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The #BlueJays continue their homestand against the Snakes for the Coppertone Cup. #LetsGoBlueJays

Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Friday at 7:07 pm ET - Merrill Kelly vs. Marcus Stroman
Saturday at 3:07 pm ET - Zach Greinke vs. Aaron Sanchez
Sunday at 1:07 pm ET - Robert Ray vs. Clayton Richard

Arizona is a game below .500 at 31-32 by averting a three-game sweep by the Los Angeles Dodgers with a walk-off win in extra innings. They are 12 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West. Former Blue Jays draft pick Tim Locastro is on the active roster for the Snakes and has an OBP of .433 and five steals in 51 at-bats.

The Jays took two of three against the New York Yankees but are 23-39 on the season, four games of ahead of Baltimore in the AL basement. In more encouraging news, the Jays expect Bo Bichette to return to action shortly and Dalton Pompey has resumed rawhide activities. And Ross Atkins is sticking around for at least 2020.
June 7-9 - Diamondbacks @ Blue Jays | 117 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#375226) #
Tim Locastro was traded to the Dodgers for  International draft money. To sign Vladdy?

He was traded to the Yankees last year for Drew Finley and some cash.
Traded back to the Snakes in January for Ronald Roman and cash.

hypobole - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#375229) #
Locastro and Chase De Jong to cut the Vlad signing penalty from 2 years to 1.

And Locastro still has that one elite skill. 67 PA's - 10 HBP's this year.
hypobole - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#375232) #
After posting Locastro's HBP's, I had to look it up.

Entire Jays team - 2278 PA's - 16 HBP's. We're 29th in MLB in that category too.
dan gordon - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#375234) #
Looked up De Jong's stats, and he is having quite the season this year. In 17 AAA innings, he has surrendered 35 hits AND 16 walks, for a WHIP of an even 3.00. Opponents are hitting over .400 against him. His one mlb appearance resulted in a WHIP of 6.00, ERA of 36.00 and opponents average of .500.
scottt - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#375239) #
That's another one of those games...  I figure Stroman might not really be too upset if he's traded to a contender.
ayjackson - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#375240) #
He seemed a little too happy-go-lucky during the game, for my liking but I guess this is what it's come to.
hypobole - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#375242) #
Don't think it's a good idea to have Edwin Jackson mentoring Marcus.
greenfrog - Friday, June 07 2019 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#375243) #
Off-topic, but I hope everyone is taking in at least some of the NBA final. Amazing stuff. And a standard of team excellence for the Blue Jays to emulate.
scottt - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#375249) #
Locastro was drafted as a shortstop. He was playing 2B in Lansing.
Now he's a left fielder, pinch hitter, pinch runner for the DB.
It's not just the Jays moving players around.

I like Gurriel in left field so far.

scottt - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#375250) #
Baseball is so different from basketball (and hockey).
I can almost imagine Hal Steinbrenner shoving Mookie Betts as he reaches in the stand to catch a ball.
Yeah, not really.

lexomatic - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#375251) #
Don't think it's a good idea to have Edwin Jackson mentoring Marcus.
I don't know about attitude, but I don't think Jackson is adding anything to the team performance-wise. Fangraphs has him at already -0.5 wins
hypobole - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#375253) #
I'd say the over under for Jackson starts before his release is 1 1/2.
scottt - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#375255) #
As soon as they have someone ready to replace him internally.
I don't think they want to go with the bullpen whenever they need a fifth starter because someone else could get hurt.
Montoyo believes that you don't call guys for a try out of A ball or AA, you let them show something at AAA first otherwise. He said too often guys come up for a game and then hit a wall when they go back down.

Borucki is about a month away. That's probably the amount of time you want to give to SRF or a AA pitcher to to show something at AAA.
Phelps will be ready first, but maybe he just knocks Law back to AAA.
The other option might be opener+Waguespack.

Jackson's problem is balls leaving the park. His walk and strikeout rates are what you would expect.

uglyone - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#375257) #
"Off-topic, but I hope everyone is taking in at least some of the NBA final. Amazing stuff. And a standard of team excellence for the Blue Jays to emulate"

People wanted them to blow it up last year.

Good thing they didn't.
grjas - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#375258) #
Entire Jays team - 2278 PA's - 16 HBP's. We're 29th in MLB in that category too.

No need to pitch them inside!
bpoz - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#375259) #
E Jackson has been pitched poorly for us. He has been the latest of our 5th starters.

I looked at 1992 to find a rotation with 4 decent to good SPs. Stottlemyre was the 4th best 174 IP 4.50 ERA. Actually 2016 beats 1992 with 5 good SPs. I did not look at our long 80s run.

So the point is it is hard to find 5 good/decent starters in this day and age of 5 man rotations.

NYY and Boston cannot do this using their method of throwing money at everything.

NY Mets have the potential and numbers but cannot stay healthy as a unit.

I think it was Mylegacy that suggested an 8 man SP potential if/when our current pitching prospects develop. Successfully that is.

So that is a wish. Unreasonable on my part probably.
bpoz - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#375260) #
KC was a pitching powerhouse when the Jays were born.
bpoz - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#375261) #
Finally read the article on Pompey's status. I really like the positive way Atkins spoke about Pompey and Alford.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#375263) #
I think 2015 was the best chance in recent years that the Jays had to have a 2019 Raptors-esque season. Had the Jays added Zobrist in the summer of 2015, as Anthopoulos reportedly almost did, there is a very good chance the team would have won the World Series that year.
hypobole - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#375264) #
"People wanted them to blow it up last year.

Good thing they didn't."

Who were these people?
dalimon5 - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#375265) #
""People wanted them to blow it up last year.

Good thing they didn't."

Who were these people"

Hypo, I dont know if you're serious or not...Ugly would need to outline a list of sources to prove to you who wanted the Raptors to blow it up. That's a bit ridiculous. Basically, and generally most Raptors fans felt that the Raptors were good but not good enough to win a championship because they lacked the elite talent to get over the hump. This was based on years of evidence watching them come up short against elite opposition in the playoffs specifically and their core getting older or coming up for renewals...many fans and pundits asked how they could win and called for a blow up. Nobody called for improvement to the roster because they didnt think it was possible to get elite talent like Leonard.

The very crux of ugly's point is that the people calling for a rebuild here with the Jays are the same type of people that were calling for the Raps to focus on sustainable growth and a better 'window of opportunity' later on. They didnt think if was possible to win with their core and didnt want to waste the assets they had on non-championship years.

Thats essentially the same argument as "the yankees and red sox are on a down turn so now lets try to be competitive because we cant compete with an aging core." Is it easier with a younger core, sure, but the idea that we didnt have something to work off of with our expensive, over the hill core (all true) is wrong and that is ugly's point, as the Raptors have shown through investments in short term gain and aging vets (Leonard and Gasol).
85bluejay - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#375268) #
Fans were frustrated by the Raptors lack of Playoff success last year but I don't recall any significant call to blow it up and rebuild and given the raptors salary commitments
and the NBA salary cap it would have been very difficult to accomplish - what fans wanted was a shakeup and that's exactly what management did - firing the coach of the year and trading away the team's best player in DeMar DeRozan, capitalizing on the unfortunate situation with the Spurs.

Referring to Kawhi Leonard as an aging veteran is a misnomer - Leonard is not yet 28 and is probably now entering his prime years (same age as Tout)

Trying to conflate the Raptors and Jays situation of recent past to support your narrative is disingenuous.
SK in NJ - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#375269) #
The NBA is different. One player can change the entire fortunes of a team. The Raptors traded an overvalued piece and bought low on a top 5 player in the league due to the circumstances (injured, wanted out, etc). The roster around DeRozan was very good, but DeRozan himself was so flawed that there was a ceiling to how good they'd be with him. He can't shoot 3's and is not a good defender in a league where you have to shoot 3's and be able to switch on defense. He was a dinosaur (no pun intended) in today's game. Turning that into Kawhi, much less Danny Green as a throw in, was a no brainer, even though it came with a lot of risk (Kawhi possibly not being healthy, possibly leaving after a year, etc).

The 2015-16 Jays are not a good comparison. One player was not going to prolong that two year window. The sports are too different to make an apples to apples comparison. AA built a team that could win in 2015, that still had a shot in 2016 with some rotation improvements, but then were going to fall off after that. It was inevitable. If the Raptors can re-sign Kawhi then the team might have a few more years of being a title contender, but the Jays re-signing their core after 2016 would have lead to no where. It would have been an old bad team with a very high payroll and no financial flexibility.

Regardless, Masai Ujiri is the best GM in the game as far as I'm concerned, so if you want to compare the FO's, I'd take Masai anyday of the week. He is the perfect blend of risk talking + being smart.
dalimon5 - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#375270) #
"Referring to Kawhi Leonard as an aging veteran is a misnomer - Leonard is not yet 28 and is probably now entering his prime years (same age as Tout)

Trying to conflate the Raptors and Jays situation of recent past to support your narrative is disingenuous."

Leonard is referred to as a short term investment while Gasol is referenced as an aging vet. Re-read the sentences together. So it's not a misnomer you just haven't read the post properly...maybe you're seeing what you want to hear not what is written...

I don't have a narrative..again I recommend you consider re-reading some posts and the thread to see that another posters (not myself) had brought up the Raptors and Jays situation. So, Mr 85 Blue Jay, it is you that is being disingenuous.
hypobole - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#375271) #
.Ugly would need to outline a list of sources to prove to you who wanted the Raptors to blow it up. That's a bit ridiculous

Gerry - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#375272) #
Biggio has been hitting a lot of line drives right at the fielders. He is hitting well, just in bad luck.
PeterG - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#375273) #
Agree on Biggio. He has had bad luck and a couple of bad calls (not today) on 3rd strikes called that were outside the zone.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#375274) #
I've been really impressed with Biggio's plate discipline and approach. He's going to walk a ton. He sets himself up to get good pitches to hit and he's hitting them. Just hasn't had lady babip smiling on him so far.
Mike Green - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#375275) #
Jansen would have a palatable line for a catcher with any kind of reasonable luck. The kids will be OK.
scottt - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#375276) #
I don't think Zobrist would have made a difference.
They didn't have the pitching to  beat the Royals.
They fixed that the next year, but by then the offense had dropped from 891 runs to 759.

The hope now is that we see the opposite happen now.
Young guys getting better.

scottt - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#375277) #
AA built a team that could win in 2013. It failed badly and fizzled the next year. Then in 2015, he went for broke in trading for whatever he could using prospects and back loaded contracts.

The analogy would be complete if somehow they fail to get that 4th win and Kawhi leaves.

Kelekin - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#375278) #
Biggio and Jansen have definitely had lots of hard hit balls that just aren't falling in. I've been impressed with Biggio and I think there's a strong case to be made for him to be the regular lead-off hitter on the team. He's expected to have a solid OBP, which we need, and he is seeing a lot of pitches in his at-bats, which we also need with so many early count hitters.
hypobole - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#375279) #
Actually, the most apt comparison to Ujiri's Raps is Pat Gillick's Jays, building organically, regular success without sniffing the prize, then making "the trade".
raptorsaddict - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#375281) #
Regarding the conversation above re: the Raps and whether there was anyone calling for them to be blown up last year, I'm not going to bother providing links to any citations, but will instead make an argument from authority based on my user name.

While there are always those who are in the "blow it up!" camp in the NBA, since you're only ever one lottery away from a Zion Williamson, I'd say 85bluejay hit it on the head when he said that the loudest voices "wanted a shakeup and that's exactly what management did". The previous roster had reached its obvious limits, and given the age of the main players and the salary structures, it was time to try something different. If that "something different" didn't work out, THEN the rebuild could begin in earnest.

I also agree with SK in NJ's comment entirely about the difficulties in comparing their situation to Jays. Also, this comment is spot on:

"Regardless, Masai Ujiri is the best GM in the game as far as I'm concerned, so if you want to compare the FO's, I'd take Masai anyday of the week. He is the perfect blend of risk talking + being smart."

I look forward to his rebuild after this Kawhi/Kyle/Gasol/Ibaka core ages out. Will be interesting to see if he goes for a full "blow it up" or if he tries to retool around Siakam. But that's a thought for another day. In the meantime, I'm just going to savour this little moment in the sun for a team that has given me much more heartache than happiness since it came into existence. GO RAPS!
John Northey - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#375282) #
The Raptors are right now having the best time ever and I'm enjoying it even though I know very little about basketball. All too often I'm going 'hey, I like that little guy with the beard' instead of using names. My daughter wears #9 in hockey and loves #9 on the Raptors - she was very happy he is a good player.

Baseball was like this in the early 90's - tons of bandwagon fans who knew nothing but made sure the stadium was packed and jerseys selling out. Tons of fun. Gillick retooling as he went, from free agents like Winfield replaced by Molitor, to new kids like Sprague replacing vets like Gruber in the middle of back to back WS wins. More on the farm coming quick - Delgado, Green, Gonzalez all hyped up (for good reason) and ready in 94/95. How Ash screwed that up is a warning to all teams when they switch GM's during a good run.

The Raptors right now should try everything possible to hold onto Leonard and keep the core here for as long as possible. If it results in a 5+ year stretch of 'ugh' so be it. Years like this are special and you want to try to keep it going as long as you can.
SK in NJ - Saturday, June 08 2019 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#375283) #
I like the Ujiri/Gillick comparison. Definitely more apt than the 2015-16 Jays. Masai built a very good team that just couldn't get over the hump for 5 years, saw the core on its last legs either due to age or contracts (or both), and decided to take about the highest upside risk a FO can take in the NBA, which is buying low on a superstar. Even if Kawhi leaves and the team has to rebuild, they would have had to rebuild anyway had they kept DeRozan and lost in the 2nd round again, so nothing changes in this scenario except (hopefully) a banner that will fly forever. If Kawhi stays, then retool to build around him. Anyway this is all jumping the gun as they still have to win a game, and no one should be overlooking the Warriors.

I'll echo what others have said about Biggio. The walk rate and power potential looks 100% real. Not all prospects are going to get to the big leagues and succeed right away. Biggio, Jansen, Vlad, etc, will have their lumps, but that's what seasons like this one are for.
uglyone - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#375284) #
Of course you guys would like the comparison that doesn't give Alex credit, even if it's a much more logical comparison in time span, age cohort, and superstar move.
Glevin - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#375285) #
Comparisons between building rosters on the MBA and MLB are absurd. One player in the NBA can make a team. (they are involved in huge percentage of total plays) A Trout-like NBA player would have won multiple championships instead of basically never even making the playoffs.
dan gordon - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 03:33 AM EDT (#375286) #
Mike, you say the kids will be OK, and as a die hard optimist, I tend to agree, but it is quite disappointing to me to see how badly so many of our young hitters are struggling. If you had told me at the start of spring training that, at the big league level, Jansen would be hitting .164 with an OPS of .496, T. Hernandez would be hitting .194 with an OPS of .592, Tellez would be hitting .227 with an OPS of .709, McKinney would be hitting .221 with an OPS of .636, Biggio would be hitting .194 with an OPS of .649, Vladdy wold be hitting .241 with an OPS of .752, Alford would be struggling at AAA, Bichette would have gotten off to a slow start and then gotten hurt just as he was starting to hit well, Pompey was concussed again, Travis was hurt again, and that of the kids, only Gurriel would have a good OPS, at .799, I'd have been very surprised and not at all impressed (stats prior to Saturday's game). Some of these kids need to start hitting.
Kelekin - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 04:29 AM EDT (#375287) #
At the end of the day, all GMs probably deserve both more and less credit than we give them. Imagine a scenario where Ricciardi doesn't get fired in 2009, and they actually try to compete moving forward. Jays re-signed Halladay (eliminating the need for Dana Eveland), he goes on to have a Cy Young year, you sign a quality free agent or two and not just filler - suddenly you look like a genius for your Bautista trade and re-signing our ace (and eventually, Encarnacion) and either get in the playoffs or very close to.

Things can change in a heartbeat. It's hard for some not to idolize the only man who brought a World Series.
scottt - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 06:38 AM EDT (#375289) #
Smoak is a good example,  I think. His career started slowly in Seattle.

His first year he was hitting .218 with an OPS of .678.  He was 23.
He had a couple years in which he was hitting better than average, but in his 5th year in Seattle he hit just .202 with an OPS of .614.

EE and Bautista took many years to turn it around. Even Donaldson, struggled as a 24 year old catcher, went back down to learn to play 3B and wasn't an asset until he was 26.

We're just 2 months in.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#375292) #
I'm just a casual basketball fan but one similarity I can see between the Raptors and Jays is management. Masai Ujiri is actually not the GM but is president and I can't even name the GM because he is rarely seen or talked about. No doubt Ujiri is calling the shots, and in the same way you have to wonder how much Shapiro influences Atkins, or if they work together to reach decisions.

One other thing about the Raptors is that they made the big trades that worked. AA tried but the Jays didn't quite succeed. If they had won the World Series there would have been little talk on here about the prospects traded away or the old team that resulted from it.
bpoz - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#375293) #
Very true ISLAND BOY.
hypobole - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#375294) #
"It's hard for some not to idolize the only man who brought a World Series."

Maybe it's just me, but I find this comment more than a bit disparaging.

11 consecutive seasons of at least 86 wins. 5 playoff appearances. 2 World Series victories.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#375295) #
It's true, Dan, that the numbers are poor.  I don't think that it's entirely an accident that Gurriel Jr. has hit better once left in a position he can handle.  Guerrero Jr.'s struggles at third base might be affecting his focus at the plate- it's certainly not unusual for a young player. 

Jansen and Biggio have got the short end of the BABIP stick, as Sogard has got the long end.  All three look pretty decent at the plate, and will likely merge in the middle.  Jansen's defence behind the plate has been a pleasant surprise.  He's pretty good back there.  They've got to figure out where Biggio plays also. 

McKinney was a definite disappointment. 

ayjackson - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#375297) #
Big shoutout to Mike and dan for talking about the exploits of the current home 9 and not the endless debate regarding the last regime. I don't get to watch as many games as I used to and it's nice to come on here to catch up late at night or early morning.

dalimon5 - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#375298) #
I echo Dan's concerns/surprise about the prospects. If this is what the new front office is relying on then it won't be a long tenure for them. Fans and probably ownership dont want to wait years and years to see if prospects will come around.

If they make strong trades and sign free agents they may be able to get competitive and allow for more time for their chosen prospects to develop.
bpoz - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#375305) #
In the NYY thread I made a very long post about Atkins trade of Happ.

I suggested Oakland as an alternate partner. My proposed return return of Happ was 1 top 10 prospect.

I was not setting you guys up!! I did not want to extend the posr. My proof/defense is that Alford was at one time in our top 10. He has slipped down for many Bauxites. Prospects do that. Alford vs McKinney & Drury?? Definitely many of the 20 top 10 will not even make it to AA ball. We know that.
uglyone - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#375307) #
This is the whole problem with fans hoping for rebuilds - there is such a crazy lack of realism as to what you can actually expect prospects to do. No matter how many times prospects fail, fans still seem to think it's easy to just collect a whole bunch of kids and build a winner.

There were only 2 hitting prospects that we should have had any reasonable expectations of being legit good players this year - Vladdy and Jansen. That's it. The rest were all longshots. And even with these two, while both should be expected to be good job players those expectations should always have been tempered in their ROOKIE years.

Vladdy has been a solid league average hitter so far with a 102wrc+. That itself is actually a great result for a 20yr old. But it's a bit deceiving - he struggled badly in his first 50pa with a 9wrc+. But he's been awesome since with a 142wrc+ in his last 100pa. The kid is awesome - and if you didnt expect any struggles at all early on you were being unrealistic.

Danny has been a disappointment at the plate for sure so far, but thankfully he's been a nice surprise behind it. And he does seem to be getting a ton of bad babip luck so far. But even then, if you expected more from Danny in his rookie season than to maybe be a league average bat, again you were being unrealistic.

As for all the other "kids"....not one was projected to be even a league average hitter this year. And none of them had defensive chops either. All of them were longshots to be capable major leaguers this year. It's actually a good result that one of them has performed very well this year (gurriel). The rest were all castoffs for a reason.

As for Biggio imo he actually looks good and his sample is way too tiny to worry about yet. But even then, he is far from a surefire prospect which makes him even further from being a guy you can expect to be really good as a ROOKIE.

But once again people are showing that they really don't understand the actual value of "kids", and have far rosier expectations of them than is warranted. Especially when we're talking about players in their rookie years.

And this continual misunderstanding explains why fans get so upset about "trading away the farm!" even when it gets them an elite team, and get so excited about "blowing it up and rebuilding" even when you're blowing up an elite team.

grjas - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#375310) #
Yes that's a fair comment about fans expecting too much of young, emerging players, but the Jays really had little option but to look to a rebuild. We can argue if the timing was right, and whether a few trades would have prolonged the streak but the 2016 team was built around aging vets, none of whom are still elite, save possibly Price, and at times Stroman.  At some point the Jays had to turn to youth as there was no longer an established base to build around.... and here we are. Whether they are the right youngsters, and whether the FO will enhance the base with the right trades and signings....well we'll see.
SK in NJ - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#375311) #
The only player you could have reasonably expected to have an "elite" rookie season was Vlad, and even he's still only 20. Good prospects can come up and struggle initially. There are so many outcomes for prospects that it's pointless to conclude anything after two months. The Jays are in a position where they are all struggling at once (or not meeting expectations in Vlad's case), but it's too early to say it's an organizational issue. Some of it could be bad luck, an adjustment period, etc.

Prospect development is not linear. Jansen could be terrible this year, and a 3 WAR player next year. Teoscar could be bad in Toronto, be claimed on waivers 2 years from now, and become a good player in his late 20's. People forget JD Martinez was on the rebuilding Astros team and they let him go. This is one of the reasons I am not a fan of the scorched earth rebuilding strategy, would rather it be a bit more subtle, but this is the direction the FO wanted to go in.
bpoz - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#375312) #
UO's comments are quite fair and realistic.

I would add that not everyone agrees on this site. I for one am becoming quite compassionate as I age. The discussion on trades and prospects is very interesting. A lot of well thought out posts mostly.

The one unfair thing for me is the career Cito had. I very strongly feel that he deserved better.

Nigel - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#375316) #
I agree with Mike that there are definitely signs of life and Iím actually fairly sanguine about how the young players are playing. UOís absolutely right about having more realistic expectations of rookies. You also have to remember that some of the players that have been hyped like Gurriel really didnít deserve the hype based on their minor league track record. Iím more worried about how things are going in the upper minors right now. Outside of Pearson, there might not be another material prospect graduation this year and next.

Unfortunately this is just going to take a while. The team has almost no league average or better players and those that they have may be about to be traded. This isnít getting fixed quickly.
Nigel - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#375317) #
And Bichette of course
Nigel - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#375323) #
Jackson and Richard raise further questions about the current state of the pro scouting department.
Glevin - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#375324) #
Gurriel was never hyped. He signed a contract that paid him like a utility player and he was always regarded as such. He only started getting hyped when he performed well last year. People have to remember that the prospects around now apart from Vlad were all marginal. Late round picks, pickups in cheap trades, etc... I had hoped one of the AAAA seeming guys would prove more and they still might but it's been a bad year for the all the young guys (Vlad and Gurriel have been fine and Thornton has shown enough to look interesting but apart from that...)
SK in NJ - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#375325) #
Vlad was the top prospect in baseball, Jansen in the top 50 (BA), and Biggio likely raised his stock enough this season in AAA to be in the top 100 area. I would consider them actual prospects to varying degrees. The Jays needed someone from the fringey group to turn into something, and it looks like Gurriel might have the best shot now (with Hernandez, McKinney, Drury, Tellez, etc, being the disappointments).

The team is surrounded mostly by either fringe MLB players/prospects or vet scrubs. This roster is basically Atkins telling the world that he is tanking without actually saying the words out loud. I wouldn't read too much into the results. A better run org like the Yankees or Rays have a track record of taking fringey types and turning them around, but I don't think the failure to do so for the Jays (so far) is necessarily an indictment on their player development.

I think the one thing that is clear is the rebuild might take longer than some of us, including me, wants it to. I wanted to see this team turn it around by 2021, but unless the FO becomes aggressive with promoting players in the minors and/or gets a bunch of near ready impact players in trades this summer, that might be too aggressive of a timeline given where the team is now. Obviously a lot can change since teams with young talent have a lot of unpredictability to it. They could succeed quicker than expected or not succeed at all depending on development.
hypobole - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#375329) #
To me, the Jackson and Richard moves were more a sign of a FO that didn't care about winning or losing this year making cheap pickups. Jackson was getting hit around in AAA when we bought him for cash. Richard was a salary dump by the Padres. Padres got a 26 yr old non-prospect and are paying half his $3 million salary.
cascando - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#375330) #
I don't doubt that the front office saw what was coming this year. They "reinforced" a weak roster with a bunch of cast-offs. Obviously, a team built like that will not be good. What is the difference, really, between 55 and 65 wins?

For me, 2023 is the put-up-or-shut-up year for this current management group. This year is a write-off, expectations will be low next year, and then 2021 will be a year where they're expected to show progress. Progress at that point could be a near-.500 season. 2022 we can expect 85-ish wins. If they're not competitors in 2023, I think Atkins will be told to move on.

Depending on how you feel about them now, that could be either very reasonable or very depressing. I personally don't see another potential winner until post-Atkins, and likely post-Shapiro. Well over a decade out. C'est la vie.

Meanwhile, enjoy the moments! Baseball is a beautiful game. You don't need a contender in your city to love baseball.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#375331) #
This would all be so much easier if the management could manage expectations. Look at the Leafs as an example with the narrative "there's going to be pain." Perfect, it settled everyone down.

Atkins, on the other hand, i firmly believe is tanking without saying so like SK points out. I dont think that many people would have a problem with that but when he signs somebody like Jackson then spins it like he did 2 weeks ago by saying something to the effect of "his underlying numbers are very encouraging and we see upside" ...well that just has the opposite effect of the pain narrative the Leaf's employed which was pretty effective in queling expectations and garnering fan support rather than alienating the base that you rebuilt in the middle of the decade.
Kelekin - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#375332) #
I think there are internal bandages to the issue. We know Pannone and Gaviglio aren't long-term solutions there, but Gaviglio was still better as a starter last year than anything Richard has done in years. When you get Phelps back in the bullpen, it seems weird to not just have one of them fill the position for now.

It's uh...interesting, to think how this rotation could look if we traded both Stroman and Sanchez (though I still think we should be attempting to keep Stroman). I'm having war flashbacks to the time Josh Towers became our ace.

I can't fault the front office for all their pick-ups, despite how they've turned out. I never liked the Richard and Jackson signings, but I will say that I really like Shoemaker and he was a great signing risk. Injuries have derailed his very under-rated career, and I'm saddened that we have to wait until next year to see him pitch for us again. Buchholz hasn't panned out how we wanted, but that was also a strong signing risk for a pitcher who had a great career and track record.
Kelekin - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#375333) #
I would agree, dalimon. This is one thing that AA had initially done so well: he made it very clear from the get go what his timeline was going to be, he made people aware it was going to take time and there'd be growing pains. Even though he changed course (which I know I have brought up enough lately), I remember feeling reassured as a fan by what seemed to be a clear path and strategy.
bpoz - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#375334) #
I am very positive about Atkins. The season is tanking on its own. Keeping Vlad down for service time was a necessary move which hurt the teams chances to win. That is tanking.

I cannot blame him or anyone else for the injuries we have suffered. Borucki (young) for one. Richard (old).

Somehow I do blame him for S Brito and A Hanson. Urena was healthy, But was he better??

Luciano was going to hurt. I knew that.

The results of the young and old players was in their own hands. Young Panonne, Jansen, Gurriel, Hernandez. Old Smoak, Galvis.
scottt - Sunday, June 09 2019 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#375336) #
Shoemaker was as good as he's ever been.
Buchholz is a shade of himself.
At least, Richard is a lefty. There will always been room for him in the pen, if nothing else.

We already know Biagini and Gaviglio are better in the pen.
Luciano could get some starts, maybe with an opener, if they need to get increase his innings.
He's thrown 66/67 innings in back rookie leagues seasons.
I think you can crank him to 100. He's on track for less than 60.
It's all about the future.

Apparently the Yankees are interested in Stroman now that German is injured.
That scares me.

Dr B - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#375340) #
At least, Richard is a lefty. There will always been room for him in the pen, if nothing else.

Quite so. And if all he ever got to face was lefties, he'd actually be good.
Glevin - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 03:12 AM EDT (#375342) #
"This would all be so much easier if the management could manage expectations. Look at the Leafs as an example with the narrative "there's going to be pain." Perfect, it settled everyone down.

Atkins, on the other hand, i firmly believe is tanking without saying so like SK points out. I dont think that many people would have a problem with that but when he signs somebody like Jackson then spins it like he did 2 weeks ago by saying something to the effect of "his underlying numbers are very encouraging and we see upside" ...well that just has the opposite effect of the pain narrative the Leaf's employed which was pretty effective in queling expectations and garnering fan support rather than alienating the base that you rebuilt in the middle of the decade."

The Jays have been very clear about the fact they are rebuilding. I don't see talking up your people as "spinning". What do you realistically expect him to do? Say "Jackson sucks but we just need an arm in here because everyone got hurt.?" Everyone knows that's the case but how does it help anything? Seriously, did Atkins saying this make even one single Jays fan in the world think that the Jays were doing anything except getting an arm to eat innings? Did anyone have expectations that adding Richard was a move made to push the Jays into the playoff hunt? This is a rebuilding team who has been clear about the fact it is rebuilding. If anyone needs expectations managed, they have some major comprehension issues.
Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#375344) #
You could use Gaviglio as an opener and then Richard as the main event (like Stanek and Yarbrough).  It would mean that teams would be less likely to load down the opening lineup with RH hitters.
dalimon5 - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#375346) #
Im gonna venture a guess that you haven't attended the Blue Jays season ticket holder events with Mark or Ross.

Where have they ever talked about a painful rebuild with zero shot of contention? I cant find anything...anywhere.

PErhaps it is you who has comprehension issues. The question is why they arent upfront and say this is a scorched earth rebuild or painful process. They deliberately go out of their way to say the opposite, that it's a rebuild with money available, one of the best farm systems in baseball already and blah blah blah internal processes and collaborations and player development this and that. Go re-read my post and then tell me again how my comprehension isnt there when you fail to understand the difference between the approaches of the two Toronto organizations to manage expectations.

uglyone - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#375347) #
absolutely, dalimon.

the way this FO slobbers over acquisitions like Brito and Hanson is embarassing and insulting. they obviously think the fans are idiots, and that's been clear to me since day one.
Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#375348) #
People here and fans generally anticipated a losing season, and I thought that it was pretty clear that Atkins telegraphed it.
Mike D - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#375349) #
Look, nobody thought this would be a good season and I don't think the front office particularly sold it as such. To me, while it is understandable that a fan would feel impatient and frustrated with watching their team get blown out every night, I'm more concerned with the knock-on effects of how this roster was constructed than I am with the lost season itself.

I recently made kind of an omnibus griping comment, but I want to focus on one specific gripe, and that is the danger of how they have staffed the rotation. After all, there is still nearly 900 innings to pitch this season and Luke Maile can only be counted on for three or four of them.

It must be tempting, when you're punting a season, to view each dollar spent as a dollar wasted. But it was simply reckless to staff a rotation full of guys with ability, but bright red injury flags, and to give Buffalo a steaming pile of a rotation. When you're left with the Edwin Jacksons of the world who can't get out of the fourth inning, you are simply going to overtax the rest of the staff.

I am really worried about the volume long relief innings that have been pitched are going to be needed going forward. Who else is going to get hurt? Who else is going to get rushed to the big leagues? I'm not even so worried about the intangible things like the effect of relentless losing as I am that the team has been caught short of human beings to actually take the mound for the innings that the team, legally, still has to collectively pitch this season.

This will get worse when Stroman and Sanchez are traded. If any SPs come back in the deals, it'll be either kids or awful vets, thus exacerbating the problem.

All this is to say that "c'mon, they were tanking and didn't give a crap about the 2019 roster" is a much less compelling defence of the front office for the ongoing dumpster fire of a rotation than some here seem to think it is.

uglyone - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#375350) #
"and to give Buffalo a steaming pile of a rotation"

one thing nobody can deny is that the FO made it very clear that they were very excited about the pitching depth in buffalo and NH this year. they explicitly viewed that as a strength.
bpoz - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#375351) #
I agree with Glevin. It is wrong to insult any player. The exception seems to be in Arb hearings.

I did not expect much from E Jackson regarding quality innings. I realized that his arm is very durable based on his pitching history. IMO until better pitching is available he will be here.

I have noticed that a lot of our pitchers are getting injured. Those innings have to be replaced.

I hope we don't have any more pitching injuries. I also hope that a few of our injured pitchers will return. I will deal with the negative feelings I will have if Stroman, Sanchez and Giles are traded. When traded I hope the replacement pitchers do well.

Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#375352) #
That's fair, Mike D.  Borucki and maybe Bucholz will be back, and Montoyo hasn't been afraid to use his relievers for multi-inning work.  There's a way out of this, but it does not involve Edwin Jackson, and it would be made a lot easier if the club didn't trade Stroman.  Bringing up Patrick Murphy and Yennsy Diaz is not the right answer.
hypobole - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#375353) #
Without defending Atkins constant hyperbole, who thought all 3 of Borucki, Zeuch and Harris would be injured at the same time?
Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#375354) #
Healthy or not, Harris was a longshot to be of help in 2019.  The depth chart (I thought) looked approximately like this:  Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Richard, Borucki, Thornton, Buchholz, Pannone, Gaviglio, Reid-Foley, Zeuch.  Their injury tally is maybe a little worse than anticipated, but not a lot.  If they move Stroman and Sanchez, they are going to have to find a way to get more innings out of some of those who are left.

Richard is not like Edwin Jackson.  He can still pitch acceptably if used right, yesterday's game notwithstanding. 
hypobole - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#375355) #
Harris was almost assuredly going to be a part of Buffalo's rotation, even if the chances of him being a starter in the majors is about as close to nil as you can get.
Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#375357) #
Fair enough, hypobole.  I thought that the issue wasn't triple A starters though.  Ryan Feierabend is there working on his knuckler, and that's fine. 
bpoz - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#375358) #
A very well thought out post Mike D.

The trading of Stroman and/or Sanchez would open up a 40 man spot. A prospect that is currently on the 40 man could join the rotation. Or they add a AAA arm. A Sopko is a candidate. He would have options.

Nigel - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#375359) #
If this year's plan involved Harris and Zeuch then it wasn't much of a plan. Harris hasn't been a prospect for a long long time. Anyway, that isn't to take away from the points made above that there have been a lot of pitching injuries which have legitimately impacted both the Jays and Buffalo. It's hard to complain about the 10th man on the starter depth chart. However, I stand by my earlier thoughts that the collection of fringy players (both of the AAAA type and the vets - of which Richard and Jackson are but two examples) brought in through the pro-scouting department in the past several years has been poor - even measured against the cost of acquisition.
hypobole - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#375360) #
Majors - Stroman, Sanchez, Shoe, Richard, Buchholz

Buffalo - Borucki, SRF, Thornton, Zeuch, Harris.

There were supposedly 3 MLB ready arms in Buffalo plus Waguespack and Merryweather who's now 15 months removed from surgery.

Yeah, the quality isn't all that great, but there was quantity.

bpoz - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#375361) #
SD is as young a team as the Jays. But they believe that they can compete I think. You have to start giving your perceived core playing time at some point. I assume but don't know that SD started last year.

So some vets will become surplus. Richard may have been a surplus vet to SD. The Jays got a favorable deal when they got him. The best parts are that he is cheap and on a 1 year deal. Mile D's point about bright red flags regarding injuries is very good. But I will need time to digest this concept (generally 2 days). The 2 days is a personal limitation that I accept. No choice it seems.

I have expectations that with playing time our youth will become good. Just being positive.
Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#375362) #
And, hypobole, Gaviglio and Pannone started last year and there was/is no reason that they could not be called on in that role this year.  Phelps will be coming back soon, and you could easily move one of them into the role and you could bring up SRF and put him into the bullpen to begin (he's been very good over the first inning or two of his starts). 
hypobole - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#375364) #
Just want to get something off my chest. I really hate defending Atkins. I don't like the guy. Now that may change somewhat if there's a deus ex machina announcement the Jays have extended Stroman instead of trading him. But unless that happens or he makes some moves that really impress me, it is what it is.

Some in the media are even worse than anti-Atkins crowd here. Chisholm covered Atkins injury red flag rotation signings a few weeks back. He listed other pitchers Atkins should have targeted, many with their own extensive injury histories, combined with worse results than Atkins signings. Among a couple of others, Chisholm suggested Drew Pomeranz, Tyson Ross and Matt Moore (who'd already had a season ending injury at the time of writing) as better signings than Shoe and Buchholz.

Not worth going further.

Mike Green - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#375365) #
So I ran a Play Index for Marcus Stroman comparables.  I decided to use 2016-19, age 25-28, as a base.  Stroman is likely to have about 700 innings.  He currently has an ERA+ of 109 for that period and 110 for his career.  So I used 650 IP as the lower bound and 750 IP as the higher bound, and 105 ERA+ as the lower bound and 115 ERA+ as the higher bound.  I ended up with 39 pitchers, and I threw out 11 of them because no data yet (Odorizzi), did not accumulate 15 starts in age 28 season (e.g. Danny Cox) or were terminally declining by age 28, and thrown out of baseball (Lefty Williams).  Of the remaining 28, 11 were useless from age 30 on (Matt Garza, Melido Perez, Wilson Alvarez), 11 were good either in relief (Tom Gordon, Pete Richert) or as a starter (Curt Schilling, Danny Jackson, Kevin Tapani) and 6 had some value either as an average starter (Kirk McCaskill) or with 1 good season (LaMarr Hoyt).    Two of the good group were really good- Schilling, Mort Cooper (but WW2).  By the way, I did not know that Mort Cooper's middle name was Cecil...

It's really a 50-50 proposition with Stroman.  I hope they extend him, but you can understand how there might be a dispute about valuation. 
85bluejay - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#375366) #
So Far, I'm on the fence regarding Shapiro/Atkins - they took over under unusual circumstances, after the team made the AL championship series and really the first two years of their tenure was really carrying on with AA's team - they made a big mistake in failing to sell in July 2017 and really last summer selloff was meh highlighted by the poor return (so far) for Happ - Atkins will really be under the gun to get a better return this July and based on last July I'm not optimistic - This FO seems to be willing to go for near ready low ceiling prospects which is not how you win in this division - hopefully, Atkins does better this trade deadline.

Early in Shapiro's tenure he was gung-ho about renovations to the Rogers centre and Dunedin - while ownership has given the green light to Dunedin, it seems they aren't willing to spend the hundreds of millions to renovate Rogers centre and I get the distinct impression that this has soured the relationship between ownership and Shapiro - I think Shapiro is looking for an exit strategy and maybe why his protege Atkins perhaps only got a one year extension - if Shapiro goes, then the next President will probably want his own guy.
Nigel - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#375367) #
In the broad sense, I think it is very hard to evaluate the current FO as "bad" or "good". There are some things that they appear to do well and some that they appear to do poorly. They have made some shrewd moves and some poor ones. Any criticism or expression of support for the FO needs to be nuanced, in my view. Personally, I will admit that I find it hard to evaluate the FO because they have risked so little and tried so few moves of significance.

Every FO walks a very tricky line between telling their customers the truth and the need for marketing the team. I find this FO strays into marketing more often than I like but that's a personal bias versus a criticism.
grjas - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#375368) #
Majors - Stroman, Sanchez, Shoe, Richard, Buchholz
Buffalo - Borucki, SRF, Thornton, Zeuch, Harris

I also think the FO made a mistake in terms of SP for the year. Four on the majors list above had recent injury woes, and with it fairly clear now that they wanted to trade two of them, this was a ticking time bomb. If the trades proceed, we may quickly wear out some younger, not ready for prime time arms, hardly ideal in a rebuilding year.

Mean time we have infielders and marginal outfielders up the ying yang.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#375369) #
I think it's fair to be skeptical about the FO. There is a difference between plan and execution. Not doubling down on the 2015-16 core was the right plan. There was a shelf life to that roster and the FO was smart enough to realize it. The execution of the rebuild is a separate issue, and that will ultimately determine how quickly the org can turn around. I think the drafting and international signings have been very strong (on paper). The big league moves have been less enticing. It's definitely fair to have doubts about Atkins. He needs to have a strong trade deadline this summer to make up for the lost opportunities in previous trades.
PeterG - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#375370) #
How do we know there were any better trades to be had? Teams are less willing to move prospects than previously. Perhaps in the case of Happ (overrated on here imo), there may not have been any worthwhile prospects offered. Ceratinly didn't hear any teams complaining they had been offered more and were turned down.

I don't think the desire to move Stroman has anything to do with valuation but more that the FO does not see him as the type of personality (rightly or wrongly) that they want moving forward.
greenfrog - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#375371) #
If teams didnít offer the Jays any worthwhile players for Happ, then the Jays should have held on to him and perhaps made a QO at the end of the season. The front office is certainly under no obligation to do its rivals ó least of all the Yankees ó a favour by giving them a quality SP for basically nil. After the trade Cashman boasted how he used the blip in Happís performance before the trade deadline to drive down his price in negotiations.
greenfrog - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#375372) #
As far as I can tell, the Jays traded Happ, Donaldson, and Osuna, and in return essentially got a trade-chip reliever (Giles), a couple of low-percentage prospects, and a couple of fringy bench players.

The next wave of players to be traded consists of Stroman, Sanchez, Giles, Smoak. Weíll see how it goes.
PeterG - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#375373) #
I heard it differently and that the Yanks offer was on the table for some time. Whatever, of course Happ's poor July would have affected any negotiations to some degree. Keeping Happ and giving a QO wouldn't make any sense. The Jays wanted to move on and would have been stuck with him under those circumstances. It might seem now in hindsight that he could have been useful this year but no-one could have foreseen the undue number of injuries.

Basically, I play little attention to those who take every possible opportunity, no matter how small, to bash the FO.
PeterG - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#375374) #
Those who don't understand why the Donaldson and Osuna trades were made really aren't paying attention to the dynamics of the situation or to what generally happens in a rebuild and attempted change of identity and likely don't see why Tulo was releaserd either.

A solid argument can be made that Donaldson and Osuna should have been moved sooner but I tend to think that is on ownership more than the FO. I am not suggesting that they are doing a great job as it will be awhile before we know if their plan is working or not but I do feel that they were in a difficult position from the beginning and need time to work it all out.
scottt - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#375375) #
Giles is as good as Osuna was. He also hit free agency at the same time.
It's too early to say what they got in Paulino and Perez.

Giles wasn't very good with Houston. Some Makeup issues there for sure. That could drive value down.
Stroman was bad last year, but otherwise should have value.
Sanchez is not reliable. I'd be amazed to get anything worthwhile.
Same for Smoak. 1B/DH types are not valued currently.

They really need to hit on something with Stroman or just extend him.

scottt - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#375376) #
I'd love to see what Donaldson was asking to sign an extension with Toronto.
Martin and Tulo were still on the payroll making 20M per year.

hypobole - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#375377) #
"Giles is as good as Osuna was. He also hit free agency at the same time."

Because Osuna didn't accrue service time during his suspension, he has to wait an extra year before free agency, so a year after Giles.
PeterG - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#375379) #
I don't think that neither the Jays nor Donaldson wished to continue the relationship so an extension may not have ever been discussed.

I think that Giles has more trade value than Stroman. There does seem to be split opinion on this. We'll see how it turns out. I do think that Stroman will be traded first, possibly soon, while Giles will go closer to deadline.

I agree that Neither Sanchez nor Smoak will fetch much but hopefully we may be surprised. Maybe there is value to keeping them the rest of the season if offers are poor.
85bluejay - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#375380) #
"How do we know there were any better trades to be had?"

True, but I think that's a poor defence because if you take that approach you can apply that reasoning to all trades, so no poor trades - we can only analyze and critic trades that actually happen and so far the Jays have gotten the short end of the Happ deal.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#375381) #
Obviously I don't know what other offers were out there for Happ, but the fact that the Jays got a better deal for Russell Martin than they did for Happ is mind boggling to me. Brito is a big long shot, but you can dream on a 20 year old infielder with power. McKinney is 24 and below average at practically everything, and Drury was already three seasons into his career with middling results when he was acquired. If some team was offering a 19 year old lottery ticket, I would have preferred that over what the team ended up with.

Regardless, I think both sides are right here. The Jays, whether due to circumstances out of their control or not, traded a bunch of players when their value was at its lowest, so you couldn't really expect a huge haul of prospects (never mind that teams are no longer trading top prospects). On the flip side, we can only really judge what we see, so if the Jays are letting the value of their vets depreciate before trading them for 50 cents on the dollar, then at some point you have to hold them accountable there as well, even though I'm almost certain it was a Rogers call.

The returns for Stroman and Giles will be a big test. Giles in particular.
PeterG - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#375383) #
They got more for Martin (if one thinks a lottery ticket is more) because Jays picked up most of the salary. But I agree that Happ trade does not look so good in retrospect but it is still entirely possible that no decent prospects could be had for him.

Whatever offers there are in the coming days or weeks will likely be the best that Jays will see between now and their free agency. The market is what it is or will be.
hypobole - Monday, June 10 2019 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#375384) #
The multiple reports I saw on the Happ trade were that it was a fair deal, the questioning was whether the FO should have demanded lower level "higher risk/higher upside" kids. I thought the same myself at the time, it seemed the Yankees were clearing 40 man spots.
Glevin - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 02:25 AM EDT (#375387) #
"The multiple reports I saw on the Happ trade were that it was a fair deal, the questioning was whether the FO should have demanded lower level "higher risk/higher upside" kids. I thought the same myself at the time, it seemed the Yankees were clearing 40 man spots."

Yup. Happ giving up at least 5 runs in 3 of his last Jays starts certainly didn't help. I don't think the Jays would have received a great prospect, Happ had an XFIP over 4.00 for 3 straight months and was a free agent, but I'd rather have targeted an interesting A ball arm or two. I actually think most of their trades, they have managed to get interesting enough pieces for giving away almost nothing. Donaldson, they should have moved earlier. They were unlucky he missed almost the entire year and was mediocre when he did play but these kinds of declines are not unheard of on the wrong side of 30 and the Jays should have traded him when he still had some value. Osuna, the Jays did an amazing job getting very fair value for someone who seemed untradable. Giles and Stroman have more value than anyone they traded so far so hopefully, they get some good prospects and they don't wait too long and risk an injury and the value disappearing.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#375390) #
Honestly I find trying to nitpick individual transactions is mainly a way of avoiding looking at the big picture.

And the big picture is pretty ugly.
cascando - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#375391) #
I just hope they've learned from the Happ deal. If they move Stroman and Giles for a similar type of return, they'll set the team back even further.
DavidtheDeuce - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#375394) #
Off Topic: Pleased to see Edwin Encarnacion having a good season and baseball media shining a spotlight on his accomplishments. One of my favorite Blue Jays of all time - a great redemption story.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#375395) #
Still a spot in my heart for Edwin. Remember being at the RC during his darker days standing and cheering him while boos were raining down. Keep it up, Edwin. Oh, and screw those "fans".
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#375396) #
I am delighted that Edwin Encarnacion is having a fine twilight to his career.

His career is an example of something that I believe.  From age 22-27, the Reds and Blue Jays tried to keep him at third base.  During those six years, he hit .254/.336/.453 for an OPS+ of 103 with 5.5 WAR. When the Blue Jays finally moved him to first base/DH, he began to hit.  From age 28-36, he went .266/.361/.521 for an OPS+ of 136 and 28.5 WAR.  The principle- don't push a good hitter into a position that stretches him defensively- is one I still hold, and it applies to VGJ. 
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#375397) #
Kevin Durant, the NBA Troy Tulowitzki? Hall of fame tracks, sidelined and playing through major leg injuries after 28 years.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#375398) #
Position change was part of Edwin's breakout. But like Bautista, he revamped his swing. In the 2011-2012 offseason he worked with Robby Cano's hitting coach, shortening and tightening his swing and opening up his stance. That's when he really took off.
AWeb - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#375399) #
Edwin actually has a terrible BABIP this year too, and his strikeouts have dropped for the first time in 5 or 6 years. He's as good as ever, and playing 1B more too. It was great seeing how happy he was after hitting his 400th HR. I first saw it as a highlight labeled "20th HR", with the sound off, and his big grin made no sense to me at all since it didn't seem to be a big homer in game. Congrats to EE.

I hope he manages to stick around for a few thousand more plate appearances and cracks 500 HRs and 1500 RBI (I'd guess he doesn't, but I hope he does). Can't see any HoF shot (Harold Baines "WTF" wing excepted) unless he plays for a very long time, but there's always someone around lasting longer than anyone figured. This year being so good so far has probably bought him a starting job somewhere next year, unless he suffers a major injury.
jerjapan - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#375401) #
Reading the Athletic today reminded me of the biggest factor in the 'ugly' big picture facing the Jays - our division isn't just stacked, it's also home to three of the smartest orgs in the game.  An article on Miami's outstanding draft talked about the other top drafts - including the Yanks and the Rays.  An article on ' coaxing untapped potential out of players' mentions the Yanks, Rays and Red Sox as three of the best teams in this regard.  Not only are we financially unable to compete with the Yanks and Red Sox, but we are overshadowed by their innovation.  And of course, what the Rays have been able to do on a shoestring budget year in and year out is remarkable. 

Just look at the retreads and buy-low candidates that the Yanks have gotten value from over the years - guys like Voit, Hicks and Urshela.  smart FA signings like DJ Lemahieu.  The transformation of Didi Gregorious into a legit two-way star.  The Rays bought low on guys like Pham, Garcia, Pagan, Choi  and Diaz and have the fantastic Archer deal.  Charlie Morton was a tremendous FA signing. 

Even with our strong draft this year - and really, every year under the Shapiro regime - we are losing ground we can't afford to lose given that we have a corporate owner interested in revenue more than winning.  Our much-vaunted high performance department has yet to demonstrate results and neither has our forward-thinking coaching staff.  Not that they won't, but the reality is that we may struggle to compete even if our development team and coaching staff get strong results with our fantastic crop of position prospects.   I'm not a fan of Atkins, but I do think he and Shapiro have been pretty good overall.  It's just possible that our conservative, play-it-safe FO is wrong for this division. 
bpoz - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#375402) #
jerjapan I am willing to accept that TB, Boston and NYY are superior to us in many respects.

I am not pleased if they are drafting and developing better than us. It does not bother me that our payroll is less than NYY and Boston. Also not bothered that TB gets a better draft budget than we do because they are poor.

It is still to be determined to me if any team in the ALE is making better trades than the others.

I don't like "big picture" as a term because it says nothing to me. I don't understand specifically what that means. I really hope Atkins and Shapiro never use it.

The term "inefficient" is something I will use. I am sorry that it will most likely be vague and confusing to many of you. But I did not want to use the word "stupid" because it is rude and insulting, but still quite easy to understand and not misinterpret.

So inefficient would be:
1) NOT signing our 4-10 round draft picks.
2)Bringing a prospect up early, using him for a very short time and then DFA him and lose him to another organization. That is bad forward thinking in most cases unless the team's farm system is way too overloaded and that move is forced on the team.
3) Wasting a player's options because the people that monitor that fail in how to count 20 days. IMO you can hire a young person who can do this properly and also there are ways to program the computer to also accurately count the days.

This post is getting long. T Hernandez DID NOT burn an option on his recent demotion.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#375403) #
Jerjapan you killed it with your post. Bang on especially at the end of your post with this front office being too safe and non-innovative. The only part I disagree with is this:

"Even with our strong draft this year - and really, every year under the Shapiro regime - we are losing ground we can't afford to lose given that we have a corporate owner interested in revenue more than winning."

TB's owner is even more of a stickler and gives his front office less support and they still find a way to make it work so it's on our management team still, not ownership in our books. You can even argue that Brian Cashman has or has had the opposite challenge...being forced to spend and sign players he may not have wanted yet he still finds a way to get his farm system going so he avoids the major rebuilds and tanks facing the Orioles, Jays etc.
jerjapan - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#375413) #
Thanks dalimon.  TB never ceases to amaze me as a franchise, so I agree with your point - if they can compete based on smart management, we should be able to as well.  And Cashman is as good as GM's get in my mind - he has used NY's financial might to acquire major league talent, but also to build a great organization, something the Leafs are doing to good effect here in TO. 

And Bpoz, I'm with you that payroll issues aren't the most frustrating for Jays' fans - it's the lack of success in dealing with payroll challenges by innovating that I find most frustrating. The Yanks having an arguably better draft than us feels like the rich getting richer to me. 

It's tough though - the days of the dinosaur GM are long gone, and every org has smart people running it these days. 

greenfrog - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#375417) #
Itís not a popular view right now, but I think itís still too early to know whether the organization is headed in the right direction.

There are lots of question marks, to be sure. Iím happy with the addition of Steve Sanders and the quality rule 4 picks of the last few years (e.g. Pearson, Groshans, Manoah). The Latin American IFA acquisitions have been promising enough. And the team has at least been aware of the value of players like Cain and Yelich, even if they couldnít consummate a deal to bring them to Toronto. And players like Happ, Galvis and Shoemaker were good FA acquisitions. The Smoak extension has worked out nicely.

On the other hand, there have been lots of dud moves as well (no need to rehash them all here).

Two or three more years and I think weíll have a pretty clear grasp of what trajectory the organization is on.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#375445) #
I want to stop defending Atkins. It seems that I am doing that in 1 out of 2 or 3 posts. It feels that way to me.

I try to live my life with an open mind. I am not sure of the facts but my feelings are that Atkins "filled" a vacant GM position. I also believe that AA leaving was his own decision. So nobody in the current FO is to blame.

I love this site.

With a little work we can compare the 2010-2014 drafts of every ALE team to see if we are as bad as is believed. I definitely don't count/value the farm system rankings. It creates a buzz but is never followed up 5-10 years later.

Regarding trades the Didi G acquisition by Cashman was a big success because he turned out to be the prize of that 3 team trade.

Cashman also got A Chapman for next to nothing, most likely because of a Cinci salary dump Dec 2015. Then traded him to the Cubs May 2017 for a nice haul of prospects. Maybe they also sent money to the Cubs. Then resigned him later as a FA. A genius strategy. I would like the Jays to do those types of creative transactions. We should give up nothing and receive a high value for that.

We got nothing for Cecil and not much for Loup. We all have an opinion on why that happened. F McGriff was a nice one sided trade. NYY I think was our partner. We gave up good value to receive good value in the Alomar/Carter trade. Also loved the Donaldson trade.
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