Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The #BlueJays face another New York team at the Dome for a weekend set.

Series Schedule / Probable Pitchers

Friday at 7:07 pm ET - Sonny Gray (5-6, 5.44 ERA) vs. Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.97 ERA)
Saturday at 4:07 pm ET - Luis Severino (13-2, 1.98 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (10-4, 4.03 ERA)
Sunday 1:07 pm ET - Domingo German (2-4, 5.37 ERA) vs. Ryan Borucki (0-1, 2.77 ERA)

Note that Sunday's game was the one that was supposed to be on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball before the Yankees whined, cried, bitched, moaned and bellyached their way out of it because of a doubleheader in Baltimore Monday. Their 56-28 record leaves them one game back of Boston in the AL East. Since being swept in Tampa Bay, the Yankees took two of three in Philadelphia before doing the same to Boston and Atlanta on a six-game homestand.

The Blue Jays split their two games against the Mets. Their 40-46 mark leaves them 18 games out of first.
Blue Jays vs. Yankees - July 6-8 | 138 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
85bluejay - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#361358) #
Come on Happ, we need a stellar outing & Smoak it wouldn't kill to have a great series.
Gerry - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#361362) #
I am going to the game tonight. I am not expecting it to be low scoring.
85bluejay - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#361364) #
Braves do not sign 1st rd. pick Carter Stewart - the ninja strikes again.
hypobole - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#361365) #
Always good to have a lower pick and less money the next year. That's 3 1st round picks not signed - DBacks and Dodgers didn't get a deal done either.
John Northey - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#361367) #
Always interesting when a first round pick doesn't get signed.  One wonders what the player is looking for as just over a million is a lot plus it gets their shot at the majors going.  The earlier you sign the quicker you get to the 'must be called up' stage and the earlier you get to free agency and mega bucks.  I understand lower rounds but aren't going to do much better.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#361368) #
Always nice to see the Jays hammer on the Yanks, even better to make it obvious they can't rely on Sonny Gray for a stretch run.
hypobole - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#361370) #
John, it seems the medicals were worse than expected. Atlanta, because of that, wouldn't come close to slot, closer to 40%. Kid felt it wasn't worth it.
vw_fan17 - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#361373) #
Always nice to see the Jays hammer on the Yanks, even better to make it obvious they can't rely on Sonny Gray for a stretch run.
Maybe they want both Happ AND Gaviglio?? :-)
John Northey - Friday, July 06 2018 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#361374) #
Thanks hypobole - didn't have time to dig into it (crazy party tonight for 12 year old with about a dozen I have a 3 year old).

With poor medicals it makes sense the team would low-ball the player, and in that case it makes sense for the kid to go to college instead as in 2-4 years he might be healthy and able to command a lot more.  Of course, depending how bad the medicals are he could also be out hundreds of thousands of dollars.
scottt - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 06:50 AM EDT (#361375) #
I'm not sure I get all of that.

If the medical is bad, it's probably better to skip the pick and try again the following year, but then why offer 40% of slot?
What difference does 600K make to the team? That's not really money that can be used elsewhere.

scottt - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 06:53 AM EDT (#361376) #
I'd offer Gaviglio for Sonny Gray.

scottt - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 06:59 AM EDT (#361378) #
It's always fun to beat the Yankees and the crowd was all smiles last night, but even if they sweep, they'd still be 3 games below .500. Sigh.
hypobole - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#361379) #
but then why offer 40% of slot?

Because if you don't offer at least 40%, you don't get the pick next year.
grjas - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#361380) #
Maybe Morales has some value after all:

While I donít have the same level of distaste for him as many on this site, thereís little point keeping an ageing DH on a soon to be rebuilding team so perhaps thereís some trade potential if he keeps this up over the month.
bpoz - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#361383) #
LAA is fading fast.
hypobole - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#361384) #
Gotta give congratulations to Jose Bautista. Hit his first ever walk-off HR, a grand slam to boot.
John Northey - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#361387) #
Great to see Bautista having a comeback.  Took a bit but he is doing it in NY now for the Mets.  As long as it doesn't hurt the Jays - great!  Lets hope he doesn't get traded to the Yanks or something now.

As to Morales, if someone offers anything for him without the Jays eating salary (either Morales or taking on a big one) then go for it.  If you can get a prospect, even better, even if the kid is in rookie ball.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#361390) #
John Lott has a good article on Sam Gaviglio over at the Athletic.  Gaviglio's newborn is still in Oregon waiting for her passport- I guess it shouldn't surprise me that the authorities cannot get this done quickly.  
85bluejay - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#361391) #
A potential big day for the Jays - Happ,Solarte & Smoak need "A" game.No injuries to prospective trade candidates please.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#361393) #
I don't think Morales' contract will ever be movable, but good to see his season turning around. His batted ball profile is still very good. He may very well end up being around what he was projected to be (~100 wRC+), which would be solid after the start he had. Considering the team is out of it this year, and doesn't figure to contend next year either, there's no harm in having him DH until the end of his contract once the roster is cleared (Pearce already gone, and Granderson likely on the way out as well).

If they were planning to contend, then that would be a different story, but a rebuilding/retooling team can afford to have a vet in that spot.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#361394) #
Yep, Morales may end up with a 95 wRC+ by the end of the year.  It will mark his second year below replacement level, but fortunately it isn't really a huge deal because the players the club needed to perform haven't (mostly due to injury). 

Joe Biagini now has a pretty good line as a reliever over his career- 7.9 K/9, 2.7 W/9, 0.75 HR/9, a .310 wOBA despite a .315 BABIP, a 3.68 ERA with a 3.58 FIP and a 3.84 xFIP in 120 innings.  Kudos to Gibbons for sticking with him. 
Chuck - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#361395) #
I missed the game yesterday but am intrigued to learn that the pivotal at-bat, perhaps the most important at-bat, in the 5-run inning was Diaz's groundout to second base, to advance the baserunner.

I never would have guessed.

That kind of assessment feels like a passive aggressive old school pushback to modern day analysis, an assessment that lives right in Buck's wheelhouse.

85bluejay - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#361396) #
Totally agree about Biagini & yes Kudos to Gibbons for sticking with him & also was his chief advocate for Biagini remaining in the pen.

Oh & Clippard should attract the attention of contenders and Oh has that cheap option for next year (which becomes GTD. with 70 games appearance) which may make him more attractive to a team like Atlanta.
uglyone - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#361397) #
come on guys, Morales is back down to a 91wrc+ his last 10gms. even bad hitters have hot months.

and yeah, kudos to Gibbons on rehabilitating Biagini into the quality reliever he should probably never have stopped being.

85bluejay - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#361398) #
Yankees have called up Clint Frazier - showcase?
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#361399) #
The interesting thing is the Jays seem to have more trade chips than there are contenders. The playoff teams in the AL are nearly all decided already, with the 2nd WC being the only question mark if the Mariners fall off (which is possible considering how lucky they have been so far). Only the A's and possibly the Angels might look to buy at the deadline, but they are both a decent number of games behind. There are more contending teams in the NL, which is good for the Jays.

There might be value in combining assets together in deals given the potential shortage of buyers on the market. Teams looking at Happ might give up more if it's Happ + Oh (for example). I think the NL is where the Jays are going to make their trades. I'd look at Philly and Atlanta in particular.
hypobole - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#361400) #
As I've said before, Chuck, Buck and Pat's comedic timing is impeccable.
hypobole - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#361401) #
We'd be a great trade partner with Atlanta if we're willing to eat money, we we definitely should be. Apparently there is little financial wiggle-room there.

(Side note - I think part of the reason AA got the Braves job was how well he proved to be able to work with constant "payroll parameters").

Philly, on the other hand, would probably prefer to take on salary to lessen prospect cost.
hypobole - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#361402) #
GAhhh.... "we we" should read "which we"
whiterasta80 - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#361403) #
Was totally with ugly on the "biagini should be in the pen" from the beginning. I still believe that you develop in the pen and be just as capable of stretching out quickly.
uglyone - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#361404) #
Sk I agree - package together a starter, reliever, and bench bat and you can solve all of a contenders needs all at once, and that could pry out a good prospect.
Paul D - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#361405) #
I know this is almost certainly a terrible idea... But what if the Jays took Sonny Gray from the Yankees in a Happ deal? Could they get a better prospect that way?
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#361406) #
Agreed ugly. In addition to combining some players, the Jays also have the green light from ownership to eat up money, which is essentially how they got Hernandez last year. There are simply not enough buyers for 6 impending free agents (Donaldson, Happ, Estrada, Granderson, Clippard, Loup), plus desirable players with options like Oh and Smoak, plus players with more control who do not figure to be part of the Vlad years like Pillar, Solarte, etc. They won't be able to trade all of them this month, but combining a couple of them + eating up outgoing salary might get them better deals, and that's really all that matters. The Jays do not need to shed payroll, they need to add talent. It's a good spot to be in. Now we just need everyone to perform and stay healthy for another 3 weeks.
John Northey - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#361407) #
An interesting benefit of the AL playoff teams pretty much being decided is a contender could take a flier on Donaldson or another injured player who might be 100% by Septmeber/October for the playoffs which is all that matters for those teams now.  Whereas if they were in a tight fight for a playoff slot they might not see an injured superstar as being useful at this point.  The price obviously would be less than if healthy but needs to be equal to a late 1st round pick at least.  Ideally someone who has under 2 years minor league experience so has time before being added to the 40 man, in A ball so could be ready for 2021/22 as Vlad & Bo get up to full speed in the majors.  A Donaldson trade for that would be acceptable for everyone I suspect.  The Jays would rather trade him for that than do a QO this winter I suspect.

The NL is super-competitive. 
NL East: tie at top between Philly and Atlanta, Washington 5 back (was viewed as a dead lock to win the division pre-season)
Central: Milwaukee leads Cubs by 2 1/2, St Louis a hot streak from serious contention at 7 1/2 back.
West: Arizona leads Dodgers by 1, Colorado & SF by 3 1/2. 

So in the NL you have 9 teams in serious contention with an 10th on the edge.  Pittsburgh is within 10 of the 2nd wildcard too (thus marginal...needs a big hot streak to make trades worth it).

I suspect we'll see Happ gone sooner than later.  Estrada and Donaldson might go to an AL team wanting help for the playoffs but prices will be low.  Relievers will probably go as well, but Biagini will stick around probably.
John Northey - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#361409) #
Just for fun I checked 2015...Jays were 8 games back on the morning of July 28th, 1 game under 500.  They then went 43-18 705 the rest of the way.  What changed?  That was the day they traded for Troy Tulowitzki.  2 days later David Price.  They won 3 straight, lost one, then won 11 straight.  Had a 5, 3, 2 game winning streaks in August as well to take over the AL East lead.  A 6 gamer in September sealed the deal and the rest is history.

My general rule is being within 10 by August to have any shot.   Sadly the Jays are 18 out, 16 for top WC, 14 for second.  Low odds so might as well go nuts and clear out the vets. All eyes should be on 2020 and beyond as I doubt 2019 will be much easier than this year.
85bluejay - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#361410) #
AA has said in interviews that it was Tulo's defence that was a key to that run - I've always wondered if AA asked the Tigers about Jose Iglesias in the David Price talks maybe offering to pay most of Jose Reyes contract - might have turned out better for the Jays - Of Course, Detroit were still dithering about whether to sell or not and AA ended up making the Tulo deal before Dombrowski got the ok to sell - Pity.
Parker - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#361411) #
"John Lott has a good article on Sam Gaviglio over at the Athletic. Gaviglio's newborn is still in Oregon waiting for her passport- I guess it shouldn't surprise me that the authorities cannot get this done quickly."

That's weird, since you don't need a passport to cross the border if you're under the age of 16.
Parker - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#361412) #
By land or sea, anyway. You'd think it would be quicker to have someone drive his wife and daughter to Vancouver and fly from there.
John Northey - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#361413) #
Well, doubt the Yankees were too impressed with Happ today.  2 HR to start followed by 2 walks, both scored.  Since that he has thrown 2 2/3 IP 2 H 4 BB 5 K.  Under 3 IP today.  Frustrating.  Now Gibbons kicked out.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#361414) #
This has been a horrible year for the Jays in terms of converting their veteran players into assets for rebuilding. Donaldson out for much of the year, Estrada and Tepera recently going down with injury issues, Morales continuing to be untradeable, Happ reverting to mediocre Happ at exactly the wrong time.

Any offer that was on the table for Happ two weeks ago is probably no longer available.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#361415) #
It is hard to really judge since we don't know what offers were/are on the table, but it does appear the Jays are going to lose value by trying to go for the Wild Card in 2018 rather than starting the retool earlier. The value lost by not trading Donaldson either last trade deadline or last winter might end up being significant.

Remains to be seen with Happ, but if the last two starts are any indication, the luster might start to come off if it continues. Not going to get easier since his next start will be at Boston. Combining Happ with another asset is starting to look like a really good option.

I think you can make an argument that ownership wanted to try to win in 2018 so the FO held on to assets for too long, but there should be no excuse for that going forward seeing how poor the team is. Anyone who is not going to be on the team during their next competitive window should be moved by next trade deadline. Hopefully the FO doesn't wait too long on the others as well. If we are having this same discussion about Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna in a year or two, then it's a real problem.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#361416) #
I donít think the front office can be blamed in any of this. Itís really just a case of bad luck (untimely injuries and underperformance). The one positive is that they didnít sacrifice any good prospects in their attempt at ekeing out one last year of contention from the last core group.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#361417) #
I don't think the FO is to blame either, as I doubt there was any chance of Rogers agreeing to a rebuild coming off the attendance boon of the last three seasons. However, going forward, now that attendance is dipping and the team clearly isn't going to contend for at least a year or two, the FO has to start prioritizing the maximizing of assets (specifically Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna). If the Jays want to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox during Vlad's time here, they are going to need more than their own drafting. They are going to have to trade for some difference making pieces.

There's still 3 weeks to go until the deadline so way too early to tell what will happen this summer.
hypobole - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#361418) #
FG had us with the best odds for the 2nd WC this year.

Without comment, here's this bit from a very recent Jeff Zimmerman ESPN Insider piece entitled:

"Ten teams that must decide if it's time to start a full rebuild"

4. Toronto Blue Jays: In a lot of ways, you could look at the Blue Jays and figure they're doomed. Compared to the Mets, their season has followed a similar trajectory. Just like the Orioles, they're looking up at the Yankees and the Red Sox, and they'll be doing so for the foreseeable future. It's been a season of great disappointment. But there are two primary reasons why I don't think the Jays should tear it down totally.

One of them is named Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and the other is named Bo Bichette. These are two of the top five or 10 prospects in baseball, and they should be ready to make a difference in 2019. To say nothing of, say, Danny Jansen. The Jays shouldn't hesitate at all to move the rentals, veterans such as J.A. Happ or Marco Estrada. And maybe, just maybe, Josh Donaldson will come back from the disabled list and show enough to generate interest. But there's no sense in making the bigger moves anyway. Marcus Stroman's stock is down. The same goes for Aaron Sanchez. The Jays should think about short-term trades, and they shouldn't rule out wild-card contention next year. It won't be easy, but it should be within their reach.
uglyone - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#361419) #
oh hey I think the FO is to blame
greenfrog - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#361420) #
Because they didnít give $80m+ to Fowler or $210m to Price or big dollars to Encarnacion and Price? (I hate to be a bit of a troll, but you are opening yourself up for a comparison of the front officeís moves with the moves you said you would have executed instead.)

Also, under Shapiro, the farm system is probably now top-5 in baseball (augmented by current FO prospects like Bichette, Pearson, Smith, Pardinho, McGuire, Biggio, Young, Taylor, Noda, Groshans, Conine, Kloff, Orelvis, Hiraldo, to name but a few). I donít know about you, but that puts me in a happy/grateful frame of mind, not a blaming/complaining one.
John Northey - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#361421) #
Agreed greenfrog - free agents tend to be a bad market to get into unless you are willing to eat contracts and the Jays rarely are it seems.  Free agents are best as final pieces to a puzzle, like Dave Winfield & Jack Morris in 1992, replaced by Paul Molitor and Dave Stewart the next year.  When the Jays jumped in 2005/6 with B.J. Ryan, A.J. Burnett, Bengie Molina, and a few trades as well to move from a 80 win team to a 87 win team (and 2nd place but well back).  That cost a fortune with meh returns and no playoffs.  There was potential and it was a last gasp with Halladay.  Still, bad idea to try to jump from sub 500 to contender via spending a fortune imo.

This winter the Jays need to clear out deadwood and get the kids in place as 2019 will be a rebuild year with an eye to 2020 ... only sign free agents if they will fill an obvious hole that won't be filled in 2019 by prospects (starting pitching for example) or if a guy falls into their lap by dumb luck. 

As to the guys mentioned...
Fowler: 52 OPS+ owed nearly $50 mil over 2019-21.
Price: 102 ERA+ 4.31 FIP,  owed $127 mil over 2019-22
Encarnacion: 105 OPS+ owed nearly $27 mil over 2019/2020 (more if they don't buyout 2020).

Yeah, not what the Jays need.  Price still would be nice and EE would be better than the deadwood at DH but none are bargains nor would/should the Jays take any of the 3 in a trade for a bag of balls unless the team on the other end covered a chunk of their salary.
Gerry - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#361422) #
That makes a couple of bad starts in a row for Happ. Maybe the trade speculation is getting to him.

However, I did think Gibby was quickish with the hook today so maybe something is bugging Happ that the Jays aren't talking about.
scottt - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#361423) #
There was several factors with Biagini, One was seeing how he throws out of the windup as opposed  to the stretch.
One was checking if he could improve with conditioning when facing hitters a second and third time.
They've simplified his delivery, but he seems better when throwing his fastball as hard as he can.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, July 07 2018 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#361424) #
I don't think the Jays should be singing any big name free agents anytime soon. However I would take a shot at buying some free agent years from Grichuk, Hernandez, Stroman, Sanchez....take a shot at guys who might be a little up in the air and guarantee a few bucks in non-competitive years to try and get some value during some years that might require surplus value...a few team options tacked on of course.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#361425) #
hey greenfrog - 3yrs in, what do you think the FO is more thankful to AA for - is it the championship calibre team w/packed house they inherited? or is it the top-5 farm system led by the prospects he gave them?
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 05:44 AM EDT (#361426) #
Considering they were also left with a very old and expensive roster with holes to fill, and they a lot into the top end of the same farm system in 2 years, I doubt they'll be thankful as much as they'll shrug and say "It is what it is" and marvel at the complexities and nuances of life.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 05:46 AM EDT (#361427) #
They ^put^ a lot [of impact prospects] into the system in 2 years.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#361428) #
It was a championship-caliber team, but lets not pretend it was a Houston Astro or Chicago Cub style core that was built for a decade. The core of that championship-caliber team has cratered into oblivion only a few short years after those few magical years.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#361429) #
It was a championship-caliber team, but lets not pretend it was a Houston Astro or Chicago Cub style core that was built for a decade. The core of that championship-caliber team has cratered into oblivion only a few short years after those few magical years.

Exactly. We all knew at the time it was likely to be a short window...and it was.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#361430) #
Itís not as if the Jaysí farm system is composed of a stack of AA-era prospects complemented by a few Shapiro prospects. If you include Teoscar as a prospect addition, in a couple of years the front office has added prospects like:


Also, during that brief couple of years, the team has not dealt a single prospect of note, moving instead players like Hutchison, Olivares, Greene and Leone. And it has shown a knack for picking up cheap effective relievers like Smith and Oh and Clippard. And it has avoided a slew of potential free agent disasters like Price, Bautista, Fowler, Cobb, etc. (And it made arguably the best free agent signing of the 2015 off-season in Happ.)

The front office hasnít been making expensive flashy moves, which will always disappoint a certain kind of fan, but in aggregate the moves theyíve made are starting to look quite promising.
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#361431) #
Boston just lost a catcher. Would you trade Maile to the Sox?
Maile has been worth .8 bWAR with an OPS+ of 93.
Vasquez has been worth -0.7 bWAR with an OPS+ of  47.

Of course, Boston might be more interested in an offensive catcher, but with their pitching staff, I think that would be a huge mistake.

bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#361432) #
I am very grateful to AA for 1) Getting the payroll to a very high level, compared to before. 2) The playoff successes in 2015 and 2016. 3) He made the farm very strong.

Regarding the current FO. 1) The farm is even stronger. 2) Payroll is as strong as ever.

I did not see the window being closed after 2016. As far as I am concerned injuries closed the window. The FO knew that the team was old and they said so. I don't think they should have dismantled the old team before 2017 because it was a successful team in 2016. Sanchez is young but his blister issue hurt the 2017 team. Tulo's injuries have hurt both 2017 and 2018. Martin 17/18. Travis's in 2017. Donaldson 2018. Osuna 2018. Stroman 2018.

In 2017 we had 76 wins vs 85 wins 2nd WC. If we could have replaced Tulo, Travis and Sanchez, we had a good chance at 86 wins, I suppose. Yu Darvish or S Gray could have replaced A Sanchez. I am not sure at which time in the season we would trade for the other 2 replacements. Since this did not happen the prospect cost is not worth a big discussion IMO.

At this time in 2018 IMO we are very far away from the 2nd WC. We would have to be V good/lucky to win the 2nd WC.
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#361433) #
Sure, I'd send Boston Maile if they give up a B or C level prospect.  We all know he won't hit this well ever again most likely so why not?  However, Boston isn't run by idiots.  They know he has a 52 OPS+ lifetime even with the hot streak.  I am surprised to see he had a 700 OPS in June, 642 in May as I thought he turned back into his usual self awhile ago.  But the last 28 days he has a 172/235/207 line so that is more what I expected from him.

Meanwhile Jansen is hitting 290/405/477 in AAA and is more than ready.  McGuire is nearly there with his 246/333/344 line (acceptable for a backup).  Unfortunate that Patrick Cantwell is injured in AA as his 271/377/417 line suggests he is too low and should be in AAA at age 28.  If Maile is traded odds are the Jays will run out and grab a AAA/AAAA type catcher to fill in at AAA for now.

A big reason not to trade Maile is he makes the ML minimum this year and next before starting arbitration in 2020 so he is a solid backup for a long time.  Of course, that also makes him appealing to other teams.  The Jays can afford to be picky with trading him.  Now, if someone out there is dumb enough to take on Martin's salary on the other hand...
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#361434) #
eat most of Martin's money and trade him to the Sox.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#361435) #
Honestly Russell Martin has more value as a mentor and casual fan favorite than getting another Santiago Espinal in return. Maile I would definitely move to give one of the younger catchers some MLB burn.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#361436) #
The Jays should keep Maile, unless some team values him as a starting catcher and is willing to give up a commensurate amount of prospect talent in exchange for him. Maile has real value to the Jays as a cheap, durable C with strong defensive ability and possibly something approximating adequate offensive ability.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#361438) #
"I did not see the window being closed after 2016."

It was definitely closed after 2016. Maybe they could have wiggled into a WC spot in 2017-18 but that was primarily due to the weakness of the rest of the league, and clearly that wasn't going to happen in 2018.

A big part of the team's success was having two elite sluggers signed to cheap contracts. After 2016, they would no longer be cheap, and bringing them back long-term would have meant paying them way more for diminishing results. All you have to do is look at how Donaldson, Tulo, Martin, Edwin, and Bautista are doing now to see how short-term that group was. Not even a full two years after a playoff appearance and those five have combined for a 2.0 WAR in '18, and half of that is Bautista by himself. This was a predictable decline. Many here were calling it in 2016. It was just the price of the 2015-16 success.

I've been pretty transparent in saying that I think this FO has been great so far, so I won't rehash that. The farm system is in a very good spot right now and we are probably a year and a half from seeing a big league team loaded with young talent. Considering that might happen without a true rebuilding phase is actually remarkable.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#361439) #
The only benefit to Martin and Tulo is to mentor/help the team's younger talent (Jansen and Bo in particular). That might actually provide more value to the team than trading either one. I mean, if the Red Sox want to trade a good piece for Martin, then do it without hesitation, but $20M a year for a 35-year old catcher on the decline is not desirable.
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#361440) #
McGuire is 23, Maile is 27. Catchers decline rapidly. Russell was supposed to be the exception, but I don't expect another 3+WAR year form him ever.

To trade Martin and get any return, you'd probably have to eat all of this year's salary and most of next year.
Or maybe one of those weird trade in which Martin is sent back at the end of the year.

uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#361441) #
so eat the salary then.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#361442) #
UO what quality of prospect do you think Martin would fetch if the Jays ate the entirety of his salary?

greenfrog - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#361445) #
Another point in favour of this front office is what theyíve done in terms of adding controllable major-league positional players. Apart from the Morales misstep, theyíve added Teoscar, Grichuk, Diaz, Solarte and Maile ó all without giving up anything much of value.

In sum, under the current regime, the net inflow of controllable young talent (prospects and major-league players) has been significant, while the net outflow of talent has been very limited.
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#361446) #
Rating front offices for the Jays this group is upper level.  Bottom by a mile is Gord Ash (given a deep farm, did some great drafting of first rounders, horrid trades, horrid free agency record outside of Clemens, never made playoffs), then JPR who looked promising at first but did poorly and had bad luck as well.  Top level is Gillick (HOF), AA (got back into playoffs, signed Vlad Jr & Bo Bichette who might be the key two pieces of the next great Jay team).  I pretty much ignore Bavesi as he was just there year one. 

Current team so far has only one flop (Morales), but that only cost cash.  No Syndergaard trade (AA), or other nightmares yet.  No drafting Ricky Romero over Troy Tulowitski (JPR) or Augie Schmidt over Dwight Gooden (Gillick) as far as we know.  The story on this management team is slowly being written but will only be known in about 5 years as their first moves become obvious good or bad, and 10 years to really know.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#361447) #
Bichette was drafted by Shapiro/Atkins, not AA.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#361448) #
Just lost a post. So I will make the new post short.

Regarding the window being shut at the end of 2016.

My opinion was no. Others yes. No problem.

The rotation: Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, Liriano.

Closer: Osuna

2016 Donaldson, Martin, Tulo and Travis.

Negatives: lost a fantastic EE. 2016 Bautista was not as good.

The biggest positive for me was the injury free 2016 and we only won 89 games.

If anyone had said that injuries should be expected to be "much" worse so the window is closed, I would believe a lot more.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#361449) #
the idea that the window was closed is patently ridiculous, for the record.

you can argue that injuries ruined seasons since, but that is not at all the same thing.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#361450) #
The rotation in 2016 was unusually healthy all season and performed at a high level. The offense was declining during the 2016 season, especially in September and heading into October, and that was with Bautista and Edwin on the team. Reality is the pitching was not going to be that healthy all season again, and the offense was already on the decline. The only reason they had any chance at all in 2017 was the weak AL in general, but then the Yankees took off. Blaming the predictable decline on injuries is a cope out. Sure some of the blame can be put on injuries, but that would be ignoring the bigger problem.

The past two seasons have been transitional years. If they happened to be a WC team during that time, great, but luckily the FO recognized where they were on the win curve and how much work had to be done on the farm system, and reacted accordingly. The fact that the Jays do not have to scorch earth and rebuild that way is a testament to how good the FO has been since they took over.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#361451) #
I'll agree with that - the window wasn't closed on day one of 2017. It was closed in particular by the injuries to Donaldson, Tulo, Travis and Sanchez. And this year, it was closed in particular by the injuries to Donaldson, Tulo, Stroman. Not to mention under-performance and injuries to other players as well. Aging teams tend to underperform and get injured, and sometimes its only linear insomuch as a cliff is a straight line downward.
lexomatic - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#361452) #
the idea that the window was closed is patently ridiculous, for the record.

you can argue that injuries ruined seasons since, but that is not at all the same thing.
This. 2016 had a reasonable chance at playoffs before the season, and everything went wrong. Even a strong likelihood of exactly what happened occurring is not a closed window. This season had a reasonable chance of competing for the wildcard before injuries torpedoed it. The window is closing this season.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#361453) #
Is Borucki staying in for the 6th inning? That would be a great test.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#361455) #
Ok Jays lets put Borucki in a position to win this game. Have a big inning.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#361456) #
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#361457) #
I wouldn't say everything went wrong, but you had players showing age or getting injured at a higher rate than expected, and they were core players, so it hurt extra. They also didn't have the prospect depth yet to have a chance to have someone cover it. 2017 was a risk worth taking, but definitely a risk. 2018 could be argued either way, in my mind - they still had a reasonable chance at a 2nd wildcard, but they also had as much a risk of aging out in a hurry a la the 2010 Phillies. If Donaldson wouldn't have had his setback, they'd have been in about as good a scenario as the non-contending version would allow (ie with lots of trade chips).
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#361458) #
One thing many here seem to have forgotten already is the Jays went from 1994-2014 without a playoff appearance.  In the AL East a 20+ year break should be common with the Yanks and Sox always rich and able to hold onto anything they want and then sign anyone they want.  The Jays could be like that too potentially but probably never will be.  Still has to suck for Orioles and Rays fans knowing their windows will always be super-short.  Trying to get an extra year (2018) made sense the way they did it with minor signings/trades but keeping all the real future here for 2020 and beyond.  Holding Donaldson and Happ into 2018 made sense too, as a mid-season trade should've been easy but injuries and now Happ having a slump at the worst time are not easily predicted.  Worst case is offering a QO and being stuck with them in a rebuild year (very tradable). 

2015/16 was tons of fun and trying to keep it going in 17/18 made sense but at this point it is time to accept reality and work on clearing out the 15/16 team as much as possible to set up a 2021-2025 team.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#361459) #
so sweet to see from Borucki.

hey shapkins can we please bring up more kids already (I mean other than the guy you signed, lourdes, who is here even though he hasn't earned it).

Jansen and SRF should be here right now.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#361460) #
In 2019 even if healthy, ie playing, many of us, myself included, would expect Tulo and Martin to not be that good. If Donaldson is back because he accepted the QO I will expect a great year from him because I am just being a fan.

So with the great Donaldson and not so great anyone else I expect a weak offense. Donaldson makes the current offense much stronger. I would have hopes that Grichuk and T Hernandez would be good next year. They are doing well this year. Certainly Solarte is. But still a weak offense next year?

I love the development of the pitching. Happ will be missed. Good health for Stroman and Sanchez would be welcome. The closer role is uncertain to me now due to the future of Osuna.

So depending on what happens by the start of 2019 I could easily see myself believing that we have a shot at the 2nd WC. Just being a wishful fan again. I definitely see many young players on the team to start the year.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#361461) #
No. SRF should be where he is, refining his command. He has 20 BBs in 44 innings at Buffalo.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#361462) #
Sorry, that was NH (BR Reading Comprehension Issue). I still want to make sure a little longer, and until/unless people are dealt, there's no immediate room anyway.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#361463) #
SRF actually has 15 walks in 18 inning at Buffalo which is pretty good. However I agree that he doesn't need to be pushed too much in his breakout year.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#361464) #
Also for the 'Not Yet' column: he's not on the 40-man roster, and doesn't need to be added until after the season. By delaying things, you lessen the risk of calling him up only to have to send him back down (if he isn't ready). Bringing him up after the deadline would mean about 5 starts ebfore the September rosters, which means you can move him to the bullpen instead if need be.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#361465) #
SRF has a significantly better walk rate in AAA, at 7.3%, than Borucki did, at 8.9%.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#361466) #
SRF also has twice the IP at AA or above (227.1), as Borucki had (129.1).
christaylor - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#361467) #
I would be extremely happy if the FO could trade Pillar.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#361468) #
And Borucki had a better history of BB/9, better command according to scouts, and was already on the 40-man roster for over a year. This is apples to oranges.
85bluejay - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#361469) #
I expect Pannone to be the next starter to get his shot.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#361470) #
I think the FO is waiting to clear room on the ML roster. We have 2 catchers.
Off day tomorrow then 6 games in a row before the AS break. We will need 5 starters. Gaviglio, Stroman, Happ and Borucki, so we need a 5th starter.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#361471) #


A+ 7.5% (118.0ip)
AA 4.5% (46.1ip)
AAA 8.9% (83.0ip)


A+ 7.3% (57.1ip)
AA 9.5% (177.0ip)
AAA 7.3% (48.1ip)
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#361472) #
Have a closer look at SRF's A+ time.
Also, don't ignore their Lansing time (particularly applicable for Borucki, since that's where he spent 20 starts in 2016).
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#361473) #
Yes he had command problems when he was.....19 in full season ball.

Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#361474) #
And of course, that's only for the numbers side of it. Scouts are an added source of information, and you can ignore info at your own peril.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#361475) #
I dare you to find one scout who claims SRF has had any command problems this year.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#361477) #
"Yes he had command problems when he was.....19 in full season ball."

Yes. And he did 32 innings of that at A+ (with a 6.61 BB/9), which you didn't count in your numbers. Of course, you had no issues combining Borucki's A+ time together. I could mention that he was coming back after barely pitching the year before (and making the first time jump to full season ball).

Apples vs Oranges.
uglyone - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#361478) #
you gotta admit it's funny that SRF's apparent weakness has him posting a better number than Borucki's greatest strength, at least.

and regardless - Atkins himself has said that once they're in AAA, they're ready to come up. So we know he's not being kept down for development purposes.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#361479) #
"I dare you to find one scout who claims SRF has had any command problems this year."

Do you double-dog-dare me?
This has been a common theme in the scouting contributions to prospect write-ups for SRF since Prometheus gave man fire. I haven't seen any reports on him this year, and don't personally talk to scouts, but since he opened the year walking 20 in 44 innings in NH, I feel pretty confident that the report you're triple-dog-daring me to find exists.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#361480) #

Yeah, your numbers, that left some, erm, creative cuts on the editing room floor.

On that note, I'm done on this one. If you want to have an honest conversation, sure. If you just want to be right at something no matter what, I'll let you talk to yourself.

jerjapan - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#361481) #
Greenfrog, our prospect pool is no all-or-nothing proposition, there is a nice mix from both regimes.  If I use my personal list, which is pretty similar to most lists out there, I get 4 of our top 10 being AA acquisitions, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th. 

4 more AA picks in the top twenty, 4 in the top 30 - so 12 out of 30 of our top prospects were AA guys, including some of the biggest upside players.  Pretty typical given that Shapiro and co have had 3 drafts and tradeable veteran assets last year and this.
Teoscar is no longer a prospect, but he certainly represents a great pickup. 

What I do quibble with is your concept of a 'prospect of note'.  I'm assuming your list of guys are 'prospects of note'.  If I'm right about your criteria, Olivares and Greene were both 'prospects of note' - both top 20 at the time they were dealt -  whereas Hutch and Leone are talented, young big leaguers who have lost their prospect status - so comparable to Hernandez.  Clearly, Hutch was a good young talent to deal, but Leone getting injured is more of an accident than any testament to the talent evaluators. 

AA helped lay the groundwork for the Happ acquisition by introducing him to both the city and the team when he traded for him.  In all likelihood, a major factor in his signing here. 

And while Shapiro and co. didn't pull of any of the worst FA acquisitions - Morales is bad, but not as bad as the cherry-picked FA examples that EVERYONE always lists, including some (Bautista) that weren't signed, nobody wanted signed (except of course, Bautista - you are citing his asking number, right?) -  they certainly haven't excelled with FAs outside of the bottom end of the FA pool where the bargains swim. 

Lorenzo Cain would sure look good in blue and white right now, just to cherry pick a good example. 

John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#361482) #
Odd battle over SRF control vs Borucki.  Overall numbers before today for this season...
SRF: AA/AAA - 92 2/3 IP 35 BB 109 K's - very nice 3.4 BB/9 vs 10.59 K/9
Borucki: AAA/majors - 90 IP 32 BB 69 SO for a 3.2 BB/9 vs 6.9 K/9, plus 7 IP 2 BB 5 SO today.

So despite facing much stronger opposition Borucki has more IP and fewer walks than SRF.  Both look good though and this is what the Jays need, very very badly.  If both are for real then next year's rotation could be Stroman/Sanchez/Borucki/SRF with maybe a free agent signing (Happ or Estrada) to finish it off.  Good young rotation to go with a good young lineup (once vets are let go or contracts run out).
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#361483) #
In the 94-14 window, many times, the season started with the Jays not having 5 legit starting pitchers.
The last time this happened was in 2014, not that long ago. Remember when Bautista was willing to defer his salary so the Jays could sign Jimenez? Also, did Josh Johnson pass a physical the year prior or did the Jays gamble that he would be good enough regardless? Price had to be acquired in 2015 to replace a couple of rookies who where not championship material. For what it's worth, in 16, 17 and 18, the rotation looked good enough to compete. Young pitchers will still be breaking hearts long after will be all buried, but there's a huge difference between a rookie and a young pitcher who's had at least one year of success.

scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#361484) #
You do understand that Gurriel is on a major league contract? SRF  is not on the 40 roster. Pannone is probably next.
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#361485) #
I didn't watch enough of the game to catch more of Borucki's third pitch.
It seems like he has 2 grip on his change, one he can throw for strikes and one in the dirt.
The "slider" to right handed hitter looks like a curve. I'm not sure if it looks different against lefties.
Today, Buck and Pat were calling it a "breaking ball".

bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#361486) #
Right John N. With 8-10 minor league starts to go further progress can be made on our pitching for 2019.

Y Diaz, A Perdomo, P Murphy, Zeuch and Romano are developing quite well some may be added to the 40 after the season. They may pitch well enough to be considered for a ML gig. All will be in AA or higher. Also nothing wrong in getting your feet wet in the pen next year.

We would need 7 SPs. Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki and Gaviglio make 4. SRF and J Harris need to be protected. I expect SRF to make a few starts in Sept. If Happ, Estrada and Garcia are here in Sept, I don't know what will happen to Borucki and Gaviglio. Roster crunch. In everyone's last 3 starts Borucki is the best.
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#361487) #
Wonderful that Borucki got Stanton to hit into a double play.
krose - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#361489) #
The Jays have two catchers in Buffalo who should be given a chance in Toronto. With Martin and Maile on the major league team with little chance for a trade of either, how do the Jays get the kids onto the big team?
Marc Hulet - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#361490) #
A key quibble with the command discussion... command and control are two different things.

Control = the ability to throw strikes
Command = the ability to make the ball to do what you want (ie. cut in on the hands, break down and away, etc)

So you can have excellent control but poor command or vice versa... A good example of good control, poor command would be someone throwing strikes but all of them are in the meaty part of the plate and getting creamed (aka Gaviglio). A good example of someone with good command but poor control would be someone who has a killer break on their curveball but they cannot throw it for strikes.

For me, Borucki is ahead of Reid-Foley because, while they both have improved control, the former has better command which is why he's succeeding in the majors right now.

Borucki is also ahead of Reid-Foley on the sixth tool, mental makeup/maturity, which the Jays are big on.
Spifficus - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#361492) #
Speaking of command, I watched a Shane Bieber vs Jack Flaherty start a couple weeks ago... Wow. Flaherty's command was good, and it was still noticably worse than Bieber's.

Bieber was a guy that I was hoping they'd be able to acquire, that combo of decent stuff (above-average but not plus, probably) with near impeccable command. With Donaldson on the shelf, Osuna in exile, and Pillar returning to normal, though, I don't see what the Indians would be looking for from the current roster.

Heck, I'm in the second inning of his game today, and his command is off - they said he's not satisfied with his fastball command over his past couple starts - and it's still better command than Stroman (who probably has the best command for current Jays).
bpoz - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#361493) #
I will add that Borucki's next start is against Boston. So Houston and NYY so far, with Detroit being the only easy team. He is being tested very early.
grjas - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#361494) #
Yeah Borucki is the best Jay pitcher at the moment. If Borucki continues and SRF proves to be in the same neighbourhood, weíll all be happy regardless of who is better and who graduated first.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#361495) #
jerjapan, agreed that the Cain signing has worked out vey well for the Brewers, but how useful would he have been to the Jays this year? How good will he be when the Jays are a contending team again?

More to the point, of the free agents that Bauxites have most wanted the Shapiro front office to sign, how many is it fair to say have worked out well?

Worked out well: Cain
Sort of worked out: Encarnacion
Busts: Price, Heyward, Fowler, Cobb, Pearce

Feel free to create what you feel is a balanced and representative list, but I think itís hard to disagree with Johnís conclusion that trying to build (as opposed to complete/complement) a team with marquee or centerpiece free agents generally does not work out.
hypobole - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#361496) #
Hey, I wanted Tyler Chatwood!

At least he would have brought back memories of Ricky Romero's last couple of seasons with the Jays.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#361497) #
jerjapan: by ďprospects of note,Ē I meant players that have panned out. By that measure, the Shapiro front office does not appear to have given up anyone of real value, despite netting some decent value in return (Liriano, Teoscar, Grichuk, Diaz, Solarte, McGuire).
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#361499) #
I always assumed command meant the ability to target portion of the plate, effectively, the corners.
A killer break on a curve ball is just good stuff.
Mind you, it's hard to command anything but fastballs. I mean, slider command?
People will just talk about the break, the sweep, and the control.
Change up command is very unusual. Estrada can target either side at will, but most will be satisfied if it's a strike.

Btw Marc, regarding Harris, he's been getting hit a lot.
Does he throw too straight or is he tipping his pitches?
I think he throws mainly a 2-seamer, is it just too high in the zone?

hypobole - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#361501) #
slider command = not hanging them
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#361502) #
Chatwood can still make an extra 4M with enough Cy Young votes. Maybe next year.

jerjapan - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#361504) #
Greenfrog, I actually agree with you guys for the most part ... FA aren't and shouldn't be the primary means of adding talent to a team, regardless of where they are on the win curve, and in particular for a team like ours at the moment. 

Lots of people, including myself, wanted to explore resigning Price.  I think when the final tally came in at $217 million or whatever it was, there were far fewer of us lobbying for him.  Once the FO went out and got Happ and resigned Estrada, I don't think there were many left saying that we should have outbid the Red Sox for Price. 

Fowler and Heyward had a few advocates here if I recall, but none that were particularly vocal or emphatic, unless I'm forgetting something.  They signed with the Cubs and the Cards, so clearly, great orgs can also make mistakes on FAs.  Cobb signed with the O's for more than anyone really expected, so crap orgs can also waste money in FA.  Pearce, to me, is the shallow end I was talking about, and I don't blame him for getting injured, nor do I blame him for being signed by an org with a whole bunch of similar players on the roster, thus minimizing his value - that's on the FO. 

To me, Cain was a missed opportunity ... not because we should be signing FAs every year, not because we should be constantly considering our win curve - I think good orgs add talent at the right price whenever they can.  Some have argued that Cain wasn't signed on a discount, but I think his value was somewhat depressed in a cratered FA market, and I wish we had taken more advantage of that.  I also wanted Lance Lynn, who has not been good, but has been better than the 'safer' Jaime Garcia.  so say we signed my two guys, instead of Garcia and Grandy - a move I liked, but it would have been superfluous - let's check the numbers.  A surprising 0.9 fWAR for Lynn, an unsurprising 0.7 for Grandy, -0.1 for Garcia, and a spectacular 3.4 for Cain.  3.7 fWAR advantage for the more expensive / riskier guys.  financially / comittment wise, it's a wash for the starters, assuming we don't pick up Garcia's option, and it's 9 million more this season for Cain over Grandy, with $66 million owing.  an extra 3.7 fWAR doesn't make us a contender.  but Lynn and Grandy are likely equally marketable at the deadline, and therefore a wash ...

which would you rather have, a better team right now, for $9 million more with a $66 commitment to Cain going forward, or a worse team and some cleaner books going forward?  Cain's got a no trade this year - but we could trade Pillar.  We could trade Teoscar.  I think we are better off this year, and going forward, despite our struggles this year, with the bigger ticket FAs. 

Overall, I think the FO is doing a good job, but  it does feel to me like they are too conservative to fully take advantage of free agency, especially in a depressed era for FA.  sorry for being long-winded!
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#361506) #
I think free agency right now is a bit of a mess.  We are inbetween thought processes for GM's on FA.  Used to be deals like the one given to Morales were common and reasonable (3 years, less than half per year of real stars).  Teams would eat those deals if they had to.  Happ was signed to one of those.  Now those look bad quite often and its hard to know what to expect going forward.  Teams are getting super-cheap to such a degree that real bargains should show up soon on the market.  Cain is a bargain right now but will he be in 2 years when the Jays are likely to be contenders?  At that point he'll be $16/17/18 mil for 2020/21/22 and will be 34-36 years old.  Not something I'd want to be betting on.  He would be nice right now but to come here would've cost a bit extra.  5 years/$80 mil in Milwaukee would probably be 5 years/$90 mil or even $100 mil to come here.

The goal now has to be to set up the strongest team possible for 2020-2025 - likely the years of Bo & Vlad before one or both go to free agency at which point it is a crapshoot if the Jays get to keep them.  Bryce Harper would be damn nice to get.  An off year this year he still has a 124 OPS+ in RF.  Entering his age 26 season he'd be in his prime for the 2020-25 years, just exiting near the end of it.  Sadly I don't see any way the Jays get into that battle as too many have waiting too long for the chance to get him.  I expect 10 years, $300 mil and don't see Rogers or Shapiro/Atikans going for that.  7 years, $200 mil I could imagine possibly if every major money team (Dodgers/Yankees/Red Sox/Cubs plus Senators) decide to say 'no' but that is unlikely.  That is the type I'd go for, young enough to be in prime still when Vlad/Bo are in their prime, and good enough that you can shift him anywhere and he's still useful.  Dumb thing is the Jays could afford him but I think we all can agree they won't especially with Heranandez/Pillar/Grichuk in the outfield and more prospects on their way while DH is blocked by Morales and 1B by Smoak.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#361508) #
Free agency makes sense when the team is a player or two away from serious contention. Preferably with a young core already in place. Adding free agents to an already too old team on the decline has very little upside given the age most free agents are in MLB (over 30). The Jays are not in a place where signing expensive free agents and losing assets in the process (pick, pool money) makes any sense. Three years from now they might be in a position where it does. Timing is everything.

Look at the value in vs. the value out since Shapiro took over. The team has barely traded any prospects and the ones they did move are marginal at best. They can probably flip the players they got in those deals for better than what they gave up (Grichuk, Diaz, Solarte, etc). They have added way more to the org, and the few mistakes they have made are not franchise altering (both Moralesí, Howell).

Obviously they will have to execute this plan well in the next few years but itís headed in the right direction and most of the moves they have made (and not made) to get to this point have been logical and positive. Risk averse? Maybe, but they needed to be in this case. Doubling down after 2016 would have been really, really bad.
scottt - Sunday, July 08 2018 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#361509) #
Detroit is not an easy team for a lefty.
Glevin - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 03:10 AM EDT (#361512) #
"To me, Cain was a missed opportunity "

You can't keep moving the goal posts with free agents. There were dozens of free agents people wanted to sign. Bautista, Encarnacion, Fowler, Heyward, Lynn, Cozart, Chatwood, Price, and more. In almost every single one of these cases, the deal is already bad. You can't say "well, in this one case it worked out well 17% of the way through the contract so the Jays should be pursuing free agents". The building through free agency era is long over. You need to have a good system, a strong homegrown (and therefore cheap) core and then round out your weaknesses that with a couple of free agents.

"Fowler and Heyward had a few advocates here if I recall, but none that were particularly vocal or emphatic, unless I'm forgetting something."

You are forgetting the same person you always forget. Fowler was mentioned about 200 times last year as a way of beating on the front office for being stupid and not trying to win.
scottt - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#361514) #
I wasn't aware of the 40% rule. Thanks.
scottt - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#361515) #
Morales is up to a 99 OPS+. Martin is at 72, Travis 78. Grichuk had 10 strike outs last week. Diaz, 0 Ks, but only 2 hits.
hypobole - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#361517) #
David Price and Edwin Encarnacion could be labelled "missed opportunities" because they both actually gave definite indications of wanting to play for Toronto prior to signing elsewhere.

Cain gave no such indication. He did want to play for the Brewers, telling his agent to get a deal done as soon as he found out they were interested. That's not to say he wouldn't have signed with the Jays if they offered more money and/or term. However one can reasonably assume an outfielder just about to turn 32 whose legs are a primary asset wouldn't be excited about the opportunity to play at least the next 5 years on the Rogers Centre turf and would have priced himself accordingly.
hypobole - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#361520) #
Another pet peeve of mine is the way the word "mistake" is used. Was Fowler's signing really a mistake? The decline in baserunning and defence was foreseeable. But his hitting had 6 straight years of consistency. All 6 above league average, 3 of the 6 20% better than league average. There was nothing in his profile that suggested his hitting would crater so quickly.

Every player every year has a range of possibilities, somewhat like a bell curve. Just because Player A ends up at the far left of his personal bell curve and Player B ends up at the far right of his, doesn't make the FO that signed Player A stupid and the FO that signed Player B brilliant.

lexomatic - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#361523) #
Another pet peeve of mine is the way the word "mistake" is used. Was Fowler's signing really a mistake? The decline in baserunning and defence was foreseeable. But his hitting had 6 straight years of consistency. All 6 above league average, 3 of the 6 20% better than league average. There was nothing in his profile that suggested his hitting would crater so quickly.

Well the fangraphs article really suggests a lot was personal - because Fowler is more connected than many players to the current administration's immigration policy, as exacerbated by bad management and intolerant fans creating a really bad workplace. I think it would be the rare player who would effectively shut that out (maybe for a time early, or after a while and learning new ways to deal with it). He's a prime change of scenery guy - but I think it's more of a dead cat bounce scenario unless he's hurt. It's easier to adjust to a few consecutive changes  in skill level rather than a bunch all at once, and all that personal stuff makes it harder. Anyway, I agree with your post. The only mistake I can see was the handling of this situation, or perhaps the original valuation  by Mozeliak (and crew). That doesn't make the signing itself a mistake, though, only their process bad.
jerjapan - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#361525) #
Hypobole and Lexi, I agree with both you guys ... hard to call one decision a mistake - I feel it's a lot easier to call an approach a mistake, given the range of outcomes possible for any one choice.  and that's why I dislike what appears to a blanket policy- a conservative approach to FA means we have no shot with a guy like Cain.  I'ts like Paul Beeston's five year max contract.  It may have been a good idea most of the time, as, most likely, is the current FO's aversion to big ticket FAs, but I don't like it as a hard and fast rule, because it eliminates a certain kind of creative thinking. 

Of course, Cain could easily have had zero interest in TO, based on myriad factors.  No real way to know, so it's all conjecture.  I've said this before, and it's more conjecture, but the state of things in the US right now might make Canada more appealing.
Hypobole, here is a bit on PTBNLs from the Athletic on the recent Rangers / Giants trade: 

ďA player to be named later or cash considerationsĒ is fairly vague, but this much we know, thanks to MLBís rules for this sort of thing: it canít be anyone who is currently on the 25-man roster, or anyone who is named to the 25-man roster at any point after today. Usually, the teams agree on a pool of players from whom the receiving team can choose. Itís not the first time the Rangers and Giants have done this in the last two seasons, actually: Sam Dyson went to San Francisco for a PTBNL in 2017, and the Rangers later selected Hunter Cole."
Dyson was dealt on June 6th, 2017, and Cole wasn't selected until Nov. 15th.  That's a much longer window than I had thought possible.

hypobole - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#361526) #
jer - Thanks, didn't know about the 25 man roster rule.
greenfrog - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#361527) #
For me, Martin is an example of a good medium/long-term free agent signing by the Jays, despite his decline in the last couple of years of the contract. He helped the Jays make the playoffs in 2015 and 2016 and he added a lot of value in the first few years of the deal.

Actually, 2015 Martin is the kind of veteran FA addition that might also have made sense for a rebuilding team, given what he brings in terms of leadership/mentoring and shepherding of a pitching staff.
hypobole - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#361528) #
Martin is an example of a good medium/long-term free agent signing by the Jays

hypobole - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#361530) #
Dave Laurila asked a dozen players, including Devon Travis, "What do you talk about when you talk about baseball?"

uglyone - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#361531) #
John Lott @LottOnBaseball
Osuna assault case put over to Aug 1.
scottt - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#361537) #
That's our legal system. They tie up a dozen people, possibly for several hours, just to say that haven't had any time to look at the facts and decide if they want to press charge, negotiate a deal or whatever. I don't think anything ever gets done without being rescheduled at least 3 or 4 times. Most of the people involved are paid an hourly wage and possibly charge overtime just to show up and sit around just in case. They pretend phones haven't been invented, let alone email, texts and the rest.

Osuna's lawyer said they intend to play not guilty and are hoping the prosecution will resolve the affair with a peace bond which they haven't offered yet.  A peace bond is simply a promise not to break any laws and is valid for up to one year.

scottt - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#361538) #
Plead not guilty, although I expect Osuna would like to play at some point to.
grjas - Monday, July 09 2018 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#361542) #
ďa conservative approach to FA means we have no shot with a guy like Cain. Ē

Not sure thatís a fair comment given our bid for Fowler a year earlier.

( Now we didnít extend Fowlerís bid to 5 years which I guess you could say is conservative, but Iíd argue it was actually prudent given his age and the pounding his legs would have taken on turf.)
Blue Jays vs. Yankees - July 6-8 | 138 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.