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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 | 165 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.

http://www.captainsblog.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/mlb-2017-payroll-rev.png

Here's the full article:

http://www.captainsblog.info/2018/08/17/24733-manny-machado-bryce-harper-hal-steinbrenner-luxury-tax/24733/
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:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/the-dodgers-have-a-new-old-catcher/

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 Bichete...it 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 opposite...no 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:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/instagraphs/russell-martin-fetches-two-fringe-prospects/
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)

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

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 roster...one 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 AAA...so 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".

http://danielcoyle.com/the-culture-code/

"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.
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