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Yesterday, the Blue Jays announced the signing of Matt Shoemaker on a one-year contract for $3.5 million, plus incentives. Shoemaker is controllable through 2020, if the Blue Jays wish to retain him. It appears as if he will fit into the fourth spot in the rotation behind Stroman, Sanchez and Borucki, which currently leaves Reid-Foley and Pannone as the leading contenders for the fifth spot.

Although he has suffered from injuries for most of the past two years, in 2016, he made 27 starts and struck out 8.0 batters per 9 innings over 160 innings. He posted a 3.88 ERA and 3.5 WAR.

For a team clearly not making a genuine attempt to contend in 2019, I think itís a good addition at a reasonable price. If Shoemaker is hurt or performs poorly, there is no long-term salary commitment and, if he does well, the Jays can try to flip him or retain him for 2020.

Blue Jays Sign Matt Shoemaker (AKA You Guys Need a New Thread, Part II) | 304 comments | Create New Account
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greenfrog - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 10:29 AM EST (#369115) #
With every move the front office makes, their strategy becomes more apparent: build as much farm system depth as possible; do not relinquish prospect talent unless it is likely superfluous or marginal; acquire a range of inexpensive free agent or waiver wire talent that could turn into assets over time; use advanced coaching and development to get the most out of the talent that is in the system. Then wait for a contender to emerge (and use lots of platitudes to buy time with fans while this happens).

What we donít know yet is how aggressive the team will be in augmenting the team with free agents or through trades once it appears that the core of a good team is in place.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 11:00 AM EST (#369116) #
Acquiring near-MLB/MLB-ready prospects in trades can save two-five years of development. The better the Player traded the better the return. A successful Matt Shoemaker could bring back the #1 young Stud with six years of control.
bpoz - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 11:31 AM EST (#369117) #
I think we need a good CF.
uglyone - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 11:37 AM EST (#369118) #
Argument #1: we couldn't sign players to bigger contracts expiring around 2021 because we needed the payroll.

Reality: we will not use that extra payroll space in the intervening years.


Argument #2: we couldn't sign players to bigger contracts because we need roster flexibility and room to play the kids.

Reality: we will sign a bunch of Matt Shoemakers.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 12:11 PM EST (#369119) #
Itís annoying, but Rogers will likely never spend enough (say, within 10-15% of the luxury tax threshold) for the team to be consistently competitive in the AL East. With the limited payroll available to the front office, the goal should be to extend the competitive windows and limit the subpar stretches as much as possible. This might result in only two or three postseason appearances per decade, but that is still a lot better than once or so every decade.

Once you accept the reality of the probable payroll ceilings in each of the next (say) ten years, then throwing money at someone like Fowler two off-seasons ago or Cain last off-season or Eovaldi this off-season doesnít really make much sense, as the prime years of those players wouldnít help the team make the postseason; they would just help entrench it in the dreaded 77-84 win range. And then the team would end up having to try to unload the last year or two of the contract on someone for a minimal return.

Rogers sets the financial parameters. The front office has to work within them. Those rules provide some, but not much, scope for using mid- to high-end free agents as a means of building a competitive team.

This is not to justify or be an apologist for the approach ownership has adopted. Itís just facing reality.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#369120) #
Can we start referencing sources or facts when throwing around 'realties' and one line summaries of the definite limits and budgets of ownership according to nothing more than outsider opinion? Especially when it pertains to the future which...how can you use facts or sources to define the future budgets or goals of an organization or business?
greenfrog - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 12:43 PM EST (#369121) #
Hereís a suggestion, dalimon5. Look at the teamís payroll each year from 2003 to 2019, and determine how much of the luxury tax threshold payroll the team has used, on average, for its annual payroll. That should provide a rough (if imperfect) starting point for how much you can expect payroll to be each year in 2020 and beyond.

Whatís past is prologue.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 01:06 PM EST (#369122) #
Also, after two postseason appearances in 25 years, shouldnít the onus be on Rogers to explain why its spending on the team is at an appropriate level?
scottt - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 02:32 PM EST (#369123) #
There's no such thing as a bad 1 year contract. They are not trying to replace the Tulo and Martin contracts. There's no commitment to go after a specific guy in 1, 2 or 3 years. Sometimes this front office moves fast. Other times they wait to see what falls to them.

I don't know that a bunch of Matt Shoemakers is what's wanted. Everybody that makes the 25 roster pushes somebody else off the 40.

In the meanwhile, Pompey is still out of options and the Jays still have 4 catchers on the 40 roster.
I'm expecting they'll address those 2 things and sign a bunch of pitchers on minor league contracts.

Chuck - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 04:20 PM EST (#369124) #
A successful Matt Shoemaker could bring back the #1 young Stud with six years of control.

In what universe?

greenfrog - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 04:40 PM EST (#369126) #
Itís unfortunate that Shoemaker and Shoeless Joe never played on the same team. It might have led to some unanticipated synergies in the teamís equipment budget.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 05:03 PM EST (#369127) #
Shoemaker goes 10-3, 6.07 IP per Start, 9.0 K/9, 4.8 K/BB. Heís worth a lot. Cheap with another year of control makes extra value. Whatís his price?
bpoz - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 05:10 PM EST (#369128) #
Is Oakland a favorite to contend? They surprised me last year.
bpoz - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 05:29 PM EST (#369129) #
If Borucki goes 10-3 etc next year by the trade deadline. He is a stud. We keep him.
Beuhrle did 11-1 one year with the Jays.
dalimon5 - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 06:58 PM EST (#369130) #
Projections for next year have Borucki regressing at 4.88 ERA and 0.9 WAR over a full season. He put up 1.87 WAR last year in roughly half a season (17 starts) so definitely a regression according to the experts.
Nigel - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 08:40 PM EST (#369131) #
Long ago I accepted that Rogers was going to operate the Jays as a mid market team rather than the large market team they actually are. I wish it were different but I accept that it is the right of Rogers to do so as the owners. Large market teams can afford to ignore the success curve, mid and small market teams cannot. I just wish Rogers/management would operate more in line with their place on the success curve rather than what would produce a 78-84 win team. There is nothing wrong with the Shoemaker signing. Itís exactly what you would do if you were trying to be ďnot awfulĒ in 2019.
scottt - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 09:12 PM EST (#369132) #
Oakland lost Lucroy, Lowrie and Matt Joyce. They picked up Profar so far.
Nick Martini in left field and Josh Phegley behind the plate?  They need to a couple of move here to hold.

Gossett and Manaea will likely miss all of 2019. Thriggs and Cotton are unlikely to be ready for opening day. The current projected rotation is Mike Fiers, Daniel Mengden, Franky Montas, Chris Bassits and Aaron Brooks.

So, no. I don't think they're the favorite to compete. The Astros should win the division easily. The Mariners are probably somewhere between 75 and 80 wins. I'd guess the A's around 82 wins and the Angels a bit over that.

For the wild cards, what matters the most is what the Tigers and the White Sox do. The Royals will be very bad. The Yankees/Red Sox should pick up a wild card and the other might come to the Rays or the Twins.  Baltimore will also be very bad and what the Jays do against the Rays might come a long way in deciding the other wild card.


ayjackson - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 09:47 PM EST (#369133) #
We were a top 10 (7-8th) payroll team last year. Shapiro indicated before Christmas that it was a comfortable level for Rogers. I don't consider that mid-market...maybe upper-mid. I'm very happy there. We have professional ownership that doesn't meddle and there is something to be said for that.
SK in NJ - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 09:50 PM EST (#369134) #
The Jays will practically have no payroll commitments after 2020 aside from arbitration for Brandon Drury if he is still on the team by then, and Gurriel's small contract. If the FO wants to build the team from within, then there is a strong chance that all of Vlad, Bo, Jansen, Alford, Gurriel, Biggio, McKinney, Hernandez, and maybe Tellez will be on the team, and all will be in the 0-3 years of service time bracket. A lot can change with prospects (performance, health, trades, etc), but this FO seems pretty adamant about building from within. I would imagine most of the future trades will involve restocking the pitching side of the system, and the Jays should have a bunch of trade bait for that in the next year and a half with Stroman, Sanchez, Giles, etc.

In other words, even with a mid-tier payroll over the next few years, it should not prevent them from spending when the time is right. The key is whether they can develop enough of their existing prospect base within the next year or two (the names mentioned above) to build a core good enough to contend. My guess is some of those names will have to be replaced by others (internally or externally), but it's a start.
lexomatic - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 10:24 PM EST (#369135) #
Dalimon the fangraphs projection is for less than a full season for Borucki. Also his xfip was for 4.62 last 7ear so that wouldn't be the biggest regression. That said, he seemed really good at times, and also has the stat profile of someone who could outperform their fip ( bit last year his was right on). I could see any range of outcomes from a slight improvement to what he's projected for (in more time) as being realistic outcomes. I do have an unsubstantiated gut feeling that he'll be okay, though.
bpoz - Saturday, December 29 2018 @ 10:43 PM EST (#369136) #
I have always treated baseball as a passion. So number crunching does not work for me. It has its good and bad.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 07:23 AM EST (#369137) #
My reaction to the Shoemaker deal- "meh". It is likely that it will be insignificant- that Shoemaker will pitch a number of innings in 2019 but be non-tendered after the year- and really you'd be better off spending $3 million of that $3.5 million somewhere else.  The acid test though is what happens if things go right- Shoemaker is decent from the get-go and throws 180 innings with an ERA and xFIP around 4 (with batted ball data consistent with this). He will have modest trade value because of his injury history, service time and his age.  If the club trades him for the 2019 version of Julian Merryweather, then I don't see the point.  But if the plan is  to him as part of an effort to compete in 2020 in the event he performs in 2019, then I guess that the deal is OK. 

Personally, I'd run my 2019 rotation as Stroman, Borucki, Shoemaker/Sanchez, SRF and Pannone, hoping to get 120-140 good innings out of Shoemaker and Sanchez each.  They could split the time in the rotation between Shoemaker and Sanchez over the year.  I think that SRF and Pannone have had enough high minors development, and I want to see them work things out in the major leagues.  There's no better year to do that than 2019 because the team does not expect to compete and has said so, which takes the pressure right off.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 07:35 AM EST (#369138) #
I was looking around statcast information as I usually do on a Sunday morning and I noticed that Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini are ranked #9 and #10 for their average spin rate on their curveballs. I am not surprised by Sanchez, but I am quite surprised by Biagini, as I knew he had an ok curveball but I didn't know it could be such an elite pitch for him. The only other Jays I seen listed in the top 170 was Marco Estrada at 60. it seems to be a stat that the Astros really covet, and is a part of how they built such a great pitching staff.

Therefore I am just wondering are the Jays as a whole ignoring the curveball too much? Does this mean Joe Biagini might actually turn things around and get back to 2016 production at some point?

greenfrog - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 08:04 AM EST (#369139) #
I find it hard to evaluate individual moves like the Shoemaker acquisition without knowing the teamís payroll for the next few years. Moves that might
make sense for a $140m payroll team would not necessarily make sense for a $190m payroll team.
Glevin - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 08:06 AM EST (#369140) #
My guess is that the Jays sign another veterans starter at some point. Too many question marks although Waguespack, Paulino, Perez, Gaviglio, and Thornton are all candidates to start as well.
scottt - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 08:58 AM EST (#369141) #
Right now the rotation projects as Stroman, Shoemaker, Sanchez, Borucki and a slot open for competition.
If they sign another starter, which is possible, Borucki will have to compete for the 5th starter.

dalimon5 - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 10:49 AM EST (#369142) #
Borucki IMHO has the ceiling of Buerhle and floor of Josh Towers. He's definitely no Happ (who took 10 years to figure it out). Because he is a lefty he instantly becomes closer to the ceiling projection. I just don't see him surviving 6 months in the AL East against those strong teams that crush LHP (as a 1/2/3 starter I should say).

SRF and Pannone have better shots to me. SRF reminds me of McGowan without the injuries, he just needs to keep it in the strike zone he's that good.

Pannone I figure has the upside of Jamie Moyer at 40 years. I saw magic from him and shooting blanks. But he is very deceptive.

I guess my issue with Borucki is he is one of those pitchers that needs to live on the corners to be good and that's so hard to do against patient line ups if you don't have the power pitches. That is great for 4/5 starter but he's getting viewed by some as a 2/3 starter. To me a 4/5 starter by quality doesn't become a 2/3 starter on a lesser team...the numbers are grades more than slots in this example. I.e. Kluber to Red Sox he'd still be a #1 starter not 2/3 after Price/Sale.

I think the front office knows this and that's why they are taking chances for guys like Merryweather (power), Paulino (high strikeout/power) and Trent Thornton (don't know much)...guys with potential to miraculously put it together and pitch via power like Eovaldi or be utilized in the bullpen.
bpoz - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#369143) #
Very nice post dalimon5 on Borucki. You mentioned possibilities not conclusions, which is great. No criticism.

I just looked at a simple fact. Comparing age on draft day. SRF is the oldest, Borucki middle and Kloffenstein youngest. Kloffenstein is 9.5 months younger than J Groshans. So age is a factor. Injuries too. J Maese.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#369144) #
I thought at the time of the trade that it was mentioned that Trent Thornton had a high spin rate on his pitches.
I also believe that Ryan Borucki will succeed simply because of intangibles like mental toughness and a strong compete level that he has. For those who scoff at that, we'll know more by the end of next season.
bpoz - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 12:09 PM EST (#369145) #
Agreed ISLAND BOY.

I hope Maese recovers well.

Zeuch was a University pick. Got injured. Fantastic 2018. Incredible playoffs. 168 IP 2018 includes playoffs.
lexomatic - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 12:16 PM EST (#369146) #
Borucki IMHO has the ceiling of Buerhle and floor of Josh Towers. He's definitely no Happ (who took 10 years to figure it out). Because he is a lefty he instantly becomes closer to the ceiling projection. I just don't see him surviving 6 months in the AL East against those strong teams that crush LHP (as a 1/2/3 starter I should say).

SRF and Pannone have better shots to me. SRF reminds me of McGowan without the injuries, he just needs to keep it in the strike zone he's that good.

Pannone I figure has the upside of Jamie Moyer at 40 years. I saw magic from him and shooting blanks. But he is very deceptive.

I guess my issue with Borucki is he is one of those pitchers that needs to live on the corners to be good and that's so hard to do against patient line ups if you don't have the power pitches. That is great for 4/5 starter but he's getting viewed by some as a 2/3 starter. To me a 4/5 starter by quality doesn't become a 2/3 starter on a lesser team...the numbers are grades more than slots in this example. I.e. Kluber to Red Sox he'd still be a #1 starter not 2/3 after Price/Sale.


I feel like we saw totally different things. I saw more games on TV this year, but that's still not many, and I saw Borucki once. That said, I took a quick look at his bref game log.
What was interesting (and encouraging) was that for the most part he was strong at the beginning and end. That would suggest an adjustment.

His 3 GS vs TBR in September happened when they were the best offensive team in the AL (Fangraphs last 30 days)
He had 1 bad and 1 great start in Baltimore when they were a horrifically bad team.
He had 1 good start at home vs NYY and 1 disaster start IN NYYHe had 1 good start and 1 bad start in BOS  and 1 bad but good enough to win GS at home vs BOS
His Swinging strike % would be about 50 for 100IP league average is 10.7% including relievers. I can't find average called strike %Anyway, that suggests he's perfectly capable of being a mid rotation starter. The inconsistency is certainly understandable from a rookie pitcher. The question is if 9how much) he regresses and how much he's able to adjust. He's definitely shown more at all levels than Pannone.I
bpoz - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 01:06 PM EST (#369147) #
C Kluber #1. Sounds fine. No criticism. Drafted SD, 4th round. University pick. No real injuries. 5 200+IP seasons in a row. Stud SP.

ML career in AL Central not AL East. Minors career good/decent. Burned 2 options 2011 & 2012, no injuries just not ML ready.

So Cleveland traded in 2010 for a stud who became a #1 pitcher. So maybe do can also do that.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 01:29 PM EST (#369148) #
Dalimon5 crazy predictions for 2019:

- If I'm Arte Moreno I go after Bryce Harper. Trout/Harper/Ohtani would be the show that the Angels need to outshine the Dodgers.

- "Sale Price" suffers injuries for Red Sox and but Eovaldi, Demers and Mookie pull through
- Pollock (better player than Harper) to Dodgers or Phillies
- Machado to NYY
- Tulowitzki to Giants or Red Sox
- Kikuchi to one of the above teams by Jan 3rd with Toronto being a legitimate dark horse
- Ottavino will be the best pick up of the season along with Lemahieu who will stabilize defence of a team
- Best Blue Jays prospect is a pitcher nobody is talking about named Nate Pearson who will get more hype than Vlad did by season's end
- Cubs hit a wall and Joe Maddon is fired by season's end
- Rockies sell off before the deadline and Arenado is exposed as defence first player
- Matt Chapman finishes better than Mike Trout
- Mookie Betts gets better

* Borucki talk was just my opinion that he would need the intangibles and to work really hard to be a 4/5 starter
lexomatic - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 02:02 PM EST (#369149) #
Best Blue Jays prospect is a pitcher nobody is talking about named Nate Pearson who will get more hype than Vlad did by season's end
This sounds especially crazy. Vlad hype is HUGE. Yes Pearson will get a ton of hype if he can have a healthy season and perform like he has, but  it would have to be an insane season to outdo Vlad. Like 150 IP of 0.50 ERA 14K/9 with at least a majority in AA doesn't seem enough to reach Vlad hype. 
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 02:42 PM EST (#369150) #
Lexo it would be even crazier for me to dispute you. I have lots of friends in the US and they have more interest this year in the Jays than ever before because of Vlad. I think he will "struggle" to reach his potential in a rookie year such as Soto and AcuŮa did. Who will be hitting in front of Vlad and protect him? What happens when facing a lefty? Teoscar Hernandez is the protection for Vlad? Grichuk?

I think Pearson will have a break out season the likes of which haven't been seen since Stephen Strasburg. He will be pitching and dominating with a 97-100MPH fastball as a starter which will spiral into the next big story. I'm no expert but the last guys to do that were Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, Justin Verlander, Strasburg and ...Nate Eovaldi?
PeterG - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 04:34 PM EST (#369151) #
Per sources, #BlueJays are close to acquiring lefty Clayton Richard from the Padres

Padres designated him last week. 35-year-old started 27 games for San Diego in 2018, posting a 5.33 ERA. Heíll earn $3 million next year.
lexomatic - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 04:40 PM EST (#369152) #
http://m.mlb.com/statcast/leaderboard#avg-pitch-velo There's a lot of "Who?" on that list and this one http://m.mlb.com/statcast/leaderboard#pitch-velo
What is interesting is that 2015 and 2018 were diverse, but 2016/17 was almost all Aroldis Chapman. He owned the fastest pitch list those years and averaged over 100 mph on statscast tracked pitches. That's insane.
PeterG - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:00 PM EST (#369153) #
Canadian OF Connor Panas, who helped double-A New Hampshire win Eastern League title, headed to #Padres, per sources.
Gerry - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:02 PM EST (#369154) #
Richard will make $3M in 2019.
Glevin - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:17 PM EST (#369155) #
Panas is a non prospect. Nothing given up but unlikely Richard is anything more than a depth piece, he had xFIPS of 3,74 and 4,24 last two years so maybe he pitches ok. You can never have too many pitchers.
PeterG - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:25 PM EST (#369156) #
Agree that Panas basically a non prospect.....would have been hard pressed to crack top 50.
hypobole - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:33 PM EST (#369157) #
Oliver Drake DFA'd
SK in NJ - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:41 PM EST (#369158) #
Richard is definitely a depth piece. Maybe a slightly better than replacement level starter who will likely do a lot worse in the AL East. Panas is not a prospect and Drake was going to get DFA'd the moment a spot needed to open up anyway, so nothing of any real value was lost here.

This team is clearly not prioritizing wins in 2019 so at this point depth moves to bide time for prospects coming up is going to be the norm.
christaylor - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 05:51 PM EST (#369159) #
Greenfrog - I understand/resonate what you are saying but each of those 25 years was not created equally. The "business model" for want of a better term was different under JP. AA knew that the team would need to be fallow and when he sensed (incorrectly) his first opportunity, the money was there to acquire big dollar contracts. His second shot he chose more wisely -- the roster construction of the 2015 team was not sustainable. JB and EE had odd career arcs. JD was a gift. The 2016 team was blessed with tremendous SP health.

I guess, in short, I get the sentiment, but a number that this the % of the tax or even a % of what the Yankees/Sox spent over the last 25 years is not a very informative number. This is to totally avoid the issue of whether the Jays could, even if they wanted to, throw money at FA to substantially augment the team. The players are human and many of them are humans from the USA and playing in a foreign country is a barrier to overcome when they have the leverage to select where they are to play.
bpoz - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 06:01 PM EST (#369160) #
Very well said christaylor.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 06:50 PM EST (#369161) #
Unless the Jays get lucky, the Rotation is set. Now two Relievers are next.
grjas - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 07:14 PM EST (#369162) #
JB and EE had odd career arcs. JD was a gift.

Or put another way, it was unbelievably lucky that the Jays had two journeyman players convert to superstars at the same time. And yes, without downplaying AAís efforts, JD was. A gift. So the superstar third of the lineup was incredibly flukey.

On the other hand AA deserved some luck as his first big trade, which many pundits said would hand them a WS berth, resulted in everything going wrong at the wrong time.

So luck evened out I guess for AA.

Meanwhile, the Current FO has seen EE misread the market, JB fall off a cliff, and injuries hitting JD, Stroman, and Sanchez all at the same time. Say what you want about their moves- or non-moves - but thatís a pretty good string of crappy luck.
Vulg - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 07:57 PM EST (#369163) #
Unless the Jays get lucky, the Rotation is set. Now two Relievers are next.

I can't imagine Richard is going to start, or at least in the traditional sense. He would get demolished in the AL East if given significant innings.

His splits remain decent, however, and he did come out of the bullpen in '15 and '16. It'll be interesting to see how they use him, but I doubt their search for starters is over.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 08:03 PM EST (#369164) #
Last year the Marlins threw some unprepared youngsters like Lewis Brinson & Magneuris Sierra into the fire with disastrous results - I wonder if those kids will recover - if Shoemaker & Richards can stay healthy and absorb innings (and a beating) even for 1/2 a season, allowing some more seasoning for the inexperienced pitchers, then they would have provided a valuable service.
Thomas - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 08:29 PM EST (#369165) #
Richard will make $3M in 2019.

Apparently Toronto is only on the hook for half of that.

scottt - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 08:49 PM EST (#369166) #
Richard had thrown more innings over the last 2 years than anybody on the Jays staff except Stroman.
He'll start some games.

What we won't see is someone like SRF earning a job in the spring and pitching 200 innings.


John Northey - Sunday, December 30 2018 @ 11:34 PM EST (#369167) #
So 2 new pitchers at a cost of a non-prospect and about $5 million total (plus up to $1 mil in incentives). Not bad. Not exciting but not bad.

Shoemaker: bWAR from 0.1 (last year) to 2.4 (2+ twice, last time in 2016).
Richard: bWAR from -1.6 to 1.1, -1.2 last year so he could be a disaster but at $1.5 mil isn't exactly a big risk.

I see the 2 as low risk, low reward types, with Shoemaker having a higher potential. Neither will win a Cy Young award, but both could be decent #3/4 starters if all goes right. Both could be half decent relievers too. At this price they both land under 'why not'.
dan gordon - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 12:50 AM EST (#369168) #
Richard has played most of his career in San Diego, which is, of course a tremendous pitchers' park, so his overall numbers are highly misleading. So, to get the true picture, his career road stats include an ERA of 5.25, WHIP of 1.542, only 5.2 K's per 9 IP, opponents' BA of .300 (yes, .300, including pitchers) and opponents' OPS of .836. He's 35 years old, and those career numbers are actually good compared to what he "accomplished" last year on the road, producing an ERA of 6.67. I expect that he is going to get destroyed pitching for the Jays in 2019. If you thought Jaime Garcia was bad - wait til you see Richard. What a ridiculous pickup.
Mike D - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 12:55 AM EST (#369169) #
We need to drop the narrative about players not wanting to come to a scary foreign country. This is the 43rd season of the franchise and any player to have spent time in the AL will be perfectly familiar with Toronto. By all available evidence, the primary driver of decisions from the relatively few free agents pursued by the Jays has been the fact that another club has offered considerably more money. Fowler looks like he would have been a mistake, so it worked out fine, but the Jays were very badly outbid. Usually, they don't even bid.

The chapter on the courtship of Jon Lester is really interesting in Passan's The Arm. He seriously entertained the Jays bid, but the Jays wouldn't budge on the Beeston five year rule and were outbid. None of this is to say that the Jays can FA their way to glory without homegrown talent, but there is just zero evidence that the Canadian mailing address of the Rogers Centre has thwarted bona fide free agent recruitment. If a Jays offer were irrelevant to free agents regardless of money and term, Boras wouldn't be whining about the Jays permanently sitting out big ticket free agency.

There might have been the very rare case (late career Carlos Beltran) where the bids were similar but turf was a factor. But Rogers is too cheap (or, more precisely, risk-averse re cost overruns) to do anything about that, either.
uglyone - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 03:19 AM EST (#369170) #
They're just spiting us now.
christaylor - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 07:46 AM EST (#369171) #
Hm. How about this -- consider the number of players who include the Jays in their no-trade clauses.

OK, if you're not going to take that one, consider the complexity of the tax code. Why do we need to drop the narrative because Fowler was offered more money? I'm not talking about the last few years, I'm talking about the entirety of my experience as a Jays fan, that is all my life. On average, Toronto is a harder sell to most FA players. It is a difficult sell for a trade. It just is. That's the climate.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 08:09 AM EST (#369172) #
Toronto is a more difficult place to play and to attract free agents compared to:

NYY
BOS
LAA
LAD
STL
FLA
CHC

Toronto is also a much more desirable place to play than:

The other 24 teams in the league. Players love Toronto - the food the people and the city. They absolutely love it. If you ask players they will always tell you it's a highlight stop on the schedules.

Nobody would really consider TOR if they could play for one of the Top 6 organizations which all have equivalent cities or better along with better management/financial support unless TOR overpaid like they did for Russell Martinn AJ, BJ Ryan etc...

The tax issue isn't what it once was. It's 2018 and players have different motivations. When you're making so much money I don't think an extra 15% is a big deciding factor...city, weather and playing time are more important as well as if the team is a winner. How many players want to play for TB or FLA right now? Ask Evan Longoria how he enjoyed his last 5 years at TB.

Having Toronto on your no trade list is a thing of the past it rarely happens these days. Zach Greinke has BOS and NYY on his no trade list...a lot of times the NTL is used as a way to leverage more money out of a trade for the player. Some players who grew up in the league when Toronto was a bum team losing every year and with discussion of contraction decided to have TO added to NTC but those days are done.

I think players love Toronto and will come here in a heartbeat but not so much that they will come for a discount, which can be said for any team in baseball. A player always puts himself first. Conclusion: I call BS on the "Americans/Latinos/Dominicans etc all don't want to play in TO" narrative.
Mike D - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 09:25 AM EST (#369173) #
Koji Uehara and Ian Kinsler are the only players I know to have semi-recently blocked trades to Toronto, both before the 2015 resurgence. As dalimon says, NTCs are usually treated as suggestions rather than restrictions until they are exercised.
bpoz - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 10:00 AM EST (#369174) #
As John N said the Shoemaker signing and Richard trade cost very little.

I don't believe we fleeced SD. I am quite sure that they don't feel that way also.

There is a difference between a trade and a transaction. In the case of A Diaz from St Louis was more a transaction to clear roster space for themselves. They had enough IFs play for them in 2018. They were not lacking in regulars or depth. Woodman did lot last long. If his arm is good enough he should try pitching.
From Houston T Thornton was added to our 40 man roster. Diaz is an excellent depth piece for them.
hypobole - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 10:48 AM EST (#369175) #
"Having Toronto on your no trade list is a thing of the past it rarely happens these days."

NTC's are rarely made public, so there is no factual basis behind this statement.
scottt - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 11:11 AM EST (#369176) #
Jay Bruce did not want to come to Toronto. Outfielders are not crazy about the turf.
Pitchers are usually more open to come to Toronto, but right now Boston and NYY are not teams pitchers want to face several times each.
scottt - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 11:17 AM EST (#369177) #
The Padres designated Richard for assignment, so the Blue Jays would have been the best offer they got, sort of just releasing him.

Richard is 6th in Padres franchise history for starts, 8th in wins, 8th in strikeouts and 9th in innings pitched.
Let's just hope he does OK the first time around the league.

bpoz - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 11:21 AM EST (#369178) #
SD has enough lefty pitchers. IMO they decided that they did not want to give innings to Richard as a starter or reliever. As a veteran that could be awkward in the clubhouse. So they DFA'd him.

He has an unknown role with the Jays.
Glevin - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 11:50 AM EST (#369179) #
There are definitely players who don't want to come to Toronto but I don't think that's more than a lot of other teams. What a lot of teams have as an advantage is a lot of ballplayers come from the area. Not every player cares about being in their hometown, but it is a draw for a lot of players.

"Richard has played most of his career in San Diego, which is, of course a tremendous pitchers' park, so his overall numbers are highly misleading. So, to get the true picture, his career road stats include an ERA of 5.25, WHIP of 1.542, only 5.2 K's per 9 IP, opponents' BA of .300 (yes, .300, including pitchers) and opponents' OPS of .836."

Dan, XFIP and almost every other advanced stat takes into account park factors. Doing away splits as a way of finding true talent level is generally pretty useless. (Everyone does better at home generally, some effects last away as well i.e. Colorado pitchers not trusting their stuff, etc...) Also, In the NL West, Coors and (prior to last year) Arizona, were amazing hitters parks so you get a lot of away games at the best hitter's parks. Richard isn't a great pitcher or anything but could be an innings eater.
hypobole - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 11:54 AM EST (#369180) #
Also, Petco isn't the tremendous pitcher's park it was in the past.
bpoz - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#369181) #
R Atkins said that he wants the pitching staff to be made up of mostly SPs.
So Tepera & Biagini for example have experience as starters in the minors. Maybe this means that they can throw 50 pitches per outing. So multi inning relievers.

I am quite high on Zeuch getting promoted mid next year.
bpoz - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 01:45 PM EST (#369182) #
I like looking at what other teams are doing. Frequent trading partner ST Louis was in a pennant race last year.
Their 40 man roster is maxed out. Only 1 catcher on it Y Molina. The OFs seem to lack depth. So they need some players.

Depth for a contender.
Dr B - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 01:57 PM EST (#369183) #
Richard has extreme left/right splits. His career OPS vs left is 625. His career OPS vs. right is 820, and he actually has a slightly better OPS vs lefties at home for what it is worth. So, he'd make a perfectly adequate LOOGY...though if that was my plan, I'd probably have kept  <cough> a certain rule fiver and see what I had...
Mike Green - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 02:29 PM EST (#369184) #
Some people say that these acquisitions are necessary because Pannone and SRF aren't ready.  If that is so, what was the point of calling them up in August of last year and starting their service time clocks?  If the club's intention is to start Richard and Shoemaker in the rotation with Pannone and SRF in Buffalo, I strongly disagree with the overall development approach for  young pitchers.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 02:30 PM EST (#369185) #
"Also, Petco isn't the tremendous pitcher's park it was in the past."

Please post the factual basis behind this statement.
hypobole - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 02:42 PM EST (#369186) #
https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=2556390

Park factors last year by hitter handedness.
Glevin - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 02:43 PM EST (#369187) #
Panone and SRF might be ready but they might not be. You need the depth to cover for injuries but also for young players taking a step back. Nobody is being blocked here.
AWeb - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 02:43 PM EST (#369188) #
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SDP/attend.shtml

Looks like it went from the strongest pitchers park of all to just another pitchers park?
Chuck - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 02:46 PM EST (#369189) #
Per BBRef, single-year batting park factors for Petco since 2008: 89, 88, 86, 95, 92, 92, 90, 91, 95, 99, 90, 98.

In two of the past three seasons it has played as almost neutral.

dalimon5 - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 03:01 PM EST (#369190) #
Thanks Chuck for finishing the post.

Happy New Year everyone.
Mike Green - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 03:06 PM EST (#369191) #
Tampa doesn't call up pitchers until it thinks they are ready.

It would have been fine to leave Pannone and SRF in Buffalo last year if the club didn't want to commit to them. Instead, the club is likely to take the half-assed, up and down approach which I hate. If it happens because of the player's performance that is fine but when it happens by design, I lose confidence in management.
dan gordon - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 03:08 PM EST (#369192) #
Glevin, yes I know that advanced stats take park factors into account. Most fans look at the standard ERA, WHIP, BA, OPS, etc. and these stats are highly misleading for any player who plays in a strong hitters' or pitchers' park. Far from useless to look at the home/road splits. Yes, most players perform a little better at home, but not a lot, nothing even remotely close to what Richard has done. As far as the road parks in the NL West are concerned, yes, COL and ARZ have great hitters' parks, but I see you didn't mention SF, which is a great pitchers' park. As far as hypobole's comment about Petco not being the pitchers' park it used to be, this is a very recent development, and Richard has spent the vast majority of his career at SD prior to the change in the park.

There's a good reason Richard was DFA'd and then traded for basically nothing, and with SD eating half his salary. He's not an effective mlb pitcher and he's only going to get worse at his age. The Jays probably have at least half a dozen young starters who would do better than him this year. The only possible hope for him is the first time through the league maybe he gets a bit of a benefit from lack of familiarity. The Jays would have been better off picking whichever of the young guys looked best in spring and giving him the 5th starter spot. I was hoping they'd pick up a couple of guys who could actually make a positive contribution to the rotation while the kids developed, as there are lots of guys like that available. Instead we get a guy who is probably not going to be very good (Shoemaker) and a guy who is probably going to be terrible (Richard). I am extremely disappointed in this approach.
dan gordon - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 03:14 PM EST (#369193) #
hypobole, thanks for the park factor by handedness for 2018 - interesting data. It would be great to see this on a multi-year basis, since park factors can be quite variable from year to year.
ayjackson - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 03:44 PM EST (#369194) #
Is there any reasons the Petco's park factors should be trending up? If not, I'd put the over/under at 93.5 for 2019.
dalimon5 - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 04:45 PM EST (#369195) #
One thing we may be glossing over is the possibility that Richard is brought in to be the innings eater/long man this staff will need once Stroman is traded this offseason. In that respect it's a move that can male more sense...play Richard to take the innings and protect the younger pitchers from over exposure for next year.

Again, with the approach this FO is doing I would have kept Tulo until June/July, but I accept that he's gone and it's time to move on (kind of).

If Stroman can rediscover his form, Giles pitches well and one or two major injuries occur to contenders at 1B then this team can have three players (Stroman, Giles and Smoak) to quickly restock the farm after the vacancies left by promoted prospects.
Chuck - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#369196) #
Is there any reasons the Petco's park factors should be trending up?

From Wikipedia:

Following the conclusion of the 2012 season... The left-center field wall was moved in from 402 feet to 390 feet, the right-center field wall was moved from 411 feet to 391 feet, and the right field wall was moved in from 360 feet to 349 feet.

After the conclusion of the 2014 season, more renovations to the park commenced. These include a new HD video board, slight changes to the distance to the left-field fence, and removal of some seats in the middle deck.

ayjackson - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 05:56 PM EST (#369197) #
Taking the over.
bpoz - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 06:31 PM EST (#369198) #
Happy New Year everyone.

My To-Do list.

1) Read John N's 1982 coming of age post. A real treasure.
2) For some excitement ... dream big along with dalimon5.
Lets share the injury bug. eg Sale and Price. Great point.
I dream even bigger ... Trade Stroman (so awesome, Cy young candidate).
Don't get tricked if the team is keeping pace with the Playoff leaders. Trade everyone with expiring contracts and Stroman and Sanchez who are miraculously dominant. Extending them will never happen now.
2010 the team over performed. Then sucked until 2015.

I expect a fun year. Low expectations can lead to surprises.
Glevin - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 06:47 PM EST (#369199) #
Dan, there are lots of guys who the Jays could pick up to help their rotation? Who? And you are seriously overrating young players ability to be as good as veterans immediately. Richard had a 4.24 XFIP last year. Borucki was 4.62,SRF at 4.21, and Pannone 5.57. Richard isn't some star and may be awful but you need guys who can eat innings and Richard can do this. Pitching is not like hitting. You need tons of pitchers. Right now the Jays rotation is:
Stroman (likely to be traded this year)
Borucki
Sanchez (always hurt)
Shoemaker (always hurt)
Fifth starter

The Jays are going to have a whole bunch of guys starting for them next year. Any young pitcher who looks like they could start will get a shot. There will be ample opportunities.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 10:29 PM EST (#369200) #
Happy New Year, bless you all.
lexomatic - Monday, December 31 2018 @ 10:43 PM EST (#369201) #
xFIP is just FIP with adjusted home run rates (ie they vary from year to year, but this is what should be expected.) FIP is more what happened than should have happened. More relevant for future years, but... not entirely useful. https://www.fangraphs.com/library/pitching/xfip/
For example HAPP has had the following ERA/FIP/xFIP the last 3 years2016 3.18/3.96/4.182017 3.53/3.76/3.942018 3.65/3.98/3.88He's basically gained 1 K/9 each year. The year to year FIP hasn't changed much while the expected results for the future have improved. Borucki's xFIP is so low because he gave up a really low HR/FB % (6.7 vs 9-10% avg). Minors are different than majors, but so far Borucki's milb % are below average. That's not somethng that would get picked up by the formula (maybe not even with a track record of posting below average %, I dunno).
Anyway, it's interesting to look at the milb track records for some of the young players. Someone like Pannone I expect to have really bad HR numbers and a worse xFIP than ERA/FIP if he can stick around - too many flyballsStroman gives up a really high HR/FB % so I'm not surprised his FIP is better than other numbrs.
SRF has a track record of lower than average HR/FB% numbers, but I'm guessing his stuff was too good for the low minors, not that he has some weird skill.
christaylor - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 01:43 AM EST (#369202) #
Depth and competition are not a bad thing -- most young pitchers will break your heart. Heck, there's a Jay who (hopefully) will be voted into the HoF who broke mine for a couple of seasons. If you can afford insurance, buy the insurance. That seems like the simplest way to view these two acquisitions. If they're good and could bring back a fringy prospect in July, that's great.

Happy 2019 everyone and may this season be an interesting one, however that interest is generated.
christaylor - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 02:20 AM EST (#369203) #
I think this is an interesting exercise. I respect but don't agree with your list of teams that are more desirable than the Jays. I think the Jays are, at best, middle of the pack. It is difficult to generalize such a personal decision, but let's think in the aggregate -- as was mentioned, a whole swath of player don't want of players would prefer to not play on turf. What's that worth? A 10% salary bump all else being equal? 15%? 20%? More? Depends on the state of the player's knees.

Less well appreciated... 40%ish Americans hold a passport. Hat tip to socio-economic factors, but not a small number of American ballplayers are of socio-economic status (especially the high-school draftees) where this applies. Sure, by the time they reach FA status the idea that they'll be playing in a foreign country will not be novel, but will it mean altering their lifestyle (e.g., the easy with which they can invite friends/family to their games) -- I think likely, it will.

Do players like visiting Toronto? Yes, sure, I believe that. I love visiting Paris. Do I want to live/work there? Not on a bet. Heck. I thought I'd like living/working in the UK. Once I experienced it, no. Why do I bring this up? Only because I think AJ Burnett (see car rides for his wife) or Scott Rolen (see him asking for an out in a classy way) fell into a similar boat. Both were keen on Toronto at the beginning but soured on it once they spent more time in a foreign country.

We can move away from the touchy-feely anecdotes and love of Toronto (which I have for my hometown through and through) and ask for each of the negatives Toronto has what it might take as a sweetener to overcome the negatives.

I'm not sure how 2018 has changed the value of money, but I'll go with your premise that the 15% extra on $5M is of less "utility" than 15% on $1M. I buy that, but while it might not be the same it is not worthless or irrelevant. Let's say that all else being equal that the Jays need to pay 5% more to offset the tax burden for a FA versus an equally attractive spot.

Then what else do the Jays have to compensate for? That it's Canada is a ding, let's call that another 5%.

That the Jays are a team with the Yankees and Sox and are, even in the best of times, hard-pressed to be seen as favorites, as another 5%.

OK, so we've got a 0-15% disadvantage for a FA signing for the Jays. Then add in the exchange rate. Yes, this is a Rogers problem, but it will always color things. Let's assume Rogers is great at hedging and accounting and say the revenues in CAD and expenses in USD is no more than 2%. OK we're at 2-17% disadvantage on a "hypothetically neutral FA with an equally attractive option". Let's say the player is from the south or the west coast. They'd prefer to play in one of those division. That could present another 0% (e.g., all the other bidding teams are from the Northeast or Mid-west) or a substantial disadvantage say 10%+...

I write all this to say that for Toronto most what adds up for players, especially FA, are on the negative side of the ledger when bidding against an equally attractive option.

I write this not to persuade, but to explain my thought process of why I think expecting using FA to augment (i.e., get Toronto to a play-off team) is not going to work. If the team is perceived as a perennial winner that is close then all of this goes out the window, but this team hasn't been there since the mid/late 80s-93. Even then, it was players that wanted to join an already strong team. The Jays can't build with FA and can only get "over the top" when the perception is that they're a perennial winner. I don't think Rogers deserves all the blame for this -- serious structural factors are stacked against Toronto.

The best paper team Toronto can buy at luxury tax threshold with internally extended players, FA, and players willing to accept a trade is probably worse than what 12-15 other teams could do with the same resources. There's no way of proving this because it's a counterfactual and maybe I lack imagination or insight into what drives ballplayers... I would happily embrace an argument that convinced me that the Jays were structurally disadvantaged compared to US teams for American player acquisitions... but I' still looking.

So call BS all you want, I don't see the merit in your evidence/arguments.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 03:08 AM EST (#369204) #
Glevin, I have neither the time nor the desire to prepare a list for you of the available free agent pitchers, but I have been reading many articles about the ones who are out there that the Jays might have gone after. I'm sure you can find a list somewhere online. I know that quite a few have already signed, like Happ and Lynn, while several remain unsigned, like Buchholz, the one I really wanted to see. As to seriously overrating young players, no way. I didn't even say I thought the young guys should be starting - read my post again - I said that they have several who would outpitch Richard, not just any veteran. The fact that Richard is a veteran doesn't mean he's any good.

Notice in the stats listed for Happ how his ERA is consistently lower than his FIP and xFIP? The problem I have with FIP and xFIP is that it doesn't take into account a pitcher's ability to generate weak contact. No stat is flawless. I feel the same way about the BABIP stat for hitters. It doesn't take into account how well the batter hits the ball, except for when he hits a HR. Some people quote these stats like they are gospel, but they have their flaws just like other stats have flaws.
scottt - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 06:03 AM EST (#369205) #
They could have had Happ if they paid for a 3rd year. Time will tell if they should have or not.
I don't like Lynn. Buchholz is a bad character to have around young pitchers.
He was kicked out of university for stealing and reselling laptops.
He's the guy with the foreign substance dripping off his glove on the mound.
He's got 3 kids and a wife that's a model, so I don't see him wanting to be in Toronto anyway.

scottt - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 06:15 AM EST (#369206) #
I didn't think there was anything classy about Rolen wanting out.
The Jays gave him a lifeline when his career was heading the wrong way and he decided he wanted to be with his daughter. He could have moved to Toronto in the summer.
Rolen tearing up the nail off his middle finger in spring training is one of a handful of such incidents that have hurt the Jays. Stroman, Saunders being the others.

bpoz - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 10:06 AM EST (#369207) #
Thanks cristaylor for your well done detailed analysis.

So 2-3 FAs that cost $50 mil/yr at 15% extra brings us $7.5 mil closer to the luxury tax threshold.
scottt - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 11:11 AM EST (#369208) #
Mariners sign Kikuchi in a weird deal. 3 years + a team option for another 4 years if he's dominant or an extra 1 year on a player option if he's mediocre or not healthy.  No word on the dollar yet. Maybe they think he'll be good and project him for seven years but found a way to reduce the posting fees by only having 4 guaranteed years up front?

If it's 3/21M. It's relatively cheap.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#369209) #
"Someone like Pannone I expect to have really bad HR numbers and a worse xFIP than ERA/FIP if he can stick around - too many flyballsStroman gives up a really high HR/FB % so I'm not surprised his FIP is better than other numbrs. "

Yes, FIP and XFIP are hardly perfect and in general using any single stat to try to tell the full story is going to be problematic (which is something I dislike about WAR).

"Like Buchholz, the one I really wanted to see"

I fail to see why Bucholz would be a great signing and Shoemaker wasn't. Bucholz will be 35 YO this year, missed the last part of the season with a major injury which could easily still be an issue, and has only pitched 107 IP in last 2 years combined. I'd be fine with the Jays signing him too. These are the kinds of players the Jays should take flyers on, but the chances that he's a healthy and good pitcher in the AL East are also very slim.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 01:02 PM EST (#369210) #
Currently FIP and xFIP assume that all contact is created equal and that the pitcher can only control strikeouts, walks, hit batters and home runs. I think as statcast data gets better after a few years we will see that some pitchers can in fact affect batted ball quality more than others, but to this point it hasn't been proven. Statcast will be able to provide continuous data for analysis on batted ball where previously only categorical data was available, which should lead to new and more accurate forms of estimators.

Stroman is interesting because his hard hit % for the last two years is 38.7% and 40.4% which ranked n the bottom 8% and 5% in the league. Despite limiting fly balls, his HR/FB ratios were high because they were absolutely smoked. If you think he will be better next year you need to believe that once bat goes to ball it's not the pitchers fault at all and he won't give up as much hard contact next year.

scottt - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 04:36 PM EST (#369211) #
3/43M which can mutate into 4/56M or 7/109M.

Yeah. That's not cheap at all.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 07:20 PM EST (#369212) #
"I fail to see why Bucholz would be a great signing and Shoemaker wasn't"

It seems pretty obvious to me that Buchholz is a significantly better pitcher than Shoemaker. Unlike Shoemaker, whose ERA, WHIP, etc. are artificially improved by having pitched mainly in a pitcher's park for his career, and who therefore has misleadingly good numbers, Buchholz has pitched almost his entire career in a very good hitters' park, and therefore has career ERA, WHIP, etc. which are artificially inflated. His road ERA for his career is 3.62, compared to Shoemaker's 4.64. Buchholz is a run a game better. That's a huge difference.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 08:55 PM EST (#369213) #
Why are you looking at an old pitcher's career numbers when he's at the end of his career? Would you look at Bautista's career numbers to throw out his future value?

The Red Sox demoted him twice to the bullpen in his last season where he couldn't get anybody out in the AL East and he averaged a 4.60 ERA over the last 3 years in BOS.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 10:19 PM EST (#369214) #
Well, first of all, I was asked to compare Buchholz to Shoemaker, and they're pretty close in age, only 2 years different. Secondarily, if you look at Buchholz's 2018 season, he was terrific. Best WHIP he's ever had, and not counting his 22 IP in 2007, the 2nd best ERA he's ever had, the 3rd best FIP he's ever had, better than career average in HR/9, BB/9, K/9. In short, it was a fantastic season for him. And that was pitching half his games in a very good hitters' park.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 11:04 PM EST (#369215) #
@christaylor - Very nice write-up and perspective. I wanted to comment on this paragraph:

I write this not to persuade, but to explain my thought process of why I think expecting using FA to augment (i.e., get Toronto to a play-off team) is not going to work. If the team is perceived as a perennial winner that is close then all of this goes out the window, but this team hasn't been there since the mid/late 80s-93. Even then, it was players that wanted to join an already strong team. The Jays can't build with FA and can only get "over the top" when the perception is that they're a perennial winner. I don't think Rogers deserves all the blame for this -- serious structural factors are stacked against Toronto.


I agree that building a foundation via free agency is unwise, however using free agents as short term investments that can either help shield/further the development of your prospects or be converted into prospects themselves later is a great use of that avenue.

Where I do fault Rogers (assuming Shapiro hasn't self-imposed the player budget) is with forcing lower-quality versions of those gambles. The Mortons and Cahills and Harveys of this class are all signing for 1 or 2 years. Shoemaker was available for ~$3M because he comes with significantly more risk; similar story with Richard though he technically came via trade for a non-prospect (and apparently the Padres are covering part of his already-low salary).

The frustrating thing is that the only impact to going with lower quality pitchers on the same term is to the company's bottom line.

Now, the off-season isn't over yet so we'll see where the player budget ends up and if the team does anything creative to take advantage of how low it is right now (i.e. they're 22nd between Arizona and Cinci at the moment not factoring Arbitration 2s and 3s). Maybe a Holland or a Buchholz can be had for a year or two.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 11:29 PM EST (#369216) #
Looks like Tulo is going to the Yankees.

https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1080318147691982848

This has maximum-pain potential.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 01 2019 @ 11:55 PM EST (#369217) #
Scottt I agree if it was 3/21 guaranteed that would be a cheap deal to get a probable middle of the rotation starter at age 27. But final figures appear to be 3/$43, 4/$56 (player option) or 7/$109 million (if Mariners exercise their option).

Complicated, but should be a good deal for Seattle if Kikuchi is close to what is expected (solid #3, maybe #2 starter). Of course you also have to add the posting fee of roughly $5 million (appears the deal was set up to avoid paying too much in the posting system, I figure it might have saved $15 mil for the Mariners for the 3 year vs 7 year cost).

Remember, 2 WAR is worth roughly $18 million a year. This guy should do that easily and might hit 4-6 in peak years. Again, depending on if he can do it in MLB. I really hoped the Jays would step up here as he was an obvious target and the price was reasonable.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:35 AM EST (#369218) #
I wouldn't want to be Atkins who went out of his way to predict Tulo wouldn't be above average at Short Stop next year.

SS Tulo
3B Machado
RF Judge
DH Stanton
1B Voigt
CF Hicks
C Sanchez
LF Gardner
2B

Yeah I'm gonna put the over on Tulo making Atkins look like a fool. Maximum Pain Potential for sure.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 02:29 AM EST (#369219) #
heh. perfect.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 02:45 AM EST (#369220) #
At what point do we say that we shouldn't bother starting vladdy's clock this year and wasting a year of control?
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:42 AM EST (#369221) #
I have a buddy at the local grocery store who is from NY and is a huge Yankees fan. He and some friends of his are getting a box seat at AT&T Park end of April when the Yankees are in town next spring. He's gonna be happy about this. And at this point, I've kind of dropped the Yankees off my hate list (Boston has been etched in stone as #1) and I might actually follow them a bit.

Makes me want to write a bot to post every day to twitter or similar:Tulos 2019 WAR: <...>Jays 2019 SS WAR: <...>

I know, he may not play that much. But I felt that he at least deserved a chance. OTOH, maybe he's like Rolen and only came here reluctantly, and wanted out at the first chance. I don't know. I'm just still upset and will be for some time. All in a relative way, obviously - going through some family tough times right now with father-in-law in bad shape, which is much more upsetting.

My interest in the Jays with Shapiro / Atkins is approaching an all-time low, similar to the late 90s with Ash when I didn't bother to watch the Jays much and only finding the Jays usenet group started getting me a little more interested again, and Mr. Northey invited me over here, IIRC. I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility that I start cheering for the Yanks this year and mostly forget about the Jays.

I'm trying to put a finger on why Shapiro / Atkins inspire this incredible level of indifference in me. I don't think they're evil, or totally incompetent. Just that they don't strike me as the people to get us to anywhere except solidly middle of the pack. They're good at quickly getting rid of contracts for pennies on the dollar. I just haven't seen any really good upside trades to balance out those painful actions. They're kind of the John Farrell of execs - talk a good game to get hired, then just kind of sleepwalk their way through the job. I wouldn't be too surprised if they're on their way out in a couple of years to a more prestigious club or something. Their actions are entirely forgettable. Compared to AA, they seems like they have ZERO ninja / trying something out of the box skills. Like AA signing Donaldson again - if he has a great season, he can either trade him, OR get a draft pick due to a qualifying offer.. Meanwhile, S/A's "big moves" so far are picking up two DNQ/DFA retreads. I will give them credit for the Osuna trade - that was getting really good lemonade out of a big batch of lemons, IMHO. But, also IMHO, there are way too many "perfect apples turned into barely drinkable juice" situations.

Here's hoping I'm wrong and the team is super exciting this year, and the young players are great and the depth moves pay off. I just don't see the path from here to there right now, and I don't trust Shapiro / Atkins to find it.


Also, I totally agree with the difficulty of signing players to the Jays. Having lived in Silicon Valley for almost 15 years now, in one of the most diverse metropolises in the entire US, there's still a lot of unknowns about Canada, the perception that it's really, REALLY cold, etc. That the taxes are super high. I'm sure the brothers Ford aren't shining beacons of "come play for us" either. Yes, Rob Ford made the news over here.. And don't forget the whole gun control thing either. It's not universal, but I would say a not-insignificant fraction of MLB players LIKE having guns. Or pit bulls. Etc..
I'm not saying I'm 100% right. Just that based on my observations, I would say 15% penalty is, if anything, on the low side for a good chunk of mid-western / west coast players. The language "barrier", if you can call it that, is small. But, the culture barrier IS pretty large, I think. I remember reading a quote by someone about moving to Silicon Valley: for the first 15 years of my life, I was taught to be a good Canadian boy. I have little use for any of that training here in Silicon Valley. (from memory, read it like 10 years ago). But it illustrates the point. VISITING is no big deal. MOVING / LIVING is much bigger, especially for an established veteran with family, etc. And it's not exactly like the Leafs signing Patrick Marleau, IMHO - Leafs are Original Six, Hockey Hall of Fame, on the upswing and I would say right now, top-5 by anyone's standards in the NHL. Jays would be lucky to escape the 20s in a list of worst projected teams for 2019 right now.

Ok, enough ramblings.. Happy New Year, everyone.
scottt - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 06:38 AM EST (#369222) #
Just because the Yankees sign Tulo does not mean he'll be any good after not playing for almost 2 years.

Maybe this is to put pressure on Machado. Regardless, I'm curious to see who they will trade or DFA.
Maybe release Ellesbury? They still owe him 42M plus a 5M buyout.
If anything, I think Cashman has regrets about not releasing Ellesbury years ago.

Other options are Wade (who can just be optioned to AAA), Voit, Andujar and Torres.

scottt - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 06:48 AM EST (#369223) #
Does a player option counts as guaranteed money?

The posting fee is 5M for the first 25M and 3M on the next 18M. There would be another 2M on the player option, if that counts. It seems a lot to me because he's never thrown an inning in MLB and he's had shoulder issues. Keep in mind that Japanese pitchers are on a 6 days schedule and don't throw as many innings.

So that's 3/51M or 4/64-66M.

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 07:18 AM EST (#369224) #
Donít pay too much attention to relatively inconsequential transactions like Tulo, Shoemaker, Richard. The team is going through a retrenchment phase and the additions of front office and coaching staff like Montoyo, Sanders, Cherington, and Kim, and the prospect talent they identify, acquire, and develop will be far more important to the teamís future
than those fringe major-league players will be. The organization has been adding a lot of interesting prospect talent in the Rule 4 and IFA drafts (including unorthodox players like Bichette who specifically wanted to be drafted by the Jays); they need to continue doing this while finding other ways to improve their talent acquisition and development system. That is what will determine the front officeís legacy, although a few deft trades to build out the roster when the team is on the upswing will help.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 08:14 AM EST (#369225) #
"I'm trying to put a finger on why Shapiro / Atkins inspire this incredible level of indifference in me."



I'll humbly suggest that it's because it's so clear that winning is not a priority for them, short or long-term. for them, winning would be a nice bonus, but just a fluke byproduct.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 08:16 AM EST (#369226) #
I agree with greenfrog.

Shapiro said that he wanted to do a rebuild 2 years ago. The Jays are his team/responsibility.

He could not reduce budget Martin/Tulo or increase it. He paid the deadwood and got unlucky with injuries to young players.

His depth paid off very well A Diaz and Solarte.

Farm graduations started to arrive in 2018. It should continue.

If the team is miraculously competitive for a pennant race, ie not out of it then he will have a problem. Trading stars is very bad publicity.
scottt - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 08:44 AM EST (#369227) #
Being competitive would not be a problem.

The Happ signing should clue everybody in that they are not against bringing anybody back.
With the current compensation for losing a QO player, it's better to trade him than to get a 80th overall draft pick.
That doesn't mean they have to trade players when they are in range of a wild card spot.

Shapiro was right. When a team is full of old players, it's smarter to trade them before then lose their value.

There will be a few interesting things to watch this year.
Lots of rookies. New coaches.
Can the young guys improve/rebound?
Can they old guys be good enough to bring something back in a trade?
Can Buffalo win the championship?
How does the farm ranks once Guerrero is in Toronto.

Gerry - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 09:21 AM EST (#369228) #
Good comment vw_fan.

I think Shapiro/Atkins are bland and as noted are not trying to win. Their trades have also been somewhat bland, picking up players with questionable futures.

They essentially are tanking and gambling on 2021 or 2022. Many teams try this and it works for some but its not foolproof. But it buys time for a front office.

The bright side is that we have a strong farm system so following the affiliates should be fun and it is interesting to see which young players will play well in the major leagues. But it is almost a player by player interest, rather than a team interest, given how the Jays are expected to lose more than they win this year.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 09:30 AM EST (#369229) #
I don't understand the outrage over Shoemaker and Richard. It has already been established that the team is not trying to win in 2019, and having disposable vets taking up big league spots is exactly what the Jays need right now as they figure to have a ton of players in AAA that will graduate (or already have) to the Majors relatively soon.

The (projected) AAA rotation for example has SRF, Paulino, Pannone, Thornton, Waguespack, Merryweather (when healthy), and Zeuch. All of them except Zeuch are on the 40-man roster. If one of those pitchers "Aaron Sanchez's" in his way on to the team during ST, then it will be very easy to push Richard or Shoemaker to the side to accommodate. That's the goal. Not to put prospects into high pressure roles right away, but let them earn their spots and have placeholders in the mean time. Young pitchers in general are unpredictable (performance and health). Having vets who can eat up innings is advantageous, especially if the cost is minimal (Panas and $1.5M is practically getting him for free).

The Jays are probably half a season away from a young player takeover barring any major setbacks. The first half of 2019 is probably going to be used entirely to improve trade value for any vet that is still on the team by then, and that will lead into the next phase.
ayjackson - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 09:34 AM EST (#369230) #
Another thing i find curious about Atkins is that despite statements to the contrary, he doesn't seem to be defense focused in the acquisitions or development. He seems all-in on VGJ and Bo at 3B/SS, with neither receiving any time at an alternate position. Does anyone believe they'll provide above average defense on the left side?

It's fine to challenge them at the more difficult positions in the minors, but wouldn't you want to give them some exposure to outfield or the right side of the diamond.

Or is that the next step in delaying their debuts?

greenfrog - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 09:36 AM EST (#369231) #
Iíve commented before about how frustrating it is to follow an essentially goal-less organization, where making money through mediocrity is the MO and nobody dares articulate concrete performance goals for the team over a specified time period (as is standard practice for any other competent organization).

Thatís why bland is in, I think. Committing to ambitious but attainable year-over-year goals would force ownership and the front office to be accountable for decisions made (or not made). Itís safer to be hazy and milquetoast and never have to explain why the team didnít measure up to what were appropriate goals for a big-market ballclub.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 09:38 AM EST (#369232) #
"I'll humbly suggest that it's because it's so clear that winning is not a priority for them, short or long-term. for them, winning would be a nice bonus, but just a fluke byproduct."

Winning would be more so a byproduct of building a complete organization which includes the hiring of the excellent player development team of Ben Cherington and Steve Saunders to completely re-shape how the Jays draft and develop prospects, which has led them to the best farm system the Jays have had in the past 20 years. The biggest acquisition of the off-season was probably the complete overhaul of the minor league complex in Dunedin which might become the best complex in the minors when complete.





ayjackson - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 09:49 AM EST (#369233) #
"hazy and milquetoast" sounds like something a millennial could appreciate.

Breaking ground down in Dunedin could be a legacy moment for Shapiro, i hope Atkins finds his.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:01 AM EST (#369234) #
We're criticizing the FO because they are clearing out vets for pennies on the dollar and then signing the same or worse penny on the dollar type players from other teams. We all feel that Shoemaker and Richard will play as much as their health allows, whether or not the prospects you listed are ready for the show or not.

I actually have faith in this FO from their resume in Cleveland alone, but this offseason has raised my eyebrows for sure. To get so little back for some of your vets or refuse to invest in them for bounce back seasons is odd, especially when 1) you reinvest in similar type players like Shoemaker/Richard/Sogard and 2) top FO's like NYY and ATL jump on the upside of players like Tulo and JD at their "bottomed out" values.

The narrative that the FO is doing what they wanted to do 2 years ago and need the playing time for the young kids...that's a different strategy and one that I don't endorse as a season ticket holder and general fan, but I can understand that strategy and it makes enough logical sense, even more sense than investing in rebounds from some of your vets and then selling high with the risk of no rebound/return. The problem is that this strategy of playing younger players...its looking less and less like a truthful strategy to get better and more and more like an excuse to tank and hold things over.

If Vlad, Bichete, Biggio, Tellez, Paulino, SRF, Thornton, Merryweather, Alford and Pompey are playing by May then I take this post back...but if they're all in the minors by July then this FO is mincing words...could have just resigned JD, kept Tulo, resigned Happ and "gone for it" one more time with all the same prospects in the minors except Vlad. They could have even still signed Shoemaker.

If it didn't work sell everyone in July. It doesn't seem like you're getting any top 100 prospects back in a trade this offseason anyway.

Last thing we need is to be level with BAL in terms of prospect capital by year end after our graduations and their recouping of talent.

I'm really trying to make sense of these moves where Smoak/Pillar/Stroman/Martin/Morales have no place on this team...what's the secret sauce move this FO is going to do that justifies this half compete mentality with upside of tanking strategy? This right now is definitely true mediocre middle and I still have faith in the management but have no idea what their end game is. I can't see it coming whatever it is, but if it's what we see now then yes, Shapiro and Atkins won't survive unless all the criticisms about penny pinching from posters for years turn out to be crystal clear and true.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:01 AM EST (#369235) #
scottt I don't fully understand your comment about being competitive, not being a problem.

In 2018 we were competitive until the end of April. I made a ridiculous/joking claim that we will be competitive about halfway through April. Shockingly I was right until May started.

So for 2019 my long shot claim is we are on pace until July 20 for 91 wins and Boston and NYY on pace for 93 wins. TB???
If I am miraculously correct then something went very right. If that something is Stroman and Sanchez, then they have rebuilt their trade value. Us fans are happy about the trade value improving.

Trade them and Giles too??? Big return!!! Win,Win proposition. No problem.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:33 AM EST (#369236) #
"Winning would be more so a byproduct of building a complete organization which includes the hiring of the excellent player development team of Ben Cherington and Steve Saunders to completely re-shape how the Jays draft and develop prospects, which has led them to the best farm system the Jays have had in the past 20 years."

IF the farm system is better than it was 5yrs ago, a big IF, it's only because of one singular prospect that they had nothing to do with.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:40 AM EST (#369237) #
I think bpoz is right, the kids could be competitive for about half a season maybe before the bottom falls out. In 1982 - the year I compare 2019 to - the Jays were tied for first on April 17th, then fell and fell until they were 10+ behind by May 22nd. Yet that team got some key building blocks in place for the 1985 team like Stieb, Upshaw, Garcia, Moseby, Barfield, Mulliniks, Iorg, Clancy - all 27 or younger. Even some older guys got real time and would be useful like Whitt. The pitching staff that year had ONE guy who was 30+ - closer Dale Murray who would be the key part used in a trade to get Fred McGriff (a throw in) and Dave Collins (useful for 83/84). The following year the Jays were in 1st on July 25th, and just 1 game back after games on August 16th. Then August 24th happened - 3 guys picked off in a row in extra innings vs the team that would go on to win it all. Showed how far the team had to go even though they were just 1 1/2 back at that moment. They then fell apart and would finish 9 back.

This year I see Giles as the Dave Murray guy - here to be traded even though he is only entering his age 28 season. Basically anyone with 2 years or less of control is here to be traded. Especially if they are 30+ (looking at you Martin, Smoak, Morales, and Pillar who turns 30 in 2 days).

Yeah, it sucks when the Jays have a rebuild. But this is with real hope imo. Best set of talent in minors since the mid 90's when guys like Delgado were ready and a GM change happened. Sadly we went from a HOF GM to a scrub that time. Difference is this team has experience and some success pre-Toronto and even here (2016 did happen under their watch, yes with mainly guys from AA). Hopefully the kids develop and things go well in 2021 and beyond.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:48 AM EST (#369238) #
"I don't understand the outrage over Shoemaker and Richard. It has already been established that the team is not trying to win in 2019, and having disposable vets taking up big league spots is exactly what the Jays need right now as they figure to have a ton of players in AAA that will graduate (or already have) to the Majors relatively soon.

The (projected) AAA rotation for example has SRF, Paulino, Pannone, Thornton, Waguespack, Merryweather (when healthy), and Zeuch."


Doesn't your last sentence there answer the first?


MLB: 1.Stroman, 2.Sanchez, 3.Gaviglio, 4.Shoemaker, 5.Richard

AAA

1.Reid-Foley (23): 85.1ip, 3.35xfip
2.Pannone (25): 36.2ip, 3.59xfip
3.Waguespack (25): 92.2ip, 3.70xfip
4.Merryweather (26): 78.0ip, 3.89xfip
5.Borucki (25): 83.0ip, 4.05xfip
6.Paulino (25): 46.0ip, 4.05xfip
7.Thornton (25): 239.1ip, 4.08xfip
8.Zeuch (23): (AA - 120.0ip, 3.84xfip)
9.Perez (23): (AA - 42.1ip, 3.98xfip)

Why did they go out and get all these "young" pitchers if they're going to keep them in the minors until their late 20s?
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:51 AM EST (#369239) #
"Shapiro was right. When a team is full of old players, it's smarter to trade them before then lose their value."

In a sense, it is always smartest to trade players at peak value.

It's just you can't win doing that.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:55 AM EST (#369240) #
So when Ken Giles is traded, who closes? The Jays need someone dependable. They spent too many years coughing up leads in the ninth with ďtest subjectsĒ trying to do the job. Iíd rather keep what we got even extending him.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:56 AM EST (#369241) #
uglyone - I give them tons of credit for holding off on Vlad so far. Remember the mid-00's with Travis Snider who was the hot thing and the GM at the time rushed him due to needing to save his job. Many GM's would not have waited with Vlad this long as he might have saved 2018 with a mid-season call-up and made the team a bit better, maybe over 500 and changed the narrative. Then the GM could've had a full budget and tried to go for it again this year and came up short like in 17/18 and then traded a few others to try to hold on much like Ash did in the 90's in exchange for guys like Michael Young or been like the Expos GM's who dumped every prospect they could in order to try to look good at the end.

Mah. I'm glad they held onto Vlad in the minors and I give them credit for that. I like the investments they've made in the minors too even if it is near impossible to measure the effect of better nutrition, better coaching, etc. I like getting rid of Donaldson as he was fighting the FO on health issues and they need leaders in the club house to be onside with stuff like that.

The minors has tons of AA drafted/signed guys at this point - it would be near impossible for guys this FO signed to be reaching already. But holding in the minors and not trading guys like Vlad, Bo, Pearson, Jansen, Reid-Foley, and Zeuch should allow a strong core to grow in the majors together. Jansen & Reid-Foley got broken in last season, Vlad this year, the rest we'll see. I expect by early 2020 to see all those kids up and others.

FYI: one of this groups picks - Woodman - has been used to get ML talent already (traded for Diaz who was then traded for Trent Thornton). Bo is their guy, as is Zeuch and Biggio. Looks like a pretty good first draft right now. Pearson was in their 2nd draft (2017).
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 10:59 AM EST (#369242) #
Richard let's worry about the lineup and then rotation first so we can have a lead to protect...
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:02 AM EST (#369243) #
The thing is even bad teams need a dependable closer. Why gift wins to your opponents, that makes zero sense.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:21 AM EST (#369244) #
"Why did they go out and get all these "young" pitchers if they're going to keep them in the minors until their late 20s?"

Adding depth pieces like Shoemaker and Richard is more indicative of the FO wanting to go with the young pitchers, not the other way around. They obviously prioritize depth every season, but in this case the depth in AAA is all young pitchers with options and 40 man roster spots (rather than AAAA fodder).

The big league rotation has injury concerns and their best starter on the trade block. There is a pretty strong chance that every starter projected to start in AAA at the moment and is on the 40 man roster will be pitching for the Blue Jays in some capacity in 2019, if not right out the gate, then definitely during the season. Stroman could get traded opening a spot. Sanchez could get hurt again and open a spot. Richard and Shoemaker come with injury/performance concerns and could easily be moved to the pen if need be. The spots are there for the taking. If you sign Happ and Gio Gonzalez instead of getting Shoemaker and Richard, then that opportunity does not exist (or at least is harder to accommodate).

I don't see an issue with taking a shot in the dark with Shoemaker (who has good numbers when healthy) and Richard (who if nothing else will eat up a bunch of middling innings) in a rebuilding year. The position player side is also clearing up with Smoak/Morales/Martin on the final year's of their deals, and Pillar always being a trade option.

By mid-2019, the team will likely be a lot younger, and by design.
Glevin - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:27 AM EST (#369245) #
"We're criticizing the FO because they are clearing out vets for pennies on the dollar."

Pennies on the penny more like. Fans have imagined value for players that doesn't exist. There are things to criticize about this front office for sure but so many of the criticisms have always been incredibly silly. Beyond that, the alternative paths suggested by the vast majority of posters are so dramatically worse. We could easily be paying $75m a year to Encarnacion, Bautista and Fowler. We could easily have traded Vlad for an attempt to stay relevant (and people who wanted to go all in in 2016 certainly would have traded Vlad because he's the only prospect who would bring anyone back.) People are complaining about such marginal moves. Not getting one longshot and getting another. Not holding on to veteran players to try to get a marginal prospect in six months but then complaining when we do get marginal prospects or we block prospects with older players. This is a team that need a rebuild after 2016 because the core of the team was not built to last but was only possible after 2017 and the FO were a year late on that but they are finally doing that.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#369246) #
The Rotation with (in no particular order): Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Ryan Borucki, Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard should be fine. The Jays will still be looking for better, but Relief is important too.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:29 AM EST (#369247) #
Thanks John N for supporting my far out post about possibly being competitive. Was Bobby Mattick the manager in 1982 or B Cox?

I respect the opinions expressed here. I want to believe that all the opinions were sincere. When I joke I eventually admit it. But I have to say/admit that as I got swayed by various opinions I was "disloyal" to myself.

Opinions about the FO have been both positive and negative. Fine by me. I have a negative and it is why P Murphy was not promoted to NH last year. 1 game does not count.

My passionate feelings are:
1) I really don't want to trade Stroman, but extend him if he is agreeable. No discounts,fair value. Failing that, reluctantly trade him because he will leave after 2020. If we get a stunningly great offer, still extend and keep because IMO those offers don't often work out. Cy Young Stroman may be unaffordable.
2) I really want Vlad up in 2019 if healthy and playing well.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:35 AM EST (#369248) #
"We could easily be paying $75m a year to Encarnacion, Bautista and Fowler"

And that would have made us worse....how?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 11:44 AM EST (#369249) #
"Pennies on the penny more like. Fans have imagined value for players that doesn't exist." If this statement is true then Cashman and AA also have imagined value for these players, as you say.

It's also unsettling to be saying "imagined value" to describe baseball minds seeing value in TT or JD when you're supporting Shapiro/Atkins as a counterpoint mere days after signing two players that embody "pennies on the penny" better than any veteran the Jays parted with.

Don't pigeonhole posters that criticize FO moves with other posters that have unreasonable demands or expectations, it doesn't look good on you.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:07 PM EST (#369250) #
Atlanta is a contending team that got Donaldson for 1/23 without losing anything and will have the ability to give him the QO after the season. If they had to trade a significant asset or lose a pick to get him, would they have done it for the same cost?

Had the Jays qualified him, then he would have been less desirable as a free agent to other teams, and had he accepted the QO would have come back at 1/18 without the option of qualifying him again. Not to mention he plays 3B so he would have blocked a certain prospect here. It made no sense for the Jays.

As far as Tulo, the Yankees got him for the minimum to see if he has anything left. There's virtually no risk for them, and they need a short-term SS due to Didi's injury. The Jays wanted to free up SS for someone else, and considered Tulo sunk cost either way. The Yankees were not going to give up an asset for Tulo just because they got him for pennies now. They signed him because they got him for pennies.

It's not that GM's had different valuations, it's that the situations were entirely different for each team.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:24 PM EST (#369251) #
Maybe we just interpret the information different SK. I read your explanations as strengthening my argument not yours. NYY have a need at SS because of Didi. Why can't Tulo play SS for us for 6 months? There's no downside to playing him if Bo isn't coming up for another year and Gurriel is playing 2B or utility.

JD on a one year deal gives you the opportunity to sell at the deadline.

You're missing the biggest point; a healthy JD and TT cost you nothing for one more year and gives you the upside of contention that you were hoping to have the previous year and it just buys you more time with prospects which you're clearly doing anyways with other stop gap options.

Morales could have been jettisoned and Vlad brought up. It's not a question of "holding out the future for hope that the 2016 core can make us contend again," not at all...it's just making the right moves to strengthen the present team and future team all at once. You already traded future capital for these players so why cut bait now when you have a free year anyway? Vlad I can see forcing the JD issue (and I think Merryweather was a fine pick up) but Tulo there's literally nobody there.

This is all probably pointless, as other posters have pointed out it's most likely a situation of the FO wanting "their guys," which meant jettisoning the "stuck in their way" vets like JD, TT and eventually Russell Martin (though he's been amenable to sitting and doing whatever is asked of him).
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:26 PM EST (#369252) #
I believe Atkins has said he is looking to move players off the 40 man roster. O Drake gone.

ayjackson was wondering about defense. Me too. Vlad and Bo Silver slugger maybe. Gold glove???

This FOs concept of depth is very deep. If E Sogard counts then V deep. IMO deeper than Shoemaker and Richard. But I give them credit for getting their man, if E Sogard was him.

I should keep notes on some brilliant discoveries I have made. Joke. St Louis has 1 catcher on their 40 man roster. Will they add a 2nd? I think Milwaukee has too many OFs. Yelich and Cain can both play CF. E Thames and R Braun should play the corner OF. K Broxto and B Gamel I strongly feel will be sent down. Do they have options left? Looks like they each have 1 option left. Too bad or a ST trade could be made if either is an upgrade on our collection of OFs on the 40 man roster.
pubster - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:27 PM EST (#369253) #
In hindsight the Jays changed their management at a bad time.

If AA had stayed he likely would've continued down the path he was on.

However Shapiro/Atkins seem like they wanted to start over fresh. And I think thats what we're seeing now.

As far as pitching goes, I think the strategy is to get as many cheap lottery tickets as they can, and hopefully a few pay off. If 3 of their top 10 starting pitchers can develop into above average MLB starting pitchers then the Jays are in good position heading into the 2020 offseason as far as pitching goes.
pubster - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:35 PM EST (#369254) #
"Why can't Tulo play SS for us for 6 months?"

I think they want to give the reps to younger players (ie. Gurriel).
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:43 PM EST (#369255) #
Agreed pubster about SS, Gurriel.

I hope many of our prospects work out. So if Bo looks ready in 2020 and Gurriel is doing V well at SS do we have a problem? If anyone thinks this is a problem, how do we solve it?
Gurriel had a long hitting streak if I remember correctly and then sustained a minor injury. It also looks like he will hit more HRs than Bo.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:51 PM EST (#369256) #
"IF the farm system is better than it was 5yrs ago, a big IF, it's only because of one singular prospect that they had nothing to do with."

2013 Jays top 10 prospects versus, current Shaprio/Atkins drafted/signed prospects.

Sanchez vs. Bichette
Osuna vs. Pardinho
Stroman vs. Pearson
Norris vs. Smith
Nolin vs. Groshans
Stilson vs.Biggio
DJ Davis vs. Kloffenstein
Alford vs. Zeuch
Jimenez vs. Olrelvis Martinez
Smoral vs. Hiraldo

It looks pretty good for the second set of players.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:55 PM EST (#369257) #
Current FO has impeccable drafting/re-investment in player development reputation so far so I find it hard to fault. Plus like another posted pointed out...how many GM's would have traded their studs to extend the 16/17 window?

Maybe the Jays will be like the Sabres and Canadiens with only a 6 month reset.
pubster - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 12:56 PM EST (#369258) #
I think its unlikely that both Bichette and Gurriel become good enough to be everyday SS at the MLB level.

If it happens, then I think its a great problem to have.

Since SS is all the way at one end of the devensive spectrum, they should be able to play any other position on the diamond. So I guess the solution would be to move one of them to 2b/3b.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 01:13 PM EST (#369259) #
Morales and Smoak. Present.

Grichuk, Hernandez and Gurriel. Future. As well as 3-6 that are ready/close now and 3 got called up in Sept. Jansen, Tellez and McKinney. Drury. 1 or 2 could be wow.
Vulg - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 01:17 PM EST (#369260) #
I don't understand the outrage over Shoemaker and Richard. It has already been established that the team is not trying to win in 2019, and having disposable vets taking up big league spots is exactly what the Jays need right now as they figure to have a ton of players in AAA that will graduate (or already have) to the Majors relatively soon

I see more apathy than outrage, but to answer the question, if you're going to offer 1 or 2 year deals to starting pitchers as a stop-gap to the 2020 offseason, why not go after better ones? It only costs more money, not term, and you'll probably get back better performance (or trade value) for them.

Of course, I probably gave the answer in that last sentence - it costs more money.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 01:23 PM EST (#369261) #
I agree that there is no problem in signing Charlie Morton to a two year reasonable deal, and would be preferable to Shoemaker.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#369262) #
The reason the team canít carry contracts like Fowler, EE, and Bautista during rebuilding phases is because, under the financial arrangement mandated by ownership, the team apparently needs to save up sunstantial amounts of payroll room for the contending stretches. Thatís why itís inaccurate to say that the Jays are now a $160m or $170m payroll (largeish-market) team. The payroll might reach those heights for a time, but then it drops dramatically during the rebuilding years. That happened under the AA regime, and it appears to be what is happening now.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 01:28 PM EST (#369263) #
Syndergaard, Marisnick, d'Arnaud and a few others were traded after 2012 in an effort to compete in 2013.  The club was at a different stage in the cycle then. 
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 01:47 PM EST (#369264) #
Morton would have been a good signing, but the Jays are a rebuilding team in the AL East. Would Morton have chosen the Jays ahead of contending teams if the offers were in the same ballpark? Probably not. If the Jays blew everyone out of the water with a two year offer, then maybe, but how much sense would that have made for a team with no intention of winning in 2019 and a presumably declining payroll?

I think a more logical route would have been trying to trade for someone like Jon Gray, or some other pitcher that another team may not value as much as they should, but the FO does not want to trade prospects so that makes trades very difficult to make unless they are getting a player for marginal pieces (like they got Grichuk and Diaz for). Plus I don't see many trades being made where controllable pitchers with years of arbitration left are being moved so that's probably not realistic in this market.

The Jays are in a place on their win curve where free agency is not an advantageous avenue to add talent. In a year or two, that might be the opposite.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 02:02 PM EST (#369265) #
"2013 Jays top 10 prospects versus, current Shaprio/Atkins drafted/signed prospects."

ok make i 6yrs ago then.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 02:05 PM EST (#369266) #
A positive for me is what TamRa and ayjackson said about 9-10 prospects graduating off the prospect list in 2019.
Their list is on the Top Prospects Almost thread.
300+ ABs in 2019 for Jansen, Vlad and McKinney is very possible. SRF 100IP I think. Zeuch 60IP?

Paulino needs 8IP. But he has an option left I believe, so he probably gets a chance to fail as a SP in the minors first.
Tellez needs 80ABs to lose his prospect status.

I have soured a little on Alford so he will probably dominate and blow past 150ABs.
grjas - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 02:20 PM EST (#369267) #
ďCurrent FO has impeccable drafting/re-investment in player development ď.

Exactly. I disagree with saying the FO has no strategy or focus on winning. They have a long term focus on player development thatís akin to the Gillick years, and for some of us thatís a welcome change. I find it astonishing how few position players of any stature have been developed by this club in the last 20 years. The hated John Farrell had it right when he said ď I found Toronto to be a scouting-based organization, which to me is on one plane, one-dimensional. Youíre looking at tools. [In Boston] itís a player-development-based system.Ē

Boston has a tonne have home grown talent on their team thatís the backbone of that club. Whereís ours? (Hopefully, with proper development, itís arriving from the minors.)
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 02:33 PM EST (#369268) #
UO you are baiting us. Hahaha.

Please make your own list of AA prospects/players that are still with the Jays. Don't forget to put Vlad on the list some where. Also you can put Osuna on the list since he was inherited from AA. Go 10 or 15 if you like. I loved AA's prospects/players. To date Shapiro is definitely blown out of the water.

A lot more to come from AA. SRF, P Murphy and Y Diaz look great to me. Already here Borucki.

For Shapiro, that is a hard act to follow. But his prospects/players are good too. But not as good. Giles, Grichuk, Hernandez and Gurriel.

Lastly Bo has to be on Shapiro's list. Do you still believe he is good? Can he be #1 on 16 other teams lists? I think he is #1 on Toronto's list, except for the earned promotion that did not happen because of service time to Vlad.

Sept 2018 was awesome for me. More awesome if Vlad was there. If he can hit lefties he could have won that game against D Price vs Sanchez.





uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 03:00 PM EST (#369269) #
"They have a long term focus on player development thatís akin to the Gillick years, and for some of us thatís a welcome change."

So they say. And so every single front office that's ever been also says.

Yet all the 'youth' they've acquired is already in their mid-20s.

And, of course, remember that a longterm focus on player development is completely independent from the yearly roster decisions anyways.

Paul D - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 03:27 PM EST (#369270) #
Does anyone seriously think that Vlad won't be up next year? Does anyone want that to be the case? I want to say that holding him down would be borderline criminal, which I realize is hyperbolic, but I would find it extremely difficult to be a fan of a team that treats its players like that.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 03:36 PM EST (#369271) #
Agreed Paul D.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 03:37 PM EST (#369272) #
"ok make i 6yrs ago then."

You mean the year the only Jays prospects listed in their top ten to play full season ball were Chris Hawkins, Deck McGuire and a recently drafted Marcus Stroman?

 
Vulg - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 03:56 PM EST (#369273) #
The reason the team canít carry contracts like Fowler, EE, and Bautista during rebuilding phases is because, under the financial arrangement mandated by ownership, the team apparently needs to save up sunstantial amounts of payroll room for the contending stretches. Thatís why itís inaccurate to say that the Jays are now a $160m or $170m payroll (largeish-market) team. The payroll might reach those heights for a time, but then it drops dramatically during the rebuilding years. That happened under the AA regime, and it appears to be what is happening now.

I think the question is, how much should it drop? Nobody expects them to spend "large" ($160M+) during a rebuilding window, but ~$65M in non-arbitration money puts the team squarely in the "small" category.

You can use budget headroom in a variety of ways and I think the hope was that some of this financial flexibility would be used opportunistically (eg. Morton - Tampa, temporarily taking on Edwin's deal - Seattle etc).
ayjackson - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:02 PM EST (#369274) #
"The reason the team canít carry contracts like Fowler, EE, and Bautista during rebuilding phases is because, under the financial arrangement mandated by ownership, the team apparently needs to save up sunstantial amounts of payroll room for the contending stretches. Thatís why itís inaccurate to say that the Jays are now a $160m or $170m payroll (largeish-market) team.†"

I think this is baseless speculation.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:02 PM EST (#369275) #
Jays are spending $69 million this year on Tulo, Russell and Morales alone since all of Tulo's salary is paid out against the budget this year.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:11 PM EST (#369276) #
"You mean the year the only Jays prospects listed in their top ten to play full season ball were Chris Hawkins, Deck McGuire and a recently drafted Marcus Stroman?"

whichever year it was that doesn't let you disinclude Thor.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:13 PM EST (#369277) #
"Does anyone seriously think that Vlad won't be up next year? Does anyone want that to be the case? I want to say that holding him down would be borderline criminal, which I realize is hyperbolic, but I would find it extremely difficult to be a fan of a team that treats its players like that."

I don't see how the argument to keep him down last year was any different than the argument to keep him down this year would be.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:15 PM EST (#369278) #
Honest Question:

In your informed opinion, do you think that our current front office would prefer to:

a) lose efficiently? or
b) win wastefully?

Vulg - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:36 PM EST (#369279) #
Jays are spending $69 million this year on Tulo, Russell and Morales alone since all of Tulo's salary is paid out against the budget this year.

Thanks, but it's all right here:

https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/payroll/

There's no real hiding from what each team is spending or how little the Jays are committing. If anything, writing off Tulo in 2018 should unburden the team in 2019 from an accounting perspective.

Arb-2 and Arb-3 numbers will increase all teams to some extent (eg. Stroman missing from Jays, T.Walker missing from Dbacks, Scooter Gennett missing from Reds - all $4.5M+), but those are accurate relative values.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 04:55 PM EST (#369280) #
ayj, as Iíve suggested already, there is no need to speculate. You can review the last couple of decades of the Jaysí spending on payroll ó including the ebbs and flows ó to get a sense of how things are likely to be going forward. Probably the Jays average payroll over the last 20 or 30 years is about 10th to 15th in MLB. Could be better, could be worse. As Nigel mentioned, there is the additional problem of the teamís spending not aligning very well with its natural win cycle, so that the money that is being spent on payroll is not working very efficiently in terms of postseason appearances (that is, because too much payroll is being allocated towards preventing the team from ever getting too bad instead of letting the team periodically bottom out for a while and then focusing spending on building a proper contender for a good stretch during the up cycles).
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 05:35 PM EST (#369281) #
so if we strip down the budget to $25m for a few years, then we'd be able to hit the luxury tax for a few years down the road?

if so, then strip it down to the bone, please!
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 05:57 PM EST (#369282) #
Exactly. Despite having a substantially lower payroll, the Rays have been more successful than the Jays (in terms of postseason appearances) than the Jays over the last couple of decades. This is because they were willing to be very bad for a while before becoming very good. Of course, they were also a well-run franchise during that period.

And wouldnít you rather be a fan of a team like bad Houston + good Houston (Osuna acquisition aside) than a fan of one that never gets especially bad, but only very rarely (sometimes not for 20 years) gets especially good?
Michael - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 06:19 PM EST (#369283) #
An good article on the choices teams make: https://deadspin.com/your-favorite-baseball-team-can-afford-any-free-agent-i-1830890838
uglyone - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 06:26 PM EST (#369284) #
a hearty yup to that article.
scottt - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 07:27 PM EST (#369285) #
Thor was a good prospect, however it took Thor and D'Arnaud and another prospect and a decent catcher in John Buck to get back Dickie  who was just an inning eater. Basically the same thing we're hoping to get from Shoemaker and Richard for free. Those 2 guys could totally bomb and it would have no negative effect on the next season, because the prospects will still be there.

Vulg - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 08:03 PM EST (#369286) #
An good article on the choices teams make: https://deadspin.com/your-favorite-baseball-team-can-afford-any-free-agent-i-1830890838

What a great article.

I try to be civil about it, but the mental gymnastics some people go through to justify how little Rogers, one of the wealthiest owners in all of MLB, invests in the Jays, who play in one of the largest markets in MLB, completely boggles my mind.

The economics of baseball (no salary cap!) are such that the only argument you're making is to preserve profit for your team.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 02 2019 @ 08:41 PM EST (#369287) #
TB made the playoffs for the 1st time in 2008 I believe. That was not 20 years ago. Lots of #1 draft picks, A Friedman and J Maddon boosted their wins. They developed a very nice formula based on trading good players before they became too expensive. They were never given the opportunity to have dead weight payroll because they were never allowed to sign expensive FAs.

Since Gillick left our GMs were Ash and Richardi who performed badly in almost everything. They were expected to win with a mid level payroll. At least Ash drafted well. Ash gave away D Wells. Gillick did the same. Richardi did not draft well. He allowed C Carpenter to leave for nothing.

AA built a V good farm. Then traded away a lot of the farm. Convinced ownership to increase payroll then used it on dead weight contracts.

If this trend continues then Shapiro and company will find a way to lose. How much blame should they be accountable for regarding the dead weight contracts of Martin and Tulo? The bad luck/timing of the Donaldson trade.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 01:03 AM EST (#369288) #
Greenfrog,

Atkins has gone on record today with some statements relating to goals during radio spots:

Question:
"This year is a developmental year...as management is there any concern that if the win/loss record goes south, that the fanbase tunes out of this team very early in mid-August?...With a developmental year are you trying to protect against the downside where the win/loss record really bottoms out?"

Answer
"We need discipline to make sure our players transition at their own pace not at our pace to win. They can't come in as complimentary pieces but need to have opportunities."

On Timeline to Compete:
"When we get to the point this year or some time next year and hopefully not beyond that..."

On Budget
..we have not stopped at trying to build a better farm system in baseball...evidence shows if you have a better farm system in baseball...you win...especially in a market like ours where we're going to have financial power to compliment it. The Yankees and Red Sox are now current examples of this and we are going to look to match that power.

Back to Answer
To call it a developmental year...we are not signing up for losses this year. We are trying to make the organization better every day and at some point it will turn into a sustainable winning environment.

Trades
"There's very little doubt in my mind that there will be continued trades."

Non-Paraphrased link:
https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/ross-atkins-blue-jays-not-proactively-looking-move-marcus-stroman/
Dr B - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 01:18 AM EST (#369289) #

Dr B - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 01:19 AM EST (#369290) #
That deadspin article does suggest a certain amount of collusion between the franchises to keep the playersí salaries down. Which certainly seems unfair, but I am not sure that the welfare of the players is what is winding people up.

From a baseball point of view does it matter how much the players are paid? You still have the same pool of players playing the same game and if every front office doubled their budget you may find the distribution of players somewhat similar (though there are likely some very interesting effects due to the top end players being so valuable). The real point though is that fans want _their_ team to increase their budget and for nobody else to do the same.

Michael - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 02:45 AM EST (#369291) #
Dr B, the same argument that the pool is constant so what does the salary matter also supports paying the players 2x, 3x, or 10x what they make today. Doesn't change who is a MLB player and who isn't, only changes the bottom line of the owners.

So if asked to choose between the 'millionaire' major league players and the 'billionaire' major league owners, why should we choose the billionaires?

When asked to accept justification for why our team can't pay more for better players and given reasons like payroll flexibility, why do we have to accept that?

While everyone wants to find the "moneyball" approach of the late nineties where OBP was under appreciated and you could build a better team around that, what if the current "moneyball" is actual money? As in some teams will price a WAR at $15M and others at $5M, and if all teams project players similarly +/- 10%, but budget their team at +/- 200%, the money will dictate the wins. In other words a reasonable hypothesis might be as front offices have gotten smarter, the impact of payroll (I.e., how much) is larger on team wins than the impact of efficiency (I.e., how smart is the money spent). Could there be data to support this hypothesis? Yes: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/dont-be-fooled-by-baseballs-small-budget-success-stories/

The linked page by team is also quite interesting, especially seeing which teams do better than their peers considering payroll level: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-your-favorite-baseball-team-blows-its-money/

vw_fan17 - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 05:20 AM EST (#369292) #
I like that article, but think this one is even more apt: https://deadspin.com/the-hot-stove-and-the-triumph-of-shamelessness-1822247219
vw_fan17 - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 05:37 AM EST (#369293) #
Dr. B - from a purely baseball point of view, it doesn't matter the total size of the salary pool of all teams combined, within some range, say 1/5 of today to 5-10x of today or something like that. Players like Bryce Harper will still get a similar %age of the total pie, I would imagine, so they will live well and maintain their ego as "highest paid", whether that's $5M/year or $500M/year.

What does matter to me, as a fan, is that almost without fail, they keep raising prices. MLB TV (what I use) goes up almost every year, seat prices go up, concession prices go up, etc. And then they (&@#$ spend less every year (in terms of %age)? At some point, they're going to find the "too many fans disgusted with management" point. When they do, watch out - you need a certain level of fan interest to sustain itself, I would think. Once you get below critical mass, you might find team support totally collapses in some regions and then it's really hard to bring it back..
scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 07:21 AM EST (#369294) #
You read Phan's rent about Tampa having no fanbase and how it sucks to play there?

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25626811/tampa-bay-really-no-fan-base-all

scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 07:31 AM EST (#369295) #
I think now is a weird time to complain about payroll parameters.
There were plenty of years when the team was winning and had glaring holes like shortstop and pitching depth in the Halladay years, the pitching in 2014 just one year after they went all in, etc...

Right now, they'll play young players everywhere if the players show they are ready.
There are no veteran with a safe spot on this team and the free agents additions are just depth pieces so that no prospect is promoted unless he's shown he's ready for the next step.

hypobole - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 07:35 AM EST (#369296) #
One point I haven't seen mentioned is that suppression of FA salaries may benefit the Jays more than other teams. For the 1st 6 years, the Jays are on a level playing field with every other MLB team.

But there is and has been a "Canada penalty" in free agency. A free agent with an $80 million offer from a US team may ask for $100 million to sign with the Jays. But if that same player's best offer is now $40 million, the same % penalty may "only" cost the Jays an extra $10 million rather than $20 million.
scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 07:37 AM EST (#369297) #
I live in Ottawa. I went to a game last year with my wife and I spent close to a grand.
I lucked out and it was a great game. There were 5 noisy Phillies fans in front of us with nothing to cheer for as their team was fumbling out of the playoffs.

Chuck - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 08:01 AM EST (#369298) #
What does matter to me, as a fan, is that almost without fail, they keep raising prices.

Not meaning to sound snarky, but is this not simply fundamental economic principles at play? You keep raising prices as far as the market will tolerate knowing that your sell price and the cost of production are largely decoupled in a non-competitive market (or modestly competitive market). You only pretend that coupling exists when you use specific costs -- a free agent, stadium renovations, etc. -- as a rationale for raising prices.

Of course, accepting this doesn't make it easier when someone is trying to sell you a hot dog for $10. Only when people stop paying $10 for a hot dog will the pricing models change. Fans are much better about grousing about high prices than actually reacting to them by avoiding them entirely.

scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 08:05 AM EST (#369299) #
temporarily taking on Edwin's deal - Seattle

Seattle actually reduced payroll.
They just spent it all on Kikuchi.

The Jays released Tulo and they still need to eat most of Martin's salary.
The Dodgers might take Martin back. The Giants would be a good fit for Pillar.
Most teams would be improved by Stroman pitching to form.
They haven't done anything that keep them from spending money if an opportunity arises.

uglyone - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 08:42 AM EST (#369300) #
another hearty yup to that article, vwfan.
scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 10:16 AM EST (#369301) #
The shame article is from last year.

It's aged a bit, but there are still too many teams tanking which prevents signing players on 1 year deal to trade them at the deadline to be very effective.  It's bad enough that nobody seem to want to trade for good players on 1 year deal or maybe the asking teams are demanding too much in return. EE is on the block. Castellanos. Sonny Gray.

Anyway, back to last year. The Blue Jays were not tanking. Donaldson tanked.  Stroman tanked. The team added.
They could have spent more and added differently, the result would have been largely the same.
In the win tally, it was a lot like AA's 2013.

In 2014, the team outperformed to finish at .500 with the payroll maxed out.
Can they do the same in 2019 with "payroll flexibility" intact for 2020?

bpoz - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 10:56 AM EST (#369302) #
You are right scottt. Donaldson and Stroman had horrible years. A few others were mediocre. Osuna was a factor in losing. Sanchez should have been better if not for lost time due to that freak luggage accident.

The additions performed well, considering their ability. Diaz, Solarte, Axford, Clippard and Oh. Clippard maybe not. HRs.

In 2017 R Goins was roasted it seems to me. But I thought he played very well. Part timer becoming a full timer.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 01:06 PM EST (#369303) #
Michael, to follow-up on your post about the role of money, I wonder whether there might be some ďMoneyballĒ-type gains in maintaining a relatively high payroll year-over-year, rather than the ďsave for a few years, spend for a few years, and always subject to the whims of ownershipĒ approach the Jays have followed. Or maybe it is better to tank for a period of time, bank some money and high draft picks, and then go all-in financially for a while. Iím not sure. It seems to me that it would be easier for management to plan and execute a long-run strategy if it had a stable (and healthy-sized) annual budget.
christaylor - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 01:40 PM EST (#369304) #
I think recent history suggests that many smart baseball people have decided that the tank strategy is a better one.

The stable/rising top 5 or 10 budgets in MLB are more than likely the teams you'd think, but do NYY et al get a "rich-team efficiency" -- doesn't seem far-fetched. As with almost any efficiency problem, the most interesting cases are the edge cases. That is, teams like the Jays who need / want to be flexible with their budgets rather than TB/OAK and NYY/BOS.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 02:00 PM EST (#369305) #
Good news - if reports are true that the Indians are unlikely to trade kluber/Bauer, then it's time those teams that were hoping to acquire Kluber/Bauer circle back to Stroman.
bpoz - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 02:03 PM EST (#369306) #
This could be cherry picking but please explain 2014.

Wins for Baltimore 96, NYY 84, Tor 83, TB 77 and Boston 71.
WC KC 89, Oakland 88.

I can understand Baltimore adding talent mid year because they look solid for a playoff spot and the team's owners and fans want a WS championship.

NYY and Boston may have tanked to get a better draft position. Or had a ton of injuries they could not overcome. Probably traded expiring contracts. Good to restock the farm. Just don't do this too often or the fans will complain.
uglyone - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 03:18 PM EST (#369307) #
hey good news guys - we tried!


Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
blue jays were among several other teams to make a strong play for Yusei Kikuchi. #mariners
mathesond - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 04:42 PM EST (#369308) #
It's a shame, really. I was looking forward to the comments excoriating Shapiro & Atkins for investing in his troubled shoulder.
scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 06:01 PM EST (#369309) #
The mlbrumors forecast was 6/42M. That's 7M per year. He got roughly double that.
There must have been a lot of teams bidding.

scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 06:22 PM EST (#369310) #
I don't think that there's a lot of teams with the prospect capital to bet on Stroman.
It's mostly about the Padres.

scottt - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 06:47 PM EST (#369311) #
In 2013, the Jays were projected to win the division. They scored 712 runs and allowed 756. They finished last.
In 2018, the Jays were projected to win the second wild card. They scored 709 runs and allowed 852. They finished 4th.

In 2014, the Jays released Arencibia and signed Navarro.
Juan Francisco (waiver pick up) took over from Lawrie at 3B (too many DL stints).
Because Bonifacio did not hit, a guy named Kawasaki took over at 2B.
They scored 723 runs.

in 2019, Jansen is projected to get most of the catcher AB.
Guerrero should take over from Solarte at 3B.
If Travis does not hit, someone else will take over at 2B.
They should score more than 710 runs.

The big difference however was the pitching.
In 2014, Dickie, Bhuerle and Hutchison made 32 or more starts. Happ 26 and Stroman 20. The allowed only 686 runs.

I'm not expecting Stroman, Sanchez and Borucki to be that good.
There will be a lot of young arms on the mound. Can they score more than they allow?


bpoz - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 07:42 PM EST (#369312) #
Thanks scottt. A good/great rotation would help. The farm has young pitching prospects that should arrive soon. 1 or 2 per year may be ready.
Michael - Thursday, January 03 2019 @ 10:19 PM EST (#369313) #
Thanks for the good article vw_fan.
bpoz - Friday, January 04 2019 @ 01:25 PM EST (#369314) #
I looked at our June draft history from 2010 to today.

Too soon to tell about 2018.

2017 should have K Smith and Z Logue in AA. They don't have to be rule 5 protected until after 2020.

2016 Zeuch, Bichette and Biggio will be in AAA.

I was actually trying to find v good/great players. Only Stroman so far. Sanchez and Thor are possibilities. I use C Carpenter, Hentgen and Wells as marks of excellence.
Gerry - Friday, January 04 2019 @ 03:32 PM EST (#369315) #
Oliver Drake, DFA's last week, has been traded to the Rays for cash.
greenfrog - Friday, January 04 2019 @ 08:48 PM EST (#369316) #
I'm looking to expand my baseball-related reading material, and was wondering what baseball websites or blogs Bauxites find most interesting or useful (beyond BA, BRef, Fangraphs, The Athletic, and fivethirtyeight.com). Any suggestions? I used to check in on Sickels's minorleagueball from time to time, but that site appears to have been shelved, at least for the time being.

Also, can anyone recommend any good books on baseball stats / sabermetrics (still-relevant classics or more recent texts)?
Michael - Friday, January 04 2019 @ 11:57 PM EST (#369317) #
I don't follow these like I once did, but baseball prospectus, baseball think factory, tango's site, hardball Times all used to be part of my regular reading.
Glevin - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 06:46 AM EST (#369318) #
I do a lot of my baseball reading off of twitter. Tons of interesting people there. And they retweet other interesting people yiu can follow.
scottt - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 07:33 AM EST (#369319) #
Cash considerations. I think that usually mean money is owed if Drake eventually makes the team (or if traded again?).
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 08:52 AM EST (#369320) #
The Jays really like Trent Thornton. His numbers are very good for a Pitcher in the PCL. If we can understand why they like him, maybe we can understand what they use to make that determination.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 09:08 AM EST (#369321) #
In addition, if we can understand why the Jays protected and exposed who they did in the Rule 5 Draft maybe we can understand the methods they used.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 09:13 AM EST (#369322) #
If we can understand the methods the Jays used maybe we can understand why the Jays choose who they sign/acquire. Maybe we can understand who they are after.
scottt - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 09:35 AM EST (#369323) #
I look at the future from the standpoint of probabilities. It's like a branching stream of probabilities, and there are actions that we can take that affect those probabilities or that accelerate one thing or slow down another thing. I may introduce something new to the probability stream.

Elon Musk reminds me of Atkins.

bpoz - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 10:48 AM EST (#369324) #
What do you have in your probability stream now scottt? I think I understand what you are saying.

Like:
Players have injured and healthy seasons. A pattern/probability emerges. Travis/Tulo vs Pillar.

Everyone gets old. Means decline.

In season replacements from bench. Goins/Barney vs Diaz/Solarte. Win now or rebuilding.

scottt - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 03:43 PM EST (#369325) #
That was an just Elon Musk quote, just to show that not it's just Atkins who talks like that.
scottt - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 04:25 PM EST (#369326) #
Boras said several teams offered 7 years for Kikuchi but the Mariners won with a plan to have him open instead of start every 6 times through the rotation. I suppose the west coast is also a huge plus for Japanese players.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#369327) #
Gregor Chisholm of bluejays.com lists the top three items on the Jays' to-do list as:

1. Add to the starting rotation
2. Addressing the bullpen's need for a couple of arms
3. Add a veteran backup shortstop

I'm confused. Didn't the team already have controllable in-house solutions to #2 (Bergen) and #3 (Tulowitzki)? Why is the front office looking to expend additional resources on those areas of need?

Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 05:29 PM EST (#369328) #
If Ross Atkins acquires his young #1 Stud with 6+ years of control (who can Start in 2019), the Jays might be competitive right away and that changes most future moves. N.B.: This is an unlikely occurrence but not impossible.

If Ross Atkins acquires a better Starter with only 4+years of control the Jays might go for it. That will change the direction the Jays must go. It will change all the moves the Jays must make. N.B.: This is more likely to happen.

If the Jays must settle for less than above, they will go week by week judging where they are as the Season progresses. They will slow play the market and sign/acquire who they can. N.B.: Most likely.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 05:43 PM EST (#369329) #
"If Ross Atkins acquires his young #1 Stud with 6+ years of control (who can Start in 2019), the Jays might be competitive right away and that changes most future moves. N.B.: This is an unlikely occurrence but not impossible.

If Ross Atkins acquires a better Starter with only 4+years of control the Jays might go for it. That will change the direction the Jays must go. It will change all the moves the Jays must make. N.B.: This is more likely to happen."

Let me add that if the Blue Jays sign Machado and Harper and call up Vlad to start the season opener then they will be competing right away.
scottt - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 05:54 PM EST (#369330) #
RosterResource lists the Jays 3 needs as

1. Starting pitcher
2. Closer or setup man
3. Corner outfield

Mlbtraderumours will have something on the ALE 3 needs, next week I presume. They already covered the other divisions.

The real pressing needs are

1. Trade a catcher
2. Trade Pillar or try to get something back for Pompey
3. Trade Sroman/Sanchez if the offer is good enough

So yeah, the 2 freed spots should be used for pitchers.

scottt - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 05:58 PM EST (#369331) #
The Buffalo Bisons have their annual Hotstove Prospect Showcase on Jan 17.

The star of the event is of course 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Also in attendance:

2018 Eastern League MVP INF Cavan Biggio (#9 Blue Jays prospect by MLB.com), RHP Nate Pearson (#4 prospect), INF Kevin Smith (#6 prospect), RHP Hector Perez (#11 prospect), RHP T.J. Zeuch (#15 prospect), RHP Trent Thornton (#22 prospect), INF Santiago Espinal (#23 prospect), OF Forrest Wall (#25 prospect) as well as RHP Jacob Waguespack, RHP Julian Merryweather, RHP Patrick Murphy, RHP Yennsy Diaz and RHP Zach Jackson.

https://www.milb.com/buffalo/news/vladdy-scheduled-to-appear-at-bisons-hot-stove-prospect-showcase-january-17/c-302386218

Glevin - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 06:11 PM EST (#369332) #
Travis Bergen hasnít pitched above AA and has medicre stuff, even if the Jays has been able to keep him, it would made no difference to their offseason plans, Iím sure they want a Joe Smith or Oh typewriter two that can pitch 7) #
Gregor Chisholm of bluejays.com lists the top three items on the Jays' to-do list as:

1. Add to the starting rotation
2. Addressing the bullpen's need for a couple of arms
3. Add a veteran backup shortstop

I'm confused. Didn't the team already have controllable in-house solutions to #2 (Bergen) and #3 (Tulowitzki)? Why is the front office looking to expend additional resources on those areas of need?Ē

Bergen has not pitched above AA and has mediocre stuff. Even if the Jays were able to keep him, heíd have made no difference to offseason plans. Theyíre looking for a Smith or Oh kind of pitcher who can pitch well and then be flipped at the deadline not relief prospect depth. And Tulo didnít want to be a backup. Heís a competitor who wants to play, if he embraced the mentor role and was happy backing up people Iím sure heíd still be in Toronto.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 07:38 PM EST (#369333) #
"Bergen ... has mediocre stuff"

Source?

"And Tulo didnít want to be a backup. Heís a competitor who wants to play"

So provide the Yankees with their starting SS for 2019 *and* pay the entire amount owing on his contract?
greenfrog - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 08:18 PM EST (#369334) #
Also: if Bergen has mediocre stuff, why did the Giants (Farhan Zaidi) bother to select him in the Rule 5 draft?
bpoz - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 10:08 PM EST (#369335) #
Keon Broxton traded to the Mets from the Brewers.
Vulg - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 11:39 PM EST (#369336) #
And Britton to the Yanks for $39 over 3 years (with some caveats).

It'll be really interesting to see how close to the tax threshold they end up after the Manny/Bryce sweepstakes conclude.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 05 2019 @ 11:51 PM EST (#369337) #
I agree with greenfrog. Should have kept unhappy Tulo rather than pay him to have opportunity to star for the Yankees.
Vulg - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 12:03 AM EST (#369338) #
I agree with greenfrog. Should have kept unhappy Tulo rather than pay him to have opportunity to star for the Yankees.

Well the widely reported issue was that he viewed himself as a starter, whereas the team wants to cycle some guys through the position to see what they have, starting with the Gurriel audition and probably ending with Bichette's opportunity.

Cashman has come out and proclaimed Tulo the starter "as of right now" and won't have his hand forced until Didi returns from injury. He also stated that they were very open about the opportunity to start and what might happen, but Tulo seems happy to gamble with the time he's given to prove himself. We'll see if it works out.

I heard Shapiro's interview on The Fan when Bobcat asked him about the timing of the release and though I think it was dumb to hang onto him through the Rule V, it was also clear that they were headed for drama in spring training if Tulo was still on the roster and that it wasn't a headache that Montoya in particular needed.
John Northey - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 12:29 AM EST (#369339) #
I think dumping Tulo was needed. He wanted to be everyday, he isn't part of the future here, odds are he won't be much above replacement level at this stage and I'd rather see Gurriel at SS or Bo or whoever else among the kids instead. Just like I'd be happy if Smoak is dumped or Morales or both to let kids get time by mid-season but unlike SS no one is pounding on the door (Tellez could be by June) nor do the regulars look like toast.

Yeah, Tulo might be good for the Yanks as he dreamed of playing there as a kid and now he gets his shot. Makes sense to me that he'd be willing to be a backup there but nowhere else. If I was a former star in the majors and had millions in my bank I'd probably be the same about anywhere but Toronto - play me everyday so I can show my value or send me where I dreamed of playing so that can be off my bucket list. Gretzky tried that in hockey with the Leafs but they were run by morons at the time so he went to the Rangers to finish his career as I recall.

As a Jays fan/Yankee hater I'd like Tulo to fail, but as a fan of Tulo I'd like him to do well enough to make it tough on the Yanks when Didi returns.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 12:41 AM EST (#369340) #
I have no problem with Tulo playing for New York, and I hope he does well there. But at least make the Yankees pick up a million dollar or so of his salary -- or at least $555k, which the Yankees are giving him *on top* of the money the Jays are giving him, along with a full no-trade clause.

From Rotoworld: "Heyman says the interest in Tulo around the league -- with as many as 16 teams vying for his services, per Heyman -- gave him leverage to negotiate a full no-trade clause into his contract."
Glevin - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 03:47 AM EST (#369341) #
Greenfrog, are you really criticizing Rogers for not saving $1m dollars? Who cares? Maybe the Jays could have shopped around for a month and got someone to pay a million a year in a trade but what difference does that make? They are not competing and just not spending money anyway.
greenfrog - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 05:19 AM EST (#369342) #
No, I'm questioning the way the front office has been going about its business this off-season:

- First they give Tulo and Drake two of the last spots on the 40-man roster

- Then Bergen and Romano get plucked in the Rule 5 draft

- Then the front office releases Tulo and, after "up to 16 teams" express interest in the shortstop, the rival Yankees sign him for an additional $555k and give him a no-trade clause to be their putative starting shortstop for 2019

- Then the front office sends Drake to the Rays for cash considerations

- Now BlueJays.com indicates that signing a couple of low-grade FA relievers is among the team's top 3 priorities for the off-season

Considering whom the Jays netted at the July 31 deadline for their last batch of FA pitchers -- Oh (Spanberger and Wall), Alford (Copping), Clippard (nil), Garcia (nil) -- I don't see how this is likely to be a winning strategy. Why not instead release Tulo and Drake earlier, keep Bergen, and in the process save the team the $1-3 million it will cost to sign one of the fill-in relievers still being targeted? Surely a budget-conscious organization like the Jays can put that money to better use?
greenfrog - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 05:22 AM EST (#369343) #
*Axford, not Alford
lexomatic - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 07:55 AM EST (#369344) #
Interest in Tulo ay the minimum salary with nothing to give up to get him except that money is totally different than a trade where a team pays pennies more. If it turns up there was an offer that wasn't accepted, the  that's a different story.  just because teams have interest in one context doesn't mean they will in anither.
I'm also not concerned by rule 5s or the experienced relievers. I would be thrilled by the results of play & trade the team has had the last few years.
scottt - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 08:36 AM EST (#369345) #
You cannot fill up your roster with Rule V draft candidates. Nobody does that.
At best, teams trade some for international money.

They picked up Luciano, who has considerably more upside than Bergen.

Tulo has shown that his lateral movement is still there and that he can hit 60mph fastballs.
That was enough for a bunch of teams to consider him at minimum salary.
His defense might be good, but he might be rusty. There is not telling how he will hit.
And of course, there are no guarantees he will stay healthy.

Drake has been replaced by Shoemaker and Richard.
He cost nothing and might have brought back a few Ks. Nothing to see there.

They should not be signing top relievers on long contracts now. It's something they'll want to do when they are competing. Minor league signing or 1 year contracts on guys with upside is the way to go.

scottt - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 08:59 AM EST (#369346) #
Not sure what the Yankees are doing. They seem to be waiting to get Machado at a discount which is not going to happen. They might be holding on to Gray because of CC's heart surgery. Britton might be good or not. They have 3 relievers reaching 31 this year. They might lose a bit.

Right now Hicks and Gardner are the only left bats. Didi was a huge left bat in the middle of the lineup.
Tulo is not that. Against that lineup, I'd rather go with Gaviglio than Richard.

bpoz - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 11:51 AM EST (#369347) #
There is a story on the Gurriel family. Father was a superstar. Eldest brother OF, then the 2 ML sons.

The whole family is currently living in Miami. The off season workout is handled by father and eldest son. The father was Cuba's manager for many years. Very successful.

I hope father and son go to ST and hang out. Maybe they can be help out. If the Jays hire them that would be great.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 04:47 PM EST (#369348) #
It's gonna be interesting to see Tulo in pinstripes.. Especially if he gets off to a hot start.
I mean, did anyone propose to him that he gets to start, say 4-5 days a week and play 6-7 innings? Just for a few weeks, to make sure he's not being overly strained? And if he is doing well, we promise to let him be the full-time starter until such time as we find a reasonable trade. If not, release him a couple of months into the season. At the very least the Yankees will have overspent on Machado and won't be as interested..
grjas - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#369349) #
As his agent said, the front office did him a favour releasing him now. Then of course Tulo reverses his comments about his willingness to play another position...as soon as he leaves the Jays. Nice.

Anyway, iím Not fussed if he would have done well with the Jays. Better to give Gurriel the reps. Highly unlikely heíd have much value In July even with a good year, given the dollars outstanding.
Mylegacy - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 08:15 PM EST (#369350) #
Speaking about Tulo, Gurriel, and the left hand side of the diamond. Over at Jays from the Couch they had a diary on Drury and his future (or lack thereof) with the Jays.

My answer there (repeated here) sums up my short-mid-long term views for the left side:

Immediately after the season I assumed Drury would be in the running for a look-see at 2nd and 3rd in 2019. However, I read an article earlier this off-season where Drury said he felt he was best suited for "3rd" and one of Shankins (can't remember which) said "I agree."

The left side looks crowded with prospects in the next few years - I see (Gurriel), Vlad, Bo and Cavan (By the way Cavan is 23 and I believe he should be being tested in the Bigs sooner rather than later) as the front runners to eventually hold those roster spots for a while. However, not too further behind these guys I see: Santiago Espinal, Kevin Smith, Jordan Groshans, Orelvis Martinez, Miguel Hiraldo and Leo Jimenez, ALL being SERIOUS possibilities over the next two to five years. A LOT of those 10 guys also fit in at 3rd.

Ergo, I want to see Drury be extensively worked at 3rd ALL pre-season to see what we he has defensively and offensively. If he's good, but doesn't "force" the team to reconsider 3rd longer term with him, I suggest we trade him using his "good(ish)" spring to try and get some nice little trinket in exchange.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 08:57 PM EST (#369351) #
I had three ďhail MaryĒ tests to take - no joy on two with just a lumber puncture left to try. Otherwise I must accept I have ALS. Iím sorry gentlemen but I can not wait for the Jays to be relavent again.
Mylegacy - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 09:29 PM EST (#369352) #
Richard, I am so sorry. Bloody, fu**in' h**l!

I've had follicular lymphoma (one of the 20+ forms of non hodgkin's lymphoma) for 21 months now and it's "incurable." Just in early December a neurologist tells me I've also got epilepsy.

At least we've got the Canadian Universal Health System to take a lot of the financial worry of these situations off the table.

But... and it's not "but" it's "but,but,but,but,but..."

If there's anything you need help with - if I can help in any way - I will. I'm so sorry.

Bloody, fu**in' h**l!
bpoz - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 09:49 PM EST (#369353) #
Sorry to hear that Richard. Also Mylegacy about your health issues.

Keep posting. You have friends here.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 10:16 PM EST (#369354) #
"Tulo has shown that his lateral movement is still there and that he can hit 60mph fastballs."

Well that's one quick as hell way to show everyone how ignorant you are. Unless, of course, you're smarter than the front offices of baseball that offered on Tulo, which, what am I saying, of course you are.
eldarion - Sunday, January 06 2019 @ 10:21 PM EST (#369355) #
Baseball is a game we love...but there's nothing more important than good health. Mylegacy, Richard...I'm sorry to read of your challenges. Stay strong and never give up. The Box would be poorer but for your contributions.
scottt - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 09:11 AM EST (#369356) #
Easy Dalimon. Tulo had a workout session where he took ground balls and hit 60mph fastballs.
That's the only baseball activity he's done in public in almost 2 years.

The Marcels projections at Brefs have him hitting .244 .307 .405.

He was one of the best, so I'd expect him to be at least an average shortstop.
But his ability to stay on the field is probably below average by now.

Gerry - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 10:10 AM EST (#369357) #
Its not a good start to the New Year with news like that from Richard and MyLegacy. I hope you guys can get the best medical care and do as well as you can with your illnesses.
bpoz - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 11:31 AM EST (#369358) #
Oakland made a fantastic move last year. It was a V good offense IMO. Their defense was probably good. Great Pen. V poor rotation and still poor IMO. I also think good health and good luck were major factors.

I will watch them this year to see how B Bean makes adjustments. Last year he traded for L Familia. I don't know why he could not land Happ. How hard did he try?
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 11:39 AM EST (#369359) #
I would have loved to give Troy Tulowitzki an opportunity to win the S.S. job. The Jays will give Lourdes Gurriel Jr. every chance to become the Jaysí S.S. in 2019. So there really was no place on the Roster for Troy. With Bo Bichette pushing hard to get here, even Lourdes will be pushed at the position.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#369360) #
One good thing about the huge inbound group of Middle Infielders is the talent level promised. Future trade assets are also an alternative. The future is bright.
bpoz - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 12:59 PM EST (#369361) #
L Gurriel Jr had a monster hitting streak in July 2018. His 2017 minor league stats were weak, for whatever reason. Injuries prevented him from progressing.

In 2018 he proved that he could stay reasonably healthy and hit at the ML level. Becoming better is possible. We will see. Bo has to beat out a very good player to take SS away from him.

grjas - Monday, January 07 2019 @ 02:03 PM EST (#369362) #
Baseball is a game we love...but there's nothing more important than good health. Mylegacy, Richard...I'm sorry to read of your challenges. Stay strong and never give up. The Box would be poorer but for your contributions.

Well said. Sad to hear the news guys and hope things move forward as best they can.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 12:14 AM EST (#369363) #
Richard and Mylegacy - I think all of us here are sad to hear what you two are going through. If any of us can help in any way let us know either in a thread or by private message.

Really sucks, but lets hope for the best. I've heard a positive attitude can help a lot with sickness. Keep making new goals to reach so you always have something to reach for.

Sadly the Jays will probably keep another World Series out of reach but one never knows. Heck, if the Cubs could win then anything can happen so keep hope going. Live is weird and one never knows what will happen next - heck, who knew Harold Baines would be a HOF'er? The impossible happens every day. I really hope a miracle happens for you both.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 12:22 AM EST (#369364) #
One thing to look forward to is Roy Halladay joining the HOF this summer. I suspect his wife will give a speech that will leave many with tears. He is at 94.3% on the 156 public ballots so far, only Rivera is higher (still at 100%). Might be a big class with Edgar Martinez at 90.6% and Mike Mussina (ick) at 83%. Clemens and Bonds are at 73% (one more vote for Clemens vs Bonds) but likely to drop with the late ballots. Curt Schilling is also close at 73.6%.

Ex-Jays also on the ballot are Jeff Kent (11.9%), Fred McGriff (36.5% on his final try), Scott Rolen (20.8%), Michael Young (1.3%), Ted Lilly (0 votes). Canadian content is Jason Bay (0 votes) and Larry Walker (66.9% via 34 voters who didn't vote for him in the past voting for him now and 71.4% of new voters voting for him so I like his odds going forward to make it someday and join Fergie Jenkins as Canadians in the Hall).
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 12:37 AM EST (#369365) #
Mike Mussina was "in control" for a very long time and in hitter's parks and against stacked line ups. He very much belongs in the hall with Halladay.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 12:48 AM EST (#369366) #
I just dislike Mussina due to his attitude toward Jays. First his warming up in the bullpen during the all-star game after he agreed not to be used unless in extras ahead of time thus showing up Cito Gaston. Then complaining that the pre-game activities were too long honoring Tom Cheek when he was dying. I agree as a player he belongs but the longer he waits the better imo. Much like how I feel with the PED gang - many belong but waiting years and years is fine with me.
grjas - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 08:05 AM EST (#369367) #
Yeah I stopped following Mussina as he was such an arrogant jerk. But looking at his numbers again, he appears deserving. Pity. Rather see Schilling in, bloody sock and all.
mathesond - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 08:47 AM EST (#369368) #
Personally, I prefer Musisna's pettiness to Schilling's, um, behaviour.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 08:50 AM EST (#369369) #
All those years in my prime watching Mussina, i never felt I was watching a HOFer. If someone felt obliged to spell out his case for me in numbers, i would be appreciative. In my mind, he was a bit better than average for an awful long time.
hypobole - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 08:52 AM EST (#369370) #
Totally opposite. Mussina may or may not be an "arrogant jerk" but I don't recall anything like this from him:

"Schilling also tweeted his support of violence against journalists, writing, ďOk, so much awesome hereÖĒ on top of an image of a man wearing a shirt which read, ďRope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.Ē"
James W - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 11:09 AM EST (#369371) #
Here's Keith Law's reasoning for voting for Mussina:

Moose's 83 WAR is the highest of any pitcher not in the Hall other than Clemens, and Mussina doesn't have the same baggage associated with his candidacy. He pitched extremely well in every year but one of an 18-year career, and did so while pitching entirely in the AL East during a period when that was by far the game's toughest division, something that isn't reflected even in most advanced metrics. Among pitchers in the modern era with at least 3,000 innings, Mussina's ERA+ of 123 (100 is league average) ranks 21st. Everyone ahead of him is in the Hall, on the ballot or was banned from the game (Eddie Cicotte).
bpoz - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 11:58 AM EST (#369372) #
The off season is progressing at a relaxing pace. So I decided to put 2+2+2= my opinion.
Sandy Gaston from Cuba signed with TB Nov 1 for $2.6 mil. V nice signing. The jays should do more of that. We signed 19 year old JA Guzman from Venezuela and 22 year old W Gaston from Cuba on Dec 20. Unknown to me signing bonuses. I suspect Guzman got a low bonus amount.
However the William Gaston signing may have multiple factors. He was signed after the Cuba/MLB agreement. So he did not have to escape Cuba. He is 6'5" 190 lbs, so a big guy. I don't know his skills or his bonus amount. At his age I suspect he has a lot of pitching experience. He may be good/close to ready. We will know much more when we find out where he is assigned.
Dr B - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 01:02 PM EST (#369373) #
My (completely subjective) memory of watching Mussina was of a very good pitcher but never quite felt like a dominant pitcher the same way Clemens or Pedro Martinez were. He had a rather straight fastball, at least in his Baltimore years, but spotted it well, and kept people off it with that magnificent curve. I donít know anything about his table manners, but he seemed to pitch intelligently. He really seemed to work the batters which made him interesting to watch. And he was consistently good forever.
grjas - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 01:05 PM EST (#369374) #
but I don't recall anything like this from him:


Yikes. I stand corrected.
Chuck - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 01:17 PM EST (#369375) #
but never quite felt like a dominant pitcher the same way Clemens or Pedro Martinez were.

Which is accurate, of course, but perhaps setting too high a bar for HoF pitchers.

aarne13 - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 02:20 PM EST (#369376) #
Tidbits on Gaston. FB 92-95 up to 97mph
No National Series or U-23 experience
Various "sources" indicate that he has big league tools.
While training w/Sandy Gaston(cousin) William learned to throw the Sinker & Change and worked on perfecting his plus pitches (FB, slider & curve).
He could start in the system as early as April. Assignment most likely depends of how advanced he is.
-Yusseff Diaz @ pelotacubanablog.com
bpoz - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 02:43 PM EST (#369377) #
Thanks aarne13. When/how did you find out this info.

I hope he can do all that stuff I am not good at understanding. eg repeat his delivery, clean arm action.

If he starts at Dunedin and does ok I will be very confident that he may be a good one.
aarne13 - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 03:06 PM EST (#369378) #
bpoz- I just did a quick search on twitter and the cuban baseball link came up. He signed a couple weeks ago, the story got lost over the holidays. He sounds pretty raw given that he didn't play organized baseball. But, he gets the thumbs up from people that have seen him pitch. I would think he gets a long look (and evaluation) at the spring training complex before he gets assigned to a team. He's definitely worth keeping an eye on.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 03:31 PM EST (#369379) #
"All those years in my prime watching Mussina, i never felt I was watching a HOFer. If someone felt obliged to spell out his case for me in numbers, i would be appreciative. In my mind, he was a bit better than average for an awful long time."

Mussina to me is smack in the middle between power dominance like Pedro and Clemens and Finesse dominance like Greg Maddux.

In addition to some of the points from KLAW, there's a bunch more:

- still holds the LCS strikeouts record with 15K against insance Indians line up

-Nolan Ryan, Glavine, Pedro, Maddux, Eckersley, Morris...Mussina beat them all in win % in playoffs and playoff races, behind only Randy Johnson of his time.

- Unlike Pedro and Johnson he averaged 198IP and 30 starts pretty much every year

- Only pitcher to beat insane WS MVP Josh Becket in 2003

- Imagine peak Estrada in the playoffs against KC...like Josh Donaldson said coming over from OAK, caught looking against Estrada is the easiest and quickest out in the game...you're out before you even try to square one up. Mussina was like that for 18 years straight. Man was a beast.

* All points outlined here: https://calltothepen.com/2018/12/28/hof-hypocrisy-mike-mussina-not-feared-enough-hall-famer/

If you were watching these games it was easy to be unimpressed, especially if it was against your home team, but that curve was knee buckling and he wouldn't move off his fastball (or any pitch for that matter) until you were able to put it into play.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 03:45 PM EST (#369380) #
Mussina definitely deserves to go in. More than Martinez and arguably Rivera (though both also deserve induction.)
The only people ahead of Mussina on the ballot, in my estimation, are Bonds, Clemens, and Halladay.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 04:54 PM EST (#369381) #
Mussina should be in the HoF. The bar for starters has become crazy high. He was an excellent pitcher for a long time in an era with crazy offense.
scottt - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 05:34 PM EST (#369382) #
Actually I feel completely different about Mussina. He has inflated numbers from being on a boosted Yankees team.
Playing in the AL East is not a handicap when you're on a Yankees team that wins 100 games routinely.
It's the other way around. Pitching against those terrible Devil Rays, Orioles and Blue Jays team in a home park that advantages lefties? When you factor that he's actually pretty average.
He was durable, partially thanks to those human growth hormones.
It's a huge pass for me.

Martinez has 3 Cy Young and a triple crown. He was on some crappy teams here and only won 200 games. So what?


mathesond - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 06:39 PM EST (#369383) #
Not giving Mussina credit for his years pitching for the Orioles, against some pretty loaded Jays and Yankees teams? Makes sense, after all, he only spent 10 of his 18 seasons there. (9.5 of 17.5 if splitting hairs is your thing)

Also, I suspect rpriske was referring to Edgar, not Pedro.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 06:46 PM EST (#369384) #
"Actually I feel completely different about Mussina. He has inflated numbers from being on a boosted Yankees team.
Playing in the AL East is not a handicap when you're on a Yankees team that wins 100 games routinely.
It's the other way around. Pitching against those terrible Devil Rays, Orioles and Blue Jays team in a home park that advantages lefties? When you factor that he's actually pretty average.
He was durable, partially thanks to those human growth hormones.
It's a huge pass for me."

You have insider info on Mussina juicing? Is that how he grew those long sideburns?

I'm actually second guessing if Halladay is Hall of Fame bound. I didn't realize he pitched half his games against the lowly Rays, Orioles, Mets, Nationals and Marlins.
Michael - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 07:17 PM EST (#369385) #
Pedro and Clemens are inner circle HOF pitchers. Each one can at least credibly make an argument for being the best starting pitcher in history.

Mussina is not at that level. Halladay is also not at that level. However, the HOF bar is also not at that level and both Mussina and Halladay clears the HOF bar and deserve to be in.

THey might not both make my 10 person ballot this time, but that is because there is too much of a backlog thanks to the writers stupidity around modern era and the splitting of the Bonds and Clemens and the like from the ballot on some but not all writers.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 08:39 PM EST (#369386) #
"Each one can at least credibly make an argument for being the best starting pitcher in history."

I think you're cutting the history of starting pitchers short to probably the players who you have seen pitch in your lifetime. Even then there's still actually a bunch that you're missing.

Bob Gibson, Bob Feller, Greg Maddux, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Walter Johnson, some guy named Cy Young and probably Christy Mathewson. Pedro and Roger don't surpass those pitchers, I'm sorry they just don't. They're in the group but not surpassing, and you're right, Halladay and Mussina aren't in that class...though Halladay you can make a solid argument...I would call him the "modern" Bob Gibson.
Paul D - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 09:29 PM EST (#369387) #
Maybe they don't surpass then, but you can make credible arguments for Martinez and Clemens over the modern guys on that list (where modern goes back to Walter Johnson). Hard to compare anyone to Cy young of course.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 08 2019 @ 10:50 PM EST (#369388) #
When it comes to guys pre-Ruth (Johnson & Young & Mathewson) you have a totally different situation - few home runs, only white players with a few First Nations, underarm pitching at first for Young closer than 60'6", 40+ starts a season due to the lighter schedule (most trips by train or even subway), etc. Gibson spent a good chunk of his career in the modern dead ball era (late 60's) while never starting more than 36 games at a time when guys regularly hit 40 starts (Dave Stieb had 38 once in 1982 for example) and won 'just' 251 games - fewer than Jack Morris did despite it being a prime era for 300 game winners. Koufax had a perfect park for his skill set and a very short career and short peak (but what a peak, wow!). Feller I never put into the category of best ever - he was excellent but sub 300 wins, sub 3000 K's, led in ERA just once, he belongs in the Mussina category imo.

Now the tough ones....
Maddux - very strong argument, 4 Cy's, sub 2 ERA at the early days of the steroid era, 355 wins, weak in the playoffs though (11-14 3.27 ERA, much worse than regular season). WAR over 9 twice. Yeah, he was amazing and has a strong case.

Johnson - again, very strong case, first full season in majors was at age 26, first great year at 29. But still got over 300 wins, was just shy of 5000 K's (by 125), 5 Cy's, 3 other times 2nd. WAR over 10 twice. Perfect 3-0 in World Series (ERA of just 1.04) but 7-9 overall in playoffs with a 3.50 ERA. Again, an excellent case for best ever.

Clemens - 354 wins, 7 Cy's for 4 different teams (2 here), 4672 K's, over 10 WAR twice (peak was here), 2 pitchers triple crowns here, 12-8 in playoffs (3.75 ERA though), again a perfect 3-0 in World Series (2.37 ERA). Very, very strong case.

Pedro - another short career ala Koufax (219 wins) 3 Cy's, 3000+ K's, 10+ WAR once, 9-9.99 twice. 6-4 in playoffs with a 3.46 ERA just 1-2 in WS with a 3.71 ERA. Great but not at the level of the other 3 IMO.

Amazing these 4 were all active at the same time and 3 of them played for Canadian teams at one point of their careers (Johnson was an Expo at first then a bad trade sent him to Seattle, and another nearly happened to get him here in Toronto...oh if only).

IMO the battle for best live ball is Clemens/Johnson/Maddux with no wrong answer. Pre is Johnson vs Young with Mathewson a dark horse in the race, most I suspect give that era to Walter Johnson with modern to Roger Clemens by a hair over Johnson and Maddux (without adding in a PED discount).
Glevin - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 02:27 AM EST (#369389) #
"Bob Gibson, Bob Feller, Greg Maddux, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Walter Johnson, some guy named Cy Young and probably Christy Mathewson. Pedro and Roger don't surpass those pitchers, I'm sorry they just don't."

They're in the conversation. Pedro almost certainly has the best peak of any pitcher ever. There is a good article on 538 showing Pedro having the 3 best seasons ever for a pitcher and 7 of the top 30. That is a level of dominance no pitcher in baseball has ever had. He was having dead ball ERAs in the steroid era. Clemens is in conversation for best pitcher ever. He is 3rd in career pitcher WAR behind Walter Johnson and Cy Young who pitched in completely different eras. Of course, there is the whole steroid thing which does matter in this discussion. Halladay was a great pitcher and a HOFer but not near that class of top ever. (For example, Halladay had 9 seasons of ERA+ better than 130. Clemens had 16. Pedro had 5 seasons of over 200 WRC+)
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 03:16 AM EST (#369390) #
In his Historical Abstract, Bill James named Lefty Grove as the best starting pitcher ever. Hard to argue with that. The guy played his entire career in good hitters' parks, but led the league in ERA 9 times. Of course, that book came out quite a while ago.
scottt - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 07:28 AM EST (#369391) #
I think I must have fused Mussina and Pettite there.
I totally forgot about the Orioles years. I wasn't watching the AL back then.
The AL thing is probably a wash though.
The seven gold gloves are worth pointing out. He does have 83 bWAR.
So alright. I change my vote.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 09:48 AM EST (#369392) #
I can agree that Pedro and Clemens were best peak pitchers of all time just not any greater over length of their total careers than some of the other all time greats.
Chuck - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 10:18 AM EST (#369393) #
rpriske - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 10:29 AM EST (#369394) #
Also, I suspect rpriske was referring to Edgar, not Pedro.
This is correct.
Best pitcher ever? Walter Johnson or Roger Clemens.

I may say something else on a different day,
Best position player ever? Willie Mays or Barry Bonds. Probably Mays.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 11:05 AM EST (#369395) #
In my view, the time-line adjustments for starting pitchers are severe.  The difference between "a deadball, non-integrated and no relief pitcher" and the current one is off by a huge amount.  I do not believe that Cy Young was a better pitcher than Greg Maddux (I would venture a guess that he would have been about as good as Warren Spahn) or that Walter Johnson was a better pitcher than Roger Clemens. 

If you adjust pre-deadball down by 1/3 (which is the minimum adjustment, I think) and look at JAWS and rounded to the nearest 5, you'd end up with (roughly) Clemens 105, W. Johnson 95, Grove 85, Seaver 85, Maddux 80, R. Johnson 80, Young 80, Spahn 75, Alexander 75, Gibson 75, Niekro 75.  You can, of course, weight peak performance more heavily with Pedro, Koufax and Grove rising quite a bit.  You can adjust further for era.  There is probably an argument that Randy Johnson was the greatest pitcher ever, when you make all the adjustments and let out the air from Clemens' post PED performance.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 01:38 PM EST (#369396) #
Mike I think you need to best accept (generally speaking not you personally) that things even out. While Walter Johnson pitched in the dead ball era he also pitched with zero nutritional aids, no "max effort" wind up or shifting etc. That in itself evens out a bunch for me.

Greg Maddux has had the biggest strikezone extension for any pitcher. Yes he could spot corners but because of his reputation if he was within a few inches of the strike zone he would get the call many many times and that just helped to pump his numbers up over time as he had the ridiculous talent to hit that same spot every time.

To say that some pitchers were in a dead ball era and to adjust by a 1/3rd...would you be willing to adjust Barry Bonds' numbers by a 1/3rd because he didn't hit in the dead ball era like Honus Wagner?
Michael - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 03:40 PM EST (#369397) #
To be clear when I said "credible argument" I didn't mean unanimously agreed or even actually are the best. I think the following discussion makes the point as some people were putting credible arguments for them even while some would argue against it.

It certainly helps any of the modern athletes in the argument if you believe in the progress of history and that, in general, modern athletes are just flat out a lot better than historic athletes. You see this extremely clearly in a lot of timed sports (I.e., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_100_metres_world_record_progression ). The reason can be many: Integration and a larger population able to compete, better training, better techniques, better off world, etc.

Obviously for some people baseball is a special outlier and not part of that progression and players of the 1920s or 1930s are "better" than modern players (or 1960s or whatever depending on taste). For others, era adjusting generally means that an average player today would be a star in the 1920s, and the best players today are much more likely to be as good or better than the best players of history.

But that's why it is a good and fun argument to have.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#369398) #
dalimon, there is a special timeline adjustment for starting pitchers in the deadball era.  As there was essentially no risk of the home run, it was commonplace for pitchers to "save their stuff" for key moments.    This allowed deadball era pitchers to regularly pitch 360 innings or more in a season.  When you make the adjustment for pitchers, it is mostly a volume adjustment.  Roger Clemens threw 240-270 innings per season in his prime, and nobody was throwing 300 innings.  The same thing does not apply to batters. 

But yes, if you want to say that Barry Bonds 2001-04 performance is inflated by 1/3 because of the environment when compared with Honus Wagner's peak, I'll buy that.  The fair comparison (offensively) is between Bonds 92-93 and Wagner 1907-08, and yes, they were in the same ballpark as hitters during those two time frames. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 05:31 PM EST (#369399) #
Thanks Mr. Green - that all adds up for me.
lexomatic - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 08:17 PM EST (#369400) #
Hm. Nobody posted the fangraphs articles on Halladay and the HOF yet.
I'm not on my phone so I can paste them.
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/roy-halladay-isnt-just-a-borderline-hall-of-famer/
  • "His career 78 FIP- (that is, 22% better than average) ranks 10th all-time behind only Hall of Famers and Roger Clemens."
  • "Relative to the era in which he pitched, Halladayís actually prevented runs at a rate 24% better than average, and that mark actually ranks 15th since 1901. All 14 pitchers ahead of him by that measure are in the Hall of Fame except for Roger Clemens."
  • "Halladay also possesses one of the greatest pitching peaks of all time...I looked for every 10-year run by pitchers who recorded at least 54 WAR during that...Over the next 125 or so seasons, 21 more pitchers joined Young and Nichols in that groupe. Of those 23, 18 are now in the Hall of Fame.
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jaws-and-the-2019-hall-of-fame-ballot-roy-halladay/Some fun numbers there
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 09:05 PM EST (#369401) #
So Kershaw, Scherzer and Greinke...anybody else have an outside shot?
ayjackson - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 09:35 PM EST (#369402) #
Pedro is the greatest pitcher I've seen in the last 50 years.

I tend to discount Roger a bit due to the reliance on steriods. (Same with Bonds, but they're both easy HOFers for me.)
Magpie - Wednesday, January 09 2019 @ 11:45 PM EST (#369403) #
I do not believe that Cy Young was a better pitcher than Greg Maddux

Indeed. Old Cy was one of my favourites but thinking he was better than Johnson or Grove or Maddux or Clemens would be like believing that Don Sutton was better than Tom Seaver. Young was essentially the Don Sutton of his day. He was always really good, and there were always a few guys around who were better.

Young never did pitch underhand, though. The rule restricting pitcher deliveries was abolished in 1884. Young did spend three seasons (1890-92) pitching from 50 feet away. He went 72-41, and Young from 50 feet away would have been terrifying - he threw hard, for his day. His numbers got another boost from spending a few seasons in what was essentially an expansion league upon jumping to the AL in 1901
John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 12:08 AM EST (#369404) #
Thanks Magpie. I once knew that about Young but forgot over the years and merged 'short distance' with underhand throw. It is amazing how he adjusted during the period when MLB was shifting rules drastically annually. It was just 1889 when the rules adjusted to 4 balls for a walk. For his age 24-27 seasons he threw over 400 innings a year - imagine that. At 25 he started 49 games and finished 48 of them with a 1.93 ERA but for innings he was a wuss at 453 - 4 guys threw more including Bill Hutchinson at 622 - Tampa Bay's starters threw a total of 624 innings between all of them (17 starters).

As to Young being a compiler ala Sutton - uh no. He led in WAR for pitchers 6 times, 14 times top 3. Just twice in innings pitched (you'd expect more from a compiler), 7 times led in shutouts, K/BB ratio 11 times, 7 times in FIP, never the youngest in the league, twice the oldest (three times if you count 1911 twice as he switched leagues during the season). That is a guy who would've won the Cy Young award 5+ times most likely if an award like that existed back then.

He started via this transaction - July 30, 1890: Purchased by the Cleveland Spiders from Canton (Tri-State) for $300. (about $8,308.95 in today's dollars)

Yeah, the game has changed a LOT since then hasn't it?
scottt - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 08:09 AM EST (#369405) #
It's not a great sign when the winter stove thread turns into an HOF thread.

The Score rated all teams so far and they gave the Jays a C.
The writer thinks the moves they've made are fine, but they need to trade away some vets for forward looking assets.

I don't disagree, but the market doesn't look that good.
At last Grandal is off to the Brewers now. So maybe they can find a new home for Martin?
They probably need to pay his full salary to get anything back, although a couple a Bergen types is certainly a possibility.

Morales has no value, but that could change if he's raking by the deadline since he had a good second half last year.
Smoak has some value, but there's too many cheap 1B options out there to get much back.
Offers for Stroman should bounce back if he's having a great first half. (I'd offer an extension first)
Then you got Giles, Sanchez, Pillar and Grichuk to figure out.
Of those, I wouldn't mind keeping Grichuk another 3 or 4 years.

Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 08:42 AM EST (#369406) #
Magpie, I think that you're a little tough on Cy Young.  What Young did at age 41 in 1908 in Boston (finishing 2nd in the league in ERA) was a lot better than anything Sutton did at the end of his career.  That's why I suggested the Spahn comparison. 
ayjackson - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 08:52 AM EST (#369407) #
It's odd they haven't cut Martin to make room for the young catchers. I guess they want to see if he can rebuild some value and move him at the deadline. It's a decent strategy for a rebuilding team, albeit one that seems foreign to current management.

*takes tongue out of cheek
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 09:25 AM EST (#369408) #
Russell Martin could very well be the opening day third baseman.  I imagine that he'll be in a utility role this season, and it wouldn't shock me at all if he was pretty good at it. It would work to have a bench consisting of 4 players:

1. Martin 3B/C/1B
2. Sogard/Gurriel (if Bichette gets the call at some point) MI/corner OF
3. 4th OF who can play all three positions
4. 2nd catcher

I wouldn't be trading him unless an opposing club was prepared to value him as a starting catcher.  You aren't getting much back for a $20 million utility player, and Martin has significant value to the Blue Jays as a teacher.
rpriske - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 10:15 AM EST (#369409) #
Cy Young was a great pitcher but he was rarely the best pitcher at any given time.
In other words, Cy Young would not have won many Cy Youngs.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 10:39 AM EST (#369410) #
The Jays already have four catchers on the 40 man roster, and will need to find a way to see what they have with Drury and Travis in 2019, especially once Vlad comes up and fewer infield spots are available.

The Jays either have to trade Martin or Maile, and Martin probably makes more sense to move even if they have to eat most of his contract to get something back. He does have value as a mentor to Jansen, but I'm sure he'd much rather start on a playoff team (or at least play a bigger role on one) rather than be a teacher on a rebuilding team, especially when he will be looking for a contract next year.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 10:54 AM EST (#369411) #
Checking bWAR, Cy Young was the best pitcher in the National League during the period 1891-96 and the best pitcher in the American League from 1901-1908.  It seems  clear that he was the best pitcher in baseball for the period 1890-1910.  On the other hand, Walter Johnson was the best pitcher of the period 1910-1930 and a lot better than Young.  I guess it's too late to rename the award to reflect that...
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 11:04 AM EST (#369412) #
The club does not have to trade Martin.  Brandon Drury is arb-eligible and projects to hit .244/.307/.390 (per Steamer) as a 26 year old.  Devon Travis is arb-eligible and projects to hit .264/.305/.425 as a 28 year old.  The club may decide that it wants to have a look at both (and that would be reasonable), but it would be equally reasonable to decide that one of them isn't going to hit enough.  Drury hasn't played since his hand injury in July, and it would fit with the club's MO to see how he looks in spring training before making any decision. 
PeterG - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 11:46 AM EST (#369413) #
Martin will be dealt before the start of the season, probably before ST imo. It will be the right move, considering the direction the team is going. Too many still undervalue Maile, who is the best catcher on the club right now although hopefully he will soon be surpassed by one of the younger guys.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 12:06 PM EST (#369414) #
They would not have traded Happ for Drury if they didn't plan on giving him a chance. It would be unreasonable to waste a rebuilding year by not getting a good look at Drury just so a 36-year old catcher can pretend to play the infield. As far as Travis, I think he is done as an everyday player, but it makes more sense for where the Jays are to see if he can bounce back than it does to find playing time for Martin.

It seems like a mutually beneficial parting of ways if it happens. Jays get to play younger players and Martin gets to play on a contender. The Jays would obviously have to eat up a large chunk of the $20M, but if they get a decent asset back that doesn't require 40 man roster protection, then it would be worth it.
Glevin - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#369415) #
They will try to trade Martin I'm sure and can probably do it if they eat almost all his contract. I'm sure the return would be minimal but it's more about freeing time up for younger players.
Thomas - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#369416) #
I agree with Mike Green that the club really doesn't have to trade Martin and it'd be possible to find him playing time on this team without impacting the development of Jansen behind the plate or the important other young players. However, I share the consensus view that the front office has essentially decided to trade Martin and would rather go into 2019 without him around (and I also agree they seem to want to give Drury playing time).

Grandal's contract shows there isn't a robust market for catchers this offseason (and that his agent may have made an error in turning down New York's offer), so I anticipate the Jays will have to eat most of Martin's contract and will also get back a marginal return.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 01:19 PM EST (#369417) #
I still think Tulo is a top 10 shortstop with potential for top 5 for WAR (we shall find out soon), but I will concede now that with the market developing how it is ($9 Million guarantee for Dozier), the Tulo contract looks bad even if he is above 2.5WAR.

It's pretty crazy to think that prices overall are coming down on players in MLB. That first 6-7 years of control is killer for the players.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 04:55 PM EST (#369423) #
Richard and Mylegacy - my sincere sympathies to both of you.
ayjackson - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 01:18 AM EST (#369429) #
The club doesn't have to trade Martin.

It didn't have to cut Tulo and trade or non-tender Donaldson, but here we are.
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