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Because scrolling through 250+ comments on a phone sized screen occasionally gets old, on occasion


It's the opening stretch of the silliest season and there are some recent points of Blue Jays discussion to chew upon:

Pitcher Tom Koehler has been declined a contract by the team for 2018, becoming a free agent. Koehler was due by most projections to earn over six million in arbitration, which is a bit rich for what he potentially provides (whatever that is???) to a big league club. Personally I liked what little I saw from him and wouldn't be opposed to bringing him back on a cheaper deal, like Justin Smoak a few years ago. Koehler though is of course a hard throwing pitcher with starting experience, not a large slow first baseman historically prone to strikeouts, and thus a commodity likely to attract more significant interest. So, like ya know, whatever.

Not a whatever is the news that infielder Ryan Goins was also declined a contract, likely ending his time with the organization that brought him to the big leagues. Say what you will about his complete inability to do anything with a bat in his hands (beyond that RISP weirdness this past summer), but he made some down right unbelievable defensive plays while he was here, especially during those first couple years. No, I wouldn't want him getting 450 plate appearances a season on my big league team either, and gawddamnit he should've ignored Bautista and caught that stupid pop-up he was right underneath in Kansas City. But there's lots of fondness to remember also, like the glove (at second especially), or like how he was the runner at third during The Bat Flip. Also did you remember he hit a postseason home run for the Blue Jays? I sure didn't. So, yeah! Best wishes, Ryan.

Goins is out and a new infielder is in: Aledmys Diaz. Upon a facial valuation Diaz's MLB career to date has been a Jekyll and Hyde story thus far, with an all-star season and .879 OPS in his rookie 2016, followed by a hideous .259/.290/.392 line over 286 at bats in 2017, a year in which he was eventually sent to AAA and did little better. It's an interesting trade that raises many questions, not only regarding whether Diaz (27) can regain enough of his previous form but also why would the Cardinals cut him loose so soon? Was a thumb injury the major cause of his offensive troubles or did the league just figure him out? Is he a legit backup at those key-yet-injury-prone positions for Toronto? I like the deal for the intrigue at the very least, a worthwhile gamble at the quarter slots with some free chips at the table, or something (I'm not a gambling man).

Finally, a short personal thought on the Gregg Zaun dismissal and the obvious topic that leads therein. Not long ago I briefly worked in a particular horrible bar that no longer exists (to the benefit of us all) where I witnessed firsthand how this sort of thing is either happening or the seeds of it are being planted, with either no consequence or is actually encouraged. Yeeeah. I honestly want to stop this article transforming from "low key baseball article" into "justifiable rant about human indecency", since this is a baseball site and not a forum for my social outrage. So all I got is, friends this is BattersBox, where we're all intelligent, passionate folks and where civility should match our passion.

Also... the Cabal is not dead... it still lives and watches... watches always....

Please talk amongst yourselves. Meanwhile I have a cave to hibernate in until we sign Ohtani.


Generic New December Off-Season Thread Extravaganza | 320 comments | Create New Account
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Glevin - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 08:47 AM EST (#351108) #
Generally like the moves so far even if they are small ones. Goins is fine making minimum salary but once he starts to get at all expensive, makes no sense to keep. Diaz might not work out but it was a good risk to take. I'd take Koehler back but not for that price either.
bpoz - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 08:55 AM EST (#351109) #
38 on the 40 man roster. $25 mil is estimated to be available for future acquisitions.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 09:28 AM EST (#351111) #
First, I also work in an environment where this is somewhat commonplace and am glad that such individuals are getting their come-uppance. There's no excuse for it, regardless of context. I've spoken up multiple times, occasionally to the detriment of career progression. As such I completely understand why others have been hesitant and (depending on context) don't believe in punishing inactivity due to fear of repercussions.

Now to baseball, I fully approve of the Diaz move. He's a guy I hadn't really thought of (was focused on galvis) but one that ticks alot of boxes with upside. Woodman may turn it around but was looking like a disappointment so cost is minimal. Not even a word of rumour before the acquisition; looks more like an AA move than Shatkins actually (that's a compliment in this case).

Goins lost all value once you couldn't shuttle him to the minors IMO. Gift is a nice glove alternative that has options left.

No interest in Goins coming back, but I'd take Koehler at the right price (3-4 mil).

Next up: find an outfielder (not markakis), and lhrp and deal Morales for an equally overpaid pitcher (Kennedy? Zimmerman?). If Pearce has value deal him too.
bpoz - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 09:49 AM EST (#351112) #
From the 40 man roster we lose only 4 at the end of 2018.

Happ, Estrada, Donaldson and Pearce.

I wonder what will be added next.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 09:58 AM EST (#351113) #
Like most, a thumbs up to the Diaz acquisition - he may not replicate 2016 but I think is a great rebound candidate & he like Ngoepe has options - given travis's history, Diaz may see a lot of 2B - still hope the jays acquire a better defensive SS as backup - Pearce seems like a good fit in Texas to replace Napoli - Pearce plus reliever for Profar.Many were surprised when the Jays passed on the more highly regarded Bryan Reynolds (#59 to Giants) to select Woodman (#57) - so far, Reynolds has outperformed Woodman, maybe the Cardinals can improve his plate discipline.
jerjapan - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:02 AM EST (#351114) #
I think praise for the Diaz move is universal so far.  In fact yesterday goes down as an excellent day for the FO IMO - Koehler and Goins non-tendered, Tinnish back, Woodman magically providing value - I can't get over his 157 Ks in 362 Lansing ABs, from a guy who turns 23 in a couple of weeks. 

But worth noting is Diaz's minor league slash line of 270 / 329 / 429.  The guy started his North American career at age 24, so he theoretically should have been hitting well in A ball - I think it's best we dismiss the guy's 2016 with the bat as a fluke.  Fangraphs rates him a poor baserunner, but his plus D at 2nd and versatility will make him a positive player if he can match his minor league numbers with the bat. 

Kevin Papetti at BlueBirdBanter notes:  "as Diaz signed a major league contract, he had option years used in 2014, 2015, and 2017 and would normally be out-of-options in 2018. However, like fellow Cuban Kendrys Morales, he should be eligible for a fourth option year in 2018 as it will only be his fifth professional season".  Nice. 
PeterG - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:08 AM EST (#351115) #
Diaz could also be a 3b for a year or 2 if JD is moved. He actually profiles better at that position than at SS.
uglyone - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:27 AM EST (#351116) #
the price we paid makes me think something is up with diaz, unfortunately. he has too much on field value to give away for nothing.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:34 AM EST (#351117) #
It may be that the Cardinals didn't want to pay him 2m for 2018 per his contract - freeing up money is important
PeterG - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:42 AM EST (#351118) #
The Cardinals had and still have a glut of INF and OF and had to make a move and will still make more. I think Ugly's fears are unfounded. The drop in offensive production for Diaz was entirely due to the thumb injury imo. Any injury to a batter's hand, fingers, thumb or wrist will often screw up an entire season.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:50 AM EST (#351119) #
If Diaz plays less SS, and more of a utility role (2B, 3B, LF), then it might improve his defensive value depending on how he looks in the other positions. It doesn't appear he is good enough defensively to be a SS beyond a back-up role. Regardless, the biggest thing with him will be his bat. I don't expect 2016 numbers, but if even if he hits his current projections, he'd be an asset, especially if he turns out to be as versatile as they want him to be defensively. Definitely a risk worth taking. Even in 2017 he was worth a lot more than Goins, so if that's the worst case, then it's still an upgrade.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 12:02 PM EST (#351120) #
According to Cot's, Diaz's contract ended in 2017 (signed a four year deal in 2014). Since he is not arbitration eligible yet, I believe he makes near the minimum in 2018. Not 100% sure, though.
jerjapan - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 12:08 PM EST (#351121) #
You can only reduce a player's salary by 20% from one year to the next when under team control, so Diaz will make about what Goins would have under arbitration.  Of course, the team can renew him at 2 million per as well.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 12:10 PM EST (#351122) #
You are probably right SK - that's even better - the Cardinals actually DFA Diaz in 2015,so maybe they are not that high on him.
eudaimon - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 12:52 PM EST (#351123) #
I'm not at all excited by Diaz, but we didn't give up much to get him. He won't be making much, so they can always bring him to camp and see what happens. I don't expect him to be much, if at all better than Goins though. Based on his minor league numbers his 2016 season looks very Colabello-ish.
bpoz - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 12:55 PM EST (#351124) #
Under those rules, 20% reduction, Gurriel will do much better once the 7 years are up. Assuming he makes it.
PeterG - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 01:10 PM EST (#351125) #
Here is a just published article that gives a seemingly accurate assessment of the ability of Diaz as well as some analytical projections that stack up well in relation to other super utility guys.

http://jaysfromthecouch.com/2017/12/02/toronto-blue-jays-aledmys-diaz-right-traits-super-utility-guy/
uglyone - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 01:14 PM EST (#351126) #
I mean i look at his numbers minor and major indicating a probable league average hitter (and some upside beyond that) with tons of defensive versatility and see a ridiculous steal of a deal here and for me something doesn't add up.

2mil for this kind of player should be a no-brainer.
scottt - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 01:34 PM EST (#351127) #
Collabello had no position though. Diaz just needs to be an average bat to be valuable.
I don't know if the home runs will come back, but the walks coming back would be enough.

It's interesting that Boston and NY tendered every players and dumped their coaches.
Once again, it will be very important to get to a good start in April.

Still need and impact bat and an impact arm.

bpoz - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 01:38 PM EST (#351128) #
Uglyone could be right, but St Louis has 38 players on their 40 man roster without A Diaz. Many of those players look good ie solid. They probably tried to trade him to save the roster spot and we made the best offer. Or Uglyone is correct and something is wrong. St Louis is a very smart organization.

Their SS Paul DeJong had 38 Hr last year ML and minors combined. He was picked in 2015 4th round 9 spots behind Carl Wise. Possibly due to asking for a too high signing bonus.
PeterG - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 02:28 PM EST (#351129) #
The Jays heavily scouted Diaz in 2014 when he was signed out of Cuba and have been following him since. I am sure they are aware of what he can and can't do.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 03:28 PM EST (#351130) #
Ah, I thought the 20% reduction rule only applied to arbitration, but wasn't clear on how it impacted pre-arb international signings like this. Either way, Diaz for $1.6-2.0M in 2018 and then many years of control after that is still a deal worth taking.

As far as what to expect from him, he is a big wild card. He could be bad, he could be really good, or somewhere in between, and I don't think any of those scenarios would surprise me. However, for the role the Jays needed to fill on the roster, he's exactly the type of risk they can afford to take. An established good player was not going to accept a back-up role, so the utility player they acquired was likely going to have to be a buy low/shot-in-the-dark type. Also, while he is not super young, he's at least young enough to still have some upside left, and make the roster a little bit younger in the process.
BlueMonday - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 04:19 PM EST (#351131) #
Thanks, Eephus, for a great summary of Ryan Goins' Blue Jay career highlights. My personal favourite was the hidden ball trick vs. the Yankees.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 04:46 PM EST (#351132) #
Gift Ngoepe and Almedmys Diaz cost so very little. With Richard Urena in-house, the Jays should be comfortable enough to more onto other things. If something better comes along, fine. If not, fine.
scottt - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 07:09 PM EST (#351133) #
Diaz was second in WAR for the Cards in 2016, a year in which they won 98 games.
The next year he under performs and gets traded for seemingly nothing.

There's a lot of unhappy Cards fans right now.

bpoz - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 07:15 PM EST (#351134) #
Anyone want to play around with this crazy thought?

The Jays traded Liriano twice and took on salary both times to gain a prospect. The Pirates and Astros are not rich clubs.

The Jays did not mind spending money in 2016 to improve a playoff contending team with Liriano. I assume they weakened the 2017 team to improve their future. Lets assume Martin and Tulo are bad contracts worth $12 mil each but paid $ 20 mil each.

There should be many teams over the Luxury Tax threshold. If the reasonably rich Jays took on a $20 mil 2 years to go contract for a player that has simply declined to $12 mil the other team saves $20 mil. An SP?

The package has to be somehow fair, so the commissioner does not squawk. The Jays get prospects + this player and give up a reliever and lower valued prospects.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 07:16 PM EST (#351135) #
The sophomore slump anyone?
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 09:05 PM EST (#351136) #
Yeah I'm willing to buy the combination of injury and sophomore slump as an explanation for performance last year.

Between our starters, Diaz, Gift, Urena, and the off chance that one of our lower minors prospects skyrockets through the system I'm ok with the depth as is. Obviously take advantage if someone like Cozart falls into our laps but prioritize elsewhere.
Chuck - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 10:40 PM EST (#351137) #
I'm willing to buy the combination of injury and sophomore slump as an explanation for performance last year.

That could well be, but baseball isn't without its history of players who did well in their rookie season to never again reach those heights. I wonder why St. Louis was so willing to give up on a 3-win player after one bad year. They must feel they know something because the price tag of keeping Diaz on wouldn't have been prohibitive.

China fan - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:13 PM EST (#351138) #
I agree with the praise for the Diaz deal, but I also see it as a sign of a lack of ambition by the Front Office.

On the positive side: he is a useful back-up infielder, with some upside. There is a chance (probably a relatively slim one) that he could regain some of his 2016 form. In any event, he seems superior to Goins, so he provides an upgrade.

On the negative side: he doesn't really solve the infield problem. The infield problem, simply defined, is the fact that Travis and Tulo could be prone to injury (or slump) in 2018 again. The Jays needed to acquire someone who could replace those guys without a substantial drop in performance. But if Travis is injured for any significant period of time, there will be a substantial drop in offensive production. And if Tulo is injured for any significant period of time, there will be a substantial drop in defensive performance. So they still have the same problem as before: the team will suffer badly if either Travis or Tulo is injured or slumping, and both of them could be prone to injury or slump.

A more ambitious Front Office would have done more than merely find a better version of Ryan Goins. An upgrade on Goins is an achievement, but not much of one.
John Northey - Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 11:45 PM EST (#351139) #
I see Diaz as more than a minor upgrade on Goins. A year ago no one would've considered this a possible trade. I remember Bill James saying that unless there was an obvious reason (Tommy John surgery for example) then that is a good way to judge a trade. If no sane person would've done it a year ago then the trade is excellent for someone. So unless Diaz is about to be caught on PED's I have to think this is an excellent deal - trying to think of what he did to get dumped this way (yeah, his 2017 was poor but the potential and shown ability is too high to write him off that fast ... did he run over the GM's dog?). This guy at 2B or SS as a fill in for when Travis and Tulo go down (not if) is fantastic. Sadly the Jays need a second guy as well. Urena is probably the next guy in the depth chart with the Jays maybe resigning Goins to a AAA deal as spring approaches to be the #3 guy. Realistically there is no way you are getting a better backup outside of kids in the system.

Now, as to the rotation and OF I suspect we'll have to wait until Ohtani has either eliminated the Jays (he is telling a few teams this weekend they are out apparently) or is signed by the Jays. We can still dream :)
uglyone - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 01:08 AM EST (#351140) #
i don't know if it gets more ambitious wben it comes to a backup IF than a guy who was an all star a year prior.

much much MUCH better idea than investing any kind of real money in a backup IF.
scottt - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 07:12 AM EST (#351141) #
A guy who was an All Star a year ago and will only be 27 next year and who can play 3B and LF?

Gift is the real Goins replacement, a glove first shortstop.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 01:25 PM EST (#351142) #
Unless you’ve had a thumb injury, how can you accurately base any opinion on Diaz’s 2017 season? Or does it matter? Spring Training is still a long way away.
whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 02:23 PM EST (#351143) #
Yeah I have my don't know if it gets much better. Nobody trades the Chris taylors/marwin gonzalez's of the world.

Obviously it isn't without risk but IMO it's better than any of the FA options not named cozart.
hypobole - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 04:17 PM EST (#351144) #
Stro is ticked off with the Goins non-tender, calling him the "best glove in baseball".

https://jaysjournal.com/2017/12/02/blue-jays-marcus-stroman-unhappy-about-goins-departure/
krose - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 05:30 PM EST (#351145) #
Call me crazy. Is there a chance the Diaz trade was a precursor to another trade that will even things out?
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 05:51 PM EST (#351146) #
If I'm the GM I would try to do the same strategy as the Happ and Morales signings - jumping the market.

I would target one of Cobb/Lynn as my big sign.

I would target 1 of Smyly, Minor, Chatwood, Cashner

I would target one of Cozart/Walker

I would target 1 of Morrow/Holland/Hunter

I would target Carlos Gonzalez for OF with an eye to moving to DH if you can find a taker for Morales. I think Cargo may be a a nice buy lo candidate


If it's me I forget about Otani/JDM/Darvish/Arietta and try to overspend on the questionable riskier guys I've listed above since it will be easier for them to sign with other teams with less pressure. See Morrow in LAD, Minor w/KC Royals etc.

Having Diaz/Tulo/Travis/Cozart would be ideal as Travis could play OF/DH/INF and get a lot of rest along with Tulo. As for the pitching, if they sign 2 SPs and Sanchez comes back and you have prospects knocking at the door, so much the better.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 06:00 PM EST (#351147) #
"On the negative side: he doesn't really solve the infield problem. The infield problem, simply defined, is the fact that Travis and Tulo could be prone to injury (or slump) in 2018 again. The Jays needed to acquire someone who could replace those guys without a substantial drop in performance."


The issue with that is, an established starting calibre infielder is not going to accept a bench role. Even a free agent like Nunez will likely try to find a starting gig before settling on a utility role if there are no takers. The best way to find a utility player that can cover multiple positions and hit a little bit is to try to find them before they are established, and develop them into that role. That means taking a risk on a failed prospect who might need a change of scenery, or a player coming off a down season (Diaz in this case), etc.

Diaz might not be good in 2018, but there was a history of 3 WAR performance as recently as 2016, and he is cheap/controllable. If his bat bounces back to even be league average, he'll likely be a positive contributor, and his defense might play better at 2B/3B/LF.

The Jays are buying very low and have many more years of control if Diaz happens to bounce back. The risk is essentially nothing, with the reward possibly being big. I don't see that as lack of ambition.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 06:15 PM EST (#351148) #
Ohtani turns down the Yankees.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 06:39 PM EST (#351149) #
Yankees, Red Sox out on Ohtani
bpoz - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 06:46 PM EST (#351150) #
Good for Othani.
Gerry - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 06:50 PM EST (#351151) #
Ohtani leaning towards smaller team on the west coast. That would leave the Jays out if that report is true.
John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 07:27 PM EST (#351152) #
It'll be interesting to see who he cuts down to. Jays are out as are Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee according to the latest. Mets & A's out too.

Ah well, as long as the Yankees & Red Sox are out I'm happy. Hopefully he ends up in the NL in the end. San Fran would be nice. Far away from the Jays and mainly hurting AL West teams for playoff position.
John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 07:39 PM EST (#351153) #
Wonder how many dominoes will fall now with so many teams knowing they are out of the Ohtani battle. Plus Stanton is near an end it seems with San Fran and St Louis the final 2 it appears. Boy could San Fran jump in quality if they win both these battles. From 64-98 and last place to adding 2 super-stars should get them close to 500 before factoring in natural rebounding (dropping from 87 to 64 wins plus were 3 below their pythag record) plus LF and RF were their biggest holes (all 3 OF positions were -2.7 or worse for WAR on the season) while the main LF/RF had OPS+ of 86 each. Ick. Switch to Stanton and Ohtani and that will be a scary big improvement, maybe 10 wins each (from in the hole to strong positive).
uglyone - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 07:45 PM EST (#351154) #
shapkins never did understand how rare it was that free agents actually wanted to sign with us when they took over.
Gerry - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 07:49 PM EST (#351155) #
Per Davidi the Jays are out on Ohtani. West coast teams, with maybe the Cubs, are in the running.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:11 PM EST (#351156) #
So far:

Still in: SF, Seattle, San Diego
Maybe: Cubs, Dodgers
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:12 PM EST (#351157) #
At least this process appears to be moving quickly, so the actual off-season might actually begin soon.

The Jays were a huge long shot for Ohtani anyway, but clearly he had something specific in mind (west coast). The Yankees are pretty much the perfect situation for a young player to go to; young core, already good, huge market, had openings at DH/rotation, and yet he still chose somewhere else which will likely be no where near as good from an organizational standpoint (unless he chooses the Cubs or Dodgers).

He's out of the AL East, so that's one positive. Now just have to see if he picks the AL or NL with whatever teams are remaining.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:14 PM EST (#351158) #
If Ohtani's not signing here, then at least I'm happy it won't be in the division.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:17 PM EST (#351159) #
I never expected the Jays to have a shot at Ohtani - so I'm happy that it seems the other AL east teams are out & will be especially happy if he signs with a NL team - Seattle seems a poor choice - aging roster & barren farm system.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:17 PM EST (#351160) #
shapkins never did understand how rare it was that free agents actually wanted to sign with us when they took over

Clemens, Winfield, Molitor, Morris, Ryan, Burnett, Martin, Estrada...if ownership is willing to pay and the front office fields a great team, they will come (sometimes). Mostly, though, the winning formula seems to be building from within and then a couple of complementary pieces via free agency. The formula is *not* "add expensive 30-something free agents and hope that the farm system catches up before the players age out."
85bluejay - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:21 PM EST (#351161) #
Of course, this probably means that the Yankees will use their considerable IFA pool money on some of the prospects that the Braves just lost.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 08:33 PM EST (#351162) #
Seattle added expensive 30-something FA in Cano & Cruz hoping the farm system would catch up - it didn't and even though Cano & Cruz produced - no playoffs - now they have aging expensive players, a very poor farm system and a very dim outlook - it's why I was so against the Marlins & Mets trade a few years ago - the team needs to show it's ready to contend before making those type of moves.
uglyone - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 09:33 PM EST (#351163) #
correct greenfrog - free agents are willing to come here when a) the team is a contender and b) the ownership is spending top dollar on the team.

but only then.

i mean really, it's pretty adorable that they thought they had a shot at ohtani.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 09:52 PM EST (#351164) #
When it became a decision about everything but the money, the Jays had a reasonable chance. It never leaked it was about the West Coast.

The Jays still have some IFA money left to spend, if they wish to spend it. The Pitching Market should be opening up right now as Teams decide on Free Agents or Trades.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 09:53 PM EST (#351165) #
Who says the front office thought they had a significant chance of signing Ohtani? Like most other GMs, Atkins likely recognized that his team had an unknown-but-probably-low chance of landing him, but that there was nothing to be lost by saying publicly that Ohtani would be a great fit and that the team would love to have him.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 10:02 PM EST (#351166) #
Travis Sawchik, one of the bright minds currently writing about baseball, mentioned Toronto (“world class city,” etc.) as a darkhorse team for Ohtani, and Cameron thought the Jays would be a good fit for Ohtani as well. Toronto is a city on the upswing; I don’t see that pessimism is warranted for the future of baseball here (including the prospect of attracting quality free agents, at least when we have an emerging championship-calibre team).
John Northey - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 10:19 PM EST (#351167) #
It is funny how every offseason we get the 'no one wants to come here' stuff. But you look at Jays history and free agents come here about as easily as they do for places like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, etc. Basically the no-or near no-income tax states (Florida/Texas/Arizona) have a big advantage as does NYY (history, massive money, know if you are there a decade you should get a ring unless you are Don Mattingly). Others who do well normally pay top dollar (Boston, Cubs, etc) with St Louis an exception (strong fan base, great reputation). Sometimes guys sign with hometown teams for a discount - but few of those exist for the Jays and the best to sign so far is Martin and the Jays still paid a lot for him.

Even the Yankees know you need to do well with amateur scouting/signing to win. In the 80's (Gillick) the Jays had a big advantage in the Dominican and central America. In the 90's (Ash) we had a drafting team that did great in the first round but not so good otherwise. The 00's (JPR) were a bust all around. The 10's are still to be determined but a mixed bag so far with no clear area the Jays are doing better than others. With AA the Jays were great at exploiting rules (his first year getting extra draft picks galore), but the current team we are still seeing what their strengths/weaknesses are (building minor leaguers from meh to solid seems to be their targeted strength but we'll see).
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 03 2017 @ 11:25 PM EST (#351168) #
Russel Martin signed a 5 year, $80.0 Million contract($16.0 Million average). The luxury tax value of that contract would be $16.0 Million per year. A.A. signed a backloaded contract with him because he had so little money available to do everything he wanted to do. The Jays basically froze the budget after 2013. A $16.0 Million average is still a great market value for the Jays.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 01:29 AM EST (#351169) #
Martin signed for 5/82. The next-highest bidder (the Cubs) offered $74m, if I recall correctly. In general, you have to pay a premium to attract FAs, including Canadian FAs, to Canada.
John Northey - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 01:45 AM EST (#351170) #
While Martin's deal might have been reasonable both at the time and still now as he declines it is worth noting the biggest catcher contracts ever he is still at #5 with only Yadier Molina signing a bigger deal since Martin signed here. The others are... (via Cot's Contacts)
1. Joe Mauer, $23,000,000 (2011-18)
2. Yadier Molina, $20,000,000 (2018-20)
3. Buster Posey, $18,555,555 (2013-21)
4. Brian McCann, $17,000,000 (2014-18)

Each time I look at these I see that MLB has done a great job keeping pay down since the late 90's early 00's. Mike Piazza is still #8 with a 1999 contract ($13 mil a year) and the highest per year contract for a catcher has been stagnate since 2011, for 6+ years now.

This isn't unusual as top 10's at most positions have guys who signed 7+ years ago....
1B: #1. Miguel Cabrera, $31,000,000 (2016-23), oldest top 10 is from 2009 (Mark Teixeira, and Ryan Howard)

2B: #1. Robinson Cano, $24,000,000(2014-23); Chase Utley's 2007 contract still in top 10.

SS: #1. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10); #2. Derek Jeter, $18,900,000 (2001-10); Reyes is #3, Tulo #5, Miguel Tejada's 2004 deal still in top 10 - note: they didn't have A-Rod's listed but he was a SS at the time with no doubt (gold glover and earning it)

3B: #1. Alex Rodriguez, $27,500,000 (2008-17); #2. Miguel Cabrera, $19,037,500 (2008-15) - expect those both to drop by at least 2 slots once next winter is over unless Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado and Adrian Beltre [least likely to crack $30 mil] have poor agents and/or poor seasons.

OF: #1. Yoenis Cespedes, $27,500,000 (2017-20);
#2. Josh Hamilton, $25,000,000 (2013-17)
… Giancarlo Stanton, $25,000,000 (2015-27)
… Yoenis Cespedes, $25,000,000 (2016-18)
Trout is #5 (geez does he need a better agent for the 2020-2021 offseason - if he doesn't set a new record then he really doesn't care about money)

Bottom line: Martin did sign a good deal for both himself and the Jays, only one catcher doing better since then and so far has been worth $57.7 mil to the Jays (based on FanGraphs) and is projected to be worth 2 1/2 wins next year via FanGraphs Steamer projections (worth around $20 mil) thus making his deal very worth it even though he has yet to approach the 4.9 WAR he was worth the year before signing here. And that isn't factoring in his 'second pitching coach' status (how he helps pitchers young and old be better). Wonder if the Jays will sign him in 2020 as a backup to whoever is starting by then?
Glevin - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 02:58 AM EST (#351171) #
Very interesting to see Ohtani's priorities. They are surprising to me because he has kept a few of the worst run teams in baseball in contention and wants to go to a smaller market where he'll make less money in endorsements/marketing. West Coast trumped everything in the end. Happy he isn't going to the Yankees or Red Sox obviously. Only three AL teams still in it apparently and Ohtani could make all three playoff relevant. I think it will probably be either Seattle or San Francisco.
scottt - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 07:54 AM EST (#351172) #
Seattle might not have a young core, but he'd have the DH there.
Maybe the Giants ends up the winter winner with both Othani and Stanton and still don't make the playoffs.

The Yankees not getting a good inexpensive pitcher is great news.
The market plays a huge role. I think there will be some deals at the end.

Cano was a great contract. I don't see why Seattle would regret doing it.
A bad contract is Pujols. He still got 4 more years for 114M and was worth -2 WAR this year.
Which is why I don't understand the 200M contracts talks about Donaldson.
I wouldn't go beyond 5 years, he'd be 37 on that last year. 

Paul D - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 09:15 AM EST (#351173) #
Martin signed for 5/82. The next-highest bidder (the Cubs) offered $74m, if I recall correctly. In general, you have to pay a premium to attract FAs, including Canadian FAs, to Canada.

Almost every team pays more than the next best offer, paying a premium isn't Canadian, it's what you do to sign free agents (winner's curse, etc).

uglyone - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 09:25 AM EST (#351174) #
". GM Ross Atkins: “We felt confident about our presentation and we were given feedback by Shohei Ohtani’s representation that we controlled everything within our power.”"


the way he phrases this.....makes me cringe a bit.
LouisvilleJayFan - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 10:13 AM EST (#351175) #
I'd love to see San Diego get Ohtani. I'm sure they're out there, but I've never come across a Padres fan in my life. Kind of a forgotten club.
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 10:51 AM EST (#351176) #
Anthony Alford through 17 games, leading off for Charros de Jalisco:

BA: .457
OBP: .444
Slg: .629
OPS: 1.073

HR- 2, Trp -2, Dbl -2 SB -6
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 10:51 AM EST (#351177) #
It is interesting that the Cubs are in and the Astros are out.  They are the two most recent World Series winners with impressive young talent cores and excellent general managers.  I wonder what the rationale might be. 
bpoz - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 10:56 AM EST (#351178) #
Alford is learning and improving fast. I think that he gets called up to be a regular by the AS break.
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 10:58 AM EST (#351179) #
Can you post a link for those Alford statistics, PeterG.  The only ones I can find both from mlb and from the Jalisco website are through 11 games- Alford's line was less limpressive at that point, with a 1/13 W/K in 45 PAs but a good slash line. 
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 11:35 AM EST (#351180) #
Well he still is very clearly not taking walks. But that isn't a major worry for me given his track record. Guessing he's just been told to be aggressive.
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 11:53 AM EST (#351181) #
Mike, I just saw this a couple of hours ago. Scroll down to Team Batting. Alford is at top.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/team.cgi?id=7bea8ca8
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 12:05 PM EST (#351182) #
Thanks, PeterG.  I don't know about the reliability of the statistics.  He has fewer walks after 16 games than he had after 11?   Anyways, using BBRef's statistics, Alford is rocking a .556 BABIP.  His slash line does not tell you much at all, except that he's doing unsustainably well when he puts the ball in play. 
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 12:14 PM EST (#351183) #
With the draft coming up, John Sickels has his Rule 5 unprotected lists- Part I and Part 2.  Spoiler alert: Max Pentecost does make it. 
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 12:20 PM EST (#351184) #
It is interesting that the Cubs are in and the Astros are out.  They are the two most recent World Series winners with impressive young talent cores and excellent general managers.  I wonder what the rationale might be. 

Ben Nicholson-Smith points out on twitter that all 7 finalists have their spring training homes in Arizona- the Astros are in Florida.  Interesting. 
85bluejay - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 12:34 PM EST (#351185) #
Can't believe the Braves couldn't find a taker for Travis Demeritte - hope the Jays can buy a higher pick in the rule v draft and take him - could be a slugging infielder - if the Jays move on from Donaldson & Travis - Profar/Diaz/Demeritte splitting 2b/3b - looking for a LHH infielder to join this group.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 12:48 PM EST (#351186) #
Burch Smith seems like an interesting pick as well, and someone more likely to contribute right away if he’s healthy.
85bluejay - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 12:55 PM EST (#351187) #
Given the price of pitching, Burch Smith might be the 1st pick.
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 01:41 PM EST (#351188) #
I'm not a fan of Demeritte. The K rate is still too ugly for my liking.   
Cracka - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 02:05 PM EST (#351189) #
Good article - one thing that was glossed over was the requirement to keep the player on the ML roster for the entire season and on the active 25 man roster for at least 90 days. Obviously this is much easier when the guy is the 7th or 8th arm in the bullpen rather than being a bench/platoon player.

With that in mind, I can't fathom someone keeping Pentecost on their active roster for at least 90 days, even if he does start on the 60 day DL. He has a grand total of 30 games professional experience as a catcher - none of it above A ball - and a chronic shoulder issue. He's an intriguing prospect for sure, but the claiming team would be essentially wasting his age 25 season or converting him on the fly to a 1B/DH type of player, who are already quite plentiful.
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 02:07 PM EST (#351190) #
https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/katohs-guide-to-the-2017-rule-5-draft/

No Pentecost on here
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 02:35 PM EST (#351191) #
Of the people who comprise the 2018 Roster, I’m not putting anyone there I’m not sure about. I’m sure about: Smoak, Travis, Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Martin, Diaz, Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada and Osuna. Anyone else might be traded or just not make the Roster.
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 03:37 PM EST (#351192) #
PeterG, one wouldn't expect Pentecost to make KATOH's list.  It's going to look at age, developmental level and performance and nix him.  That's the nature of the system.  The more nuanced mix of these factors and scouting leads to the Sickels comments.

Jordan Guerrero is interesting.  You could use him as the second lefty in the pen for low leverage roles in 2018, and in the long run, add him to Pannone and Borucki as a possible left-handed starter. 

Gerry - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 03:45 PM EST (#351193) #
Luis Santos is back on a minor league deal.
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 03:46 PM EST (#351194) #
Luis Santos is back with the Jays on a minor league deal.

As for rule 5, how many expect Jays to make a pick (at #12) or pass.
Gerry - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 03:59 PM EST (#351195) #
The Jays will pass. They need the spots for free agent signings and they need to protect their own players.
85bluejay - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 03:59 PM EST (#351196) #
Jordan Guerrero is okay but I'm actually more impressed by Nestor Cortes as a lefty in the pen in 2018.
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 04:05 PM EST (#351197) #
I am not sure if it is wise to make a rule 5 pick or not. That's why I asked for opinions. Not sure Jays can afford the roster spot, but picking at 12 is a good opportunity. If I was to pick, a player that interests me is Nestor Cortes, lhp who pitched well as high as AAA and is now sporting a 1.25 ERA in 43 innings with Estrellas in DWL.

As for Pentecost, I think there is a chance he is selected but an even better chance that he will be returned if selected. Staying on a major league roster for a full season without playing much would be extremely detrimental to his career.
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 05:02 PM EST (#351198) #
I don't know, Gerry.  Are Mayza and Dermody as good as Cortes and Guerrero?  I know that there's an advantage in optionability, but quality is a factor too. 
Gerry - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 05:12 PM EST (#351199) #
If "your rule 5 guy" is so great, why would he still be there at #12?

Mike, teams usually have a preference for their own players unless there is an obvious improvement in switching. Why did team X leave player Y exposed? Is there an attitude issue or a potential injury waiting to happen? For those reasons teams prefer their own, unless...
dan gordon - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 05:20 PM EST (#351200) #
Cortes has some terrific looking numbers. Any word as to why he wasn't protected? Career ERA of 2.08, WHIP of 1.00, 344/76 K/BB ratio. Has reached AAA at age 22. He's kind of short at 5'11", but that's not reason enough.

Hard to imagine Pentecost being taken by a contender, as he's unlikely to be able to hit much at the major league level at this stage, and he's unlikely to be able to catch much, given the shoulder problems. A non-contender may be willing to carry him for a year as a long term investment, with the injury problems meaning he may only need 90 days on the major league roster, 30 of which can be in September after the callups.
GabrielSyme - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 05:29 PM EST (#351201) #
As usual, I suspect Gerry is right on what will happen, but I'm less sure that it's wise to skip on the Rule V. The potential reward compared to the cost makes it very attractive to me.

The cost is relatively low, and I think there is enough wiggle room on the 40-man to select someone (Gift Ngoepe? Dwight Smith Jr.?). Our bullpen is actually a pretty easy place to put a Rule V selection - the top end is pretty good, and there are lots of optionable relievers so a Rule V selection won't hamper roster flexibility too much.
jerjapan - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 06:14 PM EST (#351202) #
With Koehler and Goins non-tendered, we have room on the 40 man - 38 guys right now, plus the questionable names you guys already mentioned in Ngoepe, Smith Jr. and Dermody.  Even Luke Maille and Taylor Guerrieri could be removed if we acquire better options. 

But having to keep the player on the roster all year is more problematic than it has ever been, with managers valuing flexibility the way they have been.  I think Gabriel is right, the pen is likely the easiest place to manage the right guy - but there are a bunch of teams picking in front of us that know that as well. 

I say give it a shot if the right player is available, but I'm not holding my breath on any value coming out of the rule v - we've discussed this at length before, so everybody knows the odds of getting a Biagini type are rare, and the days of finding a Johan Santanna are gone.  I had to google his name as I'd already forgotten about Glenn Sparkman - so many people were high on the kid.  Even if the rule v player has legit potential, the inability to send him to the minors to work on issues is a huge factor. 

Sickels thinks Pentacost will be gone:  "he’ll more than likely be picked high in the Rule 5 Draft and whatever team selects him will probably find a reason to stash him on the 60-day disabled list to extend their rights on him. Definitely one to keep a keen eye on."

Question for you guys - PeterG said it would be 'extremely detrimental' to Pentacost's career to be stashed on the bench as a rule v guy, and that idea certainly has merit.  But is it true?  In the bigs, you are working with the best coaches in the game, surrounded by the best players - is this necessarily detrimental?  I know if I was Pentacost, I'd be hoping to get picked.
scottt - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 06:24 PM EST (#351203) #
Getting drafted in the rule V did no favor to Bautista. Pentecost is already old for his age and behind in development.
Setting him back an other year  and giving him a year of service time is not likely to help his long time chances, but he'd cash in on minimum pay.

scottt - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 06:36 PM EST (#351204) #
There's only 2 spots left on the 40 roster, but the Jays are still potentially looking for a lefty in the pen, an outfielder and a starting pitcher.  I think they'll look hard at any left handed pitcher left unprotected.
Michael - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 06:47 PM EST (#351205) #
PeterG how does AA have a lower obp than ba? You might not walk much, but still how does that work?
Cracka - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 06:53 PM EST (#351206) #
I would agree it's extremely detrimental for someone like Pentecost, especially because he's a catcher and that's probably the position that requires the most experience before being MLB ready. At the plate, he's had fewer than 800 plate appearances... much less than most comparable prospects. Being claimed wouldn't help in either regard.

I don't think it very detrimental for a prospect like Biagini who had 4 full years of experience in the minors (and 4 years of college). I think that experienced prospects have much less "to learn" and are more focused on consistent execution of their tools. I think this type of prospect is a good candidate for Rule 5...
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 07:04 PM EST (#351207) #
Michael, a sacrifice fly will bring down OBP but not batting average.
uglyone - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 07:10 PM EST (#351208) #
did my best to average out the steamer and zips projections.

i made no attempt to guess at health or playing time so i just made WAR into a rate stat by projecting it to 650pa, 200ip, or 65ip.



Jays 2018 early projections

Asterisk = steamer-only projection

2B Travis 102wrc+, 2.8war/650
3B Donaldson 140wrc+, 6.3war/650
1B Smoak 116wrc+, 2.3war/650
LF Pearce 109wrc+, 1.5war/650
DH Morales 106wrc+, 1.0war/650
C Martin 101wrc+, 3.8war/650
SS Tulowitzki 98wrc+, 2.8war/650
CF Pillar 90wrc+, 2.9war/650
RF Hernandez 89wrc+, 0.9war/650

UT XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX - Smith 82wrc+, 0.1war/650
OF Carrera 85wrc+, 0.0war/650 - Pompey 81wrc+, 0.8war/650
IF Diaz* 96wrc+, 1.9war/650 - Ngoepe 53wrc+, -0.6war/650
C Lopez 73wrc+, 0.9war/650 - Maile 52wrc+, -0.1war/650

UT Tellez 86wrc+, -0.2war/650 - Guerrero 87wrc+, 1.0war/650
OF Alford 78wrc+, 1.4war/650 - Gurriel 73wrc+, 0.1war/650
IF Urena 61wrc+, -0.6war/650 - Bichette 87wrc+, 1.1war/650
C Jansen 85wrc+, 2.1war/650 - McGuire 72wrc+, 1.5war/650



SP Stroman 3.75era, 4.0war/200
SP Happ 4.12era, 3.3war/200
SP Sanchez 4.20era, 3.1war/200
SP Estrada 4.71era, 1.9war/200
SP Biagini 4.58era, 1.2war/200
SP Pannone 5.07era, 0.9war/200
SP Harris 5.56era, 0.1war/200
SP Rowley 5.57era, -0.1war/200
SP Reid-Foley 5.63era, -0.2war/200

RP Osuna 3.13era, 1.4war/65
RP Loup 3.65era, 0.9war/65
RP Leone 3.82era, 0.8war/65
RP Tepera 3.97era, 0.7war/65
RP Barnes 4.34era, 0.4war/65
RP Dermody 4.45era, 0.2war/65
RP Mayza 4.62era, 0.1war/65
RP Borucki 4.84era, -0.3war/65

Gerry - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 07:46 PM EST (#351209) #
Christian Lopes has signed with the Rangers.
PeterG - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 07:53 PM EST (#351210) #
to be replaced by his younger brother Tim who is likely to start at 2b for the Bisons.
Mike Green - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 09:23 PM EST (#351211) #
If "your rule 5 guy" is so great, why would he still be there at #12?

The Blue Jays picked Biagini out of the 10 slot in 2015.  Some teams have full rosters. Other teams look for different things out of the draft- the Orioles drafted Joey Rickard before Biagini and he was useful for them.

So far this off-season, the "hold onto your own" theory is not strong.  The non-tendering of Goins (and the subsequent signing of Ngoepe) is an indicator of that, although an extra million in cash surely played a role.  Anyways, it wouldn't surprise me if the FO goes full-on rebuild now, and a Rule 5 selection could fit with that, depending on availability of attractive options when the #12 slot is up. 
SK in NJ - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 09:39 PM EST (#351212) #
I wouldn't mind if the Jays used the Rule 5 again. Drafting a Biagini is definitely not the normal outcome, but it's a way to add an asset with very limited downside for the team. The Jays should use every avenue they can to add young talent. If it doesn't work out, then so be it, move on.
greenfrog - Monday, December 04 2017 @ 09:52 PM EST (#351213) #
The Jays should use every avenue they can

* Except for King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis.
aarne13 - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 01:08 AM EST (#351214) #
The 12 former Braves IFA prospects are now free to sign with anyone. I wonder if the Jays have any interest. They have some money left over $1MM(?) + 200K for this signing period.
mendocino - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 01:44 AM EST (#351215) #
"Other clubs have even less available: Detroit ($159,500), the Los Angeles Angels ($150,000), the New York Mets ($105,000), Toronto ($50,000), and Cleveland and Colorado ($10,000 apiece)."

https://sports.yahoo.com/texas-pay-most-otani-followed-yankees-twins-172833369--spt.html
aarne13 - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 01:59 AM EST (#351216) #
I haven't been able to track down exactly how much money the Jays have left. They received some IFA pool money for Lane Thomas but I haven't found any info on $$.
mendocino - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 02:45 AM EST (#351217) #
Blue Jays pool money $ 4.75m

reported bonus money paidout $ 4.85m

Yahoo article has $ 50k left

(Lane Thomas trade $ 150k)

Rk Team W -L Pct 40-man
1 Detroit Tigers 64-98 .395 38
2 San Francisco Giants 64-98 .395 39
3 Philadelphia Phillies 66-96 .407 40 full
4 Chicago White Sox 67-95 .414 36
5 Cincinnati Reds 68-94 .420 39
6 New York Mets 70-92 .432 39
7 San Diego Padres 71-91 .438 40 full
8 Atlanta Braves 72-90 .444 37
9 Oakland Athletics 75-87 .463 40 full
10 Pittsburgh Pirates 75-87 .463 37
11 Baltimore Orioles 75-87 .463 34
12 Toronto Blue Jays 76-86 .469 38

as of 2:45 am 12-05-2017
bpoz - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 06:58 AM EST (#351218) #
The Int'l FAs curtesy of Atlanta will get a 2nd signing bonus, is what I am understanding. So a bit of a bidding war.
We will have to use some of 2018's pool money, once our current allowance is used.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 08:38 AM EST (#351219) #
The Rangers and NYY have $ 3+ mil in pool money left.

I am wondering how this can happen.
1) They were saving for Othani.
2) They were penalized and could not sign anyone good. But chose to save the money rather than spend it. To pay Othani big $ they will incur a further penalty. But if they simply are not allowed to spend much on 1 player then they should trade the money.
scottt - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 08:45 AM EST (#351220) #
They can resign with any team except Atlanta for money out of either this year's pool or next year's pool. If they don't sign before a deadline, they can't receive any money and if they wait long enough Atlanta can resign them for free.
scottt - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 08:49 AM EST (#351221) #
The Rangers is still in the running for Othani.

They also just signed Mike Minor as a starter. That looks like a rebuild to me.
They can't compete with the Astros with that rotation.

mendocino - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 08:57 AM EST (#351222) #
favored to sign 2018 SS Orelvis Martinez could cost $ 3m+ putting a bit of a squeeze on next year's IFA pool money
bpoz - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 09:47 AM EST (#351223) #
All very fascinating. Thanks.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 11:04 AM EST (#351224) #
plug in cain's projection:

RF Cain 107wrc+, 3.5war/650
3B Donaldson 140wrc+, 6.3war
1B Smoak 116wrc+, 2.3war
DH Morales 106wrc+, 1.0war
2B Travis 102wrc+, 2.8war
C Martin 101wrc+, 3.8war
SS Tulo 98wrc+, 2.8war
CF Pillar 90wrc+, 2.9war
LF Hernandez 89wrc+, 0.9war

UT Pearce 109wrc+, 1.5war
OF Carrera 85wrc+, 0.0war / Pompey 81wrc+, 0.8war
IF Diaz 96wrc+, 1.9war
C Lopez 73wrc+, 0.9war

that's a contending lineup with contending defense.....and with good AAA legit prospect depth to cover injuries.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 11:43 AM EST (#351225) #
If they signed Cain, would they have a contending club?  Possibly.  It depends on the pitching, and that is uncertain with the state of Sanchez' fingers being the first thing. 

Signing Cain might be reasonable and it might not.  There are virtues to signing him, separate and apart from whether the club is able to compete.  It allows you to let Hernandez and Alford fight for a starting job and still field a good outfield defence.  This is good for pitcher confidence and development. 
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 11:49 AM EST (#351226) #
well they say they're going to spend $25m because of an artificial cap.

they could instead up that by $10m and sign, say, Cain and Cobb, and have a real shot at contention.

or they could spend that $25m on 2-3 more kendrys morales type free agents.

it's up to them.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:01 PM EST (#351227) #
they could open up the vault and spend 50m more on David Price type free agents - or they could spend 25m more on J.happ/Estrada type free agents.

It's up to them.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:03 PM EST (#351228) #
The question is not about 2017 payroll. It is about balancing immediate and long-term needs.  Let's say Cain is going for $18 million for 5 years.  It's not the $18 million in 2018 that is the issue- rather it is the $18 million annually in 2020-2.  It still might be a good idea, but it also depends on the availability of a left-handed hitter (on a shorter contract) who can play the position and platoon with Hernandez. 

This issue has, I think, been beaten to death.  Maybe we can wait to see what they actually do.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:04 PM EST (#351229) #
I apologize for throwing out ideas of what they could do this offseason.

Didn't mean to upset you.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:08 PM EST (#351230) #
Current Payroll Committments:

2019: $50.2m (3)
2020: $14.0m (1)
2021: $4.0m (1)
PeterG - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:13 PM EST (#351231) #
On MLB network this morning, Ken Rosenthal said that Jays are a prime candidate to "take a step back."
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:27 PM EST (#351232) #
Upset me? - au contraire my friend - you bring amusement of the highest order to this site - keep them coming.
If the Jays are going to take a step back, then it makes little sense to waste the last year of Josh Donaldson especially with Atlanta & ST. Louis having some exciting pitching prospects.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:33 PM EST (#351233) #
What did he mean by "step back"? Getting worse in 2018 or taking a step back in team direction (rebuilding)? If it's the latter, then I doubt it. I would be shocked if Rogers allowed the FO to take a step back with Donaldson locked up for another year, even though it makes sense to do so. Maybe Rosenthal knows something we don't, though.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:33 PM EST (#351234) #
So far this off season little has happened. Gift and any waiver wire claims count as nothing to me, but I realize that given a chance anyone can develop. A Diaz as a recent All Star could be the next Y Escobar or C Rasmus. Diaz's replacement P DeJong had a monster year.

It is surprising that everyone is this inactive so far.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:40 PM EST (#351235) #
Rosenthal did not elaborate although I imagine a step back would start with trading JD. He may just be speculating and does not know anything definite but may have heard something to that effect is under consideration. That is my speculation.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 12:49 PM EST (#351236) #
The Angels took on Jim Johnson 5m to get the IFA money to sign Kevin Maitan - wished the Jays had done that - though I don't know if AA would have done that piece of business with Toronto.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 01:05 PM EST (#351237) #
"they could open up the vault and spend 50m more on David Price type free agents - or they could spend 25m more on J.happ/Estrada type free agents."

Cain/Cobb fit much more in the latter group than the former.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 02:21 PM EST (#351238) #
Things I did not know.  Tristan Pompey, Dalton's younger brother, is a top prospect for next year's draft. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 02:45 PM EST (#351239) #
And of course, Brady Singer, the Jays unsigned 2nd rounder from 2015 is a favourite to be the top pick.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 03:50 PM EST (#351240) #
I did not realize that Brady Singer has taken off like that....with the compensation pick we drafted Woodman who we turned into Diaz.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 04:36 PM EST (#351241) #
George Poulis is off to Atlanta for a AA reunion.
scottt - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 06:14 PM EST (#351242) #
I think "take a step back" means to wait out on free agents who are asking for more than the team is willing to offer.
Like, Jay Bruce asking for 5 years, for example.

The alternative is probably to sign someone cheaper e.i. Morales vs EE.

Toronto is seen as a candidate to wait and sign a couple of discounted guys.

PeterG - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 10:21 PM EST (#351243) #
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rogers-evaluating-sale-of-blue-jays-cogeco-stake-cfo/article37219610/?click=sf_globe
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 10:28 PM EST (#351244) #
It looks like the Braves prospects are getting swooped up now that Otani's list of preferred destinations is out.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 11:08 PM EST (#351245) #
who's buying? mlse?
PeterG - Tuesday, December 05 2017 @ 11:20 PM EST (#351246) #
I would think MLSE would be the logical buyer if there is a sale.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 12:01 AM EST (#351247) #
Just read that 2 of the old Atlanta prospects signed with the Angels, pretty much emptying their pot for international signings for 2017/18 and 2018/19. Kevin Maitan getting $2.2 mil and Livan Soto getting $850k.

I'm wondering with teams pushing their budgets on the Atlanta prospects and someone blowing theirs on Ohtani might it be smart for the Jays to hold onto their cash for the regular guys available on July 1st? After all, they are rumoured to have the #1 prospect in the bag already. Of course, I go by the old 'bird in hand worth 2 in the bush' so I'd be chasing the Atlanta prospects.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 07:09 AM EST (#351248) #
Is there a bonus $ figure low enough that it does not count against the Int'l pool $ figure? Or does every $ count?

In 2011 Jario Labourt was signed in Feb by the Jays, 1 month before his 17th birthday. I presume a late signing because he was not good enough earlier. I have no idea what his signing bonus was.

Regarding the Atlanta prospects, 1 more year of physical maturity and development is in the books for evaluation.
Maitan's 2nd bonus of $2.2 mil is a lot less than the original $4.25 mil. Soto very close $850,000 vs $1 mil.
I expect some to get a bigger 2nd vs 1st bonus. I also expect Maitan to be better as a player than half the available Atlanta prospects, but very often I am wrong.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 07:22 AM EST (#351249) #
If Rogers is going to sell, might that impact financial planning.
mendocino - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 07:26 AM EST (#351250) #
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/239741580/teams-set-to-sign-international-prospects/?topicid=151437456

"It's also worth noting that signings of $10,000 or less do not count against a team's bonus pool."
mendocino - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 07:33 AM EST (#351251) #
https://www.mlbdailydish.com/2011/8/30/2394168/blue-jays-sign-seven-international-free-agents

signed for $350,000

"
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 08:35 AM EST (#351252) #
Rogers selling could definitely impact payroll to some degree this season, and certainly for future seasons. I wonder how that is going to shake out. I was not expecting a huge outlay on players this off-season anyway, especially long-term deals, but it seems less likely now.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 09:01 AM EST (#351253) #
Maybe TNSE would step up. Is David Thomson a baseball fan?
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 09:22 AM EST (#351254) #
It really depends - big crowds, high tv ratings, contending team makes for a more attractive product to sell - I remember the former cubs GM saying he was given extra money to spend (2007-2009) when the owners wanted to sell. For me, it means very unlikely to trade Donaldson if selling - leave rebuild decision to new owner.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 09:23 AM EST (#351255) #
Also, the new CEO is talking about extracting more profit from existing divisions (although he is “fond” of the Jays). I would not expect any significant payroll increases in the near future. Welcome to the post-Donaldson era, scheduled to begin sometime in the next 11 months.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 10:27 AM EST (#351256) #
I remember a time when talk of MLSE purchasing the Blue Jays would have raised concentration/monopoly issues.  It doesn't seem likely now.

The principal owners of almost all MLB clubs are individual billionaires, and that is probably for the best.  Thomson, Weston, Pattison, Irving et al. would be good candidates.  Thomson does have a stake in the Winnipeg Jets, but somehow baseball is not something that he would likely enjoy (as a wild guess).  Weston Jr. took over Loblaws in January, and Paul Beeston does sit on its board- I could see him being interested as a casual project.  If it happened, the food options at the RC might improve!

aarne13 - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 10:47 AM EST (#351257) #
Maitan become the Braves #1 prospect- he has drawn some lofty comparisons (Cabrera etc). He struggled a bit this year but he is still very young. All I can say I'm glad he didn't sign with the Yanks.

I'm not liking the exodus of Jays staff. Always expected under new management but I figured that would have happened last off-season.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 11:44 AM EST (#351258) #
And there shouldn't be any confusion as to why Rogers might want to sell. They are investors, period. Buy low ($165m in '00), sell high:

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 12:01 PM EST (#351259) #
Isn't monopoly capitalism great, UO?  Rogers has done such a spectacular job with the franchise that they are full value for that return on investment.  I am also so happy that when they do sell the Blue Jays, that return will be taxed at a more favourable rate than the wages of the people who work for them and the wages of the fans who go to the games.  Just great.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 12:26 PM EST (#351260) #
pro sports owenership is a great gig, no doubt. the free stadiums are sweet, too.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 12:49 PM EST (#351261) #
Of course, you have to have publicly-funded stadiums.  Why would any owner want to take a risk?
Joe - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 01:20 PM EST (#351262) #
Except for King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis.

Or they could take the streetcar and get there faster :)

bpoz - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 01:36 PM EST (#351263) #
Baseball talk is great. Player movement and money. Owners and players share revenue.

That TV revenue was a massive inflow of revenue. Interesting calculations and analysis.

I also find TB very interesting. They want/hope to win, but have to walk a very tight line on costs. They have been competitive for a long time, since Richardi. They have to count their revenue from what they make and what the league gives them.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 02:08 PM EST (#351264) #
Baseball talk is great. Player movement and money. Owners and players share revenue.

The owners' share goes up, and the players' share goes down.  This kind of sharing is the best. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 03:58 PM EST (#351265) #
The MLBPA got complacent after Donald Fehr left & car salesman Bud Selig killed them with kindness.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 04:17 PM EST (#351266) #
Fehr was there until 2009.  Most of the damage was in the early half of the decade.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 04:56 PM EST (#351267) #
Players get more than a fair return on their investment. Whether fans and owners do is up for debate. But lets not get too political here.

Rogers, for their part, will get a great return. I doubt the next owner will though.
Chuck - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 05:10 PM EST (#351268) #
I am also so happy that when they do sell the Blue Jays, that return will be taxed at a more favourable rate than the wages of the people who work for them and the wages of the fans who go to the games.

But all that extra money that they get to keep will trickle down. It will, won't it? Won't it? That's the way this kind of thing works, no? They wouldn't lie to us, would they? They promised it would trickle. Trickle, trickle, trickle. To us let people. We'll feel the trickle. Or is that a different kind of trickle I am feeling on the back of my leg?

John Northey - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 05:23 PM EST (#351269) #
I remember reading how angry Marvin Miller was when Fehr gave in to 3 years before arbitration in 1985. That was the start of the owners winning and the players losing in negotiations. The payroll tax was another loss, at first not too bad as it only really hit the Yankees, but now getting to be an issue for more and more teams as it grows slower than revenue is growing and is becoming a 'near cap'. The Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and others have now been hit and it is going to hit more and more teams. Now as Jay fans we get annoyed when they don't come close to the tax level.

I expect another ugly strike when this deal runs out as the players figure out they are losing at least 20% of their value based on a 50-50 split or even more based on the old 60-40 split from the period when owners claimed they were going to go broke (yet no team moved or folded until the Expos moved after the payroll tax was put in place).

The MLB players union is quickly moving towards NFL level of patheticness. Not good for players and bad for fans as players get stuck in systems or go to other sports.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 07:04 PM EST (#351270) #
it was always funny hearing fans say mlb needed a salary cap. owners would lose so much more money with a cap
scottt - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 08:39 PM EST (#351271) #
Would they lose money or just make more?  I don't really see how a cap would diminish the on field product.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 06 2017 @ 10:14 PM EST (#351272) #
Of the Individuals who might be able to afford to by the Blue Jays there are perhaps 4 people who could buy the Team. Edward Rogers is one of those Individuals. Daryl Katz, the owner of the Oilers is another.

The Baseball Team, plus their Stadium, plus the needed upgrades will cost around $1.75 Billion. Rogers wants to keep the Media rights, but that may not be possible at the price they want.
Glevin - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 03:13 AM EST (#351273) #
Part of the issue is the union but a lot of it is the American public as well. They are fine with billionaires make an extra hundred million but get upset with "spoiled athletes getting paid millions to play a game." It is kind of incredible that the only socialism in the US happens with billionaires.

Anyway, I think people hoping for a Rogers sale might be disappointed. Rogers are perfectly fine owners who are stable and willing to spend enough for the team to win. If they stay in charge, and the team is built properly, the Jays will do well. The Jays don't have to sell players off because they can't afford them. They could get better owners, someone who would be willing to spend more but they could also get much worse owners. There are awful ones around baseball either like Angelos who always interferes in his team's management or people like the Wilpons or Loria. In the Fangraphs poll about ownership last year, Jays fans voted Rogers as one of the worst owners in baseball. They aren't even close to that.
bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 07:33 AM EST (#351274) #
I am ok with Rogers. They increased the payroll in 2013 to become one of the bigger boys in baseball. Better results were expected.

Even now payroll has kept pace. Both Florida teams, Miami and TB I believe are reducing payroll.
Cracka - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 08:16 AM EST (#351275) #
Rogers is a unique owner - they are the only public company that owns a MLB team and one of only two existing companies that own teams (Liberty Media). All other 28 teams are owned by a rich guy or group of rich guys with a principal owner... and only 2 teams have their original owners (Arizona, Minnesota).

The last six teams to be sold have followed a similar pattern. One or more independently rich (but not famous) investors get together with at least one "famous" local connection and make a bid.... although sometimes it's the same person. (famous in the business/finance world, not necessary to the general public).

Miami: Principal Owner Bruce Sherman is local. Derek Jeter is famous.

LA: Principal Owner Mark Walter is local. Magic Johnson is famous (& local).

SD: Principal Owner Ron Fowler is local. O'Malley Family is famous (owned Dodgers).

Houston: Jim Crane is local & famous.

Texas: Ray Davis is local. Nolan Ryan (owner at the time) was famous.

Cubs: Ricketts family is local & famous.


The Rogers family are of course, local & famous; it stands to reason that the next owners will be too. Interestingly, MLSE doesn't really fit the recent profile of new owners and it's hard to know whether they would be approved by the requisite 75% of the owners (as far as I can tell, all recent sales have had unanimous approval of all owners).
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 08:25 AM EST (#351276) #
Rogers ownership has resulted in almost exactly .500 team. One game below maybe over their tenure.

2 playoffs in 17yrs.

1 90 win season in 17yrs......and they replaced the GM right after that season.


I'll take my chances with a different owner, thanks.
scottt - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 08:39 AM EST (#351277) #
The realized that the more they increase the payroll, the more the team is worth.
Maybe they'll eventually figure out that the value of the team includes the media rights.
It looks like they are just checking if there's anybody out there with a few billion to lose.

SK in NJ - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 08:53 AM EST (#351278) #
It will be hard for Rogers to sell the Jays, IMO. Not only are they selling at peak value, but the stadium needs renovations, and any potential buyer is going to want to have full control of the broadcast rights which Rogers may not want to lose. I don't see any Canadian billionaire viewing the Jays as a viable investment unless they are a fan. Also, as mentioned, new owners doesn't necessarily mean better owners. Rogers has brought stability to the franchise and a payroll high enough to build a winner. They also presumably leave the baseball decisions to baseball operations, which may not be the case with new ownership. Shapiro with Rogers is a fine setup long-term.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 09:15 AM EST (#351279) #
what stability has rogers brought to the franchise?
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 09:46 AM EST (#351280) #
Since we're all weighing in as if it's not a privilege to have any owner buy a local team (Rogers included)... "I'll take my chances with a new owner." Ask Montreal what they would do for a anything but a bad owner. A good owner isn't someone that makes the post season 10 out of 15 seasons. To quote how many times Rogers has made the playoffs is naive. Really naive.If mark Cuban buys a team and spends $500 million on player salary, and he doesn't make the playoffs, is he a bad owner? If he spends less than 100 million but has the best young team from farm development and he doesn't make the playoffs, is he a bad owner?

If we're going to be weighing the merits of whether or not Rogers is a decent enough owner, can we at least pretend to acknowledge that making money is necessary for anyone that would invest money into a team? Everyone laughs at ownership and 'bean counters' because all they care about is making money. Yes...when you invest a bunch of your own money and you're on the hook if things go south...thats a perfectly reasonable motivation.

Or I guess there's owners out there that can spend and give away a bunch of money without making it up somewhere else. No, that's not the way the world works. Close your eyes and think back to 1995 - 2001...do you remember the losses ownership was facing and discussion of contraction until Rogers showed up? Of course not because money is no object when fantasizing about teams on message boards.

Boston/NYY/LAD are not baseball organizations that like baseball more and like winning more and therefore spend more money than Toronto. They are business models that are making money via baseball teams. YES network is a perfect example. Maybe Rogers is too wide and has too many expenses that the other models do not, but if we want similar models then you're going to need ownership that is 1) at least as rich as those teams owners and 2) an opportunity that they see in the Canadian market to invest and make more money. Since the Blue Jay's don't have the same history or brand as NYY or Boston, do you really see an individual owner that will feel compelled to throw down money and be confident that they can make more money by investing in the Canadian market? And if broadcast rights aren't a part of it then forget it.
bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 09:47 AM EST (#351281) #
So Rogers has owned the Jays since 2001, 17 years. They probably never had a good GM, or just blamed him. Also they competed directly with NYY and Boston.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:08 AM EST (#351282) #
Whoa did I stumble upon a Rogers Cult here?

It is now a PRIVILEGE to have an owner that gives us .500 baseball over near 2 decades, never once makes a proactive investment in the team or facilities, never once makes a big hiring splash in either the front office or the roster, fires the only GM that made the playoffs the moment he makes the playoffs, watches every single one of our star players leave in embarassing, resentful fashion.....


...a PRIVILEGE?

yikes. are you guys trolling me?

Like I said, i'll take my chances. Even if we end up with a horrendous owner, he's just as likely to win us a world series. IF we end up with a horrendous owner. And there's a good chance we end up with a much better owner.
Glevin - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:08 AM EST (#351283) #
"what stability has rogers brought to the franchise?"

Stable ownership. No talk of sales and relocation. Competitive budgets increased when the team needed. Allocated resources on scouting, analytics, performance, international signings, marketing the team. Basically, every single thing that an owner should have been doing, Rogers did. I remember the Interbrew years. They were unstable. Rogers has been a much much better owner. The Jays' lack of success in this period has been due to a combination of poor management and being in the toughest division in baseball.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:10 AM EST (#351284) #
if Rogers sells the team today, their greatest legacy as owners will be this:

85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:11 AM EST (#351285) #
I heard Richard Griffin on the radio - he said he's been told that in sales presentations the Jays say that since the AA trade of 2015, Rogers has made 150m per year more than budgeted on the jays, so he doesn't think a sale is in the near future (2-3yrs).

Also, he mentioned that Atkins, in his presser leading up to the winter meetings declined to discuss the possibility of a Donaldson trade but he thinks that the Diaz trade was the result of a larger trade discussion the Jays had with the Cardinals (hint: about Donaldson)- I think if the Cardinals don't get Stanton, they will step up their pursuit of Donaldson.
bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:15 AM EST (#351286) #
1995-2001 Interbrew from Belguim? Rogers took over. Media rights are important.

Gord Ash may have been told to reduce payroll. Also I believe Alex Rios and Felipe Lopez? were picked in round 1 because they were cheap to sign.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:17 AM EST (#351287) #
While I wouldn't say Rogers are great owners, the interbrew experience was a nightmare - unless Bell or MLSE takes over, I'm ok with Rogers.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:17 AM EST (#351288) #
For what it's worth, I would rate the Blue Jay owners in the following order: Labatt's, Rogers, Interbrew.

It would be hard for any MLB owner with exclusive media rights for a market of 35 million, and a large loca/regional market, to not make money.  Rogers has done a decent job of marketing the club and perhaps better than the average MLB owner, and if you want to give them credit for that, you can. 

uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:27 AM EST (#351289) #
"Stable ownership. No talk of sales and relocation."

What? when has there ever been talk about relocation in the history of the team?

"Competitive budgets increased when the team needed."

By competitive budgets you mean the least competitive budgets in the history of the franchise.

"Allocated resources on scouting, analytics, performance, international signings,"

did they? how do their investments in these areas compare to others in the league? are there results from this that we can point to?

"marketing the team. "

dear jesus. well, we know that was what they cared most about. whether they did it effectively is another question.


"Basically, every single thing that an owner should have been doing, Rogers did."

this is so bizarre. there's a much easier argument that they did not do even one of these things effectively or sufficiently.

"I remember the Interbrew years. They were unstable. Rogers has been a much much better owner. "

Do you really remember the Interbrew years?

Interbrew took over in the middle of one of the worst years in franchise history - a 56 win team in 1995. Just 3 years later the team was an 88 win team thanks in no small part to bringing in stars like Clemens and Canseco. When interbew sold 2yrs later it was still a comfortably over .500 team even though the young elite pitching of Halladay/Carpenter/Esobar had just pooped the bed badly.

Not only a much better and efficient track record than Rogers, but a helluva lot more exciting too.


"The Jays' lack of success in this period has been due to a combination of poor management"

wait a sec - why aren't you holding Rogers responsible for bad management? especially since they immediately fired the only GM that gave them a decent team in 17yrs?

Rogers was great except they hired awful people? is that what we're saying now?

"and being in the toughest division in baseball."

The Jays were already in the toughest division in baseball in the Interbrew years. And they didn't have the benefit of wildcards.


uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:34 AM EST (#351290) #
The Interbrew Nightmare was them taking a 56 win team, spending a crapload of money and turning it almost instantly into a playoff contender with super elite stars, and then selling.

Give me that nightmare over this 17yrs of dreck any day.

bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:49 AM EST (#351291) #
56/162 = .346 winning %. 162-56 = 106 losses. I did the math 3 times. I hope I got it right.

At least we got a high draft pick. Vernon Wells?
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 10:52 AM EST (#351292) #
For the record, Interbrew was majority owner of the Jays from June 1995 - Sept. 2000 - so probably responsible for the 1996-2000 budgets.

1995 - 49.79m
1996 - 28.49m - 1st year interbrew.
1997 - 45.89m
1998 - 48.42m
1999 - 48.17m
2000 - 46.36m
2001 - 76.90m - 1st year Rogers
according to baseball cube
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 11:05 AM EST (#351293) #
Rogers must have inherited most of that original payroll, as 5yrs later they were down to $45m payroll again. 10 years later they were only at $62m.

And in 17 years Rogers never signed anyone close to as big as Roger Clemens.
China fan - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 11:28 AM EST (#351294) #
Switching back to roster questions:

It's interesting that Atkins now confirms that the Jays are still looking for an established infielder, despite the Diaz trade.

(The Atkins quotes are here:
http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-still-exploring-middle-infield-options-acquiring-diaz/)

This is further evidence for what I said after the trade: Diaz is a nice acquisition, and he's a better back-up than Goins, but he doesn't solve the infield problem, and the Jays know it.

Some people have been fixated on the fact that Diaz was an all-star in 2016. Sure, he was an all-star in 2016, but he was also a minor-leaguer in 2017. Both of those statements are equally irrelevant to his likely production in 2018. His production will be somewhere in between "all-star" and "minor-leaguer" and it's difficult to assume that he'll be closer to the former than the later. The Jays clearly don't see him as a solution for the fact that Travis and Tulo are both prone to injury and that someone is needed who can step into the breach to provide good production and good defence when either of those guys is injured.

Diaz is perfectly fine as a back-up infielder who can step in for a few games. But the Jays don't need a back-up. They need someone who can play half a season if Travis or Tulo are injured. It's a mistake to think that Diaz can solve that problem. Goins couldn't solve it, and Diaz is just a better version of Goins.

So, logically, the Jays are seeking an established infielder: someone who can play 2B or SS for perhaps 50 or 60 games with more than a "back-up infielder" level of production. If they find one, they have greater protection and greater roster flexibility. In the unlikely event that Travis and Tulo don't suffer any substantial injuries in 2018, the Jays can always find room for Travis (or the new acquisition) in the outfield or elsewhere. It would be a good problem to have. But they have to go beyond Diaz as the infield solution.







85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 11:36 AM EST (#351295) #
It was also 76.86m in 2002. A more cogent explanation is that when J.P. Ricciardi took over after the 2002 season, he embarked on a rebuild - moving out the contracts of people like Mondesi,Stewart,Delgado etc.

"spending a crapload of money and turning it almost instantly into a playoff contender"
wins totals:
1995 - 60
1996 - 74 - 1st year of interbrew
1997 - 76
1998 - 88
1999 - 84
2000 - 83

Yep, the other AL east teams were quaking in their boots.
China fan - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 11:45 AM EST (#351296) #
Just following up on Diaz and the infield issue:

Let's be more specific about the infield issue. It's really a Travis issue. I love Devon Travis, but his numbers in 2017 were basically those of a back-up infielder (he played in only 50 games and he produced an OPS of .729). The Jays, better than us, know the true status of his health and his ongoing injury issues. I assume that they have concluded that they cannot rely on Travis for a full season. They realize that there's a very distinct possibility that he might only play 40 or 50 games next season too. In that scenario, they basically need to acquire a starting 2B, and that means someone better than Diaz. (Diaz's defence is fine for 2B but his hitting is not sufficient, unless we completely disregard last year's performance. But his minor-league career suggests that we should regard his 2016 performance, rather than 2017, as the aberration.)

I suspect that Diaz and Ngoepe were acquired as the Tulo back-ups, and the Jays are still looking for a 2B. Of course they cannot explicitly admit that, since it would be an undiplomatic gesture to Devon Travis, who has worked so diligently on his recovery from the various injuries over the past couple of years.

uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 11:51 AM EST (#351297) #
"Yep, the other AL east teams were quaking in their boots. "

3yrs in and they were the 4th best team in the league led by the best free agent signing ever.

what a nightmare.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 11:57 AM EST (#351298) #
And yet “Shapkins” have been subjected to harsh criticism for their performance after two years (one of which culminated in the ALDS championship). Seems like a double standard, no?
Glevin - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 12:04 PM EST (#351299) #
"3yrs in and they were the 4th best team in the league led by the best free agent signing ever.

what a nightmare."

It was. If you are going to pretend Rogers was worse than Interbrew because they had one free agent signing that turned out great (largely likely due to starting to take steroids), it's just an absurd argument. Not even in the same ballpark. There were even rumblings of relocation with Interbrew. They were cutting corners everywhere. It was a miserable time to be a fan.



SK in NJ - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 12:16 PM EST (#351300) #
This is the first time I have ever seen anyone long for the days of Interbrew. The quicker Gord Ash and that ownership group can be wiped out of my memory, the better.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 12:29 PM EST (#351301) #
Devon Travis, for all his injuries, has been a valuable player, and is projected to be one again in 2018 by ZIPs and any other system you care to mention.  The issue is that you can expect him to play only 1/2 to 2/3 of the season.  The problem is actually more acute with Tulo because of his age, in addition to his injury history. 

I would be happy if the Jays acquired Profar to go with Diaz.  It would be especially nice if they could find a taker for Morales to clear the path for Pearce to take over the DH job and save roster space, so that the bench consisted of Profar, Diaz, an outfielder and a backup catcher. The club, of course, has more pressing needs than a second back-up infielder.
bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 12:47 PM EST (#351302) #
Nobody is jumping fast onto FAs. The D Price contract maybe a warning to be careful. Luxury tax penalties don't care if he is injured or not. But then there is a fight to take on G Stanton, of course with Miami paying some of his salary.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 12:51 PM EST (#351303) #
Profar is still the infielder that I am hoping the Jays get. There’s a chance he may never hit but I could see a scenario where a change of scenery could make something click for him. Agreed that adding Profar and removing one of Morales/Pearce from the roster would make it a lot more versatile. Maybe Pearce for Profar and then use the saved money to sign Dyson. A bench of Dyson, Profar, and Diaz would be interesting. Of course then they would still need to add at least one starting OF, plus their pitching needs.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 01:18 PM EST (#351304) #
I am optimistic the Jays can land Profar and I would like to get him regular at-bats. I would like the Jays to move on from both Morales & Pearce but that will be tough given the plethora of cheap 1 dimensional sluggers available - open up the DH spot for resting veterans - I hope Stanton does not go to St. Louis because I think the Cardinals will turn their pursuit to Donaldson - I will be in the vast minority but if he's cheap I'd sign Ethier to platoon with Hernandez and DH - Yelich for LF.
uglyone - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 01:21 PM EST (#351305) #
"It was. If you are going to pretend Rogers was worse than Interbrew because they had one free agent signing that turned out great (largely likely due to starting to take steroids), it's just an absurd argument. Not even in the same ballpark. There were even rumblings of relocation with Interbrew. They were cutting corners everywhere. It was a miserable time to be a fan."

Interbew inherited a much worse team, signed one of the biggest free agents anywhere (and a bunch of others), had a better winning percentage than rogers has had, and built a team that would have qualified for the playoffs under current format to boot.

And no, there were no relocation rumblings. The only relocation kerfuffle that's ever happened with the jays is when a couple of american writers opined circa 2010 that they should relocate. perhaps to a latin american market. (2010 was under Rogers, btw).

The only thing absurd here is this battered wife syndrome defense of the worst owner in franchise history. 17 years of crap. 17 years of not even legitimately trying. 17 years of seeing our homegrown stars leave in shame and embarassment. And firing the only guy who actual made the team anything, the moment they were good, and replacing him with beancounters.
bpoz - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 01:27 PM EST (#351306) #
I am more convinced that AA chose to leave than Cito Gaston chose to retire.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 01:51 PM EST (#351307) #
Wow!! Tyler Chatwood gets 3/38 from the Cubs - I was hoping the Jays could get him for 3/21 - A guy I wish the Jays had been much more aggressive with.
PeterG - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 01:57 PM EST (#351308) #
Chatwood has a frightening injury history. He might have been interesting at 2/14. I expect free agency to be much like last year. The initial contracts, for the most part, will be vast overpays, then a few relatively fair ones. After the merry go round comes to a stop, there will be many FA's having to sign for well below previously perceived market value.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 02:11 PM EST (#351309) #
I see the opposite happening. I see the Cubs took a page out of the Jays book two years ago by jumping early on Chatwood. He's exactly the type of pitcher a big market can "gamble on." He's had two tommy john surgeries but his numbers look great away from Coors Field and at 3 years I don't think you can go wrong. If the Cubs/Dodgers keep this up there won't be much for the "bean counters" up North.

All good ideas posted lately. I like the idea of really beefing up the INF with another acquisition like Profar as suggested. Another catcher and OF and we should be good, aside from pitching of course.

A couple of things:
I think you need Morales because he had a down year last year, especially with RISP. You need him for protection for both Smoak and Tellez. He is exactly the type of player that Toronto should be spending money on because he won't be a sinkhole. We have a budget where we can make him second string if necessary and still get by. And if he bounces back, so much the better.


Anybody else getting the impression from Atkins comments that he has a deal lined up for a SP either via trade or free agency? I've read a few articles/listened to radio where he has said multiple times that he "wouldn't be surprised" if they made a trade before and/or after the winter meetings. Ha. He probably thought he had Chatwood in the bag at 2/14...payback from the Cubs for stealing Martin at 5 years.


Definitely starting to see the Diaz trade more as protection for Gurriel/Guerrero/Bichette/Tulo once Donaldson is traded.
PeterG - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 05:07 PM EST (#351310) #
Here is a link to an interview and article from Ryan Di Francesco with Jim C, the Vancouver pitching coach who talks about Nate Pearson. For those not wishing to read it all, the bottome line is that he says that Nate is better than Noah at same stage. He concludes that Nate should start season in Dunedin and that he could have pitched at AA last season.

https://bluejaysnation.com/2017/12/07/di-francesco-talking-milb-pitchers-and-nate-pearson-with-vancouver-cs-pitching-coach-jim-czajkowski/
China fan - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 05:14 PM EST (#351311) #
The Mariners have reportedly acquired Dee Gordon, and they will play him at CF, according to one report.

Gordon was among the potential 2B that I had hoped the Jays would still be considering. His move to CF also shows the positional flexibility issue that the Jays should be exploring. If they acquire a good starting 2B and then it turns out that Travis is capable of playing a full season in 2018, the Jays can move one or two players between the infield and the outfield.
scottt - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 06:52 PM EST (#351312) #
Chatwood has good stuff but no control, walks a ton, strikes out few and has averaged a little over 100 innings per year.
This is more like the Morales signing (Chatwood has a good ground ball ratio, Morales had a good average exit velocity) than the Happ signing. Happ didn't lose 15 games.

I don't like Profar. I see nothing there but an eventual waiver claim (the Jays are on a good spot for that actually).
A failed prospect who was up at 19, but has never been able to hit outside of the PCL, even though he's been on a team that has always been paired with division rivals featuring horrible pitching. He's out of options. He's now costing about the same as Goins and his defense is not even solid.

Reminds me of Kyle Schwarber. Many teams would be happy to try him at DH or 1B, but the Cubs hold on to him and play him in the outfield where he's not producing. At least Texas needs Profar now because Andrus has an opt out, Beltre is old enough to manage and Odor stinks.

If Tulo and Travis are healthy comes April and Diaz is outhitting them, it's going to be hard enough to find him ABs.

I really cannot imagine trading Donaldson and getting nothing on the 25 roster in exchange. That would probably mean having to unload more players to make room, not the other way around.

In other news, Biagini has been told to get in shape if he wants to play in the majors and Aaron Sanchez has resumed throwing.

And Seattle acquires Dee Gordon (to play centerfield?) along with another 1M for Othani. If Stanton doesn't make his mind he'll be playing with a AAA roster comes April.

scottt - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 06:55 PM EST (#351313) #
Diaz can play left field. Hernandez, Pompey and Alford could play center if Pillar wasn't glued there.
The Jays don't need a speed center with no pop, who makes over 10M.
scottt - Thursday, December 07 2017 @ 07:00 PM EST (#351314) #
With those screws in his elbow, I wouldn't want Pearson to spend too much time in the minors either.
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 04:50 AM EST (#351315) #
Isn't monopoly capitalism great, etc., etc.

Mike, if it's such easy money (as you always say), why were they able to buy the franchise for such a cheap price?

TangledUpInBlue - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 05:12 AM EST (#351316) #
On that same point, one way of thinking about this is to consider AYJackson's comment:

Rogers, for their part, will get a great return. I doubt the next owner will though.

When we're forced to assess the future, rather than use hindsight, things aren't quite so certain. When Rogers bought the team, no one could be certain of such a prosperous future -- if it had been so certain, there would have been more bidders, the price would've been higher, and the return wouldn't have been so great. So it seems like they made a good investment. Maybe they were smart, maybe they got lucky, who knows.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 08:10 AM EST (#351317) #
TUIB, Rogers got a good price on the team because there weren't a lot of prospective purchasers who MLB might have approved of and essentially all of the others weren't really interested because a sports team didn't fit in with their businesses (whereas Rogers has the synergistic component with its telecom business).  MLB owners as a whole in the last 20 years got a big boost from MLBAM, which was an industry leader (in fairness); for this reason and a few others, the risk involved in ownership was extremely low.

What pisses me off most is that the gain on the sale is taxed at a lower rate than ordinary wages.  The notion is that you have to reward risk and entrepreneurship above and beyond hard work.  It's one thing for a small business owner who invests life savings in an enterprise which is truly competing with others.  It's a whole other thing with a large state-supported monopoly. 

scottt - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 09:02 AM EST (#351318) #
The Jays are actually in a good place to wait out what falls to them. They could grab a lefty in the rule V and sign back Brett Anderson on a 1 year deal. The infield is fortified and Alford/Hernandez can fight out for right field.

They could also grab a starter, a reliever, an outfielder or even an middle infielder on a value deal if any of those are left standing later in the year.

There's a few wild cards like Boston, but one should be able to tally how much payroll money is left to doll out and how that matches against the asking numbers of the remaining free agents. I think I know what number is greater, but I'd be curious to know the exact gap.

TangledUpInBlue - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 09:56 AM EST (#351319) #
because there weren't a lot of prospective purchasers

But again, if it's such easy money, why not?
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 10:04 AM EST (#351320) #
http://www.baseballchronology.com/Baseball/Years/2000/Valuation.asp

This is a team-by-team valuations listings for the 2000 season. The calculation is designed to show how much each team is worth. The average team was worth $262,866,667. You can also view figures for 2001 or 2001. You may wish to view revenues/expenses for 2000. Other financial information is available for many seasons using the tool on the right.

2000 VALUATIONS 2000 VALUATIONS
1999/2001
RANK TEAM VALUATION
1 New York Yankees $645,000,000
2 New York Mets $454,000,000
3 Atlanta Braves $407,000,000
4 Los Angeles Dodgers $381,000,000
5 Cleveland Indians $372,000,000
6 Texas Rangers $342,000,000
7 Boston Red Sox $339,000,000
8 Baltimore Orioles $335,000,000
9 Colorado Rockies $334,000,000
10 San Francisco Giants $333,000,000
11 Seattle Mariners $332,000,000
12 Houston Astros $318,000,000
13 Detroit Tigers $290,000,000
14 Chicago Cubs $247,000,000
15 Arizona Diamondbacks $245,000,000
16 St. Louis Cardinals $243,000,000
17 Chicago White Sox $213,000,000
18 Pittsburgh Pirates $211,000,000
19 Milwaukee Brewers $209,000,000
20 Anaheim Angels $198,000,000
21 Cincinnati Reds $187,000,000
22 San Diego Padres $176,000,000
23 Toronto Blue Jays $161,000,000
24 Philadelphia Phillies $158,000,000
25 Tampa Bay Devil Rays $150,000,000
26 Oakland Athletics $149,000,000
27 Kansas City Royals $138,000,000
28 Florida Marlins $128,000,000
29 Minnesota Twins $99,000,000
30 Montreal Expos $92,000,000
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 10:25 AM EST (#351321) #
The jays have currently improved that 23rd rank all the way up to 16th this year. Though the majority of that franchise value growth came only in the last few years (i.e. it's more than doubled since 2014) - which was obviously a direct result of the team winning and the fans coming back - which means rogers could have realized this kind uptick in value much sooner with some real investment.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 10:35 AM EST (#351322) #
Why weren't the other billionaires in Canada interested when Interbrew was selling in 1999-2000?  David Thomson seems to have been busy with other personal things at the time, according to his wikipedia entry.  Galen Weston has never had any interest in sports that I can see.  The Irving empire is entirely vertically integrated, and a baseball team doesn't fit.  Jim Pattison is about as far away as Interbrew.  Frank Stronach was interested in horses and soccer.  Larry Tanenbaum was the logical one, but he was probably too occupied at the time with the Raptors and the Leafs. 

Rogers made a prudent but hardly adventurous decision to buy the club, got lucky a bit and did a decent job of marketing the club.  Ted Turner had it right though about how dumb you have to be to not make money with a monopoly.

pubster - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 10:38 AM EST (#351323) #
"unless Bell or MLSE takes over, I'm ok with Rogers"

MLSE is owned by Rogers, Bell and Larry Tannenbaum.

"What? when has there ever been talk about relocation in the history of the team?"

Under previous ownership. The Jays were apparantly bleeding money and people had brought up relocation.

I think Rogers is doing a solid job. The recent success of the Jays/Leafs/TFC/Raptors has all coincided with Rogers getting involved in ownership.
Mylegacy - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 11:14 AM EST (#351324) #
The talk of Rogers selling the Jays has me in a cold sweat.

They bought the Team for a fair(ish) price but they paid literally pennies on the dollar for the SkyDome. In addition, they've make countless millions for their broadcast divisions that should have been (would have been with any non-TV station owner) income for the team.

There is (ALMOST) NO WAY FORWARD for decades if a new owner pays more than a billion more for the team (and stadium) and services the billion+ dept they'll have. We'll be locked into decades of all the income going to the debt and little of the income going to the team. As despicable as Rogers is any new owner will NOT have the cash flow to keep our Jays competitive.

The only way I'm wrong is if CBC, CTV, Sportsnet and TSN all get in a bidding war for the broadcast rights. Clearly, these rights are worth way more than Rogers had credited the team in income over the last decades. I suspect they'll all just divide up the 161 games and not really get into competition for overlapping tranches of games.

I hope I'm wrong... time for a single malt. F*uck it, I'll make it a double.
bpoz - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 11:21 AM EST (#351325) #
Thanks uglyone for the list. You gave your opinion ... over the last 2 years the the franchise value has doubled due to winning. That makes sense to me. Winning generates more revenue. Pennant race participating and playoff success will also generate more revenue.

There may be other factors why the value went up. But I don't know what those factors may be.

The Phillies are losing and are rebuilding. They are a good solid franchise IMO, would their value decrease? What about other factors beside losing? Again I don't know.

Other "good" franchises, NYY, Boston, LAD and LAA to name just a few. Then the "not so good" franchises, not being insulting, Cleveland IMO. They are currently winning/contending but are a small market team.

So it is easy to identify winning from losing and small market from big market teams. Small market teams IMO would have some kind of upper limit to revenue because they are small. Cleveland is the team that I have identified. It looks like I have done something wrong in my analysis and opinion because Cleveland is #5.


Let me shift to the Jays. My opinion only regarding the following. They have a decent budget IMO. Would they increase budget to swallow "albatross" contracts. I don't think R Romero was an albatross contract. V Wells was. Both had long terms but Romero's cost was less.

We have discussed injury and performance decline due to ageing. Also the opt out clause.

Also corporate vs private ownership.

I believe Rogers, specifically P Godfrey wanted V Wells tied up long term. Not Richardi.

I honestly think much of the above, regarding the Jays is true. If Donaldson signs long term, then I got it wrong again. Just an example.
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 11:30 AM EST (#351326) #
Yeah, well, you have to buy it before you get the monopoly. There's the rub. Your story is that all these businessmen (and other companies perhaps) decided to take a pass on the right to print money. Strikes me as pretty far-fetched. Pure hindsight. I mean, what "easy money" investment options are out there right now? It's not so easy when we're suddenly staring into the future.
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 12:05 PM EST (#351327) #
For those wishing to read about baseball rather than business, the following interview with Samad Taylor is worth your time.

Among other things, Samad says he can play 2b, ss and cf but for now is concentrating on 2b.

https://csplusbaseball.ca/2017/12/07/cs-chat-samad-taylor/
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 12:43 PM EST (#351328) #
Taylor describes his off-season plans as 'perfecting my craft".  Yep.  That's the right idea.  I wonder how he's adapting to playing second base- the DP pivot and such.  Orlando Hudson and Aaron Hill both started out as shortstops and made great transitions to second base.  Hudson, in particular, had a fine and fearless pivot. 
rpriske - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 01:11 PM EST (#351329) #
Rule 5 talk: If Nick Ciuffo is still there when the Jays get to pick, I think they should take him and give him a chance to win the back-up position in ST.
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:06 PM EST (#351330) #
Joel Sherman just tweeted that Ohtani going to Angels.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:08 PM EST (#351331) #
poor mariners.

ohtani and trout.
Dr B - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:10 PM EST (#351332) #
Cortes has some terrific looking numbers. Any word as to why he wasn't protected?

Here's a quote from pinstripe alley (https://www.pinstripealley.com/yankees-prospects-minor-leagues/2017/11/30/16717512/yankees-rule-5-draft-prospects-feyereisen-nestor-cortes)

"Nestor Cortes is a left-handed pitcher who was drafted in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Despite this status, Cortes has remained on the outskirts of relevancy for all these years, splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen. While the results are there, the stuff has always been lacking. "

If I had roster space, I'd still pick him though.
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:15 PM EST (#351333) #
Although previously neutral, I now suspect that the Jays will make a rule 5 selection.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:24 PM EST (#351334) #
The Angels make sense.  Big market, closer and with the best player in baseball in the roster already.  They should probably spend over the cap next year to buy some more pitching, and a second baseman. 

Albert Pujols was a -2 WAR player last year; Ohtani might be worth almost 3 wins to the Angels with his bat next year with 150-200 PAs. 

Glevin - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:48 PM EST (#351335) #
"The Angels make sense. Big market, closer and with the best player in baseball in the roster already."

Not really a big market. Anaheim is not LA and the Angels are not the Dodgers. It's bad for the Jays who suddenly have to play catchup with another team, but it's good for baseball I think. They should do everything they can to win while they have Trout cheap. They are a team that could be easily improved as they have some big holes to fill. They look like an 87-90 win team right now as is.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 02:55 PM EST (#351336) #
This looks like bad news for the Jays who are looking at a 2nd wild card ceiling in 2018 in all likelihood. The Angels still need a 2B and some dependable arms in the rotation behind Ohtani, but they may have separated themselves from the 2nd WC clutter that existed before this move, assuming Ohtani is as good as advertised.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 03:16 PM EST (#351337) #
LAA has drawn 3 million fans every year since 2003. I'd agree that the Dodgers are the bigger club in the market, but it's not like the Yankees/Mets. 

I am pretty sure that if Ohtani succeeds as he could, the denizens of Hollywood won't be thinking that Anaheim is too far south. 

Cracka - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 04:35 PM EST (#351338) #
Ohtani has sometimes been advertised as the "next Babe Ruth"... so being as "good as advertised" is a pretty high bar! I think there will be a lot of adjustments required in 2018 for him and the Angels. Personally, he'll need to learn about opposing AL batters AND pitchers and ~18 about new ballparks. He'll need to adjust to playing baseball in English, working with an interpreter, and living in SoCal. The Angels meanwhile will likely change to a 6 man rotation, Pujols will play more 1B, there will be much more intense media scrutiny, and they almost certainly will have to let him hit & pitch regularly for the first few years, regardless of how he performs.

Don't get me wrong - the Angels are very lucky to get him. But it's a very complicated situation without any similar precedent; and it has the potential to backfire if his teammates or fans get tired of him receiving special treatment without having really earned it.
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 04:37 PM EST (#351339) #
I agree that there is much potential for a backfire here despite Ohtani's obvious talent. THere are enormous expectations that he may not be able to meet for starters.
Mike Green - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 05:02 PM EST (#351340) #
I don't think anyone expects the next Babe Ruth.  He does have a reasonable chance to be one of the top two or three players in baseball. 
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 06:11 PM EST (#351341) #
Stanton has now officially rejected Giants as well as Cards.
scottt - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 06:23 PM EST (#351342) #
Stanton seems to be trying to get the Yankees to forget about getting under the luxury tax and going after Bryce Harper next year and pick him up now instead.

In the end, the main consideration for Othani was signing with a west coast club with a large market for sponsorship deals. He's an instead upgrade for the Angels rotation which doesn't mean much but there's no room in the outfield, so he's probably pushing Cron to the bench.  Tough on the Mariners. The As are still going nowhere and the Rangers might be on the edge of  a rebuild now.





whiterasta80 - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 06:36 PM EST (#351343) #
Sorry, did I just read that he will need to adjust to playing baseball in English? Methinks that might be a quick adjustment.

I've played many years with people who didn't speak English and it never seemed to make a difference. And I am patently terrible.
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 06:58 PM EST (#351344) #
Great news about Stanton - Now Shatkins, work your magic.
scottt - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 06:59 PM EST (#351345) #
As a pitcher, he only needs to communicate with the catcher. As a DH, he just needs to communicate with the coach. It's all mostly signs.  Facing that Astros rotation will be a challenge, though. He can probably hit around .260 with a .325 OBP and around 15 to 20 homeruns. It will be fun to compare his OPS with that of Morales, but there's no question that he will run the bases better.
scottt - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 07:00 PM EST (#351346) #
By magic you mean make a trade for a young Marlin outfielder?
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 07:10 PM EST (#351347) #
I hope he means trading JD......

I don't think the Yankees have any interest in Stanton or Harper. And I don't think Harper has any interest in the Yanks either. This is one of the most false assumptions out there. Harper will either go where he most wants (west coast) or for the most money (Phillies). I will be shocked if Phils with massive budget space don't sign one of Harper or Machado.
85bluejay - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 07:11 PM EST (#351348) #
Absolutely, I've already posted that I want Christian Yelich as the Jays LF in 2018
bpoz - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 07:11 PM EST (#351349) #
I like the current FO. 2 good drafts. Nice 2017 Int'l signings IMO.

The trades seem quite good. Liriano and J Smith.
PeterG - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 07:23 PM EST (#351350) #
I don't see Jays trading for Yelich. FO has been consistent in saying they would like to contend and build up system, but have also been consistent about which they consider more important.
uglyone - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 07:53 PM EST (#351351) #
yeah better get your Cards wishlist ready. Donaldson's a goner.
SK in NJ - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 08:53 PM EST (#351352) #
The Cardinals missing out on Stanton is only good news if the Jays are open to trading Donaldson. I don't think they are, moreso ownership than the FO, but desperate GM's can do desperate things, and if the Cardinals are desperate to add a star via trade, then the Jays are in a perfect spot to take advantage. The issue will be only one year of control for Donaldson, which will greatly reduce his value.
dan gordon - Friday, December 08 2017 @ 11:48 PM EST (#351353) #
BIG sigh of relief from this Giants' fan that they aren't trading for Stanton.

Too bad they didn't get Ohtani, though, I think he's going to be terrific. He certainly makes the Angels better, but I don't see them as a really strong team. The rest of the pitching looks underwhelming to me, and after Upton, Trout and Simmons, and sometimes Ohtani, the positions players don't scare me. The Pujols contract is a major problem, both financially and on the field, they can't really sit him on the bench. They do get the benefit of a relatively easy schedule.

I've read that the Cardinals are after Longoria for 3B.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:36 AM EST (#351354) #
Stanton to Yanks. Great...

Might as well go for Darvish for elite pitching or step back for a year or two...but that would mean Russel/Tulo/JD and half our rotation gone...at least.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 08:53 AM EST (#351355) #
I'm not surprised at all. I figured Cashman was waiting in the wings, looking for a chance to augment his roster with another elite player in his prime at little cost in prospects and major-league players. The Yankees' GM deserves credit for putting himself in a position to make this move by paring payroll and building a strong young (inexpensive) core.

The Jays now have essentially no chance of winning the division over the next couple of years at least, and the WC competition should be robust in 2018. The front office will need to plan its strategy accordingly.
scottt - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 09:19 AM EST (#351356) #
I still think the Yankees want to go under the tax. One way to achieve that is to send back something with trading value to Miami. Like Castro, maybe. That would also limit what the Yanks can acquire at the deadline.

This will certainly light a fire under the Red Sox who are pretty much out of prospects to trade.
It might also speeds up rebuilds in Tampa and Baltimore.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 09:25 AM EST (#351357) #
The rumour is Castro plus "good but not top prospects" for Stanton.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 09:30 AM EST (#351358) #
we had a nice window of middling sox and yanks teams for a bit.

we missed it.
scottt - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 09:36 AM EST (#351359) #
The window is still there. The Yankees starting pitching is not that good and Stanton is quite DL friendly.
New coach, too many players fighting for the DH spots. Clearly, it's a team that will have its moments, but they still lack depth. Did you see them use like 10 players at first base last year?

BlueJayWay - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 09:38 AM EST (#351360) #
Does trading for that contract basically rule them out of Harper or Machado next year?
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 09:40 AM EST (#351361) #
What? New York had a +198 run differential last year (second-best in the majors), and they'll have Stanton, Bird, Torres, Adams and others on the roster this year. The Yankees' time is now.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 10:00 AM EST (#351362) #
I'm predicting less than 40 home runs for both Stanton and Judge. I predict Bird will hit more home runs than both. Hitting 54 games against Red Sox/Rays/Jays won't be fun for Stanton.

Ugly, why so negative? "We missed it." We went to the ALCS two seasons in a row and then missed the playoffs this year when Bautista fell off a cliff and Donaldson missed time. I ge the impression that if we won the world series you would be complaining about how cheap Rogers is or how the team is ruining the chance for multiple world series. You gotta be realistic.

I still think there is a competitive window right now, but it means the front office needs to change plans. Here are the options I see if I'm GM:

1) trade JD to accelerate a good young team for 2019 season where Bichette and Guerrero reach MLB. Receive one top 15 MLB ready prospect back or multiple top 75.

2) spend money on more expensive free agents like Cain/SP/bullpen and trade for SP or OF you can't sign. Bring up Vlad or Bichette this year the way the Sox did with Demers.

I think management would ideally like to find place holder types for 2 years but that is a waste of all the talent that we have now so they need to accelerate the prospect timeline somehow like they did with Sanchez and Osuna...only way they can compete.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 10:01 AM EST (#351363) #
If the Yankees get Stanton, the Jays hanging onto Donaldson is madness - better to get some prospects whose timeline align with Guerrero/Bichette - I think the fanbase will understand given the Yankees juggernaut. The WC competition will be very tough.

Boston will likely add (Hosmer) to keep within spitting distance of NY - With a cheap Ohtani & Hamilton's anchor of a contract off the books, Angels will spend probably on Darvish as they likely have to make the playoffs to keep Trout (3 yrs. left) - Twins with a cheap core & Mauer's contact in last year, will also be spending. Everything has to go right for the Jays to even contend for a WC - the odds are not good.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 10:05 AM EST (#351364) #
The positive aspect to this is the Jays were not built for the short-term anyway, so Stanton going to the Yankees doesn’t really make much of a difference. Stanton’s contract is awful so while he will be good value for a few years, there is ten years in total plus a NTC. The Yankees are likely getting him for cheap enough that it’s worth doing it to win with the young core Cashman has built up. Getting him when everyone else makes practically nothing makes a lot of sense for them. Five years from now that contract will be more an issue (well, as much of an issue a bad contract can be to the Yankees).
bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 10:16 AM EST (#351365) #
The NYY rotation is not elite. L Severino is an Ace. S Gray, M Tanaka and J Montgomery are good but not #1 pitchers, IMO. Gray and Tanaka will get expensive, if not already and Severino and Montgomery will also get expensive soon, if they stay/become good.
Catcher G Sanchez has defensive issues.

But that offense will kill everyone's pen and only decent starters, not the #1s.

Their revenues will increase somehow I suppose. But staying under the luxury threshold will be very hard.
scottt - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 11:10 AM EST (#351366) #
Donaldson is untradabled if the Jays are serious about selling the team. A no star, 60 win team isn't selling for a billion.
lexomatic - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 11:45 AM EST (#351367) #
Seriously though, I'm sick of the unbalanced schedule.
PeterG - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 11:59 AM EST (#351368) #
If team healthy, Jays can win way more than 60 games without JD.....possibly more than in 2017. There will be players coming back as will not be the case if he walks. This should not be any consideration whatsoever.
Glevin - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 12:09 PM EST (#351369) #
"Seriously though, I'm sick of the unbalanced schedule."

I am mixed because I'd like the unbalanced schedule if the Jays faced Cleveland and Detroit more (really Eastern teams that are closer to the Jays than any other "East" team). A balanced schedule creates way too much travel for teams and a messy schedule. I just think there should be larger divisions with the unbalanced schedule. It's ridiculous to me to play Tampa 19 times and Detroit which is 4 hours down the 401, 6 times.
bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 12:47 PM EST (#351370) #
Stroman tweets that he is excited not scared.

Good enough for me.
lexomatic - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 12:55 PM EST (#351371) #
Glevin, the distance is legitimate, but I really feel already that it would be luck - not unimaginable, but very unlikely- for ththe Jays to be competitive this year. Because of Boston and the Yankees, that's , that's a situation that 30 other teams don't face. It's absolutely unfair to multiple fanbases. I've basically decided not to spend money on baseball before the season starts. I don't  know if the Jays can get enough star prospects to surround Guerrero and Bichette to be competitive when they peak to be competitive.when the Yankees are well-managed it seems like only injury luck is.
I'm hoping Stanton turns the trade down, but really this is such a one-sided trade.   it's bad for baseball to have this type of transaction. There's basically 10 competitive teams out of 30.

John Northey - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:03 PM EST (#351372) #
The AL East is a beast as it has been for decades. The Yankees & Red Sox are always going to be rich and hard to beat. Think how hard it is for Tampa fans, as they have to look at the Jays as a near Yankee/Red Sox level for spending potential (Jays easily can be top 10 in spending if they choose to) and the Orioles are in a good market for spending but not as good as the Jays/Sox/Yanks but far better than the Rays.

In truth, if they were setting up divisions based on potential revenue the Jays division would be even tougher with the Mets & Phillies instead of O's and Rays I suspect.
Glevin - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:27 PM EST (#351373) #
I wonder if the Jays will look into getting Castro who is maybe a perfect fit for them and Marlins still looking to shed salary.
christaylor - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:33 PM EST (#351374) #
Every time I feel myself a little sick of the unbalanced schedule, I remind myself of this schedule:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/TOR/2000-schedule-scores.shtml

Yankees in April then Yankees in September... with six weeks of boring around August.
bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:36 PM EST (#351375) #
Things have become very interesting now.

Lets rethink the spending a little bit. TB simply refuses to spend yet remains reasonably competitive. The luxury tax "may" reduce the huge spending of NYY and Boston, which means that Toronto and Baltimore's payrolls could be closer to NYY and Boston.

The best catcher in the AL gives his team a huge advantage. Defense and offense, think Y Molina. Unfortunately we have difficulty producing one. But big offense can come from the positions of DH and 1B. And those 2 positions may be affordable.

I think that TB follows the formula of good pitching and defense first and offense last. That suits their budget. Their window of being very good closed in 2014-17. But 2 .500 teams of the 4. A better budget like the Jays and Baltimore makes them competitive half of the time. IMO.

Good enough for me.

One of NYY or Boston should be happy with a WC. Then TB, with their pitching strong team and hopefully Toronto too as a pitching strong team can win the WC game against NYY/Boston if in it. The Twins should have won this years WC game.


christaylor - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:44 PM EST (#351376) #
How is this a one-sided trade? Miami can't afford him and are trading away that bad obligation. Baseball, wisely and unlike the often unwatchable NFL or NHL, has not instituted socialism for billionaires.

"10 out of 30 teams are competitive" -- that is nonsense that completely ignores history (take a look at the distribution of winning % in the past 25 years) and the existence of the WC system. Competitive balance is baked into the game of baseball from the outset. Any team with .500 talent can sneak into the playoffs and from there, any team can win the series. Very *few* teams are not competitive when the season starts. Baseball pre-season predictions regularly look foolish. If only 10/30 teams were competitive this would not be the case...
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:47 PM EST (#351377) #
The Jays are a big-revenue, big-drawing team in a prosperous, fast-growing, world-class city in a rich country. Ownership and the front office can choose do what needs to be done to consistently compete with the best. Otherwise it's going to be more of the same -- a couple of more decades of mediocrity, possibly with a couple of postseason appearances (more WC than division title) along the way.

And touting the organization's coaching / player development / training staff isn't enough; every other team is heading in this direction, too.

I suppose a realistic hope/expectation is that the team is well run under Shapiro, that ownership spends a reasonable amount on the team, and that the front office can use their smarts to eke out a couple of extra postseason appearances in a division dominated by its wealthier rivals. In other words, same as it ever was.
uglyone - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 01:58 PM EST (#351378) #
how is a salary cap "socialism"?

and you show me all the bottom payroll teams' fans that find mlb "watchable".
bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 02:04 PM EST (#351379) #
How does our 2013-17 payroll compare with the big payrolls? The 2013 payroll was more competitive than prior Jays payrolls. The results were good and bad. 2015 and 2016 were good.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 02:05 PM EST (#351380) #
Fans were saying the same things when the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez (a better talent) from Texas in a similar trade - in all that time the Yankees won 1 ring and had to spend a crapload of money on FA CC/Teixeira/Burnett in winter 2008 to do that. This move hurts the Red Sox most as their window is now.

Of the major professional sports in NA, baseball is the most competitive.
Glevin - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 02:39 PM EST (#351381) #
I'm not panicking now as I don't think this changes anything. Yanks were already looking better than the Jays this year and next few. The general issue in baseball is that rich teams have figured out what small market teams were doing (collecting pre-arb talent, avoiding freeagency to build a team) and now the larger market teams are just small market teams with the ability to hold on to players and add free agents when they need (or take on salary). The Red Sox window seems to be about 2/3 years. Sale, Porcello, Bogaerts, Betts, Vazquez, and Bradley are all free agents in 2020/2021. That, and their system has been emptied out for this window. It's not hopeless forever, it will just be a tough couple of years while the Jays rebuild their core.
Magpie - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 03:51 PM EST (#351382) #
I assume this takes the Yankees out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, unless they think Harper can handle centre field every day, something I wouldn't be all that sure of. That's the good news. Harper playing 81 games in the Bronx is sort of terrifying. He's three years younger than Stanton, he hits left-handed, and despite all his own injuries he's done a better job of staying on the field than Stanton. Of course, they'll surely be pursuing Manny Machado the way Javert pursued Jean Valjean.

Judge and Stanton are good outfielders, but they're both corner outfielders, so I expect it'll be 34 year old Brett Gardner in between them next year, the last year of Gardner's deal. They do have another three years of Jacoby Ellsbury, at more than $20 million a year. Enjoy.
christaylor - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 04:03 PM EST (#351383) #
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/06/why-american-sports-are-socialist/487640/

scottt - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 04:23 PM EST (#351384) #
A huge right handed slugger in a park that's designed to advantage left handed batters.
It should play well against that Boston rotation full of lefties and any team with poor pitching.

The Marlins had Stanton and some nice bats around him and they won 77 games last year.
The successful Marlins teams were built around free agents, not prospects.

bpoz - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 06:32 PM EST (#351385) #
Yeah, let them earn it. TB, Cleveland and Houston came from nowhere to open their window.
Texas had a very nice run when their window was open.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 09 2017 @ 08:47 PM EST (#351386) #
Ellsbury will probably be more valuable over the next three years than will Tulowitzki, who is owed $58m over that span.

The Yankees will receive $30m if Stanton doesn’t opt out after 2020, which makes the deal significantly better for them in my view (it’s like getting one contract year for free) — a nice bit of insurance against downside risk.
John Northey - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:04 AM EST (#351387) #
People forget how competitive baseball is. With the smallest number of teams in the playoffs as a percentage of teams (just 10 out of 30 or 33%) you guarantee that more than 10 teams will be competitive and given the playoffs are often a crapshoot the 10th team has a good chance.

Look at the World Series for the past 10 years...
2017: Houston Astros over Los Angeles Dodgers
2016: Chicago Cubs over Cleveland Indians
2015: Kansas City Royals over New York Mets
2014: San Francisco Giants over Kansas City Royals
2013: Boston Red Sox over St. Louis Cardinals
2012: San Francisco Giants over Detroit Tigers
2011: St. Louis Cardinals over Texas Rangers
2010: San Francisco Giants over Texas Rangers
2009: New York Yankees over Philadelphia Phillies
2008: Philadelphia Phillies over Tampa Bay Rays

SF is the only multiple winner (three times, never twice in a row)

Yankees and Dodgers, the 2 biggest spenders, one appearance each, 1 title between them

30+ year (what should happen if totally random is 1 win every 30 years) no WS win slumps broken by Astros (never, formed in 1961), Cubs (1908), Royals (1985 - OK, dead on 30), Phillies (1980), Giants (1954, boy did they make up for lost time).

14 different teams out of a possible 20 made it - even tiny markets Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Of the other 16 teams many made the playoffs with the longest non-playoff appearance streak now in the 2000's - Seattle 2001 is the longest time out of the playoffs, followed by Miami (2003), and San Diego (2006). Everyone else has been in the playoffs in the past 10 years at least once. ChiSox are on the list if they miss this year (2008). Everyone else has made it to the playoffs at least once since 2011. Now that is competitive.
scottt - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 07:04 AM EST (#351388) #
That 30M gets spread over when calculating the payroll for luxury tax purposes.
bpoz - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 09:48 AM EST (#351389) #
Good analysis John. I counted 14 teams that made it into the WS at least once in the last 10 years.

It is nice to play with numbers. 6 NL vs 4 AL WS winners.

If we consider revenues. Just being in a playoff race puts money into owners pockets and other affected businesses.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:02 AM EST (#351390) #
The number of WS berths presents only a slice of the "competitive balance" picture. A more telling stat from the perspective of Jays fans is the number of postseason appearances for AL East teams over the last 20 years:

NYY: 15
Boston: 11
TB: 4
Baltimore: 3
Toronto: 2

What's scary is that the Yankees are now combining smarts and resources; they aren't just throwing money away on whatever pricey free agents happen to be available in any given off-season.

I think Jays fans should expect somewhere around 2-4 postseason appearances or so over the next two decades. If the front office is a good one and ownership is willing to spend somewhat more on the team, they might do a bit better than that. We'll see how it all plays out.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:14 AM EST (#351391) #
Stated differently, for the Jays to start making the postseason more regularly, they need to start seeing themselves as true rivals to the Yankees and Red Sox, and actually do what it takes to be as good as (or better than) those teams, year-in and year-out.
PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:27 AM EST (#351392) #
Here are the Jays top 50 prospects as ranked by Marc Hulet on Twitter. This is certainly a different view than most and certainly not conservative. #10 is missing as Marc acknowledges, so it is really a top 49.

Top 10 Jays prospects
Vlad Guerrero Jr
Bo Bichette
Nate Pearson
TJ Zeuch
Danny Jansen
Anthony Alford
Ryan Borucki
Edward Olivares
Carlos Ramirez

Jays 11-20 prospects
Maximo Castillo
Thomas Pannone
Chavez Young
Lourdes Gurriel
Justin Maese
Connor Greene
Yennsy Diaz
Sean Reid-Foley
Reese McGuire
Riley Adams

Jays 21-30 prospects
Logan Warmoth
Jordan Romano
Eric Pardinho
Richard Urena
Joshua Palacios
Randy Pondler
Tim Mayza
Max Pentecost
Dwight Smith Jr
Zach Jackson

Jays 31-40 prospects
Rowdy Tellez
Jonathan Davis
Kevin Vicuna
Samad Taylor
Graham Spraker
Mc Gregory Contreras
Hagen Danner
Ryan Noda
Jon Harris
Dominic Abbadessa

Jays prospects 41-50
Patrick Murphy
Ryan Gold
Kevin Smith
Freddy Rodriguez
Chris Rowley
Luis De Los Santos
Reggie Pruitt
Yorman Rodriguez
Roemon Fields
Javier Hernandez
bpoz - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:29 AM EST (#351393) #
2-4 postseason appearances. Sounds reasonable. The number 1 is less and 5 is more. Sounds reasonable but baseball is hard for me to project. I may come to a conclusion that many of us will be unhappy.

Playing with numbers, lets assume if you make the playoffs then you managed to create a window of contention. The 2017 Twins may break that assumption.

NYY 15, how many windows of contention? 1 I think, they were always considered a playoff contender.

If we achieve 3 windows of contention and get in 1, 1 and 2 that may be pretty good. Many years of contention.

PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:31 AM EST (#351394) #
Here is another controversial piece, just posted on Sportsnet:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/toronto-blue-jays-gm-ross-atkins-rebuild-decisions/
Glevin - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:45 AM EST (#351395) #
"Stated differently, for the Jays to start making the postseason more regularly, they need to start seeing themselves as true rivals to the Yankees and Red Sox, and actually do what it takes to be as good as (or better than) those teams, year-in and year-out."

And the first step of that process is trying to build a system that gives the Jays young talent every year. People want to skip what actually made these teams good and go right into spending big on free agents without having the proper base and young talent to win. That would make the Jays the Orioles and not the Yankees.
PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:07 AM EST (#351396) #
Just to show the depth of the Jays system, here are another 20 names that did not make Marc's top 50, so let's call them 51-70 in no particular order:

Zach Logue
Tim Lopes
Cullen Large
Brad Jones
Felipe Castenada
Sterling Guzman
D J Neal
John Laprise
Jose Espada
Josh Winckowski
Jared Carkuff
Miguel Hiralso
Leonardo Jimenez
Otto Lopez
Turner Larkins
Ty Tice
Emerson Jimenez
Elixon Cabellero
Rafael Monsion
Alejandro Melean




SK in NJ - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:26 AM EST (#351397) #
"And the first step of that process is trying to build a system that gives the Jays young talent every year. People want to skip what actually made these teams good and go right into spending big on free agents without having the proper base and young talent to win. That would make the Jays the Orioles and not the Yankees."


Exactly. The Jays need to be in a position where they have good young players on the big league roster, and scattered all over the minors. When a team reaches that point, and their big league team is good enough to contend, then that's when expendable prospects can be traded for veterans or free agents can be signed. Trying to do that before the big league team is ready for it is just going to lead to a short window at best, or failing and having to reset/start all over again at worst.

Prospects are going to bust, so the key is to load the system with star level talent and depth. The Jays are getting better in both areas (thanks to Bichette's development, and possibly Pearson's), but they are still a few years away.
PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:31 AM EST (#351398) #
Let's add 2 more to the list of 50 plus, an original omission on my part:

Connnor Panas
Andrew Case
85bluejay - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:32 AM EST (#351399) #
Interesting list from Marc Hulet - I am also high on the like of Olivares, Castillo & Young and he has prospects like Tellez,Pentecost,Danner,Urena,Warmoth & Harris about where I think they belong - not that I writing them off.

Encouraging article on Sportnet - hopefully getting the fanbase ready for what I think is the smart move.
PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:34 AM EST (#351400) #
Yet another article on team direction as ground apparently shifts. Much to ponder.

https://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2017/12/10/16730024/its-time-to-seriously-reconsider-the-path-forward
bpoz - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:47 AM EST (#351401) #
Francisco Rios is not bad either.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:47 AM EST (#351402) #
With today's player salaries going up all the time, it's essential to have some good young players in the lineup playing every day for less dollars to balance out the payroll. The Red Sox and Yankees have integrated several young stars from their farm systems over the past few years. When was the last time the Jays have graduated a really good position player from the minors to play every day ? That's been the problem the last several years, not how high the overall payroll is or has been.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:53 AM EST (#351403) #
FREE ARENCIBIA!!FREE SNIDER!! FREE LAWRIE!! - remember those post? good comical relief
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 11:59 AM EST (#351404) #
You can increase the supply of prospects indirectly by strategically spending on free agents (and IFAs). If you add valuable players like Miller, Chapman, Beltran, and McCann, you can flip them for high-quality prospects that increase your talent base.

If you forego these shortcuts in favour of the virtuous (steep and thorny) way to heaven, as some of you seem to be recommending, you run the risk of being left behind. The competition for talent is fiercer than ever. Anthopoulos, who understood this, did what had to be done to bring a truly competitive AL East team to Toronto. Because of the budgetary constraints he faced during his tenure, he had to settle for a relatively short window of contention, but at least he managed to break through for a couple of years.
uglyone - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:42 PM EST (#351405) #
"And the first step of that process is trying to build a system that gives the Jays young talent every year. People want to skip what actually made these teams good and go right into spending big on free agents without having the proper base and young talent to win. That would make the Jays the Orioles and not the Yankees. "

please break down how the yanks built their roster for us.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:47 PM EST (#351406) #
"When was the last time the Jays have graduated a really good position player from the minors to play every day ? That's been the problem the last several years"

Going back more than several years.
Glevin - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:48 PM EST (#351407) #
"please break down how the yanks built their roster for us."

Mostly the draft and international FA but also some good trades and a couple of free agent signings.
uglyone - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:49 PM EST (#351408) #
when was the last time the red sox graduated a really good pitcher from the minors?
uglyone - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:50 PM EST (#351409) #
"Mostly the draft and international FA but also some good trades and a couple of free agent signings."

so.....shortcuts?
Glevin - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 01:59 PM EST (#351410) #
""Mostly the draft and international FA but also some good trades and a couple of free agent signings."

so.....shortcuts?"

No. You cannot have this kind of team without elite young pre-arbitration players that come through the system. You can make some good moves that help out but if you don't bring lots of players through the system, you won't be able to do it. It's not that you can only use the system to build but you can't build a good team without it. You can't go 2 years with nothing from your system. You can't go a decade without developing a core position player.
uglyone - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 02:01 PM EST (#351411) #
we have three elite controllable players in stroman sanchez and osuna. a couple more good ones in travis and pillar.
Glevin - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 02:27 PM EST (#351412) #
"we have three elite controllable players in stroman sanchez and osuna. a couple more good ones in travis and pillar."

Well, it depends what you consider elite because it's a subjective word, but Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna as a top-3 young players isn't all that good. Judge, Sanchez, Severino combined for 18.3 WAR last year. Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna combined for 6.4. In fact, in the last 2 years, those three have combined for 15.6 WAR. Also...that's it. Who is the 4th best Jay player under 27? Travis? He's 27 and can't stay on the field. After that? Teoscar Hernandez led the Jays offense for players under 27 last year. Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals, and Astros had five players under 27 who had more value than the best the Jays had. Cubs had NINE!!! Even the O's had 4. It's a lack of elite young talent AND a lack of good young talent.

Even if the Jays guys were elite, look at the difficulties the Mets have had building solely around even better young pitching. Pitching is always unpredictable. (and building around a closer is just stupid) The Jays have less young offensive talent than maybe any team in baseball. Pillar is 29 next season and neither he nor Travis would be viewed as a building block by any organization.
uglyone - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 02:53 PM EST (#351413) #
elite young pitching, mvp third baseman. a bunchnof other good pieces. it was a great core that could have easily won world series with a stronger committment to winnjng from management. no shortcuts needed.
PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 03:08 PM EST (#351414) #
Jays reported to be quite interested in Josh Harrison. Taking on a 10 mil contract should not require a large prospect return. Urena and Travis would both become redundant so one could go the other way.
Glevin - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 04:20 PM EST (#351415) #
"elite young pitching, mvp third baseman. a bunchnof other good pieces. it was a great core that could have easily won world series with a stronger committment to winnjng from management. no shortcuts needed."

Easily? The Tigers had an amazing team for a decade and never won. The Braves had one of the top rotations ever and went to the playoffs 14/15 years and only won one WS. The Jays had a brief window 2013-2016 where the Yankees and Red Sox weren't great (or weren't both great anyway). The Jays went to the playoffs twice in that period and could have won. They went all in TWICE in that period. Management and ownership showed their commitment to winning. New management was brought in because ownership saw that the direction the team was going was no sustainable.

Once new management came in in 2016, they understood that this was a team with a small window, no depth, and no prospects near the majors and so to win so they needed to think long-term to build exactly the way every successful organization now builds. If the Jays had gone crazy in 2016 would they have had a better chance at the WS? Well, actually still probably not because the Estrada/Happ signings which were great wouldn't have happened for a team "showing stronger commitment" (Which would have signed Price to a disastrous contract, extended Bautista and Encarnacion to disastrous contracts at the least. "Commitment to winning" seems to mean spending stupidly).

Also, when exactly did the Jays have elite young pitching? 2016 I guess maybe. Hopefully in 2018 again. But it's not like the Jays have a rotation full of young studs for the last five years. They've had a total of 4 good seasons in the past 4 years from Stroman and Sanchez all with XFIPs between 3.34 and 3.75. So on average 1 very good young pitcher a year. That's hardly elite young pitching.
scottt - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 05:33 PM EST (#351416) #
Nah. Travis is still needed. Urena will be in AAA. The pirates already have a bunch of infield guys.
Maybe they package Harrison with McCutchen? The Jays could send Pillar the other ways, about the same in WAR and Pillar has an extra year of control. Just add a couple of prospects to match up with what the Giants are offering. Can't really be that much. McCutchen playing in a corner and hitting leadoff in front of Donaldson would be such a great fit.

PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 05:48 PM EST (#351417) #
I don't think Jays have any interest in Cutch. I like Travis but he is not needed if Diaz and Harrison both here.

More likely deal would be Urena and a lower level prospect for Harrison.
scottt - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 06:02 PM EST (#351418) #
Harrison is interesting because he can play  a decent left field. He cannot play shortstop and Diaz cannot play it very well.
scottt - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 06:05 PM EST (#351419) #
Can't wait for Cobb to sign with the Cubs. Every team seems to be on him.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 06:45 PM EST (#351420) #
If St. Louis or some other team makes the Jays an offer they can't refuse for JD (say, a top-25 prospect plus a top-100 prospect and a high-ceiling sub-100 prospect), maybe they'll bite.

Otherwise, I suspect the front office's plan is to add complementary pieces (as it has done the last two years), with a view to competing hard for a WC spot in 2018. No high-value prospects will be traded. Then the rebuilding/overhaul of the roster can continue in earnest next off-season, while the presence of Guerrero Jr. and maybe Bichette in Toronto in 2019 will help create some buzz to ease the sting of Donaldson's departure.
scottt - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 06:46 PM EST (#351421) #
The difficulty in team building is often to retain your home grown talent. It's not really an issue for the Yankees with their unlimited payroll. The Jays haven't had home grown talent worth retaining in a long time. So, the lack of money hasn't been the problem either.

The Clevelanders and the Astros, both have players who signed team friendly extensions. EE and Bautista were late bloomers and were more interested in maximizing their last big contracts. Wells and Rios got paid too much too early and there hasn't been anybody worth crying over since. Price is the absolute opposite, he was on the roster for a couple of months.

Stroman is absolutely worth extending. Sanchez and Osuna are gambles. Travis is too injury prone. Pillar's value isn't great enough.

If you use the right WAR for pitchers, Stroman was worth 6 WAR, won a gold glove and finished 8th in Cy Young voting despite being on a losing team.

scottt - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 06:49 PM EST (#351422) #
You can get better return for Donaldson if you sign him up and trade him in 2 or 3 years.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 07:13 PM EST (#351423) #
I would rather see the Jays direct the potential JD funds toward making Guerrero Jr. a lifetime Blue Jay, if he is as good as his minor-league track record suggests.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 07:13 PM EST (#351424) #
The FO is likely going to try to be 'competitive while rebuilding' during the transition period between the end of this group and the beginning of the next group (Vlad, Bo, etc). That seems to be the safe compromise between the FO's plan of wanting to rebuild the farm and ownership's MO of keeping the team semi-competitive for financial reasons. As long as there is no strange acceleration of this process (ex. the Marlins/Dickey trades that came out of no where), then I could see Shapiro pulling it off. How long it takes remains to be seen, but the Jays have to draft/develop well and find every possible way to develop talent.

I don't mind if they add free agents along the way if the FA's are good value signings. Not all players are going to be homegrown, and adding free agents can add assets to the organization. The key is to get them at a price that makes sense and won't hinder future moves. Though I think adding the big free agents makes more sense when the team has a young core at the big league level that needs to be supplemented with veterans to take the next step.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 07:16 PM EST (#351425) #
Edgar Martinez produced 65.5 WAR in 18 seasons with the M's. I would be happy to see VGJ spend the next decade and a half in Toronto, instead six-and-out (the Washington / Harper template).
dan gordon - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 07:31 PM EST (#351426) #
Angels saying Ohtani won't play much OF this year. With Pujols clogging the DH spot, looks like Ohtani is mainly going to pitch. Puzzling as to why he would accept their offer, because he wants to do both. I was hoping to see him get a regular rotation spot and semi-regular AB's.

Great to see the top 50 list from Hulett. Nice to get a different take on several of the Jays' prospects. I agree with several of the ones where he differs from the BB list, disagree with some. I particularly agree with Carlos Ramirez, who wasn't on the BB list, although I don't have him quite as high as #9, where Hulett has him. A few interesting lower minors names I wasn't familiar with. I think Guerrieri should be in there. Vicuna, too.

Harrison would be a nice addition. The team options are a nice part of his contract. Good to see his power reappear last season after a 2-year absence.
John Northey - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 07:58 PM EST (#351427) #
I see 20 years as a massive window - 1998 to 2017 - that covers the last year Roger Clemens pitched here, Gord Ash was GM. Then JPR for a chunk of time and then AA, now Atkins. 4 GM's. The rest of Jays history is 3 GM's - Bavasi 1977 (we all forget him), Gillick (78-94), Ash (95-01).

The 20 year window had no real restrictions on payroll at all - just a Yankee tax really. 2003-2016. Yankees have paid nearly triple what anyone else has paid with the Dodgers the only other team over $100 mil in penalties. Red Sox at $25 mil all time, all others are $5.3 mil or less total. However, today we see many teams close to it thus the parity we are seeing. much more and MLB would become very dull as you might as well just roll dice to pick winners and losers.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 08:25 PM EST (#351428) #
As mentioned above, the last 20 years in the AL East saw:

NYY and Boston: 26 postseason appearances combined
TB, Baltimore, Toronto: 9 postseason appearances combined

And now front offices are much smarter than they used to be, so less opportunity for a Moneyball-type ambush (barring a succeeding-by-first-tanking rebuild like Houston's).

It will be interesting to see whether the next 20 years sees a significant departure from this ratio (26:9). It would not surprise me to see a similar ratio going forward, but obviously there are a lot of variables involved.

I do think we should be focusing on the AL East, as that is where the Jays play (parity in the rest of baseball with a continued lack of parity within the AL East isn't going to help Toronto much).
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