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The rotation sucked this year. How badly? Quite.

The Jays rotation last year was ugly, ugly, ugly.

Just did what I love to do - perfectly adjust starts so the guys with the lowest starter ERA go into the #1 33 starts, next best into the 33 next starts as #2 and so on.

This gives us the best situation if guys got the same starts but perfectly set up (which of course never could happen). With the bloody openers this gets messy as we get tons of 1 to 2 IP starts which makes this less effective than in the past and should've seen a much lower ERA but the Jays had such a mess outside of the #1's 33 starts it is ugly. Comparing the ERA+ to Halladay's career
  1. : 171.5 IP 2.76 ERA (5.2 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 160 - excellent (Halladay top 5 in Cy voting)
  2. : 116.5 IP 4.18 ERA (3.5 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 110 - nice (Halladay 2004, his worst with over 100 IP as a Jay)
  3. : 151.1 IP 5.20 ERA (4.7 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 90 - meh (Halladay's last full season in Philly)
  4. : 154.2 IP 6.11 ERA (4.8 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 84 - ugh (a bit worse than that)
  5. : 113.7 IP 9.22 ERA (3.6 IP per start) ERA+ (rough) 47 - yikes (just a tiny bit worse, by 1 point, than Halladay's nightmare 2000 season that saw him sent to A+ ball to rebuild)
Now that is some ugly stuff at the bottom. Who were the guys in those 5 slots?
  1. : David Phelps, Neil Ramirez, Buddy Boshers, Matt Shoemaker, Marcus Stroman, Sean Reid-Foley (4 starts)
  2. : Sean Reid-Foley (2 starts), Wilmer Font, Jacob Waguespack, Trent Thornton (4 starts)
  3. : Trent Thornton (25 starts), T.J. Zeuch, Clayton Richard (4 starts)
  4. : Clayton Richard (6 starts), Aaron Sanchez, Anthony Kay, Clay Buchholz (1 start)
  5. : Clay Buchholz (11 starts), Ryan Feierabend, Daniel Hudson, Ryan Borucki, Derek Law, Thomas Pannone, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Tepera
To compare to the past lets look at a good year...
  1. : 210.7 IP 2.73 ERA 6.4 IP/start 152 ERA+
  2. : 201.0 IP 3.56 ERA 6.1 IP/start 116 ERA+
  3. : 192.6 IP 3.84 ERA 6.0 IP/start 108 ERA+
  4. : 199.6 IP 4.09 ERA 6.2 IP/start 100 ERA+
  5. : 160.4 IP 6.09 ERA 5.0 IP/start 76 ERA+
  1. : Marcus Stroman, David Price, Marco Estrada (18 starts)
  2. : Marco Estrada (10 starts), Aaron Sanchez, Mark Buehrle (12 starts)
  3. : Mark Buehrle (20 starts), Daniel Norris, R.A. Dickey (7 starts)
  4. : R.A. Dickey (26 starts), Felix Doubront, Drew Hutchison (2 starts)
  5. : Drew Hutchison (26 starts), Todd Redmond, Scott Copeland, Matthew Boyd
Much better eh? The 5th slot always sucks vs the rest of course, but their #5's were this years poor #4's, Their #4's were better than this years #3. Basically if we had an ace on the staff (in addition to what was here) the rotation might have equaled 2015's - ace: 160 ERA+, #2 160, #3 110, #4 90 #5 84 ERA+ - that would be a very good situation. Losing Stroman hurts, means 1 1/2 excellent starters needed to match up, assuming all else goes well. Plus of course, the much lower inning count hurts (bloody openers). Suddenly the idea of signing a top starter doesn't seem as insane (7 years seems nuts to me, but sometimes you have to croak on long term to get a guy, but I'd wait another year or two before doing that). If we had good starters I suspect openers would go away, but this year the team had crap so they were needed.

2018 - last year (a bad one)
  1. : 185.7 IP 3.96 ERA 5.6 IP/Start 108 ERA+ - John Axford, Ryan Borucki, J.A. Happ (15 starts)
  2. : 175.4 IP 4.72 ERA 5.3 IP/Start 96 ERA+ - J.A. Happ (5 starts), Luis Santos, Thomas Pannone, Aaron Sanchez, Sean Reid-Foley (1 start)
  3. : 158.2 IP 5.40 ERA 4.9 IP/Start 95 ERA+ - Sean Reid-Foley (6 starts), Sam Gaviglio, Marcus Stroman (2 starts)
  4. : 168.1 IP 5.60 ERA 5.3 IP/Start 75 ERA+ - Marcus Stroman (17 starts), Marco Estrada (15 starts)
  5. : 148.9 IP 6.39 ERA 4.7 IP/Start 69 ERA+ - Marco Estrada (13 starts), Jaime Garcia, Joe Biagini, Mike Hauschild, Tyler Clippard
Top 2 much weaker, then 3-5 more stronger than this years crew. Depth matters. Even on crappy teams.

FYI: for an excellent year look to 1985 with 2 guys having 36 starts. That year also shows that pedigree isn't everything as the ERA champ was here (Stieb - a converted outfielder), a 2nd year player (Jimmy Key 141 ERA+ 2nd round draft pick, barely made the team the year before), a scrap heap pick up (Alexander 123 ERA+ was released by the Yankees 2 years earlier) - there were over 100 starts between the 3 of them. Staff ERA+ of 128. Sigh. That was a fun team to follow.
Rotation Data | 281 comments | Create New Account
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bpoz - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 06:54 PM EST (#382844) #
The 1985 team won 99 games?? Also very young. So what went right?? Injuries for sure!!
grjas - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 09:58 PM EST (#382846) #
Ahh 1985. The one that got away. Still remember Dour Doyle getting screwed by the umpire in the KC series while a friend and I yelled at the TV set.

Yes they had youngsters, few injuries and a nice group of starters who outperformed expectations. But they were also a team that had been on the rise Since 1983 so many of the youngsters had a few years under the belt.
John Northey - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 10:24 PM EST (#382847) #
1985 was the first year I really followed start to finish, with 1984 being a mostly followed year (Tigers running away early made it hard to stay excited). 1983 got me started to love baseball - listening on the radio to games with my Dad. Went to the library and read the 1982 & 1983 Bill James Abstracts that year and was hooked.

1985's team was older than I remembered. Under 25's who were regulars were Tony Fernandez, Jimmy Key and that's it. Also Manny Lee, Cecil Fielder, Kelly Gruber all had roles (along with many never were guys - Ron Shepard, Steve Davis, Stan Clarke, Jeff Hearron, Lou Thornton).

Lots of guys in their prime 25-32 years though - Cerutti, Acker, Henke, Stieb, Filer (7-0), Caudill (only 28 but seemed much older), Leal, Clancy, Musselman, Lamp (11-0) for pitchers. Bell, Moseby, Barfield all 25, Webster, Leach, Garcia, Upshaw, Mulliniks, Aikens, Matuszek, Iorg.

If only the Jays didn't hire the worst manager possible in Jimy Williams or found a way to keep Bobby Cox around a few more years who knows what would've happened. I put the 1986-early 1989 Jay teams up as an example of why managers matter.
John Northey - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 10:38 PM EST (#382848) #
For next year free agents abound with some not getting QO's (I can't see the Jays signing a guy who needs one).

Tanner Roark: traded mid-season so no QO 4.35 ERA 103 ERA+ over 165 IP 113 lifetime ERA+ entering his age 33 season - a guy who probably won't get $100 mil this winter or more than 3 years. Could be a good fit to eat innings and keep things in line for the rest of the team.

Cole Hamels: Entering age 36 season so no one will give him 3 years. Should get a QO but rumors are he won't. Odds are a contender will give him anything the Jays would. Can't see our GM going to 3 years for a guy this old no matter how good.

Kyle Gibson: Entering age 32 season, 94 lifetime ERA+, 95 last year. An inning eater and no more. Useful to a non-contender or a contender with rotation issues in the 3-5 slots. Could be a good bargain.

Others that catch peoples eyes?
dan gordon - Sunday, November 03 2019 @ 11:30 PM EST (#382850) #
Not surprising the Jays' rotation had poor results this year - look at the number of starts they missed. The plan before the season started was for Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Borucki and Buchholz, with Richard filling in until Buchholz was ready, and serving as the #6 starter. Those 6 guys were all injured and/or traded, and made a total of 73 starts. I don't care what team you're talking about, NO team can succeed when their top 6 starters heading into the season, combined, make only 73 starts. Plus, 2 of them, Sanchez and Buchholz, had ERA's over 6.00. Sanchez' ERA was more than double his 2016 number, and well over a run higher than his weak 2018. Buchholz' ERA was more than 4 runs higher than his 2018 number. Those 2 guys combined for almost half of the 73 starts made by the top 6 starters.

One of my biggest memories from 1985 was Bobby Cox mismanaging the use of Al Oliver in the series against KC. Dan Quisenberry was the Royals' closer and he was death to righty batters. Oliver owned him. Quisenberry often pitched multiple innings - in game 2, he pitched 3 innings, and Oliver, who came in as a pinch hitter earlier, had the game winning hit off him in the 10th. In game 4, again, Oliver came in to pinch hit, and had the game winning hit against Quisenberry. The Royals realized they had to get Oliver away from Quisenberry, and in game 6, they brought in a left hander to face Oliver, who had started the game. Cox took Oliver out of the game in favour of Cliff Johnson, and the Jays had no answer when Quisenberry came in to finish off Garth Iorg in the 9th to nail down the game. Same thing happened again in game 7 - the Royals started a righty, Oliver was in the lineup, and when they brought in a lefty, Cox removed Oliver from the game, and again, the Jays didn't have their Quisenberry killer in the 9th inning, and he had no problem finishing the Jays off in the 9th. I was at that game. Stieb pitched game 1 and was untouchable. He pitched game 4 on 3 days rest and was decent, but walked 7. He then pitched game 7, also on 3 days rest, and gave up 6 runs. It was common practice back then, but we now know it isn't a good idea. Still think that Cox was a significant factor in losing that series.

As for free agent pitchers, I like Odorizzi, and it will be interesting to see if the Twins make him a qualifying offer. Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs thinks they should.
Vulg - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:22 AM EST (#382852) #
Others that catch peoples eyes?

I think the upper limit of what the Jays will consider are Odorizzi and Wheeler. I like that both of those guys are 30 yrs old, and a 2-3 year deal shouldn't represent a ton of risk in terms of decline.

Going by the team's MO recently, they'll probably target upside guys with warts (injury, suspension etc.). I'm guessing that'll include guys like Wacha or Pineda.
bpoz - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 08:42 AM EST (#382853) #
I am curious as to how the FA strategies will work out. It will be interesting to see.The QO I think is about $18 mil.

Donaldson will get a QO and will decline because it is a big cut in pay. He will play next year as a 34 year old. So 4 years may be offered at most I think. Will he get $25 mil/yr for 4 years. A little iffy but possible. 2 years with options would still cost a draft pick. Bautista was done at age 36 I think.

Verlander will be 37 in Feb 2020 and is still an Ace. He is getting $26 mil/yr for 2019 and 2020. I don't know if he ever received a QO.

SK in NJ - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 09:17 AM EST (#382855) #
Wouldn't surprise me if the team signs one pitcher with a reasonable chance at 170-200 innings (Porcello, Roark), and then a buy low target like the aforementioned Wacha or Pineda. I don't think the FO has any plans of signing a player attached to a QO, so Wheeler is out, and not sure if Odorizzi gets a QO from the Twins.

The wild card here could be a trade. This FO has not traded many prospects since they got here, and I can't imagine they'd trade anyone they value in a deal for a short-term upgrade, but vets who make money don't cost as much in trades as they used to. Maybe there is a trade target out there who wouldn't cost much and gives the Jays a boost in the rotation, even if it's just league average innings.

I still envision 2020 being for pitchers what 2019 was for position players. The team likely wants to incorporate Pearson, Kay, Zeuch, etc, into prominent roles in 2020, but not right out of the gate. They have a lot of SP's on the 40 man roster destined for AAA/MLB so they'll have to make decisions for future role on a bunch of them. Then there is the inevitable Giles trade.
bpoz - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 09:43 AM EST (#382856) #
Agreed SK.

We need to categorize pitchers for use in 2020.

There is the Ace - #5 category. Which is good but I must be thinking roles for 2020.

Stroman type is good for 6-8 innings per game. So a good SP that can eat innings.

From there you come down to 4-6 and sometimes 7 innings per game. I think we have some who can do that Zeuch, Kay, Pearson, Borucki. On May 10th we play our 40th game. That would be a good time to see if any kids are up.

3-4 innings is a long opener. Also a long reliever. I don't know if that is possible. We did not have long openers last year.

2020 is a development year and how can you fit all the roles including pen with a 13 man pitching staff??
DH - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 09:54 AM EST (#382857) #
Wheeler is the type of upside pitcher I'd love to see the FO go after. Is a 2nd round pick really going to limit that effort? The likelihood of that panning out vs 5 years of Wheeler is a bet I'd take most days. If not, while as well try to find some trade partners for guys like Urena, Archer etc. Though that bottom feeding will cost more than a 2nd round pick....
scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:04 AM EST (#382859) #
People keep bringing in Wheeler but he's likely to get a QO which should put him right out.

Ryu is an older guy who isn't going to get more than 3 years. I expect him to stay on the west coast, but he'd be a good target to overspend a bit on.

Alex Wood has not yet return to form following his injury but he'd be a good gamble.

Keuchel would be fine.

Roark is an OK fall back option. So is Ivan Nova. Or Porcello.

Gibson, Oddorizzi are fine.

Jhoulys Chacin, Vargas are a pass.

Paul D - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:31 AM EST (#382861) #
The Jays just traded for Chase Anderson from the Brewers. Return unknown... I don't hate it, if they're still going to try for someone better than him for the top of the rotation.
DH - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:31 AM EST (#382862) #
A second round pick is a 50% shot of "making it" to the majors. And the WAR for a second rounder is estimated ~$9M where the Jays would pick. Can Wheeler deliver more value? A QO itself shouldn't disqualify any action/the math on value should.
Gerry - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:43 AM EST (#382863) #
Anderson has an $8.5M option for 2020. The Jays can afford it, I guess the Brewers didn't want to pay it.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:43 AM EST (#382864) #
Here is Fangraphs' summary of the top 50 free agents.  My take on the starting pitchers:

1. Cole- FG (both Kiley McDaniel and Median Crowdsource) projects 7 X $32-34.  His 2020-22 seasons are worth about $50 million per.  He's worth the FG totals.  Would he take $40 million for 3 years and then $30 million for 4 years with an opt out after 3 years?
2. Strasburg- FG: 5 X 28-30M.  A bit rich for my blood.
3. Bumgarner- FG: 4 x 16-18M.  I ran a Play Index based on his last 4 years.  Top comps were Corey Kluber, Bronson Arroyo and Teddy Higuera.  He'll get a QO, and he is decent value even with it.
4. Wheeler- FG: 4 X 17-18M.  I ran a Play Index based on his last 3 years.  Top comps were Matt Shoemaker, Juan Guzman, Todd Stottlemyre, Victor Zambrano, and Matt Cain. Frank Tanana did have a good second act, but still, pass.
5. Keuchel- FG 3X15 or 4 X 17.5M.  I ran a Play Index based on his last 3 years.  Top comps were Juan Guzman, Mark Portugal, Sid Fernandez, Doug Fister.  Pass
6. Ryu- FG 2 or 3 yrs X 16.  Play Index based on his last 3 years.  The only useful comp was Kent Tekulve.  I assume he gets a QO, but if not, I'd be all over him (and maybe even with one).  He might have 5 years left as a terrific starter/multi-inning reliever
7. Gibson- FG 3 X15 or 2 X10.  Don't need to run a Play Index.  ERA+ of 99 in that division over the last 3 years.  Pass.
8. Odorizzi- FG 3 X 13-15.  ERA+ of 110 in that division over the last two years is consistent with performance in Tampa prior.  Ran a Play Index for age 24-9 and got comps Ian Kennedy, Jason Schmidt, Aaron Harang, Tom Gordon, Melido Perez, Gavin Floyd, Dallas Keuchel, Cliff Lee, Rick Sutcliffe.  A real mixed bag.  If he doesn't get a QO, I'd think about it.
Paul D - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:47 AM EST (#382865) #
The Jays are sending Chad Spanberger to the Brewers. They got him for Oh. Seems like a pretty solid deal.

(There's also a rumour that the Jays are interested in Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, although unclear if he has any interest in the Jays)
Magpie - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:48 AM EST (#382866) #
The Jays just traded for Chase Anderson from the Brewers. Return unknown...

Apparently, it's in exchange for Chad Spanberger, obtained in last year's deal for Seunghwan Oh. Pretty obvious that this is about the Brewers being cheap and not wanting to pick up Anderson's $8.5 million option for next season.
John Northey - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:51 AM EST (#382867) #
50-50 odds is high for a 2nd rounder. The Jays are picking somewhere around 35 or later for the 2nd round. Most recent 35th overall pick to reach is Kevin Plawecki (2.8 WAR so far). Most recent to get over 10 WAR is Aaron Rowand from 1998 (supplemental 1st rounder, 20.9 WAR, retired after 2011). Johnny Damon in 1992 is the next most recent to crack 10 WAR. Then Mark Langston in 1981. That's it for 35th overall picks over 10 WAR - 3 guys in 55 years. Under 10 WAR you are getting someone easily replaced.

36th overall, same result, 3 guys (Randy Johnson, Johnny Bench, and Erik Hanson), two damn good ones, but just 3.

37th: 8 cracked 10 WAR (Frank Viola, Troy Glaus [dns], Adam Jones, Mike Scott, Rick Miller, Mike Heath, James Paxton [dns], and Jacque Jones).

So you get the idea, the odds of getting a quality player is a lot lower than 50-50, more like a bit under 1 in 10 with a 1 in 25 shot at a superstar/HOF level guy. Do you give that up for a decent middle of the rotation guy? Maybe, but I don't see it.
bpoz - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:52 AM EST (#382868) #
Anderson at $8.5 mil looks good as a #3. Better than Sanchez.

We don't know what is going to Milwaukee.

He buys us time until kids arrive. Can also be traded. Kept all year if we don't want to lose a lot of games.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:54 AM EST (#382869) #
Chase Anderson is a decent pitcher, but you want to put a good outfield defence behind him and particularly in centerfield.  He's had Cain there the last few years and that has definitely helped. 
85bluejay - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:55 AM EST (#382870) #
The move saves the Brewers 500K and I won't say the Brewers are being cheap - they may spend that $8.5m in more useful ways - have to wait for the offseason to develop - the Jays need warm bodies to pitch and not expose the kids.It's a meh deal but so was the Estrada deal a few years ago.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 11:56 AM EST (#382871) #
For Spanberger, it's a fine deal. 
uglyone - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#382872) #
$9m a year for a projected ~1war player.

Sounds about right.
85bluejay - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:03 PM EST (#382873) #
I see the Brewers have added Angel Perdomo to their 40 man roster - A personal favourite of mine, guys with that size (6'6") always seem to take more time to develop and I always felt the Jays wait too long to move him to the pen - I think he can be a solid pen arm for years.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:07 PM EST (#382874) #
UO, that Fangraphs 1 WAR projection is based on a 5.20 ERA.  Anderson's xwOBA the last 3 years has been ..287, ,330 and .321.  If you put a decent centerfielder out there, I'll take the (way) under on the 5.20 ERA.
PeterG - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:10 PM EST (#382875) #
There is also a 9.5 mil option on Anderson for 2021 season.
This is a solid deal for Jays. I much prefer this to signing FA's to any long term contract.
uglyone - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#382876) #
Pretty big if there, mike.

Brewers have been an elite defensive team while Andersen has been there.

Jays have been anything but.
bpoz - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:27 PM EST (#382877) #
I just checked my prospect list and no Spanberger. I then looked at Milwaukee's 2019 rotation. It was weak to mediocre. I judged their best were #3-#4s. I could be wrong. You need much better to make the playoffs IMO.

I think their window is wide open for 2 more years. Then a rebuild.

Can their farm provide a #1 or #2 for the next 2 years left on their window as I estimate their window?

St Louis has 2 #1s in Flaherty and Hudson and the rest are #3s I think.

Milwaukee is just clearing space at the benefit of the Jays.

SK in NJ - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:33 PM EST (#382878) #
Anderson's ERA seems to consistently beat his FIP. His RA9-WAR shows a more promising outlook (4.6, 2.6, and 2.2 in 2017, 18, and 19 respectively). The Jays did not give up much of anything to get him, so the trade itself is fine. I'm not really sure what to expect from him in 2020, though. The Jays have a suspect defensive team and Anderson is going to need defense, especially in the outfield. Seems like a solid deal either way. I would have liked to have seen what the FA market for SP's looked like before dropping 1/9 (or 2/18 if the option is picked up) on Anderson, but by itself the deal is fine.
scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:38 PM EST (#382879) #
The Jays' low second pick is a great spot to pick up a pitcher.
The slot money is close to 2M.
The way the draft works now is different. The Jays don't have the ability to get extra first rounders.
This could be a very important pick.

rpriske - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#382880) #
Solid trade. Anderson is as good as anyone currently in the Jays' rotation.

As long as this is just the FIRST addition to the rotation, I am on board.
vw_fan17 - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:44 PM EST (#382881) #
Overall, based on my limited knowledge of things (looking at WAR, etc), thumbs up on the Chase Anderson deal. Comments on MLBTR indicate a bit of homeritis (sounds like a fly ball pitcher). He had one REALLY good year a 3 years ago (ERA+ 160!) when he brought HR/9 down to half his normal value.

Take out that one fluke/career year (at age 29) and he's about a lifetime ERA+ right around 100, WAR around 1.2-1.4, maybe.

He's not going to be an ace (most likely), but he's (hopefully) going to be better than guys like Richard or Buchholz, with a slight chance at an upside - he's 32 going into the season, not 36-37.. Has also never had an ERA+ below 93, so seems like a "high floor, low ceiling" kind of guy - definitely an upgrade on SOME of last season, and not going to block anyone if the kids surprise.
Credit where credit is due: +1 MeowMeowBeenz for Atkins..
scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 12:59 PM EST (#382882) #
Didn't expect that.

The Brewers used Anderson as an opener in April.
He had an ERA of 4.5 in that role.

After that, they used him as 4-5 innings starter.
He could have won more games if they'd let him get to 5 innings regularly.
At the same time, it means they didn't trust him to go over the lineup 3 times.

He didn't cost anything and at worse he's the 5th starter.
His fastball is around 93mph. The peripherals looks OK.

scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:02 PM EST (#382883) #
He's been hurt by the juice ball. He's an average MLB pitcher which is fine.
Shouldn't keep them from getting another (better) starter,, but they might play the long game on the next one.

85bluejay - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:31 PM EST (#382885) #
The Pirates have picked up Chris Archer's $9m option - I'd think he will be available.
cascando - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:42 PM EST (#382886) #
I suspect this is the type of move Atkins had in mind when he said this off-season will be more like '15 and '16. They're willing to spend a little, but no big splashes.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:45 PM EST (#382887) #
Grichuk is a decent centerfielder, UO.  If they run out an outfield of Gurriel Jr., Grichuk and Fisher, it won't be great but it will be average.  And they can do better than that, if they add in the off-season. 
Gerry - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 01:57 PM EST (#382890) #
David Phelps, Kendall Graveman and Brandon Morrow all had their options declined by the Cubs. That's three ex-Jays on the market.
uglyone - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:03 PM EST (#382891) #
"I suspect this is the type of move Atkins had in mind when he said this off-season will be more like '15 and '16. They're willing to spend a little, but no big splashes."

I would expect this will be the case every offseason.
GabrielSyme - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:07 PM EST (#382892) #
I really hope Fangraphs or other stats sites start designating openers and bulk guys so they can be separated out - we had 23 or so "starts" by openers this year (I'm not sure if Pannone or Waguespack had any "opener" starts), and they really aren't the same as normal starts - it makes comparisons across seasons difficult. Eyeballing those starts, it looks like the openers gave up 18 runs in 33.1 innings, a 4.86 ERA.

Leaving that aside, the Jays starters were quite bad (114 ERA-), worse than all but 4 other seasons (1978, 2012, 2013 and 2018), but they also pitched 125 fewer innings than any previous non-strike team.

As long as we are planning on 2020 being another year where we are continuing rebuilding, I think the strategy of signing a reliable mid-tier starter (Gibson, Pineda, Odorizzi) plus a bounce-back candidate (Alex Wood) is reasonable.

Note: drafted this before the Anderson trade, and there might not be room for a bounce-back candidate now.
pooks137 - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:17 PM EST (#382893) #
I don't think either Pannone or Waguespack truly had any starts as openers.

Pannone was pulled a few times due to ineffectiveness before completing 3 innings. He also had a start on Sept 24th where he only pitched one inning against Baltimore, but this was a true Charlie Wholestaff bullpen day as he'd pitched the night before in a 15 inning win.

dan gordon - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:23 PM EST (#382894) #
Nice pickup, and virtually no cost. Anderson actually is one of those rare pitchers who is fine to use a 3rd time through the lineup. For his career, the OPS numbers against him the first 3 times through are .718, .755, .777, a much smaller increase than for most pitchers. He also has a very rare, extreme reverse split. He is great against lefty batters and struggles against righties. You would think that there would be something that he could adjust to have better success against righties. In his great 2017 season, he was excellent against them, but hasn't been able to duplicate that. Righties killed him in 2019, with an OPS of .885, almost 300 points higher than lefties managed.

He was used as a reliever at the start of the 2019 season, but not as an opener. He mainly was pitching in the mid to late innings, and had 5 appearances covering 10 innings. He was a starter the rest of the way and gave up more than 3 runs in a game only 4 times, 4,5 and 6 runs once each and a 10 run game in Washington. Aside from the relief appearances and the Washington game, his ERA for the season was 3.55. Should be a solid add to the rotation, who will "give the team a chance to win" most nights. I think he can pitch more innings than he has been used. He was getting stronger as the 2019 season went along - his September was outstanding.
uglyone - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:24 PM EST (#382895) #
"I really hope Fangraphs or other stats sites start designating openers and bulk guys so they can be separated out - we had 23 or so "starts" by openers this year (I'm not sure if Pannone or Waguespack had any "opener" starts), and they really aren't the same as normal starts - it makes comparisons across seasons difficult. Eyeballing those starts, it looks like the openers gave up 18 runs in 33.1 innings, a 4.86 ERA."

I've been trying to figure this out, and I've come to the conclusion that the only way to make the numbers meaningful again is to create a new stat - IP per Outing.

My problem is I get stuck there because that's only a first step - after making that step, we still have to figure out how that balances out with differences in performances. I can only think that this will need some fairly complex math to figure out but I think it'll probably have to happen.

One thing for sure is that I no longer know how to do my Paced Stats for pitchers. Before i would use strict starting stats and pace them to 32 starts, and strict relief stats and pace them to 65ip, but now I don't really know what to do. Still trying to figure that out.
GabrielSyme - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:39 PM EST (#382897) #
I think it still makes sense to go with a Gurriel/Hernandez/Grichuk outfield. Hernandez has been a good hitter, and looked even better after his recall this past season. As a defender, he's obviously been bad, but I think he's improving. You lose value defensively, but you gain it positionally, and if you carry Alford as a backup, you have your defensive replacement.

You can't be above-average everywhere, and Teoscar is one guy who is already playable and still has some significant upside.
Vulg - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:59 PM EST (#382899) #
Can't argue the value of a #4 or 5 starter on a short (controllable) term for a non-prospect

Revised payroll has the Jays at $60M payroll ($46 on the active roster due to Tulo's retained portion).

That's a decent use of budget space. Hopefully he ends up being more rotation filler than rotation topper, but it's a start.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 02:59 PM EST (#382900) #
I didn't feel Hernandez improved.  He is what he is.  He has the speed to be a centerfielder, but his instincts/ball-reading/jumps are so erratic that he's a below average corner outfielder, and worse than that in centerfield.

I like Teoscar.  As a first baseman/5th outfielder/DH, I can see him getting 300 PAs off the bench, and being good at it. 
Gerry - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 03:58 PM EST (#382902) #
Odorizzi is getting a qualifying offer. I think that takes him out of the consideration for the Jays.
Gerry - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 04:02 PM EST (#382903) #
Julio Teheran and Danny Salazar are other non tendered options for the Blue Jays.
GabrielSyme - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 04:24 PM EST (#382904) #
If the alternative is Grichuk, I'll point out that Statcast had them equally below-average in their "jump" statistic. I'd take Grichuk defensively, but I don't think there's likely to be as big a gap between them in defensive value going forward.

Statcast had Hernandez a little better this past year in its expected catch/actual catch percentage (-1% rather than -2% in 2018 and -7% in 2017). DRS and UZR both agreed that he was -4 to -5 runs in his range in centre in half a season, which is poor, but similar to what his range numbers had been in the corner outfield spots, which strikes me as progress. He remains erratic, but he does seem to be improving.

His arm graded out as poor in centre field by both systems, but his arm has been average in the corners, and I don't think it's a significant liability.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 04:29 PM EST (#382905) #
I like the the Anderson pick-up as a depth piece.

It’s interesting that Julio Tehran could have possibly been had similarly, but I wonder if the bad blood with AA got in the way or they actually liked Anderson better for a little cheaper.

Danny Salazar would be an excellent pick-up as a bounce back guy similar to Shoemaker a year ago.
John Northey - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 04:35 PM EST (#382906) #
Yeah, no way you lose a high 2nd rounder for a guy who is less than a #1. Odorizzi is a 106 lifetime ERA guy vs new Jay Anderson's 106 lifetime ERA. Huh, didn't expect it to be a perfect match. Good going Atkins. and all it cost was Chad Spanberger - a guy who was in AA at 1B hitting 237/308/399, or basically hit as well as one would hope a good fielding 2B would do.

Julio Teheran didn't have his option picked up surprisingly (110 lifetime ERA+ 119 last year in 174 IP just entering his age 29 season) if he'll sign for the $12 mil Atlanta would've had to pay I'd take him in a split second. Heck, at that level a 3 year $30+ mil deal would make sense, maybe $45 mil. Been worth over 1.5 WAR every year since 2013 so yeah, he is worth a decent deal.
BlueJayWay - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 05:04 PM EST (#382907) #
Solid trade. Anderson is as good as anyone currently in the Jays' rotation.

As long as this is just the FIRST addition to the rotation, I am on board.

Same here. I'd be very disappointed if this was the Jays big off season SP acquisition, but as a first move early in the offseason there's not much downside.
PeterG - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 05:27 PM EST (#382908) #
I would only take Salazar on a minor league deal. There is too much injury risk.
dan gordon - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:09 PM EST (#382910) #
I'm really surprised that Teheran's option wasn't picked up. He's one of those guys whose ERA is always well under his FIP, as he does a great job of limiting hits, and doesn't strike out a ton. Career ERA of 3.67, and in the last 2 years, he gave up just 270 hits in 350 IP. He walks more than you'd like, but he's extremely durable, with 30 or more starts 7 years in a row, and he's only just going to turn 29 in January. I'd be very comfortable with a 3-year deal for Teheran. Let's hope the Jays make a big push to get him.
John Northey - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:16 PM EST (#382911) #
QO's ....
Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Braves
Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
Marcell Ozuna, LF, Cardinals
Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals
Zack Wheeler, SP, Mets
Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants
Gerrit Cole, SP, Astros
Jake Odorizzi, SP, Twins
Will Smith, RP, Giants

So 5 starters and one reliever are no-go's for the Jays. 2 guys at 3B (no way the Jays were chasing them anyways), a LF'er (no interest), and a 1B (Abreu really should take the QO as no way I see him getting more with a draft pick attached to him). The RF Will Smith really should take it too. The rest we'll have to wait and see.

Unless you are already a contender you really shouldn't be after these guys. I expect more to take the QO this year after last years mess with 2 guys going into the summer without a job.
vw_fan17 - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:17 PM EST (#382912) #
Julio Teheran didn't have his option picked up surprisingly (110 lifetime ERA+ 119 last year in 174 IP just entering his age 29 season) if he'll sign for the $12 mil Atlanta would've had to pay I'd take him in a split second. Heck, at that level a 3 year $30+ mil deal would make sense, maybe $45 mil. Been worth over 1.5 WAR every year since 2013 so yeah, he is worth a decent deal.

Hmm. If we add another 1.5 WAR pitcher, and they both eliminate a couple of -1 WAR pitchers, then we've added 2 x 2.5WAR = 5 WAR to the lineup. That would be a pretty positive development, IMHO. Resign Giles, and it might put us into the "at or above .500" category, if we get good results from the BBGGs. Maybe even room for a lucky streak to hold a wild card spot for a few weeks if Shoemaker comes back 100% healthy and lasts all season..

This move is one of the best moves the new regime has made, IMHO. Make a few more of these, please.
PeterG - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:22 PM EST (#382913) #
Tepera and Travis DFA.
PeterG - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:24 PM EST (#382914) #
Slight correction - Tepera DFA - Travis outrighted. Same result. Both gone from 40 man roster.
dan gordon - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:49 PM EST (#382915) #
I guess Travis isn't a surprise. What a shame he couldn't get healthy, I thought he was going to be a major part of the team for a long time. Tepera surprises me a bit, but I guess the injury this past season, his age (just turned 32) and possible arb award were all factors. You gotta like a pitcher with ERA in his name. Should have a good bounce back season in 2020, he was good for 4 years in a row before last year.
Vulg - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 06:53 PM EST (#382916) #
Shocked that Teheran is available. I think he gets a $15M AAV. I think the Braves regret this.
GabrielSyme - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 07:14 PM EST (#382917) #
Teheran doesn't look that attractive to me - he's out-performed his FIP over his career, but it's not clear why he has that skill. Otherwise, he has unimpressive peripherals, declining velocity and declining swing-and-miss ability. There isn't anything there to latch onto and think he's still adequate beyond the ERA.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 07:21 PM EST (#382918) #
If any team really intended on offering Tehran any really money they would have just traded for him.
Vulg - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 07:55 PM EST (#382919) #
Teheran doesn't look that attractive to me - he's out-performed his FIP over his career, but it's not clear why he has that skill. Otherwise, he has unimpressive peripherals, declining velocity and declining swing-and-miss ability. There isn't anything there to latch onto and think he's still adequate beyond the ERA.

I like the combination of his age and results. He turns 29 in January, which is on the younger side for a FA starter. And while you're right to question his lack of impressive peripherals, the fact remains that he's somehow managed to throw a minimum of 174 innings and start 30 games every year since 2013 with above average results.
dan gordon - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 08:41 PM EST (#382920) #
It may not be clear WHY Teheran has the skill to outperform his FIP, but the fact is that he does indeed have it. He has outperformed his FIP every year for 7 consecutive years. That's not luck. He doesn't allow many hits. I suspect he's good at hitting corners/edges and really tries to pitch on the black, and that is why he walks a fair number of people, but doesn't give up many hits because he avoids the middle of the plate. A somewhat similar skillset to vintage Estrada.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 08:52 PM EST (#382922) #
I don't think that's it, Dan. Tehran has an xwOBA of .325 and a wOBA of .308 over the Statcast era. The average pitcher over that period has a xwOBA of .318 and a wOBA of .307. It looks like he's been getting a lot of defensive help.
Mike Green - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 09:08 PM EST (#382923) #
Including from himself. Teheran is a fine fielder.
scottt - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 09:11 PM EST (#382924) #
Isn' t Teheran another fly ball pitcher? I think we're good here.

TradeRumors has the following predictions:

Wheeler, Phillies 5/100M
MadBum, Twins, 4/72M
Ryu, Rangers 3/54M
Odorrizzi, Twins, 3/51M (QO gives them an edge)
Keuchel, White Sox 3/39M
Hamels, Braves, 2/30M
Pineda, Brewers, 2/22M (a good destination for a PED abuser)
Gibson, Cubs, 2/18M
Roark, Blue Jays, 2/18M
Teheran, Mariners, 2/18M
Pomeranz, Dodgers, 2/16M
Miley, Angels, 2/16M
Porcello, Giants, 1/11M
Alex Woods, Mariners, 1/8M
Wainwright, Cardinals, 1/8M
Josh Lindblom, Astros, 2/8M
Rich Hill, Dodgers, 1/6M
Wacha, Tigers, 1/6M
Ivan Nova, Mets, 1/6M
Drew Smyly, Pirates 1/3M

Also, Shogo Akiyama, Diamondbacks 2/6M

John Northey - Monday, November 04 2019 @ 09:29 PM EST (#382925) #
I see Teheran as a low risk guy to sign. He won't be an ace or even a #2 but should be a good #3/4 guy for a rotation. He is wilder than I'd like, over 4 BB/9 each of the past 2 years, but even with a 4.66 FIP last year he'd be #3 in our rotation. Ugh. That is how bad the 2019 Jays staff was.
Michael - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 02:19 AM EST (#382928) #
The Anderson deal seems like a pretty great deal. He's at least a good #3 based on track record (all be it in the weaker league). That is a career 106 ERA+ with a little over 1.5 WAR a year average on just under 150 IP started a year who is only owed $8.5 M this first year with an option for $9.5 M the next year. And the cost is a 24 year old AA 1b who isn't a top prospect?

This seems like a safe deal that is very likely to outperform the costs and at a position (SP) that there is a huge multi-player gap.
Glevin - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 06:34 AM EST (#382929) #
Tehran is a sinkerballer whose fastball keeps losing velocity. Don't see him as a great bet for success with the Jays. would rather have someone else. (average fastball under 90mph last year).
scottt - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 07:30 AM EST (#382932) #
I would lock up Salazar on a bonus structured contract, something like what the Jays gave to Phelps, who incidentally was so good that the Cubs passed on his option (not cheap enough).

The Jays have a lot of depth, so they can deal with injuries, especially with Pearson potentially ready by mid-May.

They could be looking for a lefty to replace Mayza also, with the 3 batters rule in effect.
rpriske - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 09:04 AM EST (#382936) #
At 2/30 I would hope the Jays are in on Hamels.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:12 AM EST (#382939) #
Not me.  Hamels is about as good as Chase Anderson at this point- the Cubs defence was good and made him look better than he was.  You want somebody better than that at the top of the rotation to accompany Pearson in case you make it to the playoffs.  Bumgarner would do. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#382940) #
Interesting piece of accounting done by AA in Atlanta - Flowers and Markakis both had $6m option with $2m buyout - Braves paid the $2m buyout and resigned then to 1 year $4m contracts - basically same financial results but only the $4m counts on the 2020 budget - while the Braves are likely not going to be near the luxury tax, public company Liberty may have set a hard budget figure and this move give the Braves $4m more on the 2020 numbers - you can always play around with numbers.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#382941) #
I really look at a 2021 rotation featuring 6’5+ flamethrowers Wheeler, Pearson, Manoah and Murphy would look nice as the start of a playoff rotation.

Realistically I think Ryu or Keuchel to go with the Anderson pickup more mimics the Happ and Estrada moves of years past.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:26 AM EST (#382942) #
Ryu didn't get a QO.  Definitely interested in him. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:27 AM EST (#382943) #
No on both Hamels & Bumgarner (he probably goes to Atlanta) - see if Pittsburgh is selling Archer cheaply and take a gamble on Pineda, the PED suspension should depress his market - Homer Bailey is a guy on a 1 year contract who could interest Jays, hopefully move him in july when one of the prospects is ready.
85bluejay - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:29 AM EST (#382944) #
I'd be surprised if Ryu had any interest in the Jays unless they overpay.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:33 AM EST (#382945) #
Ryu did not get a qualifying offer as players who have previously been offered one are not eligible for one.

Every the pitcher the Jays will target will have to be overpaid.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 10:34 AM EST (#382946) #
Thanks, shoeless.  Forgot that.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 11:12 AM EST (#382947) #
What's an overpay for Ryu?

FG has 2 or 3 years at $16M.  MLB Trade rumours has him going for 3@18M.  If you give him 3@18M plus a 4th year player option at 18 contingent on him throwing 250 IP total in the second and third year, is that an overpay? 
In other words, is "an overpay" based on the perceived market or what he is actually worth?   These are not the same things.
scottt - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#382948) #
I saw a site that has him going to the White Sox for 3@25M. Now that would be an overpay.

Apparently some minor leagues will use the robo-umps.
The FSL seems like a likely target. The facilities are perfect for it.

scottt - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 11:44 AM EST (#382949) #
Martinez sticks with Boston, keeping up the payroll pressures.

Gregorius and Romine are probably ex-Yankees in April.
Sanchez hasn't never been reliable and without Didi, the Yankees tilt right.

85bluejay - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#382950) #
That a top notch organisation such as the Dodgers who have all his medicals would not offer him a QO makes me leery but maybe the Dodgers are going after bigger game.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 12:11 PM EST (#382951) #
Ryu was offered (and accepted) the qualifying offer last season, which is why the Dodgers couldn't offer it to him again.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 12:25 PM EST (#382952) #
I like the accounting by AA.

C Anderson for C Spanberger is as cheap as you can get. Why not Maile or Drury who are each worth more than Spanberger?
scottt - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:05 PM EST (#382953) #
Maile and Drury are replacement players making too much money.
They are 2 non-tender candidates who would be OK on minor league contracts.
Hopefully, they both get pushed out before the rule 5 draft.

85bluejay - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:10 PM EST (#382954) #
Thanks SK - Obviously I should have read Shoeless post.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:17 PM EST (#382955) #
I really like Kyle Gibson and Alex Wood at the trade rumour prices. Gibson tends to allow hard-ish contact, but his peripherals compare pretty decently to Zack Wheeler. I'd much prefer Gibson to Roark.

Alex Wood is a great bounce-back candidate who might fetch a good deadline return.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:26 PM EST (#382956) #
Thanks scottt. The FO may not want Maile because they have Jansen and McGuire.

Drury may be the best (most ML experience) backup IF that we have.
DH - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:35 PM EST (#382957) #
I'd be phoning the Rockies to see how we might help them get some payroll flexibility by taking on one of their many bad contracts along with Jon Gray.
mathesond - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:49 PM EST (#382959) #
Taking on a bad Rockies contract? Shouldn't the Jays wait until they finish paying Tulowitzki? :)
bpoz - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 01:55 PM EST (#382960) #
The current FO's history of taking on bad contracts (from other clubs that is) is F Liriano (Pittsburgh) and Houston (Liriano for Aoki).

So a short history. C Anderson may make the list soon.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 02:13 PM EST (#382961) #
 He also has a very rare, extreme reverse split. He is great against lefty batters and struggles against righties. You would think that there would be something that he could adjust to have better success against righties. In his great 2017 season, he was excellent against them, but hasn't been able to duplicate that. Righties killed him in 2019, with an OPS of .885, almost 300 points higher than lefties managed.

From what I read of today's Fangraphs article on the trade, it suggests maybe his 4-seam isn't great. That vs Lefty batters his change/cutter combo is fooling people but vs righties, the 4 seam is getting hit. So I guess the question is what do you consider changing vs righties? pitch-sequencing? usage (reducing 4-seam)? new pitch?Will be curious to see. I suppose there's upside. Not sure if his good 2017 was due to increased velocity (the Fangraphs article suggests poor separation between 4-seam and cutter).
bpoz - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 03:27 PM EST (#382962) #
If C Anderson is consistent all year 130-180 IP (big range) and ERA 4.5-4.9 (is this an ok ERA? Certainly not good). Then at any time in our season he is our 1st to 4th best SP. Not as good as NYY's Paxton, German or Tanaka. Severino does not count (2019) but will be an Ace or #1 in 2020.

A healthy Pearson and Borucki could be better than him.

Sorry for the bad communication. He is definitely good for the time needed for further prospect development.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 03:43 PM EST (#382963) #
The Rockies and Jays might match up on Ian Desmond plus Gray. Desmond might still be able to fill in occasionally at SS, and he could be the weak side of a platoon at 1B, or even the entire 1B option.

His peripherals were actually significantly improved this past season, so there's a little bounce-back potential. He's only owed $25m for the next two seasons, so you'd probably have to add some real value to get Gray.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 04:49 PM EST (#382964) #
Ryu will have a lot of competition. He does not have a QO attached to him, and he's coming off a great season. The MLBTR estimate has him going for 3/54. I would think the Jays would have to beat that to get him to sign, although I'm not sure what his location preferences would be.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#382965) #
Fangraphs has Brett Gardner as 1 yr. @8-13M and Mike Moustakas as 2 yrs.@16M.  I'd be interested at those figures

They have Rendon at 7 yrs@30M.  That's right around the break-even point.  Rendon has 27.3 WAR between age 24 and 29.  The group of comparable third basemen with between 25 and 30 WAR in that age range in the lively ball era are: Brooks Robinson, Ron Cey, Robin Ventura, Graig Nettles, Harlond Clift, Kyle Seager, Tony Perez and Matt Williams.  Clift and Williams would definitely have been bad at that price, and Seager looks like he might be.  The others would have been good.  Rendon reminds me the most of Ron Cey.  Cey produced 22.5 WAR as a third baseman from age 30-34 and some value in his age 35 and 36 seasons.  That's about what I would expect from Rendon, and I think that he's got a little more O and a little less D, so that he can make the switch to first base or even DH.
PeterG - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 05:51 PM EST (#382966) #
I found the Fangraphs article on Anderson somewhat positive, hinting that further improvement is indeed possible.
scottt - Tuesday, November 05 2019 @ 09:21 PM EST (#382968) #
I remember Chase Anderson pitching against the Jays in April 2017.
I don't remember the specifics, but I remember him showing some arrogance.
Stroman was pitching for the Jays and he was still on a high from the Baseball Classics.
Anderson was kind of a nobody to me then.
The Jays lost 2-0 and this was the beginning of the end for that competitive window.
Anderson went 7 innings with 7 Ks, 3 hits and 2 walks.
Morales and Travis had 2 Ks each.

Here's hoping he keep pitching well at the RC.

dan gordon - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 03:23 AM EST (#382969) #
PeterG, thanks for the article about Anderson. The answer to the problem Anderson has with righties seems fairly obvious after reading it. The article says that against lefties, he uses the cutter a lot, along with the changeup. His cutter is the 2nd best in baseball among pitchers who use one regularly, and the changeup would give him a good velocity separation to upset hitters' timing. Against righties, apparently he mainly uses the 4 seamer and the cutter, but that doesn't give much velocity separation, only 4 mph, and he doesn't use the cutter as much. Since he is so vastly better against lefties, it would seem logical to try a pitch selection vs righties similar to the one he uses vs lefties.
Glevin - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 04:07 AM EST (#382970) #
"I'd be phoning the Rockies to see how we might help them get some payroll flexibility by taking on one of their many bad contracts along with Jon Gray."

Don't think there's enough bad contract left to throw in Gray. Desmond is worst and he has $25M over 3 years which is bad but not so expensive for many teams. The Rockies owe $22M to McGee and Shaw over next 2 years (mostly next year). All those guys could be targets if Rockies threw in something interesting. I think the place to look is teams who want to content that seem to already be near their payroll limit. Teams like Boston, STL, Cubs, etc...These teams would pay a higher premium to get contracts off their books. Here are some guys on contending teams with bad contracts teams might try to move.
Price-3/$96 (Too big to take especially because Boston has a bad system)
Pedroia- 2/$25 (Red Sox might not want to trade him)
Eovaldi-3/$51 (He had negative WAR last year. Hard to move)
Carpenter- 2/$37
Fowler- 2/$33 (One of these two Cards might be good fits. Very bad contracts but short-term and they could actually fit on the Jays and Cards have some prospect depth).
Heyward-4/$86 (Don't see him as movable)
Reddick-1/$13 (contract isn't terrible at all but Reddick is probably the Astros #6 OF right now and Astros are near to luxury tax and $13M matters.)
K. Davis-2/$35 (Big salary for a DH and A's always looking to save money) .
Cano-4/$96 (Not movable)
Cespedes 1/$29.5 (Hasn't played close to a full season since 2016. Could still hit 2 years ago though. $30M is a lot of money so could free up room for the Mets to make more moves)

scottt - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 08:15 AM EST (#382971) #
I saw some rumours that the Orioles could non-tender Villar if they don't find a trade partner.
He's a free agent next year and is projected to make 10M in arbitration.
I'd swap him for Drury in a heartbeat.

Villar would be easy to trade if you sign him and then eat some salary, but the Orioles attendance is quite low and they're trying to spend less.
The Nationals being Champions isn't going to help either.

rpriske - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 09:25 AM EST (#382972) #
If the Jays pick up a pitcher from the Rockies, I would rather have Marquez than Gray.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 09:41 AM EST (#382973) #
It bothers me to no end that we traded away all our assets for low-upside "MLB ready" arms....and yet our offseason is now still spent picking up marginal depth veteran arms.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 09:59 AM EST (#382974) #
Rockies have had little success finding pitchers who can be at least somewhat effective at Coors. Highly doubt they'll trade any of the few that have shown they actually can pitch there.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 10:19 AM EST (#382975) #
Cey produced 22.5 WAR as a third baseman from age 30-34 and some value in his age 35 and 36 seasons.  That's about what I would expect from Rendon, and I think that he's got a little more O and a little less D, so that he can make the switch to first base or even DH.

Edgar Martinez was a third baseman from age 27-29, and I thought that it would be fun to compare him with Rendon. The age 27-29 numbers look like this:
Martinez: .318/.402/.477 1806 PAs, 18.2 WAR
Rendon: .310/.397/.556 1848 PAs, 16.4 WAR

Obviously, I don't think Rendon can be as good a hitter as Edgar in his mid to late 30s, but I do think that he can be good enough to be an everyday DH and contribute significantly in that role.  So, if you look at Rendon's projected 7 X 30 as two contracts, one at 3X40 and the other at 4X22,5, I'd be good with that.  Even with an opt-out after the first 3 years. 
bpoz - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 11:22 AM EST (#382976) #
I am not in any real hurry for our prospect list to come out this year. Last year I was.

However my list is complete to 40 players. I want to post it and also see the lists of others. But I don't want to post on this thread and then repeat on the prospect thread.

I guess I will just wait. I only have 2 relievers on my 40 man list. I stuck both Romano and Shafer in spot 20. So my list is now 41.
scottt - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 03:13 PM EST (#382977) #
Not all the prospects acquired were pitchers and not many were "MLB ready".
Kay might fit the bill, but Woods Richardson looks more like the real core piece in that move.
Hector Perez and Merryweather were not exactly "MLB ready".
Hatch has looked good in AA but he's far from winning a rotation spot, while Johnston is probably heading back to the FSL.

Chase Anderson is on a 1-year contract and didn't cost any ranked prospect.
He's not going to block anyone for very long.
The rotation currently looks like
Waguespack (some shuffling is bound to happen)

The one thing to watch here is the 40 roster and they've let go of Tepera.
Could be a long wait before they make a move on another starter.

Back to the pen.
Bass was picked off waivers for nothing.

Currently looks like

Pannone is the only lefty. Law, Bass and Font are out of options.

Romano is the only other reliever who could be riding the shuttle.

The pitching depth In AAA (and AA) will have


and then there's Luciano in A ball somewhere.

PeterG - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 03:57 PM EST (#382978) #
I agree that Kay will likely begin the season in Buffalo but will not be there long. He looks like a major league pitcher to me.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 04:25 PM EST (#382981) #
It's really hard to judge how the bullpen is going to shake out. I think Font probably has earned a spot, but beyond that, it's hard to know what the pen will look like. Derek Law, Shafer and Romano all throw hard, get a reasonable number of whiffs and walked too many. Pannone and Gaviglio are both underpowered long men.

The trouble is that beyond Giles (and arguably Font) nobody has shown they are anything more than a fungible type. A Hudson/Phelps-type pickup of a rebound candidate would make sense, but the 40-man is very tight, and we need to clear room to protect Rule V guys and sign at least another starting pitcher.

For a rebuilding year, I could see the Jays running with pretty much a bullpen made of current 40-man players at the beginning of the year, and release/DFA the non-performers as the season goes on. Hopefully a couple of them develop into more reliable arms. I would think the Jays should also start looking at converting some of their stalled starters into relievers - Merryweather is the best candidate, but Perez and Diaz make sense as well. Reid-Foley probably should get another season to see if he can make it work as a starter.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 04:32 PM EST (#382982) #
Sam Miller at ESPN rates how each team did with respect to their goals for the 2019 season. Blue Jays at #13.
dan gordon - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 04:42 PM EST (#382983) #
The starters at AAA/AA also include Hatch and Murray, with Castillo, Winckowski and Woods Richardson looking to move up to AA as well. Then you've got Pardinho and Manoah not far behind. Tons of competition for spots. Will be interesting to see who falls by the wayside and who flourishes. I can't remember the Blue Jays having this many prospects for the rotation who are getting within a couple of years of knocking on the big league door.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#382984) #
It looks like AA is in some trouble for making some comments which might be taken as widespread collusion by front offices.
scottt - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 07:41 PM EST (#382985) #
Very subjective. The Jays did achieve most of what they were after. Except maybe trading Giles but they got something for Phelps and Hudson.

The Astros were just a few relief innings from winning it all. If that had happened I guess they move from 11 to 1, but where do the Nats go? They Phillies didn't get where they wanted, but that link points to the prospects they acquired *before* they tanked. They didn't draft particularly well, but their first or second rounder turned into something most year. That's not that bad.

Now the Red Sox, firing the GM and talking about trading their MVP. Where do you rank that when the goal was to get back to the World Series? Should be close to 30.

scottt - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 07:44 PM EST (#382986) #
That would never happen with Atkins.

He said he talked with 27 teams about what they are looking for in free agency.
Should have stopped at "looking for" or added "or in trades".

bpoz - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 08:08 PM EST (#382987) #
Pitching to a minimum of 3 batters or to end an inning will be a factor in bullpen construction.

Pannone is the lone lefty who is a soft tosser. Kirby Snead and T Bergen in AAA. Maybe they add someone.
scottt - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 08:40 PM EST (#382988) #
The 3 batters thing might affect the Rays.
The limit of 13 pitchers on the team along with the 15 day IL for pitcher might have a bigger impact.
They'll likely need more innings per reliever. That's where pannone and Gaviglio come in.
However, any AAA starter can be a multiple innings pen guy.

Espinal is the only obvious guy to add to the roster for the rule 5.
Maybe Bergen as another lefty.

Michael - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 09:38 PM EST (#382990) #
The collusion argument seems weak. Of course he is feeling out teams to learn what they want so he can make trades or offers. That doesn't make it collusion.

Not that teams may not be colluding, and not that the market seemed cold last offseason, but I don't think AA's words are problematic from a collusion POV.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 09:53 PM EST (#382991) #
I dunno, It seems like the equivalent of selling stock during a blackout period.
PeterG - Wednesday, November 06 2019 @ 10:35 PM EST (#382992) #
I think Thomas Hatch is also an obvious add along with Espinal. Hatch finished strongly at AA. It would be very dangerous to expose a starting pitcher with late season success.
dan gordon - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 12:58 AM EST (#382993) #
Yes, I really think they need to add Hatch. Others to consider would be McClelland, Wall, Palacios, Danny Jimenez, and the recently acquired Curtis Taylor. I think they would lose Jimenez if they don't protect him, and he had quite a remarkable season in 2019. I'd like to hang on to him. Taylor is hurt and may need surgery, so he's probably safe. Palacios and Wall are pretty fringy. McClelland throws really hard, and is the kind of guy somebody might take a chance on. There still seems to be a lot of droppable players on the 40 man in my view - Davis, Drury, Maile, Adam, Perez, Valera, but the team seems to have a strange affiliation for Drury, they probably want to keep Maile as a 3rd catcher, and they seem to like Davis for some reason as well. I sure would hate to lose a guy like Hatch for one of these 6 guys.
scottt - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 08:24 AM EST (#382994) #
With the new rules for pitchers, it's harder to stash a reliever who is not carrying his weight.
I don't think any of these guys is ready for a full year at the MLB level.
It's better to just wait and give a cup of coffee to whoever deserves it.

On the contrary, this is probably the year when many teams grab a position player as the 26th roster guy.

rpriske - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 09:07 AM EST (#382995) #
We have a different take on AA's statement.

To me, he blatantly is talking about collusion. Literally my only counterpoint is that if he were colluding, he wouldn't have been so stupid as to say so.
SK in NJ - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 09:24 AM EST (#382996) #
The FO will protect anyone they view as a SP option (so Hatch is a lock). I wouldn't count on any minor league relievers getting protected, the team has clearly shown they do not place much value in minor league RP's.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 09:57 AM EST (#382997) #
Hatch made 6 starts for New Hampshire and threw 35.1 innings.  In those innings, he walked 2 and struck out 34.  I would be shocked if he were not protected. He's going to start the season in triple A. 
AWeb - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 10:12 AM EST (#382998) #
I don't believe for a second that teams aren't at least informally coordinating the free agency market some of the time, so this is hardly shocking. Punishment should be swift and harsh, but it's hard for the MLBPA to move quickly.

Collusion doesn't have to rise to "we plan to offer player X a contract for $Y over Z years". As I read the rule, just talking about interest in a free agent is enough, and AA has definitely admitted to that.

I imagine the defense will simply be "we read between the lines about free agent interest based on their trade proposals", and "I misspoke when I admitted to collusion", and it will be very hard to prove. For some reason open public statements of guilt haven't been enough to get the rich and powerful in trouble for years. It would be hilarious if one bitter organization decided to keep records and recordings of it all, and it all came out. Are there any owners who would like to do something spiteful to the group as a whole? Angelos maybe?
bpoz - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#382999) #
Sorry for my confusion. I think any team can only lose 3 rule 5 players. Is that right?

If only 3 then I don't protect Espinal. Drury, Urena and Valera IMO lessen the pain of Espinal's loss if selected.

A contender like Houston would take him and not use him on the ML team because they have A Diaz who has more ML experience. FO/I don't regret the loss and trade for Int'l cap room. A non contender like Detroit can also have him for Int'l cap room.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 10:39 AM EST (#383000) #
AA pulled a Sondland and revised his statement to suggest that his consultations with other teams were about trades, not free agents.  Which reminds me of a joke after Tuesday from a Democrat:
"Yeah, it was a pretty good day.  We flipped Kentucky, Virginia and Sondland."
85bluejay - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 10:45 AM EST (#383001) #
I'd be shocked if teams didn't discuss Free Agency and FO approaches - the cold market of the past few years is a strong indication of some sort of collaborative effort by the commissioner's office/ownership/FO - proving it is another matter - I see AA has issued the "misspoke" defence.
Chuck - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 12:16 PM EST (#383002) #
Proving collusion is taking place is extremely difficult. Accepting that there sure seems like collusion is going on is very easy.
mendocino - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 12:53 PM EST (#383003) #
Blue Jays minor league free agents
RHP: Josh Almonte (AA), John Axford (AAA), Danny Barnes (AAA), Mark Leiter Jr. (AAA), Willy Ortiz (AA), Francisco Rios (AAA)
LHP: Matt Dermody (AAA), Shawn Morimando (AAA)
C: Patrick Cantwell (AAA), Michael de la Cruz (AAA), Javier Hernandez (HiA), Alberto Mineo (AA), Andres Sotillo (AA)
2B: Deiferson Barreto (HiA)
OF: Socrates Brito (AAA), Patrick Kivlehan (AAA), Jordan Patterson (AAA), Dalton Pompey (AAA)
bpoz - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 02:11 PM EST (#383004) #
Due to weakness/injuries to the rotation in the last 3 years the pen was over taxed. I expect the same this year.

If Kay/Zeuch/SRF were brought up for 1 start and sent right back down I feel there is a way to rest the pen. The 40 man roster should have about 4 or 5 relievers equal to our #7 & 8 reliever. So the 13th pitcher goes down & stays for 15 days. Kay becomes the 13th pitcher and then is replaced by a 13th reliever.
hypobole - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 03:15 PM EST (#383005) #
In the past, teams colluded to not sign other teams free agents. How exactly are they colluding now?
Mike Green - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 03:23 PM EST (#383006) #
There are lots of ways to collude.  Let's say there are two teams that both need an everyday third baseman and there are two FAs that fit the bill.  The two FOs may agree that each will put in offers on one of the free agents but not the other, i.e. that each free agent gets one offer from a team that really needs him.  That's obviously a simplified version. 
GabrielSyme - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 03:43 PM EST (#383007) #
There are tonnes of ways to collude, absolutely. But even granting that, I don't think AA's comments - even discounting his "correction" indicate collusion. I'd be surprised if GMs, when exploring trade possibilities, don't say: "We're going to look at a FA for 3B, maybe check back if we don't sign anyone". I suppose even such limited knowledge about FA intentions could be construed as anti-competitive, but it's difficult to see how it would adversely affect the FA market.

Of course, they could be colluding, but I really, really doubt any GM would refer to such conversations in the press.
hypobole - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 04:04 PM EST (#383008) #
Just because there are lots of ways to collude, doesn't mean they're colluding.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 04:52 PM EST (#383009) #
It would be unusual for a GM to have discussions with other GMs about free agents.  I suppose it might happen- "if you sign player (free agent) X, then maybe you can trade your player Z for my player A".

The way it was originally phrased by Anthopoulos was not something that a lawyer for owners would be happy about.  Hence, the backtrack.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 04:54 PM EST (#383010) #
How exactly are they colluding now?

I was just trying to answer literally the question you asked, hypobole.  I have no idea whether they are in fact colluding or not. 
hypobole - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 06:01 PM EST (#383011) #
Mike, your answer seemed more a hypothetical than a statement of fact.

AWeb - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 06:42 PM EST (#383012) #
I swear I didn't see the AA response before my last comically predictable. You know he's lying in the correction because if he misspoke in the first place he would have tried to correct himself at the time. You know how when you say something off what you meant, notice it wasn't right, and fix it? Right at the time? Yeah, he didn't do that. Only later when a lawyer or league rep got in touch did he then change it up.
scottt - Thursday, November 07 2019 @ 06:44 PM EST (#383013) #
Well, if they were colluding, Atlkins would have waited on Encarnation to sign for 4/80.
The Jays have no significant free agents and will *probably* not go after anyone with a QO attached.

The Braves have a lot more going on.
They are trying to unload Ender Inciarte whom they regret extending.
Then they have to resign or replace Teheran.
Most of all, they are trying to resign Donaldson, but they probably don't want to pay more than they have to.
In theory, they can't discuss Donaldson or Teheran with other teams.

John Northey - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 12:18 AM EST (#383014) #
Should the Jays talk with Atlanta about Inciarte? 95 OPS+ lifetime, 89 last year. 2 big stretches missed due to injuries (1/2 of May, all of June, 1/2 of July (in minors rehabbing); then 1/2 of August, all of September/October).

He is a defense first CF with a bit of speed (113-44 SB-CS) who makes $7.7 mil next year, $8.7 in 2021, and has a $9 mil option for 2022 (or $1 mil buyout). Normally I'd have zero interest in him but he could be a decent CF on a team that doesn't have a decent option out there (defensively). If Atlanta, which has a strong farm system, is willing to give up something of value along with him for some floatasm (such as Drury) then it could work well for everyone. The Jays have more than enough payroll space to eat his contract if needed. Atlanta has tons of prospect, especially pitchers, so they can afford to give up a half decent one to save some money.

Funny thing is Atlanta is in just as good shape budget wise as the Jays. Projected to have just an $81 mil payroll according to Cot's (before adding Donaldson and any other free agents). I'd be surprised if they really feel a need to dump his contract unless there are issues I don't know about for that team.
scottt - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 07:07 AM EST (#383015) #
They'd rather play Acuna in center and not spend that much on a 4th outfielder.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 08:19 AM EST (#383016) #
" for some floatasm "

Did you mean flotsam, John ? Flotsam is defined as debris from a marine wreckage found floating in the water or washed up on shore. This could certainly describe Drury's 2019 season.
Mike Green - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 08:22 AM EST (#383017) #
Nah, John was referring to the waste product from the machine in Woody Allen's movie Sleeper.  I'll leave it at that.
Jonny German - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 08:22 AM EST (#383018) #
I've seen quite a bit of chatter about Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, but sadly it looks like his days of being a first baseman are well behind him. But today I heard about another Japanese player who sounds like a great fit for the Jays: Shogo Akiyama. He's a legit centre fielder, high OBP, bats left. He's a true free agent, not going through the posting process. The one downside is that he'll be 32 next year.
dalimon5 - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 09:21 AM EST (#383019) #
"It would be unusual for a GM to have discussions with other GMs about free agents. I suppose it might happen- "if you sign player (free agent) X, then maybe you can trade your player Z for my player A."

Im not going by the law or book, just using my common sense which may be wrong...talking of free agents among GMs is not collusion. "We like this free agent", "this guy is a game changer", "we can't afford to sign a player of that caliber", "we want to get younger," this is called talking to the industry. What's next, MLB trade rumor reports will be flagged by mlbpa as collusion?

Collusion is deliberately suppressing the free agent market by abstaining from contracts in order to bring prices down. When the mlbpa can prove without a doubt that the LA Dodgers didnt sign Gerrit Cole because they agreed to help another team like the Padres sign him instead...then I will see collusion.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 10:09 AM EST (#383020) #
Couldn't the GM of Team X call the GM of Team Y and say," We're thinking of moving our third baseman because we got a young guy we want to give playing time. Are you interested in him or are you looking at free agents?"
The Team Y GM says," Yeah, we're kicking the tires on a few free agents but I think we'll wait a bit and see how the market shakes out. I'll get back to you in a few weeks."
Team X GM says," Okay, talk to you later. Oh, I forgot to mention I love the new rosewood flooring you have in your office!"
Team Y GM says," Thanks, but it's actually Abyssinian hardwood. I'll keep in touch."

They are talking about free agents but not in a collusion way. I don't know why I added the last bit.

SK in NJ - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 10:31 AM EST (#383021) #
It is easier to blame collusion for the boring off-seasons/lack of free agent activity than it is to admit that players are getting criminally underpaid in their primes (their first six years of control) and teams are smarter about aging curves so paying for players on the downside of their careers is not going to happen as much.

Tony Clark being bad at his job is the issue here, not anything said by AA, or anything being done by teams. You can't force teams/owners to pay for free agents. The market is the market. Players do not drive revenue in MLB, and teams understand that years of control and age play a bigger factor in sustainable success than throwing boatloads of money on 30-somethings in free agency. Fix the real issue with baseball (paying players more in their primes), and the rest will take care of itself. Teams are not conspiring to drive player salaries down. They've just become smarter about value. It is up to Clark to adjust in the next CBA negotiations.
hypobole - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 10:35 AM EST (#383022) #
There's little need for collusion anymore. Pretty well every team has a strong analytics department with a firm grasp of aging curves and player values. More than a few teams are following the tanking strategy which helps suppress demand on all but the bottom tier of FA's. The luxury tax seems to be deterring the traditional big spenders from outspending competitors like they used to. The draft penalties for signing FA's (which the MLBPA agreed to in the last CBA) still dampens the market for the bottom tier of QO'd FA's.

Mike Green - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 11:42 AM EST (#383023) #
MLTBR projects 2 years @3M per for Akiyama.  His skill set does match Blue Jay needs, and the risk is low if he can still play a decent centerfield (which is not clear to me).  Jarrod Dyson is the other option of the same type- he's not likely to hit as well, but we know that he's still a good centerfielder at 35 (and probably will be for another year or two).  In addition to Dyson's excellent fielding numbers, he went 30-4 stealing bases. 
bpoz - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 12:08 PM EST (#383024) #
Dyson in CF would take away ABs from the younger CF options. It could happen but I have doubts.
SK in NJ - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 12:24 PM EST (#383025) #
If Akiyama can play an average or better CF defensively, then he does look intriguing. Even if he carves out a Nori Aoki type of MLB career (likely a short one due to his age), it would be pretty decent value. Plus the Jays can still look for a long-term CF option in the mean time. I don't see the downside if the price is reasonable. Of course I don't know anything about him aside from what has been written, so just basing this off of that. If he is better suited in LF, then he becomes less intriguing.
Mike Green - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 12:28 PM EST (#383026) #
There's little need for collusion anymore. Pretty well every team has a strong analytics department with a firm grasp of aging curves and player values

"Need" isn't the right word.  Owners still get substantial advantage from collusion whether or not they have a strong analytics department.  Owners may for instance agree quite closely about the 5 year projections for  three free agents, A- 32 year old centerfielder, B-30 year old first baseman and C- a 28 year old starting pitcher, let's say.  But if owners can agree about who puts in serious bids on whom, they can depress salaries in general and on the particular players by depressing serious competition.  Now, whether they actually do it now is another question.  We know they have colluded in the past, and we also know that many of them have acted (and are acting) contrary to the long-term interest of the game to pursue their own short-term interest.  I doubt nonetheless that any agreements between owners are comprehensive covering all owners and players; even if they do collude, it's probably a less than optimal version of it from their perspective. 

I googled Monopoly Capitalism, and apparently Amazon has "The Myth of Capitalism: Monopoly and the Death of Competition" on for $28.38.  Funny that someone might buy such a book from Amazon.

On a probably unrelated note, I find it strange that no high value player at typical free agency years has signed a 2-3 year contract for full value, and then taken their chances on the market at age 31-33.  We really should have seen a 3 year/$140 million deal by now.  Undoubtedly, player preference to stay in one place of a longer period has something to do with it. But if you're going to negotiate an opt-out (which presumably involves a quid-pro-quo on salary),, it doesn't seem like that big a leap to go for the shorter term and full value. 
AWeb - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 01:07 PM EST (#383027) #
I think the lack of any high value short contracts is actually circumstantial evidence of collusion as well. Teams may not want to kick up the annual salary standards by so much and are only offering spread out money instead. Someone like Donaldson, coming off a 5-6 win, very healthy, season, should be worth 35-40 million to the Phillies (take from Atlanta, replace a hole in your own lineup) just for 2020. But I suspect he'll get 2-3 year, average around 25 million. Great for him! But it'll keep demands from others down. There's always speculation that someone will try it, but players don't see willing to take their chances long-term anymore. Part of that is likely because their agents point out something like - Donaldson was the only player over 30 to be in the top 30 position players for WAR (at fangraphs anyway). You're not getting superstar pay past the age of 30 anymore. Who knows?

I do fear the new collective agreement is going to have a long strike/lockout. If players don't demand and fight for major changes to the early career pay structure (fewer control years, quicker/higher raises, age-based free agency, etc.) this time, then I think I might stop worrying about it. If they aren't going to fight about it, I need to stop worrying about it too.

I wonder if MLB will end up in a situation like the NHL did, where they have to start banning the super-long contracts that only existed to lessen current cap hits. The NBA also has limited deal lengths.

bpoz - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 01:18 PM EST (#383028) #
3 years for $140 mil is $46.66 mil/year. This will blow past the luxury tax thresholds IMO.
grjas - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 01:18 PM EST (#383029) #
Lost in this age old battle between owners and players is the impact on ticket prices, memorabilia and other paraphernalia that the fans are stuck paying. I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for ballplayers in their first few years as even at league minimum levels they are well over the Infamous 1%er threshold with many hitting the .1 percent and beyond even before free agency. For playing a kids game. Meanwhile ticket prices become more and more painful for lower and middle income families whose kids want to experience professional sports live.

About the only thing keeping a lid on even higher costs- which are inevitably passed on to the consumer- is the current salary framework for younger players. So I am all for it.

And if - perish the thought- a strike is in the cards, I Hope American consumers are as smart as Canadians during the last strike and vote with their feet.
Chuck - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 01:59 PM EST (#383030) #
For playing a kids game.

You mean an adult's game. Baseball was first played by adults and then later by kids. So when kids play baseball, they are playing an adult's game.

Meanwhile ticket prices become more and more painful for lower and middle income families whose kids want to experience professional sports live.

Prices are set based on what the market will bear. This is why tickets to American college events is not free.

mathesond - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 02:56 PM EST (#383031) #
And haven't there been several studies showing no correlation between salaries and ticket prices?
grjas - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 03:52 PM EST (#383032) #
And haven't there been several studies showing no correlation between salaries and ticket prices?

Nonsense. Costs are a factor in setting prices. The timing of increases may vary somewhat but salaries are a huge factor in ticket prices.

Prices are set based on what the market will bear.

Obviously. But with the huge jump in ticket prices over the last 20 years, the stands are populated more and more by corporate buyers (and I actually am one) and less by young families. My point is I feel a lot more sympathy for the young families, than I do about whiny athletes making huge salaries starting in their first year.
dalimon5 - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 03:52 PM EST (#383033) #
"I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for ballplayers in their first few years as even at league minimum levels they are well over the Infamous 1%er threshold with many hitting the .1 percent and beyond even before free agency. For playing a kids game."

Dude, do some research because this is just ignorant. Does a firefighter have a kid's job? Read about these athletes and the toll they take on their bodies as well as loss of personal life to pursue their passions which we enjoy as entertainment. It's not child's play and the mere fact that there is so much money in the game along with some of the smartest men and women from top schools running the business shows it's not a kid's game.

Come on man.
dalimon5 - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 03:58 PM EST (#383034) #
Your posts also miss the main mark by quite a bit. Baseball isn't a corporate thing where you have owners and employees. You can't just replace your employees with more efficient can only use the current employees to generate the profits and interest in your sport... so players are asking for a bigger portion of the pie.

Imagine if you only have one employee and he does everything for your company and you pay him 1% of your profits and keep the rest for yourself and then you complain when he asks for more even though 1) he's overpaid compared to general unrelated public and 2) there's nobody else who can do the job that gets you your 99%.

To compare players salaries to the public is ludicrous. By that measure all politicians and doctors and entrepreneurs are wildly overpaid with kid's dreams and games rewarded in capital society.
85bluejay - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 04:01 PM EST (#383035) #
"For playing a kids game" - I hope this phrase is banished or restricted to actual kids playing sport - surprised that people still cling to this outdated and untrue perspective.

As noted above, there's very little correlation between salaries and ticket prices - supply/demand and all those algorithms telling executives where the price point should be.

Players do make good money but the system is viewed as unfair and most fans would prefer players who provide the entertainment and have short,volatile careers to get the money than owners who are much wealthier.
bpoz - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 04:11 PM EST (#383036) #
A lot of fascinating baseball stuff happens off the field. Salaries and ticket prices are 2 relevant topics.

The media also plays a role. They report the rumors that their investigations dig up.
Michael - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 06:50 PM EST (#383037) #
Remember also that baseball players are controlled by owners in terms of where they can play too (at least until free agency). I wouldn't like not having control over where I work.

While baseball players may be well compensated (even rookies at minimum major league salaries), in any dispute between the players and ownership, the power and the wealth is with the owners, not the players.
scottt - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 06:53 PM EST (#383038) #
Sometimes they just share their opinions. i think i like that best when it's in the Q & A format.
Sometimes they just embellish one of the current top story. Not saying that in a negative way.
Often the media is starved. There's not enough actual news.

Blue Jays minor leaguer Jackxarel Lebron has been suspended 52 games for using Boldenone. He's 19, was just drafted and had an ERA of 11.32 in the GCL.

Chase Anderson is excited about the next chapter of his career and hopes to bring leadership and stability to the Blue Jays.
That's very diplomatic. Not bad.

Atkins has been blown away by how hard Vladdy is pushing himself.
We'll see.

GabrielSyme - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 07:09 PM EST (#383039) #
Back to discussing the rotation:

Shi Davidi is reporting that the Jays are planning on adding one to three more starters above the Chase Anderson level, including QO guys like Wheeler and Odorizzi.

I really don't see the utility of adding three more starters, and even two more looks like it might drive some viable options down to AAA or the bullpen. Once Pearson is up, three starters plus Anderson would leave no room for Shoemaker (if healthy), Borucki, Thornton or anyone else. We also face a small additional cost to extra FA signees, inasmuch as we have a 40-man crunch, and any extra signing means losing a player off the back end - guys like Jason Adam don't have a lot of value, but they do have a little (throws 95, options, AAA success).

I still think the time to go fishing in the QO pool of talent would be after next season, when our forfeited pick won't be as high, we'll be able to better gauge where we need to add talent on the position-player side of the ledger, and we'll be less likely to waste a prime year of a top FA.
scottt - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 07:29 PM EST (#383040) #
It doesn't really say that.

It says that the Jays are not ruling out pitchers with QO compensation attached.

Than Davidi speculates that the best case scenario would be to sign 2 guys ahead of Shoemaker and Anderson and that only one of Borucki, Thornton, etc would compete for the last spot. In that scenario, Pearson stays down until the trade deadline at which point they can trade a starter.

I'm guessing he'd trade Shoemaker or Anderson. That seems like a non-starter to me.
If they have someone worth trading that brings in more than the pick they'll lose, they're probably in the wild card chase.
I think you stop caring about trading your free agents for lottery picks before you stop caring about your top draft picks.

GabrielSyme - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 08:31 PM EST (#383041) #
Sorry if I was imprecise - you're quite right, the story says the QO guys are among the pitchers they are pursuing. I didn't intend to imply they were committing to signing one of them.

To my mind, Davidi's suggestion that a "home run" would be signing two pitchers ahead of Shoemaker and Anderson makes his reporting that the Jays are considering signing three such starters more inexplicable rather than less:

"they’re looking at this week’s acquisition of righty Chase Anderson ... as a floor for the starting rotation, rather than a ceiling, an injection of stable innings providing a base while more impactful arms – at least one and up to three – are pursued."

I'd also add that if Pearson is healthy and pitching well, it would be pretty indefensible to keep him down until the trade deadline. I can understand wanting to give him some more time in AAA to start the season, both for development and control purposes, but the trade deadline is far too long to wait if he performs like the top-10 prospect he is.
Magpie - Friday, November 08 2019 @ 10:37 PM EST (#383043) #
Marvin Miller's back on the HoF ballot (he would have been disgusted) and I'd like to see this tacked up on every sports fans wall. So no one forgets:

When people tell me that fans are against the players now, I say, ‘Who cares?’ They have never given a damn about the players. As is their right. But they didn’t care when the players were getting peanuts. They didn’t care when the players were pieces of property the owners could throw around. Nor was there any fan movement whatsoever when baseball, for I don’t know how long, wouldn’t hire non-white players, no matter their ability.... Fans don’t seem to understand that the largest pocketbook issue that faces them is the tax money being used for essentially free stadiums for wealthy owners. That’s hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in cities where schools are crumbling and highways and bridges need repair. It amazes me.

John Northey - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 12:09 AM EST (#383044) #
The Jays never 'rule out' a player/pitcher with a QO attached but for all intents and purposes they do. It'd take a great situation to make then sign a QO guy - someone who is willing to take a 3 year $15 mil a year deal thus minimal risk for the Jays and getting him at a discount (needs to be projected as a 3 WAR guy each year of the 3). I'd love to see them chase a big name just for the fun of it (like with Clemens all those years ago) but realistically that ain't gonna happen.

Finding anyone to go ahead of Shoemaker and Anderson would be nice, as that would be a solid 3 at the front while Borucki & Thornton get the next 2 slots with others fighting to claim one of those slots (SRF is my personal favorite to grab the #6 role). Pearson comes up mid-season after trades/injuries force the issue (and hopefully his performance in AAA also forces it). I expect the Jays to grab a 2nd tier starter (ERA+ in the 90-110 range) who would be a good #3 for a contender but gets the #1 slot here. Maybe 2 of them if opportunity exists but going for Gerrit Cole (entering age 29 season, FanGraphs expects 7 years for $242 mil with the Dodgers & Angels going hard for him) or Stephen Strasburg seems silly. I'd go for Stephen Strasburg myself (entering age 31 season, FanGraphs projects $150 for 5 years) but don't see it happening.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 07:01 AM EST (#383045) #
Agree with every word of that, Magpie. Except "wealthy" owner which is an understatement of particular note now.
dalimon5 - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 08:18 AM EST (#383046) #
"Fans don’t seem to understand that the largest pocketbook issue that faces them is the tax money being used for essentially free stadiums for wealthy owners. That’s hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in cities where schools are crumbling and highways and bridges need repair. It amazes me."

I call BS on this. He's calling out owners and fans. Which owners? Rogers who although they got Skydome for only $25 million were the only ones willing to invest money in a baseball team in Canada when they purchased? Does he mean Sternberg, the Rays owner who can't get a stadium built or his money out of the TB franchise? Does he mean Steinbrenner who invested top dollar into a TV enterprise and other investments?

I think it's amazing for him to be so naive to think that there are people out there who have contributed immense wealth from their hard work for most of their life (granted not every baseball owner) and who have paid their taxes for public costs, and then expect them to donate their accumulated wealth towards crumbling schools, highways and bridges. That's the job of the government and the publics job through voting...not baseball owners.

The worst part about his comment is he makes baseball enjoyment vs standard of living something that is mutually exclusive. It's not a coin flip and it's not on fans to pick one over the other.

he never played the game and he spear-headed the movement for players rights which included unlimited salary (contradicting his statement of free money that should be going to society).
85bluejay - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 09:30 AM EST (#383047) #
Also agree with every word in that statement Magpie - Marvin Miller was an amazing man - that he is not in the hall of fame is a crying shame - I could get my head around a President Marvin Miller . Here's hoping Toronto never repeats the Skydome debacle again - as much as I love baseball, I'd rather the team leave than spend taxpayers money like that again.
scottt - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 09:54 AM EST (#383048) #
They might be willing to look every available pitcher, but I figure they're still mindful of overpaying and with the number of teams looking for pitching, it's going to take a lot of overpay secure one, let alone 2 top starters.
ayjackson - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 04:41 PM EST (#383049) #
I agree with Marvin Miller that baseball teams should be paying for their stadiums. It should largely come out of the players' share of league revenue.
John Northey - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 08:43 PM EST (#383050) #
ayjackson - why out of the players pockets? At worst 50-50 owners/players, I'd have no problem with 100% from owners. Remember, the owners get the benefit as their 'careers' owning a team far outlast a players. The owners get the bulk of benefit from a fancier park - players get higher salaries sometimes, but only if free agency is wide open which it hasn't been since the early days of it.
scottt - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 09:28 PM EST (#383051) #
If it's a pure free market, the players don't make much.
The player union imposing rules is the opposite of a free market.
At any rate, I'm unmoved by the plight of players making 200 million and more.
A baseball team is very expensive to acquire and not always profitable.
A new stadium on its will only  sells tickets for a couple of years.
I'm fine with cities giving tax exemptions for stadiums or arenas, but not paying for them outright.
As players don't own the stadiums they shouldn't be the ones paying for them.
Players have clubhouse fees, but I'm sure it's nothing on that scale.
Assuming the cost of the stadium impacts the payroll doesn't mean the players are paying for it.

John Northey - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 10:42 PM EST (#383052) #
In a pure free market the stars make even more, the meh players a lot less. You'd see guys like Trout getting $50 mil a year while guys like Drury would be lucky to get $100k. The players union really should work on upping the minimum as that affects the largest number of players (work it up to $1 mil).

I could see MLB doing a stadium tax - putting a portion of revenue sharing into that, a portion of luxury taxes going there too. That would quickly raise a few hundred million and help build a stadium every 5 years where needed. However, they won't do that as it is far more profitable to push cities for the cash. I fully expect Montreal to go stupid and pay a chunk of the cost for a new stadium for a new Expos team. I just hope the feds don't jump in (beyond maybe giving up some surplus land or something)
SK in NJ - Saturday, November 09 2019 @ 11:28 PM EST (#383053) #
I don't expect the Jays to get 3 starters (unless Anderson counts as one of the 3), but I think they definitely need to if they want to improve in 2020. The current rotation (other than Anderson) is two starters who combined for 7 starts last season with both having significant injury history previously (Shoemaker/Borucki), and then Thornton who outside of September looked like an ordinary 5.00 ERA #5-6 starter in his rookie season. There really isn't much there that is dependable.

I don't expect the team to be in on Cole or Strasburg, and I don't see Ryu signing with the Jays, but there are enough potential 2-3 WAR starters out there who 1) should come at a reasonable cost/term, and 2) won't be saddled with a QO that would fit the team's current plans.

The lower Anderson and Shoemaker can be in the team's rotation, the better. Neither one is a long-term option, so if Pearson and others show they are ready, then I'm sure it will be easy to make the switch (Shoemaker may not even last the first month of the season given his history). I don't think we have to worry about having too many big league arms. Right now the team doesn't have nearly enough.
scottt - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 08:22 AM EST (#383054) #
In a pure free market, the players are signed for 20 years off the bat and make almost nothing.
Let's not pretend we haven't seen that before.
If teams can poach players from one another, than contracts are not guaranteed either.

In a real free market, the teams with money push the others out of business until there's only a couple of teams left.
That's how capitalism works.

greenfrog - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 08:27 AM EST (#383055) #
It's probably not that significant, but Spanberger did have a nice August in AA this year, hitting .337/.396/.530 with an acceptable K rate. Maybe the Brewers think that there is a slight chance there is something there.
scottt - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 08:37 AM EST (#383056) #
Rumors that teams are asking about Blue Jays catchers.
Yeah, no. They should keep the tandem of Jansen/McGuire and let Adams progress at AAA.
We don't need to see any more of Maile.

I'd be shocked if Atkins forgot about the Gomes/Aviles for Esmil Rogers trade.
We just got Chase Anderson for basically nothing.
It would take a pretty good pitcher to get a catcher with 5/6 years of control remaining

Glevin - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 03:24 PM EST (#383057) #
No problem trading Jansen or McGuire if return is good. Jays have some real. Minor league catching talent (Moreno, Kirk, Clarke, and others make this a real strong point.) wouldn't be looking to trade but wouldn't say no outright either.
greenfrog - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 03:49 PM EST (#383058) #
I think Jansen is going to emerge as a good all-around catcher in the next year or two (even if he isn’t quite as good a hitter as we’d hoped). I wouldn’t trade him.

Jansen looks like a strong backup catcher who might turn out to be more than that. I wouldn’t trade him either (not yet, anyway).

Moreno looks like a potential star catcher. Kirk has also performed well but Moreno looks like the more talented player overall.

Remember when we had Sanchez, Syndergaard and Nicolino and people thought we should trade one of them because of our “surplus” of starting pitchers? My bias is to keep all the good prospects and acquire players in needed areas in other ways (such as free agency and salary dump trades).
greenfrog - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 03:55 PM EST (#383059) #
* McGuire (not Jansen) looks like a strong backup catcher, I mean.
hypobole - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 07:10 PM EST (#383060) #
Buster Olney on the ESPN site today with another diatribe against tanking. The NBA acknowledges it as an issue, even if Adam Silver refuses to call it tanking, by continuing to add measures to reduce the benefit of non-competitiveness. Contrast that with Rob Manfred's position that it's not even an issue. Why does Manfred publicly say that when he knows it's not true?

How does a bad team become good in MLB? The way most teams now see it is organically. Lose a lot, build the farm and go for it when the team shows it's at least competitive. Some teams have tried through trades, but that's risky, mortgaging the future before a team even has a present. And then there is free agency.
The Lakers in the NBA went through a fairly lengthy drought and were still a bad team when they signed Lebron as a free agent. What did it cost LA? Nothing but his salary.

Contrast that with MLB. If the Jays sign Zack Wheeler, they also incur a QO penalty of a draft pick in the mid-40's. If the Dodgers sign him, their penalty is a draft pick in the mid-60's. So a bad team trying to become good is punished more heavily than a team that's already good. And if MLB admitted tanking was an issue, removing this QO penalty would be a good place to start in order to at least somewhat mitigate that issue.

But the reason MLB doesn't want to do that unilaterally is because they want the MLBPA to give up something in return for doing so. To MLB, tanking is more a bargaining ploy than a problem.
scottt - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 07:34 PM EST (#383061) #
The Jays have  several catching prospects. Some of those might develop into a regular starting catcher, but only if everything turns right and not for several years. Except Arencibia, the Jays have failed to develop any catcher in the last 3 decades.
Danner, Pentecost, Gomes, Jimenez, Arencibia , Jeroloman, Thigpen, Bundy, Wilson, Hodge, Brooks...

scottt - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 08:00 PM EST (#383062) #
The problem is attendance. But who cares?
Tanking is not a problem in Toronto. The Jays are not tanking. They're moving to younger players.
In the division, Baltimore is a wreck.
They spent too much when the Yankees and Red Sox were not at their best.
They have Alex Cobb for 2 more years, but they'll be paying him 4.5M until 2032.
They have Chris Davis for 3 more years, but they'll be paying him 6M until 2036.
You can't expect them to be competitive.
They'll sign some free agents in the hope of flipping them. Maybe not what the free agents crave.
I don't know if the White Sox and Tigers will be tanking for much longer.
Their farm systems much be replenished by now and their cores are starting to age.
I can't forecast what the Mariners will be doing. They haven't really been tanking except for the last 2 months.
Same with the Pirates. None of their moves worked out and they didn't get much in their trades.

ayjackson - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 10:11 PM EST (#383063) #
John, why should owners share in the capital costs of the business 50-50 with the players? The revenues of any business should be sufficient to pay for the required capital expenditure. That depreciation should come out of the existing cost structure, which is comprised primarily of player salaries.
GabrielSyme - Sunday, November 10 2019 @ 11:24 PM EST (#383064) #
Except Arencibia, the Jays have failed to develop any catcher in the last 3 decades.

The Jays also developed Yan Gomes - then gave him away for virtually nothing. Might be AA's worst move.
Glevin - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 04:27 AM EST (#383065) #
"Remember when we had Sanchez, Syndergaard and Nicolino and people thought we should trade one of them because of our “surplus” of starting pitchers?"

You can never have too many pitchers. You can definitely have too many catchers. Jansen I think has a chance to be a very good starting catcher. McGuire looks like a backup to me. I wouldn't be looking to trade either but as I said, if someone gives you the right offer, you make the deal. Let's say the Braves were offering Drew Waters for Jansen, would you make that deal? I probably would. Moreno and Kirk will likely be ready sometime in 2021 and you still have good catching depth in the system. I'd actually be more inclined to trade Jansen because I don't think McGuire gets you anything to move the needle long-term and Jansen might. Again, wouldn't look to trade any catcher right now but would listen on anyone. (I hate the "untouchable" label because everyone is theoretically gettable.)
scottt - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 06:31 AM EST (#383066) #
In sports, the players try to get 50% of the revenues. But that's league wise, nobody cares about specific teams.
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 06:57 AM EST (#383067) #
Two points:

1. Jansen hit very well in 2017 and 2018 in the minors (OPS's of .884 and .863). But he hit only .640 in the majors in 2019 (and his defense looks as if it will be an asset). So naturally teams will be trying to pry him away at a discount before his major-league numbers start to align with his performance in the minors. But why should the Jays accommodate them, rather than wait until his trade value is higher? No one is going to trade a top-ten prospect for him at the moment.

2. The Jays' FO has not done especially well on the trade market. This supports a conservative approach in team-building through trades, rather than an aggressive one.

scottt - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 08:57 AM EST (#383068) #
When you have a guy demolishing AAA and no place for him on the roster you have to trade someone.
They Jays are not there. Not for a year or two.
Which is to say, the Jays should have high demands which will keep teams away. (Same thing that happened with Stroman and Sanchez last year).

85bluejay - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 09:06 AM EST (#383069) #
I'd be reluctant to move Jansen this offseason as his value took a hit with the offensive down year and especially if the Cubs as rumoured are making Wilson Contreras available, maybe a small market like Pittsburgh may be interested in Luke Maile. Perhaps next year, if Jansen's offensive production returns and the catching prospects inch closer to the ML, then moving Jansen might be in the cards.
scottt - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 09:07 AM EST (#383070) #
Consider, the Rays traded for Zunino who wasn't good, so they had to trade again for D'Arnaud who was excellent, but he's probably out of price for them now.

I'd really like to see Drury gone, but I don't see them trading for a super UT. (Although they should be on everyone available, in case the price is low.) Same for centerfield. I'd be OK with Alford starting half the games or finishing all of them.

greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 09:21 AM EST (#383071) #
Also, the high attrition rate among catching prospects needs to be taken into account. A lot of them seem to flame out (or end up changing positions, like Donaldson or Delgado) en route to the majors. It seems better to have a deep pool of catching prospects and then see which ones progress, rather than to bet on one (or two or three) and then trade the others. This was indeed the error the team made with Syndergaard -- "we can afford to trade from our prospect depth in one area."
85bluejay - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 09:39 AM EST (#383072) #
GM meetings start today and while trades/FA signings are few, will be nice to have some baseball news/rumours in circulation - will be interesting to see if it's a cold/drawn out FA market again - perhaps a smart/aggressive team may take advantage.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 10:39 AM EST (#383073) #
If a team makes a great offer for Jansen, then you obviously consider it, but I think trading him becomes more realistic if/when his performance improves and if/when someone in the minors (Moreno/Kirk) shows that they are ready to take over. As mentioned, catching prospects can flame out (and Jays fans should know that better than anyone). I wouldn't look to trade Jansen just because the team has some good prospects in the lower minors. A lot of scenarios can play out over the next few years that could change the outlook for the catching position long-term, both good and bad.

I can definitely see a scenario where Jansen, assuming he turns into a solid/good two way catcher, is traded during or just before his arb years to open up a spot for a prospect to take over (and to upgrade elsewhere), but a lot would have to go right in the minors to get to that position. Too early to tell right now.
cascando - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#383074) #
The only reason to trade Jansen would be if you didn’t believe in his bat, and thought his gold glove nomination somehow inflated his value. If he can hit at all, he is probably a 4ish WAR catcher currently making the league minimum with 5 years of control. No chance of getting that sort of value in a trade. I’m also not comfortable with this admin making that type of evaluation.

As others have pointed out, C prospects are unpredictable. If they trade Jansen and McGuire turns out to be Reese McGuire and not to the sample size monster he has been so far, suddenly you are relying on a couple of unknowns to be covered at the position. That’s exactly how you end up with Luke Maile.
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 12:28 PM EST (#383075) #
BA has released its list of the Rays' top ten prospects. Each prospect on the list was given an overall grade of 55 or above. Franco, the Rays' #1 prospect, graded out at 75 overall (obviously an extremely high grade). He turned 18 in March.
Mike Green - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 12:34 PM EST (#383076) #
If the owners don't have confidence in this administration's ability to make a trade based on positional need, they really ought to make a change.  This ability is fundamental to building a winning club.  The GM does not have to "win" the trade, but merely to receive value for value. 

There are two good reasons to not trade Jansen now.  His value is probably on the low side after last year, and his prospective replacements, Kirk and Moreno, have no high minors experience.  When Minnesota traded Pierzynski after the 2003 season for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser, that was big part of their success afterwards.  Joe Mauer had been very good in high A and double A in 2003.    It's possible that the situation will be different at the deadline or after the 2020 season. 
bpoz - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 01:22 PM EST (#383077) #
My prospect list is up to #40. Many catchers are on it but not all.

Kirk and Moreno are top 10. H Danner #31 ... should have been developed as a pitcher IMO.

I forgot McGuire only 128 ML ABs (maybe #25). Also forgot P Clarke and J D'Orazio.

It seems the FO is going slow in building a contender. 2019 was for development. Many position players arrived. No pitchers except Thornton as a #4/5.

2020 is further development for the position players and a few pitchers should break through. How many pitchers?? 3 would be quite good. Borucki has to get healthy and pitch maybe 130 innings. Pearson 100+ IP. Kay, Zeuch and Waguespack 80+ IP.

2020 is a non contending year according to the FO. But the goal is to be a lot better than 95 losses like in 2019. So 85 losses.

Shapiro has said that after a 90 win season big moves will happen. I will wait for that 90+ win season.

By the start of the 2022 season we should know the quality and quantity of our catching depth.

scottt - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 06:22 PM EST (#383078) #
It's the Rays. They are going to graduate a couple of guys every year, but they'll trade away their expensive guys for more prospects. A top rated prospects with the Rays could go year to year and be gone before the second year of arbitration.
greenfrog - Monday, November 11 2019 @ 09:29 PM EST (#383079) #
The Star has posted an article by Gregor Chisholm that takes Rogers to task ("inexcusable") for failing to spend adequately on the Blue Jays roster. Kudos to him for directly addressing an issue that many baseball writers tiptoe around.
hypobole - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 12:26 AM EST (#383080) #
Agree with a lot of Chisholm said, though not all. I've already argued in favour of a front loaded deal for Cole, whose age should take him right through the prime of our young core. Stras though is at an age where every year of his contract should be a contending year.

Also disagree somewhat with losing money until the Jays contend and fans return. As opposed to a lot of markets, Jays don't even need to contend for fans to return. AA proved that with the attendance spike in 2013. Just show a true commitment to putting a winning product on the field and the fanbase bleeding will stop.
Chuck - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 08:54 AM EST (#383081) #
Cole is a Cali boy. I expect him to land in Anaheim. The Jays' FO can pretend to express all the interest they want since it costs them nothing to so posture and it is free PR.
scottt - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 09:19 AM EST (#383082) #
Cole and Strasburg will make record money anywhere. You'd have to overpay massively to get one of them as they don't want to come up north. Wheeler is interesting--even with the prospect--because he projects around 5/100M. I don't think they want to go much over that.

Ideally you sign a top arm on a short contract so you can move him when the pitching prospects start to deliver.
That would be Ryu or Keuchel.

Chrisolm also talks about moving Gurriel for a pitcher. It's like moving a catcher. It creates another hole.
The Jays still need one more bat with an OBP over .350.
Having to sign a corner outfielder doesn't accomplish a whole lot.

hypobole - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 09:37 AM EST (#383083) #
Expressing interest does nothing for PR. Making the highest offer does, though.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 09:47 AM EST (#383084) #
Signing a qualified FA (Wheeler) means you have to factor in the cost/value of a 2nd round pick that will be lost because of it. I can’t see any scenario where the Jays overpay a qualified FA knowing that whatever amount they give the player (which will have to be above market to entice the player in the first place) won’t factor in the dollar amount they place on a high 2nd round pick. They would have to really like the free agent. Considering they just spent all of 2019 being as bad as they possibly could, it seems highly unlikely they’d be open to losing their 2nd highest draft pick.

Ryu remains my preferred target, even though I don’t expect the Jays to sign him. He’s not qualified and comes with enough risk that he won’t get a long term deal (3-4 years max). A bit risky but he is the only non-qualified FA who has the upside of an ace.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 10:10 AM EST (#383085) #
Cole, Bumgarner and Ryu are the pitchers I'd be interested in.  Cole Hamels would be a nice short-term pickup if the price was right. 

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 11:13 AM EST (#383086) #
I've read that Hamels just wants to sign with a contender. He's 36 in a month's time but he struck out 143 batters in 141 innings and had a 3 WAR last year so he may be able to go where he prefers.
scottt - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#383087) #
I could see Hamels doing a one year deal on a bad team. That's another way to play in October.
I don't see him with the Jays though.
MadBum will cost a pick for a relatively short contract. Bad combo.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 11:55 AM EST (#383088) #
Other players I like at Fangraphs prices: Rendon, Moustakas, Gardner, Wainwright, Gio Gonzalez, Iglesias and Eric Sogard (of course!).

They got 1 win out of the Chase Anderson acquisition- they've got 9 to go. The backup middle infielder is an easy 1 win acquisition- Richard Urena projects to be at or below replacement level.  He should be #4 on the depth chart. 
mathesond - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 12:57 PM EST (#383089) #
You can cross Wainwright off the list, he's back in Saint Looie
scottt - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 03:35 PM EST (#383090) #
The fangraphs prices are low. I'd take Asdrubal Cabrera instead of Drury rather than Iglesias replacing  Urena.
Bo is going to play a lot of shortstop. It's 3B/2B/1B that needs the most backup, and that means a bat rather than a glove.

John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 04:01 PM EST (#383091) #
For 2020 I think the regular/backup should be a 'in majors', 'in minors' situation. IE: the big league backup is a spare part who gets little time. Likely regulars (age in 2020) are...

1B: Tellez (25)
2B: Biggio (25)
SS: Bo (22)
3B: Vlad (21)
LF: Gurriel (26)
CF: Hernandez (27) - for now
RF: Grichuk (28)
CA: Jansen (25)
DH: rotation

So one slot for a super-utility guy (Brandon Drury-27) and 4th OF (Billy McKinney-25) plus a 5th OF (Derek Fisher-26) as the team is currently set up. I suspect Urena is going to be left in AAA so he is set to come in full time if Bo or Biggio gets hurt, thus a vet will come in to be the backup 2B/SS and get in maybe 1 game a week. Maybe.
scottt - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#383092) #
Urena is out of options.
scottt - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 04:29 PM EST (#383093) #
Because there is no regular DH, you get an extra guy on the bench.
So you get 8 regular, an extra catcher, a 4th outfielder, a UT infielder and you still got room for 2 more.
I'd go with a corner infielder who can bat and an infielder who can play shortstop, plus a 5th outfielder who can steal a base.

Now, they'll probably sign a veteran of some sort to provide leadership.
That is certainly not Drury, but I'd be OK with Urena backing at shortstop and Espinal coming up from AAA in case of injury.
However they still have Breyvic Valera who is also out of options.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 04:33 PM EST (#383094) #
If Urena is out of options and there is a 26th man now, I don't see why you couldn't keep him on the roster.  You'd probably want your other middle infielder to also be able to play third base. 
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#383095) #
McKinney has an option; Alford, Urena and Valera are out of options, so I'd much rather have Fisher/Alford as our 4th and 5th outfielders. Between Urena and Valera, I prefer Valera, as a guy possessing an elite skill - contact ability (his MLB career rate is better than all qualified hitters this past year, and it's been elite in AAA as well).

1B: Tellez (25)
2B: Biggio (25)
SS: Bo (22)
3B: Vlad (21)
LF: Gurriel (26)
CF: Hernandez (27)
RF: Grichuk (28)
CA: Jansen (25)
DH: rotation

Given the current roster, I'd say the weak spots are 1B and RF. Grichuk should bounce back a little, but he's probably a 1-2 WAR player right now, and underwater on his deal, so hard to move (although maybe he could be in some kind of bad-contract swap). Tellez is just about replacement-level, and 1B is the obvious place to try to upgrade - especially as Tellez also has options.

I know I'm the high man on Teoscar as a centre fielder, but he finished the season strong, and he's showed enough progress defensively that I think it would be foolish to relegate him to part-time DH duty. His most valuable spot is CF, and he could be valuable there even if his defence remains poor.
scottt - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 05:18 PM EST (#383096) #
WAR is a counting stats. When a player gets on base instead of making an out, it creates more AB for other players and a 2+ WAR guy can turn into a 3 WAR guy if the whole team improves. However, a hitter also loses opportunities if he goes down the lineup.

Urena has a career total of 0 bWAR against -0.3 for Valera. Urena is a switch hitter and he'll be 24. Valera will be 28.
I'd rather have Urena.  I like  the idea of keeping the gang together.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 10:11 PM EST (#383097) #
A Tweet from Scott Mitchell:

Ross Atkins confirmed interest in 1B/LF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo and CF Shogo Akiyama today. On Tsutsugo: “He’s an impressive hitter. A lot of fun to watch and exciting talent. He’s an interesting player, for sure.“Interesting talents that we’ve spent a lot of time on.” #BlueJays

The Jays need help at 1B and CF. Akiyama in particular has the type of offensive skill set that the Jays could really use. Both players would be fits. Japanese players seem to prefer the West Coast or New York based on history, but no harm in making an effort.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 12 2019 @ 10:52 PM EST (#383098) #
I'd be very happy if the Jays could grab some talent from Japan - they have been strangely quiet on Japanese talent over the years when I always though being the non-US team in MLB would be an asset (Japanese players already have a passport, and Canada is a far safer country for non-whites than most of the US, especially nowadays).

Shogo Akiyama seems very tempting - a CF lifetime hitting 301/376/454 in Japan. Entering his age 32 season a 3 year deal should do the trick for under $5 mil a year. Very easily in the Jays budget

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is a decent hitter, 285/382/528 in Japan, entering his age 28 season, has played a lot of LF/1B/3B so probably best at 1B but can be moved when needed ala EE in 2015/16. Being younger he could be more expensive but Japanese hitters rarely are chased hard.

If the Jays can get each for $5 mil a year or less on 3 year deals then it seems a no-brainer as that is chump change nowadays.
scottt - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 05:12 AM EST (#383099) #
Overpaying for Akiyama would be nothing. He's projected to make 6M over 2 years.

Atkins also said that trading anyone, including Giles is not a priority as they are trying to get better.
Also said that Gurriel and Hernandez could play in the infield.
I'd rather keep Gurriel in left but Hernandez could be an option at first.
Tellez isn't really a platoon guy and just needs to step up his plate control, though.

85bluejay - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 07:11 AM EST (#383100) #
Mike Green,from the pitchers you're interested in, be prepared to be disappointed. I'm expecting maybe something from the Pineda/Lyles/Bailey/Wood/Roark/Teheran block and a trade for another - maybe Archer?
uglyone - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:03 AM EST (#383101) #
Sure hope Rogers invests in the Astros' cheating tech.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:09 AM EST (#383102) #
Sure hope Rogers invests in the Astros' cheating tech.

Low tech, but Hudgens was the Astros hitting coach in 2017.
hypobole - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:16 AM EST (#383103) #
"I'd be very happy if the Jays could grab some talent from Japan - they have been strangely quiet on Japanese talent over the years"

JPR had Rob Ducey scouting the Pacific rim for the Jays. When AA took over, he fired Ducey and said the Jays were going to commit all their foreign scouting resources to the Latin American market instead.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:31 AM EST (#383104) #
The Jays hired Hideaki Sato last year to scout Japan for the club. According to Davidi on November 8, 2018:"#BlueJays hiring Hideaki Sato to scout Japan. Has held positions with #Mariners and NPB clubs Yakult Swallows and Nippon Ham Fighters. Also served as interpreter for Yu Darvish".

Of course that doesn't mean the Jays will actually sign Japanese talent. Takes two to tango on contracts.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:45 AM EST (#383105) #
What is the current system to sign Cuban players?

As a Canadian team could we open up a baseball
academy there and corner the market? Sort of?
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:50 AM EST (#383106) #
85bluejay, if the Blue Jays do not sign any of the pitchers I am interested in and do sign Rendon, I'd be quite happy with that.  That would put them up to a 7 win gain on their projection, with just 3 to go.  They can get 1 of those from a platoon LH centerfielder, another from a middle infield backup and a third from a Chase Anderson quality pitcher. 

In that scenario, they'd be relying on a step forward from one or two of their young pitchers to actually make the playoffs, but that happens often enough.  The promise of a Rendon, Bichette, Biggio and VGJ infield would be enough, I think, to bring back some fans.  I'd like the same front-end loading of a Rendon contract with an opt-out after 3 years (comparable to what hypobole suggested for Cole although with somewhat lower dollar figures).
rpriske - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 11:18 AM EST (#383107) #
they have been strangely quiet on Japanese talent over the years

You forget that the Blue Jays had the GREATEST Japanese player of ALL TIME!
85bluejay - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 11:58 AM EST (#383108) #
I'd be very surprised if the Jays sign any player with a QO.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#383109) #
3. Bumgarner- FG: 4 x 16-18M.  I ran a Play Index based on his last 4 years.  Top comps were Corey Kluber, Bronson Arroyo and Teddy Higuera.  He'll get a QO, and he is decent value even with it.
8. Odorizzi- FG 3 X 13-15.  ERA+ of 110 in that division over the last two years is consistent with performance in Tampa prior.  Ran a Play Index for age 24-9 and got comps Ian Kennedy, Jason Schmidt, Aaron Harang, Tom Gordon, Melido Perez, Gavin Floyd, Dallas Keuchel, Cliff Lee, Rick Sutcliffe.  A real mixed bag.  If he doesn't get a QO, I'd think about it.

I wrote the above a few weeks ago.  Odorizzi got a QO, and apparently the Blue Jays are interested in him, but not in Bumgarner.  What do people think?  The other thing I noticed with Odorizzi is that the Twins have been using him for no more than 6 innings- he faced 6 batters all season in the 7th inning in 2019 and only 73 batters in the sixth inning (batters torched him to the extent of .286/.384/.508).  They threw him longer later in 2018, and he was hit even harder in the 6th-9th innings.  He seems like the ideal candidate for a 2 inning opener.  In his career, he's gone .222/.281/.358 the 1st time through the order, .230/.298/.396 the 2nd time and .272/.343/.505 the 3rd time.  I guess looking at it that way, I like him a little better.  I think he can be a pretty good pitcher for 32S/155IP.  If it's 3 years @ 16M, 14M and 12M, that would be OK providing the organization commits to the Tampa style of pitching usage management as opposed to the Houston.  Font's usage last year suggests that they might. 
scottt - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 12:23 PM EST (#383110) #
The current system is the same as the old system, as Trump as ruled out any dealing with the Cuban government.
Cuban players  first need to defect. Then they can be signed from the country in which they sought refuge.
The Cuban national team used to play a weekend series against the CanAm league teams. (Maybe just the Canadian ones, I'm not sure). However that league just ceased activity and most of the teams were swallowed by the Frontier League.

Basically, Cuba does not care as long as some fees, similar to the Japanese posting fees is returned to the Cuban Leagues.
The US does not want any money going back to anyone in Cuba and would probably prosecute anyone involved in such a scheme.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#383111) #
Tsutsugo is an obvious fit for the Jays - with an open DH slot and a replacement-level 1B incumbent who can be optioned to AAA, there is plenty of upside and little downside to signing such a player.

Akiyama is a lot more complicated. We have a very full outfield, and acquiring him means either losing Alford or Fisher, moving Hernandez to 1st/DH or trading someone. Hernandez, despite his defensive shortcomings, is significantly more valuable as an outfielder than at 1B/DH, and losing either Alford or Fisher is a substantial cost to a still-rebuilding team (unless you are truly ready to give up on them being big-league contributors). The rumblings I've read here and elsewhere suggest that Akiyama's defence has declined, and I have no idea what the average defence for CF in Japan is, so there's some risk that we'd be acquiring a player who can no longer handle the position. That wouldn't be much of a problem if we had an open corner spot to shift Akiyama to, but we don't.

In short, we either need to stick with our existing outfield, or swing some kind of trade to open up a spot. I'd prefer the former - Grichuk might be part of a bad-contract swap, but you'd be trading him while his value is pretty low. Trading Gurriel or Hernandez to make way for a player who has less potential is an odd move for a rebuilding team, and I'm sceptical you could get good value for either of them.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 01:31 PM EST (#383112) #
I am not interested in Oddorizzi with a QO attached to him. I would be more inclined to spend extra on Wheeler, Ryu or a David Price salary dump.
rpriske - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 01:34 PM EST (#383113) #
odorizzi would be a very solid pick up. He is exactly the sort of player the team needs. Hopefully two years plus an option for a third.
THEN go get Wheeler too...
rpriske - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 01:38 PM EST (#383114) #
Also, why do people say the Jays have a 'full outfield'? They have TWO respectable starters (assuming you consider Grichuk as still respectable). None of Hernandez, Fisher, McKinney, Alford, whomever, should stop the team from trying to get a new CF. After the rotation it is the team's greatest need.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#383115) #
To throw it back a few free agent years I kind of see Ordorizzi as a Gil Meche vs. Wheeler being the AJ Burnett.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:02 PM EST (#383116) #

The #Astros won the World Series in 2017. Look at these postseason splits for the following six players!


Home: .472 BA/.513 OBP/1.028 SLG/1.541 OPS, 17 H, 6 HR & 12 RBI

Away: .143 BA, .268 OBP, .229 SLG, .497 OPS, 5 H, 1 HR & 2 RBI

uglyone - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:04 PM EST (#383117) #
"Also, why do people say the Jays have a 'full outfield'?"

It's being used in a similar sense as the phrase "full diaper", I think.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:17 PM EST (#383118) #
I'd be very surprised if the Jays sign any player with a QO.

I'll go a step further and say it is not going to happen. The FO intentionally punted 2019. A team does not do that and then immediately throw away their 2nd highest draft pick just to sign Jake Odorizzi the following season. On the other hand, I do think they'll aim higher than names like Lyles, Miley, Roark, etc. I still see Kyle Gibson as a strong possibility, but I wouldn't rule out a bigger name that isn't attached to a qualifying offer. Without knowing how much the FO has to spend (or intends to spend) it is difficult to guess who they target, but a team that drops $9M on Chase Anderson before free agency even begins probably intends on spending a bit.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:21 PM EST (#383119) #
Wheeler isn't as good as Burnett was.  Burnett prior to his arrival in Toronto had a career ERA+ of 111.  Wheeler has a career ERA+ of 100, and had the same ERA+ over the last 3 years, and had an ERA+ of 102 last year. 
You might think that the Mets' defence had a lot to do with it, but his xwOBA last year was .298 and his wOBA was .294.  He gives up a lot of line drives, he's not a great fielder himself and doesn't control the running game exceptionally well either. 

Odorizzi is better than Meche was, also. 

It's true that if you are hoping for someone to give you 6-7 innings most times out, Wheeler is probably a better bet than Odorizzi.Neither is a good bet to do so.

pooks137 - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:26 PM EST (#383120) #
Also, why do people say the Jays have a 'full outfield'?

I don't think anyone denies that the Jays could use an upgrade in the OF, but the path doesn't seem obvious without having to lose other OF assets from the 40-man without any or much return.

OFs on the 40-man - Gurriel Jr, Grichuk (4 years, 43 million left, contract is underwater), Hernandez (1 option left), McKinney (1 option left), Alford (no options), Davis (2 options left), Fisher (no options)

That's 7 players with MLB experience with not much left to prove at AAA (and two that can't be sent back) for only 3 spots, with a few bench spots left at DH, 4th/5th OF/26th man.

Short of J. Davis, I'd be disappointed to lose any of these guys on waivers and Davis is still valuable given his options remaining and he may be the only true CF of the bunch, but is already 27.

I can respect the opinion that some people wouldn't lose sleep to lose some guys off this list for an upgrade, but I'd still like to go into ST next year with all 7 to let them play it out.

Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:26 PM EST (#383121) #
I still see Kyle Gibson as a strong possibility

But do you think that it's a good idea?  If so, why? I mean if you're going to get a pitcher like Kyle Gibson who projects to a 90-92 ERA+ in the AL East, why wouldn't you just let the kids play?  Or aim to trade for a player of this quality.  Isn't it a bit insulting to suggest that the organization can't make adjustments for strength of schedule- the AL Central was legendarily bad last year. 
rpriske - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 02:38 PM EST (#383122) #
My thing with the Odorizzi vs Wheeler comparison is that they should be trying to sign both of them. This isn't a 'short one SP' team.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 03:11 PM EST (#383123) #
But do you think that it's a good idea?

If the cost is reasonable, why not? Gibson has had at least a 2.6 WAR in 4 of the last 6 seasons (peaking at 2.8), and has been durable during that time. This past season he saw his K%, velocity, and SwStr% all increase while maintaining a good GB%. There is a combination of durability, consistency, and potential improvement there. Yes he has benefited from being in the AL Central, but using the last three years as a sample he has a combined 3.56 ERA in 78 innings against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays. Regardless, the other option mentioned was Odorizzi, who also had the benefit of being in the AL Central this past season and comes with a qualifying offer.

Would Gibson be my first choice? No. Like I said before I'd prefer Ryu, but from the more middle of the pack FA targets, Gibson seems like a more reasonable option if his projected contract is close to accurate (I think he was projected at 2/20).
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 04:37 PM EST (#383124) #
All right. If you prefer Gibson to Odorizzi because of the QO, i get it.  I still don't understand why the club would sign someone who in the AL East isn't likely to be a noticeable improvement on players already within the organization.  If the only option is Kyle Gibson, I'd rather that they just hand the ball to Jacob Waguespack and Trent Thornton and the rest, and work on the position players instead. 
scottt - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 04:49 PM EST (#383125) #
AJ Burnett was signed for 2006. He was good, but not always healthy. He opted out after 3 years.
Gil Meche was sought after for 2007 by Ricciardi but ended up signing with the Royals--who were awful at the time--for maybe an extra million a year.

Ideally, the Jays should have had both, although Meche didn't hold up over the 5 years of his Royals contract he started 34 games in the first 2 years and pitched over 200 innings both time.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 04:52 PM EST (#383126) #
I disagree that Gibson would not be a significant upgrade to the current rotation. If the team acquires Ryu and Pineda (for example), then sure, no need to sign someone like Gibson. However, the current rotation is not good, and that's putting it mildly. When you look at the FA list, not counting the qualified FA's and Ryu, you will see a plethora of arms with potential to add anywhere from 1 to 3 wins depending on how high you are on them. You could be higher on some than others for whatever reason, but overall the disparity in talent in the mid-tier FA pool is not that great. I don't see why someone would be ok with Lyles or Roark (for example) but think Gibson would be bad. Some times you guess right and a signing overachieves, or you guess wrong and they falter. Happ did better than anyone could have hoped. It could have gone the other way too. That's free agency when shopping in that aisle.
scottt - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#383127) #
Akiyama was a great center fielder but has most likely lost a step.
He's been an on base machine. He's a perfect fit.

Tsutsugo is an offensive player but it's less clear if he'll transition well to the AL.
He could rotate in  DH/1B/LF.
He's also played a bit of 3B.

scottt - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 05:06 PM EST (#383128) #
Top pitchers often crater as well. Injuries and decline spare no ones.
The most reliable pitchers are usually the ones still under team control.
The Jays will have a lot of those soon, as long as they don't trade them.

The worse possible scenario for 2020 is an expensive pitcher having a down year but still pitching every 5 days.
Or 2 of those guys. Is 12 pitching prospects burning options at the same time too many?

John Northey - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 05:11 PM EST (#383129) #
I'm hoping the Jays are hunting in Japan for pitching help too. A guy signed from there gives you 6 years of control on someone who is late prime normally. IE: at the point they normally are most expensive, except at a reduced price due to the variability in how they transition here. Taking a risk on one from Japan, plus the guys here already should be a good idea - leave the expensive FA's until the team is ready in a year or two.

Not that I'd complain if Cole or Strasburg came here, but realistically looking for top quality scrap heap or non-ML guys is the way this team is likely to go at this stage.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 05:46 PM EST (#383130) #
It's close, but I think I'd prefer Gibson to Odorizzi even putting aside the QO. Odorizzi has had the edge in ERA, but I'd prefer to project them based on xFIP or SIERA. They're about even in SIERA, but Gibson has a substantial edge in xFIP - (about 0.75 runs/9 better) and there's nothing in their contact distribution to explain Odorizzi's over-performing his peripherals. Also, Statcast suggests that Odorizzi has been significantly lucky on balls-in-play the past couple years, so it's not even as if you can attribute his lower ERA to better contact management that doesn't show up in the broader contact numbers. Gibson also has a slight edge in velocity and swings-and-misses.

I'm persuadable that Odorizzi is in fact a better bet, but you add in the QO, and it seems obvious that Gibson is the better option. And if, as expected, Odorizzi gets a substantially bigger contract, I don't see the argument for Odorizzi.
rpriske - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 08:39 PM EST (#383131) #
According the MLB Trade Rumours, the Jays are taking to the agents for Yasmani Grandal.

If that is legit, what sort of pitcher could they get for Danny Jansen?
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 09:59 PM EST (#383132) #
I like the Grandal idea, using who needs a catcher and future values I would say you are looking at potential Jansen trades that look like:

LAA: Griffen Canning and Jose Soriano.
Padres: Cal Quantrill and Ryan Weathers
Reds: Tyler Mahle and Tony Santillan

Honestly those are the most equal young, upside starting pitchers with a few warts similar to Jansen that’s I could line up. Alternative there are a lot of high upside low minor options you could line up.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:23 PM EST (#383133) #
Probably the Jays like Grandal because of the AAV and shorter term and because he might be more likely to sign in Toronto than some other free agents. Rendon, for example, would require a much more expensive contract. But Rendon is a better fit for the Jays in terms of age and position.

Or maybe the Jays simply don't believe in Jansen's bat?

In any event, I would prefer that the Jays sign one or two talented free agents in lieu of a larger batch of 1-2 WAR "value" players. Besides, the value players (like Galvis) no longer seem to generate much of a return at the trade deadline.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:32 PM EST (#383134) #
Grandal is a solid bet to be a 4-5 WAR player next season, which would be far better bang for the buck than any starter the team would have to overpay in free agency. It will be hard to get better value in free agency than him if his projected contract/salary are accurate. He can hit and defend, and likely won't get more than a three or four year deal at a reasonable AAV. I'm not sure what Jansen's trade value would be coming off a poor season with the bat, but maybe the team feels the upside with the bat is limited. Signing Grandal and then flipping Jansen for a SP would be an interesting way to go.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:47 PM EST (#383135) #
I suspect the Jays are covering the bases now - if a free agent could fit for the next 2-3 years and they feel some of the kids in the minors will be ready then, perhaps McGuire/whoever would be a better match than Jansen/McGuire if Jansen (or McGuire) can get something useful in trade (a quality pitcher for example) or as part of a trade.

It all depends what the Jays can get for one of the kids and what it costs to get Grandal. I expect $20 mil per for 3 years is the starting point. His bat is plenty good enough for 1B too if his knees start to give out so even a 5 year deal, if needed, could be done.
greenfrog - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 10:58 PM EST (#383136) #
Keep in mind that Grandal may start to decline quickly within the next few years. This often happens to catchers as they move into their mid-30s. Whereas Jansen will be entering his prime during that stretch.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 13 2019 @ 11:18 PM EST (#383137) #
A four year deal (I can't imagine he'd get more than that in today's baseball landscape) would cover ages 31-34. Might see some decline towards the end of the deal, but should still be surplus value if the contract is close to what is being predicted (MLBTR projects 4/68) and he doesn't fall of a cliff immediately. A gradual decline from a 5 win player to maybe a 2 win player by the last year of the deal would still be a great free agent contract (again depending on the terms). Of course, if framing becomes obsolete soon due to robo umps, then that would impact some of his value.
dan gordon - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 12:56 AM EST (#383138) #
I don't get the difference in bWAR and fWAR for Grandal. He produced only 12.1 bWAR over the last 5 years, which would be his prime, age 26-30. That's 2.4 WAR per year, not the 4 or 5 that Fangraphs has him at. Is it just a matter of difference in evaluating defense? Who is right, and why? If he really has been a 2.4 WAR player, and is entering the decline phase of his career, it makes no sense to sign him.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 01:53 AM EST (#383139) #
Regarding the WAR values for Grandal, Baseball Reference doesn't include a framing component; Fangraphs does, and its metric thinks he's averaged nearly 2 wins per year over the past five years in framing value alone. There is a remaing ~3 win difference between the two measures, but that's the bulk of it.

Grandal should be a reasonable value, but I'm really not sure how it fits our rebuilding strategy. Jansen underperformed his peripherals and his xwOBA, and it seems like we'd be trading him at a bad time. It's also not implausible that McGuire develops into a decent starter too, and in the meantime Jansen/McGuire provides a semi-platoon opportunity that Grandal/McGuire wouldn't.

Jansen/McGuire fits a rebuilding team perfectly, providing reasonable present value, and significant potential upside. Signing Grandal and trading Jansen makes sense as a win-now move, but that is clearly not our position.

Something I like to do is reconstruct a player's WAR based on different measures. Baseball Prospectus puts Jansen at +11 runs framing, Fangraphs at +8, Statcorner at just +1.2; And if he'd hit his xwOBA, he'd have added about 1.4 wins. Adding in the xwOBA value, and the different framing measures results in a reconstructed bWAR of 2.5-3.5 and a reconstructed fWAR of 2.1-3.1. That's just in 94 starts, too. We should already see Jansen as an above-average starting catcher. I doubt his current trade value is going to reflect that.
scottt - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 06:16 AM EST (#383140) #
Just look at Martin.
5.4 and 6.2 fWAR with the Pirates, then only 4.5 and 3.6 with the Blue Jays and then it fell off to 2.0 and 1.2.

Blocking is great, framing depends on the umps too much and who knows when robo-umps will be calling the strikes.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 07:54 AM EST (#383141) #
Even if Grandal declines you have Kirk and Moreno in the pipeline.
85bluejay - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 08:11 AM EST (#383142) #
While I think that Grandal is unlikely, he's over a year younger and has played about 300 less ML games (about 2 seasons worth of grind) than Martin when Martin signed with the Jays.
John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 08:37 AM EST (#383143) #
With Grandal his offense is strong enough to be at 1B, especially considering the bonus most catchers get when they move out from behind the plate (less injuries, etc.).

However, the big value of Grandal is his ability to work with a young staff - the question is how to measure that and I have no idea honestly on how to measure that. It is like measuring coaches. I'm sure there is a way but it would require checking a lot of tiny samples and knowing stuff like 'when did the pitcher call it, when did the catcher, when did the bench'.

He could be a solid guy to get, but other teams will think the same. Big question is are the Jays willing to overpay to get him here as they have had to in the past?

This is a two part situation - A) what can the Jays get for Jansen or McGuire? B) What will Grandal sign for (years/dollars) with a 3rd component C) when will the next kid catchers be ready?

SK in NJ - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 08:57 AM EST (#383144) #
fWAR factors framing, as mentioned, and Grandal is elite at that. So the biggest risk with signing him is robo umps. If that happens within the next year or two then he’d still be a good player but not the elite catcher he is now. Signing him long term only makes sense if everything stays the same as far as umpiring, and obviously the FO would know what’s in the pipeline better than any of us. If they feel umpiring balls and strikes will change soon, then focus on someone else in free agency considering the team already has two young catchers. A big reason I was a fan of the Martin signing was that framing wasn’t as valued at the time, so they were going to get surplus value out of him even if he declined. Grandal comes with the same defensive upside plus a better bat, but may not have the framing value for much longer if the league is changing things. That’s the risk here.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 09:37 AM EST (#383145) #
Grandal's pop time is very poor according to Statcast.  Opposing baserunners were 73-27, and if he declines further, runners will be going at will.  In 2014, Martin's last year before he arrived here, baserunners went 59-37.  His pop-time was still above-average.  By 2016, they went 61-11 and it became an issue for Russell.  Difficulty controlling the running game intersects with framing, and other aspects of a catcher's game (preventing WPs and PBs), as the catcher tries to compensate. 

I'd rather that the club stick with the catchers they have.  I believe that Jansen is going to improve significantly and Grandal is going to decline. 
85bluejay - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 10:45 AM EST (#383146) #
With the Padres having a crunch for their 40 man roster and wanting to spend on high end FA starters, I wonder if a team were to helped them by taking the entirety of Wil Myers contract ($68.5M including buyout), what young,controllable talent would that buy? Maybe a team that thinks it could revive Myers.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 11:01 AM EST (#383147) #
Had a look at Myers.  It seems that his problem last year (and in 2018) was sliders from RHPs.  It had not been an issue for him early in his career.  I wonder if he's having trouble picking up spin- I'd be looking at eyesight carefully (particularly in the left eye).  Here are his season lines against LHPs (basically typical season-to-season variance).  And here are his season lines against RHPs (noticeable drop-off the last two years in spite of a significant increase in BABIP).  He's just swinging and missing at a lot of sliders particularly from RHPs.  It's a better problem to have than being late on fastballs, but still he does need to change something.

scottt - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 11:36 AM EST (#383148) #
Myers would need to rebound, a lot, to have any value.
They can't really trade their best prospects just to free payroll and at any rate, a trade partner would be a team with a really bad farm system. Maybe the Red Sox could swap Betts for Myers and a pile of prospect?

Right now, I think the best strategy is just to take advantage that the Padres are not able to sign any major free agents.

The Blue Jays have Montoyo at the GM meetings. He's busy talking to agents. For example, he probably knows Odorizzi quite well.

Atkins mentioned that the more they talk about a plan of action, the less they'll be able to execute it.
So I figure they're trying to blur the lines and mix the cards a bit by talking to guys who don't really interest them.

Which bring me back to Gil Meche.
Ricciardi was very vocal on signing Meche. That didn't keep the Royals from outbidding him and in the end the Jays signed nobody.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 01:09 PM EST (#383149) #
At this point Myers has a projected -68.5 million of surplus value, to even make it fair value they would have to include Chris Paddack with 71 million of surplus value. That won’t happen and I can’t see Myers being moved outside of a bad contract swap.
John Northey - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 03:14 PM EST (#383150) #
Wow, that Myers contract is terrible. Not as bad as Vernon Wells was but pretty bad. Signed on 1/17/17 after a 2016 where he had a 115 OPS+ 3.5 WAR total at age 25 (career years generally happen anywhere from 25-32 based on studies I did a decade ago with most closer to 25 than 32 ... really need to do that again but with better controls).

$68.5 million is a lot. Hmm... wonder if they might be why the Jays are looking at Grandal. San Diego has a decent young catcher in Francisco Mejía but he appears to be more of a 1B than CA based on his 18% CS rate. Their main catcher last year was Austin Hedges with a 49 OPS+ (just below Maile's career figure). So picture Myers plus Paddack for Jansen and someone else. SD gets catching help that is young and controllable while dumping an ugly salary, Jays get a young pitcher. Maybe send Billy McKinney and Maile so they get some extra bodies to make it look better for them (2 young catchers, a youngish OF for an OF flop and a quality young arm. If they don't want to do Paddack then one of their other young pitchers like Eric Lauer or Cal Quantrill or someone else. There is a deal there somewhere the trick is figuring out how to make it work for both teams.

The Padres right now are projected at Cot's to be around $127 mil next year, but have never hit $110 before and after a last place finish I can't imagine they want a record payroll. Eric Hosmer also is eating a lot of payroll for negative WAR but is owed around $102 mil still (ugly contract for a 1B) and I can't see the Jays being willing to eat that much unless a stack of prospects comes back.
PeterG - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 04:43 PM EST (#383151) #

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Odorizzi accepting qualifying offer, source tells The Athletic. Back with #MNTwins
PeterG - Thursday, November 14 2019 @ 04:53 PM EST (#383152) #
Will Smith signs with Braves. Top FA reliever is already off market.
bpoz - Friday, November 15 2019 @ 10:05 AM EST (#383174) #
Regarding our 2020 rotation I am comparing the rebuild to the 2010 rotation. Romero, Cecil, Marcum Morrow and Zep. Litsch was on his way out due to injuries. B Tallet was beaten out. D Eveland had his shot and was beaten out. We did have more talent competing for the rotation next year, JoJo Reyes, K Drabek, Z Stewart and H Alvarez. So about a dozen hopefuls.

A few became good relievers. Cecil, Zep and C Janssen. We already had J Fraser, S Downs and S Camp in the pen. There were more J Rauch for 1. But the AL East is a very tough division.
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