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Things are quiet right now both here in Jay land and in MLB as a whole. Lots of free agents, thus lots of chatter. Very little Jays orientated outside of many here and elsewhere going 'Why is Rogers so cheap, just spend the cash'.

Every year we have these 'Rogers is cheap' 'Interbrew is cheap' and way back pre-internet 'Labatt's is cheap'. Outside of 92/93 the Jays haven't been #1 in payroll and there is a reason. I did a check a few months back trying to find the 'sweet spot' for maximizing Jays revenue and it appears to be low 90's for wins. IE: on edge of playoffs or just in but no need for a super-team or playoff success (92/93 again the only examples of total success).

Realistically you should only expect 1 WS win per 30 years with 30 teams in the league if all was equal. It isn't. The Dodger and Yankees and Cubs all have resources beyond any other clubs range. They have millions of die-hard fans who support them win or lose plus millions more 'bandwagon' fans. The Jays can't afford to suck for years (ala the Cubs at many points in their history and the Yankees in the early 90's) as we saw attendance and even more important TV ratings collapse so badly that the Jays almost hit the point of needing to pay to get games on the air as darts could get as high a rating. Ick. Medicore is almost as bad. Just sub 80 wins and the crowds vanish.

There is a reason for the current management team to keep the Jays as a 85 or so win team - If they want to have happy team owners they need 2+ million a year in atendance and Good solid ratings. If they crack 90 wins then you get 3 million and very good ratings. Playoffs and you pack the house and ratings higher than anything but playoff/Olympic hockey.

Thus the Jays want that top 10 payroll but not a top 5 as that goes to a battle for 95+ wins which is past the sweet spot and declining returns. Make the playoffs and bandwagon fans are happy. Win it all and you get bonus but not tons of bonus as once the bandwagon fans are here that is all you need for big profits. Getting those non-baseball fans into it requires a super-team with tons of hype and the cost of that is getting into silly range.

Now, are the Jays playoff contenders? Yes. Are they strong ones? No. Thus the need for more improvement. Watching the budget makes sense as I'm sure owners are prepping for a strike in a few years and for a lawsuit over collusion which, win or lose, will be expensive. The Jays have an old park now (1989 was a looong time ago - nearly 30 years - newer parks are now being replaced) and a city council/province/nation with zero interest in paying for a new one. Rogers needs to factor that in too.

So lets be real. While I'd love them to sign Darvish and trade for a big hitting outfielder the smart move is to find cheap starters for the 5th hole, keep investing in scouting and international free agents, and try to improve the training kids get in the system so the Jays have a steady stream of quality kids coming up - cheap, controllable, easy to trade kids. Right now we have one ready for the majors (maybe) in Alford. Look to sign Vlad and Bo if they are for real long term right away. Accept that anyone over 30 will leave as they hit free agency if they are star level unless a great deal can be done quickly (ala Bautista & Encarnacion). Don't expect any more 2013 Marlin deals. Although I wouldn't be shocked by another deal ala the Tulo one in mid-season of a contending year if the Jays miss the playoffs for 2 or 3 more years.


Big contracts / decisions coming up - Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Pillar, Travis are all hitting 2nd year or later of arbitration
Free Agents post 2018: Donaldson, Estrada, Happ, Pearce, Loup
Free Agents post 2019: Carrera, Martin, Morales
Free Agents post 2020: Tulo (option), Stroman, Osuna, Pillar, Sanchez, Travis

So who do you look at extending, and for how much now?
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 01:32 PM EST (#353444) #
Just a solid investment in a legit SP like Cobb is a reasonable ask, I think.
bpoz - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 01:45 PM EST (#353445) #
Would the Jays offer $15 mil/yr for 4 years and would Cobb accept? Would losing a draft pick and Int'l pool money scuttle it?

Eventually we will know how close my contract guess is.
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 02:10 PM EST (#353446) #
baseball prospectus top-101 has 3 jays:

#4 Vladdy
#19 Bo
#58 Alford

fangrapghs top-100 has 5 jays

#3 Vladdy
#9 Bo
#36 Alford
#71 Jansen
#76 Pearson


fangraphs is the first list that I think treats the jays prospects accurately.
GabrielSyme - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 02:12 PM EST (#353447) #
The Fangraphs top 100 prospects is out - and pretty positive for our guys. The biggest surprise is probably Danny Jansen making the cut at 71. They like his on-base ability, and (surprisingly to me) give him a 55 arm.

Guerrero - 3
Bichette - 9
Alford - 36
Jansen - 71
Pearson - 76
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 02:23 PM EST (#353448) #
The big change in the Jansen ranking comes from,Ēlook at how good he was when he couldnít see, now he can.Ē
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 02:28 PM EST (#353449) #
I like the way fangraphs gives clearer grades, both Future Value and Variance, to give us a sense of the groupings...though they don't use the variance strictly when it comes to the actual rank numbers, as it can be good or bad:


70fv, Low Var (1): Ohtani
70fv, Med Var (0): ---
70fv, High Var (0): ---

65fv, Low Var (3): Acuna, Vladdy, Robles
65fv, Med Var (2): Tatis, Jimenez
65fv, High Var (0): ----

60fv, Low Var (5): Senzel, Tucker, Adames, Torres, Honeywell
60fv, Med Var (10): Whitley, Bichette, Brinson, Andujar, Reyes, Rodgers, Sanchez, Kopech, MacKay, Keller
60fv, High Var (1): Mejia

55fv, Low Var (5):
55fv, Med Var (10): Alford
55fv, High Var (4):

50fv, Low Var (14): Jansen
50fv, Med Var (25):
50fv, High Var (19): Pearson
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 04:58 PM EST (#353450) #
Which Starter will the Jays acquire? A #1 Starter? Yu Darvish is the only one on the Market. A #2 Starter? Arrieta, Cobb and Lynn each fit that category in their own way. A #3 Starter? Tillman, Cashner, Vargas and Buchholz might fit that category. Good #4/#5 Starter? Garcia, Anderson, Hellickson, Cahill, Holland, Sanchez and Volquez. What might be good? Miley,Griffin and Santiago might be a consideration.
PeterG - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 06:38 PM EST (#353451) #
From Keegan Matheson:

Former MLB reliever David Aardsma has officially retired from baseball and will be joining the Toronto Blue Jays as "coordinator of player development". He pitched for the #BlueJays in 2016 at AAA Buffalo.
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 06:58 PM EST (#353452) #
Re: Donaldson


"We do have that number,Ē said Atkins during his presentation. ďWe have come up with a clear walkaway that we would be willing to commit to him to extend (the contract) for him to remain a Blue Jay probably for the rest of his career.Ē



now there is a real answer to the question. that is much more satisfying than what was reported shapiro said.
vw_fan17 - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 07:06 PM EST (#353453) #
that is much more satisfying than what was reported shapiro said.

Even if that number is $80M total, spread over 4-7 seasons, however JD wants?
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 07:14 PM EST (#353454) #
weeelllĺl......i'd still call them cheap, but at least they wouldn't be lying weasels.
PeterG - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 07:44 PM EST (#353455) #
when Atkins says probably to the end of his career, that leads me to think there are some kind of team or vesting options involved
hypobole - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 07:48 PM EST (#353456) #
The biggest surprise is probably Danny Jansen making the cut at 71. They like his on-base ability, and (surprisingly to me) give him a 55 arm.

For a catcher 55 throw (I guess arm/pop time/accuracy) is fringe average, no?
PeterG - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 07:52 PM EST (#353457) #
Speaking of prospects, here is a new article (opinion) on who may be the next 2 Jays to crack the 100 list: Eric Pardinho and Logan Warmoth......

https://futurebluejays.com/2018/02/05/whos-the-next-blue-jays-top-100-prospect/
PeterG - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 08:09 PM EST (#353458) #
Is TJ Zuech being overlooked? He looked promising in the AFL. Though he is the opposite in height from Marcus at 6'7", he has similar results....gives up some hits but many ground balls, some resulting in double plays. He can't spin it like Marcus though.....maybe he projects as a mid rotation starter....probably not top 100 overall but perhaps should be solidly in Jays top 10.
hypobole - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 08:29 PM EST (#353459) #
Law had Zuech #10

T.J. Zeuch, their first-round pick in 2016, posted a 61 percent ground ball rate in high-A but made just 11 starts there around multiple DL stints. He has fourth-starter potential because he gets good plane from a high arm slot, but between his lack of durability and questions about an out pitch, he might not have much ceiling beyond that.

PeterG - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 08:48 PM EST (#353460) #
He has lack of durability because he was injured for half of one season? That seems like typical Law lack of accuracy. After seeing his last list, I am firmly of the opinion that he has not even seen many of the players that he writes about.

Am not criticizing you Hyperbole. You are just the messenger. Thanks for making the Law info available even if most of it is questionable at best.
uglyone - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 08:56 PM EST (#353461) #
Jansen was the best hitting catcher in the minors last year, with amazing underlying numbers, is a real catcher defensively, and is pretty much mlb ready.


for me, it's more surprising that this was the only top 100 he made.
hypobole - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 10:17 PM EST (#353462) #
Peter, Law is dislikable and opinionated, but he seems to be a whipping boy on this board, accused of made-up stuff by some and berated for his comments. But when other evaluators make the very same comments, no one bats an eye.

He's absolutely right on Zeuch. He had multiple DL stints. Check the transactions. Health is a thing. And he still did have Zeuch in his top 10 .

BTW Law does watch prospects - he's the one guy who lists the lower level guys like Maximo if he likes them. I'm not going to say he's right or wrong on his placements, but I have no issue either.
JohnL - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 10:17 PM EST (#353463) #

Just learned that there's a baseball subdivision in Mississauga, at Mavis & 401 where all the streets are named after baseball players.Delgado Drive, Hentgen Blvd, Mays, Blyleven, Mantle, etc etc.

Google map

Hat tip to @matttomic on Twitter

Richard S.S. - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 10:22 PM EST (#353464) #
T.J. Zeuch is a 2016 Draft, whoís had multiple D.L. stints. I think there should be a question about his durability. How many games of consistent development has he missed? With what he has, he should be pitching better. How many years before heís in the Majors? Keith Law is more accurate than most people appreciate. At no time does he say Zeuch canít be better.
PeterG - Monday, February 05 2018 @ 11:03 PM EST (#353465) #
Pitching better? I guess you didn't see him in the AFL. I no longer have issue with Law but I do think he is a poor evaluator and I don't think there is any way that he saw those lower level prospects he overrated. No man has time to see all of those players and make a proper evaluation..
hypobole - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:09 AM EST (#353466) #
There is video for almost all prospects that evaluators don't see live.

But you're right about making proper evaluations. Sometimes players are not close to 100% healthy. Sometimes pitchers have everything working and look better than they are, other times they just don't have it that day. But that applies to all evaluators.

And the amount of derision Law gets compared to a site like MLB Pipeline (which has Danny Jansen as our #16 prospect) is silly.

scottt - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 07:48 AM EST (#353467) #
This is like the 4/80 that was offered for EE. Donaldson is already making 23M, so it has to start higher than that.
Possibly cover the rest of his career, than it's at least 5 years.
Also, the number is probably something Rogers would have to approve.
Finally, I imagine they negotiate and not give the final number up front.

Gerry - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 09:37 AM EST (#353468) #
Various reports say that Blake McFarland and Wil Browning have both retired.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 09:46 AM EST (#353469) #
Todd Frazier received 1 less year and half of what MLBTR predicted. Free agency is clearly becoming less and less lucrative.

I wonder how teams and players will react? Do players like Stroman, Osuna, Donaldson try to cash in now before it gets worse and sign extensions, or do they wait it out and see if the market improves for free agents?
PeterG - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 10:21 AM EST (#353470) #
Oh is off the board as he has signed with Rangers.

It appears that the Jays plan to use Guerrieri in the pen:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/guerrieri-rekindle-promising-career-blue-jays/
uglyone - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 10:29 AM EST (#353471) #
the thing that belies all this "front offices are just smarter about free agents" narrative has been the silly stupid prices paid for relievers.

Oh is a 35yr old coming off a replacement level season and just got a guaranteed $3m plus another $1m in incentives.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 10:49 AM EST (#353472) #
Delgado Drive

Nice.  Thanks for the tip, JohnL.

With Rick Dykstra and Patrick Brown in the news, I wondered if you could make an all-PC/Conservative Hall of Names. Here's what I came up with, using the last Conservative cabinet in Ottawa, current PC MPPs in Ontario and a few select names from recent history:

C-   Brian Harper (Stephen)
1B- Will Clark (Steve)
2B- Marty Barrett (Toby)
SS- Ozzie Smith (Todd)
3B- Bob Elliott (Christine)
LF- Chipper Jones (Shirley)
CF- Lenny Dykstra (Rick)
RF- Larry Walker (Bill)

Bench- Joe Oliver (Joe!), Tony Phillips (Rod), Bill Nicholson (Rod), Jack Wilson (Jim)

SP- Pete Alexander (Chris)
SP- Three Finger Brown (Patrick); maybe I'll just leave it at Mordecai
SP- Jim O'Toole (Erin)
SP- Chuck Finley (Diane)
SP- Mike Scott (Laurie)

RP- Andrew Miller (Norm)
RP- Bill Campbell (Kim)
RP- Donnie Moore (Rob)
RP- Gary Glover (Shelley)
RP- Matt Clement (Tony)

Mgr- Bucky Harris (Mike)
Pitching Coach- Dave Duncan (John)
Chuck - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 10:52 AM EST (#353473) #
...has been the silly stupid prices paid for relievers.

Indeed. It is difficult to reconcile the downward push on position player values when the stock of middle relievers has gone up so greatly.

Frazier is probably good for 2-3 WAR a year, and this is being valued the same as 60 innings from a decent middle reliever (Cishek, Neshek, McGee, Joe Smith, Shaw, Hunter...). And not just by one or two organizations, but seemingly across the board.

There was a time when relievers wanted to become starters, so they could make the big bucks. But that is apparently no longer necessary.

Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:04 AM EST (#353474) #
Ruthless, efficient and cold-blooded management unless it comes to dealing with snowflake managers/relievers who cannot break out of old patterns.

It may not be collusion, but herd mentality does seem to be part of it. 

Chuck - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:23 AM EST (#353475) #
Ruthless, efficient

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

pubster - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:29 AM EST (#353476) #
"Frazier is probably good for 2-3 WAR a year, and this is being valued the same as 60 innings from a decent middle reliever (Cishek, Neshek, McGee, Joe Smith, Shaw, Hunter...). And not just by one or two organizations, but seemingly across the board"

The teams probably have a better idea of value than we do.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:35 AM EST (#353477) #
The teams probably have a better idea of value than we do.

Is there a rational argument for the prices paid for relievers vis a vis position players this off-season?  I haven't seen it. 

Appeals to authority...bah. Anyways, Shapiro and Atkins do seem ahead of the curve this off-season after being behind it last year. 
hypobole - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#353478) #
Oh per MLBTR:

"there are some reasons to believe that Oh may have suffered some poor fortune. That BABIP jump came even as he induced more soft contact (15.3% in 2016 vs. 22.4% in 2017) at the expense of hard contact (34.2% vs. 28.1%). Statcast figures reflect that evident discord, with Ohís .298 xwOBA coming in well shy of the .338 wOBA he actually surrendered. Interestingly, while hitters obviously had less trouble making contact, Oh got batters to chase outside the zone just as often in each of his two MLB seasons and his Brooks Baseball charts mostly show consistent movement on his pitches."

$3 million is a fairly disposable amount of money for a quite wealthy MLB team.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#353479) #
I would have been fine with Oh at 1/3, but there are more cheap/short-term gambles out there. Shapiro has been very vocal about his stance on the relief market. I doubt the Jays make any expensive free agent reliever acquisitions under his watch. Around 1/3 is probably what the Jays will spend on a RP, even in a market where RP's are overvalued.

I think Frazier wanted to stay in New York, so he only had two choices. The Yankees may not have wanted to go beyond one year. The rest of the market is littered with Boras clients, so I'm not expecting much resolution there. That might drag until March/April.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:56 AM EST (#353480) #
Jared Diamond
@jareddiamond
Thought this was a particularly salient point by one agent, about how fans now are willing to accept their favorite team tanking because they've been conditioned to view it as "good business." Owners continue to win the PR war over the players.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rising-storm-that-froze-baseballs-hot-stove-market-1517928548?mod=e2tws
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:09 PM EST (#353481) #
Jared Diamond writes about baseball?  I guess that once you corner the market on sorghum writing, it's a good idea to branch out. 
hypobole - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:11 PM EST (#353482) #
The article is paywalled. Baseball rewards tanking, and while other sports keep altering their draft lottery systems to discourage it, baseball has incentivized it. Agents and the union may not have seen this day coming, but they should have. Owners got where they are by being greedy, but so have players and agents. Owners have also got where they are by hiring smart people with vision. The players?

Chuck - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:18 PM EST (#353483) #
Jared Diamond writes about baseball?

Guns, Germs, Steel, and Middle Relievers.

John Northey - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:25 PM EST (#353484) #
One way to cut tanking is to increase number of teams in the playoffs - more in playoffs = less incentive to tank.

However, I don't see it happening. Next step is 16 teams from 10 and having round 1 be best of 5, rest best of 7. Or all best of 7 which means up to 28 games in the post season (7 per round, 4 rounds) vs todays limit of 20 (wild card, best of 5, 2 best of 7).

At that point the regular season needs to be shrunk I'd think or you could be mid-November for games. OK here but not good in all those open air stadiums, especially ones with grass. The Twins would be screwed if they made it all the way (open air, grass, cold winters) as would the Cubs and White Sox. NY teams would be frozen as could Boston also.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:27 PM EST (#353485) #
"Baseball rewards tanking"

does it? what is the success rate of teams that tank for years on end?
pubster - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:28 PM EST (#353486) #
"Is there a rational argument for the prices paid for relievers vis a vis position players this off-season? I haven't seen it."

Well if teams are paying a high price for relievers they obviously have heard a rational argument that makes sense to them.

I can easily think of a few arguments that make some sense.
pubster - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:30 PM EST (#353487) #
"does it? what is the success rate of teams that tank for years on end?"

Well the Jays tanked for 20 years, and they were rewarded with their 2 best teams in franchise history =P
pubster - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 12:49 PM EST (#353488) #
I just checked the stats. Frazier hit .215 last year. .225 the year before.

You really can't think of an argument as to why a team would prefer to have a 2.50 era relief pitcher over Frazier?
jerjapan - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 01:40 PM EST (#353489) #
Travis Sawchick in a chat yesterday: 

"Spending money is the new market inefficiency Ö so savvy teams should be on the lookout for value".

I couldn't agree more.  Frazier is exactly the type of bargain I hope we can secure. 
hypobole - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 01:56 PM EST (#353490) #
"does it? what is the success rate of teams that tank for years on end?"

That's the kind of inside-the-box thinking that helped get the union in this mess.

In the past, tanking wasn't rewarded as it is now. Teams could still sign highly rated draft picks that other teams passed over due to price, as Dombrowski did when he got the #1 high school pitcher with the 27th pick in 2007. He also signed a FA, lost his first pick, 3 years later, but ended up with Castellanos at 44, because he paid the $3 million+ other teams wouldn't.

Can't do that anymore with the Bonus Pool system, which rewards the worst team with both the #1 pick and the most spending money. Good teams simply can't buy draftees with hgh bonus demands anymore. And there is no lottery so your guaranteed by being as bad as possible.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 02:12 PM EST (#353491) #
Well the Jays tanked for 20 years.

Gord Ash wasnít as good a GM as the Jays needed at the time.
J.P. Ricciardi wasnít allowed to spend money andhadto slash payroll. Jays finished 2nd in the A.L. East in 2006.
Alex Anthopoulos was handcuffed by Paul Beestonís ď5-year limitĒ on contracts. 😊

dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 02:13 PM EST (#353492) #
Not to mention that some teams are content to not win but make money like the Marlins and Pirates. Unlike other sports these teams can and will succeed by making money whether they win or lose because they are receiving funds from the winning teams.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 02:29 PM EST (#353493) #
Some notes from the Fangraphs chat:

Longenhagen agreed with a 50 FV on Zeuch - and he hadn't been on the 50FV list of just-missed prospects yesterday.

On Jansen, Longenhagen said: "Jansen definitely broke out, in part because he got corrective lenses and seeing the ball is an important aspect of hitting, obviously. We think heís fine, defensively, and the patience and bat to ball are pretty special. Heís an upper level catcher with what we think are sustainable skills, but we donít expect him to hit like he did last year all the time."

Pretty clearly, then, FG are higher on Jansen's defence than some other evaluators.

Zeuch as a 50 FV implies they see him in the 100-140 range.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#353494) #
Batting averages, pubster?  It brings me back to the tables in my Saturday newspaper sorted by batting average.  It's a nice artifact, but...

Todd Frazier has been a valuable player each of the last 5 years by virtue of good defence at third base, a lot of power, and a decent ability to reach base.  He's done it the last two years despite the batting averages, by drawing more walks and getting hit by pitches a lot.  His m.o. is classic- he waits for a pitch to drive and when he does, he gives it a good hack with an uppercut.  He pops up a lot, but he doesn't chase as much as Joe Carter did at the end of his career, so while the batting average is low, he will draw the walks. 

Frazier turns 32 next week, and he is a good bet to earn his contract and then some.


hypobole - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 04:22 PM EST (#353495) #
However, Frazier is one of the worst players in the majors at getting caught with the hidden ball trick.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 04:36 PM EST (#353496) #
Oh yeah, how could I forget his GCWTHBT? 
pubster - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 04:40 PM EST (#353497) #
"Batting averages, pubster?"

He had a good OBP last year, but he's a career .321 OBP.

He's OBP'd .344, .302 and .309 the past 3 years.

He's a high strikeout low batting average/on base guy with power.

I think its easy to see why teams wouldn't want too many guys like this on their team.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 04:50 PM EST (#353498) #

not sure why mlb felt the need to massage the truth about the current state of the free agent market. seems suspicious to me.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 05:00 PM EST (#353499) #
Owners own teams for one reason: they want to win.

Here's where you need to read the fine print to learn their definition of winning. It might not quite align with the fans' definition.

Mike Green - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 05:11 PM EST (#353500) #
I thought that owners wanted to make money.  Isn't that the essence of capitalism?

Obviously if you win, you make more money, so it's not as though winning is a bad thing, but it can be very hard to win.../wipes away tears

GabrielSyme - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 05:32 PM EST (#353501) #
The MLB statement doesn't seem out-of-place to me. Essentially, they are denying collusion, which seems far-fetched anyway, given that some free agents have received what analysts expected or more (Chatwood, Cain, relievers). Now, collusion is not exactly what Clark is accusing teams of - rather, he's accusing teams of not wanting to win. But an additional few teams into the "rebuilding" group shouldn't make a huge difference - especially not at the high end of the market, where there's been the least movement. And even if too many clubs rebuilding is hurting players, the MLBPA should have negotiated terms to discourage rebuilding efforts, such as a salary floor or a lottery system for draft picks, etc.

The fundamental dynamics of this particular FA market and the CBA are undermining the salaries. There just isn't any real evidence of bad faith on the part of the clubs.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 05:35 PM EST (#353502) #
Obviously if you win, you make more money, so it's not as though winning is a bad thing, but it can be very hard to win.../wipes away tears

Yeah, but it seems that, unfortunately, the owners believe that "really going for it" once every 15-20 years is enough, and on the whole, will provide a better overall profit than trying to field a contender every year.

It seems like half the league is now on the Harold Ballard model of ruining running a team..
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 05:37 PM EST (#353503) #
Ok, well, the <del> tags (via editing the source HTML) around "ruining" showed up properly on the preview, but not in the actual post..  Just when I thought I'd learned a new trick for da Box..
dan gordon - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 05:53 PM EST (#353504) #
The mlb statement seems reasonable to me as well. There's a good article on Jays From The Couch which goes into great length to analyze the free agent market the last few years, and concludes there is unlikely collusion going on.

I think the Oh signing is a good move, and would have been happy if the Jays had done it. He was excellent in 2016, posting a 2.8 WAR, with ERA and FIP around 2.00 and WHIP under 1.00, and the in depth numbers seem to indicate that last year might have been more a case of bad luck than bad pitching. He's going to a tough pitchers' park, though, and I guess there is also the possibility the league caught up with him a bit in 2017 after seeing him for a year. Frazier, on the other hand, is going to a bad hitters' park/division, and could see his batting average fall even further. Interestingly, he had an OPS over .900 on the road last year, so his home parks were not kind to him and maybe he has a bit of a bounce back year, I would expect he earns his pay.
PeterG - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 06:11 PM EST (#353505) #
If reports are accurate, Rangers told Oh he would close. Jays could not have promised that.

I too find the MLB response reasonable. Nobody wants to blame Boras for any of this?
scottt - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 06:28 PM EST (#353506) #
Well, none of the moves made so far have been bad, some solid guys with upside added.
Also, there is one week left and Baltimore still needs 3 starters.
The Red Sox were quick to resign Mitch Moreland. They could have done better.
Pedroia will miss a month or two and it's not clear who will be replacing him.

scottt - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#353507) #
Yeah, just saying teams are tanking to win is a bit silly.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 07:09 PM EST (#353508) #
Yu Darvish wants L.A. and heís given every indication thatís who heís waiting for. I donít know if even a six year offer would change his mind. But thatís not a consideration for Tony Clark or any of the Agents. It always takes the Top Starter available signing before the Pitching Market blows open. Everyone else can then judge what to ask for.

The Jays on the other hand might be reluctant to offer a multi-year contract to anyone, but surely a two or three contract for a #3/#4/#5 Starter is not a risky move?

uglyone - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 08:00 PM EST (#353509) #
MLB is clearly colluding to freeze out Boras in particular.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 08:35 PM EST (#353510) #
Well, how can MLB complain about the market when most of the top starters have been signed or offered contracts?


JD Martinez, offered but wants more.

Eric Hosmer, offered but wants more.

Cobb, offered but rejected

Darvish offered but rejected/haven't made decision


Meanwhile, every time Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier or any player really, any time they take a below market deal then they undermine what the rest of the players can get.

Holland was offered a huge contract by the Rockies and he balked so they turned to Wade Davis he signed in a heartbeat. That's just some players being greedy.

You want to know if there is collusion? How many teams sat out the Otani sweepstakes? They were all lining up to sign him. Of course, because he's below market value, but it shows that teams all want to get better.

Giancarlo Stanton had many teams chasing him and he would only approve a trade to the Yankees out of San Francisco and St. Louis.

Let's try to be realistic and wait to see what players sign for. You have free agents turning down good offers, others waiting for preferred teams to step up either via trade or free agency and still others waiting for the top players to go first.

If the players signed on the dotted line of the highest bidder by a deadline then the market wouldn't be held up like it is. The fact the agents like Boras encourage players to sit out and wait for more term or salary is absurd when you see the market factors of this year coming into play.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 08:42 PM EST (#353511) #
To acquire the best talent possible, you have to get lucky, you have to be right, always, and you have to be in the position to acquire this caliber of talent. As long as this gets you to the Postseason, thatís all that matters. Once there, anyone can win it all. However, cost overrides all.

At some point, paying excessive Luxury Tax means a revision in spending is necessary. At some point, many Postseason berths are unimportant without a World Series ring, meaning a revision in spending is necessary. At some point, not making the playoffs in two or more years means a revision in spending is necessary. Sometimes multiple teams do it at the same time. After all, cheaper, younger, faster, better, more balance and versatility are always the desired goal.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 09:48 PM EST (#353512) #
Aside from saying owners primarily want to win (I'd say profit trumps that for the majority of owners), I think MLB was spot on with that statement. They obviously were throwing shots at Boras there by mentioning nine figures offers, and again, I don't see anything wrong with that. If the rumored offers to Hosmer and JDM are true, then the teams offering those contracts are already overpaying. If Boras expects more, and is willing to lead his clients into either settling for less later or holding out, then that's on him, not the league. You can't force teams to overpay for free agents. If FO's have decided to look at value differently, then it is what it is. Unfortunately, the players union has continuously agreed to CBA's which hurt players earning potential, from less money going to international and amateur talent (both now capped) and nothing changing with minor league salaries or MLB salaries for players in years 1-6 of their service time. The PA only seems to care about money going to free agents. It is hard to feel sympathy for them when they continuously ignore the real issues with player salaries.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 10:47 PM EST (#353513) #
SK hitting it out of the park as per usual. The worst part is, the only people complaining are the agents and past-their-prime players that want to be paid based on predated models and reference points. Hosmer wants to be paid more because he contributes a lot more than a regular 1B defensively, but doesn't want to admit that the same metrics that value his defense may not value his offense. JDM wants to get paid based on archaic numbers while ignoring new value numbers that show his value comes down dramatically.

When Brian Sabean starts valuing WAR over AVG and HR then you know the market needs a correction. It's no different than a housing bubble and correction and then home owners screaming bloody murder because they can't afford their home.

When I hear Mike Trout, Harper, Stroman, Guerrero Jr...players that are actually getting ridiculously underpaid...when I hear them making complaints and uproar I'll pay more attention. Right now you have the wrong players and agents complaining. Talk about fixing your broken system and start by paying your best players more than mediocre ones past their prime.
Michael - Tuesday, February 06 2018 @ 11:24 PM EST (#353514) #
I always though the best way to discourage tanking is to give the top draft pick to the team with the best record that didn't make the playoffs. You could give it to the best team overall, but that might leave a team forever too good. But by rewarding teams not in the playoff for winning you'd discourage tanking. Unlikely to happen. Relegation is the other approach, but outside soccer, also not likely.

But the main reason baseball doesn't need the draft lottery is that typically baseball draft picks aren't immediately impact players, take a while to develop, and therefore are naturally more hit and miss compared to nba, or even nfl, where draft picks are major league ready nearly right away.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 12:05 AM EST (#353515) #
the owners are making money hand over fist. they are deliberately hurting their own bottom line by letting other teams get free agents.....unless, of course, they know that other owners will play along.
Glevin - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 02:50 AM EST (#353516) #
I don't think tanking is a big problem in baseball. It's not even really tanking in baseball. It's not trying to be bad the way it is in the NBA to get a top pick, it's trying to trade your valuable assets for future assets. The White Sox didn't trade Sale, Quintana, and Eaton so they could lose 100 games, they traded them to get elite prospects to build for 2019 and beyond.

I don't buy the collusion thing. Free agent contracts are almost all bad deals. How can you fault owners for not making investments that have a 90% failure rate? The whole system needs to be fixed so that players in their prime production years are getting paid their worth but paying massive long-term salaries to declining players just makes no sense.
lexomatic - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 06:23 AM EST (#353517) #
The players and agents are rightfully complaining about a change in the implied contract they had (depressed early values vs later payday). Analytics have shown that the big contracts are rarely worthwhile in free agency (but worth it for good young players). The players have done this to themselves by not looking out for v the interests of new members and players not yet in the league. This is a problem with all unions in my experience, as people will vote in their best interests generally, instead of on the interests of any collective unless there's no loss. (obviously that's a hideously over simplification, but it's a human flaw, and something that keeps occurring with unions voting to index pensions or agree to lesser protections for new members to preserve their own full "whatever" for example).it's a shame, because the mlb pas has limited options now. But the owners are the same kinds of people (is it kc or min owners who own Walmart?) who are trying to screw their regular employees, so why are people in any way surprised.

bpoz - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 06:39 AM EST (#353518) #
Greed vs Responsibility.

IMO the most famous and best known baseball team in the world is the NYY. I could be wrong but lets assume that I am right.

Nobody talks about small countries like PR, those in Central and South America. Then Europe, Asia, Africa etc...
The USA has an entertainment following every where. We will watch the winter Olympics in real time soon. I believe there are or could/will be baseball fans everywhere as this global cultural exchange happens.

My thoughts are most likely far fetched. But the world wide NYY fans, if they exist, would like a WS championship. I see people in foreign cities wearing US sports team sweaters.

So NYY ownership has a responsibility to their fans to acquire the best players. I did not find George humble but he showed responsibility to his team. He constantly provided good advice to the NYY.



bpoz - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 06:51 AM EST (#353519) #
Thanks for your thoughts on human behaviour lexomatic.

I find these little tidbits valuable as they come from a high standard of posters. A true strength of this site.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 08:03 AM EST (#353520) #
if owners were acting as rational independent agents right now, at least a couple of them would have come and in and swept up the soft market right now, turning themselves into instant contenders.
scottt - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 08:07 AM EST (#353521) #
MLB? No, but there might be a few teams that are not interested in dealing with Boras clients.
Toronto has been avoiding Boras since Bill Claudill in 85. That's 33 years of spurning Boras.

Martinez has a 5/125 offer from Boston to DH. He's apparently fed up with them, but I can't think of a team where he would fit outside of a 3/50 deal. If I was Dom, I'd just grab Logan Morisson and another elite pitcher instead.

I have heard nothing at all about Arrieta all winter long. I don't know why.

Moustakas lost his market when the Angels moved a middle infielder to 3rd base, the Giants traded for Longo and the Mets decided to do only value deals. There's a couple team of teams that could use him, but not at the cost of a pick. He should have taken his QC.

Speaking of the Giants, they signed Austin Jackson (2/6) so it's all about payroll parameters.

Hosmer has been sitting on 2 7 years deals from KC and the Padres. No idea what he's waiting on.

Pretty quiet on the Holland front, but who would sign an aging closer to a long term deal? I guess it depends on the price of insuring a player these days. I have no idea.

I wouldn't mind if the Jays were looking at Tony Watson. A good lefty in the pen and an experience pitcher on a short deal could be enough to compete for a wild card.

scottt - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 08:14 AM EST (#353522) #
Relegation? Like sending the Marlins and Tigers to AAA? LOL
scottt - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 08:19 AM EST (#353523) #
The Marlins play in a publicly funded stadium, so they will make a lot of money by fielding a team of minor leaguers.
They're not hurting their bottom line unless all the seats are empty.

scottt - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 08:24 AM EST (#353524) #
Part of the solution might just be another round of expansion. 2 more rosters, 2 more payrolls. That would equal more money going out to the players without taking away from anyone.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 09:17 AM EST (#353525) #
Adding a roster spot is the equivalent of another team added - 30 more jobs. Of course, most will be minimum salary but that is why you push that up too. IMO that is what the union needs to focus on pushing. Expansion would be nice but where to? Montreal and San Antonio? What about moving the Rays? What to charge if NHL teams are costing over half a billion now?
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 09:51 AM EST (#353526) #
PECOTA projects the Blue Jays to finish fourth with 78 wins.  It figures the offense and fielding will be decent, but that the pitching will be atrocious.  It projects the American League to go precisely .500 in inter-league play- I'll take the over on that.  The result of PECOTA's projection about inter-league play is that the Red Sox are forecast to take the first wild card spot with 87 wins and the Rays the second with 84 wins.  I am pretty sure that 84 wins for the second wild-card spot is low too. 
PeterG - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 10:06 AM EST (#353527) #
I would push for 2 more roster spots rather than one. It might not even cost owners much more as it could well reduce the number of overuse injuries. Certainly, some kind of roster expansion is badly needed for several reasons.

Here are a couple of new articles on Jays prospects:

http://jaysprospects.com/2018/02/06/kirby-snead-dunedin/

http://jaysfromthecouch.com/2018/02/07/blue-jays-donnie-sellers-2018-hidden-gem/
Paul D - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 10:18 AM EST (#353528) #
The Jays signed Scott Schoeneweis a decade ago, and he was a Boras client.
pubster - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 10:43 AM EST (#353529) #
Young players are greatly underpaid for their performance. Older players are overpaid.

Historical data shows that signing free agents to big contracts rarely works out well.

Front offices aren't in a rush to overpay for older players. I get it.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 11:03 AM EST (#353530) #
Good young players are cheap, but hard to get.

Good old players are expensive, but easy to get.

Spending money on good old players has no impact on your ability to get good cheap young players.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 11:15 AM EST (#353531) #
MLBPA needs to decide what is needed to sweeten the pot.
1) If they will accept 1 more roster spot, the initial demand must be for 3 more roster spots. They need to be seen as giving something up.
2) They must demand shorter team control with Players. Two years pre-arb and two arbitration years should be the demand. If they need to be seen as giving back a year, it can be a pre-arb year.
3) Demand pre-arb years paid at $1.0 Million in year one, $3.0 Million in year two and $5.0 in year three with annual 10% increases. If they need to be seen as giving something up, donít go below $1.0 Million, $1.5 Million and $2.0 Million with 6% annual increases.
4) In arbitration no one ever gets paid less than they earned the year before. This is hill everything dies on.
5) Maximum contract length, whether by extension or Free Agent signing, shall be only three years. They can be seen as giving back a year (4 years) on extensions, but thatís it.
Some of this could come this year if they push. Some could start next year. The MLBPA must push for more money starting in year one. Becoming independently wealthly early, means players can play where they want and donít have to make a killing to do that. It means they can walk away when they want.
pubster - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 11:22 AM EST (#353532) #
"Spending money on good old players has no impact on your ability to get good cheap young players."

Well you're only allowed 25 players on your roster. So the idea is to give a few more roster spots to cheap young players over old players.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 11:49 AM EST (#353534) #
The best years for Players for a Team is ages 22 - 26. This is when Players are at their very best. The very, very best arrive much younger, like Vlady and Bo, but rarely does a Team bring up Player in the 19 - 21 peak period. Talent varies, as does ability, as does development. Everyone moves at their own rate. Sometimes you hit pure gold. Those you need to keep long term - 10 to 14 years, no matter what. Free Agency could occur as early as ages 25 - 27 and that gives too much away.

Four Seamer - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 11:54 AM EST (#353535) #

I would push for 2 more roster spots rather than one.

The games are long enough as it is.  No thanks.

bpoz - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#353536) #
We will find out what to do about the good old and young players this year, since we have a large volume of both.

Good old players can be moved somehow, traded or released. M Upton Jr is an example of a good old player that was released. Grilli/Storen/Benoit were good old players that were moved in unspectacular trades.

IMO CC Sabathia is a good old player. And Hutch was an example of a good, cheap young player, these can be hoarded in the minor leagues.

A very nice blend for depth purposes.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 12:25 PM EST (#353537) #
The players and agents are rightfully complaining about a change in the implied contract they had (depressed early values vs later payday). Analytics have shown that the big contracts are rarely worthwhile in free agency (but worth it for good young players).

I think this is definitely part of it. The current crop of free agents have seen this happen all their lives (they're all 80s babies, most likely) - as long as they've been alive, free agency has worked like this - cheap early on, somewhat better in arbitration, and big payday (if you're really good and survive) in free agency.

Now, the owners want to change the rules, based on new data. Let's say an equitable restructuring can, in theory, be found. And, based on data, this means more $$ to young players, less $$ to old players (all the data points that way). The current crop of free agents (and the next few years) are the ones that 1) are in control of the MLBPA, I would imagine, having had longish careers and reasonable success and 2) are the ones that are gonna get screwed if it happens.

What kind of a slap in the face would it be, for example, to see Chris Davis get $160M+, and you feel you're at least as good if not better, and you're getting offers in the $80m range? Wouldn't you at least want $120M-140M? No wonder Boras is telling them to hold out - he got Davis that contract, and now he can't get them half that? They mus think he's totally lost it. He's hoping beyond hope someone will crack, and/or will start talking about collusion to avoid having to admit he misread the market and/or wasn't ready for the coming changes. No way his ego could take that.

To bring it a little closer to home - there's talk here in the US of Social Security running out by the time I retire (I'm assuming the same talk exists about the CPP?) in 20 years. Yet, I've paid in all my life. Yeah, I'll be a little pissed if I get nothing. Sure, I'm trying like heck to not NEED it. But, seeing politicians pissing all that $$ away on programs I don't necessarily agree with or that I think are pure pork and then, when I'm ready to get my not-very-politically-controversial pension, if I get "Sorry, no $$ left", yeah, I'll be a little fed up. So I kinda get where some of these players are coming from. On the other hand, $80m vs $160m is not really a "I can't live on $80m" situation, so it makes it much less sympathetic. I actually feel for the "have been an around-average player for a few years, have made $3-4m, hoping for one more contract" guys who are having a tough time finding anything. $4m isn't much to live on for 50 years..
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 02:30 PM EST (#353539) #
So in 2018 we have Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada and New Guy.
After 2018 we have Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and maybe New Guy.
You need to avoid the increased injury possibilities that Happ and Estrada have and let them leave.
Is it important that New Guy must be really good and/or signed for more than one year?
Or are we in for an adventure with Joe Biagini and the kids?
PeterG - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#353540) #
https://bluejaysnation.com/2018/02/07/in-the-pipeline-an-interview-with-blue-jays-prospect-connor-panas/
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 06:21 PM EST (#353541) #
For those who haven't been here: https://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/8/7/3226335/defining-1-2-3-4-5-starters - it gives a dated but very decent guide in judging what we have.
scottt - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 06:54 PM EST (#353542) #
Spending money on old players might not impact the ability to pay cheap young players, but losing  draft picks and international pool money does.
scottt - Wednesday, February 07 2018 @ 07:33 PM EST (#353543) #
When your hitting coach is Corey Hart, vision is really important. Something to do with wearing sunglasses at night maybe?
John Northey - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:19 AM EST (#353544) #
As an FYI for Canadian pensions - our CPP plan is in far, far better shape than the US version. It is solvent and should be fine for many years but in spite of that the last government tried to push it to age 67 from age 65 for starting for Gen X while boomers keep the old age 65 - never let it be said that politicians don't know who votes and who doesn't.

As to players - yeah, for literally generations it has been assumed you would get more as you got older with clubs assuming 'leadership', 'know how', etc. were of great value. Now many teams have figured out that if you cannot measure it then don't pay for it. Last winter started as normal but quickly shifted, thus the Morales deal. This winter it stayed in the 'new normal' and hasn't moved much.

The idea someone mentioned somewhere of limiting contracts to 3 years might not be bad for the players, even though they'd fight it tooth and nail. Especially if they get to be free agents a year earlier and get minimum salaries increased. If a team knew they could only sign a player for 3 years - lets say, next winter that was as far as you could go for Donaldson, then he might get a lot more on a per-year basis than he'd get on a 5+ year deal right now. And if he keeps performing for those 3 years he might get a solid 3 year deal again at that point (or he gets resigned with a year to go for a fresh 3 years). We'd see really big deals for guys like Bryce Harper who are in their primes thus could produce $40+ mil of value per year over 3 years and teams might be more willing to go to that level to get that star knowing that in 3 years no matter what they are free from that deal, thus hitting the sweet spot for contention years quite often even for smaller markets.

For fans it would be good too as we'd stop seeing guys like Chris Davis being left in the lineup for years past their 'best before' date (he was negative for WAR last year and is still owed $23 mil a year through the 2022 season or $115 million of dead money quite possibly). Boy am I glad the Jays didn't go for him. Pujols, Fielder, and many other nightmare deals would not have been as bad - thus freeing up more cash for those clubs to spend on other shiny new free agents. I'd push to get rid of all compensation if I was a player as that does make it harder - or make it so the team losing gets sandwich picks (between round 1 and 2 if contract average annual value is top 10%, 2 and 3 for 11-25%, 3 and 4 for 26-50%) but the team signing isn't punished. Also look at pushing for the luxury tax to be a multi-year thing - IE: not just based on this year but on a rolling 3 year total thus no more of these silly years where the Dodgers/Yankees/Cubs all try to sneak under for a year to 'reset' their penalties. Instead they'd have to last 3 years which their fan bases wouldn't allow. Also would let teams like the Tigers who slipped over (I think) last year not to be hit at all. Thus an incentive when contending to push the limit and go over it knowing you can just be careful on budget for the next 2 years and avoid penalties.
scottt - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 06:31 AM EST (#353545) #
The 26 roster would probably only add an extra reliever. It wouldn't magically create innings for players to play.
It wouldn't increase the size of the payroll for small market teams. How much would it raise the luxury tax?

2 expansion teams would create 18 full time jobs for position players and add about 200M in player salaries.
On the flip side, it's 2 more teams that aren't making the playoffs. Maybe more if they get rid of the wild cards which at this point I think are absolutely needed.

During the playoffs, I heard a lot of bitching from ex-player analysts about the wild card teams taking away from the sanctity, they integrity of the regular season. The free agent situation would be so much worse without the wild card teams. The Angels, the Mets, the Brewers, the Giants, would have no chances of competing as currently constructed and would all be competing for draft picks or mediocrity.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 09:33 AM EST (#353546) #
The top 100 KATOH is out, and it rates Bichette higher than Guerrero Jr.  Presumably defence projections have a lot to do with it.  Alford, Jansen and McGuire receive their due (as you would expect from a system focused on performance). 
John Northey - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 10:04 AM EST (#353547) #
Nice for the Jays to get 4 on a top 100 list - 3 would be just barely below average, 4 just barely above. Just 3 Yankees, 1 Red Sox, 5 Orioles, and 5 Rays. Jays and Rays each have 1 in the top 10. With the Jays, Rays and Yankees each having 1 in the 11-20 range.

It'll be interesting to see if this list does better or worse than the BA scout based one in a few years (I'd say 5-10 years to have a good idea).
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 10:18 AM EST (#353548) #
I love me some KATOH.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 10:25 AM EST (#353549) #
And the main reason why KATOH is likely a bit lower on Vladdy is that it can't see his raw power, only his game power.
Four Seamer - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#353550) #

The 26 roster would probably only add an extra reliever. It wouldn't magically create innings for players to play.

Precisely.  We would get the same number of innings, but now with even more pointless pitching changes per game.  I remain opposed. 

Mike Green - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:13 AM EST (#353551) #
And the main reason why KATOH is likely a bit lower on Vladdy is that it can't see his raw power, only his game power.

If that is the issue, they need to work on the formula a little.  An IsoP of .150+ at age 18 in both the Midwest League and the FSL is awfully impressive. Guerrero Jr. had a more impressive season from the power standpoint than Mike Trout did in 2010 when Trout was 9 months older and played in the Midwest League and California League.  Obviously Trout had other skills. Guerrero Jr. is also way, way ahead of where Delgado was.  How many prospects have had an IsoP of .200 with a positive W/K at age 18 in full-season A ball? I can't think of any, although Griffey Jr. (in the California League) and A-Rod (in the Midwest League and 8 months older than Guerrero Jr.) came close. 

I can't find any hitting prospect who was obviously ahead of Guerrero Jr at age 18- Chipper Jones, Jeter, Cabrera, George Brett, and his dad weren't even close.  Mickey Mantle played his age 18 season in C ball and destroyed it, made it to triple A by age 19 and had an IsoP of almost .300 with a 23/30 W/K for 40 games before getting the call to the Show.  Let's guess that Mantle was probably ahead of Guerrero Jr, although I'll wait to see how Guerrero Jr. does with the bat this year to make a judgment.

A projection of 9 WAR over his first 6 years suggests that there is a significant risk that he won't hit.  I just don't see that.  There is the risk of injury, as there is with every player, and a very small risk that he won't hit. 
PeterG - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:18 AM EST (#353552) #
Source: Blue Jays in agreement with reliever Jake Petricka on minor-league deal. He'll get $1.3M if he makes the majors, $500k in incentives.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:35 AM EST (#353553) #
Petricka was pretty good before all the injuries the past couple years. Throws hard, keeps the ball on the ground.
Jevant - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#353554) #
Not a strikeout guy, but when healthy, tough on righties and won't give up home runs (2013-2015 seems to be the last time he was healthy). 

Reasonable minor league flyer, I'd say.

GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:41 AM EST (#353555) #
It's interesting to see how far McGuire went up the KATOH list mainly on the basis of 136 good AA at-bats last year. But he does make contact and draw some walks, and provide good defence. I think KATOH is seeing him as having a good chance to be a productive MLB starter.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#353556) #
Yeah, Mike, no formula is perfect. But remember that's a damn high ranking for a kid in single A that's projected for little value outside of his offense.
hypobole - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:46 AM EST (#353557) #
KATOH projection for McGuire is 4.3 WAR over his 1st 6 MLB seasons. That sounds like good backup catcher rather than productive starter, no?
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:47 AM EST (#353558) #
Now I remember that Vladdy was actually higher in the midseason list last year....and then went on to pummel A+ after that list was released.

Weird that he'd drop.

And now in the comments I see that Mitchell says the newest calculation doesn't quite value lower-level contact ability as much as the previous model did.

uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:49 AM EST (#353559) #
Hypabole that projection includes the risk of him busting completely.

Even the top prospect on the list only projects to an average of 2.2war per year for his first 6 seasons, i.e. an average starter.
hypobole - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 11:54 AM EST (#353560) #
So are you saying it DOES project McGuire as a productive MLB starter?
Gerry - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:30 PM EST (#353561) #
I have to say I have been somewhat skeptical of KATOH. It might have improved from when it was first introduced but it did come out with some odd numbers/projections.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:32 PM EST (#353562) #
Earliest Petricka sighting in a MLB game would be mid- to late May. Basically a free Players added. Whatís not to like of a deal you can easily walk away from.
Parker - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:44 PM EST (#353563) #
Hypabole that projection includes the risk of him busting completely.

Even the top prospect on the list only projects to an average of 2.2war per year for his first 6 seasons, i.e. an average starter.


The same person who champions WAR/650 with no regard for injury history says this.
Parker - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:48 PM EST (#353564) #
And the main reason why KATOH is likely a bit lower on Vladdy is that it can't see his raw power, only his game power.

That's the same reason Cody Bellinger isn't a better baseball player than Rowdy Tellez, isn't it?
pubster - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:52 PM EST (#353565) #
"The same person who champions WAR/650 with no regard for injury history says this."

Same guy doesn't factor in post season results when determining how successful a season was!
PeterG - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:54 PM EST (#353566) #
I share Gerry's skepticism about Katoh.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:58 PM EST (#353567) #
So are you saying it DOES project McGuire as a productive MLB starter?
I said "I think KATOH is seeing him as having a good chance to be a productive MLB starter". Every projection system is based on a range of possible outcomes. It seems quite unlikely that KATOH would be seeing McGuire as a top-100 prospect on the basis that he has a very high chance of being a useful backup, but almost no chance of being a starting catcher. Gerry, I agree KATOH is of limited value - it doesn't reflect scouting reports or tools, but only the statistical record. But I think it does help us understand the significance of the statistical record, at least a little.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 12:59 PM EST (#353568) #
MLB: Russell Martin and Luke Maille;
AAA: Danny Jansen and Resse McGuire.
Thatís what Iím sure about. I expect all four to play at the Major League level in 2018. Beyond that, no one knows. Despite all the projections they still have to play the games successfully.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:25 PM EST (#353569) #
war650 is a pretty simple concept. still surprised by how hard people struggle with it.

we don't mention injuries every time we look at a player's batting average or ops, either.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:27 PM EST (#353570) #
"That's the same reason Cody Bellinger isn't a better baseball player than Rowdy Tellez, isn't it?"

I like that you hold me to a higher standard than you do the prospect experts. I'm honoured by your respect.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:32 PM EST (#353571) #
"I have to say I have been somewhat skeptical of KATOH."

tbh, not sure why KATOH would deserve any more skepticism than any other top-100.

KATOH makes some outlier calls, but that's kind of what it's for....and KATOH has made some great early calls long before the scouts cought on to guy slike Betts, J.Ramirez, Osuna, and many more. Enough good calls to make it as valuable as any other top-100, imo.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:37 PM EST (#353572) #
Richard, while I agree with your catcher forecast, I think the Jays should sign a veteran backup just for the start of the season so Maile can get regular at-bats in Buffalo for a month or two. I think he has a decent chance to be a good backup catcher, but he needs to get his hitting back on track, and getting in a game a week caddying for Martin isn't going to be sufficient.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:41 PM EST (#353573) #
Oh and KATOH called Vladdy one of the elite of elite prospects last offseason, coming off his rookie league performance, when none of the other lists had him near that high (BP didn't even have him on the top 101).
Dr B - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:46 PM EST (#353574) #
war650 is a pretty simple concept. still surprised by how hard people struggle with it.

we don't mention injuries every time we look at a player's batting average or ops, either.


But WAR is a counting stat. It goes up the more you play. Correct me if I am wrong, but WAR/650 simply means you have assumed the same performance over 650 PAs, which may hugely inflate the worth of an injured player. So, without context, WAR/650 can be quite misleading.

Average and OPS, on the other hand are averages, not counting stats. They do not go up with playing time. Therefore the injury status only affects sample size, but otherwise do not inflate the result. In other words, calculating the average over 650 PA should be (roughly) the same as calculating it over 100 PA. WAR would clearly change.


PeterG - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:47 PM EST (#353575) #
Maile's defence is needed at the start of the season at the major league level.

on another subject:

From Heyman's latest: "Josh Donaldson is believed to be seeking a monster payday, according to friends." Adds that "some think he may be shooting too high."
bpoz - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 01:53 PM EST (#353576) #
Agreed GabrielSyme about Maile needing AAA or AA ABs. He can get some of those ABs as a DH. IMO he was rushed to the ML by the Rays and did not get enough AAA ABs.

Signing a veteran catcher to back up Martin is a good idea. We can easily open up a 40 man spot for him.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 02:03 PM EST (#353577) #
"But WAR is a counting stat. It goes up the more you play. Correct me if I am wrong, but WAR/650 simply means you have assumed the same performance over 650 PAs, which may hugely inflate the worth of an injured player. So, without context, WAR/650 can be quite misleading."

Hits are a counting stat, batting average is a rate stat. We could translate it into hits650, and it would still be a rate stat.

War is a counting stat, war650 is a rate stat. We could translate it into warring average, and it would still be a rate stat.

GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 03:25 PM EST (#353578) #
Can we call it warring average? That sounds a heck of a lot better than WAR/650.
hypobole - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 03:28 PM EST (#353579) #
Enough good calls to make it as valuable as any other top-100, imo.


My opinion also.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 03:35 PM EST (#353580) #
"Beyond that, no one knows."

Actually Richard, no one knows period.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 03:49 PM EST (#353581) #
War is a counting stat, war650 is a rate stat. We could translate it into warring average, and it would still be a rate stat.

But it's a different kind of rate stat, than say avg or slg, in the sense that, it doesn't quite relate to anything concrete. It's a relative-rate stat, rather than a concrete (discrete) rate stat.

If someone has an average of 250 and they get 4 ABs in a game, a reasonable expectation might be that they get 1 hit. If their SLG is 500+, you might expect an extra-base hit, or at least, that this player gets a lot of extra-base hits. And this is true for every player with those stats.

If someone has a war650 of 6, what does that mean for this game? That we should expect them to get 1/650 * 6 = 0.00923 WAR per AB? What does (roughly) 1/100th WAR look like? Oh wait, this person's WAR is half defense, so we should only expect half that, or 0.00461 WAR per AB, but for them to get another 0.00461 WAR in the field. So, how many exceptional plays per game is that? One per week? One per month?

How do you compare a shortstop going 2/4 with two singles to a 1st basemen with 2/4 with a single and a double? Obviously, the 1B hit better, but due to WAR's positional adjustments, he might have collected LESS WAR than the SS. And what if the SS hit to LF and the 1B to center? What if the SS got an infield hit? WAR adjusts for all of these. I understand why, but it can be really hard to get a good handle on "all-in-one" stats like this.. And since all other SS are having really bad years at the plate this year, that 2/4 is so amazingly exceptional, it's like twice as good as the 2/4 of the 1B.

For war650, about the only thing you can say about the number is: below replacement, replacement, above replacement, starter, solid player, all-star, generational talent (maybe), assuming large enough sample size. While that DOES tell you something and something pretty important, it really doesn't tell you much HOW the player gets those results, or whether a player would be a good hitter if they moved to another position, due to varying positional adjustments by season. avg/obp/slg can tell you that.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 04:58 PM EST (#353582) #
i could turn it in an average if you'd like.

a guy with 3war in 544 pa has a .0055 warring average.

is that easier to work with?
GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 05:43 PM EST (#353583) #
"But it's a different kind of rate stat, than say avg or slg, in the sense that, it doesn't quite relate to anything concrete. It's a relative-rate stat, rather than a concrete (discrete) rate stat."
Well, the non-concreteness is true just as much of WAR as a counting stat. I'm not sure why turning it into a rate stat makes a difference. One of the hidden things about using warring average for projections is that it assumes a certain kind of usage. For someone like Solarte, it might be best to project him entirely as a 2B, rather than try to guess at his actual usage. Then you're defining warring average a little more narrowly and objectively.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 05:47 PM EST (#353584) #
a guy with 3war in 544 pa has a .0055 warring average.

No, not really easier - it doesn't tell me ANYTHING about what to expect. I MIGHT be able to work out that that's better than other players (kind of like: eventually you hear it often enough that hitting .300 is good). I might even be able to tell that this is a good player. But not good how. Does he hit HRs, gets on base a lot, or plays really good defense? Or just does all 3 a bit better than average? Is 1/4 a good day or a bad day at the plate? No way to tell. Does he usually catch that fly ball? No clue.

WAR helps with "does this player have a positive impact on our team" kind of stuff, but it doesn't really help with "where do we bat this guy" kind of stuff.. Can he steal a base? Pinch-hit or pinch-run? Take a walk?

Extreme example: Cliff Johnson in 1984 had oWar 2.9 in 415 AB. Kevin Kiermaier had oWar 2.8 in 414 AB in 2016, on his way to a 5.5 total war (CJ's was 2.9 total - obviously, mostly DH). So, CJ had a total war of 2.9 in 415 AB, KK, 5.5 in 414 AB. But their oWar was nearly identical, so shouldn't they be mostly fungible for batting/pinch-hitting?? Looking at the numbers: CJ was 304/390/507, OPS 897, OPS+ 143, KK was 246/331/410, OPS 741, OPS+ 104 (I know, different eras, etc).

Yet, I think most people who were around for both players would say without hesistation: CJ pinch-hits with the game on the line, if he gets on, KK comes in to pinch-run and defensive sub. Due to positional adjustments, etc, KK's oWar would lead you to believe he's just as good with the bat as CJ unless you understand all the subleties - when he's nowhere close.

I think that's maybe the problem with war - it's too abstract. It can tell you "good or not" relative to the league at that position, but nothing about strengths or weaknesses as a batter or defender. Personally, I think I would prefer WRC9 + DRS or something, to give me one number for offense, one for defense.
uglyone - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 06:16 PM EST (#353585) #
so it sounds as if your issue is with the WAR stat itself, not with me turning it into a rate stat.

and you're agreeing with me that that warring average is too ugly to use?
GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 06:26 PM EST (#353586) #
Baseball-reference's version of oWAR includes a positional adjustment, so Cliff Johnson is getting dinged for hitting as a DH and Kiermaier is getting credit for playing centre.

If you look purely at the batting component, Johnson was credited with 26 runs and Kiermaier with 4 runs - which is in line with their relative offensive slash lines.

Fangraphs puts it more clearly, but still aggregates batting and baserunning for their oWAR.
jerjapan - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 08:19 PM EST (#353587) #
Interesting stuff on twitter:

Jon Heyman wrote that Donaldson ďis believed to be seeking a monster payday, according to friends, and while he may not hit his goal (some think he may be shooting too high), he benefits from Manny Machadoís move to shortstop since heíd become the top third base option if Machado stays at shortstop as a free agent.Ē

Donaldson responded via Twitter: ď@JonHeyman I respect what you do for a living, but you donít know my friends. Nor do my friends know what I want, because there is still information to be gathered. I havenít asked for anything. What I have said is I would like to stay. @JonHeyman I would listen to an offer, but I havenít had one to listen to so itís been pretty easy.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 08:24 PM EST (#353588) #
The Jays are trying to do everything they possibly can for as inexpensively as they can. So far the acquisitions are decent, real MLB talent with bounce-back possibilities. Just bouncing back halfway makes these acquisitions good to maybe even very good. But having everyone bounce back all the way - Postseason for sure. If the Jays can continue to do as well or better, anything is possible.
PeterG - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 08:44 PM EST (#353589) #
Sources: #BlueJays in agreement with free-agent reliever John Axford.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 08:48 PM EST (#353590) #
That twitter comment was why everyone loves and/or is a huge Josh Donaldson fan. The Jays are going to discuss an offer with him in Spring Training and give him as much time as possible to make his decision. That is as it should be.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 09:03 PM EST (#353591) #
60 games then the next year 68 games, itís possible to have a terrible year the third year. Chances are heís another bounce-back candidate that they got cheap. He can close when needed!
lexomatic - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 09:54 PM EST (#353592) #
At this point, Maile is a backup. He might get the chance to play enough at AAA to develop some hitting skills (enough to not counteract his defense) , but the Jays have better options than him there. By no means should he EVER DH.
I'm of the mind that Jansen earned AAA full-time to start, and McGuire, while this would be his 3rd season in AA, is better off getting full-time AB as a catcher (also to prove the offense is repeatable). IF/when someone moves up, he can move up and slip time without much lost development. He's still young. I think splitting catching duties at AAA between McGuire and Jansen is worth for their development.
I'd be okay with a AAAA type vet at AAA who, has some experience, and can get called up for a short time. I see them as utterly replaceable, and for example, mid-season they get bumped by Maile getting sent down in favor of Jansen (assuming he's proven that last season wasn't a fluke), and by McGuire getting called up to share AAA with Maile. You give McGuire September time even if he's not an official call-up so he can also benefit from Martin.




PeterG - Thursday, February 08 2018 @ 09:55 PM EST (#353593) #
As expected, it has been revealed that the Axford deal is a minor league one with a ST invite.
dan gordon - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 12:29 AM EST (#353594) #
Of course, there's no real risk to bringing in Axford and Petricka to have a look at them, but I don't think they're going to help. Axford walks a lot of batters, doesn't really limit hits very well, and hasn't had a truly good season since 2011. From 2012 to 2016 he produced WHIP's in the 1.40 - 1.60 range, and it's hard to succeed surrendering that many baserunners. Last year, of course, he was absolutely terrible. Petricka was OK I guess in 2014/2015, although he walked more than I like to see from a relief pitcher, as well as giving up about a hit an inning, and didn't generate many K's, producing WHIP's barely better than Axford. After missing most of 2016, he had a somewhat different season last year, finally eliminating the problem of too many walks, but he was getting tonged, allowing 39 hits, including 6 HR's, in 25 IP. I think they need 1 more good reliever if Biagini is in the pen, 2 more if he isn't.

I was reading the other day that they think Guerrieri has a shot as a reliever, and I think there's a good chance he'd do well in that role. A former top prospect who has put up consistently excellent numbers in the minors when healthy, and he's still just 25. I think he was a great pick up and frankly, was surprised more wasn't made of it when the Jays got him.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 01:15 AM EST (#353595) #
There are only a few Catchers who are as good, maybe one is better? Russell Martin brings out more in a Pitcher than anyone would think he had in him, all the time. Even in the best Pitchers, bad habits form. Martin overrides that crap and produce someone better.

Taylor Guerrero has an excellent chance of being a Reliever on the Jays. Al Albuquerque also has a good chance of making the Team. John Alford also has a good chance of making the Team. Jake Petricka should be a callup after he ready to go, mid-May or a bit later. Deck McGuire will be called up. Rhiner Cruz is a distant bell and might earn a callup. Having your best Reliever go down because you need a fresh arm and heís the only one with options is ridiculous and should never happen.

Donít worry about the Right-Handers, the Jays will get that right. Wait to see if a Left-handler is signed or when. Thatís the most important acquisition the Bullpen needs.
Glevin - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 04:33 AM EST (#353596) #
WAR/650 makes no sense as a stat 99% of the time.
1) Health is a skill. It's irrelevant if a player has a WAR/650 of 4 if they never get more than 200 PAs.
2) Small sample sizes make this ridiculous. I remember you had Stroman have something like a 9 WAR/X IP because he had a great 4 starts.
3) Players have splits. If Morales only played against lefties, he'd have a WAR/650 of around 5. Is that an accurate reflection of him as a player?
4) There is no value to it. What does WAR/650 tell you that you need to know? The only time I'd be interested is if a young player came up and had a partial season and wanted to know what he would do over a full season but even then, it's much more accurate to say Matt Olsen had 2 WAR over 216 PAs than Matt Olsen had 6 WAR/650. There is a reason that I have never seen any site have this data. If it were even remotely useful, don't you think Fangraphs or B-reference Prospectus or someone would have it? I mean, I can find out what a player did on flyballs at home in June against lefties with runners on base easily but I can't find pro-rated WAR anywhere.

Chuck - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 06:33 AM EST (#353597) #
What does WAR/650 tell you that you need to know?

Josh Donaldson is never injured... except for last season. How does his prorated 2017 compare with prior seasons? Was he still performing at a 7-win level, albeit in limited duty?

ayjackson - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 07:39 AM EST (#353598) #
There's nothing wrong with WAR/650 as a tool for player evaluation. It makes perfect sense to many of us here. I don't find usage and health to be baseball skills. They're important considerations but I'd prefer sometimes to consider them separate from ability.
christaylor - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 08:05 AM EST (#353599) #
WAR/650 is something one has to be careful with -- it is pretty easy to generate examples (particularly with pitcher) where it looks bonkers.

PECOTA still lives and I like to peek at it, but its projection for Joey Bats looks bonkers -- like anything, question everything. The truth is out there, unfortunately, only once they start playing real games.

Over under on PA?
Travis 195
Diaz 183
Solarte 449
Tulo 508
Pearce 275
Pompey 96
Maile 187


I'd only take the under on Solarte and Tulo.
Glevin - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 08:05 AM EST (#353600) #
"I don't find usage and health to be baseball skills. They're important considerations but I'd prefer sometimes to consider them separate from ability."

They are not separate from ability. Ability is actual results. If they can't get those results, then they weren't able to. You can't separate Nick Johnson's inability to stay healthy from who he was as a player. Did he have the ability to be a 4.5 WAR player a year?
No. because he couldn't stay healthy. Are you saying that splits don't matter? That someone only playing against lefties, it's useful to show them what they would do full-time in a season? It is literally showing you completely false information with no meaning and pretending it is useful. You can't take part time PAs and multiply them. It doesn't work that way. That's not actual ability. That's completely false data.

"Josh Donaldson is never injured... except for last season. How does his prorated 2017 compare with prior seasons? Was he still performing at a 7-win level, albeit in limited duty?"

Yes, you can use it in a situation like this but it's hardly necessary. What's wrong with saying "Donaldson had 5 WAR in 500 PAs?" What missing information is there? Beyond that, WAR is a sledgehammer of a tool not a precision one. If you want to see actual performance, you need to drill down a little bit. So if you want to see if Donaldson is declining or staying the same, you would never look at WAR anyway. You'd look at important numbers like WRC+ and defense or, if you seriously wanted to look, you would check out LD rate, K rate, etc... If you had never used or heard of WAR/650 would your understanding of Donaldson's season last year be different in any way? The answer is no. Anyway, the issue is not the rare usage of these sorts of things (you can use any stat on occasion to show something) it's that Ugly uses this stat all the time to show player value and for that it is a ridiculous stat.

Saying WAR/650 is taking a general, high level broad value stat and pro-rating it without accounting for anything. Literally think I've seen it used once in my life outside this site and there's a reason for that. There is an occasional use in very specific situations but the vast majority of usage it is creating almost entirely false impressions of players and is just made up data.
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 08:35 AM EST (#353601) #
There's nothing wrong with WAR/650 as a tool for player evaluation. It makes perfect sense to many of us here.

Yep.
scottt - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 08:36 AM EST (#353602) #
They still need to shore up the pitching side with a starter and a lefty reliever before they spend money on a backup catcher. Both McGuire and Jansen should be ready to debut this year if needs and/or performance dictates.

We'll see what they do, but McGuire already seems solid on the defensive side so he mostly needs ABs.

Chuck - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 08:36 AM EST (#353603) #
What's wrong with saying "Donaldson had 5 WAR in 500 PAs?" What missing information is there?

What's missing is how that prorates to his normal, full season of play. Once prorated, it is 7+, meaning that there was no evidence of performance decline in 2017 insofar as the prorated number aligns with his previous seasons.

Yes, you could dig deeper and look at BABIP and line drive rates and the rest of it to get a truer sense of his performance. But from a high level, broad stroke approach, Donaldson v2017 was the same player as his previous versions, just less healthy. And some simple prorating got us there.

rpriske - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 10:03 AM EST (#353604) #
There is no such thing as a bad stat (oversimplification, of course).

The problem comes when people use that stat to mean something other than what it actually means.

WAR says Cliff Johnson and Kevin Kiermeier are approximately equal hitters? No it doesn't. At all. And doesn't claim to.

It instead tries to tell you that each player provides around the same value to their team. That can be absolutely true even if they are completely dissimilar players.

PeterG - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 10:14 AM EST (#353605) #
From Jon Morosi:

Source: #BlueJays showing continued interest in Andrew Cashner, among other starters they are considering. They hope to land a veteran starter on a one-year deal.
bpoz - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 10:26 AM EST (#353606) #
I lost my whole post..... WAR/650 is based on 650 ABs I presume. In 2016 and 2017 only EE had over 600 ABs. 601 in 2016.

ABs for Tulo and Travis declined due to injury, with the FO addressing that situation in the off season. A Diaz lost his job to P DeJong in St Louis due to poor performance compared to DeJOng. Good depth is a definite plus. Goins doubled his ABs in 2017 because of depth issues.

You have to do the best you can to raise the floor regarding the necessary ABs for a whole season.

I like D Smith Jr. I know he is behind a lot of the other OFs on the 40 man roster but those ahead of him are not miles ahead. Unless you use WAR/650. His must be incredible.
Mike Green - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 10:37 AM EST (#353607) #
Cashner is an interesting case.  Former flamethrower loses 1-2 mph on the four-seamer, and the aims for weak contact- Marco Estrada style- but with more ground balls courtesy of the sinker.  It's hard to succeed striking out under 5 and walking over 3 per 9 innings, but if your catcher helps with the running game and your middle infield can turn two regularly, you can do it. 

The 3.40 ERA from last year is, of course, very deceiving.  With all those balls in play on the ground, there were many errors behind him and he allowed 12 unearned runs in 166 innings.  A good season for him is probably 4.5 runs allowed per 9 IP. 

uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 10:59 AM EST (#353608) #
"1) Health is a skill. It's irrelevant if a player has a WAR/650 of 4 if they never get more than 200 PAs."

Is it also irrelevant that a player has a .300 batting average if they never get more than 200 PAs?


"2) Small sample sizes make this ridiculous. I remember you had Stroman have something like a 9 WAR/X IP because he had a great 4 starts."

Why is that ridiculous? Is it any more ridiculous than pointing to Stroman's 1.67era that year? whether we looked at his ERA or his war32, both would need to be contextualized by his small sample size.


"3) Players have splits. If Morales only played against lefties, he'd have a WAR/650 of around 5. Is that an accurate reflection of him as a player?"

This is true. All rate stats can make a platoon player look deceptively better than he is. A lefty platoon player may have a .300 batting average, which is nowhere near as impressive as the full time player with a .300 batting average.


"4) There is no value to it. What does WAR/650 tell you that you need to know?"

It tells you the level of performance a player has played at in the time he has played. That seems to be the most valuable thing a stat can tell us, no? The things that influence accumulated playing time may or may not be under a player's control, but whether they are or not, it certainly seems valuable to me to isolate actual baseball performance from playing time considerations which aren't directly related to baseball performance or skill.

In fact, NOT separating these factors out leads to it's own confusion. Kevin Gausman and Dallas Keuchel had identical WAR this year. That implies they were similar players, when in fact they most certainly were not.


"The only time I'd be interested is if a young player came up and had a partial season and wanted to know what he would do over a full season but even then, it's much more accurate to say Matt Olsen had 2 WAR over 216 PAs than Matt Olsen had 6 WAR/650."

Is it more accurate to say that a player got on base 80 times in 200pa, or that he has a .400obp? If we have another player who gets on base 96pa in 240pa, isn't it very useful to compare them each as .400obp hitters? Why do you never use hit totals, and always use batting average when talking about a player's hitting ability, without mentioning sample size every time you do so?


"There is a reason that I have never seen any site have this data. If it were even remotely useful, don't you think Fangraphs or B-reference Prospectus or someone would have it? I mean, I can find out what a player did on flyballs at home in June against lefties with runners on base easily but I can't find pro-rated WAR anywhere."
This is interesting.

The first thing to realize is that these sites actually use pro rated WAR stats all the time in their analysis. You can look at Steamer600 projections (https://www.fangraphs.com/projections.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&type=steamer600), or you can look at the depth charts where they pro-rate players' WAR depending on the PA they project them to have.

And I smile every time one of the writers is forced to create his own WAR rate stat in his analysis to compare players on a fair basis. They do it constantly. And for good reason, because much of the time it's the only way to use WAR sensibly.

As to why they don't have an official war rate stat, there's a couple main reasons.

1. There's no simple/true way to make a WAR pace stat. WAR uses different stats with different base measurements. Using war650 isn't actually completely logical, as it uses PA as a denominator not just for hitting value, but also for defensive value. But defensive value isn't accrued based on plate appearances, so that's just an approximation. Also with pitchers there's no clear way to do it - for SP should we pro rate by inning pitched, or by games started? Both have positives and negatives (though I do think one is significantly better than the other). For the creators of WAR, who have fought long and hard to establish WAR as a stat and have had to defend it against all sorts of criticisms and abuses, this kind of guesswork I would guess conflicts with their WAR purism.

2. And they are WAR purists. They created this very complicated stat, amalgamating all sorts of different performances, intentionally as a holistic stat, and resist any attempt to let it be dissected or interpreted more specifically or linearly than it was intended. They created it specifically as an OVERALL VALUE stat, and not as a strict PERFORMANCE stat. This has given them a bit of a bias, and that's more than understandable. WAR is their baby, and has revolutionized baseball analysis. They have every right to be protective of it. But it gets a bit silly when you keep seeing their writers forced to create their own war rate statistics whenever comparing players with differences in playing time that are beyond their control.
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:03 AM EST (#353609) #
"WAR/650 is something one has to be careful with -- it is pretty easy to generate examples (particularly with pitcher) where it looks bonkers."

It's exactly as easy to generate examples of AVG and ERA where it looks exactly as bonkers.
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:10 AM EST (#353610) #
"WAR/650 is based on 650 ABs I presume"

It's actually plate appearances, not at bats.

If we break it down the "true" average number of PAs per spot in the batting order I think is around 625. Steamer600 projections use 600. I use 650 because when I started doing it the type of players i was comparing most came in around that level, and it didn't make sense to me to project to a lower number that didn't look right at first glance. But really, the number of PA used is irrelevant.
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:20 AM EST (#353611) #
For those with skepticism for the KATOH system this is a nice piece of (non-jays related) analysis by Mitchell where he looks at all the players that KATOH currently ranks much better than the other scouting-based lists do, and why he thinks KATOH may or not be right to do so in each case: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-2018-all-katoh-team/
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:24 AM EST (#353612) #
The Jays need a #4/#5 Starter don't they? Just so they don't need to put Joe Biagini in there right away? Doesn't a Pitcher capable of being better want more money and term?
Parker - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:31 AM EST (#353613) #
It's exactly as easy to generate examples of AVG and ERA where it looks exactly as bonkers.

Maybe just work on a OPS+/650 or a FIP/650 stat instead, then.
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:34 AM EST (#353614) #
Again, there are exactly as many ridiculous OPS+ and FIP small sample results as there are war650 ones. and AVG and OBP and ERA and ISO and SLG and OPS and K/9 and K% and.......
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:37 AM EST (#353615) #
Just noticed that fangraphs' projected standings now have the Jays at 85 wins and one game back of the 2nd wildcard Angels at 86.

Not sure if that's because they've now incorporated the Zips data in or not.
Parker - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 11:53 AM EST (#353616) #
Again, there are exactly as many ridiculous OPS+ and FIP small sample results as there are war650 ones. and AVG and OBP and ERA and ISO and SLG and OPS and K/9 and K% and.......

Still kinda missing the point, ugly. :)
Mike Green - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 12:01 PM EST (#353617) #
The key projections are playing time.  Fangraphs has Travis with 455 PAs, Tulo with 546 PAs and Donaldson with 630 PAs, and performing in accordance with their norms over the last 3-5 years.  1631 PAs from these players would have the Blue Jays on their way.
bpoz - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 12:25 PM EST (#353618) #
Thanks uglyone for pointing out that there is a difference between PAs and ABs. Please correct me if I am wrong SFs and BBs count as PAs but not as ABs.
You also said per spot in the batting order. You mean 1-9 in the batting order? That may be different than RF, LR and all the other positions? The number is probably the same. But I doubt myself in understanding.
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 12:26 PM EST (#353619) #
Yeah the main thing is that Walks are plate appearances, but not at bats. also sacrifice hits and hit by pitches.

and yeah I'm talking about per slot in the batting order 1-9.

bpoz - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 01:09 PM EST (#353620) #
So many numbers. KATOH keeps changing. Many numbers are interpreted from different POVs for various purposes.

Fortunately the FO has a guy with a computer to project and present all these numbers. So Donaldson & EE 600 ABs each. Tulo & Martin 450 each. All paid $20 mil. The FO hopes their projections for health and performance are close to actual because the budget is affected.

The reality is that good and bad contracts exist and health and performance can vary significantly from projection.

This is not a fun job. Then you have to talk to the media about why results are poor. Joe Giradi.

I hope Giradi gets to give input to the NY media. He should have fun making excuses/explanations for the team.
Dr B - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 01:29 PM EST (#353621) #
> so it sounds as if your issue is with the WAR stat itself, not with me turning it into a rate stat.

Having thought about it more, that would indeed be my issue, or at least turning it into a rate stat based on a fixed number of appearances. I don't really have a problem with as war per plate appearance, but WAR/650 means that you have to inflate the worth of players who didn't play much (and similarly what christtaylor says about pitchers).

dan gordon - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 04:53 PM EST (#353622) #
I wouldn't mind getting Cashner on a 1-year deal. Obviously, Lynn or Cobb would be better, but the thing with both of those guys is that they have benefitted greatly by playing in pitchers' parks, and as a result, their overall numbers look better than the reality. Cobb, for instance, has a career road ERA barely under 4.00, and a road WHIP of about 1.30. Lynn's road ERA is the same as Cobb's, and his road WHIP is 1.40. Both turn 31 this year, and have recently had serious arm trouble. I expect that at least one of those guys is going to be overpaid, quite possibly both.
uglyone - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 06:25 PM EST (#353623) #
for me, Cashner would be a totally disingenuous signing, trying to hoodwink fans with his ERA while knowing full well his underlying numbers were awful and that he projects as worse than biagini. It would only further my impression that the morales signing was hoodwinking the fans with dingers and rbi. These are in no way serious signings designed to actually improve the team, imo.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 06:26 PM EST (#353624) #
Outside of the top 4 Starters, MLB Trade Rumors Top 50 Free Agent list has only 4 more Starters the Jays might be interested in:
Jaime Garcia LHP, 31;
Chris Tillman RHP, 30;
Andrew Cashner RHP, 31;
Jason Vargas LHP, 35.
Of course, the Jays are not alone being interested. Waiting can be an asset, but if a rush starts, the Jays might have to settle for less. Although there is another ten that might fit.
GabrielSyme - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 07:06 PM EST (#353625) #
I'd prefer Brett Anderson to Cashner, Tillman or Vargas. If we can't get Garcia or Cobb, Anderson is a pretty good upside option, but he's rarely healthy, so our lack of depth would probably be exposed.

If the Jays were to sign both Garcia and Anderson, I'd be reasonably happy with our rotation depth.
Mike Green - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 07:11 PM EST (#353626) #
Disingenuous isn't the word I would use for it. Disappointing, perhaps.

Cashner has his uses.  The club does need serviceable innings behind the top 4 starters, and there is no reasonable basis to believe that they will give you 750 innings., so Biagini will likely not be enough.

Incidentally, if everyone is healthy and performing well, I think that Cashner could be very good out of the pen.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 07:27 PM EST (#353627) #
Are the Jays after that Big Stud Starter add sometime in the future, I wouldn't know? The Jays have an advantage for Starters as this year could be a trial for a longer term contract starting next year. There will be openings.
Spifficus - Friday, February 09 2018 @ 09:10 PM EST (#353628) #
If they think they have an idea where Cashner's slider went last year (it flattened out into a cutter and it lost a tonne of whiffs), then it'd be a decent enough signing. Garcia would also be workable.

Now, of course, if the pricetag comes down for Lynn or Cobb, I'd pay attention...
scottt - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 01:51 AM EST (#353631) #
They can probably sign Cashner on a 1 year deal. I don't see them dropping a draft pick and committing to 4 years.

Cashner still gets a ton of ground balls and was effective and I don't see the Rangers infield as particularly good with Stinky at second.

PeterG - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 11:07 AM EST (#353632) #
Jays have signed 29 yeasr old left handed pitcher Matt Tracy, a minor league FA. He pitched in the Twins system last season at AA, AAA.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 11:10 AM EST (#353633) #
Start with a base salary of $6.0 Million for 20 Starts or 120 innings pitched. Add incentives of up to $5.0 Million more for 30 Starts or 180 innings pitched, scaling everything appropriately in between. Add two option years, similarly structured with a $500 K base salary increase each year, with a $1.5 Million buyout.

The Jays need someone to eat innings every 5th Start. They need someone who puts the ball in play. They need someone Russell Martin can make better. They need someone with a good track record. They need someone generally healthy. They need someone who fits. Now find someone who take the contract.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 11:26 AM EST (#353635) #
A team can never have enough LHP to play at every level.
uglyone - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 11:45 AM EST (#353636) #
Richard they have more payroll space than an offer like that, and can afford much better than just an innings-eating #5 SP, especially in this market.
bpoz - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 12:38 PM EST (#353637) #
We have 39 players on the 40 man roster. 15 are pitchers. 6 have little or no ML experience. I see no depth.

This is very risky IMO, since you need 17-20 pitchers in a season, sometimes more. This FO definitely knows how to handle risk. Their strength IMO.

Last year they used a lot of risky arms like Latos. Some expected regulars produced basically nothing. Grilli and JP Howell.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out by the end of ST.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 01:46 PM EST (#353638) #
Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, James Anthony Happ and Marco Estrada are experienced top quality Starters. Joe Biagini is being given a chance to develop as a Starter despite already being a quality Reliever.

Ryan Borucki is a very successful Starter in the Minors and Thomas Pannone is very close to being that good. I expect them to be far superior to the Ineffectives that tried to start for the Jays last season. I call that pretty good depth. But then, the Jays are still after another Starter.

Roberto Osuna, Ryan Tepera and Danny Barnes are effective quality Right-Handed Relievers. Aaron Loup, Matt Dermody and Tim Mayza are effective Left-Handed Relievers with the latter two just a bit short of experience, but successful none the less.

Taylor Guerrieri is a success everywhere he's pitched, but can't always stay healthy. The Jays think he can be an effective reliever. Carlos Ramirez is an effective MLB Reliever who just needs experience. There is no way these two can be worse than Grilli or Howell were last year. they should be much better. I call that pretty good depth. Of course this is still a work in progress as the Jays are still seeking Relievers.

What's this nonsense about the Jays having no pitching depth? There's a lot more this year than last year and the Jays are still not done.
scottt - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 01:47 PM EST (#353639) #
I disagree. Some of the guys with the least experience offer the most depth.

Solarte covers everywhere in the infield and there might not even be enough AB for Diaz.
Although, perhaps Solarte will start at 2B and Diaz will be the backup until Travis is 100%
Right now, they have 9 outfielders and it seems like Carrera might be out of a job.

Guerrieri, could become a reliever. There's also Ramirez who looked really good last year.
Then they have 3 vets trying to earn a spot Axford, Alberquerque and Petricka.

On the starting side, Biagini should be competing in AAA with Borucki, Pannone, Santos, McGuire, Rowley, etc.
It's not bad.

If they keep Granderson and Solarte away from lefties, the batting average should rise (29th last year).



uglyone - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 03:00 PM EST (#353640) #
Darvish to Cubs. 6yrs x $21m, plus ~$30m in incentives.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 03:08 PM EST (#353641) #
Hot Stove will be running now as each Team scrambles for Starters. Just $21.0 Million a year lowers every other Pitchers' Offers. G.M.'s can laugh at the current asks.
bpoz - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 03:25 PM EST (#353642) #
I half heartedly accept that we have enough depth going into 2018.
4 catchers. 2 no ML experience, but V successful AA and AAA experience/results.

9 OF. 4 with little ML experience. T Hernandez, Pompey, Alford and Smith Jr. I see all 9 as close in talent. Alford has the highest ceiling but for 2018 he may have growing pains in becoming the ML stud we hope for. I like the 5 experienced OF to handle a pennant race well. Also the 4 inexperienced ones to be good in a pennant race. Great depth.

10 IF. Gurriel, Tellez, Urena and Ngoepe should do ok. They will be getting AAA ABs as the season progresses. Nobody can replace Donaldson. Or 2017 Smoak IMO. The overall depth is good.

8 SPs is a comfortable number. Stroman, Sanchez, Happ and Estrada are solid. Biagini, Borucki, Panonne are ready for the Ml. Getting an 8th may not be hard. We have a few.

The relievers are plentiful. We have a solid core of 5. We should have another 10, made up of youth and about 4 vets like Axford.

It would take a lot of injuries and poor performance for a big youth brigade on the ML team. We can still compete like the Twins and Rays which are young teams.

So better than half hearted, maybe 75-90%


SK in NJ - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 03:36 PM EST (#353643) #
All this talk of collusion yet most free agents are still getting their money/years (Darvish, Cain, Bruce, relievers, etc). The Boras guys are making this situation seem a lot worse than it is.
scottt - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 03:41 PM EST (#353644) #
Worth up to 6/150M with opt-out after 2 and 3 years and full non-trade clause.

That is one guy that was not coming here no matter what.

Mike Green - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 04:31 PM EST (#353645) #
It's not the AAV for Darvish, but the term.  The top tier are probably still thinking 4 years, and may very well get it. 
scottt - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 05:42 PM EST (#353646) #
There's only 2, 3 days left for pitchers.

Still no reason for Hosmer or Martinez to wait any longer, but Boras will do what he wants.

Moustakas, Lucroy, Walker, Nunez, CarGo, etc... could last another 2 weeks.

dan gordon - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 06:06 PM EST (#353647) #
Very interesting article from BlueJaysNation about potential Jay Andrew Cashner, and his Estrada-like ability to generate very weak contact on fly balls:
https://bluejaysnation.com/2018/02/09/the-jays-are-looking-at-andrew-cashner-per-morosi-and-thats-maybe-not-even-a-bad-thing/

I'm hopeful that they can sign him to a 1-year deal.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 07:03 PM EST (#353648) #
If necessary, offer one or two options, it increases the value for the Player if he's successful.
John Northey - Saturday, February 10 2018 @ 11:46 PM EST (#353650) #
Wow, just $21 mil a year for Darvish. 6 years is a long time, but if we make it 5 then it is $25 mil a year which makes more sense. Basically the 6th year is free. Buy 5 get one free special, this winter only!
bpoz - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 12:31 PM EST (#353651) #
One of the features I will enjoy this season is seeing our young/rookie pitchers handle the ML. Hopefully successfully.

I guess 2-3 SPs more than the basic 5. And maybe 4 above the regular 12 man pen.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 01:49 PM EST (#353652) #
Surplus Value
This is the over-riding factor in this Offseason that controls every move being made by every Team. (Although I wonder how G.M.s can justify the absurd Reliever contracts.) I'm pretty sure that was the motive behind every acquisition the Jays made thus far, as much surplus value as possible. The Starters and Relievers that the Jays are after will do likewise. Of course being effective in the A.L. East should matter more.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 02:22 PM EST (#353653) #
Jake Arrieta is a very effective NL Pitcher, a Front-Line Starter. He will be an asset, if he stays in the NL. I don't think he can deliver enough surplus value to cover his cost in the A.L. East.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 02:39 PM EST (#353654) #
Chris Tillman, even 100% healthy isn't that successful in the A.L. East, so I can't really see the Jays' interest.
Jason Vargas is 35, with how much left? He's better than Tillman in the East but still sucks verses NY.
Jaime Garcia, despite his upside is terrible verses the East.
I can see the Jays interest in Andrew Cashner as he's been successful in the East except verses Tampa.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 02:58 PM EST (#353655) #
Lance Lynn has had some success verses the East, but it's a very small sample size. Not sure of his success.
Alex Cobb has had good success pitching in the A.L. East, but was last year the real Alex Cobb? Otherwise he's not very durable as a Starter.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 03:07 PM EST (#353656) #
Alex Cobb should be the Jays' #1 choice as a Starting Rotation acquisition. Andrew Cashner should be the Jays' #2 choice as a Starting Rotation acquisition. Baring that, is there anyone the Jays could trade for that's effective in the East?
John Northey - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 11:28 PM EST (#353657) #
Cobb is a very good pitcher, but is he worth giving up a second round pick and a lot of international cash? Plus whatever term and money he wants of course. I'm not sure...I'd want a bargain deal to make it work. MLB adding that international money as a disincentive to sign free agents was a big big price to add given the tight limits as is. Mix in that the Jays look to be favorites to sign the top free agent this summer (forget who it is) and I'd say 'screw it' to any free agents with compensation.
dan gordon - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 11:42 PM EST (#353658) #
Don't forget that Cobb has benefitted greatly by playing his entire career in one of the best pitchers' parks in baseball, so he is not as good as his overall numbers suggest. On the road, he has surrendered nearly a hit an inning, a WHIP over 1.30 and an ERA just under 4.00. And, of course, that includes mainly pre-surgery seasons. Last year, after surgery, his road numbers included an ERA of 4.72, a WHIP of 1.45, he allowed 110 hits in 95 IP, and only struck out 6.6 per 9. There's a whole lot of pitchers out there who can do that. Sometimes pitchers improve in their 2nd season after TJ surgery, so maybe Cobb has a bit more in the tank than that, but I don't think he's going to be worth the contract he gets.
jerjapan - Sunday, February 11 2018 @ 11:47 PM EST (#353659) #
Everyone is rightfully concerned about sacrificing a pick and pool money as compensation for FAs, but isn't this a lesser penalty than the first rounder was previously?

Either way, it feels as though this concern is a little overblown.  On Stoeten's site there was discussion of how losing EE netted us Nate Pearson, but EE could just have easily netted us Dwight Smith Jr. 

I'd give up the compensation for Cobb or a similar starter, especially at this point in the offseason.  I'm starting to worry that the FO is just going to sit on whatever money they have left over, even though this is the best offseason to invest in FAs that I can remember.  If this is their effort at remaining competitive,  the have a loose definition of the term 'competitive'. 

 
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:19 AM EST (#353660) #
I'd rather have EE than Warmoth.

And cobb is legit good even when you look at the park and league adjusted numbers.
Glevin - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:01 AM EST (#353661) #
"I'd rather have EE than Warmoth."

I wouldn't. The Jays were 100% right to let EE go. They were 110% wrong to sign Morales but that doesn't mean that they should have kept Encarnacion. Encarnacion's contract is already not very good. What would he get if he were a free agent this year? Somewhere around 2/$20M probably. Alonso signed for 2/$16M. Frazier 2/$17M. Encarnacion is 35 and has 2/$40 left. He is at the point in the aging curve where it would be more surprising if there wasn't significant regression/injuries than if there were. (Look at Bautista-145/118/76 WRC+ from 34-36).

"And cobb is legit good even when you look at the park and league adjusted numbers."

When? Cobb had a 4.24 XFIP last year and missed all of 2016 and 2015. At this point, we are saying he was a good pitcher in 2014. He has become a different pitcher. He had a split-change which has gone from a dominant pitch to a poor one. Instead, he is throwing his curveball more. This means he isn't striking out hitters the same (8/9 IP to 6.5/9 IP and he isn't forcing groundballs like he used to (56-58% dropped to 48%) Could he bounce back? Sure. But there is a very real possibility that he is the pitcher he was last year now and that's a pretty mediocre one. I'd be happy to take a gamble on him if it's something like 3/$40 but he's far from a sure thing.
scottt - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 06:44 AM EST (#353662) #
Wasn't EE's pick used to draft Nate Pearson?

scottt - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 07:22 AM EST (#353663) #
The Cubs might be loaded with free agent pitchers on expensive deals, but Cleveland made it with a rotation of young pitchers.

Cobb is a huge health risk.
I'd rather they just give that money to Donaldson and roll with a cheaper 5th pitcher.
There's probably a lot of teams still talking to Cobb. He's probably getting a 4 year deal.
jerjapan - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 07:59 AM EST (#353664) #
Wasn't EE's pick used to draft Nate Pearson?

Yup, but the point is that compensation for signing EE was a draft pick, not Pearson.  Had we resigned EE, that pick might have been spent on Warmoth, not Pearson.  Or, worst case scenario, it might have been blown on a Jacob Anderson, Kevin Comer, Mitch Nay, Matt Smoral, etc.  
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 08:42 AM EST (#353665) #
Cobb

Career: 115gs, 89era-, 92fip-, 88xfip-, 2.9fwar32, 3.8ra9war32, 3.0bwar32

Last Year: 29gs, 86era-, 97fip-, 97xfip-, 2.7fwar32, 4.1ra9war32, 2.7bwar32


and in the 2nd half last year he saw his velo return to his career norms, along with his strikeouts and groundballs, as he put his injury further behind him.
bpoz - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 09:01 AM EST (#353666) #
Someone is going to have a ST for unsigned FAs. MLPA I think.

Both Y Molina and Martin will play 2018 as 35 year olds. This will be Molina's 15th season. All with ST Louis. We all know that the C is very important. Molina provides outstanding O & D. That may be why to some extent that ST Louis has been so successful. As well as not playing in a killer division. Molina has a chance to get into the HOF.

The Jays have catchers D covered with Martin and Maile. Hopefully the farm will provide some depth at C. I mean successful ML catchers.

Regarding Cobb, how close is he to Happ and Estrada? If he is their equal, he sounds like a good 3 year contract. Closer to Happ. If Cobb signs with Boston, last years division winner or Toronto last years also ran, is the comp lost the same as the Darvish lost comp?
Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 09:02 AM EST (#353667) #
With the talent currently on hand, I'd run out a pitching staff that looked like this.  A rotation of Stroman, Sanchez/Pannone, Happ, Biagini/Borucki, Estrada.  The tandems would work as follows. Pannone would work 1-4 innings every 5th day depending on how Sanchez is doing and the game situation.  So, if Sanchez has a blister and can only go 1 inning, Pannone would go 4 innings.  If Sanchez is going well and the Blue Jays lead 7-1 after 6 innings, Pannone might complete the game.  If Sanchez throws 6 innings and the Blue Jays lead 3-2, Pannone would go an inning.  If Sanchez goes 5 innings and the Blue Jays trail 5-0, Pannone would ordinarily finish the game. Biagini and Borucki would each get 2 times through the order (subject to the game situation for Borucki and not having that day for either of them). 

I'd aim to get 80 high leverage outings out of Osuna (54 appearances), with him regularly going 2 innings.  The same would go for Tepera, save that he would ordinarily be used in situations of lower leverage than Osuna except if Osuna is unavailable because of heavy workload.  The other 3 relievers would also regularly pitch 1-2 innings and aim for about 70 innings each of lower leverage work. 

The chances of this happening are nil (even less than the remote chance that the club would use the position players on hand as I would). 

uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 09:09 AM EST (#353668) #
Cobb

Cobb Career: 91.6mph, 19.7k%, 7.0bb%, 54.0gb%
1st Half '17: 91.4mph, 15.8k%, 6.2bb%, 45.4gb%
2nd Half '17: 92.1mph, 20.0k%, 5.4bb%, 52.3gb%
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 09:11 AM EST (#353669) #
"Wasn't EE's pick used to draft Nate Pearson?"

well, warmoth was picked with a better pick than pearson was.
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 09:34 AM EST (#353670) #
not sure why fangraphs' projected standings keep changing, but they now have the Jays with 88 wins and the 2nd wild card.
BlueJayWay - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 09:42 AM EST (#353671) #
Yeah that's weird. They do updates every once in a while but it's not like the Jays have made any moves recently that should up them 4 wins. Also they have the Angels down from 88 to 86.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:15 AM EST (#353672) #
The comp pick for Edwin was Pearson, not Warmoth. Other than that, Glevin explained it very well. Edwin's numbers have been trending downwards the past three seasons and I don't see the logic in paying $20M AAV for a DH's declining mid-30's years. Moving on from Edwin would probably be viewed a lot better had the Jays not signed Morales, but one bad signing doesn't mean signing Edwin would have been right.

In the case of Cobb, the Jays would lose a pick and some international draft money in a year where they are already (allegedly) being tied to Orelvis Martinez who is expected to get paid big. For where the Jays are in their win expectancy, they are much better off signing someone like Garcia who will come cheaper and isn't tied to compensation, rather than pay more for Cobb, lose a pick/international $, and may not get much of a boost in projected wins.

If the team expects to take a step back after 2018, and clearly that appears to be the expectation, then I doubt Cobb is even on their radar. They signed Estrada to a one year extension when he probably would have taken less (AAV) for an additional year. It seems they are either targeting free agents on one year deals, or trade targets with cheap long-term control (Diaz, Solarte, Grichuk). Puts them in the perfect spot to pivot in direction if things fall apart again, while also putting the team in reasonable WC contention. Currently depth charts projections have them at 85 wins, and while that's probably a bit generous given the amount of PA's they are projecting for Travis/Tulo, the floor has increased enough due to increased depth to give them a better shot at reaching that than last year.

With that said, the 2019 rotation will need arms, so I hope they are going to sign someone who can pitch for them in 2019 as well. The rotation is paper thin, and I'd rather not count on Borucki and Pannone to win the spots a year in advance. Having a vet there to hold the fort down in the event the prospects don't pan out (for whatever reason) is preferable.
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:22 AM EST (#353673) #
So if only we could have given up an even better pick to keep EE, we could have still had Pearson. Makes sense.

EE was the 2nd best hitter on the 2nd best team in baseball last year. I know he's no Logan Warmoth, but he's pretty good.

Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:33 AM EST (#353674) #
The Blue Jays announced today that they will retire Roy Halladay's number on Opening Day. 
BlueJayWay - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:34 AM EST (#353675) #
Now it has the Jays at 85....
SK in NJ - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:45 AM EST (#353676) #
I don't get what you're point is. The comp pick from losing Edwin was used to draft Pearson. What does Warmoth have to do with it? Either way, the point is they got an extra pick out of it, which has a $ value attached to it, and is a consideration when signing qualified free agents, even if most draft picks are lottery tickets. Would you rather have an extra comp pick or Jose's 2017 season? Same reasoning. Although it's possible no team was going to sign Jose with a pick attached last year, so the Jays may have been forced into it, but you can be sure if Jose was going to sign elsewhere, then the FO would have taken the pick in a second.
John Northey - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:48 AM EST (#353677) #
I find it funny that people are saying 'but we drafted this guy ahead of the pick that was a solid guy so the Jays, if they didn't have 2 picks would've picked the guy who looks better so far instead'. No, they would've probably taken Warmoth still as if they saw Pearson as better they'd have taken him first so they don't risk losing him to someone else.

Using the logic that the Jays would've taken the best right away then stuff like 3rd round pick John Olerud make no sense as he went straight to the majors (lasted that long because everyone was certain he was staying another year in college). The Jays would've taken Bo Jackson in the first round instead of planning on using their 4th round pick (lost him to KC as they picked just before the Jays that year, Gillick said that is why he picked Olerud in the 3rd a few years later).

Drafting is not an exact science by any stretch. Teams pick based on who they think will sign as well as by who has the most talent. Tellez was picked in the 30's because he was thought to be a tough/impossible sign (ranked in top 100) for a recent example. If the Jays didn't have the comp pick they might have taken Pearson first or they might have hoped he'd last until their 2nd pick.

Some years you get quality for your lost free agents, some years not (1993 should've been a banner draft (lost many free agents, got Chris Carpenter for Tom Henke, but the 6 other free agent picks they got produced a total of -0.4 WAR over 44 games [2 reached]). In 1996 they got 4 extra picks and 3 reached but produced a net of negative WAR again (7th round picked Casey Blake who had over 20 WAR). 2004 they lost Kelvim Escobar but drafted Adam Lind and Zach Jackson. 2007 got 5 extra picks but only Brett Cecil developed into anything (and still under 10 WAR - in exchange for losing Justin Speier). In 2009 they drafted Jake Marisnick and James Paxton in exchange for losing A.J. Burnett. 2010 is the big one Aaron Sanchez (Marco Scutaro), Noah Syndergaard (James Paxton not signing), Asher Wojciechowski (Rod Barajas). Sadly in 2010 the best pick was Kris Bryant in the 11th round but the Jays failed to sign him. Ah, what could've been.
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:48 AM EST (#353678) #
They could have picked Pearson with the Warmoth pick. Seems a pretty simple concept.

Signing Edwin wouldn't have prevented them from getting Pearson.
Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:03 AM EST (#353679) #
I see that Fangraphs' projected #1 pick for 2018 is Brady Singer.  He was also BA's projected #1 pick as of the middle of last year.   He was of course drafted out of high school by the Jays in the second round in 2015, but they were unable to sign him.

I anticipate that the club will sign some pitcher (Cashner, Anderson) on a 1 year deal and will use Biagini out of the pen initially and as their first starter in waiting.  As for 2019, I anticipate that they'll wait to see where they are then. 
85bluejay - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:26 AM EST (#353680) #
So, Esteban Loaiza, who according to Baseball Reference earned nearly $44M in his career, was arrested in San Diego with over 20 Kilograms of cocaine/heroin.
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:31 AM EST (#353681) #
I think I just became an Esteban Loaiza fan.
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:33 AM EST (#353682) #
Didn't the Jays offer EE more money than what he eventually signed for?
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#353683) #
Apparantly the Jays offered EE about $80 mil for 4 years. Shi Davidi also reported that the Jays might have been willing to offer a 5th year.

The Indians signed him for 3 years $60 mil.

In hindsight the mistake the Jays made was signing Morales too quickly. However if they waited they risked missing both players.
AWeb - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:40 AM EST (#353684) #
The 2017 Jays gave 2944 PA (48%) to players who were below replacement (by bbref's numbers) last year. Throw Pearce's PA's in there with his 0.0 WAR, and that's 53.5% of all available PA's going to awful players/performances. Those players (Bautista, Morales, Barney, Goins, Pearce, Carrera, Maile, Coghlan, Urena, Refsnyder, Saunders, Montero) combined for negative 6 WAR. Projection systems are going to like the Jays because they are mostly going to assume the Jays replace that dreck with something better. This is something I think they've accomplished this offseason, even with no major moves.

Just taking the crummy half of the position player roster and giving it 4 WAR (hardly crazy and still well below average as you would expect the worst half of the roster to be), and you get the 2018 Blue Jays, fringey playoff contender, with +10 wins compared to last year. In real terms, if the Jays can get anything out of the middle infield and the corner OF spots, and not lose it elsewhere, they've got a shot. Anything at all aside from a parade of terrible PAs and defense would be nice. Same applies to the pitching. 60 starts went to pitchers with 0 WAR or worse last year. If they can replace 30 of those starts with something good (looking at you and your fingers, Sanchez), and the top three guys maintain value as a group, there's some more.

At a cold look, I like the Jays chances this year just because so much of the team was outright awful in 2017. The season ended on such a sour note (a long, wet, sour note) last year it's hard to get optimism going until a few guys get a few hits in spring training though. I'm just waiting on those small samples. Remember, all good spring training performance means a player will be good, and all bad performance means they are working on something.
Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:41 AM EST (#353685) #
Loaiza was married to Jenni Rivera.

Traffic was a helluva movie.  I especially liked the scene of Guillermo del Toro at a ballgame at the end, trying to get himself clean (or at least that is how I saw it). 

Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:45 AM EST (#353686) #
In hindsight the mistake the Jays made was signing Morales too quickly. However if they waited they risked missing both players.

In hindsight the mistake the Jays made was assuming that Morales could change his launch angle and become a valuable hitter again in his 30s, and committing to that for 3 years.  Quite out of character actually. 
Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:46 AM EST (#353687) #
Guillermo del Toro

Ack.  Benicio.  I just saw The Shape of Water, and Guillermo is on my mind. 
scottt - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 11:59 AM EST (#353688) #
I sure hope they burn an option on Biagini so he can work on getting through 6-7 innings while they try one or 2 of the veterans they have invited this spring. They have 3 serious rebound candidates in Al, Petricka and Axford. They are  only 29, 31 and 34.
scottt - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:02 PM EST (#353689) #
Put me on the list of those supporting testing  and suspensions for drugs of abuse.
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:02 PM EST (#353690) #
"In hindsight the mistake the Jays made was assuming that Morales could change his launch angle and become a valuable hitter again in his 30s, and committing to that for 3 years. Quite out of character actually."

Well youre not going to hit on every lottery ticket.

They hit on Smoak, missed on Morales.

And who knows, maybe Smoak has a down year this year and Morales has a huge season.
bpoz - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:06 PM EST (#353691) #
IMO Shapiro knows that this team is willing to spend comfortably high on payroll. They did in 2016 and 17 and say they are going to match that standard in 2018.

So far he has not swung for the fences and scored the hit. EE was given that kind of offer. Rumors were Boston $25mil/yr. But it did not happen.

The 2015 team has gotten older, we know. It showed in 2017 with Bautista, Tulo and Martin. Any of them can still have a big year. We will find out.

The rest of the off season may produce a conservative move or 2 ie 2 Cashners. Maybe there is a big move coming. But I think that they will pocket the unused budget rather than spend it on mediocrity. We will find out.

IMO Shapiro has a general plan. 85-89 wins hoped for. It could happen.

The youth movement can be implemented next year or at the trade deadline depending on how the season is going.

Richard S.S. - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:22 PM EST (#353692) #
Alex Cobb in 2017
https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.fcgi?id=cobbal01&year=2017&t=p
4 GS vs Baltimore, 24.1 IP, approximately 6.0 per start, 5.9 K/9, 3.2 K/W.
5 GS vs Boston, 29.0 IP, approximately 6.0 per start, 5.5 k/9, 2.25 K/W.
2 GS vs New York, 13.0 IP, approximately 6.1 IP per start, 7.6 K/9, 5.5 K/W.
2 GS vs Toronto, 12.1 IP, approximately 6.0 IP per start, 5.8 K/9, 2.67 K/W.
The Jays will play approximately 46.91% of their total games verses the A.L. East. They need someone who can successfully pitch verses the A.L. East. Alex Cobb is one of the very few available Starters who can.
Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#353693) #

Well youre not going to hit on every lottery ticket.

Morales was an expensive ticket, and his upside as a slow DH was a somewhat lesser version of Encarnacion.  His most probable outcome was a replacement level GIDP machine, best used as a pinch-hitter.   
PeterG - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:25 PM EST (#353694) #
Source: #BlueJays signing LHP Craig Breslow to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to Spring Training.
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:26 PM EST (#353695) #
agreed Richard - the ability to be an above-average pitcher in the AL East in particular is always an added feather in the cap, especially compared with NL pitchers with similar numbers. For example, I'd be much warier of Jaime Garcia being able to replicate his numbers over here.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:32 PM EST (#353696) #
I think last year my two pet peeves watching the team were rolling out a Goins/Barney hopeless infield and watching Batista and Pearce butcher the outfield. I think I was frustrated with Morales more than I should because I desperately wanted Batista or Pearce to see more time at DH, but because of a lack of flexibility from Morales the horrible defence wasn't going anywhere. This year with improved defence in the corners maybe I'll hate Morales less and judge him solely on his bat and maybe just be a little bit more meh on him.
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:44 PM EST (#353697) #
the question this year will be whether Pearce or Morales should be the DH.
Mike D - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:48 PM EST (#353698) #
If Morosi's scoop is true and the Jays are holding out for a one-year deal for their SP acquisition...why does that make sense?

I don't see how it's a good thing to open a third vacancy after contract years for Happ and Estrada, with so few internal rotation options for 2019.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:49 PM EST (#353699) #
Andrew Cashner in 2017
https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.fcgi?id=cashnan01&year=2017&t=p
2 GS vs Baltimore, 13.2 IP approximately 6.2 IP per start, 4.6 K/9, 1.75 K/W.
2 GS vs Boston, 12.0 IP approximately 6.0 IP per start, 4.5 K/9, 0.86 K/W.
1 GS vs New York, 7.0 IP in the only start made, 5.1 K/9, 4.00 K/W.
1 GS vs Tampa Bay, 6.0 IP in the only Start made, 6.0 K/9, 1.33 K/W.
1 GS vs Toronto, 7.0 IP in the only start made, 2.6, K/9, 1.00 K/W.
This is definitely a small sample size, but Andrew Cashner is the only other available starter with an acceptable record verses the A.L. East. That's what really matters. Who's successful verse the A.L. East.
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:53 PM EST (#353700) #
"Morales was an expensive ticket, and his upside as a slow DH was a somewhat lesser version of Encarnacion. His most probable outcome was a replacement level GIDP machine, best used as a pinch-hitter. "

Morales was also the backup plan.

The Jays offered EE a better contract than any other team.

Shapiro also loves switch hitters for some reason. Is there some hidden value in having 2-3 switch hitters in your lineup everyday?
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 12:55 PM EST (#353701) #
"the question this year will be whether Pearce or Morales should be the DH."

I think its good depth to have. The Jay's bench seems to have players who are good enough to be starters.

Shoeless Joe - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 01:05 PM EST (#353702) #
Peace shouldn't see as much regular time as he did last year with Granderson getting most of the at bats against RH pitchers, so having him DH or not is not as relevant this season in my eyes.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 01:26 PM EST (#353703) #
"They could have picked Pearson with the Warmoth pick. Seems a pretty simple concept."


That is a very simplistic, and unrealistic, view of draft picks. The Jays could have signed Edwin and still drafted Warmoth if that was the player they had higher on their internal draft boards. They don't draft on hindsight. The extra pick gave them the chance to get Pearson. That's the entire point. Just like an extra pick if Bautista signed elsewhere would have gotten them someone else on top of that. The cost of signing Edwin was not only paying top dollar for his decline, but also losing an asset.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 01:27 PM EST (#353704) #
Why are the Jays only holding out a one year contract for Free Agents?
1) There is a strong possibility the "Biagini for Starter" group are ascendant in the Organization. He will need a Rotation spot.
2) Next year is when any Donaldson extension kicks in. Might not be able to afford more costly Starters when Sanchez and Stroman are getting increases.
3) Ryan Borucki, Thomas Pannone are on the 40-Man Roster and are very close to being MLB-capable. At some point they need to pitch the Games where it matters.
4) There might be an epic Free Agent class next Offseason. Not having room to maneuver could be costly.
5) There are a number of Pitchers near MLB-ready, needing 40-Man space next year so there needs to be a "thinning of the herd". Trades will become more readily available.
6) Perhaps the Jays don't think this Free Agent class is worth giving term to.
christaylor - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 02:26 PM EST (#353705) #
He who shall not be named will be soon named in an indictment. To make the obvious joke...
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 02:41 PM EST (#353706) #
"The Jays could have signed Edwin and still drafted Warmoth if that was the player they had higher on their internal draft boards. They don't draft on hindsight. The extra pick gave them the chance to get Pearson. T"

And that would have been bad drafting, and their fault.

Or else you're saying that all picks are a lottery tickets, and we want as many as possible and hope that some hit, in which case the very idea of saying "EE signing = No Pearson" is wrong from the getgo.

But if someone wants to claim that signing EE = No pearson, that's obviously BS, as they could have picked him anyways.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 02:54 PM EST (#353707) #
The Jays really don't have to stock AA and AAA with much this year as more and more in-house alternatives advance/are available. The Jays needs are few:
1) Starting Pitcher so Joe Biagini can be their #6 Starter rather than their #5 Starter.
2) Three Relievers for the Bullpen.
In-house RHPs are Taylor Guerrieri and Carlos Ramirez on the 40-Man. Plus on Minor League RHPs contracts are Deck McGuire, Al Alburquerque, Rhiner Cruz, Jeff Petricka and John Axford will compete for at most two spots.
In-House LHPs are Matt Dermondy and Tim Mayza with Minor League LHP signing Craig Breslow competing for at most one spot.

Unless it's someone they really want, I can't see the Jays going after any Relievers unless they reprise the " Estrada role" of 2015. They want as much money as possible for the 2018 Trade Deadline. Every Pitcher signed to Minor deals all have a certain base salary with possible incentives on making MLB. I don't think they are comfortable spending more here.
The number of Starters who can pitch successfully in the A.L. East are very limited, so restricting yourself to one year terms eliminates almost everyone.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 03:03 PM EST (#353708) #
You're arguing two different things. Your first statement, the one I responded to, mentioned that you'd rather have Edwin than Warmoth, implying one had anything to do with the other. The comp pick was used on someone else, so Warmoth's inclusion was irrelevant. I would have rather signed Marco Scutaro in 2010 than draft Deck McGuire, but getting a comp pick for Scutaro did not lead to McGuire being picked before Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, etc, that year. Teams have internal draft rankings. You can't retroactively pick which players they could have chosen based on hindsight. Ultimately, a comp pick is just that, an extra pick. In today's CBA, that means more money to spend in the draft itself, so it's far more valuable.

Just to clarify, I was not comparing Warmoth to McGuire above (I'd much rather have the high floor position player than the no ceiling SP in that situation), but just using that as an example.
greenfrog - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 03:16 PM EST (#353709) #
It would be ironic if as a result of his charges Loaiza went from being ďhe who shall not be namedĒ to ďhe who shall not be named, pursuant to a court-ordered publication ban.Ē
dan gordon - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:06 PM EST (#353710) #
Breslow is unlikely to help. Like Axford, he hasn't been good for quite a while. His last good season was 2013. I think Mayza and Dermody are far more likely to be a useful lefty for the pen. Oh well, no cost to it.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:20 PM EST (#353711) #
i'd still call them cheap, but at least they wouldn't be lying weasels.

WHOA-A-A!!!! This is actually up on 'batters box.ca'??? Amazing what you learn on a tour of the blogs. Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are "lying weasels"!!! "lying weasels"!!!

Leave aside the irony of Buddy, an internet mooch who contributes nothing at all to the Blue Jays calling others "cheap' for not spending enough to gratify his mooching, as well as the irony of the guy caught posting lies last year about a supposed "27% per cent increase" to seasons ticket prices calling anyone else "lying weasels'. More interesting than how that looks, is how this board has degenerated since it became "Buddy's Sheltered Workshop", a place for Buddy and a couple of pals to post the worst trash available on Blue Jay boards.

And this really is the worst trash. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I somehow doubt that Gerry envisaged developing a website that would couple the excellent transaction and minor league coverage, with trash commentary like Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are "lying weasels". WOW!
pubster - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:26 PM EST (#353712) #
CBDC

Parker.

Esteban Loaiza.

Maybe my 3 favourite people right now.
vw_fan17 - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:29 PM EST (#353713) #
mlbtraderumors mentioned this about Breslow: too many injuries to the Twins pen in 2017 turned from a LOOGY into a general reliever. Against LHB, he was good for 214/294/286. Maybe we don't want a LOOGY, but, maybe we do?

vw_fan17 - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:31 PM EST (#353714) #
end italics?
uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:43 PM EST (#353715) #
SK - see, from my point of view, the "EE signing would mean no Pearson" is the oversimplified misleading take, and tyhe fact that sacrificing an even better pick would not have provided the same gut reaction as the "we wouldn't have pearson" take demonstrates that.

Dean - come on man, it was a joke, caricaturing my own hot takes more than anything. and no for the record i don't get to go to games for free.
dan gordon - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#353716) #
Breslow doesn't have big platoon splits for his career. He allowed an OPS against of more than .800 vs lefties in 2014 and again in 2015, and then in 2016 lefties destroyed him to the tune of .400/.423/.520/.943. I would say his 2017 numbers against lefties are a small sample size fluke, unless there is something drastically different he started doing last year.
Chuck - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:51 PM EST (#353717) #
I somehow doubt that Gerry envisaged developing a website

I thought this was coach's creation. No?

uglyone - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:52 PM EST (#353718) #
and for the record, ticket prices did rise by as much as 17%, after a sellout 2+ seasons, so we'll see if the payroll increase matches that.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#353719) #
Some people comment before confirming their details.
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/blue-jays-sign-craig-breslow-minors.html
However, lefties were utterly befuddled against Breslow, hitting just .196/.294/.286.
The reason for Minor League deals is that they are risk free. Breslow can be a LOOGY, if he's still effective, the Jays don't need much more. If he's not on the Team, he's got an opt out.
John Northey - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 05:58 PM EST (#353720) #
I find the talk about who was compensation for EE a bit silly. They lost EE, got a pick, used the pick on Pearson. Period. Warmoth was picked with their regular pick. There is no reason on earth to think the Jays picked Warmoth thinking Person would drop so lets take the inferior player first.

As I mentioned earlier in 1989 the Jays picked John Olerud in the 3rd round even though they knew he was far more talented than just about anyone picked before him that year. They waited because they felt he was unlikely to sign and felt the 3rd round or later was a worthwhile risk to lose for the chance to sign him. In 1986 they did the same idea on Bo Jackson but waited one round too long and lost him to KC. We don't say the Jays drafted Bo Jackson that year, or that they took Olerud with their first pick in 1989 (they picked Eddie Zosky with their first round pick), nor do we say they picked Jackson in the 3rd round in 1986 even though they wish they did (they took Andy Dziadkowiec instead...never reached majors). Funny think - that 1986 draft the Jays took Xavier Hernandez in the 4th round, a decent reliever, and Pat Hentgen in the 5th.

So, bottom line, the pick was used for Pearson and that is in stone. Losing EE equals getting Pearson. Now, if the Jays come out and say they would've drafted Pearson first if they didn't have that pick things would be different but that would've been dumb given 5 teams had picks between those 2 picks.
Mike Green - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 06:22 PM EST (#353721) #
If Morosi's scoop is true and the Jays are holding out for a one-year deal for their SP acquisition...why does that make sense?
I don't see how it's a good thing to open a third vacancy after contract years for Happ and Estrada, with so few internal rotation options for 2019.

Good question, Mike D.  I suppose that it is possible that the remaining pitchers fall into one of two camps- the top end who are now looking for four years plus in light of the Darvish signing (Arrieta, Cobb, Lynn) and lower end who you might only want for one year like Cashner or Garcia.  They did sign Happ for 3/39 a few years ago, and I don't see why they wouldn't want to try to repeat that now except that the talent available isn't really looking at that kind of term/AAV combination.  It's a pretty thin pitching market- personally I'd prefer if they tried to extend Estrada who really wants to stay here anyways. 
bpoz - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 06:28 PM EST (#353722) #
There is a lesson in what you say John N.

Bo Jackson was a super star in both Baseball and football. There had to be signability issues. If he does not sign you get nothing. He was probably the best player in the draft that year. I am sure all the teams knew that he was very good.

It is best to take the guy that you like. Play the drafting rules properly. The top 3 rounds, I think, are protected for unsigned players. But 4-10 are not protected and the budget is lost.
scottt - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 06:51 PM EST (#353723) #
If you remember, they didn't trust Estrada with 3 years. He said he would have preferred 3 years with a lower AAV.
If Estrada has another good season, they might just re-ink him anyway.
Some of those pitching prospects need to graduate anyway. There won't be enough room on the roster.
As long as Stroman/Sanchez profile at the top of the lineup, they can fill the bottom with younger arms.
That's especially true if they take things easy with all the position players finally graduating.

85bluejay - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 07:09 PM EST (#353724) #
My guess is that the Jays will try to extend both Estrada & Happ for another year if needed, so don't mind having 5th starter on a 1 year contract.
Spifficus - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 07:42 PM EST (#353725) #
Well, one thing I'll say about Breslow is that he was different last year - He went from a Fastball, Cutter, Sinker, Changeup guy to a Sinker, Curveball, Changeup guy. He threw a third of his career curveballs last year (113 of 592 last year vs 326 of 8715 career). Who knows if he can build something decent out of it, but it is definitely different.
scottt - Monday, February 12 2018 @ 10:06 PM EST (#353726) #
The red flag here is that Breslow is 37 which is probably why he can't blow anyone away with the fastball anymore.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 13 2018 @ 01:57 AM EST (#353727) #
I'm a big believer in volume when it comes to relievers. They are so volatile, you never know when you'll hit on one. Pick up a bunch of guys and hope one figures things out and has a great year. There is no such thing as a bad minor league invite and I'd rather the Jays spend their remaining budget on a starter than on getting a proven middle reliever.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, February 13 2018 @ 09:11 AM EST (#353728) #
I know he is not universally popular here, but I for one am going to miss Jerry Howarth. He has an essential part of the soundtrack of so many summers. Best wishes on your retirement, Jerry.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 13 2018 @ 09:25 AM EST (#353729) #
I'm fine with what the Jays are doing with relievers as well. Pile up enough RP's with velocity and/or strike out ability, and you are bound to get lucky with at least one of them. If not, then they are minor league deals, so there's really no risk anyway.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 13 2018 @ 09:35 AM EST (#353730) #
Jerry wasn't my favourite broadcaster of all time, but he came prepared to do his job for over 35 years at the major league level (and years before that working his way up to the Show).  I wish him a happy retirement as well. 
uglyone - Tuesday, February 13 2018 @ 09:47 AM EST (#353731) #
jerry's one of the voices of my childhood, like bob cole and joe bowen. I'll miss him.
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