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Well, the post-season is over and now it is time for free agents, trades, arbitration, and non-stop wondering 'could player xyz help the Jays' followed by 'Rogers is too cheap to sign him' talk.

Mets are looking for a new manager, Eduardo Perez, Derek Shelton, and Carlos Beltran are in the running. IMO Beltran should coach or something first, no idea on the other two.
Giants near the end of their manager search - Gabe Kapler (the favorite), Astros bench coach Joe Espada, or Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol are the finalists.

Billy Hamilton didn't have his option picked up so he is a free agent (hmm...a real CF with tons of speed? Sounds tempting). Aaron Loup also is a free agent now (just 13 ML games since he left the Jays). Starlin Castro also released but I don't see the Jays getting into that battle with Biggio/Bo in the middle infield. The Reds will exercise their $5.5MM club option on Freddy Galvis (no shock and nice to see for him).

Tons more as this is the time options need to be picked up or dropped, and teams need to set 40 man rosters so tons of players will become free agents over the next few days. These are the guys you chase when dumpster diving which I expect the Jays to do a lot of.
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dan gordon - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 02:00 AM EDT (#382775) #
That's a NO for me on Billy Hamilton. Career slash line of .242/.297/.326/.623. He's already started to lose his main asset, his speed - his steals, triples and range in the OF are all falling, and at 29, are likely to decline further in the next year or two. WAR of 0.3 each of the last 2 years. He's a replacement level player in the near future.
Glevin - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 04:49 AM EDT (#382776) #
What I'd like to see this off-season.
1) A couple of free agent additions that actually improve the team (as well as signing players to flip them). One starter and one reliever at least. Ideally, I'd like Wheeler but guys like Keuchel or Odirizzi would be definite upgrades as well.
2) Trade Giles if you can get a decent return. If not, it's OK to wait until the deadline but there is a lot of risk with waiting so I'd be inclined to move him now.
3) Start clearing out the log-jams of mediocrity especially in OF. None of Fisher, Tellez, McKinney, Alford, Hernandez, and Davis look like everyday players and there aren't enough PAs to go around. Drury should go but Jays need to sign an upgrade utility guy first. Maille should also probably not take up a 40-man spot as he is extremely replaceable and the Jays have great catching depth.
4) Rule V-Not worried as Jays have a lot of baggage they can drop and not very many prospects they need to keep. I'd like them to try to keep McClelland, Wall, Hatch, and Espinal but none of those would be guaranteed to be taken and none profile as impact players.
5) Look to make trades. Jays don't have a lot to give up but that shouldn't stop them. The Jays could trade from catching depth to strengthen elsewhere, they could take on salary to get prospects, and maybe they could move someone who doesn't fit into their long-term plans if there is a fit.
scottt - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#382777) #
First the updates, Boshers, Stewart and Dull have been outrighted.
Stewart is going to Buffalo. Dull has enough service time to declare free agency and Boshers has already been outrighted once, so will probably become a free agent as well.

The 2 guys I don't want to see in April are Drury and Maile. I don't think either has any trade value. Please non-tender and offer minor contracts. The team could use a veteran presence and my preference would be as a Drury replacement.

In center field, Hamilton is a hard no. I'd rather give Pompey or Alford a last shot with the 26 roster.
Marte is a corner outfielder. The interesting free agent option is Shogo Akiyama. He's an 31, but he's a career .300 hitter with decent pop. He's a true free agent who doesn't require posting, but he's also over the hill.

Pursuing Akiyama could also make the Jays a realistic target for Ryu.
Seems rather unlikely, but you never know.

For the starter, I hope they don't fall too far back the list of top pitchers.
Keuchel would be fine. Objectively, he's still better than Dickey was.
He's in a range where you can overpay without breaking the bank.

Giles has to be made available but the return has to improve the team, not just some guy other teams don't want to protect. An outfielder who'd rank higher than Connine, at least one guy in the Moreno, Hiraldo, Kirk range. Something like that.

Normally, it would be tempting to pick another reliever in the rule 5, but the pitchers are limited to 13 spots this year and the injury list goes back to 15 for pitchers and optioned pitchers have to stay down 15 days. So this year, I think it's position players you can be stolen because of the extra bench spot.

John Northey - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#382780) #
No shock most feel Hamilton is a no. He is one of those players who is always interesting due to an extreme in one area of the game (speed) that is always nice to have but useless without a decent OBP. Agreed I'd rather see Pompey get a shot.

One other name worth noting is Edwin - he is a free agent. Not wanting a return myself as I"d rather see a rotating DH so the mass of OF'ers get somewhere else to sort out who is useful long term. I'd like it if the Jays dumped a few of the 'meh' guys but odds are they will hold until they reach arbitration at least.
Chuck - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#382781) #
In lieu of someone like the rightfully-to-be ignored Hamilton, I think we'll see yet more farting around in CF in 2020.

And I think a return from Edwin is extremely unlikely. The org has moved on and needs positional flexibility to hopefully make some final yea/nay decisions on the big pool of uninspiring talent.

I would guess that any bucks that are spent will be on pitching. And those won't be big bucks.

greenfrog - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#382782) #
Expect to see quotes from the GM about having lots of “productive conversations” with clubs/agents and “kicking the tires” on various desirable free agents. In other words, hype about the process being followed, if not the actual players acquired.
lexomatic - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#382783) #
I'd be fine with giving Hamilton an NRI, but not at the expense of one of those players that needs  a final test. Think of it as a spring showcase. But I wouldn't want him blocking anyone from AAA even.
Chuck - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#382784) #
Think of it as a spring showcase.

What if he were to hit .427 in the spring? What would that prove?

GabrielSyme - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#382785) #
What if he were to hit .427 in the spring? What would that prove?

Nothing. I think it only really makes sense to put him on the roster if he shows some notable improvement in contact or plate discipline - or, more likely, injuries create room for him.

There really is little downside to inviting a guy to spring training. But I believe Hamilton will get a guaranteed deal as a 5th outfielder/pinch-runner/defensive replacement somewhere.
GabrielSyme - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#382786) #
As it stands, I don't think it makes sense to acquire a centre-fielder. Hernandez looks to be bad but not unplayable defensively there, and an above-average bat, Grichuk can play CF. Plus you have Fisher and Alford who are out-of-options, and aren't likely to be cut loose for nothing. Unless we swing some kind of inventive trade (Grichuk for a bad-contract pitcher, for example)

The real area the roster can and should be materially improved is the pitching staff.
Vulg - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#382787) #
Expect to see quotes from the GM about having lots of “productive conversations” with clubs/agents and “kicking the tires” on various desirable free agents. In other words, hype about the process being followed, if not the actual players acquired.

Definitely bracing myself for this. Results over rhetoric. There were nice, reasonble-term and high-value deals to be had last season. I'll be keeping an eye on this list and it'll be easy enough to gauge how the team did when the smoke settles:
christaylor - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#382788) #
From the Athletic:

"Biggest Need: Starting pitching

The Blue Jays graduated some of their — and the game’s — top hitting prospects in 2019, and their fans, and ownership, will expect that talent to start translating into wins in 2020. In order for that to happen, the Jays are going to need to staff up on the other side of the ball, particularly in the starting rotation, which is almost completely unsettled heading into the winter. Of course, the Jays’ real target isn’t 2020 but beyond, so youth (at least relative youth) is an important factor in their pitching acquisitions. On the free-agent market, that can be pricy, but with minimal commitments on the books, the Jays are ready to spend.

Targets: Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Zack Wheeler, Jake Odorizzi"

...I totally agree with the need, but those targets (aside for Odorizzi) seem totally out-there. I guess the Jays could surprise, but still, that'd be a splash and a half.
Mike Green - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#382789) #
There are lots of ways for the Jays to end a significant number of wins in the off-season, and not all involve signing Cole or Strasburg.  They might shop in the mid-range market for a pitcher, and spend on Rendon and  a centerfielder.  That would be great.
bpoz - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#382790) #
I think they will want to win more games so that attendance improves.

There is a lot of testing left to do as well as getting more ML experience.

All the good position players need more ML experience. BBGG.

Many OFs need to prove that the belong or don't. Good bat for T Hernandez but the defense has to get better. Montoyo was using J Davis late in the game to preserve a lead with his good defense. Davis preserved the No Hitter for Zeuch with a great catch. He has value in protecting a save.

The pitching has a few prospects more ready now or soon. They will have to earn their ML opportunity.
vw_fan17 - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#382791) #
I'll predict we sign 0 "star" free agents like Rendon, Strasburg, Cole, etc. Anyone that has had 3+WAR in '18 or '19.

If we're REALLY lucky, one $15M+ pitching contract for someone like Keuchel.

We're bound to get 1 or 2 useful players out of the plethora of dumpster dives that will be forthcoming...
Which, factoring in huge strides by the BBGGs leaves us around 75-80 wins, IMHO.
Mike Green - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#382792) #
That's probably right based on the FO's MO, vwfan. And none of the big-ticket options may be interested in playing here no matter what the offer (although I doubt it). 
christaylor - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#382793) #
If I squint I can see a Strasburg signing. He just won a WS, he's a name the FO could convince Rogers to bank on and market around, and from how he presents himself in the media would probably work with the city. FA motivations are so complicated youneverknow -- who'd have though Clemens would have signed with the Jays in the 90s?
GabrielSyme - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#382794) #
We're bound to get 1 or 2 useful players out of the plethora of dumpster dives that will be forthcoming... Which, factoring in huge strides by the BBGGs leaves us around 75-80 wins, IMHO.

Even modest strides for the BBGGs would put most of them in all-star territory. Vlad has the furthest to go, but Lourdes, Bo and Biggio were all playing at an all-star level if they'd had a full season at their best position. Apart from Guerrero, we just want Lourdes, Cavan and Bo to maintain their production over full seasons. That gets us to 75-80 wins even before adding free agents. "Huge strides" would put Bichette in MVP territory, and make Biggio and Lourdes into 5-6 win players.
scottt - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#382795) #
The Jays still have Groshans, Martinez, Hiraldo and their best 3 players already in the infield.
So, no interest in Rendon. You could probably package 2 of those guys and a catcher for Chapman if the A's don't extend him.

Carlos Beltran to manage the Mets. I love it. Selling the drama.

John Northey - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#382796) #
Strasburg would be wanting a $200+ million contract. Minimum. He is guaranteed $100 over 4 years right now, which he almost certainly will opt out of. 130 ERA+ lifetime, 138 last year. Entering age 31 season. So a risk in age but for free agent pitching it is hard to do better.

As mentioned earlier he would be like the Clemens signing in the 96/97 offseason. Got 2 pitcher triple crowns out of him (W/ERA/SO) before the forced trade to the Yankees for David Wells and 2 'meh' (geez Ash was terrible at trades wasn't he). Still he would be a very good fit, the money is there and could even be front loaded if needed with the low payroll in 2020/2021 expected. Clemens came in pitched as good as humanly possible (12 WAR) and the Jays won just 76 games. The next year he was great (8 WAR) and they won 88, the high water mark for the 1994-2014 window of meh.

So will the Jays do it? No. I'd be extremely shocked if they did. Very happy, but shocked and not in a Casablanca way. Of course, most of us were shocked over Clemens too. It'll take at least $30 mil a year over 7 years to get him here ($210 mil) and he is a year older than Price was when the Jays said 'thanks but no thanks' to a deal like that. Of course, Strasburg actually can pitch in the post season so that helps.
Magpie - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#382797) #
Carlos Beltran to manage the Mets.

I assume Beltran is going into the Hall pretty quick (he's obviously better qualified than Jim Rice or Andre Dawson) and it will be a little weird if he's an active manager at the time. Does that happen very often? I don't think so.
dalimon5 - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#382798) #
I like that Martinez, Hiraldo and a catcher for Chapman proposal.
dan gordon - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#382799) #
If Strasburg gets $210 million for 7 years, starting with the year he turns 32, whichever team signs him is going to regret it. He has been in the big leagues for 10 years and has pitched more than 185 innings just twice, and has made 24 or fewer starts in half of those seasons. He has produced the 2 highest FIP's of his career the last 2 seasons, and you can expect those FIP numbers are going to keep rising. He's still really good, but is a significant injury risk, and a declining asset. Not the type you want to sink $210 million into.

I have no interest in Keuchel at all. I expect he will be grossly overpaid. His FIP this year was 4.72, after being a little under 4.00 each of the last 3 years. He has given up more than a hit an inning each of the last 2 years, doesn't strike out many batters, and is about to turn 32. Strong preference for Wheeler or Odorizzi. Each is a couple of years younger, and are likely to get paid less.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#382800) #
Apart from Guerrero, we just want Lourdes, Cavan and Bo to maintain their production over full seasons. That gets us to 75-80 wins even before adding free agents.

Behind which pitching staff? Trent Thornton, with a 4.59 FIP, 1.4 WHIP is the "staff ace" at this point. Shoemaker, IMHO, will maybe throw 50 good innings before he's injured. And his FIP was 3.95, basically the same as his career 3.93 FIP, he just got very, VERY lucky with an ERA of 1.57 in 2019. He didn't actually improve - he was still an "average" #3-4 starter. $5M for 28 innings? Then Waguespack, with a FIP of 4.91 / WHIP 1.333. That's it for starters who threw > 50 innings for us last year (Shoemaker threw 28). Sure, Buchholz threw 60 really bad innings - but do we have someone who can throw 60 better innings? Gaviglio becomes a starter?

It only goes downhill from there.. We're looking at a staff ERA of 5.5-6.0, if we don't sign anyone. Pretty hard to overcome that, even with a few all-stars.. We actually had Stroman throwing a few games in our "2nd half", Galvis played a few of those games, Sogard, etc. Plus, we had a bunch of meaningless games against September callups.

Yankees will be healthier next year. Can Baltimore be AS bad as this year? Boston may get a little worse. Tampa's gonna Tampa..
Michael - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 01:36 AM EDT (#382801) #
Put me down in the no on $210/7 for a post-30 pitcher. That might make sense if you are willing to be a top payroll team and you are extending a championship caliber team, it makes no sense for the Jays.

There are few players who are worth that amount of money over that time period, and those that are, generally are in their early or mid-20s at the start of a 7 year run, not over 30. In the last 7 years, for instance, if we simplify to $10M for 1 WAR, there were only 2 SP who put up that much value starting at 32 and older (I.e., who put up 21+ WAR in the past 7 years starting with an age 32 or older season). There were 20 total such pitchers who have 21+ WAR in the past 7 years, but most were far younger when they started that streak.

For a top notch 32 year old pitcher, maybe 90/4 could be possible, but again in the past 5 years only 12 pitchers have put up even 7+ WAR counting only their 32+ years. Sure you might be lucky and get the 1 of 2 that puts up 20 WAR, but more likely you end up with much less.
christaylor - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#382802) #
I'm not calling anyone out, I'm just pondering out loud, but can't help but think discussions that use the (undeniably sound) logic that X WAR player is not worth Y dollars over N years are a short step to being pleased when a few players with a handful years of control into players who have "42 years of control".

There's more than competition on the field -- the Jays are competing for entertainment dollars and mind-share in Toronto. Baseball may be at a structural disadvantage in its fanbase/mindshare compared to hockey and, now, probably basketball where the teams are good and the fanbase is younger.

It might be worth betting on improvement from the young players and "win the offseason" with the hope it works better in 2020 than it did in 2013. Falling below two million fans last year can't be something Rogers is happy with...
scottt - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#382803) #
I don't think Keuchel will get that much actually. Houston isn't interested. That seems to deter everybody else.
He's just one year older than the others because of his half year pillow deal, but everybody treat him like he's much older. He's an experienced junk baller which is what you want on the staff because velocity is no something you can teach.

Wheeler would cost the 5th pick in the second round.
Pearson was picked 28th, Kay 31st, Richards-Woods 48th. That's a great spot to take a high upside pitcher.
That's a move for next year.

This FO hasn't signed pitchers for more than 3 years.

scottt - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#382804) #
Rogers' profits are down on the unlimited phone plans and 2 of the parties who will control the government have promised to cut phone bills by 25%  I'd assume they'd care more about value for their investment (WAR/$) than trying to beat 2 teams who play in different markets at a different times of the year.

Just pondering as well.

hypobole - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#382805) #
There are 2 separate aspects to the Jays signing an elite FA. First is the $/WAR and how expected value dovetails with the hopeful contention window.
But maybe even more importantly is the return on investment. Attendance is cratering and I imagine Sportsnet viewership as well. To a huge segment of the fanbase and potential fanbase, the Jays credo seems to be "Strive for Mediocrity". At some point, the Jays have to change that perception. And actually signing an elite FA would do wonders in that regard. Jays have more to gain that way than any other team in baseball.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#382806) #
Part of the front office’s approach to attracting fans seems to be to acquire cheap (if low-value) home runs (Morales, Grichuk, Teoscar, Fisher, Spanberger, Conine).

This aspect of their overall strategy has not exactly worked out so far.
bpoz - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#382807) #
I agree that we should not spend big $ and term on FAs. There are many cheaper pitchers to be had with no loss of draft pick. I am sure that this FO knows this.

Regarding "42 years of control". We had control of D Pompey for approximately 9 years. He will not be 27 until later this year. He may sign a minor league deal with the Jays. So this FO realizes the value of long term control. Grichuk also has a lengthy control.
85bluejay - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#382808) #
"I like that Martinez,Hiraldo and a catcher for Chapman proposal."

Well, you might get Tracy Chapman for that offer but not Matt Chapman - will need a lot more.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#382809) #
And what did 9 years of Pompey get us? He has given us 0.6 bWAR during that time. We got better WAR out of half a season of Galvis or Sogard. Having control of the RIGHT players for less years is MORE important than infinite years of Sil Campusano.
Also - just because a WAR is "worth" roughly $8-10M, it's not linear. You can pick up 0.5 WAR players for $2-5M all day in the offseason - and you'd probably be overpaying. Mike Trout is getting what - $25-35M? And he's been a 7-8 WAR player - he's been underpaid BY A LOT! Somewhere in the middle are the players where there are not 1 of them (Trout) or hundreds of them (0.5 WAR), but 5-20 available any given off-season (3-6 WAR). Those players are critical for any winning team because you can't win with a team of 0.5 WAR MLB-minimum players and you can't just draft a bunch of Mike Trouts - so they are subject to "highest bidder". So, just because you WANT to pay $10M/WAR for a pitcher, that doesn't mean that you can actually find any pitchers with that profile when you want them. Supply and demand is a HUGE part of the salary number in sports.
Honus Wagner's baseball card sold for what - 5 cents for a 10 pack or something, originally? I'm sure every collector these days would pay $1000 for an original Honus Wagner (if you could make more) - at which point, it's value would be less than $1000. 
That's the problem with Rogers - they NEVER want to win badly enough to overpay for those last few WAR. Except that one time AA did it and (arguably) it cost him his job, or he did it because his job was already over. Sure, the most expensive teams (LA) don't always win - but the cheap teams, outside of Tampa / Florida almost NEVER make the playoffs..
85bluejay - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#382810) #
Winning & relevance is the only thing that will bring the crowds back - Clemens didn't do it, Halladay didn't do it, Ryan & Burnett didn't do it - I don't think a premier FA will do it unless the team is a contender and this team is not one top FA from contending.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#382811) #
I don't think a premier FA will do it unless the team is a contender and this team is not one top FA from contending.
Which means they need to add as many as possible at every opportunity - because you probably only get 1 per offseason with any impact.. Trying to sign 3 5+ WAR free agents in 3 years would be harder than signing 1 now, 1 next year, 1 the year after.
85bluejay - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#382812) #
Of the 10 teams making the playoffs, 6 were in the top 15 payroll on opening day according to USA Today figures and 4 were in the bottom 15 (Twins,Braves,A's,Rays) - so you can spin it anyway you want and don't forget that as recently as 2017 the Jays were in the top ten in payroll.
85bluejay - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#382813) #
I see it differently - When the team shows signs of contending, then you add significant payroll in FA signings/trades etc. - I have no problems if the team doesn't spend money this offseason .
greenfrog - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#382814) #
Maybe one reason teams like Oakland and TB have outperformed is because they have to focus so ruthlessly on the true value of players (including the hidden or subtle strengths of those players) and efficient roster construction. They can't afford the luxury of running the team in an unintellectual but supposedly crowd-pleasing way, as Shapiro chose to do in 2017-18 (for example, by adding superficially impressive but second-rate players, such as Morales or late-career Bautista, or by holding on to trade assets for too long).
John Northey - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#382815) #
The Jays have started on the right path to winning - have a batch of good young players (cheap, likely to improve) who should be 3+ WAR guys in good years (Gurriel, Biggio, Bichette, Vlad, Jansen) with others who might be but aren't likely (Tellez, Hernandez, McGuire, Alford), and a few young lottery tickets (Urena, McKinney, Fisher, Drury).

Pitching is now the focus. Zeuch, SRF, Diaz, Kay, Luciano the core focus, then Borucki, Pannone, Waguespack, Thornton all lottery tickets. The Jays need more quality to show up and some is coming quick (Nate Pearson, Alek Manoah, Eric Pardinho and others). To succeed the Jays need to find at least 3 home grown quality starters and a few relievers.

Will it all gel at the right time to make a contender? We will see. This off season the Jays should think about the top pitchers if they feel the pitcher can hold up for at least 3+ years in good health but next winter should be the time to fill in the gaps.
bpoz - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#382816) #
Thank you for your response vw. The M Trout example has to be one of the best if not the best for years of control that had great value. Other good examples would be E Longoria, C Yelich, C Sale IMO. For the Jays Bautista & EE in the early days, as well as Donaldson.

Looking to the near future D Jansen & R McGuire may turn out to be examples of fairly decent value/control.

I give Atkins and AA credit for understanding this concept. The media for example failed miserably in understanding the years of control concept OR those silly tweets were click bait which generated more silliness. A further example is the relentless questioning of why & when Vlad would be promoted to the Jays. Poor Atkins!! He was respectful to the media. This is another way to add 1 year of control to a potential great player. I think that it will likely happen with Pearson in 2020.

pooks137 - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#382817) #
Thank you for your response vw. The M Trout example has to be one of the best if not the best for years of control that had great value. Other good examples would be E Longoria, C Yelich, C Sale IMO. For the Jays Bautista & EE in the early days, as well as Donaldson.

I'm not sure Mike Trout et al are the best examples to advocate for going out and spending FA money to get value and control

All of those contracts listed were extensions for players either drafted and developed or traded for by the signing teams.

The lessons learned are more along the lines of "Draft the best player in the world then extend him" or "Sign your own stars" or "Trade for other teams stars"

bpoz - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#382818) #
Agreed pooks137. So Bo counts as a potential drafted great player. Hopefully Yelich ish!!

We have not as yet made a trade for a Yelich caliber player. Maybe maybe not it will happen.

I admit I am always overly optimistic. I don't have huge expectations of success for 2020 and 2021 just unreasonable hope. IF however 2022 looks like a strong team then I would be "Very" disappointed if someone is held back for service time issues. So holding back Pearson in 2020 and Manoah in 2021 if he is in the category of Pearson is ok with me. Years of control benefit when not a serious threat to compete is fine. But Kloff being held back in 2022 for the extra year of control will sit badly with me if we are competitive.
scottt - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#382819) #
According to Shapiro, a competitive team should have old guys, guys in their prime and young guys.
Guys in their prime are the hardest to acquire. It's best to develop those guys but it takes up to 10 years.
Old guys are always available on the free market. Young guys can be picked off waivers or acquired by trading free agents in July, but the bulk comes from the farm system.

AA's team did not have a large payroll. Bautista and EE had signed team friendly extensions.
Dickie was acquired because he was old and didn't require a large contract.
Martin's contract was backloaded, he only made 7M in 2015. They won the arbitration against Donaldson.
Tulo was paid about 7M for that year and provided only 1.3WAR (but the future cost was another 98M with the jays still on the hook for 14M in 2020). AA's team was heavily mortgaged, both with backloaded contracts and a farm system depleted at the higher levels.

hypobole - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#382820) #
Winning & relevance is the only thing that will bring the crowds back - Clemens didn't do it, Halladay didn't do it, Ryan & Burnett didn't do it - I don't think a premier FA will do it unless the team is a contender and this team is not one top FA from contending.

Clemens may be the only comparable to a Cole. Halladay did somewhat do it, only in reverse. When he was traded, attendance in 2010 plummeted to under 1.5 million, the lowest since 1982, despite the team winning 85 games. And 2013, when AA's big push happened, attendance jumped over 400K. That team lost 88 games, only 1 less than the year prior. But AA showed fans that year he was actually trying to win.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#382821) #
We're looking at a staff ERA of 5.5-6.0, if we don't sign anyone.

Our pitching staff is hardly great, but neither would I expect it to be materially worse than this past year. Losing Stroman hurts, but we should also have better depth with Borucki back from injury, the emergence of Waguespack, Kay in the organisation and Zeuch ready to take the Buffalo-Toronto shuttle, so we shouldn't have to resort to desperate measures like Feierabend and Edwin Jackson. We also are losing Sanchez, who put up a 6+ ERA in over 100 innings. So the departures should largely cancel out. And, barring injury, we should be adding Pearson for most of the year, who is a top-20 prospect in all of baseball.

And our pitching was not quite the disaster it seemed to us - the offensive environment made it look worse than it actually was - we put up a 4.74 ERA, and actually were only 19th in ERA- and FIP-, which while undoubtedly bad, is a fair distance from the bottom.

Finally, the initial ZiPS projections only put Kay, Pannone and Zeuch above 5, and none of them above 5.5. If the worst parts of our staff are projected to be better than 5.5, then I don't have much fear we'll be in that zone.

[Shoemaker's] FIP was 3.95, basically the same as his career 3.93 FIP... He didn't actually improve - he was still an "average" #3-4 starter.

Regarding Shoemaker, while a FIP of 3.95 doesn't look impressive, the offensive environment meant that his FIP- was 85: there are only about 30 starters better than that in any given year. That's definitely a 2nd starter level of production. As for his health, I agree pessimism is warranted, but I'd put the over/under a little higher than 50 innings.
scottt - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#382822) #
The Yankees were not able to trade for Yelich or Cole either.

The Stanton contract is fantastic. They got 0.4 WAR back for 26M this year.
They got another 8 years to go and the amount is only going up.

Yellich was traded for 1 first round pick, 2 second rounds picks and a pitcher drafted in the 12th round.
That would have been Bichette and couple of guys from the top 5.

Those are trades that you only want to make from areas of strength. The Jays are not there yet.
I'm still baffled on the Brewers' strategies of acquiring all those outfielders when they needed starting pitching.
They just added Angel Perdomo to their 40 roster. Over 14 K/9 in the PCL, but too many walks and hits.

dalimon5 - Saturday, November 02 2019 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#382823) #
"Well, you might get Tracy Chapman for that offer but not Matt Chapman - will need a lot more."

Give me one good reason why the A's won't make that and i'll turn right back around. Prospects are overrated now.

1. Astros traded Donaldson at similar junction. They simply can't afford the payroll increases on their best players.

2. Groshans alone likely gets you 90% of the way there to acquiring Chapman. Pearson straight up definitely gets it done.

3. What do you consider a lot more? Orelvis Martinez, Danny Jansen and Pearson or Pardinho? You can probably get Mookie Betts, Bogaerts and the ghost of Chris Sale for that haul.
John Northey - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 01:33 AM EST (#382824) #
Getting a cheap team (Tampa, Miami, Oakland) to dump an all-star caliber player isn't easy even once they get expensive. Getting a rich one to do it is even harder. The Jays hit the jackpot with Donaldson as he stepped up once here. I don't see the Jays getting that lucky again anytime soon - those things are rare.
Spifficus - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 02:13 AM EST (#382825) #

Give me one good reason why the A's won't make that and i'll turn right back around. Prospects are overrated now.

97 Wins, almost all their key position players still with a lot of control left, a lot of pitching on the way (back from injury, or promotion, or both), and their top position player prospect is an MLB-ready catcher. They could do something with Chapman, but it won't be something where the bulk of the value is barely into A ball.

scottt - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 08:15 AM EST (#382826) #
Yes and no. It's all on Chapman to sign an extension or not.
Tampa, Miami and Oakland will trade their assets when still in their prime because they have no money.

Kiermaier will make 10M and was good for 2.3WAR.
Tommy Pham produced 3.7WAR and is projected to make 8.3M.

I wouldn't be surprised if they trade one of those to make room for a prospect.

Chapman has been better than Donaldson was and only stands to make more money in arbitration.
They took great care to make sure he's not a super 2. Does that make him more likely to sign a team friendly extension?
The biggest contract in team history was for Eric Chavez 6/66M. Chapman will cost something like 8/260 at the very minimum. Now, if they decide to trade him, it will look more like the Yellich deal than the Donaldson deal, but the return isn't going to be astronomical. There are not that many teams will the prospect capital necessary, the payroll room and not already committed at third base.

scottt - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 08:20 AM EST (#382827) #
They don't trade him before he hits arbitration and probably not on the first year either.
We'll have to wait 2 years to look back and see where teams have progressed.

Eric Chavez, incidentally, dropped off a cliff at 28.

christaylor - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 08:42 AM EST (#382828) #
People seem to forget that Josh Donaldson wasn't *JOSH DONALDSON* when he arrived here -- he'd had one very good season in 2013 at age 27 and then dropped off a bit in 28. The trade at the time looked like nowhere near the steal it does in hindsight. Chapman is just now turning 27 and has already put up two seasons that are about as good as Donaldson's 27 and 28 seasons. He's in a different category when you include his minor league pedigree/performance.
christaylor - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 08:48 AM EST (#382829) #
Hm. That's fair -- I'd forgotten about that tidbit from the election (I'm an ex-Pat from a riding that was more or less determined before the writ was dropped).

I can see how Rogers could take the route of just being cheap with the Jays and not take any risks with over-spending. That said, I suspect they don't want too many years in the lower half of the league in attendance it makes for a categorically worse experience at the dome when it is mostly empty. The re-introduction of flex-packs does show they're trying to get folks to the park.
hypobole - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 08:53 AM EST (#382830) #
Chapman is more than 2 years younger than Donaldson was when Beane traded him. And after the disaster the JD trade turned out to be, one would think Beane would be loathe to repeat it.

As far as hoarding prospects, many teams are sinking a lot of resources into player development. I imagine they believe prospects won't be busting as frequently as they did in the past when PD was a lot more hit-or-miss.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 11:02 AM EST (#382831) #
Chapman has 126.1 million of surplus value left and Martinez, Hiraldo and Jansen combined is around 49.8. It would take a lot more than those three to make a Chapman trade work.
scottt - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 11:13 AM EST (#382832) #
The Jays also got 2 dud years from Donaldson and not a lot when they traded him away.
I would think Beane would be loathe to hang on to Chapman too long and not get enough back.
2 years left seems like the minimum, unless they're still making the playoffs.
The wild card will become harder as the Rangers and the Angels will raise their payrolls.

With that 5th draft pick, the Jays system will likely improve after next year.
Teams like the Padres, the Rays, the Diamondbacks, aren't trading for 2 years of an MVP.

We'll see how things look in 2 years.

If you look at the Nationals, they developed most of their players.
They traded for Eaton. They got Turner and Joe Ross in a weird trade in which they got 4 prospects back for Steven Sousa Jr and a low pitching prospect.  They picked up Gomes from Cleveland. The rest like Scherzer and Corbin were free agents.

bpoz - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 11:41 AM EST (#382833) #
Regarding all teams except TB. If you make the playoffs you got good revenue from the pennant race and the playoff games. Also your payroll stays the same during the pennant race and the playoff run. While I don't know the details of how playoff revenue and expenses work, I am sure Rogers does.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#382834) #
Just a side-note about attendance / revenue. Not sure how works - if they register my "favourite" team as somehow helping the Jays, or feedback to Rogers, or $$ or something - but this is the first time in quite some time I've seriously thought about not auto-renewing my subscription. Mind you, I share it with someone else in the family who follows a different team, but they don't use it that often.

Just not sure there will be that much to enjoy next year if this off-season is like last off-season. Brito/Allen/Drury/Buchholz/Richard etc soured me quite a bit on the Jays in the early going. And I've been a subscriber almost since it started, back in the nexdef days - I still found nexdef hanging recently around on an HTPC machine I upgraded from (maybe Win98 ->) XP -> Win7 -> Win10.. Probably time for a clean re-install. Over that time, I've replaced all the parts more than once. 
I'll probably not renew until after hockey is over - hoping for a long run from the Leafs this year. Hey - hope springs eternal :-)
bpoz - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 12:05 PM EST (#382835) #
I agree with vw especially because he paid for the privilege (??) of seeing Brito almost hit Grichuk in Boston on a fly ball. I listened to that on the radio. Horrible season with zero moves for improvement.

However I enjoyed the scrounging for talent. Britto, Richard ... because I understood that dumpster diving can produce something. Bautista was acquired at the same price is Brito, if memory serves me.

Richard was depth, which everyone knew was underwhelming.
dalimon5 - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 12:29 PM EST (#382836) #
I started my post with a lyric from a Tracy Chapman song. I wasn't honestly asking for anyone to "give me one good reason"
bpoz - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 12:38 PM EST (#382837) #
I have not heard ALL the interviews from Shapiro and Atkins. So I am probably missing a few points that were made.

Atkins spoke about improving the approach at the plate. Progress was made in 2019.

Both have said reliable/significant results were the goal in off season pitching additions. That probably/hopefully means better additions than last off season pitching additions. Shapiro said depth additions are still in play. So that is probably the same type as last year.

I have NOT heard anything about improved defense!! So adding there is unlikely I think. Low priority.

Drury/Urena/Valera are probably good IF depth. Probably one too many.
bpoz - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 01:00 PM EST (#382838) #
How competitive will all 30 teams be in 2020??

This is my list of very, very likely bad teams. Pittsburgh, Maimi, Detroit, KC, Seattle, Toronto and Baltimore. I believe that SD and Colorado are also in that category. Plus 2 more will force their way in I expect. So 11 teams.

I don't know what SF will do.

Preller in SD and the Reds have made moves to announce that their rebuild is over. I expect that they will need to add something. Strong pen always helps (Giles). Veteran depth and presence. Smoak & Drury. Reds kept Galvis which is smart.

So I see 10-11 NL teams that believe that they can compete. Bad odds.
hypobole - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 02:20 PM EST (#382839) #
This from Laurila's Sunday Notes:

"On this date in 1953, MLB’s rules committee formally ended the practice of fielders leaving their gloves on the field while their teams batted. Henceforth they would be required to carry their leather back to the dugout between innings."

Never knew players would just leave their gloves on the field.
scottt - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 02:39 PM EST (#382840) #
At least one of the Yankees blog/site sees the Jays as a team that could compete for a wild card, if all goes well.
Atlanta won their division with the 4 hitters at the top of the lineup producing all the runs.

I'm not concerned about the National League.
Let's see, 3 games against the Reds at home in April. They're trying to compete for a wildcard before tearing down.
2 more in Philadelphia. They'll be trying hard for the division.
Then 2 in St-Louis in June. They just won the central.
Then 3 in Pittsburgh and 3 in Milwaukee. Pirates project to be bad. Brewers was a wild card team that didn't lose much.
In August the Cubs are in Toronto for 3 instead of the Brewers. The cards also visit for 2
So, basically the Jays play the NL Central which was pretty balanced.

They need a hot April to have any chance. Even the 2015 team was just another .500 Blue Jays team at the trade deadline. Still need to see who the Jays acquire, who the Red Sox trade away and if the Yankees grab another top starter.

scottt - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 02:41 PM EST (#382841) #
Yeah, that's wild. This date in November?
Dewey - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 04:38 PM EST (#382842) #
Well, the gloves *were* a lot smaller then. (Even smaller than Joe Morgan’s.) I never saw one hit by a ball; but I think I did hear of it happening. Of course, we school-kids always left our gloves on our field, too. Amazing how seldom one was struck. But less amazing was the number of times that we tripped over them. I once took my old 1948 Wilson Ball-Hawk to a Jays game at Exhibition Stadium. It was a sensation.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 06:11 PM EST (#382843) #
Dewey, in light of two of the earlier posts in this thread, I'm surprised you haven't explained the difference between "loathe" and "loath."
Dewey - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 09:46 PM EST (#382845) #
Hey, good catch, greenfrog.

There are lots of opportunities to comment about language misuse on Da Box. But I’m slowing down. I don’t comment if I think the poster will just be annoyed, and plainly doesn’t give much of a damn about his lousy expression anyway. Some people can handle being called out; others can’t. (You’re good at spotting these slips. Why don’t you help me out a bit here? I don’t need to be the only one making myself popular.)

The slip that grates me most of late is the steadfast confusion of number and mass (or volume or weight) by using “amount” instead of “few” when numbers are involved. How can you have ‘an amount of pitches’, for example?! Even Gerry did it, twice in one thread. So plainly I’m losing that battle. The general coarsening and dumbing-down of discourse in Trumpian times is affecting even Da Box. Can you believe it?
dan gordon - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 10:38 PM EST (#382849) #
Dewey, as much as some of us might dislike seeing it, the use of certain aspects of the English language is slipping to a much more "relaxed" type of grammar. Some words, like "fewer" are disappearing, replaced by the more general "less", which, technically, is wrong in instances where the item in question can be quantified numerically, but very few people care any more. e.g. it should be - this glass has LESS water in it than that one, and, this glass has FEWER millilitres of water than that one, but less is what gets used for both these days. Similarly, the NUMBER of times you see this happen, has become the AMOUNT of times you see this happen. Makes my head hurt it sounds so bad, but what are you going to do?
hypobole - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:04 AM EST (#382851) #
Yes, good catch greenfrog. I'm loath to admit this, but despite knowing the difference in meanings between the verb and adjective, I've been using the wrong spellings until this post.
Gerry - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 08:50 AM EST (#382854) #
Sat it ain't so Dewey.
christaylor - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 10:54 AM EST (#382858) #
I don't know about this one -- at least grocery stores around here seem to stick the landing on this one. Our three local stores are "10 items or fewer". I tend to buy into the idea of "successful communication" being the true goal of language, not a strict style-guide grammatical correctness. What is correct is a fluid idea and was often reified by dead white men or women*. There is an element of regional superiority and classism in deeming what is correct -- some folks can be quite eloquent when they ain't talking proper. If the meaning is off then OK, but one can usually get loathe v. loath from context. *For example the history of the pronoun they is fascinating.
scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:07 AM EST (#382860) #
I just recall the many times we got home to figure out a glove had been left on the field, or the bench. Sigh.
Dewey - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:09 PM EST (#382884) #
A few risky, sort of random thoughts on this matter:

The baseball industry is much pre-occupied with data -- for which precision and accuracy (and quantity) are paramount. Baseball fans are generally less interested in those qualities; more interested in opinions, passions, fantasizing. Sweating the small stuff can be hard work, and quite irksome.

We think in words. So when we lose a word we lose a tiny bit of our range of thought, or of the precision and subtlety of our thought. Orwell wrote about the dangers of language decay a long time ago . He famously recognized that one way to control thought is to reduce vocabulary. The fewer words you know the fewer thoughts you can have. Donald Trump has a very limited vocabulary: the man is literally incapable of having certain thoughts.

Our times tend to be reductive. We don’t seem to value nuance, shades of meaning, fine discriminations, and careful distinctions as much as we once did. We want things to be clear-cut and fast. White hats vs. black hats stuff. So we de-value deliberateness of thought and expression and send tweets, which by their very nature are reductive. As Dan said, very few people care any more. Sad, as DJT might say.

I agree, Chris, that in most ordinary conversation “successful communication” is what is primary. But, of course, how does one define such success? I’m a bit surprised that someone who works with the sciences (the ’soft’ sciences?) so readily accepts the risks to precision and accuracy associated with getting the best words to express ourselves or our notions/ideas.

My comments are not -- and never have been -- driven by "a strict style-guide grammatical correctness". Getting the best word has almost nothing to do with this, or with being “proper” or "superior". It’s stopping the erosion and the muddying of our word-hoard and hence the diminishment of our thinking that matters. We are being dumbed down. Just look around us, virtually anywhere.

Language surely has many goals, of which ‘communication’ is one? So I don’t know what its 'true goal’ is.

"some folks can be quite eloquent when they ain't talking proper."

Yeah, maybe. But by “eloquent” do you simply mean that they make their feelings evident? Does eloquence include the qualities of clarity and precision and accuracy as well as forcefulness? Sloppy speech, no matter how colourful, often expresses sloppy thought.

Cheers, guys.
dan gordon - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:47 PM EST (#382888) #
christaylor, it's interesting that you bring up grocery stores because there is a major chain whose slogan is itself an affront to decent grammar. In fact they have actually trademarked it. That would be Loblaws' lower price "No Frills" stores, with their slogan "won't be beat", which, of course, should be "won't be beaten". Words like "beaten" and "bitten" (he was "bit" by the dog is what is said now) have just about disappeared from use.

I'm going to check the stores near me and see if the express checkout lanes use 8 items or "fewer" or "less". I will be pleasantly surprised if they use the correct word "fewer".
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:52 PM EST (#382889) #
I'll save you a trip, Dan.  It's "8 (sometimes 12 or 16) items or less" at no-frills and Loblaws. But, hey, they save the ink costs for a character. 
dan gordon - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:30 PM EST (#382896) #
Thanks, Mike. I thought it was "less", but when christaylor mentioned that near him they use "fewer" I thought maybe I was mistaken. Will check Metro next time I'm there.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:51 PM EST (#382898) #
A trade! A trade!!

According to MLBtr, Jays pick up Chase Anderson from the Brewers in exchange for Chad Spanberger
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 03:41 PM EST (#382901) #
Anthony Rendon,  Victor Robles and Sean Doolittle (and several others) did not attend the White House today.  Always welcome in Canada, Mr. Rendon.
christaylor - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 05:46 PM EST (#382909) #
I wonder -- perhaps where I live (Cambridge, MA) has a few more fussbudgets and the stores have reacted? I can imagine the hassle of the ivy kids getting rowdy over this issue. Growing up I do remember the Loblaws (or Dominion) lines reading "less".

Here's a link to a fun NPR story on the matter:
Paul D - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 08:45 PM EST (#382921) #
Travis sent to AAA, Teppera DFAd

I would have taken a shot at keeping Teperra
John Northey - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 10:20 PM EST (#382926) #
Meh, neither is a big loss. Tepera's best FIP was 3.69. He is a good middle man, acceptable setup.

Travis is a 'what could've been' guy. Looked great at 24, good at 25, injuries taking their toll at 26, falling apart at 27, gone for all of age 28. Sigh. Some guys have zero luck on injuries. Kind of reminds me of Kelly Gruber except Gruber got a few years in before it all crashed down.
scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:04 PM EST (#382927) #
Travis has been written off for a while now.

Tepera probably signs a minor league contract.

Craig B - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 03:58 PM EST (#382979) #
Happy hot stove everyone. I was just reading something that made me think of Batter's Box, this: The good internet is history I'd never had a way of describing what this place is, but Philip gave me one: it's a symbol of the good internet. Thanks for still keeping it all going, everyone. Craig
Craig B - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 04:00 PM EST (#382980) #
also, I believe that the slogan "won't be beat" should, grammatically in Canadian English ACTUALLY be "ain't gonna get beat"
Michael - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 09:34 PM EST (#382989) #
That's a nice article Craig B. Thanks for sharing.
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