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The winter meetings have begun in Las Vegas. Many GM's will be gambling with their moves. Will it be a good gamble or a bad gamble. The Jays are looking to take a flutter on a free agent pitcher or two. Mike Fiers and Kendall Graveman are the latest two names to be forwarded to Ross Atkins phone.

The meetings continue until Thursday. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper will likely dominate the news cycles as they must be getting close to deciding.

Rumours suggest the Yankees have offered JA Happ a two year deal but he wants three. At age 36, would you offer him three years.

And Thursday morning brings the rule 5 draft. Will the Jays finally have a player selected?

Add your own rumours here.

The Meetings of the Winter Season | 363 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 10:02 AM EST (#368479) #
Two vs. three years for Happ?  Depends on the dollars and the club- 3 X 18 for the Blue Jays is an obvious no, 3 X 14 for the Yankees should be a yes. 
Vulg - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 11:51 AM EST (#368485) #
The FO can live up to its "financial flexibility" claims by offering the extra year and trading Happ either during this season's deadline or next year's with some % of the contract covered, a la Melvin Upton and many others.

This is a) good for the player, as they get the extra $$ and security and end up on a contender anyway and b) good for the Jays, as it manufactures a young asset purely for FA dollars invested.

I'm not expecting (nor do I want) any long term financial commitments that don't line up with the team's next competitive window, but given there's only ~$63M on the books for 2019, I hope the FO is creative in how to leverage some of that for futures.
bpoz - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 12:16 PM EST (#368486) #
Thanks Vulg for the financial info.

Bottom 3, Oakland, CWS and TB have been rebuilding. TB is always rebuilding IMO. Jays would be there too if not having to pay for the currently ended window.
bpoz - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 12:25 PM EST (#368487) #
Thanks Gerry ..."Add your own rumors here". Should stimulate discussion.

#1 80% of rumors will be false.

#2 The Jays will spend very small.
bpoz - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 01:08 PM EST (#368490) #
KC claimed Connor Greene from St Louis. With 2 options left they have a big arm.
PeterG - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 03:12 PM EST (#368499) #
Happ may want a "no trade" to sign with Jays.
John Northey - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 03:20 PM EST (#368501) #
I remember how often we've heard the Jays won't spend then they go surprise us. 1996/7 with Roger Clemens (few saw that one coming), 2012/13 with the Marlins trade (took on tons of money), the Vernon Wells insane contract. Generally it takes a management team that has fallen for a player or situation that looks too good to pass up. My dream stated on another thread is for the Jays to jump into the Harper sweepstakes as he is young and a 10 year deal isn't idiotic in his case (vs 5+ years for a guy in his 30's).

I think the team knows it has cash this year that it can spend if it can push the team to contention for half a year, which would buy it tons of leaway with Rogers. Lets see if they have the guts to risk it. Hey, it isn't my money :)
ayjackson - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 03:31 PM EST (#368502) #
Would you offer Happ 1 year and $20-25m?

If I were Happ, I'd have no issue maximizing earnings on one year deals at this point. And who wouldn't want to be traded to a contender at the deadline? There's an advantage to offering a premium if your the Jays to acquire a decent prospect on July 31.
PeterG - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 03:56 PM EST (#368504) #
I think Happ would more likely opt for the security of a 3 year deal.
PeterG - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 05:45 PM EST (#368510) #
According to Tim & Sid, Jeff Blair is reporting that Jays offering a sizeable buyout to Tulo.
Michael - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 05:55 PM EST (#368512) #
Happ also struggled two years back with the trade rumors. I could understand wanting the 3 year deal both in case his age starts to show and also to have stability. He's earned it, so he deserves a good deal. I wish the jays could resign him cheaply, but I think that ship has sailed with his good performance in New York.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 06:04 PM EST (#368513) #
If the Jays are planning on starting their next 'run' in 2021, they should be reassessing all contract with just one or two years remaining. Is this player worth keeping beyond his contract? If yes, extend him. If no, trade him soon.

If the Jays are planning on getting an early start on their next run, they should be making much higher upside moves. The caliber of the Starter(s) acquired by the Jays sends that message, also the term matters. Any contract of three or more years fits perfectly with the 'run'. Contracts of less than three years are for playing now.
bpoz - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 06:21 PM EST (#368514) #
Makes sense Richard SS.

I am wondering, actually I am convinced, if a rebuild has stages. What stage are the Jays at.
scottt - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 06:31 PM EST (#368515) #
Sizable indeed. What would they need to pay to make it worthwhile? They Jays owe him 38M.
35? 36? How much would he be offered if he was a free agent?

scottt - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 06:37 PM EST (#368518) #
The first stage is selling the stars for highly ranked prospects. We're passed that.
The second stage is bidding one's time while the prospects in the system graduate and form a core. Almost done here.
The last stage is figuring out which prospects/young players to keep and which to trade while signing missing pieces.

scottt - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 06:42 PM EST (#368519) #
I don't see why Happ would care about a no-trade deal.
His daughter isn't going to reach school age in this deal.
If he's traded, it's to a contender.
I'd go 3/48M,. The Yankees are apparently scared of commitment.

Gerry - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 07:46 PM EST (#368521) #
If Tulo doesn't think he can play then he has no incentive to take much less than the contract value. If he thinks he can play elsewhere and get an add-on contract, or if he doesn't want to play in Toronto, then he might take less than the contract value.

Financially the Jays will have a low payroll in 2019 and they can tack on the 2020 year of the Tulo contract into 2019 if he takes the buyout. They would probably still be within the Rogers budget amount.

That would clear the books for 2020 and beyond.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 08:03 PM EST (#368524) #
The rebuild started early because of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s dominance. He made a lot of teammates better.

1) Already There (5): Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Ryan Borucki, Billy McKinney, Danny Jansen and Tim Mayza are huge success stories going forward.
2) Ready Now (6): Sean Reid-Foley, Thomas Pannone, David Paulino, Reese McGuire, Rowdy Tellez and Dwight Smith Jr. have all shown they can play at the MLB level.
3) Coming Quick (8): Julian Merryweather, Trent Thornton, Corey Copping, Jacob Waguespack, Bo Bichette, Anthony Alford, Jon Harris and T.J. Zeuch could all make an appearance this year.
4) Saying Goodbye (4:)Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales, Russell Martin are expiring contracts and Troy Tulowitzki may/should be bought out.
5) Joining These (8): All that will remain as Supporting Staff are Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Devon Travis, Luke Maile, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Ken Giles and Ryan Tepera. I can't guarantee all will be here then.

The start of the Rebuild is over, the pieces are in place for the next stage of the rebuild, filling out the Team.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 08:57 PM EST (#368527) #
I wouldn't guarantee that Travis will even be with the team next year.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 10 2018 @ 11:31 PM EST (#368530) #
I'm curious to see if Atkins will actually trade Stroman and/or Sanchez. He's been surprisingly more open to the media about players lately (first re: Tulo, and now Stroman/Sanchez's availability). Might mean nothing, but given how burned the Jays were in 2018 by waiting too long to move certain players, maybe they are adjusting their strategy now that Rogers appears ready to concede a short-term rebuild.
scottt - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:16 AM EST (#368535) #
It's more a matter of how much his agent think he can get elsewhere than how well Tulo thinks he can play.
What's better for the future of the team? Bichette will play short next year, so Tulo should still leave enough innings to train the backup. However, Drury will be pushed out of 3B by Guerrero comes May. That leaves Travis, Drury, and Gurriel fighting over 2B. As it stands, Pompey and Alford will be given chances to earn a roster spot in the spring with no room left on the bench.

It seems to me you they need to pick one of Tulo or Travis to try to rebound and possibly be traded for something.
Travis can be sent down to AAA, but that wouldn't help his value much.

I see Tulo's salary as a sunk cost either way.

scottt - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:19 AM EST (#368536) #
I think it's a domino situation. Let say they sign Keuchel or kikuchi, then then turn around and trade another starter.
They need to audition several pitching prospects, but they also need somebody to anchor the staff.

Glevin - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:35 AM EST (#368537) #
"I'm curious to see if Atkins will actually trade Stroman and/or Sanchez"

Depends on what they get. Maybe someone gives a good offer for Stroman now but Sanchez it's impossible to see for me right now. How does he get less value? I think the Jays hope to trade both during the season. It would be nice if they could not be terrible and bring back some actual prospects.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 09:11 AM EST (#368538) #
Ken Giles is available according to winter meetings scuttlebutt.
AWeb - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 09:19 AM EST (#368539) #
The Jays might be convincing themselves they don't have a shot right now, but they aren't entirely out of it for 2019. A long shot, sure, but really, here's the "simple" path to contention in 2019:

1) Stroman and Sanchez pitch like it's 2017 and 2016 respectively. One other pitcher (SRF?) is solidly above average (100-110 ERA+, qualifies for the ERA title). Staff filler isn't terrible, which it wasn't last year. Bullpen is also good. Not very likely in total, given pitcher health and recent performance, but not impossible. Much more likely if they resign Happ of course.

2) Replacing Solarte's PAs with Guerrero's gives the team a 5 win boost. Guerrero worth 5 more than Solarte seems doable, and is basically the projection at this point. Most likely of any of these.

3) Terrible defense at 2B, SS, LF, and 3B is replaced by merely below average defense there. Must be possible, other teams manage to not be awful on defense.

4)Someone in the AL upper tier takes a step back - I mean, you can dream this Jays team to 90 wins, but 100 seems a little optimistic even for me.

I saw a comment elsewhere to the effect of "plan the Jays offseason like you wanted to rebuild. Now do it for a non-rebuild. How different are they?", which I thought was a pretty good summary of where the team is. Short of spending a lot of money on free agents and somehow outbidding everyone else, there's not much else to do here as a fan but wait. No players you'd want to trade have significant trade value, and most positions have someone in the minors waiting their turn for a chance. Now it just has to work out.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 09:52 AM EST (#368540) #
one thing I was hopeful was that our penny stock trader FO would at least stick to the basics of a buy low / sell high strategy.

hard to see how these rumoured player moves would be anything but selling low, though.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 10:08 AM EST (#368541) #
"Depends on what they get. Maybe someone gives a good offer for Stroman now but Sanchez it's impossible to see for me right now. How does he get less value? I think the Jays hope to trade both during the season. It would be nice if they could not be terrible and bring back some actual prospects"

It certainly seems like the wrong time to trade them, but years of control are more important now than ever. Even if Stroman bounces back, which I expect he will if he's healthy, the clock on his control is ticking. The longer the team holds on to him, the less valuable he becomes. That is just the nature of the game now. Teams want to hold on to their prospects and want as much control on a player as possible.

I'm not sure of any team that would give up high value for Sanchez, and there is no certainty that his performance will improve if the Jays hold on to him. Outside of 2016 he has been very mediocre at practically every level. Maybe AA would give up one of his lesser pitching prospects for him.
AWeb - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 12:03 PM EST (#368542) #
Years of control is a bigger worry when the player in question looks like they will be hitting it big on the free agent market - that is, if they are a player you actually would want to control for a longer time. Sanchez is at least a healthy, good, season away from having any future value. Look at his stats the last two years - he's been legitimately awful (5 BB/9, 7 K/9, WHIP 1.6, ERA 4.72). And injured. If you wanted control over Sanchez long term, you could probably still lock him up to a pretty cheap contract. Control over Sanchez has no apparent value as of now - his arbitration salary is pretty fair given his performance.

Stroman likely just needs to be healthy for half a season to return to having some value - although if he could jump on board the rising K rate train that would be great. If not, he has to at least reverse his ever rising BB rate. Even returning to 2016-17 "normal", what is a Stroman-type worth these days? Last year Alex Cobb got 14 million/year, Tyler Chatwood $13 mill. Best case, at the trading deadline, Stroman has maybe $5-10 million in surplus value? He's already not super cheap - $6.5 million last year means he'll typically make a bit more than that this year regardless of a bad year, right? A good 2019 and he makes ~$10 million in 2020. The right offer comes along, sure, but somebody has to pitch for the Jays.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 12:49 PM EST (#368543) #
I like your thinking AWeb.

Are there any Alex Cobbs available in this years FA class. He cost a draft pick. Received a 3-4 yr contract. He pitched about as good as Estrada's 2017.

Cobb may be ok for his contract. But the draft pick was a loss IMO.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 12:57 PM EST (#368544) #
What do you think it would take to get Forrest Whitley out of Houston? Is it even possible? He's essentially equal imho in terms of trade value as Bichette, if not more because of his SP position.

I'm interested to know what Beauxites think is possible as that it the perfect prospect to get when trading away JD, Osuna, Sanchez, Stroman or Giles.

I would offer Stroman and Sanchez to Houston for Whitley, Bto C prospect and a bad contract. Probably an overpay from our end, but you're getting upside ace material with long term control while Houston gets battle tested young semi-controllable starters to cover for Col and Verlander leaving after 2019 while also bolstering their 2019 run.
mendocino - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:02 PM EST (#368545) #
Blue Jays PR


The Toronto Blue Jays today announce the release of SS Troy Tulowitzki.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:06 PM EST (#368546) #
So, now what?
PeterG - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:08 PM EST (#368547) #
Gurriel plays short for 2019 and then there will be further decisions to be made. I like this move.
aarne13 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:09 PM EST (#368548) #
$$38MM om nom nom nom

Mike Green - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:10 PM EST (#368549) #
So presumably this means that they intend to start the season with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as their shortstop.  The trading of Diaz and the release of Tulo make clear that the club is not trying to win in 2019.  I don't mind that, as long as there is a corresponding commitment to win in 2020. 
Jevant - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:20 PM EST (#368550) #
I'm a little shocked, but also not. I mean, it was completely dead money, was going to continue to be a distraction, and Tulo had already made some comments about "I'll go home if I'm not a SS". There's no point at not finding out with what else you have there over the rest of the next 2 seasons while you try to get back to contender status. So may as well just move on. Only surprising in that they made some comments about him hopefully getting back to where he was in the last week. I am wondering if something else happened behind the scenes.

Sad end to one of the most exciting period in franchise history since 1993. With Stroman/Sanchez rumoured to be on the block (I'll be shocked if they are both on the team for Opening Day, and wouldn't be shocked if both gone), Kevin Pillar may be the only real link to that 2015-2016 team. Since I also assume Russell Martin will be traded at some point soon.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:26 PM EST (#368551) #
As I said yesterday his contract is now a 2018 write-off so it doesn't impact the budget going forward. And you know this decision needed clearance from Rogers before it hit their accounts for 2018.

Tulo's agent appreciates the early release. According to him, Tulo is in great shape and now has lots of time to sign up for a shot with another team.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:27 PM EST (#368552) #
Not surprising. No one was taking that contract and there was no benefit to a rebuilding team to play him. Tulo has missed a year and a half after two significant injuries and was replacement level the last time he played (79 wRC+). He just turned 34 which IIRC would have made him the older starting SS in baseball by a big margin.

I don't see Gurriel lasting at short but it's only for a year anyway since Bichette will likely the SS by 2020.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:27 PM EST (#368553) #
The right move. Tulo would never have any trade value and would only be takings ABs from younger players.
Spifficus - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:30 PM EST (#368554) #
I'm a little surprised because I didn't view Gurriel as an everyday SS, so I didn't see him as blocking anybody until Bichette was ready. Since the Jays want to get a look at Lourdes at SS, then it makes sense.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:47 PM EST (#368555) #
what a bizarre move. almost like they were scared that he would be better than their guys.
PeterG - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:55 PM EST (#368556) #
that seems a bizarre comment Ugly.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 03:58 PM EST (#368557) #
The Jays believe Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will learn the position better if he can play that position for a full year. Plus with all the 'shifting' expected to go on he will be fine at Short Stop. Bo Bichette is not a great Defender at SS, so we can wait and see what happens.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:21 PM EST (#368558) #
The release of Tulo does have me wondering about the decision to not release Morales last year.  They actually have more need for PAs at DH for young players than PAs at shortstop.

I remember it was said that you just can't give up on the (then) $22 million owed to Morales.  Maybe it's all about Gurriel Jr.- the organization thinks that he's going to be a great shortstop and they want him to have both playing time at short and an older mentor.  I don't see it but whatever. 

Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:36 PM EST (#368559) #
Does all this infield decluttering (Diaz, Solarte, Tulo) open up space for 3 catchers with Martin assuming his coveted utility infielder role? Is this a sign that the organization wanted to ensure they kept Jansen and Maile?
pubster - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:36 PM EST (#368560) #
Morales was also a Atkins/Shapiro hire as opposed to Tulo who was acquired by AA.
pubster - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:38 PM EST (#368561) #
"what a bizarre move. almost like they were scared that he would be better than their guys."

Or the more obvious - They don't think hes that much better than the young guys, and would prefer to play them.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:39 PM EST (#368562) #
I agree with Gerry on the motive for this one, and kudos for the prediction.

I personally didn't think this move was going to happen, and I have some faith that Tulo could still turn it around somewhat. This move looks better if Gurriel looks better in the field and makes good on the faith this front office just placed in him.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:41 PM EST (#368563) #
I'm not the least bit surprised that Tulo has been released. I've felt since before the 2018 season that he was done. The surprising thing to me, or at least the thing that I disagree with, is the trading of Diaz. I have doubts that Gurriel survives at SS and Diaz was a good option there until they see if Bichette makes it. Management must see something in Gurriel that makes them think he's a SS. Maybe the fact that he's played there so little and has some raw tools that can be polished with more game experience.
Nigel - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:42 PM EST (#368564) #
As the team is going to be poor/bad this year I have no problem with them trying Gurriel as the everyday SS; however, I fail to see what he has done (anywhere) to warrant the belief that he is an everyday SS. Let's hope that the reports of Bichette's improved defence are right. I will say that I will find it amusing if the narrative is that he needed to be pushed out in order to play the young guys. That may well be true, but Morales is doing far more to block the playing time of young players.
Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 04:55 PM EST (#368565) #
That may well be true, but Morales is doing far more to block the playing time of young players.

Morales' skill as Gurriel's personal mentor could be the only thing keeping him around.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 05:20 PM EST (#368566) #
Lets see what Tulo can do in 2018 before ranking this a good move. I see Cashman or AA swooping in...some MLB team will take on Tulo and I bet you he's top 15 SS in 2018 by WAR.
scottt - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 05:48 PM EST (#368567) #
Tulo will not play a game in 2018.

I wasn't expected it to happen this fast, but it makes sense.

The Phillies are signing McCutchen. I guess that takes them out of the Harper sweepstakes.
Yankees are not in either.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:20 PM EST (#368568) #
"Tulo will not play a game in 2018."

How can you be so sure?
Chuck - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:28 PM EST (#368570) #
How can you be so sure?

True, there are still 3 weeks left.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:29 PM EST (#368571) #
The Jays are making sure the best options get a chance to play. Now do we wait for Russell Martin to get traded or will some other thing happen first?
scottt - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:36 PM EST (#368573) #
There's a few catchers still out there. Grandal, Lucroy, Ramos should  all sign first.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:48 PM EST (#368574) #
The logic behind keeping Morales might be that he’s more open to reduced playing time so he adds value as a “veteran mentor” to the younger players. Tulo was adamant that he wanted to play and start at SS. His contract, injuries, deteriorating performance, and NTC made him completely untradeable on top of that. If Morales is spending most of the year on the bench and ends up with 200 PA or something along those lines then he won’t be too much of a burden to keep around for a year.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:50 PM EST (#368575) #
Given that we no longer have any SS on the roster, Tulo should have played SS when healthy.

But we have all sorts of DHs to play ahead of Morales.

I like how this puts contracts like Tulo's in perspective, though. Now that he's gone, we can see that we wouldn't have spent that money on anything else worthwhile anyways. we'd have been doing the same cheapo rebuild stuff as we are now.
scottt - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 06:56 PM EST (#368576) #
There's still Urena if they can squeeze some consistency out of him.
So far, he's looked better than Drury.

Montoyo just said he wants Guerrero at the top of the lineup.
Sounds good.

uglyone - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 07:13 PM EST (#368577) #
“It doesn’t by any means suggest that they’re going to be traded. Far from that,” he added. “As you start to understand in terms of the discussions you’re having, and offers that are made, or even in just talking about comparable trades, then it starts to make more sense to have continued discussions. The likelihood of those guys being moved is not high. It’s just we have to entertain if there’s a way to make the organization better.”

“Now it’s just determining how interested,” he said. “In terms of what it would take (to trade Stroman or Sanchez), there’s an objective equation to that and the talent return. Then it’s how it lines up with your needs. The short answer is that it would need to be a fair deal. It would mean we’re getting talent in return that we feel is fair for the talent that would be leaving. That’s the case for any player.”

oh for the love of christ just shut up already, Ross.

stop talking.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 07:45 PM EST (#368578) #
Sanchez and Stroman have two years each of control left.

Sanchez is repped by Scott Boras so he is unlikely to sign an extension.

Stroman has been aggressive financially, going to an arbitration hearing twice, and I would guess is also unlikely to sign an extension.

Their performance in 2019 is somewhat irrelevant as the Jays will not win anyway. 2020 is a guess, the Jays will maybe be competitive but perhaps not.

So why keep them around? They won't be here when the Jays want to compete.

Atkins is talking a lot to try and drum up interest, get a bidding war going. They may or may not trade these guys, it depends on what offers they get. But if the offer is decent, one of them will likely be traded. Stroman has shown more durability so he would likely bring a higher return.

Bottom line, I expect a trade but maybe not until Happ signs. Teams always need pitching.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 07:45 PM EST (#368579) #
If you were locked in an elevator with Ross Atkins I can understand your complaints, but you're on the internet clicking on links leading to his quotes over and over again, seeking out his comments for some reason so you can put them on display here to show how you feel about them.

Find me someone that is using Ross Atkins as a benchmark/standard or positive for this front office when it comes to his media talk. The only positive post on this site that has received support was someone's post about Ross Atkins' elite spin're just pointing out the obvious here ugly...
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:12 PM EST (#368580) #
Smart move. If we are rebuilding then it's more valuable to try and catch lightening in a bottle with someone than wait for tulo to break.

But they really need to do the same with kendrys
Nigel - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:24 PM EST (#368581) #
The Jays have a very limited history of resigning their young pitchers when they become FAs so the assessment that Stroman and Sanchez are unlikely to resign is probably accurate. But why on earth would you trade them now? I will repeat something I said a few weeks ago. Good management would be trying to find other teams’ Stromans and Sanchezs (youngish, cheapish, at a low point in their value, with some upside), not trade their own.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:52 PM EST (#368582) #
I used to love this week; would barely sleep. The Rule V draft was a nothing thing that happened at the end of the week. Now it's the only thing that happens.

I blame Boros.
Vulg - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 08:53 PM EST (#368583) #
I applaud the FO for not allowing optics to deter them from the right move. The roster spot, given the current makeup of the team, is worth more than his presence and whatever best-case-scenario WAR he could have added during a lost season.

I just wish they'd have been this pragmatic last off season.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 09:42 PM EST (#368584) #
Atkins has focused a lot on "near term" (using his terminology) prospects in most of his trades, including adding some big leaguers like Drury and Giles. I don't think anyone in the org wants a long rebuild, which might explain why they are looking to move Stroman/Sanchez now rather than holding and potentially losing value like they did with some of their traded players this past year (Donaldson and Osuna in particular). They need to add as much young talent as possible, as soon as possible, to maximize that 2020-25 window where Vlad is under team control (2019 is a wash already).

The FO seems prepared to take it on the chin in 2019, but probably want a quick turnaround after that. Remains to be seen if they can get enough value back for Stroman and Sanchez this winter to make a deal worth it.
AWeb - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 10:07 PM EST (#368585) #
I'll repeat and expand on what I said earlier in the thread before Tulo was released - what possible trade value do Sanchez and Stroman have? Sanchez has been terrible and injured for two years. Stroman was terrible and injured last year, and his peripherals have never been great.  More to the point, is there a possible upgrade to the team you'd get from trading them? They won't get you an above average young position player unless there's a sucker out there. You obviously won't get a better pitcher for them, unless it's a reliever. No chance of a top prospect.

I guess you might trade one or both for prospects 3-4 years away, to build system depth. Top-end system depth will be decimated after the next year or two, if all goes well, so the next waves need to be in place I guess.

Someone has to pitch for the Jays in 2019, and there are not another two full time starter prospects beating down the door.
Michael - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 10:26 PM EST (#368586) #
To tulo release is a little odd. What does it give you?

Does it save you money? No. They still need to pay him.

Does it free up playing time for young players? No. You could have had Tulo on DL if he can't play or released him in the spring if he isn't DL but still isn't a choice for you.

Do you get any value back? No. Couldn't they have traded him to some team for a C prospect if they agreed to eat the full salary? You'd think so.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 10:36 PM EST (#368587) #
And thus departs the last player off my 2015 Jays Emoji shirt (Price, JBats, EE, Tulo, JoshD). And so it goes.

I gotta say - logically, I can understand why. Sort of. I guess emotionally, I still feel like he could be a good player again, even if not SS, then 2B or 1B or something - although I guess he didn't want to do that. Still feels like it will backfire somehow. At least I could have pulled for him next year.

I also feel the "filling in the team" portion of the rebuild will be nearly indistinguishable from the "clearing out the clutter". I.e. a waiver claim here or there, another depth/value signing like Garcia or Morales.. Maybe ok, or maybe sucks - very unlikely to be any kind of "wow" signing, IMHO.

I know I've felt like this before about the team -  it feels very "meh" right now. I guess there is the Vlad thing to look forward to. Let's hope that pans out. Yeah, pretty down right now about Tulo.. Even though it was the rational decision, I guess, it still feels like betraying the team..
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 10:51 PM EST (#368588) #
Danny Jansen (23) is a very good #1 Catcher at the very beginning of his career.
Reese McGuire (23) looks like he could be at least a good #1 Catcher at the MLB level. Fortunately, he can and should be sent down to AAA Buffalo.
There are still other options to act as Backup Catcher.

1) Russell Martin (35) has declining skills and value. He has enough skill left to be a decent #2 Catcher playing 60-65 Games. His best Trade value occurs when the Jays offer to pay/kick in $15.0-$17.0 Million of his $20.0 Million salary. Which is a sad end to a good career.
2) Luke Maile (27) is at least a good #2 Catcher who will not shame anyone if he must play more. He's still pre-arb which might not bring back much, but having an option left might.

The Jays have various alternatives available with their Catchers so they don't need to trade anyone. The question becomes, "Should they trade anyone?"
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 11:13 PM EST (#368589) #
When the Tulo trade was made I pretty much predicted this inglorious end to his Jays tenure & that AA wouldn't be around for this disaster - the Rockies owe AA big time - There is the narrative that 2015/16 wouldn't have happened without Tulo but I disagree strongly - what Tulo provided in 2015 was a much improved defensive presence over Jose Reyes, that could have also been achieved by acquiring another plus defensive ss - Jose Iglesias maybe in the Price acquisition, maybe Andrelton Simmons whom the Braves moved a few months later, even Adeiny Hechavarria would have added the same/better defense than Tulo and the cost would have been less both in players & money. I don't blame AA as he was on his last legs so why should he care about the jays future - the blame for this fiasco falls squarely on ownership - with Shapiro already hired and Beeston & AA on their way out, ownership should not have allowed AA to take on that odious contract of an aging & injury plagued player and have that anchor put on the incoming team - that was just poor ownership - happy that they give the FO the go ahead to eat the contract and move on - best for the organisation & Tulo.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 11:32 PM EST (#368590) #
Unlikely to happen but I would love for the Jays to draft Richie Martin on Thursday - he can definitely play SS & I think is certainly worth a long look at spring training to see if his bat carries over from last season - I also like infielder Drew Jackson from the Dodgers to push Travis - but I'm guessing that if the jays draft anyone it will be a pitcher - also some interesting possibilities.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 11:40 PM EST (#368591) #
"To tulo release is a little odd. What does it give you?"

An open 40 man roster spot in 2019 and 2020, plus frees up SS for Gurriel since the team seems determined to try to develop him there for a year until Bichette is ready. I don't see Gurriel sticking at short but in a transitional season there is no real harm in trying him out there and seeing what happens.

There was no other option. If he couldn't be traded, then this was the only solution that benefited both sides. The cost was already sunk. No sense trying to justify it by clogging up a 40 man roster spot and potentially holding a younger option back from getting playing time.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 11:42 PM EST (#368592) #
While now is not the ideal time to move Stroman & Sanchez, Teams should always be listening on virtually any player - I think the Jays will move Stroman if they get a decent offer as I don't think this FO wants the young players coming up to experience "the STRO show".
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 11 2018 @ 11:54 PM EST (#368593) #
AWeb, it works both ways though. Why hold on to either one of them when at least one, if not both, of their remaining years of control will be wasted on a transitioning Jays team, and neither one is a realistic extension candidate? Ideally I would agree you hold on to both in hopes of their value increasing with improved performance, but as mentioned before years of control are a big factor for teams now, and a lot can happen in four months of a season (see Donaldson, Osuna, etc). The Jays are stuck in a pretty awkward spot with those two. I could see both sides of the argument.

If one of them is moved, I tend to agree it will be Stroman. His secondary numbers looked about the same as usual despite the missed time (just an inflated ERA), and with nearly every team having a sabermetric front office nowadays I don't think they will be fooled by a high ERA.

Sanchez is a different story. There is a pretty strong chance that 2016 was an outlier and he simply isn't a big league starter, so I would look to move him if any team still views him as a high upside SP, but if not, then keep him and hope he overachieves for a few months. If someone offers real value for him now, then pounce on it.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 01:11 AM EST (#368594) #
I really hope the farm system/MLB AAAA players this front office has are as good as this FO believe they are because it it's going to be a long time before we have a 90 win team again the way I see it.

Vlad, Bichette and some upside SP prospects? Worst part is - free agents have reason not to sign with the Jays in the next few years the way the last core was ushered out.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:48 AM EST (#368595) #
"Does it save you money? No. They still need to pay him.

Does it free up playing time for young players? No. You could have had Tulo on DL if he can't play or released him in the spring if he isn't DL but still isn't a choice for you.

Do you get any value back? No. Couldn't they have traded him to some team for a C prospect if they agreed to eat the full salary? You'd think so."

1) you're right it doesn't save money but it also doesn't cost any
2) It absolutely does free playing time away for younger players. You are forgetting the most likely scenario which is where he is healthy half the season and ineffective.
3) There is no scenario, even with eating all of his contract, the Jays get anything back. Someone will sign him but nobody would give anything other than another bad contract in a trade back.

The bottom line is that there was no benefit to keeping Tulo. Even if he bounces back and has a 2 WAR season, you aren't winning anything, you aren't building around him, and you still couldn't get anything for him in a trade. Rebuilding teams should care more about building future value than about marginal wins. I think the Jays will sign a cheap veteran defensive SS. They want Gurriel to work there, but you need a better backup plan than Urena until Bichette is ready.
scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:04 AM EST (#368596) #
I find Atkins easy to understand and candidly open.
He's no ninja. He's more like Confucius.

So, yes, Stroman and Sanchez are available, but on the same basis as Paxton was.
That might seem unrealistic, but what are the chances Stroman contributes more than Paxton in 2019.
Given the health histories, it's closer to 50% than to 0%.

scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:12 AM EST (#368597) #
Stroman could be extended but he's not going to give you any discount.

Sanchez has not produced in the last 2 years, so it would make sense for him to sign now for guaranteed money rather than to keep going to arbitration. Something like covering the 2 arbitration years left and adding a team option with a buyback. If he's good in 2020, they can QO him anyway knowing that a Boras client will not take it. If he'd rather bet on himself getting Cy Young votes before heading to free agency, that's good too.

jerjapan - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:16 AM EST (#368598) #
Tulo's release may have been as much a favour to Tulo as anything, given his desire to be an everyday SS.  His agent has been making positive comments about Shapiro.  If so, veteran FAs are going to see this as a positive. 

Speaking of persistent narratives, a lot of people seem to assume that it was a given that AA doesn't make his big trade push in 2015 without seeing the writing on the wall about his departure - but does anyone have any proof of that?  He immediately went to a prominent gig with LAD and is now GM in Atlanta.  Presumably, he wouldn't make foolish moves just to have a brief run at glory, the guy is a baseball exec lifer, and the days of the clueless FO are over.  If he was really doing something out of character and ill-advised because he knew he was gone, would he get rehired? 

I assume he would do 2015 all over again even if he had an extension in his back pocket.
scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:20 AM EST (#368599) #
I blame Boros.

To remove the stench, you need Borax.
scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:22 AM EST (#368600) #
I just wish they'd have been this pragmatic last off season.

Last off season, he was going back into the 60DL, so the roster spot was moot.
scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:34 AM EST (#368601) #
I think the right idea is to focus on developing position players and sign pitchers on the free agent markets.
Pitchers age fairly well and don' t care about playing on turf.

While some feel that there is nobody on the farm besides Guerrero and Bichette, there are actually a lot of interesting prospects in the top 30.

I hear that the Yankees are interested in Kluber but Cleveland does not like the Yankees farm system.

rpriske - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 08:34 AM EST (#368602) #
Releasing Tulo was a bad move unless he made it clear he wants a release. Then you are not only freeing up a spot but removing a possibly unhappy player from the clubhouse.
Tulo should have been the starting SS next year. Gurriel should have been the starting 2B. It is Travis they should have punted (or turned into a utility player).
James W - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 08:56 AM EST (#368603) #
stop talking.

If you know that Atkins never has anything useful to say, why bother reading/listening? This approach has worked well for me. If you have no expectations, it makes it difficult to be disappointed.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 09:18 AM EST (#368604) #
JP Ricciardi was a "must listen".

AA was guarded but also worth listening to.

If I see that Atkins was on this radio show or on TV, I never seek it out because I assume there will be no value in listening.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:16 AM EST (#368605) #
Now that Andrew McCutchen is off the board, Randall Grichuk (who is not likely part of the next contender) to Atlanta seems a very nice fit especially with his reasonable arbitration projected salary (4.8m) - also Marcus Stroman and his ability to pitch 200 innings would really help that young pitching staff.

Surprised that some posters had expectations of the jays contending in 2019 - given the state of the division, I don't expect the Jays to contend until 2021 and that's probably being optimistic.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:17 AM EST (#368606) #
Last off season, he was going back into the 60DL, so the roster spot was moot.

I meant about the rebuild in general, not Tulo. Unfortunately Tulo has had negative value for quite some time.

Squinting really hard to convince yourself a competitive window is open is a great recipe for franchise self-harm in any sport. It leads to things like converting your most valuable assets for the best return at diminished values. Last year it was JD. This time it looks like it'll be Stroman and Sanchez. Hopefully they have amazing starts to the season and they can re-establish their value in the market.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#368607) #
Happ to the Yankees, three year deal.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:31 AM EST (#368609) #
Ken Rosenthal now hedging his Happ to the Yankees tweet.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:32 AM EST (#368610) #
"In wake of Tulo release, Ross Atkins suggested the job will not be handed to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Suggests they make seek a veteran infielder in trade."

uglyone - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:35 AM EST (#368611) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith

Ross Atkins said #BlueJays felt they were getting close to signing a free agent in the last day, but the deal didn’t come together

Stop talking, Ross.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#368612) #
") There is no scenario, even with eating all of his contract, the Jays get anything back. Someone will sign him but nobody would give anything other than another bad contract in a trade back."


if he plays at even an average level offensively and defensively for an SS, which is well in the range of possibilities, then he's a valuable trade chip if you eat his salary.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:43 AM EST (#368613) #
"Speaking of persistent narratives, a lot of people seem to assume that it was a given that AA doesn't make his big trade push in 2015 without seeing the writing on the wall about his departure - but does anyone have any proof of that? "

It's a made up narrative whole cloth - and especially silly since all the "talent" he gave up at that deadline sucked.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:10 AM EST (#368614) #
"Surprised that some posters had expectations of the jays contending in 2019 - given the state of the division, I don't expect the Jays to contend until 2021 and that's probably being optimistic."

The only hope for the Jays over the next two years is a 2nd WC spot, and even that is a long shot. At least if they do get a 2nd WC spot in either 2019 or 2020 it will be based on organic development from young players, and not due to trying to squeeze one last bit of juice out of a declining/old core like they tried to do in 2018.
85bluejay - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:26 AM EST (#368615) #
As I mentioned previously if the Jays could land Freddy Galvis on a 1 year deal as a bridge to Bo that would be great but I'm reading that Galvis is likely to command a multi year deal.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:26 AM EST (#368616) #

The only hope for the Jays over the next two years is a 2nd WC spot, and even that is a long shot

Two years is a long, long time for a team with top-heavy young talent that's at or relatively close to the major leagues.  Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might be a 10 WAR player in 2020.  Bo Bichette might be a 5 WAR player.  Danny Jansen might be a 5 WAR player.  Nate Pearson might make his major league debut in 2020 and be great. 

It is a mistake, in my view, for the club to pretend that 2020 is a write-off.  They only have 7 years of control for VGJ and you don't want to throw away 2 of them.  What happens if VGJ is great in 2020 and then is injured in 2021?  If you have written off 2020, you end up in his arb years as a Super Two with no playoff appearances and no real effort at it. 

It seems to me that the only reasonable thing is to just see what happens in 2019 before making plans for 2020. 

85bluejay - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:39 AM EST (#368617) #
The Jays will end up paying the Great Troy Tulowitzki about 106m for about 4.8 WAR of production - talk about the cost of doing business.WOW!!
Nigel - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:43 AM EST (#368618) #
Mike, while I agree that, in an ideal world, no pre FA year of Vladdy’s tenure should be written off, 2021 as a more realistic timeframe for being competitive is the fruit grown by the decisions not to start the rebuild prior to this year. You’re right though, they might get lucky and be competitive in 2020. I think that a far more likey scenario if they were in another division though.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:49 AM EST (#368619) #
This team is a joke. It went from being at least entertaining to blah real fast. You're telling me you can't find a way to compete when you have a top farm system, top 10 budget and solid talent in JD for 2019, Tulo on the mend, Osuna/Giles, Sanchez, Stroman, Smoak combined with non prospects like Grichuk, Pillar and Tepera?

Why did I spend 12k on season tickets this year? Very disappointed with this organization right now. We were promised a Cleveland level rebuild/retool without the limiting budget yet they're just stripping everything down only to max it out in 3 or 4 years which will eventually lead to another short window. You're going to have to overpay for free agents or trade your superior farm for assets to compliment your rebuilt team IF Vlad is some 2nd coming of Trout. IF BB is a top SS, IF Biggio is anything more than KLaw predicts...

It's sad...

If Tellez pans out you get Smoak

If Alford pans out you have Pillar

If Pearson pans out you get Sanchez

If Pardinho pans out you get Osuna

If SRF pans out you get Stroman

If Vlad pans out you get JD

If Biggio pans out you get Travis

If Bichete pans out you get 2 WAR+ on Tulo

If Jansen pans out you get Russell

This management team doesn't seem to have a plan for stage 2 if all of those players develop and replace the current core...then what?

It would be an easy thing to see if they traded JD, Osuna, Stroman, Sanchez for quality grade A prospects, not Drury or McKinney or Hernandez.

I've done a 180 on this FO and I'm not gonna be convinced at this stage now unless they really find a way to add some talent, and I mean real talent to the roster very soon. I'm talking premium young free agents or premium prospects.

Somehow this management has blown up the team without getting top prospects, new free agents/trades or even $savings...that is one helluva an accomplishment.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:53 AM EST (#368620) #
Well said Mike Green.
The farm is better than at any time other than Gillick. His players were healthy. Almost did not need a farm.

Since we have to play the AL East a lot we have to be competitive VS them.

We are in a pennant race if we win 87 games and the 2nd WC gets in with 91. Revenue.

2 #1 SPs and a good pen can win us the WS.
Glevin - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#368621) #
I don’t think you give up in 2020 already because there’s no point but I don’t think you try to build to win then. Overall, I think you take 2019 and see what you have an just react from to that. If young players come through better than expected the timeline can be moved up, if worse, it gets set back.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 12:08 PM EST (#368622) #
Two years is a long, long time for a team with top-heavy young talent that's at or relatively close to the major leagues.  Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might be a 10 WAR player in 2020.
(preface: I'm not a prospect geek, I don't do too many stats, etc, this is just shooting from the hip. And I'm probably still stung from them releasing Tulo)
Right now, I think/feel it's more likely that Tulo has a 3-4 WAR season left in him (pretty unlikely) than that Vlad ever has a 10 WAR season. Based on most of our recent "can't-miss" prospects and him being a larger player already, etc, I'm hoping for a best-case of a Prince Fielder like career, with a best-WAR season around 6, a few 5s, and the rest, 2's and 3's.. Which is good, but honestly, I'm not expecting him to have seasons "for the history books" or anything. If he even comes close to Delgado's career, I'll be amazed.

But as I said, that's the butthurt me talking right now. And I get all the reasons logically. It still doesn't stop me from being at my lowest point ever in terms of respect for Shapiro / Atkins and their ability. Right now, I'm wondering if Gord Ash is available.. Yeah, I'm sure I'll get over it in a week or two, but for now - they suck..  
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 12:22 PM EST (#368623) #
2020 is not a write-off since we haven't even played 2019 yet, but that would be a very quick turnaround from where the Jays are now, especially since the team will be depending on players who either haven't reached the Majors yet or just have a cup of coffee.

My point is you can't look at the next two years as competing years. If it happens, then great. That means the young talent hit the ground running and expedited the process. But that's a very optimistic way of looking at it.

If this rebuild started a year ago, then 2020 might have looked a little better, but hard to say that without knowing exactly what the team would have gotten for Donaldson, Osuna pre-DV situation, and so on.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 01:22 PM EST (#368624) #
The possibility of signing a vet SS stupifies me.

Completely agree with ugly that if Tulo proves healthy and shows some aggregation of average offense/defense, he'd be tradeable for a useful asset by only eating $10-20m dollars. If not, release him in May.

But fine, if you want all the time used to develop Gurriel, Urena and later Bichette, and your comfortable eating $38m, release him now. But don't turn around and sign a vet SS then when one was on the payroll!!

Hey, I've got an idea for a vet SS to sign......
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:07 PM EST (#368629) #
there's only upside to doing it if you're bringing in a vet anyway
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:14 PM EST (#368630) #
Seriously, it's not the walking away from Tulo that gets me, it's the "we might bring in a vet" the next day that gobsmacks me.

$38m isn't enough to pay for vet shortstops this year, we're going to throw another $5m at it? And we just dumped Diaz??

Should have hired Jmac as bench boss just to be safe.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:15 PM EST (#368631) #
I don't think they could get anything in a trade.
I just don't see value in playing Gurriel at SS. They don't HAVE a young player ready to take the role. They have thrown away the best SS on the team.
Gurriel at 2B and Tulo at SS is better than Gurriel at SS and Travis at 2B.

(Unless Tulo is hurt, but if he is hurt, why would you eat the salary? Let insurance pay it...)
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:16 PM EST (#368632) #
The James Paxton Deal will be a benchmark for any Marcus Strom trade the Jays make.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:21 PM EST (#368633) #
Tulo wasn't going to be a veteran back-up infielder. That's the whole point. He wanted to start and play SS exclusively. Adding a veteran back-up makes sense to add insurance in case Gurriel falters or gets hurt. Tulo was never going to be that guy.

Now that he's a free agent at 34 in a league that doesn't start players that age at shortstop anymore, he might be willing to bend on what position he plays and how often. We will see.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:23 PM EST (#368634) #

We had decided a couple of months ago that the derogatory term for Shapiro and Atkins together would not be tolerated. I have deleted three comments that used that expression. Please just say Atkins, Shapiro or Shapiro/Atkins.

Thank you. And thanks to those who used the report abuse button.
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:33 PM EST (#368635) #

Was unaware that there was a policy decision on shapiro-atkins.

Find it ridiculous, but so be it.

thanks for deleting all my comments. :|
ayjackson - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:40 PM EST (#368636) #
"Tulo wasn't going to be a veteran back-up infielder. That's the whole point. He wanted to start and play SS exclusively."

So you wait until Spring Training and make that assessment. If he's not willing to be a back-up, he can quit. If he becomes a distraction, waive him then. There has to be a non-zero chance that he had successful surgery and can be an asset to someone somewhere. Anyone who doesn't believe that has blinders on.

But I am fine with releasing him if you are committed to youth and using those roster spots. Just don't sign a vet.
grjas - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 02:47 PM EST (#368637) #
Somehow this management has blown up the team without getting top prospects.

JD and TT had major injuries and Martin is a marginal player. Sanchez and Stroman have withered on the vine. The Happ trade was a disappointment but given they had to trade in division - usually a no-no- it’s unlikely a better option was popping up.

So what was it you’d have management do?
PeterG - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 04:05 PM EST (#368638) #
Tulo would have been a huge distraction in ST. He is only a shadow of what he once was. Releasing him was the obvious and the correct decision. The only reason there was any doubt as to whether it would happen was because it had to be approved by ownership. The fact that it was shows that Shapiro is now in complete control. JD likely would have been dealt last off season if Rogers would have been on board. They are most likely to blame for the late start to the rebuild.....but better late than never.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#368639) #
Somehow this management has blown up the team without getting top prospects.

I remember when Rob Babcock traded Vince Carter, he was taken aback by the strong criticism he faced. Babcock's failure, revealed by his comments at the time that "it was the best deal out there", was allowing the team to be pushed into a situation of low leverage in the first place. He was so short-sighted. That's what the last two years remind me of with respect to the Jays.

It's painful enough to watch my team get outmuscled by the Yankees and Red Sox in terms of budget, but watching them get outsmarted by the Rays is extremely frustrating. I love the Charlie Morton deal at 2 years and $30M. That's exactly the kind of move I was hoping for earlier when I referred to the FO using its "financial flexibility", because it's so easy to flip a signing like this into prospects later.

Instead, I suspect we'll go down the Jaime Garcia path again.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 04:53 PM EST (#368640) #
I agree with 85bluejay about Tulo. I did not see the massive downturn. R martin too. I sort of figured Bautista would turn bad if given 5 years as he wanted.

The worst has to be Stanton. Maybe D Price.

I am going to criticize all long term deals from now on. Except C Yelich and E Longoria who were very young when their deals were signed.

Miggy and Prince Fielder are 2 other bad deals.

TB is the best way to be competitive.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 04:53 PM EST (#368641) #
The FO is longer sighted, not short sighted. This has never been the case in Jays history, other the the post expansion years, so it seems that the conception of a rebuild, or what happens in the midst of one, is foreign to many.

On another note, Morosi reports that the Reds are deciding on a trade for either Sonny Gray or Marcus Stroman.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:00 PM EST (#368642) #
Overall kind of slow Winter Meetings.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:09 PM EST (#368643) #
The FO is longer sighted, not short sighted. This has never been the case in Jays history, other the the post expansion years, so it seems that the conception of a rebuild, or what happens in the midst of one, is foreign to many.

It seems the conception of how to expedite a rebuild by fully leveraging all of your assets and options is also foreign to many, at least here.

But hey, Julian Merryweather everybody!
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:23 PM EST (#368644) #
If the front office were farsighted, it would have traded Osuna, Donaldson, Stroman, Sanchez et al. when their value was higher.

It seems to me that the front office is neither short-sighted nor far-sighted, but sort of middle-sighted. They tried to muddle through and be all things to all people in 2018. It did not work out well. Even the vaunted RC reno has turned out to be a halfway project. And some of their “value” additions (Chavez, Morales, Garcia) haven’t been especially visionary.

On the plus side, the front office is acquiring a lot of interesting talent in the draft and in the Latin American IFA market. Building a productive farm system does seem to be their main goal, even if they’ve missed some opportunities in that regard.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:36 PM EST (#368646) #
The Rays will be at 41 on their roster once they add C Morton. C Morton was born 1983 and T Pham 1988. Everyone else in the 1990s.
They are looking for a big bat so maybe another 1980s birth.

Either way they have to DFA someone.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:44 PM EST (#368647) #
Boras says the Jays may have lost a third of their fan base due to not adding interesting players to the team. Discuss.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:56 PM EST (#368648) #

heh. yep.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:57 PM EST (#368649) #
Season ticket holders were lost when team failed to make playoffs as playoff tickets help to sell season tickets for the next year. Also, taking out the interest of scalpers has had and will have a big impact until the team is contending again.

Boras is just blowing smoke. Doing what he suggests would just put the team further from serious contention going forward than what is happening now.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 05:59 PM EST (#368650) #

I would have resigned Happ or offered him QO. Same with Donaldson. Im okay with the Osuna trade.

Then I would have cleared out Martin and Morales or moved Morales to the bench.

Vlad DH
Smoak 1B
Gurriel 2B
Pompey LF
Jansen C
Tulowitzki SS
Pillar CF
Hernandez RF

Drury, Travis, Maille, Alford is your bench/depth

dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:00 PM EST (#368651) #
Greenfrog bang on about FO and middle minded.

Vulg I agree I wish the Jays had the brains of the Rays to take the safest risks possible even during a retool.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:08 PM EST (#368652) #
If you look at this board we're missing about 1/3rd of the posters we were averaging even last year.

Count me as a fan that likes interesting players. I'm not as interested in following players to see if they can "make it" in the MLB like Hernandez, McKinney, Alford, Pannone, Drury, Travis, Merryweather...basically most of the players of this new regime so far.
Original Ryan - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:19 PM EST (#368653) #
(Unless Tulo is hurt, but if he is hurt, why would you eat the salary? Let insurance pay it...)

It wouldn't shock me if the team didn't have insurance on Tulowitzki. I remember reading a number of years ago that some teams weren't getting insurance on at least some of their players because the premiums were getting so high. Also, with Tulowitzki's injury history, he may have been uninsurable.

dan gordon - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:40 PM EST (#368654) #
Atkins on McCown's show in a couple of minutes, for those interested.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:44 PM EST (#368655) #
Like Gerry, I'm on the Atkins Diet. Perhaps someone could provide the highlights.
scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:49 PM EST (#368656) #
The Rays haven't made the postseason in a while.

All considered, the Jays are in a better spot than all the teams they played in 15/16 except Cleveland which wasn't quite ready to contend in 2015. Baltimore, Kansas City and Texas are all a mess. These 3 teams could all be drafting top5 for the next few years. Cleveland is still on top mostly because all the other teams in the AL Central haven't been able to complete their rebuild. The Twins managed 85 wins in 2017, but only to fall back to 78 wins this year.  The White Sox haven't been competitive since 2012. Detroit signed too many big contracts and ran out of money.
scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 06:56 PM EST (#368657) #
Tulo and Donaldson were not interesting at all the last couple of years. Same with Sanchez.
I'd rather watch Giles than Osuna. Borucki is interesting and so is SRF.
I don't know about the new pitchers, I reserve my opinion.
Guerrero could be the most interesting player to watch in baseball next year.
Hernandez needs to become less interesting on defense.
And of course, all the new coaches will be very interesting to watch, for me anyway.

scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:11 PM EST (#368658) #
It's interesting that Houston didn't want to go more than 1 year with Morton.
They have all his medical records.
The Rays sign him with a view to trade him as seen by that re-assignation bonus.

The Jays should still have a couple of vets to trade at the deadline this year.
Plus some pitchers. Don't need to add more short term guys.
The Rays, however, are always hedging their bets, never fully committing to anything.
Also, the plan for their new arena went up in smoke and they don't have a place to play in 2022.

It's nice to see that Happ is working the market to the max.
Cashman seems to be on a budget.

scottt - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:23 PM EST (#368659) #
Atkins is nothing compared to the bs I see at work.
I spend a couple hours reading about a secure software initiative and I'm ready to jump off a window.
Sure he uses big words, but he doesn't abstract anything and he doesn't use jargon.

The only thing I remember AA talking about is payroll parameters.
They called him a ninja because nobody knew what he was doing until it was done.
So he was fun to watch, but not to listen to unless it was to narrate what had happened.

greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:32 PM EST (#368660) #
Am I the only one who first thinks of "veterinarians" when people refer to "vets"?
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 07:58 PM EST (#368661) #
For me it comes down to clarity of language and articulating authentic, worthy, achievable goals for the team. These are the sorts of things I would like to hear from Atkins and Shapiro:

- "We intend to do what it takes to compete with the best teams in the division, year-in, year-out."

- "Our goal is to make the postseason three or four times in the next decade."

- "Our goal is to win 90+ games a year most years from 2020 to 2025."

- "Team payroll is expected to be in the $130-140m range in 2019, as this will be a rebuilding year. After that we intend to compete hard for a championship, with a projected annual team payroll in the $170m-210m range for 2020 to 2025. Ownership has committed to this level of spending because it envisions the Jays consistently being one of the best teams in baseball, and it is backing up that commitment with its wallet."

- "Our goal is to have the best analytics, scouting, and developmental system in the game, and we will spend what it takes to make that happen."

- "Not only do we intend to continue be among the major players in signing Latin American IFAs, but going forward we intend to be one of the top five teams in acquiring IFAs from Asia and other parts of the world."

- "With the young talent we have and the long-term financial commitment that ownership has stated it is making in this franchise, if we make the postseason fewer than three times in the next decade, I would consider that a disappointment."

- "We are well aware that Rogers Centre needs an overhaul in many ways. Therefore we have committed [insert major dollar figure] to completing that work in its entirety within the next three years to make the RC a genuinely first-class facility that fans love to come to and that is recognized as such across the industry."
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 08:42 PM EST (#368662) #
Griffin revealed this week that Tulo was not insured.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 08:47 PM EST (#368663) #
It gives us a strong indication that his deal is not insured, as many have suspected
Nigel - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 09:28 PM EST (#368664) #
If you are trying to figure out the future for the Jays please don’t pay any attention to what this FO says, just look at what it does. This FO is all about marketing spin - I don’t say that perjoratively it’s part of their job.

As for whether this FO is focused on the short or long term I have zero clue. I don’t think this FO has demonstrated a clear, articulated vision one way or the other. I think they are trying to work, as best they can, within a Rogers directive that is focused on avoiding the highs and lows (lows in particular) of the success cycle. I would imagine that makes short or long term planning pretty challenging.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 09:46 PM EST (#368665) #
Prior to this off-season (or the 2018 trade deadline to be exact), there wasn't any clear direction. After 2015 the goal seemed to be to try to extend the winning for as long as possible, even at the expense of selling prime assets prior to their value diminishing. They could have spun that as much as they could, but it's hard to articulate "we want to keep making money so we won't be rebuilding even though we need to" without making ownership look bad.

At this point the actions are pretty clear. They are rebuilding, but targeting near ready players in trades, which indicates they don't want to rebuild for long. I think Atkins had a quote a while back where he said 2019 would be a write off, 2020 should get better, and 2021 is when they expect to take a leap forward into contention. That seems like a reasonable/realistic timeline. Whether they do it or not remains to be seen. I'd expect if/when they trade Stroman, Sanchez, Giles, etc, it will be primarily for players who can contribute around 2020 or so.
Gerry - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:18 PM EST (#368666) #
It looks like Happ is off to the Yankees, two years plus an option based on innings is the rumour.

The other rumour is that the Reds are interested in Stroman.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:21 PM EST (#368667) #
I think it would make more sense to acquire prospects or players with a legitimate chance of being above-average players or stars than it would be to prioritize players (like Drury) because they are close to major-league ready. In the AL East, it’s stars that catapult you into the postseason. A team filled with average players won’t cut it.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:27 PM EST (#368668) #
just remember, dumping vets and not signing free agents is not actually "rebuilding", despite many poor FO's using the term to justify that.

"rebuilding" means acquiring quality young assets. nothing more nothing less.

Nigel - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:28 PM EST (#368669) #
It is clear that they are on a rebuild. That was forced on them, you can’t really credit the FO for that choice. Attempted rebuilds can be short or long term in nature. I have no clue what the FO has in mind. They haven’t made any moves in furtherance of a long term rebuild that I can see. No trades of roster players for A ball lottery tickets (other than maybe the Pearce deal). All deals have been for near ready marginal roster (25 or 40) players.
Mike D - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 10:37 PM EST (#368670) #
Greenfrog, I like your eight quotes you'd like to hear.

I am sure that, aspirationally, they internally aim to make quote #1 a reality. But they cannot credibly issue any of quotes #2 through #8. All available evidence shows they will not have the necessary ownership support to realize any of them. And I am starting to wonder if they have the vision or skill to pull off any of them, even if they had the necessary support.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 11:16 PM EST (#368671) #
I think the front office is doing some good things, but all I hear from them is mush/pablum. It doesn’t amount to anything, especially with no clear performance goals to provide context to their comments. The organizational tolerance for mediocrity is very frustrating and is making me less and less inclined to follow the team.
Glevin - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 04:22 AM EST (#368672) #
"The organizational tolerance for mediocrity is very frustrating and is making me less and less inclined to follow the team."

Well, if they could flip mediocre relievers for high upside players, I'm sure they would. The only trade where I think they could potentially have gone for more long-term is the Happ deal. Other than that, the Jays have been trying to rebuild using basically no movable assets. Rebuilds are tough and it will likely be a painful couple of years. There just isn't any other alternative.
scottt - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 06:54 AM EST (#368673) #
Do you think the Rays have clear performance goals?
There's a bunch of young guys and they are developing and evaluating those guys.
They don't want to say much publicly about individual players performances.
They think Bichette and Biggio will be contributors, but right now they want these guys to win in Buffalo.
I don't think they know anymore than you and me if Alford or Tellez will become productive major leagues players so they want them to produce at AAA before they move them up.

They are committed to Gurriel, Hernandez, Jansen and eventually Guerrero being on the team. They prefer Drury's versatility to Travis' bat but they appear ready to give him a chance. They prefer McKinney's work ethics to Pompey's upside and I don't know when they'll make a final decision with him.

Montoyo is a hall of fame AAA manager and he's committed to win. Every single game. Go out there to win.
2019 will be the last year for Smoak, Morales and others and they'll have to acquire proven talent next year to make sure the team is better.

The objective for this year is to see performance improvement with some players and to evaluate others.
It's not to win 75 or 85 games or to make short term moves to achieve those goals.

Personally, I'd like them to finish 3rd and be over .500, but that's Montoyo's objective, nobody else.
In 2020, the objective should be to finish second.
In 2021, many of the current Red Sox will have become free agent and things could get interesting, but it could still be a much tougher environment than AA's years when Boston and NYY had 75-85 wins teams.

AWeb - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 07:06 AM EST (#368674) #
Before the season actually started this year, the 2018 Jays projected as a playoff contender at many sites (I think fangraphs had them projected 5th in the AL, a few other places mentioned them as a possible wildcard). The whole point of rebuilding a team is to get a shot at the playoffs, so I'm not sure why they should have been rebuilding while still having a shot at the playoffs.

The front office may have chosen the middle road, but that was not a terrible decision at the time. On May 1st they were 17-12, a good record. Many here were optimistic about how the season was going. Then they went 9-23, Boston and New York won every day, every non-Happ starter stunk and/or got injured, Osuna was revealed as an ******** and was sent away, and Donaldson was still broken. By the time they were out of it, the "assets" weren't worth anything. A lot went wrong in a short period of time, it happened, but I don't particularly blame the front office (or ownership) for it.

This year they will project terribly, and are clearly rebuilding without any particularly useful movable assets except a bunch a near-majors prospects. If they have an unexpected good start (I talked about some scenarios upthread), say they are 43-38 at the halfway point, would you prefer the team sell off the assets that are over-performing expectations, or go for it?
Glevin - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 07:35 AM EST (#368675) #
"say they are 43-38 at the halfway point, would you prefer the team sell off the assets that are over-performing expectations, or go for it?"

It depends on how they are 43-38. Are they there because of genuine improvement and growth or are they there because of luck?
AWeb - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 08:38 AM EST (#368677) #
I mean, that would be up to the front office to figure out. Say Grichuk hits .280/.330/.570 up to that point - improvement or luck (also happens to be his second half numbers last year)? If Gurriel hits .290/.330/.500 and plays passable SS (not impossibly high standards)? Guerrero is projected (steamer at fangraphs) at .306/.368/.511. If the pitching is off to a healthy and good start, the team might be looking at inning targets for some of them being an issue in the second half, a nice problem to have, but contending might require another starter being acquired. No major pythagorean overperformance baked in (this is the Jays after all), just the younger players playing well and injuries not being a problem.
scottt - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 08:38 AM EST (#368678) #
Too early to start a Rule V thread?

The Jays are picking 10th, but San Diego picks 5th and currently has a full 40 roster.
Baltimore goes first and is rumoured to be after a short stop.

Baseball America highlights Jackson McKlelland as a Jays players likely to be drafted.
Burgen is also listed as a lefty reliever with a high spin fastball.
There are a lot of pitchers available.

Overall, the Jays don't have more rule V targets than the Yankees or ironically, the Orioles.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 08:45 AM EST (#368679) #
I found it interesting that Ryan Merrit who is an old nemesis of the Jays is available in the Rule V draft. It seems that pitch ability lefties are really out of style these days.
grjas - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 08:52 AM EST (#368680) #
“Then I would have cleared out Martin and Morales or moved Morales to the bench.”

Yup agreed. And that may soon happen.

I think it’s too early to have a view one way or the other on the FO. They were on record in 2017 saying “we would have hit reset except for the fans”- which we all know meant Rogers wanted bums in seats. So defining them as short, medium or long term in their thinking is premature.

Clearly their results to date are mixed as were AA’s in the first few years; the next two to three will be more revealing. As far as Atkins comments are concerned, sure they’re pure pablum, but for anyone who has taken media training, you’ll know they’re right out of the playbook. Empty pointless quotes are all over the sporting, corporate and political worlds, and Atkins is no worse than many.

I have no interest in being a FO apologist, but given that their strategy has been to build the scouting, analytics and player development aspects of the business, I think it’s only fair to give them some time to see if the strategy actually works.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 09:09 AM EST (#368681) #
Happy Cistulli day, everyone!
85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 09:20 AM EST (#368683) #
Looks like the Orioles will take Richie Martin with the #1 pick - too bad - I hope the jays take a shot with Drew Jackson - can play the infield, apparently plus defender at 2B with rocket arm and nice speed/power combo - 2B/SS combo of Jackson and Galvis should really help our ground-ball pitchers.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 10:01 AM EST (#368684) #
"They haven’t made any moves in furtherance of a long term rebuild that I can see. No trades of roster players for A ball lottery tickets (other than maybe the Pearce deal). All deals have been for near ready marginal roster (25 or 40) players."

The only player they traded (prior to Diaz recently) that had more than 3 months of control left was Osuna, and even that was at diminished value due to circumstances. Dating back to the 2017 trade deadline, the Jays traded Smith, Liriano, Pearce, Happ, Oh (team option), Loup, Axford, Donaldson (1 month of control left/injured), and Granderson. Basically non-elite relievers, spare parts, and rentals at a time when rentals don't yield much value.

They definitely got less for Happ than I was hoping for, but they weren't in a strong position from a talent standpoint in those other deals. Some of that could be attributed to their decision to avoid a rebuild until mid-2018, but that was likely an ownership decision. They still were able to leverage a bunch of cheap signings and minor pieces into potentially average big league talent.

What they get in return for Stroman, Sanchez, and Giles will be more telling, but they clearly had rebuilding in mind since mid-2018, and even when trying to win in 2016-17 they made moves designed to strengthen the farm system (ex. essentially buying Liriano's contract to get McGuire and Ramirez during a pennant race).
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 10:17 AM EST (#368685) #
There was some confusing information online about Drew Jackson's age.  His dob is July 28, 1993- i.e. he is now 25 years of age and has got as far as double A.  His Steamer projection is .214/.284/.320- roughly John McDonald or, for the Rule 5 old folks, Manuel Lee.  
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 10:43 AM EST (#368686) #
Drew Jackson seems to have a similar profile to Kevin Smith, albeit Kevin Smith has had better success at much younger age. I think Jackson has a lot more tools than most rule five eligible prospects, but position players rarely work out in the draft and I would be more interested in a bullpen piece.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 10:57 AM EST (#368687) #
Manuel Lee did.  Obviously he wasn't the player that Roberto Clemente or Mike Napoli was, but he stuck and when the club  needed him in 1992, he delivered 2.9 WAR as a fine-fielding shortstop. 
mendocino - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 11:57 AM EST (#368688) #
Rule V stream starts noon ET
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:06 PM EST (#368689) #
Jordan Romano to White Sox.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:08 PM EST (#368690) #
Travis Bergen to Giants.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:10 PM EST (#368691) #
Jays select Elvis Luciano from Royals, just 18 years old. hard to see him sticking. Hasn't pitched at a high level.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#368692) #
That's it for the major league portion. AAA draft coming up.
ayjackson - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:16 PM EST (#368693) #
Great reports on Luciano. Low leverage, once a week reliever / bat boy.

Great prospect for $100k.

Need to sign a position player that can pitch now.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:17 PM EST (#368694) #
Luciano pitched 56 innings in the appy league last year so the Jays would have seen him. Its a big jump from the Appy league to the major leagues.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#368695) #
Wow, choosing an 18 year old is really an aggressive pick. They clearly went with upside but they have to find a way to hide him on the 25 roster all year, and this will no doubt hurt his development. Maybe a deal/trade can be worked out.
PeterG - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#368696) #
It's also possible he was picked for another team and may be flipped. Will be intersting to hear team comments on this.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:25 PM EST (#368697) #
In the minor league portion the Jays select David Garner, a reliever from the Cubs. Garner did not pitch in 2018 as he was hit with a third suspension for drugs of abuse, i.e. not necessarily performance enhancing.
PeterG - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:26 PM EST (#368698) #
EE has been traded to the Mariners.
bpoz - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:31 PM EST (#368699) #
E Luciano was signed Oct 1 2016 by Arizona. Traded to KC June 6/18. How can he be eligible for the Rule 5 draft?
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:33 PM EST (#368700) #
Jays lose Sam Moll in the AAA portion. I forgot he was with the Jays. AAA picks are permanent, unlike the major league picks.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#368701) #
Too bad about Bergen and Romano.
pops - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:36 PM EST (#368702) #
"On a side note, right-hander Elvis Luciano, acquired as part of the Jon Jay trade with the D-backs last June, actually is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, though he is only 18. Club officials explained it's because of a technicality involving his contract -- his original contract with Arizona was voided after he failed his physical at age 16, and the D-backs re-signed him to another contract with a lesser bonus, but subsequently he became eligible for each Rule 5 Draft after that."

greenfrog - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:41 PM EST (#368703) #
Somewhat surprised to see Bergen left unprotected, given the emphasis teams are placing on elite relievers, especially cheap and controllable ones. Of course, Bergen has a long way to go before we can call him an elite reliever, let alone a major-league calibre reliever.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:45 PM EST (#368704) #
The only reason I can see for losing Bergen and Romano is that relievers are a dime a dozen these days and are somewhat easily replaceable.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:46 PM EST (#368705) #
I should caveat that comment to say mid inning relievers are a dime a dozen. If you think someone is closer material then my comment does not apply.
Gerry - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:52 PM EST (#368706) #
Romano has been traded to the Rangers.
bpoz - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:53 PM EST (#368707) #
Thanks pops on clarifying why E Luciano was available.

He had a very good 2nd half last year.
uglyone - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:53 PM EST (#368708) #
Atkins says Luciano can be in the 'pen this year and eventually develop into a starter.

I assume people will rake him over the coals for this, like they did AA for "rushing" Osuna.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:54 PM EST (#368709) #
Romano is somebody who I think will stick with the CWS as his FB/Slider combo is tough on righties and he is a guy who I think can stick in the bullpen for a year. You will lose guys like Romano if the Jays don't push more guys onto the 25 man roster.

Elvis Luciano is an outside the box pick for sure, and kudos to the Jays on that level. Despite the Jays recent success with Castro/Osuna being called up as 20 year olds, a soon to be 19 year old with absolutely no full season experience seems unlikely to stick at the big league level to state the obvious.

85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:56 PM EST (#368710) #
Next year is not about wins & Luciano is a high upside guy - he is young enough that after 2019, you have 3 years to develop him as a starter in the minors and he would still be quite young. Really hope the Jays keep him - he can pitch in blowouts.
Glevin - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 12:58 PM EST (#368711) #
Neither Romano or Bergen have great stuff although it's easier to see Bergen being successful as a reliever. You never know but the fact that so few rule five players succeeds is a good indicator in general of the lack of quality of these players. Luciano also very unlikely to amount to anything but prefer going for long term player here over potential middle reliever.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:04 PM EST (#368712) #
The situation with Luciano vs Osuna/Castro are quite different - Osuna/Castro were expected to be significant contributors to the pitching staff on a team expecting to contend and the Jays didn't need to have them on the 25 roster - Jays must keep Luciano on the roster and he is not expected to be much of a contributor even on a rebuilding team and certainly will be back in the minors in 2020 developing as a starter if he survives - the 2 situations are completely different - I think it's a very worthwhile gamble.
Marlow - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:06 PM EST (#368713) #
I can see the Jays keeping him on the roster for the whole year. Back in 1985, they kept Manny Lee and Lou Thornton on the roster, essentially going with a 23 man roster. The 2019 season is lost anyway. Might as well develop players and accumulate player assets.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:07 PM EST (#368714) #
I disagree that Bergen is likely a better reliever than Romano. He has reverse splits and relies on deception. Romano has a power fastball, slider that will be tough on righties. I prefers relievers who fit a defined role and Romano looks better in righty specialist role than Bergen does aa a LOOGY.
uglyone - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:08 PM EST (#368715) #
so it's sounding like EE was eminently tradeable in the last year of his contract.
bpoz - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:12 PM EST (#368716) #
Agreed 85bluejay. Also I have to praise this FO for absolutely demolishing the notion about acquiring uninteresting players.

E Luciano is a +++ interesting player. He and Vlad will significantly lower the average age of our team.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:12 PM EST (#368717) #
I might be falling for an Ugly troll job, but the two situations are not even remotely similar. Luciano has to make the team or he will be returned. He won’t be making the team out of merit, it would be entirely to hide him on the 25 man roster for a year so they can keep him going forward and option him back down to the minors in 2020 to develop as a SP. Apples and oranges comparing it to Osuna.
Spifficus - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:13 PM EST (#368718) #
The Osuna/Castro situations are not comparable at all to Luciano. For Osuna and Castro, they weren't going to lose their rights either way if they weren't put in the pen. In this case, it's either Luciano in the pen to start or No Luciano at all. There is no C option for the team of developing Luciano in the minors as a starter this year (rehab stints or a trade aside). Also, once Osuna was established as a closer, it became a lot more difficult to send him down, sacrifice that current known value, on the chance of getting a high-level starter out of it. If Luciano becomes a dominant closer this year and puts another year in of the same, I'll probably think the same as I did with Osuna - that the moment's passed, and to be happy with what they have. If he spends a year in middle relief, showing frustrating promise, then it's a different calculation.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:15 PM EST (#368719) #
Yes Marlow, this does remind me of Lee & Thornton in 1985 and of course that was on a contending team!

Of the 3 BP guys - Romano,Bergen & McClelland, I like McClelland upside the most so that's somewhat of a consolation
85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:21 PM EST (#368720) #
Of course EE (26.7m left incl. buyout) is tradeable in the last year of his contract especially if you are taking back more money in Santana (41.7m left incl. buyout) - sorta like when the Jays traded Jose Reyes bad contract for an even worse contract.
bpoz - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:23 PM EST (#368721) #
Immenently or eminently?
rpriske - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:25 PM EST (#368722) #
You guys have an optimistic view of human nature top think Luciano will stay on the roster all season.
I think it more likely that he will make the roster and then fall to some unknown malady that will sideline him for most of the year.
Next year he will be in the minors and it will be like the injury never happened.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:27 PM EST (#368723) #
The Indians also attached a comp round draft pick to move on from Edwin.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:28 PM EST (#368724) #
Impressed that the Orioles ended up with both Richie Martin & Drew Jackson - nice gamble.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:33 PM EST (#368725) #
Romano traded to Rangers, I'm guessing he makes their opening day roster.
Marlow - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:43 PM EST (#368726) #
Luciano has to be on the active roster for 90 days for the reason (or something like that), otherwise he has to be offered back to the Royals. It is similar to the Glenn Sparkman selection. He started the year injured, but ultimately was returned.

The Jays are not going to be competitive at all in 2019. You might as well keep Luciano on the roster.
Marlow - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:45 PM EST (#368727) #
Yes 85bluejay. If those 2 turn out, they have a nice infield combo. At least the Orioles will be worse than the Jays next year.
bpoz - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 01:51 PM EST (#368728) #
Good tool/strategy is trading for Int'l cap room and Comp picks using relievers.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 02:02 PM EST (#368729) #
Elvis Luciano is an excellent name.  Other rock star/umpire combinations include Mick Wendelstedt, Ringo West, Little Richard Bucknor, and Kurt Cuzzi. 

He's a big guy with exactly what you wish to see- a fastball, a slider and a developing change.  He's so young that if you put him in low leverage long relief for a year at the big league level at age 19, it's not the end of the world.  He then can start his age 20 season in Lansing and work his way from there with plenty of time to mature.   

Here's a useful scouting report.  You can see a late season video of him on, including a nice change at the end.

I am disappointed that the club lost Bergen and Romano (for now).  There were players protected over them who still mystify me. 
Cracka - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 02:29 PM EST (#368730) #
Marlow is correct -- the player must stay on the MLB roster for the season AND be active for at least 90 days, before normal assignment/option rules are in place. However, the 90 active days can be split over two seasons...
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#368733) #
Fresh rumour out of Denver:
Smoak new focus for Rockies GM after EE trade.
dalimon5 - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 04:26 PM EST (#368734) #
Trying to make sense of the TT release ( I know it makes perfect sense for a lot of you but I'm still trying to see other angles of play).

If the Jays FO can find a way to move Smoak, Morales and Martin in addition to Tulo now I can see a vision/goal to quickly retool by eating a ton of money in 2019 and getting as many reps at all positions for potential future regulars and then using that year to figure out who to sign as a free agent in 2020/21 all while having essentially a Rays style manager who can do hopefully draw blood from stone.

To me it didn't make sense to clear TT if you had the rest of the vets but I didn't honestly think this FO or Rogers would have eaten a bunch of salary to potentially accelerate a turn around. TT and Elvis Luciano certainly point to that strategy.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 04:55 PM EST (#368735) #
I was disappointed that Bergen wasn't protected, and not surprised the Jays lost him. I think there were at least 5 other guys on the 40 man who should have been dropped before leaving Bergen unprotected - Waguespack, Thornton, Drake, Davis and Smith. Also, if Tulo was dropped earlier, they could have added Bergen. Losing Romano is a disappointment as well. I think the Jays badly bungled this mini roster pinch. Consolation for me is my other favourite team, the Giants, are the ones who got Bergen - I think he has a good chance of sticking with them, and Romano has a decent shot with the Rangers.

Luciano is a pretty bizarre pickup. Obviously they like his potential, but even in rookie ball last year, his numbers aren't great. It's hard for me to imagine they will keep him on the roster for a full season, as I expect he will fare extremely poorly in the big leagues. Are they truly prepared for that? Carrying a guy with an ERA of 8.00, 9.00 or more for a full season? I saw a comment by Atkins that they wouldn't have taken him if they didn't think he could pitch in the big leagues right away, and that they are looking forward to seeing him face Aaron Judge and other top hitters, which seems like complete and utter nonsense to me.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 04:55 PM EST (#368736) #
I understood that Tulo was saying while he was here that he had to be a shortstop, but immediately upon his release, he indicated a willingness to play other positions in the infield.  If that is right, it suggests to me that he really wanted to move to a contender.  Which may also have been true of Donaldson. 
PeterG - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 04:58 PM EST (#368737) #
I think that you have always overvalued Tulo, Dalimon. Just my opinion of course. Only time will tell whether that is so or not.

I will be surprised if Smoak is dealt but anything is possible.

On another note there are rumblings that EE will be flipped to Rays.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 05:00 PM EST (#368738) #
I imagine that Luciano would post an ERA of 6 or 7 in the major leagues, and I don't think that the club will care.  "You're here to learn, son, and we have to keep you here for the season.  Don't worry if you struggle."  I'm sure Montoyo can manage to be positive in this unusual situation.  I am pretty sure that the club would not have taken him if he was 22 years old. 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 05:10 PM EST (#368739) #
Elvis Luciano is with the Jays until 30 or more days are up. He is D.L.ed and sent to Vancouver to develop as a Starter. He's called back up around Mid-August for another 30 days. The following season he finishes his requirements with the Jays and is sent to Vancouver to continue his career.
PeterG - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 05:22 PM EST (#368740) #
His time in TO could also be useful if Walker (or anyone) can teach him another pitch or better develop one he already has.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 05:33 PM EST (#368741) #
They need to use 2019 as a development year for Luciano in every sense of the word. In other words, work on his repertoire, nutrition, sleep habits, etc. He’s a teenager. There’s no way he’s going to come in and get big league hitters out on a consistent basis. They will have to live with the 7.00 ERA and chalk it up as the cost of acquiring a prospect in a rebuilding year.

It’s an interesting gamble. Very low probability of it working out but it’s the type of risks you can afford to take during a down year.
Vulg - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 05:47 PM EST (#368742) #
I like the stab at Luciano. I don't really care that this effectively shortens the roster to 24 (notwithstanding injury shenanigans) during what amounts to a lost competitive season. It's essentially a free shot at a decent draft-aged prospect without having to worry about draft slot money / allocation.

I continue to be impressed with the Rays, today sticking their nose into the Edwin deal and landing Diaz (and a reliever) for Bauers and some $$.
scottt - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 06:16 PM EST (#368743) #
He has good mechanics, good velocity for his age and he already have 3 good pitches.

There's a part of me who wants to go read comments in a site where Royals fans hang around.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 06:25 PM EST (#368744) #
Johan  Santana was taken in the Rule 5 draft after a mediocre season at age 19 in the Midwest League. He posted a 6.43 ERA for the Twins his first year.  It's not quite the same situation but there are similarities.
scottt - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#368745) #
I don't see Bergen sticking but we'll see.
I would have wagered on Romano sticking with the White Sox, but the ALW is a tougher division, so we'll see there as well.

MLB pipeline puts Romano 23th in the Rangers system and Luciano 28th, just were Romano was. I guess more upside more risk.

Luciano was available because he failed a physical, that might mean he will have to be handled carefully.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 06:39 PM EST (#368746) #
Fangraphs has scouting reports up on the Rule 5 picks.
scottt - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 06:40 PM EST (#368747) #
That a typical Dipoto deal.
Santana for Encarnation?

It think it's just to save 16M next year.

The Indians adds versatility with Santana who is a switch hitter and pick up a 1B for Diaz who was just a bench player. and a AAA reliever.

dalimon5 - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 07:11 PM EST (#368748) #
Its obvious now that I'm in the minority regarding Tulo. I still am convinced he will be top 15 SS with 3+ WAR if he's healthy and playing SS. I really believe that so we shall see.
scottt - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 07:18 PM EST (#368749) #
They traded EE, Diaz and a AAA pitcher for Santana and a first baseman.
Maybe they didn't want to pick up his option or pay him an extra 4M.
Because Santana is younger, they're apparently fine paying him 20M for another year.

The situation with the Jays would have been different since EE rejected 4/80 and was looking for a 5th year.
In the end, the Jays were correct and the valuation of 1B/DH player has gone downwards.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 07:51 PM EST (#368751) #
The Jays made the right call with EE. His WAR by year over the last four years:

2015 (Toronto): 4.5
2016 (Toronto): 3.9
2017 (Cleveland): 2.3
2018 (Cleveland): 1.0

He was a wonderful player for the Jays, but paying him 4/80 or more after 2016 would have been excessive (yet another example of paying for past performance -- something teams are becoming less and less likely to do).

Even giving Bautista 1/18 for the 2017 season (-0.4 WAR) turned out to be quite a charitable contract.
John Northey - Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 11:51 PM EST (#368753) #
An interesting rule 5 draft.

Lost: Jordan Romano (a Canadian) - a 10th round pick who missed his age 22 season. Entering his age 26 season with last year his first above A+ ball. 3.3 BB/9 vs 8.1 K/9 is nice and mostly done as a starter (66 starts vs 16 relief appearances). An interesting kid who might stick as the White Sox should suck in 2019 (100 losses last year) so keeping him would make sense.

Travis Bergen - 7th round pick, entering his age 25 season with a total of 35 2/3 IP in AA or higher. Lifetime 1.27 ERA mostly as a reliever (85 1/3 IP 2.7 BB/9 vs 12.0 K/9). I'd be shocked if he doesn't stick as that kind of K/9 is hard to find without 4+ BB/9 in the minors. Probably will struggle early on, but if the Giants are patient they should be happy.

Gained: Elvis Luciano: shouldn't have been available but a loophole made him available. No details beyond his contract being voided once due to injuries. In 133 2/3 IP in the minors he has 2.8 BB/9 vs 8.2 K/9. Nice but not a wow. Originally with the Diamondbacks, he was traded to the Royals last year (KC traded Jon Jay to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Elvis Luciano and Gabe Speier). If he makes the team he could become the first player born in the 2000's to make the major leagues. Feel old yet?

As in all rule 5 drafts I would want to see scouting reports before judging it. Luciano is very young but seems to be a top prospect from how I'm reading it. I doubt either of the guys lost will come back too so the question becomes would you rather have had one of those 2 or Luciano?

As a reminder the Jays have done well historically in this draft - George Bell (MVP 1987), Kelly Gruber (3B all-star), Manny Lee (SS on 1992 WS winner), Willie Upshaw (first Jay to get 100 RBI's, solid at 1B for years), Jim Acker (a reliever who was very useful), Jim Gott (part of the Jays rotation when 4 men were all that was needed and he was #5), Aquilino Lopez (14 saves one year). Few since Pat Gillick left for 'retirement' (he had many years as other teams GM left in him - wonder how different the 90's would've been if he stuck around instead).

While Luciano doesn't excite me, and I suspect the Jays will lose him in the end or do a trade to get to send him to the minors, I'm glad the GM is willing to try at least. Got to use every tool out there if the Jays are going to win again.
rtcaino - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 12:36 AM EST (#368755) #
JP Ricciardi was a "must listen". WWJP!
dan gordon - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 01:26 AM EST (#368756) #
I don't think it's a question of Luciano or one of the 2 guys lost. I think it's a question of Bergen/Romano or 2 of the slugs that still populate the 40 man roster. I'd rather have Bergen and Romano. By a wide margin. They still could have taken Luciano.

The Rays appear to have made another smart trade. Bauers looks like a weak hitting 1st baseman, a rather unappealing commodity - he's never had an OPS of .800 or better anywhere, at any level, and hit .201 in the big leagues last year. For him, they picked up a guy who has consistently hit over .300, has a career minor league OPS of .827, hit .312 in the big leagues last year, plays a more difficult position (3B), and was 19th in the major leagues in hard hit % over the last 2 years. Plus, they got a AAA reliever thrown in, who has averaged about 10 K's per 9 IP in the minors. The deal looks totally lopsided.
Glevin - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 02:30 AM EST (#368757) #
"I don't think it's a question of Luciano or one of the 2 guys lost. I think it's a question of Bergen/Romano or 2 of the slugs that still populate the 40 man roster. I'd rather have Bergen and Romano. By a wide margin. They still could have taken Luciano."

Meh. You're getting way too worried about losing potential middle relievers. Romano looks like a long-man to me if he's even a major leaguer and Bergen has a chance to be a reliever but these are fungible prospects. I wouldn't have protected Waguespack over Bergen but then again I don't have nearly the same level of knowledge as the team does here and minor league numbers for relievers are not very useful. My guess is that the team values starters and wants to protect starters and then move them into the bullpen if it doesn't work. They think Waguespack might be a starter and Romano and Bergen won't be.
scottt - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 07:26 AM EST (#368758) #
The have an extra spot on the 40 roster. Another one when Merryweather goes back to the 60.
A few guys that could be cut, like Barnes.
The thing is, most other teams also have a full 40 roster now and they are hiring free agents and acquiring players.
The biggest gains now are to be made on the waiver line when the other teams will have to make cuts.
The Jays got Biagini on the rule V, but they got many more guys through waiver claims. That's how they got Maile and Smoak and many others who didn't stick or have been traded since.

scottt - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 07:56 AM EST (#368759) #
The Rangers signed Lance Lynn for 3/30M when he was projected to go for 3/16M.
That looks bad. Not as bad as paying Ian Desmond 15M to play 1B every year, but bad still.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 08:05 AM EST (#368760) #
So what is the story on Dalton Pompey? After having an altercation with his AAA manager, he was either suspended or sent home and, as a result, one of the few ( only?) members on the 40 man roster not called up in September. Despite this, and also the fact that he can't stay healthy for an extended time, he is still on the 40 man roster.

Do the Jays still see him as a possible big-league player and, even if they do, would there really be any risk of another team claiming him if he was dropped from the 40 man roster ? I guess I'll answer my own question by saying they must still see some potential in him but you got to think his leash is getting short.
Marlow - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 08:45 AM EST (#368761) #
Dalton Pompey is a curious case of asset management by this front office. They seem to like to hold onto player assets until the last moment (i.e. Solarte and Tulo). As Island Boy noted, Pompey's leash is short, following his insubordination. The front office seems to value him more than Jordan Romano and Travis Bergen. We also know from back in April when he was on the disabled list, he was scheduled to do surgery on his hand in the off season.

We also know some of these players are placeholders for a 40 man spot, when free agents are signed and when Vlad Jr comes up. Perhaps he will be gone when that happens.

The new manager I think said that they are going with a 4 man outfield. As of today, that would be Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, Randal Grichuk and a fourth guy. The fourth spot will be a battle between Billy McKinney, Dwight Smith, Jonathan Davis, Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey. Five guys battling for one spot, unless they trade away Pillar or Grichuk.
Mike Green - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 08:53 AM EST (#368762) #
As of today, that would be Teoscar Hernandez, Kevin Pillar, Randal Grichuk and a fourth guy. The fourth spot will be a battle between Billy McKinney, Dwight Smith, Jonathan Davis, Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey. Five guys battling for one spot, unless they trade away Pillar or Grichuk.

If Billy McKinney is fighting for a spot with Jonathan Davis, the club is doing something wrong.  Anyways, there will presumably be several moves between now and spring training which will affect the outfield situation. 
Nigel - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 11:26 AM EST (#368763) #
Hopefully the new manager doesn't view Hernandez as one of his best three OFs. I'm hoping he's the primary DH and 4th OF.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 11:39 AM EST (#368764) #
I think Billy McKinney should see 60% of the starts in left field against right handed pitchers and Hernandez getting the other 40% of the starts against left handed pitchers..

The DH spot can be split up where Morales gets all the ABs against left handed pitchers when Hernandez is in left and Hernandez can take 2/3 games at DH against right handers. This gives him roughly 80% of a full time position split evenly between DH and LF.

Of course that is a rough outline and injuries will factor in but that's how I would play it from day 1.
bpoz - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 12:45 PM EST (#368765) #
Thanks Marlow about the hand surgery on Pompey. We will find out in ST if/when he is healthy.

I suppose Pompey's surgery is free. Ontario resident.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 12:46 PM EST (#368766) #
Looking back, the firing of John Gibbons was the rolling out of the casket for these vets and the conclusion of the 2019 season will be the final nails in the coffin of the previous regime...if such players make it to that date.
Mike Green - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 12:57 PM EST (#368767) #
More on Elvis Luciano from a knowledgeable KC source:

"Rany Jazayerli @jazayerli 21h21 hours ago

I know I’m a prospect honk, but nothing about the Royals’ offseason upset me until Toronto swiped Elvis Luciano away from them in the Rule 5 Draft today. Stupid Blue Jays. I’m glad that 2-1 pitch to Juan Pierre was called a strike."

dalimon5 - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 01:51 PM EST (#368768) #
I guess it could be worse. We could be cheering for The Royals...
dan gordon - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 01:51 PM EST (#368769) #
"You're getting way too worried about losing potential middle relievers"

Not worried at all, just pointing out a sub-optimal allocation of the 40-man spots. There's deadwood there that didn't need to be kept, and also, I don't necessarily cap the potential of Bergen and Romano as middle relievers.

I don't think the Lynn contract is bad at all. His career numbers are similar to Happ's, and he's quite a bit younger. He hasn't been as good since injury caused him to miss 2016, although he pitched well for the Yankees at the end of 2018.
James W - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 02:31 PM EST (#368770) #
The Juan Pierre thing... honest mistake, or intentionally confusing with Ben Revere? And that strike call was horrible
Mike Green - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 03:07 PM EST (#368771) #
Rany probably made an honest mistake.  And it was a horrible strike call.  Home team, 9th inning, ace reliever on the mound in an ultra-high leverage situation is a recipe for those. 
James W - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 04:28 PM EST (#368772) #
Checked the rest of his twitter. Someone asked "Wasn't it Ben Revere?" and he replied "I'm just going by what Stephen A. Smith told me."

So either an honest mistake or an elaborate jab at a loudmouth.
dan gordon - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 05:33 PM EST (#368773) #
Further to my comments about losing Bergen, I see that the Brewers just traded for a lefty reliever from Texas, Alex Claudio. They surrendered a competitive balance pick Type A, which should be about 40th overall next June. That's quite a bit of value for a good, not great, lefty, something I think Bergen has a decent shot at becoming.

The Giants are apparently interested in Kevin Pillar, FWIW.
bpoz - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 07:37 PM EST (#368774) #
Makes sense to trade for Int'l cap, Comp picks and have a 2nd DSL team.
John Northey - Friday, December 14 2018 @ 08:51 PM EST (#368775) #
While I enjoy watching Pillar in CF it seems to be a smart move to trade him if you can get a decent prospect (one who would be 6-15 on the Jays list imo) or two (2nd could be #25 and lower). Odds are high that Pillar won't be here in 2 years regardless (free agent after 2020) so getting something good now would be smart if possible. Smoak I'd be happy with nearly anything just to free up playing time, same with Morales.

Martin makes sense to trade if there is a buyer (even if the Jays eat his entire contract), Giles I'd be very happy to see traded if the Jays get anything significant of value (top 10 prospect here, top 100 in MLB). Same for Sanchez and Stroman.

Yeah, lots of moving parts this winter. Lets hope the end result is a fun team that drives us nuts in 2019 but makes a real run in 2020 and beyond.
Glevin - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 05:08 AM EST (#368776) #
"Not worried at all, just pointing out a sub-optimal allocation of the 40-man spots. There's deadwood there that didn't need to be kept, and also, I don't necessarily cap the potential of Bergen and Romano as middle relievers."

You can't keep all your prospects and if you are going to choose, letting go middle relievers are the best to let go. At some point one or two of them will become major leaguers sure, but it's not worth investing in these sorts of players too much. And yes, Romano and Bergen profile as middle relievers. Neither throw very hard or have great stuff. ZIPs has them at a combined 0.1 WAR this season. Guys that were "deadwood" were not kept over Romano or Bergen, they were kept because the team knew they were going to get rid of them anyway. The Jays just didn't feel like Bergen or Romano are going to be valuable major leaguers and they are very likely correct.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 07:37 AM EST (#368777) #
The scouting reports indicate that Bergen has two good secondary pitches (curveball, changeup) with “elite spin rates” and a fringy fastball that he seems to be able to locate. His stats last year across two levels and 56.2 innings were excellent.

I don’t know what all that adds up to for the 25-year-old. He does seem like someone the Jays should have found a way to keep, especially if he could have taken the roster spot vacated by Tulowitzki.
bpoz - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 10:21 AM EST (#368778) #
Atkins did not answer the loss of Romano and Bergen well.
He said Romano passed the rule 5 last year. I heard nothing about Bergen.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#368779) #
You can't have a 40 man roster of all prospects. The Jays kept some "questionable" players over Romano/Bergen because it will be easier to get rid of those players when spots need to open up for free agent signings, trades, waiver claims, etc. Ultimately it came down to not believing those two were worth 40 man spots at this time. Maybe they will be proven wrong, but as Glevin mentioned, it's really not a big deal given their profiles. The Giants lost a couple of 1 WAR seasons out of Joe Biagini and I doubt their fans even remember he was in that organization. Relievers, unless they turn into a closer/high leverage type, are very fungible assets. This FO has proven that the past two years by signing retreads or players coming off down years and then flipping them (Smith, Oh, Axford).
bpoz - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 10:58 AM EST (#368780) #
Correct SK.
bpoz - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 11:09 AM EST (#368781) #
The FO and Montoyo have already made decisions on a lot of the roster construction and usage IMO.
Eg Vlad will play when he comes up.

Probably add a J Smith and J Axford. Small moves.

How about the 2nd lefty in the pen?
greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 11:14 AM EST (#368782) #
SK in NJ, what major-league players do you think have a similar “profile” to Bergen? It can’t be Biagini, who has never had K rates anywhere close to those posted by Bergen last season.
bpoz - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#368783) #
Biagini, Gaviglio and Pannone as 2 inning relievers. Maybe Barnes too.
PeterG - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 01:25 PM EST (#368784) #
Mayza is capable of pitching more than one inning.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 01:26 PM EST (#368785) #
For ease of reference, here is Bergen's combined line in 2018 (in Dunedin and New Hampshire):

4-2, 0.95 ERA, 43 G, 56.2 IP, 42 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 15 BB, 74 K

By way of comparison, in Biagini's 2015 minor-league season (before he pitched for Toronto), he had 84 K in 130.1 K -- a 5.8 K / 9 IP rate as compared to Bergen's 2018 K rates of 13.29 and 10.85 in A+ and AA.
Dr B - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 03:45 PM EST (#368786) #
Though of course, Biagini's stats were compiled as a starter so the stats are not quite comparable. This is why I suspect Romano is a slightly better prospect than Bergen and I would have liked to see what he could do in a relief role (and I guess now we'll know). I suspect the Jays think that neither is really ready for primetime, and they thought it somewhat unlikely they would be picked. There's a pretty reasonable chance they get returned anyway. The receiving teams now have the what is probably a low-leverage reliever who they cannot send down, which makes one's taxi-squads just that much harder to manage. Remember that the Yankees lost four players last year, including the superficially excellent Nestor Cortes. All four got returned.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 03:45 PM EST (#368787) #
Minor league relievers who put up gaudy numbers in the minors are plentiful. Some times it translates well, most times it doesn’t. Relievers in general are volatile. The FO knows these players very well, more than anyone of us. Given how much value they have placed on prospects and the minor league system since they arrived, it seems unlikely that they’d not protect a player that they envision would be valuable down the road. Again, maybe they’ll end up being wrong about these two, but at the end of the day if you’re wrong about non elite relievers, then it’s really not worth getting heated about.

The FO protected who they consider to be starting prospects, and just drafted an 18 year old who they will try to hide in the bigs for a year because they envision him starting long term. They likely just didn’t think Bergen and Romano were worth the spots.
John Northey - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 03:46 PM EST (#368788) #
Yeah, Bergen looks like a bad one to lose potentially. Makes me think of Tom Henke when the Jays grabbed him in the old free agent draft (if you lost a top free agent you could take a player who wasn't protected on a teams top 25 - Jays got Henke for the loss of Cliff Johnson, pretty good deal eh? That was the final time that was used, as the PA got rid of it in negotiations that summer).

Bergen does have an amazing 1.27 ERA lifetime in the minors with 12 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. Still, minor league relievers are rarely major talents. Hopefully the Jays get lucky and he is sent back as over 40% of rule 5 picks are.
scottt - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 05:06 PM EST (#368789) #
Reposting the rule V stats for the last 10 years (2018 not included)

This is taken from Birdfeed

Over the last 10 years---1997 to 2017, since there are still 3 2018 rule v picks who could still be returned in 2019-- the return rates where as follow:

1. 44.4% of rule V draftees were returned to their original teams.
2. 9.7% of selected players were offered back to their original team which declined to take them back.
3. 7.4% of players were eventually traded by their original teams to another team.
4. That leaves 34.82% of draftees who were kept on the drafting team's roster and eventually acquired that way.
PeterG - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 05:14 PM EST (#368790) #
How soon we have forgotten Carlos Ramirez!!
bpoz - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 06:55 PM EST (#368791) #
I follow C's Plus Baseball. Very nice interview with Josh Winckowski. One of my favorites.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 07:51 PM EST (#368792) #
Ramirez was a 6’5” RHP whose main weapons were a 93-95 FB and a slider.

Bergen is a 6’1” LHP whose out pitches are a high-70s spinning CB and a mid-80s changeup, with a fringy low-90s FB as his third-best pitch.

Are you saying that the best profile you can come up with for Bergen is Ramirez? Or just that sometimes mid-20s relievers with good minor-league stats don’t pan out as expected?

I’m not saying that Bergen is the next Jimmy Key. He might turn out to be a marginal major-leaguer at best. It’s just — why let him go for nothing and then also let Tulo go for nothing, when the team could have used Tulo’s roster spot to protect Bergen? Sure, the front office could go out and sign another Axford for a couple of million dollars, but why not give the fully-controllable and very cheap Bergen a shot instead?
eldarion - Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 10:43 PM EST (#368794) #
Greenfrog has a point.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 12:48 AM EST (#368795) #
"if you are going to choose, letting go middle relievers are the best to let go"

The best way to go is to retain the players that look like they have the best chance to help your team the most. I believe that Bergen and Romano are more likely to help the team than several of the guys they retained, especially Drake.

"they were kept because the team knew they were going to get rid of them anyway"

I don't see how this makes sense. If you have more valuable guys to keep, you keep them.

"The Jays just didn't feel like Bergen or Romano are going to be valuable major leaguers"

But they think Drake is?? I can't see how he has a better chance than Bergen.

dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 12:51 AM EST (#368796) #
"Jays kept some "questionable" players over Romano/Bergen because it will be easier to get rid of those players"

That doesn't make sense. You can always remove a player from the 40 man roster during the season.

"Ultimately it came down to not believing those two were worth 40 man spots at this time"

No, it came down to the team thinking guys like Drake, Thornton, Davis, Smith and Waguespack were worth more than Bergen and Romano, which I think is incorrect.

"Relievers, unless they turn into a closer/high leverage type, are very fungible assets"

Well, depending on how good they are - but that's what Drake is, too. If Drake isn't they very definition of fungible, I don't know who is. I sure know this - if I'm running the team, and the Giants offered me Bergen for Drake, I'd take the deal in a heartbeat. So why not just keep Bergen?
Vulg - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 12:57 AM EST (#368797) #
I’m not saying that Bergen is the next Jimmy Key. He might turn out to be a marginal major-leaguer at best. It’s just — why let him go for nothing and then also let Tulo go for nothing, when the team could have used Tulo’s roster spot to protect Bergen? Sure, the front office could go out and sign another Axford for a couple of million dollars, but why not give the fully-controllable and very cheap Bergen a shot instead?

Greenfrog, thank you for articulating it better than I did earlier (using a Raptors example of all things).

A team's own valuation of its players does not represent the full equation of their worth. You have to account for what at least one other team might consider fair market value for each player.

Even if your own future plans don't necessarily include players that you're willing to lose in a Rule V, it's senseless to erode your asset base in that way when you have clear alternatives with lesser (sometimes negative!) value attached to them.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 07:58 AM EST (#368798) #
I,too, am confused why younger prospects would be exposed when older players of the mediocre variety are on the 40 man roster.

On the other hand, I'm only looking at stats like many on here. The people who decided who should be protected would be a combination of the team's management, talent coordinators and I presume there was input from the minor league team's coaches. All of these people saw Bergen and Romano pitch multiple times, and many involved in the decisions would have years of experience evaluating players. Ultimately we just have to trust they know what they're doing and made the right choices.
hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 09:12 AM EST (#368799) #
I've tied to make sense of these Rule 5 decisions and this is the only thing I could conclude with my minimal knowledge of MLB rules.

It's better to lose Romano and Bergen now, where they have to be kept in the majors for the entire season. If they are not kept, they are given back without going through waivers.

Have to assume the Jays will sign at least a couple of players to major league contracts. That's when they use the Tulo spot or put a Drake on waivers. Once Drake goes on waivers, he may not get claimed and be able to be outrighted. Or he may get claimed and no big loss. If they had to put a Romano or Bergen on waivers, they are much more likely to be gone for good, than as Rule 5 picks.
Thomas - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 09:28 AM EST (#368800) #
I think hypobole is right. I suspect the Jays will add at least three, maybe more, players to the major league roster before the start of the season who aren't in the organization now. They'll all need to be added to the 40 man.

I suspect the Jays determined Romano and Bergen would or would likely be one of the first names off the 40 man a that point. If so, another team could claim that and only need to keep them on their 40 man roster, as opposed to keeping them on the 25 man roster all year if they were selected in the Rule 5 draft.

You debate the merits of keeping Romano and Bergen ahead of Waguespack or Drake, but I suspect they felt that both of Romano and Bergen would be some of the first names off the 40 man, so it was worth the gamble as they would be much more appealing to other teams if they were removed from the 40 man in spring training when this year's Clippard made the team.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 09:29 AM EST (#368801) #
Bergen was valuable enough to the Giants to commit to keeping him on the 25-man roster for 2019. I don’t see why he wasn’t valuable enough to the rebuilding Jays to keep him on the 40-man roster. Especially if the team plans on signing a middling value reliever for a million or two to help them get through the season.

And why not keep Bergen and instead make a consolidation trade to free up roster space, the way AA did when he shipped Cordero, Francisco, Musgrove, Wojciechowski, Rollins, and Perez to Houston for Happ, Lyon, and Carpenter?
hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#368802) #
"Bergen was valuable enough to the Giants to commit to keeping him on the 25-man roster for 2019."

Giants picked him. They've committed to nothing yet. If they decide to rebuild,yeah, there is a good chance they keep him for the year. If they actually try to contend, my money is on the Giants returning him to the Jays.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 10:03 AM EST (#368803) #
Yes, of course the Giants have provisionally, not irrevocably, committed to keeping him on the roster for 2019. I assumed that by now everyone knows this about the Rule 5 draft process.
hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 10:28 AM EST (#368804) #
Giants took a flier on Bergen.

scottt - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 10:36 AM EST (#368805) #
I can understand the Rays not picking anyone since they are drafting late and have lots of prospects.
I don't really understand teams that pick early just to trade the pick right away for cash.
The money involved is a rounding error.

bpoz - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 11:05 AM EST (#368806) #
Bullpen usage is undergoing some kind of a change.

My bad memory, but Cito used Shawn Camp to get 2 outs and end the inning. 1 pitch DP. Next inning now pitcher, J Fraser, because he believed in roles IMO.

Training guys to throw 50 pitches should get you 2 innings. Maybe R Stanek, TB, was like that. 1, 1.2 and 2 IP was how Stanek was used.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 11:06 AM EST (#368807) #
"That doesn't make sense. You can always remove a player from the 40 man roster during the season."

If the Jays protected Bergen and later took him off the 40-man to put someone else on, then he would have been exposed to waivers. That would be an easy way to lose someone without having the luxury of potentially getting them back (like the Rule 5 process). You need easily disposable players this time of year so that if you sign a few free agents then it's not a huge concern about 40-man roster spots. If you cram your 40 man with every prospect you are afraid to lose, then how do you build a 25-man roster?

"No, it came down to the team thinking guys like Drake, Thornton, Davis, Smith and Waguespack were worth more than Bergen and Romano, which I think is incorrect."

So the people who see these guys and have way more access to them than any of us are wrong, and you are right? Based on what, exactly? I mean, they could end up being wrong, but on what grounds do you question their decision now?

"Well, depending on how good they are - but that's what Drake is, too. If Drake isn't they very definition of fungible, I don't know who is. I sure know this - if I'm running the team, and the Giants offered me Bergen for Drake, I'd take the deal in a heartbeat. So why not just keep Bergen?"

Drake will likely be taken off the 40 man with the hopes of passing him through waivers at some point. He's fungible, as are middle relievers in general. If that's how the FO viewed Bergen and Romano, then there's your answer for why they were not protected.
Mylegacy - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 02:41 PM EST (#368808) #
SKinNJ: You say,

"So the people who see these guys and have way more access to them than any of us are wrong, and you are right? Based on what, exactly? I mean, they could end up being wrong, but on what grounds do you question their decision now?"

To which I impertinently answer: SK, you are 100% correct but also 100% wrong.

You are 100% correct in that OBVIOUSLY, them wot runs the Jays, have "...way more access to them..." and I agree they are OVERWHELMINGLY more likely to be making REAL decisions about them based on vastly more appropriate information than we outsiders.

However, you are also 100% wrong because Batter's Box, our spectacular, home away from home, lets mere mortals, like you and I, express our "best guesses" based on our "insufficient information" 24/7/365. AND FOR THIS: we are blessed.

In my particular case, I confess to my inadequacies. I hereby state for the record that my comments here are always only opinions and guesses based on insufficient information. For this grievous failing I most humbly apologize.

Even when events prove me wrong I somehow manage to shrug off that indignity with a certain "Je ne sais quoi."

Fortunately for me, "correct" or "wrong" there is always Scotch as a sort of consolation prize.

Single malt, of course. I do have some humble standards!
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#368809) #
Extracted from Beyond the Boxscore Devan Fink

"The odds, then, that Tulowitzki is able to recapture some of the magic that he once had, the future-Hall-of-Famer-type magic, seems unlikely. At this point in his career, Tulowitzki is a 34-year-old, likely over-the-hill shortstop who could provide some added value to a contending team if he can squeeze one or two more good years out of his system.

Steamer, for one, thinks Tulowitzki can rebound, but the system is still uncertain about his overall health. This seems warranted, though Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported on Dec. 11th that Tulowitzki is “said to be in [his] best health in a long time.” Who knows what this may mean, but considering Tulowitzki hasn’t had a 600+ plate appearance season since 2011, it’s unlikely to think that he’ll be able to do so now.

With that said, Steamer still projects Tulowitzki to slash .255/.314/.420 (98 wRC+) over 330 plate appearances in 2019. The system still likes his defense, rating it as a +3.3 runs above average next year. All in all, it sees Tulowitzki as a 1.3 fWAR player.

Keep in mind, this is Tulowitzki’s 50th percentile projection. Unfortunately, there are no error bars available for Steamer projections, but it’s important to consider that Tulowitzki could easily beat this projection. And, he could do so on volume alone.

Let’s assume that Tulowitzki truly is in the best shape of his life and is able to play better on a grass surface in a normal environment. (Rogers Centre in Toronto has turf, and Coors Field in Colorado has the altitude. Both of these environments were likely unfavorable to Tulowitzki’s health all throughout his career.) In a world in which Tulowitzki gets 600 plate appearances — even at the same level of production — he could be worth about 2.4 WAR.

At 2.4 WAR, Tulowitzki would be worth about $22 million in value to his future team. And, this still is assuming that Tulowitzki is a slightly below league-average bat.

Doing some estimates on my own, if we assume that Tulowitzki’s skillset is identical to 2017, but with a league-average bat (approximately 100 wRC+), he would be worth about 1.0 WAR over 330 plate appearances and about 1.7 WAR over 600 plate appearances. Steamer sees a significant upgrade in his defense and base running, both of which would come with healthier legs. (His bat would improve too.) Tulowitzki, though, has become slower and slower as the years have gone on and will need some time to readjust to playing in the big leagues once again.

It appears that 2.5 WAR may be his ceiling. That could come in two forms. First, it could come from volume, in which Tulowitzki plays to his now-diminished abilities but is somehow able to stay on the field. Or, second, it could come from unsustainable excellent performance over a short period of time due to injuries. The odds that he puts top-notch performance alongside 600-plate appearance durability seem low. The odds that he struggles and can’t stay on the field, similar to 2017, are certainly there. But, with such a small financial obligation, it’s a (zero) risk that teams should be willing to take."

- 2.5 WAR is where I think Tulo can be and if lucky (healthy) he can be 3-4 WAR SS at his age imco (In my cray opinion).

dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 04:55 PM EST (#368810) #
"on what grounds do you question their decision now?"

One of the things that makes baseball great for fans is that every play can be absolutely quantified. You can add up the contributions of each player from every pitch, every swing. In hockey, for instance, how do you quantify a player's backchecking ability, or stickhandling skill, or any one a dozen other factors? You can't, it's a fast-paced flow and motion game. This quantifiable nature of baseball makes it easier to evaluate players than in other pro sports. I don't have the time or inclination to explain why I feel that Bergen is a better choice to keep than the other 5 guys I mentioned, aside from the summation that Bergen seems to me to be much more likely to be a player who will be effective at the big league level, but let's have a look at Drake. He will be 32 next month, and has been a so-called "AAAA" type player for 4 years now, bouncing between AAA and the big leagues. He has a career mlb ERA of 4.59 and WHIP of 1.46, so not very good, but not horrible. Players of that skill level are usually done as big leaguers by the time they are in their early 30's. At his age, Drake is highly unlikely to get better than he is now, and, indeed, is very likely to get worse. He's right handed. His value to the team is very close to zero. The chance that he becomes a significant player, as, say, a 7th/8th inning bullpen guy, is very close to zero. Bergen, on the other hand, just turned 25, so he's almost 7 years younger than Drake. He was a fairly high draft pick, 7th round, and was seen as a pretty good prospect. Last year was the 1st healthy season he has had in pro ball, the first time he had more than 18.3 innings pitched in a season, and he not only reached AA ball, but he was dominant at that level, with an ERA of 0.50, WHIP of 0.98, and 74 K's vs only 15 BB's. That says to me that he has a reasonable shot at becoming a good mlb reliever, maybe a set up man. Plus he's left handed, so there is the chance that he becomes a valuable player as a LOOGY. The Jays are in a building phase for maybe a year or two, and Bergen has a shot at being a part of that rebuild, he could be a key part of the bullpen. Drake? Much less likely.

I also have to say that I agree with what mylegacy added. This is a site where we can discuss things about the Blue Jays, not just sit back and accept whatever management does and say, oh well, they know more than we do, so they must be right, so don't give me that "on what grounds" stuff. If you think Drake is better, fine, tell us why. I do agree there is some merit to the idea that giving up a player in the Rule 5 leaves the possibility of him being returned, whereas losing a player on waivers does not, but you could say that about any prospect. I just think that Bergen has a fairly good chance at succeeding, and I doubt he gets returned. One factor that may make it more likely he gets returned is that the Giants already have Will Smith and Tony Watson, both left handed, in the bullpen, although they are rumoured to be actively shopping Smith, and could view Bergen as his replacement.

Sorry for the long post.

PeterG - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 05:03 PM EST (#368811) #
I think the chances of that are quite remote, He was not even that when healthy in TO. In addition to that, I am sure this to the Jays is about much more than numbers. It is about building the type of team and attitudes they wish. Tulo didn't fit and both sides knew it. He would be a grumbling sourpuss on a rebuilding team and even moreso if he was not starting at SS which would have been highly likely. Tulo was not wanted in the clubhouse for much the same reason that JD wasn't. I think this should be obvious and for a rebuilding team with many young impactful players soon to be added, both moves were the correct ones.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 05:23 PM EST (#368812) #
When it comes to pitchers like Waguespack, Merryweather, Romano, Bergen, etc, there’s practically no way for any of us to decipher who is more worthy to keep around. We can look at numbers and what analysts have said about them but it’s largely a guessing game. Personally I’d prefer keeping the starting prospects over the relievers, and I’m guessing that was the rationale here, but the quality of the pitchers themselves is hard for any of us to say definitively. It’s not like comparing a top prospect with a non-prospect.

The 25 man roster also comes into play. They will sign free agents. They will need a spot to open up when Vlad comes up. And so on.
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 05:33 PM EST (#368813) #
Dan, I don’t think anyone will disagree that Drake is not worth keeping around. He isn’t. Chances are he will be taken off in short order in hopes of being able to pass him through waivers. My point was more about Waguespack and players like that. It’s easy to go stat for stat with big leaguers but with minor leaguers there are a lot more factors that some times go beyond the numbers (role, projection, Trackman data nowadays, etc). That’s what I meant by the FO having more access than any of us. Not that we can’t have opinions but that saying “Romano is better to keep around than (insert similarly graded prospect)” has layers to it.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 05:38 PM EST (#368814) #
Drake is not a starting prospect.

I don't agree with your approach of saying there's no way for the educated baseball fan to have a valid opinion about a prospect. The team was wrong about Gomes, I was right.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 05:44 PM EST (#368815) #
OK, now we're crossing posts. My previous post was a reply to the 5:23 post. Now you're starting to say stuff I agree with. Layers, I will agree with. I just think that in some cases management can get fixated with their opinions about people and they don't react enough to the reality when a player has a breakthrough season like Bergen.
scottt - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 06:53 PM EST (#368816) #
The Mets have signed Ramos. We're approaching the point at which there is a market for Martin.
Also, the Giants have shown some interest in Pillar. I'd try to package him with a prospect to get a better prospect back, something like that.

Cynicalguy - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 08:01 PM EST (#368817) #
Anyone have any theories on how the accounting for the Tulo buyout will be handled? Someone asked Atkins specifically and he did not answer the question. Would all the 38M be counted towards the 2018 budget...hence they chose to buy him out before the end of the year or would it be counted toward's next year's budget, or just apply it to the way the contract was signed: 20M in 2019, 14M in 2020 and 4M in 2021? I think the Jays have said in the past the buyout for the year after gets counted in the year they choose to buyout a contract.

If the entire amount is applied to this year's or next year's budget, that would really give them a clean slate in terms of the budget starting in 2020 (aside from the guaranteed contract to Gurriel Jr).
greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 08:16 PM EST (#368818) #
One reason I find the Toronto baseball media so disappointing — John Lott aside — is that they never press Jays management or ownership on these issues. Instead they publish fluff with quotes like the recent one from Atkins saying the front office accomplished a great deal at the winter meetings because they now “have an incredible feel for the opportunities.”
Cracka - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 08:38 PM EST (#368819) #
I'm guessing that Rogers will count the entire $38 million as a 2018 "Restructuring Expense" and Tulo will be not an "expense" for Rogers after this year (Rogers financial year ends Dec. 31st). From an accounting perspective, there is a big profitability benefit to doing this, as this amount is considered a special one-time cost and not part of operating expenses and profit margin. In 2017, the Media division of Rogers (which includes the Jays) had $2.15 billion of revenue and $2.01 billion of costs - for a 6.5% operating profit. By not including Tulo's contract for the next two seasons, Rogers basically increases their Media operating profit by 1.0% each year (every $20M = 1% profit), which is significant.

Last year, Rogers recorded $158 million in Restructuring Costs that "primarily consisted of severance costs associated with the targeted restructuring of our employee base", so there's certainly a precedent for this.

Anyway, that's my guess... and that's a primary reason they released him in December and not in 2019.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 08:47 PM EST (#368820) #
The accounting principle that applies is the matching principle, where you match expenses to the revenues to which they apply. Since Tulo no longer plays for the team, there is nothing to match the expense to in future years, so it should be written off in 2018. This would reduce net earnings, but not operating earnings. Companies also will often show an adjusted net earnings in addition to GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) net earnings, and I imagine they would add back the amount of the Tulo write-off to the GAAP net earnings figure to arrive at the adjusted earnings figure. Internally, of course, they can do whatever they want. The team may consider the contract to still apply to 2019 and 2020 for internal budgeting purposes. It would be interesting to know what they intend to do in that regard.
bpoz - Sunday, December 16 2018 @ 09:38 PM EST (#368821) #
Thanks Dan Gordon. The books are definitely a big deal.

Cheers to Mylegacy and the team. I love this group.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 07:13 AM EST (#368822) #
Employee: Hey, Boss, you wanted to see me?

Boss: Yeah, Wilson, I have some bad news. Our third quarter sweater sales have dropped 37% due to price increases associated with the Peruvian mohair shortage. As a result, our accountants have determined that the only way to make up this shortfall is to restructure our employee base. Here is your severance pay.

Employee: Uh, I'm fired?

Boss: Well, more accurately you've been severed. Oh, and grab a box of party mints on the way out - it is Christmas after all.
Mike Green - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 08:59 AM EST (#368823) #
I'm working on a piece on the value of relievers, and I came across this nugget.  Career post-season WPA leaders:

1. Mariano Rivera- 11.7
2. Curt Schilling- 4.1
3. John Smoltz- 3.6
4. Andy Pettitte- 3.5
5. John Lester- 3.4
6. Wade Davis- 2.9
7. Orel Hershiser- 2.8
8. Madison Bumgarner- 2.7
9. Art Nehf- 2.7
10. Orlando Hernandez- 2.6

The leader for hitters is David Ortiz with 3.2. 

It's pretty hard to argue that anyone other than Mariano Rivera is the most valuable post-season player ever.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 09:22 AM EST (#368824) #
And that includes what is likely to be almost a full -1 from the 2001 WS.
uglyone - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 10:28 AM EST (#368825) #
"Atkins saying the front office accomplished a great deal at the winter meetings because they now “have an incredible feel for the opportunities.”"

quoted for awesomeness.
uglyone - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 10:30 AM EST (#368826) #
"This is a site where we can discuss things about the Blue Jays, not just sit back and accept whatever management does and say, oh well, they know more than we do, so they must be right, so don't give me that "on what grounds" stuff."

It's the classic Appeal to Authority argument.

Which is always a weak argument in itelf, but especially weak when it comes from people who never had any hesitation in criticizing other front offices that also had much more information than we have.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 10:58 AM EST (#368827) #
Here's fangraphs "report" of the changes behind home plate/press box I was referring to a few weeks ago as part of RC renovations. I was told at the time last season that Rob Manfred was incredibly disappointed with the Blue Jays for 2 things during his visit:

1) they didn't support advertising the Facebook game

2) they didn't have any real premium seating to offer fans according to him and that needed to change. The press box behind home plate is getting replaced by state of the art corporate seating similar to the best Leafs seats for the celebrities of TO.


Not necessarily new news, but the press box in Toronto’s Rogers Centre will be relocated to left field beginning next season. According to Sportsnet Canada’s Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays will now have “the most-distantly-located press box in baseball.” Premium seating will occupy the space high above home plate."
bpoz - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 11:13 AM EST (#368828) #
Montoyo is in the process, continuing process, of evaluating if speed or power is the rosters stronger strength.
This will determine hit and run strategies.
hypobole - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 11:35 AM EST (#368829) #
In the same FG Sunday notes article dalimon5 mentioned, is also an interview with Ryan Noda on his approach at the plate.
Mike Green - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 11:53 AM EST (#368830) #
No surprises from a University of Cincinnati alum- Noda emulates fellow Bearcat Kevin Youkilis and longtime Red Joey Votto.  The Jays will probably start him in Dunedin this year, but I hope that he gets a fair bit of double A exposure. 
85bluejay - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 12:43 PM EST (#368831) #
One aspect of this FO that I'm not too thrilled about is their seeming fetish about acquiring near ML ready players rather than more toolsy/upside prospects who may may be further away - in the recent selloff, the Jays acquired many players/prospects that needed a 40 man roster spot and this contributed to guys like Romano/Bergen/McClelland being left unprotected - I've listened to Atkins mention this preference ad nauseam.
rpriske - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 12:48 PM EST (#368832) #
" they didn't have any real premium seating to offer fans according to him"
And that is a good thing.
greenfrog - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 12:53 PM EST (#368833) #
He also said that depth is very important to the FO. Which is fine, as far as it goes. But you do need ample star talent as well, especially in the AL East. Having good depth and an efficient roster that typically wins 78-86 games isn’t a particularly noteworthy accomplishment.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 01:07 PM EST (#368834) #
Going after ML ready players instead of toolsy prospects lower in the minors could mean a couple of things. First, that the FO thinks they can find some untapped talent that can be developed at AAA/MLB to take the next step. Julian Merryweather, Teoscar Hernandez, Billy McKinney and Trent Thornton can be awesome adds if they all reach their ceilings like EE and Bautista miraculously did for the Jays.

Perhaps a more realistic take is that this front office wants to have these major league ready players that may develop into good quality regulars but the real reason they are being targeted is to have MLB ready players to step in when guys like Stroman, Sanchez, Pillar, Smoak, Tepera, Travis, Morales are either traded or released.

So in a nutshell the near ML ready players can quickly fill in for any gaps/holes made from a sell off while at the same time allowing for the remote possibility for stardom or much more likely - AAAA players.
85bluejay - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 01:19 PM EST (#368835) #
You are absolutely right greenfrog, teams need star power in the AL east - this was my biggest gripe of the JP Ricciardi tenure especially their draft philosophy - it may be that now teams are more reluctant than ever to part with those upside talent and you have to draft(Pearson/Groshans)/IFA(Pardinho/Martinez)/develop(Biggio/Bichette) them.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 01:43 PM EST (#368836) #
One reason could be cost. Teams facing a roster crunch with players they need to protect might be more willing to trade those players for less than they otherwise might be worth. Even the Osuna trade was more than I thought the Jays would get given the reasoning behind the trade, but taking Paulino off the 40-man and eliminating the need to protect Perez likely made the deal more desirable for the Astros.

I also think the FO does not want to (and/or is not allowed to) have a long rebuild. Targeting players closer to the big leagues and aligning them with Vlad's time frame seems to be their M.O.

I definitely agree they need to find a way to trade for top prospects, but teams are no longer trading them. It's no longer about trade assets, it's now about which org can develop talent better than the others.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 02:19 PM EST (#368837) #
Is it not possible to trade Stroman/Sanchez together for a top 20 prospect at least as good if not better than Sheffield? Someone similar in ranking to Bichete or further down the ladder with more upside like the Padres system?
bpoz - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#368838) #
Stroman for F Whitley and 1 or 2 of Houston's #15-19 prospects.

Short post. Off season after 2017.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 05:34 PM EST (#368839) #
I don't think Houston would do that. I think you need Stroman + for Whitley. Sanchez+Stroman for Whitley and other prospects could work.
AWeb - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 05:38 PM EST (#368840) #
Before getting healthy and pitching well, sanchez has no trade value. He walks too many, strikes out too few, and hurts himself throwing his best pitch.
bpoz - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 06:00 PM EST (#368841) #
Short posts. Always lost.

dalimon5 the date is Oct ?, 2017 - ST 2018.

Look at Stroman, G Cole, Whitley etc... at that time.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 07:30 PM EST (#368842) #
Doesn't change anything. Stroman will be a free agent in 2 years. Forest Whitley is the top pitching prospect in baseball because Kopech is injured and the rest are not close enough to ready. You're going to have to pay for those 6 years of potential ace control.

Would you have traded Bo Bichete of this year for someone like Cole of last year (2 years left on contract?) The answer is no...
John Northey - Monday, December 17 2018 @ 11:14 PM EST (#368843) #
In the end, Stroman & Sanchez probably have the highest value as spring approaches and some contender finds themselves short in the starting pitching department after the free agent dance ends. Then a package of 2 damaged goods who can both be #1's when healthy will sell nicely at an inflated price.

Of course, if every contender has a solid rotation then you are screwed short term, until one of them has an injury (the contenders) as is inevitable. The problem is that puts the Jays GM in a situation where he is holding assets that could suddenly lose value with one oops to their arm.
scottt - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 08:09 AM EST (#368844) #
Stroman is widely seen as the best buy low candidate on the market.
Sanchez has basically no value. He's unreliable even when he's healthy and he's rarely healthy.

The front office is not interested in selling low on Stroman.
Maybe somebody will eventually meet their price, but it's probably not going to be anything more than a lottery ticket or 2.

scottt - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 08:27 AM EST (#368845) #
While the first part of the JP Ricciardi was lacking star power (mostly payroll limitations), from 2004 and on, it's the lack of depth that make the team unsuccessful.

The key point was obviously drafting Ricky Romero instead of Tulo he thought he already had a shortstop.
However, when the payroll increased, they went after Burnett, Glaus, Overbay and Molina.
Frank Thomas was too much star power, not enough actual production.
And because that left no money, Royce Clayton played shortstop.
The 2008 Jays had the best ERA in baseball, but the stars were not hitting and everything came crashing down.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 11:37 AM EST (#368846) #
Vlad projected for more WAR in 2019 than Arenado...that's silly
mathesond - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#368847) #
Who knows? Maybe all that work on his defense in the minors will pay off!
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 12:38 PM EST (#368848) #
FWIW, Guerrero Jr. has the highest projected batting average, per Steamer, in MLB at .306.  with Altuve at .302, Betts at .302 and Trout at .300 following. 

To give you a sense of where the projections might come from.  Betts turned 22  in mid-season when he stormed through double A hitting .355 and triple A hitting .335, he got the call to Show and hit .291 in 213 PAs and the same average the following year.  Altuve turned 21 in mid-season when he hit .400 in A ball then .361 in the Texas League before hitting .276 in 234 PAs in the major leagues followed by .290 the following year.  Trout hit .326 in double A while turning 20 in mid-season.  He hit .326 the following year in the major leagues. 

Guerrero Jr. is obviously ahead substantially of all of them as a hitter through his minor league career, and would actually project at considerably higher than .306 if he made the same transition as they did.  Of course, a significant number of minor league greats do not perform as expected in the majors, with injuries often being a key factor.  That's why he projects at .306 rather than .340 or something. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 01:08 PM EST (#368849) #
If Vlad is going to put up those types of numbers then this FO really aught to find a way to either keep him down longer change the team to compete faster. Wasting 2 years of his production is silly.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 01:43 PM EST (#368850) #
It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to keep him down until June to avoid Super Two, but I don't think a delay until end of April 2020 is in the cards.  The CBA expires at the end of Dec 2021, and it's pretty clear that the union will want changes in the way the pre-arb period works. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 05:14 PM EST (#368851) #
RIP Penny Marshall, director of A League of Their Own. 
Chuck - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 05:32 PM EST (#368852) #
Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.
Vulg - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 11:56 PM EST (#368853) #
Angels scoop up Matt Harvey, who I thought might be an interesting half-season investment that might be converted for some mid-range prospects. He looked useful for decent stretches with the Reds and kept a respectable K/BB with them. One year, $11M.

It's going to be really interesting to see where they ultimately land in terms of budget. Two of the more interesting SP names are off the market (Morton, Harvey - that I liked anyway). Hopefully the team doesn't just default to Jaime-levels of dumpster diving when looking at available rental gambles that might be attractive to playoff-bound teams.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, December 18 2018 @ 11:58 PM EST (#368854) #
The front office is not interested in selling low on Stroman.

They certainly don't seem interested in selling high on anyone, even when they know there's a deadline coming up. OTOH, over the last 6 months, the front office has been part of multiple deals that were directly selling low on average to good players. Or trading expiring contracts for nothing.

I'd be more surprised by them signing anyone of note this off-season, compared to effectively "dumping" another half dozen players during the next 6 months: Martin, Stroman, Sanchez, Pillar, Travis, Smoak, Morales. I could easily see them all gone for peanuts.

Shapiro/Atkins have lost me as a fan. Tulo released last week, and there were 11 teams to watch him workout yesterday. They couldn't have waited until spring training to showcase him a bit and arrange a trade where the other side pays a few $MM/year, or we get a lottery ticket? But hey - we've got Brandon Drury - who has had exactly one non-negative-WAR season in MLB, and lifetime is negative on defense. Wonder who will play more games and/or have more value in the next 3 seasons - Drury or Tulo?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 12:31 AM EST (#368855) #
I think the only explanation for everything this FO has been doing is simple: they really believe in their farm system as ready to start contributing to the majors and don't want to delay the development of young players or prospects.

They must think that their near MLB ready prospects are ready and better than their track records indicate...why else would they be clearing useful players like they are at not the highest values?
Glevin - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 02:54 AM EST (#368856) #
" OTOH, over the last 6 months, the front office has been part of multiple deals that were directly selling low on average to good players. Or trading expiring contracts for nothing."

Which players did they sell low on? Donaldson for sure but it's only because he missed the entire year.(although I thought they should have traded him last off-season even though that seemed like selling low at the time). Osuna also but there was no choice there and the value wasn't particularly low. They sold high on Woodman, Leone, and Greene. They got some value out of a bunch of relievers they had no use for. ("lottery tickets" as you say). Steve Pearce got an interesting prospect back (MLB pipeline has Espinal as a prospect ready to take off this year which would be great) which is more than any other 1Bman traded. (Adams, Bourn, Duda, etc...)

And Tulo simply had extreme negative value and was impossible to trade. I have no idea why you are so attached to him. Think of someone like Chris Davis. Would a team give a "lottery ticket" to get Chris Davis? Would they pay a few million a year to have him? No. Would teams go and watch him workout if he was released? Yes. The two are not connected. Drury is probably nothing more than a depth piece but there's a chance he figures something out. He was one of the best hitters in AAA last year and he's still only 26. There is no chance of Tulo having any value for the Jays or bringing back anything in a trade. Drury is exactly the type of player the Jays should be giving a shot to to see if he has another level. Tulo is exactly the type of player that shouldn't be playing for a rebuilding club.
scottt - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 06:23 AM EST (#368857) #
They believe Guerrero, Bichette, Jansen, Gurriel and Biggio are going to produce and they are making room for them.
That's pretty clear.

There are many more prospects in need of establishing themselves. If 2019 is not a good year to audition prospects than when?

The infield looks set. If Rowdy does not pan out immediately, they can easily find a 1B/DH type to back him up.
The outfield is still very tentative. Pillar keeps losing value. Grichuk has only 2 years left.  Are McKinney/Hernandez good enough? What to do with Pompey.

And then you got the pitchers.

I didn't see Harvey as a target. The Angels are trying to contend now, so they don't see him as a sign and trade even though he might end up being one.

Ideally, they sign or trade for someone who will be here in 4 years.
The 2 guys left are mid-rotation lefty Keuchel and Kikuchi.
In both cases it would take an overpay.
As for acquiring a top pitching prospect, they've already made a move with Elvis Luciano.
Now, it's just a matter of getting enough innings out of everybody else.

In 2 years, they'll be in a position to sign a guy like Morton on a 2 year deal.
They already have enough guys to trade away in Stroman, Sanchez, Giles.
No need to sign more of those.

mathesond - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 09:08 AM EST (#368858) #
Neat little interview with Thomas Pannone on Fangraphs.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 09:32 AM EST (#368859) #
"why else would they be clearing useful players like they are at not the highest values?"

a simple(istic) desire to clean house and start fresh.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 09:59 AM EST (#368860) #
" OTOH, over the last 6 months, the front office has been part of multiple deals that were directly selling low on average to good players. Or trading expiring contracts for nothing."

Glevin summed it up nicely but I'm confused on who exactly was an example of selling low aside from Donaldson?

Pearce was traded when he had a 136 wRC+ on the year. He was dealt four games after coming off the DL but he did really well in those four games, and it looks entirely possible that the Jays bought low on Espinal.

Oh had a 1 WAR and 2.68 ERA when he was traded. Happ was arguably the best pitcher on the market when he was dealt, although the return for him was underwhelming. Osuna was a forced trade due to legal issues but the Jays still got back a pretty good return all things considered. They lost value in that deal (Osuna w/o the legal issues was worth more) but it wasn't their fault. Then there was Axford, Loup, and one month of Granderson, which I'm not sure what the beef would be in those cases.

Going back further, they sold high on Leone, bought low on both Diaz and Grichuk, and signed a bunch of middle relievers coming off down years for nothing and 5 months later turned them into four prospects (Wall/Spanberger/Baker/Copping).

No argument that they sold low on Donaldson. Should have traded him prior to the season. However, he got hurt and never got healthy. He was even traded when he was hurt. It was a miscalculation combined with bad luck.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 10:38 AM EST (#368861) #
IMO all FOs never say what their plans are. I could be wrong. To prove that pick the destination of Machardo and Harper. Just get 1 right and I will admit that Bauxite knows his stuff.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 11:09 AM EST (#368862) #
Last off season I fully expected Donaldson to be traded to St Louis. He was not. Only Shapiro spoke the truth.
Chuck - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 11:23 AM EST (#368863) #
To prove that pick the destination of Machardo and Harper.

First off, I would never expect front offices to tell the truth. They don't want to tip their hands to player agents. And their role is largely PR when talking to the fanbase, even if they don't come out and admit it.

We should have a poll on destinations for Machado and Harper.

Machado - Yankees, Harper - Phillies. The White Sox seem to be a wild card in all this, though I have trouble believing that.

bpoz - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 11:34 AM EST (#368864) #
Great point about the Player agents, Chuck.

Shapiro said that we were going for it. To say that and then trade JD is questionable. I never expect a team to say "we will not compete" but the FO said it.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 11:48 AM EST (#368865) #
Machado - Phillies

Harper - Dodgers
bpoz - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 01:37 PM EST (#368866) #
Machado - LAA.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 02:27 PM EST (#368867) #
"Tulo released last week, and there were 11 teams to watch him workout yesterday."

I'd have to agree on the incompetence of our FO, if they were one of the eleven.

FWIW, Tim Lincecum had 15 teams watch his February 2018 workout.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 02:55 PM EST (#368868) #
Nice one hypobole.
lexomatic - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 03:04 PM EST (#368869) #
Or put another way, 11/30 teams thought Tulo was worth checking out at the league minimum salary.

Nigel - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 03:42 PM EST (#368870) #
If your owner is interested in putting a 78-84 win team on the field every year (and provides a commensurate budget to do that) then acquiring near-ready prospects who are fringy candidates for the 25 and 40 man rosters are far more likely to help in accomplishing that goal in the next 2-3 years than A-ball lottery tickets. Players like Drury and Merryweather are unlikely to have a place on a good MLB team but they stand a decent shot of helping a team be "not terrible". And, as said above, there's a small chance they are better than expected.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 03:54 PM EST (#368871) #
I didn't see Harvey as a target. The Angels are trying to contend now, so they don't see him as a sign and trade even though he might end up being one.

Harvey (or people like him) are a target because there are teams like the Angels who believe they are contending now. That constitutes a market. Even better - some of those teams will like the fact that the Jays would have paid for half of his contract by the time the trade deadline rolls around (effectively broadens the market to include teams who are closer to their budget limits). This is a great way to use excess budget space, which one would assume they have after shaving their payroll bill about $100M from last year.

Ideally, they sign or trade for someone who will be here in 4 years.

The 2 guys left are mid-rotation lefty Keuchel and Kikuchi.

In both cases it would take an overpay.

I mean, those are the kinds of deals you chase when you're getting close. I'd be surprised if they made such an investment now, when contention is so far away.

What makes 1 year deals, or the Morton deal, smart gambles is that a) overpays don't really matter when you're not planning to use that space to push a competitive window anyway and b) the terms are short so the risk is low.

The gap between the current money owed to players (~$65M per Spotrac) and what the real budget turns out to be should represent a valuable opportunity to convert short-term assets to futures before that space starts to matter (i.e. when Vladdy and the youngsters are ready to be built around with some veterans).

I don't think anybody expects the Jays to be 11th in Payroll again and spend $150M, but $100M seems reasonble? That would have been 26th in MLB last year, right behind the Reds who were a shade over (Marlins spent in the low 90s).
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#368872) #
The Astros just signed M. Brantley. They have lost Morton and Keuchel to free agency and McCullers to arm surgery. They need a starting pitcher, and top prospect Kyle Tucker plays Brantley's position. He would be a nice target for the Jays to go after, but would be tough to obtain.

There is a major article about the Jays farm system on One annoying quote from the article from Jays' Jeff Ware regarding Travis Bergen - "to see Travis go so quickly after the year he had was disappointing. We just couldn't protect him." Sounds ridiculous to me, there were lots of guys they could have dropped to make room, or just buy out Tulo sooner. Anyway, here's the article:
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 04:51 PM EST (#368875) #
Brian Cashman was planning on starting Drury at 3B in 2018 before he got hurt and then replaced by Andujar. I was not a fan of acquiring him for Happ, but acquiring him in general seems like a pretty good gamble. Next season will be his age 26 season, he has a good minor league track record, and I remember reading he was tweaking with his swing prior to 2018 to get more launch. Where he fits defensively is the question, certainly not at 3B with Vlad there, but 2B seems to be his best position anyway based on UZR/DRS. That is probably where he slides to once Vlad is up.

Earlier in this thread it was mentioned that Shapiro and Atkins don't sell high, which I disagreed with, but if I see any trend at all it's buying low. They acquired Paulino coming off a suspension/missed season over the past two years (top 50 prospect prior to 2017). Grichuk and Diaz coming off down years. Merryweather while he was rehabbing from TJS. Drury after he was demoted. Espinal before he got a chance to move to the upper minors (when results mean more). Wall when not performing well in AA.

They obviously have a lot of faith in their player development to fix some of these players.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 05:37 PM EST (#368876) #
Dan, I obviously agree about Bergen. Given that quote from Ware, it looks bad that the team couldn’t find a way to protect the young left-hander.

No doubt the front office apologists on the site who defended letting Bergen go (relievers are fungible, etc.) will find a way to rationalize away Ware’s comments.
scottt - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 05:52 PM EST (#368877) #
If you remember, back in the JP Riccardi days, he was trying to shore up the rotation and openly declared to want to sign Gil Meche. The Royals overpayed for Meche and he went to KC as the Jays signed whoever was left over rather than pony up the extra 3 or 4M it would have taken.

At the time, the Royals were farther than 2 years away from contention, but signing Meche certainly did nothing to prevent them from building a contender and winning the World Series while the Jays were never, ever able to develop rotation depth. Meche started 64 games in the first 2 years and pitcher over 416 innings. Eventually his arm fell off and he retired at age 31. Regardless, that's what they need right now.

bpoz - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 06:03 PM EST (#368878) #
All Bergen has to do is pitch reasonably well. Will he be better than our 1 or 2 lefties in the pen?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 06:14 PM EST (#368879) #
“No doubt the front office apologists on the site who defended letting Bergen go (relievers are fungible, etc.) will find a way to rationalize away Ware’s comments.”

So Ware’s comments about Bergen, which were pretty generic and could have been said about Romano as well (at least the part quoted) disapprove that minor league relievers are fungible?

Bergen could turn out to be a good big league reliever someday. There is also a greater chance he is never heard from again. That’s the life of minor league relievers. Unless you think he’s going to turn into Andrew Miller, I’m not sure why Bergen is such a hot topic. I guess the Yankees should be blasted for leaving Nestor Cortes unprotected last year and letting the O’s grab him. He was returned but he was clearly a better prospect than Bergen at the time.

It’s pretty common guys. It’s the risk you take with a system that has depth in it.
Michael - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 06:44 PM EST (#368881) #
I'm sorry, articles like which call Tulowitzki the ultimate low risk, high reward free agent and other reports that have 12 teams impressed by the tryout strongly suggests that there was value in Tulo that was left on the table. If you were willing to eat the full salary, something could have been had.

If you are a contending team that could use infield depth and/or help, he is very high upside low cost. Sure there was likely no interest in Tulo at the full salary cost, since while there is some chance Tulo performs at the level of his salary, it is quite unlikely. However, the chance that he performs at a level above major league minimum is quite likely. Moreover, if you are a competing team it is better to have a guy who is good some of the time and hurt some of the time than a guy who is mediocre always as you hope to leverage the stronger team with the player hopefully healthy in the playoffs when it matters most and when you can get the most leverage (and the most rest).
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 07:02 PM EST (#368882) #
which were pretty generic and could have been said about Romano as well

Romano had a 4.53 ERA in the second half last year and allowed 54 hits and 5 HR in 45.2 innings over that stretch (albeit with a good BB:K ratio of 7:42). Bergen, on the other hand, was dominant all year, amassing a 0.95 ERA and 15:74 BB:K in 56.2 innings with 42 H and 2 HR allowed. So no, Ware's comments would not have been equally applicable to Romano.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 19 2018 @ 07:05 PM EST (#368883) #
Also, Ware's comments about Bergen were quite specific regarding his virtues as a pitcher:

"To see Travis go so quickly after the year he had was disappointing. We just couldn't protect him," Ware said. "He showed tremendous poise, his work ethic was phenomenal and he really led by example. He showed great fastball command, had good hop on the ball and really spins his breaking ball well. The guy was a hidden gem for us who really put together a breakout year and it's sad to see him go."
dan gordon - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 01:19 AM EST (#368885) #
Right, Romano's season was pedestrian compared to Bergen's, and Bergen did what he did in basically his first pro season. His number of innings prior to last year was virtually nothing due to injury. How many pitchers dominate AA in their first real pro season. Plus, the point is that Ware is saying they couldn't protect him, when obviously they could have. The comparison isn't Bergen compared to Cortez, the comparison is Bergen compared to Drake, or Smith or Waguespack, or simply releasing Tulo a few weeks earlier. They didn't need to expose Bergen. Sure, he may not be Andrew Miller, but he has a decent shot to be a late inning reliever or a good LOOGY for the next several years. If that chance is 30%, I'd rather take that 30% chance than not. Drake doesn't have a 30% chance of being a late inning reliever for the next several years, and keeping Tulo through the Rule 5 got them zero. It's not like they gave away Vladdy, but they did give away a good prospect that they didn't need to give away. It's not that it's a huge deal, but that it was an unnecessary squandering of resources.
scottt - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 09:01 AM EST (#368888) #
Bergen will certainly be heard from.

The A's lost their 12th prospect to Baltimore. (SS)
The Astros lost their 17th prospect  to the Marlins (RHP) and an outfielder.
The Rangers lost a pitcher drafted in the 12 round in 2014, decent number in middle relief in the PCL.
The Dodgers lost a corner infielder and their 19th prospect, a middle infielder.
The Rays, Cleveland, St-Louis, the Yankees and Colorado all lost a pitcher.

Romano was 28th on the Jays system and Bergen was unranked.
I certainly don't like losing a guy who was just traded for, but then again, we got Luciano.
Wouldn't the Jays have outright just traded Romano and Bergen for Luciano?

Mike Green - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 11:48 AM EST (#368897) #
I have a theory about the value of relievers, which I am in the process of researching.  My theory- WAR doesn't capture the value of relievers well and the length and nature of post-season play has made WAR less accurate in recent years.  Bullpenning is on aspect of it, but even on more conventional uses of relievers, the dynamics of the playoffs are different from the regular season and result regularly in the top 2 or 3 members of the pen getting proportionately more work and often as much work as a 4th or even 3rd starter.  The days off between games 2 and 3, and games 5 and 6, and between series are crucial.  They allow managers to regularly limit lesser starters to (depending on taste) 3-5 innings, with the #5 starter and members of the pen filling in the extra work. 

Further, if a club's end goal is to win as many World Series as possible (flags fly forever!), the playoffs are as demanding, or more demanding than the regular season.  Here's one way to look at it- there are 3 full playoff spots and 2 1/2 playoff spots in each league, for a total of 8 playoff spots among the 30 teams.  A very rough estimate of the chance of making the playoffs (meaning emerging from the Wild Card game) is 1 in 4, whereas the chance of a playoff team winning the World Series is very roughly 1 in 8. 

The result, in my view, is that effective medium leverage relievers are more highly valued at the deadline than comparably effective role players.  As an example, the return for Joe Smith was a lot higher than for Steve Pearce at the deadline, although Pearce is (for regular season purposes) a more valuable player per WAR- although the Blue Jays played Pearce in left field and perhaps reduced his apparent value....I'll have to research that one methodically.

So, what is the dividing line between a fungible reliever (who is not likely to get significant work in the playoffs) and one who is?  As a guideline, if you make a 10% adjustment upwards (i.e. worse) for reliever production and compare it with a 3rd or 4th starter on a contending club, you've got a good indication.  So, if you treat Rick Porcello as that guy in the Red Sox, you've got a guy with a FIP, xFIP and ERA over the last 3 years and career in the 4.1 range.  So, a reliever of roughly equal quality has a FIP, xFIP, ERA combination of about 3.7.  That would be fairly typical of a competitive playoff club of the last few years.  If you look at Joe Smith at the time he was traded, he was certainly better than a 3.7 R/9 IP pitcher and a club can use a pitcher like him to take over from a pitcher like Porcello after 4 or 5 innings (the Red Sox typically pulled Porcello after 5 in the playoffs). 

Anyways, I felt that Bergen had a chance to be one of the top 2-3 pitchers in a pen (he has been getting RHBs out well in the minors), and have significant value beyond that captured by WAR.
Chuck - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 01:46 PM EST (#368907) #
My theory- WAR doesn't capture the value of relievers well

For anyone who has played in a Strat-O-Matic league, devising a model that properly valuates relievers has always been a challenge, most notably the top shelf relievers. Invariably, a leverage index needs to get introduced, since their playing time is typically limited to high leverage situations. And their post-season usage rate is higher than their regular season usage rate. I was never entirely satisfied with what I concocted, but I felt it was at least closer to the "truth" than regular models provided (WAR, Linear Weights, what have you).

I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

Michael - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 02:05 PM EST (#368910) #
A similar thing is obviously true with 5th starters too. They clearly have a lot of value to teams in the regular season, especially with the odds of injury to SP over the year. But in the playoffs the 5th starter has very little value as with all the off days and the typical 3.5 man rotation that gets used, the 5th starter is likely to just be the long reliever there for garbage time or some super-long 15+ inning game or health backup.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 02:30 PM EST (#368912) #
That's true, Michael.  I am pretty sure that the return at the deadline of a 2 WAR 5th starter is lower than the return at the deadline of a 0.8 WAR reliever, for the reasons you have mentioned.

It looks like my reliever piece won't be ready for quite a while, Chuck.  I'm aiming to have it done before pitchers and catchers report.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 04:32 PM EST (#368915) #
I think relievers are more valuable on teams that fall on the higher end of the win curve. Contending teams value RP's for that reason. For rebuilding teams, specifically as it relates to the 40 man roster, relievers tend to be interchangeable, especially in the minors. Last year Carlos Ramirez dominated the minors, was added to the 40 man, but then gone in an instant the following season. Relievers have massive volatility in performance (even the really good ones).

As far as Bergen versus the others kept on the 40-man, the FO was pretty consistent in that they kept the SP prospects (Diaz, Murphy, Merryweather, Waguespack, etc). They didn't protect Copping or McClelland or any other strict relief prospect. It is easy to convert a failed SP into a reliever. Without looking it up I'd imagine most of the great relievers today were starters in the minors and then ended up relievers for whatever reason. There will be exceptions, but the probability is not high enough to where I'd run to protect every minor league reliever who has a great season.

And again, it goes back to how many prospects can you have on the 40 man? You need to build a 25 man roster as well. Drake is easy to remove off the 40. I suspect he will be one of the first ones taken off when they add a free agent. That's the point. You can't put prospects on the 40 without wanting them there long-term because then you run into potential Sam Dyson situations. If the Jays sign 3-4 free agents this year, then they need 3-4 spots to be there. That means having spots open, having disposable players who might pass through waivers (Drake), or taking a chance by leaving someone on the borderline unprotected. The Jays chose the latter. We will see if they made the right choice.

My point is not that Bergen won't be good. He might or might not. My point is, it's not really a big deal either way. He might even return to the Jays at some point, which wouldn't have been possible if he was added and then taken off later.
bpoz - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 07:06 PM EST (#368922) #
Perfectly said SK.
John Northey - Thursday, December 20 2018 @ 10:59 PM EST (#368928) #
SK in NJ you are pretty accurate on that starter to reliever thing.

Lets check the HOF...
Lee Smith: mostly a starter until last year in minors
Trevor Hoffman: 89 games before reaching, 11 starts, looks like he did so well at first they decided to see if he could start, couldn't, then back to the pen for life.
John Smoltz: mostly a starter at all levels other than a few years as a 50 save guy
Rich Gossage: 54 games in minors, 43 starts, even a year with 29 starts in the majors.
Bruce Sutter: only 2 games started in minors so a true reliever from day one pretty much.
Dennis Eckersley: All-Star starter in majors, then superstar reliever
Rollie Fingers: had 35 starts his first 3+ seasons in majors
Hoyt Wilhelm: used as as starter for a full year in majors and led league with a 2.19 ERA Over 200 IP 3 of his 4 years in minors 180 in the other year.

Soon to be HOFer
Mariano Rivera: almost entirely starting in minors, 10 starts vs 9 relief games first season in majors, his only year with an ERA+ below 144 (just an 84).

Clearly the very best of the best in relief were failed starters with only 1 total exception in Bruce Sutter and another pretty much pure reliever in Hoffman. 2 all-star starters who were made into relievers due to injuries iirc in Smoltz and Eckersley were dominate as closers.

Thus why I don't worry about the pen much. Here in Toronto Henke was a starter his first minor league season then quickly was a reliever, Duane Ward was tried as a starter for 4 years in the minors and was bombed in his one start as a Jay, Osuna was a starter but had no endurance (27 starts, barely over 100 IP), Billy Koch was drafted as a closer, Casey Janssen was a failed starter and that covers all the 75+ save guys here. Just one pure reliever there.

If a guy is in the pen early on odds are there were major issues. Perhaps just a one pitch guy or zero endurance. Thus why I'll never worry too much about losing one, as there is always a failed starter who has a good arm waiting for a shot.
Mike Green - Friday, December 21 2018 @ 08:54 AM EST (#368931) #
Here is a list of the 15 WAR career relievers since 1980 who were used almost exclusively as relievers in the minors:
Percival, Tekulve, Orosco, Henke, Quisenberry, Montgomery, Kimbrel, O'Day, David Robertson, Steve Reed

It's hard to amass 15 WAR as a reliever; there have been 50 such players during that time span (but some of them spent considerable time as a starter in the majors like Aguilera and Righetti).  It is true that most career relievers are used as starters in the minor leagues- it is easier to give players sufficient work for development purposes as a starter.  In the particular case of Travis Bergen, there are some mitigating issues.  Bergen was a starter in college (through age 21), and then was injured.  Last year was his first with any significant workload and he was 24.  He's not really that much different than a high school draft who spends a couple of years in the low minors as a starter and then is converted to the pen.

I think that the starter/reliever thing is overplayed.  He's got the stuff to get out LHHs and RHHs, but his numbers in double A were not as good as his 0.50 ERA would suggest. The real issue, in my view, is durability, and like many, many pitchers (including Rivera), he's better off in the pen for that reason. 
John Northey - Saturday, December 22 2018 @ 12:58 AM EST (#368957) #
Always love to see Orosco - he threw a no-hitter playing in Cambridge where I grew up in the Inter-County League. Sadly I didn't go to the local games.

I think the 15 WAR mark being reached just 50 times by relievers says a lot about their value or lack thereof. In his 2 years here as a starter Roger Clemens had 20.1 WAR - just 2 years and nearly as much as many HOF relievers had in their career (many are in the 20's). In fact in just those 2 years he had more WAR than Tom Henke (16.9) despite the fact Henke was so key to the Jays from 1985-1992. Mark Eichhorn is at 11.5, Paul Quantrill 11.2 (first year here was mainly starting but he sucked at it and was at 0.6 WAR that year), Ward is at 10.6 and that is it for 10+ relievers in Jays history. Safe to bet that Eichhorn's 1986 season is the best for a Jays reliever with a 7.3 WAR in 157 IP in relief (annoyed that dumb Jimy Williams didn't push Eich that last week to get him 162 so he'd get the ERA title as a pure reliever). Ward cracked 3 twice, Henke had 3+ 3 times here peaking at 3.4, Quantrill peaked at 3.2. FYI: Osuna only cracked 2 once here barely with a 2.1.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, December 22 2018 @ 08:09 AM EST (#368958) #
In this case don't stats, in this case WAR, lie a little ? While closers usually participate in less than 10% of a game, psychologically that part of the game seems most important. When Mariano was in his prime and brought in for the ninth, his teammates and the Yankee fans pretty much knew the game was over. While Mariano did nothing to contribute to the 24 outs previous, it was those last 3 outs that seemed the hardest to get.
I know if my team was ahead by one in the ninth and the other teams big, bad hitters were up, I wouldn't consider my elite closer as lacking value. I'd consider him one of the most important members of the team.
bpoz - Saturday, December 22 2018 @ 09:15 AM EST (#368959) #
Absolutely correct ISTAND BOY. Joey McLaughlin and the rest of the pen.!!!!
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