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This is that time of year when I check out and start watching basketball - I'm even finding the Leafs worth watching, so far - but I may be the only one. So....



With the World Series now over, clocks quite literally start ticking. Players have to file for free agency. Tteams must make or not make qualifying offers. And so on and so forth. Moves need to be made, and teams will be making them.
The Off-Season Begins | 139 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#335006) #
The first thing is the 5 day exclusive negotiating window with the team's free agents. 
uglyone - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#335007) #
No surprise, of course, but at least it's official now - all our impending free agents are now officially free agents.
85bluejay - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#335008) #
While Brett Cecil has had a solid run, he's too inconsistent for me - would be nice if the jays can sign Boone Logan - also it's rumoured that the Rockies may non-tender/dump Jake McGee, I would take a chance on him - he's done it in the AL east & I tend to discount a rough year in Colorado
lexomatic - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#335009) #
I'm less keen on McGee - he's throws an insanely high % of fastballs (between 80-90). Generally your points about AL East and Colorado I agree with though.
I guess it depends on how much it takes

vw_fan17 - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#335010) #
Two outfielders already changing teams: Aoki and Maybin. Either one could have maybe helped us next year..
jerjapan - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#335011) #
List of impending minor league FAs at Bluebirdbanter:

http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2016/11/1/11679908/impending-minor-league-free-agents

Lots of non-news, but some notable names include Jesus Montero, AJ Jiminez, Matt Dominguez, blake mcfarland, dustin antolin, scott copeland and murphy smith. 

Buffalo is going to need to shuffle the deck a bit if we lose most of those guys, although I can't really call any of them a loss given that we can plug the same sort of names back in.  Murphy Smith intrigues me the same way Chris Smith did this year - minor league vet who suddenly puts it all together in the pen - but there are lots of those guys out there.

John Northey - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#335014) #
Looking at a list of free agents at NBC I see a few Cubans who sound interesting - from a cheaper late 20's guy in Jose Miguel Fernandez who plays 2B and 3B (thus a great backup for 2 high risk injury positions, especially 2B) to outfielder Lourdes Gurriel who is just old enough to be a true free agent and has shown power average and patience in Cuba while playing corner outfield so a perfect fit if he is for real.

Should be interesting to see how the new crew does in its first full winter together after having a year to figure out everything and now with Rogers knowing just how big an impact a playoff team has on the bottom line. Yoenis Cespedes would probably be the best guy to get (power, speed, decent corner defense, good OBP, not too old) I see him as a far better risk than any of the Jays big free agents (EE/Bautista/Saunders). Trumbo would also be nice (as a DH, rarely in OF). Nick Hundley looks like a good guy to get as a backup who can play everyday if needed (plays about 80 games a year, 92 lifetime OPS+) sure would be a massive upgrade from Thole & Navarro.
SK in NJ - Thursday, November 03 2016 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#335015) #
Maybin makes $9M in 2017. That's probably a fair price for him given his production, but this early in the off-season the Jays will likely try to aim higher than him and Aoki. Someone like Revere could be non-tendered in a month if the Jays get desperate in the OF category and need a 1-2 WAR body to fill a spot. They should be trying to make something a little more significant happen in November.

John Northey - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 01:04 AM EDT (#335016) #
I'm thinking there are a few routes for the OF/DH/1B situation.

A) Resign 1 or 2 of the 3 free agents we have

B) Trade for an expensive player a team might want to dump to free up payroll (ala Braun or Votto) or for other reasons (Braun lands here too)

C) Sign a top free agent or two (Yoenis Cespedes)

D) Sign secondary free agents who might be good like they did last year for the starting rotation


I see hitters as a different creature than pitchers. More predictable, less likely to have a drastic shift (Bautista/Encarnacion obvious exceptions to that rule). Thus option D isn't as good for hitters as it is for pitchers with exceptions (setting up a platoon, signing a guy who was great, then hurt, who might be back to 100%). Given how this front office seems more dedicated to keeping prospects unlike AA in 2015 (even trading for 2 prospects in a pennant race, while also getting a key part for the team). I could see them signing a premium free agent like Cespedes who could fill in for Bautista beautifully. The cost would be cash and a lower first round draft pick (replaced by 2 sandwich picks thanks to probably losing Bautista & EE).

I think it all depends on what Cincinnati is asking for (and willing to eat) in the case of Votto, if EE &/or Bautista are being reasonable on their demands, how much cash the Jays have to spend, and how advanced the front office feels guys like Alford and Tellez are.
scottt - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#335017) #
A) Will depend on EE (perhaps) or Bautista (unlikely) agreeing on a fair contract to remain in Toronto when they could sign for more elsewhere. I shudder when I hear that they still like Bautista in the outfield. They sign Saunders only if it's on a team friendly contract.

B) This one is hard to figure out. I don't see them trading prospects unless they sell high. Conner Greene, for example, seems to be rated higher than he should. I don't see Shapiro taking over long contracts like AA did. Votto is intriguing if Cincinnati eats the excess money and the cost in prospect is low.

C) I like Reddick a lot. Cespedes was a bust in Boston. He didn't get along with the coaching staff either. The Mets liked him enough to extend him, so he opts out of 23M for the next 2 years. Texas seems a likely destination for him. They seem to like head cases and players struggling with addictions.

D) Most likely outcome is here. More defense in the outfield. More platoon advantage at 1B/DH.


AWeb - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#335018) #
In keeping with my belief that if the Jays don't resign Jose or Edwin, they should try option B), let's see who's out there:

- Votto, 7 years, $172 million left. Love it if the Reds ate some contract. Even if they didn't I'd take a chance on him.

- Braun, 4 years, $76 million (including buyout at the end). I know some here are opposed to Braun on principle, and the chance of a full year suspension and/or postseason illegibility isn't nothing, but this doesn't look like a *terrible* contract. No surplus value, sure, but a couple of C prospects for him and the Brewers eat $10 million, absolutely for me.

- Miguel Cabrera? 7 years, $220 million on his contract. Unlikely to be available, but if he was, the Tigers wouldn't get much for him unless they took on some contract.

-Giancarlo Stanton? 12 years, $328.5 million (counting buyout in final year). Marlins could get rid of him at any time because...Marlins...but I have no idea how to even start looking at this contract. At least he might be able to still play OF for a few years, maybe? You better have faith in your training staff, because that's way too much for a DH.

- Albert Pujols? 5 years $140. Huh, less than I thought, still way more than he's worth though. How much of this contract would the Angels have to take on to make it plausibly worth it, $100 million? $120? Stopped taking walks in 2011, and his batting average soon followed. Still doesn't strike out much. If he stops declining for a few years (unlikely, I know, but all-time greats occasionally have late career resurrections), he has a shot at 700 HR, 2000 Runs, the alltime RBI record. All of which aren't worth much to a team unless he's actually still good, which he probably isn't.

Not many crazy long contracts out there otherwise at this point that I can see. Votto and Cabrera aren't awful contracts yet, because both are still great hitters, but Edwin is a better hitter than the rest of them. So this "Plan B)" doesn't have a lot to work with I guess, but still might be worth a shot. Makes me think 4 years $100 million for Edwin is worth a shot; hey not my money. I just have no idea what Bautista is worth at this point.
rpriske - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#335019) #
While this is a weak year for Free Agents, there happen to be a number of players who actually fit in with what the Jays need.

If they could sign 2 of Ian Desmond, Logan Morrison, and Josh Reddick they would be looking pretty good.

And Boone Logan sounds like a nice upgrade over Brett Cecil.

Petey Baseball - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#335020) #
It's hard to see Jose or Edwin coming back, and I don't blame the Jays for going in a different direction. They got the best years out of both of them. There's still very good core of major league talent, some (not a lot, but enough) prospect capital, and most importantly, they have money to take on big contracts in trade. You might as well throw out the book on Shapkins from Cleveland; they're in a totally different situation in Toronto. I expect them to be very aggressive and push the payroll up another 10-20 million from last year.

Going 3-4 years with Reddick, Jansen, and trading for Votto are realistic developments, IMO.
uglyone - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#335021) #
I still don't get why people think, at the same time, that the FA wouldn't be interested in signing EE but would be interested in trading for Votto.
Jonny German - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#335022) #
If they could sign 2 of Ian Desmond, Logan Morrison, and Josh Reddick they would be looking pretty good.

And Boone Logan sounds like a nice upgrade over Brett Cecil.


Hmmm... maybe there's something about the name "Logan" you like a whole lot more than I do.

(Which is to say, Morrison is not remotely in the same class as Reddick & Desmond, and Boone is definitely not an upgrade over Brett).
Mike Green - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#335023) #
Boone is definitely not an upgrade over Brett'

Speaking of playing with names!

Are we sure that Logan Morrison and Justin Smoak are not the same player?  I know that Smoak switch-hits, but I think that's just a clever ruse. It is cool to be able to rhyme LoMo with SloMo if you're going to rap while a close play at first base is being reviewed for 5 or 6 minutes. 
PeterG - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#335024) #
I think this is totally unrealistic. Do not see that increase in budget or any of the players being acquired by the Jays. Trading for Votto makes no sense imo I think we will see Jays targeting a couple of mid tier FA's. Jays will not surrender significant prospects in any trade. 2017 will be more about building than contending.
SK in NJ - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#335025) #
Votto is not going to happen. I'm pretty confident in saying that. The FO apparently offered Encarnacion a two year deal prior to this season and he's only 8 months older. They won't be taking on seven years of Votto, even if the Reds eat a bunch of money.

IMO, there are two avenues the Jays will take.

1) Find trades on par with Liriano (ex. short-term, inexpensive to acquire, etc).

2) Sign free agents to short-term contracts.

Now, #2 doesn't exclude bringing back Bautista, for example, if he is willing to sign a 1-2 year deal. However, it probably takes them out of the very small group of top free agents (Cespedes, Edwin). Maybe the FO surprises me and makes a real effort to sign Edwin since he likes playing there and might be willing to take a "hometown discount" to stay, but I'm not counting on it.

Looking at the FA list, I'm looking at names like Gomez, Holliday, Pearce, Moss, Pagan, Jackson, Beltran, Alvarez, etc, as possible targets. Short-term vets to bide time for prospects. I'm sure more names will pop up as non-tenders start to roll in, but those are the types of names I'm expecting as far as free agents.

The wild card will be trades. If they can acquire a player of value with years of control left, then maybe they'll move some prospect capital, but otherwise, I'm expecting a more value-driven off-season with holding on to young talent continuing to be a priority.
jerjapan - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#335026) #
If the FO is committed to finding value anywhere they can - which they have repeatedly said - than obviously a hometown discount from EE fits the bill perfectly.

Not sure how Rogers could possibly justify NOT raising the budget, given the enormous fan support of the past year and a half. Inflation plus massive revenue spike from two postseasons and great regular season attendance and national tv viewership = a better payroll. IMO, how much that spike will be is the question - not if there will be one. This aligns with comments from Shapiro himself.
85bluejay - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#335027) #
What the FO does will be greatly influenced by the budget that ownership provides - while the change in CEO at Rogers may suggest a status quo budget, Shapiro is Ed Rogers guy and he may want to help him banish the ghost of AA.
lexomatic - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#335028) #
I'm pretty sure EE has said no hometown discount, which may be true or negotiation. Either way, I wouldn't expect much.
AWeb - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#335029) #
Is there another team in the majors where an off-season spending binge makes more sense than the Jays? They have clear positional needs (1B, DH, LF, RF) that happen to match some of the better players available, they are in the "sweet spot" for free agent spending (in the 80-85 expected win range, probably), they lead the league in both attendance and tv ratings, they have no one ready to step in from the minors that you have to hold a 2017 spot for.

If the franchise can't justify spending on a few free agents whose contracts might not turn out well now, then barring a crazy billionaire buying the team and running it for fun like Detroit has had, it's never going to happen. You might not get a hometown discount from guys, but I bet you'll get a chance to outbid the other guys.
John Northey - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#335030) #
For the Jays a 'hometown discount' is the player willing to sign for the same years/dollars as they'd get elsewhere. Sad but true that many Americans have zero interest in playing in Canada. Once they get here they tend to love it but I remember way back in 1990 when the Jays tried to sign Storm Davis he went elsewhere (KC) because his wife was scared of all the French people up here (the Montreal Massacre happened during the free agent period and was all over the news - his wife couldn't comprehend that Montreal & Toronto are very far apart). Worked out for the Jays as he pitched poorly for KC (ERA+ in the 80's) and the Jays would win the WS during the period of his contract.
John Northey - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#335031) #
AWeb good points there.

If the Jays really want to go for it and not lose prospects for 2019 and beyond then this might be the best winter to sign Encarnacion (4-5 year deal $20-25 per year) and Cepedes (5 year $25-30 per) to fill two of the 4 holes. Then hope a mix of Smoak/Carrera/Upton/Pompey/Tellez/minor signings will fill the other 2 spots.

I suspect Carrera/Upton will fill an OF corner and Smoak will be at 1B or DH with Tellez getting a shot to win it in spring (which he won't) then watched closely in season to have a shot mid-year for it (far more likely). Pompey will be ready for an injury and will be given every chance to win a spot in the spring but most likely will be up and down like a yo-yo whenever an injury happens. Upton/Carrera are both good 4th OF'ers but I don't see the Jays having 5 OF on the team so either they share an OF slot or one has to go. Other prospects will be given lots of play time in spring to impress or not the coaches then if they have a good year can slip into the mix too.

If the Jays find free agents won't sign then doing a minimal prospects for players/contracts will happen around December or January. I expect any major free agent signing would happen right away ala Happ last year who signed in late November. By Christmas we'll know if the Jays have the budget a team leading in attendance and TV viewership should have or not. I expect the contracts that will look the best in a year are the ones signed in November. Deals signed in January will probably be higher priced and look bad in a few years.

I do wonder if the current front office is big on Japan or Cuba. There are some good Cuban players who are pure free agents out there this year who could fill holes. I'm sure there are some Japanese ones too.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#335032) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet looks at some outside-the-box solutions for the Jays this off-season. He suggests the Jays slow play the 1B-DH market and look for versatile players for starters.
Nigel - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#335033) #
I really think that the offseason expectations need to be viewed from the lens of who owns the team. Rogers isn't interested in going for it, they're interested in making the most money as a broadcasting/entertainment company. They will have a calculus for what produces those results. I have long believed that that calculus says to build a 78-84 expected win team every year and if things happen to break well to put the team in the playoffs then that is gravy on the plan. I believe the number one direction from the head office is to avoid a period of rebuild. I suspect that current management's view is that AA's emptying of the upper levels of the farm but them at some risk of a two or three year downturn. I expect a small budget increase and cost effective stopgap solutions. If they take on risk I suspect it would be with a reallocation of assets. Trade a starter for a young position player or trade Osuna + for a Schwarber type of deal.
Parker - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#335034) #
Not that I'm seriously advocating for Votto, but the comparisons between Votto and Encarnacion seem utterly absurd. You're comparing a career 157 OPS to a career 124 OPS.

Even if you leave out the years where Encarnacion wasn't an elite hitter, you've got Encarnacion with 5 years worth of 146 OPS and Votto with 8 years of 159 OPS.

Votto is much, much better, and he's been much better for almost twice as long. And he's a year younger.

Again, I'm not advocating for acquiring Votto unless Cincy is willing to eat some money and doesn't want a giant prospect haul. And it's unlikely they're okay with either one of those conditions, so Votto probably never wears a Jays uniform. But making comparisons to what Votto would cost and what Encarnacion would cost seems insane, because they're not at all comparable players.
uglyone - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#335035) #
Its not really about Votto being better. Sure he is. Not a huge amount, but better.

They are both good slugging first baseman, born 9 months apart, but Votto's contract is much bigger than what EE will get, and he will cost tradeable assets to get as well.

IMO it makes no sense to think that this front office would be interested in trading for Votto, but not in signing EE.





uglyone - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#335036) #
"Is there another team in the majors where an off-season spending binge makes more sense than the Jays? They have clear positional needs (1B, DH, LF, RF) that happen to match some of the better players available, they are in the "sweet spot" for free agent spending (in the 80-85 expected win range, probably), they lead the league in both attendance and tv ratings, they have no one ready to step in from the minors that you have to hold a 2017 spot for."


agreed with all of this.
Mike Green - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#335037) #
Comparing Votto and Encarnacion isn't quite as easy as one might think.  You've got difference in level of competition to take into account, and the weird defensive situation.  Votto was a good defensive first baseman until last year, and was bad last year.  Encarnacion was a poor defensive first baseman prior to last year and was pretty decent (and a lot better than Votto) last year.  It takes a lot to whittle away 70-80 points of OBP, but it might be a lot closer than first appears if you make the strength of schedule adjustment and if the relative change in their defensive abilities has some staying power. 
eudaimon - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#335038) #
Yeah I can't see this front office trading for Votto. They would have to give up some prospects to get the Reds to pay enough of the contract to not make the acquisition terrifying, when they could just sign EE (for no prospects) to a probably fairly reasonable price and a less risky 4-5 year deal.

I could see AA making a trade for Votto, but Shapkins is a bit more conservative. Which is fair to be honest when considering Votto is 33 and coming from a NL hitters park.

85bluejay - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#335039) #
Won't surprise me if Kendry Morales on a 2/26 deal is the DH - short contract/switch hitter/ no compensation required.
Parker - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#335040) #
For the record, I wouldn't want Encarnacion back or Votto brought in by trade, given what either of them would cost the Jays (barring a giant hometown discount that Encarnacion won't sign for, or a bunch of salary-eating by the Reds which they won't agree to, even if Votto does waive his no-trade clause.)

I'd wager that the people who will cry about the Jays not spending what it takes to bring back Encarnacion or Bautista or trading for Votto this year would be the same ones crying that the Jays can't afford any home-grown talent in two or three years if they did. Decisions like these are made by looking more than a year or two ahead. The Jays aren't going to have a $280M payroll, ever. And they don't NEED to have one.
jerjapan - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#335041) #
I think it was Jose that said no hometown discount in spring training, and obviously his bargaining position has changed.  But EE has talked about wanting to come back, and there was some talk of him taking a discount to stay before his big year.  We certainly are in an advantageous position with him relative to other teams.

Morales has averaged just over 1 WAR / season in his career, less than 1 WAR his last six years and makes Edwin look like Keith Hernandez at 1b.    We've already got Smoak for far less.

I strongly disagree with the meme that corporate-owned teams want mediocrity in their teams.  I can't remember who posted an article on the subject recently, but the takeaway was that there is 20 to 30 million dollars in revenue for a team simply making the playoffs.  You can make more money by fielding a better - and more expensive - team.  Not $280 million / year- that's an absurd number.  But our payroll should go up a reasonable amount this year, and if it doesn't (and there are no mitigating reasons as to why) than fans have a right to be peeved - and hopefully spend less on the team. 

Like AWeb said, we are in the sweet spot for spending - reasonable spending, but spending nonetheless. 

Anyone have names of some intriguing Japanese / Korean players that might fit here?  There's been real value there for years, particularly in the pen.

scottt - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#335042) #
I would be surprised if they spend much on the pen. It's the easier position to upgrade during the season.
They do need a lefty to replace Cecil, but beyond that, Tepera, Barnes and Smith could rotate through 2 spots.
Is Gavin Floyd still trying for another comeback? For another million, I'd give him another shot.

rafael - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#335043) #
Jae-Gyun Hwang from Korea. position player (decent outfielder I recall reading somewhere).
great slash line
http://www.todaysknuckleball.com/around-the-diamonds/jae-gyun-hwang-koreas-next-position-player-import/

Then theres our own old Eric Thames knocking the cover off in Korea last two years.
greenfrog - Friday, November 04 2016 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#335044) #
The weak Canadian dollar is likely going to constrain any payroll increase for 2017.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 02:20 AM EDT (#335045) #
It amazes me that some on here think Votto is unrealistic or silly to acquire. The team just been to the ALCS two years in a row, and led the league in attendance. Yes, Rogers is still Rogers, but from every conceivable angle (ticket sales, marketing, timing, etc) this is a slam dunk. I agree with AWeb, the timing has never been better. The Reds are pretty clearly in sell off mode, and right now would probably be pretty happy to let him go for minimal return, and just the salary relief. I compare it a lot to the Russell Martin signing, where more intangible factors played into the decision to sign him.


dan gordon - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 03:16 AM EDT (#335046) #
For those who haven't seen it, there's a great summary of this year's 111 free agents, with some player evaluation and likely contract estimates at Rotoworld. They're estimating EE at 4 years, $90 million and they say Bautista should only get 2 years, but some team will probably go 3 years, around $22-24 million per.

Count me in the NO camp on Votto, unless the Reds eat a big chunk of the contract. A minimum of $179 million over 7 seasons from age 33 to 39 - that's a potential albatross that could hamper the team's ability to sign other players for a long time, having a huge money first baseman in the decline phase of his career. Maybe he'll be one of the rare guys who hits well in his late 30's but the odds are he won't. Unless Rogers decides to pump a lot more coin into the team, I'd stay away.
scottt - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#335047) #
I don't think Shapiro cares about Canadian players and Martin is still on the team and just had a down season.
lexomatic - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#335048) #
He was 7/8 for as qualified for batting title and 12 overall if you reduce minimum to 100 PA. He had a down year, a disappointing year... But do did catchers add a whole. This was Martin affected by injury for most of the year, and he was still top third of catchers. Let's stop all the talk of Martin having a bad year.

Sorry value was using fangraphs leader board.


Chuck - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#335049) #
Let's stop all the talk of Martin having a bad year.

Let's just say it was an expensive 1-2 WAR that he delivered. And his price is only going up, costing the team $20M per year for the next 3 years.

As for being injured, he's a catcher in his 30s. He will always be injured to one extent or another.

bpoz - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#335050) #
An expensive 1B on a long contract may block Tellez. Tellez has to earn his spot. He also has to be protected after the 2017 season.

A lot depends on how he performs. He will definitely be cheap. He could also be very good. If so then you have to move the 1B acquired.
jerjapan - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#335051) #
The Martin contract still seems like a great signing IMO.  1.9 fWAR, 3.2 bWARP, this year, his worst offensive season since 2009.  If you think it inevitable that he gets worse after this year, he might not be worth the deal, but he only has to generate $40 million in value in the next three years to have been worth the contract. 

Older catchers age poorly, sure, but he's only 33 and I'm not writing an obit till we see two + years of decline consecutively - he averaged over 4 fWAR his three seasons prior to this.

Tellez is another reason not to make a play for Votto, and while I'm hopeful that Vald Jr. sticks at 3b, many see him at 1st as well. 

Although Votto seems to be DH only at this point given his glove.  7-8 more years for a DH?  why limit your flexibility like that?   agreed that the Reds would have to take pennies on the dollar to make it worthwhile for us - would they want him gone that badly?  he has more value as a Red than a Jay IMO.

Hwang is interesting - that gif of his homer to CF is impressive - but according to that article he has mediocre D at 3b and may not fit here unless he can learn LF / 1b.
perlhack - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#335053) #
In other (unsurprising) news, the Phillies bought out the contract of Ryan Howard for $10 million, leaving them with just one player under contract for 2017. Somebody has a little spending money this offseason.
bpoz - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#335054) #
Right jerjapan. Tellez and Vlad Jr give us 2 potential big sluggers. We will need a lot of good talent.

NYY and the Red Sox are going to become the beasts of the East soon enough.
lexomatic - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#335055) #
Grilli's back.
I'm not too concerned for Martin next year. He's hitting the ball harder than he ever has... Even with the injury. A better backup could keep him fresher and even boost production. If he can cut down on the strikeouts and throw people out again and avoid being useless at the plate for any length of time I could easily see numbers better than 2015. I think he can do that as long as he's reasonably healthy ( per age and position). Expensive, but I'd rather him than most equally expensive catchers except for Posey.

China fan - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#335056) #
"....Let's just say it was an expensive 1-2 WAR that he delivered....."

I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that a catcher should be measured only by his offensive output.   The starting pitchers (especially the ones that Martin handled) had a great season, and I think Martin deserves a lot of credit for that.  I'm sure the expectation of his impact on the pitchers was a big part of the reason for the Jays decision to give him a long-term contract.  We saw it with Liriano's improvement as a Jay, too, for example.  As long as Martin's hitting contributes something, and as long as his lineup position is not a consistent sinkhole, he's worth keeping.  It's true that his hitting was abysmal in some parts of the season, but injuries contributed to that.  It's true that he is unlikely to have full health again at his age, but it's still quite possible that he can have better health than 2016 and better offensive production in the future.  That, combined with his handling of the pitchers, makes him valuable.
uglyone - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#335057) #
yeah it's hard to dismiss pitcher performance when evaluating martin. if it wasn't already impressive what the original starters were doing, you then had the remarkable liriano turnaround as an exclamation point.
scottt - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#335058) #
Although Votto seems to be DH only at this point given his glove.  7-8 more years for a DH?  why limit your flexibility like that?   agreed that the Reds would have to take pennies on the dollar to make it worthwhile for us - would they want him gone that badly?  he has more value as a Red than a Jay IMO.

Not so because the Reds don't play with a DH.
He's not worth the money if he plays bad defense, so maybe they'll want to move him now while he still can hit.
scottt - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#335059) #
Considering pitching performance when evaluating Martin doesn't change my point.
He slumped pretty badly for extended periods and there was no alternative but to start him every day.
Shapiro will have that in mind when thinking about long expensive contracts for middle-aged stars.

Anyone wants to play over/under on the longest contract Shapiro sign this winter?
Last year was Happ for 3. Let's make that the threshold. Will they go 4?
I'm betting no.

Ideally they overpay a bit for Fowler or Reddick on a 3 year contract and sign somebody for 2 year  at DH.

jerjapan - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#335060) #
Not so because the Reds don't play with a DH.

ah thanks Scottt, hadn't realized that ....

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you aren't just playing 'gotcha' with that comment, but your point is kindof unclear - you want him at 1b here? 

the reds may or may may not want to move him, but I sure don't want him at any price less than free.  even for free, not sure he'd generate $179 million in value over the next seven years, even if he was worth nearly $40 million this past season. 


Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#335061) #
Ideally Russell Martin shouldn't play more than four games a week. That might keep him healthier longer as it reduces his load. Something about maximising your investment. That being said, your backup Catcher will be playing a minimum of 60-65 games (240-250 ABs) a year over the next three years.

Josh Thole (30, 6'1"205, Bats Left) has one final year of arbitration pending and should be very cheap. The Blue Jays have the best idea as to his suitability to the position. He might be good enough. Dioner Navarro (32, 5'9"215, Switch Hitter) is a Free Agent and might cost more than the Jays are willing to pay. He's worse than Thole defensively. The decision on who the Jays want might come fast as good enough Backup Catchers are not a plentiful resource.
lexomatic - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#335062) #
At this point, any offensive ability Thole had left with the league switch and concussion 4(?) years ago. He has nothing to offer that can't be had for cheaper. I'd also like to finally end the Navarro relationship. I don't think he's a reliable enough bat to make up for his terrible defense.
cybercavalier - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#335063) #
Richard S. S. wants the backup catcher to be playing:
1) minimum 60-65 games, 250 ABs
2) left handed bat

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/2017-major-league-free-agents/

From this BA's MLB FA 2017 list, is Alex Avila going to fit?
He is a LHB; his 186wRC+ in Triple A means he is too good for that level but a 30PA sample size can be taken as too small. His 2016MLB as a WhiteSox showed a 104wRC -- is that good enough for a backup. His 37.3% SO ratio is gonna be too high for a starting catcher but he would not be starting. In 2016 he had 209 MLBPA: stretching him another 100 PA to just less than 300PA shall not be an issue. Given his 2.5M contract in 2016, can he be signed with more or less the same price in 2017?
A surprise may also be in him: he is stepping into age 30 in 2017. Catchers may come out of nowhere to perform well above career performance since age 30. Former Jays Erik Kratz became known in the Phillies in age 30-32.
Not to mention, it is about time to let A.J. Jimenez swim north to Toronto and elsewhere.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#335064) #
Rowdy Tellez (1B/DH, 21, 6'4"220, Bats Left) will be at Spring Training in 2017. He might be called up early due to injury, but I expect him at the Start of 2018. I don't know if you can keep him down any longer, like 2019. How they Jays evaluate him will show in who they acquire.
cybercavalier - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#335065) #
Although the following is tiny comparing to 1B and C situations, is it about time to let Cola survive by himself: if he decides to stay within the organization, fine. If no, fine also.

From that BA 2017MLBFA list, 3B/2B/1B former Jays is just half a year older than Cola. If a backup RHB IF such as Cola is needed, why not try a former all-star. Hill can provide backup to three positions, including Donaldson the "cornerstone".
Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#335066) #
Richard Urena (SS, 20, 6'0"185, Switch Hitter) will be at Spring Training in 2017. He might also be called up early due to injury, but I expect him at the Start of 2018 or possibly mid-season 2018. I don't know if you can keep him down any longer, like 2019.

Troy Tulowitzki (SS, 32, 6'3"204, Bats Right) is under contract until 2020 and possibly 2021. I fully expect him to be an effective Short Stop another three years and possibly four.

Ryan Goins (INF/LF, 28, 5'10"180, Bats Left) is under contract (final pre-arb year) until 2020. Is he still good enough to be on the Team or do the Jays want to be better?

Darwin Barney (INF, 31, 5'10"180, Bats Right) is under contract (final Arby year) for one more year. Is he still good enough to be on the Team or do the Jays want to be better?

It might be premature but Short Stop becomes a problem when Urena's ready. Should we worry now?
cybercavalier - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#335067) #
Hechavarria was noted as a good shortstop prospect: he cannot hit enough MLB pitching in 2016. At the moment, Barney could be an asset to team like the Marlins who wants an economical, satisfactory performance at shortstop. Getting assets from the Marlins say Hechavarria back, and package with Jays assets for trade, say to th Reds for Votto.

Then let RHB Hech and LHB Goins determine themselves -- one in Toronto, one in Buffalo, who wins the duty of Barney.

Is shortstop prospect too unpredictable for career performance ?

Typo for my last post: Aaron Hill replacing Cola
John Northey - Saturday, November 05 2016 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#335068) #
If Urena becomes a problem due to deserving a shot but is blocked by a potential HOFer like Tulowitzki then that is a very good problem to have. Given Urena is only 20 and has a total of 30 games in AA he won't be an issue until 2018 at the earliest. This is the type of problem teams dream of. Shortstops can play any position on the field outside of catching without looking bad (potentially) thus if necessary a position shift for a year or two can be done (like the Jays did with Manny Lee in the 80's then he was the everyday SS for the 92 WS winners).

Goins is a spare part. He is a nice to have but hardly mandatory. If he is lost in a trade or due to running out of options then so be it.

Barney is better than Goins but not great. Like Goins he is a very good backup but if lost wouldn't be a killer.

Right now I'd say SS is the furthest thing from the Jays worry bin. You have an ideal situation. A Star in the majors, 2 good backups in the majors, a young potential star in AA (thus could jump to the majors quickly or be kept down for a couple more years). Ideally the Jays would get a couple more top prospects in low A ball to start climbing and potentially be future Goins/Barney types or potential starters at SS or 2B or 3B.
dan gordon - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 01:21 AM EST (#335069) #
Saw on Rotoworld that Jon Heyman is reporting that the Jays will not offer Saunders a qualifying offer, will offer EE and Bautista QO's and are "ambivalent" about retaining Bautista. Will focus on keeping Encarnacion instead.
scottt - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 09:30 AM EST (#335072) #
No surprises. At this point Bautista might be looking for a 4 year deal.
bpoz - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 09:32 AM EST (#335073) #
The bigger the payroll, the less patience ownership has with the team's FO.

Agree or not?

So for example $ 90 mil will get you more patience. $150 mil will get you very little.

AA wins in 2012 and 2013 was in the 70s. Big payroll in 2013.
cybercavalier - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 01:13 PM EST (#335074) #
A question about buying low selling high:

Hechavarria's below average offense is his weakness. In Toronto, Tulo carries the duty of an All-Star shortstop: so there is no urgent need at the position. Barney was emerging as a super-sub, and a potential starter if looked at positively. Is now about time to sell high on Barney to the Marlins in exchange of Hechavarria ? Improvement in Barney's hitting is gonna be help in the National League while the Jays could afford rotating RHB Hechavarria and LHB Goins at backup IF and occasional OF, depending on their hitting.
uglyone - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 04:13 PM EST (#335077) #
I donít see the need. Barney is probably better than Hech and only a couple years older.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 04:29 PM EST (#335078) #
Roberto Osuna needs a lot of help in his bullpen. Ideally, the Postseason showed the Jays need at least one more of him. Those guys tend to get expensive whether as a Free Agent signing or as a Trade acquisition. How many assets will get traded and for whom are solely up to the Jays' Brain Trust. How much they can spend will only be known when the spending stops.

Estimates:
Backup Catcher costs: $2.5 - $3.5 Million.
Top Reliever(s) costs: $10.0 - $12.5 Million.
Quality Reliever(s) costs: $6.0 - $8.0 Million.
One Big Bat costs: $22.5 - $30.0 Million.
One Leadoff Hitter costs: $15.0 -$17.5 Million.
Another Quality Bat costs: $12.5 -$15.0 Million.
The rest of the needs will be filled in-house.
Potential costs: $68.5 - $86.5 Million.

Presently the Jays are at 112.0 Million (Stroman inc.). Luxury Tax occurs somewhere after $186.0 Million.
John Northey - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 07:56 PM EST (#335081) #
I can't see the Jays blowing $16-20 million on 2 relievers this winter. $10-$14 maybe but unlikely. Most likely they'll do the usual signing of decent arms who have issues and try to make them work.

I'd love to see them get a bat worth $20-30 million but don't expect it.

Quality leadoff hitter in addition to 2 bats? No, not gonna happen.

As to luxury tax it'll be reset to a new figure for 2017 and beyond via the new contract - whenever it is decided. Players union will push for it to be a Dodgers tax for the next few years until the Yankees go nuts again. So $200 mil next year, climbing to $250 I expect in 5 years. We might see a mid-range tax show up for $150 to $200 range. Don't expect it, but could happen.

I expect the Jays to blow $20-30 mil on a hitter (be it EE or trading for someone), then a batch of decent hitters with issues being invited to spring. My perfect world is signing Cespedes and EE then still having the budget to get some decent relievers from Japan.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 06 2016 @ 09:46 PM EST (#335087) #
Dexter Fowler (CF, 30, 6'5"195, Switch Hitter) earned $8.0 Million with the Cubs last year and $9.5 Million with the Cubs the year before. He was their leadoff hitter. He might sign for in the $12.5 - $15.0 Million range.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 03:10 AM EST (#335093) #
Give Aroldis Chapman (28, 6'4"215, LHP) $12.5 Million a year over 6 years as backup for Osuna. TOTAL SPEND: $12.5 Million.
If the Blue Jays can work out a deal to acquire Joey Votto (33, 6'2"220, Bats Left) and have Cincinnati pay $5.0 Million a year, then $17.0 (2017), $20.0 (18-23) for 1B, then DH. TOTAL SPEND: $29.5 Million.
Give Alex Avila (29, 5'11"210, Bats Left) $2.75 Million a year over 4 years as backup Catcher. TOTAL SPEND: $32.25 Million.
Give Dexter Fowler (30, 6'5"195, Switch Hitter) $12.5 Million a year over 4 years (CF/RF & Leadoff Hitter). TOTAL SPEND: $44.75 Million.
Re-sign Brett Cecil (30, 6'3"235, LHP) $10.0 Million ($3.0 now) over 3 years. TOTAL SPEND: $49.75 Million.
Then see what Michael Saunders (29,6'4"230, Bats Left) wants?
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 04:32 AM EST (#335094) #
Make the TOTAL SPEND after Brett Cecil to be $47.75 and not $49.75. Thank You, my mistake.
lexomatic - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 07:08 AM EST (#335095) #
That is a ton of money and a ton of years for a closer.
I also don't get your Votto math.
I think your backup catcher you don't need to give a 4 year deal, or are we trading both or Pentecost and McGuire?

Jonny German - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 08:20 AM EST (#335097) #
That is a ton of money and a ton of years for a closer.

The key is that Chapman is to be the backup, behind Osuna. And he's a real charmer too. Will he be able to bring his guns over the border?
Mike Green - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 08:49 AM EST (#335099) #
Today's birthday boy is The Only Nolan.  He was a character befitting his name.
jerjapan - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 09:04 AM EST (#335100) #
Chapman's crime was terrible, but I feel that more important is his attitude now, and going forward.  Everyone makes mistakes and deserves a chance at retribution, even if there mistakes are vile.  But can you actually judge his sincerity about making amends?  I'm fine with a front office that decides you can't, and I'm fine with one that, after due diligence, decides that he's a changed man. 

What I don't like is the thought of a FO targetting players like Chapman specifically because their value is diminished because of their past.

A relief ace would be a wonderful weapon, but with so few available, I could see us priced out of their market.  Perhaps a better goal would be to target someone with potential for the role who hasn't yet established themselves at the elite level?  I think Osuna could and should serve that role for us - any other young pitchers we should target?  I'd be pretty happy to get Melancon as well, if his market isn't too crazy.  

rpriske - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 09:16 AM EST (#335102) #
Chapman won't sign to be a set-up guy for Osuna.

4-years is way too long for a back-up catcher.

DO NOT RE-SIGN BRET CECIL. He is way to streaky to be reliable.



Mike Green - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 09:29 AM EST (#335103) #
DO NOT RE-SIGN BRET CECIL

Not sure how the mis-spelling of his first name comes across when shouting.  It's important to get it right because he has a useful name for one of those strings

Christopher George Brett Cecil Travis Jackson Todd...
jerjapan - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 10:02 AM EST (#335104) #
I'd love to get Cecil back actually, I feel his market value is artificially low right now due to SSS.

Chapman could easily sign to be a relief ace - I think Miller changed the game in how this role is valued. 

Than again, Chapman might be stuck on the save.  If we did sign Chapman (purely hypothetical - I give this almost no chance) - we'd could have two relief aces.  One guy could handle multiple innings and the other gets the save, depending on matchups and workload.

James W - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 10:24 AM EST (#335105) #
Give Dexter Fowler (30, 6'5"195, Switch Hitter) $12.5 Million a year over 4 years (CF/RF & Leadoff Hitter).

What's the relevance of including a player's listed (and often inaccurate) height/weight?

Aside from that, while you're willing to offer Fowler $12.5 million per year, he'll be signing a deal for at least $20 million per year.
PeterG - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 10:51 AM EST (#335106) #
As Fowler will be receiving a QO, I highly doubt the Jays will have any interest in signing him. Might be interested in John Jay, however. Would consider Coco Crisp on a one year deal.
MrPurple - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 12:32 PM EST (#335108) #
I would't worry about Votto blocking Tellez, if we get Votto I'd assume Tellez would be part of the price.
PeterG - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 12:43 PM EST (#335109) #
Jays are not trading for Votto. Some people are dreaming in technicolour. It is the worst contract in MLB. That kind of contract and Shapiro is about as close to oil and water as it is possible to get. Any 1b/DH will be signed to a one year or one year with option contract while we wait for Tellez. There are many of these types available in free agency.
jerjapan - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 01:07 PM EST (#335110) #
Cincinnatti would have to include a huge chunk of cash if Telez were part of the price.

I'm not sure if the Reds wouldn't just give the full contract away to anyone willing to pay it, frankly.

bpoz - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 01:09 PM EST (#335111) #
If Sanchez and Stroman are good. Sanchez has already had an incredible year then they will eventually have to be paid accordingly.

1 and 2 years left on a few good veterans Happ, Estrada and Josh D means that replacing them soon is something that the FO will have to do.

2016 payroll has 2 values. The actual cost $150-160 mil and the value provided by the total contribution.

Then there is Tulo and Martin in 2016 and going forward. It will be hard for them to provide more value than their cost. This paragraph is out of place. Sorry. I do not know how to move it. If I try I will lose this post.

So F Morales provides a value of zero. Osuna, JD and so many others provide a lot more value. J Donaldson may have provided triple value for all I know.

I think this is very important.

This FO values backup players IMO. Hutch was a #6 SP. To me that is a Wow. Of course he was cheap.
cybercavalier - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 03:22 PM EST (#335116) #
Although I agree with the price, four years for a backup catcher is a very long contract: Navarro as a starting catcher signed for 2 years before Martin arrived.

Barney is better than Hech now, but is Barney extra Jays' asset now ? Why not trade him to teams need more than a backup shortstop for more asset: Can Hech's weak hitting be tweaked for the better ?
Chuck - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 04:11 PM EST (#335117) #
Christopher George Brett Cecil Travis Jackson Todd...

...Walker Texas Ranger Nolan Ryan Nolan Reimold Judge Reinhold Judge Judy Tenuta Bobana Fofana...

Not sure, but I may have wrecked the pattern just a little bit.

Mike Green - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 04:25 PM EST (#335118) #
Todd Walker Cooper or Todd Williams Suero is as far as I can go.  On the other side, it would be Gene Michael Allen Russell Christopher.  Needless to say, Amos Otis was one of my favourite ballplayers. 
scottt - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 06:08 PM EST (#335119) #
1 and 2 years left on a few good veterans Happ, Estrada and Josh D means that replacing them soon is something that the FO will have to do.

It's too early to tell, but Estrada is still worth a QO. We'll have to see what he and Liriano do in 2017.

I mean, Baltimore has to pay Wade Miley 8M next year, Jimenez 13.5M, Gallardo 11M and Tillman probably over 8M.
The Jays are fine.
bpoz - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 06:38 PM EST (#335120) #
How good does Estrada have to be in 2017 to get a QO. He will either earn it or not.
dan gordon - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 07:50 PM EST (#335121) #
So qualifying offers were given to Encarnacion, Bautista, Cespedes, Walker, Jansen, Turner, Fowler, Desmond, Hellickson and Trumbo. I would think Hellickson and Walker are the most likely to accept, maybe Desmond. Some significant players who didn't get a QO include Napoli, K. Morales, W. Ramos, Saunders, and Wieters, who accepted a QO last year.
jerjapan - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 08:06 PM EST (#335122) #
Ramos is the only surprise either way IMO.  maaaybe Hellickson doesn't accept, but Desmond and Walker are the new price of doing business.

None of Napoli, Morales,Saunders or Weiters are even close to a QO, although I would absolutely have offered Weiters one last year. 

Mike Green - Monday, November 07 2016 @ 08:17 PM EST (#335123) #
The decision to give Trumbo a qualifying offer is interesting.  He's not worth $17 million as an outfielder, and probably not as a 1B/DH unless salaries are up substantially next year. 
scottt - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 07:01 AM EST (#335125) #
Wieters was worth about 1 WAR in 2015 and took the QO. Trumbo can produce at least twice that but the salaries are comparable. Trumbo was able to produce more, but just because he took over the DH role. Had he started all those games at RF, his WAR would have been much lower.

Given his low OBP, he might be better off taking the QO.

Glevin - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 10:23 AM EST (#335128) #
"The decision to give Trumbo a qualifying offer is interesting. He's not worth $17 million as an outfielder, and probably not as a 1B/DH unless salaries are up substantially next year."

How much worse (if at all) would you expect Trumbo to be than Bautista over the next 3, 4 years? He was better this year and is six years younger. Anyway, people look at WAR too closely when it comes to player values but teams don't value WAR equally. Hitters will get paid more than fielders. Kevin Pillar and Ryan Braun would not get remotely similar contracts despite having the same WAR last season and Pillar being younger, etc...

Jerjapan, Ramos is a catcher who is out half the year with a knee injury (and a long injury history). Not close to getting a QO.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 10:38 AM EST (#335129) #
A QO is not about 3-4 year performance.  It's about 1 year.  Trumbo's career wRC+ is 111 (and this is consistent with his performance over the last 3 years), and he turns 31 in January.   Bautista had the worst year in many last year and had a wRC+ of 122.  If you make him a DH, I think that he would be a significantly better hitter than Trumbo and a little less durable. 

Trumbo falls between Saunders and Bautista, and frankly a little closer to Saunders, in my opinion. 

jerjapan - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 11:14 AM EST (#335130) #
Thanks Mike, I'd missed Ramos' injury.

I'm curious as to what you mean when you say people look at WAR too closely when it comes to player values? I fear I'm guilty - what do you recommend to balance this?
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 11:57 AM EST (#335132) #
I'd love to take the credit for that, but it was Glevin who pointed out Ramos' injury. 

And as for the comment that teams treat the defensive component of WAR differently from offence, that's true.  Defensive statistics over a single year are not very predictive at all, and defensive ability can change more rapidly than offensive ability at certain positions particularly.  Teams are, however, now well aware of OBP, and defensive position and ability.  That is why Trumbo has been an average or worse player each year of the past 3 despite hitting all those homers.  He's a lesser player than Joe Carter was at the end of 1993. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 12:07 PM EST (#335133) #
Speaking of Joe Carter, I just noticed on his BBRef page an amazing -29 defensively at age 30.  The story was that the Padres left him in centerfield way, way too long.  He didn't hit either and ended up with a -1.8 WAR for the year, but finished 17th in the MVP award voting because he had 24 homers and 115 RBIs.  It was 1990 and sabermetrics was, at that point, exotic. 
Parker - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 01:41 PM EST (#335135) #
I noticed that a while back as well, and I was amazed that a player worth almost two wins BELOW replacement could get any MVP votes. That's got to be one of the most overrated seasons in the history of baseball...
uglyone - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 03:04 PM EST (#335136) #
"runs win games" - Buck'n'Pat
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 04:16 PM EST (#335139) #
some quick thoughts -
C Avila, Conger, Soto, or Castro could be cheap not be black holes in the case of injury. I worry that get better opportunities for playing time.
Platoon OF options who could be cheap and useful Matt Joyce,Jon Jay ( not my top choice with the singles power) drew stubs is he Colorado only good?
Chris Coghlan UT 2b3b LF RF. Not a ton of upside but lots of versatility.
Would you go more than an NRI and incentives for Josh Hamilton? I dunno.




Mike Green - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 04:57 PM EST (#335141) #
Hall of Names for today....I put in Clinton and Trump into BBRef.  There were two Clintons, Lou and Jim.  Lou was an outfielder with the Red Sox in the early 60s and had one big year at age 24 in 1962.  Jim was a 19th century player who did a bit of everything for over a decade.  Trump gave one entry: Jon Trumpbour Matlack, the fine pitcher of the 70s and early 80s with the Mets and Rangers. 
Gerry - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 05:19 PM EST (#335143) #
Young Jays draftee Cam O'Brien is suspended for 50 games for amphetamine use.
scottt - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 06:19 PM EST (#335144) #
OPS+ 85 and 124 RBI means a lot of clutch hitting.

That might sound pretty valuable if you watch all the games.

Parker - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 06:55 PM EST (#335145) #
Man, you have to love the Cardinals organization. Here's a guy with a 135 OPS+ over the last two seasons who is told straight-out that he is going to be moving from third base to first base. All Matt Carpenter has done is hit for the Cards, but this organization doesn't let their baseball field be populated by good hitters who can't field their positions.

Yeah, there might be an argument made by the 500 section at Batter's Box that the Cards enjoy a farm system that the Jays would envy, one that produces ML talent to push bad fielders to the left on the defensive spectrum. Those same 500-level posters have advocated the strip-mining of the farm system to acquire other teams' free agent contracts, since the end result of that is that based on their data tables, the Blue Jays still have one of the best farm systems in baseball. They can produce their statistics to choke that point down anyone's throat, based on pure volume. And they continue to argue that the Jays have an above-average farm system despite never having any position players to step into positions lost when hitters leave for ugly free-agent contracts.
jerjapan - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 07:26 PM EST (#335146) #
well, the Jays have targeted - and developed - tons of pitching over the past 5 years, so I'd chalk the lack of position players up to strategy more than anything.  according to MLB's top prospects list, 6 of our top 10 prospects are position players, plus Dalton Pompey who's big-league ready IMO.  our pitching-heavy draft approach continued this year, but the hitters drafted have (aside from DJ Daniels) almost universally exceeded expectations.  I think it's pretty easy to call us a top 15 system right now. 

I do admire the Cards though - they have to be the gold-standard of organizations at the moment, don't they?

tough break for Charlie O'Briens kid - as an undrafted 24 year old in rookie ball, he was always a longshot, but he did have a nice pro debut with the bat.  I always hate seeing the 'recreational' drugs treated as severely as the PEDs.

cybercavalier - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 08:03 PM EST (#335147) #
About 1B platoon, would the Jays want Justin Morneau before he retires ?

Richard S.S. wants a LHB backup catcher: Avila, Castro and Conger fit that choice. Does having a Latin American backup catcher -- Avila -- help pitcher performance simply because of better communication ? All three catchers choices are about age 29 so they may surprise in breaking out of nowhere.

For backup OF and IF, reliability IMO is the most important asset. More backup fielders can be stacked in Buffalo or traded for. If cheap platoon option is preferred, an OF or UT is better to take some pressure off Goins who can then concentrate on batting. Barney, IMO, would then be redundant but valuable backup asset, which can then be traded for unrealized prospects: Hechavarria or the JoeyBats version before Toronto: 15 HR batter. Use Buffalo's roster to stock up some IF OF for tweaking. For interest, could Hechavarria's batting be tweaked for the better ?

James W - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 08:07 PM EST (#335148) #
Are you serious with this 500 section bullspit?
Parker - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 08:30 PM EST (#335149) #
Well, certain 500-section fans at Rogers Centre seem to produce an exponential level of offensive drunken behavior compared to what they pay for their baseball tickets.

Certain 500-section posters at Batter's Box seem to produce an exponential level of statistical diarrhea compared to what they pay for their baseball tickets, or even what they pay for their internet access.

It's maybe not the best analogy, but I feel it has a certain accuracy to it.
jerjapan - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 09:08 PM EST (#335150) #
no need to double down on your trolling man.  we heard you the first time.



Cracka - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 09:49 PM EST (#335151) #
Kiermaier wins the AL CF Gold Glove over Pillar and I think this is ridiculous. Both players are great -- and defensive metrics suggest Kiermaier is the better of the two -- but Kiermaier only started 102 games and only finished 94 of those. Pillar started 143 and finished 141. Those extra 40+ games of flying around and making highlight reel catches (and both players had many) should have been a bigger factor in the voting.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, November 08 2016 @ 11:04 PM EST (#335152) #
I do not understand the funny or offensive meaning of previous posts from other posters. Please explain if the posts are directed towards me. I was merely suggesting some ideas, that were all. I do not want to be involved with heated discussion.

Let us wait how EE and JB scenario unveil.
Glevin - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 02:40 AM EST (#335153) #
Pillar should have won but I find it harder and harder to get worked up over awards, especially gold gloves which are awarded to the wrong people all the time (I would guess probably more often than not).
uglyone - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 02:45 AM EST (#335154) #
they're directed at me, cyber. Parker is very very upset that I have been right about the quality of our team and our prospects, while he has been so wrong - so he keeps lashing out in frustration.

i'm just trying to figure out how parker went from the cards asking a player to change positions to the jays having no farm system. Doesn't make much sense...

....but I guess parker is just rattled that certain interweb prospecters he respects so much think the jays have a top 10 system, when parker has been so busy telling us silly stathead 500 level basement dwelling fans that our system is gutted and that we were too stupid to see it.

uglyone - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 02:51 AM EST (#335155) #
The best part of Parker's post was him praising the Cards for not putting up with bad defense from their star hitters. Because they are super professional or something.

When Matt Holliday has been a defensive disaster for at least a good 5 years, and they kept trotting him out there.

Reality and Parker don't mesh so well.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 03:26 AM EST (#335156) #
2 ALCS in a row, and John Manuel praising our top 10 farm system.

And Parker actually still tries to condescend, instead of apologize. It's impressive, really.
lexomatic - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 07:23 AM EST (#335157) #
I was confused by cards defense comment - they've been known to put as many 1B on the field add possible. Lots of OF conversion.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 08:15 AM EST (#335158) #
cybercavalier - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 02:00 PM EST (#335161) #
If the Jays wants a 1B stopgap, Justin Morneau could be a choice because he could have a shot getting to world series with the Jays. Essentially, his or Aaron Hill's role if either not both would be signed is that from Colabello's: pinch hitting PA and some defense. Given that Donaldson missed time during the season, getting batter(s) for power to play some combination of 3B/SS/2B/1B is prudent.

Barney is a supersub, trading him as a shortstop would actually help the team in the long run with returning asset: a mlbtr blog post shows that suggestions indicate the Marlins would be willing to move on from Hechavarria.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/07/trade-market-for-shortstops-5.html

However, another blog post indicates the Marlins would like a calibre of top starter like Chris Archer in return.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/07/rosenthals-latest-yankees-marlins-rays-rockies-braves.html
Even the Jays has a weak hitting, stellar defensive shortstop in Goins. Could the Jays get Archer-esque calibre in return? More realistically, would the Jays probe the Marlins for a Barney for Hechevarria trade ? Then Goins and Hech could take their time to improve hitting: the Jays just pick the better out of the two meanwhile make use of their IF defense. Worst scenario, both hitting would not improve: the Jays would have just lost Barney's service and whatever prospect(s) going the Marlins way, which would not be major to begin with. The tipping point is: can Goins and Heche's batting be improved satisfactorily for the shortstop position?
92-93 - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 05:09 PM EST (#335163) #
I have seasons tickets in both 524 and 115, so I particularly enjoy posts like Parker's, or the annual post we get shilling for Rogers ownership and demonizing anybody who dares to disagree.

You are entitled to an opinion on the Blue Jays, and are encouraged to share it here, regardless of how much money you do or don't spend on the team.
Parker - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 06:48 PM EST (#335165) #
I'm not sure if that was sarcastic or not, but I appreciate the support, 92-93.

I've always really enjoyed your posts, honestly. We think the same way for the most part, and when we don't, I have nothing but respect for our differences of opinion. Don't ever change, my friend. :)
scottt - Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 07:02 PM EST (#335166) #
tough break for Charlie O'Briens kid - as an undrafted 24 year old in rookie ball, he was always a longshot, but he did have a nice pro debut with the bat.  I always hate seeing the 'recreational' drugs treated as severely as the PEDs.

His brother also got 50 games. It's not really recreational, it enhances muscle strength and endurance.
It's not usually detectable past 24 hours, but the newer tests cant detect even after 4 days.
pubster - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 04:16 PM EST (#335192) #
I only went to two games the whole season. The home opener and the Wild Card game.

I know this sounds bad, but I just found with the dome being packed it was a lot more uncomfortable being there. I kind of prefer having 3-4 seats to myself so I have more space.

I had tickets to Jays v Rangers game 3 and watched from home instead. Tickets always in the 100 level.
pubster - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 04:21 PM EST (#335193) #
Parker, how often do you sit in the 500 level?
Parker - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 04:44 PM EST (#335194) #
Parker, how often do you sit in the 500 level?

I did once.
Chuck - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 05:16 PM EST (#335195) #
Dickey is a Brave. Is Thole far behind?
pubster - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 05:30 PM EST (#335196) #
I think I sat up there once too.

Never went back.
Parker - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 06:17 PM EST (#335197) #
I think I sat up there once too.

Never went back.


It wasn't that bad, actually. This was back in 2010 and the Yankees were in town. The old lady and I had great 100-level seats for Friday's game (6-1 Jays on an eight-inning gem by Cecil back when he was a starter, and 3 Jays homers - two from Bautista and one from Encarnacion. Burnett was the losing pitcher, which was AWESOME) but a bunch of friends and family wanted to see the Saturday game and I couldn't get enough seats together without moving to the 500's. I bought twelve seats but only eight of us made it, so at least we had a nice buffer zone. Jays finally took that one in 14 innings and we just barely made it to the airport in time.
cybercavalier - Thursday, November 10 2016 @ 10:26 PM EST (#335207) #
http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-league-free-agents-2016/#3cMi2EShmfDbZdZz.97

BA's minor league free agents of 2016

Former Jays Arencibia is on the list. Looking for backup catcher, maybe Alex Avila in Toronto and Arencibia in Buffalo. Conger, Soto would be available; I doubt any two of Avila, Conger or Soto would stay with Jays' organization as a backup if one would have been signed.
Cracka - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 01:11 PM EST (#335223) #
Blue Jays have signed Cuban IF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to a free agent contract -- he just turned 23 years old and thus isn't subject to our international bonus pool. Some considered him to be the top International Prospect available... from mlb.com (http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016?list=int):

"Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60

Gurriel was once considered the top prospect in Cuba, and now he's making his way toward fulfilling his big league dream. Gurriel was hitting .321 with eight home runs, 32 RBIs and a .924 OPS in 43 games for the Havana Industriales this season before defecting with his brother in February after the Caribbean Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. A good runner with a good glove, Lourdes is athletic enough play infield and outfield, which is part of his appeal to scouts. He's shown some power potential at the plate and is still honing his overall approach. Some evaluators believe Lourdes could be considered the top overall player in this year's class, because he has a shorter path to the Major Leagues due to his age and experience..."



Sounds like a great signing -- only "cost" is cash, not picks or pool amounts. Probably needs time in the minors but we've seen other Cuban players come and quickly transition to the big leagues. His versatility is huge given our current roster and prospects - can play SS, 3B, LF, RF, 2B... etc.
jerjapan - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 02:49 PM EST (#335234) #
Whoa ... that's a huge coup! 7 years, $22 million although per MLB Trade Rumours he may be arb-eligible.

Versatile and athletic, it sounds like he starts in AA to shake off the rust. His brother is already with the Astros and while he didn't dazzle in his debut, the future looks bright for both these guys.

It's about time we got into the Cuban market, and I love this move. He's easily a top ten prospect in our system without having played a game for us.
cybercavalier - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 03:49 PM EST (#335242) #

aarne13 - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 04:09 PM EST (#335246) #
Kendrys Morales 3/$33MM
Works for me.
King Ryan - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 04:19 PM EST (#335250) #
Goodbye Edwin. It's been fun. Take good care of the parrot.

I am a sad.
Gerry - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 04:39 PM EST (#335253) #
Gourriel makes the team younger and more athletic.

Morales, older and slower. If Smoak and Morales are the runners on second and third it might take a triple to score them.

Not much direction shown there from the FO.
johnny was - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 04:42 PM EST (#335254) #
MLBTR implies that the Morales signing means EE moves on, but he's been very good with the leather over the past two years and could probably do just fine now as an every day first baseman.  It would be better if Bautista were the odd man out.



bpoz - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 04:50 PM EST (#335256) #
This FO moves fast. I like it.
scottt - Friday, November 11 2016 @ 06:19 PM EST (#335266) #
The target was to become "more athletic, flexible and balanced in the batting order".

A left bat at DH fits perfectly. If they play a platoon, they can pinch run with an outfielder in late innings anyway.

A corner outfield with plus defense and a good OBP to hit in front of Donaldson would tick another mark.

cybercavalier - Saturday, November 12 2016 @ 04:20 PM EST (#335326) #
A corner outfield with plus defense and a good OBP to hit in front of Donaldson would tick another mark.

scottt's criteria:
1) plus defense
2) good OBP: A good OBP means above the average.
3) corner OF
4) hit in front of Donaldson: because Donaldson hits second or third. This hitter either leads off or hits second.

Using fansgraph's definitions and stats:
1) plus defense means Def rating > 0


2) http://www.fangraphs.com/library/offense/obp/
A good OBP is >.320

3) corner OF or OF per se can be restricted using fangraphs table tools.

After sorting out the fangraphs list of OFs for OBP>.320 and Def>0, those players on list can be compared to those on the BA list of MLB free agents. OFers who are on both lists are possible OF candidates for scottt.
cybercavalier - Monday, November 14 2016 @ 08:13 PM EST (#335418) #
replying to scottt

After sorting out, only one player satisfies fangraphs >.320 OBP, above zero def rating and plays corner outfield: RHB aged 39 Marlon Byrd.

quite a few free agent OF satisfy fangraph >.320 OBP, in order of descending OBPs;
1) LHB Matt Joyce
2) LHB Josh Reddick
3) L/L Jon Jay
4) L/R Michael Saunders
5) R/R Ian Desmond
6) B/R Angel Pagan
7) R/R Drew Stubbs
8) R/R Franklin Gutierrez
9) R/R Ricky Weeks Jr.

Obviously, Desmond and Weeks are converted IFs. From looking at fangraphs filtered stats alone, Josh Reddick seems like a buy low sell high chip that can be had for less price. Indeed a blog reports that the Jays is zooming in on Josh Reddick. A google news search on Josh Reddick shows that the Orioles and Cardinals possibly want him too.
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