Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
This would've been really something about six years ago...

...that being said, lets take a rough look at Granderson and see what's still there.

2017 was a mixed season for the soon to be 37 year old. After struggling mightily in April (.124/.174/.221) he picked it up and was having a nice summer with the Mets when the Dodgers, looking to bolster their outfield with Joc Pederson scuffling, made a move to acquire him in the middle of August. While Granderson flashed his usual power in Los Angeles (7 HR, .205 isolated slugging) overall offensive production was severely lacking (a 72 OPS+ in 132 PA). As the Dodgers advanced through the postseason and eventually to the World Series, Granderson's playing time decreased more and more, until he was just left off the Fall Classic roster altogether.

That being said, in 2017 Granderson was the same type of hitter he's usually been. Lots of home run power (25+ the past three seasons), lots of walks (75+ the past four seasons, and six of the past seven) and of course lots and lots of strikeouts. The strikeouts in particular are a bit excessive, and a primary reason it's unlikely Curtis will ever hit .250 again. As well, he's the type of bat you're really better off hiding from left-handed pitchers at this point. For example:

2017: .202/.274/.394 (117 PA)
2016: .226/.298/.425 (161 PA)
2015: .183/.273/.286 (143 PA)

As for the glove, since we're talking about a player who turns 37 in March, it's safe to say his best days are behind him. He's best utilized in an outfield corner, particularly right-field where defensive metrics seem to like him a lot. I imagine he could cover center in a pinch (as he did fairly often with the poor 2017 Mets) but an extended look there on the Dome turf is hardly ideal.

So we have someone who's a bit miscast as an everyday player, immediately becomes the oldest guy on the team, and strikes out a ton. And yet I ask myself, do I (Eephus) like this addition?

I legitimately do.

Within a vacuum at the very least. If this dissuades the team from making a serious offer to somebody better like a Lorenzo Cain (also giddyup on that, please), then it's a pretty underwhelming move. I sincerely hope this is not the case, since the presence of an Ezequiel Carrera or a masquerading "outfielder" like Steve Pearce shouldn't hold you back from adding a player the caliber of Cain. But back to Granderson, I think you're getting a limited but still entirely useful piece with some serious pop still in his bat, along with a seriously underrated ability to work at-bats and draw walks (his OBP is never very sexy because his low batting average drags it down so much). Heck, you might be looking at the Jays leadoff hitter for much of 2018 (which I'll admit, is not a super exciting thought and I'm defending this move). Also, and this isn't worth that much in terms of Ws and Ls, but Granderson is a fun player and does seem to be one of the game's legitimately good people. The kind of person you want in the organization and around the ballpark.

So a thumbs up, ish, from me. Now go get Cain or Alex Cobb already.

Blue Jays Sign Curtis Granderson: A Shallow Dive | 205 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 12:06 AM EST (#352477) #
On the other thread I see a lot of people talking about Granderson's L/R splits, which certainly are important - he shouldn't be playing against lefties, especially when you have guys like Pearce and Hernandez who bat right. However, I didn't see anybody mention something else even more important when evaluating Granderson. He has played in a poor hitters' park for several years now, and his overall numbers have been dragged down to a very large extent by his home park. He is a much better hitter than his overall numbers suggest. His slash line at home the last 3 seasons combined is .217/.291/.403/.694, whereas on the road, he has slashed a very robust .256/.359/.506/.865. I think this is a great pickup by the Blue Jays, and expect Granderson will have fine season, and be worth more than his salary. By comparison, Cain has never had an OPS as high as .865.

The team could platoon in both RF and LF if they send Diaz to the minors and carry 12 pitchers. The bench is Solarte, or whoever is sitting out for him, the 2 OF's who aren't starting that day, and the backup catcher. Of course, if somebody is on the DL, then there is room for all.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 12:36 AM EST (#352478) #
The Jays are not done, there is at least another move or more coming. The 40-Man Roster is full and there’s too much money not spent. Wait to see more before rushing to judgement. Something else will happen.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 01:04 AM EST (#352479) #
Was pushing for this pickup so very happy with it. Granderson can still hit righties well, is a decent defender in a corner of spot, and the deal is very affordable and short term. I think the of is probably set but the Jays desperately need another starter who can slot ahead of Biagini.
grjas - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 04:47 AM EST (#352480) #
Add Cargo or Gomez, trade Pearce for a prospect and use the remaining 10mm for pitching...then they go from worst outfield in baseball to at least league average while giving Alford more time in the minors.
christaylor - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 05:07 AM EST (#352481) #
Another "raise the floor" move -- I like it. Not a large enough commitment to not punt if Alford forces the issue and he falls off the cliff by the All-Star break, yet he could be a key piece via flexibility and OBP/SLG from the LH side.

He could help keep the clubhouse in "calm and carry on" mode during losing streaks as well as helping the young OF in ST (don't underestimate psychology). I saw the comments in the other thread hating on this move -- simmer down, form the timing it looks as if they might have been on Cutch and this was the backup plan. Grandy is a three-b or fourth option in the OF. It is a one year deal. There are no bad one year deals.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 06:08 AM EST (#352482) #
If the FO can do the very difficult and move Morales(have to eat some money), then you can carry 5 outfielders & platoon both corners. I wonder if the Jays are still trying to acquire Jonathan Villar from Milwaukee.
China fan - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 07:11 AM EST (#352483) #
It's difficult to assess the Granderson acquisition without seeing the rest of the plan. Will the Jays acquire another outfielder? Will they trade Pearce or Morales? Until we know the answers to those questions, it's difficult to say much about the deal. But a few comments:

I really hope the Front Office doesn't see Granderson as the end of the fixes for the outfield. When they acquired Diaz, I said here that Diaz shouldn't be the end of the infield fixes, and he wasn't. They went out and acquired a better infielder, Solarte, as another piece of the puzzle. Setting aside the question of whether Solarte was the right acquisition, at least he has potential to be a starter, and he's an improvement over Diaz. Similarly, the Jays need another piece of the puzzle for the outfield now, even after the Granderson deal.

One reason is this: I'd like to see Hernandez and Diaz both starting the season in the minors, rather than platooning or sitting on the bench in Toronto. They've both had temporary stretches of being very good in the majors in the past, including notably a few hot weeks by Hernandez at the end of last season, but I think it makes more sense to put them in Buffalo for a month or two, give them a ton of regular playing time, and see how they're doing. Both of them still have minor-league option years available. Let them bang down the door to the majors with convincing play in Buffalo, rather than being handed a Toronto job at the opening of the season. Based on their track records, they both have potential upside, but it's unlikely to be realized if they're riding the bench in Toronto. (And it would be quite a gamble to give a full-time OF job to Hernandez at this stage.)

I can certainly see a scenario where the Jays carry five outfielders and just one back-up infielder (Solarte) to open the season, although it depends on who else is acquired. I can see a potential Granderson/Pearce platoon in LF, and possibly a platoon in RF as well. If it turns out that Carrera is not needed, he can be easily traded or released (for one-sixth of his salary). The result would be a much improved outfield over the 2017 version. And then, as the season progresses, there would be scope to promote Hernandez, Alford or Pompey. If they perform strongly in Buffalo, none of them would be blocked by Granderson or Pearce, whose salaries are modest. But in my view, all of the younger prospects need varying levels of seasoning in the minors before they are handed a full-time job in Toronto.
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 07:17 AM EST (#352484) #
I'd be very happy with this move I'd it means Morales is jettisoned... but I doubt the Jays eat the roughly 80% of the remaining contract it would take for someone to be interested.

I don't like this deal because it takes playing time away from the plethora of interesting outfielders... I'd rather see what Pompey, Smith Jr, and Hernandez can do. The Jays are clearly signaling they're not going to compete for the next while so let the kids play.

The next person off the 40-man should be Gift Ngoepe.

The deal also doesn't really address the roster need to get more exciting/younger/athletic with less Ks and empty at-bats. I mean, Granderson is more athletic than the average 37 year old but he's 37 and strikes out a ton.

As someone said this is the appeasement signing that was clearly coming for the ticket holders...
China fan - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 07:25 AM EST (#352485) #
".....this is the appeasement signing that was clearly coming for the ticket holders..."

Except that the social-media sites have been filled with negative comments about the signing. Most of the casual fans hate it. They see Granderson as old and washed-up, and they think the Jays are going with the cheapest possible options. So I don't think this was done to appease the fans.

I think it's more likely that Granderson is a stop-gap until the prospects are ready. The kids are good, but they're not ready to step into a full-time job immediately. So the signing of a cheap veteran, for a few million, on a one-year deal, is actually a pro-prospect move. It makes it easier to let the prospects gradually work their way onto the roster, rather than being thrown immediately into the deep end of the pool (as some prospects have mistakenly been handled in the past).
uglyone - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 08:15 AM EST (#352486) #
The FO has now completed their goal of filling out the offense side of the roster with players nobody thinks should start fulltime. That side of the roster is now full, with no room for any kids to get a chance

I expect we lay another $5-10 out on a bottom of the barrel SP to do the same on the pitching side, and that'll be it for the offseason.
China fan - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 08:28 AM EST (#352487) #
" room for any kids to get a chance...."

You really think the Jays are so deeply committed to Granderson and Pearce that they won't give any chance to Hernandez or Alford if they're hitting strongly in Buffalo in May or June?

I have to disagree. I think it's entirely in the hands of the prospects. If they do what they are capable of doing, they'll certainly be playing in Toronto this year.
scottt - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 08:29 AM EST (#352488) #
Old guys like Granderson typically have slow starts, so the idea of forcing Diaz, Hernandez and others in AAA for a few months, might not work.

However, this gives the club a lot of depth in case of injury.
Solarte can play right field, but he's best kept away from lefties too.

The next move should be a pitcher.

Magpie - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 08:58 AM EST (#352489) #
He has played in a poor hitters' park for several years now

That's what I was going to say, and I started crunching the numbers and... guess I don't need to! Yeah, Citi Field has been absolutely killing him these last few years.
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:24 AM EST (#352491) #
Apparently Citi Field was hurting him so much that he felt the need to move to another countri.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:25 AM EST (#352492) #
Curtis Granderson.

First thing, Jonny German was right all those years ago when Granderson was considered a good but not great prospect generally.  Very, very good player over his career. Now, to the point of what he is now.  He's 37, and projecting what he might do this year from what he did last year and the year before that requires some pretty steep age adjustments.  He was, in his prime, a very good defensive centerfielder, as Beltran was.  He now simply does not have the speed for the position.  The past two years, he has been a capable defensive corner, and he may (or may not) have another year left doing that.  He is still an alert and good baserunner.  With the bat, he's turned into the extreme fly-ball hitter that old players commonly devolve to, selectively poring over pitches to find one he can drive.  He popped up much more than usual last year, and that is a bad sign.  It is true that if you look at his away vs. R splits over his career, you could easily satisfy yourself that his essential hitting skill remains. 

So what do I think of this deal?  Ask me at the end of the pre-season.  I like Granderson as an offensive player more than Morales.  I think that Granderson and Pearce are useful players to have around, playing corner outfield and first base acceptably well and contributing with the bat.  I just don't think that you want to have Granderson, Pearce and Morales on the roster at the same time.  Can they cut bait already? A mistake was made, and the sooner it is acknowledged the better.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:26 AM EST (#352493) #
I doubt any team would take Morales even if the Jays ate up half his salary. They either have to keep him and hope he rebounds, or swallow his entire deal (/close to it) to get rid of him. I don't think they will do the latter, especially since they liked him enough to give him three years to begin with.

I agree with CF's assessment on this move. It's a move to add depth to the outfield, add a stop gap at the big league level who could be an incremental improvement to the roster, and is short-term so it doesn't block any outfielders coming up. Granderson has a 1.5 WAR projection for 2018 (107 wRC+). His age makes him a candidate to fall off a cliff at any moment, but as long as Gibbons platoons him, he should be a solid outfield option.

2019 is going to be a transitional season. We will likely see a bunch of younger players in important roles that year while waiting for the next crop of talent to come up. In the mean time, they have raised the floor for the 2018 team significantly, which is a huge contrast from 2017 where they had virtually no depth anywhere on the roster. They still need a starter, though.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:34 AM EST (#352494) #
I doubt any team would take Morales even if the Jays ate up half his salary. They either have to keep him and hope he rebounds, or swallow his entire deal (/close to it) to get rid of him. I don't think they will do the latter, especially since they liked him enough to give him three years to begin with.

I'd be very happy if they swallowed a similar proportion of the salary that the Padres did when they sent Upton Jr. here.  Hell, I'd be happy if they released him.  I'd rather have Carrera, Granderson, and Pearce on my club than Morales.  Maybe they can sign Dyson, and package Carrera and Morales and assume only 2/3 of their salary. 

I've got to say that bulk buying from the same bin at the end of the aisle is not my favourite approach to shopping. 
uglyone - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:35 AM EST (#352495) #
"You really think the Jays are so deeply committed to Granderson and Pearce that they won't give any chance to Hernandez or Alford if they're hitting strongly in Buffalo in May or June?"

i don't know if you've been following this team or not but the asset hoarders in charge don't just throw away investments they've made. and that's even league minimum investments who they keep rather than risk losing on waivers. they haven't done it yet, and won't do it going forward. i am 100% sure shapkins will not throw away any of their bottom roster guys unless they think they're getting value back.

and the fact that this "we can dump them if they suck" argument is perhaps the strongest defense of these kind of moves is just sad.

and hey the Bisons may literally flat out have a better outfield than the Jays' $20m outfield this year.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:39 AM EST (#352496) #
"As someone said this is the appeasement signing that was clearly coming for the ticket holders..."

I doubt Granderson, especially at age 37, holds that much weight to the casual fan or season ticket holders. This was just a bad free agent market and the Jays were not going to be shopping at the higher end of it (Cain, JDM, etc), so these small veteran stop gap signings were the only alternative aside from trades. Given the timing, maybe they tried to trade for Cutch and settled for Granderson after that fell through, but who really knows. Regardless, I doubt fans were a reason for this move. It is a cheap one year deal for a useful player. I don't think it goes beyond that.

Word is the Jays are still looking for another OF, and they'll still need to address the rotation. If they only have about $15M left to spend, then expect more cheap signings like this one, unless they move salary to create more room. Probably names like Seth Smith, Cameron Maybin, Austin Jackson, etc. They might not have enough for CarGo or Gomez even on short-term deals, but really depends on what they have left to spend.
Jonny German - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:44 AM EST (#352497) #
Hey now!

Yes, I like the deal. There's a real chance he'll have a higher WAR than any of the current outfielders. That's not necessarily saying a lot, but neither is he getting paid serious money.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:46 AM EST (#352498) #
literally every free agent this FO has signed since they got here has had a ~1war projection at the time of signing. it's pretty funny really. just millions and millions of dollars handed to marginally over replacement players. year after year. they can't help themselves.
Chuck - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:03 AM EST (#352499) #
So, is this the opening roster?

C (2): Martin, Maile
IF (7): Smoak, Morales, Travis, Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Solarte, Diaz
OF (4): Pillar, Pearce, Granderson, Carrera

Or does Hernandez crack the outfield at the expense of one of the new infielders (or a DL'd Travis)?

What happens when the team moves to 13 pitchers and carries just 3 bench players?

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:07 AM EST (#352500) #
Chuck, there's a good chance that Diaz starts in Buffalo with Hernandez in Toronto. 

With the state of the Blue Jay outfield defence last year being what it was, it is kind of surprising that there were no "Pillar to Post" puns that I recall. 

Jevant - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#352501) #
Agreed.  I think the team is planning on starting Hernandez and maybe Diaz in the minors, although surely one or both will be up soon because injuries are going to happen.  I am fine with avoiding a big money long term deal, unless it's for Cain and you are trading Pillar.  If they could turn Morales or Pearce into an RP (even a 3rd on depth chart RP) that would be ideal at this point, and then add another OF (Carlos Gomez would seem to make sense for this club at a price point likely similar to Granderson or a little more) and a depth SP.  If it clicks, you add at the deadline, if it doesn't, you have pieces to sell.
Jevant - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:21 AM EST (#352502) #
I'm assuming that Diaz would be replaced by an OF on that projected roster, assuming Pearce and Morales are both on the team.  Also assuming health for everyone else.  I don't think they go into the year with Pillar/Pearce/Granderson/Carrera as their 4 OF.  And I don't think it will be Hernandez.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:24 AM EST (#352503) #
I had a look at the ZiPS projection for Curtis Granderson- .241/.332/.432 with very poor defence (-13, as bad as Matt Kemp).  The defensive part seems to me to be a very negative view.  Granderson has been a lot better than Kemp for many years, on all the metrics including Statcast, and Kemp seems to be slowing down faster than Granderson even though he is younger. 
PeterG - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#352504) #
Granderson will have a much stronger defensive projection in a corner as opposed to centre. He will only play CF if Pillar is injured, depending upon whom else is on the roster.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:50 AM EST (#352505) #
That looks like the opening roster to me, Chuck. I don't see them not taking a legit SS in Diaz on the roster to give Tulo needed rest just to carry 5 outfielders.

From the other thread:

Jays 2018 early projections (avg of steamer and zips)

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
RF Granderson 105wrc+, 1.5war/650
C Martin 101wrc+, 3.8war/650
SS Tulowitzki 98wrc+, 2.8war/650
CF Pillar 90wrc+, 2.9war/650

UT Solarte* 101wrc+,1.8war/650 - Hernandez 89wrc+, 0.9war/650
OF Carrera 85wrc+, 0.0war/650 - Pompey 81wrc+, 0.8war/650
IF Diaz* 96wrc+, 1.9war/650 - Ngoepe 53wrc+, -0.6war/650
C Maile 52wrc+, -0.1war/650 - Jansen 85wrc+, 2.3war/650
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 11:56 AM EST (#352506) #
It all depends on what the Jays actually have to spend. It all depends on what Rogers said the Jays could spend. It all depends on what the Jays are willing to spend. Those might not be the same numbers. All the estimates could be wrong.
christaylor - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#352507) #
Please explain why you are certain that this FO does not know about the sunk cost fallacy and provide instances when a) whom would you have had them dump in 2016 or 2017 b) why you believe that they will never make room for a younger player.

Also please explain why young players having to fight their way on to the roster is bad? Haven't we seen that with every success story that they Jays have had recently -- Sanchez forced himself in the rotation, Stroman to the rotation, Pillar played his way into a regular with the rotation, Osuna was too young but too dang good. Those handed a spot, Pompey and Travis have arguably done worse. There's something to be said for friendly competition and say what you will about the strikeouts and declining defense, the Grandyman by all reports is friendly.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 12:11 PM EST (#352508) #
Hey they've traded guys at the deadline. It's just sad that the defense of this signing is that it might turn into a deadline trade because the team is bad enough to be a seller.

Sanchez made the rotation during AA's famous stars'n'scrubs days, when he left the bottom of the rotation as a free for all competition between Sanchez, Norris, Hutchison, Boyd, and reliever cum starter Estrada.

Pillar became starting CF at the same time, when AA left the OF open enough for 2 rookies (pompey and pillar) to open the season on the roster. Travis also won the starting 2B job that year as instead of spending money on borderline FAs they just went with optionable kawasaki/goins/tolleson to start and letting Travis beat them out of a spot.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 12:23 PM EST (#352509) #
The Jays traded for Jesse Chavez and signed Gavin Floyd, yet went with Sanchez in the rotation in 2016 after he came into ST and dominated.

They acquired Hernandez in a mid season trade and played him essentially everyday in September.

Which ready young player has been held back by a veteran since this new regime took over?
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 12:45 PM EST (#352510) #
I think the FO gave way too much run to Salty and Latos, as an example of hoarding assets.  Both of those guys were on minor league deals to fight for a spot, both performed poorly and yet still got the call to the bigs, and both earned the million-dollar bonuses in their contracts while sucking.  Montero and Coghlan are other examples.  Sure, they are protecting options and managing the 40 man with these moves, but we certainly haven't been running out optimal rosters, nor have we been giving the kids much playing time in the bigs.  That's another debate - should a younger player force his way onto the roster while playing everyday in AAA, or is there value in working them into the big league roster with a part-time role?  I don't believe it's a given that playing everyday is best for everyone - playing with and against the best, with the best coaching, has real value. 

Zeke could have been moved at the deadline, one of Barney or Goins could have been moved or cut, Pearce could have been dumped for a fringe prospect to open space for, say, Dwight Smith Jr.  Alford's injury was unfortunate - I do see the FO as willing to give playing time to top prospects, but not really the fringier guys, for better or for worse.  I don't want to see more Bolsinger / Koehler / Anderson types getting playing time, even if it means more Casey Lawrences.  The org is veteran-focused and values big league experience too much with depth players, IMO.

Would J-Leb or Christian Lopes have been worse than Barney?  Wouldn't giving AAA ABs and a September call-up to Fields or Smith have been better than giving Saunders the time?  Why not give Borucki some big league starts in Sept? 

I'm okay with Granderson if he doesn't block youth, but I'm not sure that he won't, even if he stumbles and the prospects look strong in AAA. 

I guess we will know if the FO is aggressive enough to dump a sunk cost if Morales runs another negative WAR score to start next year.  I don't mind giving him another chance, but that needs to be it if he stumbles again.  The guy has topped 2 fWAR once in his career, and that was in 2009. 

Agreed that Ngoepe should be the next cut from the 40 man.  Diaz appears to have been optioned 3 times, but according to bluebird banter, he has a fourth option available.  anyone know how this works?  and can someone confirm that Zeke's contract is guaranteed, or can he indeed be cut for 1/6th of his salary in ST?   

uglyone - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 12:45 PM EST (#352511) #
yep, gibby went to the wall for Sanchez that time, didn't let the FO's new collection of garbage block him.

but the FO still got their way when they shut Sanchez down in the middle of a playoff drive.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 01:31 PM EST (#352512) #
Not sure if you're trolling now, but assuming you are serious, then Gibbons is still here. Wouldn't he have the same jedi mind tricks to convince the prospect-hating front office to go with the younger options again, or was that just an aberration specifically for Sanchez?

This is a pretty common tactic. A short-term vet to bide time until a prospect is ready. The Yankees did a lot of that prior to their young core coming together recently. Do you really think a FO that hoards prospects/picks as much as this one does is going to value vets more than young talent? By mid-2018, it's probable (if not likely) that Hernandez and Alford are both starting in the OF. Granderson is just a solid vet who can keep the seat warm until they make the switch.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 01:35 PM EST (#352513) #
When Sanchez was moved to the Bullpen in 2015, the Jays desperately need him in the Bullpen because other than Osuna they had nothing, none of the trades had been made yet. Sanchez was still another two to three weeks away from returning as a Starter.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 01:50 PM EST (#352514) #
Another move that, in a vacuum, makes some sense (for all the good reasons mentioned by a number of posters above) but makes little sense in the context of the rest of the roster. How many 4th corner OFs/1B/DHs does a team need? Particularly when mixing and matching part time players is not your manager's strength. Is the marginal upgrade of Granderson over Carrera worth spending $5m of the little budget left to spend? This move reminds me of those made last offseason. Anyway, the good thing is that it likely won't make much difference to the team one way or the other.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 05:14 PM EST (#352515) #
I think that ZIPS projection for Granderson is low. His OPS away from Citi Field was roughly 100 pts higher than that the last 3 years. He's moving to a pretty good hitters' park, in a division with 3 other good hitters' parks, which is another 27 games in addition to the 81 home games. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Granderson had a better OPS against right handers this year than McCutchen does. He's accomplished that each of the last 2 seasons despite the detrimental effects of his home park. Remove those, and he should have a big edge, especially with McCutchen going to SF, a hitters' graveyard.

I would be quite happy to see the Jays trade Pillar for prospects, sign Cain, and trade prospects for McHugh. Hopefully, the prospects are roughly a wash, McHugh gives you a solid 5-man rotation, and Cain gives your offense a boost. McHugh's salary is only about a million more than Pillar's, and rumblings are now that Cain could be had for a 5 year deal at around $15-16 million. If the budget is tight the next 2 seasons, you could weigh the contract a bit towards the last 3 seasons, when the Jays have virtually no money currently committed.

I think I prefer that to spending the remaining budget on the 5th starter.
China fan - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 05:25 PM EST (#352516) #
"....i don't know if you've been following this team or not but the asset hoarders in charge don't just throw away investments they've made...."

They might be asset hoarders, but they have certainly dumped a number of "investments" that they made, including Grilli and Howell last year. They had invested $6-million in those two. They also dumped Melvin Upton, to whom they owed $1-million last year. And they dumped Saltalamacchia, to whom they owed $1.25-million. So that's about $8.25-million in investments that they cut bait on last year. I don't see why they couldn't do that again this year.

And there's a big difference in the status of the prospects this year. The Jays last season didn't have any high-level outfielders who were ready to jump into the majors (except for arguably Pompey, who turned out to be injured for almost the entire year). This season they will have Hernandez, Alford and Pompey close to the majors, and that's a completely different situation from last year. You can't extrapolate from last season and say that the Jays never give a chance to young major-league-ready prospects. They didn't have any last year.
China fan - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 05:31 PM EST (#352517) #
"....It's just sad that the defense of this signing is that it might turn into a deadline trade because the team is bad enough to be a seller...."

That's actually not the defense of this signing. By claiming that it is, you're completely ignoring two days of comments by dozens of people here, who have made many different points about the advantages of the signing.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 06:35 PM EST (#352518) #
Cain will be very lucky if he can get 3 years in this market.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 06:56 PM EST (#352519) #
Teoscar Hernandez is an MLB Outfielder, who may strike out too much (small sample size warning). People say he can't run or defend very well. Really? The Jays don't, or they would say so. Anthony Alford is really close to being MLB-Ready, how very close I can't say. I don't know what to say about Dalton Pompey or Dwight Smith except they played in MLB with some degree of success.

Last year there wasn't anyone healthy or good enough to play. This year there is. The Jays now have enviable depth in the Outfield. The Jays are now working on versatile depth at the MLB level. If the Jays get who they want, fine. It's not as if they don't have many more options this year.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 08:38 PM EST (#352520) #
With this news:
Latest Trade Proposal sounds most interesting.
Yelich and Castro to the Jays for Bo Bichette, Devon Travis, Teoscar Hernandez, Sean Reid-Foley and T.J. Zeuch.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 09:50 PM EST (#352521) #
I'm not in favor of trading Bo Bichette period.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 10:51 PM EST (#352522) #
Yelich and Castro to the Jays for Bo Bichette, Devon Travis, Teoscar Hernandez, Sean Reid-Foley and T.J. Zeuch.

Castro's partly a salary dump for the Marlins, so I think that's too much to give up from our side. However, if they throw in JT Realmutto (since Russel's not getting any younger), that could work. Or take Morales with no cash on the hood and leave Travis with us?

aarne13 - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 11:22 PM EST (#352523) #
That's a horrible trade for the Jays. Bo and Vladdy are off-limits.
aarne13 - Tuesday, January 16 2018 @ 11:27 PM EST (#352524) #
I figure any "big" trade would revolved around one of each A:Borucki, SRF, Greene, Zeuch
plus one or two mid-to-low level prospects
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:15 AM EST (#352525) #
That would be one of the worst trades the Blue Jays have ever made. Castro is not a very good player - his numbers the last 2 years have been grossly inflated by playing in Yankee Stadium. His road OPS in 2017 was .708, in 2016 was .624, and in 2015, before he went to NY, his overall OPS was .671, right about the average of those previous 2 numbers. Not much higher than Ryan Goins hit last year. And for that, you're going to pay over $10 million a year for 2 years, plus a $16 million option? Aack. You'd be taking on a terrible contract for a weak player, giving up one of the best prospects the team has ever had, handing over a terrific but injury prone 2nd baseman with a career OPS just under .800 who has 3 more years of control, a very promising young outfielder and 2 good pitching prospects? All for 1 player? I wouldn't trade Travis and Bichette for Yelich and Castro, let alone with all the other guys thrown in.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:19 AM EST (#352526) #
Lets look at that proposed trade...
Yelich: 5 years of control for around $40 mil give or take.
Castro: 3 years of control for around $39 mil
Both in the last year is a team option with buyout.

Value via Fangraphs...
Yelisch value: over last 5 years $135 mil. $30 plus each of past 2 years.
Castro: last 3 410-years: $29.5 mil. $14.9 last year so could be worth it.

Thus based on past performance (no guarantee) $149.9 mil of value for $79 mil. A very good deal.

Give up...
Bo Bichette: value unknown, 6-7 years of control
Devon Travis: value over 3 years $44 mil (peak $20.5 in 2016), 3 years of control left at arbitration rates.
Teoscar Hernandez: value $5.5 mil last year, $-2 mil the year before. Lets assume 6 years of control
Sean Reid-Foley & TJ Zeuch: both prospects, 6-7 years of control

Really Bo is the cornerstone as unless you use best case for Travis and the rest you cannot get $70 mil of value from them even not factoring in salaries. Could Bo be worth $80+ mil over 7 years? Oh yeah, he could. Is he likely to? Much harder to say. Skip him and put in Alford and I'd go for it, still would be a bit nervous but not too much. Don't really see anyone else who could be used outside of Alford or Bichette though (as Vlad won't be traded, period). Given who is running this club I have to think they won't trade Bichette unless there is a major issue we don't know about.

Now, mix in JT Realmuto and I'd say go ahead and include Bichette. Here is a catcher entering his age 27 season, 3 years of control left, with a lifetime 109 OPS+. Not Mike Piazza level but dang nice. Valued at just shy of $30 mil each of the past 2 years. $72 mil over past 3 years. In arbitration years now, but won't be getting anywhere near $40 mil over those years so safe to say he'll add value to any deal. He could easily split time with Martin and either could DH when not catching. It'd be a 1 and 1A catching situation.

Of course, doing a deal like this would be setting the team up for payroll nightmares in 2021 and beyond due to arbitration/free agency and a batch hitting it at the same time. Still, this is well worth thinking about at least. For both teams. Don't expect it to happen, at least not in this format.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:26 AM EST (#352527) #
The proposal that Richard is referencing is simply reader comment in the comments section at MLBTradeRumors. I wouldn't put any merit into it anymore than you would a proposal suggested by a poster on this site.

Sad as it is, The Jays won't be getting an in his prime on an amazing contract Yellich without giving up one of their top prospects like Bo Bichete. If Bo posted the same numbers but in AA, different story, but he hasn't so there are still question marks. He could easily fall way back to good but not great prospect and Yellich could have a huge season and we'd all be kicking ourselves. Then again who am I kidding. I wouldn't trade Bichete for Yellich. But I would trade up the farm otherwise (of course not Vlad). Something like Alford/Pearson/Boruki/Biagini for Yellich.
hypobole - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:38 AM EST (#352528) #
Dan Szymborski's Insider story on leading candidates to break out this season leads off with:

OF Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins

Yelich is already one of the most valuable commodities in baseball, a star center fielder with a team-friendly contract, and if the Marlins choose to trade him, they may get more for him than they did for Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton combined.

So what's an established star doing here? The one thing Yelich hasn't had is that crazy MVP-type season where everything goes right. He's one of the few players in baseball who can legitimately be called a .340-.350 BABIP hitter, and while he doesn't have the raw power of Aaron Judge, his average exit velocity was in the top 30 in baseball, just behind Jose Abreu and Bryce Harper. Yelich is also a solid contact hitter, and with his plate discipline and above-average contact rate, I think there's the potential to improve that strikeout rate. I think that magical year in which he has a peak Will Clark/Joey Votto season while being a center fielder is in there somewhere.

Key breakout stat: 14 percent chance of an OPS+ over 140
Glevin - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:10 AM EST (#352529) #
"Something like Alford/Pearson/Boruki/Biagini for Yellich."

Yeah, but that's not happening. Trying to get one of the most valuable players in baseball without giving up a top prospect is not going to happen. Yelich is projected to give something like $150M of excess value over the course of his contract. My best guess is the Braves end up getting him while giving up something a bunch of their young pitching (everyone but Albies and Acuna should be on the table). They are overflowing with prospects and can give up 3 or 4 top-100 prospects and still have depth. Lots of other teams will be interested because he is young, locked up for five more years, and his contract is affordable for every team in baseball. What team wouldn't be interested?

My attempt would be to try to do something like Osuna, Alford, and a couple of lower prospects but I don't think that would be enough either.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:22 AM EST (#352530) #
Osuna doesn't fit their movement. He's into arbitration and getting more expensive.
CeeBee - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 05:22 AM EST (#352531) #
If the Jays made a trade of any of the above mentioned rumours or ideas I will cease to be a Jays fan which also means baseball in general. I'd sooner take up basket weaving or pull my model railroad out of mothballs.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 06:11 AM EST (#352532) #
"The one thing Yelich hasn't had is that crazy MVP-type season where everything goes right."

All due respect to Dan, but that is kind of an important "one thing" not to have, when talking about best players in baseball. And he doesn't know that Yelich hasn't had a season where everything has gone right - he may well have already. Yelich is a 60% groundball hitter - getting the power surge he needs to be a great hitter is kind of impossible without getting the ball in the air a helluva lot more. And he strikes out a lot for someone without a lot of power. And Yelich's already benefitted from as good babips as anyone could expect, and those are still more likely to continue declining than to surge. And if he does change into a flyball hitter that high babip will fall for certain, which would nullify much of the power gain. His defensive profile has been very consistent so far in his career - a good LFer, but a subpar CFer. Don't see any reason to prpject a surge there as he enters his late 20s. ditto his baserunning.

And it's important to note that Dan is disagreeing with his own projection system here, as Zips projects yelich falling down to about a 4war player next year, just like steamer does.

Dan may well be right, but imo it's still a massive gamble to pay an elite price for a guy who you only hope can be elite.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 07:23 AM EST (#352533) #
Obtaining Yelich or Cain is a pipe dream - given what this FO is trying to do & estimated money left to spend, I'd expect moves along the following lines:

Carlos Gonzalez - 1 yr @ 6/7m = platoon him in RF - if the Jays cannot move Morales to accommodate a 5th outfielder - then ask Aledmys Diaz to add RF to his portfolio in spring training.
Brett Anderson - 1 yr @ 3m plus incentives - don't expect him to pitch even 100 innings - but if he can make his first 10-12 starts before hitting the DL, by then hopefully one of the farmhands - Guerrieri(my pick),Borucki,Pannone,maybe even McGuire will be ready for an audition - and in the unlikely event the jays are truly contending, the FO can make an acquisition.
Add a lefty to the pen.Offseason done.
This team likely will not be playoff bound but with reasonable health, can hang in around the edges of the 2nd wildcard & with Rogers media properties (sportnet,fan590) relentlessly pushing the positive spin, should be enough to keep most of the gate & tv ratings - Remember,as horrible as the jays were last year, into sometime in September, the team was 31/2 games out of the 2nd wildcard - the illusion of contending. Then by September Alford,Hernandez maybe Pompey will be here and BO/Vlad maybe in AAA- sucking up positive press & allowing the FO to spin what a wonderful future the team has (and they may be right).
bpoz - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 07:40 AM EST (#352534) #
I would hate to be a Marlins fan. The way they are treating this team is criminal.

lexomatic - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 07:45 AM EST (#352535) #
That trade speculation is so bad. I would never do that for realmuto and yelich. There just isn't enough of an improvement there to justify the added $ cost and prospect cost.

scottt - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 07:52 AM EST (#352536) #
As both Happ and Estrada are on their last year, it would be a good time to sign a solid starter.
The only drawback is the second draft pick which would be pick 52 overall.

Yellich is a corner outfielder and Bichette is a shortstop.
This team has had severe issues finding a shortstop over the last 2 decades.
Should they really trade for Yellich and hand the job to Urena while they wait for Warmoth?

scottt - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:01 AM EST (#352537) #
Apparently Jeter gets 2M per year in which the team does not lose money.
The 2018 attendance numbers should be interesting.

bpoz - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:05 AM EST (#352538) #
Great point scottt. A young impact SS, 2B and 3B would make this team very strong. Those positions and C have been hard to develop.

China fan - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:06 AM EST (#352539) #
The speculation by 85bluejay is a pretty realistic assessment of the mindset of the current Front Office. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a fairly accurate prediction of how it all unfolds.

But if that is what happens, the Jays are missing a great opportunity to make a more ambitious bid for Cain. His price has fallen significantly in the past few weeks. If the Jays were able to make a serious bid for Encarnacion and Dexter Fowler a year ago, why not make a similar bid for Cain this year? They have the money, they have the need. (Or does this actually suggest that they didn't really make serious bids for Encarnacion and Fowler last year?)

I'll add another factor that might be at work here. There's really very little pressure on Shapiro and Atkins at this stage in their Jays career. They can coast on the strength of a pretty good roster (Donaldson, Stroman, Martin etc) and add just enough cheap pieces to keep the Jays somewhat competitive, and they won't feel any pressure to go further -- because they know that Rogers won't care about it very much for another couple of years at least. There's a five-year cycle (at a minimum) for GMs and presidents. As long as they're doing basic organizational and financial work, Rogers will be satisfied and they won't feel any real pressure to get to the playoffs for another couple of years. That's just how the job works, in terms of psychology and career strategy.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:12 AM EST (#352540) #
I'm not sure if Gonzalez would settle for 1/6 or 1/7 (he is repped by Boras, after all), but given that the team has two OF's that should be ready to play everyday some time in 2018, it does appear that a one year deal is more likely for whichever outfielder they decide to go with next. Gonzalez is going to end up with a one year deal somewhere. It makes sense. Maybe not the best fit roster wise to have another platoon outfielder, especially since Zeke becomes completely useless in that scenario and the Jays are paying him $2M in '18, but there aren't many options out there.
China fan - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:31 AM EST (#352541) #
We should probably also be discussing the growing evidence that there is some kind of increasing collusion among MLB teams against free agents. Here's a detailed report that delves into the evidence, without being able to say anything definitive about whether it's definitely happening. (The story also quotes one assistant GM suggesting that he'd offer only a one-year deal to Cain.)
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 09:12 AM EST (#352542) #
collusion is blatant, imo.

I wouldn't expect any more hitter signings (i.e. cargo) that depend on moving morales or pearce, tbh. But i do agree that another SP (anderson isna goodncall) and another LHRP are likely.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 09:30 AM EST (#352543) #
Yelich is under control for just $7.0 Million this year. That’s extremely cheap for the caliber of talent he has. We may not like the possible prospect cost, but he’s exactly the type of Player the Jays are after. And it fit in the Budget.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 09:54 AM EST (#352544) #
There is not going to be a trade for Yelich and the Jays are not going to trade Bichette. The original trade suggestion is totally foolish and highly weighted in the Marlins favour.

There is no collusion as the Passan article suggests, just a perfect storm in the balance of power in the labour situation. GM's all realize that long term contracts don't work as so many have failed in the past few years. The perceived value of young players and prospects has never been higher.

As to what the Jays will do, I agree with the apparent consensus...perhaps another OF on 1 year deal, a couple of pitchers....a couple of minor league signings in February for players who are left without a team.

I do agree that what is happening this off season increases the possibility that the Jays may be able to extend Donaldson to a reasonable contract.
Glevin - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:12 AM EST (#352545) #
There is no collusion. If you went to the store and every item was horribly overpriced, why would you buy? Free agency by its nature, except in a very few cases, is about paying for a player's prime when they are in decline. Go back 2 years and there 6 players with contracts over 100M total. Price, Greinke, Heyward, Davis, Upton, Cueto, and Zimmerman. Upton's is a wash but the rest are anywhere from bad to complete disasters. If you keep going down the list at lesser but still big contracts, you get Chen, Gordon, Kennedy, etc..You have some great and good deals like Murphy and Happ but overwhelmingly, free agency is awful for teams.

The baseball economy is broken though, rewarding bad decline players too much and punishing inexperienced talent WAY too much. Josh Donaldson will have around 40+ WAR in six years before free agency and will have been paid less than Carlos Santana will earn over the next 3 years to put up around 6-8 WAR total. Baseball needs to reward its best players better.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:13 AM EST (#352546) #
"I do agree that what is happening this off season increases the possibility that the Jays may be able to extend Donaldson to a reasonable contract."

that ain't gonna happen.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#352547) #
The collusion is blatant. MLB players already get far less of league revenue than players in the other leagues do. And it's only getting worse. MLB owners are laughing.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:21 AM EST (#352548) #
The Passan article essentially points out that the union did a lousy job the last time round.  I agree with that.  They should have asked for a much higher minimum salary.
China fan - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:34 AM EST (#352549) #
Marco Estrada has finally explained what happened with his terrible mid-season slump last year. He says he developed insomnia, due to stress, largely because of all the trade rumours that were flying around at the time. When the trade deadline passed and his stress eventually eased, he started sleeping, and his slump was over.

It's just a reminder that players are real-life humans who can sometimes be much more affected by rumours and gossip than we realize. While the fans chatter about it as entertainment, it's serious life for the players.

Here's the report:
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:55 AM EST (#352551) #
fwiw, there were rumors other than trade rumors involving marco last year.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:56 AM EST (#352552) #
I don't see collusion either, and clearly the union played a roll in the current market.  I just want to see them target spreading the wealth better - take better care of minor leaguers, players under TC, low-mid range FAs, and it's a lot easier to be sympathetic to their plight. 

The Yanks just signed Wade LeBlanc to a minor league contract with an opt-out and a 200K minimum salary in the minors.  I've only ever seen NY target the top minor league FAs like this - they paid a similar price to land Solarte a few years ago, right before his breakout season.  I'd love to see our value-conscious front office taking this approach and field top teams in AA / AAA (provided the prospects aren't blocked) rather than guaranteeing fringey big-leaguers million dollar contracts.  You could argue that letting the kids play, while mixing in the right minor league FA or two, is an equally effective means of raising the performance floor. 

I see dumping Morales as the bigger pipe dream than landing Cain, and totally agree with China Fan - players like Cain are as available as they will ever be right now.  If this FO is truly value conscious, as opposed to savings conscious, they will sign the right vet to a FA contract. 

uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 11:04 AM EST (#352553) #
Just want to reiterate that according to the projections, as the team projected to be the best of the non playoff teams, there is no team in the AL for whom adding wins this offseason is more valuable to than the Blue Jays.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 11:11 AM EST (#352554) #
If the club signs Cain to a reasonable contract and moves Pearce instead of Morales, the sum total of the moves would be positive even if the Pearce/Morales move would be negative.  It would involve reducing the duplication  in the wrong way in order for the FO to save face, but then so be it. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 11:28 AM EST (#352555) #
Not only should the rookie salary be higher but the union should fight for FA after 4 years - then most players can become FA before 30 - when you consider a player usually takes 4 plus years to reach the show & then 6 years of control - that's over a decade that the team controls the player - waaay too long.

With analytics dominating FO evaluation, teams are valuing players similarly ( as Ross Atkins mentioned in an interview), so you get similar bids on players - Collusion will be tough to prove when these ivy leaguers pull out all their data and aging curves etc.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#352556) #
Can't help but notice that the guys shapkins inherited are still projected to be worth more than double what the guys they've brought in are (25war - 12war). And for only a marginally bigger portion of the payroll (~55% - 45%)
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:10 PM EST (#352557) #
If baseball wants to do a better job of paying players at the right times (ie their peak), baseball might be better served to move to the NHL model of restricted free agency rather than arbitration. The highest offer wins and you can negotiate with all teams with the team owning your rights have the chance to match the offer.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 12:44 PM EST (#352558) #
What the players union should be focused on is getting a percentage of the revenue - I think it's 50% in the NBA - how it's distributed is a secondary concern for the union - I'd be surprised if we don't have a work stoppage when the current CBA ends, unless the players have lost their spine - a smart union should be telling players not to spend until the next CBA is signed.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 01:07 PM EST (#352559) #
the first priority is to get access to the books, for an open and honest accounting of league revenues. Remember, the league consistently claims that the players already receive approx 50% of "net league revenues", even though even a brief sum totalling of all team payrolls compared to league revenues shows it's really around 40%.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 01:14 PM EST (#352560) #
I don't understand those who suggest alleviating the Jays' logjam at corner OF/1B/DH by simply releasing Pearce. A front office that would stop signing more of these players would be a good start. However, more particularly, Pearce (and his contract) aren't really a problem on this roster - it's how he was used last year that was the problem. There's a non-zero chance that Smoak turns back into, well, Justin Smoak this year. In that scenario, Pearce would be a very useful RH part of a 1B platoon. As a once a week OF when one of the extreme GB starters is pitching and a high leverage RH pinch hitter he also has utility. If they end up releasing him (or trading him for a bag of balls) simply because they have too many players of his ilk and not enough ABs to go around, then we really have a problem in the front office.
Parker - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 01:29 PM EST (#352561) #
Can't help but notice that the guys shapkins inherited are still projected to be worth more than double what the guys they've brought in are (25war - 12war). And for only a marginally bigger portion of the payroll (~55% - 45%)

In Anthopoulos' third year as GM, JP Ricciardi's acquisitions provided the bulk of the team's WAR value.
scottt - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:24 PM EST (#352562) #
I don't see any collusion.

Half the teams have less than 1% chances of making the playoffs, so why would they increase their costs?
Why hasn't Baltimore spent a tons on the starting pitchers they need? Because it would just be burning money.
Most of the competitive teams already have most of the players they need.

The Marlins/Rays ownership is an issue, not collusion.
Moving Stanton to NY took 23M out of free agents hands.

The other thing limiting free agent contracts is the luxury tax.
Would you want the Yankees to be able to sign Darvish and Arrieta just to give the players more money?
But again, this is only impacting 3 teams. NYY, Dodgers and the Giants.

uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:26 PM EST (#352563) #
you sure about that? remember, I'm including guys shapkins re-upped (like smoak and estrada) as their guys, not inherited guys.

which means in year 3 Bautista would have been AA's guy, not inherited. Encarnacion too I think (though maybe his extension didn't kick in until 2013?).

ah you piqued my interest. imma have to check.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:38 PM EST (#352564) #
The Arbitration model by MLB Trade Rumors is a very good estimate to work with. The Jays Arbitration signings and projected (Stroman, Osuna) signings are very close to those estimates. That makes estimates of what’s remaining for the Jays to spend more speculative than estimated. As always, it never seems enough.

Of the missing rhetoric that exists within the Jays verbiage, changes have pushed aside prior mention of some needs. Impact Arm for Bullpen or Rotation had been mentioned often earlier as a need, yet seems to be largely ignored. Impact Bat was also been mentioned as a need yet nothing seems to be happening on that front.

Top Impact bats are available, the better ones by trade. Financial costs can be much less than Free Agency, but expensive still the same. To be unwilling to make it work seems counterproductive, a negative evaluation of the future.

The Jays to this point have spent close to half their estimated budget on raising the floor. They’ve needed an Impact Outfielder since early October. They’ve needed an Impact Arm in the Rotation or the Bullpen since early October. They’ve needed a 2nd Arm for where the first didn’t go, and needed an upgrade at Backup Catcher, both since early October. What gets done,I don’t know? Waiting sucks.
China fan - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:39 PM EST (#352565) #
"....Pearce (and his contract) aren't really a problem on this roster..."

I agree. The most likely scenario, at this point, is a platoon of Pearce and Granderson in LF, with Granderson getting the majority of playing time (since he hits better against RHP). Pearce would then get the remainder of his playing time at DH, at 1B, and as a pinch-hitter, all of which he is entirely suited for. And even if the Jays decide to go with a platoon in RF, they can afford to carry five outfielders if Solarte is the main back-up for the infield. There is room for Pearce. The bigger question is Morales. He could help his cause by hitting better this season. (If he's not traded.)

Note: my above comments are referring to the beginning of the season. I'm making no prediction about the rest of the season, when we could see a lot more of Hernandez, Alford etc.
scottt - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:43 PM EST (#352566) #
Also the percentage of money going to the players might be misleading.
It's down because revenues are increasing fast and the long contracts free agents are signing are not indexed.

The wild cards have increased competition and it's taken a few years for the big clubs to adjust by fielding stronger teams. 2018 should be less competitive, so revenues should increase less. Unless everybody becomes a Yankees fan.

pubster - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 03:58 PM EST (#352567) #
"you sure about that? remember, I'm including guys shapkins re-upped (like smoak and estrada) as their guys, not inherited guys.

which means in year 3 Bautista would have been AA's guy, not inherited. Encarnacion too I think (though maybe his extension didn't kick in until 2013?).

ah you piqued my interest. imma have to check."

Do you count Donaldson as a Shapkins guy?
PeterG - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 04:03 PM EST (#352568) #
Here is an interesting article about the current and future economic structure of the game. Sawchik thinks the players are in a bad position that is unlikely to improve:
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 04:33 PM EST (#352569) #
The article was by Nathaniel Grow, not Travis Sawchik.

I disagree with one of the premises.  In a work stoppage, I am not sure that the players are without leverage.  It is not clear to me that:

- it matters whether the public blames the billionaire owners 30% and the millionaire players 70% for the stoppage or vice versa
- if it does matter, that the public will prefer the billionaires at this moment in time; particularly if the stoppage concerns the minimum salary (many players are out of baseball within 3 years and for them, 1.5 million is not that much given the amount of time that is involved up to MLB and the wealth in the game)

It seems to me that the degree to which the players, and especially the stars of the game, would be supportive is probably more important.  Why do I think that the current union leadership is not doing the groundwork necessary for this?  I remember Marvin Miller at times like this.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 04:45 PM EST (#352570) #
Yes, the player leverage article was written by Grow. The Sawchik article concerns agent leverage.

For the most part, I agree with what Grow has to say.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 04:49 PM EST (#352571) #
Interview with Ross Atkins:
Chuck - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 05:13 PM EST (#352572) #
In a work stoppage, I am not sure that the players are without leverage.

I dunno. My instinct is that the general public would be singing the regular song, that greedy professional athletes are paid way too much to play a children's game. The owners are the ones taking all the chances.

The song might be different among people who follow the story more closely, but that's a relatively small crowd.

But I may be wrong.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 05:24 PM EST (#352573) #
Maybe so, Chuck.  But do you really think that it matters that much how public support/hatred breaks down?  When the union was strong and the players were making much-needed gains during the Miller era, I don't recall the public being wildly in favour of them during disruptions. 

The union might also demand minimum payrolls.  The notion that the owners are "taking chances" might not be that popular in places where owners have not spent any reasonable proportion of revenues, some of which come from the league.  
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 05:35 PM EST (#352574) #
On a lighter note, the National Pastime Museum is doing a series on the worst trades. So what was the worst trade ever by the Jays?  There are quite a few contenders for the best trade- Murray for Collins and McGriff, and Fernandez/McGriff for Alomar/Carter.  But, the worst?  It probably comes from the Ash era- can we name the player we got for Michael Young yet?
PeterG - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 05:41 PM EST (#352575) #
Young for Loaiza. That may have been the worst along with the Sirotka deal, also made by Gord Ash.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 05:53 PM EST (#352576) #
Easily the Sirotka deal in my books - that just smacked of a failure to do due diligence.  I don't think Michael Young was a huge prospect when we dealt him, and the pitcher we got in return had a few strong years in him - just not with us.  But Gord Ash has a monopoly on our worst deals, doesn't he?  Olerud for Person was idiotic, even to teenage Jer who loved Joe Carter and all those RBIs.  And we paid most of his salary!  Woody Williams and prospects for Joey Hamilton is another bad one. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#352577) #
Good discussion here. Richard and 85 Blue Jay nailing some posts. Parker going about his posts politely. You would think it's already spring. A couple of observations:

- From this thread a "reason" is emerging for the slow offseasons...the Yankees and other big teams have smartened up since the more competitive wild card era was introduced and have had time to adjust. Before they were dishing out contracts left and right in order to compete with teams ahead of them in farm systems and analytics
- From Passan's piece, he references a statement from MLB that uses Scott Boras as a reason for the slow off season... he always waits and waits and waits, and now some can assume that owners have grown tired of his strategy.
- Stoeten has a good post up about Granderson/Morales and how it may be a brilliant idea to platoon a righty masher such as Granderson with Morales who Stoeten proves was ELITE with the bat from the right side last year vs LHP.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 06:48 PM EST (#352578) #
Another consideration is that in several markets, taxpayers got screwed over when new stadia were built. That wont'help engender support for the owners.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 06:49 PM EST (#352579) #
There is one thing to remember about Scott Boras. At some point in the Offseason he always starts negotiating with Owners, not GMs or Presidents.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#352580) #
Gord Ash was also famous at trading away, as prospects, some of the best Short Stops in Baseball. All had good careers elsewhere, just not here. Toronto had the hardest time for many years afterward finding just an average Short Stop.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 07:44 PM EST (#352581) #
Granderson is being sold short here - even though his top-line offensive numbers are pretty decent for a $5m contract, I think there are some good reasons to believe he was unlucky last year.

Firstly, Granderson had a career-low babip last year. That's likely to regress somewhat. He's still fairly fast and has a better-than-average hard-hit rate. With his increased fly-ball tendencies, he should only be a true-talent .280 BABIP, but that's a big improvement from last year's .228.

Secondly, Granderson has improved his contact ability in the past few years. He had a career-low 6.6% Swinging strike rate last year, far better than league average. His 23% K is anomalous, and we should expect fewer strikeouts based on his contact ability.

Magpie - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:44 PM EST (#352582) #
So what was the worst trade ever by the Jays?

David Cone for Marty Janzen and a couple of minor leaguers springs to mind.
scottt - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 08:55 PM EST (#352583) #
Well, Granderson is 3rd in homerun hit in the latest Yankees Stadium at 69.
Also, Gibbons  likes him.

On the players salaries, I wonder if AAA players should earn more or if it would just keep more older players in the minors.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 09:53 PM EST (#352584) #
The only negative with Granderson is age. The contract is good, the performance is still good (granted in a platoon role now), and he fills an area of need. Even in his Dodgers run he had a horrendous BABIP but was making the hardest contact of his career (SSS) and still drawing walks at a high rate. There will be some decline in all likelihood but as long as he is strictly platooned and used entirely in the corners defensively, he should be a good player. However, at 37, falling off a cliff is always a possibility as well.

I think Pearce should start at DH, but he'll still have a role on this team as is. Platoon with Granderson and back-up 1B/DH. Using him in a reduced role might keep him healthier and seeing him in LF in smaller doses will certainly be better for the team defense. I wouldn't be against trading him either since him and Morales on the same team with Smoak really doesn't make any sense, but Kendrys isn't going anywhere, and Pearce can still help the team in a utility type role.

The player who seems out of place right now is Zeke.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:31 PM EST (#352585) #
AA Yr 3 (2012) 25 man roster:

Inherited (8 guys, 8.8war)

EE 4.3
JPA 1.2
Janssen 1.1
loup 0.9
Gose 0.6
Alvarez 0.3
Cecil 0.2
Frasor 0.2

His Guys (17 guys, 13.5war)

Bautista 2.9
Morrow 2.4
Lawrie 2.3
Escobar 1.2
Happ 1.2
Oliver 1.1
Rasmus 0.9
Mathis 0.8
Villanueva 0.6
Delabar 0.5
Johnson 0.4
Romero* 0.4
Davis 0.2
Lind* -0.1
Laffey -0.2
Cordero -0.4
Vizquel -0.7

* - still in controllable years but signed to long extensions through free agent years by AA

man, that roster really imploded impressively. pretty much everyone was a disaster.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:37 PM EST (#352586) #
"Do you count Donaldson as a Shapkins guy?"

i don't think so. only guys re-signed through free agent years makes sense to me.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:39 PM EST (#352587) #
"Interview with Ross Atkins:"

absolutely pisses me off to hear these guys trot out the "oldest team in the league" excuse when THEY are the reason we were the oldest team in the league.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 10:41 PM EST (#352588) #
OK, tougher question... worst trade by each GM.

1) Gord Ash - dozens but leaning towards the Wells for nothing (OK, the right to pay Sirotka) deal

2) Pat Gillick - leaning towards Stoney Briggs (minors) and Derek Bell to t Ricciardi he San Diego Padres. Received Darrin Jackson. - Jackson was only useful in being traded for Tony Fernandez a month or so later. Bell would get 13.1 WAR lifetime of which only 0.7 was as a Jay. At the time he was a super-prospect and everyone thought he'd be a star but Gaston didn't like his attitude so he was traded. Bigger error was releasing David Wells (same issue, attitude) who over the 6 years after being released until the Jays traded Roger Clemens to get him back would get 22.9 WAR.

3) JP Ricciardi - Felipe Lopez (1 ASG, 7 WAR overall, just a 22 year old SS) for Jason Arnold (never reached majors)

4) Alex Anthopolis - traded Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for RA Dickey (others involved but those were key). Of course, d'Arnaud is at 2 WAR lifetime now and is injured every other game. Syndergaard was also hurt last season but should be OK for 2018 and has 9.3 WAR already. Dickey was solid but not wow as a Jay 7.3 WAR over his 4 years here.

5) Peter Bavasi - his veto over a Ron Guidry for Bill Singer was by far his worst but for real trades - Pete Vuckovich (future Cy Young winner) for Victor Cruz and Tom Underwood looks bad in retrospect. However, that might have been Gillick as Bavasi was moved to president around the time that deal happened.

6) Ross Atikins - too soon to tell, nothing horrid on the surface yet.
Glevin - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:27 AM EST (#352589) #
"absolutely pisses me off to hear these guys trot out the "oldest team in the league" excuse when THEY are the reason we were the oldest team in the league."

Really LOL. It's the fault of a new front office if they don't bring up youth that doesn't exist in the first 2-3 years they take control? What should they have done? Drafted major league-ready players? Trade mediocre veterans for young talent? Signed one of those 24 year old free agents that are always available? The lack of youth is very clearly the fault of the previous administration who traded pretty much everyone under 30. Syndagaard, D'Arnaud, Nicolino, Alvarez, Desclafani, Hechevaria, Marisnick, Norris, Hoffman, Boyd, and Labourt were all traded 2013-2016 and played in the majors in 2017 (except Desclafani who was hurt). Those players combined for about 20 WAR in the last 2 years all on cheap deals while the only player remaining from these moves made $20M to give replacement level production. While only one player is a star, 5 of the traded players have provided over 1.5 WAR over the past 2 seasons while costing almost nothing. THIS is the reason the Jays don't have younger players. They were all traded. That and the fact that the Jays have not really developed a single core offensive player since Gord Ash was GM.
Magpie - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 06:11 AM EST (#352590) #
There are quite a few contenders for the best trade- Murray for Collins and McGriff, and Fernandez/McGriff for Alomar/Carter.

I'm a little partial to Robinzon Diaz for Jose Bautista, but that's probably a whole separate category: Luckiest Trades of All Time.
uglyone - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 07:30 AM EST (#352591) #
"Really LOL. It's the fault of a new front office if they don't bring up youth that doesn't exist in the first 2-3 years they take control? "

Grilli 40
Bautista 36
Aoki 35
Pearce 34
Morales 34
Happ 34
Howell 34
Estrada 33
Liriano 33
Smith 33
Coghlan 32
Salty 32
Valdez 32

they chose to add those guys.

the only "old" guys that were "forced" on them:

Martin 34
Tulo 32

mathesond - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 08:52 AM EST (#352592) #
Uglyone, you should also include a sampling of the multitude of young players (free agents and otherwise) that were available to them, as I believe that was Glevin's point.
uglyone - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:17 AM EST (#352593) #
I think glevin should include that sampling, including the many youn prime players picked up for cheap by our division rivals at the same time. He might surprise himself.

pretty cowardly for a GM to willingly spend $80m on half a roster worth of players aged 32-40 worth maybe a couple WAR total to then complain the team was too old.
PeterG - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:24 AM EST (#352594) #
BlueJays agree to minor league deal with right handed reliever Al Alburquerque.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:29 AM EST (#352595) #
Free agents are typically in their 30's, especially the mid-tier free agents. If the front office did not have any young players in the minors to put in big league spots (still don't aside from Hernandez who may need a bit more time due to his K rate), and didn't want to/couldn't afford to trade more prospects for big league help, then what was the alternative? Hell, if the FO did what you wanted them to do, they would have had Price (32), Edwin (35), and Fowler (32) right now.

Getting younger will happen when the team starts developing their own prospects. Might start happening at some point in 2018, but more likely 2019-20.
PeterG - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:32 AM EST (#352596) #
In 2017, Al produced a 0.5 WAR and a 2.50 ERA in 21 games.

Career, he has a 5.1 WAR and an ERA of 3.16

Can't argue with this move. He will be given an opportunity to make the team in ST, I assume.
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:36 AM EST (#352597) #
Al Alburquerque: serious contender for best name in the majors.

Please commence the Bugs Bunny jokes now.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:39 AM EST (#352598) #
BlueJays agree to minor league deal with right handed reliever Al Alburquerque.

Great name.  The middle name of Mike Barlow, who pitched for the Blue Jays in 80-81, was Roswell, and as far as I can tell, that is the only other player with a New Mexico name connection. 

He's a good depth signing, by the way. 
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:40 AM EST (#352599) #
As an alternative to the Bugs Bunny jokes, we could also note that Alburquerque was the setting for the Breaking Bad series.

Does that also describe his off-speed stuff?
mathesond - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:02 AM EST (#352600) #
My only real knowledge of Al Albuquerque is that, in 2011, Mike Francesca didn't believe he was a real player.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:13 AM EST (#352601) #
I wanted to make a couple of comments about Teoscar Hernandez. 

First, I thought his power explosion at the end of last year was real.  I can't put my finger on it (it looked to me impressionistically like a better timing mechanism), but I think that he learned some thing important from Jose Bautista.  It wouldn't shock me at all if he hits 45 homers or something ridiculous like that in 2018. Second, he really struggled against LHPs last year- striking out in almost exactly one-half his PAs, and with an extremely low ground/air rate.  If things work out for him, I can easily see him as a .270/.330/.550 guy with decent defence in a corner.  That's a good player, if not my favourite balance of skills. 

China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:22 AM EST (#352602) #
And here's a pedantic correction to my bad puns:

Alburquerque is the pitcher's name.

Albuquerque (without the first "r") is the city in New Mexico.

But it shouldn't stop us from enjoying the name.
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:53 AM EST (#352603) #
".....he really struggled against LHPs last year- striking out in almost exactly one-half his PAs, and with an extremely low ground/air rate..."

This is another reason why I think Hernandez could benefit from some additional time in the minors. If he starts in the majors on Opening Day, especially with several other outfielders likely on the major-league roster, it would be very tempting for Gibbons to platoon Hernandez. We might even applaud that decision, since we like Gibby when he remembers the platoon tendencies of various hitters. But it would mean that the Jays aren't giving Hernandez any chance to improve against LHPs. After all, when major-league games are on the line, you don't want to be using Hernandez against LHP -- so he'll never have a chance to improve. He'll be on the bench in those situations.

Hernandez is too young to be a platoon player. Give him some time in the minors and see if he can become a fully rounded hitter.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:53 AM EST (#352604) #
And a pedantic comment to the pedantic correction (!) courtesy of  The city name does come from a Mexican viceroy whose last name was Alburquerque.  It has its origins in the Latin words for white oak.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:58 AM EST (#352605) #
There is no question that deciding what to do with Hernandez is a real judgment call.  Factors that also might go into making a decision include how he does in spring training and what the other options are.  At this point, you've got Granderson in right-field and Carrera/Pearce in left-field.  Hernandez is 25 years old and has 600 PAs in triple A.  I wouldn't send him down in favour of Carrera/Pearce unless he looked lost in spring training. 
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:59 AM EST (#352606) #
I notice, however, that Hernandez did much better against LHP in the majors in 2016 (although that was just 42 plate appearances). He also did pretty well against LHP in the minors in 2016 and 2017. Is it possible that the 2017 major-league splits were a bit of a fluke?
rpriske - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 11:09 AM EST (#352607) #
Al Alburquerque is a decent flyer. No risk, major league upside.
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 11:24 AM EST (#352608) #
"...At this point, you've got Granderson in right-field and Carrera/Pearce in left-field...."

I think it's much more likely to be Granderson/Pearce in left field, and a new acquisition in RF, with Carrera as the 5th outfielder or dropped entirely from the roster. Carrera can be useful as a pinch-hitter, pinch-runner and part-time outfielder, but he shouldn't be handed a regular job, unless the Jays are completely unable to acquire a new outfielder. Upgrading on Carrera in RF should be relatively easy.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 11:25 AM EST (#352609) #
It's certainly possible that the 2017 left-right splits are a fluke, but the K rate against opposite-side pitching is very unusual.  Here are the lefties he faced in 2017; spoiler- he struggled against all types.
Anyways, I suspect that it's not a fluke but an adjustment issue to changes that also resulted in the power spike.  This article suggests that Jacoby made a slight adjustment to his stance, and that too could be it. 

christaylor - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 11:36 AM EST (#352612) #
If signing a guy who has pitched 20 major league innings in the last two years for essentially nothing leads to this song being played during his warmup on the mound, I'm all for it.
uglyone - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 11:39 AM EST (#352613) #
Pearce isn't a platoon player. Just an oft-injured fulltime player. He hit righties better than he hit lefties last year.

Agreed on Hernandez, Mike. In fact, for him it's all about power I think. I find the defense/speed part of his game to not be as advertised. Whereas there have been real signs of power throughout his milb career, and he has a wide frame that will take on plenty more weight/muscle going forward I think.


DSL (18-18): .212
GCL (19-19): .153
A (19-20): .166

not crazy but still a bit of pop from a skinny young kid.

A+ (21-21): .256
AA (21-23): .144
AAA (23-24): .215
MLB (23-24): .261

He kinda got stuck in a rut in AA for a couple years. Probably forced reworked his swing and approach. But other than his time in AA he's shown legit pop as he's gone into his young 20s.

That power, along with a decent patient approach at the plate, is going to be his carrying tool imo, not the speed/defense guy that we thought we were getting.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 11:44 AM EST (#352615) #
Brand Hand & Felipe Rivero both signed extensions - wonder if they could be a template for Osuna
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 12:03 PM EST (#352618) #
I'd like to see Hernandez go into Spring Training and win a spot by forcing the team's hand. However, he still has an option year left and his K rate after the trade last season was bad enough to warrant some reluctance to pencil him into the big league outfield right away. This is one of those situations where you let him fight for a role in ST and improvise from there. I don't see an issue with starting him in AAA along with Alford, DSJ, and Pompey (if he's healthy). Gives him a little more time to work on the adjustments he made with Jacoby and it's not like his big league road is blocked by a bunch of long-term options. He will be up at some point in '18. From there, it's up to him to stay up.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 12:33 PM EST (#352620) #
Was Teoscar Hernandez playing hurt in his callup to Toronto?
He's got stolen base speed, but might not have stolen base judgement. Speed plays anywhere, so where did it go in Toronto? Range is sometimes just better positioning. His Defense should be average or better, so what happened? I'm not sure how strong or accurate his arm, but the D should be there. That's why the Jays picked him.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 12:55 PM EST (#352621) #
I'm a little partial to Robinzon Diaz for Jose Bautista, but that's probably a whole separate category: Luckiest Trades of All Time.

But it wasn't all luck - AA saw Jose on the waiver wire and pressed JPR to acquire him - he saw upside.  Not elite slugger upside, I assume, but AA rarely gets the credit he deserves for that move.

And that deal is an example (best-case, admittedly) of how you can get younger (Jose was around 27 when we got him) without a ton of upper-level prospect depth - shrewd trading.  Nobody is suggesting that it's easy, but there are multiple other approaches to team-building that allow a team to get younger - I mentioned upthread the example of the Yanks using their financial muscle to land the best minor league FAs.  Don't sign vet FAs to raise the floor of the team and you have budget space for Liriano-type salary-dump-with-prospects trades.  Shrewd use of the waiver wire (which Atkins has used on Leone and Guerrieri), signing Asian players like Jung-ho Kang or Junichi Tazawa, or even acquiring big-ticket vets that can be dealt for prospects like the Yanks did with their relievers a season ago. 

In sum, it is entirely realistic to criticize this FO for not achieving one of their stated goals, to get younger and more athletic.  We can also acknowledge that this is a difficult task.  To talk about David Price and Dexter Fowler here is kind of beside the point IMO. 
jerjapan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 01:21 PM EST (#352623) #
And speaking of good young teams, Buffalo currently looks stronger than I can ever recall. 

OF- Hernandez, Alford, Pompey, Smith Jr., Fields
IF - Tellez, Ngoepe, Urena, J-Leb, Berti, Tim Lopes, Gurriel?
C- Jansen, ??

SP - Borucki, Pannone, Guerreri, McGuire, Santos
RP - Alburquerque, Rowley, Murphy Smith, Dermody, Girodo, Stilson, Drew Muren, Andrew Case?

A nice mix of legit prospects, successful minor league soldiers and reclamation projects.  Alburquerque is a great value add - surprised he didn't get a big league guarantee - and I'm happy to see Berti back - if he can solve AAA, he could be in the mix for a spot on the Buffalo shuttle with his speed and versatility.  I assume we will add a Raffy Lopez type depth catcher, and perhaps another minor league veteran pitcher or two if we can find value like with the Al A deal. 

uglyone - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 01:22 PM EST (#352624) #
That looks like a great argument not to spend all this money and assets on bottom of the roster MLBers.
lexomatic - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 01:27 PM EST (#352625) #
That looks like a great argument not to spend all this money and assets on bottom of the roster MLBers.

I understand trying to raise the floor and letting people earn their jobs. Those bottom of the roster jobs should not be blocking anyone.
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 02:43 PM EST (#352631) #
"....Robinzon Diaz for Jose Bautista...'

I remember Robinson Diaz, and I remember my excitement at his progress in the minors, because he seemed to be able to hit at every level. I actually believed he was going to be a good major-league catcher. In retrospect, I realize that was purely because he was a consistent .300 hitter in the minors -- and I didn't know enough about statistics in 2006 to realize that he would need more than a good batting average. He didn't walk much, and he didn't have much power. The Jays were right to trade him.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 02:45 PM EST (#352632) #
Most free agents are typically going to be around or over 30. That's just the way baseball is. The older ones also happen to sign shorter deals, which is what the front office wants to do to mitigate risk. The age of the free agents they have brought in is pretty normal given their objectives. There won't be 24 year old impact free agents out there, and getting players that young via trade who are actually good will require giving up a ton of assets.

The FO has acquired young players since they took over. Off the top of my head there is Biagini (25 at the time), Hernandez (25), Pannone (23), Taylor (19), Diaz (27), McGuire (22), Guerrieri (25), etc. They tried with Sparkman and Refsynder, and both of those failed. They have used every avenue they could use to acquire as much value as they could. The reality is, for the core group of talent to get younger, it will require the minor league system to start churning out talent. We are likely a year or two away from seeing that happening.

The game has changed over the last five years. Teams are more protective of players in the 1-6 years of service category, and as more FO's become sabermetric, the importance of aging curves will start to take over as well (see this year's FA market). Getting players in their 30's will/has become easier. It's getting the younger talent that will take a lot more effort, which is why developing them or acquiring them when they are prospects is the way to go.
bpoz - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 02:54 PM EST (#352633) #
This FO has scored quite well in the June draft and the Int'l signings. So far it is too early to see who makes it and who does not.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 03:14 PM EST (#352634) #
Couldn't agree more with you SK, at the same time I understand Ugly's sentiment, if a little overboard.

Let's pause Ugly's constant criticism for a moment and try to see hard and fast rules that Shapiro/Atkins/Cherington/Lacava may have:

- Jays brass won't trade prospects unless they have excess and the return fills an immediate need (see Solartes deal).

- they don't want long term commitments to players that will fall off a cliff in later years (see CLE team structure exception: Bourn)

- they don't want a full rebuild or waning interest in their parent club (see Bautista 2016 one year deal and "poor man Encarnacion" deal given to Morales)

- they want to make their team more athletic and younger

- they want to maximize their window to compete with a good current core made up of both young guns (Stroman, Osuna, Sanchez, Travis) and veterans that are elite (Donaldson), valuable (Happ, Estrada, Martin, Pearce, Pillar) or prime candidates to rebound to value levels (Tulo)

So... these guys want to eat their cake and have it too, or have their cake and eat it too (Manhunt: Unabomber you get the reference).

So they gotta keep doing what they are doing. BUT, huge caveat here, and this ties back in to Ugly's dismissal of their team building: the free agent market prices have come down enough that the Jays can sign players to better serve and expedite their goals of competing now while leaving the window open for new prospects to graduate while protecting the farm. I agree with Ugly that this regime can't expect to "falsely compete" so to speak while retooling. If signing a Granderson is your big move then you're emphasizing just prospect hoarding and missing value opportunities in free agency to compete now. If they sign a Cain then they satisfy their goals and mandates (from what we can assume). If they sit on the side looking for more 1 year deals akin to Granderson, Howell, Grilli, Smith etc...that needs to be criticized in this market. If no bigger move is made to support their work to date (protecting our prospects and payroll while still trying to compete and stay athletic) then there's no way to defend the criticism that they are dumpster diving, even if they extract value it's still dumpster diving. Aristotle's doctrine of the mean should prevail here. They were willing to offer a deal last year to Fowler that probably gets Cain here now, and they had better options in the OF at that time. Why the hesitation now?
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 03:37 PM EST (#352635) #
Getting young, faster better upgrades in Free Agency is very, very difficult. Those type of Players are either very, very expensive to sign in both dollars and term, or not worth the original Team keeping him; AKA: not very good. It will be a very long time before the Jays get that lucky.

Waiver Claims are another way of getting younger, faster, better. Usually the original Team doesn't want to use a Roster Spot (25-Man or 40-Man) on the Player. Sometimes something was missed by the Original Team. Sometimes "aha I got it!" happens. Sometimes just changing teams makes the difference. Results may vary, but no waiver claim is bad, costs are basically nothing. Minor Leaguer, Bench/Bullpen, Regular Lineup/Starter, Impact Player, any are possible, you just have to get a little lucky too.

This is really the first year the Jays have to get younger, faster, better in a significant way. It remains to see what they do.
uglyone - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 03:52 PM EST (#352637) #
To spend $80m dollars on half a roster worth of players in their mid-to-late 30s worth a total of a couple WAR, and then turn around and shrug "oldest team in the league" to excuse yourself from blame, is chickenpoop.

That's not overboard.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 03:57 PM EST (#352638) #
Really, their only option with respect to need is Cain, who gets you more athletic and improves the team, and on a deal that doesn't hamstring the team.

C Martin/Maile
1B Smoak
DH Morales/Granderson split
2B Travis
3B Donaldson
SS Tulowitzki
RF Cain
CF Pillar
LF Pearce/Solarte

Waiting for call up
C: Jansen
INF: Guerriel
INF: Diaz
OF: Alford
OF: Hernandez

1 year away (2019 debut)
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:21 PM EST (#352641) #
"To spend $80m dollars on half a roster worth of players in their mid-to-late 30s worth a total of a couple WAR, and then turn around and shrug "oldest team in the league" to excuse yourself from blame, is chickenpoop.

That's not overboard."

It is chickenpoop because your facts are wrong. Read the article you keep referencing. In response to Shapiro's "blow it up" comment on the radio, Atkins is simply saying that he is confident they can overcome a non traditional approach (bridging instead of rebuilding) to overcome the age and injury problems of the team last year. Nowhere does he say "the team was old and injured for some reason and it wasn't my fault." Your comment suggesting that he is excusing himself from blame is ridiculous, as is your reading of anything the front office says. NOWHERE does he reference having the oldest team in baseball as an excuse for taking blame. If you read the whole article he actually spends a paragraph waxing poetic about the great job the previous regime did with scouting players...a far cry from excusing himself of blame. You are way overboard in your criticism of this regime. That's okay because it's just an opinion. Not a very strong one imho, but I guess it's still an opinion that's worth trying to persuade. At least I tell myself that every time I find myself explaining the other 95% of what was said every time you misquote the front office. I don't understand how you can balance excellent posts backed by stats and numbers (cherry picked as they may be) on the one hand with half-read, rotten-flower colored glass takes on the other.

Here is an excerpt from the article relating to age on the roster:

"We were talking about the fan base, so I decided to touch on Mark Shapiro’s comments in a recent interview on The Jeff Blair Show. Mark had said that if he were running the team without fans, and it was an intellectual exercise, he probably would’ve hit a reset over a year ago. I knew Atkins might have his own thoughts on this, but I wondered if he could offer some insight into Shapiro’s thought process:

I think that is acknowledging everything that I just said. One aspect of it that maybe is not said in that statement is that we have expedited a level of confidence in our player development, high performance, and scouting international pro and amateur teams. And what I mean by expedited is that if you would have told me two years ago that I would have the level of confidence in our cohesiveness, our collaboration, in our collective values aligning across all of those departments, I would have told you that would be very soon. But it is palpable how quickly it’s happening in baseball operations, and because of that, we feel like we can overcome a non-traditional approach to bridging the gap with the oldest position player roster in baseball and a team that was not able to overcome the injuries that we had last year. So the intellectual exercise part is suggesting that because of the age of our roster, because of where we are with some of our contracts, because of where the Yankees and the Red Sox are, it might make some sense to consider to do a reset at this time to start that sooner than later. But he’s acknowledging that this isn’t our team, this is the fans’ team and what the fans want right now is a real piece to the equation. But the second part of it or the first part of it that I just mentioned is the part that gives us the confidence to be able to overcome that. To overcome what the Cubs and the Houston Astros and their approach of having a very hard reset and going through some very very difficult years was coming off a different set of expectations."
dan gordon - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:22 PM EST (#352642) #
Alburquerque is a really nice add to the bullpen candidates. He has done a very good job of limiting hits over his career, with only 187 allowed in 245 career IP. The issue that has been holding him back is walks. You often find that with guys like him who strike out a lot of batters. Because their stuff is so hard to hit, they go deeper into the count, and that leads to more walks.

Assuming the Jays bring a true 5th starter on board, and Biagini is a reliever, the bullpen looks to be stocked with a lot of good candidates, with Osuna, Biagini, Tepera, Barnes, Loup, Leone, Ramirez, Dermody, Alburquerque and Mayza all having legit shots.

I am expecting Granderson to platoon in left with Pearce. Granderson has very large platoon splits, and Pearce has a career OPS 100 points higher vs lefties, so is a good platoon partner. Should help to keep Pearce healthy as well. If they don't sign another OF, you've got an interesting fight among Carrera, Hernandez, Alford, Pompey and maybe Diaz for playing time in right. Could also be a platoon for Carrera and one of the righties. Of course, if Hernandez hits even close to what Mike is suggesting, there will be no doubt who the RF is. I am skeptical Hernandez is that good, but it would be great to see. You'd have to add that to the list of best Blue Jay trades ever.
PeterG - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:23 PM EST (#352643) #
How does anyone know if Cain, or any other FA, is willing to sign in TO . FO is restricted to those players who are willing. Without that information, criticism of the FO on that score is misleading.
PeterG - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:37 PM EST (#352645) #
Ben Cherington coming up next on PTS.
uglyone - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:43 PM EST (#352647) #
just gotta be able to read through the corporate babble, dalimon.

"Q: Mark had said that if he were running the team without fans, and it was an intellectual exercise, he probably would’ve hit a reset over a year ago. I knew Atkins might have his own thoughts on this, but I wondered if he could offer some insight into Shapiro’s thought process:

A: .....we feel like we can overcome a non-traditional approach to bridging the gap with the oldest position player roster in baseball and a team that was not able to overcome the injuries that we had last year. So the intellectual exercise part is suggesting that because of the age of our roster, because of where we are with some of our contracts, because of where the Yankees and the Red Sox are, it might make some sense to consider to do a reset at this time to start that sooner than later."

So what we're seeing is Atkins paddling furiously to get Shapiro out of poop's creek on that hilarious "i want to rebuild but the fans just won't let me" statement.

The key here is the very specific words he used. There's a big difference between talking about an aging core, which he inherited, and talking about THE OLDEST ROSTER IN THE LEAGUE, something which he is ENTIRELY responsible for, but in this case mentions to justify his boss' rebuild statement. That catchy phrase was deliberately inserted in there as a ready made excuse.

he turned a very good core into the oldest team in the league via deliberate decision making process in which he determined that old players were the best chance to get bang for his buck. he's not allowed to pretend this was beyond their control.

and let's not forget that when Shapiro said "hit the reset a year ago", that means hitting the reset immediately after back to back ALCS appearances. that's when Shapiro wanted to hit the reset button. And if he was really being honest, he'd admit he wanted to hit the reset button the day he took the job.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:47 PM EST (#352648) #
Gift Ngoepe and Brett Lawrie were born on this day in 1990 on (almost exactly) opposite sides of the world.
China fan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 04:52 PM EST (#352650) #
"....Assuming the Jays bring a true 5th starter on board, and Biagini is a reliever...."

My guess is that Biagini starts the season in the Buffalo rotation, unless the Jays fail to acquire a legitimate 5th starter. Why? Because he's more valuable to the organization as a starter, and the Jays need to maintain his potential as a starter until he proves that he can't really do it. Moreover, he provides excellent depth for the major-league rotation if he's available in Buffalo -- he would become the 6th starter. I don't think he switches back to the bullpen until the Jays are convinced that he can't be a starter.

It's likely that the Jays acquire another free-agent reliever before Opening Day, perhaps in the $3-million range, like they did last year. It's true that the bullpen looks pretty good right now -- but there is always regression from one or two relievers every year. Last year it was Grilli and Howell. We assumed that both of those guys would be good relievers, and they were not. Every year there are a couple of relievers who are unexpectedly bad. So the Jays need to plan for that scenario. And it's too early to be confident in Ramirez, Mayza, Dermody etc. Yes, one or two of them could take another step forward and realize their potential, but it would be foolhardy to assume it will happen. It would be nice to slot Biagini in there, and he would certainly be useful in the bullpen, but it's more likely that the Jays acquire an outside candidate for bullpen depth.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 05:44 PM EST (#352652) #
Yes, you absolutely have to expect at least one or two of those bullpen guys will not perform well this year, hopefully not 4 or 5 of them. That's part of the reason why I think Biagini will be in the bullpen. He has done a great job there, and can be a very important piece of the puzzle in that role. The Buffalo rotation could be a real strength this year, with Borucki, Pannone, Guerrieri, Rowley, Santos, McGuire, and I expect one or two should be able to provide big league help, so I'm not as focused on attempting to turn Biagini into a starter as rotation depth. I can certainly understand wanting to try it, though, and I believe Biagini himself wants to start.
PeterG - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 06:04 PM EST (#352653) #
I don't think Biagini will be in the pen. He was expected to lose weight and improve conditioning in order to prepare for a starting role. Barring the unforeseen, he is almost certainly slated to begin the season as a starter in Buffalo.

Here is an interesting read on pace of play changes:
jerjapan - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 06:07 PM EST (#352654) #
I'm sure Biagini would rather earn the extra 500K by being in the bigs.  Keeping him in Buffalo seemed odd to me last year when we debated it, but at least at that point it was clear that our AAA starting depth was a bunch of retreads.  This year Buffalo is much improved, and if you count Rowley, runs six starters deep.  Not to mention SRF, Greene and Harris in NH.  If we use the improve / stand pat / regress concept, one of those guys should be worthy of time in the Buffalo pen.  I'd rather a spring invite or two for a competition with Biagini and the rookies (none of whom seem ready at this point) to signing a Brett Anderson.  If you can get a legit starter, do it.

Otherwise, the FO should be focused signing one of the mid-range FAs who have seen their market evaporate - Cain continues to be a perfect fit here IMO.  I agree completely with Dalimon's comment:  "If they sit on the side looking for more 1 year deals akin to Granderson, Howell, Grilli, Smith etc...that needs to be criticized in this market".  With inflation, the rising Canadian dollar, increased ticket prices and a run of fantastic fan support, not surpassing last year's budget seems a cheapskate move. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#352655) #
Ugly, include the entire quote in your post rather than leaving out the parts that prove contrary to your argument. You left out the 2nd half of it where Atkins says that was you quoted is not the case.

Also, Shapiro is saying "IF" it was purely an intellectual exercise. You're the one peddling. Just own the troll crown you've earned since AA left.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 06:47 PM EST (#352656) #
Joe Biagini has shown he can Start, but he's a bit erratic doing it. He'll most likely be in Buffalo relearning how to Start. That shouldn't take long. If he can consistently Start as he's shown, he'll be a long term solution for the Rotation going forward. Ryan Borucki and made the move to Buffalo inevitable with he performance last year. He's as close to MLB-ready as any Starter in the Minors. Thomas Pannone thrived last year in New Hampshire and is ready to move up. He was acquired for a Major Leaguer so should be given every attempt at/for success with his ability. Taylor Guerrieri has been a success at every level he pitches at. He just has a wee problem with staying healthy, which got him placed on waivers by Tampa Bay. He's ready to take his next step. He's ready for Buffalo.

That makes four Pitchers who could play a significant role with the Jays' Rotation for the foreseeable future.
PeterG - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 06:50 PM EST (#352657) #
Jerjapan, Biagini has said on several occasions that he would prefer to start even if that means going to Buffalo. That is the present plan. Of course, plans can always change but I would be highly surpised, barring injuries, if he does not begin the season in the Bisons rotation.
grjas - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:09 PM EST (#352658) #
The reality is we are seeing the team transition from one strategy- run and gun under AA- to another - scout and develop under the new FO. The FO is honest in saying they’d have rather moved immediately to the new strategy but the team had built too much excitement with the fan base. So the current approach is to transition strategies over a couple of years hoping that tinkering will keep us competitive for another year.

Will it work long term. Time will tell if they have the skills. Can it work? Absolutely. It’s the same strategy that the Pat Gillick team used in the early 90s. A strategy that developed the best run of a sports team in the city’s history.

So may be we can give the FO a few years to see if they produce.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 09:23 PM EST (#352659) #
If they view Biagini as a SP, then I see no reason to use him as a reliever at all this season. Let him either start the year in the big league rotation (if he wins a spot) or in the Buffalo rotation where he can remain stretched out for when a need arises. I am not a fan of flip flopping a pitcher's role very often. They used him in the pen in 2016 because he was a Rule 5 pick and he surprised everyone. Now see if he can be a passable 5th starter. If not, he can always move back to the pen down the road.
bpoz - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:38 AM EST (#352660) #
Agreed the FO is doing a transition strategy. AAA and AA have a lot of prospects that are arriving. Many are on the 40 man roster so they can go up and down as required based on opportunities arising.

It will be fun to see who nails down major league jobs.
Jevant - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 10:49 AM EST (#352661) #
This makes me both smile (random baseball related fact that is interesting/funny) and frown (Brett Lawrie out of baseball completely at 28...that's just plain sad).
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:08 AM EST (#352662) #
"Ugly, include the entire quote in your post rather than leaving out the parts that prove contrary to your argument. You left out the 2nd half of it where Atkins says that was you quoted is not the case.

Also, Shapiro is saying "IF" it was purely an intellectual exercise. You're the one peddling. Just own the troll crown you've earned since AA left."

Just answer this question, then:

When Russ referred to the "oldest team in baseball" as a bad thing, was he criticizing his own roster building ability?
Glevin - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:16 AM EST (#352663) #
"he turned a very good core into the oldest team in the league via deliberate decision making process in which he determined that old players were the best chance to get bang for his buck."

Lol. Very good core?

Bautista was 35 and Encarnacion 33 with one year left on their contracts. Martin 33 and Tulo 31 making $20M a year each. Donaldson was literally the only offensive asset with a longer-term contract. The Jays had 3 starting pitchers under contract. Stroman who made 4 starts the year before, Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez who made 11 starts in his career. They had a bottom 5-10 system. Somehow, you are suggesting that Shapiro should have taken this old team with almost no assets and no talent anywhere near the majors (less value from youth than any team in baseball in this period) and a ton of holes that needed fixing via free agency and turned them into a young team.

You're a troll. Especially when you are the one who was banging the drum to extend Bautista and Encarnacion, to sign David Price, and now to go after every expensive old free agent. You keep pushing the team to get more expensive and older and then criticize the front office for getting old. People like you show me what a good job Shapiro is actually doing because if the Jays followed your path, they would have missed the playoffs in 2016 and would now be saddled with 2 or 3 of the worst contracts in baseball for years.
China fan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:21 AM EST (#352664) #
Even if we strongly disagree with some of Uglyone's arguments, it's not at all fair to call him a troll. Let's stick to the data, please. (Which he generally does, even if we might sometimes feel that he is misinterpreting the data.)
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:28 AM EST (#352666) #
"Lol. Very good core?"

Back to back ALCS with next to no longterm payroll committments says what are you laughing at, exactly?

SK in NJ - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:54 AM EST (#352667) #
That 2016 playoff appearance was in large part due to the 7 wins the front office added via Estrada, Happ, and two months of Liriano. Obviously other things broke right like Sanchez's development, but the current FO had a hand in making the 2016 team as good as it was. It's not like they inherited a can't-miss roster. One misstep, maybe re-signing Price or signing Zimmermann instead of Happ/Estrada, could have turned things sour in a hurry, short and long term.

The FO inherited a roster with a one year window (2016). That's not a knock on the previous regime, that's reality. The fact that they haven't gotten significantly younger since then is more about the existing roster not having much in the upper minors the past two seasons and free agency generally being an old man's game due to how baseball free agency is structured. Once the team's prospects filter up to AAA, and some of them have already or are close, then you'll start seeing a younger roster happening organically.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:07 PM EST (#352668) #
Funny people keep ragging on Price. When he was worth 4.4fwar in 2016, more than either happ or estrada.

and what did all that money savings get us? a $140m payroll, with $10-20m spent on the likes of Liriano, Upton, Storen, Grilli, Feldman.
Parker - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:28 PM EST (#352669) #
Funny people keep ragging on Price. When he was worth 4.4fwar in 2016, more than either happ or estrada.

I can't find any of your posts advocating for the Jays to sign Price to a one-year contract.
christaylor - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:37 PM EST (#352670) #
I read a rumor that said the Jays offered Price a 1 year $35M contract. If that rumor was true (hint: it isn't) the 2016 team would have been great and not need all those terrible, terrible, terrible but valuable ancillary pieces to function.
Mike Green - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:44 PM EST (#352671) #
Scott Spratt has a pretty convincing statistical comment on Estrada's tough stretch from May-July.  Spratt suggests that loss of control is what you would expect from sleep issues, and there is pretty clear evidence of a loss of control out of context with anything in the last 6 years from Estrada.  Subjectively, I believe that Spratt is right.  I once saw Andres Gallarraga in spring training look absolutely out of sorts.  I thought that he had some undisclosed injury, but it turned out that he had a newborn and wasn't sleeping. 

Anyways, I'd be talking to Estrada now about an extension for 2019.  I'd prefer to deal with things out-of-season with him, so the deadline isn't an issue.  And I have confidence that he's going to be good for a couple of years.  I imagine that he really wants to stay. 
SK in NJ - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:48 PM EST (#352672) #
Price signed for seven years, not one. He signed for $217M, while Estrada and Happ combined signed for $62M (adding in Estrada's 2018 extension brings it up to $75M). You can't just ignore many years and over $150M in total salary to make a one year comparison. Regardless, for a team with a shot at winning in 2016, the FO put them in position to do it with their moves that off-season. Even the ones that failed (Storen) were corrected (Benoit). Without those types of moves, the 2016 Jays may not have made the playoffs. The offensive decline of the core group had already started to show up by then.
bpoz - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:53 PM EST (#352673) #
This sounds ridiculous but the FO is building a mediocre team that is capable of winning the 2nd WC. If you are close and a number of teams will be, then they are all in a post season race. Fan interest generating revenue.
Win the WC game and continue on to the WS championship.

If Stroman, Shanchez, Happ and Estrada are healthy for the playoffs, I prefer them to Price winning the playoff games.
Price has a poor playoff history I believe.

Martin and Maile will be better playoff catchers based on superior defense than NYY's G Sanchez.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:56 PM EST (#352674) #
Yeah, I'd still bet on Price going forward. He was injured last year, but great when he was healthy. I'm sure he'll be great this year too, and for the next few years.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 01:00 PM EST (#352675) #
Stop beating the dead horse again. This will be always be an older team, because the younger players always want more money and more term. Not every team can continually pay the prices wanted. The Jays won't stay the oldest team because of how the Jays developed their options.

Russell Martin and Luke Maile are the Jays' Catchers. Their most likely relief/replacement will be two near MLB-Ready 22 year-olds, Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire. Both I think will be ready.

The Outfield is a work in progress. Whether Teoscar Hernandez is the Right Fielder or some one else, he and others are MLB-Ready to come up. Teoscar (25), Anthony (23), Dwight (25) and Dalton (25) should do well.

The Infield is where the most needs are. Upgrades at Middle Infield relief are very welcome but it doesn't stop there. Aledmys Diaz (27) is MLB-Ready and could very well make the Roster. Richard Urena (21) is MLB-Ready. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (24) is closer to being MLB-Ready and Gift Ngoepe (28) is ready if needed.

Joe Biagini (27) is MLB-Ready, although where he starts is the question. LHP Ryan Borucki (23) is near MLB-Ready and LHP Thomas Pannone (23) is almost as close. Both Righties Sean Reid-Foley (22), Taylor Guerrieri (25) and Conner Greene (22) will certainly get called.

The Jays will be getting younger, as soon as this year and will continue year after year. The Kids will earn their spots, not all do and some will be traded.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 01:18 PM EST (#352676) #
I'm surprised Estrada's extension was only for a year. Even if the team starts to rebuild/retool after 2018, they will still need someone to eat up innings. If he has another good season in 2018, it wouldn't surprise me if they work out another extension. The 2019 rotation is looking naked.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 01:50 PM EST (#352677) #
J.A. Happ ($13.0 MM), Marco Estrada ($13.0 MM), Josh Donaldson ($23.0 MM), Steve Pearce ($6.25 MM), Curtis Granderson ($5.0 MM) and Aaron Loup ($1.8125 MM) are potentially Free Agents after this season. That's possibly $62.0 Million in (Budget) Cap Space next year, and possibly two massive acquisitions could be made.

Russell Martin ($20.0 MM), Kendrys Morales ($12.0 MM) and Ezequiel Carrera ($1.9 MM) are potentially Free Agents after the 2019 Season. That's possibly $33.9 Million in Cap Space that year, and possibly one massive acquisition could be made.

If the Jays can spend all that they need to get what they need this year, possibilities abound going forward.
scottt - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:11 PM EST (#352678) #
Estrada loves Toronto. He was losing sleep over the possibility of being traded to a contender. He's always on the caravan that goes to Vancouver in the winter even though he's never played there. I would not be shocked if he asked for Canadian citizenship at some point. Heck, I could see him as an instructor teaching the changeup down the line.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:15 PM EST (#352679) #
And the Yelich rumors persist. Latest from MTR suggests that Miami has notified Yelich and his agent that they will field offers but cannot guarantee a trade. MTR also reporting that the Marlins have lowered their asking price on Yelich to more realistic levels after being rebuffed by at least the Braves and Acuna (their Guerrero).

Gotta think an offer can be made (and from an AL team) that suits the Marlins asking price. Who's absolutely off the table (not what we want but who you really don't think the FO will trade)? Vlad and Bichette?

Here's a proposal of AA/AAA caliber players the Marlins could bite at:

Alford/Pearson/Reid Foley/Guerriel /Greene or Borucki or Pannone

Does that offer get it done? Is it an overpay? Would an offer minus the extreme high upside of Pearson get it done?

I like Richard's idea of a massive acquisition in FA 2019. but two things:

1) You're gonna have to line up behind at least 5 bigger market teams to get a crack at drawing that talent here. I don't think Toronto gets a chance at Harper, Machado or Kershaw. They'll be looking at overpaying to get Pollock or Dozier here. Not really our front office's MO.

2) You can have one of the 4 elite players signed long term now in Donaldson. Hopefully it's already done and will be announced at Winter Fest tomorrow where Donaldson will be making an appearance. Usually we don't get MLB stars coming to these events, maybe a Pillar but that's as best it's been. So kind of odd for JD to be there, then again this year the Jays opened the event to the public and charged money, so that would be a simple explanation as well.

What is the best realistic proposal that you think the Marlins would accept with the following parameters:

1) no other contracts coming back to Toronto to dump payroll
2) no other players coming back to TOR, just Yelich
3) using the trades already completed as a guide of cost + overpay of 10% because Marlins are in a weak public position now, and that 10% increase in capital is on top of any increase due to the skill and contract benefits of Yelich.

I'm honestly really curious how Beauxites view the cost for a Yelich. I can see a majority not supporting it once we get a realistic consensus of prospect capital.
bpoz - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:23 PM EST (#352680) #
Thanks Richard I really needed to see those calculations because they were hiding in the back of my mind. $96 mil. After 2020 Tulo gone $ 20 mil.

A lot or some of that money will have to go to Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna and possibly Smoak. Estrada too may earn short term deals for similar money as mentioned by SK.

The question then becomes who replaces the departing FAs that don't resign with the Jays. Your list of MLB ready or close is good. It has quality.
In addition Vlad, Bo, Zeuch and Pearson look promising for 2019/20 challenges.

Tellez is the lone 1b/DH hopeful.

Any talk/hope of Osuna becoming a starter is low I suppose.

Injuries are always a problem. For us and everyone else.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:29 PM EST (#352681) #
I firmly believe the Jays must acquire Christian Yelich. He's exactly the type of Player the Jays are always dreaming after. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should never be traded. Bo Bichette on the other hand would headline any trade package for top talent, which is what Yelich is. Add whatever is needed and get the job done. I'm still of the belief Kevin Pillar isn't good enough to be a Starting Outfielder.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:31 PM EST (#352682) #
I, personally, am not dreaming of giving up a bunch of our top prospects for a 4war corner OF.
scottt - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:39 PM EST (#352683) #
Price has been close to 1 HR per start with Boston. I'm expecting this trend to continue.
Nobody's arguing that he's opting out. Not the way the market is heading now.

jerjapan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:42 PM EST (#352684) #
I'm not a trade-value pro by any means, but that proposal seems high to me Dalimon.  Arguably five of the top ten prospects in a top-tenish system.  2-3 of those guys may be top 100 prospects by the end of the season.  Take Pearson out and I think we are talking fair value, with the caveat that Miami may want more than fair value.

PeterG, I hadn't heard that about Biagini, interesting.  That speaks of either self-confidence / a total team-first attitude or the guy really believes in himself.  Good for him. 

Alburquerque liklely doesn't bode well for a bunch of other veteran FAs.  Who would you guys take a flier on with a minor league deal, or sign to a cheap, incentive-laden contract? 

I'd consider a backup catcher like Ryan Hanigan, Carlos Ruiz or AJ Ellis, veteran right relievers like Uehara, Dustin McGowan, Bud Norris, Seung Hwan Oh (mostly for that awesome 'final boss' nickname) and lefty relievers like Tony Watson or Liriano - who could compete for a spot in the rotation as well.  Veteran starters like Ubaldo Jiminez or Anibel Sanchez might need to aim for a reliever roleA starter like Jason Vargas or John Lackey could be good value with the right term.  And Hutch certain had more success here than in PIT - perhaps a reclamation project? 

Apologies if I missed any transactions.  Thoughts?

dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:45 PM EST (#352685) #
Well they are said to be looking for AA/AAA caliber prospects so that limits the lottery prospects lower down the organization leagues.

The proposals don't have Vlad or Bichete who are our top prospects. I don't think the rest of the guys are considered top prospects except maybe Alford who is still a rung down from the other two. But it's true, Yelich is a 4 WAR player right now. There's over 50 players that had better WAR in MLB right now. So this acquisition makes sense only if you factor in the below market contract that he has. If you look simply at WAR it's not as attractive. Then again, if you need to give up 25-30years of quality service time in terms of prospects in order to get him then it kind of defeats the purpose.

Ugly, if you wanted Yelich or were tasked with creating the offer, one that you think would 100% be accepted by the Marlins and Jays, what would it be?
Nigel - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:46 PM EST (#352686) #
I also think the juiced ball and awful OF defence got into Estrada's head last year. Of course, I can offer no proof of that. However, he sure looked like he was pitching to avoid contact when he was really struggling. Anyway, I'd love to see the Jays try and work out extensions for both Stroman and Estrada. I don't see either happening but I think both are good bets (in Stroman's case, over the long term, and in Estrada's case, for 2019/20).
dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:50 PM EST (#352687) #

I wanted the Jays to go after Smyly but that's done now. I would go for Brett Anderson, Cahill or Vargas before any of the other names on your list. If Pannone, Borucki, Guerrieri are ready then there isn't as much of a need for a younger pitcher like Anderson.

But, if you sign Anderson and he does well, then you can ship use him to replace a departing Happ in the following year, and you can use some of your depth for a trade or injury support.

I like Vargas because I've seen him dominate the Jays too many times. He's the type of acquisition that is perfect as a bridge until his replacement is ready and can move into long bullpen relief when that happens if he isn't toast by then.

PeterG - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:53 PM EST (#352688) #
No way the Jays should change course and give up a top prospect package for Yelich. This is one case where I have to agree 100% with Ugly.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 02:59 PM EST (#352689) #
Does the brass value cost per WAR or prospect capital more? Do they prefer to pay an aging player like Cain in years 3,s and maybe 5 or to have lottery gambles in their 2018 line up (Granderson, Pearce et all)?

Normally I think we can see they prefer the overall safety of keeping prospects and risking the short term success for the future. But I'm not so sure since the Solarte deal and Atkins' open comments about the immense attraction that Yelich offers to "every team in baseball." I remember last year Atkins made comments on the radio about the value of a free agent like Pearce before they signed him.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 03:03 PM EST (#352690) #

I'm proposing an offer that does not include Bo or Vlad. By definition the rest of the prospects listed can't be top prospects relative to those two players. So when you say you wouldn't trade top prospects for Yelich, do you mean Bo and Vlad or just any of our upper prospects that are attractive to other teams.

Imagine if Stroman was signed for another 4-5 years at a ridiculously good contract and he requested a trade. Would you think it fair for the other team not to offer at least some of their top prospects or at least a bundle of their next rung down prospects?
dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 03:22 PM EST (#352691) #
Here's a different try. 3 years ago the Jays traded for Josh Donaldson who was worth over 6WAR that season he was traded.

Josh Donaldson (6+WAR)


2014 Top Prospects for Toronto
Aaron Sanchez
Daniel Norris
Marcus Stroman
Roberto Osuna

Jays should be able to offer something similar minus Lawrie since Yelich is not a 6WAR player like Donaldson was.

I'm on board with Richard, Yelich is the guy we should be targeting so long as we don't give up Bo or Vlad.

Pearson, Alford, Warmoth, Guerriel, Pannone


dalimon5 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 03:24 PM EST (#352692) #
Two new links since the Yelich postings:
PeterG - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 03:35 PM EST (#352693) #
Dalimon, it is my view that Yelich is substantially overrated, perhaps due to a team friendly contract, more than his baseball skill. Some team will overpay for him. I would prefer that it not be the Jays and I highly doubt that it would be. Alford and Pearson would certainly be on my list of top prospects. I would not wish to deal too high a volume of depth prospects either. I am not going to stress over it, however, as I think the odds of the Jays trading for Yelich are somewhere between 0-5% and to get to the latter, the Marlins asking price would have to come down substantially.

To me, it makes no sense to trade prospects when there are so many FA's available at lesser than expected prices.
Noah - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:20 PM EST (#352694) #
Well hello Randal Grichuk!
pubster - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#352714) #
"Funny people keep ragging on Price. When he was worth 4.4fwar in 2016, more than either happ or estrada."

Price was worth 4.4 war in 2016
Happ was worth 3.2 war
Estrada was worth 3.0 war.

Price earned $30 million in 2016.
Estrada earned $11 million.
Happ earned $10 million.

Not sure how you can spin that the Jays would have been better off signing Price over Estrada + Happ.
pubster - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:50 PM EST (#352716) #
Price was worth 1.5 war in 2017
Happ was worth 2.9 war
Estrada was worth 2.6 war.

Price earned $30 million in 2017.
Estrada earned $14 million.
Happ earned $13 million.

Uglyone you're a better poster than this!
mathesond - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 07:14 PM EST (#352739) #
But, would Price + (another pitcher) have provided more value than Happ & Estrada?
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 08:40 PM EST (#352742) #
you're right pubster we may not have got all the way up 76 wins last year with price instead of happ/estrada.
pubster - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:40 PM EST (#352746) #
"you're right pubster we may not have got all the way up 76 wins last year with price instead of happ/estrada."

1. 76 wins is more reason that its good not to be locked into Price.

2. In 2016 the Jays went to the semi-finals with Happ/Estrada. That same post season Price had an ERA of 13.50.
pubster - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:48 PM EST (#352747) #
Also in the 2016 playoffs Happ had a 2.70 era, and Estrada had an era of 2.01.

Happ and Estrada have thrown 32 playoff innings in the past 2 seasons. Price has thrown only 9, and I believe only 3 as a starter.

To this point in the contract, I don't think there's any metric that indicates signing Price would have been better than signing Estrada + Happ.
pubster - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:54 PM EST (#352749) #
"But, would Price + (another pitcher) have provided more value than Happ & Estrada?"

It obviously depends on who the other pitcher is.

However Price's salary has been greater than Happ and Estrada's combined salary. So really for $30 million the Jays could have had Price or they could have had Happ + Estrada + about a $6 million player.

So I think for a truly fair comparison on how to better spend $30 million, you would have to add another player with Happ and Estrada and not with Price.
Glevin - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 07:34 AM EST (#352758) #
""Funny people keep ragging on Price. When he was worth 4.4fwar in 2016, more than either happ or estrada."

Price was worth 4.4 war in 2016
Happ was worth 3.2 war
Estrada was worth 3.0 war."

WAR is not a perfect stat but when it comes to pitchers is a downright messy one. FG pitcher WAR is based on FIP which is basing a player's value on what should have theoretically happened. It would be akin to making player WAR based on BABIP luck. FIP is a pretty good indicator of future value but it does not reflect actual results at all. And to show how awful pitching WAR can be. It is impossible justifying any system where Price is graded as more valuable than Happ over the last two years. Happ has better ERA, better adjusted ERA, more innings, and if you like old-school stats, more wins. Add to that that over the last 2 seasons, the Red Sox have had an elite defense and the Jays have had a mediocre one . There is no team that would take Price's 16/17 over Happ's. Happ had better numbers in more innings in a worse situation for pitchers.

Anyway, if you go to BR War which is flawed but at least bases it on actual results and not theory, Price had 4.8 WAR in the last 2 years and Happ and Estrada combined for 13.8. So, the Jays gained 9 WAR and saved $10M a year and don't have an albatross of a contract for the next five years either. Price will probably have another couple of very good years but the Jays made the right choice in not re-signing him and made a couple of amazing signings for less money and less commitment.
scottt - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 09:06 AM EST (#352766) #
Image the Jays trade for Happ instead of Price in 2015. The prospect cost is probably half.
Blue Jays Sign Curtis Granderson: A Shallow Dive | 205 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.