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The Blue Jays continued to build their infield depth by trading for Yangervis Solarte.

Today the Jays acquired Yangervis Solarte from the San Diego Padres for prospects Edward Olivares and Jared Carkuff.

Solarte is under contract for 2018 and has team options in 2019 and 2020. He is making $4.1 million this year, with ciub options for $5.5 million in 2019 and $8 million for 2020. Solarte played 128 games for the Friars last year, hitting .255/.314/.416. He played 79 contests at second base, 28 at shortstop, 22 at third base and 8 at first base. With Donaldson firmly entrenched at third base (for now) and Smoak at first, it looks like the Jays will primarily ask Solarte to serve as middle infield depth. However, along with Diaz, he provides the Jays with better options in the event Travis or Tulo have to miss significant time due to injury.

Olivares was the 11th ranked prospect by Batterís Box in this seasonís Top 30 list. He is a toolsy outfielder. Carkuff was a 35th round pick from 2016 and profiles an organizational arm.

Yangervis Solarte Is the Newest Blue Jay | 251 comments | Create New Account
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China fan - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:42 PM EST (#352142) #
Diaz has options, so there's some speculation that he might start the year in the minors (along with Ngoepe). The strategy, apparently, is to boost the overall infield depth in the entire system in case of injuries to Tulo or Travis. I guess the final roster will also depend on what happens in the competition in spring training and who looks strongest in the pre-season. Competition is always good, but I agree with Uglyone that the Jays weren't aiming high enough when they decided to go after Solarte. I think there's a very good chance that Travis plays less than half of the games this season, for health reasons, and the Jays need a better alternative for that scenario.



lexomatic - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:48 PM EST (#352143) #
Well the Jays have about the best infield depth I could imagine now. And a stop-gap for Donaldson leaving. Olivares is a player I like, but he's a long ways away.
I guess we'll have to see if this is a go for it within reason move or a prelude to a rebuild.
I'm okay with this move.


China fan - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:51 PM EST (#352144) #
The optimistic scenario, of course, is that both Solarte and Diaz bounce back to their 2016 performance. I think that's unlikely, but there's a chance that one of them could return to something closer to their 2016 numbers. That would be great.

Also, if they build the roster smartly, they could use Solarte in a platoon role against RHP. I'm even seeing speculation that he could take some DH time from Morales against RHP.
Glevin - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:51 PM EST (#352145) #
"but I agree with Uglyone that the Jays weren't aiming high enough when they decided to go after Solarte."

Solarte has an average of 1.8 WAR over his 4 seasons. I'd love to know who this magical elite backup infielder the Jays should have been chasing was.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:53 PM EST (#352146) #
why should Travis be injured again next season? Previous injuries do not necessarily lead to future injuries. There seem to be foolish assumptions among some (not referring to you CF) that Tulo and Travis will not play at all in 2018 . I doubt that Tulo will go a full season without missing time but there is more to the Diaz and Solarte moves than just that.

Nor do I think it means a trade of JD is happening but it might. Even if not dealt now or in July, I think it is now obvious, if it was not before, that there will be no extension for Donaldson.

These latest moves are about more than just replacing Goins and Barney

SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 05:57 PM EST (#352147) #
The only way the Jays could have aimed higher was if they looked for a starting 2B to replace Travis. Finding a back up utility player who could cover many positions and be a solid starting caliber player when he plays is not easy. Those types are usually starters. Solarte is a 1-2 WAR player who can play 2B/SS/3B, so heís a bit of a hybrid between bench/starter. That has a ton of value to a Jays team that may not get enough games from their starting 2B/SS in 2018, and likely will have to find a starting 3B in 2019.

Olivares could turn into something. He doesnít seem like a prospect worth stressing over, but thereís always a chance something can develop. However from a value standpoint, this seems like a fair deal for both sides. As PeterG mentioned in the other thread, at some point, the Jays will have to trade prospects for big leaguers due to 40-man roster issues. For a team that hoards prospects as much as the Jays do, itís a good problem to have.
dan gordon - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#352149) #
I like the trade. I had Olivares as #20 on my list. His 2017 season at Lansing was very good, but seemed to come out of nowhere, and may not be a repeatable level of performance. The late season move up to Dunedin didn't go well. Solarte has some pop, and should see an uptick in the HR department, due to getting out of SD. He had a significantly better HR rate on the road, which is not surprising given Petco's pitcher friendliness. His versatility is real plus, and he's a switch hitter, although significantly better hitting left handed. Very nice contract at $4.1 million plus 2 options at $5.5 million and $8 million, and minimal buyouts in case something unforeseen happens.
China fan - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:03 PM EST (#352150) #
"....I'd love to know who this magical elite backup infielder the Jays should have been chasing was...."

As I've mentioned several times here, my argument is that the Jays shouldn't have been chasing a back-up infielder.  They should have been chasing a starting 2B. 

And no, I'm not assuming that Travis will play zero games in 2018, and I'm not assuming that he will simply repeat his history.  But when a trend is visible over three seasons, it becomes more than just a possible worry.  Travis has averaged 71 games per season in the majors, purely because of health issues.  I think it's a mistake to assume that he'll be able to handle a regular workload in 2018, when he's never been able to do that in the past.

PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:12 PM EST (#352151) #
The truth is that we don't know what to expect from Travis as far as health is concerned. I doubt that the Jays could have traded or signed a more talented 2b though. Travis still has potential to be a high calibre hitter and needs to be given another opportunity though I admit there will be little patience should he have further injury issues.
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:17 PM EST (#352152) #
Atkins has just said that Tulo and Travis both expected to be 100% good to go at the start of ST.

He also said that both Diaz and Solarte have a place on the big league roster.

Some members of the 2017 25 man roster will have to go. Who are your picks?

I do feel Jays will add a FA OF thus placing more pressure on the current roster. My best guesses for an addition are Cargo and Dyson.
lexomatic - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:25 PM EST (#352153) #
"....I'd love to know who this magical elite backup infielder the Jays should have been chasing was...."

As I've mentioned several times here, my argument is that the Jays shouldn't have been chasing a back-up infielder.  They should have been chasing a starting 2B. 

Just because Solarte is likely to be a backup for the Jays and some other teams, he`s averaged 500+ PA in each of his 4 seasons, so I wouldn`t call that a backup. I think a starting 2B to replace Travis would likely have been too expensive in prospects.

SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:26 PM EST (#352154) #
Solarte had a .221 BABIP against LHP last season. From 2014-16, he had a 105 wRC+ (.289 BABIP) against them. I wouldn't say he's a strict platoon player. There might be some upside with his bat, though he looks like a league average bat overall, maybe slightly better than that. Still pretty good for a projected back-up.

This is more about replacing Goins/Barney/Refsynder. The only way Donaldson figures into this move is for 2019 when the Jays will need to find a new 3B, which will likely be Solarte unless they get aggressive with Guerrero.
lexomatic - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:29 PM EST (#352155) #
I do feel Jays will add a FA OF thus placing more pressure on the current roster. My best guesses for an addition are Cargo and Dyson.

I think Dyson duplicates what`s available on the farm, even if really good at particular skill set with much better track record.

And if anyone wants the Brock projections it`s available here https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/yoAzTZcHND
Glevin - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#352156) #
"As I've mentioned several times here, my argument is that the Jays shouldn't have been chasing a back-up infielder. They should have been chasing a starting 2B."

That makes no sense from a resource point of view. You are trading elite prospects or spending significant budget to replace a position you already have. The Jays are in a position where they are stuck with Travis and Tulowitzki in the middle. Tulowitzki because his contract is so awful, you can't get rid of him and he is probably better than replacement anyway and Travis because when he's healthy he's a good player. So, if you go out and sign Neil Walker and spend 40% of your free agent budget to improve in probably 200 extra ABs? You then take away from the money you can spend getting full-time players. You are paying full price to get half a season of ABs. Anyway, is Travis+Solarte worse than Neil Walker? If not Neil Walker then who? You're going to give up a top-5 prospect to get a starting 2Bman? The Jays needed a backup who could play regularly if needed and they got that. It isn't some amazing trade and Solarte isn't an amazing player but it's exactly what the Jays needed to do at MI.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:33 PM EST (#352157) #
"Some members of the 2017 25 man roster will have to go. Who are your picks?"


My guess is the Jays add one outfielder, and go with Pearce in LF full-time again. If Solarte, Diaz, and Zeke are the bench players, then Pearce has to start in left field unless they trade him (or trade Morales, which is unlikely). There is no other spot for him.

With Hernandez having options left, I could see a scenario where the Jays go with an outfield of Pearce-Pillar-FA, and have Hernandez/Alford in Buffalo on standby. Not my first choice since Pearce's value disintegrates as an outfielder, but that might be the plan for now.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:44 PM EST (#352158) #
This is about giving Donaldson, Tulowitzki and Travis the occasional extra day off. This is about having two real bona fide MLB Infielders with good enough Defense and good Offense. Both Solarte and Diaz should easily be capable of that. Neither really cost much to acquire and both are making inexpensive money. Donít worry about extra problems until they are problems. Tentatively the Jays have Ngoepe and Urena as backups to Solarte and Diaz. With so much left to come, the Jays have done well with their biggest worry.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:44 PM EST (#352159) #
Law's take:

keithlaw
@keithlaw

56m
nice pickup for Padres, Olivares was roughly #15 in the Jays' system, power/speed guy who might stick in CF
PeterG - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:44 PM EST (#352160) #
I don't think the Jays have any intention of going with Pearce in LF. What that means in terms of further roster moves is unknown. Improving OF defence has been mentioned as a high priority by the FO.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 06:58 PM EST (#352161) #
So with Tulowitzki and Travis healthy to start the Season and both Solarte and Diaz on the Bench, that causes problems as neither Pearce or Carrera may have jobs next Season. Neither hit both LHP and RHP even adequately, everyone favours one side or the other. Carrera doesnít defend in the Outfield as well as he should and Pearce should never be out there. So who stays and who goes?
Nigel - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 07:20 PM EST (#352162) #
I like this move in the abstract, although I admit to not having a good handle on how good a prospect Olivares is. However, a number of the moves last offseason also made some sense in the abstract and then didn't when all of the offseason moves were added up. For example, if this means, as SK suggests, the Jays are only going to add one OF and will go with Pearce as the full time LF then the negative defensive impact of that line-up construction will almost single handedly wipe out any value that Solarte could provide the line-up.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 07:26 PM EST (#352163) #
Ideally the Jays find a way to move Morales and just stick Pearce at DH, but that's highly unlikely unless the FO is willing to swallow most/damn near all of Morales' contract. The team has three DH/1B types and two spots for them, with two back-up infielders and a 4th OF already accounted for on the bench. The team will hopefully decide between Morales and Pearce and go from there. I don't think anyone wants to see Pearce play the outfield again, much less everyday, but that's still a real possibility. I guess we will know more after subsequent moves.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 07:30 PM EST (#352164) #
The prospect the Padres acquired from the Jays for Upton, Hansel Rodriguez, had a solid 2017 in his age-20 season in A ball (3.21 FIP, 10.3 K/9 IP, 3.1 BB/9 IP). San Diego is no doubt hoping for similar progress from Olivares in 2018. He seems to be a decent return in exchange for another early-30s position player with limited market value (and who may be on the decline).
uglyone - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 07:45 PM EST (#352165) #
the move is good value (i'm not an olivares fan) but once again we're targetting borderline starters / good bench guys (earning real money) instead of legit quality starters.

but hey if they follow it up by signing Cain i'm happy.


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
IF Diaz* 96wrc+, 1.9war/650
C Maile 52wrc+, -0.1war/650
Mike Green - Saturday, January 06 2018 @ 08:50 PM EST (#352166) #
It's nice that Solarte's strong side is from the left, and that he has some defensive ability.  Useful player. I don't know whether he could play a capable half-season at shortstop if needed.

Olivares isn't my favourite type of prospect- toolsy, a little old for his league and less than ideal plate discipline- but he is good for this type of prospect.  Whether the deal is a good one depends on Olivares' development more than Solarte's performance.  I suppose that it's possible that the Blue Jays trade Donaldson, and Solarte delivers a 3-4 WAR performance as an everyday third baseman.  That seems to be within the range of reasonable possibility. 

prospect - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 01:54 AM EST (#352168) #
@greenfrog Hansel Rodriguez's season was not really solid. He failed miserably as a starter and he's now a reliever.

I like this deal for the Jays. I am not crazy about Olivares, he was outside of my top 20. The guy has some tools no doubt but he's the type of prospect that is replaceable.
John Northey - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 02:40 AM EST (#352169) #
Basically anytime you can trade a player outside of the top 10 prospects for an above 0 WAR ML player is a good deal IMO. Especially if it fills a hole. I also firmly believe in buying low, selling high.

Aledmys Diaz - 1 year away from a 134 OPS+ season, super-buy low opportunity. A year ago the Jays would've had to give up a ton to get him, now he cost a bucket of balls.

Yangervis Solarte - 1 year away from a 118 OPS+ season. Solid buy low given the cost was 2 guys not on the top 10, not even on some top 20 Jay prospect lists.

Both guys could be excellent everyday players if the rebound to where they were pre-2017. As is both are upgrades on Goins/Barney and major upgrades on Refsnyder/Coghlan/Urena/etc.

These are the moves smart GM's make. If they flop, cost was minimal in prospects and cash. If it works out...could be a wow. More lottery tickets you get the more likely you are to win. AA had great luck with this via Bautista/Encarnacion, and now Smoak and half year or so each out of Saunders, Colabello, and Juan Francisco (who all turned back into pumpkins promptly). Can the current GM do the same? Wait and see.

I'm hoping the Jays can pull off a trick and get Christian Yelich out of Miami for peanuts (and eating contracts) as I think that would be a better use of $10-20 million vs signing most guys on the market right now. Maybe eating Wei-Yin Chen's contract ($10 in 2018, $20 in 2019, $22 in 2020 plus an option for 2021 worth $16 mil based on an assortment of issues like IP in 2020 and health in 2021). A lot of his money is deferred which makes a deal complicated but I'm sure the Marlins are desperate to get out of some of that. If he is the cost of getting Yelich (plus some more sub top 10 prospects) then I'd say go for it. Chen might still be useful too. Not $20 mil useful but $5-10 mil useful.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 07:10 AM EST (#352170) #
prospect, itís true that Rodriguez flamed out as a starter last season, but he was lights-out after being converted to a reliever. His numbers from that point on:

25 G, 1.56 ERA, 40.1 IP, 27 H, 1 HR, 9 BB, 56 K

Yes, relievers are significantly less valuable than relievers, so in that sense heís a disappointing return for SD. And these are A-ball stats in a relatively small sample size. But Rodriguez looks like he could still end up as a pretty good reliever. Heís still only 20.

Upton jr., on the other hand, was a negative WAR player for the Jays.
rafael - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 08:39 AM EST (#352171) #
From the San Diego Uni-Tribu;

"The Padres are unlikely to contend for a playoff berth this year, but they will miss Solarteís bat and versatility. He began last season as their starting second baseman. An oblique strain caused him to miss a month. When he returned he willingly played out of position at shortstop. Even in a down year, the switch-hitter batted .255 and launched 18 home runs, a personal best."

So Oblique and out of position could have affected his performance / predict rebound or ... more oblique problems.
U-T also said that Padres really liked Olivares had him on radar for long time. They also had way too many infielders and still do.
scottt - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 09:18 AM EST (#352172) #
Pearce was the left fielder last year and has no other position on the team. Keeping Pearce in left field is not a negative move, it's the same as last year. He should probably be traded just to free space on the roster.
Pearce was worth 0 WAR. That's the 4th worse on the team after Bautista, Barney and Goins and should be an easy upgrade.

Solarte should get at-bats that went to Goins, Barney, Coghlan and Refsnyder and potentially Pearce as well.

China fan - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 09:25 AM EST (#352173) #
"...That makes no sense from a resource point of view. You are trading elite prospects or spending significant budget to replace a position you already have.... If you go out and sign Neil Walker and spend 40% of your free agent budget to improve in probably 200 extra ABs?"

Those are fair points.  Thank you for articulating the issues.  I guess I have a different perception of the Jays resources.  I feel they have more resources than Atkins and Shapiro will publicly admit. And in a very competitive division, where the Jays are competing against big-payroll teams, I think there are times when the Jays will have to over-pay for an upgrade.  I don't want them to be prudent and parsimonious on every financial question.  The Yankees and the Red Sox often over-pay to achieve their goals.  The Jays will never have a payroll as big as either of those teams, but I still see the Jays as a big-market team with substantial revenue and the potential for further revenue growth. So, yes, the dollar spending per AB might have to increase, and I don't think that's something to be afraid of.

The Jays had the worst hitting in the league last year.  They need to upgrade at many roster places, not merely at the bench positions.  Of course it would be fairer to wait until the end of the off-season and see who else they acquire.  I'm just a little worried that they're going to make only marginal upgrades at OF and 5th starter, plus maybe a reliever.  That's not ambitious enough, in my view.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 09:50 AM EST (#352174) #
Yangervis Solarte experienced a crushing personal tragedy in September 2016 (credit: Jays Journal). This could have effected his 2017 Season, of that Iím sure.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#352175) #
Upgrades?
Devon Travis had 185 ABs last year, just 50 games. When he plays anything more in 2018, that an upgrade over who played.
Troy Tulowitzki played 66 games, 241 ABs, mostly playing hurt since Spring Training. Just being healthy should be considered an upgrade.
Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte are upgrades on the prior incumbents, possibly considerable upgrades.

Whatís next?
Significant players are going out in a Trade for an asset/upgrade. The Jays wIll keep Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but not much else to get whatís needed. Free Agents who can make a difference/upgrade for the Team are still very expensive. Younger, faster, better, more balance, versatility are found In-house or on the Trade Market. Better, more balance and versatility can be found with Free Agents. I think itís all about who becomes available?
bpoz - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 10:48 AM EST (#352176) #
A Diaz is quite young and had success Y Solarte, not old, has had quite good success at the ML level every year. If they can get 400-500 ABs 20 Hr is very possible.

E Olivares could develop, but you have to give up something.

Diaz was surplus to St Louis. They moved fast and gave up a useful bench piece but they always seem to have replacements. They also saved money. Diaz cannot stay sharp if he is not playing. SD are rebuilding so they may want to go with younger players. The SD farm may be good. It is late in the off season SD saved money and created ABs for other players.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 11:30 AM EST (#352177) #
minorleagueball.com has a writeup on the trade, including a video of an Olivares HR.
rpriske - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#352178) #
Good move. It was about the best they could do unless they were willing to cut bait on Travis.

Speaking of cutting bait, if the Jays sign someone like Cain or Dyson, I would not be at all shocked if Pearce is released (assuming they can't move him for next to nothing).

Hernandez is the other outfielder. Sending him down (unless they sign TWO new outfielders) makes zero sense.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 12:16 PM EST (#352179) #
So where does Anthony Alford fit in this year? Can he force his way onto the team with a strong spring training, or do the Jays want to see him play every day at Buffalo?
PeterG - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 12:33 PM EST (#352180) #
Alford is almost certain to begin the season in Buffalo regardless what happens in ST. After that, it will depend upon his level of play there as well as what is happening at the major league level.
uglyone - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 12:49 PM EST (#352181) #
tbh i thought there would be more criticism of a move that traded a decent prospect for a 30yr old part time player in what management already telegraphed as a move that was simply succor to fans.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 01:03 PM EST (#352182) #
Assuming he can hit enough to play in the majors, Olivares could be particularly valuable in spacious Petco. Here are a few comments about him:

From BA's Dec. 20 chat on the Jays' system:

Gerry (Toronto): How much did Edward Olivares stock rise this season? Are there flaws in his game or is he a 5 tool player?

Ben Badler: It definitely went up. Good combination of speed and hard contact from a center fielder with plus speed, plus arm, plus bat speed. It's a high-risk approach because he's not a selective hitter and he's very pull-oriented, so that's probably only going to get tested once he hits the upper levels, but he has some of the best raw tools in the system and the performance he put together with it at least in Low-A was encouraging.

Brett (Stratford, On): With the lower minors filled with high risk players, who are 2 or three names to look out for.

Ben Badler: Noda and Olivares are the two guys outside of the Top 10 to watch there. ...

Per Wayne Cavadi on minorleagueball.com:

Olivares is the real get of the deal. Part of a Lansing team that had superstars Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Olivares big 2017 got somewhat buried.

Olivares was signed out of Venezuela before the 2014 season. He played his first three years in Rookie ball, showing signs of life, but never exhibiting top notch stuff. Turning 21 entering his first year at full-season ball, Olivares exploded in Low and High-A.

He slashed .277/.330/.500 in Lansing before a late season promotion to the Florida State League. The right-handed slugger has a quick bat, but is mostly pull power, launching 15 of his 17 home runs to left field. He has well-above average speed, and combined with that power, he was able to add in 26 doubles and nine triples. Olivares was good on the base paths, swiping 18 of 25 stolen base attempts.

Obviously, Olivares isnít a perfect prospect. Again, using only his time in the Midwest League, he only struck out 17.7 percent of the time, but he also only walked 4.7 percent of the time. Those numbers were more balanced in the FSL, but he also only played 19 games at the level. His Lansing numbers are more indicative of his previous time in Rookie ball. He also could possibly add some more power if he can bring his ground ball rate (44.2 percent) down a bit. He makes his fly balls count with a 12.9 percent home run to fly ball ratio.

Watch this home run. You can see how wiry he is, which makes his power more impressive (and shows there is likely more coming should he continue to progress as he did this year). He has a little noise pre-swing, but when he sees his pitch, he unloads quickly and powerfully (video courtesy of Blue Jays Prospects on YouTube).

Olivares also excels defensively. His speed gives him the range and he has the arm to play all three outfield positions. That gives him the floor of a fourth outfielder and the ceiling of an everyday centerfielder.

Still just 21, Olivares looks like he has room to grow. Heís 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, so a reduced ground ball rate and some added muscle, the Padres are looking at a future 20/20 player who makes pretty good contact. This is a great get for the Padres, and one the Blue Jays were able to make thanks to some depth at the position.
aarne13 - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 01:25 PM EST (#352183) #
I believe only 31 out of 178 FA's have signed. Yikes! There might be some cheap pickups close to ST.

The top 5 WAR3 OF FA's
Cain 15.4
JDM 10.9
Granderson 9.1
Dyson 7.9
CarGo 5.2

For reference Pearce is 1.9. He is not a liability but pretty replaceable. Platoon player at best. They can make do with what they have and hope for the best. ie Pearce/Zeke, Pillar, Hernandez.
But in reality an upgrade is definitely needed.
aarne13 - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 01:40 PM EST (#352184) #
https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2017-free-agents.shtml

Out of the 123 FA signings this offseason the Jays have only signed 1 player (Deck McGuire).
The last stat in my previous post came from MLB homeplate, not sure what their criteria was but there are obviously a lot of players on the market.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 02:30 PM EST (#352187) #
It would be great if the Jays could pry away Yelich for a few non-Vlad/Bo prospects (say, Alford plus two or three others). I would also be happy with Cain on a four-year deal. Adding either of those players would make 2018 a lot more interesting.
pubster - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 02:30 PM EST (#352188) #
When Shapiro came in he said he wanted to add some switch hitters to the Jays roster. Cleveland has a bunch of switch hitters on their roster when he left.

I'm sure he loves Solarte's switch hitting ability.
scottt - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 02:34 PM EST (#352189) #
If they get an outfielder, I imagine either Pearce or Carrera can be traded for minimal return.


scottt - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 02:59 PM EST (#352190) #
Yelich isn't going to come cheap. The Marlins will want to make up for trading 3 of their best players in salary dumps. There are several teams with outfield prospects up for trades, the Cardinals for one. There are few teams with excess pitching, so I am guessing that is what the Marlins would ask. That and overall top 10 prospects.

aarne13 - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 02:59 PM EST (#352191) #
Florida's asking price is much higher that Shapiro/Atkins are willing to pay. They are not trading any A-level prospects.

With potential Jays targets (per MLBTR)-
Cain 4yrs/$70MM (+draft pick)
Lynn 4yrs/$60MM
Dyson 2/$12MM
Gonzalez/Gomez $10-12MM/yr

With ~20MM to play with it is likely the Jays sign one higher profile or two lower tier FA's
PeterG - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 03:46 PM EST (#352192) #
Marlins have said that they will only trdae Yelich if there is a substantial overpay. Let someone else pay it.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 06:46 PM EST (#352193) #
Right now, every Free Agent is trying to get that extra year in their Contracts. They might take less in AAV if the term is longer, but not what everyone wants to pay. I think if the Jays can get someone - Starter or Outfielder - at under $16.0 Million they might go up to $12.5 Million on the other piece. Talk is they are still working the Trade Market. From whom, I donít know?
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 07:24 PM EST (#352194) #
The Starting Rotation?
When there is uncertainty with Aaron Sanchezís recovery and possible reoccurrence of blister Issues, who the Jays add as a Starter could have a major significance. Yu Darvish (31) and Jake Arrieta (32) are the best available Starters and are probably out of the Jaysí price range. Lance Lynn (30) and Alex Cobb (30) are where the Jays should bo looking. My personal preference would be giving Lynn 5 years. Past this point, I donít think anyone is that much better than Joe Biagini. Hopefully there are better options still available on the Trade Market.
christaylor - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 10:32 PM EST (#352196) #
What are the Brock projections and what makes them different? I know I could Google but I'm lazy and don't care as much about baseball projections as much as I used to. What stands out there is the projection for Smoak. If these are to believed, he ought to be traded now, for whatever the Jays can get for him -- too much regression to the player's mean in this projection system at first glance.
John Northey - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 10:55 PM EST (#352198) #
Brock was an old method by Bill James in the 80's which is decent but not at the level of todays projections. However it is public domain which makes it easy to use.

I seriously doubt any system won't project Smoak to regress back to who he was or close to it. I'm sure if the Jays could get a decent return they'd trade him but no GM is still dumb enough to think last year was his real level nor are the Jays willing to dump him for little just in case it was for real. He is cheap and no one is pounding on the door to take over 1B so might as well keep Smoak unless someone makes a dumb offer for him.
SK in NJ - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 11:30 PM EST (#352199) #
Yonder Alonso also had a good season out of no where in 2017 and signed for 2/16. I donít think Smoakís trade value is that high. The value of first basemen around the league right now doesnít appear to be very high, save for a few exceptions (Hosmer....which I still donít understand the numbers being thrown around for him).
John Northey - Sunday, January 07 2018 @ 11:44 PM EST (#352200) #
Agreed on Hosmer - I can see why a 5 year deal is there for him but 7+? He is a 111 OPS+ lifetime, 132 last year (peak), never a 500 Slg% or 400 OBP, did get a 300 avg last year and in 2013. Very meh for a 1B. Twice has been below 100 for OPS+. 128+ games every year, just 2 years below 150 in 7 seasons including his rookie season when he spent 26 games in the minors to ensure KC got that 7th year.

So he is a very healthy 1B who hits well but not great. 4 Gold Gloves suggests he is strong on defense but at 1B that is a marginal plus, not a major one. His dWAR is negative every season.

The more I look the more I wonder why he is even getting 5 year offers.
whiterasta80 - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 08:16 AM EST (#352201) #
For me, 4/80 would be too rich on Hosmer unless I am KC factoring in legacy value.
Mike Green - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 12:00 PM EST (#352202) #
ZiPS is pessimistic about Cain's offence in 2018- marking him down for a 97 wRC+- but optimistic about his defence.  All of it leads to a 3 WAR projection. 

It is unusual to see a projection for a 32 year old so much worse than the mean 28-31 year old performance.  I have a feeling that Cain's slow start at age 26-27 might factor in to the projection, and if so, I disagree with the projection method in this case. 

uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 12:12 PM EST (#352203) #
interesting.

so Zips sees him as 97wrc+, 3.5war/650. Steamer sees him as 107wrc+, 3.6war/650. Average is a 102wrc+, 3.5war type player.

If you do the simplified aging curve of -0.5war per year, then that's 3.5 - 3.0 - 2.5 - 2.0 - 1.5 for 11war over 4 or 13.5war over 5yrs.
Mike Green - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 12:34 PM EST (#352204) #
Actually, ZIPS has him as 3.1.  If you round down to 3, you get 3, 2.5, 2 and 1.5, which would be 9 WAR over 4 years, and that presumes a relatively settled rate of decline.  I'll take the over on that because I disagree with the starting premise about his offence is incorrect. 

It's not exactly settled whether you ought to be signing a player like Cain.  I don't mind if the club does. 
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 12:40 PM EST (#352205) #
3.1 in 579pa.

uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 12:42 PM EST (#352206) #
3.3 in 603pa for steamer.

3.2 in 592pa average.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 02:33 PM EST (#352207) #
The Jays are acquiring needed pieces about once every month. So following that rate, the Jays will acquire someone near the beginning of February, just before Spring Training games start and just before the Season games starts. Providing the caliber of Player acquire is worth the wait, it doesnít really matter how long it takes, just that it gets done. It wonít make the Fan Base happy but it will make the Team better, or should.
Parker - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 02:51 PM EST (#352208) #
I'm not sure the standard 0.5 WAR declination per year is very reliable for Cain. A bunch of his value is tied to defense, which declines faster than offense, especially for outfielders, where range / foot speed is one of the most important factors.

And those WAR projections for 2018 are assuming he'll play CF full-time, which seems very unlikely with Kevin Pillar on the team.

I'd pass on Cain and make a play for Dyson instead - less present value but also MUCH less future risk.
Mike Green - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 02:59 PM EST (#352209) #
WAR/650 is not very helpful in this case.  It's a given that players can be expected to be on the field less as they get older.  If you have a player who is giving you 580 PAs worth 3.1 WAR, it doesn't add much to say this would be the same rate of contribution as a 650 PA 3.5 WAR player.

Obviously, if you have left-handed hitting corner outfielder who can give you 4 WAR in a platoon role exclusively for 425 PAs, that is worth more than  a corner outfielder who can give you 4 WAR in 650 PAs, as it will not be too difficult to find a right-handed hitting partner for the corner outfielder who can add some noticeable value.
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 03:14 PM EST (#352210) #
war/650 is always applicable, imo.

i never like treating health projections as at all similar to statistical projections. because they aren't.

if we want to try and factor in health AFTER turning war into a rate stat, that makes sense to me, but otherwise we're just mixing things up and confusing ourselves.

and iirc the simplistic .5war decline factors in health already.
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 03:16 PM EST (#352211) #
not sure how Dyson is less risky when he's a 34yr old whose ONLY value is tied up in his defense.
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 03:22 PM EST (#352212) #
My hope for the rest of the offseason is signing Cain, then working out some kind of deal that sends out one of Morales/Pearce, and maybe some money or other assets, for a solid SP.

If we can do that we have legit realistic hope for the playoffs.
Parker - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 03:34 PM EST (#352213) #
not sure how Dyson is less risky when he's a 34yr old whose ONLY value is tied up in his defense.

Well, you can be sure Dyson and Cain aren't asking for the same money or contract length.

Also, Dyson isn't 34. 2018 is his age-33 season. He won't be 34 until four months into the season.
Nigel - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 04:25 PM EST (#352214) #
I get confused by these discussions of signing Cain or any other big ticket free agent. I don't say that as a criticism of any of the posters here. Its just that I don't understand what makes anyone think that the Jays have any intention of doing so. If the Jays wanted to spend $20m a year in 2019 and after, why wouldn't they give that money to Donaldson (I understand his number would be north of the $20m figure). Donaldson is a far superior player to any of Cain, JD Martinez etc. and projects to be (relative to the existing FAs) throughout his and their decline phases. All reports suggest that the Jays and Donaldson haven't even engaged in extension discussions. Why would the Jays be engaged in discussions to sign Cain? However, I believe that Rogers is quite happy for media reports to link them to many free agent negotiations.
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 04:43 PM EST (#352215) #
i don't see what it has to do with donaldson's contract from 2019-forward.

jays have $50m committed for 2019. $15m committed for 2020. $0m committed for 2021.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 05:02 PM EST (#352216) #
How the Jays view Vladimir Guerrero Jr. going forward will probably determine the future of Josh Donaldson. That is probably the Jaysí biggest decision this Offseason. I do not think cost will be the deciding factor, nor do I think term will be the deciding factor. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be the sole deciding factor.

The Jays could resign Josh Donaldson to whatever contract they want. That would be an easy deal to work out with Owhership. The Jays would move him to D.H. after the Morales contract ends in 2019. That means Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be up to stay in 2020. But is it the best decision?
Mike Green - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 05:07 PM EST (#352217) #
Nigel, I think the assumption is that Donaldson will be looking at $30 million per year (roughly) and Cain may be looking at $17.5 million (roughly).  Donaldson also may be looking at a longer term.  A commitment-phobic front office might be less scared by a $70 million overall price-tag than a $150 million one. 
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 05:11 PM EST (#352218) #
Does anyone know when the Trade Market closes? Neither do I. The Jays are in discussions with various Teams on the Players the Jays are after. I think at some point they will ask ďAre we getting this done?Ē Then they will move on to Plan B, Plan C and other options.

Young, faster, better, more balance, versatile are the Jays guiding principals. They will try to fill as many of those boxes as possible. But whoever they acquire first (Starter or Outfielder) determines who their alternatives are for the others.
Nigel - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 05:48 PM EST (#352219) #
Mike, thank you for that. I have understood those to be roughly the goal posts, although Cain's number certainly seemed to start the offseason north of $17.5 m (that may have come down though). My main point though was that the last reports, confirmed by both sides, were that the Jays and Donaldson have had no discussions about an extension. The highest marginal return (among the likely options for free agent money) on the first $20m spent by the Jays in 2019 would clearly be with Donaldson. If you aren't prepared to hold negotiations with your best option why would you be "in on" lesser options? And if the reason is that the Jays know he won't sign or he wants a ridiculous term, then why wouldn't you be dealing him with a view to a even a mini-rebuild focused on 2019-20?
85bluejay - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 06:05 PM EST (#352220) #
I think Donaldson (and most high ticket players) will go to FA when they are only 1 year away - that doesn't mean the Jays can't sign him but I don't think he signs before experiencing FA.
James W - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 06:08 PM EST (#352221) #
Does anyone know when the Trade Market closes? Neither do I.

It never closes.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 06:15 PM EST (#352222) #
Nigel, if I may:

"My main point though was that the last reports, confirmed by both sides, were that the Jays and Donaldson have had no discussions about an extension."

These are speculative reports and can't be taken with any certainty as true. This is obvious I suppose. If they both came out on record and said "we haven't had negotiations because JD won't be coming back period," then that's a different story. There are articles and reports out there that management is interested in Yellich and that Atkins has publicly stated multiple times that they will add an OF and make a significant move. You can make a counter argument to your point here simply by reading the reports quoting Atkins.

"If you aren't prepared to hold negotiations with your best option why would you be "in on" lesser options?"
- The idea is that right now everything is a lesser option compared to Donaldson, but if you look at Donaldson as a player that will require 5 years or more then it changes his overall value depending on who is looking.

"And if the reason is that the Jays know he won't sign or he wants a ridiculous term, then why wouldn't you be dealing him with a view to a even a mini-rebuild focused on 2019-20?"
- That's one way of managing the team but there are other scenarios where the front office could see more value trying to compete for this year and take a draft pick at the end of the year. If they can trade Donaldson for a kings ransom they probably would have done so already.

Generally, I think that the overall value of older players for better or worse, is changing rapidly to favor front offices who are less and less inclined to offer the big contract. Does Josh Donaldson become an exception to that general trend? We won't know until we see what happens next year. I do feel like everyone clamoring to resign Donaldson feels like he is going to get paid the same way some of us felt Bautista was going to get paid, but look what happened there.
scottt - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 07:53 PM EST (#352223) #
It's not abnormal to discuss extensions after the winter dealings are complete.
It just makes sense for the Jays to know how much they have committed going forward and Donaldson might want to know if the team intend to contend every year he'll be on the roster.

Not that I"m really expecting Donaldson to be extended, but he's going to be the main ticket seller in 2018.
What are the biggest contract the Jays have handed out?
Vernon Wells, 7/126 in 2006?

Richard S.S. - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 08:22 PM EST (#352224) #
The Free Agent Market is slow to develop. The Trade Market isnít as active as it was expected to be. Are the G.M.s turning talented, bright and savy lately or is it something else. Scott Boras controls (is Agent for) J.D. Martinez, Jake Arreita, Mike Moustakas, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer and others. He rarely signs contracts before late in the Offseason. Many of this yearsí Free Agents are coming off healthy years where they were making very good money, so they will be very picky when signing. It does not help that Miami basically made their whole Team available. Players arenít moving until J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yeliich and othersí futures are decided. G.M.s didnít get smarter, no ones taking anything less than huge offers.
jamesq - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 09:04 PM EST (#352225) #
Marlins seem to want to trade Yelich, Cards want Donaldson, and Jays want Yelich. I am calling for a three way trade.
Nigel - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 09:13 PM EST (#352226) #
Daliman, if I might. Thanks for your thoughtful response. Only two points I would challenge. Donaldson himself (or possibly his agent, I apologize for not remembering) was the source of that information on his side. Given that Donaldson's status is critical to season ticket renewals, forgive me if I don't place a great deal of value in what Atkins says on this issue. Secondly, if the pendulum is swinging towards the clubs on older free agents then that thinking applies to Cain and Martinez as well and wouldn't that argue in favour of moving Donaldson sooner rather than later before his value erodes more?
SK in NJ - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 09:53 PM EST (#352227) #
I don't think the Jays are realistically in on Cain, either. Considering he will be 32, will require at least a four year commitment at significant dollars, and costs the team a pick + international bonus money, it doesn't seem to jive with what the FO wants to do. Maybe if he comes at a significant discount, but even then, there will likely be teams ready to give him the CF spot which he wouldn't have in Toronto (unless they trade Pillar to accommodate him).

Based on the two moves the FO has made so far, they are looking at years of control, specifically inexpensive years of control. With free agents, considering most of them will come at age 30-beyond and are on the open market, the dollars will be a lot higher and the years become more important in a different way. You don't want too many expensive years of control. Dyson for two years vs. Cain at four or five is a significant difference in that scenario. Cain's the better player, but who the more sensible signing would be for the Jays as constructed will likely breed a different answer.

As far as Donaldson, I don't see any scenario where he doesn't test free agency. This is his one and only shot at a monster contract. Unless Shapiro offers him insane money (which he won't), it's about as close to a foregone conclusion as you can get that he'll at least test free agency. The Jays are not winning a bidding war, and likely won't even participate in one, so if he's not traded at some point this year, then there is a very strong chance that he's a goner for a comp pick.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 11:06 PM EST (#352228) #
To get the caliber of talent that the Jays want in an Outfielder means a Trade, no ifs, ands, or buts. The cost is at least Bo Bichette and someone(s) more. Trading Guerrero makes zero sense and will never happen. But unless the Jays are willing to trade inner core prospects it will never happen.

Free Agents cost just money, not doubts, uncertainty and anguish. Unless with good defence, good offense and some speed, Free Agents arenít a great bargain either.
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 11:14 PM EST (#352229) #
i just don't see what donaldson has to do with signing other free agents. just because Donaldson doesn't have an extension yet doesn't mean they should sit out the offseason.
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 11:17 PM EST (#352230) #
and the idea of signing dyson mystifies me.

for what reason would we give any kind of money to a guy we'd rather not be a regular hitter in our lineup?
uglyone - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 11:20 PM EST (#352231) #
i mean do you guys actually want dyson or are you just trying to preemptively suggest it because you think that's what the FO will do?

because who spends any free agent money on a #9 hitter?
John Northey - Monday, January 08 2018 @ 11:30 PM EST (#352232) #
Sounds interesting jamesq. Donaldson to Cards, Cards send prospects to Marlins, Marlins send Yelich to Jays. Sounds like a good mix to me but not sure how the Cards and Marlins would be on that deal. Jays losing some present value but gaining a ton of future. Yelich signed for 5 more years at a good price. Has been a 3.5-5 WAR player since becoming full time in 2014.

If the Jays feel they can resign Donaldson then fine, resign him. But if not then they need to look at a deal like this. No idea if the Cards are desperate enough for that push over the top, or if the Marlins want whatever the Cards have to offer but I'd be good with a trade like this.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:03 AM EST (#352233) #
Dyson is likely looking at a two year deal and doesn't need to play everyday to accumulate value. He's pretty much been a 2-3 WAR fourth outfielder for the past few years. He will lose a bit of value if the Jays played him in a corner, but in a platoon he's likely to be around average offensively with great defense and base running that hasn't slowed down yet. If he does happen to slow down, then the term and dollars will likely be small enough in the grand scheme of things to not matter that much. Basically, he's potentially good value at low cost, which usually isn't the norm with free agents. Of course that's assuming he gets around what he is projected to get, which was 2/12, IIRC.

Also, the Jays could probably sign Dyson and take a one year risk on a vet coming off a down year (Gonzalez) or a two year deal on someone like Gomez for the same as it would cost to sign Cain alone. Not saying that's what I would do, but it's an option.

If the Jays were a player away from being a threat to the division, then signing Cain in an overpay would be more sensible, at least the win curve would justify it a bit, but where the Jays are now it seems like a big risk with limited reward.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:18 AM EST (#352234) #
Given their respective contractual situations, Yelich currently has far more trade value than Donaldson. If there is a 3-way trade possibility among the Cards, Marlins and Jays, with the Jays getting Yelich, the Jays would have to be big time contributors to the trade, in addition to Donaldson.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:26 AM EST (#352235) #
hey if you don't want to sign cain, i get it. even though i don't see much risk given we have no longterm payroll committments anyways.

but why waste money on dyson to be the worst hitter on the team, especially given we don't lack defensive OF prospects?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 01:02 AM EST (#352236) #
From St. Louis: Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver and someone else tradeable.
From Toronto: Josh Donaldson and Bo Bichette.
From Miami: Christian Yelich.

To St. Louis: Josh Donaldson.
To Toronto: Luke Weaver and Christian Yelich.
To Miami: Alex Reyes, Bo Bichette and someone else tradeable.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 01:57 AM EST (#352237) #
I doubt this. Donaldson has been putting up MVP seasons at a premium position. Yelich is just a solid player on a good contract. In addition, the Marlins haven't shown much competence in making deals this offseason.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 02:09 AM EST (#352238) #
If the Jays gave up both present (Donaldson) and future (Bichette) in one trade they damn well better be sure the guy coming back is a future MVP.

Still, Luke Weaver is a heck of a pitching prospect and Yelich is a great LF'er. I suspect the Jays would fight to make it someone other than Bichette but this would be damn tempting. Not sure why St Louis would do it though unless they were confident they could get Donaldson to sign an extension right away.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 05:05 AM EST (#352239) #
In this unlikely trade scenario, I'd just take Alex Reyes,Luke Weaver & someone else tradeable from st. louis and use the Donaldson money to sign an outfielder - Cain for example.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 06:09 AM EST (#352240) #
Jays are not getting Yellich. The cost would be Bichette+ and that doesn't make sense for Toronto. Dyson is OK but I think Alford could do what he does pretty much right now. I just don't value these kinds of players that much. He's kind of like Kevin Pillar with more speed and less durability. The Jays need someone who can hit a bit at least. The lineup is the weakest part of the team right now. Just filled with mediocre and worse hitters.

I like Granderson as a target. He still had a 114 WRC+ against righties last year, is apparently a really good guy, and probably would come pretty cheap enough on a 1-2 year deal where the Jays could still make other moves.
scottt - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 07:48 AM EST (#352241) #
It's the owners who hand out big contracts, not the GMs.
I don't believe for a second that Shapiro/Atkins are free of payroll parameters.

greenfrog - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 08:01 AM EST (#352242) #
Travis Sawchik's take on the Solarte/Olivares trade: "Interesting deal! I like it for the Padres. I donít think the Blue Jays should be adding, rather, shedding and thinking about building around the Vlad/Bo future core"

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/travis-sawchik-fangraphs-chat-44/

There are a couple of other articles on the trade on Fangraphs as well.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 08:17 AM EST (#352243) #
Sawchik has previously said that it is a close call whether the Jays should be in full-on rebuild mode or aiming to compete in 2018, but that he leans to the first choice.  It's interesting that he doesn't have any particular comment on Olivares- presumably he likes him about as much as the BB ranking. 

The FO has said that they are not in full-on rebuild mode, and the Solarte-Olivares deal is pretty good evidence of that.  Which, of course, makes it much less likely that Donaldson is dealt in the off-season.

I can't say that I am a fan of the halfway approach to the compete/rebuild issue. 
John Northey - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 08:48 AM EST (#352244) #
For the Jays I can see why the half in/half out approach is being done - you have massive fan support since 2015 with 2.7, 3.39, 3.2 million those 3 years. TV ratings through the roof as well. Last year was the 7th best attendance in Jays history, 2016 was 5th (1990-1993 are the top 4, early dome plus an amazing team).

You don't dump and run when that many are showing up. Jays did that in the second half of 1995 after a bad 1994 and the strike. It took until 2015 to finally get back close to that attendance level. I'm sure both Rogers and the current Jays President know that quite well.

So knowing fans will vanish and not come back until you are a contender again is a strong incentive to stay in contention. 2016/17 showed a wild card 'counts' for bandwagon fans. So you don't need to be better than both the Yankees and Red Sox, just better than one of them or better than everyone else who doesn't win a division. 88 wins could be enough. Ideally target 90. With 76 wins last year the Jays need to gain 12-14 wins to be a serious contender and keep those fans coming and watching. A healthy Sanchez vs Liriano/Biagini/not health Sanchez has to be worth about half those wins. Replacing Bautista with a 2 WAR player would add another 3 wins. Barney/Goins being replaced by the 2 new guys should cover the remaining 3 wins and there you go back to an 88-90 win team depending on healthy/etc. Lots of weight on Sanchez being healthy though so getting rid of Morales or Pearce and putting a 2+ WAR guy in LF (might be in-house already and just needs space to play) would be a big help as would a real backup catcher, and a solid 6th starter who could fill in when someone is hurt.

No super-stars needed, just solid fill ins. It could also blow up and if it does then a mid-season tank followed by a quick rebuild (Vlad next year for example) could work. Just don't be a Gord Ash and trade a half dozen prospects for meh players.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 09:30 AM EST (#352245) #
I'm not really advocating for Dyson. I just think he would be good value to sign to the type of deal he would get, even if the intention was to use him as a 4th outfielder. I'm looking at it from the perspective of how to add as many wins as possible within the payroll limitations the team has. As long as he never faces LHP, he should provide value for a cheap/reasonable cost. The point about his offense is legitimate, though. Dyson and Pillar in the same outfield would be a noticeable lack of offense, even if Dyson were platooned. Obviously an outfielder who could both hit and field without being an expensive long-term commitment is a higher priority. That won't be easy to find in this market.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#352246) #
If we could get Yelich for a package centered around Alford, i'm in. (+ warmoth? zeuch? greene? ?)

Centered on Bo, though, and i say no thanks.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 10:11 AM EST (#352247) #
FWIW, Fangraphs has the projected wins for the season as Astros-97, Indians-94, Red Sox-91, Yankees-91, Angels-88, Jays-83.  If they add Dyson and Cobb (say), they would be in the 85-86 win zone which is a reasonable 50% projection with enough variability (Sanchez and Teoscar Hernandez being the big ones) to easily make the 90 win mark. 

The Blue Jay depth chart
is interesting.  It projects 100 starting innings from Borucki and Pannone at about the same level of performance (ERA in the 4.85-4.90 range).  Danny Jansen is projected to be the back-up catcher and be good in that role.  The club may not start the season in that way.

And on a lighter note, the chart projects a cup of coffee for Vlad Jr and a .269/.336/.426 line- which is a little better than Ken Griffey Jr. hit in his 19 year old season (but in 502 PAs), and not quite as good as Mickey Mantle. 

uglyone - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 10:28 AM EST (#352248) #
And fangraphs projections are still steamer-only. Zips is a bit more bullish on the jays. 1 or 2 wins more I think.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 10:29 AM EST (#352249) #
"I can't say that I am a fan of the halfway approach to the compete/rebuild issue."

I'm not really either but I get it for a few reasons:
1) The Jays aren't like the White Sox were when they rebuilt-filled with older valuable assets. There is no Chris Sale. Rebuilding means trading Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna who are all pretty young and could be part of a winning team in a couple of years. (Osuna, personally, I would move). Donaldson has some value as a rental because he's so elite but beyond that the major leaguers the jays have would not get you very much.
2) Lots of teams are rebuilding now so even tanking and trading valuable players, you might pick 7th so you won't get that elite prospect.
3) The Jays are probably the 6th best team in the AL. While, they are probably a few games back of the Angels and maybe tied with the Twins and Rays in that area, there is enough margin of error, where they have a shot to make the playoffs. Not enough of a shot to make bad long-term decisions, but enough to not give up totally. (Maybe 20-25% chance at playoffs?)
4) Jays fans have been coming in droves recently. If you have a shot at the playoffs and you can do it without hurting your future, why not take it?

What I would do now is probably generally what they are doing. Add a starting corner OF and a 4th/5th starter and enter the year and see what happens. If the Jays are way out of it in July, I would go full rebuild (the three pitchers only have 2.5 more years on contracts after that and would start to lose value). If they are close, keep the status quo and add a couple of pieces without sacrificing too much of the future and keep adding prospects when you can.
pubster - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 10:56 AM EST (#352250) #
"and the idea of signing dyson mystifies me."

I'm not a huge Dyson fan. However, he has a .325 OBP, steals about 60 bases per 650 plate appearances, and can play CF.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#352251) #
in his 6 seasons in the major leagues (ignoring the cups of coffee), Dyson has delivered 14 bWAR and fWAR.  That's a great 4th outfielder/platoon player. You could give him 400 PAs (and a bunch of pinch-running opportunities when he doesn't start), and he'd probably be worth as much as his career average in a few more PAs than typical. Carrera is about as good as a hitter and has some value on the bases (a fraction of Dyson's value), but in the field they are polar opposites. 
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:07 PM EST (#352252) #
Jose Bautista was a great talent who did not fulfil his legacy last year. The Jays need to return to the talent level they once had with him, prior to last year, or get even better. Trades or Free Agency, which is better at making the Team better? Adding a long-term answer here is important. Lorenzo Cain might be the answer. Christian Yelich would be the answer. Would anyone else?

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:09 PM EST (#352253) #
Dyson on the bench- sign me up, ideal player in that role.

Dyson in the starting lineup as our "marquee" FA signing- bleh.

I'm still of the opinion that we are in greater need of a starter than an OF.

I can live with a rotation of Pillar, Alford, Teoscar, and whomever we can get for Steve Pearce if it means adding Cobb or Lynn.

Its much easier to add an OF than a SP in season and poor outfield depth (offensively) is less likely to ruin an season than poor pitching.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:12 PM EST (#352254) #
Dyson is a potential 2-win player that could be had for two years and likely around $6-7M a season. You won't find many players on the market with that type of $/WAR, and as mentioned, he doesn't even need to play everyday to be that valuable. Gibbons would have to use him in pinch running situations and defensive switches effectively, as well as let him loose on the base paths in order to maximize the value, though.

I don't think people realize how good Dyson has been, especially in limited plate appearances. He's not an everyday player, but if used properly, he will provide a ton of value.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 12:28 PM EST (#352255) #
Looking at MLBTR's free agent predictions, a lot of the contracts seemed too small at the time, but looking at them now, it could end up being fairly realistic. Some names that might be linked to the Jays or have been linked to them:

Cain: 4/70
Bruce: 3/39
Gonzalez: 1/12
Gomez: 2/22
Dyson: 2/12

Granderson was mentioned in this thread, and he would make sense as well, but he's also a strict platoon player. Essentially every realistic LH bat has platoon splits (CarGo, Granderson, Dyson, Bruce). Even Gomez, a RH bat, hasn't hit lefties well in three years. The free agent market really is pretty bad.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 01:45 PM EST (#352256) #
Uglyone, to answer your question. I have accepted that the organizational approach is the "halfway" Mike describes (or the do nothing approach). Given that, I think Dyson is an excellent fit for this team's needs. He's not Cain, but the team doesn't appear to have any interest in going that route with its own FA or those from the outside. While I can see the perspective that Glevin sets out about the halfway approach, I just don't think that is the best approach from a baseball perspective. The halfway approach is, of course, the best approach from a revenue perspective.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 01:56 PM EST (#352257) #
Roemon Fields put up a .784 ops (253AB) against RHP in Buffalo - I wonder if he can stick as the 4th outfielder and platoon player - I wonder what's the gap defensively between him & Dyson.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 02:10 PM EST (#352258) #
Kevin Pillar (29) is no longer an elite defensive CF, but he's still very good. Unfortunately, his offense is questionable at best. At some point (injury or further decline) he will no longer be worth keeping. At some point he will cost more than he's worth, and this is his first year of Arbitration. This is something to consider when acquiring an Outfielder this Offseason. Expecting in-house to solve all the needs is unwise at best.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 03:06 PM EST (#352259) #
Outfielders are interesting:
https://216stitches.org/2018/01/07/mlb-analysing-the-2017-18-free-agents-part-3-outfielders/

What the Jays are spending shall be a challenge, assuming $20.0 - $25.0 Million left to spend. With more, all things could be possible. With less, Trades allow more control on what's spent.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 04:40 PM EST (#352261) #
Ross Atkins on Primetime at 5:05.
scottt - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 07:48 PM EST (#352262) #
It's 3 days later and nobody has done anything since the Jays got Solarte.

Fangraphs projects the Jays 6th in the American League. So basically, it could only take one team out of the top 5 underperforming due to injuries or one key player having a down year and the Jays could be in without doing anything special.

I don't see any point in spending money and wasting a roster spot on a defensive corner outfield. Young outfielders can provide good defense at no cost. They should either get an impact bat or pool all the money towards a starting pitcher.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 09:00 PM EST (#352263) #
Ross Atkins said he'd trade Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and/or Bo Bichette. The return would have to be young with multiple years of control and as good as or better than who he is trading. So what does he think about Christian Yelich's talent level? All 29 other Teams are interested in him. Listen to the interview.

Too many people are opposed to trading prospects for any reason. A.A. was learning on the Job and finally brought the Jays back to the Postseason after 20 years. 1985 - 1993 was a very special time to be a Blue Jay fan. I would trade every prospect not named Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to get back to the World Series.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 09:12 PM EST (#352264) #
There are no guarantees in trades. Does anyone remember the trade. Mtl Expos gave up Randy Johnson and others for a pretty good SP. I cannot remember his name. That trade was a good try but it did not work.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 09:43 PM EST (#352265) #
That pitcher was Mark Langston who was a complete bust. You have to be very careful when trading high end prospects and your proprietary analytics better be right. I would not include Vlad or Bo in a deal for Yelich who seems to be gaining reputation beyond what he has earned. Now if the Jays were one player away fron being a serious WS contender now and going forward, then maybe (or maybe not).....but that is not the situation we are in.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 10:26 PM EST (#352266) #
Bichette for Yelich would be a fair trade in general, but not one I would make if I were the Jays. It's a trade I'd consider if the Jays had the Yankees roster, but not now. Even if Bo ends up being a bust, it's a risk the team should be taking since they lack young, cheap, controllable talent and their best bet at creating their next window is by developing their own stars.

If the FO can build a package around Alford, then it becomes a lot better for the Jays, but I'm not sure the Marlins would go for that.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 10:53 PM EST (#352267) #
Fangraph's have the Jays finishing 6th. Doesn't Fangraphs regularly have everyone regressing? The Jays don't really have an Outfield beyond Kevin Pillar or much of one with him, yet they'll finish 6th. There are doubts about Aaron Sanchez's blisters problems being solved/over and the Jays don't really have a 5th Starter. Yet the Jays will finish 6th.

The Jays should get better Offense and Defense from the Outfield even if just the Kids play. Getting a very good OF upgrade will make it even better. Anybody to pitch who's better than Joe Biagini will make the Team better. The Jays could win the Division, if the additions are good and Sanchez can pitch. Otherwise, the Jays still have a good chance at the Playoffs.
lexomatic - Tuesday, January 09 2018 @ 11:15 PM EST (#352269) #
To be fair PeterG, Langton wasn't a bust 2.40 era in 175ip over 24 starts is anything but. It was a hefty price for a rental. Langton went to the Angels in free agency. The team finished 4th in the NL east.
The expos best hitters (raines, wallach, galarraga) , all had down years.


I do agree that at this point I don't want to trade Guerrero or Bichette, and the context you suggest it might be reasonable to do so. Please don't make obviously false points to add weight to an argument, it has the opposite effect.

Glevin - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 02:36 AM EST (#352270) #
Yellich is 26 years old, has had WARs of 4.5 in 3/4 last seasons, he has a ridiculously cheap long-term deal (5/$43), has a LT 123 WRC+, and based on his age could still find another level. He is one of the most valuable pieces in baseball. You are not getting him by packaging secondary prospects. It would take Bichette and then more which is why it makes no sense for the Jays. I can see a team like the Braves making sense because they have so much top prospect depth.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 08:33 AM EST (#352271) #
Guerrero I wouldn't part with no matter what. Bichette, I am inclined to keep, but I accept that he still has a small degree of bust potential. So if my scouts were unsure then I would be willing to deal him for Yelich or an equivalent.

This is a really big year for Bo, if he continues on the path he has been on then he will be one of the most valuable trade chips in baseball. If he stalls then we have probably missed our window to cash in.

My gut tells me that he (and Vlad) will be in the majors before the year end.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#352272) #
As much as I like Vlad and Bo, I don't think they will be in the majors in 2018, not even in September.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 10:23 AM EST (#352273) #
Agreed on Bo and Vlad. This front office won't bring them in unless it will push the team over the top and wont affect their development in a bad way. With JD/Smoak here I don't see Vlad coming up in 2018 (playing the OF at MLB level wouldn't help his development as an infielder).

If Tulo goes down, and Travis goes down, and an OF goes down, and you're stuck with JD and Diaz for your infield and one of them goes down, and if Bo excelled all year then you probably see him.

If the front office planned on using them this year then I don't think they would have gotten two INF for their first two moves. I see that move more closely related to 2019 where Diaz/Solarte can be placeholders with Tulo while we wait for Bo/Vlad to come up at some point in 2019 after service clock safety is achieved. Probably June/July.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 10:28 AM EST (#352274) #
"Yellich is 26 years old, has had WARs of 4.5 in 3/4 last seasons"

not sure this sounds as impressive as it was meant to.

I mean, if your best player is a 4.5war player you're probably not a great team. So i'm not sure putting a franchise pricetag on him works.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 10:51 AM EST (#352275) #
Right.  Yelich is an interesting player, but he's going to have make an adaptation soon to remain an above-average hitter.  He hits the ball on the ground a lot.  He strikes out plenty and almost never pops up.  He has medium range pop, although he does hit the ball pretty hard.  His offensive ability is tied up to a great degree on his ability to reach base on ground balls.  His career BABIP on ground balls is .282, and last year, it was .288.  League average in the American League is .247.  If he loses 20 points on his batting average if he loses half a step, he's an average player. 

Maybe he'd spend a lot of time in the batting cage with Josh Donaldson if he were here and become a better hitter.  Equally well, I could see him falling back and just being another outfielder.  The contract is indeed team-friendly, and he does have considerable value.  I wouldn't trade Bichette for him though.

Who from the current roster will be on the club in 2021?  Stroman, Sanchez, Pillar, Osuna and Travis are free agents at that point.  I hope that there is somebody, and in particular a pitcher.  Stroman would be my choice, and I remain hopeful that Travis will recover from his injuries and be a stable piece later on. 

bpoz - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#352277) #
If you compare Shawn Green to Yelich are the reasonably close?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 12:14 PM EST (#352278) #
My guess is Guerrero has an outside shot of being the starting 3B to start 2019, but more likely Solarte can fill that spot temporarily while the Jays can squeeze an extra year of control out of Vlad by calling him up mid-season.

Bichette's timeline is more unpredictable. It really depends on how he does in AA. That move from A+ to AA will be very revealing.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 12:17 PM EST (#352279) #
Yelich has had the better career overall to age 25, but Green had already made the adaptation by that age.  He had big-time pop in his age 25 season, and it carried him through for the next 5 years.  He was an average player by age 30, and basically done by 32. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 12:23 PM EST (#352280) #
while the Jays can squeeze an extra year of control out of Vlad by calling him up mid-season

To gain an extra year of control, clubs only have to wait, as in the case of Longoria, until the end of April.  The other issue, and it is much less significant, is the super-two cutoff date.  This year, it is 2 years and 123 days for arbitration eligibility.  Other years it has been as high as 2 years and 146 days.  Mid-June is safe for the club. 
PeterG - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 12:27 PM EST (#352281) #
Gerrit Cole has been traded to the AStros.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 01:01 PM EST (#352282) #
Not yet official. Morose may have reported to soon.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 01:02 PM EST (#352283) #
It's interesting looking at Yelich's 3 4.5war years. They're each driven by a different factor.

at 22, he had great fielding, with solid hitting and baserunning.

at 24, he had great hitting, with solid fielding and baserunning.

at 25, he had great baserunning, with solid hitting and fielding.


At 23, of course, he had no great element, and was just solid in all three aspects.....and was more of a 3war player as a result.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 01:07 PM EST (#352284) #
Just after noon, Morosi reported Cole deal as done while Rosenthal concurred adding that it had yet to be filed however. Now Jeff Passan reports it was a false rumour. Twitter wars abound during this slow news period.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 03:25 PM EST (#352285) #
Gerrit Cole is not a #1 Starter or a #2 Starter on any team, or shouldnít be. I donít think heís even a great #3 Starter, just a good one. A useful acquisition for the Jays, but not much more. What is his trade price?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#352286) #
Young, faster, better, more balance, versatile are the new requirements for the Jays. I think both Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte fit those requirements. Iíd like to see all additions also meet the requirements.

Ezequiel Carrera is a decent Offensive Player off the Bench. He doesnít defend well enough nor hit well enough to be a Regular. He will get around $1.9 Million in Arbitration this year, but can be released in early Spring Training for just 25% of that sum. Keep, trade or release, thatís the question?

Steve Pearce is a decent Offensive Player off the Bench. He should never play in the outfield, but is decent at 1B. He doesnít hit well emough to be a Regular. Heís an expiring contract with $6.25 Million left for 2018. Trading him may be the Jays only option.

Kendrys Morales is a good Offensive D.H. who plays an adequarte 1B if needed. He canít really play anywhere else. He is under contract for two more years with $11.0 Million due him in 2018. Presently he has no trade value, so the Jaysíoption are almost nonexistent.

To keep Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte on the Roster, the Jays must trade or release one of the above (who are not as good as Diaz and Solarte). That maximizes the Jaysí options. Time to see what the Jays can do.

PeterG - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 03:58 PM EST (#352287) #
In an article for Fangraphs, Kiley McDaniel suggests that the Jays are among the ten most progressive teams in MLB:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-status-of-the-scouts-vs-stats-debate/
Gerry - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 04:10 PM EST (#352288) #
The Jays announced their minor league staff appointments today. Former major leaguer Casey Candaele will manage Dunedin and another former major leaguer Dallas McPherson will manage Vancouver.

John Schneider has a rising reputation in the system and he is moving up to New Hampshire from Dunedin.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#352289) #
Like that move for John Schneider, he could be managing the Jays one day.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 05:13 PM EST (#352290) #
39 Players on the 40-Man Roster make it likely a Trade is forthcoming as the Jays need to make more than just one addition.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 05:38 PM EST (#352291) #
Is there anyone who could use a meh DH/1B to fill a gaping hole who also has a $20 mil over 2 year (or whatever) contract they want to get rid of I wonder? White Sox might be a match with Jamie Shields getting $21 mil in 2018 plus a $2 mil buyout of his 2019 option (82 ERA+ in 117 IP last year). He'd be good to stick into the 5th slot in the rotation as one never knows with pitchers and that would free up the DH slot and shift Morales money from 2019 to 2018 and eat up half of what is left now but leave more room for next year when it might be more needed. Hmm... looking closer it appears the ChiSox are only responsible for $12 mil ($10 for year plus $2 mil buyout) so not as perfect a match. The ChiSox DH had a 87 OPS+ last year which was worse than Morales.
scottt - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 07:28 PM EST (#352292) #
Pearce is a decent bench bat. He's not necessary dead weight in the outfield, especially if he plays mostly against lefties. He has regularly alternated between average and good seasons, mostly because of health issues.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 09:20 PM EST (#352293) #
Jerry Crasnick reports that FA Jay Bruce will returm to Mets at 3/39.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 09:33 PM EST (#352294) #
phew. thank god.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 09:43 PM EST (#352295) #
Bruce at 3/39 is actually not that bad of a deal, but he was not the type of player the Jays needed.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 09:52 PM EST (#352296) #
Bruce contract also backloaded with only 10 mil in 2018.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 10:32 PM EST (#352297) #
Beyond Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb, the drop off to the next tier is massive and basically 5th Starter material or worse.

Beyond J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain there are issues. The drop off here is big, but nowhere close to the drop off in pitching. But beyond Carlos Gomez, Jon Jay, Carlos Gonzalez and Jarrod Dyson, thereís nothing. Thereís no one worth going after.

In either case, the Jays are better off trading for someone suitable, someone very good. At least then, there will be some control over costs. To get back to the Postseason, the Jays need to get very creative, or ask for more money.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 10:45 PM EST (#352298) #
Phew. Saw Jay Bruce as a DH, with a decent but not 'wow' bat, more than an outfielder and we already have too many of those.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 10 2018 @ 10:50 PM EST (#352299) #
I think the best option right now is to wait it out and see who falls through the cracks, if anyone. Look for more guys who had bad years but are likely to bounce back at a cheap price (and no draft pick). I'd love to get Darvish or Arrieta but realistically that aint gonna happen. Dyson would make sense as a 4th OF - speed, defense, endurable bat. His age (33 in 2018) is a negative but versatility is a plus (played CF/LF/RF in the past 2 years). No more DH's!
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 02:00 AM EST (#352300) #
I think both Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte are seen as bounce-back candidates by the Jays, because that much talent doesnít come that cheap otherwise. This might be what the Jays are after this Offseason, makes sense with costs so high on others.

Outfielder, Starter, Catcher, Relievers, who is the bounce-back candidates the Jays are after? There are always a few. Good career record, possibly short good career record, with a bad year - bounce-back candidate. Free Agents, LHP Reliever Robbie Ross and Outfielder Carlos Gonzales could be bounce-back candidates the Jays might be after. What trades could they find?
85bluejay - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 06:36 AM EST (#352301) #
Bruce signing is good news - initially was said to ask 5/90 - Power generally ages better than speed & Bruce is a year younger than Cain - I expect Cain's suitors - Giants,Jays,Royals are hoping his ask drops to 3 years also - of course, like the Cardinals & Fowler last year, the Giants can offer Cain the CF job - on the other hand, the Giants are creeping towards the Luxury tax line. I see 3/51 for Cain.
scottt - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 06:52 AM EST (#352302) #
Bruce is the first guy to come back  down to what the market predicted he'd be getting.

He would have been a good platoon in left field, but clearly he didn't want to come here. Toronto is probably on his 5 team no-trade list. The back loading bit is interesting. Apparently the Mets are trying to reduce payroll. They mostly need someone at 3B and there are a lot of 1B out there.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 09:26 AM EST (#352303) #
I see 3/51 for Cain

I'd do that in a heartbeat.  David Price 2013-15 (after his age 29 season): 13.4 bWAR; Lorenzo Cain 2015-17 (after his age 31 season): 15.4 bWAR.  I'm not saying Cain should get a Price contract by any stretch, but merely that that contract would be very low risk with a chance of being excellent value. 
85bluejay - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 09:44 AM EST (#352304) #
Would the Jays agree to move Pillar to LF/another team to sign Cain if playing CF is a determining factor for him?
Mike Green - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 09:46 AM EST (#352305) #
But 3/39 for Bruce does not, in my view, suggest a market price of 3/51 for Cain.  Bruce has been a much less valuable player (4.2 bWAR over the last 3 years).
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 11:08 AM EST (#352306) #
I doubt Cain signs for less than four years, and if he does, it won't be with the Jays who he would have to change positions for, among other things not in the team's favor when attracting free agents.
uglyone - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 11:13 AM EST (#352307) #
Much was made of Morales' exit velocities when we signed him - that they showed he "deserved" to be a much better hitter and thus was likely to be even better for us than he was before. That didn't work out.

Interestingly, both of our current new adds have the opposite issue - both saw precipitous declines in exit velocity last year. (https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/blue-jays-recent-infield-deals-dont-come-without-risk-153045004.html) By the same logic, that would lead some to predict that their downturns were earned, and so we shouldn't expect any bounceback.

Me, I don't know what to think of the predictivity of exit velocity, but offhand i'm not sure it's been great so far. Should be interesting to see what happens in these cases this year.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 11:27 AM EST (#352308) #
Cain appears to have had more issues with throwing and fewer with running and catching in 2017.  He might welcome a move to left-field if the money was right. 
bpoz - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 11:27 AM EST (#352309) #
Tomorrow Jan 12th is the date for arbitration numbers to be exchanged. So a more active day.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 02:12 PM EST (#352310) #
It took approximately three months to solve the Middle Infield issue. Even though I accept the importance of the task, thatís still a very long time. One would like to think the other issues will take much less time. Via Trade, the Jays can get young, fast, better, more balance and versatility in their acquisitions. Prices will vary. Via Free Agency, the Jays wonít get young and might not get fast. That seems counterproductive. Prices will vary.

Lorenzo Cain is not young, but heís everything else. As such, heís much in demand. To sign him, the Jays need to go five years. I think that means heís not a Jay going forward because thatís too long a contract.
Carlos Gomez is a Scott Boras client. Heís not young and has limited power. He will most likely cost more than the Jays are willing to pay.
Jon Jay isnít really a Starting Outfielder on any team, and he has no power. The Jays need to do much better.
Carlos Gonzales is another Scott Boras client. He is at a turning point in his career as to defense and speed and heí s not what I call versatile.
Jarrod Dyson is not a Starting Outfielder and has no power. The Jays already have better than this in-house.

Free agents Outfielders are possibilities for the Jays, but thereís not enough gain for what must be paid. Itís probable the Jays are looking to acquire an Outfielder via trade and that might take much longer. Whoever meets the Jays price determines where this offseason goes. Starter or Outfielder, the caliber of talent matters. Whoever is acquired/signed first gets the most money, everyone else gets whatís left.
John Northey - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 02:51 PM EST (#352311) #
I think you are right Richard, the Jays need to do a trade if they want to upgrade the outfield as the free agents are more 4th OF types or too expensive for what they offer.

Projections via Steamer (free at FanGraphs)

Right now for RF Teoscar Hernandez is projected to start by most - 241/304/420, 0.3 WAR - Jays need to do better than that.
LF: Steve Pearce - 254/329/464 1.3 WAR - Jays need better than this to succeed.
Backups...
OF: Carrera - 251/321/368 0 WAR - exactly replacement level so as long as he makes the minimum he's OK but only if purely in a 4th/5th OF role.
Prospects...
OF: Alford - 246/316/372 basically he is expected to be Carrera by this method. Ugh.
OF: Dwight Smith - 251/314/386 - look familiar? Another 0 WAR guy.
OF: Dalton Pompey - 253/322/386 - his speed gets him to 0.1 WAR but really that only makes him marginally better than what Alford, Smith, and Carrera are projected to be.

I really hoped Alford would have a more hopeful projection than that. So the Jays are buried in 0-1 WAR guys for LF/RF but really need a 2+ guy to contend. One of the kids might step up and become that, but Atkins would be foolish to count on that.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 03:12 PM EST (#352312) #
On the other hand, Starting Pitching may be easier to acquire. The caliber of which the Jays decide what they need. Front of the Rotation (#1 Starters) is covered by Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta, but not a Jaysís need, just a wishful want. Good quality #2 Starters, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb would fit Jaysí needs well. Beyond this point thereís an unusually big drop off in talent.

What is Joe Biagini going forward, Starter or Reliever? Heís a very good MLB Reliever, with good enough stuff to Start. Heís had dominant Starts and sucked badly the next time out. This occurred basically Start after Start after Start. Heís had dominant innings followed by a bad one the very next inning, time after time in his Starts. Itís like heís forgotten how to be a Starter. Heís going down to AAA to relearn Starting. When heís ready to return or more likely when heís needed heíll come back up. What/who do the Jays need in his place?

After this Season, only Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and possibly Joe Biagini are in the Jaysí Rotation. Itís likely two or three kids will be needed to fill it out. That will be extremely cost effective, but questionable in consistency. Unless extended, both Sanchez and Stroman are Free Agents after 2020. So who pitches in 2021?

Andrew Cashner, Jaime Garcia, Jason Vargas and Chris Tillman are acceptable Back of the Rotation types for the Jays to sign. With the current Rotation almost anyone competent would do. But otherwise a longer term answer is needed and that might come in Trade if the Jays canít get one of the Top Four.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 03:52 PM EST (#352313) #
Great article on Jays From The Couch about the situation with mlb free agents, and how the market has changed. Provides some financial based explanations, and points out how the erosion in free agent contracts started a few years ago, with the lower level free agents, and is working its way up the talent food chain. Possible implications for next year's blue chip crop including JD.

jaysfromthecouch.com/2018/01/11/the-current-mlb-free-agent-market-perception-vs-reality/
PeterG - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 03:53 PM EST (#352314) #
No need to trade and give up prospects....sign FA's as prices drop, maybe one OF (Gonzalez or Dyson, recognizing that the former will cost more) and 2 5-7 mil pitchers for depth (Garcia, Vargas, Anderson). I would also expect 2 relievers and maybe a catcher to be signed to minor league contracts.

There are approx 140 FA's still availavle. It is an extreme buyers market so Jays should use that to their advantage.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 04:33 PM EST (#352315) #
I don't know about the general proposition in the Jays on the Couch article that FA salaries at the medium/top end will be taking a hit.  The Wade Davis and Carlos Santana contracts don't seem light to me.  I want to see more data points.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 05:01 PM EST (#352316) #
Regardless of the failing Free Agent Market or the plethora of available Free Agents, who the Jays acquires/ signs matters. Are the Jays acquiring a long-ish term solution for a need or are they settling for whatís left year after year after year? There will always be a premium for playing in Canada. It will always cost more in term and actual dollars to get the Job done than anywhere else.

I like the Jaysí acquisitions thus far, they fill a need at a very good price. Theyíve basically raised the floor considerably and acquired term as well. The question to ask is simple. Are the Jays solving a need long term, or are they doing this again next year? That depends on whatís available and where.

Miami has pretty well dumped the easy contracts, but didnít do as well as they should in asset acquisition. Would Bo Bichette for Christian Yelich and a bad contract work?
Pittsburgh looks to be dumping contracts as well. Possibly Gerrit Cole, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison are being moved out. Could Cole and McCutchen work here? Or will they Jays even try?

Waiting sucks.
Glevin - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 05:16 PM EST (#352317) #
"I don't know about the general proposition in the Jays on the Couch article that FA salaries at the medium/top end will be taking a hit."

Don't agree either and next year, you are going to see Harper and Machado go for insane amounts I think. (Not to mention Kershaw, Donaldson, Blockman, etc...)
PeterG - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 05:21 PM EST (#352318) #
No Bichette for Yelich and a bad contract does not work imo. Trades like this are simply not going to happen with the team in transition.

FWIT, Cliff Floyd on MLB Network this afternoon thinks that FA prices are coming way down. He suggested 1/15 for Cain while Chris Rose thought 3/45. Floyd seems light for sure but these guys are closer to the pulse of free agency than are we.
bpoz - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 06:09 PM EST (#352319) #
ST is close, 5 weeks. I think the Jays are basically done. IMO only minor moves will happen. The one major move in play is trading Donaldson and that should happen fast or maybe not happen at all due to the Arb figures exchange tomorrow.

I still believe that the Jays can get into the post season but they are not a favorite for the 3 post seasons berths available to them. I expect them to not sell at the trade deadline.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 06:56 PM EST (#352320) #
Despite how poorly the 2017 Season went. the Blue Jays had huge Attendance numbers and also had huge TV viewership numbers last year. Rogers absolutely wants that to continue Indefinitely and they'd like add some Postseason games, so I don't think it/s likely they are reducing the Jays' "Budget" at all. It's possible they have a contingency increase available if needed.

The Jays finished the 2016 Season with a Salary number of $164.312 Million.
The Jays started the 2017 Season with a Salary number of $163.381 Million.
The Jays finished the 2017 Season with a Salary number of $166.152 Million.

Those number give an estimate to work with. Adding up all the numbers (actual and estimated) I think the Jays have spent approximately $141.0 million, (including pre and post arbs). There is an estimated $20.0 - $24.0 Million left to spend. Any conclusion that the Blue Jays are done is premature.
scottt - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 07:10 PM EST (#352321) #
The way things are shaping, there will be at least 20 teams selling at the deadline and not many buying.
I don't really see teams trading their top prospects to stay in a wild card race either.
There will be lots of non qualified vets available then just for salary relief.

Pitchers and catchers are reporting in about a month. Most free agents are still unsigned.

Guys like Pompey, Alford, Hernandez, don't project to do much. That doesn't mean much.
Prospects are risky and hard to project.  April is a crapshoot anyway.
Many Jays put out terrible number in April last year while some prospects were on fire in AAA.
It's just that I don't think I've ever seen the Jays without at least one good hitter in the outfield.


Nigel - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 07:25 PM EST (#352322) #
Keep in mind that if the Jays enter the 2018 season with a US $165m payroll (a big if right now), then they will have effectively cut payroll by 10-15% year over year. The CDN dollar has appreciated 5-8% year over year and baseball inflation (not real world inflation) has typically been in the 5-8% range for the past 15 years (as has been reflected in the Jays' ticket prices).
PeterG - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 09:34 PM EST (#352323) #
Carrera settles at 1.9
John Northey - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 09:40 PM EST (#352324) #
Heh. I always find the doom and gloom posts funny. 20 of 30 teams selling? You do know 10 teams make the playoffs right? If you are on the margins of the race and are not a major market (NYY, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs) and if you believe that the big markets are going to dominate forever, Then when you get a shot you gotta do everything possible to make it as the playoffs are a crapshoot and the ticket sales/tv ratings for an appearance is a massive jump depending on team (Rays seem doomed no matter what). That means if you are close you go for it.

I suspect we'll see more like 20 teams buying or debating buying not 10 come mid-season.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 11 2018 @ 11:20 PM EST (#352325) #
Can't say I like the idea of paying $1.9 million for a guy who has produced negative 0.6 WAR total in his 3 seasons as a Blue Jay. Even when his hitting picked up last year, he was a negative WAR player because his defense was so bad. People talk about Bautista's bad defense, but last season Carrera was -1.8 dWAR in only about 700 innings, while Bautista was -1.4 dWAR in about 1,240 innings. At that rate, Carrera would have been roughly -3.2 dWAR over the same number of innings as Bautista. Was there another OF in mlb who produced a higher rate of negative WAR per inning than Carrera last year?
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 12:22 AM EST (#352326) #
I can't see keeping any defensive liabilities on the bench when it's possible for then Jays to do better. That describes both Steve Pearce and Ezequiel Carrera. Neither are offensively blessed enough to carry their poor defense. Chances are good Diaz (decent defender and better hitter) goes to AAA while Yangervis Solarte and two defensive stiffs make the team.
Glevin - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 03:52 AM EST (#352327) #
"Can't say I like the idea of paying $1.9 million for a guy who has produced negative 0.6 WAR total in his 3 seasons as a Blue Jay."

From Fangraphs, his WAR in 3 years for the Jays has been 1.6 which seems pretty accurate to me. Is he a good player? No. But $1.9M for a passable 4th OFer is still cheap.
Thomas - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 07:46 AM EST (#352328) #
There's a nice little article on Casey Candaele, which touches on his mother's history in the sport and his Canadian roots, over at The Athletic
Mike Green - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 08:40 AM EST (#352329) #
dangordon, there is pretty profound disagreement among the metrics about how bad Carrera was in left field last year. Both DRS and UZR agree that he was terrible in 2015 in 200 innings (and you could see that) and that he was pretty good in 2016 in 200 innings.  DRS suggests that he was absolutely worldly-beatingly horrific in 2017: UZR suggests that he was merely bad. 

Statcast's metric suggests that Carrera caught 80% of balls where 84% would be average for an outfielder; that is consistent with the UZR account.  Outfielders who were miles worse than Carrera would be Matt Kemp, Mark Trumbo, Adam Lind and Teoscar Hernandez.  Outfielders who were somewhat worse included Yoenis Cespedes, Joc Pederson and Tyler Collins.   Statcast rates him at 6 outs below average, which is more consistent with UZR's -5(runs) range rating than DRS's -10.  

Carrera was, of course, a more valuable offensive player last year than Kendrys Morales.  If the club could cut bait on Morales, they have Pearce, Solarte and Carrera who can fill the DH role, back up pretty much everywhere to some degree.  Plus if you have Danny Jansen up, you can give Martin time off in the DH role occasionally.  They do, of course, need a player who can actually play the outfield on a regular basis.

Mike Green - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 09:05 AM EST (#352330) #
I second Thomas' recommendation for John Lott's article in the Athletic on Casey Candaele. 
Mike Green - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 09:53 AM EST (#352331) #
Aaron Loup also resigned at $1.8.  In the "did you know" department, Loup's career wOBA against vs. LHB is .273 and against RHB is .321.  He's faced almost 1.5 times more right-handed batters than left-handed ones in his career.  It is also interesting that he's been very effective on 3 or 4 days rest. 

If you were going to try a tandem start with one or two spots in the rotation, I wonder how Loup might do as the second guy for 2-3 innings.

uglyone - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 10:00 AM EST (#352332) #
i also am not a fan of paying any sort of money (and just as importantly a guaranteed contract which makes the team less likely to try other options) to a replacement level bench player.
mathesond - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#352333) #
Yes, that article is a great read. Glad the Athletic was offering half-price subscriptions recently, at $3/month it's a fantastic deal.
uglyone - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 11:24 AM EST (#352335) #
Jays settle with Donaldson for $23m.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#352336) #
That let the Baseball World know just how much Donaldson gets paid as a Free Agent. Anyone who thought he would sign as a Free Agent for less than $30.0 Million a year is sadly mistaken.
Mike Green - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 12:03 PM EST (#352337) #
The club's payroll is now at $120 million according to Sportrac with Stroman, Osuna, Pillar, Sanchez and Travis to go from the arb list.  No big surprises so far. 
PeterG - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 12:39 PM EST (#352338) #
Sanchez settled at 2.7.

As settlements so far are generally above those forecast, it would seem the Jays will have less to spend than originally predicted.....closer to 18 mil if budget remains the same for 2018.
85bluejay - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 12:51 PM EST (#352339) #
What's surprising is that the jays players seem to be signing at or above forecast and some like Donaldson & Sanchez way above forecast - maybe the jays need a new negotiating team. Less money to spend on FA.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 12:52 PM EST (#352340) #
Letís see, using Mikeís number the Jays have now spent $122.7 Million of a tentative $165.0 Million. Itís possible that number is more if needed.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 12:57 PM EST (#352341) #
Treat your Players well and it does wonders for a Team that has trouble signing Free Agents, and sometimes resigning their own.
rpriske - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 01:03 PM EST (#352342) #
I don't understand why the team keeps re-signing Loup.

Is he a great clubhouse guy or something?

85bluejay - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 01:06 PM EST (#352343) #
You can treat your players well without overpaying them.
uglyone - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 01:37 PM EST (#352344) #
"I don't understand why the team keeps re-signing Loup."

because he's good, would be my first guess.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 01:41 PM EST (#352345) #
I can see the Jays trying to sign some of the Players long term. Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna are the likeliest ones.
rpriske - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 02:46 PM EST (#352346) #
Loup hasn't been good since 2014.

He as okay last year, which was a vast improvement.

I just think they could do better.

vw_fan17 - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 02:54 PM EST (#352347) #
You can treat your players well without overpaying them.
Who's overpayed? I mean, there is a BIT of guesswork involved, right?

Carrera got $1.9, which was exactly as expected, I believe.Loup $1.8125 instead of $1.8 - not worth mentioning the difference.
Devon Travis - $1.45 instead of the expected $1.7 (so $0.25 UNDERpaid?)Sanchez - $2.7 instead of the expected $1.9. So, $0.8 overpay? But - given his blister issues, and almost Cy-Young performance the year before.. Do you really want to base most of his raise on 2017 and not give him SOME credit for 2016? I don't know if this was his first or second time for arbitration, but I think his first? Be a little generous to your potential ace, and definitely special circumstances.On the whole, a total of $0.5625 more than projected across 4 players - so around $140k/player more than projected, or ONE rookie's salary.. I don't think it breaks the bank.

Donaldson - this shouldn't even really be considered an overpay - especially if the club has any intention of resigning him.. We all knew it would be a record-breaking amount, so the fact that it was $2.3 more than forecast, does that really constitute an overpay for one of the top-5 position players in the game and perennial mvp candidate??
John Northey - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 03:02 PM EST (#352348) #
I don't get the hate towards Loup I see all the time here. He isn't a lock down but he isn't horrid either.

FanGraphs has him as a net positive every season. Valued lowest at $100k in 2016, all other seasons at $1.9 mil or more. $4.6 last year. Well worth spending under $2 mil on I'd say. Given some of the contracts relievers are signing lately. For example, ex-Jay Brandon Morrow after a great 18 game stretch in 2016 and 45 last year, total of 59 2/3 IP got a 2 year $21 mil deal. Insane.
uglyone - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 03:16 PM EST (#352349) #
Loup was flat out good last year. 57.2ip, 83era- 85fip- 92xfip0-, 0.6fwar, 0.9bwar. Good. More like very good, actually. These numbers were right in line with his career numbers - 81era-, 85fip-, 88xfip-, 0.6fwar/57.2ip, 0.8bear/57.2ip - which of course are also very good.

He had one "bad" year in 2015, which was more fluky than anything else - a bad 110era- in 42ip, but the underlying numbers (91fip-, 71xfip-) were still good.

2016 he only pitched 14.1 innnings, and wasn't good in them, but really should have been allowed to pitch through that tiny sample size - because he absolutely destroyed AAA upon being demoted (1.83era, 0.87fip, 1.57xcip).


He is just a plain good reliever.
Mike Green - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 03:30 PM EST (#352350) #
Not much to these arbitration avoidance deals.  The final figures would probably have come in around these figures- one or two higher, one or two lower and then there would be process costs. 

The big one is Donaldson.  MLTBR had him at $21 million, but there had been doubt that the figure was low from other quarters. I've sworn off this debate after being so far wrong the last time. 

Mike Green - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 03:51 PM EST (#352351) #
Stick with a good reliever, UO.  You've got to discount for role.  League ERA for relievers last year was 4.11; for starters, it was 4.54.  This is a typical difference, and there are similar differences every year in ERA, FIP and xFIP. 

That's why it drives me crazy when Fangraphs gives the identical projection for a pitcher in the rotation or in the pen. If they can't get that part right (which has been a proven element of the game since Steve Treder did his studies a decade or more ago), what about the stuff I don't know anything about?

Joe - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 04:44 PM EST (#352352) #
> It's just that I don't think I've ever seen the Jays without at least one good hitter in the outfield.

It happens! In 2009, Snider, Wells, and Rios manned the outfield, and put up OPS+ values of 95, 86, and 78, respectively.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/TOR/2009.shtml
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 05:21 PM EST (#352353) #
Jays settle with Pillar for $3.25M. They filed figures on Osuna and Stroman so it'll either be extensions for them or hearing.
James W - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#352354) #
I think WPA illustrates the issues people have with Loup. In 28 of his 70 games, he had a negative WPA. Or, it's just that everyone has a preconceived notion that he sucks, so they just ignore when he does well; but they never forget that outing when he's brought in to face a LHB and hits him on the second pitch, and then gets yanked.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#352355) #
Just look at the numbers:
Stroman:
MLB Trade Rumors:$7.2 Million; Jays:$6.5; Stroman:$6.9.
Osuna:
MLB Trade Rumors: $5.6 Million; Jays:$5.3; Osuna: $5.8.
These numbers are within acceptable Budget limits. Unless they will discuss multiple years, they are going for an uneventful hearing.
scottt - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 08:05 PM EST (#352356) #
Loup is fine in the 1 inning middle relief role. He walks too many in the LOOGY role, but he keeps the ball in the park.
Mayza and Dermody couldn't get it done last year, so Loup gets another kick at the can.
I guess it's better to trade him than let him walk if they end up with too many lefties.

Leone got 1.085M and Koheler signed with the Dodgers for 2M.

Could Loup start? I don't think so. He was a reliever in the minors and hasn't started a game since 2010.
They already have Pannone and 'Borucki as up coming lefty starters.

Could Pearce take over at DH? I don't trust Pearce to stay healthy even if he doesn't take the field.
There's really no depth if they trade Morales unless Tellez catch fire. They didn't get Solarte to DH or play first base.
If anything, Donaldson should probably take a few start there, but that's about it.



scottt - Friday, January 12 2018 @ 08:12 PM EST (#352357) #
Back in the spring of 2009, Snider, Wells and Rios looked like a solid set of bats.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 02:04 AM EST (#352358) #
If the Jays are unlucky in their Trade Market search, they might not have any choice but the Free Agent Market and unless they ďpushĒ a little they might miss out there too. So I wonder, when do they stop waiting?
Glevin - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 02:23 AM EST (#352359) #
The minimum salary in baseball is $545,000. Paying major league players $2m is not an overpay, it's normal. Loupes is fine as a Loogy. You want the team to be cycling through lefties all year trying to find one about as good and probably failing in order to save 1.5M?
uglyone - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 09:39 AM EST (#352360) #
a note about loup's walks....they're only really a "problem" vRHH, and i'm pretty sure that a big chunk of those walks to RHH are intentiinal unintentional walks in order to get the better matchup against the lefty hitter coming up next.
Chuck - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 10:01 AM EST (#352361) #
they're only really a "problem" vRHH

While Loup doesn't walk too many LHB, he plunks them like it's nobody's business. Of the 487 LHB he has faced in his career, he has hit 20 of them (compared to 23 walks), for a plunk rate of 4.1%.

Want context? Notable pinatas throughout history: Jason Kendall 2.9%, Don Baylor 2.8%, Craig Biggio 2.3%. None of them come close to the random LHB versus Aaron Loup.

Ron Hunt, at 4.6% does surpass Loup-vs-LHB, as does Brandon Guyer, 5.9%, who is almost exactly as likely to get plunked as to draw a walk, which is its own special brand of weirdness.

scottt - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 11:32 AM EST (#352362) #
Loup's career walk rate is interesting, but he's been walking them a lot more in the last couple of years.
Would be nice if he could roll back that K/BB away from 2.

Loup always faces more righties than lefties. Typically he's brought in to face LRL bats, but then a switch hitter comes in and it turns into RRLR. The other managers definitively see him as a LOOGY.

It would be interesting to chronicle the outings, but I see the walks against righties more as Loup hunting for the corners than him working around a hitter.

bpoz - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 12:17 PM EST (#352363) #
ST in 1 month and ST games about 2 weeks later.

I expect off season moves will end soon. 10 days?

I have been thinking ahead to ST and next years progress. Mainly regarding the minor league teams and prospects.

Tellez should be more focused after spending the off with his family. A better frame of mind so he is not as worried. He had an emotionally hard season.

C Greene is a favorite of mine. I read that he had hopes of making the Jay's pen last year. A good plan. He could not beat out Osuna, Grilli and J Smith. But why be afraid of Tepera, Barnes and D Loene. They were not locks and could be beaten. So show off that 100 mph FB. Which he did. Pitching or preparing like a reliever when you are a starter did not work.

Many injury prone prospects had better health. P Murphy, but I don't know what he did in 2016. Lansing and then Vancouver I think. The info is taking long to load.

Then of course healthy prospects got injured. J Maese.

I am keen to find out which young short season prospects will make the jump to full season ball. I expect surprises both pleasant and disappointing.

If E Pardhino is in Extended, who knows. I actually expect Bluefield for him.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 12:23 PM EST (#352364) #
Infielders know what their Pitchers throw and set up accordingly. Infielders set up according to which side of the plate the Catcher sets up on. Infielders adjust coverage on 2B when itís needed. Starters know this and can see it happen, not everyone pays attention.

When Aaron Loup is on, heís very good. Heís trusting his D, heís trusting his stuff and ďputting it in playĒ. When heís not on, heís less than effective. He's not trusting his stuff and ďnibbling on the cornersĒ. He doesnít trust his D either.

How does that happen? Aaron Loup doesnít always throw to the side on the plate his Catcher is set up on. When a Catcher moves to catch an offside pitch, he doesnít always get the call - when the Catcher moves itís seen as the Pitcher missing his pitch. When the balls are put in play, the Infielders need to move more to reach the play - sometimes the ball sneaks through. Sometimes when he nibbles bad things happen.

Aaron Loup is a good Reliever, he just doesnít always throw like he is.
PeterG - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 01:12 PM EST (#352365) #
I expect off season moves to end whenever the off season is deemed to be over.....start of ST? beginning of regular season? I think FA's will continue to sign into March and even April.
ayjackson - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 01:39 PM EST (#352366) #
I guess there's a good chance our offseason moves are finished, save Stroman/Osuna contracts. 35% chance?

That would mean Pearce/Carrera is the LF platoon and Teoscar is in right. As a platoon, is that worth a WAR or so? I guess it depends on the defence.
uglyone - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 01:55 PM EST (#352367) #
we still have our $20+ mil apparently available to spend, and pretty much no free agents have signed yet, so probably not.
ayjackson - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 02:03 PM EST (#352368) #
so 65% chance they spend it and 35% chance they don't
ayjackson - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 02:12 PM EST (#352369) #
Spending $20m on this team in one move would likely mean Cain or Cobb. I'm guessing it's more likely they add a reliever, depth starter and platoon outfielder that adds up to close to $20m. I'm not sure if that would add up to the same number of incremental wins.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 02:40 PM EST (#352370) #
The off-season has barely started, which is crazy considering it's mid-January, but there are a ton of free agents still left. The Jays are not done yet. They will likely save some money for mid-season acquisitions, but they will certainly spend on an outfielder and the pitching staff.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 03:04 PM EST (#352371) #
How good an Outfielder could the Jays get if it shows how bad the rest of the Outfield is? How much of the young, faster, better, more balance, versatile boxes does the addition fill? How uncompromising are the Jays?

All I know is that I never ever want to see Ezequiel Carrera and Steve Pearce in LF on regular basis - never, never, never again. I donít think the Jays want to see that either - not anymore.
aarne13 - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 03:21 PM EST (#352372) #
Every team will be receiving a $50MM check from the league (proceeeds from the BAMTech sale). I wonder if the Jays will use any of that for the roster.........
uglyone - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 04:13 PM EST (#352373) #
well it should be closer to $25m. If you spend $17 of that on Cain, and then move Pearce's $6m in a trade for another $15m-ish type guy, then we're getting somewhere.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 05:44 PM EST (#352374) #
Since the start of the Offseason the slightly monotonous verbal has been possitive about what they are doing. Just lately thereís more ďifĒ in what they are saying, the actual message coming out. Thatís puzzling as so much is yet to come.
PeterG - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 06:25 PM EST (#352375) #
Source confirms: Gerrit Cole to #Astros. First reported: @TBrownYahoo.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 07:17 PM EST (#352376) #
That could very well be the trigger that starts the Pitchers moving.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 08:40 PM EST (#352377) #
I like the Astrosí aggressiveness in making this trade. It may be a long time before they ever have a team as good as their current roster. Like the 1993 Jays, Houston should push hard for a repeat WS championship.
bpoz - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 10:15 PM EST (#352378) #
1st WS championship for the Astros?
John Northey - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 10:30 PM EST (#352379) #
The $50 mil the Jays and every other team gets should just go to profits or to long term investment in the team, not to players directly. For example, to stadium improvements or to improving facilities outside of Toronto for development purposes. A one time payout should not be used to make the annual budget as it isn't sustainable.
bpoz - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 10:43 PM EST (#352380) #
Has anyone heard anything about that tryout camp for the Int'l prospects that Atlanta lost.
dan gordon - Saturday, January 13 2018 @ 11:40 PM EST (#352381) #
I don't get the Astros acquisition of Cole. Unless I'm missing something, they've already got 6 starters who are better or roughly equivalent to Cole. I guess they're going to move two of Keuchel, Verlander, McCullers, Morton, Peacock and McHugh to the bullpen. Maybe the Jays can pick up one of them. Any one would be a nice 5th guy for the Jays' rotation.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 12:06 AM EST (#352382) #
Here are some things HOU may have considered:

1) a bunch of HOU's pitchers are free agents next season while Cole has 2 years
2) he averaged one of the hardest average fastballs last year in MLB for a SP (not many in his territory)
3) he logs a ton of innings which not a lot of pitchers do
4) his numbers last year were elevated due to an uncharacteristicly high HR/9 which Houston obviously feels is a blip
5) Verlander's arm is expected to fall off any moment
6) Where else on the diamond would they have improved since the Angels and Mariners improved?

Drawbacks, sure:

1) no more Ray Searage
2) No more NL
3) injury issue
4) maybe HR/9 wasn't a blip post injury
Gerry - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 08:17 AM EST (#352384) #
bpoz,

there was a tryout camp for the new free agents from Atlanta the week after they were released from the Braves. However only a few of the players went to the tryout. Most of the better players did not and they have now been signed by other organizations.
scottt - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 08:49 AM EST (#352385) #
I think part of the motivation was to keep Cole away from the Yankees who are self limiting their budget.
The Astros philosophies seems to be not to throw too many fastballs and that's going to lead to a rash of injuries.
They traded away Mosgrove, so it doesn't create excessive depth. Peacock will just replace slide to the spot starter until someone goes down.

bpoz - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 09:12 AM EST (#352387) #
Thanks Gerry. We signed nobody. But it will be interesting to see who went where and for how much. I will search for this. info.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 12:50 PM EST (#352388) #
Blue Jay comparables with the Astros' offer for Cole start and end with Joe Biagini as the comparable with Joe Musgrove. I think Joe Biagini is the better pitcher. He's already a very good Reliever and if he can relearn Starting he might be better than Cole.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 01:58 PM EST (#352389) #
Joe Biagini can't shine Musgrove's shoes. Ryan Tepera would be a better comparison and even he wasn't nearly as dominant as Musgrove in relief. To be as dominant as he was in 2016 as a bridge arm is pretty hard to do. I would compare that role for pitcher's to the equivalent of a super utility for the pitching side.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 02:31 PM EST (#352390) #
So far the availability of Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen in trade is holding up the Free Agent Outfield/Hitter market. Chances are good all Blue Jay Outfield options are still available, whatever they are.

In Pitching, is someone other than Gerrit Cole being shopped/available? Or are we still waiting for the Yu Darvish dance to end?
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 02:57 PM EST (#352391) #
Darvish has 5-6 suitors reported by MLBTR to be:

CHC, NYY, HOU, TEX, MIN, LAD

You can take out HOU which leaves CHC NYY TEX MIN LAD

Whoever gets Darvish remove from the list. That leaves about 4 teams to choose from Cobb and Arietta. There will be one or two new teams that might swoop in but there will likely also be one or two teams that were interested in Darvish that won't be interested in Cobb or Arietta.

So...about 4 teams for the remaining 2 best free agent SP. You gotta assume 2 of LAD/CHC/NYY gets first dibs on these guys since Jays likely won't over pay. So Jays will probably miss out on Cobb/Arietta and looks at guys like Brett Anderson instead which is a step up from the garbage starters they brought in last year like Latos.

Hopefully they sign an OF with Carlos Gonzalez and a rebound being the floor.

Possible pitchers on the block that have been reported over the offeason:

Jake Odorizzi
Chris Archer
Cardinals Prospects
Braves Prospects


Here's a list from MLB Daily Dish of their top 25 trade targets going into the season. 9 out of 25 have either been traded or released/injured (6 traded).
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 03:21 PM EST (#352392) #
Biagini was a 26th round U of Cal pick (2011) who fought his way into 2016 Postseason dominance after being a Rule 5 pick. He knew he had to be a Reliever to stick with the Jays, so he worked hard for it. He was to train as a Starter for 2017, then went back and forth from the Bullpen to the Rotation and back more than once. He could be a Mid-Rotation Starter once he relearns Starting.

Musgrove was a 1st round HS pick (2011) who was always a Starter and never trained differently. Despite this being his second year in the Majors, he struggled badly during the Astros Postseason run. He's never had to be anything but a Starter, so never had to learn/relearn pitching differently. I just don't think he'll be more than a Mid-Rotation Starter going forward, but then it's Pittsburgh.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 05:17 PM EST (#352393) #
The Pitching Market will unfold when/if Jake Odorizzi and/or Chris Archer get traded. Then comes the Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta duo to be signed. Following them comes Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. After that is Hideaki Wakui and Jaime Garcia, followed by Hector Santiago, Chris Tillman and lastly, Brett Anderson. Beyond that the Jays must not go.
scottt - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 05:21 PM EST (#352394) #
Archer is on the block and the Cardinals seems like the only interested team with the prospects to spare.
Odorizzi is probably more likely to be moved at the deadline.

Houston is set.
The Yankees and the Dodgers need to take a step back to stay under the luxury tax.
Somebody would have to take Ellsbury at a cost of 60M away from the Yankees.
Will anybody do that without taking of those prospects the Yankees refuse to move?
The Cubs will certainly sign one of Darvish/Arrieta/Cobb.
Minnesota wants to sign a top starter, but like Stanton they would prefer to go to LA or NY.
So, it's a stare down, but I don't see the pitchers leaving money on the table.
Could Darvish sign a cheap one year contract and get an extension next year?
That would defeat the intent of the luxury tax, if not the letters.

Texas is not a contender anymore. Who knows what they'll do.

The Cole deal also sets up McCutchen for a trade.
There aren't many teams who need an outfielder. I think it's mainly the Jays and the Giants.
Cutch will make 14M and bring back a pick at the end of the 1st round.
There is also Cain who will cost a pick. The Giants seems reluctant to lose that pick.
Either of those guys would look good hitting in front of Donaldson.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 05:46 PM EST (#352395) #
Chris Archer (age: 29) is a 2/3 Starter on most teams, and might be better with Russell Martin catching. He is under contract through 2019 (31) with team options for 2020 (32) and 2021 (33), making four years of control possible. He's right at the limit of age the Jays might be after. Even though it's an in-division trade and likely to be expensive, I think it's an important trade the Jays should pursue.
uglyone - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 05:50 PM EST (#352396) #
As SP

Musgrove: 25gs, .319babip, 129era-/112fip-/100xfip-, 0.8awar/32gs
Biagini: 18gs, .315babip, 129era-/98fip-/96xfip-, 1.2awar/32gs

As RP

Musgrove: 35.2ip, .244babip, 30era-/54fip-/67xfip-, 2.3awar/65ip
Biagini: 99.1ip, .306babip, 80era-/76fip-/87xfip-, 0.9awar/65ip


Hmm. good call richard. they're closer than i thought and close overall. unless musgrove has some special babip suppressing skill that shows up when he relieves but not when he starts.
Cracka - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 06:26 PM EST (#352397) #
Chris Archer is also very close friends with Marcus Stroman (if you follow them on social media, the bromance is evident). Trading for Archer might help entice Stroman to sign a long-term deal in Toronto. It's not a bad idea at all...
scottt - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 07:20 PM EST (#352398) #
The narrative is that Musgrove is missing a decent third pitch and can't go throw a lineup several times.
dan gordon - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 11:06 PM EST (#352399) #
With Houston now having 2 extra starters, they have said that Peacock will fill the long relief/backup starter role, which leaves McHugh as the guy without a job, as their bullpen is already pretty full. He'd be a nice fit for the Jays' 5th starter, and will only be making $5 million or $4.55 million, depending on how his arbitration goes. I wouldn't imagine the prospect cost would be prohibitive. He's a free agent in 2020.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 14 2018 @ 11:44 PM EST (#352400) #
Colin McHugh is a #3/#4 Starter on most Teams, rarely more, more rarely less. He might be a good acquisition for the Jays, but why would Houston trade him? Secondly, what would they want for him?
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 15 2018 @ 01:46 AM EST (#352401) #
Incidentally Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are Free Agents after 2018. So why are they trading someone with two years of control. Keuchel is a #2 Starter type while Morton is a#4/#5 Starter type. So who if anyone gets traded.
aarne13 - Monday, January 15 2018 @ 03:27 PM EST (#352421) #
McCuthen to the Giants.
aarne13 - Monday, January 15 2018 @ 09:15 PM EST (#352440) #
BOOOOOOOM!! The Jays pounce on a high profile FA. Granderson 1yr $5MM
Petey Baseball - Monday, January 15 2018 @ 09:58 PM EST (#352450) #
There's no room for Carrera now, I guess. Granderson is an upgrade on both sides of the ball. A Granderson-Pearce platoon makes a lot more sense, while waiting for Alford, Hernandez and Pompey in AAA. I like this move, it still allows them to spend for another arm and a solid backup catcher. I don't a think 32 years old Cain at at 4-5 years was the answer. The proximity of this signing to the McCutchen deal is probably coincidental, but there's a chance the Jays were quietly in the running, but didn't want to give up as much as the Giants for one year of Cutch.

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