Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Well, things are quiet so with the rule 5 draft, winter trades, free agents all over the place lets take a look at how others rate the Jays system as of now (Batters Box top 30 will be coming once the crew has a chance to do it right - best to do it right rather than rushed)


Sites with top 10's already are Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America (behind a paywall), and MLB.com.  Fangraphs is working on it, Bluebird Banter won't be out for awhile (they are usually one of the last lists), same with others I tend to check for.  Many like to do them in February when we are all desperate for anything.

RankBaseball ProspectusMLB.comBaseball America
1 Nate Pearson Nate Pearson Nate Pearson
2 Jordan Groshans Jordan Groshans Jordan Groshans
3 Alek Manoah Alek Manoah Simeon Woods Richardson
4 Eric Pardinho Anthony Kay Alejandro Kirk
5 Simeon Woods Richardson Eric Pardinho Alek Manoah
6 Anthony Kay Simeon Woods Richardson Orelvis Martinez
7 Gabriel Moreno Orelvis Martinez Gabriel Moreno
8 Orelvis Martinez Gabriel Moreno Miguel Hiraldo
9 Josh Winckowski Miguel Hiraldo Anthony Kay
10 Griffin Conine Adam Kloffenstein Adam Kloffenstein


So who are these guys?  Many of us know already but here are links and basic stats to help everyone find them...
WhoPositionAge In 2020StatsLevel
Nate Pearson RHP 23 2.30/101.2/27/119 A+/AA/AAA
Jordan Groshans SS 20 337/427/482 A
Alek Manoah RHP 22 2.65/17/5/27 A-
Eric Pardinho RHP 19 2.15/37.2/16/35 Rk/A
Simeon Woods Richardson RHP 19 3.80/106.2/24/126 A/A+
Anthony Kay LHP 25 2.96/133.2/56/135 AA/AAA
Gabriel Moreno C 20 280/337/485 A
Orelvis Martinez SS 18 275/352/549 R
Adam Kloffenstein RHP 19 2.24/64.1/23/64 A-
Miguel Hiraldo 3B 19 299/346/485 Rk/A
Josh Winckowski RHP 22 2.69/127.1/43/108 A/A+
Griffin Conine OF 22 283/371/576 A
Alejandro Kirk CA 21 290/403/465 A/A+
 
For pitchers the stats are ERA/IP/BB/SO while hitters are the traditional BA/OBP/Slg
Hopefully a little helpful for all of us as we start debating who is worth the most in the system as we await the top 30 lists and all the trade speculation.
Top Jay Prospects via Other Sites | 271 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
krose - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 12:37 AM EST (#383384) #
Where would Pache sit on our list if we could convince AA to trade him for our 3B? Good trade for both teams?
Jonny German - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 06:19 AM EST (#383385) #
Personally, I'd put Pache at #2 as a Blue Jay prospect. I certainly wouldn't trade Vladdy for him. I also wouldn't trade Pearson or Bichette for him, and at that point I think Atlanta would have no more interest.

Ender Inciarte would be a more realistic target from the Barves. Not necessarily the best the Jays can do, but definitely an upgrade on the current centre field options.
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 08:08 AM EST (#383386) #
The Athletic has a solid piece up about the top 20 games of the decade. The Orioles play-in game and Bat Flip make the grade, as does Doc's first career postseason start.
krose - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:00 AM EST (#383387) #
Pache is ranked just behind Pearson by MLB, so it would make sense that he’d be the Jay’s number 2. A Guerrero for Pache trade is very unlikely just because of optics but acquiring an elite cf with a very good hit tool would move the needle for the Jay’s rebuild. 3B becomes a problem requiring a temporary solution.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:02 AM EST (#383388) #
I'm not watching the minor leagues as closely as I used to.  If I was doing a top 20, my consideration set for pitchers would include:
Pearson, Manoah, Woods Richardson, Kloffenstein, Pardinho, Kay, Zeuch, Murphy, Murray, Hatch, Williams, Castillo, Diaz

My consideration set for position players would include:
Groshans, Moreno, Kirk, Martinez, Jimenez, Hiraldo, Lopez, Adams, Taylor, Brown, Conine. Robertson, Morris, Smith, Warmoth

It looks to me like you'd have 11 or 12 pitchers and 8 or 9 position players.  Am I missing anyone obvious from the consideration sets?
PeterG - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:33 AM EST (#383389) #
I would put Josh Winckowski on a consideration list, not because he is ranked by BP, but because I have considered him an under the radar guy each of the past 2 seasons.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:44 AM EST (#383390) #
SWR is the 2nd youngest of any of those guys, at the 2nd highest level of any of those guys, and arguably had the best stats of any of them. And also, he's toolsy too.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:50 AM EST (#383391) #
Thanks, PeterG.  Winckowski was on my consideration list, but I forgot to type his name.  Blah.

I could easily see this farm system producing 7 major league pitchers and 3 major league position players.  They do need to beef up that end of the system, and in particular, they need some more shortstops and centerfielders. 

SK in NJ - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 11:00 AM EST (#383392) #
The Rangers are signing Kyle Gibson. I thought he was a realistic target for the Jays, so that's one name no longer out there.

Of the three lists posted, I like BA's the most.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 11:14 AM EST (#383393) #
Thanks John N.

I like Chavez Young. He is a RF rather than a CF. Maybe that is why he is not as highly rated. #24 on my list.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 12:28 PM EST (#383394) #
In making my list, I realize that I like Moreno, Jimenez, Lopez and Zeuch more than most.  My list looks something like this
Pearson...big gap
some combination of SWR, Manoah, Kay, Moreno, Kirk and Groshans
Kloffenstein
some combination of Pardinho, Williams, Martinez, Zeuch and Hatch
some combination of Lopez, Jimenez and Hiraldo
Joey Murray
(gets desperate)

It's quite possible that I'd have Moreno as the 2nd best prospect in the organization. 

bpoz - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 02:33 PM EST (#383395) #
#11-20.

11) M Hiraldo
12) A Kay
13) P Murphy
14) Y Diaz
15) H Perez
16) M Castillo
17) J Murray
18) J Winckowski: 3 years of SS ball, so he must have been learning stuff in Extended ST. So Winckowski, G Moreno and A Kloffenstein are examples of prospects that needed that learning to advance. I will follow them as examples of the benefits of Extended ST.
19) A Hatch
20) J Romano: I expect him to be a Major League bullpen arm. So "almost for sure" makes my list.

I see Murray and Castillo as having good control and enough stuff to have the best chances of making the Majors. Neither has had any trouble in the minors so far.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 02:52 PM EST (#383396) #
I forgot about Reese McGuire. Made my list before the season ended. Should be in the teens.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 03:07 PM EST (#383397) #
McGuire and I believe Alford remain rookie-eligible among the position players. If one wants to include Kevin Smith and Logan Warmoth, I'd include Santiago Espinal.

Merryweather looks like he's finally coming back - who knows what he'll look like now.

krose - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 03:25 PM EST (#383398) #
Seems like there are many possibilities for both position and pitching. Will take a good part of the season to sort through possibilities.
Rotation: Pearson, Anderson, Borucki, Kay, Shoemaker, Thornton, Waguespack, Zueck
RP: Font, Bass, Adam, Gaviglio, Law, Merryweather, Pannone, Ramone, Foley, etc.
Positions: Tellez, Valera, Drury, Urena, McKinney, Alford, Davis, Fisher
Nigel - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 03:37 PM EST (#383399) #
I tend to think in tiers rather than outright lists so Mike's approach is probably closer to mine. In fact, his list would be similar to mine other than I would be lower on Kay (he'd be on my third tier) and lower on Zeuch (he would be in the fourth tier for me). The system's lack of OF's is pretty glaring right now. I've been advocating an asset reallocation trade for over a year now - move one or two of the assets in tier 2 for a real live CF (preferably with some defence and OBP skills). As was noted above, this would move the needle significantly on the rebuild. In my view, the CF piece is actually far more important than acquiring bulk pitching (which I don't really see the point in).
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 04:04 PM EST (#383400) #
I give more credit that many perhaps to pitchers who pass the double A test, and show some signs of being able to throw 180-200 innings.  I can see Kay ending up as a pitcher that is one of the five or six you lean on in the playoffs. 
PeterG - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#383401) #
Agree on Kay,Mike. I believe he will be a major league pitcher and a decent one this coming season even if he begins the season in Buffalo.
Jonny German - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 04:47 PM EST (#383402) #
McGuire and I believe Alford remain rookie-eligible among the position players. If one wants to include Kevin Smith and Logan Warmoth, I'd include Santiago Espinal

BB-Ref tells me Alford’s rookie status is intact, but not McGuire’s - I believe he went over the service time limit for rookie status. I considered all of Smith, Warmoth, and Espinal, but only Smith made the cut for my top 30.
Nigel - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 04:56 PM EST (#383403) #
FWIW the reason I'm probably lower on Kay than others is that he seemed to me to be a LH version of Thornton (i.e a two pitch pitcher (FB/CV) who is far more likely to be successful as a reliever (maybe even a high leverage one) than as a starter).
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 04:57 PM EST (#383404) #
I don't think of McGuire as a prospect, but if he's eligible what do you do with him? Steamer projects him to hit .241/.303/.387 and to be worth 1.6 WAR in 309 PAs.  From 2017-19, he's hit 36 doubles and 25 homers in double A, triple A and the major leagues in 920 PAs.  That's medium range pop.  He will take a walk and he doesn't strike out that much.  He plays good defence behind the plate. 
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 05:16 PM EST (#383405) #
I double-checked: McGuire remains rookie-eligible - he was called up July 27, meaning he's short of the 45 days of active service time pre-Sept. 1. He was only up in September last year.
dan gordon - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 06:04 PM EST (#383406) #
The Rays have designated 1B Jesus Aguilar for assignment. Had a great season in 2018 and regressed last year. RHB, could be a platoon partner for Tellez if they want to go that route, or a full time player if he recovers his 2018 form, when he was a 3.2 WAR player. Not a free agent until 2023.

Interesting trade between the Padres and Brewers today, with some significant young players involved.

Gibson gets 3 years at $10 million a year. If the guys the Jays are targeting are a little higher than that, it shouldn't be a problem.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 06:20 PM EST (#383407) #
My relatively uninformed top-ten:

1) Nate Pearson
2) Jordan Groshans
3) Simeon Woods Richardson
4) Alek Manoah
5) Alejandro Kirk
6) Gabriel Moreno
7) Anthony Kay
8) Orelvis Martinez
9) Reese McGuire
10) Otto Lopez

The top 8 are easy, and there's some separation after those guys. I think over time I've shifted to prefer players closer to the majors (Kay, McGuire) to toolsier dreamers. I think Kay and McGuire are strong likelihoods to be major-league contributors. Lopez ranks ahead of guys like Leo Jimenez, Miguel Hiraldo and Dasan Brown as someone who has demonstrated a strong hit tool in full-season ball at a young age.

I gave Pardinho, Riley Adams, Hiraldo and Kloffenstein strong consideration for the top 10.
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 08:11 PM EST (#383408) #
Moreno is athletic enough to move off catcher. If his bat is elite, they probably should. He's probably not CF potential though.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 08:26 PM EST (#383409) #
Moreno started off as a shortstop and moved to catcher. He runs well. It wouldn't surprise me at all if centerfield is ideal for him.
scottt - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 09:58 PM EST (#383410) #
Kay has 3 pitches 4-seamer, curve, changeup.
Thornton throws 4-seamers, sliders, curves, 2-seamers, cutters and a changeup that looks a lot like a splitter.
Kay was throwing his fastball 62% of the time and Thornton about 45%.
Thornton seemed to change his mix quite a bit from game to game, sometimes throwing a lot of sliders and sometimes focusing on the curve. He tried different grips--suggested by Buchholz.
Kay had to be reminded to keep mixing his 3 pitches even if he had problems with the change.
The velocity was about the same, but 93mph plays a lot better for a lefty.
Thornton was pitching better when easing off towards the end.


scottt - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:10 PM EST (#383411) #
Jansen is an extreme pull hitter and has significant splits.
McGuire being a left handed hitter, they work really well as a pair.
The Rays are giving Zunino another shot for 4.5M  even though he hit .165/.232/.312.
We need  to see more of McGuire and less of Maile. That much is sure.


scottt - Wednesday, November 27 2019 @ 10:18 PM EST (#383413) #
Baltimore is putting Villar through waivers. He was worth 4bWAR and will cost 10M for one year.


dan gordon - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 01:23 AM EST (#383414) #
Apparently, Baltimore is also looking to trade Dylan Bundy, who has a career ERA of 4.65, FIP of 4.76, and has produced WAR figures of 1.7, 2.7, 0.1, and 2.3 the last 4 years. he's nothing special, but could be a serviceable starter for 2 years while the kids develop. He's a free agent after the 2021 season.
scottt - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 07:22 AM EST (#383415) #
I think the Jays are thinking beyond 2 years, possibly looking to sign a contract with some team options.
They don't seem to think Akiyama is a fit given that he's 31.

dalimon5 - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 08:43 AM EST (#383416) #
Mr Kay reminds me a lot of Brett Cecil. Spotty success starter with big upside as relief option.

Bundy was nearly elite when you take out the homers. As analysts have pointed out, he and Greinke have many similarities. It wouldnt be a surprise to see Bundy dominate in Minnesota.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 09:16 AM EST (#383417) #
Bundy's xwOBAs the last 4 years- .318, .326, .324, .309.  The Batlimore defence has cost him, but he's not a great fielder either and that hasn't helped. He's an option but obviously less preferable than one of the better free agents.
ramone - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 10:14 AM EST (#383418) #
New article up by Shi Davidi, says the Jays did table an offer to Gibson and "with two of their targets now off the board and Plan B or C now".

I'm assuming they would only go 2 years on Gibson.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-interest-gibson-odorizzi-need-pivot-bolster-staff/
Mike Green - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 10:52 AM EST (#383419) #
Gibson will be a nice test of the significance of strength of schedule for projection purposes.  There's a big, big difference between the AL Central and the AL West- moving 1/3 of one's starts from a really easy context to a tough one should be noticeable.  I'd guess an ERA just a little short of 5. 
PeterG - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 02:22 PM EST (#383421) #
Guys we were starting after trade deadline are all better than Gibson imo. I don't think Davidi knows who they are talking to and who not.
scottt - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 05:12 PM EST (#383422) #
The AL Central should be more competitive next year with the White Sox spending and the Tigers prospects starting to reach. KC will be bad for a while, but the other divisions have Seattle and Baltimore.
bpoz - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 07:32 PM EST (#383423) #
So Kyle Gibson and Chase Anderson are practically the same performance wise. Gibson 3 years at $10 mil/yr. Anderson 2 @$9.5/yr. Am I right?
PeterG - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 10:39 PM EST (#383424) #
I would say that Anderson is a much more effective pitcher than Gibson. Anderson has further upside as well with the tweaking of pitch mix. Gibson simply gives you innings and not particularly good ones at that.
John Northey - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 11:11 PM EST (#383425) #
Chase Anderson: bWAR past 3 years: 4.2, 1.2, 1.8.  139-158 IP those years.
Kyle Gibson: bWAR past 3 years: 0.4, 3.8, 0.3.  158-196 IP those years

So Gibson has shown he can eat more innings without a doubt, both have 1 really good year in the past 3, but Gibson's lows were lower than Anderson's.  Both turn 32 this season.

In truth there isn't a lot to choose between them.  Gibson as a free agent could ignore the Jays, Anderson as a trade had no choice.  Given the Jays are only committed to $9 mil ($9.5 mil option for 2021 vs $500k buyout which is factored into the $9 mil) while Gibson is locked in for $30 over 3 years.  So in an 'arm fall off' situation the Jays are better protected while the Rangers have that 3rd year locked in (for an extra $12 mil vs what the Jays are paying for 2 years). 

BR 2019 Free Agency Tracker is interesting to follow.  There are 120 pitchers who have at least one ML start in their career on the market, but only a few worth pursuing and many who have retired or will retire before 2020 starts.  For WAR over the past 3 years only Strasburg and Cole are over 10.  Between 8 and 9.9 are Gio Gonzalez, Cole Hamels, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, Zack Wheeler.  For 6-7.9 you get: Andrew Cashner, Tanner Roark, Julio Teheran.  11 in the 4-5.9 range including Gibson, Ervin Santana, Ivan Nova, Rich Hill, and a former closer in Steve Cishek.  Who is interesting to the Jays there?  I suspect the final group is where they are looking (cheap and decent and easily replaced if kids push their way in) Hill caught my eye at 40 as he'd be a good one year deal guy but he is out until June due to surgery.  Rick Porcello is also in that group and won a Cy Young just a few years ago - I'd give him a deal in the $10-15 mil a year range for 2-3 years depending what the scouts think of him (is he on a cliff about to fall off or could he return to his 2016 form).  He'd demand more than Gibson but will he get it?
scottt - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 11:11 PM EST (#383426) #
Pretty close. Roark is in the same ballpark, although Anderson was carefully limited to 4/5 innings.
Nobody is expecting these guys to win 20 games, but they're throwing strikes and missing enough bats.

cascando - Thursday, November 28 2019 @ 11:28 PM EST (#383427) #
I don't think it's fair to look just at bWAR for Gibson. He is notoriously the exception when it comes to comparing fangraphs and bbref assessments of overall value. Fangraphs had him at 2.6 WAR in each of the last two years. Meanwhile, Fangraphs has Anderson at 1.2 and 0.3 WAR over the last two years.

Gibson's xFIP was actually lower last year (3.80) than in 2018 (3.91). In that light, 3/30 looks like an absolute steal. 3/60 might even be good value.

If the Jays think Gibson's talent is closer to his actual performance, then fine, 2018 might be an outlier and they would be right to stay away from Gibson at or near the price Texas paid for him. I'm not sure that's it though.
scottt - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 08:12 AM EST (#383428) #
Some of it comes from Gibson being a poor fielder and I'm not banking on the Jays defense at this point.
I'm not even curious about the Rangers defense (with Stinky at second and all) but they've certainly done well with those 3/30 contracts so far. Also, we don't know if the new Rangers ballpark will advantage pitching or not.

Mike Green - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#383429) #
Gibson's Statcast numbers aren't good at all, even without the strength of schedule adjustment. He had a good year 5 years ago, an average year two years ago and below average ones in the other 3 years.
rpriske - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 10:07 AM EST (#383430) #
As a comment above alludes to as well, I find the Gibson vs Anderson comparison interesting.

Chase Anderson was seen as a minor pick-up. Kyle Gibson was seen as a desirable free agent commodity.

I would rather have Chase.
rpriske - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 10:49 AM EST (#383431) #
Starling Marte has said he would welcome a trade to a contender.

Great! That would open him to go to the Blue Jays!

Right? Um... kind of? No?

He didn't say what they needed to be contending with...
bpoz - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#383432) #
Nice one rpriske. Hahaha.

In the AL 6 teams had 93-107 wins. Then Boston 84 and Texas 78. Everyone else was very bad (7 teams).

In the NL 6 teams had 57-77 wins. The Reds, SF and SD I believe think that they can contend.

There are not enough good FAs to help all these teams. Trades are going to be very costly due to too much competition. Someone will overpay for Giles.
GabrielSyme - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 01:32 PM EST (#383433) #
Going back to prospects, are there any sleeper prospects you particularly like?

To use an old (I think) BP phrase, who is your "personal cheeseball"??
bpoz - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 02:00 PM EST (#383434) #
I like Chavez Young. He is a switch hitter, good base stealer and has the best arm in our system.
scottt - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 07:38 PM EST (#383437) #
The non-tender deadline is Monday.
The Jays still have the following players with their projected arb figures.
Giles 8.4M
Shoemaker 3.8M
Drury 2.5M
Law 1.3M
Maile 800K

I would so drop Drury. Maile has an option if you don't mind paying him to play in AAA.


scottt - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 07:47 PM EST (#383438) #
It seems like Yorman Rodriguez can hit.
I don't really see much opportunity for him to catch and he's short for a first baseman, but he looks like he can hit.
John Northey - Friday, November 29 2019 @ 11:12 PM EST (#383439) #
Given the Jays have about $100 million of budget space I'd expect them to hold all of them.  Drury is the only one I'd debate just because I don't see much point in keeping him.  A 70 OPS+ and limited to the corners doesn't catch me as valuable...OK, he did play 16 at 2B. 

Giles is a no-brainer, as should be Shoemaker (if you assume he'll be healthy for at least a month or two), Maile is pretty cheap still and good insurance in AAA.  Law is a 'meh' - drop if you see him as #8 or worse in relief depth.

Current estimated payroll for 2020 is $66 million (raw dollars) or $86 million (including all stuff for luxury tax purposes, such as #27-40 on the 40 man roster and player benefits).  The last time the Jays were sub $100 mil was 2012, just before the big trades (Miami one and the NYM one).

So right now the Jays could add 3 guys making $30 mil a year and still be lower in payroll than in 2017/2018.  Crazy eh?
dan gordon - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 01:11 AM EST (#383440) #
I think dropping Drury would be a good example of "addition by subtraction", but this front office has an odd fixation about him, and I would be surprised if they non-tendered him. They seem very slow to change their minds about people they like for some reason.

Off the radar guys? I like offense, so I've always liked guys who can mash the ball, even if other aspects of their game are iffy, so yes, I like Yorman Rodriguez as well. Solarte looks interesting - plays CF, can run, takes a walk, might be developing a bit of power, switch-hitter. Juan Pizaro looks similar, a year younger and a level lower. Alberto Rodriguez looks like a promising hitter.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 07:16 AM EST (#383441) #
Dany Jimenez was mentioned in a Bluebird Banter article a few weeks ago as one of three minor league players who they thought should be added to the 40 man roster. ( along with Hatch and Espinal who were ) Jimenez isn't given much notice as a prospect but he has put up good numbers.
PeterG - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#383442) #
MLBTR has just released it's top 25 trade candidates in MLB. Giles is #1.
John Northey - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 11:59 AM EST (#383443) #
No shock there.  Giles is a luxury item for the Jays today.  One year before free agency, on a team going nowhere, a closer is the least important piece.   If the Jays can get something solid for him then why not?  I'm sure someone else can handle his 60-70 innings this upcoming season.
greenfrog - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 12:19 PM EST (#383444) #
The Jays could offer to pay Giles’s salary. This might help them land a slightly better prospect. It might be a better investment of money than spending that amount on a mediocre free agent.
Mike Green - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 01:31 PM EST (#383445) #
Approaches to Drury and Giles flow from one's overarching perspective about 2020. Is it a season to attempt to get significantly better and if things break right, to contend? Or is it another rebuilding year? I am in the former camp. So, I am all in favour of Drury being replaced by a veteran free agent (Sogard, Iglesias).  And I think that they should hold onto Giles, and either extend him or at least wait until the deadline to see how the season is going.

For those who see 2020 as another rebuilding year, trading Giles seems like a no-brainer.
scottt - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 01:38 PM EST (#383446) #
Teams don't usually trade good prospects for guys with only 1 year of control.
I think the Giles for Dominic Smith swap is interesting. There's risk on both side.
The Polar Bear has taken the 1B spot and Smith is not good in the outfield.
He's had a breakout year, but is it sustainable?

There's a good chance they wait until the deadline to deal Giles.
There's a risk he's not healthy again, but that's also the reason they won't get much over the winter.

John Northey - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 02:29 PM EST (#383447) #
Good point about the short control window - although getting Giles now means you can offer him a QO and get a draft pick if lost in free agency.  Dominic Smith is interesting (282/355/525 last year in just 89 games, lifetime 99 OPS+ over 194 games, plays 1B/LF/RF) .  The Mets 'closer' was Edwin Diaz with 26 saves but a 5.59 ERA due to a 2.3 HR/9 rate - grossly out of wack vs his past (0.9 in Seattle before he was traded).  If they are dumb enough to send Smith and Diaz to the Jays for Giles I'd take it in a split second.    Doubt their team is that dumb but one never knows.  Their budget is very tight so the Jays could easily pay Giles salary.  If the Jays really wanted a good prospect then they might take Yoenis Cespedes' $29.5 mil salary for 2020 on for some top prospects as well.  If Cespedes comes back then it might work out nicely, if not then make sure you get some quality from the Mets.  The Jays could easily eat that money in 2020 if they got parts for 2021 and beyond.
scottt - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 03:43 PM EST (#383448) #
I don't see Cespedes as the type of character to build with.
Smith, however, looks like a decent guy, sorta like Drury but with actual results.
I don't think they're giving up on Diaz just yet, maybe a stint as the setup guy would help him.
Villar being available for basically nothing illustrates the problem with short control window and high salary.
Giles has also a load management issue. The Jays could use the QO to parley him into a 3 years contract if they wanted.
If he's unhappy here, he's a great actor.

John Northey - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 08:12 PM EST (#383449) #
I see Cespedes as purely payroll relief for the Mets in exchange for prospects.  Much like was done withFrancisco Liriano twice by the Jays, first getting him from Pittsburgh for Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez.  Then sending him with cash to pay for him to Houston for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez.  Both worked out nicely I'd say with Hernandez and McGuire both still here and being decent parts for the rebuild, while Liriano helped in 2016.  His 2 years here were his most expensive (over $13 mil each year) but I think they worked out nicely.  Now, for taking on a salary like Cespedes we'd need top quality back.  Don't know their system and a quick checked didn't make anyone jump out at me.
scottt - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 08:41 PM EST (#383450) #
Liriano was decent and brought back Teoscar. 
Cespedes is a disruptive fellow who will be making 30M in 2020.
That's money that can be used much more effectively by signing good free agents and flipping them around.

greenfrog - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 10:09 PM EST (#383451) #
You can’t force contention, as the truism goes. The Jays could have added players like Eovaldi, Fowler, Cain, as many hoped (at about $90-100m each)...how much would those players have helped them in 2020-2022? Collectively, those three players produced 2.7 WAR in 2019). Free agency is an unreliable way to build a sustainable contender. The front office needs to keep doubling down and tripling down on its prospect talent until the team starts to break through. Then they can add complementary pieces in free agency and trades to put the team over the top. ‘Twas ever thus, at least in Toronto.
bpoz - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 10:24 PM EST (#383452) #
Correct greenfrog.
Nigel - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 10:27 PM EST (#383453) #
I hope that the two strategic choices for 2020 are rebuilding or significant improvement/contention. Unfortunately, I take the reported pursuit of Gibson as a sign that the strategic objective for 2020 will be “avoid being awful”. But we’ll see.
John Northey - Saturday, November 30 2019 @ 11:53 PM EST (#383454) #
Greenfrog - 100% agreed.  That is why I keep hoping the Jays will take on ugly contracts, then release the players in exchange for decent prospects.  The current management team did it in 2016, time to do it again.  Find teams desperate to dump contracts who are willing to dump prospects as well in order to get rid of the debt.  The Jays biggest asset right now is their extremely low payroll vs what they can afford.  Use that to their advantage as few teams have that right now (or ever).
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 12:30 AM EST (#383455) #
"Then they can add complementary pieces in free agency and trades to put the team over the top. ‘Twas ever thus, at least in Toronto."

i f you don't have confidence in them to add free agents of value now or in the past then what makes you think they will be able to when they're ready to contend? You're using the same logic to show that free agency is a poor investment but also a good one depending on timing.

I think a better assessment may be to say that free agency can be valuable or wasteful depending on each signing and how it works out or doesn't for the team. You could have easily used Morton, bbrantley, Corbin, Grandal instead of Cain, Eovaldi and other bad signings.

Just playing devil's advocate, i think I do get your bigger point.
John Northey - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 01:29 AM EST (#383456) #
With free agency the key is to only need that one more piece and you just can't seem to develop or trade for it. 

Examples:
1992: Jays had an issue at DH (Rance Mulliniks platooning there with any warm body in 1991, signed Dave Winfield to fill it in), and in post-season leadership (Jack Morris - won game 7 with a 10 inning shutout the year before),
1993: Let WInfield leave via free agency and signed Paul Molitor as his replacement.  Lost Jimmy Key and signed Dave Stewart.  But to show the Jays even in that time frame made big mistakes, they released David Wells in spring training who would then go 193-120 in the rest of his career (including a return to Toronto years later in exchange for Clemens).

2016: signing J.A. Happ to fill in the rotation (resigning Marco Estrada as well).

Generally signing pitchers to 3 year or less deals makes sense.  Big hitter free agents are more stable but also have a big risk as often you are signing at the point of decline. 

Last winter the top 10 free agents were (one can argue but these are a reasonable list of top 10)...
  • Bryce Harper - 4.2 WAR, about what should've been reasonably hoped for
  • Manny Machado - 3.1 WAR, drop from his recent performance but not a disaster
  • big drop in price and potential quality...
  • Patrick Corbin - 5.4 WAR
  • A.J. Pollock - 0.2 WAR (a CF whose offense was same as always, but defense dropped at age 31)
  • Nathan Eovaldi - 0.1 WAR (under 70 IP despite 12 starts and 11 relief appearances) (negative WAR from FanGraphs)
  • Dallas Keuchel - 2.0 WAR (only 19 starts due to late start) (just shy of 1 WAR via fWAR)
  • Craig Kimbrel - -0.5 WAR (yes, negative - his HR/9 was 3.9) (-1 fWAR)
  • Yasmani Grandal - 2.5 WAR
  • Josh Donaldson - 6.1 WAR
  • Michael Brantley - 4.6 WAR
So we see some of these guys who should've been locks to be solid performers go negative in 1 case, barely over 0 in 2 others, with 2 more being useful but not star quality by any stretch.  Donaldson was the best, guess a one year deal was smart.  Corbin, Brantley, and Harper all produced well too (over 4 WAR).  I checked FanGraphs for the pitchers due to how variable they can be and how FanGraphs tends to factor in a lot more than BR does.

So this winter you had about a 70% chance of getting a decent player if you grabbed a top 10 free agent, about a 60% chance of getting a guy who really helped push your team up significantly.  In exchange you'd put millions up over many years in most cases with obvious exceptions (Donaldson for example).  How many here thought the Jays should've chased some of these guys?  How many would we have buyers remorse on now?
scottt - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 08:05 AM EST (#383457) #
The Marlins won 2 World Series mostly through free agency and the 2015 Jays were the remnants of the 2013 Jays--favorites to win the division--which were a bunch of free agents traded by the Marlins.

The Yankees acquired key pieces by trading away free agents--Miller and Chapman.

Now, Fowler and Cain were always alternative solution for center field, the Jays would never have taken both.
Eovalidi was always a huge risk, I don't know who would have wanted him.
Ryu is comparable, although the ceiling is clearly higher and perhaps some load management could make the risk palatable.

It's not too late to do a sign and trade. Sign someone who is highly valued but doesn't cost a pick and trade him away to a contender if the Jays are not close to the wild card. Next year, they'll be in a better position to lose a pick if that's how the 2021 CBA works. They've done that with lesser players while they still have costly contracts on the books. Now, they should aim higher.

I get the feeling that they'll be waiting to bet on whatever is left when the dominoes fall. Boras will make everybody wait forever for Cole and Strasburg.

85bluejay - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 10:42 AM EST (#383458) #
I was hoping for Dominic Smith last offseason as a buy low candidate but coming off a nice bounceback season and the NY hype, the price may be too high, plus it's likely Vlad's job in a couple of years - I'd try to sign Greg Bird cheaply. Mets are a good trading partner though because they expect to contend and their GM isn't shy about moving prospects and if they want to sell low on Diaz (doubt it), I'm buying.

The Reds really want to contend next year and have strong ML pitching along with some quality pitching prospects who may not be ready until 21/22 season - maybe the Reds might be willing to move some of that prospect capital for more immediate help - I wonder what a package of Jansen/McGuire, Gurriel,Espinal,Zeuch,Alford would bring back?

I'd try to look for a CF prospect who may be a year away - like the Padres getting Taylor Trammell from the reds last July.
bpoz - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 12:50 PM EST (#383459) #
At the moment I am in the "avoid being awful" camp. But it is in the early stages of the off season.

To start the rotation is better without Richard and Buchholz but much worse without Stroman. The pen is better with a Stroman going deep into games and also Giles to close. With both of them gone the rotation and pen are worse on paper.

The IF defense to start last year was strong with Galvis, but weak with Gurriel. I don't know with Drury/Guerrero. Opening day IF of Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero may have equal defense. The OF defense is better this year I am guessing on Opening day.

The offense should be a lot better on Opening day. When injuries occur depth will be a big issue I believe. Vlad being a lot better is probably the biggest factor.

I think Atkins said that position player additions would emphasize offense.

No more A Hanson and S Brito (if it happens) would help us win a few more games.
bpoz - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#383460) #
What do you think the Jays are asking in return for Giles?

I think a near ready pitcher. A Kay for example or Zeuch. Or 2 pitchers SRF and one from the Y Diaz, P Murphy group that are in my #11-20 list. This package is not yet ready for the Majors because they have to still master AA and definitely AAA. So 2021/22 is realistically expected.
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 02:45 PM EST (#383461) #
I think whatever the Jays do, they should be prepared for the possibility of regression from guys like Bo, Gurriel and Biggio. If they have Tellez and Drury protecting them then it's more likely to happen.
John Northey - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 02:58 PM EST (#383462) #
The Jays have some key pieces - 3B/SS/2B/CA/LF all set with young cheap kids for the next 5+ years.  RF set with a bit more expensive guy.  Only CF/1B/DH are left open with Tellez trying to claim one, Hernandez another.  The big question is pitching, pitching, pitching.

So for 2020 we're going to see a lot of juggling in the rotation.  I expect to start with Borucki, Thornton, Waguespack, SRF, and Chase Anderson as the April rotation.  Ideally another vet will show up to take a slot from the kids.  However, by years end I wouldn't be shocked if none of those 5 are in the rotation.

vw_fan17 - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 07:07 PM EST (#383463) #
If the Jays have ANY hope of keeping fans this year, IMHO they should keep Giles unless blown away. Even at the deadline, if you only get a Drury-type, hold on..
If we have Giles ready to lock down a lead, at least we can kind of count on SOMETHING on this team. Nothing more demoralizing than the kids busting their butts for 8 innings, getting ahead 6-5, only to watch <flavour of the month> give up 3 runs in the 9th... At least IMHO.
85bluejay - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 08:50 PM EST (#383464) #
If the FO doesn't aggressively market and trade Ken Giles this offseason, then any calamity that befalls Giles next year in terms of lack of performance or health issues at the wrong time (as happened last July) will be all on the FO.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 09:07 PM EST (#383465) #
I'd prefer to sign Giles to an extension, unless they get an overwhelming offer. He's one of the best closers in the business, and could be a crucial piece to the puzzle. John, I see the April 2020 rotation quite a bit differently. I would say - player not yet acquired, Shoemaker, Anderson, Borucki, Thornton if I had to guess now. Pearson up in May to replace Thornton, and the 1st injury replacements will be from among Waguespack, Kay and Zeuch. Wouldn't be surprised to see Diaz, Murphy, Murray or Merryweather or Hatch later in the year, depending on various factors. I think SRF is pretty much done as a legitimate starting prospect, but couold be a decent bullpen arm.
John Northey - Sunday, December 01 2019 @ 10:02 PM EST (#383466) #
Can't believe I forgot Shoemaker.  Of course he might get 5 starts then DL'ed again.  Starters are funny creatures - they can fail and fail and fail then suddenly 'get it' and take off.  As long as options exist you keep them around and watch for that magic moment (SRF is nearing the end of his chances - I figure this year then he is a pen piece only).
krose - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 12:46 AM EST (#383467) #
Shoemaker, Borucki, Thornton, Key, Anderson for starters early in the season. Hopefully Pearson stays healthy, continues to develop and comes up in the middle of the season. Any one of a number of starters from John’s list could make the jump to successful major league starter. Looking forward to watching the development of young pitchers and position players.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 07:48 AM EST (#383468) #
I know you meant Kay, krose, but a young Jimmy Key would be nice.
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 07:55 AM EST (#383469) #
Luciano probably goes to Dunedin. He's going to be working on his secondary stuff, mostly.

Bichette and Biggio will walk if the pitchers don't give them anything.
Gurriel is more a question mark, but he's likely to hit in front of Guerrero which should be fine for him.
Guerrero will be fine.

If a starter wants to pitch around 4 guys in a lineup, then the Jays will be facing the pen by the 5th.
Jansen/McGuire didn't chase much that I noticed. That just leave 4 guys to be reminded to stay in the strike zone.

We'll soon see if Shoemaker is in the rotation. At this point they'd be crazy to dump him to save 1M.
SRF isn't going to make the April rotation. Especially if the top 3 are Free Agent X, Shoemaker and Anderson.
There's a lot of candidates for the 2 or  3 spots left.


bpoz - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 08:00 AM EST (#383470) #
Key and Wells were completely different and I believe they are the only really good lefty SPs we developed. We need another one. Borucki?
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 08:43 AM EST (#383471) #
Borucki reminds me more of Chacin. One healthy year would dispel that.
Mike Green - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 09:27 AM EST (#383472) #
dangordon and I are on the same page.  I'd be trying SRF out in the Duane Ward role in triple A. 

I wonder whether/how often the club will use openers and main events in the rotation. Font flourished in the opener role, and you'd think that the club is likely to reprise that one.  Might they use a second pitcher in the role?  It's not as though they have any starter who's likely to go 6+ innings most times out.  I also wonder whether the club will keep one of Waguespack, Kay and Zeuch in the major league bullpen at the start of the season.  There's a logic to using Kay in a left-handed long man role at the start of the season. 
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 09:55 AM EST (#383473) #
Trading Shafer might signal that they'll start using real pitching prospects in the pen.
They need to replace Biagini and Hudson.
Out of the pen, fastballs can be thrown harder and a third pitch becomes superfluous.
However, it's no easy road for guys who lack fastball command.
These guys benefit from using a "get me over" curveball or a back door slider to get ahead in the count here and there.
They only have one guy like Font and that's a good thing. Maybe he can be used as reliever who never throw 2 days in a row.

bpoz - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 10:52 AM EST (#383474) #
We need to find 2 setup pitchers. A closer if Giles is traded.

bpoz - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 12:30 PM EST (#383475) #
Ward and Henke were V good and so was C Janssen IMO. Janssen had a great repertoire. His arm was too fragile for the rotation.
PeterG - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#383476) #
Jays have announced minor league signings, complete with ST invites:

- RHP - Phillippe Aumont
- IF - Andy Burns
- RHP- A J Cole
= RHP - Justin Miller
- OF- Patrick Kivlehan
Gerry - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 03:50 PM EST (#383477) #
No Moustakas for you!!

Moose to the Reds.
85bluejay - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 04:05 PM EST (#383478) #
Interesting, the Reds give Moustakas 4/64 to play 2B, while no team seemed interested in Villar who is over 2 1/2 years younger, coming off a 4 war season and projected at less than $11m for this season.

I'm not into conspiracy theories,but owners seem to be spending more this offseason (in the early going) after the last few seasons frugality seem to portend big trouble/potential strike going into the next CBA - I wonder if this new spending will only last until a new CBA is signed.
Mike Green - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 04:13 PM EST (#383479) #
4 years is a long-term for Moustakas.  It looks like the money might be flowing a little freer this year.

PSA: when completing your prospect lists, it is mandatory to list Patrick Murphy and Dasan Brown one after the other in that order. 
Gerry - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:02 PM EST (#383480) #
Aaron Sanchez to be non tendered by Houston.

Steve Sanders, scouting director, headed to Pittsburgh with Cherington.
uglyone - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:04 PM EST (#383481) #
Source: Jays did their due diligence
John Northey - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:06 PM EST (#383482) #
So would you sign Sanchez for a return here or just say 'no'?  If signed how much?  1 + option for $1 mil plus option at $500k buyout or $2-5 mil would be nice, but odds are he'll be more expensive if healthy. 
uglyone - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:08 PM EST (#383483) #
Sanchez is the perfect get for this FO.

Nice spin rates, illusion of upside, dirt cheap, fan favorite.

And hey he doesn't have to deal with that meanie stroman anymore.
Gerry - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#383484) #
Sanchez will miss most of 2020 after shoulder surgery.
85bluejay - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:16 PM EST (#383485) #
I wouldn't mind Danny Salazar on a spring training invite.The ship has sailed on Aaron Sanchez and the Jays.
PeterG - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 05:28 PM EST (#383486) #
Agree on Salazar as long as minor league contract. I feel there is a good chance he will be headed to TO.
greenfrog - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 06:21 PM EST (#383487) #
"Steve Sanders, scouting director, headed to Pittsburgh with Cherington"

This would seem to be very bad news for the Jays. First, because Sanders seemed to be good at his job (for example, Groshans and Kloffenstein were drafted under him). Second, because he's a relatively recent hire and his departure signals that Toronto under Shapiro/Atkins is a less desirable employer than Pittsburgh under Cherington is.
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 06:52 PM EST (#383488) #
It's more probable that Cherington offered a raise to Sanders or that he likes the location better.

It's okay to change staff in the winter. With that 5th pick they need to get organized out of the gate.
Which shouldn't be a problem.

PeterG - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 06:58 PM EST (#383489) #
It's a promotion having nothing to do with the relative desirability of the 2 organizations. Sanders will be an AGM in Pittsburgh.
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 07:02 PM EST (#383490) #
Moose looks like a big overpay.

Burns is an org guy.
Kivlehan might have spent his 3 options years in the outfield, but the Jays view him as a corner infielder who will play in Buffalo.
Cole and Miller should be better than average relievers. Miller throws a splitter.
Aumont is a local guy who loves to play but always had problem with the walks.
He was a first round pick by Seattle and has bounced in the Blue Jays org before.
Like Wilmer Font, he has played for the Ottawa Champions, but Aumont has been better than Font.
He's thrown a no-hitter. Last year he was the Ace of the team and finally got the walks under control with a 1.7 BB/9.
He made 17 starts for the Champions last year and pitched for the national team.
Certainly someone I'll be cheering for.

DH - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 07:16 PM EST (#383491) #
Taijuan Walker, please.
Gerry - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 07:56 PM EST (#383492) #
Pillar non tendered by the Giants.
PeterG - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 08:02 PM EST (#383493) #
Derek Law non tendered.
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 08:06 PM EST (#383494) #
Lots of catchers better Maile got non-tendered.
PeterG - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 08:17 PM EST (#383495) #
Maile and Adam also non tendered
Mike Green - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 08:25 PM EST (#383496) #
Drury tendered. Thumbs down- it's a clear indication that the club isn't going to try to compete in 2020.
krose - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 09:01 PM EST (#383497) #
Very disappointing tender. This tells us something serious about the management team. Is there any reasonable explanation for including Drury on the 40 man roster?
greenfrog - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 09:08 PM EST (#383498) #
Sanders was arguably the biggest addition the team has made in the last few years. It's potentially a big loss, as hard as it is for some to admit it.
PeterG - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 09:16 PM EST (#383499) #
Of course, Sanders is a big loss. But the FO found and hired him. See no reason they can't find another. People who work for Shapiro have been constantly pirated through the years. It is one of the reasons that baseball people hold him in such high esteem.
SK in NJ - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 09:20 PM EST (#383500) #
This would seem to be very bad news for the Jays. First, because Sanders seemed to be good at his job (for example, Groshans and Kloffenstein were drafted under him). Second, because he's a relatively recent hire and his departure signals that Toronto under Shapiro/Atkins is a less desirable employer than Pittsburgh under Cherington is.

Sanders got a promotion to go to Pittsburgh, and had a connection with Cherington in Boston (worked under him when Cherington was GM of the Red Sox), which may have been why the Jays were able to get him from Boston in the first place. It doesn't say anything about the Jays organization. No doubt he is a loss for the Jays, though.
85bluejay - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 10:28 PM EST (#383501) #
Blake Treinen, probably untouchable after 2018, gets non-tendered in 2019 - Ross Atkins, please take note.
scottt - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 10:29 PM EST (#383502) #
They can do better than Maile, Law and Adams, so that's positive.

Drury is just a bench player.
This just tell us that they think he can fix his swing.
Still, arbitration salaries are not guaranteed, if he doesn't make the team they just owe him 30 to 45 days of severance pay.
Espinal and Urena will be competing for spots as well. They could also had a vet if they find one cheap.
John Northey - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 10:33 PM EST (#383503) #
  • Adam seems odd as he did well in Toronto and in AAA - a bit wild, but the results were there.  He also was pre-arbitrarion but entering his age 28 season he might be out of options so they might try to sign him to a AAA deal.
  • Maile not a shock, but safe to say he'll get a job somewhere.  Defense first backup catchers always seem to find work.
  • Law I expected - he seemed to be a dime a dozen type of reliever - wild, but K's a lot too, ERA in the 4's.
Among non-tendered guys Wei-Chieh Huang caught my eye - wild as anything, but also high K's in the minors.  No real shot in the majors (just 5 2/3 IP) so who knows?  Could become a solid closer or maybe nothing.  Well worth a AAA/invite deal.

Let the basement hunt begin.
dan gordon - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 10:45 PM EST (#383504) #
I was certain they were going to tender Drury. As I mentioned, the front office has a warped sense of this guy's ability. Mike, I don't think tendering him indicates the club doesn't want to contend in 2020, I think it is a reflection of the distorted view they have of him, and also, I think there is a bit of the "we traded a good player for this guy and we don't want to look bad by admitting he's no good" to it. They actually think Drury can be a good player, which is in itself, rather alarming. I expect Fisher may get a lot of the benefit of the doubt here as well, due to the trade that was made for him. It's not a good sign. You want your front office to realize their mistakes quickly, and react accordingly, not keep barking up the wrong tree.

A few interesting names non-tendered, including Kevin Gausman and Taijuan Walker. Agree on Salazar, that would be an interesting pick up.
krose - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 10:55 PM EST (#383505) #
Agreed Dan. Alarming when you think about what this indicates regarding the competency of leadership.
Nigel - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 11:57 PM EST (#383506) #
I don’t think acknowledging their own mistakes is high on this FO’s list of attributes so tendering Drury is hardly surprising. I don’t think it signals, one way or the other, the intentions for next year though.
tercet - Monday, December 02 2019 @ 11:59 PM EST (#383507) #
I agree with the sentiment above that is this current FO has a problem with holding onto players who obviously are 99% trash, who this fo seems to think they might break out despite the odds being 1%? The Cleveland FO gave Matt Laporta 4 seasons/1063 PA before finally cutting bait. Perhaps this is a hint at how much rope players will get that don't deserve 40man slots which is up at 11 by my counts, with most of them being traded/drafted by this current FO.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 12:00 AM EST (#383508) #
I would have non-tendered Drury, but I don't think tendering him really means anything as far as the team's intentions other than they seem to (maybe irrationally) think he's better than he's shown so far.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 12:08 AM EST (#383509) #
I admire your guys' stubborn optimisim, but I can't rightly believe that anyone was actually surprised by the Drury tender.
dan gordon - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 01:15 AM EST (#383510) #
Exactly. That's why I mentioned a couple of days ago that Drury was going to be tendered. You can tell when this office really likes a guy, despite all the evidence that indicates they should cut bait. Fisher is the next one to get the extended look-see that I feel will be largely undeserved. That trade still bugs me.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 07:31 AM EST (#383511) #
I think front offices see flashes of talent in players and believe they can help them do it on a regular basis. I think an example of this is Fisher who shows good power at times but otherwise is useless. I fail to see what they think Drury can do well.
scottt - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 07:49 AM EST (#383512) #
The way I look at it, if Drury in on the team in April, the door is wide open for Espinal to push him out before the All-Star game.
Jonny German - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 07:52 AM EST (#383513) #
I don’t like Drury’s chances of being useful either, but I don’t feel that tendering him was a horrible move. The backup infielders on the 40-man are Drury, Urena, Valera, and Espinal. 2 of those will make the opening day roster. I don’t think Drury is clearly the worst of them, or the most lacking in upside. And I don’t think adding a good backup infielder this offseason should be a priority.

If they go in to spring training with the idea that Drury is guaranteed a spot on the opening day roster, that’s a different story.
ayjackson - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 08:44 AM EST (#383514) #
"Drury tendered. Thumbs down- it's a clear indication that the club isn't going to try to compete in 2020."

I'm not sure I've seen such cynicism from MG before. If we see it from Gerry, we will have surely crossed the Rubicon as a forum.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 08:58 AM EST (#383515) #
I have no problems with Drury being tendered - I think Jonny German summed up my thinking succinctly.
rpriske - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 08:59 AM EST (#383516) #
If possible I would sign Guillermo Heredia to a minor league deal and invite to ST.

85bluejay - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 09:14 AM EST (#383517) #
I remember way back in the 2010 draft when the Jays took high floor/low ceiling Asher Wojciechowski, I was hoping they would draft risky high ceiling Taijuan Walker instead - Now, he's free.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 09:37 AM EST (#383518) #
Cynical isn't it, AYJ.  Here's the way I see it.  Drury is 27, and would be a perfectly reasonable player to have around if you didn't have Biggio and VGJ.    Or if you aren't trying to compete and intend to use it as a development year with Drury as a third baseman and VGJ at first base.  But if you are trying to compete, Drury is the wrong player at the wrong price.

To have a replacement level player like Urena or Espinal on the bench to be used in a pinch, you want to pay the minimum. But, if you want a back-up infielder who will likely get 400 PAs and you want to compete, you want a player who is likely to be a 1 to 1.5 WAR player even if that means spending more than 2.5 million.  Drury isn't that. 

For me, this is a clear indication that the amount of cash available to Atkins/Shapiro is not enough for them to make a serious effort to compete, and that they're mailing it in (not that they have much option).  I'd like to be wrong about that.  The proof of the pudding will be in the eating (and in the ticket sales).  How many people have signed up for a Game Pack?
uglyone - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 09:55 AM EST (#383519) #
I think hoping for a clearcut shift from "rebuilding mindset" to "contending mindset" from this FO is probably wishful thinking.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 10:06 AM EST (#383520) #
You may be right, UO.  I'm assuming poor judgment from the owners rather than from the GM, but it could be either.  
SK in NJ - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 10:30 AM EST (#383521) #
It's quite possible, if not likely, that 2020 will be used as another development season (whether by choice or forced due to payroll), especially if prices for free agents are not as affordable as they were the previous two winters. I just don't think tendering Drury tells us that. All it tells us is that Atkins likes him and is willing to pay a projected $2.5M to see if he could reach whatever potential they seem to think he has. Infielders capable of a 2 WAR are likely not signing with teams as backups, and Drury is easily dispensable if he flops again.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 11:06 AM EST (#383522) #
Assuming they've got Drury to caddy for VGJ at third base and to give Biggio the odd day off against LHP,  do you think that's a good way to develop a player? I don't.  If they really believe in him and stick him at third base every day and move VGJ to first base or DH, then I'll buy that it's just a case of a player that the they love (and maybe they have good reason for it). 

And as for the increasing salaries in the free agent market, if this organization right now (with their miniscule payroll, large market, three straight losing seasons and highly elastic attendance)  isn't adding significant talent, then I can't imagine when they would. 
rpriske - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 11:29 AM EST (#383523) #
Reports are out there that Zach Wheeler has at least one offer of at least $100M
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 11:34 AM EST (#383524) #
The Jays are reportedly " pursuing " Zack Wheeler along with several other clubs. He is seeking a 5 year deal with a total over 100 million. Those two sentences don't quite go together and I think we can scratch another name off the list of possible free agent signees by Toronto.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 11:47 AM EST (#383525) #
To give my take on the sleeper prospects question I asked earlier, I still like Samad Taylor as a still young-for-league guy with power, speed, defensive value and some notion of the strike zone. He seems like the kind of player who could break out significantly; and Riley Adams, who seems to be finding his power, reports on his defence are positive, and I'm somewhat hopeful he can keep his strikeout rate under control.

bpoz - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#383526) #
Job security is terrible in baseball for executives and managers.

Dombrowski spent way too much. So the cost is a V high payroll with $ penalties and draft pick penalties.

G Kapler lost (no playoffs) after an expensive off season. Giradi and Farrell had successful seasons and still got fired. I am not sure why Maddon was let go.

Shapiro and Atkins should have some idea on how much rope they have left. Also the details of what the goals and timeline is to become competitive. A low payroll makes sense but is too complicated for the FO to give details of the benefits.

Brandon Drury can play every position except catcher and CF. Biggio will need a day off. Bichette plays hard so he may get injured. I fully expect Vlad to come into ST in the best shape of his life, which is not saying much considering his weight and how he needed a lot of "rest time". An injury at 2B, SS or 3B can be handled by a veteran like Drury best I should think. The pitching staff has only Giles as a good veteran. If he stays. The veteran pitchers are all mediocre bullpen arms and #4 SPs.
At the moment it looks like we will not compete. This is what the FO has said. Sort of. However baseball predictions are wrong a lot.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 12:21 PM EST (#383527) #
"Those two sentences don't quite go together "

heh. yep.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 12:37 PM EST (#383528) #
For sure those sentences are from writers and agents to drum up business. I have learned to ignore this.

If we are trying to get someone good, I am ok with that. However if our goal is depth pieces and something that is not terrible then the FO has to put more effort into these acquisitions. Quantity that may stick to the wall.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 01:19 PM EST (#383529) #
According to Ben Badler Yosver Zulueta has had tommy john surgery and will miss 2020.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 02:28 PM EST (#383530) #
Yosver Zulueta signed June 11,2019 and will be 22 Jan 23 so he is like a college arm, 4 years before needing rule 5 protection.

Really too bad about the TJ. The bonus and leaving Cuba may make his life easier. I don't really know but I have a soft heart for people.

When was the TJ done? He should be pitching 15 months later.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 02:58 PM EST (#383531) #
The more I think about it the more it seems Drury might have that vital talent for a bench guy - he is accepting of the role.  Playing everywhere on the diamond and not being a sinkhole with the bat (bad, but not Alfredo Griffin level - 28 OPS+ and in the on deck circle when Carter hit that home run - why on earth you'd pitch to anyone with a base available and Griffin on deck is beyond me).

As to my earlier thoughts about the Jays eating someone else's payroll issue - the Mets are a stronger possibility now - via MLB Trade Rumors "Mets Reportedly Looking To Move Bad Contracts" Jeurys Familia and Jed Lowrie are both buys they want to dump (owed $22 mil and $13 mil respectively) and it seems with  Dominic Smith being a name listed as potential incentive.  5 years of control of a 1B/LF/RF who hit 282/355/525 at age 24 last year sounds tempting but under 200 PA's.  Lifetime in the majors he has 529 PA and a 236/295/450 line (99 OPS+).  BR forecasts him for a 253/318/474 line in 2020 which isn't too interesting.  J.D. Davis also listed as potential trade bait (307/369/527 over 453 PA, LF/3B/1B/DH age 26, just 1 year and a bit of ML experience).  I think the Jays would be smart to look into this deeply.  I'd go for JD myself, give Vlad time off at 3B and mix into the LF/1B/DH mix.  Maybe send them Drury :)
scottt - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 03:01 PM EST (#383532) #
Zulueta just signed with the Jays this summer (part of the Dwight Smith money I think).
Mostly mean he won't have much time before having to be put on the 40.

scottt - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 03:16 PM EST (#383533) #
Smith is interesting.
Familia is owned 23.3M over the next 2 years and that becomes 25M+ if he's traded.
That's a lot of money. I'd rather give Giles a QO.

Drury will be competing for a bench job, just when the bench expends by 1 and there are established players everywhere but at 1B where he's not a good option anyway. He won't have third base for a month and there will be better options in the corners. It's all kinda moot.

Wheeler is not in my sight at all. He was just average last year, although he threw a lot of innings.
He costs a pick, but he's not really an ace. He's had arm problems before.
He's a perfect guy to chase and to let go. 

GabrielSyme - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 05:52 PM EST (#383534) #
There are a few interesting 1B options out there: Dominic Smith, Greg Bird, Eric Thames, but they all have their flaws.

Bird is an interesting reclamation project; Thames isn't a good defensive option, and Statcast suggests he's been outperforming his quality of contact. I wouldn't want to overpay for Smith (Statcast is sceptical of his breakout this past season) but he's also the most interesting option of the bunch. If you could get Familia and Smith together with a prospect, that's a fairly reasonable deal.

Wheeler is interesting, but I think I'd rather outbid for Cole Hamels: both MLBTR and Fangraphs are projecting him for about 2/30. I'd be happy to give him a third year - he's been a model of consistency in recent years.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 07:45 PM EST (#383535) #
Everybody is also projecting Hamels to play for a contender.
mathesond - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 08:10 PM EST (#383536) #
Hamels had the chance to play for a contending Jays team in 2015 and invoked his no-trade clause.
scottt - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 08:40 PM EST (#383537) #
I still like Keuchel. Ground ball pitchers (Stroman) are underrated and can easily give you 200 innings when healthy.
If all goes well, Pearson will be the ace in 2021.

lexomatic - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 09:18 PM EST (#383538) #
I have no idea about Jimmy Nelson's health but he seems like an interesting gamble at the right price. No idea how much interest there'll be
DH - Tuesday, December 03 2019 @ 11:04 PM EST (#383539) #
Wheeler, Ryu, Keuchel and Lindbloom all on the FO's radar. Not exactly the second coming of Rocket Roger but...
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 02:10 AM EST (#383540) #
I'd be very interested in Nelson. He was excellent in 2017 before hurting his shoulder running the bases and needing surgery. He tried to come back in June of 2019 and wasn't right. After a couple more months off, he returned in September and the results were way better, with 11 K's vs 3 BB's in 8 IP. As long as they don't have to make a long term commitment to him, I'd like to see them make a push to get him. Lindblom might be OK, he was very good in Korea, but he's not going to duplicate the results that Mikolas got after playing in Japan. That's a tougher league, and Mikolas' numbers were outstanding there. Still think they should be trying to add somebody who can be a member of the starting staff when the team is competitive, and I doubt Lindblom is the guy.

I see the Jays have agreed to a 1-year deal with newly acquired Anthony Bass for $1.5 million. MLB Trade Rumours had him pegged at $1.7 million.
scottt - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 06:51 AM EST (#383541) #
Nelson has produced lots of Ks but also lots of walks.
Maybe not ideal in a division without free swingers. We already got SRF.
I find Gausman more intriguing. (high strikeout, low walks).
Taijuan Walker also.

Wheeler is looking for 125M right now.
Seems too expensive for a Toronto overpay.

AWeb - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 07:17 AM EST (#383542) #
I've been tuned out for a bit, but I hadn't heard about Lindbloom, or know who he is. One of the best pitchers in Korean the last two years, good in years before that (noting the offensive environment in Korean baseball, specifically the baseball itself, changed drastically in the past two years). Failed to catch on in Pittsburgh in 2017, but they haven't exactly been great at figuring out MLB talent in the past few years.

Lots of innings, doesn't walk guys, lead the league in Ks, sounds good. Seems like a guy with a decent floor and possible upside for a few years...he is 32 already, so long-term wouldn't be offered by anyone else, most likely. How about 2 years, 10 million?

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 11:14 AM EST (#383543) #
Here's Craig Edwards on the state of MLB payrolls.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 01:01 PM EST (#383545) #
Thanks Mike Green. $69 mil estimated for 2020. This includes $14 mil for Tulo.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 01:27 PM EST (#383546) #
Lindblom would, in isolation, be a nice value play for back half of the rotation. Like Shoemaker and Borucki (and, to a lesser extent, Anderson), Lindblom is another high-variance option, which makes sense for a rebuilding team. Unfortunately, we are really running out of room to fit in a bigger upgrade (Ryu, Hamels, Wheeler) if we sign someone like Lindblom. That would make the midseason starting depth chart look something like: *FA*/Pearson/Shoemaker/Lindblom/Anderson/Borucki/Thornton/Kay

That's a lot of cost-controlled starters stuck in AAA or the bullpen if the veterans remain healthy. Maybe you can trade one of the veterans when Pearson is ready to come up, but that would be a rebuilding-type move as well.

I don't really have a big problem with the strategy of seeing 2020 as another rebuilding year, with the big push for contention coming next off-season, but if that was the case, it would have been nice if the FO had spared us the bs about being much more aggressive in the FA market and having much more room to spend. Anderson/Lindblom is not exactly a big splash.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 02:34 PM EST (#383547) #
we should trade for a prime aged guy who would be likely to re-sign here.

like, say, that Marcus Stroman guy on the Mets.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 02:36 PM EST (#383548) #
"...with the big push for contention coming next off-season..."

I think we may have finally modify our definition of the term "big push" to align more closely with our FO's definition.
rpriske - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 02:48 PM EST (#383549) #
Zach Wheeler got $118m from Philadelphia.
dan gordon - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 03:26 PM EST (#383550) #
Nelson only walked 48 in 175 innings in his breakout 2017 season. Nothing wrong with that. I like Gausman and Walker, both non-tendered, as well.

Wheeler's deal would work out to 5 years at $23.6 million per season if that $118 million figure is confirmed. He turns 30 shortly after the start of the season, so it covers his age 30-34 seasons. Probably won't look too good the last couple of years at that price. Apparently other teams offered even more, but his wife's home town is pretty close to Philadelphia, and that was the deciding factor.
Vulg - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 04:19 PM EST (#383551) #
Orioles trade Bundy to the Angels. Looks like Mattson is one name going back.

https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1202332711198834689?s=20

I'm sure many tires were kicked.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 05:06 PM EST (#383552) #
BREAKING: Jays put phone calls in on Pineda, Wheeler and Bundy.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 05:10 PM EST (#383553) #
Many productive conversations were no doubt had.

On a different note, the Braves have added Hamels on a 1/18m contract. Looks like a good move by AA.

Vulg - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 05:25 PM EST (#383554) #
Love the Hamels deal. I will always contend that in MLB, there is no such thing as a bad 1 year contract for a veteran pitcher with a decent track record. There's no salary cap and therefore no hard constraint or real opportunity cost to the deal. The only hit is to ownership's profitability.

That said, I'm not sure how excited I'll be about that 1 year Edwin Jackson deal that I feel the Jays are inevitably headed towards.
scottt - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 05:31 PM EST (#383555) #
Apparently it's Hamels who wanted 1 year with higher AAV.

scottt - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 05:35 PM EST (#383556) #
Bundy is kinda like Anderson. The Angels still need to get someone better.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 05:41 PM EST (#383557) #
Sources: Jays were this close
mathesond - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 07:07 PM EST (#383558) #
Source: What Jays fans lack in originality they make up for with repetitiveness.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 07:48 PM EST (#383559) #
Source: Jays in deep consultations with BJ Birdy. Looking for a replacement for Ace,  and they feel they know what Birdy can bring to the club.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 08:04 PM EST (#383560) #
@longleysunsport
#Bluejays GM Ross Atkins on the disastrous 2019 season: "We didn’t chose to have 2019 occur. That’s not what our vision was. Our vision was trying to do everything we could to extend that window with the parameters that we had."


Source: I just kinda feel bad for him now
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 08:17 PM EST (#383561) #
That Atkins quote is just terrible. There are two possible interpretations: first, that Shapiro & Atkins thought the Jays were capable of contending in 2019; second, that ownership told them to try to contend and then didn't give them adequate resources to plug egregious holes in the team's construction.

If the first, then Shapiro and Atkins need to be fired, because that's just terrible judgement. If the second, Shapiro and Atkins still shouldn't be off the hot seat, because such a short-sighted strategy was a terrible decision and the baseball guys need to be able to tell ownership when a rebuilding year is inevitable.
PeterG - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 08:27 PM EST (#383562) #
There were more than average pitching injuries in 2019. That explains much of what happened. Hopefully, that will not be repeated anytime soon.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 08:38 PM EST (#383563) #
I always felt bad for Atkins!!

The rebuild started at the 2018 July 31 trade deadline IMO. The rebuild continues to this day IMO. The position players need more ML experience and the pitching prospects that are expected to contribute are still working their way through the minors.I expect the rebuild to continue in 2020 and 2021.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:00 PM EST (#383564) #
Also from R Longley:

"GM Atkins vows #Bluejays will be aggressive this winter, particularly in the hunt for starting pitching: "There’s not a free agent pitcher we haven’t touched base with. We have been aggressively trying to understand every opportunity and we’ll continue to do that."


BREAKING: Anthony Alford is now the longest tenured Blue Jay after the non tendering of Luke Maile (source Cespedes BBQ)
bpoz - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:02 PM EST (#383565) #
When you consider the payroll and the talent on our team the success is going to come from the cheap players.

The expensive players (highest salary category) are Tulo, Grichuk, C Anderson and Giles. The FO is working on acquiring cheaper vets I presume. Every vet I see is here as a bridge to the kids developing on their timeline.

Drury is a cheap vet. I expect a few more cheap vets.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:08 PM EST (#383566) #
I am confused by the surprise (by some) at the way this offseason has rolled out so far. At the beginning of the offseason the President of the team said that they weren’t going to be in on the expensive free agents. Surely four years of this FO has demonstrated their one overriding trait - risk aversion. I think this is all going according to plan. There can legitimately be a wide range of perspectives on whether “doing nothing” is a good or bad strategy right now, but there’s no room for surprise. Personally, I would be fine with the team doing nothing (and trying for another top 5-10 overall pick) or making some significantly risky moves (in salary or prospects) to try and compete. What I will object to, is the most likely outcome. A couple of signings of 5th starter types where the sole purpose will be to avoid sucking. What’s the point in that? It won’t move the needle in revenues or future prospects.
Nigel - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:10 PM EST (#383567) #
I do wish Atkins would just stop giving silly interviews. It just does not help.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:11 PM EST (#383568) #
Well said Nigel.
scottt - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:18 PM EST (#383569) #
Sounds like bad news for Alford.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:20 PM EST (#383570) #
It would not surprise me in the least if in the offices of Shapiro/Atkins, there is at least 1 quote on the wall along the lines of: never underestimate the gullibility of the average sports fan..
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:40 PM EST (#383571) #
People are surprised because:

a) has payroll every been this low before?

b) they promoted Biggio, Vlad and Bo when they could have waited until this year if they want to be risk averse and value hoarders

c) they don't have pitching or MLB caliber players at many positions with the strategy used last year

d) their plummet in fan attendance and TV ratings figures to hurt their bottom line

In short, there's many reasons why people expected something different this offseason
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:40 PM EST (#383572) #
The front office does seem to like piling up mediocre depth (players like Drury, Richard, Jackson). Shapiro gave an interview earlier this year that seemed to suggest he thinks that because it can be so hard to predict when players will break out, it’s good to pile up (cycle through?) tons of players in a kind of large-scale sifting operation. And Atkins is on record saying that “depth is very important to us.” So their philosophy seems to be, in part, to accumulate many cheap players, even apparently mediocre ones (like Fisher), and then wait for the gems to eventually turn up.

Of course, they had an as-yet-undiscovered gem this year in Urshela, but jettisoned him too early.
scottt - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 09:48 PM EST (#383573) #
The team as it is, with the young infield and Pearson up in May is much better than it was last year.
They should be at around .500 just by not selling at the deadline.

Guys with ERA+ around 100 might look like 5th starter types, but they're actually better than that.
Only Zack Davies had more innings pitched for the Brewers than Anderson.
He started 27 games and only picked up 4 losses.

There are many teams trying to sign those top free agent pitchers right now.
It's not a buyer's market.
Baltimore is tearing down even more and will be really bad.
Boston has the higher payroll in baseball. They might bounce back, but it's more likely that they'll be worse.
Tampa is not far from their historic highest payroll and will keep moving vets and promoting prospects.
The Yankees payroll is starting to get there and they might not score any top starter either.

Philies fans don't seem overlay impressed with the Wheeler deal and he was pitching in their division.
AA's making good moves, but they are really easy moves. It's like players are desperate to play for the Braves.

Nigel - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 10:03 PM EST (#383574) #
dalimon - I think you and I are talking about two different things. I understand and agree that all of those things (other than bringing up the prospects) argue in favour of a substantial investment of assets (salary or prospects) to try and compete. My point was that ownership/FO haven’t demonstrated through actions that they agree with that. I think ownership, being a public company, is overwhelmingly driven by what makes financial sense in the next few quarters. Bringing up the prospects last year actually made sense in that context because it helped near term interest in the product and the negative financial aspects of those decisions will be felt years down the road. Spending nothing on this team likely makes financial sense if your only focus is on 2020 financial results.
scottt - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 10:15 PM EST (#383575) #
They have not and will not keep top prospects who are demolishing AAA down. That's just not going to happen.

Payroll is low because they have more young players then ever before. It's not a difficult concept.
This is exactly how Tampa gets good results with a low payroll, except the Jays can keep their players if they want.
Revenues are in line with the wins/losses. It's not a problem because the payroll is low.
I'm sure the pitching will be much better than people expect.
Both AAA and AA will be stacked with pitching. 

My expectation is that they move early and they move late.
The Chase Anderson deal was decent for an early move.
Now they have to wait until all the biggest spenders have make their moves.

I was an Expos fan and the payroll was always low.
Even in the early AA days, the payroll was higher just because they carried bad contracts.
And AA hardly ever signed free agents. Or first round draft picks.


greenfrog - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 10:18 PM EST (#383576) #
The positive is that the team's recent drafts have been promising, and the FO has been acquiring a lot of interesting talent from Latin America.

The trades and free agent signings under Shapiro and Atkins have been a mixed bag: some good, some bad, a lot of meh.

At times FO seems muddled or indecisive or addled. It's unclear whether the obfuscating verbiage is significant or not, and if so, in what way.

The loss of Sanders and Cherington hurts. To what extent remains to be determined.

The spending restrictions imposed by ownership are a hindrance (note Atkins's recent use of the dreaded word "parameters"; excuse-making is always an ominous sign).

It could be worse, it could be better, expect 75-87 wins in many years to come, probably with some better seasons here or there eventually. Shapiro's stated philosophy about the postseason is "just get in"; not "assemble a dominant team" or "build a dynasty" or "aim for 100 wins." It's pretty evident by now to most of us what's going on. Nothing new under the sun.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 10:54 PM EST (#383577) #
"We have been aggressively trying to understand every opportunity and we’ll continue to do that"

What does this actually mean? Isn't this what every front office in baseball is expected to do, at a minimum?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 11:08 PM EST (#383578) #
Have the Jays really missed out on anyone? Cole and Strasburg is never going to happen. Wheeler got 5/118 from the Phillies, which was apparently not even the best offer he received but he chose Philly because of location. Chances are the Jays had no shot there unless they went above and beyond what may already be a significant overpay by the Phillies. Odorizzi accepted the QO, hoping to cash out in next season's FA market. Gibson signed for what I think is a reasonable 3/30, but going too far above that in order to entice him to come to Toronto would have made it a less desirable option for the Jays.

There are still a lot of free agents out there, both on the pitching and position player side. I suspect the Jays will end up going with the less expensive options when the dust settles, but it's far too early to judge the off-season.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 11:31 PM EST (#383579) #
In the end, the front office will be judged on results, not on whether they made this or that transaction. If the team plays .500 baseball, more or less, for the next decade, well, that will be the FO’s legacy.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, December 04 2019 @ 11:39 PM EST (#383580) #
Exactly. If they improve the team 15 wins this year but TB gets better with their prospects and the NYY sign Strasburg and Red Sox then guess what, we're still way behind.
uglyone - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 01:23 AM EST (#383581) #
The assumption that the team will improve organically, when they have lost a good number of their top contributors from last year, is a shaky one.
scottt - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 06:57 AM EST (#383582) #
The Yankees had 14 players with OPS+ over 110, including scrubs like Urshela, Maybin and Tauchman.
A massive correction is needed here.

There's a bunch of guys in the outfield who could break out, certainly. Gurriel was the most improved player last year.
I just see Drury as a temporary filler.
It's the same with the pitchers. There are a lot of guys who could turn into something.
Including Merryweather, Luciano, Murphy, etc...

scottt - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 07:06 AM EST (#383583) #
That means they're talking to agents and trying to figure out if players are willing to go to Toronto and how much money it will take to sign them. Obviously, not every team has contact with every free agent or trade targets. They did reach out to many of the guys who have signed so far, like Wheeler. Anderson was an opportunity that nobody here foresaw.

They're probably not going over 100M--Rogers control that. If they can't get a top pitcher, they might settle on a cheaper/higher risk starter, but then they'll see if they can spend the left over money on a position player.

scottt - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 07:29 AM EST (#383584) #
They've also lost their worst players. Sanchez had an ERA over 6 and lost 14 games.
Brito, Hanson, Maile, were almost 2 wins under replacement value.
They lost Galvis, but Bichette is better
They lost Sogard, but there will be a handful of 2B left over in February if they want to improve the bench.
Guys like Hudson were not even with the team in February.

Replacing Stroman is what this is all about, but ultimately, that's Pearson's role.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 07:43 AM EST (#383585) #
The team has also downgraded from Smoak to Tellez.
ayjackson - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 08:02 AM EST (#383586) #
I feel confident that they won't replace their better players they lost this year, but may indeed replace the worst ones.

"Agressively" pursuing information means texting agents AND sending them DMs.
uglyone - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:01 AM EST (#383587) #
According to fangraphs WAR last year:

CF 1.2
RF -1.0
LF 1.8
3B 0.9
SS 2.9
2B 3.2
1B 0.7
C 2.5
DH -0.4


SP 1.0 x 5 slots
RP 0.5 x 7 slots


So I guess we add a few wins at 3B based on vladdy improving. The other slots all look to me to be in the ballpark of expectations this year too, on average.

uglyone - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:02 AM EST (#383588) #
""Agressively" pursuing information means texting agents AND sending them DMs."

Liking their Insta posts.
scottt - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:04 AM EST (#383589) #
There's several reports that the Jays are interested in Ryu.
The US media are puzzled that a non-contender would be giving money to a 32 year old.
Quite the contrast with the Toronto press.
Still, the Astros lost top pitchers each year, I don't see the problem there.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:21 AM EST (#383590) #
UO, I had them at 76 wins prior to the off-season, and this was consistent with other forecasts.  How do you go from 67 last year to 76:

1. They underperformed Pythagorean projections last year by 4 wins
2. All of their best players are young, and on average will improve a little. 

If you look at it position by position, the 5 extra wins come from third base, right field, DH and SP.  Pearson is projected to be a 2 win pitcher in a partial season, and ends up addiing as much value as Stroman and Sanchez. 

So far, they have added 1 win (Anderson).  It's not where you want to be- they're not going to do a good job of tanking or competing right now.
scottt - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:44 AM EST (#383591) #
They are adding predictability to the rotation.
I expect the pen to be fine.

A lot of prospects should reach in 2022. That  could be the second coming.
Until then?

In 2020?
Maybe Smith gets untracked. Not likely..
Espinal should be up at some point.
Riley Adams could be up as the September catcher.
Some of those pitchers in the bottom of the top 30 list.

In 2021?
Kirk should start in Buffalo.
Maybe Conine gets there if he's an improvement over Grichuk.
Chavez Young could be a possibility in center.
Maybe Samad Taylor, if he breaks out.

Hopefully they add a stud in the June draft.

I don't expect them to play in the Rule V draft, but they do pick early.
They could gamble on a relief arm. It's just a bit of money.

bpoz - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 11:15 AM EST (#383592) #
I am expecting mediocre FA signings this off season. So far before the winter meetings next week we have added in trades and other methods C Anderson and A Bass. In previous years we added similar mediocre/decent players like A Diaz and Thornton because of 40 man issues that our trading partner had.

Grichuk was acquired in Jan 2018 when he became surplus to St Louis.

The above are 2 trading time phases as I see them. I expect us to do this again.

Valera and Urena cannot both be on the 26 man team for Opening day. Easily filled surplus IMO.

If the Jays looks good enough for 2023 they can trade for a good SP. Lets say Z Wheeler from the Phillies. Wheeler would have to be considered a good SP still for the Jays to acquire.If the Phillies are bad, he is salary relief for them. Other things, no trade clause or injured.

This being the off season we can wildly speculate. So 2 expensive years of a good Z Wheeler should cost us less in prospects than we got for Stroman because Stroman was good and cheap. Any thoughts?
uglyone - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 11:32 AM EST (#383593) #
yeah that's fair, Mike, but never forget that youngsters have a way of breaking your heart.



But i can't help but feel that this is why all that crap about not being able to sign big contracts 4 years ago annoyed me so much. Because I look at this team, I look at all the free agents, and I don't want any of them, because they're all pretty mediocre and will be overpaid, and we're not near good enough for them to make a real difference.

I would much, much, much rather be dealing with the overpaid carcasses of Price, EE, Donaldson right now, rather than overpaying most of the names I am hearing. And it would have made the last few years more fun, too.

Now here we are, and our FO is finally coming to the realization, 5 years later, that nobody wants to actually come play for a cheap losing team in canada.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#383594) #
Young players may break your heart, but if you have five of them, the odds are very good that on average they will modestly improve.  The reverse, of course, is true for older players and we had a classic example of that here in Toronto. 

When the Jays traded Stroman, that was a reasonable thing to do even given where they were in the cycle (with VGJ, Bichette, Biggio and Jansen up).  The return was good.  But the corollary has to be that the club takes the money that it would have spent on a Stroman extension, and uses it for a free agent to bridge the gap until one of Kay and SWR emerges and contributes at the major league level. 
John Northey - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 12:56 PM EST (#383595) #
The problem with keeping the old guys would've been it wouldn't just be the ones who are good today who they'd have kept.

Donaldson: yeah, that'd be nice
EE: 2.7 WAR as a 36 year old DH.
David Price: 1.9 WAR as a 33 year old, owed $96 mil over the next 3 years.
And those are the good ones.
Also in 2016...
Russell Martin: 0.8 WAR last year, would you resign him?
Justin Smoak: 0.6 WAR last year, I hope the Jays don't even invite him to spring
Kevin Pillar: just released
Jose Bautista: wanted a 5 year deal, 17/18 were worth around 0 WAR, imagine paying him for 2 more years or that after whatever he'd have produced last year when no one wanted him.
Marcus Stroman: would be nice, but seemed to be a bit of poison in the clubhouse given what we've heard lately
J.A. Happ: 1.2 WAR last year at age 36.
Aaron Sanchez: Ugh, now released
Marco Estrada: -0.4 WAR last year, doubt he gets another chance
R.A. Dickey: 2 years retired now, but did have 2.3 WAR his one year in Atlanta
Roberto Osuna: still a good closer, but a lousy person.

So who would you think would be useful in 2020 for the Jays from that long list?  Pillar could be useful as a 4th OF if we didn't have 700 of them already.  Donaldson would've been nice, but expensive.   Price the same.  EE as a pure DH now wouldn't be too useful imo at $20 mil a year.

The team should know Toronto fans have a big range.  90+ wins and you see over 3 million and sky high TV ratings (critical as Rogers owns the team and Sportsnet).  90+ losses and you get sub 2 million fans and poor ratings.  2020 is to make sure where the holes are.  Signing a big free agent pitcher might be a good idea if you get the right one (ie: one that won't break down in the next 5 years).  But that is the only worthwhile free agent spending I see right now.  CF/1B/DH will resolve themselves this season - either someone steps up or it becomes obvious you need to get someone next winter.  2021 is the year they need to get to 90+ wins again.  Otherwise the current management team could be sent away.
bpoz - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 01:10 PM EST (#383596) #
I agree that 5 young players give you great odds of success. Vlad, Bo, Biggio, Gurriel and Jansen are 5. Another 5+1 would be McGuire, Tellez, Alford, Pompey, Fisher and McKinney. So we have groups of 5 covered.

Hopefully it works with pitching as well.

Regarding older players getting better Donaldson at 30 got better, Bautista and EE also got better at 30 or so and it continued for a few years. Personally I always thought it was just luck. But maybe instead of 5 we try a sample of 8. I will stick with Jays and allow time for development. Smoak, Drury, Sogard, Urshela, B Valera. Can't find 3 more. A Diaz, L Maile, A Hanson and S Brito don't count in this category IMO. So 9 sort of. Unfortunately we only have 2 of the 9 left. Maybe Drury follows in the footsteps of Donaldson, EE and Bautista. Crossing fingers for luck.
Gerry - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 08:40 PM EST (#383597) #
Michael Pineda back to the Twins.

I assume the Jays were "in on him".

I don't mind, don't get fussed about not signing failed drug test guys.
PeterG - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 08:53 PM EST (#383598) #
It will not be easy convincing any pitcher with other choices to come to TO and the AL East.
Nigel - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 08:57 PM EST (#383599) #
Let’s just assume, from here on out, the Jays expressed “strong interest” in all free agents. The Rogers media will happily report that the Jays were “in” on every desirable FA.
scottt - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:16 PM EST (#383600) #
They also have interest in Tsutsugo. I think Tellez still has an option.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:18 PM EST (#383601) #
It’s interesting. The classic definition of “aggressive” in this context would seem to refer to outspending other bidders to land the player in question. The Jays front office seems to be trying to redefine it as “communicating a lot with the player’s agent about what it would take to sign the player.”
Thomas - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:37 PM EST (#383602) #
It’s interesting. The classic definition of “aggressive” in this context would seem to refer to outspending other bidders to land the player in question. The Jays front office seems to be trying to redefine it as “communicating a lot with the player’s agent about what it would take to sign the player.”

One can only imagine the joys of a quite cautious offseason under this front office.....

dalimon5 - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 09:41 PM EST (#383603) #
Can we just stop blaming everything on Rogers? It's perfectly fine to hold Shapiro and Atkins accountable for everything without ownership having to be painted as some evil corporate entity that's forcing the organization to field a poor team and cut expenses and throw the season away.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 10:03 PM EST (#383604) #
I am disappointed that the Jays didn't sign Pineda - I would have been willing to go to 3 years (3/30) and Pineda's suspension was reduced because he was able to prove that he wasn't using the hydrochlorothiazide as a PED making agent, so I wasn't that concerned about the failed drug test. A missed opportunity IMO.
85bluejay - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 10:10 PM EST (#383605) #
Ownership controls the purse strings and decide what the budget is - I'd be surprised if there is a FO that is unwilling to spend if ownership provides the budget - Generally, I assume that lack of spending from any FO is because of the budget that ownership provides regardless of almost all FO saying publicly that they have enough to spend.
SK in NJ - Thursday, December 05 2019 @ 10:15 PM EST (#383606) #
The thing that might hurt the Jays in their pursuit of pitching, aside from the normal factors (country, losing team, AL East) is more buyers. Not only do they have to contend with the usual suspects (Yankees, LA teams, etc), but now the Reds, Twins, White Sox, Padres, etc, are looking to buy as well, and all of those teams are likely in a better position to contend in 2020 than the Jays are. Shapiro has been consistent on his view of free agency, and with a FA market that seems to have reverted back to normal after a couple of down winters, the FO is either going to have to give out a contract that they will ultimately not feel comfortable with (i.e. an overpay) or try to find the bargains when the big boys sign elsewhere. The latter might have been the path they intended/expected to go anyway, but Atkins has been pretty vocal about being aggressive on pitching, so let's see what happens.
uglyone - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:24 AM EST (#383607) #
You just can't say that you will be aggressive on the free agent market and also refuse to pay "more than you are comfortable with".

That's just not being honest. The free agent market means overpay.p
uglyone - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:29 AM EST (#383608) #
https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/1202821867553341440
Vulg - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:30 AM EST (#383609) #
Can we just stop blaming everything on Rogers? It's perfectly fine to hold Shapiro and Atkins accountable for everything without ownership having to be painted as some evil corporate entity that's forcing the organization to field a poor team and cut expenses and throw the season away.

I don't blame everything on Rogers. I lay blame at their feet for two things: the budget and missing JD's optimal trade window for fear of fan (read: attendance) reaction.

I don't blame Rogers for the Grichuk contract, for the FO's love affair with high K-rate outfielders, for missing on most of their big trade opportunities (looks like Stroman will work out at least) or for anything strictly transactional.

Unfortunately, budget is a huge factor of what drives roster decisions. It compels, for example, a willingness to trade down from an Edwin to a Kendrys. Or for chasing the Buchholzes and Schumakers of the FA market instead of the Keuchels or the Mortons.

Lots of blame to go around when our favourite team has been a combination of stingy and incompetent.
dan gordon - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:39 AM EST (#383610) #
The Rays just saved some money and gained 2 years of control by trading Tommy Pham to SD for Hunter Renfroe.

Pineda would have been a pretty good signing. Great K:BB ratio. He'll be 31 next month. A 3-year deal for his age 31-33 seasons would not have been unreasonable.
DH - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 03:34 AM EST (#383611) #
Pineda was interesting given his age and upside. I'm surprised that he signed for what seems to be a very modest amount/years. Either he wanted to go back or there's something that depressed his value/market.

To that end, I'll take at face value the comments by Atkins that they're in seriously on every free agent. Money alone doesn't seal the deal. I've turned down - and have had prospective employees turn down - the highest dollar bid for a job in favour of closer to home/closer to winning deals. Wheeler was just that (in a different stratosphere).

As it stands, we need atleast one FA starter on more than a one year deal. Ryu and Keuchel are options. If not them, I'd far rather a flyer of T. Walker or Lindbloom then a Roark, Miley etc.


rpriske - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 08:09 AM EST (#383612) #
I would have been... okay with the Jays getting Pineda, but there are at least five better FA pitchers that the Jays should have a shot at.

Go get them. Ryu and/or Keuchel would be my preferred targets.
85bluejay - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 08:09 AM EST (#383613) #
I am almost always intrigued by trades involving the Rays - while Pham can hit, I really like the Rays side of the deal - Renfroe is younger,cheaper,more control,better defense and more power which should spike in the small AL east parks plus a young upside prospect.
scottt - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 08:37 AM EST (#383614) #
I was expecting the Pham trade. There's over 1 WAR of difference between him and Renfroe.
The prospect they got is lacking in power and they sent a different one back, who was hitting pretty well.

Pineda is going to miss about a month, and spring training, that usually leads to a difficult year.
Not a guy I wanted around, anyway.

There are quite a few teams desperate enough to overpay.
The Padres, who haven't won in ages, although they've handicapped themselves with some bad contracts, so are focusing on trades. The Reds, who have traded for a bunch of guys with 1 or 2 years of control and Votto's contract is starting to catch up with them. The Rangers with their new stadium. The Angels with Trout never getting to the playoffs, in part because of that crazy Pujols contract.

The Jays are trying to spend but they're trying to get their money's worth.
And many players need a huge overpay to play "in another country".
The Nationals are trying to sign both Rendon and Strasburg, but even though they have the money, the players don't seem in a rush to return to their fans.
That's how free agency is.

scottt - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 08:50 AM EST (#383615) #
PEDS are a huge market depressant.
That's why Braun is basically untradeable.
AA got the milkman for cheap after he got busted and he had a horrible "clean" year.
Pineda will return in May and will likely get hit around while he catches up.

Wheeler had nice peripherals, but just average results and he was the #3 pitching behind DeGrom and Thor.
Can he anchor a staff? That's up in the air.
I wouldn't give away 125M (maybe more) plus pick forty-something-- which is great spot to sign a pitcher to sign him.
That pick could make it to the show before the new Jays core reach free agency.

Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 08:51 AM EST (#383616) #
evil corporate entity

I don't think anyone, myself included, is suggesting Rogers is especially evil among owners.  On the one issue which is pretty clearly good vs. evil, minor league salaries, the Jays have been the best of a bad lot. 

What I am saying is that Rogers has made poor financial decisions about the payroll for the club- not evil but unwise.  Factors extraneous to the income and expenses of the club (situations involving their other business) have likely interfered with good decision-making. 
James W - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:08 AM EST (#383617) #
I'd agree that "evil" is certainly not the proper term. I was going to suggest "incompetent", before settling on the more gentle "not nearly as competent as we'd like".
scottt - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:13 AM EST (#383618) #
I don't know that they're evil, but their customer service is.

scottt - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:26 AM EST (#383619) #
The free market is an auction.  Before you send your wife to an auction you better agree on how much she can spend on a given item.
This is the same thing.
Except worse because the "item" has an ownership bias.


dalimon5 - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:32 AM EST (#383620) #
I just don't think a publicly traded company like Rogers gives too much of a damn about the Blue Jays. I imagine they hire someone and say "make this profitable for less than $175 million." I don't think they have any say in who gets signed, for how long or signing big contracts.

To me, it's probably your job out the window if you spend $175 million and don't make the playoffs for a return on investment for ownership and that likely will explain why the GMs here always try to build a base first and then spend just to get them over the top which has never worked under Ricciardi, AA and so far Atkins.

So what does this mean if my imagining is correct? It means the criticism of Rogers should be the motto "make us profitable" vs "make the playoffs"*

They don't meddle in the business of day to day imho and Atkins/Shapiro should be grilled for not spending or taking on bigger salaries to better the team...especially now that salary is below $100 million.

*there's also the caveat that they likely don't make profit if they are as bas as they were last year in which case the office might as well sign players or aggressively trade to improve
Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:37 AM EST (#383621) #
You're kind, JamesW.  Either that, or you've got the Friday feeling of forgiveness.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, either way. 

The Blue Jays are apparently interested in Starling Marte.  I'm not sure why.  He is 31 years old, and there are indications of decline in his defensive ability in centerfield (all of the metrics were off in 2019).  He's a good right-handed hitter, now with developing power, but will not take a walk.  Grichuk and Gurriel Jr. are both of this type.  He's still a good player, and at $11.5 million good value for what he is likely to deliver. He has a 12.5 million option for 2021.  I guess if you believe that he can still play a decent centerfield for the next two years, I could see it.  That seems to me to be unlikely.
ayjackson - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:38 AM EST (#383622) #
I'm with dalimon. There's no way a corporate boardroom is requiring an immaterial division to return half of their revenue as profit. This is Shapiro wanting to create something 100% his own. (50% if he doesn't trade Vlad)
Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:46 AM EST (#383623) #
I imagine they hire someone and say "make this profitable for less than $175 million."

It's always profitable- the only question is how much they make.  And if they are regularly spending 10s of millions under the luxury tax threshold (and never spending above it), they are making less money than they could and the club is winning less than it could.  It's a lose-lose for the owner and the fan.
Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:48 AM EST (#383624) #
AYJ, were the payroll parameters a fiction of Anthopoulos' imagination?
Jevant - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:50 AM EST (#383625) #
I think it's fair to question the intentions of the franchise once FA is completed, rather than mid-stream. Was Pineda a target because people really liked him? Or are we at the point where we just want to see action?

Maybe it's Pineda, but I think it's the lack of action. If the Jays announced today they had signed Alex Wood, for example, projected to provide around the same WAR as Pineda for 2020, I don't think anyone would be overly upset on missing on Pineda. Wood is still out there.

I'm personally of the opinion that the current market suggests the Jays should sign three starters (Keuchel or Ryu, Porcello or Wood, and Roark or Miley), and there's no reason they can't still do that. If we end up in March without at least two competent or better starters added in FA, I'm all for grabbing the pitchforks. But I'm having a hard time getting worried about missing out on Pineda when others who I like as much or better are still out there.
Jevant - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:54 AM EST (#383626) #
Marte's intriguing in part because he's played at superstar levels before. The hope is that he can pull a Lorenzo Cain and get back to that point in the mid-30s. As opposed to hoping that Kevin Pillar (or someone like him) can get to a point they've never been before.

That said, I think the roster has enough guys in the Grichuk, Gurriel, Teoscar, Fisher level already (with the hope that the first two names are a little better than the last two). Honestly, if it's Marte or simply giving Alford or whomever the job, I'd probably prefer the latter, and spend the money on the rotation. You can find OF at the trade deadline easier.

I'm also still of the opinion that Manuel Margot makes a ton of sense for this team. The Padres (especially with the Pham trade now) probably don't really need him, and to me that's the sort of high-upside gamble it makes sense to take a swing at.
dalimon5 - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 10:56 AM EST (#383627) #
"I imagine they hire someone and say "make this profitable for less than $175 million." Dalimon

"It's always profitable- the only question is how much they make." - Mike Green


I don't know the business of baseball, Mike. Maybe it's not "make this profitable for $175 million" ... maybe it's "Make us at least $300 million profit with a budget limit of $175 million," that's what my point was...I think that the front office is the brakes more than ownership and I think it's because they don't know how to compete against big teams like the NYY and BOS.

Perhaps the deal for Atkins and Shapiro is something like this:

Spend up to $65 million and profit has to be $100 million
Spend up to $100 million and profit has to be $200 million
Spend up to $165 million and profit has to be $400 million
Spend up to $200 million and profit has to be $500 million

In a scenario like that most front offices will try to renovate the stadium to maximize revenue streams, rebuild the farm for consistency of competitiveness and then spend money when they feel there is the best chance of return on investment
rpriske - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 11:01 AM EST (#383628) #
The Jays SHOULD be interested in Marte. They do not have a major league viable CF on the team or in the upper minors. The market for major league viable CFs is a gaping hole. They need to fill that spot and can't do it through free agency so they need to look what is available in trade.

Pitching can still be corrected through free agency. CF can't.
Nigel - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 11:02 AM EST (#383629) #
Rogers isn’t a terrible owner by any means. Their problem is that they mandate the team be as profitable as possible in the short term. That directive often forces baseball decisions that aren’t good choices in the context of where the team is on the success curve (particularly at the extreme ends of the curve). I don’t believe Rogers meddles in many individual baseball decisions but I believe strongly (having worked with a publicly trade media conglomerate) that Rogers cares a great deal about the Jays profitability in 2020.
85bluejay - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 11:27 AM EST (#383630) #
I don't see the purpose of Marte and his declining defence .
PeterG - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 11:48 AM EST (#383631) #
I don't see any need for interest in Marte and highly doubt that there is any. I also think it is borderline ridiculous to suggest that the Jays need to acquire 3 additional starting pitchers.
bpoz - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#383632) #
I think Rogers may demand that a certain player stay with the team. V Wells contract was P Godfrey. I don't know the owner at that time. Bautista was signed that last year by Atkins/Shapiro and I don't know if Rogers was insisting.

Donaldson stuck around because he was not traded earlier. I believe that Shapiro wanted to start the rebuild before 2018. What stopped him?

Payroll to profit is tricky IMO. Saying payroll $X has to produce Profit $X+ 40% ? may work or may not. The the payroll for Tulo, Martin and Donaldson in 2018 was $X and the profit may not even have broken even.

It seems that working for Shapiro is very desirable many baseball people are suggesting. Shapiro's team is getting poached. Cherington and Sanders for example.

So I cannot see things as clearly as some/many of you.

Atkins/Shapiro had an idea or had no idea as to how 2019 would turn out. There seemed to me to be close to twice as many bad player moves than good ones.
Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:24 PM EST (#383633) #
PeterG, I agree. I forget how long the list of interesting pitchers who are in full season ball through the majors is (Luciano is an easy name to forget when you're thinking about Pearson, Manoah, SWR, Kloffenstein, Pardinho and the rest).  The club could use one more pitcher, but whether they spend significant resources on a pitcher as opposed to, or in addition to, a corner IF and a centerfielder really depends on how things play out.
cascando - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 12:58 PM EST (#383634) #
I agree that the Jays don't necessarily need 3 more starters, but I also understand the opposing argument. If they want to be competitive, certainly, they need at least 3 more, all better than what they currently have. If their goal is to challenge for .500, then they probably only need one or two more that are better than what they currently have. If the goal is simply to be better than last year, so around 70-75 wins, then they could probably do with adding one second-tier FA starter, and hoping for the best. Chances are there will be enough internal development that they'll improve on last year's record.

If the season started today, the Jays opening day starter would seem to be either Chase Anderson or Trent Thornton. Do either of those guys clearly crack the top 5 on any of the other teams in the division (not including the Orioles for obvious reasons)? Maybe the Yankees, as of today, but NYY are probably going to sign someone better before the offseason is over. Counting on anything from Matt Shoemaker is probably not wise. Waguespack, Kay, Zeuch, Borucki could all be MLB SP, but none have demonstrated that yet. To me, they all look like #5-#8 starter quality. Yet, as of today, that's at least 3/5 of a rotation (headed by Chase Anderson and Trent Thornton.)

So, in my mind, saying we don't need 3 more starters because we have the likes of Thornton, Anderson, Zeuch, Waguespack, etc, is just an admission that expectations are low. And that's fine if that's the case. On the other hand, adding 3 more actual MLB starters could make things interesting. The money is there, so why not? I personally don't think the incremental value of potentially having something worthwhile in Jacob Waguespack is worth another season in the wilderness.

As for the next generation, Pearson, Manoah, etc, none appear likely to break camp out of spring training. My personal view on "blocking" guys like that by having a rotation full of actual MLB arms is that it will never be a problem. If the prospects are pitching well, then they'll get a chance when injuries inevitably start to pile up. And anyway, having too much pitching is not a problem any team has ever complained about.
Jevant - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 01:03 PM EST (#383635) #
Let's assume that our top 5 right now are Shoemaker, Borucki, Anderson, Thornton and Waguespack. According to Fangraphs, there isn't a projected ERA below 5 amongst that group, and the top WAR projection is 1.4, shared by both Thornton and Shoemaker, projecting those two to combine for 310 IP (which seems optimistic to me).

I don't know what is possibly ridiculous about suggesting that in order to have a reasonable chance of playing meaningful baseball in August/September this year the team needs to have 3 of those 5 in AAA to start the year. There will be injuries, and we are talking about Borucki and Shoemaker who were hurt for most of last year already as 40% of that group.

Homer Bailey, of all people, is currently projected to earn more WAR than any of our starters. And I'd be terrified to rely on him as a number 3 in a good rotation.

To me, the rotation currently as constructed has 5 guys who should be no better than 4th on a contending SP depth chart. Hence the suggestion that 3 starters may be needed. If Kay or Pearson or Zeuch force their way onto the team, that's a great problem to have, and assuredly several of the "top 5" won't pan out.

If the argument is "2020 is a year early to spend money", I can live with that, but I personally don't see the team making anything resembling noise in 2020 without a significantly buttressed rotation.
ayjackson - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 01:08 PM EST (#383636) #
MG, payroll parameters is pretty vague. I didn't see AA with a $45m squad though.
Jevant - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 01:17 PM EST (#383637) #
"If they want to be competitive, certainly, they need at least 3 more, all better than what they currently have."

Yup.

"My personal view on "blocking" guys like that by having a rotation full of actual MLB arms is that it will never be a problem."

100% agreed.
tercet - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 01:50 PM EST (#383638) #
The best plan for 2020 is clearly to tank/rebuild/hope reclamation/prospects projects break out, the "core" players are clearly not good enough to justify adding several FA to try to compete for 500.
The Jays could get sign a top SP (Cole/Strasburg), position player (Rendon/Donaldson) and we would still finish 4th in the AL east behind the Yanks/Red Sox/Yankees.
Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 01:58 PM EST (#383639) #
It's true, ayj, that the payroll wasn't $45 million, but when it got close to the luxury tax threshold, Rogers brought in Shapiro (without waiting for the end of the year).  I'm pretty sure that Rogers would not be happy with a payroll regularly hovering around the luxury tax threshold even though that is what makes sense given the size of the market and the elasticity of attendance. 
PeterG - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 02:00 PM EST (#383640) #
Anderson and Thornton could start on almost any team....possibly Shoemaker and Borucki as well...maybe Kay. Many did not bother watching the post deadline part of the season and do not realize how well Thornton pitched. He had a mid 3's ERA his last 11 starts. Complete year numbers were distorted by a couple of horrid starts earlier in the year. He seems to have it together now and is definitely a top 3 imo.

As for competing, I don't think there is much thought in the baseball community, that Jays will be seriously competing for playoff spot in 2020. Short term moves would be foolish imo. It is rarely wise to change a plan in mid stream. For those who don't follow closely, allow me to advise that the Jays probably have more quality starting pitching in the system than at any other time in their history. The smart move is to simply wait for it while being as competitive as possible in the meantime. Team would be much better than 2018 edition with no additions whatsoever. FO is firmly entrenched and under no pressure to win now, at least not from their employers.
Mike Green - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 02:05 PM EST (#383641) #
The Jays could get sign a top SP (Cole/Strasburg), position player (Rendon/Donaldson) and we would still finish 4th in the AL east behind the Yanks/Red Sox/Yankees.

If you believe that Cole and Rendon would put them in 4th place in the AL East, the FO made a horrible error in timing of call-up of (at least) Bichette. 

I happen to think that's wrong.  Acquisiton of Cole and Rendon would lead to an 11 win increase which when added to the 1 for Anderson would put them at an 88 win expectation.  That's right in the competitive zone, given the typical variability of performance vs. projection. 


greenfrog - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 02:23 PM EST (#383643) #
Didn’t Atkins say at one point that the Jays would eventually have a similar payroll to that of New York and Boston (once the Jays had built up their system)?
mathesond - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 02:27 PM EST (#383644) #
Maybe he was referring to the Rangers & Bruins?
bpoz - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 02:36 PM EST (#383645) #
I cannot get individual stats because the site is having problems. Guessing and memory fail me too often.

We were a contender in 1992 &93 and in 2015 and 2016. All really good teams. I will pick the 4th starter on each team. My 4th starter Key, Stott, Dickey? (Price #1?), Liriano? Key was definitely not a #4 in the Ace- #5 category of SPs.

Sticking to the Ace to #5 category. Ryu is a #1-#3 IMO. Our best current pitchers Anderson, Shoemaker and Thornton are #4 at best IMO. I will not judge the kids because of SSS.

No insult intended to anyone. I prefer category to list. I like a list of 8 SPs. With out Ryu I cannot come up with an 8th guy. Zeuch is it as 7th on the list. He has to fit into the Ace to #5 category for me. So a #4 if ERA is under 5.00 and maybe 80 IP.

Sanchez with an ERA of 3.00 is a #1. With his 2019 ERA he is probably a bad #5 because there is no #6 category. If I sounded bossy it is because I am ashamed and worried that I could not make a "mental" list of 8 pitchers. So I wrote out a list. I am 67 years old now. In my 30s when the Jays won in the 80s ( too young to know what was happening but enjoyed it). This rebuild is exciting for me and I am enjoying it but cannot understand the complexities of it.
Jevant - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 02:51 PM EST (#383646) #
Not sure you could keep Bichette/Vlad down much longer without running into serious credibility issues, but I get your point.

I personally think Cole and Rendon would also put the Jays into a competitive position, even if that probably isn't how I would allocate the resources. I still think 2-3 arms that add up to more projected WAR than Cole is the best approach. Worst case, you have way too much pitching. More likely, you have a competent rotation.
GabrielSyme - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 03:47 PM EST (#383647) #
saying we don't need 3 more starters because we have the likes of Thornton, Anderson, Zeuch, Waguespack, etc, is just an admission that expectations are low...
As for the next generation, Pearson, Manoah, etc, none appear likely to break camp out of spring training. My personal view on "blocking" guys like that by having a rotation full of actual MLB arms is that it will never be a problem.


Firstly, a rotation that would be by June be something like FA1/FA2/FA3/Pearson/Anderson/Shoemaker/Thornton/Borucki/Kay is an appalling misuse of resources. That's at least three guys you would hope to reliable rotation arms who are forced out of the rotation. Kay is the ideal guy to fill in for an injury, not Thornton or Borucki, and with Zeuch and Reid-Foley also at AAA, there are decent options even further down the depth chart. At most we should be looking for two more FA starters, and probably just one more. Just one would give an opening day rotation of FA/Shoemaker/Anderson/Thornton/Borucki with Kay waiting in the wings. Injury or ineffectiveness would probably open up a spot by June for Pearson to fill in. That doesn't seem like thin depth for the starting rotation, considering the further presence of Reid-Foley, Zeuch, Hatch & Murphy in AAA. Obviously, I'd like to see a strong FA signing for the rotation; beyond that, I think the priority ought to be to improve the 1B situation.
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 04:25 PM EST (#383648) #
Agree with Jevant and others here - we need LOTS of pitching. Might as well spend some $$ to get some this year. Pearson may not be Doc Gooden part 2 right out of the gate (i.e. he may need a season or two to fully settle in). VGJ, while having a good year for a rookie, etc, certainly didn't set the world on fire this year - OPS of 772. I understand that's good for a rookie, good for comparables, etc. And he might have a monster year this year. But, until he's done it, you can't COUNT on it.

Same with all the vaunted pitching prospects we have. Sure, someone said we have the best pitching prospects ever in our history. And they could turn out to be Doc Halladay part 2, or Deck McGuire part 2. And if they flounder, all of a sudden you have to sign 3 or 4 good pitchers for the last couple of years of the BBGGs contracts? Guess who'll be overpaying THEN, by record amounts? IMHO, better to amass some decent pitching now (and by decent, I don't mean bargain-bin castoffs that had a good year once - I mean, people who would be #2-3 starters on other teams), even if we overpay a little. You can always trade a starter that's pitching up to his contract when you have a young stud who's pitching just as well to fill other holes.

What if the BBGGs come out of the gate FLYING, Fischer and Grichuk are back to their "good" levels, Jansen/McGuire start hot and we have the same monster offense we had in 2015? And then we have team ERA of 6.2? As someone said - none of our starters is projected to be below 5. If we have ANY hope of contending, we need at least 2 to have a projection of "good", IMHO.
scottt - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 04:30 PM EST (#383649) #
The last time the Jays had a good rotation was in 2016.
The fangraphs predictions (ZIPS) vs actual results: (I'll use bWAR).

Dickie was predicted at 2 WAR but was worth 0.4 and was left out of the playoffs.
Stroman was predicted at 2 WAR but was wroth 1.4.
Estrada was predicted at 2 WAR but was worth 3.6
Happ was predicted at 1 WAR but was worth 4.5
Hutchison was predicted at 1 WAR but Sanchez and Liriano took his spot for 5 and 0.7 WAR.

The upside is usually in the young guys.

PeterG - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 04:33 PM EST (#383650) #
The starting pitchers that finished the season had post deadline ERA in mid to high 4 area which equates to quality start territory. Pitching numbers across MLB, especially in AL, are not what they used to be. Even without adding Anderson, Shoe, Borucki, the available starters would not have ERA's any where near 6 or over. Posters need to be somewhat realistic in posts if they want to be taken seriously.

PeterG - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 04:39 PM EST (#383651) #
My above remarks pertain to the starters who finished the season and excludes SRF who pitched some in August but not September. Obviously, his numbers would drag down the total but I assume it is not relevant as he is not being considered for 2020. He has much to prove at AAA level before getting another opportunity.
cascando - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 05:05 PM EST (#383652) #
I guess what is realistic is in the eye of the beholder. I think it's realistic that one or maybe even two of Shoemaker, Borucki, Waguespack, Thorton, Kay and Zeuch could put together 150 innings of league average performance. There might even be a small upside of something better than that. To count on four or more of them doing that seems wildly unrealistic to me.

Chase Anderson has been worth 1.5 WAR total over the past two years. He was good in 2017, and there's upside there too, but he's far from a sure thing. Something around last year's performance (better than 2018, but not as good as 2017) seems quite realistic to me. I don't think that's being overly cynical or pessimistic. And if that's a reasonable expectation from your #1 or #2 starter, the season is probably not going to be very fun.

Anyway, this is a discussion about how many extra arms they should add this off-season. I agree that it would be wise to wait to make a judgment on the admin's performance until March.
PeterG - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 05:25 PM EST (#383653) #
I am not sure that there is any staff in the AL where all 5 regular starting pitchers are at or above league average performance.
dan gordon - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 06:08 PM EST (#383654) #
I would be very surprised if Shoemaker, Anderson, Borucki, Thornton and Waguespack all had ERA's over 5.00. Looking at BRef, they project Shoemaker at 4.21, Borucki at 4.44, Anderson at 4.12, Thornton at 4.70, and Waguespack at 4.50. Add a decent free agent, and promote Pearson in May or June, and you've got a good group. Plus whomever among Zeuch, Merryweather and Kay might take a step forward, and there is the vast horde in the mid level minors knocking on the AAA door which could yield a 2nd half starter, guys like Murphy, Castillo, Diaz, Hatch, Murray, Perez, SWR, Winckowski. They may also find somebody in the Rule 5 - they have a high pick and there are some interesting looking starters available who could challenge for a spot.

I find it hard to see Marte as a CF at this point. If the Jays needed a corner OF, I'd like to get him, but the cost is probably going to be pretty high for a strong hitter with 2 more years of a reasonable contract.
PeterG - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 06:29 PM EST (#383655) #
How about Cole Calhoun as a FA acquisition? His OPS plus suggests than he is a better than average offensive player who can play corner OF and possibly some 1b.
GabrielSyme - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 06:40 PM EST (#383656) #
I guess what is realistic is in the eye of the beholder. I think it's realistic that one or maybe even two of Shoemaker, Borucki, Waguespack, Thorton, Kay and Zeuch could put together 150 innings of league average performance. There might even be a small upside of something better than that. To count on four or more of them doing that seems wildly unrealistic to me.

The fact I'd entirely forgotten about Waguespack does illustrate how deep the rotation depth does actually go. You certainly don't want to be relying on Waguespack or Reid-Foley or Zeuch, but just as there's downside risk on pitchers, you can also hope for some upside performance among the guys we will have stored in AAA (or possibly in the bullpen, in Waguespack's case).

I see the case for two more FA starters, but we should remember that 2020 is a building season. We should be trying to sort out who might be longer-term contributors: Borucki gave us half a season of #3 starter performance in 2018 - can he replicate or get close to that? Thornton was a solid #4 in his debut season - can he improve at all? Is there a starter future for any of Kay, Zeuch, Merryweather, Reid-Foley, Waguespack? Signing three starters means there's a real risk very few of these questions get answered, which is a problem for a team that has to figure out which of its assets can contribute to a championship team.
vw_fan17 - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:06 PM EST (#383657) #
Can we just stop blaming everything on Rogers? It's perfectly fine to hold Shapiro and Atkins accountable for everything without ownership having to be painted as some evil corporate entity that's forcing the organization to field a poor team and cut expenses and throw the season away.
I don't blame them for everything. Well, ok, I blame a lot of stuff on Shapiro/Atkins, who are Roger's chosen leaders, so I guess I do blame Rogers for everything :-)
uglyone - Friday, December 06 2019 @ 09:18 PM EST (#383658) #
You got an owner that loves to be cheap, and a slick salesman who sold them tales of winning on a budget.

They're made for each other.
85bluejay - Saturday, December 07 2019 @ 01:22 AM EST (#383659) #
Teams have won and lost with all sorts of budgets - while large budgets gives you more options, it's not a panacea for winning.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 07 2019 @ 02:27 AM EST (#383660) #
I suspect the winning will be infrequent in Toronto under a modest budget and an approach that tries to always maintain that mediocre (but profitable?) sweet spot of 78-84 wins. You can win sometimes on a modest budget with brilliant management that focuses its brilliance on winning (TB, Oakland, St. Louis) as opposed to trying to maintain adequacy for extraneous reasons.
Top Jay Prospects via Other Sites | 271 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.