah, seems like it's not just your memory that's the issue. just a basic tough time understanding stuff in general.

This Season

Barney 81wrc+, 2.6fwar/650
Upton 90wrc+, 1.5fwar/650
Carrera 84wrc+, 1.0fwar/650
Smoak 92wrc+, 0.2fwar/650
Thole 22wrc+, -2.6fwar/650

Last 2yrs

Barney 85wrc+, 2.5fwar/650
Upton 96wrc+, 2.8fwar/650
Carrera 86wrc+, 0.7fwar/650
Smoak 100wrc+, 0.7fwar/650
Thole 26wrc+, -3.0fwar/650

Last 3yrs

Barney 82wrc+, 2.7fwar/650
Upton 86wrc+, 1.7fwar/650
Carrera 85wrc+, 1.0fwar/650
Smoak 94wrc+, 0.3fwar/650
Thole 48wrc+, -1.6fwar/650

Last 4yrs

Barney 68wrc+, 1.6fwar/650
Upton 78wrc+, 1.1fwar/650
Carrera 84wrc+, 0.7fwar/650
Smoak 100wrc+, 0.5fwar/650
Thole 45wrc+, -1.8fwar/650

Last 5yrs

Barney 71wrc+, 1.9fwar/650
Upton 86wrc+, 1.7fwar/650
Carrera 86wrc+, 0.8fwar/650
Smoak 96wrc+, 0.2fwar/650
Thole 52wrc+, -1.1fwar/650

Despite your dramatic descriptions, this has nothing to do with "dismissing" players based on small samples.

This is simple recognizing players for what they are, and acknowledging that they're not the kind of player you stick with just because, when you're trying to win a world series.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#329838) #
"Actually, I've been thinking that the problem all along has been several different types of revisionist thinking."

it's the whole thinking thing which is letting you down, apparently.

I was upset in the offseason because we didn't go all in with this incredibly rare group of elite talent that we may never see the likes of again in a blue jays uniform. The people praising the offseason moves were the ones who believed AA left shapiro in a tough position and that the team would have to be blown up soon, perhaps by the trade deadline.

your revisions notwithstanding.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#329839) #
Is Bautista one of those elite talents? I must've skipped over the part where you predicted he'd be a replacement-level player this year.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#329841) #
I would say the team has had a fairly even and normal distribution of surprises and dissappointments this year.
scottt - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#329842) #
The third catcher is not to steal at-bats from Martin, well, unless Martin needs rest.
You don't need to hit to steal at-bats from Thole. You put a pinch hitter there for one AB and then you bring your third catcher.

You only need 4 pitchers in a playoff rotation and, logically that would be Happ, Estrada, Sanchez and Stroman.
Liriano could be useful in the pen. Dickey, not so much. If Dickey doesn't make the playoff roster neither should Thole.
So, it would make a lot of sense to bring up a third catcher up so he gets used to the staff and he only gets in a game if you get totally blown out.

I don't know if Pompey is better than Carrera, but I think Lake did fine against lefties. However he's no longer on the 40 roster and I'd be surprised if they make room for him.

I got this nice quote from a comment at MLBtraderumors

Huron on MLBTR, he was Superior to all. But it was Erie how quickly his bat went Michigan and his time in Ontario was short lived.


Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#329843) #
I wouldn't say that. All the surprises have been on the pitching end, and primarily in three starters, Happ, Sanchez and Estrada. All of the dissapointments have been on the hitting end. Not a big surprise given the age of the hitters but when Tulo is the only player on the team to be having a better year this year than last well the team is not going to hit as well.

As for this elite talent, well I think Dave Cameron debunked that fairly well last week.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-so-far-disastrous-crop-of-2016-free-agents/

For the most part the "elite" talent signed last year has flopped.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#329844) #
Point about elite talent to explain a bit more is that it doesn't really matter if our team was elite last year or in the past. Players decline and we're seeing that with the Jays. Most of the elite talent this board has wanted to go for over the years (Fielder, Santana, Jiminez, etc) has also flopped. You just can't forecast a team build of 30-35 year old batters to actually improve, they're past that point of their careers. You better hope the guys coming up are good enough to make up for their decline, and well right now they're not.
scottt - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#329845) #
Surprised to see Bautista back in RF so fast just so they can use Smoak to start against a lefty.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#329846) #
Surprises: Happ (33), Estrada (32), Sanchez (23), Biagini (26)
Dissappoints: Stroman (25), Bautista (35), Cecil (29), Storen (28)

imo.

more minor surprises could include barney and saunders, and more minor dissappointments cola and chavez and hutch.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#329847) #
Kasi, the elite talent has this team in first place.

and that includes plenty of elite young and prime talent.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#329848) #
I'd call Pillar, Martin and Goins to be dissapointments too. They all regressed fairly heavily. Pillar is actually better defensively, but offensively he fell off a cliff. The bottom of the lineup production that Colabello and second half Goins provided hurts a lot. And Martin while he's recovered in the second half is still going to end well shy of last year's numbers.
Kasi - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#329849) #
We have some elite young pitchers sure in Sanchez, Osuna and Stroman but I wouldn't be happy with the Jays young bats. Travis is good and Pillar is in danger of becoming a one dimensional player and that's it. Compare that to the bats a team like Boston has in the same age range and I'm concerned, especially since pitching due to injuries is a lot more volatile than hitting.
Four Seamer - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#329850) #
uglyone, your day is made - we have each of Carrera, Smoak, Upton and Barney in the lineup tonight.
BlueJayWay - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#329852) #
I'd call Pillar, Martin and Goins to be dissapointments too. They all regressed fairly heavily. Pillar is actually better defensively, but offensively he fell off a cliff. The bottom of the lineup production that Colabello and second half Goins provided hurts a lot. And Martin while he's recovered in the second half is still going to end well shy of last year's numbers.

Martin was horrific for the first month in a half. He's been pretty spectacular since then, and even though his numbers will probably end up down compared to last years, given his entire career patterns and his current age I don't find his season to be disappointing. It's right in line.

Goins is just bad, so...I don't see the disappointment there.

Pillar is also doing exactly what I expected (and, I think, what we reasonably should've expected). I honestly don't see how his season has been disappointing offensively.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#329853) #
I didn't think it was a bad idea to extend Smoak at the time but since then he seems to do nothing except strike out with an odd non-clutch home run thrown in occasionally. I predict two more k's tonight with a chance of three.
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#329855) #
So, for disappointments you have Tiny Sample of Success, Declining With Age, RP, RP.

For minor disappointments: Insane BABIP One-Year-Wonder PED User, Swingman Used Wrong by Incompetent Manager, and Guy Who Wasn't Ever Any Good.

Sound about right?
Parker - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#329856) #
uglyone, your day is made - we have each of Carrera, Smoak, Upton and Barney in the lineup tonight.

No Thole, though. Maybe Gibbons will bring him in to pinch-hit for Martin at some point.
jerjapan - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#329857) #
Most of the elite talent this board has wanted to go for over the years (Fielder, Santana, Jiminez, etc) has also flopped.

Ervin Santana?  If you figure a FA win costs $8million, he's been worth $36.8 million of his 4 year, $55 million dollar contract thus far - with 2 years+ to go.  Fangraphs has his value at $32.6 million, although I'm not sure how that stat is calculated.  He's a successful sign, not a flop.

Fielder's an absolute bust, although Texas is off the hook for the contract with his retirement, no? 

Even Jiminez has been worth $31.4 million of his $50 million contract with one year to go - he was that solid last year.  Not likely, but not impossible that the deal turns out to be fair value for the O's.
greenfrog - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#329859) #
I wanted the Jays to sign Santana on a one-year contract for 2014 (others preferred Ubaldo on a multi-year deal). Santana signed with the Braves for $14.1m and generated 2.9 WAR (value: $21.8m) that year. He would have been a good add.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#329865) #
navarro is a nice bench upgrade. good stuff.
uglyone - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#329866) #
"Sound about right?"

sounds tortured, tbh.
John Northey - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#329869) #
Fielder isn't officially retired, just functionally retired. Texas will probably do an Albert Belle - keep him on the roster for years until contract is done so insurance will cover part of the cost. Fielder is the extreme of disaster contracts (although unlike Wells he didn't provide years of negative value). Santana and Jimenez are close to worth it thanks to the cost of free agent WAR going up and up more than because they provided the value expected. Outside of Dickey is there anyone in the current rotation you'd dump for Santana or Jimenez?

Jimenez has been worth 1.1 bWAR (based on runs actually allowed) over his contract so far vs FanGraphs higher value based on FIP (or xFIP, never can remember). I sure wouldn't want him on the staff right now. I prefer Liriano to him.

Santana the first year when the Jays cheapped out and lost him at the last minute was a 90 ERA+ guy in the NL - ugh - still worth 1.2 bWAR so a break even year financially. Minny is getting a good deal now though 4.6 WAR over 2 years, yeah I'd like him here right now. Signed through 2018 with option for 2019 and that will be a heck of a bargain in the end.
John Northey - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#329870) #
Nice. 5-1 lead. Minny has scored 6+ 40 times this year in 127 games (31% or less than 1 in 3 games). Scary though watching Liriano putting 2 on with none out so far this inning.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#329895) #
Well, I torch Smoak and he picks tonight to be 3/4 batting, 5 rbi's and NO strikeouts. I wonder if Kevin Pillar could use my help ?
scottt - Friday, August 26 2016 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#329897) #
uglyone, your day is made - we have each of Carrera, Smoak, Upton and Barney in the lineup tonight.

No Thole, though. Maybe Gibbons will bring him in to pinch-hit for Martin at some point.

Close. Carrera went 1 in 5. Boo. Smoak was amazing. Upton was good. Barney was great.
And Thole found a way in.
It's just an awesome game all around.
92-93 - Saturday, August 27 2016 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#329913) #
Still waiting on your thorough list of big money FAs in their mid 30s signed by World Series winners, uglyone. I guess you were too busy coming up with data tables to prove some irrelevant point about the team's bench less than a week before September.
uglyone - Saturday, August 27 2016 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#329927) #
heh. you're right. i got lost in another argument.

i'll try to do itthis weekend.

it would help if you could preemptively acknowledge what "real money" converts to now, 5yrs ago, and 10yrs ago, so at least we can avoid that hurdle.
James W - Saturday, August 27 2016 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#329942) #
Yes, I get the sense that the constraints of this argument are very restrictive. Sure, no World Series winner has any BIG MONEY mid-30's free agents, but if it turns out that only 4 players in their mid-30's have signed for BIG MONEY, then what's the point?
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