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The Blue Jays will try to play spoiler against the Identicals.

Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Thursday @ 8:10 pm ET - Brett Anderson (3-3, 5.90) vs. Josť Berrios (12-7, 3.94)
Friday @ 8:10 pm ET - J.A. Happ (3.73, 8-10) vs. Bartolo Colon (6-12, 6.41)
Saturday @ 7:10 pm ET - Marco Estrada (8-8, 4.96) vs. Adalberto Mejia (4-5, 4.47)
Sunday @ 2:10 pm ET - Joe Biagini (3-10, 5.29) vs. Kyle Gibson (10-10, 4.97)
Blue Jays @ Twins - September 14-17 | 225 comments | Create New Account
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ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 14 2017 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#348837) #
Bautista looks done like dinner. Is there a chance he gets a contract with anybody next year?
Gerry - Thursday, September 14 2017 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#348838) #
When Morales is the runner on second, can you really say the Jays have a runner in scoring position?
John Northey - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 02:28 AM EDT (#348839) #
Bautista is unlikely to find many suitors this winter. However, being able to play 3B and RF and 1B gives him a measure of flexibility you don't often get from DH's. However, his negative WAR despite 22 HR and 77 walks suggests he is done. A bottom feeder who has outfield issues might take him on but I expect only for a pittance and his ego won't let him take that. I expect in March to hear he has retired, unless he decides to retire immediately when the season ends (unlikely), or (more likely) he decides to sit it out until mid-season hoping someone in contention who has a big hole in RF/DH/1B or even 3B decides to sign him, only giving up and retiring in September after signing a one day deal to retire a Jay officially (really don't get the point of those).
scottt - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#348840) #
With the line he's putting up, Bautista would have to be a great defender to have value.
He's recovered a bit over the last 7 games, putting up an OPS of .699.
That's with more strikeouts than hits and walks combined.

The silver lining is that a great year by Bautista was probably not enough to put the team in contention.


Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#348841) #
Shapiro on ticket prices and payroll in today's Globe:

"This market was conditioned that prices wouldn't go up if the baseball team didn't win," Shapiro says. "It created a huge gap in the value of our ticket, which impacts payroll and limits our ability to compete with our competitors."So are you saying that if prices go up, payroll goes up as well? Shapiro pauses pregnantly before answering: "No. We raise prices just to maintain payroll."

When the Canadian dollar goes down, the fall in value is used to justify holding payroll down.  When the dollar goes up, silence. 



And Shapiro on the window of contention:

"We have what we think is an objective chance to contend [next season]," Shapiro says, enunciating carefully. "Admittedly, that's contingent on us staying healthy, which is something we did two years ago and didn't this year."

There was a lot more to the poor season in 2017 than injuries, including payroll. It also would be nice if he accepted some responsibility for his part. 
uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#348843) #
just hate how they think we're too dumb to see through their jargon.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#348844) #
Rogers is not going to accept a rebuilding phase unless there is literally no other choice. With Donaldson signed for one more year, they can sell hope to the fans in 2018, so they'll take one last shot. It's a mistake in all likelihood, and will cost the team if they don't make the playoffs again next season, but that's the reality of the situation. A quick retool starting this trade deadline and extending to the winter could have made the transition period shorter with the right trades. Rogers doesn't realize (or care) how far the Jays are from being a true consistent contender.

I'm not concerned about the farm system, I think this FO has shown they won't sacrifice that. So in that sense it's not too bad. However if they want to transition into the next core without a rebuild like the Yankees did, then they'll need to start hitting on some trades. Hernandez turning into something would be a start.
bpoz - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#348845) #
I understand what he is saying also why he is saying it.

The decision may already be made about ticket prices. The policy/understanding of the FO/owners may be that a winning team will trump price increases. ie just win and attendance/fan interest will be high.

The value of the Cdn$ has a big impact on the Jays but a small impact on Rogers overall profits. So a set payroll of US$ 160 mil will not change if the Exchange rate is .75 or.85.

Something else to consider is how winning/losing impacts advertising revenue.
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#348846) #
Statcast Catch Probability suggests that we are seeing the best defensive outfield and the worst defensive outfield in baseball this weekend.  For what it's worth, according to Statcast, the biggest difference is between Buxton (+23) and Pillar (-1). 

Incidentally, I wouldn't divide the buckets the way Statcast does.  I would divide them 0-5, 5-35, 35-65, 65-95 and 95-100.  You want to keep the can of corn flies out of the top calculation and the impossible catches out of the bottom one, and you want it to be symmetrical.  And the team averages don't correspond well to the ranges. 
uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#348847) #
Again, SK, there is nothing at all which stops a team from both building a system and spending on the current team simultaneously. They are not mutually exclusive. Not spending on the team next year doesn't help the team rebild.
whiterasta80 - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#348848) #
I say the following as someone who has generally been supportive of the current regime until now.

The longer that he is here, the more that Shapiro sounds like JP Riccardi. I was half expecting a "payroll parameters" to come out of him in that interview.

This is an intelligent fan base that has proven over 30+ years that they won't tolerate poor management, poor value for their money, or corporate speak. They know the size and power of their market.

If that's the best that Shapiro has to say after this season then he won't be long for the City of Toronto.

For what its worth, I actually think that the fans would respond favourably to a short-term youth movement provided that they had confidence in leadership. If Shapiro gave an interview outlining how we needed to retool after a contention window, waited to raise prices until a return to contention and actually committed to giving players an opportunity (how is Alford still down in the minors?) then I think that fans would buy in for a year or two.

Unfortunately I think that the window for Shapiro to do that is just about closed. It would pretty much take Anthopoulous or Pat Gillick saying the above for the fans to buy in at this point (once leadership loses the trust of a fan base it is tough to get it back).
Jevant - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#348849) #
Maybe it's just me, but I'm honestly a bit lost at the negative around Shapiro.

This braintrust built Cleveland to be a competitive team on a budget, and now they are going to try to do the same thing with a larger budget.  The only decision made so far that looked really questionable at the time was the Morales signing.  They are maintaining a competitive payroll (and if they don't, that's on the ownership/Rogers, not Shapiro).  They are improving the farm system.  Literally everything went wrong that could go wrong this year (I think you could argue that they had exactly one full time player - Smoak - exceed expectations this year, and many were well below expectations). 

Are they guaranteed to contend next year if they maintain current payroll?  No, and they probably won't if they get hit with the same number of injuries.  But there's no reason to think that they can't make better use of the contract dollars coming off the books this year than was made this year, and perhaps next year instead of all core players getting hurt it will be some of the role players instead (since you always have injuries, but hopefully not to the Donaldsons, Martins, Tulos and Sanchezs of the team).

hypobole - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#348850) #
Of course Rogers has payroll parameters. They've had them for a long time. I've had to pass along unpopular corporate decisions to my people. It's not enjoyable and finding the right words to whitewash it as much as possible is almost impossible. And yeah, my people weren't stupid and they understood they were getting screwed over to some extent. Like the letter I got from Rogers raising my cable rates because they want to give me the best service possible. Fire the person who wrote the letter!

Criticizing the FO for Rogers decisions smacks of shooting the messenger.

If you want to criticize the FO for throwing non-unlimited resources at Morales, that's perfectly fair, because that was solely their decision.
Nigel - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#348851) #
Shapiro''s smugness on payroll is all the more galling given that he's going to be able to give the appearance of increasing payroll in the offseason by 10-15% without it costing Rogers a dime (given the change in the US dollar since the beginning of the year).

Shapiro isn't close to the end of his rope in Toronto. He's about to get a massive bonus from Rogers. This is likely the best or second best year ever for the Jays from Rogers' perspective.
Jevant - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#348852) #
Exactly.  As far as I'm concerned, the FO screwed up the Morales deal (and by association, I suppose, the Edwin contract), but other than that I've liked pretty much every trade/FA move they've made to date.  Let's not judge Shapiro or Atkins on what Rogers gives them to work with, let's evaluate what they do with what they are given.

It would be really nice to have someone like Mike Illitch own the team and want to spend whatever it takes because he wants a ring, but that's just not the situation we have right now, so I always just want the best FO in place to do with whatever ownership allows them to do.

whiterasta80 - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#348853) #
To be clear, I didn't think that the front office had done a terrible job right up until this trade deadline when they didn't take action to start a rebuild or at least give some young players a chance. My post history will show a defense of Shapkins for the most part.

However if they are talking about raising ticket prices after a year like this then something is terribly wrong.

First, the Canadian dollar is up. Regardless of Rogers currency trading practices this does make an impact going forward.

My major problem however (and I think I speak for the market here) is the optics of raising prices after a losing season so that you can support an aging team that was clearly non-competitive.

Essentially, that interview said that Shapiro wants to avoid making tough decisions (eating contract and dealing Tulo or Morales, moving on from Russell Martin and/or Donaldson, finding a second basemen who doesn't end up on the DL when he sneezes...) and he wants the fans to pay for that on the basis of a small chance of being competitive next year.

I believe that fans recognize the low probability of that happening (relative to the probability of it happening during a retool) and would rather just cut payroll until its time to extend the next window of talent. I also believe that this will show itself in season ticket renewals which will decrease slightly if prices stay the same but will crater if prices increase.

Its not the "payroll parameters" that I think will be the issue. Its the justification of a ticket price increase for these payroll parameters when the existing resources are so poorly used and there is little promise of a payoff.

It was a very disappointing interview that, as I said, reminded me of Riccardi.
uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#348854) #
reminded me of ricciardi from the first time he spoke, tbh.

and I think shapkins will build a good system. like AA did. build a good scouting staff and wait long enough and it will happen. I don't doubt it.

my problem with shapkins will forever be not taking the roster they inherited seriously, and so obviously just giving it superficial bandaid help. That's will forever stick in my craw.

and there's hints of a second avenue of annoyance opening up now with them seeming to be stringing us along and avoiding making some big rebuilding moves to not upset the cash cow.
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#348855) #
Roberto Osuna blew too many saves. That's what impacted on the W/L record. Aaron Sanchez manages only a 1-3 record on 8 starts over 36.0 IP. That's what impacted on the W/L record. Change either item and the Jays are in the Postseason hunt. Change both and the Jays are in the Postseason. The rest of the injuries are just the smoke that obscures the problem. Two of the best players on the Team failed badly just in time for their first Arby years.

Kendrys Morales was better this year that posters at the time of the signing said he would be. This wasn't a great signing at the time it occurred, but it wasn't as bad as it was said to be at that time. Signing Bautista was a mistake, I don't like signing anyone at that age for any reason. I thought the Jays got lucky when Encarnacion turned down Toronto's offer, they offered too many years.

Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#348856) #
second avenue of annoyance

Tom Waits, are you out there?  Inspirational phrases can be found in the unlikeliest places, like a baseball blog in Canada.
Nigel - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#348857) #
Hyperbole, I agree completely that the payroll directives come from Rogers and the refusal to rebuild likely comes from Rogers too. I also have no issues with Shapiro firing pablum to the masses - this is generally part of the job. My only objection is his smugness when asked a challenging question (God knows he gets so few of them given the non arms' length relationship of many of the beat writers) and refusal to acknowledge that the front office had a pretty poor offseason. He and Atkins were quite willing to take the praise (and legitimately so) after the excellent offseason the previous year. I know we part company on the poor offseason part of my post so I understand the differing reactions to the interview.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#348858) #
The Jays ticket prices are much less than in many other markets. There is also a plan to lower seating capacity at Rogers Centre substantially. This is not to defend some of the FO/ownership doublespeak. I think they should have just said that the present prices are lower than most and left it at that.

On the baseball side, I do agree with Jevant. The FO has done a good job, particularly in resurrecting the developmental system.

I also agree with Richard that criticism of the Morales contract has gone overboard.

I would prefer that it was not on the books myself but for those who go on and on about it, consider the following:

1- it was not known at the time that Pearce would be signed also or that Smoak would become an everyday 1b

2- the market correction that followed with regard to power hitters was not yet obvious at that time

3- Morales, unlike many FA's wanted to be in TO

4- Morales, unlike many, was ok with being a DH

The way the game is changing, a rotating DH makes more sense, but I would contend that the Jays do not have enough good hitters to make this worthwhile

Imo. the biggest challenge facing the FO, is how to rid themselves of the albatross Tulo contract which they inherited. This is not urgent but needs to be accomplished within the next 18 months in order for the team to move forward. I guess the easiest solution will be for Rogers to eat the contract after next season (barring a surprisingly good year without injury from TT). I feel that this what Shapiro will likely recommend. Whether, he is allowed to do it is another question. He was hired to advise Rogers on how to proceed so I have some optimism his advice will be taken. Shapiro has no doubt gained some further credence with ownership by way of being right about the Bautista situation while Ed Rogers was wrong. I imagine, for the most part, Shapiro will be left to his own devices going forward though he will always be asked to be careful what he says publicly . That is also part of the job.

CeeBee - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#348859) #
Next thing you know they'll pick up Bautista's option.... he is a fan favorite after all ;)
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#348860) #
Kendrys Morales has performed exactly how one might have feared, with modest deterioration in all phases of his game, save for power, between ages 33 and 34.  Nothing new there, really, but it all adds up to a below replacement level player at a position where you can easily give at-bats to other veteran players needing a rest. 

Since his ankle fracture (while celebrating a walk-off home run) in  2010, he's had one average season, three below-average seasons and two terrible ones.  You do not want him as a full-time player in 2018.

Richard S.S. - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#348861) #
What do the Jays need next year?
1) Backup Starting Catcher to play 70 or more games. Skill level must come close to Russell Martin's. Russell should not be playing more than three or four games a week, depending on work load. Spend the Dollars here if necessary.
2) Top Closer, possibly LHP, to share Closing duties with Osuna. Roberto Osuna should not be pitching as much as he has been. Maybe pitching less restores a little oomph to his four-seamer.
3) Young LH or SW power Bat, speed, good defense for the OF. He will be joining Pillar and Hernandez there. No more Pearce and Carrera as regulars, ever.
4) Someone to be the Starting SS or 2B when needed. Maybe Richard Urena is that person. Refsnyder, Goins and Barney are not and never will be Starting anythings.

Do the Jays seek and upgrade in CF, or stick with Pillar? Everything else the Jays need to do is easy.
ramone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#348862) #
Richard, I don't think too many "top closer's" are going to sign to share closing duties.

I hope the Jays go after Lorenzo Cain this offseason, add in hopefully Anderson and Marco on the starting pitching side and perhaps a trade or two.

uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#348863) #
"Imo. the biggest challenge facing the FO, is how to rid themselves of the albatross Tulo contract which they inherited. This is not urgent but needs to be accomplished within the next 18 months in order for the team to move forward."

why?
Gerry - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#348864) #
MLB Statcast has a new defensive metric "outs above average". The Jays are ranked as the worst team in baeball. The story is here with a link to baseball savant and the details. The Jays best defensive player is Kevin Pillar and he rates as average.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#348865) #
Why?

Because he is below average at his position in both fielding and hitting and only stands to become worse with age. According to Statscast, he is #36 in MLB in terms of slowness....maybe ok for a 1b but not a SS. Within a years or by sometime in 2019, he will likely be blocking other youthful candidates. I would also suggest he will likely be injured again. There are many in the baseball world who refer to him as "the man of glass". It will help sign/keep other players if Rogers will accept it as a sunk cost.

I like the man but not the player.

Someone else is welcome to chime in. I don't really like 2 person debates. My opinion has been expressed.
Ducey - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#348866) #
"my problem with shapkins will forever be not taking the roster they inherited seriously, and so obviously just giving it superficial bandaid help. That's will forever stick in my craw."

And so you are apparently destined to repeat this complaint,
every

single

day.

Like some I have some trouble with the notion the front office is responsible for ticket prices and payroll. That's on the owner.

And frankly, I don't care that much. They have a top 10 payroll (maybe top 5). That's more than enough to get the job done.

For the most part, spending on free agents is not a good strategy. It largely results in paying too much for an older player who produces too little. The Jays could spend more on these types of players. For example, they could approach the Red Sox payroll by having spent to keep David Price. Maybe they get a guy who is still producing. Would that one player mean the Jays would be as good as the Red Sox? I don't think so. The depth simply is not there. The ghosts of AA's attempts to go for it still linger.

I enjoy watching the farm and prospects and derive more joy from watching them establish themselves in the majors. So I am a fan of the current regime. I look forward to a home grown strong team a la Cleveland, with a strong, deep farm system.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#348867) #
I am with you on this Ducey.
bpoz - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#348868) #
Would Jamie Garcia be a good FA signing? He has been traded a lot, 4 team since Dec 2016.
Minnesota did well. They got cash, a C and Garcia from the Braves for 19 year old RHP Huascar Ynoa. Then traded him to NYY. Also traded their closer Brandon Kintzler, to the Nationals. Both at the July trade deadline.

Then got into the pennant race. Baseball ?????????
Jevant - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#348869) #
Not sure I see Tulo as worse defensively and offensively than average (he has more defensive WAR than anyone on the Jays this year other than Pillar, Martin, Maile, and Travis), but he certainly seemed extra slow this year (both on the basepaths and with his bat speed).  I suspect with more health the bat will come back a bit.  If you are just going to essentially cut him, though, unless there is a plan to then spend additional monies, may as well keep him around.  I still think he's (by a reasonable margin) the best SS the organization has for at least 2018, and probably 2019 as well.
Jevant - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#348870) #
Personally, unless they trade someone (a possibility), I'm pretty ok with just bringing back the guys you have this year and hoping for better health.  Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, Biagini, Anderson feels like a reasonable top 6 to me, with the obvious caveat that you are going to need some depth at AAA. 

If those guys all want to be here, those would be the 6 I'd go with.

AWeb - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#348871) #
As long as they aren't trading away the top prospects for a shot next year, I don't see much else for the team to do aside from try and fill some gaps and catch some luck next year. They could do this by playing the youngsters (my choice, and I mean Guerrero and Bichette , not the fill-ins that have been called up), or by running most of the same team back out there and hoping for a lot of dead cat bounces (maybe the bouncy turf will help!).

The 2017 is an amazing mess. Bautista, Morales, Tulo, Pearce, whatever warm body at 2B, none of these guys provided either offense or defense this year. Martin was injured although fine when he played, same with Donaldson. The problem with all of them is that it seems like stretch to think they'll get better in 2018. 2016, the offense and defense were both slightly above average (according to fangraphs), making the position players a top-ten unit (it's rare to be good at both). This year, bottom six on offense, defense, and baserunning. Second worst overall, ahead of the Padres. The position players have been replacement level without Smoak and Donaldson.

Last year the Jays had the best run prevention in the league. And predictably basically the entire pitching staff went backwards but Stroman. And Stroman's rate numbers aside from ERA are almost identical this year (lucky this year, unlucky last?). Some of this must be the defense, but still...

The 2017 Jays aren't good at anything except relief pitching (by fangraphs numbers which think Osuna had a great year), which is the least important part of the roster to be good at (starters, relievers, position players). Heck, there's not a single elite skill (defense, base-running, pitching velocity, strikeouts, foot-speed, outfield arm, tape-measure power, hitting for average, you name it) on the whole roster outside of Donaldson (injury mulligan) and Stroman's ability to induce groundballs (how exciting!). Maybe Pillar's leaping catches, which drag him all the way to average defensively at this point? This is a terrible, boring team.

Or to remain more positive - what is everyone's favourite part of the 2017 Blue Jays? Smoak's unexpected hitting is probably it for me.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#348872) #
Bringing up Guerrero and Bichette too soon would be a developmental mistake. I don't expect to see them anytime in 2018, even in September as that would take up 2 much needed 40 man roster spots. The most likely arrival time is sometime in 2019 though they might want to try and stagger their service time clocks by bringing up Vlad ahead of Bo.
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#348873) #
Lorenzo Cain?  Hmm.  He's losing range but I think he'll be a pretty good centerfielder for a couple of more years, and he is getting a little better still at managing the strike zone. 

It's awkward because Pillar is still a pretty good centerfielder himself, and would not be happy to be moved to a corner. 

Jevant - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#348874) #
Preeeeeeeetty sure Pillar is never being moved to a corner.  You can survive carrying Pillar's weak bat if you have a couple of thumpers on either side of him.  I can't imagine how he produces starter value playing either corner.
AWeb - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#348875) #
"Bringing up Guerrero and Bichette too soon would be a developmental mistake."

Could be, but younger players seem to be more and more ready to jump in these days. And it might be a mistake to leave them in the minors too long and lose a peak season. Correa was up at 20, Lindor 21, Seager at 21, Addison Russell at 21, Bellinger is 21. Next year might be too soon, I admit, teenagers are still exceedingly rare in MLB. But if either continues to dominate next year, I would give them a shot if the other options are as dreck as they were this year.
bpoz - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#348876) #
I expect that D Pompey is going to be spoken about very little this off season. I just wanted to be mention a long shot.
He worked hard last off season and played well in the WBC.

He is 2 months younger than T Hernandez. Both started in pro ball in 2011, if you don't count the 47 ABs Pompey had in 2010. Pompey reached the Majors 2 years before Hernandez. Both have the same potential.

The very bad health of Pompey puts him behind everyone.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#348877) #
Pompey could be a surprise though if healthy I would expect his remaining option to be utilized so he could spend some time in Buffalo.

Bpoz, did you read the article by Stoeten that I linked to yesterday. Pompey has some damning things to say about the previous FO.
85bluejay - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#348878) #
I like Lorenzo Cain but I'm not giving him a 4/5 year contract especially when he's no longer a plus CF in a couple of years & I expect the FO to pass.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#348879) #
I expect internal options in the OF unless a trade which is possible. Assuming Hernandez gets a shot in right, what do you do in left with Pearce and Carrera? One possibility might be trading Pillar with a prospect they are willing to give up like Greene for a better OF who hits from the left side. There are various scenarios but the one which will not happen is a multi year contract for a FA.
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#348880) #
I wouldn't be making judgments about the arrival time for Guerrero Jr. or Bichette. I am pretty sure both will start in double A next year, and what they do there will be awfully important in how fast they move.  For example, Frank Thomas was drafted at age 21- that year, he hit .277/.386/.399 in the FSL with 31 walks and 33 strikeouts.  Not as well as Guerrero Jr.  The following year, he was in double A ball and hit .323/.487/.581 with 112 walks in 109 games, and earned the call to the Show on August 2.  It's true that the White Sox were in the hunt that year (and they had Carlos Martinez playing first base and costing them ballgames).  Anyways, Thomas dominated from the get-go, and as it turned out, the Sox would have been well-advised to call him up 4-6 weeks earlier. Albert Pujols was promoted even quicker- as it turned out that was a typically wise decision by the Cardinals.  It may be that Guerrero Jr. is a far better hitter at age 19 than Thomas was at 21 or Pujols was at age 20.  How many hitters over the last 40 years have had the complete package of skills- exceptional contact ability, terrific power and excellent pitch recognition- from a young age.  Thomas, Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera (and maybe Vlad's Dad) is all I can think of.  These guys don't tend to have long minor league careers.

At this point, Guerrero Jr.'s power has been emerging gradually.  And that is fine.  If it explodes on its own, you don't want to just have him sitting there in the minor leagues because you don't want to start his service clock for another year. 

mathesond - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#348881) #
...you don't want to just have him sitting there in the minor leagues because you don't want to start his service clock for another year.

Youneverknow, he might need an extra 12 days to work on his defence, a la Kris Bryant :)
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#348882) #
It has always been said that bringing a prospect up too soon is potentially a bigger mistake than leaving him down too long. That said, anything is possible as we are talking about extraordinary talents. Sometime in 2019 seems most likely imo. Defensive play, as well as offense, has to be taken into consideration as does mental development. Everything we have heard suggests that the latter will not be a problem but I would still prefer to err on the side of caution here. Some may now be questioning whether Osuna was brought too soon even though his ability warranted the quick ascension.
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#348883) #
It has always been said that bringing a prospect up too soon is potentially a bigger mistake than leaving him down too long

It depends. Good management makes a judgment taking into account many factors. You can overstate the importance of age, though.  Take Anthony Alford's call-up this year.  Yes, he was quite a bit older than Vlad Jr. will be next year, but in terms of readiness, it is quite possible that Vlad Jr.  will be more ready.  In Alford's case, there was the competing consideration of declining speed (a key asset for him).  I am, incidentally, very much hoping that we see Alford early in 2018. 

Trout,  Griffey Jr.  and A-Rod also arguably had all of the hitting skills at a young age too, but in their cases, the multi-dimensional aspects of their talent affected call-up time. 
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#348884) #
I would not be surprised to see Alford in 2018 though I doubt that he will start here. As you say, it depends and in this case will depend on how he plays at Buffalo as well as what is happening or not on the major league roster.
GabrielSyme - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#348885) #
The 2017 Jays aren't good at anything except relief pitching (by fangraphs numbers which think Osuna had a great year), which is the least important part of the roster to be good at (starters, relievers, position players).
Actually, going by B-R numbers (i.e., discounting Osuna), the Jays have had a pretty good pitching staff on the whole - 9th for starters, 5th for relievers. It's been the hitters who have been lousy, with few exceptions. 2B, SS, LF, RF and DH have all been at or below replacement level. Our catchers haven't been much better.
uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#348886) #
"Because he is below average at his position in both fielding and hitting and only stands to become worse with age."

eh this half season of at bats is the first time he hasn't been an above average SS both offensively and defensively. I wouldn't write him off yet. He projects as an above average one going forward as we

He's not blocking anyone, and SS are hard to find on the market. And we're not spending money on any big UFAs so who cares about the contract really?
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#348887) #
Yep.  That's it, Gabriel.  Position players are 65% of the game roughly, and if you are right there with the Padres for the poorest performance by your position players, it's going to be a long season.  Which it was. 
Chuck - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#348888) #
Is the plan to bat Bautista clean up for every remaining home game, as his farewell to the fans? It would be nice to see him heat up to the end the season, but it sure doesn't seem likely.

His OPS+ by month: 57, 179, 68, 52, 54, 93.

uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#348889) #
MLB

Teoscar (23-24): 150pa, 8.7b%/26.0k%, .304bip/.252avg, .215iso, 106wrc+
Pompey (21-22): 148pa, 7.4b%/24.3k%, .281bip/.222avg, .163iso, 86wrc+

AAA

Teoscar (22-24): 616pa, 9.7b%/20.6k%, .323bip/.278avg, .215iso, 122wrc+
Pompey (21-23): 744pa, 10.6b%/17.2k%, .336bip/.279avg, .078iso, 109wrc+

AA

Teoscar (21-23): 933pa, 7.2b%/23.3k%, .311bip/.255avg, .145iso, 102wrc+
Pompey (21-22): 275pa, 9.1b%/14.9k%, .361bip/.325avg, .187iso, 158wrc+

A+

Teoscar (21-21): 455pa, 10.8b%/25.7k%, .374bip/.294avg, .256iso, 137wrc+
Pompey (21-21): 317pa, 11.0b%/17.7k%, .380bip/.319avg, .252iso, 150wrc+


Pompey was certainly the better prospect coming up but the last 2 injured years have killed him while Teoscar has made steady progression.

TBH looking at hernandez' milb lines imo the scouting reports really misdescribed him. This guys is a power corner OF prospect through and through, not a speedy CF contact guy.
Mike Green - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#348891) #
If the club wanted to honour Bautista, why not make him the DH/cleanup hitter for home games in September, and let Morales pinch-hit and occasionally take a spin at first base?  I really don't understand the need to have him out in the field so much.  It's not as though some team is going to see him out there in September and think that they need him as a RF for 2018. 
bpoz - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#348892) #
I did read about Pompey's opinion of the previous FO.

IMO he did get a very quick demotion to AAA in 2015. Did badly there and was sent to AA.

Alex A always moved too fast and at times carelessly. He was never careful with options IMO. The promotion of Sam Dyson and his DFA ( .2IP ) was a glaring mistake.
Chuck - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#348893) #
I really don't understand the need to have him out in the field so much.

Given the "luxury" of the games meaning nothing, the current management regime doesn't have to risk a PR gaffe by humiliating Bautista on his way out. Letting him take the field and bat clean up, at least in front of the home crowd, allows an icon to preserve some dignity.

scottt - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#348894) #
I don't see why you'd want to sit Smoak to play Bautista at DH.
Smoak just needs 2 more HRs for 40.

Hernandez is playing every day. That's all that matters.

If they want to honor Jose, they'll have to wait until he retires.

scottt - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#348895) #
I think Alford is the guy that supposed to take over in CF.
Hernandez can play all OF positions but looks best in RF

I still like Pompey as a speedy 4th outfielder. . 
GabrielSyme - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#348896) #
If you really want to have Teoscar playing every day, it's not as if LF is being locked down, and you can give Pillar a couple games off too. There's no need to give Bautista more than a couple games off.

I think we aren't aware how important the reputation of an organisation is within the sport. Bautista has been the face of the franchise for seven or eight years, and I think the right thing to do, when we aren't fighting for a playoff spot, is to continue to give him the starts that he expects.
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#348897) #
In 2018, Troy Tulowitzki is the Jays' starting Short Stop. He was injured early this year and tried to play hurt which cost him badly. No one with his extreme talent and ability as a Short Stop hits a wall like some posters suggest. He will fade slowly because he works very hard to stay good. If he could adjust his hitting to his present abilities, he could be amazing.
hypobole - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#348898) #
Dear Mr. Colon:

Please don't make us look like a pair of kids up from A ball again.

Thank you

Josh and Jose
uglyone - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#348899) #
I still see pompey out hitting pillar, and I doubt pillar will have much of an edge in fielding over him for much longer either.
Gerry - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#348900) #
Pompey had 49 PA this season after missing time last year too. He would need a couple of months in the minors before you could trust him in the majors.

All of that assumes he can hit enough. Pompey last had an OPS over 800 in AA in 2015.
Nigel - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#348901) #
Hernandez with good AB after good AB.
PeterG - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#348902) #
Hernandez looks major league ready. I would think that going into next season, the RF job is his to lose.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, September 15 2017 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#348903) #
Dominic Leone was a heck of a pick-up this year, and looks like a solid set-up man moving forward.

It brings a smile to my face to see how the Jays acquired Leone and how much the Red Sox got hosed trying to get their setup man in Thornburg.
scottt - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 07:19 AM EDT (#348904) #
Pompey last had an OPS over 800 in AA in 2015.

Sure, but Pompey has speed.
Buxton has and OPS of .738 but BRef says he's worth 5.1 WAR.
Kepler, .743 and 1.8 WAR.
And Pompey still produced .7 WAR while sporting an OPS of  .664. That means he was on track for 4 WAR that year.
This year, the only position player with a chance to produce 4 WAR is Donaldson.



scottt - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#348905) #
I fully expect LF to be occupied by an established hitter who cannot field.
To start the year anyway. All their outfield prospects still have options.
I'm sold with Hernandez in right.

Maile could be the backup if he hits enough. The real catching prospects are getting close now anyway.

Tulo is not going anywhere and Travis isn't going to last playing everyday, so they need a better backup than Goins.
I see Urena as the guy you call from Buffalo when a guy is on the DL, so they need to get somebody.
It would be a plus if that person can play 3B, but there's no need in the outfield.

I don't see Anderson as a done deal, but I like him. I don't mind Estrada coming back.
It seems I have very modest expectation for the offseason.   It should be an easy one.

Glevin - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#348906) #
"Maybe it's just me, but I'm honestly a bit lost at the negative around Shapiro."

It is literally the most ludicrous criticism of a front office I have ever seen. In two years, the front office has made one bad move which was to overrate the market for hitters and sign Morales. Even as far as bad moves, it wasn't particularly bad because it did not cost the Jays any prospects, doesn't block anyone, and will make no difference in whether they win or not. It will be a waste of money. In that same period they have made a number of very good moves filling a system with prospects, signing a bunch of good deals for undervalued players, and most importantly, not signing the horrible long-term contracts fans were pushing for. I have been on this board for years and almost every single suggested route by posters would have had the Jays worse off.

Here are some of my general favourite criticisms that repeat themselves.

1) The 2016 Jays were great and they could have won great if they put more into them: The most prevalent and the most dishonest. To build talent, you can do it via free agency or trades. The 2016 Jays were a mess. They had no starting pitchers. There were no resources in the minors that anyone wanted. So, the Jays had to add a bunch of starting pitchers somehow. They did remarkably well. Adding Happ, Estrada, and Liriano all on short-term reasonable contracts and even got a prospect out of it. What else could they have done? Traded who? Signed who? What realistic moves could they have made?

2) Not calling prospects up earlier. Who? The Jays right now have one prospect who is clearly major league ready and he was only acquired late this year. Jays did give Alford, their only other prospect who might be ready a shot and he got hurt. and took a while to come back. Which other prospect should they have been trying out?

3) Not being honest about where the team is. Yes, it's not like it's their business to sell tickets and no other front office every does this...oh wait.

4) Not getting good quality players from minor league free agency/waiver wire/minor trades-There are hundreds of these moves made every year and maybe a few turn out well. Expecting any of these minor moves to result in a useful major leaguer is wishful thinking. Looking at the one or two players who worked out and saying "we should have done that" is hindsight. Even then, it doesn't really matter. The Jays aren't missing the playoffs because they don't have Eric Sogard instead of Darwin Barney.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#348907) #
Every Team has injuries and usual has the ability to limit the damage, either by trade or from within. Some are lucky enough to succeed, while others are not.

Prior to 2015, the Jays had a lot of injuries that changed this Team to something different. The 2015 and 2016 Seasons were amazingly healthy in comparison and they made the Postseason and were relatively successful.

Right now I'm thinking the extreme swing is back - either very healthy or with many injuries. At some time the Team has to be league average normal with injuries, hopefully this decade.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#348908) #
I fully supported this offseasons moves. Even Morales because I didn't foresee the market correction or smoaks emergence.

That said,"Not being honest" has time and time again proven to fail in this market. Typically with an additional price to pay by fans. It is a legit criticism and I really hope that they see this soon with respect to ticket prices.

I'm not calling for Shapiro's head, I am just saying that he's subscribing to a formula that hasn't worked in the past.
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#348909) #
The thing about bashing the FO about 2016 is that they were a big reason why the team succeeded. This offensive decline started last season. The team made the playoffs largely on SP, which was healthy all season and very effective. Estrada and Happ were huge parts of that, and Liriano was a big part of the 2nd half. What else could they have done to make the 2016 team beat the Indians? The offense was entirely on the previous regime. If anything, the FO maximized the win curve on a declining core on its last legs. If their SP pick ups don't pan out, then that team misses the post season.

The 2017 off season was worse but it was in the same vein as the previous one that worked so well. Morales, Jose, and Pearce just did not pan out. It happens. When you deal with free agents in their 30's, there is always chance for decline or injury. On paper, the team was a projected 1st WC team that turned sour due to age, decline, injury, etc. Signing Edwin and Fowler wasn't going to change this.

The blame for the directionless status quo is on ownership, not the FO. Shapiro has rebuilt before. I don't think it is his idea to keep this group together when he could expedite the inevitable rather than potentially waste a season and assets. He's just going to have to work within Rogers parameters.
uglyone - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#348910) #
it still amazes me that after 20yrs of crap (like not even one single september playoff race kind of crap), people can look at a jays roster that projected to make the playoffs 3yrs in a row and made it twice (with not one prime projected core piece being brought in by new management in two of the years) and have the gall to claim that this wasn't a good roster and not worth investing in, and that management spending 2 years obviously halfassing it by adding half a roster of cheap players in their mid 30s was the right thing to do.
CeeBee - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#348911) #
amazing it is, surpising it's not.
scottt - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#348912) #
It amazes me that Goins was allowed to play instead of finding a replacement for Travis.
I think the fault there lies with Gibbons though. Maybe it's a Texas thing.

The Ugly way was to sign Price after 2015 and to sell every players after missing the playoffs last year.
We'd now be in the beginning of a long rebuild with promises of having a winning team 5 years down the road.
Attendance would be down, there would be no new signings because of heavy contracts on the books.
Basically, the AA years all over again.

The 2013 team was a disaster and there was no attempt to compete made in 2014.
That was the time to be revolted.

Many of the fans in the stands didn't watch the last 20 years.
How old do you think the average fan is?


Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#348913) #
Very, very few players decline much as they reach their 30's. The years 30 - 33 are usually still productive. At 34 the wall or a turning point hits. There are always a few players that exceed those limits. Jose Bautista had two productive years after, ages 34 and 35. He just couldn't get another productive one in.

Kendrys Morales had a solid productive year. He's 34 this year (June 20th), you expected more? Steve Pearce had a productive year. Someone forgot he shouldn't play all the time. He was 34 on April 13th, you expected more? It's all about expectations. This Team was expected to be in the Postseason this year. Everyone was expected to have good to very good years. When that didn't happen, too much blame got smeared on the wrong people.

Roberto Osuna totally changed his pitching mix and turned into a pumpkin. That many blown saves totally changes where the Jays would sit in the Standings. Should we blame him instead? Aaron Sanchez has career blister issues that became known this year. He made just eight Starts over just 36.0 inning. The Standings really change if he's healthy. Should we blame him instead? Devon Travis is either brittle or extremely unlucky. Unable to stay healthy in any season, should we blame him instead?
92-93 - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#348914) #
"What else could they have done? Traded who? Signed who? What realistic moves could they have made?"

This strawman that there was nothing for the front office to be doing to augment an ALCS-calibre team other than signing big ticket FAs to ridiculous contracts is one that really irks me. It's their job to find creative ways to build a good MLB product, and with the roster they were given in no way was the only option to try patching holes with mediocre FAs. I'm going to throw out 2 things I've said on this site to help prove that point (and yes, I've been wrong about many things here too, like recently thinking Bautista would be a better value in 2017 than Encarnacion for what they were asking).

1. Before the 2016 season, amidst a discussion about David Price, I said "And if we are signing good FAs to fantasy contracts, can we target Fowler on a 3 year deal?" (https://www.battersbox.ca/comment.php?mode=view&cid=318316). He went on to sign a one year deal for 13m with the Cubs (after reports that Baltimore was offering 3/33). I don't know what the number was that they would've had to give Fowler to make him not want to take a one year deal and re-test the market, but I'm pretty sure that no matter what it was it would have been an excellent move on the Jays' part to guarantee Fowler 3 years when his FA value was depressed. It would've cost them a draft pick (so no Zeuch or Woodman?), but they would've been well served having Fowler on the 2016 team, and it very likely would have stopped them from spending 18m on Bautista this year, money that could have been deployed elsewhere. If the 3 year deal included an opt-out, which he reportedly wanted, the draft pick would've been recouped.

2. This offseason, I said "I have no idea if such a player is available, but if I were trying to reshape this team I would be looking to trade Pillar and Travis for a left-handed, up-the-middle player, and then perhaps targeting Fowler if his contract demands are reasonable." In this fantasy scenario Fowler would've already been on the team, so really they could've traded Pillar/Travis for any young, left-handed talent, and the team would've been better off in 2017 for it.

I'm not an MLB GM, but if I can come up with plausible ideas that very obviously would have made a huge difference to the performance of this team in 2017, the front office can as well. And it doesn't have to involve signing the premier FAs to contracts that are way too long. Suggesting otherwise is an easy cop out.

Please keep fighting the good fight uglyone. You have many supporters in your corner, even if the Shapologist voices seem louder around here.
Nigel - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#348915) #
Glevin, there are a number of posters here who find it hard to understand the perspective that the FO "made only one mistake this past offseason". I won't use the word ludicrous because there are lots of interesting different perspectives on this site including that one.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#348916) #
"I'm not an MLB GM, but if I can come up with plausible ideas that very obviously would have made a huge difference to the performance of this team in 2017, the front office can as well."

Let me get this straight...because you can come up with two possible scenarios (in your mind) of trading Travis and Pillar and going after Fowler, you're reasoning that the front office should be able to do the same thing? Here's a challenge...why don't you tell us who your left handed up the middle player would be that the opposing team would trade for Pillar or Travis. Then, when you have a reasonable trade that makes sense for that other team, why don't you come up with another plausible idea about what a reasonable offer for Dexter Fowler would be, and since this is real life, why don't you find out exactly what that player values in terms of money, location, term, etc. Then, once you do all that, why don't you show us all how it would make a huge difference to the performance of the team in 2017. In fact, before you try to solve all that (here's a hint...you can't)...why don't you tell us why Donaldson was terrible for half his playing time, Tulo shit the bed, Bautista fell off a cliff, Morales became one of the worse hitters with RISP, MLB baseballs obliterating sinkerball pitchers, Osuna shitting the bed for parts of the season, Estrada shitting the bed for parts of the season...that might be more helpful in illustrating how "the team would've been better off in 2017."

Yeah...I think I'm going to put my money and trust in Shapiro over yourself and ugly. I will have the "gall" to criticize the previous regime which acted effectively ONLY AFTER BEING NOTIFIED OF IMPENDING UNEMPLOYMENT, and will support current regime which has drafted fine, traded fine, signed FA's of mediocrity (but signed someone none the less unlike 5 years of previous regime) and most importantly, has a track record of building a system and championship team in Cleveland on a smaller budget.

This regime won't overpay and they don't want to get burned. Simple as that. Look at Cleveland. If you want the Sandovals and Carl Crawford's contracts getting absorbed on the bench then go cheer for NYY or Dodgers.

China fan - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#348917) #
"....They did remarkably well. Adding Happ, Estrada, and Liriano all on short-term reasonable contracts..."

Those were good moves, but let's be honest: the preparations for two of those three moves (Estrada and Happ) were already underway when the new Front Office arrived in late 2015.  I'm sure Anthopoulos would have done the same moves if he had stayed -- and he probably laid the groundwork for the moves before he left.  It's clear, for example, that Tony LaCava (AA's guy) did more of the contractual negotiations for those moves than Shapiro, although of course Shapiro had to give the final approval.  It's true that AA had traded Happ away in the Saunders deal, but he had earlier traded FOR Happ and had given him lots of opportunities in Toronto, and he would have noticed the obvious improvement in Happ in the middle of 2015.  Happ was an obvious target for the Jays at the end of the 2015 season, regardless of who the GM was.

Most free agents have no interest in Toronto, because of their fear of playing in a "foreign" country, but Estrada and Happ were two of the very few high-quality free-agent pitchers who were willing to sign with Toronto -- mostly because they enjoyed their experience of playing for Toronto under Anthopoulos.  If AA had still been with the team, it's clear that Estrada and Happ would have been on the very short list of pitchers that he would have targeted, since they were available at a reasonable cost and had a positive feeling about the Toronto organization. 

So let's not pretend that the acquisition of Estrada and Happ was some kind of brilliant stroke of genius by Shapiro and Atkins.  They were logical moves at a reasonable cost that Anthopoulos would almost certainly have done too, and the groundwork had been laid by AA and LaCava before the arrival of the new executives.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#348918) #
China, what evidence do you have that the foundation for the Happ signing was being laid before Shapiro took over the helm?
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#348919) #
I will add one more thing. I am defending this regime because I see what they are trying to do. If we fast forward to 2019/2020 and we are looking at a core built out of prospects and existing contracts then unleash the dragons and throw this regime out. At this time, it's unwarranted to assume that management will not invest money in trades, free agency, salary extensions, drafts etc. Give them at least two more years. I fully expect them to go after international talent, take on bad salaries for better prospects and most importantly, sign free agents to compliment their core. I see them acting similar to the front office of the Houston Astros, bringing in veterans such as Reddick, Beltran, McCann...but only after they have that core. They have stated they want that core and waves f prospects coming up...so wait until we have that. If they dont have that in 2 years or if they have it and don't support it with money then go to town on this ownership and management. I see the point of Ugly and others, but it's too soon and short sighted imho.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#348920) #
"So let's not pretend that the acquisition of Estrada and Happ was some kind of brilliant stroke of genius by Shapiro and Atkins. They were logical moves at a reasonable cost that Anthopoulos would almost certainly have done too, and the groundwork had been laid by AA and LaCava before the arrival of the new executives."

Does it matter? JP Ricciardi found Edwin and Bautista. AA resigned Bautista and took a gamble. It's unfair to say "well lets be realistic, JP found him and would have offered an extension." No..it was AA. Give the front office credit where it is due. They retained Lacava and allowed him to jump early on Happ to beat the market. And if these were "logical moves at a reasonable cost" then wouldn't every MLB team have been in on him?
CeeBee - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#348921) #
"Yeah...I think I'm going to put my money and trust in Shapiro over yourself and ugly. I will have the "gall" to criticize the previous regime which acted effectively ONLY AFTER BEING NOTIFIED OF IMPENDING UNEMPLOYMENT, and will support current regime which has drafted fine, traded fine, signed FA's of mediocrity (but signed someone none the less unlike 5 years of previous regime) and most importantly, has a track record of building a system and championship team in Cleveland on a smaller budget. "



Hope you feel better now, what with the shouting and all.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#348922) #
If anything, it seemed that Anthopoulos wanted to bring back Price, not sign lesser talents like Happ. Remember that Warren Buffett quote that Alex referred to late in his tenure, about it being better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price? The perception of Happ before he signed with the Jays was that he was a fair pitcher (at best), not a wonderful one.
China fan - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#348923) #
"....what evidence do you have that the foundation for the Happ signing was being laid before Shapiro took over the helm?..."

Do you want me to provide secret tape-recordings of meetings?  Don't ask for "evidence" as if you're a judge in a courtroom.  This is not a question that can be proven by statistical data. Demanding evidence is not a contribution to the discussion when it's impossible to imagine what proof could be provided.  Instead please deal with the points of logic that I made.

I gave several logical reasons why AA and LaCava would have laid the groundwork.   In fact the groundwork was -- to a large extent -- the very good relationship that the Jays had built up with both Estrada and Happ when AA was the GM.  I also explained the very logical reasons why AA would have targeted Estrada and Happ at the end of 2015, and I don't see any evidence to the contrary.

The alternative scenario is that AA would never have signed those two and it was a stroke of genius by Shapiro who dreamed up the entire idea himself.  If that's your theory, I find it completely implausible.  But feel free to present "evidence" to prove that the entire thing was completely Shapiro's idea with no groundwork before he arrived.
China fan - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#348924) #
"....it seemed that Anthopoulos wanted to bring back Price..."

Now there's a fantasy scenario.  It's impossible to imagine Rogers providing $217-million (or anything remotely in that realm) for a David Price contract.  Anthopoulos knew that.  Only a few fans and a couple of sportswriters were suggesting that the Jays should pursue Price.  In my view, it is absolutely implausible that AA would have pursued Price.  The biggest financial commitment that he ever squeezed out of Rogers was the Tulowitzki trade, and the amount of remaining money in the Tulo contract was nowhere close to the $217-million that Boston offered Price.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#348925) #
China, in my view it's hypocritical to demand, as you often do, that Bauxites provide evidence for this or that viewpoint, but then to turn around and assert with no evidence whatsoever that the current front office should get no credit for signing Happ because it likely would have happened anyway under Anthopoulos.

As for Anthopoulos and David Price (and Marco Estrada), here's a 2016 article you might find interesting:

The plan was in place to sign David Price.

Only Alex Anthopoulos walked away as general manager of the Blue Jays before he got the chance to try and execute a multi-pronged, complicated deal to keep the all-star pitcher in Toronto.

After acquiring Price from Detroit last summer, Anthopoulos met with Priceís agent, Bo McKinnis, in August to begin dialogue on what it would take to keep the left-hander with the Blue Jays. Anthopoulos knew it was an expensive proposition and a difficult sell to ownership, but he needed to be creative in putting the deal together.

Anthopoulos figured how he might be able to get it done. It started by letting Marco Estrada go to free agency, rather than signing the pitcher. The next move would have been trading away R.A. Dickey. That would have opened up $24 million in payroll, which would have gotten the Jays close to a workable number with Price, who signed in Boston for $30-million a year.

What ended the August talks was the September announcement that Mark Shapiro would be replacing Paul Beeston as team president and it became clear that wasnít a direction the Jays were interested in pursuing.


http://www.torontosun.com/2016/04/09/simmons-says-blue-jays-had-plan-to-keep-price
jerjapan - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#348926) #
FWIW, I believe it was AA, under JPR, who advocated for acquiring Bautista. 

http://www.torontosun.com/2016/03/25/jays-diaz-has-a-unique-claim-to-fame

I enjoy these conversations, but not so much the profanity (I thought we had something of a tacit agreement not to swear) nor the hyperbolic straw men.

Glevin, if these discussions are indeed "the most ludicrous criticism of a front office I have ever seen", I have to assume you don't follow any other teams or sports, and that you weren't around the Box when the team was under JPR.  The criticism of Shapiro is par for the course with most passionate fan bases, and the discussion here on the box is actually much more informed and nuanced then much of the coverage of the Jays locally. 

AA was more exciting with his ninja gambler style, Shapiro has a long track record as a successful executive and while his more cautious approach is less entertaining, I feel it's obvious that we are / were under good management from both executives.  And I say that after a fairly mediocre year of moves from the current FO in terms of the major league roster. 



uglyone - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#348927) #
"This strawman that there was nothing for the front office to be doing to augment an ALCS-calibre team other than signing big ticket FAs to ridiculous contracts is one that really irks me."

especially since it just takes a quick look around the division to find a whole bunch of quality prime age players at our positions of need picked up the last few years for a song.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#348928) #
Yes, like Happ and Estrada and Smith and Smoak.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#348929) #
The Miami - Toronto trade wasn't a bad deal. It literally changed how Rogers saw Baseball. It's what got the Jays the huge payroll increase they enjoy now.

By what has happened with the Jays since A.A. left, it apparent Mark Shapiro, Ross Atkins and their team have the same aims but just different methods. Keeping the Fans interest is paramount, as is spending responsibly. Getting fair value for fair value is still very important for them.

A large portion of the present Fan Base is young and new. It's fun to come to a ballgame once again.
uglyone - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#348930) #
And i feel no need to discredit the FO for the estrada and happ signings. They've averaged about 3war each over 2 years, i.e. good #3 pitchers, for a good price. That is great work really. The fact that they were both originally brought in by the previous FO does lend some more credence to the idea that this FO wasn't exactly turning over every last stone to try everything to win in the shortterm, though. That they don't actually consider the current roster "their team".
uglyone - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#348931) #
and I think AA probably would have rather tried to find the next estrada/happ - i.e. at the cost he got them for originally - then used his free agent dollars on them.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#348932) #
Yes, Anthoupoulos might have preferred Price/Stroman/Sanchez at the front end and some lower cost options at the back end.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#348933) #
When A.A. acquired Josh Donaldson, he acquired an extremely talented 3B (very important acquisition) who was a "super-two" at age 29 on December 8th.
When A.A. signed Russell Martin, he was signing an extremely talented Catcher (very important acquisition) for 5 years who would be 31 on February 15th.
When A.A. acquired Troy Tulowitzki, he was acquiring an extremely talented SS (very important acquisition) at age 31 on October 10th and under contract for 5 more years.

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins knew exactly what type of Team they inherited, an old one. They knew the Fan interest they were facing, massive and almost rabid. They knew how far away the new generation was, 2019 or 2020. Their job is getting from 2015 to 2020 without trading away the talent or spending irresponsibly. So far, so good.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#348934) #
especially since it just takes a quick look around the division to find a whole bunch of quality prime age players at our positions of need picked up the last few years for a song.

Free Agents of the caliber of the above never sign in Toronto for a song. They always cost more, both in dollars and in term. No amount of winning ever changes that, still costs more.
lexomatic - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#348935) #

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins knew exactly what type of Team they inherited, an old one. They knew the Fan interest they were facing, massive and almost rabid. They knew how far away the new generation was, 2019 or 2020. Their job is getting from 2015 to 2020 without trading away the talent or spending irresponsibly. So far, so good.

Actually, no. This year has pretty much been a disaster except in the minors. So unless you count the passage of time - which happens regardless of who's in the FO, absolutely not "so far, so good" in the getting to 2020. I'm assuming you were focusing on the not trading away talent or spending irresponsibly part. I'd argue that ignores the short-term completely. Why not just fire sale and rebuild quickly if you're going to let the major league team just wither?

"especially since it just takes a quick look around the division to find a whole bunch of quality prime age players at our positions of need picked up the last few years for a song"

Free Agents of the caliber of the above never sign in Toronto for a song. They always cost more, both in dollars and in term. No amount of winning ever changes that, still costs more.

I think bringing up free agents was probably the wrong tactic. What bothered me were the deadline deals that could've helped the Jays immensely, while not costing much (or at all of long-term value). The prime example being Brandon Phillips (even though he's been terrible with the Angels). It felt like so many players were traded for nothing around the deadline who could've made a difference for the Jays at their week spots. Or even calling up Smith JR and using him once a week instead of Bautista. So many little moves could have had a big impact. And if you get to September and you're still in it...? And while I get the impulse to not embarrass a once-great player (and the value in the appearance of that) if you're not either trying to win or develop a young player what as an organization are you trying to do with that roster spot? Mind you, unless they could find enough relievers to reliably go 2 innings or starters to go 6, that wasn't going to be possible.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#348936) #
Lexomatic,

Those are legitimate criticisms of the new front office, the strongest against them on this board that I've seen.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#348937) #
Actually, no. This year has pretty much been a disaster except in the minors. So unless you count the passage of time - which happens regardless of who's in the FO, absolutely not "so far, so good" in the getting to 2020. I'm assuming you were focusing on the not trading away talent or spending irresponsibly part. I'd argue that ignores the short-term completely. Why not just fire sale and rebuild quickly if you're going to let the major league team just wither?

Russell Martin is having another Russell Martin year (.352 OBP) despite missing time. Carlos Ramirez and Luis Santos were found because the Team was so bad. Teoscar Hernandez was acquired because the Team was so bad. Dominic Leone and Ryan Tepera became confident and effective relievers. Josh Donaldson is having a very good finish to his season since finding out why he couldn't see after returning from the D.L. That's not withering.

1) Total rebuilds - like the Astos? - rarely occur fast.
2) When you are trading Players, seldom does the value received accomplish anything for the Team.
3) The Jays have acquired millions of young new fans. They are just starting to find out how much fun it is. A rebuild just chases them away. They won't be back.
hypobole - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#348938) #
I know the Orioles were praised here for the Beckham and Hellickson pickups. Hellickson now has a 7.29 ERA after getting shellacked again today. Beckham, after his torrid August facing a lot of bad pitching staffs, is now 10 for 61 in September with 19 strikeouts.
PeterG - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#348939) #
Many have called for the demise of the Orioles for the last couple of years and it hasn't happened yet but it will. They are a team the really could become the new Phillies or worse because they won't spend much. They have many key players that will be lost to FA in the next 2 years, a very weak farm system and no international signings. Once they reach 5th in the East, they could remain there for a very long time.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#348940) #
The Orioles did spend money bringing Chris Davis back but that doesn't look like a good deal right now.
bpoz - Saturday, September 16 2017 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#348941) #
I think it was Richard SS that asked, before the season started what happens if a key player like Osuna or Martin goes down.

We know now. Martin was injured. Osuna had issues and a bad season. We have to also count Donaldson, Travis, Tulo and Sanchez as being injured.
Anyone who believes that this weakened the team, now need to ask by how much? And would it make a difference in contending.

I think it would have put us higher up in the standings. So I will conclude that this FO continued to ride this horse hoping/expecting a playoff berth.

So should a healthy 2017 team be considered good enough to contend in 2018?

2017 was an old injury prone team. Bringing them back for 2018 may be falling into the injury trap again.

Of course there will be additions to replace the subtractions.
hypobole - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#348942) #
Yeah the Orioles disdain for Latin American kids is humourous especially considering their best player this year has been Jonathan Schoop.

Rogers often receives (rightful) disdain when compared to a hands on owner like Mike Ilitch, but are almost benign compared to Peter Angelos. Because it's Angelos who wants little to do with the Latin American market.
SK in NJ - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#348943) #
Beckham was still a good pick up. Worst case he is a good utility infielder, which has value. But yes, I don't know how the Orioles have been able to maintain a reasonable amount of success since 2012 with the rosters they have had. Hopefully when Machado leaves it will be the end of the line for them.
scottt - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#348944) #
So should a healthy 2017 team be considered good enough to contend in 2018?

2017 was an old injury prone team. Bringing them back for 2018 may be falling into the injury trap again.

I'm not sure what you're suggesting.

Should they replace an old team that might contend with a younger team that cannot so the outcome is known from the start?

Osuna is very young. Sanchez is young. Travis is not old.
Donaldson is the best player on the team. Its hard to compete without him.
However, they need depth in the outfield and middle infield.

Pearce has an OPS of .757. That's is not good enough for a guy who is a defensive liability.
I don't know if Refsnyder can hit enough to be a useful player.
It seems to me they need to add either a good players (3WAR) in the infield or an elite player in the outfield (5WAR) to make up the difference.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#348945) #
"an old team that might contend"

What indications are there that the current roster might be a contender in 2018? I do not see the current team as a particularly good team, especially once you factor in the WAR that is reasonably likely to be lost to injury and declining performance. I think that a number of games are going to be lost to injuries to one or more of Donaldson, Tulo, Martin, Pillar, and Travis, to say nothing of the pitching staff.
bpoz - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#348946) #
My suggestion is that the injuries derailed the 2017 team. JD is producing a fantastic year with 150 ABs lost through injury to his legs. Martin too is doing well. Travis is not old and neither is Tulo. Us/FO have to consider gambling that the injuries will not be as bad in 2018. The only old pitcher was Grili.

Bautista and Morales had to carry the load in the absence of our injured hitters. They are old/almost old. Bautista may have lost it, he is also definitely too expensive IMO. Bautista has a terrible BA, good bb and decent HR total. Bad defensively too.

I am suggesting the whole team, except Bautista returns. Would this be too expensive? Goins and Urena can handle backing up Tulo and Travis, if the injuries to those 2 are not as many games lost as in 2017. Urena only comes up as an injury replacement until he is ready for a full time role.
China fan - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#348947) #
Greenfrog, you're misquoting me. I never said that Shapiro and Atkins should get "no credit" for signing Estrada and Happ. Of course they should get credit for those moves. I merely object to some fans who imagine that Anthopoulos would never have done the same thing.

To quote a speculative article by Steve Simmons, of all people, is hardly evidence to the contrary. Simmons is widely known as one of the worst Toronto sportswriters. He regularly features in Stoeten's "Dumbing Down the Discourse" column. Last September he predicted that the Jays wouldn't make the playoffs -- a laughable prediction even then. His claim that Anthopoulos would have signed David Price was equally absurd, and his article failed to quote anyone or provide anything more than some vague "inside information" without substance. It seems to have been pure speculation. It's not evidence.

As for my own evidence, of course it is circumstantial evidence. It is not courtroom "smoking gun" evidence, but I think it's a logical case. LaCava did the negotiations on the Estrada and Happ deals, and he had been AA's guy. Anthopoulos had traded for both Estrada and Happ in the past, which shows his esteem for them. He would have known that Estrada and Happ would have fit the Rogers budget. He knew that they both excelled in the 2015 season (in the second half of the season in Happ's case, but both were coming off good performances by the time the season was over).

And again I'll make my central point: Anthopoulos knew full well that Rogers would have laughed at the idea of paying $217-million for Price, so he would logically have then targeted the only two free-agent pitchers who were likely to sign with Toronto. The evidence from recent history is that AA signed mid-level free agents like Russell Martin who have a reason to play for Toronto -- he has never pursued the most expensive free agents. He has pursued mid-range free agents like Happ and Estrada and Martin who have favourable opinions of Toronto.

I give Shapiro and Atkins full credit for doing the same thing that Anthopoulos would have done.
bpoz - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#348948) #
If the injuries are as bad to this old team in 2018 then we are not contending. Also who was injured is a factor. 1 example is that Donaldson and Martin got injured and 2 older players Bautista and Morales did not. We would have gained on defense and probably also on offense.

Sanchez is blaming the 2017 baseball for his blister problem. He showed Jerry Hawarth a 2017 and 2016 baseball. I hope the blister problem will not resurface.

I am saying the extent of injuries is not completely predictable. I am admitting that old teams have a higher probability of injury. I am willing to bet that 2018's injuries will not be as bad.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#348949) #
China Fan, respectfully, you're digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole. It's pure conjecture to assert that Anthopoulos would surely have brought back two free agents that decidedly did *not* fit his recent approach of going after the best players available at a given position (Martin, Donaldson, Price, Tulowitzki) -- in other words, the "wonderful companies" or assets that his role model Buffett had come to prefer. His recent track record suggests that Anthopoulos was more likely to pay for proven quality (e.g., Price, Martin) or look for inexpensive undervalued assets (Travis, Smoak, Estrada *via trade*, Haps *via trade*). It certainly does not suggest that he was revert to the approach of paying a considerable amount (3/36) on the free agent market for a player like Happ, whom AA had traded for Saunders. And really, how many mid-market free agent starting pitchers did Anthopoulos acquire during his entire tenure? None, as far as I can recall.

I can see why you need to denigrate Simmons in order to support your argument, because he provides some evidence (likely through an interview with Anthopoulos himself, Price's agent, and/or other industry insiders) that Anthopoulos was at least angling to bring Price back, and that letting Estrada go was one step that would facilitate that move. But Simmons at least did some basic research to support that story, whereas as you've conjured precisely the opposite scenario out of little more than whimsy. And it's not clear to me that under AA/Beeston Rogers would have absolutely nixed a Price deal. Rogers' revenues had skyrocketed into unprecedented territory as a result of the summer 2015 trades, and Anthopoulos's credibility as a GM was at its peak. It's certainly possible that a long-term, backloaded deal for the putative ace could have been worked out, especially with other salaries coming off the books in the scenario Simmons described.
China fan - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#348950) #
Greenfrog, I think you're digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.  I began with the assumption that you weren't actually claiming that AA would have signed David Price, since the claim seems so fantastic as to be completely implausible.  But now I see that it is the absolute essence of your argument. You actually think that AA would have persuaded Rogers to spend $220-million (or more) to outbid the wealthy Red Sox for Price.  I just find this so incredible as to be fantasy-land.

It's perhaps true that Steve Simmons talked to Price's agent.   Agents are notorious for creating "bidding wars" where none exist.  That's their job.  An agent's claim (or a "meeting with an agent") doesn't mean that we have to believe that Rogers would have engaged in a bidding war with the massively-payrolled Red Sox.  Nobody outbids the Red Sox, and it's impossible to believe that Rogers would have done so.

You also refer to AA's approach of "going after the best players available."  That's true, but why would this contradict my argument that AA would have pursued Estrada and Happ?  With the possible exception of the unaffordable Price, those two were the best pitchers available, as shown by their performance in the final months of 2015.  Anthopoulos went after the best players available when they were affordable -- like Donaldson, Martin, etc.  He never tried to outbid Boston.

If people want to give credit to Shapiro, feel free to do so.  But don't imagine that they came up with brilliant ideas that never would have occurred to a GM who had a very positive relationship with Estrada and Happ.

In an effort to reach consensus here, can we perhaps agree on this:  You believe AA wouldn't have signed Estrada and Happ, and I believe he would have.  Neither of us has absolute foolproof evidence, but we both believe we have logic on our side.  Let's leave it at that.


Mike Green - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#348951) #
Don't know about holes, but Josh Donaldson is going deeper and deeper.
hypobole - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#348952) #
The fact of the matter is that Shatkins DID sign both Estrada and Happ. Signing FA's aren't "brilliant ideas", not sure who's said they were. They're calculated risks.

As for Simmons, maybe his column was pure speculation, just like your assertion AA had a "very positive relationship" with Estrada and Happ. One could have speculated AA had a very positive relationship with Dalton Pompey, until Pompey himself said he pretty well had no relationship with AA.

Happ in particular was traded away by AA, which makes the very positive relationship assertion seem even more specious.

Maybe Happ and Estrada liked their Toronto experience and were willing to accept the fair offers.

uglyone - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#348953) #
bpoz that's a great point - if the injurirs had gone to the actual old guys like bautista and morales instead of donaldson/sanchez/travis that could easily have been a 6/7/8 win swing, without us actually being any healthier.
Chuck - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#348954) #
By my math, Donaldson is on pace for 54 home runs. He's at 30 now, and with 12 games to go and 2 home runs per game, voila.
uglyone - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#348955) #
let's see him hit 40 this year.

and donaldson may get enough plate appearances to qualify for the leaderboards by the end of the year. will be close.

he just moved back into the top 10 with a 151wrc+. 4th best in the AL behind only trout Altuve and judge.
China fan - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#348956) #
"....The fact of the matter is that Shatkins DID sign both Estrada and Happ...."

Actually the fact of the matter is that Shatkins did NOT sign Estrada and Happ.  They were both signed in November 2015, and Ross Atkins did not join the Jays until Dec. 3, 2015.

They were actually signed by Sha-Cava.   (Shapiro and LaCava.)

I'm also confused by the mention of Dalton Pompey, who has played only a few weeks in the majors and never had any contract negotiations with AA.  It's difficult to imagine that he had any kind of relationship with any GM, either positive or negative.  By contrast, Happ and Estrada would have had far more dealings with AA in their careers.




uglyone - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#348957) #
after every egregiois goins misplay....bucknpat: "normally so surehanded!"
Chuck - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#348958) #
70 minutes in, 11 outs have been made. This is not vintage baseball.
Chuck - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#348959) #
Statcast has Buxton a hair faster than Billy Hamilton. I didn't think that was possible.
lexomatic - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#348960) #
Can we talk about how on fire Donaldson is for a second? 5 HR since Friday.
hypobole - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#348961) #
Ex-Jay Boyd having quite the game for the Tigers through 8.
Gerry - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#348962) #
Biagini always has issues with keeping his mechanics in check. He is regularly seen working on keeping in line for example.

Since he has become a starter that issue has magnified itself. Its one thing to be a little off when you are a reliever, get the next guy in and live to fight another day. But when you are a starter and you don't have it, it puts a big demand on the bullpen. This is what we saw today but with the expanded rosters and an off day tomorrow it won't impact the team as much as it would another time.

If the Jays don't have trust that Biagini can be consistent with his mechanics, then he could be confined to the bullpen.
bpoz - Sunday, September 17 2017 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#348963) #
Donaldson is really great.
Glevin - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 02:28 AM EDT (#348964) #
"That's true, but why would this contradict my argument that AA would have pursued Estrada and Happ? With the possible exception of the unaffordable Price, those two were the best pitchers available, as shown by their performance in the final months of 2015."

Because every front office works differently, sets different priorities, and so on. Happ only had 61 great innings with the Pirates the previous year. People were not exactly sold on him and it's quite possible a different front office wouldn't have been. Also, the Jays moved very quickly to get Happ maybe a different front office looks around more. Happ got the 10th biggest contract of any SP that off-season. He was the 26th ranked free agent and the 12th ranked starting pitcher according to ESPN. It is somewhat likely that any front office would have signed Estrada as he was already with the team and had a draft pick attached that made it easier for both sides that he return, but Happ? There is absolutely no reason to believe that Anthopolous would have gone after him over a dozen other starters and no, not Price, that was never going to happen.
scottt - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 06:20 AM EDT (#348965) #
With a rule 5 pick up, you seldom get a finished product.
Having to send Biagini to Buffalo to work on mechanics wouldn't be an aberration.
If only we could send him to Pittsburgh for a year.
I still like him as a 6th or 7th starter.

It wasn't just Biagini who had problems yesterday.
I'm happy they lost though. Baltimore has gone 2-8. Tampa 3-7.
It would really suck to draft after those guys after the year we've just had.

Petey Baseball - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#348966) #
Very speculative take here; it might take a full off-season of physical training to get Biagini completely ready as a starter. Does a stronger core strength and a some additional stamina lead to better mechanics (or a shortage of, lead to mechanical breakdown?). I wonder if think the Jays are also weighing (no pun intended) putting Biagini through that. Weight loss and a strict conditioning program didn't help make Brett Cecil a better starter, and he ended up being great in the bullpen. We shall see.
Mike Green - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#348967) #
fWAR leaders 2013-17:

Trout-               42.7
Donaldson-       35.1
Goldschmidt-    28.2
Votto-               25.9
Machado-         25.2

It isn't a shame to trail Trout.  For fun, I checked 1955-59.  The leaders were:

Mantle-             48.1
Mays-                41.6
Banks-              37.2
Aaron-               35.3
Mathews-         34.4
Kaline-              31.1

Names sure were shorter back then!  Interesting that the numbers were higher and all of the leaders are in the HoF The first one not there is the guy in 8th spot,  Minnie Minoso at 25.8.  After that, it's Johnny Logan in 145h at 21.3 WAR. 

uglyone - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#348968) #
Donaldson just moved into a tie with Devon White for 10th in jays' position player fwar with 20.9 (in 250 fewer games). 15th overall including pitchers.

Donaldson (3yrs) and White (5yrs) are the only jays on the list with fewer than 7yrs with the team.


and Biagini is 27yrs old. He probably is what he is. The fact that we suddenly have plenty of RH RP does give us the luxury of using him in the rotation as need be, but expecting anything more than #5sp type stuff seems optimistic to me.

Jevant - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#348969) #
Agreed.  I've been saying this all year - the Jays injuries were to the wrong players.  Sanchez, instead of Liriano.  Donaldson, instead of Bautista.  Travis, instead of Goins.  Etc.  Heck, Osuna instead of Loup.

Mike Green - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#348970) #
Tomorrow's birthday team is impressive (career PAs rounded to nearest 100, bWAR to nearest integer)::

C-      Joe Ferguson (R) (3600 PA, 22 bWAR)
1B-     Stuffy McInnes (R) (8600 PA, 34 bWAR)
2B-     Joe Morgan (L) (9300 PA, 100 bWAR)
SS-     Yank Robinson (R) (4200 PA, 12 bWAR)
3B-     Ryan Roberts (R) (1700 PA, 6 bWAR)
LF-     Hersh Martin (S) (2200 PA, 9 bWAR)
CF-     Duke Snider (L) (8200 PA, 67 bWAR)
RF-     George Springer (R) (2100 PA, 15 bWAR)
DH-    Nick Johnson (L) (3300 PA, 15 bWAR)

Bench- John Jaso (C) (2600 PA, 11 bWAR),  Nick Etten (1B) (3800 PA, 17 bWAR), Danny Valencia (3B)  (2700 PA, 6 bWAR), Ralph Young (middle IF) (4300 PA, 1 WAR), Lefty Marr (RF/SS) (1600 PA, 7 bWAR)

SP-    Gio Gonzalez (L) (1600 IP, 112 ERA+, 26 bWAR)
SP-    Sadie McMahon (R) (2600 IP, 118 ERA+, 39 bWAR)
SP-    Chris Short (L) (2300 IP, 104 ERA+, 29 bWAR)
SP-    Jim Abbott (L) (1700 IP, 99 ERA+, 17 bWAR)
SP      Bob Turley (R) (1700 IP, 101 ERA+, 13 bWAR)

CL-    Randy Myers (L) (900 IP, 123 ERA+, 16 bWAR)
RPs- Lenny DiNardo, Joey Devine, Buddy Schultz, Scott Baker  (Schultz would set up- career ERA+ of 103 and was used to finish games from time to time)

Hersh Martin is a better player than the numbers suggest.  He hit pretty well in the late 30s for the Phillies, but they had him in centerfield which was a little much for him.  He then missed 3 prime years for the war, and when he returned, the Yankees made him a left-fielder and he was pretty good.

This looks to me to be a competitive club in the AL East in 2017.  It is thin in the pitching staff, and you would have to use Baker for many innings when the starter faltered early. 

bpoz - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#348971) #
Goins will have over 400 ABs. That is not his fault. He does have 54 RBI.

If we get a Bauxite report card at the end of the season, there may/should be some positives regarding Goins.
PeterG - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#348972) #
Jaya minor league stat leaders from John Sickels:

https://www.minorleagueball.com/2017/9/18/16314086/2017-toronto-blue-jays-minor-league-stat-leaders
Chuck - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#348973) #
there may/should be some positives regarding Goins

Goins' calling card had always been his defense, but that seems to be slipping. On offense, his overall numbers are not good, but he as had the good decency to hit well when it counts most.

Overall: 619 OPS
Bases empty (55% of PA): 491 OPS, Men on (45% of PA): 775 OPS
Further, with RISP (26% of PA): 904 OPS

He has been a star hitter a quarter of the time, when it matters most (RISP). He has been a slightly above average AL hitter when it matters a lot (men on). He has been simply awful when it matters the least (bases empty). This latter bucket, unfortunately, accounts for 55% of his PA.

Chuck - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#348974) #
I've been saying this all year - the Jays injuries were to the wrong players.

If I'm Nancy Kerrigan, I'm steering clear of someone who talks like this.

bpoz - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#348975) #
Agreed Jrvant. Many of our key players got injured.

Donaldson would have carried a big load. He is proving his value now. Also improving his value as a trade chip this off season.
Spifficus - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#348976) #

If I'm Nancy Kerrigan, I'm steering clear of someone who talks like this.

Are you saying Jevant's channelling his internal Tonya, Chuck?

Chuck - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#348977) #
Are you saying Jevant's channelling his internal Tonya, Chuck?

Indeed, the arbiter of who should be injured. Someone should remove the steel pipes from his home.

Dewey - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#348978) #
there may/should be some positives regarding Goins

Ryan Goins is a loser. A world-class loser. Maybe the worst player ever. He makes Eddie Zosky look like an all-star. Worst ever. In all of human history. And his ratings are abysmal. Cosmically abysmal. Should be fired.

 D.
hypobole - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#348979) #
So this is cool.

Phillies Rhys-Hoskins 40 PA's vs LHP's. .450 OBP, .857 SLG. .000 BABIP.
Spifficus - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#348980) #
Ok, that's my new favourite stat-line. 6 hits, 6HRs, and nary a base hit inside the park. The only thing that might top that is if he were to have an inside the park homer... Would that be a ball in play or not?
Nigel - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#348981) #
I think the Jays were extraordinarily unlucky that Bautista, Morales and Pearce were as healthy as they were this year.
Mike Green - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#348982) #
It looks like fangraphs has one of Hoskins' hits against left-handed pitching as an infield hit.  An infield inside-the-park home run? An extremely high pop-up and mass vertigo and collapse on the part of the infielders looking up for it? 

Alas, it is probably a coding error.  He has hit the ball hard 11 times, 6 have left the yard, and the other five have been caught.  A little bad luck there!

DavidtheDeuce - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#348983) #
I am enjoying reading "Rock Solid" by Tim Raines. I learned that he converted from 2B to LF before being called up to the Expos. Perhaps Travis might take the same career path to preserve his health?

In addition, I wonder if the presence of Russell Martin (along with fat sums of ca$h) can help attract FA starting pitchers? By my eye test he is able to bring out the best in his battery-mates. With Sanchez' health such a question mark going into 2018 we definitely need 2 more Starters. Biagini, IMO, will get every opportunity to be the fifth starter.
hypobole - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#348984) #
Yeah, they don't bother the separate ITPHR's for BABIP. They just don't happen that often anymore.

Over a century ago, they were a lot more common. Jesse Burkett (1890-1905) has the MLB record of 55 inside-the-park'ers. He only had 20 career HR's that actually left the yard.
Sam Crawford in 1901 hit 16 HR's, 12 of which were inside-the-park.
John Northey - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#348985) #
Had fun down there for the game on Friday with my daughter and her best friend. The park feels very small due to the way it is built. Watching the Jays win 4-3 with the crowd being strongly pro-Jays was a ton of fun. Poor Twin fans in my section (119, behind the Jays dugout) were grossly outnumbered.

Now up to 6 stadiums, 5 cities to see MLB baseball in.
1) Fenway - classic, everyone needs to get there
2) Tiger Stadium (old) - felt like you were on the field everywhere but the deep outfield, sadly long gone now.
3) Target Field - beautiful park, seats close to field, upper decks appear small to allow stadium to have a small footprint, light rail comes up to the front gate.
4) Rogers Centre/Skydome - we all know this one.
5) Olympic Stadium - saw the Expos play just once, but what a game under the orange roof, inside the park home run to win in extras in 1994.
6) Exhibition Stadium - horrible park for Jays games, lots of bench seats, best seats behind the plate were metal thus uncomfortable, most comfortable seats were behind the outfield fence.

I should've got to see a game at Shea Stadium but in 1988 when I was there with school the Mets were only in town the first night and the lead teacher wouldn't let another teacher and 3 of us go to the game. Grrr.
John Northey - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#348986) #
I think the Jays were extraordinarily unlucky that Bautista, Morales and Pearce were as healthy as they were this year.

Imagine if those 3 lost the time instead of Martin/Tulo/Donaldson (don't see anyway to expect Travis to not miss tons of time right now). There would've been 6 more wins I suspect. Of course that would just put them at 76-74 instead of 70-80 and would be 2 1/2 out of the playoffs. The Jays really aren't as far away as them seem.
vw_fan17 - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#348987) #
I enjoy watching the farm and prospects and derive more joy from watching them establish themselves in the majors. So I am a fan of the current regime. I look forward to a home grown strong team a la Cleveland, with a strong, deep farm system.

Fair enough. Some of us who have followed the team from 1980 (in my case) through 1992, and well, also 1994-2014, have found we prefer the 2015/2016 style years, and heck, even the swing-and-miss AA years like 2013, to the Gillick/Ash/JPR years..
vw_fan17 - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#348988) #
I only watched the "condensed" games for the last 4, just no time.. Random comments:
1) JoshD "is on fire"
2) gotta be a little embarrassing for JBats to have them intentionally or semi-intentionally walk Smoak 3 or 4 times (that I counted) to get to him instead. There was a time when managers at least THOUGHT about walking JBats even with the bases loaded..

Mostly OT: I got the Jays "emoji" shirt in early 2016: https://www.amazon.com/Toronto-Emoji-Graphic-T-Shirt-Large/dp/B0170DEAE6/

Note: on this shirt, the players are shown in this order, left-to-right: David Price, EE, JBats, Tulo, JoshD
After 2015, David Price left.
After 2016, EE left
After 2017, JBats is most likely gone

Does that mean Tulo is gone after 2018, and JoshD after 2019??

hypobole - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#348989) #
As much as I enjoyed the past 2 playoff runs, Gillick's Jays from 83 to 93 were the most enjoyable baseballball I've seen or will see.
hypobole - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#348990) #
oops - no crying in baseball and only one ball.
scottt - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#348991) #
I don't think Raines was trying to protect his health by moving to left field.

Didn't Travis injure himself running the bases? I don't know that the outfield turf is easier on the knees than the infield dirt. Besides Pillar, the outfielders have not skipped their share of the DL.

As for starting pitchers, I think 8 is a good starting point and I hope Biagini is not 5th.

scottt - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#348992) #
The Pirates have outrighted Drew Hutchison which basically makes him a free agent.
They'd rather work on their pitching prospects than try to fix him.

bpoz - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#348993) #
Why would the Pirates outright Hutch. I can see not wanting to pay him arbitration. Too expensive. Then again this may be the way to see who is interested, so that a trade may be arranged.

I cannot remember as well as before and the rules are much harder to understand.


He could become a reliever. It does not matter. IMO someone will pick him up.
scottt - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#348994) #
Because of his service time in the minors, he'll become a free agent in 2 weeks.

He made 2.2M last year and 2..3M this year. That's a bit much for AAA depth.

PeterG - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#348995) #
Hutch will only get a minor league contract now.
bpoz - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#348996) #
I would take a chance with him. Hutch.
uglyone - Monday, September 18 2017 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#348997) #
"As much as I enjoyed the past 2 playoff runs, Gillick's Jays from 83 to 93 were the most enjoyable baseballball I've seen or will see."


there never is anything quite like the first time.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#348998) #
I have kind of gotten bored just reading about what went wrong, and I much prefer talking about what went right.

Where do folks fall on Matt Dermody? I did;t think much of him early on, but I think he can be an effective LOOGY. He's held lefties to a team best 0.166 wOBA, but has been murdered against right handed pitchers.
scottt - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#348999) #
I think Dermody has reached where he is simply by executing the same plan for every at bat, pitching low and away.
To progress further at the MLB level he needs to learn how to execute different strategies against different hitter.
Plus, he needs to work on his 2-seamer to have something that doesn't move towards the right handed hitter.
He could be best just focusing on holding runners and pitching around right handers too.

Mayza has better stuff but also needs even more time.
It's good to have them up in September.


scottt - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#349000) #
Also, we don't talk about Girodo any more but he's also got good LOOGY potential.
He's got 60 Ks in 50 innings but just doesn't throw that hard.

bpoz - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#349001) #
Rowley got hammered, but he had not pitched in 12 days. He cannot get regular work so these results are not really fair.
PeterG - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#349003) #
I think it is likely that Dermody is in the major league pen next season. He will certainly be on the 40 man roster. It will be a tough call on Rowley. He may not survive off season. There will be a few tough calls, as has been previously mentioned. This will be another.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#349005) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith @bnicholsonsmith
25s
From 2010-16, Jose Bautista led qualified #MLB hitters in both home runs (249) and strikeout to walk ratio (679 K, 661 BB) #BlueJays
uglyone - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#349006) #
Dermody and Mayza?

I like Loup better.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#349007) #
uo - Although I tend to side with you on Loup, I don't see any upside with him. He is what he is. Mayza does have upside if he manages to command the ball better.

But Loup has one overriding talent. If a tough lefty hitter is coming up and Gibbons wants someone to come in and hit him with a pitch, Loup is definitely the guy to bring in. :)
Chuck - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#349008) #
I much prefer talking about what went right... Where do folks fall on Matt Dermody?

I don't know if those were two separate thoughts, or if you saw Dermody's performance as a silver lining. He has been effective against LHP, but it's also worth noting that his FIP is 5.96. Based on this year's splits, he looks like he could become a Javier Lopez type (60-70 G, 30-40 IP). Is that worth getting excited about?

AWeb - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#349009) #
Bautista turned into a great player when he jumped to the "try and hit a home run all the time, or talk a walk" approach, basically all at once. Talk of a "fly-ball" revolution in recent years includes guys like Donaldson who did it explicitly on purpose, but Bautista also showed everyone that it could work, dramatically, for smaller players who weren't supposed to be huge power threats. These guys have always existed of course, but it is fun having him on the Jays.

What I don't see is any way for him to adjust from here. He already failed at being a doubles/high average hitter almost a decade ago and isn't going to figure that out now. He can't swing harder or take more pitches, since he's basically been maxing out those traits since 2009. Today fangraphs posted an article about his declining contact rate and exit velocity, basically figuring he was done. That sounds about right. He doesn't even kill lefties, so there's no apparent role for him on a MLB roster anymore.

However: One of the greatest Blue Jays of all time. I hope he gets a couple more bombs at home before the year ends. Not too much in terms of franchise milestones to chase - score 5 runs for second place, get 2 TB for third place. Unless he has two of his hottest weeks ever, BBREF WAR first place is out of reach. Fangraphs WAR has him first place by 0.5, which would require two truly horrific weeks to lose.

No one else on the roster is a threat to any franchise hitting marks, unless Donaldson resigns and is great (and healthy) for another 6 years.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#349010) #
Update:

Both bwar and fwar have EE/Fowler worth near 6 more wins than Morales/Bautista this year.

That would have our record at 76-74, 2gms back of a wildcard spot, even with all of injuries, and a deadline which saw us as sellers instead of the buyers we may have been.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#349011) #
Bautista's only role if his ego would accept it is a utility bat off the bench. He can cover both outfield corners (poorly) and wasn't terrible at third base. I'm sure he can cover 1B if need be as well. However, if his bat isn't at least league average, then he is limited even in that role. I'd be surprised if he got a big league everyday role this winter. He will either have to accept a reduced role or ride off into the sunset. Either way he will be remembered as a franchise icon. Quite the career for a late bloomer.
PeterG - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#349012) #
Dermody since April:

1.80 ERA, 3.98 including April

opponents OPS of .576

hypobole - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#349013) #
Dave Cameron wonders if this is the end for Jose.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/is-this-the-end-for-jose-bautista/
bpoz - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#349014) #
JP Howell and Loup were supposed to be our top 2 lefties this year. Howell produced nothing. 2017 was Loup's best year of 2015,16 and 17. But I don't like us not being able to send him down if he struggles.

Dermody, Mayza, Borucki and Pannone are risks as lefties in the pen. ie they may struggle.

J Key started in the pen, Sanchez and Biagini too. So maybe it will be ok for Borucki and Pannone as well.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#349015) #
Great story courtesy of Stacy-May Fowles' twitter feed.  Don't worry, the baseball part comes at the end. 
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#349017) #
Great story courtesy of Stacy-May Fowles' twitter feed.

Great story indeed! Definitely a must read!
Glevin - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#349018) #
"That would have our record at 76-74, 2gms back of a wildcard spot, even with all of injuries, and a deadline which saw us as sellers instead of the buyers we may have been."

So if we spent another $30M a year on long term contracts, didn't draft Warmoth or Pearson, we could have now been in third place for the chase for the second wild card position to get into a one game playoff against a much better team? Wow, and we could have even thrown more future assets into this chase? What a dumb front office to not throw away more of the future into trying to sneak into the playoffs for one year. (And that's not to mention that people on here wanted to re-sign Bautista so using him as a yard stick is ridiculous anyway.)
John Northey - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#349019) #
The old 'if only' stuff is fun but pretty much useless at this point.
If only....
resigned David Price: 12 games, 68 IP, 123 ERA+
didn't trade Noah Syndergaard : 5 games, 27 1/3 IP 131 ERA+
kept EE: 146 g, 126 OPS+, 2.4 WAR continuing a 1 WAR drop per year trend (4.7, 3.7, 2.4) suggesting next year 1.7 and a sub 1 the year after while being unable to play anywhere but DH for $20 mil a year.
kept R.A. Dickey: OK, no one begging for this, but 29 starts 175 IP 98 ERA+ 1.7 WAR would be nice in the rotation right now.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#349020) #
those weren't even close to best case scenario signings. other posters were much more interested in the likes of Reddick, who would have made us even better, for cheaper.

EE and Fowler have been just solid, not great signings. But it looks like even just solid signings could have had us in contention this year.

and we should remember that whenever we hear the refrain that this jays team was "nowhere close" to good.
92-93 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#349021) #
Encarnacion + Fowler in 2017: 34.5m
Bautista + Morales in 2017: 28m

And that includes EE + Fowler's signing bonuses, though I'm not sure EE's 5m is being paid entirely this year.

The Jays would've received a draft pick back for Bautista signing with another team before the draft (the most likely scenario), so Pearson isn't a part of the equation. And if the 6m difference was really that big of a deal, they didn't need to sign Pearce and his negative WAR.

The nerve of some people who would prefer competitive, and most importantly, entertaining August/September baseball to Warmoth...
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#349022) #
On another note, Goins and Barney are your DP combination for tonight.  Urena has been struggling and Refsnyder hasn't done much at all, so it's easy to understand why this might happen.  It is still a bitter pill after the FO's inability to find a better option when Travis went down in early June. 
92-93 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#349023) #
Is it easy to understand? KC is basically out of the wild card race, so there isn't really an integrity issue with Gibbons continuing to roll Urena out there to get him more MLB experience. I don't really see the purpose of using Barney.

I bet Stroman over 11 wins at -140 in Vegas (damn WBC inflated his value, it was 10.5 and -110 on the pick sheet), so I certainly don't mind.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#349024) #
I'm not convinced there was a team willing to give up a draft pick in exchange for signing Bautista.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#349025) #
Some of us prefer a more competitive team in the future over a less competitive team now.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#349026) #
I agree that we shouldn't be bothering with Barney and Goins at this point. I'd rather see Urena every day or even Leblebijian (sp?) and Gurriel. I slot Refsnyder into the Barney/Goins category but I could be convinced otherwise by an enthusiastic scout. Health would be the only reason for me to sit any of them in favour of Barney/Goins.

I also agree with gf that nobody was surrendering a draft pick for Jose. Otherwise he would have signed elsewhere.

MLB should really have a progressive system for draft pick compensation. For example, up until April 1 it should be a first round pick, after April it drops to a second round pick etc... until compensation is removed at the draft. If you want, perhaps you can give teams the chance to offer a lower QO before each transition.

I get that you want to provide some protection for teams losing the absolute best free agents but stalling an athlete's career over a miscalculation of the market is pretty harsh.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#349027) #
Is it easy to understand? KC is basically out of the wild card race, so there isn't really an integrity issue with Gibbons continuing to roll Urena out there to get him more MLB experience. I don't really see the purpose of using Barney.

Urena is struggling mightily with no hits and nine strikeouts in his last 18 PAs.  I can understand why a manager might decide to give him a little break- I'm not saying I would but merely that I get the reasoning.
92-93 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#349028) #
Then you might as well also not believe the Jays even offered 4/80 to Encarnacion, because the same person (Heyman) who gave us that figure reported that the Rays (and probably the Indians) made offers to Bautista. The Rays' first pick was protected and they get a competitive balance pick, so getting Bautista at a depressed free agent value because of the qualifying offer may have been appealing to them, even if they had to surrender a later pick.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#349029) #
I would guess Stroman would rather have Goins and Barney behind him. Although I'm sure he would rather have Tulo and Travis.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#349030) #
Also, if the Jays had signed EE and Fowler, this would mean no (or minimal) rotating other players through the DH slot. And prospects would have to be dealt for middle infielders, maybe a catcher, etc., to give the team a realistic chance of competing in the postseason. This may well also have meant no Hernandez, Pannone, Taylor headed to the Jays. So while EE and Fowler might have given the Jays a shot at the second WC spot, the farm system would be significantly worse than it is now as a result, and the Jays would have more hefty contracts (EE, Fowler) on the books going forward. So I'm content that the Jays did not acquire those two players.
PeterG - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#349031) #
How do we know Fowler would have ever signed with Jays and was not just using them to drive up St.Louis offer? Reddick and TO eliminated each other early on in the FA process. Even in the best of times, trying to build through free agency is usually futile, but when you are required to overpay on the overpayments, it becomes foolish in the extreme. Building through your own system and augmenting a little at the right time is the only sensible course.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#349032) #
I find this 'if only' the Jays signed Fowler stuff funny. We all have seen free agents go elsewhere due to non-money issues (often they hate the idea of crossing the border so often). Fowler signed for 5 years in a place often considered baseball heaven - St Louis - many have signed for under market rate to play there. His primary position is CF. I really, really doubt he'd have considered the Jays with Pillar in CF unless the Jays pushed it up to $18+ mil a year (maybe $20 mil) and/or added a 6th year. For a guy in his 30's who has had exactly 1 season of 3+ WAR with negative defensive WAR ratings most seasons (B-R) I see that as crazy to even remotely consider.

I'd much rather see the Jays hold onto that cash and blow it on guys like Shohei Otani, or use it immediately on guys like Lourdes Gourriel. Young players are a far better risk than guys over 30. Far cheaper too. Sometimes I get caught up in the excitement of chasing big name big leaguers but blowing the wad on middle of the road guys like Fowler is the way you get slaughtered.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#349033) #
again, Fowler is just one example, and nowhere close to a best case example. just a decent fairly big money signing.
92-93 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#349034) #
It's a nice theory that the Jays would've had to deal prospects to give the team a realistic chance of competing, but the actions of the front office in 2016 suggest the exact opposite. In fact, we have proof that all it takes is $ to simultaneously get better in the present and for the future using the Liriano trade you are so fond of. I doubt the Mets were asking for much more than a team to be willing to assume Bruce's 13m this winter after spending on Cespedes, and Asdrubal Cabrera demanded a trade at one point md-season and ultimately cleared waivers.

But really, if you're trying to pin down specifics of the cascading effect of signing Fowler/EE, you're entirely missing uglyone's point.
PeterG - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#349035) #
It was believed by baseball commentators such as those on MLB network that the Mets were asking for 2 prospects for Bruce. That is likely the reason he was not traded. No team was willing to pay the asking price.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#349036) #
all it takes is $ to simultaneously get better in the present and for the future

Gosh, it's remarkable that the Yankees ever had to retrench at all in recent seasons, given their $200m-plus payroll. All they had to do was spend the money and watch the winnings seasons and the prospects roll in. Ditto Philadelphia.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#349037) #
Also 92, now that Hutchison has been released outright, he'll be available for the Jays to pick up for '18. I thought you might want to know, given how unhappy you were that the Jays traded him for Liriano and prospects.
92-93 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#349038) #
The Yankees are actually the perfect example of how a big market team can do both at once, that's a great point. They acquired Chapman when nobody else wanted the wife-choker and turned him into one of baseball's top 5 prospects, and then went right out and signed him again to a record setting contract for a reliever despite supposedly taking 2017 off to reset. They similarly gave Andrew Miller a 4 year deal prior to 2015 and turned him into a top prospect last year.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#349039) #
It must really have irked the 92-93's of the Yankees fan base when they capitulated in 2016 and flipped Miller and Chapman for prospects, when they still had a chance at the WC. Just as bad, they also declined to trade a Severino-headlined package for Price in order to go for it in 2015, opting for sustainable excellence instead of lathering up with more veterans.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#349040) #
Yankee fans have an advantage of having more WS titles to look back at than any other fans. The Jays have 2 which is nice but its been a long time now (24 years) so about time for another win. 2015/16 was a great opportunity but just short both years.

Now for the Jays in 2018 and beyond there are decent prospects at most positions...
CA: Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire
1B: Rowdy Tellez (yeah, horrid year)
2B: no one really close who is good
SS: Bo Bichette, Richard Urena
3B: Vlad Guerrero
OF: Dwight Smith Jr, Anthony Alford, Teoscar Hernandez, plus Dalton Pompey still kicking around

That probably is the most position player depth that will be at AA or higher at once in years here next season. Shift Bichette to 2B and one of the OF to DH and you have a full lineup with a backup catcher even. Perfect? Heck no. Still, a good step for the future.
92-93 - Tuesday, September 19 2017 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#349045) #
This new approach of the Shapologists to tackle arguments that are never made is quite amusing.

Here's what I said about Hutchison a few weeks ago: "Hutchison is exactly the type of depth that the current front office laments not having around in the upper minors."

Reminds me of when you accused me of being the leading voice on wanting Sanchez to start 2016 in the minors, despite me saying nothing of the sort (it was, in fact, a fellow Shapologist leading that charge). I can see why you'd get worked up though, considering that right after that comment I called into question your brilliant idea of beating the market for Rich Hill's services, which would've likely cost around 3/60 to get him to turn down 3/48 from LAD. I'm actually surprised Hill will finish with around 135 innings, considering that will be the most innings he's thrown since 2007.

Also, good one comparing the Jays' return for Liriano to the Yankees receiving Frazier and Torres for Miller and Chapman. I certainly long for the days when, after 20 years of winning at least 84 games + 13 division titles + 5 World Series championships, that the Jays can trade elite talent they've acquired/signed for cream of the crop prospects.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#349050) #
Just to clear up my point - it was a simple observation that with a firm committment to contending this year from the org, simply making 2 frontline FA signings (not steals, not bargains, but just getting what you paid for big ticket FAs) for the same payroll hit as our bargain bin buys, the entire narrative of this roster being "not close" to the playoffs would be debunked.

I've been thinking about the oft talked about "risks" of big ticket FA signings. i.e. that you get stuck with bad value years in the backend of them, and that by a value analysis most of those deals are bad.

but didn't we essentially just buy those exact same backend bad value years on the FA market this year with our "low risk" deals, without the benefit of having the decent value frontend years? if we compared a typical 5yr big ticket free agent to 5yrs of using that money on these "low risk" deals.....do we actually come out with better value in the end if many of the years end up with the negative value FA purchases on our low risk shortterm deals that we seem so terrified of on the backend of longterm deals to better FAs?
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 02:56 AM EDT (#349053) #
Ugly, the low-risk multi-year deals we have currently are Happ, Pearce, Estrada, Smoak and Morales. I suppose you could include Martin as well, if you think of him as not having been a premium free agent, but I don't think of him as a modest signing.

Now, nobody really liked the Morales deal, and certainly it looks terrible - but it's only $33m in total. Pearce likewise is a relatively small total outlay. But with Estrada and Happ, we have received significant excess value up front - Happ has banked 7.5 WAR in the first two years of his contract - providing roughly $38m in extra value. Estrada likewise last year provided roughly $16m in extra value. Smoak has been a huge surprise, but you do have to set off disappointments like Morales and Pearce against Smoak, who has been worth nearly $30m while being paid less than $5m.

So we clearly have gotten some great front-end value years, and we simply don't face the kind of back-end risk that the bigger contracts carry.

I certainly don't want to say that we should never sign the big-ticket FA; but it's just not the case that the Jays haven't gotten some great value on the front end of the more modest signings they have made.
Glevin - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 03:20 AM EDT (#349054) #
People have to understand that going for it has evolved as baseball has. In 1987 it may have made sense for the Tigers to trade Smoltz for Alexander and in 1992 it may have made sense for the Jays to trade Kent for Cone but either trade would be idiotic now because making the playoffs has gone from a 1/7 chance with a roughly 25% chance of winning the world series once you're in the playoffs to a 1/3 of all teams making the playoffs and a much more difficult playoff run. The goal is now to be a contending team every year rather than going all for the playoffs because making the playoffs has been devalued. Trading any significant part of your future for a chance at a second wild card is dumb. It's especially dumb because the Jays are still not in a good position to win. You think that this team with Fowler and Encarnacion has a real shot at the World Series? They still would be maybe the fifth best team in the AL. A better version of the Jays got beaten by a much worse Cleveland team last year.

But let's play out this "dream scenario" anyway. If they wanted to compete, they'd certainly need to trade for a very good starter. So they can go get a rental like Darvish for what? Something like Alford plus a minor prospect? Urena and two decent prospects? Either way, for this playoff run where the Jays would still have around a 2% shot of making the World Series and a good chance of still not making the playoffs, they would have to sign two long-term expensive contracts which would basically lock up $80M a year in four players none of whom is all that good and they would lose Pearson, Warmoth, Hernandez, and another top-5 prospect at least. So, they would hurt themselves long-term enormously for a tiny chance at glory? How is this good asset management? No mentally competent front office would do that.

Every single team can play the hindsight game. If only they had signed that one minor league free agent who did well this year. If only they had traded for the player who broke out, etc..The Jays are 71-80. They are not close to being a good team and that's not because the front office didn't sigh big names.

And the thing is the hindsight game never stops because the people playing the game are constantly playing it with ever changing rules. You want to sign Price and sign Bautista and Encarnacion to long extensions? You criticize the front office for not doing that. Those moves would have ruined the Jays for a decade but there is no shame from people who wanted that. Instead, the same people can then criticize the same front office for signing Bautista to a cheaper one-year deal. And then what? If Bautista signed somewhere else and hits, you'd criticize the team for not holding on to him. It never ends. If you are never actually responsible for decisions, if your decisions are never on the record, you can always criticize and the criticisms of this front office are almost all absurd hindsight ones.
scottt - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 07:40 AM EDT (#349055) #
Yeah, it was made clear that the Mets wanted to recover the prospects they had lost in acquiring Bruce. They held on to him until August and all they got was an A ball reliever.  It's Granderson that they should have traded, in the end all they got for him (and paying part of his remaining salary) is a AAA reliever.

The Mets front office looks really bad to me and they compete for fans with the Yankees.

Baltimore and Tampa lose again. Only 2 games ahead of the Jays now.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#349057) #
So apparently the Jays and Estrada have officially agreed to a one year extension. Considering how late it is in the season I guess he really did want to come back.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#349058) #
Edwin signed for 3/60. Fowler signed for 5/82. Over the next three years, Edwin alone nearly makes as much as Bautista, Morales, and Pearce will combined ($64M for the latter three). You can't look at one year of a contract. You look at the totality of the investment involved. The Jays were not going to trump 5/82 with a full NTC for Fowler, and while they likely would have gotten Edwin back at 3/60 if they waited, ultimately what difference would it have made other than not having Pearson in the org?

If the Jays committed $150M for two players (Edwin/Fowler) instead of $64M for three, they would have been 1-2 games out of a playoff spot in the final week (plus) of September. That in itself should be telling. This team was not going to be a true contender regardless. Injuries, age, decline, etc, did them in.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#349060) #
Glevin, this is nothing remotely close to either a "dream scenario" or "hindsight", and you know it.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#349061) #
Agree with the "Shapologists," that the front office is on the right track. Again, it comes down to the next two years when the Jays are competing and ready for extra pieces... Will the front office buy expensive contracts or trade for players that can help the team? I think they will and it's pointless to assume that they won't when they haven't gotten to that spot yet. Just because some on here think that the roster this year was ready doesnt mean management did.

I'm fully expecting one of two scenarios this off-season. 1) resign JD and find a veteran infielder and left handed hitter with speed. Tulo and JD will lead this team. Wilner keeps referencing that Tulo was playing hurt the last 2 years. If that's true he can come back strong with this time off (he can't come back any worse). In this scenario the office keeps collecting prospects and building the farm system to slowly replace expiring contracts or to trade for better players. It's a perfect mix of bridging the gap and mixing the existing team with the next wave.

2) jays trade Donaldson, Pillar and maybe Osuna (most attractive players to trade) for high end prospects similar to the Andrew Miller/Chapman/Darvish trades and tries to do an accelerated rebuild ready to compete for 2019.

My sense is this office will do either of these scenarios or possibly both by signing JD, trading Osuna, getting a stud hitter back.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#349062) #
and yes, SK, for the identical annual expenditure on better FAs this team could have been in playoff position now even with the horrendous injuries. that itself should be telling.
CeeBee - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#349063) #
"And the thing is the hindsight game never stops because the people playing the game are constantly playing it with ever changing rules. You want to sign Price and sign Bautista and Encarnacion to long extensions? You criticize the front office for not doing that. Those moves would have ruined the Jays for a decade but there is no shame from people who wanted that. Instead, the same people can then criticize the same front office for signing Bautista to a cheaper one-year deal. And then what? If Bautista signed somewhere else and hits, you'd criticize the team for not holding on to him. It never ends. If you are never actually responsible for decisions, if your decisions are never on the record, you can always criticize and the criticisms of this front office are almost all absurd hindsight ones."

Sounds like you've been to the Pat and Buck school of team spin.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#349064) #
"and yes, SK, for the identical annual expenditure"


If every player signed a one year deal, then sure, it would be identical. However, the deals were long-term. Three years for Edwin and five for Fowler (that's assuming the Jays could have gotten him to begin with). Comparing their 2017 salaries is not an accurate depiction of what signing them would have cost. There's about a $90M difference between what the Jays got and what you are suggesting they should have gotten (Bautista/Morales vs. Edwin/Fowler), and that's just based on what everyone actually got. The Jays may have had to add a year or add a lot more money to convince Fowler to sign with them.

If you add six wins to the Jays right now, they are 1 game out of a playoff spot. A 2nd WC playoff spot, so a one game playoff on the road in a best case scenario. Obviously they would have kept Joe Smith in this scenario, so that's another win. So now they are tied for the 2nd WC. All that while adding over $100M in salary and losing four prospects (Pearson/Warmoth/Pannone/Taylor). Of course, they could have bought at the deadline, and the best SP available as Glevin mentioned was Darvish. In that scenario, that's one more win for whatever it would have cost to get him.

Do you see how exhausting this exercise is just to get the Jays to be in the playoff conversation as a 2nd WC team? That would have been a lot of lost prospect capital and a lot more money spent for a team that still may have missed the playoffs while hurting more of the future to do it.

The argument that the FO could have had a better off-season is valid, but this was not going to be a playoff team given the amount of injuries and decline to key players that they had.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#349066) #
Glevin that's a very good point about the decreased value of "going for it".

This is more relevant in the case of our team because people can see the next wave of talent coming and the upside that it has. We wouldn't have been just replenishing a barren farm system we would have been beefing up one poised to help the team very soon. I would argue that the market inefficiency now is strategically making the decision to do just that. Ignoring our many other intriguing prospects, we have two of the top 20 position player prospects in all of baseball. They should be ready within the next 1-3 years with Guerrero having a fairly low risk of failure. Shipping Donaldson for a top 5 prospect (pitching or position) could have really accelerated the window for our next team contention. Ditto Osuna and maybe Smoak.

Teoscar was a very good move in this regard, but it came without the PR risk that Donaldson and Osuna would have. I personally would have liked to see the front office make the hard decision here.

Admittedly this opinion comes from a less informed state than Atkins. Perhaps if I saw the offers for Donaldson/Osuna then I would have changed my tune.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#349067) #
SK, I am in agreement with you that the cost of competing this year would have been expensive. But I don't think your math on wins added there adds up so easily. Otherwise the 2015 Jays wouldn't have won the division.

uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#349068) #
"Do you see how exhausting this exercise is just to get the Jays to be in the playoff conversation as a 2nd WC team? "

Seems like your argument is much more exhausting than mine is, tbh.

It's a rather simple, easy point. That even in this disaster year of injuries, replete with being sellers at the deadline, we still could have been in playoff position at the moment with just a good, not great, performance in the free agent market this past offseason.

your argument is much simpler than you want it to be too. You think being hamstrung by some dead money in 2019-20 is a bigger evil than spending to make the playoffs now. That's it, that's all. But that's weird, given that even you don't think the next core will be ready to contend in 2019 or 2020.
James W - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#349070) #
Seems like your argument is much more exhausting than mine is, tbh.

It's approximately equal, really.
Spifficus - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#349072) #
The particularly weak trajectory of the second wildcard slot is muddying this discussion. It's far less appealing to say "If they had just spent $100M extra over the next few years, they could be on pace for 82 wins now!"

In the end, they suffered injuries or underperformance from 4/5ths of their rotation, saw 4/5ths of their infield injured for significant time (including their best player for 6 weeks), saw their former-best player abruptly succumb to age, and their biggest offseason signing not turn fly ball exit velocities into more HRs (which is what I was hoping). This was a normal wild-card contender going into the year, but that's a lot of negatives. If EE and Fowler had signed, I'd definitely hire people to help them cross the street out of fear of errant busses.
92-93 - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#349075) #
Allow me to amend that sentence for you, uglyone. It should read: "You think being hamstrung by some dead money in 2019-2020 is a bigger evil than being hamstrung by 34m of dead money in 2017 with Donaldson in arbitration".

The Jays spent all their $ this offseason on 3 rosters spots producing a -2.3war, but we're supposed to be concerned about the FUTURE effect on payroll? And now the front office appears ready to double down on this roster they apparently don't actually think is championship calibre, when it's a year older and coming off a year riddled with injuries? It's all very confusing.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#349078) #
"The particularly weak trajectory of the second wildcard slot is muddying this discussion."

eh, the competitive landscape and lack of powerhouse teams this year, especially in the East, was always a factor in asssessing competitiveness this offseason.
Spifficus - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#349081) #
The current 2nd wildcard is on pace for 84 wins, which would be the lowest for a wildcard by 2. The 2015 Astros had 86 wins, and a few teams had 87. I'd personally consider 87 to 88 to be what I'd normally consider as a weak year. If this pace holds, it would be unprecedented.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#349083) #
records don't exist in a vacuum. they are a measure of relative strength of teams compared to each other.
PeterG - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#349087) #
I don't think anyone really expected so many teams to be mediocre in the off season. It's an outlier and likely won't be repeated next season.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#349091) #
Whatever the viewpoint, yeah, it was a bad offseason for the FO.

One thing I'm going to add, for the people who claim Free Agent X signed for so much, we could have had him for a similar amount. Over and above playing in a foreign country, on turf instead of grass etc, are the taxation levels.

Here is what 10 players make and what taxes they pay. Kyle Lowry's disparity is fairly sizable, even compared to players in California, which is considered a high tax state.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20715128/nba-player-salaries-take-home-pay

There was a valid reason AA complained about agents demanding greater amounts to sign here and why he favoured the route of trading for large contracts rather than signing FA's.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#349093) #
"I don't think anyone really expected so many teams to be mediocre in the off season."

pretty sure everyone looked at the landscape and saw not much in the way of untouchable teams at the top.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 20 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#349096) #
"It's a rather simple, easy point. That even in this disaster year of injuries, replete with being sellers at the deadline, we still could have been in playoff position at the moment with just a good, not great, performance in the free agent market this past offseason."


The 2nd WC team might finish with less than 85 wins this year, and possibly closer to 82. That's really the only reason this is even a conversation. In 2016 you needed 89 wins to get the 2nd WC. Losing more prospects and adding more unmovable (for various reasons) expensive contracts just to get to .500 in a year where in hindsight being .500 *might* get you a 2nd WC spot is not a smart way to build a roster. There is a good chance that adding Edwin/Fowler would not have made this a playoff team in 2017, and then you tack on the extra years/high dollars from 2018-beyond, and it becomes even worse.

I have no issues with signing free agents in general, but in this particular case, it was who they ended up with (or moreso how they performed) rather than who they missed out on. They replaced Price very well. Edwin, not so much. Ultimately, it wouldn't have made a huge difference.



"your argument is much simpler than you want it to be too. You think being hamstrung by some dead money in 2019-20 is a bigger evil than spending to make the playoffs now. That's it, that's all. But that's weird, given that even you don't think the next core will be ready to contend in 2019 or 2020."

Signing Fowler/Edwin would have cost picks that might help the team in 2019-20. Being buyers at the deadline for a faint chance at a 2nd WC when the team's core is already old and declining would have cost prospects that might help the team in 2019-20. Doubling down should not have been an option, and I'm glad it wasn't. Teams sign contracts for more than one season. Any contract that will affect future seasons, especially when the win curve for those seasons dramatically decreases, has more consideration than just the first year. If the Jays had a $200M payroll, then they could afford to trash some of their mistakes, but clearly with Rogers that will never be the case.

As far as adding wins based on WAR, I was just doing that for argument's sake (how many wins does X player add and how much closer does it get them to overtake the Twins). It wasn't meant to be super accurate, just a baseline of how far this team actually is.
scottt - Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#349197) #
I don't know how the Orioles have been able to maintain a reasonable amount of success since 2012 with the rosters they have had. Hopefully when Machado leaves it will be the end of the line for them.

I don't know. Trey Mancini has looked pretty good. They should trade Machado in the off-season for a load of prospects. They just need a bit of pitching to carry through. I'm envious of those strong starts they seem to experience every year.
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