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So here it is.

In other news, Frank Robinson died today. Despite 40 years of free agency, F.Robby is still the only man to win the MVP award in both leagues. He will always be the first African-American manager in the majors. He will always be one of the greatest baseball players who ever set foot on a diamond, and one of the fiercest competitors.



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Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 03:31 PM EST (#370088) #
Agreed.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 04:07 PM EST (#370090) #
Frank Robinson. Great, hard-nosed ballplayer.  I missed the Cincinnati portion of his career (mostly) which covered to age 29, but I can imagine a younger, more agile F. Robby than the one I remember from his days in Baltimore.

Robinson, of course, stood very close to the plate and dared a pitcher to come inside to him.  He wouldn't back off a lick, as he aimed to control both sides of the plate.  Needless to say, he led the league in HBP 7 times.  For fun, I wanted to see how he managed against Bob Gibson- I figured that would be a kind of "irresistible force meets immovable object" test.  They fought to a draw in 98 PAs- Robinson hit .229/.316/.410 (but the only pitcher who faced Robinson a considerable number of times who did better was Catfish Hunter).  Anyways, the amazing thing about their matchups- Gibson only hit Robinson once.  Here's a recounting of a memorable Robinson/Gibson confrontation. 

Robinson was also a very aggressive baserunner- injured himself and obstacles in the way more than once.  I can't imagine that he would have been happy with the new rules.

When they put up a statue for Robinson in front of Camden Yards, Earl Weaver said:

ďThe Orioles are honoring a man who played the game of baseball the way it should be played; with intensity and intelligence. Each at-bat was a war against the fellow who stood on the mound to oppose him. His success shows in the statistics he posted through his career. Baltimore, after getting back into the major leagues in 1954, became a pretty good ballclub in the early '60s.  But when Frank was acquired in 1966, they became the powerhouse of baseball for the next eight to 10 years. He was a leader on the field and expected his teammates to play just as hard as he did. His influence in the clubhouse was very noticeable, and had a lot to do with the Orioles' first two world championships. Now with the statue being placed in Camden Yards, his feats as an Oriole will always be remembered, as well they should be.Ē

What Earl said.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 04:42 PM EST (#370091) #
Thank you Mike.
Magpie - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 04:54 PM EST (#370092) #
Robinson was one of the reasons Roberto Clemente - Roberto Freaking Clemente! - spent most of his career as just the third best player at his own position in his own league (Henry Aaron was the other reason.)

I checked on Drysdale - he only hit Robinson four times in his career. Probably not for lack of trying. Still, Dave Stieb managed to hit Brian Downing five times.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 05:03 PM EST (#370093) #
Do the Jays have a plan for 2019? Being terrible is not a plan. Not competing isnít much better. The Offense will not be an issue as most Players are getting better with more experience. Sanchez and Stroman will be much better next year because they will be healthy and returning to normal. And if they are that much better?

Part one
Mike Green - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 05:18 PM EST (#370094) #
Was there a greater concentration of talent at one position in one league than the Aaron/Robinson/Clemente grouping, Magpie?  Gehrig/Greenberg/Foxx at first base in the AL of the 30s is the other famous one.  And I guess there were the shortstops of the AL of the 80's- Ripken Jr.,/Yount/Trammell (with Fernandez and Franco providing pretty substantial backup). 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 05:23 PM EST (#370095) #
Did Ross Atkins acquire enough Starting Pitching for the Rotation or is he still looking for more/better? More tends to suggest the Jays still have questions about Sanchez and Stroman. Better tends to suggest anything is possible. Anything?

Part two
Chuck - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 06:38 PM EST (#370096) #
Dioner Navarro has signed a minor league contract with Cleveland. The odds would seem to be monumentally stacked against him resurfacing in the majors.
Magpie - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 07:01 PM EST (#370097) #
Was there a greater concentration of talent at one position in one league than the Aaron/Robinson/Clemente grouping, Magpie?

That's the other one, AL first basemen of the 1930s. It's also worth noting that in 1964 it was yet another NL right fielder (Johnny Callison) who was just about to win the MVP award before the Phillies famous El-Foldo.
scottt - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 07:15 PM EST (#370098) #
It only took the Marlins, what, 18 months to trade Realmuto?
Not a bad return, though.

I wonder what the final price tag on Keuchel will be. 4/60M?
He's getting about zero coverage.

scottt - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 07:57 PM EST (#370099) #
Zach Britton is now Zack Britton. Initially I thought he was turning into Hack Britton.

If you missed it, Melvin Upton Jr went back to B. J. Upton.

dan gordon - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 08:23 PM EST (#370100) #
If you are in a fantasy baseball pool this year, get Realmuto - his numbers are going to skyrocket with the move from a terrible hitters' park to a good one. With Miami, his career home OPS is .678 and on the road it's .848. On the road he's a .300+ hitter with 25 HR power, and could do even better than that in Philadelphia.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 09:57 PM EST (#370102) #
Do the Jays have a plan for 2019?
Pepper the fans with platitudes about resource management and strategic budgetary discretion until we get so bored we turn them off. As long as the fans don't revolt due to the historically low spending, it'll be considered a success internally. Avoid strong emotions (positive or negative) at any cost. Oh, yeah, and try to spend less than Tampa going forward.. Keep those bean counters happy.
In fantasy land: sign Harper and Machado and bash the AL East into submission. Would we even break $100M (not including TT/RM)?

In "could we have a real team, please" land: sign 1 or 2 free agents that aren't "if the stars align, could be worth 1 WAR and/or might be traded at the deadline if they have a good year" types
greenfrog - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 10:53 PM EST (#370103) #
I like the Realmuto trade for the Phillies, just as I liked the Cole trade for the Astros last off-season. As Anthopoulos said (quoting Buffett), "It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair asset at a wonderful price."

As for the next acquisition the Phillies should make, my head can rationalize a Machado signing (even though I'm not a fan of the player), but my heart says Harper. We'll see what happens.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 10:55 PM EST (#370104) #
Make that, "It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price." Sometimes I pine for an "edit post" function.
scottt - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 07:32 AM EST (#370105) #
Essentially, the Phillies have replaced Carlos Santana with McCutchen, Kingery with Segura and Alfareo with Realmuto.
That still leaves them with a rotation of Nola, Arrieta, Pivetta, Velasquez and Eflin.

I'm not sure Harper would move the needle much.

ramone - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 09:59 AM EST (#370106) #
Fangraphs rolled out the Jays Top 34 Prospect list this morning

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/top-34-prospects-toronto-blue-jays/

Mike Green - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#370107) #
Fangraphs' list is an interesting one and shares a fair bit with Keith Law's.  I have some issues with some of the comments.  Noda is not a stiff below-average athlete.  He moves well, fields well, and his home-runs are majestic.I learned a fair bit about Otto Lopez' history from the Fangraphs article, but disagree about the assertion that "he has some feel for contact but will probably max out at 40 raw power, if that, so he's unlikely to make strong enough contact to hit for as high an average as his pure bat-to-ball skills might indicate".  He's got a very quick short stroke and the ball jumps off his bat.  It's exactly what I want to see from a 20 year old hitter.  Yes, there is an issue about development of his batting skills but the big issue with him to my mind is defence- and what position he can play.

Fangraphs likes Gabriel Moreno about at much as Keith Law, but indicates that "he should stick at catcher"- which is basically my understanding. 
Gerry - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 10:59 AM EST (#370108) #
I haven't gone through it in detail yet but the Alejandro Kirk comp to Chris Farley caught my eye. Big but surprisingly agile seems about right.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#370109) #
But can he act in a comedic movie role?
Nigel - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#370110) #
The comment about Lopez is a classic "not enough first hand viewing" comment. He is tiny and if you only see him once or twice and see games where he has weak contact you are going to conclude that there is no power there. Lopez makes a ton of good contact and offers a nice blend of offensive tools including power (even if the HR totals may stay modest).
Gerry - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#370111) #
Reading the Fangraphs report shows the uncertainty around the farm system. Once you get past the top three there are issues with everyone. Pearson could be a reliever; pro scouts don't like Groshans; SRF has trouble with quality strikes (and could be a reliever); Kevin Smith could be a 2B; Pardinho needs to improve his stuff (or maintain his velocity). And then we get to the 40 grade prospects who have questions which is why they are 40 grade.

Its a glass half full/ half empty system.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 02:31 PM EST (#370112) #
How much does an Evaluator, such as Fangraphs, see of each prospect they rate? It cannot be enough for a true and accurate evaluation of every prospect. So I thank everyone for input on differences.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 02:40 PM EST (#370113) #
Ryan Borucki and Danny Jansen were two of those prospects with lots of questions. Both turned out to be successes, so it stands to reason there are many more successes coming.;
bpoz - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 02:49 PM EST (#370114) #
I made a top 50 list for our farm this year. So I have a record to mark over the next 3-5 years. I get to see how well I did.
In the past we had many guys that could not get to AA. Especially Richardi's picks. AA did a lot better and his grade is not yet complete because There are about 5 of his acquisitions very close.

The Shapiro 2016 and 2017 draft picks have already reached AAA and AA.


uglyone - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 02:59 PM EST (#370115) #
"Once you get past the top three there are issues with everyone"

I'd like to see how many non top-3 prospects in any system don't have "issues".
James W - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 03:35 PM EST (#370116) #
If we're going to be snarky, our top prospect has obvious issues. He is the #1 or #2 prospect in all of baseball, and he's got issues.
Mike Green - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 03:57 PM EST (#370117) #
The Fangraphs people are quite down on Patrick Murphy.  He throws very hard with pretty good control, misses his share of bats, and gets ground balls.  He has a curveball with some potential and a change.  His results have been good. 

The FG people describe him as a 35+ FV pitcher.  For me, that's pretty much useless.  It seems pretty obvious to me that he's a pitcher with significant potential but who also has to develop his stuff some and whose injury risk is higher than many.  He has some decent chance (I don't know if it's 5%, 10% or 25%) of being a very valuable starter and a decent chance of contributing something in a lesser role, and a significant chance (likelihood?) of not making it at all.  35+ doesn't come close to describing the possibility (even if it's only 5%) that he might be a starter who can throw 200 very good innings and be one of your top 5-6 pitchers that you lean on in the playoffs. 

It's really a problem about how one projects pitchers.  There's so much uncertainty about most of them that putting a FV grade means a lot less for them than for position players.  Whatever, I don't buy the ranking of Murphy. 


John Northey - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 04:56 PM EST (#370118) #
For comparisons I posted a summary last year of various sites (10 of them) top prospects for the Jays.
https://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20180310002325149

Vlad, Bo, Alford were unanimous #1/2/3. Most had Pearson #4. All lists had the top 9 listed, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Anthony Alford, Nate Pearson, Logan Warmoth, Danny Jansen, Sean Reid-Foley, TJ Zeuch, Ryan Borucki. Dwight Smith Jr who got some playing time was on just 3, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was on half the lists.

Be a lot more interesting to look back in 5 years and see.
Nigel - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 05:44 PM EST (#370119) #
I think one of the biggest issues on the glass half full/glass half empty perspective of the system is that we have very little performance data on a large number of the players who might be top 100 prospects. Pearson, Groshans, Pardinho and Martinez are all players will little or no pro experience. At this time next year, all or none could be consensus top 100 picks. I don't have any problem with the differing views on some of those players. The most likely outcome is that one or two of those players will continue to develop next year and one or two will likely get injured or take a step back.
PeterG - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 06:13 PM EST (#370120) #
I think Fangraphs is way off base on Murphy.
bpoz - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 07:30 PM EST (#370121) #
I would like to know how the Tulo and Martin money, about $55 mil is accounted for. I know 2019 and 20 will have low payrolls and Rogers can afford the lost money.

But going forward we will have to spend money. I really like Stroman and believe that he will stay if the extension offer is decent. 10 starts into the season we will know if he is good Stroman.

If we want to win big then I think we will have to pay.
Mylegacy - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 07:53 PM EST (#370122) #
All off-season we have prospects list after prospects list. Top 10 - 20 -30 -40. I remember Tamra's fascinating Top 50 earlier this off-season. I made a comment or two, about a 5'9", 220 pound catcher if I remember correctly.

Some of these lists are from people who make them for every team, some by those of us who know the Jays system best.

However, we are ALL making a massive mistake. At the end of the day it'll be the new arm slot, the new glasses, the new swing angle, the new physical conditioning, the new commitment, the new maturity, the light going on, etc., etc.

We are not going to decide anything ruminating about "our opinions" about Prospects. Prospects, day in, day out, on the field, in the gym, with the coaches and on the field as individual motivated humans are going to have the final say. As it should be.

I love ALL our opinions. I love my opinions best. But my opinion has yet to improve a guy's two strike, three ball approach at the plate. No matter how loud I yell at the telly.

But I do so love the majesty of my sport that lets me monitor a guy's growth over 3 to 6 years. Lets me wish upon a star. Lets me mourn a dream unfulfilled.

A week until pitchers and catchers report. Let the games begin!
scottt - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 07:57 PM EST (#370123) #
It's been a long time since the Jays had prospects this good. If it's a half empty system, it's been completely barren over the last 2 decades.

Nobody knows how players will develop. Bautista and Encarnation were deeply flawed players when they got here.
So there's that.

Also they weren't able to get top prospects for the players they traded because they all came with high salaries, performance decline, health question, legal issues, etc.

Still, they have lots of prospects competing for the MLB jobs. The pitchers should at least be able to produce a strong bullpen and the bottom half of a rotation with lots of depth. It they just need to get an ace in 2 year, it's not a huge problem. 

Initially, I thought they were generous with Tellez, but it's more like they're down on everybody else.

I think it's going to be a fun year.

lexomatic - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 08:03 PM EST (#370124) #
I feel like this could have used an edit . I find the following comment really weird from the Fangraphs review of Jansen.

He is a pull-only plodder and heíll likely always be a low BABIP guy
Considering the statscast sprint speed, he's 4th among catchers, at 27.9 ft/sec (best is Realmuto at 28.6) and league average for all positions is 27.0.
Sure it's not a ton of reps, and maybe he IS slow, but it just screams "I have my mind made up about this player, and I'm going to ignore stuff or not even check". Also, since his 2017 breakout seems to be a change in talent (health), there's a lot less to go on. 2017 BABIP was super high, AAA this year was maybe a bit low, but Buffallo seemed to be a pretty bad place to hit last year, and .274 is low for his call-up (296 , but not necessarily something you can bank on.  MLB players with a BABIP range of 265 to 285 last year..Albies, Y ALonzo, Pillar, LIndor, Desmond, Grandal, Longoria, Hoskins, Gardner, Encarnacion. Some slow and some fast.

Or Mckinney who has only one prospect grade below 45 (arm, 40) including two 55s but is listed at 40+ despite  the only skill predicted to drop is to a 45. So arm is the MOST important tool?

Spifficus - Friday, February 08 2019 @ 11:18 PM EST (#370125) #

Well, McKinney's two 55's are in Raw Power and Game Power, the latter just being an actualization of the former with his current swing and natural development. If he were a hulking mass that hit everything on the ground, he could have maybe an 80 on his Raw, and a 20 on his Game... Which, now, contemplating that, I desperately want to see. I'd like to see a ground-rule double baltimore chop. The key piece of information on his profile isn't one of the numbers, though; it's the LF. That means he needs to pretty much max out on everything else to become more than what they see him as, which is a platoon corner OF. Useful, hence the 40-45 overall grade, but not anything to write home about (unless you're McKinney, in which case you'd be a major leaguer, and, well, that's worth writing home about). You have to remember that the overall grade is attempt to describe their overall value, which is informed by the component grades, but not simply an aggregate of them.

As for the plodder part of Janssen, yeah, that's probably loose if the run times hold. The Pull-happy part is an understatement, though, and considering how much he pulls the ball I can see BABIP becoming an issue in the majors. His 2016 pull rate of about 48% was the only time in his career it was below 50 (save for 49.5 in 2013). For a hilarious contrast, Bichette has averaged about 40% to the opposite field.

Glevin - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 06:25 AM EST (#370126) #
I think the criticisms about lack of depth are mostly about lack of good prospects in the upper minors (after top-3). There is no one who profiles as an everyday player or a front half of the rotation guy there. I do like the Jays' plan of accumulating numbers when it comes to starters because I think they are very unpredictable and you need bulk in order to have success. You hope one or two of these guys figure something out and it is not unlikely that happens.The Jays need some of their players lower in the system to make a leap and I think there is talent there for it (Groshans as well as some of the international players). The Jays have a horrible recent history of 1st round (and supplementary round) hitters. Before Groshans it has been Warmoth, Pentacost, Nay, Davis, DJ Smith, Jacob Anderson, David Cooper, Justin Jackson, Arencibia, Ahrens, and Snider.
bpoz - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 12:05 PM EST (#370127) #
We have 40 years of Jays history. There have been many good players. 2 HOFs and some that are close. So they keep showing up. I expect it to continue.

Ash gave us Halladay and V Wells. Maybe a couple more. A Rios and M Young.

Richardi. None I think.

AA. The best so far is Stroman. 2016 and 2017 were very good. He needs a few more good seasons to be considered a V good player. About 7 years from now some will be nearing their career end and others will be in the middle.

Shapiro has some promising candidates.

We got Alomar, McGriff from other organizations when V young. Bautista and EE had their best seasons with us.

The bad part was that since 1993 to 2015 we had disappointment due to multiple reasons. The biggest being direct competition with NYY and Boston and lack of enough WCs.

It is a bit easier now. So there is more hope.
scottt - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 12:36 PM EST (#370128) #
To me, a platoon player is good as long as he's left handed.

I was intrigued by the "We were too high on Forrest Wall last year" line.

So last year, they ranked him 7th in the Rockies system at 45 FV.

Despite his speed, a lack of arm strength could push him to left field instead of center (he's already had to abandon second base), but Wall is so fast that he could be plus there. His combination of patience, bat control, and nearly average power don't look terrible in left either. His range of potential outcomes starts with a bench outfield role on the low end and looks something like Brett Gardner on the other.

They gave him 45/45 for Raw Power and 20/30 for Game Power.
scottt - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 01:00 PM EST (#370129) #
I don't buy the lack of good prospects in the upper minors line.

Guerrero starts in AAA. So does Bichette and Biggio. The entire Buffalo rotation should be made out of prospects this year.

Let's take the Rays for example. Their number 1, Franco, was in rookie ball last year, he's not reaching until 2022.
Next is Brendan McKay, the two way phenom who pitches and plays LF/1B. He hasn't reached AA.
Honeywell had TJ and will miss part of the year.
Jesus Sanchez hit for .300 in A+, but only .214 in AA.
Liberatore pitched in rookie ball, Shouldn't reach until 2022.
Shane Baz, rookie ball.
Ronaldo Hernandez played in A.
Mcclanahan, rookie ball
Lucius Fox hit .282 in A+, but only .221 in AA
and so on.

What lifts a system are those prospects that are highly ranked in rookie balls.



scottt - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 01:09 PM EST (#370130) #
The bad part was more things like signing Vernon Wells to a crazy contract and not moving him to a corner when Rios was ready to take over in center. Not platooning Lind. Not being able to plug glaring holes when a prospect didn't pan out.
scottt - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 01:15 PM EST (#370131) #
So, if I understand correctly, no players union initiated changes until the next collective agreement after the 2021 season.
The 3 hitters per pitcher cannot be implemented this year because it's just being talked about.
The 20 sec pitch clock could still be introduced this year since it's already been discussed for a while.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 04:49 PM EST (#370132) #
As far as I know, the players union has to agree to the 3 batter minimum.
For whatever reason, Manfred has the ability to impose a pitch clock unilaterally. He had that ability last year but held off for another year.
uglyone - Saturday, February 09 2019 @ 06:51 PM EST (#370133) #
"I think the criticisms about lack of depth are mostly about lack of good prospects in the upper minors (after top-3). There is no one who profiles as an everyday player or a front half of the rotation guy there."

how many non-top-3 prospects in other orgs are in the high minors and project as everyday players or front rotation guys?
Michael - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 01:53 AM EST (#370134) #
Imagine the high school sports program that had Frank Robinson and future major leaguer Flood on the baseball team and Robinson and Bill Russell on the basketball team. That's some stacked high school!
Glevin - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 09:20 AM EST (#370135) #
"how many non-top-3 prospects in other orgs are in the high minors and project as everyday players or front rotation guys?"

Some do and the top ones all do. Even systems like the Dodgers have someone like Lux at #4 and DJ Peters #9. Jays have guys like SRF, Tellez, and Zeuch there.
bpoz - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 09:51 AM EST (#370136) #
I suppose you have to keep score on these top and non top prospects.

NYM has recently produced V good rotation players. 4,5 or 6. Some have been injured. J DeGrom, M Harvey and S Matz traded for Syndergaard and Z Wheeler and then developed them. Also closer J Familia. But I don't know how they ranked. They should have a few more good SPs coming up I suppose.

Same story for us. Sanchez, Stroman and Osuna. We have some good ones coming up. I expect some to produce.
uglyone - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 11:32 AM EST (#370137) #
"Even systems like the Dodgers have someone like Lux at #4 and DJ Peters #9. Jays have guys like SRF, Tellez, and Zeuch there"

who has tellez and Zeuch in the jays top 10?

and why is Peters better than SRF? he'll, stack SRF up against the Dodgers #1 prospect and see how they look.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 11:36 AM EST (#370138) #
Eric Pardinho will shoot up the list as he pitches more. Heís possibly top 10 within a year. With a healthy year Nate Pearson could rocket up the list into the top 10 very soon. Bo Bichette could be top 5 easily with another big year. Others may make the top 100 easily. Yet others may be a sucess at the MLB level without making the top 100. There are a lot of possible successes steadily moving up the ranks in the Jays system, they could easily be/stay top 10 as a team.
scottt - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 01:12 PM EST (#370139) #

The top 40 is full of high minor prospects who aren't in the top 10.
If you go with the fangraphs top 10, that's McKinney, Perez, Tellez, McGuire, Alford, Murphy, Urena, Davis, Pompey, Smith, Pannone, Merryweather, Waguespack.

Plus the guys who aren't on the 40 yet.
Biggio, Wall, Palacios, etc..

John Northey - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 02:28 PM EST (#370140) #
For some history lessons...Jays in top 100 of BA via BR... (listed for 1989 and beyond) with final WAR, overall rank is BA's organization ranking going once every 5 years from the first time BA ranked top 100's. In 1984 the Jays were ranked #7 overall (the first year BR has organizational rankings for BA listed).

1989: Overall Rank #2
#3 John Olerud (1B/LHP) 58.2
#49 Glenallen Hill (OF) 9.7
#51 Alex Sanchez (RHP) -0.6
#75 Derek Bell (OF) 13.1

1994: Overall Rank #3 - aka how did Ash screw this up?
#4 Alex Gonzalez (SS) 11.2
#5 Carlos Delgado (C) 44.4
#10 Jose Silva (RHP) -0.9
#28 Shawn Green (OF) 34.7
#66 D.J. Boston (1B) never higher than AAA
#99 Paul Spoljaric (LHP) -0.6
Also in the system: Shannon Stewart, Kelvim Escobar, Woody Williams (reached in 1993) - this was after a decade of constant contention and 3 straight playoff appearances so it wasn't helped by high draft picks.

1999: Overall Rank #4
#12 Roy Halladay (RHP) 64.3 HOF
#33 Billy Koch (RHP) 5.4
#67 Felipe Lopez (SS) 7.5
#69 Vernon Wells (OF) 28.5

2004: Overall Rank 8th (all retired now)
#6 Alex Rios (OF) 27.4
#18 Dustin McGowan (RHP) 1.7
#35 Guillermo Quiroz (C) -1.9
#72 Gabe Gross (OF) 4.6
#87 Francisco Del Rosario (RHP) -0.4
#96 Aaron Hill (SS) 23.7

2009: Overall Rank 19th (JPR killed the system)
#6 Travis Snider (OF) 4.3 (indy leagues last year)
#43 J.P. Arencibia (C) 2.0 (now a candidate for manager)
#72 Brett Cecil (LHP) 6.6 (sucked in StL last year)
BP: David Cooper #88 (1B) 0.1 (retired since post 2015)

2014: Overall Rank 15th (slow rebuild of system screwed up by the 2013 trades) all still active
#32 Aaron Sanchez (P) 9.2
#55 Marcus Stroman (P) 10.9
BP #76: Alberto Tirado (P) in A+ last year
MLB #93 Roberto Osuna (P) 6.8

2019: No overall rank yet
#1 Vladimir Guerrero (3B)
#8 Bo Bichette (SS)
#42 Danny Jansen (C)
#70 Nate Pearson (RHP)
#84 Eric Pardinho (RHP)
#89 Jordan Groshans (3B)
#91 Kevin Smith (SS)

Will this be as nice as the 1994 2 top 10's (Delgado & AGon #1) or as ugly as the last top 10 (Snider)? I suspect Vlad at 3B will look almost as odd as Delgado at CA and Olerud listed as a LHP.
scottt - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 05:06 PM EST (#370141) #
4 guys on a blog named radioscout have this guy as their 17th Jays prospect.

6'3" / 185 lbs.? Check.

Induces ground balls at an above average rate? Check.

Strikes guys out at an above average rate? Check.

Doesn't walk batters? Check.

Mid 90's fastball? Check.

Average to plus secondary offering with potential future average 3rd pitch? Check.



bpoz - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 07:03 PM EST (#370142) #
Thanks scottt. The 6'3" 185 lb pitcher is J Winckowski, my guess. I guess you were initiating a quiz.

I read C's Plus Baseball. It is very good. All about the Vancouver team.

Winckowski had a good 2018 and was interviewed on C's +. I have him listed at #43 because 4 years in Short season ball. Healthy but has moved too slow.
Mylegacy - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 07:06 PM EST (#370143) #
Scottt, three things...

1) Do you stutter? Just askin'...

2) If Josh's last name (Winckowski) was just 6 or 7 letters longer he could join the Blue Bays Alphabet Alumni Club.

3) First time I've ever heard of, or gone to, www.radioscouts.com - Very interesting.

4) (Ya I know I said "three things" - so I lied. Sue me.) It seems to me that we've really got the best Minor's system we've had since I started following the Jay's minor leaguers seriously in the very early 80's. WHEN - we get close - real close - I think we'll have enough interestin' trinkets left in the system to trade for "that missing piece" that'll put us on the road to glory!
PeterG - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 07:37 PM EST (#370144) #
Winckowski has only had 3 seasons in short season ball. He was drafted and signed in 2016.
bpoz - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 08:55 PM EST (#370145) #
Thanks Peter G. That round 15 made me see 2015. You are right 2016. He should get to AA by the end of 2020 I hope.

I loved the interview. Was getting worried about the negatives about minor league pay. I don't want him to get in trouble.
John Northey - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 10:16 PM EST (#370146) #
For best system ever lets see BA's lists (so it is objective, not Jays addicted).
#1: 1987, 1988, 1993
#2: 1989, 1992
#3: 1994, 1995
#4: 1999, 2011
#5: 2012
#6-10: 1984, 1986, 1990, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2015
#11-19:1985, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
#20-30: 2006, 2007, 2008,
A-: 1991
No Rank: 1977-1983, 2000, 2016 to today

Hrm. Seems BA stopped ranking systems. Dang it.

Sickles is pretty good though...
Jays rank...
2015 8th; 2016 25th; 2017 19th, 2018 6th should have this years in March.

So jumping up and down the ranks has happened a lot. Clearly the late 80's the Jays had a killer system which helped get the WS winners.

The top 10 in 1987 via BA - remember, this was the top organization in MLB as far as they were concerned... (via https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/annual-top-10-toronto-blue-jays-montreal-expos-prospects-from-1983-to-2000/)
1. Sil Campusano, of 0.0 WAR
2. Todd Stottlemyre, rhp 23.0
3. Santiago Garcia, 2b never higher than AAA (1 year there)
4. Matt Stark, c -0.5 (just 13 games)
5. Jeff Musselman, lhp 0.8
6. Rob Ducey, of 3.2
7. Glenallen Hill, of 9.7
8. Nelson Liriano, 2b 3.0
9. Mike Sharperson, 2b 5.5
10. Earl Sanders, rhp AA was his peak.

In the system at the time was Mark Whiten, Geronimo Berroa, Pat Borders (1992 WS MVP), Derek Bell, Greg Myers, Junior Felix, Pat Hentgen, Jose Mesa, David Wells, Mike Timlin, among others. So lots more depth and quality there. If Wells was in their top 10 it wouldn't looks so bad (50+ WAR) but who knew?
bpoz - Sunday, February 10 2019 @ 11:25 PM EST (#370147) #
Thanks John N. Your post has 20 names.

Ok I see. The other guys were all good. A very deep system.

D Wells and D Ward came up in 1986 I think.
Glevin - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 02:31 AM EST (#370148) #
""Even systems like the Dodgers have someone like Lux at #4 and DJ Peters #9. Jays have guys like SRF, Tellez, and Zeuch there"

who has tellez and Zeuch in the jays top 10?"

They aren't. Those are the second tier prospects the Jays have in the upper minors. The Braves, for example, have 9/10 top prospects who have made it at least to AA already and all of them are in the range of 1-3 starter/everyday player prospect. Even a team like the Rays who have some elite lower level prospects leading the system have guys like Banda and Lowe who look like that level. This is not to say the Jays have a mediocre system. Vlad and Bo make it great by themselves, just that they are not really close to the top systems. Of course, the biggest issue is the lack of young major league talent Vlad and Bo are going to join. Jays 5.7 total WAR from players 25 and under last year which is safely in bottom third of baseball. That's the challenge. Starting a core rather than adding to it.
Glevin - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 05:34 AM EST (#370149) #
Fangraphs has nice little article about Samad Taylor. He's an interesting player because he had a very low BABIP (minimum .340 previously, was .270 last year) and was pretty young for level and showed a lot of growth in BB (10.8%) and SB (44). Someone definitely to keep an eye on. The return for Smith in retrospect was pretty great. Pannone looks like a major league arm (likely swingman) and Taylor looks like a legit prospect. Lots of value for a rental reliever.
grjas - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 07:35 AM EST (#370150) #
Thx John N. always fascinating to see how prospects do over the years, and a good reminder not to over hype them.

Has anyone tried to objectively measure how good development staff are on various teams? I suppose itís tough to do since the proportion of prospects who develop to major leaguers is also a function of.,,for want of a better description..luck (e.g. injuries, physical development, etc) Still, it would be intriguing to see data. The Jays are clearly investing more in this area than they have for years, so it will be interesting to see if it pays off.
scottt - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 07:50 AM EST (#370151) #
MLB  Pipeline will publish its list of top 30 AL East team on Feb 18.
However, the top 10 farm systems will be published later:
Tue., Feb. 26 - Nos. 9 & 10
Wed., Feb. 27 - Nos. 7 & 8
Thu., Feb. 28 - Nos. 4-6
Fri., March 1 - Nos. 1-3


One of the radioscout guys makes the point that what the Jays system is missing is legit pitching prospects in the middle levels, (Lansing and Dunedin).

The 2015 draft was heavy on pitching, but there isn't a lot to show for it. Harris, Singer, Maese, Espada, Crouse, Bergen and McCleland.
From 2016, Zeuch has progressed well, but no other pitchers have shown much. Josh Winckowski was a 15th round high school pick, and will be 21 this year.
2017 has Pearson.

Finding good pitching in the later rounds of the draft is probably just luck.

ayjackson - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 07:55 AM EST (#370152) #
Are Pardinho and Kloffenstein Lansing bound?
Mike Green - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 08:23 AM EST (#370153) #
In an article on Devon Travis over at the Athletic, Charlie Montoyo said that both Travis and Gurriel Jr. will get some work in the outfield, and that Galvis would play shortstop.  I like Montoyo quite a bit already. 
ayjackson - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 08:34 AM EST (#370154) #
Seconded, MG. Nice to see those comments from Charlie regarding Devon and Lourdes.

What day are pitchers and catchers reporting?
Gerry - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 09:25 AM EST (#370155) #
Pardinho is around 50/50 to start the season in Lansing. Kloffenstein is almost 0% to start there.
Mike Green - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 09:53 AM EST (#370156) #
Sounds about right to me, Gerry.  It's cold in Lansing in April, and I might give Pardinho a month in extended before moving him up to Lansing. 

I missed this piece on Pardinho from August.  I did not know that his mother is of Japanese origin, that he trained using Japanese methods, and that he is fluent in Spanish as well as Portuguese.  A natural fit for Toronto if there ever was.
ramone - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 10:21 AM EST (#370157) #
John Sickels has joined the Athletic, he put out his top 100 prospects list this morning:

Vlad #1
Bichette #13
Jansen #46
Groshans #74

No pearson, I asked him on twitter about Pearson and he replied:
"Lots of buzz on him but want to see more during the regular season, workload management, command, etc. He would be in the 105-110 range I think. I will write about him in the upcoming supplemental article"

Also on his list of break out candidates he lists Samad Taylor and Hector Perez.
Mike Green - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 11:09 AM EST (#370158) #
Sickels' list is part of a fantasy package, which makes it a little less useful.  Samad Taylor, if he makes it, could be a beast in fantasy leagues while being average in real-life. 
bpoz - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 11:26 AM EST (#370159) #
Yes we are a little short in "legit" pitching prospects in Lansing and Dunedin.

P Murphy, Y Diaz and Z Logue all will have graduated to AA on Opening day.

Their success has produced that failure.

From Dunedin and Lansing I see Pearson graduating to AA. Maybe partway through 2019. I hope. M Castillo can master Dunedin and open 2020 in AA. S Wymer and J Murray are 2 decent candidates. Of course only Pearson and Pardinho are considered "ligit" at the moment.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 11:36 AM EST (#370160) #
Samad Taylor is someone who had great peripherals, and the scouting side really seems to like as well. For some reason though I can't get behind the lack of production compared to a lot of other players in the top 30 range. I think Taylor, Forrest Wall are all grouped together in the show me real production and not just tools category.

I think Fangraphs also should flip their opinions on Patrick Murphy and Trent Thornton. I see Patrick Murphy as #3/#4 starter and Thornton as a set-up man with his L/R splits caused by the lack of a changeup.
Cracka - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 02:23 PM EST (#370161) #
The 9th overall pick last year - OF Kyler Murray - is going to forfeit his ~$4.7 million contract with the Oakland A's and enter the NFL draft. He has to repay most of the bonus (all except $21k) and the A's will not get a comp. pick for him, though he'll remain on their restricted list.

For those who don't follow football, Murray signed with the A's with an agreement that he could play one last season as U of Oklahoma's starting QB. He recently won the Heisman award as the best college player and is considered a 1st round talent for the upcoming NFL draft. NFL 1st round picks received least $5M guaranteed plus salaries (for pick #32) and over $20M+ guaranteed for top picks. It's probably a wise financial decision.

But Murray will also be one of the smallest QBs in NFL history -- he's 5'9, 180... a little smaller and leaner than Doug Flutie, if that helps you visualize. And while smaller QBs are becoming more accepted across the league, he's still going to be hit & tackled by guys outweighing him by 100 to 150 pounds on a regular basis. He'll have immediate pressure to produce, whereas in baseball he'd spend at least a few seasons in the minors.

The days of playing both in the MLB and NFL at the same time are long over. Baseball is always an option later, though only if he stays healthy.
85bluejay - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 03:03 PM EST (#370162) #
The 15th pick in the 2018 nfl draft signed for about 13.6M of which about 8m was signing bonus (GTd. money) - I think Murray will be a top 15 pick. so it's a good financial move for up front money & if he sticks around, QB's earn excellent money into their 30's and with MLB's "we are not paying for older players" mantra, it's a no brainer IMO - he clearly likes football much more and if he's a total washout, can always try baseball - it's smart business.Of course, Concussions are another matter altogether but he should be well aware of the risk.
James W - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 03:28 PM EST (#370163) #
Baseball won't be an option for Murray. He's missed so many reps over the last 3 years, this now sets him even further behind his peers.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 04:19 PM EST (#370164) #
Minor leaguers get paid peanuts, then there is three years of making the league minimum and followed by three years of arbitration before a player can get to the open market. So it's basically riding a bus with no money until you reach the Majors, and then if you are any good you will spend six years being underpaid until you reach free agency in a league where teams are no longer paying free agents (most of them, anyway).

If Murray were something other than a QB, then baseball might have made more sense, but he doesn't strike me as a sure thing baseball player and QB is the one position that gets paid in the NFL, so he's likely making the right call here, especially if football is his passion.
dan gordon - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#370165) #
Just had a look at the radioscouts website. Something they show for each prospect on the top 50 list is their 50th percentile outcome, which they say is "the most probable development outcome". OK, that sounds like something interesting to see. Then you go to the list and you see the guy they have rated as #2, Jansen, has a 50th percentile outcome of league average catcher. So they think the Jays' 2nd best prospect is likely to be roughly the 15th/16th best catcher in the big leagues? That's it? Yikes. Lost a lot of interest after seeing that.
Mike Green - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 05:02 PM EST (#370166) #
I don't know, Dan, exactly what they mean with catchers.  So, for instance, there were 22 catchers who had 1000+ PAs between 2016-18.  If you take the 11th catcher by fWAR, that would be Francisco Cervelli who hit .258/.368/.375 with pretty good defence.  I'd hope for more O and maybe a little less D from Jansen.  It doesn't seem that unreasonable as a 50% outcome.  Salvador Perez was #10.  What's exciting about Jansen isn't the 50% outcome, but the 75%.  He could be a beast with the bat and a perfectly fine defender. 
dan gordon - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 05:29 PM EST (#370167) #
Mike, I would say that looking at only the top 22 catchers in plate appearances means you are already looking at an above average group, so the average mlb catcher is probably not even that good. Even taking Cervelli as the guy who represents "league average catcher", I would say that if that's the most likely outcome for the 2nd best prospect you have, your farm system is terrible.

Looking at the rest of their list, they seem extremely pessimistic about players' likely development. Outside of the top 5 or 6, they basically think that every other prospect will be basically nothing - AAAA players, 4th/5th outfielders, marginal backup infielders, 0 mlb WAR guys. I know prospects fail a lot more often than succeed, but these guys seem to be taking that to an extreme.
scottt - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 05:45 PM EST (#370168) #
Wen you look at the long term value of a prospect, you don't just try to predict his best year, but rather his entire career.
Gary Sanchez was worth 1.2 bWAR last year. He's supposed to be one of the top rated young catcher.
Will Jansen be an All-Star? I think he has a decent chance, but I'm glad I don't have to put it in numbers.
We've all seen Jansen. We don't have to buy into any scout projection for him, but it's still interesting to see what the numbers project. They see him as a pull hitter and they think it's going to limit his OBP. As a right handed hitter, he doesn't have the option of bunting to beat the shift. It's going to be interesting to see what he does. With Guerrero and Bichette, he's not going to be hitting at the top.

scottt - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 06:01 PM EST (#370169) #
Boston's catchers are not even average. Gary Sanchez didn't hit last year and has issues with passed ball.
Tampa traded Mallex Smith to get Mike Zunino. He's about average. He struggled in 2015 and was sent back to AAA and wasn't recalled until July the next year. Baltimore will likely start Chance Sisco.

Jansen could easily be the best catcher in the division. The bar isn't exactly sky high.
I think once McGuire is up for good, these two will push each others constantly.

John Northey - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 09:20 PM EST (#370170) #
That's the thing about prospects - more fail than succeed by a big margin. Look at those top 10 lists I put up above.

1987 - the Jays ranked #1 for farm but the top 10 had 1 guy over 10 WAR (Stottlemyre). 2 never reached the majors, 2 had cups of coffee only (Campusano #1, and Matt Stark who looked like a potential killer bat catcher). Frustrating, but the way it is with prospects. Meanwhile in the minors David Wells would come up in 1987 and throw 29 1/3 IP but was released in spring 1993 with 7.2 WAR for the Jays. He'd go on to get over 50 WAR lifetime. Pat Hentgen was also in the system (Cy Young in '96, over 130 wins, 33 WAR) at the time. Both missed by BA.

This is why people talk about depth because of the old 'youneverknow' factor. The more live arms, the more power bats, the more raw speed in the system the better. But predicting failure for a prospect, even one as amazing as Vlad, is the safe way to go.
lexomatic - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 10:20 PM EST (#370171) #
John, one thing about those lists... because prospect evaluation has evolved, maybe some of those prospects wouldn't have been top 10 if evaluated using today's methods... and there MIGHT be a better alignment of career value. Or maybe not. But it's at least a possibility.

John Northey - Monday, February 11 2019 @ 11:05 PM EST (#370172) #
Oh, agreed lexomatic. Still, it is the best method we have for evaluating prospects of that era without our current biases being mixed in. In the late 80's the Jays were viewed as having the best system around, yet the top 10 list was missing the best 2 prospects the Jays had in retrospect and instead had 2 who never reached and just one who was of significant value in his career (I list 10+ WAR as significant, 5+ as notable, less as 'he got a paycheque').
Glevin - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 02:30 AM EST (#370173) #
"Even taking Cervelli as the guy who represents "league average catcher", I would say that if that's the most likely outcome for the 2nd best prospect you have, your farm system is terrible."

First off, I think most people have Jansen 3rd in system. I also think you need to take "league average catcher" with a grain of salt. I think it's more a way of saying "a useful everyday player" than anything else. Most prospects 50% should be "never makes any impact in the majors".

The list is very strange anyway. Spanberger is not that Jays #14 prospect. Also, the 50% is way too high for some players and too low for others but whatever, it's just fun.
scottt - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 06:35 AM EST (#370174) #
It all makes sense if you understand what they are doing.
They didn't rank Kloffenstein very high, he only threw 2 games.

Spanberger hit 2 homeruns in his first 2 college years, then he hit 10 in his last 16 games and won the tournament MVP after hitting 5 bombs in 5 days. He'll never hit for average but he could be a .200 hitter with 50 HRs.
Encarnation didn't hit 30 HR until the age of 29. He's the kind of guy you try to keep in the minor in case he makes a breakthrough and there is no need to protect him, but if he takes a step forward you got Chris Davis. You-never-know.

It's not the first place where I read that Tellez has problems with fastballs.
I'm not overly worried about that.

scottt - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 08:39 AM EST (#370175) #
It seems like the Jays are offering a one-year contract to Sergio Romo while the Twins and Rangers are only proposing minor leagues contracts. Romo is an extreme platoon guy who can work as an opener or a reliever who take out a line of right handed bats. It could work well as the Jays have Mayza and Tepera is pretty tough on left bats. Technically pitchers are due to report in pretty short order. Would push out someone like Gaviglio back to AAA. The impact on the 40 roster is less clear.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 10:33 AM EST (#370176) #
I missed the news in November that the Nationals offered Harper 10 yrs/$300 million.  He turned them down.  That's more than I would offer.  It's a bit of an Encarnacion situation apparently. 

If you're an agent and you get an offer like that, you really should explain the likely WAR projections and the likelihood that the player will not find a better offer in the market now.  The failure of any team to offer Harper the same as he was offered by the Nationals doesn't surprise me.  Now, the market for Markakis (for example) is a whole other story. 
Chuck - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 10:50 AM EST (#370177) #
I believe Washington reiterated the offer earlier this year, despite having been turned down in November. It is not a great time to be playing Russian roulette with a very hostile market.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#370178) #
I am confident that 3 of our SPs are capable of 7 or 8 innings regularly most of their starts.

I am not yet confident in Shoemaker and Richard doing that. Maybe 5 or 6 innings.

I also think/hope that 2 other pitchers can go 4 innings per outing. Gaviglio is the only one I could find.

Then you have Biagini who was not good. He did have quite a few good 1 inning outings. Basically inconsistent.

I am wondering if 3 or 4 pitchers going 4 decent innings can be worked in as some formula or pattern to make a stronger pitching staff.

J Garcia did badly last year. Either an off year or he could not handle the AL East. His history was of a 150+ IP per year. So he got a good contract. He and the team must have expected better than 82 innings in 2018.

You will still need your 1 inning pitchers like Giles, Tepera. Maybe Mayza.

Has anyone thought about how to work this? Rest between outings. How many days off.

Atkins is proud that they was able to get a lot of pitchers that have starting experience. I am sure that he does not expect all/many to develop into acceptable starters. That is a high hope. But 4 IP relievers is possible. First you need to prove that you can get ML hitters out. Then see if you can do it for up to 4 innings.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 01:29 PM EST (#370179) #
If Sanchez and Stroman falter, the starting pitching could become a 24/7 clusterf*ck. One "S" has no shoulder the other one has four fingers on his throwing hand. Could be a long summer.

Some shoulder injuries destroy a pitchers career. Shoulders, once injured can be, at least, career diminishing.

As to blisters: Remember Al Leiter? A Blue Jay from 1989 to 1995. From 1989, to and including 1992, he pitched a total of 15.2 innings! Just 15.2!

Blisters.

I know at heart I'm pollyanna(ish), but some serious injuries can not be controlled by us fans. Even the occasional wee dram single malt can't hide every problem. Mind you - it does help. A wee.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 01:56 PM EST (#370180) #
Mylegacy, I am concerned about those 2 assets, Sanchez and Stroman contributing very little in the 2 years left under our control.

That is a lot of talent to just disappear.

mathesond - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 01:57 PM EST (#370181) #
Assets? And I thought they were people.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 02:13 PM EST (#370182) #
Edward Snowden (IIRC) was asked if it was surprising that Angela Merkel's cellphone number was widely available in intelligence circles in the US.  His response (paraphrased): contact information of assets is strictly controlled, targets not so much.  Targets, of course, in this case referred to targets of surveillance.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 02:18 PM EST (#370183) #
Definitely people.

Potential #1 SPs.

A large contract to a declining player would be ....

We no longer have any of those. Is it time for a beer?
Mylegacy - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 02:33 PM EST (#370184) #
"Is it time for a beer?"

Only IF it's a Corona - and only if all the single malt is already gone!
Chuck - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 02:41 PM EST (#370185) #
One "S" has no shoulder the other one has four fingers on his throwing hand.

So neither is a whole S, or an S-whole, if you will. Would that the team had two S-wholes in the rotation.

mathesond - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 02:45 PM EST (#370186) #
"A large contract to a declining player would be ...."

A valid description of Edwin Encarnacion's employment status?

No beer for me, alas. I am on my annual 7 1/2 week sabbatical from drinking. Starts when the Super Bowl ends, ends when my birthday rolls around. Biggest difference that I've noticed is that I'm a somewhat better fantasy baseball drafter when I don't drink. Not as much fun, though.

Stroman & Sanchez may be potential #1 SPs for the 2019 Blue Jays roster. Suspect there are many temas who prefer their #1's to our guys, though.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 03:27 PM EST (#370187) #
Since we are going to enter the season with low expectations we could do some describing of the results for positive vibes.

For example Sept 12/18 Sanchez pitched like a #1 against Boston.

Another example Pannone Sept 16 against NYY. That was good and he won. Unfortunately I want him to show me more before I feel confident.

OR We can talk about beer. Malt is beer, right???
mathesond - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 03:33 PM EST (#370189) #
Most beer has malt, although if you used Mylegacy's single malt to make beer, he may express his disappointment. Unless it comes out tasty. Still, I'd suggest using the barrels his single malts were aged in.

As for what would give me positive vibes from this season, I'd be happy with the players showing they belong. And, pleasant surprises from the pitching side of the ledger would thrill me greatly. As to my expectations, a fair bit of headshaking, with some wows sprinkled in, is how I expect the season to go.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 03:41 PM EST (#370190) #
Hmm....if you ran the Jays would you offer Harper 10 at $30 per (on average)? I guess it depends on a few factors...
1) projected revenues - if the Jays are contenders we know they can afford a $160-180 mil roster easily. So a $30 mil player can be on that. But with Vlad & Bo maybe getting there in 6-7 years does it still work? I think so.

2) projected skills - is Harper that kind of player? Projected WAR for 2019 is around 5 (Fangraphs) Found an article there listing him for 2019-2026 - https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-thoroughly-average-exploits-of-bryce-harper/ - 8 years $258 mil they figure he is worth. By the end he is about a 2 WAR player so optimistic is 4 more WAR for years 9 & 10 at $42 mil. Doesn't sound good. So it depends on what the Jays project him as. I'd hesitate myself.

3) projected other options -
Secondary options...
Billy McKinney - slightly below 0 WAR
Teoscar Hernandez - 0.1 WAR
Dwight Smith Jr. - 0 WAR
Anthony Alford - 0.1 WAR (maybe a full 1 if full time)
Dalton Pompey - 0 WAR

Primary...
Kevin Pillar - 2 WAR
Randal Grichuk - 1 WAR

So yeah, big hole in the OF no question. Lots of crap to toss at the wall, but unlikely to have much stick.

Makes a long term option for Harper more tempting. It would lock in one OF slot for a decade, let the Jays focus on everything else. It would all depend on budget going forward and kids in AA and lower.
dan gordon - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 03:49 PM EST (#370191) #
"First off, I think most people have Jansen 3rd in system"

Of course, this is just splitting hairs. Whether Jansen is 2nd or 3rd - if the most likely outcome for him is league average catcher, your prospect pool is very weak.

I also think you need to take "league average catcher" with a grain of salt. I think it's more a way of saying "a useful everyday player"

Sure, that's basically the same thing, except less specific. Again, if the 2nd best (or 3rd best) prospect you have is likely to only be a "useful guy" you have a serious problem.

"Most prospects 50% should be "never makes any impact in the majors"."

Yes, MOST prospects. The radioscouts site is saying ALL prospects outside of the top 6 or 7. Seems extremely pessimistic to me. If you look at the 95% category outcomes, some of those look pretty good, but, of course that means only 1 out of 20 will achieve that, and a lot of those projections are "mid rotation starter", "Scott Schebler", "Jaime Garcia" etc. I don't expect they're going to get 10 star players, but this is supposedly a very good farm system - if all they end up with besides Vladdy are a few Francisco Cervelli's and a couple of Scott Schebler's, I'll be very disappointed.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 04:02 PM EST (#370192) #
Would that the team had two S-wholes in the rotation

Ouch.  Spring training needs to start for a few reasons.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 05:59 PM EST (#370193) #
Ken Giles is an exceptional Cloaer when it matters. Wins that are pissed away by less than the best sends the wrong message to a Team thatís struggling score runs or wins. Thatís what these Jays need. Roberto Osuna is gone. We still need to keep that dependability at gamesí end.

In-house Ken Gilesí replacement is more than two years away. The Jays are more likely to find a #1 Starter than it is to finding a dominating Closer. I would rather extend him than send the wrong message by trading him.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 06:12 PM EST (#370194) #
Sergio Romo doesn't appreciate TO, he is heading to the Florida Marlins.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 06:34 PM EST (#370195) #
Tim Mayza makes the Bullpen as a LHP, who might have had a breakout late in the year. Heís one of the few sure things and heís not that sure. Ryan Tepera is another story, effective Reliever whoís getting worse each year. Is this a trend or does he figure it out. If the remaining four Relievers to make the Bullpen are better than these two, the Jays have a good Bullpen. If not it could be a long year.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 06:43 PM EST (#370196) #
Spring training needs to start for a few reasons.

Hell, the off-season needs to start. Time has lost all meaning.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 07:09 PM EST (#370197) #
"Time isn't the main thing. It's the only thing."
scottt - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 07:29 PM EST (#370198) #
Or maybe he didn't like the division.
He signed for 2.5M. That's not a lot.

The Rays traded their minor leagues players of the year (along with a prospects/draft pick swap) for a reliever with  a profile similar to Romo--extreme platoon splits.

christaylor - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 08:12 PM EST (#370199) #
Or maybe he likes the tax situation in FL... one can play this game on and on. It is turtles all the way down.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 10:26 PM EST (#370200) #
David Phelps has TJ on 26 March 2018 so may not be at his best until July or later. He profiles as a multi-inning Reliever who could Set-up Ken Giles. Not sure of when he joins Bullpen in 2019. David Paulino looks like a good Reliever with his small sample size from September. Spring Training will determine if heís ready. I do believe Ross Atkins is stil working on getting more Pitching. But whoís available?
Yuck Iím
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 12 2019 @ 10:43 PM EST (#370201) #
Atkins should offer Keuchel $51-54 Million over three years and Kimbrel $21-24 Million over three years. Easily tradable, blocking no one.
Vulg - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 12:04 AM EST (#370202) #
Atkins should offer Keuchel $51-54 Million over three years and Kimbrel $21-24 Million over three years. Easily tradable, blocking no one.

Couldn't agree more. The lack of investment in higher risk/reward starters on shorter terms has been the most disappointing aspect of the offseason to me. It's just money, which either converts to more shots at the prospect lottery or more wins, and at worst comes off the books well before the primes of the young position players coming up.
dan gordon - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 01:58 AM EST (#370203) #
I don't think Keuchel is worth $17-18 million a year, although he has been asking for more than that. He has played in a good pitchers' park his whole career, so you have to make the appropriate adjustments to his raw numbers. His career road numbers - ERA 4.27, WHIP 1.357, 7.0 K/9, quite a few HR's. He's 31, so those numbers aren't going to get any better, and probably get worse.

Kimbrel, on the other hand, is going to get quite a bit more than $7-8 million a year. Adam Ottavino recently signed a 3-year deal at $9 million a year, and he's no Kimbrel. Zach Britton got 3 years at $13 million. Kimbrel made $13 million last year, and will likely be getting a small raise. Maybe 3 or 4 years at $14 million.
Glevin - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 02:13 AM EST (#370204) #
"Atkins should offer Keuchel $51-54 Million over three years and Kimbrel $21-24 Million over three years. Easily tradable, blocking no one."

Well, there is the little matter of having players accepting the offers you give. It's impossible to see the Jays outbidding teams who needs these players much more.
scottt - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 07:23 AM EST (#370205) #
Maybe. He was in Tampa last year after all. But it's not like the Rays have been able to lure top free agents because of the lack of state taxes.

He's likely to be traded after 3 months anyway. How does that affect the tax situation?

Sometimes it's murky. I had these Boston co-workers who telecommuted from New Hampshire because Massachusetts is a high tax taxes and NH is a low tax states, but the High-tech jobs are all in Massachusetts. So I guess it wasn't enough to live in New Hampshire to declare taxes there. 

scottt - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 07:31 AM EST (#370206) #
Matt Chapman has thumb and shoulder surgery during the off-season.
I'm still expecting Oakland to trade him like they did Donaldson before he gets expensive.
On one hand they didn't win the Jays trade, but on the other, the Jays got little when they offloaded Donaldson.
He's still 2 years away from arbitration.

scottt - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 09:35 AM EST (#370207) #
It is getting pretty late for Keuchel. It seems he was expecting something like the contract Price got. Or half of that. Or even a third of that.

He'll cost a draft pick, which  is a small issue for the Jays, except that  their second draft pick could still be pretty decent this year. 50th or something. It's a good range to sign high school pitchers.

I think this would have been more of an option had the Jays traded Stroman.

Maybe they'll offer Axford a minor leagues deal now.



Glevin - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 09:40 AM EST (#370208) #
Fangraphs has their top 130 out.
Vlad# 1, Bo #9, Jansen #47, Pearson #63.

That's a very impressive showing. I think closer to where I'd have Jansen and higher on Pearson than I am right now.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 09:43 AM EST (#370209) #
Jays ST camp opens today.
mathesond - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 10:09 AM EST (#370210) #
"Jays ST camp opens today."

Fantastic news! Something to take my mind off shoveling & office drudgery.

It's a shame that only a couple of games will be televised. Given all the young players and moving parts I'd rather see see how they perform in ST than watching a team expected to win 90+ games.
scottt - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#370211) #
About that, what's the dates of the televised sportsnet broadcast?
I thin you meant lose 90+. The projections have them go 76-86 or 77-85.

The only good players they lost over last year is Jay Happ who started 20 games and Pearce who played in 26 games.
They'll have Guerrero, more of Jansen and it would be hard to do worse than the 41 games started by Gaviglio, Garcia and Biagini. The starters went 6-19 in those.
mathesond - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 11:20 AM EST (#370212) #
"I thin you meant lose 90+"

No, what I was trying to say was that watching the pre-seaons games of a team expected to win 90+ is not as intriguing to me as watching a team of younger players looking to establish themselves.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 11:35 AM EST (#370213) #
JA Happ was 10-6 with the Jays. Sanchez and Stroman were 8-15. Everybody else won over 50 games for the Jays. Not many of the everybody else left. Iím very sure Sanchez and Stroman with the two new guys will win more than 18 games. How much more? Maybe enough to compete.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 11:44 AM EST (#370214) #
Definitely going to be good to see all that youth trying to establish themselves.

I am convinced that we have good power. Should be a good offense. Also convinced that the defense is adequate at best. Managing this factor in the AL East will be interesting.

The pitching is a big question mark. I don't expect it to be bad because we have a nice 3 in the rotation. Many pen roles to resolve. Again interesting.
Regarding the unknown pitching roles we should have successes, failures and in betweens. I expect a lot of moving parts.

Trade deadline time will also tell an interesting story. Unless the contenders are running away with the 5 playoff spots like in 2018 or not doing so as in 2017 will determine our trade deadline strategy. The strategy depends on if we are close or far out.
scottt - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#370215) #
I'm totally with you on the spring training. Should be very interesting. Especially with the new coaches.
It's a generational change.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 01:55 PM EST (#370216) #
Just beating Balitimore 14-5 for the Season with a .500 record elsewhere could give the Jays 85-86 wins. The Yankees and Red Sox regularly crush a couple of teams and with a wee better record than just .500 the Division is won. The Jays have a better Team than last year, perhaps a much better Team.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 03:02 PM EST (#370217) #
Happy birthday, Howie Clark, Joe Lawrence and Ryan Goins.  It's second base day in Blue Jay land. 
bpoz - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 03:36 PM EST (#370218) #
To get to 85+ wins hopefully we can beat up Baltimore, Detroit and 2 or 3 other weak teams. Not lose all 7 games to Oakland.

I don't know about TB, Boston, NYY and inter league. Talent and good managing/coaching. Injuries too, to us and our competition.
eldarion - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 03:55 PM EST (#370219) #
Having just one elite hitter in the lineup would make a world of difference, too. We haven't had one since Donaldson a few seasons back. Our lineup would look markedly better if Guerrero Jr. was that hitter.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 04:08 PM EST (#370220) #
"Just having one elite hitter in the lineup would make a world of difference."

I don't think so. All that would do is make all pitchers pitch to Vlad like he was the hitter before the pitcher in a NL game. I.E. - they would just walk him - like they often walk the #8 hitter in NL games to get at the pitcher. Next to Vlad ALL other hitters will be closer to a pitcher as a hitter than Vlad.

We NEED at least 6 GOOD hitters (260/350/450) to be a contender and protect Vlad. Unless our pitching is otherworldly - and it ain't.
pubster - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 04:37 PM EST (#370221) #
The Jays had 2 .800+ ops hitters last year (Grichuk and Smoak). Vlad should be able to hit that mark.

Can Danny Jansen do it? Mckinney? Gurriel?
AWeb - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 06:29 PM EST (#370222) #
The only hitter to get the "walk him all the time" treatment, ever, is Barry Bonds.That isn't going to happen in 2019 for a rookie.  If Guerrero got walked constantly, that would be a good thing. The 2018 Jays offense lacked guys who got on base. A .mythical Guerrero hitting .300/.475/.450 would be a huge benefit. They hit 217 HRs last year, which is quite a few (3rd most? damn!) for a team without a single HR hitter of note. 132 of those HRs were with no one one base (60%, which is only slightly worse than average as it turns out). If the opposition wants to walk Guerrero all the time, that would be great. Unlike the entire team last year, he's possibly above average speed (wouldn't expect it when he's 30, but right now, the scouts seem to think so) for his position too.

Also, 7 hitters with an OPS over .800 would make them the best offense in the league, maybe by by a mile. 2018 Boston had 4 + PEarce, although two were way over. NY had 6 + a couple of guys with <150 ABs. 2017 Houston could claim 7 guys with >200 PAs, and they were a historically great offense. 5 guys over .800 would be great, if it included Guerrero.
scottt - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 06:29 PM EST (#370223) #
Well, the Yankees had 6 or 7 .800 OPS hitters most of the year, but Boston only  had 2 .800 guys, Bogaerts and Benintendi to support 2 elite hitters (Betts and Martinez). Tampa had one elite hitters, unlikely to be more than an 800 guys year and 2 .800 OPS guys whom they both traded. (Ramos and Cron).

Also, no  manager  will walk Guerrero 4 or 5 times a game to face Smoak, although he might walk an awful lot.
Still, as Guerrero is not a 80 homerun threat, they'll take the risk of him hitter a single or a double.


mendocino - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 07:41 PM EST (#370224) #
Baseball America has the Jays linked to shortstop
Rikelvin de Castro in the 2019 IFA market. Looking at a bonus of $1 million plus.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2019-international-prospects-to-watch-version-20/ (subscription)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHN0dArLcbY
PeterG - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 08:21 PM EST (#370225) #
Here is the updated (just released today) organizational ranking from BA/

Jays -3

Tampa -2

Yankees -20

Red Sox -30

Orioles -22

https://www.baseballamerica.com/rankings/2019-mlb-organization-talent-rankings/
dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 08:23 PM EST (#370226) #
Isn't Vlad the only prospect ever with a home run/power rating of 80?
mendocino - Wednesday, February 13 2019 @ 11:24 PM EST (#370227) #
John Axford nearing deal with Jays

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/02/blue-jays-to-sign-john-axford.html

article mentions David Paulino having options, thought he was out of options?
dan gordon - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 02:08 AM EST (#370228) #
The idea that good hitters need "protection" often gets casual mention in baseball talk. There has never been any actual evidence that "protection" even exists. Bill James did a very interesting study on a couple of top Atlanta hitters, Dale Murphy and Bob Horner from the late 70's, early 80's which illustrated the point. Murphy always hit in front of Horner in the batting order, and Horner got injured frequently, so James decided to see what affect it had on Murphy to lose his "protection" when Horner was out of the lineup. Over the course of many seasons, James found that there was no significant difference in how Murphy hit - in fact his overall numbers were very slightly better when Horner was absent.

As for walking Vladdy all the time, yes it would be great for the Blue Jay offense if that happened. A 1.000 on base percentage!! Another interesting study that James did. He put together an imaginary team from one of Babe Ruth's monster seasons, consisting of Ruth and the worst hitter in the league at each of the other positions. He then ran a simulation something like a few thousand times of 2 diverse strategies - always pitch to Ruth, or always walk him. Even with the rest of the team consisting of the worst hitters in the league, the team that always walked Ruth gave up significantly more runs than the team that pitched to Ruth. Walks are killers.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 06:36 AM EST (#370229) #
As for walking Vladdy all the time, yes it would be great for the Blue Jay offense if that happened. A 1.000 on base percentage!! Another interesting study that James did. He put together an imaginary team from one of Babe Ruth's monster seasons, consisting of Ruth and the worst hitter in the league at each of the other positions. He then ran a simulation something like a few thousand times of 2 diverse strategies - always pitch to Ruth, or always walk him. Even with the rest of the team consisting of the worst hitters in the league, the team that always walked Ruth gave up significantly more runs than the team that pitched to Ruth. Walks are killers.


I was just going to mention that study. The reason that it's worse (from the other team's point of view) to walk Ruth every time is because the 'bases gained to outs' ratio is much higher.
scottt - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 07:21 AM EST (#370230) #
Paulino has one option left.
Gaviglio has one option too.
Biagini has also one option left.
Same for Tepera, but that would be a huge surprise.

Axford deal seems done.

I don't mind having a guy with experience who actually wants to be here for family reason, who wants to mentor the kids because he has a very limited future himself and who doesn't mind being traded to a contender at the deadline.

Romo could have been fun as he's quite a character, but probably not much of a mentor.

As long as they explain to the pitchers that they'll probably rotate through the majors based on performance and the team needing a fresh arm. There should be enough innings for everyone to show what they have, especially if they keep Elvis Luciano through thick and thin.

ayjackson - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 07:42 AM EST (#370231) #
So can someone breakdown what the bullpen race looks like going into ST? I keep forgetting about the Rule V from KC too.
scottt - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 09:30 AM EST (#370232) #
The bullpen is a bit like the infield situation.
Phelps will come up during the year and push someone down.

For now the bullpen looks like:

Closer: Giles
Setup: Tepera
Lefty: Mayza
Blow out: Luciano

Contending for the remaining spots:
Biagini
Paulino
Thornton
Gaviglio
Richard, if he's not the 5th starter
Pannone
Axford

The 6th starter pitcure looks like:
Reid-Foley
Pannone
Merryweather
Waguespack
Thornton
Paulino
Gaviglio


Everybody else is off the 40 roster and won't be added until someone else is traded or dropped.

There are a lot of starting options for Buffalo

Reid-Foley
Pannone
Merryweather
Waguespack
Zeuch
Shawn Morimando
Jon Harris
Justin Dillon

Everybody else is off the 40 roster and won't be added until someone else is traded or dropped.



Gerry - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 09:48 AM EST (#370233) #
The Jays have signed Ryan Feierbrand, a left handed knuckleballer who was pitching in Korea. Here is an article from a year ago about him and his move to throwing the knuckle ball.
mathesond - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 10:05 AM EST (#370234) #
A lefty knuckleballer? Wild.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 10:42 AM EST (#370235) #
Here's how I break down the pitching staff coming into spring training with all hands healthy so far (assuming that they are going with conventional roles which seems likely):

SP: Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, Shoemaker
battle for 5th spot: Thornton, Richard, Paulino, Pannone, Reid-Foley

Bullpen: Giles, Phelps, Tepera
Rule 5: Luciano
Others: Biagini, Mayza, Gaviglio, Axford

And seeing as it's Valentine's Day and pitchers and catchers report today, let's take out the rose-coloured glasses and imagine what it would take for the Blue Jays to win in 2019.  It's obviously unlikely, but here goes.  The key to the Blue Jays season is their young players.  For the Blue Jays to win in 2019, they need a little better than the 50% projection from their young players and they need good health.  Let's do it.  They get
-75th percentile performance from Guerrero Jr. and Jansen,
-Bichette, Reid-Foley, Zeuch, Pannone and Tellez do not develop this year,
-McKinney gives them 60th percentile performance,
-Travis' injuries get the better of him but Gurriel Jr. is passable at second base and hits his 50th percentile
-Smoak and Morales give them 40th percentile and Smoak misses half a season with an injury
-Hernandez gives them 50th
-Grichuk and Pillar hold serve (with Grichuk playing a full season for the first time).

The stat lines for the offence look like this:

LF- McKinney 500 PAs .250/.335/.465
CF- Pillar        550 PAs .260/.300/.400
RF- Grichuk   600 PAs .245/.305/.500
3B- VGJ          575 PAs .335/.425/.550
SS- Galvis      600 PAs .250/.305/.390
2B- Gurriel J  550 PAs .260/.300/.420
1B- Smoak    300 PAs .225/.310/.420
DH- Morales 350 PAs .240/.305/.400
C- Jansen     550 PAs .275/.370/.470
Teoscar         400 PAs  .240/.305/.450
Maile              125 PAs  .200/.275/.310

The club is in the thick of the division race at the deadline and picks up a first baseman to take the place of Smoak.  Teoscar gets some PAs against RHP in the DH role.

How did they get to be in the thick of the pennant race?  Stroman, Paulino and Borucki give them 75% performance, Sanchez does not overcome his blister problem this year, Shoemaker, Thornton, Giles, Tepera and Phelps hold serve, and everyone else struggles except for Luciano who is a pleasant surprise in a low leverage role.  The stat lines look like this:

Stroman 220 IP, 3.50 ERA
Paulino 150 IP, 3.75 ERA
Borucki 200 IP, 3.75 ERA
Shoemaker 150 IP, 4.30 ERA
Thornton 140 IP, 4.75 ERA
Sanchez 60 IP, 4.75 ERA
Giles 65 IP, 3.45 ERA
Tepera 70 IP, 3.75 ERA
Phelps 80 IP, 3.45 ERA
Luciano 80 IP, 4.25 ERA
Mayza 60 IP, 4.50 ERA
Richard 65 IP, 4.50 ERA (from the pen)

They'd probably need to beat their Pythagorean by a game or three, or to be more efficient than usual (with hit bunching and the like), and the Red Sox/Yankees would need to win fewer than 95 games (which probably is the easier half of the equation especially if the Blue Jays are doing well). 

The Red Sox of 1967 were 100-1 shots after winning 72 games in 1966, and won thanks to the development of young talent, and great years from Yaz and Lonborg.  The managing talents of Dick Williams probably helped too.  The great year from Yaz was probably the single biggest thing, and so the Blue Jays don't really have a player like that although Yaz had hit .278/.368/.431 as a 26 year old in 1966.  It might be that the more likely way to success for them is for Grichuk to make the big leap at age 27 rather than 2 of the rookies.  And here's to good health for all the Blue Jays, Devon Travis, Aaron Sanchez and Justin Smoak in particular!
Gerry - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 10:49 AM EST (#370236) #
I hate to contradict you Mike, so I won't. I will let Ross Atkins do it. Per Atkins at the opening of camp today, Sanchez, Stroman, Richard and Shoemaker are in the rotation with everyone else, including Borucki, fighting for the fifth spot.
Mylegacy - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#370237) #
Hector Perez, RHP.

Listed as the 11th best prospect on the Blue Jays Team Site Prospect page the 22 year old, 6'3" 190 pounder (not to be confused with a 'quarter pounder') has ratings of: Fastball:65/ Slider:55/ Curveball:55/ Splitter:50/ Control:40/ and Overall:50

In 115.0 minor league innings he's had 64 walks (a concerning amount I know) and 133 strikeouts (a reasonable amount I know). His average against is .196 and his whip is 1.24.

How come he gets no love? I don't remember seeing his name come up on our illustrious site for eons.

Pourquoi pas?

Personally, I've been almost drooling all off-season to see Perez and Paulino unleash their stuff. Apparently, my love goes unrequited on the site.

Speaking of love... Happy Valentine's Day Everybody! In a manly, collegial sort of way (naturally).
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 11:43 AM EST (#370238) #
Thanks, Gerry. 

What on earth has Clayton Richard ever done that would justify Atkins giving him a rotation spot guaranteed over Ryan Borucki?  It's one thing to say that Borucki (or Paulino or Thornton) is not guaranteed a major league job.  But Clayton Richard guaranteed a job in the rotation?  He's 35 years old and coming off seasons with an 88 ERA+ and 72 ERA+.  Why wouldn't you let the Manager decide what role is appropriate in the spring?

It's little things like this which signal not only that the club does not anticipate being in the hunt, but that it doesn't even want to try.  And that it is more interested in preserving service time for all its young players and competing for a higher draft choice.  Not good.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 11:52 AM EST (#370239) #
Here is Feierabend's KBO line including 2018. He was only throwing 20% knuckleballs in the KBO in 2017.  Maybe he'll up that in MLB.

That's a good acquisition.  It never hurts to have a knuckleballer around. 
Gerry - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 12:05 PM EST (#370240) #
Hector Perez was #11 on our top 30. Perez has only appeared in ten games at the AA level. Given that, and his need to improve his command, he likely does not figure in the Jays plans until September.

That's why Perez is not on the major league radar, yet.
Mylegacy - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 12:13 PM EST (#370241) #
Gerry

Ya, well, OK, somewhat, perhaps. I'll let you off the hook this time!
Glevin - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#370242) #
"What on earth has Clayton Richard ever done that would justify Atkins giving him a rotation spot guaranteed over Ryan Borucki?"

Mike, it's meaningless. People get so worked up about these things that don't matter at all. Richard will start if he looks OK. If he doesn't or gets hurt, he won't. If he's bad after a few starts, he'll get moved to the pen. If Borucki is any good, he'll start a lot of games. The Jays don't have that much talent so the talented players will play. Who gets first crack, who has to fight for spots. It never actually matters.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 12:52 PM EST (#370243) #
I don't agree with that at all, Glevin.  Leadership sets a tone, and in this case, Atkins is stepping on Montoyo's toes.  If the club gives Richard 5 starts when he is terrible in spring training (let's say that he gets out lefties in the spring  but is absolutely demoished by RHHs) and he goes 0-5 in his 5 starts with a 7.93 ERA and the club is 7 games out when May arrives, it matters. 

And frankly, if the club wants to lose, I don't want to watch.  I like Montoyo and I want the manager to be the one to say that a pitcher is in the rotation in a case like this. 
bpoz - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 12:56 PM EST (#370244) #
With ST starting, that marks the near end of the frantic off season.

Montoyo will have to adjust to the very much larger media that he has been used to. Media coverage should be fine due to Atkins being a smooth talker.

I was wondering when players can be moved to the 60 day DL. SF Giants answered that by acquiring T Gott for cash and moving J Cueto to the 60 day DL.

Our 40 man has J Merryweather and possibly D Phelps as 60 day candidates.

T Bergen has too much Lefty reliever competition to make SFs staff. I expect him back.

M Green thanks for the detailed work on your roster construction. 5 weeks into the season, I expect the team to reconstruct the roster. And then 5 weeks later again.

If Borucki wins the 5th rotation spot, he will be treated as the #3 man in the rotation. Because ... I need a 2nd opinion on how to handle all the off days in April and May 30 to June 3.
PeterG - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 01:02 PM EST (#370245) #
I doubt that Phelps is moved to 60 day DL but Merryweather seems a candidate.

I don't think there is anything wrong with FO having a say in which players begin the season as long as they are open to change if situation dictates which I am sure that they are.
bpoz - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 01:13 PM EST (#370246) #
I doubt the team will favor their trade chips with unearned playing time. At least I hope not.

ST usually means nothing I have learned.

Injuries, good/bad performances at the ML level and AAA/AA will dictate playing time. There can/should be up to 3 dominant performances in AA but I don't know who. If theses surprises have earned a promotion to AAA I don't know if they get it.
christaylor - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 01:21 PM EST (#370247) #
Perhaps Montoyo took the job with the understanding that Atkins would be involved in playing time decisions. Perhaps Atkins is just saying this to appease his new acquisition. Whether this statement is a leadership misstep or a look under the hood about how Atkins/Montoyo understand their roles is something that we'll never truly know.

Also, if Richard goes out in ST it depends when in ST he is hit and whether he's working on a change. I don't think anyone, including the team, will be able to pin down where this team is until the trigger is pulled on bringing Vladito up. I doubt the FO is incentivized to tank given that attendance is so fickle. I'd bet they want the best start they can to the season to get the seats filled after the Leafs exit the playoff (whenever that might be...hopefully late in the spring).
bpoz - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 01:24 PM EST (#370248) #
Everyone knows that Vlad should make the team on opening day. Also why he will not.

We have a big coaching staff so they should be able to talk the team into staying positive.

If the team is doing V well because of good luck in the 1st 2 months them Stroman will be hard to keep quiet because he will know if the team can be made better by reshuffling.
bpoz - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 01:31 PM EST (#370249) #
2 men on Vlad comes to the plate .... DUCK!!!
Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 02:11 PM EST (#370250) #
I don't think there is anything wrong with FO having a say in which players begin the season as long as they are open to change if situation dictates which I am sure that they are.

You think that it's OK for the FO to say before spring training that a pitcher, who has been lousy for 2 years running and is 35 years old, is guaranteed a spot in the rotation as of Opening Day.  Isn't that what you have spring training for?
Chuck - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 02:24 PM EST (#370251) #
My favourite director is Krzysztof Kieslowski. As Polish names go, not a total killer to spell. But how about those Indians, signing both Wojciechowski and Federowicz? Gonna be some butchered spelling on a bunch of lineup cards.

That said, neither are very good so could become someone else's spelling challenges soon enough.

PeterG - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 02:55 PM EST (#370252) #
Yes, as long as it is subject to change which I assume that it is.

http://media.sportsnet.ca/2019/02/hope-springs-eternal-sportsnet-announces-2019-spring-training-broadcast-schedule-for-new-look-blue-jays/
Gerry - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 03:32 PM EST (#370253) #
From that media release Ben Wagner and Mike Wilner are your exclusive pair for radio broadcasts. Joe Siddall is now doing TV colour when Tabler is not around.
scottt - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 03:58 PM EST (#370254) #
Bookmarked.

Game against the Yankees isn't great if you're trying to watch pitchers. Could be okay, as they'll probably just skip the top 6 guys.



scottt - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 04:08 PM EST (#370255) #
Richard had an ERA+ of 88, Sanchez 86 and Stroman 76.

Spring training is not for prospects to take job away from veterans.
You might use it to compare prospects, but the results are fairly meaningless.
April will also be very fluky, except a good manager needs to find a way to win his share of games.
Then come May, the best players will start to earn their playing times.

Feierabend dropped his slider and started using his  knuckler as an out pitch.
He also threw less fastballs, fewer curves and considerably more changeups.
Could be interesting.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 05:30 PM EST (#370256) #
Richard's ERA+ last year was 72.   He hasn't got right-hand hitters out (despite pitching in a favourable park) for 5 years.  Putting him in the rotation presumptively, knowing that we are talking about the RC and the AL East, is an invitation to fans to watch a low-rent horror movie.    To give a sense, if you look at Richard's away line vs. RHBs, it's career .310/.373/.525 having faced 2100 batters.  That's about what I think he'll do in Toronto against RHB, and you can't manage giving up that in 3/4 of your opponents' PAs, even if you are effective against the other 1/4.  If anything, his career numbers are probably an optimistic take. 

dalimon5 - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 07:34 PM EST (#370257) #
Your criticism assumes Borucki is on the outside edge. It assumes Stroman is here. A lot changes before opening day. Maybe Atkins knows something we dont.
dan gordon - Thursday, February 14 2019 @ 07:55 PM EST (#370258) #
I'm not crazy about having a knuckleballer. Last time we had one, we had to keep a horrible catcher on the roster just to catch him. Feierabend is 33 years old, and his numbers the last 2 years don't really look that good to me. He's giving up well over a hit an inning in a league that is substantially below mlb. I think he'd get hit very hard in the big leagues.

When they acquired Richard, I thought it was a pretty dumb move. Now they're handing him a rotation spot. He's likely going to be worse than Jaime Garcia was last year. Maybe a LOT worse. Borucki should be the 3rd starter, and Shoemaker is a sort of OK 4th guy.

The bullpen looks like it could be decent. Giles, Phelps, Tepera is a good start. Mayza has a good shot at being a good lefty option. Paulino looked very good out of the pen last September, and I expect he will be effective there this year. I think he stays in the pen due to injury concerns. Biagini has been effective in the past when given a definite bullpen only role. I think Gaviglio can surprise people if kept to the bullpen as well. Axford could have another decent year or two in his arm. That's 8 players, not counting the longshot Rule 5 guy, Luciano, and you also have depth pieces like Barnes, Schafer and Fisk. Later in the year, you might see one or two of the relievers working their way up in the minors, like Copping, McClelland or Z. Jackson, depending on injuries, trades, etc. If the Giants return Bergen, throw him into the mix as well, but I expect they will keep him, although they do have a few lefties looking for work there. Frankly, I doubt the Jays keep Luciano, but the reports on him are quite good, so maybe they put up with the bad results.

Early word out of the Jays camp is that Stroman and Sanchez are healthy. What a shot in the arm it would be for the franchise if that held true all year. I saw a new method for predicting future pitching performance on CBS Sports yesterday called ACES, which looks at velocity, movement and location of pitches, and they listed the top 30 or so starters in the big leagues. Sanchez was one of them. ACES has a projection accuracy for future ERA similar to FIP.

Mike, I think your projections for the Jays are interesting, very nice analysis, maybe a bit on the conservative side even, except for that .335 BA for Vladdy. Would be nice, though, and I guess not out of his considerable reach. I think Gurriel handily beats your numbers, but I know I'm more optimistic about him than you are. On the pitching side, I think Sanchez is the one who will beat your projection by the widest margin, and I would be astonished if Luciano achieves your ERA of 4.25.

Glevin - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 03:27 AM EST (#370259) #
"You think that it's OK for the FO to say before spring training that a pitcher, who has been lousy for 2 years running and is 35 years old, is guaranteed a spot in the rotation as of Opening Day."

Yes because it's meaningless. The actual quote is this...

"As long as those guys are healthy, stretched out and able to pitch six innings, they're most likely going to be the first four starters"

As long...most likely...You're reading this is as if the Jays are saying "Richard is going to make 30 starts for the team no matter what". If Richard looks terrible, he won't start. If Borucki is good, he'll start. Teams say all kinds of stuff at the beginning of spring but it always sorts itself out.
scottt - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 05:36 AM EST (#370260) #
If they acquired " a pitcher, who has been lousy for 2 years running and is 35 years old" it's probably because they think he still got something left.
scottt - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 05:51 AM EST (#370261) #
Richard started 27 games. His OPS was .691 first time through the order, .757 second time through the order and .898 the third time. So I guess you don't sent him a third time if it's to face a bunch of right handed guys.

Gaviglio was .684 at home and .955 on the road. It's not because the Rogers center is a great place to pitch.
He OPS first time through the order was .625 but it was .930 and .982 after that.

Gaviglio wasn't exactly a success story, but Richard seems more likely to give you at least 5 innings.

Shoeless Joe - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 08:13 AM EST (#370262) #
Richard has some value as a loogy, but has no business in a major league rotation. He simply gets hammered by righties.
Mike Green - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 08:27 AM EST (#370263) #
Dan, those aren't my projections.  I basically used ZIPs for the 50% projections and made my own custom adjustments for the higher and lower ones.  The point wasn't to illustrate what I think is likely to happen, but that they need to have more things go right than wrong and a little bit of luck to be competitive.  For instance, you could have Sanchez with Stroman's line and Stroman with Sanchez' line, and nothing changes at all.  Or Devon Travis might get over his injury issues and have a season that many of us thought was in him, and VGJ might be merely good rather than an MVP candidate. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 10:42 AM EST (#370264) #
Marcus is most likely to have a successful Season, less to fix. I expect 13-16 Wins 3.5 - 3.75 ERA, 180.0+ IP.
Aaron Sanchez has resolved his blister and injury issues, so more is expected 15-20 Wins, Ď3.0 - 3.25 ERA, 180.0+ IP.
More is expected of these Starters this Season just to avoid a disastrous Season. More is needed for Playoffs.
bpoz - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 11:47 AM EST (#370265) #
2010 had a good rotation. Romero, Cecil, Marcum and Morrow. Zep too if he was not injured.

They all had short careers as starters.

That was weird. But it happens.
bpoz - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#370266) #
My last post shows how fragile a rotation can be. And of course we are in the AL East.

We may unexpectedly get another Halladay or Stieb.

Until then I will be happy with 2 lower level SPs like Key, Hentgen and Guzman in our rotation. Historically we have produced a lot of those. At the moment Stroman seems promising.

A # 3 may be a J Clancy or a Happ.

Totalof 3 so far. I would like 5 more but lower level #4 and #5 type.
John Northey - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 06:31 PM EST (#370267) #
Heh. Happy with a 'lower level' SP like Cy Young winner Hentgen and regular contenders for it in Key & Guzman. Guys like that are hard to get or develop. Stieb & Halladay (HOF or near HOF level) are super-hard as evidenced by just 2 in Jays history. Well, David Wells was close to that level for career value but the Jays dumped him waaay too early.

Guys who get to an ASG once or twice are what normally are produced. Guys like Sanchez, Stroman, Ricky Romero, etc. You can get screwed if you sign them long term but they also sometimes develop into a Halladay - not often, but it happens.

Developing tons of pitchers is ALWAYS a good idea. Ideally you have 7 ready for the majors and 3+ prospects who could be ready for the next season. I liked that about AA - he was seeming to constantly be chasing pitching at least early on. Pitchers are great for trades if you don't have room as everyone needs them. If your rotation is full you can put them into the pen.
dan gordon - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 07:17 PM EST (#370268) #
Sportsnet TV is now going to broadcast 10 of this spring's Blue Jay exhibition games, and all the games will be on radio.

Glowing reports about Sanchez's first bullpen session - he said he "feels like I'm back to normal".
bpoz - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 07:42 PM EST (#370269) #
John N I really believe in our ability to produce V good SPs.
It seemed we had excellent duos. Stieb/Key. Key & D Wells were drafted in the same year. Hentgen/Guzman. Halladay/Carpenter/Escobar.

Richardi produced nothing.

It is too early to judge AA. But he has candidates. Stroman, Sanchez, Thor, Osuna. They need some longevity.
Borucki & SRF just arriving with P Murphy not too far away.

For Shapiro Zeuch is almost here. Pearson, Paulino, H Perez and Z Logue are possibilities. 3 drafts and trades.

I believe the Jays organization produces good SPs. But not catchers. In 40 years we have produced less than 5 catchers.
mathesond - Friday, February 15 2019 @ 11:18 PM EST (#370270) #
he said he "feels like I'm back to normal".

But is he in the best shape of his life?
vw_fan17 - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 12:03 AM EST (#370271) #
If they acquired " a pitcher, who has been lousy for 2 years running and is 35 years old" it's probably because they think he still got something left.

If they honestly think that a guy who has had a couple of decent seasons, but has also more recently led the league in hits surrendered and in his last season was a -1.2 WAR, which cut his career WAR in HALF from 2.4 to 1.2 "still got something left" (as a starter), I don't really want them running this team.
If they're hoping he ends up as a decent LOOGY, ok. Maybe..
uglyone - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 12:30 AM EST (#370272) #
a few days late, Dan Gordon, but any prospect that projects as an average starting mlber as the LIKELY outcome, and not just an upside outcome, is a great prospect.

never forget that for most every prospect - even the good ones - the 50th percentile projection is "Bust".
John Northey - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 01:42 AM EST (#370273) #
Good point bpoz...

Catchers from the Jays....
25 players started their ML careers here and played at least one game at catcher while here.

Moved to other positions - Delgado, Ed Sprague, Josh Phelps. Delgado was viewed as the best prospect in baseball if he could've stayed a catcher but it wasn't to be. Josh Phelps was a born DH but did catch late in his career again for other teams

Decent regulars:
Greg Myers (3rd round pick) - 7.3 WAR, just 2 seasons over 1 WAR

Pat Borders (6th round pick) - 3.6 WAR, 1 year over 1 WAR, 17 seasons in majors (wow!) plus a WS MVP

J.P. Arencibia (1st round pick) 2.0 WAR, fun trivia is his highest salary was with Texas when he had his worst season (-1.2 WAR, mostly 1B)

Yan Gomes (10th round pick) - 11.7 WAR so far - one of the big 'oops' by the Jays over the years. 3 years over 2 WAR so far. Best catcher ever developed here I think

Geno Petralli (3rd round pick) - 3.8 WAR over 12 years mostly with Texas, sold to Cleveland who then released him before he stuck in Texas.

More than a cup of coffee but never regular...
Sandy (Angel) Martinez: -2.0 WAR but 8 seasons
Randy Knorr: -1.6 WAR, 11 seasons but never 50 games in any of them
Kevin Cash: -3.1 WAR, better manager than player

The rest are mostly guys with 1 season or a few cups of coffee here. 8 had 1 season here (start/end of their career) with another getting 2 years in. Of course, two of those are Reese McGuire and Danny Jansen who should both have at least 1 or 2 more years in them and hopefully a LOT more.

Only 6 of the guys with at least one game catching here had 1000+ PA here. 3 we don't count (Delgado, Sprague, Phelps) so the best developed here who had significant time here is between Myers, Borders, and Arencibia. Myers has the best numbers (714 OPS) but Borders has 2 WS rings and one WS MVP which has to push him over the top with that mediocre bunch. Jansen and McGuire have a small hill to climb to become the best 'real' catcher who spent real time here. Gomes is easily the best and even as a full-time regular All-Star the kids would need a few years to catch up in WAR.
scottt - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 08:01 AM EST (#370274) #
Knuckleballers are usually old. That's a pitch of last resort that they develop on their own. I haven't heard of a pitching coach teaching the knuckleball. You ever read Ball Four? Feierabend only uses it as an out pitch and he's a lefty, so there are some possibilities there. And our horrible catcher is Maile. I think it could be fun.

Brett Cecil put out numbers like Richard, just not in so many innings, before he was moved to the pen where he was a lot more than a LOOGY, for a long time, although, he hasn't aged well. It's young pitchers who will break your heart, not the vets like Richard. In April, anybody could be good or bad. Last year the Yankees couldn't handle the Baltimore pitching staff. At worse, Richard gives you a month of AAA to pick another starter.

Thornton is predicted to end up in the pen as well. Barnes returning seems unlikely in the short term and he's 29.
Maybe 33 years old Javy Guerra instead. McClelland probably starts in AA. The biggest challenge for Luciano is to get comfortable with Jansen and Maile. The pen isn't projected to have a lot of Spanish speakers either. Paulino, maybe.
If they manage to hold on to him, he could fit nicely behind Pearson and Pardinho.

Sanchez need to have a huge season now if he wants to become a special project in free agency.

It's interesting that many players are getting extended with front loaded contracts to minimize the impact of a potential 2021 work stoppage. I don't think the Jays have anybody that fits that mold.


bpoz - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#370275) #
As far as developing catchers or any ML player, Many of us like to think intelligently rather than not intelligently.Just forget how that sounded for a moment and look at results. 40 years of Jays baseball will give a lot of results.

So rather than look intelligently at the prospect news and numbers I look at success rate at positions. Other than a handful of Bauxites most were wrong about Y Gomes and admitted it. Then rationalized that his success was unexpected. So H Danner has 3 years to earn 40 man protection as a "catcher". Pentecost had 4 and failed. After many failures like Quiros and AJ Jimenez I concluded that the Jays are terrible at developing catchers.

40 years is a lot of data. Getting other teams catchers seems very successful for the Jays. In the expansion draft anyway. 5? Creone, Ashby, Whitt, P Roof? and Buck Martinez. I suspect NYY may be good at producing catchers. So we get them from other organizations after the NYY traded them, if we cannot get them directly.

Oakland for IFs.

I do like that the Jays gave DH at bats to Jansen and McGuire for hitting development.
Vulg - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#370276) #
There are two SPs remaining who produced ~2 WAR last season.

What is the downside to offering Clay Buchholz or Gio Gonzalez 1 or 2 year deals near $10M annually?

For context, the Jays have ~$106M committed to payroll for 2019 (20th in MLB) and, largely because over 35% is retained/deferred, only ~$23M is on the books for 2020.
bpoz - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 01:04 PM EST (#370277) #
They are doing a V good job of reducing payroll.
scottt - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 05:48 PM EST (#370278) #
To say it one more time. Buchholz is one guy  I don't want to see anywhere near prospects.

At this point Gonzalez would just push Borucki down to Buffalo.
That would probably make the team worse.

Last year, Gonzalez was traded at the deadline, but it was a pure salary relief move.
The Nationals even added international bonus slot money.


scottt - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 05:51 PM EST (#370279) #
Smoak, Morales, Stroman, Sanchez, Pillar.
The payroll will be next to nothing next year.


Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 09:54 PM EST (#370280) #
If you want to spend $10.0 Million on 1-2 contracts for Buchholz or anyone else who are at best 3-4 or maybe 4-5 Sfarters, try spending $10.0 Million more and adding Dallas K. At least heís a #1-2 Starter for 3 years.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 10:18 PM EST (#370281) #
Correction:
NOT: 1-2 contracts,
INSTEAD: 1-2 year contracts.
John Northey - Saturday, February 16 2019 @ 11:10 PM EST (#370282) #
Agreed Richard. No point in #3/4 starters - we already have a raft of them here it seems. If the Jays had an ace and a bunch of AAAA guys then it would make sense but that isn't the case. I'd rather see kids like Pannone, SRF, and Borucki get starts even if they had 5+ ERA's this year.

At this point the Jays would be smartest to hold their cash unless something bizarre happens (say a top free agent offers services at half price). As long as they spend when they contend, and invest in kids now, I'll be happy.
Vulg - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 01:47 AM EST (#370283) #
At this point the Jays would be smartest to hold their cash unless something bizarre happens (say a top free agent offers services at half price). As long as they spend when they contend, and invest in kids now, I'll be happy.

Holding cash is a bit of a misnomer. Payroll budget not invested in 2019 isn't related to payroll budget invested in 2021 if we're talking about 1 or 2 year terms.

That said, you're right about investing in kids. This will come down to whether Shoemaker and/or Richard eat up meaningful innings during the season. If that's the case, then not picking up shorter-term investments with higher upside as tradeable assets (i.e. Gio or Clay) is just opportunity cost.

@Richard - I agree with you about Keuchel being the best possible scenario for a short-term FA rental. I would just be surprised if he's actually gettable at that price. I'd think a wealthy team (or a team willing to spend its wealth) that's better positioned for a playoff run would swoop in and outbid the Jays out of that range. If he ultimately goes for something like $24M/2 years, then shame on any contending or rebuilding team that doesn't have better rotation options for not getting in on that action. A strong half-season from Keuchel would make him very valuable before the trade deadline.
85bluejay - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 02:25 AM EST (#370284) #
Unfortunately, from the first photos out of camp it appears that Vlad Jr. is channelling Cecil Fielder.
scottt - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 09:10 AM EST (#370285) #
Next year, the Yankees will be chasing Nolan Arenado if he doesn't sign an extension.

Gerrit Cole could be the top pitcher available. He could be very expensive.
Or it could be Chris Sale. Here's a guy who has not earned what he deserved so far.
The Sox will also need to deal with Bogaerts and J. D. Martinez who will likely opt out.
Bumgarner didn't strike out so many last year. Does he get traded at the deadline? He'll be 30.
Verlander will also be a free agent but he'll be 37.
Donaldson will be 34 and everything hinges on what he does in Atlanta this year.
Zack Wheeler will be another interesting rotation option.

The Jays really need to figure out what they got this year.
Many teams are extending their top pitchers.

Marc Hulet - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 09:47 AM EST (#370286) #
Interesting to see that Glenallen Hill Jr. is a draft prospect this year with a potential to go in the first three rounds.
Chuck - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 10:09 AM EST (#370287) #
Unfortunately, from the first photos out of camp it appears that Vlad Jr. is channelling Cecil Fielder.

So not the best shape of his life?

hypobole - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 10:40 AM EST (#370288) #
Bowden at the Athletic with his top 200 prospect list

1 Vlad
12 Bo
59 Danny
70 Biggio
89 Pearson
102 Pardinho
105 Smith
107 Groshans
138 SRF

Overall seems high on the Jays kids overall, especially Biggio's aggressive ranking.

Fangraphs also has their Top 132 posted.
bpoz - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 12:20 PM EST (#370289) #
Is our payroll $106 mil to date for all the players on the 40 man roster? Does that include the J Garcia buyout and the Tulo & Martin 2019 cost?
scottt - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 12:46 PM EST (#370290) #
I find it interesting that Fangraphs has Pearson in the 60s but then nobody after that.

dalimon5 - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 02:36 PM EST (#370291) #
Madbum is best gamble since he's relatively young for a free agent and a lefty. I wouldn't touch any of the other pitchers on contracts longer than 2 years.
ayjackson - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 03:07 PM EST (#370292) #
Well Stroman really went off on Jays management today. I guess he's next to get run out of town. I'm wondering if there are any Jays that are fond of anyone in the front office. It's a disturbing trend.
bpoz - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 04:08 PM EST (#370293) #
I like Stroman. He speaks his mind. I remember him calling out MLB executives about the ball causing blisters in 2017.

I see him as the possible leader of the team now. When last season ended he used Twitter to tell the Minor League players to work hard in the off season and be ready to compete. He certainly worked hard in 2015 to come back from that sprinkler injury. He even completed his degree while recovering.

He says he is not afraid of competing in the AL East. He also accused many pitchers from hiding from the AL East.

He does have a Lion heart.

I hope he gets extended. He still has to prove that he is healthy.
Mylegacy - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 05:19 PM EST (#370294) #
bpoz, you say,"He still has to prove that he is healthy."

He loves the team. He loves his teammates. He loves it when ice falls off the CN Tower and breaks windows in Mr. Roger's Neighbourhood. I get it.

My East Indian friend, Bender Donedat, and I have seen this scenario 72.226 million times when a guy wants a contract extension. Got it.

Stroman is a good solid starting pitcher when healthy. He has had a shoulder injury. Elbows go to Tommy John Heaven to get fixed, shoulders go to Vegas and roll the dice.

Many pitchers recover from shoulder injuries, many have their career possibilities lowered, and many have no further effective career. Shoulder injuries can be to a pitcher what erection difficulties are to a (male) career in porn.

Mind you, I never measured up statistically significant enough to pursue a career in either baseball or porn.

bpoz, ALL that matters with Stroman now is his shoulder. IF it is OK going forward Stroman may well receive an offer. May well accept. BUT at this point all that matters to him, and the team, is the health of his shoulder.

Way too early to consider an extension. IM(H)O.
Vulg - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 05:36 PM EST (#370295) #
Is our payroll $106 mil to date for all the players on the 40 man roster? Does that include the J Garcia buyout and the Tulo & Martin 2019 cost?

Yes, it includes everything.

Active Payroll: $67,503,571
Retained Salary: $38,595,000

Retained Salary Breakdown:

Tulo: $19,445,000
Martin: $16,400,000
Garcia: $2,000,000
Solarte: $750,000

The Jays lead MLB in retained salary, are 20th in total salaries and 25th in active payroll.
PeterG - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 06:03 PM EST (#370296) #
https://sports.yahoo.com/news/ryan-feierabend-might-blue-jays-interesting-add-offseason-204659926.html
scottt - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 07:26 PM EST (#370297) #
Donaldson wanted to stay too. So did Bautista and EE.
They all wanted the Jays to give them big contracts.

By all reports, the Jays have already offered Stroman an extension.
He must not have like the terms. The Jays still feel like they value Stroman more than any other team.
Without an extension he's trade bait.

bpoz - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 07:32 PM EST (#370298) #
Thanks Vulg. Nice lean active payroll. I am pleased about that. Ownership should also be pleased.

Now we need exciting/energetic baseball and maybe a decent # of wins.
Mike Green - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 07:36 PM EST (#370299) #
Corey Copping and Ryan Feierbrand were invited to spring training today.
Marc Hulet - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 07:47 PM EST (#370300) #
As was catcher Alberto Mineo, who played well on both sides of the ball in 2018 and could be a late bloomer after being signed out of Italy.
bpoz - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 08:11 PM EST (#370301) #
Atkins is great. His positive public responses to Stroman.
Gerry - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 09:16 PM EST (#370302) #
I wouldn't be quick to assume that the Jays offered Stroman an extension. Atkins said he talked with Stromans agent, Shi Davidi thinks they had general discussions without a specific offer.
John Northey - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 10:01 PM EST (#370303) #
I'd bet they generally talked years and rough dollars but no real offer made as the spread was too big.
scottt - Sunday, February 17 2019 @ 11:22 PM EST (#370304) #
Stroman's agent agreed to a deal to avoid arbitration, so they had that talk.
If Stroman wants an extension, the agent must have passed on some figures.
It's a bit like the Axford situation, he wanted to play in Toronto, but the Jays exhausted other options first.
Or even the Bautista situation, the player had just been through a steep decline but still had high demands and other teams were not interested.

What pitcher has signed an extension following a terrible season?
Nothing comes to my mind. The Jays still value Stroman, but they don't have to take any risk here.
I expect Stroman to open the season at home against Detroit.

Glevin - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 03:25 AM EST (#370305) #
"I wouldn't be quick to assume that the Jays offered Stroman an extension. Atkins said he talked with Stromans agent, Shi Davidi thinks they had general discussions without a specific offer."

I think most contract discussions happen like this. There is a discussion to gauge generally where the other side is. If they are way off, there really isn't any point discussing numbers. Stroman always struck me as a hard guy to extend even if the Jays wanted to because he's such a believer in himself. Extensions usually only make sense for the team when they are team friendly and I can't see Stroman giving a discount on himself.
85bluejay - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 08:27 AM EST (#370306) #
Stroman,Sanchez & Giles having strong seasons is particularly important to the Jays as pitchers tend to be more valuable in July - As I've mentioned before, I don't think Stroman will age well and I don't trust Giles, so I'm hoping for them to bring back strong returns in July - Sanchez, I think will age well, doesn't have a lot of mileage on his arm and I think can be a top 3 starter on the next contender, so I'm hoping the Jays can extend him - of course, having Boras as his agent means a tough negotiation but ultimately it's the client's decision.
scottt - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 11:22 AM EST (#370307) #
I'm not hopeful on Sanchez. He could command a huge salary in free agency because of the reasons you mentioned.
Players sign extensions to remove risks. Boras plays the long game.
Sanchez will only make 3.9M this year. Even if he wins the Cy Young, his 2020 salary will be relatively low.
Stroman is making 7.4M. A 20 win season could push him much higher in 2020.

The last extension the Jays signed for a pitcher was Ricky Romero almost 10 years ago.
They bought one year of free agency and had an option for a second one.
They overpaid him for one pre-arb year and 3 arb years to get a deal on that first free agency  year.

Stroman/Sanchez would want about 20M per free agency year.
Corbin just signed for 6/129M.

bpoz - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 02:09 PM EST (#370308) #
When our window opens we will have to figure out how to add talent to get over the top..

I really don't know how the FO will deal with this.

In their 3 years They brought in Happ, Estrada, Morales, Gurriel and extended Smoak. All were good deals IMO and inexpensive. Actually many more. J Garcia was the only one to hurt.
Thomas - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 04:02 PM EST (#370309) #
BPoz, I think you are in a distinct minority to call the Morales deal a good one and inexpensive.
Mike Green - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 04:35 PM EST (#370310) #
The collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season, and it seems to me that there is a pretty decent chance of a long strike.  I wonder if (and how) that impacts contract extension negotiations. 
hypobole - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 04:46 PM EST (#370311) #
If Stroman wants to play for a contender, the Jays can trade him to one. Can resign here when he hits free agency like Happ did.
PeterG - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 05:38 PM EST (#370312) #
Gil Kim organizational update:

https://futurebluejays.com/2019/02/18/blue-jays-system-update-with-gil-kim/
Mike Green - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 07:41 PM EST (#370313) #
Kim likes Cal Stevenson and Gabriel Moreno as "breakout candidates."  He's not alone.
vw_fan17 - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 10:05 PM EST (#370314) #
Stroman/Sanchez would want about 20M per free agency year.

I can't imagine the next $20M+ contract we will sign with the current front office / owners. Given that we just wrote off Martin's - was that the highest $/year amount ever signed initially as a Blue Jay (rather than taking over a different contract through trade)?

See also https://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2019/1/9/17911408/whither-the-contract-extensions-blue-jays

I can't wait to be proven wrong, but I see a LOT of $3-5M "deals" (aka lottery tickets), and nothing more in the next 3-5 years.
hypobole - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 10:46 PM EST (#370315) #
The FO signed numerous deals for a lot more than $3-5 million when the club was contending. Now if you think the tank will last 3-5 years, then you may well be correct.
ayjackson - Monday, February 18 2019 @ 11:44 PM EST (#370316) #
I wonder if the Padres land Machado whether they'll come back in for Stroman.
eldarion - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:24 AM EST (#370317) #
The FO knows they have 6 years of both Guerrero Jr and Bichette together; they'll want to maximize those years before rebuilding again. They will not wait until year 3 before signing a free agent of note. That's just wasting the talent at your disposal. I
ayjackson - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 07:50 AM EST (#370318) #
I'm guessing they never sign a free agent of note. But maybe we have different definitions of noteworthy.
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 07:53 AM EST (#370319) #
Danny Jansen is listed at 6'2" 225lbs.
Gabriel Moreno is listed at 5'10" 160lbs.

If Moreno could add 15 pounds of muscles without using PEDs, that would already be a breakthrough.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 09:55 AM EST (#370320) #
this FO will never sign anyone unless they think he is the steal of the market. they care about cleverer, not better.


and i'm on #TeamStroman, in case anyone was wondering.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 10:15 AM EST (#370321) #
Moreno was 18 years old last year.  For him to put on muscle between 18 and 22 would qualify as normal development. 
bpoz - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#370322) #
It is quite obvious that there are "dead" contracts in all of baseball. The LAD are moving their's around. Matt Kemp, but he is still producing. There will others. I think Stanton will be one. NYY took on that contract after their experience with A Rod and Mark Texiera.

Everyone knows that FA contracts will hurt you. The finance people will be able to plot a reasonable progression of value. Getting stuck with a bad contract is obviously bad.

I did learn a valuable lesson from the Bauxite that predicted that the Tulo & Martin contracts would be problems AND AA would not be here to "face the music".

So expensive/bad deals will still be signed and the GMs doing that will be eventually fired. The GM that traded for V Wells contract is a good example.

I see the Jays as having payroll parameters. Ownership wants results like big revenues generated by 2015 and 2016 success. So they paid out the high payroll. I expect that to happen again.

The G Cole trade was payroll relief I guess. I thought Houston paid a high prospect price but I was wrong. I don't know the G Cole finances. Either the Pirates were committed to an expensive deal or feared high Arb costs.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 11:02 AM EST (#370323) #
Agree with UO. The 5 year Martin contract was too long. His decline was not a total surprise. The contract was back loaded. I think it was 5 years for $80 mil in total.

3 years at $60 mil is not that much cheaper. I could be wrong as I am still trying to understand this.
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#370324) #
The payroll will be ridiculously low next year. They could add an ace and a closer.
Kinda like the A.J. Burnett, B.J. Ryan signings a while back.
They might not be a wild card favourite because Bichette/Biggio etc will be unproven, but that's where they should be.

bpoz - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:16 PM EST (#370325) #
scottt, please correct me if I am wrong but I did not consider Burnett an Ace or Ryan as much of a closer. Burnett a #3.

By the way as it stands now how much is next years payroll? Counting everything about $75 mil?
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:30 PM EST (#370326) #
Usually you backload a contract to win now and rebuild during the end of the contract.
2013/1014 were disasters. Martin was added for 15 but they still had a hole in the outfield, a struggling shortstop and they needed an ace and a closer. Tulo and Price were added towards the deadline. The cost for that year was in prospect and future payroll. The pitching wasn't good enough to get win the AL Championship. By 16, almost all the hitters were over the hill.
It's pretty amazing how Saunders was an All-Start for the first half and then never even replacement level.

Chuck - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:35 PM EST (#370327) #
Machado to SD. 10/300.
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:37 PM EST (#370328) #
Ryan was very good until he blew his elbow.
Burnett was supposed to be the 1-2 punch with Doc.

scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 12:39 PM EST (#370329) #
That was the magic number.

The padres have a lot of strong pitching prospects, so there's that.


DavidtheDeuce - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#370330) #
Interesting article on the budding professional relationship with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Kendrys Morales

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26027430/blue-jays-vladimir-guerrero-jr-targets-kendrys-morales-mentor
hypobole - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 02:05 PM EST (#370331) #
Yeah, reading that, it seems Morales will last the year with the jays.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 02:42 PM EST (#370332) #
I definitely think SD makes sense now as a trading partner for TO. A lot of prospect capital to trade for Stroman and or Giles. Tatis Jr's stats for 2019 just got stronger.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 02:44 PM EST (#370333) #
SD jsut over 100 million in salary now so probably makes more sense for them to sign Keuchel.
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 02:50 PM EST (#370334) #
If Morales hits well enough to be trade bait, the Blue Jays could be close to a wild card spot.

85bluejay - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 02:53 PM EST (#370335) #
Well done San Diego Padres, now to put the finishing touches - You need the 'stro show now, don't wait until July - I promise you the Stro show will love San Diego more than anyone has loved San Diego before - #Heightdoesn'tmeasurethehype.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 04:20 PM EST (#370336) #
I love how Toronto loves the soft athletes and runs the fiery ones out of town. Stroman unwanted but Sanchez gets a pass...Stroman leads Team USA in WBC and will go to a contender and lead them and TO fans will say "yeah but he was a complainer." Gotta love that Toronto mentality that wants ownership to open up the coffers but only for complacent and quite players with bonus points if they're soft. See Wells, Vernon.
Vulg - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 04:45 PM EST (#370337) #
I love how Toronto loves the soft athletes and runs the fiery ones out of town. Stroman unwanted but Sanchez gets a pass...Stroman leads Team USA in WBC and will go to a contender and lead them and TO fans will say "yeah but he was a complainer." Gotta love that Toronto mentality that wants ownership to open up the coffers but only for complacent and quite players with bonus points if they're soft. See Wells, Vernon.

To be fair, Bautista was as fiery as the come and the majority of people were sad to see him go, even though he was in obvious decline.

That said, and at the risk of opening a can of worms, the reaction to Stroman has been eye-opening to me in terms of the demographics of supporters/detractors and how they seem to be divided.

Personally, I'm a big fan of his attitude. It would be considered mild in the NBA or the NFL. But then I can only imagine what somebody like Don Cherry would think of some of the "antics" that happen in those leagues.
lexomatic - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 04:47 PM EST (#370338) #
I'm not sure if I agree Dalimon, but this is probably the closest we've come to agreeing. I would definitely prefer Stromwn to figure stuff out and sign a team friendly deal. At this poin t I'd prefer trading both for prospects that hit.
85bluejay - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 05:11 PM EST (#370339) #
I have no problems with Stroman's attitude ( I am for more varied personalities rather than the cookie cutter model) - As I've mentioned many times I just don't think he will age well and I don't think the Jays will sign him to a long-term deal - so I'm for maximizing the Jays return for players who may help in the next window of contention.
Thomas - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 05:20 PM EST (#370340) #
I'm not sure about Bautista. I think the reaction was a bit more split than we remember in retrospect. I heard a number of casual fans complaining about his attitude while he was with the Jays. I'd hear from people, "Yeah he's good, but...." or "He's good, but I can't stand the guy."

And, the negative reaction to Stroman has puzzled, and surprised me, as well. Of course I don't agree with everything he says, but the overall souring towards his attitude has been quick and unexpected.

Of course, the fickle nature of Toronto fandom is nothing new. Many players have been treated poorly, in my opinion, by fans here. The constant booing of Shannon Stewart during his return trips will always mystify me.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 06:46 PM EST (#370341) #
God I hate being rational. I hate being reasonable.

There's going to be a strike. I know it - so do you, if you've even thought about it. I know that if we offered Harper a 10 year "now you own Toronto" contract the strike would last 7 of those 10 years. I get that.

I know the Jays "will," "seriously consider," "perhaps" spending on a "star next year" (or perhaps the year after when Vlad and Bo both "prove" they aren't "flash in the pans.")

I know that. I also know when next year comes, and the next year and the year after that come... crickets.

Generally speaking I like crickets. 'Specially, "Mormon Crickets." Sort of like the prehistoric monster of the cricket family. You guys who live in, or have ever visited Saskatchewan know what I mean.

I also know, as do some of you, that on occasion, perhaps, I can lose my train of thought - and just have... choo! choo!

SO - screw it - I want the Jays to go and get Harper! Damn the torpedoes! Harper, Bo, Vlad, Jansen and Gurriel, and a few from among several other promising youngsters will become a very nice base package over the next 5 to 7 years.

Rogers' I even give you permission to raise your mobile phone data plan costs, why not! 'Course, I'm with Telus and don't have a data plan.

But it is the thought that counts, isn't it? Isn't it?
John Northey - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 07:18 PM EST (#370342) #
Actually, I wouldn't be shocked if there wasn't a strike. The players union is run by someone who is terrible at negotiating - look at their last contract. I suspect the owners will offer up something tempting, probably a higher minimum wage ($750k maybe) while making free agency hit at 5 1/2 years instead of 6 (to cut back on Vlad service time stuff as under this he'd have been up in September last year maybe), DH in both leagues. None would break the bank for the owners but could be tempting to the union under current leadership. In exchange labor peace for 5 years or something, plus locking in revenue sharing and draft caps, perhaps more controls on the minors too (more options, more years of control pre-40 man status), an international draft has to be high on the list I suspect - ie: stuff the union doesn't generally care about but owners like to ensure stronger control and more long term price control. There are lots of easy ways to get the union to sign on the dotted line without a strike.

There are few big issues as the Harper/Machado stuff this winter is more beyond the average player but a minimum salary bump would get those guys onside fast (majority of the union) and a slight shift in free agency would get the big guns onside. Too much money for everyone involved not to do that quickly once it gets close to time. Dollars and players involved for both issues aren't enough to be worth a month or two lost.
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 07:38 PM EST (#370343) #
Machado got 300M and Harper will probably get more. Isn't the strike averted.
Boras likes to wait and sign at the last minute for maximum pressure.
I'm pretty sure that teams were not beating one another over Machado here.
The Pale Hoses were offering less but with the potential to earn more?
Yeah, I'm not sure about that. Would have taken a lot more than 32 or 33 per year to tip the scales because obviously Machado is not going to sign for 30M per years in 5 years and that opt out probably doesn't happen.

Harper would be more interesting if he was a good defender, or even a good base runner.
He was worth only 1.3 bWAR last  year even with that 133 OPS+.
That -3.3 dWAR is basically Teoscar Hernandez in the outfield. (Hernandez was actually worth -2.0 WAR).
Harper failed to run a few ground outs and missed the cut out man regularly.
I'd be OK with extending Grichuk here.

scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#370344) #
That's -2 dWAR for Hernandez, if that wasn't clear.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 09:27 PM EST (#370345) #
"05:11 PM EST (#370339) #
I have no problems with Stroman's attitude ( I am for more varied personalities rather than the cookie cutter model) - As I've mentioned many times I just don't think he will age well and I don't think the Jays will sign him to a long-term deal - so I'm for maximizing the Jays return for players who may help in the next window of contention."

You actually sound here like a poster that didn't just hashtag his previous post #heightdoesntmatchHype...
85bluejay - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 10:25 PM EST (#370346) #
Heard TSN reporter Scott Mitchell on the radio today reacting to Kevin Pillar comments and he seemed to imply that veterans like Tulo,Donaldson,Martin were not positive influences last year when the club was having a tough year (mentioned that Martin played a lot of video games during the 2nd half of season, no mention of mentoring the young catchers) - It's interesting that the FO ate 38m to let Tulo go, over 16m to dispatch Martin - but they have kept Morales (only 11m) who is said to be a very positive influence in the clubhouse.It wouldn't surprise me if Stroman is gone before opening day.
scottt - Tuesday, February 19 2019 @ 10:36 PM EST (#370347) #
Stroman complains that there are no vets, but Morales is mentoring Guerrero and Galvis is mentoring Gurriel.
Smoak will probably work with Tellez again.

Pillar could certainly help Travis if he ends up in the outfield, but I'm not expecting much there.

It looks like the latest odds favour the Yankees over Boston.
Probably because the Red Sox have no closer at this point.
I'm curious to see how many starts they get out of Paxton, CC and Tanaka.
They were relatively healthy last year.

dan gordon - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 02:08 AM EST (#370348) #
San Diego has an interesting situation now with their young outfielders. Presumably Machado plays 3B, Hosmer 1B and Myers occupies 1 corner OF spot. Then they have Reyes, Renfroe and Margot, and the only true CF is Margot. Renfroe or Reyes may be available in a trade.

I'd be quite surprised if the Jays sign Stroman to a long term deal - just hope he has a good year so they can get a good return for him.

The prospects1500 website has some interesting choices among the Blue Jays top 50 prospects.
Glevin - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 02:10 AM EST (#370349) #
I think there's a false dichotomy here. I love passionate players. I hate the "old school" hit a guy with a 95 MPH fastball because he celebrated his HR nonsense. I love Stroman's passion and excitement on the mount. I want to see celebrations when there's a big strikeout. At the same time, Stroman seems to get himself in trouble for no reason and comes off as whiny and unprofessional and feels the whole world is against him. You can be extremely passionate and still not create pointless drama all the time. It's not an either/or scenario. (Also, who is giving Sanchez a pass?)

"Heard TSN reporter Scott Mitchell on the radio today reacting to Kevin Pillar comments and he seemed to imply that veterans like Tulo,Donaldson,Martin were not positive influences last year when the club was having a tough year (mentioned that Martin played a lot of video games during the 2nd half of season, no mention of mentoring the young catchers)"

I always laugh at the idea that any player over 30 is a great veteran presence. I mean, think about all the people at your job over 30. How many of them are leaders?
85bluejay - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 07:46 AM EST (#370350) #
Glevin, well said you made the point about Stroman much better than I did.

If the Jays trade with the Padres, one prospect I hope the Jays don't acquire is Cal Quantrill - he gives me the Kyle Drabek vibe - A guy who never recovered fully from the TJ surgery - Someone wrote that Cal Quantrill peaked 2 yeas ago and I tend to agree.
scottt - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 08:12 AM EST (#370351) #
Drabek had excellent stuff but not enough control to make it work.
Quantrill seems to have good command, but no pitch that is better than above average.

scottt - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 08:22 AM EST (#370352) #
One important part of long free agent contracts that could go away is trade protection.
Unless the player wants to play for a given team and is leaving money on the table, there's no reason to offer no trade clauses. Greinke would be moved now if he didn't have a 15 teams no-trade list. Votto would have been moved too.
Stanton ended up in NYY because he has full control over what team he could be traded to.
That really limited the return.

Mike Green - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 09:00 AM EST (#370353) #
And, the negative reaction to Stroman has puzzled, and surprised me, as well. Of course I don't agree with everything he says, but the overall souring towards his attitude has been quick and unexpected.
Of course, the fickle nature of Toronto fandom is nothing new. Many players have been treated poorly, in my opinion, by fans here. The constant booing of Shannon Stewart during his return trips will always mystify me.

Puts on old geezer hat.  Back in the day, Toronto fans were known for being patient to a fault.  The Blue Jay fanbase (such as it was) patiently waited for 6 years for a decent club.  The Leaf fanbase tolerated and supported losing clubs year after year, in a way that the Hab fanbase never would have.  It was a time when Ontarians elected the same party for almost 40 years running.  Times evidently have changed. Takes off old geezer hat.

I can't imagine why anyone would boo Shannon Stewart.  He was a good consistent durable player for the 6 years he played in Toronto.  And, incidentally, he gave Toronto his best years at the lowest price (if you care about such things, not suggesting that you should).  Stewart was mild-mannered, in that way the complete opposite of the vocal Stroman. 

Stroman's predominant message- that the FO doesn't seem to have a deep commitment to winning, at least any time soon- has a lot of merit to it.  I have always rooted for him for his smarts and his intensity. 
scottt - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 09:22 AM EST (#370354) #
The idea that signing Carlos Gomez would help the team win because of his clubhouse presence has substantially less merit. I wonder where Stroman knows Cargo from. He's an older Dominican.
scottt - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 09:25 AM EST (#370355) #
I think Galvis will become Stroman and Sanchez's best friend. On the field anyway.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 10:39 AM EST (#370356) #
"Bautista was as fiery as the come and the majority of people were sad to see him go"

huh. I'm pretty sure the majority of the people were glad to see his whining arse not signed.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 10:44 AM EST (#370357) #
I finally got around to doing some stats during the doldrums....

as always, war is the average of 2 wars (fipwar and ra9war for pitchers, fwar and bwar for hitters) paced out to 650pa or 32gs or 65ip.


2yr Stats

Team "Veteran"

RF Grichuk (27): 904pa, 5.9b%/28.2k%, .288bip/.242avg, .246iso, 105wrc+, 2.4w650
1B Smoak (32): 1231pa, 12.7b%/23.1k%, .290bip/.256avg, .238iso, 128wrc+, 2.9w650
LF Hernandez (26): 618pa, 7.6b%/32.2k%, .316bip/.243avg, .246iso, 111wrc+, 0.8w650
DH Morales (36): 1079pa, 8.6b%/21.0k%, .275bip/.249avg, .193iso, 102wrc+, 0.1w650
CF Pillar (30): 1174pa, 4.3b%/16.4k%, .281bip/.254avg, .160iso, 88wrc+, 2.6w650
3B Drury (26): 566pa, 6.2b%/21.7k%, .305bip/.253avg, .167iso, 85wrc+, 0.9w650
SS Galvis (29): 1319pa, 6.8b%/19.6k%, .298bip/.251avg, .130iso, 83wrc+, 1.6w650
2B Travis (28): 575pa, 4.0b%/17.7k%, .270bip/.242avg, .159iso, 81wrc+, 0.7w650
C Maile (28): 367pa, 7.6b%/27.8k%, .281bip/.208avg, .105iso, 60wrc+, 0.6w650

Team "Rookie"

SS Gurriel (25): 263pa, 3.4b%/22.4k%, .326bip/.281avg, .165iso, 103wrc+, 0.6w650
3B Vladdy (20): ---
DH Tellez (24): 73pa, 2.7b%/28.8k%, .391bip/.314avg, .300iso, 151wrc+, 4.0w650
1B Jansen (24): 95pa, 9.5b%/17.9k%, .274bip/.247avg, .185iso, 115wrc+, 4.8w650
LF McKinney (24): 132pa, 8.3b%/25.0k%, .296bip/.252avg, .210iso, 112wrc+, 0.3w650
C McGuire (24): 33pa, 6.1b%/27.3k%, .350bip/.290avg, .290iso, 146wrc+, 7.9w650
2B Urena (23): 183pa, 7.1b%/32.8k%, .390bip/.257avg, .084iso, 79wrc+, 0.5w650
RF Alford (24): 29pa, 6.9b%/41.4k%, .200bip/.111avg, .037iso, -15wrc+, -3.4w650
CF Pompey (26): 11pa, 9.1b%/54.5k%, .500bip/.200avg, .000iso, 35wrc+, -3.0w650



"Veteran" Starters

RH Stroman (28): 52gs, 18.8k%, 7.6b%, 62.1gb%, 91era-, 90fip-, 85xfip-, 2.9w32
RH Shoemaker (32): 21gs, 22.4k%, 8.3b%, 39.9gb%, 110era-, 107fip-, 106xfip-, 1.5w32
LH Richard (35): 59gs, 16.8k%, 7.7b%, 58.2gb%, 124era-, 107fip-, 95xfip-, 1.0w32
RH Sanchez (26): 28gs, 17.2k%, 12.2b%, 48.6gb%, 110era-, 116fip-, 118xfip-, 0.6w32
RH Gaviglio (29): 37gs, 17.3k%, 7.4b%, 49.4gb%, 119era-, 121fip-, 103xfip-, 0.4w32
RH Biagini (29): 22gs, 17.3k%, 8.1b%, 54.4gb%, 140era-, 105fip-, 99xfip-, 0.1w32

"Rookie" Starters

LH Borucki (25): 17gs, 16.1k%, 8.0b%, 46.8gb%, 91era-, 89fip-, 109xfip-, 2.9w32
LH Pannone (25): 6gs, 12.6k%, 9.3b%, 34.5gb%, 107era-, 139fip-, 143xfip-, 1.1w32
RH R-Foley (23): 7gs, 28.0k%, 14.0b%, 37.2gb%, 120era-, 117fip-, 99xfip-, 0.0w32
RH Paulino (25): 6gs, 26.6k%, 5.5b%, 30.1gb%, 155era-, 118fip-, 94xfip-, 0.0w32


Relievers

RH Giles (28): 113.0ip, 29.6k%/6.1b%/44.1gb%, 80era-, 63fip-, 73xfip-, 1.3w65
RH Phelps (32): 55.2ip, 26.1k%/10.9b%/45.2gb%, 82era-, 84fip-, 87xfip-, 0.8w65
RH Tepera (31): 142.1ip, 25.6k%/9.5b%/42.7gb%, 83era-, 91fip-, 98xfip-, 0.7w65
LH Mayza (27): 52.2ip, 29.1k%/7.8b%/44.1gb%, 103era-, 75fip-, 79xfip-, 0.4w65
RH Biagini (29): 85.0ip, 18.4k%/7.4b%/50.2gb%, 116era-, 114fip-, 101xfip-, -0.1w65
RH Axford (36): 72.2ip, 21.6k%/11.7b%/52.3gb%, 139era-, 108fip-, 103xfip-, -0.5w65

RH Gaviglio (29): 8.1ip, 30.6k%/8.3b%/38.1gb%, 76era-, 82fip-, 83xfip-, 1.6w65
LH Pannone (25): 7.1ip, 33.3k%/3.3b%/35.3gb%, 58era-, 30fip-, 72xfip-, 1.3w65
RH Paulino (25): 6.2ip, 21.4k%/7.1b%/50.0gb%, 32era-, 99fip-, 100xfip-, 0.5w65

uglyone - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 10:56 AM EST (#370358) #
And the type of "leadership" we want from players is work ethic, personal fitness, mental approach to games. This is stuff that the likes of Bautista, Donaldson, Tulo, Martin provided in spades.

"leadership" doesn't mean being besties with the rookies while being an overweight inconsistent borderline mlber. you can pay coaches to provide that kind of "leadership".
hypobole - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 11:02 AM EST (#370359) #
Tulo and personal fitness???

lexomatic - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#370360) #
I liked Glevins summation of the stroman sitch a few posts up.I do think theres a difference between rightfully calling out management and the drama causing.
Re veteran leadership,  I'm going to disagree,uo,.work ethic  personal fitness etc models are great, but aren't a sufficient kind of leadership. People respond differently, so you do need some nurturing types and cheerleading types too. If you have only one type of leadership, you're more likely to have a bad clubhouse. re Machado, I think there's a reasonable chance he plays short a lot this year and maybe next year... depending on how tatis advances.they wont have to rush him from AA.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 01:50 PM EST (#370361) #
Winfield provided something in 1992. I don't know how/if that helped. But it was popular.
Thomas - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 02:31 PM EST (#370362) #
I agree with everything you said about Stewart, Mike. And yet, to the best of my recollection at least, he was booed by a vocal contingent on the crowd when he'd come back here as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 02:31 PM EST (#370363) #
Renfroe led or was close to leading the majors in HR after the all star break last year. He's just getting started and won't be made available imho.

Tulo is called a freak of nature by players because of his insane workouts similar to Stamkos and Gary Roberts in hockey. I think that's what UO was referring to. Can't knock a guy for personal fitness if he has an ankle collision with a 200 pound 1B.

Cal Quantril has plenty of pitches and one of them that is way above average is his change up. He is considered to have the make up and upside of one or two plus pitches if he narrows his selection to allow him to become a #2 ceiling pitcher or floor of #4. That's pretty good...unless you're going to trade for Forest Whitley or McKenzie Gore who is already sliding down lists a bit since his last season...getting SP prospects that project to be sure fire #1 or #2 starters is pretty much impossible...the last one to be traded was Tyler Glasnow and he looks like Swiss Cheese right now.
dan gordon - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 02:35 PM EST (#370364) #
What I'm reading, and it makes sense to me, is that Machado will play 3B, Urias will play SS until Tatis is called up, then Urias will move to 2B. I don't think it would make sense for the Padres to bench Urias, play Machado at SS, and have a problem at 3B. Renfroe is being pencilled in for RF, leaving Reyes on the bench.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 20 2019 @ 02:36 PM EST (#370365) #
And right now, Quantril is about the same value as someone like SRF and both of those pitchers have higher upside and value than Ryan Borucki. So ask yourself...what would you want in return for a prospect like SRF? Then ask yourself what you would have to give up for someone with higher upside and less risk (control risk or TJ risk) and now you get an idea of cost to get one of these prospects.

The comments that player X (prospect with potential for high ceiling but question marks) is too risky baffle me. There is no other option of prospect to acquire. Zilch. If there's a high upside or mid upside SP with control in contract then they aren't getting traded period.
Glevin - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 04:12 AM EST (#370366) #
"Re veteran leadership, I'm going to disagree,uo,.work ethic personal fitness etc models are great, but aren't a sufficient kind of leadership. People respond differently, so you do need some nurturing types and cheerleading types too."

Personal fitness models are fine and readily available. These are professional athletes so lots of them are like this (Smoak and Pillar both work very hard at least). However, the ability to bring people into a sense of belonging, helping kids adjust to the big leagues, giving them life and baseball tips, etc...is vastly more important. If Martin was really mostly playing video games last year, he had zero value as a veteran.
uglyone - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 08:11 AM EST (#370367) #
veteran leadership is not about babysitting and hand holding.

lexomatic - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 10:27 AM EST (#370368) #
Leadership that doesn't recognize different needs for different people is not good leadership.
Thomas - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 10:43 AM EST (#370369) #
It's interesting how some people choose to characterize actions such as helping rookies adjust to playing in front of 40,000 fans at Yankee Stadium and dealing with a constant media presence as "babysitting" or "hand-holding".
Mike Green - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 11:18 AM EST (#370370) #
Leadership and mentoring are, of course, important.  We can see how players model these things on the field, but everywhere else, we cannot see.  So when Kevin Pillar apparently says that Russell Martin spent most of last year playing video games while Marcus Stroman says that he learned a lot from Martin, I have no idea what to believe.  I do know that Martin cheerfully accepted roles other than catching on the field and gave it his all, but what happened behind the scenes with Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire only they know (and probably won't say much about).

Speaking of modelling, imagine that you are Kendrys Morales and your primary role in 2019 is to help Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. adjust to the major leagues.  A player who was good at the role would accept that other young players need some PAs, and probably out of the DH spot, and would willing accept having fewer PAs than he usually has had. If Kendrys gets 250-275 PAs this year and a significant number of them in appropriate pinch-hitting roles, and is a good mentor to the two Juniors, I'm all right with that.  It might even mean that the club avoids the 8 man pen which would definitely be a positive. 


Gerry - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 11:24 AM EST (#370371) #
Notes from this morning:

Atkins suggests Teoscar and McKinney will platoon in left (not a surprise)

TJ Zeuch will miss all of spring training with his lat injury.

The Eastern League is joining all the leagues below it in moving to a split season format. AAA is now the only full season league with a full season playoff format.
85bluejay - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 12:28 PM EST (#370372) #
Played the Atkins interview on primetime sports last night - Atkins seemed to hint that the Jays are receptive to the opener (I'd nominate Elvis if he made the team) and that he's high on Kevin Smith, perhaps more likely the SS of the future than Bo (2B?).
Glevin - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 12:33 PM EST (#370373) #
"It's interesting how some people choose to characterize actions such as helping rookies adjust to playing in front of 40,000 fans at Yankee Stadium and dealing with a constant media presence as "babysitting" or "hand-holding"."

Also, helping them adapt to a new country or city. Helping them adapt to having money for the first time. Helping them with a new language. Helping them deal with the travel, etc...but watching someone do extra lat pull ups is much more important for development.
scottt - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 01:04 PM EST (#370374) #
Veteran leadership is teaching the new guys not to be followers, but the next leaders.
It's about establishing the culture in the clubhouse and on the field.

Galvis wanted to use Scutaro's number. Found out it was the same number Bautista used and thought better of it.
The first game is in 2 days. Will Harper take a shorter deal with the Giants or whatever the Phillies are offering?

bpoz - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 01:08 PM EST (#370375) #
If Atkins is going to give interviews, then he is forced to say something.
I expected Pillar, Grichuk and T Hernandez to make the team. I thought McKinney was competing for a spot with the other OFs. I don't know if a 5th OF will be added or Pompey is starting to look like he will not make it.

Of course trades are still happening.

The pen is the interesting thing for me because because there are so many candidates for 2 or 3 spots and they all have options.
85bluejay - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 01:20 PM EST (#370376) #
I just want to mention that in a previous post, I stated that TSN Blue Jays reporter Scott Mitchell said that Martin played a lot of video games in the 2nd half of last season - I haven't read what Kevin Pillar said.
scottt - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 01:25 PM EST (#370377) #
Well, we'll see.

Asked if the plan was for McKinney and Hernandez to compete for full time in LF or platoon, Atkins answered "As it stands right now, the latter."

"We're going to have a fourth outfielder. It's not necessarily that McKinney is platooning with Teoscar. There will be other opportunities for them. Obviously Grichuk and Pillar have more established track records, but being open to different ways and different matchups will be a strength of this staff that will influence the playing time of all those individuals."

Yeah, well, neither of those two profile as adequate defenders in center or right.

Phelps could potentially break with the team. But probably not.

Pompey should get plenty of playing time early on. It seems that they'll try to trade him but if there is no return the Jays would try to sign him to play in Buffalo.

uglyone - Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 02:42 PM EST (#370378) #
"that he's high on Kevin Smith, perhaps more likely the SS of the future than Bo (2B?)."

fwiw, BP's milb defensive metrics suggest that Smith has been elite or near elite defensively at SS, while Bo has been mediocre to poor.

they also think vladdy has made clear strides at 3B all the way up to above average in his most recent stints.

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