Generic New December Off-Season Thread Extravaganza

Saturday, December 02 2017 @ 08:26 AM EST

Contributed by: Eephus

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.