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There is plenty of turnover among the Top 30 prospects in the Blue Jays system according to the 2019 Baseball America Prospects Handbook.

2018 Blue Jays second-round pick Griffin Conine finds himself in the middle of the 2019 Blue Jays prospect rankings by Baseball America.



2018 Blue Jays fourth-round selection Sean Wymer also landed a spot just inside the top 30 Blue Jays prospect list from Baseball America.


Here is how Baseball America grades each player, based on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale:

  • 75-80 - Franchise player/number one starter
  • 65-70 - Perennial All-Star/number two starter
  • 60 - Occasional All-Star/number three starter/game's best reliever
  • 55 - First division regular/number three-four starter/elite closer
  • 50 - Number four starter/elite set-up reliever
  • 45 - Second division regular/platoon/number five starter/lower-leverage reliever
  • 40 - Reserve player/fill-in starter/relief specialist

Risk factors for each player are as follows:

  • Low - Likely to reach realistic ceiling, certain big leaguer barring injury
  • Medium - player needs to refine tools but is fairly polished
  • High - Most top draft picks in their first seasons, has plenty of projection involved, player with significant flaw or worrisome injury history
  • Very High - Recent draft picks with limited track record or injury issues
  • Extreme - Teenager in rookie ball, player with significant injury history or struggles with a key skill (pitcher's control or hitter's strikeout rate)

The Blue Jays have the 3rd best system in MLB according to BA, up five spots from 2018 and 17 from 2017.

No.# Player Position Grade Risk 2018 Rank
1
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
3B
80  Medium 1
2
Bo Bichette
SS
65
 Medium 2
3
Danny Jansen
C
 55 Medium
7
4
Eric Pardinho
RHP
 60 Very High
6
5
Jordan Groshans
SS
60
 Very High
NR
6
Nate Pearson
RHP  60 Very High
4
7
Kevin Smith SS  55 High
26
8
Sean Reid-Foley RHP 50
Medium
11
9
Cavan Biggio 2B  50  Medium NR
10
Miguel Hiraldo SS  55 Extreme
17
11
Anthony Alford OF  45 Medium
3
12
Adam Kloffenstein RHP  55 Extreme
NR
13
Orelvis Martinez SS  55 Extreme
NR
14
Ryan Noda OF  50 Very High
13
15
Griffin Conine OF 50
Very High
NR
16
Cal Stevenson OF  50  Extreme NR
17
Patrick Murphy RHP 45
High
NR
18
Trent Thornton RHP 45
 High NR
19
Hector Perez RHP  45  High NR
20
Gabriel Moreno C  45  Very High
NR
21
Leonardo Jimenez SS  45 Extreme
NR
22
Billy McKinney OF  40 Medium
NR
23
David Paulino RHP  40  High NR
24
T.J. Zeuch RHP  40 High
12
25
Logan Warmoth SS  40 High
8
26
Sean Wymer RHP  40 High
NR
27
Elvis Luciano RHP  45  Extreme NR
28
Reese McGuire C  40 Hold
15
29
Rowdy Tellez 1B  40  Hold 21
30
Chad Spanberger 1B  40  Very High
NR

The biggest risers on the list from 2018 are Smith (26 to 7), Hiraldo (17-10) and Borucki (16-10). The biggest fallers from last year are Warmoth (25-8), McGuire (28-15) Zeuch (24-12) and Alford (11-3). There are 16 newcomers on the list, led by first-rounder Groshans and Biggio at five and nine respectively.

Top Rookie - Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Breakout Prospect - Adam Kloffenstein
Sleeper - John Aiello

Projected 2022 Lineup
C: Danny Jansen

1B: Ryan Noda

2B: Lourdes Gourriel Jr.

3B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

SS: Bo Bichette

LF: Teoscar Hernandez

CF: Kevin Pillar

RF: Cavan Biggio

DH: Randal Grichuk

#1 SP: Marcus Stroman

#2 SP: Aaron Sanchez

#3 SP: Eric Pardinho

#4 SP: Nate Pearson

#5 SP: Ryan Borucki

CL: Hector Perez

Best Tools
Best Hitter for Average: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Best Power Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Fastest Baserunner: Reggie Pruitt
Best Athlete: D.J. Neal
Best Fastball: Nate Pearson
Best Curveball: Eric Pardinho
Best Slider: Sean Reid-Foley
Best Changeup: Maximo Castillo
Best Control: Eric Pardinho
Best Defensive Catcher: Reese McGuire
Best Defensive Infielder: Kevin Vicuna
Best Infield Arm: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Best Defensive Outfielder: Jonathan Davis
Best Outfield Arm: Chavez Young
Baseball America's Top 30 Blue Jays Prospects For 2019 | 317 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 07:19 AM EDT (#370901) #
I didn't realize Vlad Jr. had that strong an arm. Also I never heard of Johnny Aiello and, after googling him, I just know he's an infielder drafted in the 14th round last year.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 07:36 AM EDT (#370902) #
hmm, that honestly looks like a pretty terrible job by BA, imom
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#370903) #
Things that jump out to me are:

1) There are very many high grades in the top 13
2) Hiraldo ranked higher than Orelvis seems to buck consensus
3) They seem extremely high on Noda and Stevenson
4) McKinney should be at least a 45, as a platoon player
5) The 2022 line-up seems way off

As for the 2022 Line-up I see it as:

C: Jansen
1B: Vlad
2B: Gurriel
SS: Bichette
3B: Smith
LF: Biggio
CF: Chavez Young
RF: Grichuk
DH: Hernandez

#1 SP: Pearson
#2 SP: Pardinho
#3 SP: Borucki
#4 SP: Reid-Foley
#5 SP: Patrick Murphy

CL: Perez
scottt - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#370904) #
Vladimir Guerrero had an incredible arm, would throw on a line from the outfield.
The thing with Jr is that the arm didn't show up at all in the outfield.


rpriske - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#370905) #
If Kevin Pillar is still the starting CF in 2022 something has gone wrong.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#370906) #
Isn't a forecast that has Hernandez in the outfield and Grichuk a DH dubious on this basis alone?
scottt - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#370907) #
The objectivity of the ratings is always suspect.

Let's take Tellez for example. He looks like a solid platoon first baseman.
By definition that's a 45 rating, but he scores a 40, bench player. Not a lot of teams would carry a bench player who can only field 1B. The Yankees plan on using Lemaheu at first, he had an 88 OPS+ last year. I'd just put a guy like Hernandez or Gurriel at first against lefties.

Same for McKinney.

The mlb pipeline list is similar, but everybody there is scored 45 or higher.

I haven't seen enough of Davis' defense to comment.

Risk seems to be a measure of level reached. AA/AAA/MLB medium, A High, R Extreme.
Hold is for a guy blocked at AAA?

Overall, it's not too different from other lists.

bpoz - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#370908) #
Not enough proof reading. R Tellez RHP.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#370909) #
Nice list. 15 of the 30 are in AA or higher. I did not count E Luciano.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#370910) #
Tellez and Spanberger being put in the same class, when they're half a year apart in age and Rowdy had a great cup of coffee in MLB last year while Spanberger struggled in a callup to A+ last year seems more than a bit bizarre.

Or Noda being 1 year younger than Tellez and all the way down in low-A.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#370911) #

Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB Mark Shapiro pointed to the Phillies TV deal as one reason they were able to spend so much money this offseason. So I asked whether#BlueJays were getting a fair shake in their deal with Sportsnet. Here is his full answer:

who wants to take a shot at translating that garble?

is shapiro taking a shot at ownership here? or am I being too optimistic?
eldarion - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#370912) #
That strikes me as a fair and honest answer. He says definitively that their TV rights deals are audited by a committee - something I didn't know previously. And he's right when he says the Canadian market is more regulated than the American market. He ends on a optimistic tone and I think that's reasonable.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#370913) #
It is hard to fully understand the details that Shapiro spoke of. But I think he is saying that the Jays are quite healthy in this area.

Near the end of this chat, it seemed to me that he said that "revenues increase based in a higher winning %.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#370914) #
If you flip Noda and Tellez, as well as Hiraldo and Orelvis the list makes a lot more sense. Noda and Spanberger are much closer prospects than Tellez is to either.

That entire statement by Shaprio was hard to read on any level.
James W - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#370915) #
It seems to me that the question was "Boy, look at all the revenue the Phillies get from their TV service, while the Blue Jays just give their's away to the TV network. What's up with that?"

And the answer is "The situation is audited. There are regulations."
hypobole - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#370916) #
Nothing wrong with Shapiro's answer. Typical corporate-speak, but not as inscrutable as some are making it out to be.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#370917) #
<i>Not enough proof reading. R Tellez RHP.</i>

Noted and corrected. Refund cheque in the mail.

Continuing with Baseball America, I have not seen any issues at Indigo/Chapters in a number of Vancouver-area locations since switching to a monthly format. I'm wondering if that's the case throughout Canada.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#370918) #
well, it's a bit inscrutable, as it seems to contradict itself.

i was wondering if i was just turnin soft and sunny in my interpretation.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#370919) #

Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB Another Rogers related question I asked this morning, is payroll set each year in isolation or are #BlueJays able to get a multi-year commitment from ownership. In other words, can they save money this year and make their budget bigger next year. Shapiro's response:

hypobole - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#370920) #
what is the contradictory part?
Nigel - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#370921) #
Audited in his answer doesn't mean audited in the normal usage of the word. Audited normally means that an independent third party auditor has looked at an issue like this (transfer pricing as between the team and the tv arm) and signed off on this. What he says is that a committee of owners have looked at the arrangement to decide whether the agreement should impact tv revenue sharing. Maybe that's an independent review, maybe it isn't. Maybe the revenue sharing committee thinks the tv deal is a joke but will let it stand so that they could stop making the old FX payments to the Jays. Who knows. But the deal isn't audited. His answer shouldn't give you any comfort (or discomfort) about that deal.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#370922) #
seems to be a contradiction between saying regulations/exchange rate depress revenues while also saying that there's no reason they can't have revenues as high as most anyone.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#370923) #
Sorry #2 J Brumfield. That was rude of me. I thought Baseball America was the author. I was a subscriber when it first came out. I regret not taking their offer of a lifetime subscription if I paid US$50 when they were on the verge of bankruptcy.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#370924) #
Some of the teams are poor like Cleveland I believe. Their fans should never complain about a lower payroll.

The Jays are not poor IMO and they also seem to have a good sized payroll. A bigger payroll can be afforded. Shapiro and Beeston in the past had to answer about the size of payroll without sounding derogatory about the owners. A very tough job that Shapiro is still mastering. Beeston was fantastic in this area.

If St Louis for example is like us, market size wise, I wonder if their fans complain.

Now the Miami fans have every right to complain. IMO.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#370925) #
Just saying they don't have access to some advertising revenue streams that US based teams have, but because our overall market is one of the best in MLB, there is no reason the teams revenues shouldn't also be among the best if the team is competitive.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#370926) #
Sorry #2 J Brumfield. That was rude of me. I thought Baseball America was the author.

Sorry I didn't give you the benefit of the doubt, bpoz. My apologies!

I still subscribe to the online edition of Baseball America but their recent decision to go monthly with their magazine is one that irks me. I enjoyed the 30 prospect stories every issue but then they rotated leagues each issue and cut back their content about a year ago which also bugged me. Plus, I have trouble with trying to read it offline with the Digital Olive software getting too many redirects as a message. Oh well, first world problems.
scottt - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#370927) #
I don't see a contradiction anywhere.
He said the value of the Sportsnet deal is overseen by the revenue sharing committee.
The deal is  worth less than you might think because they don't have access to US political ads--in the US the superPACS can spend as much as they want and they spend by the billions--or the drugs ads from Big Pharma--that's the main reason drugs are so expensive in the US. Just watch the Game Show Network for an hour, you'll see. So the other owners, including the revenue sharing ones, don't have an issue with what the Jays receive from Sportsnet.
He said that they can't control the exchange rate, not that it's a positive or negative effect, just something they can't control. Maybe Rogers has some leeway there, based on projection rather than actual value.
Than towards the end he states the overall revenues--not just the sportsnet stream--are among the best in the league.

scottt - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#370928) #
Solid 4 innings from Sanchez today. 1 hit, 3 Ks.
Rays pitching was pretty good and they lost 2-1, all runs charged to Tepera.

Some of the players are starting to move back to minor league camp.
The most interesting is perhaps Merryweather. No one expected him to start the season in Toronto, but it's unclear if he'll end up on the 60DL or not.

Pompey is supposed to be back tomorrow, but there's no word on Grichuk who hasn't played much so far.



85bluejay - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#370929) #
I see that astros former top prospect Francis Martes has been suspended 80 games for PEDs - Jays should be able to acquire him on a deep discount later this year (see David Paulino) especially because he's also recovering from TJ surgery.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#370930) #
Strangely I feel optimistic about our team this year.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#370931) #
Vegas isn't as optimistic. Jays over/under is at 74.5 wins. And the guy at oddsshark is recommending the under.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#370932) #
Iíd take the under as well. This is a bad offensive team (a line up filled with players who will struggle to post .300 OBPs), a bad defensive team (only two positions (RF, SS) and maybe CF and C) seem destined to offer average or above defence) and a pitching staff with many questions (some of which might be answered positively). Having said that, Iím optimistic that by July it will be an interesting team to watch.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#370933) #
We may not be any better than last year, but Vegas also has the 3 teams ahead of us in the division finishing with a combined 22.5 fewer wins than last season.
scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#370934) #
Martes is losing all pay and service time while on the DL because of this suspension.
Testing players on the DL can work out well for teams.

Martes tested positive for Clomiphene.
This is used for teating infertility in women.
It's no longer used in the treatment of breast cancer due to toxicity and side effects such as cataracts.

Used by a man, this will increase production of luteinizing hormone, which regulates testosterone, and follicle stimulating hormone. I was wondering if this was a masking agent, but it seems more like a testosterone booster.
scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#370935) #
You might see Jansen as a low OBP, bad defense catcher, but he should be the best catcher in the division.

The offense was similar to Tampa's like year. Guerrero and Jansen should be an upgrade over  2018. Defensively, Galvis is an improvement over everybody we had last year and Hernandez can't possibly be any worse.

It's the pitching that was awful last year and if Stroman and Sanchez both rebounds, they could be able to compete with Tampa for the 3rd spot.

I don't want to put odds on the performances of guys like Buchholtz or SRF.
There is upside.

Donaldson is hitting .200 over 6 plate appearances and Tulo is hitting .200 after breaking out of an 0-for-17 slump. I'm optimistic not having to rely on old guys anymore.

ayjackson - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#370936) #
I think there's enough decent dung being thrown at the wall in the lineup and on the mound to see some very interesting and exciting performances. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see 84 wins. It's not a lineup i have a firm set of expectations for either though.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#370937) #
My translation of UO's first quoted passage from Shapirolian to Greenish:

I, MS, suggest the following is all true of the Blue Jays' revenue base and current payroll:

1.   The imputed revenue associated with the high broadcast numbers on Sportsnet can be overstated. Advertising revenues in Canada are lower per capita because of significant limitations on political advertising [Shapiro is incorrect when he says that there is no political advertising, as we well know] and prohibitions on pharmaceutical advertising, among other differences between the Canadian and American advertising markets.
2.   Related party transactions such as Sportsnet-Blue Jays, NESN- Red Sox, YES- Yankees are overseen by a committee of 3 management representatives for purposes of determining fair revenue sharing amongst themselves.  I have sat on the Committee, but of course, recused myself when the issue of Sportsnet-Blue Jays was reviewed by the Committee
3.   The Blue Jay market is, nonetheless, one of the best in baseball.
4.   Our management team has not spent all to the limit of the payroll allocated for 2019 by ownership because we did not see a productive way to spend all of the money available to us, given our club's youth and relative lack of prime age talent.

Green speaking now.  It is telling that the CBA acknowledges that the Players Association has an interest in the Revenue Sharing Plan (Article XXIV, Section B, clause 4), but that the Commissioner or a Committee designated by the Executive Council (the Revenue Sharing Disputes Committee) is the Administrator of the Plan with no PA representation at all (Article XXIV, Section C, clause 1). The only thing that the owners have to do is advise the Association of any changes in the Administrator.  Calling Elizabeth Warren- after you're done with the big fish (Google, Facebook, Amazon), you might want to have a look at this wee little monopoly with a now-weak union. 

ayjackson - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#370938) #
So 3 points of fact accompanied by a dash of spin.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#370939) #
Because I expect a significant selloff come July, I'm taking the under - If you tell me there's no/very little selloff in July, then I'm assuming something magical has happened and the over it is.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#370940) #
So 3 points of fact accompanied by a dash of spin.

Something like that.  Would be better with gin instead of spin, but spinning is for tops only.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#370941) #
Because I expect a significant selloff come July, I'm taking the under

On a team loaded with 0-2 WAR players, how impactful would a selloff really be? There's no big fish whose departure will dramatically change the landscape (the one big fish would obviously not be part of the selloff).

Chuck - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#370942) #
I think there's enough decent dung being thrown at the wall in the lineup

Ain't no dung like decent dung! You know its springtime when even dung isn't so bad. Ah, smells like roses.

85bluejay - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#370943) #
I suspect the so called "audit committee" is there to check that a team doesn't do something egregious but it's mostly a rubber stamp.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#370944) #
Audited in his answer doesn't mean audited in the normal usage of the word.

You mean "audited", then. Like the way the Trump Organization is in a "blind trust". Don't leave your air quotes at home. You're gonna need them.

85bluejay - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#370945) #
Happy to see Pompey back in the lineup today - still hoping he knocks off Pillar before opening day - Pillar (fits the criteria the Giants are looking for),Gaviglio (better NL fit) and rights to Bergen for some lottery picks that don't require 40 man spots.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#370946) #
"Pillar...fits the criteria the Giants are looking for"

How so? Giants had an OBP of .300 last year. I'm sure Atkins talked to the Giants about Pillar, but other than being able to play CF,I don't see how he would be anything that fits.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#370947) #
In 2018 Giants ranked 28th in CF defense last year by UZR and 30th in wRC+. Literally anything resembling a major league center fielder would be an upgrade, and with their payroll topped out they need a cheap and affordable outfielder who will help the expensive core they already have. I think I have been consistent in saying I would not give Pillar away without a fair return, but the Giants are an obvious fit.
Spifficus - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#370948) #
To me, the Reds are a more obvious fit for Pillar, if/once they decide Schebler can't handle CF. The same goes for the Rockies and Ian Desmond. The Mets were a possibility before they picked up Broxton, and the Giants aren't likely to contend, so they're both in the next tier down to me. If the Phillies sour on Herrera's defense, there's a possibility there as well.
Spifficus - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#370949) #
Whoops. I forgot about Senzel for the Reds, so they're less likely.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#370950) #
Thank you Chuck, that made me chuckle. In all seriousness though, watching a Shapiro press conference is watching someone who is really good at the PR part of his job. The "audited" comment is a perfect example. That's hard spin (or elite spin rate:)), but you need to think about it a bit before you realize that. Very few people are able to do that. Compare it to an Atkins press conference. You generally end up feeling a little dirty afterwards - you can absolutely tell when he's spinning. I actually have no issue with spin - its all part of the job of senior management anywhere but particularly in media related businesses.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#370951) #
For me Shapiro did not have to say anything because I have most concepts "fixed" in my mind. I can usually identify which concept he is talking about. But being confused is ok with me because I feel comfortable being with the majority.

I like to back up what I will say because that is the fair/honest thing to do. I thought he said something about their competition but can't find that info anymore. So if he really did. Then that was about competing with NYY and Boston.

I don't think he said anything about success on the field being related to winning. I feel confident he knows that because it is a simple concept that repeats itself. So it is best that he does not talk about it this year. Telling us that we are losing and are in the bottom half of the league standings is 80% bad. The 20% good would be the higher draft picks and draft budget. I don't get excited by that.

He never said much about last years Sept call ups while it was happening. Of course that is not his department. I really enjoyed that phase.

uglyone - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#370952) #
honestly I don't think the spin helps. it's unnecessary and insulting.

just being honest here would work just as well, maybe better.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#370953) #
Did anyone listen to the Jeff Blair show this morning? I did not. He spoke to some Jays. D Jansen. Somehow Montoyo ended up in it.
Until Bucholz is stretched out the rotation according to Montoyo is Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Borucki and Richard.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#370954) #
I was checking some prospect stuff. Colorado sent us Bryan Baker in the Oh trade. RH relief pitcher who can throw 100 mph like Jackson McClelland.

I would love to see someone like that make our pen.

Chuck - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#370955) #
just being honest here would work just as well, maybe better.

Not being sarcastic here, but what is his motivation to be honest? A dramatic change in behaviour will only be required if the current way of doing business proves terribly problematic. If the malarkey has no deleterious effect, apart from some grumbly fans calling bullshit, then what's to make it stop?

hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#370956) #
I fail to see the dishonesty in what Shapiro said.
Michael - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#370957) #
In the 2018 midterm election year political TV ads were less than 5% of the tv ad market. And drug companies are between 2-3%. That isn't nothing, but politics and drugs don't really cut it as excuses for spending on ads. If the related transactions were "audited" by the players association or the fans maybe it could be credible, but by other owners it is unlikely to be hard hitting and fair.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#370958) #
What incentive would teams receiving revenue sharing, like the Rays, to simply rubber stamp Yankees/Red Sox and yes even the Jays broadcast revenues? Why would the Rays, or other cheap teams like the Marlins, Pirates etc. allow much wealthier teams to take money out of their pockets?
Nigel - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#370959) #
hyperbole - you could ask the same question about why the smaller teams allowed MLB to change the draft system to the benefit of the large market teams (by largely removing the compensatory picks) or why MLB doesn't create a true international draft to eliminate the international free agent market (which again benefits the large market teams). There are many examples of MLB organizing its affairs to the benefit of the large market teams - not surprisingly.



Nigel - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#370960) #
To be clear, I don't know all the ins and outs of advertising revenues. Maybe the Jays TV deal is FMV and maybe it isn't. Even adjusting for differences in the way US and Canadian ratings are calculated and for some "big picture" issues on how US and Canadian advertising dollars are spent, the Jays TV deal doesn't appear like FMV but that's all spitballing. What I do know is that when Shapiro said it was audited, that was spin and it was spin to create the impression that it has.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#370961) #
Hypobole- sorry about the autocorrect on your user name.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#370962) #
I don't know all the reasons that revenue receiving teams may look the other way but for example there has been the widespread perception that small market teams pocket much of that revenue instead of using it to spend on players as its intended use - large market teams could demand a more thorough audit of that scheme - in the end it's the players losing out so I don't think the owners care unless something egregious like the Jays listing TV revenue as say 10m (Last I read the jays listed their sportnet revenue as 36m)
hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#370963) #
Disagree on the compensatory picks. They were largely removed to (supposedly) benefit players. Rich teams now give up more and receive less for FA's. Opposite for revenue sharing recipients.

And the system now for IFA's prevents teams like the Yankees and Dodgers from blowing far past the supposed limits, like they have in the past. Draft won't make much difference to team, would just screw the kids even more than they do.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#370964) #
Not many believers in Occam's Razor here.

Anyway, the one point will agree on is the political ads comment was misleading.
ayjackson - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#370965) #
Sarcasm aside, no one here knows what level of audit is involved with intercompany transfer pricing. These owners are competing, however and I doubt they are going to "rubber stamp" NYY's funneling of margin off to YES instead of into revenue sharing and luxury tax. Also, speaking as someone who spent the last 11 years of my professional life at EY, the term "audit" may well fit the task, if they can determine that the pricing is reasonable in all material respects. This should be fairly simple with the available data benchmarking from sports and media consulting firms.
scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#370966) #
The US TV ad market has been around 60something billion for years.
The top source in 17-18 was Tech companies. Mostly telcos like AT&T.
In second you have Media companies, a bit redundant, but think Hulu or Sling.
Pharma is in a solid third place with over 6 billion. That's about 10% of the market, sorry Michael.

That wasn't an election year, but if Shapiro brought that up, it's probably because he has glossed over the YES numbers.

What does it mean for Sportsnet? The CRTC publishes their numbers.
If I look at the 2012-2016 charts, it's all over the place.
There are huge fluctuations. Kinda hard to put a value on anything.
For example, in 2016, the revenues were up by 50%.
Expenses were up likewise, so it's not like Rogers is just cashing it all.
Profits were up considerably, for sure, though.
About half the revenues are from subscriptions and half from advertising.
Maybe some of the money in the earnings section (less than 100M) could be moved to the expenses and go to the Jays (already over 400M).  Maybe they already overpay.
I bet last year's numbers tell a different story.

I don't know why you'd want a real audit firm looking at this.
Companies like Andersen Consulting or KPMG are nothing more than certified money launderers. .
They'll certify anything if you pay them.



scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#370967) #
It's the players union who has forced the ownership in regulating the International money and possibly the drafts. Same with draft pick compensation. I actually think the result is pretty good.
Starting with this year or next, the penalty for exceeding international pools goes up and the amount of money that can be transferred to teams like the Yankees go down. It's all good.
In the US, you can scout the top schools and college. In other countries, players don't go to college. They would have no leverage to negotiate if they were drafted. Team make large efforts in finding the players and developing them. It can get pretty messy outside the DR. Now Cuban players can be signed directly. The Jays for example have signed William Gaston, a 22 year old cousin of Sandy Gaston on December 20.

grjas - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#370968) #
Companies like Andersen Consulting or KPMG are nothing more than certified money launderers. .
They'll certify anything if you pay them.

Now the conversation is becoming silly. Let the games begin.
scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#370969) #
The answers are predicated by the questions.
When are the Jays going to contend and when are the Jays going to spend more are terrible questions.
It's like at work when people ask if the layoffs are done. We've been doing layoffs for 19 years and we'll keep merging with other companies and laying people off on a quarterly basis. Why are you still asking?

Some people think the Jays could sign Kimbrel and flip him at the deadline.
Clearly, he wants a contract that will make him hard to move.
Harper was a 13 years commitment from the Phillies.
Would Rogers even let Shapiro do that? That could be  many years of dead money.




scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#370970) #
Silly but true.

Auditors are paid. Usually they are not neutral. When they are, they cost a fortune and will bill you excessively without justification. It's like the honor system. Except nobody audit them.

My son used to play baseball with the nephew of the Auditor General.
Nice people. Expensive lifestyle.

grjas - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#370971) #
I was in the industry for decades. Lawsuits that exceed insurance limits come out of Partnersí pockets, which is pretty powerful motivator for getting it right.

Mistakes happen, but incompetent partners lose their licence, and corrupt partners can end up in jail, which happens from time to time.
grjas - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#370972) #
And one more point, then Iíll be quiet. Audit work is independently reviewed by CPAB in Canada, and firms can be punished for poor results. Partners within a firm who perform poorly will have shares reduced or be terminated. There are lots of motivations for getting it right.
scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#370973) #
Let's just pursue the idea of an audit.

We're not talking about a criminal audit to determine if there is fraud.

Rogers, Sportsnet and the Blue Jays are vertically integrated businesses.
That's perfectly legal.

The broadcasting rights collected by the Blue Jays are subject to the MLB Revenue Sharing rule.
This creates a conflict of interest.
Because of this, it's in the interest of the MLB Revenue sharing recipients, that the Blue Jays receive "fair market value" for those rights. It's almost impossible to figure out what the actual market value is, because there are no other baseball club operating in Canada. It's not an actuarial calculation.
As long as the representatives of the Revenue Sharing recipients have no issue with the deal, everything is fine, because they are the conflicting interests. The fans who would like a bigger payroll are not.

scottt - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#370974) #
Companies go to court for cooking the books and then charges are dropped and nobody goes to jail.
it's a sordid affair.

KPMG working with CRA to funnel money to off-shores account is blatantly criminal.
And nothing gets done about it.
Accounts gets leaked, the press talk about it. And nothing happens.They have a gala.
That is one 10 year ban I would have liked.

I've just mentioned 2 companies who are known to have broken the law without consequences.
Independent reviewers have no incentives to find faults.
It's like the Ombudsman for Banking Services who reports to the Banks and find no issues with 95% of complaints.

ayjackson - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#370975) #
scottt, you're citing a group of individual partners who will or have been prosecuted if guilty. every firm likely has a few bad partners that are capable of fraud. my experience is the checks and double checks on independence/quality are incredible...to such a point that I know several partners at my former firm and others, good people who made small (legal) mistakes, that have been fired by the firms they work for because of the principles of independence or quality. the external and internal review process is exhausting and very stressful on the partners and their professional staff.

I've worked in government, in industry and for a Big 4 firm in my career, and without a doubt, the professionals I worked with at the Big 4 are the cream of the crop when it comes to competence, professionalism, and ethics.

The bad eggs usually get found out soon enough. I can't speak to what the public accounting world was like before Enron and Arthur Anderson, but when a firm is shuttered, it seems like the system works...and the regulation of the profession has been suffocating ever since.

i generally enjoy your contributions to the site, but your remarks on accounting firms are well wide of the mark.
jvictor - Wednesday, March 13 2019 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#370976) #
what would the the t.v. rights to the blue jays fetch on an open market? one of the biggest local t.v. markets in north america. add the r.o.c. and we're talking top 5. what are those t.v. rights worth?
John Northey - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#370977) #
I'm guessing have 5 players at 60+ (potential All-Star) with one at Franchise Player level (Vlad..duh) is a rare thing. What do other teams have in that respect, or the Jays in the past? I don't have a BA subscription or I'd check.
hypobole - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#370978) #
MLB and the MLBPA reached an agreement that there will be only 1 trade deadline, July 31, starting this year.

Next year, rosters will be 26 man, with max 13 pitchers. And September rosters will change from 40 to 28 man, 14 pitchers max.
grjas - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 02:16 AM EDT (#370979) #
Iím curious to see how the Stroman contract situation plays out. If he meets the highs of prior years, will they actively seek an extension or wait to flip himin July?

I still worry about the depth of our starters two or three years out and would prefer to see one proven veteran in the mix, provided he demonstrate that last year was an anomaly.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 03:41 AM EDT (#370980) #
ayjackson - your comments about the integrity of the vast majority of audit professionals are bang on. Thank you, I was going to make a similar comment, but you said it very well. I am an accounting professional, and used to work in audit myself. It is a very tightly regulated and honest profession which serves a vital purpose in our society. Without audits, the financial statements of publicly traded companies would be totally unreliable, and investing would be impossible. You said scottt's remarks were well wide of the mark. I would add that I found them highly offensive.
AWeb - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 06:52 AM EDT (#370981) #
The 26 man roster change is a good change, given the limit on pitchers. 13 position players for 8 positions, plus a DH, seems like it should be enough.

Limiting the September rosters to 28 games also seems like a good idea to me. It does pass a basic test I like to apply - if you were starting from scratch where no expanded rosters happened at all, you'd never suggest adding up to 15 extra players, doubling the size of the bench and bullpen. Imagine if any other sport did that - like hockey going to 35 man rosters (20 is the limit now, + 3 healthy scratches) for a month, during the playoff push. The 40-man roster (most teams didn't use quite that many of course) makes some games almost unrecognizable, with pitching changes, pinch runners, pinch-hitters, etc. These in-game moves work best, in my opinion, when they are limited resources, so there's a real trade-off strategy to them.

Interesting trade-off for the players. A full-time roster spot year-round versus losing maybe 100 extra MLB roster spots for a month. Seems like a big change to happen outside a union deal negotiation.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 07:09 AM EDT (#370982) #
I would have preferred to keep the September rosters at 40, limiting 28 active for a game - allowing young players to still get a feel for the big league life while limiting all the in game changes.
blu-j - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 07:28 AM EDT (#370983) #
I may have missed the link to the story covering the proposed changes.  Here's one to the ESPN article (they focused on the $1 million bonus for the HR Derby, but they eventually discuss the other changes).
The one I found most interesting is the three-batter minimum for pitchers, along with the limitations for position players pitching.
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26259301/sources-mlb-deal-includes-1m-hr-derby-bonus
No more one-batter righty/lefty specialists?
scottt - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#370984) #
The right thing to do for teams not in the playoffs will be to simply release players on the first day of September to make room in the 28 roster. For example, last year, Clippard and Estrada could have been released. Maybe you can sent a guy like Borucki down on the last day of August to make room for SRF. Maybe you want to see less of Biagini and more of Paulino. This would make me more weary of long contracts. On a one year deal, you can release anyone. This also gives you an excuse for not bringing up Guerrero Jr, there's no room left on the roster and we really want to have a look at X and Y.

The elimination of the August trade deadline is more interesting.
Players get injured in August too. Teams will probably acquire super utility guys in July and an extra pitcher, just in case. Does McCutchen gets traded to the Yankees a month earlier or does he go somewhere else for less while the Bombers are forced to play one of their top outfield prospects, like Florial out of A+? Who wants to start the clock this early?


scottt - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#370985) #
I wonder why they want to make the bases bigger. Because of Machado?
Or is it to help the runners keep contact on the base after a steal?

I think the most predictable outcome of changing the mound in the middle of the year will be that you do not want to change the mound in the middle of the year. Other words, pitchers will struggle to throw strikes.

I love the robo ump though.
I can't wait to see an elite pitcher throwing a fit because he doesn't like a call.
It should advantage hitters. The good hitters don't rely on strikes being called balls and they swing if it's close.
scottt - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#370986) #
They have Buchholtz to flip. I'd be surprised if they trade both Stroman and Sanchez.

Stroman get the opening day start. That's the right call.
Solid 4+ innings yesterday.
Paulino couldn't get an out yesterday against Baltimore.
Again, they scored 3 against Cashner but did little against the AAA pitching.

Logically, Baltimore will try hard to move Cobb, Cashner and Bundy and then focus on free agents on 1 year deals. It's probably going to be a buyer's market for starters.

AWeb - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#370987) #
How many deadline deals happen because of injuries occurring during August? Although I'm sure it didn't happen for this reason (the players or owners must have put some value on it), I think this is a fan friendly change. It should make it harder for teams to give up and trade their best players, and provide roster continuity.

I agree with 85bluejay on preferring a 40 man roster with 28 active, but I can see why owners would fight that one - why pay a MLB salary to a non-player? I don't mind the trade-offs on the roster.

Moving the mound back mid-season in the Atlantic League will be chaotic for at least a few games, with pitches trying to adjust and hitters having to work out the new timing (ever go from fast-pitch to slow pitch softball?) but I can't see any scenario where it doesn't help hitters long-term. The basic idea is that the further back pitchers get, the easier it is for hitters. The problem, such as it is in MLB, isn't total runs scored, it's the way those runs are being scored (HRs instead of consecutive non-HR hits). Runs per game are pretty much historically normal, despite the ever-increasing K rates, because increased HR rates are offsetting it. More mound distance seems like it should increase walks, decrease strikeouts, and make it easier to hit the ball harder. Does bunting suddenly become more viable too? The other changes the Atlantic league will test out (removing shifts, limiting mound visits, 3 batter minimum) also seem like they would, if anything, marginally increase offense.

Not sure about the robo-umps - the current strikezone is called more like a circle than a rectangle. The upper corners of the zone, especially, might be a bigger pitching weapon if they are strikes more often. Might end being a pretty neutral change.

Larger bases is just odd...not sure what consequences flow from that, or even what issue is being addressed. More bag space for ads?
uglyone - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#370988) #
They should just get rid of the mound altogether.

Not sure why there's a need to give the pitchers that unfair advantage.

Imagine there was a hitting mound?
Mike Green - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#370989) #
Moving the mound back is a weird one.  If it sticks (and I don't know whether it will), I wonder whether one impact will be to incentivize the fine-fielding ground ball pitcher.  I think of someone like Marcus Stroman.  If he's 2 feet further back, he can get a fair number of balls up the middle.  This would presumably allow slight adjustments to positioning so the other fielders get more of the balls in the 3-4 and 5-6 holes. 
85bluejay - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#370990) #
Grichuk not in lineup again today - only 10Ab this spring - definitely a worry - that planter fasciitis problem may mean a DH stint to start season.
cascando - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#370991) #
" They should just get rid of the mound altogether. Not sure why there's a need to give the pitchers that unfair advantage."

That's sort of a weird way to look at it. Why does the strike zone only extend across a portion of the hitter's body? Why does a foul ball count as a strike? Why isn't the plate wider? Why do you get 4 balls but only 3 strikes? Why aren't the fences 100 feet tall?

The beauty of baseball is the balance. The spike in strikeouts and HR appears to be throwing things off a bit, from what we're used to, so it's natural (and positive) that those in charge are considering adjustments.

bpoz - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#370992) #
The 2017 WC teams were NYY and Twins. But on July 20, 2017, the wins for Boston 54, TB 51 and NYY 49. The last 4 AL teams were Jays 44, Oakland & Detroit 43 and CWS 38.

CWS definitely out of it. TB and NYY held the 2 WCs. Baltimore was at 46 with 5 teams ahead of them for the 2nd WC. So maybe Baltimore is still in it. IMO there would be disappointment in Baltimore if they sold at the July 31 deadline.They did manage to take the AL East basement from the Jays on the last day. I think.

I think things can become very fascinating with only 1 trade deadline. Any thoughts?
uglyone - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#370993) #
I don't see the mound as the same as those rules at all.

what purpose does the mound serve?
cascando - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#370994) #
Well, that's kind of my point. What "purpose" do any of these rules serve except to help establish the balance between offence and defence? Change any of them and the balance will shift.

You note that it is an advantage for the pitcher to get to stand on a mound. Well... yes. If you get rid of the mound, and move the rubber in 5 feet, is that suddenly fair? Or maybe get rid of the rubber as well. Sort of unfair that a pitcher gets to generate velocity by pushing off a rubber.

Anyway, one objectively cool thing about a pitcher's mound is that it makes breaking balls both more possible and more impressive. That would be tough to lose.


AWeb - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#370995) #
The mound provides an advantage to the pitchers* (extra velocity, steeper angle of pitches) that, if you wanted to offset it in a situation with no mound, would require the pitcher to be closer to home. Given how dangerous it already is on the mound, being closer would be that much more dangerous.

*We know, most obviously, that higher pitching mounds advantage the pitcher because when they lowered (standardized really) the mounds in 1969 5 inches, runs jumped by 0.6 runs per team.
uglyone - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#370996) #
the point is that the mound always seemed like a weirdly artifical advantage. not to mention a dangerous obstacle in the middle of the field.

so if we're trying to rebalance offense vs pitching, why not just get rid of the mound? at least we wouldn't have to worry about players injuring themselves on it.

we didn't need mounds when I was a kid. we did need bases. we did need balls and strikes. we did need foul lines.

mounds? completely unnecessary.
James W - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#370997) #
https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/pitcher%27s_mound
bpoz - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#370998) #
We must keep the mound. Stroman and Pardhino are short pitchers. This weakens our rotation IMO.
uglyone - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#370999) #
nice link, james.

so mounds were just created by teams to give their guys an advantage. makes sense.
hypobole - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#371000) #
I imagine the moving back the mound idea is two-fold. First is to give a bit more advantage to hitters. But from a safety standpoint, it gives pitchers an extra split-second to avoid line drive rockets hit right at them.
AWeb - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#371001) #
It does occur to me that if you take out the mound, pitchers would be a lot more likely to be on balance when they follow through and thus less likely to be victims of a 110mph line drive. But you'd still have to move them closer to not make it easier for the hitters (less velocity, easier pitching angle), which I think would make it more dangerous overall.

Not sure how mound-related injuries are a concern. I don't recall anyone getting hurt tripping over the mound area, it's just not in play very often.

The weird thing with the possible rule changes is that MLB is in a perfectly normal place in terms of total offense, and nothing that is being proposed would do anything obvious to promote a different hitting strategy (currently: try for HRs, don't worry about Ks). Taking away the shift, for instance, helps sluggers the most since contact hitters aren't generally shifted much. Same goes for lowering Ks through another means - it's the most helpful to those who strike out a lot already.

Making pitching and defense harder (further mound, no mound, no extreme shifts, fewer pitching changes) could lead to another silly-ball era. That's fine I suppose, I enjoyed high scoring baseball too, but it's not typically a stated goal even though it's implicit in everything proposed. The one thing MLB can do, and has always denied doing on purpose, is deaden the ball, just to 2014 levels, when scoring was at a recent low point.
bpoz - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#371002) #
The Vegas odds were posted. Jays 74 wins? Would they change their odds/prediction at the end of May? About 50 games played.

I am not thinking about the Jays so much as the NYY. Severino and Sabathia have not pitched at all in ST. Tanaka, Paxton and Happ are the vets. L Cessa and J Loaisiga have pitched a lot in ST. I don't know who will actually be their 4th and 5th starters. It could be a weak rotation. Happ may do 200 innings. Tanaka most likely not. Paxton too is iffy for 200 innings.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#371003) #
I wonder if there's any studied analysis of correlation between mound distance and Tommy John. I can see the epidemic being a motivator to change things for health of pitcher but can't see (yet) how mound location would affect things.
uglyone - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#371004) #
how about correlation with mound height? anyone?

here's a start:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080323210203.htm

"....The study focused on determining if there is increased stress on the shoulder or the elbow based on the height from which the pitcher has thrown. A kinematic analysis provided information regarding pitching motion (position and velocity), while the kinetic analysis determined the forces and torques generated at the shoulder and elbow.

"We found that compared to flat ground, pitchers using a 10-inch mound experience an increase in superior shear and adduction torque in the shoulder -- meaning there's a greater amount of stress on the joint surface and surrounding structures. That greater stress may result in injury to the shoulder including tearing of the rotator cuff or labrum which may result in surgery and long-term rehabilitation. It also can make it difficult for the athlete to replicate the same throw and develop a consistent strike," Dr. Raasch says.

"The most notable kinematic difference was the increase in shoulder external rotation at foot contact. This probably represents a change in the timing of the foot contact relative to arm position, because the foot lands earlier in the pitch delivery during flat ground throwing than with a slope," he says.

While the study did not result in enough data to recommend reducing the 10-inch mound height, which became standard in 1968 and also used in college and high school baseball, Dr. Raasch says the findings give trainers information that can help them determine if pitchers would be better off practicing on flat ground especially after an injury...."
uglyone - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#371005) #
what other sport has a raised area for one player, anyways?

I always found it weird.
grjas - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#371006) #
Iíd prefer if they outlaw the shift. The game has deteriorated into Strikeouts and home runs as hitters focus on launch angles and long balls. I miss the singles, hit and runs and SBís that made the game more interesting, at least in my opinion. The change is not solely due to shifting, but it does have an impact.
Gerry - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#371007) #
Opening day is two weeks from today. Starting pitchers are now going deeper into games and most relievers are major leaguers or pitchers on the bubble. That means that hitters are facing better pitching and hitters performance from here on is more relevant than what they have done to this point.

Summary: It's time to start paying attention to the box scores.
AWeb - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#371008) #
Outlawing the shift helps the players who go after longballs more than anyone else. Similar to lowering Ks helping those who strikeout the most, making pull-side grounders more valuable helps dead pull hitters the most. Players who spray the ball for singles aren't shifted against, it won't change anything for them.If a singles hitter can't crack the lineup now, they have even less chance if the power hitters get another advantage.
scottt - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#371009) #
The rotation will be Stroman, Shoemaker, Sanchez, Borucki and Richard until Bh gets stretched enough.
Grichuk hasn't played in a long time now.

Kacy Clemens pinched ran for Morales and scored the Jays run.
Haven't heard of him since the bar incident.
Mayza and Biagini have been good so far.
Luciano was the first guy out of the pen and got 5 outs today.
Bud Norris hasn't been in a game yet.


scottt - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#371010) #
The reason to outlaw the shift is to prevent pull hitters from putting the ball in  play and making a quick out. That's only needed because those hitters will swing for the fences on every pitch.
Gerry - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#371011) #
There was some action in spring training today. From Ben Nicholson Smith at Sportsnet:

Thursday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles threw an accountability bomb in a morning pitchers defensive drill, which focused on sprinting off the mound and covering first base. Seeing that 25-year-old right-hander David Paulino, who looked uninterested in his relief stint Wednesday in Sarasota and couldnít get out of his inning, was skipping his turn, Giles exploded. He walked over to Paulino, got in his face and unleashed a volley of expletives (actually, it was one expletive Ė the universal one Ė repeated over and over and over again) pointing out that he (Giles) had taken part in the drills and had done so again after screwing up the first time. Giles suggested that Paulino might want to take part if he wanted to be part of the team (in a manner of speaking) before Marcus Stroman and bench coach Dave Hudgens intervened.
ayjackson - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#371012) #
No Smiles Giles?
AWeb - Thursday, March 14 2019 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#371013) #
"The reason to outlaw the shift is to prevent pull hitters from putting the ball in  play and making a quick out. That's only needed because those hitters will swing for the fences on every pitch."
Right, but they aren't going to stop swinging for the fences every pitch if more of the "failures" become singles, they'll just get better overall results. These guys already made the majors hitting this way. Players in that mold who are currently marginal major leaguers become a bit more valuable. More of those players make the rosters. So for individual hitters it will increase singles a little bit, but it would force out marginal singles hitters in favour of all or nothing guys who can suddenly hit .225 instead of .210. The overall effect on MLB would be more HRs and fewer singles.
grjas - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 03:49 AM EDT (#371014) #
Well based on this research it does lower batting averages and reduces singles.

https://www.mlb.com/news/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-shift-c276706888

But I think there is a psychological impact as well on some hitters ... as per the article- ďThere's a few reasons for all the home runs in baseball these days, and the shift may be one of them. Justin Turnersaid as much when we asked last year, when he said "you don't beat the shift by hitting around it or through it, you beat the shift by hitting over it."


Ie hit it where they ainít now means over the wall.
scottt - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 06:16 AM EDT (#371015) #
Both Paulino and Giles came from the Astros for Osuna.
There's probably some history there.

Paulino could not get an out on Wednesday and might be working his way off the active roster.

scottt - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 06:29 AM EDT (#371016) #
It's disingenuous to suggest that pull hitters are trying to hit ground ball singles through the infield.
The shift works because the hitters have no answers for it. They will tell you themselves that they are not changing anything in their approach. Any adjustment that doesn't bring a counter adjustment will be successful.

The pitcher adjusts to the shift by throwing outside, the hitter counters by crowding the plate.
There's little else the pitcher can do and many are afraid to throw high and inside.

Even with the new rule, you can still adjust by moving the outfielders.
I'm not sure if the Atlantic league has enough power hitters to be a valid testbed.
How often is the shift used there compared to MLB?

At any rate, we still have at least 3 years of shifting to enjoy and complain about.

bpoz - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#371017) #
As Gerry said the real games start soon.

I would like a 2nd capable closer. Many of us are kind of ok with only winning 75 games. Stroman and Montoyo are against that. It seems.

Giles our most likely closer probably leaves in about 3 years. D Phelps signed a contract that has closer incentives. Probably the whole pen will be changed in 3 years.
PeterG - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#371018) #
The plan may be for Giles to leave in July.
bpoz - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#371019) #
Giles is not a FA until after 2020 I think. He is a good closer. If he can do that until July 31, how good a return does he fetch?
Thomas - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#371020) #
Paulino's been reported to have makeup concerns, to use a general term, going back to his days in Houston, which had been reported on prior to his suspension. If you had word there was going to be an incident between two teammates at spring training, I think Giles and Paulino would both have been on the short list of the players most likely to have been involved.
Mike Green - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#371021) #
Randal Grichuk is in right field and leading off today.  Perfect time for Charlie Montoyo to try that.  I think we are about to learn how significant good field management is (it's worth about 2 wins, I think).  The over/under on Blue Jay wins is 73/74.  I'd  take the over because of Montoyo- I think that they'll get about 76 as he is going to make the most of the roster. 

When the starting rotation was announced, it was Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Borucki and Richard.  It paves the way for Buchholz to replace Richard when Buchholz is ready.(assuming that there aren't any other injuries before then).  That should be a decent rotation. 
rafael - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#371022) #
Spring performances to March 15 make me think
- Tellez and Alfred's upsides are higher than off season ratings
- Bichette more of a sure thing
- Luciano has upside but so many fluid variables on keeping him - interesting to watch week by week.
Nigel - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#371023) #
Mike, I hope you are right. Montoyoís lineup and in game management choices will be significantly enhanced if the Jays management accepts that they shouldnít have 3 DH/1B on the roster (Smoak, Morales and Hernandez). Obviously, Iíd just release Morales, but moving on from any one or two of the three would make sense.
Mike Green - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#371024) #
I'm pretty sure that Hernandez will get the RH side of the corner OF platoon.  The best thing is if he gets an equal number of PAs or more as DH, with Morales getting half (or fewer) starts and some pinch-hitting work.  It's workable with all three, but of course, I'd prefer if Hernandez and Tellez were on the big club at the start of the season. 
lexomatic - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#371025) #
I'm not sure Grichuck has the skills to lead off, but well see.I still like Tellez and Alford, but competition hasn't been great, so spring performances for what they're worth,
Aren't especially useful.
Gerry - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#371026) #
Today in games that matter a little more...Kevin Pillar was the only hitter with two hits, one a home run. Freddy Galvis homered too. Grichuk, Maile and Teoscar started and were hitless.

Borucki, Thornton, Bud Norris and Tepera pitched well. John Axford took the loss by allowing four baserunners and two runs in the ninth while recording just one out.
hypobole - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#371027) #
Starting pitching is seeming to be a strength. Haven't heard of any red flags - velocity loss, mechanical issues, injury.
hypobole - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#371028) #
Just to clarify, by strength, I mean in comparison to the other aspects of our roster, not in comparison to elite starting staffs.
scottt - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#371029) #
Thornton made a name for himself by beaning Harper on the right ankle.
Ouch. Harper had only played 3 games and was 0 for 5.
That's gotta hurt the Phillies.

Norris had 2 Ks.
Axford seems back to his Jekkyl and Hyde routine.


scottt - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#371030) #
I don't know if Montoyo is going to squeeze more wins out of the lineup.
I'm just expecting the games to be more fun to watch because of better strategy.

What plays in the 73.5 win prediction is the rotation.
If healthy, Stroman/Sanchez/Shoemake/Borucki and Buchholtz bring the team win to 80+.
At this point, I have no idea what the other starters will do. They've stockpiled the arms in  Buffalo, so it should be better than replacement level. Still, the odds are that the starters will not all be healthy and that the substitutes will be replacement level.

If I had to put money at this point, I'd hedge to 77 wins, but I'll be disappointed if they don't finish over .500.


SK in NJ - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#371031) #
I am very curious to see if better positioning, more shifting, etc, will lead to better individual defense, especially for players like Teoscar who seemed to be much worse than advertised defensively since coming over.

I share the optimism about Montoyo. I'm not expecting him to be a miracle worker, but I think more often than not he will be getting the most out of the roster he is given. Of course time will tell.
dan gordon - Friday, March 15 2019 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#371032) #
I have no opinion on Montoyo as a manager, as I have never seen him manage. Let's see what he does in the first month or so. The starting pitching is starting to look like it may be a pretty strong group, once you add Buchholz and dump Richard. If Stroman, Sanchez and Buchholz have healthy seasons, the Jays' starters could be in the top 6 or so in the league, and the bullpen looks decent. Lots of power, not much on base ability. Maybe 80 wins is possible with good health. If they were in another division, with the easier schedule that would bring, I'd say 80+ wins was a good bet.
Dr B - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#371033) #
once you add Buchholz and dump Richard

Depends what you mean by dump I suppose. Thereís no good reason to put him in the rotation unless you are a fan of high scoring games. Righties have enjoyed his hospitality for a career OPS of 820. On the other hand, he has a career OPS of 625 against lefties, and it was 663 last year. I think one could find a use for that.
dan gordon - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 04:53 AM EDT (#371034) #
Well, I mean replacing him in the rotation with Buchholz.
bpoz - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#371035) #
A few words come to mind when describing the Opening Day rotation and its make up for this year.

A work in progress.
Transition.

Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker and Richard are all veterans. Buchhulz is another veteran that may join mid April. The potential is there that none of them are Jays after the trade deadline.

Borucki leads a group of young SPs breaking into the Majors.

Panonne is part of a large group of SPs who IMO are "less shiny". A pleasant surprise should emerge.
scottt - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#371036) #
Who knows what the market for starter will look like at the trade deadeline?
Right now it looks very weak with Keuchel and Gio Gonzales still unsigned.

Buchholtz is on a one year deal, but he'll have to provide value before I mourn his departure.
Richard is on the last year of his contract, but that's kinda moot given his track record and age.
Shoemaker, Stroman and Sanchez all have an extra year of arbitration left.
One could be traded, maybe 2, but the Jays will need value back,
The rules will change against before the 2022 season, but they Jays could offer a QO and negotiate an extension before any of these guys walk, and it would take a big return to part with Stroman and Sanchez given the status of those guys with the fans and where the team will be, that is, in need of ready arms not A ball prospects.

The team will need an ace soon and if not one of those guys, someone expensive on the free agent market.

For now, we see how well they pitch.

uglyone - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#371037) #
i like grichuk up top. a) he's one of our better hitters, b) even if his obp isn't great, he still sees a ton of pitches and has the right approach.
Mylegacy - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#371038) #
Not that the YES Network paid much attention to it...

I got the chance to see in person: Luis De La Santos, Joshua Palacios, Otto Lopez, Christian Williams, Ty Tice, Jake Brodt, Corey Copping, Brandon Grudzielanek, Gunner Heidt and Ryan Noda.

One of the things I really like about spring training is seeing guys I rarely (if ever) see in uniform on a field doing something. There may have been more BUT that's all I caught.
scottt - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#371039) #
Bichette keeps looking good out there.

Nothing to write home about today, but at least nothing worth getting death threats over either.

JohnL - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#371040) #
A quick circle-back to the CBA negotiations:

I'd be in favour of a clause that elimanates, or seriously restricts the use of the phrase "How [he/I] go[es] about [his/my] business."
lexomatic - Saturday, March 16 2019 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#371041) #
John I suspect that has more to do with hiring criteria favoring certain visual and auditory criteria instead of good language skills . A lot of butchery in sports media. Though a poet friend works at the Score, so...
scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#371042) #
I missed that Florial broke his wrist again.

Apparently there's a battle between Urena and Sogard for the 25th roster spot.
Sogard' s ability as a 4th outfielder could be the determining factor, even though Drury has played as an outfielder.

Travis seems to have difficulty walking and is probably heading to the 60DL.

It seems that McKinney and Grichuk will platoon in the lead off spot.

So it seems that Pompey's last chance would be for Pillar to be traded.

Thomas - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#371043) #
The Jays acquired Jason Adam from the Royals for cash considerations. Adam is another candidate for the bullpen, although I imagine he's more of a depth pickup and is likely heading for Triple-A.

According to Shi Davidi, Travis underwent surgery for a small meniscus tear, which makes the 60-day DL sound very likely, and Mark Leiter Jr. has undergone Tommy John surgery and is out for the year.
scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#371044) #
Adam has good peripherals. Seems to have 2 options left .
He's looked good in the spring so far.
There must be a catch somewhere. He has a history of multiple serious arm injures, maybe KC is afraid to pay him while on the DL?

scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#371045) #
I suppose Sogard would only be on the 25 until Guerrero comes up.
Bichette is probably the long term solution at the top of the order.
For this year though, Guerrero will start in the bottom of the lineup and work his way up and Bichette will spent at least most of the year in Buffalo.



hypobole - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#371046) #
From Walden/Rosenthal at the Athletic - Jays are finalizing a 50% pay increase for all their minor league players, the first MLB team to do so.

Might not go over well with some of the other billionare owners, but kudos to Rogers and Shapiro for taking the initiative on this matter.

https://theathletic.com/872732/2019/03/17/blue-jays-ready-to-embrace-change-finalizing-minor-league-pay-increase-of-more-than-50-percent/
bpoz - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#371047) #
Great news hypobole. I am proud of ownership and management.

Rogers has smart accountants who should be able to expense it for tax purposes.

Our young prospects may get stronger and become better athletes as well.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#371048) #
Yes. Kudos to the Jays FO for doing the right thing on minor league salaries. Progress.
hypobole - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#371049) #
Rogers has smart accountants who should be able to expense it for tax purposes.

Some of it. If it's a cost neutral move (or anywhere close to it), it would have been done long ago and other teams would have done it as well. Instead, MLB lobbyists paid to get the "Save America's Pastime Act" through Congress to prevent players from getting anywhere close to fair pay.
scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#371050) #
Minor league teams are sometimes owned directly by the big clubs, but most of the time, they are independent franchises with low revenues.

In this case, if the money comes from Rogers, it's a legit business expense.
However, corporate tax rates are pretty low.

The fair pay part is different from a living wage, because the minors, especially the low minors, is a form of apprenticeship. Many states have no minimum wages anyway.

Personally, I'm more concerned about the guys struggling to get by after signing a 5K bonus than the players who only get a few million, so I like it.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#371051) #
As long as Players stay healthy anyone can pick the 25-Man Roster. I donítknow when split-squad games stop for the Jays, but would like them to continue. Too many Pitcher need innings, too many Hitters need ABs with not enough to go around. Will Giles and Norris get enough innings to be effective for Day 1? Thatís my biggest concern.
hypobole - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#371052) #
Minor league teams are sometimes owned directly by the big clubs, but most of the time, they are independent franchises with low revenues.

The independent franchises have nothing to do with players salaries. Salaries are 100% paid by MLB teams.
hypobole - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#371053) #
"because the minors, especially the low minors, is a form of apprenticeship."

This is the argument MLB used to get the SAPA passed. But what exactly are non-prospect org guys apprenticing for? Almost all have zero chance of becoming MLB players, no matter how much time or effort they put in.
Spifficus - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#371054) #
It's so that, after they get their journeyman baseball practitioner, they can strike off on their own and open their own baseball organization, obviously. How else are you supposed to have any faith in their product?
scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#371055) #
I'm with you, but real org guys have a half-decent pay.
One issue is relocation costs, which affects married guys and guys being traded/promoted back and forth. The org guys are usually more stable. They're more likely to go on 7DL to accommodate the team then to go down to the other half of the country.

It's the late round draft picks and the cheap free agents who struggle while chasing a dream.

scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#371056) #
Well, honestly, I don't think counting the hours and paying overtime after 40 hours will ever fly.
That's pretty uncommon in the US.
I'm in Canada and we lost overtime pay even before HQ moved to the US.
The first year under the American regime, we got  Time Away from Work instead of vacations--which mean you get to use your vacations days for sick days just like the American employees.

But there's no reason for the wages to be less than 2K per months and rise from there.

grjas - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#371057) #
So it seems that Pompey's last chance would be for Pillar to be traded.

Hereís hoping. Jays already have a roster crunch before Guerrero arrives. Give Pompey a real chance and if he drops the ball..so to speak..hopefully Alford is ready in a few months. If you move Grichuk to centre, surely one of McKinney, Pompey or Alford can at least produce Pillar type numbers.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#371058) #
It is fantastic to see the Jays showing some leadership ion getting their players closer to a living wage. I found the comments by Cherington very encouraging and the Jays are lucky to have him in the fold.

There is no chance of a Pillar trade or Pomey making this team, people need to move on from that notion. I even wonder if he could clear waivers at this point, maybe Baltimore puts in a claim?

I also think Travis is pretty much done with this franchise. He simply canít stay healthy and there are a host of options at his position.
James W - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#371059) #
If you can be bold enough to say there's no chance of a Pillar trade, then I'll be bold enough to say there's no chance of Pompey clearing waivers.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#371060) #
Iíll stand by the zero percent chance of a pillar trade before opening day. I think a Morales release is more likely, but even that is a reach.

If anything I think Pompey gets claimed and waived by several teams trying to sneak him through waivers. He has faded hard in spring, has not been consistently healthy, and all the projections have him as a replacement level player. He needs a year in AAA to prove himself.
scottt - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#371061) #
Travis can go to the 60DL, and then rehab for a while. After that, you can probably outright him without anyone staking a claim.

I wouldn't say there is no chance of a Pillar trade. For sure, it's pretty slim.
If Pillar stay you have to sit him occasionally to get other guys in the outfield.
Grichuk can play center, but I'm not too excited bout McKinney or Hernandez in right field.
Also, when the roster goes up to 26, a guy with speed is a good fit on the bench.

Grichuk looked good today and Alford has been better than Pompey.
Maybe this goes down to the last day, in case someone gets injured.
A lot of teams will try to pass guys through waivers at the same time.
But if they got something for Smith, they could do the same with Pompey.

Gerry - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#371062) #
From the "games are close to getting real" department.....Dalton Pompey and Anthony Alford were red hot in the first week but have cooled a lot since then. Neither are pushing their way onto the team.

Bo Bichette has been consistently hot through the spring and Cavan Biggio has been hitting well more recently. Rowdy Tellez has also been consistent.

On the pitching side Thomas Pannone, Corey Copping and David Paulino have been hit around. Among established players Ryan Tepera has been poor.

Danny Barnes and Sam Gaviglio are trying to get on the team and both have been pitching well. Even though SRF is headed for Buffalo, he has been pitching well too.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#371063) #
Bichette for me has really stood out this spring and has really hit the ball hard, and his athleticism is better than I expected. I think Tellez is the other guy who looks like a major league hitter out there.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#371064) #
My ALS only allows me use of my left arm and Iím a natural righty. My left arm use is decreasing so I might not be writing here much more.

That said, the Jays can make room on the 40-man for Norris by Merryweather on the 60-Day DL. They can also make room for Axford by SFAing Pompey. Those are the most likely things that the Jays can do. Norris will be added soon, but Axford need not be until after Montreal when many Players get DFAed.
Mylegacy - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#371065) #
Gerry and Joe

I think Bo is my new "precious." I predict I will have fonder thoughts for Bo on my deathbed than I will for Vlad. AND - I suspect Vlad may make it to the Hall. I believe Bo will too!

Tellez continues to impress me. Day in day out. Smoak also impresses me - day in day out. I've a soft spot for Morales. A true "professional hitter." Morales looks like a Molina (YA - I know he's not a catcher but he's slow enough, ugly enough and fat enough to be one). I do love Molina's. One's team can never have too many Molinas. Sigh. Having said that I think I'm ready to keep Tellez and Smoak. Mr. Morales I love ya, but I want both Justin and Rowdy going forward.

I think in time - perhaps later this year - Alford might become a Grichuk. Grichuk is three years older and has a plethora of flaws and a few niffty tools. Alford would bring at least power and speed (and OK+ defense). Give him this year and lets see if he can climb the hill and sit on the flagpole. As painful as that image seems to be.

On the farm the pitching has some pretty trinkets and enough semi-shiny toys that at least one or two of the reasonably vast second level might surprise. Over the next two plus years at least a few of the second tier will have to force the issue for the team to have "good" pitching depth as things stand today.

The pretty trinkets are in the order I think their careers will end up from 1st to 3rd: Nate Pearson 22, RHP, 6'6" 245, Adam Kloffenstein 18, RHP, 6'5" 243, Eric "Stroman 2" Pardinho, 18 RHP, 5' 10", 155.

The semi-shiny tools include (in no coherent, thoughtful, statistical order): Sean Reid Foley, Yennsy Diaz, Hector Perez, T.Z. Zeuch, Pat Murphy, Jacob Waguespack, Zack Jackson, Jackson McClelland, Maverik Buffo (the name alone makes the list!), Zach Logue, Justin Maese (IF healthy - ever), Sean Wymer and probably about five or six more I'm forgetting.

Among the position players presently on hand I think a few of the following will become something more than we think they are now: Drury, Gurriel, Tellez, Urena, Alford, Grichuk, Hernandez and Pompey. I like that collection - I see some serious upside there.

I also see that Humans are genetically 98% Chimpanzee and that we swim in more or less the same "hormone soup" that makes both species laugh, cry, rape and kill. We Humans so desperately need to extend our "empathy" so that we can see beyond our race, tribe, god and or cult to appreciate the rainbow of races, cultures, and visions that makes our journey on Space Ship Earth so spectacular an adventure. At least while if can still support life.

Um... I sorta got off topic there...er...

I know, must be time for a scotch. Single malt of course!
Mylegacy - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#371066) #
Richard - I didn't see your post before I put mine up.

I'm so sorry. Might it help if you could call me and dictate what you want to say and I'll type it up and attribute it to you? Please feel free to call me at 250-655-4733, collect would be fine. By the way, my non-blogging Human name is Roger.

Stay as well as you can, as long as you can. My thoughts are with you.
bpoz - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#371067) #
Do the best you can Richard. I will always keep in mind your typing difficulties. So no need to get frustrated with any spelling or mixed up words.

I have a tablet. I am not good with computers but I think that there is voice recognition. If so then talk and ramble on if you have to. Forget being neat and pretty.

D Phelps, j Merryweather and D Travis can go on the 60 day DL. They have long recovery injuries.
bpoz - Sunday, March 17 2019 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#371068) #
Cheers Mylegacy. I am learning a lot about empathy. A fantastic comment. Hypobole, scottt and others have provided knowledge on the financial struggles of the $5K signings. Empathy.



John Northey - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 01:30 AM EDT (#371069) #
Agreed with Mylegacy - anything you need that those of us here can provide Richard just ask. Horrible what you are going through but hopefully you have lots of people in your 'real' life (IE: not online) who are supporting you and helping you through this terrible time. We may not agree all the time, but we all here would miss seeing you post, and all of us want you to have a long healthy life despite the horrible hand fate has given you.
Glevin - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 03:24 AM EDT (#371070) #
Richard, do your best to stay on here if you can. Don't worry about typos or spelling. Your voice is an integral part of this board.

Very happy the Jays are paying minor leaguers more. Apparently, they were already treating them better but this is a huge difference. Will it make a difference for the Jays? I think so. All this talk about organizational culture is a two-way street and when you invest in your players, your players invest more in you. Even people who don't need the money, can feel pride in their organization.

Pompey needed a good spring to make the team. I am happy the Jays are giving him another shot, but at some point, you have to cut bait. You can't just hand a job to someone who has done nothing to earn it. Spring isn't over yet, but he's almost run out of time.
grjas - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#371071) #
Richard- do try dictation on your phone or computer. If you are able to speak clearly- which I know may also be a challenge- youíll find itís pretty accurate, and while there might be the occasional crazy word that pops out, no one here will care. Weíd all like to ďhearĒ your opinion on Jays topics.
Gerry - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#371072) #
Reports from Florida suggest Pardinho has elbow soreness.
Mike Green - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#371073) #
When I read above that Pardinho has the best curveball in the organization, it did make me worry about his elbow.  He's so young. 
bpoz - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#371074) #
Thanks for the Minor league info. Keep it coming.

Opening day for Buffalo April 4. Weather may cause postponements like it did last year.
Gerry - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#371075) #
Good game for Pompey today, three hits. Teoscar and Drury also stayed hot with two hits each. Clayton Richard and Trent Thornton pitched well.

Thornton has probably pitched well enough to make the team but could still end up in Buffalo.
Nigel - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#371076) #
I take no issue with the idea that Pompey has reached the "prove it" part of his prospect life. Having said that, it was always going to be between he and Morales for a spot on the roster (assuming no trades). Which means there never was a place on the team for him. I am guessing that the reason that he has stayed on the 40-man roster is that the Jays hope that he clears waivers.
Mike Green - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#371077) #
Bichette and Biggio were reassigned to triple A.  Bichette particularly was very impressive in spring training.  I wonder what the crowds are going to be like in Buffalo early in the season. 
scottt - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#371078) #
It's kinda cold early on, but I hope they do really well this year.

We'll see the lineups in a few weeks.

bmac - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#371079) #
Richard - I'm a long time reader of BB but seldom comment. As time has gone on, and life become busier, I became selective of what comments I read but I always stop to read yours. Unaffected by sometimes the unruly debates, your posts always go straight to your point without regard to the heated and sometimes unruly debates. Hopefully you will still find a way to add your voice to discussions.
bpoz - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#371080) #
The Minor League teams have been playing games for a few days now. I cannot get any boxscores. I would be interested in the health of our best arms.
eldarion - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#371081) #
Thankfully, Pardinho's elbow soreness is reportedly 'minor'.
scottt - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#371082) #
It's always minor at this point.

They'll rest him in extended for a month for a while.

scottt - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#371083) #
The Yankees are apparently close to signing Gio Gonzales to a minor contract with an opt out on April 20. If he makes the team before that, he'd be looking at a base salary of 3M.

It's hard to see the Jays trading Stroman and Sanchez in such a market.
They would need to dominate to bring back a top pitching prospect.


hypobole - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#371084) #
It's always minor at this point.

Huh?
John Northey - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#371085) #
It does seem $ per WAR has crashed this past offseason, Harper and Machado being the exceptions. So far just those 2 and Patrick Corbin have gotten $100+ million contracts, heck, just those 3 are over $70 mil. Those 3 also are the only ones to get 5+ years. Just 3 got 4 years (A.J. Pollock, Nathan Eovaldi, and Yusei Kikuchi). Amazing that Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel are both still unsigned - both given QO but no deals yet. Both would be assets to a contender but few want to give up draft picks, international money, and $20 mil a year to get them as odds are neither will produce 3+ WAR a year for 4+ years. Keuchel has only cracked 2 WAR 4 times with just 2 of those being 4+ WAR. Kimbrel as a closer has cracked 3 WAR 3 times and been in the 2-3 range 3 more times which is very impressive. Still, he is nuts to expect $20+ a year for 5 years.

It looks like the market has shifted. The high end, 4+ WAR guys will still get lots. But 1-2 WAR's are no longer valued. It is like replacement value is now in the 1-2 WAR area.

I give the players union some credit getting the 26th man added for next year - that will do more for the players than anything else as it creates another 30 jobs for hitters from the sounds of it.
Thomas - Monday, March 18 2019 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#371086) #
Last year, Gio Gonzalez had a 4.16 FIP over 171 innings. In 2017 he had a 3.93 FIP over 201 innings. In 177.1 innings, his 2016 FIP was 3.76. He had 32 starts each of those three years. Gonzalez accumulated 2.2 pitching WAR last year.

I'd rather the Jays have spent an extra $1.5 million on top of what they are paying Richard to sign Gio (I know, he probably doesn't sign the same contract with the non-contending Jays).

However, as pointed out above, this is not a great sign for the value of non-elite starting pitchers without significant team control. Stroman and Sanchez have youth and more promise than an aging Gio Gonzalez but the fact Gio can't secure multiple guaranteed years and, on a one year deal, will earn less than Sanchez does in 2019 and will make less than half what Stroman will in 2019 demonstrates that Toronto can't expect that much back for either unless they noticeably rebound.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#371087) #
gio has no bearing on the likes of stro and Sanchez, tho.

this fangraphs quick bio tells you what you need to know here:


Profile: 2017 seemed a bit off with a 1.50 point separation between Gio Gonzalez's ERA and SIERA despite a near two-point drop in fastball velocity, and 2018 served Gonzalez a plate of regression that is sure to discourage many for the upcoming year. Gonzalez's walk rate soared over 10% for the first time in eight years, his strikeout rate fell under 20% for the first time, and his 1.44 WHIP was its highest since 2009. His repertoire suffered greatly from a huge step back in his curveball, a pitch that routinely earned swings-and-misses held just a 9% swinging-strike rate last year, forcing Gonzalez to turn to his decent changeup more often as a put-away pitch. Without that big hook in his back-pocket, it will be tough for Gonzalez to return quality innings with a sub 90mph fastball and middling changeup and we may see Gonzalez go the way of James Shields and Ubaldo Jimenez shortly. (Nick Pollack)
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 03:27 AM EDT (#371088) #
Gio Gonzalez has a better career FIP than Dallas Keuchel, 3.63 compared to 3.72. Gio has 28.7 career WAR, Keuchel 18.2. Even if you start in Keuchel's 1st season, 2012, Gio has more WAR since then. Or, just looking at the last 2 seasons, Gio has 8.6 WAR, Keuchel 6.5, and Gonzalez was excellent last year after the trade to Milwaukee. Yet, Keuchel is the one looking for $20 mill a year for 5 years, and Gonzalez has to settle for $3 mill and just one year - he is 2 years older, but still... Even if Keuchel has to "settle" for 4 years at $18, say, that's $72 million vs $3 million.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 06:01 AM EDT (#371089) #
Gio has been healthy. Stroman and Sanchez haven't.

Ultimately, the best strategy might be to go the distance with Stroman and Sanchez.
Would any of them decline a QO? Even if they do, the Jays might be in a better position to resign them since they won't cost a draft pick than other teams.

It sure looks like there's going to be a lot of veteran arms available at the deadline.
It's not going to be a seller's market.

Thomas - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#371090) #
UO, no one is arguing Gio is a direct comparable for Stroman and Sanchez. He's older, he's clearly regressing and he hasn't hit the recent heights that Sanchez and Stroman each have.

The larger point I was trying to make is that Gio Gonzalez is now indicative of the type of pitcher that one can acquire on a cheap one-year deal at about 40% of the salary of Stroman.

So let's assume the Yankees wanted to trade Gio near the deadline for some reason. If I was a GM, I would pay a B- prospect to acquire Stroman, but I'm also locking myself in for a salary near $10 million for 2020. Or, I could acquire Gio at probably a lesser prospect cost, with a lower salary cost for me and without any long-term commitment. If I was a GM, I doubt I would be paying a B+ prospect to acquire Stroman unless Stroman had looked very good and Gio looked very bad.

The other way Gio is relevant is that, assuming teams are looking at trading for Stroman as compared to a different pitcher who may be a FA after 2019, that other team can look at Gio as being indicative of the type of pitcher who can be had very cheaply in free agency as compared to the commitment of nearly $9-10 million Stroman will earn in 2020.

And, since you quoted SIERA, Gio has posted a lower SIERA than Sanchez every year back to and including 2015.

(To be clear, I do think Gio will regress and I certainly wouldn't be in any rush to sign him to any long-term deal myself, the fact he can't get multiple years or more than $3 million was surprising to me.)
rpriske - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#371091) #
For one year I would rather have Gio than Stroman or Sanchez.

Of course the point of Stroman and Sanchez would be to get them for more than one year.

Glevin - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#371092) #
"For one year I would rather have Gio than Stroman or Sanchez."

I wouldn't. Maybe on a contender who needs bullpen depth, I'd rather have Gio than Sanchez. I don't see any scenario, I'd take him over Stroman. Gonzalez has poor control and below average stuff and both are declining. (3 straight years of increasing BB%, decreasing K %. 7 straight years of declining fastball velocity) Like Ugly, I don't see any connection to this and Stroman's market.
PeterG - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#371093) #
As Joel Sherman said of the Cio signing: "My reax to Gio signing: if he ever pitches for #Yankees it would mean something more than is currently known wrong occurred: another SP went down and/or Cessa/German/Loaisiga bombed because NYY like their arms/upside. Gio is insurance with a 4/20 opt out."
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#371094) #
$3 million is peanuts for Gio Gonzalez, on any view of the situation.  He's still missing bats at the same rate- last year, his control was not as good as it usually has been.  Maybe he gets used a little less and he can give you 150 pretty good innings with control more like his career pattern. 

I mean, Clayton Richard got 2/6 and maybe he'll be decent and he seems like a nice guy, but I can't imagine why you would prefer Richard to Gonzalez. 
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#371095) #
Cessa started 5 games and went 1-4 an ERA of 5.24.
German started 14 games and went  2-6 with an ERA of 5.57.
Loaisiga started 4 games and went 2-0 with an ERA of 5.11.

They're all expected to bomb. 

Severino was unbeatable early last year but tired at the end.
If he starts the year with a balky shoulder, he's not likely to improve on that.
Big Maple is always injured. CC is at the end of his career and has a heart condition.
Betances is currently topping at 92mph.

The Yankees' strength is their bullpen but relievers are usually the least predictable players.

Right now their strength is their easy March/April schedule.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#371096) #
Apology from me.  The Gonzalez contract is likely not for $3M.  It's a base salary and there are probably significant bonuses.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#371097) #
Apparently the Angels have offered Trout a mind blowing 12/430M extension.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#371098) #
Loaisiga And especially German could still become big time pitchers. They have great underlying numbers and big time stuff.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#371099) #
There are bonus, but the Yankees would be in the situation of trying to get rid of Gonzales as soon as they can. He'd have to be  amazing to collect those bonuses.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#371100) #
Cessa is out of options.

For the first 2 weeks, it will all depend on Baltimore pitching.


uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#371101) #
"So let's assume the Yankees wanted to trade Gio near the deadline for some reason. If I was a GM, I would pay a B- prospect to acquire Stroman, but I'm also locking myself in for a salary near $10 million for 2020. Or, I could acquire Gio at probably a lesser prospect cost, with a lower salary cost for me and without any long-term commitment. If I was a GM, I doubt I would be paying a B+ prospect to acquire Stroman unless Stroman had looked very good and Gio looked very bad.

The other way Gio is relevant is that, assuming teams are looking at trading for Stroman as compared to a different pitcher who may be a FA after 2019, that other team can look at Gio as being indicative of the type of pitcher who can be had very cheaply in free agency as compared to the commitment of nearly $9-10 million Stroman will earn in 2020."



this type of efficiency model isn't the end all and be all, despite what our FO thinks. better players are still better players, for most teams, and a better expenditure of resources.


The projections tell the tale here, imo. They see as 2-3 times more valuable than Gio.

bpoz - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#371102) #
I was going to say for a few days now that I had big doubts about NYY making the post season.

Of course they will still be in the WC conversation because they are the NYY. They may have to bash (offense) their way into the playoffs.

So Boston, Cleveland and Houston to win their divisions is probably what will be the predictions coming out a few days before the season starts.

WC predictions probably have TB and NYY as the top 2 picks. I always pick LAA and they always disappoint.

But like I said I am betting against the NYY.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#371103) #
Trout is under contract through 2020. So, is the extension offer from 2021-2032 or from 2019-2030?

There are 41 position players who have produced 40+ WAR from age 30 on.  The outfielders are: Ken Williams, Ichiro, Yaz, F. Robby, Sam Rice, Bob Johnson, Larry Walker, Chipper Jones, Rickey, Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, Tris Speaker, Stan Musial, Cobb, Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Barry Bonds.  There were a number of great outfielders in their 20s who did not make the cut: Ken Griffey Jr,  Mel Ott and Mantle being the big names, but also Kaline, Andruw Jones, Duke Snider, Cesar Cedeno, Reggie Jackson and Joe DiMaggio (who might have made it but for the war). 

Trout, Cobb and Mantle easily lead the pack in performance through age 26.  Trout has been pretty durable so far, and that will probably be the only issue for him. 
bpoz - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#371104) #
I agree with UO. Stroman repeating 2016 and 2017 is a #1. Gio can never do that. And he better not for the NYY.

As far as Sanchez goes .... By Early May or end of May we will have a ss of all 3 pitchers.

I am not taking into account how pitchers have an unpredictable horrible 2nd half like F Liriano and J Garcia did.
christaylor - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#371105) #
"I was going to say for a few days now that I had big doubts about NYY making the post-season."

This comment reminded me of my own doubts -- not that I have doubts that they'll make the post-season, I think BOS has been over-hyped. The Sox/Yankees will likely beat up on one another and the pen of the Yankees is pretty special while the SOX pen is not.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#371106) #
Trout is under contract through 2020. So, is the extension offer from 2021-2032 or from 2019-2030?

It appears that 10/360 would be added to the end of the current contract, running it out to 2030.

John Northey - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#371107) #
Trout's deal is amazing- $360 mil for 10 years after his current deal is done via MLB Trade Rumors. No opt outs for either side. He turns 39 in the final year of that deal. So based on history odds are the Angels will be eating the last 3 years of that deal, so lets say $360 mil for 7 years or $51 mil per year when he is more than a corner OF/DH who is probably breaking down by then. FanGraphs estimates Trout as being worth MORE than that in all 7 full seasons he has played. That is scary good. Over $70 mil 4 times. $60's twice and once he had a bad year, just $54 mil worth. For Comparison, Roy Halladay's highest value was $61 mil in 2011 for the Phillies. Bautista hit $61.9 mil that same year, his only one over $50 mil.

Yeah, Trout has been at an otherworldly level his whole career. Hopefully he can keep that up for the Angels. Just very, very happy he will not be a Yankee unless something horrible happens. Wonder what the Jays braintrust is thinking about Vlad and Bo now? Probably that the next 6-7 years better be something amazing as keeping it going past then will be extremely hard.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#371108) #
So christaylor, you are saying that you disagree with me and threw Boston in as being over hyped. Politely and well said.
It was scottt's polite and well explained reasoning on the NYY flaws that he saw that prompted me to hurry up and make my post.

I need to add an element of excitement to this season and NYY causing panic for their faithful would do the trick for me.

Anyone else have any thoughts on Boston and NYY struggling. I actually think Boston will cruise to the title. Reality always disagrees with me. That is why I prefer dreaming.
Glevin - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#371109) #
Borucki, Biagini, mckinney, and Mayza all make the club. No surprises really. Have to think Borucki starts if he's up unless the Jays do an opener sort of thing.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#371110) #
It appears that 10/360 would be added to the end of the current contract, running it out to 2030.

OK then.  Great deal for the Angels. 
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#371111) #
I'll be dissappointed if in this "rebuilding season", the jays choose to carry a number of vet retreads at the end of an 8-man bullpen at the cost of losing a guy like pompey outright.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#371112) #
I think it comes down to carrying Luciano as the 8th pitcher versus Pompey as the 5th outfielder, and I think they'll go with Luciano. I just don't really like going with Axford or Norris over some of the younger guys in the pen like Thornton, Paulino, or even Romano. I feel the team gives too many guys chances at starting over just turning them into dynamite relievers.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#371113) #
The choice is likely between Pompey and Luciano. Itís a choice that has arisen as a consequence of some other questionable roster decisions (Morales, Norris, Richard, et al). None of them are a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but as uglyone suggested, itís an odd position to put yourself in when you are rebuilding.
Jevant - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#371114) #
I similarly find this strange that it would be between two guys like this, and yet, here we are. I still think the solution is to deal Pillar, but at this point in spring training and without another natural CF on the roster, that's probably too much to hope for.

It is a little puzzling to me they were willing to jettison Tulo, but not Morales (at least, not yet). Even more than Norris and Richard, Morales still being on this team surprises me.
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#371115) #
If they go with a 7-man bullpen to start the season (Giles, Tepera, Norris, Mayza, Biagini, Axford, Luciano), they can keep Pompey and Luciano on the roster at least for the start of the season. The 13 position players would be Grichuk, Pillar, Hernandez, McKinney, Pompey, Smoak, Morales, Gurriel, Galvis, Drury, Jansen, Maile and either Sogard or Urena. You can always shuttle a reliever or two up/down for a while if need be. The crunch happens when Phelps, Buchholz are healthy and Guerrero is called up. Then you've got Travis to consider in May sometime, and possibly moving to an 8-man bullpen.
Glevin - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#371116) #
Don't see how Pompey gets kept. Jays have Grichuk, Pillar, McKinney, and Hernandez ahead of him. You don't need 5 OFers especially because Drury can play OF if needed and Pompey has done nothing to show that he is a capable major leaguer. There are two other factors people don't consider:

1) No rebuilding team just puts rookies everywhere. Having some veterans around and making young players earn spots is fine as long as players don't get blocked for very long if they deserve to be in the majors. In the end, Pompey has not done anything to earn a spot on the major league team. Not in spring and not in the past few years in the minors. Rebuilding teams can't afford to try to structure their rosters around one player who projects to be a 5th OFer.
2) Like the 40 man before the Rule V, the end of the roster is going to be very flexible and people will get sent down if not performing. So, the Jays decide to keep Pompey. What then? They can't send him down because he has no options left. What happens if he isn't performing? When they need an extra pitcher? They can't play him ahead of better players (which is everyone), you are doing what the Red Sox did with Swihart where you sort of just keep someone around and give them a few PAs here and there just so you don't lose them. Then the player doesn't develop at all anyway so what do you accomplish?

I am at a loss as to why people are so obsessed with Pompey. Is it because he's Canadian or because people still have the vision of 2014 Pompey? I think it's the latter because it's similar to the way people view Travis as a very good player or thought of Tulo as a potentially elite player, etc...Fans have a very difficult time letting go of what was or what could have theoretically been. Pompey has 918 PAs in AAA and has a .714 OPS. That is not someone who has earned a major league promotion. I think Pompey could have a career as a backup OFer but there are tons of players at that level.
jz6pwc - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#371117) #
The only way Pompey stays is if Pillar is traded or an outfield gets hurt before they head north.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#371118) #
easier to see when you realize Teoscar isn't an OF.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#371119) #
A 7-man bullpen would be tough because they start the season with an 11 game stretch.
The new Injury List doesn't help with that either as pitchers have to stay in AAA 15 days if they ride the Buffalo shuttle.

This is the last year with no limitation on position player pitching.
Yeah, just kidding.

scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#371120) #
What I like the most in the Trout deal is that Betts is a free agent after the 2020 season.
Does the Yankees sign him as a 4th outfielder to replace Ellsbury?
grjas - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#371121) #
"I am at a loss as to why people are so obsessed with Pompey."
Because the guys left in two years time, all have question marks- McKinney, Alford, Hernandez (who likely will DH), and with Grichuk, a question mark on if can they extend him.  Pompey is a question mark as well of course, but I'd rather have one more option than to hope all those other question marks pan out, especially since there aren't many up and coming OF's in the minors to get that excited about.

Pillar is irrelevant to the club long term, so no idea why they are keeping him. If they flip him in July or next year, will they really get more than Pompey plus whatever they can get for him now? Or are they thinking they might extend him?!@?

They are stockpiling infield options while the outfield situation is highly risky. Makes no sense to me.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#371122) #
personally I think its funny that the same people who praise the pickups of drurys and thorntons and merryweathers also want to toss Pompey aside in favor of norrises and affords.
grjas - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#371123) #
Pompey has 918 PAs in AAA and has a .714 OPS.

Unfortunately he spent most of his AAA time coming back from injuries, and even still he had a .325 OBP. If this guy is on his game, he is a lead off hitter, and OBP is more important. full minors data is .764 OPS and more importantly .364 OBP.

Devon White was a reasonable leadoff hitter because of his speed and only produced an OBP of .319 and OPS of .739. Iíd take that over any lead off hitter the Jays can currently field, especially with speed.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#371124) #
I would like to hold on to Pompey. At the end of the day he looks like a 4th OF type at best, and his injury history + lack of performance in AAA can't be ignored, but during a rebuilding season I don't see why the team can't figure out a way to give him AB's. He probably amounts to not much, but this is the type of year where you can throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks.

Hard to see where he gets his AB's if all of Pillar, Grichuk, McKinney, and Hernandez are on the team though. Unless they decide to use DH as a revolving door and bench Morales, which I don't see happening.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#371125) #
The evidence suggests a large reason that the Jays are carrying Morales is his veteran leadership and ability to mentor younger Latin players, particularly Gurriel and Guerrero.

I can't think the Jays originally signed Morales to a three-year deal with that as one of the primary objectives of the contract, but at this point it's a question of whether the Jays value Morales' leadership role (and whatever on-field contribution he would make) over the ability to get a roster spot and further major league experience for Pompey and/or Alford. They seem to. I have no ability to evaluate this decision in a meaningful way, but I'm not opposed to the club doing whatever it thinks is best to help Vlad succeed.
scottt - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#371126) #
I hated the Drury pick up, but I must admit he's had a really good spring.
Thornton has looked pretty good too, besides one terrible pitch.
I'm not sure what Merryweather looks like.

I don't see how  Norris and Axford are hindering Pompey.
MckInney, maybe. Pillar, mostly. But relief pitchers?

dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#371127) #
There are metrics existing that show Morales was unlucky in 2018 and has room to improve in 2019. That is the likely reason he stays, not the contract.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#371128) #
The issue is 7 relievers and keep Pompey or 8 and let Pompey go. 8 seems overkill but with 7 you might lose the rule 5 kid - Luciano who will almost certainly be a pure mop up guy this year.
cascando - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#371129) #
Drury is having a good spring, but he almost always has a good spring. He has a 1.015 career OPS in spring training.

I like Drury, he is a useful depth player. Somewhat versatile and most likely solidly above replacement level if pressed into everyday action. I think he is the kind of player every team should target as a backup IF/utility player.

I also think that Drury is going to have a bit of a tough time winning over fans in Toronto, because 1) he will be seen as the guy that they are choosing over Guerrero Jr., at least to start; and 2) he was arguably the "big" prize from trading maybe the best SP on the market last year. Neither of those things are his fault. I hope he does well.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#371130) #
Iím not obsessed with Pompey. I understand that he is far more likely than not to flame out. But heís a lottery ticket playing a position where the team has next to no prospects and maybe two or three (if Iím generous) lottery tickets currently playing at full season ball. Why punt on that in favour of veterans that might (in the best possible scenario) get flipped for a similar lottery ticket in July. Bird in hand and all that. It just isnít a smart move if you are trying for an efficient rebuild. Itís a different calculus if youíre trying to win now. I donít think it takes an unrealistic view of the chances of Pompey succeeding to view punting him, in favour of some other roster choices, as suboptimal. As I said, it also isnít the end of the world. It if you throw away enough lottery tickets for nothing one will come back to bight.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#371131) #
Oh, and I accept Iím biased in this discussion. I have had enough of this management team playing DHs in the OF.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 19 2019 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#371132) #
Always fun to look at spring stats...
Barnes has tried to impress since being cut from the 40 man...0 BB 10 SO in 6 2/3 IP.

Always love the guys with perfect records good or bad ...
Norberto Obeso in RF was 1 for 1 a single then was caught stealing. Good try kid.
Logan Warmoth at 2B was 1 for 1 with a home run (ultimate perfect use of your shot)
Forest Wall 0-15 but did get on base via a HBP so he had something positive (painful but positive)
0 for's with a walk: Gunner Heidt, Devon Travis both 0-3
0 for's without a walk: Kevin Smith (4), Riley Adams (3 all K's), Luis De Los Santos (2), Brandon Grudzielanek (2 both K's), Kevin Vicuna (2), Cullen Large (1)

1 IP, no baserunners - Ty Tice, Justin Watts (2 K's each)

Means nothing but still fun to see who left a great impression or horrible one (or at least will feel that way when they are sent to the minors).
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#371133) #
I heard on the radio a couple of days ago that Drury did something in the offseason to improve his vision. He apparently said that he couldn't really see the ball clearly in his first 2 seasons in the big leagues, but now he can. We've seen the huge improvement in Danny Jansen's hitting once his vision was corrected. Maybe Drury will see a similar improvement.

I still like Barnes. He pitched much of last year with a sore knee. I expect he's going to be with the Jays at some point this season.

As far as Pompey is concerned, I don't put much weight in a player's stats when he's playing hurt, or when he's coming back after a long layoff, or has his season interrupted several times by injury. Baseball is an extremely precise game and you can't possibly be near your best when playing in those situations. That's why I'd like to see what Pompey can do if he's healthy. He has speed, some power, and he's a switch hitter. The upside is there, but he's got to stay healthy.
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#371134) #
For those who have talked about the Jays signing Vladdy Jr. to a long contract to buy out a bit of his free agency, here's a comparison - the Astros just signed Alex Bregman to a 5 year extension - he was 5th in AL mvp voting last year, and the deal is for 2020 to 2024 (he's already been renewed for $640,000 for 2019), covering his 3 arb years, plus his 1st 2 free agency years, for a total of $100 million, or $20 million a year on average.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 05:20 AM EDT (#371135) #
The thing is, Vladdy will probably never be as valuable as Bergman by WAR. Not even close.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 05:27 AM EDT (#371136) #
McKinney is a decent left bat.
Hernandez is a guy with great tools. He has good speed. He has a good arm. He's got room to grow.
I'm not sure if working on Hernandez's defense is worse than trying to get Pompey to hit.
Grichuk is just 1 year older than Pompey. Alford is almost 2 years younger than Pompey.
Jonathan Davis is actually older than Pompey.

Pillar is the only guy with a limited future. By the time he becomes a free agent, he should be a 4th outfielder.

I don't think the common fans are interested in Pompey.
The discussion has moved to why aren't Bichette/Biggio on the team.
Pompey is just a guy who can steal bases, but can't hit or get on bases.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#371137) #
Why would Vladdy not come close to Bregman who is another defensively challenged 3rd baseman? He has the bat to challenge him, and he is several years younger than when he made his debut. If anything I expect Vladdy to have a higher WAR total through his first 3 years as Bregman has only had one exceptional year.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#371138) #
TBH, I didn't look at any numbers to back my statement. I was under the impression from watching and listening that Bregman was a top 3B defensively. If that's not the case then yeah, the comp is very good.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#371139) #
Bergman has a total war of 12.2 in his first three years. The current projection for Vlady from fangrpaghs has him at 10.9 over his first three years, and the pessimistic, standard and optimistic projections from mlb.com is 10.4, 15.5 and 20.8 war over the same period.

I think the Bregman contract is a great starting point for contract extensions talks with Vlady in a few years.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#371140) #
Yeah until I looked at the numbers last season I assumed Bregman was a good third baseman as a converted SS, but it doesn't seem to be the case. His -5.0 UZR/150 ranked in the bottom third at his position, and that was actually his best mark of his career.
Thomas - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#371141) #
In other extension-related news, the Rays signed Brandon Lowe to a 6 year $24 million contract. Lowe, who was rated at the 93rd best prospect by BA this offseason and ranked 46th by Fangraphs, has just 43 games of MLB experience.

The contract also includes two club options, which buy out Lowe's first two years of free agency. I haven't seen the value of those extensions, but if they are exercised this would take him through his age 32 season.

Thumbs up from me. This seems like a good move for Tampa as presumably they are getting a discount on the arbitration years and free agency years in return for Lowe receiving guaranteed years and perhaps a little more money in his pocket in the next couple of years than he'd have received if the Rays renewed him at the minimum rate (which they did to Snell and which he was clearly upset about).
Gerry - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#371142) #
I had thought Drury improved his vision two years ago, before he came to the Jays. He just didn't have much of an opportunity to use his improved powers last year.

Jonathan Davis has a sprained ankle and will be out for 2-4 weeks.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#371143) #
I think it's wise to way a year or 2 to see what you have.

Houston already had Altuve on a team friendly contract.
But their shortstop has been vocal about fee agency.

By contrast, the A's have never payed anyone more than Eric Chavez 6/66M.

I'd want to know what I have in Bichette, Jansen, the pitchers and the top prospects in 2 or 3 years.
I would not want to go to arbitration with any of the top guys.


scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#371144) #
There was chatter about Guerrero being assigned to minor camp because he's injured and Davis staying with the team. I think being on the 40 roster makes a difference here.

Drury's blurred vision and migraine was a big topic with the Yankees.
I don't think his problems had been solved since he had not shared them with his teams.

According to multiple sources, the Yankees found an irritated tendon running up his neck and into his head.
Yeah.  Of course, there was also the broken hand.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/2019/03/19/jays-brandon-drury-is-focused-on-his-own-prospects.html

I haven't seen anything in writing about Drury doing anything to improve his vision this winter.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#371145) #
Cal Stevenson is intriguing.  The scouting reports suggest that he's got a high baseball IQ- great reads, smart baserunning...- to go with the strong plate control and significant bat-to-ball skills. If he develops, there will be a place for him in a few years.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#371146) #
In other extension-related news, the Rays signed Brandon Lowe to a 6 year $24 million contract.

Does this not seem totally random? It's not a lot of money, and he'll likely be worth it. But this kind of commitment seems odd for TB, who seem willing and capable every year to dumpster dive to man their roster on the cheap. Do they see potential, albeit low probability, that he'll turn into something juicy and thus provide major bang for the buck?

Maybe I'm missing something, but this just seems like a weird contract. Lowe, to his credit, decided he'd take the certainty of setting himself up for life despite the "risk" he could ultimately be worth a whole lot more.

I'm trying to picture the TB brass deciding that this is the guy they needed to lock up.

cascando - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#371147) #
fangraphs has added catcher framing to their WAR calculations: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/war-update-catcher-framing/

The catcher with the largest overall career increase in WAR is Brian McCann. Russell Martin is 2nd. The calculation adds 165.6 runs or 17.2 WAR, bumping Martin's career WAR from 29.5 to 46.7. By that measure, he is probably close to a top 20 all time C.

It also puts the contract Martin signed with the Jays in a slightly different light. According to fangraphs, Martin gave the Jays 11.1 WAR for a total of about 78 million (including the $16 million they're paying this year.)



Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#371148) #
Fangraphs has added catcher framing to WAR.  It's an important fix, and we will now see career WAR figures for catchers that are a reasonable approximation of their value.  So, Buster Posey is almost a Hall of Famer now.  Russell Martin moves from a good player to a very good player, as does Brian McCann. 

There are 27 players in major league history who have caught at least 1000 games and have 30 WAR or more, headed up by Johnny Bench's 75.  The top 9 are in the Hall of Fame with Mickey Cochrane's 52 WAR being the last of them.  After that, you've got Simmons, Munson, Lombardi, Schang, Freehan and Posada, with only Lombardi there.  I've got to think more about those guys.  Take Munson.  I didn't think of him as a Hall of Famer, but the Yankee pitching staffs of the time seemed to have a lot of success without blowing people away (until Guidry arrived).  My memory of him (which isn't particularly reliable) was that he was a good framer.  And then there is the fact that he performed very well in the post-season. 

It is of course natural that the framing runs added to the catcher's totals are subtracted from pitchers. 
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#371149) #
that's awesome that they've added framing....but I can't tell what calculation they're using for framing? is that detailed anywhere?
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#371150) #
Drury is striking out too much for me to agree that he's having a good spring.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#371151) #
I've noticed Ryan Tepera has had an awful spring - now the jays are apparently checking out Tepera & Axford for potential elbow problems.
Thomas - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#371152) #
Chuck, my assumption (and it's just an assumption) is that Tampa Bay probably explores a contract of that kind (guaranteed salaries, buying out a couple of years of free agency on club options-type deal) with all of their prospects that their internal metrics rate well. I just imagine that a number of these negotiations don't result in contracts because the parties can't agree on dollars and/or length.

I suspect it's not that Lowe was the guy the targeted, but that Lowe was the guy where they got the deal to work. I find it implausible they didn't try to sign Snell to a similar deal, prior to angering him by renewing him at the minimum. I just imagine that Snell wasn't interested (or not at the numbers Tampa was offering). I wouldn't be surprised if the Rays have had similar talks with Adames, Meadows, Nathaniel Lowe, etc....
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#371153) #
I don't think much of Drury, as I think he is a slightly below average hitter and is a slightly below average fielder. I don't think he has the raw athleticism or power you can really dream on either. He really is just an ok back-up 2B/3B infielder or second division regular.
Thomas - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#371154) #
In fact, I just found this quote from Snell from an article last month, which suggests, as I speculated, that Tampa has tried to sign him to an extension and he's not interested:

Snell has waived off efforts to extend him in the past; heís excited to try his lot through arbitration, beginning after this season, and sees it as an obligation.

ďI donít see the point in signing a deal,Ē says Snell. ďIíd rather just try to max everything else out in arb, believe in myself, push myself. It allows me to really see what I got, and what I can do and make.

ďI donít think thereís anything more beautiful than betting on yourself and achieving it every time. And thatís kind of what needs to happen. I just donít want to sign an early deal that leaves money off the table. It messes up the players (earnings) behind me. Iíd rather just keep maxing contracts out and hopefully that helps (future players) get a little more money. Because thatís what used to happen. There were none of these early deals. It was about helping the guys coming after you.Ē

SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#371155) #
Luke Maile now tied for 10th in WAR for catchers in 2018 despite only playing 68 games and having 231 plate appearances. I like adding framing to catcher value. Long overdue.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#371156) #
Sounds like Snell hasn't had any injury concern yet.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#371157) #
With the addition of pitch framing to the @fangraphs WAR calculation, Luke Maile was the #BlueJays most valuable position player in 2018 at 2.2 WAR
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#371158) #
Thanks for the quote, Thomas.  People who write about baseball really do have trouble with wave/waive. 
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#371159) #
That's because of the waivers.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#371160) #
Mike Green, up above in this comment chain you said:

"Cal Stevenson is intriguing. The scouting reports suggest that he's got a high baseball IQ- great reads, smart base running...- to go with the strong plate control and significant bat-to-ball skills. If he develops, there will be a place for him in a few years."

I add to your observations: Cal is a little guy 5'10" 175 pounds. His combined 2018 stats, at Baseball Reference, for his first year with the Jays, 2 teams: Bluefield and Dunedin (Rookie Gulf League) are: .369, .511, .523, 1.034 with 2 HR in 280 plate appearances (214 official AB's) R: 73, 2B: 15, 3B: 6, RBI: 31, SB: 21, CS: 1, BB: 64 SO: 24.

I saw him on the telly this past week and I was stunned by how perfect his swing looks. Absolutely beautiful. I definitely want to see more. If he can make it in CF, and in 22 games with 53 chances his Fld% is 1.000, he just might be a keeper. Imagine Pillar with a 300+ batting average and a 350+ OBP. YA I KNOW SSS. But a guy's gotta dream.

He could become Gollum's new "Precious." He could absolutely become my new "Precious!"
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#371161) #
You want to dream, mylegacy?  I give you Brett Butler (5'10", 160 lbs).  Stevenson turned 22 in September.  Butler's birthday is in June, 1957.  In 1979, he was in Rookie ball and hit like Stevenson did essentially. A little more power and great, but not as great, plate control.  In 1980, he did the same thing in A ball (at age 22.7-23.5) that Stevenson has just done in Rookie ball.  Fabulous W/K rate, hit .330 with a little power and stole 80 bases.  He didn't end up with more than a cup of coffee until 1982 and had his first good season in 1983.  He ended up as a near Hall of Fame quality player, despite hitting only 54 homers in a long career.

Butler went to Arizona State; Stevenson to Arizona...
AWeb - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#371162) #
fangraphs has another article which goes into pretty high detail on exactly how they are calculating framing. For one, they are using their own probabilistic strike zone to value pitches, since the actual strike zone, as called, tends to be rounded, rather than a rectangle. They are also adjusting for the count, since 3-0 strike zones are consistently larger than 0-2 strike zones, for instance.

Martin, McCann, Molina, and Posey all move up, and are firmly in the top 20 catchers of all time, at least sorting them by fangraphs WAR. The biggest drawback with framing numbers is that they date to 2008 only - there is not currently an approximation for earlier seasons they are using (unlike modern defensive stats for other positions). If it turned out that Bench was a bad framer (I have no idea), it's quite plausible that a good framer behind him (again, no idea) would zip past him in career value. It's also quite possible that you don't get to be a catcher for a long career if you're bad at framing - all the guys on the all-time list since 2008 (McCann, Posey, Mauer, Martin, Rodriguez) gain at least some value from framing metrics.
cascando - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#371163) #
It makes sense that fangraphs is taking credit away from pitchers in proportion to the credit given to catchers. You can't give both players full credit for the same event. But it makes me wonder, do pitchers deserve any credit for fangraphs' catcher framing, at least some of the time?

It seems to me that a pitcher with exceptionally good control that can consistently hit a spot just outside the strike zone is likely to get more called strikes that aren't actually strikes than a guy who is not as pinpoint. If the catcher sets up outside and doesn't have to move their glove, is that not an easier pitch to frame than a pitch in the same spot that wasn't supposed to end up right there?

I also wonder if the numbers would differ between pitchers based on the amount of horizontal movement on their pitches. Halladay, for example, could cut a ball across/near/around the strike zone more than most. He may have had a decent number of balls called strikes just because of late movement on his 2-seamer.

Perhaps they have considered this kind of thing in their calculation. I'm sure it has at least been discussed somewhere.
scottt - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#371164) #
Fangraphs uses FIP to calculate WAR. So, WAR as a function of strike outs, walks and homeruns.
So now some called strikes will be counted as ball in play?

Do you account for strikes that were called balls?

Does framing disappear once you use robo-umps?

Is framing  a measure of  how much the catching is deceiving the ump?
How is it just a measure of umpire counter performance?

uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#371165) #
cascando - BP's catcher framing metric actually looks at all 3 of the catchers, pitchers, and umpires to determine catch framing ability, which takes away all of those concerns.

which was why i asked which metric fangraphs is using.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#371166) #
I'm claiming Otto Lopez as my precious. none of you can have him.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#371167) #
UO, I hope Otto does as well as you last precious. D Jansen.
AWeb - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#371168) #
To scottt

No...strikes are strikes, and the value for them is being split between pitchers and catchers. Not sure what you're asking?

To get good framing scores it's at least as important to get all the actual strikes called correctly as steal the occasional missed call. A lot of 50/50 zones are actually in the strike zone.

Yes, framing is irrelevant to an automatic strike zone. I want robo-umps, but the catching position changes a lot, overnight, if you suddenly don't have to try and bother to even let the ump see the pitch, let alone make an attempt to "frame" it. Could get pretty casual back there with no one on base. Wear and tear on catchers would decrease with less incentive to squat so low all the time.

Framing is a measure of deceiving and properly informing the ump, as far as catching the ball a little differently can be considered communication. Most studies have shown that the best framing isn't the old "pull glove back towards plate after catching it" trick, it's just staying still and making the pitch location seem intentional. Good framers might adjust their technique to an ump, we'd have to be in an org to see if anyone is trying to parse the data to that level. Good news is that apparently Jansen is a decent framer, even though his other defense hasn't graded as well.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#371169) #
what the jays should be doing with vladdy:


Jeff Passan
@JeffPassan
Top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez and the Chicago White Sox are finalizing a long-term deal, league sources tell ESPN.
James W - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#371170) #
Does Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have any interest in signing such a deal?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#371171) #
I would be pretty surprised if Guerrero was open to a deal like that.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#371172) #
Could get pretty casual back there with no one on base.

The catcher could stand at the backstop and just pick up the pitch when it has stopped rolling. Talk about unintended consequences!

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#371173) #
SK.

If Vladdy has any self awareness then he should be interested in a long-term deal. His body type is such that he is a greater break-down risk than the average MLBer.

And that is coming from someone who thinks he is a future HOFer.
pubster - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#371174) #
"If Vladdy has any self awareness then he should be interested in a long-term deal."

I'm sure every player is interested in a 10 year $400 million deal.

The real question is can both sides agree on a price.
Cracka - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#371175) #
Today might have been the final straw for Elvis. He's was always going to be a work-in-progress, but he really can't get anyone out: 20 baserunners in 6.2 innings & a ERA of 14.85. I'm not sure they can keep him on a big league roster. The bullpen is going to see a lot of work this year and I don't think they can keep a guy purely for mop-up work.

BUT, both Axford and Tepera have elbow pain and are at risk of opening up the season on the IL (and Tepera could be bound for the 60-day IL), so the options beyond Luciano aren't great: Javy Guerra & Danny Barnes likely the best choices... plus there will be some guys hit the waiver wire or get released in the next week. I expect the Jays to be active shoppers once roster spots on the 40-man roster open up after 60-day IL placements.
Thomas - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#371176) #
Jimenez reportedly receives $43 million over 6 years and the White Sox have an option for two years at $32 million (it's not clear based on the report I read whether both years had to be exercised at once or whether the White Sox could exercise one, then make a decision on the second year after the first option year).

I'd be very disappointed if the Jays hadn't tried to work out a similarly structured deal with Vlad. I think there's an open question as to whether he's interested.

It's equally as, if not more, interesting to see what the Jays do with Bichette. His family has money through his father's baseball career, but Bichette's prospect status, while impressive, isn't of "can't miss" profile that Vlad's is. Bichette has a higher risk of not realizing his potential or even "busting", so I think he has significantly more incentive to consider a deal than Vlad.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#371177) #
I would assume that most ML teams including the Jays will attempt to lock up their young high end talent to similar contracts as the Jimenez contract because it's almost certain that the next CBA will result in more money going to younger players since teams are no longer willing to pay older players for past performance - in that respect, the Jimenez contract is an excellent deal for the White Sox.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#371178) #
"Bichette has a higher risk of not realizing his potential or even "busting", so I think he has significantly more incentive to consider a deal than Vlad."

Does Bichette think as you do though? Maybe he's so confident in his abilities, busting doesn't even enter his mind.
cascando - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#371179) #
It sounds like Luciano has good stuff, but is it really that exceptional? Is it even any better than Paulino's, for example, who is still kind of a question mark at 25? If not, then I don't see how they could justify keeping him after a spring training like this one.

Meanwhile Travis Bergen seems likely to make in SF and Romano is still in the running in Texas. It's an odd situation, especially with a front office which appears to prioritize MLB-readiness over ceiling. I wonder if they are regretting their approach?
Thomas - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#371180) #
Does Bichette think as you do though? Maybe he's so confident in his abilities, busting doesn't even enter his mind.

I have no idea. That's why I said that "I think he has more incentive to consider a deal."

Obviously, some players, like Snell, have no interest in signing away free agency years in return for guaranteed salary. I just think that there is a lot of reason to expect that if the Jays announce a deal for a young player, it will be Bichette or Jansen, not Guerrero.

hypobole - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#371181) #
Jansen was the name that popped in my mind also as far as willingness for an extension.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#371182) #
Hypobole - I agree. Of course, being a C, I think an extension for Jansen comes at a higher risk than most due to injury risk.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#371183) #
Vlad Jr is on a different planet compared to everyone else. He is an elite level talent. Players of that magnitude know they will get paid after six years regardless of what the market is like. Even in this year's free agent market that shut a lot of players out, two elite free agents got record deals. It is the players lower on the totem pole or players who don't want to bet on themselves that will be more open to signing early. I'm not sure if Bichette falls under that category but I'd be less surprised if he signed an extension than I would if Vlad did.

Cleveland usually signed players to team friendly deals, so I would expect Shapiro to try to do the same here. Of course with the CBA changing after 2021, it's hard to forecast what the market will look like. As mentioned, I would think the CBA will change to have players paid more during years 0-6 to counteract team's not signing older free agents anymore, but who really knows.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#371184) #
I suspect the Jays best chance with Vlad is to sell him on being a long term franchise player for a nation vs being a 'hired gun' for assorted teams. Same with the other kids.

I'd love the Jays to find a way to do 10 year deals (6 guaranteed, 7-10 with options that become guaranteed if healthy, with incentives that jump value if they are MVP calibre). Do it for Vlad, Bo, Jansen as the 3 of them look potentially elite so hard to keep otherwise. I'd wait and see on others but have a willingness to listen if their agent come up with a good plan (ie: let them know you are open to it).
bpoz - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#371185) #
2 games in Montreal. Mon/Tue...25/26. Then ST is over.

Our pen just fell apart with Tepera and Axford not available for Opening Day.

I was gloating earlier about NYY having Severeno and Sabathia not available. The early games are in the hands of the lesser lights.

So depth and backup is crucial.
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#371186) #
Luciano has been even worse than I thought he would be, and I thought he would be terrible. From Rookie ball to the big leagues is an astronomical jump. Bergen, on the other hand has been absolutely lights out for SF. He looks like a potential back of the bullpen guy. I was extremely disappointed that they didn't add him to the 40 man. He was dominant last year in AA in basically his first season of pro ball. They sure could use him now, with the injury problems.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 20 2019 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#371187) #
you offer vladdy $200m/10yrs.

unless, of course, you never intend to keep him past his arby years.
John Northey - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#371188) #
Meh. This is a rebuild year. If 2 vet relievers are missing it just means a few more losses (which sucks) early on. Won't affect the kids much beyond giving the Jays a chance to hold onto a couple for a few more weeks.
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 06:29 AM EDT (#371189) #
Luciano has a plus fast ball that is already mid 90s. He will likely add velocity as he ages.
He has no MLB ready secondary pitch.

Today he came in in the 6th with 2 runners on base and give up a hit and 2 walks.
That clearly is not mop up duty. So, they are trying things with him to see what he can and cannot do.
I'm not sure who is the bullpen guy that can be called upon to strand inherited runners.
Biagini? Axford and Tepera are probably  on the shelf for now, but that doesn't really affect Luciano.

Thorton has looked good, but he's being stretched as a starter for now.


scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#371190) #
The Jays gave bad contracts to Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Romero.
What's the last guy to walk because they failed to extend him?

mathesond - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#371191) #
"What's the last guy to walk because they failed to extend him?"

Encarnacion?
AWeb - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#371192) #
Who was the last guy the Jays developed young enough that you would want to extend them, even without retrospect? Lind or Hill? Hill got traded his last year while having a truly awful year (58 OPS+), although he had a couple of good years left after that. Lind was a good hitter with no obvious position, not an extension candidate once it became clear his bat would never reach the upper-echelon. Snider was a top-tier prospect you might have considered it for after being an average player in MLB at age 20-22, I guess.

The Jays are certainly not haunted by the lack of extensions the last 15 years. That's more of a criticism of player development though...
85bluejay - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#371193) #
Eloy Jimenez's contract pays him 75-77.5M over 8 years, so you would be paying Vlad 125m more for an extra 2 years - I'd pass - I would offer Vlad a similar contract to Jimenez maybe a few more millions so he say he set a new record 8/77-80 - and for 2 more years add 50m - 10y/125-130m. Mookie Betts a better player is going to earn about 60m for his first 6 years and that's with taking the risk of going through arbitration.
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#371194) #
I expect Rogers will want to extend a young popular start if the Jays have one.
They like predictability. They like a marketable product.
The knock on Guerrero is that he can't be interviewed in English.
Will we see him in ads like we saw Sanchez?

We'll see.

Gerry - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#371195) #
Tepera has been referred to a specialist. Axford has some sort of elbow stress reaction. Both will start the season on the DL.
Gerry - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#371196) #
The specialist Tepera will see is a surgeon who performs Tommy John surgeries.
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#371197) #
Tepera has 3 years of control left.
TJ would make him miss the 2019 season and part of the 2020 one.

That would also send him on the 60DL.

Bud Norris slides into the setup role.

They still have lots of options for the other bullpen slots.

cascando - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#371198) #
Looking at candidates to drop off the 40-man roster, the obvious choice to me is Julian Merryweather.

Merryweather is 27.5, has never pitched in the majors and, outside of a short stretch as a 24-year old in A-ball, has never even been good in the minors.

I get that management sees something in him, but Merryweather seems like a guy you could drop without having to worry at all that another team would claim him.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#371199) #
I would simply move Tepera to the 60 day DL with Bud Norris taking his slot. They can call-up Gavigilio to take Axford's slot as well as call up Thorton, Waguespack or Paulino to take up another relief slot or two until David Phelps is ready to pitch or Richards gets relegated to the bullpen upon a Buchholz return.
bpoz - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#371200) #
If they keep Luciano that would be following their pattern of stockpiling prospects. They have not deleted/traded much prospect value and added a massive amount in trades.

This FO has a good understanding of the possibility of injuries and how 40 man roster spots become available when 60 day DL injuries happen.

The 25 man roster limit is another thing to be thought about. If they want to keep both Luciano and Pompey then that requires a 25 man roster spot. Also 25 man roster spots would be needed if they trade for any rule 5 players that are being given back to their old team.

Further 25 man roster spots would be needed for any surplus and healthy players that the FO may want like A Diaz, Grichuk or Drury.
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#371201) #
As they go along, more vets will be traded to make room for prospects on the 25.

We're not talking much about Biggio, but he'll soon turn 24 and should be up even though he's not on the 40.
They'll have even more guys who will need to be added or exposed this fall, like Espinal and Zeuch.

There will be a lot of movement during the year.

bpoz - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#371202) #
Agreed scottt. I think moves will be made in time sections.

In a few days the 25 and 40 man roster will be set. Part 1.

Someone may be cut if they are absolutely terrible. Possibly June. Part 2.
July 31. Part 3.
Part 4,5,6. By the time prospects are added for rule 5 protection.

Of course it is not going to happen precisely this way.
PeterG - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#371203) #
Merryweather will not be released...no chance. Travis, Tepera, Axford can all go on 60 day DL. The status of Luciano and Pompey is uncertain.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#371204) #
A note from today's lineup.  Danny Jansen bats 8th again, behind a bunch of lesser hitters.  I'll bet that Charlie Montoyo plans to use him that way at the start of the season- as a way of taking some of the offensive load off him.  Which is fine with me. 
uglyone - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#371205) #
Just want to reiterate that the notable stockpiling of middle aged borderline arms right through AAA and into AA should mean that this jays team has less need of an 8-man bullpen than most any team in baseball.
bpoz - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#371206) #
I hope we don't have any middle aged relievers in AA.

AAA is different. Biagini, Gaviglio, Barnes and others can form a Buffalo-Toronto shuttle assuming that 28-29 years old is middle aged. When you are called up you get used a lot and when you are sent down just get used a little to stay sharp. I think the time frame is to stay 10 days down, minimum. But this method would destroy the AAA pen.
rpriske - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#371207) #
The Jays should TRADE for Luciano if they like him so much, because leaving him in the majors all year won't be doing anyone, including him, any favours.

(Well, maybe the batters he pitches to.)

ramone - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#371208) #
Pompey was removed in the top of the first, he was due to come on deck and instead Palicios did, zero word on why, injury or a trade?
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#371209) #
Apparently, Romano was told heís not making the team for the Rangers.
ramone - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#371210) #
Pompey apparently hit his head on some bats by his locker and was removed from the game....
vw_fan17 - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#371211) #
Pompey apparently hit his head on some bats by his locker and was removed from the game....
At this point, I'm just going to start calling him Gilligan..
Mike Green - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#371212) #
That is very unfortunate for Pompey.  He needed a good and healthy camp. 
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#371213) #
Romano had one bad outing, but ended up with 6 Ks, 5 walks.

The economics of the Rule V pick is that if the guy needs to be sent down the following year, you  still need to keep paying him about half of what he was making on the MLB roster.
If the guy is old, you want a near finished product like Biagini.
If the guy is 19 year old, you might easily burn 1M developing him.


scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#371214) #
It's like there's a competition for the pen now.
Gaviglio 8 earned runs in 3.1 innings.
Barnes 3 earned runs in 0.2 innings.

If Pompey goes on the concussion DL, he doesn't have to clear waiver right away.




Thomas - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#371216) #
Well, well, well. The Rays have signed Blake Snell to a five-year contract extension (covering 2019) worth $50 million. He receives $1,000,000 this year, plus a $3 million signing bonus.

The contract doesn't contain any club options, but it buys out his first year of free agency.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#371217) #
Thomas, the poetry-

Well, well, well
The Rays have signed Blake Snell

I think that it's time for a senryu contest!
Chuck - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#371218) #
Well sure Snell signs NOW, now that Brandon Lowe is locked down. The dominoes are all soon to fall.
Baseball America's Top 30 Blue Jays Prospects For 2019 | 317 comments | Create New Account
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