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Just for fun I thought I'd check highest salaries ever in MLB and then check what MLB's overall revenue has been. For players it isn't pretty since 2000 but pre-2000 it would be beautiful for them.

Before top players got the big bucks, setting records regularly. Year is the season before they signed (most are signed in offseason) so 79 is the 79/80 offseason. I note if it is signed inseason.


1979: Nolan Ryan gets first $1 mil per year contract
1980: Dave Winfield signs for $2.5 per (10 years too)
1985: Eddie Murray gets $2.6 per
1989: Orel Hershiser just barely tops record; Bret Saberhagen gets $2.97 per; Kirby Puckett cracks the $3 mil mark; Mark Langston gets $3.2; Mark Davis (a reliever) gets $3.25; Dave Stewart gets $3.5; Will Clark $3.75;
1990 regular season: Don Mattingly $3.86 per; Jose Canseco $4.7 per
1990: Roger Clemens $5.38 per;
1991: Bobby Bonilla $5.8 per; Ryne Sandberg $7.1 (Cubs skipped over the $6 mark)
1992: Barry Bonds $7.29 (a bargain it turned out);
1995: Ken Griffey, Jr. $8.5 per
1996: Albert Belle $11 mil per (another big jump); Barry Bonds $11.45 (just before the wow #'s);
1997 in season: Greg Maddux $11.5;
1997: Pedro MartŪnez $12.5
1998: Mike Piazza $13; Mo Vaughn $13.33; Kevin Brown $15;
2000 in season: Roger Clemens $15.45
2000: Carlos Delgado $17 per; A-Rod $25.2 (crazy big jump)
2007: A-Rod $27.5
2013: Clayton Kershaw: $30.7
2015: Zack Greinke: $34.4

Note: does not include pro-rated Clemens pays late in career when he'd skip April/May and get paid for the 2nd half only. Otherwise Clemens' 2007 would go in there too $28 mil.

Note #2: Since I know some will ask, Stanton peaks at $32 mil in a few seasons but never reaches Greinke's overall average.

So rapid rise at first to $2.5 mil in 1980 then things cool off until 1990 when it goes from $2.6 pre-offseason to $3.75 by the end (a 44% increase). By the end of 1992 it peaks at $7.29 for a jump from the 1990 regular season to start of 1993 season of 180%. Wow. Might explain why the owners fought so hard for a salary cap in the 1994 strike. 1996-1998 saw the top jump from $8.5 to $15 mil - a 76% jump. Then the 2000 jump for A-Rod's first deal of 63% vs Clemens' deal made during the 2000 season. Now we are seeing a batch crack $30 mil so by start of 2016 we saw the top climb from $27.5 in the 2013 season to $34.4 3 years later - a 25% increase.

So even the big jumps now are much smaller than they used to be and the gaps are bigger. From A-Rods first deal to today (17 years later) the top pay has 'only' climbed from $25.2 to $34.4 or 36.5%. Since 1980 you cannot find any period close to that length with so small an increase. If we ignore A-Rod Man-Ram got a $20 mil per year deal that same winter so a 72% increase over 17 years. MLB overall revenue in that same period has grown from around $3.5 billion to $10 billion or by 186%. Safe to say the players have not kept up with the owners, or even come close.

Early on in the 80's no one knew how much players were worth to teams. Advanced stats were rarely used, Bill James first few abstracts just came out and the idea of using something other than wins and RBI's to evaluate players was revolutionary. By 1989 when the first big nutty offseason happens a far better estimate of player value was occurring as Pete Palmer and others had early versions of something similar to WAR in concept came out, allowing us to know top players could be worth as much as 10 wins a year but not 30-40 wins. Caught stealing was more important and W-L was reducing in importance at long last as were RBI's (some were stubbornly holding onto those though). By 2000 when we saw the final big jump online analysis was big and it was widely known that 10 wins was an amazing season for a player, but top guys could be worth 5 wins and age was critical thus A-Rod got the crazy contract that was a bargain if fully evaluated, sadly Texas was run horribly and blew it on mid-level players who flopped so the Yankees got A-Rod. Sigh. Now we are getting a batch of guys at the $30 mil level but teams are being super-careful not to do another '89 and skyrocket the highest pay. Most methods say $9 mil per win so a 5 win player (like Donaldson is better than) is worth $45 mil but no one has come within $10 mil of that pay yet. Meanwhile middle relievers are getting over $10 mil for 1 WAR seasons and high variability. What does it all mean? Teams are evaluating with 'big data' now so I'm wondering if ability to handle pressure is getting evaluated and priced into the market with high WAR totals in a single position not being seen as valuable vs spreading it out.
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Richard S.S. - Monday, December 25 2017 @ 01:05 PM EST (#351916) #
Itís possible Josh Donaldson could become the highest paid Blue Jay, but I have my doubts if the Jays think the same. Ross Atkins did not sign Russell Martin or Troy Tulowitzki, but they did sign Kendrys Morales, J.A. Happ, Steve Pearce, Marco Estrada and maybe Jose Bautista. So paying for ages 34 and above is not a problem - term is not a problem. So the yearly cost is the problem. The Jays will be paying Martin, Tulowitzki and Morales $51.0 Million in 2019, with Sanchez and Stroman getting more expensive. Does signing Donaldson block Vladimir Guerrero Jr?
John Northey - Monday, December 25 2017 @ 02:04 PM EST (#351917) #
Given many seem to think Vlad will move to the OF or 1B I don't see a Donaldson signing blocking him. Unless Donaldson falls apart fast he should be worth $30 a year over 5 years given a WAR seems to be worth $10-11 million a year now given what relievers are getting. Guess we'll see.
ayjackson - Monday, December 25 2017 @ 03:18 PM EST (#351918) #
I'm guessing the Jays will deal Donaldson to St. Louis for a regular like Carpenter and a couple of pitching prospects. They'll then send one of those prospects with a couple of others to Miami for Yelich (nothing too spectacular like Bichette).
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 25 2017 @ 03:26 PM EST (#351919) #
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will probably come up as a 3B. Thatís the position heís worked hard at learning, and itís the only position he wonít be a defensive liability at playing. Defense takes time for profiency, you donít become good very fast, and natural ability only does so much. If Vlad stays at 3B, then Donaldson is a Free Agent after this Season, or he switches position.

I still think Josh would accept $100.0 Million over three years. If I go four, he gets $108.0 Million. I will not go five.
PeterG - Monday, December 25 2017 @ 05:05 PM EST (#351921) #
I don't believe that yearly cost is a problem in re-signing Donaldson. Term is the problem.
ayjackson - Monday, December 25 2017 @ 06:42 PM EST (#351923) #
If Donaldson takes a 3 year extension, they should kick him out of the union.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 26 2017 @ 12:10 AM EST (#351924) #
If he gets a 3 year $35 per ($105 total) deal then the union would be OK with it I suspect as it would be a new high water mark for annual salary.

Which would be the better deal, 3 years $105 or 5 years $150? Those last 2 years are $22.5 mil each vs the 3 year deal but there is a risk he won't be worth it by then but with 1 WAR roughly worth $10 mil now maybe he would be even with injuries/age concerns. Or do you just go 'screw it' to both?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 26 2017 @ 12:19 PM EST (#351925) #
Term is definitely more important in a Donaldson contract than the money. I don't think the Jays would have any issues giving him $30M AAV if it was a three year deal, but chances are it won't be. It will be at least five, which for ages 33-37, is probably too risky for the FO to seriously consider.

Looking at Matt Carpenter's numbers a little deeper, he seems like a much better fit for the Jays than Gyorko. Not as good defensively at 3B, but looks like a much better hitter with a great batted ball profile that is trending upwards despite his age. I doubt the Jays are going to trade Donaldson, but hypothetically, Carpenter + prospects might be a better move than Gyorko + prospects.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 26 2017 @ 01:31 PM EST (#351926) #
http://bluejayhunter.com/2017/12/josh-donaldson-plays-road-hockey-now-hes-canadian.html
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 26 2017 @ 01:56 PM EST (#351927) #
I wonder if something like Donaldson for Carpenter, Flaherty and Helsley could be in the cards.

Jays could flip Carpenter next offseason (he's signed through 2019) when Vlad arrives.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 26 2017 @ 10:05 PM EST (#351928) #
I can see the appeal of a trade like that. What I would prefer is to sign Donaldson to a long term deal. He just turned 32, so a 5 year deal covers his age 32 through 36 seasons, which I would be comfortable with. Of course, Donaldson may want more years. I think they should try very hard to sign him, and if they feel it can't be done, only then would I trade him. I'd be fine with 5 years @ $30 million for a total of $150 million, and if push came to shove, I'd probably be OK with upping it to $32 million per. The guy I'd really like to get in a trade with StL is Pham, but that's not going to work for them.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 12:08 AM EST (#351929) #
Logically you won't get anyone close to Donaldson anytime soon. A 7 win player isn't common. (4 of his 5 seasons were 7+ WAR, last year the exception due to injury).

7+ WAR guys in majors
2017: 8
2016: 6
2015: 14
2014: 5
2013: 11
2012: 9
2011: 16
2010: 8
---------
Total: 77 over 8 years or 9.6 a year.

So less than 1 in 3 teams has a player worth 7 WAR in an average season. Many have one off seasons where they peak (everything goes right). Donaldson lives there. $30-$32 mil a year over 5 seems a bargain. If the Jays are too cheap to see that then maybe those in charge need a break from baseball.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 07:45 AM EST (#351930) #
I would be willing to bet that JD will average less than 4.5 WAR per year over the five-year span from 2019 - 2013.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 08:52 AM EST (#351931) #
Agreed. We must pay Donaldson for where he will be "living" for the duration of the contract, not for what he did the previous 4 years.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 12:13 PM EST (#351932) #
Alternative #1:
Trading Josh Donaldson:
Acquire the best/most useful MLB player possible and two of the best possible top prospect. Take those prospects, add whatís needed from the Jayís Prospects list and acquire a young stud whatever the Jays need long term. That fills two holes with the best possible people available.

Alternative #2:
Extending Josh Donaldson:
Term will be a problem, as he will likely need to D.H. the last year or two of his contract. Overall his WAR will exceed his contract value, of that Iím sure. Cost will be the issue as it raises the ceiling for all the other young Jays, present and future. At least $30.0 Million per year is fair value for what he brings.

Alternative #3:
Last Arbitration Year:
Sign Josh to his final contract, be prepared to give him a Qualifying Offer and let him walk as a Free Agent after the 2018 Season. Signing him long term means everyone on the Jays gets more more, especially the top players. How many $25.0 - $30.0 Million AAV Contracts can the Jays afford to carry? Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is very, very close to being very, very MLB-ready. Can the Jays afford to block him?

Any of the Alternatives are acceptable. Not many people will agree. I just donít know if anything else works. The Jays just need to make the Decision, now.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 12:22 PM EST (#351933) #
Oh agreed that you don't pay for past performance but at $35 million you'd be paying less than 4.5 WAR as a WAR is worth around $9-10 mil on the open market at the moment. The advantage of a Donaldson vs Joe Average is 4 WAR is his bottom with a peak potential of 8 WAR. Joe Average player is more of a 0-4 range. Look at the last big purchase the Jays made that "flopped" R.A. Dickey. Coming off a 5.8 WAR season he ranged from 0.5 to 2.5 as a Jay while eating tons of innings. 7.3 WAR over 4 years, 1.8 WAR a year or 4 below his peak season. For Atlanta he went back to a 2.1 player last year which would've been nice to have here over 190 IP. I suspect he'd have been viewed a lot better if Noah Syndergaard hadn't come out so strong. FYI: Reds and Rangers are kicking the tires on him for next year.

So a 4 WAR drop from peak would put Donaldson still in All-Star status. 8.8 peak, so 4.8. but if it is vs last year's 4.6 then it could be an 'ugh'. I suspect the Jays and others would budget him on 4 WAR with hopes for 7. So 4 x 5 = 20 WAR or if you cut in half due to risk of age/injury you get 10 WAR worth about $90-$100 million. So 5 @ $20 per would be a no brainer for the Jays, 5 @ $25 is a bit of a risk but not a killer one ($125 mil vs $100 mil). $30 @ 5 though you get into high risk ($150 or 3.333 WAR per year, but if you do the cut in half you need 6.67 WAR per year for the first 2 1/2 years to break even which is too high to assume 'yes, that will happen' even though with Donaldson he has done better than that (7.2 per year over the past 5 years) so even at $150 mil over 5 years there is a good chance the team with him will be ahead of the game. Yeah, if I ran the Jays I'd try for less but be willing to go 5 @ $30 per.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 01:00 PM EST (#351934) #
I suspect the Jays made up their minds months ago on which of the 3 options they prefer but it takes 2 to tango as they say. If they want to extend Donaldson then they are stuck until he is willing to do it. If they want to trade him then they need to keep cards close to the vest until someone cracks and makes a silly big offer.

As to blocking Vlad Jr I wouldn't worry about that. In 1988 the Jays worried too much about blocking a top OF prospect and ended up creating a massive mess. Until the kid is in AAA and has shown he is up to the job don't worry about it. There is always a way to mix a new kid in if you need to. 1994 the Jays put Delgado, then a catcher, into LF and then to 1B to make room. In 1987 they platooned McGriff and Fielder at DH while Jimy Williams went a bit overboard and put Fielder in at 3B/2B sometimes in 1988.

Never let a kid in the minors stop you from keeping a potential MVP. Never.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 01:31 PM EST (#351935) #
averaging 4.5war is pretty freaking good. and i'd peg it closer to 5.

and "average" elides the difference b/t 7-7-7-1-0 and 4.5-4.5-4.5-4.5-4.5
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 02:19 PM EST (#351936) #
The opportunity cost of having Josh putting up 7 WAR over the next three years is having Flaherty/Helsley around (par example) the ensuing years when Bo/Vlad are putting up 7WAR per year.

That's where I'm a little torn on what to do with Josh.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 03:56 PM EST (#351937) #
I've been around long enough to have seen so many 'super prospects' as to be a bit numb to the hype. Vlad and Bo are fantastic prospects and I'd hesitate to trade either even for a star with 5 years of control. However, stars at the big league level are so hard to get despite what we saw during AA's time (Bautista for nothing, EE cost more initially but was briefly lost then regained for nothing before they both took off, getting Donaldson for pennies on the dollar) they are hard to trade for or to grow.


In Jays history, from 1977 to 2017, we've seen a total of 8 players (non-pitchers) get 7+ WAR. Donaldson and Bautista are the only ones on that list twice. Others are John Olerud (drafted, then dumped by a dumb GM), Barfield (drafted, traded for a hot pitching prospect), Delgado (lost in free agency), Lloyd Moseby (kept until near the end).

For pitchers the Jays have had more luck, seeing 10 seasons. 2 by Clemens (traded for David Wells and trinkets), 3 by Stieb (here until his arm fell off, then came back), and 2 by Halladay (last piece related to his trade is Devon Travis). The other 3 were Jimmy Key (gone by free agency), Mark Eichhorn (in relief yet! - sold to Atlanta, regained for spare parts, then lost to free agency), and Pat Hentgen (traded for crap, came back as a free agent and was crap). What a 3 year stretch in the 90's. Hentgen 8.5 followed by Clemens 11.9, then Clemens 8.2 then Halladay came to the majors and Clemens was traded.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 04:05 PM EST (#351938) #
One more item in favor of resigning Josh - 5 years and 20+ WAR would put him on the edge of the HOF (around 60 WAR in a late starting career with a wow peak) with it pretty much a lock he'd go in as a Jay at that point. What can I say, I love the idea of more HOF'ers wearing Jay caps :)
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 05:58 PM EST (#351939) #
The Yankees seem to be surviving the loss of Cano pretty well. The departure of a productive veteran who has become very expensive and who is in line for a lengthy contract covering his 30-something years is not necessarily a bad thing.

Donaldson is a wonderful player, but there is no way of knowing what his future trajectory will be, especially with his injury issues last year. I think itís fine to take the brilliant four years he has produced in Toronto and let some other team pay top dollar for his risky age-33 to 39 seasons. (And by all means, offer him 5/150 now - but I donít think he would accept that offer.)
scottt - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 07:46 PM EST (#351940) #
Replacing an 8 WAR player with a 2 WAR player is not a good thing,
If there's something to learn from, is that they didn't trade him. He walked and they picked a draft pick.
And that didn't kill them.

Players are traded on a market and the market fluctuates.
The Mets seems to be on everything the Jays are looking for, middle infielder, corner outfield, pitching.
I haven't heard anyone say that they should rebuild, but apparently they only have 10M to spend over the winter.
Boston is over the tax. NYY is cutting costs. They Rays are cutting. The Marlins are cutting.
I'd really like to see what teams have money left to spend and how much.
It doesn't look like there's enough for half the unsigned players left.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 10:16 PM EST (#351941) #
The only way to know how much each Team has left is Cots and a lot of work. The Jays have spent very little and have always said they have enough. Guesstimates are not always accurate. The Jays always try to do too much with too little. Younger, faster, better, with better balance and more versatility - havenít seen that happen yet.

Middle Infield: depends on what you think about Aledmys Diaz. I think they need one more of his type.
Starting Rotation: isnít coming in at under $12.5 Million or more. Inhouse is not quite good enough.
Corner Outfield: just how good are Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford and others. Getting quality here runs upward of $15.0 Million.
Bullpen: Quality Left-handed Relievers who can pitch late in games go for $6.0 Million or better.
Trades: just getting a position filled could put a hole in the top10.

Sometime soon something/anything should happen with Jays.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 10:30 PM EST (#351942) #
The Yankees should be just fine with Stanton (age 28) and the kids instead of Cano (age 35 with six years remaining on his contract at $24m per).

Sometimes turning the page is OK.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 10:50 PM EST (#351943) #
On the other hand Cano has contributed 20 WAR over the 4 years that Seattle has had him so 2 or 3 more good seasons would make the contract decent overall. I'm not saying the Yankees made a mistake letting him go, but it hasn't worked out too badly for Seattle either.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 27 2017 @ 11:19 PM EST (#351944) #
Fangraphs has Cano totalling 16.4 fWAR (20.5 bWAR) over the first four seasons of his contract with Seattle. That is very good production, to be sure. But his performance in 2015 and 2017 indicates that he may be starting to fall off, and he's not even halfway through the contract. It's too bad for Seattle that it wasn't able to persuade him to sign a seven- or even an eight-year deal.

Another thing about Cano: he has stayed remarkably healthy throughout his career (between 150 and 161 games per year, mostly at the upper end of that range, in each year over the last 11 years). Donaldson managed to play in only 113 games last year; we'll see whether he rebounds in 2018. My guess is that injuries are going to constrain his performance in his 30s (based on age, his calf issues, his other apparent aches and pains over the last couple of years, and the toll from playing on artificial turf).
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 12:59 AM EST (#351945) #
1.cano was never as good as donaldson
2.took 4yrs for the yanks to be good post cano
3.how would signing cano have changed anythimg about the yanks' current success? wouldn't he have been a better signing than the guys they spent money on instead?
Spifficus - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 01:56 AM EST (#351946) #
Cano hasn't been as healthy as his games played indicate - he had a hernia in 2015, and apparently played through a lower half injury last year. I wonder if he were on a team that didn't have Nelson Cruz if he would have benefited from some DH days. Of course, that would mean not having Nelson Cruz...

As for whether the Yankees would have been better off with Cano or the spread the love route they chose instead, that's complicated - they had the trifecta of signings that off-season (McCann, Ellisbury, Tanaka) were nearly double the years (19) for nearly double the money ($393M), with basically all of it off the books after 2020. It's hard to know what they would have done with Cano. Maybe they do Tanaka, or maybe McCann. Possibly Ellsbury, since they made a lot of noise that their analytics said he'd age well. Odds are they'd break about even, in aggregate.

Thanks ugly for highlighting that it took a bit for them to get back on track (as they retooled), as I was wondering why one wild card game in 3 years (4 with Cano's last) was befitting a team (and payroll) the likes of the Yankees. Even they need to take a pause and churn their old talent over for a new young core every now and again - the money just lets them wait longer between having to do it.
backscratcher - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 03:09 AM EST (#351947) #
I purchased OOTP 18 and it's an amazing game. I should preface this post, long time lurker (to the early days) and almost never poster, but this game is a hoot. If others are playing it I'd love to see a thread on it. I could go into details if there's interest, my first Jays season of 92 wins won the AL East but then I got rolled by the Astros in the first round. Next season I am facing off with the Cubs for the World Series. Signed Donaldson to a big contract, signed Arrieta (although he got hurt and Stroman is my #1). Any interest for OOTP talk?
greenfrog - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 05:02 AM EST (#351948) #
It's hard to argue with the results of the Yankees' retooling. They regained elite status fairly quickly without having to tank, and they actually stayed reasonably competitive over that period without having to go "all in" (for example, by trading prospects like Severino for Price in 2015). They extracted good value from their free agents (including McCann, Ellsbury, Tanaka, Beltran, Miller, Chapman) and then traded some of those players for an outstanding haul of prospects, including Torres, Frazier, Sheffield, McKinney, Abreu, and others. And he was able to use his financial flexibility to acquire the 28-year-old Stanton, a player coming off a 7 WAR season, relatively cheaply while apparently being able to stay under the luxury tax threshold.

As for Cano, Cashman is on record saying that he wished he'd traded him prior to his last season instead of letting him walk as a free agent. But apart from that misstep (if you want to call it that), Cashman's track record as a GM in recent seasons has been superb.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 08:04 AM EST (#351949) #
As for Cano, Cashman is on record saying that he wished he'd traded him prior to his last season instead of letting him walk as a free agent.

Wonder if the Jays will have the same regret wrt Donaldson...
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 08:19 AM EST (#351950) #
The Yankees were able to transition pretty nicely from an older declining roster to what we see today. A four year transition period saw them make the playoffs once and never finish below 84 wins in any season, and that was their "down" period. Cashman rebuilt and stayed competitive at the same time. Due to Rogers, I would imagine that's the template the Jays will try to follow. One thing Cashman did very well was trade. He was able to trade for some good young players over that span while adding to the farm system, waiting out the bad contracts, and adding free agents here and there.

Expecting the Jays to be able to transition into their next competitive window in a similar fashion is asking a lot, but I have no doubt that's the path they will try to take.
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 09:16 AM EST (#351951) #
there's some heavy rewriting of history going on here, of course.

the yanks let cano go, and invested that money in ellsbury instead. that didn't help the yanks, shortterm or longterm.

and the only bad thing about the cano deal was that it was 10yrs long. nobody is talking about donaldson getting a 10yr deal.
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 10:09 AM EST (#351952) #
And let's remember what drove the Yankees' success last year - a 32nd overall pick from 5 years previous(judge) an IFA signing from 7 years previous (severino) and an IFA signing from 9 years previous (sanchez).


All of cashman's ninja moves mean nothing without those guys turning into stars.
Spifficus - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 11:26 AM EST (#351953) #
Yes, major components to their success were their 2016 6th best BA prospect, the 2014 top BA prospect, and their 2015 top BA prospect. Building a good young core often requires your top prospects to perform well. Side note - your dates are off by a year... it's not 2018 yet. :)

They also got help from using prospects in trades that added to the core (Gray, Gregorious), other farmhands (Betances, Montgomery) in addition to their more heralded free agent work. Amazingly, I don't see many of their signature money-dump trades on the roster last year.

So, as with most things, Team Building: It's Complicated. Also, It Doesn't Hurt When You Can Print Money - A Yankee Mantra.

The Cashman Ninja Moves (presumably a reference to his prospect deals of 2016) are part of the next wave to keep the core churning, either through likely promotion (Torres) or trade (Frasier, etc). The success this year (with the breakouts you mentioned) allowed them to succeed when the process wasn't done.
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 12:22 PM EST (#351954) #
Yeah, but they had 3 good but not great prospects turn superstuds in the same year. Guys who had been in the system for a very long time.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 12:48 PM EST (#351955) #
Just as the Jays success in 2015 and 2016 would never have happened without the unlikely success stories of later draft picks like Pillar and Sanchez, IFA Osuna, rule 5 pick Biagini, etc.

Cashman to uglyone: ďDonít hate me because Iím beautiful.Ē
Spifficus - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 02:03 PM EST (#351956) #
Well, they had Sanchez (35th in 2014, 36th in 2016) continue his emergence from the half season prior, they had Judge (53rd in 2015, 76 in 2016) really-really tighten things up after a rough cup of coffee and go gangbusters, and had Severino (35th in 2015) recover and then some from a down sophomore 2016 after a good debut in 2015.

Judge emerged, but Sanchez and Severino just did what they had in the past over a whole season. As for whether that confirms or conflicts with what you were saying, I'm going with Option C - It's Complicated.
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 02:21 PM EST (#351957) #
hey all i'm saying is that stars are what wins and they got their stars not through any kind of "rebuilding".
greenfrog - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 02:38 PM EST (#351958) #
The Yankees won with those stars because they resisted the temptation to go ďall inĒ in preceding seasons and trade them for established stars (e.g., Severino for Price). In other words, they resisted the siren call of ďwin now! Worry about tomorrow later!Ē
Spifficus - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 02:46 PM EST (#351959) #
Well, stars are part of what wins, but so is the quality of the supporting cast.
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 03:08 PM EST (#351960) #
pretty sure the Yanks traded their best prospect of all during that period, Jesus Montero, and should have traded most of their other top prospects like mason williams and slade heathcott.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 04:06 PM EST (#351961) #
More evidence that Cashman is an elite GM: selling high on overrated prospects like Montero.
Spifficus - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 04:14 PM EST (#351962) #
Montero's a good caution against ranking bat only prospects too highly (I don't believe any of the major sites actually thought he could catch enough).
uglyone - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 07:07 PM EST (#351963) #
agreed, greenfrog, smart GMs sell high on overrated prospects.
scottt - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 07:37 PM EST (#351964) #
Well, Pineda was overrated too.
Cano makes about 3M more than Ellsbury. One gets MVP vote the other is a 4th outfielder.
Sabathia did not look like a pitcher who would age well, but he's still a prime candidate to fall apart at any time.
Tanaka finished with an ERA close to 5 but was good for 178 inning. He's another candidate for a long DL stint.
I give credit to cashman here for trying to find another starter, like Cole in Pittsburgh. It's hard to predict what this rotation will do. The rebuild in Baltimore and Tampa will surely help the young pitchers and Gray looked shaky at times.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 09:01 PM EST (#351965) #
The highest upside comes from High School Pitchers more than any other Drafted Pitcher. IFA Pitchers could equal or exceed that talent level. Signing College/University Pitchers rarely bring the highest upside, they are supposed to bring the quickest return.

Marcus Stroman turned into a huge Duke success. Turned into a huge success story late in 2015 and just got better. Heís definitely a Front-line Starter. As to how much of a high upside selection he is; he was drafted in June of 2012.

Aaron Sanchez, if blister free, is a dominant Front-line Starter. Definitely a high upside asset fulfilling his potential. Or is he? He was drafted in June of 2010, and took longer than expected.

PeterG - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 09:27 PM EST (#351966) #
I don't agree with the widely held assumption that Tampa is rebuilding. So far, all they have done is to trade a declining vet before he became a 10&5......a smart move imo. It is an open question as to whether they will rebuild at this time or not.
John Northey - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 10:45 PM EST (#351967) #
As to 10 years for Donaldson... if he'd take it at $15 mil a year then OK (same as 5 for $30 per) otherwise screw it. Remember for his health DH opens up in 2 years and 1B after next season depending on prospects and if the Jays resign anyone.
John Northey - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 11:13 PM EST (#351968) #
Thinking of prospects what is possible for first/second year players in 2019?
CA: Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire
1B: Rowdy Tellez (if he rebounds)
2B: hard to say, none stand out although Bo could move here
3B: Vlad
SS: Bo Bichette
LF: Alford
CF: Pompey
RF: Teoscar Hernandez, Dwight Smith Jr

Pompey is far more likely to be a 4th OF as is Smith Jr and Hernandez but the rest all have realistic shots at being decent everyday players by 2019. I was high on Tellez but last year knocked him down hard. 2018 will be a challenging year as the Jays want to stay contenders and build on the 2 ALCS appearances before the flop of '17. However you also want to keep flexibility as 4 or 5 rookies could be ready this year at some point.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 28 2017 @ 11:25 PM EST (#351969) #
Warmoth might be ready for prime time by 2019, although the jury is still out on his defensive and offensive abilities, and the current front office likes to promote players slowly. Possibly also Urena and Gurriel.
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 10:55 AM EST (#351970) #
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
41s
Source: Wade Davis' deal with the Rockies is for three years and $52M. It's the highest per-year salary ever for a relief pitcher.
85bluejay - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 11:40 AM EST (#351971) #
Osuna for Ian Happ - I wonder who says no
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 12:08 PM EST (#351972) #
Iíd like to see Danny Jansen and/or Reese McGuire get more than just one year picking Russell Martinís brain about Catching. That decision could solve itself this coming Season.
What is the Jaysí confidence level in Rowdy Tellez? Justin Smoak has an option for 2019. Would even a big rebound for Tellez make a difference? Iíd like to think it would.
Devon Travis is a very good Player. If he has any future with the Jays, he needs to regularly play more than 130 games each year. I think Aledmys Diaz, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Richard Urena are options here.
Cracka - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 03:23 PM EST (#351973) #
The team seems to have more confidence in Tellez than I personally do. He was added to the 40-man roster ahead of a Rule V draft, which was a debatable choice for a 1B who hit .206/.295/.333 with twice as many Ks as walks in AAA.

I think it was a bad decision, because he's unlikely to play in majors anytime soon, and now occupies a roster spot that could have gone to a "Buffalo shuttle" guy or other veteran AAAA-type player. At this point, Tellez needs to become a productive hitter in AAA for an extended period of time (i.e. a full season) in order to earn a call up. Guys like that shouldn't be on the roster unless they are coveted prospects... and it's hard to imagine someone having taken Tellez in the Rule V draft. Seattle did take a 1B (Mike Ford), but last year he hit .270/.404/.471 in the minors with more walks than Ks... clearly more ML-ready than Tellez.

Now, if we need to remove Tellez from the 40-man roster, he'll have to be DFA'ed and we risk losing him to anyone who wants to add him to their 40-man roster, which is a much more likely to happen vs. him getting selected in the Rule V draft (= must stay on 25-man roster for the entire season).

Long story short; the Jays think enough of him to give him a spot on the 40-man roster, he needs to produce in Buffalo and if he does I expect he'll get his shot in the majors in 2018.



PeterG - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 03:29 PM EST (#351974) #
I agree with this analysis Cracka. No-one would have taken Tellez in rule 5, having to keep him on 25 man roster for a year. Now if that roster spot is needed, a team can claim him and only have to keep him on the 40. I did not understand the thinking behind this move at all and I generally support the current FO.
lexomatic - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 04:39 PM EST (#351975) #
At the time there was plenty of back and forth over the merit of the Tellez add. I supported it then, and now.

Just for a quick comparison between Tellez https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=tellez000row and Ford https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=ford--000mik
While Ford has never had a season like Tellez since finding his stroke (he's also never had a season as good as Tellez' in 2016), Tellez has been significantly younger and performing at tougher levels, though they played in the same leagues(FSL, EL IL) - check out that age 22 comparison. I think that absolutely indicates that they had to protect him or lose him.

Age vs Lvl
20 Tellez A/A+ (OPS 800) Ford A- (OPS 720)
21 Tellez AA (OPS 915) Ford A/A+ (OPS 840)
22 Tellez AAA (OPS 630) Ford A+ (OPS 715) Tellez seems much more valuable as a prospect here.
23  Ford  A-/AA (AA OPS 870 235 PA) must have been injured here only 56 GP between all levels
24 Ford AA/AAA (AA OPS 840 400 PA, AAA OPS 925 115 PA)

Yes, Tellez had a terrible season and needs to produce to remain on the roster. But this was necessary. 2 years of age difference is significant.

John Northey - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 04:39 PM EST (#351976) #
I'm wondering if the Jays had some other teams kicking the tires on Tellez and that made them think they'd grab him if he was available? Also wonder if the Jays have stats we don't have that suggest Tellez will be ready soon.

Forgot that Smoak has a 2019 option that is pretty much a lock to be picked up now ($6 mil vs $250k buyout). Still, Jays could trade him or Morales to make room if needed. Assuming someone would take on Morales (unlikely right now).
lexomatic - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 04:45 PM EST (#351977) #
To put things in perspective, because Ford has MUCH better plate discipline.
I think Ford has a much higher chance of sticking around as a bench bat, but Tellez has a higher upside (and also more power) if he doesn't stall out at AAA.

PeterG - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 05:30 PM EST (#351978) #
John you may be right about the FO having info of which we are unaware. That will be true in many instances. I imagine there will be forthcoming decisions that seem difficult to understand but we all have to realize that we do not (and never will) have all the available info that is known to the FO.
greenfrog - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 06:49 PM EST (#351979) #
I wonder what info the FO had about Morales last off-season that the rest of us didn't.
uglyone - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 07:05 PM EST (#351980) #
tellez would have almost certainly been taken. many gms would have been happy to take a free shot at a guy with an elite hitting trqck record and lighttower power coming off one single bad year.
scottt - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 07:19 PM EST (#351981) #
I don't agree with the widely held assumption that Tampa is rebuilding. So far, all they have done is to trade a declining vet before he became a 10&5......a smart move imo. It is an open question as to whether they will rebuild at this time or not.

I dunno. Tampa finished 80-82, good for third place. They were a competitive team.
Besides trading Longo, they lost Logan Morrison, so, their 3rd and 4th best position players are gone. They probably pick up whatever first baseman is left standing at the end.  I don't really understand the Beckham move. Hech is not better, is more expensive and is walking after this year. Just clearing space?
They also lost their most valuable pitcher, Cobb and their most effective reliever Hunter.

I think they only have 3 players on contract, including Denard Span which will cost them 9M plus a 4M buyout at the end of the year.

So yeah, they look worse than the Marlins to me. Smaller payroll. Less talent on the main club.
Who's the face of the franchise now? Archer is gone if a serious offer is received.
Kiermaier? Probably gone before he makes 10M in 2020.

dan gordon - Friday, December 29 2017 @ 08:19 PM EST (#351982) #
To me, the Tellez argument comes down to how much weight to give to his absolutely fantastic 2016, and his very poor 2017. Given that his mother's health issue may explain at least part of his 2017 performance, and the fact that he was very young for AAA last year, I still feel pretty optimistic about him. There aren't very many guys who hit .297/.387/.530/.917 in AA at such a young age - he just turned 21 a month before that season started. He's only 6 months older than Logan Warmoth.
Glevin - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 03:15 AM EST (#351983) #
Not counting on Tellez ever being a major leaguer. He wasn't just bad last year, he was probably the worst player in the international league and with his defensive profile, he needs to be an elite hitter to play in the majors. Jays might as well have protected him because room on the 40-man is a pretty small risk to take. It's also important to note that lots of scouts didn't like Tellez even after he had his great year. People on here are very stats-oriented for minor leaguers because it's all we have but plenty of young players have holes in their game that don't show up until they hit certain levels.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 08:11 AM EST (#351984) #
Glevin, you should know that rational analysis doesn't apply to a fan's team - scouts are always biased against them.
uglyone - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 09:05 AM EST (#351985) #
I can't believe you guys think shapkins are such dumb, irrational homers. How arrogant of you.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 10:12 AM EST (#351986) #
Every front office in the game is rational. But each ratiocinates in its own way (with apologies to Tolstoy).
Marc Hulet - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 11:10 AM EST (#351987) #
For me, the problem with adding Rowdy is that now he has to stick on the 40-man roster for 3 years (or until he reaches the majors) or be sent through waivers. If he's sent through at some point this year, he will have two tantalizing option years left which make it more likely a rebuilding team might snatch him up and plug him in the minors. If the Jays had left him unprotected and he'd been snagged, the acquiring club would have had to carry a 1B/DH only with a bat that is not ready for the Majors for the whole year or offer him back -- which would have been a fairly likely situation.

Right now Rowdy projects as a one- or two-tool prospect, coming off a terrible year. You could add in another tool for makeup as more and more organizations are considering this and this could be what won the Jays front office over.

But Is he worth a roster spot? I don't think so.
uglyone - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 11:41 AM EST (#351988) #
Not sure if that's a huge issue, Marc.

Rowdy's remaining value seems predicated on last year being a one-off off-year that had more to do with intangibles or flukiness than skillset. If he returns to form this year, then keeping him on the 40 man is a no brainer.

If he doesn't return to form this year, then he loses whatever remaining worth he has left, I think. And then it's unlikely another team is interested enough, or that we would care too much if he was plucked.

Spifficus - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 12:35 PM EST (#351989) #
Yeah, ugly laid out the bet in a nutshell - either he performs this year or nobody will care what happens to him when next year rolls around.

A side note when looking at his 2016 - New Hampshire is a LHH HR Haven - a 40% or better boost over each of the last 3 years. Thankfully he had enough going on before that even discounting the boost means he still showed promise with the bat, but I'd like to see him make changes to find some all-fields power this year as opposed to just pull-side.
bpoz - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 05:36 PM EST (#351990) #
Cashman has done a good job of acquiring talent. But IMO the NYY won 91 regular season games. Good but not great.

The WC victory against the Twins to me is tainted Severino gave up 3 ER in .1 IP. The Twins could not take advantage. E Santana and J Berrios gave up 7 ER in 5 IP. NYY was lucky. I will give them credit for going 7 gms against Cleveland and Houston.

Their pen is currently great. So for 2018, great pen. Rotation is ok at best. G Sanchez can hit but his defense is weak. His pitchers are not going to like his catching. The defense should be good. The offense will be incredible against mediocre pitching. Judge has a lot to offer but 38% Ks.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 05:42 PM EST (#351991) #
Free Agent prices are still outrageous, especially the better ones. Trade prices are not that exceptional, but there is a limit on how long the Trade Market will stay active. Young, faster, better, more balance with more versatility doesnít look like itís going to happen any time soon.

Injuries will happen, so the caliber of any acquisitions must be considerable. The Jays can no longer need to use the secondary options as MLB regulars because they couldnít get better, they must do better. They are close to have in-house replacements readily available, but are not there just yet. Getting into the Postseason is a requirement to retaining a strong fan presence.

Starting Pitcher: Joe Biagini is a good Pitcher who needs to learn how to be a Starting Pitcher again. Whoever the Jays acquire should be better than that. They should never have to call someone up because the acquisition isnít good enough.

Corner Outfielder (switch or left handed hitter): Jose Bautista had a 2017 to forget, yet he was good in 2015 and 2016. Whoever the Jays acquire should be better offensively and defensively. Kevin Pillar can move if the acquisition is a top CF. In-house can deal with the remaining openings. Keeping Pearce and Carrera should not be an excuse.

Middle Infielder: I am high on Aledmys Diaz for one option on the Bench. Secondary options Gift Ngeope, Richard Urena and Lourdes Guirriel Jr. could be acceptable choices. The only problem is neither Steve Pearce and Ezequiel Carrera can be considered for other positions. Whoever the Jays acquire could mean big changes for the OF and the Bench.

Left-handed Reliever: The Jays In-house options donít seem good enough to close if needed, and they shouldnít be overworking Osuna constantly. Whoever the Jays acquire must be a strong late inning option.

Backup Catcher: might not get filled as the Jays are happy with Maile, Jansen and McGuire. The Jays must not overwork Martin as they frequently do. Unless they can acquire a stud, we may not see anything happening at the position.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 08:12 PM EST (#351992) #
I would consider trying to get Lance Lynn 4x$15, Carlos Gonzalez (1x$15 with incentives) and Addison Reed (4x$9).

Lynn is an innings eater and moves up if/when Happ and Estrada leave in a year and the younger arms like Borucki emerge... Gonzalez serves as insurance for Hernandez, Alford, Smith, etc. And Reed has closer experience and a very good track record.$39M commitment for 2018 which is reasonable... lots of holes filled and both Lynn & Reed are relatively young FAs with track records.
scottt - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 08:15 PM EST (#351993) #
It depends how close Tellez is. I think he's close enough and might just need to come up for a cup of coffee to help him refocus. There's 2 more years left with both Morales and Smoak and he needs to be ready then.
dan gordon - Saturday, December 30 2017 @ 11:08 PM EST (#351994) #
A big no to Carlos Gonzalez. His overall numbers are, of course, grossly distorted by playing half of his games in Coors Field. To get a realistic look at what he can do, look at his road numbers. The last 4 years, he has put up OPS numbers of .544 .758 .744 and .606 on the road. The average of those 4 numbers is somewhere around .660 - .670, about what you get from a decent backup middle infielder.
lexomatic - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 09:34 AM EST (#351995) #
Except, Dan Gordon,  it's not that easy. Most players have a home advantage. This is accentuated in Coors. I'm sure one read studies to this effect, but I'm on my phone. So for true talent you bump the low end, and bring down the high end. That's been demonstrated by players who have left Coors.
I'm still not sold on Cargo, but it shouldn't be as bad as you suggest.

John Northey - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 09:40 AM EST (#351996) #
Just read an interesting article which mentions that Shapiro had a rule in Cleveland of no one player getting more than 15% of the payroll. Using that rule in Cleveland limited him to a $15 mil contract. Here that would be around 50% more ($150 mil payroll) or $22.5 million. The Jays need a $200 mil payroll to handle a $30 mil contract under this rule, or $167 million for a $25 mil contract.
bpoz - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 10:22 AM EST (#351997) #
That is a great rule. It helps avoid disaster.

Of course a rental at the July 31 deadline, like Price, would not break that rule. It would be a very short term move to get over the top. However Verlander would not pass that rule as he still has a year or 2 left on the contract.

Then moving on to our own stars, Stroman and Vlad/Bo they could get long term contracts and not cripple the payroll.

Does he have a limit regarding # years and age related players?
John Northey - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 12:21 PM EST (#351998) #
I think flexibility is needed though for special cases, plus with a larger budget spending, say, 20% ($30 mil roughly) on one guy still leaves more than the entire budget for a team like Cleveland. The trick is deciding who is the right guy to do that with as you can't do it with 3 players or you are screwed.

Might be smart to look at a long term deal under $20 mil per for Stroman this winter and if Sanchez can stay healthy the same for him next winter. Osuna is a tough one as closers are such crapshoots.

Donaldson is the special type who you could go to $30 for but the smart thing is to try for less. Once Vlad and Bo come up a deal like done for Longoria in Tampa would be nice but odds are both would refuse it as both had ML dad's (one a HOF'er soon) and probably don't fear being broke if they don't sign.
bpoz - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 12:45 PM EST (#351999) #
Let us honestly look at the future of Shapiro. He has risen far. Top job with a small market team. Cleveland. Same level job with a mid market team, payroll. Toronto. If successful his next opportunity will be with a big market team.

If he looses at any time he is out and has a big ways to fall. So don't take any unnecessary risks. Large contracts are a big risk. As is poor drafting and Int'l signings. He only has so much rope.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 02:04 PM EST (#352000) #
Bpoz, I guess that begs the question, is Toronto the big market for him or not. I think I would take my chances with Toronto if I was him. He's uprooted his family and what are the chances an opening comes up in Chicago/LA/Boston/New York with the stars aligning. Pretty slim. I suspect they will spend money this offseason and bump payroll to 200 million by 2019 OR if they sign nobody of substance this offseason, then it's going to be a a slow and steady approach on a bigger stage similar to Cleveland without the limits of budget. IF he straddles the middle between maximizing returns and overspending, then he deserves to be ripped apart by fans and media. I just don't think he would get to that point because he's got a good track record and smarts.
bpoz - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 02:36 PM EST (#352001) #
Canada vs USA. Who knows what he thinks. He gets a longer rope here and probably LAA.
NYY/NYM/Cubs/LAD are bigger IMO. St Louis.

Theo Epstein and J Farrell in Boston got the axe.
John Northey - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 03:03 PM EST (#352002) #
St Louis is FAR FAR smaller than Toronto. Baseball is massive there but more like how hockey is massive is Winnipeg - no matter how big it is it'll never have the budget of the big markets. The Mets & White Sox are a lot like Toronto - big market but act smaller.

The only real bigger markets left are NYY and LAD and Cubs. Anaheim is big but limited like the White Sox and Mets are by a much bigger team in the same market. The Jays limits are ones self imposed. 30 million+ potential fans/TV viewers yet acts like it is smaller than Detroit.
scottt - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 04:42 PM EST (#352003) #
39 > 25.

I'm not too worried about the bullpen. If the 5th starter can go 6 innings, the bullpen should be fine.
Also, the price on relievers seems inflated right now. And there's not that many big left bats left in the division.

Defensively, there's enough outfielders in the system. I don't see the point on spending money unless you get an impact bat, or versatility, like Josh  Harisson.

Lynn  is interesting, but most team could use an extra starter, so he might still be expensive in the end.
I'd need to see how much Arrieta goes for first.

dan gordon - Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 09:46 PM EST (#352004) #
lexomatic, I agree that most players get a bit of a boost at home, but it's not a large amount. You could say that Gonzalez should hit a little better than the road numbers from the last 4 years, except that you also have to factor in aging. Look at Tulowitzki - he has actually hit a fair bit worse here than his road numbers as a Rockie would indicate. I'd be surprised if Gonzalez put up more than about a .700 OPS if the Jays signed him. He's terrible vs lefties, so he might be of some value as a platoon only player, splitting time with Pearce, but I'm sure he doesn't see himself that way. Of course, he's also one of the most injury prone players in the game. I'd much rather see what Hernandez, Pompey and Alford can do if they can't acquire a significant outfield addition.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 06:06 AM EST (#352005) #
Apparently the Jays are very sure they can acquire an Outfielder and a couple of Relievers. Might not be anyone we expect.
bpoz - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 11:04 AM EST (#352006) #
It is good that they are actively looking to make some improvements.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 11:10 AM EST (#352007) #
It seems like a glacial slow offseason, especially for the Jays. Something has got to happen soon you'd think. It's only a month and a half until spring training starts.
uglyone - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 11:57 AM EST (#352008) #
i hope they're willing to offer at least wade davis money to lorenzo.
bpoz - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 12:21 PM EST (#352009) #
It is late in the off season as many have pointed out, but the best FAs are still unsigned. Yu and JD Martinez for example.

Yu Darvish is a good pitcher. Equal or close to Stroman, Sanchez and Happ over the last 2 years. Sanchez's 2016 was the best of all IMO.
Marc Hulet - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 12:29 PM EST (#352010) #
I don't really understand the love of Lorenzo Cain. The majority of his value has been in his glove and his defensive numbers have been on the decline for the last few years. Then you have his 20+ steals and he's entering into the age range where speedsters start to slow down and run less. The rest of his game is modest - he hits for some average but 2017 was the first year he wasn't fully reliant on the AVG to produce his OBP. His power is nothing special, even with the juiced ball. He's a good player, but not a great player by any means -- and perhaps looks better due to the lack of real quality on the open market.
uglyone - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 01:19 PM EST (#352011) #
i'm surprised you don't like him tbh. This is a guy who managed to put up a 4-5war season last year despite only good not great contributions from fielding and baserunning. He projects as a solidly above average bat with a ~.350obp that can legit hit at the top of the order, while fielding CF at least well and maybe very well, and likely even better in a corner spot. There's always the risk of injury and age decline of course but he still projects as a ~4win player next year if healthy, and even by the end of a 4-5yr deal should still be a non-liability.

Last 2yrs: 1079pa, 109wrc+, 4.0fwar/650, 4.9bwar/650
Last 5yrs: 2627pa, 108wrc+, 5.1fwar/650, 5.9bwar/650

Steamer Projects: 603pa, 107wrc+, 3.6fwar/650, ???bwar/650

for me he fills major holes for the jays - improved OF defense and top of the order hitting - and it sounds like his pricetag isn't going to be as high as a 4war type guy should be paid.

Boras is trying to get $30m x7yrs for JD Martinez:

Last 2yrs: 1006pa, 153wrc+, 3.6fwar/650, 3.9bwar/650
Last 5yrs: 2453pa, 139wrc+, 3.5fwar/650, 3.7bwar/650

SK in NJ - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 01:28 PM EST (#352012) #
The other thing about Cain is he is a qualified FA so the Jays lose a pick and some international pool money by signing him. He is a projected 3 WAR payer so he would help the 2018 team, but enough to put them in serious contention + be worth the contract he will command + the loss of picks/pool money? I'm not sure about that. I think there is a point where he becomes a viable option if his price drops, but the Jays are not in any position to be in a bidding war for him and possibly be stuck with a 4-5 year deal at big money for a 32-year old outfielder who relies on his legs.

If the Jays want that type of OF, then sign a lesser version in Dyson. Clearly not as good as Cain, but a good bet for a 2 WAR season and won't need to start everyday to be that valuable.
uglyone - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 02:13 PM EST (#352013) #
Re-upping some comps from a couple weeks ago:

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
uglyone - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 02:15 PM EST (#352014) #
And this post too:



"4yrs up to age 31, and the 4yrs after.
(since the 5th yr is just a sweetener anyways).

similars from the last 25yrs or so

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."
Marc Hulet - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 03:57 PM EST (#352015) #
I dunno... seven of the guys in their age 32+ seasons were right about average hitters (wRC+ 100). I would feel differently about Cain if the Jays didn't already have an outfielder (Pillar) that can't hit. And I hate the idea of paying for the decline years of someone whose value is tied to their legs (on defence and on offence/steals). If the Jays ditch Pillar, I'm OK with the move.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 05:56 PM EST (#352016) #
Outfielder wanted:
Switch hitter or Left-handed Bat;
Good to very good Defensively;
Good to very good speed;
At least above average Offensively;
Able to play CF or RF well;
Better than the five above;
Young.

I think this is in order of importance of need. A Right-handed Bat should never be a consideration, the Jays have too many. In-house, like Hernandez and Alford, might be different due to limits of choice. Whoever the Jays sign/acquire should tick a lot of the list above. But most important of all, someone willing to play here.
greenfrog - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 07:53 PM EST (#352017) #
This is what happened to another 6 WAR defence-first free agent outfielder in his age 30-33 seasons after Shapiro signed him to a four-year contract:

2013: 1.7 fWAR
2014: 0.3 fWAR
2015: -0.1 fWAR
2016: 0.4 fWAR
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 07:55 PM EST (#352018) #
Christian Yelich checks all the boxes - top stud. Worth anyone except Valdy. This is the caliber of Outfielder the Jays must be seeking.

Avisail Garcia bats right but checks all the other boxes. I donít who is better.


Lorenzo Cain (32 soon) bats right, but checks all the other boxes. The only Free Agent Outfielder who does. Heís worth whatever heís seeking.

Jay Bruce (31 soon) struggles verses LHP, but checks most of the boxes.
Carlos Gonzales (32) canít hit LHP, but checks most of the boxes.

Unless someone knows someone else, this should be the Blue Jaysí list. No one else could be better than the Kids.
Mike Green - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 08:40 PM EST (#352019) #
Happy new year, bauxites. 

I'm not worried about the Bourn legacy when evaluating Cain's prospects.  Bourn did not have the broad base of skills that Cain does, and was transferring from the weaker league to the stronger one.  It's true that Cain might lose his speed quickly but we know from Statcast that he hasn't been losing it quickly so far.  I am confident that he is likely to be at least a competent corner outfielder for several years to come.  His floor is, in my view, a lot higher than Bourn's was. 

Marc Hulet - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 08:41 PM EST (#352020) #
Carlos Gonzalez had a .740 OPS against RHPs on the road in a down year... and is .789 career. Not all-star numbers but not bad. Plus he can possibly be had for 1 year and doesn't cost a pick/international cash... and could move aside of the youngsters are ready.
Marc Hulet - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 08:45 PM EST (#352021) #
And I'll say again that the Jays should try for the Astros Tony Kemp, who can play 2B and the outfield, which helps cover two gaps on the club. He's really got nothing left to prove in AAA and doesn't really for on the Astros. He's also a speedy guy that fits at the top of an order.
scottt - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 08:57 PM EST (#352022) #
There's still a lot of players left. Most of them actually.

uglyone - Monday, January 01 2018 @ 11:43 PM EST (#352023) #
it's interesting that people say speedy defense players decline worse. the stats i showed there show that's probably not true. and iirc despite it backfirong tremendously the red sox signing crawford was in large part due to their research showing speed based players actually aged better.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 12:13 AM EST (#352024) #
We would be better off signing Dyson and using Alford/Pompey and spending the money on pitchers instead.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 12:20 AM EST (#352025) #

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SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 12:20 AM EST (#) #
Iíve liked Tony Kemp as a target since reading the article on Fangraphs about the adjustments heís made as a hitter (improving plate discipline, making more contact, launch angle, etc). The Astros know how to develop bats and Kemp (much like Teoscar) is likely as ready as he is going to be. Would be a pretty solid pickup and heís clearly blocked in Houston. Not sure he fits the utility role that the Jays are looking at (he canít play SS) but I donít trust Travis to stay healthy so a backup 2B is important as well. Diaz might end up being the primary backup SS anyway, even with his defensive issues.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 12:22 AM EST (#352026) #
Yikes, no idea how my post ended up like that. Thatís what I get for trying to copy and paste from my phone.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 09:06 AM EST (#352027) #
Cain is an interesting case. He's a good player and I think is a good bet to bring back good value in the war/$ over his contract. However, I think that these are the sorts of players who are overrated by WAR/are not valued as much by teams as WAR values them. Players who are good all around but not excellent hitters. Pillar is a good example of a lower level of this. 9.5 WAR over the past 3 years. What do you think the Jays could get for him? A decent middle reliever maybe? A C prospect? Certainly not close to what you'd get for an more offensive-driven 9.5 WAR player.

So if Cain will continue his defensive slide (which he will) and an overall offensive decline (which he will over a longer-term contract) he then becomes a good defensive corner OFer who is a league average hitter. I think barring injury, you'd see a number of 2-3 WAR seasons in the next 4 years it's just not the kind of WAR that excites teams. Would I go for 3/$50M or /$60? Sure. He's a good player and would make the Jays better but he's not someone worth breaking the bank for.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 09:23 AM EST (#352028) #
i mean, Cain would be a better DH than Morales.
grjas - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 11:05 AM EST (#352029) #
I think the FO priority needs to be in the outfield rather than pitching. Yes another back of rotation starter is needed but I wouldnít devote too much capital to the area. Our top 4 are very good, unless Sanchez goes down again for the year, in which case weíre likely doomed anyway.

On the other hand, we had the worst offence in the AL last year and the worst outfield in the majors based on WAR. Only tinkering with the outfield and hoping a rookie or two comes through ina big way is extremely risky.

It does raise an interesting challenge for the front office, however. Like many, I am keen on Cain, but ...... if you were a 30 plus star outfielder whose key skill is speed, and who is already fighting some leg issues, would you sign a medium to long term contract to play on turf? I wouldnít.

So yes heís worth pursuing but they better have a plan b for someone better than Dyson or CarGo and his questionable home/road splits. And that likely means a trade....
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 11:16 AM EST (#352030) #
What ought one to expect from Lance Lynn?  He throws relatively few strikes, batters are swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone, and he has lost velocity on his fastball.  He posted a nice ERA last year courtesy of a .244 BABIP, but I'm guessing that he'll be close to his xFIP numbers this year. 

I wonder if some team will move to a tandem regime for 1 or 2 of their starting spots in 2018, after the very early hooks in last year's playoffs.  As of today, the Blue Jays would be good candidates for it.  It would also be nice to see the return of the ace reliever role, perhaps modified so that the ace is expected to throw 80-90 high leverage innings a year (rather than 120) in roughly 54 appearances.

dan gordon - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 03:50 PM EST (#352031) #
Lynn has historically done a good job of limiting hits throughout his career, however, when you look at his splits, you see that he has benefitted a great deal from his home park. Busch is an above average park for pitchers, and his road ERA is more than a run a game higher, he gives up way more hits per inning on the road, and has a career WHIP of 1.40 on the road. I think whoever signs him, unless it's a team that plays in a strong pitchers' park is likely to be disappointed with the results. He's a decent pitcher, but he's going to get paid like he's better than that.
aarne13 - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 05:11 PM EST (#352032) #
Dang! This offseason has been pretty painful (all-around). The Jays are not the only team sitting on their hands. Other than Ohtani and Stanton there hasn't been much to talk about. Plenty of navel gazing.
I'd be fine with Cain on a 2yr contract-longer than that, no. I'm really hoping for Lynn- imo he is not top of the rotation but can be a solid 3-4. He can definitely log some innings. Other than that I don't see the Jays picking up anyone big thru FA or trade.

I listen to the MLB XM station on my commute to work every day- they seem to be having a hard time with the slow off-season too. One topic that did pique my interest was in potential expansion in the near future.

Any thoughts on what city you might want to see get a team? My votes would go to Mexico City, Sacramento, El Paso.

bpoz - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 06:08 PM EST (#352033) #
Mexico City.

Yes very quiet off season. My mind is wandering to multiple possibilities.

The FAs are asking too much which is holding up the trade market.

Machado is being shopped but it seems slow. He probably wants to test the FA market so the trade offers are not appealing.

I also keeping thinking that Shapiro may try to sneak a rebuild.
scottt - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 06:54 PM EST (#352034) #
There is rebuild and there is teardown.
There's really not much left to tear down. The Jays will already lose 2 of their starting pitchers and there's nobody expensive in the bullpen. Tulo would be a pure salary dump and then some. Martin is needed to work with the young pitchers/catchers.
There are prospects who will graduate soon, but there is nothing sneaky about them.
Would trading Osuna, Stroman, Sanchez improve the team long term? Or would it just  create holes that they'll never fill and doom the team to 3rd place finishes in the prime years or Guerrero and Bichette?
The Marlins are looking for power hitting prospects to replace the guys they traded.
Curious to see how that will work out.

The Padres have offered 7 years to Hosmer, but he's been sitting on that offer.
Same with the Red Sox with Martinez for 5 years.
The Cubs have offered Arrieta 110M.
Seems like it's mostly the players/agents who are stalling the market.
I'm guessing EE would have held out for more than 4/80 late into the new year too.

uglyone - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 07:31 PM EST (#352035) #
red sox reported offer to JDM of 5yrs x $26m
aarne13 - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 07:38 PM EST (#352036) #
Pitchers and catchers report to camp second week of Feb. I wonder how many FA's will be without a team by then? At some point teams will move on and start prepping their rosters for ST. Heck, by next week teams should start posting non-roster ST invites.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 08:00 PM EST (#352037) #
Troy Tulowitzki is still an above average Defender at SS. He played mostly hurt all season long until he couldnít play any longer. When heís healthy, his D is still very good. His Offense can be a little above average to even better,but he needs to stay healthy. That seems more days off are indicated.
Aledmys Diaz is the wildcard here. He was very good in 2016 - an All Star. He hurt his thumb in 2017 and wasnít that good. He should be much better in 2018. I just donít understand how the Jays acquired him for so very little. I donít have any worries here.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 08:23 PM EST (#352038) #
JDM makes sense for the Red Sox, who need marginal wins in 2018 and 2019 more than the Jays do.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 08:51 PM EST (#352039) #
With this little action in the market, I think we may be seeing an over-correction of sorts when it comes to FAs.  Some of these guys are going to sign team-friendly deals, and with everyone waiting, I'd love to see the FO make an aggressive pitch more exciting than Ji-Man Choi. (I get doing due diligence on every possible avenue, but I can't even conceive of a scenario when that signing makes sense).  Shi Davidi tackled this question at Sportsnet and had this money quote 'in my various conversations with people across the industry, I can tell you that theyíve certainly been engaged, with one agent saying, "The Blue Jays sure do love to talk."

Unfortunately, this appears to be all talk and no action.  Davidi goes on to note that "my sense is the Blue Jays are hoping to do a good chunk of their business via trade, if they can".  Normally, I would hate this approach (it's not my money spent of FAs) but perhaps some assets are undervalued on the trade market as well - we got Diaz for essentially nothing, and the JD Martinez deal at the deadline was eye-opening.  

I've liked the additions we've made so far, and aside from Raffy Lopez (so actually, nobody significant), don't care / am happy about any of the losses

IN:  Diaz, McGuire, Ngoepe, Guerrieri, 3 guys in the minor league portion of the rule v draft.
OUT:  Bautista, Goins, Barney, Kohler, Woodman, Valdez, Cecilliani, Schultz, Anderson, Saunders, Montero, Lopez, Campos, Belliveau, Refsnyder,

At what point does waiting the market out cease being prudent and start being timidity?  Our roster may actually be better just via 'addition by subtraction' but we are dangerously close to another bad offseason in my books. 
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 09:33 PM EST (#352040) #
The Jays areĒtrying to do their business via tradesĒí makes zero sense. They are unwilling or donít want to trade anyone. So who are they going to trade? Who are they after? Who or whatís Plan B? Plan C? Plan D?
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 10:21 PM EST (#352041) #
Cities I'd LIKE to see get an expansion franchise? Well, Montreal for sure. Mexico City would be wild to see - it's at an elevation of more than 2,000 feet higher than Denver, so it would be a much more extreme hitters' environment than Coors Field. There are a few biggish markets in the USA that don't have a team - Las Vegas (which is doing fantastic as an NHL expansion team), Columbus, Indianapolis, Portland, Nashville, El Paso, Jacksonville, San Antonio - there's no shortage.

There's still a ton of time left in the offseason, and most free agents are still unsigned. A few more get signed, and I think you'll start to see some trades, too. I think the owners are showing restraint, given how badly a lot of free agent signings have turned out, particularly the long deals that often turn into albatrosses.
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 10:25 PM EST (#352042) #
I agree with you Richard, but the 'business via trades' priority has been with us since AA.  JPR, for all his faults, was our last aggressive GM in the FA market.  Burnett's contract was criticized but ended up as good value for us ... Ryan ... man, i was excited when we got him, and after the first season I wanted to trade the guy - he was spectacular, but we were going nowhere and he had real value. 

FAs have real value, you just have to be proactive and creative with the contracts. 

dan gordon - Tuesday, January 02 2018 @ 11:51 PM EST (#352043) #
Great article at Jays From The Couch on Justin Smoak:

http://jaysfromthecouch.com/2018/01/02/toronto-blue-jays-justin-smoak-why-i-like-his-chances-to-repeat-his-excellent-2017/

Glevin - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 02:43 AM EST (#352044) #
The players union is to blame for a lot of this mess. They were always focused on insuring that veteran free agents got as much as they could while pretty much ignoring everything else. The problem with this is that it has shifted the value so extremely that teams have devalued free agents. Look at the World Series, the Astros' had 10 (11 if you count Verlander) players with over 2.5 WAR last season, only 1 was acquired via free agency. The Dodgers had 11 players over 2.5 WAR and 2 were acquired via free agency (including Turner who signed a cheap deal as a utility IFer and then exploded unexpectedly). This is true of pretty much all successful teams. You build other ways and augment your team with free agents.

The system is extremely unfair on young players and especially on minor leaguers. Yes, the owners have obviously pushed this way but the union has blindly and stupidly been focused on free agency and teams are finding a way around that. You just have to look at 2015 to see what a disaster free agency is for teams. 13 contracts signed for over $70M value total. How many of those deals would are positive for the team 2 years later? Maybe 2 are not THAT bad?
China fan - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 05:00 AM EST (#352045) #
Jerjapan, in your list of deletions from the roster, the only one that I would have liked the Jays to keep was Tom Koehler. Of course he had to be non-tendered ($6m was too much for him) but the Dodgers were able to sign him for just $2m plus incentives. The Jays could probably have kept him for a little more than that (unless he was determined to go to the West Coast, but I haven't seen that mentioned anywhere). He's a decent 6th reliever who would add to the team's rotation depth in case of injury. Not many other good relievers have that level of starting experience. He would have been useful on the roster, and I'm not sure why the Front Office didn't make more of an effort to keep him.

To be fair, we could wait until the end of the off-season to see if the Jays acquire a superior reliever. That's still possible, I suppose.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 06:34 AM EST (#352046) #
I just read an article on wOBA rising significantly the 3rd time through the lineup.

Basically stats proved that the SP be pulled and a "good" long reliever go in for 2+ innings.

Bullpens may be getting even bigger to deal with this.
Glevin - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 08:37 AM EST (#352047) #
"I just read an article on wOBA rising significantly the 3rd time through the lineup."

I would love to see some tandem starts. Have two starters go roughly 3-4 innings each and then bring in relievers. I think it would give the team doing it some big advantages. One of the fun things about this is you could create great combinations. You go lefty/righty to screw up the other team's platooning. You go junkballer/heaters to speed up the fastball. The future of pitching is fewer defined roles I think and more flexibility.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 09:24 AM EST (#352048) #
Marcus Stroman will be 30 years old in 2021 when he is eligible for free agency.  I'd love to see him here at least for his early 30s for a start.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#352049) #
Reports of 2 offers for Hosmer in the 7yr/$150m range.

which is ludicrous, obviously
uglyone - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 10:15 AM EST (#352050) #
And the best part is Boras probably holds out for more than that.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 11:48 AM EST (#352051) #
The tandem start with a 12 or 13 man pitching staff would require newer roles. If a couple or 3 pitchers are going to go 3-4 innings each then they don't really need 4 days between outings. Somehow balance the load. Also have some sort of regular routine. All SPs seem to say it helps them get ready when they know when they will pitch.

38 games at 3 or 4 innings each is 114-152 IP. Just doing quick math.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 02:27 PM EST (#352052) #
If your Pitchers arenít good enough to go twice through the lineup, the GM needs to be fired. If your Manager keeps pushing to get one or more extra outs from your Pitchers, he needs to be fired. If your President doesnít fire these guys, he needs to be removed from the Organization. Or in other words, tandem starts are examples of incompetence or inexperience.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 03:05 PM EST (#352053) #
Five sets of tandem Starts are 10 Pitchers. Allowing for extra innings still needs a 5-6 Pitcher Bullpen. That allows no one for the Bench and a two-man Outfield or a three-man Infield.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 03:36 PM EST (#352054) #
Here's how the numbers shake down for tandem starts, as I see it.  Blue Jays pitchers averaged 4.31 batters faced per inning.  Twice through the order or 18 batters would be 4.17 innings.  Let's say that the first pitcher on average throws 4 innings per outing, or 128 innings for a 32 outing season.  The second pitcher might throw 3-5 innings depending on the game situation (finishing the game off if you're ahead after 7 innings by 5 or more, say, or down by 2 or more, say). That probably works out to about 3 and a half-innings per outing on average or 112 innings.  If you've got 3 regular starters who go 200, 180 and 160 innings and two tandem slots with 240 innings total , you're getting 1020 innings out of 7 pitchers and need to get another 420 out of the last 5 pitchers, plus September callups and injury replacements.  This seems doable to me. 

For comparison, the Blue Jays last year got most the great majority of a full season's worth of starts from Stroman, Estrada, Happ, Liriano, Biagini and Sanchez.  If you add up their innings and the innings from the two relievers who threw the most (Leone and Tepera), you end up with 1026 innings. 

The hope, of course, is that your tandem pitchers will do someone better with the limited workload than they would if asked to work through the lineup the third time.  There is, of course, some data to give weight to the hope.  It would also require different bullpen usage to reflect the increased frequency of the "complete" game (including the tandem blowouts either way), less bullpen demand in general in the tandem starts, and the reduced length (5 men instead of 7)..  Whether this would be a net positive or negative is very hard to tell. 
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 03:50 PM EST (#352055) #
Mike, I applaud your consistency and prescience on tandem starts - I think you were the first person I ever heard seriously float the idea, and the game seems to be catching up to you.  I'd love it if we rolled the dice with the idea - if we aren't going to spend our way to an advantage, let's try any avenue possible. 

I agree with you Glevin that the union hasn't represented the interests of younger players or minor leaguers, particularly, and I say that as an active union member / leader.  I don't get why a team hasn't started spending more on their minor leaguers as a competitive advantage - presumably, some longshot prospect is more likely to succeed if he's paid well enough to not have to worry as much about earning money in the offseason, if he does't have to share a room, if he doesn't have to eat fast food because that's all he can afford, etc.  And a team with a rep for treating minor leaguers well presumably has an advantage in minor league free agency. 

This is a good article on the slow FA market:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/mlb-teams-have-learned-to-wait-on-free-agents/

Apparently, teams spent a billion dollars less on FAs last year than the year before.  Author Travis Sawchick writes that a front-office official told him last year: ďItís not whether you will lose on a free-agent deal, itís how much a club will lose on a free-agent deal.Ē  It's interesting how quickly the entire league seems to have adjusted their approach - but I still think this leaves a window of opportunity open for a creative GM.

And ChinaFan, I agree with you on Kohler at the price he got with the Dodgers.  With the price of relievers going crazy, I'm a fan of getting talent from less conventional sources - converted position players, ex-starters, Japanese vets.  I am bullish on our pen at the moment, although I expect a few vets to be signed and to be in the mix in Toronto and Buffalo. 
Cracka - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 04:43 PM EST (#352056) #
If the "5 inning minimum" rule for Wins was eliminated, I think it would remove the biggest barrier to tandem starts. This would allow pitchers who start the game and go ~18 hitters to still have relevant W-L records. If this were to happen today, these guys would only qualify for losses and would end up having pitching lines like "0-14, 3.89 ERA". Like it or not, this still matters. The W/L/ERA line is ingrained in baseball; but this can be mostly fixed by allowing the official scorer to have more flexibility.


pubster - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#352057) #
If your first starter throws 4 innings of 1 run ball, would you pull him?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 05:23 PM EST (#352058) #
No.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 05:46 PM EST (#352059) #
Jim Bowden at the Athletic gave our offseason a D- thus far, although he did say that Ross Atkins "has a chance to be special as he grows into the job" which is probably the strongest opinion I've seen anyone have on the guy.  I'm certainly pulling for him, but it's tough to get a read on him, even two years into his tenure, what with the high profile Shapiro above him and the relatively conservative approach the FO is taking.  He's had good moves - both Liriano deals, adding Grilli and Benoit for basically free, signing and trading Joe Smith for value, Dom Leone, Biagini in the rule v, Diaz for Woodman, and bad - Morales, JP Howell and a batch of other (minor) bad veteran deals (the other other, forgotten Morales, Salty, Latos, etc.) 

A net positive on the whole, but nothing approaching ninja-GM status in boldness.  it is quite heartening to hear Bowden speak so highly of him though.
scottt - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 06:35 PM EST (#352060) #
The best move they can make this offseason is probably extending Donaldson.

40 days now before spring training starts for pitchers and catchers?

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 08:50 PM EST (#352061) #
It's eighteen batters for the 1st pitcher unless he is getting totally lit up. If a pitcher has gone through 18 batters in 4 innings, that means 6 baserunners, which is not especially on.

It would be tough to pull a pitcher after 4.2 shutout innings and 50 pitches with 3 hits and one walk allowed, just because the top of the order is coming around for the third time.
pubster - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 09:26 PM EST (#352062) #
Wouldn't it make more sense to have a pitch count? Rather than a batters faced limit?

Who would be tandem starters? Every 'starting pitcher'. Or just the weaker starters?
bpoz - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 09:38 PM EST (#352063) #
When a SP is struggling when facing the lineup for the 3rd time he is probably using more pitches to get hitters out.

If pulled, the struggle stops. He would be less fatigued since his night is over. I am thinking that he may now be ready to pitch on 3 days rest.

Doing the analysis should be easy for all teams. Now they would have to work with this information.

Managing the pen has always been difficult. These new concepts will be hard to utilize. Every pen has periods of being overused.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 10:00 PM EST (#352064) #
Jason Martinez in MLBTR chart answered the following to a question to name a suprise team in the AL:

Difficult to call because of the slow offseason, but I think the Jays have the best chance to bounce back. And I believe that even if they trade Donaldson. They have a chance to add 2-3 good hitters without spending a ton of $.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 10:07 PM EST (#352065) #
yeah Mike was ahead of his time with the tandem.starters.

i'd be interested in seeing a staff made up of 4 "starters" whose job was to go twice thru the order, 4 "long relievers" whose job was to go once through the order (like a biagini type), and 4 "short relievers" to close out the late innings.

going with a 4 man rotation of course.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 03 2018 @ 11:22 PM EST (#352066) #
Tandem has been tried in MLB... I think the last real try was the Rockies in 2012 but their manager (among others) hated it. Tough to do major changes without full buy in at all levels - from GM to manager to pitchers.
Glevin - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 02:40 AM EST (#352067) #
The point of tandem starts to me will never be to use every pitcher as a tandem starter. If you have Scherzer or Sale or Kershaw you aren't taking them out after 4 innings. The real benefit is to create better matchups with lower level pitchers.

Rise in X-FIP in 2017 between 2nd and 3rd time through order:
Stroman-0.43
Estrada-0.01
Sanchez (used career #s)-0.38
Happ-0.22

So for the Jays, it doesn't seem like there's much benefit to limiting the starters especially as those rises for Stroman and Sanchez are still pretty good and the second tandem pitcher would almost certainly be worse than they would be expected to be. I still like the tandem start idea but where it makes sense.
Glevin - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 05:03 AM EST (#352068) #
Baseball Prospectus named their top-10 Jays prospects.

1-Vladimir Guerrero, Jr, 3B
2-Bo Bichette, SS
3-Anthony Alford, OF
4-Nate Pearson, RHP
5-Connor Greene, RHP
6-Logan Warmoth, SS
7-Danny Jansen, C
8-Sean Reid-Foley, RHP
9-Ryan Borucki, LHP
10-T.J. Zeuch, RHP

It's a pretty conservative list IMO and heavy on lesser upper minor prospects rather than lower minors ones with potential (i.e. Connor Greene vs. Pardinho). None of the pitchers except Pearson are really exciting and mostly project as back-end rotation guys or relievers. What is very clear with all these lists is that the Jays have the same top-4 prospects. 2 super elite prospects in Bichette and Vlad, one very good prospect in Alford, and one prospect with great upside in Pearson. After that, not a huge difference between #5-#15. This site had Greene at #14 and BA's #5 prospect Gurriel at #13.
AWeb - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 07:45 AM EST (#352069) #
I don't think there is any evidence that relievers are capable, in general, of pitching multiple innings at a time at nearly the same effectiveness levels. At least not for an extended period - the current playoff usage patterns seems to pretty much burn out the top bullpen guys by the end. It's possible this is an area that some teams will get the jump on and find an advantage for a few years, but I'm skeptical.

If the point of shorter starter outings is to avoid the less effective 3rd time through "penalties", then simultaneously shortening the rest period between starts seems like a risky way to do it. You might end up offsetting the advantage you were hoping to create.

The second part of a tandem would be expected to pitch, let's say, 100 innings a year (~ 3 innings, 35 times). These innings would be predictable on a daily basis, but would still be impossible to warm up for in the same way a starting pitcher does, because game times by the 4th/5th inning might vary by 30-60 minutes. So they'd still have to approach their jobs as relievers, getting ready when it's more predictable they might be called in.

In 2017 there were half a dozen relievers over 80 IP (none averaged more than 1.5 innings per game), so you'd have to train/try a lot of guys to find the ones capable of pitching like that. Baseball briefly used relievers in the "fireman" role, but no one has ever had a long career in a relief role pitching multiple innings an outing (Wilhelm as the knuckleball exception), so players should be resistant to it even past the utter non-glamour of being an assigned middle reliever. 1 inning at a time roles have allowed modern bullpens to get as good as they are because "warm up once and then throw as hard as you can 15-20 times" is an unavoidably easier role than just about anything else. I don't think any other sport has anything comparable to the most important player at any given time (the pitcher) being best utilized in such a limited way, although both hockey and football have trended to similar substitution patterns over the past decades (shorter shifts for skaters where they go harder, for instance). Of course, few other sports have a "once you leave the game you can't come back" model. Soccer has a similar role for late substitutes, though, and they get used in a similar way to relievers.

I've seen this topic discussed in other places, and occasionally the "AA/AAA shuttle" approach gets mentioned as a way to manage the workload. Aside from players also hating the hell out of being demoted and promoted constantly just for corporate convenience, this also seems to overlook the fact that your AA and AAA pitchers also need to, well, pitch, so you can't reliable keep "fresh arms" on the farm teams unless you've sent them there to not pitch. And then the affiliates, rightly, would get pretty annoyed by not have a full roster to use.

I just don't see tandem starts working unless roster structure fundamentally changes (something like a 28 man roster, limited to 25 for each series). Benches simply can't have fewer players, can they?
scottt - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 08:34 AM EST (#352070) #
It's pretty hard to project the pitchers. Borucki does not throw hard but has been very effective at AA and didn't allow a run in his AAA start. I see him as a slider/sinker guy, who often don't do as well in the majors. Pearson is great, but still a few years away. Greene throws heat, but has been struggling for a long time. SRF looks more like a starter with a mix of 4 pitches, but is coming along slowly. Zeuch has looked good, but he hasn't pitched at AA. Then you got Harris, Pannone, Jackson, Guerrierri, McGuire, etc. Soon many of these guys will have to be promoted or traded, but for now, Buffalo should be loaded with young arm rather than minor contract vets.

PeterG - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 09:36 AM EST (#352071) #
The change-up is Borucki's best pitch and was recognized as being at major league level in 2017.
uglyone - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 09:40 AM EST (#352072) #
the idea with those tandems would be to find absolute bargains by scouring the league for "bad" SP that were actually very effective once or twice theough the lineup and get an absolute bargain of a staff as a result.

obviously if you had a cheap stud ace you wouldn't pitch him like that, but maybe it becomes easier to trade that stud ace if the tandem setup works.
uglyone - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 09:44 AM EST (#352074) #
and all due respect to BP but imo putting Greeene top-5 after two horrendous years just because he has a good fastball is a bit crazy.
Cracka - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 09:54 AM EST (#352075) #
Great post AWeb! Increasing roster sizes is another fascinating discussion that could enable significant changes in the game (maybe good, maybe bad...). But I think MLB is focused on reducing the length of games, so this seems unlikely to happen. I think it safe to say that tandem starts aren't on the horizon anytime soon...

Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 10:38 AM EST (#352077) #
The second part of a tandem would be expected to pitch, let's say, 100 innings a year (~ 3 innings, 35 times). These innings would be predictable on a daily basis, but would still be impossible to warm up for in the same way a starting pitcher does, because game times by the 4th/5th inning might vary by 30-60 minutes. So they'd still have to approach their jobs as relievers, getting ready when it's more predictable they might be called in.

The second part of a tandem is used not exactly like a reliever, and not exactly like a starter.  Regular work with fairly consistent rest periods.  There is never a need to warm up in a hurry.  In the minor leagues, some pitchers like Sanchez thrived in the role as second part of the tandem and some like Syndegaard struggled.  The history of baseball is littered with examples of the fluidity of pitching roles- from Sunday pitchers like Ted Lyons to the mixed roles of Allie Reynolds

I am not saying that all pitchers are suited to tandems, or that you want your best pitcher throwing in a tandem.  If you've got Roy Halladay or Marcus Stroman, let him try to throw 7 innings at a shot.  On the other hand, if you have a typical 5th starter who is not much better than your 6th starter who is in the bullpen or in triple A, you may be a lot better off splitting the work more evenly and regularly.
AWeb - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 11:30 AM EST (#352078) #
I am not saying that all pitchers are suited to tandems, or that you want your best pitcher throwing in a tandem. If you've got Roy Halladay or Marcus Stroman, let him try to throw 7 innings at a shot. On the other hand, if you have a typical 5th starter who is not much better than your 6th starter who is in the bullpen or in triple A, you may be a lot better off splitting the work more evenly and regularly.

Agreed on that, but I worry that once you start tandem-ing pitchers, it would become harder and harder to find the Halladays of the world. And injuries to one player would more strongly affect roster construction.

Hypothetical Setup for starter or tandem guys in MLB, AAA, AA:

pitcher 1 - traditional 6-7 IP per start

pitcher 2 - traditional 6-7 IP per start

pitcher 3 - traditional 6-7 IP per start

pitcher 4 - tandem, 4 IP/start

pitcher 5 - tandem, 3 IP/relief

pitcher 6 - tandem, 4 IP/start

pitcher 7 - tandem, 3 IP/relief

OK, that's a five "man" rotation. Who steps in for pitcher 2 if he gets injured? Your 8th best pitcher, from AA/AAA, working traditionally? That's not great, now your 8th best guy gets the second/third most innings, on purpose. Move pitcher 4 to the traditional role and bring up another tandem guy? That's not too bad, but now you probably call up your best tandem guy to take his role, who is your 11th (or so) best starting pitcher type.

With hyper-specialization and preparation, it's harder for players to move fluidly between roles than it used to be, or at least I think so. I wouldn't want a team having to spend several months each year stretching one guy or another out to take more innings.

It could be fun to try though. It is obviously vital that an entire organization, top to bottom, implement it, or at least develop for it, on purpose.

uglyone - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#352080) #
I think the ideas of finding pitchers that excel twice (but not thrice) through the order, and ones that excel once (but not twice) through the order, specifically based on their "stuff", instead of making the tandems about, say, "4ip/3ip" makes most sense.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 11:45 AM EST (#352081) #
It seems to me that the 3 conventional, 2 tandem starter route has an advantage over the traditional 5 conventional when it comes to adapting to injuries.  Teams often give starts to lesser pitchers in triple A- Bolsinger, Valdez, Rowley, Tepesch, Lawrence last year- in part because they have thrown 6 innings recently and are "ready to start". It's not great.

Let's imagine that it's June and you have Stroman, Estrada and Happ in the conventional roles, and Biagini/Borucki and Sanchez/Pannone in the tandem roles (Borucki and Pannone have been up for a month).  Sanchez has had occasional blister problems but has been able to go 4 innings in 80% of his starts.  Pannone is off to a good start, and Biagini and Borucki are both struggling but healthy.  If one of the conventional starters gets hurt, you can move Sanchez into the conventional role, Pannone into the first half of the tandem and you only need to find reliever to fill the second half of the tandem.  The step-up makes it easier, in my view. 

pubster - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 01:36 PM EST (#352083) #
I think you'd be better off if you can find a 2-3 inning reliever who you can use whenever your starter doesn't look sharp. Now a solid relief pitcher who can throw 3 innings is hard to find, but its an easier find than a reliever who can throw 4 innings (which is what your second tandem starter ought to be able to do).
bpoz - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 01:38 PM EST (#352084) #
The manager will also think about things a certain way. His style. He may send a guy out for the 6th inning. After 1 out he starts to struggle. Now the manager uses a wait and see approach. Can he get the next man and the one after that, so that the new pitcher has a clean slate.

He may bring in a reliever, not the tandem starter, to get 4 or 5 outs due to failure. So now there is just the 8th and 9th to play. I have to admit my strategy is not working out in this example because I am not using the 2nd part of my tandem.
The starter went 5.1 innings and the rest was usual strategy. The manager now has a fresh 2nd tandem pitcher for the immediate future.
bpoz - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 02:49 PM EST (#352086) #
Some names should come off this top 10 list via graduation to the Majors.

Alford and Jansen if good in their first 200-250 ABs will get a call up.

Borucki looks very close to ready. His ST audition should set him up if good. C Greene has to realize that the FO see him as a starter first. He needs a fast start or he will be considered a failed starter who becomes a reliever.

Unless the team is positioned for a playoff spot race I expect the above players to get enough playing time in Sept to lose their prospect status.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 05:06 PM EST (#352087) #
There are points in this Offseason where action should occur. Tickets must be sold for the Regular Season, so Teams need to set regular Season Rosters as soon as they can. When GMs get desperate signings happen. Boras clients are usually different, they disregard the offseason. They sign when they sign. Players that want to stay married sign when their significant other tells them to.

J.D. Martinez has offers in the $26.0 - $27.0 Million AAV range and around the 5 - 5+1 option year term. Boras might hold out for more/longer. Lorenzo Cain has offers in the $20.0 - $21.0 Million AAV range and around four years. Offer more term and he signs. Jay Bruce will get 15.0 - $17.5 Million AAV range and 4-5 years. I canít see the Jays going after Free Agents until the Trade Market drys up.
Michael - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 07:13 PM EST (#352090) #
If your back half of the tandem only needs once through the order, they may be able to pitch every other tandem start. Or nearly every other tandem start. Especially if you have one regular starter and 4 tandems, you might be able to get away with only 2 tandem relievers. Between off days and the one traditional starter this would be only 2-3 times a week going 9 batters (generally about 2 innings).

And you could occasionally give the tandem relievers time off either by occasionally letting the tandem starter go long, occasionally calling up a spot regular starter, or occasionally letting the other normal relief pitchers take the second half of the game.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 09:27 PM EST (#352093) #
The MLBPA will be opposed to ďtandem startsĒ as it lowers player values. Until it is discussed as a part of the MLB - MLBPA contract agreement, it will be a issue of contention. GMs will be able to say he only pitches once through the lineup, so heís a Reliever, not a Starter. That could make massive changes to the CBA. Imaging paying $575 K year one, $600K year two and $625 K year three now. Bring in Tandem Starts and start paying $2.0 Million year one, $3.0 Million year two, $4.0 Million and a CBA-mandated $7.0 Million or more for year four. That 50-50 split will always be an issue. Pay the players less in one place and be forced to pay them more somewhere else. It will happen.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 04 2018 @ 10:27 PM EST (#352095) #
Possible Baseball Hall of Fame additions:
Chipper Jones at a tentative 98.9%;
Jim Thome at a tentative 94.5%;
Vladimir Guerrero at a tentative 93.9%;

Edgar Martinez at a tentative 81.2%;

Trevor Hoffman at a tentative 78.2%;
Mike Mussina at a tentative 73.9%.
scottt - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 09:13 AM EST (#352096) #
There was a 3 players trade yesterday. That means 10% of the teams were active. It's a start.

Teams should start handing out bloated contracts next week or the one after.

It looks to me like the White Sox are trying to trade prospects they don't like for vets they don't need except to trade them back down the road.

The Brewers are considering signing Cain and trading out some of their young outfielders for young controllable pitchers.
Starting pitchers are more valuable than outfielders, on the aggregate, so I'm curious to see if that pans out.

Tim Salmon was the King Fish of the Angels. He's the franchise leader in home runs, run scored and walks.
Turns out Trout is a bigger fish. Unless he's extended, Trout has 3 years left to hit 98 home runs, score 291 runs and walks 394 times. The first 2 should be close. I can totally see him play his entire career with the Angels though.



ISLAND BOY - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 09:52 AM EST (#352097) #
Former Jay Steve Delabar has signed a minor league contract with Texas.
Mike Green - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 10:09 AM EST (#352098) #
Possible Baseball Hall of Fame additions:
Chipper Jones at a tentative 98.9%;
Jim Thome at a tentative 94.5%;
Vladimir Guerrero at a tentative 93.9%;

Edgar Martinez at a tentative 81.2%;

Trevor Hoffman at a tentative 78.2%;
Mike Mussina at a tentative 73.9%.

The ballot tracker also has Schilling at 67.1%, Bonds and Clemens at 67.7%, Walker at 39.5%, Vizquel at 29.3%, Rolen at 10.8%, B. Wagner at 10.2 % and Andruw Jones at 5.4%.  If you were actually building a team based on value, the order would go- not including the PED cases:
C. Jones, Mussina/Schilling, Thome/Walker/Rolen, Edgar Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero/A. Jones, (big gap), Vizquel/Wagner/Hoffman.

The idea that Hoffman was a better player than Billy Wagner is really hard to justify, and neither is anywhere close to the players who ought to be considered.  The sooner the save statistic is banished from the game, the better.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 10:45 AM EST (#352099) #
"Normally, I would hate this approach (it's not my money spent of FAs) but perhaps some assets are undervalued on the trade market as well - we got Diaz for essentially nothing, and the JD Martinez deal at the deadline was eye-opening."


The team is reluctant to trade prospects so free agency (the mid-tier portion) still seems like the safest bet. Diaz has five years of control left so even if he never bounces back from 2017, trading a marginal prospect like Woodman for him made sense, I wouldn't expect deals like that to be available often. The inactivity with free agency is due to the league wide inactivity. The players/agents and the organizations seem to have different perceptions of player value, so at some point one side is going to have to give, and it likely won't be the organizations. Once the FA prices drop, that's when the dominos will fall. Although for the life of me I can't figure out why Hosmer has contract offers for seven years.

If the Jays do make trades, I'd expect smaller moves for blocked players (in the same vein as Teoscar and Diaz), but still think free agency will be what ends up happening. There will be a player or two that will come cheaper than expected (my guess is Bruce, Nunez types) so the Jays will likely prefer that route rather than trading any prospects or big leaguers.
Mike Green - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 11:33 AM EST (#352100) #
Jay Bruce?  His defensive numbers sure have bounced around a lot.  If you take a 3 year average using DRS and UZR, you end up with him being a -5 to 0 defensive RF, and his projection should be for a 1.5 WAR player (fangraphs has him at 1.0 using UZR numbers only).  I still don't see that he's a better bet than Jarrod Dyson, and I can't imagine that he'll get less than Dyson. 

Eduardo Nunez?  As a 2B/3B backup, I can see it.  I don't think you want him at shortstop ever.  And with Diaz having the same issue perhaps at a lower level, he may not be the best fit. 

whiterasta80 - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 11:47 AM EST (#352101) #
The Hosmer offers are absolutely mind boggling. Carlos Santana is a BETTER PLAYER and signed for 3/7 the term and money. Logan Morrison will likely go for 1/10 the money and 1/7 the term. He will likely also outproduce Hosmer. As he did last year.

Do I see a path to Hosmer improving? Maybe... he could possibly start hitting the ball in the air and magically gain significant range on defense. But I sure as heck wouldn't be paying him as if he already did those things.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 12:06 PM EST (#352102) #
I still like the idea of Jarrod Dyson. Even if his value dips in a corner OF spot, heís still an excellent defensive player at each OF position, and could be a ~90-100 wRC+ type in a platoon role. Plus he can shift back into a 4th OF role if Alford or Hernandez or whoever comes along and wins a spot. Or they could consider trading Pillar and putting Dyson at CF. There would be a lot of options.
Mike Green - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 12:30 PM EST (#352103) #
Do I see a path to Hosmer improving? Maybe... he could possibly start hitting the ball in the air

Sure.  It worked for Kendrys Morales, didn't it?  Oh wait...
Nigel - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 02:46 PM EST (#352104) #
It appears the offseason plan, like last year, is to neither rebuild nor invest (in any substantial way). In that scenario, I agree with SK and Mike that Dyson fits the bill for this roster. He checks every box. He won't cost much, he bats LH, he offers some speed on the bases, he gives off the vibe of being a viable leadoff hitter, and can still play above average defence. If bandaids are the plan, then I'm all in favour, if for no other reason than preservation of my sanity (so that the team can field actual OFs playing in the OF).
SK in NJ - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 03:33 PM EST (#352105) #
I think Diaz will be the back-up SS for better or worse. Players good enough with the glove to cover SS that will be ok with a back-up role are likely the Barney/Goins types, unless the Jays can trade for a Profar type (young blocked unestablished player on another team). Nunez would be a safe short-term signing, who could cover 2B/3B and maybe some outfield as well. He wouldn't be my first choice, but for what this team is trying to do, stop-gap vets until young prospects are ready to take over appears to be the plan.

I think Diaz and the next infielder the Jays sign/trade for could realistically be the starting middle infield on opening day. I don't trust the health of Travis/Tulo at all.
Mike Green - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 03:45 PM EST (#352106) #
Here's Jayson Stark's explanation for some of his ballot choices. It's a pretty good ballot and explanations are always good.  The only thing that calls out for comment is why you would prefer Trevor Hoffman to Scott Rolen. 
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 07:45 PM EST (#352107) #
It seems that Ross Atkins is the anti-Anthopolous.. Rather than do a ton of stuff and see what sticks, do nothing, and hope it magically gets better :-)
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 08:14 PM EST (#352108) #
When does Ownership step in? After they did so well with the Jose Bautista signing last year, do we really want that? Unless they increase the funds available, probably not. Of course, Yu Darvish would be a great signing.
scottt - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 09:03 PM EST (#352109) #
AA spent several off seasons signing 0 free agents. Many of his trades where quantity for quality. Just getting Happ, for example, involved trading away 5 prospects. And this is not just Atkins, every team is sitting still because they've made offers to free agents who are waiting for those teams to beat themselves, like when Detroit gave Fielder that crazy contract and they were the only team trying to sign him.The top free agents are waiting for the best possible offer while most teams are waiting for the last minute deals. The Jays are in a position to sign anybody except maybe 1B/DH, so this is a great time to be patient.
John Northey - Friday, January 05 2018 @ 11:48 PM EST (#352110) #
Agreed this winter patience is important for teams as is an ability to jump once things get moving. I expect to see AA do that in Atlanta but here I'm not sure what to expect yet from our current GM. I'd love to see Darvish brought up here but only for a sane contract (5/$125 max I'd prefer $100 over 5 or $75 over 3 if he wants to punt ahead a few years). I doubt the Jays could get him at that price but one never knows. If prices drop due to players getting desperate as spring training approaches anything can happen.

In truth my big hope is a long term deal for Donaldson and a couple of minor (but decent) free agent signings.
bpoz - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 10:25 AM EST (#352111) #
IMO the Jays are in a conservative rebuild. They will not say anything. Which is the way to do it.

They cannot get everything Atkins said this off season. Another OF, IF, backup C, Relievers and SP. He will spread the $25 mil available on a few signings as some have speculated. Most likely insignificant and bank on some farm promotions.

Cracka - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 10:51 AM EST (#352112) #
I think many of the remaining free agents have unrealistic contract expectations at this point -- that, or their agents are still trying to incite bidding wars. I'm skeptical that the Royals and the Padres have actually both offered 7/140+ deals to Hosmer... Alex Cobb reportedly wants a 4/70 deal, which seems extraordinary. Darvish and Martinez are still seeking six year deals... Andrew Cashner is holding out for a 3 year deal, etc.

Lots of time left before meaningful games are played - I think there will be a few solid Free Agent bargains available for short-term (1-2 year) deals once Spring Training starts, and the Jays will make their moves then.





SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 11:21 AM EST (#352113) #
Having cheap, young, controllable talent is the name of the game now. As more teams start having sabermetric front offices, you will start to see a shift in how teams spend their money, specifically with the term of a contract. This year's free agents will end up getting their money, but it will likely come at the expense of years, not necessarily dollars. The best value any team can have is the first six years of control. After that, it's diminishing returns. Teams might be smartening up and realizing paying for what a player has done in the past, and not what that player can be reasonably expected to do in the future, is going to bite them. With elite players you can accept some dead money towards the end of the deal, but this year's market is short on elite (very short).

I agree there is definitely a disconnect between what the free agents perceive their value to be and what the FO's perceive it to be. It won't be an issue when Machado and Harper are free agents, but in lean FA markets, we will likely start to see more slow off-seasons like this going forward. FO's are getting smarter about aging curves. The next CBA will have to do something to help players get more money during the first six years of their service time if they want to help them out. Maybe start arbitration a season earlier, or raise the minimum salary, etc.
John Northey - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 01:47 PM EST (#352115) #
No question the best thing the union can fight for now is arbitration after 2 years and a $1-2 million minimum salary. Also jumping when the luxury tax kicks in (at least $250 million, growing to $300 million by the time the next contract runs out).
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 01:59 PM EST (#352116) #
Itís been over a month since the Jays have done anything. Iíd really prefer it doesnít take another month. I think the Jays are re-evaluating what their primary needs are, possiblely due to the Trade Marketís Costs. After all, Free Agents cost just money. Itís all about what the Jays are willing to ďspendĒ.

Outfield is an ideal place to add a long-term acquisition. I am positive that no one sees Kevin Pillar as a long-term solution. Basically there will be three openings going forward. Inhouse should fill two, but the third should be the best possible acquisition the Jays can make. The Jays should never be trying to fill a hole here year after year after year.

The Rotation will have three openings after this Season. Expecting the fill these positions in-house with the caliber of Pitcher needed is not an optimum policy. This year or next, the Jays must acquire the best possible Starter they can. Theyíve been more lucky that not thus far with their signings. Time to upgrade the selection.

If the Jays do the best possible here, they donít have to do much elsewhere, they should be in the Playoffs. Options for injuries this year are already much better than last yearís options. Just not having some players in some positions is an upgrade.
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:04 PM EST (#352117) #
the first thing the union should be fighting for is a massive reduction in years of control. Not just earlier arb but earlier free agency. Players now are indentured to one organization right through their prime years. They get crushed in the current set up.

it's hilarious because the NHLPA fought so hard against their system, but that's exactly what the MLBPA should be fighting for.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#352118) #
Don't agree with earlier FA but earlier arb and higher minimums ok......also expand rosters so more players have major league jobs

Source: The Toronto Blue Jays have traded for Yangervis Solarte from San Diego.

don't know what we gave up yet...........
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:16 PM EST (#352119) #
Jays just got Solarte.

Not a fan of the target.

Hopefully the price is right.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:19 PM EST (#352121) #
Solarte has 3 years of control and has options.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:22 PM EST (#352122) #
Wonít comment until we find out what the return is, but Solarte was one of the players I figured the Jays would target once the Padres got Headley.
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:26 PM EST (#352123) #
I think everyone figured solarte was exactly the kind of target shapkins would be looking for.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:28 PM EST (#352124) #
Olivares and a small second piece....

as a big fan of Olivares, my initial reaction is negative though it may be a case of selling high here which is generally a good strategy though again, I do like Olivares.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:30 PM EST (#352125) #
Both Solarte and Diaz can play 3b. Could this be setting up a future move involving a Jays 3b?
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:31 PM EST (#352126) #
If it's olivares that's a good price. Everyone seems to think he's a real prospect and I just don't see it.

Still don't like the target, but the price would be right, much like in the liriano trade.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:33 PM EST (#352127) #
It really depends on what the return is. Heís a solid player who can cover multiple positions and has a few years of control left. Between him, Diaz, and the starting infield, itís about as good infield depth as could have been reasonably expected. Just have to hope itís not someone significant going the other way.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#352128) #
If Donaldson stays, Diaz and Solarte are on the Bench. That leaves very little room for Steve Pearce.
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:38 PM EST (#352129) #
It's Olivares + a "small other piece"
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:39 PM EST (#352130) #
Jays 2018 early Steamer + Zips projections

Asterisk = steamer-only projection

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

UT Solarte* 101wrc+,1.8war/650
OF Carrera 85wrc+, 0.0war/650 / Pompey 81wrc+, 0.8war/650
IF Diaz* 96wrc+, 1.9war/650
C Maile 52wrc+, -0.1war/650
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:42 PM EST (#352131) #
With 466 AB's last season, Solarte will not be happy as a reserve. I think Donaldson may be on his way out. This could be the move that Atkins referred to as the start of a chain reaction.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:42 PM EST (#352132) #
That seems like a fair deal. Olivares isnít a top prospect and the Jays get three years of control on a versatile player.

With the roster as is, Pearce will either be traded or be the starting LF. He wonít be a bench player, unless Donaldson is on the move (which I doubt).
aarne13 - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:44 PM EST (#352133) #
Its a trade. Woooo. A bit underwhelming but it does provide depth. Goins/Barney got upgraded to Diaz/Solarte.
Olivares is a legit prospect imo-hate to see him go but that's business.

I don't this means anything with the rest of the roster. No, Donaldson is not on the move-the peanut gallery thinks that getting Solarte somehow displaces Donaldson. huh wut?

uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:50 PM EST (#352134) #
Jared Carkuff (who?) is the 2nd piece.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:52 PM EST (#352136) #
It certainly does mean something with the rest of the roster as there are too many major league players at the moment. Donaldson is just one of several possibilities but if some are thinking there is no chance he will be moved, you are dreaming in technicolour. Have to be set up for an in season moves as well. Vlad will not be coming up to play 3b in July if JD is moved then.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#352137) #
Jared Carkuff is the 2nd player going to SD.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:12 PM EST (#352138) #
Solarte is a good pick-up but Olivares is a prospect I liked and is a little sore for me. At the very least it looks like the infield will have at least league average production regardless of who gets hurt.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:19 PM EST (#352139) #
I too like Olivares but he would have needed rule 5 protection after next season as will several others. At some point, decent propsects had to be traded.

Giving him up suggests to me that maybe the BJ brass has a higher opinion of the value of another young OF......Ryan Noda perhaps. Look for him to see full time duty as an OF next season.

Glevin - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:27 PM EST (#352140) #
Decent pickup. Oliveras is a kind of a long shot prospect. Some good power and speed but very low walk rate and heís a long way from the majors. He might develop but there are tons of prospects like him and most donít. this site liked him more than most people who had h8m 15-20 range. Solarte is a pretty good player and itís a good team contract. Nothing special but the knowledge that Goins and Barney wonít get 400 ABs this year is a huge relief. His BABIP seemed low last year so I expect a slight bounce back and getting out of Petco will probably help as well. He was very popular in SD and had a tragedy with his wife dying last September.

For his career, he hits righties well and canít really hit lefties. Even when he struggled last season, he had a 108 wrc+ against righties. Itís nice to see baseball moves again. What a boring month.
85bluejay - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:33 PM EST (#352141) #
I liked Olivares, so am disappointed he's gone but maybe selling high on him & FO always find it easier to part with guys they didn't sign - maybe the Jays are going for it and want a strong MI backup team, maybe they don't like the medicals regarding Travis and of course, Solarte/Diaz could split 3B while providing solid infield backup - this surely will not impede the Donaldson trade rumours - Diaz & Solarte are both poor defensive SS & with my expectations that Tulo will miss significant time, I hope they acquire a good defensive ss.
scottt - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:01 PM EST (#352148) #
Solarte is a switch hitter who hits righties well. It's a good complement to Diaz who is a right bat.
That takes care of the infield and it's probably at least a 4 WAR improvement over Goins/Barney.
I hate losing a potential power outfield bat, but it was probably  a long shot.

I don't see how that spells a Donaldson trade.
If they extend Donaldson, Guerrero will have to move to left field and they have Alford and Hernandez for the rest of the outfield.

I'd rather they go after 1 4 WAR free agent than 2 2 WAR ones.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 09:13 PM EST (#352167) #
All the moves since the 2015 Season have been about the best return for the least cost. Two additional years of development, drafting well and IFA signings has made a better caliber of Prospects for trades at all levels. So far, the Jays are still being cost conscious about what they acquire and what they trade. So far they have been very lucky.

The Jays are never trading Vlady or Bo , but getting the caliber of Outfielder the Jays really need might cost something painful. They canít deal with the Marlins because the competence level is not there yet, so cost are unreasonable and inconsistent/desperate. Which Switch Hitter or Left-Handed Bat are the Jays trying to acquire? Or are they stuck with Not So Free Agency?
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