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John Farrell. Rat Boy. All kinds of irritating persons. Let's make them cry.

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Nigel - Friday, June 30 2017 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#344651) #
Outfield defence kills this team again. I would love to see the internal view of the impact on run prevention that this team's defence has had. With just publicly available data and the eye test (with its huge limitations :)), I fall into the "more" rather than "less" camp but I would love to see some advanced analysis.
Petey Baseball - Friday, June 30 2017 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#344652) #
Shulman's a great announcer, but if I wanted to hear how great the Red Sox are, I'd watch NESN.
Petey Baseball - Friday, June 30 2017 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#344653) #
Also, I cannot understand why Carerra is playing over Pearce.

They are having enough trouble scoring runs, you don't need to exacerbate the issue by batting Carrera 2n the order in front of Donaldson. It appeared to me Hembree pitched around Bautista in the 6th because of Carrera behind him.
cybercavalier - Friday, June 30 2017 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#344656) #
May I ask a question about roster management? We have regulars at SS, 3B, 1B, DH, RF/LF, CF, C but lack depth in other positions and bench players. Does rotating AAAA players and veterans between higher minor leagues -- Buffalo and New Hamsphire --- the major league useful to keep the replaceable pitchers and batters available to contribute ? For instance, the 2B requires imminent attention. Instead of the long term solution of prospect(s) matured to take over the position, is the strategy of "throwing enough mud at the wall and some of it will stick"  useful in short term?
Chuck - Friday, June 30 2017 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#344658) #
Goins is eventually going to hit one of those eye-high fastballs. Just you wait. Just you wait.
Chuck - Friday, June 30 2017 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#344659) #
Another inning from Loup. Not sure my heart can take this.
Chuck - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#344660) #
I feel like I'm at the bottom of a well. Hello? Helllooooo?

Totally understand the quiet around here. What's left to say? At least last night proved there are still unique ways to lose ugly, 14 walks and all. So there's that.

eudaimon - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#344661) #
Jays are back to sucking and my faith is dwindling. It's just boring baseball.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#344662) #
Not only are the Jays performing badly this year, but the veterans have lost much of their trade value. Throw in the injuries, and you have a very disappointing season so far, at least at the major-league level.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#344663) #
It's tough to take this when your hall of fame SS has had two years to rebound and hasn't, your stud 3B turns into a pumpkin and everybody around you is playing your game better than you. The Rays are crushing the ball. Same with Houston. The Rays are not young like Houston. Why a guy like Longoria is resurgent and Tulo struggling...figire it out with your high performance team.

I read that TB players train daily using VR demos and videos to recognize pitches better. Last night the commentators were talking about choking up on the bat...
China fan - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#344664) #
A few questions occurred to me during the latter half of the game. First, why didn't the Jays send Osuna back out for a second inning? He only threw 12 pitches in the 9th inning and looked fine. Is there some cap on his innings this year? A quick scan of his game logs shows that he hasn't thrown more than one inning in any game this year, whereas in previous years he has often thrown more than one inning. Even if there's an informal policy of limiting him to one inning, last night should have been an exception. Going into extra innings, with only Loup and a raw rookie available, I would have thought Gibbons would give Osuna an extra inning, especially after he needed only 12 pitches for the 9th inning. Even if he had faced only one or two hitters in the 10th inning, it would have helped.

Second: why no pinch-hitting from Pearce or Martin? it was frustrating to watch Goins and Maile flailing away in a tied game. I suppose it had something to do with the day game on Saturday following the night game on Friday, but I think last night should have been an exception to the "give them a full game of rest" policy. The series against the Red Sox, at this stage of the season, is a pretty important series for deciding the team's fate. Everyone knows that the Front Office is trying to decide whether to buy or sell at the deadline. Why not give the team its best possible chance to win? Barney was sitting on the bench, presumably available to play 2B if Gibbons had pinch-hit for Goins. (Caveat: we don't fully know the health status of Martin, Pearce or Barney, and I suppose there's a slight possibility that one or two of them weren't really available due to minor issues.)

Last night did show, once again, that Gibbons doesn't tend to use his pinch-hitting options on the bench. If he's not going to pinch-hit, the Jays should go back to the 8-man bullpen. The availability of an 8th reliever would have helped in the 10th and 11th inning last night. The bullpen, once again, is shouldering a heavy workload. Estrada is not fully back to his normal performance, and Liriano today is a risk to exit early too.
CeeBee - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#344665) #
I'm not talking cause I hate to be too negative....... but it's hard and hockey is still more than 2 months away.
eudaimon - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#344666) #
It's hard to comment on Osuna's usage right now because I get the impression that he's still being eased into things a bit.

Tulo's a bit of a weird case because he's striking out at the lowest levels of his career, but he's also hitting less line drives and more ground balls. It could still be a small sample size thing. I'd bet he's still around a true talent 100 RC+ hitter, not more than that but as long as he's a decent fielder it's acceptable. Though at age 32 you never know, perhaps he's lost a step or two.

But yeah, it's hard to explain just how boring BJs baseball is right now. It's a real slog to watch. No one's mashing, and they don't have the speed to make things happen.

I think that's probably part of the reason Gibby likes Carrera so much, because he does things literally no one else on the team can do. I know he butchers the occasional play in the field but I figure our one fast guy with the 4th best OBP on the team (.354) deserves a bit more love.
China fan - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#344667) #
"...I get the impression that he's still being eased into things a bit..."

Possible, but unlikely, in my view.  The anxiety issue, as far as I can tell, determines whether he is available to pitch or not.  If he is available, he should be available for as long as they need him.  He missed two games with that issue, and since then he has been available.   His relatively sparse usage, since his return from that issue, is mostly because he wasn't needed.

But it's true that there can be a whole host of behind-the-scenes issues, of which we are unaware.
PeterG - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#344669) #
Gibbons often uses relievers for very short stretches (less than an inning) and gets caught in an extra inning game while the opposition still has its best relievers available. This has bugged me throughout his tenure. It is not an overall criticism as there are worse managers than Gibbons and the malaise surrounding the ball club is not his fault, Just thought I would point this out as relief usage was mentioned above. To be fair, it should be recognized also that the starters have made his job more difficult in 2017.
scottt - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#344670) #
You can't use 7 relievers in a game. They need a reliever who can pitch more than 1 innings and that's Biagini--once Sanchez is back.
Gerry - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#344671) #
Iam Parmley DFA. The Jays need a pitcher so Lucas Harrell is up for long relief.
China fan - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#344672) #
Parmley has been DFA'd. (They will try to sneak him through waivers to Buffalo.) Lucas Harrell has been promoted. Back to the 8-man pen.

In theory, Tepera and Barnes and Leone can all do multiple innings. But they have been somewhat over-worked this season. Biagini would help the pen. But could it be Liriano to the pen instead? Not ideal, but might be under consideration.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#344673) #
I was at the game last night. My take on Estrada. The juiced ball affects him more than any other pitcher, I think. He is struggling to adjust and his control has suffered.

Tepera or Barnes can go 2 innings. I think that Gibbons was locked into a Tepera 8th and Osuna 9th frame of mind.
James W - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#344674) #
hockey is still more than 2 months away.

Look! Someone found a positive!
James W - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#344675) #
Leone is also capable of more than one inning. Unfortunately both Leone and Tepera had pitched Thursday night, limiting their usage last night.
uglyone - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#344676) #
baseball is the worst.
uglyone - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#344678) #
liriano makes me miss dickey.
Gerry - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#344679) #
At the game on Thursday I was surprised to see that Leone had pitched 35 innings (37.2 now). He has not been with the Jays all season, and the Jays are not at the mid point of the season yet. He is on pace for almost 80 innings, more if you consider his time in the minor leagues in the first half.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#344680) #
Well, I did say I hope the Jays are either in a playoff spot or completely out of it by the deadline so they can make a definitive decision on team direction.

I guess completely out of it, it is.
cybercavalier - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#344681) #
How about getting Chris Young plus assets the Red Sox outfielder in exchange of Morales?
Hodgie - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#344682) #
The hardest part for me is how quickly the team is becoming unwatchable. I can handled losing but bad pitching, defence, and offence is not entertaining.
Mike D - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#344683) #
The die was cast in the offseason.

I am a prosecutor in my day job, and if "attempting to win the 2017 World Series" was a crime for a baseball front office, there would be enough evidence, easily, to convict the Red Sox. But at no point since the offseason began would I even press charges against the Blue Jays.
James W - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#344684) #
Why would the Red Sox trade a useful player for a non-useful player?
hypobole - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#344685) #
If Jays could give away Morales for nothing it would be a win.
cybercavalier - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#344686) #
Did the Red Sox want a successor to Papi? Morales can hit as DH and plays part time 1B.. Hanely Ramirez goes to LF. Moreland plays 1B.
chris_jays - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#344687) #
Cyber, that doesn't make any sense. Jays were high bidder for Morales indicating no one else offered more. His value has only gone down based on his play this year.

Jays wouldn't even be able to dump that contract for nothing, let alone assets.

rpriske - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#344688) #
I find it odd the way people are always bashing Morales.

He is a league average hitter. Would we have liked better? No question.

It just seems odd to me to be constantly harping on him when both Pillar and Tulo are hitting much worse. Sure they have defense, but that isn't enough to make up for it. (And I am a big Tulo fan. He just isn't producing.)
chris_jays - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#344689) #
Morales plays DH where the average hitter hits at a much higher level than CF or SS. In addition, Tulo and Pillar do offer some defensive value.

Thirdly, Morales is making $10M this season with 2 more years to essentially be replacement level. Pillar is at 0.6 War, Tulo 0.0 War and Morales -0.2.

They've all been bad essentially. It could be worse, we could have signed Trumbo!

PeterG - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#344690) #
I agree with u rpriske. Even JD has performed worse. Some of the comments on Morales make no sense whatsoever.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#344691) #
Yeah, Morales is one deal I'd love to have back. That was a total waste money it looks like. Not much value in a DH only player who is not that good of a hitter and is putting up an obp quite a bit lower than league average.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#344692) #
Morales has been a disappointment overall so far this year. Three points to keep in mind, though. First, over his career, Morales has performed significantly better in the second half of the season than he has in the first half (119 wRC+ versus 109 wRC+). Second, he has hit exceptionally well in the clutch this year (184 wRC+ in high-leverage situations). Third, although the Jays would almost certainly be better off without him at this point, his contract isn't going to break the team's budget. The $58m guaranteed to Tulo from 2018-2020 will be much more of a financial burden going forward.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#344693) #
The Yankees played the DH market perfectly by signing Holliday for 1/$13m. Not only is there (generally) no such thing as a bad one-year contract, Holliday is hitting .262/.366/.511 and has produced 1.1 fWAR to date this year.
eudaimon - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#344694) #
Morales just symbolizes what's wrong with the team this year (and last year, really). Slow, old, predictable, easy to defend / shift against, lots of DPs. And he also reminds us that when the FO went shopping last winter they thought the best bet was basically more of the same, at a position that was already well represented no less. Maybe he'll go on a second half run and save the team, who knows, but right now he carries with him a whiff of what could have been.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 01 2017 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#344695) #
Morales on a one year deal, or even a two year deal max, would have been fine. He's an above average hitter and the FO thought he had another gear in him because of his batted ball profile, so it made sense in isolation. Giving him three years was the problem. The FO has done many things that I have liked, and one of the things I did not like has proven to be a great move so far (Smoak), so I can't complain too much with Kendrys, but unless he goes on a tear in the 2nd half and starts hitting like they thought he could, then it's going to be a hard deal to sit through for another two years. The lack of roster flexibility he causes is another issue. He has to hit and hit a lot.

If the Jays decide to take a step back (and given the way they are playing that's not a bad idea), then Morales as a stop gap DH is probably fine since there's no one internally ready to take his spot (meaning, Tellez) but if Pearce is going to get cheated out of playing time because of Gibby's love for Zeke, then having Kendrys at DH is a bit frustrating as it blocks a more ideal lineup configuration from happening (Smoak/Pearce at 1B/DH). If given enough AB's, Pearce is probably the 3rd best hitter on the team behind Donaldson and now Smoak. He should not be benched. The O's made the playoffs with Trumbo in the outfield. The Jays can get by with Pearce there.
Glevin - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#344696) #
"I find it odd the way people are always bashing Morales."

It was a bad deal but people need their villains. Last year, everything was Smoak's fault, this year it is Morales. It's also much easier for people to blame one or two moves or one or two players than to face up to the bigger issue of a roster that was constructed to win in a brief period and is now on the decline and unlikely to be competitive for a few years. You replace Morales with Paul Goldschmidt and the Jays are still not a winning team. The Jays go crazy and Sign EE and Fowler and they are still not a playoff team. (And don't mention signing David Price where the Jays are actually a worse team and also on the hook for one of the worst contracts in baseball) The team is just filled with mediocre players and there is no magic solution out of this.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#344697) #
I'm guessing the front office thinking once EE passed on their offer was that if Morales can produce near what Edwin did, then we'll be alright. I think a combination of a horrible start, ageing players and a boatload of injuries has sunk the Jays. The rotation had an exceptionally healthy year in 2016, but when you lose your best pitcher for virtually the first half of the season, a 20 game winner in Happ for a long stretch, plus Liriano for a while, then that's going to hurt. You then factor losing Travis who is your best hitter, then add Tulo, Donaldson, Martin and Pearce for periods of time, then it's surprising the Jays even flirted with .500 ball. I think we all want the Jays to be younger and faster, and maybe not so reliant on the long ball, but I don't think that's going to happen easily or soon.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#344698) #
Absolutely. Some commentators would have spent upwards of $400m over the last couple of years to add certain players in a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity to sustain and augment what was supposedly a championship-calibre roster. We now know that that would likely have led to an old, injury-riddled, extremely expensive .500-ish team on the decline (with fewer draft picks).
85bluejay - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#344701) #
The problem is so many DH/1B types - Morales,Pearce,Smoak,Bautista plus we should be giving Donaldson,Tulo,Martin a DH day once a week

We needed a sweep either way with Boston to clarify our path forward - SELL!SELL!SELL!
dalimon5 - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#344703) #
The problem is not so many 1B/DH types. Having more athletic and versatile players would fix the problem, yes, but the problem is our best hitters are bad so far. If we had Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison instead of Donaldson and Morales we would be in first place. If we had a normal Tulowitzki we would be in first place.

I blame our hitting coach. I don't want to think about selling all my tickets during a rebuild. And Morales is definitely taking too much heat this season. Tulo/Donaldson and Jays front office for 2B need to take the blame.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#344704) #
Morales isn't the reason why the team is not good. Replace him with Edwin, and the Jays are still below .500. The team itself had a short window and we are witnessing the end of it. We all hoped that it could be prolonged a bit, but if the way this season has gone is any indication, it can't. So time to move forward.

I don't even think the issue is too many DH types. That is an issue to some degree, but if those players were hitting, then it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. Smoak obviously is doing his part, but Pearce has been hurt and is now being benched in favor of Zeke for reasons only Gibbons knows about, while Bautista and Morales have been between average to slightly above average offensively all season. That's not enough. Then factor in Tulo's decline, Travis being hurt, injuries in general, and the rotation not being as good as last season, and here we are.

As I said before, as we get to the deadline, I just wanted the team to be in one extreme (in a playoff spot) or another (out of it). Being .500-ish could have potentially put the FO in limbo as to what direction to go in, but being clearly out of it will hopefully give them the green light to actually make meaningful change. The question will be how much change will they make, or more specifically, be allowed to make (Donaldson in particular).
China fan - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#344705) #
"....Some commentators would have spent upwards of $400m over the last couple of years to add certain players in a 'once-in-a-generation' opportunity to sustain and augment what was supposedly a championship-calibre roster...."

I suppose this will become the new narrative for some people on this site, even though it is riddled with misleading spin and over-simplifications.

First, it's misleading to use a number like $400-million, which lumps together every potential free-agent who could ever have been considered here.  The only way you reach $400-million is by adding together every possible free agent who was ever discussed by anyone here, and then spinning it out over 7 or 8 years, the maximum length of their contract.  That's highly misleading, if not outright false, because it was never an option.  Some people liked David Price, some people liked Dexter Fowler, some people liked Encarnacion, some people liked other free agents, but that doesn't mean it is fair to lump them all together in one straw-man argument.

A more reasonable argument is to examine a specific example, such as the comparison between Morales and Encarnacion.  There's no question that the Jays would be a superior team in 2017 if they had opted for Encarnacion rather than Morales. And there was no question that Encarnacion was easily available if the Jays had made a concerted effort to land him.  Yet the difference in payroll, in 2017, would have been only $8-million if the Jays had acquired him.  In order to reach a higher number ($25-million) you'd have to compare the two contracts over three years, and even then that's a far cry from the $400-million that has suddenly popped up as the straw-man argument.

I think it's more reasonable to look at the annual payroll difference if Edwin had been signed, which would have been only $8-million this year instead of Morales.  The two players have the same role in the lineup and the same strengths and weaknesses, yet Encarnacion is significantly better, at a cost of a payroll amount which I believe was easily affordable for a big-market team like Toronto.

Of course Edwin by himself wouldn't have solved the problems of 2017, but it's an example of the kinds of affordable upgrades that could have made a substantial difference in improving the team this year.

Then let's examine the phrase "once in a generation."  In fact, by 2015 it had been exactly a generation (22 years) since the Jays had previously appeared in the playoffs.  There's nothing inaccurate in saying that the Jays had a unique opportunity in 2015 and 2016, and they seized it.  Even though it has resulted in a veteran-dominated team today, a lot of us would certainly argue that the benefits were indeed "once in a generation":  it created a level of fan enthusiasm, audience, box office revenue, marketing revenue and other benefits that hadn't been seen in an entire generation.  Let's admit the basic factual reality, which is that the Jays had a generational opportunity and they took advantage of it.

And then there's the phrase "supposedly a championship-calibre roster."  Did anyone really argue that the Jays would be assured of winning the World Series this year if they had acquired a couple of free agents?  Again it's a straw-man argument. The argument, in fact, is that Toronto would have had a more successful team if the payroll had been boosted, and that this would have had cascading benefits for the organization and the system, on the field and off.

The Jays roster was certainly an ALCS-calibre roster in 2015 and 2016, and the difference between ALCS and World Series is not so huge -- a few games, often determined by the luck of the breaks.  But I still don't recall anyone ever arguing that a World Series championship is the only thing that matters in baseball.  What really matters is the level of success that the Jays achieved in 2015 and 2016, rescuing the fan base and re-energizing the market, providing much bigger revenue and sustainable interest.

The $400-million claim is a gross exaggeration that obscures the reality of the choices that the Jays faced.  If the Jays hadn't acquired veterans like Tulowitzki and Martin and Donaldson, did they have anyone else in the system who would have been better?  The team today would be filled with Goins-calibre players instead, and the fan base would be in much greater despair.  Keeping a couple of pitchers like Norris and Hoffman wouldn't have solved the issues.  The farm system in 2015 or even in 2013 wasn't going to produce a sustainable perennial-playoffs team.  Spending money on veterans was a realistic and reasonable choice.  Nobody ever said that it would produce a playoff team indefinitely.
China fan - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#344706) #
"....The rotation had an exceptionally healthy year in 2016, but when you lose your best pitcher for virtually the first half of the season, a 20 game winner in Happ for a long stretch, plus Liriano for a while, then that's going to hurt. You then factor losing Travis who is your best hitter, then add Tulo, Donaldson, Martin and Pearce for periods of time, then it's surprising the Jays even flirted with .500 ball...."

I think this is an insightful comment, and it gets to the heart of the issues this year.   I would also add:  even a superb player like Donaldson is going to have slumps and a down year occasionally.  It was probably unreasonable for us to expect him to keep producing at the same level as he did in the past two years.  It only takes two or three of these "down years" from key players like Donaldson, Bautista and Tulowitzki to explain a big part of the offensive decline this year.
eudaimon - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#344708) #
Yeah, it's not all Morales' fault. But I do think him clogging up the DH spot is an issue, especially with so many other players on the roster. And I do think that he's one of the main reasons the team is so boring to watch when they're playing bad. When these Jays stink, they really stink and 2/3 of this season has been nearly unwatchable. Replace Morales with a fast guy and I personally would be having a lot more fun.

I've been reading Bill James' Baseball Abstract and he talks about the quality of baseball in different eras, how some brands were more exciting than others, etc. So maybe that's why I'm so focused on the entertainment aspect of things.
jerjapan - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#344709) #
Well said China.

I don't really see the comments about the Morales deal as 'vilification'.  He actually seems like a pretty nice guy and a solid professional who loves the game.   The closest thing we Bauxites as a group have gotten to vilification is comments critiquing ownership for not spending more - which could easily have kept us as a contending team.  There have been cogent arguments made that ownership should spend more given our market size and attendance, and cogent arguments made that the FO has a more "corporate" agenda than AA's FO.  'Corporate' here meaning fiscally conservative.  There have also been cogent arguments made for why corporate ownership will inevitably take a more cautious route as well. 

What frustrates me about the Morales deal is that it, like the Smoak deal prior, seems symbolic of the weaknesses of a conservative approach.  Clearly I was dead wrong on Smoak, but I think we would all agree that there was more of a bet on upside in the Smoak deal - Morales seemed likely to perform like the player we signed at the time, he is, and we are stuck with the exact opposite of what we need for the next 2+ years - an unathletic, defensively useless DH with moderate offense at a too-high price, replacing a fan favourite, a superior player, who wanted to stay and ended up being within our budget.   The more I write about it, the more frustrated I become - it just seems like a move utterly indifferent to the fan base.  Agreed that Morales is not a 'fun' player to watch.  Shapiro and co. get a pass in my books though - I think they are doing a pretty good job on the whole.  One bad move doesn't negate that. 

FWIW, I feel our window remains open next year.  Sure, Smoak could revert to a pumpkin, Tulo's decline may be real, and Travis might never stay healthy, but assuming we see reasonable luck, players bounce back and we have close to $30 million dollars in expiring contracts gone AFTER factoring in arbitration.  Young players could start winning roster spots by the end of this season - Pompey, Smith, Alford, Leb, Fields, etc, and guys like SRF, Gurriel, Greene, Jansen, Tellez and Borucki , McGuire and Ramirez could be ready next season.  more than a rebuild / retooling, I want to see the Jays being aggressive in finding out what they have in some of their younger players - when guys are healthy, and if we haven't righted the ship, I see value in moving out Marco Estrada / Steve Pearce types for B prospects, which do have value sometimes.  We traded Dawel Lugo for Cliff Pennington a few years back and he's now the 4th ranked D-back prospect.  we could attempt similar deals with Smith, Goins, Zeke, Loup and even Jose / Barney (if we retain salary).  

This franchise isn't the Yanks or the Sox, but no reason for us not to be like the Cards or the Giants (maybe the wrong season to cite those teams, but still).  

Smaj - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#344710) #
The Jays were a difficult team to watch offensively last year as well. The strikeouts were high & frequent; the lack of team speed similar; the inability to advance runners or hit with RISP was painful. They were a long ball team offensively, and when not hitting HR's they made average or below replacement level starting pitchers look like the re-incarnation of Cy Young. The offensive woes are predictable & progressive with the age of the hitters, there is no logical reason to expect a significant turn around. That leaves sheer hope.
The most significant difference between 2016 & 2017 has been the starting pitching (health & performance). For overall entertainment value, this offence has been hard to watch for two seasons (we were spoiled by the magical 2015 post all star break offence).
Going forward, it is difficult to forecast a playoff birth this year for the Jays. The offence is poor; the defence has declined & the starting pitching has not resembled 2016 in any way, which was essential to contend. The Jays have to leap frog 7 teams to obtain the second wild card spot, this is a dubious task for any team. Let's hope Estrada, Liriano & Jose pick up their respective games to garner some prospect interest from other GM's. I'm all for trading Smoak, Pillar, Happ & Donaldson for the right offers as well.
eudaimon - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#344713) #
True, the offensive decline began in 2016. September in particularly was the first month I remember being truly "painful" to watch.

I do think we could be competitive even with the lethargic O, but the starting pitching has also been questionable in large part due to injuries. Maybe we could still make a run if the starters get healthy, but I'm not counting on it. Liriano is also looking like a pumpkin again. Trade him for Bartolo Colon? (lol, but maybe the switch to the AL can provide some smoke + mirrors production for a bit).

Our relief pitching has actually been pretty good for most of the season. Gibbons has managed the guys pretty well overall.

scottt - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#344714) #
You have to go back to 2011 for the last time Edwin had offensive numbers worse than the one he has this year.
I think they dodged a huge bullet there. It's not fair either to compare the number Encarnation turned down to the one Morales accepted and that doesn't even factor the draft pick.

The one player they might be able to trade for a  decent prospect is Joe Smith.
Estrada with a 4.8 ERA and a WHIP of 1.4 isn't going to fetch anything back.

Considering the situation with Travis, they need a version of Pearce that can play second base.
Then they need to get a good look at Pompey and Alford in the outfield.

Smaj - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#344715) #
Pompey is polarizing for me. I love all of his tools yet I am suspect of the tool box. All of these injuries amount to significant DL time. Some of the described injuries do not seem overly serious, yet it takes Pompey a great deal of time to return from the DL. From this, and this is only an opinion, I start to question his desire to play. He has a prime opportunity to play for the Jays (Parmley, Smith, Ceccelianni etc) have had time in the bigs so Pompey's opportunity is right there for him to grab, yet he has not been able to do so. I could be way off and he could be pushing hard & being held back from playing by the training staff to return from injury, but not hearing his name mentioned as a prospect or as a "futures" guy by the Blue Jays brass tells me he is a player who will be getting a change of scenery. I think he needs a fresh start.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#344716) #
#BlueJays send Jason Grilli and cash to #Rangers for 22-year-old OF Eduard Pinto, who is slashing .311/.358/.446 at advanced-A Down East
Dave Till - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#344717) #
Some random thoughts:

I'm not as inclined to be harsh on Pompey. Concussions are serious things, and he had to wait until he had medical clearance to play again. Everything else that has happened to him has been bad luck. He might not be durable, but it's too early to tell.

It's not Morales's fault that he isn't Encarnacion. He is doing almost exactly as well as could be expected, given that he just turned 34 and is well into the decline phase of his career. He can play first base better than I expected (he doesn't because he is not required to). But, lord almighty, is he slow.

The Jays' biggest problem is that their farm system hasn't produced any hitters for years and years. The only hitters on their team who have come up from their farm system are Pillar and Goins, and neither of them actually hit all that much. The only non-pitchers that they have traded away who are playing for other teams are Hechavarria (who was an international signing, not a draftee), and d'Arnaud (who wasn't a draftee either - he was part of the trade haul for Halladay). I guess Barreto makes three, but he just came up. I don't know whether this was due to bad drafting or just bad luck - I think the draft is a giant crapshoot, so I'd go with bad luck, but I don't know for sure.

Because the Jays haven't had any young hitters, their starting lineup has kept getting older and older. And the Jays' old players are doing what old players have always done - they've gotten hurt more often, and their performance has declined gradually, year after year. The team had a window of contention in 2015 and 2016; it appears to have closed. (Though it's always unfair to judge a team when it is cold, just as it is unfair to expect too much of a team who is hot. The Jays could rattle off a seven-game winning streak and be right back in it. I don't expect this, but it could happen.)

The Jays now have some genuine hitting prospects: Vlad Jr. and Bichette look to be very good indeed (though it's a little early to say that for sure). Gourriel might be a third. The real challenge is to keep the fan base together while the club waits for the kids to mature. At least the Jays are better off now than they were when Alex Anthopoulos took over: at that time, they had an aging lineup and only Travis Snider in the minors. These Jays aren't likely to follow the Phillies' path, at least not for very long.
Hodgie - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#344718) #
At this point I would just be happy if Jays pitchers would stop walking the (roughly) 110% of the batters they face.
hypobole - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#344719) #
Dave, Jake Marisnick is doing pretty well as a platoon OF in Houston
greenfrog - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#344720) #
After 2015, some would have had us sign Price (at least $217m), and extend Encarnacion ($75m, conservatively) and Bautista ($75-100m, conservatively). The argument was that the Jays were poised for 3-5 years of greatness, if only the team's parsimonious owners and and its too-cautious front office ("Shatkins") would recognize this generational opportunity to keep three elite players in the fold and just make it happen, the way Anthopoulos would have.

Executing those three deals alone would have cost at least $350m, and probably closer to $400m, based on their actual market value at the time (not as rewritten through a revisionist lens).

There was a very real debate along those lines around these parts during the 2015 off-season. Obviously, the above scenario (keeping all three players long-term) was never going to happen, but for some, it would have been the dream scenario that would have all but ensured years of baseball glory in Toronto.
Magpie - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#344722) #
Was that the most predictable GIDP in human history?
Hodgie - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#344723) #
Only until the next base runner reaches.
Gerry - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#344724) #
You have to feel sorry for Sparkman with that outfield defense.
Magpie - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#344725) #
Sheesh. Bring back Grilli.
Gerry - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#344726) #
Having said that Sparkman does need to get the ball down.
uglyone - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#344727) #
sparkman hasn't exactly earned this tryout.
cybercavalier - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#344728) #
#BlueJays send Jason Grilli and cash to #Rangers for 22-year-old OF Eduard Pinto, who is slashing .311/.358/.446 at advanced-A Down East

Instead of simply dumping a veteran, the Jays trade him to another team for aged 19-22 young player at advanced-A.

List of recently released in Triple-A batters who played in the MLB:
OF Cedric Hunter
1B Jason Rogers
OF/1B Allen Craig
1B Jesus Montero
OF Desmond Jennings
OF/1B Chris Parmelee
Lots of OF/1B type. Can Jennings be still useful? Or try Hunter? Regardless Jose Tabata has not played in Buffalo despite his register on the Buffalo's roster... Shall the Jays sign one of these types to Buffalo to play the OF with Parmley and Smith Jr.?

No 2B/IF type at all. Another posters expressed in another thread(s) that 2Bs are rare this season so let us hope the Jays make better use of our 2B resources. Veteran 2Bs who have been resting on the bench than performing well in Buffalo are promoted to sit on the Jays' bench while young players are playing full time in Buffalo -- Jonathan Diaz, Gregorio Petit, Jake Elmore. As Glenn Sparkman gave up 6 runs and not getting an out, demote him for one of our Bisons' 2B.

Now the pitchers
Manny Parra
Ryan Webb
Stephen Fife
Andy Oliver
Logan Darnell
Dustin Molleken

No interesting names?
uglyone - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#344729) #
huh. a lot to like in Pinto's stats.

i wonder why they pushed him back to A+ this year after a nice stint in AA last year.
cybercavalier - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#344730) #
Chuck - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#344731) #
Just home to watch the end of the game. How's the team doing? Oh, okay, never mind.
King Ryan - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#344732) #
It was like 5 weeks ago that everyone was crowing about Morales hitting better than Edwin. That is baseball for you. Never read too much into April/May.

And well, that is pretty much the final nail in this season's coffin I guess. Too bad. Who would have thought the Jays ridiculous offense from 2015 would be this bad 2 years later.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#344733) #
Dalton Pompey is in centerfield and leading off for Dunedin today. It would be nice if he got a prolonged shot very soon.
jerjapan - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#344734) #
I guess Biagini-as-starter may need a rethink.  He looks like a starter, he's got the arsenal, but maybe there was a reason he was available in the rule 5?  Sparkman likely gets a bit more rope before we pull the plug on the guy, but man that was an ugly outing.  Unfortunately, we may be playing ourselves into the sort of team who can afford a draft and stash waste of a roster spot. 

I hope the Pinto acquisition dashes a little cold water on all the assertions that we have no assets to trade.  Grilli plus cash netted us a C prospect - per Sickels - who has Sparkman in the same range.  People were convinced Sparkman was such an asset that he had to get a shot in the big league pen, but then are willing to write off the exact same type of prospect as not worth trading for?  Pinto of course has more value in that he doesn't have to be on a big league roster all season.  He's not a top thirty guy in our system - a tiny LF with one tool, the Newburg report had him 67th in the Rangers org before the season- but he's also not nothing.  KATOH had him at 16th in 2016, so that lone tool is clearly a good one. 

Scottt, Estrada leads the pitching staff in fWAR at 1.7.  With a reasonable, expiring contract, and coming off a 3 WAR season, he absolutely has value.   This FO does seem willing to use financial leverage to maximize prospect returns as well, so if we pay his contract, we get even more in return.  SPs are valuable commodities.

PeterG - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#344736) #
The value the Jays get back at the trade deadline will be largely dependent on the Jays willingness to absorb the remaining salary on the contracts that are being moved. The money is in the 2017 budget anyway, so why not? It would move them ahead of other teams looking to trade if they did this. It would be akin to buying prospects and they might make out well if they do this.
eudaimon - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#344737) #
Glad I missed that stinker...

I was always pretty hesitant on the Biagini for starter idea. The guy hardly dominated at A+ and AA (only 5.8 K/9 in AA) despite being kind of old for the levels. Kudos to the FO for recognizing that he might be a good reliever, but it was always wishful thinking that he'd transition well to being a starter in the majors. Now let's hope they didn't ruin him somehow.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#344738) #
If the Jays sell on Bautista, or possibly Pillar, at the deadline, then Pompey should have a clear shot at playing time assuming he actually stays healthy (let's wait and see on that). A young player with any upside would be a breath of fresh air to this roster right about now.

As far as selling at the deadline, agreed on eating up all the outgoing salary. The Jays do not need to slash payroll. They just need to add the best talent they can get. If absorbing outgoing salaries in any way helps the return they get back, then that's a no brainer. I'm not sure if Liriano will have any real value regardless, but Estrada and Smith should. Bautista is a bit of a wild card in that his performance has been average and he has a bad reputation around the league, so not sure what his value would be at this rate.

I still do not expect a full on rebuild, and if they do trade Donaldson it's probably better to wait until the off-season. The question to be answered is do they take one more stab at it in 2018 or take a step back? I would have been fine going for it if the Jays were an 85 win that just missed out, but from the looks of it they might be closer to the 75-80 win range. Expecting a huge bump in performance next season when everyone is a year older and they have to replace two SP's in the rotation is asking a lot. We'll see.
Smaj - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#344740) #
The Yanks & BoSox are pretty young teams with the ability to attract & willingness to pay premium contracts for elite free agents over the next two bumper free agent classes. The Jays are older without upper echelon players in the high minors ready to make the jump. Additionally, i don't foresee the Jays being involved for premium free agents over the next two years.
Given the state of the AL East and that superstars are required to contend, unsure why the Jays would not go into a full re-build? It would be preferable to draft early than middle of the pack like the mundane .500 years that occurred for so long prior to 2015. I love the notion of eating salary in trades to improve on prospect return in trades.
Historically, Shapiro tends to make moves prior to the deadline, so if the Yanks & Astros series don't go well, I'd expect some groundwork during the All Star Break leading to trades soon after. Jays also have the Tigers, Red Sox for 4 games then Cleveland in July so it's a high degree of difficulty in terms of scheduling (tough opponents to play above .500+ baseball against).
I'd like to see an infusion of prospects brought into the organization via trades, high draft picks & see if Ben Cherington can replicate the development success attributed to him with the Red Sox. Jays need to produce some home grown all stars to compete in the AL East.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#344742) #
The teardown/retool talk is fun I guess, (not really...I hate when the ML team is bad, personally) but it likely ain't gonna happen and I'll certainly be happy that it doesn't.

The far more likely scenario is that Donaldson, Martin, Bautista, Tulowitzki, and Morales (five guys, all hitting considerably lower than their career norms), have a much healthier, productive half season, and the Jays are in a playoff race late in the season. The only everyday player off this team I wouldn't mind the team getting some value for is Pillar.

I never hope for Jays players to fail, but Kevin Pillar is as close to a dislikable player (both performance and personality-wise) the Jays have had ever had (this is just my opinion, obviously, sorry to everyone here who likes Pillar, or believes in him more). Frankly, he's only kept his everyday job in the outfield because he's been fortunate Pompey has had some bad injury luck, and been slower to develop. The fact that a couple Jays outfield prospects (Gose comes to mind, and another I'm not thinking of) have fizzled, also helped his case.

For my money, I hope Pompey forces the Jays hand in the second half and Smith Jr. stays hot in the minors, which allows the Jays to trade Pillar, and Pompey has a chance to show his upside. I consider myself a patient person, but watching Pillar's lack of plate discipline, and stubborness not to change it this season has done it for me. His defence is overrated in my opinion, and a few flashy catches recently doesn't change that (he's been burned deep more than a few times this season, as well.)

Really, really pulling for Pompey.

hypobole - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#344744) #
Congratulations to All Star starter Justin Smoak.
Gerry - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#344746) #
Mike Bolsinger being called up, per Wilner. Beliveau or Harrell likely on the block.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, July 02 2017 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#344747) #
Well deserved. It's awesome to see someone gain confidence and blossom so (relatively) late in their career. Obviously, I hope he's more like Bautista/Edwin than Michael Saunders, and the Jays have a similar decision whether to commit long term to Smoak to make as they did with Bautista after the '10 season.

There will be (and already has been) talk of the Jays trading him as part of a fire sale, but I doubt teams would be willing to give up much, despite how dramatic his turnaround has been.

I also think people are really over-estimating what the return for Donaldson would be.
AWeb - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#344748) #
I think the Jays have more near-MLB positional talent now than they have for a long time. Top prospects are never more than a year or two away if performance merits. If Bichette and/or Guerrero are going to be Great Players, not just guys who play here for a few years, one or both of them should be in Toronto by September next year, if not sooner. Alford and Pompey too. If the franchise is going to claim to have some high performance plan, it's time to put up some high performance. 40 years in, and the Jays still lack a Hall of Fame position player except Alomar who was here for all of 5 years (Halladay makes it I assume?). To put it another way, and using fangraphs because the filters are easy, the following franchises have post 1977 WAR leaders (position players) with less WAR than the Jays (Bautista, 36): Arizona (Gonzalez at 34, Goldschmidt 30 and counting), Dodgers (Piazza 34), Marlins (Ramirez 31, Stanton 29 and counting). Not many teams that close either...two teams that have only existed for 20 years, both of which feature players likely to cruise past the Jays leader, and the Dodgers, which is obviously surprising.

Stieb, Halladay, Delgado, Barfield, Moseby, and Fernandez all started with the Jays in their age 21 season. Wells was 20. Now, most of them weren't great yet and didn't play full time (end of year callups for most), but they did make the majors at that point. That's the list of top Jays players by bbrf WAR aside from Key (age 23), Hentgen (22) and Bautista (weirdest career path possible).

If this is what the 2017 Jays are (and I think battling to finish .500 is reasonably optimistic at this point), I don't think you hesitate to blow it up and trade everyone who gets you young talent in return. Who's fun to watch everyday on the Jays right now? Donaldson and Smoak?

Petey Baseball - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 03:13 AM EDT (#344750) #
The only guarantee by "blowing it up" is having a bad team for at least the next two years after this. The Jays would be selling low on Donaldson, Estrada, Bautista, Martin. They wouldn't be able to add anything through free agency because who wants to sign with a rebuilding team?

Then who do you deal? Sanchez is an ace, Stroman is a solid young rotation piece, Osuna is the best reliever this franchise has ever had, and he's only 23. Why would we want to see these guys spend their prime years playing against you, while waiting for prospects that may never come?

Plus, you can't bank on a desperate team giving up a bounty for Donaldson. The Blue Jays had arguably the best pitcher in baseball (Halladay) and couldn't turn any of the prospects they received for him into even average major league players.

The rebuild/prospect hoarding talk actually makes me hope the Jays go the opposite way and do something bold to improve the roster for this season.

AWeb - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#344751) #
I guess it could be prospect hoarding, but the position players on this team, which is already injury prone and not very good, are old. The best players are Smoak (30), Donaldson (31), Martin (34), Pillar (28). The following players have negative WAR this year - Bautista (36), Pearce (34), Carrera (30), Goins (29), Maile (26), Barney (31). Tulowitzki (32) and Morales (34) are barely above zero. This roster is full of players past normal peak age who aren't getting better on defense.

I guess you can't really blow this roster up short of releasing players, because almost no position player has trade value aside from Donaldson and Smoak. And I'd never want them to trade pitching. I don't want the Jays to bottom out, and I guess they'll just wait out the current roster and not resign them, try and get better through signings and trades. Just frustrated with the team at this point...

Glevin - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#344752) #
"The Yanks & BoSox are pretty young teams with the ability to attract & willingness to pay premium contracts for elite free agents over the next two bumper free agent classes. The Jays are older without upper echelon players in the high minors ready to make the jump. Additionally, i don't foresee the Jays being involved for premium free agents over the next two years.
Given the state of the AL East and that superstars are required to contend, unsure why the Jays would not go into a full re-build? It would be preferable to draft early than middle of the pack like the mundane .500 years that occurred for so long prior to 2015. I love the notion of eating salary in trades to improve on prospect return in trades. "

The problem with the full rebuild is that it requires assets to do properly. The White Sox are a perfect example of a team who can do this rebuild because they had/have a lot of valuable assets who are definitely not going to be valuable when they are ready to contend (Sale, Quintana, Frasier, Abreu, 3 valuable relievers). The Jays have a lot of mediocrity and veterans on expensive contracts. The Jays would get a lot for Donaldson, Osuna, Stroman, and Sanchez. That's it. I'd be for trading any of them if the return is high enough but Stroman and Sanchez are young starters that the team can have around for years so makes no sense to trade them unless they are overwhelmed. Osuna I would definitely trade as closers are crucial parts to winning teams but horrible building blocks for the future and very few last very long at the top anyway. Donaldson I would also look to trade but his market is pretty small with really only the Yankees being a good fit right now. What the jays are trying to do now and have been trying to do for a couple of years is just stock the system with prospects. By this time next year, the Jays could very well have the best system in baseball. They need to just keep on that road, keep adding young talent every chance they get, and clear out some room to see what minor leaguers (and players who never got chances from other teams) can do. That's why trading mediocre guys like Pillar and getting rid of Carrera is also important. Let Pompey and Smith and some other guys get a shot. You can't really let guys like this play on contending teams easily but a benefit of a non contending team should be to give unknown quantities an opportunity to play. Not just rookies, but also former prospects who never got a shot and so on.
scottt - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#344753) #
Well, the rules have changed. Signing a top free agent will only cost the Blue Jays a third round pick now.
If the attendance stays high, they can afford to do that. If it drops because they sell their best player, they'll fill the roster on the cheap. Sanchez, Stroman and Happ can still anchor a good rotation. They just need to revamp the outfield.

hypobole - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#344754) #
What assets did the Astros have when they started their rebuild? Far less than we do.
Gerry - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#344755) #
Jays have picked up Miguel Montero. Ceciliani to the 60 day DL.
rpriske - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#344756) #
I hope the Pinto acquisition dashes a little cold water on all the assertions that we have no assets to trade. Grilli plus cash netted us a C prospect Uh... really? This was the whole point I was making. Pinto is not a real prospect. This wasn't a real trade. We got something because the Rangers didn't want to wait for Grilli to clear and risk him going elsewhere. He had minimal trade value and we got minimal return. If the team is going to start trading off real assets it is only worth it if the team is improved for the future. This trade did not do that, on either end. (We gave up a better prospect in the deal with the Cards than we got from the Rangers... and neither is much.)
pooks137 - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#344757) #

I hope the Pinto acquisition dashes a little cold water on all the assertions that we have no assets to trade. Grilli plus cash netted us a C prospect

A Rangers fan mentioned on MLBTR that Pinto was a minor-league free agent next year if he's not added to the 40-man. I believe someone from the Rangers blog at SB Nation also said he has no defensive value at all. It seems Pinto has some things working against him that made him much easier to let go

Just scouting Lane Thomas' stat line, I don't see a whole lot to like there. Some SB ability demonstrated last year, but not much else that stands out other than maybe being young for levels

Glevin - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#344758) #
"What assets did the Astros have when they started their rebuild? Far less than we do."

The Astros had under 56 wins for three straight seasons. They had 6 straight seasons under .500. They picked 5 times in the top 11 including 3 times at #1. They got Correa, Tucker, Springer, and Bregman that way. The Jays can go that way too but that will take tanking and being very bad for a long time.
jerjapan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#344759) #
Rpriske,  how do you define a prospect?  I think you are missing the point from my previous post.  Sickels, the prospect watcher I trust the most and arguably the guy with the best rep in the industry, had Pinto as a C prospect before the year started- so roughly the same talent level as Sparkman - before Sparkman got injured.  Is Sparkman a prospect?

I assume you are referring to the Braves, who we got Grilli from, not the Cards.  We traded Sean Ratcliffe, a non prospect with 2 IPs last year, none this year.  Yes, Pinto was available as a one tool guy still in high A (although I think a 6 year minor league FA actually is called that once his contract is RENEWED six times, giving us one extra year.  I could be wrong, anyone know for sure?)

My point was simple - if we can get something for Grilli, we can definitely get something more substantial for the numerous assets we have that are better than Grilli.  The D-Backs got Lugo for Pennignton - who had roughly the same value as Barney / Goins currently do.  We picked up two superior, but still problematic prospects last year in the Liriano trade and people were ecstatic.  Honestly, look at the stats - what's the real difference between Pinto and Harold Ramirez? 

We need to add talent anyway possible- so count me as happy about Montero.   This is exactly what we need to be doing right now, and answers the question of how bad does a defensively skilled catcher need to hit before he becomes unplayable?  The Maille line - .115 / .149 / .188. 

China fan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#344760) #
Montero is a good acquisition, and a huge upgrade on Maile's bat. His only problem is, obviously, his throwing arm. But otherwise his defence is reported to be good. As long as the opposition doesn't run wild on him, he's a big upgrade on Maile.

Just speculating: could the Jays go with three catchers, keeping Montero as a pinch-hitter as well as occasional catcher? The Jays clearly like Maile's defence, his arm, and his ability to handle the pitchers. Maybe he comes into some games in the late innings. while splitting the non-Martin games with Montero?
eudaimon - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#344763) #
Montero is a good acquisition. He could potentially add a bit of a spark to the lineup for basically free. Maile is great defensively but it's pretty bad that he makes me long for Thole. At this point, these might be the only moves we should make to try to improve our chance at a playoff run.

In terms of trading assets, I bet we could get something decent for Happ & Estrada. Nothing mind blowing, but maybe a B+ prospect. Martin too (he's still having a decent season, with a .369 OBP, he's just not an ideal #2 hitter). Bautista probably wouldn't garner much right now, maybe a B. It'd be silly to sell on Donny and Tulo right now when their value is so low. Morales isn't going anywhere, his value has declined if anything and it's be a big admission of a mistake to trade him halfway through his first year.

I don't think a firesale is in order. I think this team can still be good next year if the right moves are made.

hypobole - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#344764) #
The Jays can go that way too but that will take tanking and being very bad for a long time.

Except we have far more assets the the Astros had, both at the major league level and the minor league level. IF the Jays trade everyone of value (and at the right time) with 3 yrs or less of control, there is going to be a treasure trove of young assets and a potential powerhouse and a shorter timeline of rebuilding. Just need the will.
lexomatic - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#344765) #
My only issue with the Montero deal was reading that be cubs picked up salary. If this results in the jays giving up a non-zero talent, then I'll be pissed. It'll be the opposite of product hoarding. The jays should be using their finances to absorb the salary of players like Montero to avoid giving up actual talent. There's no indication that this will be an issue - cubs washed him gone and might just take cash.
I'm floor sending Maile to Aaa to see if the staff can do anything to make his bat playable. There's no room on this roster for 3 catchers. If Montero sucks then release him and call Maile back until September when you can maybe give Jansen a taste.

jerjapan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#344766) #
Agreed Lexi, Maille has options and we need versatility given the current roster configuration.  Unless Martin is going to play 2B, 3 catchers is the opposite of versatility. 

I can't recall a single time when 'future considerations' actually amounted to anything.  I'm guessing that the only considerations are salary based. 

hypobole - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#344767) #
Yeah, when it's PTBNL or cash, I can't think of anyone of note being the PTBNL.
China fan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#344773) #
I agree that the Jays won't be giving up anything significant in the trade with the Cubs. They probably offered a larger cash amount than the other bidders. If the Cubs had lost Montero on waivers, they would have had to pay almost his entire salary. By making a deal with the Jays, the Cubs can reduce their share of his salary, which is probably the main incentive that they needed for the trade. If there's also a low-level prospect in the deal, it will be a very marginal player.

The thing about Montero is that he is already the third-best Jays hitter, as measured by wRC+ and wOBA this season. (Only Smoak and Donaldson have higher numbers there.) Granted, he posted those numbers in just 112 plate appearances, but his career numbers are above-average too. Given the dire problems in the Jays offense this year, you'd think they will try to find a way to get Montero into the lineup more often than once every five days.

I mentioned the 3-catcher possibility as pure speculation, but I agree that the existence of Maile's options does reduce the chances of a 3-catcher set-up. Maile can be optioned for now. But if Montero continues to hit very well and throw poorly, I could see a 3-man catcher arrangement at some point this year. If the Jays have Biagini and Bolsinger in the bullpen as long men, they could easily switch to a 7-man pen. And then it would be just a matter of whether the 3rd catcher is more valuable than a 4th outfielder. We know that Gibbons has liked a 3-catcher set-up at several points in the past.
China fan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#344774) #
It might also be worth noting that the Jays are 16-12 this season when Maile is the starting catcher. He can't hit, but he's doing other significant things to contribute. The Jays might want to find a creative way to keep him on the roster.
jerjapan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#344775) #
I'm willing to believe that the record of the team when a certain catcher starts has some value as a stat, but I've got no idea when that stat becomes significant.  At this point, with 32 games under Maile's belt total, I've got to assume SSS ... anyone have different thoughts?
China fan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#344776) #
Indeed, Jer, it might simply mean that Maile arrived on the roster at nearly the end of the team's horrible April. It's really April that still drags down Martin's record and the team's record.

But I still think the Jays have a very high regard for Maile's defence, his throwing abilities, and his handling of the pitchers. That's why I don't think it's impossible that the Jays will try to keep him on the roster, or will bring him back after a stint in Buffalo.
scottt - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#344777) #
Let Stroman hit and DH for Maile?

Pinto is unlikely to ever play a game for Toronto.

You'd have to get a couple of top prospects for Donaldson or you might as well just get the (third round?) draft pick.
You don't improve a team by trading an All-Star for a  C prospect. Those guys typically never make it past AA.

rpriske - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#344778) #
I was referring to the Cardinals. I meant that we gave up a better player in our trade this week with the Cardinals than we got in our trade with the Rangers. (Though neither has a good chance of being important int he long run.)

How do I define a prospect? A player who has a good chance of becoming a useful major league player.

Pinto is not that.

And a 'C prospect' is a way of saying 'not really a prospect'.
jerjapan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#344779) #
Agreed China, they clearly like Maile's glove - he could be valuable in Sept.  Interestingly, he's not a great framer per StatsCorner.  Catcher D (does pitch calling count as D?) remains the hardest thing for me to understand from a stats perspective. 

Nobody is talking about trading JD for 'C' prospects.  JD likely commands one A / A- plus several more B calibre guys. 

Rpriskie, I don't get your POV here man ... Lane Thomas, who you called a prospect, is also a C prospect - likely somewhere in the 40s or 50s in our org.  Your definition seems to mean B calibre prospects or better.  Danny Barnes was a C.  Bradley Jones, Danny Jansen, Biggio, Espada, Girodo, Leb, Romano - all Cs.  To be fair, Pinto is a notch below these guys.  But so were Leb and Barnes a year or two ago.

hypobole - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#344780) #
Sparkman DFA'd

Bolsinger up
uglyone - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#344782) #
this is where i complain about favoring asset management (sparkman) over fielding the best team.
uglyone - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#344783) #
I object strenuously to lane thomas being called more of a prospect than pinto. Pinto has a much more promising performance so far.

greenfrog - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#344784) #
jerjapan, we've debated Donaldson's trade value before. I believe earlier this season you thought he might command something along the lines of the package sent to the White Sox for Chris Sale. I do not think that is even remotely realistic. Maybe if you subtracted Moncada (an A prospect) and substituted a B or C prospect.

So, the equivalent of Kopech (an A-/B+ prospect at the time of the trade), Basabe (B-), Diaz (C+), and another B or C prospect.

In my view, the following factors bring down Donaldson's value: his performance has fallen off this year, he has been sidelined a lot with injuries, fewer years of control (controllable through 2018, not 2019), and his relatively high salary next year.
cybercavalier - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#344785) #
Looking at the Phillies' depth chart, their Howiw Kendrick is injured, Andres Blanco and Ty Kelly are hitting not well. How about trading Barney for Daniel Nava. Can Nava still get on base enough in the LF/RF? Then Zeke can play some CF to ease the burden on Pillar's body.
jerjapan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#344786) #
we have indeed Greenfrog, and agreed with your rationale, Sale's value has gone way up while JD's has gone down, so I wouldn't make that claim now.  B+, B, B-, C+?  something like that makes sense to me right now.  Man, I wish we'd extended JD when we had the chance though ... 

To be fair Ugly, the Sparkman DFA was both appropriate and unexpected - I expected the org to try and hold on to him as long as possible.  IMO, Pinto vs. Thomas is all stats vs. tools ...  I typically prefer a raw toolsy guy to a one tool type like Pinto, but it's hard to look at their stat lines and make the argument for Thomas over Pinto ...

Cracka - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#344787) #
The Glenn Sparkman experiment cost the Jays over ~$380k -- $100k in waiver fees and the rest in Sparkman's salary (he received full MLB salary while on the DL). In return, he'll go down with the worst ERA ever of the 372 pitchers that have donned a Blue Jays uniform (63.00).
Magpie - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#344788) #
Sparkman would probably have been returned to the Royals at the end of spring training anyway, no? His injury let him collect a major league salary for a few months.

I hope someone else is starting the series thread. The Jays are 7-13 when I do it. And that includes the four game sweep of the Mariners.
scottt - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#344789) #
Sparkman's job was just to eat innings when the game was out of hand. I would have been more patient, why shed assets as they're dropping out of contention? Curious to see if anyone claims him on waivers.
jerjapan - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#344790) #
Sparkman's job was to be a legit reliever.  There are half a dozen guys on the Buffalo shuttle who can eat innings when the game is out of hand, and none of them require a dedicated roster spot.  Sparkman is an asset ... in the same way Lucas Harrel or Jeff Beliveau are assets. 

Not sure if he can be claimed on waivers?  I think it's back to KC (which is absolutely going to happen) or he has options?

greenfrog - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#344792) #
When healthy, Donaldson is a wonderful player -- top five or ten in the league. The question is whether he can stay healthy and productive over the next five years or so (ages 32-36 seasons). I wouldn't bet on the healthy part, especially on the Rogers Centre playing surface.
hypobole - Monday, July 03 2017 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#344794) #
Those socks they're wearing today are awesome. All that's missing is the ruby slipper.
dan gordon - Tuesday, July 04 2017 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#344799) #
Sparkman was DFA'd. The Jays have a week to trade him. If they do, the acquiring team will assume the necessity of keeping him on their roster the rest of this season, or offering him back to KC. If the Jays can't find a taker, they offer him back to KC for $25,000. If KC was so turned off by his results this year they decline, the Jays can send him to the minors and retain his rights.

Looking forward to seeing Montero for the Jays. It will be good to get Sanchez and Smith back. Hopefully Stroman doesn't have the same degree of blister problem as Sanchez.
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