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We need a new thread and Fangraphs published their ZiPS projections for the Jays today. It does not make for easy reading. There are no standouts on the team, before Vlad, and the projection for Lourdes Gurriel is very low.

Here is the simple chart.

Here is the link for their detailed reports and stats forecast for anyone who could possibly play for the Jays this year.

Remember that ZiPs are calculated based off the players stats from the last few years, adjusted for age. A young player should improve, an older player should get worse. On average it tends to work but there are always lots of players who defy the projections in both directions.

The problem for the offense, as author Dan Szymborski sees it, is that you have several players who should top out around 2 wins. There are no stars, with Vlad Jr. the closest the Jays have. Smoak, Martin/Jansen, Pillar and Grichuk are decent players. Guerrero will be good. But second base, shortstop, and left field are seen as problems. The biggest loser in these projections is Lourdes Gurriel whose free swinging ways and iffy defense have him at replacement player level. The article compares him to Rey Quinones, if you remember him. That is not a flattering comparison. Devon Travis, Eric Sogard, Brandon Drury are all in the same neighborhood for WAR, and Richard Urena is negative so who else would play instead of him?

Bo Bichette and Kevin Smith both have better projections than Gurriel but they will get more minor league time.

The outfield projections are also interesting. Other than Grichuk and Pillar, the next best projected outfielder is Cavan Biggio (assuming the can play there), followed by Jonathan Davis. Davis is tied with Teoscar and marginally ahead of Billy McKinney.

There are few surprises on the pitching side. Stroman and Sanchez are best at 2 wins each, then there is a parade of pitchers around the one win mark.

If you add all the WAR's together you get 27 wins about replacement level. I am not sure exactly where replacement level is these days but if it is 48 wins, then the Jays are projected to win 75 games, with this roster. If the Jays add a couple of relievers that won't change much. If they trade Stroman or Giles, that number of 75 wins would fall.

Other than ZiPs there is not much going on. We are now down to five weeks left in the off-season so players will be getting anxious to sign. But some big names are still hanging out there delaying the market. The dam has to burst soon.

New Thread and ZiPS Projections | 317 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 02:13 PM EST (#369418) #
Bo Bichette's age 21 ZiPS comp is Robin Yount.  At age 22, Yount was a 5 WAR player and went from there.  Bichette, of course, has had a different and slower career path, but it's still fun to see that. 

For what it's worth, I would subjectively take the over (i.e. better) on the ZiPS projections of: Guerrero Jr., McKinney, Biggio, Pannone, Borucki and Maile.  I would take the under (i.e. worse) on: K. Morales, Solarte, Shoemaker, Waguespack and Sam Moll.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 02:18 PM EST (#369419) #
And, there is hope in the projections for Luciano, Paulino, Reid-Foley and Thornton. 

Reese McGuire's comp of Gregg Zaun (on the field...) is fun too. 
whiterasta80 - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 03:05 PM EST (#369420) #
Hopefully Reese McGuire doesn't turn into the joke that Greg Zaun is post-retirement.
rpriske - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 03:20 PM EST (#369421) #
I agree that expect more from some of those young players. OTOH, I think they are being awfully kind of Kevin Pillar. More valuable than Smoak?

I doubt that.

I expect more from Gurriel and McKinney for sure. Jansen too.

Gerry - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 04:30 PM EST (#369422) #
The Jays announced the minor league staffs today. Bobby Meachem is back in Buffalo. Mike Mordecai moves from a coordinator role to be the new manager in NH. Cesar Martin moves to Dunedin, Dallas McPherson moves to Lansing.

Doug Mathis, the ex-pitcher, is the new pitching coach in Buffalo.
electric carrot - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 05:12 PM EST (#369424) #
I hate to be dour but I would take the under on almost every one of these projections -- not by a lot, but I am definitely not as optimistic about 2019.
Vulg - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 08:50 PM EST (#369425) #
Clay Buchholz projection of 1.9 puts him beside Sanchez as the 2/3 pitcher in the rotation. He should be signable for a year at sub-$10M and is worth the investment both as an innings-eater and as a potential trade deadline play to a contender looking for depth.
scottt - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 09:52 PM EST (#369426) #
The article is worth a read.

Wesley Crusher would have been a great baseball name.
I don't really see the Star Trek analogy though. It's not like the Jays are kidnapping those prospects.

Gregg Zaun is probably some sort of attempted humour. He's a match for both Jansen and McGuire.

2019 Jays pitching vs 2018 Orioles pitching?
Giles has 2 years left while Britton was on his walk year.
There's not much in the Jays pen besides that while the O's were full of established vets like Broch and O'Day.
In  the rotation, the O's had Bundy and Gausman and some question marks.
They gave Cashner 2 years + a team option that will surely be declined (in February).
They also gave Cobb 4 years and a draft pick (in March).
The Jays have several arms that will compete for playing time in Buffalo.
They got 2 vets on inexpensive contracts to make sure promotions are earned.
So yeah, not really seeing the parallel.

Hauschild is with the Cards.
Connor Pannas is of course with the Padres, but is he here *because* he was traded? He might never play in the MLB.

hypobole - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 10:08 PM EST (#369427) #
Very poorly written article. Dan Z does not seem to have a clue what the Jays are doing, (although it has zero bearing on the ZIPS projections).

This quote:

"But I think we’re a few months from the team dropping the pretense of contending-while-rebuilding, and even more aggressively shopping their veterans."

Uh, Dan, the FO dropped that pretense a while back, even came right out and said it.
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 10 2019 @ 11:15 PM EST (#369428) #
The Jays have signed David Phelps to a one year deal with a team option for 2020. Good reliever coming off TJS.
dan gordon - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:45 AM EST (#369430) #
Phelps has 75% more innings pitched as a starter than as a reliever in his mlb career, but his numbers are substantially better when he's used in relief. Presumably, after TJ, and at age 32, that's how the Jays intend to use him. He could be a high leverage reliever for the team, and could be good trade bait.

$2.5 million plus a team option worth $1 million if he has fewer than 30 appearances, $3 million if he has 30-39 appearances, $5 million if he has 40-49 appearances and $7 million if he has 50+ appearances. That $7 million becomes $8 million if he finishes 40+ games. There are also bonuses for appearances and games finished, which can max out at $3.25 million in 2019, then 3 tiers of bonuses in 2020 based on appearances in 2019. Phelps sure is going to have lots of financial incentive. The contract could be worth anywhere from $3.5 million to roughly $17 million for the 2 years.
Glevin - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:45 AM EST (#369431) #
Gurriel's projections are so bad because his 2017 was so terrible (for a variety of reasons) and there are only a couple years of data. Streamer has Gurriel at 2.1 WAR which I think is a more likely scenario. Anyway, projection systems are always conservative by their nature so never project complete collapses or breakouts. I would hope at least one of these guys (Jansen, McKinney, Gurriel, Drury, etc...) has a breakout season.

I like Phelps if healthy. He's someone who would slot very well into a number of positions and has been especially good as a reliever. (could be opener as well). Has control issues and missed a year so lots of risk but I wouldn't be surprised if he's closing games this year. I don't know what this obsession with Bucholtz is here now but "innings eater"? He's never been that even at his peak and he's 34 and pitched 105 innings over 2 years. I'd be fine taking a flier on him, but he's nothing special. (And I don't think AL East is a great place for BABIP oriented pitchers who need to sequence perfectly to find success). Also, generally, if you want to get players to trade at deadline, relievers are the way to go. Teams are generally going with 3 starters in playoffs (or fewer) and so the starter you are trading needs to be a top-3 starter to have big appeal for playoff time.
dan gordon - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:59 AM EST (#369432) #
These projection systems that just look at the numbers and extrapolate are always going to have some big misses because they don't consider the human element behind some of those numbers. Gurriel missed about what, a year and a half, of baseball, and then was thrown into the Jays system and naturally struggled at first. Just started to get back on his feet last year. He just turned 25, and should still have plenty of upside - I think he'll hit way better than these projections. Remember when he was threatening to break 100 year old records last year? Still think he's an OF, though.

Certainly wouldn't call it anywhere remotely close to an obsession, but I'm one of the ones who likes Buchholz. Coming off one of the best years of his career last season.
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 08:12 AM EST (#369433) #
Very poorly written article. Dan Z does not seem to have a clue what the Jays are doing, (although it has zero bearing on the ZIPS projections).

This quote:

"But I think we’re a few months from the team dropping the pretense of contending-while-rebuilding, and even more aggressively shopping their veterans."

Uh, Dan, the FO dropped that pretense a while back, even came right out and said it.

Yeah I saw that too. Even someone in the comment section said a similar thing.
rpriske - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 08:52 AM EST (#369434) #
The Phelps signing may imply that Ken Giles is on his way out. Phelps' contract includes incentives for games finished.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:39 AM EST (#369435) #
Phelps' bonuses involve games finished and games pitched in general so his starting days appear to be over, but there is definitely upside there as a reliever. Based on the escalating team option he looks more like trade bait than someone they plan on using in 2020. If he returns to 2016-17 form then he's gone at the deadline. If not, then the option is likely not picked up. Either way it is very minimal risk for the Jays.

Giles is definitely being traded it is just a matter of whether it happens now or the deadline. Either scenario is fine with me. As long as appropriate value comes back.
hypobole - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:46 AM EST (#369436) #
Don't know how accurate the numbers are, and I'm sure it's not accurate the way ballclubs hide revenues, but I found this chart on what percentage of revenue clubs actually spent on player salaries in 2017 interesting.

Here's the full article:
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 10:12 AM EST (#369437) #
Gurriel's projections are so bad because his 2017 was so terrible (for a variety of reasons) and there are only a couple years of data. Streamer has Gurriel at 2.1 WAR which I think is a more likely scenario.

The defensive projections for Gurriel in ZiPS and Steamer are quite different.  ZiPS has him at -6 and Steamer at +3 (in a full season).  Last year, he was -5 in half a season per UZR and -10 per DRS and he looked horrible.  -6 in a full season would be a significant improvement for him and +3 would be a great leap forward.  Usually projection systems don't anticipate great leaps forward in any area.

For what it's worth, I think that the offensive projections for Gurriel Jr. in ZIPS and Steamer, while different, are both reasonable.  It's difficult to project him offensively because of his very unusual career path, as many have indicated here.

I don't see Phelps as a closer-in-waiting, but rather as a 7th/8th inning guy.  .  Since moving to the pen, he's been lights out against RHB but humdrum against LHB, and he doesn't really have a great weapon against them.  I agree that he could be a useful trading chip at the deadline.
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 10:38 AM EST (#369438) #
The Blue Jays and Joe Biagini reportedly settled on 900K for 2019.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#369439) #
Too much speculating going on to get from a Phelps signing to a Giles Trade. There are 162 games. At best 3 complete games get thrown. Giles will throw a maximum of 70 games possibly fewer. Who pitches the rest?
Chuck - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 12:24 PM EST (#369440) #
Ken Phelps? Josh Phelps? Michael Phelps? David Phelps.

Oh, okay. Yeah, whatever. Here's your uniform. There's your locker. If you can stay healthy, we'll get you 60 innings.

bpoz - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#369441) #
How much time does it take for this transaction to be completed? The 40 man roster add 1 and delete 1.
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#369442) #
Ken Phelps? Josh Phelps? Michael Phelps? David Phelps.

His mission, if he chooses to accept it, is to throw 60 innings.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 01:30 PM EST (#369443) #
Tulo AND DJ LeMahieu to the Yankees? That ain't fair...

It looks to me like a new arms race between the Red Sox and Yankees is starting. I don't think Dombrowski will stick to his plan now...he wants to repeat and the Yankees are putting lots of pressure on him.

At this rate it doesn't matter what our FO wanted to do it looks like they will be forced into using a strong farm and radical strategies in game to compete similar to the Rays.
Chuck - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 01:54 PM EST (#369444) #
LeMahieu's value is almost all defensive. If he's playing 2B then what, Torres is playing SS? If the talk is that LeMahieu will "move around the infield, including 1B", what is the value in that?

I don't get this signing at all.

bpoz - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:02 PM EST (#369445) #
LeMahieu is a great depth piece in case Tulo gets injured or underachieves.
Glevin - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:10 PM EST (#369446) #
Martin to Dodgers. No word on return or salary eaten yet. Yankees choosing weird time to go cheap.
Chuck - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:11 PM EST (#369447) #
2/24 seems pricey for a depth piece. The starting lineup must now be LeMahieu 4, Torres 6, no? And then Andujar 5 or Machado 5, should he sign with them.
uglyone - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:14 PM EST (#369448) #
ayjackson - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:22 PM EST (#369449) #
Martin traded?
Marlow - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:22 PM EST (#369450) #
If Martin is returning to the Dodgers and we are eating his salary, does the full amount of the salary go against the Dodgers' salary cap?
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:27 PM EST (#369451) #
LeMahieu is a great signing at 2/24, and I would be shocked if he were not the starting second baseman.  Marcus Stroman and the Jays avoided arbitration for the first time.  That's good. 

I am, of course, sad to see Russell Martin go.  I wish him luck in his pursuit of his first ring.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:30 PM EST (#369452) #
Martin has been traded to the Dodgers. Not surprising. Trading him made sense and the Dodgers made sense as a team that could use him. Wonder what the return is.
Vulg - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:34 PM EST (#369453) #
Looks like SS Ronny Brito and RHP Andrew Sopko are coming back.
Chuck - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:40 PM EST (#369454) #
LeMahieu is a great signing at 2/24, and I would be shocked if he were not the starting second baseman

I agree if he's just simply given the 2B job and not made to be some kind of utility player. Of course, this means Torres to SS which means if they acquire Machado, he'll be a 3B only, which may not be his preference. And of course Andujar would then have to be moved. I'm not counting on Gregorious even being in the 2019 calculus.

Tulowitzki would seem to be squeezed in all this.

ayjackson - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:41 PM EST (#369455) #
A little better return than some of the previous dumps. Both look on the surface like there is some potential. Sopko was repeating AA this year, though.
Glevin - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:42 PM EST (#369456) #
Hulet has Brito as just missed top-10 in dodgers system. 23 on pipeline. Great defender with some pop. Surprised they got a real prospect for Martin really,
uglyone - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:47 PM EST (#369457) #
so once again we learn that one of our unmovable anchor salaries was actually not really a burden at all. they just ate it for scraps.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:52 PM EST (#369458) #
A low minors lottery ticket for Martin is a pretty solid move. Sopko looks more like a depth piece, but Brito might have some upside.

This was more about clearing room for Jansen than anything else, but I'm fine with the return. Was not expecting much even with the Jays covering most of the salary.
PeterG - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:53 PM EST (#369459) #
@MLBPipeline wrote that Brito has Gold Glove upside at short and he hit double digit homers last year...

a little bird told me that there were 4 teams bidding for Martin.
85bluejay - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:53 PM EST (#369460) #
Brito a really exciting get IMO, regarded as a plus defender when he signed, started to hit last year - if he's fully recovered from his leg injury, I'm excited - good get FO.
85bluejay - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:56 PM EST (#369461) #
If you're willing to eat most of any player's salary, then you can move any player.
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 02:58 PM EST (#369462) #
Hulet has not posted an end of year report for the Dodgers that I can see.  He did post a mid-year (which was simply an update of pre-season ranked players).  He commented that Brito was repeating rookie ball for the 3rd year.  At this point, he might be in the same range of prospect as Samad Taylor- with more D and less O. 
SK in NJ - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 03:10 PM EST (#369463) #
Sickels rated Brito 15th on the Dodgers top 20 prospect list that was released in November 2018.

"15) Ronny Brito, SS, Grade C+: Age 19, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015 for $2,000,000; hit .295/.359/.496 with 11 homers, 23 walks, 78 strikeouts in 234 at-bats between Dominican Summer League and Pioneer League; aggressive hitter with power upside, plenty of bat speed but approach rather raw; range and arm work well at shortstop and errors should decline with experience; ETA 2022"
dalimon5 - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 03:19 PM EST (#369464) #
Is it safe to say that we are paying more salary for non BJ players this year than active players on our roster or do we need to trade Smoak to accomplish that?

Tulo $38 million eaten
Russell $20 million..15 million eaten?

That's over $50 million
bpoz - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 03:31 PM EST (#369465) #
IMO the objective was to free a 40 man spot and use the ABs on a younger player.

Britto I see at the moment as Y Gudino and K Vicuna.

A Sopko compares to Jon Harris but 1 year behind in development. Sopko in AA and Harris in AAA as starters.

No 40 man spot needed.

The AAA and AA pitching depth is looking quite impressive.
rpriske - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 03:34 PM EST (#369466) #
I'll admit to being wrong. I thought he was untradable.

If the Blue Jays aren't paying the entire salary, the Dodgers overpaid.

Great trade.

bpoz - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 03:37 PM EST (#369467) #
I cannot remember the name but I am very impressed with the Bauxite who predicted that the Martin and Tulo contracts would be a future problem.
Gerry - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 04:24 PM EST (#369468) #
BA on Brito:

A broken leg limited him to 28 games in 2017, but he re-emerged in 2018 by leading all Pioneer League shortstops in home runs (11) and OPS (.841) at Rookie-level Ogden. Brito signed as a slick-fielding defensive shortstop whose defense was ahead of his bat, but he put on 20 pounds after his injury and now has a more balanced projection. Brito shows rare opposite-field power for a teenager, ambushing fastballs with a steep, uphill swing. He’s an aggressive free-swinger who doesn’t adjust with two strikes, resulting in plenty of strikeouts, but he makes impact contact when he connects. He is still working to improve his secondary pitch recognition and strike zone management. Brito has slowed down in the field but still flashes excellent hands, a smooth transfer and plus arm strength, giving him a chance to remain a shortstop. He is lethargic in the field sometimes and makes poor baserunning decisions, so his effort and focus are areas targeted for improvement. Brito’s ability to hit the ball hard and play a smooth defensive shortstop provide a workable foundation. Now, he needs to add maturity to his game. He will try to do that low Class A in 2019.
Gerry - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 04:26 PM EST (#369469) #
And Sopko:

Sopko has spent the last three seasons bouncing between high Class A and Double-A, but he appeared to finally solve the higher level last season, going 3-1, 2.88 with 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 41 appearances (10 starts) at Double-A Tulsa. Like many Dodgers pitchers, Sopko primarily works north-south with a four-seam fastball up and a curveball down in the zone. He sits 92-93 mph and stands out more for his pitchability than his pure stuff, hitting his spots and mixing in a slider and changeup to keep hitters off balance. None of Sopko's offerings are truly plus, but he throws strikes and mixes his pitches enough for evaluators to see him contributing in the majors in some form. Sopko will begin his Blue Jays career in the upper levels of their system and has a chance to make his major debut in 2019 if he performs.
mathesond - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 05:23 PM EST (#369470) #
By any chance is Ronny related to one-time Jay Tilson Brito?
dan gordon - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 05:56 PM EST (#369471) #
Love the Martin trade. Brito looks like a really good prospect. He played in the DSL in 2016, then had 54 AB's in the GCL and 63 AB's in the Pioneer League (Bluefield equivalent) in 2017. Last year was his first real crack at the Pioneer League at age 19, and he had quite a season, with an OPS of .841 in 219 AB's. Plus, he's a very good defender? Wow, I'm amazed they were able to get him for Martin. Even more so if the report that he will start 2019 in low A ball (Lansing) is correct. Sopko reached AA for 6 starts in 2016, and is still there, but at least his numbers have shown improvement each year. The article saying his ERA last year was 2.88 is incorrect - it was 3.88. But that's the Texas League, which is a good hitters' league. He doesn't strike me as much of a prospect, but hey, pitchers sometimes figure something out.

I'm really surprised LeMahieu got that high a contract - he's played virtually his entire career in Colorado, and we all know what that park does. His career road numbers show that he just isn't much of a hitter. Career road OPS of .673. Sure, he's a good defender, but for $12 million a year? The Yankees lineup gets weaker with him in it, and if Tulo is actually in there, too, great.

I don't get the desire to trade Giles. If the Jays are expecting to be a contender in 2020, they will need a reliable closer. If they trade Giles, who is going to fill that role? They'll just have to go out and get another closer. Giles has successfully converted what, 33, 34 save opportunites in a row? His career stats are very similar to Osuna's. I'd be thinking of signing him to a multi year deal, not trading him.
rpriske - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 06:16 PM EST (#369472) #
I am not in the "I hope they trade Giles" camp.

I am in the "I think they will trade Giles" camp.
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 06:18 PM EST (#369473) #
I don't get the desire to trade Giles. If the Jays are expecting to be a contender in 2020, they will need a reliable closer. If they trade Giles, who is going to fill that role? They'll just have to go out and get another closer. Giles has successfully converted what, 33, 34 save opportunites in a row? His career stats are very similar to Osuna's. I'd be thinking of signing him to a multi year deal, not trading him.

I'm of a similar mindset. Statistically, Giles and Osuna have had very similar careers. Giles is clearly a good reliever and you always need those. I could see the logic in hoping he has a good first half in 2019 and then trading him (and I'd be okay with that if they could get a good starter or position player for him) since you can always find more relievers, but I'd also be okay with the Jays extending Giles for a couple years. Like everything it comes down to cost.
bpoz - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 06:48 PM EST (#369474) #
I like your thinking dan gordon.

The Jays once had a horrible pen. Joey M. Our Henke/Ward+ pen was the best.

The Nasty Boys were an awesome trio. They got a lot of publicity that our Henke/Ward+ pen never did. IMO.

I really want another great pen.
PeterG - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 07:01 PM EST (#369475) #
From Keegan Matheson:

#BlueJays GM Ross Atkins just wrapped a call with Toronto media. On the Martin return:

Club likes the upside of Brito, especially at full health with more reps. In Sopko, Jays like the control & his durability (FWIW, "durability" is a big one for Jays when it comes to pitchers)
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 07:08 PM EST (#369476) #
The Blue Jays will pick up 16.4m of Martin's contract. I am not as high on Brito as many here are (contact rate at lower levels is a really big item for me), but it's a good deal.

Returning to the Zips projections. They suggest that David Paulino is the 3rd best starting option on the club. I would have him behind Borucki, but 4th.
dan gordon - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 07:32 PM EST (#369477) #
Mike do you think they are going to look at Paulino as a starter this spring, or will they use him as a reliever?
greenfrog - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 08:41 PM EST (#369478) #
The prospects received from the Dodgers sound pretty marginal:

It’s an acceptable move, although I question whether the organization will get more future value from the prospects than they would have received indirectly from Martin’s mentoring of Jansen, McGuire, and some of the other young players on the team.
Original Ryan - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 08:56 PM EST (#369479) #
It’s an acceptable move, although I question whether the organization will get more future value from the prospects than they would have received indirectly from Martin’s mentoring of Jansen, McGuire, and some of the other young players on the team.

Arash Madani was on Bob McCown's show tonight. He said Martin wasn't really doing any mentoring late in 2018, and didn't seem interested in filling that type of role moving forward. He also said Martin was relatively quiet in the clubhouse generally. Based on Madani's comments, Martin's mentoring value was basically nil.

scottt - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:15 PM EST (#369480) #
Brito was somewhere between 12th and 25th in the Dodgers org.

Fangraphs has him as a marginal 2B. Mlb pipeline sees him as a gold glove shortstop with power fueled by elite bat speed.

Andrew Sopko is kinda like Biagini and Merryweather, an unranked prospect with interesting stuff and a decent track record.

Fangraphs has him as throwing 88-92 and having a slurvey pitch.
Previous Fangraphs scouting described him as an up-and-down arm that several scouts liked.
One of the dodger fan site describes him as sitting 90-93 and topping at 95 with a repeatable delivery although he seems to lose his release point. They say he has a 12-6 curve and a decent slider and good speed separation between all 3, but that his changeup is terrible and that it gets hammered by lefties. Apparently he got injured in 2017 after throwing 104 innings in AA. They sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he had an ERA of 2.37 in 6 starts. He actually threw more innings in A+ than in AA last year but he seemed OK in both, ERAs of 3.22/3.88.

SK in NJ - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:16 PM EST (#369481) #
I'm not sure why Martin would have any interest in being a back-up mentor on a rebuilding team when he probably feels he can still be a semi-regular catcher on a good team and is entering a free agent year where he's surely going to want to squeeze as much money as he can in his twilight. This was just as much a favor to him as it was a way to give younger options more playing time.
scottt - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:19 PM EST (#369482) #
Oh and ZIPs gives him an ERA of 4.89.
scottt - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:23 PM EST (#369483) #
I think Smoak and Morales are the mentors on the team, although Pillar seems determined to fill that role.
Smoak apparently had a lot to say to Montoyo when they talked on the phone.

Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:31 PM EST (#369484) #
Here is my answer to Dan's question about Paulino.  He has never thrown more than 97 innings in a season (that was 2016).  In 2017, he was suspended for 80 games for PEDs.  Last year, he hit the DL in May with a shoulder injury and returned to the pen when traded to the Blue Jays.

The Jays aren't competing in 2019, so the main thing I would be trying to achieve with him is slowly building endurance.  I'd start him in the pen throwing 1-2 inning stints, lengthen him a bit in mid-season, and then (if all goes well) move him to the rotation after the All-Star break.  If he throws 120 good innings, that would be terrific. 
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:37 PM EST (#369485) #
Sanchez, Pillar and Grichuk have settled too at 3.9M, 5.8M and 5M respectively.  It's going to be a quiet arb year.
SK in NJ - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 09:41 PM EST (#369486) #
This FO (rightly) feels that relievers are highly replaceable. That is why the team consistently signs or acquires relievers for cheap coming off down years (Smith, Oh, Benoit, Grilli, Axford, Clippard, etc).

I'm pretty confident in saying that Paulino will be used as a SP unless health/performance forces them to change. If the Jays do decide to go with openers, then Paulino seems like a logical candidate to follow one. If they can get 120-150 innings out of him, they will probably be happy.
greenfrog - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 10:11 PM EST (#369487) #
There are relievers and there are relievers. Not all of them are easily replaced. What everyone wants these days are high-leverage difference-making arms (think peak Chapman or Miller). And of course Mo (and even the tier below him) was anything but replaceable.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 10:24 PM EST (#369488) #
I think the Blue Jays did very well today. All Arbitration’s are settled. The Phelps signing was well thought out. Assets gained in the Martin trade are much better than expected. But where is the Salary right now - over or under $150.0 Million?
Gerry - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 10:27 PM EST (#369489) #
One arb is not settled, Ryan Tepera.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 10:51 PM EST (#369490) #
Thanks for many things Gerry.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 11:03 PM EST (#369491) #
MLB should tie ticket prices to payroll. The lower your payroll the lower ticket prices go to bring more people to the ball park. New bars and restaurants won't bring fans to the stadiums. The TV coverage only keeps getting better and better which lessens the motivation to see the event live.
Richard S.S. - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 11:05 PM EST (#369492) #
With one Arb pending and 13 signings and 9 pre-arbs equals 23 players and $120.525-ish spent. The Jays can decide what they want to do. Might be boring - might be facinating.
dan gordon - Friday, January 11 2019 @ 11:19 PM EST (#369493) #
I have Paulino among the relievers in my Blue Jays depth chart, but yes, it would be great if he could be stretched out. I like his potential.

I find the arb eligible settlements amounts a little higher than I thought they would be, with a couple of exceptions, but maybe that's why they were able to get them all done today, aside from Tepera.

Question - the 3 prospects who were suspended in November 2017 remain suspended for the start of the 2019 season because their suspensions were longer than their team's entire 2018 schedule, correct? I'm referring to J.Concepcion, N.Paulino and J.Jimenez.
rpriske - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 12:50 AM EST (#369494) #
It is official. The Martin trade saves the Jays $3.6m while also opening up a 40-man slot.

Incredibly good deal even if they got nobody back.
Glevin - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 03:18 AM EST (#369495) #
"Arash Madani was on Bob McCown's show tonight. He said Martin wasn't really doing any mentoring late in 2018, and didn't seem interested in filling that type of role moving forward. He also said Martin was relatively quiet in the clubhouse generally. Based on Madani's comments, Martin's mentoring value was basically nil."

Anyway, the value of veteran leadership is usually pretty small. Martin would still have had some value but not as much as the prospects or as letting the other catchers play. (Jansen, Maile, and McGuire is a pretty decent catching trio IMO). The return was better than I thought. This is what the Jays need to keep doing. Accumulate prospects. This year, they need some of the lower tier to breakout. The more good prospects you have, the more likely that is.

grjas - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 08:30 AM EST (#369496) #
Trading Martin was the right thing to do but sad to see him go. Next to the JD trade, signing Martin was the biggest move made by AA and a real difference maker for both the pitching staff and the team culture.

It will be interesting to see if the new FO can orchestrate similar, impactful signings when the time is right.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 09:12 AM EST (#369497) #
A.A. talked to the other G.M.s every day. He kept offering for Donaldson until Bean said yes. The heavily backloaded Martin contract was the result of the 2013 issue. Plus the ongoing Beeston replacement task.

It’s difficult to see Atkins acquiring top-level/stud difference-makers/game- changers. They can be very expensive. They are generally people no one thinks will be traded.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 09:27 AM EST (#369498) #
The Jays are looking for the highest upside at the very best price. It will be somewhat difficult to figure out who the Jays are after. But I expect another 5-6 players get signed, mostly to minor league deals. I still waiting for that “wow” move.
scottt - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 10:23 AM EST (#369499) #
One aspect of the Martin signing was that the Jays already had a starting catcher in Navarro.
They ended up keeping Navarro and struggling all years to plug holes in left field/second base/rotation.
The largest contract for a catcher is Buster Poser at  10/157.8M.
Martin had never earned more than 8.5M per year and was already 32.
The shocking thing might be how backloaded the contract was.
Martin made only 7M in 2015. By the time he was making 15 and 20M, it was no longer AA's concern.
And yet, in 2015, AA had no money left to plug the holes and had to trade away a lot of prospects to break out over .500 after the deadline.

The Dodgers always were the logical destination for Martin.
After unloading their outfield for relatively little, the Marlins are unable to find an acceptable offer for Realmuto.
Cervelli is also available in trades.

scottt - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 10:31 AM EST (#369500) #
It's another move that seems to facilitate a Harper signing in LA.

At the same time the Yankees are moving away from Machado.
They Yankees are going to arbitration with their ace.
This could be interesting.
The blue Jays have an arb hearing with Tepera.
This is the first year of arbitration for Tepera, so the most important one.
The salary earned in 2019 will be his base for raises in 20-21.

Mike Green - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 10:32 AM EST (#369501) #
Here's how the Opening Day roster looks to me:

OF- Hernandez, McKinney, Pillar, Grichuk
3B- Drury (Guerrero Jr.)
SS- Gurriel (Bichette probably later than Guerrero Jr.)
2B- Travis (with Drury and Gurriel as possibles later in the year)
1B- Smoak (with Tellez potentially added later in the year)
DH- Morales
C- Jansen and Maile (McGuire in Buffalo)
IF- Sogard

SP- Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, Shoemaker, Richard (Reid-Foley and Pannone in Buffalo)
RP- Giles, Phelps, Tepera, Paulino, Biagini, Mayza, Luciano (Thornton and Barnes likely to be in Buffalo and early call-ups)

This is not at all how I would do it, but this seems to be the direction of the club.  Nonetheless, this development strategy might work and I don't share Dan Szymborski's view of the talent after Guerrero Jr. 
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 10:52 AM EST (#369502) #
- Bichete won't be up before 2020 and he's at risk of a continuing downward trend in his numbers and fielding

- I don't think Morales makes it past June 1 if he performs poorly

- Pompey I think makes the team unless he's cut for Sogard which...really?

- I still think Stroman starts somewhere else

- Paulino, Giles and Shoemaker have filthy stuff...add a *healthy Sanchez and you have 4 pitchers with filthiness:

Shoemaker - amazing split/change
Paulino - challenging fastball/offspeed
Sanchez - sinker
Giles - fastball and slider combo
greenfrog - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 11:20 AM EST (#369503) #
dalimon, check out Bichette’s numbers in the second half last year. They’re very good.

One slight concern I have regarding the Jays’ top two prospects is health. Guerrero is already a heavy man and he missed significant time last year with a knee injury. Bichette also had an injury that cut short his fall/winter season. It’s something to keep in mind going forward. The team might be well advised to aim for 140-150 healthy games a year from those two, rather than trying to extract maximum PA from them over the next seven years and then having them break down.
bpoz - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 11:34 AM EST (#369504) #
Thanks Mike Green and dalimon5 for the roster makeup head start. The FO and management team will not comment much until 2 weeks before Opening Day.

Decisions that need to be made. Ignoring injuries:
1) 7 or 8 man pen. Can Shoemaker and Richard go 6 IP/gm in the AL East? E Luciano's role?
2) When will Vlad be up. 1 or 2 months into the season?
3) Young players need everyday playing time. That would be ideal I believe. So Buffalo or Toronto. Who?
4) Who makes up the AAA and AA rotation?
eldarion - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 11:37 AM EST (#369505) #
To echo greenfrog, there is no 'continuing downward trend' with Bichette's numbers. His numbers were excellent last season after a transitional first six weeks in AA. I've always thought the toughest jump for a minor leaguer is from high A to AA so I have little difficulty in discounting the value of those first six weeks from an evaluation standpoint.

I also agree with those who are flagging Bichette for 2020 instead of 2019; I suspect that Bichette will do quite well in AAA this season and, by mid-season, we'll be treated to yet another round of Shatkins are keeping another premier prospect down for service time reasons.
bpoz - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#369506) #
Good point eldarion about Bichette. Prospects do seem to follow their own path up.

By the way Shapiro or FO is the word we use. I know that you were not being rude. The name you used is discouraged. Actually banned. Please don't take exception to what I just said.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 11:51 AM EST (#369507) #
A player's numbers can shrink and decline and still lead to the result of a top 10 prospect with very good future in MLB. So acknowledging a decline in numbers doesn't mean that a player is less valuable for me.

- stats are stats and I don't remove any stats when looking at a players numbers. Bichete played those first 6 weeks they can't be thrown out. Saying they don't count because they are "transitional," is like me saying "throw out the last 3 months he played because he wasn't challenged after adjusting."

- his defensive numbers were not great

- he loses a ton of value if moved off SS (again - losing value from top 5 prospect to maybe top 15...losing value doesn't mean he goes from great to mediocre)

- the other thing about must just be me but when I watch him play (and I watch the minor league games) he just seems overmatched by other prospects of his caliber. Danny Jansen and Vladimir Guerrero it was the sitting on pitches or beefing bumbers up against non prospects.

- I predict Bichete will end up at 2B and Kevin Smith at SS and the sooner they can get Vlad to 1B the better. Bichete's ceiling for 2019 and possible 2020 will be lower than Drury who will rebound.
eldarion - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 11:54 AM EST (#369508) #
Ooof! I had no idea, bpoz. Sorry about that.
ayjackson - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 12:05 PM EST (#369509) #
This is a massive 'throw sh*t at a wall and see what sticks' lineup and season. I am actually looking forward to it. We won't contend, but there's a decent chance a star emerges (generational prospects aside).
grjas - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 12:49 PM EST (#369510) #
Guerrero is already a heavy man and he missed significant time last year with a knee injury

I share that concern. Glad they’re planning to move him up while he’s young, and hopefully manage his time in the field. I worry about a Prince Fielder/Pablo Sandoval late 20s slide... hopefully no sooner than late 20s so it’s likely someone else’s issue.
bpoz - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 02:40 PM EST (#369511) #
ayjackson, I too will enjoy the year.

I looked at Mike Green's roster for a list of veterans. Also the kids. I don't know much about B Drury. He seems to have to prove himself, especially after a down year. 2018. D Travis has only 130 ABs more than Drury. At the moment my expectations for them is low a bit but open minded.

Drury has to win a position before Vlad comes up.

When Vlad takes a 40 man spot, we should not lose anything much.
greenfrog - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 03:01 PM EST (#369512) #
dalimon, assuming that Bichette quickly adjusted to AA and wasn’t especially challenged in the second half last year, wouldn’t that attest to his being an elite prospect?
scottt - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 03:22 PM EST (#369513) #
Bichette won a homerun derby in the Bahamas this week.
I think we'll see more power this year, although Sahlen Field (previously Coka Cola Park) is not a hitter's park.

scottt - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 03:33 PM EST (#369514) #
There's no telling about Drury.
He has a long history of severe migraine and blurry vision and played through it for years.
Once he finally asked for help in managing this issue (which is not cured), he hasn't been able to stay on the field.
There's just no telling  He could keep sucking of have a great break out year.

Barnes is out of option, so he has an edge in making the team, but he needs to produce to stay.
Phelps might not be ready for spring training and could join the team in May after rehab.
scottt - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 03:42 PM EST (#369515) #
The Blue Jays offered Tepera 1.525M while he asked for 18M. Not a huge difference

As it stands, Tepera/Phelps/Giles is a pretty decent 7-8-9.
Phelps kills RH bats and Tepera is decent against lefties.

greenfrog - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#369516) #
Eric Longenhagen's more detailed take on Brito and Sopko:
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 07:11 PM EST (#369517) #
It may be small sample size, but Mayza and Giles had near perfect Septembers. I think that’s hard to do.

Phelps, Giles, Mayza, Tepera, Rule 5 leaves only two openings in the Bullpen. Does Barnes really earn a spot in the ‘Pen just by being out of options? The Rule 5? Wins will be too few to risk having a poor Bullpen keep giving them back.
Vulg - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 08:00 PM EST (#369518) #
The arbitration deadline has firmed up team salaries significantly. There will still be movement right through spring training given how many FAs remain unsigned (not the least of which are the big two), but some highlights so far:

- Unsurprisingly (i.e. Tulo, Martin) the Jays lead MLB in retained dollars with ~$38.5M; Padres and Red Sox both at ~$23M
- The team is 19th in total money owed at ~$100.5M
- The team is 26th in current-roster dollars at ~$62M (i.e. the difference between the two numbers above)
- Tampa's roster picture is truly mind-blowing with ~16.5M dollars invested in the 25-man (only 4 players who are not pre-arbitration; they're carrying $5M of Edwin's deal though)

Just looking at the Jays specifically, Stroman and Pillar really stand out as priorities to be moved next (assuming Kendrys' contract is effectively immovable)
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 09:17 PM EST (#369519) #
Vladimir Guerrero will be up when they can control for 7 years and not just six. He may become too expensive to keep beyond that point if the team’s not successful.

Richard Urena is the most advanced option the Jays have in AAA for Infield Replacement. That’s not good enough. Is Sogard better? How many INF options get Minor League deals before the Jays are satisfied? How many options do they need, more than Sogard, Urena and Bichette or Biggio?

Do the Jays still go after another Starter, or another minor deal with one or more? Do they go after another Reliever or minor deals with a few? This will be interesting.
PeterG - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 09:32 PM EST (#369520) #
From reading about Atkins remarks earlier today, I don't think he is done although it sounds like trades are more likely than FA signings. I imagine there will only be minor league contracts for any further Jay FA signings.

Many assume that the FO wannts to trade Morales, but I don't they they do. He is recognized as a good clubhouse guy and I think he will play out his contract in TO unless a good offer is to be had in July.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 12 2019 @ 09:42 PM EST (#369521) #
iPhones can be a “pain” to use on this site.
While the Jay’s projected Rotation is good enough, a significant upgrade will be appreciated. Without, taking a upside risk on a minor deal is the best option.
scottt - Sunday, January 13 2019 @ 08:21 AM EST (#369522) #
Clearly, saving money is no priority at this point.
Maximazing returns and freeing up playing time when prospects are ready--and not before--are the real concerns.

Tampa has low attendance and no actual park to play in once the current arrangement expires.
The Marlins got the tax payers to build them a stadium and then ownership ran out of town with the money.

scottt - Sunday, January 13 2019 @ 08:48 AM EST (#369523) #
It might look like more details, but it's just rehashing what was in the Martin trade article.

Sopko is close enough that we should see him in Toronto in 2019.
He's not a power pitcher, so it makes sense that he's been tinkering with his secondary pitches.
At any rate, he's a back of the order, spot starter.

In 2016, Brito started  4 games at 2B and 44 at shortstop.
In 2017, Brito started 6 games at 2B and 14 at shortstop
in 2018, Brito started 5 games at 2B, 4 games at 3B and 42 games at shortstop.
fangraphs seem fixated on moving prospects out of their actual position.
It's usually the arm that separate SS and 2B and mlb rates Brito's arm at 60.

Still, they now have Brito, De Los Santos and Hiraldo roughly at the same level.
I guess Hiraldo will play 3B.

Mike Green - Sunday, January 13 2019 @ 09:54 AM EST (#369524) #
Hiraldo is almost surely not going to be a shortstop. I would guess that he is a corner outfielder by the time he reaches the Show.  His bat is his calling card.
PeterG - Sunday, January 13 2019 @ 07:33 PM EST (#369525) #
It was mentioned previously that Barnes is out of options. I am not 100% sure but believe he has an option remaining as anything in 2018 did not count as an option....there needs to be a certain length of time for it to be a counting option and there was injury rehab involved as well which does not count as an option.

Perhaps someone can clarify if totally sure of the information.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, January 13 2019 @ 08:25 PM EST (#369526) #
The Blue Jays Roster Resource site says Barnes has zero options left.
Glevin - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 03:58 AM EST (#369527) #
I find the LeMahieu signing strange. He's a good defensive 2Bman who can't really hit. Yankees want to make him a utility guy at 1B, 2B, and 3B where he loses pretty much all of his value? Maybe the Yankees think they can tweak his offensive approach and get another level out of him which is possible but defense very often does not age well after 30. It's odd that teams with money and in the competitive window are being so conservative with it.
scottt - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 06:42 AM EST (#369528) #
I think the Yankees these days never make a move without looking at Boston.
The Red Sox have Pedroia penciled at 2B. He's a lot like Tulo.
Then they have Pearce, Nunez and Brock Holtz plus a catcher on the bench and none of these guys can be optioned.

So the Yankees have a crowded infield and their 4th outfielder is their DH.
That's exactly what Boston is doing.

Mike Green - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 12:53 PM EST (#369529) #
Mel Stottlemyre died today.  Condolences to his family, including former Blue Jay Todd Stottlemyre.
uglyone - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 01:57 PM EST (#369530) #
fwiw, Jays could sign both Harper and Machado today.

They can afford it, and they're young enough to fit Vlad's window perfectly.

ayjackson - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 02:27 PM EST (#369531) #
I could see the Jays moving another position player over the next few weeks, with Pillar, Smoak and Morales the leading candidates.

I would like to see a Hernandez-Tellez platoon at first base and maybe a long look at a McKinley-Pompey-Grichuk outfield.
ayjackson - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 02:30 PM EST (#369532) #
As it happens, Morales, Smoak and Pillar are the only hitters on the roster born in the 80's.
SK in NJ - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 02:41 PM EST (#369533) #
I think Pillar will be moved. If the FO wanted to get rid of Pompey, I feel as though they would have done it a long time ago. The fact that he is still on the 40-man roster into mid-January tells me they may be trying to hold on to him, and if that is the case, then Pillar is blocking that path.

I don't expect any more free agent signings, other than minor league invites, but trading players off the 40 man roster for prospects that do not require protection would help in adding depth to the system and opening up some roster spots for relievers they happen to sign late. Trading Martin to add Phelps is a perfect example.
bpoz - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 03:08 PM EST (#369534) #
I suppose nobody is expecting much of a return unless it is Stroman that is traded.

That said, I concentrating on the batting lineup with Vlad in it.

He should be promoted late May or beginning of June for service time benefits.

So Smoak and Morales will be there to protect him until at least the trade deadline. ie make the lineup more dangerous. I also count Gurriel as good protection for Vlad.

I see our strengths over the next few years as pitching and offense. That is why I am trying to construct a strong lineup. Over those few years I expect defense to be weak but how weak is acceptable.

Somehow I feel Boston and NYY will start off with stronger defenses than us but I expect we can overtake them in 2 years. Because at least we should be younger than them.
Marlow - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 03:29 PM EST (#369535) #
I agree with SK. Pillar is likely the next veteran to be moved, in order to create roster space. He would be a useful guy to provide leadership to the young players.

But based on what I heard from the roundtable last Friday on the Bob McCowan show, Kendrys Morales is the first one to the ball park every day. He also is quite popular with the younger Latin players. According to the media, Justin Smoak worked with Rowdy Tellez in improving his field last spring and helped him out when he was up. These two guys are demonstrating leadership and are likely to be on the roster come opening day. We cannot have all young guys everywhere and need good role models like Smoak and Morales.

The Jays are going to be signing relievers to minor league deals, similar to what they done last year. If those relievers make the team and when Vlad Jr comes up, I can see Sam Gaviglio, Danny Barnes being DFA to make space.

This spring is Dalton Pompey's last chance to make the team. If he does not make it, then instead of Gaviglio/Barnes, then he is going to be the one gone.
PeterG - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 04:01 PM EST (#369536) #
I agree with what Marlow said about Pillar, Morales and Smoak and with possible minor league signings. I am also pleased to see that at least one person agrees that Gaviglio should be a prime cadidate to be DFA if 40 man space is needed. Merryweather can go on 60 day DL before mid March.
Marlow - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 04:15 PM EST (#369537) #
My apologies to the Bauxites about misleading information about Dalton Pompey and surgery.

According to Ben Nicholson-Smith, Pompey spent his winter letting time heal his injuries and seeing a personal life coach to help him process his emotions better.

The good thing that Russ Atkins does well, he tells his players to go get help with the mental issues in their lives.
Magpie - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 04:19 PM EST (#369538) #
Mel Stottlemyre died today.

The Don Mattingly of the 1960s, a Yankee with terrible timing. Stottlemyre was called up in mid-season 1964, aged 22, and pitched the Yankees to the pennant by going 9-3, 2.06 down the stretch. He then beat none other than Bob Gibson in his first World Series start. He lost to Gibson in Game 7, working on two days rest, and that was that. He never sniffed the post-season again as the Yankees dynasty crashed and burned after 40 years of terrorizing the American League. Over the next nine seasons, Stottlemyre won 20 games three times and worked at least 250 ininngs each season for what was usually a pretty awful team - and just as the team was getting good again, his arm fell off (rotator cuff injuries were career-enders in the 1970s) and his career was over at age 32. He did collect five rings as a pitching coach for Mets and Yankees.
Mike Green - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 05:02 PM EST (#369539) #
I never thought about it that way, Magpie.  But then, it was just a few years before my time.

The Yankees were a bad club between 1965-1969 (Stottlemyre), and again between 1989-1992 (Mattingly).  They're due for another run of bad years, but frankly I don't see it coming in the next year or two.
scottt - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 06:02 PM EST (#369540) #
Predictably, the Yankees have DFAed Tim Locastro to make room for LeMaheu.
It's getting pretty tight on that 40 roster. The next move they make they'll probably have to let go of a pitcher.

The Rays have signed Luis Santos to a minor contract.

scottt - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 06:08 PM EST (#369541) #
I don't see Machado as a fit for us. They Jays have lots of of infielders coming up.

In theory, they could sign Harper. In practice, it would likely take a massive overpay to get him out of the US to play outfield on turf for a rebuilding club.

The way the market is going, lots of players are signing for 2-3 year contracts following good seasons.
Those are the guys the Jays should target. Just not this year.

bpoz - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 07:59 PM EST (#369542) #
Since flags fly forever, what do Bauxites think of Miggy Cabrera? Not necessarily for the Jays. He has made a lot of money and probably wants to play for a contender. Everyone does. Trade deadline acquisition.

Money and prospects are a big issue. But many teams are just releasing players. Throwing away money. Sort of. Tulo, Martin, M Kemp, H Bailey.

Miracles happen in baseball. I believe that. A team could win the WS in overtime. Lucky bounce. Sorry that is hockey.

bpoz - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 08:14 PM EST (#369543) #
It is possible that the Jays are a team that never goes for it!!!

With the NYY and Boston in the same division and taking 2 playoff spots most years it is very difficult.

AA went for it July 31,2015. I suppose he had to because the team was about .500. That had a positive effect on the present 2015-2018. But also a negative effect.

The profit was the biggest factor IMO.
ayjackson - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 08:19 PM EST (#369544) #
I don't know; Machado is probably a 3rd baseman soon, and Vlad Jr probably isn't.
ayjackson - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 08:23 PM EST (#369545) #
Ugly, you should track the performance of a shadow that has a payroll of 160m and includes Machado, Harper and maybe another pitcher. Maybe Donaldson as well. Could track their WAR in some fashion. It would be an interesting discussion for a year.
uglyone - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 10:15 PM EST (#369546) #
unfortunately this team has sapped all my nerdly energy.

I tried to put together the jays' war/650 lineup the other day and quit after about 6 names.

bpoz - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 10:44 PM EST (#369547) #
UO, soon ST.
John Northey - Monday, January 14 2019 @ 11:25 PM EST (#369548) #
For the Jays there are multiple questions.
  1. What is the contention window?
    • 2021-2025 appears to be the answer for now
  2. What positions do they have above average players coming up at?
    • 3B: Vlad, SS: Bo, a few starters, a few OF'ers maybe, others are too close to call afaik
  3. Who are the young free agents who can help during that window?  Are they worth the bucks?  Will they limit possibilities with Vlad/Bo/etc. being kept?
    • Machado is at 3B (sorry, SS is not gonna happen) so he'd block Vlad which makes no sense unless the Jays move Vlad to 1B or LF or RF.
    • Harper is a corner OF (CF was a poor idea) so no blockage, as prospects can fairly easily move LF to RF to LF or to DH or even 1B.
    • Are those 2 worth $30-$40 mil a year?  Fangraphs has dollar values which helps a bit.
      • puts Machado over $40 mil 3 of the past 4 years ($20 in the off year) 6+ WAR those 3 years
      • Harper cracked $40 mil just once, 2015 (valued at $74 mil for 9.3 WAR) overall averaged $33.65 mil in value a year
    • both are sub 30 so odds are good they have a few really good years left. Both are entering their age 26 year so a 10 year deal puts them at 35 which means 3 years past age 32 which is normally the big drop off year.

Jays payroll right now is (factoring in payouts and arbitration and minimum salary guys) just shy of $105 mil for 2019.  $17 in 2020, $8 in 2021, $5 in 2022 (Gurriel for those last 2 years).   There is $20 mil coming off the books next season as Smoak and Morales leave.  I'd say there is tons of payroll space for either Machado or Harper.  Both are young enough that the 10 years they demand at $30+ a year isn't crazy to risk, but it is a big risk.  Harper fits the Jays potential lineup for 2021-2025 better, but Machado or Vlad could move to the OF easily..  

Realistically, even though the Jays could afford either of them and not be crippled by it, even though both are the right age to be useful for that window of contention, I don't see them signing either.  I'd love it, but the Jays are historically risk adverse and the current president and GM have always been that too (of course, in Cleveland you have no choice in the matter, one bad contract can kill you).

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 12:13 AM EST (#369549) #
Assume Harper is courted by the TBJ...

Would you come here if you were him if you could go to a major US market instead for 80% of the money the Jays offer?

If yes, would you still pick Jays over another team that has contention in its plans starting next year while the Jays accumulate prospects and hope to be in contention in year 3 of your deal?

We just saw Tulo, JD and Russell leave and maybe I'm wrong but I think Harper wants to play on a team with those vets right now more so than the Drury, Gurriel and Adam Jansen's of the world, all else being equal with Vlad in the fold.

These are major hurdles IMHO for a premium free agent, and that's assuming there are no hurdles with other teams out bidding the Jays.

Ideas of signing Harper, Trout or Mookie over the next few years are a pipe dream. It will only happen if we grossly overpay like we did for Vernon Wells.

I got this front office pegged now... they're gonna try to build their own stars and depth and then blow their budget by overpaying for quality B players to surround the stars with. Quality B players of the Jed Lorrie, Ottavino, Morton,Dozier and McCutchen variety. It could work, but they'll need to start working on extensions now for Stroman/Sanchez who could be aces but are much more likely to be average to strong B players over the course of an extension.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 01:48 AM EST (#369550) #
Atkins was gushing over his pitching depth on TSN radio today, saying that they have 20 possible mlb starting pitchers at AA or higher, and some could develop into #2-3 starters, maybe a #1. Certainly, a large part of the team's success in the next few years will depend on the development of guys like Borucki, Pearson, Reid-Foley, Pannone, Perez, Murphy, Paulino, Zeuch, Diaz and all the "throw them at the wall and hope something sticks" starting candidates.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 05:00 AM EST (#369551) #
I wonder if the Indians have any interest in Pillar & Grichuk - maybe not enough years of control - but I would really like the Jays to get involved in helping the Reds to get Kluber if it results in the Jays ending up with Senzel - Imagine an infield of Vlad ,Bo, Smith/Gurriel & Senzel - or maybe Taylor Trammell.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 09:59 AM EST (#369552) #
The reports indicate the Reds will not include Senzel in a trade for Kluber. There's no way we would get that for Pillar/Grichuk.

Maybe Grichuk, B pitching prospect and Stroman for Kluber and Kipnis would work then you can release Kipnis and trade Kluber to highest bidder...which would probably be a top 100 prospect below no Senzel...think of lower level guys with same upside like Hunter Greene. In which case, if the Reds would do that they could just offer him straight up for Kluber.

Unless you're an elite SP under the age of 29 (and throwing Left usually) then you're not netting that huge return.

We don't want to trade Bo Bichete and other teams don't want to trade their versions of Bo Bichete.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 10:04 AM EST (#369553) #
"Atkins was gushing over his pitching depth on TSN radio today, saying that they have 20 possible mlb starting pitchers at AA or higher, and some could develop into #2-3 starters, maybe a #1. Certainly, a large part of the team's success in the next few years will depend on the development of guys like Borucki, Pearson, Reid-Foley, Pannone, Perez, Murphy, Paulino, Zeuch, Diaz and all the "throw them at the wall and hope something sticks" starting candidates."

for me, this is the sign of someone who isn't confident in his ability to evaluate pitchers.

or, for a more positive spin, maybe pitching prospects are just a lottery, and we have a guy who has figured that out.

we'll see.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 11:03 AM EST (#369554) #
They idea of trading Pillar for Kluber is laughable.

Pillar has some trade value but not THAT kind of trade value. In fact, I think now is the time to get rid of him, not trade for him. His decline has begun.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 11:09 AM EST (#369555) #
Projections for pitching prospects have a notoriously wide error bar, and having a bunch of them is a reasonable strategy.  The only thing that bugs me about Atkins' comment is the use of #1, #2, and #3.  It's hidebound old thinking.  It would be great if they develop 3 pitchers out of those 20 who can throw 180-200 innings with ERA+ of 130, 120 and 110 (say), but you're restricting yourself if you believe that is the only or most likely way to success.  The Red Sox last year had one pitcher throw 180+ innings, Porcello, and he had an ERA+ of 102.  And even if a club does rely on conventional starters (like the 2018 Astros), it's very unusual for the club to develop most of them.  The Astros developed Keuchel and the rest were acquired.  You do need to get innings from your best pitchers, but some of them will probably be moving in and out of starting roles, unless you are willing to spend a lot money/prospect capital on acquiring them later.

This article from Jeff Sullivan on D.J. LeMahieu is interesting.  LeMahieu seemed to change his approach a bit last year.  His GB rate was down, and his HR/FB rate (particularly on the road) was up.  I think that he's going to hit very well in Yankee Stadium, and will Jeter quite a few balls into the short porch in right.  I wanted him for the Blue Jays, but I think that he's an even better fit for the Yankees. 

John Northey - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 11:58 AM EST (#369556) #
Pillar has value, but not a top 50 prospect level value. Just need to find a contender with very poor outfield defense that is willing to sacrifice some offense to get a major upgrade in defense. No idea who that would be, but bound to be someone out there.

As to the Jays getting any big free agents - I don't see it this winter even with 2 prime candidates for long term fit being out there as the cost is very high and the Jays aren't in the contending window yet. After 2019 there would be a minor shot, after 2020 if the Jays can push the edge of reaching the playoffs the opportunity would exist. Will there be any really good players available then? Who knows. But then the Jays will know their holes and be able to blow a wad on them like they did with Morris and Winfield pre-1992 and Molitor and Stewart pre-1993. Morris and Molitor were both premium free agents who everyone wanted at the time despite being on the wrong side of 30.
hypobole - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#369557) #
AA was an excellent GM. He also insisted on Jo-Jo Reyes being included in the Yunel deal, traded Gomes for Esmil, Thor for Dickey, Roy for Drabek, signed Coco Cordero, traded for Josh Johnson, extended Rick Romero. And that's just off the top of my head. Every good GM's resume is littered with such failures, big and small.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 12:20 PM EST (#369558) #
I'm becoming more and more skeptical of the narrative that's becoming popular in Toronto regarding the Jays. From all accounts it seems like the plan is to accumulate and graduate prospects over the next 2 years while clearing the budget to sign big ticket free agents (or trade for them) in 2021 or some time thereabouts.

Am I the only one wondering how this team will go from 70 something win projection to 80+ win projection using only prospects while clearing out the remaining young players not part of the next core? I don't see how our depth pitching and Bo/Vlad will magically bring us to competitive enough in 2 years to start spending money on free agents at that time. It's far more likely to me that any extra quality the team gets from their prospects they will negate by way of their current most valuable players leaving.

Building around Vlad and Bo is good, but it doesn't really mean much when the Yankees and Red Sox have 5-7 players of the same calibre already on their teams. I think this TBJ organization will have a very tough time eclipsing 80 wins after promotions if they don't start to bring in some real talent to supplement Vlad and Bo. Until they bring that talent in I don't think Vlad, Bo/Biggio, Zeuch/Borucki/Pearson etc all will be able to project anywhere close to 80+ wins.

Punting 2 years to build up for a window is silly especially when viewed in through the efficient model of this FO. Planning to contend based on free agency during a window in 2 years is naive.

What's better, to spend $50 million on free agents now and be competitive for 2 years or punt for 2 years, acquire "depth" capital and then trade a bunch for help like AA did.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 12:23 PM EST (#369559) #
Certainly true, hypobole. 

You know the meme about the Brexit deal- you cannot make a submarine out of cheese...Why is it that it reminds me of trying to compete regularly against the Red Sox and Yankees with a much smaller payroll?  Anthopoulos was at his best when he went for it (but the very act of going for it, while worthwhile, did deplete the prospect depth and did lead to the current trough).
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 12:25 PM EST (#369560) #
I didn't see anyone proposing Pillar for Kluber.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 12:56 PM EST (#369561) #
Lets compare Pillar and Kluber. Maybe do the comparison as a group. I know whiterasta80 is joking.

Both have excellent health.

Pillar got to the Majors faster.

Kluber was drafted higher 4th round by SD. Weird trade? in 2010. Kluber was a prospect traded to Cleveland also traded was Nick Greenwood to S Louis all for Ryan Ludwick. St Louis also got cash and J Westbrook from Cleveland.

Pillar did quite well in the Majors. IMO playing in the AL East as a CF probably does not mean much.

Kluber became a #1 I suppose. Pitching in the weak AL Central is easier than the AL East. Big deal!!!!

So what are they and why? A,B,C players.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 02:03 PM EST (#369562) #
If the FO really put their money where their mouth is they would

Send Giles, Stroman, and Smoak to CIN for Votto (salary relief) and Senzel or Green

trade Grichuk and Maile to CLE for Kipnis (salary relief) and Triston McKenzie

trade any combination of 3 of your "20 possible mlb starting pitchers at AA or higher, and some could develop into #2-3 starters, maybe a #1" in a package for a top 3 SP or OF.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 02:33 PM EST (#369563) #
Bryce Harper is younger than much of the "youth" our FO has added to the team, fwiw.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 02:34 PM EST (#369564) #
as is Machado, of course.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 03:34 PM EST (#369565) #
dalimon5 maybe Stroman to the Reds for 2 players Senzel or Greene and another lesser prospect.

Any team can always use a high upside pitching prospect like Greene.

Senzel on the other hand plays 2b,3b and SS so versatile. For me he does not look better than Bo. I may give Bo the edge because he is about 3 years younger.

Cincinnati won 90 games and the 2nd WC in 2013. Dropped to 76 wins in 2014. Then 4 years of win totals in the 60s. That tells me that their FO should worry about their jobs. It does seem that they are trying to compete soon because they added a few vets. But I don't like their chances.

If by some miracle they are in contention at the trade deadline they will look to add.

Giles, Stroman and Sanchez cannot all be bad I hope. But if by some miracle they are good then each should net a good haul because none would be a 2 month rental.

If Kluber is really on the trade block because he will be a FA next year then Cleveland is thinking of a rebuild/retool. They know that they cannot afford him.

rpriske - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 03:49 PM EST (#369566) #
"Send Giles, Stroman, and Smoak to CIN for Votto (salary relief) and Senzel or Green"
This should be a slam dunk for the Jays, but why would the Reds do it?
Original Ryan - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 04:21 PM EST (#369567) #
for me, this is the sign of someone who isn't confident in his ability to evaluate pitchers.

or, for a more positive spin, maybe pitching prospects are just a lottery, and we have a guy who has figured that out.

I'm sure Atkins is well aware that young pitchers often fail to develop, given that it's pretty common knowledge. Atkins' comments are in keeping with the old adage that "you can never have too much pitching." I don't see how you could infer from Atkins' comments that he's somehow lacking confidence in his evaluation abilities.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 05:03 PM EST (#369568) #
Neither Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez are injury-prone. They should be healthy this Season. They may not be great but they will have good seasons.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 06:04 PM EST (#369569) #
"Send Giles, Stroman, and Smoak to CIN for Votto (salary relief) and Senzel or Green"
This should be a slam dunk for the Jays, but why would the Reds do it?

So this is for one of Senzel or Greene not both. They're easily both worth more than Stroman straight up when club control is factored in. Why would they do this deal? Well, Votto is a huge contract they would love to move. Losing Votto would be a plus for CIN not a minus. So it would be Stroman/Giles/Smoak for one top prospect and salary relief. You may not think they want to clear out Votto but that's enough savings to sign Machado or Harper.
scottt - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 06:34 PM EST (#369570) #
If you look at the projection for the Red Sox (Yankees are not up yet), you see Sale at 6.6 zWAR, Price 3.9, Porcello 2.6, Eovaldi 2.7 and Rodriguez 2.3. So basically a #1 and a bunch of number #2 and #3s.  That's all is needed to compete.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 06:56 PM EST (#369571) #
If you're a team with a stacked line up like the Red Sox then you only need one true ace with a bunch of very good SP.

What about the rest of the league that doesn't have top 3 offense?

I think the Mets are a better comp for the Jays.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 07:07 PM EST (#369572) #
Is anyone sober/etc proposing acquiring Votto’s never-ending contract for more than a real unimportant prospect? Ludicrous suggestion.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 07:28 PM EST (#369573) #
I agree Richard. I don't think there is any possibility the Jays would or should want Votto.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 07:45 PM EST (#369574) #
If you want to to use WAR to define what a 1, 2 and 3 starter is, then that's fine. But that is not usually what it connotes. If you say that Thomas Pannone can give us 150 pretty good innings worth 2 WAR, sone of which may be in relief, and that's a  3 starter, I am good with that.
raptorsaddict - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 08:06 PM EST (#369575) #
While I don't think Machado or Harper is coming here, one thing that I haven't seen discussed with them would be to massively front-load the contract. Here's some very ballpark numbers off the top of my head.

I believe someone posted that the projection for next year is somewhere around 105 million total. Say you sign Harper to 10/350, only instead of backloading it like the Martin deal, you pay him 70/60/50 for the first 3 years. So the next three years while your payroll is low due to the developing youth, you're still below the tax threshold, and you're getting the "pain" of a free agent deal "paid off" at a time when it's not affecting your competitive window. Then when your window really starts, you've got Harper for 7 years at under 25 million/year, which means you can still add more FA's as needed and he won't prevent you from re-upping Vlad when he gets expensive.

Just by example, say you sign Harper to a deal that pays him 70 million in year 10. Using a 3% discount rate, that's the same as getting 52 million in year 1. Conversely, getting 70 million in year 1 is the same as getting over 95 million in year 10 (using the same 3% discount rate). From Harper's perspective, the time value of money by getting paid so much more up front should more than make up for the "Canada tax discount".

Anyways, this is obviously not completely thought out, but I believe the principle is sound, namely using your "surplus" salary in the next three years to allow you to front load a massive contract, which is significantly more appealing to a player then getting the biggest bucks at the end in a decade. When you're talking numbers this big, the time value of money cannot be ignored from a players perspective. From a teams perspective, you mitigate the risk of having an untradeable albatross at the end of the deal. You also make your team significantly better for the next 3 years, which should help increase revenue.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 08:50 PM EST (#369576) #
7 pitchers hit 6war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Cy Young candidate.

11 pitchers hit 5war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Ace #1s.

18 pitchers hit 4war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Clear #1s.

46 pitchers hit 2.5war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Clear #2s.

69 pitchers hit 2war last year. A pretty good cutoff for clear #3s.

116 pitchers hit 1war last year. A pretty good cutoff for #4s.
scottt - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 09:12 PM EST (#369577) #
One of the "hot" book this year for management folks is "The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups".

"Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, The Secret Race, Lance Armstrong’s War, and Hardball: A Season in the Projects. Coyle, who works as an advisor to the Cleveland Indians, lives in Cleveland, Ohio, during the school year and in Homer, Alaska, during the summer with his wife, Jen, and their four children. "

I got a feeling Atkins knows this by heart.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 09:48 PM EST (#369578) #
Also, is it too early to call the Chris Sale trade a win?

Amusing trades wins and losses:

CWS trade Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis Jr (now 2nd best prospect in baseball) for James Shields.

CWS trade Jose Quintana to Cubs for Eloy Jimenez (now 3rd best prospect in baseball) aNd 3 other prospects.

OAK trades Doolittle and Maddon to WAS for Luzardo (top 10 prospect now in baseball) and Blake Treinen.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 09:55 PM EST (#369579) #
"Is anyone sober/etc proposing acquiring Votto’s never-ending contract for more than a real unimportant prospect? Ludicrous suggestion."

You don't acquire him to pay him to play for 6 more years. You acquire him as a cost to get a top 10 prospect back who you can underpay for 7 years. Nick Senzel and Votto combined will easily be worth their combined salaries, and that's assuming Votto is worthless.

Or you can save the money, lower payroll and hope for Tellez. Don't know about you but I know which path I would go down.
Vulg - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 10:09 PM EST (#369580) #
Anyways, this is obviously not completely thought out, but I believe the principle is sound, namely using your "surplus" salary in the next three years to allow you to front load a massive contract, which is significantly more appealing to a player then getting the biggest bucks at the end in a decade. When you're talking numbers this big, the time value of money cannot be ignored from a players perspective. From a teams perspective, you mitigate the risk of having an untradeable albatross at the end of the deal. You also make your team significantly better for the next 3 years, which should help increase revenue.

@raptorsaddict - I think front-loading a contract this way is an excellent way of leveraging extra budgetary space during down years. The Leafs did that to some degree with Nylander's deal, using a window of opportunity they sure as hell won't have when Marner and Matthews are up. I've been harping on 1 or 2 year deals for decent (i.e. 2 WAR) starters that could bring back prospect capital, but I think there's more reward with that approach attached to acceptable risk (assuming you don't include no-trade clauses in any deal).

That said, I think ownership's priorities are pretty clear at this point.
scottt - Tuesday, January 15 2019 @ 10:17 PM EST (#369581) #
It's clear that this front office will not push the inning counts beyond what is required for development purposes.
They had no problem shutting down Sanchez during his breakout year.
The vets are a different story.

Going back to the ZIPS prediction.
The top of the bullpen is predicted to deliver 3.6 zWAR. Last year the prediction was 6.0.
It's basically:
Osuna 2.0  vs Giles 0.9
Tepera 1.0 vs Tepera 0.7
Loup 1.0 vs Mayza 0.5
Biagini 1.2 vs Biagini 0.3
Leon 1.2 vs Paulino 0.3
Barnes 0.6 vs Barnes 0.3

Last year's predictions were optimistic.Leon was not great. Biagini was bad. Barnes wasn't good. Osuna... yeah.
Also most of the real contributors were missing (Axford, Oh, Clippard).
This year we already have Phelps.
I'll rather have Mayza than Loup. Barnes shouldn't be a factor.
Tepera was basically the same in 17 and 18. His ERA rose because he gave up more homeruns.
That's usually not a good predictor (xFIP, etc...) but that's basically what ZIPS seems to be factoring in.
Maybe because he's 31? His ERA rose from 3.59 to 3.62. ZIP predicts 3.92.

Conclusion, I think the bullpen will be fine.
Even factoring in Luciano.

Btw, I have no idea what the difference between zWAR and fWAR is. Is zWAR just predicted fWAR?
Stroman's FIP was the same in 2017 and 2018.  His fWAR is down because he only threw 100 innings
So ZIPS predicts the same walk rate/strikeout rate/HR rate and the same FIP.
His ERA+ went from 145 to 76. ZIPS predict 105. It's a crapshoot.
It's doesn't really matter because his FIP is constant, so his fWAR boils down to innings pitched.
They predict 24 starts and 139 innings. Yeah, that's not very optimistic.

ayjackson - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 12:00 AM EST (#369582) #
I think Management's priorities are pretty clear at this point, not sure about ownership's.
scottt - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 07:54 AM EST (#369583) #
That's way too much money for a top prospect.
You're better off signing Harper at that rate

Votto has a full no trade clause and is not going anywhere.
Low budget teams don' t trade pre-arb players. They keep those guys until they reach arbitration.
The Reds would be worse without Votto and their top prospect. What would they do? Sign a bunch of cheap free agents?

Ultimately, acquiring old stars who would just take over the clubhouse is the opposite of what the front office is trying to do with their culture development effort.

Marlow - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 08:59 AM EST (#369584) #
The management is emphasizing leadership quite a bit in the minor leagues. Like scott said, it seems the club wants the young players to establish a culture to the club. Hopefully the team will pick the right veterans to guide the young guys.

As for Votto, after his tirade, it is quite clear he does not want to come to Toronto. He was sincere in his apologies and I am glad he done that, but usually the first thing that is said usually reflects what is inside of your heart.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 10:30 AM EST (#369585) #
Last off season with the contributions of Bauxites Rabbit and a few others I was able to clearly understand that injuries and over/under performance was a major factor. Predicting that is almost impossible. Tulo's injury situation was accurately predicted.

2016 was extremely positive. 2017 and 2018 were extremely negative.

This FO has chosen depth as their answer to the above factor.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 10:48 AM EST (#369586) #
Here's a parlour game.  Let's say that Bryce Harper wants a 7 year contract in order to sign.  What figure would you offer him if you were the Phillies?  The Blue Jays?  The big thing, of course, is how much is he likely to produce over the next 7 years.  I'd venture a guess at 21 WAR over the 7 years, which suggests a $25-$30 M AAV.  Opinions?
finch - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 11:16 AM EST (#369587) #
Mike Green,

Not sure if anyone saw or read this article but it touches upon why big name players aren't being huge money contracts, why WAR evaluation (for salary assumption doesn't work) and how TV rights money influences free agent contracts. Great read if one has time.


Might need to highlight the link and go to webpage.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 11:27 AM EST (#369588) #
Harper will probably go for the highest $ value. Length of contract will also be a factor.

G Stanton signed a huge contract a few years ago while with Miami. Maybe that is a guideline.
hypobole - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 12:06 PM EST (#369589) #
finch, that deadspin link was both enlightening and depressing. Great find.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#369590) #
Finch, It may be true for Tampa that a win is only worth $1.5M but it is not remotely close to true for Rogers. The Sportsnet connection comes into play and the difference in advertising dollars between a playoff club and a mediocre club is probably worth more than $15 million alone, never mind attendance, merchandise, internet and so on. 

And Rogers doesn't act like a win is worth $1.5 million either.  Signing Kendrys Morales for 3/33 might conceivably make sense if a win is worth $5 million or $10 million but not $1.5.  There's no way that Morales would be projected to be a 7 win player per season at ages 33-35. 

The Deadspin article has some truth to it, but it's overstated.  Almost every team acts as if a win is worth a lot more than $1.5 million.  Hell, the Yankees just LeMahieu for $14 million per year.  I am pretty sure that they don't think he's a a 9 win player...
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 12:55 PM EST (#369591) #
Rumors have Harper going to either the Phillies or back to the Nationals, and Machado maybe to the White Sox. Apparently Machado wants 8 years and the Yankees don't want to do more than 7. Also there's speculation that neither one wants to be first to sign so there is kind of a staring match going on between them.

About 4 weeks until pitchers and catchers report and less than half of eligible free agents have signed, and only two position players have received contracts of three years or more. There might be a bargain or two to be had for the Jays if players get desperate.
Michael - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 01:28 PM EST (#369592) #
Another way to view the cut offs in WAR from Uglyone is to look at the last 30 years of Blue Jays pitchers for the different tiers of players (since there are 30 MLB teams, 30 years of Jays are about the same size set as one season for all 30 teams):

MLB: "7 pitchers hit 6war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Cy Young candidate."
30 years of Jays (8 pitchers):
1 1997 Roger Clemens 10.7
2 1998 Roger Clemens 8.2
3 2003 Roy Halladay 7.0
4 2009 Roy Halladay 7.0
5 2008 Roy Halladay 6.8
6 2002 Roy Halladay 6.8
7 2000 David Wells 6.2
8 1996 Pat Hentgen 6.0

MLB "11 pitchers hit 5war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Ace #1s."
30 years of Jays (5 more Jays, 13 total including those already covered):
9 1992 Juan Guzman 5.5
10 1991 Jimmy Key 5.3
11 2008 A.J. Burnett 5.1
12 2007 Roy Halladay 5.1
13 2006 Roy Halladay 5.1

MLB: "18 pitchers hit 4war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Clear #1s."
30 years of Jays (5 more, 18 total including the above):
14 1996 Juan Guzman 4.6
15 1989 Jimmy Key 4.6
16 1993 Juan Guzman 4.3
17 1990 Dave Stieb 4.3
18 2001 Roy Halladay 4.0

MLB: "46 pitchers hit 2.5war last year. That's a pretty good cutoff for Clear #2s."
30 years of Jays (42 more, 60 total including the above):
19 1999 David Wells 3.9
20 1997 Pat Hentgen 3.8
21 2016 Aaron Sanchez 3.8
22 2005 Roy Halladay 3.8
23 2010 Ricky Romero 3.7
24 1992 Jack Morris 3.7
25 2005 Josh Towers 3.6
26 2010 Brandon Morrow 3.6
27 1990 David Wells 3.6
28 2010 Shaun Marcum 3.6
29 2016 Marcus Stroman 3.5
30 1994 Pat Hentgen 3.5
31 1991 Juan Guzman 3.4
32 2007 Dustin McGowan 3.4
33 2017 Marcus Stroman 3.3
34 2003 Kelvim Escobar 3.3
35 2011 Brandon Morrow 3.2
36 2016 J.A. Happ 3.1
37 2014 Mark Buehrle 3.1
38 2014 Marcus Stroman 3.0
39 1996 Erik Hanson 3.0
40 2004 Ted Lilly 3.0
41 1995 Al Leiter 3.0
42 1995 David Cone 2.9
43 2016 Marco Estrada 2.9
44 2005 Gustavo Chacin 2.9
45 1999 Chris Carpenter 2.9
46 1993 Todd Stottlemyre 2.9
47 2006 A.J. Burnett 2.9
48 1991 Tom Candiotti 2.9
49 2017 J.A. Happ 2.8
50 2004 Roy Halladay 2.8
51 1992 Jimmy Key 2.7
52 1989 Dave Stieb 2.7
53 2015 David Price 2.7
54 1990 Todd Stottlemyre 2.7
55 1998 Chris Carpenter 2.6
56 1991 Todd Stottlemyre 2.6
57 2017 Marco Estrada 2.5
58 1994 Al Leiter 2.5
59 2010 Brett Cecil 2.5
60 1995 Pat Hentgen 2.5

MLB: "69 pitchers hit 2war last year. A pretty good cutoff for clear #3s."
30 years of Jays (23 more, 83 total including above):
61 2012 Brandon Morrow 2.4
62 1990 Jimmy Key 2.4
63 2001 Chris Carpenter 2.3
64 2009 Ricky Romero 2.3
65 2002 Esteban Loaiza 2.3
66 2003 Cory Lidle 2.3
67 2013 Mark Buehrle 2.3
68 2007 A.J. Burnett 2.3
69 2014 Drew Hutchison 2.3
70 2011 Ricky Romero 2.2
71 1999 Kelvim Escobar 2.2
72 1989 Mike Flanagan 2.2
73 2008 Jesse Litsch 2.2
74 2008 Dustin McGowan 2.2
75 1993 Pat Hentgen 2.1
76 2006 Ted Lilly 2.1
77 1991 David Wells 2.1
78 2018 J.A. Happ 2.1
79 1998 Kelvim Escobar 2.1
80 2015 Mark Buehrle 2.0
81 2015 R.A. Dickey 2.0
82 2001 Esteban Loaiza 2.0
83 2000 Frank Castillo 2.0

MLB: "116 pitchers hit 1war last year. A pretty good cutoff for #4s."
30 years of Jays (38 more, 121 total including above):
84 2001 Kelvim Escobar 1.9
85 2004 Dave Bush 1.9
86 1989 John Cerutti 1.9
87 1999 Pat Hentgen 1.9
88 2000 Esteban Loaiza 1.9
89 1994 Juan Guzman 1.8
90 1995 Juan Guzman 1.8
91 2008 Shaun Marcum 1.8
92 2018 Ryan Borucki 1.7
93 2015 Marco Estrada 1.7
94 1994 Todd Stottlemyre 1.7
95 1993 Jack Morris 1.7
96 2000 Kelvim Escobar 1.7
97 2014 R.A. Dickey 1.7
98 2013 R.A. Dickey 1.7
99 2003 Mark Hendrickson 1.7
100 2004 Miguel Batista 1.6
101 2015 Drew Hutchison 1.5
102 2018 Marcus Stroman 1.5
103 2009 Brian Tallet 1.5
104 1998 Juan Guzman 1.5
105 2001 Joey Hamilton 1.4
106 1997 Woody Williams 1.4
107 1992 Todd Stottlemyre 1.4
108 1998 Woody Williams 1.3
109 2002 Pete Walker 1.2
110 2005 Scott Downs 1.2
111 2005 Dave Bush 1.2
112 2007 Shaun Marcum 1.2
113 1997 Chris Carpenter 1.2
114 2014 J.A. Happ 1.1
115 2001 Brandon Lyon 1.1
116 2004 Josh Towers 1.1
117 2017 Joe Biagini 1.1
118 1989 Todd Stottlemyre 1.1
119 2012 J.A. Happ 1.1
120 2011 Carlos Villanueva 1.1
121 2013 J.A. Happ 1.1

Note 2018 was just one #3 (Happ) and 2 #4 (Borucki, Stroman).
bpoz - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 02:00 PM EST (#369593) #
I could not find the Atkins interview on TSN about 20 possible SPs in AA, AAA & the Jays combined.

Sounds possible Biagini, Gaviglio, Phelps, Shoemaker and Richard at the ML level. Jon Harris, A Sopko, T Thornton and J Waguespack at AA & AAA. They all have starting experience, so Atkins is correct, but the above group don't inspire any confidence in me.
I remember P Quantril and S Downs becoming good relievers. Then there is S Richmond and B Tallet who made quite a few starts.This type could become decent multi inning relievers.

In my top 10 prospects I had SRF #4 and Zeuch #10, so I am higher on them.

I had P Murphy #13, Y Diaz #14 and H Perez (42 AA IP) #18. They may all struggle, which is ok by me because AA is a very hard step IMO. But if anyone does not then that is impressive.

I am V high on Pearson and hope he stays healthy and blows past Dunedin and NH. Z Logue #27 did not struggle in Lansing and Dunedin but I never thought highly of him. However if Logue can somehow handle AA well in 2019 then I will be very impressed.

I really wanted to hear Atkins say "throw them at the wall and hope something sticks" because that is so cool/interesting. I have only read that from various Bauxites which also sounds cool.

I remember the Expos doing that one year. Manager Felepe Alou. Dennis Martinez was discovered there. Amazing.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 02:05 PM EST (#369594) #
#1 starting pitcher and Juan Guzman were rarely uttered at the same time.  If that is what Atkins means by #1 or even #2, that's fine with me.  Guzman produced 25 WAR over his career,  almost all of it prior to free agency.  That's a very valuable pitcher even though he only threw 200 innings once in his pre-free agency years and averaged only 153 innings per year. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 03:16 PM EST (#369595) #
Completely off topic - what's amazing to me is that despite what has occurred the past few years and the disaster of the last CBA for the players, MLBPA Tony Clark was extended through 2022 meaning he's going to be involved in the next CBA - it's like the Owners are running the union.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 03:50 PM EST (#369596) #
Thank you Michael, that was a lot of work.

I assume you used good computer skills to get the historical war and sort it. I cannot do stuff like that and so really appreciate your report. I also assume that "you chose" the cut offs for #1-#4, excellent evaluation.

I liked the #2 and #3. Like Romero, Litsch, Marcum, H Alvarez and B Morrow. R Romero had good/decent 2009,10,11. Morrow, Alvarez and Jitsch only had 1-2 good years. So injuries happen. Morrow fantastic in 2012 until injured. You need depth.

A Sanchez had the 3.8 war year 2016 due to good health. Stroman 3 years of 3.0-3.5 with only 2015 and 2018 being bad due to injury. So if, big if, they are healthy they can handle the AL East. In a way they were still learning or bouncing back from injury. Stroman 2015.

Maybe Atkins was being overly optimistic about #2-3 pitchers. Nothing wrong with that. We will see what emerges over the next 5 years.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 04:06 PM EST (#369597) #
Agreed about Tony Clark. Practically every change that has happened in the CBA over the last few years has hurt the players. Less money for amateur talent, less money for international talent, and no changes made to how players are paid in their first six years of control. The MLBPA is going to hurt MLB when it comes to recruiting the best talent from high school and college. Now even waiting the eternity that players need to wait in order to become free agents won't pay off as handsomely as it used to. Make pennies in the minors, get severely underpaid in your prime, and then enter free agency in your late-20's/30's when teams discriminate based on age. It is a very bad system for players.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 06:49 PM EST (#369598) #
Yeah, if I was a MLB player no way I'd keep Clark as head of it after the disaster he has been for the players. I don't know what the players are thinking with him. The very least he should've got last time was a jump in the minimum salary as so many players are stuck there (first 3 years of service, average career length last I checked was 6 seasons). The changing environment with more and more shared revenues makes it harder for free agents to get anything. Read a great article which pointed out that due to shared revenue the value of a win is down as low as $1.5 mil which would mean a 10 WAR player (HOF level, rare thing) is just $15 mil and not the $80-$90 mil most systems figure it should be based on revenues in MLB.
scottt - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 08:39 PM EST (#369599) #
Very interesting article.

It clearly states that teams are not valuing wins at 1.5M when offering contracts.
There is, obviously, some interest in winning, besides making money.
Winning values a win at 10M and making money values that win at 1.5M.
If you don't value winning at all, you're going to end up with a 50 win club or worse.
A team trying to contend will value a win more than a team retooling or in the middle of a rebuild.

I'm not sure about advertising. That's a more complicated issue.
The Yankees is a very strong brand. The Rays brand is very weak.
No amount of investing in free agency will change that.

On the Jays side, Martin was very special. He is a superstar in Montreal. He gives French interviews after the games.

Regarding fixes, reducing arbitration and earlier free agency makes no sense.
They should be looking at increasing signing bonuses, extending arbitration and raising minimum salaries.
If free agency is not working, don't double down on free agency.

scottt - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 08:44 PM EST (#369600) #
Thanks Michael for the data analysis.

I'd be surprised if we have a Sale or even a Price at AA or above, but we could have a bunch of Romero, Litsch, Alvarez, Marcum and Morrow type That could be enough to compete.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 16 2019 @ 11:45 PM EST (#369601) #
Funny Mike as I recall differently - Juan Guzman in 1991 was the ace and many were furious about him not being used more in the playoffs (rookie, just called up that year but was amazing). Going into 1992 he was seen that way as well (1A behind Morris who was #1 due to the WS in 1991). Still seen as a top pitcher the rest of his time here as I recall, often as #2 to Hentgen from 1993 on. Dang there was some great talent here wasn't there?
AWeb - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 08:32 AM EST (#369602) #
Guzman reminiscing! I remember feeling strangely confident with Guzman being lined up for game 7 in 1992, before the Jays came back and won game 6. Huge pitch counts for a guy who rarely made it through an entire game, thanks to the basic strategy of burying several pitches in the dirt every at bat. In my head his ongoing health issues were tied to his slider/splitter, in that he either threw it well and risked getting hurt, or didn't throw it as well and couldn't get anyone out. Poor Pat Borders, who may have had to block more pitches than anyone in history with Guzman and Jack Morris peppering the dirt in 1993. Threw one of the most dominating games I recall, I think this one (, where the only hits were weakly hit grounders and it never seemed possible for the other team to hit the ball hard, let alone score.

Not sure if you'd get more career value out of him in modern times, limiting him to 5-6 innings a game. 1500 innings at 112 ERA+ is pretty good after all, and he is a top-10 Jays pitcher all-time, in terms of WAR at least.
bpoz - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 08:46 AM EST (#369603) #
They could not score much on Guzman. Followed by Ward and Henke. The rest of the pen was good too. I am talking playoffs.

Mike Timlin, how good?
Mike Green - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 09:06 AM EST (#369604) #
Jayson Stark has posted his HoF ballot with lengthy commentary in the Athletic.  It's a fine ballot.  He has, for me, the easy 8 as the easy 8.  For his last 3 spots, he narrows it down to McGriff, Helton and Rolen and chooses the two first basemen over Rolen.  In my view, Rolen was pretty clearly the best of the three, once you account for position, defence, baserunning and avoidance of the DP.   Baseball Reference has Rolen as being worth 28 runs (about 3 wins) better than Helton over his career for baserunning (and 36 runs better than McGriff).  There's another win in avoidance of DPs. 

One of the nice things about looking at career bWAR as a starting point is you can break down the constituent parts of a player's value and take them all into consideration.  So, if you are comparing Helton with Rolen, you can look at bWAR and see that Rolen has 9 more career bWAR and then break it down.  Helton produces 190  more runs with the bat, but Rolen gets 103 back because he's a better defender period (although Helton is +72 with the glove), another 154 because of the position and the above values for baserunning and DP.  It's a lot, and the bWAR all makes sense subjectively.  Maybe you think that Rolen is not 103 runs better than Helton with the glove (although UZR and DRS do agree on the figures for the 12 years we have numbers); maybe you think he's only 50 runs better.  It still doesn't get you to them being about the same as players. In other words, you have to a pretty profound issue with bWAR for players of the same era (and league) to think that a 61 bWAR player is better than a 70 bWAR player.  I have such issues for catchers and relief pitchers, but I don't see it for first basemen and third basemen.  I'd love to see the argument if there is one. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 09:18 AM EST (#369605) #

I think with many voters after a certain threshold it's not what you do but the way that you do/did it that matters. Belton was a very majestic and sound baseball hitter with many desirable qualities in a player.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 09:59 AM EST (#369606) #
Belton is a nice typo...Now that I think of it, Rolen is kind of a cool name too, as in Rolen made a rollin' dive to spear that one.  Personally, I found Rolen very impressive but your mileage may vary.
uglyone - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 10:05 AM EST (#369607) #
yeah I always considered Juan the best pitcher on those jays teams.

though looking back now I might penalize him more for not being able to go deep into games regularly.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#369608) #
Guzman had the best stuff, and his his best stats were in his first three years, especially 1992 when he pitched 180 innings and gave up only 135 hits. That same year, though he walked 72 and averaged 4 walks per 9 innings over his career.

The best pure pitcher to me, at that time, was Jimmy Key who was a master at hitting corners and changing speeds. I remember the frustration of watching Guzman, where he'd be great for a few innings, then he'd be bouncing balls off the ground or throwing them a foot wide of the plate. Jimmy Key, on the other hand, wasn't overpowering but he'd leave the hitters shaking their heads as they walked back to the dugout wondering why they couldn't make contact on his pitches.
bpoz - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 12:10 PM EST (#369609) #
I am quite confident that we will develop good pitching. We have always had Aces Steib, Key, Wells, Hentgen, Guzman, Halladay, Carpenter. They all were good and had decent length careers with some dominant years.
Ash produced Halladay. Richardi produced no #1s. He did not seem to like HS draft picks.

AA's drafts are still arriving. Stroman could be a solid #1 if he can have another 3-4 years like 2016 and 17. Sanchez, Thor and about 2-4 that he traded are in play. Still to arrive and establish themselves are Borucki, P Murphy, SRF, all progressing nicely.

Shapiro has a nice blend of HS and University picks at pitcher and position. Too early to tell. Zeuch should get called up in 2019. He had a V good 2018 in NH and dominated the playoffs.
uglyone - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#369610) #
Projected 2019 WAR/650 and WAR/32gs

1.Vladdy 5.6
2.Jansen 3.9
3.Stroman 2.8
4.Grichuk 2.7
5.Pillar 2.2
6.Gurriel 2.2
7.Smoak 2.0
8.Travis 1.7
9.SRF 1.6
10.Shoe 1.5
uglyone - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#369611) #
and since they're virtually still on our payroll:

Martin 3.2
Tulo 2.7
Mike Green - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 12:20 PM EST (#369612) #
Those are Steamer/Fangraphs "Depth Chart" derivatives, right?  It is interesting that SRF has a better projection than Sanchez per Steamer, for instance, but really, I don't know how this information is of much use in a "non-competitive" year for the club. 
Mylegacy - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 12:31 PM EST (#369613) #
To the best of my recollections:

Guzman: A VERY unique pitcher. Every pitch moved. A lot. So much, I remember them trying to get him to throw everything right down the middle and they knew by the time it got to the plate - only God knew where it would be. God, and I, knew he had hellacious, otherworldly, stuff! Control and command - not so much!

Key: (Exaggeration alert!) The little lefty threw it 16 feet behind the left handed batters. The catcher would catch it 16 feet to the right of of the plate. To my untrained eye it looked like like most of those pitches were balls. I have no idea how an Ump could tell if they were strikes.

(Changing the subject)

I was wondering how much Vlad's salary would go up every year and looked at Trout's salaries from 2012 to 2020 on Baseball Reference:

2012 (Age) 20: (Service Time) 0.083: (Salary) $492,500
2013 21: 1.070: $510,000
2014 22: 2.070: $1,000,000
2015 23: 3.070: $6,083,000
2016 24: 4.070: $16,083,000
2017 25: 5.070: $20,083,000
2018 26: 6.070: $34,083,000 EARNED TO DATE: $78,334,500

2019 27: 7.070: $34,083,000
2020 28: : $34,085,000 FUTURE: $68,300,000

Total Earned + Owed: $146,634,500

Looks like Vlad's gonna do reasonably well financially. Duh!
uglyone - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 12:35 PM EST (#369614) #
interesting comp, that.

Age 20

Sanchez (A+): 86.1ip, 20.8k%/11.1b%, 59.8gb%, 3.34era, 3.67fip, 3.56xfip
R-Foley (A+): 57.1ip, 32.3k%/7.3b%, 48.5gb%, 2.67era, 2.12fip, 2.20xfip
R-Foley (A): 58.0ip, 25.4k%/9.5b%, 51.4gb%, 2.95era, 3.08fip, 3.19xfip

Age 21

Sanchez (AAA): 34.1ip, 18.0k%/11.3b%, 61.2gb%, 4.19era, 4.87fip, 4.03xfip
Sanchez (AA): 66.0ip, 20.0k%/14.0b%, 68.0gb%, 3.82era, 4.16fip, 4.28xfip
R-Foley (AA: 133.2ip, 20.7k%/9.0b%, 40.4gb%, 5.09era, 4.88fip, 4.20xfip

Age 22

Sanchez (MLB): 11gs, 15.0k%/13.2b%, 58.1gb%, 3.55era, 5.21fip, 4.64xfip
R-Foley (MLB): 7gs, 28.0k%/14.0b%, 37.2gb%, 5.13era, 4.96fip, 4.21xfip

Sanchez (AAA): 5.0ip, 16.0k%/20.0b%, 80.0gb%, 3.60era, 5.16fip, 5.33xfip
R-Foley (AAA): 85.1ip, 27.1k%/8.3b%, 42.7gb%, 3.90era, 3.06fip, 3.35xfip
AWeb - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 01:09 PM EST (#369615) #
Reid-Foley is a far superior prospect/starter going forward to my eyes, because I would much rather have a guy who can strike people out try and figure out how to throw more and better strikes (SRF), rather than have someone with very similar BB rates try and figure out how to strike people out. Tying it in with another topic from today, I think SRF could have a Guzman-esque few seasons, if he can prevent HRs a little better than he managed in 2018 MLB action. Long-term is always a crap shoot, but I'd take SRF future value>Sanchez future value in a straight up bet.

Sanchez won an ERA title when he had his best hit rate, best K rate, best BB rate, and lead the league in HR/9. I'm not sure what a healthy Sanchez does well (ie, above average) at this point. I guess you hope it's hit prevention, but that's a tricky one to do without striking guys out. Look at the single season league leaders in ERA and there aren't many "Who was that?" types in the last 30 years as it becomes unlikely for fringy guys to even qualify for the ERA title. I hope Sanchez figures something out and becomes more than a great trivia answer in 20 years...
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 01:23 PM EST (#369616) #
I agree. Sean Reid-Foley is a better pitcher than Aaron Sanchez.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 01:36 PM EST (#369617) #
As everyone can see from Gerry's summary above, ZiPS thinks that Sanchez will be better than Reid-Foley this year. 

I don't know much about the performance/stuff comparisons, but  I do know that Reid-Foley definitely has a better durability pattern.  His birthday is August 30, 1995.  He threw 96 innings in 2015, 115 innings in 2016, 133 innings in 2017 and 163 innings in 2018.  That's pretty much textbook growth relative to age and puts him in a nice position to throw 180-190 innings in 2019 and thereafter (knock on wood)
bpoz - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 01:58 PM EST (#369618) #
Sanchez if healthy is in the rotation come opening day. That is a sure thing. If he is healthy and can make all his starts he has a chance to have a v good year.

SRF "may" be in the rotation come opening day. If not 10 starts in AAA? Then 20 starts on the majors? Only 20 starts vs 30 will hurt his war value in 2019. I think.

What about innings limitations for both SRF and Sanchez?

Regarding Thor see Sanchez above.

I no longer fret about Thor not pitching for the Jays. Also no point in fretting about Sanchez and Stroman leaving the Jays relatively soon. I still hope all 3 have V good careers.

PeterG - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 02:38 PM EST (#369619) #
Sanchez is a reliever imo. I think he has a greater chance of success in the pen where he might succeed without the curveball.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 02:53 PM EST (#369620) #
I imagine that Sanchez would be better as either the opener or as the "main event"  (aka the guy after the opener) than as a traditional starter.  When Sanchez rotated between the "rotation" and "relief" in A ball (about 3 innings in either role), he performed about as well in either.  Syndergaard was doing the same thing at the same time but did much, much better when he was the first guy with the ball. 
SK in NJ - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 05:25 PM EST (#369621) #
I agree that Sanchez is a reliever long term. If he has another 2017-18 type of first half then I’d move him to closer after Giles is traded and then see if he regains value in that role. The only players who are having no trouble getting money in free agency are relievers so he’s better off from a talent and money standpoint by switching roles.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 07:32 PM EST (#369622) #
I guess I'm in the vast minority as I think Sanchez will have a very good first half in the rotation and bring back a very nice return in July.
bpoz - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 10:01 PM EST (#369623) #
I am with you 85bluejay.
scottt - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 10:08 PM EST (#369624) #
I can't imagine Sanchez bringing more that what the Pirates got for Gerrit Cole.
Eovaldi brought back Jalen Beeks to the Rays.
Nothing of what the Yankees gave for Sonny Gray has amounted to anything

John Northey - Thursday, January 17 2019 @ 10:58 PM EST (#369625) #
I'd be expecting SRF to be down for roughly 50 days as he has 49 days of ML service so 2 months will give the Jays an extra year of control. He was good but not 'wow' by any stretch last year so not hard to justify. He and Vlad get that bonus time in the minors so both can be here in 2026 for certain unless traded/ineffective. Danny Jansen has 50 days so I doubt he stays down as without Martin it would be very hard to justify given his 115 OPS+ last year.
Glevin - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 02:25 AM EST (#369626) #
" In other words, you have to a pretty profound issue with bWAR for players of the same era (and league) to think that a 61 bWAR player is better than a 70 bWAR player."

Mike, WAR is an extremely blunt tool and differences of 1-2 WAR a season are not considered significant so 9 WAR over the course of a career isn't necessarily meaningful. Anyway, there are plenty of other things people look at (and should look at) because WAR is flawed. Rolen never led the league in a single offensive category. He was rarely even top-10 in the league in anything. He only finished top-10 in MVP voting once in his career. He has no "black ink" and almost no gray ink. He was a good hitter for a long time in a fantastic hitting era and a great fielder. Is he a HOFer? He's very close and I'd have him over Helton myself but there are plenty of arguments against him as well.
whiterasta80 - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 07:51 AM EST (#369627) #
Theres no point in an extra year of control unless you are dealing with a supreme talent or someone who isn't ready. Even then I'd argue that an extra few year just leads to a better resume come extension time.
Paul D - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 08:31 AM EST (#369628) #
Agreed whiterasta, particularly when dealing with pitchers and catchers,who are almost certain to get injured, and therefore miss productive time as it is.
Mike Green - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 08:38 AM EST (#369629) #

Mike, WAR is an extremely blunt tool and differences of 1-2 WAR a season are not considered significant so 9 WAR over the course of a career isn't necessarily meaningful

I disagree heartily.  A difference of 2 WAR over a season is almost always significant- you can tell the difference between a 2 WAR player and a 4 WAR position player almost invariably.  It is true that a 6 bWAR season will often be arguably as good or better than a 7 bWAR season.  The primary reason for position players is that defensive metrics over a 1 year time frame have a wide error bar.  It's a different story for a 5 year period or a career.  Over this length of time, the error bar for defensive metrics is much lower and the correlation between advanced metrics is higher.  bWAR (which relies on DRS) and fWAR (which relies on UZR) regularly will disagree about 6 and 7 WAR seasons, but I doubt that they will ever disagree about 60 and 70 WAR careers. 

As I said earlier, there is good reason to believe that WAR figures for catchers (due to framing, pitcher/catcher dynamics) and for relief pitchers are off significantly.  And I would be reluctant to attach the same weight to a comparison between a 70 WAR starting pitcher and a 61 WAR position player or vice versa.  But among position players (other than catcher) and among starting pitchers, a 9 WAR difference over a career is significant and would cause me to look closer at my underlying assumptions.  You could get there with Helton vs. Rolen.  Let's say you believe that first base defence is systematically underrated, as compared with values for other infielders- that the receiving ought to get more than its share of the credit for a completed play  (as compared with the fielding and throwing part) than it does.  That would work.  It's a tough argument.  Albert Pujols was +20 per year as a first baseman for a period of years over his peak.  I don't think many people believe that a great first baseman saves 30 runs a year.  And I don't think anyone believed that Helton was as good with the glove as Pujols was, but maybe you do. 

scottt - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 08:50 AM EST (#369630) #
Will the Jays use an opener? Should they?

The main idea of an opener is to use a reliever to throw the first inning, maybe a bit more, then to follow with a long relief guy. Ideally there's a platoon difference between the 2, so the other team is at a disadvantage for some of those innings.

There's a lot of preparation that goes into  a starter gearing for his day on the mound. The guy is off-limit to the press on that day. He's physically at his peak. He's going through a predetermined routine. He's focused.

So, you don't want to use an opener and have the starter come up unbalanced into the game.
It's like the pressure that makes the 9th inning more difficult than the 7th or 8th.

So, ideally, the opener should be used if you have an extra high reliever to open and a long reliever to follow.
Not for Stroman, Borucki, Sanchez, Showmaker or Read Foley. Maybe for Gaviglio, Biagini, Richard and possibly Pannone. Maybe, once Phelps is there, they might have enough spare high relievers to throw one in the first and still have 7, 8 and 9 covered. Probably not out of the gate in April.

Is Sanchez going to have a career like Morrow's. Possibly, but I don't think the Jays will try that.
Both Sanchez and the Jays will do everything to make him succeed as a starter first.
Now, he if hits the DL and his replacement steals his job. Then yes, I could see it happen.
He still needs to fail as a starter at least one more time.

rpriske - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 09:41 AM EST (#369631) #
"Will the Jays use an opener?"
God, I hope not.
Chuck - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 09:56 AM EST (#369632) #
God, I hope not.

That's a strong feeling. Is this based on aesthetics or on the concern that this is not a good strategy?

If it's the former, I get that. This is something new and will take a while to get used to, and some may never get used to it. I'm old and know that my instinctual reaction to anything new is rejection. And this very thing was high on my rejection list before I finally came around to it.

But if it's the latter, I don't know what the basis of the opposition would be. Sean Reid-Foley is not starting a game with the idea that he is going 8 or 9 innings. He's probably aiming for 5 or 6, if he even lasts that long. So it shouldn't matter if his relievers follow him or if one precedes him. I like the idea of sending a strong reliever out to open the game and tackle the top of the order. I think we have only seen the tip of the iceberg on this.

bpoz - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 09:56 AM EST (#369633) #
A case can be made that SRF is not quite ready for the Majors. But the FO said that we are not trying to compete.
So it is uncertain if he is down or up to start the season.

It is common to say that nobody wins a job in ST. But this year may be different.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 10:30 AM EST (#369634) #
I think the opener is an effective way to maximize your pitching staff, but I think it does take a little bit away from the game from certain elements of the entertainment perspective as there will be fewer star pitchers.

Do I think the Jays use an opener? Absolutely, the Jays attendance is tied closer to winning more than anything else and I think being competitive brings the highest entertainment factor overall.
bpoz - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 11:27 AM EST (#369635) #
Absolutely right Shoeless Joe. I think that is why Atkins was so enthusiastic about the large number of SPs in AA and above. He wants a lot of multi inning pitchers.

He and we know that most will not be successful 6,7,8 inning SPs. So 3,4 and possibly 5 IP in games. Longer, 5IP, against weak teams. Sanchez for example handled Boston V well for 8 innings last year.
Mike Green - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 11:44 AM EST (#369636) #
This is an interesting tweet from Chris Archer:

"If you ever failed a test, got suspended, or admitted to using performance enhancers you should NOT be in the hall of fame. No hard feelings but you disgraced the integrity of the game, your stats are tainted. You don’t deserve the honor."

I have a lot of respect for Archer (the missing u from honour notwithstanding!). I don't quite agree in respect of Bonds and Clemens.  I have come to the conclusion that use was very widespread in the late 90s and early 00s, especially after McGwire hit his 73 homers.  And MLB effectively condoned it by not acting.  I agree that the statistics from that period are tainted but I am not prepared to discount performance prior to that period (when Bonds was pretty clearly the best player in baseball and Clemens was pretty clearly the best pitcher). 

I wonder whether it would be a good idea for the Hall of Fame to have a wing for "Troubled Times in Baseball"- with the gambling scandals of the teens, (perhaps) the clubhouse drug issue of the late 70s and early 80s, and the PED period between the strike and the Mitchell Report.  Say it aint so, Joe, Chuck and Mark. 
Mike Green - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 11:53 AM EST (#369637) #
And as for the opener.  The whole reason for having a starting pitcher expected to go 6-7 innings is that he is much, much better than the back end of your bullpen.  The idea is that, even somewhat tired, you'd rather have a good starting pticher out there.  Think Verlander.  The Blue Jays in 2019 do not have that disparity in talent, and certainly don't have it after Stroman.  The only reason to use a conventional regime for this club is for developmental purposes.  You might hope that Borucki or Reid-Foley could develop into a pitcher who you could count on for an effective 6 innings or more most times, and they are used to starting the game through the minor leagues.  On the other hand, for a pitcher like Reid-Foley, there is a real plus to starting out in the 2nd or 3rd inning.  If he is going well, you can leave him out to finish the game.  If not, you don't get into the problem of entering your pen in the 4th inning.  It takes the pressure off some. 
bpoz - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 12:34 PM EST (#369638) #
You make sense Mike Green, but remember when Drabek and Morrow were being pulled in the 3rd inning because they threw 40 pitches in that inning.
We had to protect their arm so the pen was over used. This happened a bit with J Garcia last year.

I see all these things as factors in running a pitching staff.

Boston, NYY and Houston get deep pens to deal with this.

For the last few years many Bauxites were saying that someone was not available for tonight's game.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 12:39 PM EST (#369639) #
I think the advantage of the opener is based around the fact that batters typically get the advantage the third time though the order. If the opener gets the first 3-4 batters of the game then the the second pitcher gets to go 23-24 batters until he reaches the top of the order for a third time instead of typically just 18 batters if they started the game. It is a really neat way to have you pitcher not have to face the best betters when they are at their worst, and actually utilize the bullpen even less.
rpriske - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 01:03 PM EST (#369640) #
"That's a strong feeling. Is this based on aesthetics or on the concern that this is not a good strategy?"
It is the former. I make no bones about that. I am not saying they are wrong, I am saying I don't like it.
Magpie - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 01:50 PM EST (#369641) #
Ricky Romero's retirement letter. It's an old story, kids, as old as Dizzy Dean. Don't try to pitch through a leg injury.
85bluejay - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 02:15 PM EST (#369642) #
Regarding the opener, I'm more inclined to like the piggyback - Say if Gaviglio/Pannone/Paulino can each go 3 innings.

Regarding PED use and the HOF - I take it into consideration but it's not a disqualifier - Bonds & Clemens are no doubt HOFer's for me but on a borderline guy like Gary Sheffield, the PED connection probably makes me say no.
electric carrot - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 06:56 PM EST (#369643) #
Ricky Romero's retirement letter.

Thanks for the link. Great story.
Mike Green - Friday, January 18 2019 @ 07:12 PM EST (#369644) #
That is a classy letter from Ricky Romero
bpoz - Saturday, January 19 2019 @ 02:43 PM EST (#369645) #
On Friday the Jays had a prospects development program. It could have been in Toronto.
Keegan Matheson wrote it. He wrote about 5 pitching prospects J Waguespack, H Perez, A Sopko, T Thornton and J Merryweather. Pearson and Z Jackson were also there. Neither is close to being ready.

I am not sure how many will be in Toronto next year. Pearson and Jackson are not on the 40 man roster.

scottt - Saturday, January 19 2019 @ 02:58 PM EST (#369646) #
Looks like the Yankees will get the Red's top catching prospect and the guy in line to take over at 2B next year for Sonny Gray. That seems like an over pay for a one year rental. (prospect #6 and #7 in the Red's organization).

Essentially they seem to be creating hole they will have to fill with free agents.
If Gray rebounds, they would either trade him at the deadline or give him a QO.
If he's average--pitching in a new league--then it's pretty short-sighted.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 19 2019 @ 05:00 PM EST (#369647) #
I don't think trading Shed Long will hurt the Reds, as they are well stocked at 2nd with Gennett, Peraza and Senzel as options.The trading of Stephenson makes much less sense as they have a lack of catching depth and recently invested a very high draft pick on him in the not so distant past.
scottt - Saturday, January 19 2019 @ 06:43 PM EST (#369648) #
This is Gennett's walk out year. No?
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 19 2019 @ 09:28 PM EST (#369649) #
It is Genett's walk year, but in my opinion Peraza is a great second baseman and poor shortstop. They have to find a place for Senzel at some point as well.

It is very strange though that Cincy has cornered the market on walk year players.
Glevin - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 03:19 AM EST (#369650) #
It's frustrating because it seems the Yankees are able to get what no other team can in trades. Gray has very little surplus value IMO. A 4.90 ERA and 4.10 FIP with a large salary in the last year of his contract? Also, have no idea what the Reds are doing? They have like 10 people on the last year of the contract and are probably 4th best team in division.
scottt - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 07:44 AM EST (#369651) #
I think they are trying to improve the balance sheet more than the win column.
Votto is 35, was good for 3.5 WAR last year and has another 4 more years to collect 20M.
It looks like they'll be rebuilding for most of those years.
The worst case scenario for them is probably being close to a wild card spot at the trade deadline.
It feels like they are betting on themselves to lose a lot of games.
At least Pete Rose isn't managing.

dalimon5 - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 09:53 AM EST (#369652) #
Our FO probably rejected at very least the same package offered for Stroman. So it's hard to say that the Yankees get everything when it's likely our FO is holding out for a lot more. If Cashman is getting that return for 1 year of Gray then imagine the ask for 2 years of Stroman who has shown he can actually pitch in the AL East.

Probably means those reports about the huge asks out of the Padres were closer to the return the Jays were asking for.
bpoz - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 10:27 AM EST (#369653) #
Agreed dalimon5. Our FO is rightly asking for a fair/big package for Stroman. Best way to get elite prospects. TB does something like that.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#369654) #
I don't really think the trade market is really that great for getting blue chip prospects anymore. Jake Odorizzi who had two years of control and similar numbers/stuff as Stroman was traded straight up for Jermaine Palacios last season. The good organizations will be able to get major league talent out of those further down the prospect list.
bpoz - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 01:13 PM EST (#369655) #
I am starting to believe that Shoeless.

So close to ready like T Thornton, AA/AAA approximately #20 prospect or H Perez #12 prospect, in early stage of AA. Or even better tools but in A ball.

Good scouting/luck is so important. We will see how we did with Samad Taylor and Pannone.

Probably have to develop your own, Vlad, O Martinez, Bo, Pearson.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 03:42 PM EST (#369656) #
Agree with this sentiment. Seemed to me that there were some huge hauls for Jose Quintana and Chris Sale and I mean huge hauls, but then after the Verlander and Gerrit Cole trades the asks starting coming down quite a bit. Best way to get best returns in form of prospects is to trade the Osuna/Giles types with prime and control left or a Syndergaard type with control which is different from Bumgarner, Gray, etc all of those "in their prime but maybe past their prime one year max of control starters." Stroman and Sanchez have the potential to get a haul closer to Thor or the Quintana potential. They also have potential to max out at the Sonny Gray haul if they don't pitch like 3 years ago.

The only way in my mind to get a blue chip prospect now is to do a challenge trade (Forrest Whitley for Bo Bichete) or to trade 2-3 high upside prospects 4-5 years away from the show for a blue chip AAA prospect top 50 (Jordan Groshans and Pardinho for Noah Syndergaard). That's the return the Jays I believe are looking for if they can trade Stroman or Sanchez...and they think they can get it if those two hit their peak form, and if they can't, then let Montoyo try to outmanage the other guy the other 60% of the time Sanchez and Stroman aren't pitching.
PeterG - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 05:02 PM EST (#369657) #
Agree as well. Teams are much less inclined to trade good prospects now than was the case even 3 years ago.
bpoz - Sunday, January 20 2019 @ 05:31 PM EST (#369658) #
I wonder if the rich teams are afraid of the luxury tax threshold. Regarding trading elite prospects.

That may lead to a snowball effect for the less rich and poor teams.

I will have to think about this.
Michael - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 03:49 AM EST (#369659) #
Sometimes the best way to develop your prospects into quality big league players is to trade your prospects for the big league players. We all want to trade the "useless" older players that we don't think are tier 1 starters for young stars from other teams, but usually that will not work out.

If you have a young prospect in AA and he develops into a regular MLB player 2 years later, and you get 5 years of average play our of a cost control player, great. If you have a young prospect in AA and you trade him for someone who is a MLB player now and you have him cost control for a few years, very good. If you have a young prospect in AA and he never develops to a MLB and you didn't trade him when he was "shiny" to the other teams, you end up with nothing, bad.

Sometimes the players you trade away flame out (and you clearly "win" the trades - GM looks good and did good). Sometimes the players you trade away develop too well (and you might end up "regretting" the trade - GM looks bad, and maybe did bad depending on the return). Sometimes the players you have develop internally and you feel great (GM looks good, did good by no deal). Sometimes the players you have fail to develop (an no one knows what deals the GM had, so the GM looks fine even though the GM did bad). Clearly a cautious GM will "play it safe" and not make deals from prospects for fear of one making them look dumb. But it is in a teams best interest if the GM is willing and able to take these risks - presuming the GM is able to more often than not judge the quality of incoming and outgoing pieces.

That was one of the things AA was good at. Drafting and trading for minor league "prospects" and then trading them for real ML value. Sometimes the traded prospects developed, sometimes they didn't, but the Jays got a lot of value out of them as articles like highlight.

The important thing when making the trades is that you are getting value. If teams are willing to give you sufficient value for Smoak, Stroman, or young minor league players, then take the value. If they are not, then no reason to trade them. There is no need to trade anyone from the Jays, so the only question is who is offering value and is it enough.
bpoz - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 10:18 AM EST (#369660) #
Very good points Michael. Houston did something like that with Osuna and A Diaz. They got ML talent and back AA talent. Both Osuna and Diaz are proven and affordable.

We got proven affordable Grichuk and A Diaz for Woodman, C Greene and DeLeon. That worked out for everyone.

I was unsuccessful getting the AA article. I agree that he drafted well and built up the farm.

I liked the Lawrie trade because there was high upside there. The Donaldson trade was a clear win. His best.
Michael - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 12:49 PM EST (#369661) #
The Donaldson trade was a very good one, but I think the V Wells trade was actually the best one by far (especially if you end it with the immediate trade with Napoli's value too).
bpoz - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 01:55 PM EST (#369662) #
Yes. I forgot the V Wells trade.
Mike Green - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 02:51 PM EST (#369663) #
David Laurilia had a story on Chavez Young in his Sunday notes yesterday. 
Mike Green - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 02:54 PM EST (#369664) #
And this is an interesting piece on engineering a pitch- in case the "laminar two-seamer". 
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 05:27 PM EST (#369665) #
If all the acquired prospects Atkins brought in all fail (5%) the Jays will need a lot more from the existing players to ciompete.
If just one is a huge (5%) sucess it becomes a validation of Atkins’ policy/policies.
If more develop to play for the Jays (?), the postseason play starts right away.
85bluejay - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 05:53 PM EST (#369666) #
liked what the Yankees did with the Gray trade - essentially getting 2 high picks (Mariners 2018 2nd round pick & Reds 2019 competitive A pick) - restocking the lower levels for a guy they needed to move. Hope the Jays can do this type of deal rather than acquire low ceiling near ready prospects who also need 40 man roster protection.
Michael - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 06:56 PM EST (#369667) #
New Hall Of Fame projections have Halladay in based on latest from:

with more details at methods at

SK in NJ - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 06:57 PM EST (#369668) #
People think it’s hard to compete with the Yankees because of payroll, but it’s really because Cashman is the best GM in the game. Even these little moves are really smart and add upside to their system.
Dewey - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 07:25 PM EST (#369669) #
Two worth-reading articles in today’s NYT:  one by Tyler Kepner detailing how Mariano Rivera taught Doc how to throw his cutter (Sports section );

and one presenting an argument for Bill James being inducted into the HOF  [“Bill James has the Required Numbers”   By Jamie Malanowski  )
Apologies if these are not accessible by non-subscribers.

greenfrog - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 07:42 PM EST (#369670) #
Two things (among others) to like about Young's 2018 season:

- His BB:K ratio improved noticeably from the first half (21:56) to the second half (37:44). And his base stealing did as well (18:8 SB:CS in the first half; 26:5 in the second half).

Now let's see what he can do in high-A.
dalimon5 - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 07:47 PM EST (#369671) #
Nice article, very nice but a bit heavy on the Rivera influence. The article lost me when it started to argue that Halladay avoided a sharp decline like Johan Santana's career because of Halladay's reliance on perfectly copying Riveras' outlined cutter grip.

To focus on his Philly years and ignore the first 7 years of his 10 year dominance just doesn't ring true and the author assumes Halladay wouldn't have been as dominant without that cutter but since day 1 after Mel Queen Halladay's regular fastball always had insane movement and bite.

Plus, the comparison and argument that Santana was just as dominant for 7 years is ridiculous. We're talking one pitcher dominating AAA line ups in the Central vs a hall of famer dominating the best line ups in the toughest division in baseball.
scottt - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 09:14 PM EST (#369672) #
Long was 7th in the Reds system and is now 8th in the Mariners system.
Stowers is 23rd in the Yankees system and looks like a 4th outfielder.
He's a 45 prospect. Good contact skills, little power. Might not stick in center field.

The trade works for the Reds because they got an extension for Sonny Gray, although who knows how he'll do in a hitter's park. Long is an offensive 2B with poor defense.

Funny enough, the Mariners could be the big winner in this trade.
At any rate, I don't think Cashman did anything amazing here.
He needed to shake Gray off the payroll and the 40 roster, so he couldn't take a  more advanced  prospect.

Frankly, I'm  surprised that they haven't released Ellsbury.

scottt - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 09:20 PM EST (#369673) #
Halladay's strength was that all his pitches looked the same out of his hand but moved differently and usually ended up in the strike zone.
Vulg - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 10:20 PM EST (#369674) #
People think it’s hard to compete with the Yankees because of payroll, but it’s really because Cashman is the best GM in the game. Even these little moves are really smart and add upside to their system.

Cashman is one of the best, to be sure, but having both helps.

One of the most interesting Yankees stats to me is that they haven't had a losing season in 25 years. There's a standard of success afforded to teams that can mitigate risk at every position by buying positive WAR players to serve as stop gaps or high value backups. The Yankees can go and sign a LeMahieu as a consolation price for Machado, but he'd be tied for the highest salary on the Jays with Kendrys.

The off-field investments helps as well. There was a great article in The Athletic a while ago about how the Yankees started off slow in the analytics arms race but smartly built the best department in the business:

The Yankees employ 20, as do the Dodgers. The median is less than 10 (the Jays had 6 on staff at time of publishing; the Rays were tied for 2nd with the Braves and Astros with 15).
SK in NJ - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 10:29 PM EST (#369675) #
The Yankees got the 54th pick from last year's draft and will get the 36th pick in this year's draft for a player they devalued and everyone knew they wanted to trade. Gray had one year of control left. Granted the deal was contingent on Gray signing what turned out to be a very team friendly extension, so the Yankees likely got a better deal for that reason, but it's just another move from them where the value coming in far exceeds the value going out. They do this routinely, while not making any real mistakes in free agency anymore.

The Red Sox are a team that might have a shorter window due to how Dombrowski built them, but the Yankees are being built perfectly in terms of being able to sustain success for a long time.
bpoz - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 10:31 PM EST (#369676) #
Agreed Vulg.

Money, resources, luck. All in play.

Money smoothes over mistakes.
uglyone - Monday, January 21 2019 @ 11:06 PM EST (#369677) #
this is why the "teams just don't trade that kind of asset anymore" excuses are always BS.

good GMs convince other GMs to deal good assets.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 02:53 AM EST (#369678) #
"People think it’s hard to compete with the Yankees because of payroll, but it’s really because Cashman is the best GM in the game. Even these little moves are really smart and add upside to their system."

It's both. They have the financial clout to eat bad salaries and still add more players. The Stanton contract is going to be awful for a long time. Does anyone think this will hamper the Yankees in any way?
hypobole - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 06:26 AM EST (#369679) #
"good GMs convince other GMs to deal good assets."

Preller convinced the Cleveland to deal Mejia for a couple of relievers last season. Is he a "good" GM relative to other GM's? Maybe, maybe not.. he also signed Hosmer to that ugly FA contract last season.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 08:11 AM EST (#369680) #
I really like the move for the Reds, who acquired Gray for a minimal prospect cost and the extension is a worthy gamble.

I generally like what the Yanks are doing from a  franchise perspective and I think Cashman runs a good organization, but I don' think Josh Stowers is a good enough prospect to center a package  for Sonny Gray.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 08:58 AM EST (#369681) #
I concur with hypobole, glevin and others.  Cashman is a good general manager, but he wouldn't be the man if he didn't have the cash. 

Jeff Luhnow would be my choice of the GMs, but there are a lot of really good ones. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 09:54 AM EST (#369682) #
Sure having money helps the Yankees, but that's not the main reason for their success. If Cashman was like Dombrowski and kept using the farm system to add vets while overpaying free agents, then the Jays would have been better off long-term as that type of approach can backfire after a while, but the Yankees are young at the big league level and are maintaining a strong farm system while supplementing with vets. It's a more sustainable model.

The Stanton trade is actually a positive for the Jays as it was one of the few times over the last few years that Cashman added a bad contract. Will it hurt the Yankees? Maybe not as much as it would have hurt the Jays, but once their younger stars start to get expensive, then they'll feel it more.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 10:02 AM EST (#369683) #
I don't know how long Cashman has been the NYY's GM. Did he bring in ARod and M Texiera? Good players but V expensive. Had to eat the last year of both contracts if I remember correctly. We did that with Tulo.

Teams are moving contracts around for various reasons. One being the luxury tax factor. M Kemp, H Bailey. Russ Martin was moved for rebuild purposes.

Cashman and Dombrowski know their teams expectations.High expectations. Win the WS, now and then.

Cashman sort of tanked when he traded A Miller and A Chapman. But he gained long term talent. He made some nice Int'l additions. M Andujar.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#369684) #
If you want to compare Jay's GMs.

Ash i believe was given a smaller drafting budget. So he chose A Rios type picks because they were cheaper.

JPR. I don't know what he was doing.

Both had V little Int'l prospect success.

AA was great. Got extra picks. Picked high upside players in general. D McGuire was not high upside. Sanchez & Thor were cheap signings with V high upside. Made good Int'l signings as well.

Low budgets prior to 2013 was a major factor in our ability to compete.

Shapiro has a plan. I don't know the details. But he has a V good budget.

AWeb - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#369685) #
Cashman has built/maintained the most important part of building a winner - actually finding and developing very good/great players in your system and on your team. I have no idea how much credit to give Cashman in particular for players like Judge, Hicks, and Gregorius working out, but it's what the best teams manage to do. The Cardinals have been notorious for this for a long time, getting great seasons out of guys that no one else wanted.

The Jays built the foundation of a playoff team (Bautista, Encarnacion) on guys who weren't much until they got here, but never managed to develop a prospect into a consistent all-star player. This is what the "high performance team" front office should be judged over the next few years. Can the Jays get all-star level performances out of their own position player prospects for the first time in 10 years? How about a organizational pitcher making it to the all-star game twice, which hasn't happened since Halladay?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 12:36 PM EST (#369686) #
MLB Pipeline is halfway through their top 10 prospects at each position. So far they have released RHP, LHP, C, 1B, 2B, 3B. Biggio and Guerrero made the lists to far. Top 100 list will be gleaned from these lists.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 12:49 PM EST (#369687) #
D Jansen #5 for catchers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 01:39 PM EST (#369688) #
AWeb, I would characterize the Hicks and Gregorius moves as good trades.  They were each 25 with several years behind them in the major leagues.  By age 25, they had demonstrated that they were capable enough to hold a major league job at a down-the-middle position.  It's true that each developed after age 25, but the Yankees had only given up Shane Greene and John Ryan Murphy in the two trades. 

At the same time as Hicks and Gregorius have taken a step forward, Gary Sanchez has taken a step back.  I don't doubt that the Yankees do a better job than many clubs of developing their young major league talent; they certainly have resources that many clubs would love to have.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 02:01 PM EST (#369689) #
There is a lot of talent that is missed by everyone.

These lists of top 10 prospects by position and top 100 list are good to read. However if the lists are saved and then reevaluated a few years later they are full of surprises.

Lets do some cherry picking.

J deGrom was a 10th round NY Mets pick from Stetson. Great pitcher and everyone missed him in the draft. Did he make it near the top of any lists? Blake Snell, same deal, but a high pick CA round by TB.

Oakland drafted 3 great SPs a while back. M Mulder, T Hudson and another guy, I cannot remember. They got to the show together and stayed healthy as a trio. This resulted in great success. All were traded at the correct time for future benefits. They would get too expensive to resign anyway.

The Jays may do that. AA and Shapiro are using that model I believe.

Of course Oakland is in a weaker division.
AWeb - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 02:23 PM EST (#369690) #
Mike Green, that's exactly what I was trying to say - the Yankees are a very good team right now because they have been successful in developing players, even at the major league level. Does anyone know why this is though? Is it more coaches? Better coaches? Better training staff? This area is where I assume the front office is trying to focus some attention, with the young players working through the next few years.

Using Jays examples - Kevin Pillar hasn't improved, or even really noticeably changed, as a hitter ages 25-29 (slightly off topic, Pillar had 13 walks at the end of May in 2018, a bit ahead of his usual pace. He then had 5 more. 5!). Would the Yankees org have found a way to turn him into something better, or just figured out it wouldn't happen and replaced him?
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 03:08 PM EST (#369691) #
Pillar is what he is- a 2-3 WAR centerfielder.  You'd rather have a 4 WAR player obviously, but he's not the problem.  Maybe the Yankees or the Astros could have helped him with his pitch recognition, but I'm guessing that it isn't an area which is easy to develop.

There's an interesting article by Kaitlyn McGrath over at the Athletic on Ryan Borucki.  He wintered in Toronto this year; I think that's a smart move for a young player who figures that he's going to be here awhile.  It sounds as though his major focus was on conditioning so that he can throw well into September and aim for 200 innings. 

uglyone - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 04:26 PM EST (#369692) #
Jansen is the best catching prospect in baseball.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 05:47 PM EST (#369693) #
I missed Jansen, yes.

Top 100 beginning of season:


Top 100 end of season:
Kevin Smith?

Management's gonna have to start spending some of that money if they can't brag about a top 5 farm...
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 06:59 PM EST (#369694) #
Baseball America will have 7 Jays in the top 100 which are likely Vlady, Bo, Jannsen, Pardinho, Groshans, Pearson and Smith. Vlady and Jannsen will definitely graduate and Bo may or may not, so likely still 4-5 top 100 guys plus whoever might take a leap forward. That still looks like a top 5 farm system.

The Jays this year have a little over 100 million in retained salaries plus the remainder of Tulo's buyout puts them at 118 million for 2019. I am sure overall payroll totals will change but that puts them above league average at number 12 and between Houston and Philadelphia for now. This will be the first year since 2012 that they won't be entering a year in the top 10 in payroll.

They have just under 4 million in guaranteed money given out for 2020. There is no way they do not starting handing out some very big contracts by the end of the next offseason. If they don't then I have serious questions.
scottt - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 06:59 PM EST (#369695) #
Jansen is the only catching prospect who will be the primary catcher of an MLB team this year.

They have Guerrero tied with 2 others for best arm at 3B.
He also have the only 80 hit tool rating they've ever given.

scottt - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 07:30 PM EST (#369696) #
The Yankees used to sign top prospects by offering bigger signing bonus than anyone else.
Then they lost the ability to do that.
They used to spend a ton on international prospects.
Then they lost the ability to do that.
They still have the ability to sign top free agents and trade them with money to pickup prospects.
That's more dicey because they lose draft picks as well when signing QOed guys.
It's interesting that besides Severino, they are not trusting their pitching prospects.

Also, they are the top destination for many players.
Even Martin needed a 5th year or he wasn't coming here.
The guys who want to play for Toronto are usually very marginal guys, like Axford.

The one thing about this Yankees team is the lack of left bats.
Currently they have Gardner who hits left and Hicks who is a switch hitter.
Yankees team are usually loaded with LHB and the ballpark is built to given them an edge.
The Red Sox have lots of lefty starters and Tampa has the current Cy Young holder, but still.
I'll take the under for that 96.5 win prediction.

Btw Vegas currently tags the Jays at 76.5 and Baltimore at 59.

scottt - Tuesday, January 22 2019 @ 07:32 PM EST (#369697) #
Might need a new thread for the HOF.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 12:16 AM EST (#369702) #
Now that Pillar is on the wrong side of 30, he might actually be a 1 to 2 WAR center fielder. The Jays have a lot of outfielders (Teoscar, Pillar, Grichuk, McKinney, Alford, Pompey) each of whose performance might reasonably be expected to fall within the 0.5 to 2.5 WAR range in 2019. I have a hard time imagining any of them morphing into 4-5 WAR players. Grichuk and McKinney might be the most likely to post 3 WAR this year.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 12:24 AM EST (#369703) #
they could all be negative war players too.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 12:41 AM EST (#369704) #
If I had to guess, I would predict something like

Teoscar 1.2 WAR (bit better hitting, maybe slightly improved outfield play with reps and coaching, but more DHing in the end)

Pillar 1.6 WAR (getting older, a bit more injury-prone, a bit less spry and resilient)

Grichuk 2.6 WAR (decent player in his prime but streaky and unlikely ever to be an especially good hitter)

McKinney 1.5 WAR (potentially solid hitter but a corner outfielder without special defense, speed or power)

Alford 0.5 WAR (uneven performance after callup when injuries strike)

Pompey 0.4 WAR (still has potential but unlucky; injury history creates risks; perhaps some makeup issues; might get a shot because of injuries; a change of scenery might help)
ayjackson - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 02:24 AM EST (#369705) #

Has Harper signed yet?
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 11:40 AM EST (#369716) #
The BA top 100 prospect list is out.  The Blue Jays have 7 of them: Guerrero Jr. (consensus #1), Bichette (8), Jansen, Pearson, Pardinho, Groshans, Smith. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 11:42 AM EST (#369717) #
BP has 4 Blue Jays in their top 101: Guerrero Jr. (#1), Bichette (12), Pearson and Jansen. 
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#369718) #
The Red Sox and Yankess combined for exactly zero prospects in the top 100 on Baseball America's list, which is a first in a long time. The exact rankings of all Jays prospects are as follows:

1) Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
8) Bo Bichette
42) Danny Jansen
70) Nate Pearson
84) Eric Pardinho
89) Jordan Groshans
91) Kevin Smith

That list as whole is a great mix of exciting arms, middle infielders, power bats, a catcher and perhaps only missing an outfielder.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 11:55 AM EST (#369719) #
I'm not worried about the corner OFs, but it would be nice to have a young centerfielder coming along.  I wonder if Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could make the Upton Jr. (and Yount) move from SS to CF. 
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 12:05 PM EST (#369720) #
I agree that CF is the biggest question mark moving forward, and the real challenge I see with CF is that by the time players reach FA their defense in center has usually fallen apart. The gap really needs to be filled either by drafting and developing or a smart pick-up of a young player like the Yankess did with Aaron Hicks.

I have always though Gurriel has the tools and the bat to potentially be a pretty good Center fielder, and there might be more hope there then the pair of oft-injured pair of Alford/Pompey.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 01:12 PM EST (#369721) #
They will have to figure something out about an adequate CF.

I would think defense is the top priority. Jonathan Davis may be able to handle it for 3 or 4 years. His offensive numbers were very good in NH last year.

When you have a lot of players at one position giving out playing time is hard. So Alford and Davis in Buffalo. Do either need to work on their defense? If not then share LF,RF and CF defensively, while still getting full time ABs. McKinney and Smith Jr would handle the corners.

Forrest Wall? Anything there?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 02:05 PM EST (#369724) #
Pomeranz on a one year max $5 million contract with Giants only $1.5 million guaranteed. Probably had no interest in rebuilding in the AL East.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 03:10 PM EST (#369725) #
If you are a LH pitcher trying to rebuild your value (i.e. Pomeranz) I can't think of a worse place to sign right now than Toronto - AL East schedule, Skydome, poor team, horrific defence etc. Any discussions on that front would have been DOA.
Nigel - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 03:18 PM EST (#369726) #
Just to clarify my point above, I think the problem is particularly acute for a LH pitcher. As it stands now, it appears that the Jays are committed to continuing the Hernandez is an OF idea and Gurriel as a SS. If that's the case, there will be many days this year where the left side of the defense will be Hernandez LF, Gurriel SS and Vladdy 3B. I wouldn't be surprised to see our LH starters taking a cigarette and a blindfold to the mound.
PeterG - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 04:21 PM EST (#369727) #
Grichuk can play CF. I guess outside of a prospect changing position, Chavez Young is the best future bet. However, players changing position happens all the time so that is a real possibility.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 04:47 PM EST (#369728) #
Young played more right field than center in Lansing.  I hope that he gets more time this year in center.    For what it's worth, Clay Davenport's metric does like his defence each of the last two years and he is very fast. 
scottt - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 05:48 PM EST (#369730) #
Hernandez has been playing winter ball while working on his defense.
It's kinda weird that his defense has been that bad and that no scouts had flagged that.
They'll try hard to fix him. He has legit power.

scottt - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 05:59 PM EST (#369731) #
The depth chart for center field is:

Forrest Wall (probably starts in AA)
Palacios (same)
Demi Orimoloye (should be in Dunedin)

Pompey is of course out of option and will need an injury, a trade or McKinney being sent back to AAA to work on something.

scottt - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 06:04 PM EST (#369733) #
MLB Pipeline has Bichette as the 5th best shortstop in their top 10, but don't seem to have anything to say about him.
It's going to be interesting to see where they rank him in their top 100.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 06:55 PM EST (#369735) #
Couldn't agree more with AL East band box.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 08:40 PM EST (#369737) #
I think Bichette is suffering from a little prospect fatigue from He didn't have an explosive year like 2017, but he still produced and all of those shortstops are all top 10 prospects in their own right.

The problem I have with any centre fielders in our system is that I have to squint to see an mlb player, and there isn't much to dream on outside of maybe Chavez Young or Otto Lopez. Again the rest of the system at every other slot is very balanced.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 23 2019 @ 09:02 PM EST (#369738) #
Bichette will write his own story. Never mind the writers.
uglyone - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 07:51 AM EST (#369741) #
Bo is a great prospect, but I don't think there's any question that his status this year is legitimately diminished from last year.

The big thing is that his babip normalized from "insane" at Rk/A to just "really good" at A+/AA - and with that his one apparent standout tool ("hit") went from awesome to just good/very good. And then you consider that he lacks standout tools elsewhere - he doesn't have plus patience, or plus power , or plus defense, and his swing is a bit unorthodox.

He looks like a prospect with a good chance to be a solid two-way SS at the MLB level, which makes him a very, very good prospect, but it's a lot harder to see star upside this year than it was last year.

Of course, he's so young that he could change that profile quickly.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 09:28 AM EST (#369743) #
I have no idea what Bo Bichette will become, but his 2018 season was awfully impressive once you throw out all the comparisons.  Can we recap:
  • he's a 20 year old shortstop in double A
  • his fielding is, by all accounts, at least decent
  • he only hits 11 homers, but 43 doubles and 7 triples, for an IsoP of .167
  • his W/K is a perfectly respectable 48/101
  • he goes 32/11 stealing bases
And he does all this while struggling the first half and coming on strong in the second, after having issues with endurance in previous years.  With modest growth from here, he could easily be a star by the time he is 25.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if he destroys triple A for a couple of months, gets the call to the Show and then goes through an adjustment period.  If that is what happens, it would be better if he begins the adjustment in 2019 than in 2020. 
Chuck - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 12:26 PM EST (#369745) #
Does anyone know if teams are eligible to start signing free agents? I ask because spring training starts in 3 weeks.
mathesond - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 12:31 PM EST (#369746) #
The Reds found a work-around in trading for Sonny Gray and signing him to an extension...
bpoz - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 12:37 PM EST (#369747) #
This year will be exciting for me.

Atkins said that he is not expecting to compete.

Montoyo said that they will try to win right away. I like his optimism. He mentions that if Stroman and Sanchez pitch well, he likes his teams chances.

I believe that injuries and luck don't play favorites. That means in any year some teams will have worse luck and injuries than other teams. So maybe we get a break soon. We did not in 2017 and 2018. The quality of your depth also is a major factor.

Happ, Stroman and Sanchez if healthy can match up with the top 3 of Boston and NYY IMO. After that #4 Estrada is ok.

In 2017 Happ, Stroman and #4 Estrada were fairly good. Sanchez's 8 starts and 36 IP was a big let down. Grilli was horrible. Tepera had to replace him. Goins came off the bench to play full time.

Regarding depth in 2019 we will go with youthful, inexperienced depth. Boston and NYY will have quality, veteran and expensive depth.

Boston's and NYY's pens will be stacked ours will be an experiment. A work in progress.

Glevin - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 12:48 PM EST (#369748) #
Dodgers signing Pollock which is very strange. Pederson has had a higher WAR than Pollock 2 of the last 3 years and is much cheaper. Righty/Lefty balance isn't that important. They now have insane depth all over the diamond but the trade market is pretty weak so hard to see them getting great value for Pederson.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 01:10 PM EST (#369749) #
Joc Pederson has extreme L/R splits and is unplayable against lefties. His defense in CF has been very bad for the past two season as well, but will make for a very good corner platoon bat. I really like this deal for LA, and I think the Jays could have used Pollock at that price.
Chuck - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 02:24 PM EST (#369750) #
Pollock's contract looks to be worth 55M for 4 years with a 5M buyout for year 5. So 60M for 4 years. All this for a guy who can't stay healthy, is over 30 and is declining defensively in CF. I'd have rather kept Pederson.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 02:47 PM EST (#369752) #
$12 Million for a perennial glass All Star per year for 5 years is a great deal. Worth the risk because when healthy he's a complete player. If he doesn't steal 30+ bases a year he probably avoids injury and is still good enough to warrant that contract. Steal of the off season for a team with two visits to World Series where their offense dried up.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 04:01 PM EST (#369753) #
Joc Pederson vs Left handed Pitchers:

2018: 0.170/.211/.302 - 0.512 OPS
Career: 0.181/.266/.317 - .583 OPS

CF Defense:

2017: -11.0 UZR/150 & -12 DRS (655.2 Inn.)
2018: -19.8 UZR/150 & -3 DRS (187.1 Inn)

He is literally unplayable in center or against lefties, but is fantastic in a corner against righties. He is basically what I hope for in Billy McKinney with perhaps a little less power.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 05:06 PM EST (#369755) #
The Pollock contract looks like an overpay to me. If you factor in the great hitters' park that Pollock has played in his whole career, you see that his hitting isn't all that great - a career road OPS in the .750 range. His career numbers in Dodger Stadium are absolutely putrid. The Dodgers just dumped 2 outfielders, Puig and Kemp, who both had way better road OPS numbers than Pollock last year. Pollock's defensive numbers in CF are already declining, as you would expect at his age. Then you consider how injury prone Pollock is, and I don't see the Dodgers getting their money's worth. The 5th year is a player option, which almost certainly will be accepted, as he will be 35 years old for that season. I would expect that this will be a contract the Dodgers will be looking to get out from under in about 3 years time.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 24 2019 @ 08:18 PM EST (#369757) #
If you feel bad for that contract imagine Harper at 2-2.5X the price or McCutchen's deal.

Essentially if you aren't willing to support these deals then you're backing the "build within" mentality that the Jays are using which probably is the the best way ala Houston and Cubs.
dan gordon - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 05:10 AM EST (#369759) #
McCutchen is a 42 WAR player. Pollock is 20. Part of that is the games Pollock has missed due to injury. McCutchen is a year older and seems to be declining pretty fast. His deal is only 3 years, but is more per season. Both players are probably unlikely to produce enough to warrant the money they are getting. Harper is hard to evaluate because he's been so incredibly inconsistent. Of course, most large free agent contracts end up being poor deals for the team.
scottt - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 06:19 AM EST (#369761) #
Out of the top 5 free agents, (Harper, Machado, Corbin, Keuchel and Kimbrel) only Corbin has been signed and I question if he's a legit top 5. He just had a career season. Maybe the GMs are too fixated on projecting the players.
Certainly, it appears that teams don't like losing draft picks, even if they're just 2nd or 3rd round picks.
And Machado seems to have driven his value down with his antics.

I think most of these guys will end up with decent contracts, but probably without the usual no-trade deals.

I'm not going to talk about anything but Doc in the other thread, so, about selling the farm.
If you trade most of your top 10 prospects, is that not trading the farm?
Does it matter how many WARs those prospects rack up 3 years later?
It could be luck or just how weak the farm was or maybe you need to wait until all those prospects are out of team control.
And if the top 10 is very weak, despite being filled with first round draft picks, how is that good?

It stings that the Miami trade was for many guys who had just signed free agents contracts the year before.
I understand that those guys would not have signed to play in Toronto, but it still stings.
There was no room left in the payroll to complete the team and there was little left int the farm to provide depth.
They were amazing for 2 months in 2015, but the money wasn't there to pay for a team like that a full season.

James W - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 09:06 AM EST (#369763) #
They were amazing for 2 months in 2015, but the money wasn't there to pay for a team like that a full season.

I'll preface by saying I don't know any facts, and am just speculating... but surely the increased income from finally having a competitive team outweighed the cost of having that competitive team. I've got a strong feeling that Rogers laughed their way to the bank off the 2015-2017 Blue Jays.
Mike Green - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 09:11 AM EST (#369764) #
Pollock is 31.  Harper is 26.  Harper has been a considerably better player by bWAR or fWAR over 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 4 years.  If Pollock is worth 4/60 (and I don't think he is), Harper is worth a lot more than the 7/190 to 7/210 that I have pegged for (Pollock is good for about 5 WAR over the next 4 years and Harper is good for about 21 over the next 7). 

The key thing is the age difference.  Paying for A.J. Pollock's age 35 season is probably riskier than paying for Harper's age 33 season at this point.  Usually the term length is a real killer. 
dalimon5 - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 09:34 AM EST (#369767) #
"McCutchen is a 42 WAR player." Might as well point out that Tulo is a 44 WA® player too.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 09:41 AM EST (#369768) #
Does everyone still think front offices are using WAR from two public web pages to evaluate players and invest their money? I think it's obvious they aren't.
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