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The second half is off and running with a nice 7-1 win. Aaron Sanchez was strong while the offense did its job.

The next two games see potential trade candidates take to the mound to showcase their skills. Francisco Liriano gets the ball on Saturday while Marco Estrada looks to find out whats missing in his game on Sunday. Joe Smith and JP Howell both pitched for Buffalo on Friday night and could be back in the next few days.
Blue Jays at Tigers - July 14-16 | 83 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#345302) #
Sign of the apocalypse: Pillar and Morales walked a combined 5 times.
scottt - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#345304) #
I believe Beliveau handling the ninth is a sign that he's going back to Buffalo.

Tied with the Orioles. Had they just gone .500 against Baltimore, the standings would be quite different.

jerjapan - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#345308) #
Man that was an ugly outing for the Tigers' pen.   Beliveau is out of options and our lefty relievers are the one weak spot in the pen - Harrell or Bolsinger would be the guys to demote, no?
uglyone - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#345309) #
beliveau looks surprisingly great on the spin rate charts i posted a while ago. his results gave been solid as well. i think he stays.
scottt - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#345310) #
Didn't think he was out of option. He needs some facial hair, he looks 16.
hypobole - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#345312) #
Chuck, thanks for the reminder. I noticed the 3 walks by Pillar last night and meant to check game logs.

By my count, first time he's walked thrice in 461 career games - he's waked twice only 3 times previously.

Definitely apocalyptic.

cybercavalier - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#345314) #
Man that was an ugly outing for the Tigers' pen.   Beliveau is out of options and our lefty relievers are the one weak spot in the pen - Harrell or Bolsinger would be the guys to demote, no?

Looking at the Tigers' depth chart, only five starting pitchers play including the injured and former Jays Norris. How about trading away Harrell or Bolsinger and Jose Tabata for a veteran OF -- den Dekker or the Canadian Adduci and Anthony Gose. Gose is on the 7day DL on Tigers' A level... At this moment, the value of Doc Holladay turned to the often injured Travis D'Arnaud and pitcher-oufielder Gose. The Phillies got 2 stellar years of Doc. Developing prospect is way more economical...

Either den Dekker or Adduci can instantly help the Jays' outfield. The latter is hitting above his own MLB average this season. Coghlan may be DFA'ed to Buffalo for playing time.
PeterG - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#345315) #
Beliveau stays.

Most likely to go : Harrell

2nd most likely: Bolsinger
Mike Green - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#345319) #
Pillar takes a lot of flak for his batting.  It's not deserved.  He has made important incremental improvements in the power and plate discipline departments in 2017.  The only thing that is stopping him from putting him a pretty good slash line is a .279 BABIP, and that BABIP is the result of bad luck.  He's hitting the ball harder than ever, and more line drives, but has a BABIP of .549 on his line drives (league average .614).  Those missing five singles are the difference between a plebeian line and a good one for an above-average defensive centerfielder. 
lexomatic - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#345321) #
The only question about pillar hitting the ball harder, is if it's in a more catchable zone, do the effect is worse on the whole even if the occasional result is more spectacular.
Also, Pillar does seem to be worse fielder. We'll have to find out if it's a permanent trend or just an off year. I forget about best shape stories this spring, but if he bulked up in the off-season that could explain a lot.

uglyone - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#345322) #
i will say that pillar has started making those catches again over the last month. maybe the first 2months were a defensive decline or maybe they were just a slump or maybe just bad luck.
scottt - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#345323) #
The only issue with Pillar is that he's potentially blocking Alford.
It would make a lot of sense to trade him--not now--if there's any return, but it probably won't happen because he's popular.

greenfrog - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#345324) #
It's hard to tell how valuable Pillar will be over the next few seasons. His track record suggests that he's something like a 90 wRC+ hitter (his wRC+ this year is almost identical to the wRC+ he posted in 2014 and 2015). With strong defense in center field, that is a very valuable player. With average defense in center field, he still has value. If his defense falls to below average, he would become more of a marginal major-league player.

Whatever the future holds, he has had an impressive overachieving career so far.
Sherrystar - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#345325) #
Jays missed thier opportunity to sell high on Pillar. He is what he us. And that is an average at-best MLB player.
Gerry - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#345326) #
There seems to be more big losses this year than in other years. Could be just my memory.
Jimbag - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#345327) #
I'd agree with Pillar's defense being less spectacular than previously. The talk about the ball being more lively this year (could well be, but not supported by the Jays' HR numbers) could be having an effect, as I've seen Pillar get beat by what I assumed was him playing too shallow a few times.

As for him blocking Alford, if the Jays could trade Pearce and move Pillar to LF, problem solved. Main reason I suggest that is Pearce would probably net a better return (prospects) than Pillar right now, Pillar is younger, and he's a fan favorite.
PeterG - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#345328) #
Alford won't be starting here till 2019.
Glevin - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 05:15 AM EDT (#345330) #
"Jays missed thier opportunity to sell high on Pillar. He is what he us. And that is an average at-best MLB player."

There was never a chance to sell high on Pillar. Even at his best, he was the never the kind of player tams give up much for. In fact, his value to the Jays was and is more than they'd get back for him. Next year, he will hopefully move into a lesser role and let someone else with more upside take over more.
scottt - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#345331) #
Pillar doesn't hit enough to play LF. Also, in left field, the opportunity for diving catches is limited. More plays are against the fences and the center field has priority down the middle. The Jays have many outfield prospects that hit enough to play CF but don't have the arm to play RF.  All considered, Pillar is still having a good season and is better than the average centerfielder, just not quite All-Star worthy. With Kiermaier missing over 2 months, (and Trout missing a bunch too)  is this the year he gets his gold glove?
Mike Green - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#345333) #
There seems to be more big losses this year than in other years. Could be just my memory.

Your memory is accurate, Gerry.  The team's record in blowouts (5+ run margins) was 37-12 in 2015 and 29-15 in 2016; it is 8-16 this year so far.  They are getting blown out a lot more and have inflicted many fewer beatings on opponents.  The club has not had a  bad record in blowouts since 2012 when they were 19-26 (they had the same record in 2004 also).  The last time they had a horrific record in blowouts was in 1995 when they went 14-31. 
Mike Green - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#345334) #
Jose Bautista's platoon splits over his career are unusual.  His line against RHP follows a typical arc from 2010 to 2017.  He was great in 2010-11; there has been consistent but fairly gentle decline since then.   He's still a good hitter against RHP.  His line against LHP over the last 2 years has been terrible, after many years of being good.  It might be a sample size fluke. Pea

Pearce has also put up decent numbers against RHP for many years. 

If you are going to start Carrera (and that is reasonable), why not give Bautista or Pearce a DH day, and keep Morales' bat on the bench for a late non-DP pinch-hit situation where he is most valuable?  Unfortunately, Carrera is the LF, Morales is the DH and Pearce is on the bench today. 

eudaimon - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#345335) #
Time to DFA Loup? He's back to being terrible it seems.

Liriano's looking more and more like a lost cause as well. Though the alternatives, someone like Bolsinger aren't much better.

All in all as blowouts go that was a good one, with our worst SP facing their best SP. Let's get 'em today.
Glevin - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#345336) #
Angels designated Espinosa. Excellent defense and poor offense with some power. Would be an upgrade on Goins .
scottt - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#345337) #
The Jays (along with the Angels and the Royals) are interested in Dee Gordon but want the Marlins to pick up some of his salary. The deal only works for Toronto if they can flip him back during the winter. It looks  a lot like a Upton repeat.
Travis is now playing catch and fielding ground balls.

Chuck - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#345338) #
Tough weekend for Liriano and Estrada. They're looking less and less likely to end the season in another team's rotation.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#345339) #
So the Jays won't be a WC contender and their impending free agents will have little to no trade value. Not looking good. Need Smith to get healthy as he might be one trade candidate. The Nats need multiple relievers, I'm sure a deal can be arranged there if Smith is healthy.
Chuck - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#345340) #
Nats just traded for Doolittle and Madson. They may well be interested in Smith as well.

It feels like only Donaldson would yield anything in a trade (which I don't necessarily advocate). Moving anyone else -- Liriano, Estrada, Smith, Howell -- would only offer salary relief. And I'm not sure that little old me cares a whit about the Rogers coffers.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#345341) #
Does moving Donaldson return a young Starter with more than two years of control as one of the pieces coming back? If so, trade him. As for Martin, I'd keep him. Young pitching always needs an experienced Catcher. The others like Bautista, Estrada and Liriano might not have a market, but retaining salary is an easy option if someone's interested in the player.

If the Jays are missing the Playoffs, trade who you can if good value comes back. I'd still go after Sonny Gray and maybe Dee Gordon. Change some faces and see what happens.
Gerry - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#345342) #
Donaldson and Tulowitzki are less sure handed this year than last. That magnifies the Jays other defensive problems in the outfield.
scottt - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#345343) #
Joe Smith should still return a good prospect.

Not of fan of how Harrell threw to Cabrera. First pitch curve was a good idea, but then you have to mix your stuff and try to get ahead. Give the defense a chance.

Montero is like 0 for 14, everybody is stealing a will and all the pitchers look uncomfortable throwing to him.

soupman - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#345344) #
does smoak have any trade value?

i'd like to see a full season out of him before i believe he's not going back to being a pumpkin, but it's not like the jays aren't the home of guys that have figured something out in their late 20s
Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#345345) #
Smoak has value, perhaps even exceptional value. I'm still going to need to see the return before he goes. He might be worth more staying.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#345346) #
The Jays are the home of Egos. Those egos got in the way of players learning to make changes. Once they finally decided the changes were necessary, look what happened.
ayjackson - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#345347) #
Would you eat salary to move Tulo for a decent prospect? Would shatkins? How much?
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#345348) #
There's about $65M left on Tulo's deal. They'd have to eat a ton of that to get back anything of value.
hypobole - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#345349) #
Toronto - where backup catchers go to die.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#345350) #
The Jays would move Tulo in a second in all likelihood but I can't see him having any trade value. He is in the decline phase of his career and has a lot of money left on his deal. He's being paid like the player he used to be, not the one he is now or will be over the next three years.

Rosenthal mentioned the Brewers showing interest in Happ but a trade being unlikely. I really hope Rogers is not forcing the FO to try to compete again next season but I suspect that's what might be happening.
King Ryan - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#345351) #
That throw from montero was... Well I guess there is a reason he has thrown out like one base runner this decade.
King Ryan - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#345352) #
How often does a guy steal a base and then get lifted for a pinch runner?
greenfrog - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#345353) #
If the Jays can get a strong return for Happ, I think they should do it. It's time to accept that the current Jays team is no longer that good, and to focus on what the next competitive Jays team is going to look like.
Four Seamer - Sunday, July 16 2017 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#345354) #
I'm sure if anyone offers to take Tulo off their hands, even if they have to swallow almost the entire 65 million remaining, they would be delighted to move him. They're practically swallowing the 65 million as it is, running him out there day after day and getting nothing but desultory performances to show for it. That is one trade that ought never to have been made.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#345355) #
trading reyes for tulo was brilliant, of course, and there's only one ex-prospect left standing and he's back to getting crushed after one great outlier month. Tulo has been well worth his contract since the trade, and while this year has been poor i'm guessing at the end he's back to being a plus bat and plus glove SS again. Definitely no need to trade him now at a low. That makes no sense.
scottt - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#345356) #
The key this winter will be to edge the signings. They should go after guys who can be traded if the team tank.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#345357) #
This is the worst defensive Jays team I've seen for a number of years. Donaldson seems to have the yips right now, either making bad throws or having the ball squirt out of his hands like a wet bar of soap. Morales missed a perfectly playable grounder at first yesterday, and Carrera (sigh) had a ball clank off his glove. ( Tabler said he saved it from going over the fence but a side view showed it wasn't even close to going over.) With this continual giving away of outs, poor pitching and sporadic run production, it's not hard to see why this team is failing to even scale the heights of mediocrity.
85bluejay - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#345358) #
Based on the Tulo trade alone, the Rockies GM is owed a big fat extension - the Jays will end up paying Tulo more money than Colorado for less than 20% of his career WAR production - the Jays would have been better off just paying all of Reyes contract and sending him to Washington for Ian Desmond's expiring contract or something similar.Three more years of watching Tulo play is painful - since Shapkins didn't trade for him, maybe the jays will eat the contract if a prospect is ready.
85bluejay - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#345359) #
The Jays have 3 starters who will become FA in the next 2 years - none of whom I want to resign - none of the pitching prospects have stepped up to date & quality FA pitching is going to be very expensive & Shapiro in interviews has sounded reluctant to dip into that pool - for me, given the Red Sox,Yankees & Rays talent, the jays need to take a step back, which is why I'm for a housecleaning including Donaldson & Smoak, even Osuna & Stroman with the right offers as I don't think they will be part of the next Jays contending team
SK in NJ - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#345360) #
Unfortunately, a true house cleaning where actual difference making value is heading back to the Jays would be if they traded Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna. The veterans on this team, aside from Donaldson and Happ, are probably not going to yield much, and even Donaldson at this point is having his worst season since his breakout (by his standards) both offensively and defensively. He is also a year away from free agency and is staring at a 2018 salary of somewhere between $20-23M. He should still be able to get back a good return, but other factors may hurt it a bit.

I'm at a point now where I don't mind trading anyone on the big league roster, especially if the alternative is bringing this same crew back next season and putting some bandaids on the holes via free agency. You don't need to tank in baseball, and I'd much rather be an 85 win team that retools on the fly than one that has to do a scorched earth rebuild, but the Jays are at a point where there doesn't appear to be much of an alternative. This is probably a 75-80 win team that is about to lose two SP's, have no prospects ready to take over next season, and have an old roster on the decline. Definition of no man's land.
bpoz - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#345361) #
I am sure a healthy Donaldson and Sanchez playing like they did last year would have the jays in contention now.
The amount of other injuries are probably enough to qualify for a normal amount of injury time.

Next year could have the salaries of Donaldson and Bautista off the payroll. That is a lot of money. What and where it is spent will determine how strong the team will look by ST.

uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#345362) #
heh. the jays have still saved money on the tulo trade so far, gained over 5war in the trade, and have back to back alcs to show for it. and have an SS that projects to be above average the next 3yrs.

colorado has lost money on the deal, is busy pissing away another season, and have only a not-young ex-prospect who's been getting hammered to show for it.
Gerry - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#345365) #
As we write off the 2017 season, what is the path forward? We know nothing of the front office plans. Shapiro and Atkins always talk both sides of the situation...."we could rebuild but there are too many fans invested in the team...the following in the city/country is too big" we won't rebuild we will try to add through trades."

Is that realistic?

The trade options for the guys at the end of their contracts do not look like they will bring back much of value. The Jays might add but it won't be much. If we assume the Jays do not trade any players under control for 2018 then can a re-vamped Jays contend next year? They will still have too many first basemen/DH types. They still won't have a good defense and they will have to replace two starters. I haven't checked myself but Buster Olney said this will be a thin free agent class for starters. So the Jays will have to go searching among the bargain bin guys, who are looking to re-establish their value. Guys like Estrada and Liriano for example.

I have a hard time seeing how the Jays will contend in 2018. The farm has potential but it is more for 2019 than 2018. Ideally you would give prospects some major league time in the second half of next year so they are coming into 2019 with their eyes open.

Going back to Atkins for a minute, I think he gives Justin Trudeau a run for his money. His comments are as bland as possible with no insights into his thoughts or plans. I would go looking for a JP Ricciardi or an AA interview but I wouldn't go looking for an Atkins interview. Now he wasn't hired to entertain me but I have no idea if he is any good or not. He says nothing.

Anyway, back to the point. I think the Jays should punt 2018 and try and contend in 2019. Therefore I would trade anyone who won't be around in 2019. JA Happ, come on down. Steve Pearce, it's been nice. Josh Donaldson, if he wants more than a three year deal, then deal him. If he will sign a three year deal keep him.

Get more athletic. That was a goal for 2017 and the FO has failed there. The outfield holes, and the 2B holes are easier to fill in free agency, the starting pitcher holes will be tougher.

Remember at the end of spring training when it looked like the Jays would waive Goins but they waived Upton instead? The story at the time was that there was a lot of interest in Goins. Is there still? Then trade him. Or did they miss their opportunity.

Summary: Give up on 17 and 18. The jury is still way out on the front office.
PeterG - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#345366) #
I agree with taking a step back in 2018 as attempting to extend a non existent window will make it much harder to return to any kind of contention, let alone sustained contention.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#345367) #
i don't even know what taking a step back means.

if we're giving up on the current squad, the next chance at contention is whenever the vlad/bo/whoever else they draft makes it to the show. and we have to hope they're good enough to be the core of a championship, given this FO will never be the kind to pay the price for core pieces on the FA or trade market.
Gerry - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#345368) #
The Jays have a core of prospects in AA and a bunch in Dunedin. The prospects in AA could become major leaguers in the second half of 2018, such as Alford, Gurriel, SRF, Greene, Urena. Not all of them will be successful but you should get a few major leaguers out of that pool. One or two of the Dunedin prospects could be ready by 2019 with more of them ready by 2020.

Taking a step back for me means that if you trade Happ, Donaldson or Pearce you are looking for a player that is controllable for 2019 and 2020.

After I wrote the above I saw a note from John Lott saying the Jays are looking at a window ending in 2020 when Stroman and Sanchez become free agents. In my opinion you punt 2018 and try and succeed in 2019 and 2020.
Glevin - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#345369) #
"colorado has lost money on the deal, is busy pissing away another season, and have only a not-young ex-prospect who's been getting hammered to show for it."

Jeff Hoffman was the #27 prospect in all of baseball in May according to BA. The fact that he is in Coors will mean that he will likely never be very good, but if he were somewhere else, he would be thought of as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball (His road ERA is 1.67). The trade was not good. Tulo is a below average offensive SS and above average defensive one. Nobody would pay 20M for that. He is basically a replacement level player making $20M. Add to that the fact that he has 3 more years of decline and it is an albatross of a contract.

Even if prospects don't work out, that's only part of the issue. Even if neither of Norris or Hoffman work out, trading them without getting anything of long-term value back is what hurts. In 2015 mid-season, Norris and Hoffman were the #18 #33 prospects in baseball. Labourt, Castro, and Boyd were not without value either. That package of prospects could have brought back someone very good with long term value. Two years later, the Jays have a 32 YO overpaid replacement level player for that. It was terrible asset management.

And this year, the Jays have 0.2 WAR from those two trades and have given up 2.9. That number is likely going to get worse every year. The Tulo trade was made thinking he could rebound towards the player he was before. He has only gotten worse. He's hitting the ball softer than ever, he's hitting in on the ground more, he's walking less, and he's hitting more pop-ups. (He has the highest percentage of soft contact on the team. Darwin Barney and Ryan goins hit the ball poorly less often the Tulo does) This is not an issue of a player who is unlucky or a player going through an adjustment phase. This is a player in pretty serious decline. Dave Cameron in a recent chat answered a question...

Troy Tulowitzki: How done, am I?
Dave Cameron: Well
bpoz - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#345371) #
If Donaldson stays for 2018 then Osuna is definitely our closer. It means that the FO is taking a run at earning the pennant race, playoff revenue. OR maybe it means that they want to avoid negative publicity and the resultant decrease in revenue.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#345372) #
hoffman is an old prospect who was middling at best in the minors and after an outlier month in mlb this year with K/bb numbers he had never come close to at any level before (including AAA just the month before) has again been getting hammered ever since.
PeterG - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#345373) #
I would trade Donaldson and Pearce before Happ as stop gaps at those positions are more easily found than another starting pitcher when we may be looking at one as it is. Of course, it pitchers were obtained for Donaldson, that would influence other moves. JD has to be dealt first.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#345374) #
And all due respect to dave cameron (and especially his pablo sandoval hottakes) but tulo has been a league average bat both as a jay and a league average bat over his last month (25gms & 100pa) which from a good defensive SS is a good 3warish type player.
SK in NJ - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#345375) #
Gerry, I think the one thing standing in the FO's way might be ownership. Rogers has proven time and time again that they only care about profit and optics. I don't see them green lighting a rebuild after two straight playoff appearances, plus the team is leading the AL in attendance this season (or close to it).

One thing I would watch out for is a payroll increase this winter. I know it sounds pointless, and it probably is, but that's how Rogers works. They don't have any grasp on competitive windows. The last two times they dramatically increased payroll was after the 2004 season and after the 2012 season. They won 67 games in 2004 and 73 games in 2012. Neither team was ready in their competitive cycle for a payroll increase, but was given one anyway. If ownership forecasts a loss in interest/attendance/revenue in 2018, they might give Shapiro a bit more money to try to avoid that, even though it's not a realistic (or smart) move.
eudaimon - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#345376) #
I think it's a bit early to write Tulo's eulogy. His fielding is still good, his BABIP is pretty low and his strikeout rate is also below his career rate. Chances are his stats will look better by the end of the year.

His contract isn't great, but I think he was a pretty good solution to the original problem which was the misguided trade for Jose Reyes (which I was excited about at the time, but looks poor in retrospect even though we didn't lose any prospects of note). Tulo for Reyes did certainly help us compete the past two years, as Reyes would have definitely dragged the team down with his poor D.

As bad contracts go it's not a horrible one, assuming he does bounce back a bit as I think he will. 20m for a 1.5-2.5 WAR player isn't awful, certainly not bad enough to sink the team. It does make him hard to trade, however.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#345377) #
The 2004 and 2012 payroll increases arose as a result of significant fx changes. The Jays' CDN $ payroll has moved with baseball inflation for some time to hover as an upper mid market payroll (around 10th in MLB, give or take). The budget was kept frozen this year due to the year over year rise in the US $.
Bid - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#345378) #
Donaldson gets a fresh coat of paint over the summer, is packaged with a hot passenger, and Tulo moves to third. Any combo at middle infield all year long has looked unstable. We need a 2B. Could be Travis, but he continues iffy.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#345379) #
Not sure how you can call the Tulo trade a win or a disaster yet. It was always going to be a current surplus value versus back end problems type of trade. Tulo and Reyes were owed equal money to date. As uglyone says, Tulo has generated 5WAR surplus over Reyes since the trade. By year end it's likely to be 5.5-6. Tulo's owed $60 over the next 3 years. If Tulo is replacement level for the next 3 years the Jays will have paid $60m plus the prospects for 6WAR. That's a bad trade. Now if Tulo is merely a 1 WAR player per year over the next 3 years the Jays will pay $60m plus the prospects for 9 WAR. That's an ok trade (probably good or bad depending on how much value the prospects had at the date of the trade (not now)). Anything above 1 WAR and it's hard to see it as anything other than a clear win for the Jays. I think you can say that AA probably would have expected to have banked a little more than 5 WAR to date. If that was the case, there would have been few scenarios in which it ended up being a bad trade.
SK in NJ - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#345380) #
The issue with Tulo as mentioned are his contact rates. He's hitting the ball softer and on the ground more than he ever has before. Given his age, that's not a good sign. He was a ~100 wRC+ player when the Jays traded for him, and he's been that or worse ever since. If his defense slips at all (like it has this season), then his value is going to plummet.

AA likely thought he was buying low on a star with a few elite years left in the tank, but that was clearly a miscalculation. He was a good player in 2016, but has been bad this year and has three expensive years left in his 30's. I'm not very optimistic about him.
bpoz - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#345381) #
The Rogers Center turf has always had a bad effect on players.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#345382) #
I think we have to accept that the new FO was hired as PART of the ownership's way of doing business, and is not at odds with it.
Mike Green - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#345383) #
It's been a rough year, but there is no question that the front office (from ownership on down) have not distinguished themselves.

The bizarre part for me is that I like the club (when healthy) save for the corner outfielders.  An infield of Martin, Smoak, Travis, Tulo and Donaldson should be very good.  Pillar is fine in centerfield.  Bautista/Pearce sharing one corner OF slot and the DH slot is OK.  Carrera would be a decent 4th outfielder.  Morales would be a good bat off the bench.  A rotation of Stroman/Sanchez/Happ/Estrada/Liriano/Biagini/Bolsinger should be good.  A bullpen of Osuna/Smith/Tepera/Barnes/Beliveau/Leone should be fine.  Fangraphs agrees.  They project the club to go 38-33 from here on out.  Unlike most here, I haven't given up on 2017 despite the club's poor performance so far and the continuing injury grief. 

The club's assets are, in order of value: Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Smoak, Donaldson and Happ.  The player that makes the most sense to move is Smoak.  I wouldn't think of it as "selling", but obtaining value for value with a re-orientation of assets into a more productive formation by position.  Obviously, if a potential trading partner really wants any of the other players and is prepared to pay $1.30 on the dollar, you have to take that into consideration. 

PeterG - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#345384) #
Tulo has said that he will not change positions.
uglyone - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#345385) #
if you're going to use this season's small 225pa sample to say tulo's toast, you have to acknowlede that he's been bqck to league average in the last half of that sample.
hypobole - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#345386) #
FIP 2017

Jeff Hoffman 3.86
Marcus Stroman 3.87
Mike Green - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#345391) #
I'm not really interested in revisiting the Tulo for Hoffman et. al. deal, but I can't leave the FIP comment alone. 

Hoffman is a good prospect, but his performance this year isn't best reflected by his FIP.  He has an ERA of 4.33 and an xFIP of 4.78.  Somehow, in Colorado, he's managed to put up a BABIP of .274 and only allowed 8.4% of his fly-balls to leave the yard.  Maybe he is the second coming of Marco Estrada, but somehow I doubt it. 
jerjapan - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#345396) #
Glevin, Labourt (at the time of the deal) is exactly the sort of prospect you could get now in a deal of a Marco Estrada type asset - 19th best prospect per MLB in a weak Tigers system who is having a breakout season out of the pen. 

You can't argue we don't have assets to deal and then bemoan the loss of the sort of fringe prospects that we could get with our current assets IMO.

BP's hitlist (we are in 25th) is making Game of Thrones analogies for each team this week.  We got this:  "NED STARK - Wears heart on sleeve. Fostered lots of young talent. Doesn’t learn from past mistakes. Tends to run into trouble when fighting in the south".

Sounds about right to me.
Dr B - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#345397) #

Dr B - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#345398) #
Yes. Trades such as those for Tulowitzki exchange short term value for future value. You are not likely to get both short and long term value since your trading partner wants something out of the deal too. I am not complaining about those playoff appearances, and acknowledge there is going to be a bit of a hangover from trades such as these.

In any case, there’s a thoughtful piece of analysis about Tulowitzki here.

Gerry - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#345399) #
Leone is back, Harrell DFA.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#345400) #
I hope that Leone wasn't available to be recalled prior to today, there was no reason for him to be in Buffalo over Bolsinger and Harrell otherwise.
Spifficus - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#345401) #
Leone's last game was on July 6th, and he'd have to be sent down for a minimum of 10 days (barring injury replacement), so it looks like he was down for the minimum.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#345402) #
One of the great challenges with this year's team is figuring out how much of the team's run prevention problems are due to the pitchers and how much is due to the catastrophically bad team defence. It's beyond my analytical skills to figure that out. When I look at the underlying numbers with Estrada, Liriano and Biagini I see three pitchers who look like very capable 4/5 starters. The results say otherwise. I'm dumb enough to believe that if you put two real major league outfielders in the corners with Pillar in CF, that you would have a fighting chance with any two of those three next year in the rotation. I suspect many others would feel differently though.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#345403) #
Thanks Spifficus. Given that Leone has been the team's 5th best reliever (after Osuna, Smith, Tepera and Barnes), I'd like him to get off the Buffalo shuffle. Send someone else down next time that they need a fresh arm, even if they have to DFA someone. There are sufficient interesting arms in Buffalo to fill a 7th or 8th reliever spot for a while if they lose someone through an assignment claim.
Nigel - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#345404) #
Team defence would also be improved by benching Morales, getting Smoak into the DH spot and putting Pearce at 1B. One can dream.
dalimon5 - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#345405) #
Many great posts today. I think it's obvious that calls for Tulo being in serious decline are too early. I've seen too many MLB players his age decline for a year or two and then go on to post many years of good to elite value. His big appeal has always been his bat, even after you factor in Coors and his road numbers. He's either being incredibly stubborn and refusing to adjust to his age limits in the show, is playing through injury or is one of the few players of elite caliber that fell off a cliff and forgot to hit. Look at guys like Ortiz, Jeter, Longoria, Cano in his first SEA year... these are examples of players that were on the path to being written off before turning things around. Whether it's a stubbornness to adjust to his age or bad luck or not enough sample size of fully healthy Tulo, I'm convinced still that he will rebound to a top 3 player for this team for at least 2 more years.

Management it would seem is content to try to buy time with the current stock while improving the farm. They failed miserably in their off season plan of getting younger and more athletic. The pieces and solutions weren't available on the FA market...if they didn't do it then, now is the time to retool and rebalance the roster to get less Jay Buhner-y and more Shannon Donaldson or Smoak to do it, but keep the rest of the vets around to bridge until 2018/2019. I expect Shapiro to take on as many bad contracts as possible going forward because he a) isn't one to trade prospects and b)will soon find that the difference making free agents won't come to Toronto without a severe overpay.

The only sure thing is that pitching is too important a position to trade from. Look at the Rays...a wealth of pitching coming up in the minors that dried up when they had their run but has since been replenished. They essentially have taken chances on power players with injury and decline and seen rewards by throwing spaghetti at the wall. I'm not advocating this strategy, but, the focus on Young SP is clearly one that works as a guiding strategy.
lexomatic - Monday, July 17 2017 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#345406) #
hoffman is an old prospect who was middling at best in the minors and after an outlier month in mlb this year with K/bb numbers he had never come close to at any level before (including AAA just the month before) has again been getting hammered ever since.

Sorry, Ugly, but you're mis-remembering here. Hoffman was a top rated prospect who was in discussion for #1 but fell to the Jays because of an injury his draft year (I think his knee, but I don't remember - I checked, Tommy John). As someone else posted, he's still a good prospect, but unlikely to really show it in Colorado.

Re: Tulo, some of Dalimon's points were right on. I'm curious if with all his injuries, he got out of whack mechanically. I'd love for someone who knows their stuff to look at this year's swing and even the last 2 years to see if anything's different. While he's the kind of player, with a long injury history, who COULD just fall off a cliff, this is definitely further and faster than expected. I'm also really curious about whether mentally there is anything - this being really significantly worse than any but his earliest performances in the NL. Whether that is giving him confidence issues, or whether he's unwilling to adjust to the changes. It also really suggests how much tougher the AL East is than the NL West. I don't think he's really tradeable, so might as well look at everything to see if there's something that can be fixed.
The sportsnet article suggests something mechanical. Lots of articles about swing changes between 2015/2016.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 18 2017 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#345424) #
hoffman has been middling at best in the minors. his rankings have never been justified by his results. he was always a good sell high candidate.
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