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Blue Jays at Marlins - Aug 31 - Sept 2 | 284 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
PeterG - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#364716) #
Left-hander Jose Fernandez, right-hander Taylor Gurrieri expected to join Sean Reid-Foley tomorrow as first #BlueJays September call-ups from Buffalo, per sources. Jake Petricka and Justin Shafer, both optioned earlier this week, to join after triple-A season ends Monday.
Gerry - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#364717) #
Heyman says the industry believes Donaldson would prefer not to be traded.
krose - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#364718) #
Jansenís receiving reminds me of JP Arencibia.
greenfrog - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#364719) #
I would guess two prospects from the #15-30 range of a team's prospects is what it would take to land Donaldson. Perhaps comparable to, or a bit better than, the return for Oh.
John Northey - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#364720) #
Regardless of Donaldson's preference the word at MLB Trade Rumors is that he will be traded tonight as of 6:23 PM  Cleveland, Houston, NYY all in the race - the Yankees can't take on the full salary without going over the cap which they have worked hard not to do - but better prospects makes it worth a few mil.  Cardinals are in on it too but don't sound hopeful.
Richard S.S. - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#364721) #
Putting Josh Donaldson on waivers is one way to demonstrate how other G.M.s value him. Whether or not he gets traded also puts a value on him. If he's still with the Team, whether or not he gets a Qualifying Offer also sends a message about his value. The Jays were 16-12 in April. How good could the Jays be with a healthy Josh Donaldson in the lineup?
Gerry - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#364722) #
The jays have a salary budget from Rogers and Donaldson was in it. The Jays could eat a lot of the salary to get a better prospect in return.

Given the uncertainty over Donaldson's health, the return could be a player to be named later.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#364725) #
Donaldson has been traded
Richard S.S. - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#364726) #
He's traded.
Gerry - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#364727) #
EE and JD, reunited.
Spifficus - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#364728) #
If Heyman's correct, he's been dealt to the Indians
hypobole - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#364729) #
Josh to Cleveland.
Spifficus - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#364730) #
Whoops. Wrong tab. It was Jeff Passan who tweeted that out, not Jon Heyman
vw_fan17 - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#364732) #
Doh! Totally missed the new thread and posted it in the old one :-)
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#364733) #
This is pure speculation but I wonder if Shapiro and Atkins received the Yandy Diaz project in return.
Magpie - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#364734) #
Cleveland, of course, already has a third baseman. A legit MVP candidate, who's better than Donaldson. This will be interesting. Will he DH, with Encarnacion moving to first base in place of Alonso? Do they try Kipnis in the outfield again - which seems like a desperate measure, but they do have problems in the outfield - and move Ramirez to 2B? Hell, can Donaldson even play every day?
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#364736) #
Jake Taylor and Eddie Harris is the return apparantly.
lexomatic - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#364737) #
Ramirez to 2b. I'm pretty sure I read something about options in a fangraphs article on ramirez/lindor
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#364738) #
I have been duped disregard my nonsense
greenfrog - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#364740) #
Running a front office isnít a tea party, UO. You do what has to be done.
Eephus - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#364741) #
Anyone smoakin' yet? (I had to use that, and I apologize for nothing.)

Random question: how many pinch hit Grand Slams have there been in Blue Jays history? I have absolutely no idea, nor do I have any idea how to look up such a feat.

Sometimes all good things must end. We'll always have 2015/2016, Josh.

PeterG - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#364742) #
Curtis Granderson getting hugs in #BlueJays clubhouse post-game. Heís been traded.
Richard S.S. - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#364743) #
Who is Eddie Harris? He's not listed anywhere. Who is Jake Taylor? He's listed as a 2017 Draft Pick who hasn't played anywhere yet.
PeterG - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#364744) #
#Brewers get Granderson, sources tell The Athletic.
PeterG - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#364745) #
The Milwaukee #Brewers grab, yes, another outfielder. The #BlueJays trade Curtis Granderson to Brewers for a Class A prospect, per @JonHeyman
John Northey - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#364746) #
IMO regardless of what the Jays got (and I hope it is significant), the 2 trades (so far) are good things.  Curtis Granderson was just a spare part that isn't needed thus he'd be just a distraction for September - far better to get the kids every PA possible.  Josh Donaldson going away sucks in a lot of respects, but he has been gone all year pretty much and the drama this winter over a QO would've been nutty and sad to watch.  I'd love it if Estrada could go too before midnight but that is very unlikely.
PeterG - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#364747) #
#BlueJays getting Canadian outfielder Demi Orimoloye from #Brewers for Curtis Granderson
James W - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#364748) #
Jake Taylor and Eddie Harris are characters in the 1989 film Major League.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#364749) #
It is Donaldson and some cash for a PTBNL (ďwith some valueĒ).

Hard to judge the deal without knowing the player coming back.
JohnL - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#364750) #
So, barring a trade in the next 25 minutes, by my count 36% (9) of Jays' opening day roster has been traded in July/August. (Not counting Garcia & Ngoepe)
Marc Hulet - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#364751) #
A PTBNL at this point likely means a 2018 draft pick or someone on the 40-man roster that would need to pass through waivers like Yu Chang or Oscar Mercado.
hypobole - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#364752) #
Fair value from Brewers for Grandy.

Scout report from last year on Demi

https://2080baseball.com/spotlight/demi-orimoloye/
hypobole - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#364753) #
Marc, I thought 2018 draft picks can't be traded as PTBNL until after the WS.
dan gordon - Friday, August 31 2018 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#364754) #
It surprises me that they could get a guy like Orimoloye for Granderson. He was a 4th round draft pick in 2015, has some power, will take a walk, is a good base stealer, and can play CF. Only 21 in advanced A ball. Obviously needs to make better contact, and get the batting average up.

The PTBNL for Donaldson could be conditional, depending on how many games Donaldson plays. If he can't play much, due to injury, the Jays get a lesser player. If he's healthy, they get a better player.
mendocino - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#364755) #
Jays sending Cleveland $2.7m with Donaldson
https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1035736322680475650
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#364756) #
On the bright side, seems like Shapkins is planning for a top 3-5 pick in the June draft.
ramone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#364757) #
This is from Cleveland's beat writer Paul Hoynes:
@hoynsie

"One player rumored to be headed to Toronto in Josh Donaldson deal is right-hander Julian Merryweather, who needed Tommy John surgery in ST. He's on the 40-man roster and pitched at Class AA Akron-Triple-A Columbus in 2017."
mendocino - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#364758) #
paul hoynes
Verified account
@hoynsie

One player rumored to be headed to Toronto in Josh Donaldson deal is right-hander Julian Merryweather, who needed Tommy John surgery in ST. He's on the 40-man roster and pitched at Class AA Akron-Triple-A Columbus in 2017.
https://twitter.com/hoynsie/status/1035736705905688577
Marc Hulet - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#364760) #
If it's Merryweather then the Jay's have Donaldson away for basically nothing. Recovering from TJ... decent FB, no reliable secondary... +control makes his numbers look better... and most important... he turns 27 soon.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#364761) #
I don't believe that return. Not when they just got what they got for Grandyman.
dan gordon - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#364762) #
I think Merryweather might be a nice addition. He had a very good season in 2016 between A+ and AA, then a great start to 2017 in AA before a promotion to AAA where he struggled, although he still struck out roughly a batter an inning. Only 4 seasons in pro ball, although he is 26 years old. Was a 5th round pick in 2014. Mid 90's fastball that touches 97, changeup and curve, and was the Indians #17 prospect before the surgery this year.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#364763) #
Speculative Series of Events:

- JD plays through injury in 2016 playoff run, misses most of 2017 but finishes strong

- he indicates to management he is 100% healthy while angling for a new contract

- management tables an offer that is decent but not an overpay in the winter

- Donaldson and management break off talks

- start of season and Donaldson is nowhere near healthy and clearly hurt

- JD slow plays his return when training staff is telling management he's healthy. Management feels he is not playing through a chronic injury like most players which won't get better without surgery but Donaldson feels he doesn't care what the training staff says because he knows his body better...this wouldn't be the first time they have disagreed on the High Performance Department's way of doing things

-Management feels taken advantage of because they think they were mislead when he has a chronic injury and almost resigned him

- possible he wanted security of a contract before attempting to play through chronic injury..."Ross I'm not gonna play until the soreness naturally heals or until I have surgery, this is my livelihood and I need to focus on my next contract"
vw_fan17 - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#364764) #
On the bright side, seems like Shapkins is planning for a top 3-5 pick in the June draft.
Well, not 2019, since I doubt we can fall that low now. But yeah, definitely after that - for like the next 10-15 years.. Really not a fan of giving JD away..
John Northey - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#364765) #
Demi Orimoloye  has been going very slowly through the Brewers system.  2 years in rookie ball, a year and a half in A, half a year in A+.   Overall 233/302/379 with 97 steals vs 32 caught. 107 BB vs 361 K's in 1431 PA.  RF mainly, then LF with over 500 innings in CF.  Not exactly an exciting prospect.  With 4 years but signing out of high school does he need to be protected this winter?  I think he has one more year before he needs to be on the 40 man.  I see his potential as a 4th outfielder at best.

For Donaldson a conditional player makes a ton of sense for both teams.  If Donaldson is hurt the rest of the way then a D prospect.  If he is OK, then an A prospect.
Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:39 AM EDT (#364766) #
Whether itís justified or not, if Donaldson goes out firing bullets at management itís not good for marketing (to the fans or free agents). Comments by superstars get more air time. On the plus side, Shapiro was largely hired for his elite spin rate and, if required, I expect he and the Rogers ďreportersĒ to go into damage control overdrive in the next few days.
John Northey - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#364767) #
Giving JD away isn't much of a big deal now.  Yeah, coulda woulda shoulda traded him pre-season.  No question there.  But now, with it being September and the Jays are a mile out of it and Donaldson maybe having chronic injuries now a QO was probably not in the cards so you get whatever you can and save a million or so if you can too.  Sometimes you just gotta accept things didn't work and take your lumps.  Sucks, but that is life.  Watching Donaldson play a dozen games or so in September wouldn't have been worth much imo.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#364768) #
Your hate for Shapiro is note. "Hired for his elite spin rate?" Come on...

Granderson saying great things about the organization "top to bottom."

Read the Sun article...Smoak saying he will miss Donaldson and saying something to the ffect of "I know some people don't agree but I thought he was a good teammate."

Gibby in the same article admits having regular disagreements and confrontations with JD who would go around calling people out.

I love that.
uglyone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#364769) #
"Shapiro was largely hired for his elite spin rate"

excellent
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#364770) #
So how many WAR will Donaldson supply Cleveland?
Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:42 AM EDT (#364771) #
Oh my. I don't have a hate bone in my body. FWIW I think this management group has made a couple of large strategic errors but, on the whole I like what theyíve done a bit more than Iíve disliked it. However, I also do believe that a large chunk of Shapiroís appeal to Rogerís is his media savvy/marketing schtick/spin ability. I used to represent a large media conglomerate and that was a job requirement for all senior executives who were in media facing positions. Iím sorry you took offence to that idea.
dan gordon - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:44 AM EDT (#364772) #
I don't think Orimoloye's progress through the system has been all that slow, given he was only 18 when he started in rookie ball, at the equivalent of the GCL Blue Jays. He's now in A+, which would be Dunedin, 4 levels above the GCL Jays. I would imagine he'll start there next year, and if he does OK, get a shot at AA before year end at age 22. I mean for a guy like Granderson, come on, you can't expect a great prospect. I think they did really well there.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:51 AM EDT (#364773) #
Cleveland was competing with as many as 5 other Teams. They had to make the best offer to be able to negotiate. I believe the minimum return will be someone outside the top 30. If Josh Donaldson returns to semi-MVP form, takes Cleveland to the WS, then the return should be anyone outside their top 5 or top 10. The second part probably took longer to agree to.
Spifficus - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:30 AM EDT (#364776) #
I like Orimoloye as the return for Granderson. It sounds like he's a hulking toolshed still trying to figure out this baseball thing. I'm intrigued at who the PTBNL ends up being for Donaldson.

And I was amused by the Elite Spin Rate joke...
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:24 AM EDT (#364777) #
Demi is not a 26 year old reliever in AA with a high walk rate so he exceeded my expectations as far as the return for Granderson.

As far as Donaldson, again it really depends on who the PTBNL is. I would hope with the Jays covering more than half of the salary that it would be at least an intriguing prospect. I would be fine with Chang or Mercado. Not great prospects but for one month of an injured player thatís probably the best we can hope for.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:16 AM EDT (#364778) #
I remember taking my Dad to opening day in Tampa in 2015. Donaldson went up the entire 3rd base line interacting with fans and signing everything during BP. The only other player to come over and sign a few things was Marco Estrada. I always had a higher opinion of Josh for taking the time that day to make the fan experience that much more.

On a seperate note with Donaldson gone, how akward of a fit in Tulo on this roster now.

scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:23 AM EDT (#364779) #
It seems that Donaldson, like Pearce and Martin, was not happy with the high performance department and his health during the 2017 season. Pearce still got hurt this year, during BP. Martin has been healthier, but with reduced play.
Donaldson did his own thing during the offseason and showed up with a bum shoulder, which wasn't a problem last year.
Then the calf issues returned. Donaldson initially tried to play through it and describes it as "completely ruptured" with damage to an "area outside the calf".

I'd like Donaldson to come up on fire and have a great off-season, but I expect he'll try to take it easy and is already planning to sign a one year deal to rebuild his value.

Glevin - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:52 AM EDT (#364780) #
'elite spin rate' was a fine pun. One can think that the current front office is doing a good job but still understand that there is a lot of corporate speak involved in it. Waiting to see who PTBNL is but not expecting much. Hard to get a lot of value for someone who hasn't played in three months and has been mediocre even when he did play. Donaldson was an amazing Jay for a few years and gave us all tons of great memories so I wish him the best but it was time to move on.
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:00 AM EDT (#364781) #
Demi was born in Nigeria and grew up in Orleans.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#364783) #
Yeah I get it, a funny pun. It doesn't make any sense to me though. Shapiro is by far the least likable GM/personality the Jay's have had in a long time. To overlook that and pretend that Rogers thinks that somehow this guy will speak to fans and media and deceive them into thinking the opposite of something bad is naive.

He was clearly brought in because he's smart, cost efficient and has major connections in the industry. AA was the master of spin. As was Paul Beeston.

The other part that doesn't make much sense is that Shapiro doesn't ever really talk to the media. Ross does most of that and unlike AA he's really bad at spinning anything.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#364784) #
On the other hand, the front office has been good at persuading draft picks and IFAs to sign with Toronto (Bichette, Gurriel Jr., Pardinho, Orelvis) as well as various free agents (including Happ, Smith, Oh, Pearce) and front office and coaching types (Sanders, Kim, Cherington). They also convinced LaCava to stay in the fold after AA's departure and the hiring of Atkins as GM.

So maybe they're bad at spinning fans, but good at persuasion where it actually makes a substantive difference to the organization?
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#364785) #
The other aspect is ownership, We as fans are unable for the most part to separate which decisions are purely FO and which come from above. And yeah, Rogers definitely wants someone with elite spin rate (kudos for that one Nigel) to equivocate for them.
christaylor - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#364786) #
How soon JP Riccardi is forgotten.
grjas - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#364787) #
I wonder how defined the parameters are for the PTBNL. Are there defined links to playing time, production etc and have they identified the specific players who would be traded under each scenario?

Given multiple teams were bidding you would think there is a reasonable amount of specificity. Or may be Shapiro trusts his contacts in Cleveland because he knows them better.

Would be fascinating to know though doubt we ever will.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#364788) #
https://bluejaysnation.com/2018/08/28/could-mark-shapiro-be-moving-on/
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#364789) #
I know there's a lot of fans out there who are angry at Shapiro for losing EE, JD and Bats, but I just don't get it.
Encarnation left on his own trying to maximize his free agency, and seemingly failed.
Donaldson and Bautista just stopped being good  *before* they left.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#364790) #
Personally I think Shapiro and Atkins have done well in all the things that indicate futures success such as drafting well, building up the farm system, bringing in other talented executives (i.e. Saunder, Cherington, etc.) and focusing on acquiring players based on new emerging metrics.

As a fan it is hard to watch the stars fade, and the front office chose a pragmatic approach to deal with an aging roster. They may not have maximized the value of a Donaldson return, but I still think that all the other positive things which are occurring will lead to greater long term success than the one or two pieces they would have acquired.


uglyone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#364791) #
the team is a mess. players leaving in bitterness and ignominy left right and center. absolute crap product on the field. players want out, manager wants out, front office rumours scuttling about.

it's so bad that it's pretty much completely wiped out any of the good feelings we had in 2015 and 2016. we can't even look back at those teams fondly any more with how thoroughly the reputation of every single star on that team has been destroyed.

fair enough they haven't signed any anchor contracts but they've spent millions upon millions on replacement filler instead. and will likely continue to do so.

the only good thing is the prospect pool looks good, but even that is heavily dependent on an inherited super elite prospect. And as often happens when you finally get that top system you dreamed about, you start looking at it more closely and you realize just how unlikely it is that you can draft an elite core of players together for the same window.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#364792) #
I agree with what was said in the above post from Shoeless. On the Merryweather rumour, I am thinking that because it came from a seemingly reliable source it is likely accurate. In itself that would not be a good return, but I am thinking that it just represents the floor of the return. Jays would want something guaranteed for the 2.7 mil going to Cleveland and Merryweather may be it. They may not wish to take delivery of a 40 man roster player at this time. If that is the case, there is probably another PTBNL, whose level will be solely determined by what JD does or does not do in Cleveland.
Paul D - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#364793) #
I don't understand the rush to get rid of the best position player in franchise history, just to avoid the possibility that he might play for the team for one more year. Unless the PTBNL is excellent, which is extremely unlikely, this just seems like more of the FO upsetting star players and really not showing Toronto as a place players want to play.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#364794) #
I think the front office is doing a good job. On the other hand, I wish Rogers would step up and make the necessary investments to make the RC an exciting place to watch baseball (that is, by making ambitious investments in the stadium and in the baseball club). I can understand why (like Anthopoulos) good front office personnel might become exasperated and depart after prolonged exposure to Rogers' bureaucracy, politics, and lack of commitment to baseball excellence.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#364795) #
Jays 2018 offense rankings:

wOBA - 0.319 - 14th
xwOBA - 0.344 - 5th
xwOBA - wOBA - 0.025 - 1st
Hard Hit% - 40.9% - 1st
Barrel% - 8.6% - 3rd
Avg Exit Velocity - 89.4 - 2nd
xBA - 0.261 - 4th
xSLG - 0.472 - 2nd

Is everything really doom and gloom on the major league roster or is the team focusing on metrics that are propelling other teams to the postseason such as Boston, NYY and Oakland? Statistically speaking the Jays offense was the most unlucky offense in baseball in 2018.

HitmenOF - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#364796) #
This is exactly correct, and is a factor in questionable baseball decisions such as not giving Donaldson a QO and instead trading him for pennies on the dollar. With a half decent budget this wouldnít be necessary. Is this what the Red Sox or Yankees would do? These are the prime competitors and Iím sorry but the markets are not that different so that is a lame excuse when itís used.
uglyone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#364797) #
based on just plain old recent wrc+ for our players, our offense projected as average (without donaldson), and that's exactly what they are.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#364798) #
UO, lots of currently elite teams were bad for a while before becoming good again. The Jays went all-in for 2015 and now they're in a down cycle because they became old and injury-prone. Even if the Jays had signed Price, Encarnacion, and Cain (an extra $61m in payroll for 2018 alone) and avoided the bad contracts you wanted like Fowler's, they would still be well out of contention this year -- probably about 10 games back of the second WC spot.

The once-elite members of the team that Anthopoulos bequeathed to the current front office -- Tulo, Donaldson, Martin, Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna -- have *combined* to produce 4 WAR this year. Hard to do much with that if you're Shapiro and Atkins.

For most MLB clubs, winning is cyclical. You can't force contention every year by adding more free agents (who often don't work out particularly well) and by extending players past their best-before date.
Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#364799) #
Uglyone, I think you have to step back and realize that most of those problems go with all teams who are at this part of the success curve. I donít think the Jays are unique in a number of those issues. Having said that, I do think their are some recurring issues that are problems. Dealing with injured players seems to be a problem (Stroman playing poorly through injury this year hasnít been a good look for anyone). All bad teams spend millions on filler, I donít think thatís a fair criticism in general. I do think you can criticize management for spending on filler that was both duplicative in some cases (4-5 players on the roster in each of the past two years whose best position is 1B/DH) and generally awful on defence. You can argue that this approach has impacted the pitchers in a way that harms the trade value of all members of the pitching staff (leaving aside its general impact on team performance and watchability). There are definitely things this management group could improve upon.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#364800) #
When Guerrero comes up to stay, does anyone pitch to him? Who is scary enough to hit next in the lineup? Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will not get much to hit if there's no threat behind him. Bo Bichette is finding that out.

The Jays should be after the Second Wild Card Berth next year. That should be easily attainable. The Jays biggest needs are pitching, pitching and more pitching, at least one Starter and several Relievers.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#364801) #
The Jays would be well advised to concentrate on development next year and not be concerned with the 2nd WC. Should they get lucky as has Oakland this season, they can always change course (within reason) at an appropriate time.
electric carrot - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#364802) #
Bye Bye Josh D. It was really great to have you on this team. I, personally don't agree with the move -- but it's done. So let's get this Guerrero era started right now! Show some spunk FO!
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#364803) #
just to avoid the possibility that he might play for the team for one more year.

Or hardly play for the team for one more year, despite being paid to play for the team for one more year.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#364804) #
The Jays checked with Josh Donaldson, his Agent and their Medical Staff regarding his health before giving Josh $23 Million for this year. They needed assurances about his health before spending that much money. You'd think Josh would know for sure.


The Jays were lied to because Donaldson wasn't healthy at the start of Spring training, and it didn't get better. The Jays blamed Donaldson. Playing only 36 average-ish games this year didn't help his cause. I think the Jays did well here.


Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#364805) #
Ugly, xwOBA is a better indication of a players skill that wRC+ as it removes defense from the equation.
uglyone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#364806) #
I'm sorry guys, but this isn't just about being bad. or just about spending 10s of millions every year for replacement value. or just about dragging every single star's name through the mud and ostracizing all of them.

it's all of it. this is just ugly.

WE could have treated all the stars well, overpaid them, and still sucked - but it still would have made for a more enjoyable team and a more respectable franchise.

WE could have been honest up front, traded all the stars for good returns without bitterness or resentment, and we could have still sucked in the meantime, and it still would have made for a more enjoyable team and a more respectable franchise.


let's just hope the drafting does turn out to be awesome and we manage to draft a number of impact players to surround vladdy soon so we can contend before vladdy gets too expensive. that will make everything better.
uglyone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#364807) #
shoeless, does xwoba account for players that get shifted extremely and/or are super slow?
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#364808) #
They got 0.5 WAR when they expected 7. That 18M can be use anywhere else.
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#364809) #
Starting pitchers are often injuried. Just look at Oakland.

If the Jays are a mess, what about the 9 or so teams with worse record? What about the Cubs and Astros team that were bad enough to draft all those high ranking prospects years after years? If this is the bottom of the barrel and things start to rebound next year, this will have been a relatively easy transition.

hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#364810) #
That 18M can be use anywhere else.

Rogers' pockets.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#364811) #
According to Paul Hoynes, the PTBNL will be determined by January 30 of next year. So, if Merryweather is one the possibilities, his level of recovery could be one of the determining factors as well.
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#364812) #
Traded all the stars for good return when? After making the playoffs in 2016?
I'm sure there would have been no bitterness or resentment.
Players on team that don't make it all the way are bitters.
There is more misery in the Yankees clubhouse than in Baltimore's.
Just look at the attendance though. Toronto is still 5th in the league.

greenfrog - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#364813) #
Out of curiosity, who was the best position player selected in the Rule 4 draft by the Anthopoulos front office? And how does that player stack up against Bichette?
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#364814) #
ďWE could have been honest up front, traded all the stars for good returns without bitterness or resentment, and we could have still sucked in the meantime, and it still would have made for a more enjoyable team and a more respectable franchise.ď


Bautista and Edwin left as free agents, the latter after a playoff appearance and the former after falling off a cliff statistically. Martin and Tulo are unmovable unless most/all of their salary is picked up and even then the return would be minimal. The only star player that was traded that could have been traded for value was Donaldson, which only happened this way because he got hurt at age 32 when he was counted on (likely naively) to help them contend for a WC spot.

Iím not sure what stars you are referring to. Price was always a free agent and left for at the time the biggest contract given to a SP (and Happ outperformed him over three years anyway).

There is a negative narrative with Shapiro that will never go away until the team is good again precisely because they were left having to transition into post-2016 reality instead of AA.
Glevin - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#364815) #
The best time to rebuild would have theoretically been after the 2016 season. Donaldson would have received an awesome package. Osuna Sanchez, and Stroman the same. There was no way they could tear down after back to back playoff appearences though. This offseason in retrospect, it would have made more sense as well but it was also, and remains, an extreme buyers market. There are too many teams selling pieces and not enough teams competing. Had the Jays torn in down this offseason, they would have been better off but I also understand why they didn't. On paper, this was a playoff calibre team in a league where half the teams were rebuilding. The Jays tried to thread the needle and it didn't work. They could not possibly have foreseen how much their trade assets would depreciate over the course of a few months.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#364816) #
The stud that was Aaron Sanchez in 2015 and 2016 is gone, never to return. The current edition might be a #1 Starter with better health and more consistency, but without he's not. Unfortunately the Jays might not have a better choice.
AWeb - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#364817) #
I'll miss Donaldson but his play and injury this year really meant there was no right move for him. Given the roster, I'm not sure what else could've been done aside from hoping Donaldson and the rest have one more good year. Not punting this year to save Rogers even more money is hardly a problem I'm worrying about.

If this front office can develop a few star level players from the system, that gives them a 1 up on everyone else who tried in the past 20 years. The last multiple all stars from the Jays system were Halladay and Wells. The best teams have a foundation of young and hence cheap stars. If the young guys pan out, this front office has succeeded...it was their stated goal early on.
rpriske - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#364818) #
Keeping Donaldson wool have been stupid, so good move there.

Calling Guerrero up would also be stupid so... who DOES get called up?
Kasi - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#364819) #
Not sure which stars were dragged through the mud.

EE was offered a fair contract by the Jays which he turned down thankfully. He didnít get a better offer and took a lesser one with Cleveland. I donít think the FO said anything negative about him.

Bautista they resigned for one year and he did poorly and they didnít do the option. He left but I donít think anything about it was said other than Jose had declined and was no longer a good player.

Now Donaldson there does seem to be a bit of negative feelings about but other than the FO stating they want to trade him they havenít said anything about Josh.

The one thing that is constant about all three of those players is that they all demanded long term contracts believing they were worth that much money into their 30s. In all three cases the Jays didnít bite and that in itself has created any acrimony because they all went to the media to take their stands on what they should be paid. When salary negotiations go public when combined with the media intensity that creates an illusion of tension in something that is just pure business.

And in all three cases the FO has been proven completely justified. EE sucks now, Jose is probably retiring after this year and JD isnít looking too good, although he should be able to have a bounce back year if he can fix his health problems.

Anyway someone else said it up thread but the core AA left behind that is still taking up the majority of the salary on this team sucks. Smoak, Pillar, Grichuk, Happ and Stroman are the only players over 1.5 war. When you get past those players most of the guys in the 1 war range are new acquisitions.

The old core and the salary sunk into them are the issue with this team. Martin is below average, JD was hurt all year, Tulo is missing the whole year, Sanchez is just bad and Osuna was good but got in legal troubles. The Jays should have likely sold everything after 2016 but that would have been very unpopular. They should have again sold after 2017 but it was a buyers market so return on players was poor. I expect them to similarly to last year sign some pitchers (relief and starters) on short term contracts and let their young players graduate up to the majors.
Chuck - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#364820) #
Show some spunk FO!

Pretty sure the FO will (rightfully) exchange spunk for a 7th year of control, and stall Guerrero's promotion accordingly.

John Northey - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#364821) #
Agreed Glevin,  after 2016 would've been ideal but impossible from a fan perspective.  This isn't Miami, or Tampa.  Both get sub 10k fans regularly and even when winning don't fill the park.  The Jays the moment the team looked like it might make the playoffs shot over 3 million fans and got TV viewership US based teams can only dream of.

This year, even with the disappointment early and often the Jays still are just shy of 30k per game, good for 6th in the AL and will cross 2 million again.  14th in the majors.  Miami is close to averaging under 10k (over by 76 per game right now) and White Sox, Pirates, A's, and Rays are all sub 20k per game - all 10k per game lower than the Jays.  Oakland is a likely playoff team too.

For the Jays a 500 team will keep fans interest enough that when they shoot into the 90 win range the crowds become massive.  Over 40k in 2016 per game, 3rd in majors to St Louis and LA Dodgers.  8th in 2015 just behind the Red Sox.  2.79 million fans that year despite being a 500 team in the first half.

Yeah, for Rogers and the long term health of the organization we need to see decent 500 teams every year (or at least close) and not go into Tampa/Miami/Oakland type rebuilds.  Now the Jays have some super prospects on the edge from Vlad to Bo to Jansen with strong kids around them in McKinney, Gurriel, Hernandez and others.  2019-2025 should be a fun stretch.  Watching a gang of kids develop at once.
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#364822) #
Rebuilding after 2016 would have been sensible from a roster standpoint but no way to pull that off after back to back ALCS appearances. Last two seasons have basically been trying to keep the money train rolling in a perceived weak league without sacrificing the farm system or adding bad contracts. It didnít work out but rebuilding was not an option so this alternative was the best one to take. Cheap vets until the prospects are ready.

So far the FO has been right on every FA they passed on or didnít offer more to (Edwin, Price, Donaldson, Bautista, Fowler). They were in a tough spot with optics, took all the hits/blame for not signing them or having no interest in them, but it has always ended up being the right move. Donaldson might end up falling in that group as well.

Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#364823) #
I wish the idea that the majority of salary on this team is tied to signings or traded by AA would die. That hasnít been true for some time. Itís cover for decisions of this front office that is neither true nor needed.
Paul D - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#364824) #
I think that not calling up Vlad after the horrendous JD trade would really show that this team does not care at all about its fans (or its players). That is the system they're working with though.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#364825) #
#BlueJays announce that they've claimed RHP Mark Leiter Jr. on waivers from the Phillies
Thomas - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#364826) #
Amazing long game from Atkins and Shapiro.

Don't resign Bautista after the 2017 season. Let him sign with the Braves, where he will struggle due to a lack of spring training. He'll get cut, then sign with the Mets. He will inevitably do better for the Mets and get traded to the Phillies at the August trading deadline. To create a spot for Bautista, the Phillies will waive Mark Leiter Jr.

The Jays can trade Donaldson for cents on the dollar, and in the process open a 40-man roster spot. The front office can then claim Leiter Jr. on waivers and add him to the 40 man without having to cut anyone from the 40-man.
Kasi - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#364827) #
Not really untrue. Martin, Tulo and JD made 63 million combined this year for a very paltry return. Add in the pitchers and Pillar and itís above 75 million. So yes itís the majority of the salary on the team. Majority just means over half and that is quite true.
Michael - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#364828) #
The trade of Donaldson is a bad move unless the ptbnl is really good (the names linked so far are not good enough). Making a QO was the alternative move, and all moves need to be compared to the alternative.

Tulo still might have some baseball value left, but clearly his contract pays him way more than his expected value. But when looking at the Tulo trade, don't forget we got rid of Reyes in that trade Tulo value - tulo contract is still a lot more than Reyes value - Reyes contract.

It is still the case that AA made good moves and left the franchise overall in a good place.

I don't think the early shapkins years are going as well as the late AA years; however, shapkins have made some good moves and still seem above average as a front office to me. The article suggesting Dan Duquette does not inspire a good alternative. Letting Donaldson go for less than the return on QO (assuming the ptbnl isn't amazing) is a bad loss of value. It isn't the end of the world or franchise destroying or anything, but seems an obvious unforced error.
Chuck - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#364829) #
I think that not calling up Vlad after the horrendous JD trade would really show that this team does not care at all about its fans (or its players).

The FO could argue that they are thinking of their fans. By stalling Guerrero's promotion until May, they can ensure that the fans get 7 years of Guerrero's career rather than just 6. All at the expense of not calling him up now to play in a bunch of meaningless games.

As for caring about the players, I agree that promoting Guerrero in May rather than to start the season is dirty pool (this was done to Acuna this year), but a loophole the current CBA allows and one that ownership is taking advantage of.

Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#364830) #
The only contracts that werenít signed by this front office were Tulo and Martin. They make up about 25% of this yearís payroll.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#364831) #
Love the Leiter Jr. add... potential long man with spot starter capability. Job 1 should be trimming down his repertoire, though.
Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#364832) #
If this management didnít want to pay JD this yearís salary they could have traded him this past offseason. Which, as it turns out, would have been a much better idea. Same with Pillar and Stroman. Tying anyone (or their contracts), other than Martin and Tulo, to AA, three years after he left, is abdicating the rightful responsibility that the current management has (good and bad) for this roster.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#364833) #
Think about it, 6 years of Vladimir Guerrero or 7 years of Vladimir Guerrero before he's a free Agent?
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#364834) #
I remember Donaldson stating publicly, at the end of last year, that he wanted to sign a long term extension, making it virtually impossible to trade him without upsetting the fans.
Kasi - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#364835) #
Even if you just restrict it to Martin and Tulo that is 40 million for no value, which is a cost that blocks improvements to the roster.

As for selling Donaldson and Stroman for pennies on the dollar Iím sure that would have gone over really well with fans, even if it was a good idea to get something back for them before they started sucking. Damned if you, damned if you donít I guess.

Regardless if you break the team down itís fairly 50/50 in cost to assets acquired by old vs new. The new assets despite being full of value signings and such are still well outperforming the old. There were plenty of assumptions made (both on this site by posters here as well as the FO) that those players would continue to produce and they havenít.
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#364836) #
It's too bad nobody wanted Clippard. He would have gone for cheap.
I bet, if the Jays were to release him, someone would sign him at minimum, like Garcia.

Chuck - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#364837) #
BlueJays announce that they've claimed RHP Mark Leiter Jr. on waivers from the Phillies

Blisters have been a theme on this team. So why not bring in the nephew of a blister suffering Blue Jay from 20-odd years ago? The circle of life! Hakuna matata and all that.

hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#364838) #
"The FO could argue that they are thinking of their fans. By stalling Guerrero's promotion until May, they can ensure that the fans get 7 years of Guerrero's career rather than just 6"

Besides Acuna, Cubs did it with Bryant. White Sox going to do the same with Eloy. It's a mark of elite, as opposed to good/OK prospects like Borucki, Jansen and SRF who don't have this game played with their team control.
Vulg - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#364839) #
Rebuilding after 2016 would have been sensible from a roster standpoint but no way to pull that off after back to back ALCS appearances. Last two seasons have basically been trying to keep the money train rolling in a perceived weak league without sacrificing the farm system or adding bad contracts. It didnít work out but rebuilding was not an option so this alternative was the best one to take. Cheap vets until the prospects are ready.

Agreed it would have taken Sam Hinkie-sized cojones to do the smart thing given the environment and public pressure at the time. I think this last off-season was the real missed opportunity; there wasn't a single statistical based model or subjective article I can remember that had the Jays ranked above the Red Sox / Yankees. Similarly the Astros / Angels / Mariners were routinely identified as likely strong teams in the West (don't think anybody saw the A's coming). That's when the Rosenthals of the world (per TheAthletic - which is awesome btw) started opining on the matter and the possibility seemed way more tenable.

Outside of that huge strike against the current FO, I find it hard to find too much fault with their actual transactions. The corporate-speak and pandering is annoying, but not actually harmful. Also, I can't really blame Shapkins for the budget that they've clearly been handed. Yes it was depressing to realize that if their publicly traded overlords didn't have the appetite to even approach the luxury-tax threshold after 2015, they would never pull that trigger. You kind of had to accept at the time that they'd start morphing into some rich-man version of the Rays, which is the process that's been playing out the past couple of years.

I just don't believe half-measures work out, in any sport. If you're resigned to a rebuild, then embrace the movement and base every decision around maximum return for assets that don't fit your future timeline for a competitive window. Call me a scarred Leafs fan of 4+ decades, but just don't sell me false hope. It's transparent and a waste of time.

Perhaps the most refreshing thing Shanahan / Babcock did early in their tenure was flat out declare that there would be "pain" as they tore things down and bottomed out. Yeah the impact to gate receipts would've sucked for the Jays, but it's hard to argue they wouldn't be further down the rebuild road if they'd have committed to selling-off much earlier.

Link to that Babcock quote just because it (and Shanahan making no apologies for what was to come) was such a great memory:

https://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2015/05/21/live-mike-babcock-introduced-as-maple-leafs-coach.html
Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#364840) #
Kasi I do understand that perspective. However, that has to be a consistent perspective. In 2020, if Vladdy, Jansen and Borucki put up 12-15 WAR for league minimum then AA gets most of the credit. That wonít be my view. This management has had many opportunities to trade those players for moves that Iím sure would have pleased casual fans. They chose not to, for which they can and should receive full kudos. My only point in all of this is that when youíve been in charge for three years youíve had lots of time to make all of the key decisions and you generally own the good and the bad of it. They have signed all but 2 of this yearís contracts. They should own it. Just as they should get credit for signing Smoak to a value contract against the odds.
scottt - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#364841) #
Leiter doesn't throw hard. Maybe it's possible to turn him into Clippard.
Can he get away with the home runs, if the walks go down?
Clippard has a plus changeup though.
The plan is probably to pass outright him again later.

dan gordon - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#364842) #
I guess if you squint really hard, you can see Leiter as having some potential, but his overall minor league record is mediocre, he's 27, and has been significantly worse this year than last year. He did have a very nice K:BB ratio in 30 AAA innings last year. Sort of looks like a #8-9 starter or Buffalo reliever to me.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#364843) #
#BlueJays know who the PTBNL is in Josh Donaldson deal. ďA near-term prospect that we feel will impact our major-league team in a significant way,Ē per Ross Atkins. The player must be named by end of January & will be named Ďwell before that.í
bpoz - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#364844) #
Demi Orimoloye could be a prospect that makes our top 30 by the end of 2019.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#364845) #
Vulg I disagree that teams have to be completely torn down in order to succeed. It takes more than just talent infusion to become a successful franchise and too often I think franchises try to use the teardown as an excuse for their own ineptitude. Teams that are well run will identify talent, develop talent and come up with ways to maximize talent better than poorly run franchises. The Chicago White Sox for example have traded away everything and stunk for years, yet the Jays still have a better farm system according to baseball america.



grjas - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#364846) #
Well itís pretty clear that the FO would have been pilloried by some part of the fan base no matter what they did-

. Trying to build around the supposed 2016 base would have failed as the base deteriorated and the farm teams would have been weakened

. Trading off the base last year would have been unpopular with many for giving up on a team who were projected to be in the WC mix

. Selling off now is unpopular because weíre getting pennies which would have been dollars last year.

I think the FO generally does what they think is right, such as waiting on Vlad rather than being influenced by fans. ( although perhaps there is some interference at times from Rogers.)

Thatís certainly better than some of the clear pandering thatís happened in the past..such as the Wells mega signing
Glevin - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#364847) #
Comments by Atkins show it isnít an escalating prospect based on performance. Itís someone currently on 40man and in majors or close. Yandy Diaz maybe? Seems exactly like the sort of guy a rebuilding team should take a shot on and doesnít seem to have a place in Cleveland,. Merrywether seems possible as well but that is really stretching the definition of Ďsignificant impactí.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#364848) #
I don't think Jays would want an infielder in return so I believe Merryweather is more likely than Diaz although it's possible it could be someone else altogether. It does seem probable that it is a player on the 40 man who is not in the major leagues.
rpriske - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#364849) #
"I think that not calling up Vlad after the horrendous JD trade would really show that this team does not care at all about its fans (or its players)."

Agree or disagree, I usually find that the posters on the site are intelligent and thoughtful.

This comment, however, is ridiculous.
Gerry - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#364850) #
The return is someone on the 40 man roster who didn't pass through waivers and thus cannot be traded now. Merryweather is injured, as Donaldson was, and so could not be placed on waivers. I don't know if others on the Indians roster could be in the same position but prima facie it looks like Merryweather.

As I said a month ago, the front office has picked up a lot of players with questions about their future. They are almost setting up a referendum on their performance.

We shall judge next year!
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#364851) #
Looking at what Orimoyloye has produced the last 10 days, I am very surprised Jays were able to obtain him for a short term rental and a bench player at that. The belief is that the Brewers overpaid for Gonzalez and I think they did so in the Jays trade as well. Atkins likes to target players that he sees as trending upward and that would be so in this case as in others.

last ten days for Orimoloye:

.326
14 hits
4 HR
11 RBI

and he is described as a better than average CF.

85bluejay - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#364852) #
Well if it is Merryweather (and seems a good bet since Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes was probably given a heads up), FWIW John Sickels had rated Shawn Morimando (whom the Indians released & the Jays signed) as a better prospect than Merryweather so that's not very encouraging & of course since Merryweather had TJ in ST (March) will probably not be ready to pitch in spring training 2019.
Kasi - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#364853) #
Yeah I can agree with that Nigel in them owning the results of the resigning they made. Just like they own the results of increased focus on player development or the pros/cons of the new performance team. That makes it pretty hard to untangle everything and likely pointless to try.

That being said I donít think itís a stretch to think they overly relied on good performances from Tulo, JD, Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna. To expect what happened with them would be crazy, but I think the performance of newcomers theyíve added like Diaz and Grichuk and Oh would have been good complementary pieces to the exiting roster if their projections on current players didnít fall apart. And sadly it did.
85bluejay - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#364854) #
Yes, the Jays have picked up many players with questions about their future recently - perhaps, given the success of the farm system this year, the FO is bullish on their developmental team - I take that as a positive sign and it's a way to get talent without paying full price - a lot of attention will be paid to the development of those players next year - for me, David Paulino & Hector Perez are key & if the team can increase Ken Giles value to get a good return in july.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#364855) #
It will be interesting to see what the Jays do with Morimando after his AFL stint. If they still like him, hopefully he can return on a minor league contract.
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#364856) #
It definitely sounds like itís going to end up being Merryweather.
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#364857) #
Bit confused about 2 things.
1 If it's Merryweather for sure, why not just announce it?

2 Why wasn't JD claimed on waivers?
Spifficus - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#364858) #
They wouldn't be able to annouce Merryweather (if it's him) because he's on the 40-man roster and would have to clear waivers. Since he's on the 60-day DL, he wouldn't be healthy enough to be put on waivers, and if he were healthy, he might not clear.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#364859) #
The 2017 Jays had a lot of injuries and below average play which resulted in a 76-86 record. The 2nd Wild Card was won by Minnesota with a 85-77 record, just 9 games different. The Jays were within two games of a Wild Card Berth until sometime in August. It was mistakenly called a bad year. I disagree.

Aaron Sanchez pitched 36.0 innings that year with just 1 win. The replacements were not any better. If he pitches anything like 2016 - 15-2 3.00 ERA, 192.0 IP - the Jays would easily make the playoffs that year, possible winning more than a few games.

Josh Donaldson missed 42-45 games, playing like an MVP over the last few months. If he's healthy and plays 155-158 games - the Jays would easily make the playoffs that year, possible winning more than a few games.


Winning the 2nd Wild Card should not be that hard. The Jays have enough talent to have a chance and they are adding the best talent(s) in their minors.
Nigel - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#364860) #
If it is Merryweather then I think they got a better return for Granderson then JD and Atkins is definitely spinning hard in his reference to a significant add. Iíd far rather take flyers on A ball lottery tickets then taking on meh prospects who may or may not be better than other candidates the Jays have for their 40 man roster. But itís worth waiting to see how this shakes out.
PeterG - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#364861) #
Merryweather is not listed on the 60 day DL but the rest applies. As for JD, he likely went unclaimed because a claiming team could have been on the hook for 3.7 mil if a deal could not be made and the Jays walked away.
85bluejay - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#364862) #
Agree with you Nigel on all counts.

If a team had claimed Donaldson,there's a good chance the Jays would have let him go & save the 3.9M - no team wanted to take that risk.
Spifficus - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#364863) #
Thanks for the correction, peterG. I was thinking of his TJS, of course, but if he were actually on the 60-day DL, he'd be burning service time.
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#364864) #
What is JD worth then, if no team was willing to risk 3.9 mill?
Glevin - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#364865) #
Eric Longerhans on Merryweatyer pre ĎTommy john obviously..,

ďI left Merryweather off of Clevelandís offseason list entirely because I had reports from scouts who thought he was succeeding as a 24-year-old in A-ball due to deception, a good changeup, and little else. Turns out that was foolish. Merryweather is 25 but heís pitched his way to Columbus and he carved up one of the more talented lineups in the International League yesterday, garnering swings and misses with all three pitches. Heís deceptive, athletic, touched 95 several times, flashed a plus curveball and changeup, and despite some issues timing all the moving parts of his delivery, he threw lots of strikes. There are scouts who think he fits better in relief, but he has mid-rotation stuff.ď
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#364866) #
The earliest the PTBNL could be named is October 1st. An MiLB player would have already be named including those on the 40-Man. From the description provided by Atkins, it's someone on the 25-Man or 40-Man but cannot/did not clear waivers. How hard is it to figure out who?
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#364867) #
I think itís Merryweather, but looking at their 40 man roster, the only other possibilities are Mercado and Chang since Atkins specified ďnear termĒ, which Iím assuming means not having reached MLB yet.

Since Merryweather is hurt and canít be put through waivers it points to him being the guy, but obviously we have to wait and see.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#364868) #
What is JD worth then, if no team was willing to risk 3.9 mill?

I donít think thatís quite right, though. No team was willing to take on that salary with no assurance that he was healthy. The Jays, Iím assuming, wouldnít have been giving any such assurances (they wouldnít have been saying anything) at that point, since it was in their interest to get him through waivers. Once that had been done, they wouldíve been in position to share his health information with other teams, and make them more comfortable with the potential acquisition.
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#364869) #
That makes sense, but JD and his agent (supposedly) would know if he was healthy. Teams could contact the agent.

I guess the answer is he's not healthy enough to play right now.
Magpie - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#364870) #
Seems to me this front office is basically sitting around and waiting for the huge contracts invested on older players to expire. Which seems reasonable to me - 2015 is long over, but the bills are still coming due. It's just not often a front office has the confidence in their own job security to do just that, and Atkins just prophesied another difficult year ahead.

As for Josh... if things didn't end badly, they wouldn't end at all. In retrospect, it obviously would have been better for the franchise to move him last winter. Presumably, the front office was hoping for a bounceback season. Based on how JD finished up in 2017, that made a certain amount of sense. I do have to think that JD deciding the Jays medical staff wasn't meeting his needs and using his own people didn't encourage anyone to keep him around, especially when it worked out so badly for all concerned. That may not be the reason it worked out the way it did, of course. But there you are.
85bluejay - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#364871) #
Don't quite agree TangledUpInBlue, the Jays paid about $2.7M to apparently get Merryweather - that doesn't seem a good use of $2.7M but the Jays didn't want the PR nightmare of not offering JD a QO.
dan gordon - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#364873) #
I thought Merryweather would have been an interesting addition, but if it's a "near-term prospect who can influence the team in a significant way", I doubt it's him. Merryweather really struggled badly when called up to AAA in 2017, then missed this year due to injury. I would say he's going to need at least a year of AAA time to get a shot at the big leagues, maybe even start 2019 in AA to get his feet back under him after the surgery, then move up to AAA in May or June.

I don't think the term "near term prospect" precludes it being a guy who has some big league time. I mean SRF is still a prospect, right? The fact that the player wasn't named because he didn't clear waivers doesn't necessarily mean it's a guy on the DL, unless I'm missing something. If the Indians hadn't previously gotten waivers on the player, there would be no time to get them through waivers if they just agreed to the player on the 31st. The Indians may want to hold onto the player for the rest of the season in case they need the player. Then he gets traded after the season's over. That would be the most logical reason for them to not name the player now, I would think.

Taylor, Mercado, Diaz or Chang, I think are all possible.
grjas - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#364874) #
the Jays paid about $2.7M to apparently get Merryweather

Huh? Nobody claimed JD. They were paying that regardless.
Vulg - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#364875) #
Vulg I disagree that teams have to be completely torn down in order to succeed. It takes more than just talent infusion to become a successful franchise and too often I think franchises try to use the teardown as an excuse for their own ineptitude. Teams that are well run will identify talent, develop talent and come up with ways to maximize talent better than poorly run franchises. The Chicago White Sox for example have traded away everything and stunk for years, yet the Jays still have a better farm system according to baseball america.

I agree it's not necessary to go scorched earth, even less so in MLB than where jockeying for a top-ish draft pick isn't as franchise-altering as it is in the other major sports.

However, I do think it's optimal to trade away veterans who are near contract expiry and facing free agency for players or prospects that more closely align to the timing of your competitive window.

Completely agree that it takes more than throwing darts at prospects and young talent to properly build - to add to your White Sox example, the LA Clippers spent two decades at the top of the NBA draft and where terrible for nearly the whole time. But trading expiring contracts of value and building / developing what you already have are not mutually exclusive.
Magpie - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#364876) #
how many pinch hit Grand Slams have there been in Blue Jays history? I have absolutely no idea, nor do I have any idea how to look up such a feat.

Me neither! I'd been trying, with no luck... but then they told me that Reed Johnson was the last guy, against Mike Myers, in a simply wonderful game in Fenway back in 2005. Ah-ha! I wrote about that game the very next day, whilst transcribing some of the Chat highlights that unfolded in real time, and in the process I dropped the information that Sparky was the third Blue Jay to pull off that feat. He followed Jesse Barfield (against Tom Burgmeier in 1982) and Tony Fernandez (off Ted Lilly in 2001.) So Smoak would be the fourth Jay.

The live Chat was a lot of fun that night.Good times!
Gerry - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#364877) #
There is an interview with Atkins on the Sportsnet site. He says next year they will not be competitive, in 2020 they will be better and they will be really competitive in 2021.
Magpie - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#364878) #
I'm checking out something on the Jays BB-ref page which, as you all surely know, features head shots of the Jays 12 best players, ranked by WAR. It was just a little disturbing to see Billy McKinney's mug amongst them. He's been here, what, five minutes?
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#364879) #
That makes sense, but JD and his agent (supposedly) would know if he was healthy. Teams could contact the agent.

Thatíd be tampering, would it not?
Gerry - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#364880) #
I don't think the Russ Martin at third experiment should last much longer, he is fine when the ball is hit right at him, or with a pop-up, but not when he has to move laterally.

Taylor Guerrieri has an unusual delivery, and it doesn't look like his command is the best. Caveat, it is his major league debut.
Glevin - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#364881) #
ďThere is an interview with Atkins on the Sportsnet site. He says next year they will not be competitive, in 2020 they will be better and they will be really competitive in 2021Ē

Iím happy to hear this. My biggest complaint about this front office has been that they seem to afraid to lose. Itís also interesting in who fits into that timeline. Stroman, Sanchez, Giles, Grichik, Travis, and Pillar are all free agents after 2020. I expect Jays to trade a bunch of them next year. I hope some of them build some actual value unlike this year.
hypobole - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#364882) #
Magpie, my "favourite" BB-ref item is there are 15 names below Kendrys Morales for pitchers WAR.
uglyone - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#364883) #
so they never planned on being competitive until 2021? when all those contracts we may have signed will be expiring anyways?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 01 2018 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#364884) #
Baring Trades or significant injuries, the Jays Roster next year is very familiar.

Randal Grichuk, Kevin Pillar, Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez are the most likely Outfield. While none are game changers/impact players, all are steady performers.

The Catchers will be Danny Jansen and Russell Martin with Kendrys Morales as D.H. and part-time 1B. While none are game changers/impact players, all are steady performers.

Justin Smoak, Devon Travis, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Aledmys Diaz and Brandon Drury will form the infield. While none are game changers/impact players, all are steady performers.


Decisions must be made about Troy Tulowitzki, Yangervis Solarte and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with only Vlady being a game changer/impact player. The others are steady performers. With 15 Players for just 13 spots, the Offseason will be interesting.
John Northey - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#364885) #
Via Cot's Contracts 2018-23 payroll and tax tracker - only 3 players (Martin, Tulo, Morales) are fully signed for 2019 (options for Smoak & Solarte) and only Tulo is signed beyond that ($14 mil in 2020, $4 mil buyout for 2021).  Also Gurriel is signed from now until 2022 for chicken feed (sub $5 mil at the peak).

Basically the Jays are fully in control of their payroll beyond that.  Just shy of $55 mil for 2019, under $20 mil a year after that.

Free Agents
Post 2018: Estrada, Clippard - that's it.  Good job by the front office clearing out the guys who would produce nothing in return this offseason as there were a lot of them earlier.
Post 2019: Martin, Morales, Smoak (assuming option picked up - seems a no brainer), Petricka
Post 2020: Tulo (if option not picked up), Stroman, Giles, Pillar, Grichuk, Sanchez, Travis, Solarte (if all options picked up)
Post 2021: Drury, Tepera
Post 2022: Diaz, Barnes, Maile, Biagini

So the 2020 offseason looks like the big headache right now which suggests the team will look into long term deals with anyone they like from that group (Stroman, Grichuk the most likely imo).

So what did the Jays get for all their free agents to be who were dumped? 
Btw, Osuna in 11 games has 2 saves, 2 holds, 2 wins, 2 loses.  Giles has 7 saves, 1 loss and lots of sucking when not given a save situation.

McKinney has looked great.  Giles has been what could be hoped for (solid closer, just don't let him pitch otherwise), The rest are still in the minors outside of Drury who sucked then was hurt.  Still, if McKinney keeps this up or even remotely close he will be plenty for all the trades if he is all that works out and I doubt that'll be the case.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:14 AM EDT (#364886) #
The Pitching on the other hand determines whether or not the Jays compete. This will be where most of the help is needed.


While Aaron Sanchez might not still be the Stud (game changer/impact player) he was from 2015 and 2016, he should be much better than 2018. Marcus Stroman is having his worst Season ever, both in Health and Performance. I fully expect him to return to the form he had in pervious years, which was very good.


Ryan Borucki will make the Team next year for sure, especially because of his command of his fast ball. He just needs to pitch more up here. Sam Gaviglio needs to pitch better on the road (1-6. 8.10). He pitches very well at home (2-1, 2.68). Both Thomas Pannone and Sean Reid-Foley need to pitch more and pitch more effectively before a decision can be made.


Ken Giles closes very well, but usually sucks when not closing. Ryan Tepera remains effective in back-to-back Seasons. Everyone else is auditioning for spots and there are a lot of options.


Whatever the Jays need to do this Offseason will be determined by decisions made this month on the performance of their young Players.
Mike D - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#364887) #
I agree with Nigel that the narrative that AA contracts are currently crippling the team should die.

I also think that the narrative that the 2015 "all-in" trade deadline crippled the team for the future should die too (despite it reportedly being the prime bone of contention in the AA-Shapiro divorce). The Jays bundled prospects for Price, Tulo/Hawkins, Lowe, Revere and Pennington.

By far the most valuable piece by WAR the Jays gave up at the '15 deadline, as it turned out, was Matt Boyd. Matt Boyd, of the 5.05 career ERA. Opponents have slashed .309/.358/.629 against him in five career Rogers Centre starts.

(He's been a decent No. 3-4 type this year, and admittedly, would've led this year's Jays rotation in WAR all things being equal.)

It is true that the Jays took on an extra $51M, payable in various levels over the seven years between 2015-2021, in terms of Tulo's contract minus the jettisoned Reyes' contract. That should not meaningfully hamstring a non-Rays franchise.
SK in NJ - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#364888) #
I think that Atkins timeline is logical. Next season will definitely be a transition season, and the fact that Atkins said it publicly means Rogers is OK with it, so thatís a good sign. As mentioned the Jays have a ton of players that will be free agents after 2020, so being able to turn those players into players that can help in 2020/2021 and beyond will be critical. They canít afford anymore Donaldson type value losses.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 02:31 AM EDT (#364889) #
I donít think anyone is saying (or still saying) that the 2015 trade deadline was a turning point in the sense youíre describing, Mike D. Rather, the point is that the team was effectively ďall inĒ that year (or that year plus 2016) because the roster was becoming older and more expensive, with some key players entering their decline phase; and the farm system had become largely depleted of prospects in the high minors who could replace the aging veterans when the need arose.

Thus, the team was all-in in 2015 and (to a lesser extent) in 2016 and then rebuilding became the only realistic path forward for the team.

Actually, as things turned out, Anthopoulos didnít go quite far enough in 2015, as in hindsight he should have made that one additional trade ó dealing Tellez for Zobrist ó to push the team over the top to earn a WS berth (and likely title).
Glevin - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:01 AM EDT (#364890) #
I wish the idea tha how prospects turn out is what matters rather than their value at the time. If he Jays traded Vlad for Bartolo Colon and Vlad becomes a monk and Colon has 0.1 WAR, was that a good trade? According to this logic, yes it was but of course itís a horrible trade. Anyway, it isnít just about 2015. It was a few years of completely emptying out the farm for which the Jays have has no long term value for. The only player from all those moves that had value post 2015 was Donaldson. Look at the rotation the Jays traded away. Syndergaard, Musgrove, Descalfini, Boyd. Those guys are all pre arbitration and are major league starters. Thatís 6.6 cheap WAR and thatís just this year. Those four pitchers have already given teams over 20 WAR in pre arbitration. Thatís like $160m of value for maybe around $10m total. Nobody thinks much of Marisnick but heís given 9.4 WAR and for $4.5m lifetime. Henderson Alvarez looks done but he still gave 6.3 extremely cheap WAR. The Jays lost an entire generation of cheap controllable players.

AA was absolutely right to go for it in 2015. The Jays had a small window of the YAnkees and Red Sox not being great. The problem is the the Jays went all-in in 2013 as well when they shouldnít have and that the window he gave the team was way too small because the assets traded for were extremely short term. Dickey was 38. Reyes was 30. Buhrle was 34. Price was a rental. By comparison, the Astros used Musgrove as a main piece to get a 27 yo Gerrit Cole who was under contract for three years.
SK in NJ - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:05 AM EDT (#364891) #
@keeganmatheson
ďJosh decided this offseason to follow his own path. He was not using our resources this offseason."
- Atkins on Donaldson, #BlueJays⁠ ⁠ high performance department.

If thatís true then it explains why the club wanted no part of the QO. Donaldson getting hurt cost the team a lot, from lost value to an optics nightmare. Of course thatís one side of the story. Donaldson has a history of having issues with front offices (hence why he was available after 2014) so Iím sure this is far from over especially when his side comes out.
soupman - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:17 AM EDT (#364892) #
this 6 vs 7 years of VGJ is evidence of stockholm syndrome, i think. rogers are the richest owners in the league and there's absolutely no reason that he shouldn't be a jay for life.
scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#364893) #
Merryweather, if he's the guy, is very similar to Sanchez. Right handed, mid-90 fastball with movement, changeup and curve.
There's obviously upside, but the risk is high.
scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 07:09 AM EDT (#364894) #
Atkins was asked the same question twice by Arash Madani.

He said they don't expect to be competitive with Boston and NYY next year, that they expect to improve the following year and that they expect to be very competitive in 2021.

Atkins also dropped a line about Guerrero, Bichette and Biggio.

scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 07:17 AM EDT (#364895) #
I was curious to have a look at Guerrieri, but I wasn't expecting this.

He has a funky--always in the stretch--delivery with extreme reach back.
He mostly throws from over the top and his strike out came on a very nice curveball that froze the hitter.
He's described as a strike thrower who has a 2/1 strike to walk ratio.
There's probably some deception to his delivery and he's given a lot of hits in AAA.
He didn't seem overpowering. I could see him as a Biagini type out of the pen.
He looked like he's ready to field once the ball is released.

scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#364896) #
We have no idea how much Guerrero is asking or how good he will be in 4 or 5 years.
When a player signs an early extension, the team takes all the risk, so the contract is usually team friendly.
Miguel Cabrera is a good comparable for me. The Marlins were not able to extend him and the Tigers gave him a humongous contract after he had transitioned to first base.

hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#364897) #
so they never planned on being competitive until 2021?

That's not what he said. He did not say that was the plan. He said plans change and and this is the plan at this point in time.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#364898) #
I think offensively we will be competitive as soon as next season, but there is still a lot of heavy lifting to do on the pitching and defense side of things.

On the pitching side I noticed that the Jays starters throw the 3rd highest percentage of fastballs in baseball, but only have the 25th highest average fastball velocity. It seems a lot of the better rotations in baseball are heading towards higher amount of off-speed pitches such as the Yanks, Sox, Astros and Indians. I generally think either the Jays pivot and start focusing more on throwing off-speed pitches or try to acquire guy with better fastballs like Sonny Gray. I don't see a lot of success with Sam Gavigilo or Thomas Pannone throwing 60%+ average at best fastballs.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#364899) #
On the pitching side I noticed that the Jays starters throw the 3rd highest percentage of fastballs in baseball, but only have the 25th highest average fastball velocity.


That's very interesting. Where's that data from?
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#364900) #
Fangraphs
ayjackson - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#364901) #
I wonder if that's (FB%) a product of Russell Martin.


I understood the Atkins quote to be "not competitive with NY and Boston" in 2019, "more competitive" in 2020, and "very competitive" in 2021. That seems reasonable, rebuild or not.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable about our top prospects coming through if they had a better defensive profile than "may stick" at the positions they are being handed. I don't think Bo and Vlad have played one game off SS and 3B.

Good defense can turn a 5-WAR bat into a 7-WAR player, while poor defense will turn the same bat into a 3-WAR player.
hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#364903) #
Bo played 2B the last Perez start, Espinal was at SS.
ayjackson - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#364904) #
*until very recently


(thanks hypo)
scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#364905) #
Happ was responsible for a lot of FB%. Estrada also throws a lot of fastball since he's primarily a 2 pitch guy.
Borucki will also throw a lot of low velocity fastball. Garcia mixed it more, but he's also a soft tosser. Same with Gaviglio, good mix but low fastball velocity.  I liked Sanchez when he was throwing more fastballs.

uglyone - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#364907) #
I imagine they use the same kind of tools for their pitching selections as they do the hitting - I.e. exit velo / barrels / etc
uglyone - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#364908) #
Why does Russ seem to focus on "mlb ready" assets so much when he's not really expecting to be competitive for another 3yrs at least?
CeeBee - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#364909) #
"Why does Russ seem to focus on "mlb ready" assets so much when he's not really expecting to be competitive for another 3yrs at least?"

Because beggars can't be choosers?
Gerry - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#364910) #
MLB ready means they are almost ready. A lot of those guys would be up and down guys in 2019, hopefully regulars in 2020 and ready to improve in 2021.

At least that what the FO hopes will happen.
ayjackson - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#364911) #
It means they're contemporary with Bo and Vlad. Plus it signals a short rebuild to the common fan. But long term, they should be focused on best asset regardless of proximity to majors.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#364913) #
If you look at xwOBA against you see the Stros, Phillies, Indians, Sox, and Yanks near the top and the Jays at 25th.

I am not as comfortable using xwOBA for pitchers yet, but the ones that grade well are Mayza, Clippard and Tepera.
uglyone - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#364918) #
what did xwoba say about the likes of happ/estrada/gaviglio/Garcia coming into the season?
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#364919) #
Estrada has looked good in the eyes of xwOBA over the last few years, but absolutely cratered this season.

Garcia was trending downwards for years, and Gavigilio also looked awful.
bpoz - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#364920) #
IMO whatever R Atkins says should be taken with a grain of salt. By that I mean it is not absolutely clear.


Personally I think he does not know future results. I think he is talking about expectations. I did not buy his "spin", a few of you did fall for his "spin", most of us did not. That is ok, I used to get hooked too and a lot.


If Atkins is wrong and by July 31 we are in a contending position like Oakland this year, the question becomes " will he admit that he is wrong"?


I use Oakland, because they are a good example. Will he do as Oakland did and add pieces? He can take on salary in 2019 quite easily. Will he spin that?
bpoz - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#364921) #
I agree with Glevin on the great value of cheap WAR. Very well explained. I understand now.
Nigel - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#364922) #
Glevin makes a really good and forgotten point about the 2013 rebuild. It was done because there was a huge change in the exchange rate and Rogers was willing and able to substantially increase the US$ budget without it materially impacting their quarterly and annual financials. It was a rebuild brought on by financial opportunism- it was also done at a time that was poor from a baseball perspective.

Iím not optimistic that the turnaround starts in 2020. I think people seriously underestimate how hard it is to improve a team of mediocrities. For example, if Jansen is a 3 WAR player (a really good outcome) by 2020 it will be only a modest improvement over what Maile and Martin have done this year. If the team had a few stars and several positions with players at or below replacement level the turnaround time would be much shorter. The team is also short of impact prospects at AA and AAA, most of the teamís top 10 will be in Dunedin and below. The team will also be playing just under 60 games a year against NY, Boston and TB which is not going to be fun. Iím expecting 2-3 years out in the wilderness now.
scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#364923) #
I don't know where Oakland will stand next year, but the Twins were the second wild card last year and they spent to improve and it got them nowhere.
scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#364924) #
1. Guerrero AAA
2. Bichette AA
3. Jansen AAA/MLB
4. Pearson A+
5. Alford AAA
6. Smith A+
7. Pardinho R
8. Grosham R
9. Biggio AA
10 SRF AAA/MLB

You must have a very different top 10.




Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#364925) #
Atkins says, "... don't expect to be competitive with Boston and NYY next year,..."


He did not say, "... don't expect to be competitive at all..." Boston and New York can only fill two of a possible three Playoff Berths. That leaves one playoff spot available.


From March 28th until June 2nd, the Jays have an easier Schedule - 59 Games playing just Boston 6 times. I think it's possible for the Jays to have a winning record and be competitive at least this far.
scottt - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#364926) #
 At the draft, needs shouldn't come  into play. But the team still need to make trades to address needs and if not now then when? It's near impossible to acquire the needed players without losing value.

The expectations for next year is that players like Smoak and Morales will be unloaded at the deadline.
Should the team be in contention, it would just be another "good problem to have".

Gerry - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#364927) #
Atkins on the TV broadcast talking up the kids. There is a lot of PR going on.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#364928) #
Nigel I think you make a valid point about elite talent from a WAR perspective. At this point the Yankees and Red Sox have 4 guys each who are 4-5+ WAR players. If they Jays are looking at 2021 who is a 4-5 WAR players by then?

Likely: Vlad Jr (AAA)
Hopefully: Bichette (AA), Jansen (MLB)
Possibly: Kevin Smith (A+), Biggio (AA)
Dreaming: Gurriel Jr (MLB), McKinney (MLB)

Its very possible we can get at least 3, but there aren't many great options for #4.
hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#364929) #
Atkins loves using the word "exciting" when describing players he acquires.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#364931) #
"Why does Ross seem to focus on "mlb ready" assets so much..."

In the last 10 years, the Jays have drafted about 300 Players and signed about 150 (July 2nd) Players. Those numbers may be light. Did/will the Jays get 45 MLB Players from that group, or can they get possibly more? Development time varies for each player, from just under one year to well over six years. The success rate is small, very small and varies from year to year. The ultimate success rate (MLB success) is extremely small and varies from year to year as well.

All Teams want MLB ready Players, they are the successes. By targeting MLB ready Players, the Jays are acquiring the successes of other Teams, side-stepping the development process. But success often varies. Some Players are more successful than others,and some will become stars.
hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#364934) #
Be interesting to see how the catching situation plays out in the off-season.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#364935) #
SRF one walk, 10 K today. I know it's against the Marlins, but still that's encouraging.
krose - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#364936) #
Have also wondered about how the catching will play out. Maile and Jansen appear to be keepers. Martin continues to be a good receiver, to the eye test, and looks to call a god game; but the arm isnít what it once was. He could be the odd one out.
bpoz - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#364937) #
I am with BlueJayWay. Lets look at the positives. Grab at straws, so to speak.

The auditions have started for the rebuild. McKinney looks good so far.
uglyone - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#364938) #
that's pretty sweet from SRF.

I'm a little scared about his consistency - the fact that he followed up the bad mlb starts with another one in AAA tells me it's more mental than physical - but he simply didn't look good at all when he was off his game.

it's something I remember from watching Daniel Norris - a guy that was dominant when he was in a groove but whose delivery just fell to pieces when he was a bit off. never seen anyone look as hopeless up there as Norris on a bad day.

too early to say anything like that about SRF but it's in the back of my mind now.
Chuck - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#364939) #
I think people seriously underestimate how hard it is to improve a team of mediocrities.

Preach, brother. Further, a team of mediocrities (a bunch of 0 to 2 WAR players) gives both the illusion of competence and depth. It's like death by a thousand mediocre cuts. The Jays have 9 infielders, all equally meh. And several outfielders, all the same. Who is starting today? Does it matter? They are all the same. A pile of interchangeable mediocre parts. Solarte and Drury are injured and can't play. Could it matter less?

Stars and scrubs is the way to go. You can replace scrubs with mediocrities -- abundant in the wild -- and get a bump. But you can't easily upgrade on mediocrities. But just how do you get your hands on those stars? Sometimes you can be gifted them. Sometimes a sow's ear turns into a Jose Bautista silk purse. Sometimes a GM has a brain cramp and gifts you Josh Donaldson. But ordinarily neither of those things happens. Then what?

FG has no one on the current roster at even 2 WAR. That's a mayonnaise on white bread sandwich if ever there was one.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#364940) #
Sean Reid-Foley's excellent start may have "only" been the Marlins, but they were the Team the stomped on the Jays yesterday.
uglyone - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#364941) #
obviously I'm with Chuck and Nigel on this.

while you can add a bunch of affordable mediocrities and technically get great $/war values, that doesn't really get you where you need to go.

especially since imo the real "talent" of being a good GM comes in 2 key areas: 1) making the right "BIG" investments. 2) being able to find bottom roster "mediocrities" for dirt cheap, not to pay market value for 1war players.

just doing nothing but adding prospects and cheap low upside free agents every year and hoping for random variation to look kindly on you in a given year is something anyone can do.
grjas - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#364942) #
Scouting and developing non-pitchers is clearly not something anyone can do since no GM since Gillick has accomplished it.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#364943) #
Shapiro and Atkins helped build a Cleveland roster that includes (2018 WAR):

Ramirez 8.0
Lindor 6.7
Bauer 5.9
Kluber 4.5
Carrasco 4.1
Clevinger 3.7
Brantley 2.6

Yup, they are *clearly* incapable of acquiring star-level players. Oh, woe, woe is us.
Glevin - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#364944) #
538 did a study on this years ago and found that there was no difference in outcomes with stars and scrubs versus balanced roster. You need quality players to win. This is another false debate like scouting versus stats. There isnt any team that says well, letís be weak here so we can be stronger somewhere else and there isnít any team that says letís be mediocre everywhere, all teams are trying to get as much quality as possible that fit into their budgets and timelines, The reason the Jays are going for the approach they are is thatís what is available to them, Itís not like they had the option of Drury or Tatis jr and chose Drury. The Jays are doing what rebuilding teams should do which is give ABs to guys who maybe could be something, The Yankees traded for medicre players in a gregarius and Hicks. Didi had 1.8 WAR over the previous two seasons and a Hicks had 2.1 over his last two year before the Yankees. Bautista was a mediocrity, So was Encarnacion. This is why I think itís important to clear out the older, established players as much as possible next year and give ABs to guys who might be able to develop. There is no other way to rebuild than hat the Jays are doing.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#364945) #
Randal Grichuk is seen by various baseball people and media people as a very good defender in RF who's better in CF. I might tend to agree. This is the first year he has known he is the Regular Everyday Starter in RF. He struggled early, missed May due to a right knee sprain and took off when he returned at the beginning of June.

It's very possible he could be a real difference-maker next year, but might never be an impact player/game-changer. He made $2.8 Million this year and was highly underpaid. I can easily see an extension beyond 2020 as something very possible.
hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#364946) #
More than a few stars started out as non-prospect 0-2 WAR multiple year mediocrities. Edwin 7 years in a row, Jose 3 years.

Of the 27 4WAR hitters on the FG leaderboard, Jose Ramirez 2 years, J. D. Martinez 3 years (although not really, as 2 of those were as a negative WAR scrub), Lorenzo Cain 3 years, Gennett 4 years, Suarez 3 years, Altuve 3 years. There are also failed prospect mediocrities like Hicks and Lowrie, plus other total non prospects who were allowed a year of mediocrity like 27 yr old Merrifield.


So yeah, we have mediocrities with zero upside like Smoak, Pillar, Martin and Morales, but sometimes the younger mediocrities do turn into stars.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#364947) #
Billy McKinney is still first year pre-arb next year (per Cots) and it looks like he's figured things out at the plate. His next game will be the 47th of his MLB career, so we don't have a good idea of how good he really is or how good he can be. This is New York's loss. He's supposed to be able to play either corner equally well and if necessary play CF adequately, but it's still too early to tell really how good he is. It's possible he could be someone special.
Magpie - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#364948) #
obviously I'm with Chuck and Nigel on this.

Me too. But you also need to Get Lucky. Just dumb, stupid, blind, random Luck. The 1992-93 teams were nowhere near as outrageously fortunate as the 2015-16 teams, who acquired Bautista and Encarnacion for essentially nothing whatsoever but they still had their share of Happy Breaks. They traded a failed middle infielder for a wild kid in the minor leagues and found themselves with Juan Guzman. Devon White had spent four years in the majors, getting worse every year, when the Angels simply gave up on him. Even Alomar - at the time, many of us were sure that Alomar would become a big a star. But nothing in baseball is that certain and Fred McGriff was already a big star.

Obviously you can't plan on such things. You cross your fingers and hope you have good karma.
hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#364949) #
As for luck, to paraphrase an old Albert King line, If it wasn't for bad luck, we wouldn't have no luck at all. Over and above our star position player injuries, and the Osuna ugliness, MLB decides to change the baseball and turns our 2 young pitching studs into the Blister Brothers.
grjas - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#364950) #
The 1992-93 teams were nowhere near as outrageously fortunate as the 2015-16 teams

Sure but furthermore the team was very competitive every year from 1983to the 1993 season and would have thrived even more with two WCís. A run of that length is a,lot more than good luck, trades and FA signings. It reflected great scouting, drafting and player development, three things N.Y. and Boston are currently pretty darn good at, in addition to their big wallets.
Magpie - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#364953) #
Oh, indeed. And there was some bad luck along the way as well.
Gerry - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#364954) #
Bluefield's season is over, they lost their deciding playoff game tonight. Unfortunately the tying and go ahead runs were unearned.

Vancouver have missed the playoffs, they needed to win today but they lost.
uglyone - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#364955) #
the 2015-16 teams were not outrageously fortunate. they were built despite years of player implosion after player implosion and all sorts of busted prospects.


Wells, Lind, Hill, Johnson, Rasmus, Escobar, Reyes, Lawrie, Cabrera, Bonifacio, Saunders

Johnson, Marcum, Romero, Morrow, Hutchison, Alvarez, Cecil, Santos, Delabar, Cordero, Stroman heck even dickey

Snider, Arencibia, Gose, Drabek, Thames, Norris, Pompey

all good players /prospectd that imploded along the way.
SK in NJ - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#364957) #
Agreed with Glevin. It's not about stars and scrubs, it's about having as many good players as possible with as few weaknesses as possible. The Jays are not coveting average players. They are getting what is most accessible to them, either in trades or free agency, without having to subtract significant prospect capital or add dead weight money. Some of the players they have acquired have potential to become better (Grichuk, Teoscar, Drury, Diaz, etc), and those are the types of risks rebuilding teams take. Maybe they get lucky and one of them becomes a 2020-beyond piece. If not, keep taking these chances and see what happens, especially in the absence of ready prospects.
John Northey - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#364958) #
I see stars and scrubs as something you do towards the end of a cycle - overpay your stars and stick scrubs everywhere else so you can meet your budget.  Thanks to below market prices on Edwin and Jose the Jays were able to avoid that and get more stars (Tulo, Martin) to minimize the scrubs for 2015/16.  Sadly the trades in 2013 were too soon leading to issues, but also you need to grab what you can when you can sometimes.  Not often a Cy Young winner is made available in trade at just $10 mil a year or so.  Just a shame the Jays included Thor.  Ah well, that happens to every team at some point and pitchers in A ball are notorious for falling apart before reaching the bigs.

Right now the Jays have a stack of potential stars, or at least 2 WAR guys who will all be cheap for awhile.  Pearson, Vlad, Bo, Biggio, Alford, Gurriel, McKinney, Hernandez, SRF, and more that I'm not thinking of who are AA/AAA/Majors (thus able to be on the team in 2019 or 2020 at the latest) all under 26 so either just hitting their prime or still shy of it.

Add in decent spare parts and spend a bit on pitching and the Jays might be in really good shape for 2021 and beyond.  If they like Stroman and Sanchez now is the time to sign them long term (poor year in 2018, still a couple of years of control no matter what), same with Pillar, Travis, and Diaz  - a good time to make up your mind if they are long term or short term pieces.  Short term then trade them this winter if a decent return can be found, if not then hold on and dump once other kids are ready.
John Northey - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 11:48 PM EDT (#364959) #
Say, thinking about it when the Jays last have a batch of good young talent like this so close?
1984...
23: Jimmy Key, Ron Shepherd (yes, we thought he might be something)
Ace Dave Stieb was just 26.

In AA you had...

In AAA...
23: Mark Eichhorn,Stan Clarke (who was thought to be equal to Key at the time)

Interesting group who helped make the 1984-1993 teams so competitive even if all were gone by 1993 (Fernandez left and came back)

Probably similar in the mid 90's.  Don't feel like putting that together right now as it was depressing how they amounted to nothing.
hypobole - Sunday, September 02 2018 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#364960) #
Jays are going to finish the season with a nasty stretch. 23 of the final 26 games are against teams currently at least 10 games over .500. Only 3 in Baltimore are "easy" though it didn't quite turn out that way the last series we played there.
10 Tampa. 7 home, 3 road.
3 @ NYY
3 @ Boston
4 vs Cleveland
3 vs Houston.



uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#364961) #
finally watching today's game (in 30) and wowza Russ actually assured us that one of Teoscar/Grichuk/McKinney will (not might) pull a Bautista next year.
John Northey - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#364962) #
Ugh.  10 vs Tampa.  Well, at least a good draft pick and draft money will result.  Gotta look at the bright side.  Good test for the kids too.
Glevin - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 03:10 AM EDT (#364963) #
The 15/16 Jays were lucky because of Encarnacion and Bautista. It's extremely unusual to have players breakout mid career to such an extent and to have two was very lucky. It just goes to show how silly the idea of stars and scrubs is though. Had the Jays pursed this strategy,(although still uncertain how you try to get star players from other teams) they would never have had Bautista or Encarnacion.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 05:58 AM EDT (#364964) #
I just don't simply understand the "stars and scrubs" argument. I mean yes you need good players to win game, but do you think the Jays are not trying to get elite talent? Do you honestly think the front office is like nah, stars aren't good we'll taken 5 2s over a 10? Furthermore the team has 2 top 10 prospects in baseball, one of which the current front office drafted from high school in just a little more than two years prior.
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#364965) #
Bautista and EE were scrubs. Both players who passed through waivers in their prime years. That's the point.

you add scrubs like that, instead of paying real money to lock in 1war players at the bottom of the roster.
scottt - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#364966) #
Matt Chapman looks pretty good. He's a Boras client, so Oakland will not extend him.
Let say the Oakland pitching completely falls apart next year, and he could be had for the right package.

That's how star players change team. Big trade either to free money or to acquire last needed piece.

uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#364967) #
or think of it this way - according to Atkins plan, in 2021 we will have youngish cheapish depth everywhere on the roster, with no big financial commitments. we should, essentially, have a team of all scrubs.

which means we should have all the payroll space in the world - so at that point, what should we spend that payroll space on? Some expensive stars, or some midpriced low upside depth pieces?
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#364968) #
One would hope by 2021 Vlad and a few others won't be scrubs, but yeah, when a good young cheap core is in place, that is definitely the time to target stars, through FA and trade.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#364969) #
Acquiring existing elite talent is very difficult. Teams are not trading the younger ones with control away (save for rare cases like Yelich) and signing them in free agency is usually tough for a multitude of reasons.

The Jays are trying to develop elite talent. That mainly comes from drafting/developing well, but it can also come unexpectedly. If they have internal evaluations of players who are "average" now but could potentially become much better than that in the future, then I don't see the risk in acquiring players Grichuk, Drury, Hernandez, Diaz, MicKinney, etc, when they are affordable/attainable. They all have varying degrees of intrigue as players (stat cast numbers, power potential, etc). Plus it's not like those are the players the Jays are planning to build around. Acquire solid players/prospects, give them opportunities, make some adjustments with them if necessary, and maybe you get core pieces out of it.

When it comes to free agency, that is an even harder avenue to acquire elite talent because there is usually less upside due to the age of the player, and the cost would be huge in years and term. The team should really only go that route when they have a good, young, cheap core in the bigs that need one or two pieces to become a great team. The Jays will eventually need a Lester type of signing to add to the rotation when the team is ready to contend again, but at the moment, signing cheap fill-in free agents is a logical solution. Yes, they will be 0.5-2 WAR players, but they are typically easy to dispose of when a prospect is ready and can be flipped for prospects later (Granderson and Pearce to name two, while Morales is the one mistake).

This team will look completely different a year from now and way different two years from now. The discussions will change rapidly.
greenfrog - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#364970) #
Encarnacion was luck, really. It was just happenstance that the Jays managed to hold on to him after designating him for assignment in June 2010:

https://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2010/6/21/1528837/edwin-encarnacion-designated-for

Moreover, Anthopoulos added plenty of filler pieces that never amounted to anything, like Coco Cordero, who produced -0.8 WAR in one season as a reliever after Alex gave him 1/4.5m (in 2012 dollars). I can only imagine the vitriol that would be directed Shapiro's way had he signed a reliever to, say, 1/8m (in 2018) dollars who cratered as badly as Cordero did in 2012. But those and other moves have to be airbrushed out of history in order for the anti-Shapiro ideologues to maintain their position. Just as they need to avoid focusing too much about the strong drafting and acquisitions of prospects like Bichette, Pearson, Groshans, Smith, Biggio, Young, Pardinho, Orelvis, Hiraldo, Lopez, Noda, Stevenson, and others -- too inconvenient to their "mediocrity" narrative.
Mike D - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#364971) #
I neither agree that Edwin was a scrub nor that he was acquired for nothing. He was a good young power hitter who hit home runs and drew walks at the major league level, and gave back a good chunk of his WAR with horrible 3B defence. Hitters like him are the people you take a chance on in this ballpark.

The centrepiece of the Rolen deadline deal was Zach Stewart, but Edwin was important too at the time because the Jays had no other viable 3Bs in the system or on the big club. The only other Jays to see time at third prior to Rolen being dealt were Bautista (unequivocally a Scrub Acquired For Nothing Made Good) and Kevin Millar.

Granted, the Jays retained him despite waiving him in 2010 because Oakland re-gifted him. So that was lucky.
ayjackson - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#364972) #
I think we have to be careful what we mean by scrubs. Both Encarnacion and Bautista were highly regarded prospects at a young age that failed to an extent to live up to their billing until their late 20s.

I think in the stars v scrubs classification, scrubs just refers to established MLBers that haven't put up remarkable numbers.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#364973) #
"Russ actually assured us that one of Teoscar/Grichuk/McKinney will (not might) pull a Bautista next year."

This is something similar to the truth because he did use that qualifier, as in "something similar to what Bautista did" I heard Drury in there as well.

Will admit it's still hyperbolic, and I lean on the sceptical side as well.
Mike D - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#364974) #
Greenfrog, I agree in part and disagree in part with various points you make in this thread. But it is pretty harsh for you accuse FO critics of "airbrushing history" on account of "ideology" in the very same paragraph in which you crow about their great drafting while omitting Zeuch and Warmoth.

Both were off-the-board and panned for their low upside, and poor first round picks at the time and in hindsight. Zeuch doesn't miss enough bats but will probably get a chance as a swingman type. Warmoth can neither hit nor stick at SS and I think he will simply bust.

Groshans was also off-the-board but his upside was acknowledged. Like Bichette, the consensus was that he had potential but mechanical concerns. Hope he develops equally well. Drafting is obviously a crapshoot but the most likely outcome is that they have made one solid pick out of their first three top picks.
ayjackson - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#364975) #
Oh yes...that feeling when your first rounder reaches his ceiling but it's only TJ Zeuch.
Chuck - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#364976) #
scrubs just refers to established MLBers that haven't put up remarkable numbers.

I would argue that in the context of this discussion, the term scrubs is inappropriate (even though I myself invoked it) since its meaning is actually broader, and should also include young players who may or may not turn into something. So either low ceiling veterans or low probability "prospects".

Cleveland has had free rein in the AL Central for a long time and has never felt the need to be really serious about their outfield, seemingly willing to punt on this position. The generally very good Michael Brantley has been surrounded by both flavours of scrubs: low ceiling veterans like Rajai Davis, Austin Jackson, Leonys Martin, the ghost of Melky Cabrera(!), matched with sometimes, sorta, kinda useful young players like Chisenhall, Naquin and Zimmer.

The team has two elite infielders, a resurrected once star outfielder, lots of talented pitchers... and scrubs (sorry Edwin).

They are perpetually poised to be able to add a talented rental to their outfield for a huge talent bump, even if they rarely act on this opportunity (Jay Bruce was a half-assed attempt at this last year). Were they in the AL East, they'd obviously have to be more aggressive about leveraging this opportunity.

greenfrog - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#364977) #
Leaving aside the issue of whether Zeuch and Warmoth are busts (they may or may not be), I think it's a mistake to focus on one or two draft or IFA picks rather than the aggregate amount of talent drafted/acquired, which I think reflects well on the current front office so far. The draft may be a crapshoot when it comes to individual selections -- like Deck McGuire, Tyler Beede, DJ Davis, or Jeff Hoffman -- but a team's skill at drafting becomes more apparent when you consider entire draft classes and IFA acquisitions across multiple seasons.

It's also worth noting that Shapiro has been building out his front office over the last few years, including by adding a new director of amateur scouting (Steve Sanders) prior to the 2017 draft.

It's too early to assess the overall performance of this front office, but my impression so far is that it's a competent group that is doing a good job within the constraints Rogers has imposed on them.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#364978) #
Both were off-the-board and panned for their low upside

Mike, could you provide evidence for this off-the-board statement on Warmpth? Hewas drafted right around where he was ranked, FG had him 18, 2080 20, BA 25.
Paul D - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#364980) #
The Vlad decision may not be 6 years versus 7, it may be 7 years versus 12.

I understand, but don't agree, with a perspective that says you should keep him down. I don't understand a perspective that keeping a player down who could obviously ready for the majors in anything but contemptuous towards that player.
Mike D - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#364981) #
No evidence, Hypobole ó I recalled the upside concerns but mis-remembered his pre-draft rankings. My bad.
greenfrog - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#364982) #
I would love to see VGJ sign a 10- or 12-year contract right now -- I was an early advocate of the Jays' negotiating that type of deal with him -- but how often does this occur with young superstar prospects? It seems that Longoria-type extensions are very much the exception. If the player wants to go year-to-year all the way to free agency (Harper), or wait to sign a lucrative extension prior to free agency (Trout, Stanton), why shouldn't the team maximize their years of control by waiting until May or June or his first full year to call him up? That extra year could be worth $40-50m in value to the team seven years from now.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#364983) #
Zeuch was one of the younger draft eligible college players, and wasn't yet 20 when he was drafted. He was pegged as an upside college pick with a big fastball, big frame, projectible pitcher with below average secondary pitches. He hasn't really gotten much better since he was drafted it seems, but the 2016 draft of Zeuch, Bichette and Biggio was a monster draft.


uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#364985) #
greenfrog, I ripped AS endlessly for those dumb expensive reliever signings and have praised shapkins from the start for the handling of the bullpen.
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#364986) #
SK - you go into depth about who hard it is to trade or sign elite talent, but don't mention how hard it is to draft and develop elite talent.
jerjapan - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#364987) #
Wasn't part of those expensive reliever signings under AA the compensation draft pick when they left as FAs?  On the whole, that strategy was a big success. 
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#364988) #
Mike D - EE may not have been a scrub when we picked him up (though that's arguable - slightly above league average hitter with no defense), but he certainly became one, as passing thru waivers suggests.

Just like the fact that Smoak being an uber prospect doesn't mean he wasn't a scrub when we picked him up.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#364989) #
2018 All-Stars:

Homegrown: 33
Free Agency: 15
Trade: 22
Waiver: 3

Elite talent comes from several different avenues, and all areas are important. However the backbone of any organization will always be drafting and developing players and having the depth to trade for players. In this regard the team is on the right track. I don't even think free agency matters until the team is properly constructed again with a core not in their 30s..


uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#364991) #
for me my working definition of "scrub" is something more akin to "dirt cheap player without a recent track record of clearcut mlb starting caliber performance".
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#364992) #
one more thing - I tend to look at "drafting" and "Team management strategy" as 2 separate things.

drafting is always important, obviously. and good drafting will always lead to mlb success, no matter what the team management strategy is.

nobody is debating the value of drafting - or even doubting that this FO is off to a pretty good start there.

what we're debating is team/asset management.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#364994) #
In a totally expected move Donaldson has been put on the 10 day DL and going on a rehab assignment.
Cynicalguy - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#364995) #
The Jays strategy for the next 2 years should be to trade away the veterans they have and maximizing the returns by eating a lot of their salaries, and maybe even take a few chances by overpaying some middling free agents and flipping them at the deadline for prospects.

2019
Smoak - Owed 8M - Might not need to take on any salary on trades. Not a lot of good hitting 1B these days, so if he keeps being consistent, could land a good prospect in return.

Martin - Owed 20M. If the Jays take on his remaining salary or a big chunk of it on trades, might be valuable to a team as a backup catcher and super utility player.

Morales - Owed 12M. Assuming he keeps hitting in the first half next year like the last few months, and the Jays take on the lefover salary in a trade, someone might be willing to give the Jays a prospect in return.

2020
Giles - Last year of arbitration. With some luck, we could hit the jackpot if he returns to pre-2018 form next year and continues being elite till 2020 deadline, might be able to get a big return.

Tulo - Owed 14M and 4M buyout. There needs to be a miracle and Tulo has a fully healthy 2019 and hits with power and plays good defence, can extract a decent return.

Then you have some others who could turn into more consistently good players that you can flip for some return
- Travis, Pillar, Solarte, Grichuk, Tepera, Teoscar, Drury, Barnes, Biagini

And lastly, Stroman and Sanchez, if they turn in elite performances, have a decision to make on whether to extend their contracts or trade them. Always hard to find starters, so better to keep them if you already have them than trading them.
bpoz - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#364996) #
UO thanks for "your" definition of scrub. Dirt cheap and no recent record of ML success. Fair enough. But if others have a different definition of scrub, then we get into an apple and orange comparison.

So as of now Vlad is a scrub. If he is good after 2 ML seasons, 2019 & 20 and still cheap then he is not a scrub.

Yelich is not a scrub. Cheap but has a minimum 2 year good ML record. Is a 2 years record the qualify factor?


If so Smoak may graduate from scrub, good last year and this year maybe.
The ML record of Donaldson and R Romero went from good to bad but both were not cheap, so they don't qualify as scrubs.


No put downs intended, but this discussion was hard to follow.
85bluejay - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#364997) #
Hope the Jays put in a claim for Ben Lively - not exciting but serviceable and I think still has an option next year.
PeterG - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#364998) #
Agree on Lively, especially if he does have a remaining option. There could be muliple claims, however, and it may be necessary to make a minor trade in order to acquire him.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#364999) #
Ugly, getting elite talent in general is difficult, but drafting/developing them is the most sensible option. Whatever happens with Guerrero after 2025, the Jays will likely have gotten his best seasons at his cheapest cost. The value in developing players, especially in today's game, is astronomical. It will take a smart front office, good player development, and luck in some cases, but the Jays are going about it the right way.

It will be more logical, and possibly easier, to attract top free agents when the team is young all over the diamond and looks like it could have a nice 3-5 year run. They aren't there yet.
lexomatic - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#365000) #
Smoak has been top 10 in value for the past 2 years combined at 1b and 12 this year at fangraphs.The narrative that he is useless needs to end. The position just isn't what it was atm.
bpoz - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#365001) #
What you say is correct SK, but the early 1980s good teams did not go the "good" FA route. Maybe they should have. For 1992 they did get Winfield and Morris.


At the time of Winfield and Morris the payroll was high but so was attendance.
Chuck - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#365002) #
So as of now Vlad is a scrub.

Whatever working definitions people are going with for the term "scrub", ain't no way anyone's definition includes Vlad.

For my tastes, Teoscar fell into that category when the Jays acquired him. He hadn't really excelled for a few years, but was young enough with enough raw talent that maybe he could become something. And he still might. But I doubt anyone think it's a given.

While nothing is EVER guaranteed in baseball, the expectations for Vlad are infinitely higher. This franchise is counting on him becoming a star. The only question is how big of a star.

bpoz - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#365003) #
lexomatic, Smoak like JD would want to have a good expiring contract year so that they get rich offers. I hope he does that and we gain something for that. Either playoff race or trade. Maybe extend?
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#365004) #
vlad might not be a scrub, but almost all other prospects are probably best considered that until they actually show it.

vlad is a truly exceptional case.
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#365005) #
That's fine to wait and wait, SK, but it'll be a rare day when you draft and develop a core as cheap and productive as donaldson/bautista/encarnacion were for us all at once.
cybercavalier - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#365006) #
PeterG Friday, August 31 2018 @ 07:28 PM EDT #364716
I am thinking of hitters non-Vlad Jr also... Dwight Smith Jr, Pompey and Urena.
Who else are going to be called up? Would Hauschild, Stewart and the likes get another chance?
How about developed young players not on the 40-men roster whom the Jays would like to see how they play in MLB settings before their likely releases of contract. Roemen Fields and J-Leb are examples...
greenfrog - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#365007) #
"it'll be a rare day when you draft and develop a core as cheap and productive as donaldson/bautista/encarnacion were for us all at once"

Those three players were simultaneously cheap and productive for the Jays in 2015 only (in 2016 and 2017 Bautista was no longer very good or cheap; and in 2017 Encarnacion was in Cleveland and was no longer an excellent player with especially good value).

With Vlad, Bichette, and some other talented young position players under control for seven years, I think that the current front office can do better in terms of obtaining multiple overlapping years of high productivity at below-average cost.
cybercavalier - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#365008) #
lexomatic Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:24 PM EDT Cleveland MLB.com depth chart agrees. Cleveland's Jose Ramirez' minor league fielding stats shows his 1956.2 innings at 2B, 709.2 at SS, 111.1 at 3B.

Magpie Friday, August 31 2018 @ 09:19 PM EDT Well read Magpie indicates that trying Kipnis again in the outfield means desperate times. Alonso' s  fielding stats shows 1744.1 minor league innings at 1B, 812.0 LF, 6769.0 MLB inning at 1B, 112.2 LF. Melky playing 181 AB indicating his more-or-less part time playing. Likely Brantley has better running speed and arm strength than both Alonso and Melky. On the other hand, LHB Kipnis has been hitting .689 OPS this season over 458AB while RHB Erik Gonzalez .723 over 119.

A solution can be a platoon of backup infielders of LHB Kipnis and RHB Gonzalez. Kipnis himself also chips in at emergency at CF. Brantley plays much more RF and play more CF, aka the elder version of Grichuk in Toronto. Alonso and Melky platoon at LF when they are on the field and thus Alonso can switch to 1B when Melky is substituted in. At DH, there can then be options for EE, Donaldson and others.
soupman - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#365009) #
the angels, in a bad division, are showing how well the best player in baseball, a multiple-time MVP, and a 2-way phenom can really do.

i don't understand what the front office's vision is, or the niche they're carving out to compete in the AL East. at least in their defence, they never claimed to have a 5-year plan.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#365011) #
Pertinent to the Vlad situation

https://fancredsports.com/articles/jon-heyman-eloy-jimenezs-camp-unhappy-hes-unlike

Chuck - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#365013) #
Has the union ever been able to exact justice for a minor leaguer "wrongfully" held back?

Isn't the game well established at this point? Ownership holds a player back to manipulate service time but can't actually say this so they officially offer a lame, vague excuse which the whole world knows is a lie. The union then gripes about the veracity of the official reason, knowing they are arguing against a lie. And then nothing happens.

Richard S.S. - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#365014) #
Randal Grichuk becomes the next Jose Bautista?
He missed a full month to injury and still has most of a month to play. Be a while before we know what's possible.
He knows he's the Regular Starting Outfielder next year, either in Right or in Center. Does wonders for a players confidence.
Is it possible? Yes, but that's as far as I would go.
Nigel - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#365015) #
To me, there are two separate issues here. One is whether stars and scrubs is a better model to win with than a model built on a broader distribution of talent. As the article Glevin referenced pointed out, Iím not sure that one holds up. I am pretty comfortable saying that improving a stars and scrubs team is easier and can be done more quickly that fixing a team of mediocrities. The current Jays roster is the very definition of the later. Itís like the goal was to collect ever 1 WAR player in baseball on one roster.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#365016) #
The FO did try to get Yelich.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#365017) #
It remains to be seen whether it works, but Shapiro/Atkins have set the team up to have most of their top prospects up within a year of each other, and thatís not including anyone currently below AA who may rise quicker than anticipated. Now some of the prospects will take longer to develop and some may not develop at all, but thereís a pretty solid chance that all of Vlad, Bichette, Jansen, Biggio, Alford, and Gurriel will be on the team together either by the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020. Hernandez and McKinney are still in years 0Ė1 in their service time so if they turn into players worth keeping around then that adds more players in the 0-3 years of service time by 2020. They could also trade for more players who fit that timeline. Itís not guaranteed to work but the idea is sound.

The pitching is another story that will need to be sorted out over the next few years but this is the one area I think Shapiro will spend significant money on in free agency or in a trade. The prospect depth the team has accumulated will eventually lead to good prospects that are expendable, and thatís where the trade possibilities will open up.
Glevin - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#365018) #
ďm pretty comfortable saying that improving a stars and scrubs team is easier and can be done more quickly that fixing a team of mediocritiesĒ

Of course itís easier to get OK players than great players but none of this means anything. You simply canít just go out and get 4 win players without surrendering tons of talent or spending tons of money or just being extraordinarily lucky. The reason the team is filled with mediocre players is because the front office hasnít been willing to trade their top prospects for major league talent, I donít understand the criticism at all. What should they have been doing? Signing big ticket free agents? Trading their top prospects? Trading mediocre value players for stars? They are getting 1 WAR players because they arenít giving up anything of value. Great, letís get the Jays star players. How? I get that this is a hard team to watch to right now but Iíd prefer that and being built properly than some pointless attempt to geta star player on a rebuilding club. The teams that are stars and scrubs arenít purposefully built that way. They are teams that are able to compete around fewer elite players. If the Jays have four 5 win players, they can try that. I would love to hear how the Jays should have been building this stars and scrubs roster.
Nigel - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#365019) #
Glevin I agree with every word of that. I made zero comment about how the team should be different than it is. But all of that just reinforces my original point which was that people shouldnít underestimate how hard itís going to be and how long itís going to take to turn the ship around. This is going to be a bad team for a few years now.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#365020) #
The Yankees quick rebuild was helped by a pair of 2 WAR players who made some leaps and turned into 4 WAR players in Hicks and Didi. It is not a given, but its possible.

John Northey - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#365021) #
Scrub: a player who can be acquired for next to nothing while being paid the league minimum or dang close.  Bautista was exactly that when acquired.  Bautista was making under $2 mil a year and if you look back you'll see many here saying the Jays shouldn't offer a contract to him.  He cost Robinzon Diaz in exchange, who had a grand total of 1 ML game going 0 for 4, with a 602 OPS in AAA for the Jays that year.  Encarnacion hit that definition as the A's released him after the Jays let him go for next to nothing one winter - the Jays paid him $2.5 mil after he made $5 mil the year before and I suspect most here felt the Jays were far too generous.

Minor league prospects are not scrubs as most , if you put them on the open market at their current age would get millions as a bonus for signing.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#365022) #
There was also Severino, who looked like a 2 pitch guy probably destined for the bullpen after the 2016 season. Has averaged over 5 WAR in the 2 seasons since.
Nigel - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#365023) #
Absolutely. As Magpie said above, sometimes you get lucky. Biggio is an example for the Jays. He was a non prospect prior to this year. He then turned in an elite first half of the year and has had a meh second half. Iím not very high on Biggio as a prospect, but if his first half was real then your rebuild dial gets moved forward in a material way.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#365024) #
Minor league prospects are not scrubs as most , if you put them on the open market at their current age would get millions as a bonus for signing.

Excellent point on this John. 3 years ago, the Braves got Touki Toussaint, at that time about equal value to our Nate Pearson now. Basically paid $10 million for him.
Michael - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#365037) #
Stars and scrubs comes from auction fantasy ball and means to budget you salary more for stars and minimum contracts instead of ok everywhere. When applied to a real team, this means Glad is a scrub. Not because he's bad, but because he's cheap. You still want your scrubs to be as good as possible, you just overpay for stars and fill in the gaps with league minimum contracts. Due to salary rules, non-arb players are always scrubs even when they are your best players.

But going even the choice between a 5 war guy and 3 guys that are 1 war and 4 2 war guys, you'd rather have the 5+1+1+1 than the 2+2+2+2 even though they are both 8 war. It is easier to find improvements to the 5+1+1+1 than the 2+2+2+2, and the issue is there just aren't that many 5 war guys around.

But yes, the best possible thing everyone wants is star quality value on scrub price. And thanks to the salary structure, all teams have this, which is why young salary controlled stars are so valuable.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#365075) #
And that's why I wanted to Jays to make Donaldson a QO. He's the easiest way to get a 5-WAR player next year that I can see, if he's able to return to form..

Now, there was a rumor that he wanted a long-term deal, and the Jays wanted a shorter extension (in my mind, that is something like JD wants 6-7 years, Jays want 3 years), and maybe THAT's why they felt they had to deal him. I mean, honestly, a 6-7 year deal for an age 32 player will probably go south 90%+ of the time.. And he wanted to negotiate in the off-season, telling them he's fully healthy and then shows up and obviously isn't, well, then, I can see why the relationship isn't the greatest anymore..
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#365076) #
And *IF* he wanted to negotiate.. Not trying to throw any unwarranted accusations Mr. Donaldson's way..
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