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The Jays have acquired Randall Grichuk from the Cardinals for Conner Greene and Dominic Leone.

Grichuk is a 26 year old who has three and a half years to major league experience. By WAR last year was Grichuk's worst, his WAR was 1.4 vs. 2.2 and 3.1 previously. By dealing Leone the Jays are dealing from depth, especially with the Albuquerque signing yesterday. Greene could be a good starter or could be a reliever. The Jays trade a prospect whose future is uncertain for an outfielder whose future performance is uncertain. Could this be called a challenge trade?

Grichuk will be paid $2.6M this year, his first year of arbitration. Leone will make $1.1M in 2018 so this is a $1.5M hit to the Jays budget.


Randall Grichuk Trade | 391 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:26 PM EST (#352695) #
First thought is 'so'? 3 years of control is nice. 2 years ago would've been unable to get after a 276/329/548 season at 23 but just 238/285/473 last year at 25. Bats right. Maybe a platoon partner in the OF? Played in LF/RF/CF last year so useful but not a 'wow' guy at this point. Like the last few someone who showed a lot more recently but has fallen on hard times. Cost was small.
christaylor - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#352696) #
A pitch-perfect move. Worst case scenario -- hurt. Best case scenario his age 23 season but a 150 games of it. Middle scenario -- a Colby Rasmus doppelganger. Nothing not to love here.
PeterG - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#352697) #
There have to be follow up deals. Jays have too many OF's. Am not surprised to see Greene go as that has been rumoured since last spring....a bit surprised to see Leone moved. In a vacuum, this does not look good to me but will reserve judgement until we seed what follows. Can Grichuk cover centre? Could this mean Pillar will be traded next?
christaylor - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:30 PM EST (#352698) #
DFAing Pillar would be fine with me.
Glevin - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:30 PM EST (#352699) #
Not the biggest Grichuk fan but he's a decent major league starter and Greene and Leone is a light price to pay. Jays now have Grichuk, Pillar, Granderson, Pillar, Zeke, and Pearce for the OF. They'll have to get rid of one of them. Hernandez, Alford, and Pompey waiting in the wings suddenly means Jays have very good OF depth and a much better OF and IF than last year (Adding Granderson, Grichuk, Diaz, and Solarte while losing Goins, Bautista, and Barney.).
Paul D - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:32 PM EST (#352700) #
Pillar was an almost 3 WAR player last year, versus Grichuk's 1. DFA'ing him would be a very bad idea.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:34 PM EST (#352701) #
Jays now have Grichuk, Pillar, Granderson, Pillar, Zeke, and Pearce for the OF.

I say we trade 1 Pillar, and keep the other one :-)
Glevin - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:34 PM EST (#352702) #
DFAing Pillar would be idiotic. Zeke seems like most likely player to be jettisoned.
Thomas - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#352703) #
I absolutely would not be fine with DFAing Pillar. Hr was worth 2.8 WAR last year. What has gotten into some people with regards to Pillar?
youngid - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#352704) #
Price is right - great time to move Leone, he pitched often in low pressure situations and rarely faced the heart of the opponents' lineup, which I think was what let him put up great stats. I think he's a league average reliever going forward, which isn't worth much. I was never a Conner Greene fan, so I like this deal quite a bit.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#352705) #
Randall Grichuk 26, 6'1"205 is in his last pre-arb year so he's dirt cheap. He bats right which is unfortunate with career numbers of: .249 AVG, .297 OBP, .488 SLG., doesn't hit and doesn't walk. He has a .986 Fielding % with 9 errors in Four Seasons.
Mike Green - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:36 PM EST (#352706) #
It's a funny trade to be making if you are not going to extend Donaldson.  One or both of Leone and Greene will probably be adding value to a club 3 years from now when Guerrero Jr., Bichette and the rest ought to be coming into their own.  I personally like Leone more than Greene, and think that he's going to be very good for quite a few years. 

I guess you'd say that (absent the extension), it's a mushy middle trade.  Aiming for 83-85 wins to keep fans interested, with a medium term cost, but not really going for it.  If they extend Donaldson, I have a different and more positive view of it.  At this point, it seems unlikely.

Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:37 PM EST (#352707) #
Sorry hit wrong key.
lexomatic - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:38 PM EST (#352708) #
With the value of relievers, I'm surprised at what Grichuck cost. Greene with the big gun and headcase, I've always thought of as a better trade piece than future contributor. I just figured it would be for a bigger move.
While I haven't kept up with the bullpen candidates,  the cost of replacing Leone, would seem higher than what he returned.
I don't really have a problem with Grichuck, he seems exactly like what the team was wanting - someone who could be a placeholder, doesn't cost much money, and ultimately would still have value in a bench role as the prospects finally make their move.
This offseason has been all about raising the floor of the team. The prospects have to earn their way on, and if they do there's a fallback if they aren't ready. If everything goes right there's a distant shot at the playoffs (I'm not expecting it), but mostly the team shouldn't suck. He seems to be decent defensively too.
I have mixed feelings. I think this pretty much guarantees Hernandez starts in AAA. It feels like Carrera will be the 4th(5th OF?) or gone.

uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:38 PM EST (#352709) #
well, another guy projected as a 1war guy this year (albeit in limited atbats), so fits the M.O.

but he has power and legit fielding, so i kind of like him.

also probably smart to sell high on Leone, just because RP are RP.

Greene seemingly not considered much of a prospect anymore, which i agree with, even though some offseason rankings still rated him for some reason.

i kinda like this move, even though it's not shooting for the stars. i worry a bit about leone being legit. more likely to be hendriks redux though.

more exciting for me is that this seems to force them into making more moves now for real.
vw_fan17 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:39 PM EST (#352710) #
Might Grichuk be someone to give back in a Yelich trade? Average player with past upside, making league minimum?

Something like: Grichuk (or Hernandez) + 2-3 prospects (not named Vlad or Bo)?

vw_fan17 - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:42 PM EST (#352711) #
Never mind, I see he's into his arb years, $2.6 this year..
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:42 PM EST (#352712) #
It's possible he was hurt/playing hurt last year as his splits are relatively the same career-wise.
PeterG - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#352713) #
There is an open spot on 40 man now. There will be soon more as Jays must trade at least one incumbent OF. There will be additional moves in the coming days.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:47 PM EST (#352715) #
Not surprised at acquiring Grichuk. He hits the ball very hard (something this FO targets quite a bit with Smoak, Bruce, Morales, etc), and hits a ton of line drives and fly balls. This seems like the type of trade where the player has enough good qualities and is young enough to possibly have another gear in him. If they can fix Grichuk's plate discipline even a little bit, he has a chance to improve offensively. The power seems real and the profile is intriguing. Plus he can actually play some defense so that will help.

The return is probably fair. Greene's stock as a prospect has dipped, and Leone came out of no where last season. I think Greene might have a future as a reliever but not sure what to expect out of Leone. He was great in 2017, but relievers are hard to predict.

I mentioned prior to this season that Cashman was able to bypass rebuilding by trading for young controllable players while letting his top prospects develop. This seems to be on that same path.
85bluejay - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:53 PM EST (#352717) #
Not the biggest fan of Grichuk but that power could play up in the AL east & defence seems solid - almost 30% k rate - but happy to sell high on Leone & Greene has fallen on hard times - maybe more interested in showbusiness.The FO seem to be betting on guys who could rebound. I wonder if both Diaz & Grichuk were discussed as part of a potential Donaldson trade earlier this offseason.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#352718) #
When Aledmys Diaz was acquired, similar comments were made. When Yangervis Solarte was acquired, similar comments were made. Now when Randal Grichuk is acquired, comments are basically the same.

Each was traded after a poor/lesser year for a very reasonable price. Each Player had a good year prior to this one. I believe each player will be better next year than this year and maybe as good as a much better year.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:56 PM EST (#352719) #
So with about $12.4 Million or more available, which Starter gets acquired/signed?
Mike Green - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 04:58 PM EST (#352720) #
Grichuk and Hernandez look to me to be the same ballplayer, with Grichuk having the history but falling back and Hernandez having just a glimmer of a history and just maybe improving quite a bit.  I'd personally rather that they bet on Hernandez. 
scottt - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:08 PM EST (#352721) #
A Grichuk/Granderson platoon is not bad. Pillar is a keeper until Alford shows up, but might be easier to trade now.
I suppose the Giants would take Pillar and let he Jays sign Cain, but there's still that compensation pick in the way.
Pearce/Carrera are now very expendable.

Things still don't look final.

That leaves the jays with about 13M to work with?

ISLAND BOY - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:23 PM EST (#352722) #
So this means that the Jays aren't in on Lorenzo Cain, or any other FA outfielder, if they ever were. It would seem the focus will now be pitching, and there are a lot of free agents hurlers still available.
PeterG - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:26 PM EST (#352723) #
And at least one more trade is a virtual certainty.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:41 PM EST (#352724) #
Mike - i think grichuk has legitimately more defensive value than teoscar, and has proven to be a league average bat already, and is only a year older than teoscar.
China fan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:46 PM EST (#352725) #
I don't see the roster crunch that some people are seeing. It's easy enough to start the season with Hernandez and Diaz in the minors (both have options) if you want to keep Carrera as the 5th outfielder. Or just trade Carrera or release him. (He doesn't have a lot of value. They might get a marginal prospect for him, or they could release him for one-sixth of his salary.)

The most likely scenario is a Pearce/Granderson platoon in LF, Pillar in CF and Grichuk in RF. If it turns out that Pearce gets some playing time at 1B or DH, then perhaps it's useful to keep Carrera as the backup outfielder. Pearce is such a poor defender that he's not really a back-up OF, so perhaps Carrera gets that role. Or he can be dropped.

Of course it's possible that there could be another trade, but it's not essential. The bullpen becomes one of the two remaining priorities now. The Jays must have their eye on a reliever or two, perhaps a free agent or two.
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:50 PM EST (#352726) #
Yeah, they've got to move an outfielder in a trade now, you would think, for pitching presumably.
China fan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:51 PM EST (#352727) #
"....Jays now have Grichuk, Pillar, Granderson, Pillar, Zeke, and Pearce for the OF....."

Ah, now I see why people think there are too many outfielders on the team....

Pillar is a good defender, but he still counts as just one player, not two.
China fan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:54 PM EST (#352728) #
The outfield now appears to be significantly improved -- both defensively and offensively -- over the 2017 version. And the improved defence is an important point. It will help the pitchers too. Defence was a major problem in the OF last year.
PeterG - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:57 PM EST (#352729) #
Atkins says Jays could open with 5 OF but will listen to offers for Pearce/Carrera

he added that pitching is now the priority...both starting and relief

I think Diaz is a major league player and should be on the opening day roster if possible.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 05:58 PM EST (#352730) #
Avg of Steamer and Zips (* = steamer-only)

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 Grichuk 100wrc+, 1.8war/650 (Carrera 85wrc+, 0.0war/650)
IF Diaz* 96wrc+, 1.9war/650 (Ngoepe 53wrc+, -0.6war/650)
C Maile 52wrc+, -0.1war/650 (Jansen 85wrc+, 2.3war/650)
christaylor - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:01 PM EST (#352731) #
I am not entirely serious about the DFA but Pillar has an upside of nil. 3 WAR if you trust the fielding metrics and that month or two where it seemed like he could refrain from flailing at the slider away. He's a Scrappy White Guy (tm) so folks like him, I am not one of those folks. He has run into one too many walls and made one too many futile dives for my taste.
China fan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#352732) #
Another point: the Jays now have a much better back-up option for the CF position, which might reduce the strain on Pillar and maybe even help his hitting. Last year there wasn't really a good CF option for the days when Pillar was rested. Now they have Grichuk. They can give more days off to Pillar. Could be overall beneficial for the OF.
Nigel - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:03 PM EST (#352733) #
Yet another deal that's defensible, even maybe sensible, in the abstract. Again, it makes less sense in the context of the current roster. Just like with Granderson, who was a marginal upgrade on Zeke, Grichuk is probably a marginal upgrade on Hernandez. To what end? As Mike said, I see zero point to this deal other than an attempt to ensure that the team wins its 78-84 games this year. Unlike the Granderson deal, I think this deal actually costs the team something useful in Leone, who was the team's best or second best reliever last year. Anyway, I think this significantly increases the probability that on any given day the team fields three actual OFs, so for that, I am personally thankful.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:09 PM EST (#352734) #
Fun Stat of the Day


Yelich (26): 2812pa, .356babip, 121wrc+, 4.0war/650
Grichuk (26): 1386pa, .313babip, 108wrc+, 3.4fwar/650

Note: Grichuk has much less of a platoon split (108/102) than Yelich does (130/95), too. Grichuk's split there is actually a reverse split.
China fan - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:15 PM EST (#352735) #
I don't see the Jays trading Pillar, for a simple reason: it would worsen their defence at two positions (CF and RF).

Grichuk is not as good a defender as Pillar. And if he shifts to CF, whoever replaces him in RF would not be as good a defender as he is. You'd be downgrading from Pillar to Grichuk in CF and then you'd also be downgrading in RF from Grichuk to Hernandez or Carrera.

(Note: I don't think the defensive metrics for Grichuk are as reliable as the eye test. I just don't think he's nearly as good a defender as Pillar is, and I suspect there would be a consensus on that point.)
SK in NJ - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:18 PM EST (#352736) #
I donít think they will trade an OF. Starting OF is Granderson, Pillar, and Grichuk. Pearce starts in LF against lefties. Zeke is the 4th OF. Hernandez and Diaz in AAA. Not the prettiest roster construction but workable.

Iíd definitely rate Grichuk ahead of Teoscar. Grichukís power and batted ball profile seem to suggest thereís more there potentially, plus heís a legitimately decent/good outfielder defensively. Age difference isnít big.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:37 PM EST (#352737) #
Go to the TSN site and listen to Atkins there. He puts the deal into more perspective.

Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 06:50 PM EST (#352738) #
The Jays have been interested in LHP Robbie Ross earlier in the Offseason. He was injured in 2017, but is still a talent and might sign cheap.
Now with two 40-Man Roster openings available, the Jays can move as fast as they need at acquiring Pitching.

If they are planning for 2019 and beyond with the Starter acquisition it might be costly. But it could depend on what Joe Biagini is to the Jays. How fast they think he'll take to be ready to Start again.
dan gordon - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 07:17 PM EST (#352740) #
I like this trade quite a bit. There is a great, long article about Grichuk on Jays From The Couch written by Jeff Quattrociocchi from December 20, when he said that he felt Grichuk would be a good Plan B if the Jays didn't get Cain. He talks about how high Grichuk ranks in mlb in stats like xwOBA, hard hit % etc. He scores very well on several of these metrics. The TSN interview with Atkins is also good. The team really likes Grichuk's defense, power, youth, versatility. I think he's a decent option in CF if needed due to injury/trade/dropoff from Pillar. As a CF last year, Pillar had a range factor per 9 of 2.17. Grichuk's RF per 9 for his career in CF is 2.27. He has a very good arm as well, and is only 26. I think he's got another gear, and expect him to be a very nice addition to the team. One thing to note, he has been a very slow starter in his mlb career - his April numbers are terrible, and his May numbers are mediocre.

Leone had a very nice season, after 2 terrible years. Could be a good "sell high" situation, but I don't really think so. He's only 26, and his 2017 was very similar to his 2014. I agree with Mike on him, he should do a good job for StL, although, like most relievers, there is the chance of considerable year to year variability. Green was starting to look like a reliever to me. As I mentioned in my comments about the McCutchen trade, he reminds me of the pitcher the Giants dealt, a very hard thrower with poor control who then blossomed as a reliever last year. I expect the Jays will add a reliever and a starter now, and I still think Biagini to the bullpen is an option, although I understand that many here do not think so. Maybe it will depend on the success they have in adding somebody to replace Leone.

Looks like the plan now is for Pearce and Granderson to platoon in left, Grichuk to play right, and Carrera or Diaz is the 13th position player on the roster. Maybe they trade Carrera, who is basically surplus now, and get a guy who has a shot at a bullpen spot. I think Diaz on the roster would have more value than Carrera.

Alford, Hernandez, Pompey and D.Smith comprise a formidable AAA OF/DH group, and whoever develops best should take over in LF in 2019. If 2 of then look ready, they can certainly trade Pillar for a useful piece.
grjas - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 07:24 PM EST (#352741) #
Should the Jays trade Pearce who is almost redundant they would have 20 mm in the kitty to buy some serious pitching help. The challenge is theyíd have to platoon Hernandez with Granderson which isnít ideal for his development. Still...
greenfrog - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:03 PM EST (#352743) #
Not to alarm anyone, and there are obviously significant differences between the two players, but:

JP Arencibia 2012 (age 26): 372 PA, 4.8% BB, 29% K, .202 ISO, 87 wRC+, 1.2 fWAR
R Grichuk 2017 (age 25): 442 PA, 5.9% BB, 30.1% K, .235 ISO, 94 wRC+, 1.4 fWAR
ayjackson - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:25 PM EST (#352744) #
Hey, very nice post dan gordon.

Can Solarte serve as a fifth outfielder if they cut Carrera loose?
christaylor - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:30 PM EST (#352745) #
Now someone else is trolling...
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 09:48 PM EST (#352748) #
That is an alarming post. I need to calm myself with aome numbers.....

By 25

Arencibia: 523pa, 87wrc+, 0.6war/650
Grichuk (22-25): 1386pa, 108wrc+, 3.4war/650


Arencibia (24-30): 1687pa, 78wrc+, 0.3war/650
Grichuk (22-25): 1386pa, 108wrc+, 3.4war/650

phew i was worried for a sec.
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 10:03 PM EST (#352750) #
Can someone break down Grichuk's playing time issues? is it competition based or injury based?
uglyone - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 10:04 PM EST (#352751) #
I gotta say a couple more moves like this and i'll start to be impressed. Especially since they're proving not to be prospect hoarders.
mathesond - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:17 PM EST (#352752) #
Who are you and what have you done with the real uglyone?

SK in NJ - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:18 PM EST (#352753) #
The difference between Leone and Grichuk's salaries is about $1.5M, so the Jays filled a need and should still have a decent amount left to spend (if it was $15M prior to this move, then should be around $13M now). Instead of settling for Brett Anderson now, they might have enough to go after someone like Jaime Garcia who MLBTR projected to get 2/16, which would be a very reasonable deal. He is projected to have a 2.2 WAR next season and is a heavy GB pitcher which should help at RC. If he gets around $8M per (which might be a tad low), then that should still leave enough for some cheap bullpen gambles that this FO likes to do every year.
rpriske - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:52 PM EST (#352754) #
This is a steal (and I LIKE Leone).

Great trade.

Now move Pearce.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 19 2018 @ 11:53 PM EST (#352755) #
The Middle Infield issue was solved in three months. The Outfield issue was solved in two weeks. Will six weeks until Spring Training games be enough to solve the Pitching issue? Are the Jays after a definite target(s)? Or are they just fishing? I have my favourites, as Iím sure does everyone else.
dan gordon - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 12:21 AM EST (#352756) #
"Can someone break down Grichuk's playing time issues? is it competition based or injury based?"

Grichuk has been largely the victim of a crowded outfield in StL. For example, in 2017, Grichuk had 442 plate appearances, Pham 530, Fowler 491, and Piscotty 401. No DH, so somebody had to sit each game. Similar situation in 2016 with Piscotty, Hazelbaker, Holliday, Pham and Carpenter all getting considerable OF time. In 2015, it was Jay, Piscotty, Heyward, Pham and Bourjos.

In addition, he has been on the DL 3 times, all minor injuries, which required anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks to heal. Due partly to the crowding, and partly to StL management wanting him to work on his strike zone judgement and plate discipline, he has been optioned to the minors 3 times in the last 3 years.

ayjackson - if Carrera is sent elsewhere, I would expect Diaz would make the team and serve as a viable backup for infield or emergency outfielder. Solarte has played 7 games in the outfield in his career, all in 2014, and the results were, well, let's just say nobody has tried that again. If an outfielder were DL'd, they would likely call up one of the Bisons - they should have a few good candidates there.
scottt - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 07:29 AM EST (#352757) #
As far as pitching prospects go, Guerrieri, Borucki, Pannone, Zeuch and Reid-Foley were all in front of Greene and Biagini is probably the 6th starter.

In the pen,
And they you get to guys that can be shuttle candidates:
And Al could slot in instead of Ramirez if they have the 40 roster spot for him and he earns a spot.

So, I think Ramirez make Leone redundant and they probably still want a better lefty.

scottt - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 07:37 AM EST (#352759) #
In the outfield, we're getting close to an Hernandez/Alford/Grichuk outfield with a left handed 4th outfielder.

Grichuk hit 22 HR as a 4th outfielder, so could potentially hit 40 in Rogers Centre.

This could be a fun team to watch again.

greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 08:10 AM EST (#352760) #
People often like to say that player X ďcould hit [30/35/40/45] HR in the Rogers Centre.Ē But home runs do not necessarily equate to significant overall offensive production, as we learned last year with Morales (28 HR / -0.6 WAR) and Bautista (23 HR / -0.5 WAR).

As others have pointed out, Grichukís value comes from a combination of his defense, base running, positional versatility, and, yes, his power. And his modest salary. Now letís see if he can do something about his plate discipline issues, which is a red flag with him.
uglyone - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 08:32 AM EST (#352761) #
well, he's been good even with the strikeouts.

but you're right, if he can somehow stop swinging at outside sliders he could turn into a monster.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 08:39 AM EST (#352762) #
"well, he's been good even with the strikeouts"

Yes, but Grichuk's poor plate discipline doesn't leave much margin for error. If his hitting declines any further, he'll likely turn into a fourth outfielder (or worse).
Rich - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 08:49 AM EST (#352763) #
but you're right, if he can somehow stop swinging at outside sliders he could turn into a monster.

Obviously most major leaguers who can't lay off breaking balls in the dirt never really learn (oh, hello there Kevin Pillar!) but if I were the Jays the first person in the organization I would introduce Grichuk to wears number 14.
uglyone - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 08:51 AM EST (#352764) #
well, he seems streaky, but i'm not sure that "decline" is as straightline as it looks at first glance - e.g. last year was a tale of 2 halves - 74wrc+ in the first half, 118wrc+ in the 2nd.

he's a solid bet to be a league average bat with plus defense and baserunning, even without making any improvements, which should make him a pretty solid, if streaky, starter. (also, i wouldn't be surprised to see gibber shelter him from guys with nasty sliders, like he did with smoak in the untraditional smoak/cola platoon). if he figures out how to lay off the outside slider, of course, he could see a smoakian leap forward.

Speaking of which, steamer thinks the dome is a better fit for grichuk than his previous home, and have tweaked his projection up overnight. So i had to redo this:

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
DH Morales 106wrc+, 1.0war/650
LF Granderson 105wrc+, 1.5war/650
RF Grichuk 102wrc+, 2.4war/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 Pearce 109wrc+, 1.5war/650 - Carrera 85wrc+, 0.0war/650
IF Diaz* 96wrc+, 1.9war/650 - Ngoepe 53wrc+, -0.6war/650
C Maile 52wrc+, -0.1war/650 - Jansen 85wrc+, 2.3war/650

And i notice now that it seems we can legit field a lineup where every single position gives us at least above average defense.

scottt - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 09:01 AM EST (#352765) #
Sure. But consider Stanton who is moving to a ballpark that advantages left handed hitting, has been injured 2 of the last 3 years and is 28.

Grichuk should hit towards the bottom of the lineup where an average bat with power can work nicely.
Years 26-28 was Rasmus's best stretch.

greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 09:13 AM EST (#352767) #
I'm by no means convinced that all of Travis, Smoak, Granderson, and Tulo will provide above-average defense in 2018. Collectively, that group will probably provide average-ish defense -- maybe even a bit below.
jerjapan - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#352768) #
That's an odd grouping greenfrog.  I agree with you, but I don't see any scenario where Travis and Tulo aren't plus defenders.  At his age, Granderson will have issues, and Smoak's defensive rep makes me question the value of defensive metrics for 1B.  JD, Pillar, Martin, Tulo, Travis and Grichuk is a strong defensive core, even with some mediocre defenders rotating through the corner OF spots. 

I like this trade, but not as much as everyone else seems to - I appear to like Leone more than many, and he has an extra year of TC.  With the value of relievers peaking, and Greene's profile as an electric bullpen arm, we might have a slight overpay here.

But this feels like a scouting trade to me, and I can support that - the FO has the best perspective on whether this is a 'sell high' deal on the two arms we traded, and if it is, great strategy.  Same goes for Grichuk - if this is strictly a move to raise the floor, I'm less impressed than if the Jays think they can work some Smoak magic on Grichuk, or if they see the Dome as a perfect fit for him.  If this move limits Morales to a platoon role, even better.

Such an odd offseason.  If you asked me who the Jays would add, Solarte, Diaz and Grichuk would have been in the top 5 most likely list.  We still have a chance to make this a good offseason, but after years of out of nowhere 'ninja' moves, the contrast between this FO and the previous one couldn't be more stark. 
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 10:24 AM EST (#352769) #
I would expect Garcia or Vargas to be the main acquisition target now.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 10:47 AM EST (#352770) #
jerjapan, my scenario for Travis and Tulo not being plus defenders would be that injuries (and, in Tulo's case, age) constrain their defensive performance, as a result of less range/mobility/agility/etc. Also, if injuries limit them to, say, 40-70% of the team's innings at those positions in 2018, the bench will play a significant role in how competent the team's defense is in the middle infield.
scottt - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 10:55 AM EST (#352771) #
I don't see too many scary left bats in the division, so I'd be weary of adding a vet lefty to the rotation.
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 11:05 AM EST (#352772) #
They seeem the best starters available in the Jays price range Scott. Do you have any alternative suggestions?
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 11:18 AM EST (#352773) #

I don't know what you think is going to happen to Tulo defensively. He's been a stellar defensive player for almost his entire career. Yes, age factors into decline, but this is a guy that's 33 years old who possessed elite tools offensively and defensively until recently. A lot of hir range comes from plays to his right deep in the hole which he makes and finishes with a running leap throw which nobody else in the league can do regularly the way he does. That's arm strength and accuracy. If Reyes had that ability he probably wouldn't have to rush to the ball in Play so much to factor in his weak arm.

I still think Tulo will bounce back and be a top 5 SS in the league, and I think a chunk of it will come from offense. When he was traded here he was injured by Pillar. Then in 2016 he put up 24 HR 79 RBI and OPS of 761 which is top 5 for shortstop. I didn't like where Gibby used him in the line up on most nights, batting before a pre-breakout automatic out Smoak.

In 2017 he was a disaster but that was on over 66 games, and Wilner and others have reported that Tulo was banged up out of spring training to start the year.

I'm hoping this latest ankle injury gives him much needed rest and a shift in focus to doing whatever he needs to do to be better offensively because the days of him outworking everybody, lifting the most, batting cage practice the most, studying tape the most...hasnt been working for him. If he takes strikes away at the knees this coming year and misses high and inside fastballs then he's done because those two pitches were his favourite to drive throughout his career...especially low balls.

I don't understand how a gym rat athletic freak like the Tulo or even a nutrition freak like Bautista can just fall off a cliff offensively...missing juicy fastballs down Yonge Street, while a guy like Ortiz just took it to another level...was he just a really really good guesser or spotter of tipped pitches?
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 11:23 AM EST (#352774) #
From time to time you will see spelling mistakes and weird phrases in my posts such as "how a gym rat athletic freak like the Tulo." These are unintentional consequences of mobile device typing combined with a spell checker and auto correct that only seems to come on when at this forum. Other posts are done on a computer.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 12:37 PM EST (#352776) #
I'm sure Tulo would appreciate the praise you give him, even if you called him a rat and a freak. :)
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:15 PM EST (#352777) #
Is anyone here at Fanfest? If so, I have a question.....
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:16 PM EST (#352778) #
Make that Winterfest.....
greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:19 PM EST (#352779) #
Fangraphs has a scouting report up by Eric Longerhagen on Connor Greene.

It sounds as if a Fangraphs article by Jeff Sullivan on the trade will be posted at some point today.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:24 PM EST (#352780) #
Whats your question?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:26 PM EST (#352781) #
Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez are easily Front of the Rotation Starters/Ace. It really doesnít matter whoís #1 and whoís #2. J.A. Happ has good enough stuff, but not the consistency to be a top #2 Starter. Heís an exceptional Mid-Rotation Starter who can play up for need. Marco Estrada has the stuff and the control to be a solid Mid-Rotation Starter who might play up for need.

I think itís possible for Joe Biagini to be a very good Starter. I just donít think heís more than a top Mid-Rotation Starter. Ryan Borucki will certainly be called up this year. At best, heís a good #3 Starter and not much more. Thomas Pannone will also get called up this year. I believe he might be a good Mid-Rotation Starter and nothing more. Taylor Guerrieri has been a success everywhere heís pitched, except he cannot stay healthy. If healthy, heís a potential #2 Starter, or a solid Back of the Bullpen Reliever. The Jays need to decide which.

If the Jays are planning for 2018, 2019, 2020 and beyond, then price is not a problem. Iíd be after Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn or someone as good or better in trades. If they are only looking at this year and maybe next because price is a problem, then a #3 or a #4 Starter could be good enough. Is the Astrosí Collin McHugh a valid trade target? Iíd like Jaime Garcia, Jason Vargas or maybe Brett Anderson. Is Hideaki Wakui available or just staying in Japan? Beyond this, Hector Santiago, Trevor Cahill, Chris Tillman and Jeremy Hellickson might be okay.
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:27 PM EST (#352782) #
Thx for responding Dalimon. How does Biagini look? Has he lost weight?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:29 PM EST (#352783) #
At Winterfest, Atkins indicated many of the Regulars, Gibbons and some of his staff and some Alumni will attend.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:54 PM EST (#352784) #

Certainly, you need to tell me where you get your crystal ball so I can know what will certainly happen in the future. Why speculate, postulate or guess when you can be certain of who will be called up and what will happen in the 2018 MLB season?
bpoz - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 03:15 PM EST (#352786) #
I suppose the 2018 team is now better than the 2017 team when compared to the opening of ST. Maybe not? With 1 month before ST, the 2018 team can still change for better or worse.

The 2017 5 man starting rotation was much better due to Liriano vs Biagini. The 6th-8th for 2018 which is the farm is better than 2017's Biagini and Latos etc... In 2017 Biagini rose to a tie IMO with Liriano for 4th best SP, but both struggled.

The 2017 pen was better because of J Smith, JP Howell and J Grilli. This based on my opinion/evaluation of pre opening day 2017.

Definitely improved depth exists for 2018's pitching due to the 1 more year for farm development.

Bautista makes 2017 very much better because he was still very good. But the 2018 extremely good depth at C, IF & OF adds something.

So opinions were 2017 was a top contender for a WC spot. For 2018 most opinions probably suggest a weaker WC contender.

Predictions have a way of being somewhat inaccurate.

rpriske - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 03:37 PM EST (#352787) #
Tulo is not the defensive player he was... but he was great.

There is a lot of room for decline before he reaches below-average.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 03:53 PM EST (#352788) #
Perhaps, but the claim I was disputing is that the Jays can expect to be at least above-average defensively at every position in 2018.
China fan - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 03:59 PM EST (#352789) #
PeterG, here is a video clip of Joe Biagini chatting with the media today, so you can judge for yourself:

(He also provides a few amusing jokes, as usual....)
Mike Green - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 04:06 PM EST (#352790) #
It sure would be nice to have defensive splits for ballplayers by park.  I have a subjective sense that left-field in the RC is very tough because of the lights.  It is a fact that Blue Jay left-fielders have over a period of years the worst defensive ratings of any group of left-fielders and somehow it seems a bit unfair. 

To give an example, Ezequiel Carrera as a RF over the last 3 years has been a noticeably positive player according to DRS, UZR and Total Zone. He has been a significantly negative player in left-field.  I wonder how that would break down home and away. 

On another note, Fangraphs projected standings now have the Blue Jays with 84 wins, including an offence which is projected to score as many runs as the Yankees (!) thanks to admirable depth, but all kinds of run prevention grief.  I'll take the under on all three counts- wins, runs scored and runs allowed- myself.  

uglyone - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 04:21 PM EST (#352791) #
to me the lineup looks well above average. the defense too.

the pitching too, for that matter.
China fan - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 05:32 PM EST (#352792) #
To me, it seems slightly alarming that Devon Travis hasn't begun running yet. Position players are supposed to report to spring training on Feb. 19, less than a month from now. Travis today acknowledged that he hasn't begun to test his knee by running yet. He insisted, however, that he has had no setbacks and has passed every hurdle that has been given to him in his rehab. The Jays don't seem worried about it, officially at least. But I wonder how much they can count on him until he has tested his knee under normal conditions.

Another interesting tidbit from today's media reports at the Winterfest: the Jays were apparently considering Ryan Tepera for the rotation last season when they needed a 5th starter. They ultimately opted for Biagini, of course, but now Tepera is working on a 3rd pitch for his repertoire, which he would need if he ever tries for a rotation spot -- which he says he would definitely like to do.
dan gordon - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 05:34 PM EST (#352793) #
Let's see what the "run prevention grief" looks like once the Jays are done with additions to the pitching staff. I expect them to add a decent 5th starter and bullpen arm.

The Yankees offense is kind of hard to predict. Sure there's a lot of power, but also a lot of question marks. I mean, how many home runs is Judge going to hit this year? He never was a huge HR guy in the minors, and he went through a horrific 2-month stretch after the all-star game last year. There are also questions about Bird, Sanchez, even Stanton, who has a lengthy injury history, is changing leagues, and coming off a career season. I could see either of Stanton or Judge hitting 55 HR's this year, or fewer than 30. Stanton, for instance, has hit fewer than 30 HR's in 3 of the last 5 seasons. Actually, that would make an interesting exercise in forecasting. How many HR's for each of Judge, Bird, Sanchez and Stanton. Would help to know if the mlb ball for 2018 is the same reduced drag ball that has been in use in recent seasons.
China fan - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 06:07 PM EST (#352794) #
Also, while we're on the subject of infielders and what the Jays might need this season, here is an interesting answer from Mark Shapiro in an interview published today in The Globe and Mail:

Q: How critical is it for Toronto's success that Troy Tulowitzki bounces back from that ugly season-ending ankle injury and returns to the form that made him a perennial All-Star when he was playing in Colorado?

Shapiro: "I think we've tried to off-set the risk a little bit by bringing in a couple of infielders Ė and we still might bring in another one."
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 06:13 PM EST (#352795) #
Zeke says he is uncertain about his future with Jays.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 06:26 PM EST (#352796) #
I think the FO is looking at Travis as bonus if they can get any playing time out of him.

I predict Judge and Stanton hit less HR that Bird if he's healthy all season. I think Morales hits more HR than judge . I don't think Judge is going to be a big player this year. He had a great year last year, but as a casual Extra Innings watcher I saw way too many pitchers throwing junk at him down the middle for the first 3/rd of the season.

Pitchers then adjusted and he set a record for most consecutive strikeouts in games. His swing is too big to combat well located pitches, which is why he looked silly against Tepera, Osuna any every other starter that could locate down and away or up and in on him. Puig, on the arbitrary other hand, had to adjust but had the speed and frame to do so. When he battles Bumgarner it's either a strikeout or a home run, and when he hits a home run it's off a very well placed pitch up and in from one of the best SP in baseball.

For me the biggest takeaway from the day of media coverage is that management has not approached Donaldson about an extension. That's a clear cut case of not having any interest in extending your best player if you don't have to. If you're not going to try to wrap an early deal to buy some savings then what's the impetus to make an offer later in the year? I guess I'm a little surprised that there hasn't seemed to be more interest from management to sign him. The signals they've been sending out have been very similar to EE and JBau signals they were sending out.
PeterG - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 06:47 PM EST (#352797) #
I don't see the Donaldson situation the same way. In fact, I think chances of an extension have increased. I believe that both sides wish to wait to see the FA market set this off season in order to have negotiation parameters. Annual salary will not be an issue imo...only term. If the Jays can get a 3 or 4 year deal (no longer), I see them trying for it. If Donaldson sees that a longer deal is inreasingly unrealistic, then he may be willing. I don't see any negative at all on this issue coming out of the words at WinterFest.

I have been a trade Donaldson guy for most of the last few months until recently when it began to appear to me at least that the chances of another contract were improving.
SK in NJ - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 07:23 PM EST (#352798) #
With the way teams are starting to look at age, I'd risk letting Donaldson test free agency, even if he has another great season. His next contract will start at age 33. How many teams will go five or more years, especially with all the information on aging curves now?

Free agency this winter has made me think the Jays and Donaldson could come to an agreement some time next winter, which I previously thought had no chance if he ever tested the open market. I could see the Cardinals offering him five years, but that might be it. The big market teams are covered at 3B, or will pursue Machado first.

I am very interested to see Donaldson test free agency. Barring injury/bad season in 2018, he should still get his money, but the years will be hard to predict.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 07:37 PM EST (#352799) #
Before negotiating with Donaldson, the front office probably wants to wait until at least the All-Star break to assess his health and Vladís progress at third base. The team has had some success with mid-year extensions (Encarnacion, Smoak, Estrada). And Shapiro has said he likes to gather as much information as possible before making a decision.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 11:10 PM EST (#352800) #

Teoscar Hernandez?
dan gordon - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 01:20 AM EST (#352801) #
Interesting article at Bluebird Banter about the extreme extent to which salaries in mlb favour the older players. The best players in the game are, on average getting younger. A larger and larger % of total WAR is from players 29 and under. But they're not getting paid for it. Incredibly, the best 15 position players in mlb by WAR in 2017 actually made less money than the WORST 15 position players in mlb by WAR (min 250 AB's). Not even close.
scottt - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 07:03 AM EST (#352802) #
Without PEDs, players are aging.

It makes sense that the worse players getting at-bats are on large contracts and without options.

Teams seem to value their draft pick more now that there is a bonus cap for both the draft and international players.

Boras was just saying look at the Astros, you have to spend to win, but Houston wasn't signing top free agents.
scottt - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 07:25 AM EST (#352803) #
Sad to see Kendrys Morales in that list. Was he actually the only -0.6 WAR player?

Nice to see Odor there, but where is Bautista?
Well, he got -0.5 fWAR and -1.7 bWAR. I think fangraphs overvalued his defense here.
And of course Morales got -0.2 bWAR.

#2 is Trumbo because he fell back to the Os on a value deal, just like Bautista did.
#12 is Ian Desmond. He's mostly just misplayed and he got hurt. He's an average shortstop who's been put in the outfield because Texas signed him on a 1 year deal and  Colorado signed him as a firstbaseman. Still not understanding that one.

BlueJayWay - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 08:43 AM EST (#352804) #
Here's a graph comparing % of WAR for older and younger players:
scottt - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 09:00 AM EST (#352805) #
The other thing of note is that players shall not act in concert with other players, yet Boras is the agents for Martinez, Hosmer, Arrieta, Moustaka, Holland, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez and Tony Watson. There is certainly some concerted effort here as Boras does not mind waiting forever.
85bluejay - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 09:30 AM EST (#352806) #
I would not be surprised if both Tulo & Travis were not ready for opening day - that's why I was hoping the team could acquire a better defensive ss as a backup. Texas seems to be punting the 2018 season so they will probably hold onto Profar. Hope the Jays don't rush Tulo & Travis.
christaylor - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 09:51 AM EST (#352807) #
I knew I'd read a piece on Grichuck and the Jays during the fog of the holidays -- here it is from Jays on the Couch. A clearly argued piece from 12/20 that foresaw the trade.
scottt - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#352808) #
What is this? A working link on Da Box?
finch - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 12:48 PM EST (#352809) #
LOVE LOVE LOVE this trade for the Blue Jays. In previous Donaldson discussions, rumors suggested a package of Jedd Gyorko, Grichuk and Weaver (and perhaps a prospect). For the Jays to get a player entering his prime, in a hitter-friendly park, at a position of weakness (OF) and not overspend on a FA is outstanding. Conner Greene may turnout to be serviceable. I think he ends up as a power RP in high leverage situations, but those players are easier to replace (RPs in general).
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 01:09 PM EST (#352810) #

The same author of that Grichuk proposal from December has published a new proposal today. Jeff Quattrochiocchi is advocating for the following trade:

Tyler Anderson

Kevin Pillar
+ prospect if necessary

He then argues to back it up with a Matt Albers or Greg Holland signing. He came to this trade after considering the value of Pearce while admitting the little value of Morales.
scottt - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 02:40 PM EST (#352811) #
The Rockies have Charlie Blackmon in center field. It's the Giants who would take Pillar since they don't have the room to sign Cain.
John Northey - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 02:42 PM EST (#352812) #
Love Pillar but it might be the best time to trade him. He is entering his age 29 season so he still has some prime left at arbitration rates and his defense is still fantastic but we all know that speed and defense tend to be early to lose skills. By the time Vlad and Bo and the rest are ready Pillar will be into his post-prime and his offense hasn't shown signs of growth. A win now team with a hole in CF (defensively) might overpay to get him right now. Colorado did make the playoffs last year and have a great CF in Blackmon but his defense appears 'meh' so moving him to LF or RF and putting Pillar in would improve their defense especially with the big outfield there. Plus Blackmon is a free agent after 2018 so Pillar could be a bit of protection there - or free up Colorado to trade Blackmon.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#352813) #
Right on John, that's the same reasoning the writer used for arguing COL over SF. Also, SF doesn't have MLB pitching to give up.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 04:24 PM EST (#352814) #
If the Jays trade Kevin Pillar, they need to replace him. The Jays know what they expect out of Granderson and Pearce in Left Field and with Grichuk Right Field, so the replacement gets compared to Pillar. Is Teoscar Hernandez equal to or better than Pillar? Is Anthony Alford equal to or better than Pillar. Is anyone else in-house better than Kevin Pillar? If the Jays believe yes, then he might go. If it's maybe, he still might go. If no, then the Jays must trade for or sign his replacement.

I am a Pillar fan, but I think the Jays need better. I just don't think they will, unless the return is exactly what they need/want.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 04:47 PM EST (#352815) #
I really like Kevin Pillar but he plays nearly every day and his body has taken quite a pounding on that artificial turf the last few years, not to mention the walls he has run into.
finch - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 04:59 PM EST (#352816) #
Tyler Beede for Pillar?
christaylor - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 05:11 PM EST (#352817) #
Thanks for the heads up dalimon5 -- another well argued, cogent, post.

He dismisses Arrieta a little too quickly. If the term is right, it is hard to not spend on an ace who has done it before, even if the signing team is sure to not get peak Arrieta. Lance McCullers is a pitcher who I would love to see in BJ Blue. He has had health issues and it would probably take serious prospect capital, but his K/9 is good, he has had some bad BAPIB luck, and his curveball has been enough to make me tune flip over to Astros games on -- not that it means anything he resembles the pitcher I hoped the Jays were getting in Drabek (second generation pitcher with a good curve is the connection).

scottt -- who would the Giants send back to the Jays? In the post dalimon5 mentioned, the author considers the Giants but notes that the Giants roster doesn't have the necessary pieces that could come back for Pillar that would fit with the Jays' needs.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 05:14 PM EST (#352818) #
A Pillar trade is probably more likely (not necessarily likely, just more likely) after Dyson signs with a team. Once he's off the table then Pillar would be a defensive upgrade for a team like the Rockies.

If Pillar is moved, Grichuk probably is your center fielder until Alford arrives. Jays would then sign a Carlos Gonzalez/Werth/Holliday type for RF with Solartes and Diaz being back up options.

One guy that is flying under the radar in general is Gurriel JR. Is he cracking this team this year? As an INF or OF? Does management feel he needs another full season to get better? That's a long time to have him in the minors.
dan gordon - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 06:37 PM EST (#352819) #
I don't think that trade makes sense from a Colorado standpoint. They already have a bit of a logjam in the OF, and a terrific young player, David Dahl, won't have a spot. They have Blackmon, Parra and Desmond ahead of him. If they traded for Pillar, obviously they're going to play him, and Blackmon, of course. That means only 1 spot for Desmond, Parra and Dahl. They could shift Desmond to 1B, but then they're taking a spot away from one of their best prospects in Ryan McMahon. Anderson, on the other hand, is one of those very rare pitchers who has actually pitched much better in Colorado than on the road. His career ERA in Coors is 3.39, vs 5.11 on the road. He's also dirt cheap, being pre-arb this season, then 3 years of arb. If I'm the Colorado GM, and looking to acquire a CF, I'm going to want to try to trade one Parra, Dahl or Desmond in return. Desmond's contract basically rules him out, so it would be Dahl or Parra. I'm hanging on to Anderson for sure.

The Giants could use him, and the Beede suggestion above might make sense. The White Sox CF, Engel, hit .166 last year, but I think they think fairly highly of him, and they don't really have the pitching to trade at the moment, with Rodon out for a while.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 06:42 PM EST (#352820) #

I think McMahon is a good reason not to move Desmond to 1B. But you can always use Demond as OF depth and SS where he is a far better player than Trevor Story who strikes out a lot. But yes, not really a perfect match for COL like you say. And Dahl looks real good. I guess the prospects for COL to make such a deal is to protect against the loss of Blackmon the following year as well as the transition of someone like McMahon ( to have Desmond spend some time at 1B (if the prospect struggles).
dan gordon - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 07:14 PM EST (#352821) #
I think Story should be a pretty good player. He's put up 5.8 WAR in his first 2 seasons, at a young age, 23 and 24. He should improve some from here, and I expect he'll be closer to his 2016 numbers than his 2017 numbers this year. He plays good defense, and has power, which is a nice combination for a SS. Desmond, of course is going to play, given that huge contract, and he should be much better than in 2017, when he injured for much of the season. He did produce approx. 15 WAR in the 5 preceding seasons. I like Dahl a lot, too. If the Jays could get him for Pillar, and sign, say Jamie Garcia and Albers, I'd like their team a whole lot. Dahl doesn't look like he's going to be a star, but he should be a solid player. An OF of Dahl, Grichuk and one of the kids could be pretty strong for several years. If 2 of the young OF's produce, you can DH one of them, or make trade for a SP. A nice group to go along with Vlad, Bo, Jansen and Travis/Diaz.
uglyone - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 09:22 PM EST (#352822) #
decided to do my look at their 2yr stats instead of projections:

2yr Stats

2B Travis (27): 629pa, 103wrc+, 3.2war, 3.3war650
3B Donaldson (32): 1196pa, 153wrc+, 12.6war, 6.9war650
1B Smoak (31): 978pa, 118wrc+, 3.3war, 2.2war650
DH Pearce (35): 650pa, 116wrc+, 2.0war, 2.0war650
LF Granderson (37): 1160pa, 110wrc+, 4.8war, 2.7war650
C Martin (35): 900pa, 100wrc+, 3.7war, 2.7war650
RF Grichuk (26): 920pa, 98wrc+, 3.6war, 2.5war650
SS Tulowitzki (33): 804pa, 95wrc+, 2.9war, 2.4war650
CF Pillar (29): 1216pa, 83wrc+, 5.2war, 2.8war650

UT Morales (35): 1226pa, 104wrc+, 0.1war, 0.1war650
UT Solarte (30): 955pa, 105wrc+, 3.9war, 2.7war650
UT Diaz (27): 761pa, 111wrc+, 2.9war, 2.5war650
C Maile (27): 262pa, 29wrc+, -0.5war, -1.2war650

1.SP Happ (35): 57gs, 6.0ip/gs, 77era-, 7.3war, 4.1war32
2.SP Sanchez (25): 38gs, 6.0ip/gs, 75era-, 4.7war, 3.9war32
3.SP Stroman (27): 65gs, 6.2ip/gs, 86era-, 7.3war, 3.6war32
4.SP Estrada (34): 62gs, 5.8ip/gs, 98era-, 5.7war, 2.9war32

CL Osuna (23): 138.0ip, 69era-, 4.3war, 2.0war65
SU Biagini (28): 99.1ip, 80era-, 1.3war, 0.9war65
SU Loup (30): 72.0ip, 91era-, 0.6war, 0.5war65
MR Barnes (27): 79.2ip, 82era-, 1.0war, 0.8war65
MR Tepera (30): 96.0ip, 79era-, 1.1war, 0.7war65
MR Ramirez (27): 16.2ip, 61era-, 0.3war, 1.2war65
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 11:16 PM EST (#352823) #
The Jays have 38 Players on the 40-Man Roster, with the Curtis Granderson signing still awaiting ďmedical clearanceĒ to conclude. I canít see the Jays trading for a Reliever, if you are not getting a stud, itís counterproductive. I can see the Jays trading for a Starter as apparently there are still Starters available.

Do the Jays acquire an impact Starter or an impact Reliever? Most of the top Relievers are gone, so who would the Jays be interested in? Who are the Jays willing to expend in a Trade for an impact Starter?
uglyone - Sunday, January 21 2018 @ 11:41 PM EST (#352824) #
I am strangely suddenly optimistic that they will make a trade for a legit SP.

maybe a cheaper upside guy (i.e. the pitcher version of grichuk), or maybe Pearce or morales used as ballast to take on a big contract guy.
Glevin - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 06:01 AM EST (#352825) #
The Jays need a starting pitcher for the next few years. Happ and Estrada are FA after this year and while there are a bunch of bats in the not-too-distant future, there aren't many arms. So, what is the 2019 rotation as of now? Stroman, Sanchez, and Biagini? As Ugly said, I can see the Jays taking on salary (Morales for Ian Kennedy?) but the most likely scenario I see is free agency. Hellickson, Miley, Vargas, Tillman, Cashner, etc...Lots of back-end starters available or Garcia or Lynn if they want to aim a little higher. I like Biagni and think the team should try to keep him as a starter and see if he can make it but would prefer he would be in Buffalo until he (hopefully) forces his way into the rotation. I think the Jays could also use a swingman in the bullpen and I'd be fine bringing back Feldman or Chavez for that.

As for Pillar, he just doesn't have that much value for a few reasons.
1) Teams don't value defense as much as offense
2) He loses a step and he pretty much becomes useless.
3) Very few teams need a CFer and Pillar isn't someone who would appeal very much to most contenders or to rebuilding teams.
4)There are still plenty CF available. If you don't get Cain, you can still sign Gomez, Dyson, Jackson, or Maybin without giving up many assets.

I still think he's worth more to the Jays than you would get for him. If they can find a taker that would give the Jays a decent price, that'd be great, but I don't see it as likely. I think the most likely scenario is getting rid of Zeke or Pearce. Because of Granderson, Pearce makes much more sense to keep as a platoon partner. Zeke can't hit lefties at all so who plays LF when they are facing a LHP? If you get rid of Pearce, it would make sense to have Hernandez up and I am fine with getting rid of Pearce and Zeke and starting with Hernandez as well. There would be enough ABs for him.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:22 AM EST (#352826) #
it's always impressive to see the cartwheels turned to devalue our players.

so we get people who talk often about how smart FOs value defense now arguing that FOs don't value defense.

but if we're talking about the value of our players who can hit and not defend, then their lack of defensive value makes them untradeable as well.

that being said, i wouldn't trade our one elite defensive OF.

if teams actually do value offense more than defense, then guys like morales and Pearce should be able to get us what we need.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:28 AM EST (#352827) #
BA Top 100

3 Vlad
8 Bichette
66 Alford
91 Pearson

personally i think pearson rises fast up that list by the end of the year.

was wondering how vlad dropped to #3 and then saw that they are counting Ohtani as a prospect and ranking him #2.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:29 AM EST (#352828) #
Alford is #60 not 66.
PeterG - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:51 AM EST (#352829) #
Davidi speculates that Seung-hwan Oh or Tyler Cilppard could be on Jays bullpen radar

85bluejay - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:55 AM EST (#352830) #
I'd like to see Pillar start 120 games rather than 150 plus.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#352831) #
Most recent data on aging curves:
dalimon5 - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:05 AM EST (#352832) #
CF, SS and C are spots where teams will value defence over offense if they have to choose one. It's the reason why the Angels put Simmons at Short and left him there no matter what he hits. The reason Billy Hamilton plays for the Reds, and on and on. If they show any lick of offense then they become a top player in baseball.

I would even argue that some teams value defence over offense at offensive first positions such as the Rays and 1B.
85bluejay - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:12 AM EST (#352833) #
Rays & Yankees have 6 top 100 & I suspect the Rays will add to that collection when they move Archer & others. Would love to get some of those Brave pitching prospects.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:32 AM EST (#352834) #
Vlad: Hit 80, Power 70
dalimon5 - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:37 AM EST (#352835) #
The thing that sticks out to me is the lack of capital the Red Sox have on the list this year compared to the past few.

The Rays look like the Rays of old with serious amounts of prospects coming. Cant wait to see Honeywell with his screwball in MLB. Interesting thing with the Rays is last time they did this they had a star in Longoria and some not so much vet not so much rookie pieces to build around. If they trade Archer then they only have Kiermaier who is underrated, but not a star or player to build around with youngsters.

Franklin Barrett at 45 overall.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:39 AM EST (#352836) #
Yanks may have 6 prospects on that list but a couple of the pitchers they have on there seem like pretty generous inclusions to me.
bpoz - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#352837) #
Vlad had more BBs than Ks. D Jansen had 1 more bb than K. That ratio always impresses me.
I read an article on Jansen either Dec or Jan. His defense was good. He is constantly working on his catching skills by talking to just about everyone. The glasses helped a lot. But fogged up behind the mask. Maybe he can get an extra pair or spray something on the lenses.

His AA and AAA bb to K rate was positive. A+ ball negative. So he improved as he was promoted.

Alford and Bo had good BB and K numbers.

This year AA for Vlad and Bo. I hope they can dominate.
Mike Green - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 11:29 AM EST (#352838) #
Franklin Barrett at 45 overall

Barreto rhymes with Lazaretto, not this guy.

Guerrero Jr.'s hitting scouting ratings are basically as high as you can get for an 18 year old.  He has not reached peak strength; I don't think I've ever seen an 18 year old with an 80 power grade. Joey Gallo might have had one at age 19.  I am pretty sure that Miguel Cabrera didn't have one then.  By the way, Cabrera is a really nice comp for Guerrero Jr.  in one way- at age 18, he was in the Midwest League and slashed .268/.328/.382; at age 19, he was in the FSL and slashed .268/.325/.468.  The power came at age 20 in double A.  He had been a shortstop at age 17-18 and moved to third base at age 19.
James W - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 11:57 AM EST (#352839) #
ESPN has posted the first half of Law's Top 100. Pearson is the only Blue Jay, at #100, so either Alford is not on the list, or he's top 50. Law doesn't consider Ohtani a prospect, so Guerrero should be #1 or #2 on that list.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#352840) #
well it was surprising enough that BA actually moved Alford down from last year (59 to 60) after he moved up to AA and improved across the board, and most especially addressed his biggest flaw by cutting his K-rate in HALF.

Safe to say Keith moved Alford up from his 55 ranking last year into his top 50.
rpriske - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 01:24 PM EST (#352841) #
Pillar is the kind of player that you don't need to dump. His defense makes up for his hitting, at least somewhat.

That doesn't mean hands-off, though. If someone were to offer full value, snap it up.

Jevant - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 01:25 PM EST (#352842) #
If the Jays can part with Pillar and other pieces and get a legitimate SP, I'm fine with Grichuk/Hernandez/Granderson as needed in CF until Alford/Pompey are ready (I'm assuming if they deal Pillar, they'd sign another OF, maybe even a replacement CF).  That said, I'd be surprised if they deal Pillar.  I assume the goal at this point is to simply try to add to the rotation and bullpen, unless someone else comes a-knocking with a trade proposal that makes too much sense not to pass up.  Seems to me like the offence is more or less set at this point.  Nice thing about Grichuk is the salary doesn't really preclude you from making a more significant pitching acquisition now (which someone like one of the CarGos probably would have). 

Is there enough room in the budget for Cobb or Lynn at this point?  With the depressed market, it seems possible.

uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 01:43 PM EST (#352843) #
I was trying to find pitchers with average stats but huge salaries that we might be able to dump morales in a deal for.

Like Hamels maybe?
hypobole - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 01:43 PM EST (#352844) #
Here's Law's take on Pearson:

Pearson is huge and already built for the major-league rotation with a good delivery and arm action that he can repeat. He's been up to 99 in pro ball and can elevate the ball for swings and misses. He has a slider, curve, and changeup, but as a whole his secondary stuff is still well behind, although he will flash a plus slider at times thanks to his tremendous arm speed.

The development of his repertoire will determine his future role, but his size, control, and arm speed give him a pretty high ceiling, and the Blue Jays might have caught themselves quite a fish with the 28th pick.
Chuck - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:11 PM EST (#352845) #
Like Hamels maybe?

He's way too good. You'd need to target someone crappy who might fluke into a 2-WAR season or something.

Jevant - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:13 PM EST (#352846) #
Yankees always seem to get a few "generous inclusions" on these sorts of lists. Just like the Patriots get a few generous holding calls, and the Warriors get a few generous foul calls per game.  Part of being the best.
Jevant - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:21 PM EST (#352847) #
Kansas City seems the most logical place for Morales (despite me not really seeing any logical spot for him).  Someone mentioned Kennedy (ugh).  Jason Hammel?   James Shields?  Mike Leake?

uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:34 PM EST (#352848) #
chuck I wasn't thinking just Morales. obviously a good asset too.

Hamels was around a 2war guy last year. Projects to be a bit better than that this year but not much better.

But I'm sure there's other examples that migth fit better.

uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:36 PM EST (#352849) #
Shields/Kennedy/Hammels are too terrible to bother with I think.

Leake I'd be interested in, though. He's a solid inning eating mediocrity.
Chuck - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:43 PM EST (#352850) #
Shields/Kennedy/Hammels are too terrible to bother with I think.

The FG forecast for Hammels is 1-WAR, 5 ERA, 150 innings. Unimpressive as that is, I would take that for Morales. It's a crappy back-end starter that would give you wiggle room if neither Biagini nor anyone else proved good enough to oust him from that role. Lesser of two evils in my estimation.

SK in NJ - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:47 PM EST (#352851) #
Getting Kennedy would mean more than doubling the investment on Morales ($23M vs. $49M) and getting a player that is projected to be not much better. I think I'd rather keep Morales and hope he bounces back than to make that investment worse.

Morales for Hammel would make more sense since the salary for 2018 is the same counting the buyout, and there's a mutual option for 2019. I don't know if the Royals would do it, but I'd prefer that deal over Kennedy.

I still prefer going after Garcia in free agency, though.
Jevant - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 02:51 PM EST (#352852) #
Shields and Hammel are at least short term (IE - it gets you out of Morales' 2019 commitment).  I'd probably prefer to keep Morales if Kennedy is the return (worse contract than Morales).

I agree re: Leake, but after I posted that, realized that Nelson Cruz has DH locked down in Seattle.  They have zero use for Morales.

As I stroll around the league, the teams that Morales makes any modicum of sense for would seem to be Chicago WS, Kansas City, and Detroit.  I left out Zimmermann in my list of arms because that contract is far worse than Morales' as well.

Man, the AL Central is gonna be awful this year. 

85bluejay - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 03:32 PM EST (#352853) #
Hammel(11m) for Morales(23M) seems doable - the jays would probably have to send about 6m to even finances out - say 21/2m this year to balance salary, then in addition to paying the Hammel 2m buyout next year, send 31/2m next year - meaning KC can have Morales for about 6m next year. Probably depends on how desperately KC need some pop.
Chuck - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 03:39 PM EST (#352854) #
Probably depends on how desperately KC need some pop.

I wonder if they lose both Hosmer and Moustakas that they don't just go into rebuild mode making Morales a pointless acquisition.

Hodgie - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 03:40 PM EST (#352855) #
If there is a bounce in Morales it is most likely the dead cat variety. I can't imagine the list of 35-year-old hitters with rapidly declining peripherals across the board that experienced a career resurgence is, as modest as that would be for Morales, a rather short read.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#352856) #
To me it's not about other teams "wanting" Morales - it's about them wanting to get rid of a big contract and maybe pick up a decent asset in return, while taking Morales on to increase the value of that decent asset. I am assuming they are taking on Morales as more or less dead weight, in order to move an otherwise unmovable contract.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 04:02 PM EST (#352857) #
Tyler Clippard (RHP):
Seung-hwan Oh (RHP):
Whereas these might be of interest to the Jays, they are both RHP when we need an LHP upgrade more. When I look at the Free Agent LHP Reliever options I wonder can the Jays do better via trading.
Mike Green - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 04:06 PM EST (#352858) #
I'd do Morales plus equalizing cash for Hammel in a heartbeat.  Hammel would make nice insurance depth early in the season, and not having Morales would be a plus with the personnel on hand.  It would make the Granderson/Grichuk acquisitions much more useful, and allow the use of the DH slot to give a number of players who are as good or better offensively as Morales to get some rest.  Pearce, Granderson, Donaldson and Smoak are obvious candidates for work out of the DH slot. 
hypobole - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 04:13 PM EST (#352859) #
Hammel could fetch something from some team without having to take on a Morales-type contract, especially if KC ate some of his salary.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#352860) #
I think we should aim higher than Hammell. We need a legit rotation guy, not just insurance depth.

We should target a guy that can reasonably project to 2-3war I think.

The way to do it is to take on a guy who's getting paid elite salary to only do that, and then use the rest of our FA money + the Morales contract to afford him.
Mike Green - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 05:28 PM EST (#352861) #
More on Grichuk from fangraphs.  The comments are interesting, and particularly the comments about his attitude.  The high barrels to  and relatively modest HR/FB rate is interesting too. 

Check out his batting splits for fly balls in 2017.  He hit 100 balls in the air,  18 were homers, 1 was a double and 1 was a triple (and no singles) for an absurdly low BABIP of .024.  It does remind you a bit of a Justin Smoak situation, with the additional thing that Grichuk runs well enough that ground balls are often hits too.  It seems that there is benefit in not trying to hit the living daylights out of the ball. 
scottt - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 06:23 PM EST (#352862) #
The only thing to work on with Grichuk is off-speed pitch recognition.
Now, he's going to help the team hit less double play ground balls.

scottt - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 06:36 PM EST (#352863) #
I dunno. Leone was a waiver claim. They're picking 12th. Something could come up.
So, don't add Granderson until you have to.
Heck, the Astros just picked up a lefty from the Twins.

And then there's the market. There's still a lot of guys left so a bargain could appear.
Also, every time someone is added to a roster, somebody is put on waiver.

I'm intrigued by Guerrieri whom the Rays picked 24th, before Blake Snell.
He's posted good numbers at every levels and was lost because the Rays had too many prospects to protect.

PeterG - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#352864) #
from Jeff Passan just now on AJ signing with Giants:

"Austin Jackson was a two-win player last year. That's worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15M in value for one season. He got a total of $6M guaranteed for two seasons. The bottoming out of this market is staggering, and what's scary is that this is just the beginning."
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 08:05 PM EST (#352865) #
Taylor Guerrieri was limited to 67.0 in "A" in 2013 before having Tommy John Surgery in late July of that year. Up to that point he was a dominant Starter.
He then only got in 9.1 innings in 2014, Rookie Ball in July. Very effective innings pitched.
In 2015, he managed 78.0 Innings split between "A+" and "AA", dominant once again.
This is where it got very strange. He pitched 146.0 very good innings in "AA", doubling the innings he got the prior year. Just not as dominant as before.
He pitched just 9.1 very good innings in "AAA" before leaving the game with an elbow injury April 13th 2017 (No new damage was shown). He just never pitched again for the Rays.
uglyone - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 08:14 PM EST (#352866) #
we should sign Cobb now.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 08:19 PM EST (#352867) #
I agree.
scottt - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:45 PM EST (#352868) #
Well, Jackson played at replacement level in 2015 and 2016.
So he signed for 6M guaranteed and 2.5M in potential bonus.
I don't see anything unusual here.  He's 30 and he's a 4th outfielder.

scottt - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 09:55 PM EST (#352869) #
I don't think Cobb wants to pitch in the AL East. Not for a team that is projected to finish 3rd at any rate.
What's holding Darvish now? The Rangers aren't competing. The Astros are set. The Yanks and Dodgers don't have the payroll space. Maybe the Yankees sign him on a front loaded contract with an opt out that keep them under the tax?

John Northey - Monday, January 22 2018 @ 10:10 PM EST (#352870) #
Front loaded doesn't help as the payroll tax is based on average annual value iirc. Basically if the NYY want to stay under the cap they need to dump a contract for any they sign.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:32 AM EST (#352871) #
The Jays have the Tax Level space for Darvish, but do they have the desire to sign him and the money to spend to do so? The Top four Starters all have their issues. Even now they still think they can get their price because they are the best available. Teams are trying to sent the message of not at your price. This will be fun to watch.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 02:35 AM EST (#352872) #
"Austin Jackson was a two-win player last year. That's worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15M in value for one season. He got a total of $6M guaranteed for two seasons. The bottoming out of this market is staggering, and what's scary is that this is just the beginning."

Strange reading IMO. Jackson had WRC+ the 2 years before of 86 and 81. Last year, his was 131 mostly driven by a .385 BABIP. That's just not sustainable. His defense is also declining and he's gone from excellent in CF to being more suited to corner OF. He's still a useful player, but I'd bet on a serious regression and obviously so did the market. The Giants said they see Jackson as their 4th OFer and I'm sure pretty much all teams would value him similarly.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 06:23 AM EST (#352873) #
The Chicago Cubs are reportedly negotiating with Darvish.
scottt - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 07:08 AM EST (#352874) #
Front loaded helps because the payroll tax is based on average value.
Consider a 30-10-10-10 contract with an opt out after the first year.
Counts as 15M towards the tax and Darvish is back on the market next year looking for 5 years instead of 6.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 09:35 AM EST (#352875) #
The relative market for relief pitching and outfielders seems inefficient to me, and a reflection of herd mentality.  If you can get Granderson and Jackson for $8 million, you've got a fine platoon corner outfield spot plus a guy with a good enough glove to back-up centerfield and a guy with a good enough bat to DH or pinch-hit against RHP.  It's a beautiful and efficient use of roster spots.  Or you can sign Brandon Morrow for $10.5 million per year.  Nothing against Brandon Morrow, but it's not comparable value.

Over the last 3 years, Jackson has hit .279/.336/.405 which is almost exactly his career line.  As for his defence, he has obviously lost a step from his early-mid 20s when he was a great centerfielder.  His numbers in centerfield the last few years have been slightly below average.  Last year, he played 18 games in right-field (he had played 22 games there over the rest of his career).  He was according to all the metrics terrible there.  I'm pretty sure that if you gave him regular work in a corner, he would be average, for the next couple of years. 

James W - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 10:01 AM EST (#352876) #
The Top 50 of Law's list is now posted. Guerrero is ranked at 2 behind Acuna, Bichette 17th, and Alford 44th. For Guerrero and Bichette, it's the usual: hitting won't be a problem, so just a question of where they end up on the diamond. On Alford, the question marks are health, and will his BP power ever appear in games.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 10:11 AM EST (#352877) #
neither of the available projection systems buy Jackson's rebound year at the plate last year, likely due to the .385babip, and peg him around a 90wrc+ player.

A 90wrc+ player with average corner OF defense is pretty much ezequiel carrera.
Jevant - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 10:39 AM EST (#352878) #
Exactly.  My first thought was "is that better than Granderson for $5?"  Further reflection suggests no.

Also - weird that Grandy hasn't been announced formally yet.  Some holdup on the medical side of things, perhaps?

Jevant - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#352879) #
Annnnnnd...of course that last part of the comment is out of date before I posted it.  Welcome, Grandy-man.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 10:45 AM EST (#352880) #
Here is an intersting article by Travis Sawchik, just bosted on Fangraphs as to the reasons for the slow market. It contains a telling quote from Sandy Alderson who thinks there has been a sea change in how teams value FA's.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 10:46 AM EST (#352881) #
The more I think about the more signing a guy like Cobb makes mucho sense. Not just for this year but looking forward as happ and estrada's deals come to a close.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:33 AM EST (#352882) #
I hope the Jays are at least investigating the market for Pillar - maybe a team wanting to upgrade defence in CF but don't have much left in their budget (Colorado?) - because it's starting to look like Cain can be had for 3 years & less than 50m.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:36 AM EST (#352883) #
Atkins quoted this morning:

"There's certainy potential that we add to our overall positional player group. Hopefully that person can play multiple positions, infield & outfield."
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:36 AM EST (#352884) #
Jaime Garcia is projected to have a 2.2 WAR and 4.27 ERA in 2018, while Cobb is projected at 1.7 and 4.41. Granted, those are just projections, and Garcia's only had a limited amount of time in the AL East compared to Cobb, but considering what both pitchers should cost and the fact that Cobb was a qualified FA, I think I'd rather go with Garcia on a two year deal. It ultimately comes down to price and how much the Jays have left. Unless the payroll is going to be higher than $165M on Opening Day, then the cheaper option is the more likely one.

Although the FO has been more willing to trade from their depth prospect base this winter, so maybe a trade is possible as well. I remember reading that the Indians were willing to trade Danny Salazar. Not sure if they still are (or whether they were to begin with) but he'd be a great target. Unfortunately I don't think the Jays match up with them trade-wise.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:44 AM EST (#352885) #
Atkins also saying this morning that Donaldson's desire to remain in TO is sincere. Said any negotiation will
be in private and if at some point desires and values intersect, something could happen.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:45 AM EST (#352886) #
neither of the available projection systems buy Jackson's rebound year at the plate last year, likely due to the .385babip, and peg him around a 90wrc+ player.
A 90wrc+ player with average corner OF defense is pretty much ezequiel carrera.

Marcel the Monkey has had about as good a record as Steamer or ZiPS.  It likes Jackson to continue at about his career norm.  For good reason.  As lucky as he was in 2017, he was severely unlucky in 2016.  He had a terrific line-drive rate of 30% and a low IFFB rate of 4.3% in 2016.  His batting average on line drives in 2016 was .595 and in 2017 was .783; his career mark is .688 and there is perfectly good reason to believe that is where it will settle in 2018.

And no projection system has Ezequiel Carrera as an average defender. 

For his career, Austin Jackson has delivered 20 WAR.  Ezequiel Carrera has delivered 2 WAR.  They both had anomalous offensive seasons last year.  Jackson has been a demonstrably better defender (by a mile) than Carrera.  They are both 30 years old.  You can believe that Jackson's projection is pretty much Carrera if you like, but the evidence for that is weak. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:46 AM EST (#352887) #
Well, jurickson Profar can play infield/outfield, a better defensive SS than Diaz & really I'm apprehensive about Tulo's badly hurt ankle and turf,a switch-hitter with 3 years control & Profar needs a change of scenery.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#352888) #
Jaime Garcia is projected to have a 2.2 WAR and 4.27 ERA in 2018, while Cobb is projected at 1.7 and 4.41. Granted, those are just projections, and Garcia's only had a limited amount of time in the AL East compared to Cobb, but considering what both pitchers should cost and the fact that Cobb was a qualified FA, I think I'd rather go with Garcia on a two year deal. It ultimately comes down to price and how much the Jays have left. Unless the payroll is going to be higher than $165M on Opening Day, then the cheaper option is the more likely one.

Those are the Steamer projections.  We don't have the ZiPS projection for Garcia, but Cobb is projected at 160 innings with an ERA of 3.71.  With league adjustments, I like Cobb quite a bit better than Garcia

uglyone - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:02 PM EST (#352889) #

Last 2yrs

Jackson (31): 521pa, .359babip, 112wrc+, 1.1bsr, -9.6fld, 1.7war
Carrera (31): 635pa, .335babip, 96wrc+, 3.2bsr, -8.2fld, 1.4war

Projection Avg

Jackson (31): 89wrc+, 0.9war/650
Carrera (31): 85wrc+, 0.0war/650

Ok you win Mike, Jackson's a bit better.

uglyone - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#352890) #
Zips has Garcia at 25 starts, 107era-, 1.4war/32gs

not bad, but I'd prefer cobb.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:09 PM EST (#352891) #
I'd probably expect Cobb to out-produce Garcia in 2018 as well, but I'm not sure the performance difference would be enough to justify the cost difference (+ the lost pick).
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:13 PM EST (#352892) #
Nathaniel Grow has a good article on the environment for a possible strike/lockout.  I agree with several of his essential points:
  • the threat of a strike is unlikely to be a sufficient weapon for players to regain share of revenues
  • there is much work for the union to do in organizing players in very different financial circumstances if there is to be an effective strike
  • owners are in a position to wait quite a lengthy period and have very good reason to defend their position for that lengthy period.

What Grow does not say is that it is likely that the union will need new leadership if it is going to make a serious effort to pull this off. 

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:20 PM EST (#352893) #
Ok you win Mike, Jackson's a bit better.

A win's a win, even in paradise. 

The big thing though is the combination of the Granderson and Jackson signings.  I understand the depreciation in value of the one-dimensional sluggers, but the depreciation in value of players such as these in relation to relief pitchers seems to me to be not rational.   

Jevant - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:34 PM EST (#352894) #
Agreed.  I wonder if the reason is the RP market has long been undervalued, and the OF market overvalued, and the correction may be taking the pendulum back too far the other direction.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 12:38 PM EST (#352895) #
Players are not going to strike. What we are seeing now is a salary regression to reality. As there is more and more evidence that long term contracts to players over 30 do not work about 80% of the time, adjustments need to be and are being made.

Some agents like Boras have recently had too much influence on the game and it's salary structure. Reducing that influence is a good thing.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 01:15 PM EST (#352896) #
At the time of the Season that Scott Boras starts really negotiating for his clients, he's usually talking with Owners. He seems to know all the buttons to push to get a deal done. With Owners sometimes the Ego gets in the way of Common Sense.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 01:20 PM EST (#352897) #
I have a feeling the owners will not be talking this year. There will still be a few big deals but far fewer than in the past.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 01:20 PM EST (#352898) #
"Players are not going to strike. What we are seeing now is a salary regression to reality. As there is more and more evidence that long term contracts to players over 30 do not work about 80% of the time, adjustments need to be and are being made.

Some agents like Boras have recently had too much influence on the game and it's salary structure. Reducing that influence is a good thing."

The problem is that the younger players don't get enough money. If free agency costs decrease then owners just get more and more money which is worse.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 01:33 PM EST (#352899) #
Some adjustments can be made in the next CBA for that....higher minimum salary, arb after 2 years, roster expansion.

Also, teams will still be interested in locking up their own young players. The problem is that the last couple of years, the trend has been for a player to hold out till FA. I think that trend may change and if so, it is for the better.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 02:56 PM EST (#352900) #
MLB Pipeline also gave vladdy an 80 Hit grade today (with 65 power).

That's the first time they've ever given anyone an 80 Hit grade.
christaylor - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:01 PM EST (#352901) #
That time of year again when we get a hit of nostalgia before wish-casting on the reality of the present... ah, the HOF. Given the talk about CBA and contract here, it was refreshing to read an interview with Larry "Chipper" Jones. The quote that stands out, ''I never saw a pay stub my entire time in professional baseball. I didn't care. I didn't have to be the highest-paid player. Trust me, I was more than happy with what I got.''

Here's a list of players at the hot-corner. What stood out from reading the list, but makes sense when I gave it a second thought, Donaldson has 10 more years to double his JAWS score and catch Scott Rolen. Other names of note -- Rance at #129 and Gruber at #131.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:01 PM EST (#352902) #
The MLBPA should want:
1) Basic pay in the Minor Leagues should be doubled or tripled, with annual 10% raises.
2) Two years of Pre-Arb at doubled or triple or current rate, plus 10% annual increase.
3) Two Arbitration years at a minimum of $2.5 Million for 3rd year and a minimum of double or triple previous years' number for 4th Year.
4) Increase the size of the current 25-man Roster to 27 or 28, and increase the current size of the 40-Man Roster to 43 to 45.
They won't get everything now but year by year until a new CBA, they will get some. Start talking about 50% of everything MLB earns.
Free Agency starts at about 23-24 at the earliest or about 27-29 normally. By that time the Player will have earned a minimum of $9.0 Million-ish.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:31 PM EST (#352903) #
MLBPA dream on. They won't get that.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:31 PM EST (#352904) #
Alex Cobb is still looking for 4-5 years and $15.0 Million of more yearly. Thatís about 1-2 years too long and about $2.0-$2.5 Million too much per year.
Lance Lynn wants just 4 years and $15.0 Million or more yearly . Thatís about 1 year too long and $2.0-$2.5 Million too much per year.
The next tier are just #3, #4, and #5 Starter types, nothing more. They are still relatively much too expensive for what they bring.
Without knowing exactly what they Jays are after, I believe that they will trade for a Starter before touching the Market. Gerritt Cole set the value of the market here, but can the Jays meet that price?
John Northey - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:35 PM EST (#352905) #
Richard, obviously the union won't get all that. I was shocked last time when they didn't get 1 more player on the roster or a 1 million minimum or a significant increase in the point when the luxury tax hits. They just gave up. Putting an ex player in charge was a very bad idea. A strong union person who understands negotiation and who hasn't played the game, thus will look out for the bulk of players first rather than the ones who were like himself, is what is needed.

Now, as to us fans, ideally we see players stay with their first club longer. It is fun to cheer on the same guys for years at a time.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:36 PM EST (#352906) #
The MLBPA should be targetting one thing - 4-yr entry level contracts, followed by 2-3 years of restricted free agency, with full free agency at 7 years.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:52 PM EST (#352907) #
Donaldson has 10 more years to double his JAWS score and catch Scott Rolen

I think you mean his WAR.  Rolen has 70 WAR and 57 JAWS.  Donaldson has 37 WAR and 37 JAWS.  To catch Rolen in JAWS, Donaldson would probably have to get to 65 WAR because his WAR7 of 37 is presently based on his only 7 seasons which include a -0.3 and 1.5 seasons, and it would be easier for him to pass Rolen in WAR7- Rolen has 44-,  than to catch him in WAR. 

Bill James once said that Mickey Mantle was the greatest player of the 50s and made an elaborate argument that he was noticeably better than Mays during that time.  I was inclined to agree with him.  So for fun, I checked WAR totals for 1954-59 (Mays had military service in 52 and 53).  For that period, Mantle had 54.3 WAR and Mays 53.5 WAR.  I'd call it a dead heat.  Mays is only credited for an average of +11 runs per season on defence, and that, if anything, is likely low.   Mays had a durability advantage that was visible even at that point. 
jerjapan - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#352908) #
The problem is that the younger players don't get enough money. If free agency costs decrease then owners just get more and more money which is worse.

Spot on Glevin.  I will never understand the fan that bemoans the ridiculous salaries of veteran players but has nothing to say about the owners, raking in ridiculous profits in part due to crazy tax breaks and public subsidies.  Players deserve a minimum of half the revenue IMO. 

there is much work for the union to do in organizing players in very different financial circumstances if there is to be an effective strike

Mike Green's point above is the biggest issue I see for the union.  I was an active local leader in the Ontario teacher's union for close to a decade, and our great failure has been precisely this.   A union that seeks primarily to protect the interest of its majority members has abdicated its moral integrity, which breeds resentment in minority members and non-members alike.  If the players were to go to bat for minor leaguers and the bottom guys on the 25 man roster, it will minimize charges of self-interest - charges that are easily leveled at multi-millionaires who play a game for a living. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#352909) #
You need to factor in owner's costs before cutting them up. Once you factor in all of their costs and expenses it doesn't look so bad. Owners invest the money and risk while players invest their career and health risk.

I don't think players should be entitled to half of the owners return on investments. By owners expenses, we aren't even considering the unrelated businesses and work put in by owners to create the capital to invest in a baseball team. If we weren't living in a capital society I would have a different opinion.

Uglyone has the best suggestion that I've seen. Pay the players more (not half of revenue that's crazy), give them more freedom to cash in (restricted free agency). The stars of the game that make a difference are making tons of money, and despite what anybody thinks, nobody will go to watch one player. It's a team game and revenues don't fall from trees because one star player creates all the buzz. There is a full on business creating advertising, media, installing fences, stadiums, health physicians, etc etc. Just because some owners are bad people and have milked the people by having governments pay for the stadiums doesn't mean that they haven't done the initial leg work to create a business and run a team. A thing that most people cant do, including Jeter to this point.
Michael - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 05:36 PM EST (#352910) #
Part of the problem is that mlbpa doesn't represent non-major league players, right? People in the minors, international signings, and draft picks don't influence mlbpa. So tradeoff will always follow the majors players making more, not protection for minor league players.

How about an extra roster spot? That would likely be a place to expand the lower benefits at low cost.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 06:17 PM EST (#352911) #

That's a really good point because it illustrates that owners can invest in non MLBPA assets to get better ROI.

I for one really like this regime of Shapiro/Atkins for a number of reasons, not that I didn't like Ricciardi or Anthopolous - I thought they were both good despite some clear limits from Rogers. I bring up the regime because Shapiro strikes me as someone that has flourished as a GM/President on the ownership side. He grew up the son of a player agent and has always had the backbone to center his organizations with a focus on profits and efficiency first. Why I like him is because I think he is also a very smart and savvy baseball person that can excel in putting together a championship team despite ownership or self restricted limitations. Granted, if he limits himself at the Blue Jays by creating self-imposed constraints similar to the inherent drawbacks of the city of CLE, then he would be selling himself and talents incredibly short and that type of strategy would change my opinion of him as a baseball fan.

Back to Michael's point, I think we're all hitting on a crack in the foundation of the MLBPA. Before the owners, maybe the players should be thinking about how they can get young talent not part of the MLBPA on board their union since that is where most of the value for players will be coming from. Could be harder said than done. Try negotiating a deal with DR players like Vlad where you have to tell them that the $3 million dollar deal they sign will have portions go to the players union...not gonna fly.
scottt - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 07:28 PM EST (#352912) #
The extra roster spot goes against the pace of play initiatives.

Fundamentally, it's pointless to talk about revenues while ignoring where they are distributed.
Many teams are cutting their payrolls this year. Including the Mets, who are a large market team.
Maybe bigger playoff bonuses would be a good idea.
How about bonuses given to each players in accordance to their team final position in the standing?
Mandatory attendance bonus for each player?

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 07:53 PM EST (#352913) #
I guess the Steelworkers or the Autoworkers will have to organize the minor leaguers then!
PeterG - Tuesday, January 23 2018 @ 08:48 PM EST (#352914) #
It has been reported that Jays have minor league deals with rhp Rhiner Cruz (AAA reliever with major league experience) and OF Bryan Hudson (class A)

That is now 2 minor league contracts to relievers with major league experience. Will there be more and will they compete for last spot in the bullpen?
Glevin - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 05:38 AM EST (#352915) #
"Bill James once said that Mickey Mantle was the greatest player of the 50s and made an elaborate argument that he was noticeably better than Mays during that time. I was inclined to agree with him. So for fun, I checked WAR totals for 1954-59 (Mays had military service in 52 and 53). For that period, Mantle had 54.3 WAR and Mays 53.5 WAR. I'd call it a dead heat."

I'd give it to Mays. In the 50s, there was a significant difference between the leagues because the NL had integrated and the AL hadn't really. In the 50's, the NL had Paige, Mays, Aaron, Campanella, Banks, Frank Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Newcombe, and more and the AL had Doby and Minosa. You're talking about a bunch of elite players who were all in one league.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 08:23 AM EST (#352916) #
I've always been suspicious that Mickey Mantle was good enough to play MLB but conveniently failed military fitness test.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 10:07 AM EST (#352917) #
There are a bunch of factors that I'd take into account if I was trying to decided who nosed out who in the 50s.  Strength of opposition is one, and that generally favours Mays.  On the other hand, Mantle hit .259/.371/.548 in 159 PAs in the post-season in the decade, while Mays hit .222/.333/.250 in 42 PAs.  On the other other hand, I think that the defensive statistics available at the time undersell Mays' advantage on Mantle with the glove (Mays' career numbers suggest that he had his best 3 year stretch from age 33 to 35 in the 1960s and I think that's unlikely).  Overall, if forced to choose, I'd probably go with Mays too but I'd want to spend more time looking at the defence side.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#352918) #
I don't know if the Cain signing makes sense anymore for us, but fangraphs makes a good case that while he was already a good bargain opportunity at the start of the offseason, he's even more of one now:

and as an aside, the article lists the 12 teams who project to get less than 2war from CF this year.....which might be interesting to those who were discussing Pillar's potential trade value:

Team Center-Field Projections
Rank Team WAR
1 Royals -0.2
2 White Sox -0.2
3 Giants 0.6
4 Brewers 0.9
5 Tigers 1.0
6 Reds 1.3
7 Nationals 1.4
8 Rangers 1.5
9 Padres 1.7
10 Indians 1.7
11 Athletics 1.9
12 Mariners 1.9
christaylor - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 11:00 AM EST (#352919) #
Thanks for pointing out my mix-up Mike. Boy, oh, boy is youtube fertile ground for some highlights -- I went to take a peek at "the catch" for the umpteenth time and ran into this gem: Mantle hitting a HR in Game 7 of the 1952 World Series. Very pretty baseball.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 11:54 AM EST (#352920) #
Most of those teams are non-contenders or not much money left in budget, which is why I hope the Jays are dangling Pillar - if Pillar plus can get you a decent controllable pitcher (another site suggested Tyler Anderson) & maybe get Cain for 3 years less than 50m - I'd give that a thumbs up - if that unlikely situation were to occur, then I'd make a push for Yelich - Grichuk & Hernandez plus prospects not named BO/Vlad/Nate.
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 12:05 PM EST (#352921) #
Money in the budget & luxury tax implications are very much limiting factors.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 01:51 PM EST (#352922) #
The Luxury Tax level: $197.0 Million.
The Jays Budget level: $165.0 Million (estimated).
Possible space: $32.0 Million.
Actual money spent: $149.5 Million (estimated).
Actual space: $15.0 Million (estimated).
Quality Starters: $15.0 - $17.5 Million (numbers may vary).
Quality Relievers (2): $10.0 - $$15.0 Million (numbers may vary).
Opinion: more money, lesser talent or move someone out.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 03:13 PM EST (#352923) #
The tax and payroll are different creatures. For payroll tax the salaries are averaged over the life of the contract and mix in bonuses, plus other costs are added including the 15 members of the 40 man roster who are in the minors (estimated cost $2 mil) and player benefits (estimated $14 mil). Figures from Cot's Contracts. who put the Jays payroll vs tax at $164 mil at the moment (factoring in everything including arbitration players and those things I mentioned above). That leaves the Jays just $33 mil before going over the tax threshold vs what they have spent so far. So if they were offered Zack Greinke for nothing they would go over the cap (he counts as $34.4 mil vs cap).
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 03:26 PM EST (#352924) #
Chris Tillman is young enough to be very useful if the Jays were to sign him.
There will be a lot of concern about his shoulder issues, but I'm not sure how bad it is. On this team he could be a Mid-Rotation Starter, a #3, a #4 or even a very good #5, if he's all the way back.
Would one year with/without an option(s) $2.0 Million contract with up to $5.0 Million available in games pitched incentives be reasonable? Or should they Jays try to do better?
John Northey - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 03:55 PM EST (#352925) #
Just looking at MLB and noticed Bichette is only #3 for top shortstop prospect (despite being top 10 overall by Baseball America). Of course a Yankee is ahead of him on both (Gleyber Torres). Fernando Tatis Jr (Padres) is ranked just behind him by BA but just ahead of him by MLB.

Vlad is #1 at 3B (#3 in MLB by BA). No shock.

Danny Jansen is #8 for catchers (didn't make BA list).

No one in top 10 for LHP, RHP, 1B, 2B - no shock to anyone here. OF will be listed tomorrow - Anthony Alford (#60 via BA) might make the list. Nate Pearson (RHP #91 BA) made one list but not the other (#33 for RHP on BA list - boy that list is heavy on RHP).

Nice to have 3 of the top prospects in MLB at hard to get positions (3B/SS/CA). Now to find more pitchers.
Chuck - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 04:41 PM EST (#352926) #
Can't see many cats being too thrilled about TO For The Tillman. It is a wild world, though.

Goins goin' gone to KC.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 04:56 PM EST (#352927) #
Can't see many cats being too thrilled about TO For The Tillman. It is a wild world, though.

Yikes.  I wonder if there are any managers who hum "The First Cut is the Deepest" when the time comes in the spring. 
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 05:05 PM EST (#352928) #
The Athletic has an interesting piece up on Scott Boras, who argues that revenues are outstripping payroll spending:  "The average payroll, per Baseball Prospectus, rose from $90 million in 2008 to $124 million in Ď17, an increase of 38 percent. Over the same period, per Forbes, the sportís revenues rose from $5.8 billion to more than $10 billion, an increase of 72 percent. But in baseballís calculations, player salaries as a percentage of revenue have been relatively constant for a decade, a source said."

I argued for 50% of profits going to players, and this quote supports the need for greater equity.  Dalimon disputed the idea of a 50-50 split, but I do believe this is a fairly common concept in pro sports - I know that the NBA has roughly this arrangement, and there is no talk of labour strife there. 

In a separate article, Ken Rosenthal notes:  "Next yearís (free agent class) might prove even worse for the middle class.  A number of the remaining 130-plus free agents will end up with one-year deals, putting them back on the market next offseason. Thus, the supply-demand equation figures to be even more tilted in the clubsí favor, enabling them to apply an even tighter squeeze.  The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and other clubs trying to reset their luxury-tax penalty rate will be in play for top-end talent ó Harper, Donaldson, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw if he opts out, Charlie Blackmon, Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Miller.But the lesser free agents Ė the ones who figure to suffer most this offseason Ė are not likely to get relief anytime soon".

The MLBPA has some work to do.

On a different note, if our front office can't extract some bargains from the current FA market, that is a fail in my books.  They are playing the long game, waiting for value, and have a fair amount of money left to extract said value.  I am strongly in favour of signing Cain, and then trading Pillar for pitching.  Cain looks to be tremendous value in the current market. 
Four Seamer - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 05:49 PM EST (#352929) #

I argued for 50% of profits going to players

I assume you mean 50% of revenues, rather than profits, but it sparks an interesting hypothetical whether the players would truly be interested in risking guaranteed salaries for a guaranteed portion of profits.  My guess is not, not only because of the inherent risk but the lack of trust they have in the owners acting as good faith business partners, but it would be an interesting model where players could see their negotiated salaries rise (or be cut) depending on the profits earned by the industry as a whole.

As a fan, I'm all for players getting their fair share (though think the lion's share of any additional money paid in salaries ought to be directed at the minor leaguers playing for less than minimum wage in most cases), but can't say I'm too excited about the thought of guaranteeing them a minimum portion of revenues.  That will more than likely lead to most owners trying to restore profit margins through squeezing other aspects of the business, some of which could negatively affect fan experience.  On-the-field talent is obviously the most important characteristic of an entertaining product, but it is not the only measure that drives results in the win-loss column or the enjoyment of being a fan, and am leery that tying salaries to a percentage of revenues would effectively amount to a tacit agreement from the players that the owners are free to reduce expenditures on anything other than major-league salaries.  If that worst-case scenario were to come to pass, it would be a pyrrhic victory for the PA as a failure to invest in other parts of the business would ultimately slow revenue growth but I'm not sure the players or their union quite see it that way.  

jerjapan - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 06:10 PM EST (#352930) #
Thanks four seamer, revenues is what I meant, but that is an interesting thought experiment.

Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the subject could weigh in, but my understanding is that a 50-50 split is a typical model for pro sports?  I believe this is the case with both the NBA and the NHL, and I believe the current deal for MLB is close to this? 

bpoz - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 07:07 PM EST (#352931) #
I believe that the 100 top prospect list comes out on the 27th.

Donaldson is a fantastic player. But I think Vlad gets a higher ranking than he did in the 100 list. That pumps me up.
Bo and Alford will get a lower ranking than Donaldson did. I am sure because it is just not realistic.
CeeBee - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 07:14 PM EST (#352932) #
Just saw that Vlad Guerrero made the HOF. Which hat does he wear, Expos or Angels? I say it should be the Expos.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 07:39 PM EST (#352933) #
Both the NFL and the NBA TV deals pay each Team enough money they can pay the players, pay their expenses and have a smallish profit. Anything that is earned in Ticket Sales, Concessions and all other money earners at the Park/Game site are 100% profit for the Owner. Without the TV deals they could never afford to pay their players what they do now. It's about a 50-50 split.

The NHL is attendance driven - butts in the seats with a mandatory 50-50 split. Their TV deal is small in comparison, even MLB Teams earn more. The NFL plays around 18 games, but just 9 home games. They could never pay their Players with what they could make. The NBA and NHL each gets around 41 home games so they had a good chance to pay the Players until the NBA's salaries got out of line. The NHL is as healthy as the Canadian Teams are.

The MLB is different, the deal your work with your TV provider decides what kind of Team you will have. Attendance, concessions and ETC earn up to $100.0 or more Million with strong attendance. MLB Network TV and ETC package brings about $50.0 Million to each team. Whether your TV package brings in $35.0 Million as the Jays report, or the $100.0 or more Million that other Teams get, it can change everything.
scottt - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 08:55 PM EST (#352934) #
It's up to Vlad to decide. They should honor him in Montreal when the Jays play there in the spring though.

First Dominican hitter in the Hall. Third Dominican after Pedro Martinez, both on the same team in 96-97.

scottt - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 09:15 PM EST (#352935) #
Tillman was Baltimore's ace and started that last wild card game.
Nobody would be shocked if he rebounds. He's got terrible numbers in Roger Center, but the Jays might have a better defense that what he's used to. As a number 5 starter, it's probably not bad if the money saved is used somewhere else, like an elite reliever.

hypobole - Wednesday, January 24 2018 @ 10:27 PM EST (#352936) #
KLaw - Vlad #2, Bo #17, Alford #44.

No one in the Florida State League came close to Guerrero's .450 OBP, and he walked more than he struck out both there and in low-A. In fact, his 76 walks on the season would have been the second-highest number of Vlad Sr.'s entire pro career. And Vlad Jr. can hit -- he has his dad's loose, whippy wrists, great plate coverage and plus raw power, although in games he shortens up and gives back some power for contact.
He's playable at third right now, but given his size, there's a good chance he ends up at another position, possibly first base. With huge OBP skills already and 40-homer potential, it's not going to matter much where he plays.

Bichette has an unusual, noisy approach, but he has insanely good hand-eye coordination and excellent bat speed from his quick hands so he can get the bat to the ball on time consistently and with enough angle to drive it to the gaps. He's also very athletic, an above-average runner who might be a tick better underway, adding value on the bases.
The Blue Jays have primarily played Bichette at his natural position of shortstop, but it's more likely he'll move to second base at some point and be an above-average defender there. To stay at short, he'll have to really improve his footwork and slow himself down on routine plays.
He's a very hard worker and plays as if his hair is on fire, which might help him if he ever slumps ... which so far he hasn't. He's going to hit for enough average and OBP to be an above-average regular anywhere, probably with 15-20 homers at his peak; if he stays at short or works himself into plus defense at second, he's a superstar.

Alford has pluses all over his scouting report, including speed, raw power and plate discipline, and he has shown a consistent ability to get on base and put the ball in play when he has been on the field. That last point is crucial. Alford has only played 100 games in one regular season since he signed in 2012, missing time while he was playing college football, then suffering injuries in each of the past two seasons that cut into his playing time.
The other question about Alford is when and if the plus raw power he shows in BP will show up in games; His season high in homers is nine, and he hasn't even been a big doubles hitter so far. His physical age says he should be coming into more power by now; his limited baseball experience -- 308 regular-season games across six calendar years -- says to be patient. He looks like a sure regular, but some power could make him a star. Let's just hope Alford makes his plea to the baseball gods for a healthy season.

Glevin - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 02:32 AM EST (#352937) #
"It's up to Vlad to decide."

Partly, but it's the Hall's decision ultimately. Gary Carter wanted to go in as a Met and the Hall decided (correctly) he should go in as an Expo. Vlad played longer and was better with the Expos. (34.6 WAR to 22.8 WAR). It's much closer than Carter's case where he had 12 years with the Expos and 5 with the Mets. (55.6 WAR to 11.3 WAR).
scottt - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:44 AM EST (#352938) #
Boras pointed out in 2012, as the Pirates were about to become a winner again, the team had a $52 million payroll and $178 million in revenues, a profit of about $120 million.

I don't know if that's the full revenues, but the payroll is not the only expense. The stadium, signing bonuses, etc... were just 6M?
John Northey - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:44 AM EST (#352939) #
Sadly the HOF seems to have picked the Angels for Vlad. Sigh. I really wanted one last Expos hat in there.

2 more years as an Expo, 3 SS, 4 ASG
Angels 4 SS, 4 ASG, plus an MVP plus 5 playoff appearances

His only WS appearance was with the Rangers.

I'm guessing the justification is the playoff plus MVP, while the #1 reason is to draw Angel fans to the Hall for induction weekend. Not too many Expos fans left. Sigh. I suspect if he was given a choice he'd have picked Montreal due to his working with the Jays and his son being in the Jays system. I'm sure the Jays will do something to honor Vlad Sr in season and in spring training in Montreal.
John Northey - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:53 AM EST (#352940) #
Funny, he is the 2nd with an Angels hat and both could easily be with another hat.

Nolan Ryan is the other one - I thought he went in with the Rangers to be honest, although a Houston hat would work too as he played a bit more in Houston than in California. Funny. Just checked Ryan's page which has the plaque and it shows a Texas hat but he is listed as having his primary team being the Angels.

So the HOF official page for the Expos has 4 on it - Carter, Dawson, Raines, and Dick Williams (who has an A's hat on with his plaque thanks to 2 WS wins and a division title in his 3 years there).

The HOF has its oddities that is for sure.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 11:01 AM EST (#352941) #
Thanks Richard!

Stoeten has the spring training NRIs up:

P: Andrew Case, Jose Fernandez, Chad Girodo, Jon Harris, Sean Reid-Foley, Jordan Romano, Chris Rowley, Justin Shafer
C: Max Pentecost
INF: Jason Leblebijian, Tim Lopes
OF: J.D. Davis, Roemon Fields

Nothing too surprising.  The only names that stand out to me are Jose Fernandez and Andrew Case.  Fernandez is a lefty who can bring mid-nineties heat, but he's coming off a rough year in AA and has struggled with control over his career, while Case is the opposite - good numbers, super low K rates. 

Jonathan - JD -  Davis is way down on our depth chart - how did he end up the number 17 prospect for the org on MLB pipeline?  He's not close to my top 40 and looks like a 5th OF to me, am I missing something?

PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 11:06 AM EST (#352942) #
Davis did have an impressive AFL. No way he should be a #17 imo but I would not put him outside the top 40 either....maybe in the 30's. I think he may eventually get a major league shot, not necessarily with the Jays.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#352943) #
Davis and Fields are both nice older minor league players.  Davis hits left-handers pretty well and runs well.  He's got noticeable pop.  Fields hits right-handers pretty well and runs very well; he's got no pop at all.  They're both behind Grichuk, Pillar, Granderson, Carrera, Alford, Pompey and Hernandez in the organization chart as of today. 

With the long bullpens of the current day, the opportunities for useful players of this type are diminishing.  If some organization escaped from the "slave to the save" thinking that leads to long pens, there is no reason that players of this type wouldn't have some use to it. 

Gerry - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 11:47 AM EST (#352944) #
The Jays have signed Rhiner Cruz a 31 year old reliever. Cruz has bounced around pitching in Japan and Mexico before having a strong season with the Braves in AAA last year. Cruz pitched in the majors for Houston in 2012 and 2013.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#352945) #

PeterG was on this on Tuesday RE: Rhiner Cruz. Didn't give the extra tidbits of how he did in AAA though.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 12:41 PM EST (#352946) #
Relievers establish a track record after about three years of play, anything less might be too small a sample. At that point itís basically ďwhat you see is what you getĒ, so a Relieverís prior record is important. Unless the Reliever is done/finished/over, there is always a bounce-back after a less than the best year. When signing Relievers there are two points to consider. Is he done? Has he had his less than the best year yet?

Starters are totally different. Durability and consistency are the necessities here. Stuff just determines where they pitch and for how much they pitch for. Health is always the biggest issue, with a solid recovery being the key. Of all the injuries, only the Shoulder is still the hardest to determine both the degree of injury and the recovery - not enough is known. Success is not a given.

When you have an almost unlimited budget (depends on how much tax is paid) then signing anyone and everyone is easy. Everyone else has some sort of internal budget and every cent matters. Imagine this team in 2019 without Donaldson. Whereís the Offense coming from? Decisions like this changes what you must do with the rest of the Team. Upgrade cost, whether in dollars or in prospect capital or both so care must be taken to always be right.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 01:02 PM EST (#352947) #
I think the Jays likely went for Cruz because of a short but successful stint in the DWL this winter where he gave up only 4 hits in 11 innings. They would have had eyes on him there as well and saw some potential. Probably, they liked him in AAA last season as well.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 02:03 PM EST (#352948) #
Cruz has a good chance to be in the AAA Bullpen, where he has a slight chance of a Callup. Alburquerque has a better chance to either make the Team or be a Callup.

Incidentally, what happens if Yu Darvish announces heís signing with Toronto, five years $120.0 Million. This occurs the day after Lorenzo Cain announces heís signing with Toronto, four years $70.0 Million. Atkins announces this as an ownership decision!?!?!
pubster - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 02:10 PM EST (#352949) #
"When signing Relievers there are two points to consider. Is he done? Has he had his less than the best year yet?"

You have to ask yourself 'How will this player perform over the next year or so?'.

This of course is very difficult, and there are different probabilities for different outcomes.

You also have to factor in the cost of the player and then try to maximize performance.

And of course, just because you find a player that you love, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get them.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 02:19 PM EST (#352950) #
I don't have any evidence for this, but I have often wondered how much the tenuous nature of a depth relievers role on the big league club contributes to the volatility of relievers?  Dom Leone is a great example IMO - fantastic in the minor, very good in the bigs in 2014 and 2017, but bounced back and forth in 2015/16, with poor results in a SSS. 

2016 is a great example IMO - We got great work from Benoit and Grilli, both of whom struggled with their prior teams, and terrible work from Feldman and Storen, both of whom are still competent back-end big league pitchers.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 02:49 PM EST (#352951) #
Neither Darvish or Cain is coming to TO. As far as I know, there has been no interest in Darvish from the Jays. They did have interest in Cain but apparently he turned them down. Blair had something on this yesterday morning and it is my belief ;) that the information is correct.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 02:54 PM EST (#352952) #
Keith Law had a chat today in which he said that he is still very high on Logan Warmoth.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 03:10 PM EST (#352953) #
I concur completely with Keith Law's comments about the Hall of Fame voting.  The support for Vizquel in preference to Rolen or Andruw Jones is definitely weird.  And the Hoffman induction continues an unfortunate trend. 
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 03:16 PM EST (#352954) #
I don't think Vizquel should be anywhere near the HOF.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 03:47 PM EST (#352955) #
Of course, Walker is the other big one.  This defence of his candidacy from Shi Davidi doesn't quite get the point and treats him as a borderline case.  He isn't.

You can adjust for the Coors effect.  Walker's career OPS+ is 141.  He had an OPS+ of 151 in his age 27 season in Montreal before he left for Colorado, and he had a full season's of at-bats in St. Louis at the end of his career at 37-38 with an OPS+ of 135.  He was a very good defensive right-fielder and a fine baserunner.  He didn't ground into many double plays.  Overall, he's right there with Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner; there is no right-fielder who was better than him who is not in the Hall of Fame and plenty who were lesser players who are not. The JAWS scoreboard has it roughly right.   It's a shock to me how much better than Winfield he was, and I was a big fan of Winfield. 

And by the way, he did very well in the post-season too despite playing most of his games in his age 37 and 38 seasons. 
pubster - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 03:59 PM EST (#352956) #
"Keith Law had a chat today in which he said that he is still very high on Logan Warmoth."

Warmoth was drafted less than a year ago. I don't think his stock has fallen that much.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 04:09 PM EST (#352957) #
I don't think his stock has fallen at all. What Law said was an answer to a direct question.
uglyone - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 04:17 PM EST (#352958) #
imo stock rises and falls much more quickly than people think.

after all, warmoth's brief pro stint last year is, despite its briefness, the most significant performance data of his career.

there is so much guessing about level of competition prior to draft. but once you slot them into a pro league, there's not a lot of guessing left in that area.
Nigel - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#352959) #
The discussion of a prospect's stock rising or falling after the draft always makes me chuckle a bit. It depends on where your expectations were at the start. In Warmoth's case, if you thought that he was a "safe" college pick with a high floor and low ceiling then his stock shouldn't have fallen at all. He displayed a wide range of skills in Vancouver and seems a solid prospect in the Russ Adams vein of prospects (that isn't a disparaging comparison in my world, Adams was a solid prospect in his day). If you thought Warmoth was the steal of the draft because there was untapped offensive upside and that he could provide real value as a defender at SS then you would feel his stock has dropped because none of that was on display in Vancouver. Its all a question of expectations for newly drafted prospects.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 05:17 PM EST (#352960) #
Fair point, but did anyone think of Warmoth as a steal?  He was always a safe pick/
greenfrog - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:01 PM EST (#352961) #
In his chat, Law also said he viewed Grichuk as a fourth outfielder due to his poor plate discipline. Iím on the fence about Grichuk. I think he could have decent value as a Rasmus-type outfielder (albeit one who plays primarily in right field). And I acknowledge that he could find another gear at the plate, just as Smoak and Encarnacion and Bautista did with the Jays. But I also think heís walking a knife edge as a hitter, given his significant plate discipline issues.

Also, if Grichuk does figure it out over the next year or two, the Jays wonít control him for that much longer (barring a team-friendly extension), which reduces his value somewhat.

The front office made a good bet on Smoak. I guess weíll find out whether the same is true with the Grichuk acquisition.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:06 PM EST (#352962) #
Grichuk is liklely more useful than anything given up to get him.

Yelich has just been traded to the Brewers.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:28 PM EST (#352963) #
Brewers acquire Yelich for nothing special.
jerjapan - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#352964) #
Grichuk is liklely more useful than anything given up to get him.

Grichuk is precisely the sort of talent who's value is being reappraised negatively in the game, while Leone is the sort whose value is ascending.  Greene, as a potential elite reliever, also fits into this category.  I'm not going to call this deal a bad one for either side, but STL is held up as the model org round here, and they didn't make this deal out of any sort of pressure to improve -they willingly added talent to the OF and traded their lesser talent - like posters here arguing for a Pillar deal (myself included).
Thomas - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:35 PM EST (#352965) #
Well, nothing special is one way to put it.

Another way is the 18th and 75th best prospect in the game, as ranked by Baseball America, as well as the 93rd ranked prospect going into 2017, who struggled last year but is still the 9th ranked prospect in a deep farm system.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 06:43 PM EST (#352966) #
Another Cain suitor goes the trade route - those multiple 4 year offers seem questionable - maybe 1 team. I think Miami did ok.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:24 PM EST (#352967) #
The headliner on the Yelich Trade might not have been the caliber of player the Jays were willing to trade, but the Jays had four similar players they could have used if the thought the price was right.

I think the Brewers compared value between Yelich and Cain and went the way they wanted. Yelich has to play his entire contract out before he gets to Cainís age now.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:33 PM EST (#352968) #
The Brewers just signed Cain.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:34 PM EST (#352969) #
Brewers give Cain 5 years $80.0 Million.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:39 PM EST (#352970) #
Brinson was traded, Braun is untradeable. Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton and Brett Phillips are now trade chips for whatever the Brewers need.
uglyone - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:47 PM EST (#352971) #
"In his chat, Law also said he viewed Grichuk as a fourth outfielder due to his poor plate discipline. "

plate discipline hasn't stopped him from being an average-plus bat with plus defense and baserunning.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:52 PM EST (#352972) #
Thatís the type of deal I expected Cain to get in the beginning of the off-season (obviously the down market made it seem like he could get less years), so Iíd much rather have gone the route the Jays ended up going in. Five years, $80M, and losing a pick + international pool money is a steep price. Cainís a good player but thatís not the type of deal the Jays should be doing, and they would have had to beat $80M to get him.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:52 PM EST (#352973) #
A little improvement in plate discipline will make Grichuk a well above average bat. Defense and baserunning are both plusses. Some are overvaluing fungible relievers methinks. The Jays have been trying to trade Greene since last spring.
uglyone - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:53 PM EST (#352974) #
brinson to me is an alford-calibre prospect, while the rest aren't any better than a number of our other prospects. I would have given that kind of package for yelich, but thankfully we weren't the team to offer up an elite prospect for him.
uglyone - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 07:57 PM EST (#352975) #
That Cain deal is a good deal. Wish we had done it. Even outbid them. but he prob didn't want to come here anyways.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:12 PM EST (#352976) #
I wonder if the Brewers moves will put pressure on the Cardinals to do something substantial.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:17 PM EST (#352977) #
The Jays were the only other Team still in at the end, after the Grichuk deal?
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:20 PM EST (#352978) #
Interesting. No idea who this guy is, but he has a verified Twitter account. Apparently a sports radio host in Florida.

Again there were like 20-25 teams in on Yelich. Only Brewers and Blue Jays made a dent. All other teams not close. Two team race in the end.

Blue Jays & Marlins had several variations of a deal. Some included salary going from Mia to Toronto. In the end Marlins once they were officially told no on Vlad, it was definitely Milwaukee.

Seems there is some confusion. Let me be clear : JAYS said no to Vlad Jr for Yelich. That's why he is a Brewer. Not the reverse.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:45 PM EST (#352979) #
No offense, Mr. Mish, but ... duh.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 08:47 PM EST (#352980) #
If the Jays were in it to the end, and Miami was looking for Guerrero, I figure the Jays must have been offering Bichette. Otherwise, why would Miami have them as one of the last 2, unless, for some reason, they had some indication the Jays might deal Guerrero. Anyway, I'm glad they didn't deal for Yelich if the cost was Bichette plus others.

If you're in a fantasy league, try to grab Yelich - he's going from a terrible hitters' park to a great hitters' park, especially for lefties, plus, he's going to be in a good lineup that will score a lot of runs. He's going to have some nice numbers.

The Brewers have a very crowded OF - will be interesting to see what they do with everybody. Santana should fetch them a big return. The home park actually hurt him, it's not as good for righties, and he's just 25. OPS'd over .900 on the road last year. Bad outfielder, though.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 09:02 PM EST (#352981) #
I don't think Bichette was on the table or FLA would have made the deal. It was likely Alford as the centerpiece.
PeterG - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 09:34 PM EST (#352982) #
I agree that Alford was likely the main piece in any Jays offer. As Yelich is an OF, Jays could afford to give up Anthony in the proposed deal. Now the Jays can focus on other possibilities and a move, be it FA or trade, seems likely in the coming days.
John Northey - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 10:38 PM EST (#352983) #
The Brewers are interesting here with getting 2 guys for a full OF. Is Braun untradeable? No, no such thing imo.

Braun: 3 years plus option for $60 mil (option is $15 mil mutual option vs $4 mil buyout). He had a 111 OPS+ last year, 130+ in every other season but one (113 in 2014). 2013 is the only time he played under 100 games, but just 104 last year so injuries are a concern. Overall WAR was just 1.2 last year (4.4 year before, 3.8 before that). Last year valued at $11.8 mil so odds are anyone wanting him would want Milwaukee to eat half his salary or take on $10 mil in dead salary.

Wonder if we could get them to take Morales in exchange. At least Braun can play LF half decently and can still hit. Milwaukee would save money even if they cut Morales instantly. My gut says 'wont happen' but I think Braun would mash here in Toronto. Milwaukee won't trade Domingo Santana unless they are getting an insane return I'm sure (young, still pre-arb). Wonder if they'd part with Brett Phillips for a decent price? I like the looks of his stats (projected to be a 791 OPS CF with decent defense).

Bottom line is I'm thankful no one else in the AL East got Yelich and also glad the Jays still have Vlad and Bo.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 11:16 PM EST (#352984) #
I have read in several places that Milwaukee has been aggressively shopping Santana for a while now, and are close to finalizing a deal. Should be a good way for them to fill some of the holes they have elsewhere. Wouldn't make sense for them to keep him now - you know Braun, Yelich and Cain are going to play, unless they can find somebody to take Braun, and they'd get a lot more for Santana. They could use another starter and some bullpen help, maybe an upgrade at 2B.

If the best prospect the Jays were offering for Yelich was Alford, there must have been quite a bit else on the table as well, or Miami wouldn't have been down to just them and Milwaukee.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 25 2018 @ 11:47 PM EST (#352985) #
As a Florida native and a superior prospect to Lewis Brinson Miami would have jumped on Bichette if he was offered. I think the Vlady quote only comes from his recent popularity. Alford was the right offer, and Miami got offered more so that seems about right.

I liked a Travis for Santana offer earlier in the off season, but there is less of a need with OF help and IF depth.
Glevin - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 01:13 AM EST (#352986) #
Very happy Jays didn't go for Cain with that deal. I like him on a 3 year deal but five years is going to be bad. Interesting to see what the Jays were offering. Seems like maybe Alford+ more and maybe taking back Chen? Brewers have Yelich, Cain, Braun, Santana, and Broxton. I see Santana to Cleveland for pitching as a good fit.
scottt - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 07:44 AM EST (#352987) #
Hitting for power without hitting for average doesn't make someone a bench player.
He's not someone you want hitting lead off in front of Donaldson, but stashed in the bottom of the lineup he should be just fine.

He also said that he would like to steal more bases but was not given the green light in St-Louis.

It will be interesting to see what the lineup looks like.
Granderson should hit lead off, but I don't know if they leave Morales in the cleanup spot.

scottt - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 07:53 AM EST (#352988) #
I think Cain and Bruce were not interested to come here. Cain ended up with a good contract. I don't know that there is much difference between 4/70 and 5/80 but it's doubtful that an outfielder will provide value in it's 5th year.

I'm curious to see how those teams hoping to trade for pitching at the last minute will fare.
Pitchers sell for high prices at the deadline.

Glevin - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 09:01 AM EST (#352989) #
"I'm curious to see how those teams hoping to trade for pitching at the last minute will fare."

It depends. The Brewers actually have pieces that teams want. Domingo Santana can't be a free agent until 2022 and had a 3.3 WAR last season. Something built around Santana for Danny Salazar makes some sense for both teams IMO.

Interesting tidbit about Grichuk from a Fangraphs chat with Eno Saris.

"I think a new hitting coach / offseason approach will do him wonders. St Lou had him working on sliders by trying to hit them. Thatís focusing on your weakness. I think he should do what Beltre told me he did: focus on the high fastball. Then the low slider will look crappy. Iíd buy."

He's generally not my kind of player (no plate discipline) but I do think there is some serious untapped potential here. In the second half of the season, he had a 118 WRC+ in 201 ABs good for 1.2 WAR.
greenfrog - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 09:55 AM EST (#352990) #
Morales had a 116 wrc+ in the second half of 2016. He had a 97 wrc+ in 2017. It is possible to place too much emphasis on previous-season splits.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 10:09 AM EST (#352991) #
Scott I hope you're right that Cain wasn't interested in coming here, because that is a great contract for him and we should have been in there.

Of course, what we're maybe not talking about enough is that clearly our FO was all-in on getting Yelich. We should probably be talking about what that means to our FO's offseason plans in general and the type of players they're targetting (and which kind of players they're willing to trade).
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 10:12 AM EST (#352992) #
Grichuk had a similar 2nd half the year prior, too. IIRC 117wrc+.

For me, that just means he's likely a very streaky player, which would make sense with his plate approach. And it seems the Cards didn't like putting up with his cold streaks.

I would take his overall numbers, including all hot and cold streaks, as the best measure.

uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:00 AM EST (#352993) #
sure seems like they're itching to make significant moves, not just placeholders.

what's the pitching version of Yelich? Archer?
Glevin - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:02 AM EST (#352994) #
"Morales had a 116 wrc+ in the second half of 2016. He had a 97 wrc+ in 2017. It is possible to place too much emphasis on previous-season splits."

Yes, for sure. You are right that they need to be taken with a grain of salt and Ugly is right that he is VERY streaky but I think Grichuk is someone who has untapped potential and could find another level as a hitter (or rather, the same level he had a few years ago). It's why I found the quote interesting.
bpoz - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:04 AM EST (#352995) #
Milwaukee was in a pennant race last year but just missed the 2nd WC. Now they have upgraded somewhat in hopes of doing better. They are still not in the class of the best NL teams. LAD, Washington and Cubs. IMO.

Their window has now opened. Therefore spend money and sell the farm. Cain and Yelich. That seems the way to operate for low revenue teams.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:07 AM EST (#352996) #
Milwaukee projects as a significantly worse team than the jays this year, for the record. They're not a particularly young team either.
bpoz - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:23 AM EST (#352997) #
I agree with you uglyone, that the Jays are or could be good/decent in 2018. They are still old and have some injury concerns. They have addressed the injury issue by acquiring veteran/experienced depth. Also the farm is very good with our best prospects arriving in 2018,19 and 20.

By hanging on to Donaldson to go with a very good pitching staff the 2018 team has the potential to contend or better if the non injury prone players are healthy and perform well. By that I mean Donaldson being incredible and the pitching staff performing the way I believe they are capable of.
PeterG - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:33 AM EST (#352998) #
MIsh now saying Marlins would have done Yelich for Vlad straight up bu Jays declined. Jays offered to take back salary with lesser prospects. In the end, Miami decided they needed prospects more than money.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#352999) #
The interest in Yelich might be a bit of an aberration for this FO because there aren't too many players in that situation: 26, controlled for five more cheap years, 4+ WAR talent, and actually available in a trade for potentially less than he's worth due to circumstances. Put a similar valued player to Yelich with that same contract on another team and he's likely untouchable. The FO, smartly, tried to cash in on that at a reduced cost but unfortunately couldn't it pull it off. I'm not sure they would trade those same prospects for short-term help, but if there is a cost controlled young talent available then I think the same logic would apply. I just don't see another team offering that type of player with that type of contract. Archer would make sense, but the Rays are a lot smarter than the Marlins.

I do wonder what the actual offer was, though. If Alford was the best piece in that deal and the Jays actually pulled it off, then the win curve for 2018 and beyond would have risen considerably. They could have moved Pillar for more help, and who knows what else. The 2018 outlook would have been completely different. Shame it didn't work out.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#353000) #
All I want to know was where was this wheeling and dealing and upside grabs last offseason, when we were coming off back to back ALCS.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:06 PM EST (#353001) #
1) When the Jays were informed they were no longer a consideration for Yelich, was it before the Grichuk acquisition, during of after? The answer to that could change a lot of the narrative on this site.
2) If Yelich is considered an "impact Bat", what do the Jays consider as an "Impact Arm"? Who are they going after now? In Trade or in Free Agency, who's their favorite?
3) The Jays will consider trading Anthony Alford in the right type of deal. They will consider trading Bo Bichette, and will move him in certain deals. They will not consider trading Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and haven't been tempted yet.
4) That suggests the Jays might have more money than we suspect, but are being as cost conscious as possible.
PeterG - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:16 PM EST (#353002) #
As Sk said, there is likely no other Yelich type deal available at this time. We will see what happens next, possibly something we have not discussed or expecting.
christaylor - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:19 PM EST (#353003) #
Sometimes youneverknow -- are you implying that the FO wasn't trying to make the team better last year via trade?
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#353004) #
I think the FO's approach this offseason has been entirely different than the first 2yrs, yes.

Which is unfortunate, because the first 2yrs they had an elite roster to buttress, not a middle of the pack one.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:36 PM EST (#353005) #
This is or might be a semi-regular Transaction Friday. Or it could be another day of wandering in the wilderness of the web. Do the Jays push for an acquisition or do they wait? With the loss of two Outfield options, has Kevin Pillar's trade value increased?
bpoz - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:44 PM EST (#353006) #
I will take a stab at it uglyone and christaylor. I agree with both of you no wheeling and dealing to make the team better.

The rotation was 5 deep, but #6 and #7 were very weak. I am not sure who was available in trade or FA at the "right" price. I can only remember Morales and Pearce added. At affordable prices. Bautista may have been added to please the FO. Look at the Bautista 2018 option.

The pen was addressed. FAs J Smith and JP Howell.

The IF depth was Barney and Goins. Again non tendered FAs could have been added. The OF could have been improved if a 1 year Granderson deal was done for someone else of course. Then no Pearce. No budget.

Glevin - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:53 PM EST (#353007) #
"I think the FO's approach this offseason has been entirely different than the first 2yrs, yes."

No prospect depth to deal with. The Jays had around a botton five system 2 years ago and around the 20th ranked system last year. This year, it is top-10. Bichette was outside the top-100 pre-season for BA and is now top-10. Janssen blew up in an amazing way. Warmouth, Pearson, Riley ,Hernandez, Pannone, Danner, and Perdinho were not even in the system last year. This year, the FO is much more comfortable with the organizational depth to deal away talent as well they should be. You can't create value out of nothing but you can leverage interesting prospects like Oliveres into major league talent.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 12:54 PM EST (#353008) #
The farm system looks different today than it did after 2015 and 2016. The FO has, from their viewpoint, expendable depth pieces in the minors now, which they didn't have the previous two winters. Some prospects took a leap forward (Olivares) while others seemed to be moved before their value torpedoed down any further (Greene, Woodman). Then there was Leone who just became an asset after 2017 due to the type of season he had.

If you look at the team's top 10 prospects based on BA, look how different they look now than they did a year ago. Vlad and Bo took huge leaps forward to become top 10 prospects in the game. Alford improved considerably in 2017 after a mediocre 2016. Pearson was just drafted. Gurriel was signed a year ago. Pardinho hasn't even hit puberty yet and was just signed. Jansen broke out in 2017 and wasn't near this type of prospect a year ago, Warmoth was just drafted. Etc, etc.

They are acting differently because their asset base has changed. Some of it could also be due to circumstances, as the Cardinals traded Diaz and Grichuk due to depth. Timing plays a factor as well.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 01:11 PM EST (#353009) #
"No prospect depth to deal with. The Jays had around a botton five system 2 years ago and around the 20th ranked system last year. This year, it is top-10. Bichette was outside the top-100 pre-season for BA and is now top-10. Janssen blew up in an amazing way. Warmouth, Pearson, Riley ,Hernandez, Pannone, Danner, and Perdinho were not even in the system last year. This year, the FO is much more comfortable with the organizational depth to deal away talent as well they should be. You can't create value out of nothing but you can leverage interesting prospects like Oliveres into major league talent."

IMO the willingness to trade a certain calibre of prospect should have little or nothing to do with how many other prospects you have, and the speed with which that "barren" farm system was rebuilt into a "stacked" one shows that their conservative approach to trading prospects was flawed from the get to.

In the end, unfortunately it's only after the team has slipped down to the middle of the pack do we see this FO actually engaging in legit team-building moves, when those moves would have been much more valuable in prior years.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 02:00 PM EST (#353010) #
The office could possibly be waiting for game 1 to start or even May to see what deals they could get before deciding on Donaldson. I.e. "we won't sign Donaldson if we can get Yelich." The biggest yesterday for me was the contract that Cain got. That's a lot of term. I wouldn't use Fowler as a comparable because his contract has since been widely panned (on boards and in comparison to where the market has gone...until this Cain trade).

Cain is probably the best FA this year that I would invest money into, but man if he's getting 5 years at his age then Josh is gonna get PAID with term and is less likely to remain with the Jays unless it's a "fair" market contract which at this point is probably a minimum of 5 years 150 million considering Cain and rumoured JD Martinez offer from Sox.

dan gordon - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 02:20 PM EST (#353011) #
Cain has been a 5+ WAR player (7+ in 2015) and will be 31 at the start of his contract, turning 32 shortly after the start of the season. Donaldson will be 33 (16 months older), not an insignificant age difference. He's not the defender he used to be, his dWAR peaked in 2014 at 2.7 and was down to 0.3 and 0.5 the last 2 seasons. In another couple of years, he may no longer even be a positive defender. From age 33 to age 37 (assuming a 5-year contract) most batters see a big drop off in their performance. He's still going to get a very big contract, but I don't think it's going to be as huge as some people are thinking. Cain got $16 million a year for his age 31/32 to 35/36 seasons. How much more will Donaldson get? 40% more, 50% more? 50% more would be 5/120. Of course, his 2018 season will have a bearing on it as well.
Glevin - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 02:33 PM EST (#353012) #
"IMO the willingness to trade a certain calibre of prospect should have little or nothing to do with how many other prospects you have, and the speed with which that "barren" farm system was rebuilt into a "stacked" one shows that their conservative approach to trading prospects was flawed from the get to."

No. It shows the exact opposite. You simply cannot accept the fact that the system Shapiro inherited was awful and the core of the team was already in very obvious decline. (which allows you to pretend that the Jays decline from 2015-2017 was not the result of an aging core and a terrible system but the result of bad free agent signing or something.) The Jays still do not have a stacked system (like, say the Braves have) but they have a much better system because 1) The Jays did not trade any prospects until this year 2) The Jays made an effort to acquire prospects wherever they could 3) The Jays got less from their prospects than any other team in baseball in the last 2 years so other teams had prospects graduate off of their lists. Jays haven't had a single player graduate off for 2 years.

From the 2016 Jays top 10, the Jays don't have a single player in the majors and the two players that played at all have a total combined WAR of -0.2. In fact, half of them are basically non-prospects now. You keep wanting to pretend that these last two years of getting no value from prospects don't matter but it does matter enormously. You can't take years of no development at all. The Jays got a combined 1.2 WAR from rookies over the past 2 years. 1.9 of it was from Hernandez and Biagini (plenty of negative WARs). Alex left the Jays a system that did not produce a single player of any value for two years. It did not produce trade chips or even a single filler player. Jays had to go out and spend money on backup players because the Jays system was so barren nobody could even cover utility infield or 6th starter. In those same two years, the teams the Jays were competing against all got cheaper and better while the Jays got older and more expensive and it has nothing to do with Shapiro. You cannot get younger as a team without players coming up from the minors or rebuilding. In the past 2 years, there were 41 rookie hitters who produced at least 1 WAR. None from the Jays system. There were 52 pitchers who produced at least 1 WAR. Jays had none. Half the Jays top prospects were brought into the last 2 years.
China fan - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:01 PM EST (#353013) #
"....You simply cannot accept the fact that the system Shapiro inherited was awful...."

That's because it's not a fact. It's an opinion.

And it's an opinion with obvious flaws. It doesn't explain, for example, why this "awful" system is already a Top 10 system again. Led by some of the same prospects who were in the same system two years ago.

And let's get real: there's nothing shocking or disturbing about the fact that the Jays didn't have a lot of prospects graduating to the major-league system in 2016 or 2017. Anthopoulos made a strategic decision to switch from prospects to veterans for two years. And in those two years (2015 and 2016), the Jays reached the final 4 of the playoffs, with incalculable benefits in rejuvenating a franchise that had been in near-terminal decline. And now, here we are, barely a year after the Jays latest playoff appearance, and the team already has one of the best systems in the majors again. It's hardly a reason to tear out your hair in despair.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:05 PM EST (#353014) #
The entire 2015 Season and Postseason was amazing. The Jays biggest problem was it's Bullpen, it wasn't good enough. Aaron Sanchez went back into the Bullpen after his return from the D.L. Joe Biagini was becoming a dominant reliever as the season progressed, and the Jays acquired LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe. John Gibbons didn't make good pitching decision the entire Offseason. Continuing to try to get extra outs from his Starters because he was unwilling to use his Relievers cost the Jays dearly. This is the only year I was sure the Jays were the best Team playing.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:11 PM EST (#353015) #
A big part of the team's prospect ranking, in addition to improvement from players inherited and brought in, is that they haven't graduated a single prospect in two years, as Glevin pointed out. Prospects that are in the lower minors present far less value because of how far away they are from the big leagues, so if someone who was here in 2015 suddenly looks good in 2018, it doesn't mean that player had the same type of value in 2015, 2016, or 2017. It's apples and oranges. Danny Jansen today versus any of the last three years is a completely different type of asset, for example.

So yes, that is relevant as far as why the FO did not trade prospects in their first two off-seasons but started doing it now. When the depth reaches a point where you can afford to consolidate some of the back-end of the system for big leaguers, then it's worth doing. When the back-end of the system is awful (or really far away) and the front-end is devoid of impact talent, then it's much harder to do that.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:27 PM EST (#353016) #
The 2016 Season was a surprise in may ways. Tony LaCava did the Offseason work until Ross Atkins got up to speed. Ross was about average that Trade Deadline, but they didn't need much. Barely hanging on to a Playoff spot, the Jays were dominant against Baltimore and Texas, easily the best Team. This ALCS was so much different, as the Jays were too easy to pitch to with all their Right-Handers. The Team that was so dominant winning five straight games, just didn't show up. Should they have been better, I believe so.
bpoz - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:34 PM EST (#353017) #
Shapiro is also concerned with budget as is Cashman and other teams.
The only impact players lost from the 2015 team are EE and Dickey. Dickey lost his job to Liriano. EE was offered 4 years at $20 mil/yr. Rumors and expectations were 5 at $25 mil/yr from Boston. I think Ortiz wanted him to sign with Boston.
It is possible the Jays did not want EE. Too expensive so they low balled him and gave a quick deadline to accept. Then jumped on a cheaper Morales after the deadline. I accept that possibility.

Last off season there was no Miami fire sale. Fire sale by CWS. Sale was sold.

Next off season maybe TB has a fire sale or maybe they did this off season.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:42 PM EST (#353018) #
What the Jays did in 2017 was unbelievable. Needing to get more balance in the lineup, the first two signings were Right-handed Bats! Getting caught by the changing Market didn't help. It was unfortunate the Jays lost so very much time to injury by their best players, and almost everyone else. Missing the Postseason was disappointing, but the Season had it's bright points.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#353019) #
system was top 10 then, top 10 now, and mostly inherited still.

i'm not the one having trouble admitting things.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 03:59 PM EST (#353020) #
and they could have got a much better return on greene a year or two ago.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 04:06 PM EST (#353021) #
The Vancouver Canadians and the Toronto Blue Jays will be joined at the hip for four more years until 2022.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 04:07 PM EST (#353022) #
in fact they could have traded most of our ranked prospects then - pompey srf urena greene Pentecost harris tellez etc - and still had a very good system right now.
greenfrog - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 04:21 PM EST (#353023) #
Most if not all of those prospects werenít really high-value prospects.
uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 04:36 PM EST (#353024) #
pretty sure all if them were ranked top 100 at some point
greenfrog - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 04:57 PM EST (#353025) #
I donít recall any significant interest on the part of other teams in trading for those prospects (compared to, say, Sanchez/Syndergaard/Alford/Vlad Jr./Bichette).

The prospects you mentioned seem to be more the type of second- or third-tier prospects that devoted Jays fans spend a lot of time thinking about, but that donít garner a lot of attention from other teams.
PeterG - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 04:57 PM EST (#353026) #
"system was top 10 then, top 10 now, and mostly inherited still."

Don't post such obvious inaccuracies Ugly or no-one will ever take you seriously. The system was mid 20's when AA left.
GabrielSyme - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 05:05 PM EST (#353027) #
I don't think Greene, Pentecost, Harris or Urena were ever top-100 prospects.
James W - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 05:39 PM EST (#353028) #
The most recent list posted has them at #17. It's only one man's opinion, but it's now not unanimous that Toronto has a top 10 system.
Michael - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 05:47 PM EST (#353029) #
Harris is #80 in 2015 mlb

uglyone - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 06:10 PM EST (#353030) #
Pompey: '15 #32/42/43 / '16 graduated
SRF: '17 #64/75/85
Urena: '17 #94
Tellez: '17 #95
Greene: '16 #100
scottt - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 06:27 PM EST (#353031) #
It's always hard to rate trade, especially when it involves prospects.
The key thing is last year, the Jays seems fine in the infield.
1B was a question mark, but turned out fine.
Bautista ended up back but it's quite possible that Rogers was behind the move.
The Jays chased Fowler which the Cards overpayed to play in center.
Boston never considered replacing Ortiz with a right bat on a 5 year contract and EE overrated his market.
They had 5 starters and enough  relievers until Sanchez's blister became an issue.

I'd still like more OBP, but the team has lots of depth now.
They might just need another top starter.

scottt - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 06:34 PM EST (#353032) #
If Greene had been better, the last 2 years, they would have kept him. 
He was expected to have made his debut by now.
Archer would be a cool pitcher to cheer for, but Tampa is not a natural trade partner.
They would ask for quality over quantity, their roster is already full with prospects.
Also, I would not trade Alford unless a better outfielder comes back.

PeterG - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 07:09 PM EST (#353033) #
Speaking of Fowler, many wanted an overpay to sign him last year. That contract looks bad already.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 07:33 PM EST (#353034) #
It's come to my attention today that Nate Pearson was selected in the draft by using the pick we gained by EE signing with the Indians.

That'll do. Go get a SP and another super utility type (assume Tulo/Travis/Donaldson will all be sidelined for portions of the year).

I don't think this office signs anybody attached to a pick...ever. Who does that leave as a free agent signing for SP this year?
hypobole - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 07:41 PM EST (#353035) #

17. Toronto Blue Jays
2017 rank: 21

The two teenage wunderkinds dominate this system, which had a rough year on the pitching side, with the Double-A rotation full of guys who regressed from 2016 (including Conner Greene, who went to St. Louis in the Randal Grichuk trade). A very college-heavy draft in 2017 was highlighted by junior college right-hander Nate Pearson, who immediately became the team's top pitching prospect.
PeterG - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 08:44 PM EST (#353036) #
The Jays do not get sufficient credit for the depth of their system. Some analysts don't bother looking beyond A level. I actually think they might be a bit higher than 9 where BA has them. Barring more prospect trades, it will only get better with 12th overall pick in June and the best (according to some evaluators) international player supposedly heading our way July 1. Who knows beyond that whether there will be in season additions or subtractions.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 09:15 PM EST (#353037) #
There is possibly more talent in RK, RK+ and A-, all short season teams than there is in regular season teams. I've been checking stats for 2016 and 2017 Prospects and I'm amazed at how many have been successful, not Stud-successful just being very good.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 09:22 PM EST (#353038) #
When Vlad and Bo make their debuts for the Jays I'm gonna Yellich at the top of my lungs how happy I am that we didn't do the trade Milwaukee did
Parker - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 10:51 PM EST (#353039) #
Don't post such obvious inaccuracies Ugly or no-one will ever take you seriously.

Hah. I think that ship has sailed.
hypobole - Friday, January 26 2018 @ 11:30 PM EST (#353040) #
"The Jays do not get sufficient credit for the depth of their system. Some analysts don't bother looking beyond A level.

I highly doubt that. In fact I'll say it's us who don't have a clue how weak or strong other teams systems are in the low minors."
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 12:19 AM EST (#353041) #
Anyone discussing the current Jays minor system please remember any lack in the system is 110% A.A.'s fault.
Anyone discussing the Teams' inability to acquire better talent in 2016 and 2017 please remember the lack being 110% A.A.'s fault.
It's not who he traded any that causes any problems, that was just doing business. The biggest issue was doing so very little to replace them. The 2015 Draft was the worst draft the Jays have ever made - ever! I checked every person's stats and there was not more than just 14 slightly competent Players selected. The best of 2015? Jon Harris, Justin Maese, Travis Bergen, Connor Panas and Andrew Guillotte are it.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 12:24 AM EST (#353042) #
Incidentally 2016 had 25 or so as good as or much, much better. It's still too early yet but 2017 only has three disappointments.
jerjapan - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 12:42 AM EST (#353043) #
Pointing out the obvious, but KLaw is always low on the Jays. 

We may not know much about the low minors hypobole, agreed, but we surely don't know nothing.  Teams have reputations for producing talent in a variety of ways.  Not all teams have the same number of affilliates, the same expenditures on scouting, the same success with IFAs. 

I agree with PeterG saying that our system is deep. I was saying that two years ago when you guys were decrying out system as utterly barren.  KLaw is the low man for ranking our system, we are 10-15 range by most accounts. 

The 2015 draft is looking pretty bad right now, but Gord Ash was behind some of the worst drafts as well. 

Michael - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 01:32 AM EST (#353044) #
There is no way the Jays are in the bottom third of teams farm systems. If they had no one other than bo and vlad they'd be a top half farm based on those two alone.

AA didn't leave the farm bare, even while he developed some of our prospects by trading them for big league players. That usually worked out better for us with the pros we got worth more than the prospects we gave up. Occasionally, it didn't.

But the whole point of farm systems is to develop big league players through trades, development, or however. The quality of the minors isn't as important beyond what it does for the major league team (past, present, and future).
uglyone - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 03:05 AM EST (#353045) #
keith law is a dumdum.

2 of the best prospects anywhere. plus at least 2 more top 100s. plus a bunch of guys with legit elite performance that don't get the toolsy cred.

pretending that's a below average system is idiocy.
uglyone - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 03:07 AM EST (#353046) #
how does fowler's contract look bad, pete?
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 06:47 AM EST (#353047) #
I,too, am curious about that. Looking at Fowler's stats from last year, it seems like he maintained at least his career averages. He only started 108 games, but he has only exceeded 120 games once in his career.

He produced 1.6 WAR so maybe his contract was too high in the first place?
scottt - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 08:22 AM EST (#353048) #
It's going to be an important year for both Harris and Maese.
Obviously, not signing their second round pick weakened the 2015 draft.

scottt - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 08:36 AM EST (#353049) #
Jonathan - JD -  Davis is way down on our depth chart - how did he end up the number 17 prospect for the org on MLB pipeline?  He's not close to my top 40 and looks like a 5th OF to me, am I missing something?

You might be missing walks. Davis finished 3rd in walks in 2 of the leagues he's played in.
If he can maintain a good OBP, he's a candidate for 20 HR, 20 stolen bags.
So, basically, he could be a legit lead off hitter.
hypobole - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 09:57 AM EST (#353050) #
"when you guys were decrying out system as utterly barren."

You may remember it this way, because you seem so contentious about the subject, but the argument I remember was that the upper levels were barren.

As for the other stuff you brought up. Number of affiliates really doesn't move the needle whatsoever, we have zero clue how much teams spend on scouting, and using past success with IFA's certainly wouldn't cause any evaluator to raise the Jays ranking - Vlad is the first real prospect we've hit on since when?

We haven't had a top 6 draft pick since Vernon Wells and haven't blown way past IFA limits to sign multiple kids like a number of teams have the past few years.

That said, I wouldn't argue against your 10-15 ranking either, because I don't claim to know other teams systems.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 10:31 AM EST (#353051) #
Nit-pick time.  Ricky Romero was a #6 pick.  Second nit-pick.  Gord Ash's (or rather Tim Wilken's) drafts were pretty damn spectacular.  The players the organization drafted and signed in the 90s produced more value than anybody's. 

I don't have any confidence in any evaluators' ability to compare the #20-#40 prospects on each club.  There is a lot of hearsay and hype involved.  I find the subjective comments more helpful.  So something like (in relation to the current Jay system):
  • Guerrero Jr. is the #1 or #2 prospect in baseball and arguably the best hitting prospect to come along since Frank Thomas
  • Bichette is a helluva #2 prospect in an organization- with a chance to be a superstar if he can remain in the middle infield
  • Alford is a fine #3 prospect in the organization- with the usual description of his pluses and minuses
  • the organization has decent depth behind the plate (Jansen, McGuire, Adams), and in the middle infield (Urena, Warmoth, Taylor, Gurriel)
  • the organization is a little short on the mound (Pearson, Zeuch, Borucki, Pannone, Reid-Foley, Pardinho, Maese) and in centerfield (not much behind Alford now that Olivares is gone).
If another evaluator has a different view- for instance, that all of the Jay catching prospects are pumpkins and that they have 3 potential top-of-the-rotation starters there- then that too is interesting. 
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 11:00 AM EST (#353052) #
I think the Jays need to blow the Budget in Free Agency to get everything they need, but they might not get the caliber of Player they'd like. Trade still seems like a viable option. After all, the Jays will trade people I thought were untouchable for an Impact Player (Bat or Pitcher). Who's got a Starter available?

The Tampa Bay will always trade anyone, anywhere if the price is significant. The Market might have changed in-division trade reluctance. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are the likeliest of their Starters to move. Are either of them better than Stroman or Sanchez? I don't think so. Are they better than anyone else? Yes, I think so.
Chris Archer is signed for possibly four more years through Age 32. He's been consistently good and durable with consistent Front of the Rotation stuff.
Jake Odorizzi has Arb years two and three left and would be a Free Agent at Age 29.5. He's not quite as good as Archer nor as durable. His stuff however, might be comparable.

I don't know if this is what the Jays would like or want, but the talent level is where they need it and should want it. The actual cost may or may not be what they are willing to pay, although that might have changed. Is this possible?
PeterG - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 11:11 AM EST (#353053) #
On Fowler, Baseball Refrence has him at 1.6 WAR and Pillar at 2.8. Nuff said. I will admit, I only saw him play a couple of times but did hear expressions of unhappiness from the St.Louis press. Some of his offensive stats don't look so bad so there must have been something else going on there that is not initially obvious.

On so called retirement contracts in general, all the talk has been about the physical deterioration of skills in the 30's. I think there is more to it than that. Once a player receives said contract, a degree of his incentive is removed. Many players simply don't play up to expectations because they really have nothing more to prove, in their eyes at least. The combination of a physical toll plus mental exhaustion that in many causes includes loss of incentive is a reason why there is now more obvious decline in the 30's. I am not suggesting that players don't give their all or what they think is their all, but it is only human nature for the degree of incentive to be somewhat less as compared to what it might be in a contract year. Other times, it can be the reverse in that a player feels the pressure of the contract and over compensates or stresses if there is poor performance.

There are many reasons why retirement contracts should be avoided and most teams seem to be aware of that now. This does put the Jays in a tough spot with Donaldson. He seems like one player who might be an exception but is it unknown how he may react if and when physical or mental (dealing with the grind) sets in. I am in favour of overpaying on an annual basis but holding back on the term. This may not fly but there is a chance no other team will see it any differently. I would be most comfortable with 3 years plus a vesting option for a 4th. The vesting option is better for the player than just a team option. Josh will be 33 at the start of his first FA season in a new contract. That is a dangerous situation and a bit of a pickle. I have thought that trading him might have been the best option but it seems possible that offers may have not been enough to justify doing so. We may well be looking at the so called nuclear option of just letting him walk, depending of course, on whether or not the Jays are in contention mid July, the definition of which may be a contenntious issue in itself.

dalimon5 - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 11:28 AM EST (#353054) #

I don't see the Jays valuing Archer that highly. He's older now than he was when he first started posting bigger #s. He has a lot of innings on his arm. He has been very inconsistent lately. Don't forget that TB's pitching coach Dave Hickey has left the Rays and he was considered the best pitching coach for in- game prep and review (Searage takes the cake for mechanical adjustments).

The Rays have almost no track record of trades within their division let alone with AL teams, relatively speaking. I don't think the Jays pony up for a SP unless it's someone similar to Stroman or Sanchez. Think Michael Fullmer or Garret Richards or Kevin Gausman. Guys with plus talent that still have room to grow...similar to Archer a few years ago.

I'd target trading prospects for prospects. Example, lottery picks and safer upper minor depth for bigger potential prospects. Pannone, Borucki and low ball prospect for Cal Quantrill (star draft signee, yes, but SP and one Tommy John already done).

I still think the best way to improve the team for this year and next is by trading Osuna to get a SP as close to the Stroman/Sanchez mould as possible. Osuna for Flaherty of Cardinals or Osuna and Pillar to CLE for Salazar. We need protection against injury or down year from our top 2 starters the next few years.

If we trade Osuna, then you better giddy up and spend some chips on Free Agency this off season because the bullpen falls apart without replacement for Osuna. Trading Osuna simply gives you a very valuable trade chip/commodity to upgrade elsewhere, "upgrade" overall depends how you support the loss at the back end of the bullpen.

If Sanchez isn't dominant this year then you're probably looking to trade him next off season before he loses more lustre. Of course, if 2016 Sanchez shows up, you're likely in the playoff discussion with one of the best pitchers in the league.

If the Jays fall out of it and are sellers at the deadline...can you imagine Osuna/Donaldson outgoing in a trade. That's an easy way to get that elite prospect back.
uglyone - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 11:34 AM EST (#353055) #
Fowler had a 121wrc+ which of course is very good. And he did that as a CF, though not a very good CF.

Fangraphs has his WAR at 2.7 in only 118gms (3.6war650), based on a poor -9.9uzr/150.

B/R has his WAR at 1.6 (2.1war650), based on a godawful -22.9drs/150.

Average them out you get 2.2war, 2.9war650.

He obviously shouldn't be playing CF anymore but he's still a very good hitter and would likely provide good corner OF defense.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#353056) #

Good points. A lot of the "good agers" have had numbers they wanted to hit before retiring which helps their motivation. Ortiz, Thomas, Chipper Jones etc. There is a great article in the Globe today about 3b Hall of Famers and how there are so few of them. What is the motivation for Beltre to keep playing right now other than to pad his Hall of Fame stats (does he think he will actually win a championship)?

This is why I have faith in Tulo. He obviously is done as that super star short stop that did it all. But he needs to adjust now the way these guys mentioned all did. Tulo had comparable numbers to them. I read somewhere recently...maybe Grichuk said it, but Beltre said to focus only on the high fastball and nothing else. When you do that he says that the slider starts to look way outside and you don't chase it anymore. Tulo still looks like a guy trying to hammer the high fastball and the slider away rather than re-strategizing and "selling out."

I don't want to hear anymore about how great a personality Tulo is or how he's the first guy out on the field helping other infielders. His reputation as the best has eroded and Bill James last year on MLB network said "this year we found out Tulo isn't a Hall of Famer." Dude can still turn it around if he changes his game to help his offense while still giving acceptable if not elite defensive value (it won't be elite).

Time to get that barometric chamber/whatever it is you're missing Tulo. Stop trying to be the young stud from COL that did it all. Focus on 1) staying healthy and 2) "selling out"

Tulo told reporters last year that if he went 1/4 with 1HR and some RBI he would take that over a 2 or 3/4 game because it's too hard with the shifts to do that. He was trying to sell out for more power which is a mistake for him. He should be selling out to guess the pitch rather than fouling or missing most pitches because he wants to try to barrel the ball wherever it may be. Josh Donaldson can be a bad influence that way by making it look easy to do.
bpoz - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 12:41 PM EST (#353057) #
I suppose the R Halladay trade did not really hurt our future.
Some may believe that his contribution would have produced more than the 85 wins of 2010.

The prospects we received were considered more valuable that the comp draft pick. 1 or 2, I don't know which.

So trading a Halladay, Sanchez, Osuna types for prospects is an uncertain return but you know what you gave up.

For Halladay a rebuild was in progress or process. For Noah S we were not rebuilding but considered a contender. Noah was a prospect not yet a star.

I use that criteria for trading any of our stars. Donaldson can stay or be traded because it is unsure where we are. I am unsure.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 01:22 PM EST (#353058) #
It's very possible Devon Travis will become a lot more than he is. R.A. Dickey ate a lot of innings at a time there was no one else. Roy Halladay arranged his own trade because he needed to be at or near Philadelphia's Children' Hospital. Enough said.

Nate Pearson is the closest thing to an Front-Line Ace the Jays have in their minor system right now. At best, he's still two to four years away, or possibly never. If Aaron Sanchez is definitely back, you'll never acquire anything closer what he's worth in any trade. If he's not back or even partly back, he's bringing a lot less in return. Enough said.

Would T.J. Zeuch be the next Closer or do they Jays throw money at someone almost as good as they need. Do they keep gambling on arm after arm after arm? Replacing what you have is not as easy as you think. Roberto Osuna gets regularly overworked, and still won't bring back as much in trade as we think/want/need. Enough. said.
PeterG - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 02:15 PM EST (#353059) #
I would keep Osuna and try to sign him longer term myself. If there is selling in July, I don't expect any kind of tear down. It will just be the pending FA's - Donaldson, Estrada, Happ, Pearce (if he is still here), Granderson, Loup.

Zeuch will not be a closer. He is a starting pitcher and possibly a very good one..
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 04:21 PM EST (#353060) #
The Tommy John on Osuna scares me and if I trade Osuna it would only be for a return of the Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman or Ken Giles trade.
scottt - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 05:49 PM EST (#353061) #
I'm not too worried about Osuna as long as he's a 1 inning pitcher.
I haven't heard anything about his elbow. He's had issues with his shoulder, anxiety and some loss of speed.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 08:10 PM EST (#353062) #
1) I think that with the concern Randal Grichuk has taken over his hitting this offseason, he could be closer to his 2015 numbers than his 2016 or 2017 numbers.
2) In the Jays' home park, new people always seem to do better. They don't usual become great, just a little bit more than better.
3) I believe it's unbelievable but still possible, the Jays are in on Yu Darvish. He's the only quality Free Agent Starter without a Q.O. If Rogers told the Jays, "Get us back in the Postseason", then Luxury Tax might be there only limit.
John Northey - Saturday, January 27 2018 @ 11:02 PM EST (#353063) #
I'd LOVE to see Darvish here. Ideally not for $30+ a year over 7, but $25 per over 5 I could see, or $30 per for 3. The no QO is a big plus.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 01:45 AM EST (#353064) #
Why are the Jaysí Minors not being ranked better?
Sean Reid-Foley, Connor Greene, Jon Harris were highly ranked prospects until they performed poorly taking the next step, unexpectedly. Others didnít develop as well as they could.
Logan Warmoth, Nate Pearson, Hagen Danner were drafted in 2017 and theyíre in the top Ten because no one else I better can take their place.
There are no worries, the talent is there so success is expected going forward. Over the next year, many changes will occur here as Players graduate. 19 of the 30 on the list will be in AA or AAA or MLB or traded this year.
85bluejay - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 07:25 AM EST (#353065) #
I wouldn't mind if the Jays claimed lefty Josh Smoker (who has an option left) and try to sneak him through waivers later when they need that roster spot.
rpriske - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 09:02 AM EST (#353066) #
Trading Osuna now would be a big mistake.

Trading him a year ago would have been the right move. There is no way we get full value now.

Coming off a (relatively) weak season is the time we should extend him, not trade him.

But he is still just a reliever. The performance variations on relievers are just too high. I stand by the idea that if you get a hotshot reliever who could draw a good return, trade him.
scottt - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 09:22 AM EST (#353067) #
Teams want good relievers because you can't win without them.
The point is not to deal players when they become valuable. It's to deal from surplus to address needs.
Osuna is about as established as one can be, so the Jays depends on him.
The 40 roster is filled with young guys right now. It's not the time to trade 1 guy for 2 or 3.
They're trying to find a Miller type guy who can come out and throw 2 innings to bridge to the closer.
They're not dealing the closer.

dalimon5 - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 10:18 AM EST (#353068) #

Good point about the 40 man. If you're not getting multiple pieces back then it doesn't make sense to move an Osuna and clearly, a contender won't trade a significant MLB roster piece for Osuna since it creates another hole.

Aside from Free Agency, I don't see where they will get assets worth trading away for better assets. If they're looking at any free agents right now, considering a signing, they may as well use that money for Donaldson.
uglyone - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 10:23 AM EST (#353069) #
I was trying to figure out if it was reasonable to hope for vladdy and bo to be elite players at ages 20-21......

Last 10yrs positive war, min 2.0war650 and 100pa

Age 19

Harper: 597pa, 121wrc+, 4.6war, 5.0war650
Machado: 202pa, 97wrc+, 1.3war, 4.2war650
Trout: 135pa, 87wrc+, 0.7war, 3.4war650

Age 20

Trout: 639pa, 167wrc+, 10.3war, 10.6war650
Machado: 710pa, 102wrc+, 6.2war, 5.7war650
Correa: 432pa, 136wrc+, 3.5war, 5.3war650
Harper: 497pa, 137wrc+, 4.0war, 5.2war650
Albies: 244pa, 112wrc+, 1.9war, 5.1war650
Heyward: 623pa, 134wrc+, 4.7war, 4.9war650
Stanton: 396pa, 118wrc+, 2.7war, 4.4war650
Andrus: 541pa, 81wrc+, 3.2war, 3.9war650
Devers: 240pa, 111wrc+, 0.9war, 2.4war650
Castro: 506pa, 99wrc+, 1.8war, 2.3war650

Age 21

Lawrie: 171pa, 157wrc+, 2.6war, 9.9war650
Trout: 716pa, 176wrc+, 10.5war, 9.5war650
Seager 113pa, 175wrc+, 1.5war, 8.6war650
Lindor: 438pa, 126wrc+, 4.4war, 6.5war650
Betts 213pa, 129wrc+, 1.8war, 5.5war650
Upton: 588pa, 130wrc+, 4.9war, 5.4war650
Correa: 660pa, 123wrc+, 5.0war, 4.9war650
Perez 158pa, 126wrc+, 1.2war, 4.9war650
Bellinger 548pa, 138wrc+, 4 0war, 4.8war650
Stanton: 601pa, 141wrc+, 4.3war, 4.7war650
Marte 247pa, 112wrc+, 1.7war, 4.5war650
Ramirez: 266pa, 81wrc+, 1.8war, 4.4war650
Machado 354pa, 111wrc+, 2.3war, 4.2war650
Sandoval 154pa, 118wrc+, 0.9war, 3.8war650
Russell: 523pa, 90wrc+, 2.9war, 3.6war650
Odor: 470pa, 107wrc+, 2.3war, 3.2war650
Tejada 376pa, 99wrc+, 1.8war, 3.1war650
Yelich 273pa, 118pa, 1.3war, 3.1war650
Heyward 456pa, 96wrc+, 1.9war, 2.7war650
Castro 715pa, 109wrc+, 2.8war, 2.6war650
Tabata 441pa, 106wrc+, 1.7war, 2.5war650
Harper 385pa, 115wrc+, 1.4war, 2.3war650
Andrus 674pa, 75wrc+, 2.1war, 2.0war650
Freeman 635pa, 120wrc+, 0.6war, 0.6war650

18yr old milb compared to Vladdy (min 100pa per level)

Harper AA 100wrc+, A 164wrc+
[b]Vladdy: A+ 179wrc+, A 151wrc+[/b]
Trout A+ 117wrc+, A 172wrc+
Tabata A+ 116wrc+
Stanton A 169wrc+
Freeman A 150wrc+
Correa A 147wrc+
Heyward A 143wrc+
Machado A+ 96wrc+, A 131wrc+
Andrus A+ 88wrc+
Tejada A+ 68wrc+
Albies A 122wrc+
Devers A 118wrc+
Upton A 117wrc+
Lindor A 102wrc+
Odor A 96wrc+

19yr old milb compared to Bo

Heyward AA 190wrc+, A+ 145wrc+
Upton AA 158wrc+, A+ 151wrc+
Trout AA 156wrc+
Albies AAA 89wrc+, AA 148wrc+
Machado AA 120wrc+
Stanton AA 111wrc+, A+ 178wrc+
Castro AA 109wrc+, A+ 112wrc+
Tejada AA 106wrc+
Tabata AA 94wrc+
Andrus AA 93wrc+
Freeman AA 80wrc+, A+ 139wrc+
[b]Bichette A+ 145wrc+, A 201wrc+[/b]
Correa A+ 144wrc+
Russell A+ 131wrc+
Bellinger A+ 130wrc+
Lindor A+ 121wrc+
Devers A+ 113wrc+
Seager A+ 46wrc+, A 155wrc+
Ramirez A 145wrc+
Yelich A 140wrc+
Lawrie A 124wrc+
Sandoval A 77wrc+
Betts A- 103wrc+
Perez A 32wrc+

so the answer seems to's plausible.
uglyone - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 10:25 AM EST (#353070) #
if we wanted to trade osuna we should definitely have made him a starter last year.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 11:43 AM EST (#353071) #
Is it possible the extremely talented Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the extremely talented Bo Bichette are making each other better - success breeds success? If that's possible, where are the limits? They are young enough to potentially have first ballot Hall of Fame careers. These guys have to be untradable.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 12:11 PM EST (#353072) #
Anthony Alford will make the Majors, of that I'm sure. What does he still need to do? He has to prove he can stay healthy, because he's literally a five-tool Player. The more at bats, the better the chance of success. He must transfer his amazing batting practise HR power to his real at bats. If he does both of those, he'll be a Star and might be better than Vlady and Bo.
finch - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 01:51 PM EST (#353073) #

Blue Jays Trade:
Vladimir Guerrero
Bo Bichette
Nate Pearson
Roberto Osuna
Aaron Sanchez

Angels Trade:
Mike Trout

Do you pull the trigger on the trade?
John Northey - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 02:10 PM EST (#353074) #
Hell no to that trade. Vlad could be a superstar on his own for an extremely low pay. Bo has that potential although I'd be very happy if he 'just' is a contender for ASG status. Osuna is a solid closer. Sanchez a solid starter, maybe a #1 if healthy. On the Angels side, if they feel they are contenders they'd be nuts to trade Trout for anything. I see Vlad and Trout as both being untradable for different reasons.

Vlad due to the massive potential - we might have a HOF'er at the start of his career.

Trout due to his massive value now - we are seeing the best in the game right now - a guy people will be saying 'I remember seeing him play' decades from now. Signed for 3 more years and I'm sure the Angels are already debating how much to offer him in 2 years for an extension. Minimum is $35 mil a year for 7 years if he stays healthy between now and then.
John Northey - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 02:14 PM EST (#353075) #
Scary thing with Trout - last year was his worst full season by WAR - 'just' 6.7. All time the Jays have had just 9 seasons that were better than Trout's worst. Roberto Alomar had just 2 years better than that - both while in Cleveland. Delgado had one year better than Trout's worst while here. In short he is a generational talent.

Now, Vlad on the other hand has already been rated at the max for hit hitting ability and has yet to play in AA.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 02:59 PM EST (#353076) #
That trade would give the Jays three years of Trout at $33.2m per year.

Consider what the Jays gave up for *four* years of Donaldson at just under $14m per year. JD has been almost as valuable as Trout over the last three years. He has been that good.

I would not do that trade -- even without Guerrero Jr. thrown in.
PeterG - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 03:26 PM EST (#353077) #
No way I would do that trade.
finch - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 03:33 PM EST (#353078) #
I make the trade if you can get Trout to sign an extension. Trout is the type of generation player that does not come around. Will Guerrero live up to the hype? Maybe. I'd rather take the known. I think Trout also is the type of player that would/could attract free agents. I do it.
CeeBee - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 03:46 PM EST (#353079) #
No! I'd never do that trade.
PeterG - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 04:18 PM EST (#353080) #
One player cannot make a team. And signing FA's is not the right way to build a team. I agree that it is completely crazy even without Vlad in it.

maybe Finch is bored this afternoon and is just having us on.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 04:20 PM EST (#353081) #
Isnít Vladimir Guerrero Jr. having a better minor league career thus far than Mike Trout did during his time here? I think Vladís having a better career thus far than anyone else, at least as far as I could tell. I think Bo Bichette could be as good, or very, very close. So why are we trading these guys?
hypobole - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 04:59 PM EST (#353082) #
Would we be the best team in MLB with Trout? No. The best team in the AL? In the AL East?

A trade like that might make sense for a team like the Red Sox (if they had the Milb pieces, which they don't).
christaylor - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 05:06 PM EST (#353083) #
Exactly this, I agree with PeterG -- the Angels have been trying the Trout + junk approach for years and haven't got very far. This winter, the Angels got a win-fall that just might wipe away what has been the futility of the Trout years away, but then again, it might not. There are plenty of baseball games left to play in 2018.

I think I just typed my way into thinking the Angels might be a prime candidate to be a seller in July either this year or next. Anybody know who on the Angels has no-trade clauses with the Jays included?
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 05:27 PM EST (#353084) #

Would you trade (you're the Leafs):

Connor McDavid

Auston Matthews
Mitch Marner
William Nylander
Morgan Reilly
Jake Gardner
Nazem Kadri

Even if you factor McDavid's longer contract, that's negated by the accelerated careers of Matthews/Marner/Nylander who are similar to the Jays top prospects.

There is NO chance you win that trade if you're either Toronto team. I'm sorry but there is so much flawed logic in your post Finch.
finch - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#353085) #

I'm not familiar with hockey or those names you suggested. Couldn't speculate on that.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 06:13 PM EST (#353086) #
Too many GMs/Ownership have upgraded their Team by trading younger Players for older, more accomplished and experienced Players or signing older, more accomplished and experienced Players to expensive long-term contracts. A.A. did it, Ross Atkins did it and so did many others. Sometimes it works well, sometimes itís a disaster, sometimes itís somewhere it the middle.

Getting younger is possible through the draft, via IFAs and via trades. Sometime it works well, sometimes itís a disaster, sometimes itís somewhere in the middle. Trading quality established/older talent for younger Players is done all the time. Sometimes it works well, sometimes itís a disaster, sometime itís somewhere in the middle.

Sometimes trading young talent gets younger talent back. Very few people even think about it let alone trade them. Unfortunately the Jays arenít quite there yet. It will come, but until then keep away from the disasters.
bpoz - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 08:46 PM EST (#353087) #
I can see Trout leaving the Angels the way Halladay left the Jays because he wants to be in the playoffs and hopefully win a WS.

He will sign with a contender when he is a FA IMO.

dalimon5 - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 09:56 PM EST (#353088) #
Yeah...about the Angels and Trout leaving for a contender...

Otani, Kinsler, Cozart, Richards and Headey coming back. Mariners with an older Cano and brittle Felix. Rangers losing Darvish. Angels should contend this year at least for a wildcard.
dan gordon - Sunday, January 28 2018 @ 10:58 PM EST (#353089) #
That proposed trade is ridiculous. I wouldn't trade Guerrero and Bichette for 3 years of Mike Trout, let alone add Osuna, Sanchez and Pearson. That would be in the running for the worst trade in the history of mlb. That is the type of trade that destroys franchises for years. Heck, I probably wouldn't trade Guerrero even up for 3 years of Mike Trout.
aarne13 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:20 AM EST (#353090) #
Vladdy Jr and Bo are no go for trades. period.
If they get to AA and are putting up the same kind of numbers I'm ordering new jerseys :)
I truly am excited with some of the prospects that are coming up. Alford-Borucki-SRF-Zeuch-Pearson etc.

I believe that Alford is going to step in and takeover an OF spot this season.

I don't get the feeling that Trout will leave voluntarily. He's pretty laid back and just wants to play ball. I can't imagine how good Trout would be if he had the intensity that Doc had.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:29 AM EST (#353091) #
Mike Trout, of course, has the intensity like Doc. He's the best player in MLB, his workouts are benchmarks for the rest of the players and legendary in their own right. His box jumps onto tread mills are the types of feats he does off the field, not that any of it matters when you do what he is doing on the field at his age.

Halladay was a bum with a wide smirk on his face who would goof off the field before he became "the guy." Trout has don't (and probably can't) ignore everyone and give the cold shoulder the way Halladay did if you're an every day player, especially in CF.
Michael - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:39 AM EST (#353092) #
The proposed Trout trade is probably about fair if you are getting rookie Trout guaranteed to have the career Trout has had to date for the salary Trout has been paid since the beginning.

Today's Trout for his current salary, while still valuable, isn't remotely as valuable as rookie Trout was.
bpoz - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:43 AM EST (#353093) #
Cleveland is a very strong team currently enjoying a window of contending. Talented youth makes this window affordable.

How, when and why will this window close?
Affordability will close this window IMO. The young talent will still be young and good in a few years. I expect these players to become too expensive for Cleveland.

IMO no team was better than them in 2016 and 2017. LAD, Cubs, Astros were equal not really better.

I am guessing that their window stays open for 3 more years based on affordability. They need a WS championship in that time frame if I have guessed right.

Injuries or luck can give them 3 or none.
jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 06:17 PM EST (#353141) #
You may remember it this way, because you seem so contentious about the subject, but the argument I remember was that the upper levels were barren.

Hypobole, I've contended with you on the subject, admittedly, but if I am recalling things correctly, it's because you frequently reject the notion that there are people who have a better understanding of our system, and minor league talent in general, than you do - I've often felt that your 'we can't know' is more of a "I don't know, and therefore nobody does".  Now this might be a wild miscalculation by me, and if so, my bad, but I see myself and others as having been proven right by the quick rebound of the system in so far as negative opinions in the industry, and some of the posters here on the box, are concerned. 

Obviously, BB was a drafting homerun, as was Nate Pearson.  Then again, the system I have long lauded is still largely in place.  And other than that, I think what happened is what many of us predicted - the lower level depth of the Jays system was strong, and thus we rebounded quickly.  
As for the other stuff you brought up. Number of affiliates really doesn't move the needle whatsoever, we have zero clue how much teams spend on scouting, and using past success with IFA's certainly wouldn't cause any evaluator to raise the Jays ranking - Vlad is the first real prospect we've hit on since when?

No idea where to begin here, but obviously to me, more affiliates means more investment in the minor leagues from the org, and more prospects.  The Jays were lauded round the industry for increasing their spending on scouting under AA, and yes, we can count the number of scouts, the size of the development teams, etc.  We were linked to Vlad due to strong relationships in both the community and with his father.  There are organizations - Baltimore springs to mind - that don't even seem to value international pool money. 

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here. 
hypobole - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:10 PM EST (#353144) #
As I said - contentious. The point you replied on, whether most thought our system, or just the upper levels were barren, has little to do with your response. Vlad was in our system at that time.

You seem to have this Dunning-Kruger thing going with minor league systems where you feel you can accurately place our system in comparison to others. You may well have a better idea of our systems strengths and weaknesses than I do, but as for other teams systems, well, you may feel you're an expert, but you'll never convince me of that supposition no matter how lengthy your argument.

I don't disagree at all about Baltimore, but they're an outlier. And even they hit on Schoop. His 7.5 fWAR is ahead of any Jay IFA signing since Carlos Delgado that I can remember - Osuna's 6.1 is the closest. Not really a ringing endorsement of past Jays signings.

jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:15 PM EST (#353145) #
I'm not insulting you, although you may be insulting me (I have know idea with the Dunning-Kruger comment means), nor am I claiming to have a realistic understanding of the low level minors of every team, or even any teams other than ours.  All I've said, and just reread the posts for confirmation, is that there are indicators that we have a strong minor league system, comments that I've made for years, and comments that seem to be borne out by the current evaluations. 

And yes, Vlad being a part of the system at the time was part of my argument. 

Like I said, lets agree to disagree.  I feel like the evidence is in my corner, you don't.  Perhaps we revisit this in two years.  Like I predicted two years ago, our system will be in good shape. 

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