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The baseball winter meetings seem to be a week late this year. The off-season has been quiet up until Friday. With Shohei Ohtani signing, Giancarlo Stanton traded and free agents starting to sign, the pace of moves is picking up. The rule 5 draft will end the meetings.

I had the opportunity to attend a pitch talks event last week and afterwards I talked briefly with Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. I followed up on some of the points he was making during the pitch talks event with my competitive theory. Ben published a variation today discussing the path to competitiveness for the Jays. Essentially the article was discussing whether the Jays should trade Josh Donaldson, a topic that has been widely debated here.

I have been thinking of a more global approach to how a team contends. We all have heard the Moneyball story. Essentially the story was how a front office with a smarter approach could compete with a lower payroll. Since the Moneyball years pretty much every front office has become smarter. General Managers used to be ex-players or ex-scouts who valued players based on scouts recommendations and their own eyes. With the influx of younger, ivy-league educated, GM's, player valuation is now more scientific. It is also more standardized. The opportunity to repeat Moneyball is gone, now we are in the world of marginal gains. These marginal gains could pick you up a win or two but cannot get you over the playoff bar.

One of the other big changes over the last twenty years is the value of prospects. Back then Baseball America was a newspaper that arrived every two weeks. The information in it was a month or two old. You did well to know about prospects in AAA or AA, the knowledge of a player in the lower leagues was sketchy at best. Now front offices can get video of every player, reports from a number of independent scouting groups, as well as their own scouts, and trackman type information. Now we hear that prospects can be overvalued. In the old days a GM would offload some good prospects at a discount because he wanted to contend now. That is rare these days, trades for good major league players often get a return of second tier prospects, not the trading teams best ones.

With front offices being competitive amongst themselves, without a whole lot of variation in player valuation models, how does a team contend? Money, or payroll, now becomes more important. Teams with money can afford to buy the player that all the models say is the best available. Teams with money can carry a better bench, can eliminate the weak spots on their roster and can buy the international free agents not subject to the draft or spending limits.

I put it to Ben Nicholson-Smith that I felt the big money teams are about to enter a renewed period of dominance. He agreed. The Astros did win this year but the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox made the playoffs.

So how does a team compete? I want to avoid the "Jays payroll should be one of the top ones in baseball" debate as there is no evidence it is likely to happen soon. The first way to compete is by tanking or losing for several years. This is how the Astros won this year but can they sustain it for more than a few years? Will their best players be poached by bigger teams and will winning dilute their talent pool? The second way to compete is to get lucky. There is still a lot of variability in year to year performance in baseball and signing a player who blossoms, such as Jose Bautista back in the day, or Justin Smoak this year, really helps. Teams are spending a lot of research time and dollars trying to improve their "luck". Spin rates, catcher framing, statcast speed and fielding plays are part of this. However any edge a team finds is usually public knowledge within a year or two. The third was is health, as we saw with the 2016 and 2017 Blue Jays. The Jays high performance department was supposed to help the Jays with this but obviously it is not working as envisaged yet. A combination of luck and health goes a long way to success.

The most inexact way to compete is through the draft. The draft remains the biggest area of luck or skill in baseball. Were the Jays lucky to draft Sanchez, Syndergaard and several other good players in that big draft. Or did they take advantage of a system that allowed them extra picks? Or were they skilled or smart? If they were skilled why can they not repeat that level of draft every year?

Alex Anthopoulos hired a lot of scouts to try and improve the Jays drafts. The problem is that the biggest potential gains are in drafting at the high school level where players are more undeveloped and unknown. And a high school player takes around five to six year to make it to the big leagues. So it is a route to success but only if you, the GM, still have a job six years later. If you do draft well, but then trade your prospects to compete, you improve your immediate chances to lower your intermediate level chances. So you enter the competing roller-coaster.

This is the issue that Ben Nicholson-Smith discusses in his story. If you are not one of the top payroll teams you have to "go for it" if you are close. Those opportunities don't come around all the time, so when it is there you try to take advantage. This is the line being followed by the Jays at the moment. They think they can contend in 2018 so they are trying to improve the team. But, at the same time, it will be hard to sustain that beyond 2018 unless the draft pays off, they get lucky or injury free. Ben discusses the White Sox who tried to compete, didn't, and are now losing to build their farm system and try again in a few years. Mid or small market teams have to time their competing windows, the top payroll teams don't.

I don't have a profound lesson in all this other than being the GM of a mjaor league team is hard, harder than it used to be. And payroll matters more when measurement systems are similar.

The Jays take this knowledge into the winter meetings. Will their spending match the Yankees or Cubs? If they wanted to sign Brandon Morrow or Alex Cobb can they? Will they always be outbid? And so are they looking to get lucky, or stay healthy? We should know more after this week.

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Mike Green - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 09:21 PM EST (#351429) #
Long--term planning depends on who the owner is, and how they value broadcast rights (if it is a broadcaster such as Rogers or Bell) or how much they are able to sell them for (if not).  There is no intrinsic reason why the Blue Jays cannot have a payroll competitive with the Red Sox or Cubs.  It's a large market club and eventually this becomes important- but it might not be for another 20 years. 

In the meanwhile, the club has (as the Torres song suggests) three futures.  One in which the default position is to attempt to compete seriously almost every year.  A second is to play wait and see most years- adding or subtracting at the deadline depending on the position then.  A third is the routine crash/rebuild/compete cycle.  The club's preferred option seems to be the second- it isn't really mine. I think that the market is big enough to justify primarily the first approach with occasional lapses into the third. This off-season, I have no problem if the club decides to go for the third approach.  I see the key trading chips as Donaldson and Smoak, with different target markets for each player.  I also have no problem if the club (this year) chooses the second if good offers are not available for Donaldson and Smoak.  I like the Blue Jay farm system better than at any time in recent memory, and I am in no hurry for the players to develop.  When they do, I would like to see the first approach to be the norm for a number of years after that. 

whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 09:37 PM EST (#351430) #
I honestly don't know what Rogers is doing here. Are they going to try and keep the TV rights as part of the same? If not that will be a gaping hole in their programming. Are they going to sell the done alongside the jays? Do the naming rights come with it.

In the long term, I can see a Montreal franchise eating into some of the team's value a little.

But, to borrow a phrase from Sports Night. Anyone who can't make money off of the jays shouldn't be in the business of making money.

My greatest worry is that the new owners bring back the blackouts on
Mike Green - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 09:37 PM EST (#351431) #
By the way, I don't subscribe at all to Ben's view of the value of a wild-card berth.  A good but lesser team that earns a wild card berth has, in my view, a significant chance of winning albeit less than 1/2 that of a better division winner. 
A well-managed team with a good but not top payroll ought to make the playoffs a little less than half the time and in the case of a division with the Yankees, win the division about once every 6 or 7 years.  Which probably means winning a World Series about once every 20 years.  There are a lot of teams competing....

whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 09:39 PM EST (#351432) #
Ugh, I hate posting on here from my phone.

"Part of the SALE"

"Sell the DOME alongside..."
dan gordon - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 09:44 PM EST (#351433) #
When I have seen Shapiro interviewed about this, or seen him quoted in print, he has talked about building the farm system to the point where you have waves of good prospects coming up through the system, and into the big league club on a continual basis. This certainly fits with the 1st of your 3 models, Mike. I believe they feel they are still in the process of rebuilding the farm system, but in the interim, they are probably adopting more of the "try to contend, and then wait and see how things go that year" approach, until the farm system becomes the talent pipeline they want it to be. Whether they can have that kind of success with the farm system remains to be seen, but I think they have done a good job of it so far.
bpoz - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:16 PM EST (#351434) #
I understand the theory of "go for it". Houston was comfortable in the standings when they made the late trades for Liriano and Verlander and any other trades that I am unfamiliar with. The addition of Verlander was very helpful.

If Donaldson stays, would 2 years for CC Sabathia at $16 mil per year be smart or not. Is that too expensive?

Baseball media are asking if the NYY may want to bring CC back. If he is really cheap then NYY should not have to be too cost cutting to achieve their luxury tax aspirations.

PeterG - Sunday, December 10 2017 @ 10:28 PM EST (#351435) #
As I understand it, NYY cannot sign CC and stay under the tax unless they can unload Ellsbury.

And no, I would not give CC 16 mil per for 2 years,
mendocino - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 01:53 AM EST (#351436) #
Blue Jays 2017 International Review by clutchings

updated list

Toronto Blue Jays Transactions
02/07/17 signed RHP Eric Pardinho R/R 5-10 155 01/05/2001 BRZ $ 1.4m
02/07/17 signed RHP Alejandro Melean R/R 6-0 175 10/11/2000 VZ $ 775k
02/07/17 signed RHP Ronald Govea R/R 6-3 175 10/10/2000 VZ $ 200k
02/07/17 signed RHP Williams Moreno R/R 6-4 198 03/17/1998 VZ $ 20k
02/07/17 signed RHP Luis Pena R/R 6-4 246 03/31/1998 DR $ 10k X released
02/07/17 signed RHP Alexis Carmona R/R 6-4 160 03/24/2001 VZ $ 10k
02/07/17 signed RHP Miguel Olivo R/R 6-4 188 11/19/1999 VZ $ 10k
04/07/17 signed RHP William Gonzalez R/R 5-9 165 01/08/1999 MX $
05/07/17 signed RHP Junior Guzman R/R 6-3 187 12/04/1997 DR $
05/07/17 signed RHP Jose Brito R/R 6-1 168 09/19/1999 DR $
05/07/17 signed RHP Eliezer Bello R/R 6-5 230 02/12/1999 DR $
08/07/17 signed RHP Santos Moreno R/R 5-9 165 02/17/2000 MX $
10/07/17 signed RHP Juan Acosta R/R 6-2 185 04/05/2000 MX $

02/07/17 signed LHP Erick Teran L/L 6-4 180 10/02/1998 VZ $ 10k
05/07/17 signed LHP Nelfi Santos L/L 6-1 165 03/21/1999 DR $
05/07/17 signed LHP Jhoan Dominguez L/L 6-4 225 01/29/2000 DR $
05/07/17 signed LHP Christian Reyes L/L 6-5 250 02/02/2000 DR $

02/07/17 signed C Geyer Jimenez R/R 5-11 194 01/17/2001 VZ $ 100k
02/07/17 signed C Jose Ferrer R/R 5-11 175 03/01/1999 VZ $ 10k
07/07/17 signed C Gustavo Ruiz R/R 6-0 175 03/22/2000 MX $

02/07/17 signed SS Leonardo Jiminez R/R 5-11 160 05/17/2001 PAN $ 825k
02/07/17 signed 3B Miguel Hiraldo R/R 5-11 170 09/05/2000 DR $ 750k
05/07/17 signed SS Rainer Nunez R/R 6-3 180 12/04/2000 DR $ 350k

02/07/17 signed OF Jhon Solarte S/R 6-0 165 12/09/2000 VZ $ 10k

Baseball America tracker
IF Jose Rivas VZ $ 280k
IF Rainer Diaz DR $ (?? Rainer Nunez ??)
OF Alberto Rodriguez L/L 6-0 170 10/06/2000 DR $ 500k

RHP Eliazer Vasquez

OF Erickvi Celedonio DR
Glevin - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 04:56 AM EST (#351437) #
Trammell and Morris in the Hall. Trammell is a no-doubter but Morris is an edge case. He was a very good pitcher and has a legitimate case. He always seemed to me like someone who traditional fans overrated and sabermetric fans underrated. Innings matter a lot and guys like Morris (or Moyer or Tommy John) had a lot of value by being good over many innings. I much prefer guys like this in the hall over any closer (except Mariano). Now, they have to find a way to get Whitaker who is truly deserving in there.
85bluejay - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 06:08 AM EST (#351438) #
A damn shame that Whitaker didn't get elected to hall at same time as Trammell - just seemed natural.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 06:27 AM EST (#351439) #
More of a shame was that he wasn't even on the ballot.

Morris is a HOF for me for that very reason. Innings matter and he always found a way to give his teams a tonne of quality ones.

These days he'd be reduced to the requisite 2.3 trips through the order. I wonder what that would have done to his stats?
Mike Green - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 08:54 AM EST (#351440) #
WAR has a number of problems, but one of the things it does well is provide comparisons of lifetime value at the same position during the same rough era.  Here is a list of the starting pitchers who had 5 plus career WAR more than Morris who pitched during the period 1960-2000 (and leaving aside Mussina and Schilling who are still on the ballot): Reuschel, Brown, Tiant, Cone, Pettitte, Saberahagen, Tommy John, Finley, Tanana, Stieb, Hershiser, Appier, Koosman, David Wells, Gooden, Santana, Langston, Moyer, Oswalt, Key, Martinez, Lolich. 

I happen to believe that WAR is right and every single one of these men was better than Morris.  Even if you don't, you ought to be able to find five of them who were a lot better.  You've got players with peaks a mile higher and other players with primes and careers a kilometre higher.  Jack Morris led the league in innings pitched precisely once.  Orel Hershiser, for instance, did it 3 times, and pitched a lot better than Morris when he was out on the mound, and was pretty spectacular in the post-season.  I am not saying Hershiser should be in, but rather that he has a much better case than Morris.  Chuck Finley was a workhorse- putting up 200 innings every year, and leading the league in innings pitched once.  He pitched a lot better than Morris when he was throwing his innings, but had the misfortune to pitch for the Angels of the 90s rather than the Tigers of the 80s, so didn't get the W-L record he deserved.  I am not saying Chuck Finley should be in, but he too has a much better case. 

85bluejay - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 09:02 AM EST (#351441) #
My expectations for the Jays at the winter meetings are very low - some marginal talent add & maybe a rule V pick - I accepted the incremental approach the last 2 offseasons - winning team, wanting to rebuild farm etc. - but after the disastrous 2017 the FO need to pick a path - spend to keep window open (J.D Martinez,Darvish,Cain,McGee etc.) or move assets like Donaldson etc. to prepare better for the next window - this doing odds and ends is a recipe for mediocrity.
Mike Green - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 09:18 AM EST (#351442) #
John Lott suggests that the club should listen to offers on everybody not named Guerrero, Bichette and Alford.  I agree broadly with that, although I do think that the club should attempt to have one player as a bridge.
rpriske - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 09:34 AM EST (#351443) #
Trammell was overdue.

Morris has no business being in the Hall, but it is no shock he got in.

The real issue for me is that Marvin Miller still isn't in. (I know he asked that he not be inducted. That just emphasizes how ridiculous it is that he wasn't in already.)

uglyone - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 09:49 AM EST (#351444) #
josh harrison - 30yrs old, $10+ mil a year, projected to be a ~1.5war type borderline starter.

sounds like our kind of target.
85bluejay - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 09:50 AM EST (#351445) #
I have no problems with the John Lott suggestion & Tulo's immovable contract has 3 more years so he can be a bridge to the next wave - I'd hold onto Sanchez to build up value, can move him at deadline/next winter if the price is right.
uglyone - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 09:52 AM EST (#351446) #
"When I have seen Shapiro interviewed about this, or seen him quoted in print, he has talked about building the farm system to the point where you have waves of good prospects coming up through the system, and into the big league club on a continual basis. "

for the record, every single GM in the league has this exact same plan.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 10:15 AM EST (#351447) #
85 BlueJay has laid out two paths
A) full rebuild Ala Cubs/Astros or Padres/Reds
B) keep going for it until the next wave...Cain, Darvish, McGee, JDM

Here's two things posters including myself havent really considered.

In scenario A, way more teams are trying to do the same thing so you won't be able to do it as easily as Cubs or Astros. In scenario B, there's too many teams that will want to take on those contracts instead of the Jays.

So that leaves the Jays in a spot where trading or drafting would make sense, but they don't have enough pieces to do that without setting their farm system back.

I think most can agree with Uglyone that doing an option C with crappy holdover is 3rd best option, but its still better than nothing. Thr most logical play to stay competitive and processed keep the future bright while being mindful that you will be outbid for free agents would have been to sign guys like Morrow/Minor/Chatwood and trade for Gordon...pretty much a continuation of the first 2 years (Happ, trading for Liriano etc). Problem is right now it looks like our GM is getting cold feet. One big signing won't do the trick the way Russell Martin did 3 years ago.
85bluejay - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 10:17 AM EST (#351448) #
That's true, every single GM in the league does say that - that's why I pay little heed to what the FO says, it's what they do that matters, after all, Atkins started last offseason saying the team was going to get younger & more athletic and ending up doing the opposite.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 10:17 AM EST (#351449) #
How do you turn off autocorrect for this site? It's driving me nuts.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 10:59 AM EST (#351450) #
I think there is a compromise between the FO wanting to play it safe by building up the system, and ownership's need to keep the revenue up. However, if trading Donaldson is out of the question, then the only real way to go is what they have done the past two off-seasons.

I am actually fine with that approach given the alternatives. That strategy worked in 2016, but didn't in 2017. The one difference I would make, and hopefully the Diaz trade is the beginning of this, is trying to trade for more young(er) players with upside. Simply focusing on older free agents to provide value at positions that need bodies isn't the only way to go. It is certainly an option, and one I think the Jays will have to go to since they are not a desirable FA location, but one reason why the Yankees were able to bypass a true rebuilding phase was because they were able to find value in trades. If the Jays can identify youngish players on other teams who are undervalued/blocked, and can acquire them for a reasonable price, then that's going to help when trying to bridge to the next core. Diaz is one example of this. Hernandez might be another. Maybe they pan out, maybe they don't, but there has to be some upside mixed in with the value-driven approach to free agency.
PeterG - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 12:25 PM EST (#351451) #
Here is another thought regarding Donaldson. He and Atkins talked in September and have some idea of what each other is thinking. As far as we know, they have not talked since and don't need to before exchange of arb numbers if then. I am wondering if they might have agreed in September to let this off season FA market play out in order to get a better idea of market value.

If so, that might work out well for the Jays because I don't think FA's like Martinez, Hosmer, Arrieta, Darvish are going to get what they seek or think. If Donaldson sees that 4 or 5 years is tops, there might be negotiating room with Jays.
Gerry - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 12:51 PM EST (#351452) #
dalimon, we do not have auto-correct, its your phone.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 12:58 PM EST (#351453) #
First, let me say that I fully admit that I am probably bringing emotion into the Morris HOF discussion. Greg Maddux he is not and there are plenty of more deserving people out there including a former teammate that kept his career ERA under 4.

At the same time I would note that many on that list should be in the HOF while context is important for others. Here's my summary of the list you shared:

Morris- Borderline but I'd put him in.
Reuschel- Could go in, the second half of his career was pretty underwhelming and hurts him
Brown- PEDs
Tiant- Should be in
Cone- Should be in
Pettite- PEDs
Saberhagen- Shouldn't have alternated good seasons with crappy ones.
Tommy John- Compiler, but should be in for other reasons
Finley- Should have played on a winner, otherwise the bar is Walter Johnson and Steve Carlton
Tanana- Borderline for me
Stieb- Should be in, but short career and crappy teams hurts his case
Hershiser- is the best camparison and a bubble guy for me actually. Many of the same virtues as Morris. But I would note the two year gap in the middle of his resume. Still, I wouldn't begrudge him a spot in the HOF.
Appier- Different era. Also see Chuck Finley
Koosman- See Chuck Finley
Wells- Case is hurt by relieving early in his career
Gooden- 25% of his career WAR is from one season
Santana- Assuming Johan? Different ERA, he's a HOF for me but short career will hurt him
Langston- Played on bad teams. If he and Chuck Finley ever combined they would have been... oh, wait...
Moyer- compiler
Oswalt- Too short and without Stieb's utter dominance
Key- You could sell me on him
Martinez- Assuming Dennis? I could be convinced, but he does have gaps (83-87) where he wasn't really a workhorse
Lolich- Borderline for me
bpoz - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 03:16 PM EST (#351454) #
On the question of building a contender we have discussed 4 or 5 major factors. Just to mention 2, sources of talent acquisition and the size of budget.

The budget jumped in 2013. Many of my facts will be wrong so please correct them. Assume the budget went from $80 mil to $ 130 mil. That is a $50 mil increase. Please correct to actual figures.

The way it happened was expensive players were traded for cheap players, from Miami and the NY Mets.

It did not happen the other way around Here is $ 50 mil more go build your team. But now it could happen that way. All the Marlins/Mets players are gone but we still have 3 expensive players left that will leave in 1-3 years most likely. Donaldson, Martin and Tulo.

My point is that the payroll slate is almost clear. 2019 will have 2 $20 mil contracts on it and they are old contracts. So the shopping spree can start. Only 1 or 2 of Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna will make $10 mil in 2019 and 2020. Correct my mistakes please.

Shapiro know how to spend wisely. His Cleveland days gave him the experience.

This "thing" is brand new for the Jays. Maybe Gillick did it.

dalimon5 - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 08:17 PM EST (#351456) #
scottt - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 08:26 PM EST (#351457) #
You can't really sign free agents with a view on winning 2 or 3 years down the road.
It's hard enough to predict performance for 1 year.
You also can't cut payroll to increase odds of winning down the road. It doesn't work like that.
That's more likely to reduce sales, attendance and consequently future payroll while casting a negative light on the club.
The Astros only won the world Series because they were able to trade for Verlander.
If the Jays had been in the same situation, I'm willing to bet that Verlander would not have waived his no trade clause.

I remember when the Yankees were trying to build their club by holding on to Phil Hughes and Chamberlain.
That didn't work out too well. The one thing that would scare me would be the Yankees trading 2 or 3 of their top prospects for an establish ace now.

Richard S.S. - Monday, December 11 2017 @ 08:49 PM EST (#351458) #
Whether team discussions or A.A.’s free hand, there are difficulties in getting everything done. The Jays are several weeks and a significant piece away from last year. The Ohtani and Stanton issues had the entire Postseason at a standstill until completed. Now the Jays have to be on their toes to get everything done and not miss anything because deals will be moving fast. Will it all be Free Agency, or will they be able to make Trades?
John Northey - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 12:40 AM EST (#351459) #
So what has happened so far this winter?

Granted free agency...
Mike Bolsinger, Mike Ohlman, Lucas Harrell, Nick Tepesch, Jeff Beliveau, T.J. House, Brett Oberholtzer, Brett Anderson, Darwin Barney, Miguel Montero, Michael Saunders, Cesar Valdez, Jose Bautista, Leonel Campos, Darrell Ceciliani, Taylor Cole, Rafael Lopez, Gregorio Petit, Luis Santos, Bo Schultz, Chris Smith, Jose Tabata, Ryan Goins, and Tom Koehler.

Lost on waivers...
Rob Refsnyder

Signed as free agent...
Deck McGuire

Traded PTBNL or cash for Gift Ngoepe
J.B. Woodman for Aledmys Diaz

So lost 25 players plus 1 prospect for 1 minor league pitcher and 2 infielders. Some of those 25 lost might come back as free agents. Only Bautista ever was a good player in the entire group of 25 but even he was negative in WAR last year so not much of a loss.

Basically all that has happened this offseason is some housekeeping. Once the rule 5 draft is over I suspect many minor league free agents will start signing. Hopefully the Jays have a few lined up.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 02:01 AM EST (#351460) #
That's a good article from JaysFromTheCouch. Pretty much how I see things.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 04:44 AM EST (#351461) #
John, easy to overlook but Luis Santos signed a minor league contract on Dec. 4.
China fan - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 06:45 AM EST (#351462) #
In addition to the Santos deal, Chris Rowley seems to have been signed to a minor-league deal as well. So the Jays didn't suffer at all from the 40-man roster cuts that they made to protect their prospects from the Rule 5 draft.  (I think someone here had accurately predicted this scenario: the Jays would cut them from the 40-man roster, but re-acquire them on minor-league deals.)

The Jays are bragging that they will have deeper Triple A pitching depth in 2018. To my eyes, however, it looks like a case of quantity over quality. Of the likely Triple A pitchers, I'm only seeing one or two with real major-league upside. Here is how Atkins is spinning it (from a Sportsnet article):

Atkins pointed to potential triple-A starters such as Ryan Borucki, Thomas Pannone, Taylor Guerreri, Luis Santos, Deck McGuire and Chris Rowley as evidence that the club’s organizational depth has improved in the last 12 months. “We’re going to have some good stories out of those pieces,” he said.

(My comment: Borucki and Pannone have major-league potential if everything breaks their way. Guerreri is a gamble.  Santos is better as a reliever than a starter.  McGuire and Rowley are marginal at best.)

To be fair, the off-season is just beginning, and the Jays could still acquire other AAAA-type pitchers for a depth role in Buffalo.  But those acquisitions would probably be marginal veterans, rather than younger players with upside.  They're not going to acquire a veteran who would bump Borucki or Pannone to a lower slot in the depth chart.
China fan - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 07:08 AM EST (#351463) #
At this stage of the off-season, I'm curious to see what Shapiro and Atkins will learn from their failures of the last off-season.  These are smart guys, and they have some payroll to play with, so I remain optimistic.  But it's worthwhile to look back at the last off-season and review what we initially thought were excellent strategies.

There was the strategy of "patiently wait out the market and wait for prices to fall." A lot of us believed this was a wise and prudent strategy, and we praised the Front Office for patiently waiting until late in the off-season to make some bargain acquisitions:  Bautista for $18-million, Joe Smith for $3-million, and J.P. Howell for $3-million.  But in retrospect, two of those three were busts.  Maybe there was a reason they were still available so late in the off-season?   Congrats to the Jays for the shrewd Joe Smith acquisition, but overall the "wait patiently" strategy didn't work very well.

And there was the strategy of "move quickly to zero in on your top choice and sign them swiftly."  That strategy yielded Kendrys Morales, signed on Nov. 18 last year, very early in the off-season.  Again, some of us were impressed by the strategy at the time, but it didn't prove superior to the "wait patiently" strategy. 

None of this is to suggest that I have a better strategy in mind.  Just that we should judge the Front Office by their actual results, rather than strategies that look good on paper.

China fan - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 07:15 AM EST (#351464) #
And I do acknowledge that Shapiro and Atkins had a much better off-season, a year earlier, when they acquired Happ, Estrada etc.

I just think they could learn some lessons from how they handled the off-season last year.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 08:11 AM EST (#351465) #
neverseen management that is this obsessed with the AAA rotation before. every year it's all they want to talk about.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 08:19 AM EST (#351466) #
Many good thoughts.

The FO should not mess with a good thing. The 2015 team was a good thing and they did not mess with it the past 2 off seasons. But all good things end and it seems to be ending for the Jays.

Injuries to players already on the team like Sanchez, Tulo ... hurt in 2017. JP Howell was the only added player that got injured.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 08:29 AM EST (#351467) #
Pannone is the only arm I believe could give quality innings next year and lots would have to break right for that. We need another starter regardless of what is said publicly.

That said, I don't feel like the jays have missed out on any FA or trades that made sense as yet. Still plenty of moves that could improve the jays.

The extra wildcard really changes my opinion on the teardown approach. There's enough turbulence amongst contenders (even Boston and nyy) that I don't think it's worth it now. Stanton could easily become and albatross, Boston is good but not great... Even if both live up to expectations we could still qualify.

I'm also of the opinion that vladju and Bo will arrive quickly.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 10:01 AM EST (#351468) #
The Jays are getting praised for having one of the better rotations in the league. 1-4 Stroman, Sanchez, Happ and Estrada. This is quite solid.

However can Stroman give a 3rd 200 IP season? Estrada a 4th 176-186 IP season? So depth is important. The old adage that you will need about 8 SPs.

So the AAA and AA rotations will come into play. Biagini could make some ML starts, if healthy.

I am guessing that ST will start the competition for the #5-8 SPs.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 12:06 PM EST (#351469) #
Rosenthal says Orioles now actively shopping Machado...full rebuild possible

SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 12:10 PM EST (#351470) #
Headley has been traded to the Padres, so speculation is SD will move Solarte, who would make sense for the Jays.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 12:44 PM EST (#351471) #
I don't see Solarte as a match for the Jays, unless Donaldson is traded.  The weakness of the Tulo/Travis/Diaz combination is defence at shortstop.  Solarte appears to duplicate Diaz to me.  
John Northey - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 12:54 PM EST (#351472) #
Makes sense for the O's to say 'screw it' at this point. Realistically they have 3 richer teams who are all as good or better than them in the division right now plus a poorer team who has pulled off a few 'wow' seasons and is further along in rebuilding. By trading Machado they could prevent the Jays from doing a full rebuild with Donaldson being traded and the Rays with Longoria being traded.

I'd say if the O's do make a big trade the Jays might be smart to try to get Donaldson to sign up now (5 years at $25-$30 mil per would be my limit).
PeterG - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 02:14 PM EST (#351473) #
It won't be easy to move Machado. He surely wants to become FA. I am of the strong belief he will sign with Phillies next year.
China fan - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 02:35 PM EST (#351474) #
"....The weakness of the Tulo/Travis/Diaz combination is defence at shortstop...."

I think the Jays realize that and are trying to address it.  But the other weakness is offence at 2B, since the Jays can't rely on Travis to be healthy.  Travis has averaged only 71 games per season in his major-league career.  It would be foolish to plug in Travis at 2B without a strong Plan B.  And while we are all hoping that Diaz can be an excellent hitter again, it would be rash to rely on that.  

All of this is to explain why Atkins has uttered the words "middle infield" in every interview over the past week.

My fear is that he'll settle for a slick-fielding shortstop (John McDonald redux) and leave it at that.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 02:40 PM EST (#351475) #
Eh that's exactly what I'm hoping he does.

Pick up a couple guys to battle it out with Ngoepe in Buffalo. Guys like Goins, even. Get a few guys like that in AAA and see if one can contribute if needed. If not, pick up more similar guys later on.
China fan - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 03:55 PM EST (#351476) #
Wow. Two years he was clamouring for the Jays to sign David Price. Now he only dares to dream that the Jays sign Ryan Goins.

Such diminished expectations.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 04:07 PM EST (#351477) #
the opposite.

spend our FA money on good starters, not bench players.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 05:00 PM EST (#351478) #
Nice to see Joey Votto win the Lou Marsh award.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 05:11 PM EST (#351479) #
So the Yankees have now jettisoned Starlin Castro and Chase Headley to acquire/accommodate the Stanton contract. Last year, Castro and Headley combined for 5.2 oWAR, a level Stanton has reached only twice in his 8 year career. Also, Castro and Headley combined for 3.8 WAR last year, which beats Stanton's WAR in 3 of his last 5 years.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 05:36 PM EST (#351480) #
Ugly is consistent here. It would make more sense and be in line with his leanings if they save money on back ups and invest in a better starter elsewhere on the diamond. Hence why he's so against Morales who is expensive and not a starter.

Dan I like your summary of the Yankees trade, my only observation is that they aren't trading the Headley/Castro War/contracts to even things out. Cashman is too smart for that. I'm going to guess that he's clearing those WAR/contract dollars to make a run at Arrieta/Darvish/Davis or to save money for Machado.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 05:48 PM EST (#351481) #
dalimon5 - yah, I'm just looking at where they stand right now. A lot of people are talking like the Yankees are now uncatchable, I don't agree with that at all. They are also minus Sabathia, who was one of their best starters last year.

On another note, the Jays are apparently looking at Ozuna, Yelich, Carlos Gonzalez and Bruce as possible OF upgrades. Be interesting to know what it will take to acquire one the Marlins OF's. Gonzalez could be a buy low candidate, but his road numbers have not been very good over the course of his career and last year they were terrible. Probably best to stay away.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 06:21 PM EST (#351482) #

looking to spend more 8 figure salaries on more 1 win players, seems like.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 06:22 PM EST (#351483) #
So the Yankees have now jettisoned Starlin Castro and Chase Headley to acquire/accommodate the Stanton contract.

OTOH, they pretty much have the home-run crown locked up, one would think..

And this is probably just a warm-up before they trade for Donaldson..  (ok, probably not, but..)
scottt - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 07:14 PM EST (#351484) #
It doesn't look like the Yanks are are looking for big name starters yet. They've been asking about every young controllable starter around. It's more their style to save some room for a trade deadline  acquisition.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 07:20 PM EST (#351485) #
A little over 10% of the vote is in for the Hall of Fame, and there are a couple developments of interest - firstly, Larry Walker is surging with +9 votes already. While it's nearly impossible to see him getting to 75% (he's in his 8th year on the ballot already), if he finishes strong on the BBWAA ballot, he could set himself up for induction by the Veteran's Committee.

Secondly, two former Jays are getting quite different treatment from the voters - Omar Vizquel has faded a little, but is still around 40%, while the GBOAT, Scott Rolen is trailing with around 15% support.
scottt - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 07:22 PM EST (#351486) #
With Donaldson and Sanchez healthy they should be around 86 wins. They can get the 5 or 6 more they need from middle infield, corner outfield, 5th starter, back catcher, etc... Maybe they can wait around until the other teams run out of money. Or not, but we're still far from the point where there's nobody useful left.

Sounds like Baltimore wants to pick up a lefty pitcher in the rule V, picking just before the Jays of course.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 07:50 PM EST (#351487) #
Cashman could always trade for Machado and then extend him.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 08:37 PM EST (#351488) #
After the Morales signing turned poorly for the Jays, it appears Ross Atkins is moving slower, almost “gun-shy”. With so much yet to do, can he wait? Should he wait?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 09:56 PM EST (#351489) #
How was Smyly not signed by the Jays? Cheap cheap prize for a pitcher of his potential.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 11:06 PM EST (#351490) #
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
News: Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, according to a physical obtained by Yahoo Sports. Details:
John Northey - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 11:56 PM EST (#351491) #
Good news for the Jays if Ohtani has elbow troubles already. Sucks for the Angels and for MLB in general though.

Interesting to see Brandon Morrow got $21 million for 2 years plus an option. A frequently injured middle man who hasn't been over 55 IP since he was a starting pitcher for the Jays way back in 2012 gets over $10 mil a year (well, $9 mil per plus a $3 mil buyout for year 3 or $12 mil vesting option). Crazy.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 12 2017 @ 11:59 PM EST (#351492) #
$10 mil for a lottery ticket for 2019? Nah. I'd have considered it if you got 2019 and 2020 locked in but a free agent right after he has a full season in the majors (potentially) after TJ surgery seems like you are paying for rehab and recovery, not for performance.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 01:01 AM EST (#351493) #
Jays met with Sabathia today. Get him away from the Yankee Stadium hitters' haven, and he has been terrific the last 2 years, with an ERA of 3.18 and 3.26 in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Had a 2.37 ERA in the playoffs. He's 37, but seems to have reinvented himself very well. Might be a nice add on a 2 year deal. Plus you'd be subtracting him from the Yankees.
Oceanbound - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 01:39 AM EST (#351494) #
Sucks for the Angels? No, not really, they knew about it already when they bid on him. As did every other team. This is just clickbait.
Spifficus - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 01:54 AM EST (#351495) #
My brain had Morrow at a Madson type contract (3/21), which I would have been willing to play at, personally. Whether he would have been willing to come back to Toronto is a moot point.

Sabathia would be interesting as a fall-back, but I still think the team needs a #3 (or better, so that Sanchez can be the #5), as opposed to someone to bring up the back end.

As a baseball-awesomeness fan, the Ohtani news is sucky. I just hope the injury has healed enough from the PRP to not present any issues.

As for the craziness of our 'elite pitchers', I love Stroman, but I struggle with putting him at Elite (vs Good or Very Good). Osuna could be an elite reliever (He's close, but the second half of the year hurt. Also, an Elite Reliever isn't the same as an Elite Starter, so lumping them all together is a bit misleading). As for Sanches, he's promising, and has flashed a metric-eff-tonne of potential, but to label him as Elite (Now, not maybe-someday Elite) is beyond Gumbi's elasticity.

Also, if it weren't for Morales, I'd be quite happy with either a Bruce or Gonzalez signing - I think a decent amount of their issues have stemmed from injuries that some DH time might help mitigate. Bruce hits about 80 hojillion fly balls, which couldn't hurt at the RC. Osuna would also be interesting, but (surprise surprise) it would depend on the cost.

Oh, what else has been out there... Donaldson. I'd consider a high risk / high reward deal (well, higher risk than a perennial MVP candidate) that can be stretched over the medium or long term. As an example, something based around Alex Reyes with significant value after that. That's the best way to have a shot at full-throated contention next year while adding to the long term chances. Maybe Machado's tenuous availability might shake something of interest loose. I had hoped TO could put something together for Donaldson with the Yankees for Headly and Torres (plus extras), but that doesn't look to be an option now. The Cards look like the best opportunity at this point.

I think that covers my pent-up, random, unsoberly thoughts for now.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 09:31 AM EST (#351496) #
I hope that the baseball is fixed, so Sanchez can be past his blister issues.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 10:57 AM EST (#351497) #
Last 3yrs, Top RP by fWAR

1.Jansen (30): 189.1ip, 8.5fwar
2.Miller (32): 198.2ip, 7.4fwar
3.Chapman (29): 174.2ip, 6.8fwar
4.Betances (29): 216.2ip, 6.6fwar
5.Osuna (22): 207.2ip, 6.1fwar
6.Kimbrel (29): 181.1ip, 5.9fwar
7.Giles (27): 198.1ip, 5.4fwar
8.Britton (30): 170.0ip, 5.2fwar
9.Allen (29): 204.2ip, 5.1fwar
10.Robertson (32): 194.0ip, 4.7fwar


1.Miller (32): 8.9
2.Jansen (30): 7.9
3.Davis (32); 7.5
4.Britton (30): 7.4
5.Chapman (29): 6.4
6.Betances (29): 6.3
7.Kimbrel (29): 6.2
8.Reed (29): 5.9
9.Osuna (22): 5.7
10.Harris (33): 5.6

Osuna is elite. Full stop.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:00 AM EST (#351498) #

How will that list look if you filter by the last 24 months? Last 12 months?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:03 AM EST (#351499) #
Jays brass has to be sitting on something big for them to be passing up some of these deals/signings.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:06 AM EST (#351500) #
Actually if you take luck out of the equation last year was Osuna's best year statistically by just about any metric.

By far his lowest FIP/xFIP, almost twice his previous high in WAR (also from the past 24 months). Lowest HR/FB% of his career.

Any assessment that is critical of Osuna last year is based on selective memory of particularly bad but isolated innings.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:07 AM EST (#351501) #
dalimon5 who are you referring to specifically? I've found the relief market overpriced so far.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:10 AM EST (#351502) #
I agree the relief market is over priced. I would rather have kept Koehler at 6 than have Hunter at 5. I think the Jays are in relatively good shape in relief. I have high hopes (with good reason) for Carlos Ramirez.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:10 AM EST (#351503) #
just in case anyone was still have any doubts about the FO's priorities since they took over:

Alex Seixeiro @alexfan590
Mark Shapiro: If we were running this team without a fan base, we probably would've started a rebuild a year ago. We're trying to remain competitive for those fans. #BlueJays #BlairShow
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:16 AM EST (#351504) #

last 2yrs fwar:

1.Jansen 6.8
2.Miller 5.3
3.Osuna 4.8
4.Kimbrel 4.5
5.Chapman 4.3

Last 2yrs ra9war:

1.Miller 6.7
2.Jansen 6.4
3.Devenski 5.2
4.Britton 5.0
5.Reed 5.0
11.Osuna 3.7

Last yr fWAR

1.Jansen 3.6
2.Kimbrel 3.3
3.Osuna 3.0
4.Knebel 2.8
5.Neshek 2.5

Last yr ra9war

1.Knebel 4.0
2.Kimbrel 3.8
3.Jansen 3.5
4.Bradley 3.4
5.Miller 3.1
44.Osuna 1.4
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:59 AM EST (#351505) #
Waiting out this market is the right thing to do. They badly misread the market last winter with the Morales signing, so I don't see the issue with seeing what happens when prices drop. The free agent market is not good, there is no one really worth pouncing early on, and teams will be saving up for next winter's super free agent class. There could be a bargain or two available a month from now.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 12:16 PM EST (#351506) #
SK, how do you save for next year's FA class?

I don't think it is like this.... This years budget $140 mil, next year $150 mil, total $290 mil. Spend $120 mil this year so that next year you have $ 170 mil? The math is correct, but this is not what you meant?
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 01:08 PM EST (#351507) #
Ozuna to cards.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 02:22 PM EST (#351508) #
So the argument holds up for Osuna. If not elite he's pretty damn close.

I was referring to the SP market for Jays fiddling their thumbs. I would have taken Chatwood or Smyly/pineda. Those are exactly the type of "depth" moves they Jays should do because there high upside there. If they aren't biting there then they must have something else to splurge on. Who would you folks make a run for a SP wise? Trade or FA.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 02:23 PM EST (#351509) #
The Marlins are rapidly becoming a joke.

I wonder if this is part of a plan more complicated than 'we don't want to spend any money'.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 02:30 PM EST (#351510) #
Jeter has always had an ego. He wants to start a team from scratch and say he assembled every piece. Either that or he's worse than Loria.

My earlier comment...clearly Pineda and especially Smyly have upside...Chatwood not so much but would have been a good depth signing.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 02:43 PM EST (#351511) #
Chatwood was ok, but at that price I'm ok with waiting on others (Sabathia??).

But generally I don't think the current team is helped by adding guys who might be useful in 2019.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 03:22 PM EST (#351512) #
So the Jays are now apparently interested in Carlos Gomez. Another guy, like Carlos Gonzalez, whose numbers are grossly distorted by playing in a fantastic hitters' park. Gomez' numbers look superficially pretty good last year, but then you look at the road numbers to remove the distortion caused by Globe Life Park, and you see that he hit .216/.317/.358/.675. That's actually better than Gonzalez hit on the road - .203/.274/.332/.606 Either of these guys could be a disaster.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 03:28 PM EST (#351513) #
ugh. please no gomez/gonzo/bruce.

just pony up for Cain.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 03:43 PM EST (#351514) #
The free agent SP market is not good. Sabathia is exactly the type of arm they should target in a weak market. He will be a short-term commitment (2 years max) and is relatively dependable despite his age. He's likely just using the Jays as leverage to get a better offer elsewhere, but regardless he's the type of SP that I would be fine with. There will be a lot of competition for Cobb, and Arrieta/Darvish are out of the Jays price range. Not a big fan of Lynn. There just isn't much out there. I actually would have taken a chance on Mike Fiers before he signed with the Tigers. He seemed like a good buy low option.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 03:57 PM EST (#351515) #
I think Sabathia would be a very good addition, and could very well outpitch Happ or Estrada.

Jays Journal is saying the Jays are interested in Adam Duvall. They also point out that with the Orioles perhaps going into rebuild mode, along with the Rays, it would help the Jays' chances at a wild card by making their schedule a bit easier.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 04:00 PM EST (#351516) #
I actually wouldn't mind Sabathia either.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 04:04 PM EST (#351517) #
If you want to build and remain competitive would it be too bild to trade Donaldson and acquire Machado or Harper?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 04:28 PM EST (#351518) #
If you want to build and remain competitive would it be too bold to trade Donaldson and acquire Machado or Harper?

No, it would not be too bold.  Donaldson has been a better player than either of them, but he's 6 years plus older.   
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 04:36 PM EST (#351519) #
Would it be too bould to bild?

Thanks MG for seeing through my typos.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 06:25 PM EST (#351520) #
Jeff Blair on FAN590 says Sabathia will sign with either the Jays or Yankees. He also says the Jays are quite willing to trade Bichette in a deal for the right player, somebody like Yelich. He says there are people in the organization that feel Bichette's power won't carry through to the big leagues. I think that's a mistake. Power is often one of the last things to develop, and Bichette has already shown a fair bit of power at a very early age.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 06:56 PM EST (#351521) #
Can't wait for the Rule v draft tomorrow morning - finally, some Blue Jays action -I expect the Jays to make a selection - I may not be able to sleep tonight.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:24 PM EST (#351522) #
Having followed the Yankees closely over the years, I think the only way Sabathia chooses the Jays over NY is if the offers are miles apart (ex. the Jays offering 2/24 and the Yankees offering 1/8, or something along those lines). I wouldn't say it's likely at all, but at least they are targeting the right type of free agent SP in this market.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:37 PM EST (#351523) #
You should never take Jeff Blair seriously. He regularly makes stuff up just to hear himself talk. He knows nothing.

However, the CC thing is only commons sense. Those are his 2 most likely options. I would be shocked if the Jays traded Bichette.

uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:44 PM EST (#351524) #
as one who is all for trading overhyped prospects like hoffman, i am 1000% against trading a kid like Bo.

especially for a good but not elite guy like yelich.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:48 PM EST (#351525) #
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the only untradeable. Christian Yelich is exactly the player that the Jays are talking about. Anything they can do to make it happen should be done.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:51 PM EST (#351526) #
If Bichette can play shortstop in the majors, he should be a very valuable player. I wouldn't trade him for Yelich either.

But I would try hard to obtain Yelich for lesser prospects (maybe Alford plus a couple of others). Yelich has posted 4.5 WAR in three of the last four years. He just turned 26 and is under control at a reasonable price through 2022.

If I were Jeter, though, I would insist on Bichette in any trade with the Jays.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:54 PM EST (#351527) #
Of course, Bichette could also prove to be a very valuable second baseman or third baseman. But his value would be even greater as a shortstop, assuming that he can play the position competently.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 07:57 PM EST (#351528) #
Someone made the point that Yelich has a high groundball rate and a low flyball rate and may not be ideal for the small AL east ballparks.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 08:02 PM EST (#351529) #
The Jays may have a shot at CC because it seems the Yankees are determined to get a younger & better starter than CC - he's probably their fallback guy.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 08:08 PM EST (#351530) #
I still can't believe how much stock people put in prospects. Christian Yelich is basically the type of player we dream Bichette will become (albeit in a different position). If the cost is him and something else minor, you do it.
Vlad Jr. to me is the one that is pretty much untouchable.

greenfrog - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 08:43 PM EST (#351531) #
Bichette is younger, cheaper, has more years of control, and may sync up better with the Jays' likely next window of serious contention. He has also posted terrific offensive numbers in the minors at a very young age.

There are valid reasons for preferring Bichette over Yelich.

After the 2012 season, the Jays had two elite prospects in Sanchez and Syndergaard. The front office decided it would be fine to trade one of them for a veteran player. Perhaps this time it might be better to be patient and hang on to both VGJ and Bichette.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 08:46 PM EST (#351532) #
I wouldn't trade Bichette for Yelich either. It doesn't work from a value perspective nor from a timing perspective.

I would be building around Guerrero Jr and Bichette for the long haul.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 08:58 PM EST (#351533) #
I wouldn't trade Bo, but I acknowledge that next year is a big year in determining his value. He could either skyrocket into the top 5 or crater if his swing gets exposed.

Personally I'll bet on him being successful and I think that there is value in having two guys come through the system together.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 09:00 PM EST (#351534) #
Until we can absolutely guarantee Bichette is a stud, I’d trade him like a shot to get any young stud to fill any needed position on this team.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 09:21 PM EST (#351535) #
well i've never been accused of putting too much stock into prospects...... for me Bo is well ahead of where Yelich was at the same point, and has more positional value as well.

Bo was literally the best hitter in all of full season milb this year. The best, bar none. and he did this at age 19, as high as A+, and did it as an SS.

and Bo isn't some far away prospect. He was crushing A+ this year, and if he continues that in AA next year he could be in line for a call up to the bigs even next year.

Yelich for me is still overrated by virtue of his uber toolsy prospect rep from the get go. He is a good player but no franchise cornerstone.

If we were talking about tradin a "top 25 prospect" 23yr old pitcher struggling in AA like jeff hoffman, i'd trade that in a heartbeat. But not a prospect like Bo.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 10:45 PM EST (#351536) #
How can you say it doesn't match timing? Jays still have Sanchez, Stroman, Osuna, Donaldson, Smoak. Adding Yelich wouldn't handcuff the payroll going forward.

Would people around have traded Bo Bichette for Josh Donaldson? To me, Yelich and Donaldson in 2014 are very comparable. Obviously the Jays fleeced Oakland, but again, it's a similar situation where an elite player with a cheap contract is basically being sold off because of payroll. Doesn't happen often, and it led to the Jays getting maybe the best player to ever play for them. To me, giving up your 2nd best prospect is worth that.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 10:47 PM EST (#351537) #
With the Ozuna trade, the Cardinals now have an outfield of Pham/Fowler/Ozuna. That leaves Piscotty and Grichuk without starting spots. I've read that the A's are serious about Piscotty, but I could see Grichuk being a fit for the Jays. He grades out above average defensively in LF and RF, and can also play CF if needed. He also fits the type of profile the Jays seem to like as he makes a lot of hard contact, hits a lot of fly balls and line drives. He grades out positively as a base runner as well. The issue with him is strike outs and lack of walks, which is pretty serious, but at age 26 with three years of control left, it seems like a worthwhile risk to get him and see if they can help his K issues. The power potential is real.

Not sure what the Cards would want for him, but I can't imagine it would be unreasonable. Seems like a better idea than Bruce/CarGo/etc.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 10:48 PM EST (#351538) #
Agreed. You can't argue to trade Bichette but not Guerrero when Bichette has had the better season and plays SS. They're A and A1 right now. Jays have enough prospects to get a guy like Yelich considering the hauls for Stanton and Ozina.

Greene, Reid Foley, Alford and McGuire probably gets that deal done and you keep Bichette for the same window of contention.

What I don't understand is how Atkins can make so many bold statements about how his team will probably make significant additions this week, so confidently, and then nothing happens. He's gotta have some deals agreed to and maybe is just waiting for the first show to drop...maybe a bunch of moves are contingent on JD re-signing and they're waiting on his decision because clearly, after Shohei made his decision, Atkins went on the offensive about big additions coming up.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 11:23 PM EST (#351539) #
An interesting rumor is that the Jays are interested in Billy Hamilton. Super-speed, super-defense, terrible bat (66 OPS+ last year but still 1.0 WAR overall), just a 71 OPS+ lifetime but 243-53 SB-CS ratio and 6.0 dWAR over 537 games (or 1.8 per 162 games).

For reference... Pillar is at 85 lifetime OPS+, 7.9 dWAR over 548 games or 2.3 per 162.

If the Jays had both out there the speed and defense would be scary good, but the offensive hit could be hard.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:05 AM EST (#351540) #

This pretty much sums up exactly what I wanted to say (it's not me, and I didn't read it before my comment, I swear).

As Drew Fairservice pointed out on Twitter as well; Yelichs' minor league numbers were as good as Bichette's, maybe even better.

If this deal is there with perhaps another prospect (not Vlad) and or Pillar or Pompey as throw in, I don't hesitate for a second. As I pointed out earlier, and this article opines, there are lots of paralells between Yelich at 27 and Donaldson at 28. Both were already elite, but with more ceiling. Do this trade already.
John Northey - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:36 AM EST (#351541) #
Yelich is an interesting player. CF/LF so if Pillar kept then the two of them would make the OF defense extremely good (he was a negative on defense last year when played in CF only but was always a plus in LF). Signed through 2022 for under $15 mil per (by 2022 that might be the price for 1 WAR). In all 4 of his full seasons he has been a 3+ WAR player. 369 OBP lifetime is sweet. Has 20 HR power shown, in the dome might go to 30. Just entering his age 26 season.

This is the type of guy you get if you can. I'd hate to trade Bichette for him but if that is what it takes so be it. You get 5 years of control at a reasonable price ($43.2 mil total) for a guy you know is an above average everyday player.

Mix in Alford in RF and our pitching ERA might go down a full run (OK, maybe half a run). Clearly between this rumor and the Billy Hamilton one the Jays want to jump OF defense and speed. However, Yelich would be an upgrade vs anything else the Jays got while Hamilton might end up a 4th OF.
uglyone - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:39 AM EST (#351542) #
I don’t see how you can compare Yelich to Donaldson.

Donaldson had just posted 2 MVP caliber seasons. He had displayed both legit elite hitting and legit elite defense.

This is exactly my issue with Yelich - people think he is better than he actually is. probably because of his toolsy prospect rep. He is a good hitter, not a great hitter. He is an ok fielder, not a great one.

But he is no Donaldson. Not unless he takes a massive step forward.

and all due respect to fairservice, but he's wrong about their milb performance.

Age 18

Yelich: Rk 169wrc+, A 131wrc+
Bichette: Rk 238wrc+

Age 19

Yelich: A 140wrc+
Bichette: A 201wrc+, A+ 145wrc+

Bo is well ahead of Yelich's prospect performance at this point.

Trade Alford and a couple other good prospects? sure.

but for me, i don't trade Bo unless it's for an elite player.
John Northey - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:51 AM EST (#351543) #
Hmm... wonder if the Marlins would want to send Starlin Castro here as well? That would finish off the IF purchases and save $22 mil over 2 years for the Marlins. Martin Prado is the contract they want to dump ($28.5 mil over next 2 years) as is Wei-Yin Chen ($50 mil over next 3 years with player option in 2021) - he only threw 33 IP last year and 123 the year before as a LH starter.

In theory the Jays could take on all of those contracts and get the Marlins to next to nothing in payroll while upgrading at LF/2B and adding another arm to the rotation battle. Plus Prado. If the Jays ate that much salary then the Marlins would get next to nothing in exchange, maybe prospects below #5 on the Jays list so no Bichette.

Would Rogers be willing to eat that much payroll to get a big upgrade in the OF without losing a young controllable player plus improving the team in other areas?
uglyone - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:58 AM EST (#351544) #
that article uses a barreto - donaldson comp for this swap and that is all sorts of wrong.

When we traded for Donaldson, he had been the 3rd most valuable player in baseball over the previous 2yrs, behind only Trout and McCutchen. He was elite of elite. The best 3B in the game. Yelich on the other hand is 25th over tbe last 2yrs. A good player, but a good deal less than what donaldson was.

and while barreto was a nice prospect, he of course didn't put up anything close to the unprecedented numbers Bo has put up so far. I think people might not realize just how crazy Bo's numbers have been. His numbers are better than any jays prospect ever, so far.
Spifficus - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 02:22 AM EST (#351545) #
I'm in the No Bo crowd. I certainly like Yelich, but Ugly's right that he's merely quite good, not elite. I actually like John's idea of using payroll capacity to lessen the prospect impact. Heck, if Chen can actually pitch, he could have end up being a positive.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 02:55 AM EST (#351546) #
Bichette is still just 19. I think some people are not truly appreciating how rare it is for a kid to perform as well as he has, at a level as high as he has reached at that age. Last year, he skipped Vancouver, played half a season at Lansing, before moving up to Dunedin and still hit very well there. Most kids his age are in the Gulf Coast League or with Bluefield. He probably starts next season in AA, just days after his 20th birthday. He has a real shot at being a SS who hits .300+ with 25 HR power. Plus, they'd have him at minimal salary for 3 years, and then year 1 of arbitration a player's salary is not anywhere near full market value. I like Yelich - he can do a lot, and his numbers would be better away from the Marlins home park (have a look at his road numbers), but I'm not trading Bichette for him. Anyway, I've seen quotes that the Marlins plan to keep Yelich and build around him.
Glevin - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 05:18 AM EST (#351547) #
Yelich for Bichette-based deal would make sense if the Jays were in a different stage of a winning cycle. A cost-controlled 4-5 WAR player for 5 years is an extremely valuable commodity. So if I were Houston or the Yankees or Cubs I'd be all over it but for the Jays, it's hard to see the Jays competing much in the next few years which would waste the value of the trade (getting guaranteed improvement over the next couple of years for potential longer-term losses).

Glevin - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 05:36 AM EST (#351548) #
One of the more interesting developments recently that I think is possible for rebuilding teams (and I am seeing more and more chatter about this) is to take on bad contracts for prospects (NBA style). So many teams are looking to shred salary that a team rebuilding can really get ahead this way. The Jays have done this-getting McGuire and Hernandez for taking on bad (not terrible) contracts. The Jays have plenty of expensive contracts of their own so it's not possible to do it to a huge degree right now, but I see this as a very valuable way to get assets. What would the Yankees attach to get rid of Ellsbury's salary? Marlins with Chen?
85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 07:48 AM EST (#351549) #
Get excited kids, it's rule v time - This is where the Blue Jays play.
ayjackson - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 07:59 AM EST (#351550) #
Betting we'll be net losers on the rule 5.

Agree with the Ugly gang on Bo-Yelich though.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 08:11 AM EST (#351551) #
Given that last offseason was a disaster (Joe Smith only success) and that the lauded moves of the previous offseason was mostly done with Tony LaCava (is he in the witness protection program or packing his bags for Atlanta?) as acting GM - the Ross Atkins tenure is looking rather dim - right now the Morales overpayment is his signature move.
Chuck - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 08:15 AM EST (#351552) #
Get excited kids, it's rule v time

This would be sarcasm, yes?

Petey Baseball - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 08:42 AM EST (#351553) #
Yeah ugly, I see now. Donaldson worth 7.5 wins in 2014.

Philosophically speaking though, I dislike the stopgap approach in principle. I agree 27 year Yelich may not quite be Donaldson, but he's still pretty damn good with potential for more upside. Plus he's cheap. These guys don't come up in trade often. I still say do it.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 08:54 AM EST (#351554) #
Donaldson had a 7.6 and 6.6 WAR in 2013 and 2014 respectively. As good as Yelich is, Donaldson was 2-3 wins better than him before the Jays acquired him (and 3-4 wins better after acquiring him). To put that in perspective, there is less of a difference in value between Pillar and Yelich than there is Donaldson and Yelich. That's not a shot at Yelich, he's a very good player, but Donaldson is/was on a different level.

As far as the trade (Bichette), I agree that it's the wrong time to do it. A team that is ready to win over the next five years (ex. Yankees) could make a deal like that and it would make sense. For the Jays, who are likely going to be in a transition period over the next few years, it makes a lot more sense to try to develop Bichette and have him fit the timeline for when they next expect to seriously contend.
Chuck - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 08:59 AM EST (#351555) #
The price of 50-60 good innings has skyrocketed with the going rate 7-8 million bucks a year. Hell of a time to be a short reliever!
greenfrog - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:08 AM EST (#351556) #
Bo-for-Yelich seems like a trade Ash might have done.
Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:18 AM EST (#351557) #
Blue Jays pass in the rule 5 draft
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:19 AM EST (#351558) #
"Get excited kids, it's rule v time - This is where the Blue Jays play."

#BlueJays pass with the 12th pick.

I guess not.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:21 AM EST (#351559) #
Unlike some, I do put stock in Jeff Blair's rumors. He's reporting that the Jays are sitting on three deals. One for a middle infielder, one for CC Sabathia and another unknown.

He reports that the Yankees are waiting to see if they get Gerrit Cole and if they do then CC will have to decide between Angels and Jays with an eye toward joining management post retirement.

Jeff flat out stated that a Marlins official admitted that they they asked the Jays to include Bichette for Yelich but not Ozuna.
rpriske - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:22 AM EST (#351560) #
That never makes sense to me.

There is ALWAYS someone worth picking up in a Rule V draft.

You bring them to ST and send them back if they aren't going to make the team. No risk.

Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:24 AM EST (#351561) #
There is no change to the Jays system from the rule 5 draft, no-one taken from the Jays, no-one selected by the Jays.
Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:28 AM EST (#351562) #
The minor league portion of the rule 5 draft could see some movement in the Jays system. That portion is up next.
scottt - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:32 AM EST (#351563) #
I guess the players they wanted were taken by others.

On a bright note, 4 Yankees were taken.

The Astros selected Gose from the Rangers, He's now a lefty reliever.

85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:32 AM EST (#351564) #
I hated the Jays winning in the last week to fall behind several teams in selection order - Nestor Cortes, the lefty from the Yankees would have been a nice gamble but the Orioles got him just ahead of the Jays - thanks for leapfrogging the Orioles in the last days of the season -I expect the same crap to happen in the draft next year.
Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:33 AM EST (#351565) #
Actually rpriske there is a risk. Currently the Jays have two open spots on their roster. But they are looking to sign some free agents for infield, outfield, starter or bullpen. Lets assume the Jays do sign a pitcher and an infielder, say CC Sabbathia and Eduardo Nunez.

Now lets add a rule 5 player. You have to drop someone off the 40 man. Lets say its the last guy added, Taylor Guerrieri. You have to decide if the rule 5 player is a better option than Guerrieri. Or Tim Mayza, or Carlos Ramirez. Or Dwight Smith.

The rule 5 draft was watered down a few years ago and the players available are now not as good as they used to be.
PeterG - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:34 AM EST (#351566) #
Mitch Nay gone in minor league phase
Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:36 AM EST (#351567) #
And remember, players taken in the minor league phase are gone for giving back.
rpriske - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:37 AM EST (#351568) #
I disagree. You take someone in the Rule V draft. If you then have to remove someone when you sign the Free Agent and the Rule V guy is the weak link, you send him back.

Literally zero risk.

scottt - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:41 AM EST (#351569) #
The best offer for Machado comes from the White Sox.

Obviously they would try to extend it, but unless they can negotiate a deal with him prior, I don't see that happening.
And that wouldn't be cheap.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:43 AM EST (#351570) #
I disagree - the only risk is that you lose 25 grand if the team takes back the rule v player - maybe the team doesn't even take back the player and keeps the cash - I see no risk really.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:46 AM EST (#351571) #
Love what the Royals did - went up and got 2 players they like by buying earlier picks - just wish the jays were as aggressive.
uglyone - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:51 AM EST (#351572) #
I still can't quite get over this quote, even though it's no surprise. It's like all my anti-shapkins posts were me building up an epic case against them and then them just coming out and proudly admitting everything:

Alex Seixeiro @alexfan590
Mark Shapiro: If we were running this team without a fan base, we probably would've started a rebuild a year ago. We're trying to remain competitive for those fans. #BlueJays #BlairShow

Not only does he show a completely lack of appreciation for how rare it is to own a roster capable of going to back to back ALCS, and not only does he baldly admit that his moves of the last few years have been a fake attempt to "contend"..... but worse he just comes right out and calls us fans ignorant dummies who need to be treated like children and who are getting in the way of his precious rebuild.

Gah. This guy.
uglyone - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 09:55 AM EST (#351573) #
I'm actually thankful we didn't dip into the Rule 5 market. Sometimes they work out but if there isn't a guy you really believe in I'm damn happy not to waste a roster spot trying to suck value out of nothing.
Glevin - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:00 AM EST (#351574) #
"I disagree - the only risk is that you lose 25 grand if the team takes back the rule v player - maybe the team doesn't even take back the player and keeps the cash - I see no risk really."

But if you think there's no reward, it doesn't matter if there's no risk. If you think there is nobody out there is is going to help you, why take them?
Mike Green - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:16 AM EST (#351575) #
In the minor league portion of the draft, the Pirates selected relief pitcher Damien Magnifico from the Angels.  I'm already imagining him entering the game to Bohemian Rhapsody and the fans signing along.  He's got to change his first name to Galileo.
China fan - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:26 AM EST (#351576) #
If you're an optimist, it's possible to be intrigued by some of the minor-league prospects that the Jays picked up today.

Drew Muren, their first pick, is a 29-year-old former OF who was converted to pitching just three years ago. His velocity is up to 100 mph and he recorded 45 strikeouts in 38 innings over three levels last year. Admittedly he doesn't really know where the ball is going when he throws it. He had 25 walks in those same 38 innings last year.

Ivan Castillo, their 3rd pick, is still just 22 and managed a .762 OPS at the High A level last year -- pretty good for a shortstop. His hitting was much worse when he was promoted to AA but maybe he can figure something out. He reached AA in the previous year as well, and -- to be optimistic -- his hitting at that level was better in 2017 than it was in 2016, although it was still bad. An optimist could argue that he's at least getting better.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:31 AM EST (#351577) #
With conversion projects Carlos Ramirez & Emerson Jimenez going well, the Jays take another conversion project Andrew Muren (29 y.o) from the Giants system in the minor league phase - throws hard, lots of K & BB but promising especially when you consider what relievers are getting paid.
bpoz - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:46 AM EST (#351578) #
Gerry was right about not fretting about the rule 5 draft. We did very well by not losing anyone. Thanks Gerry, your advice stopped my fretting.

From the 18 picks in the Rule 5 ML portion 15 were pitchers. Most of us were expecting mainly pitching to be selected.
China fan - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:48 AM EST (#351579) #
"...spend our FA money on good starters, not bench players...."

Given that Travis has averaged 71 games per season in his career, why do you keep assuming that any middle-infield acquisition must inevitably be a "bench player"?  This is deliberately trivializing the entire problem that the Jays face in the middle infield.  The entire rationale for finding a middle infielder is because the new acquisition wouldn't be riding the bench -- he'll be greatly needed, either at 2B or somewhere else.  That's why the Jays have made it a priority.  It's nothing to do with "bench players" and I wish you'd stop trivializing the middle infield problem by dismissing it as a mere "bench player" problem. 

The only way that a new middle-infielder would be a "bench player" is if Travis miraculously returns to excellent health for the full 2018 season.  If that's your assumption, please tell us where you found such faith in his health.

Also, why are you assuming that the middle infielder will be a FA?  Again it distorts the issue.  A trade is just as likely as a free-agent signing.

The only way to upgrade the Jays hitting (the team's greatest weakness) is to identify places on the roster where a new acquisition could hit better than what the Jays currently have.  Given the woeful production in 2017 by Travis, Tulo, Barney and Goins, it's very clear that middle infield is an obvious target for a hitting upgrade.
Chuck - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 10:50 AM EST (#351580) #
relief pitcher Damien Magnifico

His arch-enemy would presumably be the dreaded Antonio Bastardo.

bpoz - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 11:47 AM EST (#351581) #
Thanks CF for your analysis of the middle IF situation. I now understand how the offense was affected. Gibbons also talked about more offense being needed.

I never thought that offense was a problem. For me it was defense. Pillar caught the ball quite well but LF was horrible. I was very happy to see D Smith Jr in LF. Coghlan, Carrera and Pearce were not strong enough defensively for me.

Goins, Barney and Maile all in the line up together creates a weak offense. Offense is improved with Refsnyder and Montero/Lopez but the defense suffered.

With Maile the pitchers were prepared to throw all their pitches because they had confidence in his defense.

The FO did/could not properly/better address the back up catcher and IF substitute situation. Probably by choice to keep all their prospects.

With the off season here they are working on these issues.

vw_fan17 - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 12:11 PM EST (#351582) #
Gah.. Must not throw in the towel yet.. It's only December.

It's just frustrating when last season, we signed Joe Smith, got a good prospect in return, and then aren't in on the "$8-12M really good reliever" deals like Smith, Cishek or Neshek, etc.. They're about as close to buying an extra pick in the draft as you can get these days..

And those "3 deals" the Jays are sitting on.. The negative side of me says they'll sit on 'em long enough to lay an egg.. Not sure why I'm so down on Atkins at this point. Lots of people still to be signed, but.. It's starting to feel like the Leafs in the 80s when they'd have 6 holes, sign one 3rd-line winger, tout him as the next all-star, pick up a waived defenseman, and they were done..

John Northey - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:05 PM EST (#351583) #
If the Jays ate Chen's salary as well then Yelch costs $17 mil next year, $29.75 2019, $34.5 in 2020 and $14 plus up to $16 mil depending on Chen's health.

That is a lot of money. If Chen is healthy then it would be a big win for the Jays, if not then the Marlins look smart. If the Jays took on Chen plus Yelch then the Marlins would be in good fiscal shape going forward while the Jays still would be in decent shape with $54 mil tied up for 2019 and under $20 mil per year going past that at the moment. That also indicates the Jays have tons of space to do a Donaldson deal.
Dr B - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:22 PM EST (#351584) #
It's like all my anti-shapkins posts were me building up an epic case against them and then them just coming out and proudly admitting everything:

Alex Seixeiro @alexfan590
Mark Shapiro: If we were running this team without a fan base, we probably would've started a rebuild a year ago. We're trying to remain competitive for those fans. #BlueJays #BlairShow

I have posted over and over that Atkins was the second shooter in the Kennedy assassination and here, with this quote, he proudly admits it.

Dr B - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:26 PM EST (#351585) #
On a bright note, 4 Yankees were taken.

Nestor Cortes was taken just before the Jays so we don't know whether they would have taken him. Another interesting pick was Mike Ford a mashing first baseman, who would have been of no interest to the Jays of course. He was picked up by the Mariners.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:30 PM EST (#351586) #
I don’t understand the front office’s notion of boasting about how many meetings they’re having with other teams and agents, how much documentation they’ve reviewed, and how they could make certain deals if they wanted to. I much prefer underpromising and overdelivering, as opposed to the reverse.
Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:42 PM EST (#351587) #
Jon Heyman tweets "Five teams are showing interest in Josh Donaldson, including three persistent ones. Jays don’t hang up but they have no intention to trade whatsoever."

There are two ways to read this information. First, the Jays don't want to trade Josh. Or second, there is a lot of competition so you bidders better raise your bids substantially.

I don't know which is right but if indeed there are five bidders will one team get silly and make an offer the Jays cannot refuse?
85bluejay - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 01:57 PM EST (#351588) #
I suspect the Atlanta GM will keep calling.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 02:00 PM EST (#351589) #
I suspect the Atlanta GM will keep calling.
Seems to me he won big the last time Donaldson was traded...
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 02:27 PM EST (#351591) #
The Jays don't benefit by trading Donaldson for less than his perceived value because they apparently want to compete in 2018. So my guess is they are waiting for an offer that blows them away, and if they don't get it, then they will just hold on to him.

According to Heyman, the Jays are interested in Cain and are "believed to prefer a four year deal".
DavidtheDeuce - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:04 PM EST (#351592) #
I won the Blue Jays Give Away Contest today on Twitter!
bpoz - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:04 PM EST (#351593) #
From what I can remember NYY and Boston used money to dominate the AL playoff races.
Detroit was always richer than the other AL Central teams and were able to have a long run of playoff contending. Oakland seems to do a 2-3 year rebuild and then be very good for 5-6 years on an affordable budget. CWS had success at the ML level a few years ago. They all do rebuilds. Even Detroit now.

The AL East is tough because NYY and Boston will always spend over the luxury threshold. They don't seem to mind based on their actions rather than their words.

What about "Tanking". Not NYY, Boston and probably LAA. LAA cannot do it intentionally because Trout is there, also the fans may be too troublesome. I don't know if anyone does it. Baltimore and Detroit had horrible Septembers and dropped steeply. CWS used Sept to rise to mediocrity.

uglyone - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:23 PM EST (#351594) #
sign Cain sign Cain sign Cain.

Nigel - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:29 PM EST (#351595) #
Uglyone, while I find Atkins' comments hard to swallow for all the reasons you mention, I do think you need to come to terms with the thinking that underlies it, because I'm pretty convinced it comes directly from Rogers. Its entirely in line with my view that the corporate directive, year in/ year out, is to build a 78-84 win team and Rogers has no interest in either going for it or in rebuilds. In fact, you could read Atkins' comments as passing the blame on in that direction.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:43 PM EST (#351596) #
It's also a good time to consider the possibility that you two are reading too much into their comments or slanting it one way more than another. Not saying that's the case, but it's possible, you know, considering there's at least as many people coming away without the negative read of the quote.

If you take every quote that Shapiro or Atkins has made rather than isolating one or a few out of hundreds, I am sure you will find more quotes going against the common theme of "we won't invest or support a team like a big market ownership group should."

The reason I'm not pessimistic about our management is because they are less likely to be cheap or not "go for it" than the previous two regimes. Ricciardi clearly was handcuffed. AA and Beeston were the worst when it came to non drafting/foreign spending. They signed very few free agents and never put the team over the top until they were handed their walking papers. So, how much worse than that can Mark and Ross do? If Rogers hires a new GM and president tomorrow to start at the beginning of 2019, I'm sure Atkins and Shapiro would trade Alford/Bichette and a bunch of other prospects for the Yelich's and Gerrit Cole's of the game.

I'm not saying that AA is worse than the current regime. I am saying that the new regime won't be worse than the previous two and therefore shouldn't be smeared/labelled/complained about in areas where the previous regime was not. I have never once heard the few posters on here that consistently complain about the current regime complain about AA or Beeston. I don't know if it's an American vs Canadian thing or just blind bias. Or did the final 3 months of the Beeston/AA regime wipe out the memory of the half decade before?
Parker - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:50 PM EST (#351597) #
Just stop buying tickets.

Go root for the Braves, already.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 03:59 PM EST (#351598) #
Rogers does not understand the impact on the Blue Jays on the Corporation. Rogers is big Canada-wide, but the Jays greatly overshadowed them and have a much, much larger impact. Rogers has a presence outside Canada, but how significant I’m not sure. The Jays outside greatly overshadow them and have a much, much larger impact. The World sees the Blue Jays, but Rogers not at all.

As long as Shapiro and Atkins are financially responsible and do not ever cross into Luxury Tax there should always be enough money to do everything needed.

As far as I can tell the Jays are working/finalizing three deals and have been discussing two or three more. Are we back to deals being announced Friday afternoons?
Nigel - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 06:57 PM EST (#351599) #
dalimon, I'm not pessimistic about current management at all. I think they made some big strategic mistakes last offseason but on the whole I've liked more of what they have done than disliked. I just think that they operate with some constraints that offer them less flexibility than would be optimal from a baseball only perspective.
scottt - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 07:47 PM EST (#351600) #
I suppose every new GM would like to start with a full rebuild. Winning 40 games the first year, 60 the second and 80 the third is pretty easy. It's after that that things usually fail. Then you get 2 or 3 years of going nowhere and the cycle starts over again.

If the American League tuns into 5 super teams vying for the 5 play off spots, then there will be  a lot of teams selling at the deadline to a few teams that don't really need much anyway. Many of those strategic signings might turn into very little then.

If you have 5 teams competing and 10 rebuilding, most of those rebuilds will fail. What's viable for small market teams with extra draft picks and boosted free agent competition is more risky now for large markets like Toronto.

There's no point in drafting in the rule V if you need the roster spots.

Apparently Baltimore does not want to see Machado in NYY and the owner is weary of teams (White Sox?) trying to acquire him just to flip him back.

The Cards clearly overpaid for Fowler last year. The Jays are not willing to do the same this year. If they end up with a couple of decent players on decent deals, so be it. With all the rebuilds there should be some worthy players left at the end.

Meanwhile Bolsinger is going to Japan.

bpoz - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 08:44 PM EST (#351601) #
Nice to hear from Nigel and Parker. I do miss all the others that are posting not as often.

I think that the conflicting views about the various FOs are really minor, even if they result in conflict. Serous at times.

Nobody is supporting Ash and Richardi. Myself included. I expect AA vs Shapiro to take 3 years. maybe 5 years to conclude.

uglyone - Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 11:54 PM EST (#351602) #
Nigel - i think i recognized and accepted that reality right from the get go.

should i stop complaining about it? i guess. at least for the good of internet boards.

but i really do think it's a massive load of BS for a fanbase that has spent 2 decades in limbo having to accept this literally the instant we finally became competitive.
John Northey - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:31 AM EST (#351604) #
I look at Cain and see a lot of risk there. Here is a guy entering his age 32 season who, historically, has a lot of his value in his defense and speed. Counting on that to continue well into his 30's is a silly risk imo. I'd have trouble going over 3 years at $20 million per year. I doubt he'll accept less than 5 at $25 per year.
scottt - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 06:31 AM EST (#351605) #
Cain will take the best offer he gets. I'd be surprised if it's 5 years.
If, like EE, he waits too long, he might end up with 3 years + an option.
So far,  I don't think anyone has made a move in centerfield.

BlueJayWay - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 10:14 AM EST (#351606) #
Yeah I'm not that hugely into Cain either.
uglyone - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 10:27 AM EST (#351607) #
Last year:

Cain: 645pa, 115wrc+, 4.1fwar, 5.3bwar, 4.7avg/650
Yelich: 695pa, 115wrc+, 4.5fwar, 3.9bwar, 3.9avg/650

Last 2yrs:

Cain: 1079pa, 109wrc+, 6.6fwar, 8.2bwar, 4.5avg/650
Yelich: 1354pa, 123wrc+, 9.0fwar, 9.2bwar, 4.4avg/650

Last 3yrs:

Cain: 1683pa, 116wrc+, 13.1war, 15.4bwar, 5.5avg/650
Yelich: 1879pa, 122wrc+, 11.4fwar, 12.7bwar, 4.2avg/650

PeterG - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 10:31 AM EST (#351608) #
No to Cain. He may decline quickly.
Chuck - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 10:55 AM EST (#351609) #
He may decline quickly.

Well sure, everyone may decline quickly. Not sure why Cain needs to be called out specifically.

Cain's speed numbers (SB, SB%, triples) all seem to point to a guy who hasn't slowed down much since his 20s. Both FG and BBRef, however, suggest his other worldly defense of of 2013-2015 has been regressing, though is still quite good. So maybe he is slowing down, as 30-year olds should.

I think Cain has quietly been a star and is likely to not end up getting paid like one.

rpriske - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 11:04 AM EST (#351610) #
Cain would be a very solid pick-up.

I don't why he keeps getting compared to Yelich. Cain is a free agent. Yelich is not and the Marlins are denying rumours that he was being shopped.

Cain is theoretically obtainable. Yelich is not.

CeeBee - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 11:27 AM EST (#351611) #
The winter meeting's came and went
The Blue Jay's money's not been spent
We all do wonder whats the goal
Will Santa leave a lump of coal
Lets hope the new Year brings us luck
And we're not just left with Pat and Buck
This is the end of my foray
Of putting things another way

cheers and Merry Christmas and sorry for the crappy attempt at poetry
PeterG - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 11:28 AM EST (#351612) #
Not going to worry about. Cain is not coming to TO. Would rather spend on pitching. Only one 15 mil type contract will be given out or acquired...others much smaller.....that is unless JD or someone else is unexpectedly traded.
bpoz - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 11:52 AM EST (#351613) #
Nice CeeBee.

I don't want to get into "Our guy is better than their guy" based on "Homerism".

Since we are talking about Cain... It seems to me that he is only a little better than Pillar. Cain has better bb and higher Avg but just a little better.

Pillar does seem to be healthier over the last 3 seasons. Pillar should be cheaper over the next 3 seasons.

Then there is Alford. If he can stay healthy we can compare him to Pillar and Cain when all 3 get 500 ABs in a season. ML ABs.
Chuck - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 12:05 PM EST (#351614) #
It seems to me that he is only a little better than Pillar.

I'd argue he's a lot better, but that's moot. Cain would presumably play RF were he acquired. I don't think he'd replace Pillar.

uglyone - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 12:25 PM EST (#351615) #
"I don't why he keeps getting compared to Yelich."

only because some Jays fans seem willing to give up a whole ton of prospect capital for Yelich.

"It seems to me that he is only a little better than Pillar."

Well he's a lot better than Pillar, but there's plenty of room for both.
bpoz - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 12:32 PM EST (#351616) #
Thanks Chuck for your response.

I used % regarding bb & Ks. Avg and SB% was better just looking at the numbers. I just assumed that defense was the same. Catching and throwing. Also assumed that they were equal in baseball smarts.

I liked both Alomar and T Fernandez, but I remember Tony getting thrown out at 3B quite often. Maybe it was in his younger days.

So would anyone be willing to explain the difference between Cain and Pillar. Please don't use WAR, I don't understand. I happily will accept the various opinions. I hope I will.
Gerry - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 12:39 PM EST (#351617) #
Good one Cee Bee. The official poet of Da Box is an open position.
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:08 PM EST (#351618) #
So would anyone be willing to explain the difference between Cain and Pillar.

Just a rough stab: From 2013-15, Cain was as good as Pillar on defense, but hit about the same as Devon Travis. His defense has dropped off a bit (so has Pillar's), but he's still an above-average hitter, whereas Pillar is below average.
whiterasta80 - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:15 PM EST (#351619) #
Or more succinctly, Cain is capable of taking 4 straight pitches.
uglyone - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:15 PM EST (#351620) #
Last 3yrs

Cain: .299avg, .356obp, .445slg, .801ops, 116wrc+
Pillar: .267avg, .306obp, .393slg, .699ops, 87wrc+

He's just a much much better hitter.
uglyone - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:17 PM EST (#351621) #
For those looking at how Cain might age, I looked up some similar offense + speeed and defense outfielders from the alst 25 yrs or so, and looked at their 4yrs running up to age 31, and their 4yrs after:

Age 28-31

B.Jordan 1863pa, 118wrc+, 17.5war, 6.1war/650
L.Cain 2185pa, 114wrc+, 17.9war, 5.3war/650
M.Cameron 2447pa, 104wrc+, 20.0war, 5.3war/650
D.White 2514pa, 104wrc+, 19.8war, 5.1war/650
K.Lofton 2527pa, 111wrc+, 19.2war, 4.9war/650
I.Suzuki 2954pa, 117wrc+, 21.0war, 4.6war/650
R.Winn 2720pa, 115wrc+, 17.1war, 4.1war/650
C.Granderson 2613pa, 119wrc+, 16.3war, 4.1war/650
A.Soriano 2685pa, 115wrc+, 16.5war, 4.0war/650
S.Victorino 2594pa, 110wrc+, 15.3war, 3.8war/650
J.Ellsbury 2095pa, 100wrc+, 11.7war, 3.6war/650
J.Damon 2782pa, 110wrc+, 13.9war, 3.3war/650
T.Hunter 2246pa, 111wrc+, 10.4war, 3.0war/650

well, "similars" is generous - he's been better than almost all of them and much better than a bunch of them.

Age 32-35

I.Suzuki 2915pa, 113wrc+, 21.4war, 4.8war/650
J.Damon 2525pa, 116wrc+, 13.3war, 3.4war/650
M.Cameron 2136pa, 113wrc+, 12.5war, 3.8war/650
K.Lofton 2388pa, 103wrc+, 12.0war, 3.3war/650
B.Jordon 2302pa, 105wrc+, 11.8war, 3.3war/650
T.Hunter 2409pa, 120wrc+, 11.2war, 3.0war/650
R.Winn 2552pa, 94wrc+, 11.0war, 2.8war/650
C.Granderson 2214pa, 116wrc+, 10.5war, 3.1war/650
D.White 2011pa, 100wrc+, 9.3war, 3.0war/650
A.Soriano 2081pa, 104wrc+, 7.6war, 2.4war/650
S.Victorino 869pa, 102wrc+, 6.0war, 4.5war/650
J.Ellsbury 1035pa, 95wrc+, 3.6war, 2.3war/650

Seems like most all of them aged very well, actually. A couple guys did get destroyed by injury, but otherwise most of them performed well enough to justify the kind of deal Cain is rumoured to be getting.
Glevin - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:50 PM EST (#351622) #
There's a signing that makes no sense right now. Santana signing with a team that already has Rhys Hoskins and Tommy Joseph at 1B. It means right now they are moving Hoskins or Santana to OF or Santana back to 3B which means a big defensive downgrade somewhere.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:52 PM EST (#351623) #
Cain is exactly the type of player to sign to help bridge the gap to when we have enough prospects to include in deals for guys like Yelich. A bigger market team should try to use its extra resources to cover a bridge salary like Cain or Morales and deal with the brunt end if it goes south. This is entirely different from Jbau, EE or David Price contracts...then again, VW's contract makes me doubt anybody's aging curve.

Aside: people like to talk about getting to a point where we have "waves of prospects" but that never happens.
uglyone - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:58 PM EST (#351624) #
Cozart to LA. $13m x 3yrs
bpoz - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 01:58 PM EST (#351625) #
Thanks vw, whiterasta80 and uglyone. I understand now.

Cain's walks have been improving. He is good now. Avg for Pillar 267, but 300 for Cain and Travis.

I looked at 2016 for all 3. About 400 ABs for Cain and Travis. 548 for Pillar. Pillar got beaten on Avg badly and a few other areas, maybe not so badly. Travis got beaten badly by both guys in SBs. These results only for 2016.

Cain will sign somewhere for 3-5 years and $15-20 mil per year.

That is a decent amount of our $25 mil still available. Lets say he definitely earns it by having his usual season. The left over $5-10 can be used for another need. We have some needs.

If Cain over performs then we got more for our money and if injured or under performs then we got less. That is the same for any FA signed by any team. We all know that.

You have to pay for good FA talent. We know that too. Injuries to good $20 mil per year players will hurt Jay type budgets more than NYY type budget teams.

Glevin - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 02:00 PM EST (#351626) #
"Aside: people like to talk about getting to a point where we have "waves of prospects" but that never happens."

Yes it does. It happens all the time in good organizations. For example (and you could take almost any well-run team), in the last five years, the Dodgers have brought up Puig, Pederson, Seager, and Bellinger. That's with prospects like Urias taking a step back and trading guys like DeLeon and Calhoun. They still have Buehler and Verdugo who are both top-25 prospects.
rpriske - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 02:02 PM EST (#351627) #
The official poet of Da Box is an open position.

Alas, I have been thrown over for a newer flavour of bard!
John Northey - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 02:34 PM EST (#351628) #
Jays were like that in the 80's 90's. Playing 100+ games for first time or 100+ IP
1984: George Bell
1985: Tony Fernandez
1986: Mark Eichhorn, John Cerutti
1987: Kelly Gruber, Fred McGriff
1988: Manuel Lee, Nelson Liriano (well, 99 games), Todd Stottlemyre, Duane Ward
1989: Junior Felix, Pat Borders (94 games)
1990: John Olerud, Greg Myers (87 games)
1991: Juan Guzman, Mike Timlin
1992: Jeff Kent and Derek Bell played full time for a couple months but neither got to 100 or even 70 games.
1993: Ed Sprague, Pat Hentgen (starting, 50 IP in 92 as reliever), Al Leiter (after just 2 2/3 IP the previous 2 years, 122 over 6 years he went over 100 IP).

That was all during a time the Jays were in contention in a non-wild card era. I probably missed a few but those were the most notable ones I think. In 94-00 they also brought in Carlos Delgado, Angel Martinez, Alex Gonzalez, Shawn Green, Marty Janzen, Jose Cruz Jr, Shannon Stewart, Woody Williams, Kelvim Escobar, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Homer Bush, Billy Koch. Yet somehow those teams never won 90. Amazing how much talent Ash had and blew.

So yes, a strong pipeline that provides a new regular annually be it starting pitching or everyday player is certainly possible, even during contention years.
uglyone - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 02:35 PM EST (#351629) #
That cozart deal is such a bargain. That would have been one IF signing I would have been happy for us to jump on.
Mike Green - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 02:51 PM EST (#351630) #
Brandon Morrow gets a much better deal than Zack Cozart?  Weird. 

Moneyball's demise might not have occurred quite yet. 

bpoz - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 02:54 PM EST (#351631) #
I agree uglyone. Z Cozart is a v good deal and you don't lose a draft pick.

I am waiting for the FO to do something. I expect by Jan 10th we will know.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 03:00 PM EST (#351632) #
I don't think there is any chance Cozart signs that deal in Toronto.

1) no guaranteed starter role at any INF position
2) California vs Toronto
3) Trout/Otani vs Tulo/Donaldson (if he stays) *

Tulo and Donaldson both have respect in the game.

SK in NJ - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 03:12 PM EST (#351633) #
Cozart is a very good signing at that price, and would have looked nice at 2B for the Jays, but chances are it would have taken more (years, dollars, or both) to get him to come to Toronto. Plus, if the Jays are insisting that Travis is the starting 2B (not sure if they are or not) then they don't have much leverage with free agents. Good players will not sign here to back-up, even though a back up infielder on this team will get 500-600 plate appearances pretty easily.

The Angels are a very intriguing team. If Ohtani is as good as advertised, then they have a lot of upside. A lot of question marks in the rotation though, including Ohtani based on the recent news about his arm.
Mike Green - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 04:09 PM EST (#351634) #
I don't know whether Cozart would have been willing to sign in Toronto, but surely some team could use him at a higher price than that in a starting role.  Maybe he really wanted to play for the Angels. 
Glevin - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 04:30 PM EST (#351635) #
"I don't know whether Cozart would have been willing to sign in Toronto, but surely some team could use him at a higher price than that in a starting role. Maybe he really wanted to play for the Angels."

It's almost exactly what Cameron from Fangraphs predicted he'd get. He was fantastic last year but he's 32 YO, gets injured a lot, and has a lifetime 90 WRC+. He comes with a lot of risk (decline, regression, and injury). There are also very few contenders who need a starting SS. Who is the best team who could upgrade at SS?
dan gordon - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 05:03 PM EST (#351636) #
Mike, I don't understand why you are saying Morrow got a "much better deal" than Cozart. Morrow got 2 years for a total of $18 million, or $9 million a season, with a vesting option for $12 million or a $3 million buyout, so it will either be $21 million for 2 years or $30 million for 3 years. Cozart got 3 years for $38 million, so he's guaranteed a lot more money in total, and a fair bit more per season, almost $13 million a year.

Cozart had a very unusual breakout season last year in his age 31/32 season. His previous 5 years produced OPS's of .687, .665, .568, .769 and .732. Last year, he pulled a .933 out of his hat. As they say, one of these numbers is not like the others. There is a strong possibility of a fair bit of regression. Plus, he's going from a good hitters' park to a bad hitters' park, and he's getting into the age where declining performance is the norm - he turns 35 in the last year of the deal. Also, they are moving him to 3B, which diminishes his defensive value somewhat. I'm not so sure the contract is a bargain for the Angels. It may turn out to be a good deal, but I think there is at least an equal chance it doesn't.
Mike Green - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 05:11 PM EST (#351637) #
Dan, thanks  I didn't have the correct figures.
scottt - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 06:51 PM EST (#351638) #
Cozart to play at 3rd is a creative move that devaluates Moustakas.
Of course, Machado would have turned the Angels into a real contender.
Duchette wants 2 controllable starters, big ask for Anaheim.

Carlos Santana to the Phillies for the same money as EE.
The Clevelanders have also signed Upton Jr. to a minor league deal.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 07:12 PM EST (#351639) #
I just wish the Jays would do something...In sports and my current profession I hate indecision. I do not think stagnation leads to any positive results.
mendocino - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 07:21 PM EST (#351640) #
? Jays ?

LHP Matt Moore ($ 9m + opt) and/or RF Hunter Pence ($18.5m 1 year)
PeterG - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 07:29 PM EST (#351641) #
Moore to Rangers
PeterG - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 08:08 PM EST (#351642) #
Koehler to sign with Dodgers
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 08:30 PM EST (#351643) #
If we know the Teams that the Jays are talking to we should know who they are after. The Teams with Middle Infielders available at what the Jays want to spend and the talent they want to acquire should not be many. Pittsburgh comes to mind. Teams with Outfielders available at what the Jays want to spend and the talent they want to acquire are limited. St. Louis?

The Jays will make one Trade and one Free Agent signing before Christmas. That I’m fairly sure about. What they do at that time determines where they go next. That I have no idea about because I’m not sure how much they have to spend, or who they move off the Roster.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 09:08 PM EST (#351644) #
Acquiring the caliber of talent the Jays want in the Infield and the Outfield I can’t see there’s enough at bats to keep Kendrys Morales, Steven Pearce or Ezequiel Carrera. With all four Outfielders and the three Middle Infielders all needing significant DH time, there’s no room for Kendrys Morales. Steven Pearce and Ezequiel Carrera are not good enough defensively or offensively at more that strict limits. The Jays should be able to do better.
scottt - Friday, December 15 2017 @ 09:09 PM EST (#351645) #
If the Red Sox have to trade Bradley to make room for Martinez, the market for Cain could shrink considerably.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 06:05 AM EST (#351646) #
I do miss the days of AA for the constant action. By this time he would have made 11 waiver claims and DFA'd 4 (3 of which were from said waiver claims).

Seriously though, Preston Tucker had better not get past us on waivers.

Not that he's the Messiah, but he would add depth.
PeterG - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 12:48 PM EST (#351647) #
CC just agreed to one year deal with Yanks. Jays can move on now.
bpoz - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 01:09 PM EST (#351648) #
CC $10 mil for 1 year. I called that wrong. 2 years $16 mil per.
aarne13 - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 01:46 PM EST (#351649) #
It feels like Aldemys Diaz will be the only "big deal" this offseason. It doesn't help that some of the beat writers keep linking the Jays to several FA's and trade possibilities. Atkins/Shapiro are not trading away prospects nor are they going to trade the only tradeable assets (JD,Stro and Osuna).

Stand Pat v.2.0
bpoz - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 02:01 PM EST (#351650) #
Smoak and Happ. But if they trade them they may as well trade Donaldson.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 02:24 PM EST (#351651) #
Not surprised Sabathia re-signed with the Yankees. That is where he always wanted to sign. It was worth a shot, though.

My guess is the SP the Jays sign is a one year deal (Vargas, Miley, etc, types).
vw_fan17 - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 02:26 PM EST (#351652) #
Stand Pat v.2.0

Now with more patness and even more standing :-)
uglyone - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 02:33 PM EST (#351653) #
the jays have far more tradeable assets than just jd stro and osuna, obviously.
uglyone - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 02:37 PM EST (#351654) #
jays could prob have got CC if they guaranteed another year.
Parker - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 02:54 PM EST (#351655) #
jays could prob have got CC if they guaranteed another year.

Oh, totally. Why would a guy in the twilight of his career who's earned $242M not want to sign with a fourth-place team?

Typical analysis, uglyone. Right up there with "the Jays should've paid Dexter Fowler the same money St. Louis offered him and he magically would've signed with Toronto" and "the Jays should've signed Encarnacion for what Cleveland is paying him."
Glevin - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 03:02 PM EST (#351656) #
Atlanta and LA in a mutual salary dump. Kind of a weird trade but works for both teams I guess.
John Northey - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 03:28 PM EST (#351657) #
Good old AA. Finds a way to get rid of headaches.
bpoz - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 03:32 PM EST (#351658) #
CC at $10 mil for 1 year "should" not have a good 2018. But he did have a good post season last year, IMO. I am confused.

And to me it seems obvious that he was NOT using the Jays to get a better deal.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 03:34 PM EST (#351659) #
dan gordon - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 03:40 PM EST (#351660) #
Very disappointed the Jays didn't get Sabathia. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jays offered him something along the lines of 2 years at $12 million, but he understandably preferred to stay with the Yankees. With him producing an ERA just over 3.00 on the road in each of the last 2 years, he still is a very effective pitcher. Oh well, time to move on to the next candidate. There still is a lot of time to go in the off season. A lot of teams still have considerable work to do.
uglyone - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 03:46 PM EST (#351661) #
hi parker.
uglyone - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 04:04 PM EST (#351662) #
Unsurprisingly, that is a pretty slick piece of business by AA. It probably helps that he's always willing to think big.

cash neutral, all one year deals taken on....with the only guy with any real value having an option attached. gets a couple other lottery tickets that could get him some trade return at the deadlne if he's lucky, too.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 04:05 PM EST (#351663) #
Joe Biagini is a pretty good Pitcher. He just needs to learn how to be a Starter again. Could he be more than a 5th Starter type? Yes, he could be. The talent level of the Starter the Jays acquire should be commensurate with the Term he gets. Anyone acquired should be at least Mid-Rotation if at all possible.
PeterG - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 04:24 PM EST (#351664) #
Might come around to Brett Anderson eventually. Might take Vargas. Would not take Miley even if he would play for free.
scottt - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 05:44 PM EST (#351665) #
It's not just the Jays, apart from the Yankees, nobody in the division has done anything.

I'm happy with the CC Sabathia deal. I don't think the Yankees wanted to pay that much.
It might mean that they decided against getting another starter by trading prospects.

So far, the Jays have lost Bautista, Barney and Goins, all in negative WAR territory last year.

bpoz - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 06:37 PM EST (#351666) #
The Atlanta/LAD trade is payroll cleanup or house keeping.
Atlanta was going to pay Kemp $43 mil over 2 years. Now that budget belongs to LAD. Atlanta's payroll increases by $48.5 this year, 2018. Atlanta also receives $ 4.5 mil.

Kemp played well last year and to me looks like the 3rd best OF of the LAD.

B McCarthy has value as a ML pitcher. 5th SP or pen, definitely depth and a possible trading chip. A Gonzalez has been released, S Kazmir has to bounce back from injuries. Culberson at the moment looks like a backup IF at best.

There is pleasure in digging for.... if you have nothing better to do with your spare time in retirement. Tim Locastro, Jay's minor leaguer is on the LAD 40 man roster. He has 1 ML AB and a SB. No hits or walks. Unknown how he got on base.
bpoz - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 07:15 PM EST (#351667) #
Agreed scottt. Also I don't think anyone has as yet made a big new signing. 3-5 years $20 mil per year except C Santana.
James W - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 09:20 PM EST (#351668) #
Tim Locastro ... has 1 ML AB and a SB. No hits or walks. Unknown how he got on base.

He pinch-ran for Chase Utley in the 9th inning on Sept. 30 against Colorado, and stole third base.
bpoz - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 09:24 PM EST (#351669) #
Thanks James W.
John Northey - Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 11:13 PM EST (#351670) #
CC was an interesting idea but not critical by any means. The last 4 years he hasn't reached 180 IP in any of those seasons, and twice didn't reach 162 including last year. For 5 straight years his FIP has been over 4, not horrible but not a 'lets chase him down' either. At $10 mil the Yankees got a good deal, depending on the performance bonuses based on innings pitched.

As to big deals, just 6 guys have signed for more than $10 mil per year (just over what 1 WAR is thought to be worth).
Justin Upton: 5 years at $21.2 per year (Angels)
Carlos Santana: 3 years at $20 per (Phillies)
Tyler Chatwood: 3 years at $12.7 per (Cubs)
Zack Cozart: 3 years at $12.7 per (Angels)
Brandon Morrow: 2 years at $10.5 per (Cubs)
CC Sabathia: 1 year for $10 (Yankees)

Now, which of those do we really want here? Santana is a DH (guess the Phillies missed Ryan Howard and wanted to do a new version) whose WAR is highest when he is kept off the field. Upton would've been sweet but odds are the Jays would've had to add a 6th year and more cash to get him and I don't like him that much. I'm surprised he didn't get more, I suspect he wanted to be on the west coast.

Of the big names left, I'd LOVE Yu Darvish even with the injury concerns. He is an ace or #1 and he'd make the whole staff stronger by pushing everyone down a notch. Sadly not going to happen, but ever since Clemens signed I keep the dream alive of it happening again. Jake Arrieta also would be nice but is probably out of reach. Ah well. I suspect it'll be dumpster diving or a trade that we'll be talking about this winter. I'll be enjoying watching Atlanta from afar for the crazy trades.
GabrielSyme - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 12:22 AM EST (#351671) #
I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that Carlos Santana is a major defensive liability. Over the equivalent of 3.5 full seasons at first base, Santana is positive both according to UZR and DRS - and has seen his best defensive ratings in recent years, suggesting he's improved.

There really wasn't room for Santana on the Jays unless Morales or Smoak were moved, however.

I still really like Lorenzo Cain as a potential acquisition. He offers a good record as a hitter where he doesn't look like he's started a decline, he doesn't appear to have materially slowed down as a runner, and he seems like a good candidate to improve his "old-player" skills to counteract his eventual defensive decline. He could play a corner and move over to centre if we trade Pillar.
James W - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 12:43 AM EST (#351672) #
I don't think Upton ever actually opted out of the 2018-2021 portion of his previous contract, though his new contract did replace it. So he wasn't really a free agent. Toronto has also repeatedly appeared on his no-trade lists.
uglyone - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 01:31 AM EST (#351673) #
signing santana after letting EE go would have been funny.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 02:29 AM EST (#351674) #
John, looking at Sabathia's FIP ignores the fact that he pitches half of his games in a hitters' paradise. Have a look at his road numbers to get a proper look at how good he's been the last couple of years. Just as a comparison, his road ERA combined the last 2 years is way better than Stroman's
85bluejay - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 10:36 AM EST (#351675) #
With so many teams lining up to spend big next year, there's very little chance that Donaldson or Machado sign extensions and forgo FA.

I have no problems with the FO slowplaying the offseason - the Jays don't play a meaningful game until March 29th - so I'm not concerned - better no moves than the Morales signing of last winter - also I think the FA market prices will fall as teams hold back for next year.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 11:14 AM EST (#351676) #
Machado has also indicated that he wants to play SS, which gives Donaldson the 3B crown in free agency next winter. The way things are lining up, the Jays are unlikely to get an extension done with Donaldson before the season. He has no reason to do it unless the Jays offer him a crazy contract or he is worried about his health and wants to get the security now. The latter might be possible, though unlikely, but I wouldn't bet on the former.

I'm not worried about the inactivity either. It's boring and annoying in some ways, but it's better to wait out the market than misread it (ex. Morales). We have to wait and see if some of the bigger market teams do not spend big now due to next winter's free agent class. If so, there might some good free agent deals to be had next month.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 04:43 PM EST (#351677) #
Ross Atkins is still a rookie GM, with some very good people on his team. I don’t know how fairly they evaluate players - their own and others. Would they trade Bichette in a package for a 22-24 year old stud? Or in a package for Cole and Villar? I certainly would.
PeterG - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 05:42 PM EST (#351678) #
Atkins is not a rookie.
scottt - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 06:10 PM EST (#351679) #
Bichette is close and nobody is blocking him in middle infield. I don't see the point of flipping him for a similar outfield talent with fewer years of control. Besides, nobody was going to do a 1 for 1 swap with Bichette. It would have been Bichette + 2 or 3 others.
scottt - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 06:22 PM EST (#351680) #
The Cards keep pestering the Jays about Donaldson, but Machado is available and the word from Baltimore is that the Cards are not willing to make a reasonable offer. It looks more like the Cards are trying to unload some average position players. Sorry, but those guys don't sell tickets.
PeterG - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 07:35 PM EST (#351681) #
I think the Cards would offer much more for Donaldson than for Machado. Obviously the two teams are talking, with Jays holding out for better offer. I think they will take the 2 position players in question if a good pitching prospect is also included. Winning sells tickets, not individual players.

On the subject of Bichette, I think that it would be incredibly stupid to trade him for an OF that would help the team finish 3rd instead of 4th. Not going to happen.
jerjapan - Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 10:10 PM EST (#351682) #
Been out of town and off the net for a week, and man was I hoping to come back to more exciting Jays news than the three guys we claimed in the minor league portion of the rule v - who look good to me, as far as these things go. 

Cozart is the deal I wanted us to make all offseason, so I'm sad to see him off the market.  I continue to strongly disagree though that Toronto is a lesser destination than California for all FAs .... plenty of guys are fine with winter / prefer a cooler summer / a saner president / proximity to family / are good friends with a current Jay / whatever, there are hundreds of reasons.  Maybe that was a factor for Cozart, but we were never once linked to him, and he seems to be a bigger fish than the Jays are pursuing. 

And if playing time was an issue - another idea I dispute, not everybody has to start to feel like they choose the right team - we could have played Travis in LF enough to make the permutations work - aka, we could Ben Zobrist the roster, and get him playing time.  Currently, that means Cozart is a 'starter' and the Pearce / Zeke LF platoon misses some ABs. 

I haven't had time to review this idea, but discussions above made me wonder off the top of my head if AA doesn't in fact have a much better track record than Shapiro / Atkins in the first two seasons of their tenure.  Curious what you guys think. So far, the start of season 3 is just really, really boring for the new guys. 

I do want us to sign Cain - number 2 on Dave Cameron's projected FA bargains list.

And I do find our current FO to be intentionally vaguer, less interesting and .... odd?  in their work with the media.  There has been a whole bunch of conversation about the Buffalo rotation depth, and than nothing else interesting that I can think of?  

ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 07:21 AM EST (#351683) #
I cringe to think of injury-prone Devon Travis in the outfield. Just think of the effect of running on the artificial turf on his knees, diving for catches on said turf, running into walls/other players -- the possibilities are numerous for another disabled list visit. That said, it would be nice to have a second baseman who could play the outfield and offer the lineup flexibility that's becoming fashionable in MLB today.
bpoz - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 07:47 AM EST (#351684) #
I know that baseball is unpredictable.

Gibbons was asked his thoughts on bullpen use in the playoffs this year. He said "used and abused".

I expect the regular season pitching usage to be the old way.

But relievers seem more important now for a mixture of reasons.
PeterG - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 09:28 AM EST (#351685) #
The copy cat effect has never been more obvious than it is with some of the contracts given to relievers this off season. Most of those signing will be regretted imo. I agree with what Gibbons had to say about it as well.
Chuck - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 10:10 AM EST (#351686) #
Maybe that was a factor for Cozart

Setting climate aside (and ignoring that Cozart is from the US south), I think it's simply a matter of being offered a starting job versus being offered a backup job, albeit behind brittle starters. I can't see anyone opting for the latter over the former, even if they are enchanted with the city of Toronto.

Some here have argued that the team needs a starting second baseman, with the idea of dealing with a healthy Travis should one ever present itself. I can see that argument. But I can also see the brass rolling the dice on Travis, spending its limited resources to plug more predictable holes (although Travis's limited playing time has indeed become fairly predictable).

uglyone - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 10:42 AM EST (#351687) #
yeah I mean so much depends on what the medical reports actually say for Travis.

Due to the type of injury I'm still forced to guess that this is something he can realistically play with, but we can't know that.
PeterG - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 11:05 AM EST (#351688) #
Interesting reading:
Mike Green - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 11:51 AM EST (#351689) #
The Borucki video is fun to watch. 
SK in NJ - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 12:16 PM EST (#351690) #
If the Jays can't promise a good infielder a starting spot, then there's really no incentive for that player to sign with Toronto. The only exception might be Eduardo Nunez since he's been a utility type of player for his career, but I would think he would try to find a starting spot first as well. While a back-up infielder for the Jays is likely going to get 500-600 plate appearances, that's not exactly a good sell for a free agent. They would have to give up on Travis completely and open the 2B spot up in order to attract a good free agent. They don't appear to want to do that yet.

That's why someone like Diaz makes sense since he is coming off a down season and isn't established enough to have a starting spot. Those are typically the type of back-ups that have the most upside since worst case he will play like a back-up, but best case maybe he's a lot better than that.

I'm not sure who the Jays are targeting with the second infield spot they want to fill, but if it's not Nunez, then it will probably be a player that resembles Diaz's situation (younger player, coming off a down year, not wanted by team, etc).
PeterG - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 12:48 PM EST (#351691) #
Jays will need to trade for back up IF..
PeterG - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 04:09 PM EST (#351692) #
Red Sox bring back Moreland for 2 years and appear to be out on Hosmer.
GabrielSyme - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 05:33 PM EST (#351693) #
I really don't think the Jays need another infield backup the calibre of Aledmys Diaz. A good defensive SS would be a good fit, if they can find one who is an improvement on Ngoepe and Urena.
scottt - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 07:38 PM EST (#351694) #
Surprised on that. Is Boston going to wait until next year to spend on free agency?

Bruce is now asking for 4 years, down from 5. I guess the market is heading in the right direction.

PeterG - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 08:27 PM EST (#351695) #
the free spending days appear to be gone.....for now at least

2 or 3 teams may spend next year and will soon regret it imo

going to be hard to compete with the Phillies next off season as even with their recent acquisitions they will still be about 150 mil under the tax
uglyone - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 08:31 PM EST (#351696) #
dang i was kinda hoping the sox would hand JD a chris davis contract.
greenfrog - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 08:53 PM EST (#351697) #
Fangraphs opinion:

JonCor: Seem to be conflicting views among the FG team around the Jays’ ability to contend in ’18. Are you a trade Donaldson and burn it down guy or stay in it and reassess at deadline guy?

Travis Sawchik: Blue Jays are in a tough spot

Travis Sawchik: You can make a convincing argument either way

Travis Sawchik: I

Travis Sawchik: ‘d lean toward tearing down

Travis Sawchik: I just don’t think they’re a team that has the ability to play deep into October
SK in NJ - Monday, December 18 2017 @ 09:53 PM EST (#351698) #
The more teams that spend conservatively this winter to gear up for next winter might mean there will be a player or two who comes cheaper than expected. Unfortunately the FA market isn't very good so even if prices do fall it will be to players like Bruce. I am not a fan of signing Cain given where the Jays are in their roster construction, but if his price falls, then that's about the only FA that would be worth exploring based on projected 2018 WAR. My guess is the prices will fall on the one dimensional sluggers (Martinez, Bruce) rather than the multi dimensional ones, but who knows at this point.

The Yankees and Dodgers both got under the luxury tax for a reason. There will be extreme bidding wars this time next year.
scottt - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 07:34 AM EST (#351699) #
The key point here is that Donaldson is not bringing much back in a trade.
They could get some average players, which they could just sign as free agents, or they could get some second rate prospects who will probably never make the team.
They already have enough borderline players on the 40 rosters.
They're close to the point where any acquisition will force someone out.

Playing deep in October is all about players performing. This rotation has been very good in October.
The hitting has been iffy, but Donaldson has been excellent. Goins and Barney are gone.
Some of the prospects could be impact players in October. You can't tell how they'll hit in December.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 08:29 AM EST (#351700) #
Donaldson is one of the best players in baseball. he better get something good back in a trade.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 09:12 AM EST (#351701) #
Atkins referred to an "outfielder surplus"  and included names of some organizational soldiers.  It struck me as strange because the club is actually pretty shallow in the outfield in the short and medium term.  They have Carrera, Pillar, Hernandez, Pompey, Alford, Olivares and Palacios.  It is conceivable that one of Bichette and Guerrero Jr. could move to the outfield, as well.  Acquiring a player like Cain isn't the worst thing from a medium term perpsective, even if he declines somewhat more steeply than average (which frankly isn't that likely given his skill set). 
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 09:17 AM EST (#351702) #
I doubt the Jays sign any player who has a QO attached - which Cain has, unless there is a dramatic drop in price.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 09:49 AM EST (#351703) #
you think they're just straight up lying about then?

"I think that it's less significant of an issue, but it's definitely something you have to factor in," Atkins told reporters in Orlando. "It's not something that would deter us."
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:03 AM EST (#351704) #
Anyone wanting Josh Donaldson needs to take Kendrys Morales (full salary) as well. The return needs to be one MLB-quality player and two stud prospects. That might not seem to be enough, but it does clear $32.7 Million in Salary giving the Jays $52.7-$57.7 Million to work with.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:05 AM EST (#351705) #
why the hell would we dilute the return on an elite Donaldson by forcing the other team to take a bad contract?

and what the hell are they going to do with that "payroll space" after trading Donaldson for prospects?
Glevin - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:19 AM EST (#351706) #
Look at the fangraphs article about Machado trade value. Donaldson is very close to that. Donaldson is a great player but has one year left on a deal and not very many teams need a 3Bman. Look at what the Marlins got for Ozuna and that's probably similar to what Donaldson could fetch. (I think Donaldson might get a little more because Marlins are selling and are poorly run). But you're talking about one back end top-100 prospect and a lottery ticket. Maybe Donaldson could get a 50-75 prospect and a couple of lottery tickets? You can't divorce contracts from trade value.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:21 AM EST (#351707) #
Donaldson is as valuable as Halladay was when we traded him.....except in this case, Donaldson isn't forcing the team to trade him to one specific team. The return better be better than what we got for Roy.

And iirc the return for Roy was 2 top-25 prospects and another top-100 prospect with clear top-25 upside.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:23 AM EST (#351708) #
And you really have to stop using Ozuna as a comparable for Donaldson. That doesn't make any sense.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:32 AM EST (#351709) #
No team is paying a kings ransom for 1 year of Josh Donaldson - those days are gone.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:35 AM EST (#351710) #

you guys really have to stop preemptively excusing the FO for a bad trade by arguing that Donaldson is worth less than recent deadline acquisitions of relievers.
James W - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:55 AM EST (#351711) #
Regarding Donaldson's diminishing trade value, here's what Fangraphs had to say in their annual Trade Value series from this past July:

"The biggest fallers, as always, are the great players who are getting ever closer to the end of their contracts. Yes, every team in baseball would love to have Harper, Machado, or Donaldson on their roster, but all three are eligible for free agency after next season. And while teams would absolutely give significant packages of talent to get these guys for even a year and a half of performance, it's difficult to get a team to surrender a player good enough to make this list for a guy who could leave after next year."
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:06 AM EST (#351712) #
Yeah, Dave Cameron has famously always valued elite players less than MLB teams do.

Which has led to most of his worst predictions.

But pretending that Donaldson can't fetch as much as a deadline rental of Chapman is foolish.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:07 AM EST (#351713) #
So far the off season has been successful rule 5 protection and the acquisition of A Diaz at a very reasonable cost.

The big FA position players and pitchers, JD Martinez and Yu are still available.

The perceived budget is still available as well.

I am thinking that the FO is still thinking about competitiveness rather than rebuild.

Most of the time winning will improve attendance and revenue. But the fans need to believe/be convinced that the team is winning.

I mean winning games, not winning the off season.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:20 AM EST (#351714) #
Dave Cameron's article is interesting.  He's discussing Bogaerts and Rodriguez for Machado.  He points out that this amounts to a one to two win present year gain for Boston (with increased salary commitment) and large future loss. 

This is not the kind of deal which makes sense for the Blue Jays.  If they are trading Donaldson, they out to be trading him to a club which has a 3 to 4 win present gain for the deal- i.e. not for players currently offering significant value.  It is tough because most of the best teams are strong at third base. 

Nigel - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:30 AM EST (#351715) #
Agreed Mike.

I think everyone needs to stop parsing the press comments of Shapiro and Atkins too closely. The spin rate on their quotes is elite. I have zero problem with this. In my view, this attribute was very high on the list of what got Shapiro hired. As always, watch what this management group does, not what it says.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:38 AM EST (#351716) #
Yeah, the more questionable part there might be his valuation of Bogaerts (who is due huge raises now just as he might be turning into a weak hitting 3B, and only has 1 more year of control than Machado does) and Rodriguez (an ok pitcher with chronic major knee issues who just had major reconstructive ligament surgery last month).

But Dave has always been heavily invested in touting the greatness of these young Red Sox players so it's no surprise he's still pumping up their value.

In fact, Machado probably projects to being more valuable than both Bogaerts and Rodriguez combined next year. And I don't know if one extra year of Bogaerts plus ERod with reconstructed knee is a good deal for Baltimiore.

At the same time, let's not conflate Machado and Donaldson - Donaldson is a significantly better player than Machado is. Donaldson has never had a year remotely like Machado's extremely mediocre year this year, and Machado's best hitting years are nowhere near Donaldson's best hitting years either, or even close to Donaldson's hitting THIS year. If we're talking about their longterm value, that's one thing, but Donaldson is the significantly better player right now.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:58 AM EST (#351717) #
We got Donaldson from Beane, who is a very smart GM. He was rebuilding. Cespedes and Donaldson traded.

So now our FO has to determine what is more valuable 1 year of Donaldson or the package involved. Also should they try to extend Donaldson.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:58 AM EST (#351718) #
UO, any reasonable projection system will have Machado and Donaldson within a comparable range for next year, with Machado's youth and somewhat superior defensive ability more or less off-setting Donaldson's better and more consistent offensive record. 

Personally, I'd prefer to have Donaldson for 2018 by a fairly wide margin in large part because Machado's injury history scares me. 

uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 12:20 PM EST (#351719) #
Well, any projection system should have Donaldson as a significantly - maybe massively - better hitter than Manny next year, with the defense being a more interesting question.

even with his time missed to injury Donaldson was worth near double what Manny was this year. and I'm pretty sure that Manny has never come within 1war of Donaldson (maybe even 2) in any given year.

lemme check if orioles' zips is out.....yep it is.


Manny: 688pa, 116wrc+, 4.9war, 4.6war/650
Josh: 572pa, 139wrc+, 5.6war, 6.4war/650


Manny: 663pa, 135wrc+, 6.3war, 6.2war/650
Josh: 666pa, 142wrc+, 6.4war, 6.3war/650


Manny: 676pa, 126wrc+, 5.6war, 5.4war/650
Josh: 619pa, 141wrc+, 6.0war, 6.3war/650

Both systems think Josh is an elite player next year, while they're split on Manny.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 12:41 PM EST (#351720) #
Machado is being shopped. I don't know if Donaldson is.
Parker - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 12:44 PM EST (#351721) #
It's time to stop, ugly.

The people who are actually employed to run baseball teams aren't going to give away six years of control to two or three top-20 prospects in exchange for $20M worth of a one-year-control MVP-candidate.

How did you miss the last four years of baseball?
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 12:46 PM EST (#351722) #
What's funny is that's exactly what actual people employed by baseball teams do every year, no matter what Dave Cameron writes on his blog.
Parker - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 12:49 PM EST (#351723) #
What's funny is that's exactly what actual people employed by baseball teams do every year, no matter what Dave Cameron writes on his blog.

Do you have some doctored stats to prove this?
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 12:54 PM EST (#351724) #
Do you even follow baseball?

why did much less valuable players like Chapman and Lucroy garner multiple elite prospects back in deadline trades?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 01:25 PM EST (#351725) #
St. Louis is after Donaldson because they believe he'll sign an extension with them. The Jays need to decide whether he'll sign with them. If St. Louis wants him the price is give the Jays Gyorko, Grichuk, Reyes, Kelly and either Flaherty or Weaver, OR, take on the Morales contract and give the Jays Gyorko and the Jays choice of two of Reyes, Kelly, Flaherty and Weaver.

The Jays save $30.0 plus Million in Salary. They have two quality prospects to add to their list so they can acquire a long term stud acquisition. They would have enough money to go after whoever they want. They don't have to trade him, but just think about the options possible.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 01:48 PM EST (#351726) #
The jays will not get anything close to that for or at the deadline. I think Cameron is a bit light but he is closer than these fanciful ideas.

Interesting reading:
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 01:50 PM EST (#351727) #
How many people on this site have had Thumb injuries? After an All-Star 2016, Aledmys Diaz had a thumb injury early 2017, which wasn't as good a season. It has been reported that he's been getting better defensively at SS and has been trying other position to improve his playing value. I think his 2018 season could be close or better than his 2016 season, so his acquisition is much more significant than thought earlier.

Why did St. Louis trade Diaz?
His replacement was exceptional.
They cleared a 40-Man Roster space.
They saved approximately $600 K in salary.
Or, the Jays picked the exactly right time to acquire him.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 01:50 PM EST (#351728) #
As always, watch what this management group does, not what it says.

Well, one problem is that this off-season, there's been so much more saying compared to doing...
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:02 PM EST (#351729) #
Parker - your replies only directed to Ugly are tiresome. You can direct the responses to the thread in general without leaving open the invitation for another Parker-Ugly thread.

Donaldson Value - Nobody knows what will happen or what Donaldson's value is. To make statements like "those days are over" or to remark that we can't get much for Donaldson is a bit rash. Yes, it's true that the only elite returns recently have been for pitching, and yes it's true that sluggers have been sitting on the market like EE, JDM the past few years. But I think Ugly has a fair point here. If Harper was being shopped would you guys still be saying "we can't get a top 50 prospect for him" or "we can't expect much return because it's his last year?" I don't think you would. Donaldson is in that discussion with Harper and Trout. He can't be compared to guys that have been sitting on the market because of his track record both offensively, defensively and the playoffs (going there essentially every year). If he's traded, it's going to be for a huge return and the team trading for him will likely have plans to resign him before he hits free agency. There's no way you can argue that he isn't worth a premium return unless you make that same argument for other Elite players like Kershaw/Trout/Harper. Anybody arguing otherwise is undervaluing this player.

I think that the media and journalists combined with the lacklustre returns for flawed players - Ozuna is flawed, Stanton has a contract that makes him flawed...these factors have distorted the market but not the value of the leagues superstars. I think a better proposal would be an A+ prospect like Devers for Donaldson or a mix of 2 premium-good top 50 prospects like 2 of the cardinals pitchers. The proposals I've seen of MLB players coming back to the Jays in a swap makes zero sense since you only trade Josh if you get those premium prospects that can slot right next to or right under Bichette/Vlad.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:17 PM EST (#351730) #
Richard, I do not agree with your assessment of Donaldson's trade value but I totally agree with your points on Diaz. All of them are quite valid. Jays are much more likely to get the 2016 version than the one that struggled in 2017.
Parker - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:19 PM EST (#351731) #
why did much less valuable players like Chapman and Lucroy garner multiple elite prospects back in deadline trades?

Probably because they were bigger assets to the team acquiring them. You should start following baseball.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:28 PM EST (#351732) #
With this talk of trading Donaldson I keep hoping the Jays pull off a Christmas miracle and get him to sign on the dotted line - say, 5 years for $150 mil ($30 per). He might get more next winter but he also might get hurt so I could see why he'd sign and I can see why the Jays might hesitate (injuries, getting into mid-30's for a chunk). The Jays could structure it so more is paid in years 2/3/4 than 1/5 to save space this year and in the last year when the Jays should have kids up and pounding.

Only 5 contracts have ever been signed averaging $30 mil a year - Greinke, Cabrera, Price, Kershaw, and Scherzer. For a third baseman the highest is A-Rod's $275 mil 10 year deal with the Yankees singed prior to the 2008 season.

I'd think Donaldson is aware of that as are the Jays. Both are also aware teams like the Yankees and Red Sox and Dodgers are clearing space so they can spend next winter. So does Donaldson want to maximize his pay while still being at risk or does he want to stay here and play it safe? Are the Jays willing to pay what it takes to keep a star? Guess we'll see.
Parker - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:42 PM EST (#351733) #
It's fun to talk about flaws and whatever from a Jays fan perspective. Donaldson is only controlled for one season and there are a very limited number of teams in need of a 3rd baseman. Nobody should be surprised at the limited return the rest of the league is offering. Meanwhile, the Jays are trying to run a business and they're not trading him for crap. They're not trading him because he's a marketable asset and they'd need to be blown away by an offer, and nobody is blowing them away. I don't know why people have such a hard time understanding this.

The Jays obviously need to retool because their team is a disgraceful pretense at an MLB roster, but they're not going to make it clear to the potential season-ticket buyers that there's no reason to give them money.

If everyone put this level of time and energy into earning a living as they did at debating the utter nonsense that keeps getting spewed here, maybe they would be able to buy some baseball tickets instead of crying about a product they've never even financially supported.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:45 PM EST (#351734) #
I will always place a high value on Donaldson because I think he's exceptional. But the value I place might not be as high as I think the Jays do.

That said, I'm not sure how much he should get. I'd personally give him 3 years $90.0 Million and tell him if he's healthy he'll get another contract from the team. That's the only fair way to satisfy both sides.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 02:58 PM EST (#351735) #
There are players out there with a similar track to Diaz. There is also the right time to ask about any player. The trick is knowing when to ask.

The trick is knowing when to gamble on your own players. Teoscar Hernandez and Anthony Alford could easily fill out the Outfield holes. The improved Defense could save the Jays as many as ten games or more. The Offense should at least be as good or better than existed last year.

The Jays just need to decide what is right.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 03:13 PM EST (#351736) #
"Probably because they were bigger assets to the team acquiring them."


this is where you say things and then make fun of math.
pubster - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 03:16 PM EST (#351737) #
"If everyone put this level of time and energy into earning a living as they did at debating the utter nonsense that keeps getting spewed here, maybe they would be able to buy some baseball tickets instead of crying about a product they've never even financially supported."

Great stuff!
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 03:46 PM EST (#351738) #
I see that everyone is well into the holiday spirit of charity, goodwill and peace.
christaylor - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 05:15 PM EST (#351739) #
Just in case someone has not already said it -- the original post very thought-provoking, well written, and I'd like to chew on it before deciding whether I have anything interesting to add. I only had time to read a few comments, but I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday and point folks with a BP subscription to this excellent article on shifts in baseball.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 05:36 PM EST (#351740) #
In the silly department it seems the Phillies asked about Marcus Stroman. From how it reads the Jays pretty much told them to go someplace extremely warm when they suggested it.

Now, what would it take? Phillies appear to have a deep system but what would it take to get rid of Stroman? Some pitching, some hitting, at least 3 prospects at a high level imo.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 06:30 PM EST (#351741) #
Now, what would it take? Phillies appear to have a deep system but what would it take to get rid of Stroman? Some pitching, some hitting, at least 3 prospects at a high level imo.

I can't see enough worthwhile in the Phillies' system to trade Stroman. Their best prospect is 29th in top 100 MLB and in A-Ball with poor numbers. He'd be at best 4th in the Jays' top 30.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 06:49 PM EST (#351742) #
If Anthony Alford doesn't get injured so early in the season, does he stay with the Jays all season? Since healing he's been hitting the ball better than ever before - very well. Does that give the Jays a reason to have on the MLB Roster this season? Is he better than Teoscar Hernandez?
scottt - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 06:59 PM EST (#351743) #
I don't know why teams keep asking about Stroman. What's the last time the Jays traded a pitcher in the off-season?
Happ for Sanders. Before that Marcum for Lawrie and before that Doc for 3 prospects.
The Jays aren't the Rays.

scottt - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 07:21 PM EST (#351744) #
That Machado trade article made zero sense.
First of all, Baltimore is not looking for a trade in the division. Also everybody knows they want young starters.
Something like 2 pitchers with 4+ years of control each who could become starters.
Why would they trade for a position player with an extra year on his contract?

Small market teams trade their players before they can become free agents because they cannot afford to resign them.
The point is to get prospects who will be with the team for at least 6 years.
Why would they take back established players who are not worth a QO and who are already in arbitration?

Back in 2008, Baltimore traded Erik Bedard to Seattle for a 22 year old Adam Jones, George Sherrill and 3 pitching prospects including Chris Tillman.

As for the Jays, two third of free agents are still unsigned.
There's several pitchers left, plus Cain, Bruce and a few outfielders who could platoon with Pearce better than Carrera and a couple of middle infielders who might not find a starting job.

PeterG - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 07:30 PM EST (#351745) #
I think Teoscar will get the first major league opportunity. If he is found wanting after a few weeks and Alford is producing at Buffalo, a change could be made. Injuries and service time could also be factors in the decision making. And, of course other OF acquisitions could alter things also.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 08:02 PM EST (#351746) #
All the FOs in baseball are reasonably smart. Well some of them.

Money/payroll budget is a major factor. Rich teams and poor teams.
Then there are teams "going for it". Like possibly the Twins.

I just read from Ken Gurnick a writer about baseball writing about the LAD acquiring M Kemp.

I am grateful that I type gives me more time to evaluate what I am typing.

He explains that the LAD are 3 years over the Luxury tax threshold and now pay a 50% penalty on the overage. So "they are expected to flip or release the 33 year old Kemp for someone younger L Cain or A McCutchen".

Releasing Kemp "shocked" me. I mean that, his new team will get him for the ML minimum. IMO he is a good player still, but not worth $21.5 mil per year for the next 2 years.

We have the money in our budget to trade for him. LAD would have to sweeten the pot.

John Northey - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 08:16 PM EST (#351747) #
Looking at major free agents the only one who would really excite me is Yu Darvish but he seems to be debating between Texas and Houston right now (via MLBTR). Don't see the Jays jumping into that battle.

Kemp hasn't had 2+ WAR in a season since 2012, a year after his great 8 WAR season. For 2013-2017 he is 0.8 WAR total. I see him as close to useless. His defense hurts him a lot, he'd be best as a DH but doesn't hit enough to justify that either. There is a warning about long term contracts based on one great season.

Puig would be interesting if LA is tired of his attitude. 2 years of control, crazy high potential on both defense and offense. Probably expensive to get. Not seeing much that would be worth getting that I could imagine LA being willing to trade to be honest.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 10:54 PM EST (#351748) #
IMO, J.D. Martinez is an exceptional hitter, but both EE and Jose were better in their best years. Jose last year was a better defender than J.D. was. Yet GMs are to pay an aging slugger $210.0 Million over 7 years. Someone will come close, of that I'm sure. How much do the "lesser" Outfielders want? At some point, Defense matters. The Jays have made their offer(s) to the Player(s) they are interested in. At some point playing the kids will be better than the caliber of experienced vets available, and the Jays can re-purpose their money.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 11:16 PM EST (#351749) #
How good is the Starter the Jays will be after? I'm very certain they need one. I'd just prefer looking higher on the food chain and a long term solution. Is Yu Darvish a good enough Front-of-the-Rotation Starter for the money and term he wants? If he is, the Jay should be all over this. Is Jake Arrieta?

In-house isn't good enough to start the season in the Rotation without special need. So who they get depends on plans for 2019 and beyond (only Sanchez and Stroman are sure things). I'm sure the Jays have made offers here. I'm just not sure who they are after.

I just know that sometimes the flood gates open before a Team is ready, I just think that if one or more of their "A" list guys is available, don't wait, push for a deal.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 12:40 AM EST (#351750) #
It looks like the Dodgers might be willing to include prospects to get rid of Matt Kemp. I wonder if we send Steve Pearce back how much would we have to eat to get a top 5-10 prospect in their system or maybe a couple of 10-20 guys? At the very least this offseason I'd like to see us do something like that.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 09:22 AM EST (#351751) #
Nice package Shoeless Joe. That luxury tax penalty is a factor. They could throw in Int'l pool money too. Many ways to mix and match.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 10:38 AM EST (#351753) #
From Ken Rosenthal:

BREAKING: Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his Achilles yesterday working out in California. Expected to be out at least six months.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 11:45 AM EST (#351756) #
longoria to SF
uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 11:49 AM EST (#351757) #
Span and Arroyo part of the return.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 11:53 AM EST (#351758) #
plus Matt Krook and Stephen Woods.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 11:56 AM EST (#351759) #
Longoria is 32 and is owed ~$17m for each of the next 5yrs.

Projects to be about a 3win player in year 1.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 11:58 AM EST (#351760) #
.....which makes him sound similar to a guy like.....Lorenzo cain.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 12:02 PM EST (#351762) #
The #BlueJays are hiring Nikki Huffman to be their new head athletic trainer. (@ShiDavidi)
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 12:27 PM EST (#351763) #
Great trade by the Rays - get the best years of Longoria and then dump him as he becomes expensive and less productive - the Giants desperately trying to extend their window - won't be surprised if in a couple of years the Giants look like Phillies of a few years ago, a bunch of old unproductive players with big contracts. I think Christian Arroyo could be outproducing Longoria in 2 years.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 01:10 PM EST (#351767) #
Longoria is still cheap, under $20 mil a year and $15 or less for the next 3 years. That is less than 2 WAR a year needed to be worth it. His worst is 2.5 in 2012 when he only played 74 games. Every other season is 3+. Mix in Tampa paying part of the salary and the Giants got to feel good about this deal.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 02:38 PM EST (#351772) #
With Span gone, Giants probably make a move on Cain
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 03:09 PM EST (#351775) #
Longoria fits in age-wise with the Giants core, which is in the 28-32 age group. They want to try to compete while they have Posey and Bumgarner. The only significant player they have older than 32 is Pence, so I think they can be competitive for a few years. Obviously, they need an outfielder now, and are looking at Jay Bruce, but only want to give him 3 years, while he wants 4. Cain would be a very nice addition for them. If they are able to add a good outfielder, Cueto bounces back, and Bumgarner and Melancon recover from last year's injuries, they can certainly be a playoff team, and we've all seen what Bumgarner can do in the playoffs.

As far as the trade is concerned, it would be nice to know how much of the Longoria contract TB is picking up. Arroyo is a good prospect, but doesn't really excite me. The 2 young pitchers have some potential. I don't like giving up that much prospect capital, but I can see the rationale behind the trade. Longoria fills a huge hole, and they have a chance to compete right now.
scottt - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 03:24 PM EST (#351776) #
3 WAR is not an All-Star but the money is quite reasonable. Last year, the only Giant better than that was Buster Posey..
It really depends on what the prospects will do, but this is the deal the Orioles wanted for Machado and found no taker.
So, this leaves the Giants with money to spend on Cain or Bruce?

uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 03:28 PM EST (#351777) #
"would be nice to know how much of the Longoria contract TB is picking up"

pretty sure it's zero.
scottt - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 03:42 PM EST (#351778) #
The Gants won only 64 games, so adding 6 or 7 WAR is probably not enough to send them to the playoffs.
The NLW is not likely to produce 2 wild card teams. They will probably need over 90 wins.

dan gordon - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 03:53 PM EST (#351779) #
"pretty sure it's zero"

Every report I have seen says that TB is sending cash to SF.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 04:05 PM EST (#351781) #
Scottt, the Giants will be adding a lot more than 6 or 7 WAR this year. They will be adding Bumgarner and Melancon from injury. They have added Longoria. They are almost certainly going to add a good outfielder. Cueto is likely to be considerably better than last year - he was a 3.8 WAR pitcher in 2016, only 0.5 last year. Belt averaged 4.1 WAR in 2015/2016 but was only 3.0 last year. Crawford averaged 5.05 WAR in 2015/2016, but was only 2.1 last year. Pence fell from 1.9 WAR to 0.3. Dyson was a 1.7 WAR player in 2016 and was negative last year. The Giants probably have more bounce back potential than any team in baseball, and once they add another outfielder, will certainly look like a 90+ win team.

As to both wild cards coming from the NL west, I think that could very well be the case. Aside from Arizona, there were no strong 2nd place teams in the NL last year.
lexomatic - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 04:17 PM EST (#351782) #
I think Teoscar will get the first major league opportunity. If he is found wanting after a few weeks and Alford is producing at Buffalo, a change could be made. Injuries and service time could also be factors in the decision making. And, of course other OF acquisitions could alter things also.

If the team is only going to give Hernandez a few weeks then I hope they don't bother. That kind of jerking a player around doesn't help.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 04:19 PM EST (#351783) #
yeah looks like you're right about the money added.

"Scottt, the Giants will be adding a lot more than 6 or 7 WAR this year. They will be adding Bumgarner and Melancon from injury. They have added Longoria. They are almost certainly going to add a good outfielder. Cueto is likely to be considerably better than last year - he was a 3.8 WAR pitcher in 2016, only 0.5 last year. Belt averaged 4.1 WAR in 2015/2016 but was only 3.0 last year. Crawford averaged 5.05 WAR in 2015/2016, but was only 2.1 last year. Pence fell from 1.9 WAR to 0.3. Dyson was a 1.7 WAR player in 2016 and was negative last year. The Giants probably have more bounce back potential than any team in baseball"

I'm not disagreeing, but when you put it like that for the Jays.....

....Sanchez Tulo Travis back from injury.
....Pillar averaged 3.8war prev 2yrs, down to 1.9 last yr
....Estrada from averaging 3.6 down to 2.2
....Pearce went from 2war to 0.
....Morales went from averaging 1.4 to a big negative
....plenty of money to add free agents

looks like we're a prime bounceback team too.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 04:20 PM EST (#351784) #
This is a great trade for both teams. Longoria is a great player even after decline. I see Giants/Dodgers and Cubs in shootouts for Arrieta/darvish with young controllable straying pitchers via trade as the back up. SF has no capital to trade from prospects so they would need to be the most aggressive.

Longoria must be pretty happy today.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 04:34 PM EST (#351785) #
uglyone, I agree completely about the Jays. I've been surprised at the number of posters here who have indicated they think the team should trade Donaldson and do a rebuild. I think the Jays have the potential to be a very good team in 2018, depending on health, player moves this offseason, and a few other things, like how much of Smoak's 2017 season was a fluke. A lot depends on the questionable health of Tulo, Travis and Sanchez. A bit of injury luck, another starter and another outfielder, and I think the Jays could be a playoff team.
scottt - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 05:29 PM EST (#351786) #
The Jays should bounce higher than the Giants. They won 12 more games.last year and their worst players are gone.
The Giants as a team were worth around 4 WAR last year and a lot of those players are returning.
Consider that the NLW was a weak division the last time the Giants were good.
The Diamondbacks and the Rockies have improved and the Giants will face those 2 teams 38 times next year.
The players who will improve most are the ones who will face the Marlins the most.

dan gordon - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 05:54 PM EST (#351787) #
Giants/Jays is an interesting comp. I expect the Giants will improve by more wins than the Jays, but the Jays may win more games. A lot depends on who the teams add in the offseason, and how much luck they have with injuries. Of course there is also the variability of individual players from year to year. Predicting how well a team will do is very difficult due to the random nature of injury and fluctuation in performance from year to year. Teams do the best they can to be prepared for the season, but luck relating to injury and performance variation is still a huge factor.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 06:37 PM EST (#351790) #
Interested in Cardinals thinking - seems they should have been able to top the Giants offer and Longoria is signed for at least the next 5 years at a reasonable price - do they not believe in Longoria or are they confident in their ability to trade for Machado/Donaldson.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 08:51 PM EST (#351791) #
aarne13 - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 09:14 PM EST (#351792) #
Interesting story of a possible comeback for Ricky Romero
John Northey - Wednesday, December 20 2017 @ 11:57 PM EST (#351793) #
I'd give Romero a minor league deal and send him to Dunedin to pitch at first, and if successful (control, speed there) move him to AA for a few starts, then AAA, then the majors if space available. Couldn't hurt, could help. Worst case he flops in A+ and becomes a teachable moment to the kids there.
John Northey - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 12:07 AM EST (#351794) #
I wonder what Donaldson wants and what the Jays are willing to offer. I've said many times that 5/$150 is reasonable. Covers his age 32-36 seasons so odds are the last year or two will be write offs. But last year in just 113 games he was a 4.8 WAR player still. 5 wins = $45 million based on the $9 mil per win that FG uses (based on what free agents sign for). Given $30 seems to be the benchmark for top players now giving him 5 years (try for 3, but go to 5 if he insists) is a bit risky but odds are you'll get 10-20 WAR with a shot at 30 over that stretch. At $9 mil per WAR you need 16.7 WAR to break even or about 3.3 per year which is lower than Donaldson has ever done in a full season, and only his rookie year (75 games) was at a pace that low (1.5 so pace of 3.24). Is it a risk? Duh. With Vlad Jr in the wings maybe ready for 2019 it might not seem necessary but we all know prospects can flop and Vlad might need to move anyways to 1B or LF/RF and given Donaldson will probably get hurt more in the future Vlad could be at 3B part time and spend the rest in RF or something.

Now, if Donaldson is resigned the 2020 Jays could be scary with kids and Donaldson.
Chuck - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 07:54 AM EST (#351795) #
Interesting story of a possible comeback for Ricky Romero

One of the biggest differences between the lives of pro athletes and we lunch pail types (aside from the money, of course) is career arc. Most of us are in professions where we continue to improve and become increasingly more competent as we age, even into our 50s and 60s.

But pro athletes typically peak in their 20s. Imagine that. The whole rest of your professional life is downhill after that. And usually you're not even trained for a second profession, as unthrilling as one might even be. So how do you pass the time every day? When Ricky Romero gets up every morning, what the hell does he do all day?

Any kind of comeback is of course so improbable as to be virtually indistinguishable from 0%, but good luck to him anyway. It must be difficult to still have the competitive fire absent the tools.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 08:38 AM EST (#351796) #
I'll grant, Chuck, that the aging curve for most occupations is a lot more gentle than for professional athletes, but I think we fool ourselves if we believe that our experience gains outweigh our sharpness losses past age 50. 

Anyways, good luck to Ricky Romero.  He is now 33 years old and hasn't pitched well in six years.  But, he's a left-handed pitcher and if anyone can make a comeback of that magnitude, it would be a lefty. 

Chuck - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 10:15 AM EST (#351798) #
I think we fool ourselves if we believe that our experience gains outweigh our sharpness losses past age 50.

Yeah, I guess that probably depends on the profession. Speaking personally, I am quite sure I am the best version of me (yes, low bar!) that I've ever been, even well into my 50s and even with the growing need to single-task as much as possible.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 11:54 AM EST (#351804) #
The scouts are all raving about you, Chuck and I see your name on many Top-10 lists. It will be interesting to track your future development!
Chuck - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 12:50 PM EST (#351808) #
Nope. Can't hit the breaking ball. Or the fastball, come to think of it.
jerjapan - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 12:52 PM EST (#351809) #
cool news about Nikki Huffman, the 2nd female head trainer in MLB history.  It's fun watching the gender barriers fall (albeit slowly) in pro sports.  It still boggles my mind that MMA is at the forefront of this trend, with women actually headlining some of the biggest events of the year.

The Giants are an interesting team - easily one of the most (the most?) successful franchises of the past decade.  They continue to do things that go against the orthodoxy of the moment - trading for veterans, signing mid-tier FAs, not prioritizing youth and prospect development - teams can succeed with this model, and while many insist that contention is only possible with 'waves' of prospects in the system, clearly this is not the only path to success.

I'm pulling for Romero, what a great story it would be if he could make the bigs again.  I still remember Stieb's comeback - I admire guys like that who have all the money they need and are simply trying to prove to themselves that they can do it. 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 02:19 PM EST (#351817) #
The reason nothing is happening for the Jays is how much they have to spend. Whichever deal presents itself first limits the next deal then the next deal. The Jays are waiting for something to happen. They don't understand going after the player you want and getting him. Then going after the next guy. Something about trying to fill all the holes with less than needed.
PeterG - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 03:15 PM EST (#351821) #
They understand that you do not help yourself by over free agency or trade.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 05:09 PM EST (#351829) #
Yes, but at some time all your first and second and occasionally third choices go off the market. And that doesn't matter whether it's the Trade Market or the Free Agent Market. Then the choices available are less talented and still over priced.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 05:40 PM EST (#351832) #
Carlos Gomez or Carlos Gonzales, which one signs with the Jays?
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 07:06 PM EST (#351833) #
Between the two of them, I'd prefer Gomez. Batted ball profile trended upwards in 2017 and his defense should be at least average in LF if he played there everyday.

With all the talking the Jays and Cardinals are allegedly doing, I'm still expecting the Jays to end up trading for Grichuk.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 21 2017 @ 07:56 PM EST (#351835) #
It's possible that Anthony Alford, Sean Reid-Foley, Richard Urena, Rowdy Tellez, Teoscar Hernandez, Ryan Borucki, Danny Jansen and Thomas Pannone will be on the Roster at some time next year (unless traded).
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