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Getting down to the wire for free agents now - will the Jays get any bargains? Roughly $10-20 mil to spend (maybe more if they can make a case to ownership ala Beeston back in the 90's with Clemens).

MLB Trade Rumors says Darvish is getting close to a decision which should finally break up the logjam. Rangers, Dodgers, Cubs viewed as favorites. Minnesota some think want him, Milwaukee has put themselves into the discussion, even the Phillies are there in talks. Still a mystery team in there so hope for the Jays to swoop in and do something like that Clemens deal back in the 90's that no one saw coming.

Meanwhile a reporter for Yahoo, Jeff Passan hears differently, writing that teams throughout the league donít think that any of Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer or J.D. Martinez are close to signing yet. Might be the craziest free agent winter since 1986/87 when collusion was in full force and many waited until May to sign with their old teams (rules were if you didn't sign by early December you couldn't sign with your original team until May 1st).

Spring camps start up February 14th (pitchers and catchers), the 19th is the first full workout, February 23rd is the first game (vs Phillies). Not long now.
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whiterasta80 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 09:40 AM EST (#353094) #
Yay for a new thread!

If the Jays aren't taking advantage of FA bargains in some way then they aren't really trying hard enough. Even if they just sign someone to flip at the deadline.

Moustakas, for example, strikes me as a guy who could come here and dramatically improve his stock. Obviously he'd have to be a DH or maybe LF but in the absence of other additions, I think its an option that could pay dividends.

uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 09:59 AM EST (#353095) #
given what they've done so far, they payroll they have left, and what other impact players have cost, i'll be pretty dissappointed if we don't make something resembling an impact addition now.

adding just one guy with legit 3-4war expectations makes us a team with a legit chance.
Glevin - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 10:02 AM EST (#353096) #
"If the Jays aren't taking advantage of FA bargains in some way then they aren't really trying hard enough. Even if they just sign someone to flip at the deadline. Moustakas, for example, strikes me as a guy who could come here and dramatically improve his stock."

How is Moustakas going to improve his stock in Toronto? By moving to DH? Moustakas is a known quantity. Don't see how he improves his stock. Steamer has Morales at a WRC+ of 107 and Moustakas at 113. So you cut loose $11M and spend probably at least $20M to get what, an 0.2 extra WAR? Or move him to LF and provide probably less value than Granderson for probably 4X the money? Then you're going to flip this DH at the deadline for some D level prospect? So you spend the rest of your budget and don't really improve at all and also don't get a very valuable asset to trade. Jays should go get a starter which is something need much more and also has more trade value.

Anyway, despite the slow free agency, there haven't been many FA bargains yet. Some OK OFs have been cheap but these are not guys you are going to flip at the deadline or the Jays particularly need anymore. I'd say Granderson was a pretty good FA bargain already. If $/WAR is around $9M and Granderson is around a 2 WAR player, that's about $13M in excess value.
vw_fan17 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 10:40 AM EST (#353097) #
Not sure if we have the roster space, and a DH platoon is a bad idea, I know, but..

Old friend Adam Lind still seems to be able to hit RHP well (OPS 898), which is exactly what our current DH cannot do well (OPS 680).
Of course, Lind still can't hit lefties (OPS 689), but Morales seems to be able to (OPS 1000).
(all numbers from 2017)

Sure, it's not like it would be something to pursue in isolation, but the fact that we have Morales signed for 2 more years, if Lind signs for $1-2M (if he's getting desperate), maybe with some incentives, and Gibby was sat down and told specifically how to platoon Lind and Morales... It could really improve DH production. And have a handy pinch-hitter on the bench (Morales to hit against a LOOGY, for example, Lind to hit against RHP relievers). Morales/Lind/Smoak could form a 3-headed monster to handle 1B, DH and pinch-hitting (with Smoak playing most days)..

Of course, that might mean going back to a 7 or 6 man bullpen and a LOT of shuttling for pitchers..

Not saying it's a complete plan, but it might be something to play with..

Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 10:46 AM EST (#353098) #
Why will Yu Darvish sign soon? Weíve been hearing this often every week. Term and money have long been decided, details have been decided, but the courtship continues. Whoever blinks first should win. If you want Yu Darvish and canít stand letting any one else getting him, increase term by one year and an option year with buyout and increase AAV by $2.5 Million.

mathesond - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 10:51 AM EST (#353099) #
John Lott has a good article on Danny Jansen up at the Athletic, for those with subscriptions.
PeterG - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 10:54 AM EST (#353100) #
BA has just released it's new rankings of the farm systems and has the Jays at #7

Mike Green - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:05 AM EST (#353101) #
Two Blue Jays make Mike Podhorzer's HR/FB surger list.  Devon Travis and Randal Grichuk.  Travis hit the ball hard overall when he was healthy in 2017.  He did have a healthy season once in his career (2013).  Maybe this will be the second.  Grichuk has a chance to be a monster power bat in Toronto. 

It's hard to know what to make of the top-end of the pitching market.  Personally, I would rather have Lorenzo Cain on my club than Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta.  And the market below that follows from them.  
whiterasta80 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:06 AM EST (#353102) #
In my suggestion we would be cutting Morales. Moustakas would improve his stock by playing in a hitters ballpark and a hitters division for the first time min his career.

I would have JD get some restat DH with Moose playing 3B probably once per week. I would also have Moose play some LF and 1B as well as DH. In fact you might not even have to cut Morales in that model.

Obviously if someone is going to pay MM 13 million over multiple years then you don't do it. But if he's accepting 1/8 or 2/14 then I think its an opportunity.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:23 AM EST (#353103) #
"Personally, I would rather have Lorenzo Cain on my club than Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta."

yeah, hard to argue against that IMO. He looked like possibly the best FA from the start, and that contract is less than what was originally projected. Signing him instead of Grandy would have been a serious upgrade, on a very reasonable deal. None of the pitchers look like very safe bets.

On another note, it's pretty wild how much the Morales signing is still screwing us. It's completely locked up our roster and made it so hard for us to make legit improvements this offseason. Spending a bit more on an impact DH bat would dramatically change the look of this roster.

uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:25 AM EST (#353104) #
So heading into AA's final year as GM, BA ranked us the 9th best system. 3yrs later, we're at 7th, despite the Great Gutting.
85bluejay - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:33 AM EST (#353105) #
I don't buy this 9m/war figure - I thinks it's more 5m/war but actually what's more important is the team's budget - signing a player to 30m/year contract is not smart if your budget is 100m but is defensible if it's 200m. I like the supposedly 15% of budget max. for an individual player that Shapiro is said to have.

If the Jays get Jaime Garcia for 2/10-12 and Dyson for 1/6 or 2/12 (I know that they were expected to get more) I think that would be ok. I just don't see the Jays signing anyone that has a QO & I think the big 4 pitchers will still get good contracts.
85bluejay - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:37 AM EST (#353106) #
To be fair, after the gutting of 2015 (Price,Tulo etc) BA ranked the system 24th when AA actually left.
Mike Green - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#353107) #
On another note, it's pretty wild how much the Morales signing is still screwing us. It's completely locked up our roster and made it so hard for us to make legit improvements this offseason. Spending a bit more on an impact DH bat would dramatically change the look of this roster.

It's only screwing the club if you let your pride get in the way.  It's $23 million owing, not $123 million. 

The Blue Jays do not need to sign an impact bat to DH to get better production out of the club as a whole.  You could easily split the DH job among Granderson, Pearce, Donaldson, Martin and Smoak, with a young outfielder and Jansen getting some substantial work in the field.  That might indeed be the situation when the season starts or in May, but only if the club cuts bait. 
SK in NJ - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:41 AM EST (#353108) #
I'd rather have Granderson at 1/5 than Cain at more than 5/80 + a NTC + a lost pick + lost international money. The Jays are not in a position to be tied down by an expensive contract for a player's age 32-36 seasons. The alternative of an older stop gap mixed with a younger player with upside (Grichuk) is a better balance, and less likely to handcuff the team later if one or both of those players don't produce.

If the Jays sign Jaime Garcia and a couple of cheap above replacement level relievers, then their win projection likely jumps to around 86-ish, and that's without committing to a long-term contract or spending obscene amounts of payroll (giving them room at the deadline to either add if they are in it or maybe absorb a salary to buy a better prospect if they are out of it, etc). Getting to a 90 win projection on their payroll would have been difficult, unless they somehow traded for Yelich, but anything above 85 puts them in a decent position to contend for a WC spot.

This winter has definitely been an improvement over last winter, and I didn't have an issue with last winter aside from the 3rd year to Morales. Years of control, floor, and upside have all been added to the roster for cheap cost, in both dollars and prospect capital.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:49 AM EST (#353109) #
"It's only screwing the club if you let your pride get in the way. It's $23 million owing, not $123 million. "

but it's not just pride, it's budget.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#353110) #
"The alternative of an older stop gap mixed with a younger player with upside (Grichuk) is a better balance,"

I don't get your use of the word "alternative".

Grichuk has nothing to do with the decisions to sign grandy instead of Cain. Heck, they could have grabbed all three and let Grichuk, Pillar, and Grandy battle it out for playing time.
Mike Green - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:00 PM EST (#353111) #
Every GM makes a mistake on the order of 5-6% of the team payroll, at some point or the other.  It's what you do once you realize that you made a mistake that matters. 

Giving playing time to Morales over Alford/Hernandez/Pompey/Jansen/Solarte is foolish.   Waiting 3 months in order to acquire a service time advantage for one of the outfielders is counter-productive.  Maybe you want to wait on Alford.  That makes sense. But if you take the better of Hernandez and Pompey out of spring training, you are likely to get more overall value. 

85bluejay - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:12 PM EST (#353112) #
If the Jays can move Steve Pearce, I wouldn't mind a Granderson/Jabari Blash platoon in LF - Blash probably doesn't have a place in NY - but likely the Yankees will not trade him to a division rival - but he's a candidate to be DFA.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:12 PM EST (#353113) #
The FO liked Morales enough to give him three years in the first place, knowing that his presence would handcuff roster flexibility. I don't think they will eat up the $23M left of his deal without at least giving him a chance to redeem himself in 2018. His exit velocity and other stat cast related stats were still pretty good, and that was likely a big reason for them signing him. I'd be surprised if they cut bait on him, unless there was a team willing to take him in a trade (which I highly doubt).

Though I tend to agree that removing Morales from the roster by itself would help the team in 2018. I think Pearce is the better player, and Morales' roster spot can be used on a more versatile player. Unfortunately, they will likely just work around it and hope Morales starts to hit better next season. Gibbons could help a lot by using Morales less against RHP and maybe looking for match-ups more favorable for him.
John Northey - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:31 PM EST (#353114) #
Morales and Pearce are pains right now for the Jays. 2 guys who are best at DH, one didn't hit last year but is signed for $23 mil over 2 years which is hard to write off for most GM's. My betting is the Jays go into spring with both hanging around and see if there are signs one or the other will hit like the Jays hoped they would and if one is and the other isn't then dump the one who isn't. You really can't have both on the roster and hope to have a decent defense unless Smoak is traded or flops. Having all 3 at the start of 2017 made sense but now that Smoak looks like the real deal it makes no sense as Pearce isn't a LF'er nor is Morales. All 3 are DH/1B only.

I push for Darvish just due to how good the staff could be with him. 3 potential #1's in Darvish/Stroman/Sanchez plus darn good #2/3's in Happ and Estrada pitching in the 4/5 slots. Then all depth pitchers are just that - depth. And if needed the Jays would then have a normal #5 in that depth pitcher and still have 2 #1's potentially. As always, 2 or more injuries screw over the rotation but that is always the case with rare exceptions.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:37 PM EST (#353115) #
Yu Darvish is worth every cent he gets. He struggled in the Postseason, supposedly "tipping his pitches"' but that's fixable. I wouldn't mind him on the Jays as the Ace.
Jake Arrieta has been in decline over his last two years, and he doesn't look like he's getting better. Never on the Jays' Roster for any reason.
Alex Cobb is a solid number two Starter who has never consistently made more than 29 starts once, 27 once and 23 once. I'd take him on the Jays' Roster anytime, even despite his shortcomings.
Lance Lynn is 6'5" 280 lbs., that's scary. He had TJ surgery and missed 2016. He's been a quality #2 Starter-type his entire career with St. Louis, yet they didn't try to resign him. I'm not sure whether I'd want him or not.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:40 PM EST (#353116) #
Good stuff here:

AP Sports @AP_Sports
BREAKING: Cleveland Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from game jerseys and caps, starting in 2019 season
greenfrog - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:47 PM EST (#353117) #
The Braves' BA organizational talent ranking has gone from #29 to #1 in two seasons. That's an impressive ascension.
GabrielSyme - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 12:48 PM EST (#353118) #
The difference between Moustakas and other DH options simply isn't that big. Morales in his career doesn't have a platoon split, so there aren't big gains to be had by implementing a platoon. Nor do we have an extra lumbering slugger ready to step into the role. Steve Pearce is projected to be a similar hitter, and while he'd save a few runs on the bases, it's not a big difference. Nor should we expect Granderson or Solarte to significantly outhit Morales.

Apart from J.D. Martinez, there aren't any big upgrades out there in free agency either.

It's not ideal, but there aren't great alternatives to Morales. I think it makes sense to start the season with Morales, in the hopes that he's able to improve a little, perhaps enabling a trade or at least providing a little value. If he continues to decline, I think that's when you cut your losses and DFA him.
finch - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 02:18 PM EST (#353119) #
I'm excited to see the pitchers take a step forward this season. Guys like:
Sean Reid-Foley
Justin Maese
TJ Zeuch

And the growth of Nate Pearson.

Long term where do these guys end up?
I see Pearson as an elite Closer. SRF as a #4 starter. Maese as a #4 and Zeuch as a #2/3
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 02:48 PM EST (#353120) #
2017/2018 Offseason Tasks remaining (in no special order).
1) Upgrade at CF, especially if it means trading Kevin Pillar.
2) Acquire/Sign a Starter for the Rotation, for whatever the Jays can afford.
3) Clear Kendrys Morales from the 25-Man and 40-Man Rosters, even though I expect him to hit better.
4) Acquire/Sign a top Reliever for the Back-of-the-Bullpen, preferably a LHP.
These are the Major needs, but there is more to do.
whiterasta80 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 02:51 PM EST (#353121) #
I just picked Moustakas as an example of a guy who I think will sign for well under market value.

My point is that if you are getting someone for well under market value then maybe you don't care so much about how much sense he makes on the roster.

But if you don't like Moose, it could just as easily be someone else. We've already done that to a certain extent with granderson.
Mike Green - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 03:38 PM EST (#353122) #
PeterG - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 04:14 PM EST (#353123) #
Not going to happen.

Players might want to check poll on MLBTR to see where majority of fans stand:

reasons for slow market:

What's The Biggest Reason For This Slow Offseason?

Players Overestimating Their Markets 29.36% (7,189 votes)

Agent Scott Boras 17.63% (4,317 votes)

The Competitive Balance Tax 12.24% (2,997 votes)

Coalescence of Player Evaluation 10.74% (2,630 votes)

Focus on Next Year's Class 10.69% (2,617 votes)

Apathy Towards Free Agency 10.07% (2,466 votes)

Lack of Effort to Win 3.99% (976 votes)

Collusion 3.95% (966 votes)

Other 1.33% (328 votes)

Total Votes: 24,486
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 04:36 PM EST (#353124) #
The Yu Darvish article explain the possible delay in Free Agent Starter signings.
Everyone else is waiting for him, unless they need to sign.
85bluejay - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 04:41 PM EST (#353125) #
I don't know if a strike will happen but I don't believe what the fans think will have any significant effect on a fight over money. Since players began earning significant salaries, fans have almost always blamed players (regardless of sport) probably because they have an emotional connection to players and none to Billionaire owners and also because of the old standby - " They are being paid too much to play a kids game, I'd play for free".
China fan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 04:43 PM EST (#353126) #
"....Cleveland Indians removing Chief Wahoo logo from game jerseys and caps, starting in 2019 season...."

Long overdue. Chief Wahoo is a racist caricature. But why is it not happening until 2019? This is not a move that requires a transition period.

Next in the "get rid of it" queue should be: the "tomahawk chop" and "war dance" at Atlanta Braves games.
China fan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 04:49 PM EST (#353127) #
"....But if you take the better of Hernandez and Pompey out of spring training, you are likely to get more overall value...."

There are already 5 outfielders on the roster, so I'm unclear what you're suggesting here. Would you DH them? That would be a waste, and it would damage their development. Or would you platoon them with Grichuk or Granderson? That's also a waste -- they deserve a chance to develop as full-timers.

My view: give them plenty of full-time playing time in Buffalo for the first couple of months of the season (while assessing the veterans in the Toronto outfield), and then consider promoting one of them at that point in the season, if they've proven that they're better than one of the veterans.
hypobole - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 04:51 PM EST (#353128) #
Here's my (admittedly not well thought out) suggestion. Players/owners hire an analytics team to build a WAR based system to replace arbitration. Players will be paid using that system starting the year after their rookie season until they reach free agency, unless player and team agree on salary. Teams will have 7 years control, not 6. All Free Agents will be exactly that - no penalty for signing team, no pick for previous club.

Lottery system for both draft and IFA spending, with all non-playoff teams getting equal (or somewhat close to equal) chances, to stop the current windfall for outright tankers.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:00 PM EST (#353129) #
I think Chief Wahoo is racist but completely different from a Tomahawk chop. I can understand people may be offended by that but I don't think it's any different than someone being affected by the Chicago BlackHawks logo and name or the "Yankees" which some people consider a misused term. All I'm trying to say is that if you try to clear our ANY possible offensive material from sports teams then it's a long list that goes beyond the Indians and Redskins organizations. Chief Wahoo and his caricatures were a long overdue racist component of those organizations that had no place in MLB. I don't agree about a Tomahawk cheer.
China fan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:01 PM EST (#353130) #
"....To be fair, after the gutting of 2015 (Price,Tulo etc) BA ranked the system 24th when AA actually left...."

True. But I think the significance of the current ranking (7th best organization in the majors) is that the strength of a system can bounce around quite radically from season to season, a low ranking isn't the death knell for an organization, and a poor ranking can be overcome within a couple of years.

I also think AA doesn't get enough credit for his signing of Vlad Guerrero Jr. during that same 2015 season. This was a historic move. He identified Guerrero as one of the best prospects of the past decade, and then he went out and aggressively pursued him, persuaded him to sign, found a historically large amount of money ($3.9-million) to sign him, and found creative ways to exempt the Jays from the normal rules on bonus sizes. Other organizations knew that Guerrero was very good, but it was AA who found a way to get him.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:07 PM EST (#353131) #
"Players might want to check poll on MLBTR to see where majority of fans stand:

reasons for slow market:

What's The Biggest Reason For This Slow Offseason?

Players Overestimating Their Markets 29.36% (7,189 votes)"

then they should strike until they get a system that pays them fairly for their prime years.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:08 PM EST (#353132) #
The players union makes no sense to me. They are okay with the stipulations where amateur and international players get way less now than they did before. They agreed to a luxury tax which will force bigger market teams (Dodgers/Yankees) to spend less to avoid penalties. They have never bothered to fight the six years of team control and three years at the minimum rule where players are having their best seasons while they are young and underpaid, and then hitting the market at 30+ when they are either already declining or about to. Yet, some unsigned free agents are causing a stir? The players have been screwed a lot longer than this winter.

Even this off-season, Cain got his money. Relievers got their money. The SP's that have signed so far have been signed to reasonable rates, some even higher than expected (Chatwood). The FA's remaining are largely Boras clients who want 6-7 years and huge money at a time where teams are a lot smarter about age and value.

By this time next year, we might be having a different discussion as better players hit the market and teams who are tapping out of this season's free agent market start spending on those better players.
China fan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:08 PM EST (#353133) #
"...I can understand people may be offended by that..."

Well, if you can understand that people may be offended by it, shouldn't that be sufficient reason to get rid of it? Why support something if it is offending people?

The "tomahawk chop" and the "war dance" are very different from the Blackhawks logo. The latter is not a racist caricature, and a lot of aboriginal people are fine with it. For example:

But the Braves go far beyond that. They actively appropriate the culture of indigenous people and twist them into a racist parody. Very different.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:13 PM EST (#353134) #
According to the CBA, you can release an Arbitration Player at a certain point in Spring Training and only pay 1/4 of the salary owed - bye, bye Carrera if necessary.
Thomas - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:24 PM EST (#353135) #
Per Mike Green's suggestion and China's response, it's unclear to me why it would be a waste or detrimental to the development of Hernandez and/or Pompey to open the season with:
RF: Grichuk
CF: Pillar
LF: Hernandez
DH: Pearce/Granderson
Reserve: Carrera

With Morales cut and Pompey in the minors.

I'm not sure why that would supposedly hurt Hernandez's development.

I don't think that this is what the Jays are likely to do, but it's not at all equivalent to sitting some 21-year-old prospect with 240 Triple-A at-bats on the bench six days a week.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:34 PM EST (#353136) #
China, you overestimate the role of GM and underestimate the role of international scouting director as well as assistant GM. You also seem to think that all the work done during AA's regime has disappeared but the reality is a chunk of his team that he was always first to point out as being instrumental in all the positive work done under his regime is still here.

The truth is that signing Vlad Guerrero Jr to a record contract was not a historic move at the time, which is important in your case because you're evaluating AA's gamble after the fact as opposed to objectively. Vlad had the highest ceiling but was EXTREMELY RAW. AA AND HIS TEAM gambled that Guerrero Jr would overcome rawness and achieve his ceiling.

VladJr became a "historic" prospect AFTER playing in the minors and posting some historic numbers...

...AFTER getting grades from Baseball America that were historic (80 Bat)

....and AFTER the head of MLB Pipeline proclaimed he is the best prospect ever and has a chance to go into Cooperstown with his dad as the first father/son combo into the hall. Again, the "historical" evaluations all came AFTER AA did his miracle working to sign him.
christaylor - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:49 PM EST (#353137) #
Unfortunately, racism is very much alive and kicking in the US -- even here in ostensibly liberal Boston a racist dolt went after Adam Jones last year. That said, policing fun, unlike league decrees about appropriate logos, is a terrible ground to tackle top-down. I have no idea how to change the culture -- but that is what needs to change and truly only fans can do that for the chop and war dance. It needs to be grassroots.
PeterG - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 05:56 PM EST (#353138) #
I would argue that Vlad was already pre disposed to signing with Jays as he was born in Montreal and has Canadian citizenship. His dad was probably instrumental in the decision making as well. AA still had to come up with the bucks and aside from the JD trade, this may have been his finest moment but he had a lot of help.
jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 06:05 PM EST (#353139) #
Christaylor, I agree that grassroots change is best.  But this is not really about policing fun ... it's policing racism.  It's beyond shameful that this stuff has lasted this long, and if the fans in Atlanta don't get it, I don't sympathize.  The majority of fans in Washington haven't cared, the majority of fans in Cleveland haven't cared ... sometimes these sorts of people - who I'm not condemning as racist, necessarily - need leadership, or if it comes to it, legal boundaries.  Again, this is horribly racist stuff, against a population that has been marginalized and decimated for far too long.  If positive change isn't coming from the grassroots, than *$%# the grassroots. 

"Innocent" ignorance is something I have been guilty of.  As someone who grew up in small town Ontario, I can generally tell the difference between racism and a lack of experience / exposure to certain groups /  ideas.  In the case of Atlanta fans, I don't see ignorance - which can speak to a lack of education / class privilege - I see indifference to the plight of First Nations people.  All that is needed to show consideration is conversations with the communities affected.  Simple, in my opinion, but I do agree, this is one complex issue. 

dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 06:09 PM EST (#353140) #
"But the Braves go far beyond that. They actively appropriate the culture of indigenous people and twist them into a racist parody. Very different."


You are correct that there are people that actively appropriate the culture of indigenous people and twist them into a racist parody. Believe it or not, that happens to every culture and all over the world, not exclusive to indigenous people. You are wrong to pick on the Braves and call them "Very different," for going "far beyond that." Please look at the facts. I actually think the Braves are a great example of an organization taking steps to curb the appropriation of culture as you say into a more positive light in keeping with the desired brand of the team, unlike the other organizations which are far behind but whom you group together with the facts that show the Braves in a different light imho...

I feel you're a bit uptight on the controversy of Native American misrepresentation with the Braves. If you want to contain your argument to the past then by all rights you win. But lets look at the here and now. Having a racist slogan or logo is one thing, but having a team themed on Indigenous culture shouldn't be banned nor should cheers with indigenous theme music that matches the team theme be banned in my books. Now If aforementioned themes are mixed with politically incorrect racist propaganda or a name like the Indians/Redskins/Eskimos etc then that's another story, but that's not what's happening in Atlanta as much as you may want to believe it.

The team is called the Braves which is awesome, based on Native American warriors. The Tomahawk chop involves a styrofoam tomahawk with "Braves" on it. The mascot was changed to "Blooper" this year with no connection to culture to discourage any past misappropriations of culture (the drunk white guy in full costume and paint making a fool of himself).

There is literally nothing that the Braves are doing in this day and age to warrant grouping them with the Indians. Time to look at the facts and redirect the concern to the many organizations that are much worse off and don't seem inclined to change. I feel it's an easy cop out to label an organization like the Braves as racist which is unfair and untrue if you actually spend time in Atlanta or go to Braves games or dig up some facts.
jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 06:48 PM EST (#353142) #
Dalimon, you are a great poster, but I can't disagree with you more strongly.  Do you know anyone in the FNMI community?  Everyone that I know - and I know many activists within that community -  has a problem with the Braves.  I don't group them with the Indians - Chief Wahoo is way worse - but #$%$, Chief Wahoo is still a thing, the chop is still racist beyond belief, and frankly, it's not up to those of us who are not in the community to defend this corporate racism. 

To be clear, not calling you racist in any way.  But man, the fact that we are still discussing this, and the fact that some think the Braves are fine, is nuts, crazy, insane. 

GabrielSyme - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:07 PM EST (#353143) #
Can anyone explain exactly how the tomahawk chop is racist? Are we talking cultural appropriation here, or something else?
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#353146) #
If the Jays get unlucky with their endeavors to acquire whoever they were after whether via Trade or Free Agency, there's always the lest than the best.
LHP who still might be considered as #3/#4 Starters are:
Jaime Garcia (31); Jason Vargas (35) and Brett Anderson (30). Hector Santiago is more of a #4/#5 Starter.
RHP who still might be considered as #3/#4 Starters are:
Hideaki Wakui (31, if posted). Everyone else is more a #4/#5 Starter: Chris Tillman; Trevor Cahill and Jeremy Hellickson.
jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#353147) #
Sure.  the First nations communities think it is racist, and have long thought it was racist.  That's more than enough for me, although I could easily go on at length about how it's racist without reference to the communities affected. 

Honestly, what else matters? 

dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:23 PM EST (#353148) #
I'm not offended at all and won't take anything the wrong way. It's all good. I may need to be educated in this subject, maybe I'm missing something but I like to try to tackle issues as objectively as possible. To me it shouldn't matter what part of a community you're from. You don't need to be the subject of a misappropriated cultural offense to be offended by it or to choose to defend it.

I'd love to ask a couple of questions as to why some things are construed a specific way, but alas, this thread isn't the place for it. That being said, I relish taking popular points of opinion and holding them up to fair critique to see if it holds up. I find that the pendulum swings both ways and society can be as guilty as swinging one way as the other. Example: the current trend of "guilty until proven guilty" proliferating the days and times.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:24 PM EST (#353149) #
"Can anyone explain exactly how the tomahawk chop is racist? Are we talking cultural appropriation here, or something else?"

it's a caricature of them as savages.

scottt - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:27 PM EST (#353150) #
Cleveland still need to sell Wayhoo merchandise, just to preserve the trademark.

One area that needs revisiting, is small market teams getting money even if they don't actually spend it.
I'm all for increases in minimum salary, especially the 2nd and third year, but it's not what the players are looking for.

Qualifying offers were 17.4M last fall. Is that too little?
Or shouldn't the free agents just accept the QO if they want to maximize their return?
Even Cain will make less than 17M/year.

dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:27 PM EST (#353151) #
I think it's fair for people to show and explain why something is racist or offensive to them. You can't change the effect if you don't see or understand the cause.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:31 PM EST (#353152) #
Is the Tomahawk in reference to one type of people beheading another type in the past? If that's the case then yes, that would be a politically incorrect thing for a corporation to support. Either way you look at it (native people beheading Europeans or vice versa) looks bad. There's a whole generation that doesn't realize that. I'm actually curious if this is what it's in reference to. I thought it was just in reference to "finishing" or "closing" a team out similar to hoisting brooms during a series sweep.
uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:38 PM EST (#353153) #
first nations peopes have long been portrayed in pop culture as ignorant and vicious savages, defended against by noble white cowboys.

when the opposite is in fact true.

it's only natural that they would be offended by the Tomahawk Chop.

Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:44 PM EST (#353154) #
All the Players who got Qualifying Offers came off a decent money contract of some kind. They really didn't need the money just wanted what the Market would bare.
Those Qualifying Offers that were accepted last year should never have been offered. Not everyone wants to turn down the doubling of his total earnings in just one more year.
Why turn them down? The possibility exists of a career ending injury to occur, thus ending all future earnings. With a Multi-year contract, you'll still get paid in full.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 07:59 PM EST (#353155) #
I'd like to see a negotiated Floor established to co-exist with Luxury Tax. The difference between the two being just $90.0 Million apart. In addition, I'd like to see the Rosters expand to 27 or 28. Teams would only ever be able to dress 25 Players per game. It would let every team add another probable Relief Pitcher and add another multi-use Player to the Bench. The last spot, if the 28th spot is agreed upon, could also be used to bury an ugly contract.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 08:04 PM EST (#353156) #
Well, if there isn't any overt reference to a politically incorrect term then I interpret this as some people being offended by something that may be offensive but may also not be intended to be that way at all. In this world pretty much anything may be offensive whether intentional or otherwise.

I ponder if it would be more accurate to call the Tomahawk chop or the act of people doing it as "ignorant" rather than racist or offensive.

Most of the stuff I see on television and in movies and in books is the exact opposite as indigenous people being portrayed as "savages, defended against by noble white cowboys." In fact, most of the stuff I see (and good stuff) speaks exactly to this ignorant view and pushes images, themes and stories of the opposite view.

I guess it depends on what you're watching and how educated or non-ignorant you are. If you grew up watching Cowboys and Indians and your favourite book is The Indian in the Cupboard and your favourite movie is the Lone Ranger (it bombed) and you don't know what the terms Native or Indigenous means then're probably wrong to do the Tomahawk chop, but you're still just ignorant not racist in my books until you involve someone else or change your act to reflect a negative view of the subject specifically to someone or symbol with that intended purpose to hurt or knowingly offend.

But doesn't it beg the question for those offended: How can you be offended at somebody else that may partake in a Tomahawk cheer who doesn't hold a dated view on indigenous nations or people?

This is a fascinating 'dive' imho, made all the more interesting because many of these teams for one reason or another choose Indigenous communities and symbols of those communities to represent their organization's hopes, dreams and brand. Yeah, ignorant is the better word. I'll take this post with me down the hall, to the right inside the Philosophy Lounge.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 08:11 PM EST (#353157) #
1) Take your 30 baseball teams. Top Teams 1-15 in the standings will draft in the last half of the Amateur draft in reverse order of how they finished with the best team drafting last. Then take your worst 15 teams from the standings and they draft in the first 15 slots in the same position that they finished.

So, if Cincinnati finishes 16th overall for 2018 and Florida finishes 30th, then when they draft the following year:

15. Cincinnati

30. Florida

This would deter teams from tanking for better picks.

2) Put restricted free agency in place as this will deter owners from underpaying young stars

3) Keep unlimited salary with no cap as it allows teams to invest as much as they want how they want within the rules

4) Extend "Luxury tax' beyond payroll to include a tax on international signings
John Northey - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 09:10 PM EST (#353158) #
But then teams in the 13-16th slots late in the season might start tanking if they don't have a real shot at the playoffs. Probably better to make it that playoff teams (10) go 20-30 while the other 20 teams go reverse order. So the reward for just missing the playoffs is the #1 pick.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 09:18 PM EST (#353159) #
That seems sensible John.
jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 09:29 PM EST (#353160) #
Dalimon, please PM me, I'd love to introduce you to some people who could add to your understanding of this issue.  You sound sincere, and I don't want to hammer on someone who is sincere.

Frankly, 'intention' is irrelevant.   Those that defend themselves with this comment haven't taken enough time to examine history.   The historical record is objective, and FNMI peoples - aboriginal peoples, native north americans -take your pick of the language - these peoples have been decimated by European culture. 

I grew up with people who wouldn't understand the nuances of diversity - I didn't either, until I moved to downtown Toronto, hooked up with an activist vegan and starter teaching trans teens.  But there is a reality, a lived experience, that is beyond abstract questions on a baseball forum. 

To specifically answer your question ... how would you feel, if you experienced 'ignorance, not racism' on a daily basis? 
SK in NJ - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 10:51 PM EST (#353161) #
The Jays farm system was ranked 24th in 2016 and 20th in 2017 by BA. They have had two drafts, two international signing periods, two+ years worth of trades, in additional to internal development of existing talent to bump that ranking up. More importantly for the ranking, they haven't graduated a single prospect since then, so they've been able to keep the prospects on the list each season. In other words, it wasn't just flipping a switch and having the system rebound easily. It took a few years of drafting/acquiring/developing, hoarding prospects, plus not having any prospects to promote (thus never subtracting from the list), and ending up with a generational prospect in Vlad and another top 10 prospect in Bichette.

I don't think it's unfair to say the previous regime hurt the farm system, specifically the upper minors, to get to their goal. Ultimately it was worth it based on the end result, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened. When the big league team lacks young talent and the upper minors can't produce a big leaguer in over two years (at any position) it's significant.
jerjapan - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:09 PM EST (#353162) #
The AA regime hurt the prospect pool.  Undeniable.

That does not stop the fact that there was a great deal of far-off talent, which is part of why the system rebounded so fast.

For years, some of the posters here have argued the prospect pool was not decimated.  I think you prospect porn guys can post all you want, but there is objective evidence supporting those of us who didn't think the sky was falling. 

Lets please remember that generational talent #1 was part of the previous regime, and generational talent #2 signed with the org in part because of the existing system. 

uglyone - Monday, January 29 2018 @ 11:48 PM EST (#353163) #
Yes, the point isn't that the farm system wasn't hurt, but that most fans vastly overestimated both what those prospects actual value was as well as the difficulty of restocking that farm system (including the value of the prospects that weren't traded).

Most fans were viewing selling those prospects as a disaster, and unsurprisingly it wasn't.

And it's not even true that no prospects graduated - since that #9 ranking all of Sanchez Osuna Travis Pompey Hernandez Biagini Tepera Barnes have lost their prospect status and are still in the org.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:16 AM EST (#353164) #
"Yes, the point isn't that the farm system wasn't hurt, but that most fans vastly overestimated both what those prospects actual value was as well as the difficulty of restocking that farm system (including the value of the prospects that weren't traded)."

1) Doesn't matter how players turned out. They had enormous value at the time and the Jays got negative long-term value for them. It's like trading Vlad for $50 and Vlad doesn't make it and claiming it was a good trade. The Jays could have leveraged their prospects into good long-term pieces and instead all we are left with is one negative value player.
2) If someone makes $50K/year investing and makes some bad investments and makes $0/year for 2 years before bouncing back, would you say their bad investments didn't matter? Clearly, yes. The Jays got less from Anthopolous' system than any team in baseball got from their systems in the last 2 years. You can't pretend that doesn't matter. Or rather, you can, and do, but you shouldn't.
3) It wasn't just trading away prospects. The 13/14/15 drafts were bad. 16/17 drafts produced more talent already.
4) The Jays traded away a lot of players who are cheap major leaguers. It's not just Syndgaard, you also need the 1-2 WAR players. The Jays traded away a lot of pre-arbitration players bringing value. Because the Jays traded away all their depth, all the minor positions also had to be filled expensively. Then, you blame the front office for spending money on filling these positions even though they had no choice.
5) Baseball is moving further and further away from the way Antopolous did business. Pre-arbitration players have become even more valuable. A trade like the Marlins trade would never happen anymore because you are giving away a ton of a cheap value to take on expensive veterans.
Michael - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:43 AM EST (#353165) #
Donaldson. Our farm system of that era produced Donaldson. When you trade for major league talent you can't just say what does BA think our minor ranking is. You have to consider Nolin, Graveman, and Barreto "developed" into an MVP caliber major league player.

If you have a bunch of high minor players and a few wash out and a few are promoted: end result a few major league players. If instead you have a bunch of high minor players and you trade them for a few major league players: end result a few major league players. There can even be arbitrage and efficiency bonuses if teams or the industry either over values high minor talent; or, under values major league players. These differences could be due to evaluation differences, or could just be due to different goals from success cycle.
grjas - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 06:22 AM EST (#353166) #
ďmost fans vastly overestimated both what those prospects actual value wasĒ

While I have no issue with AA selling off prospects to buy a winner (after years in purgatory), the fact that the prospects didnít develop is another poor reflection on an organization that has scouted and developed few star players over the last 20 years, especially position players. A comparison of that record vs the Gillick years is truly alarming. Hopefully the new regime does better.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 09:13 AM EST (#353167) #
This shows how different your perspective us, depending on where you live.
even here in ostensibly liberal Boston
The perception of Boston up here has always been that Boston is one of the most racist cities in America. When the Adam Jones thing happened I remember thinking "bloody Boston." I am not saying I am right or you are right, just that location dictates perception.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 09:27 AM EST (#353168) #
"The Jays could have leveraged their prospects into good long-term pieces and instead all we are left with is one negative value player."

The Jays leveraged the overrated parts of that 9th ranked system into a back to back ALCS core, arguably the best team in franchise history, which is still a borderline playoff team here in year 4 despite the FO not adding even one established impact player since. And the system is ranked better now than it was then, no less.

I understand that you and shapkins literally get more pleasure from engaging in asset management efficiency, but that's not actually the point of pro sports. I just feel kinda bad for fans that couldn't let themselves enjoy this elite team because they were upset about losing Jeff Hoffman.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 09:31 AM EST (#353169) #
"the fact that the prospects didnít develop is another poor reflection on an organization that has scouted and developed few star players over the last 20 years,"

eh i'll put AA's draft/IFA war up against most any team's during that same period.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:17 AM EST (#353170) #
Per Mike Green's suggestion and China's response, it's unclear to me why it would be a waste or detrimental to the development of Hernandez and/or Pompey to open the season with:
RF: Grichuk
CF: Pillar
LF: Hernandez
DH: Pearce/Granderson
Reserve: Carrera

With Morales cut and Pompey in the minors.

I'm not sure why that would supposedly hurt Hernandez's development.

I don't think that this is what the Jays are likely to do, but it's not at all equivalent to sitting some 21-year-old prospect with 240 Triple-A at-bats on the bench six days a week.

Thanks, Thomas.  I agree on all fronts.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:36 AM EST (#353171) #
A couple of notes.

1) Nobody wants to acknowledge that Morales was good and sometimes very good against LHP last year. Would be a waste to throw that platoon split away.

2) Nothing wrong with AA and Shapiro (and the entire organizational philosophies that they represent) both being good, both doing good things for the Jays.

I don't think anybody can honestly say that AA did a poor job. Considering the known facts of limitations and what he had to work within, AA did incredible work. IMHO, his reputation would have been stronger if he didn't trade for Price, but he did and it doesn't tarnish all the good work he did. In all likelihood he will take the best farm system in baseball in Atlanta and make it better while fielding a winner for the next 10 years.

Same goes for Shapiro. Honestly speaking, his pro's far outweigh his cons both in Cleveland and so far here in Toronto. He has inherited a weakened (not "poor" or "destroyed") farm system but a strong baseball team, just as valuable a position to be in as AA with only the farm in Atlanta. Shapiro will also probably turn Toronto into a top farm system in the league while fielding a winner for the next 10 years.

They're both fantastic baseball people that couldn't work together and the people bashing on AA are usually doing so in defense of Shapiro and the people bashing on Shapiro are usually doing so in defense of AA's last ditch effort to trade the farm and contend, which even though it was an afterthought until he knew he would be fired - is still part of his legacy.

Can we agree that the Jays are in a better position now for two reasons:

1) the state that AA left the franchise in (not perfect but better than most)
2) the work that Shapiro has done since taking over (not perfect but better than most)

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:42 AM EST (#353172) #
The perception of Boston up here has always been that Boston is one of the most racist cities in America.

Yeah, I wouldn't say Boston is used as a "shining example" here in California either.. Especially the fans. I'm casual friends with a Yankees fan who works at the local grocery store, and we bond over our mutual feeling of "anybody but Boston" :-)
John Northey - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:52 AM EST (#353173) #
I think it is worth pointing out that Shapiro has made it a point to do a better job training the kids in the minors. AA tried to focus on improving the draft/waiver line pickups which he did until the rules were changed due at least in part to him (I loved the trade for a guy so he could get a draft pick right before the player became a free agent).

As to drafts...
2015 doesn't look good right now
2014: Jeff Hoffman, Max Pentecost, Sean Reid-Foley, McBroom was used to get Rob Refsnyder (for what that was worth)
2013: Kendall Graveman (6.6 WAR), Matt Boyd, Chad Girodo, and Matt Dermody have reached the majors so far. Rowdy Tellez is still a prospect. I have serious issues with calling this a flop even missing signing the top pick (Phil Bickford who is now with Milwaukee and looks like a stud).
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:02 AM EST (#353174) #
Over his career, Morales has no platoon split whatsoever.  He's ideally suited to being a pinch-hitter on an old-school roster with a shorter pen- the manager invokes the name of Earl Weaver when there are 2 runners on and he punches Morales' ticket. 

As a DH, he gives you totally mediocre hitting (and you cannot appropriately leverage his talents and weaknesses- good power, poor speed, significant groundball tendency) and very bad baserunning.  He is as slow or slower than Ortiz at age 40. 

pubster - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:02 AM EST (#353175) #
"The Jays leveraged the overrated parts of that 9th ranked system into a back to back ALCS core, arguably the best team in franchise history"

Uglyone, where do you come up with this stuff?

The Jays teams that made the ALCS were arguably the best team in franchise history? I hope you're joking.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:20 AM EST (#353176) #
I'd say the 2015/16 stretch was the 2nd best 2 year stretch in team history. 92/93 will always be #1. 85 was surrounded by 2 non-playoff sub 90 win teams. 89 the same (heck, in 89 they only won 89). 91 knocked out in first round. The less said about 87 the better.

After a 20+ year stretch of no playoffs I'm glad we got that 2 year ALCS stretch. Gladly go from a top 10 farm to a bottom 10 one for that.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#353177) #
The average OPS in the AL in 2017 for designated hitters was .735

see article on

Morales had an OPS of .753

I am not suggesting that Morales was good but it does appear that he was slighty above average in hitting at least.

It certainly does seem that some of the harsh criticism is more than slightly overdone.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#353178) #
It's true, there is a DH penalty.  On average, batters perform slightly worse as DHs than when they play a position.  OPS is an incomplete measure of offensive contribution- GIDPs, baserunning and the proper weighting of reaching base and slugging are all important.  When you make those adjustments, Morales was a poor but tolerable player in 2016 and an awful one in 2017.

There are plenty of reasons to believe that Randal Grichuk, Curtis Granderson, Justin Smoak and Teoscar Hernandez are all better players.  I understand the sentimental attachment to Jose Bautista, who was an iconic figure in Blue Jay history.  I don't understand the attachment to Morales, unless it's the last gasp of "digging the long ball". 

bpoz - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#353179) #
Well said dalimon5. Both AA and Shapiro seem to be smart baseball people.

Regarding AA:- 1) I believe that he was learning on the job. But still did very well.
Trading V Wells and his contract and getting Donaldson are incredible.
He always seemed to lack depth. The low budget for 2010,11,12 probably explains that. A Laffey.
Y Escobar and C Rasmus were obtained easily it seems to me but they came with personality issues.
IMO he was hustled in the Sergio Santos deal and also in the Miami deal. He dealt lessor players it is very true, and received much superior players but they may have arrived injured and had expensive contracts. Santos was a steal for us.

2) It is hard to be sure about a persons characteristics, but he seemed very confident in himself. That he could build a great team. Like I said he is very smart.
Getting those extra draft choices. Brilliant.
In 2010 our 85 wins was pretty good, but the lone WC team was NYY with 95 wins. To say that the Jays were not in a pennant race is logical but wrong IMO. If the Jays could have won 91 and NYY 90 then we are in. History shows that NYY did not cooperate unlike Boston the year Theo and Tito left. IMO AA did not fully understand this. I believe baseball is unpredictable, however I learned this from other people so I cannot take credit for this conclusion. And IMO AA is still smarter than me.

Shapiro is smart he is covering all the bases IMO. He covers weaknesses like getting Happ and Estrada. The 2017 disaster was not his fault. Too many injuries.
But we were in a playoff race due to the terrible 2nd WC contenders. KC 54 wins Jays 48 wins. What happens if you keep J Smith, still trade Liriano and acquire either Yu Darvish or S Gray. How much would Gray or Darvish cost.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:07 PM EST (#353180) #
The only upside to Morales is the stat cast numbers (exit velocity, etc), as those were still pretty good in 2017 despite the actual performance, but I'm not even sure how much weight can be put on that when he drills half his balls in play on the ground and would probably lose a foot race to an infant. I actually think he can bounce back a bit from last season, but I see his best case as being a wRC+ around ~110. Not worth the roster configuration issues. He'd have to be around 120 to live with that, and not sure he's that type of bat anymore.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:08 PM EST (#353181) #
Itís possible the 2015 Blue Jays were one of the two best teams in Franchise history. The Jays went into the All Star Break as the most dominant offensive team in Baseball that year, no one was better than Jays. Their two best young Starters were on the DL and the Bullpen was sadly lacking, but they were around .500-Ish.

Defense was upgraded where it was needed most. The Best Starter available was brought in. The Bullpen was upgraded. One young Starter came back early and was dominant in the Bullpen. The other young Starter unbelivably returned in September and was dominant.

Why didnít the Jays win it all? Every Manager goes into the Postseason trusting his Starters because they got him there. Best results always come from not trusting your Starters in the Postseason. There are too many off-days built into the Schedule. No Starter should ever go into the 7th - never ever.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:11 PM EST (#353182) #
Pubster, I'm certainly not joking.



3B Donaldson 154wrc+, 8.8war, 8.1war650
1B Encarnacion 150wrc+, 4.5war, 4.7war650
RF Bautista 148wrc+, 4.5war, 4.4war650
DH Colabello 143wrc+, 0.8war, 1.4war650
2B Travis 136wrc+, 2.3war, 6.3war650
C Martin 115wrc+, 3.5war, 4.5war650
SS Tulowitzki 101wrc+, 2.4war, 2.9war650
LF Revere 98wrc+, 1.9war, 2.0war650
CF Pillar 94wrc+, 4.3war, 4.5war650

UT Smoak 108wrc+, 0.6war, 1.2war650
OF Carrera 90wrc+, 0.2war, 0.7war650
IF Goins 85wrc+, 1.5war, 2.3war650
C Navarro 84wrc+, 0.5war, 1.7war650
X Pompey 82wrc+, 0.2war, 1.3war650


1B Olerud 179wrc+, 8.1war, 7.8war650
LF Henderson 151wrc+, 4.8war, 5.1war650
DH Molitor 144wrc+, 4.8war, 4.3war650
2B Alomar 142wrc+, 5.7war, 5.4war650
CF White 109wrc+, 5.4war, 5.3war650
LF Carter 108wrc+, 2.0war, 1.9war650
SS Fernandez 100wrc+, 3.1war, 3.4war650
3B Sprague 85wrc+, 1.4war, 1.5war650
C Borders 72wrc+, -0.2war, -0.3war650

UT Coles 85wrc+, -0.9war, -2.7war650
OF Ward 59wrc+, -0.4war, -1.3war650
IF Griffin 25wrc+, -0.5war, -3.2war650
C Knorr 98wrc+, 0.3war, 1.7war650
X Butler 104wrc+, 0.7war, 8.1war650


3B Donaldson 155wrc+, 7.6war, 7.1war650
1B Encarnacion 137wrc+, 3.9war, 3.6war650
RF Bautista 122wrc+, 1.4war, 1.8war650
DH Saunders 117wrc+, 1.5war, 1.8war650
2B Travis 110wrc+, 2.6war, 3.9war650
SS Tulowitzki 103wrc+, 2.9war, 3.5war650
C Martin 100wrc+, 1.9war, 2.3war650
LF Upton 85wrc+, 1.2war, 1.5war650
CF Pillar 81wrc+, 3.3war, 3.7war650

UT Smoak 91wrc+, -0.1war, -0.2war650
OF Carrera 85wrc+, 0.7war, 1.4war650
IF Barney 87wrc+, 1.5war, 3.2war650
C Navarro 57wrc+, -0.3war, -0.7war650
X Goins 38wrc+, -1.0war, -3.3war650


DH Winfield 140wrc+, 3.8war, 3.7war650
2B Alomar 135wrc+, 6.1war, 5.9war650
LF Maldonado 128wrc+, 2.3war, 2.7war650
1B Olerud 127wrc+, 3.1war, 3.8war650
RF Carter 120wrc+, 2.9war, 2.8war650
CF White 93wrc+, 5.9war, 5.5war650
SS Lee 89wrc+, 2.9war, 4.1war650
C Borders 85wrc+, 1.1war, 1.4war650
3B Gruber 71wrc+, -0.1war, -0.1war650

UT Tabler 68wrc+, -0.3war, -1.3war650
OF Bell 91wrc+, 0.7war, 2.5war650
IF Griffin 53wrc+, -0.1war, -0.4war650
C Myers 79wrc+, 0.0war, 0.0war650
X Sprague 72wrc+, -0.2war, -2.6war

definitely say the 2015 team had the best lineup.

The sad thing is that those 90s jays took a good lineup in 1992 and made it great in 1993, while these jays took the great 2015 lineup and didn't even bother trying to improve it for 2016.....and that 2016 lineup was still better than that 1992 lineup. What a waste.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:18 PM EST (#353183) #
Kendrys Morales is one of the last of the power-hitters with poor Defense. There are still a bunch of them under existing contracts. Most of them are getting eased out of Baseball, with only the Best likely staying around. Most of those contracts are untradable so Fans can only hope for the best.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:31 PM EST (#353184) #
Starting Pitching (war = average of fipwar and ra9war)


Stroman 41era-, 0.9war, 7.2war32
Price 60era-, 6.9war, 6.9war32
Estrada 81era-, 3.0war, 3.4war32
Dickey 96era-, 2.8war, 2.7war32
Buehrle 94era-, 2.1war, 2.1war32


Guzman 66era-, 5.7war, 6.5war32
Cone 79era-, 5.1war, 4.8war32
Key 88era-, 3.6war, 3.5war32
Morris 101era-, 3.5war, 3.3war32
Stottlemyre: 112era-, 1.0war, 1.2war32


Sanchez 71era-, 4.7war, 5.0war32
Happ 75era-, 4.3war, 4.3war32
Estrada 82era-, 3.5war, 3.8war32
Stroman 103era-, 3.1war, 3.1war32
Dickey 105era-, 1.1war, 1.2war32


Guzman 91era-, 4.0war, 3.9war32
Hentgen 88era-, 2.9war, 2.9war32
Stewart 101era-, 1.5war, 1.8war32
Stottlemyre 112era-, 1.8war, 2.1war32
Morris 141era-, 0.4war, 0.5war32

I'd say the 2015 rotation also clearly had the best starting staff, to go along with best batting order.

1992 and 2016 rotations are pretty close, with the edge to the 1992 staff.

The 1993 staff is the worst of them.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#353185) #

Don't combine Morales' splits together. Nobody is contending that he is an everyday player. I am pointing out that he is a well above average bat from one side of the plate and can be an asset in the same way as Granderson, Pearce, Pillar and many others who have huge glaring weaknesses in their game.

ASIDE: I think 2018 is the year we find out how good or how bad Gibbons is at managing because he will have more opportunity to make adjustments and tweaks. One of the things that has killed us the past 2 years are blown saves. I don't think there is anyone to blame or a solution but much like the slow April starts the blown saves have been very costly.
Here is a link to AS discussing Morales and his numbers from the right side:

"Believe it or not, against left-handed pitching over the last two seasons, Morales has been ridiculously good, producing wRC+ marks of 148 and 165.

No, really!

Those are the two highest marks of his career in that particular split, with the next highest being a 121 wRC+ back in 2013 when he was with Seattle. That being the case, Iím not sure we can outright say that heís merely a lefty masher himself just yet, but over his last 330 PA against LHP heís definitely trended that way. His strikeout rate has gone up from 14.5% in 2015 to 19.5% and 21.2% in 2016 and 17, while his slugging percentage has grown from .412 to .560 to .598 over that span. Seems heís selling out for power a bit more, and itís working.

LikeÖ really working.

Among 149 hitters over the last two seasons with at least 200 plate appearances from the right side against left-handed pitching, Moralesís 155 wRC+ ranks 13th, just behind Mike Trout.

In 2017 alone his 165 wRC+ ranked 16th in baseball among right handed hitters with at least 100 PA against LHP, just ahead of George Springer and Josť Altuve, and just behind Josh Donaldson.

No, seriously!

Even add in his less-than-stellar 2015, where he produced a 109 wRC+ in the split, and he gets just edged out of the top 30, right behind Carlos Correa, Miguel Sano, and Nolan Arenado, and just ahead of Edwin Encarnacion.

I am not even joking!

ButÖ uhÖ what this all means, of course, is that, given his weak numbers overall, Kendrysí work from the other side ó from the left side against right-handed pitching ó has been somewhat terrible. Or at least it was in 2017, where he sunk to just a 77 wRC+ vs RHP in 471 plate appearances.

Interestingly, over the course of his career, this has generally been the better split for him. Just not so much in the last four seasons, where his 145 wRC+ in 2015 is by far the high point, with a mark of 64 in 2014, and a 94 mark in 2016, going along with last yearís 77."
PeterG - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#353186) #
Again not trying to suggest that Morales is a positive for the Jays as I agree with Richard that these type of players are on the way out.

However, in the name of accuracy and also because I feel the whipping boy mentality is overdone, I would like to point out that he was not the slowest base runner on the Jays in 2017. That was Justin Smoak.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 12:38 PM EST (#353187) #
"That does not stop the fact that there was a great deal of far-off talent, which is part of why the system rebounded so fast."

Guerrero turning into a generational talent certainly sped up the system's growth, but the primary reasons behind it are what was mentioned previously. Shapiro did not trade a single (decent) prospect on the team for two years, and no prospects were taken off the prospect lists because none of them graduated to the big leagues. So combine that with two drafts, two international signing periods, 2+ years worth of trades/signings, and Guerrero/Bichette turning into top 10 prospects, and the system took a huge step forward. It wasn't strictly a timing issue; it was a strategic attempt by the front office to improve it.

The FO was left with a situation where they had to improve the big league team without any prospects to use as big leaguers or as big league depth. That's not easy. They had to juggle trying to contend and restocking the system simultaneously. Without that approach, and without the emphasis on player development (high performance dept, etc), then the system may not have been accelerated this quickly. It wasn't just inherited prospects in the lower minors filtering up and restocking the system on its own.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 01:03 PM EST (#353188) #


Osuna 64era-, 1.7war, 1.5war65
Lowe 49era-, 1.4war, 1.7war65
Cecil 61era-, 1.4war, 1.6war65
Hendriks 72era-, 1.3war, 1.3war65
Sanchez 59era-, 0.5war, 1.2war65
Hawkins 75era-, 0.5war, 0.8war65
Loup 110era-, 0.0war, 0.0war65


Ward 49era-, 2.8war, 1.8war65
Henke 56era-, 1.0war, 1.1war65
Eichorn 77era-, 1.4war, 1.0war65
Wells 92era-, 0.4war, 0.6war65
Timlin 103era-, 0.3war, 0.5war65
MacDonald 109era-, 0.1war, 0.1war65
Hentgen 132era-, -0.3war, -0.5war65


Ward 49era-, 2.8war, 2.5war65
Cox 71era-, 1.6war, 1.2war65
Eichorn 62era-, 1.2war, 1.0war65
Leiter 80era-, 0.6war, 1.0war65
Castillo 77era-, 0.7war, 0.9war65
Williams 100era-, 0.3war, 0.4war65
Timlin 107era-, 0.1war, 0.1war65


Osuna 63era-, 2.1war, 1.8war65
Biagini 72era-, 1.0war, 1.0war65
Benoit 69era-, 0.8war, 1.1war65
Cecil 92era-, 0.4war, 0.6war65
Grilli 98era-, 0.3war, 0.3war65
Tepera 69era-, 0.1war, 0.3war65
Liriano 212era-, -0.1war, -1.6war65

Again, I'd say the 2015 bullpen takes the cake here.

the 2 90s teams come next just because Ward was so awesome, and the 2016 comes a close 4th.
pubster - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 01:59 PM EST (#353189) #
Hey Uglyone what were their stats in the playoffs? When they played the best teams?

Beating a team 17-2 in May to boost overall OPS vs winning close 1 run ball games in October are not the same thing. David Price is a world beater during the regular season, but in the playoffs when the games are more meaningful he can't get the job done.

The two World Series teams were the best two teams in franchise history. To argue otherwise is just nonsense.
mathesond - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 02:03 PM EST (#353190) #
I would venture the 1985 team was the best in franchise history, even if they didn't make it to the Series.
pubster - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 02:15 PM EST (#353191) #
Playoff Records:

2015: 5-6
2016: 5-4
Combined 10-10

1992: 8-4
1993: 8-4
Combined 16-8

The '92 and '93 teams also had harder playoff schedules as only the 4 division winners made the playoffs. (The 2016 team wouldn't even have made the playoffs if that was still the case.)
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 02:17 PM EST (#353192) #
"The two World Series teams were the best two teams in franchise history. To argue otherwise is just nonsense."

Only if you believe that winning the World Series is proof that you're the best team.
pubster - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 02:27 PM EST (#353193) #
"I would venture the 1985 team was the best in franchise history, even if they didn't make it to the Series."

I bet the players who were around preferred the 1992-93 teams.

In 1985 the Jays were up 3 games to 1 on the Royals and lost 3 straight games. I'd take the team that found a way to win.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:07 PM EST (#353194) #
In the 2015/2016 Offseason it was Mark Shapiro first using Tony LaCava as temporary GM as Ross Atkins wasnít hired until well into the Offseason. This was basically still A.A.ís team in 2016.

In the 2016/2017 Offseason it was Ross Atkins first as G.M. of the Jays and they had a better idea of what the Jays needed. It was also the first year of the changes we are seeing now. I think they got caught unprepared.

In this Offseason, 2017/2018, no one is prepared for what will happen. The needs of the Jays are many and how much gets done is a mystery. Pitchers and catchers report in roughly three weeks. Spring Training games start just a week-ish later. Solving the Middle Infield issue took three month. Solving the Outfield issue took two weeks more and they might not be done. A Starting Pitcher is needed and at least a Left-Handed Reliever is needed. Do they have enough time to get it right?
mathesond - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:09 PM EST (#353195) #
"I'd take the team that found a way to win."

I suspect Buck & Tabby would agree with that reasoning.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:11 PM EST (#353196) #
As a fan who was around for all of those years I can safely say I was far more excited in 1985. Winning the division title on the 2nd last day of the season vs the Yankees while a pitcher being paid by the Yankees was winning the game for us (Alexander) was just amazing.

1992 is close behind - I remember being super-excited when the Jays got Cone. I felt that was the last piece needed to go all the way. Then the playoff home run off Eck by Alomar (wow!) It was just a ton of fun but until the playoffs it felt like 'so what they'll just blow it anyways'. 1993 felt like destiny to win. Never felt doubt although it was getting nervous late in game 6 pre-Carter HR due to Hentgen being a near rookie who no one trusted yet despite 19 regular season wins.

2015/16 was tons of fun but as they say, there is nothing like your first time.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:31 PM EST (#353197) #
No Starter should ever go into the 7th - never ever.
    '91 Jack Morris, '67 Bob Gibson, '05 Matthewson, '68 Lolich and '14 Bumgarner say hi.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 03:36 PM EST (#353198) #
"No Starter should ever go into the 7th - never ever."

absolute nonsense
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 04:03 PM EST (#353199) #
I was in the middle of posting about how Ugly relies too much on WAR and that WAR does not account for the pressure cooker (World Series triple play or game changing home run off hall of famer Eckersley).

The reason I didn't post it is because what Jose Bautista did against a 97 MPH sinker pitcher locating down and in (HR for the win) and Encarnacion (walk off HR for the win)...these were very similar situations and I don't have a credible argument against his opinion.

I can see either team being better, it's dependent on the person. I don't think you can objectively say one was better than the other. The recent team is a lot better than people remember, and I still think Jose Bautista's elimination game against the Royals was one of the best for a BJ.
pubster - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 04:47 PM EST (#353200) #
"Only if you believe that winning the World Series is proof that you're the best team."

The 2015-2016 Jays didn't even make it to the finals, let alone the world series.

One of the problems with your analysis is that you give more weight to September games against call-ups than to playoff games against teams doing everything they can to win.

pubster - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 04:50 PM EST (#353201) #
Let alone win the World Series*
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 07:44 PM EST (#353202) #
With all contending teams bolstering their bullpens it looks like stacked and effective bullpens will be the norm. How will this effect the game for the 2018 season. You would think that there would be a new area where teams with better players can make a difference. For instance, because the last 3rd of the game is more "in the bag" than ever, maybe the value of a legitimate top 5 lead off hitter with base stealing ability sky rockets. You have to think that the team that scores first and steals runs however they can will have the better chance of winning since the game is shortened. Jacoby Elsbury before he fell apart is a good example. How many times did the Yankees go double, single and go up 1-0 with Gardner and Elsbury at the top?

I want to see the Jays find a legitimate alternative to Sanchez in the rotation so that the rotation doesn't fall apart if he isn't back to 2016 caliber. I also want to see the Jays find a legitimate top 3 hitter who bats from the left side with Anthony Alford call up being a poor Plan B (i'd rather he just replace Pillar or other OF).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 07:54 PM EST (#353203) #
I'm gonna predict the Jays brass picks up one of:

Brandon Philips
Eduardo Nunez
Carlos Gonzalez
Melky Cabrera

If Cargo or Melky then Pillar and or Pearce would be traded.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 07:57 PM EST (#353204) #
I agree with pubster. Winning is the only thing.

Jays 2 WS, Atlanta with Cox, Smoltz .... just 1 WS. Recently Texas 0 WS, Cleveland 0 WS.

This Jay's window has not yet closed, so maybe we get a WS in 2018. I think we can. As a huge underdog.
Parker - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 09:32 PM EST (#353205) #
Does anyone here spend any time associating with First Nations people?

I do. A bunch of them work for me. I talk sports with them all the time; quite a few of them are extremely well-read and knowledgeable about baseball and football - much more so than many of the posters on here or other online forums. I've asked them very specifically how offended they are by the "racist" team names and/or logos. Not a single one is bothered or offended. Two of my favorite First Nations baseball-talk people wear Cleveland Indians baseball caps with the Chief Wahoo logo.

I find it very offensive that so many people who have no right whatsoever to raise concerns about their issues with racism get to scream so loud about this stuff. From personal experience, the people who actually SHOULD be offended don't even care. The cries about offensiveness seem to be coming exclusively from people who don't have any business speaking for or pretending to represent the groups they're trying to champion.

Those screaming the loudest about this stuff are white people with way too much time on their hands and a misplaced sense of social justice. The only First Nations people you ever hear crying about racism are the ones robbing their own bands and crippling their own people.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 09:36 PM EST (#353206) #
Kevin Pillar is no longer an unquestionably elite defender. Reviews have shown he occasionally gets bad jumps and must go full out to try and make the play. I think heís still a very, very good defender, but is he losing anything? He steals some bases, but he really doesnít have true stolen base speed. He runs the bases well, but for how long? Heís extremely streaky offensively with little offense regularly, or in other words, he doesnít hit well. So what is his value?

How much trade value do you think he has? More than 10 cents on the Dollar? Heís presently still cheap and earns his Salary. So is he worth more to the Jays? Arbitration Players can be non-tendered before being signed or bought out for 1/4 Salary early in Spring Training. Still cost money. Keep him unless he bring back more than heís worth.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:08 PM EST (#353207) #

Your post is ignorant and misplaced. You can't just lay out broad stroke generalizations on a public forum as you did. Let's move on from yesterday's discussion.
Parker - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:21 PM EST (#353208) #
I didn't lay out any more of a broad stroke generalization than "everyone is offended by 'racist' sports logos".

Moving on.
Paul D - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 10:29 PM EST (#353209) #
I think it's entirely possible (even likely) that the 2015 team was the best team in baseball that year. If you play that series against the Royals 100 times, I think the Jays win the majority (and presumably stomp the Mets, although I grant that's a big assumption).

That doesn't mean they're the best team the franchise has ever had, but I do think they're under rated a bit here.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 30 2018 @ 11:39 PM EST (#353210) #
I think deep down inside everyone agrees that judging teams only by whether they won a world series or not is flawed.
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 12:13 AM EST (#353211) #
"You have to think that the team that scores first and steals runs however they can will have the better chance of winning since the game is shortened. Jacoby Elsbury before he fell apart is a good example. How many times did the Yankees go double, single and go up 1-0 with Gardner and Elsbury at the top?"

This kind of question is actually very easy to calculate. Whether you assume it was Ellsbury or Gardner hitting 1st or 2nd, in Ellsbury's 1st couple of Yankee seasons, they each hit doubles in about 1 in 20 plate appearances, and singles in about 1 in 4 plate appearances, so you simply multiply the probabilities, or 20 times 4, which is 80. So, about 1 out of 80 games they would have started the game double, single, which, of course, is about 2 times per season.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 01:00 AM EST (#353212) #
Except there was actually games played and stats published which render your hypothetical average calculation useless. Not a simple question to answer (which you missed the bigger question). If you can correlate your average guess to real stats I'd be grateful. I remember seeing the Yankees take early 1-0 leads in 2 games in one series last time I was at the Dome.
Michael - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 03:27 AM EST (#353213) #
Flags fly forever, so if you want to make an emotional claim that the teams that win the World Series are defacto the best from a fan point of view - especially retrospectively - that is a defensible position. However, that position makes it all the more important to maximize your chances when you are close to competing by trading expendable minor league talent for needed major league talent to potentially put yourself over the top.

I totally agree with uglyone that the 2015 and 2016 teams, if you judge by quality of players/team and statistically (I.e., by predictive view or "expected value" view) are certainly amongst the best, and likely the best, 2 years of team that we have had in terms of quality.

But I also agree with dalimon5 that AA and Shapiro are both talented above average baseball executives who generally make more good moves than bad ones (but still can make bad ones). As bpoz highlighted the VWells trade and the Donaldson trade are both legendary AA moves.

I do disagree a little with dalimon5 that the Price trade reflects badly on AA. First, as indicated in the flags fly forever school of thought, the value of maximizing the playoff chances are important. And recognizing the difference between the W/L record and the quality of team was an important skill and well rewarded. Also, if we consider the players given up in the Price trade we have:

Daniel Norris - as a Tiger - 44 G, 39 GS, 207.2 IP over 2.5 seasons, 4.91 RA (4.38 ERA), 1.44 WHIP with numbers getting progressively worse each year despite starting to pitch more in relief most recently (last year 1.61 WHIP, ERA over 5.3). (ranked between #4 and #6 on Jays prospect lists entering the trade list)

Matt Boyd - as a Tiger - 57 G, 53 GS, 283 IP over 2.5 seasons, 5.53 RA (5.25 ERA), 1.45 WHIP with numbers worse than these averages in 2 of the past 3 years including most recent year (last year 1.56 WHIP with ERA over 5.25). (not a top 15 organization prospect entering the trade year)

Jario Labourt - as a Tiger - 6 G, 6 IP, 4.5 RA (4.5 ERA), 1.83 WHIP. He's currently Detroit's 18th best prospect.

Norris, Boyd, and Labourt all have some value, but none have been amazing.

If you look at fangraphs Norris has put up 1.1 and 1.3 WAR the past 2 years. Boyd has put up 0.9 and 1.9 war. And they've done it cheaply.

However, to put that in perspective Price in the regular season half year he was here put up 2.7 war (he put up 3.8 for Detroit in his half year there).

Dickey in his last 2 years with the Jays put up 2.0 and 1.0 war.

Over the past 2 years we've got Estrada 3.0, 2.6; Happ 3.2, 2.9; Stroman 3.6, 3.4; Sanchez 3.0, 0; Biagini 1.2, 1.4; Dickey 1.0.

I'm all for depth, but overall we haven't missed that much from the guys who went in the Price trade even though those players have likely done better for Detroit than might have been the expected value of trade. If we had them, we might have missed signing Happ or Estrada.
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 03:38 AM EST (#353214) #
dalimon5 - I understand that most people don't get statistical analysis. However, the facts that I presented are real facts which show how often, on average, the team would start with double, single, as you wondered. In actual games, the results could, of course, be different, but the more games you play, the closer to the average you will get. If you flip a coin 6 times, you might get 6 heads, even though the average would be 3 heads and 3 tails. But if you flip a coin 1,000 times, the number of heads will be close to 50%. Similarly, over the course of a large number of plate appearances, the outcomes will be very close to the long term averages.

Also, you mention that you saw the Yankees take early 1-0 leads twice. Of course, there are many ways to take a 1-0 lead, not just double, single. Also, 2 games is far, far too small a sample size to draw any conclusions about the rate at which something will occur.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:02 AM EST (#353215) #
I believe that all Bauxites are sincere. On other sites, non sports, I see things that may be "fake news". I get suckered into believing it. Now I am cynical so I have developed an untrusting personality. This is hard. So I just want to thank Parker for his First Nations comment. Since Cleveland is changing, it is definitely baseball related.

85bluejay - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:13 AM EST (#353216) #
Heard a little of Ben Badler of BA on primetime sports last night - mentioned that the Jays #7 ranking was due largely to Vlad & BO - that the Jays farm system depth is average to below average which was a disappointment but not a surprise to me .
scottt - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:21 AM EST (#353217) #
It looks like Darvish wants to play for either the Dodgers or the Yankees and is waiting to see if they can trade away enough payroll to sign him.

Hosmer and Martinez are sitting on solid multi-year offers, so it's just Boras trying to squeeze as much money as he can.

Moustakas never had much of a market.

Guys like Cobb have offers, but must be thinking they'll go higher once the guys about them are gone.

scottt - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:34 AM EST (#353218) #
The cries about offensiveness seem to be coming exclusively from people who don't have any business speaking for or pretending to represent the groups they're trying to champion.

That reads a lot like mind your own business. When something that appears inappropriate takes place, only the apparent victim can say that and even then, it doesn't mean everything's right. It's not even an argument as it implies that you're wrong.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:42 AM EST (#353219) #
Perfectly explained Michael.

Flags fly forever and so getting over the top is a good strategy.
Jays did it in the 1992 off season with Morris and Winfield. They did it in season with Cone 1992. We traded a decent 2B player who made the HOF. I can never remember his name but no regrets.
Other getting over the top moves, Halladay Phillies, Verlander Astros. Both Aces.
But what if there is no Ace available? Cleveland J Bruce? And the 1993 R Henderson.

Then there is strategy. Good and bad strategy. In 1992 round 1 was a 5 gm or 7 gm affair against Oakland. I think 7 and went 6 gms. J Key was put in the pen by Cito. For 25 years I believed that Cito made a mistake in strategy but today I am not sure. Key is a lefty who can go multiple innings so maybe it was a good strategy. I cannot recall who started game 1.
Against Atlanta Key was in the rotation.

The pen while weakened was fine. Henke, Ward and others and a kid named Timlin.

For 1987 I believe Detroit got D Alexander for J Smoltz. That helped the baseball gods to give Detroit the pennant. Seems that they worked overtime as their main rival suffered freak injuries and ended the year with multiple 1 run losses. If I remember correctly. Seems that I cannot forget.

The 2015 and 16 teams are a pleasant part of Jay's history and have earned their due, just like all those Jays teams of the 1980s.

The off season is a great time to kick back and ramble about the past.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 09:11 AM EST (#353220) #
"I can never remember his name but no regrets."

You can never remember his name, or you just (Jeff) Kent remember his name?

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 09:21 AM EST (#353221) #
Parker, you've crudely made a valid point that the name of a sports team and an icon of that team is very far from the most important issue facing first nations people.  But your generalization at the end of your comment (which I will not repeat) is gross and an insult to indigenous people who have suffered and sometimes died because of our own racism- police failure to investigate the murders of indigenous women as they would other murders, residential schools, poisoned water...We haven't come remotely close to a full reckoning. 

dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 09:50 AM EST (#353222) #

Thr point is you're going to have an easier time taking an early lead with base stealers who can hit like Gardner/Elsbury (when they were productive) or Mookie Betts. Compare that to Travis hitting at the top and you will see where I'm going. It's not an investigation into how often one team actually did it (to which your average is inaccurate in any case), no, it's a question of weather or not that aspect of a team will become more valuable in light of the shortened game with stacked bullpens and how the Jays can get there if so.


I fully supported the move to add Price but feel AA overpaid at the time because he was half way out the door. He essentially told Dombrowski to give to pick anyone from his roster. AAs worst legit trades (not necessarily bad but trades where I expected more) were his trades for ace pitchers. Instead of Price for 2 months I expected a #1/#2 with another year of control - think ... looking at the actual pitchers coming up on their last year at the time, there was nobody good available. So maybe I'm too hard on AA for targeting the wrong guy. Anyways, ideal world he would've got a better pitcher than RA and a better expiring contract situation than David Price.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 10:26 AM EST (#353223) #
Reports at the time suggested that there was a deal for Leake on the table. AA switched off when Price became available. Note also that Leake was dealt very shortly after the Price deal went down.

I am not yet fully convinced that having a so called lock down pen is the way to go in the regular season. That model is the flavour of the day but whether it will be sustained over time remains to be seen. Astros had the 2nd best record in MLB last season without a strong pen. Washington also had success in the regular season without that also. It will be intersting to see what happens with Colorado in 2018.
pubster - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 10:32 AM EST (#353224) #
"I think deep down inside everyone agrees that judging teams only by whether they won a world series or not is flawed."

That's not what we are talking about here. We are talking about the best teams in Blue Jays history. The 2015-2016 teams didn't even make it to the world series. They still needed to beat 2 more teams to win it all. If one of those teams lost in game 7 of the world series, then OK I can consider it, but they didn't.

You make no mention of playoff results. Your entire argument is based off regular season stats. Playoff games are the most important games in the entire baseball season, yet you don't consider them at all. That alone is enough to discount your argument.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 10:54 AM EST (#353225) #
This off season has educated me on many of the known and unknown factors in baseball. Thank you Rabbit and all others.

The league determines everything by wins. Poor Cleveland lost in OT in 2016. Gm 7. Cleveland may have out scored the Cubs by a wide margin, but they don't get a parade.

WAR has value as do other measures but the highest WAR gets trumped by wins.

So take preseason WAR predictions, mid and late season WAR. We can then determine if a higher WAR team did not make the post season. Keep comparing who survives round by round.
WC NYY survived, but had to have lower WAR.

Pythag now has competition.

If you underperform Pythag and/or WAR then make trades to put you over the top for any of the 3 available post season positions. If you over perform then also make trades to compensate.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 11:04 AM EST (#353226) #
Playoff games are the most important games in the entire baseball season, yet you don't consider them at all. That alone is enough to discount your argument.

Playoff games (especially in the past) are also the most unpredictable / strange games of the entire season. Yet you consider them the most important - that alone is enough to discount your argument when determining "the best" team.

In 2001, the Seattle Mariners won 116 games (0.716 wpct). In 1995, they went 79-66, a pro-rated record of 88 wins (0.545).

Both teams won their ALDS series 3-2. The 2001 Mariners lost 4-1 in the ALCS. The 1995 Mariners managed an extra win - they lost 4-2 in the ALCS.

So, by your logic, the 1995 team was the better all-time Mariners team because they had a better playoff result? 1995 is the closest the Mariners have ever gotten to the world series. So that's the better team, right? Those 28 more regular season wins don't mean anything?

In 2001, the Oakland As came second to the Mariners with 102 wins. In the old, pre-wild-card system, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. Yet, depending on the team, 102 wins could be, by FAR, their best team ever. As it turns out, not for the A's, but the argument still stands.

The 1989 As had 99 wins, and won the world series. Since they became the Oakland As in 1968, they've had 5 seasons with MORE than 99 wins, in each of which they failed to win the world series - are those teams all worse than the 99-win team?
uglyone - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#353227) #
The beauty of sports is that the best team doesn't always win.

sports would kinda suck if they always did.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 11:59 AM EST (#353228) #
So the point of view is subjective or/and objective.

Seattle is a great example. 116 wins. But a few teams won the WS with possibly less than 90 wins.

For me and my Jays, 1985 has its place in my heart . 99 wins and remembering G Bell dropping to his knees for the final out. But the pain of losing is there also. The HR that hit the OF wall and went out. That was painful.

Everyone is right. Pick your best team or player. We all don't have to have the same happy place. Playoff success or lack of has meaning to everyone.

To a new Blue Jay fan 2015 and 16 were their best teams. 1992 and 93 are history.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#353229) #
Agreed with bpoz. As I mentioned above my favorite season was 1985 as I was a teen who followed it every game and was super-excited about everything then. Seeing Bell catch that last out was amazing. The playoffs were going to be a let down almost no matter what after that as being the Yankees, the bloody Yankees with Dave Winfield (Mr. Seagull killer), Don MVP Mattingly, Rickey 'drive us crazy' Henderson and good old Billy Martin running them. What fun to watch as rookie Tom Henke gave us our first ever closer we could count on. Dave Stieb winning an ERA title with no offensive support. Jimmy Key being the first left handed starter who was any good in team history. Tony Fernandez doing amazing plays in the field after replacing a local legend in Alfredo Griffin. Bell/Moseby/Barfield the best OF in the majors. Steve Davis coming up and reaching 20 pro wins in a season - first time anyone in the Jays system had done that. Things were looking great.

Then Bobby Cox quit on us to become Atlanta's GM. Jimy Williams took over and flopped as manager, Damaso Garcia burned his uniform, Cecil Fielder sent to minors so Cliff Johnson could play. Ugh. Then the great collapse of '87 followed by the 'meh' of 88 and the crappy start to 89 leading to Cito taking over and another playoff appearance, a year of 'meh', then 3 more playoff appearances and 2 WS wins. 1985 was the spark and if the Jays put Cito in charge in 1986 I wonder if we'd have seen more WS wins. Ah well.

For kids today 2015/16 will be their '85. The bat flip, the getting David Price then seeing him flop in the playoffs. Lots more too.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 12:56 PM EST (#353230) #
The '92 and '93 teams had a clutchiness that just can't be quantified. That alone makes them better than any other Jays team!
CeeBee - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 01:20 PM EST (#353231) #
Does that make Joe Carter one of the greatest hitters of all time, at least as a Blue Jay?
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 01:27 PM EST (#353232) #
I joke.

For me, the '93 team was the best ever. I just liked how the offense was built, and the variety of looks it could give you.

The team featured 4 HOFers (although one was a washed up Jack Morris), Pat Hentgen just establishing himself and cups of coffee for Shawn Greene and Carlos Delgado.

Would they beat the 2015 team? Who knows. I suspect that the '93 team would be distracted by the fans staring down at "miniature game boys" instead of watching the action. That combined with the Auto-tune blaring through the sound system might be enough for the 2015 team to win. Assuming that David Price wasn't starting...
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 01:34 PM EST (#353233) #
I had no idea that Garcia burned his uniform.  According to Ian Hunter, it did help him bust out of his slump.

"Garcia strung together a 7-game hit streak, and collected 53 hits in his next 40 games with the Blue Jays. In fact, from May 16th onward, Garcia hit .296 with 101 hits the remainder of the í86 season."

Put me in the camp of the disappointed if we don't add some arms by spring.  Agreed that "If the Jays aren't taking advantage of FA bargains in some way then they aren't really trying hard enough."  I definitely don't want a position player unless the deal is too good to not sign - I want at least some opportunity for our young OFers / catchers to earn spots on the roster during the season - we simply don't have the same depth pitching talent close to contributing, and I don't want to have to count on Biagini as a starter.  The pen could be a strength this year, but losing Leone hurt, and losing Biagini to the rotation weakens the depth further. 

Parker, not trying to reignite debate, but who does or does not have a right to raise concerns over racism?  You seem to imply that unless you are a member of a racialized group, you can't address injustice with said group, which is a slippery slope to relativism in my books.  Its great that you know FNMI people who are not offended by Chief Wahoo, but obviously this is anecdotal evidence that is not strong 'proof' of anything.  All members of society have a right and a responsibility to educate themselves and address injustice in society, IMO.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 01:42 PM EST (#353234) #
Inexplicably, Damaso was my favorite Jay as a kid.

well, him and jesse and george and henke.

and eichorn.

man what a loavble team.
CeeBee - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 01:47 PM EST (#353235) #
I kinda figured you were joking but it's hard to tell :) Of course we all know Joltin Joe was the clutchiest of the clutch and all those ribbies prove it ;)
PeterG - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 02:27 PM EST (#353236) #
Avila agrees to 2/8.25 with Snakes according to Rosenthal. MLBTR had projected him at 2/16 before the start of the off season.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 03:06 PM EST (#353237) #
Beyonder - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 03:24 PM EST (#353238) #
Go up to Attawapiskat (I also have some clients there), and ask someone to list their top 1000 problems. Then be amazed to not hear the words 'Chief Wahoo' or 'Redskin' pass their lips. This is the sort of 'issue' that educated elites like to talk about to amuse themselves, but it's not anything more than that. Given the problems First Nations communities have to deal with, it is gross to listen to so many people claim to be fighting the good fight by taking issue with cartoon characters.

Give five cents to the Red Cross, direct it to Attawapiksat, and you will have done a thousand times more good than you will ever do complaining about team mascots.

And if you don't like 'anecdotal' evidence (i.e. actual statements about the lived experience from the people affected), then here is a story containing some statistics:
PeterG - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 04:08 PM EST (#353239) #
Morosi just tweeted that Hosmer has been offered 7 year contracts and is holding out for longer.

Collusion or greed?
pubster - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 04:29 PM EST (#353240) #
The 2015 Jays had runners on first and third with nobody out in the ninth inning of game 6 against the Royals. Tying run on third. And they couldn't get him in. Best team in Blue Jays history? Please! Not even the best offence. Best offence requires more clutch!
pubster - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 04:49 PM EST (#353241) #
The 1985 Jays were leading the Royals 3 games to 1. They had 3 chances to close out the series. Over the next 3 games they scored a combined 5 runs and lost all 3 games.

Best team in Jays history? You gotta be kidding me!
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 04:58 PM EST (#353242) #
"Thr point is you're going to have an easier time taking an early lead with base stealers who can hit like Gardner/Elsbury (when they were productive) or Mookie Betts. Compare that to Travis hitting at the top and you will see where I'm going."

dalimon5 - actually, the type of player hitting at the top of the lineup who helps your offense score as many runs as possible is a guy who gets on base at a very high rate. On base % is much more important than stealing bases. In fact, with stealing bases, you have to worry about the cost of getting caught, which is larger than the benefit of succeeding, because it removes a runner from the bases AND adds an out. That cost becomes even higher when the runner is caught stealing in front of your best hitters.

"to which your average is inaccurate in any case"

and further, my average is absolutely NOT inaccurate. If you want to determine the rate at which 2 consecutive events will occur, you multiply the probability of each of those events occurring. That's pretty elementary statistics.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 05:02 PM EST (#353243) #
In the 1985 Postseason, there is a play at third. Runs go into a popup slide at third and is standing on the base when the ball is caught and is called out. Secondly, if the Jays walk George Brett every time he comes to bat, the Jays might win the 1985 World Series. The Manager insisted on pitching to Brett, so he crushed them. With more than a few poor umpire calls, it was apparent that no one wanted the Jays to win, even Americans Broadcasters remarked on the Umpiring.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 05:16 PM EST (#353244) #
Leadoff Hitters need a good Average or better. With a much better On Base Percentage, then a good Slugging Percentage is optional. The Leadoff Hitter must have above average speed or better. All three must be present or you need to acquire one. Fortunately when healthy, Devon Travis is an average or slightly better leadoff Hitter. The Jays don't really have anyone else when he's hurt.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 05:54 PM EST (#353245) #
Go up to Attawapiskat (I also have some clients there), and ask someone to list their top 1000 problems.

Or, since we are using anecdotal evidence, I could just speak to the many FNMI people who I know personally, including close friends and colleagues, who do have significant problems with Chief Wahoo - I mean, just typing that name felt gross.  I frequently talk about these issues with a close friend was the indigenous student rep at a major university here in Toronto and is an educator on FNMI issues.  I have developed FNMI curriculum with one of the four First Nations educators in the Peel region, have taught many FNMI students, and growing up I, heard first hand from my mother who taught classes largely comprised of FNMI students for much of her career.  I actively strive to incorporate FNMI issues in nearly every class I teach, not just history, which is a direction all the school boards are headed, and spend a great deal of time researching these issues.  I'll put my anecdotal evidence up against yours any day. 

Your link is surprising - I would have guessed the numbers to be significantly higher.  The post is a legit source, but to me, you are missing the point.  The article itself goes on the extensively quote Native American leaders who dispute the findings and who find these mascots / terms problematic.  I'm not familiar with the research she is referring to, but "Tara Houska, a tribal attorney who lives in the District and has organized protests against the name, argued that neither a majority opinion nor a fanís passion should matter if the imagery hurts the psyches of young natives ó and research shows that it does".

Reason enough to change it.  And even if 1 in 10 is correct, ten percent is reason enough to change it.  Frankly, FNMI peoples have the right to call themselves whatever they want, and like it or not, others do not.  This applies with the black community, gays, and other marginalized groups. 

What's gross to listen to isn't people posting about offensive team nicknames on a sports forum - about the most logical place to discuss the issue.  What's gross is false logic - implying that all people who condemn nicknames do is complain, or that they (we?) are 'elites' busy 'amusing' ourselves with issues that are life and death to many.  Nobody would dispute that the nickname is not the most pressing issue (that's a straw man) - missing FNMI women, teen suicide and drug abuse rates on reservations, a lack of access to clean water, the lingering impact of residential schools, poverty, racism - the tragic list goes on.  Chief Wahoo is simply a symbol.  To me, a symbol of a society that has utterly failed to value and respect its first peoples. 

In a way, I think we have the same goal - we want nuance from the opposite perspective in the conversation.  Ironic though, that your position seems so unequivocal. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 06:06 PM EST (#353246) #
For those who are curious - game 7 of the 1985 ALCS is online. You can see how different games were broadcast back then. Sad to watch as that was a very painful game.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 06:11 PM EST (#353247) #
Avila at that price is a tremendous bargain - I wish we'd been in on that.  2.5 fWAR last year, 34.1 defensive runs above average for his career - but of course, he's going to be the starter with Jeff Mathis currently the number one option for the D-backs.  If only we could offer DH ABs to a player like that ....
John Northey - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 06:14 PM EST (#353248) #
When it comes to that disgusting mascot I always say 'what if you changed it from Native to Black - would that be acceptable and if not why not'. No question there would be massive protests if they did that, and changed it from Indians to Negros or something like that. Could claim it is in honor of Larry Doby or something. No chance it'd happen.

I live in Thunder Bay right now where there is a high native population. The challenges are massive (for example, a bridge to the local reserve has been out for years now but all we hear are legal challenges, resulting in an extra 15 minute drive for emergency services and a single way in and out of the reserve - guarantee if it was a bridge to a rich neighborhood it would've been replaced as fast as possible, then lawsuits after). However, when it comes to mascots the only one you see related to natives is the Blackhawks one.

When it comes to logos and names I suspect most just give up as big issues that are painfully obvious (clean water, access in and out, health care, etc.) are not getting taken seriously so why worry about things that would take a ton of effort to get changed like a team logo or name or mascot? However, for society as a whole it is important to make progress in small things as well as big things. MLB and the owner of the Cleveland team can change this and I'm thankful they finally have. I'd like them to change the name too but don't see that happening for 20+ years most likely.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 06:23 PM EST (#353249) #
Jerjapan, I don't think DH AB's would have been enough in this situation. There were only a couple of teams seeking a starting catcher, thus the discounted price. It's simply supply and demand. I can't see any reason he would have come to TO even with a DH spot open.
jerjapan - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 06:53 PM EST (#353250) #
Great post John.  That bridge situation is news to me, and shocking.  You are right too, if it was a wealthy neighbourhood, it would have been resolved.

PeterG, I agree, not Avila was not really a fit here, but I don't think that playing time is as much of a determinant for every FA as some argue.  Split the catching duties with Martin and they each DH 40 games a year?  He's still probably prefer Arizona, TBH. 

But I think that deal is a steal, and it's not just supply and demand.  The market has changed radically, and perhaps the pendulum has swung to far in a case like this.  To reiterate a previous post, we'd better get in on this discounted market! 

scottt - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:00 PM EST (#353251) #
Mookie won his arbitration at 10.5M. This is good.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#353252) #
It is only a discounted market for some. There will still be some very rich contracts signed. As for the Jays, I think it is still wise to wait. There is more supply at certain positions than demand imo. I would be very surprised if the Jays don't add some pitching, whether it is FA or trade.

As FA's begin to sign, players will also be DFA and available. I know this does not sound exciting but sometimes a team can get lucky.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#353253) #

No offense, but...yeah...I'm not interested in knowing the best mathematical angle needed to prop my ladder up against the side of my house or probability of consecutive events etc. If you're going to read my posts and focus on an irrelevant mathematical probability or accuracy based on a reference to Elsbury and Gardner just to illustrate a point as if it's math class...please find another poster to offer your mathematical equivalent of spell check. I prefer to engage and respond to every poster to further the conversation (which this post is not doing other than to ask you to bugger off my posts) but let me notify you that our little discussion here regarding "pretty elementary statistics" is useless to me.

To you I turn and say to use your "very basic reading comprehension," or common sense (if you have any - not so common as people think) to digest a simple paragraph about small ball, market inefficiency and how the Jays may use it to their advantage rather than randomly pointing out probabilities and wrapping up a post with a snarky comment like "pretty elementary statistics."

If I want to know if the sun will rise tomorrow or study cause and effect, no offense, but I'll pick up my Treatise of Human Nature or watch a poor Aronofsky movie. You're exactly 0/2 in comprehending the point I've tried to make in my initial post and response. Maybe I'm not clearly communicating my point. At 0/2 I can guess what the probability of comprehension on a third try...
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 09:56 PM EST (#353254) #
dalimon5 - OK, you have just become the #1 offensive poster on this website in my view. My initial response to your post was pointing out how often something would happen. If you want to resort to personal attacks and insults, simply because you didn't want to hear that, well, I think that speaks volumes. I'll just skip by anything you post here again, and save myself the grief.
Paul D - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 10:16 PM EST (#353255) #
The 2015 Jays had runners on first and third with nobody out in the ninth inning of game 6 against the Royals. Tying run on third. And they couldn't get him in. Best team in Blue Jays history? Please! Not even the best offence. Best offence requires more clutch!

I think you and I view successful baseball teams quite differently.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 11:34 PM EST (#353256) #
The 2015 Jays had runners on first and third with nobody out in the ninth inning of game 6 against the Royals. Tying run on third. And they couldn't get him in. Best team in Blue Jays history? Please! Not even the best offence. Best offence requires more clutch!

Guess we needed Joe Carter eh? :)
John Northey - Wednesday, January 31 2018 @ 11:49 PM EST (#353257) #
Latest rumors (for what they are worth) say the Dodgers need to trade one of Matt Kemp, Logan Forsythe or Yasmani Grandal to stay under the luxury tax level and sign Yu Darvish. Would it make sense for the Jays to spend what is left of their budget to get one of them and some prospects from Dodgerland in exchange for an A ball meh player and eating tons of salary?

Kemp: over 100 OPS+ every year but his rookie one, but horrid defense made him a negative WAR player last year and 0-1 level in each of the previous 4 seasons. A born DH. Owed just over $19 mil a year for 2018/19 at age 33/34 by the Dodgers (San Diego pays a bit). Maybe send Morales back to cut the payroll hit in half but still helps the Dodgers while upgrading DH here a bit (not much) with a tiny bit of flexibility as he can technically play LF/RF (around the level of Pearce).

Logan Forsythe: plays 2B/3B/1B/LF/SS but just an 82 OPS+ last year (lifetime 99, peak of 124 in 2015). Owed $8.5 mil this year so fits the budget and has potential (fits the theme of this past winter). Free agent after 2018 season.

Yasmani Grandal: a good catcher (100 OPS+ last year, 113 lifetime) worth over 2 WAR each of last year and the year before. Owed $7.9 mil and could be a 1B to Martin 1A. Actually fills a hole on the team very nicely. Free agent after 2018 season.

So if the Dodgers come asking and are willing to send Grandal for a hat and t-shirt then why not I'd say. Kemp for Morales plus Dodgers adding in a decent prospect or two (top 10 of theirs) I'd go for it. Logan Forsythe fits the Jays theme of this winter but odds are Jays would demand something more in exchange for a weak prospect (sub top 30).
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 12:16 AM EST (#353258) #
Take all three, Kemp, Forsythe and Grandal for Morales. Don't need Maile or Carrera any more.
Glevin - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 03:49 AM EST (#353259) #
I would have the 1992 team as the best. I think it was well-balanced with an excellent offense, great pitching, and of course, Timlin/Ward/Henke bullpen but the 85/92/93/15/16 teams were all excellent.

Winning isn't everything. It is the goal and if you win, you can justify a lot more but is there any fan here who didn't like the 15/16 seasons? Jays didn't even make the WS either year, but they were great experiences.
scottt - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 07:31 AM EST (#353260) #
Grabbing overpayed players is an horrible idea. Bundled with a top prospect? Maybe, anything else? Forget it.  Let's wait and we'll see decent players desperate for a contract and interesting players going on waivers (including last years top prospects) every time a team signs someone.
King Ryan - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 07:31 AM EST (#353261) #
What an absolute junk heap of a roster management has turned this team into. Sad. 2015 was a lot of fun.
bpoz - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 08:08 AM EST (#353262) #
Very interesting John N. We will see how desperate LAD is.

AA trades Kemp ( his bad contract) and immediately released one of the players he received. He also got cash.

He is working some kind of advantage.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 08:22 AM EST (#353263) #
What a grumpy thread! Must be the midwinter blues.

I prefer to look on the bright side. For example, Iím pretty happy with some of the young talent this front office has added despite the lack of a high draft pick (Bichette, Pearson, Warmoth, Pardinho, Orelvis Martinez (reportedly) as well as other draftees and prospects acquired in trades). I think the long-term future is promising.
John Northey - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 08:56 AM EST (#353265) #
Kemp is a classic warning of why you gotta be careful when signing long term deals. He has been traded at least twice as a bad contract and might be traded a third time just to clear salary. Like a game of hot potato - no one wants to hold onto him for long. Like I said he might have value as a DH and would be better than Morales I think...

Fangraphs projections for 2018...
Morales: 257/321/469
Kemp: 267/316/476

Hmm... pretty close. I give Kemp an edge given he technically can play LF/RF while Morales is 1B/DH only. Still neither is who you really want on the roster. If LA gives a decent prospect plus Kemp for Morales then I'd go for it but would count on internal scouts for guidance on if Kemp can recover better than Morales going forward. I'd also want to dig deeper into the raw stats (how hard they both hit, where holes in their games are, etc)
uglyone - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 09:14 AM EST (#353266) #
Shapkins is tearing us apart!
bpoz - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 09:49 AM EST (#353269) #
I understand Shapiro's plan/guidelines.

The 15% of payroll limit to 1 player is only on long term contracts I think. Donaldson is special, so who knows.

A well stocked farm has value. If/when they make the Majors they will be cheap. More quantity is better than less quantity. Quality is an on going judgement based on ML performance for your own team. Both quality and quantity are trade chips to acquire necessities.

Regarding money, if you spend it all you have nothing left. Kemp and Elsbury are spent money. On part timers. A Hicks is the regular/semi regular CF. Nothing left. Shapiro know this.

R Goins had the same number of ABs as D Travis and Tulo combined. I don't blame Goins for that. The injury bug is too complicated to deal with. Using Goins much more than anticipated is one of the better options.

uglyone - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 10:09 AM EST (#353270) #
Let's try and put together how we actually played last year --- vs Fangraphs Depth Charts Projections using Steamer:

As 3B: 681pa, .366woba, 4.9war, 5.0war700 ----- 700pa, .379woba, 6.3war ---- +1.3war
As 1B: 698pa, .361woba, 3.1war, 3.1war700 ----- 700pa, .343woba, 2.1war ------ -1.0war
As CF: 690pa, .304woba, 2.0war, 2.0war700 --- 700pa, .311woba, 2.8war ------ +0.8war
As LF: 660pa, .317woba, 0.3war, 0.4war700 ---- 700pa, .333woba, 1.9war ------ +1.5war
As C: 648pa, .268woba, 0.3war, 0.3war640 ----- 640pa, .318woba, 3.2war ------ +2.9war
As 2B: 609pa, .284woba, 0.3war, 0.4war700 ---- 700pa, .322woba, 2.3war ----- +1.9war
As RF: 723pa, .397woba, 0.2war, 0.2war700 ----- 700pa, .322woba, 2.0war ----- +1.8war
As SS: 647pa, .283woba, -0.4war, -0.4war650 ---- 700pa, .327woba, 3.0war ------ +3.4war
As DH: 650pa, .321woba, -0.6war, -0.6war650 --- 700pa, .336woba, 0.9war ------ +1.5war
christaylor - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 11:05 AM EST (#353271) #
This thread is grumpy and gloomy on a couple of dimensions. On a more positive note -- Monday is the annual "truck day" at Fenway. Where the Sox faithful and this Blue Jays fan head down to see off the equipment to FL. There is swag to be had. Green inoffensive monster mascots dance. Messages to the team are written on the truck. It is quite good clean fun. The last couple of years I've sent a silent prayer to the baseball gods for the Sox to lose but wished the players the best in writing on the truck.

Also on Monday, given that football will be over, I'll turn off the sim/video game baseball and turn to fantasy baseball draft decisions -- I also give myself my yearly reminder that treating baseball like math is more useful for these toy games than it is in real baseball, people are complicated, shocking, I know, but it is true.
SK in NJ - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 12:32 PM EST (#353272) #
Not many of the free agents who signed have taken discounts. Bruce and Cain's contracts were not discounts. Relievers have gotten paid. Alonso probably got fair value given his pre-2017 production and age (+ his position being less valuable overall). Chatwood got paid. That's just off the top of my head. The free agents that have signed to this point have not settled for less. We will see what happens with the ones remaining. The issue is a lot of them are Boras clients, and he's notorious for waiting it out. If the rumors are true about the deals JDM and Hosmer are sitting on, then I don't think it's fair to call it collusion. A seven year deal for Hosmer alone is ridiculous. If he's asking for more, then that's on him/Boras.

Players should get paid a lot more during their first six years of control. Beyond that, you can't force teams to pay more in an open market like free agency. A player is only worth as much as a team is willing to pay for him. That's how this process works and always will work.
John Northey - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 01:05 PM EST (#353274) #
There is the odd thing. Relievers getting massive contracts vs their likely value (pitchers are risky, relievers most of all). Yet we are seeing a loooong wait for the big guns to sign this winter which will likely mean fast musical chairs at the end. Once Darvish and J.D. Martinez sign that should open things up. The top 5 free agents (not counting Masahiro Tanaka who didn't opt out) haven't signed yet.

Haven't read much on Lance Lynn - missed the 2016 season, 124 ERA+ last year, 114 lifetime, 175 IP (33 starts) last year so seems recovered. Only problem is he got a QO so he costs a pick and international draft money.
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 01:11 PM EST (#353275) #
Interesting article on a good bet to become a breakout prospect:
bpoz - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 01:33 PM EST (#353276) #
HS pitchers was AA's main target. I think he had a lot of success drafting this category. There are still quite a few left in our system. I am optimistic and expect a few more successes.
uglyone - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 01:52 PM EST (#353277) #
the thing to remember is that the free agent market should, by definition, result in teams paying more "above actual value" for the top guys. that's how a free market for elite talent should work.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 01:53 PM EST (#353278) #
Yu Darvish loved L.A. and he wants to return. So much so, he's really not considering any other offers he's received at this time, until he's heard from L.A.
The Los Angeles Dodgers must clear salary to sign him and they are trying to do that. All of Baseball knows that and are drooling accordingly, because it will be expensive to move anyone out.
All the other top ranked, next ranked, next ranked Pitchers wait for it to happen. More fools them. Who blinks first?
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 02:24 PM EST (#353279) #
Today's analytics show quite cleary that HS pitchers are the biggest risk in the draft. Most teams will now shy away from them as was seen if the 2017 draft where a number of HS pitchers ranked in the 1st round fell to the 2nd. Barring, an absolute steal being available in another area, we should expect the Jays to select a college position player at #12 and in most cases that will be the right decision.

On another topic, it appears that Mr.Stoeten does not like the opinions and criticisms of Mr. Cox:
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 02:38 PM EST (#353280) #
The best Free Agent hitter already signed a huge contract in Milwaukee. He's still a very good defender. The third best Free Agent Hitter signed a fair contract in New York, a popular city. He's still a reasonable defender.
J.D. Martinez is a power bat who's going to get paid. He's spent a huge amount of his career injured and that not likely to change. He's never been a good defender and it's getting worse. I don't want to call him a defensive liability, but even Jose Bautista was a much better defender than he was, last year. Even as a D.H., he's still a risk.
All the other Free Agent hitters are with their issues. All I know for sure this offseason is that the supply greatly exceeds the demand.
John Northey - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 03:37 PM EST (#353281) #
High school pitchers have always been big risk, big reward. If they work out you often get a #1 for years, sometimes just a reliever if issues come up. If they don't you just threw away a few million.

Jays history... 1st round
HS LHP: 1 drafted, didn't make it (Matt Smoral)
HS RHP: 12 drafted, 7 made it, 1 HOFer, plus Chris Carpenter, Steve Karsay, and others sub 10 WAR.

College LHP: 7 drafted, all made it, all sub 10 WAR (best Rickey Romero at 9.7 - James Paxton might be the best soon at 8.1 now but didn't sign)
College RHP: 14 drafted, 10 made it, but only Stroman cracked 10 WAR.

HS: 13 drafted, 7 made it, 1 HOFer, another over 30 WAR, and a solid reliever used to get Rickey Henderson (Steve Karsay) who almost was traded for Randy Johnson (oh what could've been had Gillick waited just a bit longer).
College: 21 drafted, 17 made it, Stroman the only one over 10 WAR.

So that fits the risk/reward theme. High schoolers more likely to be great (2 great, 1 solid) but a bit less likely to reach. College more likely to reach (2 more likely to reach in TJ Zeuch and Nate Pearson) but only Stroman was great (Romero looked to be but didn't last).

Given I feel the draft should be used to try to get high end players not just useful ones I prefer the high school approach. Chase college guys in later rounds. Not up to checking rounds 2-10 (where you find Jimmy Key [3rd], Dave Stieb [5th], David Wells [2nd], Pat Hentgen [5th], and others).
James W - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:04 PM EST (#353282) #
Law's top 20 Jays prospects:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Bo Bichette
Anthony Alford
Nate Pearson
Logan Warmoth
Dan Jansen
Ryan Borucki
Eric Pardinho
Sean Reid-Foley
T.J. Zeuch
Samad Taylor
Richard Urena
Elieser Medrano
Thomas Pannone
Justin Maese
Maximo Castillo
Luis de los Santos
Hagen Danner
Jol Concepcion
Riley Adams
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:18 PM EST (#353283) #
Well if there was ever any doubt as to the knowledge and/or ranking ability of Mr.Law, there no longer exists said doubt imo. He ranks Concepcion at #20. Maybe he doesn't even know that this player will miss all of 2018 season due to a PED suspension.

In fact, I will go as far as to say that these are the worst set of prospects rankings I have seen in a very long time, maybe ever.
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:20 PM EST (#353284) #
Correction. He has Concepcion at 19.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:22 PM EST (#353285) #
Medrano's fastball apparently hits 97, but his secondary stuff is a work-in-progress and his control is not even a rumour. He is 19 years old and was in the GCL last year, throwing 23 fair innings. If you want to rank him ahead of Pannone and Maese, you can, but it's definitely a minority view.  
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:26 PM EST (#353286) #
I like Medrano but ranking him this high at this time is quite foolish imo.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#353287) #
Pitchers are a high risk pick no matter when they are picked or from what school they are picked. Eliminating risk is impossible, so taking the best available option might be the only choice. Getting lucky also helps. The Jays were lacking in quality position players in the Minors, so that controlled their draft the last two years. Too many successful Pitchers in the Minors faired poorly last year, so the Jays' draft might change somewhat.

Ideally, the younger a Pitcher makes it to the Majors the longer his Career. The longer a Team could have a Pitcher while he's at his best. The very best Pitchers are usually gone in the first 10 picks, and the Jays pick 12th. To get the best caliber Pitcher that the Jays need, they must draft High School arms and a lot of them.
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 04:34 PM EST (#353288) #
Not going to happen Richard. If the Jays draft and sign more than 1 or 2 HS arms I will be shocked. Current analytics suggest this is not the smart thing to do. They could select a college pitcher at #12 if their favoured bats are gone.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 05:18 PM EST (#353289) #
So Reese McGuire doesn't make Law's top twenty list, or is he not considered a prospect by him ?
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 05:21 PM EST (#353290) #
McGuire should be on any top 20 list. He is major league ready in terms of defence and his hitting picked up after he returned from injury, not only at NH but in the DWL as well.
85bluejay - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 05:35 PM EST (#353291) #
While I've been generally supportive of this FO,I have no problems with the Damien Cox piece - I rather like when there are different points of view in the media rather than everyone singing from the same songbook. I'm not a big fan of Andrew Stoeten, I find that he uses a lot of swearing to sound tough and coverup the fact that he generally is supportive of whatever any Jays FO is doing - I sometimes think it's in his financial interest.
jerjapan - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 06:09 PM EST (#353293) #
I agree that Law's list is an odd one, but not so dismayed to see McGuire off the top 20, I have him 15th or so based on D only - he hadn't hit whatsoever until the second half of this season.  High floor though, if that's your preference.  No Gurriel seems odd, especially when he's got the likes of De Los Santos (anyone with a take on him?) and Medrano on there.  At least Law gives me an excuse to add two more names to my watch list.  And he certainly seems to value projectability, despite the current consensus that college players are the safer bet. 

SK, I was surprised by your take on the FA market, but when I reviewed Fangraphs top 50 FAs list, the big guys are definitely getting signed around where people thought they would.  The lower end FAs aren't though, and I imagine some of the unsigned guys currently will end up settling for less.  I maintain there is real value to be had, and we need to have some of it. 

Put me down as not being a fan of Stoeten either, although he does put out a lot of content, so there are things worth reading here and there.  He just seems so hostile to anyone with a different point of view, and his POV does seem pretty corporate.  And for a guy who claims to be sick of the AA / Shapiro FO debate, he certainly fans the flames whenever possible. 

Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 06:19 PM EST (#353294) #
Whatever the caliber of Prospect/Player being traded MLB-Ready or nearness thereto applies. LHP are the #1 trade value assets. RHP are a close second. SS are a distant third followed by CF. Stud status is significant at any time, but important when not one of the above four. There is a reason that's still valid about why A.A. drafted a lot of Pitchers. They trade well.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#353295) #
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. signed a Major League Contract. All the other prospects signed Minor league contracts. Some people don't consider Gurriel Jr. as a prospect, myself included. But then some people also don't consider Otani a prospect, myself included. If you do that's fine.
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 09:13 PM EST (#353296) #
We're definitely going to make additions" to the Blue Jays roster, Ross Atkins says. Primary focus on pitching, looking at 10+ options. But probably involves subtraction, may be outfield depth.
PeterG - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 09:38 PM EST (#353297) #
Ross Atkins is all business tonight at #PitchTalks "Alford should be viewed up there with Vladdy Jr. and Bichette"
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 01 2018 @ 10:57 PM EST (#353298) #

Keep the posts coming.
hypobole - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 12:13 AM EST (#353299) #
Well if there was ever any doubt as to the knowledge and/or ranking ability of Mr.Law, there no longer exists said doubt imo. He ranks Concepcion at #20. Maybe he doesn't even know that this player will miss all of 2018 season due to a PED suspension.


Right-hander Jol Concepcion (19) was 93-97 last year and flashed a plus curveball, but he'll miss the start of 2018 after receiving a 60-day suspension for testing positive for a steroid.

Re: Gurriel

I do not count Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as a prospect, as he played in Cuba's top league and signed a major league contract (for $22 million) with the Jays after defecting, but his first year here was not a success. The 23-year-old hit .229/.268/.339 between high-A and Double-A, showing just average bat speed, below-average running speed and adequate defense at second when I saw him.

Jansen #6

Dan Jansen had a breakout year in 2017 by staying healthy and getting new glasses -- it's hard to hit a ball you can't see -- hitting .323/.400/.484 at three levels, including Triple-A. He drew 38 unintentional walks against just 40 strikeouts and does make hard contact, projecting to hit eight-to-12 homers in the majors. He's a fringy defender overall, but pitchers like throwing to him, enough that he looks like a regular behind the plate, thanks to his bat.
hypobole - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 12:33 AM EST (#353300) #
Right-hander Elieser Medrano (13) has been up to 94-95 with a hammer curveball, pitching a little bit in the GCL last year at 18, with starter upside depending on how his body fills out and development of his command.

Eric Pardinho signed for $1.4 million, the largest bonus ever given to a Brazilian prospect, last July and earned raves from international scouts for his makeup and feel to pitch at such a young age. He's a little undersized, but everything else you could want in a pitching prospect is there: four pitches, already up to 94 at age 16, command, delivery, athleticism, feel to pitch. People just love this kid and believe he's going to be a big league starter, perhaps sooner than most 16-year-old prospects would get there.

And for jerjapan:
Shortstop Luis de los Santos (17) is fast and athletic and can play defense, with some bat-to-ball skills but not enough of an approach yet, drawing just six walks in 200 PAs as a 19-year-old in the GCL, with a few quick promotions to Lansing sprinkled into his season. He'll probably start in low-A this year, his age-20 season, which should give us a sense of whether his bat has a chance to make him a future regular.
scottt - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 06:57 AM EST (#353302) #
I'm not sold on Samad Taylor either. It's really hard to tell with those young low minors prospects.

scottt - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 07:06 AM EST (#353303) #
The worst thing about the trading of bad contracts is that it makes the league less competitive.
The normal scenario is that a rebuilding team (tanking, playing for next year's draft picks) uses some of its unused payroll to help a big market team go around the luxury tax. Maybe Darvish just wants a 6th year and the Dodgers/Yankees can do that because they'll just trade the bad part of the contract down the road.

Helping the Yanks spend more is something we should never do for any reason. Let the Cubs/Dodgers/Yankees/Giants fight over the few teams willing to pick up bad contracts and field bad players. The Pirates and White Sox are candidates for that now. It's not like we have any difficulty getting pirates prospects.

jerjapan - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 08:08 AM EST (#353304) #
Thanks for the info on De Los Santos Hypobole.

I do wonder about Jansen's defensive rep - the Athletic article linked above lauds his game calling and work with pitchers, with Gil Kim saying:  "we've always seen Danny as a strong defender and also someone who was capable with the bat.Ē

Take it with a grain of salt, for sure, but I do think there is some debate about his defensive mediocrity.
uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 08:18 AM EST (#353305) #
all the early write ups on Jansen talled about his defense and gamecalling above his offense.
85bluejay - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 08:55 AM EST (#353306) #
People tend to have confirmation bias when discussing Keith Law. I was not surprised his list was different - he tends to favour toolsy,upside prospects & I'm pleased he included the lower minors - as long as he's consistent in his approach I don't have a problem - he's kinda the opposite of John sickels - and really, all those players in the lower section of the various list are interchangeable - At least, his list adds 3 names to guys whose progress I'll be following.
Mike Green - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:09 AM EST (#353307) #
McGuire is a puzzling omission.  He's always hit right-handed pitching very well with a positive W/K and now some power.  He plays good defence.  Ernie Whitt didn't develop until he was 30, but I see no reason why McGuire couldn't be at least as good a player when he is 25.  He was a first round pick who has basically shown that he can handle double A at age 22. 

You can prefer a toolsy player in the GCL at age 19 with a lot of weaknesses or a 21 year old in the Northwest League (who strikes out a bunch) like Riley Adams, but most evaluators do not.  Law presumably ranks the Blue Jay organization #17 because they have fewer toolsy prospects in the low minors than other organizations. 

uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:21 AM EST (#353308) #
eh i just don't trust keith's scouting eye. all these lists are pretty much the same, so you judge these prospecteers by their outlier calls.....and i just haven't seen keith have much success with those. i find his takes lazy and i don't get the impression he does his homework all that much. don't know that he's ever done anything to earn his rep other than a short stint being hired by a bottom feeding team to be their stats nerd, which ended in disaster.

sickels, otoh, established his cred by making some impressive outlier calls. he also does his homework and built his impressive site from scratch. imo he earned his rep.

though i haven't followe either as closely the past couple years so i don't know if that's as true anymore.

and mcguire is a toolsy prospect. that's why he initially had value despite unimpressive stats.
Glevin - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:41 AM EST (#353309) #
" Law presumably ranks the Blue Jay organization #17 because they have fewer toolsy prospects in the low minors than other organizations. "

I think it's the opposite. The lack of talent in AA and AAA. Jansen and Alford are the team's only good prospects who played in the top two levels last year. The guys who were top-10 last year: SRF, Urena, Harris, Tellez, etc..all took a step back or a big step back and all look like fringy prospects now. The Jays need to have some of their A-ball guys succeed as they move up the ladder.

That said, also surprised McGuire was not on the list because I think he's one of the few players than could help the Jays out very soon (Have the Jays ever had catching depth this good?) His defense is supposed to be plus so he doesn't need to hit very much to have value.
Mike Green - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:47 AM EST (#353310) #
At age 21-22, McGuire has hit .278/.365/.420 in double A against RHP (315 PAs).  He has a 38/28 W/K with 25 extra-base hits.  That takes no special account of his power spike last year.
hypobole - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:48 AM EST (#353311) #
I get the impression he does do his homework way more than MLB Pipeline which seems to me to be the real lazy evaluation site.

uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:50 AM EST (#353312) #
tbh, I sometimes get the impression that most of these rankers are resting on their laurels. not sure many of them are putting in the work they used to.
SK in NJ - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 10:07 AM EST (#353313) #
Agreed on McGuire. His floor was always a back-up catcher (good defense, good plate discipline, not enough of a bat to be a starter). However if his hitting improvement in 2017 was related to some type of adjustment to his swing/approach, and can be at least somewhat sustainable, then he's a legit prospect. Maybe not a high ceiling one, but definitely someone with a chance to have a big league career. He's still only 22 (turns 23 before the start of 2018) so he's age appropriate.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 10:24 AM EST (#353314) #
Agreed Ugly. Id have more faith in Law if he didn't wait for all other lists to come up before tweaking his to try to be different with bigger risks listed instead of actual top 1-20 prospects. If everybody like Brett Laurie, he wants to find reasons to bring him down the ladder. If there's any possible argument to flip flop prospects even though it's a small argument, Law will do that to stand out.
PeterG - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 10:37 AM EST (#353315) #
Thomas Pannone has only been pitching for five years. Read about his transition from OF to pitcher here:
PeterG - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 10:59 AM EST (#353316) #
Here is an article from on Nate Pearson:
hypobole - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:24 AM EST (#353317) #
Hope you guys are right on McGuire, but the evidence of his new-found hitting prowess is pretty shaky. First, he had all of 136 PA's in AA, 175 overall last year. And the only place he really showed a power spike was in NH, in their notoriously lefty-hitting friendly stadium. He slugged .338 in his road games.
Mike Green - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:26 AM EST (#353318) #
Michael Hoad thinks the Blue Jays best cleanup option (against RHP) remains Kendrys Morales.  I think that there's a decent chance that is precisely what Gibbons will do.  Which would be most unfortunate. 
Mike Green - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:32 AM EST (#353319) #
You can watch the video of a number of the homers in New Hampshire, hypobole.  They looked to me like homers in the RC.  Damned if I know, though.  Josh Thole was hitting home runs all over the place in Buffalo one year.  McGuire's bat seemed a little slow, but more Whitt-slow than Thole-slow to my very untrained eye. 
uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:45 AM EST (#353320) #
Hypo, the thing is, for a good defensive catcher that always young for his levels, McGuire's offense was already good even before last year's breakout.

In 2016 he was a 21yr old in AA, which is a good full year young for that level. And he was only a marginally below average hitter overall at 90wrc+, and did that with elite plate discpline numbers - 9.9bb%/9.3k%. That is actually a very encouraging batting line from any player young for the level, let alone a defense-first catcher. The biggest weakness in his line that year was the absolute absence of any power, with his .078iso, something which was addressed in spades this year, and is usually something you can expect to improve with age.

The funny thing is that McGuire was still ranked after his legit bad 2014 (top 100 on all three lists) and still ranked after his legit bad 2015 (top 100 on 2 lists).....but then fell off all the lists after 2016, when he made the hardest move in milb (up to AA) and showed big improvement not just overall but in his plate discpline numbers too. By all rights he should have moved up the lists after 2016, but instead fell off all of them....most likely due to being traded by a respected development team and picked up by a team that never seems to get prospect cred.

And all that was before his big breakout in 2017, when for the first time in his milb career he was allowed to play at his actual age appropriate level.

It's pretty funny that this guy was given top-100 cred when he legit stunk at low levels in the PIT org, and has completely fallen off the lists after achieving legit AA success in the Jays org.

Regardless, his overall line at AA, mostly as too young for the level, is really solid for a defense first catcher:

AA (21-22): 501pa, 10.4bb%, 10.6bb%, .281babip, .261avg, .116iso, 102wrc+
bpoz - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:48 AM EST (#353321) #
Agree with scottt about trading bad contracts. If Kemp is traded, it will be interesting how good a prospect is given up.
The luxury tax penalty is structured to cost a higher % if broken years in a row. It resets the year it is not broken. I don't know the details.
uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:50 AM EST (#353322) #
rhymes with trollusion:

Jayson Stark
Here's another way to put this strange baseball offseason in perspective.

It's Feb. 2...

And 13 teams haven't signed a single free-agent position player to a major-league contract.

I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it.
bpoz - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#353323) #
Back to trading for bad contracts. Lets assume that there will always be bad contracts for the rich teams. Also assume that the Jays will have a bad year now and then.

NYY traded A Chapman and A Miller in 2016 and received a huge haul of prospects. NYY determined that they were not going to the playoffs. If it happens this year for example to the Jays and they plan to rebuild for 2019. A good player like Martin has an expiring contract in 2019 just like Kemp. So a trade makes some sense. But I would not like it.

But I am ok with the NYY strategy. Trade Donaldson and Happ for a big haul. They will be FAs anyway.
hypobole - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 12:20 PM EST (#353324) #
Mcguire was highly ranked because he was a 1st round pick, not because of organizations. We'll see what he does in Buffalo (hopefully with Jansen making the majors).

BTW thanks for the Pearson link, Peter. Good stuff - never heard of Rapsodo before.
85bluejay - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 01:53 PM EST (#353325) #
I've liked Mcguire since his draft year & am still hopeful of at least a competent backup. Interesting, small sample size, but Mcguire had 46AB in winterball, 13 hits but no extra base hits.
Mike Green - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 01:59 PM EST (#353326) #
I was asked privately for my opinion of the June 2017 draft at the time, and gave it a thumbs down.  I wasn't crazy about Warmoth, and still am not, because of his skill profile.  I didn't care for Pearson's repertoire and his physique- he looked to me like a reliever and maybe not much of one.  Obviously, I've changed my mind about that one completely.  Pearson now is a big guy rather than an out-of-shape guy (and it's not a great sign if a player is out of shape at age 21), and his slider is getting there. 

He'll be turning 22 in August, and it would be nice if he could throw 100-120 innings this year. 

bpoz - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:03 PM EST (#353327) #
Regarding K Law and his picks. I assume a lot of these evaluators make an income doing this. They want readers. So attract readers by being positive or negative and you will get your share of readers. Being agreeable or annoying will get attention. Prospect failure rate is high so picking a few failures is a wise strategy. Even if nobody remembers, it is best to be right once in a while.

R Tellez could break out in 2018. The odds are A Perdomo will struggle in AA ball if he gets there this year as a starter. Many failed starters become v good relievers.

Warmoth and Pardinho will have to be good to move up the list. #5 and #8. There will be eliminations through graduation. Best chance Alford and Jansen and 2 pitchers. We will definitely need pitchers.
85bluejay - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:20 PM EST (#353328) #
Warmoth did not have enough upside for me & I didn't see him as a future SS, so I wasn't a fan of the pick but I did like the Pearson pick.
John Northey - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:22 PM EST (#353329) #
Keith Law's list is odd. I'm putting together a summary of various top prospect lists for the Jays (waiting on John Sickels one before I put it up) and Law's has a lot of unique players not on top 30's or top 10's of other peoples. 5 of his 20 are not on any other lists (Batters Box, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America,, prospects1500, Jays Journal, Bluebird Banter).

Btw, for all lists that have listed their top 3 it is always Vlad, Bo, Alford. Talk about consensus! Nate Pearson is the most often named #4 (#5 for BB, #7 MLB, #5 prospects1500) and the most common #5 (only one listed twice). Funny eh?
uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:22 PM EST (#353330) #
SK in NJ - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:23 PM EST (#353331) #
#BlueJays GM Ross Atkins "when you're talking about free agency you're talking about aging players and the trend of overpaying a player's aging curves has come to an end across baseball".

This is 100% the real issue with baseball, and the players can't seem to see the forest for the trees on this one. They are so worried about free agents getting money that they don't seem to realize that improving a player's earning potential BEFORE free agency (when the player is at his peak performance) will likely solve the entire issue. Players need to be paid better during year's 1-6. Six years is a long time. If a player comes up at age 24, then that basically takes up the rest of his 20's and he hits the open market at 30 with no where to go but down. It's a systematic issue that needs to be resolved.

As MLB FO's become more sabermetric, there will be no solution to this unless they change the system.
85bluejay - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:39 PM EST (#353332) #
For me, the issue is that players should get 48-52% of the revenues - how it's distributed is less of a concern - the problem currently is that owners want it both ways - they have a vice grip on the players best years & then argue they don't want to pay for his declining years - well then pay for his peak years - make players free agents after their rookie year. Also, need proper accounting of total revenue - eg. the Jays ownership arbitrarily pay the team 36m for tv rights- based on ratings and what other teams are paid that seems a significant underpayment, so there should be some independent arbitrator to assign a more realistic amount for revenue sharing purposes.
uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 02:48 PM EST (#353333) #

players are willing to accept a system for less than value in their young prime years as long as there's a real potential payday down the line.

But if the owners are pocketing money on both ends, then the players have to do something about it.
SK in NJ - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 03:02 PM EST (#353334) #
I think the best way to fix this would be to make players arbitration eligible starting at year 2, giving them 5 arbitration years in total. The first year of a player's service time is at the league minimum, since there is no performance to judge pay on, but from years 2 to 6, pay them according to performance. If that means players are getting $30M+ in years 5 and 6 of arbitration, then so be it. If we know that owners/GM's are not going to pay big for a player's 30's, then there shouldn't be any issues with paying them more for their 20's.
Mike Green - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 03:12 PM EST (#353335) #
Service time is extremely important in arbitration.  If the collective agreement was reworked so performance was the key factor, then it would be a whole other ball of wax.  Donaldson would have been receiving $25 to $45 million the last few years, and would anticipate getting somewhat less for his mid to late 30s. 

I am pretty sure that owners would fight this tooth and nail. 

dalimon5 - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 04:49 PM EST (#353336) #
The issue with changing the system is that all the players with leverage and calling the shots are the ones that are at the wrong end of the aging curve. The player reps won't want to increase salary for younger players while reducing the higher age bracket because the older bracket will lose out.
PeterG - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 06:06 PM EST (#353337) #
Here is a most interesting article explaining the information gap that exists between the front office and the agent.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 07:49 PM EST (#353338) #
There should be just two Pre-arb years and two Arbitration years after which Free Agency occurs, perhaps as early as age 22 or age 23.
Year one should guarantee $1.0 Million, while year two guarantees $3.0 Million. Annual increases of 10% should be applied.
Years three and four are negotiated between Player and Team with no one earning less than the prior year. Each year a player must earn more.
If after year two or after year three, either the Player or the Team cannot agree, it goes to an Arbitrator for comparibles. If the Team or the Player is still in disagreement, Unrestricted Free Agency occur. This could occur as early as age 20 or age 21.
A Team can sign or extend their own Player for just four years at the maximum, but not until after year three at the earliest and starts after year four. Free Agency could then occur as early as age 26 or age 27. Free agents can sign with other Teams for only three year at the maximum.
Free Agents could sign two, three and possibly as many as four fairly negotiated three year contracts. Players start earning well early. Team get cost certaincy and avoid crippling contracts and overpaying for the aging curve.
PeterG - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 08:44 PM EST (#353339) #
Owners invest too much time and money in developing players to ever agree to FA after 4 years.
Former player John Smoltz, on MLB network, said that it takes almost 3 years at major league level for players to mature so becoming a FA after 4 years would be viewed as absurd.

I don't understand why some on here are blaming management for recognizing a reality and not the agents like Boras who have excellent offers in hand and yet are holding out for more. There is a trickle down effect. The market is not really set till the bigger guns sign.

A few things that might long as the players made significant pace of play concessions and agreed to an international draft could be:

higher minimum salary and expanded rosters
arb after 2 years instead of 3
team spending floor with penalties if not met, possibly a percentage of luxury tax limit
elimination of any compensation for FA's

all of that could not be gained in one CBA but working towards those might be much more realistic. Personally I don't think the players could get the floor, even with a strike, which would probably cause them to end up with less in the end, but the other suggestions seem achievable.

uglyone - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 08:59 PM EST (#353340) #
because the plain fact is for wealthy teams it is clearly worth it to "overpay" for free agent wins. that's the reality of their bottom line.

the fact that they aren't this year is beyond suspicious.
PeterG - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 09:06 PM EST (#353341) #
The reality is that the vast majority of retirement contracts don't work for the teams that give them out and we are seeing a reaction to that.

Teams are still offering big dollars but just less term. A term correction has been overdue for a few years now.

I would like to seem some incentives to discouarge tanking however. That we can do without.
John Northey - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:15 PM EST (#353342) #
I remember the early days of free agency saw 10 year deals and the like quite often (I think Dave Stieb got one of those super long term ones) and a few blew up of course. Then mid-80's for quite a while 5 years or less was all that was offered with rare exceptions (Bonds I think was one of the few who got more, well before PED's). Then in the late 90's we started to see a slow trickle until A-Rod/Jeter/ManRam all got 7+ years. Then it became common for awhile and then cut back around the mid-00's and grew again a few years ago (Fielder, Pujols, etc.). Seems to be a cycle where the teams go nuts on long term (often around a period of skyrocketing salaries) then cut back (when salaries are stagnate) and then it goes back again. Right now salaries are pretty stable, $25-$30 mil for cream of the crop, $20 mil for all-star level, $10 for solid multi-year earning guys, below that for 1-2 year contracts. I suspect within 5 years if the luxury tax is loosened we'll see longer term again as the big guys get ready to blow a fortune. I suspect no one will be over $200 mil this year, then after resetting their luxury taxes, the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Cubs will go nuts next winter (especially those who miss the playoffs or are out quickly) along with other big markets that are on the sidelines right now (Phillies for example).

That is why I see Yu Darvish as a very smart signing this winter for whoever gets him. He'd probably be smart to ask for a 1 year deal right now for $25-$30 mil. Next year he or someone like him should cost a lot more. Either that or go for a 10 year deal that allows a team to knock down its luxury tax hit by doing a $30-30-25-25-20-10-5-1-1-1 type deal so the 5 year value is $140 mil but the 10 year is only $18 mil more (make them player options if it doesn't hurt the payroll tax) for a net of $158 mil so the average becomes $15.8 mil instead of $28 mil. Just to grab a few possible numbers. Could stretch it out to 20 years if the league wouldn't go coo-coo over it.
James W - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:16 PM EST (#353343) #
This agent can "Res Ipsa Loquitor" all he like, but it's now a big problem when ownership is exercising some "Caveat Emptor"?
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 02 2018 @ 11:21 PM EST (#353344) #
The Jays have in their discussion with Miami a willing to take back a big/bad contract. That indicates significantly more money to spend than we know or even suspect about. They know who they want and probably have offers out. I donít know if they still got irons in the fire on the Trade Market, but that might be possible too. Are they still trying to do everything?

The do-everything-list is very long:
1) Rotation Starter;
2) LHP for Bullpen;
3) Better backup Catcher;
4) Upgrade the Outfield - top Defense with big Offense;
5) Someone to close with Osuna, so heís not overworked.
6) Trade Kendrys Morales for someone younger, faster, better, a better backup for 1B or 3B at least.
7) Trade Steve Pearce for someone younger, faster, better who can play 1B, 2B and the OF.

The Jays are going to be lucky to fill spots 1) and 2) with the way the Free Agent Market is going. At least with Trades the Player must come to the Team. Free Agents always many reasons to refuse and offer.

Glevin - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:43 AM EST (#353345) #
"While I've been generally supportive of this FO,I have no problems with the Damien Cox piece - I rather like when there are different points of view in the media rather than everyone singing from the same songbook. I'm not a big fan of Andrew Stoeten,"

While I think he uses swearing too much and it's annoying, I think he's great. Stoeten is a small voice and the large voices in the media almost all have the same angle which is the "The foreigners from Cleveland coming to take Canadian jobs and not trying to win" stuff. There are legitimate criticisms of the front office, but you almost never see them and in print, you rarely see front office support either. Instead, you see Simmons and Cox and others who don't understand baseball at all. Cox's article is beyond stupid.

A couple of examples from the article:

"The problem is, Toronto doesnít have a baseball talent close to DeMar DeRozan at the moment"

Donaldson is a much much better baseball player than DeRozen is a basketball player. This sort of thing shows a complete lack of knowledge of both sports.

"All the significant names that were supposed to move in trades or as free agents this winter ó Giancarlo Stanton, Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Shohei Otani, Andrew McCutchen ó have gone elsewhere. Again."

Ohtani and Stanton chose where they wanted to go and it wasn't Toronto. McCutchen has an average of 2.1 WAR over the past 2 years and has 1 year left on his deal. I wouldn't want the Jays to give up much to get him. There were 2 players the Jays could have acquired and didn't. 27 other teams didn't either. The Jays were close on Yelich but didn't want to give up a top prospect. If they had, you can bet that these same idiots would be riding the front office for it. The Jays made significant upgrades in the OF. Just because it isn't a big name doesn't mean it isn't an improvement. I'd take Grichuk over McCutchen because of their respective team control.

"Now, this may be all about waiting for Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, the most hyped Jays prospects since Sil Campusano or J.P. Arencibia."

No comparison but picking failed prospects to compare to, makes Cox's (stupid) point. Arencibia was #43 on BA's list one year (And I think with the change in how we see baseball, a similar prospect now would be back end of top-100. 2.5% BB % is just awful.). Vlad is a top-3 prospect and Bichette a top-10/15 prospect and both have been on the list for multiple years.

Anyway, the article is filled with this sort of idiotic nonsense. In the age of Fangraphs and the Athletic and all sorts of fantastic online writing, seeing these dinosaurs who clearly know nothing about baseball getting massive audiences is dispiriting and I'm glad there are people like Stoeten who will call them on their lack of knowledge.
85bluejay - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 07:01 AM EST (#353346) #
I say Bravo to Mr. Cox for a delightful and funny column - hope there's more to come - I enjoyed reading it.
scottt - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 09:34 AM EST (#353347) #
There's a lot of nonsense going around.

Not all teams value talents the exact same way. There's no players with identical offers from 30 teams.

Let's take Encarnation for example. There was  zero team that thought that a right handed DH was worth more than 20M a year after he already started declining. That's actually pretty easy to believe.

Most teams are in different situations. Many of the top teams have young star players who are costing them more each year, so that leaves them with fewer dollars for free agents.

Most top free agents are sitting on rich multi year offers that are at least as good as what could have been predicted back in October. They're just not signing them.

There's a lot of free agents accepting minor contracts. Like Goins. None of these guys are producing above replacement levels even if they have one or 2 good stats. Once they are out of contracts or arbitration, experience means nothing.

A guy like Moustakas should have taken the QO.

dalimon5 - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 09:40 AM EST (#353348) #
Glevin kills it in his post (for those that didn't read the article.) If I want to hear or read about how bad things are for the Blue Jay's without the idiocy I pick Cathay Kelly or Richard Griffin, classic Jays front office haters.

Damien Cox was supposed to be the heir apparent to McCowan but even that job he has failed at. He doesn't seem to know a lot about anything. If you listen to his questions to guests, he constantly asking irrelevant questions or making completely off the mark comparisons to the point that his own network hosts are shutting him up on the air. Go listen to his last interview with Glen Healey if you want a good laugh. Again, the laugh is on him.
hypobole - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 10:01 AM EST (#353349) #
Yeah, Cox's column was funny, if you like laughing at Cox.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 10:09 AM EST (#353350) #
Yeah I think it's players holding things up now. Cain took long to sign because the GMs were holding things up trying to upgrade via trade.

Now it's the players slowing things down because the pitchers are waiting on Darvish and hitters on JDM both of whom are hoping on some mega contract from a team of their choice. JDM should take Boston's offer and Darvish should take the best offer now instead of waiting on the Dodgers to clear space.

4/60 for Cobb is a deal I sign. Don't have to worry about declining fastball with him.
SK in NJ - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 10:37 AM EST (#353351) #
Cox and writers of his ilk are dinosaurs. Look at the amount of writers, bloggers, etc, out there now. Anyone looking for actual content will avoid him and his kind. Iím not sure Stoeten or anyone should be giving them the time of day, even if it is to rightfully trash the article, since it falls under the Skip Bayless art of trolling where these guys want eyeballs/readers more than credibility.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 10:40 AM EST (#353352) #
I'm happy to say i stopped reading any local newspaper columnists or talk radio guys years and years ago. they're all worse than useless. they don't know what they're talking about and aren't even trying to inform thr audience, only trying to provoke. for me if guys can prove themselves by making intelligent observations and arguments on twitter, then i might be tempted to read one of their columns, but not before.

stoeten i have my differences with but at least he is actually doing his homework and trying to educate himself and us,and is pretty damn funny. taking the piss out of the local writers is yeoman's work that I donít care about much anymore but is well needed stuff.
jerjapan - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 10:45 AM EST (#353353) #
Don't sleep on Demar Derozan, he's having the best year of his career, seems to still be improving at 28 and is a fringe top-ten player in the NBA right now.  He hasn't missed a game this year and has average more than 75 games played out of an 82-game season for his entire career.  He may even be turning into a legit 3pt threat - JD is a monster, but coming off an injury-plagued season and almost certainly entering his decline phase, with FA looming, I think it's a fair comment.

It may be clickbait, but Cox isn't an idiot - he's a good hockey commentator, and I remember being impressed with him when he hosted a Q and A with Paul Beeston some years back. 

Stoeten is just as guilty of sensationalistic journalism, if not more so.  The crass language, the insults of anyone who disagrees with him, the straw men arguments in defense of the FO, the threats / bans of posters in the comments section, all add up to a guy who is targeting his audience - admittedly, a much more youthful, statistically savvy audience - just as much as Cox is targeting the older demo - a group who has suffered under mediocre sports ownership / management in TO for a much longer period.  My strongest critique of Stoeten is how he has normalized the ad hominem style of discourse in his comments section - although, full disclosure, I do enjoy calling him out a fair bit.  And I am glad he is out there offering a different perspective from the mainstream media guys. 
Writing this post reminded me - it really is a golden era for Toronto sports right now, isn't it? 

uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 11:15 AM EST (#353354) #
yeah stoets has banned me from pretty much every platform. he doesn't like when people argue back the way he argues at them.

ah well, i still like what he does. he's one of the main reasons toronto sports was able to turn away from these increeibky hacky columnists and turn itself into a hotbed of quality bloggers doing cutting edge work, in all sports.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#353355) #
I rarely read any columnist except some articles on I don't think I could find any more in depth news on the Jays or baseball in general than on this site.( Batters Box) I appreciate the coverage of the team and the minor league teams,plus all the knowledgeable comments provided by the posters, in addition to witty repartee and occasional disagreements. Da Box is the best !
lexomatic - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 11:44 AM EST (#353356) #
I don't understand someone choosing to read Cathal Kelly for baseball... he's a soccer writer. Everything I've read from him seems completely uninformed.
I agree with the quote above that local writers seem to be involved in click-bait. Sports jouronalists didn't seem to be particularly informed 20 years ago, but the wider public was less informed then also.

hypobole - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 12:49 PM EST (#353357) #
As far as the Derozan being a fringe top 10 NBA player, that's absolutely true if you only look at the offensive side. But defence is half the game and DD is and always has been a negative on defence. Baseball comps last year may be J. D. Martinez or Nelson Cruz, #'s 3 and 14 by wRC+(>450 PA's), but in the 40's with their 3.8 WAR. Josh, despite the missed time was still a 5 WAR player.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 01:32 PM EST (#353358) #
It's funny because when I used to read papers Cathal was the best. He was the only knowledgeable Serie A (soccer) writer in the city.
lexomatic - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 01:47 PM EST (#353359) #
I should have clarified... everything I've read from Kelly about BASEBALL seemed completely uninformed.
I don't know enough about soccer to have an opinion on what he wrote there.

Vulg - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 02:01 PM EST (#353360) #
Regarding Demar, while it's true his defense lags behind his offense, that's typical for nearly all of the "best" players in the league.

His offensive game has been good enough to land him consistently in the top 10 of the MVP ladder throughout the season. He currently sits 5th after being named the Easter Conference player of the month:

It's been a very fun season to be a Raptors fan.

And as far as sports publications or websites go these days, I've pretty much turned to The Athletic for my articles/writing fix. It's been well worth the subscription for me personally.
scottt - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 02:17 PM EST (#353361) #
Osuna lost in arbitration. Still gets 5.3M. which isn't too bad.

Atkins mentioned that Osuna and Stroman have the same agents, a firm that seems to believe going to arbitration is the best way to maximize earning and is not too concerned about it.

Glevin - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 03:36 PM EST (#353362) #
I wouldn't have DeRozen remotely close the top-10 in the NBA. He is a usage monster but his true shooting percentage isn't very good (127th in the NBA) and neither is his defense or his 3P shooting. His value is tied into being a good player who is allowed to shoot a ton. These kinds of players are always overrated.
jerjapan - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 03:47 PM EST (#353363) #
What Vulg said is spot on in defense of Demar Derozan, and it's worth noting that even Demar's D has improved to 'often okay, sometimes solid'.  Just like with how the shift maximizes D in baseball, the new NBA features so much switching that DD's defensive deficiencies aren't quite as problematic.  Glevin, basketball might not be where baseball is in terms of modern analytics - it's just harder to use modern methodology in sports other than baseball, which allows for more isolation of events - but it's no minority opinion that DD is a potential top ten talent.  What you are saying about him was certainly the consensus in the past, but Demar has literally improved his game every year, and this season he's been a revelation - the clear MVP of a team that may have a legit (albeit slim) shot at the title.  It's a perfect time to talk about the guy given his monster game last night - his career-high 6 threes raised his 3P% to .341, 50 points higher than his career average. 

New HOF member Jim Thome wants to go into Cooperstown without Chief Wahoo on his plaque, preferring the "C".  Nice to see an all-time Cleveland great on board with the change.

King Ryan - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:11 PM EST (#353364) #
Although not as slow as this one, remember last off-season was pretty slow as well. I can remember EE and Bautista being disappointed by the lack of interest, neither one really getting the bidding wars they wanted. Edwin would not sign with Cleveland until January 5, and JB would come crawling back to the Jays two weeks later.

My point is that this has been the trend for awhile now. This isn't just a random, sudden moment where all teams have decided not to spend, which would definitely smell like collusion. The tend for a few off-seasons now has been more and more teams not wanting to dive deep into the market, and it has just sort of gradually reached its head now.

This is what happens when teams are suddenly run by business people, not ex-players with zero business education.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:32 PM EST (#353365) #
It doesn't actually matter if Demar is top-10 or just top-25.

The difference is that Josh Donaldson has literally been the 2nd best player in all baseball in his 3yrs as a Jay, behind only Trout.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#353366) #
It doesn't matter if the teams are being run by businessmen - that doesn't explain why it looks like mlb payrolls will literally decrease this year. There is no business reason for that.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:40 PM EST (#353367) #
I nodded along with this article so vigorously I think I slipped a disc:
Glevin - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#353368) #
" Glevin, basketball might not be where baseball is in terms of modern analytics - it's just harder to use modern methodology in sports other than baseball, which allows for more isolation of events - but it's no minority opinion that DD is a potential top ten talent."

I think this is best year ever and I'd still have him as maybe a top-25 player. He is someone who takes a lot of shots and that's where most of his value comes from. I personally don't find that very valuable and not close to elite. Yes, analytics in the NBA are not the same as they are in basketball but usage rate is something that does not exist in baseball the same way and it is crucial to understanding player value because volume can be confused for talent. DeRozen isn't even a very good shooter. For example, from the 30 qualified shooting guards listed, DeRozen is listed at #22 in adjusted FG%. He is bad at 3s but he's also not very efficient at 2s. So his numbers come from being a bulk shooter (as they have for his entire career). Anyway, this is not a basketball board, but I have a personal dislike for bulk players which for me is like looking at hits as a stat in isolation.
King Ryan - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:47 PM EST (#353369) #
Sure there is. Teams have looked at what is on the market and decided that funds are better allocated elsewhere. Simple as that.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 04:48 PM EST (#353370) #
they're not allocated funds elsewhere. they're eating them.
PeterG - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:21 PM EST (#353371) #
Jays have spent much in the last 2 years on improving the player development system and in upgrading the analytics side, both of which were neglected under the previous FO.

Can't speak for other teams as to how they may be handling any increased revenue.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:22 PM EST (#353372) #
Generally speaking from a business standpoint, they are reallocating funds to future free agents, resigning players, international spending, stadium improvements etc. There's no agreement to spend no matter what. That's like a business owner cutting costs and making it work but having to hire someone new just because. Now, if you have clear cut free agents available AND willing to take a lower salary over longer term or higher salary over shorter term and nobody signs them then it's a different story. Realistically, players want to be signed and and signed to their terms in the cities they want. JD Martinez has no business waiting out for a better deal just because of past precedent.
hypobole - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:24 PM EST (#353373) #
profiteering is a type of allocation.

Still, it's a 2 way street. Players/agents of the prime FA's are holding out for the extra year(s) their predecessors have received in the past. They may think they deserve it for their previous accomplishments. But time and again, those final seasons are garbage, with players contributing minimal or negative value, so it's little wonder teams have dug in their heels.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:26 PM EST (#353374) #
And when you look at the hundreds of other non signed free agents that agencies keep referencing...once you factor in cost, these players are not worth the investment when you can save the money and use a cheaper option that will likely be better in a year or less. Do owners really need to bite the bullet and sign guys like Cashner, Werth, Barney and Nunez because they are marginally better than internal options (increased cost not factored in)?
dan gordon - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:28 PM EST (#353375) #
Glevin, thanks for the great post about Stoeten's article regarding Damien Cox. I couldn't have said it better (or as well, for that matter). I have long found Cox to be a very irritating guy, who either didn't really understand things or was deliberately trying to draw attention, and was alarmed to see him getting so much time on McCown's show a few weeks back, amid rumours about him taking over. Very happy to see that has died down.
PeterG - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:32 PM EST (#353376) #
Another factor in overall league spending possibly being less in 2018 is that several teams have decided to rebuild at once. This is a copy cat reaction to the Astros success and is a short term fad that will not become the norm imo.
Vulg - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:33 PM EST (#353377) #
@Glevin - You can't just look at pure scoring efficiency when assessing how Demar's game has changed. The offense has changed around him, so while his usage remains roughly the same, he has become the primary ball-handler in all kinds of situations and has significantly elevated his playmaking. If you sort players by USG% (I use's site), you quickly notice that he has a higher AST/TO ratio than a bunch of guys you would never imagine possible (eg. Harden, Westbrook, Lebron, Kyrie, Steph, Lillard etc.).

Consider that the Raptors have one of the most efficient offenses in the L and that the plays run through Demar more than anybody else. He is being rewarded by League experts and analysts for being the main cog in a well oiled machine that is currently a top 5 team. Combined with his own increased efficiency (i.e. still gets to the line a ton but now has a passable 3P shot) and improved defense, I think it's easy to see why he's regarded the way he is right now (eg. The Ringer also had a recent article where he was among 8 listed for the MVP race).

More specifically, I think the narrative of Demar just being a chucker has to change. Of the 10 guys ahead of him in the PPG race, Cousins, Davis, Curry and Durant take fewer shots (and not by much - Demar's at 18.3 and the rest at 18, 18, 17.9 and 17.6).
dan gordon - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 05:50 PM EST (#353378) #
As a comparison for Osuna's arb case, Astros closer Ken Giles just WON his case, and he got only $4.6 million, $700K less than Osuna. Giles has 1 more year of mlb service, and better career numbers in ERA, FIP, ERA+, HR/9, K/9, and has pitched more innings and appeared in more games. Osuna has the edge in WHIP and saves. I imagine the reason for the higher salary for Osuna is that he has had greater use as a closer. Last year was Giles' first complete season as a full time closer.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 06:12 PM EST (#353379) #
That's definitely it. Saves have long been highly valued by arbitrators.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 06:24 PM EST (#353380) #
The saving from the Roberto Osuna arbitration case, $500 K, can be useful at the July Trade Deadline when it is worth acquiring $1.5 Million in Salary. Here every saving really matters when taking back Salary limits the asset cost. What the Jays spend now limits what the Jays can spend later.

The Jays have shown they are happy with three year deals, as risk is almost balanced between both sides. Beyond three they might not be comfortable with the risk. To acquire the caliber of Pitcher the Jays want, they might have to blow right through that comfort level. The only problem here is that the Pitchers they prefer might not want to come here.

Boras seldom deals early and prefers dealing with Owners. There are other Agents who prefer to wait until the Top Free Agents have set the market. Strange that Agents are talking about ďcollusionĒ. Who or what is causing the delay? At some point all offers get turned down.

uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 06:42 PM EST (#353381) #
Since Osuna entered the league:

Osuna: 207.2ip, 67era-, 4.11wpa/li, 6.1fwar, 5.3bwar, 5.7ra9war
Giles: 198.1ip, 67era-, 2.35wpa/li, 5.4fwar, 3.7bwar, 3.8ra9war

Osuna gets more because he's been significantly better.

Saves don't matter per se, but they do in this case reflect that Osuna has received far higher leverage usage than giles, making his superficially similar run prevention stats more valuable.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 06:52 PM EST (#353382) #
The two biggest Spenders are working hard to stay under the Luxury Tax limit to reset penalties. Scott Boras prefers to talk to Owners. They will agree to contract their GMs would never sign. Another few are holding firm to their internal limits of spending. Some Agents wait until the top Free Agents set the market before they move.Teams are tearing in down to try and rebuild. Players are always trying to get windfall retirement contracts to take care of their aging gradient. There are always reasons to not spend money on Free Agents, yet when it all happens at the same time it must be collusion.
hypobole - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 06:54 PM EST (#353383) #
Saves matter in arbitration. It's an archaic system.
SK in NJ - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 07:21 PM EST (#353384) #
A lot of teams are rebuilding/"tanking", and the big spenders (Yankees/Dodgers/Red Sox) appear to be gearing up for next year's free agent class. The Yankees and Dodgers in particular trying to get/remain under the luxury tax.

Someone made a quote recently where he said the race for the #1 pick in the 2019 draft will be more competitive than the playoff races in 2018, and unfortunately, that's probably going to be true. It will help teams like the Jays who decided not to punt the season, maybe giving them a slightly better chance, but it's going to make teams less inclined to spend on marginal free agent improvements when they have no intention of winning anything this year.If the big spenders are not spending, and a larger than normal percentage of teams don't really need or care for marginal wins added for millions of dollars, then that makes it harder for the free agents in a weak class to get what they think they deserve.

Still, I do wonder what the discussion would be right now if a month ago JDM and Hosmer had agreed to their alleged 5/125 and seven year deals respectively. Those two deals will look awful for whichever teams signs them, and yet the players are still holding out for more. If those two and Cain signed around the same time, maybe that would have been the domino.
rafael - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 07:39 PM EST (#353385) #
I really like DeRozan. I don't know why I have to find cheap shots like this at him everywhere. He's team player and a decent human being and humble and keeps improving and worth his salary - what do you want ? He's heart of the Raptors group who are so much of a likeable group than the Jays from management down. I played baseball and never basketball but the MLB makes me glad I follow sites like this for my fix as opposed to actually sending any money to them.
Oh yeah: proposed solution to when players fail to receive their percent of the pie; give some of the pie back to the fans. problem solved.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 08:45 PM EST (#353386) #
Price can be an issue as Free Agents are seeking huge salaries. But the issue controlling this Offseason for the beginning is term. Everyone that signed received more term that expected. Assuming fair value to be four years or five years or six years for different Players. Some Teams are willing to go an extra year. Players want even another year more than that and they are not budging. It very simple, shorter earns more AAV, longer earns less AAV. (Eg: 4 years at $90.0 Million or 5 Years at $105.0 Million.)
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 08:46 PM EST (#353387) #
Shapiro's speech last weekend is over at Andrew Stoeten's site. Basically, it doesn't sound like Shapiro wants more than one big contract in his budget at a time, specifically referencing Tulo's contract as a bad one he already has to deal with while weighing weather to resign JD.
uglyone - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 09:21 PM EST (#353388) #
lol. frozen into inaction by one 3yr/$60m deal to a good shortstop.

what a wuss.
scottt - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 09:55 PM EST (#353389) #
The Marlins have to be heavy favorite. They won 77 games last year but dumped 4 of their best 5 players, about 20 WAR. At 77 games, they finished second in the NL East. It's hard to imagine the Phillies, Mets and Braves not improving somewhat. Although the Mets could easily struggle and decide to tank, except that's pretty much what they did last year and they haven't improved much.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 11:58 PM EST (#353390) #
100% agree on Tulo not being an obstacle to signing JD +.
christaylor - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 12:01 AM EST (#353391) #
Um. Would you rather he say that any long-term extension to JD looks likely to be a bad value given the asking price from his agent? Would you want him to say, "Given JD's ask and the aging curve of 3B, we think that signing him would be a burden to the team long-term especially given that there is 3B prospect in the system who looks to be better than JD?"

Wuss, indeed.

Better to blame Tulo's contract which is out of Tulo's hands and his hands. That said, I'd like to see JD extended but if the worst case scenario is watching Vlad Jr. flounder at 3B for a year, I can live with that... personally, my best case scenario is that Vlad forces the issue early, there's a good offer for a top-tier SP for JD on the table in late June, the Jays pull the trigger and Vlad Jr. fills in and the Jays eke out a playoff spot.

JD is great, fun to watch and root for, but I would put money that what's left of his career is less than what most Jays fans think there is left on his career -- he has plenty catcher's time accrued on that body which is not to be underestimated.
John Northey - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 12:16 AM EST (#353392) #
With the Jays going cheap now it seems might it be a good idea to (ready for the attack) re-sign RA Dickey? He is a free agent again and had 2.2 WAR last year, easily worth risking $5 mil on as a #5 guy who could give the Jays 200 IP of 95-100 ERA+. 169+ IP for 8 years in a row now, worst ERA+ during that stretch was his 96 in his last year here.

Biggest challenge is finding a catcher. Doesn't look like Atlanta had a dedicated one to him as he had 16 with Flowers and 15 starts with Suzuki. Better stats with Flowers (making $4 mil this year then a free agent, had a 117 OPS+ last year so I doubt AA is interested in trading him). Kurt Suzuki hit really well last year (130 OPS+) and makes just $3.5 mil this year so I really doubt AA will give him up for a small fee even if he really isn't that good (lifetime 89 OPS+).

I suspect Dickey could be a plan C or D for the Jays. I suspect Jamie Garcia is much higher on the list even though he had a worse ERA+ and fewer IP (never has reached 200 IP and hit 190 just once way back in 2011).

Hate to say it but Dickey is undervalued in this market. He gives lots of innings at a league average rate which has tons of value (saves the pen, consistency makes the managers job easier even while his knuckleball makes it harder).
jerjapan - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 12:32 AM EST (#353393) #
Shapiro is definitely a wuss in his public statements.  The problem is, he doesn't have to say anything - he chooses to try and justify his decisions publicly with weak, inane arguments - we have to prioritize our Buffalo starting depth!  The fans insist we don't rebuild!  Honestly, if he actually thought the right move was a rebuild and yet he caved to perceived fan pressure, that's pretty wussy.  And if he's just saying that to cover his tracks .... also wussy.   In this context, a strong leader doesn't care if people think he's Darth Vader. 

Somehow I missed that Dickey was a FA - I would totally bring him back.  I was arguing he would have been a good guy to resign when he was a Jay's FA.  Presumably he makes less that The $8 million dollar, one year option that Atlanta turned down, he will soak up innings and he could be an intriguing presence in the bullpen if he gets beat out of the 5th starters job.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 01:07 AM EST (#353394) #
Ross Atkins said he had 10+ options for Starting Pitching, with offers to all? Cobb, Lynn or a Trade is an extreme long shot. There is Jason Vargas, Chris Tillman, Andrew Cashner, Jaime Garcia, Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Miley and Clay Buchholz as some of his ďoptionsĒ. Iím sure there are others of similar caliber available. I think Garcia, Vargas and Anderson are the closest to Mid-Rotation of anyone available at this end of the Market and they wonít come that cheap. Cobb, Lynn or a Trade pushes the team a lot closer to the Postseason than anyone else on the list. So what are Shapiro and Atkins doing, what are they thinking?
uglyone - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 01:10 AM EST (#353395) #
"Um. Would you rather he say that any long-term extension to JD looks likely to be a bad value given the asking price from his agent? Would you want him to say, "Given JD's ask and the aging curve of 3B, we think that signing him would be a burden to the team long-term especially given that there is 3B prospect in the system who looks to be better than JD?""

10000% YES I would rather him say that.
Glevin - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 03:36 AM EST (#353396) #
I don't think Shapiro is saying that Tulo is blocking signing Donaldson, just that if they signed Donaldson and he declined, the Jays would be screwed. Saying the same thing that all GMs are now saying about paying for players declining years is extremely risky. And he's right about Tulo. The contract is awful. He's the highest paid SS in baseball and in the last 2 years has been the 23rd most valuable one. This is, I think, the big advantage the highest budget teams have is the ability to eat these kinds of contracts since all teams are now being built more or less the same. Paying Tulowitzki, Martin, and Morales $51M a year is a killer for the Jays. For example, last year, the Red Sox had Ruseny Castillo, Hanley, Price, and Sandoval making around $80M and combining for almost no value.
Glevin - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 04:16 AM EST (#353397) #
Every day there are no signings, it's more frustrating. I really don't know what the market is waiting for. Yes, teams don't want to pay free agents as much but...Hosmer has a 7/$140 deal on the table. JDM has a 5/$125 deal apparently. I think players are also looking at the contracts players were signing a few years ago as their base and that is just not going to happen. Just using a quick glance for players 2010-2017 who signed deals more than $100M, there are about 20 bad, very bad, or crippling signings and maybe 1 or 2 good and maybe 1 or 2 OK.

I have sympathy for the players overall. They are being severely underpaid during their peak years but the free agent market is broken largely because the players fought for the wrong things. Players can earn insane amounts as free agents, but the value of free agents is so bad that it's not worth the risk for the teams generally.
85bluejay - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 07:00 AM EST (#353398) #
Rogers bought the building for a measly $25m, that they haven't spent money to improve it & increase "premium revenue" is on ownership. Of course, if Rogers would pay the Jays anywhere close to value for the tv rights, the team would be able to spend much more.
Shapiro is laying the groundwork for saying goodbye to Donaldson, either in July or next winter, unless somehow Donaldson's market collapses - I think initially some combination of Diaz & Solarte will hold the fort until Vlad arrives probably in 2019 after super 2 unless somehow Vlad is killing it & Jays are in contention.
So much hype & hope is building on Vlad & Bo that if they are bust, I could envision a long wait until the next playoff appearance.
scottt - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 08:15 AM EST (#353399) #
Donaldson is a 6-7 WAR guy. He shouldn't become a replacement level guy anytime soon and if he does, you move him to DH. He's not Fielder. He's not Ryan Howard. Even a guy like Pujols has been an above average hitter for most of his contract with the Angels. With Martin and Tulo coming off the books, it becomes possible to lock up an MVP. It all depends how many years we're talking about. Donaldson will be 33. 5 years take him to 38. He probably has no value after that, but you can still pay him like 10M until he's too old to swing the bat.
uglyone - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 08:44 AM EST (#353400) #
"Paying Tulowitzki, Martin, and Morales $51M a year is a killer for the Jays"

both tulo and martin both have and project to legit earn enough of that value that they shouldn't be killer, at all.
uglyone - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 08:47 AM EST (#353401) #
for the record i've never been under any illusions that they were ever going to sign donaldson.
scottt - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 09:05 AM EST (#353402) #
I view a Donaldson extension as a Rogers decision, not something Shapiro or Atkins control.
Martin was clearly a marketing move to sell the team in Quebec.
There hasn't been any other big signings in ages.

John Northey - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 09:49 AM EST (#353403) #
I do find the hand wringing over Tulo to be overblown. He was a key piece in the Jays getting to the ALCS in 2015 and 2016. According to Fangraphs he has been worth $23 mil in 2016 and just $200k last year (basically replacement level). Projections have him worth about 2 WAR which is worth $15-20 mil depending. He is owed $20 mil next year and $20 mil the year after, then just $14 mil in 2020 and either $15 mil in 2022 or a $4 mil buyout. That is hardly crippling, even if he was on the Marlins.

Martin is listed at $15.4 and $14.5 mil for the past 2 years. He makes $20 mil each of this year and next. He is projected to be more valuable in 2018 than 2017/16 so he shouldn't be a burden either.
dalimon5 - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 10:06 AM EST (#353404) #
Yup, Tulo worth his contract easily and that's if he is playing his worst. Big bounce back candidate. Terrible numbers for 2.5 years and he still has a .290 career average and great D. Assuming he doesn't get healthy or play up to his contract... what's the alternative as SS? Barney? Coins? Nunez? Please...C and SS are the hardest positions to fill. The bad contracts are Morales and all the smaller dumpster diving ones that add up like Howell, Franklin Morales, etc
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#353405) #
I donít think we should complain about Russel Martinís contract, for Luxury Tax implications itís $16.0 Million, not the backloaded $20.0 Million that A.A. wrote in. For what Russel Martin does and can do, heís worth every cent heís paid and much more. Iím still wondering about extending him.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#353406) #
My apologies to Russell Martin for only using one ďlĒ in his name.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 12:02 PM EST (#353407) #
Should the Jays pick up Troy Tulowitzkiís 2021 option? I think it depends more on how he does over the next three years than how ready Bo Bichette is to replace him. When 100% healthy, Tulowitzki is still an exceptional defender. Can he change his hitting to accommodate his aging curve and get closer to respectable numbers? Which two months would you like a 100% effective Troy Tulowitzki? Iíd like September and Postseason as my two choices.
John Northey - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 12:30 PM EST (#353408) #
Bo and Troy will be interesting in a year or two. Do you try to move Troy to 2B or do you move Bo to 2B? What if Travis stays healthy and plays well? What if Diaz plays like he did his rookie season? If Travis stays injury prone and Diaz hits like he did in 2017 and Bo gets 'meh' marks for defense at SS then it is easy, Tulo at SS/Bo at 2B. If everyone falls apart it is a nightmare. If everyone does well then it is the classic 'good problem'.
uglyone - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 12:33 PM EST (#353409) #
I always thought Troy would more naturally move over to 3B, given his arm and glove are his strengths defensively, and range is the only thing slipping.
dalimon5 - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 01:17 PM EST (#353410) #
Yep, 3B would be ideal for Tulo now or in the next few years. There were reports from media that AA had it in his mind to move Tulo off short stop in the future to DH/1B duties which made sense at the time with his offense. Now, if he doesn't bounce back offensively then there's no chance that happens.

I was actually impressed with JD when he played SS last season.
PeterG - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 01:21 PM EST (#353411) #
FWIW, Tulo has said on many occasions that he will retire as a SS and has no interest in changing positions.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 01:45 PM EST (#353412) #
FWIW, Tulo has said on many occasions that he will retire as a SS and has no interest in changing positions.

It all comes down to how much he likes playing in the end, probably. Some guys will take just about any role to keep playing. I'm sure Cal Ripken also said he'd never move off SS a few times earlier in his career..
jerjapan - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 02:01 PM EST (#353413) #
Just finished the interview at Stoeten's site - providing detailed transcripts and breakdowns is is certainly one of the good things Stoeten does - but man, I just don't get how Shapiro's framing of the Jays' payroll continues to convince people.  Shapiro says:

I think the expectation should be that when weíre where we need to be as a business that weíre in the top eight to ten payrolls every single year. That I think should to be where we are ó thatís what the market justifies. I tend to not focus on not being there as an excuse. You know, we were there last year, we probably wonít be there this year because weíll stay the same and everybody else will go up five percent.

Where does this top 8-10 payrolls figure come from - because that's the highest we've been in decades?  The dollar is at a high, previously Shapiro told us that if we fans came in droves, payroll would go up.  But now, in his words, we are going to be outside the top 10, because inflation exists?  Realistically, where should we be in payroll - behind NYY, LAD, BOS, CHC - what other markets are automatically in front of us?

Ironic how he says 'I tend to not focus on not being there as an excuse' while using the payroll and revenue streams as an excuse.  

Iím not going to say names but weíre faced with that challenge right now, and I think weíre going to be faced with that challenge the next three years with a very big contract. So if you have two or three of those contracts, how do you build a team that contends?

Debatable point.  Obviously, the big four teams can do it, but other teams in our payroll range can as well - Tulo's deal isn't anywhere near as bad as the Pujols deal, Colorado has Desmond, Washington Zimmerman, and money owed to Werth, Texas has Choo and, according to Cott's, still owe Prince Fielder and A-Rod money!  The Giants have over $125 million committed in 2020- Toronto is a full hundred million lower than that, not counting arbitration.   The D-backs have Tomas, the Mariners are paying Cano $24 million per til 2023 with a full no trade and owe King Felix close to $55 million for the next two years.  And of course, "I'm not going to say names" is pretty weak. 

Heck, it's possible that the Morales deal ends up being worse value than the Tulo contract, but of course Shapiro is only throwing AA under the bus, not the guy he hired to replace him.  I don't doubt that the FO is doing some excellent things - I just don't really believe anything they say, even when they flirt with actually saying something substantial.  And for a FO that has very, very little substantial to say, they sure say it over and over again. 
christaylor - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 03:19 PM EST (#353414) #
...and if you're JD are you not, at least privately, pissed that you've been told you're not worth what you think you're worth? C'mon players are people.

If we want Darth Vader as a GM then we better start to be prepared for rebellion in the clubhouse.

So much anger toward this front office, there is. Justified it is not. Mmmh?
christaylor - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 03:22 PM EST (#353415) #
I often wish that the FO wouldn't talk to reporters then again imagine all the media scramble and the airtime that might have to go to (gasp) actual sports of any variety on the R Corp empire.
uglyone - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#353416) #
1.he didn't have to say anything other than that they'd like him back at the right price
2.if he did want to say it was unlikely, he could have had the decency to explain why honestly and take responsibility for the decision.
3.he chose, as per usual, to blame the roster he inherited, and pretend it wasn't his fault, cuz his hands were tied.
dan gordon - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 05:11 PM EST (#353417) #
Tulowitzki and his contract seem to be a bit of polarizing issue. It seems to me it all depends on whether or not last year is a reflection of what we can expect from him, or was it a one time thing, perhaps related to injury. If he continues to perform at or near the level he did last year, then he is no longer an effective player, and the contract is a real problem. If he can bounce back to the performance level he showed in 2016, the contract doesn't look too bad. He's 33, so I would say it's debatable which way he goes from here. None of us knows the answer, which will be provided only once this season is played.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 06:09 PM EST (#353418) #
Tulo hit the ball on the ground 23.5% more than his career average last season. I will chaulk that up to sample size and assume his power will come back when the fly balls come back into the picture.

An expectation that he is a 2.5 to 3 win player who plays 130 games moving forward is not a stretch. That is what he was in 2015 and 2016.
uglyone - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 06:20 PM EST (#353419) #
i guess what's more important here is that we all know the tulo contract has nothing to do with any decision to re-sign donaldson.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 06:20 PM EST (#353420) #
Even if it's not true (probably not), it FEELS like AA revealed more truth/reality in one conference than Shapkins have in their whole time here combined.

I wonder if privately they make fun of all the fans. "So, last time, you gave 1500 words and 3.4% substance. I'm aiming for 1800 words and 2.9% substance today." "Ok, you're on - dinner's on me if you make it."

I mean really - when has ANY press conference/interview of theirs had ANYTHING of substance, other than to announce a few low-level to mid-level signings/trades where all the details (players traded/signed, dollar amounts) were already available ahead of time? Anything? I can't recall one interview/conference where I learned ANYTHING other than "we have a bunch of things on the go" and "I'd like a full rebuild, but can't because of the fans" and "we're cutting back on spending and can't afford any free agents of note." (paraphrase)

I'm sure they're LOVED by Rogers (as they would be by Comcast, AT&T, etc), but.. it's such a drastic change from AA that it FEELS like we let Donaldson go and signed someone like Morales for twice what Donaldson was asking..

I'm not crapping on Shapiro/Atkin's ability, but rather their ability to speak a thousand words and say nothing at all. That just grates on me.
John Northey - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 06:48 PM EST (#353421) #
Meh, what I see is they are building up excuses for why Donaldson leaves as a free agent next winter or is traded mid-season this year. With Vlad in the wings they have the built in 'woohoo' fix for fans and the team overall.

Every GM the Jays have had, even saint Pat, used payroll excuses via 'the dollar is too low', 'other teams have more money', 'sucks to be stuck with the Yankees and Red Sox'. Right now the current GM seems to be channeling his time in Cleveland as down there a $20 mil contract would be a killer, but here in Toronto it obviously isn't. With a $160 mil payroll they can write off $20 mil and still be higher than many other clubs (Rays, maybe the O's, ChiSox have never been over $132 mil, Royals, Twins, after dancing around $200 mil the Tigers are dropping sub $130 this year). Just a few examples there. The Astros won it all last year with a season ending payroll of $140 mil.

I can understand the Jays doing risk management and saying 'JD isn't going to be worth $30 mil a year in 3 years so we don't want to be caught holding that contract then' or 'we have a good minimum salary replacement ready for 2019 so why resign Donaldson' but they will not say that publicly as the media would tear them apart as would some players. I don't like them blaming Tulo's contract though as it shouldn't be a big factor beyond a reminder that long term deals carry big risks in players 30's.
dalimon5 - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 10:07 PM EST (#353422) #
The best we can hope for is JD is MVP elite this season from the start and Vladimir Guererro Jr improves in AA and then dominates AAA. That would be best case scenario and not an unreasonable expectation. JD has had time to recover from his two insane years 2015/2016 and he's in a contract year. Vlad by all accounts is the next coming of Cabrera.

If this scenario plays out then we win either way. We sign JD because the front office is forced to keep him for the remainder of the season (he's keeping us in a playoff race) or we are out of it and he's elite and we get a solid return. Either way I see a positive result in the end.

On a positive note (regarding Shapiro's speech)...he did mention that the success for 2016 and the bulk of 2015 was actually from the pitching staff and not the offense which aside from the last two months of the 2015 season I would agree with. Taking that in, it would seem that he has identified depth as a way to better balance the offense but he hasn't done anything else. Make the rotation (your strength) stronger this year or get better offense to improve the area of the team you admit is lacking. Don't just raise the floor and wait for the wunder kid and his companion. That's exactly a cop out in the Toronto market and Shapiro should be shelled for it. When I hear Atkins say that they are targeting 10 different SP that makes me think of the cheap guys available.

Too many vegetables and appetizers from these two. Not enough of a main course for my liking, just a thin stake with lots of fat on it. Not good enough for Toronto.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, February 04 2018 @ 11:18 PM EST (#353423) #
I hadn't actually realized that the Jays were 26th in runs scored last year... Hopefully "raising the floor" can bring us up to middle of the pack. Can we afford to carry Luke Maile?
Michael - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:05 AM EST (#353424) #
Remember, instead of tulo, we could have just finished 3 years of $22m to Reyes. Does anyone wish we'd done that instead?
greenfrog - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:33 AM EST (#353425) #
I fully agree with jerjapanís comments upthread.
scottt - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 07:27 AM EST (#353426) #
At least they didn't trade Donaldson in the offseason like many expected.
Now they just need to beat Baltimore and Tampa in April/May and not struggle like last year.

Mike Green - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 08:56 AM EST (#353427) #
According to fangraphs, the Blue Jays in 2015 and 2016 combined had far and away the best offence in major league baseball.  This shouldn't be a shocker because they led the majors in runs scored during this time frame and the ballpark was (over the two-year frame) only a mildly positive one for the offence.  By contrast, the pitching was the 10th best in the major leagues over the same frame, according to fangraphs, and this is consistent with ERA, FIP, xFIP or whatever metric you prefer. 

I don't know why Shapiro would want to mislead on something like this.  He has to know that wasn't actually the case at all. 

What I wish he would say is.  Our payroll will be between 8th and 10th in the major league on average over the next few years.  Obviously, I would prefer if it was first or second but it is not a decision made by Ross or me.  What is my decision is how we spend those payroll dollars.  My preference is to not spend too much on any one player- it is a team game and over-reliance on any one player is not in my view good for the long-term health of the franchise.

And as for the Martin/Tulo contracts, the Jays assumed $82 million for Martin (7.3 fWAR, 6.5bWAR to date with 2 years to run) and about $106 million for Tulo (4.0 fWAR, 4.8 bWAR with 3 years to run).  So, the club has got basically 11 WAR from the first 5.5 player seasons.  It's not great for the initial period of contracts, but not terrible either.  It is quite possible that both contracts will turn out to be par for the course (not to mention that they were arguably necessary for the club to make the playoffs).  Whether or not the players provide typical value for the contracts, they do, in the context of Shapiro's preferences, limit his inclination to even spend modestly more on another player like Donaldson. 

bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 09:16 AM EST (#353428) #
scottt mentioned Baltimore and TB. Baltimore has a very young 40 man roster. Trading Machado reduces their talent. Looks to me like a serious rebuild. With SP acquisition being stressed.
bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 09:30 AM EST (#353429) #
I lost more than half of my post.
Good SP acquisition is the most important ingredient. A Machado trade and FAs can help with that.
It seems like they are like the Jays, under whelming drafts until AA showed up.

TB is always rebuilding/retooling recently anyway. 4 years. They never worry about upsetting their fan base. Due to small budgets they trade their good players before they get expensive, Longoria, Shields, for good young ML ready or close players.
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 09:43 AM EST (#353430) #
Ach I'm trying so hard to like this offseason. I actually like all of their pickups so far. But without adding one legit difference maker it'll be another offseason of shuffling deck chairs again.

And then Shapiro has to open his mouth and make my glass half empty again.
Mike Green - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 09:55 AM EST (#353431) #
Ach I'm trying so hard to like this offseason. I actually like all of their pickups so far. But without adding one legit difference maker it'll be another offseason of shuffling deck chairs again.

Here's something to lighten your spirits.  They don't actually need a difference maker.  The club has 5 key players at this point- Donaldson, Tulo, Travis, Stroman and Sanchez. All of them can be 5 WAR players in 2018.   If they get good health from 4 of them (which is far from certain), they'll probably be in contention.  Last year, they had good health from precisely one of them (Stroman), and their backup plan for the middle infielders failed (even though it was a reasonable plan).  

They do need one more pitcher though.
bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 10:26 AM EST (#353432) #
MG, if Smoak repeats is he not a 5 WAR player? What does Osuna have to do to be 5 WAR?

You have pointed out that we have enough good players to make the playoffs. The depth also seems improved.

I remember J Guzman taking forever to throw a pitch. Certainly Boarders was very good defensively. Blocking pitches in the dirt. So Guzman had a lot of confidence in Boarders defense.

Martin and Maile are good defensive catchers. Mike S in LAA preferred J Mathis to Napoli because of defense, because it made the pitching staff better.

G Sanchez, NYY is poor defensively I believe. I don't know about Boston catchers.

NYY and Boston can make the playoffs on offense. That is a strong suit.

Can they survive a top SP going down to injury? Boston did D Price. The Jays could not. A Sanchez. NYY did not have that problem.

uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 10:28 AM EST (#353433) #
No doubt mike - there is plenty of star potential still from the inherited core, but man I wish shapkins would add their own to the mix, instead of just filling out the corners of their roster.

They were in for Yelich, which is a move I wouldn't have loved (price pending), but at least encourages me that at least they're considering adding their own impact player into the mix.
Mike Green - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 10:53 AM EST (#353434) #
As a fair defensive first baseman who doesn't run well, Smoak has to get on base more to be an All-Star quality player.  He was a good player for the first time in his career last year, and I suppose that it is possible that he could take another small step forward. 

It is pretty much impossible for a relief pitcher throwing 65 innings to be a 5 WAR player. Mariano Rivera achieved it once in 1996 throwing 107 innings when he was the set-up man for John Wetteland.  If the Blue Jays decided to move Osuna out of the closer role and have him throw more innings, there is the possibility that he could be more valuable, but it would probably come with more risk of arm injury. 

Every good club has plenty of good and average players, like Smoak, Osuna, Pillar, Granderson, Grichuk, Happ, Estrada...You need those too. 

bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#353435) #
Thank MG. I am now going to ask you to try to explain/ put words to something that is possibly very difficult or impossible. Bull pen value, using WAR or anything else.

Bullpens are very valuable. M Rivera is a great example. Petite, Clemons and another SP probably had more value to the NYY pitching staff. I accept that but could #4 ie the next best have higher WAR but be a clear #3 type SP.

How would Osuna rank/be valued against the 2016 rotation. Stroman, Sanchez, Happ and Estrada. Actually Stroman does not look like the best SP based on the numbers.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 11:50 AM EST (#353436) #
Josh Donaldson is an impact Player, a game-changer, one really scary hitter who does everything else very well too. Thatís who he is, and thatís what weíll get. Being 100% healthy, he just plays better. As long as heís in the Lineup, the Jays canít be ignored.

Until he pitches blister free, Aaron Sanchez is the Jays biggest worry. Healthy heís an impact player, a game-changer, one really dominant dude. He makes that much difference in a game and make that much difference with his Team. If heís healthy, this is one of Baseballís best Rotations. Without him stress levels increase.

These are definitely difference makers. The rest of the Team just needs to make opposing Teams uncomfortable. The Jays couldnít do that last year. They should be able to this year.
hypobole - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#353437) #
Every GM the Jays have had, even saint Pat, used payroll excuses via 'the dollar is too low', 'other teams have more money', 'sucks to be stuck with the Yankees and Red Sox'.

"Payroll parameters" was my personal favourite. I guess I have a soft spot for having hopes crushed alliteratively.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:05 PM EST (#353438) #
Blue Jays plays Baltimore, Boston, New York and Tampa Bay 19 times a year. Baliimore and Tampa Bay are not competing this year, so the Jays should makeup ground here because New York and Boston will. The fewer games Boston and New York beat the Jays, the closer Toronto gets. In a hard fought Division, 89-91 games could win it. With a sucessful run against Boston and New York, the Division winning team could be Toronto.
Mike Green - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#353439) #
The thing to remember about the pen (and this applies to Rivera and Osuna) is the importance of the top reliever in the pen in the playoffs.  With more days off, the top reliever can take up a greater percentage of the team's innings without losing effectiveness.  So, in 2015 and 2016, Osuna threw 17 (outstanding)  innings in the post-season.  It wasn't as valuable as Marco Estrada's excellent 41 innings, but still very valuable. 

Rivera of course threw 141 wonderful post-season innings and less than 1300 regular season innings.  You can make a pretty decent argument that he added more value in the post-season than Derek Jeter did (while Jeter pretty obviously added more value in the regular season). 

bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:49 PM EST (#353440) #
I think there may be some merit to revising the pythag formula.
I would revise it as follows you can only win or lose by 3 or 4 runs.
So a 10-5 win or loss counts as 9 runs for or against. Something like a save situation or not a save situation parameter.
So more laughers in your favor works against your pythag won/loss evaluation. So 7 of 10 laughers in your favor where you won/lost by 6 runs eg 11-4 gives you 36 runs extra.
So 86-50 for and against gives you a record of (sorry I don't know) and 136-100 gives you another apology from me. I think the variable I am missing is # games. I know we have some math majors contributing to this site. I have also mentioned that very much of what you say makes sense but I still don't understand it.

Please believe that I am not baiting you. I would never question or correct any math input harshly. I would question politely and respectfully. And I do appreciate how it adds to my understanding.
greenfrog - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:52 PM EST (#353441) #
The payroll excuses are getting less and less tenable. Toronto is richer and more populous than ever, and it has a growing reputation as a world-class city. Fan interest in the Jays has soared in recent years, as evidenced by stadium attendance, television viewership, merchandise sales, etc. And the team has been successful on the field and has had a number of sold-out postseason games in the RC.

So yes, Rogers is still cheap, and the current front office is just as mealy-mouthed (if not more so than) its predecessors.
bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 12:59 PM EST (#353442) #
Thanks MG. Took me a while but I understand. Top reliever Osuna. The Henke/Ward years 2 top relievers.

Factor in off days. How good is the SP added to the pen to the rotation.

Lastly the highly regarded NYY pen of today.

An alternate lastly, a future Playoff rotation of Stroman, Sanchez and Happ clone. N Pearson to the playoff pen, Reg season 180 IP Era 3.30.
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 01:29 PM EST (#353443) #
Yeah, the payroll thing grates all the more this time because we just saw perfect proof that the fans will show up in insane numbers if the team actually tries to win.

That whole excuse of the "fans need to show up" is gone now.
christaylor - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 12:14 AM EST (#353629) #
I don't mean to call you out individually greefrog, but I think anyone who wants to make the claim that the payroll parameters are holding back the team needs to provide names of FA the team ought to sign. Then we take the contract -- bump up the dollars (at least 10-15%) and/or term (another year guaranteed) and when the names offered don't sign work-out in a few years whether the FO/R-Corp was being cheap or allocating the resources toward better value propositions.

I'm fine with the team as it is now given the names on the market. I don't like the top tier and the 2nd tier players have red flags. Granderson is 3rd tier and he seems like a good value. Rogers has shown a willingness to spend at least once (2015, Tulo/Price) but it remains a fact that FAs are difficult to attract to Toronto as much as *we* see Toronto as an attractive destination, I doubt many players do. Evidence: Toronto routinely shows up in No-trade clauses.

Basically, the "R-Corp are cheapskates" crowd need to be bold enough to make a prediction about who the Jays ought to sign, wait, then plug what they actually did into a line-up showing how the contract would have helped over 3 years. Chances are there's not a ton of surplus value to be had via FA. The team is, if the talented players play, will be good enough to be in the conversation. If they don't or are hurt, it really doesn't matter.

This "we're world class and have a ton of money, therefore, the Jays ought to be players on Darvish... or whomever." Would we people be hurling insults if the Jays signed Cain? Traded for Yellich? In the past, would anyone here want that Price contract? Boston fans don't even like it. I suspect they'll hate the eventual JD Martinez contract.

The whining is getting dull. It's been 20+ years of it since the Roger Clemens signing. We all ought to look at it with fresh eyes. Throwing money at the team is not a good way to build this team given the current roster.

So those in the "FO/R-corp is cheaping-out camp" step up and make a few predictions for the record.
christaylor - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 12:18 AM EST (#353630) #
"Payroll parameters" are disappointing and dispiriting -- but hope-crushing, no. I don't know how many of us believe the Jays will be playing meaningful games at the end of September, but if they do, that's a win for the FO/R-Corp.
bpoz - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 11:13 AM EST (#353634) #
The Jays have had a high/not cheap payroll for 5 years.

It seems everything worked well. The team won and the fans increased. It seems to me that the Jays are on top of the world.

The farm was producing. In 2013 prospects were traded to make the team competitive. In 2015 the farm was used again to improve the team in 2 stages. Off season J Donaldson MVP and Price, Tulo later on. $ spent on FA Martin.

The window has not fully closed. We still have Donaldson, depth and strong pitching.

If Donaldson stays then it will be proof that the team has not stopped spending.

Personally I was 60%+ sure that Donaldson would be traded this off season.
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