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The winter meetings are being held this week in Washington. Steve Pearce is a Blue Jay. Mitch Moreland is not, yet.

Discuss.
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China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:53 AM EST (#336078) #
This is a really crude measure, but Pearce has an OPS of .833 over the past four seasons -- better than that of Jose Bautista last season.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:54 AM EST (#336079) #
Big fan of Pearce. Good signing and fair price. Now just have to hope he's healthy. He mashes lefties, but also hits righties well enough to play everyday as long as his body holds up. Very pleased with this move.
85bluejay - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:58 AM EST (#336080) #
Solid signing (if healthy) - Jays moved fast when it appears that EE's market is shrinking & hope amongst fans (looking at you my friend,uglyone) that he could return - pulled that 4/80 fast when it may have been accepted.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:59 AM EST (#336081) #
That's a good signing. Hits about as well as Morales, but plays all of 1B, LF, and RF at an average to above level.

the big risk here is injury, but that's my favorite x factor to take advantage of in terms of dropping the price.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:00 AM EST (#336082) #
Can anyone assess Pearce's defence for us? I know he has the flexibility to play at many positions -- he can even play 2B, which is nice if Travis is injured again -- but is he a liability at some of these positions? In the OF, is he a Saunders or Carrera type of defender, or is he much better than that?
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:05 AM EST (#336083) #
pulled that 4/80 fast when it may have been accepted.

The offer would have come off the table long ago, when it was rejected. According to press reports, EE's team was given a deadline weeks ago. They rejected the offer. The reason for the deadline is so the club can know whether it is time to move on. Players don't often get to say 'thanks for the offer, just keep it there in perpetuity while I see if I can do better somewhere else".
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:05 AM EST (#336084) #
Early analysis from the Toronto baseball writers is that Pearce will play mostly at 1B, which suggests that his OF defence is not too great. It also raises the question: is Justin Smoak increasingly surplus to requirements, if he wasn't already? Why did he get that contract?
cybercavalier - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:10 AM EST (#336086) #
Cecialini and Pompey both have over 500 ABs in AAA. Pompey 600+. Neither was a failure. So both should be considered ML ready..... meaning more AAA time will not improve development much. So IMO Upton and Carrera have locks on the 3rd and 4th OF spots.Upton is signed and Carrera was offered Arb. So if we add a 9th OF (40 man) he has to be better than everyone but Pillar.
Early analysis from the Toronto baseball writers is that Pearce will play mostly at 1B, which suggests that his OF defence is not too great.


The Jays already has 5 OFers plus Morales to cover 1B. Pearce would fit nicely in the lineup if he can start at 2B and be switched to another position, likely corner OF in late innings.
cybercavalier - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:16 AM EST (#336087) #
is Justin Smoak increasingly surplus to requirements, if he wasn't already? Why did he get that contract?

CF's tone suggests that Smoak is overpaid.
PeterG - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:17 AM EST (#336088) #
Pearce at 2nd? No way. Travis will be ready by ST.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:25 AM EST (#336089) #
"....Pearce at 2nd? No way...."

I was suggesting only that Pearce could be an emergency replacement at 2B, not a regular 2B of course.

Travis has been injured in each of the past 2 seasons, and Pearce played 15 games at 2B last season. He could play a few games at 2B if Travis has a minor injury.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:25 AM EST (#336090) #
Pearce is a good defensive 1B that can cover the OF. They could probably start him everyday and have him cover multiple positions depending on the match-up or who they want to start on that particular day, but his best position defensively appears to be 1B. With Smoak as his only competition (for now), there's no reason why he shouldn't be the starting 1B based on the current roster.

Again, he just has to stay healthy.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:26 AM EST (#336091) #
Pearce Career

Hit: 1857pa, 111wrc+ - 100wrc+ vRHP, 130wrc+ vLHP
1B: 1585.0in, +8.8uzr/150, +7.5drs/150
OF: 1511.1in, +1.2uzr/150, +9.8drs/150
WAR: 7.7fwar, 8.5bwar - 2.8war/650

Solid over his career, but that was with him being a replacement player to start. His last few years have been elite level performance interspersed with major injuries:

Pearce Last 3yrs

Hit: 1010pa, 131wrc+ - 125wrc+ vRHP, 145wrc+ vLHP
1B: 906.0in, +11.6uzr/150, +13.5drs/150
OF: 716.2in, +7.5uzr/150, +7.5drs/150
WAR: 7.3fwar, 7.8bwar - 4.9war/650

Though much of that was due to a huge 2014. In the 2yrs after that breakout performance:

Pearce 2yrs

Hit: 627pa, 113wrc+ - 113wrc+ v RHP, 113wrc+ vLHP
1B: 490.1in, +6.0uzr/150, +0.0drs/150
OF: 445.2in, -7.4uzr/150, -15.1drs/150
WAR: 2.4fwar, 1.9bwar - 2.2awar/650

But that's one good year and one bad year. Last year:

Pearce 2016

Hit: 302pa, 136wrc+ - 118wrc+ vRHP, 176wrc+ vLHP
1B: 278.0in. +5.2uzr/150, +9.7drs/150
OF: 84pa, -16.1uzr/150, -32.1uzr/150
WAR: 2.0fwar, 2.3bwar - +4.6war/650

and then the Steamer projection for this year:

Hit: 420pa, 111wrc+
Def: -0.3
WAR: 1.5fwar - 2.3fwar/650




There are signs that he may no longer be a great option defensively in the OF, but he should be an above average defensive 1B at least, and he should hit.

But injuries are a big deal, especially his most recent surgery which we don't know anything about how he will recover from. Medical staff better be on their game looking at his reports right now.


ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:34 AM EST (#336092) #
pulled that 4/80 fast when it may have been accepted.

It was pulled a long time ago when it was rejected. For obvious reasons the club doesn't leave an offer of that magnitude on the table in perpetuity, for the player to see if it can be bested while the club is hamstrung from moving forward.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:37 AM EST (#336093) #
A Fowler signing now would make for a nice offseason.

Fowler/Pearce/Morales in for EE/Joey/Saunders would be a nice bit of work.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:40 AM EST (#336094) #
The severity of the injury he had at the end of 2016 is really the key to this deal, and might have been a big reason why he signed for as little as he did (well, that and age). There might also be a "part-timer" stigma about him since he hasn't had a full season worth of plate appearances yet. The Jays are basically paying him to be a 1-1.5 WAR player over the life of the deal, and if he's healthy, he can probably exceed that in 2017 alone. Value-wise, it's really a great deal. The caveat with him will be his health, and that's always a risk.

Regardless, this news has to be a killer for Encarnacion. His market has really dried up.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:46 AM EST (#336095) #
At $6.25m/yr they're not even paying him for 1war/yr, actually.
Glevin - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:47 AM EST (#336096) #
Pearce was a very natural fit so good to see him signed. Pearce will mostly play 1B and maybe some DH but he can cover at OF and 2B and 3B in a pinch. He's a very useful player. It also almost certainly closes the books on Encarnacion. It seems to be only the Rangers who are really in on him now and he may not get as good a deal as the Jays offered. Jays now need a starting OFer and some lesser pieces (starting and bullpen depth, backup catcher, etc..) and they are done.

vw_fan17 - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:04 AM EST (#336097) #
Are "sign and trade" type of deals possible? For example, if the Jays signed EE to, say, 3/75, and then turned around and traded him to Texas for the equivalent of a 3rd round pick or some international cap space, or something + the max $50k cash? That way, the Rangers don't lose their 1st round pick, but the Jays get SOMETHING in return for EE. I know the player can't be traded until June 15, but IIRC, that's WITHOUT their consent? And there's a limit of $50k cash that can be exchanged. But, if the Jays want to get SOMETHING in return.. And maybe do EE a favor?

On the other hand, if both EE and JB want to sign pillow contracts.. Pearce seems like that utility guy that we can use all over the field (including LF, for example, to platoon with Upton), almost like 2015-Cola with a glove. Rotates through the lineup to give most guys a day (or even half a day) off.

About the only thing we'd be stuck with is "the eternal headscratcher" - that contract they gave to Smoak. Morales/EE could switch off DH/1B, JB, Pearce and Upton could form a 3-headed corner outfield monster. At this point, JB probably shouldn't play every day anymore..

Assuming EE/JB get things sorted out with other teams, we still need what:
-backup catcher
-one more outfielder
-a bunch of relievers, including maybe a swing-man?


SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:13 AM EST (#336098) #
The Jays still need two outfielders, IMO. It's possible that they use Carrera/Upton as a short-term solution (in that case I hope Pompey pulls an Aaron Sanchez this spring), but ideally they still need a capable RF and LF. Pearce is more of a 1B who can cover the outfield if necessary.

How they fit two OF's (addition to a RP and a back-up CA) into the payroll, whatever it is, will be the question.
Chuck - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:13 AM EST (#336099) #
including LF, for example, to platoon with Upton

They are both RHB whose primary skill is hitting LHP.

uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:19 AM EST (#336100) #
At this point it's just a silly waste not to try and get value out of Pompey, especially when we're talking about trading for barely replacement guys with big contracts like Bruce.

One good OF (fowler) is all we need to fill out the starting lineup.
Chuck - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:22 AM EST (#336101) #
The Jays still need two outfielders

Definitely agree. Somebody in an outfield corner needs to be able to hit RHP. I can see the organization going cheap and punting in one outfielder corner, letting Upton, Carrera and Pompey fight over playing time. But it would be nice to have a somewhat reliable hitter in the other corner.

Chuck - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:23 AM EST (#336102) #
Or what uglyone said.
Chuck - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:28 AM EST (#336103) #
I think Smoak suddenly has a clearer path to playing time for 2017, whether we like it or not. He'll pick up ABs at 1B when Pearce is hurt or when Pearce finds himself pressed into duty in an outfield corner.
Glevin - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:30 AM EST (#336104) #
I think one OFer is fine. A combination of Pompey, Upton, and Carerra is fine for 3-5 Ofers. I'd rather see Upton and Pompey be given the ABs. Gibson loves Carrera too much and he's just not good, has never been good, and will never be good. Upton has some pop at least and Pompey has potential. I am fine with Pearce getting some starts there too. They just need one OFer who can hit whether that be Bruce or Granderson or Fowler or someone else.

@vw_fan17

Why would the Jays do a sign and trade to get less than they would get if he just signed with Texas? It's something that only makes sense in certain salary cap situations.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:37 AM EST (#336105) #
If the Jays are going cheap at one of the OF corners, they have at least $25-million in available payroll to spend on one outfielder, two or three relievers and a back-up catcher. If they're able to acquire Fowler, he'll probably add around $15-million to the payroll in 2017, which leaves around $10-million for a couple of relievers and a back-up catcher. Should be just about feasible.

That assumes a 2017 payroll of about $160-million to $165-million, as some analysts are saying.

Personally I think Rogers should boost the payroll to a higher level than the expected $160-million. They are estimated to have spent $152-million on payroll last season. (Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-expected-big-league-payroll-2017/) An increase of only 7% or 8% in the 2017 payroll (after a huge increase in revenue since 2014) seems a little too much like penny-pinching. I'm not completely convinced that Morales, Pearce and (hypothetically) Fowler would replace all of the offence lost from Encarnacion, Bautista and Saunders. And they need to do more than replace the lost production -- they really need to increase the team's offensive firepower, which was the weak link in 2016.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:45 AM EST (#336106) #
Zips sees Pearce playing about half the games over the next 2yrs, and posting around a 130wrc+.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:48 AM EST (#336107) #
Further revised thoughts on the payroll numbers that I posted above:

If the Jays spend $13-million to $15-million on an outfielder such as Fowler or Bruce, I'm not actually sure if the remaining $10-million would be sufficient for two relievers and a back-up catcher, given the rising cost of both categories of player. Relievers are becoming much more valued this year, and the Jays need two or three of them. The back-up catcher will also probably cost $4-million or $5-million.

Moreover, as argued earlier, I'm not sure if the Jays will be able to improve their lineup in 2017 if they're going with a Pompey or Upton as a regular at one of the OF corners. It's a gamble, and it might be better to acquire two new outfielders, rather than one.

This is why I would argue that Rogers should boost the payroll above the projected $160-million, especially given the huge increase in fan interest, box-office revenue and broadcast audiences in the past two years.
vw_fan17 - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:53 AM EST (#336108) #
@Glevin

I understand that in my scenario they would get "less", but that's opposed to the worst-case scenario of getting "nothing" if no one steps up to the plate and signs EE due to the draft pick compensation. IIRC, if he sits until June 15 or something, then we get nothing. At this point, that possibility has increased.

uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 11:53 AM EST (#336109) #
getting good relievers and bench players for peanuts is where a GM truly earns his keep, imo.
Dave Till - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:16 PM EST (#336110) #
Has Pompey washed out, or could he still help the Jays? No one really discusses him anymore.
Vulg - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:20 PM EST (#336111) #
This is why I would argue that Rogers should boost the payroll above the projected $160-million, especially given the huge increase in fan interest, box-office revenue and broadcast audiences in the past two years.

This is the frustrating bit. The crazy spike in TV and attendance has lasted 18 months now.

Relative payroll went down in 2016, out of the top 10 for the first time in 3 seasons in what was a contending year. It looks like it'll stay flat for 2017.

CF - I prefer Spotrac for salary info, as it has a nice accounting for adjusted salaries (eg. retained $$) throughout the year: http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/payroll/2016/

Agree with others who've stated OF was identified as the biggest priority and it stands to reason that the "big" offseason play will be for Fowler.
John Northey - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:21 PM EST (#336112) #
Agreed uglyone. Pearce is what I see as a very good deal. Downside? He is hurt the 2 years and you lose $12.5 million. Upside? He is healthy and gives 6 WAR a year for 2 years (he was at 5.9 in just 102 games in 2014 and 2.2 in 60 last year). That is a risk every smart GM should take unless the medical reports put it as a 80%+ risk of 0 playing time. Smoak is what I call a bad deal because he never has shown hope for being more than a 2 WAR player even if everything goes right (his peak is 1.3 here in 2015).

Wonder if there is any chance the Jays are the new mystery team in on Andrew McCutchen? There is a guy with 7-8 WAR ability making under $15 mil a year for the next 2 years (one guaranteed). He is a CF but I'm sure could be moved to RF or LF (most can) and provide solid D in a corner I suspect. Problem is Pittsburgh would want a lot of prospect capital for him.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:31 PM EST (#336113) #
",,,,Relative payroll went down in 2016, out of the top 10 for the first time in 3 seasons in what was a contending year. It looks like it'll stay flat for 2017....."

Good point, Vulg. The Jays payroll needs to be considered relative to other teams and baseball inflation. By those measures, the payroll hasn't really increased very much, if at all.

I agree with uglyone that there's always the chance of acquiring cheap relievers who perform surprisingly well, but you can't find a Biagini every year, and it would be foolish to count on it. Gavin Floyd looked like a smart low-cost acquisition in 2016, but then we discovered why other teams had passed on him.

Optimistically, perhaps the Front Office will be able to set aside some extra money for a trade-deadline acquisition in July 2017, as they have done in the past. That would help.
85bluejay - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:35 PM EST (#336114) #
Dexter Fowler prefers to play CF, so the Jays may be a fall back position for Fowler.

I'm hoping the Jays can acquire some near ready ML players - Ramiel Tapia,Cody Bellinger type guys who may be ready sometime in 2017-18.

If the Rockies have soured on Miguel Castro, I would love for the Jays to repatriate him - he still has an option and will only be 22 later this month.

I'm still for signing Brett Anderson as a bounce back candidate.

The FO has done ok so far this winter & they have gained my confidence - it's probably short term deals waiting for the next wave from the farm.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:39 PM EST (#336115) #
If the Jays do end up with Fowler, then they may not have much payroll room left to add another OF, so it might be a moot point. The only way a Carrera/Upton/Pompey scenario would work is if Pompey wins the spot out of Spring Training. If he doesn't, then you're left with a good platoon bat (Upton) and someone who isn't very good despite a hot streak at the end of last season (Carrera). Not an ideal situation.

Even a cheap band aid option like Revere if the cost was low would be fine with me (assuming they brought in someone like Fowler). If Pompey then kills everyone in ST, then you can improvise from there, but I wouldn't want to count on it happening.
eudaimon - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:41 PM EST (#336116) #
This is a good signing. It's not without risk, but the upside is nice considering the money involved.

I'll have to wait until the offseason is done to judge it. Personally, if it ends with Morales and Pearce being the main signings I will be more than a bit disappointed. My main worry about this FO is that they'll cheap out more often than not, and avoid taking big chances. So far I like both signings in isolation, but if this is all we do I think the Jays will miss the playoffs next year.

One thing I can say confidently is that the Jays won't be in on McCutchen. Giving up prospects doesn't seem to be their MO. If AA were GM I'd be wondering though...

85bluejay - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:45 PM EST (#336117) #
There nothing about Revere's game that I like - Frankly, I'd take a chance on 1 yr of Coco Crisp rather than Revere.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:53 PM EST (#336118) #
"but you can't find a Biagini every year, and it would be foolish to count on it"

2016 - Biagini
2015 - Hendriks
2014 - Redmond
2013 - Delabar / Loup
2012 - Perez
2011 - Rzepcynski
2010 - Janssen

maybe you can?
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:53 PM EST (#336119) #
Just mentioned Revere as he was recently non-tendered. Replace him with anyone who might come cheap and has some kind of track record. Someone like Chris Coghlan might be another cheap platoon option if you feel he can still hit when not wearing a Cubs uniform. There are names out there.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:56 PM EST (#336120) #
Kinzer sounds a bit panicked now. Might have screwed the pooch.



"The only way a Carrera/Upton/Pompey scenario would work"

Hoenstly, I think it can't not work.

If you sign Fowler, then Fowler/Morales/Pearce are the EE/Joey/Saunders replacements.

which means that the Carrera/Upton/Pompey slot is the replacement for Smoak, which should be an upgrade even just based on defensive value.
cybercavalier - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 12:58 PM EST (#336121) #
Cecialini and Pompey both have over 500 ABs in AAA. Pompey 600+. Neither was a failure. So both should be considered ML ready..... meaning more AAA time will not improve development much. So IMO Upton and Carrera have locks on the 3rd and 4th OF spots.Upton is signed and Carrera was offered Arb. So if we add a 9th OF (40 man) he has to be better than everyone but Pillar.
Has Pompey washed out, or could he still help the Jays? No one really discusses him anymore.

Also, the Jays seem to have 5 OFers already. Pearce mean a 6th: why would the Jays need another OF ? Backup catcher is needed obviously, plus Goins. So in a game, 2 OFers as backup, Goins and the backup catcher are present. Then another extra player is on the shuttle to and from Buffalo and Toronto.

Thank Vulg for information on website.

Agreed uglyone. Pearce is what I see as a very good deal. Downside? He is hurt the 2 years and you lose $12.5 million. Upside? He is healthy and gives 6 WAR a year for 2 years (he was at 5.9 in just 102 games in 2014 and 2.2 in 60 last year).

Does 5 Wins player still roughly worth $10 million a year? If so, 6 Wins roughly worth 12 million, which means Pearce's new Jays' salary is reasonable.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 01:09 PM EST (#336122) #
3yrs

Upton (32): 1349pa, 84wrc+, 3.0fwar, 2.4bwar, 1.3war/650
Carrera (30): 575pa, 86wrc+, 1.2fwar, 0.1bwar, 0.7war/650
Pompey (24): 148pa, 86wrc+, 0.4fwar, 0.7bwar, 2.4war/650

Revere (29): 1635pa, 84wrc+, 3.0fwar, 2.1bwar, 1.0war/650
Coghlan (32): 1235pa, 106wrc+, 5.3fwar, 1.5bwar, 1.8war/650

China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 01:12 PM EST (#336123) #
"....maybe you can?..."

You can certainly find a couple of low-cost relievers to fill out the bottom of the bullpen, and I agree that one of them could morph into a higher-leverage reliever. Maybe someone like Barnes or Tepera could be that guy in 2017. But the Jays need more than that. The top half of their bullpen, at the moment, consists of these four guys: Osuna, Grilli, Biagini and Loup. (And even that scenario is dependent on the assumption that Loup doesn't get demoted again, and that the Jays don't try to turn Biagini into a starter.) The Jays probably need three or four more relievers. I don't want them to gamble on the likes of Barnes and Tepera for all of those slots. Last year, the Jays had to spend serious money on Grilli and Benoit when their earlier bullpen wasn't good enough. Why not spend that money before the season begins, instead of scrambling mid-season to shore up a deficient bullpen?
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 01:19 PM EST (#336124) #
"Last year, the Jays had to spend serious money on Grilli and Benoit"

actually they picked them up for free.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 01:24 PM EST (#336125) #
Because that approach can fail miserably (storen)
Mike Green - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 02:04 PM EST (#336126) #
Pearce, Smoak and Tellez is not a bad plan for first base over the year.  If things work out, Tellez and Pearce can share the job by the end of the year. 

The club needs one corner outfielder, with a Pompey/Upton platoon for the other, and a back-up catcher.  Pearce originally aggravated his arm injury making a throw from the outfield.  Like Bautista last year, you don't really want him out there.

bpoz - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 02:21 PM EST (#336127) #
The 2010 pen was good we had Downs and Fraser whom I thought were very reliable in non closer roles.
The rest of the pen surprised me. They somehow did the job. K Gregg as closer, S Camp and C Janssen. J Carlson seemed to have lost it that year.

Jannsen was very good when healthy. Still Osuna IMO is the best of all those players.

Osuna, Grili and Biagini are a good top 3 for a pen. Maybe we pay well for someone decent. But Storen got paid well and did not produce.

We also have a lot of relievers on the 40 man roster. Looks like there will be opportunity.

There will also be a few NRI that have a decent history but probably will get an unspoken agreement of making the team or being cut. That allows them a ST audition. Get their work in and hope a team somewhere is impressed enough.

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 02:42 PM EST (#336128) #
I would be surprised and a bit disappointed to see the Jays sign Fowler. He's this year's flavour of the month 'must have' free agent, who no one was talking about at all a year ago. He's leveraging being the best of a bad lot. Moreover:

1. He means the loss of the 24th draft pick.

2. He is a centerfielder. They would not only have to pay him like a centerfielder to play a lesser position, they would most likely and counter-intuitively also have to pay him a higher amount to make the switch to a lesser position.

3. They'd also have to up it to have him play in Canada and on artificial turf.

No thanks.
PeterG - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:01 PM EST (#336129) #
I agree that it is unlikely the Jays sign Fowler.
Mike Green - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:02 PM EST (#336130) #
I would be surprised and a bit disappointed to see the Jays sign Fowler.

Fowler wouldn't have been my first choice (that would have been Reddick).  Anyways, if not Fowler, then who?  Or do you think that the club should just let it ride with Upton/Carrera/Pompey?
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:05 PM EST (#336131) #
"....actually they picked them up for free...."

You're sort of right on Grilli (he actually cost them $600,000), but you're wrong on Benoit.  The Jays paid serious money for him.  The money spent on Benoit -- which earlier in the season had been spent on Storen -- doesn't suddenly become "free" just because it had a different player's name attached to it in the first half of the season.

For a long time, you've been promoting your theory that a good bullpen can be obtained for peanuts.  I disagree.  If you look at the players who filled the Jays bullpen in 2016, most of them had significant salaries (even if the Jays managed to get Atlanta to pay for the majority of Grilli's cost).  Grilli, Benoit, Floyd, Cecil, Liriano, Morales, Feldman, Storen, Chavez -- all of these are multimillion-dollar or million-dollar players.  The cheapest were Floyd and Morales, but their salaries are actually much higher than they appear, if you apply your favorite system of pro-rating them over a full season, when you consider how few innings they pitched for the Jays.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:07 PM EST (#336132) #
"The Toronto Blue Jays are exploring their options on the outfield market. Their top choice remains center fielder Dexter Fowler, but the two sides are still a decent ways apart on any kind of agreement. Toronto made an offer to Fowler, believed to be in the four-year, $60 million range, but Fowlerís camp is said to be looking for a deal closer to $18 million annually."

http://www.fanragsports.com/mlb/heyman-blue-jays-keeping-eye-outfield-market/

Looks like the Jays are going to have to overpay to get him. Not surprising, but just depends on what kind of price they are willing to pay. To convince him to come to Toronto and switch positions at the same time, I'm guessing it will be too rich to be worth it in the long run.

Where the Jays go if Fowler signs elsewhere is a mystery. Granderson would make sense. Jarrod Dyson if he's available would make sense. Someone like Carlos Gomez on a short-term deal would make sense. There are options out there, but it will come down to cost and perceived value.
The market is not great. So far they signed one sleeper FA that I wanted them to get (Pearce) so that's a good start.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:17 PM EST (#336133) #
Fowler wouldn't have been my first choice (that would have been Reddick). Anyways, if not Fowler, then who? Or do you think that the club should just let it ride with Upton/Carrera/Pompey?

My hope is that they can put together a trade for a right fielder. I don't think Pompey is a major league asset, but I'd be satisfied with a Carrera/Upton platoon in left. The name I keep thinking of, probably unrealistically, is Michael Brantley. He bats left, bats well, and there's the addition by subtraction of him no longer killing the Jays when he plays them. He's coming off an injury. He's also reasonably priced though, so even with a bit of a surplus of young outfielders Cleveland would want a lot for him. Another alternative of course, is one of the Mets' guys, Granderson or Bruce. Or, more likely, someone out of the blue.
85bluejay - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:19 PM EST (#336134) #
While I'm not wild about Fowler - with the Pirates making Cutch available, the Royals are said to listening on Cain and/or Dyson and Desmond & Gomez still unsigned - Fowler may drop to the Jays @ 4/60 - I think the Jays should wait out the market.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:26 PM EST (#336135) #
"....Because that approach can fail miserably (storen)...."

You can always find failed examples of high-priced relievers who fail, but you can certainly find even more examples of cheap-priced relievers who failed too.  In fact, Storen allowed the Jays to acquire Benoit, who was crucial to the Jays playoff drive, so it wasn't really a failure anyway.

Anecdotal cases (Biagini or Hendricks) don't prove that a bullpen can be built for peanuts.  You can find anecdotes to suggest any conclusion.  Better to look at the aggregate bullpen over a whole season, such as 2016, and add up the cost of those salaries.  If the Jays hadn't spent money on their bullpen, it would have been a lot worse than it was.  You have to spend money on a bunch of pitchers to find the ones who will stick.
Mike Green - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:30 PM EST (#336136) #
I have no idea if Dyson will be available.  If so, I would be interested.  He's not going to get that much in arbitration, and he would be an excellent addition.  He even hit lefties well last year in limited work (4 XBH and 3 Ks in 30 PAs leading to the first nice slash line of his career). 
Mike Green - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:32 PM EST (#336137) #
Another alternative of course, is one of the Mets' guys, Granderson or Bruce

Granderson, maybe.  Bruce, no thank you. 
Mike Green - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:51 PM EST (#336138) #
Some successful bullpens have been built without injection of substantial funds (at least at the outset of the season).  The Indians had Shaw and Allen (and McAllister) for years, but acquired Otero and Manship for very little.  At the deadline, they acquired Andrew Miller. 

You don't want to spend much for a low leverage reliever.  If you feel that there is a significantly better pitcher out there than Grilli and Biagini and you can move them down the leverage ladder, then it makes sense to do that if the price is right.  It's not ideal though to spend $8-$10 million for a reliever who will end up 4th in the pecking order. 

dan gordon - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 03:55 PM EST (#336139) #
Really like the acquisition of Pearce. He's got more power than most people realize. Over the last 3 seasons, in 896 AB's, he hit 49 HR's. Over a 550 AB pace, roughly a full season for an everyday player, that's a 30 HR per season pace. It will be interesting to see how they use him. Obviously, he at least plays at 1B vs lefties. Given that Smoak is the option vs righties, I can see Pearce taking over as the regular 1B. I hope they don't plan on using him much in the OF, given the defensive issues and increased risk of injury. His weak 2015 season looks odd compared to his outstanding 2014 and 2016 seasons - if you look at his splits that year, for some reason he hit under .200 vs lefties, the guys he usually mashes, but hit about as well as usual vs righties.

I still think very highly of Pompey. I look at what he accomplished at various levels of the minors at a very young age and I see a guy with star potential. At age 21, he OPS'd .861 combined in A+/AA/AAA and made the major leagues. Not many prospects do that at 21. I think his 2015 season was handled poorly, and it had an impact on his results that year, and then last year, he battled injuries, and only got into 93 games with Buffalo. I know he's not eligible for the official prospect lists anymore, but I still regard him as one of the best prospects the Blue Jays have. It would not surprise me at all to see him outperform Dexter Fowler over the next 5 seasons.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:08 PM EST (#336140) #
With Pearce in the fold and Edwin pretty much gone I am going to predict that Bautista comes back. There isn't a market for him really, and at the end of the day despite his defensive woes he's one of the better fits left out there.

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:11 PM EST (#336141) #
Speaking of bullpens, one report had the Blue Jays talking to Brad Zigler.
Mike Green - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:20 PM EST (#336142) #
There isn't a market for him really, and at the end of the day despite his defensive woes he's one of the better fits left out there.

If he is willing to sign for $12 million for 1 year to be a left-fielder, maybe.  Somehow I don't think he will. 
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:29 PM EST (#336143) #
"The money spent on Benoit -- which earlier in the season had been spent on Storen -- doesn't suddenly become "free" just because it had a different player's name attached to it in the first half of the season."

sure it does.

storen's money was dead money. they would have had to eaten it all in any trade of him. or when they DFAd him.

uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:31 PM EST (#336144) #
"If you look at the players who filled the Jays bullpen in 2016, most of them had significant salaries"

the bad ones, sure.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:40 PM EST (#336145) #
I don't really get the skepticism on Fowler. maybe it's his lack of sexy traditional stats?

This is a guy who should be able to be a 120wrc+ while playing a decent CF and probably a good RF. 3-4war player.

I'm just surprised he's only looking for $18m a year. I think he's worth barely less than Cespedes.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:46 PM EST (#336146) #
"....the bad ones, sure..."

Grilli, Benoit, Floyd and Cecil were all bad relievers?  Interesting theory!

"....storen's money was dead money...."

And yet the Mariners traded a good pitcher for him, and he posted a WHIP of 0.873 for them.  In fact both Storen and Benoit -- two of the higher-priced relievers around -- were very good in the second half of the season.


uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:59 PM EST (#336147) #
again, Grilli, Benoit, and Floyd were free.

Cecil was expensive and bad.
dan gordon - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 04:59 PM EST (#336148) #
Great interview with Steve Phillips just finished on TSN radio. He had some interesting insights into the recent mlb Collective Bargaining Agreement, saying he sees it as a big win for the owners. He says the penalties for high spending teams are really becoming prohibitive, with the new surtax on the luxury tax, plus the loss of international signing bonus room working to suppress the spending by the top end payroll teams. Also, that the hard cap on international players was a good get for the owners, as it will again hinder the big money teams, and it's the first time there's ever been a hard cap on anything in baseball. He also had some interesting comments on Bautista, saying that he thinks there is very little market for him, and he may end up not starting the season with anybody, and might have to wait until the draft pick compensation is off. Teams don't want to sign him long term, given his age and poor 2016 season, and they're not willing to give up a 1st round pick for a 1-year deal. He says JB should have taken the QO.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 05:04 PM EST (#336149) #
I've read Dyson's name a bunch on Twitter, though no one really knows what the Royals plan on doing. If he's really out there, then depending on the price he would be a great target. The price of acquiring defense is likely less than offense, and the Royals have been using him as a 4th OF the past few years despite very good partial seasons and a good enough bat to justify starting (at least in a platoon) with his great defense/speed. It's possible that they may not value him as much as he's worth. I honestly don't know why they would trade him given he's projected to make practically nothing in arbitration in 2017 (MLBTR projects $2.5M), but if he's out there and the cost is reasonable, then he's a good guy to go after.

It's been mentioned already, but I also get the sense that Bautista coming back is highly possible. The QO is going to hurt him in this market.
92-93 - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 05:38 PM EST (#336150) #
Seth Smith will make 7m this year and has hit .261/.351/.448 vs. RHP the last 3 seasons in over 1200 PA. For a team running up against its payroll parameters, he seems to be a better option than a Bruce or Granderson type bat, provided the Mariners aren't looking for too much value in return.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 05:47 PM EST (#336151) #
"For a team running up against its payroll parameters"

heheh.
China fan - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 06:07 PM EST (#336152) #
Uglyone, you've really got a bizarre notion of bullpen construction. Your theory is that a pitcher's value is inversely proportional to his salary. The expensive ones are bad, the cheap ones are good: your universal rule. This is manifestly absurd to begin with, but then you try to prove it with anecdotal cases. For evidence, you cherry-pick. You go through the bullpens, cherry-pick the few who are cheap and good (Biagini, Hendriks) and fantasize that an entire bullpen could be constructed this way. According to you, every baseball GM is an idiot because he fails to construct his entire bullpen from the cheapest pitchers. But you apply the fallacy of looking back at previous bullpens, picking the successful acquisitions that fit your theory, ignoring all the unsuccessful acquisitions that contradict your theory, and imagining that you've proven your case.

Specific errors in your analysis: Gavin Floyd was not "free" -- he cost $1-million for a paltry 31 innings. Brett Cecil was not "bad" -- if he was so bad, he wouldn't have received a $30-million contract just a couple weeks ago. You've always preached the virtues of xFIP, and Cecil had an excellent xFIP of 2.87 in 2016, along with a superb K/9 of 11.0, so he was clearly not a "bad" pitcher. And by constantly repeating the mantra of "free", you ignore the basic reality that Grilli and Benoit are high-priced pitchers. According to your theory, Grilli and Benoit should be "bad" pitchers because they have high salaries, and Grilli will be "bad" again in 2017 because the Jays are paying him $3-million next season. Needless to say, the evidence contradicts your theory there too.
uglyone - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 06:09 PM EST (#336153) #
$1mil is basically free. League minimum is $500k.

And I'd be fine with signing an elite reliever to big money. The truly elite ones might be worth it. We should have traded for Miller at the deadline.

But paying millions for storens or cecils is bad planning imo.
scottt - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 06:46 PM EST (#336154) #
I love the Pearce signing. Hopefully he keeps me from watching the Blue Jays being dazzling by a soft tossing lefty for at least 2 years.

Fowler would be great too. What is needed is someone who plays decent defense and gets on base in front of Donaldson, not a defensively challenged outfielder who hits homeruns, strikes out and grounds into double plays.

Floyd was cheap. Benoit was a swap of dead money. Storen was dead money because they got him for Revere and there was some cash coming our way on that deal.

Relievers are too inconsistent to throw much money at. Grilli cost 3M. That's for a setup guy. I don't see paying much more than that when there are lots of middle relief options. Barnes and Tepera are fine for now. They have options so anyone in AAA can outpitch them anytime. With a guy like Storens there was no option to send him down and get into a grove.



vw_fan17 - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 07:04 PM EST (#336155) #
again, Grilli, Benoit, and Floyd were free.

Even if you count the money for Storen dead, so that Benoit was "free" for us this year, it doesn't mean he would re-sign for free this year. No one you could EXPECT to pitch at Grilli's/Benoit's established skill level is banging down the door saying "sign me for $1M for next year".
Alex Obal - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 07:16 PM EST (#336156) #
The one guy in the bullpen who isn't free is Osuna. Opportunity cost. Just think of what he could command in a trade, as a 22-year-old born closer with 4 more years of team control. If you truly believe that non-super-elite relievers are overvalued, then on principle, don't you have to cash in?

Tepera [is] fine for now

Quoted for truth. It's his time.
greenfrog - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 08:30 PM EST (#336157) #
So, who do people like as a corner OF upgrade at this point? I would be content with either Fowler or Granderson, although I'm always wary of the potential for a decline in performance when NL hitters migrate over to the AL.
cybercavalier - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 08:34 PM EST (#336158) #
I do not understand why Ceciliani and Pompey do not get much mention for at least some starting OF job. Including Pearce, the Jays has 6 OFers; Carrera, Ceciliani, Pearce, Pillar, Pompey, Upton. Is the number not enough ?

How about backup catcher?
HitmenOF - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 08:46 PM EST (#336159) #
Pearce is only an OF as long as you want to see Smoak swinging and missing at everything in sight as the regular first baseman.

Ceciliani should not be considered as anything other than an injury replacement for a very short period on a Major League roster.

The idea that Justin Smoak may get regular AB's for a team that considers itself a contender is disturbing.
scottt - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 08:57 PM EST (#336160) #
Backup catcher is not a full time job. McGuire looks able to hold that fort in a year from now, at the minimum rate.

I'd be fine with Jimenez getting a shot. The AAA pitchers were very good when throwing to him.
We got Mike Ohlman signed to a minor deal. He can hit. 3 years ago he was ranked as number 9 in the Orioles organization with an OPS of 939 in A+ ball. Before 2015, he was designated to make room for Travis Snider and was picked up by the Cards. He was outrighted at the end of the year and elected free agency. He turns 26 next week.

He's bat isn't quite good enough as a first baseman.  Same boat Pentecost is in, really, but Ohlman will get a chance to impress behind the plate in Buffalo.

If anybody better becomes available on a short contract and there's money left, sure, but if not, I think we're fine.

PeterG - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:06 PM EST (#336161) #
Regarding back up C, Atkins addressed it in late afternoon briefing. No rush as many available. Will sign someone later (I assume to minor league deal) to compete with Jimenez. With Martin at WBC, all candidates will get a good look.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:11 PM EST (#336162) #
I'm surprised that people who repeatedly post about Justin Smoak don't find it boring. I know reading it is.
John Northey - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 09:21 PM EST (#336163) #
The thing to take note of for relievers is the going price seems to be $7-8 mil a year for middle men now. Given they provide about 1 WAR it is safe to say the cost per win is now $8 mil roughly. So if a guy gives you 5 wins (an all-star performance) it is worth $30 mil. Pearce, if healthy, could do that. If not healthy he could give 2 WAR easily (as he did last year) and thus be a net gain.
cybercavalier - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:04 PM EST (#336164) #
I'm surprised that people who repeatedly post about Justin Smoak don't find it boring. I know reading it is.

For readers' amusement, the following just for fun roster, based on JN's list of annual Jays' prospects:

C JPA, Robinzon Diaz, Jeroloman, Jimenez
1B Charles, Cooper
2B Pastronicky
SS Burns
OF Mastroianni
OF/IF Jackson
Corner OF Snider
3B Ahrens
DH Colabello
 
RP/SP McGowan
RP Janssen
RP Sergio Santos
RP Tim Collins
RP Joel Carreno
RP Asher Wojciechowski

The names on this list are players who are supposedly around. Marc rzepczynski signed a 2 year 11M contract with the Mariners.
scottt - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:04 PM EST (#336165) #
Benoit signs with the Phillies for 7.5M.

Maybe they see him as a potential hot trade commodity later on?

cybercavalier - Monday, December 05 2016 @ 10:12 PM EST (#336166) #
erratum: The Nationals re-signed Jeroloman.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:29 AM EST (#336167) #
Count me into the camp that likes Fowler in right, leading off. I can live with a Zeke/Upton/Pompey battle for left. The chances are the Jays will need all three of them to play for a stretch at some point in '17.

Signing Pearce and being able to put him the outfield also allows for the Jays to put Fowler in the center and Zeke/Upton/Pompey in right when Pillar needs a blow. I'd actually like to see Pillar nailed to the bench a few more times (regardless of what he might say) next season to try and keep him fresh. He really wore down because of his injury in '16.

If the Jays see value in Fowler being able to rotate between outfield positions on a regular basis to allow the Jays to maximize value on the three remaining outfielders, and be the leadoff hitter he was with the Cubs, I think he's worth near the current asking price. Any free agent comes with risk, I think given the situation it's a solid gamble for Atkins to make.

Against righties

RF Fowler
2B Travis
3B Donaldson
DH Morales
1B Pearce/Smoak
SS Tulowitzki
C Martin
CF Pillar
LF Zeke/Upton/Pompey



It's still a little right-handed heavy, but a pretty solid lineup.



Jonny German - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:47 AM EST (#336168) #
Thumbs up on Pearce. I'm surprised he didn't get more money.

My takes on the outfield options:

Dexter Fowler: Go get him. Head & shoulders above all other options, worth a big 4-year deal.

Jose Bautista: If he's willing to play left field on a one-year deal, sure.

Curtis Granderson: A solid option, assuming the Mets don't expect a high-end prospect for him.

Seth Smith: I don't see Seattle being interested in moving him, but he'd be a reasonable option.

Ben Revere: If they're going bargain bin, okay. Definite upside.

Jarrod Dyson: Don't understand the positivity about him. He's a fourth outfielder. Pass.

Jay Bruce: Please no. I can only hope Shatkins are looking at him like the Liriano deal, where the Jays get some prospects in return for taking on his inflated salary. But really just please no.
Vulg - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 03:20 AM EST (#336169) #
Thumbs up on Pearce. I'm surprised he didn't get more money.

Well, he's 33 and has had a recent trend towards injury (Oblique in 2015, Hamstring and Elbow in 2016). He had surgery in late September and has a 4-6 month timeline for return.

He got a contract befitting of a part-time player with some health risk. He's never had more than 338 ABs.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 03:57 AM EST (#336170) #
You can often find good cheap relievers like last year but like last year it can take months of shuffling through them to find the right ones. Ideally, you have a couple of guys you can count on and fill in the rest cheaply.
scottt - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:29 AM EST (#336171) #
The Mets want to trade Bruce who didn't so well for them, not Granderson who can also play CF.
They seem to think he can bring something in a trade. That remains to be seen.

The Jays have offered 4/60 for Fowler. It's out there in the open, unlike EE's offer, so either somebody else offers more or he should budge from his asking 18M/year. It's not like there are other options that will alter the market when they sign. The one bad thing about Fowler is that he has never played more than 125 games only once in the last 6 years. I could see Pompey still getting some ABs.

Of all the players tied to draft pick compensation, only Cespedes has signed and to go back to his previous team. The market is limited by the luxury tax. Big spenders are calculating when to break the bank with monster contracts, like in 2018 when Bryce Harper will sign for 10/400 and Donaldson and Machado will both offer MVP bats at 3B at the same time. Agents will soon start screaming about collusion.

And not a peep about Bautista.


ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 08:12 AM EST (#336172) #
In my view, there's no problem with a $160 million payroll. The problem is that fully one-quarter of that payroll is being consumed by two players, Tulowitzki and Martin, who are being paid as elite players and aren't.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 08:26 AM EST (#336173) #
both are getting paid fair non-elite market rates.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 08:47 AM EST (#336174) #
Seattle is apparently willing to move Smith.  That is something that just makes way too much sense for the Jays not to be in on, and the Jays-Ms have a good trading history.  Smith (or Revere or Dyson)-Upton platoon in one corner OF spot, Fowler or Granderson for the other one.

Count me as one of those very pleased with the Pearce signing.

If the Jays can land Morales, Pearce, and two of the above listed OF (preferably one that isn't Jay Bruce), and add a couple of relievers and a backup C...I'd say that's a pretty excellent offseason.  Let's say they don't get Fowler, but do get Smith and Granderson:

C: Martin
1B: Pearce
2B: Travis
SS: Tulo
3B: Donaldson
OF: Pillar, Smith, Granderson
DH: Morales
Bench: Upton, Smoak, Barney, Backup C

That would be against RHP.  Against LHP, Upton and Smoak into the lineup for Smith and maybe Granderson (Pearce to LF).

You should still have some money for the bullpen.

rpriske - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:03 AM EST (#336175) #
Happy about Pearce.

Unhappy about Benoit going to the Phillies. I would have liked it if the Jays re-signed him for that money.

PeterG - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:17 AM EST (#336176) #
Apart from that being too much money for Benoit, the Phillies,I believe,are giving him an opportunity to close. The Jays could not offer that.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:21 AM EST (#336177) #
Big rumour at the winter meetings today is that Fowler is going to sign with St Louis to play CF.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:46 AM EST (#336178) #
Tulo really only has to earn 2 WAR to justify his contract.  The only time he hasn't hit that since 2009 was 2012 when he only played 47 games, and still managed 1.2.

Same for Martin.  He was 1.9 last year, and only other time in his career he's been worth less than that is 2009.  And we are into the "bad" years on those contracts.  In my books, both of those guys are fine investments.  You always need some young talent to build around your cornerstones, or some cheap veterans.  Nothing wrong with this approach.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:06 AM EST (#336179) #
if we miss on fowler my anger rises.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:10 AM EST (#336180) #
Jarrod Dyson: Don't understand the positivity about him. He's a fourth outfielder. Pass.

I don't know why anybody would give PAs to Paulo Orlando instead of Jarrod Dyson when facing a RH pitcher, but the Royals did that a lot last year.  Dyson has been a helluva platoon player for 4 years running. 

To recap his skills, he gets on base at a league average rate.  He is one of the best baserunners and basestealers in the game.  He is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.  His demerits are two: he has absolutely no power and (prior to 2016) he could not hit LHP.  There is no reason that a team could not give him 450-500 PAs and expect to get excellent performance (and perhaps better performance than Fowler).    The nice thing about his under-utilization is that he has less mileage on his body (and you probably won't pay much for him in arbitration).  There are also signs of offensive improvement- his slash line improvement in 2016 was tied to a reduction in his K rate to a very pleasant 11%. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:14 AM EST (#336181) #
"Big rumour at the winter meetings today is that Fowler is going to sign with St Louis to play CF."


Wouldn't surprise me. The Jays have one major thing going against them with Fowler and that is he would need to switch positions. If there isn't a huge difference in money, then I don't see him seriously considering the Jays for that reason (among the normal reasons American players may prefer to not sign with a Canadian team). I don't see this FO as being the type to go bonkers in free agency either, so they might see 4/60 as his value long-term and won't go too far above that.

The one thing that will distance the Jays from everyone else is adding an extra year, and while I like Fowler, there's no way I'd want him for five years + a lost pick + a high AAV.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:14 AM EST (#336182) #
Red Sox trade a pretty good prospect in Mauricio Dubon for breakout 28yr RP Tyler Thornburg, who was kind of like Biagini last year but better. They also throw in Travis Shaw and aoke lesser prospect.

Thornburg was pretty great last year.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:15 AM EST (#336183) #
I actually don't understand the negativity on Dyson at all either.  The Royals don't seem to be thrilled with him, because I don't understand why a 3.1 WAR player last year wouldn't get more love.

Completely agreed with Mike here.  I think he'd be a great option - kinda like Ben Revere except with actual good defence, rather than just speed.  I'd love him as a platoon mate for Upton Jr or Pearce (when Pearce is in the OF).  And a late game defensive alignment with Upton, Pillar, Dyson?  My word.  Nothing would drop.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:19 AM EST (#336184) #
Dyson's closer to Pillar than Revere. Though his great D is not quite Pillar's otherworldly D.

I'd be happy to have him as an every day guy.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:20 AM EST (#336185) #
Closer to Pillar than Revere from a bat or glove perspective? 
Glevin - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:27 AM EST (#336186) #
Don't hate the trade for the Red Sox in a vaccuum but it's what Dombrowski has been doing for a couple of years now. Trading lots of young talent for less than overwhelming return. He has now traded a buckutload of prospects and good young players for Kimbrel, Thornburg, and Pomeranz. Trading prospects for ready major league talent makes sense but you have to feel that they could have added a much better piece with what they gave up.

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:31 AM EST (#336187) #
Personally I imagine Marco Estrada looking out an outfield of Pompey, Pillar and Dyson and then covering his face with his glove to hide his smile.  There are lots of ways to intimidate- when an opposing batter feels he pretty much has to knock the ball over the wall to get a hit on a ball in the air, that is intimidating. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:35 AM EST (#336188) #
Dyson's a 3 WAR player in about half a season's worth of PA's. He is probably good for a wRC+ around 90 with exceptional defense and base running. The Royals playing inferior talent over him for years does not diminish his value. He's in a similar boat as Pearce in a way. An everyday calibre player who simply hasn't been given a chance.

If they did get Dyson, they would need more offense from the other OF spot though. Him and Pillar in the same OF would be incredible defensively but there won't be much offense between the two of them.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:39 AM EST (#336189) #
"Closer to Pillar than Revere from a bat or glove perspective?"

well imo all 3 have similar bats.

but imo revere isn't much of a defender while dyson is a ++ D guy and Pillar a +++ D guy.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:42 AM EST (#336190) #
Jays future payroll commitments:

2018: $68m
2019: $52m
2020: $14m
2021: $4m
mathesond - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:54 AM EST (#336191) #
2021: $4m

They signed Smoak for that long? :)
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:59 AM EST (#336192) #
heh.

it's funny because Smoak is one of only 4 players signed past this year. because he's so crucial.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:00 AM EST (#336193) #
but imo revere isn't much of a defender while dyson is a ++ D guy and Pillar a +++ D guy.

Agree about Revere (stay away!) but I don't think it's clear at all that Pillar is a better defender than Dyson (which is no knock against Pillar). I think Dyson didn't get Pillar's opportunity because he was blocked by Cain, and teams often don't want a glove-first player in a corner outfield spot (though KC would often move Cain to RF when Dyson started).

If Dyson could be had, I'd live with a Dyson/Upton platoon. On days he doesn't start, Dyson would also have the added value of being a terrific late-game player, pinch-running and coming in defensively.

Jevant - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:06 AM EST (#336194) #
I'm kinda okay with Revere and Dyson, actually.  It would be a very different look team, but picking 3 of Pillar, Dyson, Revere and Upton to fill out the OF every day doesn't seem terrible (with Pearce as the Ben-Zobristy type that fills in everywhere).  I mean, let's do better than Revere ideally, but all he costs is money.  If that means a better BP and a better backup C, so much the better.

Also, just putting it out there - if you could get Dyson & Revere, that wouldn't cost much, and who knows, maybe leaves room to bring back Edwin afterall...

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:10 AM EST (#336195) #
If Dyson could be had, I'd live with a Dyson/Upton platoon. On days he doesn't start, Dyson would also have the added value of being a terrific late-game player, pinch-running and coming in defensively.

Exactement.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:14 AM EST (#336196) #
The brewers GM has really done a nice job of rebuilding - I'm interested in what the Rockies do, I think they're not that far away and with Bud Black as manager will be an interesting team in 2017.

It's been reported that the Cardinals are considering Desmond as a backup CF plan - maybe trying to put pressure on Fowler or good news for the Jays.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:39 AM EST (#336197) #
I was going to put this in the other thread because it is probably a topic for after the winter meetings.

But CbDC brought up the topic of Tulo's and Martin's salary. $20 mil each.

My thoughts were based on Tulo's age how would he compare to Ripkin and Tony Fernanzez. Both played past their mid 30s. Over the next 3 seasons Tulo is 32,33 and 34.

I suppose Ripkin is worth $20 mil every one of those years. We know that he was never injured. Unless someone disagrees we give it to him.

Fernandez however is not a sure Yes. However some of us give it to him because they feel he is a beloved Jay. He was for me.

Even though he is not a SS, I give it to R Alomar.

D Fowler is not a SS. He will be an OF aged 31,32 and 33 over the next 3 years. We should find out soon what he gets. Will it be 3 years? Maybe more. How close to $20 mil per year. Also if the first year or two is cheap compared to the later years, then that has to be factored in.
AWeb - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:54 AM EST (#336198) #
Dyson gets his value from defense and baserunning, both of which he has done a lot of late in games while avoiding hitting as much as possible (not saying that's ideal use for him, but it is how KC has used him). So you can't pro-rate his PA's to a full-season WAR number - i.e., 3 WAR in 300 PAs does not translate to a full year 6 WAR in 600 PAs.

His baserunning value goes down a bit per opportunity (because he's deployed to pinch run when it was more likely to matter), but he would also get more chances to stretch singles to doubles and doubles to triples on his own, might be a wash... He could be a great pickup though.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:55 AM EST (#336199) #
I'm not sure we're acknowledging just how awful revere was last year. he pulled a bonifacio.

I mean he's maybe worth an ST invite, but even then he should be a longshot to win a job.
Jevant - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 12:13 PM EST (#336200) #
It's possible that he completely forgot how to hit at age 28.  I find that hard to believe.  I think he's a decent buy-low option, since the price will be low for the reasons you note, and if you are expecting him to be your 3rd or 4th option, that doesn't seem terrible to me.  Speed doesn't slump, and I simply can't believe he's completely forgotten how to hit.  Also: .234 BABIP last year, versus .314 career.  And he seemed to genuinely like it here.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 12:27 PM EST (#336203) #
Dyson gets his value from defense and baserunning, both of which he has done a lot of late in games while avoiding hitting as much as possible (not saying that's ideal use for him, but it is how KC has used him). So you can't pro-rate his PA's to a full-season WAR number - i.e., 3 WAR in 300 PAs does not translate to a full year 6 WAR in 600 PAs.

No question.  He rarely faces LHPs too (30 PAs last year).  He's not going to get 600-650 PAs in a season and perform the same way he does over 300 (unless his terrific small-sample performance against LHPs in 2016 turns out to be a sign of an adjustment).  However, as a platoon player getting 450-500 PAs, he can add significantly more value than when he is used for 300 PAs only. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:00 PM EST (#336204) #
AWeb, I wasn't prorating Dyson's partial season 3 WAR. I was just stating a fact; he's a 3 WAR player on half a season's worth of plate appearances. What he would be over 600+ would still be very good, but certainly not a 6+ WAR unless he hits a whole lot better over everyday AB's.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:09 PM EST (#336205) #
Rosenthal saying the Red Sox have "built momentum towards a deal" for Chris Sale, and that they appear stronger than the Nats at the moment.

My guess is if the Red Sox are serious, then they'll get him. They have the better prospects and Dombrowski has a history of trading them. In this case, Sale would be the type of player you would trade prospects for. It would have to be at least one of Benintendi or Moncada, plus others.

Sale, Porcello, Price, Wright, and one of Buccholz/ Rodriguez/Pomeranz is a very strong rotation.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:15 PM EST (#336206) #
I imagine it would be Moncada plus a couple of erod devers or kopech. plus some lesser pieces.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:16 PM EST (#336207) #
oh I was close.

looks like the deal is done.

Moncada + Kopech + a couple of others
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:19 PM EST (#336208) #
good on the Sox to sell high on Moncada. He's good but not nearly as good as hyped imo.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:24 PM EST (#336209) #
Getting Sale and keeping Benintendi is a pretty sweet deal for the Red Sox. If Moncada is the best prospect they are giving up, then it is definitely something they can live with.

Bad news for the Jays and the rest of the AL East.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:26 PM EST (#336210) #
Moncada is apparently the best prospect in baseball, traded for a "past peak" 28yr old.

You'd be furious if the jays did this.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 01:45 PM EST (#336211) #
The deal is officially Moncada, Kopech, Luis Basabe, and Victor Diaz. Going by Sickels ratings, that's the Red Sox #1, #5, and #9 prospects with Diaz being unrated as of last season. Definitely a steep price to pay, as Moncada is one of the best prospects in the game (if not the best). I was hoping it would be both Moncada and Benintendi, but as I said one or the other for Sale is probably something they can live with.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:12 PM EST (#336214) #
SK, not only is Benintendi not in the deal, but the Red Sox managed to hang on to JBJ as well. Bradley was reported to be the sticking point when the parties spoke during last season. Great deal for the Red Sox. They look to be set for a while.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:16 PM EST (#336215) #
Don't mind the Sale deal - so the Red Sox win the division by 10 games instead of 5 - playoffs is still a crapshoot - Dombrowski has unloaded a shitload of prospects since he took the job & the results have been mediocre - Sox could be dominant the next few years but in decline when the Jays next wave arrive. I'm weary of Sale holding up longterm - for that package I'd rather Chris Archer.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:22 PM EST (#336216) #
Wonder if this makes the White Sox more open to a Adam Eaton trade.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:23 PM EST (#336217) #
Yeah, Moncada and Bradley would have been a much better deal (from a Jays fan perspective) as the Red Sox would have taken a 4-5 WAR player from last season off their roster. Instead they traded one elite prospect in a system where they have another one (Benintendi, who I like a lot) plus depth, and lose no one from the big league roster. In return, they get an ace with three years of very cheap control left through ages 28-30. Even with Moncada involved the deal comes off a little light for the White Sox. Would have liked to see the Red Sox trade more capital than they did.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:28 PM EST (#336218) #
Yes, it's a good trade for the Red Sox.  I don't think that highly of Moncada.  On the other hand, I'm not persuaded that Sale, Porcello, Price and Wright will produce quite as much as they did last year.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:30 PM EST (#336219) #
Ortiz 2016: 4.4fwar, 5.1bwar
Sale 2016: 5.1fwar, 4.9bwar
Sale Steamer: 4.9fwar (4.8ra9war)
krose - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:51 PM EST (#336220) #
Not sure we are recognizing the value of Kopech. I watched him pitch in the AFL. He was the most dominant pitcher I saw, and looked better than our SRF by quite a bit. He was also the youngest player on his team. I sat behind home plate with scouts and they were in awe of his dominance. One comment I heard was, "He's just playing with these guys".
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 02:57 PM EST (#336221) #
Yeah, Kopech looks like he emerging and has put his past behind him - I like his upside best amongst the prospects the White Sox received. I also take comfort in that the White Sox are good at moving pitchers before they breakdown.
CeeBee - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 03:33 PM EST (#336222) #
Wouldn't it be something if Price and Sale blew up in the same year, not that I'm wishing anything bad happens to them but....
John Northey - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 04:55 PM EST (#336223) #
So for the equivalent from the Jays would anyone here be happy if the Jays just traded Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Bo Bichette, and someone from the 11-20 group for 3 cheap years of Sale? I know I wouldn't be happy with that.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 05:09 PM EST (#336224) #
Liked this comment from Joel Sherman on Twitter:

"More trades Dombrowski makes of these kind of prospects, the better Cherington's tenure looks, esp building system #Redsox"

Considering that Cherington is now in the Jays organization, hopefully that's a good sign for the player development side of things.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 05:49 PM EST (#336225) #
Maybe the deal doesn't happen if Yoan's last name is Boncada.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 05:55 PM EST (#336226) #
CF - I prefer Spotrac for salary info, as it has a nice accounting for adjusted salaries (eg. retained $$) throughout the year: http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/payroll/2016/
I've read Dyson's name a bunch on Twitter, though no one really knows what the Royals plan on doing.

Do you posters mean data mining on Twitter and specific website is more or less a foul-proof way to get inisider information.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 06:12 PM EST (#336227) #
Against righties:
RF Fowler 2B Travis 3B Donaldson DH Morales 1B Pearce/Smoak SS Tulowitzki C Martin CF Pillar LF Zeke/Upton/Pompey
It's still a little right-handed heavy, but a pretty solid lineup.

Let's say they don't get Fowler, but do get Smith and Granderson: C: Martin 1B: Pearce 2B: Travis SS: Tulo 3B: Donaldson OF: Pillar, Smith, Granderson DH: Morales Bench: Upton, Smoak, Barney, Backup C That would be against RHP.  Against LHP, Upton and Smoak into the lineup for Smith and maybe Granderson (Pearce to LF). You should still have some money for the bullpen.


From the looks of this roster and lineup, Zeke, Ceciliani and Pompey seem not getting much PAs to improve or showcase their skills. For backup including C, how about signing a bunch of former Jays to Buffalo to complement prospects and young players assigned to Triple-A. This offseason features quite a few former Jays as free agents for the minors or majors. Is my following induction good? For players drafted or signed as youth by the Jays, their presence in this offseason after several seasons beyond the 6 Jays minor league seasons means the Jays signing them at the beginning is correct choices. In other words, these players are good enough on their own to stay around seasons after the 6 Jays minor league seasons. If so, signing them to refurbish in Triple-A would improve them better than signing some players in ways of throwing something onto the wall to see if it sticks. They are familiar with how the organization functions; the coaching is different and thus crucial to their improvement.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 06:18 PM EST (#336228) #
The Sox have now signed Moreland to play 1B, so Hanley moves to DH. I presume the trading of Shaw and Moncada means they're going to try Panda at 3B again.

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think Moncada is a terrific prospect. He OPS'd over .900 in A+ and AA, in a season where was 20 years old at the start, and turned 21 during the year. He is a very good base stealer, walks a lot, and has developing power. I think he has a reasonable chance at being an impact player. Kopech is a very big addition to the White Sox system as well. On the other hand, Sale is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball, and has a great contract for 3 more years. Interesting trade. Let's see who else they deal now that they're in rebuild mode.
scottt - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 06:36 PM EST (#336229) #
That's a lot of lefties in their rotation. Good against the Yankees at least.

Are they going to carry Pandoval?

Bucholtz and Pomeranz in the pen? It sorta looks like they need to trade one of their starters.

Sandy Leon is the guy that shouldn't produce as much as last year.

Anyone replacing Ortiz is likely to have at least 20 fewer walks and 60 more strikeouts.

scottt - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 06:52 PM EST (#336230) #
Moreland for 1 year 5.5M, a bit less than what he made this year. Seems unlikely the Jays offered less.
Or maybe he wasn't really opened to play the outfield.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:11 PM EST (#336231) #
dan imo he's a very good prospect but imo he ends up a corner OF in the end and his massive strikeout numbers have shown no sign of improving which may indicate a fatal flaw in the end a la travis snider.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:32 PM EST (#336232) #
multiple sources report that Jays and Bautista talking.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:33 PM EST (#336233) #
rumblings we just met with Joey's agent.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:42 PM EST (#336234) #
Predictable, IMO. Teams are probably reluctant to drop a pick for Jose, and the Jays are seeing OF options being limited. Bautista back on a 2 year deal wouldn't shock me at all.
Parker - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:49 PM EST (#336235) #
The Red Sox are going to dominate the entire AL the next couple years. The Jays are going to be lucky to finish in third, and a bunch of people are going to hate on Shapiro and Atkins.

And oh my God I hope the organization doesn't feel they have to throw away a bunch of money on Bautista at this point, because he's not going to make enough of a difference to matter... fan support or not.
CeeBee - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 07:50 PM EST (#336236) #
Could we hide him in left field?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 08:47 PM EST (#336237) #
Agreed about Boston being a powerhouse over the next couple of years. That was likely the case even before the Sale deal, but certainly moreso now. As far as the Jays, they are going to have to try to maximize whatever is left of the Donaldson years, especially with the new CBA effectively killing any real benefit to losing a player to free agency. At this point it is about adding wins wherever they can with whatever is available to them. Bautista, horrid defense and all, is projected to be a 3 WAR player next season (128 wRC+). That might be a bit optimistic given his age, and last season could have been the beginning stages of his decline, but you have to weigh the options. The Mets apparently are preparing to trade Bruce while keeping Granderson. Fowler might sign elsewhere. Dyson is about to be traded according to Twitter and I'm not hearing the Jays involved in that (would be nice if they got him). Bautista on a 1 or 2 year deal (nothing above that) might be the best of what they can get, for better or worse.

Shapiro and Atkins are preparing for 2018-beyond. That's why they are focusing on short-term deals for veterans while hoarding as many prospects/picks as they can. In the mean time, their only options are trading vets to take a step back or trying to piece together a roster in 2017-18 that can compete for at least a WC spot. The latter makes far more sense given the state of the organization, as long as it does not interfere with continuing to build the system up.
scottt - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 08:52 PM EST (#336238) #
I get the impression a lot of people don't like Bautista. Especially outside Toronto.
A one year deal just above QO might allow him to save face and be back on the market without the pick.
He still gets on base and has power. Maybe he would be better in left field by now?
I'd rather have Bautista than Bruce.

ramone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:02 PM EST (#336239) #
I think with this teams payroll it will come down to Fowler or Bautista and I think I'd prefer Fowler.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:17 PM EST (#336240) #
Steamer wrc+

2B Pedroia (33) 105
SS Bogaerts (24) 112
RF Betts (24) 132
DH Ramirez (33) 120
CF Bradley (27) 104
LF Benintendi (22) 103
3B Sandoval (30) 97
1B Moreland (31) 95
C Leon (28) 74

UT Swihart (25) 87
OF Young (33) 99
IF Holt (29) 88
C Vazquez (26) 79

UT Travis (23) 95
OF Castillo (29) 83
IF Hernandez (24) 84
C Romanski (26) 69


"powerhouse" is a bit of a stretch imo.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:25 PM EST (#336241) #
https://twitter.com/JeffFletcherOCR/status/806276297609637888
Gerry - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:51 PM EST (#336242) #
Funniest thing today was the O's telling Bautista they wouldn't sign him because their fans hate him.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:57 PM EST (#336243) #
BA list four Blue Jays among their 72 potential rule 5 picks.

Roemon Fields and DJ Davis are listed as speedy centre fielders. David seems to be listed among first rounders who were unprotected. Fields can run and steal so he is a possibility.

Two pitchers are listed. Angel Perdomo, who BA think is too far away to be picked, and Francisco Rios who might also be too far away as he has never pitched in AA.
Jdog - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 09:58 PM EST (#336244) #
I feel like Bautista is beings undervalued with a recency bias. Yes he was banged up and that might be more of a problem as he ages. With his plate discipline and power all we need is some health, sign him and play him at 1B and LF with some days at DH...if you can get him for 2-3 years I would prefer him to Fowler.  A healthy Bautista is still one of the premier hitters in the league i believe...if your signing Fowler to play him in a corner he loses some of his value right there.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:01 PM EST (#336245) #
What a contrast in organizations.

The Red Sox exchanged some minor league wealth for thee years of Chris Sale on a team friendly deal.

The Blue Jays traded much more than that in Syndergaard, dArnaud, Norris, Hoffman, Boyd, Castro, Wells, Tinoco and Brentz for 4 years of full cost RA Dickey, 2 months of Playoffs Price and Mark Lowe, and a free agent contract for Troy Tulowitzi.

In addition, the Red Sox play draftees Benintendi, Bradley, Betts, Boegarts, Pedroia, Shaw and Leon, while the only starting position player the Blue Jays have drafted is Kevin Pillar.

Count me among those that's glad to see Ben Cherington in our midst.

cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:09 PM EST (#336246) #
The Red Sox exchanged some minor league wealth for thee years of Chris Sale on a team friendly deal. The Blue Jays traded much more than that in Syndergaard, dArnaud, Norris, Hoffman, Boyd, Castro, Wells, Tinoco and Brentz for 4 years of full cost RA Dickey, 2 months of Playoffs Price and Mark Lowe, and a free agent contract for Troy Tulowitzi. The Red Sox play draftees Benintendi, Bradley, Betts, Boegarts, Pedroia, Shaw and Leon, while the only starting position player the Blue Jays have drafted is Kevin Pillar. Count me among those that's glad to see Ben Cherington in our midst.

Why couldn't the Jays achieve that? Given the above, FO's management during AA tenure is not as good as it seemed?

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:12 PM EST (#336247) #
And oh my God I hope the organization doesn't feel they have to throw away a bunch of money on Bautista at this point

The front office wisely ignored the internet 'just pay him the money' $150 million nutters in February when Bautista was claiming he was above team payroll considerations. I doubt they intend to make a foolish deal now.

I thought earlier that Bautista could be back because Toronto is the kind of place that can forget a young man's foolishness, and also he has business interests here. Plus, at this stage it looks like they may not even get a draft pick out of him. A couple of years in left field on a far smaller deal would be fine.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:18 PM EST (#336248) #
Shapiro and Atkins are preparing for 2018-beyond. That's why they are focusing on short-term deals for veterans while hoarding as many prospects/picks as they can. In the mean time, trying to piece together a roster in 2017-18 that can compete for at least a WC spot makes far more sense given the state of the organization, as long as it does not interfere with continuing to build the system up.

Given what CBDC's comments in hir last post, how can the Jays get some trades of Chris Sale's kind to both or either build the system up and piece together a roster. Shall we posters or fans break the issues down into manageable ideas that are known to be true and piece together the whole picture piece by piece? (Descartes?)
cybercavalier - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:37 PM EST (#336249) #
Toronto is the kind of place that can forget a young man's foolishness.

Does this translate into allowing former Jays prospects who still stay around to refurbish themselves in Buffalo with Jays' coaching? Other than some semi-known commodities, former Jays prospects spent seasons in the farm system. New coaching at least knows more than pedestrian assessments of these players.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 10:38 PM EST (#336250) #
cybercavalier - the jays have made better trades than the Sale trade, with less. i.e. Donaldson.

the jays have never had a prospect as highly ranked as moncada, never mind traded him, so it's fun to see some not only praising the red sox for trading that kind of prospect but claiming that the jays have traded "much more". heck, we haven't even traded a prospect as highly ranked as espinoza last year, never mind moncada.

though if the claim is that the red sox prospects are overranked, then it might make sense.


the sox have 5 drafted players under 33 that are more than bench guys or middle relief. leon was not drafted by the sox. shaw is gone. the jays have 4.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 06 2016 @ 11:45 PM EST (#336251) #
Bautista for 2 at $30 mil would be a good deal I think, but much more wouldn't be imo. The problem is he would have to eat a LOT of crow to come back at a reasonable price. Last winter I'm sure the Jays offered 4/$80 at least and I know I made a case that 5/$100 could make sense. Now it wouldn't of course. His insane 5/$150 was pie in the sky and if he really thought he'd get that then this winter has to be a big eye opener. Wouldn't be shocked if he comes back loaded for bear and has a great year in 2017 regardless of who he signs with. Sadly I fear it would be a 'dead cat bounce' year. IE: his last great year followed by a few years of 'meh' and retirement.

Very happy to see the O's being silly if they really are refusing to consider Bautista just because their fans currently hate him. All fans are fickle. They hate a player until he is on their team, then they love him until he leaves or stops producing.
Michael - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 12:56 AM EST (#336252) #
Yeah, the claim the Jays can't make good trades based on the AA tenure is crazy. Remember Donaldson? That guy's pretty good. I like that Travis guy we have at second base, how did we get him? Or when we traded Vernon Wells and his contract which is arguably the most surprising deal of all.

Hyping prospects then trading them when overvalued is a good general strategy. People remember the prospects that develop, but forget the many more that flame out. If you can develop ML talent by developing your prospects, great! If you can develop ML talent by trading your prospects, great! What isn't great is if you keep your prospects and then they fail to develop or you block there path to the majors with $4M/year multi-year contracts to replacement level talent.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 03:07 AM EST (#336253) #
I'd be happy with Bautista back for a one or two year deal. I'd prefer Fowler but he'll take a four year deal most likely. I understand what the Red Sox are doing. They are going for it in the next few years and they will be a hard team to beat in that period. I just don't think this is a great strategy. In the era of the two wildcards, the most important thing is to be able to make the playoffs consistently and being dominant is much less important (The best team rarely wins the WS anymore).

From the White Sox point of view, I love it. They are a roughly .500 team with a bad system and no clear path to contend for a few years. The Indians and Tigers are both better. They were going sideways for quite some time which is a big mistake teams make when they are not going to contend. They can now, especially if they trade Quintana, Eaton, Abreu, Frazier, etc...rebuild very quickly. They have gone from having a bottom system to having a top one with one move and still have real assets to trade.
scottt - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 05:36 AM EST (#336254) #
The Yankees might sign Chapman back for 80M.

Trumbo was asking for 4/80M and Orioles are probably closer to 3/45M.

If Cleveland is talking with Bautista, you know he's no longer in the long term, big money market.

China fan - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 06:45 AM EST (#336255) #
"...What a contrast in organizations...."

It's true, there's a contrast. The Jays have a much smaller payroll than the money-guzzling Red Sox, yet the Jays are the only AL team to have made the league's championship round in each of the past two seasons.

But we can always sneer at the Jays and claim that the Sox are superior if we just arbitrarily imagine the future success of the big-spending team.
scottt - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 07:17 AM EST (#336256) #
Fowler and Bautista are in the same salary range for 2017. Fowler will sign for at least 4 years, but that doesn't matter in the short term. Those guys are mutually exclusive.

The Jays were also talking with Bautista's agent about Ianetta. He's roughly a 1 WAR gain over Thole if you pencil him for 60+ games. Probably worth 4M at this point?

lexomatic - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 08:18 AM EST (#336257) #
I would really like an ianetta signing. While he has injury and small sample risks, he had the potential to not be an issue if Martin gets hurt.


85bluejay - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 08:49 AM EST (#336258) #
Still think Bautista returning to the Jays is a longshot - some good signs for the Jays in their Fowler pursuit - Gomez signing with Texas probably means Rangers less likely to sign Desmond - If the Royals get Soler, likely to move Cain/Dyson and White Sox will probably listen on Eaton - more CF choices for Cardinals/Giants.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 08:52 AM EST (#336259) #
Bautista's free agency just came at a really bad time for him. He is coming off a down season where he was injured twice, will be 36 next season, and was given the qualifying offer in the final year of the old CBA. Teams are not going to give him the type of money or term he wants, especially now with first round picks being more valuable than ever due to the CBA change next winter. If he were younger then he may have signed a one year deal and gone back on the market next season without the QO, but he won't do that at age 36.

I don't think the Jays view Bautista as a top priority, but they might be seeing the writing on the wall with some of their other targets and circling back to Jose just in case he might be the best value out there for them. Bautista obviously sees the Jays as a priority for a multitude of reasons.

If Fowler doesn't work out, then at this point I'd be a little surprised if the Jays and Bautista did not come to terms on a deal. The options on the market are not there, unless there's a trade target that no one has brought up yet.
mathesond - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 08:56 AM EST (#336260) #
I'm a little disappointed that the Jays weren't in on Carlos Gomez. I, perhaps irrationally, see him as a great bounce-back candidate and wouldn't be surprised to see him outperform all of the outfielders currently on the Jays roster.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 09:50 AM EST (#336261) #
This is high stakes poker and will likely blow up in their faces but i do appreciate how our FO's no nonsense aggressiveness has got EE and Joey's attention right quick.

even if it might be too late.

and I don't think our FO is impressed at all with EE's agent blabbing all the contract negotiation details. I know I'm not.

all I know is the day they made the 4x$20 offer I was satisfied. That was an honest attempt to sign one of our own top FAs for the first time in.... maybe ever?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 09:57 AM EST (#336262) #
"Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan
Edwin Encarnacion is in wait-and-see mode because of how his market cratered. At this point, no team even willing to go three years, $60M."


Yikes. Turning down 4/80 from the Jays looks like it is going to bite him. When his agent was scrambling after the Pearce signing, you got a sense that he saw his market crashing (combined with the Yankees and Astros signing Holliday and Beltran respectively).
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 10:01 AM EST (#336263) #
If the Jays can get Seth Smith cheap, he's a good platoon partner for Upton - I'm partial to getting hitters from big ballparks & he put up some good numbers in Colorado. A Pillar,Fowler,Smith/Upton outfield solid.
Dave Till - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 10:32 AM EST (#336264) #

This off-season is reminding me a lot of 2000 or so, only with the Red Sox in the role that the Yankees once had. The Jays are making sensible, logical, cost-effective improvements, but are facing a division rival with a seemingly unlimited budget. The only good sign is that the Red Sox may be starting to follow the Yankee Way, in which developing prospects was somebody else's problem because they want to win now. This only lasts until the prospects run out and the money runs out.

Very happy to see the O's being silly if they really are refusing to consider Bautista just because their fans currently hate him. All fans are fickle. They hate a player until he is on their team, then they love him until he leaves or stops producing.

True, that. Case in point: Jack Morris - it was weird actually rooting for him.

That was an honest attempt to sign one of our own top FAs for the first time in.... maybe ever?

I think that Vernon Wells was the last one, actually. :-)

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 10:43 AM EST (#336265) #
Gord Ash "sensible"? Damn, our memories play tricks with us.  Nevermind, it isn't important. 

I am not worried about the Red Sox.  They will be a good club but the way things are headed, so will the Blue Jays.  They do need a corner outfielder though.

bpoz - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 11:18 AM EST (#336266) #
Good strategy to aim for the 2nd WC. If payroll parameters are a barrier. AL WC both 89 wins. NL WC both 87 wins.

Next best team 3 with 86 wins.

Just get in !!! 87-91. In with 87 if you are lucky. Then let your Ace SP carry the team on his shoulders. Madbum. A Sanchez/Stroman or someone.

A Miller or A Chapman can now take you quite far. Osuna!!!

Good defense helps a lot.

Of course my glasses are rosy.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 11:36 AM EST (#336267) #
Wells was a case of paying full market value a year before you had to. It was dumb from the moment it happened. But yes, it does qualify as trying to retain our top free agents.

Is there a world where we get both Bautista and Encarnacion back? We could just eat the ridiculous Smoak contract (does he have pictures of Atkins daughter or something?) and play Pearce as a supersub at the corners. Basically all of Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Morales, and Pearce would be setup to play 145 games assuming health.

Then you just platoon Pompey and Upton in LF (or RF if you can move Joey).
uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 11:49 AM EST (#336268) #
Is Upton $5m or $0 this year? i keep forgetting.

But yeah I like that plan. Trade Smoak and Upton.

Pearce supersubbing.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 11:56 AM EST (#336269) #
Pearce is not a super-sub candidate because of his health.  You want him to get as many PAs as a first-baseman or DH as you can, and if you put him in the OF, that goes out the window.  This was the issue with Bautista in RF (both arm and leg).

Milb.com points out Allen Cordoba, a shortstop in the Appy League at age 20 with speed, contact ability and defence, as a possible Rule 5 choice.  Memories of Manny Lee...Alas, that was a time before the last roster spot was taken by a reliever as a matter of course. 

uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 11:59 AM EST (#336270) #
yeah but Bautista and Pearce splitting time between 1B/OF is a good way to save wear and tear.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 12:45 PM EST (#336271) #
For the Jays the sweet spot is around 90 wins. Good enough to get into the playoffs but not blowing a fortune trying to get to 95+. Given the structure of the playoffs a strong rotation and pen is critical and the Jays have the rotation and closer with a few decent middle men. Good enough to go far enough to keep fans happy.

As to payroll, given how the new agreement appears tougher on big spenders who pass the cap the Red Sox might regret shooting into the $200+ range now. B-R lists the Jays as being at $136.3 after factoring in arbitration so lots of room left. I suspect the Jays are allowed to go to the cap but no way our current GM/president want to go there, they'd rather keep room for mid-season and not lock in 2018 and beyond any more than necessary. I agree with that approach although for the right player you take the risk. Following this approach keeps that option open in case a Votto or someone else drops into the Jays lap for a cheap price.

Other payrolls of note....
Over $189 (AKA luxury tax hit): Detroit, Boston, Dodgers.
Over $150 (aka at risk so will watch pennies): Yankees, Angels, Baltimore, Giants, Cubs, Washington, Mets barely below.
Under $100 (aka cheap skates): White Sox, Oakland, Tampa, Philly, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Milwaukee, San Diego (only team in the $50's with no one signed, no one projected to make $5+ million - Wil Myers).

Surprise surprise: Miami is projected to be over $100 million. They might be a team ready to deal. Minnesota should be too but their most expensive piece no sane team would go for (Mauer - now limited to 1B/DH and around 100 OPS+). Atlanta should be desperate to dump but seems calm - $20+ guys for them are Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp. Both would look good here but doubt they'll trade either at a reasonable price.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 12:48 PM EST (#336272) #
Pearce should be the starting first baseman. The Toronto media is trying to spin that he's only a platoon bat, but he hits RHP more than well enough to justify playing everyday and is an above average defensive player at first.

vs RHP
2014: 272 PA, 142 wRC+, 9.9% BB%, .217 ISO
2015: 201 PA, 107 wRC+, 7.0% BB%, .231 ISO
2016: 207 PA, 118 wRC+, 10.1% BB%, .159 ISO

His versatility can come in handy in case of need or match-up, but even if they brought Bautista back, I think playing Pearce at 1B everyday should be the goal. They would be under-utilizing him in a platoon, IMO.

The conflict with bringing Bautista back would be Morales more than Pearce. If they do bring Jose back, the best use of the roster would be to play him in the outfield, which is a pretty scary thought, but it's likely the best positional use of a Bautista-Pearce-Morales tandem.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 01:13 PM EST (#336273) #
Sure, if healthy, Pearce is good enough to be an everyday first baseman.  That's a big if.  He will be turning 34 in April and he never has had more than 383 PAs in a season (and he's coming off a significant injury that ended his season).  If you get 300-350 good PAs from him, I think that you would have to be happy about that. 
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 01:30 PM EST (#336274) #
Is there a world where we get both Bautista and Encarnacion back? We could just eat the ridiculous Smoak contract (does he have pictures of Atkins daughter or something?) and play Pearce as a supersub at the corners. Basically all of Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Morales, and Pearce would be setup to play 145 games assuming health.

I think this would lead to too many games with both Pearce and Bautista in the OF corners.
92-93 - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 01:37 PM EST (#336275) #
"I feel like Bautista is beings undervalued with a recency bias. Yes he was banged up and that might be more of a problem as he ages. With his plate discipline and power all we need is some health, sign him and play him at 1B and LF with some days at DH...if you can get him for 2-3 years I would prefer him to Fowler. A healthy Bautista is still one of the premier hitters in the league i believe...if your signing Fowler to play him in a corner he loses some of his value right there."

This is exactly how I feel, and I'll add that heading into 2016 if you asked me which player I want extended through 2019-2020 I was definitely choosing Bautista over Encarnacion, and it wasn't all that close. Bautista was a significantly better hitter than EE over the course of the 2014-2015 seasons.

Heading into the offseason I thought the Jays offer to Bautista should be 2/40m; 18, 18, and then a team option at 18 with a 4m buyout. That still seems reasonable to me.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 01:43 PM EST (#336276) #
If he gets hurt then there's nothing that can be done about that, but in general I don't think he should be viewed as a utility player or platoon bat. That would be the main benefit of adding someone like Fowler in that there would be no need to juggle positions around to accommodate poor defensive talent. My ideal next few weeks would be adding Jarrod Dyson in a trade and Fowler in free agency (contract within reason). Improves the defense, puts Pearce at 1B full-time, creates a platoon partner for Upton, gives the team a LH high OBP player in the lineup, etc. With Bautista, it might end up being a good value move depending on the cost, but it would create a lot of defensive issues, especially if Gibbons decides to use Pearce as a revolving defensive player which might exacerbate his injury issues.
92-93 - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 01:49 PM EST (#336277) #
A 34 year old who has never played more than 102g or had more than 383 PA in a season is the very definition of a platoon bat. Sometimes the determining factor for being part of a platoon is your ability to handle being on the field 6-7x a week, and not how well you hit one side of pitching. Trying to play him everyday in April because you've committed 10m to Justin Smoak is a poor, short-sighted plan.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 01:59 PM EST (#336278) #
Ian Desmond appears headed to Colorado. $70/5. To play first base, they say. Did not see that coming. There goes another vacancy.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 02:03 PM EST (#336279) #
well, depends what you're referring to with the word "platoon".

Common usage would be a guy who can't play every day due to some skill deficiency, not just a guy who's injured.

"chronically injured starter" is a more apt label for Pearce than "platoon bat", imo.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 02:03 PM EST (#336280) #
Pearce's age is more relevant than his previous usage. It's possible that teams never viewed him as an everyday player despite performance telling them otherwise, or he got hurt at the wrong times. Or a combination of the two. I don't think that should be the reason to avoid playing him everyday if he's healthy. I'm not expecting a 5 WAR like he had in 2014, but I think he can put up a pretty darn good season for an everyday player if given a chance. He has power, draws walks, doesn't have a platoon disadvantage, and is good defensively. I'd take the over on the 1.5 WAR projection if he's healthy and playing regularly/close to it.

Same way I view Dyson who I brought up earlier. The Royals decided to play inferior talent over him. That doesn't mean he's a 4th OF. It's worth a shot to find out with Pearce, especially if Smoak is the alternative.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 02:58 PM EST (#336281) #
Don't get the Desmond signing at all. Rockies aren't close, they have a ton of Ofers already, and they have to give up the 11th pick. That's a very high pick worth a lot. Rangers must be thrilled. Not sure if I've ever seen a team give up that high a pick to sign a player.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 03:06 PM EST (#336282) #
If Pearce comes to spring training healthy, and the club decides to play him 6 days a week with five days at first base and one day DHing (and Morales playing first base), I would be OK with that.  With luck, Rowdy Tellez will be ready by the middle of the year and can take over whatever work Pearce cannot do.  And who knows, maybe this is the year that Pearce is healthy for the whole season and can give you good PAs.  I just wouldn't count on that given his history.

Dyson is a different case.  He's younger and he hasn't been getting the PAs he deserves not because of injury but because of preconceptions of what a corner OF "should be" and the presence of Lorenzo Cain. 



John Northey - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 03:13 PM EST (#336283) #
Desmond at first base would be extremely stupid. He is a guy who in 2015 was at SS and last year was in CF. Both high defense positions where his 100 OPS+ bat plays very well. At 1B he is worth no more than Smoak would be.

Colorado is very set at SS and CF for the next few years so maybe Desmond is going to LF (a black hole for Colorado last year 256/291/403 which is almost pitcher hitting level if you factor in this was in Colorado). Almost makes sense then but still not really.
mathesond - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 03:34 PM EST (#336284) #
I'm guessing CarGo is not long for the Rockies
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 03:50 PM EST (#336285) #
Heard yesterday that Gibbons was asked what role he would use Pearce for, and he said he would use him as a platoon partner for Smoak. Hopefully, if Smoak continues to hit like he did last year, Gibbons will give some more of the 1B time to Pearce.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 04:16 PM EST (#336286) #
Brett Oberholtzer was signed.  Nice depth move. 
Gerry - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 05:08 PM EST (#336287) #
Colorado wanted Stroman for Blackmon. Hahaha.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 05:11 PM EST (#336288) #
and jon morosi actually treated that ask as reasonable. hilarious.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 05:13 PM EST (#336289) #
Eaton gets the chisox pretty close to the same package the nats were offering for Sale. imo that's nuts. Eaton is not that type of player.

even though i do think he nats were smart to sell high on gio.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 05:32 PM EST (#336290) #
It may be that the Nats can have Eaton for the next 5 years for the same price that the Red Sox have Sale for 3 years and pitchers are inherently more risky.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 05:39 PM EST (#336291) #
well, Blackmon was a 4.4 war player while Stroman was 1.4
eudaimon - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 06:14 PM EST (#336292) #
I'm still hoping they can get one of Bautista or Encarnacion to play 1B a good portion of the time, splitting time with Pearce presumably. Then they can dump Smoak. Maybe some rebuilding team would want to take a chance on him.
scottt - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 06:15 PM EST (#336293) #
Blackmon would be great. Left bat. Gets on base a lot. But, I don't see how the Jays would answer Boston''s acquisition of Sale by trading away a starter.

Did the Rockies sign an outfielder to a 5 years 70M deal in a bid to acquire pitching?

scottt - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 06:28 PM EST (#336294) #
Seth Smith would make a decent platoon partner for Upton, but the Mariner gave up a reliever to get him and would likely ask for the same. Baltimore is probably in a better position to make that trade.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 07:01 PM EST (#336295) #
I would bet the farm that neither EE or Jose return to the Jays - With the Signing of Morales/Pearce, I don't think the money or position is there for EE & I think Bautista is too high maintenance for this FO (notice how much the reporters that cover the Jays have been downplaying the possibility of Bautista returning - I think they take their cue from the FO interaction.)
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 08:42 PM EST (#336296) #
I guess I can't this affirmatively anymore since a team just gave up the 11th pick in the draft and $70M over five years to play Ian Desmond at 1B (allegedly), but I still don't see too many teams willing to give up a first round pick for Bautista. If the Jays lose out on Fowler (and whoever else they are targeting), then I still see Jose coming back. I guess we will see.

I wonder what the market for Fowler is now. The Cardinals seem to be the main competition as the Rangers re-signed Gomez so they are probably out. If Desmond got 5/70, it may have raised Fowler's demands. All it takes is one desperate/foolish team to swoop in and overpay everyone else.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 09:01 PM EST (#336297) #
The Desmond thing really is bizarre. It must be nice to be the Rockies and know that simple geography will make almost all your position player FA signings look ingenious.

Now that they've sacrificed their first rounder, they really should double down and roll out the purple carpet for Encarnacion, if his market really is collapsing.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 09:12 PM EST (#336298) #
Bizarre but also funny. I can't think of a per making the SS to CF to 1B conversion. It is a combination of Robin Yount, Drain Erstad and Jose Offerman.

Purple carpet for a purple state. Makes sense.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 09:27 PM EST (#336299) #
I think the offer of Blackmon for Stroman is a reasonable one. Blackmon is a CF who OPS'd over .900, hit 29 HR's. You have to consider the park he played in, but his OPS on the road was over .900 as well - he actually hit 5 more HR's on the road. He had a tremendous season, and if the Jays had a reasonable 6th starter to replace Stroman, it would be something to consider. A significant issue is the fact that Stroman isn't a free agent for 4 years, and Blackmon only 2 years, so you'd want to sign him to a 3 or 4 year contract, otherwise you're trading 4 years of Stroman for 2 years of Blackmon. The fact that his 2016 season was considerably better than his previous 2 would be something to evaluate as well, with the main difference being that he hit so much better on the road than he did in 2014, 2015.

Sure would have liked to get Eaton. Don't know what would have been a comparable package for the Jays to give up - that's a nice haul that the Sox got for him.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 09:42 PM EST (#336300) #
a career nothing having a crazy babip/iso surge flukey surge at age 30 doesn't get you stroman imo.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 10:16 PM EST (#336301) #
Blackmon has a career 727 OPS away from Coors. He's 30. I wouldn't trade Stroman for him straight up.
Smaj - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 10:32 PM EST (#336302) #
I think both JB & EE are signed before Christmas by other organizations. Both are top offensive players whose market prices have dropped to attractive levels. Jays are moving to a model of more depth using platoons etc. thus no desire to bring either one of them back. Jays FO wants the draft picks & they will get him.
I don't buy the notion that losing a 20th+ plus 1st round pick for JB or EE is a deterrent provided the term & $'s are reasonable (which appears to have happened now). Jays need an OF'er & I desperately want to see Pompey get a fair shake to earn a job. Time to see if Ben Cherington can replicate Bosox prospect success.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 07 2016 @ 10:34 PM EST (#336303) #
Blackmon has two years of control left and he is about to get expensive. Stroman has four years left.
uglyone - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 01:25 AM EST (#336304) #
Blackmon is a bad defensive CF with a league average bat. He's proved that over his career, no matter how big an outlier year he had at age 30. A 1-2war type player.

Rockies of course are trying to sell high, as they should, but imo that's a sucker trade for whoever gets him.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 05:42 AM EST (#336305) #
Can Jays' Upton still play CF well defensively ?

85bluejay - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:08 AM EST (#336306) #
Rule V time - Ismael Guillon will probably be gone before the Jays turn - hoping the Jays draft 2 pitchers - maybe bring Jesus Tinoco home.
scottt - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 07:05 AM EST (#336307) #
FO touched base with Ianetta, Bobby Wilson and Geovany Soto. Any of those would do.

Chapman to the Yankees for 4/86M. Marlins and Dodgers still fighting over Jansen who unlike Chapman cost a pick.

Glevin - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 08:18 AM EST (#336308) #
Why are the Marlins after Jansen? Very strange. The value elite closers have is for playoff teams. For non playoff teams, they have very little value. Blackmon would be a good fit on the Jays. His secondary numbers show that many of the gains he made can be for good (patience, fewer groundballs.) I expect some reversion to the mean but he was such a great hitter (144 WRC+ on the road last year) that he can take some reversion and still be an excellent hitter.

Like the Jays, I'd be loathe to part with Stroman that easily and would want the Jays to get back significantly more for him. (Jake McGee would make a lot of sense for the Jays). Still, I'd rather see them go a different way.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 08:31 AM EST (#336309) #
Since I suffer from short pitchers derangement syndrome ,I would offer the Rockies Stroman for Blackmon and Tapia - go out and sign Brett Anderson.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:15 AM EST (#336310) #
Glenn Sparkman is the Blue Jays Rule 5 pick.  He's a RHP who had TJ in 2015, and came back in the middle of last year.  He had nice W and K rates after his return, and made it back to double A by year's end.  They are hoping for another Biagini.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:16 AM EST (#336311) #
...and the Blue Jays did not lose anyone in the major league portion of the draft.  Nice.
uglyone - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:27 AM EST (#336312) #
huh.

sparkman looks like a legit excellent pickup to me.
Gerry - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:38 AM EST (#336313) #
Jays lose Jorge Flores and Matt Smoral in the minor league portion. No givebacks, those two are gone.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:39 AM EST (#336314) #
Matt Smoral was taken in the minor league portion by the Rangers, while the Jays picked up Philip Walby from Washington.

This is what Sickels said about Sparkman before the 2015 season:

"18) Glenn Sparkman, RHP, Grade C: Borderline C+ SLEEPER. A tentative grade that isnít final. Like Binford, Sparkman puts up stellar numbers (1.56 ERA, 117/25 K/BB in 121 innings in High-A, 94 hits) without lighting up radar guns, impressing scouts, or showing up on prospect lists. Equally successful on road and at home last year, so this wasnít all Wilmington park effects. Age 22. Could rank as high as 14."

His 2016 numbers look pretty good. Biagini part II would be nice.
Glevin - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:40 AM EST (#336315) #
Like the pick. You need to take a pitcher with a short bench if you're a contender. He has real K ability and could be a middle man immediately. No downside. If it doesn't work out. Just return him.
Gerry - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:40 AM EST (#336316) #
The Jays also lost Jorge Saez in the minor league rule 5 draft.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:44 AM EST (#336317) #
Four Yankees were chosen in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.  None seem to be likely keepers to me, but what do I know?
vw_fan17 - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:48 AM EST (#336318) #
Why are the Marlins after Jansen? Very strange.

My best guesses:
1) see if improves the club enough to bring them into contention

2) with a 5-year deal, assuming he stays elite, that's 5 years of having an elite closer to trade at the deadline for a major haul

and possibly 3) trade some of your homegrown pitching/relief players/prospects for talent/prospects at other positions.

Not that I know anything, just guessing..
rpriske - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:10 AM EST (#336319) #
The Jays lost Jorge Flores and Mat Smoral in the minor league portion (as well as Saez).

I am disappointed about Smoral.

rpriske - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:12 AM EST (#336320) #
(Sorry. I missed where that was posted already.)

Except for the disappointment part.

PeterG - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:20 AM EST (#336321) #
Smoral should have been jettisoned before this. Definition of a bust imo.
Gerry - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:24 AM EST (#336322) #
On the bright side Angel Perdomo and Francisco Rios are still Blue Jays. The Jays did a good job deciding who to protect in the major league portion.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:30 AM EST (#336323) #
If I remember Smoral was given that 2mil partly because of a recommendation from John Farrell - We maybe should have given that money to one Kris Bryant - rumour was he wanted 1.5mil to sign in 2010.
jerjapan - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:44 AM EST (#336324) #
Rios and especially Perdomo staying is the best news of the day IMO. Sparkman has some intriguing K/BB numbers and pitched well before his TJ, but has only 8 mediocre appearances in AA. He has a little over half of the minor league innings as Biagini and has lost a year of development time - but you never know.

Saez is a 26 year old no-hit catcher, and Flores, a shortstop, regressed in AA at age 25. We have plenty of utility options throughout the minors, so no loss on either guy. Smoral still has upside IMO, but has been wracked with injuries.

Wonder why we didn't make any claims in the minor league draft? Is that a good sign? I seem to recall an occasional gem from the minor league portion of the draft, but I literally can't recall a single name.
Cracka - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 11:01 AM EST (#336325) #
I can't recall anyone of significance that's ever been taken in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft - unless you're a true prospect junkie, it's usually a non-event.

There were six Rule V picks last year that spent the most of the season in the MLB (Goeddel, Perdomo, Guerra, Rickard, Biagini, Bowman) which is more than we've seen than in past years -- all 3 middle relievers became key parts of their team's bullpens (rather than mop-up guys).

Anyway, I like the Sparkman pick because it has the best chance of helping us in 2017. There were obviously other interesting prospects, but it's hard to imagine us carrying a raw rookie as a utility position player with our current roster make-up.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 11:08 AM EST (#336326) #
Cordoba was a good pick by the Padres.  They aren't winning anything in 2017 and can well afford to take a chance on a Manny Lee type. 
Gerry - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 11:20 AM EST (#336327) #
Sparkman was working his way back from TJ in 2016 and pitched in four levels. He only got to AA in August. I don't think his 2016 stats would be the best estimate of what he can do. A full off season should set him up to be at his best in 2017.
bpoz - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 11:37 AM EST (#336328) #
I looked back at the July 2016 transactions and found about 20-25 Latin players signed by us.

They were 16-18 years old in most cases.

That was a huge number IMO. Too young to predict anything of course. But if this FO signs that many every year then they may find something.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 12:11 PM EST (#336329) #
It's a big day in Blue Jay birthdays;  Reed Johnson, Kyle Drabek, Vernon Wells and Josh Donaldson share this b-day.  Happy b-day, one and all.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 04:19 PM EST (#336330) #
Good to see Perdomo and Rios make it through. Sparkman looks like a nice pickup - had 2 fantastic seasons to start his pro career, then had the TJ surgery the next year, 2015. First year back from TJ is often a bit of a struggle, but then things kick in in year 2. His K/BB ratios are outstanding. I think he's got a decent shot at making the team, given the competition for the last bullpen spot is going to be guys like Tepera, Schultz, Leone, Oberholtzer, etc. Don't think they lost anything significant in the AAA portion. Does anybody know the rules for the AAA portion - i.e. who is protected, who can be picked, do they have to stay on the AAA roster of the selecting team?
christaylor - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 04:27 PM EST (#336331) #
Would someone please set me straight because the Blackmon for Stroman rumor got me thinking -- I have this sinking feeling that the Jays are going to need more pitching for 2017.

Sure the rotation seems fine now, but so did the world beating offense during the 2015 offseason.

Parker - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 05:51 PM EST (#336332) #
uglyone's mom's internet died?
John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:10 PM EST (#336333) #
The only minor league draft guy that comes to mind is from 1989 - Mauro "Goose" Gozzo who, in a very tight pennant race, Jays won his first 3 starts and his first relief game (so 4-0 in 4 appearances to start his ML career in the dog days of August) 1.23 ERA in those 4 games over 22 IP, sadly a 13.03 ERA over the rest of his appearances that season. Only 124 IP career wise but boy was that a fun start.
scottt - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:18 PM EST (#336334) #
Sparkman has a mid-90 fastball with a deceptive delivery that is hard to time.
He has great command. Slider, curve and changeup are work in progress.

Has a reasonable chance to succeed in the pen, I think.

scottt - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:23 PM EST (#336335) #
The Padres actually traded to get all 3 top picks in the rule V draft.
That's what I call aggressively rebuilding.

John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:43 PM EST (#336336) #
Given the Padres at this point are projected to have a $52 mil payroll with not one player signed beyond this year and none projected to make over $5 mil in 2017 I'd say that they are into Devil Ray rebuilding phase (ie: lets see how much we can suck and hope to find enough cheap gems to not play before an empty house).
John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:48 PM EST (#336337) #
Just double checked and the Padres have $24.45 million in wasted dollars this year (biggest cost is Upton at $11.45, but Jamie Shields get $11 mil this year and next from them; plus 4 others in the $1-$3.5 range). For guys on their roster none are free agents until after the 2018 season (Carter Capps) with 5 others free agents after 2019 (Wil Myers, Brad Hand, Brandon Maurer, Christian Friedrich, and Yangervis Solarte). This is a team that could be super-cheap for years. So taking a few rule 5 guys makes perfect sense.

San Diego fans might long for the days of losses in the 90's. Wouldn't be surprised to see 110+ losses this year depending how good some of their kids are and how many they keep in AAA to push out free agency and arbitration.
jerjapan - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 06:53 PM EST (#336338) #
Good call on Goose Gozzo John.  I still remember listening to his first three starts on the radio and thinking we had a legit talent on our hands.  Than again, I was a kid who didn't have any idea of the value of the K.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 07:35 PM EST (#336339) #
Reports are Fowler has a physical lined up tomorrow for the Cardinals.
snider - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 08:21 PM EST (#336340) #
For some reason I always think of Wilie Canate whenever rule V comes up. Looking him up it looks like he never played another game in MLB after that year, 1993. Seems weird for a World Series team to have held on to him for the full year, I guess that's why I remember it.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 08:59 PM EST (#336341) #
Seems Fowler close to deal with Cardinals. Heyman saying it's 5 years at at least 16M per year.
uglyone - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:06 PM EST (#336342) #
reasonable price. once again our FO wimps out.

we best be signing EE and/orJoey now.

if they come back with bruce that's a bad joke.
johnny was - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:07 PM EST (#336343) #
I wonder what the asking price on Ryan Braun would be...  He's almost Jose Bautista-bad as an outfielder, but he's been healthy and very productive at the dish the last two years.  His contract is for $76 mil (including a 2021 buyout) through 2020.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:10 PM EST (#336344) #
FO touched base with Ianetta, Bobby Wilson and Geovany Soto. Any of those would do.
Does the information from that source mean the FO will satisfy with any of those 3 backup catcher? Martin is a RHB, would it be better to get a LHB backup catcher?

The Padres actually traded to get all 3 top picks in the rule V draft. That's what I call aggressively rebuilding. Given the Padres at this point are projected to have a $52 mil payroll with not one player signed beyond this year and none projected to make over $5 mil in 2017 I'd say that they are into Devil Ray rebuilding phase (ie: lets see how much we can suck and hope to find enough cheap gems to not play before an empty house).
Very interesting observations. Would flocks of NRIs go to the Padres then?
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:23 PM EST (#336345) #
Fowler is a good player and would have upgraded the roster, but if another team offered 5/80 or even 5/90 as Heyman suggested was a possibility, then move on.

As I said before, now that the Jays are in Plan C, D, and E mode, I'm expecting a Bautista re-signing. As far as value signings, even with his age and poor defense, he might be the best one available at this rate. Other than that, maybe there are some trades that are possible, but hard to know what's available.

I don't envision Edwin coming back with Morales and Pearce signed. Just too many 1B types on the roster to be worth all the money it would take to fit them all on the team. Bautista makes more sense since he can at least masquerade as an outfielder.

Should be an interesting few weeks.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:42 PM EST (#336346) #
Seems Fowler close to deal with Cardinals. Heyman saying it's 5 years at at least 16M per year.

Good to hear Toronto didn't get involved in that sucker bet. As I posted earlier, not a sole was advocating for Dexter Fowler as recently as last year. I'm glad they didn't throw $80-90 million at another mediocrity.
scottt - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:52 PM EST (#336347) #
Yeah that seems too rich for a guy who misses a lot of time, year after year.

It gets a bit dicey. Bautista as leadoff hitter? I guess it works, but his defense still sucks. Ideally, Pompey takes over from Carrera and platoons with Upton. That should leave enough money to bag a lefty and a backup catcher.

As for Bruce, you can sign Brando Moss for half the money without trading anyone. 



ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 09:57 PM EST (#336348) #
Toronto's first round pick in the 2017 Rule 4 has moved up two places in two days after the Desmond and Fowler signings, to the 21st pick. I expressed concern in another thread that Bautista may not get a major league deal before Opening Day, but hopefully someone signs Encarnacion. Be nice to get at least one supplemental out of the pair.

I agree with SK that Bautista is a possibility and I could see him playing in left where his arm and reduced range are less of a concern. As for right field, it would be great to see a trade for a left handed hitter. I'm going to keep hoping unrealistically for Michael Brantley.
John Northey - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 10:52 PM EST (#336349) #
The thing with Fowler to remember is players almost always sign for less to go to St Louis as that team has a rep as a winner and seems to be a good place to be a ballplayer in - for whatever reason. Thus if they got him for 5/$80 then the Jays would've had to either add a 6th year or go to $100 I suspect. He is normally in the 2's for WAR with a big 4 year last year but a chunk of that is due to being in CF which he wouldn't be here. That is worth $16 mil a year, but signing for age 31-35 you know he won't stay up there for the entire stretch.

It'll be interesting to see what EE gets in the end as $80 seemed reasonable as a bottom figure, expected him to get $100+ but if Fowler couldn't inflate prices and no one else has this winter then I have to think EE and Bautista both overestimated how this market would go and both might regret it in the end.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 08 2016 @ 11:24 PM EST (#336350) #
Glad they didn't go 5/80 on Fowler, I think that's an overpay. Last year was out of line with his career norms, and is probably going to be the best year he ever has. Wouldn't be surprised if the Jays resign Bautista or Saunders now.

EE isn't coming back - there's no place to put him, Morales and Pearce. As Shapiro said recently in an interview I saw on TV, it would take some restructuring of the roster to fit him in. It's too bad EE and his agent didn't have a better read on what the market was going to be for him, because he would have signed in Toronto. The way things look now, he's not going to get an offer nearly as good as what the Jays made.
Jdog - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 01:35 AM EST (#336351) #
Easy place to put Encarnacion is 1B. Pearce and Smoak are not road blocks to anything. Redsox would never let that type of filler block them.  You simply admit your mistake of handing a roster spot over to Smoak and release him/give him away and eat the salary if need be.  Pearce can be a super sub play some LF/1B/ pinch hit against tough lefties and otherwise ride the pine.  Don't let Smoak and Pearce keep you from having a legit threat 1B.  Give EE a contract for what you originally offered him  minus Smoaks salary and call it a win. Yes I still can't get over the Smoak extension....and then to tell us he still has upside. If you see upside with Smoak you better be signing Balbino Fuenmayor , cause they have about the same upside in my opinion. 

Sign Bautista to 3/45 million dollar deal and consider it a bargain. I was fine with them not signing EE but if he is going to come at a bargain you just can't let these below average 1B stop you.

dan gordon - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 01:53 AM EST (#336352) #
Well, that's what Shapiro said. EE's not coming back unless they restructure the roster. If they sign EE, then you'd have Smoak + Pearce making $10 million sitting on the bench. I can understand them not wanting that. Of course, I'd rather have EE back, but it's not going to happen.
King Ryan - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:16 AM EST (#336353) #
Agree with jdog. Signing Smoak was a safety net. If they get someone better he gets released. Not a big deal.
Jonny German - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:22 AM EST (#336354) #
I'm glad they didn't throw $80-90 million at another mediocrity.

If Fowler is a mediocrity... how would you describe Justin Smoak? Melvin Upton? Ezequiel Carrera? Kendrys Morales?
Jonny German - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:36 AM EST (#336355) #
Jdog hits the nail on the head. Exactly. Shatkins need to admit their obvious mistake and cut Smoak. The offense needs at least 1 more bat better than Morales, preferably 2.
China fan - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 04:51 AM EST (#336356) #
"...not a sole was advocating for Dexter Fowler..."

That's a fishy claim.  The sole weren't advocating for him, but the cod were.
dan gordon - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 05:48 AM EST (#336357) #
Cutting Smoak doesn't really solve the problem. What do you do with Pearce? You can't try and turn him into an outfielder, he's bad at it, and he'll probably get hurt. If the team and EE's agent could both have a do-over, I'm sure they'd both like to go back in time a couple of months knowing what they know now...
SK in NJ - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 06:39 AM EST (#336358) #
Smoak is not preventing them from signing Encarnacion. The Jays made EE a fair offer and gave him a deadline to accept it or else they'd move on. He declined, and they moved on. Unless they can rescind the Morales signing, which they wont, then it really does not make sense from a roster standpoint to have so many 1B types on the payroll. They have some flexibility with Bautista, but none with Edwin. It has nothing to do with Smoak.
85bluejay - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 07:24 AM EST (#336359) #
I think it's unfair to criticise the FO for not signing Fowler - that takes money which they don't have remaining in the Budget - you can blame Ownership or the fall in the dollar or AA (Tulo, Martin contracts eat up a lot of the Budget).

You can blame the FO for the Smoak contract - which most posters did immediately upon its announcement. You can also blame the FO for misreading the market for aging sluggers - if they had waited, they would have had more choices (maybe EE is affordable) and at a cheaper rate (Morales might be 2/20 now instead of 3/33) - but most analyst had the sluggers market as robust (look at the FA contract predictions) and last year the FO was criticised for moving so quickly on Happ & Estrada and in hindsight, they looked like geniuses - such is life.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 07:25 AM EST (#336360) #
It's too bad EE and his agent didn't have a better read on what the market was going to be for him, because he would have signed in Toronto.

Shaprio said during the year that if Edwin wanted to be in Toronto next year he will be. Every year, players and agents hope to maximize the market for the play by keeping as many teams in as possible and what caused Encarnacion's market to crater was when Toronto was gone.

They made him the best offer they could stomach. I think 4/80 straight up is a bad deal for Toronto, but it doesn't matter because Edwin's response was "I want to see if I can do better somewhere else".

Ortiz signed a 2 year deal for 30 or so million with Boston because he didn't want to leave Boston. Edwin turned down a far greater deal in the hope of getting something better elsewhere so I don't buy the 'Edwin wanted to be in Toronto' marketing line from his agency. It was important to Ortiz, unlike Edwin, to stay with his team. It was important to Edwin to get the most money he could. He thought Toronto could be used as a negotiating ploy with other teams and he was wrong.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 07:27 AM EST (#336361) #
That's a fishy claim. The sole weren't advocating for him, but the cod were.

Good one! Now that's a 'schooling'.
scottt - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:00 AM EST (#336362) #
Shaprio said during the year that if Edwin wanted to be in Toronto next year he will be. Every year, players and agents hope to maximize the market for the play by keeping as many teams in as possible and what caused Encarnacion's market to crater was when Toronto was gone.

Exactly. Fowler gets so much because the Jays were on him. For all we know without Toronto he's lucky to get 2 years.
There are still options for corner outfield, but the Jays are looking for a leadoff hitter to move away from the pull everything approach. Pearce is there to face lefties. The outfield needs a better left bat then Carrera. 
scottt - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:12 AM EST (#336363) #
EE only makes sense in 2017 once it becomes clear nobody is willing to forfeit the draft pick. I don't think that will happen.

On a side note, Pearce sounds excited to come to Toronto and be on the right side of the crowd.

uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:36 AM EST (#336364) #
Fowler is a good 30yr old 3+war player, and that deal is more of a bargain than an overpay. It certainly doesn't pay him to be anything near the 5war guy he was last year. He also fits like a glove on this roster with leadoff hitter obp, speed on the basepaths, and corner OF defense. Health is a big question but then that's why h's so affordable.

ah well.

hopefully they do something interesting because it would be sad if we paid a replacement level Jay Bruce the same annual salary as fowler.
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:39 AM EST (#336365) #
more important imo is that our FO knew full well that fowler was a good fit. and targetted him and wanted him. offered him very close to what he got.

and failed to get their guy. again.
scottt - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:44 AM EST (#336366) #
Well, Fowler's defense in CF has always been below average. He also spends a lot of time on the DL.
He would have been better in RF. This could easily be a Vernon Wells/Carl Crawford situation.
I would have loved 4/60 from the Jays, but 5/80+ looks a lot like the Cecil signing to me.

Rumors are that the Jays interest in Bruce is "tepid".

I'm hoping the FO revisits trade opportunities once EE and Bautista delivers those extra picks.

scottt - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:52 AM EST (#336367) #
This is clearly a FO that won't be drawn into bidding wars.
I don't mind that because I'm not a fan of rebuilds.

I vastly prefer this to signing no ones and accumulating prospects to trade them for guys that could have been signed the previous year. Was it because AA thought all those Marlins guys where a good fit, targeted them, wanted them and failed to get them? I'll always be scratching my head over this.

SK in NJ - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:55 AM EST (#336368) #
It's clear that the Jays do not want to overpay in free agency. They assign a value to players and do not want to exceed it. That is a good thing in the long run (would prevent bad contracts) but is also not very conducive to the free agent game where overpaying in years, dollars, or both is necessary. I don't know what Fowler got, but the Jays likely would have had to beat it, maybe significantly, and they weren't going to do that. If he got 5/80 or 5/90, then I don't blame them for passing.

What the Jays will have to end up doing is get creative with how they add wins to the roster. They are clearly on a budget of some kind (hearing $25M left to spend) and still have two outfield spots, back-up catcher, and the bullpen to address. It will likely have to be platoons (ex. sign Brandon Moss and platoon him with Upton), or other ways to add marginal wins wherever they can. With Jose, they'll have to take the bad defense in hopes that his offense can compensate, but outside of that, it will be utilizing platoons or maybe emphasizing defense. Tough to say without knowing what they are looking at, or what's realistically available to them.

I think Moss is probably a good fit at this point for one of the OF corners. Grades out average or better in the outfield and hits RHP. He is 33, so he's probably looking at a one or two year deal max.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:56 AM EST (#336369) #
Chill.  It's Friday.  Dexter Fowler is a good hitter coming off a career year at the plate, fueled by a .350 BABIP.  The quality of his defence in centerfield is a matter of dispute, complicated by his time in Colorado and Houston (and being next to Justin Heyward).  If you take the consensus, it has him as a below average centerfielder.  Nonetheless, he wants to still play centerfield and his the ability to choose a team who will play him there.  He's a lower case Bernie Williams, and we know how that turned out. A median projection for Fowler is 2-3 pretty good years and 2-3 pretty bad ones. I would much rather Reddick's contract and anticipated performance than Fowler's. 

The club still does need a left-handed hitting outfielder.  Ezequiel Carrera is not the answer. 

rpriske - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:03 AM EST (#336370) #
I am disappointed that the Jays did not get Fowler.

I am NOT disappointed that they did not try to outbid that overpay by the Cards.

85bluejay - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:03 AM EST (#336371) #
It's Remarkable Uglyone that you criticise Blackmon and praise Fowler - similar 2016 BAbip - last 3 years Fowler has wars of 1.8,2.2 and 4.2 while Blackmon 2.1,2.4 and 4.4 - yet Blackmon is the one year wonder fuelled by an unsustainable Babip and Fowler is the near 5war great fit guy for the Jays - And Blackmon's value probably increase moving off CF.
85bluejay - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:13 AM EST (#336372) #
Shapiro mentioned on a radio interview they had money for 1 significant salary (Fowler) or they could spread that money around - now that Fowler is gone, likey more money to upgrade BP, catcher and go with a cheap outfielder - maybe Moss,Seth Smith, hopefully not Ben Revere.
China fan - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:28 AM EST (#336373) #
It would have been nice to acquire a CF who could reduce the team's dependence on Kevin Pillar, who probably plays too many games per year because of a lack of alternatives. On the other hand, it's also possible that Fowler's price was somewhat inflated by his ability to play CF -- which the Jays wouldn't have needed from him on a daily basis. They need a good-hitting corner outfielder (or two) who can play decent defence. Fowler might not have been the perfect fit there and could have cost too much (although I agree that his OBP made him a perfect fit at the leadoff position). Once again, the Jays are confronting the reality that it's difficult to persuade free agents to come to Canada (and to play on turf).

Still, I don't want the Jays to win top place in the "parsimony and prudence" division. There's no World Series of Parsimony, no matter how much some of us get excited by careful spending. For the right guy, the Jays should be willing to spend. I don't want the Jays to put us in a situation where we say: "If everything goes smoothly and nobody gets hurt, they will do well." Players will get hurt. If you go for bargains at every position, the room for error becomes vanishingly tiny.
Jevant - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:32 AM EST (#336374) #
Agreed.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:33 AM EST (#336375) #
If the Blue Jays top out at $160 million, that is a poor effort from ownership after two playoff seasons and fan support more than commensurate with that result.  The club ought to be in the $170-$175 range which leaves room at the deadline to pick up salary and still stay under the tax threshold. 
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 09:37 AM EST (#336376) #
It would have been nice to acquire a CF who could reduce the team's dependence on Kevin Pillar, who probably plays too many games per year because of a lack of alternatives

The Jays do have a player who can play CF quite a bit better than Dexter Fowler.  Perhaps this is the year that the manager will find confidence to put him out there.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:01 AM EST (#336377) #
The Jays offered 4/80 to Encarnacion and 4/60 to Fowler. That's not a sign of "parsimony" at all. Hell, Edwin may not even get 4/80 by the time he signs, so they actually may have offered him more money/years than any other team feels he is worth at the moment. Fowler just got a much better contract from another team and an opportunity to stay in CF. You can't force a free agent to sign. Just offer him the money/term you are comfortable with and see what happens. Nothing that happened with Fowler or even Edwin is a bad look for the Jays. Shapiro does not dictate the payroll. Ownership does. It is his job to build the team within those parameters and assign value based on that. Fowler got more than the Jays were comfortable paying/beating, and I don't blame them.
PeterG - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:36 AM EST (#336378) #
No suggestion that it is happening this off season, but at what point (if at all) do the Jays decide to pivot? Would July 2017 be in play if things go south the first half?
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:39 AM EST (#336379) #
It may sound remarkable, 85, but that's because you're forgetting the part where the jays give up one of the best young SP in baseball to get Blackmon. I wouldn't trade stroman for fowler either.

And even then, fowler is imo better and safer than blackmon - last year is the only year in his career where blackmon has been a significantly above average hitter (previous career best 106wrc+ 3yrs prior) whereas Fowler has been 120wrc+ or higher in 4 of the last 6 and 110 in a 5th. 103 is his lowest in 6yrs.

and with fowler you don't have to worry about any coors effect either.

but again, i wouldn't dream of trading stro for fowler, either.
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:45 AM EST (#336380) #
"The Jays offered 4/80 to Encarnacion and 4/60 to Fowler. That's not a sign of "parsimony" at all. Hell, Edwin may not even get 4/80 by the time he signs, so they actually may have offered him more money/years than any other team feels he is worth at the moment. Fowler just got a much better contract from another team and an opportunity to stay in CF. You can't force a free agent to sign. Just offer him the money/term you are comfortable with and see what happens. Nothing that happened with Fowler or even Edwin is a bad look for the Jays. Shapiro does not dictate the payroll. Ownership does. It is his job to build the team within those parameters and assign value based on that. Fowler got more than the Jays were comfortable paying/beating, and I don't blame them."

a few things here:

1.clearly this isn't a payroll issue. this is an allocation decision issue. the money is clearly there to sign these guys.

2.i linked to a tweet earlier from a GM saying "if you do what you rationally want to do you will end up 3rd for every free agent". there is something to be said for the ability to close the deal for the guy you want.

3.true you can't force a free agent to sign. but i fear that our new FO has yet to learn the lesson of playing in canada and what it means to free agency. the fact that they have major free agents willing to sign with them at market par or less is a luxury that won't last very long, and i don't think they realize it.
Mike D - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:57 AM EST (#336381) #
The Jays are currently on pace to have a sub-.700 OPS hitter at all three outfield positions. (And don't bring up Steve Pearce, because that just means Smoak at 1B.) There comes a time when you don't have the talent on hand to stand on ceremony about not exceeding your preferred price for a player.

The Jays are clearly aware that this is an offseason for free agency because they're a contending team with impending departures, no internal replacements, and few tradeable prospects. But they've been left without an outfield.

I wonder if there is some AL attendance rank higher than 1st that Jays fans can achieve to give the team the reasonable extra financial flexibility suggested by Mike Green.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:08 AM EST (#336382) #
1.clearly this isn't a payroll issue. this is an allocation decision issue. the money is clearly there to sign these guys

Well, at least one of them.  It may be that if the club had signed Encarnacion, they would not have had the budget left to be competitive on Fowler.

Fowler for 5 years is hard to justify. 
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:11 AM EST (#336383) #
I dunno. Age 31-35 seasons for a well above average bat (110wrc+ career, 121wrc+ last few years) with likely plus corner OF defense. 5yrs seems justifiable to me.
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:15 AM EST (#336384) #
"Was it because AA thought all those Marlins guys where a good fit, targeted them, wanted them and failed to get them?"

I would say yes to that. I think we already forget that toronto literally wasn't a consideration for top free agents at all at the time, save for severe Cano-to-SEA type overpays.
bpoz - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:16 AM EST (#336385) #
How is the accounting for Luxury Tax figure done?

For example F Liriano will be paid $13 mil in 2017. All of it will count against the Jay's budget and Luxury Tax amount.

M Upton will get $11 mil I believe. The Jay's are not paying all of it. If the Jays pay $5 Mil then the other team pays the remaining $6 mil. That is in the teams budget figure. How about the Luxury Tax figure. Still $5 and 6 mil to each or is all $11 mil against the Jays since he plays for them.
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:17 AM EST (#336386) #
Fowler deal is officially 5 x $16.5.
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:22 AM EST (#336387) #
"The Jays are clearly aware that this is an offseason for free agency because they're a contending team with impending departures, no internal replacements, and few tradeable prospects. But they've been left without an outfield."

I think an All-D outfield would have been just fine, if they had ponied up for elite 1B/DH bats.

But with more bargain type 1B/DH bats, now suddenly the lack of hitting in the OF looks much scarier.
BlueJayWay - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:23 AM EST (#336388) #
No suggestion that it is happening this off season, but at what point (if at all) do the Jays decide to pivot? Would July 2017 be in play if things go south the first half?

Maybe trade deadline 2017. If the Jays are out of reasonable playoff contention, then they might look to do more of a rebuild and aim for 2018 or 2019. Probably Donaldson would be on the block to start.
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:38 AM EST (#336389) #
EE only makes sense in 2017 once it becomes clear nobody is willing to forfeit the draft pick. I don't think that will happen.

This is why I suggested earlier that the Jays work some kind of sign-and-trade angle - obviously making sure EE and the other team are on board.. Maybe get value from another team's contract blocking a prospect or the other way around, and get SOMETHING for EE.
PeterG - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:44 AM EST (#336390) #
Yes, I agree BJW......and likely Estrada and Liriano as well.

The first half of the coming season will be critical in terns of future direction.

another reason why the Fowler contract would make no sense for Jays as it contains full no trade. No way to move it if a pivot becomes necessary or desirable.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:44 AM EST (#336391) #
If the total is $82.5, it's more like a 4 year plus a nominal buyout.  Still heavy, but something that Shapiro/Atkins probably should have done in the circumstances.  It's not clear though whether that would have been sufficient because the Jays ought not to be promising Fowler a CF job. 

If they can acquire Dyson at no cost in players who may contribute this year, it'll be OK. There are lots of ways to win.  Unfortunately, I don't think the Royals are interested in 2018 or 2019 right now.

uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 12:33 PM EST (#336392) #
Blengino's batted-ball-quality analysis looks good for Morales, bad for Travis.....but now good for Tulo: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2016-al-hitter-contact-quality-report-al-shortstops/

Based on his batted ball quality, Blengino says that last year Tulo "should have" posted a 124wrc+ instead of his 102wrc+, and been the 2nd best hitting SS in baseball.

And I have some other simple but potentially supporting data to back up Blengino's analysis - basically that Tulo DID hit like that, aside from a ridiculous babip slump to start the season. And to double down on that, this same data also shows that a guy like Bogaerts also hit to Blengino's projection after his babip normalized:

Tulowitzki: 102 actual, 124 "shoulda"

First 132pa, .189babip, 52wrc+
Last 412pa, .293babip, 118wrc+

When his babip was in the normal range, he pretty much hit Blengino's target.

Bogaerts: 113 actual, 99 "shoulda"

First 232pa, .404babip, 148wrc+
Last 487pa, .300babip, 97wrc+

Same thing with Bogey - when his babip was in the normal range, he pretty much hit the target too.
greenfrog - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 12:42 PM EST (#336393) #
In the big picture, I don't think teams generally come out ahead by making a habit of signing players when they are at peak value, as Fowler arguably is at present. A better time to sign him to a multi-year deal would have been last off-season, which the O's tried to do. Paying $85-90m (or whatever it would have taken to get him to sign in Toronto) seems a bit high.

It's probably going to take a few more years to assess whether the disciplined approach the Jays front office is charting for the organization was the right one.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 02:16 PM EST (#336394) #
Fowler is not only at the peak of his value, but he got $82.5M, five years, a NTC, and cost a first round pick. For the Jays to beat that offer, it would have been way too much. The cost of a draft pick and even the cost of a NTC to some degree would have bumped the total value up substantially.

This regime has spent money for free agents. They re-signed Estrada, signed Happ, signed Morales, signed Gurriel, signed Pearce, etc. In some of those cases, they were even criticized for spending too much (with Happ and Morales in particular). As mentioned above, they also made strong offers to Edwin and Fowler. It's not so much about them not wanting to spend money, they have, but rather putting a $ value and a term on each free agent and not going over what they feel comfortable with. That mindset is probably not going to yield too much success in the upper tier free agent market, but they probably won't shop in that area too often anyway.

I would have liked Fowler at 4/60, but otherwise, I'm fine with the way the off-season has played out so far. Still time to add pieces. If the Jays are out of it mid-season, then they can start to consider moving vets, but the goal right now is clearly to make the playoffs in 2017 and 2018 while Donaldson is still under team control. They just won't go crazy or sacrifice the future to make it happen.
PeterG - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 02:24 PM EST (#336395) #
Realistic analysis SK
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 02:55 PM EST (#336396) #
Chris Coghlan is an interesting possibility.  He's a serviceable defender in the corners who hit well in the platoon role in 2014 and 2015.  He was in Oakland for the first half of 2016 and was terrible.  He was traded back to the Cubs, had a rib cage injury in July but when he came back at the beginning of August, he was his usual self for the remainder of the year. 
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:16 PM EST (#336397) #
5yrs/$82.5 isn't "going crazy".
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:18 PM EST (#336398) #
nor does it "sacrifice the future".
SK in NJ - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:20 PM EST (#336399) #
Luis Valbuena is another option. He has hit RHP extremely well the past three seasons and can cover multiple positions. Fits right into the positional flexibility and platoon advantages the Jays want to take advantage of.
greenfrog - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:22 PM EST (#336400) #
The Jays likely could have had Fowler for 3/36 or 3/39 last off-season.
Mike Green - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:25 PM EST (#336401) #
Valbuena is interesting, but defence in the outfield is a question mark.   He has 15 innings in the outfield over his career and doesn't run well at this point. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 03:40 PM EST (#336402) #
I can't see them ignoring Gibbon's off-season requests. He wanted to be younger, faster, with better Defense and with better Balance. Solving RF was always supposed to be a priority as Alford was ticketed to replace Pillar. It's fine to have standards to follow but blowing off your Manager is never a good thing.

There are trades they can make with Teams who have a surplus of OF. There are still quality Free Agents available. Having standards or an unwillingness to meet the price must end sometime. This offseason is supposed to be making the Team better, not just filling the holes.
scottt - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 04:44 PM EST (#336403) #
The Jays likely could have had Fowler for 3/36 or 3/39 last off-season.

Last year, the Jays had Pillar, Bautista (fresh from the bat flip) and they had to trade Revere to make room for Saunders.

They thought their outfield was fine. Now, Baltimore needed an outfielder and couldn't agree with Fowler.
Instead they picked one in the rule V draft and he made the team while Fowler signed a cheap 1-year deal with the Cubs.
Parker - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 05:00 PM EST (#336404) #
There seems to be an inexplicable narrative here that a multi-year contract handed to a player in his mid- or late-30's somehow doesn't have any negative impact on the organization's future ability to put a quality baseball product on the field.

It's almost as if some people think a player in his mid-thirties is never going to decline in any significant way, and that one can realistically project his WAR from last season as his true value over the course of that contract.

This is really quite a remarkable phenomenon.
Parker - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 05:05 PM EST (#336405) #
Perhaps similar in the way that one could theoretically project a quarter of a season of outlying defensive value into a player's ongoing full-season value?
uglyone - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 05:18 PM EST (#336406) #
perhaps people are able to factor in potential decline through some sort of black magick and/or wizardry or what have you.

and yet there are some who think we have no prospects to speak of, and a core of players on their last legs, that still think our #1 priority should be maintaining our 2019 payroll flexibility for some reason. maybe it's to pay all our non prospects big money long before arbitration? or maybe 2010 is a great free agent crop that we're saving up for?
mathesond - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 05:57 PM EST (#336407) #
Maybe the Jays should just trade Anthony Alford for Jarrod Dyson and be done with it.
cybercavalier - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 05:58 PM EST (#336408) #
Summarizing ideas in points:
Signing free agents at their peak values cost:
1) multiple years
2) big time money
3) non trade clause
4) first round pick
Putting a $ value and a term on each free agent and not going over what they feel comfortable with. That mindset is probably not going to yield too much success in the upper tier free agent market, but they probably won't shop in that area too often anyway.
Optimizing for solutions, signing veterans such as Brandon Moss for half the money of Jay Bruce without trading anyone, Chris Coghlan, Luis Valbuena fit.
It's probably going to take a few more years to assess whether the disciplined approach the Jays front office is charting for the organization was the right one.
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[Ideally, Pompey taking over from Carrera and platooning with Upton] should leave enough money to bag a lefty and a backup catcher.

Scottt, do you mean a backup catcher who is a lefthanded hitting or has a hitting split that resembles a lefthanded hitter?
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In my opinion, if signing Moss, Coghlan, Seth Smith and Valbuena fit the optimization of utility and finance, how about signing former Jays prospects who are still around to fill vacancy after promotion of current Jays prospects to Buffalo. No worry about getting familiar with the team because they are familiar with Jays' farm system. The coaching shall be familiar with them. Obviously their contracts are cheap because they are non-roster invitee minor league contracts.
jerjapan - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 07:02 PM EST (#336409) #
There seems to be an inexplicable narrative here that a multi-year contract handed to a player in his mid- or late-30's somehow doesn't have any negative impact on the organization's future ability to put a quality baseball product on the field.

Year-end award season.  This gets my nod for the most ridiculous comment of the year.

The closest anyone has come to saying that is you, just now.  Inexplicable narrative?  Try a good old fashioned straw man. 

To quote Jack Armstrong, "get that garbage outta here". 
Vulg - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 07:47 PM EST (#336412) #
It's probably going to take a few more years to assess whether the disciplined approach the Jays front office is charting for the organization was the right one.

They've shown a knack for value and have given me some confidence that over the long term, they'll be competent in terms of assembling a solid base of talent. Whether that's enough to keep up in the AL East, where at least the Yanks and Red Sox have exhibited the same in addition to a willingness to spend, who knows.

My disappointment has stemmed from the following:

- Timing; the team has been on the verge of a WS appearance twice. They couldn't bump the budget to at least Tigers or Giants levels for a couple of playoff runs before setting down this path?
- Dollars; despite an impressive spike in top line revenue (which they've bragged about in their financials!), payroll has gone trended as such the past 4 seasons: 9th, 9th, 10th, 11th

So while I think Shapkins has shown well so far, I lament the organization has not done everything it can to fully take advantage of the core that has been in place for the past couple of seasons before becoming a rich-mans version of the Rays.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 07:49 PM EST (#336413) #
Does anyone think the prices that are asked are higher for the Jays this Offseason? After back-to-back ALCS appearances and needing so many Holes filled, are prices exceeding market values?
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 08:05 PM EST (#336415) #
i fear that our new FO has yet to learn the lesson of playing in canada and what it means to free agency.

Could be. On the other hand, they have a pretty good idea of the lessons learned playing in Cleveland. Not exactly part of the sun-belt (California, southern states), the "cool" cities (Seattle, San Francisco, Colorado, Washington (maybe)), the east-coast old-guard (NYY, Boston, Philly), etc. Yeah, they've been around awhile, but there's that name dispute, the weather's lousy, the city isn't "vibrant", etc.. IMHO, good old Hogtown has more going for it than Cleveland..
Michael - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:55 PM EST (#336420) #
Ignoring trolls, while hard, is more effective than calling them out. But yes, let's please get back to discussig and debating the off-season.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 10:55 PM EST (#336421) #
New thread time? Please!!!!!
Gerry - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:12 PM EST (#336422) #
A new thread has been setup.

I deleted up to a half dozen posts. I know the Jays have not been living up to our hopes, and that can make us feel frustrated, but lets park the frustration before we post.

My suggestion is do what I do...if you don't feel a poster is capable of making reasonable or logical statements, then ignore them. Its very rare when you can change someones mind on the internet, you don't need to keep trying.
scottt - Friday, December 09 2016 @ 11:12 PM EST (#336423) #
Phil Bickford suspended 50 games for drugs of abuse.
Sort of a weird timing, no?
Some sort of intervention rather than a scheduled test?
jerjapan - Saturday, December 10 2016 @ 09:42 AM EST (#336431) #
Thanks for the feedback!  While I do feel that a community calling out a troll will work, I recognize that others prefer the ignore approach and out of respect for them, I will stop calling it out.   I know that the target in question is fine with things, but I have felt an obligation to speak up on their behalf. 

I do hope that future posts featuring sexism, racism, classism and homophobia will be deleted.  IMO, as a community, these type of posts should be rejected outright on principle.  This is our community, we are not beholden to anonymity, and we can choose not to include bullying and hate.  

Parker - Saturday, December 10 2016 @ 10:06 AM EST (#336432) #
Hey jer, I have to apologize. That was the world's most unfortunate autocorrect. I never meant to call your career meaningless. I'm sorry about that.

It looks like that comment has been deleted, though. That's cool. It was horribly offensive, even by my standards.

I do still stand by my beliefs that big contracts to mid-30's players almost always come back to haunt the team. In future I will try to be more respectful when I disagree with someone, though.
jerjapan - Saturday, December 10 2016 @ 10:25 AM EST (#336435) #
Parker, appreciated!  Virtual handshake man, let's keep this community awesome! 

I know I haven't always been the most respectful poster either, so I'm going to join you in your pledge to try to keep things respectful.

uglyone - Sunday, December 11 2016 @ 11:21 AM EST (#336464) #
aw, sounds like i missed some juicy posts. crap. are they still visible in some way or are they gone forever?
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