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This debacle of a season is almost over with just three afternoon games to go.

Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Friday @ 1:05 pm ET - Joe Biagini (3-12, 5.34) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (12-12, 4.94)
Saturday @ 1:05 pm ET - Marcus Stroman (13-8, 3.06) vs. Jaime Garcia (5-10, 4.41)
Sunday @ 3:05 pm ET - Brett Anderson (2-2, 6.04) vs. Jordan Montgomery (9-7, 3.96)
Blue Jays @ Yankees - September 29-October 1 | 232 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#349663) #
With all the Donaldson talk, I added a poll question on the left.
Chuck - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#349668) #
Not a good week for ex-Expos. Warthen deemed worthless. Mackanin canned.

On a positive note for le tricolore, Francona figures to be employed for a while. And Colon has probably another 5-10 years left in him. Anyone I'm missing?

uglyone - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#349670) #
I'd like to see the yanks sweep, because F boston.

Biagini's Final Season Line:

As SP: 18gs, 4.9ip/gs, 17.9k%, 7.7bb%, 129era-, 98fip-, 96xfip-, 1.2fwar, -0.4ra9war, 0.7awar/32gs
As RP: 26gms, 31.2ip, 21.4k%, 9.5bb%, 96era-, 90fip-, 86xfip-, 0.3fwar, 0.4ra9war, 0.7awar/65ip

Not a bad effort, but I'd rather not go into next year with biagini pencilled into the rotation I don't think.
jerjapan - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#349672) #
Biagini is a great depth option, but I agree, we clearly need a superior 5th starter option.  Not sure if Anderson is superior, but a competition with several Anderson-types might be.  I think Borucki is the sleeper here, even though it goes against the current MO of the FO.

In today's chat Jeff Sullivan doesn't think JD is going to be available in a trade, but he talks about Jack Flaherty as a reasonable return from St Louis (by far the most obvious trade partner) if he was.  I assume there would be some other assets involved, but Flaherty is the key piece (currently the 47th best prospect per MLB)-  would you guys do that trade?  My preference is to resign JD, trade him, or keep him as part of a run at 2018 in that order.  I'd bet money that the FO is going with option C. 

What bugs me about that is that we can still make a run at 2018 with the right trade. 

uglyone - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#349674) #
Flaherty would be an underwhelming return for an MVP calibre player, I would think.
Ducey - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#349675) #
So apparently the Cards are going to "strongly pursue" Donaldson this winter.

The incumbent is Gyorko who hit 20 hr and .272/ .341 this yr. He is at 3.6 WAR. If that is sustainable, I would think TOR might be interested in him, if STL throws in some good prospects.

I don't think Donaldson will sign an extension and this type of "tampering" confirms it for me. He will test free agency. Getting Gyorko would give them a pretty good 3B (he is no JD) under control to 2020.

Do the Cards have any good prospects?
jerjapan - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#349676) #
Sure they do.  Most orgs could swing a deal for JD, but the Cards have 5 top 100 guys per MLB - not the best source for prospects, but a fair way to get a general sense of the org.

Reyes is a monster if healthy.  Drives me nuts that his - and any athletes - career has been slowed due to a marijuana suspension. 

lexomatic - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#349677) #
I think Biagini gets closer to his FIP numbers and more than 5 IP/GS with more than one real outfielder playing and a healthy infield. That would be an acceptable back-end of the rotation option, but not my first choice either.
I think Flaherty is definitely light for Donaldson. I'd rather sign Donaldson for 18/19 though I think that's unlikely.

PeterG - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#349678) #
Gyorko + Flaherty or maybe another pitcher deemed closer to bigs. You can't expect monster return for only one guaranteed year of JD.
Chuck - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#349679) #
I don't think Donaldson will sign an extension

Nor do I. He was a late bloomer is getting to free agency relatively late. This will be his one big chance for a monster contract. May as well see what's out there and let Toronto compete with the other bidders if they are truly interested.

Ducey - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#349680) #
Thanks jerjapan.

JD for Gyorko and 2 of Reyes, Kelly, Flaherty, or O'Neill. That's what I would be looking for.
hypobole - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#349681) #
Biagini could definitely be part of the rotation. The Buffalo rotation.

Richard S.S. - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#349682) #
Josh Donaldson to St. Louis for Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia, one of Alex Reyes or Jack Flaherty and one of Carson Kelly or Tyler O'Neill is just about right.
85bluejay - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#349683) #
I'd pass on Jedd Gyorko and opt for more quality prospects - get a placeholder for 3rd until Vlad. arrives.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#349684) #
The appeal of Gyorko would be solving a short-term hole while also adding some cost certainty. He shouldn't come back in place of prospects, but as one piece of the return, he would make a lot of sense for a Jays team that ideally would want to maximize their asset without fully giving up on 2018. Gyorko plus 3 prospects, and it's a tempting scenario, especially with the likelihood of Donaldson signing an extension or signing with the Jays at all being very small (for many reasons, including going to the highest bidder which the Jays almost assuredly won't be if he goes on the open market).

Maximizing the return on Donaldson while also trying to sneak into the 2nd WC spot would be the best way to go about the off-season, IMO. If the Jays were a projected 90+ win team with Donaldson in 2018 then that's a different story, but chances are they'll be projected closer to .500, and a trade in that scenario becomes a lot more enticing to avoid losing him for nothing.
scottt - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#349685) #
It's not just one year of JD. It's one year of JD and a compensation pick when he walks off.
The compensation pick is basically a second round pick.
So you're talking 7 WAR plus a top pick from this year. It probably takes 2 players to produce those 7 WAR.

scottt - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#349686) #
He wasn't terrible. Obviously the Jays are trying to hold unto last place.
Imagine Baltimore drafting in front of the Jays and picking up waiver claims all off-season as well.
Magpie - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#349688) #
I don't think Donaldson will sign an extension

"Hey, Jose. You signed an extension when you were 30 instead of testing the market. Tell me about it."
jerjapan - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#349690) #
I believe the comp pick is after the second round.  It's not nothing, but the 64th pick or so in the draft is no huge deal. 
scottt - Friday, September 29 2017 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#349691) #
Bo Bichette was the 66th pick.
scottt - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#349692) #
The Orioles lost 7-0 and they're going to send Castro against Archer tomorrow.

The Red Sox are playing the Astros. There is still a chance for a tie-breaker game at Yankees stadium.
That would be so great. It's a bit like watching a no-hitter.

Glevin - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 03:45 AM EDT (#349693) #
Flaherty wouldn't be enough for me but no interest in Gyorko. He's 29 and makes a lot of money. I'd be much more interested as a second piece, in Grichuck, Bader, or Piscotty who are all cheap and have upside. The Jays need young cost controlled players and prospects back. Something like Flaherty and O'Neil(a canuck) and a raw player in a ball might work but it would be amazing if they would be willing to give up weaver or Reyes. The cardinals do have the players to get it done but the more teams interested the better. I hope someone like Atlanta would get involved who have a surplus of middle infield prospects and tons of good pitching prospects and want to make a splash. I would definitely not sell cheap in the offseason though. If the Jays don't get an offer they like, they should hold on to Donaldson.
PeterG - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#349694) #
I can't see Cards doing such a deal unless Gyorko is coming back this way. Most of the deals being proposed are too one sided imo. Jays can't expect prospects and not take any salary back, especially when it is a player the Cards will no longer need.
hypobole - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#349695) #
Been pondering

A non-contender calls up rookie starter midway through the season.
Which results are preferable:

a) ERA 5.00, FIP 3.50
b) ERA 3.50, FIP 5.00

A contender trades for a half-season rental starter at the end of July.
Which results are preferable:

a) ERA 5.00, FIP 3.50
b) ERA 3.50, FIP 5.00

I'd definitely choose a) for the rookie, because future projection is paramount,but b) for the rental, because only results matter in a pennant race.

SK in NJ - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#349696) #
I'd be OK with Gyorko, Reyes, and Grichuk. The Cardinals wouldn't need Gyorko in that scenario, and they have an excess of outfielders so moving someone like Grichuk would be dealing from a position of strength. Would they move Reyes coming off injury? Who knows. But that's the type of deal I would expect Rogers/the FO to look for. Something that still gives them a glimmer of hope in 2018 while also helping them in future years. They won't be rebuilding so a deal strictly involving prospects is likely out of the question.
PeterG - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#349697) #
It seems there are still 6 teams which could finish in draft positions 10-15. There could be ties in the overall standings. Does anyone know what the tiebreakers are.?
sweat - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#349698) #
This isn't a league with a salary cap, lots of trades have been very one sided in terms of salary. That said, taking back salary could also improve the prospect return. Gyorko probably doesn't fit that mold, given he's been a 3 WAR player for each of his last two years and underpaid for his current production.
PeterG - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#349699) #
Apparently, the tie breaker is based on last season's position in the standings. That does not bode well for the Jays in terms of 2018 draft position.
bpoz - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#349700) #
Predicting 2018 hypobole? Excellent pondering. Could be reality. Half way and July 31 are very close in time.

A pitching prospect could earn/deserve a call up around then.

I firmly believe that the Jays will contend in 2018 even without Donaldson. Milwaukee, Colorado and Minnesota are all close to the 87 win mark. For 2017 I expected Toronto, Texas, TB and Baltimore to contend. Be in a pennant race. For the NL SF, St Louis and NYM.

If they are contending without Donaldson then they do the trade for a veteran SP, or something, and hope for the best. As long as they are in the race, until mid Sept or later the fans should come out.
John Northey - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#349701) #
Our current GM hasn't hesitated afaik to take on salary to get prospects (the Liriano trades) so I wouldn't be shocked if he took back salary in a Donaldson trade to ensure he got a selection of quality prospects back. This should be a fun offseason, even if the Jays do lose Donaldson in it, just due to the fun of watching big trades. Back in 1990/1991 offseason it was a blast as the Jays put the key parts in place for the 92/93 WS wins. Can't imagine a bigger trade than the McGriff/Fernandez for Carter/Alomar deal. I'd be happy with a Felix for White type deal.
scottt - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#349702) #
FIP is terrible at predicting future outcome.

Take Stroman for example, each year his FIP has been worst.
You think his value is dwindling?

In actuality, he's been getting better.

Estrada's FIP jump up about 1 point when he moved to the AL.
His ERA+ went up the same way.

Rookies have problems counter adjusting to the hitters, repeating their delivery, developing their secondary pitches...
At lot of that is mostly unpredictable.
FIP is just a measure of pitching that ignores balls in play.
Why would that predict the future?

scottt - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#349703) #
Losing is imperative.
bpoz - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#349704) #
I understand ERA but not FIP. I assume hypobole's numbers are reasonably realistic.

Pitchers/hitters are always making adjustments in the hope of succeeding. Would Ricky Romero be a recent candidate to use in this type of analysis?
scottt - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#349705) #
Leadership in the clubhouse could be an issue.
The team could easily have a 2013 type year if there's no vet hustling on the field.

bpoz - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#349706) #
It took a long time for me to understand your comment scottt. If injuries or a trade takes away our leaders, JD, Tulo, Bautista and Martin, then yes, no hustling veteran.
uglyone - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#349707) #
FIP is not a predictor of future performance, but a more accurate read on current performance. As with any stat, it is just one stat and can't tell us everything, but it's more accurate than era, especially in smaller samples.

Stroman is an excellent example. Here how his league adjusted stats as an SP are by year, from this year going back:

FIP-: 87, 87, 87, 74 (career 84)
xFIP-: 81, 80, 83, 84 (career 81)

ERA-: 69, 103, 41, 94 (career 84)

ERA shows us a wildly inconsistent pitcher who alternates between super elite and average, around a very good career total.

FIP and xFIP show us a consistently very good to pitcher, completely in line with his career fips and his career era.

So you can believe that his performance has been wildly different from year to year and somehow averaged out to his fips by luck, or you can believe that he's been mostly the same guy, with the shorter term swings in era being typical small sample variance.

DavidtheDeuce - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#349708) #
Excellent explanation Ugly
pooks137 - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#349709) #

Does Rob Refsnyder survive the offseason on the 40-man?

Gibby hasn't played him much considering both Tulo and Travis are out, showing preference for Barney who is a FA.

Refsnyder is out-of-options next year, is pre-arb with 5 years of control left, can't play short, doesn't look good at 2B by the eye test and hasn't hit well again in a brief audition in the bigs for a third consecutive year

Chuck - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#349710) #
Refsnyder can't hit and can't field. Other than that, he's perfect.
pooks137 - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#349711) #

It's easy to forget that Refsnyder is on the team until he pinch-hits or pinch-runs late in the game once in a while

Considering the Jays have been out of contention since August and both their starters are hurt, Refsnyder's lack of playing time suggests Gibbons has already given up on him.

You'd think they'd be taking a closer look at him if they were planning on letting him compete for a backup spot next spring

PeterG - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#349712) #
Ref will likely be DFA shortly after the season. With a bit of a 40 man crunch coming, I see no way he stays on 40 man. He would have played more if under any kind of consideration.
lexomatic - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#349713) #
FIP is terrible at predicting future outcome.

It's better than a lot of freely available stats for the reasons Ugly points out below. because it can show that performance is in fact stable when some stats fluctuate. It is considered more (my emphasis) predictive because the results are more under the pitchers' control (walks, k's, hrs) and should therefore be more likely to be repeated. Doesn't mean it IS predictive. Stroman was a great example for this discussion.

So you can believe that his performance has been wildly different from year to year and somehow averaged out to his fips by luck, or you can believe that he's been mostly the same guy, with the shorter term swings in era being typical small sample variance.

Estrada's FIP jump up about 1 point when he moved to the AL.
His ERA+ went up the same way.

One of the flaws of FIP is it doesn't accurately capture players who appear to have actual skill at things that are generally considered chance, or defense-aided (Estrada's ability to affect babip).  Your point above, Scottt, is just wrong. Estrada's ERA 4.36 in 2014(NL)  to 3.13 in 2015 (AL),  and his FIP 4.88 2014 (NL) to 4.40 2015 (AL) I don't happen to have era+, but I do have era- (smaller is better) and in 2014 Estrada's was 116, and in 2015 it was 77.Both ERA and FIP improved. I just don't understand what point you were trying to make here. Maybe you can clarify it?
GabrielSyme - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#349714) #
In terms of predicting future outcomes, I tend to think SIERA>xFIP>FIP>ERA

But over time, it's important to look at a pitcher's ERA differential against FIP or xFIP. For a veteran, you'll tend to see patterns. For his career, Estrada has outperformed his FIP and xFIP, and he does so for a very evident reason: he gets a lot of pop-outs. So ERA does tell something that xFIP can't.
Chuck - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#349715) #
At 118 for 586, Bautista is currently batting .201. He can go 0 for 4 and still be batting .200. Even 0 for 5 gets his BA rounded to .200. So I think he starts and doesn't get pulled, as I believe he might were there a chance of his average dipping to .199.
scottt - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#349716) #
If you define pitcher performance using only walks, strikeouts and homeruns, than FIP is the best measure.
xFIP takes it one further and only looks at walks and strikeouts, because a pitcher's homeruns can vary wildy making FIP a jittery number. xFIP is a stable number, by definition. xFIP will say that Grilli is mostly the same guy.

Is Stroman the same guy?
His stikeout to walk ratio has dropped from 3 to 2.66. Strangely xFIP doesn't seem to mind much.
The homeruns are up, so FIP should be up across the league, but Stroman has not given more homeruns.
His FIP is up because he's walking more batters, but I'm not sure what's keeping the xFIP down.
His flyball ratio is down .7%, I 'm sure the homeruns are up by more than that. Weird.

I've seen Stroman come up as a rookie who struggled out of the pen but was effective as a starter.
Then there was the leg injury and he was excellent for 7 games.
The following year he seems determined to join the 200 inning club. To achieve that, he seemed to pitch to contact which led to poor results. He quickly recognized that he needs to live in the low and outside quadrant of the strike zone. This makes him predictable. Changing speed is not his game. So he ran into issues the 3rd time through the lineup. He started to focus more on changing his rhythm. When a hitter starts fouling pitches, he just walks him and get the next guy to ground into a double play.
He was always a big game pitcher, but he's definitively refined his game even if xFIP doesn't see it.

scottt - Saturday, September 30 2017 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#349717) #
Orioles losing again. I guess it's a 10-13th finished between Toronto, Baltimore and Miami.

I hope Cole gets an inning. Not a lot to look for.

Glevin - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 04:13 AM EDT (#349718) #
FIP is better than ERA but is also problematic and no one stat is close to perfect. So many people want to be able to say Player X is better than player Y because his WAR/FIP/SIERRA/ better but everything is context. Sean Foreman of Baseball Reference says:

"We state clearly that we donít find differences of 1-2 wins to be definitive.".

We are talking on here as if a player with a 1 WAR is good and worth exactly X number of dollars and adding a 2 WAR player will give us 2 wins and -0.5 WAR player is bad and not worth having on the team and the creators of WAR are telling us that there is essentially no definitive difference between those players.
PeterG - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#349719) #
Looks like it will be pick 11 or 12 Scott, depending upon Jays & Orioles results today.
uglyone - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#349720) #
143 games for goins this year.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#349721) #
About 4 years ago, Thomas ran a contest asking us to pick a rookie pitcher from each division and to compare win totals over the 5 years for them.  My group was "Blue Jay tears" and included Syndegaard and Paxton.  I also had Jon Gray.  The careers of the 3 of them since are nice illustrations of the unpredictability of pitching.  All have been overwhelming at one point or the other, but never really at the same time. 

I am pretty sure that I'll be in the middle of the pack when the scores are totalled. 

BlueJayWay - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#349722) #
Rob Lonley reports on twitter that "Josh Donaldson says he has approached #Jays management with his desire to be part of the team's long-term future."

greenfrog - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#349723) #
If VGJ can play third base, how does Donaldson fit into the Jays future long term (i.e., beyond 2018)? Is it worth paying him (say) 6/180 to play first base and DH for the next half-dozen seasons?
uglyone - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#349724) #
Doubt vlad is ever a better fielder than donaldson in any season.
John Northey - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#349725) #
From what I've read Vlad can play 3B but not at a level in eyeshot of Donaldson (gold glover). So if JD is resigned long term he'll stick at 3B and Vlad go to one of 1B/LF/RF I suspect with time at 3B to give JD a break (or cover for injuries). Bo Bichette also will probably move if he gets here soon - 2B most likely - while also covering Tulo's annual injuries at SS.

It could be a lot of fun come 2019 and beyond around here with those 2 kids and others working their way up by then.
SK in NJ - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#349726) #
If the Jays sign Donaldson long-term, then Guerrero is likely moved to 1B. They wouldn't move Donaldson as he is a veteran and usually that doesn't happen unless the vet volunteers to (or wants to). Plus, Guerrero's future value will almost entirely be tied to his bat, so I doubt it will make much difference what position he plays unless he happens to be a great defensive 3B (which he could be but I doubt it). He still projects as a star at 1B.

I doubt Donaldson is extended, though. Saying all the right things and actually doing it are two different things.
PeterG - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#349727) #
I doubt it also. The smart move is still to trade him in off season. If JD, Estrada, Happ and possibly another starting pitcher all walked after 2018, team would be into a major major rebuild. It can be done more gradually and likely more successfully if done properly.
hypobole - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#349728) #
Weird stats from FG's Sunday notes:

Oaklandís Matt Olson has 24 home runs and two doubles. Texasís Joey Gallo has 32 singles and 41 home runs.
Thomas - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#349729) #
The odds I remember to post the results of that contest are very low, Mike. I will rely on your memory.

The Jays continue reshaping their minor league coaching staff by firing Double-A manager Gary Allenson, who had been managing in the organization for four years (between Buffalo and New Hampshire) and Lansing pitching coach Willie Collazo. Vancouver manager Rich Miller was fired earlier this month.

Gerry, do you have any further insight?
China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#349730) #
Three more strikeouts for Hernandez today.   That does seem like his potential Achilles heel. 
SK in NJ - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#349731) #
No way I feel comfortable giving Hernandez a starting spot next season with a 40% K%. He has to earn it during Spring Training. It's likely a sample size/adjustment issue, but still something to keep an eye on.

This winter's Steve Pearce signing might be Jarrod Dyson. Undervalued due to never getting full time AB's, in his 30's, with a history of providing high value in limited playing time. He can cover all OF positions and give the team some insurance in case Teoscar flops in the spring.
China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#349732) #
Brett Anderson had a good outing today: 5 innings, giving up only 3 singles and no walks.  (Against a Yankee lineup that, admittedly, featured several bench players.)  Anderson has basically suffered only one poor outing in his 7 starts as a Jay, which is encouraging.  But reviewing the numbers for those 7 starts:  he has certainly given up a lot of hits and a lot of base-runners, and he could have given up more runs than he did.  If the Jays decide to work out an inexpensive contract with him for 2018, he shouldn't be handed a rotation job automatically.  Assuming that Sanchez is healthy and the Jays are looking for a 5th starter, I would want Anderson to be competing against Biagini and Borucki and a couple of new acquisitions.  If some of Anderson's problems this year were the lingering effects of injury, he has a chance to be healthier and better next year.  But I wouldn't want a rotation job to be handed to him automatically.
China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#349733) #
And with that victory today, and the likely loss by Baltimore, the Jays will climb out of the cellar for the first time in the entire season.  Not good for those who want a higher draft pick, but I like it.

scottt - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#349734) #
Not moving veterans is overplayed. Like keeping Vernon Wells in center field and in the middle of the lineup was terrible. It's different in Donaldson's case because he's probably the better defender. I can't really picture Donaldson anywhere.

scottt - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#349735) #
With Baltimore holding the tie-breaker and already down 6-0, I'll take the win.
China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#349736) #
Finishing ahead of Baltimore somehow feels like a triumph.   I'll take it.
scottt - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#349737) #
There shouldn't be any Steve Pearce signing this year unless he's traded.

I'd take an elite outfielder like Stanton, Martinez, even Bruce, but otherwise no point in wasting money when Hernandez/Pompey/Alford,/Gurriel/Smith and more could  adequately cover one spot and Pearce is the incumbent at LF.
jerjapan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#349738) #
JD going to management with his desire to play in Toronto dispels the 'stars don't want to play here' myth a bit.  Perhaps FAs that don't know Toronto may be reluctant, but I'm not even sure that's true.  JD saying he wants to be here puts the ball in the FO's court, which is fantastic IMO.  Shapiro can no longer claim its an inevitibility when he doesn't make a compelling effort to resign JD.  Worrying about Vlad and JD in a position crunch seems crazy to me - I think Vlad can possibly stick at 3rd, but it's not a given, and counting on prospects to be stars seems risky.  I see no issue with having both guys with legit claims to 3B. Players moving down the defensive spectrum is just competition at its best.

I continue to believe that JD plays here all season next year and leaves as a FA, which is the worst scenario in my books. 

This winter's Steve Pearce signing might be Jarrod Dyson.

I was a fan of the Pearce signing, but that was when I had the odd impression that he was versatile.  Pearce was a bust of a signing, and the FO going for guys with zero defensive value in Pearce and Morales remains an indictment of their leadership.  I think Dyson might be a good target, but Pearce is just more evidence that the FO whiffed last offseason. 

Hernandez is a consensus top ten prospect for us, and has the track record to assume he graduates in 2018.  what's more compelling, the K rate or the HRs?  Hard to say, but we have more than enough talent in the OF of the upper minors to attribute a starting spot to a rookie OF.  Hernandez is the leading candidate at the moment, but at some point, you need to assume your young guys can handle the bigs.  Super conservative Shapiro said that he thought one or two of Hernandez, Pompey and Alford will contribute next year, and I agree.  Fields and Smith are nice additional depth, although I could see Fields lost in the rule v draft. 

Nice win to end the year, but I tuned in to watch Jose play a full game.  Why pull him when we've been playing vets all Sept? 

Firing the minor league managers just feels par for the course for the FO - they want their own guys in there.  It sucks for someone like Miller who had a great season, but that's kind of par for the course with minor league coaches. 

China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#349739) #
"....Why pull him when we've been playing vets all Sept?...."

I assume Bautista was pulled because both teams were giving a break to their veterans after a long season.  The Yankees inserted several bench players after the first couple of innings.  The Jays were already resting Donaldson and Morales and Martin.  I assume there was an unofficial agreement among the two managers to treat it as a game for the back-ups.   If it had been a home game in Toronto, and it was Bautista's final game in front of a home crowd, obviously it would have been a different story.
John Northey - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#349740) #
Nice to be out of last. Lifetime the franchise is 31 games sub-500 now. A 97 win season would get them over 500 all-time although I don't see that as likely. 10 times the Jays have finished dead last in the AL East (once was a tie for last in 1982). 7 (now 8) times 4th out of 5, twice 4th out of 7. 6 times in first, 5 2nds, 11 thirds.

Bautista ends his Jays career just shy of Delgado for lifetime WAR - 1 short of catching Delgado. Donaldson is #18 all-time on the Jays list with 21 as a Jay in a virtual tie with George Bell and Juan Guzman and just ahead of Clemens & Rios (both at 20), Alomar, White, and Olerud are at 22. If Donaldson is here all year next year he should easily move into the Jays top 10 all-time (5 would tie him with Pat Hentgen for 9th).

So time to start over analyzing what happened and to start the guessing on what happens next. I'm sure our minor league reporters here are working hard on the top 30 prospects list which will be great fun to go through (I'm guessing Vlad #1, Bo #2).
John Northey - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#349741) #
I agree with the keep one OF slot dedicated to kids. The other slot having Pearce & Carrera there with kids pushing hard makes sense imo. As to trades, I'd lean towards seeing if there is a GM out there who believes in Smoak and will give up something valuable for him (doubt it) then move Pearce to first and look at other vet outfielders for LF or count on kids plus Carrera to cover. Ideally, perfect world, trade Morales and his full contract instead for nothing.

I think it is good to let Bautista's final PA be driving in the go-ahead run in a tie game. I loved how he looked to be the first on the field to congratulate his teammates on the win. We'll miss him but it is time. No Joe Carter type final curtain calls that make fans who understand stats other than RBI's hate to see him. If he plays all year somewhere else and is released then sign him for September as a final goodbye.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#349742) #
Consider, if the Jays had the Aaron Sanchez of 2016 pitching the same in 2017, the Jays are in the Playoffs. All the other problems could stay, but a healthy Sanchez means the Playoffs. That should give us some idea on how good the Jays really could be.
PeterG - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#349743) #
Did anyone notice what Atkins said about JD today. Did it seem like he was speaking of JD's tenure as a Jay in the past tense rather than the present. What is meant, if anything, by comments such as "he's been a great teammate", not is and "he's been great for this organization."

Am I reading too much into this?
SK in NJ - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#349744) #
Depends on what direction the Jays want to go in. If they want to win in 2018, then handing Hernandez a spot is likely not the best idea. He might be ready to be an average big league outfielder in 2018, but you don't want to bank on that. That's why I mentioned signing Dyson, who is likely not going to get more than a two year deal, and can act as insurance in case Hernandez (or Alford, etc) don't pan out right away. If Teoscar does come to spring and makes the necessary adjustments, then give him the ball and let him run with it. Then you just slide Dyson back to 4th OF, and you have a 2 WAR calibre back-up in case something happens to one of the starting OF's. If the team is rebuilding, then it doesn't really matter who they play everyday, but it doesn't appear that is the direction they will go in.

Hernandez is probably not going to strike out 40% of the time next season. This was his first real extended look in the bigs, and it came with pros and cons. Likely some adjustments he will have to make to stick as an everyday player. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to make the young guys earn it. I thought Sanchez should have started 2016 in AAA but he came to camp completely ready and beat out the vets for the job. That's the scenario you want from the young players.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#349745) #
With Mark Shapiro talking about, "Durability, Athleticism, Flexibility," we should have some idea what type of player the Jays are after and who they might not keep.
SK in NJ - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#349746) #
If the FO does want to trade Donaldson, then given how much this organization seems to care about optics, Josh coming out and proclaiming he wants to stay certainly won't make it easy to sell to the fans. I don't think the FO cares about fan perception, but Rogers definitely does based on their history. If you look back to the Halladay trade, the organization planted every seed they possibly could that Roy wanted out and/or was not going to re-sign after his contract ended.

I really don't think a trade or an extension is going to happen, which is pretty much the worst case scenario unless keeping him results in a World Series or deep playoff run in 2018.
China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#349747) #
"....Am I reading too much into this?...."

Yes.  I think grammatically he phrased it the correct way.  To say "he has been a great teammate" covers both the past and the present, and it does not exclude the future.

Moreover, I'm certain that the Jays haven't made any decisions about Donaldson yet.  They haven't sat down with his agent to exchange numbers.  Until they do that, they can't possibly have decided whether to extend him or not.

In any event, they might prefer to wait until the end of the off-season, or the beginning of the regular season, and assess the situation at that point, and then decide how much to offer him.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#349748) #
In the Shi Davidi article this came up. The Jays have under control core players like Donaldson, Smoak, Martin, Tulowitzki, Pillar, Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada and Osuna.
"It's a good core," said Gibbons. "I'm sure there will be some adjustments to it. There needs to be. But your overall core is still pretty solid."

What does he know that we don't?
China fan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#349749) #
"....Josh coming out and proclaiming he wants to stay certainly won't make it easy to sell to the fans...."

On the other hand, Encarnacion made the exact same proclamation -- he said repeatedly that he wanted to stay -- and the owners were fine with the Front Office decision to let him go.  Edwin was almost as much of a fan favourite as Donaldson. 

I don't buy the argument from some people that "fan pressure" is tying the hands of management and preventing them from taking the best decisions on specific personnel issues.  I do agree that the Front Office and ownership would like the Jays to be competitive in 2018, to sustain the fan interest and the revenue.  But I don't think that's necessarily bad for the future of the franchise.  Tearing down the team and tanking for several consecutive years is not the sole recipe for success in baseball.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#349750) #
I think the front office had their idea what Edwin was worth, offered him that, and it was his agent who probably told him, " I think we can do better. We can always come back to the Jays offer." A lot of players say they want to come back to their teams but very few pass up the chance to sell their services to the highest bidder.
jerjapan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#349751) #
Good call China, the 'fan pressure prevents us from making the best decisions' is lazy analysis at best.  Spend 20 minutes on Stoeten's site and you'll get multiple references to this straw idiot fan.  But Shapiro is certainly happy to use that idea to justify his choices in the media. 

John, good point about letting Jose go out on a high note, I hadn't considered that. 

SK, no need to 'hand' a job to Teoscar.  Leaving a job vacant for one of a bunch of talented kids in the high minors to grab is an entirely different story.  And frankly, the market for corner OFs is at an all-time low, so if none of the kids pan out, go get yourself a Jay Bruce or JD Martinez.  Whether or not the FO would do that is a different question, given the 'talent' that we played in the middle IF for much of the year. 

scottt - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#349752) #
Edwin got an offer and turned it down.
Will Donaldson get an offer?
Let suppose Shapiro wants to extend him. He probably offers a deal with a short deadline again.
There's no way they negotiate back and forth over the winter.

At any rate, Shapiro has to be ready to keep Donaldson even without extension or he won't get full value.

Hopefully, this is resolved by the winter meetings.
As for 2018, the problem is the middle infield, another power bat and a 5th starter.

Zaun said the pitching is great but that they need to trade Donaldson because they need a second baseman and 1 or 2 outfielders to make a run with Guerrero and Bichetter in 3 years. Well, in 3 years, who knows what the pitching will look like?

Mike Green - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#349753) #
First question- who delivered more value in 2017, 2016 and 2015, Tulo or Travis?  Second question- who is likely to deliver more in 2018? 

The Blue Jays do have a middle infield problem, but it's the fragility of both players that causes it. 

SK in NJ - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#349754) #
Edwin wasn't going to be traded in 2016, though. With Donaldson, there is no 10/5 rights involved and the team's win curve in 2018 isn't what it was in 2016. A Donaldson trade is completely reasonable in that sense. I think it would be pretty easy to sell Donaldson leaving after 2018. Free agency is free agency. You can't force a player to sign. With Edwin, the Jays actually came out looking good since they gave him what turned out to be his best offer, which was declined due to how early in came in the off-season. I'm sure if Donaldson signs elsewhere, there will be a similar reason given for optics purposes. Trading him is a different story, though. Rogers clearly cares about fan perception, especially coming off a season which should scare away some of the bandwagon fans who have been filling seats the past two seasons.

I guess we will see what happens this winter.
85bluejay - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#349755) #
The vast majority of players always say they want to stay, it's a stock answer, there's no upside in saying anything else. I am in the camp that says the FO is not trading Donaldson BUT I heard a clip of Donaldson and IMO it sounded like he may have gotten a different take from Atkins (of course, others may read his comment differently).
PeterG - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#349756) #
I can see that take as JD seemed to keep emphasizing that it was out of his control.

Something else I found interesting today was the comments offered by Buck and Pat. Now I know we don't like them much, but they are Rogers Sportsnet employees who are often accused (rightly) of espousing the company line. Today, their comment on the JD issue was that trading him in the off season might be good for the organization due to the expected return. I tend to disregard Zaun's editorial (even though I agree with it for the most part) as he does look for opportunities to be controversial. I think there may well be something happening behind the scenes though. And I do believe that extension talks and trades talks have already taken place and that will continue. Whether either bears fruit remains to be seen but colour me in the trade camp.
uglyone - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#349757) #
we will not be re-signing jd. don't get your hopes up.
DavidtheDeuce - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#349759) #
As much as I love watching JD play, I think the right move is to trade him in the offseason. Although the scenarios are different I remember the Jays narrowly missing the playoffs after the 1990 season and then trading two fan favorite all-stars in the offseason. That worked out quite well.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#349760) #
2018 is Josh Donaldson's final Arby year. Unless the Jays trade him, they must come to an agreement on a one year contract. They might get a deal on a long term contract, say 4 years, $100.0 Million, and might pay less. But going on a one year contract, then an extension might cost much more.
jerjapan - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#349761) #
Any extension for JD will cost a lot more if it doesn't buy out the arbitration year, that's risk management for both parties.

It's in no way a 'stock' answer for JD to make a point of going to management and the media on the last game of the year to say he wants to be back.  Plenty of players will answer with "I'd be happy to be back" when asked by the media.  JD went to the media himself.  absolutely different. 

will it matter?  i doubt it.  but I'm glad the FO can't say it wasn't their preference not to extend him.  JD is not a FA.  He is arb controlled.  This is a clear indication that he wants to stay in Toronto. 

John Northey - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#349762) #
To those who say we won't re-sign JD remember...
We won't sign Roger Clemens, too expensive
We won't sign Dave Winfield, he won't come here
We won't sign Jack Morris
We won't sign Paul Molitor (too popular in Milwaukee, too expensive, have Winfield who is too popular here)
Yeah, just one of those is during a down period but the point is that if the team wants stars it can get them and keep them (the core of the 80's and 90's teams were not lost due to free agency other than when stupidity came into play, expecting Leiter to accept less to stay, thinking the market would drop after the 94 strike thus losing Alomar).

Right now the team has a full stadium, high TV ratings, some top prospects coming up soon, and a guy playing at a HOF level at third base who will be a free agent post 2018.

So do you sign him for $25-30 mil a year over 5 years now or do you wait and see and watch someone else offer something stupid after 2018, while hoping the market goes down (idiotic given salaries are artificially low right now for top level players). Guys like Donaldson cannot be replaced via trade unless you get a sucker on the other end. Suckers when it comes to prospects are fewer each year due to the 6 years of below market pricing you get with kids. Donaldson is smart enough to know that he would be taking a risk by waiting out 2018 (at least 2-3 players will be on the market who should get more than him as they are sub 30 and also at HOF levels of performance).

So I'd say in the end the Jays are at least 50-50 to resign Donaldson unless the Jays are determined to go on the super-cheap which would be insanely stupid on their parts given the crowds and TV ratings which are critical to Rogers overall bottom line.
John Northey - Sunday, October 01 2017 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#349763) #
Jays now draft #12 overall which means they won't sign a high end free agent I suspect (not that they were likely to anyways) as the cost is very high then. With 2 more losses they would've been #9 overall and had a protected pick.

Checking history of the #12 picks all time, the 5 most recent have yet to reach the majors, Nomar Garciaparra†at 44.2 bWAR is the best ever with Kirk Gibson next with 38.3. The Expos took Delino Deshields with their #12 pick, the Jays never have had the 12th overall pick before. 9.2 WAR is the average for this pick among the 33 who reached the majors out of 53 picks overall. Ignore the 5 most recent and you get 33/48 or 69% making it with on average a Ricky Romero type career. With the 13th overall pick the Jays took Aaron Hill, who is the 7th best 13th overall pick ever. Best 13th picks are Manny Ramirez, Frank Tanana, and Chris Sale - all easily over 30 bWAR.

So the Jays have a good enough pick to get something really good and have good odds on the player reaching (roughly a 2 in 3 shot).
hypobole - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:05 AM EDT (#349764) #
John - under the new CBA, tax paying teams that sign a QO Free Agent lose their 2nd and 5th round picks, everyone else loses their 3rd round pick.
hypobole - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#349765) #
And I'm wrong also. We would lose our second highest draft pick, plus $500,000 in international pool money if we sign a QO FA.
Glevin - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 03:17 AM EDT (#349766) #
"The Blue Jays do have a middle infield problem, but it's the fragility of both players that causes it."

This is is exactly the issue. Going into the season, the Jays had one of the most expensive middle infields in baseball and a capable backup at the position in Barney. Goins was the Jays's FOURTH middle infielder and in the end was roughly replacement level. Goins isn't someone who should be getting full-time ABs, but your starting middle infielders shouldn't be missing the entire season either. No team has a bad season because their 4th middle infielder was only replacement level.
Glevin - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 03:45 AM EDT (#349767) #
"Wanting to stay" is not that meaningful in itself. Is it "Wanting to stay and willing to take a steep discount" or "wanting to stay if the Jays pay me what I can get on the open market".

I think Josh will likely be a great player for a few more years but there are a few worrying signs (2 especially).
Defensive value/K Rate on Fangraphs

I don't trust defensive stats generally, but that is a massive and steady decline from elite to average in 4 years. Donaldson is a fantastic player and I expect him to likely be one for a few years but fans always want to pretend that aging doesn't happen but it always does.

The bigger issue to me is this-Does a 76 win team want to commit long-term to a 32 year old? To me, this is the difference between a team like the Orioles who are always trying to sneak into the last wild card instead of doing a rebuild and a team like the Cardinals who let a franchise icon Pujols walk when he had 11 WAR the previous 2 seasons (Would a long-term thinking team have signed Chris Davis to that extension? No way). I vastly prefer rebuilding a solid team than trying to make the wildcard game. I want a solidly built team that compete every year with the Yankees and Red Sox every year and I don't see that happening for years and I don't see Donaldson being part of that team.
China fan - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 06:06 AM EDT (#349768) #
"....JD went to the media himself.  absolutely different..."

Not really.  It was the final day of the season, and JD is the team's top player, so obviously the media would want a comment from JD, and he knew that.   And the obvious question to JD was:  are you staying or going?  So he was just addressing the obvious media question. On the final day of the season, why wouldn't he address the question of his future, and why wouldn't he say something nice about Toronto?   I don't think it was particularly significant. 

I think it's great that so many players (from David Price and Edwin Encarnacion to Josh Donaldson and Marco Estrada and Jose Bautista) would publicly declare their love of Toronto and their happiness in the Toronto organization and their keen willingness to stay. II think it's a genuine emotion and it helps the Jays a little bit.  In the case of someone like Estrada, and in the case of Bautista last January, it does make it a little easier to negotiate a contract with them.  But it certainly doesn't guarantee a deal.  If the Red Sox are willing to give $220-million to David Price, he's not going to toss that away and accept $150-million from Toronto just because he likes the city and the fans.

So if the Jays decide that they can afford Donaldson, he might give them a small discount, but I don't think he would turn down the possibility of getting a substantially richer contract from the Red Sox or Yankees if his agent advised him that the potential difference is in the tens of millions of dollars.
SK in NJ - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#349769) #
I think a real concern in the post-PED era is how and when decline typically sets in. Adrian Beltre is the outlier (clean player remaining elite into his late-30's), but it doesn't appear to be all that common anymore, and Donaldson's already struggled with injuries the past two seasons. It hasn't prevented him from being elite, but can we assume that to be the case from ages 33-37?

I wouldn't be against an extension, as I think there is some value in retaining superstars and swallowing up some bad years depending on the type of player he is and whether you can recoup most/all the value of the deal by the end of it, but in all likelihood the years the Jays would be buying out (33-onwards) will likely be the worst of Donaldson's career. Not only that, but the best years he has remaining in his career may not fit the timeline of this team's next competitive window. If you're paying someone superstar money for past performance rather than reasonably expected future performance, then it usually doesn't end well.

My guess is this is all lip service. Donaldson saying the right things, the FO will say the right things, and he will remain with the club to start to 2018 without an extension. Either he is traded mid-season 2018 if the Jays are out of it, or he leaves after 2018 for a draft pick(s) depending on who signs him.

I'm still in favor of trying to play both sides by trading him for a combination of immediate help and future value (the Cardinals for Gyorko, Reyes, etc), but I'm still not convinced Rogers will allow a trade.
uglyone - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#349770) #
Honestly I think this is a false debate we're having.

Shapiro Inc. is not inking a 33yr old Donaldson to a monster deal, no matter what. And they're likely not going to do much to upgrade the team this offseason, to ensure they can trade him without much grief at the deadline.

And when they do trade him, I sure hope mediocre "cost controlled" mlbers are not part of the return. It better be high-upside prospects.
Mike Green - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#349772) #
It's not a "false" debate.  "What ought to happen" and "what is likely to happen" are two different questions. A pena is interested in both questions.

It is absolutely true that Shapiro has definitely shown a strong inclination to spread risk. 
SK in NJ - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#349773) #
If they trade him at the deadline then it will almost certainly be for prospects since 2018 would have been a bust in that scenario. If he's traded this winter, then that's more of a question mark. I'd be fine with trading him and trying to contend for a 2nd WC spot as long as the return for him includes at least one or two high upside young players, even if it means taking Gyorko back to improve the 2018 team (which isn't much of a punishment since he's been a 2-3 WAR player the last two seasons). Trading him for prospects before the 2018 season seems like a huge long shot. Ownership is not going to want to concede the season before it begins for business reasons, although I still think most Toronto fans are smart enough to see the logic in rebuilding. They just won't pack the stadium every night while it's going on, which is likely the issue ownership wants to avoid.
bpoz - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#349774) #
IMO JD's future is a legitimate debate. I expect it to continue, in the Yes/No/Maybe categories. $, length of term and timing of something/nothing happening are also being debated as well as the bottom line for 2018. Any new/different angle from those already expressed would be nice. I cannot think of anything new. Sidelines for me.

This FO likes to move fast on FA signings. I cannot remember any off season trades worth mentioning. Maybe this will change.

Some opinions have been expressed about the construction of the 2018 team. With and without JD. Also how well we will compete in 2018. JD may also determine the 2018 and onward budget.

If JD is here without an extension or traded I believe we can compete for a pennant race in 2018, 19 and 20. That would assume no Vlad and Bo. 87 win target.

I don't want to under/over value Boston and NYY. Are they really beasts for the future? 2018,19 and 20? How much DL time can their rotations withstand?

dalimon5 - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#349775) #
This off-season for Shapiro will be telling because it's his first in Toronto where he has the opportunity to make a mark. If Donaldson walks for a draft pick then he will look like the same Cleveland guy building on the cheap. Successful, yes, but takes time. If on the other hand he resigns JD or trades him for a good haul to remain competitive now and in the future (IMHO best possible scenario) or if he signs Otani... essentially if he does anything other than standing pat then it will look good for him as he's not biding time / saving money like a small market GM which is the fear of a lot of Toronto fans.

AA got points for taking risks such as signing JB, increasing international spending and trading for great players which is probably the hardest thing a GM in baseball can do.
Richard S.S. - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#349776) #
This off-season for Shapiro will be telling because it's his first in Toronto where he has the opportunity to make a mark. If Donaldson walks for a draft pick then he will look like the same Cleveland guy building on the cheap

Josh Donaldson is entering his final Arbitration year in 2018. Unless traded, unless definitely a Blue Jays next year. Doesn't this make your statement a wee bit premature?
Richard S.S. - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#349777) #
1) When are Vlad and Bo truly MLB-ready? Is Rowdy ever going to be MLB-ready? I suspect 2020 is the Jays' projected target.

2) First Base is covered by contract for 2018, by option for 2019, but not for 2020. D.H. is covered by contract for 2018 and 2019, but not for 2020.

3) There are options for Donaldson if he's signed for more than 2 years.
bpoz - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#349778) #
A Tinish signed a lot of Intl FAs with the blessing of Shapiro IMO. Cap room was traded for to cover the extra spending. I see that as a very good sign.
Chuck - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#349779) #
A quick scan of ex-Jay pitchers. Nice year from Morrow. Lots of big money spent on blech seasons (oh, to be left handed). Still nuffink from the Tiger boys. Much made of Castro's potential despite the peripherals. The list seems to emphasize the fungibility of relievers.

  • Liriano (Houston) 14 IP, 4.40, 11/10 K/BB
  • Grilli (Texas) 19 IP, 5.59
  • Smith (Cleveland) 18 IP, 3.44 (1.69 FIP)
  • Cecil 67 IP, 3.88, 7.75MM
  • Benoit 50 IP, 4.65 7.5MM
  • Storen 55 IP, 4.45 3M
  • Dickey 190 IP, 4.26, 7.5MM
  • Feldman 111 IP, 4.77
  • Lawrence, 42 IP, 5.57
  • Price 75 IP, 3.38, 30MM
  • Hendricks 64 IP, 4.22
  • Chavez 138 IP, 5.35, 5.75MM
  • Boyd 135 IP, 5.27
  • Norris 102 IP, 5.31
  • LeBlanc 68 IP, 4.50
  • Rzepczynski 31 IP, 4.02, 5.5MM
  • Morrow 44 IP, 2.06, 1.25MM
  • McGowan 78 IP, 4.75, 1.75MM
  • Castro 66 IP, 3.53 (4.94 FIP), 38/28 K/BB

Drabek pitched 2 innings in 2016. In 2017, he signed with an indy team but was released early on.

John Northey - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#349780) #
uglyone - you say Shapiro and crew won't sign a 33 year old Donaldson (5-7 WAR player) to a monster deal. Why, because they never did in Cleveland where the money was always super tight? Because it is rare for the Jays to do so (as it is for all but the Yankees/Dodgers)?

I fear trades as often the team getting the best player wins. Any trade with Donaldson involved automatically means the team getting him wins. It is rare you get lucky like when Seattle traded all-star pitcher Mark Langston for 3 prospects including a young Randy Johnson. Or the insane Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson trade the Red Sox did in 1990. Hard to think of one from the past 20 years that is as one sided as those 2 deals were, where prospects for a star or mediocre player ended up really, really looking bad.
hypobole - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#349781) #
Of all the draft picks signed during AA's tenure, Stroman was far and away the best this season per FG, 3.4 WAR.

Without looking, can anyone guess who were the 2 draftees tied for 2nd.
hypobole - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#349782) #
john- Cleveland trades Bartolo Colon to the Expos.
jgadfly - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#349783) #
Showalter outmanages Gibby again !

Baltimore 2-8 in last 10 games ... closing out the season with a perfect 0-5 in the last 5 games ... Toronto goes 5 wins; 5 losses ...
Gerry - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#349784) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith had a chat at Sportsnet. One thing I noted was that the Jays front office wants Teoscar Hernandez to start 2018 in AAA. While his play was encouraging the strikeouts are a concern.
Mike Green - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#349785) #
Thanks, Gerry, for that tidbit. 
whiterasta80 - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#349787) #
MLBTR suggests that the Phils might be trading Freddy Galvis to make room for Crawford.

If so I think that he could be a nice solution to our MI situation. I do, however, have a hard time guessing what he would cost. Would McGuire and a low level arm be enough?
Mike Green - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#349788) #
Galvis is an interesting target.  He's going to get a pretty decent payday in arbitration, you would think, and so there's not a lot of excess value there.  It might make a good fit.
Gerry - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#349789) #
I asked about Edward Olivares in the BA chat today.......

Olivares got a lot of love from scouts. Had a couple bring him up unprompted. Huge range in center field, plus runner, plus arm, good bat speed. There are some concerns about his setup and load and most evaluators see fringy power production moving forward once he faces better pitching, and in a deep MWL there are just more guys scouts saw as everyday-type players. Olivares is good though, and don't be shocked if he keeps climbing
whiterasta80 - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#349790) #
My thinking exactly Mike. Basically its the opposite of the McGuire/Liriano deal. We use our financial muscle to not have to pay prospects in a deal.
hypobole - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#349791) #
27 yr old Galvis in 2017 is 27 yr old Ryan Goins in 2015. Just a more expensive version. Will he hold his value better than Goins did?
Mike Green - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#349792) #
Not quite, hypobole.  He's had 600 PAs each year. 

It's true that he is not much better than Goins, but I do like his chances of being a 1 WAR player over 400-450 PAs more than Goins. 

hypobole - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#349794) #
Mike- Goins was a 1.5 WAR player at 27, Galvis 1.6. Yeah Galvis has 3 seasons of similar production vs Goins 1 season and, yeah, Galvis is definitely better at this point in time and definitely be more likely to get to that magical 1 WAR mark. :)

We won't get get him for nothing, but the prospect cost should be light.
Mike Green - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#349795) #
Yep. Low prospect cost would be a selling point.
Thomas - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#349796) #
Erik Bedard for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and others is another recent example of a trade that turned out well for the team trading the superstar (or perceived superstar). Matt Garza and others for Chris Archer and others is another.
Thomas - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#349797) #
Wilner (who called Bichette one of the top four prospects in baseball in the latest example of his beyond-rozy-coloured glasses) did a survey of Jays players and coaches for team awards.

There are no real surprises, including the fact that Smoak won the MVP award. What was surprising was that he got all but three votes. Donaldson and Stroman each got a vote, as did Kendrys Morales. The ballots aren't posted, but I hope whoever cast that vote isn't on the coaching staff.
85bluejay - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#349798) #
While I've liked Brett Anderson for years, he's too injury prone for a team that gets too few innings from its starters - I like pitchers who have pitched in a tough environment and Colorado is a tough environment - I wouldn't mind Tyler Chatwood - young for a FA, throws hard, good GB rate and Colorado battle tested - if the Jays could get him for a 3 yr deal I would be happy but given his age he will have many suitors and some may be willing to go maybe 5 years. Not a TOR guy but a solid pitcher whom I think will be better away from Colorado.
scottt - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#349799) #
Galvis does nothing for me. A solid 2B who gets on base is needed. Galvis has an OBP of .309.
That's basically Teoscar Hernandez without the power. That's like hoping they'll win a bunch of 2-1 games.

scottt - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#349800) #
Anderson ticks another box by being a lefty.
I'd be perfectly OK with him. However, if Sanchez doesn't recovers, then it's a different story.

Shoeless Joe - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#349801) #
It looks like the fallout from the Braves front office disaster Kevin Maitan might become a free agent. He was the top IFA from the 2016 class, but hasn't hit much in pro ball. I think this is a perfect situation for the Jays to pick up a top 50 prospect for cash.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, October 02 2017 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#349802) #
"Other teams also are under investigation for their conduct in the international market, sources said. The international scouting director of one club said as many as 15 teams allegedly have reached verbal agreements with players who are not eligible to sign until 2019, when they turn 16."
bpoz - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#349803) #
That is very interesting Shoeless.
China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#349804) #
"....Wilner (who called Bichette one of the top four prospects in baseball in the latest example of his beyond-rozy-coloured glasses..."

Actually it wasn't a case of rose-colored glasses.  Wilner was simply quoting a piece by Jim Callis, published on, which projected which players would be the top prospects at the end of next season.  Callis predicted that Guerrero and Bichette would be two of the top four prospects at this time next year.  Of course it's difficult to make such a prediction, but Callis did make the prediction and did publish it, and Wilner was simply quoting it.  Here is the Callis piece:
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#349805) #
I don't see the Goins/Galvis comparison:

Goins had a career year at 1.5 WAR. He's been sub-zero every other year. He is a career negative for baserunning, is older, and is trending in the wrong direction.

Galvis has 3 consecutive years of >1 WAR- all while staying healthy over 150+ games. He is a net positive baserunner which is sorely needed in both our lineup and on our bench.

I'm not purporting Galvis to suddenly turn into Jose Altuve here. I recognize what he is, I just think that it has value to a team like ours. We aren't going to get a .350 OBP guy to backup our MI. Unless we break the bank the guy we bring in will probably hit 8th or 9th, OBP in the .300-325 range, and unfortunately play 130+games.
Jevant - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#349806) #
Good sleuthing.  I've never really understood the Wilner-hate.  I can't even imagine having to do JaysTalk every night, that must be exhausting.  His optimism and "big picture" approach tends to counteract the callers he gets every time after the Jays lose who essentially think the season is over.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#349807) #
Well Bo was only the best hitter in all of full-season MILB last year. As a 19yr old. As an SS.

that's kinda good.
China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#349808) #
"....We aren't going to get a .350 OBP guy to backup our MI..."

The Jays shouldn't be looking for a back-up infielder.  They should be looking for a full-time regular: a good hitter who can play 2B full-time and, ideally, can also be a back-up at SS.  And yes, he should have a good OBP.  This will be expensive (in salary and/or trading chips) but it is important.  Here is why:

1) The health of Travis is questionable.  The Jays are basically admitting that he cannot be counted on as a full-time 2B due to his health issues.  He might be better as a super-sub who can play outfield or infield, depending on his availability and the team's needs.

2) The Jays desperately need to improve their team offense.  They can't do much about CF or catcher or 3B or 1B, so the logical places to improve are the corner outfield spots and the middle infield.

3) While I think Tulo has a good chance to bounce back next season (with better health and better hitting), I admit there are question marks there.  The best solution is to have three options for the middle infield:  Tulo, Travis and the new acquisition.  Then they can mix-and-match, depending on health and how they are hitting.  Goins would return to his logical role: utility back-up guy.

Bottom line:  the Jays shouldn't be settling for a back-up middle infielder who is marginally better than Goins.  Why settle for so little?  That kind of attitude would doom the Jays to another year of poor offense.  They should aim higher.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#349809) #
I find it hard to compare Blue Jay prospects with other team's prospects, and rather easier to compare them with Blue Jay prospects of the past.  Most years, Bichette would clearly have been the best prospect in the organization.  The last year the Blue Jays had 2 first-rate prospects was after 2003-04 with Rios and Quiroz.  Both were more advanced and (a lot) older than Bichette and Guerrero Jr.  I like the 2017 pair a lot better.  Bichette has some similarities with Rios- unusual swing, similar W/K rates, high averages, medium range power, and a range of defensive abilities- Rios with more speed in the outfield and Bichette with more fine skills in the infield.  At the end of 2003, Rios had had a season at double A which would fit in very well with Bichette's minor league career to date.  He was 22.  He ended up as the #6 BA prospect in baseball. 

It's always tough to balance age and development level in rating a prospect.  I always think back to Dwight Gooden who had a great but flawed year in single A at age 18 (walking 112 and striking out 300 in 191 innings). Gooden was very good in the major leagues at 19, and then had a season for the ages in 1985.  Incidentally, one of the good things about WAR is that it allows you to look back at MVP races with a fresh eye.  At the time, the selection of Willie McGee as MVP in 1985 did not strike me as far wrong, but it was.  The single-season bWAR leaders in the lively ball era:

1. Babe Ruth 1923, 14.1
2. Dwight Gooden, 1985, 13.3
3. Babe Ruth, 1921, 12.6
4. Steve Carlton, 1972, 12.5
5. Babe Ruth, 1927, 12.4
6. Carl Yasztremski, 1967, 12.4

Willie McGee had 8 bWAR, and the difference between 8 and 13 is enough that you should be able to spot it.  I guess one of the things that is easy to miss was Gooden's good year with the bat.

85bluejay - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#349810) #
Absolutely, the Jays should not be looking for a backup infielder but a multipositional regular and they should open up the DH slot - I don't want a dedicated DH. If you acquire a Profar/Solarte(P/S) type (or better yet both) - let's say the Jays play 6 games a week - DH Travis 2 days,Tulo 1 day, Donaldson 1 day - that's 4 starts for P/S
plus P/S available to start when injuries occur. Martin also needs some DH days.
Jevant - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#349811) #
I would disagree with the assertion they can't do much about CF.  They can, and they should, in my opinion, be looking for a better option there.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#349812) #
I'd disagree with you there. Not only was Pillar a solid regular this year be either measure, but all of Pompey, Alford, Hernandez are potentially fill ins / replacements there, too.

Jevant - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#349813) #
That's actually my point.  Pillar will be 29, and saw a defensive decline this year.  Defence rarely ages well, especially the way Pillar plays it.  The bat is what it is (his seasonal rates were almost identical to his now 2000 PA averages).

The FO should be looking to move him now while he is cheap and has more perceived value than he actually does, especially when we have 3 potential fill in / replacements.  If you can't upgrade on Pillar, fine, but then use him to upgrade other areas, especially when you have alternative options that will give you close to what you get from KP.

Or, alternatively, trade one of those guys (that would be less popular, but I could see the argument it actually makes more sense).  If perceived value outstrips actual value, especially if you have multiple options, you should be making that trade.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#349814) #
The club could use another outfielder, but whether it is a centerfielder or a corner seems to me to be a matter of choice. Between Pillar, Alford and Pompey, they probably have at least two players who will be able to play the position at least decently in 2018. 
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#349815) #
Pretty rough to look at fWAR by position this year:

3B 4.9
1B 3.1
CF 2.0
LF 0.3
C 0.3
2B 0.3
RF 0.2
SS -0.4
DH -0.6

3 decent to good spots. and a bunch of replacement or worse spots.

the toughest pill to swallow there, for me, is the DH slot, where we're locked in with no easy way to fix it.

I think the easiest spot to see an internal upgrade is at C - even if Martin is injured again, I think Lopez/Jansen/McGuire gives us a significantly better chance at giving us plus value than maile/montero/salty did. those 3 were horrendous.

I also think there's a decent chance of internal improvement at most of the other replacement slots - more health from tulo/travis, and possible contributions from hernandez/pompey/alford in the corners.

since I've never been shy to beat a dead horse, not only were EE/Fowler 6 wins better than Bautista/Morales this year, but having them slotted into RF and DH would make us look a helluva lot better going into next year, too.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#349816) #
Agreed that the Jays need a starting 2B, not a back-up. Travis has been hurt for three straight seasons (four if you count his minor league season with the Tigers in 2014), and he apparently had a setback in September when he tried to come back this season. You can't count on him to play a full season at 2B, and Tulowitzki's injury history is also a concern at short. They can't have a Ryan Goins equivalent (or, shudder, Goins himself) as the back-up infielder again. Whether it's an expensive vet like Dee Gordon who was rumored earlier this year, or a cheap young player who they want to give a chance to (Profar, Kemp, etc), they are going to need to find a starting calibre infielder who ideally can cover both IF spots, but definitely 2B.

I also agree that they need to free up DH. Too many 30-something bodies that require rest throughout the season (Donaldson, Tulo, Martin, Pearce, Smoak, etc). I doubt they could find a taker for Morales though, so they'll have to live with it. Gibbons will have to be more active in resting players next season.
China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#349817) #
"...I think Lopez/Jansen/McGuire gives us a significantly better chance at giving us plus value...."

Gibbons was asked about Jansen yesterday and he ruled out the possibility of having Jansen as the back-up next season.  He said it would be bad for Jansen's development.   I would guess the same is true of McGuire.  As for Lopez:  he's certainly worth considering for the job, after posting good numbers in 2017 at all three levels in which he played, but the real question is his defence.  I don't know enough about that to venture an opinion. 
bpoz - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#349818) #
Sometimes you have to live with an offensive hole. Our biggest was the backup C.

We may have had 3 offensive holes of varying depth. We had some defensive holes too. Salty, various outfielders. The 5th starter was basically terrible.

The injuries as discussed killed us. Every team needs a 2nd catcher. If Martin, Y Molina, B Posey for example get injured then 1 serious problem is created and cannot be adequately solved. The team has to live with it.But it is only 1 problem.

The OF defense was something the team was prepared to live with. Pearce & Carrera were are #3 & 4 OFs.

The MI injuries and solution was major. As was pitching depth #6-8.

I suppose only the richest teams would attempt to solve most of their problems. Then the next layer of teams would solve fewer problems. The least solutions would come from the lowest layer of teams.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#349819) #
China Fan, there isn't really any such thing as "THE backup". we had like 8 of them this year.

Jansen and McGuire are obviously starting in the minors this year. "The" backup will be either Lopez (my choice) or Maile, most likely. But this year, if/when Martin gets injured, we'll have kids like Jansen/McGuire there ready for a callup, instead of the dregs we had this year.
China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#349820) #
On the outfield question:  it has been pretty widely confirmed that Fowler was the top target for the Jays in the off-season last season.  I wonder if that means that Lorenzo Cain could be their top target this time?   Or will they go after Jay Bruce again?

The shopping list (in order of descending priority) should be:  an outfielder; a middle infielder; some rotation depth; and a back-up catcher. 

China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#349821) #
".....But this year, if/when Martin gets injured, we'll have kids like Jansen/McGuire there ready for a callup...."

If it's late in the season, perhaps...
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#349822) #
While I agree that the Jays could go the route of upgrading with a starting calibre MI, I think that the cost will just be too high and the resources could be better deployed elsewhere. Particularly as we have some of our top prospects at MI.

I'd rather add JD Martinez or Lorenzo Cain than Zack Cozart and Carlos Gomez for example.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#349823) #
I disagree that the Jays need a Starting 2B. That's too specific, both middle infield spots are issues. The Jays need someone who can play both SS and 2B well. He also needs to hit at least a little better than average. He basically must be better than Goins and Barney. Neither Tulowitzki or Travis stay healthy enough or play enough to make Goins or Barney a viable option. The Jays need better.
Thomas - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#349824) #
Callis predicted that Guerrero and Bichette would be two of the top four prospects at this time next year.

Wilner wasn't referencing that article by Callis. Or if he was, he was doing a poor job of it, as if I recall correctly he said Bichette was one of the top four prospects in baseball.

Predicting a player may be a top four prospect in baseball a year from now is not the same thing as saying that the player is one of the top four prospects in baseball right now. (And I like Bichette a lot.)

uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#349825) #
19yr old SS putting up the best hitting line in MILB seems top-5 worthy to me.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#349826) #
To be a top 5 in my opinion you need to either be in AA, AAA, or doing otherworldly things in high A.

Personally I view Bichette as "doing otherworldly things", but I can understand anyone who wants to wait to see another year of ABs.

Of course, another year of progress like he had this year probably has him in the majors.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#349827) #
Snider was ranked 7th and 11th after his 19yr old season.


Bichette (A+): 182pa, 7.7b%/14.3k%, .360bip/.323avg, .140iso, 145wrc+
Bichette (A): 317pa, 8.8b%/17.4k%, .452bip/.384avg, .239iso, 201wrc+
Snider (A): 517pa, 9.5b%/25.0k%, .397bip/.313avg, .212iso, 151wrc+

and snider was a corner OF, not a SS.
Glevin - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#349828) #
"the toughest pill to swallow there, for me, is the DH slot, where we're locked in with no easy way to fix it."

WAR for DHs is weird because the defensive value should be exactly the same. There were 15 teams with DHs. 3 had WRC+ of over 101. 6 had WRC+ of between 98-101 including the Jays. You can win with a mediocre DH. Yankees and Astros had worse offensive DHs than Morales as did many teams. It's not a good situation but people are doing what they were doing with Smoak last year which is trying to turn one mediocre player into the biggest issue the team has when the Jays have massive issues all over.
1) The Jays were not top-10 in WAR at any single position.
2) The Jays were bottom-5 in WAR in baseball at 4 different positions.

So the Jays weren't good anywhere and they were atrocious in a bunch of places. And that's not even touching DH.

"since I've never been shy to beat a dead horse, not only were EE/Fowler 6 wins better than Bautista/Morales this year, but having them slotted into RF and DH would make us look a helluva lot better going into next year, too."

And again, the Jays would have no Pearson and no Warmoth, still wouldn't be in the playoffs this year, still wouldn't be a very good team next year, and would likely have no budget left for anything this off-season (including not being able to afford re-sign Estrada) because you just added $30M to the payroll. Anyway, Bautista was seen as one of the best signings of the off-season. When Bautista re-signed you wrote:

"Bautista has always projected as one of the mpst valuable FAs this offseason."

You can't retroactively pick the players who didn't work out and criticize the front office and say "we should have signed these players who ended up with a higher WAR". In fact, the player you were most pissed off at losing then was Michael Saunders who ended up being atrocious. What's so funny is that even with your selective hindsight, what you are advocating is worse for the Jays than what they actually did. For some reason, you simply can't admit that a 76 win team is not the result of poor free agent choices. (Astros and Yankees both signed their worse DHs as free agents this off-season and both did just fine as teams).
bpoz - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#349829) #
Budget is a factor. Ours is probably in good shape. Especially if Bautista's salary is available.

Some players are V hard to trade. For us Tulo and Martin because of the high salary. Maybe Morales.

1 expensive FA is what I would expect us to sign. 3 years for 10-15 mil/year. My choice would be a SP. He instantly becomes #5. Makes #6-8 much stronger. I suppose that Biagini stays in AAA until needed. Maybe mid May? Of course he could be surpassed by a prospect already on the 40 man roster or one that smashed the door leading to the Majors.

I don't understand the reasoning behind saying that T Hernandez should start 2018 in AAA. I know high strikeouts. But why say anything. This creates unnecessary smoke. Unless they are seriously considering a strong upgrade.

bpoz - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#349830) #
Glevin, the bottom 4 positions would be 2B, C and SS. Our DH was better. So would those 3 and the other one repeat in 2018? I understand that is a hard valuation to make.

I don't expect the backup to outperform the regular.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#349831) #
"You can't retroactively pick the players who didn't work out"

at that point of the offseason i was very glad we signed bautista, and still am. he was easily the best chance at an impact bat left on the table.

but he was never my first choice, and his signing came after all the other options wer3 gone. there's nothing retroactive here.... but you knew that.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#349832) #
The Jays have Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada as locks for the Rotation.

1) Aaron Sanchez pitched 36.0 innings last year. He's had blister issues his entire career, but it was the worst last year. He was misdiagnosed until they finally found a serious finger injury. Expecting Aaron to pitch like an Ace for 200+ innings is a mistake. I think he will be back 100+ % next year. To depend on him to do that is also a mistake.
2) Joe Biagini was/is/will be an exceptional Reliever. He is more than a work in progress as a Starter. He's barely a 5th Starter on any team. How good can he be? No one knows, but the Jays need better.
3) Brett Anderson could be a good Starter, maybe more than a #4/5 Starter, but maybe not. He has rarely ever pitched a whole season, usually much, much less due to a myriad of injuries. The Jays need better.

The Jays need a good quality Starter, possibly a long term acquisition. Whether via Free Agency, or by Trade, acquiring someone with a number two upside would be a very good thing.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#349833) #
"but he was never my first choice, and his signing came after all the other options wer3 gone. there's nothing retroactive here.... but you knew that."

Bautista had a higher projected WAR than both Encarnacion and Fowler coming into the season, and that was accounting for bad defense in the OF. Bautista, Morales, and Pearce all played below their projections (way below). It's kind of easy to look at other signings and say the Jays could have done that instead.

The Jays missed the playoffs by 10 games. It wasn't because Morales was at DH and Bautista was in right. Those two had poor seasons, but the team as a whole was flawed, in addition to other issues (injury, lack of depth). As mentioned, Beltran had a significantly worse season than Morales in '17 and the Astros won 101 games. Getting six additional wins for $150M (give or take) in financial commitment on a team that would have needed ten wins to sneak into a 2nd WC is misplacing blame. That's also ignoring the other aspects of what those two signings (Edwin/Fowler) would have meant in other aspects of the team (way more expensive, two NTC's if Fowler held out for one, the loss of two prospects/draft picks, etc).
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#349834) #
yes, it was 6 wins lost on the free agent market plus a bunch to unfortunate injuries to young players.
China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#349835) #
"....Predicting a player may be a top four prospect in baseball a year from now is not the same thing as saying that the player is one of the top four prospects in baseball right now..."

Yes, that's true.  But it's also true that the ranking of Guerrero and Bichette will be a lot more relevant to Jays fans at the end of next year, since we know they won't be playing in the majors next year.  And prospect rankings are always a prediction racket anyway, whether we're talking about today's ranking or next year's ranking.  It's always based on projection and prediction.  That, by definition, is what a prospect is.

As for Wilner: when he was questioned on Twitter about his "top four" comment, he immediately replied by referring to the Jim Callis article.  So it's clear that that was the source of his comment.  Whether you agree with his source is a separate question.

lexomatic - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#349836) #
R Biagini, out amazes me how people perceive good season. Some of his big games suggest he has the potential to be a mid rotation starter or better. I couldn't find the exact article I remember breaking down starter results by rotation slot, but this article references 1-6 compiled from 2002-14. Biagini was a disappointment but he wasn't a bad starter.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#349837) #
I remember Gillick saying that you want to build a team capable of winning 90 games every year. Then if things break right you get 90+ wins and make the playoffs.

In 2013 Cincy won 90 gms for the 2nd WC. 94 Pittsburgh. 92 TB and Cleveland. 91 for Texas got them nothing.

So stuff happens.
China fan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#349838) #
Atkins just told the media that his off-season shopping list is:  "one impact arm and one impact position player."

That looks a little light to me.  I think they should be adding two position players (an outfielder and a middle-infielder) along with a pitcher.  And that's based on the assumption that they have adequate internal options for back-up catcher, which may or may not be true.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#349839) #
One impact Arm, one impact Position Player, will come via trade as easily by Free Agency.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#349840) #
Were all the questions at Atkins press conference asked by Rogers Employees?
jerjapan - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#349841) #
One impact arm and one impact position player works with my offseason wishlist - Cosart for the IF and Mike Minor as a lefty relief ace.  Minor and KC have a mutual $10 option.  He has a 1.2 Million buyout per Fangraphs - I could see KC picking the option up, but Minor turning it down.  According to his Wikipedia page, he intends to return to starting though.  Given he didn't pitch in the bigs in 2015 or 16 will recovering from a torn labrum, he might be a good value arm either as a starter or a reliever.  The flexibility is nice.

Richard Griffin today stated that Anderson won't come back without a guaranteed 5th starter role.  I certainly like him as a candidate, but not someone you commit too.  Another article mentioned that Atkins will be targeting depth, something he and Shapiro have said every year.  Hopefully we can add some better vets for Buffalo.  Lopez seems like a good 3rd catching option, but may not be worth a 40 man spot. 

Stoeten was spitballing numbers for a JD extension and suggest 6 years, $180 million, which seemed high to me.  Tammy Rainey came in much lower - 5 years, $130 million or 6 years, $150.  Those numbers seem lowish, but if FO's really are getting smarter about veteran position players and aging curves (given the trade deadline returns for guys like JD Martinez, they very well might be) perhaps that's doable.  It's hard to know how JD's camp feel about the 2018 FA class, but there potentially aren't a ton of teams that would realistically be contending for his services.    

I'd certainly sign Donaldson for 6 years, $150 million.

dan gordon - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#349842) #
On McCown's show today, Atkins also said they want a middle infielder due to the injury issues with Travis and Tulo. He also said the "impact arm" they want could in fact turn out to be 2 or 3 arms to get the same result. He said that to add Bautista as a bench bat, they would need to subtract a couple of players from the existing group.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#349843) #
You could say that other teams are kicking themselves ( in hindsight ) that they didn't pick Bo Bichette before the Jays did, but the fact that the Jays themselves passed on him 9 picks previous with J.B. Woodman shows what a crapshoot the amateur draft can be.

Also, when did a team picking first in the amateur draft make the playoffs the same year like Minnesota did this year ? Ever ? I'm throwing my support behind the Twins and Cleveland for the playoffs. Well, anybody but the Red Sox and Yankees actually.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#349844) #
At this point. they don't really know what they can do. It's too soon. Wish lists are often not filled through no fault of the wisher.

I do believe that things may come to a head with JD around the time of the winter meetings. By that time, they will know what trade possibilities are out there and if there is an offer they like but also are talking to JD, they may well give a deadline for an agreement so as not to lose an acceptable trade offer if JD isn't extended. If St. Louis is serious about pursuing this hard, they have the chips to make it worthwhile for the Jays.
uglyone - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#349845) #
"He also said the "impact arm" they want could in fact turn out to be 2 or 3 arms to get the same result. "

CeeBee - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#349846) #
1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 = 1 impact arm? thats an interesting concept.
Ducey - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#349847) #
Can't take much from post season news conferences. Its all doublespeak.

Last season they wanted to get faster and more athletic. The result: Bautista, Morales, and Pearce.

The might get an impact player, or they might sign 3 and hope one turns into an impact player

Or trade JD for Goryko and a top pitching prospect - and presto, impact bat (lots of homers!) and impact arm.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#349848) #
I don't particularly like the idea of going out and signing Cozart - he's likely to see more time at 2B than SS, which as a plus SS, is a waste of value. If Travis is healthy, you have three starters for two positions. The Jays aren't a good fit for Cozart anyway - he deserves a starting SS job and he will get one.

We should be able to get a better backup 2B/SS, but we shouldn't imagine it will be a massive upgrade. One possibility would be to go with just a single backup MI to start the season and rely on Christian Lopes to fill in when Travis/Tulo get injured.

I'd prefer to go after Darvish or Pineda to bolster the rotation. Convincing Ohtani somehow that getting a whole country to himself is what he really wants would be the perfect solution - a slugging RF and premium starter.

Ohtani/Darvish/Stroman/Happ/Estrada/Sanchez/Biagini would be enough to pull a weak lineup into the postseason. Dreams!
scottt - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#349849) #
Bautista will probably retire as a Blue Jays. I expect him to come back for a token appearance before he hangs his hat for good. We'll see what happens.

The way that I think of it right now, if I had to answer that question, is add one impact arm and one impact position player, for sure. We have to do that. Whether or not that impact position player is a right fielder or plays another position will depend upon all of those alternatives. We'll be open to trades, we'll be open to any possible way we can make our team better.

It's pretty clear that they need a middle of the order bat or a reliable lead off hitter.

There aren't that many arms on the market. I'm not really sure what's an impact arm.
Maybe that's a reliever.

fWAR for DH is misleading. There was only 6 DH who did better than Morales. It looks to me like JD was 6th for 3B and Smoak 9th at first.

Fowler was good with the bat, but missed some time and did not look good defensively. The Cards gave him one year too many. Maybe two.
scottt - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#349850) #
A starting pitching will not be throwing the ball from the outfield on his off days.
If he wants to hit, he has to DH.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#349851) #
What Atkins said today is pretty much pointless. In free agency you get the best talent you can get. It takes two to tango so they can target players and find out those players are not interested for whatever reason, or maybe a trade option will turn up. Hard to say this early.

I definitely think there has to be some resolution to the Donaldson situation. Either extend him or trade him. Pick a deadline to get an extension done, and if all hope for one is lost, then take the best package in return for him and move on from there.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#349852) #
If the Braves want to distract from the Coppolella fiasco & excite fans in that new ballpark, they should go hard after a star like Donaldson , overpaying if necessary and they have the farm system to do so.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 03 2017 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#349853) #
Atkins and Donaldson have talked but they are nowhere on anything. Considering he's under contract next year, I think he's traded.
They need versatility, speed and switch hit/bat left. They look to their minors for this. They are looking in the 19-25 year-old range for acquisitions.
They will trade from the existing roster.
They need someone to play Short and Second. They need Outfielder(s). They most likely need a Starter and a Reliever or two.

Now we wait to see what happens.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#349854) #
I think my fantasy off season looks something like this:

Trade Devon Travis for Domingo Santana
Trade one of our middle relievers for Dee Gordon
Sign Mike Minor as an elite lefty set-up arm

The Brewers were almost dead last in WAR last season from their 2nd base options. I think they are more prepared to bet on the upside of Travis with the lack of durability concerns from Tulo to worry about. The Brewrs have good production from their outfielders and Lewis Brinson is ready to take over right field.

Dee Gordon would settle the durability issues associated with a Tulo/Travis infield and bring a speed element.

I just think Mike Minor is the new Andrew Miller.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 04:03 AM EDT (#349855) #
Regarding Ohtani, if he wants to play RF, you say absolutely. It may be that he'd rather DH, which would also be fine. Under no circumstances do you not give him the role he wants because you think it's a sub-optimal idea - he'd just go to a team who sees eye-to-eye on his role.

Heck, if he wants to hit for himself on days he pitches and play RF after he's pulled as a starting pitcher, you absolutely let him.

Whoever signs Ohtani is getting the most valuable player on the market this winter essentially for nothing - and a marketing bonanza. Sadly, it's highly unlikely that we will get to see him.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 07:26 AM EDT (#349856) #
Agree with Gabe that this is what it will take to sign Otani. Probably while granting him image rights and use of the jays logo in branding back home.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#349857) #
I would have no issues with promising Otani a rotation spot and an everyday lineup spot, as long as one does not negatively impact the other. I'm not sure of the injury risk it would cause doing that, but if that promise gets him to sign, then obviously do it and see what happens. Still highly unlikely, but every team that wants him will have to promise him something to improve their odds, especially a team with no real history of signing Japanese talent like the Jays.
Jevant - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#349858) #
I doubt the Brewers trade Broxton, but I bet they might be willing to deal Keon Broxton or Jonathan Villar (or both). 
Spifficus - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#349862) #
Register me into the "Whatever you'd like to do, Mr Otani, is fine by me" group (within some semblance of reason, like talking through the benefits of taking the day off after a start). It might not be the optimal usage for DH (or RF), but it's not like things were all that optimal this year, it'd help differentiate the team's bid when trying to sign him, and it sounds like he can actually hit (though not at the same level as his pitching).
John Northey - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#349863) #
Luckily for the Jays the one Japanese player who was here for any real length of time seems to have Otani's ear. Muni Kawasaki. If his getting time here as a backup and being a fan favorite (to put it mildly) helps get Otani then he was worth 100x more than we ever thought (via

It will be interesting to see who gets Otani as no one can offer over $10 mil and most can only offer under $1 mil. The Jays could easily do a marketing deal via Rogers that would make him extra and Muni would probably tell him about how a utility infielder got sponsorship deals here so imagine what a star could get. Being nice to Bautista on his way out would help him be useful in encouraging a signing too as would telling him to call Roger Clemens to see that the Jays do live up to 'unwritten agreements' (the 'secret' agreement to trade him if the Jays weren't competitive enough after 2 years).

Regardless of who signs him I hope he does play regular in the OF and starts. Just would be fun to see.
85bluejay - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#349865) #
Japanese stars want to play on the big American stage - It will be a herculean task for the Jays to sign him - in fact the old system where the player could only negotiate with the highest bidder was probably the Jays best chance - If the Jays can sign him, I'd be stunned (& ecstatic).
hypobole - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#349868) #
"Japanese stars want to"

wait until they're 25 so they can sign a huge contract if they come over. Each star is different. Ichiro and Iwakuma went to Seattle - rarely confused with NY or LA. Chen signed with Baltimore. Darvish Texas, which brings up the another point - past signings for the most part were under the old "highest bidder" system where larger markets could afford said highest bids.

As far as I can see, we don't have a clue what Otani truly wants other than being a 2 way player in MLB.
dan gordon - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#349874) #
The program I saw about Otani on TV a while ago (I think it was 60 Minutes) indicated he was pitching once a week and DH or OF at other times. It would be interesting if he wants to continue pitching once a week, as that would mess up the standard 5 man pitching rotation, and would require some flexibility by his team.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#349875) #
Now that could be difficult. Rotation would go... O for Otuni 1-4 for regular rotation. Asuume no short rest
back to top

So a 4 week setup where Otuni gets 4 starts, #1 (Stroman) gets 5 starts, #2 (Sanchez) gets 5 starts, #3 (Happ) gets 5, #4 (Estrada) gets 5, #6 (whoever would be #5 without O) gets 4 starts, every Friday if you assume Otani gets Sundays.

That could work. Keep everyone healthier but Stroman wouldn't be too happy as that would make 200 IP harder. Days off would give #6 breaks hopefully depending on timing.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#349876) #
Don't (almost) all NPB starters pitch once a week? Pretty sure they have 6 man rotations with most weeks having an off day.
Spifficus - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#349877) #
Aren't six man rotations the norm in Japan? That might not indicate any preference on Otani's part.
Spifficus - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#349878) #
Or, you know, what hyperbole said.
Spifficus - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#349879) #
Or maybe even hypobole. eek. How have I never noticed that before? I skim way too much!
uglyone - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#349889) #
trade for stanton, buy Otani.

instant contender again.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#349893) #
Regardless whether acquiring Stanton would be advisable, it's not likely to happen.  He has a full no-trade.

You would be on the hook for $32 million in 2023-25, when Stanton will be in his mid 30s and Guerrero Jr. and Bichette (knock on wood) will be in their primes.  
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#349894) #
" trade for stanton, buy Otani."

I thought he was being facetious, but if not, we might as well pry Byron Buxton out of Minnesota while we're doing the impossible.
Spifficus - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#349896) #
I don't think Stanton's a pipe dream (Otani is, or at least a 1 in 30 chance). Does anyone take on that entire contract at this point with his health track record? If there's some paydown, and the talent going back isn't elite, I could see it happening.
uglyone - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#349897) #
they don't want to trade buxton, but they do want to trade stanton.

and $32m will be peanuts in 2024.
Spifficus - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#349898) #

That's a lot of peanuts. Apparently about 80k tons.

After 2024, he'll still be owed almost 250k tons of peanuts ($100M). And entering his age 35 season.

mathesond - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#349899) #
After 2024, he'll still be owed almost 250k tons of peanuts ($100M). And entering his age 35 season

I'm sure the jersey sales will have more than made up for it.
Glevin - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 03:00 AM EDT (#349907) #
Stanton would be a horrible idea. He has an opt-out after three years so if he's great, you lose him and if he's not, you are on the hook for an insane contract. Stanton is also coming off his best year. The two previous years he had WARs of 1.8 and 3.9. He's played under 125 games in 4/6 years. He'll be 28 next year. This is not Mike Trout.

Anyway, the Jays are not in the position where they need one player to put them over the top. They trade for Stanton, are they as good as the Yankees or Red Sox or Houston or Cleveland? Still not. The Jays are a team with many holes to fill. Ohtani would be a game changer because his cost is so low, it allows you to fill your team in many different ways. Adding a potential 5 WAR player for nothing is very different than adding a 5 WAR player for $30M a year.
bpoz - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#349908) #
Agreed Glevin.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 08:23 AM EDT (#349909) #
Stanton has an opt out, but he would be opting out of a guaranteed 7/218 for his age 31-37 seasons. Even with inflation, the odds of Stanton being able to sustain this level of production enough to feel he can get more than 7/218 when he turns 31 is highly unlikely. Sluggers can fall off pretty quickly, especially ones without great plate discipline. Some were convinced that Price was going to opt out, but even before his injury/struggles in 2017, he would have needed to feel comfortable enough to opt out of 4/127 from age 33-36 after 2018. It was never a certainty. In the post-PED era, age is more important now than ever.

This is a moot point since Shapiro has mentioned publicly that he would never give a player an opt out, so I doubt he will be trading for one while giving up assets and absorbing 10/295. Another team will trade for him, and likely regret it a couple of years from now.

If you want the Jays to give out that kind of money, then root for them to win the Otani sweepstakes, or wait a year and try to sign 26 year old's like Machado or Harper. None of those scenarios are likely, but much more logical than trading for Stanton.
mathesond - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#349912) #
If you want the Jays to give out that kind of money, then root for them to win the Otani sweepstakes, or wait a year and try to sign 26 year old's like Machado or Harper. None of those scenarios are likely, but much more logical than trading for Stanton.

If Shapiro holds fast to his no opt-out vow, then there's no point in going after Machado or Harper.
uglyone - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#349913) #
Can we just all acknowledge that we all understand every big contract in the league will have poor value years in i

and SK you're right that it's a moot point to talk about opt outs because shap won't give them. by the same token, it's also moot to discuss any big time free agent or trade target becausd we know shap won't get them.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#349914) #
Shapiro would sign Otani (or try really hard to), but yes, there's pretty much no chance he signs Machado or Harper. Both will likely have opt outs after three years and could easily cash out again after that given their age, in addition to having what I can only assume will be record breaking contracts. I just meant if you want to throw money around, then it's more logical to overpay the young free agent than it is to give up assets for the older slugger with the more unreasonable contract.

The Jays will likely always be in the mid-tier FA pool with this front office, which I don't mind as long as they develop and sign their own talent. We are years away from that though, unless Stroman is open to an extension.
bpoz - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#349916) #
Jeff Blair is very confident that Miami and the Jays will make a trade, because Maimi has sent a lot of scouts to see the Jay's minor league system.

His hoped for player is C Yelich. A V good CF. But he has only 2 years of arb left, I believe. A FA after 2019. He definitely strengthens the ML team.
85bluejay - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#349918) #
I've advocated for Yelich the last 2 years, so would be happy with that acquisition (depending on cost, of course) - Yelich signed an extension, is signed through 2021 plus an option for 2022. works for me and I expect a power spike in the AL east. Jays may also take Dee Gordon's contract -
That would save the Marlins a good chunk of cash.
PeterG - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#349919) #
I don't agree with Blair. I don't think there will be a trade with the Marlins. He is just blowing smoke.

I still think a JD trade is more likely. If Jays get good offers and can't extend him reasonably, it makes sense to move him.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#349920) #
The Dee Gordon rumor always made sense for the Jays considering their lack of infield depth and the uncertainty around Travis long-term. If they can find a way to tack Yelich into the deal, then that would be great, but that would require real prospects going the other way. With Gordon, I would imagine just taking his salary back would lessen the cost. If the Marlins are in fire sale mode, then I don't see too many better fits for Gordon than the Jays. His AAV is comparable to a 1-2 WAR, and it's possible he can hold up that type of performance for three years before he levels off. There's always a risk with BABIP/speed driven players, but he might be worth it if it costs nothing/minimal.
Hodgie - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#349921) #
I understand the aversion to trading for a player with an opt-out clause but not the reluctance to award said clause to a player in free agency. In most scenarios, I would imagine if a player opts out it would signal that the player was productive during the duration of his employment and in turn provided significant value to the team. Seems like near the best case scenario, receiving good short-term value for a free agent signing without the potential payroll damaging effects of decline at the end of the full-term contract. Am I missing something, beyond positional certainty?
SK in NJ - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#349922) #
My guess is Shapiro doesn't like the risk associated with a player having control of the contract. I don't think it should be completely ruled out. For example, if Mike Trout was a free agent today and was willing to sign with the Jays, then an early opt out really shouldn't be the deal breaker. Get the talent and assume the risk. However, that's a case of getting a special talent. Maybe Guerrero will want one in any extension he signs with the Jays down the road, and they would certainly have to do it if he turns out to be as good as predicted. They just have to be picky for which talent they do it with and the age they happen to fall under.

With Stanton, Price, etc, it's unlikely the opt out will be used, so the team is likely stuck with a deal that they won't want a couple of years from now (or now in the case of Price). Then there are deals for young talent like Heyward which have opt outs, and even that blew up in Chicago's face because the years of expected surplus never materialized, and he's not going to magically get better into his 30's. Picking your spots is very important.
whiterasta80 - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#349923) #
Going public with a hard and fast organizational stance for negotiation (no 5 year contracts for pitchers, no opt out clauses in any contract) just strikes me as stupid. It gives the impression to fans and prospective free agents that your team is not willing to "do everything it takes to win". Not a great idea to do that in advance of a negotiation.

The only such rule that ever made sense to me was the Yankees policy of avoiding early contract extensions.
If you are going to pay top dollar than you might as well force the player to stay healthy and productive (imagine if the Jays did that with Vernon Wells or Alex Rios?). Even with a generally logical policy the Yanks made exceptions over the years.
dan gordon - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#349924) #
The problem with opt out clauses from the team's standpoint is that it takes away much of the benefit if the contract turns out to be a good one for the team, but leaves them on the hook if the contract turns out to be a bad one for the team. The risk isn't balanced out - the team is taking on much more risk than the player. You sign a player to a long term $25 million a year deal, and he turns out to be worth $10 million - too bad, you're stuck with it and the player is still going to get his money. He turns out to be worth $35 million - he's going to opt out and you don't get the benefit of signing a great deal (except for the 1st couple of seasons).

Stanton? Are you kidding me? With 10 more years plus a $10 million buyout for the 11th year? Look at what Bautista has provided the team the last 2 years at age 35 and 36 - and he really takes good care of himself. Stanton is already losing what speed he had - how good an outfielder is he going to be over the life of this deal. Throw in the injury problems he's had and the inconsistency. He's one of the last players in mlb I'd trade for unless the Marlins took on a major portion of the contract, and there's no way they're going to do that.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#349926) #
This is much too early to worry about the purely speculative. The Jays havenít done anything yet.
John Northey - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#349930) #
There are always exceptions. The Jays signing Wells to a 7 year deal worth over $100 mil being one of those. It was a bad contract but AA found a sucker and got rid of it. Generally deals over 5 years are a very poor idea.

Checking the 10 biggest contracts ever (all over 5 years with most being 9 or 10 year deals) you see nightmares like Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, A-Rod twice (first Texas had to pay the Yankees to take, second the Yankees had to buy out), Miguel Cabrera who could be a nightmare now (92 OPS+ this year at age 34 with 6 more years of $30+ mil coming), Giancarlo Stanton who after a 59 HR year appears to be on the trading block. The only 2 that look not horrible are Robinson Cano (fairly productive still averaging 5 WAR a year in Seattle with 6 years to go at $24 per) and Joey Votto (led NL in OPS+ the past 2 years, 6 years left at $25 mil per) although neither looks like a bargain over those next 6 years.

One can argue that A-Rod's first deal was a good one for the team but Texas screwed it up by many poor signings right after it. Boy does that Cabrera deal look potentially disastrous now - heck, I thought it was nuts at the time it was signed. Other $200+ million deals are Max Scherzer, and Zack Greinke (both deals go through 2021). Both deals look good so far but with pitchers it is always a start by start gamble.

I think the 5 year limit is a smart one, with a goal of no more than 3 years for pitchers (hard to do but a reasonable target). Always assume years after age 35 are write offs and the team should be fine. Thus any deal for Donaldson should be thought of as 3 years plus crapshoot years ($150 mil would be $50 mil per year for 3 years plus 2 bonus years - a deal over 5 years for Donaldson would be dumb as odds are against him being a solid player at age 37 and beyond).
Michael - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 02:01 AM EDT (#349935) #
There is no reason to fear player opt outs, you just have to realize they have value and make sure they get accounted for properly. The same thing, in reverse, for team options. If a player is willing to sign a six year $150M deal or a six year $120M deal with a player opt out after 3 years, there are outcomes where one deal is better, and others where the other deal is better.
scottt - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#349936) #
I think the issue is not the player option. You have to look at these contracts and assume the player does not opt out. If the player opts out, it's a boon for the team. The issue is determining the trade value of a player signed to a back loaded contract.

The Liriano trade, for example, was fantastic. They Jays receives prospects because the Pirates didn't want to keep paying Liriano.

Bruce was a super-two who after 2 solid years got a reasonable 6 year extension. The Mets gave up a 3rd round drafted pitcher and a backup 2B to get him. He slumped the rest of the year. Then the Mets try to trade him but can't find anyone willing to give them anything of value for the last year of his contract. So, they keep him even though they have an outfield crunch and are short on pitching. He has the best year of his career but the best they can manage is to get Cleveland to pick up his salary and send them a 40th round pick. Now the Mets fans all love Bruce and wants him back.

Stanton for 3/76M is great, but 10/285M is not good at all. To make that work, I'd need 3 or 4 R/A level prospects to make up the loss value at the end. If you assume one would work out... Then, if Stanton produces 20 WAR in 3 years and opt out, I wouldn't mind at all.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#349937) #
Not all G.M.s are equal, some are basically barely competent. Other G.M.s will do anything to win. Those are the G.M.s that always change Free Agency. Anyone can sign anyone if you throw enough salary and enough term at them. Opt-outs were another desperate measure added to get someone to sign. Whether or not we as fans like them, they are here to stay.
jerjapan - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#349940) #
Good point about opt-outs Michael.  It's all about risk management when signing an elite player.  All the scouting in the world may not be enough to predict a career-altering injury, but if they team is built properly, you can survive some bad luck.  and banking on the right big ticket FA can be an org changer - Grienke and Scherzer for example.  The failures can be spectacular, but how long ago was it that everyone called Verlander a bust?  Big ticket FAs are just one more tool in the GMs belt. 

I dunno Richard, I think the days of the incompetent (cough, Gord Ash, cough) GMs are over.  AJ Preller had a rocky start and John Coppolella a corrupt end to their careers, but overall, I think FOs are as smart as they have ever been. 

scottt - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#349944) #
I think it's the GMs that peddle the opt-outs, not the players who ask for them.
Team options are usually tacked on at the end. Opt out are usually after 2 or 3 years when the player will have provided excess value and might feel that they are underpayed even though they are signed to a contract that will likely overpay them.

Let say Donaldson want 6 years for 180M. You would benefit if there's an opt out after 3 years?

Glevin - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#349945) #
"I dunno Richard, I think the days of the incompetent (cough, Gord Ash, cough) GMs are over. AJ Preller had a rocky start and John Coppolella a corrupt end to their careers, but overall, I think FOs are as smart as they have ever been."

Yes, even with Coppolella and Preller, the issue is not competence but rather unsavory behaviour. Fangraphs had a good article about the rise of the super team and I think you can see it. Teams understand that the key to winning is by building a good core of homegrown players (or players traded for before they are stars). You can win when you are getting crazy value from players pre-free agency and especially pre-arbitration.

The Yankees, for example, had their top 4 WAR players as their #13, #20, #22, and #25 salaried players. They got over 18 WAR from three players making $1.6M combined. They got 6.2 WAR from their top-4 paid players making over $90M together. Even the big money teams are not being built, at their base, like efficient small-market teams (with the ability to keep their guys and add that key free agent when they are near the top).

jerjapan - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#349946) #
The Yanks are a great example Glevin - remember the grief Cashman used to get for handing out the big contracts?  He certainly learned his lesson, and the Yanks will likely remain dominant for years to come. 

And Scottt, agreed - if JD resigned to the contract you describe (which honestly might be a bit generous) and opted out after 3 years, Id call that a win for the FO.  I still think Price might opt out after next year if he has a monster season - although Ive been saying that for a while, and the odds are decreasing precipitously. 
John Northey - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#349949) #
If he demanded that I'd be a 'see ya, good luck next winter'. 6 years at $30 per would make it very hard to be profitable for the Jays and odds are they'd be trying desperately to trade him by the end. 5 years would be a hard limit for me if I was the Jays (unless he wanted $150 mil total over 6/7/8/9/10/100 years). That'd be fun, signing a player for 70+ years but with years after the first 4 being worth very little in baseball terms ($1-2 mil a year). Basically a lifetime deal with the final years amortized over a looooong stretch of time to help protect the player from bankruptcy.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#349950) #
I'd offer Josh Donaldson 3 years, $100.0 Million. Tell him he needs to earn a second contract by dominating in this one. As long as he's a perennial MVP candidate, he's a Blue Jay.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#349952) #
if JD resigned to the contract you describe (which honestly might be a bit generous) and opted out after 3 years, Id call that a win for the FO.

No question that'd be a huge win. I'd take Donaldson the next three years when he should be still kind of in his prime, and then let some other team pay for the proceeding decline.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#349955) #
There is no one, whether it be a GM or Ownership of any team, that will pay David Price equal to or more than the Red Sox are planning on paying him as per contract. No Agent would recommend giving up that much guaranteed money on anything less than another guaranteed contract or equal or greater value. Even the MLBPA will have something to say.
Glevin - Sunday, October 08 2017 @ 04:59 AM EDT (#349958) #
Opt out doesnít make much sense for 35 year olds. Itís put by players who feel they might be able to get a bigger contract if they become a free agent down the road a couple of years. Tanaka, Upton, Hayward all have their opt outs in their late 20s. Donaldson would, Iím sure, much rather just take a bigger salary or an extra year than bet on himself being more valuable at 35 years old than he is at 32. Price will not opt out. Heíll have 4 years at $32 Million a year left. Heís likely to still be a very good pitcher when healthy but itís a massive contract for a pitcher who is no longer elite, who has injury questions, and whose contract will take him to 37.
scottt - Sunday, October 08 2017 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#349960) #
The Cespedes opt out was ridiculous. The Mets gave him an opt out after only one year and appeared to be the only team negotiating with him. The 2016 contract was 4 year at 27.5M. The 2017 was essentially the same thing, just a little bit back loaded. 22.5M the first year than 29.5M after that. So they basically just gave him the same deal for his year 34. Meanwhile he spent half the year on the DL and they should probably be rebuilding now, except they gave him a full no-trade deal.
Hodgie - Sunday, October 08 2017 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#349962) #
Every situation can be unique, but not sure that I agree about the risk balance dan gordon. Unless you are signing an extremely young FA, the odds that you are losing out on significant value at the end of the contract seems minimal to me when compared to the risk of declining performance. The risk of poor performance/injury is the same as a contract without the opt out, and if the player out-performs his contract you have realized good/great value and have done so with only a cash expenditure. Be grateful for the production and then rinse and repeat, no?
dan gordon - Sunday, October 08 2017 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#349963) #
No. The risk of underperformance is the same with/without the opt out, but the potential benefit of overperformance is gone (except for the years before the opt out). The upside is all in the player's favour, the downside is all on the team.
scottt - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#349967) #
Underperformance in a long contract to an aging player is more than a risk. It's the likely outcome.
Overperformance in the early yearsi s also a likely outcome especially if the contract is back loaded.

The risks, include injury risk. That's also why young players feel the need to sign extensions.

Is Altuve the most underpaid player in baseball?

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