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With the World Series now over, MLB front offices start to work on getting ready for 2018. Players can declare free agency today. Teams have five days to clean up their 60 day DL and to issue qualifying offers to their free agents.

The winter meetings will be held from December 10 to 14 in Orlando. Teams have until November 20th to set their rosters for the rule 5 drafts. If a team wants to bring back a player on their 40 man roster they have to offer him a contract by December 1.

The Jays started their shuffling yesterday by taking three players off their 60 day DL and off the 40 man roster. Bo Schultz, Darrell Ceciliani and Cesar Valdez could all stay with the Jays if they and the team agree to it or if they are not claimed by another team.

The Jays have accumulated a lot of talent in the minor leagues over the last few seasons. Many of those players now need to be added to the 40 man roster or the Jays could lose them. The Jays will also have to remove players from the 40 man to make room. In the last few years the Jays have signed some solid AAAA minor league free agents, usually pitchers, to play in Buffalo and get a chance in Toronto when someone gets injured. Giving these minor league free agents a place on the 40 man roster has a cash advantage to the player and makes it more likely they get called up. The Jays will have difficulty offering 40 man roster free agent contracts this winter and may have to move one rung down in player caliber to fill open slots in Buffalo. On the other hand, the Jays have pitchers in New Hampshire who should move up to Buffalo to play there as prospects.

Shi Davidi has a primer on the off-season at Sportsnet. He suggests the Jays will have between $13M and $25M to spend this off-season. The Jays have had the front-office meetings this week to solidify plans and they have emerged with a long list of potential signings and trades at every position, per Ross Atkins. Davidi notes that if the Jays are to trade players it will likely be from their bullpen where they have some excess.

Be ready for more moves over the next few weeks.

Roster Shuffling Season | 176 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
85bluejay - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#350378) #
The FO has been quick to sign FA the past 2 years with mixed results - I hope they are more patient with signing FA hitters as I expect the market to again be soft - I am interested in signing pitcher Tyler Chatwood to be the 5th starter on a reasonable contract - I like his age,repertoire, that he pitched in a tough environment in Colorado & he may have some upside which is not common amongst FA - of course, those attributes make him attractive to many clubs - I'd give thumbs up to a quick sign at reasonable terms - I think the longer he stays on the market, he will seem more attractive as a backend starter with upside.

If the Jays move Donaldson, then they likely will have more money to spend - Atlanta & St. louis seem like good landing spots - of course, if Dayton Moore ends up in Atlanta, he's likely to have a bias for Moustakas to play 3B.

I don't think the Jays will have much trouble managing the 40 man roster - Home fans tend to overvalue the teams
prospects & a trade or 2 will likely sort out any logjam.
PeterG - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#350380) #
Here is a scouting report on Lourdes Gurriel from Baseball Prospectus. It is mostly positive. Scroll down to bottom as Lourdes is last player profiled.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#350381) #
The BP report suggests that Gurriel profiles as good fielding third baseman with medium range pop (and not likely to take a walk).  I don't see how that adds up to an everyday player on a championship club anytime soon.  If he develops well, he might end up as something like Marwin Gonzalez in several years.   
GabrielSyme - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#350382) #
That's a very encouraging report on Gurriel, in part because while you don't particularly want to see attention lapses anywhere, the Arizona Fall League is where I'd be least concerned about it. I also wouldn't be surprised if Gurriel's footwork can be improved - he's just in his first year as in North America and I suspect that coaching instruction on defensive footwork is spotty in Cuba, so he may simply never have worked on it before.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#350383) #
Is BP still a credible source for prospect evaluation? I see that Gurriel still has zero walks (now in 54 AB). As a 24-year-old with decent tools but who is lacking plate discipline and defensive polish - and any kind of track record of hitting at all in the minors - it's currently hard to see how he will make it as an everyday player with significant value.
PeterG - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#350384) #
Gurriel may have zero walks but also a low K total so he is making contact. I think the Jays seem him as a super sub who can play several positions. Plate discipline can be taught. Bat speed and 5 tool skills cannot.
SK in NJ - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#350385) #
Even as a utility infielder who can cover multiple positions, Gurriel can have value as long as his bat is decent. Too early to tell right now since he doesn't have many pro AB's but 2018 will be a better indicator. Hopefully he can stay healthy and play a full season.

I don't mind if the Jays jump early on starting pitching. Clearly they will be in the mid-tier FA pool, and if they see something in one starter in particular that they feel they can get value on, then pounce. It is the hitting market where they should take their time and avoid last season's misjudging of the market. Morales should not have gotten three years anyway, but after seeing how the market played out, it looked a lot worse. Be patient and see what's out there.

The trade route might be better. I wonder who they are targeting, especially in the middle infield. Sogard was a good FA target but he re-signed with the Brewers, so a trade there for a player who hasn't established himself yet but has enough upside to take a chance on to play at 2B/SS full-time would be ideal (ex. Profar).
GabrielSyme - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#350386) #
I don't know to what extent Profar is available - it's not as if Odor looked great last year. But maybe the Rangers would be interested in a trade involving a reliever. Perhaps Leone for Profar wouldn't be sufficient, but the Rangers definitely need to retool the bullpen.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#350387) #
How much can plate discipline be taught, especially to a 24-year-old? My impression has been that the hit tool (which encompasses plate discipline) is the toughest skill for a prospect to improve upon. The Jays tried for years with Gose (another toolsy player), to no avail. Pillar is essentially the same hitter he has always been. However, Gurriel may be a more talented hitter than those players.

We'll know more after the next year or two, in any event.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, November 02 2017 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#350388) #
For what it's worth, I haven't seen the scouting report that says Gurriel is a hacker with no discipline - is that out there? He makes lots of contact, and if he's aggressive in the zone, that could explain a fair bit of the lack of walks. If it's approach rather than discipline that's the issue, that is more easily addressed.
John Northey - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 01:18 AM EDT (#350389) #
Well, back in the 80's that was pretty much all the Jays had with Damaso Garcia at 2B and Tony Fernandez at SS (previously Alfredo Griffin) none of whom were known for taking walks. You can win with guys like that as long as they contribute in other ways (all 3 had very good speed and defense while rarely striking out as I recall).

Hopefully Gurriel will work out as well as Fernandez or at least Garcia did (Griffin was a nightmare with the bat but loved by many) and be able to stay in the infield.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 01:49 AM EDT (#350390) #
The top 50 MLB Free Agents with predictions are posted on MLBTR:

MLBTR has the Jays signing:

Jay Bruce - 3 years 39 Million (13 per)
Eduardo Nunez - 2 years - 14 million (7 per)
Tony Watson - 2 years - 12 million (6 per)

That conveniently falls into roughly the 25 million budget and fills a lot of needs.

For fun using 25 million I'd spend:

Alex Cobb - 4 years 48 million - 12 per
Mike Minor - 4 years 28 million - 7 per
Eduardo Nunez - 2 year- 12million - 6 per

However I'd rather trade for Dee Gordon than sign Nunez, I didn't see any other middle infielder in the top 50 worth playing the game with.
greenfrog - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#350391) #
In addition to his excellent defense, Fernandez had a career 8.9% walk rate and .347 OBP. He was more than just a contact guy with utility-calibre defense.
Mike Green - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#350392) #
Absolutely correct, greenfrog.  In triple A at age 20-21, Fernandez had 1076 PAs, walked 99 times and struck out 58 times. 

In the AFL, Gurriel is hitting .276/.288/.483 with no walks and seven strikeouts.  He is 24 years old.  His calling card so far is good power for a middle infielder, but he has a lot of work to do both defensively and offensively.

bpoz - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#350393) #
Excellent FA choices Shoeless Joe. Especially Alex Cobb. A good SP is my first choice.

Is the estimate of remaining spending $13 mil or $25 mil?
scottt - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#350394) #
Well, Gordon would use 10M out of that 25M while is more expensive than signing Nunez.
It seems like the Jays can add 3 FAs but any more would require trading someone on the 40 roster to make room.
Bruce, Nunez and Watson would fill many of the holes and Anderson could be the 5th starter.

I find Watson a tad expensive.

There's certainly a roster crunch and that's ideally solved by trading out of the 40 roster..
If we so desperately need that lefty, why do we keep Loup?
One of  Maile and Lopez has to go. I would keep the one who can throw out runners.

Mike Green - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#350395) #
I was thinking more about Zack Cozart, and wondered about the park and lively ball effects on his batting line.  His away batting line over his career does tell a story. He seems to have broken out in 2015,.  He has hit a few more fly balls,a few more hard-hit balls, and pulled the ball more, and the result has been a big jump in power both home and away.  The interesting thing is that he missed the second half of 2015 and so his line that year pre-dates the lively ball.  Obviously, 2017 was a career year for him, but I think par for him is a wRC+ of 100-105 while being capable at short, second and third and maybe good for 450 PAs a season.  I'd spend 3/42 for him, if that is what the market for him is. 

Alex Cobb has not been the same pitcher post-surgery.  I'll have to think more about him.  
SK in NJ - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#350396) #
Nunez has likely reached a level where he can get a starting job at one of the infield corners, or at least he will try to get one before settling for a back-up role in Toronto. If the Jays sign him, then it will likely be because they have either given up on Travis at 2B or because Nunez's market is non-existent.

It depends on what Texas wants in return (selling a former #1 prospect at his lowest value can't be easy on the ego), but Profar really makes the most sense for the Jays. He is the perfect fit. Can cover all infield positions, can be used in a bench role because he hasn't established himself, and has enough upside to warrant everyday plate appearances if/when Travis or Tulo go down. In a best case, maybe a light bulb goes off and he turns into something a lot better than a utility player. Worst case, he's still more valuable than Goins.

I wonder if the team can clean up some of its 40-man roster clutter in a trade like that (ex. 2 bubble players with some upside for Profar). Would probably be worthwhile.
whiterasta80 - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#350397) #
Profar still hasn't hit at the major league level. I wouldn't want him as the only option for MI. Personally I would make a call on Asdrubal Cabrera and Freddy Galvis for MI options with a bit more of a track record at the majors who likely don't cost that much.

For free agents:

Give me Lance Lynn, Carlos Gomez, and Jake McGee if we are spending in the 25-30 million range.

Arrieta, Cain, and Cozart if we can spend a bit more.
bpoz - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#350398) #
After the next 3 years Donaldson, Martin and Tulo will come off the budget. So $20 mil each year. $18 mil this year if you count Bautista.

So a cheaper, possibly healthier and younger roster is coming. Donaldson is the only impact player in the group.

G Stanton if obtained would affect this scenario.
Gerry - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#350399) #
JJ Hardy is now a free agent. I always liked him but I don't know how we would fare at second base. This assumes he is injury free of course.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#350400) #
Here is a good story about Cobb's strong second half:

He has changes as a pitcher, but his excellent 2nd half strikeout rate and gb% plays in Rogers place.

I also re-rear that sportsnet article and non-tendering Koehler gets us to 31 million...that'll fit Dee Gordon in to my ideal offseason.
bpoz - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#350401) #
I would non- tender Koehler. How much better than Biagini is he?
SK in NJ - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#350402) #
Cobb makes a ton of sense for the Jays since his injury history might make him a three year deal candidate instead of a four year deal, and he can clearly pitch in the AL East. With Estrada and Happ being free agents after 2018, and Sanchez being a bit of a question mark having missed almost all of 2017 with his blister issues, the 2019 rotation will need some major work. They will need to sign someone to a deal that extends to 2019 or risk heading into next winter with one established SP (Stroman), another who needs to bounce back in 2018 (Sanchez), and then pray.

Cobb or Chatwood would be reasonable free agent targets. They fall into the mid-tier FA level (like Happ two years ago) and the FO have shown a willingness to shop in that market.
PeterG - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#350403) #
I also like Cobb but don't know if Jays can sign him. I would keep Koehler. If Koehler pitches as well as he did in September, he is worth the arbitration.

Lourdes Gurriel hit his 3rd HR in AFL tonight. He still has no walks but Keegan Matheson has been told the contact is " all barrels"

Andrew Case has now pitched 8 scoreless innings of relief.
lexomatic - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#350404) #
Cozart has long been an excellent fielder by the numbers, so even if he fit the Jays' budget, they'd be lower down the list for playing time considerations. I expect 4/50+ but wouldn't be surprised by 5/70 if the market goes crazy.
Petey Baseball - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#350405) #
I also think the Jays should quickly move to shore up the rotation. Alex Cobb at three years would be a pretty excellent signing, especially given the success he's had in the AL East. Adding someone else on the cheap like Ricky Nolasco on a one year deal and sticking him at the back of the rotation would be low risk, and add more depth. He put up R.A. Dickey type numbers last year for the Angels. Dickey himself might be an option as well as the 5th starter. You could do worse.

If Sanchez is back at full strength and with a solid add like Cobb and some smart low risk depth signings, that's an excellent rotation. Borucki is still there as insurance at AAA. Putting Biagini back in the bullpen strenghthens it even more while mitigating some regression by Tepera, Barnes et al.

On the defensive.side, when healthy, I'm fine with the Donaldson, Tulo, Travis, Smoak group in the infield, but you're going to need someone else to soak up innings and be decent. Where's Marco Scutaro when you need him? Anyway, Nunez will be overpaid in free agency so he's out. Lowrie is also a bit expensive and hasn't played much shortstop lately. There's been talk of Jurickson Profar, but he'd have to come for basically nothing in order for a trade to make sense for me.
This is a tricky one; maybe keeping Urena in the bigs for more baptism under fire is what they end up doing.

The outfield, man. I belive in Teoscar Hernandez as a corner outfielder so that leaves a spot open.
Jay Bruce would be fine; at least he stays healthy. As much as I want to believe Alford could be ready, he's not. You can't ask a rookie who played half a season in AA last year to suddenly step up and be a productive player in the bigs.

Shoeless Joe - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#350406) #
Tyler Chatswood makes a lot more sense for this team than say a Jay bruce give his relative youth, and there is at least some chance he isn't a stop gap. He walks too many guys, but you gotta love the GB%.
John Northey - Friday, November 03 2017 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#350407) #
Cobb catches me as a 'sign fast' guy. He isn't going to get 7 / $200 so his agent won't be pushing him to hold out forever, he also isn't going to be going to spring begging for a job so odds are he has a figure and years in mind and will say 'match that and I'll sign'. Over the last 5years, skipping 2016 (22 IP, negative WAR) he has been worth between $14 and $21 mil a year. So a 3 year $50 mil deal seems very reasonable imo. I'd bet on him chasing a 3 / $60 or 5/$80 mil deal. This is where medical staff and advance scouts become critical - if he is seen as a serious injury risk then going past 3 years is foolish. If he is seen as fully healed then 5 years could be a bargain.

No more DH's so I'm against Jay Bruce as I see him as another Morales but being able to play RF.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 05:56 AM EDT (#350408) #
Continuing from my last post....

I think offensively you have to think they're going to be
OK (OK meaning enough offense to win 85-90 games) if they have Martin, Travis, and Tulo healthy for most of the year. I neglected to mention an off-season wish list for backup catcher, which would be heavily mitigated if Martin would avoid injury ( last year he was clearly playing hurt, at least from my vantage point). Maile is really interesting to me; the Jays seem to view him as a Plan D right now. It'd be nice to have a Dioner Navarro type floating around to off-set the loss of Martin for any extended period, but I don't see the Jays aggressively going outside the organization for another starting catcher. It's far more likely they hope Russ stays healthy for a full season and stick with Maile or another internal option.

In the outfield offensively, I already mentioned I think Teoscar will be fine in a corner outfield spot, and Jay Bruce is a better fit than many around here seem to think. Pillar gives the Jays too much defensively in a premium position to justify trading him.

In short, I hope the Jays keep all their prospects and rely on a return to health from their core, use their excess cash to sign starting pitching, and use Biagini in the pen. Hopefully Osuna is more consistent, and guys like Smoak and Pillar put together more consistent efforts. It really just comes down to health.
scottt - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 07:08 AM EDT (#350409) #
Jay Bruce makes sense as a platoon mate for Pearce, but I wouldn't want to commit to that for too long.

Trading for Stanton makes no sense because if they have that kind of money, they can just extend Donaldson.
Guerrero Jr was playing in the outfield when signed and could move back to left field if Donaldson stays.

Defensively, Pompey could take over centerfield until Alford is ready. I don't think the defense would suffer much.
You could also give Fields a shot as a lead off batter. I would certainly listen if anyone asks about Pillar, especially if the returns fills a  team need.

Nunez projects to be relatively cheap, if 2 years 14M is enough. Gordon has 3 years on the books for close to 40M.
I'd take Profar as a waiver claim as he's better than Goins, but I wouldn't give anything for him.

The 5th starter depends on what happens to Sanchez, but I don't expect him to spend another year on the DL.
He's a Boras client and he's losing a fortune.

On the bright side, Tanaka is not opting out, which limits what the Yankees can do under the tax threshold.

uglyone - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#350410) #
I expect we sign a number of depth players to multi year deals.
bpoz - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#350411) #
Estrada stayed healthy and the 186 IP was the most of his career. I was surprised that he was only signed for 1 year. He had a few v bad starts, so inconsistent. He was good often enough for me the feel positive about him. Also he does not rely on over powering the hitters. Maybe we are just going to bring him back year by year. We can also trade him at the deadline. and bring him back year after year.
PeterG - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#350412) #
There will be fewer impact signings than many think imo. I don't think Biagini is needed in the pen and will likely begin the season as a starter in Buffalo.
scottt - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#350413) #
I don't see Nunez as a starter.. He is a sub defender and only a better than average bat.
He was a 1.3 WAR player last year and has been worth 3.8 WAR over 8 years.
Toronto can afford to overpay a bit to get him.

Somehow it reminds me of when Toronto identified Gil Meche as the pitcher they needed just to get overbid by Kansas City which was deep in a rebuild. So not to pay an extra million or two the Jays started the year with Tomo Ohka and Viktor Zambrano. That went well.
SK in NJ - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#350414) #
I suspect if a team offers Cobb four years, he's going to go there. Could happen, but I think he's more in the three year category. He missed essentially two full seasons (5 big league starts total in 2015-16) before coming back in 2017, and he just turned 30. I agree that if the Jays are interested in him that he is a pitcher they should target early in the winter. Wait out the hitting market, but identify a SP and pounce early. Chatwood would be a solid option as well. Not sure if there is anything else on the FA market for starters that is all that appealing, at least in the mid-tier group.

I am interested to see what Bruce gets on the market. I think MLBTR was way too low on many of the free agent predictions, but we saw how non-defensive sluggers fared on the market last winter, and it wasn't good. On the surface 3/39 for Bruce seems a bit low, but who knows.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, November 04 2017 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#350415) #
I think the highest priority should be a starting pitcher - I'd like to see the Jays take a run at Darvish (Toronto as a city could/should be fairly attractive to international players). If we can't land Darvish, I quite like Jaime Garcia as mid-rotation option.

In the outfield, while a free agent starter would be nice, I don't think we need to add anyone. Carrera and Pearce both should be playable in left, and with Hernandez pencilled into right, and with Pompey and Alford hopefully pushing their way to regular playing time, I think we aren't in that bad a spot, so I'd rather concentrate our resources elsewhere.
PeterG - Sunday, November 05 2017 @ 09:31 AM EST (#350416) #
Zeuch was only given 1 inning in the AFL Fall Stars game last night but looked very very good, over matching the 3 hitters he faced. Pentecost, on the other hand, did not look at all promising to me. His arm strength is still lacking.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 05 2017 @ 12:34 PM EST (#350417) #
Mayo listed Zeuch as the #5 top performer at the AFL All-Star game. Here is his commentary (there is also a link to a video of his performance that I wasn't able to watch):

Zeuch needed just 12 pitches to retire the side in order in the fifth. Effectively mixing in his sinking fastball thrown in the 92-94 mph range and his slider that he added and subtracted from (low of 77.5 mph, high of 85.6), the right-hander struck out two and got a groundout for a quick inning of work.
bpoz - Sunday, November 05 2017 @ 12:50 PM EST (#350418) #
I saw the video. 2 Ks and the GB was very weak. 3 bounces before getting to the SS.
PeterG - Sunday, November 05 2017 @ 02:05 PM EST (#350419) #
Peoria game is on tv (MLB network) next Saturday night.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 05 2017 @ 03:03 PM EST (#350420) #

"How that impacts run prevention and run creation could come in many different ways. It could come in the form of three players that impact us on the offensive side, or three players that impact us on the pitching side. It’s unlikely that we’ll acquire six major-league pieces without some level of subtraction. The most likely scenario is that there’s some type of combination of 3-6 players where we’re complementing the core that we have and making sure we’re providing as much depth as possible."

I think before anything else is done, the Jays will acquire one impactful Bat and one impactful Arm. After that they will fill the holes.
It's also possible some deals will occur faster than others, due to the ease of the deal/willingness to make the deal/low cost of the deal.

Personally, I don't see any reason to keep Pearce, Carrera or Goins. I think the Jays could and should do much better.
scottt - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 06:17 AM EST (#350421) #
Pearce, Carrera and Goins are the bench players. Ideally the replacements for Bautista and Barney will get most of the playing time, so there's little value in replacing these guys who can all lose their spot as soon as a prospect like Gurriel, Tellez, Alford, or Urena heats up.

Cobb is on many team's radar, especially now that Darvish imploded. He's also going to cost a pick.

Gerry - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 08:45 AM EST (#350422) #
Reports say Alex Cobb will get a qualifying offer from Tampa. I don;t see the Jays giving up a draft pick to sign him.
bpoz - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 08:53 AM EST (#350423) #
What the teams losing the player that has a QO receive as compensation and what the teams signing that player loses is complicated. I was reading and then gave up. Revenue sharing teams and luxury cap teams affect the loss and gain involved.

I don't really think I will ever be able to explain it to anyone. However I do understand some things, like the QO has to be made by 5 pm today Nov 5 and accepted/rejected by Nov 16.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 10:11 AM EST (#350424) #
If I am understanding the new QO rules correctly, then the Jays would lose a 2nd round pick (2nd highest) and $500k from their international pool if they signed Cobb since the Jays were neither over the luxury tax or a team that received revenue sharing. So yeah, that's not going to be happen. Strike Cobb off the list.
bpoz - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 10:53 AM EST (#350425) #
I find it interesting and fun to play with numbers in this type of situation. $ and length of contract.

In arb over the years a few strange things happened. The player asked for less money than the team offered and Marge Schott suggested a coin toss in the parking lot to decide the contract.

From Cobb's POV, he has $17.4 mil in his pocket. So 3 years $ 39-42 sounds sensible to me.
85bluejay - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 12:20 PM EST (#350426) #
Alex Cobb is going to sign for more than most fans think, so I never expected the Jays to sign him even if there was no QO tag.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 12:50 PM EST (#350427) #
My guess on Cobb was something like 3/45 just based on his injury history, but him getting more money wouldn't surprise me. Years will be more important than AAV with him (I wouldn't go beyond three). With the QO attached, I'm not sure what that does to his value. The Jays will certainly look elsewhere.
Gerry - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 02:52 PM EST (#350428) #
Reports suggest Lorenzo Cain will get a qualifying offer too. He was also considered to be an option for the Jays.
Gerry - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 02:56 PM EST (#350429) #
And the Dodgers will exercise their option on Logan Forsythe.
Gerry - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 02:58 PM EST (#350430) #
One more...the Reds will not give a qualifying offer to Zack Cozart.
Mike Green - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 03:17 PM EST (#350431) #
The Modern Era Committee HOF ballot was released today. 

Marvin Miller is on the ballot, and ought to be inner circle from the non-player branch of the game. He's probably the most important figure in the game over the last 50 years.

Alan Trammell was eminently qualified on merit (as was Whitaker who is not on the ballot). 

Did anyone realize how good Luis Tiant was?  Probably not.  He was with the Indians in the 60s when they were usually bad (the offences particularly).  When Luis pitched superbly (an ERA+ of 184), he went 21-9.  When he was fair (an ERA+ of 101), he went 9-20.  In the 60s, the W/L record meant a lot, and so it's not a shock hat he wasn't widely seen as a great pitcher.  Kind of like Dave Stieb.  Anyways, Tiant is about as qualified as Trammell, in my view.

The rest of the players were not as good., although most were more famous than Trammell or Tiant.   

Dewey - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 03:52 PM EST (#350432) #
He was with the Indians in the 60s when they were usually bad (the offences particularly).

You don't say what they were, Mike.  Did any involve alcohol, or chewing tobacco maybe?  Winding up with his back to you?
Gerry - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 04:10 PM EST (#350433) #
Jaya have dropped Leonel Campos, Taylor Cole, Raffy Lopez and Luis Santos from the 40 man. They have also claimed Taylor Guerrieri from Rays.

Guerrieri has to be better than the Jays 40 man roster internal candidates for this move to make sense.
Mike Green - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 04:17 PM EST (#350434) #
Got me, Dewey. 

So, I pulled out my Criminal Code from 2001 (sorry I don't have one from the 60s on hand).   Let's see- Cleveland in the 1960s- procuring feigned marriage (no), extortion by libel (no), offensive volatile substance (now we're getting somewhere).

Section 178 of the Criminal Code provided, as of 2001:
Everyone other than a peace officer engaged in the discharge of his duty who has in his possession in a public place or who deposits, throws or injects or causes to be deposited, thrown or injected in, into or near any place,
a) an offensive volatile substance that is likely to alarm, inconvenience, discommode or cause discomfort to any person or to cause damage to property, or
b) a stink or stench bomb or device from which any substance mentioned in paragraph a is or is capable of being liberated, is
guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction. 

Yep, the Cleveland baseball clubs of the 60s, 70s and 80s repeatedly ran afoul of this section.  I do not know if the statutes in Ohio made it an offence to stink. 

Mike Green - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 04:20 PM EST (#350435) #
For what it's worth, I think that the Jays would get better production out if the DH slot with Pearce/Lopez than with Morales. 

I understand why they dropped Lopez though.  They are not willing to cut bait on Morales. 
China fan - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 04:46 PM EST (#350436) #
I'm fine with dropping Taylor Cole. And I can understand why they cut Lopez, since there's quite a bit of catcher depth in the system at this point. I was initially a little concerned about dropping Campos, who looked useful this year -- but he is now 30 and out of options, and neither his FIP nor his WHIP were particularly good this year. So I can live with that one too.

But I thought Luis Santos was a decent under-the-radar prospect who seemed impressive in his limited outings. He is still just 26 and had never had a chance at the majors until this year, so he might be the kind of player who was simply overlooked until he got his chance. He's the only one of the four who might have turned into a useful player next season -- a potentially good multiple-innings reliever. I would have tried to keep him.

As for Taylor Guerrieri -- why did the Rays give up on him? This is one of those tests of the Jays scouting system: they presumably see something in him that the Rays overlooked. And could it also be a case of the Jays using their newfound slot as a higher-selecting waiver team (since they finished so low in the standings this season)? They had a crack at Guerrieri before other teams did, so maybe other teams would have chosen him too.
China fan - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 04:53 PM EST (#350437) #
Also: the 40-man roster still contains some obviously surplus players such as Refsnyder, Harold Ramirez and Dwight Smith Jr.

I would have thought that Luis Santos had more potential value to the Jays next season than any of those three.

Of course the Jays might be planning to drop those three to make room for additional prospects when they submit their final protected list before the Rule 5 draft. I think they need about 6 slots on the roster to protect the prospects who should be protected. By my count, there are currently 36 players on the 40-man roster, so there is currently room for 4 names and they need to drop a couple of others.
85bluejay - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 04:57 PM EST (#350438) #
I really liked Taylor Guerrieri in the 2011 draft - he's had problems staying healthy but I think he's worth a flyer.
PeterG - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 05:31 PM EST (#350439) #
Like the claim also. Jays can also sign any of the 4 cuts to minor league deals and expect they will try.

I agree that Refsnyder and Harold Ramirez are surplus but not Dwight Smith. Dwight is a much needed left handed bat and has shown that he might be able to hit in the majors. I think he definitely stays on the 40 man though he likely begins the season in Buffalo.

I only expect 4 prospects to be added to 40 man. However, trades could change this so hardly worth debating now.
China fan - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 05:45 PM EST (#350440) #
"...Jays can also sign any of the 4 cuts to minor league deals and expect they will try...."

Could the Jays have negotiated a minor-league deal with one or two of these players and then dropped them from the 40-man roster in the knowledge that they would still be in the team's system?  Is that something that organizations do?  I don't actually know, but I would have thought that almost every player would want to test the free-agent market and go where they are wanted.  Relievers like Santos and Campos, in particular, would probably prefer to go to an organization that has less bullpen depth than the Jays currently have.  But maybe I'm wrong, maybe there are players who would accept a minor-league deal without testing the free-agent market.
PeterG - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 05:55 PM EST (#350441) #
Yes they can CF and possibly have. Cole seems a likely candidate for that.
GabrielSyme - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 06:23 PM EST (#350442) #
One would hope the Jays would resign these guys (especially Cole and Lopez), but that only is possible if they make it through waivers. I suspect Lopez will be claimed.

Lopez should have been kept on the 40-man roster. His bat looks better than at least 75% of backup catchers, and a not inconsiderable number of starters. His defence was rough, but, given his decent pitch-framing, playable. I'm a little concerned the Jays are over-reacting to a couple bad plays.
scottt - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 06:27 PM EST (#350443) #
Someone could put a waiver claim, but it's just a matter of letting the player know they still have a minor deal offer to fall back on.
scottt - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 06:48 PM EST (#350444) #
I'm pretty sure all teams like Guerrieri. He's a talented first round pick and he's done well everywhere he pitched.
I'm guessing the Jays are taking a shot in the dark to see his medical info and see if he's worth keeping or not.
His elbow flared up right back form Tommy John, but only the Rays knows the details of his injury.

Incidentally, the Rays are back in cost cutting mode and will likely trade an arbitration eligible player or two.
I think the window is really closing here. The Jays really need to figure out how to beat Tampa and Baltimore next year.
That's the teams that killed them.

PeterG - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 06:50 PM EST (#350445) #
The players in question have already cleared waivers and been out righted to Buffalo. Each can accept that assignment or reject it and become a FA. We will know within a couple of days what happens. Jays did the same with Cole in August and he accepted a minor league deal. I suspect he will remain. As for the others, it's anyone's guess.
scottt - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 07:09 PM EST (#350446) #
Don't they become free agents only  if that's the second time they're dropped from the 40 roster?

I'm not sure that applies to Santos.

Gerry - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 07:37 PM EST (#350447) #
It's interesting that two relief pitchers received qualifying offers. $17.4M is a lot of money for a reliever.

We should remember that there is a lot of money in the game now, most teams are profitable and can afford some bigger contracts.
scottt - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 08:01 PM EST (#350448) #
A lot of those QOs are coming from small market teams that are still hoping to get first round picks.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 08:25 PM EST (#350449) #
Taylor Guerrieri is a solid gamble. Has trouble staying healthy, but an interesting arm. Worth taking a chance on.
dan gordon - Monday, November 06 2017 @ 09:41 PM EST (#350450) #
Guerrieri has posted some very good numbers when healthy. Nice addition to the system. He's in the mix to possibly replace Happ/Estrada after the 2018 season. Hope his arm holds up.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 01:01 AM EST (#350451) #
On The TSN site
“Blue Jays and Dunedin agree on new 25 year lease and an $81.0 Million expansion.”
This is major news. Everyone on this site goes to bed that early?
Glevin - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 02:20 AM EST (#350452) #
"His defence was rough, but, given his decent pitch-framing, playable. I'm a little concerned the Jays are over-reacting to a couple bad plays."

You really think an organization based on analytics and scouting that has tons of smart people working for them thinks "well, he made a couple of bad plays, so let's cut him"? There isn't a team in baseball that operates like that. He's 30 years old who has struggled to hit in AAA before last year in an organization with a lot of catching depth.
China fan - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 04:36 AM EST (#350453) #
"....He's a talented first round pick and he's done well everywhere he pitched...."

His numbers in 2016 (his last full season) weren't particularly impressive.  In 146 innings, his K/9 was just 5.5 and his BB/9 was 2.8.   He did manage to limit the hits.  He has apparently become more of a ground ball pitcher in recent years -- maybe partly because his velocity was down, after the injuries.  To be fair, from a quick scan of his entire minor-league career, he's never been much of a strikeout pitcher, and that never seemed to hurt his prospect status.  He's also been young for the league almost everywhere.   I agree that he's worth taking a flyer on.  It really depends on whether he can remain as a starting pitcher, rather than switching to the bullpen.  If he can remain a starter, it adds to the Jays depth in an area where they don't have a lot of depth.

lexomatic - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 12:06 PM EST (#350456) #
This is major news. Everyone on this site goes to bed that early?

My cats often wake me up at 430 am... so, yes.   I'm guessing the expansion also includes upgrades? If I remember correctly it was poor field quality that has derailed a number of people in spring training. I'm never going to Florida, so this really doesn't impact me. I like the challenge of the Florida State League for hitters, so I'm slightly on the positive for this for baseball reasons. Big news, and news that I care about aren't necessarily the same thing.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 12:22 PM EST (#350457) #
Good humor.I wake up early. I have da box all to myself. I work on my prospect list.
PeterG - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 12:42 PM EST (#350458) #
The Dunedin story may not be of interest to everyone but it is indeed very big news for the Jays:
Gerry - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 03:54 PM EST (#350462) #
Roy Halladays plane crashed into the gulf today and the there was one fatality. The police will hold a press conference at 4:30 to detail what happened.
Paul D - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 04:18 PM EST (#350464) #
The press conference started early, and Halladay is confirmed at deceased. Yuck, this is terrible.
Doom Service - Tuesday, November 07 2017 @ 05:55 PM EST (#350476) #
BA published its list of minor league free agents today. It's one of my favourite days of the year. There's 572 names, including the four Blue Jays released the other day, and oodles and oodles of familiar names to Blue Jay fans (Travis Snider here, Anthony Gose there, Moises Sierra) and others (ooh, Ryan Howard)

You know that 10 (?) of these guys will be major league contributors next year, but which ones?
lexomatic - Wednesday, November 08 2017 @ 12:20 AM EST (#350489) #
I'd offer Ivan De Jesus a AAA contract, and spring invite but he doesn't really look better than Goins (better defense recently, but not historically, and infinitessimally better offense). Not much in the middle infield, other than guys who've already been with the team and didn't make it  (Giovanni Mier, etc.). But for a team still pretending to contend, you could do worse than someone who has MLB experience and can be replacement level.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 08 2017 @ 12:45 PM EST (#350496) #
"You know that 10 (?) of these guys will be major league contributors next year, but which ones?"

I think the left-handed hitting backup catcher who was just a league-average hitter in limited time after putting up a 155 wRC+ between AA and AAA is a good bet to be one of them.
jerjapan - Wednesday, November 08 2017 @ 03:24 PM EST (#350503) #
Gabe, I'm with you on Lopez, but clearly we are in the minority.  Lopez was having a great season with the bat and the FO still gave Salty, Ohlman, Maille and Montero chances before we gave him some run.  Hopefully he comes back on a minor league deal.

I've long felt the org values Maille's D enough to give him a long rope, but I personally don't think he merits his spot on the 40 man, and hope that we don't tolerate a similar stat line offensively next year.  We have legit prospects close to ready, so the need to run out dreadful backup catchers is lessened. 

With Cozart not getting the QO, it's clear his market is going to be lower than the numbers Lexi was brainstorming above - I think if the FO does their due dilligence, he's a worthy gamble.  Great article at Fangraphs yesterday about the juiced ball.  Dave Cameron uses Cozart as an illustration of the power spike - a return to normal could rob Cozart the extra five- ten feet he got on his flyballs and turn him back into a pumpkin.  But he also notes that 'Cozart could be a huge bargain for whoever bets on his warning track power continuing to play up in the future' - if the ball doesn't change. 

I fear some of the other middle IF names being discussed are just Goins / Barney v2 - Hardy, Nunez, De Jesus etc are okay guys to bring into the mix on the cheap, but I feel we need a more impactful player.  with versatility being so valuable in the playoffs and becoming a new trend in the market, I'm clearly not the only one who thinks this way.   Cozart is my fave, but Jed Lowrie or Profar could work if available.  I prefer not giving up assets when we don't need to.

Not surprised by the players dropped from the 40 man - Santos was totally off the radar, surprising run in the bigs notwithstanding.  Agreed with China - Ref, H. Ramirez and Smith Jr. are likely cuts moving forward. 

Taylor G seems a typical move for the FO - strong pedigree, high floor, low ceiling.  Not nearly enough Ks for my tastes.   

I hope the FO moves quickly with an appropriate tribute to Doc. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, November 08 2017 @ 03:53 PM EST (#350505) #
Jeff Sullivan makes the case for Zach Vincej.  Sold me that he was worth a roster spot.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 08 2017 @ 04:59 PM EST (#350507) #
Jer, Maile is an interesting case. He looked like a pretty decent offensive prospect through AA in 2014, but in AAA he was mediocre in 2015 and 2016 - but still got MLB playing time. 2017 was complete lost season for him offensively. He's shown decent contact skills and at least respectable walk rates until this past year, so I think if you give him regular at-bats in AAA, he may well figure enough out offensively to be a good backup catcher with his defensive ability. But he absolutely should be given those AAA at-bats - he isn't ready offensively to be a MLB back-up right now (unlike Raffy Lopez). I wanted to keep them both on the 40-man, but that ship has sailed. I worry that if we break camp with Maile, we will see the same helpless offence that no defensive ability can render acceptable.

I'm less than convinced there are great middle infield options available to the Jays - Lowrie hasn't played shortstop in a while, Nunez is questionable defensively (and might be able to secure a starting role), Cozart will definitely get a starting role at SS. Admittedly, Profar would be great if we can acquire him at a reasonable price. I think Ruben Tejada would be a slight upgrade on Goins, and at minimal cost, but I imagine most posters here are wanting a larger upgrade. I don't think we need a top-rate backup middle infielder- if we are to contend next year, a lot of things have to go right, among which are better health and production from Travis and Tulo.

Taylor Guerreri strikes me as a bet that his stuff will tick back up to where it once was, no more. It's a good bet for a waiver pick-up, and I hope they keep him.
dan gordon - Wednesday, November 08 2017 @ 05:37 PM EST (#350509) #
MLB has grandfathered the old posting rules for Ohtani, so he now can generate a fee of up to $20 million for his Japanese team. This probably knocks several of the smaller market teams out of contention for him.

21 year old Cuban OF Julio Martinez has left his country and hopes to sign with an mlb team. He has a good combination of speed and power, probably needs a couple of minor league seasons. Given the signing of Gurriel and team needs, I imagine the Jays will be interested.
John Northey - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 12:08 AM EST (#350513) #
I hope the Jays chase both Ohtani and Martinez. Never can have too many young prospects in the system. Even expensive ones. If they have the skills then sign them if at all possible.
Glevin - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 01:42 AM EST (#350514) #
The Jays are keeping Martin, Maille, Jansen, McGuire, and maybe Pentecost on the 40 man roster. You really need to keep 6 catchers on the 40 man? Lopez had a pretty good year but he's 30 and every year before that he was no good. You can't say his true value is this small sample size this year and not the thousands of ABs he had before. Is Lopez going to help the Jays win this year? Not really. At best, he'd be a slight upgrade at backup catcher will the youngsters gain some seasoning in the minors. He's a piece for the future? Definitely not. People worry way too much about losing fringe major leaguers. Jays should have Jansen and/OR McGuire in the majors before the end of the year and Lopez will likely be somebody's third catcher playing in the minors somewhere.
jerjapan - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 02:09 AM EST (#350515) #
well ... at this point, Maille v. Lopez is kind of all we get to talk about.  our catching depth doesn't mean much re: the rule 5 - the team is protecting 'prospects', not 'depth'.

Maille vs Lopez is fun and all, but it's pretty marginal stuff. 

lexomatic - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 07:33 AM EST (#350517) #
Cozart not getting the QO probably opens his market more, not less. I'm confused about Cameron using him as an example of the power spike, because his offensive improvement started in 2015 (power). I haven't checked distances, but his ISO has been around .200 since 2015. Some could be a home field advantage, but that's not a this year thing.

Yeah, there was an extra improvement, but what you're getting is still a gold glove potential fielder who has double-digit power. This season was also an across the board improvement, with a doubling of his career walk rate, and an improvement in average. That may or may not be related to distance. Plug in a 200 ISO into the projections, and he's more like a 250 20 HR SS with gold glove potential.

You're right though, there's not a lot of options.
James W - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 09:03 AM EST (#350518) #
The speculation is that the ball changing during the 2015 season is the main culprit of the power spike across Major League Baseball. Cozart only played in the first half of 2015 though, so it's hard to point to his results as some shining example.
uglyone - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 11:37 AM EST (#350523) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith @bnicholsonsmith
If #BlueJays sign a qualified free agent, they'd lose their 2nd-highest pick (~50th overall) & have int'l signing bonus pool reduced by $500K

So three guesses as to what the jays won't be doing this offseason.....
GabrielSyme - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 12:14 PM EST (#350527) #
Jer is kind enough to point out that Lopez v. Maile is pretty much the only thing that's actually happened to talk about, everything else is speculation.

Glevin is right that Lopez isn't an incredibly valuable asset, and that (hopefully) Jansen or McGuire will be able to step up to the Majors sometime this coming year. But those arguments are of greater force with respect to Maile - who didn't contribute this past year, and probably needs regular at-bats in the minors if he is ever going to be a reasonable backup. Lopez did contribute in the majors this past year, and doesn't need to fix his hitting - if we want a backup for just the first half of the season, Lopez is the better option.

More broadly, this depends on how you interpret changes in hitting. Lopez looks like he traded contact for power this past year - and it worked. That looks to me like a changed approach, and I have more confidence it will continue to work than if he had just had a BABIP bump or a really high BB%. I also think that catchers are at times late bloomers- Zaun had his best years after the age of 32, for instance.

Put it another way - Lopez had about 3WAR/600PA and Maile had about -3WAR/600PA this past year. On what basis do we think that Maile is actually more likely to contribute next year, given the huge gap in performance this past year?
bpoz - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 02:44 PM EST (#350529) #
There is something very valuable about a defensive catcher. Jeff Mathis and Jose Molina had success because they made the pitcher better. Probably because of confidence in throwing all their pitches and not worrying about passed balls.

I want the Jays to emphasize good, solid and deep pitching. We finally have that now in our system. Our depth is the best in a long time IMO.I would like the FO to fill our 5th SP with someone that is quite good. Capable of close to what Happ and Estrada produce when pitching well. A healthy arm. Not a broken down arm that is trying to bounce back.

In Biagini, Borucki and Pannone we have 3 candidates that could start the year in the rotation to fill for an injury. Greene, SLF and J Harris may improve later in the season to be considered. F Rios has been v good early in the season for 2016 and 2017, but he seems to tire. He could be a good bull pen arm. C Rowley had a great 2017. 4 of 6 ML appearances were good.
Glevin - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 04:11 PM EST (#350530) #
"Put it another way - Lopez had about 3WAR/600PA and Maile had about -3WAR/600PA this past year. On what basis do we think that Maile is actually more likely to contribute next year, given the huge gap in performance this past year?"

I honestly don't care a whole lot. I'd be fine if they protected Lopez over Maille or did didn't protect either. I doubt anyone would take either one. I see either of these guys passable backups for a brief period until hopefully one of the youngsters is ready.
PeterG - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 04:53 PM EST (#350532) #
I don't think the Jays have any intention of using either Jansen or McGuire in the bigs this year (other than September) unless there are multiple injuries. Of course, that may happen.

Bpoz is correct in what he says about the value of a catcher in handling the pitching staff. It is my impression that the pitchers were very comfortable with Luke but not with Raffy.

And has been pointed out many times previously, the Jays had a winning record when Maile started.

And yes, Ugly is right that the Jays won't sign any qualified FA's nor should they. There will be a time when that might work, but it isn't now.
John Northey - Thursday, November 09 2017 @ 11:56 PM EST (#350535) #
When it comes to defense for catchers there is still a lot not being defined. Look back to the 90's for the most extreme example possible - I-Rod vs Mike Piazza. IRod threw out over 50% of runners quite often iirc while Piazza was a noodle arm around 20%. However, IRod's teams often were dead last or near that for ERA until late in his career while Piazza's were #1 or #2 nearly every year of his career. Could be dumb luck, but given both played well over 100 games each year I have to think there was something to it. Piazza was know for studying opposing hitters and being at all meetings with pitchers while I-Rod early one was the opposite, focusing almost entirely on throwing out runners and calling fastballs a LOT when a runner was on first so he'd have a better shot at throwing the runner out.

How do you measure pitch calling? The ability to know what 'stuff' a pitcher has on a particular day and being able to notice that certain hitters might be off a bit or really on fastballs/curveballs/whatever that day vs normal. I haven't read of anyone figuring that one out yet and many feel that can be done from the dugout so who cares what the catcher does. There is no question this past year though from the Jays w-l record with each that Maile did far better than Lopez on this front and given how Lopez was dumped mid-season by a team that needed catchers one has to think there is some issue there we cannot measure. Measuring pitch framing was a big advancement but this is the final frontier for catchers - measuring how well they call a game, how well they coach a pitcher through tough times and good. I have to think the spread is more than 6 WAR per year just because of what we saw here last year and when one cannot measure something the size of the spread from top to bottom will be massive since you cannot easily tell who is at the extremes otherwise some guys would be moved away from catcher much earlier than they are now (for example, Carlos Delgado was left there until he reached the majors, but one has to think his issues with game calling should've eliminated him much like his lack of range eliminated him from every other position but 1B and DH).

I suspect scouts and coaches can tell the extremes but it is hard for them to push away the non-catcher catchers like Lopez when stats guys (like me) would push guys like Lopez on them under the theory that based on what we can measure he is far beyond Maile. However, coaches know that Maile is a real catcher and Lopez at catcher is like when Jimy Williams played Cecil Fielder at 3B and 2B - a nightmare waiting to happen (still blows my mind that Williams did that).
John Northey - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 12:11 AM EST (#350537) #
An interesting subplot this winter will be - does Ichiro get another chance to keep playing? I checked his stats to see if he'd be a good 4th OF option or platoon mate maybe but the answer is no. From 2011-2017 (his NYY years, his Miami years and his last Seattle season) he has been over 100 for OPS+ just once and has hit 269/310/345 with 126 SB vs 29 CS with a -0.7 dWAR. So his defense is 'meh' at best now, just 1 SB last year so his speed is going if not gone, his other stats are ugly. And that isn't just last year but the last 7 years. He hasn't even hit 300 once in those 7 years vs doing it every one of his first 10 seasons. Ideally Seattle (who doesn't have much in its OF at a quick glance) would give him a farewell tour in 2018 but from a pure baseball POV it looks like it is time for him to hang up the spikes which I see as sad. Some players are just fun to cheer on and he is one of them.
scottt - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 08:40 AM EST (#350539) #
So, JD Martinez wants 200M, which might push Boston to look at improving 1B instead of the outfield.
Also, Bruce is asking for 5 years, 80M which is in the right range but I wouldn't go over 3 years.

I'm expecting the Jays will have to wait and see what bargains open up later.
The key early on is probably to find that utility player who gets on base and can bat first when Travis is out of the lineup or the 5th starter.

uglyone - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 10:28 AM EST (#350540) #
yeesh. EE and Fowler contracts already starting to sound like bargains.
bpoz - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 10:29 AM EST (#350541) #
I remember that too about I Rod. Runner on 1b, call mainly FBs. A good strategy would be for the runner to never actually try to steal, just pretend. The hitters should look for FBs because he should get some. On a hit the runner could go 1st to 3rd if speedy.

By the way did our 2017 team only have good speed with Pillar and Zeke?
ayjackson - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 02:30 PM EST (#350545) #
Didn't a big chunk of Maile's starts coincide with our hot 18-win May? I hardly think he was driving the results. I wouldn't rely much on his record when evaluating how he handled the staff (which may have been fine).
PeterG - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 03:57 PM EST (#350546) #
these guys (Bruce, Martinez etc.) are not going to get anywhere near what they are apparently asking. I feel it will be a slow moving off season...even slower than last year.
John Northey - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 04:15 PM EST (#350548) #
ayjackson - good point, most of his starts were May & June. But did the team do well in spite or because of him? There is the million dollar question that the Jays need to answer. Wonder if teams have figured out more on catcher defense than we know of. Rank pitches by movement/speed/location and see if with certain catchers the pitch quality is higher than with others. Or if pitchers have better swing/miss rates with certain catchers (sign of better calling).
Mike Green - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 04:44 PM EST (#350550) #
The club's ERA was a run lower with Maile catching than with any other catcher, and a run and a half lower than with Monteiro and Salty.  The slash line, and W/K results were similarly better.  Strangely enough, the same thing happened in Tampa in 2016- Maile had an ERA 1 run better than Casali and 1.5 runs better than Conger and Wilson.  In fairness, he did make 15 starts in 2015 and the pitchers had an ERA of 3.25 which was much better than club average but not by as much as in 2016 and 2017. 
SK in NJ - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 07:57 PM EST (#350553) #
If the market for no-D bats is anything like last year, then Bruce and Martinez are dreaming with their contract expectations. Obviously they will aim high, that's what all FA's do, but I doubt there is any team that is willing to go anywhere near what they want, in years and dollars.

The FA market doesn't look very good, even accounting for Martinez and Bruce who will likely be out of the Jays price range. The hitting and SP market seems low on impact talent. It wouldn't surprise me if we see more trades than signings, especially with the 40-man roster crunch. Otherwise I would expect one or two year deals to older vets to bide time for prospects, much like last winter (hopefully with better results).
GabrielSyme - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 08:43 PM EST (#350554) #
I'm not dismissive of catcher's ERA - I think it's somewhat valuable, especially historically where we don't have good data for pitch-framing. But it's way too early to draw any conclusions on Maile's ability to affect the game outside of the better measured ways (blocking pitches, throwing out runners, framing pitches) when he's only had half a season in total in the major leagues.

Catcher's don't necessarily draw a random group of the team's pitchers either. Maile drew a pretty nice group of starters - my count was Maile started 38 times, with 22 of them catching either Estrada or Stroman. No wonder he had a nice cERA. The entire list: Estrada, 12; Stroman, 10; Biagini, 6; Happ, 3; Liriano, Sanchez & Anderson, 2 each; Bolsinger, 1.

I will also note that Lopez (my personal hobbyhorse) didn't get quite as nice a set up: Biagini and Stroman, 4 each; Happ and Tepesch, 3 each; Rowley, Estrada and Anderson, 1 start each. His cERA was almost exactly that of Russell Martin.
Mike Green - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 08:57 PM EST (#350555) #
Estrada had an ERA of 4.98 last year, 4.25 with Maile and a lot more than that with everybody else.
GabrielSyme - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 09:38 PM EST (#350556) #
True about Estrada, but Maile had the advantage of mostly catching Estrada outside of his long swoon that Estrada has publicly attributed to personal factors. I think this actually reinforces my broader point - it's impossible to draw any reasonable inferences about catcher game-calling in such small samples - there is a great deal of randomness about who catches whom, and when they get their playing time.

I certainly hope Maile is an unparalleled game-caller; but I don't see how we can take any lessons from such a limited sample.

Mike Green - Friday, November 10 2017 @ 10:02 PM EST (#350557) #
Maile had a .181 BABIP last year which contributed mightily to his poor offensive season. It was in 161 PAs. Sample size cuts both ways.

Personally I think Maile cost the club about 1/3 of a run per game with his bat but saved them over 1/2 a run with the glove. In other words he performed as a typical backup catcher and maybe a little better. The fangraphs assertion that he was only +2 with the glove is frankly not believable.
scottt - Saturday, November 11 2017 @ 08:34 AM EST (#350558) #
Eric Wedge was the second person to interview for the Yankees coaching job. A bit of a surprise there.

Lopez wasn't horrible, well, except for that one game against the Cubs, but he's 30.
Opponents stole 16 bases against him and he retired one single runner.
That's 6% for Lopez  and  37% for Maile against the league average of 25%.
That's basically an extra 8 outs that Maile delivered which would most likely have cost some runs.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, November 11 2017 @ 03:42 PM EST (#350559) #
Thanks scottt.

Luke Maile has done a good enough job as backup Catcher that I don’t think the Jays will rush to fill that spot. From all I’ve heard, the Jays are not worried about the position more than any other position.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, November 11 2017 @ 08:09 PM EST (#350560) #
I don't want to run Maile down - on the things we can measure, all indications are that he's a good catcher, and if he's given a chance to improve his hitting by getting regular at-bats in AAA (or AA), there's a good chance he'll have a nice career as a good backup catcher - but it's impossible to think that a guy coming off a year in which he had a near-zero wRC+ not only in MLB, but also in AAA and in high-A will hit enough to be worth playing, even if he's an elite defensive catcher. His career line in AAA is only about an 80 wRC+. Maile might not have deserved a .181 BABIP, but he certainly didn't earn a much better result- he had a sub-10% line drive rate, a high pop-up rate, and a low hard-hit rate.

According to Baseball Prospectus, most seasons no catcher even gets to +30 runs/game (and outliers typically are benefitting from uncertainty in the measurements). It's not plausible that Maile is twice as good as the best defensive catchers having their best seasons. And while his game-calling looks good, we don't have enough information to reliably say whether he actually is or how good he is - and there simply isn't a tonne of variation in pitch-calling. Unless Maile is the most elite of elite defensive catchers, he needs to hit much better, and the best way to help him do that is to give him plenty of at-bats in AAA.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 11 2017 @ 09:34 PM EST (#350561) #
The underlying assumption is that catchers do not affect pitching performance except to the extent measured by prevention of stolen bases, bases gained on passed balls/wild pitches, framing and so on. I don't buy it. When Lopez can't contain Osuna's slider in the dirt repeatedly, batters know fastballs are coming and Osuna gets hit harder.
John Northey - Sunday, November 12 2017 @ 12:00 AM EST (#350562) #
Reminds me of how Bill James mentioned about measuring the noise. That there is a lot of unknowns out there in baseball especially on defense and one must respect that just because we haven't figured out how to measure something doesn't mean it isn't there or isn't relevant. Pitch framing really showed that. However, once measured umpires adjusted quickly (the best framers suddenly weren't doing so well and the worst weren't doing so bad). If someone figures out how to measure pitch calling (I'm guessing by measuring pitch quality via movement/speed vs normal for a pitcher and how often that pitch is used in a start, so if a pitcher's fastball is flat the catcher adjusts and calls more curves/changeups instead and re-locates the fastball when called to be out of the zone).
scottt - Sunday, November 12 2017 @ 08:52 AM EST (#350563) #
Saw a rumour that the new Mets coach  won't let his non-elite starting pitchers go through a line up more than twice.
So I wondered what would have happened if Biagini had been handled like that. Turns out Joe was equally fine when facing opponents a first or a third time, but had trouble facing them a second time.

Ah, well.

John Northey - Sunday, November 12 2017 @ 10:16 PM EST (#350564) #
Love how we get random old articles up on the side sometimes. Latest was the 2011 prospects to watch (ie: not in the top 30). Surprising how many have done well out of that group. Roberto Osuna, Danny Barnes, Yan Gomes (5th best catching prospect at the time), Sam Dyson, and Dwight Smith Jr. All played in the majors this year, some very well, some just a cup of coffee.

A reminder that just because someone isn't in the top 30 doesn't mean they can't become solid major leaguers.
James W - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 12:07 AM EST (#350565) #
Just saw on Sportscentre that Anthopoulos will reportedly be named GM of Atlanta.
uglyone - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 12:34 AM EST (#350566) #
Go Braves Go!
bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 06:37 AM EST (#350567) #
I like Atlanta. I hope he does well. He may go after some of his old FO people.
scottt - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 06:58 AM EST (#350568) #
Hopefully he wants to trade to get back some of the players he drafted.
bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 07:10 AM EST (#350569) #
If AA does get hired, I wonder what he has learned from his Jay's experience.

I expect his drafts to be high risk/high reward. That farm system will be great. His FA acquisitions will not have to leave the USA, unlike here.
China fan - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 07:47 AM EST (#350570) #
Anthopoulos appointed as GM of Atlanta.

Yet we were told, by one or two people on this site, that he was unemployable and would never again become a GM, because he had deliberately sabotaged the Jays future in a selfish bid for playoff glory....
bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 08:02 AM EST (#350571) #
"Playoff Glory" was his last move. High risk/ high reward moves.

We cashed in on the high reward successful playoffs, increased fan interest and increased revenue. He made his employers very happy, I would think.

For 2013 there was also a high risk/high reward strategy. No reward.

The J Donaldson move was not the high risk/reward type of move. Both teams were rewarded. The stage of competitiveness for each team was appropriate. Rebuilding Oakland and contending Jays.
85bluejay - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 08:25 AM EST (#350572) #
Donaldson to Atlanta makes so much sense - I hope it happens. Good Luck in Atlanta AA.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 08:42 AM EST (#350573) #
We will see if working with Friedman helped AA. In Toronto he was a GM that viewed prospects almost exclusively as trade pieces, while the big spending Dodgers viewed prospects in an entirely different way. The Braves have a deep system and a young big league team. AA could either build a really good young sustainable team, or go the same route he ended up going in 2013-15 with the Jays. He has the prospects now to go either direction. The league is getting younger, and older players are getting shafted, so if AA has adapted his philosophy, then he should have success in Atlanta. He valued older players too much in Toronto, at least in 2013-15, and that was never a sustainable model. A better emphasis on player development will be needed on his end, as well. Acquiring/inheriting prospects is one thing, but developing them is another.

I wasn't a fan of AA, but I know some people here are, so they can rejoice at him getting another GM gig. Ending a 20+ year playoff drought, even if it was short lived, will certainly make him a memorable figure in this organization's history.

And yes, Donaldson to Atlanta was my first thought, but it doesn't appear the Jays want to move him. At least for now.
bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 09:17 AM EST (#350574) #
Everyone knows that your rotation has to be decent to have any success.
Young SPs have not proven anything. Are they good? Are they durable? The 2010 rotation was young and good enough to show promise for a solid rotation. But that rotation fell apart very fast. Romero, Cecil, Zep, Morrow and Marcum. Cecil, Zep and Morrow became good relievers once they accepted their short comings as SPs.
Glevin - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 09:18 AM EST (#350575) #
"Yet we were told, by one or two people on this site, that he was unemployable and would never again become a GM, because he had deliberately sabotaged the Jays future in a selfish bid for playoff glory...."

No, nobody ever said that. AA was fine as a GM but he did make long-term sacrifices that are still costing the Jays. The team is not where it is because of poor free agent signings but because of poor long-term planning over the past few years. I think he probably learned from his time in Toronto and L.A. and the way the league has evolved. He has his strengths and he had his weaknesses but he'll probably be a good GM in Atlanta. What's so annoying to many of us is how many people have rose-coloured glasses about his tenure. The Braves are an interesting team because they have a lot of young talent including maybe the best prospect in baseball and an elite young major leaguer, a deep system, and a new ballpark so it's not a bad spot to go to.
uglyone - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 09:36 AM EST (#350576) #
the team is where it is because as soon as they made the playoffs for the first time in 20 years they replaced their GM.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 09:42 AM EST (#350577) #

Here is the thread when AA left. I haven't read the whole thing, but I don't recall anyone saying he wouldn't get another job, either. There was more outrage over him leaving than anything (not from me, but in general).

"the team is where it is because as soon as they made the playoffs for the first time in 20 years they replaced their GM."

Read the above thread from two years ago. Some posters predicted the team's decline post-2016 before Shapiro even made a single move. It was inevitable even if AA was still around. AA deserves credit for building a playoff team, but it came at a price.
uglyone - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 09:45 AM EST (#350578) #
the argument that AA was unemployed while people were banging down the door to sign Shapkins was definitely used here to paint a picture of AA as undesirable and Shapkins as in demand, for the record.
85bluejay - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 09:58 AM EST (#350579) #
I recall someone saying that AA would never get another GM gig - but it was during one of those ridiculous tantrum arguments that occur occasionally.
China fan - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 10:19 AM EST (#350580) #
"....I don't recall anyone saying he wouldn't get another job..."

It wasn't in the immediate thread on the day when he left, but it was a comment made repeatedly by one particular AA-hater over the weeks that followed.   And it might have been a "temper tantrum" (to give him the benefit of the doubt) but he certainly never disowned the comment, and he followed it up with many claims about how AA had destroyed the team's future.

I don't mind anyone making arguments about the tradeoff between short-term benefits and long-term sacrifices, and the balance that should be struck.  But some of the comments went way beyond the pale.


bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 11:19 AM EST (#350581) #
AA will have to compete with the Phillies, Mets, Nationals and Marlins. Naturally they will be the teams that they play the most.

The Jay's FO has to compete against NYY and Boston who are beasts. Baltimore can match our payroll. So no advantage there. Lastly TB with their low payroll. But they are very tough on us.

I believe that AA's strengths will make Atlanta a contender fast. Good luck will get them there faster and bad luck will slow them down.
Soon he will probably have to talk about his "plan". I like Atlanta. I will root for them as my NL team.
China fan - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 11:29 AM EST (#350582) #
One of the interesting things about the Atlanta GM appointment is that Anthopoulos has reportedly been promised full control of baseball operations.  That's the promise that he sought in Toronto -- and the owners wouldn't give it to him. So he departed from Toronto.  He took a senior job on the Dodgers for a couple of years, and now he has received the job with the full autonomy that he had always wanted. 

A tweet from Joel Sherman today:

Heard John Hart will stay as #Braves pres of baseball operations for now, but as much as counsel/figurehead and Anthopoulos will have final decision making powers in baseball.

John Northey - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 12:25 PM EST (#350583) #
So AA has 100% power (pretty much) in Atlanta. Wonder what budget he has and what the owners have told him to plan around? Atlanta was 72-90 last year good for 3rd in the weak NL East which is Washington and the 4 bums (all were 20+ games back, Atlanta 25).

Have to figure they are letting him do a rebuild given that. Freddie Freeman is their best player but just entering his age 28 season so I doubt they'll trade him with 4 years at $21-22 mil per year left on his contract. Still would be tempting as he is clearly producing a lot of surplus value on a bad team, thus would be worth a ton to a contender. Should be able to get a stack of prospects for him. Still AA remembers trading Halladay and getting nothing much (in a roundabout way Travis is the only real value the Jays got out of it plus a bit from Dickey) while trading away prospects got him tons of value, like Donaldson. So the question is will he follow the Ash model (trade prospects for vets and try to sneak into the playoffs) or will he do the slow and steady method (trade high value pieces today for prospects to help tomorrow). Atlanta had a $122 million payroll to start 2016, $10 million more than they ever had before. Matt Kemp ($43.5 mil over 2 years), Freeman ($87+ mil over 4 years), are the only ones over $20 mil a year on the roster. Nick Markakis makes $11 mil this year and that's it. While Julio Teheran gets about $20 mil over the next 2+ and maybe more.

Teheran is a solid starter who has gone 180+ IP each of the last 5 years with ERA+'s going from the 90's to the 120's. Have to think he'll hold him. Markakis is a RF who hasn't had 20+ HR since Bush Jr was still president and hasn't been over 110 for OPS+ since the end of Obama's first term. I'd stay far away from him so he'll be a guy AA tries to dump on someone. Kemp had negative WAR last year after a 113 OPS+ season (that produced a 0 WAR season) the year before. Another guy I'd dump if I was AA. That leaves only Freeman as a guy making a lot who is earning it. I fully expect Kemp, and Markakis to be elsewhere by the end of spring with Teheran being on the 'available' list but only for a silly high price or to help clear out bad contracts. It'll be interesting to see if AA can con the Jays braintrust into taking on Kemp or Markakis as both look like a bit on the surface.
bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 01:39 PM EST (#350584) #
AA did a few things right and a few things wrong. That would be par for the course. Nobody can be right or wrong all the time.

He arrived in Toronto when nobody had any "expectations" of success. Just hopes for success. My expectations at least.

After a very good first year, 2010. 85 wins, farewell to Cito and Alomar's HOF induction his teams struggled badly.

We at da box are knowledgeable Jays fans. For example we know who is doing well all the way down to the DSL. And throughout the farm system we wisely suggest promotions, like my gem to start Bo in Lansing. Did I mention that nobody can be right all the time and wrong .... you know. So we are not the casual fan.

With a good sized payroll the Jays had to reward ownership with increased revenues that only result from playoff races and post season games. The writing was on the wall when AA finally produced. IMO you can have 3 bad years in a row of no playoff race. A 4th year and you are done in Toronto, especially with the 2nd WC a possibility. 2WC winner in 2015 86 wins Houston. Twins with 85 wins this year. 2nd WC only came into existence for the 2015 season.

This FO has done well. A successful 2016. 2017 was the first failed year but good 2017 revenues were probably generated due to the success of 2015 and 2016.

Therefore I see our goal of "playoff race" for the 2nd WC as an easy road. 87 wins makes you a contender most years until the final weekend. $ will flow in.

BlueJayWay - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 06:07 PM EST (#350586) #
2nd wildcard began in 2012.
John Northey - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 06:15 PM EST (#350587) #
Using 2 WC and checking history (yeah, things would've been done different if 2 WC instead of 1 existed) for the 2000's do we see much?

2000: 90 wins needed, Jays 83
2001: 85 wins needed, Jays 80
2002: 93 wins needed, Jays 78
2003: 93 wins needed, Jays 86
2004: 91 wins needed, Jays 67 (even NHL rules wouldn't help this season)
2005: 93 wins needed, Jays 80
2006: 89 wins needed, Jays 87 (sooo close, real WC was 95)
2007: 88 wins needed, Jays 83
2008: 89 wins needed, Jays 86
2009: 87 wins needed, Jays 75
2010: 88 wins needed, Jays 85
2011: 90 wins needed, Jays 81
2012 and beyond the 2nd WC existed.

If it was around in 2000 and beyond I suspect JPR would've had more time if he could've pushed the team in 2006 somehow (2 wins is super close). I'm sure in 2008 he'd have been going nuts trying to upgrade knowing his neck was on the line. A bit surprising that a 2nd WC wouldn't have got the Jays in any other years of the 2000's but instead just put them really close a few times.
bpoz - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 07:13 PM EST (#350588) #
Thanks BlueJayWay. The 2nd WC 2012 93 wins, 2013 92 wins, 2014 88 wins. So not as easy as I thought to win it or even be in a pennant race and collect the extra revenue.

What about the luxury tax effect. That should work in the Jay's favor by limiting the NYY and Boston spending.

NYY over spent by wasting $ on A Rod for example. Boston :- H Ramirez, Panda, C Crawford and maybe D Price.

Before we made the playoffs we suffered NYY and Boston winning the AL East and the 1st WC with around 95 wins. For about 20 years. That may change, but maybe the FO has to aim higher than my 87 win total to participate in a pennant race.

A strong sustainable core is needed. We probably need to save our money for that. If Bichette/Vlad become very good then we have to pay them and trade them when we can no longer afford them IMO.

lexomatic - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 10:17 PM EST (#350589) #
2d wildcard helps in a few close years by maybe getting a green light to add (and it not backfiring).
2006 at a glance looks likes the team needed pitching and a ss.not sure what was available but 300 IP of 5+ era in the 4/5 coming in at only replacement level sounds awful (and more importantly lucky). There was potential there foran easy improvement for sure.

John Northey - Monday, November 13 2017 @ 11:32 PM EST (#350590) #
The price of the AL East - you always have 2 killers in Yankees & Red Sox with the Orioles sneaking in sometimes and the Rays having good management. The NL Central would be a dream for the Jays with only the Cubs being financially strong and the Cards being the Rays of the NL. AL Central also would be easy with Cleveland being strong but cheap, Tigers rich but flopping. Technically only the White Sox really have a big market in that division but they lost most of it to the Cubs.

Ah well, can't change geography and the Jays know the Yanks & Red Sox fill seats and get TV ratings always so won't ever leave the AL East unless forced.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 08:02 AM EST (#350591) #
Franklin Barreto was one of our top prospects. Now we have Bo Bichette. I think that they would be reasonably similar.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 09:44 AM EST (#350592) #
There are a bunch of surprisingly candid quotes from Atkins about his interest in Otani. Don't tease us, Ross.

“I think we’re as well-equipped as any organization in baseball,” said Atkins, who noted it will take more than just money to entice Otani to sign in Toronto.

“Our emphasis on recovery, our emphasis on preparation, our emphasis on what it takes to realize all of your potential is at the forefront. And the fact that we’re in the American League and we have the DH spot allows for more patience and more versatility in that area.

“So, I can’t imagine a better fit quite frankly. He fits about as well as anybody could fit for our team right now and he’s an incredible talent.”

“Everything we’ve learned about Otani is, it’s baseball and baseball first,” Atkins said outside the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, where meeting are being held this week. “He’s thinking about how he can be one of the best athletes in the world.”

“We had a great representation,” he said. “(Scout) Dan Evans did an incredible job leading us through that with (assistant GM) Andrew Tinnish and (director of professional scouting) Ryan Mittleman. Jim Skaalen spent weeks watching him play and understanding the pieces of the puzzle. So we feel extremely prepared in the event when he is posted.”

“I can’t get into the negotiation,” Atkins added, “but I don’t think we would have to do too much entirely different than most teams. There’s still a lot more information to come but I think by all means we are in a position where we’re prepared just as capable as most teams to acquire him.”
uglyone - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 09:55 AM EST (#350593) #
"but I don’t think we would have to do too much entirely different than most teams."

he'll learn.
uglyone - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 09:57 AM EST (#350594) #
"Franklin Barreto was one of our top prospects. Now we have Bo Bichette. I think that they would be reasonably similar."

nah, barreto was never really close to what bichette is, imo.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 09:58 AM EST (#350595) #
Just Good RP IMO - there's nothing wrong with that as some fans will get excited but I'd be stunned if the Jays sign Otani.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 10:00 AM EST (#350596) #
sorry, that should read "Just Good PR" DUH!!
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 10:10 AM EST (#350597) #
I don't think the Jays will sign Otani either, but surprised Atkins would be so up front about it. He could have given generic answers to express interest for PR purposes but he went into great detail. Obviously just a way to get our hopes up before Otani signs with the Yankees, but the off-season is the time to dream, I guess.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 10:50 AM EST (#350598) #
A belated congratulations to Alex Anthopoulos on his new position in Atlanta.  I'm just as happy to see him in the other league- I think that he may be ready for his prime as a GM and that could be awfully good.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 04:09 PM EST (#350599) #
It's been suggested the Jays are one of the teams who could benefit the most from Ohtani. I think the overt interest is a positive here, because there isn't much money to offer up front. I also don't think it's enough.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 06:13 PM EST (#350600) #
The money isn't the #1 issue for Ohtani as no one can offer $100 mil to him today. #1 will be letting him play everyday as a hitter plus as a starting pitcher. #2 ability to earn cash via sponserships/etc. which Canada is better than many US cities (outside of NY, Cubs, Dodgers). #3 contender (this is a selling job but 2 ALCS appearances last 3 years helps a lot). #4 ability to pay through the nose when the time comes.

I think the Jays line up nicely on all 4. Depends what his personal preferences are in the end.
scottt - Tuesday, November 14 2017 @ 07:23 PM EST (#350601) #
The 4 ways to subvert someone are money, ideology, sex and ego.

You can't do much about money here and sex is obviously out of the question, but I think the Atkins speech hits the other two spots. Nice.

rpriske - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 09:50 AM EST (#350605) #
MLB Trade Rumours says that the Jays and Mets have been asking about Lorenzo Cain.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 10:41 AM EST (#350607) #
Cain doesn't really make a ton of sense for the Jays. An elite defensive CF (sound familiar?) who has a 106 OPS+ lifetime entering his age 32 season and will cost a draft pick (in the Jays case their second highest pick) plus $500k from the international free agent signing pool.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 12:13 PM EST (#350614) #
IMO he's a perfect fit. Even better fit than Fowler.

But we'll get outbid, I'm sure.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 05:06 PM EST (#350620) #
Fowler was a 2.7 WAR corner outfielder in year one of a 5/82.5 contract (add $5-10m or a sixth year to bring him to Canada). Not an especially high bar to clear in terms of value and fit.

Petey Baseball - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 06:34 PM EST (#350623) #
The speculation is that signing Cain would mean the end of Pillar. Maybe the Jays are looking at going with a Cain-Pillar-Hernandez outfield (that's basically three center fielders). That would be exciting to watch.

Mike Green - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 06:37 PM EST (#350624) #
They've got Alford and Pompey around too.  Improving the outfield defensively seems like an obvious thing to do.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 15 2017 @ 07:02 PM EST (#350625) #
Much like with Fowler, I would expect Cain to want to stay in CF, at least in 2018. I don't think he would sign with a team and voluntarily move to a different position that he may not be comfortable with. Pillar in one of the outfield corners would make no sense given his bat, so I'd hope that signing Cain would mean Pillar would be traded. Having both on the team would only make sense if Cain plays RF, which he might be open to, but I doubt it. He is a free agent and other teams will play him at CF.

I'm not sure the Jays are at a point where losing a draft pick and international money for a CF in his 30's makes a ton of sense. Signing Cain would make a lot of sense if Otani came with him since it would certainly put the Jays at a much higher place in the win curve, but Cain alone doesn't move the needle enough, IMO.
rpriske - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 10:34 AM EST (#350636) #
I would be pretty happy with a Hernandez - Pillar - Cain outfield.

That would be a lot better than Pearce (etc) - Pillar - Bautista from this past year.

jerjapan - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 02:22 PM EST (#350651) #
Some interesting comments on Fangraphs today - in a chat, Dave Cameron predicts $9 million as the cost for a win in the FA market but notes that the increasing emphasis on reliever depth may lead to deals on SP, and he suggests Toronto might be the best landing spot for Ohtani strictly from a utilitarian 'fan of the game' standpoint.  nice!

And the KATOH predictions for minor league FAs are up - apparently, only 1% of these guys will produce at least 0.5 fWAR in any given season, so take them with a grain of salt - one of last year's big revelations was Wilmer Font, who barely was discussed in his time with the Jays org - but Christian Lopes ranks 1st among hitters.  Cecilliani (who I'm happy to move on from) is 9th and Jon Berti 24th.  Ex Jays Myles Jaye and Kevin Comer are listed among the pitchers. 

PeterG - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 04:15 PM EST (#350658) #
Anthony Alford is going to the Mexican Winter League to get in some extra reps.
PeterG - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 04:48 PM EST (#350659) #
Jays sign Deck McGuire to minor league deal with invite to ST.
Gerry - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 05:06 PM EST (#350661) #
As I noted in an earlier thread the Jays are maxed out on 40 man roster candidates. As a result the players they need to sign for Buffalo will nearly all be on minor league deals. The top minor league free agents will look for a 40 man roster deal so the Jays will likely be out of the running for those AAAA guys.

Deck McGuire is on a minor league, non 40 man, deal.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 05:19 PM EST (#350662) #
Anthony Alford is going to the Mexican Winter League to get in some extra reps.

Good.  I was surprised that he wasn't in any form of action after September 1. 
PeterG - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 05:26 PM EST (#350664) #
greenfrog - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 08:34 PM EST (#350666) #
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that Ohtani is the player the Jays need to be good now and great in the future. He would be the best thing that could happen to the organization this off-season, and possibly for years to come.

Possibly the worst thing that could happen to the Jays this off-season is that Ohtani signs with an AL East rival.
SK in NJ - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 09:19 PM EST (#350669) #
Ohtani would change the entire complexion of the organization. If they signed him and he was as good as advertised, then maybe the team could significantly shorten or even bypass the transitional period post-Donaldson and be able to integrate the next group of young players without needing to rebuild. The win curve for 2018 would dramatically increase as well, so keeping Donaldson would be a little more justified.

It's a long shot. Everything I said above could apply to every team in the league, and Ohtani could literally pick any team he wants to. All the Jays can do is make a pitch. Everything else is really out of their control. I'm not expecting anything to happen, but I'll dream for a bit.
greenfrog - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 09:48 PM EST (#350670) #
These are some of the benefits Ohtani arguably would bring to the Jays:

1. Likely elite performance (pitching and hitting)
2. Cost savings (much cheaper than some other lesser options for the ML roster)
3. Increased fan interest in Canada and around the world
4. Increased revenue (ticket sales, television, other)
5. Better farm system (less need to trade prospects or give up draft picks to acquire quality ML talent)
6. Younger and more athletic ML roster
John Northey - Thursday, November 16 2017 @ 11:10 PM EST (#350671) #
If Ohtani is signed the Jays owe a ton to Munenori Kawasaki who is close friends with him from what I've read online (take with grains of salt of course). Remember, Kawasaki got radio ads (bonus cash) and tons of fan support while here which I'm certain he will have told Ohtani - far more than he experienced in Seattle or Chicago I'm sure. He also got a chance to play a LOT here and was shown far more respect than a marginal utility infielder should've gotten.

If I was a star debating where to go seeing how a backup got so much attention and even some sponsorship revenue I'd be thinking that it might be the right place, especially with the political situation south of the border. I'd have to think with each shooting down there the odds of Ohtani coming here increase as safety for his family (don't think he is married yet but I'm sure he plans to someday) has to be a top priority. I can see lots of ways the Jays can sell themselves to him but in the end who knows what his top priority is beyond playing in the field and on the mound. I'm sure the Jays would dump Morales in a second if that is what it took to get him to sign.

I'm hoping the upper management is looking at this as a multi-pronged revenue opportunity thus will do whatever is possible to win this lottery. I wonder if chasing Yu Darvish this winter would help (thus having a good mentor on the team)? If so would the Jays do that as well? Then you'd need to trade someone in the current rotation (Happ or Sanchez would be my top choices as Estrada was just resigned and Stroman is the ace) to free up space and should get something of quality in return.

Of course, in the end this might just be like the Darvish sweepstakes were - a pipe dream that ends with nothing. But in mid-November what else are we going to chat about here? :)
scottt - Friday, November 17 2017 @ 09:01 AM EST (#350676) #
Just a few more days to add prospects to the roster to protect them.

Personally, I'd toss Refsnyder and Harold Ramirez. I don't see anyone carrying Ramirez on a 25 roster and we're probably better just picking someone in the draft than hanging on to Refsnyder even if we didn't have enough prospects as it is.

Mike Green - Friday, November 17 2017 @ 09:33 AM EST (#350679) #
Ohtani coming here increase as safety for his family (don't think he is married yet but I'm sure he plans to someday)

There are plenty of good reasons for preferring a country with gun control, but I wouldn't make any assumptions about a 23 year old's wish to marry or not.

Obviously Ohtani is the jewel of the off-season.  I have to say that I love his swing, and he is apparently more advanced as a pitcher.  
rpriske - Friday, November 17 2017 @ 02:55 PM EST (#350709) #
Does anyone else say his name in a Jawa voice?

No? Just me?


greenfrog - Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 11:32 AM EST (#350727) #
I think the real risk is that Ohtani signs with the Yankees or Red Sox. If he goes to the Bronx, there is a pretty good chance that the Jays will be non-contenders for the AL East title for the next five or six years (the Jays could still compete for the WC, of course).
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