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Just two victories in seven games for the affiliates on Tuesday. Three Vancouver Canadians represented the Northwest League as they took on the best of the Pioneer League in Hillsboro. Riley Adams had a base hit, William Ouellette struck out the only man he faced and Orlando Pascual overcame a walk and a double thanks to two strikeouts in a scoreless frame.

Buffalo Bisons

Rowdy Tellez was the only Bison with two knocks. Jon Berti singled, walked and stole his 15th base of the year while Roemon Fields singled and swiped his 30th base. Raffy Lopez got on base three times with two free passes and a hit by pitch. Dwight Smith Jr. had a double.

Chris Rowley had a shutout going until the sixth when he gave up a three-run bomb. He made it through six innings, giving up eight hits and two walks while striking out four. Jeff Beliveau saw two runs cross the plate in the seventh. Leonel Campos struck the side in a one-hit eighth.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Anthony Alford was 1-for-1 before leaving the game due to injury. He was thrown out at the plate after his second-inning single and he may have re-injured his wrist.

Sean Reid-Foley surrendered five runs (three earned) over seven innings on nine hits—including a home run and two doubles. He plunked a hitter with a 2-0 K/BB total and 10 groundball outs. Shane Dawson was dinged for a run over two innings.

Dunedin Blue Jays

Bo Bichette jumped his average 10 points to .410 with a single, a double and an intentional walk in four plate appearances. Cavan Biggio singled and walked. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was 1-for-4 with a run batted in.

Tayler Saucedo—as the kids say these days—was shoving to the tune of eight strikeouts as he yielded just one run on seven hits and a walk over six frames to get the victory. Dan Lietz had a shutout seventh for the hold and Kirby Snead wrapped it up with a two-inning save, walking one and striking out two.

Lansing Lugnuts

J.B Woodman, Yeltsin Gudino and Javier Hernandez had the only hits. Josh Palacios and Nick Sinay had the only walks with Sinay stealing a base.

Patrick Murphy had six K's over five shutout innings, scattering five hits with zero walks. Andrew Deramo struck out two more in two shutout frames but Connor Eller got the loss by coughing up two runs over 1-1/3 innings while Juliandry Higuera was charged with the blown save as he allowed two inherited runs and three of his own in 1-1/3 innings.

Bluefield Blue Jays

Ryan Gold supplied half of Bluefield's six hits and drove in a run. Ryan Noda got aboard three times with two walks and taking one for the team.

Maximo Castillo cruised through five shutout frames with just two hits and two walks allowed while punching out seven. Marcus Reyes got the victory with three shutout innings and Ty Tice finished a scorless ninth to notch the save.

GCL Blue Jays

D.J. Neal homered as part of a 4-for-4 day at the plate . Luis De Los Santos had a double to account for the other hit.

T.J.Zeuch gave up a double, a single and a walk that led to two runs (one earned) over 1-2/3 innings but struck out one and recorded four groundball outs. Mike Estevez was tagged for a home run among the two he gave up in two-thirds of an inning. Claudio Galva coughed up a two-run dinger over three innings while Brennan Price served up a grand salami on one hit and three walks in one-third of an inning. Juan Meza, Danilo Manzuela and Emmanuel Reyes were unscored upon while getting two outs apiece while Emerson Jimenez went a full inning of shutout ball.

DSL Blue Jays

Two-hit efforts were turned in by Steward Berroa, Yhon Perez and Yeison Estevez. Hugo Cardona had two walks and his 13th stolen base.

Naswell Paulino had just an unearned run on his five-inning ledger, scattering four hits and a walk while striking out three. Jhon Victorino faced just one batter over the minimum over three frames of one-hit ball, ringing up two. Yunior Hinojosa was victimized for three unearned runs over 1/2-3 innings and was charged with the walk-off loss in the 10th.

*** 3 Stars!!! ***

3. Maximo Castillo, Bluefield

2. Bo Bichette, Dunedin

1. Tayler Saucedo, Dunedin


All Aboard! Saucedo Summernight! | 51 comments | Create New Account
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Gerry - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#346427) #

2080 ball has a report on the newest Jay, Samad Taylor. It appears to have been written before the trade as there is no mention of the Jays in the report.

Coming into the home stretch of his first full year of professional baseball, the Indians’ 2016 10th-round pick has translated his high school success to fit the pace of the Indians’ lower levels, and he’s grabbing attention as he goes. Taylor has across-the-board athleticism, above-average speed and a hit tool with enough pop to generate 11 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs with Short-Season A Mahoning Valley. The switch-hitter was originally signed as a shortstop, but has seen only one game there since beginning the season with the Snappers. Taylor has a pair of errors to date at second base, but his footwork should improve and move with more confidence as he adapts to the position, and as his slight frame fills out. Taylor is showing more pop as of late, boosting his ISO to .137 in Short-Season ball and as he develops, the Indians could see a real boost in power in his future as he adds some strength to the frame. The quick hands of Taylor have found success at the plate of late, collecting a combined 12 hits over his last seven games with Mahoning Valley.

PeterG - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#346429) #
any further news on Alford injury?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#346442) #
his wife tweeted he was fine.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#346444) #
Alford is not playing today but also he is not on the DL.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#346446) #
Taylor is an interesting second piece in the Smith deal, but I'm always skeptical of 2B prospects.  we have a bunch of fringey guys in the minors - Cullen Large, Biggio, the Lopes brothers - but it's not that hard to see a scenario where one of the guys could hit enough to merit some time in the bigs.  Of course, we've got Guriel and Bo too, but I still hope that Bo sticks at SS and Guriel fills the utility role. 

Someone asked Dave Cameron in a chat about his personal prospect rankings, now that guys like Moncada have graduated, and he's got Vladdy first.  Good new bad news on that front though, in the same chat he said he'd blow up the current roster, including Stroman, if he was running the Jays,  

lexomatic - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#346448) #
I understand the trade Stroman position - he's going to be significantly older and more expensive soon, and the Yankees DVD ref Sox are full of young prospects - so the next window might reasonably be after he's gone. Don't know if I agree with it, but there's logic to it.
The bonus with the blow-up is the potential for other star potential players to join Vlad and Bo. I feel like the team is banking on those 2 but more is always gooder.

Chuck - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#346449) #
I understand the trade Stroman position - he's going to be significantly older and more expensive soon

Think he's doing the Junior Felix thing?

ayjackson - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#346458) #
If Stroman and Sanchez can co-exist, I'd prefer to lock them both up. I like the pitchers coming to fill in the 3-5th spots in the rotation if those two are at the top. In the meantime, we have Happ and hopefully Estrada to help negotiate 2018.

If Alford, Guerrero and Bichette are all ready for 2019, we'll have a good young core to supplement with free agents.

The big Q is a Donaldson extension.
Glevin - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#346474) #
"If Alford, Guerrero and Bichette are all ready for 2019, we'll have a good young core to supplement with free agents."

Except we won't. A core is not prospects or rookies, a core is when players are already established. So Correa, Altuve, Springer are part of Houston's core but Tucker and Fisher aren't. The Jays can't build around players in A ball. The issue the Jays have is that in order to see a near-term winning future, the Jays need pretty much all their prospects to come through very quickly and be immediate stars. Realistically, that is extremely unlikely. What you need to be in a good position is good players in the majors AND good players coming through the system. When do you see the Jays having a good major league lineup? They have prospects coming up but most not soon and their two best hitters are free agents in 2019 and 2020. Talent-wise, this team needs to be rebuilt. The core to win just isn't there for the next few years. Money and marketing wise, it's a much harder call. I am only afraid of this middle of the road stuff which I think will continue until there is a better understanding from the fans of where the team really stands. While they still expect a winner, the front office can't rebuild properly.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#346477) #
You're right about the definition of a core Glevin, but Alford could easily be a part of the core for us by 2019 - I'd like to see him given a shot to start in Toronto by next year.  You didn't mention Bregman in your list of core players for Houston, but he might be a better comp to our young trio right now - drafted in 2015, he tore through the minors and is contributing to one of the top teams in the game without having yet reached his ceiling.  I think it's not crazy to hope that 2 of the 3 guys on that list might be Bregman-calibre by 2019.  But prospects will break your heart ....
bpoz - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#346481) #
We have to compete in the tough AL East.

Our FO knows this. The core has to be established in the ML as you said. A solid core of pitching and position players. A farm that can supply some pieces and the odd FA signing.

All this has to be affordable. If the FO goes this route, I will patiently wait.

IMO to win the WS, which is a crap shoot. V good SPs are needed. We usually have those.
lexomatic - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#346483) #
So Correa, Altuve, Springer are part of Houston's core but Tucker and Fisher aren't. The Jays can't build around players in A ball. The issue the Jays have is that in order to see a near-term winning future, the Jays need pretty much all their prospects to come through very quickly and be immediate stars. Realistically, that is extremely unlikely. What you need to be in a good position is good players in the majors AND good players coming through the system. When do you see the Jays having a good major league lineup? They have prospects coming up but most not soon and their two best hitters are free agents in 2019 and 2020. Talent-wise, this team needs to be rebuilt. The core to win just isn't there for the next few years. Money and marketing wise, it's a much harder call. I am only afraid of this middle of the road stuff which I think will continue until there is a better understanding from the fans of where the team really stands. While they still expect a winner, the front office can't rebuild properly.

This is pretty much why the blow-it-up makes sense to me. You trade a Stroman and a Sanchez soon - maybe not now, but while you can still get a lot, and add to prospects to get more high calibre players to arrive near or around  when Guerrero, Bichette, and who knows who else arrive. The couple of bad years means extra high picks (Houston had a ridiculously high number of top 3 picks in a short span) to come up after, and then you have other players like Alford, who maybe is a secondary piece, or maybe develops further into another star.
The Jays have a bunch of solid bench pieces, but I don't think Alford, Bichette, and Guerrero is enough star power with whatever pitching is in the system to be a winning team.
The Yankees, really are likely to be good for a while unless injuries strike (because they can retain all those good young players), the Red Sox also have that potential. It makes rebuilding that much tougher, because you have to time things to a down cycle for those teams.
bpoz - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#346484) #
If we check the top 4 playoff teams in the last 5 years. The NL & AL championship round. I feel that there was always a dominant SP. Guzman was ours. J Beckett did it for Florida and Boston. Madbum, O Herschiser.

We already have Sanchez and Stroman.
uglyone - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#346490) #
stroman and Sanchez and osuna will be good for a long time. even in vlad and bo's prime.

why do jays fans still act like we are the A's and have to trade every impending free agent? why aren't we making these kids lifelong jays?
hypobole - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#346494) #
"stroman and Sanchez and osuna will be good for a long time. even in vlad and bo's prime."

That's not a very fact based opinion. Even this year, Sanchez has been worth 0.0 fWAR
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#346495) #
At this point I think the chances of getting a truly strong package for Donaldson has passed since he will only have a year of control left in the winter. The Jays might as well try to win in 2018 (without sacrificing any youth/prospects) and then start a rebuild if need be after that. My hope is that they can bypass a rebuild and somehow transition into the next group of young talent without a huge drop off (like the Yankees did), but after the 2017 season, I'm not sure if that's possible. They probably have a shot at the WC in '18 if things break right, but after that becomes tricky.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#346496) #
Vlad Jr is 18.  His prime may be 7-10 years away.  I'd be reluctant to predict that any pitcher will be good in 7-10 years.  That said, I support extensions for a couple of players who are likely to have significant value over the next 4-5 years (Donaldson, Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna).  The key for management is term and dollars.  Personally, I'd bet on the first two but I have no idea what the contract expectations would be for each. 
lexomatic - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#346499) #
Vlad Jr is 18.  His prime may be 7-10 years away.  I'd be reluctant to predict that any pitcher will be good in 7-10 years.

This is why the trading makes sense - you're looking at 2 extensions anyway. Maybe if the team isn't good, even if a Stroman or Sanchez likes being here, they'll want to try and go somewhere else. Blowing things up allows the team to align more players to support Vlad Jr. /Bo etc. It's not perfect, probably has a minimal chance of succcess, but it makes sense. And Stroman is likely to be entering decline at that point - though very possibly quite good.

I wouldn't want to be in charge of this decision. It's defensible, but as a GM you might not be around to watch the payoff or get credit for it. If it doesn't work, you're likely gone. And there's the doubt that the team might get a wildcard and get hot/lucky at the right time (at least 2018). A clear position would've been so much nice.

China fan - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#346501) #
"....I am only afraid of this middle of the road stuff which I think will continue until there is a better understanding from the fans of where the team really stands. While they still expect a winner, the front office can't rebuild properly..."

I am really puzzled by this comment.  I think it's great that the Toronto fans expect a winner.  It's much better than expecting a loser.   I hated the old days when the fans never expected much from the Jays.

I think I understand the point that Glevin is trying to make -- he wants a total rebuild, and he thinks there's a better chance of a total rebuild if the fans have lower expectations.  I happen to disagree with the point (since I don't think the Jays need to be torn down and completely rebuilt) but I acknowledge that the "total rebuild" argument is a valid viewpoint to hold.  But I just don't think it's fair to blame the fans for expecting a winner.  They should hold the Jays to high standards.  The pressure from fans is good -- it helps oblige the front office to seek a winning team.  Fan apathy would allow the front office to make minimal efforts.  I don't see anything good in fan apathy.  I prefer the fan attitude of cities like New York and Boston, where fans expect a winning team every year.  It doesn't seem to hurt those organizations too much.
Glevin - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#346503) #
"I am really puzzled by this comment. I think it's great that the Toronto fans expect a winner. It's much better than expecting a loser. I hated the old days when the fans never expected much from the Jays."

Because if the Jays fans expect the team to compete, then they can't properly rebuild. This is not a team on the cusp of greatness and it's not a move or two away from it. The expectations of the fans are what is keeping the front office from doing what it should do. Being OK with a rebuild is not fan apathy, it's fans understanding where the franchise currently is and what it takes to get to a better place.

It's very hard to look into the future and see a period when the Jays will have the kind of team that is competing every year. Will the Jays be a very good team in 2018? No. In 2019? No. In 2020? 2010? And that whole time the Yankees and Red Sox will not be getting worse (although after 2020, Sox are probably in trouble). Something needs to be reset. Who is the core of the team long-term? Osuna, Sanchez, Stroman and prospects now in A ball? The Jays have no good young position players. None. You can't build a franchise like that. It's not possible. The problem the Jays have had for so long is this middle of the road stuff and never taking the time it actually takes to build a strong and deep organization.
bpoz - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#346504) #
As always expect the NYY and Redsox to be strong due to $. That extra spending helps keep them at the top longer. TB is our nemesis.

Being in the AL East we have to play each other much more often than the other 2 divisions teams. Yet we have to compete for 2 WC spots against those teams.

So all the AL East teams have to be very strong to get 3 playoff spots. It happened last year.

I just checked TB had the 2nd worst record in the AL, last year. Twins 59, TB 68 and Oakland 69 wins.

So how does TB become a contender so fast? Has to be the 2nd WC.

Sorry to answer my own question and also make multiple points in the same post.
China fan - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#346505) #
"...The expectations of the fans are what is keeping the front office from doing what it should do..."

You have a very low opinion of Shapiro and Atkins.   I don't believe they would allow a team to fall into long-term decline simply because they are afraid of the fans.
bpoz - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#346507) #
Other than Bo and Vlad, always good, we have had some nice recent performances from some decently regarded prospects.

Borrucki, P Murphy, O Gutierrez ... Chavez Young, McGregory Contreras, D Abbedessa and DJ Neal.

Many are far from the ML. But Borucki is dominating in AA.

Should the FO be cautious and not give him a start or 2 in the Majors this year? Or just do it, with the consultation of the minor league development team.

I am ok either way.
hypobole - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#346509) #
Except Shapiro and Atkins don't set budget. Rogers does. There shouldn't be a long term decline, because they've built up the farm. But the major league roster doesn't scream contender either, except to the most optimistic of fans.
Mike Green - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#346512) #
The 2018 roster, as it is today, doesn't scream contender, but it doesn't scream "out of it" either.  Management has some decisions to make, and has a variety of reasonable paths and budget considerations will as usual play a role in which paths they choose to take. 

It is easier to deal with their current predicament- some fine top-end talent and some sub-replacement starters- than a bunch of ho-hum players. 

Nigel - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#346513) #
Mike, this offseason is similar to last in that respect, only the team isn't as good as In November 2016. The front office wasn't prepared to expend significant resources (cash or prospects) to fix the holes last year, what makes you think they will do so this offseason? Serious question. The only thing I can think of is that there has been a 5-8% appreciation in the CDN$. I don't know if that motivates Rogers to throw $10-15m more on the table but it might.
jerjapan - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#346515) #
I just checked TB had the 2nd worst record in the AL, last year. Twins 59, TB 68 and Oakland 69 wins.

So how does TB become a contender so fast?

Good question Bpoz, and it does illustrate how the debate is perhaps too narrow around how to build a winner.  You can field competitive teams be being managed effectively.

I find this talk of the fans demanding a competitor, thus interfering with our chances to rebuild properly, very odd.  Supposedly these impatient fans demanded EE back last year, but we didn't get him.  They demanded we retain AA as GM.  Shapiro was first to float this idea publicly, and I think every comment I've read on the box about the current FO is that they work very hard to say very little with their public statements - as most execs do (and likely should do).  Shapiro was trying to manage expectations, as far as I can tell.  He knows Rogers won't spend with the top dogs, he knows they are not going to blow things up, he knows they are going to raise prices.

Fans simply don't hold this level of influence, and if they do, like China implies, that speaks very, very poorly of their leadership.  My high school students frequently 'demand' a day of 'just chilling' or watching a movie.  Strangely, I'm able to resist their demands, because they don't fit with our long term needs or goals.  This is a false analogy of course, but it's not that far off either ....
Mike Green - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#346516) #
The club has a few things going for it in 2018 vis a vis 2017.  They had below average injury luck in 2017 (after having above-average injury luck in 2016)- just average would be an improvement.  That would mean 3 of the following: 450 PAs from Travis, 600 PAs from Donaldson and 150-200 innings from Sanchez and Stroman instead of just 1.  They have more players in double A and triple A who could reasonably contribute next year than was true in November 2016. I guess Smoak's emergence gives them a left-handed bat that they did not have.  On the downside, Tulo's struggles look very serious. 

While Rogers didn't pony up that  much in the 2016-17 off-season, they didn't exactly make it impossible for Shapiro and Atkins (who did not have the best off-season, to put it kindly).

Nigel - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#346518) #
Oh, I agree Mike, 2018 isn't a lost cause by any means. I just don't forsee any significant expenditure of resources coming to fix the holes. I expect a very similar upcoming off-season to last. An effort whose main purpose was to give the appearance of trying to compete. But I also agree that a less comical approach to spending whatever resources they do get to spend would give the team a fighing chance for 2018.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#346530) #
" So how does TB become a contender so fast ? "

This is an interesting question in the context of what do the Jays do to improve next season. Looking at the Rays stats and there is not as much change and improvement as you would expect. Logan Morrison is having a career year and raised his OPS. by 170 points and Steven Souza has raised his by 180 points. Evan Longoria is having a solid season statistically although his OPS. is under 800, and Corey Dickerson has raised his OPS. by 120 points.
Pitching-wise the big change is the return of Alex Cobb who, after only appearing in 5 games last year due to injury, has pitches 140 innings this season and has very similar stats to Chris Archer albeit with half the strikeouts. Rookie Jacob Faria has started 10 games and has a miniscule 1.158 WHIP. Alex Colome is having another good year but not much change in the bullpen otherwise. The Rays have had their share of adversity,too. All-star Kevin Kermaier has missed a significant period of time due to injury.Brad Miller had 30 home runs while playing first base last year, and this year has been shifted to second with the trade of Logan Forsythe where has has only 4 home runs and has 10 errors in 60 games. Wilson Ramos was signed to a 12 million dollar, 2 year contract and has produced virtually nothing at catcher, and reliable starter Jake Odorizzi is on the 10 day disabled list.
So maybe just an average amount of injuries, as mentioned, the return of Aaron Sanchez to ace status,Devon travis playing all season, bounce-back years from Happ,Donaldson, maybe Estrada if resigned, and some additions to the outfield might be enough for a similar improvement to Tampa Bay. I know, a lot of ifs and maybes.
John Northey - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#346538) #
Imagine if the Jays had a normal year from Bautista, Donaldson, and Tulo. If Travis and Sanchez had been healthy and performed as expected. Then they are contenders for the division title. Injuries and 3 stars going downhill fast (Tulo down 25 OPS+, Donaldson 32 points, Bautista 33 points) - huh Donaldson has a 121 OPS+ but since his norm is around 150 it is a big drop.

So were the Jays nuts to think they should be contenders or that they still can be? Nope. Just get those 3 going like normal and get Sanchez back into the rotation and Travis back for the September push and good things could happen.

Weird. 5 1/2 out of a wild card slot, 8 1/2 out of the division lead despite nearly everything going wrong that could - heck, even rookies given a shot had injuries. If the Jays sneak into the playoffs they could do some damage with a shortened rotation of Sanchez/Stroman/Happ/Estrada.
Mike Green - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#346539) #
They are out-performing their Pythagorean by 5 games.  It's not so much that they are doing spectacularly well in one-run games (they are 16-14), but that they are getting killed in blowouts (8-19).   They were 29-15 in blowouts in 2016 and 37-12 in 2015.  Mostly, it has been about not scoring runs.  They have scored 6 runs or more 33 times in 108 games, including twice on the walk-off grand slams this past week.  They have reached double digits twice and given up double digit runs 13 times...I guess it's been a bit of both pitching and hitting. 

Anyways, I owe John Gibbons a beer or Coke or something.  From inefficiency to hyper-efficiency in less than a year...impressive.

Glevin - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#346548) #
"I just checked TB had the 2nd worst record in the AL, last year. Twins 59, TB 68 and Oakland 69 wins.

So how does TB become a contender so fast?"

This is exactly the problem thinking. The "Well, we could turn it around because another team did." Yes, the Jays could compete for the last wildcard spot in 2018 if things went right like about 25 other teams in baseball and then what? You just keep kicking the can down the road trying to add pieces to mediocre teams. Fans always want to think about the best case scenarios but the best case scenarios almost never happen. Jays have a pyth record of 46-62. 15 losses behind Boston and 19 behind the Yankees. Those teams are better, younger, and have more money. The Jays don't need to improve by a tiny bit, they'd nee to get massively better in a way that is not remotely realistic.

Teams need to know where they are in their life cycle and I don't know how you can rationally look at this Jays team and say "this is a team we can build around" but way too many supporters think that this is a team on the cusp of contention instead of a team at the end of its winning cycle. So let's sit back and demand a winner and demand stupid free agent deals that will make only marginal gains and will cripple the franchise for a decade because that's what fans should do?

The win-now brigade has been uniformly wrong about almost everything. Signing Price, extending Bautista and Encarnacion, cutting Smoak, etc...They've been wrong because this method of building a winner doesn't work. Building through free agency doesn't work. Building around veterans in their 30's doesn't work, counting on everything to go right doesn't work, relying on players in their mid to late 30's to not decline doesn't work. But still, the demands are the same. Sign free agents, spend loads of money, everyone will have career years!!! It does have an effect on the front office who has gone through a ludicrous level of criticism (The holes in the organization which are massive were not their fault but they get the blame for them.) does not have the flexibility with the fans to do what they should. If they traded Stroman or Osuna , fans would be outraged because Jays fans still are delusional about the state of the franchise. This is not a good team anymore and it's not a good team mostly because Anthopolous left the organization in bad condition. There was no realistic move this offseason that would have turned these Jays into winners and there will be no move available this offseason that will be able to do that either.
bpoz - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#346549) #
This is a good discussion. So the real wins and losses occur on the field of play.

Smoak helped provide wins on the field. Off the field based on his career to date he was not expected to contribute much. He made the AS team. I cannot put his year into words. Just congratulate a mediocre veteran for becoming an AS.
Kasi - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#346550) #
Well said Glevin. I think we've well seen the folly of relying on former all stars to maintain their value or relying on a small group of young players to carry the team forward. The small group of core young players has struggled in general this year, with only Osuna and Stroman performing well. Pillar has regressed and Sanchez and Travis have had big setbacks from injuries. I understand why the FO is playing the middle, they don't want to commit to 100 loss years. Yes they're betting on luck, but as we saw with this trade deadline not many players were selling for top prospects, even guys like Gray or Darvish. The main thing I'll judge this FO is if they fix the hitting pipeline issues the Jays have had for years. We need to graduate people to the majors who can be above average hitters. If they can do that and continue their stockpiling of assets things will be fine.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#346552) #
Agreed with Glevin as well. This situation was going to happen eventually. We all hoped this FO could prolong it for as long as possible, but there's only so long you can depend on expensive 30-something's as your core before age/decline sets in. The Jays needed to supplement this core with elite young talent in order to keep it going but the timelines simply did not add up. The Jays have had nothing close to big league ready prospects in two years, and probably won't next year aside from the recently acquired Hernandez until towards mid/end of the season when maybe guys like Alford and Borucki can come up and contribute.

This team is owned by Rogers so I don't expect a rebuilding phase. They might have been OK with it when Shapiro was first hired (July/August 2015) but once the team made the playoffs twice in a row, and started seeing money rolling in, I can't see Rogers voluntarily dialing back even if it makes sense to.

As long as the FO keeps building up the asset base and adds to the big league roster via free agency and trades that don't sacrifice top prospects, then I can live with that. Eventually with the sheer quantity of prospects the Jays have in the pipeline they will have to trade some strictly for 40-man roster purposes, and that's where prospect for big leaguer type trades can be a reasonable avenue to take. Then when the team genuinely becomes good again, they can start trading real prospects depending on where they are on the win curve and what expendable assets they have. It's going to be a few years until they reach that point though, assuming they do it right.

Unless the FO gets a knock-your-socks-off type of offer for Donaldson in the off-season, I'm fine with going into 2018 with the intention of competing, and then trading him if/when the team is out of contention mid-season. If they are in the race or in playoff position, then obviously they add and see how far they can go, but I don't know if many teams are going to want to trade top prospects for one year of Donaldson this winter. With the new CBA making the QO a lot less worthwhile, even that benefit to a one year rental is greatly reduced.
jerjapan - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#346553) #
Glevin,  I don't think you will respond to me, since you generally don't, at least directly - I give counter arguments to your ideas and you ignore them and repeat your preferred positions.  Up to you if you want to reply, but here goes, and I'm super happy to hear responses from anyone on the thread - SK, Kasi, etc. (FWIW, trying hard to phrase things respectfully!)

A week or so ago you called me out for a wishcasting a 'perfect' 2016 offseason when I argued that we could be a better team with better choices made on FAs, but you continue to use the same logic you fault me for to support your own position - you chose the worst examples of 'win now' philosophies and present them as proof.  To start, the idea that there is a 'win-now brigade [that] has been uniformly wrong about almost everything' is not just to use borderline offensive terminology, but on the Box it is a clear false dichotomy - the positions expressed here are more nuanced than that.   nobody argued for signing Price AND Bautista AND EE at the market value their agents demanded - so that's a strawman - and nobody anywhere liked the Smoak deal - some just minded it less. 

You insist that we need to rebuild, but then you insist that the draft is a crapshoot.  So what is the solution that you put forward, specifically?  Take risks man, propose specific ideas - right now, I hear vague rhetoric.  What should we have done?  When?  What specific moves should we make now?  Which minor leaguers do you like, and want us to build around? 

Who is 'demanding' a winner?  Upthread, both China and I raised the problems with a FO that would allow a fan base to dictate their actions, but you didn't answer.  Do you really think so poorly of Shapiro and Atkins, as China asked? 

I DO agree with your basic premise - that at some point, a team needs to rebuild.  I see problems with our current team.  We may be closer to the end of our 'life cycle' than I think (or at it).  And we may be further from it than you think. 

I can raise TB as an example of a way to contend on the cheap not because of this year - but rather because of their years and years of contending on a small budget.  

I am trying to present this counter argument in the spirit of discussion, but I find your characterizations of those you disagree with, and your unwillingness to get into specific details, to be frustrating (are you secretly Andrew Stoeten?).  I don't think I'm right, necessarily.  I just want to encourage discussion and debate. 

Kasi - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#346555) #
I don't think anyone disagrees that the Jays could have had a better offseason. Bautista is done and Howell did nothing. Morales has just been average at hitting and that only leaves Pearce/Smith for signings that worked out and even Pearce hasn't been great. In the end though Glevin is right in that it didn't matter. Jays just didn't have a good enough roster that even if they hit on all FA signings at best they're in the middle/top of the second WC spot and still well behind Boston and NY. They needed both their young players to keep progressing and their vets to not decline. Sadly both didn't happen.

I'm not really interested in going back two years to look at threads, but there was a substantive group of people wanting the Jays to sign Price and others two years ago. I'm perfectly happy with stopgap deals that don't sell our future and keeping our prospects. This Tulo contract is bad enough without adding someone like EE or Price on top of it.

As for which prospects to build around, I don't think anyone here knows. If prospect watching and predicting was that easy this would be a whole different industry. Here is what the team should do imo. They should draft a lot of players, preferably best available. They should double, no triple down on farm investment. They need to hire the best coaches and instructors they can and pair that with state of the art facilities and analytics. Fill the farm with as many players as you can get. Makes sure the players aren't rushed to the majors and get their chance to develop. Put our young players in the best position possible to succeed.

Then at some point you can do what SK said, or do what Houston did for us. They could afford to trade someone like Hernandez because despite being better than all our OF but Alford, he was behind a lot of players on that team and didn't have a spot. That was one thing I found fascinating about last years International signings. They had no big money to spend because of Vlad, so instead they signed like 40 different flyers for all under 200k. They don't need all of them to work out, just 1-2. They need to formulate a system where a player like Mookie Betts can come from our minors. If you look at the Sox, Yankees and Rays they have good hitters who weren't first round picks. We have uh Pillar.

While it's true most prospects are failure it's also true that that is where most teams get value. Just think of a guy like Gray, a entrenched top SP locked up through 2019. Yet he wasn't good enough to get the Yankees top prospects. Yankees are really being much smarter than Boston, well not a surprise when you compare their GMs. They're going to stay better for longer because they don't waste players on deals for marginal players like Pomeranz.

Anyway I think we're all saying the same thing. Acquire lots of players, fix the farm system, trade when it makes sense (for both selling and buying), be careful with FA contracts or trading for 30+ year old players. It's not about any one such move, this needs to be won with strategy/process changes and less about tactics. And for me personally the most important thing is fix our development issues with hitters.
jerjapan - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#346559) #
Agreed on most fronts Kasi.  And count me in to the group that wanted to sign Price - I just don't think that because Price got hurt that this means the signing of Price in 2015 would have been the wrong choice.  Of course, with huge investments you have to be super careful, and the impact of a misstep, or the bad luck of betting on Price (who had a healthy history and a great track record - the sort of FA you gamble on) can be more severe for a team like us vs. Boston.  They can cut Panda and DH Ramirez and still have money to play with.  We may or may not have a comparable market, but Rogers isn't going to take those sorts of risks.  Happ and Estrada were clearly better value than Price - but don't you wish we had a Max Scherzer?  Or that we could be in the mix for Otani next year?  It's all just risk management IMO. 

FWIW, the strategy I believe you are espousing, and which I agree with, was also AA's.  He spent extensively on scouting, gamed the system, all with the target of 'waves upon waves' of prospects arriving.  The problem appears to have been how cavalier he was with them - the Price deal in 2015 may have been market value at the time, but the value of prospects continues to go up.  When AA pursued establish vets via trade, he seems to have failed.  When he dumped contracts or sought undervalued assets, he did well. 

I actually hate the Liriano deal from Houston's POV ... I think they got robbed.  But that's also typical of what happens for teams when the window presents itself.    You often do overpay.  Look at the price the Cubs payed for Chapman last year.  do they regret it though?  

the last time we on the Box were this universally happy about a deal, we got McGuire and Ramirez.  PIT clearly sold high on them ... but I love the Gray deal for the NYY - I think prospects may be overvalued right now, and I think the Yanks got a bargain.   Don't forget, people thought that Brian Cashman was an idiot until a few years back.  What I love about Cashman is his willingness to change philosophical directions and read the market. 

Kasi, the only thing I genuinely disagree with you about is the developing hitters idea.  We just haven't drafted many - I'd guess it was two thirds pitchers in the top ten rounds under AA, year after year - and the hitters we have had have been injured.  Maybe that's a development issue, but I still think of it as bad luck.  The last two drafts have had way more hitters, so I do expect this issue to end

I'm enjoying the conversation Kasi, even if we disagree on a few points.
Kasi - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#346562) #
For every Max Scherzer there are a half dozen high priced pitchers who don't work out. I don't think going in on high priced 30 year old FAs with mileage on their arm is a good thing. There have been articles written that part of the reason Jays didn't like moving in on Price was physicals taken at the end of 2015. Past health is not a real indicator of future health. A guy I'd rather have than Max? Synergaard, or heck even Stroman. When you have a young guy with years of control at low prices there is so much you can do.

I fully agree with you that AAs strength was scouting and talent acquisition. For example I don't think Atkins will ever do anything as brilliant as Donaldson. However I've read enough from people who were in the org that leads me to think there was a real internal issue with the Jays in development. For one when Farrell left there was the rather pointed critiques he gave that the Jays were a scouting organization and didn't focus much in development. Then just this last year there was an interesting article with Pompey. I am posting the interesting question below.

JFtC: Is there a difference now that the regime has changed? Do you feel your development is being handled differently?

DP: Yeah, I think it’s a lot different than when Alex (Anthopoulos) was here. When Alex was here I felt like it was more about – not that it isn’t a business overall – but he kind of treated everybody like a business piece. It was a lot different. I never really talked to him at all, but these new guys, I talk to Ross Atkins a lot and he’s really in tune with my routine and what I’m doing to prepare myself for the game and let the results take care of itself. There’s kind of a different mindset to what they do and I think that’s just because they came from the (Cleveland) Indians, where they are really big on development. It’s definitely helped me out a lot.

AA had some really good strengths, but I do believe the failure to develop hitters during his time here can not just be written off by not drafting as many of them. I'm not going to give him a pass when I see lower round guys making the majors for other team. Anyway to me this is the main thing I'm judging the new guys on. They need to get the Jays to produce as many players form their minors as their rivals.
China fan - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 04:36 AM EDT (#346564) #
Glevin, you continue to blame the fans for wanting success, and you continue to blame the Front Office for supposedly sacrificing the team's future to please these misguided fans.  Yet the evidence directly contradicts this.  The fans desperately wanted Encarnacion to return, and the Jays could have signed him.  Instead they opted for a much cheaper player, Morales, who was largely unknown to the majority of the Jays fan base.  Similarly the fans wanted Bautista back, and yet the Front Office would have been happy to let him go.  They only signed him at the last possible minute when his value collapsed and they were able to get him for a one-year deal for a small fraction of the money that he had previously wanted.  Encarnacion and Bautista were huge fan favourites here, and yet the Front Office felt absolutely no pressure to bring them back.  They walked away from them quite easily, and they only changed their mind about Bautista when his price collapsed.

I think the evidence proves that the Front Office is completely unconstrained by the demands of the fans.  If they decided to tear down and rebuild, they could easily do it.  If you want to blame anyone for the Jays problems this year, don't blame the fans.

You also complain about the comments of "delusional" bloggers and Internet commentators who supposedly put pressure on the Front Office and prevent them from trading players.  That's absurd.  The notion that Shapiro and Atkins would be even slightly influenced by what a few bloggers and fans are saying on the Internet -- that's totally implausible.  If they want to trade Osuna or Sanchez, they are certainly not constrained by the Internet forums.  Their willingness to lose two of the biggest stars of the past few years (Encarnacion and Bautista) is clear proof of that.

In fact, it is the resurgence of fan interest in the past two years that has provided a big increase in financial resources for ownership, which makes it much easier for the Front Office to make a case for any financial resources that it needs.  This again makes it easier for them to choose any option in the future.   They have already put a big chunk of that money into acquiring prospects, such as Gurriel.  If they wanted to put more money into prospects and less into free agents, there is nothing to stop them.  Their treatment of Encarnacion and Bautista makes that pretty clear.

Finally, one more point.  You claim that Anthopoulos left the Jays "in bad condition."  That's false.  He brought the Jays into the playoffs (and the league championship) for the first time in more than two decades.  He created a financial and marketing bonanza for the team, which Shapiro and Atkins are still reaping the rewards of today.  He brought back a fan base that was dying.  And it was under his leadership that the Jays acquired future stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who could be the foundation of the team from 2019 onwards.  That's not "bad condition" in any stretch of the imagination.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#346570) #
I wanted the Jays to resign Price until I saw the monster deal he ended up getting from the Red Sox. The trouble with signing big name free agents is that you rarely get true value at the end of the contract ( Although above average production at the start can even things out ). I'm not trying to derail the discussion on what Shapiro/Atkins have done this year, but I think what the Jays do with Josh Donaldson as a key to the future and an indication of how the front office is planning to operate.

The pros of resigning him/extending his contract: he's the team's best player and one of the team's leaders.He's beloved by the fans and a key to remaining competitive.

The cons of resigning him/extending his contract: he's going to command a contract of at least three years with a big price tag. With Martin and Tulo's contracts running a few more years, can the Jays really afford 3 large deals which will hamstring the budget? Also, if Donaldson is kept for several more years would he block Vlad Jr. or even Bichette at third base? And thirdly, what are the odds of Donaldson staying healthy for all or even any of the years of a long term contract?

I might add that Josh Donaldson is one of my favorite Jays but looking at it objectively, it might be time to trade him in the off season. There are a lot of people on here who are smarter than me and have better insights, but I really think what management ultimately does with Josh will define what sort of team we will see in the next several years, and also what fans will look back at eventually and say either," Yeah, they really screwed that up." or " Yeah, they did the right thing."
hypobole - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#346571) #
"They should draft a lot of players, preferably best available."

I don't understand this whatsoever. No team can draft more players than any other team. And if you draft the best available, you will only be able to sign a few, since teams are constrained with draft pool limits. And drafting and not signing players in rounds 4-10 means you lose the pool money as well.
bpoz - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#346572) #
With less success in 2017 compared to 15 and 16 the FO can say that 2018 can have different goals.

2017 had only 1 goal ... they have to compete because basically the same team is still there.
Kasi - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#346573) #
Hyperbole, I'm including alternate drafts as well, including the International draft and places like Japan. Like I said the year after signing Vlad when they were locked out of spending more than 300k on a player. They went and used their full draft allotment and signed 40+ players. Most of those won't work out, but if just a couple do it will be huge. Add in there compensation picks for FAs leaving and yes a team can acquire more players. It's not like it was before but it's doable.
jerjapan - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#346574) #
Kasi, those comments from Pompey are indeed interesting.  I wouldn't want any employee in any org to think management views them as chess pieces. 

There's certainly been lots of talk about the Shapiro and Atkins putting resources into development, and the things I have heard are all promising.  It makes sense to me - these minor league kids aren't paid much at all, if there are things the team can do in terms of diet, counseling, training, it seems a no-brainer that a team would spend on development.  It's so hard to evaluate as a fan, and I imagine even with time we may not ever know if the hitters under AA failed due to training or bad luck, but I do imagine we will start to see evidence of the Shapiro approach over the next few years.  Cleveland has a rep for development, and if we start to get that, that will be a good sign to me.  Bichette chose us based on our rep though - that has to speak well to our previous regime's approach?

China, I've had zero luck getting Glevin to debate his points ... I don't think he's interested, frankly.  The rhetoric is very much the Stoeten approach, IMO. 

Island Boy, not sure if you are betting man, but my bet is that JD is gone - traded at the deadline next year or leaving as a FA.  I think the FO wants the middle ground and will take another run at the WC next year, but I just don't see them ponying up for a big extension.  I'd love to see them work one out this offseason - JD coming off a down year might be good value, and it would go a long way towards generating fan goodwill.   We have seen guys like Lowry and DeRozan sign pretty fair deals to stay in TO with the Raps, perhaps we could get slightly better than market value for JD, especially given the uncertainty of next year's huge FA class.  Nobody wants to compete with Machado, and we'd be buying out his last year of arb.

I don't see the FO doing it though, but I would... I'm with you, he's great fun to watch.  I still think we should be exploring an extension for Stroman, Osuna and possibly Sanchez too. 

hypobole - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#346575) #
IFA signings aren't a draft, just pool money teams are allowed to spend, so that's what confused me.

Kasi - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#346578) #
Sorry I should have been more clear. I want the org to focus on bringing in as much talent as possible through draft, IFA, Japan, undrafted free agents, etc. Then focus on development and graduate some of those to help the ballclub. It's nothing too complex you'd think, but it's crazy at this point our last good hitter we developed was Lind or Hill. That is forever ago.

On the matter of Bichette:

"The Blue Jays didn’t fall into that category. Mariana built a dossier on the methods Atkins and Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro utilized in developing young players when they led Cleveland’s organization. They delved into the background of Toronto’s director of player development Gil Kim, who had recently joined the organization from the Texas Rangers. The Bichettes were also attracted to Toronto’s high-performance department and encouraged by the fact several Blue Jays big leaguers utilized unconventional swings, like Jose Bautista’s big leg kick or Josh Donaldson’s explosive approach."

If you read the article I think it's pretty clear that Bichette would not have accepted to join the previous FO's team. Not to mention that development is the part of the Jays system to see the most changes since the new guys came in is another strike about that ever being a strength in Toronto. Other than Donaldson and Bautista being allowed to use unconventional approach every reason Bo accepted had to do with the new FO.
jerjapan - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#346579) #
Interesting Kasi, although I didn't read that article as being conclusive ... in fact, that was one of the article's I was thinking of when I mentioned Bo choosing the Jays - the point about Jose and JD had really stuck in my mind.  Bo does say this later in the article:  “I know there are some organizations that would not be very happy with the way that I hit,” Bichette says. “I think the Blue Jays are just willing to let you be yourself. They allow players to go to them for help instead of forcing themselves on us. That’s huge for me. And you look at their big-league team: they have a bunch of guys on it who hit just like me.”

My take after reading your post and rereading parts of the article is that it was a combination of both teams, but I certainly think it bodes very well for our new FO that draftees are attracted to Shapiro's methods in Cleveland. 
Kasi - Saturday, August 05 2017 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#346581) #
Yeah I think anything that makes Toronto a more attractive place to play is great. We see that people love it when they get here, but I'm glad there is strides being made in making this a more attaractivr spot to land. Anything that gets people over the border and into a jays uni.
bpoz - Sunday, August 06 2017 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#346592) #
This new signing R Negron confused me as to how a guy drafted 2 months ago by Atlanta can sign with Toronto.

I reasoned that after the signing deadline past he is a FA due to him being a University senior.
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