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A big question for 2018 is what is the Jays Payroll and how much is already used up?

Via Cot's Contacts we get...
  • ---Guaranteed Contracts---
  • Russell Martin $20.0 mil
  • Troy Tulowitzki $20.0 mil
  • Marco Estrada $13.0 mil
  • JA Happ $13.0 mil
  • Kendres Morales $12.0 mil
  • Steve Pearce $6.25 mil
  • Justin Smoak $4.125 mil
  • Lourdes Gurriel $1.929 mil
  • ---Arbitration--- (projections via MLB Trade Rumors service time in brackets
  • Josh Donaldson (5.158) – $20.7MM
  • Aaron Loup (5.040) – $1.8MM
  • Tom Koehler (4.090) – $6.0MM
  • Ezequiel Carrera (4.039) – $1.9MM
  • Marcus Stroman (3.148) – $7.2MM
  • Kevin Pillar (3.113) – $4.0MM
  • Ryan Goins (3.106) – $1.8MM
  • Aaron Sanchez (3.069) – $1.9MM
  • Devon Travis (3.000) – $1.7MM
  • Roberto Osuna (3.000) – $5.6MM
  • ---Jays choose what to pay (normally $500-750k each)---
  • Dalton Pompey, Danny Barnes, and the rest
Total: $142.904 million plus pre-arb crew (10 or so = $5-7 mil) ~ $148 million.

Note: $6 mil can be quickly saved by not offering Koehler a contract. I wouldn't be surprised if Osuana gets half of what MLBTR expects him to get (first year arb tends to be less). Still this gives a worst case for now. Leaving the Jays vs last years opening day payroll of $163.38 mil payroll roughly $15 mil space to work with. To stay near the top 10 they'll need to up that by another $10 mil I'd guess.
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James W - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#350027) #
MLB minimum salary is $545,000 in 2018.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#350028) #
I just rounded to $500k for simplicity. 45k one way or another per player won't make a bit of difference as to who they sign this winter. ($45k x 25 player = $1.125 million)
hypobole - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#350029) #
Osuna should get over $5 million for sure. Rosenthal got $5.6, Holland $4.7 their 1st arb years.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#350030) #
CBS 2017 Opening Day Payroll for the Blue Jays was $177,795,368. So with that as the upper marker and Cots as the lower marker, the Jays have $20.68 Million to $35.09 Million to spend baring trade from the MLB Roster.

That could mean non-tenders of Players making too much. What does Donaldson bring back in a trade, is it enough? What is Pillar’s value, plus what gets you what? Who gets upgraded and who should be upgraded?
John Northey - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 03:16 AM EDT (#350031) #
hypobole - Lets compare...

Greg Holland: up to 2014 when he got the big deal ERA of 2.41 67 saves 12.3 K/9 vs 3.3 BB/9

Rosenthal: up to 2016 when he got his cash - ERA of 2.66 96 saves 11.5 K/9 vs 3.6 BB/9

Osuna: 2.86 ERA, 95 saves 10.4 K/9 1.7 BB/9. His 10 blown saves this year plus the 3.38 ERA will hurt him. Rosenthal had a 2.10 ERA the year arb was there with just 3 blown vs 48 saves.

So I don't see Osuna getting more than those 2 or even as much. $4-$4.5 million he probably will get if it gets to the arbitrator but I suspect the Jays will try to get it done early around $5 mil. In truth I didn't notice how high reliever salaries were getting I just remember how they've always been around half of starters for the highest end.
scottt - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#350036) #
A lot hangs around Donaldson. Trading him would free a good chunk of money. Extending him could also tilt the number one way or another.

The injuries repress the salaries of Travis and Sanchez. That's a good thing if they  are healthy otherwise...

Koehler is expensive, but has looked good in the pen.
With Loup, it's not so much the money, but not being able to send him down.
I suppose they start the year with him and if he struggles they trade him or release him.
The other lefties can use some work anyway.

So, an impact arm (either a decent starter or Brett Anderson plus a lefty for the pen) and an impact bat.
The real need is a second baseman. A decent one like Kingsler or Dee Gordon would require a prospect and 10M in salary.

bpoz - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#350040) #
JD is $21 mil. I figured $25 mil. But I am just a guesser. I did no research.

Regarding the left over budget, how can the FO be conservative? This means get a predicted healthy player rather than a fragile one. Morales was healthy and Pearce was fragile. Both got their market value I assume. Mainly no luck involved. Their health was reasonably accurate.

rpriske - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#350041) #
I don't understand how someone like Tom Koehler is in line for $6m.

Easy cut.

PeterG - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#350042) #
Jays might not be able to find anyone better than Koehler for less than 6 mil. He looked great in the pen.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#350044) #
I think the club has to take the risk that they can't find anyone better than Koehler for less than $6 million.  They've got more pressing needs than relief pitching.  Obviously the club may try to work something out with him to come back for less than what he would get in arb. 
bpoz - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#350045) #
No disagreements from me. Just an opinion. Koehler as the 5th SP is a gamble I don't like. For the pen he is too expensive at $66 mil.

What 5th SP results are various Bauxites looking for?

If we don't add a 5th starter, then that spot is open to attract more cheap candidates. Hope may count for something. Last year the 5th belonged to Liriano.
PeterG - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#350046) #
By the time arb tenders come around, the Jays should already know if they can sign someone better than Koehler. Jesse Chavez was signed for 6 mil last off season by the Angels. I would argue that Koehler is a better investment. That said, trying to work out a cheaper deal seems sensible. He is there, if they don't find someone else. As as vet stabilizer in the pen, he could be useful as well as a trading chip at the deadline if necessary. Whatever, I don't expect any FA to be signed to more than a one year contract.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#350047) #
The Minors will start to have more and more players available to call up, if needed, in 2018 and beyond. How good they are, determines where they will play, Jays’ MLB Roster, AAA-fodder or Trade Asset.

Beyond Teoscar Hernandez and the optionable Relievers, They Jays have decisions to make, everywhere. The Players from the Jays’ MLB Top 30 List who might get to AAA in 2018 is huge. (Or are there, but in no special order).
Vladimir Guerrero - 3B
Bo Bichette - SS/2B
Anthony Alford - CF/OF
Sean Read-Foley - RHP
Richard Urena - SS/2B
Connor Greene - RHP
Rowdy Telez - 1B
Ryan Borucki - LHP
Danny Jansen - C
Jon Harris - RHP
Thomas Pannone - LHP
Francisco Rios - RHP
Harold Ramirez - OF
Someone’s getting traded, I don’t know who or how many, but someone gets traded.
Nigel - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#350048) #
I understand that the following wasn't the point of the original post but you cannot have salary conversations without including currency and regular baseball salary inflation. Salary inflation in baseball has been between 5-10% for the past 15 years. The Canadian dollar is just short of 10% more valuable than at this time last year. The starting payroll last year was around $165m. A payroll of anything less than $180-190m to start 2018 means that Rogers has actually cut the payroll.
hypobole - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#350049) #
John - K/9 or BB/9 matter little in arbitration. ERA, Saves, IP do matter. And past year performance matters far less than cumulative in 1st year arb. Osuna should get over $5 million whether he goes to arb or not.
Magpie - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#350050) #
I don't understand how someone like Tom Koehler is in line for $6m.

Koehler had been in the Marlins' rotation for three seasons and was arbitration eligible last spring. He and the team avoided arbitration with a one-year deal for 5.75 million.

I don't think he's a viable starting pitcher in the AL East. I think he could become a good reliever, and he did look good in the pen for the Jays. But it was just 12 innings, which doesn't really convince me of anything. And it's still my firm conviction that relief pitchers grow on trees and if you give the tree a shake, several useful relievers will fall to the ground, waiting for you to pick them up. And if you give one of them $6 million dollars, you're doing it wrong.
bpoz - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#350051) #
I totally agree with Magpie.

As a reliever he has a long way to climb to be the Jay's 2018 top setup man or closer in case of failures. He would be worth the money in that situation. Grilli & Benoit were worth it in 2016. But they were probably flukes ie not predicted.
Dewey - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#350052) #
But they were probably flukes ie not predicted.

Nah, the fluke is when a prediction is accurate.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#350053) #
There are three extension decisions that must be considered by the Jays.
1) Marcus Stroman will be getting expensive very fast. I’d go five years but not more.
2) Roberto Osuna might be earning record monies. This is where I go 10 years.
3) The elephant in the room is Josh Donaldson. How much? How long? Does he get traded? This one item will dominate the offseason and is sure to be a hot topic everywhere.
John Northey - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#350054) #
K/9 and BB/9 may or may not matter. We aren't in those hearings. However, we do know saves and blown saves will matter as will ERA. A lot. Osuna blew 10 saves while the guy who got $5.6 blew just 3 while getting 9 more saves. I find it very hard to believe an arbitrator won't look poorly on Osuna over that. No way Osuna gets more than Rosenthal did. Agreed that last year matters most and if so then Osuna looks a lot worse vs the 2 you listed, leading to a sub $5 mil possibility.
bpoz - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#350055) #
Works for me Dewey. Haha. Um... You were making a joke. Right. I don't want to laugh at you. It does seem that I need a little help understanding what used to be easy before. Getting old and unsure. Confused easily.
John Northey - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#350056) #
Richard - 10 years for a closer??? That would be insanity unless he took a silly low amount per year. Relievers are easily the hardest to predict going forward of any player and Osuna already had one Tommy John surgery.

Stroman for 5 years would make a lot of sense imo.
Donaldson is by far the biggest elephant in the room though. Trade him and free up $20 mil or so this year, sign him and spend a bit more this year and $30+ mil a year for the next 4 years+, or just play him and lose him without much of anything in return (a second round pick iirc).
greenfrog - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#350057) #
You know, it's funny. I don't recall Shapiro and Atkins ever clearly articulating what it is they're aiming to accomplish in Toronto in terms of success on the field, and how they intend to achieve this goal. By way of comparison, here is Cashman on how the current Yankees team was built (from a Travis Sawchuk article in April 2017 - the article is worth reading in its entirety):

To Cashman, it was clear two years earlier that the Yankees lacked the farm system capable of producing the pre-arbitration talent all elite teams — regardless of market size — require. Cashman believed the Yankees should dismantle to some degree. As early as the summer of 2014, Cashman was thinking about trading veteran players for younger assets.

“Turning the clock back with Robby Cano, it looked like he was going to stay with us. We pursued an extension with him ,and it wasn’t even close with what he wanted,” Cashman said. “He was, to me, someone we ultimately should have moved at the deadline but didn’t. So he left us as a free agent.”

The Yankees’ situation last summer was similar to what it had been in 2014 when Cashman began broaching the idea of selling off assets last season.

“I had recommended strongly that we push the reset button for our benefit,” Cashman said. “Probably starting in June, I had a lot of dialogue regarding what we should do and Hal Steinbrenner was telling me, ‘Well, I’m not thinking the way you are at this moment in time, but keep making recommendations.’ In my dialogue with ownership, [I said], ‘Every decision we make should try to put us closer to the next world championship. We want that to be in the upcoming season, but that doesn’t mean that is necessarily going to be the case.’ We have the most championships in the history of our sport, but we’ve been pursuing excellence for a 100 years plus and we don’t have a 100 championships. So there’s no embarrassment for not winning something [every season].”
Mike Green - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#350058) #
I think that it's pretty clear that Atkins/Shapiro would agree with the view that it is necessary to develop stars from within the system.  And they did sell at the deadline. 

It's a funny thing, but for some reason it seems to be easier to sell relief pitchers at the deadline for value than it is to sell position player stars.  Chapman (for 1/2 a year only) for Torres was a great trade.  I doubt that the Blue Jays had any offers as good for Donaldson even though he is a superior player (by a lot) and has a year to run on his contract. 

greenfrog - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#350059) #
Mike, I think that trade had a lot to do with the stars aligning perfectly for the Yankees: a championship-starved buyer (the Cubs) in a different division/league with an abundant farm system and position players to spare, a very ambitious Cubs front office, and the then-emerging recognition of the tremendous impact elite relief arms can have in the postseason. Also, Chapman and Miller in 2016 were more than just above-average relievers; they were absolutely dominant multi-inning bullpen arms.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#350060) #
I think the Jays FO has said exactly what Cashman mentioned in that article, more or less. They have mentioned not having enough young big league ready players (or "championship" level young players), inheriting a depleted/bottom heavy farm system that needed a few years to build back up, and having an older roster. Cashman can talk about things in hindsight because he's looking back on it. The Jays today are where Cashman was in 2013 (Donaldson being Cano in this example). Shapiro is probably having the same conversations with ownership about taking a step back. The difference is Cashman was able to bypass rebuilding entirely with great trades. I don't think the Jays have enough to do that, especially if they lose Donaldson for nothing after this coming season.

What the Yankees and Indians are today is what Shapiro wants the Jays to be, moreso the Yankees since the Jays will have a much higher payroll. To build something like that quicker will require getting young talent back for vets, but until they start doing that, it's hard to know what the timeline will actually be.
greenfrog - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#350061) #
Essentially, what Cashman was saying -- in April 2017, not October 2017 -- is that his goal was and is for the Yankees to be the best team in baseball, and that he pursued a very deliberate strategy (actually a change of strategy) towards that goal. I have never heard Shapiro or Atkins express clearly what their goal is and how they intend to attain that goal. Everything they say is hedged.
PeterG - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#350062) #
I think that is a good analysis SK. I think that the key to rebuilding quickly is to trade JD this off season. Failure to do that will be a mistake and the build will take longer. If it's good enough for the Yankees, it should be good enough for the Jays.
hypobole - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#350063) #
I was trying to say the previous season matters less (not more) than cumulative performance in the 1st year of arb. And Rosenthal got $5.6. I'm not saying Osuna will get more - he'll get somewhere between $5 -5.6.
hypobole - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#350064) #
Mike, pretty well every contender can use pitching upgrades at the deadline, especially for elite starters and relievers. In the playoffs especially, elite relievers are called upon more than the regular season. It's very much a sellers market.
scottt - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#350066) #
In my opinion, it's too late for a rebuild. That would just be throwing away the best years of Guerrero and Bichette.
Now, if they come up and struggle, that's totally different, then you can look to compete in 2024.

SK in NJ - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#350069) #
Shapiro has mentioned that the long-term goal is to build a long-term sustainable winner. That's a fairly generic answer, but that's what the Yankees are. Cashman mentioned in that quote that he wanted to sell off players in 2014 but ownership had different ideas. He had to work around that to build the type of team he felt the Yankees needed to be. That's pretty much where the Jays are, except Shapiro cannot reflect on anything because nothing has happened yet. He is likely where Cashman was 3 years ago, wanting to hit the reset button to get younger, but is getting resistance from ownership who want to keep the stadium filled and the money rolling in. Shapiro can't say that his direction conflicts with Rogers because it would make ownership look bad, and really wouldn't benefit anything the team is trying to do. So he's spinning it to the media.

The last two off-seasons have been signing cheap vet stop-gaps to fill holes, and emphasizing development in the farm system. Basically, like Cashman has done the past 3-4 years, the Jays are trying to play both sides. Field a team capable of contending late in the year (82-85 wins) but also trying to infuse as much young talent into the system/organization as they can.

That's why I really want to see the Jays take some chances like Cashman did with younger players (Didi, Castro, Hicks, etc). Make some trades where you're getting a player that might be undervalued. Teoscar was a good start, he has a chance to be an average big league OF, but keep making those types of moves. If they want to bypass a full on rebuild, then they are going to have to hit some home runs on trades.
John Northey - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#350070) #
There is a big thing many here are forgetting. There rarely are many 5+ WAR players out there. Over the last 5 years (2013-2017) just 5 hitters averaged 5+ WAR a year - Trout, Donaldson, Goldschmidt, Votto, McCutchen. Just 25 had 4+ WAR a year (20) over the past 5 years - EE just missed it.

Guys like Donaldson are extremely hard to get. What about another subset? Lets grab 2003-2007 - you get 6 hitters (Pujols, A-Rod, Bonds, Beltran, Ichiro, Andruw Jones), 25 with 4+ per year (including Vlad Sr).

What if we go back to the Jays glory years? 1989-1993. We get 6 hitters for 5+ (Bonds, Henderson, Rikpen, Sandberg, Griffey Jr, McGriff), 20 for 4+ (including Alomar, White, and Molitor).

In short, finding a guy like Donaldson isn't easy and you really can't replace him. Guys worth 4+ WAR a year are a bit less than 1 per team and guys like Donaldson are more 1 per league. You trade him and you will never get equivalent value back, you just hope for reasonable returns. Now, that said, the question becomes what would it cost to keep him? $25-$30 million a year for 5 years seems the starting point and that means you get his decline years which should still average 3+ WAR but that isn't so rare - 55 in the past 5 years including Tulo, Bautista, Martin, Encarnacion. On average almost 2 per club. So not a ton of them, but enough that you should be able to get them.

So, ideally the Jays find a partner who will take on Donaldson's decline years but is willing to give up the future as their future is now but they have a hole at third. So who qualifies as a contender who might be desperate to show they are trying thus will give up some quality kids for maybe just one year of Donaldson or have deep enough pockets to stretch that out?

Boston: their most used 3B was a 20 year old Rafael Devers (112 OPS+ in 240 PA) the others they tried were disasters so the kid has the position. Normally I'd expect Boston to say 'he is our guy' period. But after a quick playoff exit for the 2nd straight year they might be desperate to do something big and Donaldson would be big. They have near or at ML high quality prospects so they could do the deal (ideally we'd get Devers) but they'd be idiots to go for that and the people running the Red Sox are not normally idiots.

The Angels used Yunel Escobar at 3B this past year (yes, the ex-Jay) so you know they are desperate there. With Trout and the nightmare Pujols contract they know their window is closing (Trout was the only regular under 27) so adding a second super-star would be a good idea potentially and they have the bucks to keep him if they choose. However, they had only 1 top 100 prospect going into this year Jahmai Jones (19 in A/A+ 794 OPS in CF).

Those 2 are the only ones who jumped out at me as contenders who might be seeing their window closing thus might be desperate enough to do a crazy deal.

Sigh. I miss the AA days when it comes to trades as you never knew what was coming next.
bpoz - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#350071) #
Thanks John. I cannot understand the numbers, but you have used them to find elite hitters.

That/there is a lot to consider.

1) Rogers is a big company, Toronto/Canada is also big. The fans spend time and money on a winner. Will Rogers spend money? Their decision, probably based on the returns on costs .

2) The FO will never tell us their plans IMO. They will say what is best to be said. They will be vague. That is expected.

3) The FO knows the facts. The actual $ parameters. They know where they are young and old. They know costs coming up and the costs going off the books. They know what the comfortable wins zone is. They see the window opening and closing. They know when it is time to open it wide and go for it. Playoff games are money makers. And when to shut the window.

4) They know that their neighborhood is the AL East. A rich neighborhood.
Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#350072) #
I wonder if this is the year that the myth of the ace starting pitcher starts to erode. Obviously a pitcher who gives a club 200 very good innings in a year is very valuable, but even the best of them seems to be able to deliver at best only 5-6 decent innings in the playoffs on average.  And with the playoffs involving more teams and lasting more rounds, it has become a bigger deal.

It has long struck me that the 5 man rotation/7 or 8 man bullpen is highly inefficient. Teams have 2 or 3 pitchers (at most) who you want to see in there for the 3rd time through the order, but clubs try to get 5 of them to do it.  Perhaps the time is ripe now for some forward-thinking club to make a change so that some of the rotation slots are effectively tandem.  No one is worrying in the playoffs whether a starter gets "the win", and I think the first step is for a general manager to say publicly what many already know- "we are not interested in whether a starting pitcher wins the game, all we want from him is as many good innings as he can give". 

If you have a successful season, you enter the playoff with 2 or 3 pitchers who are ready to go 7-8 innings, and 4 to 6 pitchers who are ready to go 4 innings.  That seems to me to be pretty much optimal, given the way pitchers are used in the playoffs already. 

bpoz - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#350074) #
Very good but complicated issue Mike. I hope you get some responses based on the theory rather than how the Jays would be affected.
Ducey - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#350076) #
"Those 2 are the only ones who jumped out at me as contenders who might be seeing their window closing thus might be desperate enough to do a crazy deal."

The Cardinals have been reported to be after Donaldson since July, and in September it was said that they are going to "strongly pursue" him this offseason.

They have Gyorko, who is a reasonable facsimile of a good 3rd baseman (3.6 WAR last year), and some good prospects.
pubster - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#350078) #
"Perhaps the time is ripe now for some forward-thinking club to make a change so that some of the rotation slots are effectively tandem"

And if this forward thinking club finishes in last place and gets smoked in their tandem starts, then is this club still forward thinking?
bpoz - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#350080) #
That 1 club is a SSS. A quick hook may be needed for those underwhelming SPs.

Somehow B Tallet and S Richmond were basically full time SPs in 2009. Not V good SPs.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#350082) #
First, determine who’s “dumping” salary. That’s a team with major incentive to deal. Miami is the most obvious.
Second, determine who’s blocking who. There might be a Player the Jays would like.
Third, who must be in the Postseason at all costs. That GM might meet Donaldson’s price.
Last, look for players in the 19 - 25 year-old range. That’s where the Jays are looking.
Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#350085) #
The Blue Jays want interns.  Who doesn't?
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#350090) #
Not so much interns as someone who will work for next to nothing or less.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#350091) #
Kendrys Morales is the logical person to move, but Steve Pearce might be easier to trade. At least then, Morales could give Smoak the occasional break at First, giving someone else the occasional AB at DH. Either way, that still a lot of offense to reproduce.
John Northey - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#350095) #
I hate the concept of unpaid work for a for-profit company. To be that is just evil. There is a minimum wage for a reason. At least pay that much Jays - for these 3 positions it would cost less than the bonus you'd pay a guy for going to the all-star game. Instead they try to avoid even paying bus fare. Of course, if they are paying the interns then I take that back, but sadly corporate culture is to get something for nothing whenever possible. Then they'll be shocked when a pure socialist gets in someday soon. Note how the Liberals now campaign to the left of the NDP on many issues (but still govern closer to the Conservatives once in - at least federally).
jerjapan - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#350096) #
Couldn't agree with you more - on the surface, I think the justification is "whoever wants in the most" - and is therefore willing to work for free - is the best candidate for a highly desirable job.   But not many of the working poor / middle class can really afford to work for free, can they?  The old boys network continues.  With female coaches / refs in hockey, basketball and football, I fear baseball is pretty behind in terms of equity. 

BTW, John, I get the feeling I'd be voting for you if I was in Thunder Bay ...
scottt - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#350098) #
Federally, we've never seen the NDP do anything, so we can't say with honesty how close the Liberals are to them.
The Conservatives care only about abortion, the oil industry and tax cuts that advantage the wealthy.
The Liberals are trying to do something that makes a lot of sense.
Reducing the fiscal advantages of companies that employ nobody.
Lawyers, doctors, etc are all fungible. Those jobs are never going to India.
At some points the provinces encouraged the doctors to incorporate and pay less taxes.
That was a way to get the federal to subsidize them.
It's a bit like those provincial job programs that only push people into chronic EI.

Unless it's with Vancouver, a job with an affiliate is going to fall under US laws anyway.
I would think they would restrict applicants to US citizens only. No?

John Northey - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#350099) #
Thanks jerjapan. Might run in the next provincial election. I'm 50-50 right now on it. Takes a lot of time and odds are slim as I run as a Green and this is a pure Liberal riding where you almost could run a donkey and it'd win if it wore red. Still, important in a democracy to make sure options are there for voters so we never get stuck with a 2 party mess like the USA is in. Note: I am trying to avoid any political stances or judgements here as this isn't the place for that.

Say, I am curious if anyone else here has ever run at any level regardless of party or has considered it. No matter what your political views please consider it as we need more good people out there and who could be better than Blue Jay fans :)
jerjapan - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#350101) #
Agreed on that point John - good people trump party allegiance.  I'd vote for you as a Green even though I'm an NDPer, and I even have a friend who would get me to vote conservative if and when he runs. 

Loads of respect for you and other candidates that run in those 'impossible' to win ridings, or for the less popular parties.  The differences between Canada and the States depend in part on those efforts. 

And while we are talking politics, time for some electoral reform, no?   
John Northey - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#350102) #
Back to baseball...
Dumping salary - always hard to know (outside of Miami and Tampa Bay) who will be doing that.

Given opening day payrolls and final won/lost % vs all other ML teams I get a ranking for each. #1 in payroll was the Dodgers and #1 in results were the Dodgers so they get a score of 0 (payroll matched results). The Brewers had the lowest opening day payroll at $63 mil but came in 10th overall so they get a score of 20. The Tigers, on the other hand had the 2nd highest opening day payroll and came in 29th for a score of -27 (ouch).

The teams with the worst results...
Tigers: -27 (pay 2, results 29)
Giants: -24 (pay 5, results 29 - yes tied with Tigers)
Mets: -13 (pay 12, results 25)
Orioles: -10 (pay 10, results 20)

The Jays were -8 (pay 11, results 19) tied with Texas.

On the other extreme was
Arizona: 21 (pay 26, results 5)
Milwaukee: 20 (pay 30, results 10)
Cleveland: 16 (pay 18, results 2)
Tampa: 15 (pay 28, results 13)
Houston: 14 (pay 17, results 3)
Minnesota: 10 (pay 21, results 11)

Everyone else ended with results and pay within 10 of each other - ie: in eyeshot of what they should've expected.

So in theory the Tigers, Giants, Mets, and O's should be dumping as they could've lost that many with cheap players instead of with expensive ones. However, that isn't always how it works in real life. The Tigers are clearly clearing out payroll already. The Giants should be if they haven't started already. The Mets are a mess in ownership so who knows what they will do. The O's like the Jays think they can contend still. So if the Jays are willing to eat payroll to get prospects they should talk with Detroit, San Fran, Miami, and good ol' Tampa Bay.
lexomatic - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#350103) #
The giants are sort of in the same position that the jays were in and still are in unless they trade Donaldson. IE they have a decent core and if they don't have so many injuries and down seasons could sneak into contention. Probably not, though.
PeterG - Sunday, October 15 2017 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#350104) #
3 hitless, scoreless innings with 4 K's from T J Zeuch in the AFL yesterday. Lourdes Gurriel contributed 2 hits and 2 rbi.
bpoz - Sunday, October 15 2017 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#350105) #
1 hitter by the team with 2 outs to go. 12-1 win.
krose - Sunday, October 15 2017 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#350107) #
I’m heading to Surprise for two weeks and will take in some AFL games. Are all of the BJ prospects on the Peoria squad this year?
PeterG - Sunday, October 15 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#350108) #
Yes, all on the same team.
Gerry - Sunday, October 15 2017 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#350109) #
Former Blue Jay minor leaguer Daniel Webb was killed in an ATV accident today. He was just 28 years old. Webb was traded to the White Sox in the Jason Frasor trade in 2012.

Webb made it to the major leagues with the White Sox but had Tommy John surgery and was released in 2016.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#350148) #
Gurriel 3 for 5 yesterday in AFL. He has been very good so far. If he keeps hitting like this, he will be given a chance to make the team in ST. This too could influence some Jays off season decisions as he can play several positions in the field.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#350149) #
The competition level in the AFL is apparently lower this year than previously.  Most teams have elected to not send top prospects there.  There are a few exceptions- Acuna and Mejia are there, and Toussaint and Sheffield (and Zeuch) on the pitching side. 

If Gurriel has a good 100 PAs in Arizona (in particular with his W/K/HR) and plays decent defence at shortstop, that would be interesting.  I still think that the club would be foolish to go into the season with Tulo/Travis/Goins/Urena/Gurriel as their middle infield depth chart. 

PeterG - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#350153) #
I think the Jays will sign another middle infielder but they may be less aggressive if Gurriel has a good AFL season. They will probably sign someone who is disposable in case Lourdes wins the job in ST which I think would be the preferred option for the FO.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#350165) #
Both Urena and Gurriel; burned 1 option in 2017. Both need full playing time. Most likely in the minors.

Very few jobs are won in ST. The regular pitchers are trying to get ready for the season not prove anything. When the minor league players take over, success against them means little.

This off season will tell us how Goins is viewed by the FO. They know that both Travis and Tulo will spend some time on the DL.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#350170) #
Another HR for Gurriel in the AFL today. While he is thriving at the plate so far, Max Pentecost is struggling.

Gurriel may begin the 2018 season in the minors, but he won't finish anywhere but TO. This guy is a stud and just needs a little time and additional reps to counteract the almost 2 years of missed playing time.
Dewey - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#350185) #
Excerpts from a story in today’s Globe. The Jays held them back, it seems:

Profit more than doubled to $467-million, ....

On an adjusted basis, net income was up 22 per cent to $523-million as Rogers posted adjusted operating profit growth of 6 per cent largely on the strength of its wireless business. It reported adjusted earnings of $1.02 per share, up from 83 cents this time last year.

Rogers said adjusted operating profit at its media division was down 18 per cent to $65-million as salaries were up at the company-owned Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and revenue was lower.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#350188) #
Typo of the day comes from this article:

Peoria also have Javier Hernandez (Blue Jays) and Joe DeCarlo (Mariners) as listed catchers, but neither carries the same prospect cache.

Maybe hiding prospects inside (presumably large) organizational players is going to be the next thing.  Who knew?

Dewey - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#350189) #
I've seen this one on Da Box, Mike.  A lot of people seem never to have seen the word "cachet" in their reading.

And the other day I heard a CBC newsreader confuse "complacent" with "complicit".  We live in sorry times.
Chuck - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#350192) #
We live in sorry times.

Despite having committed more than a few gaffes, myself, over the years, I share that same anal, old man thing about grammar. But linguist John McWhorter would suggest me and my ilk just chill. He can be found all over NPR if you google. Here's an interview he gave on On Point. Tom Ashbrook tried to get worked up (in good fun) but McWhorter would have none of it.

Dewey - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#350196) #
An interesting talk, Chuck.  Thanks for so tactfully challenging me.  Mr. McWhorter,  however, is but one among a horde of linguists beating this particular drum.  Language evolves.  Yes, of course.  I agree with much of what he says.  But that’s not what us old and anal guys usually get irked about.  It’s the flat-out mistaking what a word means.  The CBC newsreader, for example, simply did not know that “complicit” was a different word from “complacent”.  That's ignorance, not language-change. (The two words are so disconnected that it’s hard to imagine how one might eventually morph into another.)  “Infamous” is now simply another word for “famous”, but you can at least see how they became confused.

It’s the sloppiness, the carelessness, the ‘whatever’ shrug-- as if it didn’t matter-- that’s trouble.  And quite often it does matter, much more than we realize.  There’s a lack of precision and accuracy that results from a too-easy attitude toward language change.  If you don’t think accuracy and precision are worth caring much about, so be it.  Your loss.  Well, all of ours really.  (I’m not addressing you, Chuck:  you write with care.)  Mr. Trump’s exceedingly limited vocabulary is an example of this imprecision and inaccuracy.

I’ve written before on da Box about the current conflation of “less” and “fewer”. (That really betrays my age and anality, I'm afraid.  And I’ve given up trying to get people to see that there’s a distinction between them -- one that gets tossed out when we simply use the words interchangeably.   Is the distinction worth preserving?  For me, yes.)  Sorry to clog up da Box with non-baseball passions.
scottt - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#350197) #
Mr. Trump s exceedingly limited vocabulary is an example of this imprecision and inaccuracy.

Hernandez and DeCarlo are not tremendous prospects. Why give them equal time? Sad!

I would have put quotes around prospects, but the software here seems to hate those.
scottt - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#350198) #
I got rid of my Rogers phone several years ago. They were completely fleecing me.

Meanwhile, Rogers Cable had 27,000 net additions for its internet services and an overall revenue growth of 1 per cent compared with the same quarter last year.

It said cable revenue growth was reduced by a regulatory rate decision and would otherwise have been up 2 per cent.

I still think some of the Blue Jays revenues are reflected in the cable division.

James W - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#350199) #
No need to apologize Dewey. Accuracy is always a healthy pursuit.
dan gordon - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#350200) #
The use of "less" when "fewer" is correct bugs me as well. The analogy I use to explain it to those who care (yes, some still do) is if you and I each have a cup of water, and your cup has more water in it, then mine has "less" because you can't put a number in front of the word "water". On the other hand if we each have a cup with sugar cubes in it, and mine has 5, while yours has 7, then I have "fewer" because you can say "5 sugar cubes". You can't say "5 water", it doesn't make sense. That example seems to be understandable to people I have told it to.

Another word that is misused all the time now is "problematic". People use it to mean something that causes a problem, but that's not what the word problematic means. It means questionable or doubtful, as in the accuracy of next week's weather forecast is problematic.

Rogers' quarterly report indicated that Blue Jays' salaries were higher than last year, and that revenue was also higher due to revenue received from mlb - I guess the TV contract had gone up. Rogers' new head guy, Joe Natale, is still rumoured to be in the market to sell off non-core assets, including the Blue Jays. That could have a big impact on the team, of course, depending on who the buyer is.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#350201) #
You are right, Dewey.  Confusing complacent and complicit is much more troubling.  I found cache/cachet amusing. 

Chuck - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#350203) #
Confusing complacent and complicit is much more troubling.

Some pet peeves... literally meaning not literally, based off in lieu of based on, per say in lieu of per se, dominate as an adjective in lieu of dominant...

I once heard a CBC radio announcer discussing the pronunciation of various words, and she pronounced pronunciation as "pronounce-iation". It was an ourobouros of meta and I'm pretty sure the fabric of time-space tore a little.

Okay, now all of you off my lawn.

jerjapan - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#350205) #
I agree with you guys on most of your examples, but there is bad news for purists on the 'literally' front.

Chuck - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#350207) #
My head is literally exploding.
hypobole - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#350209) #
We live in sorry times.

Thanks for the link jerjapan. I now realize "sorry times" have literally been around forever, figuratively.
Beyonder - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#350212) #
I highly recommend the book "Do I Make Myself Clear", by Harold Evans, to anyone who questions the importance of using words precisely. It is one of the best of many books out there on the topic.
mathesond - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#350214) #
"It is one of the best of many books out there on the topic"

Best, or goodest?
Beyonder - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#350216) #
You will have to read the book to find out :)
krose - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#350218) #
Watched some prospects in AFL yesterday.
Lourdes Gurriel looks like an advanced prospect. He didn't have any really difficult defensive plays but made all the routine ones look easy. He played 2nd but looks to have the range and arm to play SS. He is quick turning the double play. He was one for four with the bat but hit two line-outs to the outfield. According to my uneducated eye, he is ready for some big league time and could be ahead of Urena defensively as well as offensively.
Max Pentecost threw out a base stealer at second! Throw was accurate and strong. He blocked a ton of balls and looked good defensively... His pitchers had a difficult time avoiding hard contact, but not sure if that was a pitch quality problem or a game calling issue or both. He did not look comfortable at the plate.
JD Davis inflicted a couple of bashes on foul ball. He walked once and took a HBP. He stole a base and scored two runs, but was 0 for 3. He played CF and made two difficult catches going east and west, but looked quite bad going back on one hit over his head.
Dan Young pitched two innings in relief. He went, walk, single, triple, single, single, FO, GO, Go: HBP,BB, GIDP, SO.
Zeuch pitches today.
Mike Green - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#350219) #
Thanks, krose.  When healthy, Pentecost has a strong arm. I guess he's healthy now, and maybe being in Arizona is helping. 
John Northey - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#350220) #
Good to hear something positive about Gurriel's defense. I remember when the Jays signed him the talk was he'd be a LF or something like that but if he can play 2B/SS at a ML level then he could be very valuable indeed. Have him start in AAA and once Travis goes down (as we all know he will) or Tulo does (again, pretty much an automatic to happen at some point) call up Gurriel and see how he does. If he aces it then keep him up even after the other guys get healthy as a mix/match at 2B/SS and even at 3B/LF/wherever.
Richard S.S. - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#350222) #
Easy to keep everyone sharp. Your SS/2B Backup plays one game at 2B, one game at SS, one game at DH and one game off, not just a day off. Travis plays 3 games on, one game off. Tulowitzki plays 3 games on, one game off. Morales hits 3 games on, one game off. Start the whole routine at Game One and continue it until someone breaks down. then continue it with whoever gets called up.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#350225) #
Guirrel turning into a big league option next season would be a huge boost for the Jays since Travis and Tulo are both likely to miss time. I suspect 2018 might be it for Travis in terms of counting on him to start at 2B (assuming they haven't considered replacing him already). If he misses a significant chunk of his fourth straight season, then it would be time to call a spade a spade. Guirrel being able to cover both 2B and short would add a bit of depth that the team will surely need next season. He probably isn't a long-term option at short, but being able to play there will definitely come in handy.

I could see the team going with a vet stop gap (like Sogard) coupled with Goins (who will be a Jay forever just to annoy me) as the big league infield depth, with Guirrel in AAA. I'd imagine the Jays back-up infield gig has to be attractive to any potential free agent. Between Travis/Tulo up the middle, and Donaldson having some injury issues the past two seasons, there's 400+ plate appearances there for the taking.
bpoz - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#350226) #
Positive stuff about Gurriel. He did miss a lot of time this year. I wonder if he would join Vlad in winter ball later.
krose - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#350227) #
Zeuch went 5 innings tonight. Gave up 3 hits, struck out 4, no walks and no runs. He was pitching against Scottsdale and they looked like a solid offensive team when I watched them yesterday.
bpoz - Friday, October 20 2017 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#350228) #
Thanks krose. I think he could end next year in AA. But that is the biggest jump.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#350229) #
If Zeuch and Pearson come quickly, that would be a tremendous boost.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#350230) #
Sickels has a brief article up on 3 Jays prospects - Jansen, Greene and Pannone. He seems particularly high on Pannone.

Also, in the AFL, Andrew Case has pitched 5 scoreless innings in relief. This follows an excellent, under the radar season, in which he pitched to a 2.86 ERA in 66 innings across 3 levels. He is also rule 5 eligible and could be a target. I don't see room for him on the 40 man. Trade candidate perhaps?
greenfrog - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#350231) #
The article is by Wayne Cavadi, not John Sickels. This is his opening paragraph:

"The Toronto Blue Jays farm system put themselves back on the map this past summer. While it may not necessarily be elite or deep, all eyes will be on the rise of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Bo Bichette."

I think that's a fair assessment of the Jays' system - strong / solid, but not elite. It's deeper than some people think, though.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#350232) #
I didn't say the article was written by Sickels. I said it was up on his site.

I agree that the Jays organizational depth is underrated.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#350233) #
Yes, perhaps my statement on the origin of the article was unclear.

Any comments on Andrew Case?
bpoz - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#350235) #
Regarding payroll: The Jay's owners have realized that unlike 2015 & 2016, this year did not generate any playoff revenue.

NYY on the other hand has maxed playoff revenue to date. All 3 series so far have gone the distance.

Cash registers are happy.
bpoz - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#350237) #
Can anyone verify the notion that this year many teams did not send manyany of their top prospects.

So good prospects like Gurriel, Pentecost and Zeuch are in the AFL to make up missed time due to injuries.

Case, Young and McClelland don't need the work and are mediocre prospects at best IMO. We will see if they are even invited to the ML ST camp.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#350238) #
Here is a piece on T J Zeuch, just posted on MLB Pipeline,
written by Jim Callis :
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#350239) #
Per BA, the following players elected free agency after being outrighted by the Jays:

Bolsinger, Beliveau, Oberholtzer, Harrell, Tepesch, Ohlman and House
jerjapan - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#350240) #
The Cavadi article suggests that Jansen is outside of the top ten prospects and calls him a 'serviceable backup' which feels low to me.  I have Jansen at the back end of our top ten myself.  But Cavadi is high on Greene's potential as a reliever, which people have been saying for a while now.  At what point do you abandon starting and move the guy to the pen?  I get that starters are more valuable, but as with Biagini this year, sometimes the efforts to maximize the role of a flawed player may do more harm than good. 

Andrew Case may be most familiar as the Canadian minor leaguer who got suspended for failing to show up for a drug test in Toronto that he couldn't afford to get to.  Undrafted, without much velocity and the corresponding low K% to match, he's going to need to keep having success at every stop on the minor league ladder to make me a believer.  Jay Blue notes that conditioning may also be an issue for him.  I don't see him as a risk to be taken in the rule v for these reasons.   He's had stints in Australia and now the AFL, which sometimes means the org is interested in his potential as a Buffalo shuttle type reliever. 

scottt - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#350241) #
I kinda liked Ohlman but there should enough catcher depth at AAA now without him.

If you take out Bautista, Montero, Barney and Anderson, all free agents, there's still 43 players left.
That include Shultz, Valdez, Sanchez, Travis, Tulo, Cecilliani and Pompey, all still on the 60 DL.

It's going to get interesting after the World Series.

PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#350242) #
Saunders also comes off the 40 man as a FA. I think that Valdez, Schultz and Ceciliani will all be DFA.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#350243) #
I think Jansen should be ranked pretty highly. He's in my second tier group with Teoscar, Borucki, Pearson and Warmoth.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#350244) #
Taylor Cole will likely be DFA but I can see the Jays trying to keep him on a minor league deal. Same for Lopez imo. Harold Ramirez in same boat as well. Campos and Refsnyder will be DFA with no thought of retaining them.

Greene will likely get 2 more years as a starter before there is any serious thought of making him a reliever. There are many relief prospects in the system with Carlos Ramirez likely added to the big team in 2018. I think Biagini will have all of 2018 to prove that he can start. He isn't needed in the pen. Unlike others. I feel the team may offer arb to Koehler as it is unlikely any better vet can be found for much less. It will depend on what they pay, or feel they will pay, for another starter.
scottt - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#350245) #
Saunders signed a 2 year contract with a 1 million buy out. I'm not totally sure how that works.
I assume the Jays signed him only for the year at the minimum and he's a free agent because he has over 6 years of service time.

scottt - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#350246) #
I wonder if a 2 year deal is possible with Koehler.
How much would he make as a free agent in a year if he's spent 2018 as an average middle reliever?

scottt - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#350247) #
I have the other opinion about Greene.
He will use an option year in 2018 and if he's a below average starter in the minor, why not bring him up as a hard throwing reliever and see how his fast ball play there rather than wait until he's out of options?
Small sample success could boast his trade value.
PeterG - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#350248) #
I don't think we need Greene as a reliever but I do agree that 2018 will be important for him. He is a trade candidate if there is another team that values him more than do the Jays.

As for Koehler, he was successful in 10 of 11 relief appearances with the Jays. If he can keep that average, he is worth the 6 mil. Negotiating a different contract is always a possibility. The Jays gave up an asset to acquire him. so I imagine they will seriously consider retaining him.
John Northey - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#350249) #
If Koehler proves he is a 1+ WAR reliever (not easy) he could get up to $10 mil a year over 3 years (I'd figure that would be the max). More likely $5 mil per over 3 years (for an average reliever).
scottt - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#350255) #
The rush to play Greene is not because the team needs him but because the clock is ticking on him.
I don't think they can let him stagnate too long. Also, he doesn't have a full arsenal. He's a fastball, change up guy. That works better in the pen.

China fan - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#350262) #
I was very impressed by Koehler in his relief appearances. I think the Jays should do their best to sign him. Even if $6-million for 2018 might be too much, he's worth more than the standard reliever, since I think he could also serve as the 6th or 7th starter. He has value as rotation depth, in addition to his bullpen value. (I know he was bad as a starter in 2017, and he was mediocre in 2016, but there's a pretty good chance that his 2017 starter performance was an outlier and he can bounce back next year.)
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#350263) #
Tom Koehler was basically a 5th Starter in Miami. His one start in Toronto was good. His time as a reliever was very good. Could he give the Jays one or two years of reprising Marco Estrada's first year with Toronto (relief/spot start)? It's possible. but do the Jays agree?
PeterG - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#350264) #
l think they will retain Koehler but, at this point, all options will be considered.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#350265) #
Thank you.
John Northey - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#350266) #
I suspect Koehler is dependent on the budget. If they are tight he is let go, if not then sign him for now and decide in spring if he is worth it (can release for 1/6th his salary iirc). Cot's estimates the Jays are in great shape financially right now at under $150 mil factoring in arbitration. ( with Koehler at $6.5 mil.
SK in NJ - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#350267) #
I think they will retain Koehler as well, it's just a matter of whether it's via arbitration or non-tendering him to re-sign him cheaper after that. The FO will pay for SP depth. Chavez made $4M in 2016 to serve as depth, and it cost them a decent RP as well. It was a very tiny sample size, but Koehler (unlike Chavez) looked decent as a reliever, and could slide into the rotation if necessary. Depends on how much the team wants to allocate on that type of talent. He's useful, but not someone you pay big money to. Hopefully there is a middle ground.
ayjackson - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#350268) #
I don't think you reassess Greene until July at the earliest. Bit early to write-off his secondary offerings. If we aren't going to show patience with high-upside draft picks, we shouldn't draft them.
scottt - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#350270) #
Greene was drafted at 18. He'll be 23 next year.

Right now the score on Greene is good fastball, average change up,  less than average slider. poor curve, poor control. He's got different release points on his breaking balls, so the hitters aren't fooled by them. The arm action on the change up is good though, so the change up is good, but it's the type that fades out of the strike zone, so he's got to pitch aggressively and get ahead in the count.

This year he made 25 starts at AA with an ERA over 5 and a 5-10 record.

If they use the same balls with lower seams next year, he might be able to add another mph or 2 on his fastball.

I don't really see him with the club before September. Throwing  a few late innings would be a disappointment only if the Jays are in need of a starter at that point.

PeterG - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#350271) #
Greene will still have 3 option years after he is placed on 40 man roster. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to rush him or to become impatient with him as a starter.
scottt - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#350273) #
The option years is one thing. Taking a spot on the 40 roster is another.
Ideally, you want a player on the 40 roster to be part of the depth.
When they start adding the players drafted in 14 and 15, it's going to get crowded.

SRF, Greene, Zeuch,  Romano,  Perdomo, and Harris could all be AA starters.

ayjackson - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#350274) #
Then don't draft ceiling if you can't afford the 40-man spots.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#350275) #
You should always draft high ceiling imo as low ceiling you can grab off waiver wires quite often. The 40 man becomes a challenge when you build up a lot of teen talent. Generally guys can be expected to grow up to age 25 with slower growth after than before decline in the early 30's. Once a guy gets to the 40 man slots he should be able to contribute or you didn't do a good job developing him or he just doesn't have the skill to be a major leaguer in which case dropping him should be a no-brainer.

Sean Reid-Foley is just entering his age 22 season so for the next 4 years he could do a major shift and change from 'blah' to 'wow'. With luck this year will be his last with an innings limit (probably around 160-170 this year) and that puts him ready for a ML workload in 2019 which is ideal. Now, if he can just get those HR down and reduce his walk totals he'd be in great shape.

Conner Greene is in a similar situation but a year older (entering age 23 season). He is up to 5 years in the minors (RF is up to 4 now) with a poor K/9 figure (6.2 vs career 6.8) while walking over 5 per 9 IP last year and over 4 in his career - you cannot be viewed as a serious prospect when doing that with a low K total. I generally cheer on lower picks (7th round) but I don't see him as a lock for the 40 man or for being around for more than another 2 or 3 years at any level unless something drastic changes.
lexomatic - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 07:12 AM EDT (#350276) #
Greene really hasn't ever had the results SRF has. Based on limited sources, it seems less a mechanical issue than having a 10c head. I expect he'll get a bullpen shot somewhere unless he gets hurt, and not move unless there's a drastic change.
scottt - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#350277) #
Sanchez started in the pen and I see the same trajectory with Greene. He'll compete for starting spots, but it's going to be much harder for him to win one because his fastball is straight.

SRF is ahead of Greene but because his best offspeed offering is a slider, he might have difficulties with lefties.

The Blue Jays starting pitching finished 14th in ERA, 16 in K/9, 10 in HR/9. 22 in WHIP.
The bullpen was 15th in ERA, 7 in WHIP, 8 in K/9 but 20 in HR/0.

The pitching was average despite using a lot of replacement pitchers.
I think the pen was better than average despite the ERA.

The hitting was bad. 29th in average, 25th in OPS. 20th in HR.

bpoz - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#350278) #
Sounds to me like 1/we have to produce some version of a 40 man roster. Since we believe that the every 40 spot has value for various reasons.

This year all prospects should have seen AA at least. Last year only Borucki was at A ball when the season ended.

A guideline I may use for this years 40 man roster is 22 pitchers who made it to AA at least. So A Perdomo misses out. 1 DH.

I see 4 catchers on the list. That could be a problem. Does Maile have options or can we bring him back as a NRI, with the understanding that he has a job locked up. Pentecost does not make my list.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#350281) #
Here is the latest interview with Mark Shapiro, just made available today. It is a podcast (just audio). It is informative with nothing controversial imo. Below is the link for anyone who wishes to listen in:
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#350282) #
There is definitely a roster crunch approaching.

Subtract the free agents:


And let's leave off for now the players who might be outrighted off of the 40-man or non-tendered:

D. Smith Jr.
H. Ramirez

That still leaves us with 27 players before dealing with free-agent signees or adding any prospects to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. I might be missing some prospects, but here's a potential list of prospect additions from the certain to the doubtful:

A. Perdomo
P. Murphy
C. Lopes

My inclination would be to keep Maile, Lopez, Cole and Campos on the 40-man, and add Jansen, McGuire, Pentecost, Greene, Pannone and Perdomo. I strongly prefer keeping prospects on the 40-man roster to keeping pitching depth on the 40-man over the offseason. That takes us to 37 before making any decisions on Loup or Koehler or signing any free agents. Needless to say, that is a very tight 40-man.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#350284) #
My inclination would be to release Cole, Lopez and Campos. The first two could be signed to minor league contracts. Campos has little value now that he has no options. I think that Valdez, Ceciliani and Schultz will be gone as well. Harold Ramirez is on the bubble.

As far as protecting prospects, I think Gabriel's order is fine but I would cut off the protected list after Pannone. I can't see Perdomo or Pentecost being taken.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#350285) #
I can see Pentecost being taken.  He'd make a pretty good back-up major league catcher for a year, and so a team could take him without worrying much about stashing him on the roster.  It's a bit unusual to have 3 minor league catchers worth protecting, but I suppose that it is a good problem to have.

I'm not sure where I would draw lines- part of it depends on overall organizational philosophy.  Trying to compete (half-heartedly) and trying to build for the future at the same time does make it hard to make low-level roster decisions (such as  the last 2 or 3 players to be protected on the 40 man). 

GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#350286) #
Peter, once you release a player from the 40-man roster, there's no guarantee you get to keep him. I strongly suspect someone would take Lopez quickly - the Jays would be more likely to sneak Maile through, I think, given his terrible batting line this past season, but teams do love good defensive catchers.

You make an excellent point about Campos not having any options, and I think that tips the scales against him.

With respect to Perdomo, I think he'd probably get taken - significant stuff from the left side, he's the kind of player a team will take, throw into the bullpen and hope he finds consistency and good health there - and there's a chance he turns into a decent starting option in a year or three as well. I'd want the Jays to take Perdomo if he were exposed on another team.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#350288) #
well I will have to disagree on 2 of those points Gabriel. I would protect Maile over Lopez as I feel he is a far superior player. If Lopez is lost, another minor league FA can be signed. I really don't see anyone taking Perdomo and even if it happens, he would most likely be returned. Same goes for Pentecost.

No matter who he project, a trade or 2 could change it all.
jerjapan - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#350289) #
I think both Maille and Lopez (or a comparable talent) could be had as minor league FAs.  I've never understood why teams don't spend more on those sorts of players - if you get 200K as a minor league FA, you might very well be happy with being off the 40 man and providing depth in case of emergency.

We had the Perdomo debate last year and I was in the wrong in predicting that he'd be claimed.  He's one year closer to the bigs, but coming off a mediocre season - I think PeterG's right about him not being taken.  Taylor Cole is an easy cut, as is Campos, but I still strongly think that Pentacost and Tellez need protection, along with jordan Romano, who might be next years Borucki.   

Guys like Rowley, Dermody, Loup, Goins, Santos and Fields are the bubble guys IMO.  My guess is that the org prefers vets with big league experience, so I see Goins, Loup and Dermody getting protected, even if I wouldn't use a spot on them. 

PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#350290) #
There will always be some disagreements. It will be interesting to see what is actually done. I still don't think anyone would take and keep Tellez.

The pitching staff is comfortable with Maile. I think that and his W-L means something. I would be very surprised he if is not retained.

As for your list of bubble guys Jerjapan, I think Rowley, Santos and Dermody will survive and am unsure about Loup. He could be a trade candidate. I think Dermody is the safest to be kept on 40 man due to the fact that left handed hitters have an interstate batting average against him.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#350292) #
LHHs have hit .250 against Dermody over his MLB career.  It's not much of a selling point.  He has, however done very well by W/K, and if you want to protect a LOOGY, that is plausible. 

Gibbons does not tend to use his LH relievers as LOOGies (and that is fine with me), so personally I would be more interested in pitchers who are capable of succeeding facing about 1/2 RHHs and LHHs. Dermody may be that guy, but there is nothing in his record which supports that. 

PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#350293) #
You don't think that Dermody was more effective than Loup this past season? I do. For a young pitcher the past season's stats should be more important than previous one. I think Dermody is still improving with more upside. There won't be many bullpen spots available though as I fully expect Carlos Ramirez to claim one. Dermody and maybe even Barnes could be on the shuttle.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#350294) #
Thinking a little more about Taylor Cole, I'm more inclined to agree with Peter and Jer that he's a likely cut - but he's been long enough with the Blue Jays that I think he becomes a minor league free agent, and he did have an excellent though very brief season. I do think it's difficult to evaluate which relief options are best to be protected, especially those who have spent a fair amount of time as starters in the minors (Rowley, Santos, Valdez).

I only have seven relievers as certain to have a spot on the 40-man: Osuna, Biagini, Barnes, Leone, Tepera, C. Ramirez and Mayza. I agree with Jer that Rowley and Santos potential candidates to add, but I'd be quite surprised to see Dermody protected.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#350296) #
I wouldn't. I think that Loup's relative ineffectiveness works in Dermody's favour. He is not even a bubble guy for me.

With regard to Cole, I believe the Jays want to retain him but not on the 40 man. In August, he was DFA and then signed to a minor league deal and brought up for the last weekend as a favour. If he clears waivers again, I would expect him to sign a minor league deal and be stashed in Buffalo.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#350298) #
No-one has mentioned Refsnyder. He is an obvious DFA imo.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#350299) #
Judging from the lack of advocacy for any of the following, it sounds like the following are consensus cuts:

D. Smith Jr.
H. Ramirez

It's a little interesting to me that nobody has spoken up for Smith Jr. - perhaps others are assuming he stays on the 40-man, but I think he's unlikely to be picked - a fringe corner outfielder lacking a carrying tool is not easily rostered for a season. That goes double for Ramirez.

After this season, I don't think the risk/reward is strong enough to protect Tellez. First basemen are almost never chosen in the Rule 5 draft (three in the last twenty years), so I think it is very low-risk to leave him unprotected.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#350300) #
I don't think Dwight is an obvious cut. I believe he will likely be on the 40 man but there is a degree of doubt. The team needs to have some optionable OF's. I agree that the others are obvious.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#350301) #
Would Campos not be a consensus cut also. He is much more likely gone than Smith imo.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#350303) #
I hope after the Morales and Howell signings the past two seasons that the FO is done valuing the LOOGY role in the pen. It's a dinosaur. The best pens have pitchers who can handle both sides of the plate. I wouldn't bother prioritizing a reliever who can only get lefties out. If you lose him, so be it.

I think they will keep Loup. He won't make much in his final year of arbitration and his peripherals suggest he's probably better than he seems to be. Plus, Gibbons uses him for more than a batter, he's not the traditional LOOGY in terms of usage. I guess they could trade him as well, but not sure if he has any real value in a trade.

With the way the FO operates, there will be 40-man roster issues every season around this time. It's a good problem to have, but the chances of losing someone with at least some upside is greater in that scenario (not necessarily this winter).
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#350304) #
Well, I'm a little equivocal about Campos - he did have a very nice year, especially in AAA, and you might carry him, especially if the front office doesn't plan to add more than one reliever in free agency - most of the relief corps do have options, so Campos wouldn't hobble the bullpen. If you made me choose now, I'd outright him, but he's on the bubble for me. It looks like I'm the high man on him here, certainly.

It will be interesting to see if the Jays do much by way of trade, which is always one possible way to relieve a roster crunch.

scottt - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#350309) #
Tellez could easily be taken. He'd be returned if he doesn't hit, but if he does, he'd be kept.
I'm not comfortable making that bet.

scottt - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#350310) #
I don't see Fields being protected.
ramone - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#350311) #
Off topic and not sure where to post this, but some rumblings that Rogers could sell the Jays:

PeterG - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#350312) #
If they do sell, the likely buyer is MLSE which would probably be a positive for the baseball team.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#350314) #
To sell the Jays, Rogers would have to include the “Dome”. Not controlling where you play can be very bad (expensive) for a Team. Who are the Media Giants in Canada? Aren’t they, in no special order, Telus, Bell and Rogers? Any owner would have to be Baseball-centric and worth Billions. TSN would love to get their hands on the Jays. So would Telus. One important question - how does Rogers replace the lost content and lost revenue streams?
PeterG - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#350315) #
Good questions Richard. It is a complicated situation but probably less complicated and more easily accomplished if MLSE, in which Rogers is a member, is the buyer. Apparently, the baseball operations would work better financially if with MLSE or so I understand. Rogers would be looking to sell Cogeco as well according to the referenced report. I have no idea whether or not this is going to happen or how likely but I do think that the report is credible.

Like many things connected to the team, we will have to wait and see how it all plays out.
JohnL - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#350316) #

So would Telus.

Why would they? Unlike the other two, Telus has had no interest in any kind of media or sports ownership at all. The only non-Telco/internet/TV interest they have is completely outside these areas: Telus Health.

And that's the business environment Rogers CEO Natale came from, which might lend some credence to the rumours.

greenfrog - Wednesday, October 25 2017 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#350318) #
Lourdes Gurriel has played 10 games (38 AB) in the AFL and has zero walks and a .737 OPS. That is...not promising. Especially given the low walk rate and poor hitting performance in the minors in 2017. He's now 24 years old.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 03:29 AM EDT (#350319) #
Gurriel has hit for a little power and isn't striking out. That's not a bad start to the AFL. Obviously his season wasn't great, but his AFL numbers have been on balance positive.
bpoz - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#350320) #
Gurriel since getting healthy has only had 200 ABs in 3 different leagues.

If healthy 2018 should provide a much fairer evaluation.

Many of our higher ranked prospects had poor years. Again we have to see what they do next year.

2 unproven pitchers made reasonable advancement. Zeuch skipped Lansing and did ok, but injuries held back his advancement. Over all good pitching but health is a red flag.
P Murphy finally had much better health and did well. 90 IP in 2016 got him back on track. He followed that with 106 good innings in 2017. The biggest barrier he faces is health.
scottt - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#350321) #
Pedroia just had knee surgery and will miss at least the first 2 months of next year.
That puts the Red Sox in the same type of situation the Jays are in.
It's not clear if they'll sign a vet or roll with their minor depth.
Again, it will be important to start the year strongly. to compete.

bpoz - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#350322) #
Maybe this year we will have a good start. 2017 had a horrible start. 2015 and 2016 were weak but probably ok.

I think the pen took a lot of the blame for the slow starts.
Spifficus - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#350323) #
Wow. Girardi's not coming back to the Yankees. He's not perfect (no manager is), but he managed that vociferous media environment well in one of the places where that extreme scrutiny has been known to be a distraction. It's no given their next manager will have that same skill that he and Torre had displayed.
PeterG - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#350324) #
Jays are sending 3 players to the Canberra Cavalry in the Australian baseball league. They are: Connor Panas, Tayler Saucedo and Daniel Lietz.
bpoz - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#350325) #
Wow!!! is my reaction too spifficus.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#350326) #
Re: Girardi

Yeah, quite a surprise. How is he regarded as a manager, on the whole? An upgrade over Gibby?

PeterG - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#350327) #
I don't see Girardi as a fit for TO for same reasons Cashman let him go: possibly burnt out, tension with young players, mistrust of analytics.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#350328) #
Here is Joel Sherman's take on the Girardi firing.  Sherman suggests that the Yankees are looking for somebody a little more easy-going, a Torre type as opposed to a Showalter type.

I do like the Showalter/Girardi type, and think either would be a good choice for Toronto's current situation. 

hypobole - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#350329) #
Three managers canned from the eight playoff teams with the best records. Zero managers canned from the fourteen non-playoff teams with the best records. Seems the best way for a manager to keep his job this offseason is not to win too many or lose too many.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 26 2017 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#350330) #
Interesting quote from Ian O'Connor that Jon Heyman Retweeted:

"The Yankees have long been frustrated with Joe Girardi's failure to apply a more human touch to the job. Hurt him a lot".

Having watched the Yankees a lot, I did get a sense that Girardi was very robotic with his managing. The Yankees are very big on analytics and Girardi managed like that. He is a good manager, makes a lot of the right decisions based on the situation, but the human aspect is some times lost in the new craze of analytics-driven managing.
bpoz - Saturday, October 28 2017 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#350342) #
When drafted both Nate Pearson and T Zeuch were about the same age. 20 and turned 21 in August. So I expect Pearson to open in Dunedin.

I have no idea what bearing ST performance has in assignments.
scottt - Saturday, October 28 2017 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#350344) #
Girardi always looks like he's upset, kinda like Showalter.

PeterG - Sunday, October 29 2017 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#350350) #
Latest Shapiro interview:
PeterG - Monday, October 30 2017 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#350354) #
17 year old lefty Nicolas Medina opening eyes in Venezuelan winter league with scoreless relieving.. Some info on him from BA:

lefthander Nicolas Medina signed for $100,000 on July 2 out of Carlos Guillen's academy. He has a smaller frame (5-foot-10, 160 pounds), a good delivery and gets a surprisingly high rate of empty swings on his 84-88 mph fastball. He commands his fastball well and has plenty of deception, making it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand. Medina complements his fastball with a slow curveball that has good spin.
PeterG - Monday, October 30 2017 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#350355) #
T J Zeuch named to AFL all stars and will appear in all star game Saturday.
jerjapan - Tuesday, October 31 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#350358) #
With this awesome WS going on, I've been missing some regular baseball news, but apparently Eric Sogard is back with the Brewers next year, taking one of the stronger candidates for middle IF depth off the market. 

Also just spotted on MLB trade rumours that commish Rob Manfred has called Chief Wahoo "problematic" and plans to 'deal' with it this offseason.  If the Guriel slur has raised the profile of these sorts of issues in the game, that's a real silver lining. 

scottt - Tuesday, October 31 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#350359) #
My understanding is that the various Front Offices pick the AFL All-Stars and the selection is not a reflection of the players performance in the AFL.

Zeuch is doing fine, though.

bpoz - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#350374) #
FA frenzy will start soon. Yu Darvish is a FA. Also Liriano.

I wonder what deal they will get?
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